My current book project is on the subject of atheism. Though there have been plenty of books on this topic the last few years, both by atheists (the “new atheists” as they’ve come to be called) and their critics, nearly all of these books address the evidence for or against theism. Atheist writers complain that because of the existence of evil and the immorality of believers faith in God is unreasonable. And they argue that the explanatory power of science makes faith unnecessary. Defenders of theism have given rejoinders to these arguments and offered evidences for God either overlooked or underappreciated by the new atheists. Some Christian apologists have devoted entire books to critiquing particular works by the new atheists (e.g. The McGraths’ The Dawkins Delusion and Zacharias’ The End of Reason).
But lost in the whirlwind of this debate is the deeper question as to whether atheism is actually the product of rational inquiry. Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett have suggested that theists suffer from a sort of delusion. Could this be a case of “If you spot it, you got it”? If anyone is delusional, perhaps it is atheists. After all, looking at the matter from a statistical standpoint, is it more likely that over 90% of human beings (religious believers) are deluded or that only a small minority (atheists) are so deceived? To take the former view, along with Dawkins, Dennett, and others, is a serious psychological indictment of the human race. (And, given this thesis, one wonders why these authors would expect their readers to have a rational response to their books!) On the other hand, if atheists are the duped ones, what explains this? Is it simply a misconstrual of the evidence for God? If so, what could account for that? Is the problem somehow psychological, sociological, or even moral in nature?
These are some of the questions I am raising (and attempting to answer) in my book, which will be published by Moody Press in 2010. I would welcome your own thoughts on the matter…whether or not they turn out to be delusional.