Readers may remember Larry “All scientists should be militant atheists” Krauss.
Scientists Should Tell Lawrence Krauss to Shut Up Already
Dr. Feser, may we assume that you are not a fan?
In a recent opinion piece for The New Yorker, physicist Lawrence Krauss proclaims that “all scientists should be militant atheists.” Why? You won’t get any clear answer from the article, which is even thinner on argumentation (as opposed to sheer assertion) than the usual New Atheist tract—indeed, even thinner than the usual Lawrence Krauss tract, which is saying something. Most of the piece is about Kim Davis, Hobby Lobby, and other matters of public controversy entirely irrelevant to either science or the question of God’s existence.
Krauss’s argument is as inept as that of someone who thinks that checkers game boards have no cause, because we can find no reference to such a cause in the rules of checkers. Such a person is looking in the wrong place, just as Krauss is looking in the wrong place when he confines himself to science to find some reason to affirm a divine uncaused cause.
Of course, Krauss would no doubt dispute all of this and insist on scientism, the view that science alone gives us knowledge. The point, though, is that Krauss has given us no reason at all to accept scientism.
Oh dear. One fears that Dr. Feser, like so many, will discover in time that the main reason offered will be the fist sandwich that follows rejection of scientism, on whatever grounds.
Law of fist sandwiches: If a system of thought is, at bottom, incoherent and holds that the mind does not really exist or arrive at valid conclusions, it is typically imposed by brute force, not by persuasion. Persuasion is a fool’s errand by the system’s own account.
Note: Vince Torley writes, as below: Edward Feser’s follow-up article, Walter Mitty atheism is even better. It’s a devastating takedown of Lawrence Krauss and Jerry Coyne. Well worth reading.
Yes. Though Feser is arguing with a fist sandwich, as it happens:
Could it get worse even than that? Well, on Jerry Coyne’s blog it sure can, and it does. In yet another post two days later, Coyne claimed that the cosmological argument’s answer to the question “Why does God exist?” is: “He just does,” without explanation (!) This despite the fact that — as I explained in my response to him just days before (and as I explained in my exchange with him four years ago) — that is precisely the opposite of what Aristotelian, Thomist, Leibnizian, and other defenders of the argument actually say! And when a reader pointed out in Coyne’s combox that this is a caricature of the argument, Coyne banned him from posting any further (purportedly on the grounds that the reader was being rude)!
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