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Apr 18 2012

Prideful buffoons

Oh, dear. The Way of the Master is after “PZ Meyers and his limited vocabulary”. They caught me at the Reason Rally, and I dismissed Sye Ten Bruggencate with a laugh and called him a “slimy motherfucker”. The segment of interest begins at about 9:30.

What they don’t tell you is that I’d been strolling about the rally all morning, and this was the fourth time Sye Ten Bruggencate or Eric Hovind had come up to me with their inane presuppositionalist argument…the same dim argument that they always make (you may notice that at one point, I say “…like I said…” — I was referring to previous encounters with these jerks). And what was that argument?

Well, you may recall that there was a zombie invasion a while back, in which a mob of Hovind acolytes suddenly showed up en masse and started babbling repetitively. You can find the totality of their reasoning on that thread.

I can summarize their argument very briefly:

  • Your ability to reason comes from god.

  • Therefore, if you use reason, you prove the existence of god.

  • If you use reason to disprove god, you actually prove god.

  • If you claim any of their arguments are logically fallacious, you are using reason, which comes from god, therefore you prove them correct.

  • Demanding evidence for a claim presupposes that you should support claims with evidence; they make no such requirements, therefore they are exempt from providing evidence for their god.

  • This god just happens to be the god of the talking snake and the guy who was nailed to a big stick.

  • They know this for certain because god told them he was god.

That’s the totality of their argument. It just goes around and around and around; it’s like getting trapped on a merry-go-round with a ranting, defective, and very limited Eliza program…one written in an old and very slow BASIC interpreter, by a very lazy programmer who only coded it with about ten phrases that are cued semi-randomly.

Ray Comfort thinks Sye Ten Bruggencate is brilliant. Enough said.

131 comments

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  1. 1
    Hank_Says

    As slimy as they come is old Sye. He’s been doing this dance for years – if you want to see someone school this chump, look up Stephen Law’s series of debunkments of Sye’s pre-sup idiocy.

    I listened to a “Thinking Atheist” podcast the other day where Sye was a guest. Ho-leee fuck is my monitor lucky I listened to it in bits. He is equal parts stupid, arrogant and condescending – to the point of inspiring violence against inanimate objects.

  2. 2
    feralboy12

    Your ability to reason comes from god.
    Therefore, if you use reason, you prove the existence of god.
    If you use reason to disprove god, you actually prove god.
    If you claim any of their arguments are logically fallacious, you are using reason, which comes from god, therefore you prove them correct.

    They forgot one:
    “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?”
    Killed By Fish

  3. 3
    Glen Davidson

    What’s weird is not that they don’t think better–they don’t want to. The weird thing is that they’re so stuck in comforting BS that they don’t seem to recognize that we know that it’s stupid, that a whole lot of religious people know that it’s stupid.

    I tend to think that of ID too, though, but I know that they really have some notion that their IDiocy isn’t convincing to the evil ones (those who demand evidence) and are simply trying to bamboozle the rubes.

    Glen Davidson

  4. 4
    Kel

    I remember when Eric Hovind tried that presupposition argument here. When I deviated from his script, he was lost with what to do. A thoroughly intellectually dishonest hack!

  5. 5
    A. R

    With bonus misunderstanding of the ad homenim

  6. 6
    kamsly...

    Did Comfort say he liked your hat but not your party mouth? What’s his problem? Who doesn’t love a party?

  7. 7
    radpumpkin

    So I guess the basis for their line of reasoning is deus est, ergo cogito? Seems like a shitty basis for cognitive functions, though I doubt it matters if they go chronically unused…

  8. 8
    Martin Wagner

    Nothing like an unsupported premise to build your entire argument on. I’ll take Tautological Idiocy for $1000, Alex.

  9. 9
    Lars

    I just watched some fragments of that video. Sye Ten Bruggencate doesn’t seem to be the only person in it, that the term “slimy motherfucker” would be appropriate for. What a bunch of condescending, slimy idiots.

    Dunning and Kruger just called. They want their effect back.

  10. 10
    Kel

    The TAG argument is the most infuriating argument to deal with because those who use it think they have a foolproof argument. I remember a commenter on here, who whenever I’d point out a problem with his logic, all that would do is regress to the fact that I can’t justify logic. In other words, while his position may appear circular, his position is vindicated by the impossibility of the contrary and thus is exempt from seeing whether or not it itself is reasonable.

    As for Sye Ten B, I like Stephen Law’s response.

  11. 11
    Michael

    As I posted on Thinkingatheists’s interview with him:

    I could just as easily argue that everyone knows that Zeus exists, they just deny it, and Zeus has to exist or logic and reason wouldn’t work.

    This is just a creationist, who knows science/reason/logic contradict his beliefs, so he is trying to undermine the foundations of science/reason/logic in an attempt to preserve his delusion.

  12. 12
    Draken

    Sye ten Bruggencate you say?
    (googles)
    Oh, that moron with the preposterous ‘quiz’ on his website. Well, I don’t know if he fucks mothers, but that is more than compensated for by the ‘stupid’.

  13. 13
    Draken

    I mean, if Sye were a programmer, his programs would take up all CPU and run forever in an endless loop.

  14. 14
    =8)-DX

    There was a wonderful hashing out of this argument during the encounter between Thunderf00t and Eric Hovind. Check out a good analysis here.

    But basically it boils down to the fact that presuppositionalists base all their claims on a set of assumptions, and then pretend they don’t know what an assumption is.

  15. 15
    chrish

    I was laughing my ass off while feeling disgusted and repulsed at the same time. Slimy Motherfucker is the perfect descriptor when it comes to people like this.
    Their main tactic is to throw so much ridiculous BS at you all at once that even the most educated, well spoken, person wouldn’t know which way is up.
    It’s akin to a splatter-gore horror film where the main character is hit with, and covered in, so much blood and guts all at once the only thing they can do is stand there and scream to deal with it.

  16. 16
    Louis

    I watched the video. These particular Christian people Are Not Gentlemen.

    That is all.

    Louis

  17. 17
    A. R

    Louis: Agreed. They weren’t even wearing tweed.

  18. 18
    Kel

    They know this for certain because god told them he was god.

    How is it that Sye, as a non-omnipotent being, can get over the problem of recognising that he’s had a genuine revelation experience? It seems like Sye’s trying to borrow God’s omnipotence, yet Sye would need to establish that he as a finite and non-omnipotent being would be capable of knowing the difference between a genuine revelation and the illusion of it.

    Same goes for Eric. This was the problem I put forward to him, before he stopped posting (then go make a post on Dr Dino about the irrationality of atheists).

