July 04, 2010
Paul Kurtz talks about how skepticism is continuous with the methods of science, and why skepticism and science should apply to religion. He explains why he rejects the traditional is/ought distinction in the philosophy of science, and why he rejects the NOMA theory. He posits that skepticism can be warranted in investigating claims of religion, including the claim that God exists. Regarding “untestable” religious claims, he suggests that if a supernatural or paranormal claim is untestable, it ought not be believed. He shares some reasons why he is generally skeptical of religion after looking into its various claims, including reasons resulting from historical criticism, psychology, and philosophy. He explains why he thinks a closed-minded atheist who rejects religion without investigation is similar to a religious believer who accepts religious claims on faith. He discusses the great skeptics Martin Gardner and Anthony Flew and their belief in God, and why they believed despite the lack of evidence. He discusses deism, and why skepticism is warranted in the face of no evidence either way. He describes pragmatic reasons one may avoid pronouncing skepticism of God. And he reveals why he often prefers other terms than “atheism” to describe his religious skepticism.