On many fronts from epistemology, psychology, and neuroscience, we are geared to form reliable beliefs and these processes through the wonders of evolution, are themselves reliable.
It is true that some have the ability to more often produce more beneficial beliefs and that some have disabilities.
On the whole, these don’t describe anything at issue here.
There is then a sense in saying there are “default positions” but not as hoped by those using the term. Our initial beliefs are the only beliefs warranted until some greater reason to doubt them exists. Since the sciences suggest no one chooses what to believe or how our beliefs will form, there’s no other sense to the application of such a term.
That our beliefs may be mistaken or that we may not be able to account for what we believe or why we believe is irrelevant to being ethical, responsible, and diligent with our beliefs. On this view, the only mistake we can make is not being open to having our minds changed. The only other fault we may have is again ethical in, knowing all of this, suggesting someone ought to be human in a way we are not and suggesting they should doubt their beliefs merely on our sayso.
One must have warrant for every belief and every doubt, and having no good reason to believe is likewise no good reason to doubt, just as having no good reason to doubt is no good reason to believe.
Often, Christian apologist, philosopher, and theologian, William Lane Craig, will say “objective moral duties, obligations, and values exist”. What he means is that there exist facts which are independent of what human beings make of them, and these facts are what “make” something moral, immoral, or amoral. He supposes that if objective moral duties, obligations, and values didn’t exist, then morality would be subjective and relative. In this, he either ignores or denies “epistimic objectivity”. That is, he requires more than morality being objective in the sense of creating goals and judging progress; he requires, built into his argument already, that something other than human beings legitimizes the objectives and activities humans have. He applies this not only to morality but to his notions of truth as well.
Epistemological objectivity is about our rights to confidence in some proposition and its assertability; so, it’s about arriving at a conclusion in “the right sort of way”.
Ontological objectivity is about a proposition’s truth-bearing attributes in a representative way; so rather than asking when and under what conditions something can be “called true”, the question is whether or not something “makes it true”.
Craig of course has no grounds to deny or ignore epistimic objectivity.
Just a thought.
About logical validity … we all realize logic doesn’t entail truth when logic doesn’t tell us if premises or conclusions are true, and that all we know is that premises are false if the conclusion is false, right?
All dogs are cats.
All spaniels are cats.
All spaniels are dogs.
Here above is the last problem. We can’t even say that a conclusion is false even though we know for certain that the premises are false! All spaniels are dogs after all.
It is entirely up to some other enterprise to determine the truth of some statement about the world.
About logical soundness …
1) Logic is axiomatic.
2) Logical arguments are tautological.
3) Sound arguments are those
a) with valid form and
b) with true premises
4) If a sound argument turns out to actually have a false conclusion, we only know that at least one premise is false and that only by definition is the argument no longer sound.
5) We may be wrong about the truth of the premises of sound arguments.
6) Because an argument can have a valid form and the appearance of true premises, the purpose of saying an argument is “sound” isn’t to say its conclusions are in reality actually true; just that there’s no way around such a conclusion except by faulting a premise or conclusion in reality rather than logic.
7) Therefore in practical terms:
a) sound arguments don’t entail truth, as all counter-examples simply cause us to take a once “sound” argument and by definition alone, declare it no longer is sound, and
b) have no guaranteed certainty between necessary conclusions and the real world, and
c) Trivial if 7.a and 7.b are not the expectations of sound arguments.
If belief is our draw to think something is or isn’t the case, then an atheist certainly is drawn to think gods are not the case.
Atheists get accused of having faith. This is absurd. Faith is the opposite of belief. Faith is the admission that the state of affairs hoped for isn’t the current state of affairs. Belief, again, is thinking something is true about current states of affairs.
Faith is a choice.
Beliefs cannot be chosen.
Faith is from commitment, desire, hope, trust, confidence into the unknown future or in some object, person, process, etc. likewise cast into the future; it may sometimes be warranted or unwarranted.
Belief is always “here and now” about past or present matters of fact, states of affairs.
While an atheist may indeed have faith in the methodological success and reliability of science for example, it isn’t a religious, blind faith as it is justified in “enumeration”; the process itself tested each time it is applied.
What counts and what’s at stake here isn’t justified belief or justified faith. What is at stake is the apologist’s claim that there is an actual past or present state of affairs that is the case, but there’s no reason , no justification for thinking so. The unethical use of the idea of blind faith being grounds to believe is the issue.
I have yet to meet an atheist whose atheism is so grounded.
Atheism is exactly justified in the fact that the theist continually fails to show that there is warrant to believe that there are gods is the case.
Frank Turek simply didn’t take the time or care to do his homework before writing an entire book dedicated to equivocation and conflation.