Friday, March 03, 2006

Free Thoughts for the Enslaved Mind

I normally would not use Triablogue as a means of responding to comments others have made about me in comments sections elsewhere, but if Steve will allow me to hijack T-blog for a moment; since I have not been permitted to respond apart from my comments being deleted, I’d just like to make a few notes here.

To the person I deleted who said freethinkers don’t think for themselves…at least I am not sitting around obsessively analyzing one f–king ancient book 24-7. There is a whole big world and universe out there. Also, you can write volumes about me and what I write on your narrow-minded and boring blog..I couldn’t care less. Whatever floats your boat.

The article that is being referenced by this “free thinker” (i.e., enslaved mind) is my post “Free Thinkers” Never Think For Themselves. It is very evident that she did not even read the first paragraph of that post, her excuse being that it is was too long. But this is really embarrassing on her part. A few notes:

1. I did not write “volumes” about you, nor did I write anything about what you wrote. Rather, I responded to an article that Dan Barker had written, which you posted, and kindly gave a hat-tip link to your blog for credit, since it is where I had read it. So let’s not make this all about you, shall we?

2. You are the one who claims to be a “free thinker,” not me. Yes, I claim to think for myself. But I also claim to have a worldview with a set of principles, the authority being the Bible. You, however, do not claim such authority, but you allow the atheistic worldview to be auto-programmed into your brain while at the same time deceptively telling others that you are a “free thinker.”

3. You completely ignore the rationality behind my studying the Bible. Sure, that may be worthless to you, but we do not share the same worldview. As a Christian, it is in my interest to give a defense for what I believe. From the little I have read of you, I suppose that is no priority in your life.

4. All you are telling me by mocking my devotion to God is that you are not a Christian. That’s obvious. You do not share my worldview and do not share my presuppositions. But don’t discount my presuppositions because they are not yours. Rather, justify your own, or have me justify mine. It is much more effective than the immaturity and language you have been displaying that we would expect from a 14 year old teenage boy, not a 51 year old woman.

5. The reader should note that this commenter fails to address the article mentioned. She mocks it’s length (it is not much more lengthy than the size of her posts, so she is a bit hypocritical), but if anything it’s length should at least get her attention. Of course, lengthy things can be full of meaningless content and be a waste of time. But it is at least worth a shot, especially when I spent the time writing it. Of course, I did not address it to her, but to Dan Barker (to whom I was responding); but since she has flattered herself into thinking that it was a response to her she might as well at least attempt at writing back.

6. The fact that my comments were deleted for no better reason than that I posit an opposing viewpoint is quite telling. This is the way they do things in an atheist world. Of course, I effectively displayed in my original article that the notion that an atheist has a basis for morality is a precious myth, so we shouldn’t expect them to be honest in their interactions with us.

7. She calls Triablogue “boring.” Now, she may not agree with what we say, but anyone who reads this knows that it is anything but “boring.” In fact, Triablogue is in large part a blog of satire, and I must say that Steve is quite gifted at this talent.

Evan May.

12 comments:

  1. Additionally, Even, I find it ironic that she mocks your "24/7 obsession" over an "ancient book" (presumably because you contribute to a website that talks about Scripture and offers arguments for it and concerning other aspects of it) when she writes a blog predominately filled with arguments against that very same book, and has a list of links compiled leading to "Atheist and Freethought Blogs"; blogs which, we can only assume, likewise "obsess" over the very same things you "obsess" over.

    Apparently it only counts as an "obsession" if you're on the opposite side of the debate from Ms. "Freethinker."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Travis:

    Excellent observation!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is the way they do things in an atheist world. Of course, I effectively displayed in my original article that the notion that an atheist has a basis for morality is a precious myth, so we shouldn’t expect them to be honest in their interactions with us.

    And you accuse her of acting like a teenager? Here in this short passage you not only generalize all atheists, but you also accuse us of being dishonest and immoral.

    How dare you. I am an atheist and, although not the one to which you are responding, I take great offense to this. You do not know me at all, nor I you. You, however, have the audacity to accuse ME of immorality and dishonesty. I would allow you to make that opinion of me if we knew one another, should that still be your opinion. I have a great many friends who are theist (of several religions) and for whom I have great respect, as they do not judge me by my titles, but by my actions.

    Should you at some point decide to follow the bible and treat others as you would like to be treated, perhaps a rational and even worthwhile conversation could come of it. Until then, it would appear that would be a useless venture.

