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Philosophy of Religion and Intuitions
Posted: 18 June 2013 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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The problem of course is that most physicists must stay within the realm of physical phenomena. It is not that Bohm did not understand QM, he recognized certain states of energetic dynamic aspects, such as potential and it’s implications “before” becoming physical reality.
As the survey observed

Similarly, the fact that de Broglie{Bohm interpretation did not receive any votes may simply be an artifact of the particular set of participants we polled

It’s risky business to go out on a limb in physics.

But we are not discussing QM, but the philosophy of an unconscious Implicate Order from which reality emerges.  A scientifically defensible Genesis (without the need for a motivated Consciousness).

The Explicate Order, weakest of all energy systems, resonates out of and is an expression of an infinitely more powerful order of energy called the Implicate order. The Implicate order is the precursor of the Explicate, the dreamlike vision or the ideal presentation of that which is to become manifest as a physical object. The Implicate order implies within it all physical universes. However, it resonates from an energy field which is yet greater, the realm of pure potential. It is pure potential because nothing is implied within it; implications form in the implicate order and then express themselves in the explicate order. Bohm goes on to postulate a final state of infinite [zero point] energy which he calls the realm of insight intelligence. The creative process springs from this realm. Energy is generated there, gathers its pure potential, and implies within its eventual expression as the explicate order.’ Will Keepin, David Bohm, Noetic Science Journal

I am confident that the “insight intelligence” is not to be construed as a biblical god, but as an fundamental universal condition which inevitably leads to certain expressions in reality.

Perhaps Bohm is not widely accepted yet, but the latest proposals of causal dynamic triangulation (CDT) and other theoretical structures and dynamics at Planck scale, seem to point into the direction that Bohm recognized early on.

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Posted: 18 June 2013 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Write4U - 18 June 2013 10:12 AM

... the latest proposals of causal dynamic triangulation (CDT) and other theoretical structures and dynamics at Planck scale, seem to point into the direction that Bohm recognized early on.

Tell that to actual practicing physicists.

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Posted: 18 June 2013 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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dougsmith - 18 June 2013 10:27 AM
Write4U - 18 June 2013 10:12 AM

... the latest proposals of causal dynamic triangulation (CDT) and other theoretical structures and dynamics at Planck scale, seem to point into the direction that Bohm recognized early on.

Tell that to actual practicing physicists.

That is the problem with most philosophies, no?  We are not discussing practical physics. On the contrary, we are trying to elevate the subject from material physics (the weakest of all expressions) to a fundamental Causality without being in conflict with physics.

While many theoretical physicists may not agree with his conclusions, I doubt if any physicist will confidently argue against Bohm’s, “Wholeness and the Implicate order” or even his “Universal Holomovement” (a universe in constant flux) or his use of the word Potential.

Holomovement
The holomovement is a key concept in David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics and for his overall wordview. It brings together the holistic principle of “undivided wholeness” with the idea that everything is in a state of process or becoming (or what he calls the “universal flux”). For Bohm, wholeness is not a static oneness, but a dynamic wholeness-in-motion in which everything moves together in an interconnected process. The concept is presented most fully in Wholeness and the Implicate Order, published in 1980.

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/holomovement

As I understand it, he got into trouble with his vision of a universal holography where the entire universe can be reconstructed from a just a part of the hologram. I cannot wrap my mind around that either. But then when we look at CDT (recently developed), we find that a fractal universe could indeed be reconstructed from a single fractal.

[ Edited: 18 June 2013 01:52 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 18 June 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Scott Mayers - 15 June 2013 12:32 AM

Dom,

You seem to think that the Philosophy of Religion is useless because you may think that logical argument is circular and can win at every point of view. This isn’t the case. In fact, many people within a philosophical untenable position simply will not give platform for argumentation to sincere debate because of their particular weakness to compete argumentatively. A lot of religious apology aims for a lay audience of their own flocks to justify why they should not pay attention to the external arguments. But they usually do not waste effort on direct confrontation with their actual adversaries. Sometimes, even when they appear to do so, you usually discover that their opponents are merely friends who opt to take the opposing position and do not sincerely give it justice—it is just for show.

If you look around at various different forums, for example, notice that one like this one enables direct publication after one or two posts without censorship. This is reasonable to assure SPAMers are not plugging up the boards. But compare this to religious forums. You will discover that you have to be cautious of what you say because they warn you off the top that they will not tolerate anything against their philosophy and usually have a continuous censorship to assure this.

