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A Proof that Faith is Valid and True

Sidewalker
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6/20/2012 9:50:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
A lot of people here talk about "proof" and "logic" while attempting to represent faith as illogical or unscientific. I would be inclined to call them the scientism crowd. There seems to be a tendency to argue that we can't accept anything without proof while representing science as a complete and comprehensive accounting of reality in all its fullness. The scientism crowd tries to represent themselves as being more logical, rational, and scientific than people of faith.

And yet, there is a "proof" that stands logically in support of faith.

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem is analytically perfect and rigidly deductive; therefore it is conclusive as far as logic and science are concerned. It states categorically that no axiomatic system is, or can be complete without reference to a higher system in which that system must be embedded. Mathematically, Gödel proved that even an axiomatic system as simple as arithmetic cannot be internally consistent and logically complete without reference to a higher system.

Logic and science are indeed axiomatic systems, therefore logic and science themselves have proven that they are not complete without reference to a higher system. Gödel proved that the ideal of science is therefore impossible, which is to say that it is logically and scientifically impossible to devise a set of axioms from which all the phenomena of the external world can be deduced.

It's fine to recognize the differences between logic and faith, they are indeed two different things, but any representation of logic and science as somehow complete systems, or statements that contend that logic and/or science constitute comprehensive representations of reality have been proven to be logically and scientifically incorrect. As far as Science and Logic are concerned, faith in a transcendent reality is more true to reality than logic and science can be.

Faith is essentially belief in a higher system, it postulates a transcendent reality in which we live and move and have our being. Kurt Gödel provided a proof that the act of having faith in a greater reality in which the normal world of science is embedded is a more logical and scientifically a more true representation of reality.

Granted, uncertainty isn't a very agreeable state, but certainty has been proved to be a ridiculous one logically and scientifically speaking. Werner Heisenberg confirmed that uncertainty is a feature of reality with his own proof in the physical sciences. Each and every unified theory, which is to say every scientific attempt at unifying and completing physical theory, postulates other dimensions in which this reality is embedded, every one of them, as and perhaps because, Kurt Gödel logically proved that they must.

It follows that the common assertion that you can't believe in a non-physical existence or a transcendent reality without proof has been "proven" by Kurt Gödel to be illogical and unscientific, it's OK to do it, but it should be recognized as a faith based assertion rather than a logical, rational, or scientific premise. When it is done with certainty, it is more of a faith based religious belief than anything resembling a logical or scientific premise.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
royalpaladin
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6/20/2012 9:53:53 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Like, one axiom is that "The whole is greater than the part." Explain how this references a higher system.

Also, I don't think that axioms are necessarily assumptions: they are self evident. It's self-evident that a whole pizza is greater than 25% of a pizza. Faith is not self-evident; it's just pure assumption.
Sidewalker
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6/20/2012 10:00:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 9:51:40 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Axioms in Math and Science are not references to higher systems.

I know, that's why I didn't say anything like that. What I pointed out was that no axiomatic system can be consistent and complete, to be complete and consistent they must be referental to another, more comprehensive system, "higher" so to speak..
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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6/20/2012 10:11:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
: At 6/20/2012 9:53:53 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Like, one axiom is that "The whole is greater than the part." Explain how this references a higher system.

It doesn't.

: Also, I don't think that axioms are necessarily assumptions: they are self evident. It's self-evident that a whole pizza is greater than 25% of a pizza.

I don't think axioms are assumptions either, which is why I didn't say that either.

Faith is not self-evident; it's just pure assumption.

That is not a statement of fact, it is an uninformed and strictly faith based statement.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
000ike
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6/20/2012 10:22:44 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
this is completely off topic, but this wave of logic-wielding theists is really exciting. For the longest time I've interacted with theists whose apologetics consisted of assertions, contradictions, and denial (Gileandos). Their justification for everything was "the bible says so" or "God would want it that way" (DATCMOTO).
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Reason_Alliance
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6/20/2012 10:35:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 9:51:40 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Axioms in Math and Science are not references to higher systems.

Oh yes they are: 2+2=4 because it's necessary, it's necessary because the Peano Axioms are necessary, those are necessary because... etc.

