Friday, September 26, 2014


"The theist has an easy time explaining the notion of our cognitive equipment's functioning properly: our cognitive equipment functions properly when it functions the way God designed it to function." Plantinga essay: Theism, Atheism, and Rationality

It would seem we could not be direct enough: how could Plantinga possibly know this! Further, there is a major equivocation here, Plantinga falters on his use of the word "explain." If the theistic appeal to an imaginary God counts as an explanation, then how can Plantinga legitimately criticize any explanation (unless of course his argument is one of special pleading)? 

The theist has an "easy time explaining," which amounts to a vague appeal to God. The entire notion of "proper function" is taken from a Naturalistic framework and then directed back at the justification of theism. But how is this possible? Naturalism does not end in theism. He that starts in Naturalism (with the authority of Naturalism) cannot simply usurp this axiom for one he likes better. Behold the arbitrary and convenient procedure of theism! 

"Our cognitive equipment functions properly when it functions the way God designed it to function?" 

How in God's name could Plantinga possibly know anything about God, let alone God's so-called design? (Not to mention Plantinga accepts the process of evolution). It would seem Plantinga is true to the fallacy of metaphysics: because a material object exists, therefore a non-material thing (which is still a kind of object) must exist. [you can contrive it however you want.]

Cognitive equipment exists. Function does occur. "Proper function," which is something that can only be deduced in contrast, most certainly has a probable existence. The Plantinian fallacy is to add some other component to these realities, in other words, because the physical component exists, "therefore there is a supernatural component as well..." BECAUSE (and this is the vital point) we, as Naturalists, have such a hard time surmounting the objections of skepticism in relation to the physical, hence theism's justification of the supernatural!

This can easily be seen in the case of morality. No one denies that morality exists, the problem occurs when the theist tries to bring in his strange notion of "objectivity." In other words, he tries to deduce the existence of "objective morality" from the existence of morals. The way he does this is to attack morals from the false vantage of objectivity. It is no different with Plantinga. In order to establish, that belief in God is rational, he begins with a generic concept of God (which is the only safe concept of God)... thereby insinuating that this vague notion qualifies as an answer to all the questions left blank by Naturalism. Plantinga's justification of God is contingent on equivocation; it is an argument from silence; it is a god-of-the-gaps fallacy. Where Naturalism is said to provide a deficient answer (because according to the theist it fails to meet a set of epistemological standards) the theist simply exempts himself from these standards, which is to say, he evades his own burden of proof! The theist's answer is not really an answer at all! This is easily proven: how exactly does God qualify as an explanation of our cognitive equipment's functioning properly? [Here we must remember that Plantinga demanded a specific answer from Naturalism.] Not to mention, the entire notion of cognitive equipment (as well as that of function) is itself deduced from the premise of Naturalism.  

In order for our cognitive equipment to function properly it must function the way God designed it to function (which Plantinga knows because?), therefore we know it is functioning properly when men believe in God. 

We know it is functioning properly when it affirms a belief, that in any other respect, we would normally have to prove.