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Customer Review

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent addition to the debate, 5 Mar. 2011
This review is from: God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (Paperback)
Another excellent example of reasoned, measured debate on the question of the existence of God. Whether you come to this book as a believer or non-believer will probably determine your reactions to the contents. John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, a position that is not held by intellectual simpletons, thus even if you violently dissagree with his conclusions, you owe it to yourself to give respectful consideration of his argument.

I find it slightly amusing that 'armchair atheists' get so het up about these books. But then I was always taught by my lecturers that someone getting angry and shouting is a sure sign of a weak argument! John never stoops to patronising rhetoric like some of his atheist counterparts, but fairly, and I submit, with real balance, approaches the issues with clarity and sensitivity.

I for one still find 'Aunt Matilda's Cake' a great illustration of the limitations of scientific knowledge (read the book if you want to know why!) I'll nail my colours to the mast - I am a practising christian. But I also enjoy reading and listening to intellectual debate from the likes of Christopher Hitchins and Michael Ruse. Anybody who won't see and evaluate both sides of an argument is intellectually stunted. We need to engage with those we disagree with. hence why you should read this book! It is one of the best and most refreshing contributions to this area of discussion I have read to date.
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Initial post: 11 Mar 2011 09:33:43 GMT
A. Hawkins says:
Lennox rips apart Dawkins `me thinks it is like a weasel' analogy. I would like to rip apart Lennox's `Aunt Matilda's cake' analogy. The number of scientists that he brings in to analyse the cake is limited. If he brought in an evolutionary biologist and an evolutionary psychologist as well as a neurologist we would find that the cake would be adequately defined. The evolutionary biologist would say that you baked a cake to satisfy your Darwinian need to eat something with maximum energy i.e. to eat something sweet. The evolutionary psychologist would say that you baked a cake to share it as a deed of reciprocal altruism. In the future the neurologist might be able to put Aunt Matilda in a MRI scanner, or a similar device, and be able to read her mind to say why she made the cake. But why do we need scientists at all? The answer is simply she baked a cake because she and/or someone else was hungry or to enter a cake baking competition. Why else would she bake a cake? The cake has purpose and its purpose is to be eaten to satisfy a need.

Lennox is wrong when he states that, "But if she [Aunt Matilda] does not disclose the answer to us, the plain fact is that no amount of scientific analysis will enlighten us". Lennox fails to include the right scientists in his analogy and has given another wonderful example of cooking (great pun) the analysis to suit his conclusions.

Now that analogy is dealt with I also admit that science is limited on finding a God that wants to remain hidden. The question remains, what makes you think that your theology (ruminating on a sacred book that has been altered to suit a superstitious theistic agenda) can find a God, if He exists at all. Also, what makes you think that your sacred book is the one correct sacred book when there are others with equal claims? Also, what makes you think that your Christian God is the same God that created the universe?

Why do you think that armchair atheists get het up about books like this? I presume you think that they feel threatened by it and cannot answer them. This is far from the truth and philosophical and scientific argument can answer books like Lennox's.

I like that you read the atheist literature. You are doing yourself a disservice by not reading the best atheist literature out there. In my mind the best atheist literature is written by the people who know the opposition's arguments from the inside out. There is a growing band of academics lead by John Loftus who give us a more in-depth view of Christianity. They know Christian Theology from the inside out and hold many higher degrees in its subject (or non subject, as they would now admit). Please read John Loftus' Why I became an atheist. Many Christians have tried to review and analyse this book only to have failed. Dinesh D'Souza said that he would write a review but that review was never forthcoming.
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