Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Neverending Godfomercial, part n+1: “Monkey See, Monkey Did”

As promised in the first installment, how visual and anecdotal validation of the “existence” of supernatural demons “validates” the belief in the existence of life after death, and the concepts of Heaven and Hell.

First, that which can be concluded about the nature of the human animal based on the behaviors of early civilizations, direct observation, and behaviors of other mammals. Man is a pack animal, similar to dogs in that stone-age man practiced cooperative hunting. It is also likely to a degree of near certainty that early proto-tribes were based on the same type of alpha-male hierarchy as can be observed among the great apes. This culture was further refined into the bureaucratic hierarchies that we know today through refinement of the pecking order. This refinement came about through specialization of tribe members, the taking of slaves in inter-tribal war, and the self-promotion efforts of early shaman-priests. Whatever your opinion of their methods, you have to admire the success of the priest class in becoming the power behind the throne. If you think much has changed since the early days, contemplate the toppling of the Shah of Iran, or the fact that no atheist is electable to high office in the US at the present time.

The success of religious practices to form patterns of belief is attributable in part to the behaviors of early man. The earliest form of communication is by example. This is how a mother cat teaches her kittens to hunt, and how the earliest hominids passed on knowledge that helped them survive. There is a hard-wired mechanism in the brain that actually acquires sense memory of an observed action before a person actually repeats that action.

Formation of a Motor Memory by Action Observation Abstract:

“Mirror neurons discharge with both action observation and action execution. It has been proposed that the mirror neuron system is instrumental in motor learning. The human primary motor cortex (M1) displays mirror activity in response to movement observation, is capable of forming motor memories, and is involved in motor learning. However, it is not known whether movement observation can lead directly to the formation of motor memories in the M1, which is considered a likely physiological step in motor learning. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to show that observation of another individual performing simple repetitive thumb movements gives rise to a kinematically specific memory trace of the observed motions in M1. An extended period of observation of thumb movements that were oriented oppositely to the previously determined habitual directional bias increased the probability of TMS-evoked thumb movements to fall within the observed direction. Furthermore, the acceleration of TMS-evoked thumb movements along the principal movement axis and the balance of excitability of muscle representations active in the observed movements were altered in favor of the observed movement direction. These findings support a role for the mirror neuron system in memory formation and possibly human motor learning”.

Katja Stefan,1,3 Leonardo G. Cohen,1 Julie Duque,1 Riccardo Mazzocchio,1 Pablo Celnik,1 Lumy Sawaki,1 Leslie Ungerleider,2 and Joseph Classen3

1Human Cortical Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland 20892, 2Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health-NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, and 3Human Cortical Physiology and Motor Control Laboratory, Department of Neurology, University of Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany

Before there was a spoken language, humans communicated through gestures and signals. This allowed hunters to coordinate their efforts over distance. This represents a leap forward in mental acuity. The meaning of a gesture is now tied to an agreed-upon interpretation. In other words, the gesture is symbolic. The reliance on symbolic interpretation deepened as the Human Race developed written language. Humans have an instinctual prejudice toward assigning meaning to, and interpreting symbols such as flags, emblems, and ritual behavior.

Brain activity during observation of actions. Influence of action content and subject's strategy

Abstract:

"PET (Positron Emission Tomography) was used to map brain regions that are associated with the observation of meaningful and meaningless hand actions. Subjects were scanned under four conditions which consisted of visually presented actions. In each of the four experimental conditions, they were instructed to watch the actions with one of two aims: to be able to recognize or to imitate them later. We found that differences in the meaning of the action, irrespective of the strategy used during observation, lead to different patterns of brain activity and clear left/right asymmetries. Meaningful actions strongly engaged the left hemisphere in frontal and temporal regions while meaningless actions involved mainly the right occipitoparietal pathway. Observing with the intent to recognize activated memory-encoding structures. In contrast, observation with the intent to imitate was associated with activation in the regions involved in the planning and in the generation of actions. Thus, the pattern of brain activation during observation of actions is dependent both on the nature of the required executive processing and the type of the extrinsic properties of the action presented."

J Decety, J Grezes, N Costes, D Perani, M Jeannerod, E Procyk, F Grassi and F Fazio Processus mentaux et activation cerebrale, Inserm Unit, Bron, France.

