Atheist Contradictions: The Old, Tired Argument

One refrain I frequently hear from atheists is that arguments used to support the existence of God are ‘old and tired’. This is a bizarre complaint for a couple of reasons.

 At first glance this response lacks legitimacy because it says nothing about the truth or accuracy of the arguments. It’s like arguing that certain geometric proofs lack legitimacy because, you know, they were developed a long time ago by ancient Greeks who aren’t nearly as smart as we are, right?

 Secondly it is a lame response because almost all arguments for and against the existence of God are ‘old and tired’. There are for example no ‘new’ arguments for atheism – it is to the detriment of atheists that they think Dawkins et. al. have said anything ‘new’ – they haven’t, they have just said it louder. In fact, if an argument was true or accurate, you would expect it to have longevity because it would withstand scrutiny over time. We can have new data that either supports or contradicts an idea or argument, but it is highly unlikely a whole new argument will appear on either side. I of course would argue such data supports the old and tired arguments I accept and articulate.

 And finally, being familiar with an argument doesn’t mean you either understand it or have actually articulated a response to it. I am constantly disappointed as a former skeptic and agnostic at how little ability many self-proclaimed ‘skeptics’ and atheists have to read, argue, and consistently sustain a line of reasoning. They claim the argument is old and tired, but it quickly becomes evident they don’t really understand or know how to respond to many arguments. They think a few swift ad homs and waving of the hands are a sufficient response. These are only sufficient if your goal is to not think.

 Being a true skeptic requires skepticism, not unthinking adherence to the proclamations of others you agree with.

Advertisements

5 Responses to Atheist Contradictions: The Old, Tired Argument

  1. kenetiks says:

    For me, the term “tired old arguments” implies either arguments that have been thoroughly refuted, revamped, knocked down again, put on a shiny new coat of paint and renamed and then just as swiftly thoroughly beat down yet again.

    Or the same arguments repeated ad nauseam that are not even claims of fact or evidence and mislabeled “truths” as if they did. Mislabeled ad hominems marked as “truths”. Etc, Etc, Etc.

  2. rockrobinoff says:

    While it is obvious that an old argument is not a bad argument for being old, a tired argument is just that, tired. Meaning, it is worn out or no longer useful or relevant.

    The prime mover argument is one such “old and tired” argument trotted out by theists in an attempt to defend creationism. The “infinite regress” when demanding a first cause should be plain, and yet the demand for a prime mover still holds sway amongst many an uninformed theist – that argument is tired as well as being old.

    Lets not forget the “irreducible complexity” argument. Which, by the way, has at the very least modern *interpretations* if not roots, in that there are very fined tuned cosmological constants necessary for the universe to exist. That debate has fresh ideas coming out on both sides – there are *new* arguments appearing in both camps all the time, and it is the arguments between theists and atheists that spur them on.

  3. jackhudson says:

    Thanks for the comments, rockrobinoff, regarding this idea:

    The prime mover argument is one such “old and tired” argument trotted out by theists in an attempt to defend creationism. The “infinite regress” when demanding a first cause should be plain, and yet the demand for a prime mover still holds sway amongst many an uninformed theist – that argument is tired as well as being old.

    I would have to disagree at least in regards to its modern formulation in the Kalam Cosmological argument. I think this holds up quite well, especially when one considers that an actual infinite is impossible, renedering most atheistic formulations of the origin of the universe impossible.

    Lets not forget the “irreducible complexity” argument. Which, by the way, has at the very least modern *interpretations* if not roots, in that there are very fined tuned cosmological constants necessary for the universe to exist. That debate has fresh ideas coming out on both sides – there are *new* arguments appearing in both camps all the time, and it is the arguments between theists and atheists that spur them on.

    Exactly – the reconsideration of old ideas in the light of new data demonstrates the persistence of certain ideas.

  4. jackhudson says:

    For me, the term “tired old arguments” implies either arguments that have been thoroughly refuted, revamped, knocked down again, put on a shiny new coat of paint and renamed and then just as swiftly thoroughly beat down yet again.

    I keep hearing this, but I don’t see this happening for any number of apologetic arguments. I mean atheists may dance around and claim it has happened, but I have found generally when challenged one doesn’t actually see the claimed ‘refutation’ unfold or hold up.

  5. kenetiks says:

    I keep hearing this, but I don’t see this happening for any number of apologetic arguments. I mean atheists may dance around and claim it has happened, but I have found generally when challenged one doesn’t actually see the claimed ‘refutation’ unfold or hold up.

    Irreducible Complexity would be one, Intelligent design, prime mover, etc.

    Now as you’ve said here:

    Exactly – the reconsideration of old ideas in the light of new data demonstrates the persistence of certain ideas.

    Old ideas with new data are different entirely. I think any one that fits this category deserves to be discussed. If I didn’t, that would be a little arrogant and a bit dishonest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: