Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A little satire at Darwinists' expense

zilch said:

All I can say, Rho, is that if you think "goddidit that way" counts as an "explanation", then it's just as well you're not a scientist, or an engineer, or even attending a science class. I can just imagine the examination:

Why does gold exhibit a cubical face-centered crystal structure?

Goddidit.

Why does the Sun shine?

Goddidit.

Why is grass green?

Goddidit.

Fail

But, but, I explained everything!

Many, many scientists throughout history have realised that God has put natural processes in place, and you're not taking that into acct. Fail on *you*.
Further, "God did it" IS an explanation, but not the ONLY explanation. Your assumptions make you dense.
Besides, ask a Darwinian the same things:

Why does the sun shine?
Mammy Nature did it.
How did the sun get there?
Mammy Nature put it there.
How did Mammy Nature get there?
Stop asking questions, you!! What are you, a fundamentalist!?!?! No tenure for you!!!!!

Or:
How did this sea slug "steal genes"?
Mammy Nature did it.
Yeah, but HOW?
We don't know, but Mammy Nature did it, and by the way, there is no God.
How do you know there is no God?
I haven't seen any evidence for God.
Have you ever seen any evidence for evidence?
I insist that we now change the subject.

Satire's fun for EVERYbody!


42 comments:

zilch said...

Sorry, Rho, but the scientist's explanation doesn't stop at "nature did it"- otherwise, it doesn't count as science. For instance, the scientific answer to "why does the Sun shine?" is something like this: "the Sun shines because of the energy released in the form of photons, which are perceived as visible light, or "shining" to us, by means of the fusion of hydrogen atoms to helium", and goes on in great detail (which I will spare you, but you can look it up). Your explanation stops at "goddidit". Which explanation deserves the name of "explanation"?

Rhology said...

the scientist's explanation doesn't stop at "nature did it"- otherwise, it doesn't count as science.

Neither does the Christian's explanation stop at "God did it".
Your satire was a strawman. QED.


Your explanation stops at "goddidit".

False. My explanation is something like this: "the Sun shines because of the energy released in the form of photons, which are perceived as visible light, or "shining" to us, by means of the fusion of hydrogen atoms to helium", and goes on in great detail (which I will spare you, but you can look it up).

Dr Funkenstein said...

was about to say roughly the same thing zilch - the major difference is that the natural explanations generally have at least some content/do some work, Goddidit doesn't ever get beyond a vague claim

surprisingly enough, the 'father' of the ID movement Philip Johnson summed it up quite well in a way, back in 2006 (although I obviously disagree with his comment regarding the supposed problems with 'darwinism', he at least realises it brings something more to the table than 'nature just did it')

"I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are quite convinced that it’s doable, but that’s for them to prove…No product is ready for competition in the educational world. "

Likewise, Paul Nelson also stated

"Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design. "

ie ID/Goddidit style responses aren't actually explaining anything

Dr Funkenstein said...

False. My explanation is something like this: "the Sun shines because of the energy released in the form of photons, which are perceived as visible light, or "shining" to us, by means of the fusion of hydrogen atoms to helium", and goes on in great detail (which I will spare you, but you can look it up).

So why doesn't Goddidit count as a sufficient/better explanation for that, but it does for the data that supports common descent? (ie given that they both deal with indirectly observable phenomena (unless you've been to the surface of the sun, or can directly see nuclear reactions taking place or photons of course!), they use limited methods to formulate the theory etc, they don't allow for some supernatural agent simply making it look like the nuclear reactions are happening and so on)

what gets me about these posts is that you completely fail to realise that you'd be better off employing general arguments against science rather than citing specific examples like CD, the turning round and saying some other theory is totally fine, because the problem is there are so many theories that you do accept that are formulated and evaluated in a way analagous to the theory of CD. basically, if you think CD is false for those reasons, you'd be forced to concede other theories could be false for the same reasons to maintain any sort of consistency .

therefore all you're doing is employing Goddidit in an arbitrary fashion - there's no reason it should be acceptable to waive away the theory of CD but not waive away any other scientific explanation for the same reason (esp. given that creationists vary wildly on what scientific theories are acceptable to them and which aren't - eg a lot of prtoestants reject heliocentric theories of the solar system,and a minority even reject the idea the earth is round! they all use roughly similar arguments to what you are using to 'rebut' the theory of CD))

zilch said...

Okay, Rho, so you are simply stealing your explanation from scientists, and then adding "and it's that way because goddidit". What does your "goddidit" add to the scientific explanation, pray tell?

Funk: yep.

Rhology said...

You guys would have more luck actually advancing the conversation if you were to demonstrate some understanding of how historical inquiry works.

Paul Nelson also stated

Those quotes doesn't say what I think you want them to say. But thanks for posting them!


ie ID/Goddidit style responses aren't actually explaining anything

That doesn't follow from the quotes. And God did it DOES explain - the cause, the source, the moving agent. That's called HISTORY. Get your head out of the sand, seriously. You too, zilch.


So why doesn't Goddidit count as a sufficient/better explanation for that, but it does for the data that supports common descent?

It counts as an overarching explanation for ALL of it, but some lower interps, such as CD, contradict it. Thus, they are to be judged false. If they do NOT contradict it, then the natural explanation could ALSO well be right. That's how science must be done, and as a bonus we don't have the problem of induction.


there are so many theories that you do accept that are formulated and evaluated in a way analagous to the theory of CD

I've never been accused of being quick to bow the knee to "public consensus". If alot of stuff is done wrong, alot needs to be changed.


there's no reason it should be acceptable to waive away the theory of CD but not waive away any other scientific explanation for the same reason

Sure there is, and I just explained it. I think you're allowing your bias against creationism to color your objectivity here.

Derrick said...

Reading Rho is like playing chess with a pigeon. He knocks over the pieces, craps on the board, and flies off burbling victory. He's evidently completely unable to perceive how deep his fallacies are, and thus is not worth one more iota of consideration. There are far more intelligent Christians you could be discussing with.

PChem said...

if you think CD is false for those reasons, you'd be forced to concede other theories could be false for the same reasons to maintain any sort of consistency.

I don't think so. I can see how there are theological problems with common descent that are not present for other theories, say for example the atomic theory of matter. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

zilch said...

Hey Rho! Funk said:

So why doesn't Goddidit count as a sufficient/better explanation for that, but it does for the data that supports common descent?

You replied:

It counts as an overarching explanation for ALL of it, but some lower interps, such as CD, contradict it. Thus, they are to be judged false. If they do NOT contradict it, then the natural explanation could ALSO well be right. That's how science must be done, and as a bonus we don't have the problem of induction.

This would be true, Rho, if God existed, and if your interpretation of the Bible were true. However, unless you can come up with some evidence for God's existence, and evidence that the Biblical account of Creation is true, then this is just an assertion. That being the case, and since adding "goddidit" to naturalistic explanations doesn't do any work, then it's more parsimonious to assume that God does not exist.

Provisionally, of course. I'm still waiting with bated breath for some evidence for God's existence from you.

cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

Dr Funkenstein said...

PChem

Whether it causes a theolgical difficulty or not is fairly irrelevant for several reasons

1. Simply causing a theological difficulty isn't an indicator of the theory's falsehood. It may cause a theological difficulty because that theology (or the source it was derived from) is false - obviously this isn't the concern of most scientists. Science would also pose a difficulty for anyone who believed the sun was made of melted cheese, but that's no obvious reason to discredit the science or for scientists to make a special exception for theories relating to the composition of the sun.

2. It also misses the mark for other reasons

- it doesn't answer why one theory is likely to be roughly accurate, but another constructed by exactly the same set of methods is not. if indirect observability is a problem for one theory, it is a problem for any other theory that relies on that

- if limited methodology etc is a problem for one theory, it will be a problem for all theories as they all rely on methods that have limits

-even if it poses no theological difficulty, this still doesn't discount the possibility that God may simply be making it look as if eg quarks or electrons exist, when in actuality they don't, much the same way he may simply be making it look as if CD happened or the Earth is vastly old, when in reality they are not - it may not be obvious why, but as Van Till said, "God must always remain mysterious to man"!

3. There is no consensus on which scientific theories do and don't cause theological difficulties amongst religions generally, amongst specific religions or subsets of those specific religions. While you may be quite happy to accept (say) the heliocentric solar system, some denominations are not. Even just amongst Protestants:

- There are significant numbers that consider CD to pose no theological difficulty, but large numbers for whom it does
- there are significant numbers for whom the vast age of the Earth poses no theological difficulty, but large numbers for whom it does
- there are reasonable numbers for whom any non-geocentric model of the universe poses a theological difficulty, but large numbers for whom it does not
- there are some for whom the idea that the germ theory of disease and other natural processes are the causes of physical and mental diseases poses a theological problem
- there are some for whom solely relying on modern medical treatments to cure diseases poses a theological problem
- there are a minority for whom the fact science says the Earth is not hollow or flat poses a theological difficulty

And this is just a handful of examples.

In short, I am asking

a. the criticisms levelled at evolution are just as applicable to almost all scientific theories, so why not reject science full stop rather than just one theory?

b. why can't people come up with a reliable list of which theories do and don't conflict with theology (anticipating the stock 'sin' response, bear in mind this response can also be applied to your own beliefs in this regard as well as those of believers you don't agree with)?

c. the fact of a theory posing a theological difficulty doesn't affect the criticism, since it doen't change that

- CD and other theories deal with unobservable entities
- they all utitilise limited methods etc
- in the event God exists, he could still have a reason for 'making it look like X exists/happened' the same way he apparently might with CD regardless if it creates a theological difficulty or not

Dr Funkenstein said...

Rhology

That's how science must be done, and as a bonus we don't have the problem of induction.

As I've explained to PChem, this doesn't really work (see post above)

I also explained previously that unless you are omniscient (ie God), or have uninhibited access to the mind of an omniscient being, you still have the same problem to face as anyone else who wants to generalise from specifics.

Those quotes doesn't say what I think you want them to say. But thanks for posting them!

So they don't say

1. ID has no real theory, and therefore no real explanatory power?

2. that (in the Johnson quote) 'Darwninism', even if it later turned out to be wrong, still counts as an example of an explanation as it has explanatory content (or a fully worked out scheme if you prefer Johnson's wording?

if not, then what do they say?

And God did it DOES explain - the cause, the source, the moving agent. That's called HISTORY.

And astrology does explain why things happen to people in their daily lives, the cause (certain alignments of planets and stars), the source (planets, stars, location in space/time). The idea that our lives are causally influenced by planetary alignments is also consistent with virtually any outcome in regards to what eventually happens in our lives.

So can we take it astrology has high explanatory power? Or is it just so vague it happens to be consistent with a huge array of datasets without actually explaining anything?

Michael Behe certainly seemed to think it had as much virtue as an explanation as ID does, and ID is no different from Godddidit.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day11pm.html

I think you're allowing your bias against creationism to color your objectivity here.

I think you're allowing your bias towards creationism to color your objectivity and consistent application of your arguments here.

zilch said...

Funk: word. It's an amazing coincidence that precisely those parts of science that are obviously felt to be in conflict with the Bible, especially the ToE and those bits of geology and cosmology that address the age of the Earth/Universe, are under attack from the "unbiased" "science" of Creationists/IDers.

Rhology said...

zilch,

And I'm still waiting with bated breath for some evidence for evidence's existence from you. Cheers!

Also, to all y'all, why are the two levels of explanation OK for naturalism, namely:
1) The sun shines b/c light is one of the effects produced by the fusion of hydrogen atoms inside the sun.
2) The sun shines b/c it is a star and coalesced from cosmic dust and gas billions of years ago by chance.

but it's not OK for the Christian to posit two levels of explanation? Oh, I know - it's b/c you don't like the idea that there might be a God. Double standard.

Dr Funk,

you still have the same problem to face as anyone else who wants to generalise from specifics.

Only sometimes. (So that's true - I need to qualify my "we don't have the problem" to "we don't have the problem when it comes to ultimate things, when it really matters, but the problem remains for you".)
God reveals absolutes and standards by which we may then make deductive judgments. That's not available to the naturalist, and that's why I often question naturalists about morality and the preconditions for intelligibility.

Now, it doesn't follow from "ID has no real theory" that "therefore no real explanatory power". As I've been explaining, there's more general, overarching explanations, and more specific ones, and ID, even if we grant your interp of Nelson/Johnson, would be providing the former and not the latter. You do that all the time with your Darwinism of the gaps - we don't know how it works, but we do know it happened via evol by natsel working on mutations.


And astrology does explain why things happen to people in their daily lives

1) Astrology is not accurate, nor precise.
2) This is along the lines of the IPU or FSM - give me an argument why I should accept astrology; does it provide for some kind of precondition for intelligibility? Explain origins?


Michael Behe certainly seemed to think it had as much virtue as an explanation as ID does

You should know by now that I don't hold Behe in any particularly high regard.


I think you're allowing your bias towards creationism to color your objectivity and consistent application of your arguments here.

Oh yeah? Well, *I* think you're allowing your bias against creationism to color your objectivity and consistent application of your arguments here. Nyah nyah!

zilch said...

zilch,

And I'm still waiting with bated breath for some evidence for evidence's existence from you. Cheers!


Why does evidence need evidence for its existence, Rho? It just is: it's what we've got. If reality is an illusion, or a chimera, or a dream induced by the evil scientists who keep our brains in vats, or is just a message from a minor demiurge to a demon, it is still the only reality we have, pending evidence for some higher or super- or preternatural domain. As the JN said over at your evidentialism thread:

[...]the entirety of your line of reasoning is based upon what I deem to be a fallacious notion: that the bare facts of reality cannot be the bare facts of reality, but, instead, require “grounding.”

