Embrace Leftist Lunacy, then Amplify It

The Reconquista Initiative

Presents…

Embrace Leftist Lunacy, then Amplify It

Let’s be honest: it is, quite simply, a fact that Western leftists, progressives, and SJWs harbor a particular hatred towards orthodox Christian believers as well as other traditionalists. Furthermore, such leftists consider orthodox believers and members of the hard political right to be their enemy, and they are, in fact, correct in this regard, for traditionalists are indeed a political threat to them and their ideology. It is, therefore, without a doubt the case that such leftists are a threat to traditionalists in the West, and so this threat is one which traditionalists must deal with if they are to survive in any significant way in the Western world. And so, in light of these points, it behooves traditionalists to have powerful rhetorical and political tactics at their disposal with which to fight against the left. And one of these tactics is to take leftist lunacy, and then amplify it a hundred-fold; indeed, it is the strategy of embracing the left’s absurdities and then magnifying them to the point where the absurdity is made plain for all to see. It is, in essence, a reductio ad absurdum in rhetorical format. And note that this is a tactic which is, at least in part, inspired by Rule 4 and 5 of Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals, which argues  that a radical should make the enemy live up to their own rulebook and also that ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

Now, to see what is meant by this tactic of ‘Embrace, then Amplify’, let us consider the newest item that SJWs and progressives are pushing in the West: namely, the idea that everyone must call individuals by the gender pronoun or designation that the person in question feels that they are, not by the pronoun which relates to their biological sex and objective reality. Indeed, this is the newest push on the progressive front, and it is obvious why they are pushing for it: controlling language, and being able to potentially convict people for “hate speech”, gives leftists and progressives immense power and control over the general populace. In fact, for many on the left, this ‘pronoun’ issue is not even about the so-called transgendered people that they are claiming to care about, but rather it is about having one more state-sponsored cudgel available to beat traditionalists with. And so it is clear why this whole topic is a major concern. Thus, the key question becomes:  How can the right embrace and then amplify this particular issue? Well, here are three ways to do so (and note that these three ways can also obviously be used for other subjects as well).

Embrace, maintain, then amplify in frequency  

The first method of embracing leftist absurdity and then amplifying it to the point of ridicule is to maintain whatever idea the left is offering, but then amplify it in frequency. So, for example, some leftists and progressives claim that there are upwards of fifty to a hundred different genders, which, remember, a person can be simply by feeling that he is that gender. Well, why only fifty genders? Why not fifteen hundred? Or five thousand? Surely there are many more genders than we currently think there are, so take the options that we presently have and amplify them exponentially. At the same time, since all that is required to be a certain gender is to feel that way, then why cannot you feel like you are a different gender every day, or even every hour? Indeed, perhaps you need to create a schedule to inform your leftist friends what gender pronoun they should call you on Monday morning, Monday afternoon, Monday evening, and so on and so forth. In fact, maybe you should tell your leftist friends to check-in with you after every conversation just so that they can be sure that they are referring to you with the proper gender pronoun that you feel like you are at that particular moment. Anyway, you get the idea: embrace the leftist lunacy, maintain it in its current form, but then amplify it in frequency, duration, and so on.

Embrace, shift, then amplify the shift

The second method of ‘embrace, then amplify’ is to embrace the absurdity, but then slightly shift the focus of it in a direction that the leftist will not accept. So, for example, if the leftist asks you what gender pronoun you wish him to use for you, recoil in disgust at the fact that the leftist would assume to use a human pronoun for you; after all, that is showing human favoritism, and you actually feel like you are a cat. Or maybe you feel like an alien, and need to be referred to by your alien designation. Or maybe you feel divine, and thus feel the need to be called ‘O Divine One’. Or maybe you feel like you are of a different race, or age, or height, or whatever. In essence, use the leftist’s own ideals against him by forcing him to call you something which even he knows you are not, but which he cannot object to given his own principles. And if the leftist objects to doing so, then immediately start firing out the standard leftist epithets of ‘racist, bigot, hater, etc.’ Either way, the leftist loses, at least in the rhetorical sense.

Embrace, reverse, then amplify the reversal

The final method to consider is one where the leftist’s own principles are used against him directly. So, for example, the next time a leftist demands that you address him through the gender pronoun of his choice, simply tell him that you cannot. When he asks why, advise him that your gender is as a child of God which necessarily only recognizes two genders, and so it would be a betrayal of your gender to call him by his chosen gender. And again, remember to be immediately ready to play the ‘bigot’ and/or ‘intolerant hater’ card against the leftist the minute that he tries to denigrate your chosen gender. So embrace the left’s ideas, but then reverse them on the leftist in a way that the leftist cannot object to without blatant hypocrisy and inconsistency.

And so the long and short of it is this:  embracing and amplifying leftist absurdities are an excellent tactic to counter progressives and SJWs, and three of the ways to embrace and amplify are through increasing the frequency of the embraced absurdity, shifting it slightly to something the leftist finds unacceptable, and/or reversing it on the leftist. Now, will this tactic work on the leftists themselves? Likely not, for their worldview can only survive on incoherence and absurdity, and so they are used to it—although, in fairness, you may convince the odd leftist to change his mind. However, convincing leftists and progressives is not the point. Rather, the point is to rhetorically neuter the leftists while at the same time helping to sway the fence-sitters to be against the leftists, not for them. And for the purposes of achieving that particular objective, embracing then amplifying leftist absurdities is a good tactic to use.

Please help and support my efforts at  www.patreon.com/reconquistainitiative

Anno Domini 2016 12 30

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

Atheism’s Other Evolutionary Dilemma

The Reconquista Initiative

Presents…

Atheism’s Other Evolutionary Dilemma

Although atheistic-naturalism—the most popular and arguably the only coherent and consistent form of atheism—is not necessarily wed to affirming and accepting the grand narrative of blind and unguided evolution, the fact of the matter is that in practice, for the atheistic-naturalist, the grand theory of naturalistic (meaning blind and unguided) evolution is the only game in town. Consequently, the atheist has little choice but to affirm something like naturalistic evolution and naturalistic abiogenesis as not only the explanation for the beginning of life and its future development, but also as the explanation for such things as human rationality and consciousness. But the fact that the atheistic-naturalist is essentially bound to such a theory presents the atheistic-naturalist with a dilemma which is highly detrimental to the rationality of his worldview as well as to his own intellectual consistency. And so, to understand the problems that arise for the atheistic-naturalist due to connection to naturalistic evolution, consider the two horns of the dilemma that the atheistic-naturalist must face.

Horn One

Initially, consider that if the atheistic-naturalist decides not to affirm the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative, then the atheistic-naturalist runs into two problems. First, because the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative is the atheistic-naturalist’s only live option to explain the existence and development of life, and yet given that, as even many atheistic-naturalists themselves admit, life readily looks designed, then if the atheistic-naturalist does not appeal to something like the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative as his explanation for the fact that life clearly appears designed, then the option of design suddenly looms large for both the atheistic-naturalist and everyone else. Indeed, if the atheistic-naturalist cannot even appeal to something like the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative as his way of trying to account for not only the existence of life but also the way in which life appears designed, then it is not surprising that people would thus readily start to affirm the fact that life looks designed because it is designed, and that some type of designer must thus exist. So denying naturalistic evolution and abiogenesis causes the design option to become the only live and reasonable option available to explain the existence of life and its apparent design.

