Monday, July 29, 2013

WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE IN THEISM?-- Jersey Flight

We are asking more or less an honest question, or at least we are asking in an honest way: what is it about one’s “particular theism” that should compel us to believe one’s theism?

How many moral conclusions are drawn about the person who does not believe? He is said to be defective in some way; but on what basis? How are these beliefs sustained?

In order to posit that one has a defect (in lack of belief toward a specific God) one must first be able to establish the virtue of belief in God; one must first be able to prove that belief in God is equivalent to intelligence (or some other positive attribute).

But how does the theist do this? Does he not bear the burden of proof to establish the value of belief in his specific God? Does one leap or does one abide by reason; or does one argue that all reason is a leap, and therefore, makes the leap of one’s theism equivalent to the leap of reason? [I say the latter is an analogical confusion.]

We have been exposed too volumes of theism (a labyrinth of persuasion); we have lived with the arguments for the existence of God for several ages, but none of them has ever established the existence of God! What does the theist really have besides the insistence of his belief?

We are still waiting for that grand champion to set us straight, to master us in the arena of dialectic, nay, to bring forth his belief as truth!

Why are we supposed to believe in one’s particular theism (and here the question is most subtle because all men seem to have a different kind of theism)?

If there is a sphere of reason/ evidence, which imparts the truth of theism, I want to hold this persuasive, compelling sphere in my hands--- but as of yet we have received no such sphere!

Will the theist argue that the evidence is overwhelming; that we have simply interpreted nature in light of Naturalistic ideals? In other words, even if the most compelling evidence for one’s God were to smack us sharply in the face, “we would simply reinterpret that evidence to accord with our Naturalistic presuppositions.” This is nonsense: all presuppositions are Naturalistic/ there is no way around it! (Or at least the person who thinks there is bears the burden of proof to demonstrate his claim). Even further, this is a ploy of confusion, a kind of hyper-controlling contrast. One, in effect, creates a distorted narrative so as to put forth the appearance of a rational thesis.

We only need to ask the question as to how men by nature interpret the events and objects of nature? To stand before a tree is to admit to the existence of an object we can touch, taste and see... to go beyond this is to go too far. The reason this logic cannot be inverted is because there actually is an object before us (call it what you will, explain it how you will, but what is not controversial, is that an object is there)! [One is free to deny it, but in the face of such radical skepticism, any hope for theism would be dead as well.*] We have no choice but to begin where we must.

Man exists: this means something, but more importantly, the fact that man exists, commits him to something, and it is this commitment (a commitment which is forced by existence) that does not permit him to affirm whatsoever he wills or desires. Philosophy begins in existence; dialectic presupposes existence and existence necessitates living, and living necessitates commitment. It is altogether disingenuous for a man to abide by the authority of induction, as he seeks to intelligently live his life, and then forsake that principle in favor of transcendental theism. Of course we explain phenomena in light of Naturalistic principles--- we don’t have any other principles by which to explain phenomena! Those who say we do bear the burden of proof/ must establish the existence and authority of their extra-dimensional principles. As far as we know, man has, as of yet, never escaped himself or the universe. 
  

NOTES-----------------------------

*This point cannot be emphasized enough. In most cases the theist reverts to a dialectic of radical skepticism, but HE NEVER turns this dialectic on his own suppositions! Suppose we find an apple on the ground, we ask the question as to what caused it to fall, Newton says gravity (and then explains the mathematical properties of gravity given the rotation of the earth); the theist at this point plays the part of the radical skeptic, he seeks to prove that the explanation of gravity is theoretically absurd--- but what does he offer in its place--- the theist claims that some vague concept of deity (an invisible phantom!) caused the apple to fall to the ground! As if radical skepticism would not all-the-more shatter his eccentric thesis! Even if problematic, according to the invincible precepts of radical skepticism, Newton still comes out vastly stronger in his explanation. A good way to demonstrate this to the theist is to swap his theistic explanation for an alternative metaphysical explanation (one he will have no choice but to admit as absurd) contrasted with a more rational, more sane, scientific explanation. The fact that the theist will admit the insane eccentricities of the alternative view, but still insists on the truth of his own, is proof of one thing: it is time to leave the conversation--- you are dealing with an incompetent-ignorant. [Of course, be sure to tell him why he is incompetent and ignorant before you leave the conversation, which effectively amounts to the fact that he can’t comprehend the fallacy of special pleading in concert with his confirmation bias. He doesn’t realize (simply can’t see) that his own explanation is vastly worse than the one he seeks to criticize.]   

It is also instructive to note at which point the theist takes on the role of the radical skeptic. Just so long as the premise of gravity in no way interferes with his theism it will not be denied (will even be admitted as uncontroversial and sane), but the moment the authority of the thesis of gravity conflicts with his theism is the moment the theist becomes an inconsistent, radical skeptic. This would perhaps, be not so controversial, if the theist was not himself (from the very foundation of his criticism) committed to Naturalistic principles, that he is, at this very moment, seeking to deny. It would perhaps not be so hypocritical if his own view could withstand, his lately-adopted, mock skepticism. Why does Netwon still come forth with a stronger position? Because the theist shares (necessarily so) more of the presuppositions conducive to Newton’s position, which is simply to say, in order to make the claim that a particular belief of theism is true one must first assume the validity of certain Naturalistic principles; principles which are now being criticized in order to argue for the authority of theism. This is what we call ontological and epistemological dishonesty.  

QUALANCES:

[1] It is clear that one could seek to give us a hard time (the theist always desires to reverse reason--- not that one can blame him). How many moral conclusions are drawn about the person who does believe? But even here one must have the conversation as to the justification and truth of one’s conclusions.

[2] The idea of reason being a leap is not something I will presume to establish (I make no such positive claim), but something I will address if the right person can make the argument. From the start I would draw a distinction between that which is necessary and that which is arbitrary. In the long run I believe this would be more than proficient to refute the reduction of reason to the equivalent of faith.  

[3] By “bring forth his belief as truth,” I do not mean a kind of absolute certainty or objectivity (unless this is the claim or standard being made by the theist), but that which is consistent with our existential commitments. For my part I know of no other way beyond that of rational and evidential probability. Any philosopher is entitled to prove that he or she can climb higher.

[4] The battle of theism is to be fought precisely on the ground of presuppositions. The claim of the theist is not consistent with his existential commitments. All men start with self, which already serves to limit the possibility of the metaphysical conclusion. The power of this approach is that it actually settles the issue as to what qualifies as proof!