3 AM Philosophy

Atheists and faith based commitments. I explain why they have them as everyone has them:

Seems a lot of people are confused on what are “faith based commitments” also known as “Properly Basic Beliefs” (PBB’s)

Properly basic beliefs stem from classical foundationalism (See Sosa: The Raft and the Pyramid: Coherence versus Foundations in the Theory of Knowledge: https://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/kk3n/epistclass/Sosa%20-%20Raft%20and%20Pyramid.pdf ) which is the position all our beliefs are predicated upon foundational beliefs which cannot be doxastically nor inferentially derived nor derivable. This blog is an explination of an interview done by the podcast Counter Apologetics w/guest Ozymandias Ramses II.

They are:
– they’re unstated assumptions (instinctive, not learned)
– they’re universally held
– they’re ingredients for rationality
– they’re indefensible (on pain of circularity)
– they’re beyond revision (on pain of circularity)
(Ozymandias’s 5 conditions for Properly Basic Beliefs)

To deny PBB’s leads to irrational or madness, such as believing contradictions (Excluding dialetheism or paraconsistent logic) or not accepting reality is external to the mind, or that other sentient minds exist. It would lead to not accepting basic rules of inference or deduction leading to true conclusions from true premises. It would lead to not accepting affects have causes and causal relationships.

They are taken on faith as they are non-evidentially supported, unjustified, unjustifiable, unwarranted, and unwarrantable.

Examples of PBB’s:

Reality is external to the mind.
Other minds exist.
Validity preserving character of logical deduction. Inference rules have true conclusions with true premises.
Validity of induction. Reliable conclusions, but not must be the case. (no way to justify with out using induction. To justify induction would have to use induction…which is circular reasoning)
Cause and effects. We assume a cause will have an effect that we weren’t taught.
Reliability of memory and senses.(Have to use memory to test reliability of memory)

This is the heart of Hume’s Problem of Induction. Hume realized that to try to justify induction you have to invoke the use of induction and assume uniformity of nature which makes it begging the question and circular. We can not rationally say induction will continue to work tomorrow as it has in the past as the very act of doing that requires us to use induction which is the very thing we are trying to justify. That is why induction is a faith based commitment we all must have…atheist, theist, agnostics included.

For further study on this topic, Counter Apologetics did a brilliant Interview with my friend Ozy and even put a shout out to me. So I am returning the favor:

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