But now, the second problem is that if the atheistic-naturalist does not affirm his only live option of the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative, and yet if he also does not affirm design as the explanation of life, then the atheistic-naturalist thus has such a large and gaping hole in his worldview that it could easily be objected that his worldview is irrational, or, at the very least, it would be a worldview based on blind faith. After all, if the atheistic-naturalist cannot explain something as fundamental as the existence and development of life on his worldview, but nevertheless still believes that it “somehow” occurred naturally and without design, then this is quite clearly a fideistic position. Indeed, for while an atheistic-naturalist could deny the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative without offering anything in its place and yet still technically remain an atheistic-naturalist, holding to such an overall position, especially in the face of the challenge of design and the appearance of design in life, would thus be a position which was one not based on evidence or argument, but rather on mere blind faith. After all, as even atheist and evolution-proponent Richard Dawkins says on page 6 of the 2006 Penguin edition of his book The Blind Watchmaker “…although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” So without Darwin, there is no intellectually fulfilled atheism, and that, quite frankly, would be a serious blow to atheistic-naturalism as a coherent and rational worldview.

But the problem stretches even further, for most atheistic-naturalists pride themselves on not holding anything on “faith”, and especially not on blind faith; and so to an atheistic-naturalist who holds to such an anti-faith perspective, then, in order to be consistent, the atheist-naturalist should not hold to a worldview that has a ‘blind faith’ component to it, and thus the atheistic-naturalist should not be an atheistic-naturalist at all. And so this overall problem is the first horn of the dilemma that evolution presents to atheistic-naturalism.

Horn Two

Now, the second horn of this problematic dilemma arises if the atheistic-naturalist does indeed affirm the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative, as he essentially must do and as he almost always does. And what this second problem is, is that it once again makes atheistic-naturalism into a worldview that is based, in substantial part, on blind faith. After all, no matter what sort of just-so stories are offered, and no matter how many appeals to “possibility” are made, the fact remains that numerous major portions of the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative have not been demonstrated at all and are believed to have occurred on the basis of nothing more than faith alone. Consider, for example, the utter absence of any evidence, let alone comprehensive evidence, for a naturalistic explanation for the origin-of-life, the Cambrian Explosion, the development of other body plans, the emergence of language, consciousness, rationality, and so on; and this is not even to mention the more mundane concerns about atheistic-naturalism having little more than just-so stories as the explanation for the development of such minor things as eyes, wings, and so on. And so accepting the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative means accepting large aspects of it on faith; it is, once again, a fideistic position.

Now, it needs to be understood that the problem here is not that the atheistic-naturalist lacks any explanation or evidence for how things like life, consciousness, rationality, and so on, came to be naturally—although this problem is bad enough even on its own—but rather, the problem is that the atheistic-naturalist does not even know whether it is possible at all that these things could come about naturally. Sure, it is ‘logically possible’ in the broad sense that these things could come about naturalistically—after all, there is no logical contradiction in them—but this does not mean that these things are physically possible in the real world given the conditions that operate in this world. And by way of analogy, consider that it is ‘logically possible’ in the broad sense that an unassisted human being, today, could run ten thousand miles per hour, but this does not mean that it is physically possible given what human beings are today, and given the conditions of this earthly environment, etc.; and indeed, no human being could actually run that speed today even though it is logically possible that one could. And, as stated, the atheistic-naturalist has the same problem: he can claim that it is possible that life can come from non-life naturalistically or that consciousness can do the same, but making such an appeal to mere possibility in the broad sense is ultimately vacuous, for it does nothing to show that such a thing is possible in this universe. And sadly for the atheistic-naturalist, the only way to show that such a thing is physically possible, is to actually show it come about. And yet doing so in a clear evidentiary way would be very difficult, if not impossible; however, until and unless the atheistic-naturalist does so, then a major component of his worldview is, as stated, based on nothing but blind faith. Furthermore, and as with the first horn of the dilemma, for any atheistic-naturalist who normally refuses to believe anything on blind faith, then the fact that a major and critical component of his worldview is held to be true based on nothing but blind faith means that such an atheistic-naturalist, if he is to remain consistent, should cease being an atheistic-naturalist at all.

And so, the long and short of it is this:  for all practical purposes, atheistic-naturalism is wed to the grand naturalistic version of the evolutionary narrative, which is the only live option that the atheistic-naturalist can appeal to in order to explain the existence and development of all life. Yet if the atheistic-naturalist denies this connection, then he suddenly has a worldview that has absolutely no explanation for the existence and apparent design of living things, as well as having a worldview that has a critical dollop of blind faith attached to it. On the other hand, if the atheistic-naturalist ties himself to the grand naturalistic evolutionary narrative, then the fact that that narrative has no evidence for many of its major claims also means that the atheistic-naturalist holds to a worldview based on blind faith. And so either way that he turns, the atheistic-naturalist does not hold a worldview based on evidence, but rather he holds to a worldview where some of its most critical components have no supporting evidence at all. And since holding to certain beliefs on the basis of blind faith is allegedly anathema to many atheistic-naturalists, then this dilemma means that they should cease being atheistic-naturalists, or at least they should stop pretending to be consistent ones. Now, there are indeed objections that can be mounted against this dilemma, but those objections will be addressed in a separate essay.

Still a Merry Christmas to all, and so, if you wish, then please support this work here: www.patreon.com/reconquistainitiative

Anno Domini 2016 12 29

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

Christian Rhetoric and Re-Naming Christmas

The Reconquista Initiative

Presents…

Christian Rhetoric and Re-Naming Christmas

In the battle between different worldviews, it is simply a fact that many people, at least initially, are not swayed by reason, but rather by rhetoric, polemics, and a perception of worldview confidence. For this reason, Christians in general, and especially the Christian apologists with an aptitude for it, need to start couching Christian truth in a confident rhetorical and polemical approach in order to make the presentation of that truth more persuasive and effective. This does not mean lying, nor does it mean being disrespectful, but it does mean calling a spade a spade, not issuing unwarranted and groveling apologies, not trying to seek false common ground, and not trying to placate a worldview opponent just to be “nice”.

And so, in light of the above, and given that it is Christmas, it is suggested that Christians, at Christmas, can engage in a minor rhetoric action to make their Christmas witness a bit more forceful and confident. Indeed, given the modern secular attempt to literally de-Christianize the word “Christmas” and turn Christ’s Mass into little more than a secular day of festivities, it is, arguably, time for Christians to become more forceful in clearly yet briefly elucidating what the real meaning and purpose of Christmas is: namely, that it is the day to celebrate the Incarnation of Christ through His birth as a Man. Thus, it is proposed that Christians actually stop using the term “Merry Christmas” and replace it with something even more provocation, such as ‘Happy Incarnation Day’ or ‘Happy Christ’s Birthday.’ In fact, even adding something as minor as ‘…the day of Jesus Christ’s birth’ after an invocation of ‘Merry Christmas’—essentially, saying, ‘Merry Christmas, the day of Jesus Christ’s birth!’—would be an excellent rhetorical way of showing that Christians are not afraid of affirming what Christmas truly is about. And indeed, hearing any one of these different Christmas greetings for the so-called “Holiday Season” would make it clear that we are not celebrating some secular materialistic holiday that just happens to be titled “Christmas”, but rather that we are celebrating the very birthday of the Savior of the World. And using such terms would also show that we, as Christians, are not afraid of expressing that truth to one and all. And so, to all of you, Merry Christmas, the day of Christ’s most glorious and salvific birth!

