Joshua Ryan Dellinger: Blackmailing, dishonesty, and stalking (what else ya got?)

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Joshua Ryan Dellinger: Blackmailing, dishonesty, and stalking (what else ya got?)

Joshua Ryan Dellinger is a blackmailer a liar and a stalker? A Christian defender who claims to agree with RRS? A philosophy student that's a product of a Christian Southern education?

If you're a Christian who's happy to see Joshua Ryan Dillinger willing to do whatever it takes, including lie, to stand up for Jesus, you should also know that Joshua has attacked Republicans for attacking gay marriage. (story here)

 

Over the last 24 hours, Kelly, myself, and all of you have been under threat from Joshua Ryan Dellinger a soon to be graduate of UNCC who has said...

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
I am documenting every last letter I send (one daily until you either formally decline for legitimate reasons - i.e., you're scared - or until we have secured an agreement) and will continue to post public exposes of your lack of fortitude. I consider your lack of response (and complete lack of rationality) to be one of the more blatant though still mildly entertaining ironies your organization has provided me.

So here it is, the public response on behalf of our radio show. I will waste 30 minutes of my time succumbing to your blackmail threat, you win, harraser. In order to do so I will be posting Kelly's response to you so as to save me time. Kelly wasted 30 minutes last night responding to you, and I refuse to double up with more wasted time over a simple blackmail threat. The following is the private message she sent to you through nowpublic.com, I am posting the content of your letter only because it's so similar to what you posted in public and because you've threatened us.

[edit in after the fact, I did in fact waste about an hour on this. Consider your blackmail/ultimatum effective, ya fucking asshole!]

Before I go on, you should know that if you had actual stones you and your powerful would arrange a text debate here with the community in which some of the radio co-hosts would be likely to weigh in. We'd probably even give you a thread to just go crazy in without rules, seeing as how there's no fucking way you'd be able to function within the rules. Or better yet, you and your team would just start a thread in athest vs theist like the rest of the people with a fucking clue.

 

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"Let me begin by saying I don't expect you to respond. RRS has a way of disregarding its more equipped and capable challengers. I have written before only to be flatly overlooked. This fact signifies only cowardice on the part of RRS. Taking someone like Dawkins (who has perpetually declined to debate more intelligent adversaries) as an exemplar, I don't suppose I should be surprised."

Kelly says...

Well, I have no idea who you are, and who exactly has disregarded you, but I am certainly not personally responsible for that. I do not intend to defend Dawkins, but just since I'm here, you're not accurately representing his position. He does take debates (although I don't feel it is his strong suit), just not with creationists. Frankly, it is intellectually vacuous and doesn't deserve his time.

 

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"I have observed the RRS for some time, taking note of the various fallacies that are routinely decried and then mercenarily employed."

Kelly says...

Such as?

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"My question is this: do you really want to help others be freed from the grip of religion? If so, it would seem that you (and others) should be a leading example. As such, you are constrained to operate solely within the strictures of logical, coherent, legitimate argumentation. I do not see this taking place, and this is most likely why RRS is the laughing stock of most erudite circles. Yes, you have Dennett and Dawkins. Neither are taken very seriously by even budding students of philosophy and/or anthropology."

Kelly says...

Yes; and no, I'm not. I'm constrained to operate solely in the way that I determine, and you are free to criticize it as you see fit. I know many in the "erudite" circles who respect us and realize that our purpose is not necessarily the same as theirs, and that our audience is not the same, either. It takes all types to appeal to a varied populace.
As far as Dennett and Dawkins, they are widely regarded as excellent in their respective fields except in religious circles, so I'm assuming that by "budding students of philosophy and/or anthropology" you mean dilettantes who don't know their names.

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"If you wanted to appeal through authority or popularity to young, impressionable types, why not employ the assistance of Quentin Smith? Quite simply put, I believe he would remain parsecs away from this site and all its stated goals, most chiefly owing to the extremely poor argumentation (rank ad hominems abounding) and sub-par presentation."

Kelly says...

I have no idea who that is, either. I cannot make any statement on your opinion of his potential reaction to us as a group. I also would like to remind you that an insult is not necessarily an ad hom. I can critique an argument and then insult somebody as long as the insult isn't taking the place of a valid counterpoint. In case you need an example:
1: Yahweh exists.
2: Prove it. I have seen no evidence and besides, he's logically incoherent.
1: I just know it. I've seen people change and I feel him in my heart.
2: That's not evidence. You're a moron. (not an ad hom--just an insult)

1. Yahweh exists.
2. Well, you're a moron. (ad hom)

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"Would you engage in argumentation with William Lane Craig? No, I do not think so."

Kelly says...

I certainly would. He refuses to debate anybody without a doctorate. Bitch at him.

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"Browbeating teenagers and lesser minds into conformity with your own agendas is not only vile - it is the very practice which you deprecate."

Kelly says...

Well, that's not what we do, so I don't get your point. I have no "agenda" and I can't "indoctrinate" somebody into not believing in god. I can't scare them with the fear of hell and eternal punishment or a sadistic voyeur watching my every move. Not the same.
I also think that men like Ergun Caner and Matt Slick would find it amusing that they are considered either teenagers or our mental inferiors.

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"I would presume that since you are so secure in your current belief that you have answered all the questions that standardly assail the theologian, the philosopher, and the armchair enquirer. I include among these all cosmological arguments, all crucial matters of epistemology and metaphysics, and a comprehensive certainty concerning the methods of science. Your positivist positions notwithstanding, I ask you: what is your response to the Kalam cosmological argument? If you are unfamiliar with this, I should say I am shocked. One who not only eschews a particular position but vehemently seeks its destruction should certainly be expected to be familiar with it."

Kelly says...

I have no belief, but anyway...I have answered all the questions that pertain to the necessity of belief in a god that I have encountered to my satisfaction. Does that mean I know everything or think that I do? No. That is patently ridiculous. Nevertheless, one is forced to make a decision based on the evidence that one has at the time, and if one is honest, one will remain open to new evidence as it appears.


The Kalaam cosmological argument is just a sophisticated reworking of parts of Aquinas' cosmological argument. It is practically the same, just clothed in jargon and terminology designed to impress people who don't know better. His whole impossibility of an actual infinity is the best thing he has going, but that is not from a mathematical standpoint--it is solely because we have trouble wrapping our minds around that concept.


BTW, you can save the arrogance for somebody else. The first rebuttal I ever wrote was 4 years ago in response to my former pastor and largely dealing with that argument. I wrote about ten pages on it.

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"I do agree with the RRS position...I should clarify: I simply do not agree with the adolescent and laughable methods which - you should and most likely do know - are completely and rightfully ignored in academic circles. No self-respecting scientist (who at best can provide explanations and descriptions) would ever pretend to the position of prescriptive moral arguments (I suppose you've solved Hume's is-ought problem as well?)."

Kelly says...

We don't need to convince those in academia--they already know. We are aiming for a different target. The fact that we are the number one atheist website in the world seems to indicate that we've hit it.
Also, point me to one instance of me personally employing the naturalistic fallacy or using a prescriptive moral argument.

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"If you and your ilk can maturely and intrepidly accept a mutually beneficial, constructive, and - yes, even necessary - discourse, I invite you cordially to attend several online discussions on the existence of God, the role of religion, and the issue of Islam. Be warned: we are not simple Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort types."

Kelly says...

I have no time, nor the desire, to do so. You have not fooled me into believing that you are an atheist, or even close to one, so your attempt at subterfuge has failed.


Just FYI--I find Islam to be a disgusting barbaric religion that is ATM an even bigger threat than christianity.

Josh Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"If you accept our challenge (re: if your positions are developed, defensible, and justified) then I expect your rational (toss in mature as well) response. If not, then I am sorry to say I am not the least bit surprised. Dawkins et al have misrepresented doxastic beliefs concerning religion as merely the outmoded and irrational trademark of the uncritical and credulous masses. Pity that intellectualism (I am being quite generous with the term) of today has become alienated from its better half - integrity."

Kelly says...

I am not a participant in your pedantic nonsense peppered with rhetoric, therefore I will neither be participating or forfeiting. You can take your proposition, complete with its condescending and self-aggrandizing nonsense to somebody else. Perhaps they have nothing better to do.

Kelly

NOTICE: This communication may not be reprinted unless in its entirety.
Creative Commons License Non-Commercial Non-derivative Attribution

 

HERE'S MY BRIEF RESPONSE...

Through the last two years I have grown numb to theistic argument with people who I know to be dishonest and seem to embrace the character of the conman. I will take public debates from conmen, like Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron because they are very visible. The name Joshua Ryan Dellinger doesn't come to mind when I think of conmen worthy of wasting time on. At this point, our radio show has not held a recorded interview since September of '07. None have been recorded with atheists or theists, and this is due to a sound problem we can't seem to resolve.

We've been too busy on other areas of importance to even focus on it, so put that in your pipe and smoke it a bit when you go slander our name and tell others we refused to debate you. As for this refusal... to be honest, if we had recording capability we may have accepted, Kelly loves ripping the heads off of people like you... me personally I'm tired of your ilk. The dishonesty, arrogance, and ignorance seethes off of your post. The holier than thou attitude, the whining about the rules you think we break on our forum as you systematically break almost all of them. (sock-puppet on an anonymous name, not debating the points merely launcing an attack to debate points, trolling, bullying (blackmailer!), and the slander/libel is bound to come if you haven't already crossed that line. I'd rather know nothing about you until we get on the phone, and find out who you are in real time... if I knew ahead of time (and in this case, I do) I would want to cancel you in my area and anywhere in my vicinity.

At this point for me personally, I am interested in talking to theists I know nothing about, or at least don't dislike yet. (I know too much about you already, that I already want to spit on your face, and I don't like that feeling, nor do I seek to purposefully subject myself to it). Or I like speaking to people who seem to have a modicum of personal honesty, the type of person that can say "hey, you're right about that."

Those theists are hard to come by, but the conversations are more enjoyable, I don't feel like smashing my face into a brick when they're over, and there's a chance I might actually smile. When the show is back to recording interviews, I will continue to seek those people out. Don't worry though, don't burn your bridge, and count yourself out... Rook and Kelly love picking on know it alls who don't know it all. You have a chance with them, calling me out (on your crimes) will only make me give them a weird look when they ask me to book you. The blackmail/ultimatum will only make Rook and Kelly want to smash your face with a brick, so flip the attitude, and maybe you'll have a chance, twerp.

 

 

 

HERE ARE THE COMMENTS JOSHUA RYAN DELLINGER MADE IN OTHER THREADS NOT PERTAINING TO THIS.

THIS IS NOW THE THREAD THAT JOSHUA RYAN DELLINGER CAN COMMENT IN WITHOUT REGISTERING FOR AN ACCOUNT. THEY REMAIN UNCHALLENGED FOR OUR MEMBERS TO LAUGH AT (or respond to) IN ALL THEIR GLORY. I've put my thoughts [in red].

 

This comment left in a thread about our appearance on Tombcast Podcast:

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:

Brian,

I understand that you do not debate within e-mail correspondence. I also understand that
1. Slander/Libel [You bordered on this- yet your post is on display and you're allowed to post again]
2. Clear intent to not argue a position, but to merely attack a person [You bordered on this- yet your post is on display and you're allowed to post again]
3. Trolling [You did this- yet your post is on display and you're allowed to post again]
4. Abuse [You did this- yet your post is on display and you're allowed to post again]
5. Bullying [You did this- yet your post is on display and you're allowed to post again]

[you also posted twice under two different names:sockpuppet against rules]
are categorically disallowed. I am attempting to inquire, then, in exactly what form you will allow an official debate between you, other colleagues of your choosing, myself, and one friend. I have written many times to no avail, and am beginning to wonder if the RRS is actually capable of responding to those who have more to do than merely stroke your egos. This is no vicious attack - this is a serious challenge.

Sincerely (again),

Joshua Ryan Dellinger

P.S. Additionally, let me add that I believe the RRS to be guilty of every last practice they forbid. Such tyranny should not be. PLEASE NOTE that I am not baiting you - I am simply supplying criticism (mild at that) and one again inviting you, as a worthy opponent, to a more challenging debate. I am no teenager nor philosophical freshman.[You're only four years older than a philosophical freshman fwiw, but that has absolutely nothing to do with why you've turned us off so much, you do act like a child. But so do many Pastors.] Please accept and retain your honor. [Dipshit, a debate with you is not what retains our honor, now how bout proving you're worth any honor at all, and start posting in our atheist vs theist section, within the rules?

Let's assume for a minute that we do break all of the above rules. You realize that there are dozens of others who also break all of those rules? That to be hypocrites we'd have to ban the others but leave ourselves? Since Kelly, Rook, Hamby, and I have taken more control over who gets banned only one person has been banned. One person, spamming off topic views named Euthymius was recently banned, and that's the only one I know of in a month or so. He was previously banned under a different name, a major no-no.

 

This comment left in a thread about my suit with Uri Geller:

 

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
Submitted by Is This One Free? (not verified) on February 17, 2008 - 6:59pm.

Dear "Sapient"

Arrogant? Most assuredly. "Wise"? Perhaps "sophomoric" is more apt. But lest I dip into the "anals" (your word for annals, I believe? Please don't try to pass it off as a witty intention) of all ad hominems, and thus reduce myself to the RRS level, I would like to formally apprise you of both my identity and my offer.

I have written several times to both you and Kelly. Each time I have congenially extended a challenge to you and her. This would consist in a mannerly and mature debate on the existence of God[start acting mature, and then I might believe that] (proofs for the necessary existence of a creator being), the role of religion in society today, and other topics which we may or may not address given your consent and preferences.

I am well aware of the practices and methodologies of the RRS. [But not well aware enough to know that we haven't recorded a show for 5 months, and mention it in almost every webcam appearance we make. You also aren't familiar enough to know that the proper way to attain this debate would be to take it to our community and provide such good argumentation that our community would force us to have you on our show or face their own wrath/suspicions.] They include not only genetic fallacies, misattribution of causality, cum hoc ergo propter hoc, ad hominems, ad populums, appeals to authority (and even a few argumentum ad baculi), and a dozen other faulty and ignoble acts. [for the record... comedy isn't a logical fallacy. Jon Stewart is not ad hom-ing Bush. Our ridicule and humor at your imaginary friend's expense doesn't = fallacy] I agree with your critics who claim that you are "philosophical dilettantes". I have witnessed nothing worth commendation nor even toleration[Mindcore: your turn] , yet I have tallied a grand litany of offenses.

You should know that I am not a religious person[right, you're a "Christian" we've heard that one before]. I agree that religion is, overall, deleterious in effect. However, I am most certainly a principles debater who will not stoop to the contemptible methods that you and your associates seem to espouse. Therefore recognize, if you will, that I am not merely some "religious quack"[you're right, I'd say you're about par for the course. Falwell and Phelps, those are quacks. You're more of the typical "I know I'm right, and everyone else is being rude and using logical fallacies" type.] seeking your destruction, but rather a concerned logician who is appalled by the rank poorness of your arguments. [a logician who claims to be well aware of how we work yet hasn't the slightest clue that we aren't recording shows right now and haven't for 5 months.... some logician]

You, Dawkins, et al have made theistic beliefs the province of fools, backwards bumpkins, and the undereducated. This shameful misrepresentation is a foul vice on your part, and worthy of nothing but execration. Should you accept an actual challenge - that is - a debate with others who are not only your equals [there isn't a theist in the world that enters the scale of equal to us in the logic category, sorry]but quite possibly your logical superiors, perhaps you may earn something of a position of respect. As of yet, you have only earned laughable scorn.

