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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Letter to the Editor: Get Out of Pseudo-Intellectual Atheism

By Clint Roberts


In response to Chris Yeates’ Sept. 20 rant about evolution, design and spiritual thumb-sucking, “Get out of the Religious Womb,” let me count the ways in which the only sucking sound is emanating from his argument.

It’s hard to take seriously the verbal spewings of anyone for whom the issues are so rooted in personal bias and anger. Bitterness flows through Yeates’ argument like sewage through a living room.

Yeates attempts a rip-off of the challenge to the design argument made by David Hume, an 18th century British empiricist. The empiricist movement presupposed that knowledge could only be obtained from what was observed through the senses and then reflected upon in the mind. Yeates should have read the writing of John Locke, the founder of British empiricism and author of The Reasonableness of Christianity, who said that the existence of God is “the most obvious truth that reason discovers . . . equal to mathematical certainty.”

Hume himself didn’t exactly strike a death blow to the design argument. Dr. Samuel Stumpf said, “Hume is aware of the power of the design argument,” but as a pure empiricist, he asks skeptical questions which leave the argument “with less than its usual force.” Stumpf also concludes: “This does not make Hume an atheist. He is simply testing our idea of God the way he had tested our ideas of the self” (Philosophy: History & Problems, 5th ed., 286).

Yeates tries to belittle Paley, but if he had read Paley’s Natural Theology, he would see that in the first chapter Paley answers the weak criticisms Yeates recounts, such as “what if the watch/computer doesn’t work right sometimes?” Paley points out that this is irrelevant; your very ability to identify a malfunction is contingent on the pattern of design you’re trying to deny.

If humans are in fact wriggling about “inside of a manly deity’s womb,” I would favor that over the futility and hopelessness of suckling at the empty and sagging breast of Mother Chance.

Finally, let me reply with one verse which needs no extra interpretation: Psalms 53:1 “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Stop letting people like Yeates cram their unsubstantiated pseudo-intellectual religious views down our throats.

Clint Roberts

Advisor, The Salt Company

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