Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
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10-02-2014, 12:14 PM
Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
I didn't see this posted elsewhere. If it is, mods can delete this thread.

A Catholic philosopher interviewing a catholic philosopher about whether atheism is irrational:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201...inion&_r=0

A number of his arguments are weak, particularly when he compares the argument that natural explanations for processes in the universe remove the need for god as an explanation leads to the conclusion of a-theism is like now knowing that the moon doesn't cause "lunacy" leads to the conclusion of a-moonism.

Umm, there is still other tangible proof that the moon exists - like we can see it and have landed on it. There is no such tangible proof of god. A really bad logical argument in my opinion.

Have a read and see what you think.
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10-02-2014, 12:45 PM
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
I tried reading this a little earlier today, because I try to approach every idea with an open mind, however, I couldn't get through it. You could tell from early on in the interview the basic philosophical argument he was making was flawed.
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10-02-2014, 12:52 PM
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
If not believing claims until they are justified by the evidence is irrational then yes.
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10-02-2014, 01:23 PM
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
(10-02-2014 12:14 PM)meremortal Wrote:  A number of his arguments are weak, particularly when he compares the argument that natural explanations for processes in the universe remove the need for god as an explanation leads to the conclusion of a-theism is like now knowing that the moon doesn't cause "lunacy" leads to the conclusion of a-moonism.

This is just a variation on shifting the burden of proof. Looking at natural explanations involves making observations and not making assumptions. They assume God exists, and simply claim it's illogical to do otherwise. So, when they say that any approach that doesn't make their same assumptions is bad because it leads to atheism... it sounds like they're shifting the burden of proof. They're saying we have to rule out God in order to make observations.

It's crazy talk.
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10-02-2014, 04:08 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2014 04:27 PM by Taqiyya Mockingbird.)
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
(10-02-2014 12:14 PM)meremortal Wrote:  A number of his arguments are weak, particularly when he compares the argument that natural explanations for processes in the universe remove the need for god as an explanation leads to the conclusion of a-theism is like now knowing that the moon doesn't cause "lunacy" leads to the conclusion of a-moonism.

If "moonism" is the belief that the moon causes lunacy, then yes, disbelief in such a notion would be a-moonism. However, atheism is a disbelief in the notion that the "gods" the gullible describe exist, which makes his comparison correct and causes it to backfire in his face.



[Nevermind the following, BuckyBall sent me a copy (THANKS BB!)]
Could you copy/paste the text of the article into a spoiler? I am not going to set up an account on a fucking newspaper site just to read one article...fucking newspapers....

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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10-02-2014, 04:18 PM
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
Sam Harris tweeted about it earlier and I took a brief look. This first questioned cemented the rest of the interview for me.

Gary Gutting: A recent survey by PhilPapers, the online philosophy index, says that 62 percent of philosophers are atheists (with another 11 percent “inclined” to the view). Do you think the philosophical literature provides critiques of theism strong enough to warrant their views?

Let's replace a couple words
Do you think all the books written about unicorns provides critiques of unicornism strong enough to warrant their views?

The title of the article is "Is Atheism Irrational" ?
The two people discussing it, do not know the definition of all three words.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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10-02-2014, 04:32 PM
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
Saw this analysis online while looking for the article (not my own analysis):

Quote:
Quote:But lack of evidence, if indeed evidence is lacking, is no grounds for atheism.

Lack of evidence is precisely why one would begin down the road of atheism (or unbelief) for almost any claim.

Quote:No one thinks there is good evidence for the proposition that there are an even number of stars; but also, no one thinks the right conclusion to draw is that there are an uneven number of stars.

False equivalency.
Quote: The right conclusion would instead be agnosticism.

Misuse of terminology.

Quote: In the same way, the failure of the theistic arguments, if indeed they do fail, might conceivably be good grounds for agnosticism, but not for atheism.

Misuse of terminology.
Quote: Atheism, like even-star-ism, would presumably be the sort of belief you can hold rationally only if you have strong arguments or evidence.

