Monday, March 19, 2012

One wonders why there are still atheists today


It is a wonder why today there are still atheists around. When one looks at the advancements in astronomy, physics and mathematics it is remarkable how they are still around. Most people of scientific and atheistic persuasion are now turning agnostic. I still see of course atheists with utter hatred for theists. These people come from a Positivist outlook. If that term is foreign to you, please do a wikipaedia search on the word. Briefly it is someone who needs empirical evidence in order to know something exists or is true.

Positivism is now passe. People in the social science and education
disciplines are now going post-Modern, and by that it means Modernism of the Positivist outlook has been bunked. The only ones hanging around atheism are generally people who have swallowed the faulty arguments of either Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawking.

Most of the arguments I have seen from today's atheists are not intellectual arguments, they are more emotional arguments rather than intellectual. Normally they do not argue but they ridicule, mock and demean the theist. As and example the the late Anthony Flew (well known atheist of the last decade), a well known atheist turned theist gave a fair and penetrating critique of Dawkins' God Delusion book. What arguments did Dawkins and his gang give for Flew's arguments? Well Dawkins and his gang said that Flew had a mental disorder when Flew became a theist. Is that an argument? You will find that the discussion on this quickly goes down the gutter road of offensive psychoanalysis - read Flew's counter found here.

Then there are those lay people and scientists (but not physicists nor astronomers and mathematicians) who follow Stephen Hawkings' statements in Grand Design. In fact there are fellow physicists who criticized Hawkings' conclusions in Grand Design and these people are hardly theists themselves. Examples would be Roger Penrose and Australian physicist Paul Davies. Books like this sell but not to fellow physicists but to the lay person who would like to see justification for the none existence of God.

One somewhat funny incident I recall was the interview of Hawkings' co-author, Leonard Mlodinow at Larry King Live. One of those interviewed pointed to Mlodinow, Godel's Theorems. Briefly one of Godel's theorems is that in a formal system that includes arithmetic, you will have true statements that have no proofs in arithmetic. Since we use arithmetic in our world of affairs, that implies we have true statements that we have no proof in our world of affairs. Mlodinow countered - ohh, but Godel's theorems pertain to axiomatic systems, physics is not like that, it is empirical and not axiomatic.

We can grin. We all know physics uses arithmetic, in fact it uses geometry which uses arithmetic, in fact physics uses calculus (analysis) which uses geometry which presupposes arithmetic. Mlodinow clearly does not appreciate the findings of Godel or he is a bit naive if not ignorant of the implications made by Godel's theorems.

Godel like almost all mathematicians believe in the validity of intuitions or intuitive truths. Mathematicians do that all the time when they accept an axiom or rule of inference. The majority of mathematicians are platonists not fictionalists or nominalist. Certainly Godel never accepted the notion that maths is just syntax. The proof of God is very intuitive. It is simple.

Something can not come out of nothing.

If you ask me who is believing a myth, I would say NOT those that believe in God, because the statement above is obvious, common sense and intuitive. The one who really believes in a myth is someone who believes that something CAN come out of nothing. This is the one who believes in a myth.

17 comments:

T.C. Judd said...

LP, great article that definitely made me grin. Shared it on G+, so hopefully you'll get some new traffic. Thanks again!

T.C.

LPC said...

Hi T.C.,

It has been a while bro, long time no hear.
I am specially delighted you dropped by and thank you for the plug.

Looks like you are busy at Google+ huh, I have not tried. My facebook is just to keep up with my folk overseas.

Most scientists I have encountered in the internet are extremely poor philosophers. They still live in the dark ages of Positivism. They do not realize as secularists the other counter parts have moved on.

These atheists are really now a minority and what is left of them are just anger not arguments.

LPC

J. K. Jones said...

"Something cannot come out of nothing." Very true.

I like what Greg Koukle says, "The Big Bang needs a Big Banger."

Great post LPC.

LPC said...

J.K,

Some cosmologist are saying there was a point of singularity before the Big Bang. That presupposes a time when there must have been a prime mover for the Big Bang to happen.

One can see that the trend today among astronomers and physicist is to go theological while mathematicians are becoming philosophers.

LPC

Steve Martin said...

I wonder how there could be any Christians.

when we look at the brokenness of this world and see the pride and envy and hate...and the wars and disease...and the children in cancer wards ...how could there be a loving God?

They looked right into Jesus' eyes and saw him raise the dead...and yet they did not believe.

No...if there are any Christians at all...it is solely because Christ Jesus has made them. This is the only hope of mankind. That Christ Jesus will call us, gather us, enlighten us, and sanctify us in true grace.

LPC said...

Steve,

You are so right but when I asked the question, I was not speaking about why atheists are not becoming Christians, I was speaking about them becoming agnostic or spiritual.

The trend in academia is slowly getting into the post modern worldview, and this view allows for spiritual realities. The question in the end is why God/gods?

