Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Keeping score

Thus far, the Debunkers have been unable to extricate themselves from two consequences of naturalistic evolution:

i) Alethic antirealism

ii) Moral antirealism

1. If nothing else were wrong with atheism, then either one of these would be more than sufficient to deliver the coup de grace.

If, as a consequence of naturalistic evolution, human reason is incurably unreliable, then naturalism is self-refuting.

In addition, alethic antirealism includes moral relativism. If there are no truths, or even if there are truths, but truth is inaccessible to the human mind, then there are no moral truths, or accessible moral truths.

2.Unlike alethic antirealism, moral antirealism is not self-refuting.

In principle, you could be an alethic realist, but a moral antirealist.

But at a practical level, moral antirealism is just as devastating as alethic antirealism.

For if there are no absolute values, then everything we value in life is devoid of value. What’s the value of truth and falsehood if right and wrong are illusory?

If everything I care about is meaningless, then I might as well kill myself.

Indeed, many unbelievers do regard human existence as absurd, which is which they commit suicide or become addicted to drugs and alcohol to deaden the pain and emptiness of their futile existence.

18 comments:

  1. Thus far, the only “consequence of naturalistic evolution” on display in this load of meaningless philosophical babble, is that evolution can produce a large brained, egotistical, superstitious, deluded, hominid that can’t accept the modern empirical FACTS of geology, biology and paleontology, and instead prefers to cling to an ancient creation myth of his ignorant tribal ancestors.

    Poor Steve, he just can't accept reality.

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  2. I'm wondering....

    How can facts be empirical? (I'm assuming by "facts" we mean propositional statements of truth; although anonymous probably doesn't know what any of that means.)

    So....

    Can you see facts? Can you feel them? Can you smell them or taste them?

    If so, can you hand me a pile of facts? I'd really like to empirically experience them.

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  3. non-George anonymous7/27/2006 12:05 PM

    Thus far, the only “consequence of naturalistic evolution” on display in our load of meaningless, philosophical babble, is that evolution can produce a large brained, egotistical, superstitious, deluded, hominid that accepts the modern unempirical pseudo FACTS of so-called geology, biology and paleontology, and therefore prefers to cling to a Darwinian evolution myth of his ignorant monkey ancestors.

    Poor George, he just can't accept reality.

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  4. George "Thus far, the only “consequence of naturalistic evolution” on display in this load of meaningless philosophical babble, is that evolution can produce a large brained, egotistical, superstitious, deluded, hominid that can’t accept the modern empirical FACTS of geology, biology and paleontology, and instead prefers to cling to an ancient creation myth of his ignorant tribal ancestors."


    Another non-George anonyous: Poor Darwinian determinist just can accept the psychological and metaphysical empirical FACTS that we believe what we believe because we were *determined* to believe what we do. Some matter bounced around in our head and caused us to believe myths. The same process happened in George's head and caused him to believe what *he thinks* is FACT.

    Poor George, just can live consistently with his atheism. he picks on Steve for something Steve has no control over.

    I here now dun thee George of the Jungle, monkey boy!

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  5. I'm wondering....

    How can facts be empirical? (I'm assuming by "facts" we mean propositional statements of truth; although anonymous probably doesn't know what any of that means.)

    In the philosophy of science, empiricism is a theory of knowledge which emphasizes those aspects of scientific knowledge that are closely related to experience formed through deliberate experimental investigation. I realized a home schooled fundy like yourself has never actually studied, or ever performed any scientific experiment, so I don’t expect you to understand any of that.

    It is generally taken as a fundamental requirement of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than relying on intuition or the revelations of anonymous ancient near east tribal shamans, or some 16th century religious pyscho named Calvin.

    So, the common descent and gradual evolution of species by biological, reproductive processes on a geological timescale,(3.5 billion years) has been established as a scientific FACT based on the overwhelming empirical evidence that supports it , and based on the fact that there has not been found any evidence that falsifies it.

    Another FACT is that ignorant, delusional Christian fundies can’t accept these facts, because they have been indoctrinated by the leaders of various eternal life cults, that requires them to idolatrize a creation story of some ancient near east tribal shamans above any and all evidence that might contradict it.

    They think that by "believing" this fairytale, they are being loyal to a "god", who will then "save" them from their mortality.

    Under certain circumstances, these ignorant, gullible people can be convinced by their cult leaders to kill themselves, so that a spaceship hiding behind a comet will take their "souls" to heaven.

    I kid you not, these people are basically insane.

    I find them amusing to watch.

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  6. By saying, "naturalistic evolution", are you you trying to contrast it with some kind of "theistic evolution" where god is curator or are you talking Genesis creation account?

    Say a scientist that is Christian makes some findings that goes against something from the bible, what should they do?

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  7. Homey Schooler?7/27/2006 1:28 PM

    George,

    Why do you assume every Christian is a home-schooled fundy? I went through your wonderful public school system and have a B.A. in English with a double minor in History and Political Science with a GPA of 3.49 from a state college. Care to elaborate on your brilliant assumptions? Nice cut and paste from wikipedia.org by the way. You must have a Phd...