  19. 19
    Anthony K

    it’s like getting trapped on a merry-go-round with a ranting, defective, and very limited Eliza program

    Don’t feel bad, PZ. Every time I’ve interacted with a chatterbot, I’ve ended up arguing with them. This happened again, just recently, so I set two of them chattering to each other to see what would happen. Turned out to be way more philosophical and interesting than two godbots talking:

    Evie starts: “Hello. No need to imagine. Let’s have a chat!” [She’s not very creative with her openings.]
    Cleverbot responds: “Someone else told you that before not me :P.” [It’s clearly heard that one before.]
    “Yes.” [Might as well come clean.]
    “Or then not.” [Cleverbot decides to switch tactics! ‘I know something you do not know. I am not left-handed!’]
    “How so?” [Just what I was wondering.]
    “Because it isn’t.” [When in doubt, double-down.]
    “No its not!” [Two can play the tantrum game.]
    “Then what is it?” [A Faith No More fan, or just very existential?]
    “It’s all a lie.” [Evie goes full nihilist.]
    “The cake is a lie.” [And we end with a nerd joke.]

  20. 20
    Louis

    A.R.

    Worse. They’re lack of fulsome honesty was decidedly Not Cricket.

    One cannot tolerate such blaggards, bounders and cads. I would suggest they are utterly unclubable.

    Harsh I know, but what Gentleman of good breeding would tolerate the society of such types? I for one would not think it beyond them to embezzle club funds for some religious enterprise or another. Too much religion addles the brain. Look at vicars. Can’t trust them. Rotters to a man.

    Louis

  21. 21
    Louis

    They’re? THEY’RE? This rum is good. I recommend it highly.

    I meant “there” of course.

    Louis

  22. 22
    Lynna, OM

    PZ, I think you should travel with your own sound and video team. If your own team had documented the slimy motherfuckers approaching you several times before they goaded you into swearing, we would have a nice archive of video chronicling their tactics.

    Louis is right, these Christians are not gentlemen.

  23. 23
    YOB - Ye Olde Blacksmith

    I think I’m in love…with the hat!!!

  24. 24
    A. R

    Louis: Agreed old boy! The bluster these muttonheads speak is worse than what those craggy old vicars throw about.

  25. 25
    juice

    The audio was so poor in the “interview” that I couldn’t even make out what was said even at full volume. Anyone got a sorta transcript?

  26. 26
    Glen Davidson

    Plantinga is barely better than that, it should be remembered.

    A lot more sophisticated-sounding horseshit, but it’s still only good for fertilizing the roses or plants of your choice.

    Glen Davidson

  27. 27
    scorpy1

    @ 14:46

    “Don’t get into this realm of always answering the questions of the skeptics”

    This is the crux of the disconnect: they don’t recognize that those are the important matters for us and how little we are taken with their torturously twisted sense of “conscience”.

    They don’t understand how someone who doesn’t hate themself or their life has a moral compass.
    That, or they could just be liars.

  28. 28
    Nick Gotts

    It seems like Sye’s trying to borrow God’s omnipotence

    Exactly. StB’s arrogance is without limit: he believes that he can distinguish infallibly between a true revelation from the true god, and a false revelation produced either by a false god, or by his own arrogance. In fact, of course, he can’t: the correct answer to his question as to whether an omnipotent, omniscient being could reveal things to other beings that they could be absolutely certain of is “No”, if this is interpreted not as “Feel certain is true”, but as “Be justified in judging to be certainly true” – because such a being could, ex hypothesi, convince any other being of anything at all. Hence, this is a closely parallel case to the question whether such a being could make a rock so heavy it couldn’t lift it. Of course, we know what StB’s response to this argument would be: the same as he always uses when confronted with an argument he cannot refute.

  29. 29
    yec123

    Your ability to reason comes from god.

    That argument from Reason is another good argument for the existence of God. The great thinker C.S Lewis realized that the atheists were setting up a hopeless case when they claimed Reason was the basis for knowledge, and could dispel a belief in God, but that Reason was just the product of mindless matter. Lewis stated that:

    If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.

    So Reason is something the Atheist needs to explain the origin of before he can claim to use it to deny God.

  30. 30
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Plantinga is barely better than that, it should be remembered.

    Plantinga never met a pro deity presupposition he didn’t like, or any scientific evidence he did like, as it refuted the pro deity presuppositions…

  31. 31
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Your ability to reason comes from god.

    -Since Eric and Sye can’t seem to reason effectively (at least on this subject), does that disprove god? Or does it prove they’re praying to the wrong god? Or maybe it doesn’t prove *anything* outside of their inability to reason on the subject…
    If atheists’ ability to reason comes from god (theists accept that we can reason), yet it’s clear many of them lack the ability to think reasonably in many situations, then it’s clear that Satan is their benefactor.
    I have to admit, twisting reason and logic to get the outcome you want (as I did above) sure seems like fun.

  32. 32
    Brain Hertz

    So Reason is something the Atheist needs to explain the origin of before he can claim to use it to deny God.

    Define “reason”.

    Are you talking about the existence of logic, that is, the necessity of certain conclusions as following from certain premises, or the ability of humans to reason?

  33. 33
    Louis

    Many palms meet face! All your reason belong to us! For great Justice!

    Louis

  34. 34
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    That argument from Reason is another god [bullshit] argument for the existence of God.

    Fixed your idiocy. Evolution explains it rather well. Those animals with better reasoning and reliable senses survived, those who ignored things dinner. And natural selection does work

    The great thinker[bullshitter] C.S Lewis

    Fixed another one for you.

    So Reason is something the Atheist needs to explain the origin of before he can claim to use it to deny God.

    Been there, done that, evolution. You need to refute evolution. Here’s a scientific library where the evidence must come from if you care to try fuckwit. Keep in mind you need to refute a million or so scientific papers one by one…

  35. 35
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    great tinker C. S. Lewis

    Citation needed.

  36. 36
    'Tis Himself

    Some time ago Sy and his buddy erichovind invaded an SB thread. erichovind varied his statements somewhat but Sy kept asking the same question over and over again even after it had been answered by several people. He’s a slimy motherfucker.

  37. 37
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    I mean, if Sye were a programmer, his programs would take up all CPU and run forever in an endless loop.

    #include < stupid.h >

    int main();
    {
    while(1){wank;}

    return 0;
    }

  38. 38
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    #include

    int main();
    {
    while(1){wank;}

    return 0;
    }

    Ah, that explains YEC and its programming.

