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  Topic: UnReasonable Kansans thread, AKA "For the kids"< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Ftk



Posts: 2239
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2008,22:53   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 02 2008,22:30)
OK. I've started the Dawkins chapter, and Day isn't off to a good start. His opening statements are ad hominem, pure and simple:
     
Quote
So, at sixty-six, three decades after publishing the controversial bestseller The Selfish Gene, it’s clear that Richard Dawkins is well past his scientific expiry, and his latest book, The God Delusion, offers copious evidence that Dawkins has become as careless  as he is crotchety in his old age.

His writing style remains as  approachable as ever, but what he no longer possesses is a firm grasp of  the very Reason of which he believes himself a champion.

…The world’s foremost spokesman for secular science, that method of advancing human knowledge based upon the primacy of empirical evidence, increasingly shows a tendency to ignore mountains of conclusive evidence in favor of mystical pronouncements about ontological possibilities. Whether this drift into what could reasonably be described as metascience is a function of Dawkins’s boredom with science proper or merely an age-related disinclination for doing the required intellectual heavy-lifting is impossible to say, but it is readily apparent to anyone who has read a substantial portion of his published ouvré. (pages 135-136)

Here Vox Day attacks Dawkins vis his credentials to write The God Delusion:
     
Quote
Whereas he describes  himself as a “passionate Darwinian” as an academic scientist, he calls himself “a passionate anti-Darwinian” with regards to the proper conduct of human affairs. This naturally puts Dawkins in an untenable position, as he not only lacks both education and professional experience in the academic fields that relate to human conduct, such as history, philosophy, political science, literature, psychology, and  theology, it also renders his book somewhat of a fraudulent bait-and-switch. (page 136)

But here is Vox Day on his OWN qualifications to write The Irrational Atheist:
     
Quote
At first glance, it may seem crazy that a computer game designer, one whose only significant intellectual accomplishment of note is to have once convinced Michelle Malkin to skip an opportunity to promote herself, should dare to dispute an Oxford don, a respected university professor, a famous French philosopher, a highly regarded journalist, and an ecstasy-using dropout who is still working toward a graduate degree at forty . . . okay, perhaps that last one makes sense. As Gag Halfrunt is reliably reported to have said of the immortal Za- phod Beeblebrox, I’m just zis guy, ya know?

But don’t be tempted by the logical fallacy of the Appeal To Authority; after all, in this age of academic specialization, an evolutionary biologist is less likely to be an expert on the historical causes of war and religious conflict than the average twelve-year-old wargamer, and even a professor in the field of cognitive studies may not have spent as much time contemplating the deeper mysteries of intelli- gence as a game designer who has seen many a sunrise while experimenting with the best way to make the monsters smarter. (page 3)

If you didn't laugh at that, there is something wrong with you. Ftk, this is hypocritical, very damning, and disinclines me to read much further. Day has a glib and facile writing style, but passages like these cast serious doubt upon the integrity of his argument as a whole.

When we're both done reading it (all of it), I'll listen to your views...if I think they have merit, I'll hook Vox up with this link and tell him his atheist audience thinks he's full of it.

But, until you've read the whole thing, I think I'll hold off on that.

I'll try to find time to post my thoughts about Vox and his Ilk tomorrow.

At the moment, Mr. Ftk wants me to concentrate on something much more enjoyable... :)

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"Evolution is a creationism and just as illogical [as] the other pantheistic creation myths"  -forastero

  
olegt



Posts: 1387
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2008,23:44   

Quote
When we're both done reading it (all of it), I'll listen to your views...if I think they have merit, I'll hook Vox up with this link and tell him his atheist audience thinks he's full of it.

But, until you've read the whole thing, I think I'll hold off on that.


What's next?  Shall we have to read Ann Coulter, listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch Michelle Malkin?  You can't be serious, Ftk.

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Chayanov



Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2008,23:46   

It's a stall tactic. She'll probably never finishing reading the book.

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Help! Marxist literary critics are following me!

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2008,23:46   

An extensive commentary on The Irrational Atheist would probably be longer than the book itself. Also, unworth writing. Going to great lengths so that you can be well-informed enough to write a commentary on how bad a commentary on some other books are for the benefit of someone who might deign to show it to the initial commentary writer does not seem quite worthwhile to me.

Also, Bill: You forgot to mention getting pissed off 'cause I'm a glib, dismissive bastard about most of psychology. You did that, too! It was very disagreement-like. It had, at the least, the trappings of a disagreement. I distinctly remember being compared to O'Leary and thinking "... fuck, it does read a lot like O'Leary", it was so close to a disagreement.

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,00:19   

Quote
Oh Blipey, shut the fuck up for a while, will you please?  I'm talking about going to main players (sciencebloggers, etc.) in this debate and calling them on their attitude, their bigotry or there not-facts.

Naughty, naughty.  What would Jesus say about the fucking you wrap your lips around.  Such a dirty little Ftk.

Oh yeah, the part with substance.  You've been asked for months to produce even one fact that is taught in biology class that isn't a fact.  I believe you have produced--let's see--ZERO instances of this.  To think that calling you on this is trolling is laughable.  So, how about it, can you give us even one "not-fact" that is being taught?  How about an "almost-not-fact"?  That should be easier, just like an atheist whore.

Let's compare two quotes from Ftk:
 
Quote
I've never seen any of you confront someone from your side when you think they may have made a poor decision or said something you disagree with.

and
 
Quote
Yeah, Bill's been known to disagree with some of you at times.

Which is it, Ftk? Are there disagreements or aren't there?  Did you listen to the Simmons vs. PZ debate?  What did PZ say on the matter of disagreements?  Do you agree with hiim?  Why or why not?
 
Quote
You're endless posting at my blog is off the charts crazy.