Science references at least 10 higher systems. the existence of a theory independent, external world; the knowability of the external world; the existence of truth; the laws of logic; the reliability of our cognitive and sensory faculties to serve as truth gatherers and as a source of justified beliefs in our intellectual environment; the adequacy of language to describe the world; the existence of values used in science; the uniformity of nature and induction; and, the existence of numbers and mathematical truths.
Reason_Alliance
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6/20/2012 10:37:42 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 9:53:53 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Like, one axiom is that "The whole is greater than the part." Explain how this references a higher system.

Also, I don't think that axioms are necessarily assumptions: they are self evident. It's self-evident that a whole pizza is greater than 25% of a pizza. Faith is not self-evident; it's just pure assumption.

If a person has an experience of God, then it is self-evidence & grounded in their immediate experience as a properly basic belief. That's IF a person truly experiences God... something YOU can't know.
Reason_Alliance
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6/20/2012 10:38:45 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 10:11:29 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
: At 6/20/2012 9:53:53 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
Like, one axiom is that "The whole is greater than the part." necessarily BECAUSE no event precedes itself. Explain how this references a higher system.

It doesn't.

: Also, I don't think that axioms are necessarily assumptions: they are self evident. It's self-evident that a whole pizza is greater than 25% of a pizza.

I don't think axioms are assumptions either, which is why I didn't say that either.

Faith is not self-evident; it's just pure assumption.

That is not a statement of fact, it is an uninformed and strictly faith based statement.
Reason_Alliance
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6/20/2012 10:40:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 10:22:44 PM, 000ike wrote:
this is completely off topic, but this wave of logic-wielding theists is really exciting. For the longest time I've interacted with theists whose apologetics consisted of assertions, contradictions, and denial (Gileandos). Their justification for everything was "the bible says so" or "God would want it that way" (DATCMOTO).

Get used to it. 1/3 of practicing philosophers are now theists, there's a veritable renaissance taking place in academia: Christian philosophy is on the incline & Atheistic philosophy is on the decline.
Sidewalker
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6/20/2012 10:48:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 10:42:07 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
And goodnight.

Yeah, same here...goodnight folks.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
000ike
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6/20/2012 11:01:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 10:40:48 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/20/2012 10:22:44 PM, 000ike wrote:
this is completely off topic, but this wave of logic-wielding theists is really exciting. For the longest time I've interacted with theists whose apologetics consisted of assertions, contradictions, and denial (Gileandos). Their justification for everything was "the bible says so" or "God would want it that way" (DATCMOTO).

Get used to it. 1/3 of practicing philosophers are now theists, there's a veritable renaissance taking place in academia: Christian philosophy is on the incline & Atheistic philosophy is on the decline.

I'm perfectly fine with it. All I want is to feel justified in my views, and if theism provides a solid explanation, then I will be a theist. I think what most atheists rebel against is the suppression and intellectual despotism of traditional religious teachings. It's also the need for blind faith and assertions to support everything. What you, popculturepooka, and sidewalker argue is very different. That's why I think it's exciting.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Reason_Alliance
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6/21/2012 6:19:00 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 11:01:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/20/2012 10:40:48 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/20/2012 10:22:44 PM, 000ike wrote:
this is completely off topic, but this wave of logic-wielding theists is really exciting. For the longest time I've interacted with theists whose apologetics consisted of assertions, contradictions, and denial (Gileandos). Their justification for everything was "the bible says so" or "God would want it that way" (DATCMOTO).

Get used to it. 1/3 of practicing philosophers are now theists, there's a veritable renaissance taking place in academia: Christian philosophy is on the incline & Atheistic philosophy is on the decline.

I'm perfectly fine with it. All I want is to feel justified in my views, and if theism provides a solid explanation, then I will be a theist.

But you see this is not what Christianity is about, if you were considering Christianity, the thing paramount is a knowledge by aquaintence with God, ie a ralationship cultivated. What you're looking for is a knowledge by description of theism so you can feel like you're on the right track at least... that's good, but to put the latter over the former would pretty much make you wane back & forth as the evidece & arguments always do.

