Intelligent Design theism

Michael Egnor: If you care about suffering, you implicitly acknowledge God’s existence

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Think about it:

I don’t know why God allows pandemics. But I know that my — and Richard Dawkins’s — moral objection to human suffering is an implicit acknowledgement of God’s existence. I know that the suffering of innocents is evil, and is not merely unpleasant. That would not be the case if there were no moral Lawgiver outside of my own opinions. Heck, if I were a mere vehicle for selfish genes evolved wholly by natural selection, I would love mass death, as long as my own genes weren’t deleted. Coronavirus is efficient — natural selection on an industrial scale. Those of us who are alive are the winners.

I would not know or care about good or evil unless there were a standard of good and evil independent of me. But we care a lot, and millions risk their own lives to save strangers. There is a Source of Good, of which evil is a privation. I ask Him why innocents suffer, and He hasn’t told me, or told anyone, as far as I know.

Michael Egnor, “To Ask “Where Is God in This Pandemic?” Is to Acknowledge that God Exists” at Mind Matters News

He suggests it’s possible we can’t really know.

See also: Michael Egnor: How NOT to debate materialists. Egnor: Although ape brains do differ somewhat from human brains in cortical anatomy, it is the similarity between the brains of apes and men, rather than the differences, that provides striking evidence of human exceptionalism.

17 Replies to “Michael Egnor: If you care about suffering, you implicitly acknowledge God’s existence

  1. 1
    Truthfreedom says:

    Well, according to physicalists, everything is mediated via neuronal chemistry.
    Therefore people who feel a lot of moral outrage when they encounter suffering are no better than those who feel mild moral outrage when they encounter suffering.
    It is just that the former secrete more ‘morally-related-neurochemicals’ than the latter.
    Like some people sweat more than other.
    Or some people have more hair than other.
    Or some people have more flatulence than other.
    It’s just that.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    Are you saying that you would not know that certain human behaviors are immoral unless God told you? You would not know that to rape and murder a child, for example, was wrong unless God said so?

    How does God decide that certain human behaviors are immoral?

    If He has reasons for deciding that certain human behaviors are immoral, why can’t we, as rational beings, also work that out for ourselves?

    If the mass killings of human beings is wrong, then why do Christians think that the Great Flood was a Good Thing?

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Without God there isn’t any rape nor murder. It’s all just the struggle for life- red in tooth and claw. But then again, with God or some Intelligent Designer, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. So it’s all moot, actually.

    And the question about the Flood should be, “How messed up were we that such an action had to be taken?”

  4. 4
    john_a_designer says:

    God didn’t cause the pandemic. We did. It was humans who invented jet liners, cruise ships and who make money off of international trade and travel. If this had happened at any other time in history it would have probably stayed in China. It certainly wouldn’t have traveled around the world in just a few months. Maybe we should rethink some things like free trade, globalization and open borders. It wasn’t God who instituted those kind of policies. The bottom line: humans need to take responsibility for their own decisions and actions.

  5. 5
    Truthfreedom says:

    @4 Seversky

    How does God decide that certain human behaviors are immoral?

    How does a bunch of chemicals decide that certain human behaviors are immoral? Do Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Phosphorus have the key to morals?
    Am I worse than you if I sweat less than you?
    Am I worse than you if my
    head grows less hair than yours?
    Am I worse than you if my autonomous brain secretes less morally-related-chemicals than yours?

  6. 6
    Marfin says:

    Seversky-For the last time , as I have asked so many times before of all the atheist materialist who comment here, please provide a definition of Morality, and then tell us how you know that definition is correct.
    If you or anyone else does not response I can only conclude you are conceding you have no basis for claiming you can be moral as you cannot even define what moral is , I await your response.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, in response to Egnor’s claim that,,,

    “If You Care About Suffering, You Implicitly Acknowledge God’s Existence”,,, “I know that my — and Richard Dawkins’s — moral objection to human suffering is an implicit acknowledgement of God’s existence. I know that the suffering of innocents is evil, and is not merely unpleasant. That would not be the case if there were no moral Lawgiver outside of my own opinions.”

    ,,, in response to Egnor’s claim, Seversky asks,,,

    Seversky: “Are you saying that you would not know that certain human behaviors are immoral unless God told you?”

