The Counsel of Trent

writing is thinking

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The "It doesn't matter" Reply to Philosophy of Religion

"Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." - The Speaker, 12/15/00

So maybe it isn't really impartiality, but it's some thing close, and seeing the quote after reading a bunch of positivists, it rung true.

Many of the early positivists were as animated by anti-God tendencies as much as anti-Kant tendencies (then again Kant was God to the establishment so...).

They would say that there was no need to evaluate the evidence for theism because the claim that God existed didn't even have meaning. In fact at one point Ayer (see below for his partial change of heart) was criticized by some friends (I saw the quote recently but can't remember who it was) for asserting that God didn't exist because it implied the question was worth taking seriously.

The fact is, though, that so many of them just didn't have a clue what the case for theism looked like or what the notion of God was behind them. This is made abundantly clear in the debate between Berterand Russell and Father Copleston.

I'm contemplating now a post about how to decide when a question is worth considering. I started thinking more about it when reading _The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes_ and doing some background reading on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, discovering that he became an ardent Spiritualist and even took the affirmative in the argument concerning the existence of the Cottingly fairies. Odd that. Hopefully more later.

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