    Good luck on judgement day.

    ReplyDelete
  4. And you accuse her of acting like a teenager?

    So I assume that you are willing to side with the "administrative" actions she took on her blog?

    Here in this short passage you not only generalize all atheists, but you also accuse us of being dishonest and immoral.

    Not at all. Rather, I am stating that atheism, as a worldview, cannot account for morality, and, therefore, we should not expect atheists to act morally. Of course, atheists do act morally (in the common sense of the term. Biblically speaking, any action that may seem civilly "good" that comes from an unregenerate mind (whether atheist or Muslim) is not "good" in the true sense of the term. But atheists do act "civilly good.")

    So I'll certainly agree that you act morally. But then my belief is that the morality you have is borrowed from my worldview. You may not agree, but that is the belief of my worldview nonetheless.

    You, however, have the audacity to accuse ME of immorality and dishonesty.

    When did I do that? I accused your worldview as being unable to account for morality, and, therefore, the reason why one should not expect a moral atheist. I did not, however, state that atheists are immoral, and I especially did not apply that to you. I'm sure you’re a very moral person (again, in the civil standards). But my only response is that you borrow that morality from my worldview.

    A fair mind will see the distinction, and all I have been asking all along is for a fair mind.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Again, I could reverse this argument. There are a lot of passages in the bible which, in my worldview, are immoral. I, then, should not expect a christian to be moral, although I believe you are.

    Is "good in the true sense of the word" equivalent to the biblical version of good, or the accepted norms and standards of civilized society?

    As for borrowing from your worldview, where did people get their morality prior to god sending his son? I know, it was given to them by god. But in that case it was not borrowed, but given to them.

    Getting back to the original post:

    But I also claim to have a worldview with a set of principles, the authority being the Bible. You, however, do not claim such authority, but you allow the atheistic worldview to be auto-programmed into your brain while at the same time deceptively telling others that you are a “free thinker.”

    Auto-programmed? Many would claim that christianity is programmed into theists from birth pracctically. The idea of a free-thinker is one who researches their environment, etc, to find evidence to support their beliefs and findings, and does not rely on blind faith. I, personally, have a very hard time reconciling the teachings of the bible vs. evidentiary history.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Again, I could reverse this argument. There are a lot of passages in the bible which, in my worldview, are immoral. I, then, should not expect a christian to be moral, although I believe you are.

    The question is if a Christian has an objective basis for morality. This would require an internal critique on your part.

    Is “good in the true sense of the word” equivalent to the biblical version of good, or the accepted norms and standards of civilized society?

    What I mean is that the unregenerate (non-Christian) can do "good" in the sense of "civil good" or "following God's commands." It is "good" in the "civil" sense for a non-Christian to not steal and to give to the poor. But, Biblically speaking, neither of these actions are good in the true sense, because they are not done with a heart that seeks to glorify God. The Bible tells us that no one is good (Rom 3) in the true sense of the word (apart from God's salvific grace), and the unregenerate man is unable to do good (Rom 8:7-8).

    As for borrowing from your worldview, where did people get their morality prior to god sending his son? I know, it was given to them by god. But in that case it was not borrowed, but given to them.

    According to my worldview, morality has been implanted in the heart of man because man has been made in the image of God (Rom 1-2). Therefore, according to my worldview, you get your morality from God. And even as an atheist, you act according to the fact that you were made in the image of God.

    God's holiness has been revealed in greater measure in the law, and even greater in Christ. But the Bible also says that it was revealed to the extent that man is without excuse in general revelation, which is testified by creation (Rom 1:18ff).

    Auto-programmed? Many would claim that christianity is programmed into theists from birth pracctically. The idea of a free-thinker is one who researches their environment, etc, to find evidence to support their beliefs and findings, and does not rely on blind faith. I, personally, have a very hard time reconciling the teachings of the bible vs. evidentiary history.

    Well, I would certainly reject the notion that I rely on blind faith. But I also do not deny, as I stated in my post, that I have a worldview that has its authority in the Bible. That does not mean, however, that I am not rational when it comes to my worldview. It just means that I believe that my authority can be rationally based.

    Evan.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It seems to me that your arguments are based solely on the known existance of god. In order to debate an issue, you must be able to see the argument from the side of the opposition. I feel I have tried to do that, and have been mostly successful. I have looked at the argument with the supposition that god exists as well as that he does not. Only in this way can I truly understand the nature of the argument.

