Saturday, April 13, 2013

Challenge To Atheists, III

Here is an intellectual challenge which all Atheists, being intellectual elites, will want to take. This will emphasize deductive abilities with empirical premises, the two main claims to fame that Atheists make.
1. Prove the Validity of Reason, using Reason.

2. Prove the Validity of Logic, using Logic.

3. Prove the Validity of Science, using Science.
Reminder, deduction looks like this:
IF [ X = true ], THEN [ Object = Valid ].
The objects above are reason, logic and science, so the premise X must demonstrate an impeccable, irrefutable case (X = true, incorrigibly) in order to prove the unquestionable validity of the objects.

4. Prove the Validity of Reason, using Logic and Science.

5. Prove the Validity of Logic, using Reason and Science.

6. Prove the Validity of Science, using Reason and Logic.

7. Deduce Reason From Chemistry (using empirical premises).

8. Deduce a Detailed Hierarchy of Values (Morals) From Atoms and Atomic Positions.

9. Deduce Materialism From Materialism.

10. Deduce Materialism From Reason.

11. Deduce Materialism From Logic.

12. Deduce Materialism From Science.

13. Deduce Atheism using Reason.

14. Deduce Atheism using Logic.

15. Deduce Atheism using Science.
Remember, a deduction of 15 would look like this:
IF [ Reason = true ], Then [ Atheism = True ].
But this requires that the premise, [ Reason = true ], must be proved valid, so some sort of valid argument must be made for the premise, the subpremises, the sub-subpremises, etc.

The intellectual, thinking Atheist should enjoy this challenge.


Steven Satak said...

If you are waiting for an intellectual thinking Atheist to respond, I counsel patience.

You've pointed it out yourself, Stan. Atheism requires a worldview that is hostile to reason. And accountability. Which is why we have an issue with it. Simply admitting they don't know would be agnosticism.

For an actual atheist to come in here and sit down and attempt to follow the outlined challenge? Requires an intellectual honesty they simply don't have.

If they had it, they would probably follow the same path you did. As they don't, expect an avalanche of snide personal attacks or irrelevant non sequiturs.

BTW, thank you for turning me on to Fred Reed. I last saw him in the pages of Pacific Stars and Stripes while I was stationed in Japan in the late 1980s. I liked him so much I actually cut out some of his columns and still have them in my photo albumn.

Martin said...

Most atheists will claim that atheism does not require a particular worldview. They will say that atheism is compatible with neutral monism, idealism, Aristotelianism, and many other worldviews. That they can accept the existence of (non material) laws of logic and still not believe in an intelligent Creator.

They will say, in other words, that atheism does not entail strict physicalism.

Stan said...

I think that most Atheists haven't a clue as to what neutral monism, idealism, etc. even mean. Nor do they care.

I also think that most Atheists haven't a clue what logic entails, other than what whatever their minds produce at any given moment.

Atheism is not an intellectual pursuit, although some intellectuals are Atheists. Atheism is an emotional crutch to the emotional turbulence that accompanies the pursuit of bolstering the self, when the self is secretly known to be limited and even inferior. That's why Atheism is commonly adopted in adolescence and teenage pre-adult years.

The personal crutch of the Atheist VOID in morality and intellect is the reason that Atheism is maintained into adulthood, beyond the time when the frontal lobe finally matures. The comfort of the perception of total freedom –FreeThought and Consequentialism – trumps any personal subjection to actual logic and reason. So actual logic and reason are not pursued or even comprehended.

The Atheist has what he needs, emotionally, and he will defend it any way he can. While some engage in fallacious arguments, this means ignoring all rational challenges, as well. I think most Atheists don't even show up on the web: they have what they emotionally need.

Stan said...

A further thought: the above comment applies to narcissists, too. A narcissist has no need of input from anyone else: he knows he is right, superior, and what the others think doesn't matter.

It would be interesting to know the overlap between Atheism and narcissism.

Chris said...

It's certainly true that most atheists claim that atheism does not require a particular worldview. Nevertheless, in my experience, all of those those idealist, neutral monist, panpsychist, and nondualist "atheists" out there almost always qualify their atheism with a rejection of materialism. Why is that the case if atheism doesn't require a worldview?

Stan said...

Hmmm. On what basis do they reject materialism?

Chris said...

Apparently, for many of the same reasons that theists do. For example, at a blog that I occasionally visit, "Rational Buddhism", I just read a rather good post entitled " Confronting Materialism and the Delusion of the Mechanistic Mind".

These folks, I think, are more likely to identify their view as "non-theistic" because of the well-known connection between atheism and materialism.

As you have discussed many times before, the whole lack of belief bit is either pure dishonesty or a cheesey ploy to present naturalism as the "default" worldview. Weak.

aveskde said...

I think we would be much more interested if you could prove, using basic logic, how any of these things relate to god.

I am reminded of the Euthyphro, just replace the pious with the reasonable or logical.

