Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Anonymous Defends Atheist Incredulity

That Anonynmous sure gets around. What an amazing volume of work tha guy(gal?) has posted over the years?He/she has a comment in response to my article of May 2006 "why doesn't God heal Stupidity:"

Anonymous said...
Atheists are very scientifically minded. They came to their beliefs through careful thought and lack of scientific evidence in a God. If you are going to have any luck convincing an atheist, you will need to back up one of your cases with visual and scientific proof meaning x-rays, pictures and doctors notes. You have anecdotes on your site but I personally did not notice any pictures or x-rays where you can physically see a visual change from unhealthy to healthy. I think the spontaneous regeneration of a lung would be very good evidence for something supernatural, do you have x-rays of this? Do you think an atheist is going to believe you if you have no visual scientific evidence and doctors notes to back up your claim?

4:30 AM

I was an atheist. I know how they think. My webstie is loaded with such evdidence, and I've posted articles on this blog featruing many of them, especiallythe Lordes evdience Atheists are not scientific thinkers, they will escew science so fast it will make your head spin. They are only "scientific" in so far as scientific evdience backs their opinions. The minute thier opinions are challeged by scientific evidence they have had enough of science.

Ironically the two peices before that one were about atheism and science. here's one that I think might be apt:

I don't think atheists care about evidence. Evidence just means that one has something to reason from. What atheists demand is absolute proof, and at a level that can't be given for anything. I would bet that if for some reason atheists didn't like science, no amount of scientific "proof" wood suffice to prove to them that science works; because they would demand absolute proof, which can't be gotten.

In thinking about the two other threads I initiative over the last few days, and the atheist take on my arguments and their 'dicing' of my thought processes, and their refusal to acknowledge standard resiances that I give all the time, I find the following state of affairs to be a good description of the current state of dialectic between atheists and theists on the boards:

(1) Theists have a vast array of knowledge and argumentation built up over 2000 years, which basically amounts to a ton evidence for the existence of God. It's not absolute proof, because true, sure enough, actual absolute proof is just damn hard to come by on anything--even most scientific things; which is why they invented inductive reasoning. Science accepts correlation's as signs of caudal relationships, it doesn't ever actually observe causality at work. But that kind of indicative relationship is not good for atheists when a God argument is involved. Then it must be absolute demonstration and direct observation.

(2) This double standard always works in favor of the atheist and never in favor of the theist. I suspect that's because Theists are trying to persuade atheists that a certain state of affairs is the case, and at the same time we are apt to be less critical of our own reasons for believing that. Atheists make a habit of denial and pride themselves on it.

Why is it a double standard? Because when it works to establish a unified system of naturalistic observation the atheist is only too happy to appeal to "we never see" "we always see" and "there is a strong correlation." We never see a man raised from the dead. We never see a severed limb restored. The correlation's between naturalistic cause and effect are rock solid and always work, so science gives us truth, and religion doesn't. But when those same kinds of correlation's are used to support a God argument, they are just no darn good. to wit: we never see anything pop out of absolute noting, we never even see absolute nothing, even QM particles seem to emerge from prior conditions such as Vacuum flux, so they are not really proof of something form nothing. But O tisg tosh, that doesn't prove anything and certainly QM proves that the universe could just pop up out of nothing!

(3) "laws of physics" are not real laws, they are only descriptions, aggregates of our observations. So they can't be used to argue for God in any way. But, when it comes to miraculous claims, the observations of such must always be discounted because they violate our standard norm for observation, and we must always assume they are wrong no matter how well documented or how inexplicable. We must always assume that only naturalistic events can happen, even though the whole concept of a naturalism can only be nothing more than an aggregate of our observations about the world; and surely they are anything but exhaustive. Thus one wood think that since our observations are not enough to establish immutable laws of the universe, they would not be enough to establish a metaphysics which says that only material realms exist and only materially caused events can happen! But guess again...!

(4) The Theistic panoply of argumentation is a going concern. Quentin Smith, the top atheist philosopher says that 80% of philosophers today are theists. But when one uses philosophy in a God argument, it's just some left over junk from the middle ages; even though my God arguments are based upon S 5 modal logic which didn't exist even before the 1960s and most of the major God arguers are still living.

(5) They pooh pooh philosophy because it doesn't' produce objective concrete results. But they can't produce any scientific evidence to answer the most basic philosophical questions, and the more adept atheists will admit that it isn't the job of science to answer those questions anyway. Scientific evidence cannot give us answers on the most basic philosophical questions, rather than seeing this as a failing in science (or better yet, evidence of differing magister) they rather just chalice it up to the failing of the question! The question is no good because our methods dot' answer it!

(6) What it appears to me is the case is this; some methods are better tailed for philosophy. Those methods are more likely to yield a God argument and even a rational warrant for belief, because God is a philosophical question and not a scientific one. God is a matter of faint, after all, and in matters of faith a rational warrant is the best one should even hope for. But that's not good enough for atheists, they disparage the whole idea of a philosophical question (at least the scientistic ones do--that's not all of them, but some) yet they want an open ended universe with no hard and fast truth and no hard and fast morality!

(7)So it seems that if one accepts certain methods one can prove God within the nature of that language game. now of course one can reject those language games and choose others that are not quite as cozy with the divine and that's OK too. Niether approach is indicative of one's intelligence or one's morality. But, it does mean that since it may be just as rational given the choice of axioms and methodologies, then what that taps out to is belief in God is rationally warrented--it may not be only rational conclusion but it is one ratinal conclusion Now i know all these guys like Barron and HRG will say "hey I'm fine with that." But then when push comes to shove they will be back again insisting that the lack of absolute proof leaves the method that yields God arguments in doubt, rather than the other way around. I don't see why either should be privileged. Why can't we just say that one method is better suited for one kind of question, the other for the other?

and if one of them says 'why should I ask those questions?' I say 'why shouldn't we leave the choice of questions to the questioner?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(Sorry if this appears multiple times, but I have some problems posting my comment. - Peter)

Have you read "Looking for a Miracle" by Joe Nickell? He claims to investigate miracles in a scientific way, but most of the time he is just twisting the evidence, heaping doubt on the credibility of people who claim to have experienced a miracle, and telling anecdotes which make you feel bad about trusting such reports. For example, he tells a story about a woman whose cure of a certain liver disease was approved by the Lourdes medical bureau, but who died many years later having the symptoms of the same disease. However, the woman's death was actually caused by a medical error and not by the disease from which she had probably (but not certainly) started to suffer again. The medical bureau knows this and makes no secret of it (I found it on their website), but Nickell makes it appear as if this is an extremely embarrassing situation for Lourdes.

Nickell also believes every stigmatic and visionary in history has been a (possibly unconscious) fraud. The way he dismisses the stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi is as follows: one Catholic author claims that he has found no convincing examples of stigmata after St. Francis, to which Nickell replies something like "then why shouldn't St. Francis's stigmata have been faked as well?" His method is to look at some of the less impressive instances, for which he can find a possible natural explanation, no matter how improbable, and then to conclude that there must be natural explanations for all miracles.

The reasoning behind all this, of course, is "no matter how improbable a natural cause is, it is always more probable than a supernatural one", which may sound plausible to a naturalist, but is a baseless claim if the existence of God is admitted.