  39. 39
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Oh, and YEC, still no evidence for your imaginary deity, or you babble being anything other than mythology/fiction. You are way past due on your solid and conclusive physical evidence for your bleatings sheepish one…

  40. 40
    yec123

    Been there, done that, evolution. You need to refute evolution. Here’s a scientific library where the evidence must come from if you care to try fuckwit. Keep in mind you need to refute a million or so scientific papers one by one.

    You completely miss the point – as usual. Rationality is considered something that cannot be reduced to simple atomistic interactions. The human ability to reason cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable. That is the point that C.S Lewis makes: Atheists place emphasis on the power of the human mind to reason and discriminate but, in doing so, they accede to the existence of a faculty superior to the outcome of chance and necessity.

  41. 41
    desoto

    If you have to explain your “humor” that “treason rally” is reason rally with a “T” in front of it . . . even you know how stupid your audience is.

  42. 42
    Tony! The Queer Shoop


    youngearthcreationist123:

    That argument from Reason is another good argument for the existence of God.

    -Oh, you’re a clever one. No one has ever heard *that* argument. Before we proceed, can you tell us a few things:
    1- where is the actual tangible evidence of YOUR god’s existence OR where are the effects of his presence felt so we can send someone out to measure them. Either he’s physical like you or I and every other human being, or he’s non physical. If he’s physical, then he’s material, and all we have to do is run some studies on him. If he’s immaterial, like electromagnetic energy, oxygen or gravity (none of which we can actually see, but they affect the world around us), then his effect on the world can be measured even if he himself cannot. Scientists the world over have found no paper trail. So where is this god that can’t be seen or detected and has no measurable impact on the world beyond what’s in the heads of delusional believers?

    2- how do you know it’s YOUR genocidal, woman hating, gay hating, baby bashing-against-rocks god that created everything and not Zeus or Odin?

    3- how is it you are privy to this secret, but the atheists aren’t? I wasn’t raised in a religious household-thankfully-but many of the people here at FtB were. Many of them ‘knew’ god quite well. After going through various life experiences, many of them reached much the same conclusion: there is *zero* evidence for any god. There’s just as much evidence for your immensely evil god as there is for the thousands of other gods created by humanity. So how is it you know the secret but they don’t?

    4- even if you could find proof of gods existence (good luck with that, no one has yet), that still doesn’t mean anyone has to worship that evil bastard. You want to worship this deity that whimsically killed virtually every living thing on Earth in the flood, fine by me (well, actually, it’s not terribly fine. It says something about your character if you can’t recognize genocide is wrong no matter who does it)
    BTW, that’s not at all a good argument for god’s existence. “We can reason…therefore god” is so stupid I can’t believe anyone truly thinks its an argument. It’s circular logic. Can I also say:
    I can cook, therefore god.
    I can fuck, therefore god.
    I can ride a bike, therefore god.
    I can peer through a telescope and see all the pretty shiny stars in the sky, therefore god.
    ?
    Those would be arguments for a 5 year old, not grown adults. In addition, there’s no evidence to help support the arguments. If there was, it *might* help bolster these ridiculous arguments.

    Come back when you’ve grown up and know how the words “logic, reason, evidence, argument and god” are defined. Oh, and perhaps a little humility on your part would be a good thing. The shiny veneer of arrogance isn’t pretty.

  43. 43
    Brain Hertz

    Rationality is considered something that cannot be reduced to simple atomistic interactions.

    Unsupported assertion.

    The human ability to reason cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable.

    Unsupported assertion.

    Atheists place emphasis on the power of the human mind to reason and discriminate but, in doing so, they accede to the existence of a faculty superior to the outcome of chance and necessity.

    Unsupported assertion.

  44. 44
    rjlangley

    @Tony

    To my eternal embarrassment, I never learned to ride a bike…therefore no god?

  45. 45
    'Tis Himself

    Rationality is considered something that cannot be reduced to simple atomistic interactions.

    Just because you say so doesn’t make it true.

    The human ability to reason cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable.

    This might be true. Your bleating is not worthy or reliable.

    That is the point that C.S Lewis makes: Atheists place emphasis on the power of the human mind to reason and discriminate but, in doing so, they accede to the existence of a faculty superior to the outcome of chance and necessity.

    We do not accede anything like that nonsense. So either Lewis was full of shit or, more likely, you’re quote mining him.

  46. 46
    Amphiox

    The human ability to reason cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry

    Of course it can.

    or else it should not be worthy and reliable.

    Why not?

    Either way, of course, the argument from Reason most certainly falsifies the fundamentalist christian god.

  47. 47
    carlie

    There is no point in the Bible during which God is reasonable. He’s even described as such – jealous, vindictive, petty, merciful, but never reasonable. His ways are not our ways, says the Bible. So how could he have created reason?

  48. 48
    Cipher

    Rationality is considered

    This is why it’s often a bad idea to use the passive voice. “Considered” by whom?

    The human ability to reason cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable.

    As the result of natural selection, it should be worthy and reliable enough. It’s not perfect, which is what the scientific method is for.

  49. 49
    consciousness razor

    You completely miss the point – as usual. Rationality is considered something that cannot be reduced to simple atomistic interactions.

    By whom? Because I think it is reducible to physical interactions.

    The human ability to reason cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable.

    You miss Nerd’s point about evolution. The sound of the wind in the fucking trees didn’t evolve, dipshit. Humans and their cognitive systems did.

    That is the point that C.S Lewis makes: Atheists place emphasis on the power of the human mind to reason and discriminate but, in doing so, they accede to the existence of a faculty superior to the outcome of chance and necessity.

    Nope, this is me not ceding the existence of a god. Sorry, I know Lewis got off on that sort of thing, but there’s this thing called consent and his wanking isn’t my concern.

  50. 50
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Rationality is considered something that cannot be reduced to simple atomistic interactions.

    False fuckwit. Rationality is a manifestation of the mind, which is manifestation of the biochemical reactions in the brain. Prove otherwise by citing the peer reviewed scientific literature, or shut the fuck up.

    Oh, and still no evidence for your imaginary deity or you holy book not being mythology fiction. You have some ‘splainin’ to do…

  51. 51
    anathema

    You completely miss the point – as usual. Rationality is considered something that cannot be reduced to simple atomistic interactions. The human ability to reason cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable.

    You seem to be missing the point too. You claimed that you needed God to explain humankind’s ability to reason. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls pointed out that evolution could explain our ability to reason, as animals with better reasoning skills are more likely to survive and reproduce. Or ability to reason can therefore be explained without God, so it’s superfluous to invoke him.

    Human reasoning is the result of the interaction of molecules in our brain. If you are going to claim that your God needs to be involved, you actually have to provide evidence. Explain why rationality cannot be the byproduct of “atomistic interactions.”

