Conversations with atheistspage 7
From Alan M to FZ:
>No offense, but I know you think you have a Great Truth that you wish to share, and you must needs see as perversely intransigent (or intransigently perverse) those who don't buy into your Great Truth. <<
None taken. However, I wouldn't put it that way. It's just that if I see someone in a burning house I want to point it out to them before it is too late.
> You keep saying that non-theism is irrational, but I haven't seen an adequate case for that yet.<
Well, if your theory of knowledge (empiricism) is unable to show how one can know truth about nature as it is, Kant's well (un)known ding an sich, then it really has nothing to say about the truth status of any proposition about ultimate reality. Thus, it is quite irrational for an atheist to use such an epistemology (empiricism) as basis for rejecting belief in God. But this is exactly what the atheist does. That's in the same category as trying to use a thermometer to measure how many decibels a jackhammer is producing. Thermometers don't measure sound, and empiricism can't even show that there is a connection between the external world and one's perceptions. On the basis of pure empiricism the only thing that anybody could ever know is his or her own sensations. Beyond that, no one has demonstrated how a sense perception becomes an abstract idea, yet this is a necessary link if we are to suppose that empiricism actually gives us truth about the universe. I haven't seen any atheist anywhere establish an epistemology that doesn't degenerate into irrationalism eventually. Empiricism certainly does not qualify. I would hope that in light of the last two centuries of philosophy, the atheist would face up to this challenge. But there don't seem to many takers. I do think it interesting that so many atheists are unwilling to put their basic presuppositions up for rational scrutiny. That does not speak too well of the confidence they have in their world view(s) .But as we proceed we can certainly bring out in the open the basic presuppositions of non-theism and see what happens.
>Do you think I'm worried about whether it's true? How could I tell the difference, whether it is or isn't?<
I thought we were trying to get at what is the truth. That's the whole point isn't it? You and I are both making a universal claim about the nature of ultimate reality. If you cannot tell the difference, then it seems that you have hit a dead-end. Your empiricism does not allow you to know whether or not you were created ten minutes ago with a history and all, and it does not allow you to know whether or not you are, say, a character in a holodeck program on the Enterprise, created by some Starfleet engineer to experience a certain series of sensations which you interpret as the "real" world, and all for the amusement of the crew. Neither can you know whether or not you are merely an idea in the mind of God. All you can know are your own sensations, and from there you make a leap of faith to belief in your non-theistic interpretation of a universe outside your own mind. So you should be worried about if it is true or not, because if you want to maintain that non-theism is rational then you have to be able to rationally rule out the possibility that somewhere out there in that external reality that you cannot know, God is there running the whole show anyway.
>Nope, don't need to prove it.<
Now let me see. Atheism is rational. It can sustain a rational world view. But its construction of reality cannot be proven. That's okay tho, I don't have to prove it. I just believe. Sounds like a leap of faith to me.
Concerning the notion of the supposed evolution of theism you said ,>Nope, it's just a reasonable assumption, given the evidence.< You are a psychologist. Okay, my doctorate is in religious studies. I'm pretty familiar with the literature on this subject, so would you mind pointing me to the "evidence." I guess I must have missed it somewhere. Of course, since on your basis empirical evidence can say nothing about the world as it actually is, that would have to include history (Lessing's great ditch that he could not get across). So it would be irrational to place confidence in such evidence anyway until you establish a valid empirical epistemology. But for the sake of argument I'd be glad to see whatever historical evidence you can come up with. Otherwise you are still stuck with a dogmatic assertion only. ( By the way, the literature indicates that sociologists of religion and anthropologists have given up on these types of explanations years ago. They don't fit the empirical evidence.)
> Seems like it's only when the topic is religion that theists
wanna have some "special" rules.<
I suppose if you have the notion that only empirical testing can determine truth then you would consider any other approach to be a case of special rules. Since the history of thought has shown other ways of rational argumentation as well, it seems that the non-theist is the one who wants special pleading in order to avoid having to subject his assumptions to a wider range of testing. Logical positivism is dead, however, and the presuppositions of the empiricist/atheist are just as subject to rational analysis as those of any other world view. One way of argument would be to apply the rules of logic to the propositions that are derived from the axioms of the atheist and see whether or not they form a non-contradictory system. It is exactly that kind of thing that resulted in post-modern skepticism.
