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Atheism 101 Critical Thinking Exercise!

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  • rlbaty50
    INTRODUCTION: ... Things do not appear to have changed much. Atheists/skeptics still affirm, beyond the reach of their evidence, that it was imagination .
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 6, 2013
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      INTRODUCTION:

      In 1829 the following exchange took place between the preacher Alexander Campbell and the skeptic Robert Owen regarding the origin of the concept/idea of God:

      > Alexander Campbell:
      >
      >> "Now, as you are philosophers and historians,
      >> and have all the means of knowing, How did it
      >> come into the world?"
      >
      > Robert Owen:
      >
      >> "By imagination."

      Things do not appear to have changed much. Atheists/skeptics still affirm, beyond the reach of their evidence, that it was "imagination".

      From that simple affirmative, I have prepared a critical thinking exercise designed to test the basic critical thinking skills of skeptics and illustrate that things haven't changed much since Campbell made his inquiry of Owen; they still "believe" it was "imagination".

      ARGUMENT / EXERCISE:

      Major Premise:

      > IF (A) man was able to originate the
      > idea/concept of God through the power
      > of imagination, as opposed to reason
      > and/or revelation,
      >
      > THEN (B) man did originate the
      > idea/concept of God through the power
      > of imagination, as opposed to reason
      > and/or revelation.

      Minor Premise:

      > (A) Man was able to originate the
      > idea/concept of God through the power
      > of imagination, as opposed to reason
      > and/or revelation.

      Conclusion:

      > (B) Man did originate the idea/concept
      > of God through the power of imagination,
      > as opposed to reason and/or revelation.

      Step #1:

      Do you believe the argument is so constructed that
      if its premises are true its conclusion will follow
      as true therefrom (i.e., that it is logically valid)?

      > Robert Baty - Yes
      > Student _______ - ???

      Step #2:

      Do you believe that you can take the minor premise
      and conclusion of a logically valid modus ponens
      argument and construct the major premise therefrom?

      > Robert Baty - Yes
      > Student _______ - ???

      Step #3:

      Do you believe that the major premise of the above
      argument is properly inferred and properly constructed
      from the minor premise and conclusion of the argument?

      > Robert Baty - Yes
      > Student _______ - ???

      Step #4:

      Do you believe that atheism implies the truth of the
      conclusion and that atheists implicitly and/or
      explicitly believe the conclusion to be true?

      > Robert Baty - Yes
      > Student _______ - ???

      Step #5:

      Do you believe that atheism implies the truth of the
      minor premise and that atheists implicitly and/or
      explicitly believe the minor premise to be true?

      > Robert Baty - Yes
      > Student _______ - ???

      Step #6:

      Do you believe that atheism implies that the major
      premise is true and that atheists implicitly and/or
      explicitly believe the major premise to be true?

      > Robert Baty - Yes
      > Student _______ - ???

      As necessary, the argument can be tailored to the needs of individual students.

      Sincerely,
      Robert Baty

      ---------------------------------------
      ---------------------------------------
    • Todd Greene
      beyond the reach of their evidence is the problematic part of that statement, of course. Yeah, it s beyond the reach of their evidence like who killed
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 6, 2013
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        "beyond the reach of their evidence" is the problematic part of that statement, of course. Yeah, it's "beyond the reach of their evidence" like who killed Ötzi, the Iceman, is "beyond the reach of their evidence". There is no evidence Ötzi was killed by a demon, an angel, a leprechaun, a unicorn, or a god, or aliens from another planet for that matter. There is indeed evidence relevant to who killed Ötzi (and there is considerable evidence regarding how humans in general love to make up ideas about the supernatural), and it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything supernatural, even though we will never know specifically who killed Ötzi. Note that previously (weeks ago) I mentioned the conceptual usage of the god-of-the-gaps argument in these kinds of statements - and we see, again, that I was quite correct about that.

