The Incoherence of Oliver Sacks and the Appropriate Use of the Bible

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This World Is Itself Enough

Theists responding to atheism often indulge in logical fallacies: they try to save religion by attacking atheism, not on its core arguments, but on the edges.

Oliver Sacks–whom I otherwise respect–indulges in such fallacious commentary in a recent interview published at Salon.com. For example, he engages in an essentially ad hominem argument against atheists, without engaging with the arguments of atheism itself. He calls New Atheists “fundamentalists,” which is simply name-calling: it does not at all forward any understanding of the issues.

He also resorts to fundamentally straw man arguments. For example, he asserts that “[s]cience takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts them together to see what they mean.” The interviewer went on to point out that science also puts things together to see how they work. And his claim that “[r]eligion puts [things] together to see what they mean” is itself a fundamentally meaningless claim…

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