Monday, August 25, 2014

Correction

In this post, I made the mistake of saying that Lindsay was implying that believers are stupid or idiots. He never actually explained the existence of educated believers in terms of stupidity. But he claiming that theism is a stupid position, undeserving of serious discussion, and supported by  no evidence whatsoever. There is a tone of intellectual superiority in these sorts of statements, which  is why I used the word "idiot." But it's important to be accurate. Of course, IDiot is a common term used for ID advocates, but they don't strike me as stupid.

Well, besides stupid, there is ignorant, wicked, and insane. Some people argue that educated theists are simply unwilling to consider evidence that calls their beliefs into question. But I remember choosing philosophy as a major largely because I thought that if there were good arguments to be made against Christianity it wanted to know about them sooner as opposed to later. I have been a Christian minority in most of the philosophy departments I studied and taught at.

Then there is the line "faith makes intelligent people seem stupid." But I got my credentials in philosophy working mostly on issues relevant to my religious beliefs, and my dissertation had to pass a committee of people skeptical of my line of argument.

3 comments:

Crude said...

Some people argue that educated theists are simply unwilling to consider evidence that calls their beliefs into question.

The sort of people who say this about 'educated theists' tend to come across as being guilty of the very thing they're condemning.

Especially when 'evidence that calls their beliefs into question' is of the calibre you find on Cult of Gnu blogs. That shit is inane.

Dave Duffy said...

We all have our different intellectual circles. For you, Victor, it is academia and God Bless you for that. For me it is the middling class. Most of the people I interact with are what are recognized as Theists but range from "I'm not on speaking terms with the Lord because (name your common tragedy of life)" to "The man upstairs don't give a rip about (name most things academia wrestles with).

Some of my friends have taken up the arguments of the gnu and find some grim satisfaction in the likes of the embittered John Loftus. But, there remains an earthy, honest and devout group which I genuinely enjoy. For my part, I appreciate that you introduce subjects that are often a good conversation starter for all the people I know.

John Bavinck said...

>In this post, I made the mistake of saying that Lindsay was implying that believers are stupid or idiots.

Its an easy mistake to make, as the slip into (false) pretenses to intellectual superiority on the part of the new atheists is as reflexive as it is comical.

But you have to hand it to them, they've also shown themselves capable of some nuance and flexibility in their attempts to diagnose the Theistic Condition.

Not content to straight-jacket the entire religious population into the "stupid" category, they've proven themselves to be open to the possibility that religious believers may be defective in some *other* way, than mere stupidity.

Some popular alternatives:
(1) theists are delusional
(2) theists suffer psychological cowardice
(3) theists are mendacious.

The upshot of all this moral preening and armchair psychoanalysis, is that the theist needn't feel default-dumb when graced with the presence of the new fundamentalists since, as they would have it, there could be something else wrong with you then merely being idiotic.