    That is not what Egnor is claiming at all. In fact, Egnor, more or less, claimed the exact opposite. Egnor claimed that he, and even Dawkins himself, who explicitly rejects God, both somehow intuitively know that “the suffering of innocents is evil, and is not merely unpleasant.” Egnor made no appeal to what God has said in the Bible. Egnor made a direct appeal to what we, both atheists and Christians, intuitively know to be morally true.

    Dawkins, Seversky, nor any other Darwinian atheist who rejects God, can account for their intuitive knowledge about objective morality.

    Paul himself appealed to our intuitive knowledge about objective morality in order to argue that “the requirements of the law are written on their hearts.”

    Romans 2: 13-15
    For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

    Jeremiah 31:33
    ,,,“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”

    And as J. Budziszewski stated, “our common moral knowledge is as real as arithmetic,,”

    “Yet our common moral knowledge is as real as arithmetic, and probably just as plain. Paradoxically, maddeningly, we appeal to it even to justify wrongdoing; rationalization is the homage paid by sin to guilty knowledge.”
    – J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide

    And just as atheists have no way to account for objective existence of the truths of mathematics,,,

    Edward Feser On Mathematics And The Sense Of The Divine – March 15, 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi–divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our -experience lack. Mathematical objects seem -immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/edward-feser-on-mathematics-and-the-sense-of-the-divine/

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    And just as atheists have no way to account for the objective existence of the truths of mathematics, atheists also have no way to account for the objective existence of the truths of morality.

    That is to say that although Atheists intuitively know that objective morality is real, and indeed act as if objective morality is real in their everyday personal lives, they simply have no way to account for the existence of objective morality that they intuitively know to be real.

    In fact, when being honest with the implications of their worldview, atheists explicitly deny the existence of objective morality.

    As Dawkins himself stated,

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    And as Sedgwick chastised Darwin for his denial of morality,,, “There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly”

    From Adam Sedgwick – Cambridge – Nov. 24 1859
    My dear Darwin,
    ,,, “There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly. Tis the crown & glory of organic science that it does thro’ final cause , link material to moral; & yet does not allow us to mingle them in our first conception of laws, & our classification of such laws whether we consider one side of nature or the other— You have ignored this link; &, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two pregnant cases to break it. Were it possible (which thank God it is not) to break it, humanity in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it—& sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history.”
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

    And herein lies the irresolvable dilemma in the Atheist’s worldview. Their worldview explicitly denies the objective existence of morality, yet it is impossible for anyone to consistently live their lives as if morality were not objectively real. Just as it would be impossible for anyone to live their lives consistently as if the truthfulness of mathematics was not objectively real.

    As the following article states, “nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.”

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt: ,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Dawkins himself honestly admitted that it would be ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if there were no moral compass to judge by.

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    In fact, although Dawkins explicitly denied the existence of objective morality, (i.e. a universe of pitiless indifference), when it comes to God, Dawkins himself somehow becomes a raging moralist who apparently unquestionably believes that he has some sort of objectively real moral basis in which to hold God Himself in moral derision,

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
    – Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

    Thus, Dawkins himself is vitally dependent on the existence of objective morality in order for his moral argument against God to work. Yet here is the defeater of Dawkins’ argument, without God there can be no objective morality.

    1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
    2. Objective moral values do exist.
    3. Therefore, God exists.
    – The Moral Argument
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxiAikEk2vU

    Of final note, if it is impossible for you to live your life consistently as if your worldview were actually true, as Dawkins himself admitted when he said that it would be ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if he had no moral compass, then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

    Verse:

    Mark 10:18
    “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus replied. “No one is good except God alone.

  8. 8
    Truthfreedom says:

    @7 Bornagain77

    Dawkins, Seversky, nor any other Darwinian atheist who rejects God, can account for their intuitive knowledge about objective morality.

    Nor can they account for the powerful intuition that there is a world out there.
    Most of us understand the world out there is real, that not everything is inside our heads (solipsism). It is a powerful intuition that we label as truth. But there is no way to prove it.
    CERTAIN THINGS NEED TO BE ASSUMED, THEY ARE PRINCIPAL.

  9. 9
    daveS says:

    JAD,

    Maybe we should rethink some things like free trade, globalization and open borders.

    It is remarkable how fragile this world economic “system” we have constructed is, isn’t it?

    Is it at all feasible to build more resilience into it? So that we could perhaps pause some of our activities (schooling, some industry, etc) for a few months without triggering a depression?

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, one implication is that digitalisation has had a step-change in importance. For general interaction, for news, for media, for schooling [home schooling for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!], for business — e-shopping just got a huge boost, for meetings . . . teleconferencing or bust, and much more. A linked one is that we are going to digital cash and digital wallets, probably on block chain technology. Surveillance state and 666-mark system issues are on the table as a result also. KF

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    TF, inescapable first duties and principles of reason actually are entecedent to proof. To prove, we must use them. KF

  12. 12
    Truthfreedom says:

    @10 Kairosfocus:

    [home schooling for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!],

    Yes! 🙂

  13. 13
    daveS says:

    KF,

    Those are good points. I also think this event will lead to some positive changes, particularly in education. Anyone on the planet already has access to lectures and other learning materials from the world’s best teachers through smartphones, youtube, etc., and the quality of the learner’s experience will continue to improve along with technology such as VR. I have lately been on a binge of videos by Philosophy Overdose on youtube, and it has been very instructive.

    On the down side, there are so many free resources (of fairly high quality, but not always great), it makes me wonder what will happen when institutions such as professional textbook publishing finally collapse. Maybe they won’t be missed, but good textbooks are valuable, so I think people should be paid to write, illustrate, edit, and test them, and right now, that system seems to be in jeopardy.

  14. 14
    john_a_designer says:

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

    – Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

    I find it ironic that Dawkins is so angry at what he believes is a fictional character. I wonder does he feel the same way about Darth Vader?

  15. 15
    daveS says:

    Certainly fictional characters can evoke strong emotions in us. That’s one reason why authors create them and people read about them, no?

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    At 14 John_a_designer asks

    I find it ironic that Dawkins is so angry at what he believes is a fictional character. I wonder does he feel the same way about Darth Vader?

    That is an interesting question. And although DaveS tried to play the question off with this,

    Certainly fictional characters can evoke strong emotions in us. That’s one reason why authors create them and people read about them, no?

    And although DaveS tried to play the question off with that, the fact of the matter is that there is a profound irrationality in atheists being deeply hostile, (more hostile than any other group), towards the God whom they claim not to believe in:

    When Atheists Are Angry at God – 2011
    Excerpt: I’ve never been angry at unicorns. It’s unlikely you’ve ever been angry at unicorns either.,, The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at him.
    A new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that atheists and agnostics report anger toward God either in the past or anger focused on a hypothetical image of what they imagine God must be like. Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University and the lead author of this recent study, has examined other data on this subject with identical results. Exline explains that her interest was first piqued when an early study of anger toward God revealed a counterintuitive finding: Those who reported no belief in God reported more grudges toward him than believers.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....gry-at-god

    Moreover, atheists have a very different physiological reaction when ‘daring God’ to do something awful when compared to when they merely wish for awful things to happen.

    Daring God Makes Atheists Sweat – 11/19/13
    Excerpt: This research conducted by the University of Finland found that having atheists dare God to do terrible things causes them stress to the point of sweating. Conversely, the same individuals did not exhibit those same stress levels when simply wishing for awful things to happen.
    http://fixedpointfix.com/darin.....sts-sweat/

    Would atheists sweat if they dared Darth Vader to do something awful to them?

    Of course they would not sweat!

    These physiological reactions of atheists to ‘daring God’ give us a small indication that atheists, deep down, really must know, in their heart of hearts, that God really does exist, but that it is, for whatever severely misguided reason, on the intellectual level that they choose to deny the existence of God.

    And indeed, that is what we find.

    Atheists have a knee jerk reaction to see the universe and life as purposely designed, and must ‘mentally work’ suppressing their innate design inference

    Is Atheism a Delusion?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    – per Evolution News

    As the following study found, “”Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the “knee jerk” reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they’re purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the “Divided Mind of a disbeliever.”
    The findings “suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed,” writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers’ words, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”
    Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or “default” human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether “any being purposefully made the thing in the picture,” notes Pacific-Standard.
    “Religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher” than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants “increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made” when “they did not have time to censor their thinking,” wrote the researchers.
    The results suggest that “the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs,” the report concluded.
    The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US.
    “Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richa.....dy-1505712

    In fact, it is now found that belief in God is ‘wired into us’ at a very early age. And that very young children have a innate predisposition to believe in God.