I do, therefore, officially invite you (once again) to a constructive debate to be held between your crowd (specifically, you and whomever you choose) and my own. I think you'll find that we are not easy victories such as Ray Comfort and a handful of laypersons. We are, rather, philosophy students of diligent study, and just the sort to dispatch your pitifully irrational positions. [You're invited to have that debate on our Atheist Vs. Theist forum, but I won't be holding your hand like I am now.]

You should know that RRS is not the venerable social liberator you may hold it to be, but is rather scoffed at and derided (and the butt of several jokes within intellectual circles) by those actually disciplined in logic and argumentation.[Let's hear who they are and what their arguments are, ad hom, I mean Joshua Ryan Dillinger] You are not philosophers, mind you, nor admirable positivists. You are sophists, pseudo-intellectual bullies, and self-glorifying, swaggering blowhards.

Please do accept the challenge. I am documenting every last letter I send (one daily until you either formally decline for legitimate reasons - i.e., you're scared - or until we have secured an agreement) and will continue to post public exposes of your lack of fortitude. I consider your lack of response (and complete lack of rationality) to be one of the more blatant though still mildly entertaining ironies your organization has provided me.[emphasis on blackmail paragraph is mine]

Sincerely,

Joshua Ryan Dellinger

P.S. If you do in fact wish to condemn amenable adolescents' souls to immortal hellfire or, alternatively, instantly liberate their consciousnesses for the rest of their physical persistence, you might first do a little research into exactly what "blasphemy" consists of. Here, I'll spare you the effort:[Thanks Pastor]

Jesus mentions a sin that is unforgivable in Matt. 12:31-32 and calls it blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But what exactly is this unforgivable sin? For that, we need to look at the context.

Matt. 12:22-32 says, "Then there was brought to Him a demon-possessed man who was blind and dumb, and He healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. 23And all the multitudes were amazed, and began to say, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" 24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons." 25And knowing their thoughts He said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand. 26"And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? 27"And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Consequently they shall be your judges. 28"But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29"Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. 31"Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32"And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come," (All Scripture quotes are from the NASB).

Let me review this section briefly. In verse 22, Jesus healed a blind and dumb man. The Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of "Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons" (v. 24). Jesus responds by saying that a kingdom divided will fall (vv. 25-28) and how the devil must first be bound before you can plunder his house (v. 29). In verses 31-32, He states that blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come.
By simply looking at the context it becomes apparent that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is saying that Jesus did His miracles by the power of the devil. This is unforgivable. But why? We can find a clue by looking at when Jesus began His ministry.


Jesus stated that His baptism was to "fulfill all righteousness," (Matt. 3:15). The word "fulfill" should cause us to think of the Old Testament. Basically, Jesus was baptized because He had to fulfill the Old Testament requirements for entering into the priesthood. He was a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4; Heb. 5:8-10; 6:20). Priests offered sacrifice to God on behalf of the people. Jesus became a sacrifice for our sin (1 Pet. 2:21; 2 Cor. 5:21) in His role as priest. According to the Old Testament, in order for a priest to be consecrated as a priest, He had to be washed with water (Lev. 8:6; Exodus 29:4, Matt. 3:15) and anointed with oil (Lev. 8:12; Exodus 29:7; Matt. 3:16). Both of these were bestowed upon Jesus at His baptism. Additionally, He may have needed to be 30 years old - (Num. 4:3).


The oil is representative of the Holy Spirit who descended upon Jesus at His baptism (Matt. 3:16). It was after His baptism that He began His ministry and started performing miracles. He did His miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit who had come upon Him at His baptism. The Pharisees - who knew that Jesus' miracles validated His words and ministry (see John 11:45-48) - were attempting to discredit Jesus' Messiahship by saying that His works were by the devil and not by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan, they were blaspheming the Holy Spirit by whom Jesus performed His miracles. This is unforgivable because it struck at the very heart of the redemptive work of God in Christ. It struck at the very nature of Jesus’ ministry of redemption, testimony, and teaching. Jesus was ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit Himself, fulfilling the divine plan of God to provide a sacrifice for our sins (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10). The Pharisees were attributing this to demonic activity. This is a great blasphemy.

As for your very typical Christian attack on the Blasphemy Challenge... how ironic considering you did one of those typical dishonest Christian tactics of pretending to be on our side. As if we're fucking morons and are going to change everything about who we are because some Christian infiltrates, tells us to be nice to Christians, and pretends to be on our side the whole time. We're not idiots Joshua, find an idiot to debate, seems more your size.

Here was your quote ""I do agree with the RRS position...I should clarify: I simply do not agree with the adolescent and laughable methods which - you should and most likely do know - are completely and rightfully ignored in academic circles."

Agree with the RRS position, yet have picked apart the bible exactly as a Pastor would? Interesting.

Here is a response video on that issue for you to pray on, I mean think on... I mean prey on.

 


Mr. Atheist (not verified)
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I'd just like to

I'd just like to congratulate Brian on winning an award.  It is not an easy one, but it is one that deserves respect.

Brian wins the "DeludedGod Look Alike Award!" which is awarded arbitrarily when wayyy too much text is dedicated to a common troll. 

Congratulations Brian!

Eye-wink 


Ecce Homo (not verified)
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Still silly

Well, this is just ludicrous. I don't have time to completely address all the hogwash contained herein, but let me address a couple issues very rapidly.

First, the issue of hermeneutics concerning biblical texts:
1) Knowing what the greater narrative of the bible actually is does not - I repeat, NOT make me a theist. It simply means I fully comprehend what it is that I am rejecting. I'm sorry if you've confused this issue, but it's simply not my task to show you where you are in error. "Picking apart" the particular passage I have selected should here be understood as ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT. No piety need be involved...just logic.

2) The inerminable straw men are really starting to bug me. I am no theist, nor creationist (you conlate the two...very amusing), nor Christian, nor any of your other detested adversaries. I am simply someone who cannot stand browbeating, pretentious charlatans.

3) Representing a position does not necessarily entail accepting it, so if I challenge you with a particular "theistic" argument, all you really have to do is worry about refuting it -- not deciphering my supposed religious beliefs. Honestly, do you people even understand how argumentation works?

4) There are many problems concerning the existence of a creator being. Design is the weakest form of proof, as we all know. Theodicy is, in my opinion, the strongest, with cosmology a close second. If you wish to address COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS, then please do so. If you cannot, then you have no right to your positions, as you have not successfully refuted all counterpositions.

5) I'm not impressed (nor should anyone be) by your predictably poor treatment of serious debate. If you can address this issue maturely, then we can of course continue, but - again - only if you can STOP asserting that I am in fact a creationist, STOP slandering me on your forums, STOP cowering from the actual arguments I have supplied (Kalam, etc.) and STOP pretending to have vitiated my position or discredited my right to argue by - again - unrightfully claiming I am in fact a creationist.

Joshua Himself.

P.S. By the bye, you might enjoy a quick read on the genetic fallacy. Even if...I'm sorry...let me put that in all caps and in bold red letters so that I can be in line with the RRS protocol and INSTANTLY WIN the argument before it begins...(okay maybe just bold-faced) EVEN IF I WERE A THEIST, WHICH I AM NOT, THIS DOES NOT INVALIDATE ALL MY CLAIMS, ARGUMENTS, POSITIONS, ETC. THIS IS A FALLACY AND YOU ARE ALL GUILTY OF POOR LOGIC. DEBATE THE INFINITE REGRESS OF CAUSALITY OR DELETE THIS THREAD. HONESTLY, YOU ONLY LOOK LIKE FRUSTRATED CHILDREN.

There...unlike you, I don't enjoy resorting to such measures. Anyways, debate the topic at hand or this should not continue. To the Kalam cosmological argument, then, if you could.


Sapient
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Ecce Homo wrote: 1)

Ecce Homo wrote:

1) Knowing what the greater narrative of the bible actually is does not - I repeat, NOT make me a theist. It simply means I fully comprehend what it is that I am rejecting.

Duh. Between Kelly, Rook, and I we've read it over 7 times. We're not theists. I thought you said you were very familiar with us? The problem is, you don't fully understand it. You understand it as it would be presented by a Theologian with a propensity to excuse the flaws in the bible. At least in the example you gave.

 

Quote:
It simply means I fully comprehend what it is that I am rejecting. I'm sorry if you've confused this issue, but it's simply not my task to show you where you are in error. "Picking apart" the particular passage I have selected should here be understood as ACTUALLY UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT. No piety need be involved...just logic.

Feel free to use some logic on the video response we posted.

 

Quote:
2) The inerminable straw men are really starting to bug me. I am no theist, nor creationist (you conlate the two...very amusing), nor Christian, nor any of your other detested adversaries. I am simply someone who cannot stand browbeating, pretentious charlatans.

You act like a Christian pawn. If you don't want to be suspected of being a dishonest Christian who refuses to admit he is Christian (over 40 have done that to us in the last two years) then you should probably not defend the bible to the letter exactly like Jerry Falwell would.

 

Quote:
3) Representing a position does not necessarily entail accepting it, so if I challenge you with a particular "theistic" argument, all you really have to do is worry about refuting it -- not deciphering my supposed religious beliefs. Honestly, do you people even understand how argumentation works?

Do you understand how honesty works? We don't like, enjoy, or spend time refuting arguments with people who don't even accept their own arguments.

 

Quote:
4) There are many problems concerning the existence of a creator being. Design is the weakest form of proof, as we all know. Theodicy is, in my opinion, the strongest, with cosmology a close second. If you wish to address COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS, then please do so. If you cannot, then you have no right to your positions, as you have not successfully refuted all counterpositions.

Ok, so you want us to refute arguments you don't actually believe? How about you save us the time and google this site, we've covered all the arguments you mention. Also look for posts from "Todangst" on the issue.

 

Quote:
5) I'm not impressed (nor should anyone be) by your predictably poor treatment of serious debate.

You didn't give us good reason to engage in "serious debate." You acted like a snot nosed brat in your early responses, go fuck yourself.

 

Quote:
If you can address this issue maturely, then we can of course continue, but - again - only if you can STOP asserting that I am in fact a creationist, STOP slandering me on your forums, STOP cowering from the actual arguments I have supplied (Kalam, etc.) and STOP pretending to have vitiated my position or discredited my right to argue by - again - unrightfully claiming I am in fact a creationist.

So you're not a creationist yet you want us to refute the Kalam cosmological argument that you don't believe in? You see how that's a waste of time for us? There are plenty of people who do believe it, and we spend our time with them.

 

 

Quote:
P.S. By the bye, you might enjoy a quick read on the genetic fallacy.

I know the genetic fallacy, you might enjoy looking up what a strawman argument is which you present here....

Quote:
EVEN IF I WERE A THEIST, WHICH I AM NOT, THIS DOES NOT INVALIDATE ALL MY CLAIMS, ARGUMENTS, POSITIONS, ETC. THIS IS A FALLACY AND YOU ARE ALL GUILTY OF POOR LOGIC. DEBATE THE INFINITE REGRESS OF CAUSALITY OR DELETE THIS THREAD. HONESTLY, YOU ONLY LOOK LIKE FRUSTRATED CHILDREN.

Nobody said it invalidated your arguments, but it did shove you to the back of the "please talk to me" line.

 

Quote:
There...unlike you, I don't enjoy resorting to such measures.

Right because the ultimatum, borderline threats, and essentially admission that you would stalk us if we didn't talk to you was a real logical and mature measure. Did I tell you to go fuck yourself, yet?

 

Quote:
Anyways, debate the topic at hand or this should not continue. To the Kalam cosmological argument, then, if you could.

It shouldn't continue.

Here is one of my partners refuting Kalam.

 

- Brian Sapient


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teddyvamp (not verified)
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Once again...

Well it's nice to see SOMEONE responded to the argument. Not you, of course. But here's the rest:

1) It is solely incomprehensible and decidedly anti-rational to claim that, because you don't believe in a position, you don't have to "waste time" on the arguments for it. By your logic, I shouldn't spend time looking at evolution because I "don't believe in it". (I do, actually...please don't get confused here). Don't you spend your free and possibly professional time presenting arguments from positions antithetical to your opponents? By the "rationality" you hold, this is futile, since no one has to listen to sides they don't believe.

Here's the point, which you already know, but conveniently avoid following when it suits your agenda: you hold beliefs (hopefully) exactly because you have investigated BOTH SIDES of an argument, not because you happen to believe one already. It is mere abject complacence to believe you never have to listen to an opposing argument.

2) If that is a "refuation" of the Kalam argument then I'm a member of the RRS. Are you kidding me? So let me get this straight...an infinite regress is posed. Oh wait, no, that's impossible, as Kelly has already agreed. So instead we have what, exactly? Causal chains understood antichronologically ultimately initiate with...ummm...got any answers, here? Proposing that a creator needs a creator entirely misunderstands the notion of a "first cause". Misunderstanding an argument does not exactly refute it, does it? Perhaps you might advance that Kant has sufficiently demonstrated that the conditioned (causal chain) is the inquiry of the understanding, and the unconditioned (first cause) is the inquiry of the reason. In this antinomic instance, reason deduces what the understanding cannot grasp. Now, then, does that mean that what reason posits cannot exist? No, not at all. It simply becomes beyond inquiry. Advancing the quotidian and infirm observation that a creator additionally requires a creator is a permissible and necessary DEDUCTION, not a REFUTATION, for only another infinite regress is created, and the proposed solution will be simply the same again. Dawkins, you, et al do not understand the argument, and this is why most theologians and philosophers don't really bother trying to explain it to such parties. I, however, don't mind.

Let me ask you: how do you solve the problem of an infinite causal regress? Positing a new infinite regress does not solve the problem, it merely avoids it. That's fine - just the RRS style, I suppose. So, seriously, and for the last time: address the infinite regress of causality implied by modern physics, NOT the new problems generated through positing a creator being.

3) Why don't you, Brian, try to critique the argument? I am, after all, in discourse with you, not your friends. You don't see me pulling my friends out of the woodwork to assist me, do you? Given that you have set the precedent, however, I will now do so. By the way, it's okay if you have to resort to assistance. I don't think any less of you.

4) Positing a creator being does not mean that one has in fact implied "god". As Hume notes, one can only imply a being sufficient for the task required. Descartes got it wrong, and so do most theologians. One cannot additionally prove that any creator being is anymore YHVH than Krishna or whoever the creator being of the Yanomamo may be. I suppose at this point I should point out that, once again!, I am no theist. Asserting that I am is only childish, fruitless, and completely irrational. Stomp your feet all you want - it is another atheist taking you to task for your poor, poor logic and knowledge of the counterpositions.

5) I know what a straw man fallacy is, Brian. If you'll reread my note, I accused you of it. The difference is, you actually committed one, while I did not. Amidst your other red herrings, you claim that I am in fact a creationist, and then post a video about people living in denial of that. But I am no creationist. I know this is hard for you to believe. I'm sorry.

6) I don't suppose I have been anymore threatening than your menacing attacks on those who you perceive your enemies. I dare, you - absolutely dare you - to submit this entire discourse to any logician and have them objectively assess who has been responsible for the fallacies here. I have not once provided an actual straw man (there are a million other fallacies, by the way...RRS has only ever accused people of this one, though. If you want a real taste of irony...or, more accurately, absurdity...you might note that by alleging a person has provided a straw man when they haven't and thus ignoring their supposedly invalid/fallacious argument is a...guess what!...straw man fallacy. I have never misrepresented your position, have I? I maintain that you are atheists who deny the supernatural and are resigned to physics alone. Read back over this, if you dare. Have I ever claimed otherwise? Not once. Have you, however, distorted, mandated, and manipulated my claims? You even imposed YOUR SPECULATION OF MY DOXASTIC STATE on me! Have I resorted to anything as silly, absurd, and consummately ridiculous as saying "you know, I think this guy Brian is really just a creationist as well...I think I'll just respond by ridiculing cryptocreationists" (you can use the coinage, I don't mind...). No, I don't have to resort to that.

