The Epistemological and Metaphysical Case Against Obama’s Birth Certificate

Heretical Ideas just rocked my world:

It might seem, to the average person, that the “Birthers” must have a tough time proving their case. After all, Barack Obama has released his Certification of Live Birth (pictured above), which meets all the requirements for proving one’s citizenship to the State Department. The authenticity of the certificate has been verified by Hawaii state government. Moreover, Barack Obama’s birth announcement was found in two newspapers at the time, and such notices were provided directly by the Hawaii Department of Health.

Faced with this overwhelming evidence, the average person will no doubt shrug and consider the case closed. There is no question that the evidence points to the conclusion that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is therefore a “natural-born citizen.”

No question, that is, if you accept the dominant paradigm of metaphysical realism. That is, the idea that things exist independent of the mind and that those things are perceivable and knowable. Moreover, those who insist that Barack Obama is an American citizen also rely on philosophic naturalism–the idea that reality is subject to objective, knowable natural laws that can’t be tampered with.

However, if one rejects these two philosophic concepts, it’s quite easy to demonstrate that Barack Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore constitutionally ineligible to be President of the United States.

And as I’ve read repeatedly the last month from religious apologists, some of them even on this blog, there is no real reason to believe in philosophical naturalism, so I guess the door is open to believe whatever is politically convenient about Obama’s birth certificate just like it’s open to believe whatever is religiously convenient about the alleged resurrection of Jesus.  Ah, faith, how you help us transcend the biases of imperfect reason.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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