How does this all relate to the Neverending Godfomercial, and the fostering of supernatural and religious belief? Every time you watch a movie where some poor slob is running away from a growly-voiced minion of Pure Evil ®, there is a part of your brain that processes it as if it were happening to you. If your critical thinking skills have been impaired through years of repetitive brainwashing, bullshit, and induced self-doubt and shame, you will be prone to accept this fictional input as possible, or even real. In your mind, you will run in front of the threat along with the protagonist, like an animal running ahead of a forest fire. The same impulse that brings the armchair athlete out of the chair when a player scores a goal will cause your heart to pound as if the fantasy you are watching is really happening to you. If you have a prejudice for believing in supernatural beings and magic, you have just had that prejudice validated through fictional events that part of your brain treats as actual events. Or, to express this symbolically, “Oooga Booga!” You’ve been had (again).

15 Comments:

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

True Dat!
We know that if you repeat something over and over and over that it becomes REAL... in your mind anyway. Imaginary real is virtually indistinguishable from pretend real..which comes in handy during 'last call' but does pose a bit of a sticky wicket in the affairs of men.

I am not exactly sure why we just can't have a global 'reality check' day where everything grinded to a complete halt and all of this basic empirical evidence was adopted as our common baseline...forever...no exceptions.

Unfortunately we will have to wait for an extraterrestrial invasion to unite the human species..and I for one welcome our new alien insect overlords.

I wonder who they will eat first?

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Fascinating...

You must feel pretty good and pretty wise. Apparently, you have risen above the psychological trickery that is apparently belief in the divine. So few of us have risen to such heights. But you are confident that you have a grip on reality, and that it is inconceivable that you might be deceived yourself.

Thanks, by the way, for commenting on my blog a few weeks ago.

Why do you presuppose that what you can not sense empirically does not exist? You have not proven that the supernatural does not exist, so is it not a possibility that it does?

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"I am not exactly sure why we just can't have a global 'reality check' day where everything grinded to a complete halt and all of this basic empirical evidence was adopted as our common baseline...forever...no exceptions."

Do you not see the problem with this? You would have to do away with all postulates! All postulates save one - "The only way to know anything is by empirical evidence." This would have to be taken on faith. You have no empirical evidence to prove that the only way to know anything is through empirical evidence.

So, do away with geometry, because Euclid's postulates are not proven. They are postulated. (And you said, no exceptions). Do away with philosophy, because many philosophical schools of thought start with an axiom or a presupposition.

This "reality check" is where you would force everyone to think as you think - to believe as you believe. This is where everyone must assume a priori that you are right in saying that the only way to know anything is by empirical evidence. Thus, you have completely contradicted yourself and defeated your own worldview.

This is scary, because people like you vote and contend for positions of political power and authority. The advancement of your contradictory philosophical worldview would be an epistemological hegemony.

Are you okay with that?

What if your foundational assumption (that you can only know truth via empirical evidence) is wrong? Is that possible?

And what would geometry look like without any postulates?

"A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." -Simon and Garfunkel

"We're all right; just ask us." -(name not to be disclosed)

People don't arrive at their worldview via reason. People choose a worldview based on presuppositions and attitudes and desires. Then, once the worldview is chosen, people sometimes use reason and rhetoric (and sometimes very silly rhetoric) to justify their worldview in their own mind - if not in the minds of others as well.

So... what have you presupposed and why? What are your desires? What are your attitudes? Why have you chosen to believe as you do?

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

I do believe that we are imitators by nature - also that imitation is the highest form of flattery. So, we should be very careful who we imitate.

I dare say some people are atheists because they have imitated other confident and intelligent atheists. They are attracted to the independence of rejecting faith in God, see other people do it, and then step out in disbelief.

Once choosing their worldview, they then rationalize that worldview. Their empirical senses deceive them because their minds have become biased. "Statistics lie, and liars use statistics." It is way too easy for your presuppositions to govern your research. "Facts" become nebulous things. People become deceived and entrenched in their deception. Finally, they think they know everything, but they really don't know which way is up. But they have deceived themselves to the point of confidence.

