Joined: Mar. 2007
This is truly a masterpiece of the genre - Tard Evasionary Tactics, or How to make sure that it is impossible to get a rational discussion even started.
I've been trying to get Kepler to tell us what HE thinks the topic of the thread should be. So I wrote:
|Nobody said "ID has to offer an alternative assertion". But libraries and booksellers do have to classify books and group them with similar books, and there are very good reasons for that. It helps when you don't engage in the construction of strawman arguments. And if you only "reject" statements without offering counter -arguments and/or evidence, you aren't interested in intellectually honest discourse. So I expect rejection to be accompanied by something logical or evidentiary. How about you?|
Now to the assertion in the title. We'll go really slowly so that I can get your agreement or disagreement with some baseline ideas before I defend that proposition.
Can you agree that this is a book (Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design) about intelligent design?
|1) You judged: "And if you only "reject" statements without offering counter -arguments and/or evidence, you aren't interested in intellectually honest discourse."|
2) Then demanded: "So I expect rejection to be accompanied by something logical or evidentiary."
3) Then asked: "How about you?"
I've already presented my views concerning 1). They appear in marked contrast and direct opposition to your own. And you just cast mine away from your consideration purposes. You jumped from talking about the classification of books within limited or circumscribed ranges of choice (I assume) to calling it a strawman argument, with no explanation or support intermediate to them. I generally don't accept such arguments on the basis of structural and logical grounds.
If you label arguments you don't agree with as strawman arguments out of hand (the most critical possibility here), isn't your rationale for not discussing evolution in this column thus a straw man argument and intellectually dishonest, too? Yet you've stood firm on that one. Why shouldn't I remain firm about this discussion considering the merits and shortcomings and the defense or failure of only one assertion alone-the title that drew us in- and not a group of alternatives to it?
There is no comparison of alternatives that is even mentioned in the title. And I think because of that, you haven't let evolution become available for official discussion purposes at all here. No, I think we should leave all other library classification categories out of the discussion. Only religion and its widely recognized synonyms should be considered for categories for listing the book; that's all the title suggested here. It mandated only one possibility for listing purposes, anyway. Thus the assertion should stand or fall on its own merits.
"Intellectually honest discourse" has many and varied definitions. Am I interested in it? Well, that is a multilevel question. It's a highly subjective category that I see often abused and most often applied only by fiat and in a judgmental, unsupported fashion by evolutionists. And I don't think intellectual honesty or straw man arguments bear directly on the issues of whether we should discuss this thread's title or open discussions up additionally to hypothetical alternatives to it. I see them as concerns that are extraneous to this matter. How do you define interest (as you put it) in this connection?
Actually, I see these issues as relative, not absolute matters for discussion. Your apparent tendency to short-cut communications by referring to them in absolute terms and concluding their validity by fiat is a big hindrance to any intellectual, free-exchange of ideas, from my perspective.
In reply to 2) and 3): Logical and evidentiary rationales alone are too constraining in my view. They are highly subjective categories, too; too much so to get hamstrung in from the first. It also looks to me to be an excuse to reject other types of criticism, eg., structural, grammatical, literary, historical, rhetorical, methodological, and theoretical criticism- outright. No, we'll have to leave the issue of what types of rejection/criticism to accept open-ended I think, too.
You also said: "Can you agree that this is a book (Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design) about intelligent design?"
"About"? What do you mean by that little preposition? If you don't know that explicitly and precisely when asking, then I can't even begin to address, much less answer correctly, your question. And how to you intend to wield/wave "it's about ID" around in the future in order to open up discussions beyond what is stated in the title? We just had a big battle over 'about'! That's my greatest concern ... i.e., about it.
I do think the question of whether Meyer's book is an ID book is a legitimate one if discussed only in the form of historical/background. I am just doubtful you would leave it as a historical note. I think you would use it as an excuse or lever to bring in many other ID issues for discussion purposes, i.e., ones that are not mentioned directly in the book.
In other words, he wants to reject arguments on just his say-so (logic and evidence are "too constraining"), he wants to discuss the meaning of the word "about", he thinks that a discussion of a desire for "intellectually honest discourse" is "multilevel", and a book with "Evidence for Intelligent Design" may or may not be a book about ID.
I think I need some of whatever he is smoking...
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