Wednesday, April 22, 2020

WSIBC: "God and Mind"

We come now to Anderson’s fifth case, “God and Mind,” presented in the fourth chapter of his book Why Should I Believe Christianity? (WSIBC). Here Anderson claims that the mere existence of human minds is evidence for the existence of a supernatural being which Christianity lovingly calls “God.” The basic strategy here has a familiar ring to it: take something we all can reasonably be expected to “take for granted,” probe it with a few open-ended questions to which the reader is supposed to shrug his shoulders and confess “Gee, I donno!” and then skewer an alternative point of view opposed to the Christian worldview. Christianity is thereby vindicated by default, pretty much by declaring what it asserts.

This basic approach, subject to wide variation, is characteristic of the strategy of assimilation that is the hallmark of the religious mind. This involves a predatory appropriation of this-worldly phenomena in an effort to recast them as projections sourced in alleged otherworldly forces, thereby presumably vindicating belief in the supernatural. And yet, the strands of inference from this world to a world essentially contradicting it are, to put it mildly, as fleeting and opaque as a forgotten dream.