Monday, January 12, 2015

A Gap In Every Argument

Many arguments for god(s) take something the apologist intellectually doesn't understand and compensates with an assumption that reinforces the belief they've been taught is true. Sometimes they disregard or deny the available information because it doesn't jive with their indoctrination (committing the fallacy of personal incredulity) and sometimes there is no information available in which case they are filling a gap in knowledge with their divine explanation of choice (called the god of the gaps.)

Example time.

Those who use the cosmological argument: "I don't know if the universe has an ultimate origin or what that might be, so let's assume there is and it's God."

Those who use the fine tuning argument: "I don't know if the constants that apply to our universe could be different nor how different nor do I know if there are other universes or variables, but let's assume they can differ wildly and our universe is unique because God designed it that way."

Those who use the argument from design: "I don't know how the diversity of complex organisms could have came to be as they are now, so let's say it's God."

Those who use the moral argument: "I don't know why I feel so strongly about certain things being right and other things being wrong, so God must have made me aware of those moral values."

In the case of the cosmological and fine tuning arguments, humanity hasn't nailed down the mechanics of the origin of the universe nor why the universe has the constants it does. We have theories that cover part of the answer and hypotheses that speculate the rest, but there is enough that we don't know that I consider these arguments, in part, god of the gaps arguments.

The argument from design and the moral argument are different. Since the Theory of Evolution, the only way to find the argument from design convincing is by sticking your head in the proverbial sand to avoid the evidence. Saying they are personally incredulous of evolution doesn't an argument make. The moral argument is more nuanced and, depending on definitions, suffers the same fate of the argument from design. There is enough selective pressure to be altruistic, especially within one's own gene-mates (which some call their family), that that feeling to be good is also covered with evolutionary theory.

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