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Monday, October 6, 2008

“…Professing Themselves To Be Wise, They Became Fools…”, part 1 of 5

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

10 comments:

  1. We will consider the logical consequences, the logical conclusions, to which their positions take us and leave us.

    Rather than doing that, why don't you gather some actual data. Like compare divorce rates between atheists and Christians, correlation between religiosity and education and/or IQ, and so forth.

    If you just try and use logic rather than science, then your conclusions will almost certainly be wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  2. unBeguiled;
    Thanks for the recommendations. I was surprised to hear data collecting referred to as “science.” Data being what is it, subject to massaging, manipulation, interpretation, etc. What was asked to collect the data, to whom was it asked, to how many was it asked, how was it categorized, how was it parsed, etc. These and many other question make data as relative as it is.

    For example, the data of divorce rates between atheists and Christians was notoriously mishandled. It is analyzed here and in the “Some Studies Studied” section of my essay Positive Atheism - Cliff Walker : Relative Ethics and Absolute Condemnations (along with various other studies).

    aDios,
    Mariano

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  3. I was surprised to hear data collecting referred to as “science.”

    Nevertheless, its true. However bad a study may be it is, in science, still open to further study, debate and exploration. Your dicta ex cathedra path to perfect knowledge offer no similar reprieve. Science always offers the possibility of escape from error, religion forbids it.

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  4. "Science always offers the possibility of escape from error, religion forbids it."

    My dear sir, have you never heard of the Protestant reformation (nor the millennias worth of other likewise examples one could offer)?

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am familiar with Protestantism, I used to be one. Protestantism is different from catholicism, but calling it a reform, in the sense of "improvement" or "less erroneous", is just begging the question. Only protestants call it reform. Catholics use other adjectives to describe the movement. To moslems and jews its just another flavor of error and to everyone else its just another splinter group in a fractured family of arbitrarily splintered groups.

    What you have is merely a confusion of contradictory dueling certainties with nothing ever being resolved. Because there is nothing to appeal to except diverse subjective introspections there is no way to determine if any religious view is correct in a meaningfully objective way much less assert that one religious view is more nearly right than another.

    You can say that some belief is orthodox with respect to some canon but you can not say that any canon is more valid than another. Without a way to discern error there can be no escape from it.

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  6. MaskedMarauder;
    Actually, saying that a canon is more valid than another is not very difficult. For example, when the deuteron canonical books (or apocrypha) were officially made part of the Old Testament cannon for the express purpose of counteracting the Protestant reformation you know that it is fallacious.

    Forget about resolving which religion is true: what has ever been resolved about reality in the first place? Do we even know that reality is real? How do you know that you are not just a brain in a vat being stimulated by the alien-nerd-herd?

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  7. maskedmarauder sed,
    "Without a way to discern error there can be no escape from it."


    Your discernment is taken to be superior because you reject in advance everything not material. This is a blanket rejection, based on your perceived inability to discern any reality or value beyond material reality, or to discriminate between non-material entities.

    As with all materialists, the evidence you require is material, yet the subject of the investigation is non-material. Your material requirements are not compatible or congruent with non-material reality.

    I suspect that you will want to deny several aspects of this, not the least of which is that you are materialist in belief, etc. Kindly don't bother with such denials, kindly just approach the question of whether it is reasonable to expect material tracks from non-material entities, and to demand such. This should include your definition of "meaningful, objective" in relation to your comment above, please.

    I personally equate my own long spell of Philosophical Materialism to my belief that the internal workings of my mind performed solely on sensory input from the material reality. While I now know that not to be true, there is no way to show that to anyone in a material, physical format. So those who require a material, physical format for evidence might consider what I have experienced to be bogus, and claim "brain state" failure, despite the current evidence against the existence of brain states.

    Nonetheless, if one lacks personal evidence of such non-material experiences, that does not qualify a denial that such things exist. Such a denial is based on no evidence, and violates the materialist demand for evidence.

