Tag Archives: Epistemology

The Rorty Discussion with Donald Davidson

An interesting discussion between two great philosophers of the latter half of the 20th century, exploring topics such as truth, meaning and reference.

 

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Karl Popper in Greece

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That is in fact one of the last appearances of the philosopher on TV (in May 1993). Popper died the following year on September 17th.

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Some thoughts on (strong) Atheism and Rationality

Consider the following propositions

  • Π1: The question of the existence of God is unfalsifiable*
  • Π2 :Unfalsifiable questions cannot be answered by means of rationality
  • Π3: “Strong atheists” can only trust pure reason

Notice that Π3 is incompatible with Π1 and Π2. If a “strong atheist” can only trust pure reason then he can not answer the question of the existence of God (Π1) which is a contradiction. A “strong atheist” claims that Π1 can (potentially) be solved by means of rationality!  On the other side if he is not purely rational -which by definition means that his not a “strong atheist” –  then his claim should be based on his subjective belief (and thus in some sence he is similar to the theists).

I note also that beliefs are always ΝΟΤ absolute (i.e. they can never be equal to absolute truth)!  Something is certain only if no scepticism can occur. Beliefs are uncertain! Hence they have only to be expressed in terms of subjective “probabilities”. You can have a strong degree of belief but not an absolute belief (which is a requirement of strong atheism). The evidence (or the lack of it) could be weighted as carefully as possible but certainty inevitably always elude us. The claim ” I believe in (strong) atheism”  is hence inconsistent.

*The question is unfalsifiable because it can not be rejected by either absence of evidence or by subjective experience.

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