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Atheism: An Intellectual Revolt or Pelvic Rebellion?

This is just too funny to pass up.

As a preemptive strike against any commenters who feel a need to say “Aha! ID is all about religion” put a sock in it. I filed this under “Humor”.

HT to Jon Wells for giving me the link to this article.

Atheism: An Intellectual Revolt or Pelvic Rebellion?
By Doug Giles
Saturday, October 27, 2007

Atheists would love for everyone to believe that their motive for not believing is an intellectual one. Yes, the atheists ardently suppose that they are wise and the Christians, well, we’re the buckle-shoed buttheads.

Yes, darling, the atheists would love all of us to suppose that they cannot believe because they are so astute and rational, and we theists, heck we’re toads . . . a veritable troop of abecedarian simpletons who believe in God and Christ simply because we’re straight goofy.

I think the atheists believe in not believing, however, not because they’re intellectual little dandies but because they want to be autonomous, loose and randy.

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27 Responses to Atheism: An Intellectual Revolt or Pelvic Rebellion?

  1. 1

    Although I certainly agree that atheism is not primarily based on intellectual arguments (what could be more illogical?), there are other problems which drive people to atheism, problems which I have struggled with also for many years. I have discussed two of these in earlier UD posts: The problem of pain and Why are they so angry?

    I am a logical person, and thus cannot believe this universe is the result of unintelligent forces alone no matter how much I struggle with such problems. But assigning the worst motives to our critics is not going to change anyone’s opinions; and some people believe in God for less than noble reasons also.

  2. Ah, Dave:

    Doug Giles sure knows how to rile ‘em up:

    Y’know, Karl Marx said religion is the “opiate of the masses.” I think the real poppy derivative is the black tar belief that tells you atheist lads and lasses that when you take the big dirt nap that’s it. Ah what peace. What a high. No God. No accountability. All our sins of commission and omission will never ever come up again. No pain. No penalty. No heaven. No hell. Imagine. Yeah, dude. Hold that hit. Let it out slowly. Ahhh. Feel better?

    [Just make sure it's A1 Ja'can Sensi, boys . . . Jamrock sure can use the cash!]

    Well worth a read-for-laughs.

    The excerpts from leading atheists-cum-evolutionary materialists and Darwinists were a real great tickler.

    I especially loved this one:

    Aldous Huxley, not to be outdone by his bro, stated, “I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption . . . For myself as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation . . . liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”

    I wonder what our friendly local “Quote-mine” detectors will say to that one? [And I gather there were something like 410 more where it came from . . . not counting that mean old party-spoiler Paul of Tarsus in Rom 1 - 2. (He really had it in for Nero the frustrated fun-fun-fun dramatist-cum-athlete and co!)]

    So were the comments — especially the predictability of a lot of tired-out, tattered talking points long past their sell-by date that were brought out.

    I especially loved this one, in light of the “Holds that” panel on this blog’s page:

    Atheists do not so much deny the existence of a “higher power” as they say there is no evidence for one. Do you deny the existence of pink unicorns? . . .

    H’mm, is that so much there’s “no evidence” or that there’s a case of terminally self-referentially inconsistent selective hyperskepticism at work here?

    Oh well, Simon Greenleaf and his tediously pedantic ideas on Evidence are such a bore anyway; let’s just laugh it off! [NOT] ;-)

    GEM of TKI

  3. PS: Prof Sewell, I see you are raising some serious issues — and pointing to the no 1 Atheist-maker of all time; though of course it looks very different in the aftermath of Plantinga’s Free-will defense, and in light of the challenge evolutionary materialism faces in making sense of both morality and mind.

    So, on the more serious side, maybe, a look at the discussion here [and on onward linked pages] might be one way to start, for those who are truly hurting and wanting to find serious answers.

    (These profs sure know how to look at and bring out the serious side of things . . .)

  4. oh please what a lame article, I would cite that article as ammunition for atheists and agnostics. Atheism is all about not being held accountable for your actions and screwing around!! I don’t think so, has Giles heard of something called man’s inhumanity to man and the apparent silence of the gods in the face of genocide, slavery, famine, torture etc, often committed by those with unwavering faith in their gods, in fact that is most often the case. Atheism is mostly bolstered by the terrible and seemingly unanswered injustices and agony much of humanity suffers from, and always has suffered from. Doesn’t everybody know this by the time they are 12? So how does Giles explain genocide and slavery and other assorted barbarity committed by the faithful considering they believe in an afterlife in which they are held accountable by God? Oh that’s right he doesn’t. 9-11, suicide bombings from the Middle-East to London, Bali, Pakistan and Afghanistan are all committed by the faithful. Can Giles give me the name of a single suicide bomber who before blowing himself up amidst a crowd of shoppers or on a bus or wherever else, killing and maiming men, women and children, let out a bloodcurdling “Darwin is my prophet and natural selection my god”?