I know- you claim that reality can't be its own ground, that it requires grounding in the GOTB. But as I've said at least a gazillion times here, and I'm not the only one, this extra level of existence explains nothing, has no evidence going for it, and complicates the picture to an unimaginable degree. So I'm still waiting with bated breath for your evidence for the existence of this God level.

Also, to all y'all, why are the two levels of explanation OK for naturalism, namely:
1) The sun shines b/c light is one of the effects produced by the fusion of hydrogen atoms inside the sun.
2) The sun shines b/c it is a star and coalesced from cosmic dust and gas billions of years ago by chance.

but it's not OK for the Christian to posit two levels of explanation? Oh, I know - it's b/c you don't like the idea that there might be a God. Double standard.


There's nothing wrong with having two or more levels of explanation for something, but calling your example here "two levels" is rather arbitrary. I would say that your first statement is part of an explanation for why the sun shines, and your second is part of an explanation for how the sun came to be formed. Many more such "levels" could be added, for instance "the sun shines because we have photoreceptors in our eyes that respond to the light from the sun and send nervous impulses to our brain, which interprets them as "shining"."

This is rather different than your saying, in effect, "reality is not enough. There must be a supernatural explanation for reality, and that supernatural explanation must be the GOTB". Now that's two levels with a vengeance! But as I've said, now at least a gazillion and one times, this is just an assertion, unless you can back it up.

cheers from icy Vienna, zilch

Rhology said...

Why does God need evidence for His existence, zilch? He just is: He's what we've got.


If reality is an illusion, or a chimera, or a dream induced by the evil scientists who keep our brains in vats, or is just a message from a minor demiurge to a demon, it is still the only reality we have

Yep, and you'd have no way to know whether it's TRUE or not. See, *I'm* after TRUTH, not "what works, mostly". I hope you are too, and that you'll see the folly of making huge assumptions like this w/o any grounding for them or any reason beyond the convenient to affirm them.

zilch said...

Why does God need evidence for His existence, zilch? He just is: He's what we've got.

Why does the FSM need evidence for Its existence, Rho? It just is: It's what we've got.

Sorry- I see reality, I don't see God.

See, *I'm* after TRUTH, not "what works, mostly". I hope you are too, and that you'll see the folly of making huge assumptions like this w/o any grounding for them or any reason beyond the convenient to affirm them.

Yep, I'm after truth, too, Rho. But so far, I don't see any reason to go beyond what my senses and reason tell me: that the real world is as it seems. I don't see any indication that any sort of God exists, and I don't see any necessity for gods, so far, other than wishful thinking, and I'd rather wait for something more convincing than that. Got anything?

Dr Funkenstein said...

"we don't have the problem when it comes to ultimate things, when it really matters, but the problem remains for you".

regardless if this is true or not, this doesn't explain how you have solved the problem of induction, which was your original claim. Now the goalposts have shifted to the idea that God allows you to make deductively valid arguments - this still doesn't explain how you resolve the PoI.

1) Astrology is not accurate, nor precise.

This is exactly the point! But the problem is, neither is Goddidit since just like astrology it is

a. consistent with vast amounts of datasets without singling out any specific one set or excluding others
b. You are aware that astrological predictions tends to be deliberately vague so it can play both sides of any prediction it makes and thus always be 'correct'?

most people would have got the rather obvious comparisons between the two by now

You should know by now that I don't hold Behe in any particularly high regard.

That's hardly important - the point is, he tried, just like you have, to make his definitions of what constituted a theory/explanation so loose that he was forced to concede it would allow for astrology to count as a valid explanation of goings on in the world.

This is along the lines of the IPU or FSM - give me an argument why I should accept astrology;

many people take astrology seriously though, unlike IPU/FSM

I also find it interesting that hypotheticals get dismissed by presuppers as contrivances when it suits them, but are apparently just fine when it's an argument they favour (eg brain-in-a-vat, or Plantinga's examples from the EAAN). Can we take it you'll no longer be employing these arguments?

Anyway, it's not meant to get you to accept astrology, it's meant to highlight that if Goddidit is considered an explanation, then astrology would also meet your definition of an explanation. Yet just like me you seem to agree it is too imprecise and vague to explain anything and the fact planetary alignment is consistent with most observations its a rather trivial observation.

does it provide for some kind of precondition ... origins?

No, because this isn't the point of the analogy. It's like you're asking 'does the theory of electromagnetism explain everything a cosmological theory of the origin of the universe does?' - one describes a smaller set of data than the other, but there are certain similarities between the two that could be used to illustrate how an explanation should work in general. Analogies by definition aren't supposed to be exactly the same as each other!

Astrology doesn't need to explain everything to be a suitable analogy, it just needs to have certain characteristics that would meet your implied definition of what constitutes an explanation.

Nyah nyah!

The point, as you appear to have missed, is that accusing people of bias is rather pointless. Everyone has a bias or biases (if you want to call them that). However, there's a difference between our claims in that I've actually given examples pointing out your inconsistencies on 3 fronts

1. the dismissal of certain science solely on the basis it conflicts with your preconceptions, despite the fact there's no obvious reason given thus far that your arguments against evolution don't apply to the theories you do accept

2. reasons why simply dismissing ideas on the basis that they conflict with a person's preferences is as valid/invalid a move for you as it is for someone you don't agree with (which may even consist of people who follow the same religion as you do - see examples in response to PChem).

3. your inconsistency in what meets the standards of being considered worthy of the title 'explanation' - on the one hand one vague claim (Goddidit) is apparently fine, yet another that meets this exact same standard is 'vague and imprecise'

Rhology said...

Why does the FSM need evidence for Its existence, Rho? It just is: It's what we've got.

1) So it would appear that your epistemic case rests on a notion (evidence) that you think has equal justification with an imaginary joke called the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You said it, not me.
2) So what's the answer here? I say the answer is to presuppose the God of the Bible, Who DOES provide the preconditions for intelligibility, and go from there, evaluating other worldviews to see how well they do on that most fundamental count. I invite you to do so with evidence and with the FSM.
3) INterestingly, I have a post I'm sitting on that will discuss the FSM at great length. Look for it soon.


I see reality, I don't see God.

Prove both of those assertions.


I don't see any reason to go beyond what my senses and reason tell me

1) How does your reason non-circularly tell you to trust your reason?
2) How does your reason non-circularly tell you to trust your senses?



Dr Funk,

this doesn't explain how you have solved the problem of induction, which was your original claim.

God has promised that the world will remain in operation according to natural laws virtually all of the time, until the Eschaton. He made us in His image and He is a logical thinking being. For more elaboration on that, I'd recommend reading some Van Til.


b. You are aware that astrological predictions tends to be deliberately vague so it can play both sides of any prediction it makes and thus always be 'correct'?