>Existentialism? Think you could find ten people out of a hundred chosen at random who had ever heard the word existentialism, let alone what it's about? I dunno about pragmatism, cos it always seemed to make pretty good sense to me. Postmodernism, well, it's likely a reaction of those who went overboard on what they thought science could do for them -- when they didn't understand science anyway. And when science didn't fulfill their expectations they got in a hissy fit and declared that nothing could be known.
I don't take them seriously, and they don't seem to have had much of an effect on the scientific end of psychology.<<
I think you ought to consider that irrationalism in these various forms is having widespread influence in popular culture. I bet you don't like that any more that I do. Maybe not one in ten ever heard of existentialism but millions have seen Woody Allen's films as well as other items in the popular media that promote such irrational philosophies. I would say that irrationalism pretty much has free reign in modern culture, but why don't we leave that for the folks in the sociology department to argue about. Certainly the nature of postmodernism as a global cultural phenomenon is a hot topic over there.
Anyway, this kind of superficial analysis of the rise of post-modern skeptisicm is another case of ignoring the arguments. Ad hominem arguments of this sort may make you feel better, but they do not amount to a refutation of post-modern relativism. And the assertion that they don't understand science anyway is quite a generalization. On what basis do you make such a claim?
>Now, if you guys can't even agree on points of doctrine when you all claim to have a hammerlock on "Absolute Truth," why should I take any of you seriously?<
Now, how many different schools of psychological theory are out there now? Probably more than when I did a psych major as an undergraduate 20 years ago, and I had trouble keeping up with it then. And many of these schools are incompatible with each other in their interpretation of the data. How many interpretations of human nature are currently found in psych departments and clinics around the world? Well, heck FZ, if you guys in psychology can't agree on your points of doctrine .... If you accept Kuhn's analysis, it could be cogently argued that psychology is still in the preparadigm stage. If you guys can't get your major theorists to agree on the interpretation of the data then why should I take any of you seriously as practitioners of a science? Much less as any kind of an authority when you pronounce belief in God to be a delusion.
> Without emotion, you can be even crazier than someone displaying excessive emotion.<
Yes, I always thought Spock was a bit of a fruit cake. Tuvok is worse. But I like those Vulcans anyway. <g>
> I think they just think they know what God wants, and it's all internally manufacutered.<
Another assertion necessitated by your presuppositions, but beyond any hope of empirical verification.
>Yeah, you're not called a "filthy atheist," you aren't automatically consider to be of dubious morality and patriotism. . . Lotsa bennies.<
Like being called a red-neck right wing fundamentalist. Or to quote Isaac Asimov, "What they (that's us Christians) believe is incredibly stupid."
>Just as long as you don't think critically about the LPD.<G><< Sorry, I don't get it. LPD? (1)
>Alan, you've convinced me that you do have to sacrifice one's mind from what you've written.<
Really FZ, you seem like a nice guy. How about a rational argument that supports your empiricism instead of personal jabs?
It's been fun, but I'm going to be away this weekend, so it may be another week or so before I get back to this. But, I'll be here. God willing.
From LA to AM:
> ...empiricism can't even show that there is a connection between the external world and one's perceptions. On the basis of pure empiricism the only thing that anybody could ever know is his or her own sensations. Beyond that, no one has demonstrated how a sense perception becomes an abstract idea, yet this is a necessary link if we are to suppose that empiricism actually gives us truth about the universe. <
This is getting entertaining. Okay, so now that you've demolished there being a link between the external world and one's perceptions, you, of course, are going to explain to me just exactly how you can read a bible (or, for that matter, know that the book you're holding is a bible, or that you're even holding a book...). (2)
> I would hope that in light of the last two centuries of philosophy, the atheist would face up to this challenge. But there don't seem to many takers. <
Well, I'd deal with the last two centuries of philosophy except I can't find my shovel.
Know how I'd deal with philosophy? I'd get a real job.
From IL to LA:
> Know how I'd deal with philosophy? I'd get a real job.<
This would be funny if it were not so true.
OK, it is funny and true.
I like the position of Muriel Hemmingway in the Movie with Peter O'Toole - 'Creator' in which she is listening the the pompous ramblings of alleged philosophy professors who start by saying 'how can we even know we are here, having this discussion?'
The reply? 'Tell you what - why don't you start by assuming you don't exist and see where that gets you.'
