Monday, July 19, 2021

scientific doubt vs religious faith: revisiting and old dispute

I came across an old blog post of mine from 2009. The post itself was not what I was drawn to but one of the comments. The comments by an anonymous atheist were of a nature easily answered. I think my answers were good as far as they went. Yet I negated their effectiveness with anger and insults. The heat of rhetorical battle and the abuse of atheists took their toll on my psyche. Here is what I wish I had said. I don't think it's wasted because this is a philosophical issue that cuts to the heart of the conflict with atheistic doubt.

Anonymous Atheist said... Wow, you sure write a lot, but don’t say much. There is truth, and that truth lies in the material world, and science is the only way to find that truth. All the philosophical notions in all the minds of all the philosophers mean nothing unless they are grounded in material reality, all else is just the endless gibberish of the human mind talking to itself, or a collection of human minds talking to each other. All of our supposed understanding exists only within human minds. This includes the supposed laws of the universe, i.e. gravity, atomic force, the behavior of light etc. The universe simply behaves as it does because … it does. We are just building models in our heads so we can think we are making sense of it.

This is not profound. Everything we know and perceive is filtered through human consciousness. Holy cogito Batman, we've known this since Descartres. That fact cannot be used to disprove the reality of God because the atheist is bound to accept the notion that there is a reality external to the human mind and we can know something of that reality. Otherwise the atheist must give up science and resort to mysticism or solipsism.

AA:All of our ideas about gods and spirituality exist only in the human mind as well. Regardless of your claims that there is any actual proof for god, it doesn’t exist.

All our ideas about matter and energy only in the human mind as well.By the logic of his argument,therefore,regardless of science's claims that there is any actual proof for energy and matter, it doesn’t exist.

AA:The concept of gods exists only within our heads. You can’t offer any more substantial evidence for your particular idea of gods than any other’s evidence of theirs.

yes of course we can because some ideas are more logical than others. Being in the mind desn't mean an idea is indefensible. Moreover . He can't prove a reason to see materialism as the external reality and not an idea involving one of spirit and matter.The proof for a materialistic external reality must come through human perception and is, therefore, not validated or proovable by the logic of his argument

AA:All of the output of all apologists is just so much detailed, convoluted rambling trying to explain the details of something that doesn’t exist. If all humans were to suddenly die off, the gods would die with them, as would the laws of the universe. The universe, however, would not be affected in the least.

Ditto science. notice he affrms there is an extrenal universe and yet how can he prove it apart from human perception?

AA:Man seems to have some inherent need to create supernatural causes for natural occurrences. Lot’s of ink has been spilled as to why this is, but just because so many are affected by the phenomenon, doesn’t make it true.

Need doesn'tmake it false either, so it must be irreluant

As has been pointed out by a philosopher who is grounded in reality, Daniel Dennet, we believe in belief.

Except atheists who seem to believe in not believing. In the modern world we have identified virtually all of the causes of things that occur around us, which should have freed us from our primitive superstitions.

sorry that is highly fallacious! We have barely scratched the surface of understanding our world. There is much more to go. Here are 10 major concepts atheists take as gospel which we can't prove or don't understand.

(1)Dark matter not proven

(2)Gravity, no definitive proof as to what causes the attraction of mass over distance.

(3)the existence of the multiverse

(4)Cause of the unified field

(5)the nature and definition or consciousness

(6) Can't prove string membranes exist

(7)why we sleep and dream

(8) the hard problem of conscioisness

(9) the cause of mystical experience

(10) case of the image on the shroud of Turin


Science is not about proving things, it's about disproving things(that is to say testing hypothesis).There is no science that disproves God.

This[modernity freed us from our primitive superstitions] has not happened, in a large part, because the purveyors of religious and spiritualistic beliefs maintain the structure of those superstitions.

He's already disproved his argument because it comes to us from the human mind. He has no more extra human proof of no God than i have for God.

In many cultures, such as ours, we are awash in these superstitions from birth. The idea of gods is pushed as the default truth, when the real default should be no gods, since there is no evidence for any.

