Of Naturalistic Religion
It is common to hear some atheists make blanket statements about religion, which is usually about how bad religion is for society or how religion is filled with irrationality. Assuming these things are true, the tendency to label religion this way is mainly looking at what religion has been in the past or what religion currently is in the present. But, that doesn’t mean that religion has to have the undesirable characteristics that critics point to.
For example, we could conceive of a naturalistic religion. Naturalistic religion wouldn’t include gods nor supernatural beings. We could also combine humanism with naturalistic religion to yield a religion that places focus on rationality, empathy, and science.
One might object by saying this wouldn’t really be religion; however, this would beg the very issue at hand. The fact is that it is very difficult to pin down a precise definition of “religion”. Some like to…
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Generally when one looks at general overviews or outlines of the various arguments for and against God, the arguments are classified in a neat order. However, I have found that the classifications for theistic arguments (in particular) are often prone to counter-examples. For example, it is often said that what makes ontological arguments what they …
On this blog I mainly talk about classical/traditional theism. Classical/traditional theism, at bottom, claims that there exists a Being who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good. More specifically this Being is all-loving, personal, timeless, spaceless, uncaused, immaterial, immutable, etc. This position is also known as "Anselmian theism", "Perfect Being Theism", or "Theism". Saint Anselm held that …
One common argument for the existence of the God of classical theism is the argument from desire. If the argument is construed in an inductive manner, the claim is that it’s not surprising that many people would have a desire for God on the hypothesis that theism is true.
However, this is not the whole story. If classical theism were true, it does indeed seem that many people would desire God. However, one can easily see why we would expect everyone to desire God. The problem is that this is not what we observe. Not only do we see people who lack a desire for God in the world, but we also see people that desire for there to not be a God.
If God exists, God could have easily made it that case that everyone desires God.
Also, what I mean by “desire” is simple. All I mean is…
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We’ve all had our views or arguments misrepresented at some point. Typically, if you (mis)represent your opponent as giving a deductive argument, then you can easily find a fallacy. Conversely, when certain arguments are, for example, properly represented as abductive arguments, some of those same fallacies just don’t apply.
One argument against the existence of God has to do with the evolutionary origin of belief in God. If one interprets an atheist here as presenting a deductive argument, then one can see how an atheist is committing a genetic fallacy. However, we should always be charitable when interpreting someone’s argument; get into the habit of steal-manning your opponent’s argument instead of attacking strawmen.
Here’s how the argument actually goes:
It is a known fact that belief in God is (in part) the product of evolutionary mechanisms. This fact is not surprising on the hypothesis of metaphysical naturalism. That’s because the range of…
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It's no secret that traditionally speaking God has been referred exclusively as "he". Most of the time people don't really think of why they refer to God only as a 'he'; it's more of a custom or tradition. What's more, everyone agrees that God isn't male or female. Given that this is the case, I …