Saturday, January 09, 2010

The atheistic pot calling the theistic kettle black

Philosopher Edward Feser, responding to Daniel Dennett's 1993 review of philosopher John Searle's The Rediscovery of the Mind, in which alleged philosopher Dennett complains about the "supremely confident" Searle characterizing naive materialism as "daft," "monumentally silly," and "obviously false":
A “supreme self-confidence” that condescendingly treats serious thinkers as “daft” and their views as “monumentally silly” and “obviously false” – why, one would almost think Dennett was describing the author of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon!

In fairness, though, there are some crucial differences between Searle and Dennett. Searle knows what he is talking about when he criticizes cognitive science. Dennett demonstrably does not know what he is talking about when he criticizes the traditional arguments for the existence of God. By Dennett’s own account, Searle has made “progress” by providing a book-length argument in defense of his objections to cognitive science. Dennett, by contrast, never progresses beyond a couple of pages of sophomoric objections aimed at straw men. Also, Searle’s funnier.
Read the rest here.

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