Of course there's evidence for God. Remember above his argument is that evidence for God is only in the mind. Bit his knowledge of science is also in the mind.That's moot.He has no logical basis for the claim that there is no reason to believe in God. Of course he does not know my reasons for belief.see my eidence [2]

Most people in our culture have been exposed to the notion that God is watching you, and if you sin you will burn in hell, or at least that sinning, whatever that is, will make God mad.

That is a pathetically childish notion of religion.Reducing religion to superstition is just an ideological ploy. Science has its ideological side. Religion has its logical and complex side

I find it difficult to believe that you were really the atheist you claim to have been, although saying you’re an atheist does mean you actually believe in a rational world. I know that since I have cast of the blinders of belief and faith, the world is a much more understandable place and I cannot see any reason to ever change my mind.Red Mann

He finds it hard to believe that one can have experience that leads one to think other than he does. Welcome to the adult world.No aspect of logical or scientific thought is denied me by my faith and my faith offers a dimension he doesn;t understand.

[1] Joseph Hiinman, "Answerto Aisti Cline," Metacrock's blog(feb 5,2009) https://metacrock.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-answer-to-austin-cline.html

[2] My warrant for belief page on Religious A prioi
br> http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2009/01/rational-warrant-for-belief-sub-menu.html

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not that Anonymous Atheist but I will respond on his behalf.

Joe: This is not profound.

So what? That does not make it wrong.

And I see nothing in your response to suggest it is wrong.

Joe: All our ideas about matter and energy only in the human mind as well.By the logic of his argument,therefore,regardless of science's claims that there is any actual proof for energy and matter, it doesn’t exist.

The ideas do, but not the matter itself.

His argument is that outside of the ideas in our heads there is no evidence for God, and therefore we should reject God. The logic of his argument is "Regardless of your claims that there is any actual proof for god, it doesn’t exist." That logic simply does not apply to energy and matter for which there is abundant evidence.

Joe: yes of course we can because some ideas are more logical than others.

An idea being logical does not necessarily imply that it is true. Anyone can build a fantasy world that is internally consistent. It is still just fantasy.

Joe: Being in the mind desn't mean an idea is indefensible.

Kind of does if it claims to be real.

Joe: Moreover . He can't prove a reason to see materialism as the external reality and not an idea involving one of spirit and matter.The proof for a materialistic external reality must come through human perception and is, therefore, not validated or proovable by the logic of his argument

Well, not by the straw man version of his argument, anyway.

The reality is that we have a huge amount of evidence for matter and energy. Sure, it is filtered through human perception, and so technically it could be wrong, but for all practical purposes it is certain.

Joe: sorry that is highly fallacious! We have barely scratched the surface of understanding our world.

You have ten things we do not understand. I will put up Wikipedia on the other side for things we do understand. Who wins?

I appreciate there is a lot in Wikipedia that does not count, but there is still a huge number of pages in there that do. It would not be exaggeration to say they outnumber your ten by a factor of over 1000.

Joe: Of course there's evidence for God. Remember above his argument is that evidence for God is only in the mind. Bit his knowledge of science is also in the mind.That's moot.He has no logical basis for the claim that there is no reason to believe in God. Of course he does not know my reasons for belief.see my eidence [2]

There is evidence for God, but you cannot be bothered to list it because....

Because it is so poor. I note you had no problem listing 10 things science does not know. Odd that.

Joe: That is a pathetically childish notion of religion.Reducing religion to superstition is just an ideological ploy. Science has its ideological side. Religion has its logical and complex side

It is a pathetically childish notion of religion that a lot of Christians hold to. I am routinely told that if I do not believe the arguments of the Christians I will end up in hell.

It is pathetic. It is childish.

And it is a reason to think Christianity is not true.

Pix

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Anonymous said...
I am not that Anonymous Atheist but I will respond on his behalf.

Joe: This is not profound.

So what? That does not make it wrong.


I demonstrated that the observation that all knowledge is in our minds is not wrong but that does not justify doubting God. It also works against science.

And I see nothing in your response to suggest it is wrong.


It's what he does with it that's wrong

Joe: All our ideas about matter and energy only in the human mind as well.By the logic of his argument,therefore,regardless of science's claims that there is any actual proof for energy and matter, it doesn’t exist.

The ideas do, but not the matter itself.

