Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Self Selected Truths

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So here's an argument based upon arguments atheists make a lot.

(1) Empirical science has produced knowledge, technology, medicine, etc., etc. It's awesome.
(2) Abstract philosophy has produced nothing at all; it appears to be mere navel gazing.
(3) Therefore, we should base all of our beliefs on empirical science, not abstract philosophy.
(4) The arguments for God are abstract philosophy of exactly the kind that has proven so worthless.
(5) Therefore, we should reject all of the arguments for God.

To me, this seems to be a powerful argument for non belief. It doesn't prove that there's no God, but it does provide a potential reason not to believe in God, which is the same thing for all practical purposes.

The theist has two ways out, maybe. The first would be to muddy the distinction between philosophy and science. I think that this is probably doable to some extent, but I'm not sure how doable it actually is. The second would be to attack (4), and argue that some of the arguments for God are different from medieval philosophy in significant respects. Again, I'm not sure how doable this is.

Anyway, I'd like to hear what people have to say about this argument. I haven't seen anyone formulate it explicitly before.

So here's an argument.

(1) Empirical science has produced knowledge, technology, medicine, etc., etc. It's awesome.


* That is not a reason to assume that it's the only form of knowledge (which he does assume in the argument).

*Doesn't make it a competitor with religion.

* he's essentially arguing truth is indicated by it working. working = truth. Religious belief works too to produce the things it's supposed to produce.

(2) Abstract philosophy has produced nothing at all; it appears to be mere navel gazing.

bull honky do do that is BS!

*philosophy has produced many things including empirical scinece!

* you can't interpret data in the context of a hypothesis without philosophical thinking.

*"nature" is a philosophical construct and all the more so is "naturalism" You can't have an ideological framework such as naturalism without philosophical thinking.

* Religious belief does not reduce to just philosophy. Trashing philosophy is not a defeat for God argument nor is it a defeat for belief in God.


(3) Therefore, we should base all of our beliefs on empirical science, not abstract philosophy.

*that would not follow even if we granted the premises.

science works
philosophy doesn't do anything
therefore science is the only way to think

that does not follow. There can be other ways to think even if they are not philosophical.

*Of cousre the truth is it's not the case because you can't think scientifically without thinking philosophically.





(4) The arguments for God are abstract philosophy of exactly the kind that has proven so worthless.

*not necessary. arguments from experience are not abstract philosophy.

*God pod argument is not abstract philosophy

*reverse quantum is no more abstract philosophy than QM theory is.

* nor are God arguments the only basis for belief in God. Trashing philosophy does absolutely nothing to negate the warrant for belief.

*You can't have a coherent understanding of naturalism or it's implications without abstract philosophy. Atheism is just as dependent.


(5) Therefore, we should reject all of the arguments for God.

since every premise above is disproved so is this.

2 comments:

Kristen said...

If I'm understanding this correctly, the belief is:

producing concrete results = value.

Does that belief, in and of itself, produce any concrete results? Of what nature are statements of value-- concrete, or philosophical? Isn't that belief itself a philosophical position -- and thus, of no value according to the premise?

Metacrock said...

good point kirsten