Atheists – too afraid to answer

 Fear, afraid
Some Atheists are too afraid to answer the difficult questions.

 There’s a very good article by Peter Saunders titled Twenty questions Atheists struggle to Answer: How Theism does better on the first six.  Before  presenting the first six issues which atheists struggle to answer (actually he’s being kind – he uses “struggle” as if they have an  answer when actually atheism has no reasonable answer to the first 6.),  he makes some preliminary comments.  The third comment  he makes  – actually a challenge –  is particularly apropos to a recent discussion I had.  Speaking to Atheists and agnostics,  Saunders says:

Third, I challenge atheists (and agnostics) reading this blog not to adopt the view, as a matter of faith, that the atheistic world view is some sort of neutral default position and that the burden of proof
lies solely with theists to prove their case. Let’s not have any of the usual allegations of ‘meaningless questions’, ‘God of
the gaps’, ‘appeals to authority’ or the mockery, ridicule and ‘face-palming’ that often accompanies any attempt by theists to
advance their case.

Of particular interest is the second sentence, a description of the toxic environment  often created by atheists in their so called “discussions” with Christians or theists – discussions which are for the atheist often  little more than opportunities to mock. To the list of the usual allegations I would add the allegation of “fallacious argument” a  claim atheists wield as a shield against anyone who doesn’t agree with them – apparently before even reading the argument because they use it even when it doesn’t apply.

Case in point, my last article – an article which ended with a hypothetical question along the lines of  Pascal’s wager: Continue Reading

Science by Fiat & failed Judo throws – Cosmos’ failed attempts to defend evolution

"...is there question anywhere in our future?" - A few Good Men
In a failed attempted to defend evolutionary theory, Cosmos Episode 2 resorts to science without evidence, and evidently expects to be  believed “because I said so
.”

 

 

 

…is there a question evidence anywhere in our future?

In the classic 1980’s Wendy’s ad, Clara Peller, after looking at a hamburger that’s mostly bun and almost no meat famously asks, “Where’s the beef?” After watching the second episode of the reboot of Cosmos – titled Cosmos A Space Time Odyssey episode 2 – Some Of The Things Molecules Do I was reminded of that ad as I wondered “Where’s the science?”

This episode of Cosmos wants to convince you that evolution is true, and it’s
pulling out all the stops to do so – winsomely asking legitimate questions (Where do all the species come from?), their answer being evolutionary theory,  and that answer is  aided by great animations. And they include what was no doubt intended to be the coup de grace to end questions from Intelligent Design theorists: an attempted  judo throw of Intelligent Design arguments – by redirecting Intelligent Design arguments originally directed against evolution against Intelligent design theory.

Yes, Cosmos took a page straight out of a judo manual: Continue Reading

What is Rational Faith? Part 2

Rational Faith does not involve a leap of faithThe 19th  century classic “Flatland” by Edwin A. Abbott is an allegory of  the resulting social problems and intellectual impasse that results when a person  who has been enlightened (and sees a truth beyond what’s normally possible in the physical realm) tries to present that truth to the unenlightened.  Flatland is so named because it, and all its inhabitants live in a two dimensional world.  When a 3 dimensional object – a being in the shape of a sphere – is introduced  to a 2 dimensional Flatlander – a mathematician – the response of humans  to revelations (by way of analogy) is on display.

As you might expect, the mathematician has the  all the concepts and mathematical knowledge to understand the description of a sphere, but while he understands technically what the sphere is  saying, since a 3 dimensional object is outside of the realm of the possible within a 2 dimension world, he has a hard time believing what the  sphere is saying is true – until the sphere performs miracles – that is to say feats that are miraculous to the two dimensional characters of the story,  yet totally understandable to a 3 dimensional person (such as the reader). The main conflict of story centers around the beliefs of most flatlanders:  since – as far as they are concerned – 3 dimensional objects are impossible and don’t exist, anyone who claims they are possible (or has seen one)  is  either insane or dangerous or both, and thus must be placed permanently in a mental institution or must be put to death. Without delving any further into the story, let me point out what Abbott so masterfully illustrates using concepts that we, as 3 dimensional beings,  readily understand by his analogy: Continue Reading