His argument is that outside of the ideas in our heads there is no evidence for God, and therefore we should reject God. The logic of his argument is "Regardless of your claims that there is any actual proof for god, it doesn’t exist." That logic simply does not apply to energy and matter for which there is abundant evidence.


I've beaten that crap a million times. That says nothing to disprove God arguments. Truth by stipulation.

Joe: yes of course we can because some ideas are more logical than others.

An idea being logical does not necessarily imply that it is true. Anyone can build a fantasy world that is internally consistent. It is still just fantasy.

yes it does. Besides in dealing with the great oceanic questions we don't have proof we have rational warrant.

Joe: Being in the mind desn't mean an idea is indefensible.

Kind of does if it claims to be real.
good by science

Joe: Moreover . He can't prove a reason to see materialism as the external reality and not an idea involving one of spirit and matter.The proof for a materialistic external reality must come through human perception and is, therefore, not validated or proovable by the logic of his argument

Well, not by the straw man version of his argument, anyway.

show me the version that does validate it? It has to disprove spirit.

The reality is that we have a huge amount of evidence for matter and energy. Sure, it is filtered through human perception, and so technically it could be wrong, but for all practical purposes it is certain.


face the point. The crux of his argument was that filtering knowledge through the human mind invalidates the knowledge.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Joe: sorry that is highly fallacious! We have barely scratched the surface of understanding our world.

You have ten things we do not understand. I will put up Wikipedia on the other side for things we do understand. Who wins?

Understanding some things about them does not prove we grasp the real issues in understanding all causes which was his claim.



I appreciate there is a lot in Wikipedia that does not count, but there is still a huge number of pages in there that do. It would not be exaggeration to say they outnumber your ten by a factor of over 1000.


that is utter BS ad you j0ow it. we have not begun to understand our world. you know it. I've seen scientists say that,

Joe: Of course there's evidence for God. Remember above his argument is that evidence for God is only in the mind. Bit his knowledge of science is also in the mind.That's moot.He has no logical basis for the claim that there is no reason to believe in God. Of course he does not know my reasons for belief.see my eidence [2]

There is evidence for God, but you cannot be bothered to list it because....

I did. did you not see the link? I didn't list it I linked toit

Because it is so poor. I note you had no problem listing 10 things science does not know. Odd that.

Joe: That is a pathetically childish notion of religion. Reducing religion to superstition is just an ideological ploy. Science has its ideological side. Religion has its logical and complex side

It is a pathetically childish notion of religion that a lot of Christians hold to. I am routinely told that if I do not believe the arguments of the Christians I will end up in hell.

I am not asking you to be lie those christians.

It is pathetic. It is childish.

sure that's no the real deal. Don/t be like the shallow christians.be a deep one.

And it is a reason to think Christianity is not true.

It destroys science too.You are just arguing for solipsism,

Anonymous said...

Joe: I demonstrated that the observation that all knowledge is in our minds is not wrong but that does not justify doubting God. It also works against science.

His point is that the only evidence for God is in our minds. That is not the case for science, which has an abundance of actual evidence.

Joe: I've beaten that crap a million times. That says nothing to disprove God arguments. Truth by stipulation.

In a sense, I agree. He is just observing there is no evidence. If he is right, he has a good argument, but you dispute that. It comes down to what the arguments are, and what the evidence is.

I do not know the background, but I wonder if he is objecting to philosophical arguments for God that do not relate back to reality. We can posit a world where God is necessary, and therefore God must exist... But why suppose that that is our world. Thus he points out that the arguments for God exist only in your head, where as the arguments for relativity are both in your head but also in the real world.

Joe: yes it does.

How so?

Joe: Besides in dealing with the great oceanic questions we don't have proof we have rational warrant.

But I also have rational warrant for thinking Christianity is wrong.

Joe: good by science

And history. If you want people to believe your claims about the Roman Empire you need more than just ideas in your head, you need actual evidence.

Joe: show me the version that does validate it? It has to disprove spirit.

Why does the proof for a materialistic external reality have to disprove spirit?

We both agree the external world exists - otherwise why would we be communicating with each other?

Joe: face the point. The crux of his argument was that filtering knowledge through the human mind invalidates the knowledge.