It may be that the world is indeed going into one world religion (just see how global people are now because of the internet), but that one world religion will not be Christianity.

LPC

joel in ga said...

I'm a little more sanguine about the future, especially after just reading The Christian Future by Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy. According to him, history is neither linear nor cyclical, but a maturing process involving death and resurrection. I would tend to say Western civilization is still largely pre-Christian rather than post-Christian.

LPC said...

Joel,

You have a point, it is pre-Christian again I can see that, back again when Christians are a minority.

LPC

Steve Martin said...

I think you may be right about that, LPC.

I pray it were not so. But Jesus himself said, "when the Son of Man returns to earth with His Holy angels, will He find faith?"

Lots of religion...no true faith.

beowulf2k8 said...

There are still Atheist because there are still Augustinians. Augustinianism breeds Atheism; Calvinism much moreso than the rest of the Augustinians.

What I mean is simple: If you go around declaring that God damns people for something they didn't do -- for something done by an ancestor thousands of years ago, there are three possible responses people will make:

(1) Oh, its a great mystery and I adore it! -- the Augustinian response

(2) That's blasphemy against God. God wouldn't do something unjust like that. -- the Pelagian response (Jewish response too)

(3) So, in other words, God doesn't exist, and religion is just a tool of oppression. You tell me I was born 'totally depraved' because some jackass ate an apple, so that you can then use that as a guilt trip to control me. -- the atheist response

Now these responses don't come from a position already held but are the beginning of the position. Out of every 10 atheists, I think you'll find that 9 became atheists specifically in response to this particular assertion by Augustinians.

In a world dominated by Pelagian teaching, in other words, there would be many less atheists, about a tenth of what we have now.

LPC said...

Beowulf,

You must think I am a complete idiot that I will simply allow foul insulting speech to run in here. I deleted your last comment if you have not yet noticed.

I was an atheist.

I did not become an atheist because God damns people because of something the Church taught about original sin and such. I became one at that time when I thought about life and its meaning. But more sense came to me when I looked at Creation, and I did not go to Christianity at the first to find answers. Christianity was the last religion I studied when I became a theist.

You anecdotal statistics does not work and it actually fails in my case. Try not to let your emotion run you wild, you will look stupid each time you let it reign in your keyboard.

LPC

LPC said...

Incidentally I never read about an apple in Genesis, where did you get that idea?

LPC

beowulf2k8 said...

I usually put apple in quotes. Surprised I didn't that time. And you know good and well that it is popularly called an "apple."

Now, as to your anecdotal information about your own atheism. I was referring only to those who leave Christianity for atheism, not those raised as atheists. But even with those raised as atheists, someone further back in their family became an atheist for the reasons I specify, or its unlikely they would have been raised an atheist by a previous generation.

LPC said...

Beowulf2k8,

popularly called an "apple."
I know what you meant but this myth will be thoroughly propagated if I followed you in such inaccuracies.

I was referring only to those who leave Christianity for atheism, not those raised as atheists
Actually you are a candidate for not being taken seriously. I have kept that comment I deleted of yours as a specimen of your "hate speech". In that
comment of yours, you present yourself as an atheist and a pelagian. That is a walking contradiction and so ex falso quod libet is a fallacy you can always capitalize.

Further, If you do a bit more survey you will soon realize that there are atheists and agnostics today whose families came from non-Christian religion like Islam. Go in contact with people from Turkey and Iran, you might appreciate what I mean.

So your blaming Augustinian Christianity is clearly one sided, stemming from your emotions. You can willy nilly blame such Christianity for losing a job or the corn on one's foot or having dandruff.

Your post I believe proves my point, there are really no logical arguments against Christianity only emotional ones.

LPC

LPC said...

At least as far as yourself confessed Pelagianism is concerned does not do away with the mocking of atheists because Pelagians and Augustinians are theists. Since both believe in God, the mocking of atheists is applicable to both.

beowulf2k8 said...

You can't respond rationally to my superior arguments so you deleted a comment to enable yourself to lie and claim I presented myself as an atheist in that now missing comment. Bravo. You learned well from that master liar Augustine

LPC said...

I am revising my reply to your rant...

You can't respond rationally to my superior arguments

Hahahaha, you are joking right? I needed a laugh today.Thanks for that, I am in tears with laughter.

you deleted a comment to enable yourself to lie and claim I presented myself as an atheist in that now missing comment

Your comment was deleted because it was plain insulting speech not worth repeating.

The retained comments is proof enough that you have taken the argument of the atheist against me since you slotted me into the pigeon hole of Augustinian but you are quite ignorant as to what type I am.

It is quite thick to think that the argument of the atheist applies only to the Augustinian and not the Pelagian. Atheists do not care what your view of original sin; if there is no God, there is no sin to condemn be yours or Adam's.

.Bravo. You learned well from that master liar Augustine

Actually you are not so bad yourself when it comes to this and congratulations, you too learned from your master pelagius the art of heresy and sophistry.