[This is a continuation of Section Two, Reason and the First Person. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/sword-to-the-heart-reason-and-the-first-person/1081/1]here.]
[This series concludes Chapter 16, “Real Action and Atheism”.]
[The previous series ended with: “If the proposition ‘reactions produce actions’ is nonsense, then either atheism is false, or we might as well treat it as false because it can never, in any legitimate way, get going even as a live proposition (much less as a possibly cogently defended one). Atheism could still be sheerly asserted; but a sheer assertion is not a reliable conclusion upon which to form a subsequent belief.”]
There are two categories of defense against this deduction that we should reject atheism being true.
da.) The proposal ‘reactions produce actions’ is not nonsensical.
db.) Defensible arguments (such as, for instance, atheism theories) can be produced purely by automatic reactions without actions.
Adherents of the first defense would proceed by one of the general following methods (with variations):
da1.) The terms ‘reaction’ and ‘action’ are proposed or demonstrated to be so vague and subjective that no distinctively useful definition of them can be formed, therefore aborting the question of whether it is nonsensical to say one comes from the other.
da2.) Reactions really exist, but actions are not distinctive from them, as they are merely our subjective perception of reactions, considered to be something ‘other than reactions’ purely for convenience in certain discussions. Therefore, it is a non sequitur to claim that ‘reactions produce actions’ is nonsensical.
da3.) Reactions don’t really exist, all events being purely action; what we call reactions are only a term of convenience for particular discussions. Therefore, it is a non sequitur to claim that ‘reactions produce actions’ is nonsensical.
da4.) Real actions and real reactions both exist; but we can successfully argue that reactive systems produce actions. Therefore, it is not functionally impossible for reactions to produce actions, thus undercutting by demonstration the grounds for my attempted deduction.