Recently, the excellent atheist philosopher of religion Graham Oppy has admitted that he just doesn’t have a really strong philosophical argument against fundamentalist Christianity. After a lifetime of arguing with the likes of Plantinga, Swinburne and Craig, he now can’t bring himself to say, as many atheists do, that fundamentalist Christians are irrational.

This one example just shows what’s wrong with POR. If two philosophers are sitting in the armchair using nothing but reason and logic, then yeah, you might not have a really strong argument against fundamentalist Christianity, but this is why we have to go to history and the social sciences. The fundamentalist Christian most certainly is irrational in what they believe, but you would need a big book using a lot of data from many disciplines to show why, and you couldn’t just make a nice little concise argument in a POR journal that would convince the Christian philosophers.

So Oppy and the Christian philosophers will go back and forth arguing about topics like free will, divine hiddenness, the problem of evil, skeptical theism, and so on, but we’re really just playing intellectual games here. I would imagine that the reason most atheists are atheists, including most atheist philosophers, is that we can see quite clearly that all religions are made by human beings for political, social and psychological reasons, and this becomes even clearer as we study more anthropology, history, sociology, comparative religion and biblical studies.

[ Edited: 18 June 2013 05:27 PM by Dom1978 ]
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Posted: 19 June 2013 02:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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And here is Graham Oppy on Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot saying that Plantinga, Swinburne and even William Lane Craig are not irrational! 

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=5472 

So let’s get this straight. We have one of the best atheist philosophers of religion around, and he doesn’t think Craig is irrational! Craig is a guy who believes that the Bible is infallible and inerrant, and that all the miracles and healings in his sacred texts really happened but the miracles and healings in other people’s sacred texts must have just been made up.

The sad thing is, Oppy is right. If we follow the rules of mainstream POR then we really can’t say Craig is irrational. He’s not making any obvious howlers in logic or argumentation, so hey, I guess reasonable people can disagree on these things, and we just have to live and let live. Either that, or we can actually use the data from the other disciplines in POR and show just how crazy many of Craig’s views are.

Fundamentalist Christianity and Islam are irrational in the same way that holocaust denial and the fake moon-landing theory are irrational. It’s difficult to demonstrate this in a concise argument in a philosophy journal, but it’s clearly irrational when you take the broad view and consider all the relevant evidence.

[ Edited: 19 June 2013 03:25 AM by Dom1978 ]
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Posted: 19 June 2013 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Thanks for the link to the podcast with Graham Oppy—he was actually one of my TAs at university, very smart and a very nice guy as I recall.

As I understand his argument for (as you put it) the “rationality” of these theists, he is making a quite surprising and questionable claim. He says that there is no good or successful argument either for or against theism. In support of this claim, he says that for an argument to be considered good or successful it must be capable of convincing one’s opponents of its truth. So, so long as anyone refuses to accept one’s argument by providing (what seems to them as) reasons, the argument is not “good” or “successful”. Or at least that’s how I think he basically put it in the podcast.

Of course, so put this is a very bad argument on his part. There are, for example, convinced creationists who do not accept scientific arguments for evolution. Presented with evolutionary arguments, they provide what seem to them to be good reasons for denying those arguments. Indeed, Oppy’s own purported argument for why one version of the Argument from Evil wasn’t a “good argument” against the existence of God fell into precisely this form. That is, he said that a theist might argue, “God exists, therefore he must have had some reason for allowing evil.” If that is a good argument against the Argument from Evil, then a suitably altered form of it should be a good argument against evolution. Viz., “God exists, therefore he must have had some reason for making it look like we evolved.” This could even ramify to the point that one could argue, “God exists, therefore he must have had some reason for making it seem as though the world is more than 10,000 years old.”

So following Oppy, we must say there are no good or successful arguments for or against evolution, or for or against the claim that the world is 10,000 years old. This is a reductio ad absurdum, I think.

I doubt that Oppy is making this sort of argument, however if he is not, it’s really not clear what he is saying here, at least in saying that there is no successful argument against the existence of God, and in arguing that the Argument from Evil fails.

One thing that comes to mind is a pitfall of any long-term professional undertaking: one begins to grow tired with making the same arguments against the same people. One sees them as on the whole good and nice people who are trying to do their best, and eventually one sort of throws up one’s hands and says, “Whatever.”

