Saturday, July 09, 2011

Bradley Monton's Blog

Bradley Monton is an interesting philosopher, an atheist who is opposed to the witch-hunt against Intelligent Design.

I would put atheists in three categories. There are hostile atheists that make it their mission to smash religious belief. There are apathetic atheists who simple don't put a lot of effort into what they don't believe. And then there are sympathetic atheists who are willing to dialogue with Christians. Monton is clearly of the third type.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where would you place Loftus?

Anonymous said...

I'd place him in the Dunce's Corner.

Victor Reppert said...

You have to ask?

Maths Tutor Wirral said...

'And then there are sympathetic atheists who are willing to dialogue with Christians. Monton is clearly of the third type.'

I did wonder why he had not allowed comments on his blog.

He is clearly too busy dialoguing to interact with people who want to comment.

I think the very definition of 'willing to dialogue' is that you disallow comments.

But then I am not a philosopher.

Anonymous said...

Loftus allows comments!

But he routinely deletes the ones he doesn't like.

Or, worse, he alters them.

Anything to get the count up.

Victor Reppert said...

In case you didn't notice, this post is not about Loftus.

Anonymous said...

But it is about various types of atheists.

And we all know what kind Loftus is.

BenYachov said...

Forget Loftus!

As a Thomist I care little for ID. Most of which I learned on Feser's blog.

Ironically it's from that same blog I learned about Pro-ID Atheists like Monton(whose book I have).

Interesting stuff.

Mr Veale said...

I like Feser a lot - largely because he made the scholastic worldview intelligible and exciting to me.
However I do think he is rather too hard on the early modern philosophers in general, and on Paley in particular.
And I'm not at all sure that ID advocates are committed to a mechanistic worldview. It all depends on how broadly we define ID. "Final causes" will be dismissed as "spooky" or "occult" by mainstream biologists,and Feser's protestations will count for very little.

Graham

Graham

Bilbo said...

I've met Monton and he's a very nice guy. What I found most intriguing about his book was his case for teaching ID in public school science classes. Even though I'm an ID proponent, I was against teaching it in schools, until I read Monton's argument. Now I have mixed feelings about it.

By the way, Monton has explained that he doesn't allow comments because he doesn't want his time occupied with all the moderation that would be needed.

Steven Carr said...

He's probably too busy dialoguing to have the time he feels he needs to have to be able to delete or change comments he doesn't want on his blog.

Anonymous said...

Respectable internet atheists are few and far between. Thanks for the heads-up. Monton is a cleansing gale in these dark days of PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne, et al.

[By the way, Dr. Edward Feser has put up a post ripping Jerry Coyne and exposing his dishonesty.]

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the latest feud among the atheists over some sexist remarks Dawkins made?

I love the smell of atheists bashing each other in the morning!


Nixon's The One

Mr Veale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

[By the way, Dr. Edward Feser has put up a post ripping Jerry Coyne and exposing his dishonesty.]

A fairy-ist ripping a scientist?

You wish. Another supernatural jaunt into the mist of wishful thinking and superstition

BenYachov said...

>A fairy-ist ripping a scientist?

>You wish. Another supernatural jaunt into the mist of wishful thinking and superstition.

Rather Coyne is not a philosopher & as such is prone to making bad philosophical arguments against Theism and for Atheism.

Feser is a philosopher and is taking him to school for his bad argument.

Paps you amaze me. You have no ability to reason whatsoever.

You really and truly believe because you assert denial of the supernatural that somehow by osmosis you have attained some level of instantaneous enlightened rationality.

Weird.

Papalinton said...

@ Ben Yachov
"Feser is a philosopher and is taking him [Coyne] to school for his bad argument.

What a crock of theist wishful thinking, Ben

Have a look at this from Coyne:

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/o-noes-i-have-to-read-aquinas/

Mr Veale said...

Ah, Dan the Illogical Scientist lives!

http://search.dilbert.com/comic/Illogical%20Scientist

Mr Veale said...

Even looks a little like Coyne, if you ignore the 'tache

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1997-12-22/

Mr Veale said...

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1997-12-23/

Papalinton said...

Mr Veale
Dilbert is brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Papalinton, if you charge a theist with "wishful thinking" without explain why, you leave yourself open to the same charge.

Anonymous said...

*explaining

BenYachov said...

Way ahead of you Paps.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/tom-and-jerry.html

Papalinton said...

Oh Dear Ben.

