Atheism-Theism and Myopic (in)sight

When it comes to theist arguments, what strikes me is not that there wrong but myopic in content.

Theists take and run with whatever our intuitive understanding of reality is without questioning it.

What I mean by a Myopic understanding is how we tend to avoid or overlook the complexity that is ourselves and the cosmos, even where there is the evidence in front of us.

We tend to live life not with evidence but use heuristics and rules of thumb to navigate this world. But our minds are subject to biases and are not usually unaware of them.

There’s a side to us that often gets overlooked with regards to ourselves.

The unconscious, subconscious mind that does a lot of the work we mistakenly attribute to the conscious part of us. This us to Fetishise Consciousness and especially thought and reason.

We focus on the conscious because it is the part we can, with introspection, get some insight and understanding of.

When times come to find answers, causes, and explanations, we always default to what the conscious side provides.

We are no blank slate; our evolutionary part has coven us the ability to learn complex tasks and learn them well enough to not have to think about them as we perform them.

Untrained intuition can’t be trusted, but trained intuition, resulting from feedback, and mistakes, can be trusted more.

Question the thesis asks towards causes, answers, understanding, and explanation is the twisted result of people who don’t understand themselves are good the cosmos works.

The Kalam is based on Aristotle, who says that a mover needs to be moved. But what if all things are always moving? Everything we see, even when stationary, is moving through space. Our planet revolves, it moves around the sun, and the sun moves through the galaxy. It’s only from our perspective that objects can appear stationary. Aristotle can be forgiven for this lack of vision, but we have more knowledge today.

Another example is the design argument, a thing that requires a designer. But, what about the trees? There are no tree makers. LINK

Naïve Realism

All this reminds me that we’re looking at reality through the lens of theories and models, ideas.

We think about the world through the abstract models we invent. We mistakenly think the map or model is the reality; instead of arguing over reality, we argue over the maps or model we use.

Getting lost in our ideas about reality is a Nieve Realism in philosophy. The map has become more important than the territory.

A myopic view of the world and ourselves only leads to conclusions that are error-prone.

Looking at the night sky, it seems obvious the cosmos revolves around us, but after Galileo, we know this isn’t the case. The obvious and easy truths are often misleading.

It reminds me of the popular story of the blind men and the Elephant.

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “”Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.””

They had no idea what an elephant was. They decided, “”Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.”” All of them went where the Elephant was. Every one of them touched the Elephant.

“”Hey, the elephant is a pillar,”” said the first man who touched his leg.

“”Oh, no! it is like a rope,”” said the second man who touched the tail.

“”Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree,”” said the third man who touched the trunk of the Elephant.

“”It is like a big hand fan””, said the fourth man who touched the ear of the Elephant.

“”It is like a huge wall,”” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the Elephant.

“”It is like a solid pipe,”” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the Elephant.

They began to argue about the Elephant, and they insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated.

A wise man passed by and pointed out they were all correct, but each of you is telling it differently because you touched a different part of the Elephant. 

Paradigm shift

Seeing a line, we pull back our viewpoint and see a circle. Its paradigm shift on understanding.

Looking up at the sky, we once thought the cosmos revolved around the earth. Galileo observed objects orbiting Jupiter and correctly deduced these were other moons orbiting another planet. So fell apart of our short-sighted vision that we’re the centre of the cosmos.

Theists don’t seem to recognise that their minds have limits and idiosyncrasies that skew their vision.

One great example is the Design argument. The Cosmos requires a designer just as we designed and created bridges. The claim fails to notice that design is not as straight forwards as they like to think. Our behaviour is often spontaneous and unplanned.

Here we fail to understand just how haphazard making things is, trial and error, flashes of insight and serendipity taking part in the process. Our conscious mind is getting the credit when our subconscious instincts are doing most, if not all, of the heavy lifting. It’s as a Misattribution fallacy, giving credit to the wrong part of yourself.

Instead, theists choose to cling to the simple idea that a pot needs a potter. It comes from a lazy attitude toward knowledge because we as a species shy away from hard work; we use simple ideas as guides, failing to see the flaws and nuance that exist around us.

It’s the Streetlight effect or fallacy. It’s easier to find answers where is easiest to look.

Late at night, a police officer finds a drunk man crawling around on his hands and knees under a streetlight. The drunk man tells the officer he’s looking for his wallet. When the officer asks if he’s sure this is where he dropped the wallet, the man replies that he thinks he more likely dropped it across the street. Then why are you looking over here? the befuddled officer asks. Because the light’s better here, explains the drunk man.

Davd Freedman

Another influence often overlooked is Availability bias. We draw conclusions with limited data. In this case, our consciousness, but not our subconscious. This results in our myopic understanding of ourselves of the world.

These problems don’t just happen in the rarefied circles of philosophy but has a real-world effect on our lives. Our personal interactions with other people, shopping, finances, and broader into politics and economics.

What goes unnoticed is what’s under the hood; Our subconscious. Sometimes we’re self-aware enough to notice these biases; this is what leads to true knowledge and insight.

Our understanding of existence is always insufficient, yet we act as if we know all there is to know.
We mistakenly think we have an objective view of the world instead of the subjective, biased lens we look through. The upshot of all of this simplification and abstraction is the reality we work with is illusory.

We default to simple heuristics and rules because they are easy, yet they’re also misleading. Failure to acknowledge this truism means mistakes are going to be made.

We fail to understand just how much our limitations affect the conclusions we draw. Our ignorance is clouding our judgement. Our understanding becomes parochial, narrow minded.

Why Scientific Studies Are So Often Wrong: The Streetlight Effect | Discover Magazine