Does god like what is logical/reasonable because it is logical/reasonable? Or are they reasonable/logical because god likes them.

And then you can just follow the dilemma to its logical paradox.

John said...

Hi stan

Firstly,I can't stress enough how impressed I am with your level of intellect.I always thought philosophical discussions with atheists were meaningless,until I came across your blog.You should definitley write at least one book in your lifetime.If you did already then please share the book's title.
Secondly,are you familiar with Victor Zammit ,the lawyer who presents EMPIRICAL evidence for the afterlife? If not I would like you to take a look at his fictional cross-examinations of Stephen hawkings and Richard's entertaining.Enjoy!

Stan said...

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.

Early on I wrote two e-books, just to organize the information. They are located on the website:

They are not ready for prime time; they need editing badly. And updating.

Stan said...

I don't know why I didn't respond to your comment, but I will now.

Euthyphro is a false dilemma (logic fallacy) including your modification of it.

John said...

Thanks for that link.I'm also busy studying your logic class (I'm already looking forward to part6 though)to arm myself better against materialists.

And please let me know what you think regarding Victor Zammit's claim that the positive findings of replicated studies on PSI phenomena (telepathy,clairvoyance,remote viewing,psychic phenomena,etc.) is valid evidence and by implication refutes materialism (ie.the material world is all there is and the 5 senses are the only acceptable faculties to perceive and experience reality)

Stan said...

I did read Zammit's arguments, and his point is correct, although it did not argue the correctness of the studies. He argues that the two Atheists are dishonestly claiming knowledge which they don't have, on the one hand, and dishonestly using their pretentions to expertise on the other hand. And that is exactly right.

I have not read any of those studies which claim replication; I have read some of Pim Van Lommel's work which was anecdotal, not replicable.

I do think that each of the Atheists might have mounted a better defense than Zammit gives them credit for, but perhaps not, given the demand for yes/no answers.

My experience is that in the end, most Atheists who are confronted with the challenge to prove their contentions react with ridicule first, then hostility, then they leave the arena while making false charges and Ad Hominems over their shoulders as they scurry off to tell their compatriots how they won the argument.

John said...

You said:I do think that each of the Atheists might have mounted a better defense than Zammit gives them credit for, but perhaps not, given the demand for yes/no answers."

That's the problem with the New Atheist leaders like Harris,Dawkins,et al - They have no problem debating priests,ministers,rabbis,and other laypersons in science but they don't debate those scientists,doctors,psychologists,engineers who actually do claim to have evidence for NDEs and PSI.Sure,they write lengthy criticisms on why they MIGHT be wrong but would never take up an actual debate with them,thereby exposing their lack of credibility or as Zammit calls them "intellectual cowards pushed to the extreme"

I have not read any of those studies which claim replication; I have read some of Pim Van Lommel's work which was anecdotal, not replicable."

I don't believe NDEs are replicable either.Corroborating the patients veridical perceptions are the best methods for those types of experiences.But Psi studies have been replicated,using double blinded experiments.Some of those positive findings have been published in peer reviewed journals.I suspect that's probably the main overiding reason why Dawkins,Harris,et al don't take up the challenge to debate them.How do you refute replicated results?Claim fraud,bias or resort to character assasinations?

Here's some peer reviewed publications on PSI

Thanks for the response Stan.Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

"Atheists have an obligation to give reasons in the form of logic and evidence for rejecting Theist theories."

No we do not. Russels Teapot.

Lynn said...

The Theist has what he needs, emotionally, and he will defend it any way he can. While some engage in fallacious arguments, this means ignoring all rational challenges, as well.


Hamfish said...

Actually, narcissism does not work that way.

StardustyPsyche said...

Can we prove anything at all?

Yes, for myself I can absolutely prove I exist in some form. My positive assertion that I exist in some form is absolutely immune to all counter argument, even of the most unevidenced and speculative sort.

However, to say I exist in the form I perceive myself to exist, or that existence itself is basically as I perceive it to be I must accept the basic reliability of the human senses, at least provisionally.

From there I can assert the principles of logic axiomatically, which is to say provisionally, without proof, but simply because they seem reasonable, seem to describe reality well, and I have yet to encounter what I consider to be a reasonable disproof of the principles of logic.

On this basis I find your "challenge" "2. Prove the Validity of Logic, using Logic" to be pointless.

"The intellectual, thinking Atheist should enjoy this challenge."
Well, I suppose it is mildly interesting to see a fairly long list of pointless "challenges".

In fairness, I suppose you have a point with respect to strong atheists, if there are any left out there. From time to time you might find an atheist who asserts an ability to prove moral absolutes, or some such nonsense. For an individual of such muddled thinking your list might have some expository value.

Stan said...

"On this basis I find your "challenge" "2. Prove the Validity of Logic, using Logic" to be pointless."

What is most interesting is that you did not say why it is pointless. And that, of course, is the point.