Dawkins fails to answer Boyd

From the Star Tribune:

Q Here are quotes about faith from two thoughtful Twin Cities clergy members. What is your response to each?

The Rev. Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in Maplewood: “I thirst for water, and water exists. I hunger for food, and food exists. I hunger and thirst for God, so I concluded that God must exist.”

Dawkins: The fact that you hunger and thirst for something does not make it exist. A young man ravaged by lust might hunger for a woman he believes loves him back, but she just doesn’t, and he can’t make it so by longing for it. It’s silly to assume that wanting something means it exists.

Dawkins repeatedly demonstrates a weak grasp of analogy and logic, and he does so again here. There is a tremendous amount of empirical evidence that it is common for young men to, in fact, make it so by their hungry longing, indeed, that is the societal norm in romantic male-female relations.

Furthermore, his response is an evasion. Needs and desires are seldom, if ever, fixated on nonexistent things. The only logically correct way to attack Boyd’s argument is to a) deny that he hungers and thirsts for God, or, b) provide examples of genuine human longing for the nonexistent. The counterexample he provides is flawed because the woman’s love most likely exists, it merely isn’t directed in the young man’s direction.

Personally, I don’t think much of Boyd’s argument here myself, but that’s beside the point. I’m the last to question Greg’s belief in God; why he happens to believe is of no interest to me, I’m simply glad and grateful that he does.

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