We are utterly dependent on divine revelation to get a grip on epistemology.

Of course, no atheist is electable to high office in this present time. This is not because we Christians have anything against atheists (well, let me speak for myself). It is because we believe that you don't have a grip on epistemology. "The fool says in his heart, there is no God." "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." "Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully." "The just shall live by faith."

How can we elect someone into high office when the Bible says that such a person is a fool, incapable of wisdom, incapable of understanding justice, and incapable of establishing justice? It is not personal. It is simply that we believe the promises of God.

That's not to say that I support Bush. I think that Bush has duped many in the Christian community. (I also think that many in the Christian community are not Christian).

But the point remains that many of us believe the Founding Fathers got it right when they implied in the Declaration of Independence that governing authorities ought to value and respect "the laws of nature and nature's God."

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

”This is where everyone must assume a priori that you are right in saying that the only way to know anything is by empirical evidence. Thus, you have completely contradicted yourself and defeated your own worldview.”

I won’t speak for beakerslion, but really, you are full of shite. Not what you say, but what you believe. Your bullshitness has been pointed out in parts [A], [B], [C], and [D].

[A] You are full of shite because you believe that we atheists have no belief “because they have imitated other confident and intelligent atheists. [We] are attracted to the independence of rejecting faith in God, see other people do it, and then step out in disbelief.” Turn your own hypothesis on yourself, and now you have no basis for your own mentally unbalanced faith.

[1] You are attracted to the dependence of an alpha male, ‘proven’ through scientific investigation into the underlying actions of humans. Beakerslion goes into this with much detail. In fact, it was the primary point of the post.

[2] Thus, you follow the ultimate alpha male. This was the secondary point, if I am not mistaken, in that this evolutionary trait produces faith and obedience to authority. You see others doing so and then step into faith.

[3] You have not proved that your worldview is any better to beakerslion’s. Therefore, you are talking out of your ass.

”This is scary, because people like you vote and contend for positions of political power and authority. The advancement of your contradictory philosophical worldview would be an epistemological hegemony.“ And people like you, those of passionate faith, will kill, lie, and cheat because the invisible alpha male told them to.

[B] You see problems in metaphysics, I see problems in the way you see reality, and the way theists conduct themselves. Those with faith are a dangerous bunch. I say that one presupposition is above the other, and it doesn’t require a rapier wit and forked tongue to see that you are full of shite.

Once choosing their worldview, they then rationalize that worldview. Their empirical senses deceive them because their minds have become biased. "Statistics lie, and liars use statistics." It is way too easy for your presuppositions to govern your research. "Facts" become nebulous things. People become deceived and entrenched in their deception. Finally, they think they know everything, but they really don't know which way is up. But they have deceived themselves to the point of confidence.

You don’t need facts if you have faith. All along, you've claimed many a position without any evidence in support. Yet, I cannot prove you wrong in your faith, just as you cannot prove the nonexistence of Zeus, Shiva, or Super Squid. Your blanket statements can be directed much more harshly against any theist.

And don’t be talking down to science. The last time I checked, it’s been the scientists to help and save lives. Lightning used to be wrath from the gods. Now, we can understand what it is, and safely disperse of it through a lightning rod. The same goes for earthquakes, malaria, rabies, and all sorts of things that hurt humanity.

All theists have the exact same claim to authority, yet they are all invalid.

Either one faith is correct, none are right, or they are all correct.

Faith is of the unknown. We cannot know which faith is correct because it is unknown. They are all contradictory, so they cannot all be correct. Therefore, theism doesn’t set you on any high pedestal.

We are utterly dependent on divine revelation to get a grip on epistemology.

Nice presupposition. Where’d you come up with that one? By the way, which one is the correct revelation? It could be revealed in any way, in any religion or cult or individual faith.

”Of course, no atheist is electable [sic] to high office in this present time. This is not because we Christians have anything against atheists (well, let me speak for myself). It is because we believe that you don't have a grip on epistemology.”

Again, bullshite.

[C] You don’t want us in power because you think that we are not beholden to the invisible sky god. My blanket statement is almost as big as your king-sized quilt, but not quite. You are either being moronic, or tying yourself to all Christians. Don’t do that. Because when you do that, you look like you're full of shite.