--IL (We need an Occam's Double Bit Ax for philosophy)
From LA to IL
> The reply? 'Tell you what - why don't you start by assuming you don't exist and see where that gets you.' <
Funny thing about this little flap, I think, is that it is, basically and essentially, valid to say that we do not and can never know for certain that our senses report anything isomorphic to whatever is Out There.
The solipsistic cul de sac I think Alan's backing himself into isn't going to help his case IMO. I mean, if you can't know what's really there, how on earth does he know his god is who he thinks it is?
I mean, for all any of us could ever know, the whole thing is some big, practical joke by some cosmic trickster who's going to just giggle at the people who swallowed it in this alleged "afterlife." How would you know ?
But if he really believes it's all just a matter of "faith," I want to see him stand in the middle of the freeway and not believe in the cars...
From IL to LA:
>But if he really believes it's all just a matter of "faith," I want to see him stand in the middle of the freeway and not believe in the cars... <
And I agree with your other point as well. It is true, we cannot ever really determine if our senses report reality. But h***, they are all we have and ignoring them just don't seem prudent. (3)
Selectively ignoring them, as it would seem Alan would like for us to do, is like playing Russian Roulet with a Howitzer.
--I (I suppose it is one way to obtain a clear head)
From AM to IL:
> And I agree with your other point as well. It is true, we cannot ever reallydetermine if our senses report reality. But h***, they are all we have and ignoring them just don't seem prudent.<
This is exactly the point guys. You have no epistemology, and yet you want to make a universal claim about the nature of ultimate reality (i.e. it is ultimately impersonal and purposeless, both of which necessarily follow from the premise that there is no God). So if your senses cannot ever be known to actually report reality then it is self-contradictory to rely on them to tell you that there is no chair in the room, much less that there is no God. Therefore your claim to not believe in God due to lack of empirical evidence is self-contradictory and hence irrational. I have quite a bit more to say by the way, and I'll get back to you soon, when I get caught up on some of my work. (and I'm certain that my students do exist and that I must therefore grade their papers) By the way, your various replies have been most entertaining. Please keep it up.
The assertion that they (the senses) are all we have cannot be proven empirically, leads to a self-contradictory epistemology that destroys rationality, and is itself a dogma accepted on blind faith. Perhaps knowledge, if it be possible, has a different base after all.
Alan (who knows that my keyboard is here because my world view has a rational theory of knowledge)
From LA to AM:
> You have no epistemology...
But we have bananas today.
From IL to AM:
> You have no epistemology, and yet you want to make a universal claim about the nature of ultimate reality (i.e. it is ultimately impersonal and purposeless, both of which necessarily follow from the premise that there is no God). <
Well Alan, you could be more wrong, but I am not certain exactly how you would accomplish it.
Me, I believe in the existence of God. But it cannot be proven, it cannot even be indicated. It is a belief without evidence.
On the one hand you are arguing that we never know reality and on the other that there's proof of God. While this is an interesting dance, it is self-defeating since you cannot hold both positions without looking extremely silly. (4)
>> I have quite a bit more to say by the way, and I'll get back to you soon, when I get caught up on some of my work.<<
Imagine my concern.
>>Alan (who knows that my keyboard is here because my world view has a rational theory of knowledge)<<
What a load of BS Alan.
How do I know? Easy - because I control all reality. It is through me that you exist. I hold the entire world in a corning of my mind.
I think, therefore you are.
--I (obviously I've been absent-minded in your case)
From AM to IL:
Your responses are entertainment of the highest order. And they happen to be some of the most incoherent replies I've ever seen here. Of course I understand that you are simply trying to ridicule me, and I find it to be quite amusing. Ridicule, however, is the last resort of one who has no rational defense of his position. How about responding with a rational argument. Or are you fresh out?
From AM to LA:
Pardon me, but your reply comes across as a type of anti-intellectualism that is quite unbecoming for an atheist. You can't refute the arguments of two centuries of philosophy that have consistently shown that non-theistic presuppositions lead to skepticism, so you would just say its all BS and shovel it away. I don't think that is an adequate way to conduct a rational discourse. Of course my main contention is that all atheism eventually degenerates into irrationalism, and your reply seems to me to be quite consistent with that.
As for my knowing that I have a Bible to hold, starting with different presuppositions than those of the atheist/empiricist might just provide a basis for knowing.
Actually, I've got a great job. (How often do you get to go to the
beach in Rio? <g>)
From LA to AM:
> Pardon me, but your reply comes across as a type of anti-intellectualism that is quite unbecoming for an atheist. <
Have I earned your disapproval?!? Say it isn't so!
