Real Atheology Wonders if Philosophy, Not Science, Is the Very Paradigm of Rationality

First off, it seems more than a bit arrogant to claim to be the real deal in atheist philosophy (Real Atheology, RA), but then there's nothing that can be done about that adopted name now. Nonetheless, on Twitter RA Tweeted this excerpt and asked, "Don't know where this is from, but thoughts on this?" If it were me I'd like to know where it came from, and I certainly wouldn't put something like this out there unless I thought it had some merit. Turns out it was written by Catholic apologist Edward Feser denouncing the boogyman "scientism" which we've written about before. About scientism I merely say that when it comes to the nature of nature, its regularities, and its origins, science is the only way to gain the truth. What other alternative is there?

It's disheartening that some thoughtful atheists think what Feser said is worthy of consideration. But this isn't the only time RA puts science and objective evidence in the back. They also highly recommended an essay where they agree with Christian apologist Matthew Flannagan that atheist Graham Oppy "repudiates evidentialism." They're reading and listening to the WRONG PEOPLE! I doubt very much that Graham Oppy "repudiates evidentialism" even if he may repudiate the verfification principle(s) whereby only propositions that have evidence for them are meaningful. Ask him. He should weigh in on this issue. Evidence, objective evidence, is paramount. Otherwise we are building ivory castles in the sky where the ONLY thing that matters in consistency.

When it come to philosophy almost everyone gets it wrong. Let me explain...

Most thoughtful people on both sides of the atheist/theist fence equivocate on the word. In one sense the word "philosophy" is used as a discipline of learning in which the content is agreed upon among philosophers within that group. The five broad philosophical groupings are Metaphysics, Epistemology, Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics. There are other sub-groupings like Occidental and Oriental philosophy, and perspectives and/or focuses, like Logic, Phenomenology, Existentialism, Analytical and Continental philosophy. A philosopher is a recognized expert is one or more of these fields.

So far so good?

The fallacy of equivocation comes into play when the word "philosophy" is used as a substitue for the word "reason." Everyone reasons, some better than others. But not everyone is an expert in a particular branch, or sub-branch, of philosophy.

Herein lies the big mistake: EVEN SCIENTISTS REASON! In fact, science depends on sound reasoning. So there is no distiction between philosophy and science, if philosophy is to be defined as sound reasoning based on objective evidence. Scientists must use sound reasoning or they aren't doing good science. Objective evidence is paramount but sound reasoning is also required. Reason without science is not doing science. Science without reason is not good science. One cannot substract sound reasoning and still have good science. But objective evidence is paramount for there to be any science at all!

So neither Feser nor Flannagan are talking about experts in particular branches of philosophy. Instead, they're using the word "philosophy" as a substitute for "reason." At that point the only distiction that matters is between evidential reasoning and non-evidential reasoning, that is, reasoning based on objective evidence or reasoning based on insufficient objective evidence, or none at all.

Evidence, objective evidence, is paramount. The more of it the better. Beliefs based on insufficient evidence are to be rejected. The conclusions we accept must be based on the strength of the evidence. Period.

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