Daily Archives: August 10, 2011

Replying to Comments: “Twitter and Shallow Reasoning”

I really have to stop letting these accumulate.  Answering them is never as bad as I seem to think it will be.  And, often, I learn something.

First up, on my post on how Twitter breeds shallow reasoners, Boz thinks that the Twitter users I mention are misunderstanding proof, which he says is:

1) Provide strong evidence for; Demonstrate.  I can prove that Morphine is addictive.

2) Show to be true with 100% accuracy.  I cannot disprove solipsism.

I agree on both counts, and I also believe Boz is correct that the Twitter users I’m picking on don’t get what proof really is.  Nor do they understand that one cannot disprove solipsism (which is why they resort to ridiculing me).

The point is that argument can suffice in place of empirical proof.  Provided one can show a belief is rational by logic and argumentation, then empirical proof isn’t necessary.  There’s no empirical proof that an external world or other minds exist, and we can’t say for certain (therefore) that we aren’t living in a computer simulation (a la The Matrix).

But we are rational for accepting the existence of the external world and the existence of other minds without evidence.  So I also argue that, because we can argue rationally and cogently for the existence of God, that we are justified in accepting it as true in the absence of empirical evidence.

Really, it all boils down to treating God as we would any other belief.  So, then, I’ve asked the atheist to provide good reasons to not accept the existence of God.  No one has stepped up, and Boz reversed it on me: provide rational reasons for not believing in Amun, the Egyptian god of creation and the sun.

Challenge accepted.  First:

  1. The conception of God is as the maximal being.  God exists eternally, and thus was never created nor will he ever pass away.  God also exists necessarily.
  2. The preservation of the Scriptures pertaining to God is excellent.  No significant variations in the (forgive my use of this term) plot of the creation story exist.  The rigid attention to the story is indicative of its perceived truth.
  3. God sent his Son, Jesus, to speak for him.  Jesus fulfilled OT prophecy and equipped teachers to give God’s full and final revelation.  He backed up his divinity with a Resurrection from the dead.  All of this in fulfillment of Scriptures written hundreds of years before.

As for Amun:

  1. Amun is not the maximal being.  He neither exists eternally nor necessarily.  He created himself (however that might have worked, but it indicates at least one prior moment where he did not exist), and formed a hypostasis with Ra (the sun god) at the outset of creation.
  2. The variations of the creation myth of Egypt demonstrate they had no commitment to its finer points, and therefore believed it only in the sense that it imparts a lesson.  Similar to how Aesop’s Fables or Shakespeare’s plays do–notice the range of variations in both over the extant MSS; the Bible’s variations are at least as numerous but not as significant.
  3. There is no fulfillment in the material realm for Amun-Ra such as we see with Jesus.

I think that these three points nicely demonstrate the superiority of God to that of Amun-Ra.