In closing, the Kalam argument has not been refuted (and this is just ONE of the many arguments you must, as a theist, deal with), as the argument which was claimed to do so sufficiently is in fact illegitimate. You have once again personally failed to address any of my critiques, instead being only capable of perceiving and accusing fallacies where their are none (and not even alleging the correct ones, at that) and ignoring the fact of your own. Once again, I am not surprised, but I do once again dare you to submit this to your pal Dennett. That he and any other professional philosopher, who have nothing but my deepest respect, elect to maintain even the faintest association with you would surely terminate. Philosophers have a way of shunning children and fools.

Favorite quote so far: "Do you understand how honesty works? We don't like, enjoy, or spend time refuting arguments with people who don't even accept their own arguments." - Brian "Sapient"

--Seriously, seriously...show me the argumentation principle that upholds this. Your complete lack of proper and satisfactory logic is not only appalling, but incomprehensible. I do not have to actually believe an argument to pose it, as Aristotle noted over two thousand years ago, but you do have to provide a refutation in order to reject it. You don't just get to believe whatever you want. All beliefs face the tribunal of proof and, failing that (as in the case of free will, not your problem if you're an epiphenomenalist, though), critique and cogent argument. I've reviewed the so-called "refutations" of cosmological arguments on this site. None, not one, is up to snuff. Review your Aquinas, Hume, Kant, Craig, Smith, and a dozen others before believing that a slapdash pastiche of purported refutations suffices. Also, try to defend your position yourself, instead of relying on others.

Second favorite quote: "You act like a Christian pawn. If you don't want to be suspected of being a dishonest Christian who refuses to admit he is Christian (over 40 have done that to us in the last two years) then you should probably not defend the bible to the letter exactly like Jerry Falwell would." Brian "Sapient"

--Hmmm...this is maddening, really. So now understanding a specific passage in a book implies necessarily that I defend it? Brian, this is just shit. Sorry to resort to such language, but come on, man...this is just absolutely deficient of all logic. Look - I happen to understand the Christian concept of blasphemy. I also understand the Hindu concept of karma and vipaka, and of reincarnation. Do you know what reincarnation is, Brian? Can you read a Buddhist text and correct someone if they misunderstand it? Sure, I think you could. Does that mean you actually believe it? No, not in the least. Just because I understand something you apparently do not does not mean that I believe in it.

You're anything but rational. This has been sufficiently proven and I will be submitting this discourse with a link to this website for review in an upcoming journal. I think we'll call it "the abuse and rape of logic". I'll forward you a copy. On me.

Sincerely,

Joshua Ryan Dellinger. (I get your name right, at least extend the same attention and courtesy).

P.S. I will add that in the beginning I had some respect for what you and your crew were doing. This was after watching the televised special and before viewing the website. I thought you and Kelly were both well-spoken, brought up valid points, and were doing a great service by seeking to debunk the fallacious logic of some religious types. However, my reason for rejecting religion is that I find it immoral and cruel (a la Nietzsche) and find it a hindrance to morality (my reading of Kant's Religion Withing the Limits of Reason Alone...you might pick it up, great read, very effective position). This is how I stumbled upon your site. I didn't like that, like Dawkins, you and Kelly only confronted easy adversaries and ultimately appeared as only intellectual bullies. Look - arguing with Ray Comfort's soda can analogy is very, very facile. Arguing against the more luminous and equipped minds (not me, but others whom I would like to supply) is not so easy and requires that a person recognize their tenuous grasp of what they so doggedly support. It is a philosophical principle of modesty that one always permit the possibility that they are wrong and entertain notions to the contrary of their position. Obviously, you and Kelly are not philosophers nor decent arguers. It's sad, and even though I do agree that religion should be eliminated (and I will not bother with asserting again that this is in fact my true position...you have snooped into my UNCC career and found that I openly protested an anti-homosexuality demonstration by the UNCCGOP...why would a Christian "stone the homosexuals" do that? They wouldn't...I did, because I'm NOT Christian) I cannot countenance the eradicating force of something foul and irrational by something equally foul and irrational. I do implore you, however, to have this debate reviewed by objective sources. I entreat you, please, for the good of your cause which is my own, to rectify your errors and acquire stronger argumentation skills and material. Thanks for this.


Mr. Atheist (not verified)
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Joshua, This isn't

Joshua,

This isn't highschool debate club.  Debating something for the sake of debating it with someone who doesn't care about the end result of the debate other than, I guess, want to somehow claim victory is kind of pointless.

If you'd like to have serious conversation and debate about topics I think you'd find a much better response and participation by actually creating an account and posting on the forums your ideas and responding to peoples responses.

I don't see the advantage you gain out of wanting to debate Brian specifically on such matters other than perhaps trying to get your face and name out there? Perhaps it's attention you're seeking?  I'm having a hard time justifying your approach to any other reason. 


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  Quote: Well it's nice

 

Quote:
Well it's nice to see SOMEONE responded to the argument. Not you, of course.

Of course, because I wouldn't ever respond to arguments, duh.

 

I only have time for the gaping holes right now...

 

Quote:
It is solely incomprehensible and decidedly anti-rational to claim that, because you don't believe in a position, you don't have to "waste time" on the arguments for it. By your logic, I shouldn't spend time looking at evolution because I "don't believe in it".

Another strawman. I never stated the opinion of the first sentence, you knocked it down with the straw you built in the second sentence.

 

Quote:
Don't you spend your free and possibly professional time presenting arguments from positions antithetical to your opponents? By the "rationality" you hold, this is futile, since no one has to listen to sides they don't believe.

Again this is something I didn't say. I choose my words carefully, focus on them, not your perceived view of what they mean.

 

Quote:
It is mere abject complacence to believe you never have to listen to an opposing argument.

I know, so don't pretend I said otherwise.

As for the Kalam argument, I think it's only fair and proper I have Shaun respond. He holds a masters in philosophy, he wrote the paper, and he may be more willing to actually discuss it with you, as I already said, I am not. I'm simply posting to show how poor your comprehension and logic are... or maybe it's dishonesty.

On to more mischaracterizations, fallacies, and flaws....

 

Quote:
You don't see me pulling my friends out of the woodwork to assist me, do you?

Maybe you've forgotten what you wrote in your first email...

"I invite you cordially to attend several online discussions on the existence of God, the role of religion, and the issue of Islam. Be warned: we are not simple Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort types. If you accept our challenge..."

 

Quote:
Given that you have set the precedent, however, I will now do so.

I didn't set any precedent that I can recall. Where exactly did I invite my friends to help me out here? I will be sending Shaun a note to visit this thread but that's now... now that you've said the precedent has been set.

 

Quote:
By the way, it's okay if you have to resort to assistance. I don't think any less of you.

Good because obviously I don't know everything and secondly I don't have time to deal with everyone. The only reason I am dealing with you is because you were so threatening you deserved to be outed as a dick who thinks he knows his shit. Basically I'm just here to show people you are an intellectually weak hypocrite.

 

Quote:
I suppose at this point I should point out that, once again!, I am no theist.

I'll give you credit for looking less theist by the post. You're still a pawn of theism though.

 

Quote:
Asserting that I am is only childish, fruitless, and completely irrational.

I believe I may have actually reffered to you as a theist in my notes in brackets for brevity. Most of that was more to the humor end, in my opening statement you'll notice I present the notion of you being Christian followed by a question mark. Furthermore based on past experience the logical thing to do is to be extremely skeptical of people like you, including presenting the notion that you may possibly be a theist.

The question remains, why do you need RRS to refute Kalam when you yourself don't accept Kalam as valid? Your bitchy diatribe about not needing to hold a position to debate it is obvious. You can duck the argument all you wan the fact remains we choose to have these arguments with people that actually believe the shit they're saying. It's our personal preference not a philosophical concept.

 

Quote:
Stomp your feet all you want - it is another atheist taking you to task for your poor, poor logic and knowledge of the counterpositions.

If you think we're stomping our feet you are very far from reality on this. We're laughing at you, not stomping feet. You've been the butt of no less than 10 jokes in the RRS house already.

 

Quote:
I know what a straw man fallacy is, Brian. If you'll reread my note, I accused you of it. The difference is, you actually committed one, while I did not.

Funny how I've showed you at least two of yours yet you haven't shown me mine. Where is it?

 

Quote:
Amidst your other red herrings, you claim that I am in fact a creationist

No, I never claimed it in fact... I suspected it and joked at least once about it in a bracketed comment without clarifiying for the purposes of brevity and humor.

 

Quote:
and then post a video about people living in denial of that. But I am no creationist.

Your argument was a carbon copy of a creationist defending the bible seeking a way to make it impossible for people today to commit the unforgivable sin. The video shows those people why they are wrong. In this case it didn't matter whether you were a Christian or not, the video was made for people who use the argument you used. The video is not only relevant, it exposes the flaws in your knowledge of the bible.

 

Quote:
I know this is hard for you to believe. I'm sorry.

No it's not hard for me to believe. It's also not hard for me to believe you would "know" something to be true, but actually it's bullshit.

 

Quote:
6) I don't suppose I have been anymore threatening than your menacing attacks on those who you perceive your enemies.

Well you did have the threats of stalking included in your opening email. Only a very small percentage of people who contact us actually have the audacity to throw shit like that up in the air.

 

Quote:
I dare, you - absolutely dare you - to submit this entire discourse to any logician and have them objectively assess who has been responsible for the fallacies here.

What are we five now? There are tons of logicians on this site, they're welcome to respond. I would suspect that before they respond they'll recognize that if you don't come out on top in the assesment you're gonna bitch about it, this might deter them from wasting the time. I can send it to a few people to, but to call in a favor for a pipsqueek like you will just make me look bad. They deserve better from me when I request favors.

 

Quote:
I have not once provided an actual straw man

I pointed out at least one more at the beginning of this post.

 

Quote:
I have never misrepresented your position, have I?

Quite a few times.

 

 

Quote:
I maintain that you are atheists who deny the supernatural and are resigned to physics alone. Read back over this, if you dare. Have I ever claimed otherwise? Not once.

This is funny, the audience needs to read the previous sentence to see the flow here. You say you didn't misinterpret our position, then go on to state what you've always said our position one, then threaten me to read it again (read it twice now), then ask yourself if you've ever claimed differently. Then you answer your own question.

The problem here is that you are inferring (extremely moronically) that "you are atheists who deny the supernatural and are resigned to physics alone" is the entirety of your argument. It's not. You've mscharacterized and bastardized quite a bit of what I said... read above. Read it again, then read it again, I dare you, double dog dare you with cherries oin top to read it then submit it to a peer reviewed journal, then read it again, and if you don't I'm gonna send you this in an email every day for the rest of your life.

Disclaimer: I'm not actually insane, merely trying to do an impression.

 

Quote:
Have you, however, distorted, mandated, and manipulated my claims?

I'm not sure, you haven't presented anything to me to prove I have, I'm gonna go with "no" for now, and wait for someone to show me where I did so.

 

Quote:
You even imposed YOUR SPECULATION OF MY DOXASTIC STATE on me!

OH NO! I speculated based on past experience that you might be a Christian! OH MY GODS!! FALLACY ALERT!~ not

 

Quote:
Have I resorted to anything as silly, absurd, and consummately ridiculous as saying "you know, I think this guy Brian is really just a creationist as well...I think I'll just respond by ridiculing cryptocreationists" (you can use the coinage, I don't mind...). No, I don't have to resort to that.

C'mon that woulda been too easy. At least in your con game you pick lies that almost appear to be true.

 

Quote:
In closing, the Kalam argument has not been refuted

So then why are you an atheist? Isn't it your philosophical duty to believe in a creator then?

 

Ahhh fuck it, I could go on, but that was enough time wasted.

 

- Brian Sapient


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Mr. Atheist wrote: I don't

Mr. Atheist wrote:

I don't see the advantage you gain out of wanting to debate Brian specifically on such matters other than perhaps trying to get your face and name out there? Perhaps it's attention you're seeking?

I'd think that's the nail meeting the head I sound.  Not many people have the balls to threaten us to respond or claim they'll stalk us until we do.  Attention seeker, and like I said... he won. 

- Brian Sapient


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I don't really care for the

I don't really care for the attention, no...but I only thought it fair since his face was up and his name that mine be as well. No need to hide, really. Also, my point in doing this is to provide a balanced view and temper the arrogance of RRS, Dawkins, et al who seem to have a personal vendetta rather than any rational, sedate purpose in eliminating religion. To claim, as RRS and Dawkins do, that theistic beliefs are undereducated, lazy, or simplistic/outmoded is simply ignorant, incorrect, and/or vicious. While not subscribing to these views I am providing, I do acknowledge that those who do are INTELLIGENT, RATIONAL, ASSIDUOUS individuals who have worked hard at their positions and are not the moronic braindead bumpkins RRS and Dawkins would have us to believe all theists are. I, again, am agnostic, which is not the same as an atheist. The former is epistemological, the latter metaphysical. Let's hear that one arrogant jerk refute that (the guy who says there is no difference between the two). Honestly, it seems like anyone who hates religion has a place here in conjunction with their arguments, no matter how fallacious, unconvincing, or vacuous they may be. All those (even fellow agnostics and atheists!) with critical or opposing views are panned as simple imbecilic theists who have no right to say anything at all, for everything that could issue is simply wrong. Nowhere has it ever been proposed or held true that because one has a single false believe, the rest of their believes are invalidated or immediately falsified. This is the position of the RRS as can be gleaned from everything they've said in response to my points, and it is not only illogical, but pitiful. Naturally, they might deny this is their position. Naturally, all one has to do is observe their language which homogenizes and generalizes all theists into the hick-types they'd like them to be. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and it's not as easy as they would have hoped to topple the steeples of theistic thought.

Secondly, I failed to notice the link to the actual refutation of Kalam the first time. Here are some initial responses to both Kelly and whoever wrote the "refutation", from my colleague:

On to the topic on the board. I read the article that supposedly knocked down Craig's cosmological argument. Let's just say there are much better critiques of it elsewhere.

1. The Kalam argument is not Aquinas's argument reformulated to take Hume into account. The Kalam argument actually originates with Saadia and al Ghazali. Saadia was a Jewish medieval philosopher. Al Ghazali was a medieval arab muslim philosopher.
2. Aquinas was aware of the Kalam and actually argued that it was invalid. Aquinas didn't believe that a *temporal beginning of the universe could be proven. Aquinas's cosmological argument actually assumes that the world could in fact have existed forever. The Kalam argues for a first cause of the first moment. Aquinas's argument argues from contingent beings to a necessary being (one does). Another argues from motion to an unmoved mover (thus being the basis for his doctrince of divine simplicity). With respect to the Kalam, Aquinas argued that the temporal beginning of the universe was something to be taken on faith.

Of course, 1 and 2 don't negate their argument. They do hint at how well RRS understands it though.

