A friend who teaches philosophy emailed me this week and asked whether I’d be interested in collaborating on a book-length, point-by-point response to The God Delusion. He thinks (as I do) that Dawkins’ case against theism is philosophically inept, but he wondered whether a response would be worthwhile because (i) The God Delusion is a New York Times bestseller and (ii) one of his colleagues had expressed concern over several reports of people “losing their faith” after reading the book.
In reply, I told him that while it would be a fun project, in terms of impact it probably wouldn’t add anything to the numerous critical reviews and other responses already available. In any case, these reports of people being ‘deconverted’ by The God Delusion arguably tell us more about those people than about the impact of this one book. Call me cynical, but my suspicion is that most of these were deconversions waiting to happen. Dawkins’ book was merely the final rhetorical shove over the precipice.
I suppose what surprises me most about these Dawkins-destroyed-my-faith stories is that in this day and age it takes practically no effort — at most, a few minutes with a good search engine — to turn up several scholarly responses to The God Delusion (reviews, articles, books, etc.) that should at least give a rational person significant pause before ordering his certificate of debaptism. However, I was also surprised to discover (after a few minutes with a good search engine) that no one has yet gathered links to these responses together in one place.
This post is designed to fill that gap. Consider it a one-stop shop for all your Dawkins-defusing needs. If you know of any (respectable) responses not listed below, please let me know and I’ll considering adding them.