 Happy Christ’s Birthday to all, and if you wish, then please support here: www.patreon.com/reconquistainitiative

Anno Domini 2016 12 24

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

Another Objection to Atheism’s Evolution Dilemma

The Reconquista Initiative

Presents…

Another Objection to Atheism’s Evolution Dilemma

In response to the dilemma that evolution poses to atheism, commentator Andrew offers yet another objection to this argument, and since his objection is quite interesting, it is well-worth a detailed response. As such, and before considering the objection in its various parts, let us first review Andrew’s whole objection, which is the following:

[QUOTE] Possible counter-argument:

(1) Across societies and times, and continuing to the present, there is great variety in what people believe with respect to the supernatural, including much contradiction.

(2) Given the presence of this contradiction, it is obvious that much of what humanity believes about the supernatural is false.

At this point, many atheist apologists assert “given that much of it is false, it’s reasonable to treat it all as false”. This is a stupid argument, not the least because for any given true belief it is possible to concoct a plurality of beliefs that are like to it but are false. To put an extreme example, there is exactly one true solution to “X = 2 + 2”, but the set of false solutions is infinite in the natural numbers alone. The presence of many false solutions does not disprove the existence of a true one.

But let us instead go in a different direction:

(3) Despite most societies holding false beliefs about the supernatural, most remain functional to a greater or lesser extent.

(4) Thus, while having belief in the supernatural may be a survival benefit, whether such a belief is accurate or not confers little to no benefit.

(5) In contrast, having more accurate beliefs about the natural world typically leads to a survival benefit to the peoples or societies involved.

(6) Having shown that inaccurate beliefs about the natural world decreases survival, while having inaccurate beliefs about the supernatural does not, it’s reasonable to conclude that our minds are tuned towards accurately tracking the natural but not the supernatural.

I’m sure there are ways to nitpick this, but I think the core idea represents a legitimate challenge. One could answer it by showing that a particular set of beliefs about the supernatural leads to better outcomes, but I think that in this context “better” draws in more moral baggage (and thus needs more apologetic work) for the theist than “survival advantage” does for the atheist (as long as he/she avoids holding up survival as a moral good).

How would you deal with this? [UNQUOTE]

So, have looked at the whole objection, let us now dissect it in detail; therefore, let us consider Andrew’s initial claim, which is the following:

[QUOTE] Possible counter-argument: (1) Across societies and times, and continuing to the present, there is great variety in what people believe with respect to the supernatural, including much contradiction. [UNQUOTE]

 Now, the first thing to note in response to Andrew’s claim is that we need to distinguish between what could be called ‘primary’ belief differences and ‘secondary’ belief differences, where secondary beliefs are those that are built upon the primary ones and which would not exist without the primary beliefs being in place first. And to understand what I mean, think, for example, of the history of the Titanic. A primary difference concerning the Titanic would be a debate over whether or not the ship actually sank, whereas a secondary difference would be whether it sank as a whole ship or broke in half before doing so. In the same way, when it comes to the variety of supernatural beliefs, we must separate primary differences from secondary ones, and when we do so, we find that there is not that much primary difference between supernatural belief systems. For example, nearly all supernatural systems believe that gods exist, that spirits exist, that these spirits can have an effect on the world and can be interacted with, that there is a life after this one, and that there is an after-life punishment for misbehavior in this life. Now, in terms of secondary differences, this is where the great deal of variety rests. For example, is reincarnation or resurrection true, or is God the greatest conceivable being or not, and so on. And so in terms of secondary beliefs, there are indeed differences.  Nevertheless, the point is that at a fundamental level, different supernatural belief systems are quite similar, and they all obviously agree that atheistic-naturalism is false.

Notice as well that if the atheist objects to the distinction between primary and secondary differences, then he runs into a problem for himself. Why? Because the same distinction applies to natural things, such as science, as well. For example, consider evolution. Though most atheists concur that evolution occurred, they differ on what the main mechanism of evolution was, whether it was continually gradual or rapid then slow, or whether such things as group-level selection occur or not. So even in the realm of evolution, we have primary agreement with secondary disagreement. And the same could be extended to other sciences as well, not to mention numerous other domains such as history, for example. So the point here that the atheist cannot object to such a distinction, nor object to the importance of this distinction, without also undermining his own beliefs about numerous natural subjects as well.

Now, Andrew continues:

[QUOTE] (2) Given the presence of this contradiction, it is obvious that much of what humanity believes about the supernatural is false. [UNQUOTE]

In the case of outright contradictions, this would be correct. And yet we must be careful here, for things can be contradictory on a secondary level without being contradictory on a primary one. Again, think of evolution: atheists agree that evolution occurs, but some might believe that group-level selection occurs while others do not, and yet these secondary-level contradictions do not negate the primary belief that evolution did occur. And the same could be true for supernatural belief systems. So, for example, two different supernatural systems could have contradictory accounts of the origins of, say, spirits—which would be a secondary belief—and yet both could be correct about the primary belief that spirits exist. So a contradiction in secondary beliefs need not be a contradiction in primary ones. At the same time, we must also be careful of claiming that things are contradictions, when, in fact, they are not. For example, Hinduism holds that hundreds and even thousands of gods exist, and yet Christianity teaches that only one Supreme God exists. However, this is not necessarily an outright contradiction, for what Hinduism considers to be lower-case ‘g’ gods, Christianity would consider fallen angels separated from God, thereby seeming to be gods in this world; after all, Christianity teaches that Satan is the prince of this world, and Satan’s power certainly makes equal to something like a lower-case ‘g’ god. And so again, we must be cautious before we claim that something is an outright contradiction rather than just being a definitional difference.

Next, Andrew states:

[QUOTE] At this point, many atheist apologists assert “given that much of it is false, it’s reasonable to treat it all as false”. This is a stupid argument, not the least because for any given true belief it is possible to concoct a plurality of beliefs that are like to it but are false. … The presence of many false solutions does not disprove the existence of a true one. [UNQUOTE]

This is true and correct. Furthermore, consider that much of past science has been shown to be incorrect, and this trend is no doubt bound to continue into the future, and yet this does not mean that we should treat all of science as false. At the same time, even though we could offer numerous different theories to account for our empirical observations, and even though most of these theories would be false and even contradictory, this does not mean that one of them is not the correct one. So again, Andrew is correct in his point above.

Additionally, note that even if we take this objection seriously, then, at best, it seems that what could be argued is that much of the secondary aspects of supernatural beliefs are false, and that it is reasonable to treat these secondary aspects as false or be agnostic about them; but that does not mean that it is reasonable to treat the primary beliefs as false. After all, think again of the evolution example: though it might be reasonable to be agnostic about whether group-level selection occurs, or whether evolution is gradual or not, or what the primary evolutionary mechanism is, this does not mean that it is reasonable to be agnostic about whether or not evolution occurred at all. Now you might have other reasons to discount certain primary beliefs about evolution, but just because there is a dispute about the secondary aspects of it should not necessarily be one of those reasons. And so again, distinguishing between primary and secondary beliefs is critical in this case.

