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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

PZ Myers – Absconds from Debate, Again!

Please note that this post has been moved to True Freethinker’s Atheism category.

33 comments:

  1. If evolution had not done away with it PZ Myers could have absconded from another debate with his tail between his legs.

    Let us see, thus far, as I can recall from the top of my noggin Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Eugene Scott and PZ Myers flatly refused to debate Creationists. They have provided quaint pseudo-reasons for, at the same time, being alleged champions of reason and science whilst not debating their views against backwards-Bible-belt-fundamentalist-country-hicks.

    I notice something. You don't really state why, other than to imply cowardice. Here's why: In an oral debate, there is no time to check out the facts of the other person's argument and to cross-examine them. Unlike say, in a court of law, for example, the Dover Trial where each side does have that.

    Guess who chickened out there?
    Dembski, Meyer, and Campbell’s exodus is explained by their fear of cross-examination. The public shredding that Irigonegaray had given ID creationists in Kansas one month earlier was still fresh [17]. Moreover, Dembski, Meyer, and Campbell knew what the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses would say in court because they had our reports. DI must have known that our case would be devastating to the defense —and thus to ID— if it was argued before a judge who respected the truth and the Constitution.

    Back to your post:
    Now, Dr. Myers has also refused to debate the issue of the existence of god(s). Since he claimed that he only tackles weak arguments for the existence of god(s) because there are no strong arguments, Vox Day invited him to debate the issue on the Northern Alliance Radio Show (broadcast from Minnesota). Dr. Myers turned down the debate by referring to Mr. Day by various ad hominems, stating that he actually read more than a couple of chapters of Mr. Day’s book (The Irrational Atheist) and putting down conservative radio (apparently referring to Mr. Day as odious, christofascist misogynist, beneficiary of wingnut welfare, prominent freakshow participant, insane babbler is some form of refutation in Dr. Myer’s mind).
    What you failed to mention is why Myers calls Vox Day those kinds of things. Do a little reading...insane, misogynistic, let me quote:
    But this is not to say there is not a genuine threat to all three aspects of science today. Unsurprisingly, it comes from the same force that is the primary threat to the survival of Western civilization: female equalitarianism. Flush with their success in decimating the collegiate sports programs of America, the equalitarians have now set their sights on applying the infamous Title IX quotas to science education, despite the fact that women already earn 57 percent of bachelor's degrees, 59 percent of master's degrees and a majority of doctorates. If successful in this effort, and initial signs indicate that they probably will be, in 30 years, academic science in America will be no more intellectually respectable or relevant than womyn's studies are today.

    Women love education; it's the actual application they don't particularly like. Whereas the first thought of a woman who enjoys the idea of painting is to take an art appreciation class, a similarly interested man is more likely to just pick up a paintbrush and paint something – usually a naked woman.
    I went to Vox's own site for those quotes.


    refutation by ad-homs
    Home of the Atheidiot

    The godless commenters at Pharyngurl’s are almost as irrational as they are breathtakingly ignorant:


    Vox goes on to talk complete bull about atheism and it's "murderous" track record. What you evangelicals are never honest enough to admit: In the 20th century, there were many more people around and the there were far more efficient means of killing people. The fact that religous people may have killed less people numerically than the "godless" atheists is not for lack of trying, or any restraint. Consider what the death toll for the Thirty Years' War was, it's percentage of the population killed, and consider what numbers that percentage would mean today.

    Also never mentioned is that religious belief has been responsible for killing people for century after century. Compare the time for which the "godless" countries were killing people. Decades at most.


    Anyway, back to Vox: Vox vs. science, again


    Your post:
    It is no wonder that the New (and Old) Atheist are so shockingly wrong so stunningly often. They have their fans who follow behind cleaning up their messes and excusing any and everything. Such was the case with Dr. Myers and his screechy monkeys who congratulate him to no end for cowering away from a debate again someone whom they consider easier to topple than a straw man.

    Here are some of the relevant posts on this issue:

    You left one out. Wonder why?

    From Myer's relevant post:
    The second attack is coming from wacky ol' Vox Day who accuses me of cowardice for advocating that we don't debate creationists. It's a remarkably cowardly job on his part: he quotes the bit where I say that the 'debate' format is tactically poor and throws away the strengths of science, and then stops right were I start to make suggestions for actively engaging the public with substance and evidence and ideas. Is Day dishonest? Why, yes. But that kind of fraud and blatant twisting of words is Day's specialty, right up there with his penchant for looney right-wing theocratic babble.

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2005/08/the_absurdity_of_vox_day.php

    http://brentrasmussen.com/log/vox_popularitas

    http://brentrasmussen.com/log/vox_day_author_musician_libertarian_christian

    http://brentrasmussen.com/log/more_on_vox_day

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/07/vox_day_weighs_in.php

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/03/vox_day_mindlessly_parroting_antivaccina.php

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2006/05/did-he-just-deny-holocaust.html
    For the Nth time, I could not care less what illiterates and cretins such as the sort popping up today think about me or anything else. I suspect WND is similarly indifferent. The idea that anyone should apologize for the mere mention of the Holocaust is absurd. I mean, even those Jews who were previously so quick to get their panties in a bunch over my postulating that perhaps medieval anti-semitism was not merely the result of chance took no umbrage over today's column, presumably because they are capable of reading at a functional level.
    I told you there's a reason why Myers calls Vox Day names...he deserves them.


    Vox Day’s, An Invitation to PZ Myers

    Fraters Libertas’, And Gallantly He Chickened Out
    PZ Myers’, Sorry, Vox, I Don't Debate Crazy Pipsqueaks Any More

    Vox Day’s, The Fowl Atheist

    Tell you what...we'll take Myers and the other godless sciencebloggers, and you can keep Vox Day, and his crazy dad! Do whatever it takes to make sure that Vox stays a christian until the day he dies, I beg of you.

    Enough about that...now, as to why Dawkins et al won't "debate" you people...you people have established a reputation for not being honest when you people interview them. Here is one more example.

    Another example. Toward the end of his interview with me, Stein asked whether I could think of any circumstances whatsoever under which intelligent design might have occurred. It's the kind of challenge I relish, and I set myself the task of imagining the most plausible scenario I could. I wanted to give ID its best shot, however poor that best shot might be. I must have been feeling magnanimous that day, because I was aware that the leading advocates of Intelligent Design are very fond of protesting that they are not talking about God as the designer, but about some unnamed and unspecified intelligence, which might even be an alien from another planet. Indeed, this is the only way they differentiate themselves from fundamentalist creationists, and they do it only when they need to, in order to weasel their way around church/state separation laws. So, bending over backwards to accommodate the IDiots ("oh NOOOOO, of course we aren't talking about God, this is SCIENCE") and bending over backwards to make the best case I could for intelligent design, I constructed a science fiction scenario. Like Michael Ruse (as I surmise) I still hadn't rumbled Stein, and I was charitable enough to think he was an honestly stupid man, sincerely seeking enlightenment from a scientist. I patiently explained to him that life could conceivably have been seeded on Earth by an alien intelligence from another planet (Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel suggested something similar -- semi tongue-in-cheek). The conclusion I was heading towards was that, even in the highly unlikely event that some such 'Directed Panspermia' was responsible for designing life on this planet, the alien beings would THEMSELVES have to have evolved, if not by Darwinian selection, by some equivalent 'crane' (to quote Dan Dennett).
    SNIP
    Well, you will have guessed how Mathis/Stein handled this. I won't get the exact words right (we were forbidden to bring in recording devices on pain of a $250,000 fine, chillingly announced by some unnamed Gauleiter before the film began), but Stein said something like this. "What? Richard Dawkins BELIEVES IN INTELLIGENT DESIGN." "Richard Dawkins BELIEVES IN ALIENS FROM OUTER SPACE." I can't remember whether this was the moment in the film where we were regaled with another Lord Privy Seal cut to an old science fiction movie with some kind of android figure – that may have been used in the service of trying to ridicule Francis Crick (again, dutiful titters from the partisan audience).

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  2. Reynold;
    Thanks for your comments, observations and resources.

    While people generally have reasons, or excuses, for doing what they do, or what they do not do, the facts remain and my post is accurate. You end up proving my point about “their fans who follow behind cleaning up their messes and excusing any and everything.”

    The reasons you offer for Prof. PZ Myers refusing to debate Vox Day are not those expressed by Prof. Myers himself.

    You certainly offer some quaint excuses for the hundreds of millions or people murdered by atheists. But to be fair to us both, to merely state that atheists did it in the name of atheism or religious people did it in the name of religion is simply too simplistic in that it does not take into consideration various other motivating factors such as politics, resources, territory, power-hunger, avarice, etc.

    By the way, you only quote Vox Day from one of his own websites/blogs once, the rest are from secondary sources (out of the 18 hyperlinks that you provided). That does not necessarily mean that he has been taken out of context or misrepresented but it makes one suspect that you are not reading the originals for context but relying on someone else to tell you what he says and what he means when he says it.

    Please keep in mind that committing the ad hominem does not mean that the personal attacks are not accurate but that they are being made in place of dealing with the issue at hand.

    My post was about Prof. Myers refusing to debate Day on the issue of the existence of god(s) while the post you refer to as “Myer's relevant post” is not relevant in that it is not related to the debate challenge which I refer to and that it refers to debating issues of science such as “evolution” vs. “creation.”

    You stated, “I told you there's a reason why Myers calls Vox Day names...he deserves them.” That may very well be so, I would even grant you that and yet, the question remains, “Why not hang an annoying little lunatic out to dry as he comes up against the eruditeness of Prof. Myers?”

    Again, even if I grant you that “you people have established a reputation for not being honest when you people interview them” how does this keep them from wanting to debate creationists? The parameters of a debate are discussed and agreed upon well before either side takes the stage. Again, I have written about this here
    and under#8 here.

    Also, so that you are aware, I have written on the issue of the Stein / Dawkins interview here.

    [Prof. Richard Dawkins has also refused to debate is Dinesh D'Souza and William Lane Craig, but who is counting?]

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mariano
    While people generally have reasons, or excuses, for doing what they do, or what they do not do, the facts remain and my post is accurate.
    Well, except for the fact that at the Dover trial, it was a few ID/xian people who chickened out there. While the "darwinists" as you people call them, all showed up. Barbara Forrest even did her work there pro-bono


    You end up proving my point about “their fans who follow behind cleaning up their messes and excusing any and everything.”
    Uh, no. If any of those people were murderes I don't think I'd be excusing "any and everything" that they do. Contrary to xian apologists who defend the killing of pregnant women and babies in the OT while pretending to be "pro-life", just to make a point.


    The reasons you offer for Prof. PZ Myers refusing to debate Vox Day are not those expressed by Prof. Myers himself.
    I just go into more detail than he did.

    Let me repeat what Myers had said:
    he quotes the bit where I say that the 'debate' format is tactically poor and throws away the strengths of science, and then stops right were I start to make suggestions for actively engaging the public with substance and evidence and ideas.
    I just explained how the debate format it tactially poor. Eugenie Scott had said the same thing years ago in an article in NCSE. Stephen Gould had once said that if one is to face creationists, to do it in court if at all possible.



    You certainly offer some quaint excuses for the hundreds of millions of people murdered by atheists.

    "Quaint excuses"? An "excuse" pal, would be if I tried to justify those killings. I did not do that. All I did was point out why there was such a large disparity in the number of deaths.

    The points of which were completely ignored by you. I'll ask you again to think about the Thirty Years' War example to get my point.
    Vox goes on to talk complete bull about atheism and it's "murderous" track record. What you evangelicals are never honest enough to admit: In the 20th century, there were many more people around and the there were far more efficient means of killing people. The fact that religous people may have killed less people numerically than the "godless" atheists is not for lack of trying, or any restraint. Consider what the death toll for the Thirty Years' War was, it's percentage of the population killed, and consider what numbers that percentage would mean today.

