Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yet more pointing out of the obvious.

One the one hand, theists get accused of being utterly arrogant in their belief. Thinking that they and they alone know the truth about the universe. Where's there skepticism? Where's their admitting that maybe they're wrong? (Nevermind if they do, in fact, admit as much. Better to act as if every religious believer is really the caricature numerous atheists make them out to be.)

And then, right after denouncing the arrogance of thinking one has all the answers, turning around and admonishing people for not accepting the wilder speculations coming from certain scientists (Evolutionary psychology, natural selection as the primary driver of evolution, string theory, multiverses, etc) as answers that are beyond questioning.

Skepticism and qualification (or even suspension) of belief is, as ever, only laudatory when it's of a belief people don't like anyway.


Neil Bates said...

Yeah. One of my big gripes, is the "god of the gaps" complaint. It's a fave of the now socially questionable L. Krauss et al. It's is flawed as complaint against theistic first cause. The laws that supposedly explain events are in effect a way of talking about the events and how they happen (as Hume noted.) So, asking "why the laws" is not a second level of explanation for which we should expect extrapolation of "naturalistic explanation." That question is itself the complete first-order question, "why these laws with their associated phenomena, and not some other set of laws-phenomena as a complete alternative unit." What *inside* Nature could explain that? It's like looking around in a hexagon to see why a hexagon is there instead of a pentagon: all you're going to find is what it's like to be in a hexagon.

Crude said...

Poor Krauss. The man gets smacked around in a debate, he runs to the atheist community for support, and not 24 hours passes before he's being condemned and slighted? That can't feel good.

I think the most common response to 'Why these laws' or 'Why anything at all' from naturalists tends to be a clapping of hands over ears and a "I'm not listening la la la la!"