        - Todd Greene


        --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" wrote:
        >
        > INTRODUCTION:
        >
        > In 1829 the following exchange took place between the preacher Alexander Campbell and the skeptic Robert Owen regarding the origin of the concept/idea of God:
        >
        > > Alexander Campbell:
        > >
        > >> "Now, as you are philosophers and historians,
        > >> and have all the means of knowing, How did it
        > >> come into the world?"
        > >
        > > Robert Owen:
        > >
        > >> "By imagination."
        >
        > Things do not appear to have changed much. Atheists/skeptics still affirm, beyond the reach of their evidence, that it was "imagination".
        >
        > From that simple affirmative, I have prepared a critical thinking exercise designed to test the basic critical thinking skills of skeptics and illustrate that things haven't changed much since Campbell made his inquiry of Owen; they still "believe" it was "imagination".
        >
        > ARGUMENT / EXERCISE:
        >
        > Major Premise:
        >
        > > IF (A) man was able to originate the
        > > idea/concept of God through the power
        > > of imagination, as opposed to reason
        > > and/or revelation,
        > >
        > > THEN (B) man did originate the
        > > idea/concept of God through the power
        > > of imagination, as opposed to reason
        > > and/or revelation.
        >
        > Minor Premise:
        >
        > > (A) Man was able to originate the
        > > idea/concept of God through the power
        > > of imagination, as opposed to reason
        > > and/or revelation.
        >
        > Conclusion:
        >
        > > (B) Man did originate the idea/concept
        > > of God through the power of imagination,
        > > as opposed to reason and/or revelation.
        >
        > Step #1:
        >
        > Do you believe the argument is so constructed that
        > if its premises are true its conclusion will follow
        > as true therefrom (i.e., that it is logically valid)?
        >
        > > Robert Baty - Yes
        > > Student _______ - ???
        >
        > Step #2:
        >
        > Do you believe that you can take the minor premise
        > and conclusion of a logically valid modus ponens
        > argument and construct the major premise therefrom?
        >
        > > Robert Baty - Yes
        > > Student _______ - ???
        >
        > Step #3:
        >
        > Do you believe that the major premise of the above
        > argument is properly inferred and properly constructed
        > from the minor premise and conclusion of the argument?
        >
        > > Robert Baty - Yes
        > > Student _______ - ???
        >
        > Step #4:
        >
        > Do you believe that atheism implies the truth of the
        > conclusion and that atheists implicitly and/or
        > explicitly believe the conclusion to be true?
        >
        > > Robert Baty - Yes
        > > Student _______ - ???
        >
        > Step #5:
        >
        > Do you believe that atheism implies the truth of the
        > minor premise and that atheists implicitly and/or
        > explicitly believe the minor premise to be true?
        >
        > > Robert Baty - Yes
        > > Student _______ - ???
        >
        > Step #6:
        >
        > Do you believe that atheism implies that the major
        > premise is true and that atheists implicitly and/or
        > explicitly believe the major premise to be true?
        >
        > > Robert Baty - Yes
        > > Student _______ - ???
        >
        > As necessary, the argument can be tailored to the needs of individual students.
        >
        > Sincerely,
        > Robert Baty
        >
        > ---------------------------------------
        > ---------------------------------------
        >
      • rlbaty50
        ... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/30505 ... It s not a problematic part of the statement, and Todd, effectively, implicitly, admits
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 6, 2013
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          --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/30505
          "Todd Greene" wrote, in part:

          > "beyond the reach of their evidence" is the
          > problematic part of that statement, of course.
          >
          > Note that previously (weeks ago) I mentioned
          > the conceptual usage of the god-of-the-gaps
          > argument in these kinds of statements - and
          > we see, again, that I was quite correct about
          > that.

          It's not a "problematic" part of the statement, and Todd, effectively, implicitly, admits the propriety of my use of such language.

          Todd also, quite conspicuously, does as many before him in taking "cheap shots" instead of working through the exercise step by reasonable step.

          I commend those interested to a review of our previous discussions as referenced by Todd, and archived here, regarding his closing shot and whether or not his claim is an accurate statement of what the Atheism 101 Critical Thinking Exercise is all about.

          Here's a suggestion (i.e., homework assignment) for those who think they can do better (i.e., a tailoring effort for those who don't think my argument suits them, atheism, or atheists):

          Given the following conclusion and minor premise, give the major premise that completes the modus ponens form Atheism 101 argument:

          > Conclusion:
          >
          >> The origin of the idea/concept
          >> of God is attributable to the
          >> imaginative powers of man.

          > Minor Premise:
          >
          >> Man's power of imagination was
          >> sufficient to originate the
          >> idea/concept of God.

          > Major Premise:
          >
          > (To be Added by the Student)

          Once your homework assignment is submitted, we will then be prepared, I think, to return to the six steps of the exercise.

          Sincerely,
          Robert Baty
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