Re: [asa] on science and meta-science

From: dfsiemensjr <>
Date: Tue Nov 10 2009 - 17:38:06 EST

You're right. However, thinking of things in 19th C England, with Paley's
argument broadly held, Darwin's approach was freeing for agnostics. There
could be patterns without supernatural involvement. This was not the
universal conclusion, of course. David Livingstone showed that a majority
of evangelicals had no problem with evolution as Darwin taught it. It was
liberals like Spencer who remade it.
Dave (ASA)

On Tue, 10 Nov 2009 17:22:50 -0500 Schwarzwald <>
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 <>

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 <>
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.


Diet Help
Cheap Diet Help Tips. Click here.
Diet Help
Cheap Diet Help Tips. Click here.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Nov 10 17:41:19 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Nov 10 2009 - 17:41:19 EST