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ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,07:19   

More from Science and Non-Science: An Epistemological Conflict:

Quote
"Frenkel-Brunswik (1948) argued that intolerance of ambiguity constituted a general personality variable that related positively to prejudice as well as to more general social and cognitive variables. As she put it, individuals who are intolerant of ambiguity "are significantly more often given to dichotomous conceptions of the sex roles, of the parent-child relationship, and of interpersonal relationships in general. They are less permissive and lean toward rigid categorization of social norms. "Power-weakness, cleanliness-dirtiness, morality-immorality, conformance-divergence are the dimensions through which people are seen. . . . There is sensitivity against qualified as contrasted with unqualified statements and against perceptual ambiguity; a disinclination to think in terms of probability; a comparative inability to abandon mental sets in intellectual tasks, such as solving mathematical problems, after they have lost their appropriateness. Relations to home discipline and to the ensuing attitude toward authority will likewise be demonstrated quantitatively. (Frenkel-Brunswick, 1948, p. 268)"


Is Frenkel-Brunswik talking about our own Thordaddy?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,10:39   

Chris Hyland asks,

Quote
Apologies if I missed it somewhere in the thread, but could you define exactly what you mean by human life, and then science may be able to tell you when it starts. A zygote is alive, but then so is an egg and a sperm. If you define a human life genetically then life begins at conception. You might define life as consciousness, so then it starts a bit later. You might define a seprearte living entity as one that can that can live independently of the mother, in which case it starts later. Science cannot answer this philosophical question, but I fail to see how this makes science worthless.


I define human life as you, me, ericmurphy, Stephen Elliot, etc.  Is that specific enough?  

When did your life start if not at conception?

The sperm/egg argument is BUNK!

Yes, a sperm and egg are alive and so are/were YOUR PARENTS that produced them.  And your parents then must have started as sperm/egg in which their parents produced.  You must take this "life from life" concept ALL THE WAY BACK to the beginning of life.  

You then become NOTHING other than an individuated outgrowth of one very large and very old SINGLE LIVING ENTITY.  When you die or a women has an abortion it is equivalent to this ONE entity cutting "his" toenails.

If you define yourself by consciousness then clearly you were not a human being at birth because there is NO DIRECT EVIDENCE of a conscious newborn.  One that declares, "I am conscious."  You could claim to have a low degree of consciousness at birth, but then you must admit that such consciousness started emerging before birth.

Right now, those who are both scientists and pro-abortionists want to sell the rest of us on this notion that science can't say anything about when YOUR life began.  I say it's ideology trumping truth.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,10:56   

Thordaddy, your disingenuousness seems to know no upper bound.

Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,15:39)

If you define yourself by consciousness then clearly you were not a human being at birth because there is NO DIRECT EVIDENCE of a conscious newborn.  One that declares, "I am conscious."


Aren't you the same Thordaddy who imputes consciousness to a zygote?

Your claim that the "egg/sperm argument" is bunk, is in fact bunk. You can't present any evidence that an unfertilized egg a) isn't alive, and/or b) isn't human. Your choice of conception as the beginning of human life is just as arbitrary now, six pages later, as it was at the beginning of this thread. You've never gotten past that fundamental error, and it was clear 20 posts ago that you never will.

Quote
I say it's ideology trumping truth.


You said it, Thordaddy.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,13:33   

ericmurphy questions,

Quote
Aren't you the same Thordaddy who imputes consciousness to a zygote?

Your claim that the "egg/sperm argument" is bunk, is in fact bunk. You can't present any evidence that an unfertilized egg a) isn't alive, and/or b) isn't human. Your choice of conception as the beginning of human life is just as arbitrary now, six pages later, as it was at the beginning of this thread. You've never gotten past that fundamental error, and it was clear 20 posts ago that you never will.


Actually, I said there is no evidence to suggest that consciousness emerges anywhere other than at conception.  If you have evidence to the contrary, please present it.

Secondly, I have no problem stating that an egg and sperm are "alive."  I do disagree that they represent a human life.  I have seen no evidence of either an individual sperm or individual egg individually transitioning to a zygote and then an embryo to a baby.  Have you seen such transformation?

