On Plantinga on “Is Atheism Rational?”
What a godawful congeries of sophisms — and such feeble ones it’s hardly worth the effort to state the obvious….
Running through it all is the same howler that wobbled Pascal’s Wager: the Judeo-Christian voodoo is just one of a whole motley of competing screeds on offer on this “fine-tuned” planet, all equally arbitrary and absurd, all equally at odds with all evidence and reason — and all in contradiction with one another. Yet Plantinga’s pietist putty is applicable to any of them!
It’s already sophistical to cast it as “atheism vs theism”: There are a lot more voodos on offer than just Plantinga’s preferred one, including the Dawkins/Russell one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people-eater.
So it’s not “A vs. not-A” (50/50): it’s V1 vs V2 vs V3…. vs. Vn… vs. ordinary reality. And Plantinga suggests that “agnosticism” is a more rational stance than to chuck the whole vat of V’s? Then I need to be agnostic about every bit of supernatatural delusion that any raving madman ever dreams up!
Only the reveries that are backed up by transcendental experience of personal union with the “divine”? Which one(s)? Every mescal-button hallucination anyone has ever had? And that’s supposed to substitute for sense and evidence?
(This time the relevant quip is not Russell’s orbiting teapot but the one about W. James’s mate who knew the secret of the universe whenever he sniffed nitrous oxide — and ’twas: “Hogamus, Higamus, Man is Polygamous…”)
And I find that sociopathic Christian scat — that can serenely survey the planet’s Jovial panorama and squeeze out of that squalor the most “perfect world” with the help of some of the sappiest of eschatological claptrap — to be the most offensive of all. At least the karmic creeds are not so sanctimonious…
Bref: The shenanigans going on here are worthy of an OJ Simpson Dream-Team Defence summary…