    In my opinion, you have mostly argued from the point of view that god does exist without looking at it with the possibility that he doesn't. If this is the case, there is no possibility of my winning the argument, as the final outcome is set in your mind. The game is fixed.

    I know that you will dissagree with me, so I will end here. My objective is not to convert you, but to explain my reasoning for my worldview. I understand your belief in god, for I once had it. I have come to realize that there is little concrete evidence for the existance of god and much that disproves the existance of god. Until It can be proven to me that there is an omnipotent, omnipresent deity with certainty, I will then start going to church. Until that time, I will continue to search for the reasons for things concrete and abstract no matter what direction that may take me.

    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It seems to me that your arguments are based solely on the known existance of god. In order to debate an issue, you must be able to see the argument from the side of the opposition. I feel I have tried to do that, and have been mostly successful. I have looked at the argument with the supposition that god exists as well as that he does not. Only in this way can I truly understand the nature of the argument.

    What arguments? Here, I was simply pointing out how unfairly I was treated at another blog. Then you asked me questions concerning my worldview (what is defined as "good", etc), and I answered them from the perspective of my worldview. If you are talking about the arguments on the other thread, well, that is the other thread and is still ongoing.

    In my opinion, you have mostly argued from the point of view that god does exist without looking at it with the possibility that he doesn’t. If this is the case, there is no possibility of my winning the argument, as the final outcome is set in your mind. The game is fixed.

    I do presuppose the existence of God, as we both presuppose the existence of logic in this discussion (you've used logic to attempt to justify logic). But that does not mean "the game is fixed." Have you ever read any works on presuppositional apologetics?

    Until It can be proven to me that there is an omnipotent, omnipresent deity with certainty...

    Well, I thought that was what we were trying to do here, or at least at the other thread.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Responses to your posts on stardust’s blog:

    “Concerning Logic, let's say that it was something that we all came to learn through evolution. How did we learn it? How is it possible to learn that A cannot equal non-A? You may say that, after a series of experiences, we found, for instance, that apples cannot be the same thing as not-apples. But how did we find this out, apart from first assuming the laws of logic? You see, we might have come to "learn" that the statement "apples cannot equal non-apples" is "true," but the very word "true" presupposes the laws of logic (there is no “true” or “false” apart from logic). You see, these laws cannot be learned without first being assumed. The notion that "I learned that the laws of logic are true" begs the question, because it assumed the laws of logic in its use of the word "true."” – evanmay

    This entire paragraph is largely unintelligible and hard to read, no offense. Let me embark in any case.

    You have made the attempt to understand the acquirement of logic via evolution, at least for the sake of argument, which is good. I commend you for your effort. For I am a neo-Darwinian and this means that if a species has a certain characteristic, quality or mechanism (whether this is physical, psychological or social) I know it must have been acquired through the ceaseless work of evolution.
    Your first misstep was when you claim that in order to acquire a logical mind frame we must first “assume” logic. As you would say “this begs the question”: If we do not know of logic how may we assume it? Obviously for one to assume or to acquire logic one must be aware of its existence. The question is how have we formed or become aware of logic?
    Which brings me to this point, logic is secondary…follow me.
    Your example of finding out the difference between apples and non-apples is a rather shoddy example but I shall play along. We would both agree that knowing apples are different from non-apples is logical and that one is, indeed, using logic to differentiate between the two. However, one does not need to accept and understand the intangible idea and definition of the word logic to know the difference.
    An individual does not need language to understand the difference between, say, apples and oranges. All one needs to do is bite into an apple and taste the apple and then bite into an orange and taste the orange, after having done this the individual now has data at their disposal, the tastes between both the apple and the orange. The individual upon seeing an apple resting besides an orange will remember the sensations of eating both fruits and recall that the apple had a different taste then that of the orange (not to mention the plethora of other differences). The individual has now understood the difference between an apple and an orange without using the “laws of logic” but rather an investigative, observational inquiry and remembrance of such things. The “law” of logic is secondary, it comes after such data is collected and sorted out in the mind. The mind takes the data and analyzes it so to say. The mind constructs logic based on real world observations and interactions. Logic is secondary to experiences, sensations, and senses but to be truly objective about these things one must use the methodology of science so as to not confuse and misconstrue these things.
    So as you see we have not come to know the statement apples are not the same as non-apples through assuming logic but rather by investigating and experiencing sensation and life. After having done this we then constructed logic, we did not “assume” it.