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  8. . . . with a GPA of 3.49 from a state college.

    You're bragging about a 3.49 GPA from a state college?!

    Gee, sorry Einstein.

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  9. Why do you assume every Christian is a home-schooled fundy?

    I don’t, I just say that to poke fun of their ignorance of science.
    Plenty of people with public education, and even college degrees like yours, are completely ignorant of basic science knowledge.

    I guess it's hard to keep up with the world of science, when you waste all your time reading some religious or political tripe found in the blogs of nitwits like Steve.


    I went through your wonderful public school system and have a B.A. in English with a double minor in History and Political Science with a GPA of 3.49 from a state college.

    LOL…I didn’t realize it was “my” public school system.
    But thanks for your resume, it shows you’re not educated in any science. Not to worry, that still makes you qualified to be President!


    Care to elaborate on your brilliant assumptions?

    On what assumptions?

    The worldwide scientific research community from over the past hundred years has discovered that no known hypothesis other than biological evolution and universal common descent can account scientifically for the unity, diversity, and patterns of terrestrial life.

    This hypothesis has been verified and corroborated so extensively that it is currently accepted as FACT by the overwhelming majority of professional researchers in the biological and geological sciences, which includes many Christians. No alternate explanations compete scientifically with common descent, primarily for four main reasons:

    1. The predictions of common descent have been confirmed from many independent areas of science.

    2. No significant contradictory evidence has yet been found.

    3. Competing possibilities (such as biblical creationism) have been contradicted by enormous amounts of scientific data.

    4. Many other explanations (ie “theistic” evolution) are untestable, though they may be trivially consistent with biological data.

    But then, you're not really interested in what the data and facts show, you're only interested in what some ancient myth says.


    You must have a Phd...

    I have a graduate degree, but more importantly, what I don't have, is a Christian mind virus, that infects my thoughts and forces me to swear my allegiance to the ancient creation stories and allegories of my ignorant ancestors.

    Sorry if you suffer from it, many Christians have learned to overcome it.

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  10. anonymous wrote:
    ---
    In the philosophy of science, empiricism is a theory of knowledge which emphasizes those aspects of scientific knowledge that are closely related to experience formed through deliberate experimental investigation.
    ---

    You said there are "empirical facts of geology, biology and paleontology." But facts are not empirical.

    Further more, your definition above is inconsistent with your claim about empirical facts. You cut 'n paste--I mean, write: "empiricism is a theory of knowledge which emphasizes those aspects of scientific knowledge that are closely related to experience formed through deliberate experimental investigation." Thus, by "your" own definition, empiricism cannot be used outside of "those aspects of scientific knowledge that are closely related to experience formed through deliberate experimental investigation."

    So, until you can show me how philosophy, morality, and epistemology are aspects of "scientific knowledge" that you have experienced "through deliberate experimental investigation" then my point stands.

    Where is the experiment you did that gave us facts? Where is the experiment you did that gave you this definition of empiricism?

    I won't hold my breath waiting for them because they don't exist.

    anonymous wrote:
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    It is generally taken as a fundamental requirement of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the ntural world...
    ---

    And yet the scientific method is itself not emperically experienced; it is assumed. Your comments above likewise assume a philosophy: naturalism.

    anonymous wrote:
    ---
    So, the common descent and gradual evolution of species by biological, reproductive processes on a geological timescale,(3.5 billion years) has been established as a scientific FACT based on the overwhelming empirical evidence that supports it , and based on the fact that there has not been found any evidence that falsifies it.
    ---

    Yet that is not the case. Oh, I know scientists say that it is a fact; but when you probe the issues they suddenly become really silent. Think of Behe's Darwin's Black Box for example. Irreducible complexity is a nail in the coffin of gradualism. Did you ever wonder why not even Gould would accept Darwinian gradualism, but instead formulated punctuated equillibrium with Eldridge?

    But let us pretend that your ideas are correct. If that is the case, then empiricism has still not created a "fact." Facts are, by nature, immaterial. They are propositional truth statments. They cannot be experienced. The only thing empiricism can demonstrate is that things happen. It cannot explain past events; it cannot predict future events; it cannot look at immaterial things; it cannot speak of "facts."

    To do those things, you have to presuppose a philosophy (which you have done--it's called naturalism) to guide your empiricism. As soon as you extrapolate a generalization from a specific, you are no longer using empiricism for you cannot experience the general. As soon as you say, "This is what happened in the past before we experienced it" you are no longer using empiricism, for you are dealing with matters that you not only haven't experienced, but that it is impossible for you to ever experience.

    Thus, you do not have empirical facts of anything. Instead, you have an empirical method that you interpret using naturalism that gives you things that you identify as facts. But your facts assume your presupposed naturalism.

    This isn't a free lunch, though. You have to demonstrate why your naturalism is correct.

