Let me clarify. First of all, I never said that the theist does not have to do intellectual work, he certainly has to, intensely vigorous ones. The problem is that atheists claim logic on their side as the end-all of this sort of debate, when they themselves share the same limitations. I'm trying to point out the deficiency in that thinking. Again, I'm not defending theists who may just want to use God as a cop-out, although both theists and atheists to a certain extent use their respective paradigms to do so. My problem with Blackstar's statement, if you recall, is his assertion that theists should just stick to a totally separate set of cognitive tools to justify their worldviews as opposed to the atheist's use of logic. Therefore, I'm trying (though in your view inadequately) to point out that atheists in their use of logic has to nevertheless face their own limitations. And so if both are hindered, the one who wants to claim logic as totally debunking the other position will have more or less live up to the same system.
I would have to challenge you on that point. What you're assuming is empiricism, which itself is not a neutral starting point but a tool that has been developed with conclusions that are associated. Suppose a simple list: A->B, C->D, D->A. If you look at B, only things on the right can be proven, if you keep backtracking, either you find something that's on the left side, or you run into a circle. If you want to say anything is true, the first situation is called having assumptions, the second is called circular logic. If you keep drawing infinite arrows it will still end up at A when you backtrack. Point is, why should you even accept this little system that I created?
Anyway, I don't know why you keeping thinking that I'm giving theists a free pass in intellectualism, but by virtue that both do not necessarily stand in objectively within the realm of debate, both has to use what's available to them. Both sides --and no doubt you'll try and challenge me on this --face tough questions. So here's a question, does simple empirical proof of something dictates whether something is real or not? Can some things be accepted without proof, empirically or logically?
I'm not calling it case closed. And I doubt the small proportion of people that I'm actually trying to defend are calling it case closed as well. But in the end life goes on, and people will have to live by their particular worldviews that they are convinced of.
I'm not defending Christians who may want to be non-logicians or non-empiricists. Many early scientists were religious; it's more about how a particular paradigm is constructed and the logics behind it. I'm trying to present a counter-point to people writing religious people off who want to engage in dialogue with atheists or what-have-you in the realm of intellectual debate. I am rejecting however the notion that simply because something is scientific that it is completely objective, science is done by people who each arrive from differing intellectual frameworks, and that profoundly shapes how empirical evidence may be interpreted.
Evolutionary biology for one; trying to understand more in-depth all the mechanisms that guide biological change.
I'm not trying to make one case stronger than another, just trying to point out that everyone has to live in the present reality of limited information and non-hyper rationality. Also, if you bothered to read my previous post, you'll realize that I'm trying to situate both the atheist and theist within the same realm of intellectual debate. Both have to wrestle with new information and unknowns, but the atheist who may want to bank his beliefs on science may have to very well deal with every field scientific inquiry extant in order to reach a truly logically consistent conclusion.
Operating by the rule of logic I meant.
That's an assumption that you already made about how the universe might be ordered, about what you deem as logically plausible within your formulation of the world. Although you seem to make it okay for someone to be agnostic but not theist despite the fact that both may build their paradigms on what cannot be observed...
Same can be said for any atheist who will need to rely on his own logic to explain away every phenomenon he encounters. Not only that, he will constantly have to reformulate his theories based on new experiences which, seems to me places on him the greater intellectual strain so long as we are talking about who will have a harder time defending his paradigm under the weight of logic.
Again, same goes for the atheist. But you seem to assume that one's emotions or psyche are completely impenetrable by any dissonance generated by logic, which in reality obviously is not true. By this assumption you are denying every religious person from the realm of intellectual debate.
Are you defining logic by pure logic or mere reason? Either way, even if logic cannot prove the existence of God, it is really one of the only means through which intelligent dialogue can happen regarding his/her/its existence between believers and skeptics in the modern era where all trapped in its iron cage. That being said, anything can seem logical while also dis-affirmed by reality, so yes, it has its limitations. To be honest, your claim about resorting to psychology or experience as a more productive (if that is what you are saying) method of affirming one's faith in some deity is reductionism at its best, or your way of patronizing the religious at its worst.