In philosophy, there is always the possibility for someone to have a response. If the mere existence of a response invalidates the argument, then there are never any good arguments for anything, which as I say strikes me as a reductio ad absurdum of the kind of move Oppy is making. The alternative is that there are actually good arguments, but that it’s possible to be blind to them, and to give bad arguments in response. This, I think, is what Oppy did with his discussion of the Argument from Evil. (Even though he was—ironically—playing Devil’s Advocate in doing so).

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Posted: 19 June 2013 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Sougsmith Post #51

It takes time.

Do you think the same problems existed when people believed the earth was held up on four pillars?
Or the earth was flat?

I think there can be good and successful arguments.

But it will take understanding of the subjects and issues at hand to validate one’s view.

Example, I do not think people got anywhere by arguing that the world was not flat. I think they got somewhere when they argued the world was round and a round world is better that a flat world, because you can’t fall off.

If you tell a believer that there is no god. Then you need more than science you need to be able to replace that god with something better.

And I think that was what the Gnostic Jesus was trying to do.

[ Edited: 19 June 2013 01:38 PM by MikeYohe ]
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Posted: 19 June 2013 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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dougsmith - 19 June 2013 09:41 AM

Thanks for the link to the podcast with Graham Oppy—he was actually one of my TAs at university, very smart and a very nice guy as I recall.

As I understand his argument for (as you put it) the “rationality” of these theists, he is making a quite surprising and questionable claim. He says that there is no good or successful argument either for or against theism. In support of this claim, he says that for an argument to be considered good or successful it must be capable of convincing one’s opponents of its truth. So, so long as anyone refuses to accept one’s argument by providing (what seems to them as) reasons, the argument is not “good” or “successful”. Or at least that’s how I think he basically put it in the podcast.

Of course, so put this is a very bad argument on his part. There are, for example, convinced creationists who do not accept scientific arguments for evolution. Presented with evolutionary arguments, they provide what seem to them to be good reasons for denying those arguments. Indeed, Oppy’s own purported argument for why one version of the Argument from Evil wasn’t a “good argument” against the existence of God fell into precisely this form. That is, he said that a theist might argue, “God exists, therefore he must have had some reason for allowing evil.” If that is a good argument against the Argument from Evil, then a suitably altered form of it should be a good argument against evolution. Viz., “God exists, therefore he must have had some reason for making it look like we evolved.” This could even ramify to the point that one could argue, “God exists, therefore he must have had some reason for making it seem as though the world is more than 10,000 years old.”

So following Oppy, we must say there are no good or successful arguments for or against evolution, or for or against the claim that the world is 10,000 years old. This is a reductio ad absurdum, I think.

I doubt that Oppy is making this sort of argument, however if he is not, it’s really not clear what he is saying here, at least in saying that there is no successful argument against the existence of God, and in arguing that the Argument from Evil fails.

One thing that comes to mind is a pitfall of any long-term professional undertaking: one begins to grow tired with making the same arguments against the same people. One sees them as on the whole good and nice people who are trying to do their best, and eventually one sort of throws up one’s hands and says, “Whatever.”

In philosophy, there is always the possibility for someone to have a response. If the mere existence of a response invalidates the argument, then there are never any good arguments for anything, which as I say strikes me as a reductio ad absurdum of the kind of move Oppy is making. The alternative is that there are actually good arguments, but that it’s possible to be blind to them, and to give bad arguments in response. This, I think, is what Oppy did with his discussion of the Argument from Evil. (Even though he was—ironically—playing Devil’s Advocate in doing so).

Yeah, I agree with you that Oppy seems to be making some sort of mistake here. He seems to think that if atheist philosophers can’t come up with an argument so strong that it will force the Christian philosophers to change their minds, then the Christian philosophers are rational to keep believing the things they do. He now appears to agree with Plantinga that the arguments for God aren’t very strong (ontological, cosmological, moral etc) and that the arguments against God aren’t very strong either (problem of evil, divine hiddenness etc).   

As I’ve said before, though, smart Christian philosophers may well have good responses to the arguments against God. They may argue that God is mysterious to us since we’re limited and fallen beings, and that God couldn’t have made a universe with less pain and suffering without also reducing the amount of beauty, freedom and virtue in the universe. So, despite appearances, it is the best of all possible worlds. Again, we will all have different intuitions on these abstract philosophical questions, and we get to a point where it looks like there’s no way to say that the atheists are more rational or more logical than the Christians. Perhaps Oppy has something like this in mind when he considers the Christians to be just as rational as the atheists.           

