The Other Shoes
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26-03-2012, 09:00 AM (This post was last modified: 26-03-2012 09:15 AM by scientician.)
The Other Shoes
As much as this curmudgeon's blog posts irritate me, every once in a while he posts something that resonates with me. Consider the following exchange

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.ca/2011/02/to-louse.html

It's not long and it presents a very interesting point. While I hate --And have said as much before-- to spend valuable time reading books by theologians and biased philosophers of religion there is merit to this case, no? What does everyone think. Do we see ourselves in Skeptic? Should we read more before we dismiss? I'm not talking about reading the bible or relying on your previous faith and exposure to religion. I'm talking about reading Aquinas, Leibniz and that ilk.

In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

--Stephen Jay Gould
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26-03-2012, 09:14 PM (This post was last modified: 26-03-2012 09:18 PM by Starcrash.)
RE: The Other Shoes
It's true that Dawkins and Myers would and do make attacks like these without expertise on the subject... because they're not philosophy experts. They're scientists.

I think every active atheist should have read the relevant philosophers and have an education on this subject, but even with as much as I've read I am far from expert. That doesn't keep me from arguing, though, and I don't feel that you personally have to be an expert to hold an opinion (or even a viewpoint on factual evidence) and support it. You can quote and cite the experts... you don't actually have to be one. The difference between this debate presented by Feser and our usual debates is that we are not debating philosophy "experts", and I think many of us are smart enough not to debate topics that we don't understand.

As a side note, it's also clear that the Skeptic just keeps using an Appeal to Ridicule , and many of us would also not bother to keep up a debate on those terms... it's pointless, as is well-illustrated in this example. And simply to say that this "would be Dawkins or Meyers" is unsupported and unlikely to be true. While it's possible to find them engaging in a conversation that is out of their league, they wouldn't simply make fun of an argument that they couldn't rebut.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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27-03-2012, 07:28 AM
RE: The Other Shoes
(26-03-2012 09:14 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  [...]
Well I think the main point of contention with Ed is that Dawkins devotes one or two pages on Aquinas and traipses through as if he were defeating all philosophical arguments for the existence of God. It is apparently clear, however, to those that study Aquinas that he has obviously not devoted a modicum of time to familiarize himself with the actual arguments and not just the five proofs that get posted everywhere.

In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

--Stephen Jay Gould
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28-03-2012, 06:25 PM
RE: The Other Shoes
Any argument for the existence of god is way over for me. Who cares.
I've heard them all and nothing short of an earthly visit will do.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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