Monday, 28 April 2008

Do I Need a Ph.D.?

Many apologists dismiss atheist arguments as being unserious. We obviously can't have a good argument against god and theology because there aren't any for such serious topics that thoughtful, professional theologians came up with over the years. Obviously. Harumph.

So, what are these serious theological arguments? Aquinas's 5 proofs that have been destroyed repeatedly? C.S. Lewis's shoddy arguments trying to apologize for god's crap treatment of all of us (we have to suffer so that we can appreciate not suffering; because god couldn't have created a better world?), or Plantinga's off-the-wall ideas about how it's rational to believe in god since we can't be certain that he doesn't exist (making it also rational to believe in Baal, Allah, FSM, Russell's floating teapot, etc.)

Ah, but dismiss those arguments and make counters and apologists will simply note that you are wrong, that you haven't really addressed the issue, and then go on their merry way not bothering to actually look at your argument or show you what is in error. Why? Because you can't possibly be serious or erudite enough to point out the holes in such intellectual heavyweight arguments unless you also have a Ph.D. in making stuff up. Well, it doesn't work that way. I don't need to have a Ph.D. in theology to be able to read the Bible and see the holes in it. I don't need that Ph.D. in order to read the arguments of the theists and see the holes in them. Most of these arguments are third rate, yet theists have simply accepted them as great simply because of confirmation bias. How many times have theists come here and simply said that our logic is full of holes but not been able to back it up?

OK, rant over.

8 comments:

Gatsby Blastyn said...

Wait.
You're saying that you don't need a Ph.d to understand the arguments and that you can simply read the Bible and see it's full of holes. But, then you say that theists come here (to your weak blog) and say that your logic is lacking but that isn't good enough for you? They now must go above and beyond and qualify that claim to you in a manner that would convince you?
Does that make any sense to you?

They can appeal to ontological evidence, but you are demanding epistemological evidence. That's not only unfair it's stupid.

Also, from reading your blog posts (these emotive knee-jerk reactions to all you disagree with) if anyone is guilty of confirmation bias it's you.
Assertions like "Aquinas's 5 proofs have been destroyed time and time....blah blah", or the uninformed comment on Plantinga's arguments.

MR. X said...

I've got evidence that design can emerge from chaos without God. I've got evidence that humans aren't the premeditated pinnacle of nature. I've got evidence that prayer dosen't work. I've got evidence that there isn't a red goat with a stick in the Earth's core.

What've you got? Ted Haggard?

GCT said...

"You're saying that you don't need a Ph.d to understand the arguments and that you can simply read the Bible and see it's full of holes."

Yes.

"But, then you say that theists come here (to your weak blog) and say that your logic is lacking but that isn't good enough for you?"

When it is unaccompanied (as yours is) with any substance as to why it is lacking, why my arguments are weak, etc. then no, it is not good enough for me. The key difference here is that I'm backing my arguments with logic and reason, while you and others are simply saying, "You're wrong," with no further explanation and expecting me to be humbled or defeated or something. Bring some substance. You don't have to know every atheist argument, you just have to read the argument at hand and be able to respond with a logical rebuttal.

"They can appeal to ontological evidence, but you are demanding epistemological evidence. That's not only unfair it's stupid."

If you have evidence, present it. I've presented ontological arguments myself, so I'm not saying it is out of bounds. What I am saying, however, is that not presenting evidence or saying something along the lines of, "You wouldn't accept it anyway," is weak and shows that the person doesn't have confidence in their arguments.

"Also, from reading your blog posts (these emotive knee-jerk reactions to all you disagree with) if anyone is guilty of confirmation bias it's you.
Assertions like "Aquinas's 5 proofs have been destroyed time and time....blah blah", or the uninformed comment on Plantinga's arguments."

How so? Give examples, make an actual argument beyond the grade school level of rubber and glue.

Gatsby Blastyn said...

I've got evidence that design can emerge from chaos without God.

BS. You have no evidence of the sort. Because you have no evidence that what you were viewing that you assumed to be chaotic was truly chaotic.
You would be viewing this "chaotic display" within the confines of a universe that is governed by laws of nature and the values of numerous constants.
You have nothing.

I've got evidence that humans aren't the premeditated pinnacle of nature.

Nope again. You have an assertion and some bogus criteria that you concocted in your head in which you believe you were able to discern whether or not something is a "premeditated pinnacle".
You have nothing.

I've got evidence that prayer dosen't work.

Again... no you don't. Because you don't understand the full implications of the prayer to be answered. If God does exist, and if He is indeed all knowing then He would certainly know what is better for you than you do. So, if you have some prayer (possibly a self-serving prayer/request) it's ultimately going to be answered in a way that should benefit you. Not what you would think would be of benefit for you. Again, considering the topic and title of this blog I would greatly doubt your abilities to determine that which is best for you.
You have nothing.

.I've got evidence that there isn't a red goat with a stick in the Earth's core.

To play your game - in the absence of your ability to travel to the core of the earth to determine the presence of said goat.... you have nothing.
Question: Did Robert Frost's horse really find it queer to stop without a farmhouse near?
This appears to be your level of reasoning.

What've you got?

Much more going for me than you.

Ted Haggard?

