Who often know something about logical reasoning. From Gary Gutting at Salon:
Atheists sometimes argue the case against God is the same as the case against Santa Claus. Let’s test the logic
Our first concern will be Richard Dawkins’s efforts to refute standard arguments for theism. These efforts suffer from a variety of logical mistakes. His critique of the cosmological argument confuses an implication with a presupposition, while his critique of the ontological argument makes an illegitimate move from distaste for a conclusion to its invalidity. His critique of arguments from religious experience ignores the distinction between when we can explain an experience as illusory and when we should explain an experience as illusory.
[Snippet:] Dawkins’s critique of religious experience goes wrong by starting from the question, Can we explain this experience as illusory? He should instead ask, Is there a specific reason to think that we should explain this experience as illusory? To make his case, he would have to reflect philosophically on the conditions that make it appropriate to dismiss an experience as illusory, and then show that all religious experiences meet those conditions. There is an extensive epistemological literature—often very critical of religion—on how to evaluate the veracity of religious experiences. Dawkins’s argument needs to engage this literature. More.
Of course, people can and do wave logic aside, as they do evidence. But they do not thereby make themselves immune from the consequences.
See also: Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away
How long should we believe the prophet Matheson? A thought forms: Hey, wait a minute. If that guy were just plain fooling himself, he’d be saying the same things…
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