The key point here, though, is that nobody cares whether God exists or not. What we want to know is whether Christianity or Islam is true or not. And for this we need to give the armchair philosophizing a rest and look at biblical studies, history and the social sciences. Again, I know I sound like a broken record here, but nobody cares whether some abstract philosophical God exists or not. We want to know whether particular religions are true or not. POR has got to get out of the ivory tower and start dealing with real religions in the real world. Moreover, we mustn’t allow the Christian philosophers to switch between an abstract philosophical God and the God of fundementalist Christianity as it suits them.

Finally, I will just say that the fact that philosophers of religion so often refuse to discuss evolution is yet another example of how irrelevant POR has become. It is absurd that we have atheist and Christian philosophers of religion arguing about the plausibility of the Christian worldview and yet they’re not even allowed to discuss evolution or biblical studies! The idea is that philosophy is just about very abstract arguments and logical puzzles, and we can’t get involved in these other technical disciplines.

But as I see it, philosophy should be about searching for the truth, and so it must be informed by the other disciplines I’ve talked about. There is a place for conceptual analysis and logic chopping, but you’ve first got to make sure you know all the relevant data. Oppy’s/Plantinga’s view seems to amount to something like this: If we ignore history, biblical studies, and the natural and social sciences, then the fundamentalist Christian philosopher is just as rational as the atheist philosopher. This is quite an interesting claim, but why on earth should the philosopher want to ignore all of that other stuff anyway?

[ Edited: 19 June 2013 08:55 PM by Dom1978 ]
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Posted: 20 June 2013 04:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Dom1978 - 19 June 2013 08:21 PM

As I’ve said before, though, smart Christian philosophers may well have good responses to the arguments against God. They may argue that God is mysterious to us since we’re limited and fallen beings, and that God couldn’t have made a universe with less pain and suffering without also reducing the amount of beauty, freedom and virtue in the universe. So, despite appearances, it is the best of all possible worlds.

Yes, this is the argument they make. But it is not a good response. It takes as granted that the evidence is against the existence of God, and essentially says, “Even though there is all this evidence, still it might be that God exists.”

But this is never a good response to any evidentiary argument, except in the strictly logical sense that any evidentiary argument we provide could be incorrect, since the evidence could mislead us.

As I say, if this were a “good response” to the Argument from Evil, it would also be a “good response” to any argument from science. (E.g., that the world is 10,000 years old, etc.) But it is not a good response to any argument from science, so neither is it a good response here. Except, again, in the strictly logical sense that an evidentiary argument never provides logical proof.

Dom1978 - 19 June 2013 08:21 PM

But as I see it, philosophy should be about searching for the truth, and so it must be informed by the other disciplines I’ve talked about. There is a place for conceptual analysis and logic chopping, but you’ve first got to make sure you know all the relevant data. Oppy’s/Plantinga’s view seems to amount to something like this: If we ignore history, biblical studies, and the natural and social sciences, then the fundamentalist Christian philosopher is just as rational as the atheist philosopher. This is quite an interesting claim, but why on earth should the philosopher want to ignore all of that other stuff anyway?

I think there are two responses.

(1) You are saying that philosophers are doing something wrong by looking at strictly philosophical arguments for religious belief rather than (e.g.) historical, textual, and scientific ones. But that can’t be a real problem. Philosophers are employed and paid to look at philosophical arguments, after all. They aren’t trained historians of religion, nor are they trained natural or social scientists.

If philosophers don’t do this work, it will be left up to the theologians. While you may decry the number of theistically oriented philosophers of religion out there, that doesn’t argue for less work to be done, if anything it argues that we need more atheistic philosophers of religion to counter their arguments. Problem is, few atheists really care very much about these problems, since they view them essentially as dead ends. (I’m one of the few who do care). So I’m afraid this imbalance in philosophy of religion may always be the case, though arguably it should not be.

But the main distinction that needs to be made is between theologians (who are expressly employed and paid to argue for God) and philosophers (who are expressly employed and paid to search for wisdom and truth wherever it may be found). The move from theology to philosophy isn’t recent; it happened a few hundred years ago, basically around the Enlightenment, but it makes for a crucial distinction.

(2) In fact, I think many philosophers of religion should look at the arguments you suggest. I don’t know the state of the art well enough to know whether such arguments (from history, Biblical studies, the sciences) are ever made in professional journals, but they certainly could be. The problem with many of those arguments, however, is that they actually are quite weak. It’s very easy for a good theologically oriented philosopher to dismiss the Bible as largely fable and still argue from rational grounds that God exists.