Dude, we've been arguing about this stuff for thousands of years by countless brilliant men from both sides. There's been deceptive skeptikism & warranted skepticism, there's been good arguements discounted as bad & bad arguments put forth as good. I'm not saying you should blindly leap into theism because we'll never fully know the answer, rather I'm saying perhaps the relationship with an all Good God is sought pimarily through the modes of the heart rather than the modes of the head. There's good, actually real good, arguments for Christianity- sometimes it's hard to articulate them because we are talking about a >cosmic Mind here.

I think what most atheists rebel against is the suppression and intellectual despotism of traditional religious teachings.

just like theists like me rebel against the suppression & intellectual despotism of traditional atheistic traditions... there's unthinking dogmatism on both sides.

It's also the need for blind faith and assertions to support everything. What you, popculturepooka, and sidewalker argue is very different. That's why I think it's exciting.

Christianity is sepparated scholastically, like all beliefs, into two categories;

village Christianity & scholarly Christianity.

The same can be said of atheism.
000ike
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6/21/2012 7:49:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 6:19:00 AM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/20/2012 11:01:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/20/2012 10:40:48 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/20/2012 10:22:44 PM, 000ike wrote:
this is completely off topic, but this wave of logic-wielding theists is really exciting. For the longest time I've interacted with theists whose apologetics consisted of assertions, contradictions, and denial (Gileandos). Their justification for everything was "the bible says so" or "God would want it that way" (DATCMOTO).

Get used to it. 1/3 of practicing philosophers are now theists, there's a veritable renaissance taking place in academia: Christian philosophy is on the incline & Atheistic philosophy is on the decline.

I'm perfectly fine with it. All I want is to feel justified in my views, and if theism provides a solid explanation, then I will be a theist.

But you see this is not what Christianity is about, if you were considering Christianity, the thing paramount is a knowledge by aquaintence with God, ie a ralationship cultivated. What you're looking for is a knowledge by description of theism so you can feel like you're on the right track at least... that's good, but to put the latter over the former would pretty much make you wane back & forth as the evidece & arguments always do.

Dude, we've been arguing about this stuff for thousands of years by countless brilliant men from both sides. There's been deceptive skeptikism & warranted skepticism, there's been good arguements discounted as bad & bad arguments put forth as good. I'm not saying you should blindly leap into theism because we'll never fully know the answer, rather I'm saying perhaps the relationship with an all Good God is sought pimarily through the modes of the heart rather than the modes of the head. There's good, actually real good, arguments for Christianity- sometimes it's hard to articulate them because we are talking about a >cosmic Mind here.

I think what most atheists rebel against is the suppression and intellectual despotism of traditional religious teachings.

just like theists like me rebel against the suppression & intellectual despotism of traditional atheistic traditions... there's unthinking dogmatism on both sides.

It's also the need for blind faith and assertions to support everything. What you, popculturepooka, and sidewalker argue is very different. That's why I think it's exciting.

Christianity is sepparated scholastically, like all beliefs, into two categories;

village Christianity & scholarly Christianity.

The same can be said of atheism.

and now you've lost me. It is human nature to learn through reason and be certain through evidence. Every other faculty is used for emotion, which is never stable or consistent. What you described was a blatant leap of faith, but yet you deny that it is.

Emotion is an unpredictable thing. It is also hardly controllable. One who uses "faith" and "love" and "trust" will never find a straight path to God. That will only work as long as his passion permits and his reasoning stays silent. It's very nice rhetoric to speak of heartfelt connections and spiritual journeys, but you're putting beliefs on an unstable base. If God is so difficult to comprehend through reason. Then maybe man isn't meant to, nor does he have to comprehend him in the first place.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Reason_Alliance
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6/21/2012 8:43:50 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 7:49:14 AM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/21/2012 6:19:00 AM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/20/2012 11:01:58 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 6/20/2012 10:40:48 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/20/2012 10:22:44 PM, 000ike wrote:
this is completely off topic, but this wave of logic-wielding theists is really exciting. For the longest time I've interacted with theists whose apologetics consisted of assertions, contradictions, and denial (Gileandos). Their justification for everything was "the bible says so" or "God would want it that way" (DATCMOTO).