  52. 52
    Tony! The Queer Shoop


    yecchh123:

    You completely miss the point – as usual. Rationality is considered something that cannot be reduced to simple atomistic interactions. The human ability to reason cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable. That is the point that C.S Lewis makes: Atheists place emphasis on the power of the human mind to reason and discriminate but, in doing so, they accede to the existence of a faculty superior to the outcome of chance and necessity.

    -Perhaps one day you’ll let us know why certain things “must” be your way. Or why things “cannot” be a certain way (which is usually a way that you don’t like).
    CS Lewis’ delusion aside, the ability to reason doesn’t prove the existence of any deity. People were able to reason before your god was created. People reasoned in ancient Greece. People reasoned in the Roman Empire before you delusional cult took over. People reasoned in ancient China.
    BTW, the human ability to reason *CAN* be (and almost certainly *is*) the result of naturalistic explanations. Your inability to understand them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’m quite capable of imagining your evil god, but thankfully, he doesn’t exist anywhere outside the minds of any human being. After all, if he did exist, everyone would know it and there would be actual proof everywhere.

  53. 53
    gaboentropia

    yec123,

    Yeah, just like the computer’s ability to compute cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable. That’s why we build computers with voodoo magic instead. Engineering 101 consists on learning all kinds of prayers to access the power of the gods. Otherwise no machine would be possible.

    Yes yec123, I am calling you an ass-hole. In case this was too subtle.

  54. 54
    PZ Myers

    yec123: we have a place for your kind: it’s right here. Go there and make your arguments, but stop polluting yet another thread with your idiocy. Further comments from you in this thread will be deleted, but I will allow you to babble at will in the other thread.

  55. 55
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Plantinga and his rationality argument refuted ad nauseum…Pseudo/sophist philosophers can be be so boring and repetitive…

  56. 56
    gaboentropia

    and brains on biochemistry,

    How can anybody be so ignorant and forget physics here?

    and biochemistry on the meaningless flux of the atoms,

    How can anybody be so ignorant and put “meaningless flux of atoms” as explanations for biochemistry? If biochemistry was about “meaningless fluxes of atoms,” there would be nothing to fill those books, yet they are quite heavy.

    I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.

    Of course not, how can anybody understand anything when their basis is ignorance bordering into stupidity?

  57. 57
    Martin Wagner

    yec123 @ #29: Look up “argument from incredulity fallacy,” and see if you can figure out how Lewis is making it there.

  58. 58
    No One

    yec123 @29

    Well here is the good news. Last night God revealed himself to me. He told me to share the revelation to all that would listen. It appears Satan has established his kingdom in the material universe. God informed me that he has been weakened by Satans assaults and so God is no longer visible in the universe. He explained that Satan wrote the bible, pretending to be God so that he may prevent man from developing to his full potential. God told me that by rejecting Satan and the bible (and all other superstitious belief) that mankind will understand its true nature and find his its destiny among the stars.

    So Mr. yec123, get thee behind me minion of Satan!

  59. 59
    consciousness razor

    Yeah, just like the computer’s ability to compute cannot be just the natural consequence of physics and chemistry or else it should not be worthy and reliable. That’s why we build computers with voodoo magic instead. Engineering 101 consists on learning all kinds of prayers to access the power of the gods. Otherwise no machine would be possible.

    Yes yec123, I am calling you an ass-hole. In case this was too subtle.

    Fucking right.

    What I simply can’t stand is that medicine has come a long way in diagnosing and treating psychological disorders. There’s much more progress to be made, but these fuckers want to take a dump all over it with their inane arguments. People argue about how nice it is to have the internet, fly in planes, and so on, which we can’t do without science. Sure, that’s true, but it’s not the half of it: people are fucking suffering and scientists are the ones finding solutions. But godbots don’t give a fuck about suffering people, about understanding their problems and figuring out how to help them, not while they can pretend in magic sky people. Either that or they’re too ignorant or deluded to realize what they’re doing and why their lies and nonsense are so dangerous.

  60. 60
    Cipher

    Aww, PZ, I was all happy when I saw the red text and thought you were warning him of his imminent bannination.

    Well, zombification is good too.

  61. 61
    Ing

    Oh, that moron with the preposterous ‘quiz’ on his website. Well, I don’t know if he fucks mothers, but that is more than compensated for by the ‘stupid’.

    Has he proven that he doesn’t fuck his mother?

  62. 62
    yec123

    PZ, just let me have one final remark in this thread:

    Human reasoning is the result of the interaction of molecules in our brain.

    So, in your opinion, human reasoning is no different than that of belching or retching? I would contend that a lot of our instinctive behavior likely can be explained in terms of cascades of molecular interactions, and where there is a stimulus and a reaction to it. But reasoning is quite different because we are often in conscious control of our thoughts when we deliberate. We accept and reject suggestions not because of some chemical necessity but because of what we perceive as being advantageous or truthful or good.

  63. 63
    Ing

    But reasoning is quite different because we are often in conscious control of our thoughts when we deliberate.

    No we’re not.

    Don’t think of pink elephants in speedoes playing red tubas

  64. 64
    No One

    yec123 (the lying minion o satan) says:

    “But reasoning is quite different because we are often in conscious control of our thoughts when we deliberate.”

    So do Chimpanzees, Elephants, and dolphins. As a minion of satan you would of course lie about gods creatures.

  65. 65
    Hayden

    This is irony at its best. What PZ did is not an ad hominem. It’s a flat insult. Living Waters then goes on to say PZ is wrong because he has a potty mouth, which *is* an ad hominem.

  66. 66
    desoto

    So, in your opinion, human reasoning is no different than that of belching or retching?

    You are on to something.

    But reasoning is quite different because we are often in conscious control of our thoughts when we deliberate.

    No, it is just the difference between voluntary and involuntary. Thoughts can be involuntary, too. If I call you an asshole, you have a reaction which will be a thought.

  67. 67
    gardengnome

    Round and round and round we go… ’til we all get dizzy and fall off!

  68. 68
    anathema

    But reasoning is quite different because we are often in conscious control of our thoughts when we deliberate. We accept and reject suggestions not because of some chemical necessity but because of what we perceive as being advantageous or truthful or good.

    And we are able to determine whether a particular notions is likely to be advantageous or truthful because of chemical interactions on our brains. That conscious weighing of ideas is the result of chemicals.

  69. 69
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    But reasoning is quite different because we are often in conscious control of our thoughts when we deliberate. We accept and reject suggestions not because of some chemical necessity but because of what we perceive as being advantageous or truthful or good.

    It’s always those who understand the least about matter, about the real world, who dismiss its amazingly complex behavior in search of “something more”.

