Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Who designed the designer?" by Common Sense Atheism

World in hand
Image by Beniamino Baj

A controversial article by this atheist site, and I think a rather good one. I especially like how he finishes...
"Third, because I want atheists to focus on objections that really matter. When a believer offers “God did it” as the best explanation for something, our question should not be “Well then who designed the designer?” but instead “Why is God the best explanation for that? Will you explain, please?”
The theist has a good answer to the first question. He won’t have a good answer for the second one. Not if you’re prepared:"

A huge assumption though at the end to assume the theist won't have a good answer. We all have explanations without explanations, if we didn't, we would be omniscient. He should probably change his phrase "When a believer offers" to "when a theist offers". Why? Because he is a believer also, just not of the same objective.


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  2. I agree, it goes both ways. Yes some theists will say, "God did it," but also some atheists will say, "Evolution did it." The theists also need to be prepared to ask, "Why is evolution the best explanation for that? Will you explain, please?"

  3. Well said Toejam :) Actually, I believe when you compare the entire evolutionary belief-knowledge paradigm, with the entire theistic belief-knowledge paradigm - you find that properly understood theism (and especially Christianity) CAN be shown to be the best explanation for everything.

  4. Of course, just because it CAN be shown, does not mean every individual 'believer' can actually show it (to themselves or to others!)
    It is surely a mistake to subscribe to a belief-knowledge paradigm, without even being able to show to yourself that it is the best explanation you can find…
    This goes for everyone who subscribes to any paradigm, including atheism and theism.

  5. Yeah, well said Luke. Also well put Josh, although on the last point I noticed you used the terms "show to yourself" exclusively. One can find it definitely possible to be unable to convince others of the reasons why, but one may be utterly convinced himself. Like Paul and his meeting with Jesus on the road, he would be utterly convinced himself and yet find it hard to convince others. I do think we should be learning how to give a reason for the hope that is within us.

  6. True Dan :) We ought to be aiming to help others find truth - and respond appropriately to it (i.e. with trust and delight, if the truth warrants it). However, it is not YOUR mistake of belief, if you hold to a belief system which you can't persuade others of - as long as you have shown to yourself that it is the best explanation you can find. We can help others open themselves up to paradigms they may never have considered before, by asking them to be honest with themselves about the various explanations out there… is this really the best explanation you can find?