Frankly, I find the obfuscation in your posts to be severely anti-intellectual. People often get what they give you know?
What I've seen so far looks like a deductive cul-de-sac that's not producing much more than semantic games. Words piled upon words to hide the inconsistent, self-contradictory nature of what's being written. (5)
IAC, the subtle ad hominem of the above quoted isn't going to bother me much as in the context of the discourse, I actually am "anti" this kind of "intellectual" game.
> You can't refute the arguments of two centuries of philosophy that have consistently shown that non-theistic presuppositions lead to skepticism... <
First of all, the idea that non-theistic presuppositions lead to skepticism doesn't bother me. I am a skeptic. I am skeptical. I value skepticism. If this is intended to be a charge against atheism, it falls quite flat.
> I don't think that is an adequate way to conduct a rational discourse.
What I find fortunate is that your particular values do not control the definitions.
> Of course my main contention is that all atheism eventually degenerates into irrationalism, and your reply seems to me to be quite consistent with that. <
And, of course, since you appear to believe you can define the standards by which the discourse is handled, such a conclusion is inevitable. Which, to me and IMO, appears to be the draw of a "presuppostional" watusi. That is it enables people to "presuppose" the very important principle of "I'm always right!"
> As for my knowing that I have a Bible to hold, starting with different presuppositions than those of the atheist/empiricist might just provide a basis for knowing. <
Except that according to much of what you've posted, you don't know you have a bible at all. Since you appear to contend that we cannot rely on our senses to report useful information, you may actually be holding a, oh, potato and insisting it's a bible. Or, perhaps, there's no such thing as "bible" to begin with. But, rather, just a shared delusion that such a thing exists. I've seen them before but that's when I was under the influence of religious memes. I haven't seen one lately. So I can't be sure such things actually exist. Not even if I did "see" one.
Ah well, don't worry. Since there's no reliability in the empirical, I'm
probably just a figment of your imagination anyway.
> Actually, I've got a great job. (How often do you get to go to the beach in Rio? <g>) <
You think. Don't tell me you're relying on your senses! Perish the delusion! Maybe it was Cleveland.
BTW, I didn't know there was such an income potential in being a philosopher. Amazing that.
L (wait, I don't know it, my senses are telling jokes)
From AM to LA:
Forgive me for the "subtle ad hominem." However, if you think this is all a semantic game then I fear that you have not really understood what the issues are and what exactly is at stake here. To that I can only recommend that you go back and read it over again. The argument against empiricism is designed to show what results if we begin with the axioms that are necessary to the atheist world view. On the basis of theistic axioms, empirical knowledge can be justified. But I just posted that elsewhere.
No, I don't make lots of money, but I live and work in Rio, and the beaches are great (and they do exist).
No, I do not set the rules for rational discourse, but it seems to me that it is irrational to simply ignore arguments that you cannot answer. And I think your variety of skepticism is not the same thing as what finally finished off Greek philosophy and what Hume produced.
Peace to you,
From LA to Alan Myatt:
> Forgive me for the "subtle ad hominem." However, if you think this is all a semantic game then I fear that you have not really understood what the issues are and what exactly is at stake here. <
Forgive me for the insult, here's another?
I suspect I understand the issues only too well. But what I'm seeing are posts that appear to be a collision between 19th century quackery (aka "philosophy") and that peculiarly French waste of time called "deconstruction."
I've seen the comment more than once of "I've shown" or words to that effect when, really, about the only thing the barrage of posts has shown me is a propensity to MEGO. Other than that, the undercurrent is fairly obviously a revolt against reason probably driven by some rather desparate religion memes whose survival is threatened by the progress of science.
Problem is, you've deconstructed things to the point that the choice of axioms is arbitrary. You claim atheism degenerates into the "irrational." I counter claim that the approach in your posts that I've seen so far degenerates into gang warfare. Without some standard for evaluating the models generated from the axioms chosen, with only "faith" to establish them, you push the human species back into the days when the arbitration of reality was done by the point of a weapon. (6)
It's nothing but New Age rehashing of Dark Ages thinking. Self-appointed priests deducing their way to paradise and counting angels on pins. And when the peasants dare resort to relying on the evidence of their senses instead of the priestly authority, off they go to the inquisition to be enlightened.
> On the basis of theistic axioms, empirical knowledge can be justified.