    “Science requires a uniformity of nature. Without uniformity, science is meaningless. Without uniformity, there is no guarantee that what had these certain properties in one experiment will be the same in the next. Therefore, without uniformity, there is not science. But how can uniformity be known or proven?” – evanmay

    I am rather astounded by this statement. Are you claiming that there is no uniformity in nature and material existence? Are you claiming that there is chaos? Are you claiming that there is uniformity but that science cannot describe it?

    Science, actually, does not require a uniformity of nature. There is much of scientific endeavor that is ceaselessly preoccupied by following the constant change and flow of nature, the inconstant aspects of it so to say. Nature is not always uniform or constant, as the theory of evolutions suggests, it is constantly changing and “evolving” hence the theory. There are, however, certain aspects of nature which simply are uniform and are not subject to change such as the chemical elements that make up the periodic table. The chemical elements that make up the periodic table present a “uniformed” trend, example: ALL of the elements of group eighteen (the noble gases) have full valence shells. They attain a full shell with out the necessity of reacting with other elements, which means that they are unreactive monoatomic gases. This is “uniformed” it has been observed, observed again and yet observed again that this is the case. Are you suggesting that it is both possible and plausible that tomorrow, unbeknownst to chemists and scientists around the world that, helium may require a reaction with another element to retain its full valence shell rendering it no longer a fellow unreactive monoatomic gas? I hope not. Uniformity can be known and shown to exist by observing and testing certain elements of nature such as the chemical elements that I mentioned. We can interact with, test, observe, instigate and analyze the functioning of certain natural mechanisms and do so repeatedly, when we find that a certain situation always produces certain results we can safely say that this situation is always going to be the cause; scientists actually have to attempt to disprove and discredit their hypothesis and then other peers will then attempt to out right disprove findings and conclusions. If chemists consistently say that transition metals form good homogeneous or heterogenous catalysts it is safe to believe that this is, in fact, the case and is not subject to change dramatically the next day.
    Without uniformity there is still science, chaos theory anyone? Viruses evolve and change on a daily basis and science follows these changes and creates new vaccines and medicines to combat these viruses, there is little uniformity in viruses yet there is virology the scientific study of viruses.

    “There is no “true” or “false” apart from logic” – evanmay

    I want to clear something up. There actually is true and false apart from logic. Logic is merely a structure of propositions, a mode of reasoning. This structure of propositions and mode of reasoning may lead someone that is unknowledgeable regarding modern science that the moon at night is actually emitting its own light. This is logical to the individual without modern science and astronomy, for it certainly seems logical to conclude that a celestial body that is bright and lights up the dark night sky is actually emitting its own light rather than reflecting light emitted from the sun that is merely hidden beyond the horizon of the earths surface. The individuals “logic” (structure of propositions and mode of reasoning) has now led the individual into believing a falsehood. Truth is something that exists and is real whether humans are able to understand and accept it or not. False is merely something that we know, or think we know is not “true”; so false is not apart from logic. One needs logic to be able to interpret something as being true or not so as to be able to lay claim to falsehood. Truth, however, is different. Truth resides outside of human logic, whether our logic tells us the earth revolves around the sun or not this is true, the earth revolves around the sun and this truth is, in fact, apart from logic. To sum up falsehoods do not exist (obviously) but in order to conclude this we must use logic, we must also use logic to conclude if something is true or not; however something is true regardless of whether or not our logic tells us so. Truth and logic are certainly two different items and truth certainly can be apart from logic. To claim otherwise is, well, illogical.

    However if you mean that something either true or false cannot be apart from logic based on the distinct principles of bivalency, involution, idempotency, contraction, DeMorgan and others I feel that you should be clear and make such a distinction regarding what sort of logic you are specifically referring to.

    I think that maybe you were trying to present your “logic” in one of these various forms though I am not sure what the following represents:

    ( ) P-->Q
    ( ) P
    :.Q

    What in the world is that?
    I am, somewhat, familiar with prepositional logic and Boolean algebra but I have not seen this before.

    “Is there anything internally flawed with that very basic logic structure?” – evenmay

    I do not know you would have to tell me what basic structure of logic you are using and the actually body of the logic would help. What did your premise actually state? How did you constitute that formula?

    ReplyDelete
  10. jdhurf:

    I just saw your comment as I am running out of the door. Check back later tonight; I will try to respond then.

    ReplyDelete