 
Quote
When it comes to this debate, your simply a loon.

For God's sake learn to use your and you're.
More to the point of trolling, how off topic is this comment?   How off topic are my comments at JoeG's blog?  Have you noticed what the difference with your blog is (even to Joe's)?  I'll give you a hint--publishing.
 
Quote
I'd actually considered meeting up with you some time, but I honestly have absolutely no want to to that now, whatsoever.

That may have been true in the first week that you appeared here.  It quickly became untrue.  In fact, you had decided not to meet with me or even discuss anything with me at the very same time that you were falsely offering to discuss things with me.  I have the PMs if you'd like to see the evidence.
 
Quote
That has nothing to do with being scared or threatened of you or anything remotely similiar.  I've attended many lectures here in KS given by die-hard evolutionists and have met many of the Internet regulars involved in the debate here in Kansas as well.

I've never claimed you were scared of me.  I'm certain you have attended many events.  I'm also certain that attendance has very little direct correlation with comprehension.
 
Quote
Honestly, every once in a great while I get a small glimpse of who I think the real you probably is, but that person comes out so rarely that it's sad.  When it comes to this debate, your simply a loon.  When you are able to put that to the side and talk about something else, you almost seem normal.

Yet more accusations without evidence.  Your list of unanswered questions, you think that is off topic?  Calling you out on your obviously fallacious statements--that's inappropriate behavior?  Pointing out that you have constantly avoided simple things like backing up the claim that students are taught untruths--that's not relevant to the discussion?
 
Quote
Go away for a while...

I'll stick around, thanks.  Someone's got to look out for the kids.

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But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
J. O'Donnell



Posts: 98
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,04:06   

Quote

Oh yeah, the part with substance.  You've been asked for months to produce even one fact that is taught in biology class that isn't a fact.  I believe you have produced--let's see--ZERO instances of this.  To think that calling you on this is trolling is laughable.  So, how about it, can you give us even one "not-fact" that is being taught?  How about an "almost-not-fact"?  That should be easier, just like an atheist whore.


I agree. I still haven't seen anything from FTK that actually resembles an honest attempt to address questions she has been repeatedly asked. Like most creationists, she feels she can say whatever ignorant things she wants but doesn't feel the need to actually support these things.

I wouldn't hold my breath for an answer.

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My blog: Animacules

   
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,04:10   

Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 02 2008,22:53)
When we're both done reading it (all of it), I'll listen to your views...if I think they have merit, I'll hook Vox up with this link and tell him his atheist audience thinks he's full of it.

But, until you've read the whole thing, I think I'll hold off on that.

When you are ready will we be having a "debate in a book" where each side picks a publisher, assigns an ISBN number, arranges their troops and spends the next year or two in a back-and-forth written debate that will be published (assuming an interested publisher can be found, should not be a problem due to subject matter) and then, after endless argument, have a debate?

Is that the sort of thing you mean FTK?

Can't have a proper debate online, oh goodness no, those pesky electrons might just up and vanish one day, far far better to have any sort of debate in book format. I mean, just look at all the stuff in the forums that you were relying on, it all just got deleted. What a shame.

Book debates are the way to go FTK!

Will you be telling Vox that the only debate he'll get here from stupid atheists will be in book format? Once the credentials of each party have been checked, of course.

I'll leave it to you to sort out a publisher in this case FTK as you brought up the idea.

A book debate. What an amazing idea.

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5377
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,05:38   

Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 02 2008,23:16)
Who the heck wants to spend any time with someone who is constantly...and I mean *constantly* acting like a non-relenting troll.

A question for the ages, that.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,09:07   

These Saturday evening monologues are getting tedious; I'm glad I have better things to do and can catch up with them after I read the Sunday comics.
   
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 02 2008,21:06)
You simply don't get it.  Evolution and ID have two different theories about human origins, and ID focuses primarily on the extent to which organisms are able to evolve.  ID postulates a designing force, which considering the complexity of nature, is probable.

Evolution postulates nothing as the mechanism in which all of life evolved.  The theory starts with the mechanisms of evolution already in place and the system of life evolving already well established.  How in the bloody hell the process got started is a complete mystery.  Now, IMO, there is virtually no way to *prove* (yes, very unscientific of me) how the process of evolution got it's jump start, and furthermore it's horrifically unscientific to assume that the process got started from something that blurped together from something else that fell from the sky after *nothing* exploded which resulted in the big bang.  Following me?  Probably not.  End result is that we're working with inferences, not all knowing facts...on both sides of the fence.

This passage, in particular, shows us just how far FtK has not come in her understanding. Here's her world, in three simple sentences. Abiogenesis is the same thing as evolution. Evolution has no mechanisms. Everything is inference-based; there are no facts.

And that leaves out her total cluelessness about her smoke-screen-for-creationism theory, ID (does ID focus "primarily on the extent to which organisms are able to evolve", or does ID focus primarily on detecting the original design?).

Regardless of reality, or how many times these notions are shown to be mistaken, she hasn't moved off those talking points. As long as she stays there (and there is no evidence that she even wants to get educated enough to move past these creationist fantasies), these conversations will be pointless.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,09:24   

You are right of course, Albatrosity, to the extent that this thread is about Ftk.  She will never move off of her talking points because her logical abilities have been stunted.  She looks upon cause and effect the same way that a 4 year old does.  Some people, for whatever reason, don't develop past a certain point.  This does not mean that they can't feed themselves or move out of their parents house or whatever.  But those things are learned by necessity--you eventually have to move out, you have to get a job, etc.  The rest is not necessarily forced upon you and people like Ftk just aren't interested in fleshing out that part of their lives.

That being said, AtBC is not about Ftk.  Nor is it about DaveScot, JoeG, Behe, of Dembski.  It is about their body of work and keeping a complete record of it as a warning to anyone who cares to look.