Incorrect. Insufficient evidence is plenty of reason to not believe.
Any examination of belief formation for anything outside of the special privilege granted to religion would demonstrate this.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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10-02-2014, 06:58 PM
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
Ok, so first one correction. To be fair, Plantina did say that obviously there were other reasons to still believe in the moon, but he used that to then say that, similarly, they are plenty of other reasons to still believe in god, even if it isn't needed to explain most natural phenomena. Still think it's weak because, again, there is tangible, testable evidence for the moon - not so for a deity. He does go on to explain those other reasons, and they are basically personal experiences.

I also liked his trying to deal with Bertrand Russell's orbiting teapot argument. He goes on this ramble about a country having to launch a teapot in to space, which obviously hasn't happened, as proof that there is no teapot. Um, ok. I don't think that was the point. I think the point is that it would be a self-existent teapot that has always been orbiting the sun.

G.G.: You say atheism requires evidence to support it. Many atheists deny this, saying that all they need to do is point out the lack of any good evidence for theism. You compare atheism to the denial that there are an even number of stars, which obviously would need evidence. But atheists say (using an example from Bertrand Russell) that you should rather compare atheism to the denial that there’s a teapot in orbit around the sun. Why prefer your comparison to Russell’s?

A.P.: Russell’s idea, I take it, is we don’t really have any evidence against teapotism, but we don’t need any; the absence of evidence is evidence of absence, and is enough to support a-teapotism. We don’t need any positive evidence against it to be justified in a-teapotism; and perhaps the same is true of theism.

I disagree: Clearly we have a great deal of evidence against teapotism. For example, as far as we know, the only way a teapot could have gotten into orbit around the sun would be if some country with sufficiently developed space-shot capabilities had shot this pot into orbit. No country with such capabilities is sufficiently frivolous to waste its resources by trying to send a teapot into orbit. Furthermore, if some country had done so, it would have been all over the news; we would certainly have heard about it. But we haven’t. And so on. There is plenty of evidence against teapotism. So if, à la Russell, theism is like teapotism, the atheist, to be justified, would (like the a-teapotist) have to have powerful evidence against theism.

Oh, and a catholic quoting John Calvin... Huh
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10-02-2014, 07:56 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2014 08:31 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
Well the article is SO bad, I was hoping someone else would at least criticize the obvious flaws.

1. Cutting either probably was or is, one of Plantagina's employees. If anyone AT Notre Dame actually came down hard on him, would they not run the risk of retaliation ? It's a blatant conflict of interest.
2. The bullshit of odd and even stars is so obviously the *fallacy of the false analogy*, it's pathetically childish. Obviously either the answer to the star question is yes or no, (depending on how exactly they end up defining a star). Eventually, it would actually be possible to actually count stars. The proposition that there is a deity (such as they might define that), is not necessarily yes or no. THESE people are professional (paid) philosophers ??? What a joke. If there is no deity, then there exists NO POSSIBILITY to find or "count" a deity. What is wrong with these people ? Atheism in NO WAY resembles "even star-ism".
3. Plantagina coughs up the same old tripe bullshit about atheism being a belief, and requires evidence. Is he senile ? The evidence for a-teapotism is the SAME as for (no) gods. There is none for either.
4. Then Plantagina does (the usual Catholic Latin woo woo quote) *as if* that makes it more true or valid or "learned". He says humans share a "sensus divinitatis" (snort). Well maybe HE does, but it's an argumentum ad populum, (which Stone just lets him get by with ... and these people are supposed to be professors of Philosophy ??? at Notre Dame ??? ... no wonder the Roman Church is so fucked up) and then goes on to do the "fine tuning" bullshit, which has been debunked countless times, in countless places. I really do think the old guy is senile.
5. Then he uses "religious experience". Every "experience", religious (or otherwise), exists in human brains, and is explained totally by human brain chemistry, and can be documented on PET Scans, and MRI's, (and circulating chemicals and molecular structures).

What a bunch of idiots. Hopefully Stone will grow some balls, and ask BASIC questions if he attempts to interview any more of his buddies. What a pathetic article.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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10-02-2014, 09:25 PM
RE: Is Atheism Irrational? - Interview in NYT
Really, New York Times? Dodgy
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