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.

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