Thursday, March 1, 2012

For Your Consideration

Notorious angry atheist Jerry Coyne opines on Alvin Plantiga...

In a post at his Why Evolution Is True blog Professor Coyne is discussing the theology proposed by notorious Christian theologian, philosopher, and apologist Alvin Plantiga.  Coyne is called out by detractors in his comments section and elsewhere for lack of philosophical rigor, but in the course of his post a statement rung a few bell for me.

"Theology is not an honest attempt to find the truth, but a post facto rationalization of what the theologian already believes."

I've long pondered the question of where the dividing line between faith and the lack of it occurs.  It appears to me the binary bit is an emotional commitment to a faith.  If you have the emotional spark then religious faith, your preferred brand of theology, comfort with the utterances of those in your chosen faith community all make sense.  Without the spark all the traditions, bible stories, theologizing, and apologetics fail to resonate; the traditional arguments for God simply are not compelling.  (I lack experience with faith's that value orthopraxy over orthodoxy so this may or may not apply to those as well.)

What say you?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mike, interesting post. Some thoughts I had...

    If faith is caused by a emotional spark I would agree with Huxley (who was not a man of faith) who contended that that sword cuts both ways.

    “I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”

    For every motivation for "having faith" there is also a motion for "not having faith".

    But again, we all have faith in something - whether that be metaphysical naturalism, existentialism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc.
    For me the question was not an emotional driven issue (though at first it probably was), but has developed into a "which one makes the best sense of 'all' of reality as we know it".