--------------
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4238
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,10:18   

Ok, I've read Day's chapter on Dawkins, because Ftk suggested that the best general arguments refuting the reasonableness of atheism are there. Of course, there is something faintly ridiculous in my remarking upon Day's critique of Dawkins' The God Delusion given that I haven't actually read the latter. Feel free to faintly ridicule me for same. And it is likely, based upon past experience, too much to expect a detailed or thoughtful response from Ftk on what follows. So this is more for my other fellow AtBC posters and the larger penumbra of lurkers who may be curious about Day's book. Apologies for the length.

First recall the ad hominem arguments with which Day opens his chapter which I underscored here.  This continues throughout the chapter. Here is an additional example:
                   
Quote
Richard Dawkins is perhaps one of the last men on Earth who should be discussing what is the right and proper way to raise children, given that the number of his wives outnumbers his offspring. But while he can accept both child abandonment and childhood sexual abuse with dispassionate fortitude, it is the horrible crime of raising children in the faith of their fathers that upsets him due to his belief that the fear of Hell is more psychologically damaging than childhood sexual abuse in the long term.

In his letter to his daughter Juliet, addressed to her at the age of ten and published in A Devil’s Chaplain, there is little mention of love, no admission of regret, and no paternal promises. As one British journalist noted, the letter is “coldly impersonal” and “authoritarian.” There is no expression of interest in what might be important to her. But Dawkins loses no time in informing her what is important to him, and that is “evidence.” One has to pity the poor girl, who at ten would have surely rather been assured that she was beautiful in his eyes and of supreme importance to him despite his absence instead of receiving a tedious seven-page lecture on the need to believe in evidence that is not based on tradition, authority, or revelation. (pages 146-147)

She should also be advised to ignore ad hominem arguments, such as mounted by Day. Obviously, these ad hominem remarks fail to advance the discussion regarding the reasonableness or rationality of atheism (or theism) in any way. Indeed, they are not arguments at all, but instead are personal attacks. Day promised "modern, secular reasoning," but these statements are far from that, and mostly identify Day as someone who is willing to abandon rational discourse and logical reasoning when it suits his glib rhetorical purposes. We saw this earlier with respect to Dawkins' qualifications to write his book. (Ftk, because you didn't in your earlier response, I'd like you to respond to these points regarding Day's use of ad hominem attack, as well as his flexible take on qualifications noted in the same post.)

There are two additional kinds of argument in Day's chapter on Dawkins. I'm unsure if this reflects the structure of Dawkins' original book, or Day's style of argumentation. Perhaps someone who has read Dawkins can look at Day's remarks and comment.

The first mode of argumentation, which occupies much of the chapter, is a series of putative refutations of arguments previously offered by Dawkins, e.g., whether great art can arise from scientific rather than religious inspiration, whether soldiers fight more or less mindlessly given their metaphysics, whether atheists are likely destroy great architectural and sacred works (e.g. cathedrals and religious artifacts), whether atheists are more or less moral or murderous than religious persons, whether more great evils such as inter-communal conflicts and wars are more likely authored by the religious or the atheistic, whether Catholicism is more damaging than child abuse (my recollection is that for many people these are a package), and so on.

Here I am flying a bit blind, because I don't know whether Day has fairly represented Dawkins' positions, or passed over stronger arguments while reproducing weaker or peripheral assertions offered by Dawkins. Day's frequently ad hominem tone suggests that he can't be trusted to fairly represent Dawkins' position. That said, many of the above are empirical questions, and much of Day's argumentation here is his recitation of facts he claims refute Dawkins assertions on each score, usually accompanied by a tone of derision (e.g., Day notes that atheists Stalin and Mao destroyed countless great church edifices, refuting Dawkins assertion that no atheist would do such a thing). I have no idea who is right and who is wrong in each instance.

In my opinion, none of this matters anyway. The original promise of this chapter (said Ftk) was that Day's best general arguments against atheism were presented herein. But in my opinion none of the above squabbles over art, war, ethics, or poetry have the slightest bearing upon whether atheism is a rational or advisable stance. This is because, 1) none of these assertions are really empirically decidable, for the simple reason that human behaviors such as making war, writing great poetry and behaving murderously are vastly overdetermined and historically embedded, and it is impossible to isolate the causal contribution of particular doxologies apart from those historical contexts, and 2) even were they decidable - say, were we able to determine that religious peoples are clearly kinder and better behaved because they are religious - those facts would nevertheless have no bearing whatsoever upon the accuracy of the main assertions of atheism or theism. It is perfectly possible that there is no God, yet belief in God results in desirable conduct and community harmony; it is also perfectly possible that there is a God, but we'd all be better off if we ignored her. One cannot determine the accuracy or reasonableness of the main assertions of atheism (in either direction) by means of argument from consequences.

Day then shifts gears to a second mode of argumentation in a section entitled "Fractal Intelligence and the Complex Designer." Here he summarizes a Dawkins assertion he characterizes as the central argument of The God Delusion. Dawkins correctly noted that, of the traditional arguments for the existence of God (many originally introduced in Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica), only the argument for design is commonly cited today (this is obviously the central issue of the intelligent design movement, their denials notwithstanding). Moreover, Dawkins has claimed decisive refutation of the argument from design:
                   
Quote
The designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The whole problem we started out with was the problem of explaining statistical improbability. It is obviously no solution to postulate something even more improbable.

Day shifts the question a bit from "more improbable" to "more complex," then asserts, "There is no reason why a designer must necessarily be more complex than his design." Day offers two arguments intended to refute Dawkins' assertion that to cite a designer doesn't solve the problem of complexity, but rather pushes the problem one step back along a potentially infinite regress. Through his arguments he purports to "prove" that a designer may be simpler than the objects it designs, and hence Dawkins argument fails. Both are ludicrously weak.

