An Undogmatic Daniel Dennett


by Robert Wright

My week of guest-blogging at the Dish finds me walking into an animated conversation about Daniel Dennett and the "new atheism". I’m looking forward to getting into more God talk in the next few days, but for now let me say briefly that: (a) I like this Dish reader’s terminology--'atheism' vs. ‘anti-theism’--very much; (b) Last week at the Huffington Post I published an assault on the anti-theist part of the “new atheism”; (c) This assault was so poorly worded, and got so much atheist blowback, that I half-apologized for it here; (d) Dan Dennett can indeed sound intolerant at times, but I think he comes off as pretty open-minded in this several-year-old video exchange between me and him. In the exchange, I’m arguing that maybe natural selection is subordinate to some larger purposea purpose imbued by a Deistic God, or maybe by extraterrestrials who seeded our planet a few billion years ago after inventing or refining the algorithm of natural selection, or whatever. Dan starts off very resistant to the idea, but he rolls with the punches and is never dogmatic. Check it out.  

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