Sylar, the same idiot who argued that Bayes is mathematics, therefore, its a mathematical fact that there's no God, and that prison populations must mirror the general population, is at again. Now he's making a sophisticated version of appeal to popularity. This argument is obviously not aimed at demonstrated that atheism is a logical position, but asserts that because the majority of philosophers are atheists that in itself is reason enough to be an atheist. Well that's partly appeal to popularity although it bleeds into appeal to authority; he says these are the guys who understand the God arguments and they are atheists then it must be the God arguments are bad.
If your proofs are so watertight, why are 87.4% of professional philosophers non-theists? Compare that to the 10.3% of the adult general population of the US that are atheists. What gives? If the god arguments are so awesome, shouldn't we have more theists in our philosophy departments rather than fewer?Meta: That's not where it gets really stupid, (not yet, just wait). Then he starts saying that 70% of those in philosophy of religion are atheist! I point out that is statistic of 10% is inflated its 3%.
Fine, let's go with 3%. Why are professional philosophers of religion over ten times more likely than a randomly selected US adult to not be a theist?I show that 70% of philosophers of religion are theists, only 20% are atheist, he asserted the 70% were atheist. He's trying to say that the increase in likelihood of being an atheist philosopher of religion is over being an atheist in the general public is so much greater that it warrants being an atheist just because of that. I say that with 70% theists then being a theist as a philosopher of religion is even more likely. He argued that Philosophers are in the know, so we can say that the God arguments are no good or as he put it "lack efficacy," becuase they dont persuade those in the know. Philosophers of religion are looking at the God arguments more than just regular philosophers so they are more educated audience even then secular philosophers in this area and they tend to be theists much more so than not. No we can only look at the difference bewteen atheists in the general public and in philosophy of religion not the difference between theists and atheists sin the field.
In the mean time he's said nothing about why they believe as the do. He's done nothing to prove that any of them read a single God arguemnt. He's said nothing about what their reasoning processes are. So he's just basing the idea on the mere fact that they are as they are without regard to way. That's what he thinks is a valid reason for holding a particular position. My argument is that this is an appeal to popularity and to some extent authority (given that it's the popularity among an authority group).
There are a lot of reasons why philosophers might be atheists. They may not ever think about it. It's been popular among liberal arts people in the past to question authority and be radical and even be atheist. Before the net came along, when I was an atheist, all atheists were people you met in college. Atheism in the working class was very rare. It was a truism in popularity society that professors are atheists. So it could be that atheists just naturally sought out areas like philosophy to go into. Philosophers of religion might all be atheists before they were in that field and they went into it hoping to destroy it. That's not so hard to believe. See my confrontation with Hector Avila on Metacrock's Blog where he admits that that is his motive for staying in his field.
He denies that it's an appeal to popularity but clearly it is becuase he doesn't even seek to know the reasons why they think as they do. He doesn't want you to decide the issue on any kind of knowledge of ideas, it's all about who else thinks so. His defense is it can't be polarity if it's about the specialized group that's in the know. Ok so that means it's a hybrid fallacy, it's bleeding into appeal to authroity. Who says Philosophers are the authorities to guide us to or away from God? who says Philosophers are the gatekeepers of all truth? He's just appealing to the authority of a group that he thinks supports his ideology and that in itself is the reason to make the decision not becuase of how they arrived at their views. That is a fallacious way to reason.
This guy wound up arguing that Bayes theorem is mathematics, it proves there's no God so it's a mathematical fact that there's no God. So if you believe in God you are going against mathematics. There's no analysis about the prior or how we arrive at the conclusion. I said atheism=mathematics. Of cousre I was being sarcastic.
Here's what's going on, atheism is a cult. That's why this guy wants you to make your decision based upon the authority of some group and not even consider why. It is ironic for an atheist to appeal to authority becuase they are only 3%. Then try to inflate their numbers all the time. He always wants to do away with the thinking part and arrive at a formula (like Bayes) that settles the issue with the fortress of facts and you don't have to think you just obey. That's the cult.