Day first draws upon the astounding complexity that can emerge from simple functions that generate fractals. Here Day reproduces the simple programming instructions that can draw the Sierpinski Triangle at any level of detail. In so doing he argues that a very simple generating function can produce a figure of any degree of complexity. Hence the "designer" (the generating function) can be vastly simpler than the object it "designs."

I can go one better than Day, with a much better fractal example. The Mandelbrot curve is a vastly more complex and interesting fractal than the Seirpinski's triangle, displaying a literally infinite degree of theme and variation within its various "neighborhoods." Moreover, the generating function may be expressed in an equally simple set of programming steps; here is the computational loop of a Mandelbrot generator I wrote in Pascal 20 years ago:

For m := 1 to arrayint do
 BEGIN
 n := 1;
 mreal := m;
 ac := acr + mreal * gap;
 For n := 1 to arrayint do
   BEGIN
   nreal := n;
   az:=0; bz:=0; pc:=0; s:=0;
   bc:= bcr + nreal * gap;
   WHILE (s<4) AND (pc<1000) DO
     BEGIN
     bzt := sqr(bz); bz := az * bz * 2 + bc;
     az := (sqr(az) - bzt) + ac;
     s := sqr(bz) + sqr(az);
     Inc(pc);
   END;  { wend }
   If pc>=999 then
     Begin
     MoveTo(m,n);
     Line(0,0);
     END;  { endif }
   END;  { next n }
 END;   { next m }
Readln(m);
END;  { DrawMandelbrot }

That's it; the entire Mandelbrot Set can emerge from the iterated application of that calculation; here is its familiar squatty form, viewed from afar:



But do these wonderful fractals really help Day in his attempt to "prove" that designers may be simpler than the objects they design? Do they render a designer more likely? I think not. First, these generating functions don't really "design" the resulting fractals at all; they generate them quite deterministically by iterating a very simple set of operations. Once I've chosen the area of the matrix of complex numbers I wish to explore (real component on one axis, imaginary on the other) with my simple Mandelbrot generator, and have specified the resolution and number of iterations employed at each point within that area, the figure emerges deterministically in all its astounding complexity. The generating function has no "agency" and doesn't "design" anything, and the analogy fails.

Second, and more important, the fact that fantastic fractal complexity emerges from such simple generating processes hurts Day's position, because what it really demonstrates is that vast complexity does NOT, in fact, require a designer at all, simple or otherwise. Rather, fractals show us that astonishingly simple algorithmic processes, iterated sufficiently, can generate almost limitless beauty and complexity. In short, fractal complexity, in its often erie imitation of the complexity of living forms, provides one more reason to expect that the complexity of life emerged from simple, iterated natural processes, and that agency and design need not be invoked as explanations. As described by Daniel Dennett, natural selection is another such simple, iterative, algorithmic process. Goodbye argument from design. Goodbye Vox Day's refutation of Dawkins' argument.

Day then cites the example the genetic modification by Chinese genetic engineers of a species of rice plant to resist bacterial blight:
                   
Quote
While the Chinese scientists developing a rice known as Xa21, a new strain of genetically modified rice resistant to bacterial blight, have not yet published the exact number or length of Xa21’s genes, it almost surely possesses more and shorter genes than the scientists who developed it. So, in terms of genetic information, the design may or may not be more complex than the designer, depending on whether we choose to define information in terms of genes or gene pairs. In any case, it proves that the designer does not have to be more complex than his design if information is the measure.

This argument, of course, is ridiculous. It is ridiculous because, whether or not the genome of a rice plant bearing genetically engineered modifications can be described by some measure (number of genes) as more complex than its Chinese designers, it is patently not the case that the human designers were the authors of all of that complexity. Quite the contrary. What the Chinese have done is slightly genetically modify an already enormously complex multicellular organism; the vast majority of the resulting complexity was present in the original organism (and arose by means of natural selection, although that is not important here) and did not originate in the design activities of the human genetic engineers. Surely Vox Day doesn't want to assert that those limited, designed modifications inserted into the plant were themselves, in isolation, more complex than the human genetic engineers who originated those changes. Day should return to this argument only when hunan engineers have emerged with a complete organism entirely of their own, original devising (not a copy of extant life) that is not only more complex than a single human being, but is more complex than the entire, collective history of human design activities and technical advances that, spanning countless scientists over decades or even centuries, culminated in that accomplishment. That collective, cumulative activity will have been the real designer in that hypothetical instance.

In summary, the arguments Day presents in this chapter are either ad hominem in nature, irrelevant to the fundamental issues at hand, or just plain weak. Day offers ad hominem attacks that demonstrate nothing at all (other than his mean spiritedness), ludicrous lapses in consistency (such as his comments on Dawkins' qualifications in light of his own to write their respective books), factual quibbles that have no real bearing upon the main assertions of atheism (Dawkins may share responsibility for that section), and exceptionally weak positive arguments purported to refute Dawkins' rejection of the argument from design.

[small edits for clarity]

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
olegt



Posts: 1387
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,10:58   

I have no idea why Day would bring up fractals.  They're not infinitely complex (unless he thinks white noise is infinitely complex).  Fractals arise quite naturally and don't require any intelligent designer.  Domain walls in a critical state of a magnet are fractal surfaces.  Britain's coastline is a fractal curve (Slartibartfast for Designer!).  Day even acknowledges that in the text himself!  What's the point then?

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Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4238
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,11:06   

Quote (olegt @ Feb. 03 2008,11:58)
I have no idea why Day would bring up fractals.  They're not infinitely complex (unless he thinks white noise is infinitely complex).  Fractals arise quite naturally and don't require any intelligent designer.  Domain walls in a critical state of a magnet are fractal surfaces.  Britain's coastline is a fractal curve (Slartibartfast for Designer!).  Day even acknowledges that in the text himself!  What's the point then?

