Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I Beg to Differ

I found a lovely list of Philosophy Games. Things were going along swimmingly on Battleground God until I got the following result:

You've just taken a direct hit!

Earlier you agreed that it is rational to believe that the Loch Ness monster does not exist if there is an absence of strong evidence or argument that it does. No strong evidence or argument was required to show that the monster does not exist - absence of evidence or argument was enough. But now you claim that the atheist needs to be able to provide strong arguments or evidence if their belief in the non-existence of God is to be rational rather than a matter of faith.

The contradiction is that on the first ocassion (Loch Ness monster) you agreed that the absence of evidence or argument is enough to rationally justify belief in the non-existence of the Loch Ness monster, but on this occasion (God), you do not.

To be precise, these are the questions (true/false answers) that were asked:

Question 10

If, despite years of trying, no strong evidence or argument has been presented to show that there is a Loch Ness monster, it is rational to believe that such a monster does not exist.

Question 14

As long as there are no compelling arguments or evidence that show that God does not exist, atheism is a matter of faith, not rationality.

If you can't find evidence of the Loch Ness Monster it is RATIONAL TO ARRIVE AT THE BELIEF that there isn't one. If you don't find evidence of God it is RATIONAL TO ARRIVE AT THE BELIEF that there isn't one. But although you can arrive at the belief rationally, actually holding a belief is within itself not rational (faith is by definition not a rational act). So atheism - a BELIEF - is A MATTER OF FAITH. The truly rational position would be "I can draw no conclusions" which would be by definition agnostic. And I've always said there's no end to what an agnostic can do when they're really not sure whether or not they believe in anything...

They say if I disagree with their game I can go read their faq. Feh.

My results?
The fact that you progressed through this activity being hit only once and biting no bullets suggests that your beliefs about God are well thought out and almost entirely internally consistent.


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