Re: Stereotypes and reputations

From: David F Siemens <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Sat Aug 06 2005 - 21:44:10 EDT

I see a simple problem here. I cannot hold 'there is a God' and 'there is
no God' in the same system. Plantinga, holding the former, says
materialism is irrational within his commitment. Those holding the latter
say that they don't need Plantinga's requirement to justify thought. This
fits their view. Plantinga thinks he's shown those irrational rascals,
who respond that he is irrelevant. Different presuppositions produce
different consequences.
Dave

On Sat, 06 Aug 2005 13:57:18 -0400 janice matchett
<janmatch@earthlink.net> writes:
Tim, you wrote: "..It was in that sense that I answered that Plantinga
doesn't hold that there is an inherent philosophical requirement for
separate creation of species.I knew that Alvin doesn't think some parts
of evolution happened but I don't think he claims that it couldn't, from
a philosophical standpoint (which the latest article suggests)..."

## That's correct. But there is a bottom line in all these
discussions. If I read your perspective correctly, we are coming from
opposite worldviews. I see the worldview of people like Dawkins, Spieth,
Ruse, Ayala, Gould, et.al., to be inherently irrational. Given the view
they hold that they are mere accidents of the evolutionary process, they
can't even be 100% sure that their thoughts are valid - yet, in their
cognitive dissonance, they make "just so" statements. Gould, for
instance, said: " If you replayed evolution on this planet, the chances
of getting any species as smart as humans­ smart enough to reflect on
itself­are "extremely small." .. "we are, whatever our glories and
accomplishments, a momentary cosmic accident that would never arise again
if the tree of life could be replanted from seed and regrown under
similar conditions." To insist otherwise, to see evolution as a natural
progression toward intelligent forms of life, is to indulge a "delusion"
grounded in "human arrogance" and desperate "hope."

As I posted previously, orthodox Christians begin with the warranted
(because it's rational) presupposition that God is. He has spoken; He has
created the universe; He has spoken it into existence. ... any other
proposition is irrational. ...Gould's Materialism gives us a theory
which explains everything else in the whole universe, but which makes it
impossible to believe that our thinking is valid. That’s because an
accident cannot think of itself in any objective sense. Consider
Lewis’s words: “In order to think, we must claim for our reasoning a
validity which is not credible if our own thought is merely a function of
our brain, and our brains are a by-product of irrational, physical
processes.” ....[the] materialist, naturalist ..say[s] there is a
naturalistic explanation for everything. How can they know what they are
saying is true? They are making their claim with a brain that supposedly
results from a chance collision of atoms that came out of the primordial
soup 8 billion years ago. .."

Alvin Plantinga: "For the nontheist, evolution is the only game in town;
it is an essential part of any reasonably complete nontheistic way of
thinking; hence the devotion to it, the suggestions that it shouldn't be
discussed in public, and the venom, the theological odium with which
dissent is greeted." ...

"..I take the evidence for an old earth to be strong and the warrant for
the view that the Lord teaches that the earth is young to be relatively
weak. .. ...how can Christian intellectuals-scientists, philosophers,
historians, literary and art critics, Christian thinkers of every
sort.... best serve the Christian community... One thing our experts can
do for us is help us avoid rejecting evolution for stupid reasons. The
early literature of Creation -Science, so called, is littered with
arguments of that eminently rejectable sort. We shouldn't reject
contemporary science unless we have to and we shouldn't reject it for the
wrong reasons. It is good thing for our scientists to point out some of
these wrong reasons."

"..I can properly correct my view as to what reason teaches by appealing
to my understanding of Scripture; and I can properly correct my
understanding of Scripture by appealing to the teachings of reason. It is
of the first importance, however, that we correctly identify the relevant
teachings of reason. Here I want to turn directly to the present problem,
the apparent disparity between what Scripture and science teach us about
the origin and development of life." ~ Read on:
 
When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and the Bible.
Alvin Plantinga University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame IN 46556 Christian Scholar's Review XXI:1 (September 1991):
8-33. Used by permission.
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/dialogues/Faith-reason/CRS9-91Plantinga1.html

~ Janice

At 08:54 AM 8/6/2005, Tim wrote:
janice matchett:
>Tim wrote: "I was not describing the creation of the universe
>but the development of life on Earth about 10 billion years
>afterwards. I do not think Alvin Plantiga maintains that the
>separate *creation of species* (or 'kinds') is a necessary
>explanation for the pattern of life observed."
>
>Sorry if I misunderstood you. I'm trying to work and keep
>up with email as I go at the moment. Does this fit better?:
>
>http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/arn/odesign/od181/methnat181.htm
>Methodological Naturalism ~ Alvin Plantinga

Well, not quite. I said earlier that I didn't think special creation of
species / kinds was a necessary conclusion based on the data, meaning
that the data is not compelling for that mode of species appearance.
That's an evaluation of the data. As I mentioned in an ealier post, I
recognize that others don't it that way. Then you posted the references
to Plantinga's philosophical works that dealt with ideas like "necessary"
first causes. "Necessary" in that case is of the philosophical variety,
in the sense that it logically required. It was in that sense that I
answered that Plantinga doesn't hold that there is an inherent
philosophical requirement for separate creation of species. I should have
been more careful about the change in meaning. I knew that Alvin doesn't
think some parts of evolution happened but I don't think he claims that
it couldn't, from a philosophical standpoint (which the latest article
suggests).

Regards,
Tim I
Received on Sat Aug 6 21:58:25 2005

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