Yes. I had that additional notion in mind vis Day's mention of naturally occurring fractals, but lost it somewhere along the way.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,11:15   

For Ftk:
Quote
Another completely on-topic statement which will get nixplananated:

Alpha Male PZ Myers seems to have been very logical in his debate with Dr. Simmons.  Don't you think so?  If not, could you point to one logical inconsistency in his argument that day?

You're now on record saying that all of PZ's extrapolations are nothing but illogical fantasy.  If that's true it shouldn't be too hard to dig up a little scrap of illogic and show it to us.  Or would that be a missing link (and therefor not real?).

ON TOPIC--please erase

just so you have a complete record of all the trolling comments that you have to erase...

--------------
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,12:10   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 03 2008,10:18)
[snip]Perhaps someone who has read Dawkins can look at Day's remarks and comment.

The first mode of argumentation, which occupies much of the chapter, is a series of putative refutations of arguments previously offered by Dawkins, e.g., whether great art can arise from scientific rather than religious inspiration, whether soldiers fight more or less mindlessly given their metaphysics, whether atheists are likely destroy great architectural and sacred works (e.g. cathedrals and religious artifacts), whether atheists are more or less moral or murderous than religious persons, whether more great evils such as inter-communal conflicts and wars are more likely authored by the religious or the atheistic, whether Catholicism is more damaging than child abuse (my recollection is that for many people these are a package), and so on.

Here I am flying a bit blind, because I don't know whether Day has fairly represented Dawkins' positions, or passed over stronger arguments while reproducing weaker or peripheral assertions offered by Dawkins. Day's frequently ad hominem tone suggests that he can't be trusted to fairly represent Dawkins' position. That said, many of the above are empirical questions, and much of Day's argumentation here is his recitation of facts he claims refute Dawkins assertions on each score, usually accompanied by a tone of derision (e.g., Day notes that atheists Stalin and Mao destroyed countless great church edifices, refuting Dawkins assertion that no atheist would do such a thing). I have no idea who has it right and who is wrong in each instance.

In my opinion, none of this matters anyway. The original promise of this chapter (said Ftk) was that Day's best general arguments against atheism were presented herein. But in my opinion none of the above squabbles over art, war, ethics, or poetry have the slightest bearing upon whether atheism is a rational or advisable stance. This is because, 1) none of these assertions are really empirically decidable, for the simple reason that human behaviors such as making war, writing great poetry and behaving murderously are vastly overdetermined and historically embedded, and it is impossible to isolate the causal contribution of particular doxologies apart from those historical contexts, and 2) even were they decidable - say, were we able to determine that religious peoples are clearly kinder and better behaved because they are religious - those facts would nevertheless have no bearing whatsoever upon the accuracy of the main assertions of atheism or theism. It is perfectly possible that there is no God, yet belief in God results in desirable conduct and community harmony; it is also perfectly possible that there is a God, but we'd all be better off if we ignored her. One cannot determine the accuracy of these assertions vis atheism (in either direction) by means of argument from consequences.[snip]

I read much of The God Delusion, but only because David Sloan Wilson complained about the evolutionary arguments in it and I wanted get to those. I don't really "get" contemporary atheist books. As the new-atheist authors themselves are aware, all of their arguments are at least as old as Hume. Old arguments just don't do it for me.

Structurally, The God Delusion is more or less an encyclopedia of arguments regarding theism and atheism. I think that's part of what Day's responding to with the earlier, scattershot part of the Dawkins chapter. The problem is that ... well, The God Delusion is a 450-page pseudo-encyclopedia of atheism. Trying to go point-by-point in under 30 pages is, not to mince words, dumb.

Worse, Dawkins actually does mention opposing arguments to almost everything he says in his book. In fact, Day seems to have actually read The God Delusion, composed a list of a few potential counter-arguments that Dawkins brings up, and then intentionally ignored Dawkins' objections to them and made them into his chapter on Dawkins. This doesn't make for a "serious refutation". I'm not saying a serious refutation is not possible, since some of Dawkins' logic is shaky, but Vox doesn't provide it. Serious arguments are aimed at their targets, not caricatures of them.

For example: There's a full chapter (maybe more) in The God Delusion about Stalinism and Nazism. A full chapter I did not read, because I do not care about arguments from consequences. However, if I wanted to argue that Dawkins is wrong about X, Y, or Z because of Stalin, I would feel compelled to mention it in passing, if not actually read it. Vox does argue from Stalin, and evidently didn't feel the need to mention that Dawkins has already mentioned this and presumably tried to refute it. Whoopsie-daisy.**

Basically, I shouldn't have bothered to go back and read the chapter. And, no, Vox doesn't do Dawkins' (pedantic, wordy) arguments any justice. First off, because responding to a four hundred page semi-encyclopedia and some past works besides in thirty pages is an exercise in futility. Second, because Vox evidently didn't care to make a serious case.

**EDITED: Ctrl+F shows me that I was wrong, and that Vox does mention the chapter (correction: section) and counterarguments in question. Much later. After arguing from communism on and off for half of the book, he stops to justify his premises for doing so. Unfortunately, he doesn't actually address Dawkins' argument, whatever it is. He addresses the conclusion, and he tells us that it is wrong, and then he shows us some statistics about numbers of dead people.

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,12:16   

Quote (olegt @ Feb. 03 2008,09:58)
I have no idea why Day would bring up fractals.  They're not infinitely complex (unless he thinks white noise is infinitely complex).  Fractals arise quite naturally and don't require any intelligent designer.  Domain walls in a critical state of a magnet are fractal surfaces.  Britain's coastline is a fractal curve (Slartibartfast for Designer!;).  Day even acknowledges that in the text himself!  What's the point then?