But now Andrew moves to his main objection:

[QUOTE] But let us instead go in a different direction:

(3) Despite most societies holding false beliefs about the supernatural, most remain functional to a greater or lesser extent.

(4) Thus, while having belief in the supernatural may be a survival benefit, whether such a belief is accurate or not confers little to no benefit.

(5) In contrast, having more accurate beliefs about the natural world typically leads to a survival benefit to the peoples or societies involved.

(6) Having shown that inaccurate beliefs about the natural world decreases survival, while having inaccurate beliefs about the supernatural does not, it’s reasonable to conclude that our minds are tuned towards accurately tracking the natural but not the supernatural. [UNQUOTE]

So, this is Andrew’s main argument. And as we examine it, let us look at Point 3 first. Note again that this point does not distinguish between primary and secondary differences. Indeed, this point, even if accepted, should read that most societies holding false secondary beliefs about the supernatural remain functional to a greater or lesser extent. And this will be an important issue shortly.

Next, note Point 4. Again, the difference between primary and secondary beliefs needs to be brought to the forefront. After all, it would be highly beneficial to a person’s survival to have correct primary beliefs about the supernatural, such as having the correct belief about whether spirits actually exist and can be interacted with to aid human survival; by contrast, it may not be beneficial to have accurate secondary beliefs about the supernatural, such as whether those spirits are Hindu gods or Christian demons or whether. So it can be true that being accurate in terms of primary beliefs about the supernatural may have an enormous survival benefit—for example, think about the survival advantage granted by knowing that a spirit exists who can make it rain food from the sky and knowing how to ask this from him—while at the same time, the survival advantage granted by having accurate secondary beliefs about the supernatural is minimal—such as knowing the spirit’s exact name or history. Furthermore, it is also interesting to note that being accurate about certain supernatural beliefs—such as the belief in the existence of interactive and human-assisting spirits—could be much more important from a survival perspective than numerous beliefs about the natural world, such as that evolution is true or that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Indeed, if I was a human trying to survive in a harsh environment, being accurate about certain supernatural beliefs would be much more important for my survival than being accurate about certain natural facts. After all, if I am going to use valuable time and resources for a supernatural purpose, such as making offerings of food, or animals, or prayer, then it would be highly beneficial to be accurate about whether or not the use of that time and those resources for the supernatural purpose will actually have a survival-enhancing effect or not. By contrast, if I am inaccurate in my beliefs about evolution or other abstract scientific or mathematic or philosophical facts, then this does little to nothing to harm my survival chances. Thus, accuracy concerning the supernatural could be much more important, from a survival perspective, then accuracy concerning abstract and non-survival-related facts about the natural world.

Now, onto Point 5. Here the assumption is made that having more accurate beliefs about the natural world leads to survival benefits. But does it? Well, consider some issues with this claim. For example, at present, Western societies are much more advanced in terms of having accurate beliefs about the natural world when compared to other more primitive cultures, and yet primitive cultures, at least from an evolutionary perspective, appear to be outbreeding Western societies quite well. In fact, accurate beliefs about such natural world things as abortion and contraception do not seem to be helping the demographic survival of Western peoples but actually hindering them, thus making them less successful, at least when viewed from an evolutionary perspective. So it is not clear that having accurate natural world beliefs leads to greater survival from an evolutionary perspective; or, at the very least, it is not clear that having accurate beliefs about natural world issues not directly related to one’s survival—such as abstract science, or philosophy, or mathematics—is in any way beneficial. However, note as well that it is even questionable whether having accurate beliefs about survival-related natural-world issues does increase one’s survival chances. After all, imagine, for example, that a person believes that, for human beings, exchanging saliva through kissing for five minutes leads to reproduction, whereas engaging in actual intercourse is just a medicinal action which transfers “critical chi energy” from one person to another; now, every time that this particular person “reproduces” through kissing, he then also has intercourse to replenish his chi energy. Now these beliefs about reproduction are false, and yet in comparison to a person with true beliefs about reproduction, would the person with false beliefs be any less reproductively successful? It is not clear that they would be less successful. After all, the person’s body would engage in all the right actions to reproduce even though he had completely false beliefs about what he was doing. Furthermore, a whole society with such a false belief about reproduction could nevertheless still reproduce just as well as a society with true beliefs about the subject. So again, it is not clear that accuracy about natural-world issues is more beneficial for survival. And indeed, for a further example of this, think of a person who believes that all predators with sharp teeth also have poison in their teeth; now such a person might have a false secondary belief about predators, but if he ran from predators just as hard as someone with a true belief about predators, then the person with a false secondary belief would survive just as well. Thus, again, it is not clear that accurate beliefs about secondary survival issues are needed for a person to have a survival benefit. In fact, in some cases, having outright delusional beliefs might aid in a person’s survival; for example, a man who is objectively ugly, physically weak, and undesirable, but who falsely believes that he is God’s gift to women, may be more reproductively successful, simply through his endlessly persistent efforts to reproduce, then a similar man who has an accurate view of himself and thus never tries to reproduce because he is accurate in his assessment of his undesirability. So, in some cases, false beliefs about the natural world may actually be more beneficial than true ones!

And finally, Andrew concludes his argument by saying that since having inaccurate beliefs about the natural world decreases survival, while having inaccurate beliefs about the supernatural does not, then it is reasonable to conclude that our minds are tuned towards accurately tracking the natural but not the supernatural. But, as shown, all the points leading to this conclusion are, at best, questionable, and, at worst, wrong. And so the conclusion itself is questionable.

And yet an even further problem with Andrew’s argument—at least in terms of its ability to undermine the dilemma that evolution creates for atheistic-naturalism—is that Andrew’s argument actually creates its own dilemma for the atheistic-naturalist given that a parallel argument can be made concerning the accuracy of our cognitive faculties for scientific and/or philosophical beliefs, and since atheistic-naturalism is a philosophical belief which largely draws on scientific facts for its justification, then this parallel argument serves to undermine atheistic-naturalism just as much as the original dilemma did. Not only this, but Andrew’s argument can even be flipped on its head to support supernaturalism while undermining atheistic-naturalism. And to understand what I mean, consider this argument which mirrors Andrew’s original argument:

  1. Despite most societies, in the past, as well as the present, holding false beliefs about science (biology, cosmology, etc) and about philosophy, they nevertheless remained functional to a greater or lesser extent.
  1. Thus, while having some type of philosophical and scientific beliefs may have a survival benefit, whether such beliefs are accurate or not confers little to no benefit.
  1. By contrast, having accurate primary beliefs about the supernatural world—whether it exists or not, whether the beings in it can interact with the world, etc—typically leads to a survival benefit to the peoples or societies involved in such beliefs given that accurate primary beliefs about the supernatural world will dictate whether or not to devote time and resources to dealing with this world or not. Indeed, if an interactive supernatural world exists, then having an accurate belief concerning it could literally be the difference between life and death for a society, or it could mean greater success than a competing social group who does not have such an accurate belief about the supernatural world.
  1. So, having shown that accurate beliefs about science and/or philosophy have little to no survival-benefit, while having accurate beliefs about the supernatural would have a survival benefit, then it’s reasonable to conclude that our minds are tuned towards accurately tracking primary beliefs about the supernatural world but not about science and/or philosophy. Or, at the very least, our minds are more accurately tuned to tracking primary beliefs about the supernatural world in comparison to accurately tracking beliefs about science and/or philosophy.
  1. But since atheistic-naturalism is a philosophical point-of-view largely based on the findings of science, then if human cognitive faculties are not tuned towards being accurate about such beliefs, then humans have a reason to doubt their accuracy concerning the truth of atheistic-naturalism while nevertheless having confidence about their accuracy concerning supernaturalism.
  1. And if we nevertheless do believe ourselves to be accurate concerning scientific and/or philosophical beliefs, then we have all the more reason to be more confident concerning our belief about supernaturalism, for we are tuned to be more accurate about primary supernatural beliefs then we are about scientific and/or philosophical beliefs.

