Intellectual Honesty

In my pursuit to become as honest, logical and self-aware with my beliefs and values in life I have taken to following a few atheist’s blogs. One of my favorite ones concerns itself more with Debunking Christianity and the another mainly on science. I heartily recommend these websites to anyone who desires to be challenged with cognitive growth respecting any faith decisions. Actually, I would even recommend a book by the DC’s John Loftus to a Christian if, and only if, they were serious about this endeavor.

One of the things that strikes me as ironic about atheist’s is they often do not see that their arguments, claims, jokes etc. can work equally well against the point they are trying to make (as often Christians, including myself, are guilty of). Here is an all too true example of this. While this claim, from the linked site, has been historically true in many, if not most, cases for religion the rhetoric of the claim only works if this is not also true for atheism. Unfortunately, humility and openness is not the calling card of atheism either.

This error reminds me of one of the greatest books I have ever read (The Brothers Karamazov) that has a great scene illustrating this exact point. In the Chapter entitled “The Defense Attorney’s Speech: A Stick with Two Ends” it is argued that one ought to be careful using logic that can just as easily work the exact other way by turning the assumptions on their head. Although the chapter is about psychology the need for caution works the same in logic, science, history etc. Here is the quote:

“I myself, gentleman of the jury, have resorted to psychology now, in order to demonstrate that on can draw whatever conclusions one likes from it. It all depends on whose hands it is in. Psychology prompts novels even from the most serious people, and quite unintentionally. I am speaking of excessive psychology, gentleman of the jury, of a certain abuse of it.”

For another good explanation of this see the chapter on “The Eschatology of Jesus” in Dale Allison’s Reconstructing Jesus.

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4 Responses to Intellectual Honesty

  1. Custador says:

    BS. The entire point of atheism is not to dogmaticaly shout that there is no God, it’s to say that there is not any evidence for God. You yourself are an atheist! You’re an atheist when it comes to Odin, Thor, Cthulu and Xenu – What you call an atheist is simply atheistic towards one more God than you.

    So, until you can prove to me that there a) is a divine creator of the universe and b) that it’s your particular version of a divine creator instead of the dozens of other choices – then you’re projecting the inadequacies of your own religion onto people who don’t have any religion, and that’s just BS.

    • Actually, I do believe in Odin, Thor, Cthulu and Xenu; I just do not worship them. So why is my comment BS? Please be very careful in telling me what I believe before you ever ask.

      I do not have to prove anything to you in the same way that you do not need to prove anything to me although if you present a case you may be able to sway me. I am not trying to convert you to anything what gives you that impression? I believe in many gods so I don’t have a problem with other religions even though I don’t believe all of their claims any more than I believe all claims that Christians make.

      It seems you are taking issue with me over things others have said and not with what I have said. Is that honest?

  2. Custador says:

    I find it hillarious that you moderate all comments to a blog post called “intellectual honesty”. You don’t get irony, do you?

    • The reason I moderate comments is because I just started blogging and hadn’t thought about disabling the function. Please explain to me why this feature works against intellectual honesty? I thought I would leave it on because of spam is this dishonest? If you convince me otherwise I will gladly turn it off.

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