I think it has to do with some rot that Dembski once wrote about "see, there's hidden order in chaos, so therefore there's hidden design in randomness." Always slipping back into the natural language. I see how these uniquely uninformed and confused brains "think" now! :p

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Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,12:46   

Quote
Richard Dawkins is perhaps one of the last men on Earth who should be discussing what is the right and proper way to raise children, given that the number of his wives outnumbers his offspring. But while he can accept both child abandonment and childhood sexual abuse with dispassionate fortitude, it is the horrible crime of raising children in the faith of their fathers that upsets him due to his belief that the fear of Hell is more psychologically damaging than childhood sexual abuse in the long term.

In his letter to his daughter Juliet, addressed to her at the age of ten and published in A Devil’s Chaplain, there is little mention of love, no admission of regret, and no paternal promises. As one British journalist noted, the letter is “coldly impersonal” and “authoritarian.” There is no expression of interest in what might be important to her. But Dawkins loses no time in informing her what is important to him, and that is “evidence.” One has to pity the poor girl, who at ten would have surely rather been assured that she was beautiful in his eyes and of supreme importance to him despite his absence instead of receiving a tedious seven-page lecture on the need to believe in evidence that is not based on tradition, authority, or revelation. (pages 146-147)

So many people like to sentimentalize, and thus infantilize, girls and women. Apparently, all we want to be told is that we're beautiful, loved, etc.

I was a singularly unsentimental little girl. I would have loved to hear this from someone. When I first read the letter to Juliet years ago, I read it over and over, and wished sincerely that it had been said to me, instead of all the "Jesus loves you/you're so pretty/here's a dolly, be a good mother" crap. That's just not me. Tedious lectures was what I was reading at ten.

"You're nothing but a calculating machine!" There must be other girls who grew as tomboys, for pity's sake. I too was often accused in person of being cold, unemotional, hyperintellectual. I can say that it hurts to be called what Vox Day calls Dawkins, but it doesn't hurt sufficiently to change, because you can't change. If you want a girl to feel loved, don't try to force her into a "girly" mold! I understand that Juliet is an atheist, herself, despite her religious mother. HTF does Vox Day know what she wants or what I want?

We need cold intellects the same way that we need the type of person who can stand over a dead body and crack a joke, because those are the people who solve crimes; the same way that a nurse can look at blood and bile and not cringe. We can't have a world of people who cringe and turn away from the truth and reinforce each other's fantasies in the name of "warmth." We already pick our President based on "warmth," and hasn't that turned out bad enough?

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

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Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,15:03   

Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 03 2008,00:46)
Also, Bill: You forgot to mention getting pissed off 'cause I'm a glib, dismissive bastard about most of psychology. You did that, too! It was very disagreement-like. It had, at the least, the trappings of a disagreement. I distinctly remember being compared to O'Leary and thinking "... fuck, it does read a lot like O'Leary", it was so close to a disagreement.

Whoa. Annyday. I said O'Leary? THAT was harsh. I musta been in a bad mood. Sorry about that.

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

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Ftk



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,16:39   

Quote
Ok, I've read Day's chapter on Dawkins, because Ftk suggested that the best general arguments refuting the reasonableness of atheism are there.


No, Bill, I don’t believe that is what I suggested.  I thought I was clear that, from what I understand, Day’s book was written in response to the latest material written by Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens.   He is tackling *their* assertions about religion and their dogmatic views about why one should not adhere to religious faith.  *They* are often illogical in their stance on various issues.  They deem themselves highly regarded intellectuals who laugh at the illogical reasoning of those who ascribe to religious thought (primarily Christianity).  The title of his book should make this all crystal clear:  The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens

As far as ad hominem attacks are concerned, I think Day has every right, and indeed a responsibility to address Dawkins when he makes statements time and time again about how irresponsibly religious people are raising their children.  If Dawkins is going to assert that bringing up children in religious faith is equivalent to child abuse, one should throw his assertions back in his face and ask that he consider his own child’s upbringing and leave my kids out of the equation.  Personally, I’d prefer my children being brought up in a loving family who honor the sanctimony of marriage, and put their children first rather than leave them to go off and marry another women.  I also believe that it is my right to raise my children in response to biblical morality.  It is my right to raise them in the way in which I believe they will best serve God and respond to their fellow man.

The point is that Day is responding to Dawkins' views on the subjects that are addressed in his book, and he has the right to due to the fact that Dawkins has no right to assert that I am abusing my children by bringing them up in the Christian faith.  Why should Day allow Dawkins to get away with his ad hominem attacks against Day, myself and fellow believers without addressing them??

Now, I took my life in my hands for a second time in the past two days.  Yesterday, I broke in on the football game thread to ask Vox about woman’s suffrage, and today I went back in bothered the pack again in order to link to your post.  I’m surprised I got a response either time due to the fact that they've been seriously into the ball games, and a women mumbling on about serious stuff during a football game is a tad risky.

Regardless, here’s his response to your post:

     
Quote
Here's another link to further discussion of the book:

That discussion was a little weird, FTK. It's obvious that either Bill nor Annyday know what they're talking about, mostly because the one hasn't read TGD while Annyday missed Dawkins argument on Stalinism which I quote in its entirety in TIA. (He can be excused, it's about two sentences and boils down to, well, Stalin had a beard too and lots of people have beards.) I also devote an entire chapter to explaining why the statistics are the way they are, Annyday isn't reading, he's merely doing a text search.

And their objections to complexity as a measure are funny too, because that is the very measure that Dawkins chose. As Bill writes:


Here I am flying a bit blind, because I don't know whether Day has fairly represented Dawkins' positions, or passed over stronger arguments while reproducing weaker or peripheral assertions offered by Dawkins.... In my opinion, none of this matters anyway.

