Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Group 3's Post During the Exam Abyss

Perhaps crude, but it went viral none the less. Figured it had a home here.

This was also posted yesterday...
"I don't believe in God," he said looking up from the menu. Was he challenging me because he knows I'm a Christian minister, I wondered?
Peter was the husband of a close friend, who had kindly done me a favor. To show my appreciation I was taking him to lunch. Was he intentionally being aggressive? I didn't want to argue. I smiled. "Well, I'm not in the business of conversion," I said, "but for the record, I probably don't believe in the same God you don't believe in," I was hoping to avert hostility and maybe open a dialogue about our understanding of the divine, since he brought it up. He wasn't having it.
"No," he said leaning forward, "I mean I don't believe in any God!" His words pierced the atmosphere. I conciliated. "I'm not attached to the word. 'God' is just a placeholder for the ineffable, call it what you will," I said, trying to find common ground.
"I don't believe in any of that!" He was becoming openly belligerent. I wasn't sure how to proceed. His wife also called herself an atheist, but we'd had a great discussion about theology as well as sex, love, and our life stories on a bus trip all the way from Budapest to Prague. Before I could respond he threw down the gauntlet, "I'm a scientist. I believe in science."


  1. The HuffPo essay is interesting. It's true, there are some angry atheists out there beligerently setting up Straw Man gods to repudiate. But it's misleading to imply that most atheists are that way. Makes it easier to ignore the challenge, I guess.

  2. Indeed. Philosophical opposition, that is, arguments amongst philosopical topics, is derived from two contradictions, a contradiction between an assertion and someone(s)'s observation of the world, or, a contradiction between an assertion and what someone(s)'s wants the world to be like. From a purely mechanical debate perspective, there are no arguments of which satisfy the former, that is, a reconciliation of any ARGUMENT for a proposed god to perfecty match the state of affairs in the world, there might be a few; however, of which can be reconciled by what one wants the world to be like. Not in a superficial way, but that is, there are arguments for god of which can be reconciled with ones entire perscriptive subjective perception without contradiction, hypothetically. At any rate, because of the former, the latter is rather irrelevant. This is because, from a mechnical debate perspective, when one cannot satisfy the former, there argument is deemed illogical and wrong, thus, it doesn't matter whether I'm being an asshole, repudiating a straw man, or have a terrible argument, because the affirmative cannot provide the sufficient conditions neccessary to satisfy the former criteria, their argument is always invalidated, and the negative argument wins.

    I mention this, because what is going on in that post is a mechanical debate argument. The poster is quite clever in diguising it as a genuine heartfelt cry for reconciliation, but the victim card is obviously in effect. The author straw mans his own argument as that of the infiinitely accomodating victim in order to eek out a sympathy win in the argument, but it is a ploy none-the-less. His editorial is the bourgeoise equivalent of an angry facebook status, or passive agressive tweet.