Get used to it. 1/3 of practicing philosophers are now theists, there's a veritable renaissance taking place in academia: Christian philosophy is on the incline & Atheistic philosophy is on the decline.

I'm perfectly fine with it. All I want is to feel justified in my views, and if theism provides a solid explanation, then I will be a theist.

But you see this is not what Christianity is about, if you were considering Christianity, the thing paramount is a knowledge by aquaintence with God, ie a ralationship cultivated. What you're looking for is a knowledge by description of theism so you can feel like you're on the right track at least... that's good, but to put the latter over the former would pretty much make you wane back & forth as the evidece & arguments always do.

Dude, we've been arguing about this stuff for thousands of years by countless brilliant men from both sides. There's been deceptive skeptikism & warranted skepticism, there's been good arguements discounted as bad & bad arguments put forth as good. I'm not saying you should blindly leap into theism because we'll never fully know the answer, rather I'm saying perhaps the relationship with an all Good God is sought pimarily through the modes of the heart rather than the modes of the head. There's good, actually real good, arguments for Christianity- sometimes it's hard to articulate them because we are talking about a >cosmic Mind here.

I think what most atheists rebel against is the suppression and intellectual despotism of traditional religious teachings.

just like theists like me rebel against the suppression & intellectual despotism of traditional atheistic traditions... there's unthinking dogmatism on both sides.

It's also the need for blind faith and assertions to support everything. What you, popculturepooka, and sidewalker argue is very different. That's why I think it's exciting.

Christianity is sepparated scholastically, like all beliefs, into two categories;

village Christianity & scholarly Christianity.

The same can be said of atheism.

and now you've lost me. It is human nature to learn through reason and be certain through evidence. Every other faculty is used for emotion, which is never stable or consistent. What you described was a blatant leap of faith, but yet you deny that it is.

Does an immediate experience use reason to conclude ther truth of the experience? Does a child first deny the external world then rreaffirm it upon reading foundationalistic journals?

It's huge epistemological leap to say every other faculty is emotional. But that's not even what I'm interested in arguing.

I say faith is reasonable, just as reasonable of you affirming the cannons of logic since they're immediate to you.

Emotion is an unpredictable thing. It is also hardly controllable. One who uses "faith" and "love" and "trust" will never find a straight path to God. That will only work as long as his passion permits and his reasoning stays silent. It's very nice rhetoric to speak of heartfelt connections and spiritual journeys, but you're putting beliefs on an unstable base. If God is so difficult to comprehend through reason. Then maybe man isn't meant to, nor does he have to comprehend him in the first place.

Who says my basis for affirming Christianity is emotional? I've only implied that an experience of God can cause emotions, but I've never affirmed emotions cause the experience. This is where your misunderstanding lies.

For my relationship with God is reasonable insofar as my experience of him isn't undercut by a defeater.

So remember, it's an experience of God, through knowledge by aquaintence, not knowledge by description. The former is preferred since that's also how we know the cannons of logic to be true.
vbaculum
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6/21/2012 11:20:02 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 9:50:04 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
A lot of people here talk about "proof" and "logic" while attempting to represent faith as illogical or unscientific. I would be inclined to call them the scientism crowd. There seems to be a tendency to argue that we can't accept anything without proof while representing science as a complete and comprehensive accounting of reality in all its fullness. The scientism crowd tries to represent themselves as being more logical, rational, and scientific than people of faith.

And yet, there is a "proof" that stands logically in support of faith.

Kurt Go:del's Incompleteness Theorem is analytically perfect and rigidly deductive; therefore it is conclusive as far as logic and science are concerned. It states categorically that no axiomatic system is, or can be complete without reference to a higher system in which that system must be embedded. Mathematically, Go:del proved that even an axiomatic system as simple as arithmetic cannot be internally consistent and logically complete without reference to a higher system.