1) Which bears little resemblance to the Bible, so there you go.
2) Since Darwinism makes some vague and some specific predictions, but then just remorphs to either ignore or incorporate new discoveries that contradict it, I don't see how that's a lot better.
3) Again, I'd await the whole foundation for intelligibility thing from astrology.


many people take astrology seriously though, unlike IPU/FSM

Makes me wonder why you even cite the IPU, then, since you don't take it seriously.


I also find it interesting that hypotheticals get dismissed by presuppers as contrivances when it suits them, but are apparently just fine when it's an argument they favour (eg brain-in-a-vat, or Plantinga's examples from the EAAN). Can we take it you'll no longer be employing these arguments?

I have a reason to reject the brain in a vat, based on my presupps. The same cannot be said of a naturalist, so no, I'll continue to be employing those.


The point, as you appear to have missed, is that accusing people of bias is rather pointless.

Consider it a cap-off comment, a conclusion based on the way you let defeaters for your position slide right off your back. Let the reader judge, and all that.

zilch said...

Rho, you said:

1) So it would appear that your epistemic case rests on a notion (evidence) that you think has equal justification with an imaginary joke called the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You said it, not me.

Er, no, Rho, as should be clear from context, I am just rephrasing your claim for the existence of the GOTB to show that there is just as much logical necessity for your God as for the FSM- that is, null.

2) So what's the answer here? I say the answer is to presuppose the God of the Bible, Who DOES provide the preconditions for intelligibility, and go from there, evaluating other worldviews to see how well they do on that most fundamental count. I invite you to do so with evidence and with the FSM.

I, like the JN, and I suspect several other atheists here, say that the answer is to presuppose that the world is more or less the way it seems: no gods. I need no preconditions for my intelligibility: I take it neat. I have the evidence of my senses and my reason: what do I need more than that? Until you can demonstrate that reality alone is not enough, or that there is evidence for the existence of your God, I'll keep this party simple.

3) INterestingly, I have a post I'm sitting on that will discuss the FSM at great length. Look for it soon.

I'm only interested in the FSM insofar as it's a modern god, made up for the specific purpose of being a foil for ideas about gods and the supernatural.

I said:

I see reality, I don't see God.

Prove both of those assertions.

Uh, how can I prove to you what I see? These are not assertions, but perceptions.


I don't see any reason to go beyond what my senses and reason tell me

1) How does your reason non-circularly tell you to trust your reason?
2) How does your reason non-circularly tell you to trust your senses?


By getting me through the day. If my reason and senses didn't work more or less accurately, I wouldn't be here to argue with you. You are asking, for the gazillionth time, for an ironclad solution to the problem of induction. I don't have one; you don't either, although you claim to have one. But I'm afraid that doesn't exercise me very much: philosophers and theologians can spend their time setting words to chasing their own tails as they please; me, I've got a life to live. When I drive my axe through an oak log, it splits, and that's a good enough grounding of reality for me.

cheers from my comfy wood-heated workshop, zilch

Rhology said...

OK and I am just rephrasing your claim for the existence of evidence to show that there is just as much logical necessity for evidence as for the FSM- that is, null.


I, like the JN, and I suspect several other atheists here, say that the answer is to presuppose that the world is more or less the way it seems: no gods.

I, like Vox Veritatis and I suspect several other Xtians here, say that the answer is to presuppose that the world is more or less the way it seems: created by God.

Wow, we're really getting somewhere now!


I need no preconditions for my intelligibility: I take it neat.

Then I need none for my belief in God. I take it neat.


I have the evidence of my senses and my reason

You THINK you do. I challenge that, and you respond by repeating the claim.


Uh, how can I prove to you what I see? These are not assertions, but perceptions.

prove you perceive them correctly, or concede that you're expressing blind faith in your religion of choice.


By getting me through the day. If my reason and senses didn't work more or less accurately, I wouldn't be here to argue with you.

Perhaps you HAVEN'T made it thru the day. Perhaps you're NOT here arguing with me. Prove you are, or concede that you're expressing blind faith in your religion of choice.


IOW, you're not prepared to answer this line of questioning, and it's a bit sad to watch you try. I urge you to repent and believe.

Peace,
Rhology

PChem said...

1. Simply causing a theological difficulty isn't an indicator of the theory's falsehood. It may cause a theological difficulty because that theology (or the source it was derived from) is false

True enough. However, I believe the arguments for Christianity are quite good, and the arguments for a naturalistic or athiestic world view poor. As such, they are important.

2. It also misses the mark for other reasons

- if indirect observability is a problem


This isn't my complaint. I bet Rho might be interested in debating you on this though.

- if limited methodology etc is a problem for one theory, it will be a problem for all theories

Depends on what you mean by limited methodology. But again, this isn't my primary concern either.

-even if it poses no theological difficulty, this still doesn't discount the possibility that God may simply be making it look as if eg quarks or electrons exist, when in actuality they don't, much the same way he may simply be making it look as if CD happened or the Earth is vastly old, when in reality they are not

There are two things about this. (1) it gets deep into the nature of God. We've been over this many times. (2) The way things look is going to be determined by the glasses through which you look at them.

I do agree with van Til here by the way. God is indeed nothing like us and so must be mysterious.

3. There is no consensus on which scientific theories do and don't cause theological difficulties amongst religions generally,

So what? This doesn't bother me. There are number of things people disagree about.

a. the criticisms levelled at evolution are just as applicable to almost all scientific theories, so why not reject science full stop rather than just one theory?

Rather than re-type a whole new paragraph here I am going to steal one I gave to NAL in a different thread. I apologize up front that there was a slightly different focus in that thread so it doesn't fit perfectly well here, but I am lazy and don't want to reinvent the wheel all over.

Science as a whole is committed to methodological naturalism, and this simply makes it impossible to use science as an independent test for truth. It is very much tied to a naturalistic worldview in this regard. So using it to validate or invalidate a worldview is simply begging the question. Now, for a variety of reasons, I am convinced that Christianity is true. So, why should I expect a field of knowledge operating solely under naturalistic methodologies to be correct every time? Now, I do believe that God is one of order, and as such, I actually prefer to retain methodological naturalism as a default mode of performing science. However, I do not feel obligated to hold all scientific theories realistically, especially if I feel there is compelling philosophical, theological, or historical reasons. In those cases, I prefer to adopt those specific theories antirealistically. Even then, I think they may have some pragmatic value (depends on the theory), but that doesn't mean they correspond to reality.

PChem said...

