Category: Atheism

Fri Nite Frite: Brain Transplant!!

You wake up after what you thought was minor surgery and … … it’s not just that it doesn’t feel like your body, it actually isn’t. Oops. Bureaucratic oversight at the hospital. They say it never happens. Okay, well, sometimes. Actually, it seems there is an investigation going on but … oh, get over yourself! … […] more

On babies, bathwater, matters ontological and Plantinga . . .

I think that sometimes, it helps to pull back a bit and reflect on the meta . . . philosophical . . . issues connected to design, mind, being, cause and effect, what it would mean to be a necessary being, etc. I have also been thinking in that context, that the modern, modal ontological […] more

Dr Tour’s comment on no scientist understanding “macroevolution” seems to be going viral . . .

I just checked the most popular tables and saw how VJT’s UD James Tour article got 30,000 or so hits within a few days. Why? Reddit and Facebook etc atheists are suddenly screaming (and don’t seem to know that Dr Tour DID meet with someone for private discussion and . . . by implication, has […] more

Life intelligently lived: Getting past the “solutions” to enduring problems

It is not in the nature of human beings to be content with what would make an animal happy. One outcome is that all happiness marketed to us is an illusion.
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Is origin of the universe an “arcane matter”?

Atheist philosopher asks, it’s one thing to argue that the universe must be the product of some kind of intelligent agent; it’s quite something else to argue that this designer was all-knowing and omnipotent. Why is that a better hypothesis than that the designer was pretty smart but made a few mistakes? more

Movie starring Richard Dawkins bombs at box office

This was such a non-news item at the time because the movie bombed so badly most didn’t even realize there was a movie. It hit theaters November 29, 2013. ‘The Unbelievers,’ With Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss on a triple-continent series of public engagements, Gus Holwerda’s unforgivably superficial documentary is too busy drooling […] more

Dawkins now convinced even if he saw a miracle, he wouldn’t believe in God

The section of interest starts at 12:30 where Dawkins is asked, “what would it take to make you believe in God.” Short answer by Dawkins, “nothing”. He presumes if he saw a miracle it would be a hallucination or technologically advanced aliens. This is a change from his previous claim that his mind could be […] more

Does intelligent design theory oppose atheism as such?

No. Here’s one way of looking at it: Philosophy begins when a man chooses to take seriously the fact that he is not a pig. more

Two of the four horsemen of the new atheist Apocalypse clash over free will

Yes, it is true. The death of free will is the death of righteousness. For the typical new atheist, that spells the death of self-righteousness when attacking others. more

My take on the Nye-Ham Debate (and its wider context)

I have felt it useful to blog on the Nye-Ham debate at my personal blog, here. I trust the thoughts there will be helpful for onward discussion. My conclusion, in light of say the life and career of this notorious Creationist  ignoramus, and blundering incompetent at scientific fields . . . NOT: . . . […] more

Paper on new atheist movement turns out NOT to be press release. New atheist elite real mad.

On the evidence, Pigliucci’s right, of course. Most of the backlash against scientism recently has been coming from secular sources. more

Atheists, God is okay, but not design in nature

Hart strikes me as someone who is hostile to ID because it addresses modern, not ancient ideas. Information realism vs. materialism, for example. more

Atheism and the Church of Wonderful Nothingness

Nicholas Frankovich has written an excellent essay for the National Review Online, titled, Do Atheists Exist? A new “godless” church makes you wonder. Frankovich’s article is outstanding for its depth and maturity of thought, and I would highly recommend it to readers of Uncommon Descent. He begins his piece with a description of an atheist […] more

Successful physicist (and Wall Streeter) explains how he stopped being an atheist

Anyone familiar with down-and-outers will recognize the scenes he describes. Because—contrary to what many materialists claim—desperation brings out the animal in some but the stifled saint in others. more

“Who de cap fit, let ‘im wear it . . . ” — a (preliminary) collection of seen-in-the-wild Darwinist fever swamp fallacies

I am thinking it is time we began a collection of Darwinist fever swamp fallacies found in the wild. (Make sure to get your Malaria shot before going there . . . ) After the now standard “your’e a quote miner” false accusation and the “it’s a Gish galloper” smear of a man not present […] more

WJM gives us a “typical” conversation between an ID supporter and an objector . . .

On Christmas Day, WJM put the following hypothetical conversation in a comment. Since he has not headlined it himself, as promised yesterday, I now do so: Typical debate with an anti-ID advocate: ID advocate: There are certain things that exist that are best explained by intelligent design. Anti-ID advocate: Whoa! Hold up there, fella. “Explained”, […] more

ID Foundations, 21: MF — “as a materialist I believe intelligence to be a blend of the determined and random so for me that is not a third type of explanation” . . . a root worldview assumption based cause for rejecting the design inference emerges into plain view

In the OK thread, in comment 50, ID objector Mark Frank has finally laid out the root of ever so many of the objections to the design inference filter. Unsurprisingly, it is a worldview based controlling a priori of materialism: [re EA] #38 [MF, in 50:] I see “chance” as usually meaning to “unpredictable” or […] more

Coyne et al cheer on censorship — it is time to take notice . . .

