21 December 2006

My invisible friend is back!!!

(Since he likes to sign all his comments ROFL—in order, I imagine, to try to hurt my feelings by laughing at me [that’s rational]—I’m going to call him Q. Get it?)

In response to my previous posting (below), Q, (who first graced us with his presence here) comments:

[1] Being full of yourself isn't what I would call humble.
[2] Believing in some sky-daddy isn't what I would call intelligent.
[3] Admiring the drivel of that article only furthers the proof about the lack of insight.
[4] Believing in myths might be cute in the young but once one becomes mature of mind one should leave childish things behind.

This is fairly typical of what we quickly learned to expect from ol’ Q during his last visit. During that visit he informed us that religion is a crutch, as if (even if it’s true) that fact alone refutes any religion. Well, Q, it doesn’t: a given religion could be both (a) a crutch and (b) true.

I guess since, as he informed us himself, Q is better educated and more intelligent than we Americans are, this must be the way that super geniuses argue. I feel so inadequate.

But more to the point (even an idiot like me must try):

I will let people who actually know me determine whether I am truly full of myself, or writing ‘tongue in cheek’. Anyone who bothered to click on the link I provided to the okcupid.com website and read the clearly tongue in cheek description of the INTJ would, I think, conclude that my own posting was equally tongue in cheek. Besides, that childish myth I believe in—the 'Sky Daddy', as you called Him—would not take kindly to my addressing myself to Him in the way that I did (i.e., “Thank you, Lord GOD for making me brilliant and keeping me humble”) if I had done so in earnest.

Your repeated assertions (not tongue in cheek) of your own superior education and intelligence have given me an idea your humility.

Your atheism is to me indicative of your own lack of humilty. You no doubt believe that your atheism is rationally justified by some evidence. And herein lies your arrogance, that you believe you are intelligent enough to understand and pass judgment on any evidence and arguments for God’s existence. Perhaps you are. But I wonder has it occurred to you that you may not be. My guess? No. You are convinced that you possess sufficient intelligence. Perhaps you do. Who knows? So, maybe I am full of myself. But with you around, I’m in good company.

Your belief that your intelligence is demonstated simply by your atheism is to me akin to someone who’s left-handed making a silly assertion like this: “All left-handed people are of superior intelligence. Ask any of us lefties; we’ll tell you.”

‘Intelligence’ is a measure of logical reasoning and problem solving skills. One is entitled to be thought of as ‘intelligent’ on the basis of demonstrated skill in logical reasoning and problem solving, not on the basis of his philosophical presuppositions and pre-rational decisions. It’s not so much the conclusion that is reached that shows intelligence as it is the reasoning used to get there. You’ve not offered anything like a critique of any reasoning, so you aren’t entitled rationally to an opinion.

As long as we’re on the subject, however, I tend to agree with Alvin Platinga that belief in God is a properly basic belief, a presupposition, a pre-rational decision. You have your own pre-rational commitments, such as that the things you see are really there, and I wouldn’t make any determination about your intelligence on the basis of what those pre-rational commitments are.

So far my anonymous friend in your comments here you have done little but engage in ad hominem arguments—hardly a demonstration of your superior intelligence. For example, you could have presented, even if only abbreviated, a logial rejoinder to the article I linked to. (Actually, you should have done, because you aren’t epistemically entitled to characterize as ‘drivel’ what you’ve not demonstrated to be ‘drivel’. And you certainly are not entitled to talk about that which ‘furthers the proof’ of something you haven’t proved. Unless, of course, you count a mere assertion as a proof. I don’t.)

But no, just more ad hominem, more ridicule of an opponent's position--as if that alone will do the job.

If you have the goods, then by all means deliver them. Otherwise, stop asserting your superior intelligence on the sole basis of your pre-rational commitments in comparison with your opponents’. Pre-rational commitments aren’t a sign of our intelligence. How we reason from those commitments is.

Give us a brief argument against belief in a ‘sky daddy’ as evidence that you’ve got the goods, and not just a smart mouth. Unless, of course, it is your belief that ridicule constitutes refutation. Because so far that’s how it looks.

No. Do one even better. Give us a refutation of the claim that belief in God is properly basic (i.e., a pre-rational commitment). As smart as you are Platinga should be no problem for you.

So far Q your handful of visits here have confirmed my suspicion that when it comes to your atheism you have nothing. The ability to ridicule your opponents’ beliefs is not demonstrative of an ability to refute those beliefs. It’s also (what’s that word you used?)—childish.

Last time, Q, I told you that you had an inflated sense of your ability to intimidate. You still do.

By the way, on the subject of atheism and intelligence let me say just this. Isaac Asimov was an atheist; he was also demonstrably intelligent.

You are an atheist.


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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