The problem, as I see it, has more to do with the a priori assumption of naturalism inherent in using methodological naturalism. I am content to say that common decent is an excellent and probably the best naturalistic explanation available. However, my worldview is not committed to philosophical naturalism. Thus, I am not going to be surprised if the naturalistic explanations afforded by methodological naturalism are inadequate. It is very analogous to going fishing in a pond that only has catfish and being surprised that you only catch catfish.

b. why can't people come up with a reliable list of which theories do and don't conflict with theology

Probably for the same reason different people view scientific data differently. Let's face it, different people have different opinions and see things differently. I see this all the time in my field of science. So, I guess this doesn't surprise me.

c. the fact of a theory posing a theological difficulty doesn't affect the criticism, since it doen't change that

- CD and other theories deal with unobservable entities
- they all utitilise limited methods etc
- in the event God exists, he could still have a reason for 'making it look like X exists/happened' the same way he apparently might with CD regardless if it creates a theological difficulty or not


Going to pass on this because it seems similar to things listed above that I have already touched on.

Cheers

zilch said...

Made it through another day, or at least it seems that way to me, Rho. I said:

Uh, how can I prove to you what I see? These are not assertions, but perceptions.

prove you perceive them correctly, or concede that you're expressing blind faith in your religion of choice.

No proof, Rho. Again, as I've said now at least a gazillion and two times, I have to start somewhere, and where I start is with my perceptions and my reason. So do you- the only difference is that you think they need "proof" or "grounding" in order to be trustworthy. My explanation is simpler, and yours has no evidence going for it- unless you've finally decided to show me some?- and yours doesn't do any work mine doesn't do- not to mention the fact that your particular God explanation runs afoul of the real world in many particulars. So I'll stick with mine for now, thanks.

By getting me through the day. If my reason and senses didn't work more or less accurately, I wouldn't be here to argue with you.

Perhaps you HAVEN'T made it thru the day. Perhaps you're NOT here arguing with me. Prove you are, or concede that you're expressing blind faith in your religion of choice.

Same thing: no proof. But it certainly seems that the world is more or less the way it appears to me, and in any case, acting on the assumption that it is so gets the firewood chopped. So until I see some evidence that the world is not the way it seems, I'll continue chopping wood.

IOW, you're not prepared to answer this line of questioning, and it's a bit sad to watch you try. I urge you to repent and believe.

I've given you my answers, such as they are, and admitted where they fall short: I can't prove that the world is the way it seems to me. But as I've said, your positing a God as the ultimate answer is just an assertion on your part with no evidence to back it up. I'd rather say "I don't know" than claim "I do know" without any basis for it.

So unless you've got something other than your simple assertion that God "explains" the world, even though there's no evidence for this God's existence, and even though this "explanation" does no work, and is not reconcilable with the real world in many ways, then I'm afraid we're up against a wall here.

And I'm afraid believing in the Bible is beyond me- it's got some very good advice, but it's riddled with errors and full of self-contradictions and wanton cruelty: it requires a greater suspension of cognitive and emotional dissonance to believe in than I am willing to endure. I'm after the truth, not just warm cuddlies in contemplation of pie in the sky, or escaping the eternal torment prepared for me by an all-loving God because I used my intellect, or rejoicing in righteous anger at the heathens.

peace to you too, look me up if you're ever in Vienna, zilch

Dr Funkenstein said...

God has promised that the world will remain in operation according to natural laws virtually all of the time, until the Eschaton.

Well, except for the miracles he can perform any time of course, which you don't know when will happen, thus undermining any claim you have to knowing nature will remain uniform!

He made us in His image and He is a logical thinking being.

You do realise that neither of your claims solve the problem of being able to generalise from specifics, don't you?

eg if you take the classic 'black swan' example

observation - all swans I have seen so far are white

generalisation - therefore all swans are white

so say you were a person who had only ever seen white swans and didn't know black swans existed - your inference would have been wrong, even though you were a logical thinker and nature was uniform.

hence the reason that unless you are omniscient, have uninhibited access to an omniscient mind, or have some other solution to hand, you haven't solved the PoI

For more elaboration on that, I'd recommend reading some Van Til.

From what I've read of his stuff (and presuppositionalism generally) it doesn't seem to have an awful lot of merit to be honest.

Makes me wonder why you even cite the IPU, then, since you don't take it seriously.

It's a hypothetical tool to show that a ridiculous contrivance can be used in arguments like TAG to 'prove' the existence of an absurdity just as well as they can TGoTB, the same way brain in a vat is a ridiculous contrivance to investigate certain questions about skepticism etc. Your average atheist will probably consider TGoTB as much an absurd fabrication as the IPU or FSM, it just so happens there are upwards of a billion people who take TGoTB at least semi-seriously.

However, I'm sure you think the god of Islam is just as much of a contrivance as the FSM/IPU. However, it also has attracted a following of over a billion people who take it seriously. However, logically speaking at least one of Islam or Christianity must be made up. Therefore the simple fact of something being taken seriously by people is no indicator that it is any better as an explanation than some absurd contrivance.

I have a reason to reject the brain in a vat, based on my presupps. The same cannot be said of a naturalist, so no, I'll continue to be employing those.

But the goalposts have shifted again, you seemed to be first complaining they were just made up hypotheticals, but so are brain in a vat and Plantinga's examples. I suppose then if I use your logic I can 'disprove' brain in a vat by just saying 'it's an absurd hypothetical!', thus giving me a great reason on naturalism not to accept it!

The point is if you think a brain being controlled in a lab to simulate the real world, or a ridiculous hypothetical like a man running away from a tiger because he really wants to be eaten but just wants to find a meaner tiger to eat him, thus ensuring his survival, is a valid argumentation tool, then you have no reason to reject the idea that IPU or FSM is a valid argumentation tool. The fact that arguments such as TAG can be filled just as well by these asburdities or be 'proven' by the 'impossibility of the contrary' should therefore tell you that your 'proof' of TGoTB has something wrong with it.

Also, Descartes already tried to use God as a way of getting round the skepticism induced by his evil daemon thought experiment, a lot of people think he wasn't successful due to circular reasoning.

Dr Funkenstein said...

1) Which bears little resemblance to the Bible, so there you go.

the bible does indeed set up a lot of scientific hypotheses - this is what scientific creationism is based around, which is unfortunately for creationists an enterprise that has had no real successes and is characterised by poor quality research.

However, this isn't your hypothesis (and from what I remember you said you don't really have much interest in Sci. Cre.), your hypothesis is far more vague than that (ie Goddidit) and it is that I am dealing with.

2) Since Darwinism makes ...

All scientific theories adjust to fit new data, this is just another self-defeating argument for any scientific theory you do accept. If they didn't do this, science would never have got going.

but the fact is there are some very precise predicitions implied by the ToE. Even if this wasn't the case, it still has no relevance to whether your theory qualifies as an explanation or not.

3) Again, I'd await the whole foundation for intelligibility thing from astrology.

