From Evangelicalism To Reluctant Skepticism and Back Again: A Beguiling Journey -- By: Drury Patteson

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 05:2 (Fall 2006)
Article: From Evangelicalism To Reluctant Skepticism and Back Again: A Beguiling Journey
Author: Drury Patteson

From Evangelicalism To
Reluctant Skepticism and Back Again:
A Beguiling Journey

Drury Patteson

Recently Phillip Roth was interviewed by Terry Gross on “Fresh Air” respecting his recent novel Everyman. She asked him if he ever had any inclination whatever to believe in God. He replied, “I do not intend to be irrational. I choose not to live delusionally.” That is an arrogant, very foolish, and misguided statement considering the fact that billions of people do believe in God in some sense. In fact some of the most brilliant minds, past and present, believe in God and can offer extraordinarily excellent reasons for their convictions. Why does this man, who at the age of thirteen, the day after his Bar Mitzvah, showing contempt for his parents, their efforts, and for the entire history of Judaism and Christianity, actually reveal how delusional he is by such foolish and absurd pronouncements? Has his publishing success gone

to his head? Probably, but I would suggest that even more basic is his acceptance of claims by those who profess themselves to be wise beyond others and thereby become fools in the process.

Professing to Be Wise

Many have accepted the claims of certain intellectuals who are prominent in today’s society. A few years ago, one of these flamboyant ones, Carl Sagan, who thought he was being scientific when he exuberantly claimed, “The cosmos is all there is, all there ever was, and all there ever will be.” How does he know that? This claim certainly is not a scientific statement. In fact, it is a philosophical statement based upon the metaphysical presumption of materialism (matter is all there is) or naturalism (there is nothing beyond the natural world). Considering the intensity with which he made his claim, it also expresses his fundamental religious faith. Since he cannot justify that position scientifically, should he not be called to account and asked to give his reasons?

Great numbers hold similar views. There is an excuse perhaps for the masses who are themselves not capable of ascertaining the truth of such claims for themselves. However, there is no excuse for the so-called intellectuals and scientists who have attempted by choice to eliminate God and refuse to look at the evidence. As an example, among many, Richard Lewontin in a review of Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World wrote:

We take the side of science

    in spite of
the patent absurdity of some of its constructs,
    in spite of
its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life,
    in spite of
the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior com...
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