    Maybe Giles thinks having a good time is the bane of humanity – as if sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll are the reasons for the sick state of the world, guess wanting to have a good time in our all too short lives accounts for the mass murder in Darfur, Saddam Hussein’s regime, and the genocide of the Native Indians of the Americas for that matter (committed by the Christian faithful Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch and British and their ever God fearing descendents) etc etc.

    And to say that Darwin rejected God (which is hardly a certainty, he comes across as agnostic in his twilight years) because he didn’t want to account for the fact that he married his first cousin in the afterlife is inadvertently hilarious. I don’t think Giles is kidding here. What about Einstein who did believe in God very strongly, he married his first cousin too? Well whatever I guess.

    Afraid of another 9-11 on American soil? You should be, unless you are living in another dimension where reality doesn’t interfere. Who do you think wants to blow up a nuclear reactor on US soil, Sears Tower, a baseball stadium packed with fans? The neo-Darwinians? No it is those with FAITH in a god and an afterlife in which they are rewarded for mass murder. Those on this forum who object that they are not Christians miss the point, after all Giles is clearly writing about the faithful in the broadest sense of the word, it is theists vs atheists. Let’s look at the sad news headlines just from the last month or so, how many atrocities were committed by Darwinians, and how many by the faithful?

    As for the Aldous Huxley quote, what selective cherry picking. Huxley took Buddhism, Hinduism and mysticism very seriously in his later years. He is famous for it in fact. In fact his materialist minded detractors often mock him for it!

    yes I know this is filed under humour but it’s still lame. And this is coming from a staunch theist.

  5. http://www.missionresources.com/atheist.html

    This site has the testimony William J. Murray, the former president of American Atheists and the son of atheist leader Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Mr Murray was used by his mother as a plantiff to get prayer out of American public school…He is now a Christian!

    One quote of note:
    My mother told me it was better to be a homosexual than to be a Christian. She taught me that the most important things in life were the physical pleasures of drink, food and .

  6. Before laughing off this article, I recommend that the doubters read E. Michael Jones’ book, “Degenerate Moderns.” In it, he clearly shows that there are only two moral choices–either we conform desires to truth or conform truth to desires.

    He goes on to show how many modern secularists like Freud, Mead, Kinsay and others have succumbed to their sexual appetites and tried to remake the world in their own image and likeness. Moral relativism is really an extended application of the term, “misery loves company.”

    I realize that the problem brought up in post #1 is real, and I don’t discount it. But in my country (the US) (and, for that matter, my city, Indianapolis) I believe that Jones’ thesis is the best explanation to some of the personal transformations that I have witnessed. Time after time, I notice that a radical change in life style is almost always followed by a revision in one’s attitude about God, morality, and yes, even evolution.

    Obviously, I don’t dare judge the state of anyone’s soul. Still, some developments are hard not to notice. Many of our most visible political leaders and pundits have known to recant opinions on public policy and even changed political parties after having walked out of one marriage and into another one. Something is going on there.

  7. Sorry, I meant Kinsey, the infamous sexologist.

  8. I think that there is another reason why people go to the dark side. Consider the case of Dawkins. He admits that as a child he was sexually abused in his Anglican school. He says that he found the experience to be gross, but not life-changing. Yet I present that this experience is a reasonable cause for his adimant, militant athieism.

    In truth, when people are wronged in the name of religion, one natural response is to reject the religion that was associated with the slight. I just hope that on judgement day, the person who vicitimized Dawkins ends up paying with his immortal soul for every soul dragged down by Dawkins.

  9. bfast: “I just hope that on judgement day, the person who vicitimized Dawkins ends up paying with his immortal soul for every soul dragged down by Dawkins.”

    I can’t believe, after some consideration, you actually believe this. Though it is true those who lead others astray shall be judged, redemption is always to be desired, no?

  10. In my own experience with atheists, I’ve observed near zero deviation from the standard non-intellectual motive for unbelief.

    The very few that have had true intellectual barriers, like the existence of suffering and evil, end up becoming agnostics or believers of one sort or another. It’s just a question of time since, logically speaking, atheism has no grounds in reason whatsoever. And zero grounds in evidence.