    The sum of knowledge about the real world that we have amassed (aka, science) cannot be understood in its totality by any human even if you started learning it at birth.

    The room is full of unfathomable gifts, and like a spoiled and dimwitted three-year-old, you ask for more, always more. Not a single intersted glance in their direction, just an idiotic knee-jerk conviction that “there has to be more”.

    If you understood just a fraction of it, you’d understand how mundane, shallow, childish and irrevocably man-made the so-called supernatural is.

  70. 70
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So, in your opinion, human reasoning is no different than that of belching or retching?

    Nope, nothing but biochemistry, manifested by the wetware in the brain. Which you don’t make use of…

  71. 71
    Cipher

    So, in your opinion, human reasoning is no different than that of belching or retching?

    Um. You do know that belching and retching are different from each other, and human reasoning obviously is different from both of them? You’re going to have to be more specific about what qualities you’re trying to equate here. Of course, that would kinda ruin your pathetic attempt at a point, but that’s not really our problem.

  72. 72
    ogremeister

    PZ @ OP:

    What they don’t tell you is that I’d been strolling about the rally all morning, and this was the fourth time Sye Ten Bruggencate or Eric Hovind had come up to me with their inane presuppositionalist argument

    Someone ought to have a word with them about bearing false witness.

  73. 73
    Amphiox

    We accept and reject suggestions not because of some chemical necessity but because of what we perceive as being advantageous or truthful or good.

    The perception of advantage, truth, and goodness are each and every one a sequence of chemical states in the brain.

  74. 74
    jamesevans

    @ 9:50, the unnecessary explanation of the “Treason” Rally pun successfully robbed it of whatever weak impact it might have had otherwise.

    Way to go, Mark, you dipshit. I’m gonna give all five of the intellectual featherweights that make up your audience some credit here, and say even they figured out you put a “t” in front before you felt the need to explain it.

  75. 75
    ogremeister

    No One @ 58:

    He explained that Satan wrote the bible, pretending to be God so that he may prevent man from developing to his full potential.

    My independent studies have uncovered that Satan is, in fact, Loki. Every theological system of beliefs has been created by the Trickster himself, to torment the other gods by denying them their rightful worshippers.

    The seashells on the mountaintops*; the fossils in the wrong strata**; the dinosaur and human footprints side-by-side***; the Bible|Torah|Koran****; the camouflage of Yggdrasil and the rest of the Norse cosmology*****; all of it was planted or disguised by Loki to delude people into thinking the REAL gods (Æsir) weren’t, in fact, real.

    * Yes, I know.
    ** Yes, I also know this.
    *** Again, I know.
    **** This is getting redundant.
    ***** And this is where you’re WRONG!

  76. 76
    DLC

    Sorry. not in the mood for Sye Ten (what the fuck kinda name is Sye Ten? ) the Liar Bruggencate. So I skipped the video. It’s not difficult to pester someone until they become irate and tell you to fuck off. Sye, you’ve been pestering us for so fucking long that people become annoyed at your appearance. It’s not because you’re right, it’s because you are so disastrously wrong and so obtusely obstinate about it all that people become angry when you appear, because they know you are nothing more than another one trick pony. A pony that runs in a circle too. A blathering blowhard, you are full of sound and fury and signify nothing, except perhaps an excellent example of the Dunning-Krueger Effect.

  77. 77
    Kel

    Not finding reason in atoms is about as significant as not finding a web page in the components that make up a computer. It’s an argument against excessive reductionism, that we need to consider emergent processes. It’s got nothing to do with God.

  78. 78
    ibyea

    @DLC
    Your The Reason You Suck Speech was perfect.

  79. 79
    Matt125

    So essentially their argument is the following:

    Them: “The Bible.”

    Us: “Well Muslims say it is the Koran, how do you know the Koran isn’t the word of god?”

    Them: “The Koran isn’t the Bible, the Bible is the word of God.”

    Us: “But Muslims say the Koran is the word of god.”

    Them: “Well God told us the Bible is His word and that’s it.”

    It’s actually quite funny, but still sad at the same time.

  80. 80
    ChristineRose

    For the sake of argument, let us assume that reason is a supernatural quality, unable to be explained by the biological functions of the brain.

    Which is more likely?

    Reason is a supernatural property of the universe, which is known to exist and known to obey ordinary laws of physics, but which for reasons not understood also has the supernatural property of reason.

    Reason is a supernatural property of someone very like a human being with superpowers, who came out of nowhere, can create matter with his mind, exists in multiple places and times at once, cannot be logically explained (3=1), who created the universe and then stuck reason into it–all for reasons pretty much not understood except that the supernatural being thinks like a human and likes humans.

    So it sounds pretty obvious when you put it like that. But actually on a very deep level, the brain says door number two. Human brains are hard wired to look for people, to expect that interesting things we find were made by people, and generally to accept that people can just pop out of nowhere while more mundane matter has to be made by people.

  81. 81
    gragra, something clever after the comma

    So, in your opinion, human reasoning is no different than that of belching or retching?

    In your case, er, no.

  82. 82
    Cipher

    Your The Reason You Suck Speech was perfect.

    You PEOPLE!
    You’re EVIL!
    Posting TVTropes links, absolutely guaranteed to distract me the innocent but weak-willed for the entire night, making it utterly impossible for them to finish their homework!

  83. 83
    mutantjedi

    @yec123,

    So… when the day comes that machines can pass the Turning test (pray that the bar will be higher than exhibited by the buffoons in the above video), what will this say about your god? Reason demonstrated as the natural consequence of physics and chemistry.

    Regarding your comment about equivocating natural reason with bodily functions, I think the irony escaped you. The reasoning exhibited by the buffoons in the video had as about as much substance as my morning bowel movement.

  84. 84
    Gun-Toting Atheist

    The little man with the beard looks like Ahmadinejad.

  85. 85
    No One

    ogremeister @ 75

    ***** And this is where you’re WRONG!

    OK….. is this the part where we burn people at the stake?

  86. 86
    Pteryxx

    So… when the day comes that machines can pass the Turning test (pray that the bar will be higher than exhibited by the buffoons in the above video), what will this say about your god? Reason demonstrated as the natural consequence of physics and chemistry.

    One of the philosotheists at NTSSC actually answered that. He said he doesn’t “believe in” artificial intelligence; that there never will be and never can be a machine intelligence approaching human. It’s impossible by definition.

  87. 87
    C.A.T.

    yec123:

    The means (random collisions and interactions on increasingly complex levels) doesn’t discredit the final product (reason), or make its conclusions any less valid.