So if the sperm and egg represent your beginning then you must continue back into the past because each sperm and egg were actual products of other sperm and eggs.  You are claiming to be an mere individuated outgrowth of one very large and very old single entity.  Is that what the science tells you?

Either you had a beginning or you didn't.  

If you didn't have a beginning then you are either an eternal being or YOU sprang from nonlife.  

If you had a beginning it was either before conception, at conception or after conception.

Before conception means you are a mere outgrowth of a larger and older SINGLE entity.  Your death would be equivalent to this entity clipping his toenails.

After conception means you would have some scientific evidence to make this assertion.  What is it?

At conception means I have presupposed for lack of any credible evidence to say otherwise.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,14:03   

Stephen and Flint,

Don't you need to know my world-view before you can claim that I am asserting it here?

The only claim made was that both YOUR LIFE and MY LIFE began at conception.

You see this as my "world-view" because you obviously hold an opposing "world-view."

Both of you maintain either a position of agnosticism (you can't really say when it started) or a position that relegates science to irrelevancy (science has nothing to do with this).

Neither of you can seem to grasp how mindboggling these "world-views" seem to be.  Afterall, we are on an EVOLUTION site and we are amongst biologists.

Flint opines,

Quote
Nope, this is not a scientific argument in any way. This is an attempt to do just what you are doing: using self-serving terminology in the interests of supporting a political preference. This is a political issue, not a scientific issue. You MUST deal with it in political terms.


Then where have the scientists been to decry this gross abuse of scientific knowledge by political ideologues?  

Quote
And so once again: the egg and sperm are alive. They are human. They are human life. At conception, they change phase, but are still human life. They remain human life until the organism dies. Abortion terminates a human life. No question about it. So much for the science.


Weak... a sperm and egg don't transition.  They come together to produce a UNIQUE HUMAN BEING.  We call this conception.  That's the science.

Quote
NOW, is this acceptable? Should it be legally permitted? Under what circumstances? Should there be any time frame when abortion is allowed or disallowed? Is there some point when we the people think the rights of the woman get trumped by the rights of her fetus? Should a fetus have any rights? If so, what rights should they be? If abortion is permitted during any period of pregnancy, should the cost be covered by the State? By insurance? Should these questions be answered by the courts, the legislature, or the bureaucracy? What role should morality play, and who gets to apply moral weighting to the needs and desires of the various parties involved?

THESE are the questions that matter. No science is involved.


So science, we see once again, is really irrelevant in deciding tough issues?  Does this include OOL issues, too?

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,14:12   

TD:

Quote
The only claim made was that both YOUR LIFE and MY LIFE began at conception.

You see this as my "world-view" because you obviously hold an opposing "world-view."


Let's see. This is the third, or perhaps the fourth time, I have agreed that there is a human life at conception. I have never once disagreed or made any other claim. How can I be opposed to what I have repeated without exception so many times?

As I've also written multiple times, you simply do not listen.
You pay no attention to what anyone has said. You're welcome to your world of make believe.

Quote
Then where have the scientists been to decry this gross abuse of scientific knowledge by political ideologues?

And there you go again. This issue has nothing to do with science. If science is not involved, scientific knowledge is irrelevant. It can't be abused if it's not involved. But you can't listen, once again.

Quote
Weak... a sperm and egg don't transition.  They come together to produce a UNIQUE HUMAN BEING.  We call this conception.  That's the science.
But it's irrelevant. You ignore this once again. Yes, it's a unique human being. So what? NOW what do we do? The sun rises in the east. Equally relevant. PLEASE listen.

Quote
So science, we see once again, is really irrelevant in deciding tough issues?

No, science is irrelevant in deciding nonscientific issues. This is NOT a scientific issue. Being a tough issue has nothing to do with science.

If you can EVER address the topic, we might have a fruitful discussion. Otherwise, you might want to read your questions into a tape recorder. You obviously would enjoy the playback MUCH more than the answers.

  
Spike



Posts: 49
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,14:14   

Quote
intolerance of ambiguity constituted a general personality variable that related positively to prejudice as well as to more general social and cognitive variables.


Poor William of Occam! His razor was sharpened on his general personality variable!