Logic and science are indeed axiomatic systems, therefore logic and science themselves have proven that they are not complete without reference to a higher system. Go:del proved that the ideal of science is therefore impossible, which is to say that it is logically and scientifically impossible to devise a set of axioms from which all the phenomena of the external world can be deduced.

It's fine to recognize the differences between logic and faith, they are indeed two different things, but any representation of logic and science as somehow complete systems, or statements that contend that logic and/or science constitute comprehensive representations of reality have been proven to be logically and scientifically incorrect. As far as Science and Logic are concerned, faith in a transcendent reality is more true to reality than logic and science can be.

Faith is essentially belief in a higher system, it postulates a transcendent reality in which we live and move and have our being. Kurt Go:del provided a proof that the act of having faith in a greater reality in which the normal world of science is embedded is a more logical and scientifically a more true representation of reality.

Granted, uncertainty isn't a very agreeable state, but certainty has been proved to be a ridiculous one logically and scientifically speaking. Werner Heisenberg confirmed that uncertainty is a feature of reality with his own proof in the physical sciences. Each and every unified theory, which is to say every scientific attempt at unifying and completing physical theory, postulates other dimensions in which this reality is embedded, every one of them, as and perhaps because, Kurt Go:del logically proved that they must.

It follows that the common assertion that you can't believe in a non-physical existence or a transcendent reality without proof has been "proven" by Kurt Go:del to be illogical and unscientific, it's OK to do it, but it should be recognized as a faith based assertion rather than a logical, rational, or scientific premise. When it is done with certainty, it is more of a faith based religious belief than anything resembling a logical or scientific premise.

To me this seems intuitivly valid (that an axiomatic system must reference a higher system). However, it also means that, using our local system of logic, we can never reach any conclusions about the higher system. So, though we can say there must be a higher system, we can't make any claims about it. This is what faith is: accepting knowledge claims about a higher system for which there is no demonstratable evidence.

The higher system could be a Matrix-like system our some other type of computerized simulation. Our it may be completely unintelligable to us. Either way, the likelyhood that it corresponds to the ancient Semitic mythology, that the monotheisms are based on, is so small that it doesn't warrant consideration. In other words, any higher system could just as easily contain Bhrama as it does Yahweh.

Additionally, the OP's argument leads to an infinite regress. If no axiomatic system can exist without reference to a higher system, and we can't say anything about the higher system (such as: it is not an axiomatic system) then the number of higher systems is possibly infinite.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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vbaculum
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6/21/2012 11:41:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/20/2012 10:40:48 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/20/2012 10:22:44 PM, 000ike wrote:
this is completely off topic, but this wave of logic-wielding theists is really exciting. For the longest time I've interacted with theists whose apologetics consisted of assertions, contradictions, and denial (Gileandos). Their justification for everything was "the bible says so" or "God would want it that way" (DATCMOTO).

Get used to it. 1/3 of practicing philosophers are now theists,

Do you have a study (preferably one that doesn't exist soley on apologetics websites) that indicates that: 1) ~33% of all acedemic philosophers are theists and 2) There has been an increase in the adoption of theism within the philosophic community?

there's a veritable renaissance taking place in academia: Christian philosophy is on the incline & Atheistic philosophy is on the decline.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
popculturepooka
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6/21/2012 11:58:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
@vbaculum, i think he's referencing quentin smith's (who's an atheist) observations in his article "the metaphilosophy of naturalism".
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vbaculum
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6/21/2012 12:36:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 11:58:35 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
@vbaculum, i think he's referencing quentin smith's (who's an atheist) observations in his article "the metaphilosophy of naturalism".

Smith's paper doesn't cite a study either.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
DanteAlighieri
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6/21/2012 12:50:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Why are we using unsubstantiated assertions? It's much easier just to point the raw data we have. Per the Phil Papers Metasurvey, unnormalized, looking at Ph.D and philosophy faculty,

http://philpapers.org...

The actual results were 72.8% atheist, 14.6% theist, and 12.6% other. I suspect those under "other" are probably agnostic. The estimated result, extrapolating from the sample, is 65.9% atheist, 22.0% theist, 12.2% other.