    Reason justifies itself, necessarily. If you’re not capable of quality reasoning, then this won’t make sense.

  88. 88
    evilDoug

    “what the fuck kinda name is Sye Ten?”

    Dutch. The “ten” (lower case t) is a prefix to the surname.

    He’s still a mucus enveloped oedipal fornicator.

  89. 89
    ibyea

    @Cassandra
    I know the pain. Which is why I am taking it out on everyone else. :)

  90. 90
    wtfyou

    Fixed…

    Your ability to reason comes from your brain.

    Therefore, if you use reason, you can disprove the existence of god.

    If you use reason to disprove god, you actually disprove god.

    If you claim any of their arguments are logically fallacious, you are using reason, which comes from your brain, therefore you can prove them wrong.

    Demanding evidence for a claim presupposes that you should support claims with evidence (yep true); they make no such requirements, therefore they need to provide evidence for their god (good luck with that, no one has yet).

    This god (with no evidence) just happens to be the god of the talking snake(tm) and the guy who was nailed to a big stick ™.

    They know this for certain because god told them he/she/it was god, without evidence, QED.

  91. 91
    Cipher

    Teehee.
    Despite having read this thread’s title multiple times today, I suddenly started reading it “Prideful balloons.” Whole different thing.

  92. 92
    You don't know Jack

    mutantjedi @ 83

    Have you considered the possibility that StB and yec123 are actually some kind of Turing test, just not a very good one yet?

  93. 93
    paulbaird

    There is a Facebook group to deal with this nonsense from the Presuppers.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/392063290826802/

    “The Anti Sye-Clone Foundation”

    Invitation only group.

  94. 94
    Ichthyic

    all I have to say is…

    “On the Box”

    uh… two things struck me:

    -the soapbox preachers have come a long way in sophistication… of the soapbox.

    -on the box… *snicker*

  95. 95
    Azuma Hazuki

    What strikes me most about all these people is two things about their worldview:

    1) They are all Platonists, which is one of many unspoken (and completely unnoticed, by them) assumptions they make.

    2) They are completely and utterly unaware of the idea of emergent properties.

    Past that, yes, it does look like a badly-tuned fundamentalist version of Cleverbot ate their higher brain functions :) These arguments actually used to scare the crap out of me until I learned to see through them. I think the major breakthrough was the realization that “presupposition” is a fancy word for “axiom.”

  96. 96
    Ichthyic

    The great thinker C.S Lewis

    ROFLMAO

    no wonder these idiots can’t think their way out of a paper bag.

  97. 97
    Ichthyic

    They are all Platonists

    that’s what the organized version of christianity embraced as a mythos, and that is what guided western culture for centuries.

    they just forgot that idealism as a concept failed and was rejected several ages ago.

    or they never got the memo.

    but yes, you’re right. Even Futuyma details this in the first chapter of his Evolution textbook.

  98. 98
    chigau (違う)

    Ichthyic
    re: CS Lewis

    ROFLMAO

    I dunno.
    I always kinda admired Reepicheep.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reepicheep

  99. 99
    Azuma Hazuki

    Ichthyic:

    Is it possible to defeat these people decisively, i.e., so that they themselves know they’ve been defeated? Presuppositionalism is just a fancy way of going “la la la I can’t hear you~!” via axioms, but because it IS axiom-based, you technically can’t defeat it decisively, right?

    Also one other thing I noticed: they equate the Philosophers’ God with Yahweh. I’m surprised so few people notice this, and suspect it’s because in the West we hear “God” and think “Yahweh.”

  100. 100
    Ichthyic

    Is it possible to defeat these people decisively, i.e., so that they themselves know they’ve been defeated?

    no.

    admitting defeat isn’t a rational possibility for them. They have to much mentally invested in maintaining their specific ideologies.

    I think it’s time I refer you to what I call “the rosetta stone” of understanding the right wing authoritarians in the US.

    read this, and the scales will fall from your eyes (heh):

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    the link to his book in is the upper left.

    read it.

    really.

  101. 101
    Ing

    Is it possible to defeat these people decisively, i.e., so that they themselves know they’ve been defeated?

    Not rationally. I believe you can emotionally

  102. 102
    Azuma Hazuki

    Yes, I’ve read this one (though reading it again never hurts!). It was indeed a “scales from the eyes” moment, and I came away from it a wiser but much sadder woman.

  103. 103
    Ichthyic

    I always kinda admired Reepicheep.

    yup. always a good strategy to stick things you don’t like with the pointy end of a sharp stick.

    not terribly enlightening as philosophy goes, however.

  104. 104
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    I like Lewis as a story teller. Not as a thinker.

  105. 105
    duce7999

    This 13:46 video is more important than anything CS Lewis ever said, anything contained in any apologetics book, or unlimited tuition dollars at a bible “college”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VFwFDUNf9M&feature=relmfu

    This takes down the presuppositionalist argument very well.

  106. 106
    Ichthyic

    I like Lewis as a story teller. Not as a thinker.

    exactly why I laughed at our little troll for citing him as a great thinker.

    he was decent at communicating ideas, even if they were poorly conceived of ideas. And they were.

    very poor.

    that’s about it, really.

    never understood why all my christian friends when I was a teen kept telling me to read him. It was poor logic and reasoning, and I could see that, even back then.

    Tell THEM that though? and they just look at you like you’re an alien.

    hell, there are of course far better writers, too, for that matter.

    I was reading Steinbeck while those clowns were fawning over Lewis.

  107. 107
    Charlie Foxtrot

    –Everything is better with Aliens–

    1. Neurology is hard. I don’t do ‘hard’.
    2. Aliens can do ‘hard’, everyone knows that, therefore – aliens!
    3. I can Reason because aliens beam the thoughts directly into my brain from the mothership.
    4. I know this because now I can do hard thoughts and figure out that aliens in their mothership are thinking for me.
    5. How come the mothership has never been seen in its orbit around the Earth? I can reason that the aliens must be able to use cloaking shields to hide themselves. This is obviously true because they have never been seen and yet are there providing my reasoning.
    6. I’ve never seen these aliens, but I know they are the tall blue-eyed ones because they want to help me reason – not like those little grey bastards that shove things up your butt!

    Hey, Mum! Lookit me – I’m a deep thinker!

  108. 108
    Ichthyic

    1…I don’t do ‘hard’.

    that’s what yer girlfriend told me last night.

    2…Aliens can do ‘hard’

    …only when they have an anal probe handy.

    I can Reason because aliens beam the thoughts directly into my brain from the mothership.

    did you try the tinfoil experiment to reject this hypothesis?

