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May 24, 2013 / compassioninpolitics

My thoughts on the logic and rationality of atheism, skepticism, and Christianity for 2014

Atheism’s Radical Irrelevance–Preaching to the Wind:

Knowledge doesn’t translate into specificity then. If I critique a branch of the sciences thats not a critique of the sciences thats a critique of the branch.

You can critique the Catholic church all day and night and it won’t really interfere with my faith. You can critique Islam all you want. You can critique what the church did 200 years ago and still the same. All the critiques of the church are in fact critiques of human idolatry and sin. Its falling to the temptation of power, money, etc..

We think of God in terms of uni-dimensional frames. But God is a God of paradoxes. He’s a good of Grace and a God of Glory. Thats intrinsic to who God is. Moreover, the death of the son–dramatically changes the nature of the Trinity and the idea of faith. Using Old Testament to disprove God is a bit like quoting our legal code from 200+ years ago. (actually in some cases worse).

All people are like fishes in the water–who can’t see the water for what it is. You woke up this morning. The earth is still rotating around the sun. This isn’t just science–its something more–its the fundamental rules of the universe–or how scientists of old might have called natural laws.

Otherwise, you fall pray to “poising the well” or “guilt by association” or “the fallacy of division.” (I always get that last one confused with its opposite–but none-the-less–I think you get my point).


God and Paradoxes–and Human Rationality:

God can’t be paradoxical because what:
1. I don’t think in paradoxes.
2. I never act in paradoxes
3. The universe never has any paradoxes

I’m lost on the reason that God is required to fix the box that you’ve fixed for him. If there is a God–why would He/She choose to be so simple? So easy to understand?

I don’t expect my dog or my lego-people (assuming they have conciousness of some sort) to be able to fully comprehend my being, my nature, or much of anything about me and my psychology.

I would still argue that he’s easy to understand (not overly complex at a minimum)–but that people and certain academics have decided to use their powers of human intuition combined with a caricature version of God.

Even the staunchest atheists realize that science doesn’t effectively have anything or much to say about God.

Humans reason with a combination of emotion and reason. Given two options–the use of integrative logic versus hyper-rationalist locia–I don’t know what God should prefer the hyper-rationalist over the use integrative logic.

Finally, I’m not sure why should address the paragraphs after the first one–given that those are just glorified name calling. Also, the historical Jesus answers back your myth argument.


You made a caricature good argument??? A collector might pay a million bucks for some piece of memorabilia, while a caricature might only bring in a buck. Thats a big difference.

You shouldn’t be so dismissive of subjective human experience–because by definition THAT IS HUMAN EXPERIENCE. By definition the highly dismissive attitude toward subjective experience is cognitively dissonant because its a subjective opinion and those same people don’t dismiss their own subjective experiences.

I don’t think my distinction between hyper-rationalism. (ie rationality not only as king or queen, but as every piece on the board). Overemphasis on reason as a method of inquiry denies human emotion and relationship which serves as a foundation of human experiences (see also Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and the vast majority of thinkers). Integrative logic says that you should leverage both forms of knowledge in tandem. From a logical point of view this seems to make sense, because logic itself isn’t logically grounded. Reason is an asymptote with respect to its access to reality. Basically all the reasons why cross-disciplinary study is good–is the reason why integrative reasoning makes more sense.


Philosophy of science. Theory in every subject. And basically work in all disciplines that aren’t hard-science would be integrative. Also, the conclusions and reflections on science or science debates are integrative–at least to some extent.

Integrative logic in the form of scenario planning in marketing departments, national security meetings, and the military keep you alive.

Science obviously says very little about meaning, purpose, and ethics. It focuses on predicting highly repeatable events.

You are conflating science and scientism. Scientism views science as the hammer that solves all problems. Science knows its limits. Or at least science is limited in scope–by focusing on where it has the most value and impact.


Oh wait…you quoted Richard Feynman. Thats philosophy of science. What experiment did he derive that conclusion from?

When we reason about the future–including life after death we are using abductive logic and reasoning. Not using integrative logic wouldn’t allow us to move past present hypothesis and ways of being–it would stagnate innovation. (link)

I’m glad we can agree that science has limits–presumably in terms of the types of problems and data its able to deliver information on. You say, “And yes, science has its limits. But people who don’t know science are not qualified to pontificate on what those limits are.” Well…that excludes scientists from talking about me…or my subjectivity or any subjectivity that isn’t theres. Prediction of human action would cease to be a meaningful field of study. And that same standard applied to any other area of life leads to retro-grade problems. Also some of the analysis is just common sense–its just uncovering what is or what should be common sense. It doesn’t take a PhD in science.

This from Berkeley lists 4 distinct limits–presumably that you can agree with: (link)


Based on your analysis I would (reasonably) assume that:
1. People who are in the humanities (and non-hard sciences) don’t know anything relevant about life.
2. People in the humanities (and non-hard sciences) have never produced any creative works which spoke to important realities that science was unable to speak to.

Well…I don’t think about life after death as that kind of question so much. Certainly it probably is one layer of my faith–but its the other confirmations I get that allow me to project it forward. In the same way, when we create X new innovation program in our organization we don’t have one to one evidence for its effectiveness.

I realize that science often trumps common sense. I realize that common sense has problems. As a side note–something like half of peer reviewed articles can’t be repeated. I’m not sure thats quite the reliable standard you hold it up to be. And I realize that arguably might not be as science-y as say more foundational theories–but I think its something to consider in the discussion.

Your notions of important and profound are question begging. Science per se didn’t bring us the American Revolution or our Constitution–art, communication, ethics, and ideas did.

And in terms of the philosophy of science:
1. the quote you used was philosophy of science–not science proper.
2. I made the argument that all scientists were philosophers of science (conclusions, commentary, interviews, debate etc..) is all philosophy of science.
3. If #2 is true, that means #1 is true as well.

BTW, I’m pretty sure we are in agreement on this one: Subjectivity is not the universal get-out clause that many people believe it is, and it is certainly not an impenetrable shield against rational, objective scrutiny.

See the other posts on issues of christian ethics/philosophy/etc in terms of christian apolegetics and atheism.

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