Friday, September 27, 2013

Why I don't believe

One would think it'd be sufficient to say "because the theists haven't made their case yet, successfully", but I don't know that really digs deep enough.

While I like to think I'm purely rational, I have to admit that my reluctance to move from my position is as much psychology, as it is anything else.

Why am I unconvinced by these apologetic arguments? Simply put, they conflict with my world view... so clearly, something must be wrong with them.


That's not an atheist reaction... this applies to everyone. 

If you tell me something that blatantly contradicts my understanding about how the world works, I'm probably going to reject it, and it'll take a lot of work, and a lot of premise-overturning to get me to accept the new position.

Therein lies the conundrum - my world view, which I hold to be true (or at least, as supported as possible), is a polar opposite to these theists, whose world views, that are blatantly obviously true to them, contradict mine.

The temptation among some is to simply relent, and say, "well, what's true for you is true for you, and what's true for me is true for me", as though we each have our own reality-bubbles that surround us as we walk around.

If that's true, I insist on a substantially lower gravitational constant in my reality-bubble.

The second temptation is simple equivocation... that we're two sides of the same coin.. that I'm as much a "fundamentalist atheist" as they are "fundamentalist theist", and we're really just the same closed minded type of people.

It's a false equivocation, because it's ignoring that one side can simply be right, and the other can simply be wrong.

So let's start over.

Does it matter whether our world views are correct and accurate? Or does it matter that it "inspires us"? A recent debate had a Christian, was saying exactly that - figuring out whether the Bible is true, is not important... whether it inspires you, on the other hand, is important. 

I can appeal to realty to support my case that accurate world views are better than fantasy-based ones - mostly in that, those who are paying attention to reality, are more likely to survive, than those who are off in lala land. If the goal is survival, clearly, that's the better choice. It's even more the better choice, if we additionally want to improve the quality of our civilization, reaping technological paradise, and minimizing suffering. 

Additionally, fantasy world views aren't the only types that can "inspire".

Once we've decided that we want an accurate world view, then the next step is to determine what would constitute one. I'd think my basis would win out... you know, observation, hypothesis testing, logic and reasoning.

Is that better than the other side? What is the other side? Presuppositionalism? Sensus Divinus? Faith? These seem quite batshit insane to me. Of course they do. Those are rejected in my world view, and we're back to square one again - how do I know that my world view is correct?

Well... does it work?  That's to what I keep repeatedly arriving (Does that sentence seem twisted? What lengths do I have to go in order to avoid ending a sentence in a preposition? I'll do what I have to.)

What has produced this computer I'm using? Science.

What has done the most towards revealing actual truth about reality? Science.

Why I do believe that evolution is a real phenomenon? Because some "great thinker" sat around in a room and came up with a convincing argument as to why it has to be real? No. I accept evolution as a real phenomenon because it's been directly observed and repeatedly tested.

If that wasn't sufficient in itself, it also jives with the preponderance of evidence - the rest of reality confirms, rather than contradicts, this phenomenon. I couldn't accept that evolution isn't real, any more than I could accept that metal isn't real. My truck happens to be made of the stuff.. that would be difficult to do.

Science. It works. That's why it's the basis to my world view.

Internal consistency isn't the sold arbiter of reality, though. The theist could have a very elaborate and sophisticated world view that's internally consistent too. For all those things about evolution I can bring up for why it's "obviously true", they can concoct an explanation as to why the evidence and facts are actually divinely generated.

That's the bottom line, though. Out of our two world views, which is actually backed up by empirical evidence, with as little assumption/magic as possible? 

Mine. Mine can actually be supported by actual evidence, supported by the same process/protocol/standards that produced the sum total of knowledge about how my computer works.

Which would you choose? The one that evidently works, or the one that relies heavily on that for which is indistinguishable from fantasy?




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