For Atheists

First up, please see A Defense of Absolute Truth, an outline of a sermon given by apologist and Cambridge postgraduate Ravi Zacharias. Because it’s in outline and not a transcript form, you will have to follow some of the logic on your own (i.e., complete the fragmented sentences here or there).

As I also mention in the post intro, there’s also a link to an ongoing discussion (of sorts) at Newsvine.

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Also check out the (ongoing, I’m assuming: talk to Junaman) Empiricism vs. Rationalism thread.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Main ideas: empiricism and rationalism are both tools for the study of knowledge (epistemology). The scientific method is based largely on empiricism. This is one reason why theism holds ground: it is also based on empiricism. However, the differences lies in its subjectivity, vs. the scientific method’s “objectivity”.

A summary has been included in part 4:

…Topics include the probability of mass hallucination (ref: 1st century Christianity | apologetics), Junaman’ s atheistic generalization of rationalism, the scientific method, the fallacy of “rational knowledge”, and reasons why “objectivism” is a fallacy (with brief mention of why the Nobel Prize exists).

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Also check out what seems to be the making of a polemics thread (we’re currently debating basic definitions) at Brett Keller‘s “Epistemological Thought of the Day“. I may or may not end up importing this as another post later on, with the appropriate tags.

  1. We discuss (briefly) empiricism vs. rationalism (atheists don’t seem to have a very good grip of the dichotomy. But then again, neither do many theists); metaphysics; dark matter as an analogy in science for the God hypothesis; and steps of the scientific method (very important!!)
  2. The God Delusion (criticism of atheist Dawkins) is a thread in which Brett seems to be laying out the groundwork for an atheistic philosophy (in progress). He identifies himself as a semi-panentheist in the sense that “God” can be referred to a kind of embodiment of forces within the universe. We are currently discussing “transcendence” within panentheism, which has segued into a discussion about the merits of a coherent set of answers (where I refer to a great apologetic sermon by Ravi Zacharias on the demerits of secularism – specifically the failure to provide a coherent set of answers for the questions of the world) vs incoherent set of ones.Along those lines, I also go over the demerits of revisionism (also important) as the beginning of a sequence leading to the inability to communicate higher truths.

Talk to Brett if you’d like to see the thread(s) continued, or feel free to write a comment of your own.

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Here’s a classic example (so far) of atheistic dogmaticism. I would say it’s on equal par on that of some of the more worse cases of fundamentalism (although it seems, at this point, pretty benign as compared to, say, Middle East Muslim extremism). (Anotherwords, both sides must strive to avoid it). We’ll see what happens when Resource drawdown hits, though (this applies to everyone… but given as a tentative rubric separating the wheat from the chaff, if you will).

[under continual construction]

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3 thoughts on “For Atheists

  1. Again I would avoid using the phrase “embodiment of forces within the universe” because it implies that God is a separate body or is separate from those forces. Nit-picky I know, but I’m striving for accuracy here…

    Reply
  2. Brett,

    If you’re still around, I was just browsing around and found myself looking at your comment here – I think you should check out Yannaras’s “On the Absence and Unknowability of God” to see why panentheism is still atheistic. My apologies if the earlier comment miffed you, I have to admit it wasn’t entirely conducive to productive argument.

    Reply

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