I pointed out that astrology isn't intended to explain absolutely everything, it's merely got many parallels with 'Goddidit' as an explanation. This is just yet another goalpost shift or example of feigned ignorance to avoid the obvious conclusions of the point being made.

You even agree that astrology vague and offers nothing beyond simply being consistent with many datasets without actually explaining why they are the way they are or why we should expect one outcome over another, which seems to mean you've got the point.

Hence the reason when you try and explain something by Goddidit (doesn't matter if it's a scientific or philosophical problem), it's hardly a surprise when people dismiss it as an explanation any more than it's a surprise someone should think astrology fails to qualify as an explanation.

zilch said...

Dr Funk, you say:

However, logically speaking at least one of Islam or Christianity must be made up.

Not necessarily so. It might well be that Allah is really Satan- or that Jehovah is really Shaitan. Or maybe both of them are Voldemort.

Vox Veritatis said...

Rho,

I think that this might clarify things a little:

Explanations, in this sense, are propositions which relate observed quantities to known or hypothesized causal principles. From the Christian perspective, there are two levels of causation, and thus there are two levels of explanation. God is the alone primary cause of all that exists. Thus, "X exists because God caused it ultimately" is the ultimate and final explanation for everything (call explanations at this level "ultimate explanations"). Likewise, God brings many things to be as they are (including the observed quantities of various objects in the natural world) by means of secondary causes, such as gravity, electromagnetism, etc. Thus, explanations exist corresponding to this level of causation (call them proximal explanations).

We have no reason to believe that natural processes do not have secondary causes behind them. Thus, as Christian scientists, we should approach the natural world as if observed quantities of objects have proximal explanations relating them to secondary causes that are operative in the natural world. Indeed, it is by such processes that "operations science" (and thus engineering) are made possible.

However, we have no reason to believe that we will discover all of the secondary causes behind natural phenomena - thus, there are many proximal explanations that may elude us.

However, when it comes to the question of origins, ultimate explanations (relating to God as the first cause) are sufficient to explain why something exists. The question then, is did God act mediately or immediately in bringing the thing in question into existence? If immediately, then there are no secondary causes involved, and thus an ultimate explanation is all that one needs, and all that one can get. If mediately, then secondary causes are at work and proximate explanations are available. However, if the process of bringing the thing in question into existence does not admit to repeated, controlled, experimentation, then proximate explanations may be impossible to obtain, though they be theoretically available.

Thus, the fundamental issue is the difference between finding proximal explanations for making use of natural processes in novel applications (i.e. engineering), and finding ultimate explanations for building a coherent system of thought from one's presuppositions. The latter is sufficient for the Christian explanation of origins, as it not only explains, within the Christian worldview, the existence of all that is, but also the establishment of the secondary causes that govern the operation of the things that are.

zilch said...

Hey Vox! Long time no see!

I must say, I agree with everything you say. The only difference is that I don't see any reason to invoke anything beyond "proximal explanations". Since the God hypothesis (your "ultimate" explanation) has no evidence going for it other than wishful thinking, as far as I can see, and since the God hypothesis does no work- even Rho admits not being able to distinguish your "mediate" from "immediate" phenomena- then I will remain in the world of "operations science", aka "the real world", until such time as I see evidence for the existence of the supernatural.

cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

Vox Veritatis said...

Hi zilch,

Life keeps me busy, but I blog when I can.

The issue here is an epistemic one. I don't go about testing a "God hypothesis" empirically, and then provisionally accepting it (subject to revision or rejection pending being falsified by a better hypothesis). Rather, it is an inexorable conclusion from my presuppositions. More than that, I would argue that the existence of God is transcendental to all of human experience, as only He provides the rational preconditions for rationality and human experience itself - including the methods of discovering proximate explanations through hypothesis testing, per operations science.

As a Christian, Scripture (as my presuppositional base) grounds my belief in God, as well as the principles of operations science (per the principles I laid out above). In the consistent Christian epistemology, propositions derived from Scripture are both true and certain, whereas propositions derived empirically may be true, but cannot be certain (though one may various degrees of confidence in the truth of such propositions).

So, the whole matter comes down to two different "epistemic modalities." The Christian worldview explains the existence of God deductively, as well as the methods of reasoning by which we come to inductive conclusions about the natural world in everyday life. Thus, it is both consistent and epistemically rich. On the other hand, I would argue that a purely empirical epistemology is ultimately inconsistent (as it's own basic principles cannot be demonstrated by empirical observation) and fundamentally poor, though it may be rich to a certain degree, inasmuch as it borrows certain principles from the Christian worldview (such as the general uniformity of nature), even if those who borrow such principles are not consciously aware of their borrowing.

Cheers from somewhat-chilly flyover country,
Vox

zilch said...

Hey Vox! Again, I understand where you're coming from, and I appreciate your civility.

You said:

On the other hand, I would argue that a purely empirical epistemology is ultimately inconsistent (as it's own basic principles cannot be demonstrated by empirical observation) and fundamentally poor, though it may be rich to a certain degree, inasmuch as it borrows certain principles from the Christian worldview (such as the general uniformity of nature), even if those who borrow such principles are not consciously aware of their borrowing.

Two things. Firts- I wouldn't say that an empirical epistemology (aka naturalism) is "inconsistent" but rather "inductive". That is, it's not internally inconsistent, but rather has no ultimate explanation for reality. From my point of view, of course, the ultimate explanation for reality proffered by theists has no evidence supporting it. And I don't feel a need for any such "ultimate" explanation- I get by just fine with regarding the Universe itself as its own "ultimate explanation".

Second- I've heard this assertion before, that naturalism "borrows" certain principles from the Christian worldview, but I've seen no evidence to back it up. In fact, on Christianity, nature is not uniform, but subject to disruption by miracles of various sorts. Where's the uniformity here?

cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

Vox Veritatis said...

zilch,

With respect to your first point, I could agree that an empirical epistemology is "incomplete" or "inadequate." The issue is - shouldn't an epistemology explain how itself is the way to discover truth, and itself true? And if one cannot by one's own epistemology explain why one holds that epistemology, then one does not have justification (in the epistemic sense) to hold to it. I guess it seems self-evident to me that an epistemology should justify its own adoption (as an epistemology), and thus any epistemology that does not do so is inconsistent. But if one wants to drop this criterion, one can just say that it is incomplete, or inadequate, because it fails to answer such a fundamental question.

As to your second point, I would argue that you are borrowing, without being consciously aware that you are borrowing as such. If you are borrowing in such a manner, then since the borrowing occurs at such a fundamental level, you would not find any evidence for this borrowing, since you would assume that these things are part of your basic position to begin with, and thus not borrowed.