3. They address set theory, but handwave as to actual infinites existing. They appeal to Cantor to argue that actual infinite sets can exist, but don't seem to do much else. What they don't take into account, and this is crucial, is that the validity of set theory having *de re application (to the real world instead of the conceptual realm), you have to be committed to a platonic theory of numbers. If you are a formalist, conceptualist, or nominalist, then the existence of infinite sets in set theory have no validity beyond the formal/conceptual realm. If you are a platonist, then you have to deal with the metaphysical absurdities of hilbert's hotel, etc. They don't seem to address those. Their appeal to the fact that the issue of infinite sets in math doesn't salvage their critique of the kalam either, b/c they don't address the nature of numbers in the article.
4. You already pointed out, quite well, their remarks on 'what caused god.'
5. They try to address causality. They write that that a cause can cause itself to begin to exist is not analytically impossible. I'm not sure (I'll try to be charitable) if he realizes that the issue of a cause causing itself to be is not *synthetically impossible with a Humean epistemology. Unfortunately he was a bit sloppy in this section, so I'm not really sure how to respond to it.

In addition to my masked muse, let me also originally contribute:

1) That a causa sui exists de re does not depend on analyticity of any proposition remaining plausible. In fact, for such a being to exist, it should not be an analytic concern at all, but rather only a contingent (operating within Humean and Kantian models) and/or synthetic one. Analytically, it's not possible for many things which we observe in the empirical natural world. Ergo, the fact that a causa sui makes no sense analytically doesn't really matter so much. If he instead offers (charitable reading) that a causa sui is not synthetically/empirically possible, I should like to inquire as to how any such initial state of the cosmos would be characterized. If we do not believe in actual infinites (and we cannot, as Kelly has already agreed - not sure what the "official" RRS position might be) then Cantor is useless, and the absurdities generated are in fact pernicious to the argument.


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Check out this review from

Check out this review from MikayF who put this on stumble...

mikayf 1 0  discovered 32 hours ago
Kelly and Brian from the Rational Responders respond (out of exasperation) to a mewling, pathetic simpleton named Joshua Ryan Dellinger. Supposedly, this... person... considers himself irreligious, but behaves just like a xian trying to be sneaky. It's a great read. They both rip this pompous moron matching sets of new assholes - several, in fact.
 
Mr. Dellinger oozes ignorance from every pore, trumps up his own worth in the face of overwhelming proof that he has no idea what he's talking about, and throws out challenges to "debate" according to HIS rules. I hope that kid reads what they have to say. I REALLY hope he does. Maybe then he'll get a loan and try to do something about his intellectual bankruptcy.

 

- Brian Sapient


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Fuck it, nobody else is

Fuck it, nobody else is posting and this is just too fun. Like cowtipping....

 

 

teddyvamp wrote:
I don't really care for the attention, no...but I only thought it fair since his face was up and his name that mine be as well.

WTF r u tlking bout?

 

Quote:
Also, my point in doing this is to provide a balanced view and temper the arrogance of RRS

And yet you're only increasing our stridency. Go find 5 people who tried to do the same 3 years ago and ask them if we've become more tempered. If that's your mission, you're in a battle destined for failure.

 

Quote:
I do acknowledge that those who do are INTELLIGENT, RATIONAL, ASSIDUOUS individuals who have worked hard at their positions and are not the moronic braindead bumpkins RRS and Dawkins would have us to believe all theists are.

Hey king libel, check this out...

"We never said there are not intelligent people who believe in God, there clearly are." - Kelly on ABC (minute 11:27)

What were you saying again about being familiar with out arguments? Asshole.

 

Quote:
I, again, am agnostic, which is not the same as an atheist. The former is epistemological, the latter metaphysical.

Everyone is either an atheist or a theist, you either are a theist, or you are without theistic belief. So guess what that makes you!!!

And I can tell you're smart enough to know that agnosticism is epistemological and doesn't answer the question of belief.

This will help you understand what you just said.

 

Quote:
Nowhere has it ever been proposed or held true that because one has a single false believe, the rest of their believes are invalidated or immediately falsified. This is the position of the RRS as can be gleaned from everything they've said in response to my points....

STOP MISRESPENTING US YOU FRAUD.

That's not our position, you fucking idiot.

 

Quote:
Naturally, they might deny this is their position.

Oh how cute, you added a self fulfilling prophecy.


Ahhh, I'm bored with this already.

 

Is this the level of thought in our new philosophy graduates?  Is this just a south thing?  Someone please tell me Joshua Ryan Dellinger is a very limited sample of the new class of philosophers on the way.  If this is what we have to look forward to we are all fucking fucked.

 

- Brian Sapient


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2 more points for you

2 more points for you Joshua

The arguments themself are viewed as irrational, and the person is irrational for having the views.  This is not to suggest that they are irrational about everything.  That is just taking a statement and taking it to its extreme rather than it's obvious intent.

Further to that you say that you are not an atheist, but an agnostic and that they are not the same thing.

No one here suggests that agnostic and atheist are the same thing.  In fact, it is suggested here that not only are they not the same thing but that they address totally different topics.

You seem to be under the misconception that agnostic does mean theist or atheist, when in fact this is a very common misunderstanding of the word agnostic.  Agnostic is not addressing a belief in god, it is addressing the knowledge of god.  It should be noted that myself, as well as all the core members of the RRS, are what you would call agnostic atheists.  You could just as easily be a gnostic atheist, a gnostic theist, or an agnostic theist.

Here is a link you can read to hopefully gain a better understanding of the two terms: Am I Agnostic or Atheist?


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Okay, this is still silly,

Okay, this is still silly, and is no more an intellectual debate than any argument on youtube or 4chan. I suppose I should never have expected better.

I have copies of what I mailed you. I never implied nor expressed "stalking" you.

You can surcease the ad hominems. They don't make you any smarter or cooler. They are, however, getting ever more difficult to generate, so I'll leave you to it.

This other guy, the philosophy student, is the one I should actually debate, since you've already admitted he is the one who knows his cosmological arguments, not you. I think by that very fact alone you should not be able to claim atheistic positions. You have not earned them and your beliefs are no more the result of logical inquiry than any of the pietists you pity.

Ummm...show you a straw man? I'm pretty sure I already did, but if that's still a problem, I can only say you have overlooked my examples. First, you claimed that I was really a theist (see the heading of my eponymous thread). You claimed I was a Christian. You never once personally responded to my inquiry, which was the Kalam argument, but instead only brought up that only a theist would defend a passage in the bible (which you understood through my providing the proper interpretation of it). Defeating a theist is an easy task, a bible-defender even easier, which is what you attempted. But I am neither, mind you. So straw men 1, 2, 3, and 4. Is that better?

Personally, you've erected your own little shit kingdom here where you get to be the autocrat. It's sad, really, given that you are not even capable of defending your own position, but instead must leech perforce off of those capable. Everything I say is ultimately subject to your reformulation, just as in the case where you now claim because of a bracket and a question mark you never once claimed I was actually a Christian. Which is patent nonsense and dishonesty, since, of course, you immediately designated/characterized me as such in the post. As well, you also persist in claiming that I am a "pawn" of theism. What makes you say this is beyond logical comprehension, but I suppose it involves the fact that I didn't immediately swoon to half-baked invalid notions of real infinites (which you didn't even author), derision accepted as logical refutation, and your supreme authority over the internet's #1 site for disaffected teenagers and self-glorifying lickspittles.

Naturally, you'll say you were only joking concerning everything I've pointed out. The reality of the situation is that you are neither rational, capable, or worth of debate, and instead have proven beneficial only to the extent that you have served to link one philosophy student to another - a whopping feat that I achieve daily simply by walking into any one of my classes. For that, thank you. Also, I don't mind so much that I'm the butt of your jokes. The very design of this website is enough to illicit only laughter. Well, that and the fact that you guys reached maybe 10% of your desired capital in whatever defunct, expired fundraiser lingers on the main page. #1 atheist site in the world, eh? Big deal, apparently. See, we can all be nasty. But it doesn't make us anymore triumphant in our arguments. Sadly, it seems public school and whatever community college you flunked out of have failed you lamentably.

This is growing tedious and I will not debate you further, but do please allow me to achieve contact with Shaun (I think was his name?). It would be nice to deal with someone who has some rigor and decency about him (or her). Elucidating fallacies only works for those who ably wield knowledge of them all ("straw man" is apparently all you know, and you even misapply it.) It's okay if you only know one fallacy, Brian, but you can't make everything into a straw man in order to be right. Congratulations. I'm submitting a request for a new fallacy known simply as "The Brian Fallacy", where arguer 1 fabricates an illusory fallacy - straw man, usually - in order to believe he has bested his opponent.

So, in closing, while you and your internet buddies might enjoy a laugh over this, those in academia (re: those with qualifications and decent grasp of material who have earned their right to debate instead of just paying for an internet domain) will continue to utilize your points to evince fallacies, arrogance, and unjustified belief states. It's been surreal. Really. Too bad the logic is entirely lost on you.

Sincerely,

Joshua Ryan Dellinger

P.S. STRAW MAN!!! STRAW MEN EVERYWHERE!!! What must your personal hell of a life be like, envisioning these monsters pervasively!?

P.S.S. Next time try impersonating a rational debater rather than simply contriving false fallacies. I suppose to your crowd, the inefficacious leeches and vapid hacks, you are supreme. To those of us in academia? Well...let's just say there's a reason most scholars won't debate you. (Craig, et al)


Sapient
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Oh this one will be too

Oh this one will be too fun....

Joshua Ryan Dellinger in first email wrote:
I am well aware of the practices and methodologies of the RRS.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:

I will add that in the beginning I had some respect for what you and your crew were doing. This was after watching the televised special and before viewing the website.

Ok so Josh is familiar with our arguments and saw the ABC special right?

Well guess who either has a bad comprehension problem or is a liar?

 

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:

I do acknowledge that those who do are INTELLIGENT, RATIONAL, ASSIDUOUS individuals who have worked hard at their positions and are not the moronic braindead bumpkins RRS and Dawkins would have us to believe all theists are.

 

"We never said there are not intelligent people who believe in God, there clearly are." - Kelly on ABC (minute 11:27)

 

- Brian Sapient


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Mr. Atheist, Review this:

Mr. Atheist,

Review this: Quote:

I, again, am agnostic, which is not the same as an atheist. The former is epistemological, the latter metaphysical.

Brian replies: "Everyone is either an atheist or a theist, you either are a theist, or you are without theistic belief. So guess what that makes you!!!"

This is of course a strict false dichotomy. So, you're not exactly dead on concerning RRS' position on atheism as it relates to agnosticism. We could make use of a thought experiment to reveal the fallacy here, but, I mean, what's the point? You people are categorically incapable of smelling your own faults. But what the hell, here we go...simple run-down of the differences that are being conflated here.

1) God either exists or he doesn't. Real dichotomy.
2) We can either have knowledge of God's existence or we cannot. Real dichotomy, but very separate from the first.
3) One either believes in God or one does not, whether or not one has any sufficient reason to believe in God available through empirical evidence, reason, etc. Real dichotomy, and based on doxastic propositions.

Here we go, guys: Belief in the existence of God is not the same as the position that we can have knowledge of God. The former is a doxastic state, the latter an epistemological. These are being conflated here, which is simply illogical. Kant was a fidiest, as well as Kierkegaard. Both believed in God, but held that we could have no knowledge of God, i.e., no epistemic claim to justified beliefs concerning God's existence. Alternatively, Aquinas believed in God and held that we had cause to be justified in such positions based solely on reason. So Kant/Kierkegaard held positive doxastic beliefs concerning God's existence but negative epistemic positions concerning the same. To go further and claim that there is a God (theism) or that there is not (atheism) is a metaphysical claim, quite distinct, of course, from the former two. Generally, doxastic and metaphysical claims will line up directly, i.e., I believe God exists therefore I assert God does. However, for the agnostic, no comment is given concerning the existence, nonexistence, belief in, or lack of belief in, God. The agnostic does not hold that knowledge can be had, but unlike the atheist, he "suspends judgment" concerning both belief and ontological assertion. An agnostic is, then, more in line with a skeptic, who answers "I don't know". This is NOT the same as "yes" or "no". To conflate agnosticism and atheism is only foolish and inaccurate, and strictly incoherent. A suspension of judgment (agnosticism) says very directly that no position is taken on the matter of God's existence. Try telling Camus that he was actually an atheist.

As is patently clear, this is beyond absurd. (No pun intended).


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Right. Did you notice the

Right. Did you notice the disjunct? Did you notice what occurred between the two? That's right - viewing the website. Your positions expressed on the televised debate are quite different than many of those I have seen present herein. On the show, you acknowledged that many theists were intelligent (although Einstein, while a Spinozistic panentheist - not pantheist, is still a theist, of course). However, the generalization of theists on this website has devolved into nothing more than slander, unjustified and nasty homogenization, and gross mischaracterization.

All this should have been quite clear from my posts...especially when I say, quite explicitly, "I will add that in the beginning I had some respect for what you and your crew were doing. This was after watching the televised special and before viewing the website."

At this point, you seem more like a sophist reaching than any critical analyst actually supplying contradictions. Yes, my opinions changed. That is because, after reviewing your website and seeing the hideous underbelly of your enterprise, I realized neither you nor Kelly were the rational, mature persons you appeared to be. I see no reason to defend this. The reasons for my shift were sufficiently documented.

Oh, and be sure not to post this, since you've neglected to keep up with my submissions. And keep shotgunning arguments and ganging up rather than, again, actually addressing, from YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE, the cosmological arguments I referenced. There is, of course, a reason you have yet to, which I believe you've already admitted: you can't. This was my goal, and I think it's been undeniably realized.

In closing, this absolute lack of integrity and sophistic, lawyer-like niggling over trivial details (which aren't even legitimate - see above) is pathetic, deflective, and of no gain to anyone. I have been quite charitable in giving you...oh...a whole day to research the position so that you might actually be able to hold you own man-to-man. In the lovely world of the Net, however, you'll never have to worry about that problem, will you?


Mr. Atheist (not verified)
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teddyvamp wrote: Mr.

teddyvamp wrote:
Mr. Atheist, Review this: Quote: I, again, am agnostic, which is not the same as an atheist. The former is epistemological, the latter metaphysical. Brian replies: "Everyone is either an atheist or a theist, you either are a theist, or you are without theistic belief. So guess what that makes you!!!" This is of course a strict false dichotomy. So, you're not exactly dead on concerning RRS' position on atheism as it relates to agnosticism. We could make use of a thought experiment to reveal the fallacy here, but, I mean, what's the point? You people are categorically incapable of smelling your own faults. But what the hell, here we go...simple run-down of the differences that are being conflated here. 1) God either exists or he doesn't. Real dichotomy. 2) We can either have knowledge of God's existence or we cannot. Real dichotomy, but very separate from the first. 3) One either believes in God or one does not, whether or not one has any sufficient reason to believe in God available through empirical evidence, reason, etc. Real dichotomy, and based on doxastic propositions. Here we go, guys: Belief in the existence of God is not the same as the position that we can have knowledge of God. The former is a doxastic state, the latter an epistemological. These are being conflated here, which is simply illogical. Kant was a fidiest, as well as Kierkegaard. Both believed in God, but held that we could have no knowledge of God, i.e., no epistemic claim to justified beliefs concerning God's existence. Alternatively, Aquinas believed in God and held that we had cause to be justified in such positions based solely on reason. So Kant/Kierkegaard held positive doxastic beliefs concerning God's existence but negative epistemic positions concerning the same. To go further and claim that there is a God (theism) or that there is not (atheism) is a metaphysical claim, quite distinct, of course, from the former two. Generally, doxastic and metaphysical claims will line up directly, i.e., I believe God exists therefore I assert God does. However, for the agnostic, no comment is given concerning the existence, nonexistence, belief in, or lack of belief in, God. The agnostic does not hold that knowledge can be had, but unlike the atheist, he "suspends judgment" concerning both belief and ontological assertion. An agnostic is, then, more in line with a skeptic, who answers "I don't know". This is NOT the same as "yes" or "no". To conflate agnosticism and atheism is only foolish and inaccurate, and strictly incoherent. A suspension of judgment (agnosticism) says very directly that no position is taken on the matter of God's existence. Try telling Camus that he was actually an atheist. As is patently clear, this is beyond absurd. (No pun intended).

