Why 62% of Philosophers are Atheists

#1
Why 62% of Philosophers are Atheists (Part I)
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/...sts-part-i

EXCERPT: Recently, Gary Gutting interviewed Alvin Plantinga for the Stone (The New York Times philosophy column). “Is atheism rational?” the title asked, with the implied answer: “Yes.” Yet among philosophers, a supposedly rational group, 62% are atheists (compared to about half that among all academics and 2% in the general population). When asked why this is so, Plantinga suggested their motivations were psychological, not philosophical. Maybe they are like Thomas Nagel, he suggested, and don’t “want there to be any such person as God” because that means they are constantly being observed, judged and evaluated. Or perhaps, like Heidegger, they desire autonomy and think God’s existence threatens it.

None of these philosophers, however, specialized in studying religious belief. On the other hand, there are numerous philosophers of religion who argue directly and philosophically for atheism and whose motivation Plantinga seems to completely ignore (e.g., A. C. Grayling; William Rowe; John Leslie Mackie, who argued that theism is irrational; and Michael Martin, who has written an entire philosophical defense of atheism).

I know my own atheism has nothing to do with worries about autonomy or being watched or judged. It’s simply because I am not keen on taking things on faith—i.e., believing without sufficient evidence or pretending to know what I don’t) or committing logical fallacies. And it seems that to believe in God based on anything besides faith simply involves motivated reasoning that tries to justify theistic belief—reasoning that is rife with logically fallacious arguments....

MORE: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/...sts-part-i

- - -

Why 62% of Philosophers are Atheists (Part II)
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/...ts-part-ii

EXCERPT: Gutting and Plantinga’s second topic of conversation centers around the fact that some atheists will not only claim that the arguments for God's existence fail, but that the arguments against God's existence work, and that this is why they don't believe. Plantinga reduces these arguments down to one—the problem of evil (“why is there evil if God exists?”)—and says that although it does have some "strength," the evidence it provides against theism is balanced out by the arguments for theism. There are, Plantinga claims, "a couple of dozen" good theistic arguments—none of which taken by itself is "good enough to convince any rational person," but when taken together, constitute a single philosophical argument that is "as strong as philosophical arguments ordinarily get.”

There are a number of things to point out here.

First of all, Plantinga is ignoring a large number of deductive philosophical arguments against God's existence that point out that the very definition of the perfect being that Plantinga worships is inconsistent. [...] Secondly…24 good theistic arguments? Traditionally there are four: the ontological, teleological, cosmological, and moral argument. It seems the only way that Plantinga can get to 24 is if he counted every variety or version of such arguments as a separate one....

MORE: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/...ts-part-ii
Reply
#2
(Apr 3, 2018 02:50 AM)C C Wrote: None of these philosophers, however, specialized in studying religious belief. On the other hand, there are numerous philosophers of religion who argue directly and philosophically for atheism and whose motivation Plantinga seems to completely ignore (e.g., A. C. Grayling; William Rowe; John Leslie Mackie, who argued that theism is irrational; and Michael Martin, who has written an entire philosophical defense of atheism).
There have been no new arguments against the existence of god for decades, at least. And philosophers who claim to have made a novel one are usually just ignorant of past rebuttals.
Quote:First of all, Plantinga is ignoring a large number of deductive philosophical arguments against God's existence that point out that the very definition of the perfect being that Plantinga worships is inconsistent. [...] Secondly…24 good theistic arguments? Traditionally there are four: the ontological, teleological, cosmological, and moral argument. It seems the only way that Plantinga can get to 24 is if he counted every variety or version of such arguments as a separate one....
And this is a perfect example of a long-since rebutted argument (omniscience, etc. being inconsistent). Since he doesn't even mention theodicy, which Plantinga just did, his "4 good theistic arguments" is either disingenuous or ignorant. He likely and erroneously assumes that the "problem of evil" is only an argument against the existence of god, where it's actually a strong argument for god and free will.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Church & India + Understanding other religions + Islamic theologians or philosophers? C C 9 1,116 Feb 20, 2017 09:37 PM
Last Post: Syne



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)