The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Letter to the editor

I really didn’t think that my first article, one in a long line of articles, debunking God would actually motivate a response, especially since all I was doing was merely explaining the atheist position. I didn’t know merely stating a position could make somebody write a response. In any case, since I will not allow bad logic and argumentation to go unanswered, I will respond to Mr. Newton’s commentary.

“And while I think that atheism can be an honest, legitimate and praiseworthy stance, I hope that readers of both Mr. Ueda’s columns and mine recognize that theism can be an equally intellectual and laudable stance as well.”

First off, please do not patronize me. If person A believes that person B’s metaphysical view of the universe is incorrect, then person A believes that person B is wrong, and there is nothing honest or praiseworthy about believing in something that you think is wrong. Intellectual honesty would be nice. I should add that theism is not as “equally intellectual and laudable stance” as atheism. The reason that I take my stance as an atheist is because I believe that the justifications and arguments for the non-existence of God are far greater than the arguments for the existence of God. Merely saying that you have an equally intellectual stance is not enough; you have to present and defend your argument. Previously I have argued against Pascal’s wager and in later articles I will argue against the design argument and the free will argument, as well as debunk the bible.

“The question of certainty is a moot point because it only applies to those things that participate in a manner scientifically observable in the natural world.”

It must be very convenient to always have that ad hoc explanation of why you don’t have any sort of justification or evidence for your religious beliefs. In fact, when you say God exists in the supernatural realm or is a supernatural entity, you open up a bigger burden of proof. What is the supernatural realm? How is it different from the natural world? What properties does a supernatural entity have? How do you know that the supernatural realm exists? Etc.

“But choosing to surmise all such beliefs as ‘somewhat intellectually dishonest’ and of a character that is ‘extremely dangerous and something that should be resisted’ is more an hominem attack on theism as a philosophy or theology than a logical assessment of the history of religion.'”

First of all, I would suggest you never misquote me again, as you weaken your position by highlighting your inability to read correctly. When I used the phrase, “somewhat intellectually dishonest,” it was pertaining to the passage on the agnostic position. Second of all, do not put words in my mouth. I said that religion is extremely destructive and dangerous and something that should be resisted. I didn’t say anything pertaining to character or any specific religious person, and thus you have committed the fallacy of division. Third, it is impossible for someone to commit an ad hominem attack on theism as a philosophy or theology because ad hominem means you are attacking the person presenting the argument. I was arguing against a philosophical position directly and not some secondary quality of some theoretical theist. Do not use words you don’t understand.

“The study of knowledge about God (theology), knowledge about customs (ethics), and knowledge about human ways of being (anthropology) are just a few intellectual disciplines that critically investigate matters that sometimes are beyond the scope of science, yet still aspire to do so in an intellectually honest way.”

I am pretty sure that a lot of people would be insulted if you were putting anthropology in the same list as theology. Anthropology is a science, and although perhaps not as “hard” as physics or chemistry, still roots itself in empirical observation. It is a historical science like archaeology. Do not try to pass off your non-empirical, faith-based methodology with one that prides itself in empirical observation and rigorous procedure.

“An, albeit, pithy example would be that one does not employ science to choose a spouse, but one would be wise not to leave the matter up to indiscriminate chance.”

False analogy. This probably comes from your misunderstanding of science. Even if you may not wear a lab coat and stand on an ivory tower, we use scientific methodology in the everyday. Even with dating, we pick up social cues (body language, verbal communication) that serve as sort of “data” or empirical observation to test the theory “does she like me?” This is not the same with religion, where it prides itself on the lack of evidence, otherwise known as faith. Stay tuned for my later article in which I explain the difference between religion and science.

– Ken Ueda

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