And so, the long and short of it is this:  if human evolutionary survival is indeed linked to humans having reliable cognitive faculties, then evolution, in and of itself, arguably gives us a reason to trust the reliability of our cognitive faculties concerning the supernatural more than it does concerning science, philosophy, or the atheistic-naturalism that grows out of them. And so appealing to a connection between our evolutionary survival and reliable cognitive faculties will not help the atheistic-naturalist avoid Atheism’s Evolution Dilemma.

If you wish, then support here: www.patreon.com/reconquistainitiative

Anno Domini 2016 12 23

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

A Hole is a Hole

The Reconquista Initiative

Presents…

A Hole is a Hole

Let me tell you a simple truth that could, at least in part, help to save Western Civilization:  namely, that, as the crude saying goes, a hole is indeed a hole!  So, now that I have your attention, let me explain what I mean by this rather vulgar idea. More importantly, let me explain why, for the Christian and the proponent of Western Civilization, actually living out this idea is indeed one of the most important actions that you can take when it comes to your marriage; and since your marriage, and how you treat it, is actually a key component of Western Civilization, then, by extension, living out this idea does indeed have a clear effect on Western Civilization itself.

In essence, for the proponent of traditional Western Civilization, this idea, rather than being a sexualized concept implying a willingness to indulge in sexual immorality, is instead an idea that is key to maintaining the very marital bonds that Christians and traditionalists are called to maintain; indeed, for what this idea signifies, and the truth that it expresses, is that if you, as a man, are in a relatively satisfied sexual and marital relationship, then you should realize that there is no benefit to seeking sexual satisfaction elsewhere at the cost of your marriage and family and the civilizational and moral decline that follows from a society full of promiscuous divorcees.  Thus, what ‘a hole is a hole’ is meant to rather shockingly convey to the traditionalist man is that, when it comes to women, the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence, and that if what you have in your marriage is good, then it behooves you not to toss it away for another version of the very same thing given the drawbacks that doing so entails.

Now note that I am not saying that a proponent of Western Civilization, if he finds himself in a sexual relationship that is completely unsatisfying, should simply resign himself to his fate and not take any serious action to remedy that situation, for in such circumstances, drastic action may be needed and would be warranted. Rather, what I am saying is that if your sexual relationship is solid, and if the pleasure that you receive from that relationship keeps you well-satisfied, then if you are indeed a family man or a man on whom the woman you are with depends, then it is simply not worth trying to trade-up for something which will ultimately turn out to be pretty much the same thing that you already had. After all, consider the downsides to doing so.

First, in the situation that I described above, trading-up is simply not worth the risk; not only the risk that what you might be trading-up for could be worse than what you already have, but also all the associated financial, familial, legal, and other risks that come from dropping one woman to seek out a “better” one.

Second, Christians, traditionalists, and proponent of Western Civilizations must remember that we are not just fucking animals—literally—but that we are called to greater and more important things. Sexual appetites and drives, while important and in need of fulfillment, and while also being perfectly moral to fulfil in the right context, are nevertheless but one part of a man’s life, and they are a lower part of it. After all, men are the builders of civilizations, the thinkers of philosophies, the writers of songs and great tales, the explorers of the unknown, the architects of cathedrals, and the winners of awesome and terrible wars, and so for a man to neglect the great things in life simply so that he can rut like a dog is for a man to become a dog, and that is no way for the proponent of Western Civilization to be.

Third, there is little doubt that God would frown upon any man who trades up one woman for another for little more than a chance to slightly increase his own sexual pleasure. Indeed, I do not think it hard to imagine that the Creator of this world might be a little less than pleased at a man who takes an action that both harms his children and also supports and furthers the cultural and moral rot in our society simply to achieve a slightly better orgasm. At the same time, never forget that we are not called in this life to be happy but to do good and to do our duty—God did not, after all, create telelatubby babies, he created Men—and so it would be a grave failure of duty to support those things which weaken Western Civilization simply for one’s self gratification.

And so, the long and short of it is this: for the Christian, the traditionalist, and the proponent of Western Civilization, the truism that ‘a hole is a hole’ teaches us that if we are ever tempted to leave a good marital relationship for the vague belief that the next one will be better, we should not do so. On multiple levels, it simply is not worth it.  And when the temptation does strike, as it inevitability will, just remind yourself that the next woman is not always better, and that you are called to much greater things than just seeking out the next wet hole. And now if we could get Western women to realize the same thing about men, then a good number of our current cultural problems would slowly start to resolve themselves.

 If you wish, then support here: www.patreon.com/reconquistainitiative

Anno Domini 2016 12 21

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

Comment: That is Why I Support TRADITIONAL Western Civilization.

Commenting on the latest jihad attack in Germany, Vox Day says the following:

It looks like a Nice-style attack on a Christmas market in Germany…At least 50 are injured. Enough. It’s time to bring back Christendom and start banning religions again. The Enlightenment is not only over, it failed.

And indeed, this is why this blog supports traditional Western Civilization, not just any form of Western Civilization.

No non-Western refugees should ever be allowed into the West for any reason. Help them there or don’t help them at all.

And the funny thing is, the most humane thing to do, for both them and us, is to help them over there, not here, but we bring them here because its both easy and it allows us to virtue-signal. And such a move is not a virtue, but a vice.

Objections to Atheism’s Evolution Dilemma

The Reconquista Initiative

Presents…

Objections to Atheism’s Evolution Dilemma

In the previous essay titled “Atheism’s Evolution Dilemma’, it was noted that evolution presents atheists and atheistic-naturalists with a dilemma: namely, if the atheistic-naturalist believes that evolution created human beings with cognitive faculties that have a low or inscrutable reliability when it comes to tracking the truth about the world, then the atheistic-naturalist has a reason to disbelieve or be uncertain about everything that is delivered by those cognitive faculties, including his belief in evolution and atheistic-naturalism; but if the atheistic-naturalist believes that evolution created human beings with cognitive faculties that have a high reliability when it comes to tracking the truth about the world, then the atheistic-naturalist has a reason to disbelieve or be uncertain about atheistic-naturalism, for those highly reliable cognitive faculties have almost universally created, in human beings, the belief that atheistic-naturalism is false and that theism and/or supernaturalism is true. So whatever way the atheistic-naturalist turns, evolution creates a problem for him given that it seems to generate a defeater for belief in atheistic-naturalism regardless of which route the atheistic-naturalist decides to take. And yet, as with all arguments, this one is subject to certain objections, and so those objections must be dealt with, which is precisely what we will now do.