Normalized, the actual results become 83.3% atheist and 16.7% theist. The estimate extrapolated from the metasurvey is 74.4% atheist, 25.6% theist.

So, the number of atheists in philosophy range from as low as 2/3 (if you exclude agnostics) to as high as above 4/5 (if you take the normalization). So, taking the normalized values for the best estimate, perhaps 75% of philosophy faculty are atheists.
Reason_Alliance
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6/21/2012 12:54:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 12:50:36 PM, DanteAlighieri wrote:
Why are we using unsubstantiated assertions? It's much easier just to point the raw data we have. Per the Phil Papers Metasurvey, unnormalized, looking at Ph.D and philosophy faculty,

http://philpapers.org...

The actual results were 72.8% atheist, 14.6% theist, and 12.6% other. I suspect those under "other" are probably agnostic. The estimated result, extrapolating from the sample, is 65.9% atheist, 22.0% theist, 12.2% other.

Normalized, the actual results become 83.3% atheist and 16.7% theist. The estimate extrapolated from the metasurvey is 74.4% atheist, 25.6% theist.

So, the number of atheists in philosophy range from as low as 2/3 (if you exclude agnostics) to as high as above 4/5 (if you take the normalization). So, taking the normalized values for the best estimate, perhaps 75% of philosophy faculty are atheists.

Thanks for following through with my claim, I forgot I posted in here. And yes PCP was correct & I can tell you from my own experience at the University of Pittsburgh (a school well known for its phil) that the tides are turning in favor of theism.
Reason_Alliance
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6/21/2012 12:56:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 12:54:57 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/21/2012 12:50:36 PM, DanteAlighieri wrote:
Why are we using unsubstantiated assertions? It's much easier just to point the raw data we have. Per the Phil Papers Metasurvey, unnormalized, looking at Ph.D and philosophy faculty,

http://philpapers.org...

The actual results were 72.8% atheist, 14.6% theist, and 12.6% other. I suspect those under "other" are probably agnostic. The estimated result, extrapolating from the sample, is 65.9% atheist, 22.0% theist, 12.2% other.

Normalized, the actual results become 83.3% atheist and 16.7% theist. The estimate extrapolated from the metasurvey is 74.4% atheist, 25.6% theist.

So, the number of atheists in philosophy range from as low as 2/3 (if you exclude agnostics) to as high as above 4/5 (if you take the normalization). So, taking the normalized values for the best estimate, perhaps 75% of philosophy faculty are atheists.

Thanks for following through with my claim, I forgot I posted in here. And yes PCP was correct & I can tell you from my own experience at the University of Pittsburgh (a school well known for its phil) that the tides are turning in favor of theism.

Just look at some of the boggest hitters at Pitt, Lennox & Rescher.
vbaculum
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6/21/2012 1:49:12 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 12:56:03 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/21/2012 12:54:57 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/21/2012 12:50:36 PM, DanteAlighieri wrote:
Why are we using unsubstantiated assertions? It's much easier just to point the raw data we have. Per the Phil Papers Metasurvey, unnormalized, looking at Ph.D and philosophy faculty,

http://philpapers.org...

The actual results were 72.8% atheist, 14.6% theist, and 12.6% other. I suspect those under "other" are probably agnostic. The estimated result, extrapolating from the sample, is 65.9% atheist, 22.0% theist, 12.2% other.

Normalized, the actual results become 83.3% atheist and 16.7% theist. The estimate extrapolated from the metasurvey is 74.4% atheist, 25.6% theist.

So, the number of atheists in philosophy range from as low as 2/3 (if you exclude agnostics) to as high as above 4/5 (if you take the normalization). So, taking the normalized values for the best estimate, perhaps 75% of philosophy faculty are atheists.

Thanks for following through with my claim, I forgot I posted in here. And yes PCP was correct & I can tell you from my own experience at the University of Pittsburgh (a school well known for its phil) that the tides are turning in favor of theism.

Just look at some of the boggest hitters at Pitt, Lennox & Rescher.

So about 16-25% are theists; not the 33% (1/3) as you claimed. Also, there is still no indication that philosophers are moving toward theism (the renaissance you described).

