Monday, October 3, 2011

Unclear on the concept

It is not often you can deduce a philosophical error from a website name. In this case, however, the website "Atheism is False" lives up to its promise.

On the page outlining the problem, Stone explicitly states:

Atheism is false, and atheistic books fail to provide the justification for atheistic belief.

But of course this is absurd. No one believes in atheism; rather, one is an atheist because one does not believe in theism. Atheism can't be proven false; rather, one proves that a given theistic belief system is true.

Even if you could prove that atheism was false, how would that help? You still have to prove which of the many competing theistic believes is true. And once you prove that a given theistic belief is true, you've already defeated atheism, without any extra work.

So the goal is to prove a religion true. But true to form, Stone operates from within a false dichotomy. The only options he considers are a) atheism, and b) his particular form of theism. He takes it for granted that if one is convinced to believe, one will naturally choose his belief. He is worried about the tens of millions of atheists in America, but apparently utterly unaware of the hundreds of millions of Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists in the world.

Should we tell him? Or would that just be mean?


madhava said...

we could tell him but I doubt he would listen

MCPlanck said...

Ya, it's a one-way conversation with those types.