    Also never mentioned is that religious belief has been responsible for killing people for century after century. Compare the time for which the "godless" countries were killing people. Decades at most.



    "Hundreds of millions" killed by atheists? May I see some numbers please? But before you do, need I remind you that at least Hitler was (at least pretending to be a xian, if not actually one of you). He was sucking up to the christians in germany, not the "atheists".

    For more about where he got his attitude, read hiterl's book and then read Martin Luther's On the Jews and Their Lies.


    Anyway, the only people I've ran into who try to make "quaint excuses" for stuff like murdering babies and pregnant women are xian apologists when talking about the OT.


    But to be fair to us both, to merely state that atheists did it in the name of atheism or religious people did it in the name of religion is simply too simplistic in that it does not take into consideration various other motivating factors such as politics, resources, territory, power-hunger, avarice, etc.
    That, at least, is true. So why do you think Vox Day brought it up? It's one of those wonderful "debate" tactics your side uses.


    By the way, you only quote Vox Day from one of his own websites/blogs once, the rest are from secondary sources (out of the 18 hyperlinks that you provided). That does not necessarily mean that he has been taken out of context or misrepresented but it makes one suspect that you are not reading the originals for context but relying on someone else to tell you what he says and what he means when he says it.

    Actually, I've done both. I've linked those sites because they refute Vox Day, and at least some also link to him. Like the Bad Astronomer site for example.

    Saves time and linkage.



    Please keep in mind that committing the ad hominem does not mean that the personal attacks are not accurate but that they are being made in place of dealing with the issue at hand.

    Yes, so what does your attack against the scientists who are too chicken to debate creationists have to do with anything?

    You've ignored the actual reasons why they don't; you've ignored the fact that in a format where each side gets a chance to examine and cross-examine the other side, its your side that chickens out. Example: The Dover trial.

    If you were interested in more than trying to imply that atheists were cowards, you'd not have posted this at all.



    My post was about Prof. Myers refusing to debate Day on the issue of the existence of god(s) while the post you refer to as “Myer's relevant post” is not relevant in that it is not related to the debate challenge which I refer to

    Not quite. You said: It is no wonder that the New (and Old) Atheist are so shockingly wrong so stunningly often. They have their fans who follow behind cleaning up their messes and excusing any and everything. Such was the case with Dr. Myers and his screechy monkeys who congratulate him to no end for cowering away from a debate again someone whom they consider easier to topple than a straw man.

    Here are some of the relevant posts on this issue:

    I posted Myer's post where he explains why he doesn't debate creationists period. The same reasoning applies with Vox Day. You've disregarded the point he was trying to make about how conducive the format is.

    And your comments about Myers' "screeching monkeys" shows an attitude of a person that not many people would want to debate you with anyway. At least, not in person.


    Anyhow, in any debate involving science, each side needs time to check out and confirm the claims made by the other side. This involves research. Then the other side is cross-examined.

    That's how debates are actually done in science. Formats like peer-review and yes, like court trials like The Dover Trial.

    Again, just look at who backed out of the Dover Trial, and look at the transcripts and the judges decision and see what happens when both sides have time to both check out the other side's claims and to cross-examine the other side.

    Who's the real coward?



    and that it refers to debating issues of science such as “evolution” vs. “creation.”

    You stated, “I told you there's a reason why Myers calls Vox Day names...he deserves them.” That may very well be so, I would even grant you that and yet, the question remains, “Why not hang an annoying little lunatic out to dry as he comes up against the eruditeness of Prof. Myers?”

    That's what Myers and Phil Plait have done: in written form! In written form, one can go and research the claims the other guy makes and go and say why he's wrong, or why he's a sod.

    You can't research your adversaries claims in an oral debate, can you? Besides, by having their remarks on the web, it allows everyone to see them for posterity, instead of just a few people who'd see the actual "debate".

    To see how useless a verbal debate is when it comes to convincing the public of scientific matters, do a little reading on Samuel Birley Rowbotham.

    Rowbotham was an accomplished debater who reputedly steamrollered all opponents, and his followers, who included many well-educated people, were equally tenacious.
    So, just because he reputedly won all his debates, does that mean he was right about his "flat earth" idea? No. It means he was a good debater. That's why scientists go for the written format when they debate. You can check things up.



    Again, even if I grant you that “you people have established a reputation for not being honest when you people interview them” how does this keep them from wanting to debate creationists?

    You don't see the answer right there? If the peron interviewing them is not honest, how can you be certain that your words won't be twisted or edited, or you will yourself be lied about??

    The parameters of a debate are discussed and agreed upon well before either side takes the stage. Again, I have written about this here

    And since Dawkins was there, he's written about it also.


    As far as debates in general go, it doesn't help if one side is dishonest about what the rules are, or they twist the words of their opponents. For example, the "From a Frog to a Prince" interview, and the Stein interviews, and yes, even your post about how you claim that Dawkins is a manipulator:

    Neither I nor anyone that I have read claims that Prof. Richard Dawkins has abandoned any of his Darwinist theories in favor of an exclusively directed-panspermist-intelligent-design theory. Stating, as I did, that Prof. Richard Dawkins came out as an Intelligent Design proponent is not a lie. Primarily, let us note that to lie is not to state something that is incorrect but it is stating something that is incorrect while knowing that it is incorrect, and particularly with an intent to deceive.

    Prof. Richard Dawkins first pretends to hold to a position that he does not hold.

    Based on his statement, statements about him are made about his position.

    He then refers to people making statements based on his pretending as liars.

    We are not liars rather, Prof. Richard Dawkins is a manipulator.

    He was asked to give a scenario where ID would apply; he gave one. He did not say that he believed it, and he said that it would just push the problem back. The Expelled people ran around saying that Dawkins believes in aliens, which he never said he did.

    You then go and say that Dawkins came out as a ID proponent, when he is not. he was merely doing what the interviewer asked: Given the most plausible scenario for ID that he could come up with. He did not say that he believed it.


    and under#8 here.

    Also, so that you are aware, I have written on the issue of the Stein / Dawkins interview here.

    Yeah, and Stein et al has been caught lying six ways from Sunday here


    [Prof. Richard Dawkins has also refused to debate is Dinesh D'Souza and William Lane Craig, but who is counting?]

    I'd say you are, except for when it's your side refusing to show up to be cross-examined in court cases.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, I've posted my next reply here since I've not seen it posted in this site yet...I know, it's getting to be an old post, that's why. I'm just too lazy to copy and paste what I say all over the place, so I'll just put links.

    If you want me to just post the text of what I've said instead of posting links to what I've said, let me know.

    For more about Myers and debates, click here.


    Now, as to Richard Dawkins and the so-called "confusion" about Intelligent Design and Creationism, it's just a matter of calling a spade a spade.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Reynold;
    Pardon my delay in approving your comments (was out of town most of the weekend and the week sort of flew by). Thanks for the info on the Dover trial and for your comments.

    Please understand that you can play the “you do it too (tu quoque)” card all you want but this does not change the fact that the persons I mentioned do what I claimed: they refuse to debate those whom they consider to be superstitious ignoramuses.

    Your dissection of the debate format is lacking: The debate topic is agreed upon before hand, the research takes place before hand (by opponents who are well versed in the field to start with), the debates are generally transcribed (and now-a-days recorded and available on the www in written and audio form) and generally there is some back and forth after the debate on issues that the debaters perceive as not having been ironed out or confused during the debate proper.

    I find it fascinating that debates have been taking place for MILLENNIA but suddenly the supposed most erudite amongst us realized that there are problems with the debate format. Do not get me wrong—debates are what they are. But the fact is that these supposed defenders of reason and science want to defend their views in the protection of their own classrooms where they enjoy the authority of their professorships and impose their views on students.

    If the movie “Expelled” is worth watching for any reason it is to see how these champions of atheism and “science” come across as very erudite and certain about their promulgations until—until they are asked a very simple question, “How do you know?” at which point their façade falls apart and they instantly turn into fumbling, stumbling, stammerers in admitting that they have no reasons to claim to know that which they have just proposed.

    As far as court cases, this may be worse than a debate if you have a judge like John E. Jones, the one at the Dover trial, who basically just cut and pasted his decision from the statements by the ACLU (see here, here and here).

    I agree that “religious belief has been responsible for killing people for century after century” please inform me as to how you condemn these actions.

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  6. It seems the link address that was posted was wrong. It only takes you to the general SFN site. It's supposed to link to here, in the thread I started.

    Hopefully that won't happen again.


    Mariano said...

    Reynold;
    Pardon my delay in approving your comments (was out of town most of the weekend and the week sort of flew by). Thanks for the info on the Dover trial and for your comments.

    Yeah, the same thing might happen to me.

    Mariano
    Please understand that you can play the “you do it too (tu quoque)” card all you want but this does not change the fact that the persons I mentioned do what I claimed: they refuse to debate those whom they consider to be superstitious ignoramuses.
    Not all the time: at the end of Myer's debate with Simmons Myers is asked if he'd do another debate, and he said he'd do it. He even said that he'd prefer audience participation.

    Mariano

    Your dissection of the debate format is lacking: The debate topic is agreed upon before hand, the research takes place before hand (by opponents who are well versed in the field to start with),

    Ah, no. Why? Even if each side researches the topic in general, there's no way that they can, in the middle of an oral debate, or even beforehand, check the particular points that the other side is making.

    There is another problem: Oftentimes, it takes more time to rebute a false point than it does to present the false point. In an oral debate, that'll ruin you; in a written debate, peer-review, or court of law, it won't.


    That's why in the link I posted earlier, I mentioned the case of Samuel Birley Rowbotham, a flat-earther who kept winning all of his debates with his opponents.

    Oral debates in science don't solve anything; if they did (according to the creationist reasoning for crowing about the evolutionists "absconding" from debates) then Rowbotham would have "proved" that the earth was flat, or at least that the round-earthers would have been too "scared" or "unsure" of their evidence to face public scrutiny.


    Mariano
    the debates are generally transcribed (and now-a-days recorded and available on the www in written and audio form) and generally there is some back and forth after the debate on issues that the debaters perceive as not having been ironed out or confused during the debate proper.
    Some, but really, who pays attention to those?

    That's why scientists deal with written debates. Everything is out in the open, and all the facts are examined. Each side has the time to cross-examine the other side on each particular point the other side raises, as opposed to just "studying" the general topic and hoping not to miss anytning.

    That's what happens in scientific journals, peer review, and in courts of law. That's why Stephen Gould once said that's the place to confront creationists, since there, they can be cross-examined.

    If "evolutionists" were truly cowards, they should fear the court system more than oral debates, since under cross-examination their defeat would be more complete, and more accessible to the public.

    Mariano
    I find it fascinating that debates have been taking place for MILLENNIA but suddenly the supposed most erudite amongst us realized that there are problems with the debate format.
    If you go to the link I posted and read up on Samuel Rowbotham, you'll realize that they started to find out the problems in the oral format at least a hundred years ago, and probably sooner. Public debates are good for politics, not so suitable for science. Otherwise, one would think that the flat-earther Rowbotham would have lost all his debates instead of winning all of them.


    Mariano
    Do not get me wrong—debates are what they are. But the fact is that these supposed defenders of reason and science want to defend their views in the protection of their own classrooms where they enjoy the authority of their professorships and impose their views on students.
    Wrong. You've missed the point about being cross-examined in court cases and the written debate format where each side can examine point by point what the other guy is trying to say. Doesn't sound too protected to me. Try comparing that to a church. How many times is one allowed to raise one's hand in church during a sermon to ask a question?

    Or how about the oaths that creationist institutions like Answers in Genesis and the ICR are supposed to take, where anyone joining has to swear to take the biblical view no matter what, even before they start their research?


