AS47: Nonresistant Unbeliever Justin Schieber

This week we have Justin Schieber who I’m sure all of my listeners know from Reasonable Doubts, http://doubtcast.org! His website though is http://Justinsweh.com where you’ll find some great debate videos and other content.

Justin is a perfect guest for Atheistically Speaking because he brings a calm, well-read and meticulous approach to religious philosophy. Tune in as he and Thomas dissect the issue of divine hiddenness, as well as other tangents as usual!

4 thoughts on “AS47: Nonresistant Unbeliever Justin Schieber”

  1. Wow! I am having to interrupt my listening to this episode to defend at least a form of presuppositionalism.

    I agree with presuppositionalists that most world views are unable to satisfactorily bootstrap themselves.

    On the other hand I agree with, say Matt Dillahunty, that I have never heard a theistic presuppositionalist demonstrate how they can bootstrap their own world view (hypocrisy!). However I think they probably could so that is not the point.

    The point is that presupposing theism to prove theism is such a tautologically greedy way of bootstrapping theism, that it clearly is problematic. But if theism, once bootstrapped, worked much better other world views I might give it serious consideration. It doesn’t but I think I have a more parsimonious attack.

    I can respond with realist presuppositionalism. I presuppose that reality exists. From that I can derive logic and Popper’s account of the scientific method. Thence I can make a case for solipsism being false and the reality of suffering. From that I can derive morality.

    I claim that realism is a strictly weaker hypothesis than theism and thus realism is a more parsimonious assumption than theism. My argument for this is that the god assumed by theism must itself be subject to some aspects of reality – at least the laws of logic. If this god is not subject to the laws of logic then it might be able to do things like eat itself and other such conundrums. However note that no believer in a good deity is complete without a theodicy but all theodicies depend on god running up against some logical constraint.

    So either theistic presuppositionalism is much less parsimonious than realist presuppositionalism or it fails to solve the problem of evil.

  2. Another great discussion! Looking forward to the second portion of the show.

    A couple of quick notes so far:

    1) theism/atheism – just like Thomas, I also understood the prefix “a” to indicate an absence of theism (absencetheism?) Justin’s view seems to place atheism in the context of refusal to accept theism. I like how this view ties atheism with exposure to theism. It is an interesting perspective. Also, it keeps the burden of proof on the theism, where it belongs.

    2) “loving entity would never reject a relationship” was another interesting new perspective for me. Justin argued that god remains hidden from atheists who are honestly seeking a relationship. I think this is a powerful argument, but a theist could counter that honest seekers always find god: not seeing god is an indication of a dishonest seeker. Maybe this argument could be better wielded against Christian dogma that god turns away from you forever if you do not turn to him during your lifetime.

    “cruel and unusual punishment by drowning” is my standard argument against a loving god. Thank you for adding another one to my repertoire!

  3. Just listened to the second portion of the discussion. Wow!!! Unbelievable. I am speechless.

    So glad that I got early access to it, as a Patreon :))))

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