Now, when dealing with the objections that the atheistic-naturalist might raise, the first thing to be careful of is that the atheistic-naturalist simply not try to ‘special-plead’ his way out of this dilemma by merely asserting that theistic and/or supernatural belief just happens to be a major exception to humanity’s otherwise reliable evolution-created truth-tracking cognitive faculties. Indeed, until and unless the atheistic-naturalist gives us a sound reason to believe him, the atheistic-naturalist cannot just claim, without evidence, that our cognitive faculties are reliable in their truth-tracking ability except when it comes to theistic and/or supernatural beliefs. That would be obvious special-pleading. And yet, if the atheistic-naturalist does try to give a reason for why theistic and/or supernatural beliefs should not be considered a reliable deliverance of our cognitive faculties when most of its other deliverances are, then the atheistic-naturalist runs into numerous other dilemma-like problems which still undermine atheistic-naturalism.

First, notice that if the atheistic-naturalist does indeed claim that humanity’s evolution-created cognitive faculties are reliably truth-tracking, but not for theistic and/or supernatural beliefs, then the atheistic-naturalist has a serious problem, for given the absolutely pervasive nature of theistic and/or supernatural beliefs across all of human history, then this raises the question that if human cognitive faculties can be so widely mistaken in such an crucial area, then this fact is itself some grounds to doubt the truth-tracking reliability of human cognitive faculties in general. And so, the atheistic-naturalist is back at the original problem of now having a reason to believe that the truth-tracking reliability of human cognitive faculties is either low or inscrutable. So this is the first issue with claiming that human cognitive faculties are unreliable concerning belief in theism and/or supernaturalism: namely, that it forces the atheistic-naturalist right back into the original dilemma that he was trying to deal with.

Second, the atheistic-naturalist might try to claim that theistic and/or supernatural beliefs allegedly involve non-visible entities and/or entities merely inferred to exist from their effects, and so this is why human cognitive faculties are unreliable concerning theistic and/or supernatural beliefs, but not unreliable in general. And yet, once again, numerous problems arise with this objection. After all, numerous theistic and/or supernatural belief systems claim that the gods and/or supernatural beings that they posit as existent are not only perceivable by human senses, but they may even be outright material in nature. And so it cannot simply be assumed that theistic and/or supernatural entities, if existent, would not be manifest to human senses. Indeed, such beings might be entirely visible to human sense organs, as many religions, such as Christianity with the resurrected Jesus, claim. But the other problem for this objection is that if the atheistic-naturalist argues that human cognitive faculties are not reliable when it comes to non-visible entities and/or entities inferred to exist from their effects, then the atheistic-naturalist has just thrown major doubt on humanity’s ability to do a great deal of science, given that science, in very large part, is based on humans making inferences concerning unseen entities from the alleged effects that those entities make. Furthermore, what does this objection mean for a human being’s inference concerning the existence of other unseen minds, the actual existence of matter, which is never seen but only inferred, and numerous other common but inferred beliefs concerning things that are not directly visible to the senses. In essence, this objection undermines the reliability of a large part of the beliefs that we all consider reliable and which we all generally hold.

Third, the atheist-naturalist might argue that whereas human cognitive faculties are of high truth-tracking reliability when it comes to issues concerning survival, they are not as reliable concerning non-survival related matters, such as theistic and/or supernatural beliefs. But again, problems arise for this objection, such as the fact that it simply assumes that theism and/or supernaturalism had nothing to do with human survival in the past; indeed, this objection, in essence, simply assumes the truth of atheistic-naturalism as a presupposition. But that if the very point under discussion. After all, consider that if interactive theistic and/or supernatural entities exist and affect the world through such things as miracles or answering prayers, as most theistic and/or supernatural worldviews claim, then such entities would be intimately and directly linked to human survival, and so human cognitive faculties would be reliable concerning them even given this objection. Furthermore, if the atheistic-naturalist wants to claim that human cognitive faculties are only, or primarily, of high truth-tracking reliability when it concerns matters related to survival, then once again, such a view creates problems for science, abstract mathematics, and philosophy. Indeed, it raises problems for atheistic-naturalism in particular given that the worldview of atheistic-naturalism is a conclusion of abstract philosophy, not a conclusion prone out of a need to survive. So again, the atheistic-naturalist has a problem, for whatever way that he turns, the conclusion for atheistic-naturalism is not good even given this objection.

Fourth—and related to the third point—the atheistic-naturalist could argue that theistic and/or supernatural beliefs are simply a by-product of the evolutionary process, and hence are unreliable due to this fact. And yet, science, mathematics, philosophy, and numerous other advanced fields are also merely by-products of humanity’s evolutionary past that have no direct relationship to humanity’s evolutionary survival, and so again, to deny the reliability of theistic and/or supernatural beliefs due to their being a by-product—admitted presently only for the sake of argument—is to also cast doubt on the reliability of human cognitive faculties concerning all those other areas as well. But again, this then casts doubt on atheistic-naturalism itself, given that belief in atheistic-naturalism is a product of philosophical reasoning and alleged inferences from science. And so again, by the mere act of trying to avoid the dilemma that evolution presents to it, atheistic-naturalism is nevertheless still in serious trouble from the very objections that it tries to use to protect itself from that dilemma.

Finally, perhaps the atheistic-naturalist might argue that since theistic and/or supernatural beliefs were allegedly created in humanity’s evolutionary past by something like the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device (HADD), then this explanation is sufficient to account for why human cognitive faculties could have high truth-tracking reliability in other areas, but nevertheless be mistaken concerning theistic and/or supernatural beliefs. Now, leaving aside the obvious issue of the genetic fallacy here, the further problem for this objection is that this explanation merely assumes that atheistic-naturalism is true and then seeks an explanation for theistic and/or supernatural beliefs from within that perspective. But it is unsound to simply assume atheistic-naturalism to be the case. After all, whereas the atheistic-naturalist assumes that a person’s detection of a theistic and/or supernatural entity is a false positive (meaning that the human believes that something is true even though it is not), the fact is that the very reason that human beings may have claimed to detect theistic and/or supernatural entities in the past is because such entities were actually there and were really detected! Indeed, just because a person has a Hyperactive Agency Detection Device does not show, in and of itself, that the person is not detecting actual supernatural entities; making such a claim takes further philosophical argumentation and appeals to such things as simplicity, so the mere existence of the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device does not do the work that the atheistic-naturalist might want it to do. Furthermore, there is also a chicken-and-egg problem here, for whereas the atheistic-naturalist contends that the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device gave rise to theistic and/or supernatural belief, the theist and/or supernaturalist could question whether or not the prevalence of theistic and/or supernatural entities did not give rise to the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device. Indeed, a supernaturalist, arguing from his perspective rather than a naturalistic one, could claim that supernatural entities were so prevalent in the past—as numerous religions contend—that it was the prevalence of these supernatural entities which gave rise to the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device, rather than vis versa. So the atheistic-naturalist needs to contend with this counter-argument prior to merely claiming that the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device is the explanation for theistic and/or supernatural beliefs.

