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A brief comment on P.Z. Myers’ response to Alvin Plantinga’s argument that P(R/N&E) is low. March 26, 2010

Posted by theconfessors in Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity, God, Religion.
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I don’t have much time to get in to this but I thought I would post this for those of you who are familiar with Alvin Plantinga’s argument that the probability (P) that our cognitive faculties are reliable (R) given that naturalism (N) and evolution (E) are true is low. Given this first premise, he argues that if you believe this to be the case, then you can’t reliably believe… well… anything. If you haven’t read the argument before, this comment isn’t going to make sense.

You can find Myers’ response to Plantinga here.

I’m shocked at P.Z. Myers’ inability to understand the argument. He tries to say that our cognitive faculties aren’t reliable and that we refine them. That’s saying we’re getting closer to truth without any way of knowing which direction we’re heading… Oh, you can say it’s because it’s increased our ability to survive, sure. I hope that makes you feel better. Unfortunately, that misses the point entirely. It doesn’t follow that our beliefs become more true as our behavior becomes more conducive to our survival. He even admits that. He says, “To which I say…exactly! Brains are not reliable; they’ve been shaped by forces which, as has been clearly said, do not value Truth with a capital T.” Great. Plantinga wins. The naturalism Plantinga is arguing against has to do with naturalism as making a metaphysical claim about the universe; namely, there are no such “supernatural beings” as God or angels. P.Z. Myers even agrees with the further materialistic claim, making him even more susceptible to this argument. That’s truth with a capital T, P.Zeezy. You can’t make those claims on your view and your view makes those claims.