    Their arguments tend be classifiable into 1 or 2 categories only and with persistently familiar old objections.

    Circular reasoning is their tactic of choice. Insults, generally containing many colorful superlatives, always follow when they can’t respond intelligently but insist on remaining blind.

    A very sad bunch.

  11. I have certainly struggled with some of the issues that turn people to agnosticism or atheism. The problem of the pain doesn’t bother me too much, but I do take issue with the problem of hell and the justifiability of eternal punishment, especially if it hinges on not believing in Jesus. I corresponded by email with an evangelist for a while. Our exchange was usually very engaging and good-natured, but once I began asking difficult questions, like ones about hell, he suddenly became very grave in his responses. In summation, it sounded like he was saying “It may not seem fair, but that’s how it is.” That is, being a good person just isn’t enough.

    Even if you lived an immoral life, ETERNAL punishment seems to be overkill…

    I still haven’t made peace with this issue, but it doesn’t drive me from any beliefs. Could someone help me out?

    I also still wonder about things like homosexuality. Yes, it seems unnatural and contrary to how we are designed, but is it outright wrong? I don’t think there’s any kind of gay gene, but why would someone willingly choose a life full of potential for prejudice and ostracism?

    I suspect that I’m one of the more younger members here (I’m 22), so could the wiser individuals offer some guidance? I don’t want this comment thread to get sidetracked, so one could email me at [email protected] if they wish.

    Thanks

  12. Berceuse:
    Suggest you check out the following on eternal punishment.
    here
    here
    and here in general

    May not be the end-all arguments but nevertheless very enlightening.

    I’ve found that when we have problems with the whole ‘eternal punishment’ thing it’s because we don’t understand the nature of selfishness (sin), the nature of God and heaven and the depth of human depravity or it’s far reaching effects.

    I don’t have all the answers, but Finney’s explanations (as a lawyer) greatly appeased my own mind.

  13. This site has some videos at the bottom that are very interesting for this topic: I’ve posted it before but feel it is well worth a repeat:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Storm

    It is a personal testimony of a Near Dea^th Experience of a atheist professor…I found his account very interesting to say the least.

  14. Granville Sewell, thanks for your outstanding explication of the problem of suffering in your essay Is God Really Good?. This is the best I have so far encountered on this thorny subject. I think this is one of the most important root causes for atheism, and you do not succumb to the temptation to wholly accept easy rationalizations.

    Of course, many other psychological mechanisms are also involved with different individuals. Like the libidinous drive motivation in Giles’ article. Amusing, and probably a little of the truth. I think pure reasoning and intellect is at the bottom in importance when it comes to this belief.

  15. Borne: “In my own experience with atheists, I’ve observed near zero deviation from the standard non-intellectual motive for unbelief.”

    What is this? In my experience, though only with a few, the problem of pain was the core motivation.

  16. In my own case, I suppose a big part of the motivation for atheism is that I somehow see a universe without a God as more beautiful than a universe with a God. I could spell out that intuition more fully, if there were interest.

    However, I don’t think that’s an argument for atheism, though — only a motivation. But in general, I don’t think that there any good argument for atheism — or for theism.

    I certainly don’t think — not by any means!! — that one can generate any argument for or against theism through an appeal to “Darwinism,” however broadly construed.

    Dawkins is, of course, famous for claiming that Darwin made it possible to be “an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” I know that Plantinga, in a response to Dennett, denies that it is possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. I suppose — but only suppose — that most contributors here would agree with Plantinga. I myself am not sure if I’m intellectually fulfilled, but then again, I have the sneaking suspicion that one person’s “intellectual fulfillment” is another person’s “oh, so you’ve decided to stop thinking?” But in any event, to the extent that I am an “intellectually fulfilled atheist,” Darwinism (again, however broadly construed) has little to do with it.

    Then again, I’m Jewish, and that makes my take on all these issues very different from that of most atheists. For ex-Christians, the metaphysics is centrally important, as it is for certain types of Christians. Whereas for me, as a Jew, metaphysical questions are something of a game and something of an afterthought; it’s the ethics that’s central.

  17. Dave (and all respondents and onlookers):

    It seems that humour posts here at UD tend to get into heavy and hot major issues that are somewhat divergent from the main focus of the blog!

    As well, the bleed over into matters philosophical and especially theological lends to the persuasive power — as opposed to soundness — of the claims often advanced by ever so many Evo Mat advocates, that ID is about phil, theology and PR, not science.