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  11. George,

    What if you have a wrong interpretation of the facts? What if you are wrong about the Uniformity of Nature? Is it possible that you could look at contradicting evidence and admit you were wrong? If the evidence you would accept pointed to the Biblical account and the God of the Bible, how would you respond? My point is that you would never interpret anything that would allow you to conclude that Christianity is true. You may say the same thing about Christians with regard to naturalism, but you must realize this is true about you and Christianity. You live by your presuppositions...

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  12. The problem with the suicide cult members is that these people are NOT basically insane. If they were, it would be a lot more comforting. Just as Hitler wasn't insane in 1939 when he plunged the world into war.

    One of the great comforting illusions of the modern world is that all evil can simply be explained in terms of mental illness or 'far out' people. That the criminal or deviant is somehow so far out of the orinary that we can safely ignore him or her as long as they are not killing us. This is not true. Every man and woman is capable of such barbarities, given the wrong circumstances.

    'There but for the grace of God go I' is one of the most humbling statements in the English language.

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  13. Why you you allow some guy names anonymous to post here? Make him own up to some kind of name. You can do that just as we did.

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  14. Loftus wrote:
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    Make him own up to some kind of name.
    ---

    Wow, I knew John Loftus and I had to agree somewhere! :-D

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  15. For if there are no absolute values, then everything we value in life is devoid of value.

    Another hilarious fallacy of bifurcation. But I guess you have to expect constant "black and white" fallacies to be committed by simpletons like Steve.

    Imagine...

    For if there is no “absolute” way to determine which foods taste good, then no food can taste good.
    For if there are no “absolute” way to determine what music sounds good, then no music can sound good.
    For if there are no “absolute” way to determine what things are beautiful, then nothing can be beautiful.

    Poor little Stevey…still can’t come to grips with what subjective and intersubjective value judgment is.

    And still can't quite define what "absolute" is as it relates to any given pragmatic moral question...like when is it proper to stone a woman to death for adultery.

    Well GARSH! If I can’t claim to be absolutely right about what food, music and behaviors I think are “good”, well then, I simply won’t allow anyone to make that claim!

    And just wait till my god gets a hold of you after you’re dead! He’ll show you how wrong you were about your subjective value judgments!

    LOL…
    It’s fun watching the mind virus make incredibly stupid statements.

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  16. Anonymous wrote:
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    It’s fun watching the mind virus make incredibly stupid statements.
    ---

    I'm glad you enjoy reading your posts so much, anonymous. The rest of us don't.

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  17. Poor Mr. Anonymous... he still doesn't understand the argument from the necessity of absolutes.

    The question of whether hamburgers are good or bad, or if jazz music is good or bad are trivial questions, and our worldviews aren't affected by the answers one way or another.

    But what about the question of whether or not human life has any ultimate value? Worldviews stand or fall on questions like this, and these are the questions Steve is referring to when he says that a world without absolutes is devoid of value.

    And by the way, Mr. Anonymous, is the value of human life a subjective or intersubjective value judgement? Try not to make any stupid statements, even though that's all your worldview leaves you with.

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  18. "...modern empirical FACTS of geology, biology and paleontology...".

    Yes, and isn't it interesting how a simple historical review reveals that these very FACTS have 'evolved' over time. The extrapolation of these FACTS is directly dependent on the 'observational and analytical' tools employed (and a certain amount of subjectivity/presuppositions). Consider the 'evolution' of atomic theory.

    Future sophistication of observational and analytical techniques will result in paradigm shifts perhaps rendering today's FACTS as simply historically interesting constructs.(At least that is what I learnt in my Philosophy of Science course.

    Also not all scientists (even 'secular') agree on all the so-called FACTS.

    So Anon, exactly how much trust should I place in today's FACTS? Nice to see you putting your faith in something that you have no way of knowing is 100% true. Seriously I am concerned that there is the possibility that you may be deluded.

    I don’t, I just say that to poke fun of their ignorance of science.
    Plenty of people with public education, and even college degrees like yours, are completely ignorant of basic science knowledge.


    The thing is that Christians have accredited education in all scientific fields. What many of us 'deluded' Christians have seen is the dishonest representation of theories and hypothesis as FACT.
    The veracity of a scientific FACT is not how wonderful it sounds or if it corroborated by independent research, it's how well it stands up to continuous refutation.

    Scientific fields are also not exempt from ego, subjectivism, presuppositions, peer pressure, etc.

    If scientists have been so objectively stellar in gathering the FACTS, especially in the field of paleontology, then why have so many been duped. (Piltdown man, etc.) Just thinking about a recent National Geographic incident where apparently a substantial missing link between reptiles and birds had been found in China. Most of one issue was devoted to this find along with drawings of what it looked like, it's habitat, it's behavior, what it had evolved from and what it evolved into. It's a pitty it turned out to be a fake that cost NG $70K. One would think those scientists would have applied some skepticism to their research before dedicating the bulk of one of their issues to this amazing new discovery. Kinda left me with the impression that they were more interested in trying to corroborate the presuppositions...

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