Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alvin Plantinga on Naturalism

“Given Darwinism, even our cognitive faculties must be the result of natural selection. Every aspect of human brain physiology and psychology was entirely fixed by its survival value. This means that nowhere along the human evolutionary path did a concern for truth necessarily come into play. So long as an organism’s cognitive apparatus enables it to stay alive, its beliefs need not be true or even reasonable. There is no necessary connection between the survival potential of a cognitive system and the truth of the beliefs it produces...this means that if naturalism is true, then we have no reason to be confident that any of our beliefs are actually true, and the includes our belief in the truth of naturalism.”

As quoted by James Spiegel in The Making of an Atheist, p. 58-59

2 comments:

Lenny said...

This type of logic would have been laughed at by 90 percent of the major philosphers prior to 1800. A major shift has occured in the thinking of the modern world that allows such gibberish to be posited as a legitimate framework for a world view. The nonsense such as "you do not have to prove your negative," would have been laughed at by Newton or even a T. Jefferson; Aristotle, Plato the later philosphers that followed would have considered this gutter logic. The recent development where the law of non-contradiction is for the most part excluded in modern logic or the foolishness of the concept that Ayn Rand pushed, "one does not have to prove their negative," must be demonstrated as recent development in the modern Academy. This is the only true cover that modern Athiests and liberal agnostics in modern media and education can hide behind.

Anonymous said...

This quote is the same line of reasoning that I use when talking about the truthfulness and reliability of the Christian worldview with my unbelieving friends, co-workers, neighbors.

In the skeptics zeal that everything is this great "unknowable" they seem to fail to comprehend that by destroying any certainty of the truthfulness of the christian worldview that their worldview falls victim to their own line of reasoning. While they may think themselves smart for frustrating the line of evidences for the Christian worldview the unbeliever has actually undermined their own mines in the process of arguing against the case for Christianity.

Unbelievers either fall into the category of either being absolutely certain of their total uncertainty or being totally uncertain about their absolute uncertainty. Both positions can't pass their own test of truth and in the process actually destroy meaningful knowledge.

I love it when Ravi Zacharias says that as apologists we must question the questioner. The above is one way to do that.