Last night I was reading a book that more or less questioned my entire belief system. This belief system I only recently acquired and have been slowly reconstructing after a Master’s program that questioned my previous framework. It is this constant construction and deconstruction that I need a flannel-graph to really chart this whole thing out.
So, it only makes sense that this morning in the New York TImes Book Review there would be a review and exploration of Alvin Plantiga’s new book, “Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism.”
Plantiga, for me, represents a life and conversation that I have personally moved on from. Many people can and do call him “Modern” or the more philosophically clear, “Cartesian” but reading this review this morning offers a bit of solace and comfort knowing that he is doing his work. He most famous for his work “Warranted Christian Belief” (although I wonder where he stands on a lot of these things now) where he proposes his “warrants” i.e., the conditions that a true belief must meet in order to constitute knowledge.
I’m not sure Plantiga is asking the right questions for today’s culture, maybe he is and I am still concerned with the cosmetic ones, but this article forced me to dust off some thinking I have not done in a while.
Things like this:
The interest of this book, especially for secular readers, is its presentation from the inside of the point of view of a philosophically subtle and scientifically informed theist—an outlook with which many of them will not be familiar. Plantinga writes clearly and accessibly, and sometimes acidly—in response to aggressive critics of religion like Dawkins and Daniel Dennett. His comprehensive stand is a valuable contribution to this debate.