A philosopher friend who read John Loftus’s new book in draft recommended it to me highly, saying it was “spot on”. The image is below, and you can get to the Amazon store to order it by clicking on the screenshot:
I like the cover image, though it’s a bit gruesome, but yes, I think the philosophy of religion is a useless endeavor (unlike real philosophy). I’ve read a lot of it and it’s all based on the assumption that God exists. Since we have no evidence for that, the rest is commentary on a nonexistent being and its wishes, more or less like building a philosophy on Santa Claus.
Here’s the book’s description from Amazon. Based on my experience, it’s an accurate description of the philosophy of religion, which is rife with confirmation bias.
Just as intelligent design is not a legitimate branch of biology in public educational institutions, nor should the philosophy of religion be a legitimate branch of philosophy. So argues acclaimed author John W. Loftus in this forceful takedown of the very discipline in which he was trained. In his call for ending the philosophy of religion, he argues that, as it is presently being practiced, the main reason the discipline exists is to serve the faith claims of Christianity. Most of philosophy of religion has become little more than an effort to defend and rationalize preexisting Christian beliefs. If subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, and geology are all taught without reference to faith-based supernatural forces as explanations, faith-based teachings should not be acceptable in this discipline either. While the book offers a fascinating study of the fallacies and flaws on which one whole field of study rests, it speaks to something much larger in the ongoing culture wars. By highlighting the stark differences between faith-based reasoning and evidence-based reasoning, Loftus presents vital arguments and lessons about the importance of critical thinking not only in all aspects of study but also in life. His conclusions and recommendations thus resonate far beyond the ivory towers and ivy-covered walls of academic institutions.
While I think the philosophy or religion is an academic dead end, perhaps some readers disagree. If so, weigh in below. Although I vowed to read no more theology, this book, a critique of that endeavor, will be one I do read.