    Mariano
    If the movie “Expelled” is worth watching for any reason it is to see how these champions of atheism and “science” come across as very erudite and certain about their promulgations until—until they are asked a very simple question, “How do you know?” at which point their façade falls apart and they instantly turn into fumbling, stumbling, stammerers in admitting that they have no reasons to claim to know that which they have just proposed.
    You must be joking. Then again, selective editing will do that to you, as Dawkins et al found out. Try reading some science books if you really want to find out why they think what they think.

    It's worth watching maybe to see how much they lie about history with regards to the holocaust, but that's about it. You really want some fun? Read Comfort's reply to my post.


    Mariano
    As far as court cases, this may be worse than a debate if you have a judge like John E. Jones, the one at the Dover trial,
    The one who was appointed by Bush and had such a good conservative pedigree that Dave Scot and Dembski were certain that he would rule in their favour before the verdict?

    Mariano
    who basically just cut and pasted his decision from the statements by the ACLU (see here, here and here).
    You need to learn more about the law with respect to the "Proposed Findings of Fact" that each side in a case like this presents to the judge. The judge is basically constrained to reading the PFF of the winning side when the verdict is reached
    When they say that he copied "factual errors" from the ACLU brief, all they really mean is that the judge accepted the factual claims of the other side rather than theirs. Basically the complaint is "but we said that wasn't true and he didn't believe us." But in fact, the evidential record in the case supported the proposed finding of fact in each case. Their real problem with this is that they lost the argument.

    Then, oddly, they admit that there's nothing unusual about using the proposed findings of fact of one side in whole or in part in a judicial ruling:
    Judges frequently employ arguments submitted by plaintiffs or defendants in their final decisions. But high-ranking Discovery Institute staffer John West, a coauthor of the report, contends that the extensive word-for-word use in this case lessens the likelihood that other judges will cite the decision: "Copying the ACLU verbatim or nearly verbatim is something other judges will be concerned about relying on."


    I'll take wishful thinking for $1000, Alex. But pray tell, if you're going to admit that, in fact, what Judge Jones did was not at all unusual and is normal judicial practice, what on earth was the point of all that "he's suddenly clammed up and won't respond to this important accusation" nonsense at the beginning?

    Maybe that's something you should be asking the people who wrote those articles you linked to.

    More here
    As if it wasn't bad enough that we have the Discovery Institute throwing ignorant criticisms at Judge Jones, now Larry Moran has joined their chorus of absurdity. He writes:
    Apparently Judge Jones copied the most "scientific" parts of his decision from the ACLU 'Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law' that was submitted a month before the decision was published. I'm told that this is standard practice. Judges often rely heavily on written submissions from the side they support. I'm told that it's common for judges to copy from those submissions.

    That may be true--I have no reason to doubt it--but it does make a difference to me. The legal significance of the decision doesn't change but my opinion of Judge Jones does. He is no longer the brilliant man who was able to grasp complex scientific concepts in the blink of an eye. He's able to discern who's right and who's wrong, but that's all.



    What a patently silly criticism. What does Moran expect, that Judge Jones was going to invent his own arguments? That's not what judges do. When it comes to findings of fact, the judge does nothing more than determine which set of facts presented by the two sides is better supported by the evidence


    You seem to have forgotten the law firm Pepper Hamilton? Though it makes for a better villain for the religious right, I suppose.


    Enough whining. Time for those ID guys to actually go into a lab and do some research! Lord knows, some scientists have been waiting for it.
    So, at risk of sounding like a broken record, let’s see what we didn’t get from the intelligent design movement this year:
    -A peer-reviewed paper by Dembski, Wells, Nelson, Meyer ...

    -Or for that matter, a single peer-reviewed article offering either (a) evidence for design, (b) a method to unambiguously detect design, or (c) a theory of how the Designer did the designing, by any fellow of the DI.

    -An exposition of Nelson’s theory of "ontogenetic depth" (promised in March 2004)

    -An article by Nelson & Dembski on problems with common descent (promised in April 2005).

    -Nelson’s monograph on common descent (currently MIA since the late 90’s).

    Funny. That list is identical to what we didn’t get last year. Wow. It’s like 2007 never happened.

    But let’s end on a high note. The ID community did provide us with some fun things; LOLcreationists (see my own contributions - LOLDembski and LOLBehe), a strong candidate for Word of the Year ("egnorance"), and ICON-RIDS "an international coalition of non-religious ID scientists & scholars" which Dembski felt would cause problems for nasty evilutionists. ICON-RIDS turned out to be the brainchild of William Brookfield, a professional solo musician and entertainer, founder of the Brookfield (Saba) Institute of Transparadigmic Science, major advocate of Plesurianism, and founder of a company "specializing in high quality sexual products." Needless to say, ICON-RIDS soon disappeared from the ID radar.




    I agree that “religious belief has been responsible for killing people for century after century” please inform me as to how you condemn these actions.
    Easy. I condemn them. I thought that context was easy enough to see. I guess not.


    I posted a link that details a discussion on why ID is really creationism despite what IDists say, but it never got through. I'll try again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Reynold;
    I hope you do not mind, but I wanted to focus on one issue.

    I stated and asked, “I agree that ‘religious belief has been responsible for killing people for century after century’ please inform me as to how you condemn these actions.”
    Your answer was, “Easy. I condemn them. I thought that context was easy enough to see. I guess not.”

    I guess not as well. I do not get your point unless it is that you condemn them because you condemn them.

    Does an atheist condemn certain actions because they are immoral or are certain actions immoral because an atheist decided to condemn them?

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mariano said...

    Reynold;
    I hope you do not mind, but I wanted to focus on one issue.

    I stated and asked, “I agree that ‘religious belief has been responsible for killing people for century after century’ please inform me as to how you condemn these actions.”
    Your answer was, “Easy. I condemn them. I thought that context was easy enough to see. I guess not.”

    I guess not as well. I do not get your point unless it is that you condemn them because you condemn them.

    Oh, I misunderstood. I thought you were asking in what manner I condemn them as opposed to what justification I'd use for condemning them.

    Still, it's easy. The deaths of innocent children, pain and suffering, (would you want that kind of thing done to you), and then there's the fact that acts of genocide aren't really conducive to the human race's survival.

    Your god set up a lot of lousy precedents in the OT which history shows that your fellow believers made use of.


    Does an atheist condemn certain actions because they are immoral or are certain actions immoral because an atheist decided to condemn them?
    Answered above.

    Thing is, I can turn that back on you. Is something moral because your god says it is in which case it's purely subjective or does your god say that something is moral because it intrinsicallly is moral, in which case "morality" is something that exists outside of your god, and he, like us, just picks out what seems moral to him.

    Too bad he's not consistent though. You know, the so-called "pro-lifers" who worship a being who had pregnant women and babies killed in the OT.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Reynold;
    I do not mean to be difficult but I am interested in understanding your views.

    Why are the deaths of innocent children, pain and suffering condemnable?

    Also, why should I be the least bit concerned about the human race's survival?

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, so much for the xian claim of atheists having no moral code then. I've shown it and you've said, in effect, "so what"?

    Please don't deconvert then. You've shown yourself to be nothing but a psychopath who's restrained by a belief that someone is watching him.

    In general, atheists view the human race as something worth preserving, for our children's sake if nothing else. You religous people don't have even that, I guess.

    What you have seems to be "morality" dictated by rewards and threats of punishment. That's a child's level of morality and not a morality based on consequences or empathy or even compassion.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Reynold;

    I am not sure if you cannot identify a rhetorical device when you encounter one or if you are being sarcastic. Obviously, or so I thought, I was attempting to get you to elucidate because you did no “show” anything—you merely presented some assertions and I was asking why those assertions are valid and or upon what they were premised.

    Moreover, you are incorrect in stating that “so much for the xian [sic] claim of atheists having no moral code,” this is not the claim, the claim is that you have no premise beyond your personal preferences.

    Furthermore, the concept of Christian morality being based on someone watching and dictated by rewards and threats of punishment is an atheist myth based on atheist’s presuppositions and prejudice. How do you know why a Christian does or does not do something? Can you read thoughts? Can you discern motivations?

    Sir, let us consider that I do not drive at a high rate of speed through a red light because I am concerned that I could crash into someone and hurt them. I do not run the red light because I have compassion and empathy. But based on your presuppositions and prejudice, you see that I do not run the red light and you state, “You didn’t run the red light because you are afraid to get a ticket or end up in jail—you lack compassion and empathy” (I made this point here).

    Think about it, even within a system which includes reward and punishment a person does not lack compassion or empathy. Incidentally, every moral, or legal, system on the planet includes reward and punishment—will you condemn all law abiding citizens?

    You make assertions about morality but I am trying to understand why, what is behind them, on what are they premised? Simply stating something to the likes of you should be “moral” because you should be “moral” and morality is preserving humanity just does not cut the proverbial mustard.

    aDios,

    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  12. Reynold;

    I am not sure if you cannot identify a rhetorical device when you encounter one or if you are being sarcastic.

    Being sarcastic to drive a point home. The theist rhetorical device you used only shows the weakness of your moral stance; if stuff like empathy, the golden rule, or the well-being of future generations of people doesn't count then it's apparent that those are not things that you're concerned about.

    Obviously, or so I thought, I was attempting to get you to elucidate because you did not “show” anything—you merely presented some assertions and I was asking why those assertions are valid and or upon what they were premised.
    I guess empathy, consequentialist morality and thinking of the survival of the human race are just "assertions" to you then?

    Is preserving humanity not "valid" enough?


    Moreover, you are incorrect in stating that “so much for the xian [sic] claim of atheists having no moral code,” this is not the claim, the claim is that you have no premise beyond your personal preferences.
    "Personal"? Is the survival of the human race merely a personal preference? Theists reject every secular reason for morality by calling it "personal preference" or something like that...without realizing that if their only basis for morality is their holy book, then they really have no sense of morality at all; not any more than any child does who obeys his parents because they're watching him and will give them either rewards or punishments.

    We tend to look at the larger picture and we also look at the consequences of our actions and the "golden rule" which is predicated on plain ol' empathy.

    If you're lacking in that as indicated by your comment in an earlier comment:
    Also, why should I be the least bit concerned about the human race's survival?
    then it's obvious that you need someone to look over your shoulder.

    Even as a rhetorical device, do you really need a reason to be concerned about the human race's survival? In the end, that's what drives us to try to make rules to ensure people's safety. Consider it an example of evolution in action. Even some primates to a much lesser extent demonstrate social behaviour like that.


    Furthermore, the concept of Christian morality being based on someone watching and dictated by rewards and threats of punishment is an atheist myth based on atheist’s presuppositions and prejudice. How do you know why a Christian does or does not do something? Can you read thoughts? Can you discern motivations?
    No, all one needs is to read the bible. Don't you people try to base your lives and attitudes on what it says? It has rewards in heaven and punishments in hell and on earth for actions taken.

    If the writers did not think that such things would be motivators than why put them in there if people were empathic and compassionate?

    I'm not denying that many theists act out of empathy or compassion or even that there are verses that speak to that, but that is obviously not what the bible writers were counting on.

    "Atheist myth" and "prejudice"...good one!


    Sir, let us consider that I do not drive at a high rate of speed through a red light because I am concerned that I could crash into someone and hurt them. I do not run the red light because I have compassion and empathy. But based on your presuppositions and prejudice, you see that I do not run the red light and you state, “You didn’t run the red light because you are afraid to get a ticket or end up in jail—you lack compassion and empathy” (I made this point here).

    Think about it, even within a system which includes reward and punishment a person does not lack compassion or empathy.

    No, but you've neglected to mention the reason why the laws are made. They're not based on empathy or compassion. They're based on consequentialist morality. They are not counting on people's empathy (they may be hoping for it, though) but the fact that punishments are set out shows that they're not counting on it.

    Same with the bible. If the bible writers were counting on people's empathy or compassion, one would think that there'd not be such an emphasis on rewards in heaven and punishment in hell and the "curses" described by your deity for wrongdoing.