However, as to why certain things are borrowed, I see no reason, given naturalism, why the universe should be deterministic, and thus uniform. Why not stochastic? Or why not chaotic with respect to most natural laws, such that everything is extremely sensitive to initial conditions? Indeed, some scientists hold that the universe is fundamentally stochastic (the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics), and chaotic behavior is exhibited in turbulent flow. Given that such phenomena exhibit themselves in quantum and fluid dynamical contexts, why not on a much larger and more universal scale, making the universe practically unintelligible? A naturalistic empiricism cannot account for why this is not the case, or why it might not be tomorrow, or 1000 years from now. However, on the Christian worldview, we have a God of order, who having decided to make the universe operate according to certain principles, keeps it operating according to those principles. Thus, the general uniformity of nature.

Now, with respect to miracles, note that I said the general uniformity of nature, not the total uniformity of nature. If one were to take stock of the molecules in the universe, and count the number of times that their states were changed by miraculous means, as opposed to natural means, the percentage would be statistically nonexistent. Furthermore, in miracles, the natural laws are not "disrupted" as if gravity were temporarily suspended everywhere every time that God decided to miraculously heal a terminally-ill cancer patient. Rather, even in miracles, the natural laws of the universe are kept in place, though the state of a specific local group of particles may be changed in a way that is inconsistent with those laws. Thus, such an explanation does not only not do away with the general uniformity of nature, but reinforces it, from a Christian perspective.

Cheers,
Vox

zilch said...

Cheers Vox. You say:

With respect to your first point, I could agree that an empirical epistemology is "incomplete" or "inadequate." The issue is - shouldn't an epistemology explain how itself is the way to discover truth, and itself true? And if one cannot by one's own epistemology explain why one holds that epistemology, then one does not have justification (in the epistemic sense) to hold to it. I guess it seems self-evident to me that an epistemology should justify its own adoption (as an epistemology), and thus any epistemology that does not do so is inconsistent. But if one wants to drop this criterion, one can just say that it is incomplete, or inadequate, because it fails to answer such a fundamental question.

Okay, Vox, I'm willing to accept "incomplete". But accepting incompleteness is part and parcel of adopting an empirical, scientific worldview, which only concerns itself with modeling the real world as best it can, based on evidence from the real world. Your expectation that an epistemology should be able to justify its own adoption is one reason I abjure epistemology, and related philosophical and theological conceits: to me, they seem merely ways of setting words to chase their own tails. In the absence of any tangible evidence for their necessity, such wordplay is decoupled from the real world, and I would rather simply say "I don't know" than engage in such casuistry.

As to your second point, I would argue that you are borrowing, without being consciously aware that you are borrowing as such.

But your argument is merely an assertion on your part, unless you can show me that the Bible describes the uniformity of nature, and other worldviews do not describe it. I would rather say that the uniformity of nature is simply an observation, one that has enabled us to develop a highly successful science.

Rather, even in miracles, the natural laws of the universe are kept in place, though the state of a specific local group of particles may be changed in a way that is inconsistent with those laws. Thus, such an explanation does not only not do away with the general uniformity of nature, but reinforces it, from a Christian perspective.

How does the fact that miracles are "inconsistent", as you put it, with natural law, reinforce the general uniformity of nature? A miracle is a disruption of uniformity, and unless you have a method of predicting miracles, or distinguishing miracles from nonmiracles, then uniformity does not obtain in your worldview.

cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

zilch said...

Not that I want to raise this thread from its well-earned death, but this just struck me. Rho- in your caricature of the naturalist's position, you said:

How did this sea slug "steal genes"?
Mammy Nature did it.
Yeah, but HOW?
We don't know, but Mammy Nature did it, and by the way, there is no God.


I read this link about the sea slug, and it was pretty neat. No, we don't know yet how it happened. Do you? I thought not. More to the point: I'm willing to bet that we will know, maybe not the whole story, but more of it than we know today, and that the story will be told by real scientists, not by creationists/IDers. You might call it "faith", but I call it "prediction based on previous track record". And by the way- there are plenty of scientists who wouldn't append "and there is no God"- it doesn't really make a difference in this case. Let's imagine a similar caricature set around the time of Christ:

How did this cloud "throw thunderbolts"?
Mammy Nature did it.
Yeah, but HOW?
We don't know, but Mammy Nature did it, and by the way, there is no Thor.


Again, the appendum "there is no Thor" is not necessary; but history has shown that science has answered this question. Science has a very good track record of answering such questions; religion, not so good.

Rhology said...

I read this link about the sea slug, and it was pretty neat.

And of course it didn't make a dent in your presuppositions. Predictable, really. Doesn't matter how cool or how designed the organism be, you'll always cling to Darwinism, b/c you love it.


No, we don't know yet how it happened. Do you? I thought not.

Sure I do. God made it that way.
Now, back to YOU - you DON'T know, but you're just SURE that MammyNaturedidit!, aren't you?


I'm willing to bet that we will know,

MammyNatureDidIt!
MammyNature of the gaps.



You might call it "faith", but I call it "prediction based on previous track record".

I call it faith, b/c you have no evidence.
See how easy that is? In my experience, naturalists like you typically get their knickers all in a twist when their own medicine is tasted.


We don't know, but Mammy Nature did it, and by the way, there is no Thor.

Again, the appendum "there is no Thor" is not necessary; but history has shown that science has answered this question.


How does science tell you one way or th'other that Thor doesn't exist?
And that some unseen, unobservable force that you call "Nature" does? Bring fwd your evidence for each, please. Thanks!


Science has a very good track record of answering such questions; religion, not so good.

Except for all the zillions of times science has been wrong and subsequently been corrected, but only after persecuting the men who would later change the prevailing view. Noooo, that COULDN'T happen TODAY! We're MUCH too advanced for such unpleasantries.

zilch said...

Hey Rho. I said:

No, we don't know yet how it happened. Do you? I thought not.

Sure I do. God made it that way.
Now, back to YOU - you DON'T know, but you're just SURE that MammyNaturedidit!, aren't you?


Don't you see your double standard here, Rho? You demand that my explanation of how something happened include details: presumably mechanisms, history, and structures, but at the same time find your explanation "Goddidit" to be satisfactory, without the slightest mention of mechanisms, history, and structures. You might want to read what your fellow Christian Vox Veritas said in this thread about kinds of explanations.

I'm perfectly willing to admit that "MammyNaturedidit" is not a scientific explanation, but as I said, science has a very good track record of eventually uncovering how MammyNatureDidIt, and religion has a miserable track record of uncovering how "Goddidit", at least based on real-world evidence.

You might call it "faith", but I call it "prediction based on previous track record".

I call it faith, b/c you have no evidence.
See how easy that is? In my experience, naturalists like you typically get their knickers all in a twist when their own medicine is tasted.


No knicker twisting here. You may call my expectation that science will quite likely find an answer "faith" if you like; but my faith is based on history: your faith is based on wishful thinking.

Science has a very good track record of answering such questions; religion, not so good.