Quote
Occam's razor is a logical principle attributed to the mediaeval philosopher William of Occam (or Ockham). The principle states that one should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed. This principle is often called the principle of parsimony. It underlies all scientific modelling and theory building. It admonishes us to choose from a set of otherwise equivalent models of a given phenomenon the simplest one. In any given model, Occam's razor helps us to "shave off" those concepts, variables or constructs that are not really needed to explain the phenomenon. By doing that, developing the model will become much easier, and there is less chance of introducing inconsistencies, ambiguities and redundancies.


[Emphasis added]

From:http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/OCCAMRAZ.html

Isn't it great how you can find any kind of quote to support any kind of point of view you want to hold?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,15:35   

[quote=thordaddy,April 05 2006,18:33][/quote]
Quote
Actually, I said there is no evidence to suggest that consciousness emerges anywhere other than at conception.  If you have evidence to the contrary, please present it.


This statement implies that you have evidence that consciousness emerges at conception. Of course, you have no such evidence. If there's one place between conception and the age of six that consciousness definitely does not emerge, it's at conception.

Quote
Secondly, I have no problem stating that an egg and sperm are "alive."  I do disagree that they represent a human life.  I have seen no evidence of either an individual sperm or individual egg individually transitioning to a zygote and then an embryo to a baby.  Have you seen such transformation?


And for the millionth time, I will reiterate that you're making a distinction without a difference. There's nothing particularly special about conception even from a scientific perspective; there are other developments in the process from meiosis to birth that are vastly more significant. There is absolutely no significance to conception from a legal perspective, which in the context of the abortion debate is the only relevant perspective.

Quote
So if the sperm and egg represent your beginning then you must continue back into the past because each sperm and egg were actual products of other sperm and eggs.  You are claiming to be an mere individuated outgrowth of one very large and very old single entity.  Is that what the science tells you?


Yep, pretty much. I am indeed part of one very large and very old entity, just as you are. The technical term for such an entity is a "universe."

From a scientific standpoint, my view is at least as valid as yours, and from a legal standpoint, neither view is of the slightest import.



Quote
Either you had a beginning or you didn't.  

If you didn't have a beginning then you are either an eternal being or YOU sprang from nonlife.  

If you had a beginning it was either before conception, at conception or after conception.


What did the quote I posted above have to say about this sort of worldview? But for about the two millionth time, I will say once again that the answer to any of these questions is entirely meaningless within the context of the abortion debate, something that no matter how many times you're told, fails to sink in.

Quote
At conception means I have presupposed for lack of any credible evidence to say otherwise.


The truth is, Thordaddy, that you're going to believe whatever you want to believe, no matter what the evidence says.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,15:56   

Quote (Spike @ April 05 2006,19:14)
Isn't it great how you can find any kind of quote to support any kind of point of view you want to hold?

You're missing the point of the quote, Spike. She's saying that there's a particular grouping of personality traits, that generally goes along with an authoritarian nature, which has difficulty with ambiguity and anything other than a dualistic view of reality. It's got nothing to do with keeping hypotheses simple.

Not all of life comes down to yes/no answers. How do you answer the question, "Are you still beating your wife?" Can you give a yes/no answer to that question?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
normdoering



Posts: 287
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,16:19   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,18:33)
I said there is no evidence to suggest that consciousness emerges anywhere other than at conception.  If you have evidence to the contrary, please present it.

Dennett's book, "Consciousness Explained." Read it.

Actually, the idea that it takes a functioning brain to produce  "consciousness" (a fuzzy, ill-defined term) is a core assumption of neuroscience. Do you deny neuroscience as much as you deny evolution?

  
Spike



Posts: 49
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,17:29   

em,

"Not all of life comes down to yes/no answers." Is that statement true or untrue? If true, is it always true? Yes or no?

"Have you stopped beating your wife?" has no answer because it is meaningless. Just because you can assemble words into a sentence doesn't make the sentence meaningful.

For example:

The following sentence is true.
The preceding sentence is false.

Sicence is founded on yes/no questions. When you develop a test of a particular hypothesis for a "yes", you have to develop a null (no) hypothesis. All experiments consist of answering yes/no questions: Does x exist? Does x cause y? Does changing x change y? Did the experiment answer the question or not?

All moral tests are a choice between good and bad. Yes or no. Even for people who practice moral relativity, the question of good or bad, yes or no, is answerd one way or the other at this time, in this place, under these circumstances.

