Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Anthony Flew: Servant of an Idea or a Seeker of Truth?

There is no intellectual honesty in deciding that something is true to begin with, and then engaging in herculean efforts to only ever affirm that "belief" must necessarily be true, as if one's eternal soul depends upon it. Indeed, such an approach is the very opposite of seeking "truth" or trying to remain "objective."

In fact, there is perhaps no greater act of dishonesty than to claim that a "God" must have placed all the infinite complexity and beauty everywhere in the universe for us to find, as Anthony Flew argues, and all so we would "know" it was God trying to let us know he is behind it all.

But to conclude that complexity and beauty prove the existence of God is not to "follow where the argument" leads, as Flew said Socrates admonished him to do, but to be led around by the nose by a "belief" we have either already decided must be true, or one from which who's gravity we are unable to escape.

Why, for example, do people like Flew who come to the conclusion that there must be an "intelligence" behind it all never notice how much that "intelligence" must necessarily be very much like their own?  And why do they conclude that it must necessarily be ONE intelligence, acting alone, which not only reflects our all too human desire/habit for always wanting ONE solution for every question, but likewise reflects the modern obsession, prevalent among mostly Western thinkers, with always wanting to reduce our religions down to monotheism of one flavor or another?

Those who reach such conclusions simply ignore how "divine" they therefore assume their own intelligence must be, if it is so capable of "knowing" the mind of a deity that they claim to be so "infinitely" superior to our own.

Is there anything more arrogant than to assume that we have been "given" (which implies it came from someone or thing) the capacity to fathom all of the complexity in the universe, even if we can not understand it,  from a God who wants us to know his own mind?

But worst of all, Christians never think it is relevant for them to exercise their own REASONING in their blind acceptance of anything that simply affirms a belief that they want or need to be true. That there are plenty of other explanations for understanding both our own mind and the universe, does not prove that there is NO God, but it certainly proves that those who want to believe in God clearly have no interest in exercising the very "intelligence" they claim was given to them from God, to find anything but the God they insist gave them that intelligence in the first place.

When Nietzsche said God is dead, he meant to say that objectivity and the ability to reason outside of a "belief" is dead.

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