Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Barry Arrington on hubris, Enlightenment and otherwise

Barry Arrington is one of Bill Dembski's co-bloggers on Uncommon Descent. Mr. Arrington writes in a blog post entitled, "Pride Comes Before a Fall":
Intellectual hubris drove the Enlightenment project from its beginning, and many Enlightenment thinkers even believed that “reason” was an all-powerful force with which man could unlock all of the secrets of the universe.
Arrington writes elsewhere in his blog post:
Consider the question of the existence of God. Aquinas believed that God’s existence could be demonstrated with certainty through reason. He was wrong. Kant demolished every one of Aquinas’ five “proofs.” [sic]
Kant, of course, was an Enlightenment thinker. So, apparently, Enlightenment hubris is acceptable if it is transferred from Kant to the keyboard of a 21st century internet blogger. If Kant had claimed that his own arguments had demolished St. Thomas' "Five Ways" (not proofs), it would, apparently, be an instance of "Enlightenment hubris." But if Mr. Arrington claims that Kant's arguments have demolished St. Thomas' "Five Ways," it is, in his words, "approach [ing] the whole business of `knowing' with humility."

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