Thursday, 18 September 2008

Infallibility


When Xians claim that they know that god exists and that they can not be swayed from this belief, because they are 100% certain that god exists, they are making a rather extraordinary claim. And, the claim I'm speaking of is not simply that god exists, but that they are incapable of being wrong about this claim. This is nothing less than a claim of infallibility, which is ironic considering that a central Xian tenet is that humans are fallible beings and only god is infallible.

"Wait," you say, "The theist has only claimed certainty in one aspect of the real world, not all aspects, hence the theist has not claimed infallibility." Even if the theist only claims knowledge in this very limited sense, it is still a claim that the theist can not be wrong, hence is infallible. But, that's not really what the theist is claiming is it? The theist is also claiming that their religious opinions (how they shape their views on god) are infallible, that their senses (how they view evidence) are infallible, etc. To claim certainty in any one area means that there must also be certainty in other areas, since our thoughts and views are interconnected with other thoughts and views we hold.

We can never be 100% sure of anything. We can be reasonably sure of things - to a degree that it is rational to hold the position that those things are true, but 100% certainty is never attainable. When the theist claims this ability, they are stepping beyond the bounds of what is rationally or reasonably possible.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really don't see anywhere where my rage against god, jesus, and the supposed "holy" spirit can be posted so I'd just like to say that this "3-in-1" is the biggest pile of steaming cow patty shit that I have ever encountered. I hope that crown and nails hurt like a mofo. BTW jesus fuckwad, how come you cried out "my god, my god, why have you forsaken me"?

Could it be that your a fucking fraud who somehow thought if you prayed that God would save you? My thinking is that you really are the son of god and that the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. God is a fucking dickhead and you are too! As for the "holy" ghost, what's so "holy" about an evil fucking spirit like yourself?

As far as I'm concerned, the three of you can all go have a circle jerk. Oh, and god, how about a pearl necklace to go along with his crown?

Anonymous said...

if I could, i'd certainly eliminate my comment above. although god infuriates me by what i perceive to be injustice, i think my comments were "over the top"

kyle said...

@anonymous: a bit, yeah.

In regards to the post, though, I definetly aggree with what GCT is saying - it is impossible to be completely, 100% certain that god exists. There is always some possibility, some niggling doubt, that you're wrong.

But then again, it wouldn't require any belief, any true faith, if there was no possibility of being incorrect.

This is where I think a lot of christians get it wrong. I'm not saying they're praying up the wrong tree, but just have a simple misconseption. It seems to me that the xtians you describe have come to the point where they have encountered evidence that contradicts their beleifs, and have thus decided to disregard anything and everything that conflicts with their beliefs, thus providing a neat, tidy, infallible sanctuary of ignorance.

And that's not cool.

Karla said...

"We can never be 100% sure of anything. We can be reasonably sure of things - to a degree that it is rational to hold the position that those things are true, but 100% certainty is never attainable."

Are you certain?

GCT said...

Reasonably, yes.

Of course, you're trying to do the old "Well if you are certain that we can't be certain, then that means that you are self-contradicting yourself and therefore I can be (and am) certain that god exists," shtick. Pointing out logical impossibilities is not the same as being certain of a truth claim.

Karla said...

It only means that if you are certain no one can be 100% certain then your statement is false and there are things one can be certain about. That doesn't by default mean that what I propose is the thing to be certain about, only that it's illogical to say no one can be certain. It's like saying "there are no absolutes." It's self-defeating. Truly you expect logic to bend for you and it doesn't work that way.

GCT said...

Karla,
Given that we can't be certain we don't live in the matrix, which houses us in a universe where certainties can occur, we can't be certain of anything. If we take that step and agree that we are reasonably certain that we live in this universe, then we can say that we can be certain of negatives that are logically impossible. For instance, your god is logically impossible, so we can be certain that your god does NOT exist. It is impossible, however to be certain that your god does exist. So, maybe I should state it that we can be certain of negatives or disproved things.

Of course, given the fact that we've had to accept without certainty that we don't live in the matrix, what I originally said is still true.