How can we elect someone into high office when the Bible says that such a person is a fool, incapable of wisdom, incapable of understanding justice, and incapable of establishing justice? It is not personal. It is simply that we believe the promises of God. Which god? Which bible? I'm not even going into the real problems that happen when someone of faith is convinced [GW with Iraq] of something that contradicts reality. Go and pray. Ask for Jesus to appear before you. Test the bible on matters of science and math. In other words, don't be full of shite.

But the point remains that many of us believe the Founding Fathers got it right when they implied in the Declaration of Independence that governing authorities ought to value and respect "the laws of nature and nature's God."
[D] I believe the Constitution said that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Read over the document sometime. Oh, and when they said "nature's god", they most certainly weren't saying that the US was founded on the NT or OT. If that's the case we'd have no court system or republic. They most likely were claiming that our rights were divinely given to preemptively stop many moron from taking them away. What other claim is as absolutely irrifutable as "God said so."?

Thus, with [A], [B], [C], and [D], I can only conclude that you are full of shite.

 
At 9:08 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Drunken tune,

I would not lie or cheat; that is sinful. The Bible condemns it. I would not murder. Also sinful.

You have basically looked at each of my presuppositions and said, "Wrong." Of course, you say that with such arrogant confidence (as opposed to humble confidence) because that is what you think. And you think pretty highly of yourself.

I suppose it is true that some atheists are atheists simply because they do not believe - not because they are attracted to or imitating other atheists. But I do think that there are some atheists who are atheists because they are attracted to the idea of being independent of God. Either way, unbelief is sinful because God is real and He does speak. He who has ears to hear, let Him hear.

God bless you. I hold no hostility toward you and wish goodwill upon you.

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

concernedengineer,

You're still full of shite. You have not responded to any claim I have made, so I'll try again. Because I'm such a nice guy, I'll actually engage you in conversation as well.

I would not lie or cheat; that is sinful. The Bible condemns it. I would not murder. Also sinful.

Read what I said again. I never said you cheated, or that you lied. I never said that you murdered. What you do has no bearing in anything I said. Other people throughout history have killed, raped, tortured, stolen, lied, and mutilated others because they believe their holy text says they should. Until you can prove that they are wrong, they have equal claims to authority on what your god or their god says. You cannot prove one god wrong on issues of morality unless you prove that all gods are wrong.

You have basically looked at each of my presuppositions and said, "Wrong."

No. I said, “You are full of shite because…” and then proceeded to show you why you were wrong. You claimed that all atheists are imitating others. This claim doesn’t matter. It’s equally valid when I claim the same for theists, and it does nothing to refute the argument for atheism. Therefore, your argument is worthless.

I said, “You are full of shite…” and then told you that pragmatically, I would rather have someone with presuppostions that others have trouble understanding than have millions of people that can justify anything with “God says so!”

I said, “You are full of shite because…” you claim that statistics are colored by those performing double-blind studies. You are dead wrong. I claim that faith needs no evidence, so your faith is just as equal to any other, while science is the accumilation of evidence to support or debunk a theory.

I said, “You are full of shite because…” you claim that us atheists are not good candidates because “[we] don't have a grip on epistemology.” Any theist is not worth salt in positions of power because they are demented and living in a fantasy world.

Of course, you say that with such arrogant confidence (as opposed to humble confidence) because that is what you think. And you think pretty highly of yourself.

I see no reason to think otherwise. Your ideas are faulty, and are all appeals to authority or vapid attempts to evangelize.

I suppose it is true that some atheists are atheists simply because they do not believe - not because they are attracted to or imitating other atheists.

Are not all babies born atheists?

Either way, unbelief is sinful because God is real and He does speak. He who has ears to hear, let Him hear.

How has your god revealed himself outside of a text? Do you rely of faith? Or do you rely on ‘evidence’ that you can present to us?

God bless you. I hold no hostility toward you and wish goodwill upon you.

I wish you goodwill as well. You just happen to be a moron.

 
At 10:48 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Are not all babies born atheists?"