    Notwithstanding that Lakatos aptly points out that scientific research programmes have major worldview commitments in their core [duly protected by belts of theories]; this puts up a catch-22 for responding to such matters here at UD.

    I therefore first suggest that either a second blog or a forum for such issues be created for such incidental issues, while focussing here on the main issues on the science and the implications of institutional politics and ideologies directly relevant to the process of real-world science [e.g. career busting of Gonzalez et al].

    Of course, this is all subject to the point that there may not be enough resources [people] to moderate that.

    Now, on a few points of note from the above overnight:

    1] The psycho-social, intellectual and personal dynamics of modern atheism

    The theme of the Giles article was that too often when all the intellectual rationalisations are said and done, the root cause of atheism in too many prominent and obscure cases is in the end willful choice to reject the moral intuitions that would restrain, e.g. sexual behaviour. (This BTW, is very similar to the analysis of classical times paganism, philosophy and skepticism by Paul in Rom 1 – 2 and elsewhere, who duly speaks of those who seek to do good and live by truth they know, and says explicitly that God will welcome such with eternal life — the biblical God does not punish you for mere ignorance; cf. Rom 2:5 – 8 — let us all assess ourselves by that sobering test. It is also very similar to Jesus’ remarks on God’s verdict on willful rebels in Jn 3:19 – 21. Finney as Borne links at 12 is always worth a careful read (including on the justice of God’s Judgement against willful, lifelong, unrepented of evil; you may disagree, but those who think like that are not simply ignorant, misanthropic people) — I recall my astonishment to see how expertly he anticipated some of the issues we discuss today as if they were novel!)

    While indeed, there is a valid point to the remarks that issues over evil and pain are a major factor in atheist-making, it is equally true that too often [and in surprisingly prominent cases] atheism, sadly, serves as a partial rationalisation of a conscience-numbing, sensualist and immoral lifestyle.

    Both are factors, and both are facts. We have to face them BOTH.

    So, let us recognise the validity of thoughts on both sides of this. (Indeed, IMHCO, such a recognition is a key part of the way forward.)

    2] Grounding of morality as an issue

    As a further fact, it is plain that evolutionary materialism undercuts the worldview level basis for morality and indeed for trusting the deliverances of our minds. (This general point was thrashed out in the originally humorous Aug 20 post on Charles Darwin’s comment in an 1861 letter on how the world seems to be intelligently designed.)

    So, it struggles to overcome a riptide pulling it into nihilism, chaos and “fascist” dictatorship to overcome the chaos. And the resulting pull to “fascism” [loosely understood] came up from a slightly different angle in a recent thread on Dawkins’ revulsion at this “pull,” as a credible but undesirable outcome of the extension of Darwinism to society.

    From my angle, what happens is if a society becomes ever more self-consumed by people who are conscience-benumbed, militantly libertinist, closed-mindedly “wise” and “right” in their own eyes ["Don't you DARE criticise us!"] while being addicted to all sorts of weird out-of-control passions, duly excused by “science,” it slides towards chaos. Tyranny, especially in the form of a “caring” “nanny-state” is preferable to utter chaos. But tyranny is ALWAYS the implacable enemy of true liberty!

    Resemblance to contemporary Western Culture is NOT coincidental.

    [Indeed, this trend is part of how Kant identifies moral principles through his Categorical Imperative. E.g. Consider what happens when a society is taken over by liars. Chaos results, so we know lying is destructive, exploitively abusive, and plainly immoral. The CI, from yet another angle, of course points straight back to the classic Golden Rule . . .]

    3] The problem of good and evil

    You will note that I am showing that there are two sides to the problem.

    The Judaeo-Christian tradition indeed faces a major difficulty [now very well addressed thanks to Plantinga's work, as pointed out in 3 above] in addressing evil in a world made by a good God. This, it has squarely faced for many centuries, and has put forward serious and now plainly successful defences, on both the logical and the inductive forms of the problem. Cf my link in 3 above on this.

    On the existential form, it is comforting and healing encounter with God that has been the way forward, ever since the days of Job. And, the Christian side of the answer is actually best given in an OT text, Is 53: He who bore our sorrows, was smitten for our sins and griefs, and by whose stripes we are healed, reaches out to us in love and comfort — and correction. Many millions can testify to the force of this, even in the face of the most horrific pain, suffering, tyranny, persecution, and general evil.

