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Surprised by Meaning Kindle Edition
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I am left to ponder how many more rebuttals of New Atheism it is necessary to read however; the driving force of New Atheism seems to have demonstrably lost the intellectual credentials it aspired to portray that would set it apart from religious thinking. There are perhaps other writers to engage with now, not least other more incisive atheist writers.
This book provides some nice short overviews of areas of the philosophy of science and in particular the anthropic principle. For me it provides a good summary and a pointer to other books for further study.
I am perplexed about the emphasis on Christianity however. In the book McGrath makes numerous statements about this or that aspect supporting the Trinitarian viewpoint contained in Christian theology. I could not see that however; he appeared to be making pro-theist arguments or more specifically those consistent with the Abrahamic faiths, but rarely until the very end of the book was Christ specifically mentioned to support this pro-Christian argument.
I am not a Christian, but seek out serious pro-theist perspectives in the science/ philosophy and religion area. Since many writers in English are Christian a certain Christian bias is inevitable; but such arguments rarely depend on Christian theology to the exclusion of other viewpoints. If I was not familiar with McGrath's previous work, this over-emphasis (in my view) on Christianity in the book reviews would have made me dismiss this book as a simple apologetic. As a single example, even the quotes from CS Lewis in the book are pro-theist in outlook rather than pro-Christian!
Thoughtful and well written. I recommend it. Makes you think.
1. Looking at the big picture
2. Longing to make sense of things
3. Patterns on the shore of the universe
4. How we make sense of things
5. Musings of a lapsed atheist (here he looks at the New Atheism)
6. Beyond the scientific horizon
7. A Christian viewpoint
8. The deep structure of the universe (here he looks at the Anthropic Principle)
9. The mystery of the possibility of life (a further look at the Anthropic Principle)
10. The accidents of biological history? (a look at Darwinism)
11. History, culture and faith.
12. The heart's desire: Longing for significance
13. Surprised by meaning
NB My copy of the book has 136 pages not the 112 pages as shown on Amazon.
McGrath has written this book well, arguing through to his conclusions gradually, and acknowledging other views both for and against his own.
I can recommend this book to other readers, particularly Christians for enjoyment and education. Atheists will mostly dislike this book, as it is dismantling their pieties and certainties in a thorough and well argued manner.
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