What these data reveal is interesting. The adherence to theism in the general population is usually well over 50%, even in developed, literate countries. So when people from these very theistic populations enter philosophy and start to study the arguments for and against theism, there is a significant decline in theism. So the people whose job it is to understand the the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments tend to gravitate away from theism and toward agnosticism and atheisms. I think there is a clear reason for this.
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vbaculum
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6/21/2012 1:50:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 12:50:36 PM, DanteAlighieri wrote:
Why are we using unsubstantiated assertions? It's much easier just to point the raw data we have. Per the Phil Papers Metasurvey, unnormalized, looking at Ph.D and philosophy faculty,

http://philpapers.org...

The actual results were 72.8% atheist, 14.6% theist, and 12.6% other. I suspect those under "other" are probably agnostic. The estimated result, extrapolating from the sample, is 65.9% atheist, 22.0% theist, 12.2% other.

Normalized, the actual results become 83.3% atheist and 16.7% theist. The estimate extrapolated from the metasurvey is 74.4% atheist, 25.6% theist.

So, the number of atheists in philosophy range from as low as 2/3 (if you exclude agnostics) to as high as above 4/5 (if you take the normalization). So, taking the normalized values for the best estimate, perhaps 75% of philosophy faculty are atheists.

Thanks for summarizing this for us!
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

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DanteAlighieri
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6/21/2012 1:59:05 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Depends on the field you look at. In philosophy of religion, most of the philosophers working there are theists, around 70+%. Everywhere else, the numbers invert. David Chalmers made an interesting point when doing the factor analysis of the data at http://philpapers.org...

It's interesting to compare answers to a question between the whole target faculty population and those who work in the AOS associated with the question. The biggest differences by far, unsurprisingly, concern theism and the philosophy of religion. The next biggest differences are in decision theory (two boxing), philosophy of physical science (B-theory), philosophy of mathematics (Platonism). Then epistemology (invariantism and to a lesser extent internalism), general philosophy of science (Humeanism), social and politlcal philosophy (egalitarianism), metaphysics (non-Humeanism). And smaller differences in many other areas.
Of course those differences could be due to (i) specialists making better-grounded judgments, (ii) selection effects in entering the speciality, (iii) specialists' judgments corrupted by an insider literature, and various other sources. I suspect that most philosophers will agree that each of these sources are at play in some cases, while they'll disagree about which are most at play in which cases!

That said, phil. rel. is fairly insular and as contrived philosophy tends to be, I find phil. rel. to be even more so. For instance, a number of theistic philosopers base highly provocative theodicies/defenses or even bits of natural theology heavily reliant on the truth of libertarianism. Aside from Robert Kane, the view is widely rejected by philosophers working in the relevant fields of philosophy of action and of mind. There is about an 75% consensus against libertarianism in philosophy at large, and in both philosophy of action and philosophy of mind. Obviously, consensus doesn't conduce to to truth, especially in something like philosophy, but it does demonstrate the relative "insularity" of phil. rel. Ah well, que sera, sera. Rant over.
popculturepooka
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6/21/2012 2:01:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Vbaculum that conclusion is far too quick considering the fact that about 75 percent of philosophers of religion are theists. the people who are most familiar with the relevant arguments. Sure, you could argue for some self selection bias but that doesn't account for all the data.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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Reason_Alliance
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6/21/2012 2:47:47 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 1:49:12 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 6/21/2012 12:56:03 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/21/2012 12:54:57 PM, Reason_Alliance wrote:
At 6/21/2012 12:50:36 PM, DanteAlighieri wrote:
Why are we using unsubstantiated assertions? It's much easier just to point the raw data we have. Per the Phil Papers Metasurvey, unnormalized, looking at Ph.D and philosophy faculty,

http://philpapers.org...

The actual results were 72.8% atheist, 14.6% theist, and 12.6% other. I suspect those under "other" are probably agnostic. The estimated result, extrapolating from the sample, is 65.9% atheist, 22.0% theist, 12.2% other.

Normalized, the actual results become 83.3% atheist and 16.7% theist. The estimate extrapolated from the metasurvey is 74.4% atheist, 25.6% theist.