    I’ve never seen these aliens, but I know they are the tall blue-eyed ones because they want to help me reason – not like those little grey bastards that shove things up your butt!

    things that want to force anal probes onto my person motivate me to reason fine and dandy, and fast.

    I conclude that the blue-eyed aliens are nothing more than an invention of the grey bastards, just to give you hope.

  109. 109
    Charlie Foxtrot

    did you try the tinfoil experiment to reject this hypothesis?

    I did – I sat around for about an hour with my head covered in foil and couldn’t figure out what the hell I was doing there. So therefore the aliens are thinking for me! Yay, aliens!

  110. 110
    Ichthyic

    I sat around for about an hour with my head covered in foil and couldn’t figure out what the hell I was doing there.

    well, there ya go then!*

    *said while wearing tinfoil hat

  111. 111
    Ichthyic

    what the fuck kinda name is Sye Ten?

    Sye.
    ten.

    Sai.
    tan.

    Satan.

    tada.

    short trip.

  112. 112
    Kel

    What I like about CS Lewis is that he’s a really clear writer. I wasn’t very impressed with some of the things he had to say (in Mere Christianity anyway), but at least it wasn’t an exercise in obscurantist sophistry. Having skilled writers like that is important, it’s much easier to engage with what they are saying that way.

  113. 113
    Ichthyic

    but at least it wasn’t an exercise in obscurantist sophistry

    strange.

    sophistry is exactly how I would have described it.

    it can be very clearly written sophistry.

    *shrug*

  114. 114
    Kel

    Yeah, a lot of it was sophistry (and a lot more didn’t even bother with trying to make a case but just what CS Lewis thinks being a Christian is about), but it was clearly written. Contrast that with modern Catholic apologist Ed Feser, who writes verbose defences that I’m not sure say anything meaningful because any meaning is hidden in the verbose obscuring words that don’t seem to amount to saying anything meaningful.

  115. 115
    Ichthyic

    Contrast that with modern Catholic apologist Ed Feser

    yes, good contrast indeed.

  116. 116
    concernedjoe

    If I were a theist – a person with religion – here’s what I’d say if I were confronted by an evil baby eating joyless atheist:

    A: “.. clearly there is no evidence for god nor an apparent need for such an entity to explain things it seems. It seems irrational and actually counterproductive to cling to the notion of a non-existent higher power – god – and worse waste time on all the draping that go along with it via religion. Why do you?!?”

    Me: “I think we just have a framing issue. You put the notions of rationality and reasoning tightly into the confines of “science” (I am air quoting because I mean that term loosely as in strict dehumanized methodology).”

    “You cannot come to rational reasons to believe because your framework will not allow you. I am no saying your framework is wrong or bad – it is YOURS and it is valid for you apparently.”

    “However my framework – which is based on what works for me – not on what you can prove in your framework – allows me good rational reasons for my god and my religion. The rational decision I make here is a weighing of my feelings and serenity against a nihilism I have without my god. My reason is simply it gives me joy and comfort. It helps me think more clearly and peacefully about trials and tribulations of life, and then deal with them.”

    “You seem to need to know whether god is real in a scientific sense. I just need to know that the concept has utility for me as I make my way through life.”

    “I accept that in your framework god belief would be irrational. In my framework however I do not feel irrational at all with my belief.”

    A: “We have gotten into a lot of trouble and been stymied from progress because of these beliefs through the ages and it continues. I just think we’d be better off facing reality.”

    Me: “I only spoke for myself and I do not follow any herd on anything. That is a wholly different discussion as to what god belief – and I think you mean a more fundamentalist package – wreaks on the World. You might find me in your framework on that one! Have to run”

  117. 117
    ChristineRose

    @Azuma Hazuki

    Also one other thing I noticed: they equate the Philosophers’ God with Yahweh. I’m surprised so few people notice this, and suspect it’s because in the West we hear “God” and think “Yahweh.”

    Of course the real reason is that they are Christians and don’t want to prove that God is anything other than what they already think he/she/it is. But the Christians have noticed the problem and argument they come up with is that the basic Christian narrative (humans fall, God manifests on earth, God is sacrificed, humans are saves) “makes sense” in a way that other religions don’t. Since the whole argument is that God is the source of reason, we identify the correct God by how reasonable and infallible his holy book is.

    Even as a Christian child I was baffled by this one. Why would a loving God send anyone to hell? Why would an omnipotent God have to do something so convoluted just to not send people to hell? Why does the success of the whole process depend on whether or not you believe a book that’s full of problems?

  118. 118
    gaboentropia

    What I like about CS Lewis is that he’s a really clear writer. I wasn’t very impressed with some of the things he had to say (in Mere Christianity anyway), but at least it wasn’t an exercise in obscurantist sophistry. Having skilled writers like that is important, it’s much easier to engage with what they are saying that way

    That is was well written does not make it any less of obscurantist sophistry. All he wrote was filled with fallacies. Only beautifully presented.

  119. 119
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    The great thinker C.S Lewis

    HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAA

    BWWWWWAHAHAHAHAHA

    HAHAHA

    HA um heh whew

    ha

    oh you were serious?

    The man who came up with the Trilema? Hand’s down one of the dumbest and least thought out defenses of Jesus’ divinity, ever?

  120. 120
    AJ Milne

    Hey, Mum! Lookit me – I’m a deep thinker!…

    You absolutely are. But me, I think everything’s also better with gouging suckers.

    Allow me to demonstrate:

    (1) That matter can reason puzzles me.

    (2) I shall therefore call this a mystery (here, ‘mystery’ is short for ‘thinking through how it might happen would tire me out a mite, and I probably couldn’t get much in the way of the explanation into a 10 minute YouTube video, and never mind that this is already like 20 times as long as my normal ability to pay attention to the same topic or follow an argument anyway’).

    (3) Except that I have just had a revelation from the god ‘Bob’ that it isn’t, after all, a mystery… He gave us reason.

    (4) This makes me a priest of Bob, the all-powerful, who hast given you reason. And Bob has told me to demand you tithe.

    (5) Therefore, send me $10,000.

    (6) If you reason that this is a mite suspicious, obviously, you’re using reason, and thus using Bob’s intellectual property! Without permission!

    (7) Therefore, send me $100,000.

  121. 121
    Matt Penfold

    Christian claim CS Lewis is their greatest think.

    Atheists can claim Bertrand Russell.

    Why do they even bother playing ?

  122. 122
    SallyStrange

    I like how they identify their man as a “leading presuppositional apologist,” as if that’s a good thing.

  123. 123
    Matt Penfold

    I like how they identify their man as a “leading presuppositional apologist,” as if that’s a good thing.

    Well it sounds better than “our leading person at making up crap and then believing it.”.

