Monday, November 27, 2017

Chesterton on arguments against miracles

The historic case against miracles is also rather simple. It consists of calling miracles impossible, then saying that no one but a fool believes impossibilities: then declaring that there is no wise evidence on behalf of the miraculous. The whole trick is done by means of leaning alternately on the philosophical and historical objection. If we say miracles are theoretically possible, they say, “Yes, but there is no evidence for them.” When we take all the records of the human race and say, “Here is your evidence,” they say, “But these people were superstitious, they believed in impossible things."
--G.K. Chesterton
This is essentially the same argument that C.S. Lewis later urged against Hume in MIRACLES to the effect that Hume's famous argument is circular.-Linville

And I thought there were new ways of arguing against miracles.-VR

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Three quotes from Peter Geach's The Virtues

For medieval thought the gulf that could be bridged only by Divine intervention came not between life and the inanimate, nor between consciousness and lack of consciousness, but between rational and irrational creatures. I think there is no reason now to think otherwise -- only fashion.
.... 

"Life must originate, we are told, wherever the physical conditions for life are favourable: and there must be so many planets on which life has originated that on millions of them rational beings will have evolved by natural selection. But rational beings cannot so come to be: the coming to be of a rational creature is strictly miraculous -- it exceeds all the powers of sub-rational nature. 

When we hear of some new attempt to explain reasoning or language or choice naturalistically, we ought to react as if we were told that someone had squared the circle or proved the square root of 2 to be rational: only the mildest curiosity is in order-how well has the fallacy been concealed?

You gotta wonder what the Mrs thought of these arguments. I understand she was rather critical when some guy in the Medieval and Renaissance Lit department tried to argue for the same conclusion.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Linville on Dennett

Another one from Mark Linville, on Dennett: 
Daniel Dennett thinks there is no such thing as "what-it-is-like" to be in pain, i.e., the "ouchiness" of pain. There are only the observable and measurable causes and effects of pain, such as the firing of c-fibers and the person's body hollering "OUCH!"
I think there is such a thing as "what-it-is-like" to be astonished at the claim that there is no such thing as "what-it-is-like" to be in pain.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Mark Linville on an atheist retort to religious morality

A common atheist retort: "Would you rape, pillage, and plunder if you did not have the Bible to tell you not to?"
The implication is that this would be a superficial morality. And it would indeed.
Reply: Theists and atheists alike refrain from such acts because conscience tells them that it is wrong. The question is whether they have equally good explanations for why we should suppose that conscience is a reliable guide to truth.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The Price of Evangelical Support for Trump

Here. 

Ortega y Gasset on science and its limits

“Scientific truth is characterized by its precision and the certainty of its predictions. But science achieves these admirable qualities at the cost of remaining on the level of secondary concerns, leaving ultimate and decisive questions untouched.”


José Ortega y Gasset, “El origen deportivo del estado.” Citius, Altius, Fortius 9, no. 1-4 (1967): 259-76.
I guess that makes him a darned science denier. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Hinman on the fine-tuning argument

Here.

A fundamentalist after all? Dawkins on what would change his mind

"Passion for passion, an evangelical Christian and I may be evenly matched. But we are not equally fundamentalist. The true scientist, however passionately he may 'believe', in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will."
- Richard Dawkins, "How dare you call me a fundamentalist" (2007) 

From 2015: 


Boghossian: What would it take for you to believe in God?
Dawkins: I used to say it would be very simple. It would be the Second Coming of Jesus or a great, big, deep, booming, bass voice saying “I am God.” But I was persuaded, mostly by Steve Zara, who is a regular contributor to my website. He more or less persuaded me that even if there was this booming voice in the Second Coming with clouds of glory, the probable explanation is that it is a hallucination or a conjuring trick by David Copperfield. He made the point that a supernatural explanation for anything is incoherent. It doesn’t add up to an explanation for anything. A non-supernatural Second Coming could be aliens from outer space.
https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/4-dawkins-admits-nothing-can-persuade-him-god-exists/

Was the Texas shooter motivated by atheism?

Here. 

Well, why couldn't atheist hatred and fanaticism lead someone to violence? Would anyone have any trouble believing it of Muslim or anti-abortion fanatics? And atheist leaders do spew real hatred.

When ideology develops into hatred, it opens the door to the possibility of violence. It doesn't matter what the ideology is.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

The real point: C. S. Lewis and the Question of Truth

Here. 

The real question is whether Christianity is true, not if it is useful or good for people to have.

Thursday, November 02, 2017