Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “For those of you that are doubting Thomases or doubting Tinas out there, where do we get the word or the term “soul”? If we were to ask a Roman around the time of our Lord, at the time of Christ before there were gospels written or printed, they used, to describe a soul, the term animas. When you say someone is animated, you’re saying they’re full of soul, you would be classically anyways.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
In a recent opinion piece for The New Yorker, physicist Lawrence Krauss proclaims that “all scientists should be militant atheists.” Why? You won’t get any clear answer from the article, which is even thinner on argumentation (as opposed to sheer assertion) than the usual New Atheist tract—indeed, even thinner than the usual Lawrence Krauss tract, which is saying something. Most of the piece is about Kim Davis, Hobby Lobby, and other matters of public controversy entirely irrelevant to either science or the question of God’s existence.
The closest Krauss comes to justifying his thesis is in the following passage:
Science is an atheistic enterprise. [Mike: Lawrence, you may want to tell that to the Jesuits that mapped or helped map most of the cosmos through their telescopes.] “My practice as a scientist is atheistic,” the biologist J.B.S. Haldane wrote, in 1934. “That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel, or devil is going to interfere with its course and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career.” . . .
Mike: That’s quite a philosophical and logical blunder there, folks. You’re going to assume that no God is going to interfere? Wait a minute, you can’t assume that something is not going to interfere if you don’t previously acknowledge that it exists. Oh, thank Heaven for Brother Francis and minor logic 101. Continuing:
. . . In my more than thirty years as a practicing physicist, I have never heard the word “God” mentioned in a scientific meeting. Belief or nonbelief in God is irrelevant to our understanding of the workings of nature . . .
Is this a good argument? Only if this parallel piece of “reasoning” is also a good argument: [Mike: Folks, we can almost apply the Brawndo paradigm to this. Brawndo is an atheistic enterprise. It doesn’t require God for Brawndo to be made, therefore there is no God.]
Checkers is an atheistic enterprise. My practice as a checkers player is atheistic. That is to say, when I move a game piece across the board, I assume that no god, angel, or devil is going to interfere with its course and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my career as a checkers champ. In my more than thirty years as a checkers player, I have never heard the word “God” mentioned at a checkers tournament. Belief or nonbelief in God is irrelevant to our understanding of the workings of the game.
So, it isn’t just science—even checkers proves atheism! Who knew? [Mike: Professor Feser does the signal duty of explaining why Krauss’s argument is logically flawed.]
Of course, the fallacy in the latter “argument” is obvious. That we need make no reference to X in the course of doing Y doesn’t prove that X does not exist.
Mike: Folks, let me demonstrate this to you very simply here. I can say that radio is an atheistic enterprise. In my 21 years of doing it, I have never been interfered with by God. As a matter of fact, I have never heard the word God mentioned during my radio career, and therefore God does not exist. You could also say that I am a wildlife artist. Let me teach you a little philosophy 101 here, a little logic. It’s very simple. I am a wildlife artist / painter. In my 30 years of painting wildlife, I have never seen a komodo dragon; therefore, komodo dragons do not exist. Ladies and gentlemen, I just presented to you an argument that is used in the affirmative every single minute of every single day incorrectly.
I won’t bore you with the logical details, but this is what is known as a false or a — I don’t have my notes here in front of me — an assumed universal that’s not a universal at all. That means you argue A and you assume that everyone knows A and they’re going to agree with it. From A we can reason with B, and we can get C, our conclusion. This is not Christian teaching, by the bye. This is pagan teaching. This comes straight out of the mouth of Aristotle. It’s called the logical syllogism. Aristotle spent years thinking about: There’s got to be a way to prove things, a logical way to prove and disprove. He came up with the logical syllogism.
A syllogism has three parts. Every logical syllogism has three parts: major term, minor term, and middle term. A simple, proper universal logical syllogism is every man is mortal. Every mortal has a soul. Therefore, every man has a soul. Some would say, [mocking] “You can’t prove the existence of — you and your popes and your silly little hats and your stupid religion. You can’t prove the existence of a soul.” I believe that you actually can. As we discussed Tuesday night in our philosophia perennis chatroom, what is the different between Mike Church currently alive, or John Doe out there listening to this broadcast currently alive and breathing and doing what it is that you do in life, and then dead me, besides the fact that I turn blue and I go cold and I get stiff?
What’s the difference? Scientists have actually tried to prove the existence of the supernatural soul by weighing bodies shortly before death and then immediately after to see whether or not the soul has left. As a matter of fact, there’s a ridiculous movie – I think Sean Penn was in this movie. It’s a preposterous movie about this back in mid-2000’s. Was it called 21 Grams? In any event, the difference is the soul.
For those of you that are doubting Thomases or doubting Tinas out there, where do we get the word or the term “soul”? If we were to ask a Roman around the time of our Lord, at the time of Christ before there were gospels written or printed, they used, to describe a soul, the term animas. When you say someone is animated, you’re saying they’re full of soul, you would be classically anyways. I’ll give you another use of the term, a Latin word that’s a combination of two words, that is, magnanimous. Magna from super, large, great, animas from soul. Therefore, what does magnanimous mean? It’s always applied the wrong way. It means great soul.
Even the pagans — Plato was a pagan. Aristotle was a pagan. Plato’s error was that he believe the soul was basically, it was beyond spiritual. It was spiritual but it was god-like in its existence in that it existed from generation to generation. You basically rented it for a little while and then you died and you get this transcendental Eastern meditation BS and then it goes into a cow or a goat or chicken or snake or whatever. It just keeps going around in circles. Chesterton comments on Plato’s belief of how he thought about the soul. Plato also taught his disciples that you don’t really learn anything in this life. You already know it because it’s part of your soul. When the soul comes into the body, what you do is, it’s the process of extricating or extracting, pulling out what you already know. Chesterton was asked about this. He said: He always, his entire life, wanted to learn how to speak German, but he never met anyone that could slap the German out of him. You’d have to read the entire piece to get the gist of the joke.
End Mike Church Show Transcript