Salon has published a rather incoherent piece by Francis Spufford defending Christianity on the grounds that it makes emotional sense. His resentment of the so-called "new atheists' is palpable and while he insists that he believes Christianity is true, his emphasis is on the emotional.

His writing is so hysterical that it is hard to read. This is an excerpt from his book Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surping Emotional Sense.

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Link does not go directly to the article. Let's try this one:

This one works.

There is also a YouTube video of Spufford explaining why he wrote the book:

Has Spufford read Craig from your other post? They seem to be parallel arguments, and to have parallel failings. The most interesting thing about this article is the strawmen he has made in the rough shape of atheism.

I have no idea, but the similarity would not be coincidental in any case: Christian apologists have been looking for arguments that get them off the hook of having to provide rational reasons for belief for quite a long time.

As I pointed out on the other post Cornelius van Til argued that rationality iself comes from God and consequently unbelievers cannot be rational.

In 1969 Stuart Brown published a book, Do Religious Claims Make Sense? in which he examined  seven different possible answers and came to the conclusion that Religious beliefs are unintelligible to the unbeliever by virtue of his being an unbeliever.

All these kinds of Christian apologetics arguments are ways of avoiding the need to respond directly to skeptics by placing them beyond the pale of reason. If your opponents are by definition incapable of reasoning correctly, then you need not bother answering them. Presumably this comforts those afflicted by doubters and lack a response.

I've come across those arguments before, and to them I ask "did I somehow forget what I knew when I was a believer?" "Was I perhaps not a true believer?" "Did I magically suffer brain damage the instant I repudiated faith?"

Ya gotta believe if ya wanna believe.



A bad case of TL/DR as regards the article itself.

But emotional sense?  ANYTHING can make "emotional sense" if the one emoting is committed to it.  If he wants to convince someone else of it, he'll likely need more than an appeal to emotion to make his case.  In MY case ... he'd be wasting his breath.

Having finally finished "reading" the article (I put reading in quotes because I started to skim for the same reason Loren didn't bother reading it,) Not only is his argument from emotion paper thin and "if it works for him, have at it, but don't go trying to generalize to everyone else," but basing his arguments against atheism on an appeal to ambiguity with his tidy little play on the word "enjoy."

Spufford writes non-fiction and has had some success with his previous books—awards, etc. This article is so poorly written and so hysterical in tone that you wonder where the editors of Salon were.

Well, if it's an excerpt from his book, I don't see how they would be editing what was supposedly already edited.

You're probably right that they thought the job was already done, but then the question becomes who edited the book? Authors can be quite reluctant to allow editing, but often an editor sees things an author doesn't. A good editor can help immensely. Excerpting can make hash of  something that was originally well written so it needs to be done very carefully. Also what works in a book may not work in a magazine article. Anyway, I thought the piece was badly written and far too polemical. The angry tone undercuts his points.

I just noticed that last bit of my comment was poorly written: "bases his argument..." there.

Don't even need his book. Read Spufford's rant and it means he is DELUSIONAL and will not change his mind on his delusions for any reason.




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