So, the number of atheists in philosophy range from as low as 2/3 (if you exclude agnostics) to as high as above 4/5 (if you take the normalization). So, taking the normalized values for the best estimate, perhaps 75% of philosophy faculty are atheists.

Thanks for following through with my claim, I forgot I posted in here. And yes PCP was correct & I can tell you from my own experience at the University of Pittsburgh (a school well known for its phil) that the tides are turning in favor of theism.

Just look at some of the boggest hitters at Pitt, Lennox & Rescher.

So about 16-25% are theists; not the 33% (1/3) as you claimed. Also, there is still no indication that philosophers are moving toward theism (the renaissance you described).

What these data reveal is interesting. The adherence to theism in the general population is usually well over 50%, even in developed, literate countries. So when people from these very theistic populations enter philosophy and start to study the arguments for and against theism, there is a significant decline in theism. So the people whose job it is to understand the the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments tend to gravitate away from theism and toward agnosticism and atheisms. I think there is a clear reason for this.

That's just one report buddy! There's many others confirming more / less, so ~1/3 is accurate: 16-33% let's get nit picky why don't we? That's all atheists ever really do with their arguments it seems lately.

University of Western Michigan philosopher Quentin Smith laments what he calls "the desecularization of academia that evolved in philosophy departments since the late 1960s." He complains about naturalists' passivity in the face of the wave of "intelligent and talented theists entering academia today." Smith concludes, "God is not 'dead' in academia; he returned to life in the late 1960s and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments."

Recent articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education have either highlighted or assumed a resurgence of evangelical influence in academic culture.

You have theists & atheists alike affirming the revolution taking place in the anglo american philosophy realm. Simple fact.

I'm not a stats guy, but no one in the feild denies what's going on. I can freely talk about God and theistic philosophy in my dept, that wasn rarely the case 50 years back.

Even commonsenseatheism.com reported that Craig was right when he talked about the revolution:

"Christian philosophy has experienced a renaissance, and has contributed to genuine progress in philosophy. The first half of 20th century philosophy was dominated by Russell and Ayer. Religion was considered nonsense, and had almost no intellectual defense. By 1966, Time asked "Is God Dead?" The very next year, Plantinga published God and Other Minds: A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God. Since then, Swinburne, Alston, Craig, MacIntyre, and others joined Plantinga in leading a renaissance of serious Christian thought. Atheist philosopher Quentin Smith says naturalists have been resting on their laurels in the face of so many "intelligent and talented theists entering academia today." Moreover, these philosophers have not just revived dead arguments, but actually contributed to the progress of philosophy. Plantinga basically killed the logical problem of evil, and also revised Anselm's silly ontological argument in a form that is actually difficult to rebut. Craig's recent defense of the Kalam argument utilizes the latest in cosmological science and the philosophy of mathematics. As Craig says, Christian philosophers once again "have a seat at the table.""
Lasagna
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6/21/2012 3:48:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Faith is one of the primary virtues, and is an essential element to the repertoire of any individual who wishes to be successful (in virtually any application). I see two main applications of faith: faith in one's own abilities, and faith in morality.

Christians have faith in a deity in place of morality, and I find this rather simplistic but effective nonetheless. The point is that you must believe that those who do good will do well. If you believe God is balancing justice himself then that is essentially the same as believing that that those who are immoral will accumulate failures and hurt their own happiness. Either way, it is important to accept that you cannot apprehend the knowledge of all the workings of the universe; you must have faith that by sticking to your principles, things will work themselves out!
Rob
vbaculum
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6/21/2012 3:48:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 6/21/2012 2:01:50 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Vbaculum that conclusion is far too quick considering the fact that about 75 percent of philosophers of religion are theists. the people who are most familiar with the relevant arguments. Sure, you could argue for some self selection bias but that doesn't account for all the data.

Grudgingly, I admit that's a good point :) or at least one that I'm not able to refute easily.

However, it's not really clear to me how a philosopher of religion is different from a theologian. If only 75% of theologians were theists I would be astonished. But I suppose it's not that simple...
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it