    Incidentally, every moral, or legal, system on the planet includes reward and punishment—will you condemn all law abiding citizens?
    They're not the ones claiming to have a transcendent source of morality like theists do. They don't go running around like you do and ask why they should care about the future of the human race and whatnot.

    You make assertions about morality but I am trying to understand why, what is behind them, on what are they premised? Simply stating something to the likes of you should be “moral” because you should be “moral” and morality is preserving humanity just does not cut the proverbial mustard.
    You spent a lot of time trying to question where atheists get "our" morality from, but you've never really explained where you get yours from (ie. what's God's rational for the laws of morality he passed down?)

    Were they not for the people's own good as well? Were they not also based on consequentalist ethics? Were they not made to help increase the chances of the people's survival?

    Why does that reasoning not "cut the mustard" when atheists bring it up?


    By the way, some points you never responded to:

    Thing is, I can turn that back on you. Is something moral because your god says it is in which case it's purely subjective or does your god say that something is moral because it intrinsicallly is moral, in which case "morality" is something that exists outside of your god, and he, like us, just picks out what seems moral to him.

    As I asked: what does God base his views on morality on?




    You've also never addressed all the other points I made in that post.

    Nothing about the fact that Myers had agreed to another debate with that Simmons guy on the xian radio show they were on before, nothing about how a flat-earther kept winning all his debates, thus showing that oral debates aren't much good for hashing out matters of physical science, nothing about the merits of written debates, nothing about how ID was shown in the Dover trial to be just hashed over creationism etc.

    On that thread you'll find that they're willing to engage you in a written debate on the matter.


    Time to get back on track.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Firstly, I have already dispelled with your rewards or punishments argument. You are still presuming to know why people do what they do and do not do. It is presumptive, prejudicial and logically fallacious. I know that it is very popular amongst the atheists but it is really a very, very poor argument and you would do well to discard it.

    I am afraid that you are misunderstanding me. Please do not confuse my questions and my requests for further elucidation for disagreement. I agree with your moral assertions but you have not provided any premise for them. You are stating what we should do but not stating why. Empathy, the golden rule, the well-being of future generations, etc. are not reasons, they are assertions.

    For example, you stated “Is preserving humanity not ‘valid’ enough?” Valid as what? It may be a goal and something that we ought to strive for but it is not a valid reason since it is not a reason at all.

    What do you mean by “We tend to look at the larger picture…” Who is “We”?

    “By the way, some points you never responded to” - but remember that I posed the question to you first and you did not respond.

    There is another aspect of debates that I previously failed to mention: it is common for the opponents to make each other aware of any books, articles, lectures, etc. that they have presented on the topic of debate. They do this for the express purpose of informing their opponent of their point of view and the specific arguments that they can expect to encounter.

    It is also noteworthy to point out that the personages whom I mentioned in the original post, and others, do not refuse to debate in general. For example, you mention a debate in which PZ Myers did participate. They do, in fact, engage in debates. Yet, it is a particular debate from which they collectively abscond. It is the topic of science which they refuse to debate, it is “creationists” whom they will not debate.

    By the way, from what I can recall the person who came up with the idea of “Intelligent Design” in the first place was not a Christian but was David Hume when he referred to an “intelligent author.”

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  14. Firstly, I have already dispelled with your rewards or punishments argument. You are still presuming to know why people do what they do and do not do. It is presumptive, prejudicial and logically fallacious. I know that it is very popular amongst the atheists but it is really a very, very poor argument and you would do well to discard it.
    Your problem is really with the guys who wrote the bible, since they sure didn't presume that people would act morally out of the goodness of their hearts.

    According to the bible, we're all wicked, remember? Why else would they have rewards and punishments described in the bible if they themselves didn't make the same "prejudicial" presumption that I did?

    You have dispelled nothing.

    I am afraid that you are misunderstanding me. Please do not confuse my questions and my requests for further elucidation for disagreement. I agree with your moral assertions but you have not provided any premise for them. You are stating what we should do but not stating why. Empathy, the golden rule, the well-being of future generations, etc. are not reasons, they are assertions.
    So, the well-being of future generations is not a reason? Then nothing possibly can be then, I guess. If that isn't a valid reason for you, then what would be?

    Oh, I know. God telling you. Ok, then why would god be making those rules in the first place? I asked that in my previous post to you, and you never replied.

    For example, you stated “Is preserving humanity not ‘valid’ enough?” Valid as what? It may be a goal and something that we ought to strive for
    Uh, wouldn't that make it a reason, then?
    but it is not a valid reason since it is not a reason at all.
    How so? What would constitute a reason? I assume that the only thing you'd consider a reason would be if god told you?

    Anything else is not a reason by default I assume? Am I wrong to assume that?

    What do you mean by “We tend to look at the larger picture…” Who is “We”?
    Non-theists in general who are more concerned with the well-being of future generations of people in this life.

    “By the way, some points you never responded to” - but remember that I posed the question to you first and you did not respond.
    If you're implying that I did not respond to your question about why we should care about children being killed and the well-being of future generations was answered. Let me try again though. If past generations didn't care about future generations would we even be here? I'd thought I wouldn't have to explain that.

    I asked this once before: what's God's rationale for the laws of morality he passed down?)

    Were they not for the people's own good as well? Were they not also based on consequentalist ethics? Were they not made to help increase the chances of the people's survival which are the same goals non-theist morality has?

    Why does that reasoning not "cut the mustard" when atheists bring it up?



    There is another aspect of debates that I previously failed to mention: it is common for the opponents to make each other aware of any books, articles, lectures, etc. that they have presented on the topic of debate. They do this for the express purpose of informing their opponent of their point of view and the specific arguments that they can expect to encounter.
    Is this done before the debates, I assume? So what?

    It is also noteworthy to point out that the personages whom I mentioned in the original post, and others, do not refuse to debate in general.
    That's not the impression you gave.

    For example, you mention a debate in which PZ Myers did participate. They do, in fact, engage in debates. Yet, it is a particular debate from which they collectively abscond. It is the topic of science which they refuse to debate, it is “creationists” whom they will not debate.
    It was a creationist that Myers was debating, and it was evolution and science that they were debating about.

    You've missed (again!) all the points I had made in my previous posts: about the difference between oral and written debates (which creationists, not evolutionists avoid), about how a flat-earther kept winning oral debates, as an example that oral debates are not the best format to settle things in science, etc.



    By the way, from what I can recall the person who came up with the idea of “Intelligent Design” in the first place was not a Christian but was David Hume when he referred to an “intelligent author.”
    It was William Paley. Hume criticized the design argument.

    Are any of the other points about ID that I brought up in the September 20, 2008 9:21 AM post going to be addressed?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Whoops.

    It seems that Hume died in 1776, while Paley published his watchmaker analogy in 1802.


    So we were both wrong in a way. Hume was criticizing an idea that was around before Paley even used it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. There is another aspect of debates that I previously failed to mention: it is common for the opponents to make each other aware of any books, articles, lectures, etc. that they have presented on the topic of debate. They do this for the express purpose of informing their opponent of their point of view and the specific arguments that they can expect to encounter.
    The reason I said "so"? before was this is a new one to me. In written debates, where the "evolutionists" kick their rears in, I can see, but in oral ones?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Let me begin by reviewing some aspects of oral debate. Generally speaking:
    The debaters are considered to come to the table well informed on the subject matter.
    Oral debaters meet beforehand and make each other aware of any resources each has produced on the topic.
    They make opening statements.
    They make rebuttals.
    They cross examine each other.
    They take audience questions.
    They make a closing statement.
    They may subsequently publish elucidating info on something they thought was not thoroughly covered during the debate.
    The debates are recorded in audio, video and transcribed and the audio, video and transcription are unleashed all over the internet where anyone, from the kid living in their mother’s basement to the scholars, can further elucidate.

    And yet, debates are no more supposed to be the last word on an issue anymore than the science de jour.

    I wanted to point out that, ultimately, terming Christianity as a rewards and punishment system is fallacious in that it is contrived: since Christianity does not hold to a works based salvation theology it is a misleading oversimplification to refer to it as such.

    Here is a real life disproof of the rewards and punishment argument:
    1. The other day a homeless man asked me for money to buy coffee.
    2. I do not carry cash and so I offered to buy it for him and bring it to him. I did so (along with something to eat) with my motivation and thinking being simply that a human being was thirsty (and presumably hungry) and I could help, period.
    3. Therefore, that my motivation was reward and punishment is fallacious.

    You may argue that 3 is false because my overall motivation and thinking is premised upon a system of rewards and punishment but this is a non sequitur. This is also a presumption based on prejudice whereby you judge the overwhelming majority of the entire planet’s population throughout history without having the ability to read minds or motivations.

    Moreover, let us consider that some people’s motivation is not simply the goodness of their hearts. Let us grant this and say, “Good, at least something is motivating them.” It may not be ideal to your standards but why is pure goodness of heart the standard by which you judge all of humanity? And how do atheists escape the charge of not having pure, goodness of heart, motives?

    No, “the well-being of future generations is not a reason” it is an assertion. The question is why preserve future generations. A reason would be, “The reason that we ought to ensure the well-being of future generations is___________ (fill in the blank).”
    Likewise, “The reason that we ought to be compassionate is___________ (fill in the blank).”
    Likewise, “The reason that we ought to be empathetic is___________ (fill in the blank).”

    You are right, if past generations did not care about future generations we would not even be here. And why do you feel that it is important that you, and I, are here? One more or one less bio-organism, who is counting? And if we never were we would never know.

    Sorry, but since non-theism is merely a lack of belief in God, you cannot presume to speak for any other non-theist on any other issue. If you do presume to speak for non-theists then I will tap you as a resource when a non-theists tells me that non-theists agree that they each lack a God belief and cannot be generalized to agree on anything else.

    Are any of the other points about ID that I brought up in the September 20, 2008 9:21 AM post going to be addressed?
    Yes, and they already have been. To reiterate, “You do it too” arguments may demonstrate hypocrisy but do not disprove my original point.

    FYI, see here for a list of Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated).
    They list:
    Featured Articles.
    Peer-Reviewed Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Trade Presses or University Presses.
    Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Prominent Trade Presses.
    Peer-Reviewed Philosophical Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Academic University Presses.
    Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals.
    Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Anthologies.
    Peer-Edited or Editor-Reviewed Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Scientific Journals, Scientific Anthologies and Conference Proceedings.
    Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Philosophy Journals.

    The Bible says that God is love. “Love” is a very confused concept.
    Some people think that it is an emotion but it is not just an emotion. For example, people make a commitment to be married for life but then say that they fell out of love. They concluded that once they did not constantly feel goose-bumpy adrenaline spiked emotions the love was gone. Yet, love is a commitment and when those emotions are gone, or are more rare, the commitment remains.
    I love my wife and I love chocolate, but these are very different kinds of love.
    I love my wife and so I would never hurt her but I love my wife and would hurt someone else if they tried to hurt my wife.
    Sometimes love means peace and enjoyment and sometimes violence and war (such as fighting for freedom).

    Just as the designer of a car knows what is good for it to function properly (certain sort of gas, oil, lubricants, etc.) so God knows what is good for us. Yet, the car maker also knows that a violent internal combustion is what is required to make the engine run and that lubricating the shock absorbers is required by the very that they are meant to absorb shock. We are built in a certain way to deal with life as it is, the good, the bad and the ugly.
    God’s ultimate nature is eternal and unchanging.
    When it is say that morality is what it is, is moral, due to God’s will what is being said that morality is ultimately grounded in God’s unchanging nature.
    Thus, the question “Could it have been different” is a non sequitur, it is a category mistake like asking “Who designed the designer” or “What was God doing all of those millions of years before He created the universe.”
    God reveals His nature, His will, His morals, due to His love for us.
    God reveals this in various ways such as written them in our hearts (aka: our consciences), having them written in the Bible (and other texts whose writers discerned from their consciences), and the natural world (natural theology).
    We discern these from our consciences, from reading written texts and from the use of our minds in determining between difficult choices.
    From the Bible we also understand that God’s nature is that of relationship since the Bible does not present a “strictly monotheistic” God who needed to create angels and humans for the sake of relationships but who, in the form of the Trinity, enjoyed eternal relationships. Moreover, “strictly monotheistic” gods such as Allah are not relational beings and thus do not care to have relationships with humans but merely dictate dos and don’ts which truly are arbitrary.