Hmmm... I highly doubt it. I was baptized as a Catholic when I was an infant, but my parents were not churchgoers. Even so, I can't remember ever not believing in God. Obviously, none of us can remember our infancies, so it is difficult to figure out what infants are really thinking - especially when we start talking about God.

All I know is that I can not remember a time in my life when I did not believe in God.

"All theists have the exact same claim to authority, yet they are all invalid."

Never took formal logic, huh?

Not that I blame you. The education system in this country has totally failed to teach us the difference between validity and truth. I graduated from college with a degree in engineering, and it wasn't until after that, that I learned what a syllogism is - the differences between validity and truth, etc. This is a bit off topic, but to the few people who have taken formal logic, you really expose your ignorance when you make these kind of statements. And it is particuarly ironic that people like you claim the intellectual/logical high ground. At least I know a valid argument from an invalid argument. Presuppositions have nothing to do with it.

That's for free.

I have no need to prove that everyone else's false religions are false. The Holy Spirit makes that clear to all who have ears to hear. If a religion promotes stealing, murder, and lieing, it is clearly an evil religion, because that religion has violated the truth of the moral code - which is real. The moral code says very clearly that stealing, lieing and murder are wrong. If people don't recognize the moral code, then they are in rebellion, and their rebellion has led to self-deception. But I hold these truths to be self-evident: Cheating, murder, and lieing are evil. Any doctrine that says otherwise is just as evil. These truths are self-evident.

God has revealed Himself to us in other ways besides the Bible. He reveals Himself through nature. Go take a walk along a beach some clear night and look up at the stars and just enjoy yourself. It is beautiful. The beauty and ordered complexity of nature testify to an awesome Creator. The stars are essentially celestial evangelists.

He reveals Himself through His people. Seeing the love of God in people is a form of "evidence" (albeit not scientific evidence).

He reveals Himself by His Spirit. His Spirit is very convincing. His Spirit prompted me to think long and hard on many sleepless nights about my salvation.

God reveals Himself in many ways. He who has ears to hear, let Him hear.

I did not say that all statistics are faulty. I did say that "statistics lie, and liars use statistics." That doesn't mean "in all cases." That doesn't mean that statistics is useless. Believe me; as an engineer, I know better. Statistics are a great tool to conduct inductive scientific analysis. But beware of biases.... It is very easy to manipulate statistics to make them say what you want them to say - or at least to bend it to say something that is close to what you want to say.

Have a fantastic day. May your day be filled with joy and love and peace.

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

All I know is that I can not remember a time in my life when I did not believe in God.

My, that’s convenient. Then you have no idea with what you’re dealing with. You are no different than a Muslim that has lived his whole life in an Islamic household.

Why do you not believe in Allah? Please tell me why.

"All theists have the exact same claim to authority, yet they are all invalid."

Never took formal logic, huh?


Enough about me: you don’t have to take a class in logic to see that when you make pronouncements on faith [ie. claims made when there is an absence of evidence] that all claims made on faith to an authority are equal. Moron.

Not that I blame you. The education system in this country has totally failed to teach us the difference between validity and truth. I graduated from college with a degree in engineering, and it wasn't until after that, that I learned what a syllogism is - the differences between validity and truth, etc. This is a bit off topic, but to the few people who have taken formal logic, you really expose your ignorance when you make these kind of statements. And it is particuarly [sic] ironic that people like you claim the intellectual/logical high ground. At least I know a valid argument from an invalid argument. Presuppositions have nothing to do with it.

Nice tangent. It’s really helping the conversation move along. Presupposition 1: The Loch Ness monster exists. Conclusion: The Loch Ness monster exists. It’s a very nice proof. It holds just as much water as your claim for the existence of god.

That's for free.

And this is on my dime: if you cannot prove that Islam is wrong, then it is just as valid as Christianity. If you cannot prove Baptist teaching is wrong, they are just as valid as Catholic teaching. They make the same claim on the same amount of evidence. Come on! You can’t even prove a negative. Prove that my unicorn isn’t living in my shed.

I have no need to prove that everyone else's false religions are false. The Holy Spirit makes that clear to all who have ears to hear.

Like that’s formal logic, concernedmoron.

If a religion promotes stealing, murder, and lieing [sic] , it is clearly an evil religion, because that religion has violated the truth of the moral code - which is real.