    By the way, this conundrum - not having evidence yet demanding evidence of others - is why Atheist/Materialists tend to claim that they really are not Atheist/Materialists, or that the opposition just is ignorant. If that is the argument, we'll address it, too.

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  8. For example, when the deuteron canonical books (or apocrypha) were officially made part of the Old Testament cannon for the express purpose of counteracting the Protestant reformation you know that it is fallacious.
    I don't know that. I can't read the minds of living people much less people who have been dead for centuries. Just because they may have had a motive to "cheat" doesn't mean that they did. If you want to go down that road you also have to consider the motivations of the Protestants that declined to accept the amendment. In addition to religion there was nascent nationalistic power politics going on during those years too.

    No, I don't it isn't all a dream. The Hindus say we're all just actors in one of Vishnu's dreams so maybe nothing is "real" in the tangible sense we think we mean. But, if it is a dream I'm living or living in, it has reliably discoverable properties accessible to work with and talk about.

    I don't see how the situation could be improved upon by taking supernaturalism seriously, I admit. That would just be recursing even deeper into even murkier dreams by dreaming within dreamed dreams inside of other dreams. When do you throw in the towel in that infinite regress?

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  9. Your discernment is taken to be superior because you reject in advance everything not material. This is a blanket rejection, based on your perceived inability to discern any reality or value beyond material reality, or to discriminate between non-material entities.
    No, I take it to be practicable because it depends on reliable publicly available and accepted information. If, by "non-material entities" you mean things like the laws of physics, I have no problem accepting that kind of non-material entities. If you're talking about pixies, unicorns and basilisks, I do have grave problems accepting your non-material entities as a basis for sober reflection. Are pixies real to you? They aren't to me.

    Nonetheless, if one lacks personal evidence of such non-material experiences, that does not qualify a denial that such things exist.
    There are infinitely many such things for which I lack "personal evidence." Am I supposed to believe in all of them? That's rank credulity. How do you winnow the ridiculous from the sublime? I won't touch them with a barge pole.

    Again, I'm denying that anything sensible can be said about what cannot be perceived, not that they don't exist, only that we can't know anything about them if they do. Disputing how many angels can fit on the head of a pin is as puerile an endeavor as arguing about how many fairies can live in a dewdrop. Bereft of any objectively reliable metric or data beyond some random person's unchallengeable oracular sayso there's no way to know who, if anyone, is right (or wrong, or crazy, or ...). If I say that only 50 angels can fit on the head of a pin, how can you tell if I'm right, wrong or just plain mad? You sure can't count them.

    Until you can answer that question there is no hope of discerning error and so no escape from it.

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  10. How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

    Let world be a 2 dimensional wall, and an angel - a golf ball. How many golf balls can fit in 2 dimensional wall? Zero. But you can drop a shadow of golf ball on an wall and thus interact with it. How many non overlapping shadows of golf balls can fit small circle on that wall? It depends on the distance and source(s) of light. But for convinience of dark circles living on that wall shadows of golf balls are similiar to those circles and their real nature is uncovered only in special situations. Even one shadow won't fit in said small circle, however this is quite irrelevent.

    How many fairies can live in a dewdrop?
    I don't know anyone and never heared about anyone claiming that (s)he saw a fairy.

    I'm getting tired of all those Dawkin's followers repeating Zeus/Thor/tooth fairies/spaghetti monster mantra.

    Why do I believe in angels? I find no reason not to believe that what Vassula Ryden says and writes is true, because what she writes and says is wise and filled with love. I find no reason not to belive that what Maria Valtorta said and wrote is true, because it's wise and filled with love. I believe that sister Faustyna Kowalska described true facts as her writings are full of wisdom and love.
    Finally I find Bible to be full of love and wisdom, and see no reason not to believe that Jesus is Son of the God, that He lived, died and ressurected as it's written in Gospels.
    I find another confirmation in lifes of many of chosen, amazing people like Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, Anthony DeMello, Maksymilian Kolbe, John Paul II, Marta Robin and many many more.

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