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  18. If anyone is interested, there are debates going on. Mathematician John Lennox, late of Oxford and now University of London, debates Michael Shermer, Christopher Hitchens and such on these issues.

    Now that would be far more worth listening to than PZ Myers. Perhaps Myers does the world a favour by avoiding debates.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Let me begin by reviewing some aspects of oral debate. Generally speaking:
    The debaters are considered to come to the table well informed on the subject matter.




    Oral debaters meet beforehand and make each other aware of any resources each has produced on the topic.
    And how many creation/evolution debates where that has happened??

    They make opening statements.
    They make rebuttals.
    They cross examine each other.
    They take audience questions.
    They make a closing statement.
    They may subsequently publish elucidating info on something they thought was not thoroughly covered during the debate.
    The debates are recorded in audio, video and transcribed and the audio, video and transcription are unleashed all over the internet where anyone, from the kid living in their mother's basement to the scholars, can further elucidate.

    And how often does that happen exactly for those debates?


    That last item though doesn't help too much. Everyone in the science community knows that it takes far longer to correct an "error" in science that's made by the other debater than it is for that person to make that error.

    The creationist can spew out many more falsehoods than the scientist can possibly hope to rebut.

    Look up "Gish Gallop" on google if you don't believe me.

    You've also left out the fact that being able to post things on the net for further review is a new item in oral debates. Creationists were bragging about their oral "victories" long before then.


    That's why scientists go for written, published debates and peer-review. Those criteria you list are more easily fitted for written debates, or for courts of law.

    As I said before, it's in those formats that the creationists regularly lose. If they truly had the evidence on their side, that would not be the case.

    And yet, debates are no more supposed to be the last word on an issue anymore than the science de jour.
    Odd then, that you're making such a big deal about them then.



    I wanted to point out that, ultimately, terming Christianity as a rewards and punishment system is fallacious in that it is contrived: since Christianity does not hold to a works based salvation theology it is a misleading oversimplification to refer to it as such.
    Sure, you need "faith" to get into heaven but you've neglected the rewards that believers are supposed to get for their service on earth. You know the verses talking about the various crowns that believers get, the stories told about how "god" will pass their deeds through fire, resulting in ashes for some believers and purified precious metals for others, etc.

    Since you deny so vigoursly that christianity is based on a rewards/punishment system perhaps you could explain just why the bible has emphasis on just that?

    Here is a real life disproof of the rewards and punishment argument:
    1. The other day a homeless man asked me for money to buy coffee.
    2. I do not carry cash and so I offered to buy it for him and bring it to him. I did so (along with something to eat) with my motivation and thinking being simply that a human being was thirsty (and presumably hungry) and I could help, period.
    3. Therefore, that my motivation was reward and punishment is fallacious.

    Your individual motive is irrelevent.

    Why? I'm going by what your own bible teaches. I'm just going by what they must have had in mind when they talked about rewards and punishments.

    You may argue that 3 is false because my overall motivation and thinking is premised upon a system of rewards and punishment but this is a non sequitur. This is also a presumption based on prejudice whereby you judge the overwhelming majority of the entire planet's population throughout history without having the ability to read minds or motivations.
    Nope. Just based on why the bible keeps talking about rewards and punishments.

    Why do you keep ignoring that fact? In your last post you dodged the issue by talking about how "salvation" is obtained. I was never referring to that.

    Besides, isn't the bible's author supposed to be able to read minds and know their motivations?

    Moreover, let us consider that some people's motivation is not simply the goodness of their hearts. Let us grant this and say, "Good, at least something is motivating them." It may not be ideal to your standards but why is pure goodness of heart the standard by which you judge all of humanity? And how do atheists escape the charge of not having pure, goodness of heart, motives?
    Irrelevant question since we never claimed that. What about you people who are supposed to be filled with "the holy spirit"?



    No, "the well-being of future generations is not a reason" it is an assertion. The question is why preserve future generations. A reason would be, "The reason that we ought to ensure the well-being of future generations is___________ (fill in the blank)."
    So the human race can continue and every single sacrifice made by people in the past will not be in vain

    Likewise, "The reason that we ought to be compassionate is___________ (fill in the blank)."
    (To help lessen the chance that people will be pricks towards us)

    Likewise, "The reason that we ought to be empathetic is___________ (fill in the blank)."
    (see above)

    You are right, if past generations did not care about future generations we would not even be here. And why do you feel that it is important that you, and I, are here? One more or one less bio-organism, who is counting? And if we never were we would never know.
    We wouldn't have that most precious commodity of all; life.


    Sorry, but since non-theism is merely a lack of belief in God, you cannot presume to speak for any other non-theist on any other issue. If you do presume to speak for non-theists then I will tap you as a resource when a non-theists tells me that non-theists agree that they each lack a God belief and cannot be generalized to agree on anything else.
    Most probably would agree with me on that point; since I've seen others agree with it. It doesn't mean that all do, or that it's a part of some "atheist dogma", though it does make good sense. Sometimes people go along with something just because of that, you know.

    Good grief. Just because atheism is just a non-belief in god, it does not mean that some of us can't find anything at all to agree on.

    I suppose then that you assume that an atheist is speaking for all other atheists when he says that we should bundle up when it's cold outside too, as if it's part of the atheists' "creed"?

    And if you presume to speak for all theists, I can use you as a source to refute the claim that xians have a superior morality than atheists; I keep hearing you say over and over that you don't consider the well-being of future generations of people to be a "reason" for acting moral. I'll just tap you as a resource to show that xians do need a god to watch over them, since that's the only "valid reason" for acting moral that they'll accept.

    Or I could just quote from your "holy book" how witches are supposed to be killed and thus justify some of the worst incidents of the christian dark ages?


    To put this in perspective, you could answer the question I asked last time instead of absconding from it: Why does god make rules for us then? If he does them for our well-being then you have to explain why when humans do something for our well-being, it's an "assertion" that "doesn't hold water" but when your god does something for presumably the same reason, it's valid.




    Are any of the other points about ID that I brought up in the September 20, 2008 9:21 AM post going to be addressed?
    Yes, and they already have been.
    No. You've ignored most of them; for instance the reasons why written debates are superior to oral debates was ignored.

    The example I gave of Samuel Rowbotham, a flat-earther who used to win all his debates, as an example of how useless oral debates can be in settling scientific disputes was ignored.

    The fact that Judge Jones was following normal judicial procedure when he read out the winning sides "Proposed Findings of Fact" was ignored.

    The fact that at the Dover trial the creationists got kicked was ignored.

    The fact that the ID people have promised research and failed to deliver (see the "Stranger Fruit" blog link in earlier post) was ignored...


    To reiterate, "You do it too" arguments may demonstrate hypocrisy but do not disprove my original point.
    No, I'm showing the flawed reasoning you use. I believe that the well-being of future generations is a valid reason for constructing moral laws; you claim it's just an assertion.

    Perhaps a biologist could point out empathy developed as a natural consequence of our evolution as a social species. Or, our minds developed enough to realize that we need to make rules to figure out to get along so we don't wipe each other out? (obviously not a perfect mechanism, but no one ever said evolution was "perfect", just "good enough" to work)

    I'm going to assume though that those will not be accepted by your as "reasons" either.

    What would you consider to be a valid reason and why? Also, try answering my question above please.




    FYI, see here for a list of Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated).
    They list:
    Featured Articles.
    Peer-Reviewed Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Trade Presses or University Presses.
    Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Prominent Trade Presses.
    Peer-Reviewed Philosophical Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Academic University Presses.
    Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journals.
    Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Anthologies.
    Peer-Edited or Editor-Reviewed Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Scientific Journals, Scientific Anthologies and Conference Proceedings.
    Articles Supportive of Intelligent Design Published in Peer-Reviewed Philosophy Journals.


    Yeah, about those...

    By the way, why haven't the ID people ponied up the evidence that they promised?

    I've posted this before, but since it was ignored, I'll post it again:
    So, at risk of sounding like a broken record, let’s see what we didn’t get from the intelligent design movement this year:

    A peer-reviewed paper by Dembski, Wells, Nelson, Meyer ...

    Or for that matter, a single peer-reviewed article offering either (a) evidence for design, (b) a method to unambiguously detect design, or (c) a theory of how the Designer did the designing, by any fellow of the DI.

    An exposition of Nelson’s theory of "ontogenetic depth" (promised in March 2004)

    An article by Nelson & Dembski on problems with common descent (promised in April 2005).

    Nelson’s monograph on common descent (currently MIA since the late 90’s).

    Funny. That list is identical to what we didn’t get last year. Wow. It’s like 2007 never happened.

    Who's "absconding" now?


    The Bible says that God is love. "Love" is a very confused concept.
    Some people think that it is an emotion but it is not just an emotion. For example, people make a commitment to be married for life but then say that they fell out of love. They concluded that once they did not constantly feel goose-bumpy adrenaline spiked emotions the love was gone. Yet, love is a commitment and when those emotions are gone, or are more rare, the commitment remains.
    I love my wife and I love chocolate, but these are very different kinds of love.
    I love my wife and so I would never hurt her but I love my wife and would hurt someone else if they tried to hurt my wife.
    Sometimes love means peace and enjoyment and sometimes violence and war (such as fighting for freedom).

    Just as the designer of a car knows what is good for it to function properly (certain sort of gas, oil, lubricants, etc.) so God knows what is good for us. Yet, the car maker also knows that a violent internal combustion is what is required to make the engine run and that lubricating the shock absorbers is required by the very that they are meant to absorb shock. We are built in a certain way to deal with life as it is, the good, the bad and the ugly.
    God's ultimate nature is eternal and unchanging.

    You've not actually described what that "eternal and unchanging" nature is like though.

    As to "eternal and unchanging": in the OT he had pregnant women and babies killed. Now he doesn't. In the OT cripples or deformed people couldn't enter the temple where the so-called "ark" was. In the NT Jesus healed those people.

    Sounds like a big change to me. We all know why, of course; changing circumstances, etc. Thing is, isn't your god supposed to be above that kind of thing? The "morality" of the bible is more easily explained by people making up a god and having him make orders that are as ruthless as they needed to survive; other tribes had done it. Your god is supposed to be different, is he not?

    As times changed and farming methods became more efficient, the struggle to survive wasn't as vicious, so many of the harsh measures in the OT were no longer necessary.

    Far from being "unchanging", the bible is an excellent example of what an "evolving morality" looks like.


    When it is say that morality is what it is, is moral, due to God's will what is being said that morality is ultimately grounded in God's unchanging nature.
    I've referred to that before.


    Thus, the question "Could it have been different" is a non sequitur, it is a category mistake like asking "Who designed the designer" or "What was God doing all of those millions of years before He created the universe."
    Doesn't stop theists from asking what was there before the big bang though. So why is it a non-sequitur?

    Here's a question you never really answered, though you did just try to answer the first part I guess:

    Is something moral because god said it is, in which case it's purely subjective and it could have been different, or does god say something is moral because it is moral? In which case, he just figured it out like the rest of us, and morality is outside of god?


    God reveals His nature, His will, His morals, due to His love for us.
    Good time as any to answer that question I asked above then. Why does he make rules? If it's to help us survive, then why is that all of a sudden a valid reson when he does it, but when humans make rules to help further generations, it's an "assertion" not a reason?