    On the materialist side, however, there is an even deeper problem:

    4] The materialist problem: the existence and significance of good, and of morality

    Now, it is easy to trot out the challenge of evil and pain [especially in a popular level, rhetorical situation where the technical phil issues don't have to be explicitly faced], but it is a whole lot less easy to ground why evil and pain are meaningful and significant and should be overcome.

    That is, there is a problem accounting for good as well as evil — and indeed, for morality in general.

    I strongly recommend a careful reading of this introductory level paper by Koukl on this. His closing summary is worth excerpting — but kindly read how he gets there before responding:

    The argument against God based on the problem of evil can only be raised if some form of moral objectivism is true. Morals, therefore, exist. I need not give a complete taxonomy of ethical guidelines to make my case. If there is even one moral absolute, it invites the question, “What kind of world view explains the existence of this moral rule?”

    Atheism can’t make any sense of it. Neither can most Eastern religions. If reality is an illusion, as they hold, then the distinction between good and evil is ultimately rendered meaningless. Something like the Judeo-Christian or Muslim idea of God must be true to adequately account for moral laws.

    Morality grounded in God explains our hunger for justice–our desire for a day of final reckoning when all wrongs are made right, when innocent suffering is finally redeemed, when all the guilty are punished and the righteous are rewarded.

    This also explains our own personal sense of dread. We feel guilty because we are guilty. We know deep down inside that we have offended a morally perfect being who has the legitimate authority to punish us. We also know we will have to answer for our own crimes against God.

    In the end, we’re forced to accept one of two alternatives. Either relativism is true or morality is true. Either we live in a universe in which morality is a meaningless concept and are forever condemned to silence regarding the problem of evil, or moral rules exist and we’re beholden to a moral God who holds us accountable to His law.

    Okay, let us think and discuss further.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Worldviews should be taken up or held in light of careful comparative difficulties analysis; the issues in this blog thread are one gateway into that. Here is an intro.

  18. Great posts, KF

  19. Trib:

    Thanks.

    Haven’t heard from you in a while here at UD. How ya doin’ — well, I trust?

    GEM of TKI

  20. 20

    I agree with KF that there should be a separate blog for posts like this one (and the global warming stuff also, I would suggest). It does tend to give credence to the claim that we don’t know the difference between science and religion. Most of us DO understand the difference: there is overwhelming and obvious “scientific” evidence of design in Nature, but–other than that he is intelligent–everything else we may believe about this designer is religion. We just have an interest in both. But it isn’t good PR to mix the two so much, although I would say that the Darwinist blogs do an even worse job of separating science and philosophy.

  21. Granville

    There are many aspects of ID that are of interest to the UD community. Science is just one of those. Politics and religion are also of great interest. To say that politics and religion play no part in why ID proponents, I daresay a majority of them, are favorable towards ID would be dishonest. Let’s leave the dishonesty in motivation for the Darwinists who like to deny that political and religious reasons play no role in why they favor evolution by time and chance.

    Global Warming is an important example of bandwagon science driven far more by politics and peer pressure than by the scientific merits. As such it parallels the bandwagon science of evolution by time and chance only it’s absent the religious implications. I also believe it’s going to collapse as a scientific theory much sooner than evolution by time and chance. I think it’s important in that it will show that ID proponents, or at least some of us, are able to see through bandwagon science and refuse to allow politics and peer pressure to influence our conclusions or our willingness to state our case. On top of that is the fact that the mainstream media doesn’t present a balanced picture of the global warming debate. For instance they jumped all over the 2005 hurricane season blaming Katrina and Rita on global warming but are silent about the 2007 hurricane season which, unless a large number of tropical storms form in the next two weeks, is going to set a 30 year record low in North Atlantic tropical storm activity. If I can do some small part in presenting the other side of story by leveraging Uncommon Descent’s number of page views it seems justifiable. Bill Dembski appears to agree as he regularly and privately brings to my attention many of the contrarian global warming articles I highlight here. If he asked me to stifle myself about global warming I wouldn’t be happy about it but I’d certainly comply. It’s his blog and so when it comes to the scope of the content here my marching orders come from him and no one else.

  22. 22

    Dave,

    Actually, I enjoy your articles about global warming and if these were put on a separate blog I would read that too. In fact, I enjoy most of the more religiously oriented articles on UD (in fact, as noted in comment #1, I have contributed some myself), though I didn’t care much for this particular one. And I agree with everything you just said about global warming. I just worry a little that we’re tying too many independent issues to ID in the public’s mind, and this gives our critics too many targets (they are notorious for looking for fringe issues to attack, so they can avoid the central issue). But you are right, this is Dembski’s blog and he can put whatever he wants on it, I am grateful for his and your contributions.

