. . . how can a theist be completely honest in this way when they truly do believe that know what caused creation?.
By the same token, how can scientism devotees act like they KNOW physicalness and theories derived from it (such as Darwinistic evolution and abiogenesis) are "facts" (even stated as such by experts like Dawkins), when they really aren't facts yet? No, not all science/physicalist believers do that, but not all theists claim they "know" either. Aren't we talking about a certain radical element in each faction? Anyone, no matter how smart they think their theory is, is deluded if they believe it before it is properly supported by evidence.
You might not believe this, but I have fiercely debated both sides of this issue. In fact, read my exchanges here with some Christians, and you might not be able to tell I am not an atheist.
I tend to be a warrior for objectivity. I love it, practically worship it. I am not saying I achieve it all the time, but I long to. If I resist physicalist creation theories, it is only because I haven't been able to find any physical traits capable of the quality of self-organization
that would lead to the quality of organization
found in life.
If I resist religious concepts, it is only because I haven't found reality to behave as some creationist theories claim.
Why must one decide on a "side." What is wrong with pure, unadulterated wait-and-see, uncommitted, looking-for-the-truth-fully-supported-by-observation/experience ideas? One can't be objective and rule out a conscious universe, or the possibility that physicalness does indeed possess some self-organizing principle we've not discovered yet. But what freaking difference does it make if some sort of consciousness is part of the fabric of our existence, or if if it's pure mechanics? We still exist . . . whatever is-- IS. Partisan attachment to things being a certain way is the absolute biggest hindrance to truth discovery.
And in the meantime, why tolerate partisan interpretations at a philosophy site? Shouldn't there be a standard for understanding all sides, a standard for scholarship? A standard for practicing the principles of sound logic, and condemning those who use reason in a sophist manner merely to score points for their "side"? Shouldn't the true philosopher resist hatred, prejudice, superficial study intended to spin the argument in one's favor?
Geez, if I wanted partisan debate, I could've joined a skinhead or nationalistic website. I thought philosophy was supposed to be about the dispassionate, courageous, unbiased search for truth . . . no matter how much it confronts one's personal beliefs and fears.
What this all boils down to is control of the masses. We, as a race, are getting better at controlling without extremism (in most of the world anyway). Did separation of church and state help this along? In some nations, yes. In others, not really.
Anyone who wants to "control" what the masses believe has assumed they know the "truth" and therefore are justified in manipulating that part of humanity susceptible to indoctrination.
But to me, a true lover of humanity will want to educate people on the means for discovering truth for themselves. If we genuinely trust there is a truth, and a means for discovering it, then we should put our faith in educating people on truth discovery methods, not on one faction's interpretation of results.