Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When Theistic Pigs Will No Longer Fly

If it weren't for the criterial argument, which I generalized from it's moral corollary, the moral criteria argument, which in turn is derived from Kai Nielsen's Independent Moral Criterion Argument, I would not even consider belief in God.

I would instead simply believe in some kind of quantum naturalistically transcendent reality in the logically prior system of general reason, formal logic and a necessary hierarchy of values in view of motives, goals, and the necessary value assumptions of thought.

So I have Kai Nielsen, the greatest atheist philosopher to date, to thank for issuing the challenge that forces a clarification of the case for personhood in an ultimate being, even though it never challenged the fact of this personhood in the criterial argument, only its exact anthropomorphic nature. And even deeper, it's a case of self-referential inconsistencies galore. The criterial argument bypasses all except the personhood issue. The concept of personhood must be developed and it's fascinating, but it's not in itself a problem for the existence of God. Personhood is already assumed in any discussion of it, as well as the criteria for any such discussion. So that's a clue to how I work out the concept of person, and just another reason why the justification of self-referential refutation is so important. Metaphysics must be based on self-reference considerations, if for no other reason than the fact that those considerations are where any discussion of it will wind up eventually, regardless of starting point.

After several years of being stuck, tonight I finally figured out what will crush Nielsen's argument for the incoherence of the concept of God. I mean, he begs some questions, but it's still a great and powerful argument and causes conniption fits in most all believers, who will gladly commit T. S. Eliot's Greatest Treason if it will mean not having to read anything or have to come to grips with opposing arguments.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Persuadability Fatigue

Social Physics by Alex Pentland
I do suspect that both the Kalam and Aquinas's 2nd Way arguments are successful. But they are not widely persuasive, and both are bogged down bigtime in various issues, both empirical and theoretic. While both have major infinite series issues and the issue of crossing over from cause to person, Kalam is heavily involved in questions about nothingness, beginningness, quantum theory,  multiverses, time itself, and so on, while Aquinas's 2nd Way only has the problem of simultaneity in causation, but a foundational metaphysical problem in assuming but not proving that any tendency of any object is directed by intelligence. If they can prove that, I think Thomistic metaphysics is successful and has tremendous implications for philosophy of science and even science itself. But for both arguments, the infinite series and personhood issues by themselves are major obstacles to both satisfactory certainty of the truth of God's existence on the part of believers, and culture-wide persuasive efficacy.

The criteria argument is the only thing that could possibly counter the current and increasing skepticism toward belief in God. The world is already suffering persuadability fatigue from the standard arguments, evangelicalism, and the parroting of bad arguments by all kinds of apologists who stay insulated from sophisticated atheistic arguments that are persuading the leaders of the coming generation. And the good arguments are so hazy and complicated in their cross-examinations for the vast majority of people, even the most educated, that only a more direct systemic philosophy-of-logic approach could possibly stop or reverse the trend. But no one is holding their breath any more.