Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Eagleton Delusion

PZ Myers reviews Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate by Terry Eagleton:
His claim is that the atheists are criticizing a version of religion he finds disagreeable and not at all like his version of religion…Ditchkins has made the ghastly error of failing to write The Eagleton Delusion or Eagleton Is Not Great or Letter to an Eagleton Nation. His irritation at this omission is essentially the driving force behind this entire book.

So what, exactly, is Eagleton theology, that we may critique it as representative of religion as a whole? We have a little problem here. Throughout this rambling, incoherent collection of pages, we get no clarity, no clean explanation of what exactly religion is; he can chastise Dennett for offering a definition of religion with which he vehemently disagrees, but you will not then find Eagleton carrying through with his definition. This is probably because Eagleton has no need for clarity — his own contradictions are worn with pride as emblems of ineffable profundity instead of addlepated murkiness.
I see this a lot.

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