A Christian reviewer, The Responsible Puppet had the same idea that I might have been selecting weak arguments, but the truth is that no one who has read Dawkins does because his arguments really are that weak. I find it very telling that after I refute every major argument from a massively popular bestseller, the first response is, "oh, well, that doesn't matter anyway...."


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"Evolution is a creationism and just as illogical [as] the other pantheistic creation myths"  -forastero

  
Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,16:59   

Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 03 2008,15:39)
As far as ad hominem attacks are concerned, I think Day has every right, and indeed a responsibility to address Dawkins when he makes statements time and time again about how irresponsibly religious people are raising their children.  If Dawkins is going to assert that bringing up children in religious faith is equivalent to child abuse, one should throw his assertions back in his face and ask that he consider his own child’s upbringing and leave my kids out of the equation.  

He doesn't assert that. He asserts that teaching children that they will go to hell because of this or that, is abusive. What he objects to is saying "That is a Christian child," rather than "That is a child of Christian parents." To him it is as wrong to say "Christian/Muslim/atheist child" (yes, he thinks it's as abusive to tell a child "You are an atheist," as to insist "You are a Christian," and I agree wholeheartedly) as it is to say, "That is a capitalist/Republican/Democrat/Marxist/whatever child." Children must make that choice themselves, and they must be raised with knowledge of comparative religion.

I have this from his own lips. He has said it repeatedly. He said it in The God Delusion. But people hear and read what they want to hear and read.
   
Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 03 2008,15:39)
Personally, I’d prefer my children being brought up in a loving family who honor the sanctimony of marriage, and put their children first rather than leave them to go off and marry another women.  I also believe that it is my right to raise my children in response to biblical morality.  It is my right to raise them in the way in which I believe they will best serve God and respond to their fellow man.

But can you force your children to accept Jesus once they are adults? Again, that's choice that they have to make themselves.

And what do you mean, "go off and marry another woman?" He didn't abandon his daughter. She was, I believe, in her teens when he married Lalla Ward, and I have no idea who left whom; at any rate, it appears he was alone for years before marrying Ward. If you want to get self-righteous, let's get the personal details right, as much as you want to dig into the personal details.

Quite frankly, I don't know what people's divorces have to do with anything. But if you want to go there, by all means do.
 
Quote
A recent study by the Barna Research Group throws extreme doubt on these estimates. Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points. The survey found:

11% of the adult population is currently divorced.
25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.
Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.

Divorce is a human problem. So let's be human about it. Condemning people for having undergone divorce is quite abusive, IMO.

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

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Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,17:05   

Quote
If Dawkins is going to assert that bringing up children in religious faith is equivalent to child abuse, one should throw his assertions back in his face and ask that he consider his own child’s upbringing and leave my kids out of the equation.  Personally, I’d prefer my children being brought up in a loving family who honor the sanctimony of marriage, and put their children first rather than leave them to go off and marry another women.  I also believe that it is my right to raise my children in response to biblical morality.  It is my right to raise them in the way in which I believe they will best serve God and respond to their fellow man.

Your children are not you, they are individuals. You give them a very coloured worldly image and you don't recognise them as individuals. Raising childrens isn't about you and what you want, it's about the kids. You don't let them develop themselfs, you don't give them all the space to find out about morality on there own and let them find out what's right and wrong themselfs. That's very selfish, although you have good intentions, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

  
Chayanov



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,17:06   

And never mind that many marriages end precisely because of abuse (I'm not suggesting this one way or the other for Dawkins). But the FtKs of the world would much rather the domestic abuse continue, for the sake of maintaining the illusion of "holy matrimony" than for the abused to break that "sacred bond" by getting themselves and the kids out as soon as possible.

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IanBrown_101



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,17:13   

Quote (Chayanov @ Feb. 03 2008,23:06)
And never mind that many marriages end precisely because of abuse (I'm not suggesting this one way or the other for Dawkins). But the FtKs of the world would much rather the domestic abuse continue, for the sake of maintaining the illusion of "holy matrimony" than for the abused to break that "sacred bond" by getting themselves and the kids out as soon as possible.

[Channelling FtK]
I have never, nor would never support that!

You people are disgusting, you attribute to me nasty things because you atheists all want to brand christians as evil, just like PZ does (drones on about PZ for a few lines)

Anyway, marriage IS holy, and should only be broken by god. So there.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

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Chayanov



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,17:18   

Really good, but you should randomly throw one "fuck" in there, scream censorship, and end with a complete non sequitur.

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blipey



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,17:27   

So an ad hominem attack is valid if one perceives that he has been the victim of an ad hominem attack sometime in the past?

This is the level of argument that Vox raises himself to?  In a book that is supposed to be completely rational and logical in its construct, that's what passes snuff?

Ftk, what's your opinion, in general, of ad hominem attacks?  Why does it matter from whom they come?

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1of63



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,17:27   

Quote (Ftk @ Feb. 03 2008,16:39)
If Dawkins is going to assert that bringing up children in religious faith is equivalent to child abuse, one should throw his assertions back in his face and ask that he consider his own child’s upbringing and leave my kids out of the equation.  Personally, I’d prefer my children being brought up in a loving family who honor the sanctimony of marriage, and put their children first rather than leave them to go off and marry another women.  I also believe that it is my right to raise my children in response to biblical morality.  It is my right to raise them in the way in which I believe they will best serve God and respond to their fellow man.

This really is so much crap.

No one's telling you how to bring up your kids.  I'm sure they'll be raised in a loving home to take their moral responsibilities seriously.  But where the hell do you get off implying that only Christians can do this?   Oh, sure, you didn't say it out right but that's what you meant.  Do we really need to get out the list of these fine, upstanding Christians who've been caught with their pants down - in public washrooms and elsewhere - or with their hands in the till or much worse?