I do not think that is his argument at all.

Joe: Understanding some things about them does not prove we grasp the real issues in understanding all causes which was his claim.

Actually, no, that was not his claim. This is what he said: "In the modern world we have identified virtually all of the causes of things that occur around us, which should have freed us from our primitive superstitions."

So the fact that we do not know what dark matter is, for instance, does not impinge on his claim at all, because it does not cause things around us.

His point is that earthquakes, thunder and droughts happen for reasons we now understand, and not due to capricious gods.

Joe: that is utter BS ad you j0ow it. we have not begun to understand our world. you know it. I've seen scientists say that,

Going to have to agree to disagree on that one. I think we know a huge amount about the world around us. Scientists concentrate on what is still to be learnt, which can give a slanted impression.

Joe: sure that's no the real deal. Don/t be like the shallow christians.be a deep one.

So this guy was arguing against the mainstream Christian position. Glad we got that sorted.

Pix

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Joe: I demonstrated that the observation that all knowledge is in our minds is not wrong but that does not justify doubting God. It also works against science.

His point is that the only evidence for God is in our minds. That is not the case for science, which has an abundance of actual evidence.

Wrong! He begins his argument with the conceit that since knowledge of God is fileted through the min it cannot be validated. If all he is saying is that evidence of God is in the mind that is easily refuted. Most God arguments turn on physical data such as design, cosmological or Fine tuning.

Joe: I've beaten that crap a million times. That says nothing to disprove God arguments. Truth by stipulation.

In a sense, I agree. He is just observing there is no evidence. If he is right, he has a good argument, but you dispute that. It comes down to what the arguments are, and what the evidence is.

you should know wev'e argued enough of them

I do not know the background, but I wonder if he is objecting to philosophical arguments for God that do not relate back to reality. We can posit a world where God is necessary, and therefore God must exist... But why suppose that that is our world. Thus he points out that the arguments for God exist only in your head, where as the arguments for relativity are both in your head but also in the real world.

that's another post

Joe: yes it does.

How so?

I said that in answer to: "An idea being logical does not necessarily imply that it is true." Obviously it does especially God arguments because they are about the nature of reality

Joe: Besides in dealing with the great oceanic questions we don't have proof we have rational warrant.

But I also have rational warrant for thinking Christianity is wrong.

Not necessarily because to have to sort out Christianity itself from it's cultural manifestation

Joe: good by science

And history. If you want people to believe your claims about the Roman Empire you need more than just ideas in your head, you need actual evidence.

sure and we do have that

Joe: show me the version that does validate it? It has to disprove spirit.

Why does the proof for a materialistic external reality have to disprove spirit?

Elementary my dear Englishman. Materialism asserts that only material things exist. Spirit is not material. Thus it contradicts materialism

We both agree the external world exists - otherwise why would we be communicating with each other?

Joe: face the point. The crux of his argument was that filtering knowledge through the human mind invalidates the knowledge.

I do not think that is his argument at all.

I am sure what he really meant was saying that only empirical arguments are valid. Even if that's it he's just ignorant. The point of the 10 things was science accepts them with no empirical proof.

JBsptfn said...

Joe,

Is that what you also encountered on CARM? I heard that the atheists there weren't too bright back then.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

that one was not as insulting as some

JBsptfn said...

Joe,

I don't know if you have heard of Jesse Lee Peterson (he is a You Tube personality, as far as I know. I never heard of him before). Three years ago, on his You Tube site, he had an interview with Dale Hansen, a sportscaster in your neck of the woods:

DALE HANSEN: Liberal Atheist Sportscaster vs. Black Trump Supporter Pastor on Manhood & Racism

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

everyone knows Hansen,

JBsptfn said...

I watched that video again today. The host (Jesse Lee) is a right-winger who called Trump "The Great White Hope", and said that he was doing all of these things. Dale asked him what he has been doing, and Jesse really didn't say (I am not left or right, but it's sad how the right-wingers blindedly followed him).

Also, it seems to me that Dale doesn't believe in free will. He said that he stopped believing in God as a young man after his friend died in Vietnam (it's the same old canard about how God didn't do anything to stop it).

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

yes it's a real shame.