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Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...

Posted by tuk22 
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 22, 2014 04:43PM
And so... atheism is irrational...?

Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 23, 2014 01:42AM
Yes. Any metaphysical belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence is an irrational belief.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 23, 2014 06:19AM
So then, atheism is just as irrational as theism is.

So is agnosticism the only rational position to take then? Or is it just as irrational too?

Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 23, 2014 04:47PM
Quote

Evolution would select for a brain that that is capable of, and that forms beliefs that conform to reality.---isle

But seriously, that doesn't make sense at all. Evolution also selects for a brain that is entirely capable of forming false beliefs about the world that can and do aid in survival. It's not goal oriented like people are. There is no known teleological explanation of evolution.

The algorithm of natural selection is such that over time, with changing environmental pressures, an organism with a brain capable of forming beliefs that effect behavior 'and' conform to reality, will, in the long run, be selected for. Beliefs that do not conform to reality, will likely at some point come into conflict with reality---and the resulting behavior can be disastrous for that creature and it will be eliminated from the gene pool. That's how natural selection works. It doesn't mean that 'every' belief we form will be true or that false benign beliefs will not or cannot exist at the same time. However, for beliefs that effect our behavior (our response to the environment), a brain that can produce beliefs that conform to the reality of that environment, that is, beliefs that are true, will have, overall, an advantage over a brain that cannot produce beliefs that conform to reality.

Quote

Any metaphysical belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence is an irrational belief

If you're going to get into metaphysics, the meaning you gave for 'irrational belief' is a man made meaning of convention and it can and does vary. The meaning you gave is not a metaphysical truth. There are other meanings describing what an irrational belief is and the arbitrary one you are chose as your premise, is not a premise that I accept.

Here are some alternative descriptions for the meaning of irrational belief: [en.wikipedia.org]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/2014 09:50PM by islander.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 23, 2014 10:58PM
Right, Irrationality, as it's normally used in philosophy, refers to thinking that accepts conclusions that are less likely to be true than are conclusions reached by more rational methods of thought.

We have methods of thought that, while not guaranteed to reach true conclusions, do have a higher probability of reaching true conclusions than other competing methods of thought. The trick to being rational is to come to terms with these conclusions (to accept them as probably true) even when one doesn't like what the conclusions say.

Some folks can't do this. Instead, when confronted with a rationally determined but despised conclusion, they'll ignore it and go with their "intuition" (i.e., their prejudices and predetermined answers). Most people accept this kind of thinking only when they engage in it but not when others do the same thing.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 24, 2014 12:02PM
"The algorithm of natural selection is such that over time, with changing environmental pressures, an organism with a brain capable of forming beliefs that effect behavior 'and' conform to reality, will, in the long run, be selected for." -- Islander

Brains that "conform to reality" aren't selected for. Brains that increase the chances that a species' members will survive to reach reproductive age are selected for. More often than not, this coincides with a brain that is able to reflect reality but not always. Cognitive biases show that this is not always the case. The fact that we today recognize and understand cognitive bias, however, marks yet another step in our brain's evolution.

See my favorite illusion for more evidence of this: [whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com]
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 25, 2014 08:42PM
If you're going to get into metaphysics, the meaning you gave for 'irrational belief' is a man made meaning of convention and it can and does vary. The meaning you gave is not a metaphysical truth. There are other meanings describing what an irrational belief is and the arbitrary one you are chose as your premise, is not a premise that I accept.

It's a categorical term for beliefs without rationality. And faith, by definition, is irrational. I don't use it in a derogatory way like Dick does. I use it to show all metaphysical beliefs that are not scientific are inherently irrational. It levels the playing field while at the same time showing the value of faith. e.g. Belief in God is irrational, but if non-belief causes mental angst and it's your desire to feel better then it's both wise and rational to continue believing in God... Irrationality can be a virtue. e.g. Like giving someone a second chance without any reason to trust them...

Right, Irrationality, as it's normally used in philosophy, refers to thinking that accepts conclusions that are less likely to be true than are conclusions reached by more rational methods of thought.

Philosophy is about consistency and has nothing to do with probability. e.g. it not more or less likely that A theory of time is true, but it might be more consistent to accept a particular theory of time considering other underlying philosophical positions. You have this same confusion with the Philpapers poll. OTOH it makes a lot of sense when a majority of scientists say something is likely to be true...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 25, 2014 08:52PM
So then, atheism is just as irrational as theism is.