In addition to the above, it also needs to be noted that the theist and/or supernaturalist has his own evolutionary explanation for the rise of atheistic-naturalism. After all, in a world filled with theistic and/or supernatural entities which have an effect on human beings and which human being cannot control, it would not be surprising that a small percentage of human beings, being unable to psychologically cope with the knowledge that such entities exist, would engage in a form of psychological denial as a means to protect themselves psychologically from this truth in order to continue functioning in the world. Indeed, such a condition could be summarized as ‘Supernatural Denial Syndrome’; after all, denial is well-known psychological defensive mechanism, and it could just as likely be the cause of belief in atheistic-naturalism as the Hyperactive Agency Detection Device is the cause of theistic and/or supernaturalist belief. So, in many ways, this would be a form of Hysterical Blindness concerning theism and/or supernaturalism (and please note that Hysterical Blindness is where a person under high stress, such as a soldier, stops being able to see even though there is nothing physically wrong with him or his eyes; in essence, a person’s mind makes him blind in order to psychologically protect him from unpleasant sights and facts). At the same time, it could also be that a small number of human beings are cognitively defective in some way which prevents them from perceiving or inferring the existence of theistic and/or supernatural entities, much like deaf people form a small percentage of humanity who cannot hear sound due to a cognitive and/or physical defective, but sound nevertheless exists.

And, with all of the above in mind, note that it is also interesting to ask what is more likely if human cognitive faculties are of high reliability in their truth-tracking ability:  1) that most of humanity, both past and present, and with highly reliable truth-tracking cognitive faculties, have been mistaken concerning theism and/or supernaturalism, or 2) that a small percentage of humanity, namely atheistic-naturalists, are cognitively defective and/or in psychological denial concerning the existence of theistic and/or supernatural entities. I suggest that the latter is much more likely than the former, especially if, as mentioned, you believe that evolution created human beings with highly reliable truth-tracking cognitive faculties.

And now, as a very last point, it should also be mentioned that, as a last ditch effort, the atheistic-naturalist could deny the truth of evolution, but such a move comes with problems of such a serious nature for the atheistic-naturalist that it is essentially not possible for the atheistic-naturalist to rationally make such a move.

And so, the long and short of it is this: even though the atheistic-naturalist can object to the dilemma that evolution presents for belief in atheistic-naturalism, the fact remains that the objections that the atheistic-naturalist can mount to this dilemma can not only be countered, but these objections actually raise serious dilemmas of their own. Thus, it seems that whatever way the atheistic-naturalist turns, and whatever way that he objects, evolution still presents a problem for the rationality of belief in atheistic-naturalism.

Think apologetics is important, then please help and support my efforts at  www.patreon.com/reconquistainitiative

Anno Domini 2016 12 18

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

Apologetics and Western Civilization

The Reconquista Initiative

Presents…

Apologetics and Western Civilization

As a writer who wishes to support the West’s re-embrace of the cultural principles and social pillars that made traditional Western Civilization the best civilization that Man has ever been graced with, but as a writer who also spends a great deal of time writing on the topic of Christian apologetics, a number of legitimate and interesting questions can thus be asked of my work: namely, what do Christian apologetics have to do with helping to re-establish traditional Western Civilization? Indeed, why spend so much time arguing about things that seem only indirectly related to the issue of fighting for traditional Western Civilization when that time could, allegedly, be spent more productively? And why the focus, in large part, on apologetics against atheism and secularism?

Now, as stated, these are good and interesting questions, and they deserve an answer. And so, apart from the very obvious and very brief answer that one primarily argues for Christianity because one holds Christianity to be true, it can also be stated that the other brief answer to these questions is that the reason one engages in Christian apologetics is because Christian apologetics is integral to the survival of traditional Western Civilization. That is why, in a nut-shell, one argues for Christian apologetics. But as this short answer is likely to be unsatisfactory, let me provide some more detail concerning this matter.

First, traditional orthodox Christianity—in contradistinction to its modern progressive variety, which is essentially the undemanding spiritual secularism of this world—is one of the key pillars of traditional Western Civilization. Thus, no Christianity means no Western Civilization. Now supporting this assertion is not the point of this essay, and regardless, supporting such an assertion would require an essay of its own, but let me nevertheless offer a few points in its favor. Consider that human beings are religious and transcendence-seeking creatures, so they will always seek such transcendence; furthermore, civilizations, almost universally, are integrally linked to some kind of religious or “higher” ideology, and Western Civilization’s religious ideology has been traditionalist Christianity. Thus, arguing and reasoning for traditionalist Christianity, which is what apologetics does, is critical, especially since without a robust and intellectual form of Christianity being defended, Christianity will not survive. Indeed, for while rhetoric and emotions may move some people to embrace Christianity initially, a purely emotive and psychological style of Christianity will not be sufficient to sustain it for most people, and thus apologetics is a key component towards keeping Christianity viable as a worldview. At the same time, and alongside the point that Christianity is required for Western Civilization, a case can be made, in my view, that a culture build on liberalism, materialism, progressivism, secularism and practical atheism simply will not have the will to resist other cultures nor be robust enough to fight for itself—as evidenced, for example, by secular Europe’s present demographic winter and their weakness in the face of a migrant invasion—and so countering atheism and secularism is also critical to aiding Western Civilization. And since apologetics do indeed tackle atheism and secularism, then is this also why apologetics are highly important.

Second, another pillar of traditional Western Civilization is the use of reason and empiricism—something, if should be noted, which was practiced by Christian philosophers and the scholastics long before the Enlightenment—and since Christian apologetics is based on reason and empiricism, then engaging in Christian apologetics thereby supports this other pillar of Western Civilization.

Third, a man converted to traditionalist Christianity is a man who will quite naturally become a supporter of traditional Western Civilization, and since intellectual apologetics not only creates converts, but often creates very influential converts—think C.S. Lewis, for example—then apologetics offers not only indirect support for Western Civilization in this way, but can also be a force-multiplier through the potential creation of converts who eventually serve to aid Western Civilization to an even greater degree than anticipated.

And so the value of Christian apologetics, both in the obvious sense of arguing for that which is true, and in the sense of being a tool which supports traditional Western Civilization, cannot, in my view, be overstated.

Now, from a personal perspective, note that the reason I argue so much concerning apologetics is simply because I have an aptitude for it as well as a great interest in it. And indeed, not only do I have an abiding interest in this field, but I also believe that I have a number of unique and important contributions to make to it. For example—and these are just a very few brief examples—I believe that we all have an incorrect view of the issue of how the burden of proof is determined, and that atheism is a wholly irrational view which undermines itself, and that nearly all of the objections against Christianity can be quite easily answered in certain unanticipated ways. Furthermore, while I find that there are many good people arguing for Western Civilization from non-apologetic angles, and thus those other fields are saturated, I find that a great deal of modern Christian apologetics, though excellent, is nevertheless repetitive. And since I believe that I do indeed have some novel items to add to the field, this is why I write on the topic of Christian apologetics to the degree that I do.And so, the long and short of it is this:  engaging in Christian apologetics is vital to Western Civilization because Christianity is vital to Western Civilization, and apologetics are vital to the maintenance of a robust form of traditionalist Christianity. And from a personal point-of-view, I engage in apologetics because I believe that I have something unique to add to the discipline. Now, whether or not that is actually the case, is something for you to decide as you continue to engage with my work.

