Posted: Oct 05, 2010 11:41 pm
by xrayzed
Shrunk wrote:
xrayzed wrote:I’ll try to simplify the question:

Why is it entirely reasonable that there can be a conscious being that has always existed, but it is inconceivable that there can be a non-conscious thing that has always existed?

Since Maryann has left the building, I'll give your question a crack: It's hard to tell thru her turgid prose and convoluted logic, but her point seems to be that you can't demonstrate the existence of either, so then atheism is a position of faith just as much as theism is.

By that logic, the following statement is also true: Suppose two doctors are treating a patient who seems to have an infection, but the identity of the pathogen is unknown. The first doctor believes the illness is caused by an as-yet unknown virus or bacteria and endeavours to find the correct one. The second doctor believes the patient is cursed by Zeus and sacrifices a bull to appease the god.

The positions of both doctors are equally based on faith.

Like you I'm often struggling to work out what Maryann is trying to say, but I think she is saying more than that. It's not just that both are positions of faith, but that her position of faith is reasonable, while the non-theistic position is unreasonable.

I'm basing that my interpretation on posts such as this:

Ichthus77 wrote:Both the atheist and theist conclusions require faith (but the self-bootstrapping atheist conclusion--that one requires blind faith--in the teeth of counter-evidence).

So in terms of your model she isn't saying that the Zeus theory of disease is equal to the Germ theory of disease, but that it's clearly superior.

What I haven't been able to glean from her posts is any coherent reasoning in support of this.