Thursday, August 03, 2006

Loftus on Anderson on Exbeliever

Evan has posted James' critique of exbeliever's rather poor argument against AFR below.

I thought I should employ John Loftus' little quip on Reppert's blog since it appears now that Loftus is batting for the other team. Loftus writes,

"I am finding that logic doesn't help us in the quest for metaphysical truths, anyway."

As always, thanks for the help John. This little claim will make for great blog fodder for years.

Just to bring it home, let me argue for the metaphysical truth of God's existence:

1. Bluebirds are pretty.

2. Ice cream is yummy.

3. Therefore, God exists.

Thanks John for making our lives easier.

14 comments:

  1. Manata,

    Are you mocking me? I'm gonna kick you in the tail, you little geek. I'm gonna beat you with a stick like a Pinata. How's that logic for ya? Just because ice cream is yummy doesn't necessarily mean God exists. I mean, some people don't like ice cream anyway, so you're argument is fallacious. Stay on your own turf and don't mess with me....

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  2. I've made a post out of what I said.

    If logic was so useful and if the evidence is there, then people everywhere should believe exactly as you do, right?

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  3. Have you read Nicholas Wolterstorff's Reason Within the Bounds of Religion?

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  4. George Mavrodes once suggested that there is nothing wrong with the following argument:

    I believe God exists,
    Therefore, God exists.

    Where's the logic in that?

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  5. Loftus, I have read both of those books and your use of them to support your claim is laughable.

    The other problem, in your hypothetical, is that yes the logic us usefull and the evidence is all around you, the problem is that you hate God and seek to distort and supress His clear evidence.

    You fail to even *think* the problem may not be one of evidence or rational arguments but of your sinful condition, your hate of God, and your desire to be your own little god.

    You're no different than Adam and Eve.

    So, the problem with unbelievers is not arguments or evidence, but it IS UNBELIEVERS.

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  6. Which one of these guys would ever look at the logical evidence for Christian theism and come to any other conclusion than the one their atheistic presuppositions allow? Loftus sees the problem and comes to the conclusion that logic doesn't help us in the quest for metaphysical truth. Based on what? That it leads to the conclusion there is a God. There is the pretense of wanting "truth" (whatever that is in the naturalist worldview), but when the evidence leads us some place else besides the presupposed end, well, we don't like that. In reality it's a bunch of bunk (debunk, that is. heh heh)...

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  7. So Paul, basically we live in different metaphysical universes, don't we? I cannot reason with you, can I? And you cannot reason with me, can you? So what then of your claim that logic leads us to God? You've got the cart before the horse, as I explained. Within your world everything is explainable to you (although I highly dispute this), and within my world everything is explainable to me too(although you highly dispute this).

    What now? Tell me again about the usefulness of logic when it comes to metaphysical beliefs. Go ahead. Tell me. Tell me how to cross over this bridge. Try.

    Former Christian theist turned atheist Michael Shermer has done an extensive study of why people believe in God and in “weird things” and concludes: “Most of us most of the time come to our beliefs for a variety of reasons having little to do with empirical evidence and logical reasoning. Rather, such variable as genetic predispositions, parental predilections, sibling influences, peer pressures, educational experiences, and life impressions all shape the personality preferences and emotional inclinations that, in conjunction with numerous social and cultural influences, lead us to make certain belief choices. Rarely do any of us sit down before a table of facts, weigh them pro and con, and choose the most logical and rational belief, regardless of what we previously believed. Instead, the facts of the world come to us through the colored filters of the theories, hypotheses, hunches, biases, and prejudices we have accumulated through our lifetime. We then sort through the body of data and select those most confirming what we already believe, and ignore or rationalize away those that are disconfirming. All of us do this, of course, but smart people are better at it…”

    The difference between us is the diference between presuppositions about whether God exists, and if so what kind of God, isn't it? And where do we gain these presuppositions? My explanation is that they are based upon when and where we were born. Your explanation is that God decrees yours, and that you know all of this because of your exegesis of a historically conditioned document purportedly inspired by God and written by a barbaric and superstitious people. You can do that of course, but I further dispute that you can believe anything in the Bible at all if it's from the Calvinistic God. And there we are, at a dead end, until you to answer my argument here, there is no use pursuing it any more.

    All you and I are doing when we argue is confirming what we already believe. You and I each live in the universe next door. So stop being frustrated with me, and stop laughing. It just reveals you are unaquainted with what I'm saying. Get an education. At least then you will understand why we cannot reason with each other, rather than insisting till you're blue in the face that I should agree with you because what you believe is more "logical" and more reasonable. It just isn't. And while you may go on believing after getting educated, your degree of ill founded confidence with be gone.

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  8. John Loftus said:

    All you and I are doing when we argue is confirming what we already believe. You and I each live in the universe next door. So stop being frustrated with me, and stop laughing. It just reveals you are unaquainted with what I'm saying. Get an education. At least then you will understand why we cannot reason with each other, rather than insisting till you're blue in the face that I should agree with you because what you believe is more "logical" and more reasonable. It just isn't. And while you may go on believing after getting educated, your degree of ill founded confidence with be gone.

    Then why are you here trying to reason with Paul, o educated one?

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  9. Do you need to confirm what you already believe is true? Why? Just askin'

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  10. Then why are you here trying to reason with Paul, o educated one?

    Can't you read? I'm confirming my beliefs. There are other reasons, oh idiot one.

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  11. The problem with Loftus' argument from background is that while I suspect it works very well in America, it probably works less well in Europe. I was the only person in my immediate circle of friends at school who went to church, as far as I know most of the teachers I looked up to didn't believe in God (one was a militant evolutionist). At University, I was in the minority among my friends in going to church. I was taught by atheist professors. In my village Church, I did not hear the Gospel, and I was less familiar with my Bible than my prayer-book or the latest book of political theory/ Crime fiction.

    And yet I was converted when I did hear. And it cannot be that I did not get an education. I have a BA and a Postgraduate qualification, I taught Religious Education (here in Britain that's a pretty secular subject) and history and am now pursuing an MA in Welsh History, so I am not stupid. One of the elders in the Church I go to is a Doctor in the Department of Linguistics, I cannot believe he's stupid, as he's currently out in Africa inventing a way to write a tribal language so it can be preserved. The most useful way of doing this, as the Welsh will testify, is to have the Bible in the native language.

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  12. So Charmley, you're an exception, eh? About that I would need more info, but let me grant it here. This is necdotal evidence.

    You're asking me to explain the exceptions (if there are). I'm asking you to explain the rule.

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