Dr. Daniel Fincke PhD begins the below article by referring to himself as an “agnostic adeist” (his words). He ends the article with: “But based on everything I know and have read at present, I feel confident enough to say that I know. There is no God.” I cannot reconcile those statements nor do I care to. Perhaps the paradox only exists in my head. (shrug) At any rate, below we have an excellent response Dr. Fincke’s article by my Christian friend Malachi Sewell.
Read: “My Atheism” by Dr. Daniel Fincke PhD
Malachi Sewell responds with:
Finke’s objection against theism suffers from the same old metaphysical naturalist circular reasoning (albeit you have to mine for it through all the verbosity). Here it is:
“Personhood is a complex phenomenon made up of trillions (or more?) molecules interacting. It is an evolved phenomenon, specific to very particular kinds of beings. To impute it to the most basic metaphysical principle is sheer unjustified anthropomorphism. There is no reason to think an eternal, immutable, self-existent first cause would have any personality.”
Here metaphysical naturalism is assumed as a premise (material nature of personality) within an argument against theism. Now most people think that such a rookie mistake (affirming the consequent within the premise) is restricted to the ‘rookies’. This is not so with begging the question. It is the most common logical mistake people make regardless of experience and wit. This is because of how hard it is to detect when you surround yourself with people who already agree.
What Finke should have done is raise an objection to Theism upon Theism’s own terms. No proper objection assumes the falsity of the thing it seeks to discredit within the premise of the argument. Theism affirms that there is more to personality than merely a biological machine in a similar way that there is more to a computer than just hardware. Yet he doesn’t even give a nod to the concept of dualism despite knowing good and well it comes part and parcel to Theism.
So, in essence, he is objecting to a brand of theism (one which denies dualism) that, by definition, does not exist. So he has not proven Theism false, but rather erected a paper version of it and pretends his demolition of this toy version somehow makes him the victor of the real McCoy.
And just to drive the point home, he commits the same error on the heels of doing it above:
“Also given that personal beings as we know them are temporal as a matter of fundamental constitution, the notion of an eternal and immutable personal being is incoherently contradictory and therefore a logical impossibility.”
Who are the we he is talking about there and how can they know personality is temporal in nature? The “we” He is referring to is himself and those of his own ilk; who reject dualism purely from thier prior philosophical comittments, not because it fails some demonstrable test.
It is painful to read this article, it’s like watching a puppy chase his own tail for an hour and acting as if he accomplished something in the process.
Thank you, Malachi Sewell for this excellent contribution to Tribosblog.org.