Again, this is not logical. It’s circular reasoning. You’re claiming that a moral code exists, and is given by your god, so all religions that disagree with your moral code cannot be correct. Muslims claim the same, and have just as much evidence.

The moral code says very clearly that stealing, lieing [sic] and murder are wrong.

Which moral code? Yours? Amurabi's?

If people don't recognize the moral code, then they are in rebellion, and their rebellion has led to self-deception. But I hold these truths to be self-evident: Cheating, murder, and lieing [sic] are evil. Any doctrine that says otherwise is just as evil. These truths are self-evident.

You’re evidentially a conceded moron too.

God has revealed Himself to us in other ways besides the Bible. He reveals Himself through nature. Go take a walk along a beach some clear night and look up at the stars and just enjoy yourself. It is beautiful.

Why, yes. Yes. It is beautiful. But it makes no logical sense to then say, "I do not understand how this happened, therefore aliens/god/Albert Einstein did it."

The beauty and ordered complexity of nature testify to an awesome Creator. The stars are essentially celestial evangelists.

No. The stars are gigantic nuclear reactors where hydrogen is forced into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees. They are as much “evangelists” as are tumors, cancer, AIDS, rocks, herpes, death, and suffering.

Even if I was to presuppose that a god existed, what evidence in nature shows that it is your god that created it? You are playing a false dichotomy [G] , so that is another reason why you're a moron.

He reveals Himself through His people. Seeing the love of God in people is a form of "evidence" (albeit not scientific evidence).

What is it ‘evidence’ for? That Christians have a nice history of fucking shit up? Torture? Genocide? Murder? Repression? Slavery?

There's just as much evidence that goodnatured people living an atheistic life proves that your god doesn't exist.

He reveals Himself by His Spirit. His Spirit is very convincing. His Spirit prompted me to think long and hard on many sleepless nights about my salvation.

What proof do you have? Doesn’t it make more sense that the Muslim meditates for a while on his god, then experiences a feeling that he can only describe as “Allah!”

You are very self-centered if think that the universe was made for us, or that your god actually cares about what you think. He's a god, for god's sake! He can do what he wants, and we can only bow before him. That is, if he existed.

God reveals Himself in many ways. He who has ears to hear, let Him hear.

Krishna reveals Himself in many ways. He who has eyes to see, let Him see. Your statement makes no sense. Stop proselytizing.

Have a fantastic day. May your day be filled with joy and love and peace.

The same to you. Too bad you’re still a moron. And while you’re at it, stop swallowing your tail and stacking turtles.

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

What a sore loser. concernedwuss mustn't like getting smacked around like a trailer trash wife. I wish he came back. It's always exiting when morons attack.

 
At 6:59 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"And this is on my dime: if you cannot prove that Islam is wrong, then it is just as valid as Christianity. If you cannot prove Baptist teaching is wrong, they are just as valid as Catholic teaching. They make the same claim on the same amount of evidence."

Regardless of the truth/falsity of Islam's claims, it is entirely possible that Islam is just as valid as Christianity. Of course, it is important to understand what the word valid means, and I shall leave that to your own study of logic.

However, Islam is not sound, because many of its presuppsositions are false. But for whatever little its worth, Islamic arguments may indeed be valid.

I know I'm splitting hairs here, but it is a pet peeve of mine for ignorant atheists to claim the intellectual high ground, so when I get a chance to demonstrate the ignorance of the atheist, I take it. Do yourself a favor, learn the difference between validity and truth. Only, make sure that you use such knowledge for good and not for evil. In the meantime, it might behoove you to stop thinking and acting like you are so much more knowledgeable than all the Christians. Clearly, you are not, and by pretending to be, you are living in a fantastic delusion.

 
At 7:12 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"Like that’s formal logic, concernedmoron."
See my last comment. You can invent presuppositions if you want to and construct arguments that are completely valid according to the rules of formal logic. So, the answer to your question is that I have not committed any logical fallacy. According to rules of deductive reasoning, there is nothing illogical about asserting presuppositions. Now, stop embarassing yourself and learn something. Here, I'll even provide a resource for you, just because I'm a nice guy: http://www.carm.org/atheism/logic.htm

It is simply incredible. Ignorant secularists really believe that they are more logical than us evangelicals. They have never studied formal logic. They have their own set of presuppositions which they rely on to make decisions about life, politics, etc. They argue in a haphazard way - contradicting themselves often - not bothering to check out their own arguments with Venn Diagrams. Yet, they claim to be intellectually superior to evangelicals - many of whom actually know something about formal logic.

