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Rick Warren Get’s Publicly Challenged by a Naturalistic Scientist

Rick Warren spoke at the well known secular venue TEDTalks.  After he was done, a naturalist scientist challenged him on some of the things in his book “The Purpose Driven Life,” which has sold a gigatrillion copies.  *I think PDL is the most popular book in history outside the Bible (or, at least that’s what I’ve heard people say … not sure how they get stats on that).*

Anyway … Poor Rick gets cross examined by Dan Dennett.  I posted a response to Dan Dennett’s response below the video’s if your itching for cross-examination of the cross-examinaton.  My response was initially posted on the comments section on the website, and spawned an interesting “debate” in the thread.
Rick Warren’s Talk
Dan Dennett’s Response (you have to wait a bit before he starts challenging Rick directly) 
My Response
Dan Dennett, like most scientist I have heard who try to speak to religion, doesn’t appear to understand religion very well (or philosophy). He doesn’t even come close, for example, to addressing the presuppositional differences that underlie his differences with Rick Warren and other religious leaders and the worldviews they tend to espouse. 

It’s incredibly naive to think that religion could be taught unbiasedly–either by secularists or by religious leaders. Who determines the criterion for “facts”? Presuppositions will determine what one accepts as “facts,” which means to even approach teaching a course on religion based on “facts only,” you already have to use your presuppositions in determining what’s legitimate for a class in religion. Thus, there would be no such thing as an objective look at the “facts” about religion. That such is possible is an enlightenment myth.

Also, he picks on Rick Warren’s belief in intelligent design (which is different than creationism, but he doesn’t seem to be aware of these sorts of distinctions) rather than engaging, say, the Oxford/Cambridge/Berkley/Harvard Scientist’s who have tried to argue for intelligent design. That’s not good protocol, and it makes his critique of things weak. Rick isn’t a scientist or a philosopher, he’s just a pastor. 

Finally, he took Rick’s comment in a way that Rick probably never meant it, and read into it certain motives that may or may not have been present (even IF his interpretation was correct)—namely, the motive of throwing down a “wild card” to trump any “reasonable” inquiry or questioning of religious beliefs. Such an understanding of Rick’s comment is not only a misinterpretation of what a statement like that tends to mean to Christians like Rick Warren (again, demonstrating his ignorance of religious philosophy), but it also is guilty of reading motives into the statement, as if such motives could be accessed even if they were present. 

Sloppy engagement.


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