 You clearly did not read the page that I linked.  I'd appreciate it if you would actually read the information I propose if you are going to reply to it.

You once again are making a bad assumption based on common misconception regarding the meaning of a word.  Atheism does not imply a denial of god's existance / the possibility of god's existance.  It is simply a disbeleif in the existance of a deity.  So yes, all people are either an atheist or a theist.

If you do not believe in god as a result of ignorance, lack of evidence, because you just never considered it, or because you strongly deny it....you are an atheist.  The reason for your lack of belief does not matter, but ultimatly you either do or do not.

Atheism is not an active state of disbelief, it is just disbelief. 

I'm not suggesting you are actually an atheist or actually a theist.  I don't know what your stance on god is.  I know you have stated that you do not believe that knowledge of god is attainable, which I agree, but this does not reflect on if you believe in the existance of a god.

Does god exist? If you answer "I don't know" then you do not actually believe in a deity and are therefor an atheist whether you like the word or not.  If you do not have belief, then you have disbelief and you are an atheist.


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teddyvamp wrote:

teddyvamp wrote:

I have copies of what I mailed you. I never implied nor expressed "stalking" you.

You said...

Please do accept the challenge. I am documenting every last letter I send (one daily until you either formally decline for legitimate reasons - i.e., you're scared - or until we have secured an agreement) and will continue to post public exposes of your lack of fortitude.

 

So if we don't respond to you, you were going to send an email to us everyday? This by the way after you posted two of your challenges in completely unrelated threads, including using a sockpuppet immediately after reading the rules. Did I say go fuck yourself yet?

 

 

Quote:
You can surcease the ad hominems. They don't make you any smarter or cooler. They are, however, getting ever more difficult to generate, so I'll leave you to it.

You should know by now that ad homs are merely insults without actually attacking the argument. I have attacked much of what you said, specifically, and with counter evidence. I don't feel as if I've really started any ad hom fest and if I were to do so, I don't see any reason why we couldn't come up with thousands upon thousands. But keep living in fantasy world.

 

 

Quote:
This other guy, the philosophy student, is the one I should actually debate, since you've already admitted he is the one who knows his cosmological arguments, not you.

Hey liar, do me a favor and point out where I said I don't know cosmological arguments.

 

Quote:
I think by that very fact alone you should not be able to claim atheistic positions.

This was your follow up sentence to your previous lie. Not much different than a strawman eh? Lie about your opponent and then attack the lie.

Let's look it up for you since you don't have a handle on it yet (or of course you could be a compulsive liar)

A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw man argument" is to describe a position that superficially resembles an opponent's actual view but is easier to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent (for example, deliberately overstating the opponent's position).[1] A straw man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it carries little or no real evidential weight, because the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted.[2]

 

 

 

Quote:
Ummm...show you a straw man? I'm pretty sure I already did, but if that's still a problem, I can only say you have overlooked my examples. First, you claimed that I was really a theist (see the heading of my eponymous thread). You claimed I was a Christian.

Are you fucking insane? Where is the strawman ya moron?

 

Quote:
You never once personally responded to my inquiry, which was the Kalam argument, but instead only brought up that only a theist would defend a passage in the bible (which you understood through my providing the proper interpretation of it).

Not responding to your inquiry on Kalam (which I did with a link to Shauns article) is not a strawman. Furthermore you're connecting the kalam comments to comments that came previously amd again lying about my position.

I never once said "only a theist would defend a passage in the bible." You fucking fraud.

Also the notion that you have the proper interpretation yet NEVER addressed the video other than to bitch about it in an off topic manner is one that is generated by theistic arrogance. Go ahead, be honest, how did you learn your "correct" interpration?

 

Quote:
Defeating a theist is an easy task, a bible-defender even easier, which is what you attempted. But I am neither, mind you. So straw men 1, 2, 3, and 4. Is that better?

No actually you just took 20 steps back. You're a great example of why a college degree doesn't matter much. You must have great memory skills for tests, and clearly you can write, I guess that's what got you through. You are however very fucking stupid.

 

 

Quote:
Personally, you've erected your own little shit kingdom here where you get to be the autocrat.

For the most part it's just you and me here. And EVERY SINGLE STATEMENT you have made is posted here. It's not exactly like I'm wielding a censorship stick with all my power.

If you're tempering your language and demeanor for fear of ban, I'll tell you what, in the interest of fairness, I'll make this clear right now. If you limit your commenting to this thread, you can say and post whatever you want, sans personal info that our members wouldn't want seen.

 

 

Quote:
It's sad, really, given that you are not even capable of defending your own position

What position?

Speaking of asking you questions, are you gonna just keep getting your ass kicked here or are you maybe going to address some of the more telling aspects of your stupidity.

 

Quote:
just as in the case where you now claim because of a bracket and a question mark you never once claimed I was actually a Christian.

I didn't say that either. Increase your comprehension skills. Scroll up.

 

Quote:
Which is patent nonsense and dishonesty, since, of course, you immediately designated/characterized me as such in the post.

A Christian defender who claims to agree with RRS?

See the question mark? That's not a designation, shit for brains.

 

 

Quote:
Naturally, you'll say you were only joking concerning everything I've pointed out.p.

Here's a head up to your buddies reading this, if he starts a sentence with "Naturally" RAISE HIM, bet the pot, go all in. It's a tell.

Ah fuck wait... almost everything you say is a lie.

 

Quote:
The reality of the situation is that you are neither rational, capable, or worth of debate

And how dumb you must feel for expecting us to be worthy. Oh well. Is this goodbye?

 

Quote:
The very design of this website is enough to illicit only laughter.

This site ONLY illicits laughter? Another logical absolute... let's all laugh together!!

 

Quote:
Well, that and the fact that you guys reached maybe 10% of your desired capital in whatever defunct, expired fundraiser lingers on the main page.

It ends Jan 24th of 2009, it started on Jan 25 of 08. Damn you are dumb.

 

Quote:
#1 atheist site in the world, eh? Big deal, apparently. See, we can all be nasty.

That was nasty? I think the fact that you may end up with a degree in philosphy is much more disgsuting to the state of our society and education system.

 

Quote:
But it doesn't make us anymore triumphant in our arguments. Sadly, it seems public school and whatever community college you flunked out of have failed you lamentably.

Actually I was on a sports scholarship, I dropped out to start a career so I could support the child that I had at too young. Obviously college education doesn't matter at all, considering you're about to get a degreee.

Here's Charles Darwins great grandson ridiculing the last notable story to comment on our education. Your ilk is a target here, as you seem like that kid who thinks he has a clue on his way to a degree.

 

Quote:
This is growing tedious and I will not debate you further

We haven't debated anything nor would I ever debate you. This was more of a beatdown, than a debate.

 

Quote:
but do please allow me to achieve contact with Shaun

No.

 

Quote:

To those of us in academia?

If you are academia, we got a problem on our hands. For the record, there are tons of people on the site with doctorates and masters in the fields in question, many who have great admiration for us.

 

 

Quote:
Well...let's just say there's a reason most scholars won't debate you. (Craig, et al)

YOU CONSIDER CRAIG ACADEMIA??!??!

William Lane Craig, is that you?

Craig doesn't debate anyone without a doctorate, he wouldn't even debate Carrier over the last few years, holding two masters and a bachelors. Most scholars don't come around these parts because their careers depend on looking good, theologians like Craig (he's no scholar) get their asses kicked around here.

 

 

- Brian Sapient


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teddyvamp wrote: Right. Did

teddyvamp wrote:
Right. Did you notice the disjunct? Did you notice what occurred between the two? That's right - viewing the website. Your positions expressed on the televised debate are quite different than many of those I have seen present herein. On the show, you acknowledged that many theists were intelligent (although Einstein, while a Spinozistic panentheist - not pantheist, is still a theist, of course). However, the generalization of theists on this website has devolved into nothing more than slander, unjustified and nasty homogenization, and gross mischaracterization. All this should have been quite clear from my posts...especially when I say, quite explicitly, "I will add that in the beginning I had some respect for what you and your crew were doing. This was after watching the televised special and before viewing the website." At this point, you seem more like a sophist reaching than any critical analyst actually supplying contradictions. Yes, my opinions changed. That is because, after reviewing your website and seeing the hideous underbelly of your enterprise, I realized neither you nor Kelly were the rational, mature persons you appeared to be. I see no reason to defend this. The reasons for my shift were sufficiently documented. Oh, and be sure not to post this, since you've neglected to keep up with my submissions. And keep shotgunning arguments and ganging up rather than, again, actually addressing, from YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE, the cosmological arguments I referenced. There is, of course, a reason you have yet to, which I believe you've already admitted: you can't. This was my goal, and I think it's been undeniably realized. In closing, this absolute lack of integrity and sophistic, lawyer-like niggling over trivial details (which aren't even legitimate - see above) is pathetic, deflective, and of no gain to anyone. I have been quite charitable in giving you...oh...a whole day to research the position so that you might actually be able to hold you own man-to-man. In the lovely world of the Net, however, you'll never have to worry about that problem, will you?


Considering you refuse to even create an account and engage in conversation with the general community, as well as going directly to Brian and seeing this as the only possible option is a clear indication that you have no knowledge of the contents of the website or how we treat theists of different nature.  I think you'll find that people all act differently and you commit the same error you accuse the RRS of making by making sweeping generalizations about the contents of a website that you clearly have not read.

As for not keeping up with them...it would help if you had an account so we didn't have approve them and you could just say whatever the hell you want without strict moderation.  We are not all here waiting for you to comment so urgently.  When someone gets around to it, they get around to it.  If you'd like faster moderation so you can keep your anonymous login then perhaps you can donate to the RRS so we can get paid for our activities and feel more responsibility about getting around to confirming your posts.

I also don't think that you made an honest effort to come here and have a discussion.  You came here looking for a polarized argument where you were going to take opposing sides regardless of what you believe to actually be factual or true.  You avoided the community at large so you could target the organizer of a group of people who's time is already quite consumed and was likely not going to get around to responding you, just another one of a large number of individuals who want to be treated with special care and respect.

If you had any respect for your own arguments you would take them to community at large rather than discrediting yourself by coming accross as a harassing psycopath.

So I challenge you to create a bloody account so I can stop wasting time having to moderate and approve your comments, get on to the forums, and debate your arguments rather than just bitching on here and wasting the time of someone that a lot of invest money into so that he can focus on more important things than fending off trolls.


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A "south" thing? Are you

A "south" thing? Are you going to mock southern drawls next, as if that invalidates anything? Isn't this like me calling you four-eyes? And I'm the five year-old? Man.

I find it completely predictable and telling that you didn't address a SINGLE CRITIQUE that was supplied against the anti-Kalam article. Of course you couldn't. That was my strict goal, and that has, again, been fully realized. You claim to be an atheist, but in the absence of any capability to refute theistic arguments concerning cosmology, where is the justification for your beliefs? I have dealt with these arguments - have you? I have thus earned my doxastic position - you have not.

Now then. Respond to what matters. Oh, that's right - you can't! You're philosophically impotent and completely worthless concerning any actual debate. At best you can magnify nuances in the portions BETWEEN THE REAL ARGUMENTS. But concerning the arguments themselves? Well...there's a reason you don't deal with them, isn't there?

I suppose it's better to admit defeat immediately than flounder all over the field...still, you ought to feel at least a little ignorant. Kelly at least tried to address the argument herself. This Shaun fellow deals with it extensively. What, exactly, have you done, other than dodge the central issue?

Brian, despite your best efforts, you've only proven that you are incapable of confuting arguments that you are required to should you be considered to hold "justified true beliefs". That is the very definition of "knowledge", mind you (crack a book on epistemology one day). Having none, it seems YOU are the agnostic, not an atheist.

I'm done here. You can't address the cosmological argument, which was my only inquiry. I'll post all this as proof that, unfortunately, many of today's atheists still remain about as justified in their positions as any of the pedestrian, peitistic theists they decry.

Oh, and do forget to post this one as well. What was that about integrity?


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Okay, deal. Initially I

Okay, deal. Initially I didn't want to create an account, as that would imply that I condone the activities and perspectives here. But, if it will facilitate debate, I will. I apologize for the inconvenience.


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Ahem. FOR THE LAST

Ahem. FOR THE LAST TIME:

Agnosticism "suspends judgment". Is that clear?

Ask me if The Smiths are a good band. Tell me I have to say "yes" or "no", and that "I don't know" implies "no". Is this valid? Not at all.

One is allowed to "suspend judgment" if one adopts the agnostic/skeptical view. This is utilized in science all the time, is it not? One, observing Ockham, does now wish to posit entities beyond necessity. However, being modest, one does not also wish to completely rule them out. Thus one says "I suspend judgment", "I'm not sure", etc.

I saw the video, I've seen it twice now. It's a false dichotomy. If you don't see why, I can't help you, but, honestly, only a fool would accept this reasoning. "Does God exist? You must answer yes or no!". Certainly a person is capable of saying "I don't care", "I don't know", "I suspend judgment", etc. None of these are equivalent, nor can be made so, to a negation. Look, I understand YOUR side, but do you understand mine? You say "theism" is a belief in God - thus so long as you are not a theist, you are necessarily an atheist. But this is a very odd definition of the term, because in this rendering, which of course serves your purposes here, anyone who does not believe in God is an atheist. I do not accept this definition, nor am I constrained to, because it is a very poor one, in that it defines all that is excluded from the set itself and does not take into account the various differences between them. This "you're either with us or against us" attitude is puerile and inaccurate. One who does not know that he wants to have a beer is not therefore a teetotaler. It's not this "all or nothing". It is, rather, do you A) profess a belief, B) profess a disbelief, or C) suspend judgments on the matter altogether. Again, I say - look to science. Currently, branes are hypothetical, yes? (If this is inaccurate, certainly there have been or currently are other hypothetical entities). How would a scientist respond to you browbeating him into accepting alternatively that branes either exist or don't? He or she would simply remark: "I don't know". You could not then say "But you must believe they either do or don't!!!". Try it, actually. See how far that gets you.

I'll create that account now.


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You again seem to be

You again seem to be mistaking atheism as being a knowledge that no god exists, this is absolutly false.  That would be a gnostic atheist rather than an agnostic atheist.

I personally will not debate it because I am openly ignorant on the subject.  Does that mean I am not an atheist? No, I still don't believe in god. 

A new born baby is an atheist.  They don't have a stand and don't have a reason to believe in god.  They are atheist.

I don't know what Brian's education level is on the subject or if he can / wants to debate it...but you should keep in mind that this is why there many people working with the RRS with different focuses of knowledge and expertise.

You claim a grand knowledge of so many things yet lack the basic understanding of the thing you attack.  It would really help if you would read the links that I provided (Brian also linked to it) so that you can understand what the word atheist actually means rather than choosing your own definition and blowing a childish hissy fit over it. 


