Is the fact that the majority of philosophers DO NOT believe in God problematic for our faith?

Whether the majority of philosophers are atheists and therefore right is irrelevant.

We would never allow that the majority in any other group are right because they are the majority.

The wide spread of atheism is a distinctly modern event. Modernity also does not prove anything right.

In the Middle Ages the people then were living their “modern” times in a distinctly religious world. Was their modern age wrong and our modern age right? Both were right is we are to take modernity alone as a criteria.

But that would be absurd, right?

You’re an honest man, John. :slight_smile: Now it’s just a matter of explaining how unselfish love originated…

I’d hesitate to agree with the term wide spread, but I would agree that the world is becoming more secular.

Any personal thoughts on why? I believe it’s because the work of so many people are so easily available to so many people. Peter just mentioned a philosopher of whom I hadn’t heard and I can now read a lot of what he’s written (and come to a personal decision on it’s value) with a simple tap on the screen.

It wasn’t that long ago that I would have no chance at all at finding any of his writings without a great deal of effort.

Arguments from authority are becoming very commonplace. It’s just that we all now consider ourselves to be that authority (myself included…). We used to believe what we were told. Now we only believe what we can verify ourselves.

Guess where the losers are in this situation.

The losers are those who ignore Hamlet’s remark:

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Sure, but a sober assessment of our own standing as “authorities” ought to accompany such beliefs.

This is where truth is important - both as applied to oneself (honesty and humility) and to other supposed experts (reasonable skepticism and rigorous logic.)

I’d say it developed naturally along with other emotions…at least that is one view. Others would say that it is created into our species. At this stage of our knowledge, it is uncertain.

Unselfish love is not primarily an emotion but dedication to another person’s welfare and happiness even to the extent of sacrificing one’s life for a stranger - which is certainly not a natural development any more than the power of reason supposedly derived from mindless molecules.

I guess that we are at an impasse again.

Be well Tony,


The funny thing is, that with the logic of this argument, if this survey were conducted 800 years ago, God would be overwhelmingly proven to exist. And some say that the university teaches you how to use logic…

The “doctors” aren’t necesarily being so scientific or logical in this case. And what about previous centuries when the great majority of philosophers did believe in God?

It is not problematic for our faith, it is problematic for theirs.

Modern philosophers are not necessarily any more knowledgeable or insightful relative to truth than poets or writers in modern times are more insightful about reality than those in past ages.

It could be argued that modern science has improved our technologies such that we can manipulate objects around us more precisely or intentionally, but that mode of advance can hardly be extrapolated to apply without qualification with regard to literature, poetry, the arts, morality, logic, politics, law, psychology, theology, wisdom, justice or philosophy.

Sure, new insights come on the scene from time to time, but whether those insights are significantly more important than insights from the distant past in these disciplines is highly debatable. As is the claim that these disciplines continue to advance in a linear fashion in the same way that technique-based endeavors do.

Sure, areas such as psychology, philosophy and even some of the sciences have opened up whole new ways of looking at the subjects in question, but whether these perspectives are essentially correct or not is still debatable. Is Freud’s view of the human mind essentially correct or even adequate? Does quantum physics capture the essence of physical reality?

Is modern literature substantially better than say the works of Shakespeare, Dumas, Dante or Chaucer? Modern philosophy substantially better than Aristotle, Plato or Aquinas?

Excellent question, and your answer is certainly one of many possible answers working together to solve the question. It’s no coincidence that the invention of the printing press made a million new scholars possible, and out of that million a few hundred thousand who needed to make a reputation for themselves by breaking with and overturning great traditions.

From Martin Luther to Bertrand Russell the trajectory of the great religious traditions of Western culture has been winding downhill.

When it became fashionable to repudiate God, the inevitable consequence was a triumphant rise in egotism and subjectivity that marks the modern world. Atheism on the whole repudiates objective truth, and this is an invitation to further advance the boundaries of subjectivity until moral, artistic, and political chaos reign, as presently some of us witness and others deny.

Only if we ignore the principle of adequate explanation. Even the greatest English sceptic, David Hume, believed the cause must be proportionate to the effect; otherwise we are getting something for nothing…

Be well Tony,

Thanks, John. You too. :slight_smile:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

There is no proportionality between the cause and effect… no matter who says otherwise. (By the way, quoting “authorities” does not impress skeptics.)

Unless the authority is a skeptic? Think David Hume. :shrug:

Everything you know in life comes from authority, either yours or someone else’s.

Yes, all things are connected, the horseshoe nail with the fate of an empire.

And the unborn baby with the killer abortionist from Planned Parenthood, which is a misnomer if ever there was one.

The connectivity was not the question, the proportionality was. Huge difference… how could you miss it?

I completely agree with this. To me, philosophers start sharing their own opinion and then go in to philosophical language and tangents that lose my interest…IMO

The Holy Trinity is and always will be my guide to His truth on this earth and in eternity.

O.K. let’s look at the proportionality.

Liberals weep over the death of a lion.

They defend to the death the right to kill babies. :eek:

Where is the proportionality in these questions? Tony tried to argue that “large” effects demand “large” causes. Sometimes large causes have miniscule effects, and sometimes miniscule causes have large effects. It would have been quite prudent if you had read the exchange before you started to shoot from the hip.

Is that too much to ask for?

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