Of course, I am not implying that all secularists are ignorant. Neither am I implying that all evangelicals are knowledgable. But I am saying that faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. Plenty of people who believe know how to reason very well. There are many Christians who are scientists and engineers and mathematicians and logicians. And there are many secularists who don't know a thing about logic. But they are told on a regular basis that those without faith are reasonable and those with faith are unreasonable. For whatever motivation, this myth is propagated throughout our society. It is absurd and inaccurate, but it is popular. But the popularity of the myth does not make the myth wise or true.

 
At 7:26 AM, Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

"He reveals Himself through His people. Seeing the love of God in people is a form of "evidence" (albeit not scientific evidence).

What is it ‘evidence’ for? That Christians have a nice history of fucking shit up? Torture? Genocide? Murder? Repression? Slavery?"


Not all who have called themselves Christians are Christian. Also, many Christians have committed many sins. Christians aren't better than non-Christians. Christians are merely forgiven. An authentic Christian then tries to live a good life. You can point to the hypocrisy of those who have claimed to be Christians, but it doesn't get your argument anywhere, because there is a good chance that many of those people were not true Christians.

Meanwhile, many millions of sincere Christians have led lives of love and joy and peace and have really touched and overwhelmed people by being so kind, so loving, and so committed to true justice.

I've heard it said that atheists hold more value for life than Christians because atheists are convinced that this life is all they got. Claim what you may, I have seen some deep love in Christians, while many atheists (not all) are rude, mean, obnoxious, hateful, and spiteful. Your hostile tone is not appreciated at all. Be kind.

The ordered-complexity and beauty of a piece of art causes me to induce (note: this is inductive reasoning, not deductive reasoning) that the artwork was done by an artist. When I see a painting (that is any good), I don't induce that someone just splashed on some paint and it happened to be a masterpiece. No, I induce that someone who was skilled and intelligent painted the picture. (of course, I am not talking about the modern art crap. In those cases, I do often induce that someone just splashed some paint on the wall).

Likewise, when I see the ordered-complexity and beauty of nature (from the mathematics that governs sub-atomic physics, to the DNA structure in cellular microbiology, to the physics of planetary motion) I induce that a great Artist/Engineer put this universe together. This is a reasonable induction.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

"Not all who have called themselves Christians are Christian. Also, many Christians have committed many sins. Christians aren't better than non-Christians. Christians are merely forgiven." - CE

"Well isn't that special?" - Church Lady

I have a big problem with this argument in that it allows Christians who are doing their best to live a moral life deny that the same faith to which they ascribe their morality has brought forth some monstrous ideation in others. How are you absolutely sure that you are the "real" Christians and they are the fake ones? Would they agree with you?

"A house divided against itself cannot stand" - A. Lincoln

There is a card marked, =POPE= that some people carry around in their wallets that proclaim them to be the equivalent of His Ancientness, the Pope in their chosen religion. It instructs that the bearer should be treated with the same respect and deference that one would show the Pope. The idea in your head that you have been "saved", strikes me as about as useful or realistic as that card. Since there is, by your admission, no difference in overall behavior between groups calling themselves Christian, and non-christian groups, the only difference is in afterlife belief on the Christians' part concerning the two groups. If I'm right, you won't even get the chance to be disappointed.

While the =POPE= card is a gag, it does raise some interesting questions about equal treatment and equal standing under the law. Why should a celebrity of any kind be allowed to go through the motions of penance by checking in to rehab, for example, or telling a sob story to get leniency from the judicial system? Meanwhile, the average ghetto or trailer park dweller gets buried in a ton of bricks.