    God reveals this in various ways such as written them in our hearts (aka: our consciences), having them written in the Bible (and other texts whose writers discerned from their consciences), and the natural world (natural theology).
    We discern these from our consciences, from reading written texts and from the use of our minds in determining between difficult choices.

    So that explains why we have only one kind of bible, with one christian denomination then. Ok.

    From the Bible we also understand that God's nature is that of relationship since the Bible does not present a "strictly monotheistic" God who needed to create angels and humans for the sake of relationships but who, in the form of the Trinity, enjoyed eternal relationships. Moreover, "strictly monotheistic" gods such as Allah are not relational beings and thus do not care to have relationships with humans but merely dictate dos and don'ts which truly are arbitrary.
    Kind of like the OT god, really.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oral debates are a legitimate form of a particular style of debate and has been for millennia. That you are now asking “how often does that happen” merely demonstrates that you are at the end of your rope and simply grasping at straws. Also, your sources go from claiming that ID proponent do not publish peer-review to well, ok, they do—but not enough. Interestingly, Michael Behe stated that the reason he did not conduct original research for “Darwin’s Black Box” was so that no one could claim that some obscure biologist was performing obscure research but he drew information from well known sources so that anyone could double check his claims.

    However you wish to weight oral vs. written et al, I find it very, very odd that you, and some scientists such as Gould, opt for court cases. The very purpose of the court case is to have a judge, a judge trained in law and not in science, decide scientific debates.
    Do you really think it is an argument in favor of a scientific claim that a judge has pronounced on it one way or the other? What does that say to the legitimacy of Darwinism (I know, I know, what sort of Darwinism? Orthodox, neo or as Vox Day puts it, “few can manage to keep up with adaptive devo punk-echthroi neo-quasi-Darwinism, or whatever the evolutionary biologists are calling this week’s spin on St. Darwin’s dangerous idea, p. 255 of his free downloadable book “The Irrational Atheist”).
    Is a judges really best suited to determine scientific merit? I do recall that a professor of law wrote a book about Darwinism from a legal perspective, his name is Philip Johnson and his book was “Darwin on Trial.” In fact another professor of law, David DeWolf, wrote a book entitled Traipsing into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision
    Actually, Judge John Jones was actually not even interested in the actual scientific issues and actually wanted to avoid an actual trial on the actual scientific issues. He wrote that he would “offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in that hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.”
    I would recommend that you listed to this interview with the Discovery Institute’s Dr. Steve Meyers as he explains why they were not interested in getting involved, etc. his interview begins at 22:25 into the show.

    Yes, believers are said to get “crowns” but please keep reading, what do they do with those crowns? To state that “christianity [sic] is based on a rewards/punishment system” is simply generalized and an incomplete view, a straw man.

    Thus, “3. Therefore, that my motivation was reward and punishment is fallacious” my motivation was empathy and compassion. That you are now, after such vigorously gesticulating about motivations can actually state that my individual motive is irrelevant merely demonstrates that you are at the end of your rope and simply grasping at straws.

    “…the bible keeps talking about rewards and punishments. Why do you keep ignoring that fact?”
    I did not, I specifically addressed that issue. I am puzzled as to how you can claim that I ignored it and follow my quoting my statement on it which I follow with a series of question that you did not address, “Let us grant this and say, ‘Good, at least something is motivating them.’ It may not be ideal to your standards but why is pure goodness of heart the standard by which you judge all of humanity? And how do atheists escape the charge of not having pure, goodness of heart, motives?”

    You have now asserted that we ought to ensure the well-being of future generations so that the human race can continue and every single sacrifice made by people in the past will not be in vain. But what is the reason for seeking to ensure such things. In fact, atheist absolutely guarantees you that, in the end, everything that humanity has ever done or will do is, in very fact, utterly and absolutely in vain.

    Your next answer is much more interesting than your previous mere authoritarian dogmatic assertions.
    We ought to be compassionate To help lessen the chance that people will be pricks towards us. Indeed, I have found this to be the very pinnacle of atheism’s amorality: I should not be compassionate because other people are hurting and I should not be compassionate because other people need compassion. No, I should function on absolute selfishness and be compassionate so that other people do not mistreat me.
    Yet, the main point is clear. You are not functioning on pure motivations nor out of the goodness of your heart but are motivated by your selfishness and self-aggrandizement. You act out of fear of punishment, the punishment that someone may mistreat you.
    Of course, how being compassionate to reduces malice that is coming my way is mysterious. How does my showing compassion to my cousin’s roommate’s sister-in-law keep a terrorist from blowing me up? I discern that you follow some sort of watered down “My Name is Early” style pseudo-karma.

    Since your answer to why we ought to be empathetic is the same self-serving, selfish, self-aggrandizement as above, the same comments apply.

    What makes you think that life (Life in general? Human life, chinchilla life, bacteria life, cucumber life, or what?) is the most precious commodity of all. Sounds like an arbitrary assertion.

    I actually am attempting to find something that we can agree on but even when we agree I desperately attempt to get you to move beyond mere assertion and give me your reasoning for what we agree on.

    You seem to be condemning that “witches are supposed to be killed”: Christians can absolutely condemn such actions but “Christians,” how do you justify your condemnation?

    I find it odd that you condemn some OT morals while evolutionarily justifying them. Of course, this is quite logical since you have no viable grounds upon which to condemn anything and must simply assert morality’s evolution (the very thing that disables and discredits your condemnations). It is just like you said then, “the bible is an excellent example of what an ‘evolving morality’ looks like.” Therefore, you have discredited your very own condemnation of anything that has ever been done by Jews or Christians.

    By “eternal” I meant “eternal.” By “unchanging,” and note my qualifier “God's ultimate nature is eternal and unchanging” I was attempting to make sure that we did not confuse changing human circumstances with a change within God, or within God’s nature.
    Since biblical morality is meant for human existence in the material world it presupposes changing circumstances, how could it not.
    There simply is no correlation between the wars and various campaigns upon which the Israelites engaged and modern day Judaism or Christianity. This is because modern day Judaism or Christianity are not a part of the particular covenant which was made between those particular ancient people at that particular time and in that particular locality under that particular ruler-ship. This does not make a point against the Bible, God or biblical morality but it does speak volumes about the stunning lack of knowledge that most atheists which I encounter display about the Bible, God, Judaism, Christianity, etc. (this is particularly true of the modern day celebrity atheist activists—the New Atheists).

    For example, you state that “in the OT cripples or deformed people couldn't enter the temple.” This is inaccurate, they could not serve as priests but they could enter the temple and worship at will. True, “In the NT Jesus healed those people” and in the OT as well.

    Asking "Could it have been different" is a non sequitur because of God’s eternal and unchanging nature.

    “Here's a question you never really answered, though you did just try to answer the first part I guess:”
    Yes, it was answered although perhaps in part only. I’m sure that we can agree that keeping up with questions, answers and also focusing on issues is a bit daunting. I might as well mention that for this reason I do not take your lack of answers on anything to mean that you have no answer, or are purposefully avoiding an issue or anything of the sort, I have been enjoying our exchanges.

    So, “Is something moral because god said it is, in which case it's purely subjective and it could have been different” it could not have been different since it is grounded upon God’s eternal and unchanging nature.

    “or does god say something is moral because it is moral? In which case, he just figured it out like the rest of us, and morality is outside of god?”
    God says that something is moral based upon His eternal nature which has experienced personal relationships for eternity. Morality, personality, relation is within God’s nature. Since God’s nature is relational and loving it is from this that morality proceeds and it is therefore, not “outside” of God. This is the point about the God of the Bible being eternally personal and relational—other gods are not and nature is not.

    If God makes rules to help us survive it is because of His love for us while if nature helps us survive it is because of—unknown. God’s love is the ultimate premise and His eternal personal relations are what “allows” Him to love us.

    -------------------------------------------

    Reynold my friend, beyond anything that we have been discussing and beyond anything that I have asked you and you have asked me there is one single thing that is immediately more important to me and I am willing to set all other discussions aside to deal with this one issue.

    You referred to me as a liar (actually, a “lying git”).
    This was, in fact, the very premise upon which you, for some reason, decided to start a thread commenting on my comments to your comments.
    With no chest thumping or sarcasm on my part I simply ask you to please substantiate your claim.

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mariano said...

    Oral debates are a legitimate form of a particular style of debate and has been for millennia. That you are now asking “how often does that happen” merely demonstrates that you are at the end of your rope and simply grasping at straws.
    No, I'm simply asking you how often, in oral debates between creationists and evolutionists do they go over the format and what they talk about with each other before the debate. I've never heard of them doing that.

    Maybe in the other oral debates that have been occuring "for millenia" they've done that, but I notice that you've given no examples.

    Also, your sources go from claiming that ID proponent do not publish peer-review to well, ok, they do—but not enough.
    Actually, you should do a little bit more reading on that site I gave. At least some of the stuff they gave didn't even have anything to do with ID at all, yet the ID people used those papers as evidence of "peer review" for ID.

    Also, you should read and see why they say it's not enough. You should remember that post I gave from the "Stranger Fruit" blog in which the guy posted several examples of research that the ID people had promised to do; yet none have ever been done. Just books for the lay public, who on average don't have the knowledge to tell if it's bs or not.


    Interestingly, Michael Behe stated that the reason he did not conduct original research for “Darwin’s Black Box” was so that no one could claim that some obscure biologist was performing obscure research but he drew information from well known sources so that anyone could double check his claims.
    He has no evidence, no test, nothing to back his claims up, and when people did double check his claims, he got his rear kicked.

    Check out the Panda's Thumb site and put "Darwin's Black Box" in their search engine.

    Or same with the TalkOrigins archive.

    Even more interesting, go to the Dover trial transcripts and find out that Behe still refused to do any actual research into his own subject matter.

    As another example, go to here for an example of where Dembski also refuses to buck up.


    However you wish to weight oral vs. written et al, I find it very, very odd that you, and some scientists such as Gould, opt for court cases.
    Not odd at all; in a court case each side has time to check out the claims of the other side, and to cross-examine the other side. Just like in a written debate.

    The court transcripts effectively serve as the written debate itself.

    The very purpose of the court case is to have a judge, a judge trained in law and not in science, decide scientific debates.
    Do you realize how many cases a judge must make a ruling that deals with scientific evidence?

    Cases involving genetic tests, DNA tests, paternity suits, environmental hazard claims, etc.

    Do you realize that in each of those cases the judge must make a decision based on the science?


    Do you really think it is an argument in favor of a scientific claim that a judge has pronounced on it one way or the other?
    What would you have said if the ID side had "won"? Besides, that's what the transcripts are for!

    Also, remember that this judge was picked out by Bush himself and the members of the religious/political right had no problems with him until he handed down a verdict they didn't like. If he had any biases, it would have been towards the ID people in the beginning.

    Besides, as you pointed out, the judge was a layman in science, so the scientists there had to explain everything to him so he could make his ruling. That's what can be seen in the transcripts. That's why they're so important.

    After all, you ID people are yourselves trying to convince lay people of the truthfulness of ID are you not? The Dover trial is just an example of you people trying, and failing. The transcripts show why.


    What does that say to the legitimacy of Darwinism (I know, I know, what sort of Darwinism? Orthodox, neo or as Vox Day puts it, “few can manage to keep up with adaptive devo punk-echthroi neo-quasi-Darwinism, or whatever the evolutionary biologists are calling this week’s spin on St. Darwin’s dangerous idea, p. 255 of his free downloadable book “The Irrational Atheist”).
    Maybe if you read about "darwinism" from actual evolutionary biologists instead of idiots like Vox Day you'll learn something about it. They study it, he doesn't.


    Is a judges really best suited to determine scientific merit?
    They do so all the time in court cases that involve stuff like: forensic evidence, DNA evidence, environmental studies, product liability cases, etc.

