Re: [asa] on science and meta-science

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Tue Nov 10 2009 - 17:22:50 EST

Heya Dave,

Not at all. I'm simply sussing out what "an intellectually fulfilled
atheist" can or must mean, and denying that Darwin really offered all that
much towards such an achievement. Precisely because, if being intellectually
fulfilled means a personal sense of satisfaction or being at ease, it can be
had (and often is had) on the cheap. I'm certainly not denying that a
self-described atheist can feel satisfied, or have intellectual or
professional accomplishment. Indeed, if anything I'm arguing in the opposite
direction here.

Now, you're apparently telling me that, yes, what makes an "intellectually
fulfilled atheist" is a feeling of personal satisfaction at one's
conclusions. And that apparent or assumed consistency, while it can help
with that feeling, isn't required to achieve it. If I have you right, then I
happen to agree with your estimation of being "intellectually fulfilled".
Hopefully you can in turn see why I doubt Darwin has made a special
contribution to such a state.

[Please note that I did not compare atheists with theists unfavorably here.
In fact, that comparison isn't my immediate interest. It's this claim that
Darwin did something special, and that previously atheists could not feel
intellectually fulfilled, but now - thanks to Darwin! - they can. I know
this is a popular phrase, one that many tend to agree with almost
reflexively (in part because it seems either obvious, or if not that,
unimportant). I just don't share the same reaction.]

On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 4:55 PM, dfsiemensjr <> wrote:

> I fear you are thinking that, if you re not satisfied, no one can be
> satisfied. However, a materialist can be satisfied with "that's just the way
> nature is" as well as the Christian's "God made and sustains it so." If the
> atheist desires, he can call on the multiverse and hold that we just lucked
> out on the universe where the implicit pattern produced intelligent life.
> This is not that far from the orthodox declaration that God is ineffable. I
> hold that it is a matter of grace that I trust in God. I think back on the
> times a student would say, "You're a philosopher, and you're a Christian?"
> I don't know enough about raelians and discordians to comment on them or
> the possibility that they could have a consistent set of beliefs. However it
> is possible to encounter a solipsist, but not to communicate with him. Just
> as you do not communicate with something you know to be imaginary, a
> solipsist would not communicate with you. I figure that he would eat
> "imaginary" food because it make him feel better.
> I should comment that, while consistency is required for a rational system,
> it is not required of all human beings. YECs hold that the Word of God and
> the works of God do not match very well. The older gap theory did a little
> better. But there is a list of evidential arguments that should no longer be
> used, though I have not seen then labelled lies.
> Dave (ASA)
> On Mon, 9 Nov 2009 23:12:59 -0500 Schwarzwald <>
> writes:
> Heya all,
> I'm going to focus on what I'd disagree with as far as what's been posted
> so far, just to throw in some consistent commentary on this subject.
> * I disagree with Ted - strongly disagree - that Darwinism "allowed one to
> be an intellectually fulfilled atheist". Though that could possibly be to
> due differing understandings of being 'intellectually fulfilled'. If all it
> means is "a person can be very intelligent and accomplished and also an
> atheist", wonderful - but not only do I doubt that Darwin offered much in
> that regard, but I'd also say that's an incredibly low-hanging fruit, so to
> speak. In that case one can be an intellectually-fulfilled raelian,
> discordian, and probably even solipsist.
> <snip>
> ____________________________________________________________
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Received on Tue Nov 10 17:23:19 2009

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