Thursday, January 21, 2010

Infidels ponder the question of why there are intelligent theists

On this thread here. It's an important question. What sense do we make of the fact that people who apparently have not only intelligence but intellectual integrity believe the opposite of what we do.

Of course, you can avoid this problem by just denying one of the above.


unkleE said...

If you follow the long discussion, you'll find they (the atheists) don't reach any satisfactory conclusion (IMO), largely because they generally believe that the theistic arguments are fully refuted. For example, one strong opinion is that WL Craig's presentation of the Kalam Cosmological argument can clearly be refuted by them - they are unwilling or unable to conclude that the argument is neither proven or refuted but simply unresolved.

Thus they tend to end up where they started, mystified as to how any intelligent theist can believe such nonsense.

I would generalise to the conclusion that there are three basic responses to the theistic arguments:

1. God obviously exists and atheists are willfully blind.
2. God obviously doesn't exist and theists are clearly delusional.
3. There are good arguments both in favour and against God's existence, and we need to decide how we believe they balance out.

I personally hold to 3. 1 & 2 may be dogma for their respective adherents, but they are discussion-killers.

Unknown said...

I think any line of inquiry that only has two acceptable outcomes ("they are dishonest" or "they are just wrong") is going to end unresolved. True inquiry leaves the door open to the possibility that my side is mistaken and I never really got the impression that many participants were willing to go there.

Gordon Knight said...

THe universe is ambiguous and very difficult to figure out. Of course people are going to disagree about theism etc.

T said...

As usual, Unkle E with a thoughtful and balanced response.