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Sunday, June 28, 2015

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Hi Bill,

If I understand you correctly then, all that is required for rationality is that one holds a position whose falsehood cannot be demonstrated, where demonstration demands the fulfillment of (1)-(6). And as (5) is unavailable in (practically) every case involving states of affairs transcending one's consciousness, (practically) nothing of interest can be demonstrated, including the existence of God. Right?

I agree with you concerning the scarcity of successful demonstrations, and think your reader did too (though the phrase "in the mathematical sense" perhaps obscured this). But while I would be willing to grant the sense of "rationality" here as perhaps one legitimate way of using the term, it seems to me an extremely generous sense. Maybe it represents the bare minimum necessary for holding a position, but unless I'm misunderstanding you it doesn't seem to be paradigmatic of rationality. When the reader quoted you as saying that you would neutralize and refute your opponent's arguments leaving them with nothing but dogmatic assertions, it certainly didn't sound like those hypothetical atheists would be rational in any interesting or commonplace sense.

Let's switch subject matters for a moment. It's clear that you don't hold leftist thought in much esteem, and you've offered all sorts of negative assessments of both lefty opinions and lefty opiners. But if you don't have demonstrative arguments against them, and assuming you wish to maintain the generous understanding of "rational" given above, what epistemic term would you use for the leftists? And wouldn't that term also apply, more or less, to your neutralized, refuted and purely dogmatic atheist?

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