Wednesday, November 14, 2007

He said, he said

What follows from the fact that someone converted.?I think it important to emphasize that, in and of itself, not a whole lot. If someone converts for a good reason, that is another matter. You could, after all, have had it right the first time. The reasons a person offers, whether that persons is Antony Flew, John Loftus, or C. S. Lewis, still have to be weighed in the crucible of ideas. Conversion from a long-held belief does not provide exemption from critical analysis.

I think conversation reports are often not as reliable as one might think. I am linking to a blog which reports a conversation between the blogger, Jason Rosenhouse, and Angus Menuge, during the Kansas evolution hearings.

Rosenhouse: Bugged Menuge and reporters during lunch. Menuge conceded that I made some "good points" which means I'm a philosopher now. He hadn't thought about emergent properties, and claimed that they were irreducible. Which is wrong in a right way. Or vice versa.

I found that a little tough to believe, since philosophers always have to think about emergent properties. Menuge wrote back as follows:

What I did say is that merely appealing to "emergence" is hardly
explantory unless there is good reason to think that the properties
would emerge--the burden of proof is on the emergentist to show this,
otherwise appeal to emergence is no better than "and then the Fairy
Godmother waived her wand, and a carriage emerged." And even if
some important properties do emerge, that will simply push the
problem further back as to why they do--a universe finely-tuned so
that intentionality emerges hardly sounds like an undesigned one.

They were both there, is one of them lying? I doubt it.

1 comment:

Edward T. Babinski said...

C. S. Lewis converted simply after reading Chesterton's Everlasting Man and taking a trip to the zoo, and Lewis's first book composed as a Christian, the Pilgrim's Regress, featured a plethora of straw men, telling his conversion story in Bunyan style. Lewis's degree was in literature. All of his apologetics came later, seeking to justify his earlier decision.