Atheist culture involves a turning away from God. Scruton shows how self destructive this is for us and our culture. Starting with the so-called scientific world view, Scruton argues that this is the real source of our current doubts about belief in God. To Richard Dawkins, human beings are 'survival machines'. To enforce the argument that this is disastrous, two far reaching metaphysical world views are examined. Everything in the natural world happens according to scientific laws. Everything that happens is contingent. Drawing on Kant, Scruton argues to the contrary that we can step outside the chain of events and ask for an explanation of it. We can see beyond the limit of our visual field. We will only advance if we can see beyond the limits of our own thinking and attain to the 'transcendental' perspective that is God's. In all this, what are in fact our epistemological capacities? Why and to what end and for what reason is there a world that contains creatures like us? This is the realm of Natural Theology but in Scruton's penetrating argument it is transformed.
Roger Scruton is currently Research Professor for the Institute for the Psychological Sciences where he teaches philosophy at their graduate school in both Washington and Oxford. He is a writer, philosopher and public commentator. He has specialised in aesthetics with particular attention to music and architecture. He engages in contemporary political and cultural debates from the standpoint of a conservative thinker and is well known as a powerful polemicist. He has written widely in the press on political and cultural issues.