Friday, February 03, 2006

Initial response

This is the begining of a response to the attempt to give apologetics for anti-theism as presented here--

The first point I will respond to as given here--

"1. Just because you haven’t seen God, doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. Atheism, therefore, is as much an act of faith as theism is.

Bertrand Russell demolished this fallacy nearly a century ago with his famous teapot argument. As his response appears to me to be perfect, I simply offer it here:

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

If a valid retort to Russell has ever seen the light of day, I’m not aware of it. As I tried to make clear in my essay, the atheist is not in the business of making claims on insufficient evidence, he merely resists such claims whenever they appear on the lips of the faithful. I don’t think it can be pointed out too often that the faithful do this as well. Every Christian knows what it is like to find the claims of Muslims—that the Holy Koran is the perfect word of God, that Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse, etc.—to be utterly incredible. Everyone who is not a Mormon knows at a glance that Mormonism is bogus. And everyone of every religious denomination knows what it is like not to believe in Zeus. Everyone has rejected an infinite number of spurious claims about God. The atheist rejects infinity plus one.

My response

Your arguments have only the chance of being nigh to tenable if someone tends along the lines of the agnostic. For to go along the lines of atheism there is an inherent dogma. But even agnosticism has a dogma, that being the dogma that all other dogmas are bad save the dogma that all other dogmas are bad.

But lets take this apart point by point--

1- teapot

Well you have a problem. God has a few differences from the unperceivable teapot. Take the following as an example of such. In LDS(Mormon) theology there's the fact that God has been very consistent in what he's revealed to different and separated, yet chronologically contemporary, nations (ala Book of Mormon visitation of Christ and the Biblical revelation of Christ). Aside from even that you have to deal with, despite discrepancies that can easily be accounted to human induced transmission errors through the ages, the many similar strains touching upon God found throughout the ages from sources without the needed links to the disparate other accounts through the ages.

Take, for instance, the common complaint against Christendom as to messianic figures existing far earlier in pagan traditions. Such anti-Christian apologetics attempts to prove that this is proof that the Christian story is simply a conglomerate and kind of alteration of earlier ideas. Yet if one views the whole idea of Christ from the view point of having set points throughout our protology in which a sufficiently full disclosure of a Messiah is repeatedly dispensed by God, corrupted by men and later redispensed by God to a later receptive generation then one sees a very plausible explanation for the similarities found linking most of the worlds significant theological traditions. An explanation with as much, if not MORE, plausibility than that presented by the ‘rational’ anti-theists.

The teapot has no such connection. To further demonstrate such—

Once it was viewed that the terribly complex process of metallurgy had to have been happen-stance-ly observed and acted upon by one fortunate group, and then gradually, would come improvement and disseminated from an initial area out to all the world. Yet the best evidence we yet have has metallurgy simultaneously appearing all over the world. The problem is that this couldn't have been the product of dissemination from a single location because every location that it is found to have produced metallurgy at this moment in time developed a form of metallurgical modus operandi distinctly different from the other locations. The Mid-East had the forge as it's medium. In China it's the cast. In India wootz steel's production seems almost more akin to an expanded bread baking than the forges or furnaces of the Mid-East or China, respectively. In the Americas they (Olmec) figured out how to properly mingle Platinum Group Metals in alloyswithout ever coming close to reaching the melting points of such.

To the issue of the teapot and showing the correlation between it and the advent of metallurgy. Now, if we could isolate the very likely situation in which several different nations from the past, unconnected to each other, but living at the same time period, and each nation had members that testified, or noticeable remnants of such testifying, that they had been witnesses to said teapot in a time and place, or had knowledge of it being set in some course that would land it to the approximate position as previously stated, and if these testimonies, adjusted for the invariable change that comes from the passing of time and human errors in transmission, correlated to a strong degree then you’d have, while not easily quantifiable, evidence more concrete than that of the mere teapot.


Post a Comment

<< Home