[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 continues Chapter 18, “Atheism and the Justification of Non-Justification Ability”.]
(picking up from the end of the previous entry)
Reed (the theist): You understand, of course, that you’ve thereby surrendered any claim of accuracy for “atheism” per se.
Chase (the atheist): What?! I’ve done no such thing! Atheism could still be the fact, or characteristic of ultimate reality.
R: But that in itself would not have had a necessary effect on how your belief came about.
C: As I said, whichever belief ends up as the most successful will very probably have been influenced by the actual state of reality; just as the most successful state of my belief about my bank account, will most probably have been influenced by my efficiency at detecting and responding to my actual bank account amount.
R: A relationship that seems rather more direct than the relationship between the actual status of ultimate reality and your beliefs about it.
C: But the actual status of that reality will be affecting my beliefs far more intimately. If God exists, you can chalk my atheism up to Him, in the end.
R: I have to say, you seem very much like someone covering his ears and squinting shut his eyes, yelling “YAH YAH YAH I REJECT MY ABILITY TO THINK BECAUSE IT EVIDENTLY LEADS TO A CONCLUSION THAT GOD IN SOME WAY EXISTS YAH YAH YAH WHETHER SOMETHING IS TRUE OR FALSE ISN’T MY CONCERN YAH YAH…”
C: I have to say that you were apparently conditioned to probably resort to such insults to try to carry your point.
R: So how did that expectation of probability arise?
C: … Come again?