Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Tue May 01 2007 - 11:57:13 EDT

I'm not sure Collins' argument on this particular point is all that strong
because it doesn't really address the pragmatist's epistemology. OTOH, the
Spaghetti Monster response, IMHO, is just silly. There's a reasonable basis
to presuppose God, defined fully and richly as the God revealed in
scripture. There's no reasonable basis to presuppose a Spaghetti Monster,
which is an entity so vastly different than God that the comparison is
infantile. (Unless, of course, you define the Spaghetti Monster to have all
the same properties and characteristics as God, in which case you've done
nothing but a bit of sophistry in applying a silly name to God).

On 5/1/07, PvM <> wrote:
> This kind of logic leads to a simple conclusion: The Spaghetti
> Monster, the flying teacup and fairies exist, after all, those
> a-fairyists have a faith which "is the least rational of all choices
> because that assumes that you know enough to assume the possibility of
> fairies" and surely reject a perfectly good idea...
> Collins' argument seems illogical to say the least, especially when
> applied to any other 'entity', such as Thor, Zeus, the flying
> spaghetti monster etc.
> As Dawkins so aptly observes
> <quote>A friend, who was brought up a Jew and still observes the
> sabbath and other Jewish customs out of loyalty to his heritage,
> describes himself as a 'tooth fairy agnostic'. He regards God as no
> more probable than the tooth fairy. You can't disprove either
> hypothesis, and both are equally improbable. He is an a-theist to
> exactly the same large extent that he is an a-fairyist. And agnostic
> about both, to the same small extent. Russell's teapot, of course,
> stands for an infinite number of
> things whose existence is conceivable and cannot be disproved.</quote>
> You think atheists are a nuisance? Just imagine those a-fairyists....
> Pim
> On 5/1/07, Janice Matchett <> wrote:
> >
> > At 10:25 AM 5/1/2007, David Opderbeck wrote:
> >
> >
> > Whenever anyone -- even an atheist -- says anything, he is presupposing
> a
> > universe in which a thing called "truth" may be encoded and passed from
> mind
> > to mind through a medium called language. These are huge
> presuppositions,
> > and only serve to re-emphasize the crudity of the atheist mind. Unless
> an
> > atheist is an abject nihilist, then he doesn't have the courage of his
> > absence of convictions. ~ Janice
> >
> > Not to defend atheists, but is this really a fair characterization? I'm
> not
> > so sure. Many atheists are pragmatists. They don't presume that they
> > necessarily have access to universal truth or that their atheism is true
> in
> > an "absolute" sense. They simply argue that, given what the human mind
> is
> > capable of knowing, and given the limits of human language, atheism is
> the
> > only epistemically justifiable alternative..."
> > @ Francis Collins: "I would argue that atheism is the least rational of
> all
> > choices because that assumes that you know enough to assume the
> possibility
> > of God [in the first place]"
> >
> > ~ Janice ... More:
> >
> >

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Received on Tue May 1 11:57:45 2007

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