    Yet now, all of a sudden, a judge can't determine scientific merit.

    You have another problem: If you're complaining that a judge can't determine scientific merit, then why are the ID people trying to get their stuff taught in schools? Don't you think that inexperience schoolkids would be even less likely to be able to determine scientific merit?


    I do recall that a professor of law wrote a book about Darwinism from a legal perspective, his name is Philip Johnson and his book was “Darwin on Trial.”
    He did, and I recall that he got trounced for his many scientific errors in it.

    Again, go to Panda's Thumb and put "Darwin on Trial" in their search engine, or to TalkOrigins and do the same.

    Or you could go here for a detailed examination of the man's claims.


    In fact another professor of law, David DeWolf
    Another member of the "Discovery Institute" oddly enough.

    I've heard that he's run into trouble with Peter Irons, constitutional lawyer, Harvard Law School grad, Supreme Court bar member, yada ,yada.

    And another example, with somebody else.



    wrote a book entitled Traipsing into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision
    Actually, Judge John Jones was actually not even interested in the actual scientific issues and actually wanted to avoid an actual trial on the actual scientific issues. He wrote that he would “offer our conclusion on whether ID is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in that hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us.”
    I would recommend that you listen to this interview with the Discovery Institute’s Dr. Steve Meyers as he explains why they were not interested in getting involved, etc. his interview begins at 22:25 into the show.

    I would recommend that you take note that your guy DeWolf tried to stop the judge from ruling on the scientific validity of ID in the first place!

    Here
    DI fellow David DeWolf filed an amicus brief on behalf of a group of pro-ID scientists urging the judge not to rule on the scientific validity of ID or on whether it was essentially religious, arguing that "intelligent design should not be stigmatized by the courts as less scientific than competing theories." DeWolf also authored a brief on behalf of the DI itself that argued that if the judge did rule on that question, he should rule that ID is scientific and not religious. Clearly this was the key to the DI's trial strategy.




    Yes, believers are said to get “crowns” but please keep reading, what do they do with those crowns?

    So they throw them at his feet? So what? There's still the "honour" of publically getting those crowns in the first place. Besides, do they give back all the rewards they get in heaven? Like the "mansions" that are supposed to be built for them, or the gold, silver, and precious metals that are supposed to represent their works?

    To state that “christianity [sic] is based on a rewards/punishment system” is simply generalized and an incomplete view, a straw man.
    Nope, just based on your bible. Sure, "salvation" itself is not work/reward based, but the amount of rewards one gets in heaven seems to be. Then of course, there is the fear of hell.

    Thus, “3. Therefore, that my motivation was reward and punishment is fallacious” my motivation was empathy and compassion. That you are now, after such vigorously gesticulating about motivations can actually state that my individual motive is irrelevant merely demonstrates that you are at the end of your rope and simply grasping at straws.
    No, I'm pointing out what the biblical authors must have felt about motivations when they wrote about the various awards one gets in heaven.

    Your personal experience is irrelevent because I'm basing my belief on the bible itself, and on what the writers themselves must have presumed to say those things, not your own personal motivations.


    “…the bible keeps talking about rewards and punishments. Why do you keep ignoring that fact?”
    I did not, I specifically addressed that issue.
    No, you bypassed it by claiming that my point was invalid by saying that christianity was not a "works based salvation theology". I never said it was. I was merely talking about the rewards believers get once they're already saved, as a motivator.


    I am puzzled as to how you can claim that I ignored it and follow my quoting my statement on it which I follow with a series of question that you did not address,

    Is it these that I've supposedly "not addressed"?
    “Let us grant this and say, ‘Good, at least something is motivating them.’ It may not be ideal to your standards but why is pure goodness of heart the standard by which you judge all of humanity? And how do atheists escape the charge of not having pure, goodness of heart, motives?”
    Irrelevant question since we never claimed that. What about you people who are supposed to be filled with "the holy spirit"?
    I may not have given you the answer that you're looking for, but that's not the same as not addressing it. We never claimed to be perfect or to be guided by a perfect being. We just try and muddle through as best we can with the knowledge that we have at the time.

    That's why laws change over time. For a quick example, check out the differences between the people in the OT and the NT. Not very consistent with those following a "perfect, unchanging god" are they?


    You have now asserted that we ought to ensure the well-being of future generations so that the human race can continue and every single sacrifice made by people in the past will not be in vain. But what is the reason for seeking to ensure such things. In fact, atheist absolutely guarantees you that, in the end, everything that humanity has ever done or will do is, in very fact, utterly and absolutely in vain.
    So we hold it off as long as possible, so what? Yet you say I'm being "selfish" when I say that we try to act to continue our own survival and that of the human race? So either way, you win in your rhetorical game.


    Why don't you answer why your god sets up rules for people in the first place, if they're not to help ensure the survival of the people?

    Again, it comes down to the same reasons, only you call it "assertions" when non-theists give them. What about when your god gives them? what reasons does your god give for giving people rules to live by? The only reason you give is because he "loves" us, yet if one of us says that we love our children, or humanity in general, you just call it an "authoritarion dogmaatic assertion". How's the reason you gave different?



    Your next answer is much more interesting than your previous mere authoritarian dogmatic assertions.
    At least here, you admit that I've answered.

    We ought to be compassionate To help lessen the chance that people will be pricks towards us.
    Indeed, I have found this to be the very pinnacle of atheism’s amorality: I should not be compassionate because other people are hurting and I should not be compassionate because other people need compassion. No, I should function on absolute selfishness and be compassionate so that other people do not mistreat me.
    Or our kids. There are examples of athiest soldiers and firefighters and such who risk there lives with no chance of "heavenly life" just so that others may live. How's that "selfish and self-aggrandizing"?

    Perhaps that's my fault: I should have made that more clear. Well, I have now. I know I mentioned "empathy" in an earlier post...

    Besides, what about your reasons for being moral? Earlier above, you were talking about how everything is meaningless in the end if everything perishes eventually anyway.

    Are you saying that without "eternal life" as promised in your holy book that there's no reason to live then? Sounds like the bible writers were right about people like you after all. You have your own self-interests at heart in the end after all. Still want to talk about "selfishness"?


    Yet, the main point is clear. You are not functioning on pure motivations nor out of the goodness of your heart but are motivated by your selfishness and self-aggrandizement. You act out of fear of punishment, the punishment that someone may mistreat you.
    Threats of hell anyone?

    Of course, how being compassionate to reduces malice that is coming my way is mysterious. How does my showing compassion to my cousin’s roommate’s sister-in-law keep a terrorist from blowing me up?
    It does lessen the chance that your cousin will get p*ssed at you in the future; the problem is that not everyone follows that idea. The terrorist for example, is likely a fellow theist of yours who's obeying what he thinks is his gods' moral decrees.

    I discern that you follow some sort of watered down “My Name is Early” style pseudo-karma.
    I'd just have called it "the golden rule".

    Since your answer to why we ought to be empathetic is the same self-serving, selfish, self-aggrandizement as above, the same comments apply.
    Yeah, wanting to see the human race survive, including our kids is really self-serving, selfish, self-aggrandizing, while the thought of eternal life in heaven doesn't motivate you at all, right?


    What makes you think that life (Life in general? Human life, chinchilla life, bacteria life, cucumber life, or what?) is the most precious commodity of all. Sounds like an arbitrary assertion.
    You complain about how selfish I am, then when I talk about how precious human life is in general, you say I'm just making an assertion? Wouldn't a truly selfish person not care about human life in general?

    You may call it an "assertion" but I, and I'm sure many others, will call it "reasons". You just don't accept those reasons so you theists can keep on saying stuff like "atheists have no 'reason' to be moral", I wager.

    I actually am attempting to find something that we can agree on but even when we agree I desperately attempt to get you to move beyond mere assertion and give me your reasoning for what we agree on.
    And when I give it, you just say it's more "assertion", while you ignore my questions about why "God" makes rules for people, and my question about what's your god's basis for morality. I at least try to give reasoning for my views on morality, you don't.


    You seem to be condemning that “witches are supposed to be killed”: Christians can absolutely condemn such actions but “Christians,” how do you justify your condemnation?
    Huh? Your holy book tells you people to kill them. How can you condemn such actions? Non-theists can at least point out the pain and suffering of those women as well as the losses to their families, etc.

    I find it odd that you condemn some OT morals while evolutionarily justifying them.
    Explaining is not quite the same as justifying...at the time, there was no other recourse that I know of other than to have some of those barbaric laws. You people are the ones with the "unchanging" "loving" god who could have helped prevent many of those abuses, but didn't.

    Of course, this is quite logical since you have no viable grounds upon which to condemn anything
    Only after you dismiss every one of my reasons as "assertions". Looks like the wager I made earlier was right.

    and must simply assert morality’s evolution (the very thing that disables and discredits your condemnations). It is just like you said then, “the bible is an excellent example of what an ‘evolving morality’ looks like.”

    Therefore, you have discredited your very own condemnation of anything that has ever been done by Jews or Christians.
    No, I've pointed out that without any actual god to take care of things, people had to muddle through things themselves, without any "God" to give them orders, guidance, or help in taking care of the children of the people that the ancients killed off. In other words, your OT has the people following "god's commands" acting as if there was not actual loving god watching over them. A loving god would not have ordered the death of babies, if such a thing could be prevented would he?

    By “eternal” I meant “eternal.” By “unchanging,” and note my qualifier “God's ultimate nature is eternal and unchanging” I was attempting to make sure that we did not confuse changing human circumstances with a change within God, or within God’s nature.
    Your "unchainging" god seems to have bent quite a bit to accomodate human nature in the OT...instead of taking care of the babies of their enemies, he had them knocked off. Yet now, the followers of that same god insist that they, and he, are "pro-life".


    Since biblical morality is meant for human existence in the material world it presupposes changing circumstances, how could it not.
    There simply is no correlation between the wars and various campaigns upon which the Israelites engaged and modern day Judaism or Christianity.

    Is it the same "unchanging" god you worship or not?

    This is because modern day Judaism or Christianity are not a part of the particular covenant which was made between those particular ancient people at that particular time and in that particular locality under that particular ruler-ship.
    And under those particular circumstances. BTW, does that "particular covenant" include the ten commandments that you people are so fond of using even to this very day?

    This does not make a point against the Bible, God or biblical morality
    In terms of consistency it does

    but it does speak volumes about the stunning lack of knowledge that most atheists which I encounter display about the Bible, God, Judaism, Christianity, etc. (this is particularly true of the modern day celebrity atheist activists—the New Atheists).
    I'm just pointing out that morality evolves; the only thing is that we admit it, you people don't. That's why I'm trying to show you what your own bible is like. It's not a "stunning lack of knowledge at all", we know all about the OT and the reasons you people give to defend those actions. I'm just pointing out that those actions are not consistent with what a "loving" god would have done, since he's now "pro-life" and against abortion, while in the OT he ordred babies to be killed.

    For example, you state that “in the OT cripples or deformed people couldn't enter the temple.” This is inaccurate, they could not serve as priests but they could enter the temple and worship at will. True, “In the NT Jesus healed those people” and in the OT as well.
    Lev.21:17-23
    Whosoever ... hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. ... Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries.
    "that he profane not my sanctuaries"? It sounds like they couldn't enter the temple to me. Still, even if you're right, it wouldn't change the meaning a lot. If you're deformed, you're not "pure" or "good" enough. In contrast, Jesus himself actually touched and cured those people. Still a big difference in attitude towards cripples from the OT to the NT.

    Asking "Could it have been different" is a non sequitur because of God’s eternal and unchanging nature.
    Assertion on your part. The different ways he "acts" between the OT and the NT (and now) is evidence that his nature does change. Non-theists have an explanation, at least, in that as circumstances change, the rules sometimes have to change. What excuse to theists have? Your god is supposed to be above human "morals", and is supposed to be "unchanging", and he supposedly has the power to help prevent those kinds of drastic measures where people can't.


