A few weeks ago I blogged about my befuddlement that theology is considered a form of philosophy. I have since shared the idea on some internet forums, such as RationalSkepticism, and the general consensus is, much to my delight, overall support for the idea to exclude theology from philosophy. During some discussions, I’ve become aware that Religion Dispatches magazine put out an article, yesterday, about Keith Parsons, a professor of the philosophy of religion that has recently denounced theism as a philosophical position. It was not because he read my blog, I am sad to say. He called it quits in early September.
Here is some of Parsons’ interview:
“I have to confess that I now regard “the case for theism” as a fraud and I can no longer take it seriously enough to present it to a class as a respectable philosophical position—no more than I could present intelligent design as a legitimate biological theory. BTW, in saying that I now consider the case for theism to be a fraud, I do not mean to charge that the people making that case are frauds who aim to fool us with claims they know to be empty. No, theistic philosophers and apologists are almost painfully earnest and honest… I just cannot take their arguments seriously any more, and if you cannot take something seriously, you should not try to devote serious academic attention to it.”
I also found it interesting when he mentioned that the religiously inclined philosophers also tend to be in favor of promoting the truly non-scientific.
Keeping an eye on the truth was also a matter of practical importance for Parsons, who was alarmed by the support for Intelligent Design creationism among philosophy of religion’s most influential names.
Not only are they trying to contort the boundaries of philosophy to include theology, but they are also trying to push out the boundaries of science to include nonsensical concepts such as Intelligent Design creationism. Why? The reason is clear:
“One of the things the really active conservative Christians covet enormously, more than anything else, is intellectual respectability.
So, in order to attain intellectual respectability, you must first infiltrate respectable fields of discourse and subsequently try to pass off your intellectually deflated position as part of that field. I think it’s time to put these people in their place–outside of serious circles of inquiry.