Ed Feser's Review of "Breaking the Spell"

I am really liking Edward Feser as of late. His areas of interest coincide nearly perfectly with my own- from libertatianism to atheism to the philosophy of mind. Due to that unique mixture, he consistently provides an emerging view of anarcho-Catholics that is stimulating and refreshing for we Protestant-types. In any case, I stumbled across this review of Dan Dennett's recent book.


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“The Apostles of Atheism”

FYI: this post has been moved here.
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"Look Who's Irrational Now"

Interesting recent article from Mollie Ziegler Hemingway entitled, Look Who's Irrational Now

In part, she states:
"The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us….Surprisingly, while increased church attendance and membership in a conservative denomination has a powerful negative effect on paranormal beliefs, higher education doesn't. Two years ago two professors published another study in Skeptical Inquirer showing that, while less than one-quarter of college freshmen surveyed expressed a general belief in such superstitions as ghosts, psychic healing, haunted houses, demonic possession, clairvoyance and witches, the figure jumped to 31% of college seniors and 34% of graduate students."

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My Final Treatise

It has been some time since I have recorded my thoughts here on AID. I must admit that I feel ashamed to have not kept in contact much with my team here, nor with our readers. The reasons for my absence are many, but are the product of one in particular which I believe many will find obvious by the end of this article; something that has taken up the majority of my minds time and patience these past couple of months.

I have been studying and seeking in other fields of philosophy so as to craft a finer mind of my own and to understand the world around me more clearly. At the same time, these studies have led me on a new spiritual journey for the sake of truth and inner peace. In this article I hope to give some brief thoughts of my own regarding the topic that this blog represents: Atheism. I only hope that these fragments of thoughts are clear, being granted as a rational position by my fellow Theists and the opposition alike. I must confess that many of my thoughts were influenced by the likes of individuals such as Antony Flew, Alvin Plantinga, Scott Hahn, and the much older, yet still powerfully convincing Descartes: my personal thinking hero.

My philosophical journey began with my studies in Metaphysics and the particular method known as Existentialism. I had also begun to re-examine the Argument From Design (should be changed to the Argument TO Design, rather), noting before that I had always considered it one of the weaker arguments for the existence of God. It was with great surprise that I began to find the Design Argument to be perhaps the best of the argument for Gods existence, but not in the same way that many people conceive of it today. Combining my insights with those who promote arguments from reason, such as Alvin Plantinga and the former C.S. Lewis, and other such arguments such as the rationalists views of Descartes and the Existentialists views of Thomas Aquinas, I came to understand some things that have always been right in front of me. Or, should I say that they were always inside of me? Ingrained deep within my psyche and as my psyche? Could it have not been clearer before? The existence of God is so clear that I think any man, woman, or child would literally have to not be in order to miss it or lying to themselves, or confused about what they really think of reality.

Knowing that one exist is the absolute first certain thing that man can come to know. It is the only thing that can be proven by first being doubted. It is by doubt that self-existence is proven. From here we reason that we can think; that we are thinking things. In order to move further from this we must understand that we can examine the world around us and that we can interpret the world. We can also make choices and we can decide between those choices, seemingly uninhibited by the laws of nature themselves. And if we are to deny the freedom of choice and say that our minds are dictated by the material, then we can no longer accept that we or anyone else is rational, for rationality needs free will to be considered as such. No man can reason to the truth if reason does not exist and is merely something chosen for us. A man who thinks himself wise for destroying his own wisdom is the greatest fool of all. Needless to say, this is why Atheists are foolish in their thinking, but we have yet to conclude that in the following examination. Let us continue.