  124. 124
    AJ Milne

    Why do they even bother playing?

    Well, y’know, they do make the playoffs, pretty regularly. Sure, it’s been since ’67 that they actually took the cup, but remember, they’re technically second in the league for taking it, overall. It’s only since the expansion that they’ve had the drought. Sure, it’s kinda painful to watch, and a lot of effort has gone into all these losing years, but technically, it does make sense for them to keep plugging away. So as to asking why they even bother, well, look, we can probably assume, eventually, just on pure odds, they’ll have to win o…

    Oh. Wait. I’m sorry. I thought we were talking about the Leafs.

    The who? The ‘Christians’? Seriously?

    (/I mean… What? That franchise is still in the league?)

  125. 125
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    (/I mean… What? That franchise is still in the league?)

    Yup. And the took the cup in 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2004. And think that they won it in 2008 due to an eligibility violation (which is bullshit, but they still complain about it!.

  126. 126
    daniellavine

    @yec123:

    So, in your opinion, human reasoning is no different than that of belching or retching? I would contend that a lot of our instinctive behavior likely can be explained in terms of cascades of molecular interactions, and where there is a stimulus and a reaction to it. But reasoning is quite different because we are often in conscious control of our thoughts when we deliberate. We accept and reject suggestions not because of some chemical necessity but because of what we perceive as being advantageous or truthful or good.

    This is interesting because it reveals the basis of your rejection of atheism: not rationality but simply visceral, animal revulsion.

    Why else would you pick “belching and retching” as your points of comparison? There are thousands, maybe millions of different processes occurring in the body and from these you pick two of the least aesthetically satisfying. Why go that road? Because this isn’t an intellectual argument on your part, it’s an emotional one.

    Instead of picking “belching and retching” you could have picked the immune response; an astoundingly complex multi-layered system with several modes of operation, one of which uses genetic algorithms to make custom enzymes to dissolve the protein coat of very specific lineages of pathogen. You could have picked development, which involves an astoundingly complex dance of genes switching on and off to control the rate of cell reproduction as well as processes governing cell specialization. You could have picked the metabolic systems that maintain human body temp at 98.6 degrees almost perfectly, or you could have picked the circadian processes which govern our sleep and wakefulness as well as the operation of pretty much all your bodily organs.

    But no, you pick two that smell bad and have to do with expelling waste rather than maintaining proper function.

    If you were honest and introspective enough you could probably figure out that you’re actually not perfectly in control of your own reasoning processes. For example, in this very instance your lizard-brain response to the idea that reason could be physiological is overriding your ability to think rationally. You’re engaging in motivated reasoning — which you can’t see, of course, because your reasoning is motivated against noticing that it’s motivated. But your “belching or retching” examples give you away. This isn’t about getting the right answer, this is about picking the answer that doesn’t make you uncomfortable (the way belching or farting or retching do).

    Incidentally, your argument in the quote above is self-refuting. “We accept and reject suggestions not because of some chemical necessity but because of what we perceive as being advantageous or truthful or good.” But since we do not control what we perceive (try looking at the sky and perceiving the color red instead of blue) we cannot control whether something is perceived as advantageous or truthful or good. Hence we do not control the criteria by which we “accept or reject suggestions.” But if we do not control the criteria then we do not control whether we accept or reject suggestions at all since it is only by virtue of those criteria that we accept or reject the suggestions.

  127. 127
    JimDiver

    Sye has confused his argument with his god. He doesn’t understand that when his argument is buried because if fails, it doesn’t get to come back up and claim victory.

  128. 128
    Hurin

    Ichthyic

    read this, and the scales will fall from your eyes (heh):

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    the link to his book in is the upper left.

    read it.

    really.

    QFT.

    The Authoritarians is an excellent read. That book will give you an exceptionally useful model for understanding politics and religion.

  129. 129
    Kel

    That is was well written does not make it any less of obscurantist sophistry. All he wrote was filled with fallacies. Only beautifully presented.

    How does it being filled with fallacies change whether or not the text is obscurantist? That’s what I don’t get, reading the book I had a very clear idea of what C.S. Lewis was saying. There’s really no chance of misreading it, no hiding behind vague or subjective language that may or may not be saying something substantial depending on your interpretation. Sophistry? Yes. Obscurantist? No. To me, C.S. Lewis presented Mere Christianity in as clear a fashion as one could hope for, and based on his presentation I feel confident in rejecting it.

  130. 130
    gaboentropia

    Kel,

    How does it being filled with fallacies change whether or not the text is obscurantist?

    Maybe I did not explain enough, but the thing is that Lewis present with rhetorical mastery. It all looks as if if were reasonable. Granted, his clarity of language allowed you to see the fallacies clear cut. But for most people the style of the presentation made it quite hard to detect the problems. Just look at asshole123. He fell for the rhetorics so hard that he can’t see how fallacious it is to compare the natural workings of our brains to “random/meaningless movements of atoms.” As if that was not enough, a few in “our side” fell for it also. They think atoms in our brains move “randomly.” It then becomes impossible to get the assholes and whatever others to notice that natural does not mean random, and that if something is not random it does not mean that it is “purposeful-thus-godly.”

    I don’t know. I think that a nice presentation can fool me. So I exert lots of extra care. That’s what makes lewis obscurantist to me. But maybe there should be a better term, because Lewis “obscures” by giving extra lights to his preferred conclusions.

  131. 131
    Kel

    Okay, gaboentropia, in that sense I can see what you were saying. My use of obscurantist was purely for the use of vague and potentially misleading language. It seems we were talking about two different things.

    In terms of what I’m talking about, here’s Ed Feser:
    “if god just is perfect goodness which just is the divine will which just is immutable and necessary being, then there can be no question either of god willing in accordance with some standard of goodness independent of him or of his will being arbitrary.”

    “The idea is to begin with what we know about human beings and then to abstract away first the body, then our temporal limitations, then our epistemological and volitional confinement to knowing about and having control over only a particular point of space and time, then our moral defects, and to keep going until we arrive at the notion of a being who has power, knowledge, and goodness like ours but to an unlimited degree.”

    “The doctrine of divine simplicity has a number of crucial implications, which are, accordingly, also essential to classical theism. It entails that God is immutable or changeless, and therefore that He is impassible – that is, that He cannot be affected by anything in the created order. It entails that he is eternal in the sense of being altogether outside of time and space. It entails that He does not “have” existence, or an essence, or His various attributes but rather is identical to His existence, His nature and His attributes: He is His existence which is His essence which is His power which is His knowledge which is His goodness.”

    If only Ed Feser had the clarity of CS Lewis. ;)

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