Except for all the zillions of times science has been wrong and subsequently been corrected, but only after persecuting the men who would later change the prevailing view. Noooo, that COULDN'T happen TODAY! We're MUCH too advanced for such unpleasantries.

The fact that we can hold this pleasant conversation in cyberspace is a result of science being right, or at least right enough to work. Science is concerned with modeling the universe as well as possible, and since we are never going to be omniscient, science is always subject to revision. That's a strength, not a weakness. And the fact that scientists have been persecuted for going against the prevailing views just shows that scientists are human, too. If you want to compare body counts between scientific and religious persecution, go ahead.

cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

Rhology said...

You demand that my explanation of how something happened include details: presumably mechanisms, history, and structures, but at the same time find your explanation "Goddidit" to be satisfactory

Wrong and wrong.
YOU demand the details and mechanism and don't accept it when I cite God as the more fundamental cause behind it all. Then you get all bent out of shape when I ask you YOUR OWN QUESTION. I do it all the time; why haven't you adapted to just be prepared to answer your own questions? I commend that approach to you - it's a lot more consistent than you've been most of the time.


I'm perfectly willing to admit that "MammyNaturedidit" is not a scientific explanation

But you're not willing to extend that courtesy to MY position. Why is that?


science has a very good track record of eventually uncovering how MammyNatureDidIt

Your faith is remarkable.



You may call my expectation that science will quite likely find an answer "faith" if you like; but my faith is based on history: your faith is based on wishful thinking.

Prove it.


The fact that we can hold this pleasant conversation in cyberspace is a result of science being right, or at least right enough to work.

Do you really think the Christian position leaves no room for scientific inquiry and work? For the natural?
This operates off a false premise, and does nothing for your position.


If you want to compare body counts between scientific and religious persecution, go ahead.

Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot.

Modusoperandi said...

Rhology "Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot."
Stalinism, totalitarianism, Lamarkism, killing people who wore glasses, etc, is hardly scientific.
If anything, it's trying to make reality fit the model, rather than the other way around.

Rhology said...

Pol Pot THOUGHT that killing ppl who wore glasses was scientific.

Just like the Crusades and whatever else most atheists think of to foist on Christianity are things that were due to their perpetrators THINKING (wrongly) that Christian teaching supported their actions. Or they didn't think the teaching did so, and didn't care.
Either way the objection collapses.

Modusoperandi said...

Rhology "Pol Pot THOUGHT that killing ppl who wore glasses was scientific."
Pol Pot thought that anything that indicated the "crime" of intellectualism (except, of course, his own) needed to be eliminated. The same as any other tinpot thug, he was knocking off any potential threats.

"Just like the Crusades and whatever else most atheists think of to foist on Christianity are things that were due to their perpetrators THINKING (wrongly) that Christian teaching supported their actions."
Of course they're wrong. Now. Crusades wrong…eventually. Witch hunts wrong…eventually. Slavery wrong…eventually. Theology is infinitely maleable. It's the only science where you're always right. This is why you're right. Now. A thousand years from now, you'll be the heretic that followers of whatever True Christianity® happens to have evolved into will shake their heads at.

"Or they didn't think the teaching did so, and didn't care."
It's remarkable how a True Believer and a Complete Scam look exactly the same, until hindsight kicks in, innit? (This isn't entirely correct, as one's True Believer is always another's Complete Scam. Pat Robertson is a virtual treasure to millions, and a complete kook to the rest)

"Either way the objection collapses."
Ah, I see what your doing. Since some commies didn't commie scientifically and some Christians didn't Christianitly (note: note a word), they're equivalent. If you want to put Mark in the same boat as Marx, while scuttling the hull, go right ahead. Either way, I'll stand on the shore and make a sandcastle. Sandcastles rule! Go sandcastles! Woo!

Rhology said...

And it is even more fair to say that (insert doer of evil under the ægis of Christianity) thought that anything that indicated the "crime" of whatever he didn't like (except, of course, his own) needed to be eliminated. The same as any other tinpot thug, he was knocking off any potential threats.


Of course they're wrong. Now. Crusades wrong…eventually. Witch hunts wrong…eventually. Slavery wrong…eventually

If we're talking about on Christianity, no, they were wrong then and always.
If we're talking about on atheism, no, they were never wrong b/c nothing is wrong.
If we're talking about societal consensus, yes, your statement is true but there is no reason to accept societal consensus as the standard of right and wrong.


A thousand years from now, you'll be the heretic that followers of whatever True Christianity® happens to have evolved into will shake their heads at.

Please let me know why I should care about that, though. The teachings of Christianity are static and objective. The Bible has been around a long time, and says the same thing now as it did 1000 yrs ago. Unlike you, I don't make people or their opinions the standard for morality, if for no other reason than that such a thing is 100% circular - asking ppl what those ppl should do. You think they might "consent" to do what they feel like? And then change it later? How is that morality? It's not prescriptive at all - it's DEscriptive of their desires at that time.


It's remarkable how a True Believer and a Complete Scam look exactly the same, until hindsight kicks in, innit?

It's remarkable how a true $100 bill and a counterfeit $100 look exactly the same, until hindsight kicks in, innit? I guess I should never use or accept a $100 bill, by your reasoning.

And...yes, sandcastles. OK.

Modusoperandi said...

"The teachings of Christianity are static and objective. The Bible has been around a long time, and says the same thing now as it did 1000 yrs ago."
Yes. The text doesn't change. The guidance and illumination from the Holy Spirit (so I've heard) doesn't change.
This is why some people who believed the above points have had a multiplicity of wildly different solid and unchanging versions of "static and objective Christianity" than you. They, eventually, were wrong, and women got the vote or brown got to not be property anymore or any other number of issues (continuing to this very day) which had heretical Christians (eventually to be called simply "Christians") on the winning side and True Christians (eventually filed away as 'so-called "Christians"') on the other...eventually.
The same applies to you, or it would except that, this one time, the conclusions are not wrong, this one time. Because they're yours. And you're a True Christian®, unlike so many before you (and many others around you) who were/are just as confident that their exegesis was/is correct and their Holy Spirit guidance was/is genuine guidance from the Holy Spirit. Your zeal is justified. Lucky you.

Rhology said...

This is why some people who believed the above points have had a multiplicity of wildly different solid and unchanging versions of "static and objective Christianity" than you.

So, lemme ask you this. Take the same Bible/geological data/biological data/fossils, give the same stuff to 10 diff people and put them in 10 diff rooms. The diff interps that come out are the Bible/geological data/biological data/fossils' fault, or the ppl's fault?
Is this not a good argument for not trusting ppl?


They, eventually, were wrong, and women got the vote or brown got to not be property anymore or any other number of issues

This is just gibberish. Slow down, make a cogent argument.
Also, give me a reason to think, if your worldview (whatever it may be) is true, that slavery and oppression of women are objectively bad things, so I can be sure it's not just your opinion we're talking about here. K? Thx.