The Pope is an ex-Nazi. This doesn't bother you? What if Hitler repented, proclaimed Jesus... etc.? Would he be "saved"? I actually prefer the term "born again". It implies that if you fall off the wagon, you just have to be "born again" again... and again...and again.... "Illegal motion, five yards, repeat First Down." Life is not so simple. Feeding the church collection plate often does nothing to help except to apply salve to a righteously burning conscience. Like little yellow ribbon magnets and candlelight vigils, you have reduced responsibility to a series of meaningless gestures of atonement.

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger Drunken Tune said...

I know I'm splitting hairs here, but it is a pet peeve of mine for ignorant atheists to claim the intellectual high ground, so when I get a chance to demonstrate the ignorance of the atheist, I take it. Do yourself a favor, learn the difference between validity and truth. Only, make sure that you use such knowledge for good and not for evil. In the meantime, it might behoove you to stop thinking and acting like you are so much more knowledgeable than all the Christians.

I know I am more knowledgeable than you, concernedidiot, because you are a moron, while I am not. You continue to use logical fallacies, while jerking me around, telling me that us atheists are illogical. Now, if someone told you that you were illogical, and then proceeded to say things that are illogical, and are obviously false, you may conclude that the person is either mentally ill, a moron, or knows the errors he makes, but chooses to continue making logical fallacies in the hope that he will convert you to his faith. Don’t be a moron.

See my last comment. You can invent presuppositions if you want to and construct arguments that are completely valid according to the rules of formal logic. So, the answer to your question is that I have not committed any logical fallacy.

Nothing in nature gives evidence that a holy trinity exists. Even if you were to argue that nature shows that a higher being should exist, that is still not an argument for Catholicism. You make a logical fallacy by forcing a conclusion that is not there to make.

According to rules of deductive reasoning, there is nothing illogical about asserting presuppositions. Now, stop embarassing [sic] yourself and learn something.

Now, please, stop being a moron. If I presuppose that I have a magic wand, wave it around, and you ask me “Well, can you do some magic?” I should be able to show evidence that my presupposition is valid, because the results of the magic wand I believe to exist should be observable. Show me the magic wand.

But they are told on a regular basis that those without faith are reasonable and those with faith are unreasonable. For whatever motivation, this myth is propagated throughout our society. It is absurd and inaccurate, but it is popular. But the popularity of the myth does not make the myth wise or true.

You must love being a moron. Faith in something that has no evidence for it is moronic. If I was to claim that my Super Squid exists, and that I have faith in Super Squid, you would call me a moron. The ideas and logic used to figure out Super Squid could be cogent, but that does not mean that Super Squid exists. You cannot prove he does not exist. Therefore, he exists. If there is no observable effects of Super Squid, then the only possible thing to do is to reject the claim made for Super Squid, and remain a Super Squid atheist.

Not all who have called themselves Christians are Christian.

Are you retarded too? You wax poetic on the evil atheists, but gloss over your glairing No True Scotsman. It looks like you need to review the basics.

You can point to the hypocrisy of those who have claimed to be Christians, but it doesn't get your argument anywhere, because there is a good chance that many of those people were not true Christians.

God tells me that you are not a true Christian, concernedhellion.

Likewise, when I see the ordered-complexity and beauty of nature (from the mathematics that governs sub-atomic physics, to the DNA structure in cellular microbiology, to the physics of planetary motion) I induce that a great Artist/Engineer put this universe together. This is a reasonable induction.

If you’re a moron.

The totality of the universe is everything inside it. There cannot, by definition, be something or someone outside of the universe. We would just expand the definition of what we know of what is inside the universe.

Anything that could be even conceived outside of the universe, something invisible, incorporeal, and something that does not act in this universe, is worthless by definition.

How could a piece of paint, no matter how large, paint the totality of the picture? How could the entire painting paint itself?

The painting does not paint itself, it is there. Don't add on to the equation. You observe the totality of it and do not understand how this could happen, and conclude that your god you have been brought up to believe in created it.

If the “painting” is everything there is, there cannot be a “painter”, because nothing exists outside of the “painting”.

If a rock exists, and nothing else exists outside of the rock, what reason should we even think that there was a rock-maker?

If the universe exists, and there is nothing observable in any way outside of the universe, what reason should we think that there was a universe-maker? You have been brought up to believe that everything must have a creator.

 

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