There's more in heaven and earth than are dreamt of by your syllogisms.
LA (Goedel's on line one)
From IL to AM:
>Now let me see. Atheism is rational. It can sustain a rational world view. But its construction of reality cannot be proven. That's okay tho, I don't have to prove it. I just believe. Sounds like a leap of faith to me.<
Gee, you couldn't get it more wrong even if you had an idea about what you were speaking.
Atheism is not a construction, it is a conclusion.
If I go into a bare room and look around and say ' There are no indications of chairs in this room' I am doing nothing more than acknowledging the situation. You could the come in and lecture me on how there is a chair and I would see it if I just were to bang my head against the wall for a day or 1000. My conclusion would be accurate according to available evidence, your conclusion would be constructed without available evidence.
Atheism is the logical conclusion from available physical evidence. It is not represented as anything more by anyone except those zealots attempting to redefine it in a vain hope that it may make their own position somehow more tenable.
It would appear Alan that your posts do not use logic in a consistent manner.
--I (and what do you know, I even have evidence of my position)
From LA to IL:
> Atheism is the logical conclusion from available physical evidence.
Ah. But physical evidence doesn't really exist.
L (which raises questions about printed bibles)
From IL to LA:
>Ah. But physical evidence doesn't really exist.
LA (which raises questions about printed bibles)<
Yeah, I love the way the argument is structured and then ducked.
It must be one of those 'special case' arguments which only makes sense after you've banged your head against a sharp object for a day or 30.
--I (gives repetitive stress injury a whole new slant)
From AZ to Alan M:
>>Well, if your theory of knowledge (empiricism) is unable to show how one can know truth about nature as it is, Kant's well (un)known ding an sich, then it really has nothing to say about the truth status of any proposition about ultimate reality.<<
Just because Kant struggled with "ultimate reality" doesn't mean everyone else does.
>>Thus, it is quite irrational for an atheist to use such an epistemology (empiricism) as basis for rejecting belief in God.<<
Quick! Stop that strawman atheist! Equip him with some real <g> epistemology!
>>empiricism can't even show that there is a connection between the external world and one's perceptions<<
Ya know, if a 5-year-old exhibits difficulty making this distinction he or she is tagged as autistic, schizophrenic or at least developmentally challenged. But if an adult makes such a statement, we conclude that they've been to college. What happens to that once capable 5-year-old to make him renounce his proven abilities to perceive and make sense of his surroundings?
I don't think the average atheist buys into Kantian blah-blah. Christian Platonists, on the other hand, seem susceptible to it.
>>One way of argument would be to apply the rules of logic to the propositions that are derived from the axioms of the atheist and see whether or not they form a non-contradictory system.<<
Just as a method check, I assume that you wouldn't mind running the theistic case through the same dialectic in parallel with the atheistic case. Right?
From J to IL:
<<Just as a method check, I assume that you wouldn't mind running the theistic case through the same dialectic in parallel with the atheistic case. Right? >>
I'd LOVE to see this... <G>
From Alan M to J:
I'm glad to see you are open to having a look. It's been done. I would suggest that you check out the following books, if you'd really love to see it.
A Christian View of Men and Things by Gordon H. Clark
Thales to Dewey: A History of Western Philosophy by Gordon H. Clark
Religion, Reason and Revelation (esp chapter five on the problem of evil) by Gordon H. Clark
The Defense of the Faith by Cornelius Van Til
God, Revelation and Authority (six volumes) by Carl F. H. Henry
A New Critique of Theoretical Thought (four volumes) by Herman Dooyeweerd
and for those of you who think that science is the key to all knowledge:
Christianity and the Nature of Science: A Philosophical Investigation by J. P. Moreland
these represent only a small sample.
Each of these authors is rigorous in his logical examination of Christian axioms as compared to atheist axioms. I challenge you to work your way through some of this material. I'd say start with the first book by Clark and then tackle the Moreland book. Also, Thales to Dewey is an entertaining read, and a good general history of epistemology. My experience has been, however, that many atheists, like liberal theologians, tend to ignore evangelical scholarship, preferring to continue in the smugness of an assumed superiority rather than actually encounter the arguments of the other side. Refusal to engage the arguments of your philosophical opponents does not qualify as a rational response. So go for it. I'd be singularly impressed if you've got the guts to do it. I'm afraid that I don't expect to get many takers however.