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teddyvamp wrote: Ahem. FOR

teddyvamp wrote:
Ahem. FOR THE LAST TIME: Agnosticism "suspends judgment". Is that clear? Ask me if The Smiths are a good band. Tell me I have to say "yes" or "no", and that "I don't know" implies "no". Is this valid? Not at all. One is allowed to "suspend judgment" if one adopts the agnostic/skeptical view. This is utilized in science all the time, is it not? One, observing Ockham, does now wish to posit entities beyond necessity. However, being modest, one does not also wish to completely rule them out. Thus one says "I suspend judgment", "I'm not sure", etc. I saw the video, I've seen it twice now. It's a false dichotomy. If you don't see why, I can't help you, but, honestly, only a fool would accept this reasoning. "Does God exist? You must answer yes or no!". Certainly a person is capable of saying "I don't care", "I don't know", "I suspend judgment", etc. None of these are equivalent, nor can be made so, to a negation. Look, I understand YOUR side, but do you understand mine? You say "theism" is a belief in God - thus so long as you are not a theist, you are necessarily an atheist. But this is a very odd definition of the term, because in this rendering, which of course serves your purposes here, anyone who does not believe in God is an atheist. I do not accept this definition, nor am I constrained to, because it is a very poor one, in that it defines all that is excluded from the set itself and does not take into account the various differences between them. This "you're either with us or against us" attitude is puerile and inaccurate. One who does not know that he wants to have a beer is not therefore a teetotaler. It's not this "all or nothing". It is, rather, do you A) profess a belief, B) profess a disbelief, or C) suspend judgments on the matter altogether. Again, I say - look to science. Currently, branes are hypothetical, yes? (If this is inaccurate, certainly there have been or currently are other hypothetical entities). How would a scientist respond to you browbeating him into accepting alternatively that branes either exist or don't? He or she would simply remark: "I don't know". You could not then say "But you must believe they either do or don't!!!". Try it, actually. See how far that gets you. I'll create that account now.

You are free to disagree with the definition of words...but that is the definition of the words.  It is a parent description, it is not meant to be specific.  Theist is not very specific.  Surely you can't categorize the beliefs of a deist with a scientologist, but they are both theists.

Don't make the word atheist out to be more than it is.  It's a non-word.  Theist is an active state of a belief in a deity, and atheist is simply everyone who does not have a belief in a deity.

You can't start a debate on the premise of you own definition of a word without establishing that you're going to rewrite the standard definition of words prior to starting your argument.  That's just ludicrous.

I understand that there is a lot of common usage and misconception around the word atheist as well as a lot of negative propaganda about the term over the years, but surely you, an educated person, can see past the rhetoric and understand that this type of miseducation is just that.  The word is simplistic in nature and suggests nothing about logic, rationality, philosophy, politics.  It is just an active or inactive disbelief in the existance of a deity.


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teddyvamp wrote:Quote:To

teddyvamp wrote:

Quote:
To those of us in academia? Well...let's just say there's a reason most scholars won't debate you.

If, as you apppear to be suggesting, "academia" means cyberstalking sock puppets who pretend to be "agnostic" in order to cloak themselves with a false appearance of rationality...well let's just say that they're at least a dime a dozen on here.. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell


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How anyone could get a

How anyone could get a philosophy degree and not have a clue as to how atheist and theist apply to everyone and that agnosticism isn't an escape from the two is beyond me.  That argument combined with the you can't blaspheme the holy spirit argument are textbook Christian fundamentalist arguments.

 

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A question for Joshua

Dear Joshua,

 

Hi.  You don't know me.  My name is Michael and I'm a researcher in Scotland.  I've never studied philosophy.  Ever.  I am a scientist, perhaps a lazy one, but I understand the method.  Hell I'll soon be a PhD.  I'm also an avowed atheist.  I have come to this through my own experience, logic and application of what I see in the world to developing a worldview - one that does not include a God of any kind.  Why should you care?  You said this:

 

teddyvamp wrote:
This other guy, the philosophy student, is the one I should actually debate, since you've already admitted he is the one who knows his cosmological arguments, not you. I think by that very fact alone you should not be able to claim atheistic positions. You have not earned them and your beliefs are no more the result of logical inquiry than any of the pietists you pity
 

 

I'm not a student of philosophy.  I've never studied logic.  I've never discounted, nor probably could I, any major philosophical arguments.  And according to you that makes my position invalid.  That somehow I cannot claim my position unless I have refuted every last opposing argument.  I have 3 points to make on this:

 

1)  Are you telling me that there's a single philosophical position in the world that has no detractors anymore?  I ask out of honest curiosity.

 

2) By your reasoning Theists cannot call themselves such, nor can they fully claim existence in God because they have not completely refuted every argument (with evidence) against their position.

 

3)  This is a community.  The Rational Response Squad.  No-one here claims to be an expert on every logical avenue, scientific theorem or philosophical quandry.  To do so would be arrogance of the highest order.

 

In short sir I say this to you; to deride brian for (allegedly) not being equipped with all the facts is a childish way of dismissing an argument.  I do not know all the facts.  Perhaps I would not win a debate against your "group" of intellectuals.  That does not make my position invalid nor does it stop me trying to learn all the facts to help strengthen my debate.  You can dismiss someone from a debate when it is clear they don't know anything about what they're talking about, you cannot do the same because they do not know everything.  Unless you're claiming that you do?

 

Yours,

Michael 

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


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Tried To Get An Account, Got Kicked Back, So Be Patient

Michael,

To begin let me issue a hale and genuine THANK YOU for bringing the level of this discourse up to a respectable standard of charity, cooperation, and professionalism. I was growing a little tired of pointless ad hominems (although this Taylor article I just read makes me think differently about them...) and blustering.

In response to your questions:

1) No, there's not, and we all know that's why their philosophical positions. But that's not really implicated necessarily by what standards I'm holding Brian to...I'll elaborate momentarily.

2) A theist has a right to their claim should they have dealt with (re: formulated responses independently and thoroughly) atheistic counter-arguments. This is my basic philosophical position: that no one is entitled to any belief unless they have reviewed the opposing views and come to at least some response. Why, you might ask, do I hold this? Well, I cannot very well believe in whatever I should happen to like. I cannot believe that humans are actually unfeeling zombies or that the world is flat or that smoking in public is good for others, despite what the despotic surgeon general might want me to think. In the face of evidence to the contrary, I am required to suspend my beliefs and simply deal with the argument. Notice the methodology here: I am to suspend my beliefs. Why? So that I do not color my conclusions. It is already been demonstrated that this is the true method of science, which is so exalted here, yet still there are detractors and antagonists who claim that one must either be an atheist or a theist. This is beyond stupid. If one has not reached the end of their inquiry, it is only violence and tyranny to impose the choice upon another. That RRS countenances this practice is objectionable beyond repair.

I might well ask you: how do you think schizophrenia begins? Is it from genetic predispositions or from stress triggers? You might say "well I'll have to look into it", and I say NO! You must choose now! This is patently absurd and cruel and logically illegitimate, of course. After ten years you might still be uncertain (you may, in fact, be a leading expert on the matter). Should I then say NO! You must choose!

Until an inquiry has become sufficiently closed no one is forced between any two choices. This is see as one of the greatest flaws and tyrannies of the RRS. I think any reasonable person should agree. What applies in one area of ontological investigation or causal explanation applies in all. That scientists, researchers, etc. suspend judgment is proof that theologians/philosophers/etc. may as well. This is an answer to your question and a refutation (again) of Brian's position. I do not know if he has studied philosophy, so I'm not sure where he is qualified to comment on it.

Now, the bigger issue after we have the minimal groundwork established: what counts as a sufficient inquiry? When may I say I have the right to any belief, that my comprehension, response, and position on certain matters has become justified? Well, this is of course tailored to whatever the particular inquiry might be. But, I do think there are ways to determine which inquiries are of the necessary sort. Refuting (or at least having knowledge of and a ready response to) a cosmological argument from the medieval period seems in order. I supplied (I believe, if not here it is) the example of a person who believes in ID theory. If they have not dealt with the problem of, say, the panda's thumb, or whatever other example which indicates a certain issue, i.e., that of useless adaptations, then they have not sufficiently addressed all necessary dimensions of the issue at hand. That Brian has not dealt personally with these cosmological arguments I take to mean that he has no right to his position until he does so himself. This position is of course tempered by pragmatic sensibilities. We of course accept a great deal of information based on the testimony of expert scientists, doctors, etc. This, unfortunately, seems a necessary practice, given that we are, again...unfortunately, capable of more time with which to pursue our own investigations. But - take note - this is not the case at issue here. Brian is considered to be a proponent of a position, a very specific and militant one, vaunting itself as the correct ethic. He is expected to know, both out of responsibility and credibility, not to mention identity, the arguments against his position. He knows some, I guess...I haven't heard any yet. Perhaps design is his area. But, you see, design is, what...one of five ways to assert the necessity of God's existence? I contend that Brian has not earned sufficient right to his beliefs in any public arena - that is, he may hold his beliefs, but given that his beliefs have not been securely founded upon strong refutations (or, again, just some responses formed independently) means that his beliefs are not justified. As such, he has no more right to claim "knowledge" of the proper ethic (atheism) than anyone has to claim "knowledge" of another (theism) if they as well have failed to investigate all critical aspects of the theory. Perhaps that "all" is too demanding. But surely we could say that being able to refute cosmological arguments is a modest requirement of any atheist? They are, in fact, the greatest and most cogent evidence of a creator being. Brian instead (here it comes!) enjoys attacking the straw men, i.e. flaws in rhetoric, supposed design theories, ad hominems (just take a stroll through the posts that mock theists, and his comments on the south fail miserably to take into account, say, Mark Twain, Cormac McCarthy, Faulkner, many of the founding fathers of America, etc.). Honestly, I lost all ability to take him seriously as soon as he made such comments, which are not only cliche and generic, but entirely prejudiced and unwarranted by fact. We do have Chapel Hill, Duke, etc. in my state, highly respected universities (Chapel Hill has one of the most selective and prestigious doctorate programs in philosophy in the nation). All right, enough on that hack.

3) (Closing paragraph) I do not expect Brian to know all the facts. I expect him to know the necessary refutations of arguments which are most strongly against his own. I consider this an essential requirement, just as any chemist should understand solutions and valency. That he has not personally addressed (or is perhaps incapable of addressing) a stock cosmological argument I take as sufficient evidence that he is unjustified in his position, and, moreover, that he has certainly no right to found an organization and parade himself as an overlord of the movement (RRS). A fool with no knowledge of economics should probably not lead the next revolution against laissez-faire capitalism, right?

If God is dead and we're left with only Sapients, we're truly, truly doomed. (Joke - not profession of theistic beliefs.)

Sincerely,

Joshua Ryan Dellinger

P.S. What, exactly, do you think was proper and effective in Brian's use of exposing my protest at an anti-homosexual rally? This clown has categorically no understanding of decent argument, and is instead only capable of smear campaigns. Could he respond even ONCE to any of the points I posed? No, not at all. Anyone who objectively views this exchange (and there have already been several I've known) can manifestly perceive his ignorance, abhorrent irrationality, and pettiness. Instead of addressing the cosmological argument points from me and my friend, he can only quibble and drop ad hominems. In fact...no one has addressed the points about the cosmological argument yet, have they? Sure, he can point me to another guy who has, but that does not mean that he has this knowledge, does it? I can't say "oh, I've dealt with the problem of quantum entanglement...can't happen." by pointing at Einstein's contribution to the EPR paradox. This is sub-par, and I see no reason to continue, since no one has addressed the arguments, but rather only pointed to others who have. The monkeys run the zoo. End game.


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I am sorry that you are

I am sorry that you are incapable of accepting the actual definitions of words out of fear of labeling yourself. 


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His entire argument is

His entire argument is shredded as soon as you realize that we don't claim to be certain there is no god and are fully willing to accept the possibility that there is. We simply are without a belief in a god until good reason to believe comes along. Of course if he is an atheist seeking a refutation of the Kalam argument, he must agree that Kalam is not convincing. (ironic that he has a hard on for both Kalam and Craig, for those unfamiliar Craig is credited with the creation of the argument)

We don't need to be able to refute every proof for god to hold the position that we are awaiting proof for god. He's straw manned the RRS by making the crux of his argument founded on the notion that we are sure that no god exists. If we were to claim to be sure that no god exists, than I would agree, we should be able to refute all arguments for his existence. (which I happen to think we can do with all the arguments that have been presented)

So since he claims to be atheist, one could infer that he agrees with us that kalam isn't convincing and therefore would be subject to the same scrutiny he wishes to apply to others.

 

P.S. It's not an ad hom Josh, when you explain why your "opponent" deserves/warrants the insult, learn philosophy.

 

 

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and what happened to the

and what happened to the account you said you creating so you weren't wasting our time but putting your comments through moderation?


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Hi Joshua, I'm going to

Hi Joshua, I'm going to respond to a few points.

teddyvamp wrote:
This is my basic philosophical position: that no one is entitled to any belief unless they have reviewed the opposing views and come to at least some response.

Does this idea still apply when the response to many arguments is to say "the Bible says otherwise, and I believe the Bible"? Do we have to put up with the belief that the world is less than 10,000 years old simply because someone has a verbal response to all the evidence to the contrary? It sounds like a nice ideal, but as it is not applicable to every example you should suspend your belief that it is workable. Clinging to something like this will only color your conclusions.

teddyvamp wrote:
If one has not reached the end of their inquiry, it is only violence and tyranny to impose the choice upon another.

There is no end to inquiry. This is not subjective. There is never a circumstance where the question "how" cannot be asked. To allow people to force their beliefs on others simply on the basis that their lines of inquiry have and ending (the ending of "God did it&quotEye-wink is intellectually unsupportable.

teddyvamp wrote:
...how do you think schizophrenia begins? Is it from genetic predispositions or from stress triggers? You might say "well I'll have to look into it", and I say NO! You must choose now!

This is an astonishing display of ignorance even for what we have come to expect from you. We are not talking about causation of mental disorders, we're talking about a matter of belief and disbelief. Conflating the issue is not going to help you.

Theism is the belief in a god, atheism the lack of belief in a god. Agnostic is not a third choice, but a adjective. You can be an agnostic Theist, or an agnostic Atheist, OR you can be a gnostic Theist or a gnostic Atheist. Agnostic and Gnostic refer to knowledge, not belief. Agnostic Theists would say that they believe in god, but can't prove for sure one way or another. Agnostic Atheists don't believe in god, but can't prove for sure one way or another. Gnostic Theists believe in god and claim to have proof of his existence. Gnostic Atheists don't believe in a god, and claim to have proof of his non-existence.

On the other hand, if you want a third choice, you can say that you don't know, and aren't thinking about it. You don't have to accept a label. You can't arbitrarily redefine a very precise, specific term for your own use, but you CAN say "I don't know". Saying that you honestly don't know, and that you choose not to take a side is an intellectually honest and respectable stance in comparison to the above absurdity.

teddyvamp wrote:
[W]hat counts as a sufficient inquiry? When may I say I have the right to any belief, that my comprehension, response, and position on certain matters has become justified? Well, this is of course tailored to whatever the particular inquiry might be.

Why should there be different criteria for different beliefs? Why should we not hold every question up to the same scrutiny?

teddyvamp wrote:
That Brian has not dealt personally with these cosmological arguments I take to mean that he has no right to his position until he does so himself.

So on YOUR authority YOU deny Brian the RIGHT to not believe in god until he's answered every two bit shred of apologetics ever thought up?

teddyvamp wrote:
[Brian] is expected to know, both out of responsibility and credibility, not to mention identity, the arguments against his position.

