-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Alister McGarth is a Christian theologian and apologist, and Professor of Theology, Ministry, and Education at King’s College, London.
In his latest article, he chides the New Atheists for their adherence to the prison of mere rationality. He argues that reason and science are not enough to discover the depths of reality.
At one point, he asks “why should reason be able to tell us anything about God?” At another point he touts Thomas Aquinas, who claimed that one could deduce the existence of God through the use of reason. When New Atheists use reason, it can’t tell them anything about God, but when Christians use reason, then a different result is possible.
McGrath points out:
Reason needs to be calibrated by something external. That’s one of the reasons why science is so important in the critique of pure reason …
What happened to the “mere” rationality that is the New Atheist’s defining attribute? Are those who use science as an external calibration for reason, not New Atheists?
To limit oneself to what reason and science can prove is merely to skim the surface of reality, and fail to discover the hidden depths beneath.
Where’s the evidence of the hidden depths to reality? These depths are not hidden to McGrath since he is aware of their existence, so these depths must be hidden only to those who don’t share McGrath’s acuity. Are these depths part of reality or merely part of McGrath’s imagination, and how does McGrath make that discernment?
McGrath goes on:
Both reason and science are severely limited in what they can prove, and in their capacity to engage the deepest intellectual and existential concerns of humanity.
Deep concerns like, the origin of species or the origin of the universe? Reason and science have provided excellent answers to those concerns, so McGrath must mean something even deeper. The deepest concerns must be those not addressed by reason and science. As soon as a concern is addressed by reason and science, it’s dropped from the “deepest” list.
And what does McGarth offer as an explanation to the “deepest” concerns? God. God is not an explanation, God is the manifestation of man’s inability to find an explanation.