Think apologetics is important, then please help and support my efforts at  www.patreon.com/reconquistainitiative

Anno Domini 2016 12 17

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam

Atheism’s Evolution Dilemma

The Reconquista Initiative

Presents…

Atheism’s Evolution Dilemma

Within the past generation, one of the most interesting arguments against the rationality of belief in atheistic-naturalism has been Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism, or EAAN for short. In essence, Plantinga’s EAAN states that, since unguided “naturalistic” evolution is ultimately only “concerned” with an organism’s survival, and since survival-enhancing behaviors in no way require the possession of true beliefs, and since, furthermore, the number of false and yet still survival-enhancing beliefs vastly outweigh the number of actually true but survival-enhancing beliefs, then this means that if unguided evolution is true, then all human beings have good grounds to doubt the reliability of their cognitive faculties, for it is either very likely that their cognitive faculties are producing false beliefs rather than true ones or they just cannot know which of their beliefs are true and ones are false (and it should be understood here that the term ‘cognitive faculties’ means all of a person’s reasoning ability, sensory inferences, memories, and so on). But now, if human beings have good grounds to doubt the reliability of their cognitive faculties, then they simultaneously have good grounds to doubt any deliverances of those cognitive faculties, such as the deliverance that evolution is true or that atheistic-naturalism is true.  Thus, Plantinga argues, if both evolution and atheistic-naturalism are true, then human beings have good grounds to doubt the truth of anything delivered to them by their own cognitive faculties, including their belief in evolution and atheistic-naturalism, and even belief in simple atheism as well. So this is a potent argument against the rationality of believing atheistic-naturalism.

Now numerous critics have argued against Plantinga’s EAAN, and though Plantinga has responded in detail to many of these critics, the fact remains that such critics still routinely claim that Plantinga is incorrect in asserting that unguided evolution would not lead us to have reliable truth-tracking cognitive faculties. Indeed, for while such critics grant that our perceptions and the beliefs we form from them when combined with our rationality are adapted to behaviors well-suited to survival and reproduction, they argue that this nevertheless still likely involves the formation of beliefs which properly track the truth of states of affairs in the world. Thus, such critics contend that unguided evolution did create us with reliable truth-tracking cognitive faculties; and this does indeed seem to be the only reasonable strategy for the atheistic-naturalist to take in order to salvage the rationality of his belief in atheistic-naturalism given that atheistic-naturalism is, for all intents and purposes, wed to the truth of unguided evolution. And yet, this is precisely where the atheistic-naturalist falls into the teeth of another dilemma which also challenges the rationality of atheistic-naturalism. For even if Plantinga’s critics are totally correct in their critique of the EAAN, and even if the evolutionary process could produce truly and highly reliable cognitive faculties in human beings, even this fact still works against atheistic-naturalism. Why is this the case? Because no matter which way the atheistic-naturalist turns, unguided evolution—and let us simply assume that it is unguided for the sake of argument—nevertheless provides us with a reason to reject atheistic-naturalism itself. And to understand how this could be so, consider this argument:

  1. If evolution is unguided, then the ‘truth-tracking’ reliability of the cognitive faculties within the human beings that this unguided evolutionary process have produced will be either low, or average, and hence inscrutable, or high—or various permutations thereof.
  1. But if the reliability of the cognitive faculties within the human beings that this unguided evolutionary process have produced are either low or inscrutable, then human beings have a defeater for any belief produced by those cognitive faculties, including the belief that atheistic-naturalism is true or rational to hold.
  1. But if the reliability of the cognitive faculties within the human beings that this unguided evolutionary process have produced is high, then human beings have good grounds to believe in the truth of the beliefs produced by those cognitive faculties.
  1. Yet the cognitive faculties within the human beings that this unguided evolutionary process have created have, in both the past and the present, almost universally produced the belief in human beings that atheistic-naturalism is false and that theism and/or supernaturalism is true. Indeed, almost all human beings, both past and present, have held to a theistic and/or supernaturalist worldview of one type or another. And so, if the reliability of the cognitive faculties within the human beings that this unguided evolutionary process have produced is high, then human beings have good grounds to believe that atheistic-naturalism is false and that theistic-supernaturalism is true, for that is precisely the belief that these reliable cognitive faculties have told people, both past and present, is the case.
  1. Therefore, regardless of whether the reliability of the cognitive faculties within the human beings that this unguided evolutionary process have produced is low, inscrutable, or high, it is still the case that human beings have good grounds to believe that atheistic-naturalism is false. And so, this is the dilemma that evolution creates for atheistic-naturalism, and even for atheism in general: namely, if the atheistic-naturalist holds that unguided evolution produced human cognitive faculties of low or inscrutable reliability, then he has every reason to doubt the deliverances of those cognitive faculties, including what they tell him about evolution and atheistic-naturalism. But if the atheistic-naturalist holds that evolution produced cognitive faculties of high ‘truth-tracking’ reliability, then the fact that belief in theism and/or supernaturalism has been almost universally produced in all human beings provides us with good grounds to believe that that particular belief is true and reliable, and hence this is good grounds to believe that atheistic-naturalism is false. And so, regardless of whether the reliability of the cognitive faculties within the human beings that this evolutionary process have produced is low, inscrutable, or high, it is the case that the evolutionary process creates a defeater for atheistic-naturalism.

Also note that a burden of proof consideration comes into play here as well. After all, both the atheistic-naturalist and the theist / supernaturalist are making positive claims, with the latter claiming that gods and/or supernatural entities exist or are rational to believe in and with the former claiming that such entities do not exist or at least are not rational to believe in. However—and here is the key point—if evolution has created human beings with reliable cognitive faculties, and if those cognitive faculties have almost universally created the belief that theism and/or supernaturalism is true, then would it not make sense to start as if theism and/or supernaturalism were true, and atheistic-naturalism false, until and unless shown otherwise. After all, if our cognitive faculties produce reliable ‘truth-tracking’ beliefs, then should we not consider one of the most ubiquitous beliefs that they have produced—namely theism and/or supernaturalism—as true and reliable until shown otherwise. Furthermore, this idea has even more traction when we consider that, in many ways, it parallels arguments for belief in such things as other minds; for indeed, no one puts the burden of proof on the person asserting belief in other minds, but rather the burden of proof is placed on the radical skeptic, and this is done, in large part, because belief in other minds is natural and instinctive, and we consider this belief reliable until shown otherwise, and so until and unless we have reasons to see the belief as false, we hold it to be true. And so the same could thus be said in the case of theism and/or supernaturalism given that it is a belief produced by the same cognitive faculties that produce our belief in the existence of other minds.

And so, the long and short of it is this:  when it comes to the issue of considering what kind of reliability evolution has created human cognitive faculties with, whichever way the atheistic-naturalist turns, he is in trouble. After all, if he considers the reliability of evolution-created human cognitive faculties to be low or inscrutable, then he has reason to reject belief in atheistic-naturalism—along with all his other beliefs given that they have been produced by those same cognitive faculties. But if he considers the reliability of evolution-created human cognitive faculties to be high, then the fact that those reliable ‘truth-tracking’ cognitive faculties have almost universally led human beings to reject atheistic-naturalism, means that this is also a reason to reject atheistic-naturalism. Thus, whichever way the naturalist turns, evolution provides us with a defeater for belief in atheistic-naturalism. And so this is the dilemma that evolution creates for atheistic-naturalism. And while there are objections to this particular dilemma, these will be dealt with in a separate essay.

The evolutionary process has created me with an inclination to ask you for support, and so I am merely a servant to its whims!  Support here:  www.patreon.com/reconquistainitiative

Anno Domini 2016 12 16

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam