Tuesday, April 29, 2014

IS THE NEW ATHEISM SUPERFICIAL? - Jersey Flight


It would seem this is not only the claim of theists, but also the claim of many misguided Atheists. The problem here is very simple. It is true that the popular works on Atheism are not necessarily "analytically sophisticated," but this is not a problem. Allow me to explain why. When one studies the arguments of these (so-called) analytical theists one does not learn of an elevation of progress in the realm of natural theology, instead one learns how unnecessary and confusing, overly complicated, pedantic, these analytical theists are. They are not saying anything new! When one has expended great effort, in translating their analytical computations, into something existential, one finds that the position is easily refuted. The simple arguments made by the "New Atheists" (as people call them) are not only sufficient, but tactically wise [because they bypass all the unnecessary analytical confusion].

So what is really going on here? The theists are hiding behind a wall of empty language (and what they call this wall), how they promote this wall, gives the impression that there is something sophisticated going on behind this wall. All of this has to do with playing on people's ignorance. Hence, Swinburne can claim to have put forth a mathematical probability for the existence of God (but this only looks and sounds impressive to people who know nothing about mathematics). After all, Swinburne is from Oxford you know, he is also a philosopher you know, and all of this, coupled with the fact that he is a dedicated believer, means there is something very profound to Christian theism. [Enter here the argument from authority.] Name dropping, degree dropping, university citations, publisher citations. All of it bullshit; all of it desperate. If anything the probability of the specificity of theism has drastically decreased with the rise of the analytical line. We are now in the era of vague theism because these so-called theistic philosophers have finally realized the impossibility of sustaining specific theism.

All that is taking place is exploitation not honesty; a game of intimidation. When one critically reads the most sophisticated literature available on theism, one does not find a dialectic that requires something new, one finds a dialectic (after being translated into regular language as opposed to symbols)... can still be refuted with the same arguments that were made ever so long ago. (See Hume).

Why is the New Atheism called superficial (which is really no different from calling Atheism itself superficial); because it is easier to repudiate something with an Ad Hominem than it is to refute it by reason. I have this to say to all my Atheist brothers and sisters; if you have been convinced by the rhetoric of this Ad Hominem reply (which is to say) if you think the New Atheism is superficial because you think theism has some mark of rationality in its favor you have been deceived by fallacy and authority, or intimated by a wall of empty rhetoric you could not decipher. "It all looks and sounds so sophisticated and profound." But at the end of the day it is the same thing, only humbled by the force of Naturalism--- the assertion of the "existence" of a supernatural being. 


Case and point: when the dedicated student gives himself to the terrible computations of the analytical theists (or perhaps they are not so much terrible as they are unnecessarily tedious) he soon finds, when translated, that they presume the same axioms they appeared and claimed to transcend.     

Spaciously yours,
Jersey Flight 


*{We might also note; to claim that Atheism is superficial, or that it is somehow lacking in complexity is to put forth (or at least to have in mind) an idea of sophistication. In other words, the nature of the conversation must take place over the identity of sophistication; what qualifies as sophistication and why? When theists say that Atheism is superficial they are thinking in terms of analytical theism. This means they are thinking of the arguments put forth by the likes of Plantinga and Swinburne. In other words, in order for Atheism to qualify as sophisticated it must deal with the arguments of Plantinga and Swinburne. But I contend that their arguments are not so much sophisticated as they are sophistical, as they are linguistically and symbolically confusing. Indeed, apart from the nature of the language one can almost say there is nothing there! It is of course, possible to play an analytical game with Plantinga, but if the question is centered on truth, as opposed to strategic maneuvering as a matter of abstract form, I'm afraid the reader will be very disappointed.}