I think lots of laypeople tend to think, especially given popular books from folks like Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, even Russell, that these arguments from the Bible, history, etc., are somehow particularly fatal to theological or religious belief. They may be so to the masses, but taken strictly as reasoned arguments they are, as I say, weak. Any sophisticated theologian will bypass them in a few sentences, basically by granting most of the claims and yet still holding to views about the existence of God. It’s those sophisticated theologians that philosophers are most interested in, since they typically provide the strongest arguments for religious claims.

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Posted: 20 June 2013 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Thanks Write4U, I never read or heard of David Bohm’s works. They do seem to have similarity to what I’m thinking. But I think, hopefully, I could do better. One thing that I think that I should bring up is that regardless of what possible insanity follows later in his work, I don’t see why it’s necessary to abandon all of one’s total efforts based on reputation. If Einstein in later life became totally religious and ranted off strange ideas based on his earlier ideas, why society should throw out his original theories for his later bad ones would be absurd. But it happens all the time which is too bad. I’ve heard some religious people try to argue how Darwin supposedly made a deathbed statement of faith and detracted his theory of evolution as false. When I hear this, it’s hard for me to try not to laugh at the absurdity of their logic. Instead of attempting to disprove their claim, I just try to let them down by explaining that scientists do not praise in Darwin’s authority at any present state of time. It is the works he authored that demonstrate the reasoning that count. And you can’t take the wisdom back.

Dom, I agree with doug and add that to some of us, we think of philosophy in a more broadened context than simply one who gets his PHD in Philosophy. In fact, I’ve always understood “PHD” represents, “Philosophical Degree” in some area. That is, all of the sciences and arts that use argumentation to prove one thing or another is philosophy.
  In Graham’s case, I think he is arguing that the practicality of philosophical dialectic is or appears practically futile. People can be mentally convinced of an argument but resist overt acceptance for psychological or social reasons. I think the usefulness of a good argument is very powerful when it is logically structured even if it is not apparently accepted. I think that professional competitive debaters may give the appearance, like the lawyers that many of them become, can tend to make one believe that any and every position is arguable. It’s a great skill and exercise to be able to argue a position that you actually disagree with as well as your own. But I think that most of those argued issues are socially ambiguous in the first place. And I believe that many philosophical arguments have absolution.
  What I think happens sometimes in the professional circles of philosophy is that their jobs as philosophers can tend to make them dependent upon a continuous effort to argue. Rhetoric can enter in by using techniques of redefinition of old terms into apparently newly discovered ones in order to keep old arguments that were beaten alive in another form until they are challenged again. Take Intelligent Design, as a good example of how the Argument from Design was repackaged in new vocabulary and appearance.

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Posted: 20 June 2013 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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dougsmith - 20 June 2013 04:28 AM

I think lots of laypeople tend to think, especially given popular books from folks like Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, even Russell, that these arguments from the Bible, history, etc., are somehow particularly fatal to theological or religious belief. They may be so to the masses, but taken strictly as reasoned arguments they are, as I say, weak. Any sophisticated theologian will bypass them in a few sentences, basically by granting most of the claims and yet still holding to views about the existence of God. It’s those sophisticated theologians that philosophers are most interested in, since they typically provide the strongest arguments for religious claims.

But you’re missing the point here. The new breed of fundamentalist Christian philosophers may be very sophisticated philosophically, but they’re not very well-informed about all the other disciplines I’ve mentioned. Again, I suggest you read this paper by Gericke called ‘Fundamentalism on Stilts’, which talks about how Plantinga basically just ignores two hundred years of Biblical scholarship, and he does this by arguing, basically, that this is just a bunch of liberals, feminists, marxists, hippies and others who are out to destroy traditional conservative Christianity. If someone as brilliant as Plantinga can do this, then you can bet that many of the up-and-coming Christian philosophers will be doing the same thing. They’ll be very good at logic and formal argumentation, but they’ll dismiss the other disciplines as biased and ideological and not worth bothering with.   

http://www.academia.edu/1489140/Fundamentalism_on_stilts_A_response_to_Alvin_Platingas_reformed_epistemology   

And William Lane Craig’s theology is anything but sophisticated. He believes that the Bible is infallible and inerrant, and he defends the genocides commanded by God in the Old Testament. What’s more, he has said that if he could go back in a time machine and see that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, he would still go on believing it! Why? Because he just knows through the mysterious power of the holy spirit that Jesus died for his sins.