    Out of the mouths of babes – Do children believe (in God) because they’re told to by adults? The evidence suggests otherwise – Justin Barrett – 2008
    Excerpt: • Children tend to see natural objects as designed or purposeful in ways that go beyond what their parents teach, as Deborah Kelemen has demonstrated. Rivers exist so that we can go fishing on them, and birds are here to look pretty.
    • Children doubt that impersonal processes can create order or purpose. Studies with children show that they expect that someone not something is behind natural order. No wonder that Margaret Evans found that children younger than 10 favoured creationist accounts of the origins of animals over evolutionary accounts even when their parents and teachers endorsed evolution. Authorities’ testimony didn’t carry enough weight to over-ride a natural tendency.
    • Children know humans are not behind the order so the idea of a creating god (or gods) makes sense to them. Children just need adults to specify which one.
    • Experimental evidence, including cross-cultural studies, suggests that three-year-olds attribute super, god-like qualities to lots of different beings. Super-power, super-knowledge and super-perception seem to be default assumptions. Children then have to learn that mother is fallible, and dad is not all powerful, and that people will die. So children may be particularly receptive to the idea of a super creator-god. It fits their predilections.
    • Recent research by Paul Bloom, Jesse Bering, and Emma Cohen suggests that children may also be predisposed to believe in a soul that persists beyond death.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....god-belief

    It is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature and biology, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves intuitively see in nature.

    Perhaps the two most famous quotes of atheists suppressing their innate ‘design inference’ are these following quotes:

    “Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.”
    – Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 1

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    – Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit

    Yet exactly why must we “constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” As everyone on UD knows, Darwinists can’t even account for the origin of a single protein, much less can they account multicellular organisms with trillions upon trillions of interactive protein complexes

    It is not enough to say that design is a more likely scenario to explain a world full of well-designed things. It strikes me as urgent to insist that you not allow your mind to surrender the absolute clarity that all complex and magnificent things were made that way. Once you allow the intellect to consider that an elaborate organism with trillions of microscopic interactive components can be an accident… you have essentially “lost your mind.”
    – Jay Homnick – 2005 – American Spectator

    In regards to atheists ‘losing their minds’, what is far more problematic for atheists than their denial of their very own innate design inference, is their denial of the existence of God as a real person.

    Why is that? Because in their denial of God as a real person they end up claiming that they themselves do not really exist as real people but instead they end up claiming that they, i.e. their sense of self, is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’:

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    – per NYTIMES

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness – STEVEN PINKER – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories.
    As Barr points out, this implies not only that God does not exist — because God is not material — but that you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories; at best, you are an aggregate of those constituents, arranged in a particular way. Not just you, but tables, chairs, countries, countrymen, symphonies, jokes, legal contracts, moral judgments, and acts of courage or cowardice — all of these must be fully explicable in terms of those more fundamental, material constituents.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    The claim that our sense of self, that is to say, our conscious experience, is just a neuronal illusion is simply insane. As David Bentley Hart states in the following article, “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”

    The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness. – 2017
    Excerpt: “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”
    – David Bentley Hart
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-illusionist

    Bottom line, if God is not real, but is merely an illusion, as atheists claim that He is, then neither are atheists themselves real but they are instead merely ‘neuronal illusions’.

    And that humorous ‘self-defeating’ turn of events for atheists should be the very definition of a ‘self-defeating’ argument.

    Indeed, it should be the very definition of ‘poetic justice’.

    A Dream Within a Dream
    BY EDGAR ALLAN POE
    Take this kiss upon the brow!
    And, in parting from you now,
    Thus much let me avow —
    You are not wrong, who deem
    That my days have been a dream;
    Yet if hope has flown away
    In a night, or in a day,
    In a vision, or in none,
    Is it therefore the less gone?
    All that we see or seem
    Is but a dream within a dream.

    I stand amid the roar
    Of a surf-tormented shore,
    And I hold within my hand
    Grains of the golden sand —
    How few! yet how they creep
    Through my fingers to the deep,
    While I weep — while I weep!
    O God! Can I not grasp
    Them with a tighter clasp?
    O God! can I not save
    One from the pitiless wave?
    Is all that we see or seem
    But a dream within a dream?

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I think a blending of open source and universities or similar institutions acting in the public interest will have significant impact. I see some things coming out of South Africa [e.g this], and the Rice University OpenStax initiative impresses me. Khan Academy gives food for thought. KF

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