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  • Anonymouse

    Hi Jacques,

    You say:

    In the domain of logic only, it’s easy to win an argument with a religious believer. And atheists can win these arguments till the end of our days, and perhaps feel noble or virtuous in that we are contributing to the project of reason.

    What do you say to the statement:

    In the domain of logic only, it’s easy to win an argument with an atheist. And theists can win these arguments till the end of our days, and perhaps feel noble or virtuous in that we are contributing to the project of reason.

    What gives you the idea that the first statement is more true than the second?

    • http://synapses.co.za Jacques Rousseau

      Quite simple. Faith is required to support religious belief, and faith isn’t falsifiable.

  • Anonymouse

    Ah, but logic is required to support rational beliefs, and logic isn’t falsifiable. So theists might hit atheists with logic and faith sticks.

    • http://synapses.co.za Jacques Rousseau

      If they can do so in a way that doesn’t use natural language, thereby persuading using one of the tools of logic, good luck to them – I’d be convinced.

      • Anonymouse

        Well, they seem to do just fine with natural language and the tools of logic.

        I am guessing you are aiming for the elimination of folk psychology or the eliminative reduction of folk psychology to the terms of neuroscience that denies any agency i.e. all agency is merely the interaction of genes or memes ala the Churchlands or Blackmore. Good luck being convinced that that is possible or even coherent.

        • http://synapses.co.za Jacques Rousseau

          Yes, that’s exactly what this column is about. Well spotted.

  • Anonymouse

    I suppose that is why you are a fan of Harris as well. Not because of his ethical views but because of his ties or experience with a little neuroscience.

    Have you read Paula Churchland’s latest book?

  • Anonymouse

    Sorry, that is “Patricia” not Paula.

    • http://synapses.co.za Jacques Rousseau

      None of this is at all relevant to what I wrote. When/if I do express a view on those issues, feel free to express yours. Right now, this is going nowhere.

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  • http://blamer.wordpress.com @blamer

    Different approaches are persuasive to different audiences, and there’s no question that representatives of both extremes of the spectrum have had success…

    Team PZ seems to be successfully rallying like-minded, godless liberals. Whereas it seems a far bolder claim to suggest Team Niceguy (who?) has been as successful at charming allies off the apatheistic-apolitical fence …or over it. That is, persuading folks leftward to lessen the stranglehold that religious conservatives have on the GOP.

    And depending on how high we set the bar of success (say, more wins in 2012 over proposed law changes than Team Holymen?) the pro-academia camp/s seem yet to have stacked on pounds enough to throw their weight around to contain the Politico-Religious Right.

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