Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Rational Nature of a Belief in a Designer

The following was written recently by an anti-IDist during an exchange in an internet discussion group:

"If we can say nothing substantive about a notion, because we cannot do actual experimentation in the real (i.e. gather data, take measurements. ..) world, then that notion cannot be said to be part of our scientific understanding."

and then shortly thereafter he wrote:

"Which gods, fairies, godmen, goddesses, or intelligent designers can we say have passed any of these requirements?"

This illustrates a common ploy by anti-IDists. The wording varies and at times includes references to ancient Greek gods but the message is the same. In an attempt to ridicule both a viewpoint and the one holding the viewpoint, the anti-IDist will introduce an element of absurdity to infer that an ID position is irrational and contrary to good science. Accordingly there could be no intelligent design because imputing ID could imply a deity and a deity was akin to fantasies like fairies.

The first sentence is another textbook ploy inferring the necessity of "supernatural experiments" when what IDers argue for are positions entailing the testing of natural phenomenon.

At Telic Thoughts Steve Petermann authored the blog entry 'Religion Irrational? Ask a Preeminant Logician', which documents the rational nature of philosophical inferences about God. Specifically referenced was the great mathematician and logician Kurt Godel who is noted, among other things, for his ontological proof. This is the logical formalization of an argument for the existence of God; specifically Saint Anselm's ontological argument.

Of course many others, both before and after Godel, have made rational arguments inferring the existence of God as well. Alvin Plantinga, who has written 'God and others minds. A study of the rational justification of belief in God' is another eminently rational and logical thinker.

Even a brief acquaintance with papers and books addressing the existence of God is enough to show the juvenile nature of the fairies tactic as contrasted with the classics of some of this culture's most brilliant minds.

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