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By Barbara J. King
In his new book, The Big Question: Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Science, Faith and God, Alister McGrath argues that “we need more than science to satisfy our deep yearnings and intuitions.” That something more for McGrath is God, specifically, the Christian God.
As he develops this argument, again and again McGrath characterizes atheists who embrace science but not God as stuck in a place devoid of full understanding or meaning. There’s a “richness” in the Christian engagement with nature that atheists miss, for example.
McGrath understands the foundational atheist perspective to be this: “Since science discloses no meaning to the universe, the only reasonable conclusion is that there is no meaning to find.”
Here, yet again, is the unkillable myth, the persistent blind spot about atheism that apparently no amount of explaining can make go away. No matter how lucidly atheists explain in books, essays and blog posts that, yes, life can and does for us have meaning without God, the tsunami of claims about atheists’ arid existence rolls on and on.
Where does this persistent (is it also willful?) misunderstanding come from?
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