    “Here's a question you never really answered, though you did just try to answer the first part I guess:”
    Yes, it was answered although perhaps in part only. I’m sure that we can agree that keeping up with questions, answers and also focusing on issues is a bit daunting. I might as well mention that for this reason I do not take your lack of answers on anything to mean that you have no answer, or are purposefully avoiding an issue or anything of the sort, I have been enjoying our exchanges.
    I have not "lacked" for any answer; I've given you answers that you refuse to accept though.


    So, “Is something moral because god said it is, in which case it's purely subjective and it could have been different”
    it could not have been different since it is grounded upon God’s eternal and unchanging nature.

    “or does god say something is moral because it is moral? In which case, he just figured it out like the rest of us, and morality is outside of god?”
    God says that something is moral based upon His eternal nature which has experienced personal relationships for eternity.
    No it hasn't. Have the angels always been around, or did he have to make them at some point? So the longer one has "personal relationships", the more likely they are to be moral? Huh? Sounds like morality is something that has to be learned from dealing with other people.

    Morality, personality, relation is within God’s nature.
    Assertion without proof. So is that just another way of saying that morality is what he says it is then? Or that he just knows which moral rules to pick out because they "feel" right to him. Either way, the question/problem I first posed still stands.

    Since God’s nature is relational and loving it is from this that morality proceeds
    Yet if people have relationional and loving "relations" with others you don't accept that as a reason for morality? By the way, how can you show that this statement of yours is anything other than an "assertion"?

    and it is therefore, not “outside” of God.
    Why not? Are you saying that without him there'd be no such thing as morality? People have relationsips and loving too. What makes them any different? Yet when those people give reasons why they care about others, would you accept them? You sure haven't mine.

    This is the point about the God of the Bible being eternally personal and relational—other gods are not and nature is not.
    Nature at least is not, but how is he different from the other gods? The OT has your god acting just like them.

    If God makes rules to help us survive it is because of His love for us
    Yet if an atheist professes to love the human race enough to want to see it continue on, and says that's why we make rules, you label that an "assertion".

    while if nature helps us survive it is because of—unknown.
    So we come up with out own reasons. What's wrong with that?

    God’s love is the ultimate premise and His eternal personal relations are what “allows” Him to love us.
    More like the ultimate "assertion".

    -------------------------------------------

    Reynold my friend, beyond anything that we have been discussing and beyond anything that I have asked you and you have asked me there is one single thing that is immediately more important to me and I am willing to set all other discussions aside to deal with this one issue.

    You referred to me as a liar (actually, a “lying git”).
    This was, in fact, the very premise upon which you, for some reason, decided to start a thread commenting on my comments to your comments.
    With no chest thumping or sarcasm on my part I simply ask you to please substantiate your claim.

    Easy. You implied that PZ Myers and others like him were cowardly by "absconding" from a debate. I showed that he was actually interested in participating in an oral debate with creationist Simmons.

    I went on to show that compared to written debates, oral debates aren't that very good at showing all the issues and settling things. It's in the written format where everything is laid bare, and everyone can take the time to check the claims that evolutionists (and other real scientists) excel at, and do not "abscond" from.

    I pointed out that in the Dover trial, it was the creationist/ID people who were the actual cowards, because several of them never bothered to show up, while the "darwinists" all did.

    The point being: It is not the "darwinists" who are cowardly as you keep implying.

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  22. Reynold;
    I asked you to substantiate your claim that I lied (a “lying git” as you referred to me) and you have failed to do so.

    You claim that substantiating your assertions is “Easy” because I “implied that PZ Myers and others like him were cowardly by ‘absconding’ from a debate.”

    Not so. Rather, I proved that PZ Myers did abscond from “a debate.” Moreover, you state that it is not the “darwinists” who are cowardly and yet, the premise upon which my post was based is that PZ Myers absconded form a non-evolution, non-Darwinist, non-science debate.

    The Dover trial is irrelevant in claiming that “it was the creationist/ID people who were the actual cowards, because several of them never bothered to show up” because the reason why some did not show up is that they felt that the case was poor and not one that they wanted to support. Dr. Stephen Meyers states this very clearly 22:25 into this interview. There is no legal, logical or scientific requirement to defend that which you consider indefensible.

    Do you understand that even if your “Easy” substantiation is completely accurate that does not prove that I was lying?

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  23. Mariano said:

    Reynold;
    I asked you to substantiate your claim that I lied (a "lying git" as you referred to me) and you have failed to do so.

    Let's see: the "lying git" bit was in reference to your implying that "darwinists" were cowards.


    You claim that substantiating your assertions is "Easy" because I "implied that PZ Myers and others like him were cowardly by 'absconding' from a debate."

    Not so. Rather, I proved that PZ Myers did abscond from "a debate."

    Yeah, he refused one debate with a person of proven low character, as I showed in my first post here. Besides that, did you take any reasons into account? Instead you went and you said:
    If evolution had not done away with it PZ Myers could have absconded from another debate with his tail between his legs.
    Note the use of the word "another" by you.

    Let us see, thus far, as I can recall from the top of my noggin Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Eugene Scott and PZ Myers flatly refused to debate Creationists. They have provided quaint pseudo-reasons for, at the same time, being alleged champions of reason and science whilst not debating their views against backwards-Bible-belt-fundamentalist-country-hicks.
    You ignored the fact that Myers debated and won against creationist Simmons on a xian radio show, and that Myers was up for another debate.

    Your statement above strongly implies that the "darwinists" are cowards. Remember the use of the word "They" in your post.
    They have provided quaint pseudo-reasons for, at the same time, being alleged champions of reason and science whilst not debating their views against backwards-Bible-belt-fundamentalist-country-hicks.

    Any reasons that they gave, you called "quaint pseudo-reasons". Sounds like you're trying to paint them as cowards to me.


    Moreover, you state that it is not the "darwinists" who are cowardly and yet, the premise upon which my post was based is that PZ Myers absconded form a non-evolution, non-Darwinist, non-science debate.
    Let's look at what you said earlier in your post, shall we? I'll bold some words to help you:
    Let us see, thus far, as I can recall from the top of my noggin Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Eugene Scott and PZ Myers flatly refused to debate Creationists. They have provided quaint pseudo-reasons for, at the same time, being alleged champions of reason and science whilst not debating their views against backwards-Bible-belt-fundamentalist-country-hicks.
    I'll note that in Dawkins case, one of those "pseudo-reasons" was that one time when he did give an interview, the footage was cut and spliced to make it seem that he couldn't/wouldn't answer a question posed to him; instead, they cut in footage of him answering a different question. Dawkins answered the question (about genetic information) in his books, and it's even answered in Scienceblogs if you care to do a search on it).

    Now, Dr. Myers has also refused to debate the issue of the existence of god(s). Since he claimed that he only tackles weak arguments for the existence of god(s) because there are no strong arguments, ...SNIP. This is referring to the Vox Day debate here, the "premise" of your post, yes?

    So your post, though "premised" on Myer's "god" debate with Vox Day, takes a shot at several people who refuse to debate creationists, and it's the same post where you imply that Myers is a "coward". You pretty much all but say that "darwinists" are cowards near the start of your post. Remember your phrase "quaint pseudo-reasons"?


    The Dover trial is irrelevant in claiming that "it was the creationist/ID people who were the actual cowards, because several of them never bothered to show up" because the reason why some did not show up is that they felt that the case was poor and not one that they wanted to support.
    Gee, wouldn't that be a "quaint pseudo-reason", or only if a "Darwinist" were to give it?

    On on of the reasons why some felt the case was "poor", from Dembski's blog:
    Fortunately, ID is in a much stronger position scientifically than creationism, so the ACLU faces a much tougher opponent than back then (go, for instance, here and here). Unfortunately, members of the Dover school board have, through their actions, conflated ID with an apparent religious agenda. For instance, it doesn’t help the ID side that William Buckingham, then a member of the Dover school board, in trying to get the Dover policy adopted, remarked: "Two thousand years ago somebody died on the cross, can’t somebody stand up for him?" (Go here.)

    If the policy is upheld, it will embolden school boards, legislators, and grass roots organizations to push for intelligent design in the public school science curriculum. As a consequence, this case really could be a Waterloo for the other side.


    The problem: it wasn't just Buckingham that made their case look weak constitutionally, it was the Wedge document and all the documented admissions from the ID people as to what their true motives for pushing ID is that did them in as far as that goes. Point being, even without Buckingham, they'd still have been screwed.


    Dr. Stephen Meyers states this very clearly 22:25 into this interview. There is no legal, logical or scientific requirement to defend that which you consider indefensible.


    Here's another note about why the DI didn't want this case:
    Fast forward to the Dover situation. The Dover school board adopts a policy to teach ID in science classrooms, but in doing so at least one member of the board makes it clear that this is being done for explicitly religious reasons. The DI immediately began to distance itself from the Dover policy largely for that reason, knowing that this isn't really the test case that they would want. They know that it's too soon to attempt to mandate the teaching of ID because, at this point, there really isn't any there there. As Dembski notes in the article cited above, "there is still a long way at hammering out ID as a full-fledged research program." Many other ID advocates, like Paul Nelson and Bruce Gordon, have said similar things. But the ACLU files suit on behalf of parents in the district and the TMLC comes riding in to defend them, and now the DI is in a bit of a bind.

    On the one hand, they want to defend ID in court as legitimate science. On the other hand, they know that if the school board loses this case - particularly if it gets appealed all the way to the Supreme Court and loses there - it's pretty much the end for ID in public schools. That would set a nationwide precedent that would ban ID from public school science classrooms. So they've had a delicate line to walk, wanting to distance themselves from the school board's policy while still defending ID as valid science and not inherently religious in nature. The TMLC, on the other hand, has been a bit of a bull in a china shop in this case, with their leader, Richard Thompson, issuing a series of vitriolic and bold public statements. So there has been a great deal of tension in this case, both at the core and in terms of tactics, between the DI and the TMLC. And the result now has been the loss of at least two of the top three experts on ID from the roster of witnesses for the defense.




    Do you understand that even if your "Easy" substantiation is completely accurate that does not prove that I was lying?
    Given the way your're trying to get away with broad-brushing "darwinists" in general as cowards in this very post, and then trying to deny it later on when your own words shoot down your denial, you don't strike me as a very honest person. Either that, or you sometimes don't keep track of what you write. Which is it?


    For more info on why the DI people had trouble in Dover: here

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  24. Reynold;
    Bottom line issue here: I think that my mistake was semantic and I apologize for not being detailed enough since it seems that I caused confusion because I did not properly qualify my statement.

    When I made reference to the particular scientists I mentioned I should have stated that they refuse to engage in oral debates with creationists.

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  25. As Kil said, SFN would be willing to host an honest structured written debate, with rules agreeable to both parties



    What would you want to debate about, and with whom?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Just click on the link in my previous post and look around the site.

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  27. Shalom Reynold;
    Pardon my delay. Your proposal sounds interesting. Do you have anything in mind?

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  28. Not really. Just look at my October 17, 2008 8:52 PM response. You can pick the topic and who you want to debate with. I'm sure that you and anyone over there can work out the other details.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I forgot to say: You can pick a topic and invite anyone or everyone to join in if you want, also.

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  30. Reynold;
    I hope to find you well.
    So sorry to keep you waiting.
    I have not forgotten about you and will definitely be interested in a written debate, in the near future.
    I am in the middle of teaching and writing an article to be published (and have a very pregnant wife, etc., etc.).
    I need at least another month or so.
    Let us keep in touch though and not let this go, ok?

    What is a good time frame for you?

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  31. As I said; you can join up anytime and ask to debate whoever you want on any topic.

    Check out here.

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  32. I do know that Dave, the guy I just linked to in my last reply is interested in debating you.

    ReplyDelete

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