Taking this idea further, let us conclude what Descartes concluded, that the effect must have something of the cause. The cause must be greater than the effect in the sense that it created the effect. It must possess a lack of limitation that the effect has. Let us consider a conversation I had recently with a fellow Agnostic friend of mine. She had stated to me that the Universe could have come from the result of several causes acting on one another, sort of like a gradualist evolutionary process. She said that a cause “greater” than the Universe we see today was not necessary. But all I needed to do to upset this sort of thinking was ask her a very obvious thing: What then are we to make of that thing that was able to organize all those other causes to create the universe we have today? Shall we continue to suggest that smaller factors simply continued to pile on top of one another ad-infinitum? Where we have many things working together we must have something greater to make them do this. This is only reasonable. And for those out there that think an infinite regress is a plausible idea, I believe they have no good reasons for supposing such a thing exist. For if this were the case, then all justification would go out the window, there would be no reason to suppose that the Universe we have today came from those chain of causes. Note the following, that if there were such thing as an infinite regress, the Universe we have today would not exist. For the Universe we live in is set on a foundation that we can observe and understand. If such foundations were the result of an ever-changing, contingent chain of events, we would not be alive today to notice such things, for the very smallest change in the Universe and its patterns would destroy us all.

Going on with the idea of a “greater cause” over that of its effects, we must therefore conclude that if we consider ourselves rational creatures with the capabilities of design and purpose, that the cause of us must equally if not moreso, possess the same attributes. Even if we were to say that we create our own meaning, purpose, and objectives, and that design is simply a small function of human survival, we must conclude, rationally, that the ultimate reality possesses or at least can possess similar features. If not, then we claim that we are greater than that which has caused us or we concede the most irrational belief that the effects of causes do not hold similar like features of those causes, disrupting our idea of cause and effect forever.

It is by self-examination and the obvious understanding of human thought that we can conclude these things. It is by the empirical observation of the inner-self, that proves as the greatest evidence of design. From evidence of design, free will, rationality, etc. comes the logical conclusion of that which is greater than ourselves: The Ultimate Reality, which is God. And the only way for an Atheist to deny this evidence is to deny his or herself. It is from this denial that the label of “fool” is so adequate and not simply because of the mere denial of the existence of God. It is the denial of the freedom of choice, the rational mind, and the entire human person that is most foolish, because such things are the greatest evidence of belief. And of course, the Atheist will scoff at such an idea and call these things mere illusion, but if they are to do so they must similarly conclude that the human person, not as a body, but as a mind is an illusion, and all their thoughts and all their objections to the Theists are meaningless portrayals of chemical reactions bubbling their way to the surfaces of absurdity.

It is with this basic understanding that I have concluded that there is no longer any reason to argue with such disbelievers. I have eased my mind and made it clear to myself that there is no longer any reason, for the man who denies God denies himself, and the man who denies himself never sees God. It is not even a paradox, but a self-justifying circularity, much like the doubting of self-existence. I can see nothing more clear than this. I can see no other way. For those that argue over times, dates, the function of cells, the morals of the world, and all other things I simply smile and look the other way. It is a waste of time. For it should be obvious without such nonsense arguments. We have no need to use such things. The greatest evidence, the greatest witness, is within us and is us. We need nothing else to show these truths! Why have I wasted my time for so long till now? And I know that even now I may be wasting my time, as my opponents will think themselves clever by telling me how I evolved and where I came from. Shame on them for thinking that these things have any bearing on what I have stated, as though I deny my own evolutionary history simply because I am a Theists, or that I need to be told this because it is somehow relevant to the obvious conclusion of accepting the human person as it really is: a thinking thing. And however you view a “thinking thing”, you must logically conclude, if you are truly using reason and not mere emotions, that there is a greater. There is no other conclusion if one is to use their reason.

And it should be clear that to accept the mind as the brain, as a physical entity, one has destroyed their own wisdom. They should feel ashamed for even trying to argue such a thing, for they have made themselves the most obvious of fools and have made my argument the only rational conclusion, because they have discarded rationality for the absurd conclusion of determined mindsets.

I am finally at peace with myself and I have no need to argue this any longer. For this is the approbation of my delusion. It is who I am. It is all that I can be. And it is by the great knowledge and power of Allah that I have come to be helped in reaching these conclusions. And it is with this understanding of Allah that I must also leave this blog as its administrator and contributor, as I am no longer within the same Theological circle as my fellow brothers here on AID, so gifted as they are and so well intended. I only give thanks to all of you who have stuck through with this blog and made it the great place it is.

And it is with this final treatise that I say farewell to you all. Much love and blessings and may Allah guide you towards the straight path.

Assalaamu Alaykum


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