Is it just me or have apologetic arguments become more vague and confusing than ever before? I’ve been seeing the claim that atheism can’t account for the laws of logic and mathematics because they need a foundation in the divine. Upon asking the apologist why they think this is so, the responses vary. Most often they say something about logic and math working on faith because we can’t show why they work. In their minds, this makes atheists have faith in something thereby putting theists and atheists on equal ground. In their minds, it actually gives them a 1-up on atheists in that they can define a source for their faith...which just so happens to be what they have faith in, God--thus showing that their minds need more regular maintenance. This is where we can offer a tune-up.
Math works. I need no faith that math works, I can show that math works.
This is evidential, which is right in the unfaithful’s wheelhouse. I
don’t even know how to classify the argument that the apologist makes
here. Asking why math works is like asking why are we here. It’s
assuming a purpose that can only be prescribed by an outside
agent--meaning it will only by compelling to those who already believe
there is a god. In reality, there need not be a why.
If it’s not an argument of purpose, maybe it falls under the fine tuning
umbrella. Are they saying that since the universe is comprehensible
enough for us to discover math and logic, that God must have made it as
such? If so, this can be dismissed as easily as other fine tuning
arguments. We can only have a discussion about math and logic as we
define them because they are meaningful; if they weren’t meaningful, we
wouldn’t be having the discussion. It’s the anthropic principle at work.
More than this, their line of reasoning is actually worse than the
standard fine tuning argument of the universe. It’s at least conceivable
that the universal constants that make life possible could be different
yet aren’t, lending to the necessity of a designer or a multiverse or
something to explain it. In the case of math and logic, I can’t see how
anything could be fundamentally different. I don’t understand how can a
concept like addition may be voided. Does the apologist really think a
deity is needed for quantities to be countable? Seriously, what is the
alternative? If things exist, said things can be counted. This gives us
numbers which gives us math. Does this argument distill down to "why are
there things?" If so, this brings us full circle to an assumed purpose.
These attempts to redefine faith as a property of atheism is simply an
admission of their own weakness. Apologists, by definition, strive to
defend their religious beliefs without relying on blind faith, but when
it comes down to it, all their arguments are founded on just that blind
faith. Apologists rationalize backwards in an effort to conceal their
initial assumption, which is a passably convincing argument only to
those indoctrinated to overlook the assumptions as such. I doubt
apologetics were ever meant to convert the atheist, but rather to retain
to lapsed church-goers. Who else would buy this shit?