I Don't Care If God Exists.

Luke at Common Sense Atheism sums my position up well. What he's describing is called "Hume's Stopper." It stops Christians dead in their tracks. This highlights what I consider the trouble with natural theology

13 comments:

Brad said...

After reading Luke's screed all I could think about was this: Welcome to intellectual laziness.

vilges suola said...

@ Brad, are you going to leave it at that? Where's the laziness?

shane said...

This pretty much somes up the fact that, even if their is or ever was a creating being, that being has remained basically anonymous or simply cant be known!

jbudrdanl said...

Wow, I am really disappointed in this reasoning. It totally undermines your very well stated "Cumulative Case" method of reasoning. Individually, what Luke says may makes sense, but you both know enough about Christianity to know that its theology of a personal God runs much deeper that what you have incompletely presented. I have no desire to eat raw eggs, brown sugar, baking soda, flour, melted butter, a spoonful of salt, or some vanilla individually. Mix in some chocolate chips and bake it for a few minutes, and yum!

This is an intellectually weak position, John. It's the kind of position you frequently criticize Christians for holding without thinking it through.

Dan

Retired At 40 said...

Interesting that Christians' view is that if a God did exist we should all turn to Christian theology automatically and that would be considered as the intellectual position despite the fact that it is all based on the abject ignorance of 2000+ years ago.

We don't turn to the ancients for any intellectual pursuit that applies to modern times except when it comes to God.

John W. Loftus said...

Prof. Dan, this is not an intellectually weak position at all. Even if you can successfully show that our universe began to exist and that it’s consistent with your belief in a creator God, or even if you can defend some of the classical arguments for God’s existence, so what? All you've done is to show that these things are consistent with your faith. But just showing that they are consistent with your faith does not show that your faith is probable. For they are also consistent with a god who created this world as nothing more than a scientific experiment who thinks of us as rats in a maze, wondering what we will conclude about it all and how we will live our lives. Such a belief is consistent with a divine tinkerer who is learning as he goes. Such a belief is consistent with a god who created the quantum wave fluctuation that produced this universe as his last act before committing suicide. Such a belief is consistent with a creator god who guides the universe ultimately toward an evil purpose, but who has chosen to maliciously present himself as benevolent to play a trick on us. If this god existed then all of the evidence leading David to conclude a good God exists is planted there to deceive us by such a god. You reject these other god-hypotheses, but why? I can see no reasonable objection to these other god-hypotheses. That is why scientists cannot posit theistic explanations for answers to the origin of the universe. For once we allow supernatural explanations into our equations then most any god will do, since there seems to be no way to exclude them.

At that point all we're left with is agnosticism and that pushes me toward atheism.

John W. Loftus said...

As you can see I cut and pasted the above from my opening statement with David Wood.

Tell me this Dan, what would you believe if the Bible did not exist? THAT is the question. What would you believe?

My claim is that biblical criticism is an undercutting defeater for what you believe such that without it you too would be an agnostic and then you too might become an atheist afterward.

ahswan said...

The fact that you write this blog and have now written 2 books on the subject shows that you do indeed care if God exists.

Tony Hoffman said...

I think it's interesting that none of the theists commenting here has bothered to address the criticism that there is a tremendous gulf between the arguments for God and the God of the Bible.

ashwan: "The fact that you write this blog and have now written 2 books on the subject shows that you do indeed care if God exists."

Actually, John's first book at least is chiefly aimed at the Christian God. And it does matter if that God exists, because that God's (mistaken) followers are so often causing problems for the rest of us based only on their delusions. It's the God who exists as a result of the listed arguments that is meaningless.

Thomas said...

It stops Christians dead in their tracks.

John,
I fail to see how this stops Christians in their tracks.

I do not know a Christian apologist who claims that arguments like Aquinas' 5 Ways automatically prove Christian theism. Who claims this? Names?

Breckmin said...

Clearly this is evasive to accumulative case argument and the progression of establishing foundations from which to build.

1. The logical fallacy of strong/explicit atheism that demonstrates agnosticism/technical atheism as the STARTING point.

2. All scientific observations which lead us to agnostic theism (information, complex mechanical working systems of living cells, IF-THEN algorithmic programming which requires a Programmer, Fine Tuning of the universe, etc, ETC).

3. Specific points about point #2 which lead us to conclude that the Creator would be expected to be Infinite.

4. Historical evidence and comparative religions regarding such an Infinite Creator/Monotheism.

5. Accumulative case argument that leads to the conclusion of ancient Hebrew God of Abraham/Orthodox Monotheism/Historical Christianity/Islam and a choice within these religious systems.


Clearly going from point 5 to born-again Christianity requires the Holy Spirit in the life of the beliver to convict them of truth but many people stand firm some place within point 5 because of accumulative case argument.

AGS said...

It's seems odd to proclaim that one doesn't care if God exists and then proceed to devote much of one's life and time to writing books and blog posts on the subject of God's existence.

There's alot of things that I don't care about, but I don't spend my life writing about it.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Most of us atheists fighting rligious superstitions care very deeply about reason and equality. The religious destroy these concepts with their illogical appeals to invisible authority.