Sunday, January 17, 2016

Saints and Skeptics on the AFR

Here. 

7 comments:

John Mitchell said...

I always wonder whether proponents of the AfR see libertarian free will as a necessary condition for rationality.

I reject both materialism and LFW

Victor Reppert said...

I don't consider to be the AFR as a defense of LFW.

Saints and Sceptics said...

I don't think a defence of LFW is necessary for the AFR to work.

In fact, versions of the AFR are fashionable among Calvinists (Van Til advanced a version; and Plantinga's has become popular through favourable reviews on The Gospel Coalition website).

GV

Cal Metzger said...

That's a lot of words to get to, "It is also fairly clear that reliable metaphysical beliefs would have no clear survival value."

Yup. It's also fairly clear that one can't disprove solipsism. So what?

Methodological naturalists, skeptics, scientists -- whatever you want to call us, we all ask of this kind of objection -- "So what? What value is an imagined extra-reality that has no effect on reality?"

This (and the AFR, for that matter) reads not so much like a demolition of naturalism but an admission that an objection to naturalism must be toothless.

What am I missing?

Victor Reppert said...

Why? Is the only epistemic value survival value? Because if it is you really have no answer to Christian fideists who say that their faith makes the feel better and get along in life better. If you tell them "Shouldn't you be concerned about the truth?" they can answer you by saying that even if atheism is true, it won't help them survive, and the only reason for wanting to believe the truth is to help us survive.

Cal Metzger said...

VR: "Why? Is the only epistemic value survival value? "

The only epistemic value is what can be known. If it can't be known, I don't see how it has any epistemic value.

VR: "Because if it is you really have no answer to Christian fideists who say that their faith makes the feel better and get along in life better."

Why should I have an answer to that? They're making no claim on reality, just how they feel.

VR: " If you tell them "Shouldn't you be concerned about the truth?" they can answer you by saying that even if atheism is true, it won't help them survive, and the only reason for wanting to believe the truth is to help us survive."

This all just seems confused to me. There's reality, there are our beliefs about reality, and there is what we want. These things sometimes intersect, but not always. I don't think it's that complicated, though.

Victor Reppert said...

The evidential relation is not a physical relation. So if physicalism is true, evidence never has anything to do with what anyone believes. On that view, only spatial, temporal and causal relations have anything to do with anything that goes on in reality. So rather than being the correct conclusion of evidentialism, naturalistic materialism actually makes evidentialism impossible. If theism is true, then it is possible for beliefs to be based on evidence. Otherwise, it's metaphysically impossible.