The Dawkins Confusion – Plantinga responds Dr. Alvin Plantinga my all time favorite philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, who I’ve mentioned. Alvin Plantinga is without question one of the great scholars in the world Alister McGrath & Joanna Collicutt McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion?. Christianity Today has published this lengthy review of The God Delusion. The review’s author is Alvin Plantinga, who is often described as.

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Given materialism and the idea that the ultimate objects in our universe are the elementary particles of physics, perhaps a being that knew a great deal would be improbable – how could those particles get arranged in such as way as to constitute a being with all that knowledge?

Probabilistic judgements are the norm, not the exception. A propensity to believe in supernatural causation seems to be either an adaptation or a byproduct of adaptation.

The Dawkins Confusion – Alvin Plantinga | poikilos

Perhaps so, but why does Dawkins think it follows that God would be improbable? If we were consistently and grossly misunderstanding aspects of our environment that are important to our survival and well-being like confusing rustling for predatorswe’d be in serious trouble.

Isn’t that just a claim for a directionality in evolution? But what if alvun developed science? Descartes in Meditations resolved his fundamental epistemological difficulty by postulating a supernatural God who would dawins his hypothetical “evil demon” from deceiving him. The only way I can make sense of it is if it is adaptive to have mostly false beliefs.

I remember well reading his careful work on Anselm when I took a graduate course in Philosophy at Carolina. We’d quickly die of starvation, predation, poisoning, accident, exposure or some other such cause.

Confhsion do not agree with him, but the argument he makes is not reliant on our CF’s to be anything near perfect, only reliable enough. We tend to think there are objective moral truths until we realise how weird this really is.


So it is far from obvious that God is complex.

They are, in a word, Atheists, without knowing it. March 4, at Which isn’t true, of course. If naturalism is true, some evolutionary doctrine must also be true and our evolutionary history alvun be accounted for in terms of only random mutation and natural selection.

In fact he’d have to hold that it is unlikely, dawkkns unguided evolution, that our cognitive faculties are reliable. Likewise, the arugment that relies on what has occured in evolution would be circular to Plantinga because it relies on information within a theistic world wlvin. The ability dwkins model the movement of an object is one of these. Since we have been cobbled together by unguided evolution, it is unlikely, he thinks, that our view of the world is overall accurate; natural selection is interested in adaptive behaviour, not in true belief.

By jrosenhouse on March 1, In fact he’d have to hold that it is unlikely, dawkine unguided evolution, that our cognitive faculties are reliable. Toward the end of the book, Dawkins endorses a certain limited skepticism. In fact, smart as he supposedly is, I’d have expected him to reach it independently — it’s a very simple and obvious idea! Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett are, of course, the glamour twins of current academic atheism.

Let me now give a second example of Dawkinsian-style argument. His intended audience, or much of it, won’t mind that any. Jerry Coyne missed one: John Pieret, to reply to: Fitelson and Sober make a similar point in their responseconcluding: But even so, Plantinga’s assumption of Christian theism is of little help in putting the reliability of our cognitive faculties on solid ground. How is that any different than making the same errors because we have evolved by non-supernatural means?

Thus, given their own presuppositions, materialists have not freely arrived at their conclusion that materialism is true, because their conclusion was predetermined by brain chemistry.

Plantinga confusiion trying to put the Naturalist in the same position as we usually place the Postmodern Universal Relativist: Thus when Alvin Plantinga confusikn in on a highly philosophical treatise like Richard Dawkin’s “God Delusion” you know you are in for something substantive.


Science or naturalism? The contradictions of Richard Dawkins

The survival and reproduction confsion human beings, on the other hand, is crucially dependent on our awareness of and response to our environment. I was thinking the same thing myself. If we simply assume that such a God exists, then, according to Plantinga, we have a sound basis for believing our cognitive faculties are accurate. Why not an aversion to Brussel Sprouts? For example, natural selection might favor a hypersensitivity to possible threats, or an imputation of agency to inanimate things, on the grounds that responding to some false threats is less harmful than being too sanguine about real ones.

But if their thoughts — i.

Do you seriously believe that such errors would not have a strongly adverse effect on the chances of surviving and reproducing successfully? Have a nice day. In fact, dakwins argument depends upon it being true that the objective probability of reliable cognitive abilities given the conjunctive framework of evolution and naturalism is either low or inscrutable so as to be less than the same objective probability given theism.

Try as you might, you cannot have it both ways within the context of this argument.

I certainly agree that it’s not as impressive an argument as Plantinga or his defenders seem to believe, but it does also seem to me that it is you, and not Richard, who have misunderstood the argument Plantinga is making.

It is clear that evolved brains can be unreliable.