That doesn't mean more information won't change your no into a yes.

************

So, when the pro-abortion crowd presents rational arguments for why killing a baby in the womb who is not a threat to the mother's life is not murder, I will say "yes" to abortion.

I looked through the previous posts, I couldn't find anything but definitions created/selected to reach the conclusions the definers wanted, variations on the arguments for comfort or convenience, or variations on the argument from ignorance: "We don't even know if the baby meets these criteria for being a person, so it's OK to kill it."

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,17:33   

Flint opines,

Quote
Let's see. This is the third, or perhaps the fourth time, I have agreed that there is a human life at conception. I have never once disagreed or made any other claim. How can I be opposed to what I have repeated without exception so many times?


But, you are NOT saying that YOU were the human life at YOUR conception.  You deliniate between human life and human being.  I don't know why or how.  I have no such quandary because I see no justification for a deliniation between the two.  And I ESPECIALLY see no SCIENTIFIC justification for the differentiation.  Last time I checked, science was a profound influence in the  subject concerning "life" (biology and evolution) and now you're trying to sell me on the idea that science plays no part?  

Quote
And there you go again. This issue has nothing to do with science. If science is not involved, scientific knowledge is irrelevant. It can't be abused if it's not involved. But you can't listen, once again.


But here again, you seem to play oblivious to certain realities.

When pro-abortion arguments such as "it's just a clump of cells," and "it's a parasite" aren't challenge for the gross distortions they represent, are you saying we shouldn't LOOK TO SCIENCE?  Again, I ask, if not science then who?  Afterall, biology, that branch of science, has done a pretty swell job of defining the rest of life for us.  So much so, that we can't even question the "fact" of evolution.

Who isn't but a clump of cells other than single cell organisms?

What other organism creates its own parasite in order to decide whether to kill it?

Science can say much more, but the ideologues are in control.

Quote
But it's irrelevant. You ignore this once again. Yes, it's a unique human being. So what? NOW what do we do? The sun rises in the east. Equally relevant. PLEASE listen.


So, the science is now irrelevant?  Exactly, "[s]o what?"  For you, there is nothing else to do.  For others, the acknowledgement of a UNIQUE HUMAN BEING is quite relevant.  

Quote
No, science is irrelevant in deciding nonscientific issues. This is NOT a scientific issue. Being a tough issue has nothing to do with science.


Please do explain how defining when YOUR life began and hence human life in general is not a scientific issue.  I really don't get this.  This is a evolution site and we are amongst biologists.  Do they agree?

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,17:52   

normdoering opines,

Quote
Actually, the idea that it takes a functioning brain to produce  "consciousness" (a fuzzy, ill-defined term) is a core assumption of neuroscience. Do you deny neuroscience as much as you deny evolution?


But this was only directed at those that define human life by consciousness alone.  I do not do this because it is fallacious.  If something is conscious, it does not make it human.  Therefore, human life requires another deliniation besides consciousness.

But more to the point, as we saw with Terri Schiavo, a functioning brain is no evidence of consciouness.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,18:26   

Quote (Spike @ April 05 2006,22:29)
em,

"Not all of life comes down to yes/no answers." Is that statement true or untrue? If true, is it always true? Yes or no?


Yes, it's true. It's always true. Not all questions have yes/no answers. Here's another one: what's your favorite color? Does that question have a yes/no answer? The converse, "All questions have yes/no answers," is clearly false. This is elementary logic.

Quote
"Have you stopped beating your wife?" has no answer because it is meaningless. Just because you can assemble words into a sentence doesn't make the sentence meaningful.


It has an answer, and it has meaning, if you do in fact beat your wife. The sentence definitely has meaning in some circumstances. Asking what's north of most points on the globe has meaning, except at one point: the north pole.

Quote
Science is founded on yes/no questions.


Nope. The vast majority of scientific questions do not have yes/no answers. What's the speed of light? The temperature of the CMB? The mass of the electron. I could go on forever.

Quote
All moral tests are a choice between good and bad. Yes or no.


Wrong again. An action can be wrong in some circumstances, and right in others. Normally it's wrong to kill your dog. Is it wrong to put your dog to sleep if he's got incurable cancer? You don't have to be a moral relativist to understand that there are plenty of things (one might even say most things) that are not right under all circumstances, or wrong under all circumstances.

