The Religious A priori
No Atheist Default Assumption?
Default: the assumption that, lacking sound belief for religious claims, one must assume a "default" and resort to a natural lack of belief.
Atheists sure insist upon the notion that atheism is just a natural lack of bleief in something, yet nothing could be further from the truth. Almost every dictionary defition before the 1990s said that Atheism was the rejection of belief in God.
Now most include two things (1) rejection (2) mere lack. Why? Because with the advent of the internet age atheism got a new lease on life and was givine this organizing tool, it began crowding out agnosticism. Agnosticism began to appear in the guise of "weak atheism." Then atheism became a mere lack of belief that sees itself as a natural default position. Atheists love to think that all people are born natural atehists, which is obviously disproven by the recent studies about brain stucture and innate ideas of God.
Atheism has never been merley a lack of bleief. If you were honest about what you really think, your behavior and tendencies, it always accompanies certain assumtpions about the nature of the world, about naturalism and about phsyical laws.Atheism is clealry more than just the lack of a belief, which really should be called "agnosticism."
I've always thought the atehist default positon was pretencious and presumptive,and designed by someone who just lionized atheism. But there should be a religious default position to the extent that there's no particualr reason to assume naturlaism over any other positon. The world doesn't come to us wrapped in philosophical labels. We have to go to school and learn them, and most of the time they play on our prejudices. There's no reason to validate one over another form the outset. There is no base line for comoparision from which one can say unaccountably, "ther is nothing beyond the matieral realm," and thus no basis for comparision such that we can say materialism is the natural state.
But my religious a prori argument would argue that religion is not derivative from other disciplines but is a valid thing in tiself own right. As such we can assume the properly basic nature of religious belief as a 'default" position
1) The notion of something from nothing voilates basic assumptions of materialism
a. Materailism based upon cause and effect
Dictonary of Philosphy Anthony Flew, article on "Materialism"
"...the belief that everything that exists is ethier matter or entirely dependent upon matter for its existence." Center For Theology and the Natural Sciences Contributed by: Dr. Christopher Southgate: God, Humanity and the Cosmos (T&T Clark, 1999) http://www.ctns.org/Information/information.html Is the Big Bang a Moment of Creation?(this source is already linked above)
"...Beyond the Christian community there was even greater unease. One of the fundamental assumptions of modern science is that every physical event can be sufficiently explained solely in terms of preceding physical causes. Quite apart from its possible status as the moment of creation, the Big Bang singularity is an offence to this basic assumption. Thus some philosophers of science have opposed the very idea of the Big Bang as irrational and untestable."
b) Something from nothing contraidicts materialism
Science and The Modern World, Alfred North Whitehead.
NY: free Press, 1925, (1953) p.76
"We are content with superficial orderings form diverse arbitrary starting points. ... sciene which is employed in their deveopment [modern thought] is based upon a philosophy which asserts that physical casation is supreme, and which disjoins the physical cause from the final end. It is not popular to dwell upon the absolute contradiction here involved."[Whitehead was an atheist]
c) Causality was the basis upon which God was expelled from Modern Science
It was La Plase's famous line "I have no need of that Hypothosis" [meaning God] Which turned the scientific world form beliving (along with Newton and assuming that order in nature proved design) to unbelief on the principle that we dont' need God to explain the univrese because we have independent naturalistic cause and effet. [Numbers, God and Nature]
2) Materilism Undermines Itself
a) Big Bang contradicts causality (see quotation above)
b) QM theory seems to contradict cause/effect relationship.
c) Rejection of final cause
3) Probabalistic Justification for assumption of Cause
We still have a huge justification for assuming causes inductively, since nothing in our experince is ever uncaused. The mere fact that we can't see or find a cause isn't a proof that there isn't one.
4) Therefore, we have probabalistic justification for assuming Final cause
Thus, the basis upon which God was dismissed from scientific thought has been abandoned;the door to consideration of God is open again. The reliance upon naturalistic cause and effect in consideration of ultimate origins is shattered, but this does not make it rational to just assume that the universe opoped into existence with no cause. Since we have vast precident for assuming cause and effect, we should continue to do so. But since naturalistic cause and effect seems unnecessary at the cosmic level, we should consider the probablity of an ultimate necessary final cause.
The Religious A priori