Quotes of the day

posted at 10:43 pm on June 29, 2010 by Allahpundit

I would not go so far as to argue that there’s a “new agnosticism” on the rise. But I think it’s time for a new agnosticism, one that takes on the New Atheists. Indeed agnostics see atheism as “a theism”—as much a faith-based creed as the most orthodox of the religious variety.

Faith-based atheism? Yes, alas. Atheists display a credulous and childlike faith, worship a certainty as yet unsupported by evidence—the certainty that they can or will be able to explain how and why the universe came into existence. (And some of them can behave as intolerantly to heretics who deviate from their unproven orthodoxy as the most unbending religious Inquisitor.)…

Why has agnosticism fallen out of favor? New Atheism offers the glamour of fraudulent rebelliousness, while agnosticism has only the less eye-catching attractions of humility. The willingness to say “I don’t know” is less attention-getting than “I know, I know. I know it all.”

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tommyboy is making a different point, that the universe is fine tuned for life.

No, I am going beyond the cosmological anthropic principle to say that science shows even within the fine tuned universe, earth is specifically fined turned for life in a manner such that it would be statistically impossible for another planet within this universe to have, by chance, the earth specific variables to sustain life. If this is true it refutes the argument that “the universe is so vast that it is unreasonable to think there isn’t life on some other planet somewhere.”

tommyboy on June 30, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I didn’t know Frida from ABBA was an atheist and a PM.

leftnomore on June 30, 2010 at 11:41 AM

A lot of very legitimate comments were made about the fact that Obama managed to harness a kind of faith in followers. On the most critical side, they were called ‘CULTISTS.”

My personal opinion is that we’re seeing last of politicians as God.

We’re entering into a new era.

AnninCA on June 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Faith is to believe without knowledge.

Science is “to know”

A scientist cannot believe and a believer cannot be a scientist.
A scientist can only hold a theory, know or not know.

A scientist cannot be an Atheist or a Theist both positions require faith.

Knowing that you do not know is agnosticism which scientific.

Pretending that you know something that you don’t just makes you a fool.

Well, that’s a theory anyway.

TheSitRep on June 30, 2010 at 11:58 AM

The marxist “Red Julia”?? LMAO

If this is Allah’s argument for athetism, it’s pretty weak.

Norwegian on June 30, 2010 at 12:09 PM

I don’t know how you can be so sure of that. While we can certainly modify existing life forms I don’t believe we have a clue where to start in the process of turning inert elements into biological life. After Stanlely Miller’s experiments were disproved science was left in the dark as to where to begin.

tommyboy on June 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I’m not sure of it, though there seems to be a progression toward artificial life and a lot of people currently chasing the goal.

My understanding of Miller’s work is that it showed amino acids being created from inorganic elements. Subsequent research contends that Miller didn’t have the Earth’s early chemistry correct. However, that wouldn’t be relevant to the question of whether life can form in some one of a septillion or so planets that may be out there. Perhaps one of those planets had a slightly different mix of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen nitrogen and other elements cooked up more optimally by a star.

My point about artificial life wasn’t directed at abiogenesis. Instead, I was thinking more of software that passes the Turing Test. It seems quite possible that we’ll eventually create entities in software that are difficult to distinguish from conscious humans.

dedalus on June 30, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Can you please provide an example of an atheist claiming that

natural sciences can and will answer all questions

It’s the essence of your faith. You believe that there is no higher intelligence, no supernatural, nothing that cannot be explained through natural science. The problem is that many, many questions have not been, and most likely will never be, explained by science. Therefore, you are operating on faith to rule out the possibility of supernatural answers. Agnostics do not rule out the possibility of any answers. We don’t operate on faith. We operate on proof.

It’s you fairy tale types that claim your big cheese answers all.

deewhybee on June 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Wait…I don’t believe in any deities, but I’m a fairy tale type? Oh look, another atheist zealot attacking anyone who disagrees with them as a “fairy tale type”. Whatever you say, science worshiper.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Can you please provide an example of an atheist claiming that

natural sciences can and will answer all questions

So, Metaphysical Naturalism is not the governing metaphysical idea of Science?

Holger on June 30, 2010 at 12:45 PM

If you do not believe in God, you believe that we all descend from rocks.

Slowburn on June 30, 2010 at 12:56 PM

I have no problem with ‘soft’ agnostics – those earnestly seeking Truth.

