Michael Flynn is bemused by the customary atheist ineptitude where philosophy is concerned:
The usual suspects are at work where the Statistician to the Stars is manfully working his way through Thomas’ Contra gentiles, and TOF notices a peculiarity previously glimpsed on the blog of P.Z.Meyer: viz., so soon as You-Know-Who is glimpsed at the end of a syllogism based on causation, they will deny causation and declare randomness rules. But let randomness appear to make room for free will, and their universe becomes strictly deterministic with mechanical causes strictly propagating the past into the future. Often, the same person will make both claims, though usually on different threads. There is probably no solution to this game of intellectual Whack-a-Mole, but TOF was especially charmed by the notion that there is no cause for radioactive decay, which is said to be due to magical chthonic effects obtained by invoking “chthulu” or “quantum mechanics” or something.
One respondent even claimed that hurricanes were just as causeless as radioactive decay, despite the fact that meteorologists understand quite well the causes of hurricanes. That was when enlightenment descended upon TOF like little tongues of flame.
These people are confusing “caused” with “predictable”.
- Because we cannot predict the time and place that a hurricane will form, hurricanes are “uncaused.”
- Because we cannot predict the time and place that an atom will decay, radioactive decay is “uncaused.”
- Because we cannot predict when a bird will strike a jet engine, the consequent engine failure is “uncaused”? Say what?
But then, since Newtonian mechanics cannot predict which apple will fall from which tree at which time, let alone whose noggin it will bop (God playing Whack-a-Mole?), we would have to conclude that the motion of falling bodies is uncaused. Yet this was the very inspiration for the deterministic universe metaphor!
Perhaps we should let them continue until they have completely demolished the 19th century mythos, then pick up the pieces and rebuild a sane metaphysics.
And forget philosophy, it never ceases to amaze me how little history the average outspoken atheist knows. I mean, the moment you hear an atheist mentioning “war” in the same breath as “religion”, you already have confirmation that the atheist is a) a historical ignoramus, and most likely, b) a functional idiot. Especially if the discussion concerns, in any way, the existence of God.