Thursday, October 25, 2012

A quote from me about arguments and belief: why there are no silver bullets

The claim that one side or the other in some highly controversial issue as theism has a monopoly on rationality is thought by most philosophers to be an extremely difficult claim to defend….while it is important to be as rational as possible concerning religious beliefs, one should recognize that this is a difficult task and that one cannot reasonably be asked to empty oneself of emotional dispositions.
Victor Reppert, C.S. Lewis’ Dangerous Idea, p. 35-6


BeingItself said...

That quotation makes a great case for not reading the book.

Crude said...

Because if there's one thing BI is really, really good at, it's emptying himself of emotional dispositions. ;)

rank sophist said...


You missed one thing: BI is incredible at not reading.

In response to the topic at hand,

I agree that emotional concerns always play a certain role, even with the pros. It's just a fact that the case for naturalism is weak, but Thomas Nagel admits that he is emotionally attached to its principles. He wants to improve naturalism and to get rid of the current interpretation. I wish more naturalists were as honest. Most of the younger Gnus are emotional atheists, who don't even understand that theism has serious arguments in its favor; but they call themselves "rationalists". The young believers are emotional, too, but at least they don't pretend to be logical.

The ideal balance is emotion founded on logic. That's what mature theism allows for.

John W. Loftus said...

You are unreasonably conflating two things here Vic, good silver-bullet type arguments and convincing arguments.

A silver bullet kills werewolves. What is the werewolf in this instance? Ideas.

A silver bullet represents an argument whereby there is no escape for reasonable people. They must resort to being irrational in order to maintain their idea.

Such an argument does not have to be convincing. With this in mind I think there are plenty of silver bullets. That you don't see them merely means you have resorted to faith to overcome it. Faith, by the way, is irrational.