BTW, I've read atheists such as Flew, Lamont, Kurtz, George Smith, as well
as more well known philosophers like Bertrand Russell and I have not found
one of them who is able to overcome the epistemological futility of their
position. That is because the underlying presuppositions of atheism
From CI to AM:
>> My experience has been, however, that many atheists, like liberal theologians, tend to ignore evangelical scholarship, preferring to continue in the smugness of an assumed superiority rather than actually encounter the arguments of the other side. <<
Many, maybe. But many evangelicals are just as smug. I, for one, keep an eye on evangelical "scholarship" if for no other reason than to be able to predict where their arguments are leading. I just don't find them at all convincing.
>> BTW, I've read atheists such as ...[list]... and I have not found one of them who is able to overcome the epistemological futility of their position. That is because the underlying presuppositions of atheism are self-contradictory. <<
Or maybe your logical criticism is flawed.
(1) The intials LPD were used several times by the atheists, but I guess I came in late because I never got a definition of what it stands for. If anybody reading this knows please tell me.
(2) Several times atheist discussants assumed that I was arguing against the possibility of all knowledge, period, despite the fact that I tried to make it clear that I was drawing the conclusion of skepticism based on what would logically follow if we granted the atheists axiom that the basis of all knowledge is empirical experience. If we begin with theistic axioms, then knowledge can be justified.
(3) It is exactly this assumption, that the senses are all we have, that I have been demolishing. Note what he says here. The senses don't really tell us about reality, we can't really KNOW what reality is, but since we don't have anything else, then we should trust them and use them to make judgments as to what reality is. So he uses something that he admits is unable to discern what ultimate reality is, as a basis for setting up criteria for making pronouncements about the nature of ultimate reality. This is supposed to be rational? The argument assumes that the basis of all knowledge is sense experience, and concludes that since sense experience gives no direct evidence for a God, then there either is no God, or there at least there is no rational basis for believing in God. But if the premise is invalid, as is admitted by the atheists in this discussion, then why on earth do they think that the conclusion is valid? The entire argument is really circular, because the assumption of empiricism as the only source of knowledge requires the corollary assumption that there could not be another source of knowledge, such as revelation. But you could not know that there is could be no revelation unless you already knew that there is no one there to reveal anything. In other words, naturalism is assumed and used as a basis for proving atheism. The point of my argument, which this discussant never seemed to comprehend, was that the contradictions generated by empiricism is evidence (logical evidence) that naturalism is false. Rather than admitting that the senses are not adequate to give us knowledge, but then irrationally sticking with them because "they are all we`ve got", the rational thing would be to admit that back behind sense experience there must be a more basic foundation for knowledge that provides a framework that will support the utility of sense experience. Namely, revelation is the necessary presupposition that provides the only philosophical framework that will validate empirical knowledge; Christian theism.
(4) What I am arguing is known as the Transcendental Argument for God, and it asserts that the atheist, on the basis of his axioms, cannot know anything (or justify knowledge). But since knowledge exists, and since the atheist's axioms are selfcontradictory, then atheism is necessarily false. Pantheism suffers from the same difficulties, leaving us with theism as the one alternative that proves to be viable. So the argument is, the atheist can't know anything, but the Christian can and this ultimately IS the proof that God exists.
(5) This kind of accusation surfaced more than once, but he fails here to point out any specific inconsistencies or logical fallacies. Assertions of this nature require accompanying refutations if they are to be taken seriously.
(6) Again the atheist's dillema is highlighted. He is correct in asserting that there must be some sort of standard for evaluating truth claims, but in all of his many posts he finally demonstrates that his own standard of empiricism cannot lead to truth. And he seems to miss the point that if one's axioms are the result of another argument, then they are not really one's most basic axioms at all. Rather, the presuppostions of the argument used to establish one's axioms would be the real most basic axioms of one's system. Axioms are not the result of other arguments by definition. Finally, the only final test available for the axioms of a world view is whether or not they are adequate to establish the preconditions for proof (the validity of logic, a basis for trusting sense experience, the universal validity of ethics), in the first place. Then it becomes necessary to see if one's axioms can provide a coherent account of fact and experience without degenerating into logical contradictions. The axioms of atheism cannot do this.
It is also interesting to note that several times such modern irrationalist philosophies as existentialism, and in this case, deconstructionism, were ridiculed, yet at no time was a refutation of them offered.
Alan Myatt, Ph.D.