I've run across ex-atheists at various online site; not many but a few. I just can't believe they ever were really atheists to begin with. How does somebody go about unembracing reason? It just doesn't add up. I get the feeling that a certain percentage of ex-atheists are actually Christian frauds using pseudonyms to give testimonies of fake reconversions.
What do you think? Can a real atheist really reconvert to Christianity? How?
Your analysis fails because you're not using modal logic. This is precisely what I'm talking about. You haven't even approached a critique of the argument because whether the argument succeeds or fails is a matter of modal logic.
Some philosophy of logic would help though. As I said already, you need to understand the modal operators of possibility and necessity and the S5 axiom. You don't. And there's nothing wrong with not understanding those things. Most people don't. Most never will. I didn't until a couple of years ago. The problem is when you think you can deal effectively with an argument that employs them without having an understanding of them and feeling that anyone who does is "waxing philosophical" and engaging in "mental masturbation".
You're certainly entitled to disagree. No question whatsoever. But it really is an unjustifiable arrogance.
Come on now. Modal logic isn't that complicated. As I've already said, it's about semantics. Qualifiers. What is possible and what is necessary. Like I said, the more philosophical you get, the more obfuscated you get. It's not about what is necessary or what is possible. It's about what is.
I can't, for the life of me, see why you place so much value on arguments that have gone nowhere for centuries. Modal logic is not the Holy Grail of logic.It represents a school of thought. That's it. It's been rejected by many philosophers, including Bertrand Russell.
Philosophy is valuable for its logic but it makes any argument you need it to. That's mental masturbation.
"As I've pointed out before, Darwin was only able to analogize from his theorized natural selection to the artificial selection of animal husbandry. He couldn't point to one bit of empirical evidence for natural selection. The Origin is largely one big rhetorical flourish. People were convinced by it though. Moreover, people were right to be convinced by it."
That would be a bit unfair to point out a lack of empirical evidence on a process that in incredibly minute in actual change and must occur over vast periods of time.
I'm not sure what you mean Ed. My point about The Origin wasn't that the book or Darwin had failed in not including any empirical evidence. I recognize why he didn't have that evidence.
That's irrelevant. What I was pointing out was that even while Darwin did not (and could not) cite empirical evidence, he was able to make his case rhetorically by using analogy. I was saying that people believed he had made the case. And they were right.
I misunderstood your implication then. Also I gather you're use of the "rhetorical flourish" is not meant to be negative. Whenever I hear the word rhetoric in today's society it seems to hold negative connotations.
I am reading The Origin right now in fact. Funny you should mention it.
Yeah, no worries.
The Origin isn't an easy read. Good on you for tackling it. It's good to read. Definitely.
People like Kirk Cameron shudder>> claim to have been atheist before they "found [insert religion here]" when in reality, I get the impression that they just never THOUGHT about god / didn't follow any religious tenets. Now that they "found" religion, they don't THINK at all.
I don't use blanket statements very often but EVERY atheist I know personally, were once religious in some sense and actually RESEARCHED religion and their "souls" for the answer. As a result, I would put ANY atheist up against ANY religious person when it comes to knowledge of the bible. I haven't read any statistics but I would be REAL interested to know how many xtians ACTUALLY believe christ was born 25 December (besides my mother in law!).
@John R... I know more than a few who think Dec 25 is set in stone and refuse to believe he may have been born few months earlier.. After all "Jesus is the reason for the season", right..? *rolls eyes*
If you're God in the flesh, you can change your birthday as much as you damn well please!
The thing is.. Jesus didn't change it. Man did. That's my point.
For instance The shepherds were in the fields when an angel came to them about Jesus. Now that would most likely put the time in the Spring or Fall, not winter. Had it been winter the animals would have been inside and so the feed troughs (ie, manger) wouldn't have been available to put Jesus.
Now,that aside, for the first 2 centuries after his birth his birthday wasn't observed. In fact the church said it was sinful to observe his birth as though he were a Pharaoh.
It wasn't until the 4th Century that the Church in order to subvert the growing pagan religion, Mithras, designated Dec 25 (the winter solstice) as Jesus's birthday. It did two things, it allowed all the various religious groups to celebrate en masse and as a result allowed the Church to slowly supplant those other religions with their own.
But then you know all that,,
In a recent survey, only Jews scored higher (and only slightly so) than atheists on Bible knowledge. I seem to recall that Mormons were pretty high up on the list too.
@Rob Klaers... I personally celebrate 25 December as it also happens to be Jimmy Buffett's birthday (in actuality) though my wife gets a little upset with me. At least she realizes that 25 December was the christians way of trying to incorporate all those pesky pagans and their "silly solstice" festival.
@Atheist Exile... I can believe the Jews know more than most christians as they seem a little more "serious" about their faith as opposed to the plethora of different christian sects who choose to interpret the bible the way that best fits THEIR beliefs. The Mormons would be interesting too... was their knowledge of THEIR religion or (no disrespect to Mormons here), the "actual" christianity beliefs?