Sunday, December 17, 2006

Maximum Pragmatism in God v No God Debate

The debate started below has found additional life at Master of None

A comment deep within one of the posts from Ben Bateman might provide us with the in extremis position on pragmatism as it relates to the issue of belief:

What if truth, as he understands it, is ultimately fatal? First he denies the premise, then he ignores the arguments entirely.

Let's assume that human societies cannot survive for long without religion. And let's assume that atheism is "true" in whatever sense SDB, Bernardo, Mark, and many others say that it's true. Which side should win? Truth or life?

Please resist the temptation to declare as dogma that truth automatically maximizes life. That denies the premise, which doesn't get us anywhere. Let's just assume for argument that homo sapiens is designed with a powerful need to hold beliefs that aren't true, and groups without those beliefs will perish. In that situation, which set of beliefs do you recommend: those that are true, or those that are necessary for survival?

Of course, this could be very satisfying to the Darwinists. Here we have a social meme that might be the emotional equivalent of an opposing thumb. It wouldn't even matter whether Christianity made us better or worse, nicer or more evil, as debated elsewhere. It would only matter that believing increases our chances of surviving and making more babies than those that don't. This is already happening. See here.

The entire post with all comments here.

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