Further, some moral questions are a matter of less bad, or more good. Plenty of moral issues are points on a curve. Most people (most rational people, that is) would deny that disposing of a freshly-fertilized ovum is "murder," but hardly anyone would deny that terminating a pregnancy three minutes before birth is murder.

Again, life is not a matter of moral absolutes. It's intellectual laziness to think otherwise.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,18:39   

Quote
Spike said,
"Not all of life comes down to yes/no answers." Is that statement true or untrue? If true, is it always true? Yes or no?



Quote
To which ericmurphy opined,
Yes, it's true. It's always true. Not all questions have yes/no answers. Here's another one: what's your favorite color? Does that question have a yes/no answer? The converse, "All questions have yes/no answers," is clearly false. This is elementary logic.


All of life's question do "come down" to a yes/no question.  If it is life then it may proceed to ask questions.  If it is not life then it stays eternally silent. Is it life, yes or no?

If we cannot delineate between human life and human being in a scientific manner then by what manner can we?  Afterall, science/biology/evolution are the purveyors of truth about life and yet they sit on the sidelines and play "objective" moral relativist?

  
normdoering



Posts: 287
Joined: July 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,20:06   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,22:52)
...as we saw with Terri Schiavo, a functioning brain is no evidence of consciouness.

Did you just say that Terri Schiavo had a functioning brain?

Her cerebral cortex was liquified -- that's not a functioning brain. That's why it was deemed okay to pull her plug.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,20:18   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,23:39)
All of life's question do "come down" to a yes/no question.  If it is life then it may proceed to ask questions.  If it is not life then it stays eternally silent. Is it life, yes or no?

Thordaddy, what's your birthday?

It's a yes or no question, dude.

Give me a break.

No wonder this whole thread feels so utterly pointless. I do have to say, though, that I often find the inanity kind of fascinating, in a pathological kind of way.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,20:29   

Quote
If one more anti-choicer says "life begins at conception" my stupidity meter is going to blow up. Is an unfertilized cell not "alive," Thordaddy? Is a sperm cell not "alive"? Is an epithelial cell lining your lower intestine not "alive"?

This whole "life begins at conception" argument has got to be the dumbest argument the religious right has ever come up with. Using the same logic, I could argue that scraping your tongue with your toothbrush in the morning is murder, because of all the living cells you're killing.

Give me a @#$%!ing break.


I said this about 170 posts ago, and strangely enough, it's just as true now as when I said it the first time.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,20:53   

normdoering opines,

Quote
Her cerebral cortex was liquified -- that's not a functioning brain. That's why it was deemed okay to pull her plug.


You said "functioning brain" and now you are saying functioning cerebral cortex.  Clearly, the brain was functioning is some respect.

ericmurphy,

Does YOUR birthdate reflect your true age?  I say it doesn't.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1773
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,21:01   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 05 2006,19:03)
Stephen and Flint,

Don't you need to know my world-view before you can claim that I am asserting it here?

The only claim made was that both YOUR LIFE and MY LIFE began at conception.

Thordaddy, I do know your World-view on this issue.

You believe abortion is wrong. That is your World-view on abortion.

You want science to suport you and are twisting logic, evidence and answers to that end.

You wish to have abortion made a crime and lock up anybody practicing it.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 05 2006,21:18   

Quote
normdoering opines,

Her cerebral cortex was liquified -- that's not a functioning brain. That's why it was deemed okay to pull her plug.

You said "functioning brain" and now you are saying functioning cerebral cortex.  Clearly, the brain was functioning is some respect.



Her brain was functioning enough to run her heart and lungs, and little else. She couldn't even digest solid food. Every competent doctor who examined her stated that her brain was incapable of supporting conscious thought.

In other words, she didn't have a functioning brain.

If the car radio works, but the engine won't start, there are no headlights, windshield, steering wheel, the wheels are off, and the gas tank's missing, do we have a functioning car?

Quote

ericmurphy,

Does YOUR birthdate reflect your true age?  I say it doesn't.


I asked you a simple question, Thordaddy: what is your birthday? Your answer doesn't sound like a yes or a no.

