Saturday, 12 April 2014

Metaphysics and Metamucil

I think you'll enjoy this lecture from Dr Edward Feser. It's called 'What We Owe The New Atheists'.

Here's a snippet from the introduction:

The theme of my talk is “What We Owe the New Atheists.” It might seem an odd one for the author of a decidedly non-irenic, highly polemical book like The Last Superstition.  
In that book I described Richard Dawkins as a man who “wouldn’t know metaphysics from Metamucil.” I proposed, accordingly, that the book Philosophy for Dummies might be reissued in a simplified version under the title Philosophy for Dawkins.  
I said that Christopher Hitchens’ synthesis of boozy self-confidence and theological incompetence made of him “a riddle, inside an enigma, wrapped in a cocktail napkin.”  
I wrote that Sam Harris’s work makes that of Madalyn Murray O’Hair look profound, and suggested that we might be forgiven for suspecting Harris’s entire literary career of being an elaborate hoax, a Sacha Baron Cohen-style publicity stunt. (Sam Harris as a philosophical Borat or Ali G.)  
Then, with Daniel Dennett, I got a little mean.
Seriously, though, Feser goes on to more high-minded stuff later on. I especially enjoyed his exegesis of that little-known spiritual classic, Rocky III.

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