Apparently you're under the impression that Brian IS the RRS, and as such is REQUIRED to familiarize himself with every single argument out there? I don't know if you noticed, but there are other people here too. This is not some pedagogic religious organization, this is not a cult of personality. We don't look to Brian for moral guidance. He does a lot of the work (a LOT, including putting up with self important imbeciles), but so do Kelly and Rook. For THAT matter, there are a lot of other people here with a wealth of knowledge and experience. No single person could OR should be expected to have a working knowledge of every single solitary opposing position. Instead we use rules of thumb. One good rule of thumb is that any line of inquiry that ends in "god did it" is not worth pursuing. We use this rule of thumb because we've proven that it works, over and over again. Another rule of thumb is that people who insist on arguing from a "god did it" line of inquiry, and get offensive when people don't bother to respond, and claim they are not christians are usually christians pretending to be atheists. That's the rule of thumb you ran afoul, and you're not doing much better now.

teddyvamp wrote:
I contend that Brian has not earned sufficient right to his beliefs in any public arena - that is, he may hold his beliefs, but given that his beliefs have not been securely founded upon strong refutations (or, again, just some responses formed independently) means that his beliefs are not justified.

Since you claim to be an authority on logical fallacies, perhaps "Appeal To False Authority" rings a bell. I don't see any reason why your contention should have any authority. You've displayed no evidence of the credentials you have claimed, and no consistent reasoning at all.

teddyvamp wrote:
Perhaps that "all" is too demanding.

my, how generous.

teddyvamp wrote:
But surely we could say that being able to refute cosmological arguments is a modest requirement of any atheist?

Why? Why does anyone need an excuse not to believe in something?

teddyvamp wrote:
I do not expect Brian to know all the facts. I expect him to know the necessary refutations of arguments which are most strongly against his own.

Oddly enough, a few good general rules of thumb dispose of most "strong" arguments. For the more difficult questions, none of which have been brought up here, careful questioning is in order, NOT rote memorization of argument refutations. Standing on the shoulders of giants doesn't preclude getting taller ourselves.

teddyvamp wrote:
P.S. What, exactly, do you think was proper and effective in Brian's use of exposing my protest at an anti-homosexual rally?

Given your apparent theism, your support of homosexuals was remarkable - as evidenced by the fact that he remarked on the subject.

Now, you'll note that I mostly managed to avoid personal insults, so hopefully you'll stop bleating about "ad hominem" arguments. So, with that out of the way, I can get a thing or two off my chest.

Your pathetic attempts to gain notoriety are doing nothing more than earning you the reputation as a sophomoric, immature, uneducated lout, incapable of reading, anything above a 3rd grade level despite your pretentious word use. Your idiotic insistence that you have anything to bring to this discussion other than tinder for your betters - and we are your betters - to burn you to a crisp.

Your only three options at this point are to: 1. agree that you have been owned in the face by everyone else in this thread, apologize and rethink your idiotic preconceptions, 2. continue your pathetic mewling with another enormous, disjointed, illogical and incorrect post, or 3. ooze off to some other less intellectually demanding line of work (I hear they're always looking for contestants for American Idol, and you seem to be dumb enough). Unfortunately I think I can be pretty confident that you're going to choose option 2 (based on a rule of thumb, wouldn't you just know), but let me just for a second encourage you to rethink that. Start thinking clearly, leave your flawed reasoning behind and use some better rules of thumb. It's not easy, but it's better.

"But still I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me!" ~Rudyard Kipling

Mazid the Raider says: I'd rather face the naked truth than to go "augh, dude, put some clothes on or something" and hand him some God robes, cause you and I know that the naked truth is pale, hairy, and has an outie
Entomophila says: Ew. AN outie


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The stated purpose of the

The stated purpose of the RRS is eradication of religious faith (amongst other abhorred practices) from the planet. Is this not so? Militant atheism. Is this consistent with the very modest position Brian promotes now? ("Don't believe in god now, but would if there were reason to") What exactly is logical about this position? "Well, I don't accept the fact that superstrings really exist - it's just a theory - therefore we should eliminate all experimental physics from the planet". What is the difference here, exactly? And, if you should like to believe that superstrings can be proven anymore than a supernatural god can, i.e., through empirical observation instead of rational deduction (cosmological arguments), I await your rational response.

This, by the way, was the laughing stock of today's logic course. The rampant fallacies tu quoques, straw-men (made of straw men, no less) ad hominems (which consist of more than only insults, mind you - anything which points to the arguer and not the argument is an ad hominem, so from the very beginning of this thread it was fallacious), etc. were used to educate others, so I suppose some good came of this. It is apparent that it is not me who needs to "learn philosophy", a quite droll injunction from the guy who hasn't even studied the most basic of theistic arguments and doesn't observe either the philosophy of science (skepticism, suspending judgment on hypothetical ontological entities - denied through the false dichotomy of either theist or atheist) or logical argumentation. Much like Dawkin's research, this has become an instance of "breaking the butterfly on the wheel", and has long outlived its temporarily amusing quality. If it helps you feel better (especially after only reaching 10% of your desired funds...some eclat!) that within this special realm, you are the logical victor of this argument, go right ahead. In the real world, however, you've only made a complete ass of yourself. I stated from the very beginning that there was a reason you can only hide within self-moderated forums and only publicly confront weak opponents. The fact is, were a moderated debate to be held, your alleged "straw-men" would have only earned you a quick smack and an unceremonious dismissal.

The offer still stands, mind you. Me, you, and moderator. No friends, no back-up, no time to formulate responses and autocratically manipulate the medium. In person, toe-to-toe, your arguments versus mine, with a logical moderator to help you take the training wheels off your education.

So then - the stated purpose of the RRS is to eliminate theistic beliefs. I suppose because given current evidence, there is no reason to uphold them. I further suppose because ID is bullshit. But ID is not exactly the strongest evidence towards a creator being (which doesn't have to be god, mind you...reread Hume). I can only ultimately suppose that, given your stated purposes obtained from this website, your logic is as follows:

1) Theistic beliefs should be eliminated.
2) 1) is in virtue of a lack of evidence for the deity of theistic beliefs.
3) The operant principle of 2) is that beliefs which are without sufficient hard evidence should be eliminated.
4) Ergo, theories with a lack of hard evidence to support their claims should be eliminated.

Is this right? Do point out any straw men. Although please also observe the principle of charity, and openly correct me instead of merely bitching about my mistakes. Not all misunderstandings are assaults or subterfuge. Please, relax - it will be alright. Not everyone is a cryptotheist who is going to convert you in your sleep.

Do you see any problem with this reasoning? Here, I'll supply another:

1) Theories without proof (i.e., are not falsifiable or have evidence to the contrary) should be eliminated.
2) Creation theory is an instance of 1).
3) Creation theory should be eliminated. (MP, 1,2)

This is your reasoning is it not? Of course, you can't commit to any interpretation because all interpretations are really just straw men. But this one I believe is dead on. Perhaps you want a stronger version. Here goes!

1) Theories which have evidence to the contrary should be candidate for elimination (a more modest version of your proposed goals).
2) Creation theory has evidence to its contrary.
3) Creation theory should be eliminated. (MP, 1,2)

There. If this is wrong please correct me. That's right, correct...not assail. If you want to be taken seriously by more than...well...netizens who apparently have the time to sit here and do this all day, please be more cooperative. You've already shamed yourself enough with your ignoble conduct that I'm not sure even Dawkins would condone (ad hominems, slander, red herrings, execrations, etc.).

Now, if this is correct - and so far the consensus amongst my associates and I is that it is - then experimental physics, as well as all theories of free will, should be eliminated. Do you see why? If not, please write back and I'll help you.

Sincerely,

Joshua Ryan Dellinger

P.S. Psssst! Here's a hint: inscrutableness.

P.S.S. Here's an idea. If I have misunderstood your position, then why don't you spell it out for me? You have a page on here which has your agenda clearly stated, yes? It calls for the elimination of theistic beliefs amongst other things - holistic medicine and so forth. There are, of course, anecdotal cases of holistic medicine working, by the way, so I'm not sure if evidence is your standard here...but being the rational scientists that you are (by the way, I agree with science), it should only be a matter of evidence. That brief aside notwithstanding, and I do mean NOTWITHSTANDING, if evidence is what you're after, then you should recognize that nowhere is there nor is there likely to ever be empirical, scrutable, quantifiable evidence for either free will or superstrings. There are, however, rational arguments for the postulation of - gasp! - ontological entities/faculties, including both free will and superstrings. But, since these can't be proven, I suppose we should eliminate all beliefs/theories concerning them.

If this is a straw man then please, in logical form, adumbrate your rationale. What is the theory behind your motivation for eliminating theistic beliefs? Seriously, give it a whirl. We can wait. Should take about ten minutes for you to respond. Oh, unless of course you actually contribute anything to the discourse instead of merely contriving more false allegations of fallacious reasoning and/or search for cute .jpg files. Very professional. I can see why you're taken so seriously.

But really. Lay out the logic and then we'll have a groundwork for our discussion that doesn't depend on anything other than your stated goals, by you, explicitly. It seems every time I try to get a bead on you, you simply say "that's not my position, STRAW MAN STRAW MAN!". So lay out your position explicitly, now, without referencing anything said elsewhere or prior. If I hear it from the horse's mouth I'll take him at his word, and then maybe we can get somewhere.


teddyvamp (not verified)
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"Does god exist? If you

"Does god exist? If you answer "I don't know" then you do not actually believe in a deity and are therefor an atheist whether you like the word or not. If you do not have belief, then you have disbelief and you are an atheist."

Reference Schrodinger's Cat. This isn't the point of the thought experiment, but it can be utilized for such (no, I'm not an instrumentalist). Is the cat dead or alive? Hmmm? What do you believe? Well, the cat must be either dead or alive? Which do you believe? I can stack the terminology to constrain you to have beliefs which you actually do not, you know. Let's say you are a deadcatist. Being a deadcatist means that you hold the cat is dead. If you are not a deadcatist, then you believe the cat is alive. Now suppose you say "I don't know". I can then say, following your logic, SO YOU BELIEVE THE CAT IS ALIVE! But patently this is not what you said, nor is this reflective of your actual beliefs. You simply don't know if the cat is dead or alive.

By the way, here are definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary:

SYLLABICATION: a·the·ism
PRONUNCIATION: th-zm
NOUN: 1a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods. 2. Godlessness; immorality.

I suppose you will now say OH THEY'RE JUST WRONG. FUCKING THEISTS. SEE WHAT THEY DO! The point is that the definition you supplied is not entirely accurate. Wait, that's not severe enough. No, the definition you supplied is actually purposed, factitious (like all definitions, except maybe ostensive ones...but I'm sure you don't know what those are and I'm even more sure they could never apply to deities), and biased. I have supplied an "objective" definition. You see how this works? Right. You don't get to define terms however you want to further your own agendas...unless you're Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Stalin, etc. You're not, though...right? Right.

So then. An agnostic is not necessarily an atheist. But hey - here's more!!!

SYLLABICATION: ag·nos·tic
PRONUNCIATION: g-nstk
NOUN: 1a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism. 2. One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

There you have it. Of course, you're free to simply say "no, everyone is wrong but me". Quite right. We all are. So sorry.

I again ask you (I may as well ask the nearest tree) if you hold scientists up to this same standard. Would you tell a scientist studying string theory that he must either believe in strings or not, and that if he says "I don't know", then he is in fact really a nonstringtheorist? No, of course you wouldn't. This behavior is foul and reprehensible, and indeed one of the more grossly illogical tacts of the RRS. Oh, I'm sorry...not the RRS...just their provided and promoted videos/tracts/bullshit.

You might do a bit more research on the philosophy of science before responding, though. Sadly, I haven't, and so I refrain from commenting on this area a great deal, but my brief time with the POS has me informed of at least this much: Kuhn's critique of science is accepted in most scientific communities, and is surely damaging. I'm not in agreement with Kuhn, really, but hey - you have to have read him to fully understand what science holds...especially given the fact that most scientists accept his beliefs (not an ad populum...nor appeal to authority...it simply states that those who know this area of study recognize that Kuhnian paradigm shifts are an undercutting critique that seem quite sound).

Your turn, Mr. Atheist.


teddyvamp (not verified)
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When The Password Comes I'll Log In - Fix Your Site

Here's a real gem:

"You act like a Christian pawn. If you don't want to be suspected of being a dishonest Christian who refuses to admit he is Christian (over 40 have done that to us in the last two years) then you should probably not defend the bible to the letter exactly like Jerry Falwell would."

--I did not "defend" the Bible. I merely demonstrated how you misunderstood the passage. Speaking of "straw men" (I know this is your favorite fallacy and perhaps the only one you are capable of grasping) here are just a few of yours:

1) You claim that by properly interpreting a text one is defending it. Okay maybe not a straw man fallacy but just absurdity. I only interpreted the text hermeneutically (new word for you, champ!) based on understanding the narrative (narrative, story...not Truth) of the Bible. If you want to refute a text you've first got to understand it, genius. Obviously, you don't have this problem. Go ahead and call this a straw man argument, why don't you, and say that you never claimed that understanding a text implies defending it. I have never once defended the Bible. I only supplied a proper interpretation to rectify RRS' misinterpretation.

You might consider reading/understanding books before burning them.

The following is not a straw man but nevertheless remains amusing, if you like abject stupidity, that is.

"Do you understand how honesty works? We don't like, enjoy, or spend time refuting arguments with people who don't even accept their own arguments."

--Is this what qualifies as honesty? So in order to propose a counter to any position, I must first believe it? That interesting. Where'd you pick that one up, exactly? I suppose all lawyers are dishonest by trade, not to mention philosophers, theologians, literary critics, humorists, etc. Well, that's cute. Again, try some Aristotle. Or Hume. Or Nietzsche. Or anyone other than Dawkins. Sheesh.

--I should also remark that I completely accept my own argument. Kalam's is not mine. My response to Kalam, however, is, and I fully believe it. Additionally, it should be inescapably clear to you that I wanted your opinion on the Kalam argument. It could be that your response is the same as mine. However, you have still failed to respond to the argument, and so this is pointless. Look - if you're unable to respond, then just say so...but don't say you just don't care to. That's like a surgeon saying he doesn't need anatomy. Refuting cosmological arguments is your job, dingbat...quit being so lazy and do your own work. That's right - you. Not Shaun, not some other board member, but you. You're obviously not even familiar with the argument since you attribute it to Craig (he used it, didn't author it, dipshit), so you certainly can't claim that you have already dealt with it. Thus you are holding beliefs (atheism) that refuse to address contrary views. If you don't see how this is, feel free to reread all this. No, wait...here...an illustration!

1) Sapient is an atheist.
2) Atheism is challenged by the Kalam cosmological argument.
3) Joshua has addressed the Kalam cosmological argument.
4) Joshua is an agnostic.
5) Joshua is justified in his beliefs (MP, 3,4)
6) Sapient has not addressed the Kalam cosmological argument.
7) Sapient maintains 6) is acceptable behavior.
Cool Sapient is not justified in his beliefs (MP, 1, 6)

There. Here's another since it's easier for you now.

1) Sapient does not believe that the universe was created.
2) The Kalam cosmological argument provides rational argument (evidence through reason) that the universe was created.
3) Sapient does not believe he has to address the Kalam cosmological argument in order to maintain his beliefs.
4) Therefore, Sapient does not review valid contrary arguments to his position.
5) Sapient is bullheaded. (MP, 1, 4)

Please note: it only takes one instance of such behavior to be considered as acting bullheadedly (i.e. irrationally) just as it only takes one slip of the will to act immorally (oh wait...I'm sorry...were you an epiphenomenalist? Okay...forget that whole "will" thing) Not convinced you are bullheaded? Here ya go!

SYLLABICATION: bull·head·ed
PRONUNCIATION: blhdd
ADJECTIVE: Foolishly or irrationally stubborn; headstrong. See synonyms at obstinate.
OTHER FORMS: bullheaded·ly —ADVERB
bullheaded·ness —NOUN

Please take note of the "irrationally" component. I await your address, new friend.