Do you still maintain that all questions have yes or no answers?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,02:39   

thordaddy:

Quote
You deliniate between human life and human being.  I don't know why or how.

You probably don't know because I have not done this, at all. Not even once. You are *making this up*, because you don't like what I said so you need to change the subject.

What I have distinguished between is a human life/human being and a legal person. I pointed out, now for the third or fourth time (since you never listen) that by law, slaves were not legal persons. Whether they were human lives or human beings is not the question. Trying to make it the question is changing the subject. Legal persons are whoever the law says are legal persons. Human rights are whatever the law says are human rights. If you can't stay on topic, you will never understand the issue.

Nonetheless, I expect you do come back and claim I said yet something else you NEED me to have said, that I never said. But you are not arguing with me, you are arguing with some imaginary caricature you have dreamed up to fit your needs.

  
Spike



Posts: 49
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,13:56   

em,

Just 'cause it's so fun to draw you along, I'll keep going, even though you feel compelled to throw in ad homimens. Why do you do that? To make yourself feel better about your inability to develop a coherent argument?

Have you never conducted a scientific experiment? Have you never formulated a scientific hypothesis?

The first question underlying the investigation into the speed of light is: “Does light have speed? Yes or no?”

If we say, “Yes, speed is a quality of light,” then the next question is, "Can we detect it? Yes or no?"

Then, after we've answered the fundamental yes/no questions, can we ask the How?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, and Who? questions.

It applies to the question of my favorite color as well. First you have to ask the yes/no question: “Do you have a favorite color?” You may not do so explicitly, but it is implicit in asking what that favorite color is.

You even said so when you talked about the wife beating question. The only way that the question “Have your stopped beating your wife?” can have meaning is if the answer to the underlying question of “Do you beat your wife?” is “Yes.”

You even said so when you talked about the North Pole. Only when the answer to the underlying question of “Are we at the north pole?” is “Yes,” is the answer to, “What’s north of here?” “Nothing.”

No matter what qualities, attributes, or values you ask about, the fundamental yes/no question is, “Does this thing have the quality, attribute or value we are looking for? Yes or no?”

Fundamental and underlying, that’s what things “come down to.”

Your example of the dog is exactly what I was talking about regarding morality. At this time, killing my dog is wrong. At this other time, after the circumstances of my dog's health have changed, and I know it, killing my dog is right.

My exact words were: “That doesn't mean more information won't change your no into a yes.”

Why did you quote mine me?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,15:33   

Quote (Spike @ April 06 2006,18:56)
em,

Just 'cause it's so fun to draw you along, I'll keep going, even though you feel compelled to throw in ad homimens. Why do you do that? To make yourself feel better about your inability to develop a coherent argument?


Spike, I've never used an ad hominem argument here. I've used plenty of ad arguendum arguments, which is an entirely different thing. Oh, and I've several times accused Thordaddy of not listening. If you consider that an ad hominem argument, well…that can't be helped.

Quote
Have you never conducted a scientific experiment? Have you never formulated a scientific hypothesis?

The first question underlying the investigation into the speed of light is: “Does light have speed? Yes or no?”

If we say, “Yes, speed is a quality of light,” then the next question is, "Can we detect it? Yes or no?"

Then, after we've answered the fundamental yes/no questions, can we ask the How?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, and Who? questions.

It applies to the question of my favorite color as well. First you have to ask the yes/no question: “Do you have a favorite color?” You may not do so explicitly, but it is implicit in asking what that favorite color is.


But again, you're misconstruing what I'm saying. Do some questions have yes/no answers? Of course. But you're claiming that all questions have yes/no answers, a proposition that is clearly false.


Quote
Why did you quote mine me?


I'm not quote mining you, because I don't have to. You continue to insist that all questions have yes/no answers. Adding that having more information might change your answer doesn't change the fundamental falsity of your position. And again, in case you missed it: the fact that some questions have yes/no answers does not change something I should have thought was self-evident: that not all questions have yes/no answers.

Do we need to go through this again, or are we clear now?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,17:01   

Stephen Elliot opines,

Quote
Thordaddy, I do know your World-view on this issue.

You believe abortion is wrong. That is your World-view on abortion.

You want science to suport you and are twisting logic, evidence and answers to that end.

You wish to have abortion made a crime and lock up anybody practicing it.