Oh I see. You see anyone disagreeing with you and immediately it must be a Ted Haggard. A conflicted, confused person. Really no different than yourself.
For what it's worth.... I'm a Catholic. Haggard didn't care for Catholics. But I'm cool with it. Certainly not interested in bashing his name because some handy real estate fell into my lap. You see, that's something that a coward does (yourself). Someone that takes join in the stumbling of another because it bolsters his position.
Just remember - you're holding yourself to a high standard now (which is odd, I'd assume you'd be cool as ice with Haggard's inconsistency in views.... hell, don't tell me you are holding him to some objective standard)... don't want you to slip.

Gatsby Blastyn said...

Yes.

Wow... I'm not convinced.

When it is unaccompanied (as yours is) with any substance as to why it is lacking,

Geek... the title of your blog is "why I hate Jesus".... and you're concerned about substance. Good one.

The key difference here is that I'm backing my arguments with logic and reason

You couldn't be anymore wrong... well, it's you.... so maybe you could pull it off.
You are backing your "views" (not arguments) with emotion and outburst. Plain and simple. If you see "logic and reason" supporting what you perceive to be an argument then I would say it's a safe bet that your cognitive faculties are failing you.

while you and others are simply saying, "You're wrong,"

That's funny, considering I didn't do that. Do you actually read what I post? Or do you read into my posts that which is easy for you to grasp/attack?

Bring some substance.

Again, the title of your blog is "why I hate Jesus". I'm pretty certain substance isn't of your concern. More like something along the lines of polemical, emotional rants.

You don't have to know every atheist argument, you just have to read the argument at hand and be able to respond with a logical rebuttal.

Not when someone is more interested in epistemological evidence opposed to ontological evidence for a particular position.
You're being too considerate and thoughtful about your own views. I can understand why you might think that way.... but to actually put those thoughts to print and to still believe them is beyond me.

If you have evidence, present it. I've presented ontological arguments myself, so I'm not saying it is out of bounds.

You don't understand what I mean by ontological evidence vs. epistemological evidence. And this comment of yours highlights it.

How so? Give examples, make an actual argument beyond the grade school level of rubber and glue.

But this appears to be the level that you function on the best. Have you read this blog? I sure have.

metaphysical pussy said...

I agree with you gastby blastyn and when I clicked on comments I read yours and realized I didn't need to respond because you are much more eloquent. My question is this: if I and you both think Mr X is of a grade school level of logic, why do we both come and read his blog. I find that really interesting.

GCT said...

Gatsby,
"BS. You have no evidence of the sort."

Actually he does. It's called evolution.

"Nope again. You have an assertion and some bogus criteria that you concocted in your head in which you believe you were able to discern whether or not something is a "premeditated pinnacle"."

Once again, evolution.

"Again... no you don't. Because you don't understand the full implications of the prayer to be answered."

Prayer works no better than random chance, so it's safe to say that it doesn't work.

"If God does exist, and if He is indeed all knowing then He would certainly know what is better for you than you do."

Prayer studies are done with people praying for the well-being of others...no effect.

"To play your game - in the absence of your ability to travel to the core of the earth to determine the presence of said goat.... you have nothing."

Find me a goat that can survive the heat and pressure at the Earth's core and we'll talk.

"Much more going for me than you."

How's that? Because you can do a lot of boasting about how we've got nothing without backing it up? So far, I've seen nothing from you to support your position, so it's a bit of a stretch for you to take the position you've taken.

"I'd assume you'd be cool as ice with Haggard's inconsistency in views...."

Another canard. Please don't turn out to be a bigot that can only recycle old canards about atheists and atheism.

"Geek... the title of your blog is "why I hate Jesus".... and you're concerned about substance."

The blog title is hyperbole, it's not my blog - I just write here, and your penchant for calling people names while decrying the activity from others (even when it doesn't happen) is rather hypocritical, don't you think?

"You are backing your "views" (not arguments) with emotion and outburst."

Example? This is what I've been trying to tell you about. Simply making accusations is not the same as making cogent, reasonable, supported arguments.

"That's funny, considering I didn't do that."

You're right, you used different words to say the same thing.

"Again, the title of your blog is "why I hate Jesus". I'm pretty certain substance isn't of your concern."

I'm getting bored with you and your harping on the blog title. If you can't back up your words, just admit it.

"Not when someone is more interested in epistemological evidence opposed to ontological evidence for a particular position."

I've already answered this charge...you should actually read what people say before calling them stupid.

"You don't understand what I mean by ontological evidence vs. epistemological evidence."

Blah blah blah...where's your evidence. You can continue to cry and whine that no one will accept your evidence without ever presenting it, but I think we can all see that it's simply because you don't have any.

"But this appears to be the level that you function on the best."

You continue to prove my point for me the more you talk. If you just came here to rant about how unfair us atheists are or how juevenile we are, I have to ask why? We are making arguments and your best response is to ridicule us without ever addressing the substance of the arguments, and you think that reflects well on you?

GCT said...

MP,
"My question is this: if I and you both think Mr X is of a grade school level of logic, why do we both come and read his blog."

And yet, no rebuttals, no counter-arguments, etc. If our arguments are so weak and elementary, it should be easy to offer rebuttals. Instead we get name calling, accusations of being at a grade school level, and a smarmy, smug attitude. So far, gatsby's best defense has been to simply say, "You're wrong" without being able to back it up.