Yesterday, UD News  headlined a case of radical secularist censorship in Los Angeles being cheered on by Jerry Coyne et al. The case concerns the removal of the following sign (shown under fair use) that was formerly present at a Museum of Natural History in that city: Notice, what Coyne says in exultation over the […] more

Postdoctoral fellow wanted, to study new atheism

New atheists figure largely among Darwin’s followers; maybe someone who reads Uncommon Descent might be interested and qualify. more

Understanding self-evidence (with a bit of help from Aquinas . . . )

It seems that one of the pivotal issues in reasoned thinking about design-related questions — and in general –  is the question of self-evident first, certain truths that can serve as a plumb-line for testing other truth claims, and indeed for rationality. (Where, the laws of identity, non-contradiction and excluded middle are foremost among such […] more

So, we see the cogency of UD’s own WJM as he has argued:

If you do not [acknowledge] the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not [admit] the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not [recognise] libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not [accept] morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.

In short, resort to dismissing key mental capacities as general delusion is a morass, a self-refuting fallacy.  (Which is different from, whether one may be in specific error and even a great many may be in specific error. Indeed, if we look at the original Plato’s Cave parable, it side-steps that by pointing to the one man who is set free and recognises the apparatus of manipulation for what it is, then, having been led to see more widely, returns to try to help; only to face the power of a mass delusion rooted in an evident error that is clung to.)

Instead, we should respect the general capacity of our mental faculties, recognising their strengths as well as limitations, and how playing the general delusion card is self referentially incoherent and absurd.

There is absolutely no good reason to assume or brazenly assert or insinuate that our insight on moral yardstick 1, is delusional. We have instead every good reason to hold that we are morally governed, with conscience as a faculty of mind that serves that government, though it may be dulled or become defective or may be in error on specific points. (Much as is so for vision and hearing, etc.)

So, let us follow up:

1 –> Per MY # 1 etc., we see — on pain of absurdity if we try to deny — that there are self-evident moral truths, entailing that we are under the moral government of OUGHT.

2 –> Where by MY # 1, the little child has moral equality, quasi-infinite worth and equal dignity with us as fellow human beings, a status that immediately is inextricably entangled with that s/he has core rights that we OUGHT to respect: her or his life, liberty, personhood, etc.

3 –> So, we are under moral government, which requires a world in which OUGHT rests on a foundational IS that can bear its weight.

4 –> And, I am very aware of the dismissals of and debates regarding “foundationalism” out there {U/D Dec 02: link added with adjustments, “foundationalism” was there all along . . . }, on closer inspection we can readily see that our worldviews and arguments are invariably dependent on finitely distant start points on which the systems of thought or reasoning must stand:

A summary of why we end up with foundations for our worldviews, whether or not we would phrase the matter that way}

A summary of why we end up with foundations for our worldviews, whether or not we would phrase the matter that way

5 –> So, also, we confront the challenge that -  there is just one serious candidate for such a  reality-foundational IS that can bear the weight of OUGHT: the inherently good eternal Creator God, whose precepts and principles will be evidently sound from . . . moral yardstick self evident truths.

6 –> Where also we can highlight the framework of such truths in the context of civil society and government, by citing a pivotal historical case or two.  First, that when he set out to ground the principles of what would become modern liberty and democracy, John Locke cited “the judicious [anglican canon Richard] Hooker” in Ch 2 Sect 5 of his second essay on civil government, thusly:

. . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, "ch." 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]

7 –> Less than a hundred years later, this was powerfully echoed in the appeal to self evident moral truths in the US Declaration of Independence of 1776:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 - 21, 2:14 - 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That [--> still, held self-evident!] to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government [--> right of judicious reformation and innovation, if necessary backed by the right of just revolution in the face of unyielding tyranny when remonstrance fails and threats or actual violence manifest in "a long train of abuses and usurpations" indicates an intent of unlimited despotism . . . ], laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . .

8 –> Those who would therefore seek to poison the well and the atmosphere for discussion on such matters, need to first pause and soberly address these historically decisive cases.

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Therefore, the amorality of evolutionary materialist ideology stands exposed as absurd in the face of self-evident moral truths. Where, such moral yardsticks imply that we are under government of OUGHT, leading onward to the issue that there is only one serious explanation for our finding ourselves living in such a world — a theistic one. END