Now, please see what’s going on here. Oppy is arguing that Craig is not irrational in his religious beliefs. Yet most of us, including Oppy when he’s not wearing his professional philosopher hat, would say that Craig is not just irrational but pretty much nuts! But POR has become so narrow, and so separated from the real world and from the social sciences and history, that Craig is respected as a pretty good philosopher. It’s really sad and embarrassing for philosophy of religion in particular and analytic philosophy in general.

Plantinga, Swinburne and Craig are not sophisticated theologians. They are defending what they take to be traditional conservative Christianity, and many young Christian philosophers will be following in their footsteps. But it should be pretty obvious by now that formal analytic philosophy is not the best way of arguing against this type of Christianity, since the reasons most of us reject fundamentalism are not philosophical reasons. Some atheist philosophers will claim that they left Christian fundamentalism because of the problem of evil, but I don’t believe this for a second. Did they not notice that there was pain and suffering in the world when they were still fundamentalist Christians? Fundamentalist can live with the problem of evil. What they can’t live with is the knowledge that Christianity is just one religion among many, all created by human societies for human reasons. This is why they’re terrified of anthropology and sociology, but philosophy is just fine.

If you really want to get Plantinga, Craig and Swinburne to reject their fundamentalism, you don’t need any philosophical arguments. You just need to come up with a new TV show, and on this show the three of them have to go around the world living with different religious communities for a few months at a time. For example, Plantinga would have to live with a Muslim family in Indonesia for three months. I reckon there’s a good chance that these three would move from fundmentalism to liberal Christianity by the end of this. To change the minds of fundamentalists, you need to get them away from their families and their communities, and force them to live with people from other religions. Let’s see if they still think their own religion is uniquely true and that all non-fundamentalists are going to hell.

In my view, fundamentalism can only exist where there’s a great deal of ignorance about other religions (and often about their own religion). So atheist philosophers of religion are really wasting their time arguing with the fundis. There have been some clever arguments from people like Stephen Maitzen and Stephen Law (with his Evil God Challenge) and so on, but, as I say, you’re never going to get the likes of Plantinga to change their minds with abstract philosophical arguments.

[ Edited: 20 June 2013 07:28 AM by Dom1978 ]
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Posted: 20 June 2013 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Fair enough. If Plantinga wants to claim that the Bible is inerrant, then clearly work on Biblical history can help refute that claim. Though it may well be when push comes to shove he will make the same move with respect to that argument that we saw with respect to the Argument from Evil: since God exists, he must have had some reason for putting what seem like contradictions into the Bible (!). (Again: bad argument, but that’s what he may try to say).

I don’t know enough about Craig. But it may well be that (1) his philosophical theology is sophisticated, or even (1’) some arguments he makes in philosophical theology are sophisticated, while (2) his views on Biblical exegesis, or his other arguments in philosophical theology are unsophisticated. I certainly agree that the “time machine” argument you present is as bad as any of these finger-in-ear type responses.

But that gets us back to Oppy’s main point. And I really can’t speak for him, since I don’t appreciate the force of his claim.

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Posted: 20 June 2013 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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To me it is kind of crazy to take your abilities and level of thinking and waist it on rationalization of Christian beliefs. There must only be a handful of people at your level of thought.

A preacher friend of mine made up his mind that he was going to make me find the belief in god. He had forty years of converting non-believers and had a pretty good track record and did preaching at church and on the radio.

So when he got to talking belief I would tell him that I had my gods. The four suns and there were four suns in the sky. But you had to have belief before you can see them. I would use all the same augments he was using for the Christian god. He could not prove that I did not see or believe in the four suns. After about a year he gave up, took him that long to get the point.

I should mention that the four suns was an ancient Mexican religious tale. One sun fell into the ocean and then there were only three suns.

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Posted: 20 June 2013 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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I understand that you are only talking philosophy of religion, and I do not know anything about philosophy. But from what I see here, it is all about the way man thinks. Has nothing to do with truth, facts or god.
So is it really philosophy of religion or the philosophy of man and religion is just being used as an arguing point?
In that case, use woman as the arguing point. I would like to be able to know out how women think.

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Posted: 20 June 2013 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Dom, I got the impression from the article you refer to that most philosophers of religion outside of RE don’t even waste time with them. It seems that the point of the article was to say that other philosophers of religion should take Plantiga’s challenge to argue even with his obvious poor logic to close the door on such people for good by challenging their perceptions of Biblical theology that their ‘basic’ beliefs are founded on.

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I eat without fear of certain Death from The Tree of Knowledge because with wisdom, we may one day break free from its mortal curse.

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