You want students to hear about the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the theory of evolution?  You want them to hear about ID so they can make up their own minds?  Fine.  So you'll be teaching your kids about all the weaknesses in Christian theology,  the inconsistencies and outright contradictions in the Bible, so they can make their own minds up about whether they believe it or not, will you?

If you do, good for you.  If not, you'll be  confirmed as just another sanctimonious prig who makes a big public deal about being Christian and exudes this nose-in-the-air effluvium of moral superiority.

And if it's a choice between Vox Day's brand of Christianity and Dawkins' atheism then I'll give you one guess which I'm going to choose.

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Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,17:33   

Long-term relationships end because of abuse, too.

We'll never truly understand the religious impulse until we 1) teach children comparative religion plus the option of no religion and 2) help them to become themselves, rather than trying to force them into molds. I don't think kids are born blank slates.

Then we'll understand what makes the difference between someone like Wes or Ken Miller and myself. There are instances of children raised in nonbelieving parents who gravitate toward a certain religion later in life. I also know people raised Christian who then converted to Buddhism or Islam or some other religion (or, of course, became atheists). Then we'll understand more about conversion, too (because it won't be so taboo or apt to cause disowning by parents - it's a wonder it ever happens at all with the emotional blackmail to remain "in the family faith").

I think the future is not a monolithic or atheistic one, but one in which religious belief is more personal, individual, and integrated with the sciences. That was the impression that Matthew Chapman got of the spirituality of the parents who sued the school district in Dover.

I see that Vox Day also linked to an article about "adolescence in men," i.e., delaying of marriage into the thirties. I should think that delaying marriage would prevent divorce, but you just can't win with self-righteous people.

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

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Annyday



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,17:38   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Feb. 03 2008,15:03)
   
Quote (Annyday @ Feb. 03 2008,00:46)
Also, Bill: You forgot to mention getting pissed off 'cause I'm a glib, dismissive bastard about most of psychology. You did that, too! It was very disagreement-like. It had, at the least, the trappings of a disagreement. I distinctly remember being compared to O'Leary and thinking "... fuck, it does read a lot like O'Leary", it was so close to a disagreement.

Whoa. Annyday. I said O'Leary? THAT was harsh. I musta been in a bad mood. Sorry about that.

S'fine. Along the same lines, I remember Sal gloatingly quoted Brayton calling PZ an asshole as part of some larger argument, a while ago.

Basically, we don't all agree on everything. Not even close. It's ridiculous to assert it.

FtK/Vox: I'm not going to find a copy of TGD to make an indepth argument about it. Really, I'm not. It's not worth it.

I did, however, read Vox's argument, after I realized that he'd finally stated his point about Stalin more explicitly after having already used it chapter after chapter. Mea culpa. I'm afraid I was only responding to the fact that I'd read the argument a half-dozen times without comprehensively checking for a more coherent version of it, at first. I am, regrettably, used to premises preceding conclusions. Alternative formats throw me off.

Anyway, here's Dawkins' "two sentences":

   
Quote
What matters is not whether Hitler and Stalin were atheists, but whether atheism systematically influences people to do bad things. There is not the smallest evidence that it does.


It's worth noting that the section is actually nine pages (shorter than I thought, but hey) long, according to the table of contents. I sincerely doubt these "two sentences" are all Dawkins has to say that pertains to Stalin in nine pages dedicated to Hitler and Stalin, but it's all Vox responds to.

Vox goes on to argue against the idea that atheism is only incidental to genocide by citing a bunch of dramatic and violent historical events and the number of people communist states have killed, which doesn't seem to address the point - about atheism being incidental - at all. It's not as amusingly bad as arguing that Aztec human sacrifice was not greatly religiously motivated, but it's still a bad argument. Well-written and rhetorically effective, maybe, but so what?

A separate argument runs, roughly: "Dawkins says nice things about Sam Harris, and as I have already shown, Sam Harris is a douchebag." Oh, no. That's clearly a point up-and-coming intellectuals the world over will feel damages Dawkins' case deeply. If I have to care passionately about about the integrity and dignity of any or all of the five (maybe more?) authors criticized to find the book's content important, as is evidently the case, I'm going to come up short.

I also have no personal investment in if atheism makes people into genocidal psychopaths or what motivated the Aztecs. I don't, ordinarily, have to worry about genocide or Aztecs, so it doesn't effect me. Vox's arguments are merely bad. That's the problem, here. Invoking God and saying atheists are going to Hell doesn't sell me.

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
olegt



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,18:03   

Ftk, you don't seem to understand what ad hominem means.  Please look it up before formulating your argument.

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 03 2008,18:38   

As usual the level of argument from the FTKs of this world boils down to "I don't like what someone did so anything I do is justified".

Dawkins says something that FTK doesn't like that is at least logically coherent (correct or not I don't say), so FTK is free to slime, slur and slander because she thinks that Dawkins won't like it, regardless of whether what she says is logically coherent (or correct, or not etc).

The whole thing is based on the utter inability of the FTKs of this world to take criticism, justified or otherwise, without having a hissy fit. Basically, they are insecure little infants whining about someone calling them a name in the playground. The whole idea that something unpleasant to them can be based on evidence, and actually correct, is anathema to them. And vice versa.

{yawns, stretches, awaits usual misunderstandngs and whining}

Louis

P.S. I'm also reading Vox's book having downloaded it the other day. I'm not sure what he's arguing against but I don't recognise it as being anything to do with a lack of belief in a deity or what Dennett/Dawkins/Harris actually argue (as opposed to what Vox wants them to argue) yet. Maybe it'll get better.

P.P.S. I find it hilarious that religious people like Vox and FTK treat Dawkins et al as if they were some sort of high priests of some different religion. Way to miss the point. As usual.

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Bye.

  
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