You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘proof’ tag.
Ask most people, and they’ll believe that everything is made of atoms. But if you ask them, what kind of evidence is there to convince scientists of that? You will not likely get an answer from a lay person. Hence, most people take it on faith. We trust scientists to be the reliable authority on the subject. If we were to feel a little baffled or curious about the matter, then, well, we could lean on our scientific inclinations and do a little research for ourselves. But most of us just accept that everything’s made of atoms because we’re told that science says so. Likewise, a large number of theists believe what they do because they’ve been told these beliefs by all the religious authorities in their lives. If any of us were a little confused or intrigued about the matter, then we’d do our own research and become a little learned in theology.
That’s all fine and dandy … to an extent. Most people don’t have the time, energy, patience or interest to research atomic theory or theology. Society functions on its own without everyone being experts on everything. But the thing is, if the answer to a question is really significant and meaningful to you, then you should look at it with rationality and not blind faith and wishful thinking. If you’re wondering what the purpose of your life is, or why the universe is here, or what-have-you, and you really want to figure out the truth, then you’ll have to do more than just listen to others’ opinions on the subject.
For personal assurance, you should take a serious, reasonable look at the important parts of your belief system. (It’s no use wondering solipsisms like if the universe was created last Thursday, if we’re all a part of the Matrix, or if a Cartesian demon is feeding you false perceptions. However, if you’ve lived your life assuming that a certain man has the answers to your salvation and the nature of the divine creator, then you probably want to spend some time with that idea.) Furthermore, if you want to have a reliable and authoritative public voice about a subject, it is your responsibility to sincerely and soberly study that subject.
Now – apply this to the current state of religion. I am certain that the majority of believers, in any faith around the world, do not have sufficient justification for their belief. This is understandable. We grow up, and learn to accept much of what we are told when we are young. But that doesn’t make it right. That’s why it’s our duty to speak our opinions when it’s warranted and when it raises consciousness about the significance of a certain opinion – like religion. (I’m applying this to atheists and believers.) Robert Ingersoll once said, “out upon the intellectual sea there is room for every sail, and in the intellectual air there is space for every wing.” But to stay where you were born and never meet any new places on this sea or in this air is intellectual negligence, and it needs consciousness-raising. Religion is important.
Firstly, how do you know? How can you support the claim that there are other avenues to truth than rationality? Life-changing events always have subjective tinges to them. The “beauty of a sunset, the cooing of a baby,” and “the love of a man and a woman” are not objective in any way. Science does not operate within subjectivity, and it is only within objectivity that beliefs are externally true or false. Feelings are real perceptions, but the beliefs and worldview that are formed from emotions are, with no other support, baseless. What we feel is not justification to believe. If it were, then reality would have no objective truth, what with everybody feeling diametrically different things around the world and all. I believe in rationalism. Without reasoning, there is no epistemological foundation for any objective ideas.
Secondly, the Bible is not regarded as evidence to an atheist the same as it is to a believer. The claim of the Bible’s God is an extraordinary claim, and the Bible itself is not remotely close to being good enough evidence to constitute justification for belief. The Koran and Bhagavad Gita are in a similar situation. CARM even has a nice article on presuppositionalism. When a believer reads a verse from the Bible, the believer is to automatically believe what is written (ignoring interpretation) because the believer already supposes (on faith) that the entire Bible was the word of God beforehand. An atheist does not presuppose the authority or reliability of the Bible, and so a verse will not carry any special gravity with it for the atheist.
Suppose this were true. Then we can regard the creation of the universe as an event. So what event caused the creation event? There is no way to justifiably switch off the valve on the law of causality to stop an infinite regress from emerging. If we had to do it anyway, though, it would be more prudent to do it as soon as possible. Why should we put an extra being into the metaphysics equation? Occam’s Razor states that “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity,” and so it would be prudent to leave the universe alone when dealing with causality. As an explanation, gods are unneeded.
But, the law of causality is not perfect. It is a nice and simplistic concept that can be applied with almost totally negligible inaccuracy to the world around us on a daily basis. However, when dealing with the very nature of the universe, this “law” has no foundation. What causes the four fundamental fources such as gravity and electromagnetism? What causes virtual particles, vacuum fluctuations, and specific wavefunction collapses? In Processes and Causality, John Sowa writes, “Relativity and quantum mechanics have forced physicists to abandon these assumptions [Causality, Antecedence, Contiguity] as exact statements of what happens at the most fundamental levels, but they remain valid at the level of human experience.” Similarly, in Creation ex nihilo – Without God, Mark Vuletic writes, “Few people are aware of the fact that many modern physicists claim that things – perhaps even the entire universe – can indeed arise from nothing via natural processes.” (See his essay for expansion on the claim.)
I’ve never heard why there cannot be an infinite number of regressions of causes. It seems like an acceptable scenario but of which we have no way of knowing. And even if there couldn’t be such a chain, why must the number of causes be reduced to one? Where is the reasoning behind this swift move? Why not five causes? Or zero?
Lastly, to state that the God of the Bible, with all his personality and history about him, fits the bill of this “uncaused cause,” requires an argument. The reasoning here is nonexistent, and so this is a textbook case non sequitor.
Although our coming into existence (and indeed, the everyday naturalistic operations that keep us in the state of being alive) are governed and ruled by the laws of physics, it does not mean that there is no such thing as the self. Even if we are programmed, we are. We exist. And so our inventions of thought exist too; meaning and purpose are real. They are not given to us, they are self-made.
Also, look at lines 13 and 14. The atheist is supposed to have no “freely chosen, self-intended purpose,” and the theist is supposed to have a purpose handed down from God himself. So then, the theist also doesn’t have a freely chosen, self-intended purpose! Argh! Messed up on that one, CARM.
Here is the article summed up in two sentences: “Otherwise, we are merely bags of chemicals reacting to stimuli. I believe man is more than that.” In other words, the great argument from wishful thinking. I’m sure that argument’s becoming popular with the scholars these days. Must be becasue of so much real-world data to support it.
How can an atheist account for logic? My intuition tells me that it is a necessary feature of all possible universes. Logic cannot fail to be true, or to “exist.” But, predictably, there’s no way to prove that. Proving logic is a task beyond logic. By failing to do the impossible I am not being intellectually lazy or averting any duties to account for logic. Not everything can be accounted for.
This is self-righteous and ideologically arrogant. Logic is not the sole property of Christianity. It’s public property. Other religions can have myths which also account for the existence of logic just like the one given here. And I just gave an atheistic explanation of it as well. To think that logic must come from Christianity is to misunderstand the possibilities here.
The key error here is the axiom “logic is conceptual by nature.” The full-blown fallacy:
“Logic is a process of the mind. Logical absolutes provide the framework for logical thought processes. Therefore, Logical Absolutes are conceptual by nature.”
Logic dictates the structure of thought process. This does not mean logic is ontologically begotten from thoughts. Logic also provides the framework for computer circuitry. And yet logic is not the product of computer curcuitry, and computers are impersonal and manifestly non-conceptual. Indeed, by the act of defining the boundaries and manifold functioning of thought processes, logic can be said to precede or supervene thought and thus cannot be its child. This house of cards falls with the removal of one faulty premise. It’s unfortunate so much time was spent on building the house.