1. Artor says

    Also, if the best argument you have for why someone should listen to you is that what you’re saying isn’t technically illegal, that’s not a great endorsement.

  2. says

    I posted this on facebook. If you want to see how far atheism has fallen, you should see all the dogmatists informing me that the ONLY way to determine the Truth is through debate, how dare I advocate deplatforming people, and many of them identifying as right wingers who are on the winning side of history.

    A lot of atheists apparently instantly identified with the sack of garbage.

  3. Kamaka says

    “If you want to see how far atheism has fallen”

    How long ago is that now? Dawkins and his Dear Muslima post on this blog? I was there, read it live and in person.

    That was the day the atheist movement fell down and couldn’t get up.

  4. Kamaka says

    At least the Hitch admitted his faults. Dawkins, not so much.

    An orator unmatched, Hitch was the best.

  5. patricklinnen says

    Kamaka, are you writing about Christopher Hitchens? I read his Rational Wiki entry. It had some positive things to say about the man. But reading between the lines he was a mix of a crustier Andrew Sullivan and a crustier more-British Sam Harris.

  6. Steve Bruce says

    I don’t care how good an orator he was and what nice quotes he came up with. All I remember about him is that he was one of the biggest apologists for an illegal, immoral war, going on TV time and again and spreading neocon war propanganda without any concern for truth or ethics.

  7. Tualha says


    But does that really make sense? If you take that literally, he’s saying that any proposition, regardless of whether it is provable, can be dismissed if it’s possible to assert it without evidence. But that’s true of every proposition!

    “Five is a prime number.”

    “You stated that without evidence. By Hitchens’ Razor, it can be dismissed without evidence.”

    It’s poorly phrased. It should really be stated “Any claim made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” That puts the onus on the claim, where it belongs, rather than the proposition.

  8. lotharloo says


    This is getting OT but I’m very much confused by your statement. “Five is a prime number” is technically stated without evidence and therefore it can be dismissed; it’s just that the evidence for the claim is extremely trivial and thus this is a poor choice of example on your part. For example, the claim that “158582858185817573272478958285838623 is a prime number” can be (and should be dismissed) because I just typed it out randomly and I gave no evidence for it. In both examples, the claim that “number X is a prime number” should be supported by evidence or rather Mathematical proof.

  9. Rob Grigjanis says

    Kamaka @8: He might have “put it forward”, but it was around long before Hitchens was born, and it’s much pithier in Latin anyway: Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

  10. Jeremy Shaffer says

    PZ at 2:

    If you want to see how far atheism has fallen, you should see all the dogmatists informing me that the ONLY way to determine the Truth is through debate…

    Truth determined by debate? That might be the case if all parties were there to argue in good faith and bringing legitimate facts and realities relevant to the topic at hand, but I can’t think of any occasion where “truth” was determined because 2 or more people stood before a crowd and nattered back and forth at each other. As it is, we don’t have much of that going on in the environment we currently find ourselves, and that’s largely thanks to the people demanding constant debate.

    Debate can be informative, but it’s inherently performative and determining “truth” is not it’s primary function. Especially when the people screaming “Debate Me!” care only for ownage and consider any show of emotion from their opponent- no matter how slight or reasonable, because they’ll engage in antics and exhibit pomposity that almost ensure some sort of emotional response- as proof they’ve won than providing actual support for their position that can’t be shown as at least misrepresentative with just a few minutes of research or aren’t simply outright conspiracy theories of the lowest order, Whatever they’re looking to determine isn’t anything remotely resembling “truth”.

  11. Kamaka says


    I can’t argue against your point.


    Thanks for the quote, my Latin is poor, but I can read and understand that.

  12. Kamaka says


    I have had occassion to use this argument, and, yes, your version is the one I use. When unwanted missionaries show up at the door, first I ask them to read from Leviticus so as to humiliate them in their arrogance (they are uninvited guests, and any page of that text will do), then send them on their New Testament way with this:

    “Claims/assertions made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.”

    But, as @14, the Latin version is sharper.