You may think you know my particular view on abortion, but you certainly don't know my world-view (view of the world).  Even my particular view on abortion is distorted with your last statement.

And what science have I twisted?  You simply to refuse to take this debate to its logical conclusions.  

If you were not YOU at YOUR conception then when did YOU become YOU?  Never...?  Before conception or after conception?

I don't see any other choices and both the science and lack thereof has me assume that YOU became YOU at YOUR conception.

Flint opines,

Quote
What I have distinguished between is a human life/human being and a legal person.


What does it mean to be an "illegal" innocent human being?  It seems a contradiction to state that within the womb is an innocent human being condemned to death based on the "law" of its individual mother who deems it "illegal?"  I'm trying to wrap my head around this one.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,17:05   

ericmurphy,

I think the question has to "come down to" whether I had a birth... yes or no?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,17:30   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 06 2006,22<!--emo&:0)
ericmurphy,

I think the question has to "come down to" whether I had a birth... yes or no?

Thordaddy, you're making the same mistake in logic Spike is making. You seem to think that because you can show me that some question, somewhere, has a yes/no answer, therefore all questions have yes/no answers.

Your question--did you have a birthday?--has a yes/no answer. My question--what's your birthday?--does not. You can't just change the question completely and think you've somehow proved your point.

You and Spike can come up with a zillion questions that can be answered with a yes or a no, and you still won't have proved your point. I only need to come up with one question without a yes/no answer to have proved mine.

And, of course, I've already done so. Multiple times.

I have to admit that I'm dumbfounded I need to explain this kind of thing. I guess when I expressed hope I wouldn't have to pound this particular point into the ground, I was being optimistic. Given the general weakness of the arguments favoring a complete ban on abortion, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,18:06   

ericmurphy,

You seem to have missed that all questions about life "come down to" a yes/no answer.

Literally, is it life... yes/no?  That's what all questions about life "come down to."

You have to throw up your hands when we talk about human life.  You don't know.  So why should we look to you for answers?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1773
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,18:45   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 06 2006,22:01)
...
If you were not YOU at YOUR conception then when did YOU become YOU?  Never...?  Before conception or after conception?

I don't see any other choices and both the science and lack thereof has me assume that YOU became YOU at YOUR conception...

I most certainly did not become me at conception.

I can grant that my life as an individual started at conception. By which I mean that certain biological traits was selected at that point.

However I could still have turned out very different to who I am now.

If we could go back in time to the point of my conception. Keep that fetus identical but change some other things, such as my nutrition, social conditions and/or education and it would not grow to become me.

Chances are it would grow to look and think different to what I do now. Therefore being a different person.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 06 2006,19:25   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 06 2006,23<!--emo&:0)
ericmurphy,

You seem to have missed that all questions about life "come down to" a yes/no answer.

Literally, is it life... yes/no?  That's what all questions about life "come down to."

You have to throw up your hands when we talk about human life.  You don't know.  So why should we look to you for answers?

I missed no such thing, Thordaddy. Try to concentrate.

Can we stay on topic for a few seconds? My point, which I feel like I'm beating to death with a spade here, is that you, personally, have a hard time understanding that not everything in life comes down to a black-white, wrong-write, up-down, strange/charmed, yes-no dichotomy. I specifically stated that not all questions are answerable by either yes or no. You're proving my point for me by insisting, against reason, logic, and common sense, that all questions can be answered yes or no. I've given you a handful of questions that clearly cannot be answered with either a yes or a no, and believe me, I could go on for fifty posts with them. For the sake of the sanity of the other readers here, I'll refrain from doing so.

But the funny thing is, you're not even right about the question of whether something is alive or not. Is a virus alive, or not? Do you know? Because no one else does. A pretty good example of a question not answerable with a yes or no, right? How about an encapsulated bacterial spore. Is it alive? No one's exactly sure. What about a prion? Now there's a poser. Care to answer that one with either a yes or a no? How about this one? Is a photon a particle, or a wave? Oh, wait, that one can be answered with a yes and a no!

And you're also wrong about me and human life. I'm pretty sure that human life is, in fact, alive. I don't think I've ever expressed any doubts about that.

Just when I didn't think you could get any more wrong, you go ahead and prove me wrong.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
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