They are both irrational, yes. Not the 'I'm without belief' atheists, the 'I believe we live in a world without God' atheists/

So is agnosticism the only rational position to take then? Or is it just as irrational too?

I wouldn't call it rational per se, because you could claim it's impossible to know God and that to me seems like an unjustified position depending on how you define God. I think it's just a term people use (like me) to say... I don't know if God exists. I don't know the likelihood of a God existing.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 27, 2014 05:21PM
So then... the entire subject of the existence of God, regardless of pretty much any stance one takes on it, is irrational?

What is the way to not be irrational about the subject of the existence or non-existence of God or a deity of any sort?

Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 28, 2014 08:17PM
So then... the entire subject of the existence of God, regardless of pretty much any stance one takes on it, is irrational?

All philosophical beliefs are inherently irrational/faith based. They are divided between necessary and unnecessary assumptions.


What is the way to not be irrational about the subject of the existence or non-existence of God or a deity of any sort?


Become open-minded and acknowledge that you do have faith. And, try to limit the amount of unnecessary assumptions you make... The same goes for a political philosophy... It's not wise to treat your favorite political party like it's your home sports team. Acknowledge conservatism and libertarianism are as valid as progressivism and that they are all faith based assumptions...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 29, 2014 03:07AM
Okay. I open-mindedly acknowledge that I have faith that God either exists or does not.

smiling bouncing smiley -YAY! I'm not irrational!!!

"Acknowledge conservatism and libertarianism are as valid as progressivism and that they are all faith based assumptions..." -Tuk

Well now you're going too far. Acknowledge conservatism is as valid as liberalism or progressivism when the vast majority of what conservatism bases it's policies on is entirely made up, propagandistic, hallucinatory hog-wash??? How are lies, distortions, misinterpretations and bullshit valid?

Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 29, 2014 04:13PM
Hornswoggle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's natural to believe that God exists (not
> necessarily the God of Abraham, but whatever
> explains existence) because in our reality,
> everything has an explanation. The fundamental
> difference between a conventional God believer and
> an atheist is that the former believes in a
> conscious, personal entity, while the latter
> believes that whatever explains existence isn't
> personal or an entity.

If, as you claim (falsely, BTW) , everything in our reality has an explanation, then what is the explanation for God?
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 29, 2014 05:29PM
Okay. I open-mindedly acknowledge that I have faith that God either exists or does not.

smiling bouncing smiley -YAY! I'm not irrational!!!


You don't have faith that God exists or does not exist...

Well now you're going too far. Acknowledge conservatism is as valid as liberalism or progressivism when the vast majority of what conservatism bases it's policies on is entirely made up, propagandistic, hallucinatory hog-wash??? How are lies, distortions, misinterpretations and bullshit valid?

That is politics where everybody lies... I said conservative philosophy e.g. individualism, is as valid as liberalism...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2014 05:31PM by tuk22.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 30, 2014 01:08AM
Hornswoggle wrote: The fundamental difference between a conventional God believer and an atheist is that the former believes in a conscious, personal entity, while the latter believes that whatever explains existence isn't personal or an entity.

I don't believe that's true. In my experience, most atheists simply believe that we today do not know what, if anything, explains existence.

It could be the case that existence itself is fundamental (i.e., that what exists today has always existed in some form or other).

It could be the case that existence simply began to exist from nothing for no particular reason or for a reason inscrutable to humans.

It could be the case that something else which is fundamental (i.e., that has always existed in some form or other) and which is "other" than the universe somehow at some point for some reason created everything else from nothing. In this case you might argue that that creative thing or force is God.

However, since the second possibility seems to violate the metaphysical principle "nothing comes from nothing" and since the third possibility not only violates that same metaphysical principle but also relies on two assumptions, not just on one, I prefer the first possibility.

But admittedly it's just a preference at this point. There's no real evidence to support any possible state of affairs that may have existed before or prior to or on the other side of the expansion of the universe.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
April 30, 2014 08:54AM
"You don't have faith that God exists or does not exist..." -Tuk

No... I'm afraid you're wrong. I have a strong and totally unwavering faith that God either exists or does not. I'd like to see someone shake me from it.

Don't I at least get some points for not saying that I know that God either exists or doesn't exist?

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