From Feser,: ".... on the subject of the cosmological argument, Coyne still misses the point, which is that the pat “counterarguments” hacks like Dawkins give are superficial and directed at straw men. "

It is Feser who believes in god faeries at the bottom of his garden. A better example of "strawman" one could not construct.

The existence of a god. What a jejune level of ideation. And Feser still has to hark back to a person who, in the context of his time, surrounded completely with a 'live' panoply of devils, and sprites, and fallen angels, and satans and god[s], and ghosts and malevolent spirits, contrived the Five Ways to account for this parade of entities of superstition that inhabited an 'otherworld'. Ben, that was almost 1,000 years ago. Hasn't Feser got anything a little more modern as a reference? Or is Aquinas the pinnacle of christian scholarship? If that is the case, what the hell has christian scholarship been doing for the past 1,000 years. And no good trotting out Lewis or Plantinga or Ratzy, because they all trot out a re-interpreted same 'ole, same 'ole variations of Aquinas.

No wonder there are 30,000-plus variants on the christianities and ten of thousands of diverse religions in the world. But only one science.

Mr Veale said...

Yeah, you have Aquinas on the run there Papa...

BenYachov said...

>No wonder there are 30,000-plus variants on the christianities and ten of thousands of diverse religions in the world. But only one science.

I think Paps is actually plundering old Catholic contra Protestant polemics here?

Except the claim there are 30,000 denominations is incorrect. Yeh we Catholics where the first to put out that charge. But we where wrong.

To quote Ben Douglas ". This tally comes from the 2001 World Christian Encyclopedia, and it includes all denominations and paradenominations which self-identify as Christian, including Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Old Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Gnostics, Bogomils, etc. And even so, the number is too high. The World Christian Encyclopedia artificially inflates the number of Catholic "denominations" by counting Eastern Churches in communion with Rome as separate denominations. It likewise inflates the number of Eastern Orthodox "denominations" by counting Churches in communion with each other as distinct.

This reference lists 8,973 denominations under the heading "Protestant," and 22,146 more under the heading "Independent." Some, but not all, of the "independent" denominations may justly be described as Protestant. Still, these numbers may be inflated similarly to the numbers for Catholics and Orthodox. Suffice it to say that there are thousands of Protestant denominations."END QUOTE

Weird Paps picks up the stuff we throw away.

Mr Veale said...

Nice to see that he has sorted the demarcation problem out though. He knows the necessary and sufficent conditions that must be met to make a theory scientific. Cool. Is economics in or out then? Business and management studies?


And scientists never disagree. Cladists never call their opponents names. Gould and Dawkins loved each other like brothers. Leowontin's critiques of adaptationism have been universally accepted. Every evolutionary theorist agrees on the fundamental unit of selection. Psychologists all believe that memes are worth studying.


Lee Smolin loves String Theory. Every physicist working on the foundations of Quantum Mechanics believes that David Bohm was wrong, and the Copenhagen Interpretation was right. No one believes that SETI is a waste of money, and everyone rejects the Rare Earth hypothesis. Every scientist is agreed that there is nothing remarkable about human beings - there is no large qualitative gap between humans and chimps.

Every psychologist is agreed that Freud is bunk, and that cognitive science is the way forward. There is no controversy over evolutionary psychology.

No qualified scientist doubts the reality of man made global warming, and no qualified physician thinks that homeopathy has something going for it.

And no qualified scientist with a research degree in the relevant area believes in intelligent design, or in the Fine Tuning Argument for God's existence.

Modern Science. Just one big monolith agreed on everything, really.

Graham

Mr Veale said...

Do you really expect us to to take this pap seriously, Pap?
All good fun, but you never really make any arguments.

To clarify - "the cosmological argument has been around for a long time" is not an argument.

Graham

Papalinton said...

Hi Graham
You say, "Lee Smolin loves String Theory. Every physicist working on the foundations of Quantum Mechanics believes that David Bohm was wrong."

True, but David Bohm didn't go into a hissy fit and go off a create another and different branch of science of Quantum Mechanics, as did Martin Luther when he had a hissy fit with the catholics and sulked off and created his own christian religion that had nothing to do with catholics. Equally as did Jim Jones of the Jonestown mob in Guyana.

Lee Smolin didn't go off and create the String Theory Science Group as a separate and independent science discipline and said 'bugger-off' to the rest of the science crowd, as did Joseph Smith when he contrived the Book of Mormons and the Church of the Latterday Saints of Jesus Christ, and told the catholics and the protestants to 'bugger-off'.

