On a tip from Denyse O’Leary over at Uncommon Descent, I went over to Townhall.com and read Frank Pastore’s article from yesterday, “Why Atheism Fails: The Four Big Bangs.” Frank apparently used to be a Major League pitcher (I’m no BB fan) who also has graduate degrees in both philosophy of religion and political philosophy. Anyway, Frank used to be an atheist, and knowing both sides of the arguments, he posits what he sees as what are still the challenges to atheism, that atheists cannot adequately answer. (From the comments to the post, I’d have to agree with him.) Pastore concludes:
Since the pre-Socratics, atheists have been intellectual parasites living off the host of Western Civilization. Able to construct so very little of their own that is either true, good, or beautiful, they live on the borrowed capital of their believing intellectual parents. Atheists have been asserting the same basic mechanistic worldview, and with roughly the same success, for centuries. They sell books and win converts from time to time, sure, especially among those gullible enough to buy the “just popped” thesis. Don’t be gullible.
But, for me, the real value of atheism lies in bolstering belief in God. When I doubt, I can begin to doubt my doubts by returning to the Four Big Bangs. And, I eventually fall to my knees and worship, “In the beginning, God.”
Pastore is responding to the several recent works asserting atheism that, in his opinion, fail to adequately answer the four Big Questions:
1) What is the origin of the universe?
2) What is the origin of life?
3) What is the origin of mind?
4) What is the origin of good and evil?
And, Pastore goes on to say, “For their many obfuscating words, the authors still don’t improve much beyond the “just popped” thesis, if at all.”
If you’re at all interested in this topic, which I presume you are if you’ve read this far, read Pastore’s entire article. It’s short, but he has a lot more to say on the problems with the atheist position. And, if you’re really bored you can read a few of the 185 (at the point I read it) comments.
You’re offended at Pastore, but you like Dawkins and Myers? I guess it just depends upon which side of the fence we’re on. Do the rules say that atheists can be obnoxious (in fact, I think I’ve read that somewhere) but Christians must be nice? I certainly hope not… 😉 I personally enjoy tossing out a few zingers here and there…
The hypothesis that God exists is just as valid as the one that says he doesn’t. I do presuppose God – however, that doesn’t mean that I use God’s existence as a point in my argument, it just means I am open to seeing God in the conclusions. And, the presupposition of God doesn’t mean that I’m still not interested in the “hows.”
As much as I appreciate the Biblical reference ;-), I’m not ignoring my presuppositions and their impact on my thinking. In fact, I’m open about them (as Christians should be). I just like to point out that others have presuppositions, too.
I don’t mean to pick on you, but I have to ask, is this thinking wise? If science by your definition limits any study of immaterial phenomenon, then aren’t you just committing yourself to a position of limited knowledge by closing yourself off from any knowledge beyond your chosen limitations? Again, the only reason I can see why people wouldn’t look beyond a materialistic scientific approach is because they presuppose that nothing else exists, in spite of the testimony of others who attest that there is something else.
If this paragraph is the best of Pastore’s article then it isn’t worth reading. He is insulting and slanderous at once. Also he is lying about the study of the Big Bang. It doesn’t stop at “just popped” and recent discoveries are leading to a multiverse conclusion, if they are accurate.
But, this excerpt also displays a falsity of Pastore’s prior atheism. I can only assume he really means that he didn’t consider religion or atheism very much until his conversion because what he writes about atheism is completely wrong. Well, it’s not even wrong. It’s a big tangent; especially on those 4 questions that you mention.
The only way that religion approaches an even close approximation to those 4 questions is with wishful thinking there must have been a Creator because it is just so frickin’ awesome. But it has never provided anything solid enough for even the religious to agree on. It is not atheism that is seeking the answers to the questions he raises it is all of humanity. Some people think they found it by following scriptures and I say “Bully for them” if they are happy with that.
Atheists aren’t because we have discarded the presupposition of a creator. We don’t say there is none because we don’t like the idea of one, we say there is likely none because there is no display of its handiwork that is verifiable through independent means of testing beyond personal revelation. And that is not good enough for the skeptic. If there is a God it needs to show itself in a clear unambiguous way.
You are criticizing the mote in my eye with regards to presuppositions while ignoring the plank in your own. And this article is a big plank, if you ask me.