  23. Here’s an interesting article on the psychology of atheism

    magnan: I’m not sure I get your response. Are you sure you understood my remark?

    Carl Sachs: “I somehow see a universe without a God as more beautiful than a universe with a God.”
    To me this is a statement that clearly demonstrates a lack of reflection & understanding.

    What is beauty? Where does the concept of beauty come from? Why do we have this metaphysical concept of things being beautiful and by contrast ugly? How does one measure beauty?

    The truth is that the existence of the sense of beauty, and thus the necessary existence of ultimate beauty (by which beauty can be measured) is also an evidence for the existence of God. Otherwise the very ideas of beauty and ugliness are futile and meaningless – entirely subjective and without logic.

    A God, that is absolute beauty, and those made “in his image” can understand beauty and ugliness. We know both admiration of beauty and the repulsion of the grotesque.

    When one says, “that is a beautiful sunset”, are they speaking of something real, or purely imaginary and subjective? Is there real, true beauty?

    I’ve never met a human that doesn’t admire a ‘beautiful’ sunset, a starry sky, a rainbow, …

    Why? Back to my original questions. You need to ask yourself these questions and reflect deeply on the subject until you come to the only possible conclusion – there is a real existence of true beauty and if beauty can be measured at all, it must be in comparison of some ultimate form that truly exists. Otherwise what is the ruler by which beauty is measured?

    Blind, mindless nature has no concept of beauty.

  24. Doing fine, KF. Various projects have been keeping me from the computer.

  25. Dave, firstly I think the blog is fine as is and I’d like to see it stay the course on how topic choices are made — consider there are only a few new articles everyday.

    Your statement to say that politics and religion play no part in why ID proponents, I daresay a majority of them, are favorable towards ID would be dishonest , however, I think has it backwards.

    The belief that the universe is not some accident and that there is an absolute code of right and wrong to which I must account certainly drives my politics.

    The “what came first” question w/re to religion might be a little fuzzier but since my theology has not been consistent over my life I’m inclined to think that the recognition that there is purpose and truth lead me partake the rites that I do rather than vice versa.

    Anyway I appreciate the GW articles so keep them coming.

    And btw, one more reason to suspect the motivation of the GW advocates: California commission recommends ripping out Klamath Dams

  26. Here’s the FreeRepublic address since the link doesn’t seem to work: http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....8219/posts

    And here’s the one to the Seattle Times article: http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....ams29.html

  27. All:

    I see we have now spawned a couple of follow up threads that visit other aspects of the key problems that come up here; even as this one seems to be winding down. (BTW, isn’t it interesting that no-one so far has seen fit to take on Plantinga or Koukl, mano a mano? What is that telling us?)

    Now, on the balance of the blog’s themes, I think we can live with it much as it has been.

    Perhaps, we should underscore that motives, strictly speaking are irrelevant to the soundness of reasons offered — so in absence of cogently refuting the core design inference argument [cf the always linked for a basic introduction if that is needed; this blog IMHCO needs a real FAQ] the common resort to motive mongering is simply ad hominem rhetoric and the politics of atmosphere/well poisoning.

    One or two last things . . .

    First, I see CS talks about the centrality of ethics in “Jewish” as opposed to “Christian” thought.

    The direct problem with his associated implied dismissal of the significance of metaphysical issues, e.g. as posed by Koukl, is that once we have objective, binding ethical norms, that raises serious metaphysical implications and comparative difficulties challenges.

    So, in the end, there is no escaping the core issues. One of these is that the problem of good and evil arguably points to a Source for Morality.

    Going beyond that, obviously Trib is right that worldviews have ethical and so also policy, thence political consequences.

    When those consequences are sufficiently plainly destructive, that is a serious warning-sign that the worldviews in question are fundamentally flawed.

    [Think about the recent thread on Dawkins' revulsion at how Evo Mat views "logically" lead to "fascism." Or, on our reaction to Watson's now "recanted" evolutionary and empirical data argument to the claimed or implied genetically programmed intellectual inferiority of Africans. (BTW, for good reason, I take this one personally.) What is that trying to tell us? And, on this, atmosphere poisoning tu quoquo arguments are diversionary . . .]

    Muy interesante, methinks.

    GEM of TKI

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