Quote of the Day

"...[O]ne can have a system of beliefs that is similar to those which Plantinga describes, involving massive misconceptions which are presupposed in many beliefs. The variety of unreliable sets of cognitive faculties is endless. And clearly, a very great many of these will lead to maladaptive action, including very many of those which are of the type Plantinga described. Moreover, it should be intuitively clear that if one were to select one of the unreliable cognitive systems at random, it would take an enormous stroke of luck to get one that was actually adaptive, that is, to get an unreliable cognitive system in which the falsehoods cancelled each other out in just the right way, so to speak, as to allow for adaptive action. Another way of thinking about the issue: imagine that cognitive systems producing mostly false beliefs are represented by points in a plane, and someone throws a dart at random at the plane; then it is hard to avoid the strong intuition that we would almost certainly not hit a point representing a cognitive system that in addition to producing mostly false beliefs was also roughly as adaptive as reliable systems might be....The idea behind this assessment is that a great deal more can go wrong with unreliable cognitive faculties than with reliable cognitive faculties."

-Mirza, Omar. Naturalism and Darwin's Doubt: A Study of Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism. PhD Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 2003, pp. 161-162.


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