However, ‘hard’ agnostics (no one can really know anything, etc) can be just as insufferable and hidebound as anti-theists.

But I’m silly that way.

locomotivebreath1901 on June 30, 2010 at 1:22 PM

An atheist, who denies the existence of God, has to believe that life as we know it sprang into existence from inanimate matter according to the laws of science as we know them.

Somehow, in direct contradiction to the Second Law of Thermodynamics (increasing entropy, or disorder, with time), and Le Chatelier’s Principle (accumulation of products in a chemical reaction tend to reverse the reaction), random amino acids arranged themselves into tremendously complex proteins that only work in one order, and gave off water that never reversed the reaction, and random bases arranged themselves into tremendously complex DNA that only works in one order, and gave off water than never reversed the reaction.

Either something changed the Second Law of Thermodynamics or LeChatelier’s Principle sometime in the past, or we’re not here, or atheists believe in miracles.

Whom do you trust to work miracles–God or Lady Luck?

Steve Z on June 30, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Agnosticism claims neither that God exists, nor that he doesn’t exist. Agnosticism is open to either idea if it can be proven to them. Theists claim that God can and will answer all questions. Atheists claim that natural sciences can and will answer all questions. Both are products of faith.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 10:00 AM
Can you please provide an example of an atheist claiming that

natural sciences can and will answer all questions
It’s you fairy tale types that claim your big cheese answers all.

deewhybee on June 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM

madasscon worships the Straw Man and…

The problem is that many, many questions have not been, and most likely will never be, explained by science.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 12:30 PM

is the essence of his/her faith because how they can know this is truly a metaphysical.

Madasscon should spend less time TELLING you what YOU BELIEVE and LISTENING to WHAT YOU SAY. Then they wouldn’t come off as such a ninny.

An Atheist needs proof that there are no gods as much as they need proof there is no Count Chocula.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 2:33 PM

As for whether science will have “all the answers” well…we’ll just have to wait and see.
.
No faith reqiured.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Misconceptions of biblical faith:
1) It is simply defined as “belief in an unknown”.
In context biblical faith, go ahead and search for it, is more loyalty and trust in God then “believing the unknowable”.
2) It contains no level of verifiable knowledge. Jesus asked his followers to verify that he was the son of God by his actions in comparison to fullfilled prophecy and miracles. Only God can do both.

3) That the individual is capable of mustering up faith on his own.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God —
Ephesians 2:7-9

shick on June 30, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Good post Allahpundit. And see my response to ronsfi below.

As for whether science will have “all the answers” well…we’ll just have to wait and see.
.
No faith reqiured.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 2:37 PM

You seem to be demonstrating a biblical defintion of faith. I’m not suggesting that you believe in (a) god for your focus of faith is misguided. I’m suggesting that you are loyal to and trust in science without knowing all the answers.

Thus, your faith is required.

shick on June 30, 2010 at 3:20 PM

“Oh mighty science! I don’t understand it all. But you are good and may reveal in my day more of which I do not know. I hate being ignorant, oh science. Please feed me a bit more knowledge so that I feel a bit of comfort against those who worship another god. I know you will reveal. I know you will. Oh please, science!”

shick on June 30, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Oh look, another atheist zealot attacking anyone who disagrees with them as a “fairy tale type”. Whatever you say, science worshiper.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 12:30 PM

B+

shick on June 30, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Thus, your faith is required.

shick on June 30, 2010 at 3:20 PM

.
Knowing all the answers has nothing to do with it. I’m not advocating for science here, I am simply stating, “There are no Gods” which to me is axiomatic. The science angle is just a straw man.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

, “There are no Gods” which to me is axiomatic. The science angle is just a straw man.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

axiomatic
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle Greek axiōmatikos, from Greek, honorable, from axiōmat-, axiōma
Date: 1797

1 : taken for granted : self-evident

Main Entry: self–ev·i·dent
Function: adjective
Date: 1671

: evident without proof or reasoning

To take something as axiomatic is indeed not scientific, because an axiom is simply a supposition that cannot be proven.

And so that is why it is true that

Thus, your faith is required.

shick on June 30, 2010 at 3:20 PM

pedestrian on June 30, 2010 at 4:58 PM

In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proved or demonstrated but considered to be either self-evident, or subject to necessary decision.
.

pedestrian on June 30, 2010 at 4:58 PM

.
Not a strong argument.
So you are reduced to arguing essentially, “Yeah well you’re just as idiotic as us”.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 5:27 PM

While there may be other worlds out there with life, even intelligent life, there is only one where that intelligent life is in a state of rebellion, thus in need of a savior.

