Thursday, November 30, 2006

credit where credit is due (attention Catholics)

I came across an audio file of a short debate between Richard Dawkins and David Quinn on a radio program in Great Britain (Ireland or England, I am not sure which one). Richard Dawkins is the current bright and shining star in atheism, and David Quinn is an Irish Catholic columnist, and I think he's even a Roman Catholic Priest, if I'm not mistaken. It doesn't matter whether or not he is a priest or not, but it would be interesting if I could find out.

The reason I'm posting this article and the following link is that it is no secret how strongly I disagree with Roman Catholicism. Specifically, I vehemently disagree with Roman Soteriology, but Mariology and the doctrines surrounding the papacy fall close behind. Also, it is not a secret that I believe that someone who believes in the gospel according to Rome (i.e. that Penance, Baptism, Eucharist, or faith + works, etc. are necessary for the attaining and maintaining of salvation), that person is not be saved.

I only state that here to illustrate my overall distance from anything Roman Catholic so as to frame my next comment in the proper light. Today, I am commending and applauding the work of this Roman Catholic man. It was truly a joy to here a clear, concise, and articulate argument for Theism (it didn’t ever get down to Christianity) leveled against Richard Dawkins.

I thought that the questions and objections raised by Richard Dawkins were easily handled by David Quinn, and especially when they were surrounding the two main issues that come up during the debate. The first issue concerned causality. Causality is basically the fact that there must be an uncaused first cause (or an unmoved first mover) for anything at all to exist. The second issue was concerning the role of religious systems and people in war and atrocities. Quite frankly, I think that Dawkins got shellacked with his double standard when Quinn gave examples of how Dawkins deals with humanist/atheist atrocities verses those motivated by religion.

Way to go Mr. Quinn.

You can listen to the debate by clicking here. The part where Mr. Quinn and Mr. Dawkins get involved in the causation issue starts around 11 minutes into the interview.

The final comment that I want to make about this interview was one other issue that was discussed (actually, Dawkins really avoided it). That was the issue of free will. The only reason I bring this up is that I have a different view of free will than some questions (it’s more an issue of the scope of a person’s free will than of the existence of free will) and how Mr. Quinn seemed to define it. He seemed to be defining free will as the ability to make decisions and be responsible for those decisions by some means apart from a genetic or chemical reason. Many atheistic evolutionists deny free will because everything must have its cause from matter or biology. Basically, David Quinn articulated that you (as a person) make the decisions and are responsible for them; they are not the natural outcome of a biological or physiological reaction.

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