No Graham, science is science is science. Always has been. Always will be.

Religion on the other hand is pathologically schismatic, as history so clearly demonstrates.

Papalinton said...

And Graham, I might add that Intelligent Design [ID] did not cleave off from science. ID is a wholly-owned and solely theological derivative of christianity. The courts have proved that beyond a shadow of doubt; re Kitzmiller vs Dover School Board.

ID is a religious concept not a science concept.
I would suggest that it is possible in the not too distant future that theism and theology will be re-classified and posited as a sub-set under the broader classification of Mythology within the Dewey System.

Bilbo said...

Hi Papa,

You might try reading this:

Fred Hoyle and the Origins of ID

Papalinton said...

Hi Bilbo
Absolutely nothing there, including all the commentary that rejects the notion of ID as a purely theological concept.

Much of what Hoyle and Wickramasinghe say about ID cannot be contrived as support for the christian ID mythos.

I also add the following quotes found among the attached comments:

"Hoyle and Wickramasinghe deny the creator is the traditional supernatural God. They envision a creator within the total cosmos. They contend that a flaw in logic kept generations of scientists from seeing the truth that intelligence is the authentic source of the information in the biological world." (TMoLO, p. 197)

"The whole of the special creation theory was thought to be wrong and there was a general revulsion among scientists against it. In effect, because the details were seen to be incorrect, the fundamental idea that life was created by an intelligence was also rejected." (EFS, p.130)

I also not that an excerpt from Judge Overton's decision in McLean v. Arkansas, re ID, simply discards any of their evidence in support of christian claims of ID as a genuine scientific proposition, as spurious. As he well should have.

Mr Veale said...

Luther created his own form of Christianity which had nothing to do with Catholicism?

LOL! That's priceless! Comic Gold!

Honestly, Papa, we should put your posts to music, and run them as a musical comedy! They'd run for years on the West End!!!!

Mr Veale said...

You do know this is nonsense, right? Not a real argument?

I mean ... it's all part of your act? The routine to wind Theists up? Right?

Because if it is, and I'm reading you right, you deserve some sort of award! Brilliant stuff!

Bilbo said...

Papa: "ID is a religious concept not a science concept."

I quoted Fred Hoyle, who was an atheist, who believed that there was evidence that the original cells were intelligently designed. I think this demonstrates that ID is not a religious concept. I fail to see how you have refuted this, Papa.

Papalinton said...

@ Bilbo
"I quoted Fred Hoyle, who was an atheist, who believed that there was evidence that the original cells were intelligently designed ..."

And what evidence might that be Bilbo? And point me to the research papers that have built a case on this evidence over the past 50 years. Apart from the Discovery Institute or the Templeton Foundation, or Liberty University, that is.

Bilbo said...

Papa: "And what evidence might that be Bilbo? And point me to the research papers that have built a case on this evidence over the past 50 years. Apart from the Discovery Institute or the Templeton Foundation, or Liberty University, that is."

Papa, your assertion was that ID was a religious concept. If an atheist can believe that ID is true, then obviously it isn't a religious concept. You lose this one.

Papalinton said...

Bilbo
Please do not exhibit asinine behaviour. I'll ask the question again:

"And what evidence might that be Bilbo? And point me to the research papers that have built a case on this evidence over the past 50 years."

And please don't go for the very low hanging fruit as was your last comment. Try and endeavour to rise above the squalor.

Bilbo said...

Papa,

Your original claim was that ID is a religious concept. Before we turn the question of whether there is any evidence for ID, are you willing to relinquish your original claim? If not, then you need to provide an argument for it.

Bilbo said...

Papa,

Let me know when you concede that ID is not a religious concept, so we can move on to the question of whether there is any evidence for it.

Papalinton said...

@ Bilbo

Extract from Page 1 of the ruling the presiding judge, John E Jones, in the case, Kitzmiller vs Dover School Education Board:

"To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID."

Please note, Bilbo, " .... and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID."

End of story. Ta-Dah!

Bilbo said...

Hi Papa,

The problem is that Judge Jones used the following reasoning:

The other alternative designers in an ID scenario, besides God (time travelers, extra-terrestrials) are implausible. Therefore ID is religious.

Whether or not the other alternatives are implausible, they are still logically possible. Therefore ID does not necessarily imply that God is the designer. Therefore ID is not necessarily religious.