God created us, knowing we would rebel, to demonstrate that it in His nature to be infinitely creative, to be infinitely loving and to be infinitely just.

P.S. And He did THAT for a very good reason. Investigate, discover and, eventually, believe.

Fatal on June 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 2:33 PM

There are questions.

Some people offer the answer as the supernatural, since the natural has yet to provide clarity.

You insult those people and claim to know that there is no supernatural.

Faith. I love how it stings the most insecure of you.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Faith. I love how it stings the most insecure of you.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 5:54 PM

.
A psychoanalyst as well now? Clearly an “A” student. Trying so hard to please the teacher. Why do you “love how it stings”? That makes you sound like a bitter little pissant.
.
I do “know that there is no supernatural”. I could care less how that affects you, though you clearly have a hardon for me.
.
You would do well to spend less time defending your arguments and more time defending your position. Good luck.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 6:27 PM

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 6:27 PM

You’re the one on the attack, bud. Careful before calling others bitter.

I do “know that there is no supernatural”.

As long as you’re comfortable with your faith, more power to you.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 6:34 PM

I do “know that there is no supernatural”.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Really? What evidence do you have that atheism is accurate and correct?

Grace_is_sufficient on June 30, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Round and round the mulberry bush …

OldEnglish on June 30, 2010 at 7:53 PM

How can one be hostile to something they don’t believe exists?

It’s been said, “An atheist is someone who says, ‘There is no God, and I’ll fight him till I die.’”

It’s not hard to find atheists who obsess about proving there is no God. Obviously, they are hostile to the idea of God. The irony is that they spend so much time attacking something they claim does not exist.

No, not all atheists are obsessive. But there are enough that your rhetorical question, “How can one be hostile to something they don’t believe exists?” is not so rhetorical after all. The fact is that some atheists are that hostile.

You’re simply trying to demonize people who don’t believe the same way as you do. That’s zealotry.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 9:58 AM

There’s a lot of difference between generalizing and demonizing. In effect, you’re demonizing my position and me by extension. Which by your own definition makes you a zealot.

I believe that we inherently have a knowledge of God, but an incomplete knowledge of God. This belief matches observations made by myself and others, and is compatible with the existence of Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, animism, and even paganism. It’s built in to us to believe that there is a God.

The difference between these religions, as far as knowledge goes, lies in having a more complete knowledge of God.

Once you start with a knowledge of God, it’s not hard to be quickly disappointed with what may well be categorized as eastern and western visions of God.

The eastern vision could be described as believing in a very big God, but an impersonal one. This would correspond to Hinduism and Buddhism, in which God is all, but not a person you could talk to.

The western vision of God or religion would be exemplified by the Greek and Roman gods. These gods were very personal, but while greater than human, they were limited and quite petty compared to the eastern vision of God. So the pagan gods were personal, but not all-powerful.

(These are of necessity generalizations.)

Christianity and Judaism posit a God Who is all-powerful and all-knowing and everywhere-present — like God in the eastern religions — but without being just an impersonal force. But while being still a person, as in the western pagan religions, He has none of their pettiness and squabbles.

So how did the Christian version of God wind up looking like a combination of the eastern and western branches of religions? There are two obvious possibilities.

The first possibility is that the originator of Christianity and Judaim essentially syncretized eastern and western religions, implying a knowledge of both and taking the best of each.

The other possibility is that the eastern and western versions of religion themselves derived from an earlier monotheism. That is, it’s not that Judaism/Christianity was formed by adding features of different branches of religion, but that the eastern and western branches subtracted from an earlier form of monotheism.

Historically speaking, monotheism seems to be at least as ancient as any other form of religion.

And this would completely match the Bible version of history which claims that all of mankind began with a knowledge of the same God, and that therefore other religions formed from or after that religion.

There Goes The Neighborhood on July 1, 2010 at 12:26 AM

So you are reduced to arguing essentially, “Yeah well you’re just as idiotic as us”.

ronsfi on June 30, 2010 at 5:27 PM

I never would have worded it like that but at least you get the point that ignorance is where we all have common ground. You reveal in your reiniterpretation how this point “irks” you. Good.

shick on July 1, 2010 at 9:36 AM

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