P.S. "Bullheaded" is not a compliment. Please don't misconstrue it as one.


teddyvamp (not verified)
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Seriously...Where Is The Fucking Password And I'll Log In

"You should know by now that ad homs are merely insults without actually attacking the argument. I have attacked much of what you said, specifically, and with counter evidence. I don't feel as if I've really started any ad hom fest and if I were to do so, I don't see any reason why we couldn't come up with thousands upon thousands. But keep living in fantasy world."

Another cute belief. And completely wrong. Here ya go, on the house:

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject. (Hence you don't have to respond because of my actual beliefs concerning the argument I present...weaselly way out, don't you think?)

It is most commonly used to refer specifically to the ad hominem abusive, or argumentum ad personam, which consists of criticizing or personally attacking an argument's proponent in an attempt to discredit that argument. (Hence the slander campaign)

Other common subtypes of the ad hominem include the ad hominem circumstantial, or ad hominem circumstantiae, an attack which is directed at the circumstances or situation of the arguer; and the ad hominem tu quoque, which objects to an argument by characterizing the arguer as acting or arguing in accordance with the view that he is arguing against. (Again, I accused you of this and you never responded. Wonder why?)

Quite obviously, it is not I who need a refresher on logic. It is you who need a first course. I say again, mutatis mutandis: it's okay if you only know two fallacies so long as you actually know them. Your characterizations of the fallacies you've presented are cute. I like them. But, being rational and all, I don't think I can, in good reason, accept them.

Alright. Your turn. Tell me the logic book I quoted is wrong, and that you didn't actually commit ad hominems.


Joshua Ryan Dellinger (not verified)
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Hi. JoshUA here, Bri. I've

Hi. JoshUA here, Bri. I've also been posting under "teddyvamp". So make sure all those go through as well. If your sputtering, plodding site would send me my new password, I'd be on my way to logging in. Keep up those great maintenance jobs, guys...radio station off the air for five months due to a sound problem? Riiight.

I just wanted to say I really liked this one:

"[there isn't a theist in the world that enters the scale of equal to us in the logic category, sorry]"

I'm wondering how you know this since Craig won't debate you and you're unfamiliar with his work?

Again, we have this: "Agree with the RRS position, yet have picked apart the bible exactly as a Pastor would? Interesting." You are indicating that the two are mutually exclusive/contradictory. Yes, you are. No straw men here! And why would you do that, exactly? Oh, I see. Hasty generalization (material fallacy for ya!) Because Christians in the past have done this you assume I am one. You even claim this openly ("As for your very typical Christian attack on the Blasphemy Challenge... how ironic considering you did one of those typical dishonest Christian tactics of pretending to be on our side. As if we're fucking morons and are going to change everything about who we are because some Christian infiltrates, tells us to be nice to Christians, and pretends to be on our side the whole time. We're not idiots Joshua, find an idiot to debate, seems more your size.") You're not idiots why, now? Oh, that's right...because you don't let Christians infiltrate this site and do such things. Maybe they're "pastors" like me? And anyways elsewhere you have already admitted calling me a theist. That again is cute. Keep up the rational work!


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 heres one,  Fuck you,

 heres one,  Fuck you, that's hot, thanks god ! god rocks !  Smile


Mr. Atheist (not verified)
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Quote: The stated purpose

Quote:

The stated purpose of the RRS is eradication of religious faith (amongst other abhorred practices) from the planet. Is this not so? Militant atheism. Is this consistent with the very modest position Brian promotes now? ("Don't believe in god now, but would if there were reason to&quotEye-wink What exactly is logical about this position? "Well, I don't accept the fact that superstrings really exist - it's just a theory - therefore we should eliminate all experimental physics from the planet". What is the difference here, exactly? And, if you should like to believe that superstrings can be proven anymore than a supernatural god can, i.e., through empirical observation instead of rational deduction (cosmological arguments), I await your rational response.


When there is a hint that the supernatural exists there is reason to believe in it.  There is no discrediting experimentation being done to expose if supernatural things can exist.  But it is also the stance that if something 'can' exist, then it is in fact natural and is just outside of our current understanding which has been the case with many things.

We don't believe in the existence of god because there was no evidence to support the idea.  We oppose the irrational faith in an idea that has no evidence.  If we were proven wrong and a god was shown to potentially exist or to actually exist, we would not only accept it as true in the face of evidence, we would likely herald it is a great discovery.

"Faith" itself is the problem here.

The big difference here is that superstrings are a scientific theory that are being investigated and are not accepted as unquestionable fact.  There is some evidence points to superstrings which gives it infinitely more credibility than the god hypothesis.


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It is apparent that it is not me who needs to "learn philosophy", a quite droll injunction from the guy who hasn't even studied the most basic of theistic arguments and doesn't observe either the philosophy of science (skepticism, suspending judgment on hypothetical ontological entities - denied through the false dichotomy of either theist or atheist) or logical argumentation.


You argue about false dichotomy, but you are using a different definition than the dictionary and we are using.  It is not a false dichotomy when you are using the proper definitions of the words only when you use your understanding of the words.

The meaning of the word has been made clear, and that is the usage of it here. Do not put words into our mouths as to what we meant when we are clearly stating what we mean.  Your continued attempts at this appear to be nothing more than a cry for attention and argument.

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 If it helps you feel better (especially after only reaching 10% of your desired funds...some eclat!) that within this special realm, you are the logical victor of this argument, go right ahead.


10% of desired funds for that project, in only 14% of the targeted timeframe allotted.  I don't think anyone is going to worry yet considering that January is the slowest spending month.  The number you are talking about also does not include the other fund-raising campaigns, membership, and other generic donations.  Great research though.

Quote:

In the real world, however, you've only made a complete ass of yourself. I stated from the very beginning that there was a reason you can only hide within self-moderated forums and only publicly confront weak opponents. The fact is, were a moderated debate to be held, your alleged "straw-men" would have only earned you a quick smack and an unceremonious dismissal.


What exactly do you mean by the "real world"? I haven't seen a lot of commentary on this being passed around; I don't see large groups of people evaluating who has the higher ass quantity in this thread.  Please define who this "real world" is and please have them speak up to quantify their opinions.

As for hiding within self-moderated forums...it sure doesn't look to me like he's hiding at all.  He's not to the everyday troll because your line of argument and does not justify good argument.  If you want good argument, then take it to the forums.  However, it is clear that this is not what you want.  You are making the only possible judgment about your reasoning for coming here clear in that it is only for the attention and argument with only 1 specific person.

You speak of the "Real world" and then speak of "moderated debate".  "Moderated debate" is not the real world is largely useless.  Very little has come of moderated debate on the issues of theism and philosophy.  If you want an honest educational exchange, post on the forums and restricting yourself to this one exchange with Brian who is a very busy person.

It is clear that you are not here for education or for informational exchange, you are by any definition I have used in the past just a rather aggressive troll.  You are here for the pure purpose of argument and shit disturbing and have no intellectual honesty about you.  You even openly admit to not believing the shit that you want to argue about.

Quote:

The offer still stands, mind you. Me, you, and moderator. No friends, no back-up, no time to formulate responses and autocratically manipulate the medium. In person, toe-to-toe, your arguments versus mine, with a logical moderator to help you take the training wheels off your education.


Your challenge of moderated debate is simply pointless and does not prove anything.  You are looking for an argument for the sake of an argument where you intend to openly debate things that you don't believe.  What kind of bullshit waste of time is that?  There is nothing to be gained from that. Why would he take you up on that? I would be mortified if he justified your threats by actually accepting.

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So then - the stated purpose of the RRS is to eliminate theistic beliefs. I suppose because given current evidence, there is no reason to uphold them. I further suppose because ID is bullshit. But ID is not exactly the strongest evidence towards a creator being (which doesn't have to be god, mind you...reread Hume). I can only ultimately suppose that, given your stated purposes obtained from this website, your logic is as follows:

1) Theistic beliefs should be eliminated.
2) 1) is in virtue of a lack of evidence for the deity of theistic beliefs.
3) The operant principle of 2) is that beliefs which are without sufficient hard evidence should be eliminated.
4) Ergo, theories with a lack of hard evidence to support their claims should be eliminated.


If theistic beliefs were simply personal and private and did not have the public influence then this group would not be here and people would not come to this website.

And yes, the dogmatic belief in non-scientific theories based purely on faith should be eliminated.  There is no justification to claim these things are true.  There are two extremes here that you are ignoring:

1) Total belief in something that lacks evidence.
2) Not just a lack of hard evidence, a lack of ANY evidence.

Having 100% confidence in anything that has no hard evidence is ludicrous; having 100% confidence in something that has no evidence at all is simply garbage.

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Is this right? Do point out any straw men. Although please also observe the principle of charity, and openly correct me instead of merely bitching about my mistakes. Not all misunderstandings are assaults or subterfuge. Please, relax - it will be alright. Not everyone is a cryptotheist who is going to convert you in your sleep.


If you don't want people to be a dick to you, don't be a dick to them.

Quote:

Do you see any problem with this reasoning? Here, I'll supply another:

1) Theories without proof (i.e., are not falsifiable or have evidence to the contrary) should be eliminated.
2) Creation theory is an instance of 1).
3) Creation theory should be eliminated. (MP, 1,2)


Not theories, beliefs.  And not proof, evidence.
Creation is not a theory; it is nothing more than an idea.  It would have to have some evidence that would justify it before it could get the title of theory.  It is only a "theory" in general language usage but by no means a scientific theory.

Quote:

This is your reasoning is it not? Of course, you can't commit to any interpretation because all interpretations are really just straw men. But this one I believe is dead on. Perhaps you want a stronger version. Here goes!


It is not.

Quote:

1) Theories which have evidence to the contrary should be candidate for elimination (a more modest version of your proposed goals).
2) Creation theory has evidence to its contrary.
3) Creation theory should be eliminated. (MP, 1,2)


Creation is not a theory.  Creation does not just have evidence to the contrary; it has no evidence supporting it.

And just in case you want to bring it up...the definition of theory is not mere semantics it is critical to the differentiating of the theory of evolution and the idea of creation as far as scientific credibility.

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There. If this is wrong please correct me. That's right, correct...not assail. If you want to be taken seriously by more than...well...netizens who apparently have the time to sit here and do this all day, please be more cooperative. You've already shamed yourself enough with your ignoble conduct that I'm not sure even Dawkins would condone (ad hominems, slander, red herrings, execrations, etc.).


You have been corrected.

I ask that you do the same.  I also ask that you don't resort to threats before a conversation has even started.  I also ask that you don't assail Brian simply because you see him as the only target worth responding.

Quote:

Now, if this is correct - and so far the consensus amongst my associates and I is that it is - then experimental physics, as well as all theories of free will, should be eliminated. Do you see why? If not, please write back and I'll help you.


I think if you look at the corrections I have made you will see why this statement no longer makes sense.

Quote:

P.S.S. Here's an idea. If I have misunderstood your position, then why don't you spell it out for me? You have a page on here which has your agenda clearly stated, yes? It calls for the elimination of theistic beliefs amongst other things - holistic medicine and so forth. There are, of course, anecdotal cases of holistic medicine working, by the way, so I'm not sure if evidence is your standard here...but being the rational scientists that you are (by the way, I agree with science), it should only be a matter of evidence. That brief aside notwithstanding, and I do mean NOTWITHSTANDING, if evidence is what you're after, then you should recognize that nowhere is there nor is there likely to ever be empirical, scrutable, quantifiable evidence for either free will or superstrings. There are, however, rational arguments for the postulation of - gasp! - ontological entities/faculties, including both free will and superstrings. But, since these can't be proven, I suppose we should eliminate all beliefs/theories concerning them.


Anecdotal evidence is not scientific evidence.  Scientific evidence is what we are looking for here.  Homeopathy, for example, has failed scientific testing time and time again.  And when we are talking about theism we are not talking about "theories" since scientific theories are worth discussion and having.  It does not even oppose the "idea' of god.  It opposes the "faith" in god despite the complete lack of evidence to support the idea.  Theism presupposes a god into the equation without any evidence to suggest that there is a god.  If we held ground on this type of thinking we would have never reason to even look into the sun since many religions have given us their idea based solutions as "fact" for thousands of years.

Ideas are great.  I don't oppose the idea of a god.  I oppose faith in a god without any evidence to support its existence.

Quote:

But really. Lay out the logic and then we'll have a groundwork for our discussion that doesn't depend on anything other than your stated goals, by you, explicitly. It seems every time I try to get a bead on you, you simply say "that's not my position, STRAW MAN STRAW MAN!". So lay out your position explicitly, now, without referencing anything said elsewhere or prior. If I hear it from the horse's mouth I'll take him at his word, and then maybe we can get somewhere.


Only from the horse’s mouth?
Your misconceptions are very common so I am glad to hit as many of them as I can.  We would totally avoid this altogether if you would post on our community forums for discussion rather than attack Brian for argument.

Quote:

Reference Schrodinger's Cat. This isn't the point of the thought experiment, but it can be utilized for such (no, I'm not an instrumentalist). Is the cat dead or alive? Hmmm? What do you believe? Well, the cat must be either dead or alive? Which do you believe? I can stack the terminology to constrain you to have beliefs which you actually do not, you know. Let's say you are a deadcatist. Being a deadcatist means that you hold the cat is dead. If you are not a deadcatist, then you believe the cat is alive. Now suppose you say "I don't know". I can then say, following your logic, SO YOU BELIEVE THE CAT IS ALIVE! But patently this is not what you said, nor is this reflective of your actual beliefs. You simply don't know if the cat is dead or alive.


Not quite accurate...your example would be better if you said that one person was a deadcatist and the other an adeadcatist.  I would be an adeadcatist because I don't conform to the belief that it is in fact dead.  But I am also an acatalivist because I do not conform to the belief that the cat is alive.

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By the way, here are definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary:

SYLLABICATION: a•the•ism
PRONUNCIATION: th-zm
NOUN: 1a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods. 2. Godlessness; immorality.


Now look up the word disbelief.

To use the same dictionary you used:
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This
dis•be•lief       (dĭs'bĭ-lēf&#39Eye-wink  Pronunciation Key
n.   Refusal or reluctance to believe.


The reason for the refusal to believe or reluctance to believe can be one of many reasons including a lack of evidence, ignorance.  In your case it appears that you are reluctant to believe in the concept of a deity, though you are open to it.  But until you go all-in, you are an atheist since you don’t' actually believe.

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I suppose you will now say OH THEY'RE JUST WRONG. FUCKING THEISTS. SEE WHAT THEY DO! The point is that the definition you supplied is not entirely accurate. Wait, that's not severe enough. No, the definition you supplied is actually purposed, factitious (like all definitions, except maybe ostensive ones...but I'm sure you don't know what those are and I'm even more sure they could never apply to deities), and biased. I have supplied an "objective" definition. You see how this works? Right. You don't get to define terms however you want to further your own agendas...unless you're Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Stalin, etc. You're not, though...right? Right.


You complain about this being done to you...yet you go off on a pointless rant like this?  Why don't you wait for an answer first?

I actually don't particularly like that wording and prefer the Oxford English Dictionary on most definitions as I find they are far more thorough and specific, but it still works.

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So then. An agnostic is not necessarily an atheist. But hey - here's more!!!


No one said an agnostic was an atheist.  An agnostic is not discussing the same issue so your stance on Gnosticism has no direct reflection on your stance on theism.  People are quite capable of being agnostic theists.  Of course I already stated this and am likely wasting my time since you don't appear to be reading the posts that get sent back to you.

Quote:

SYLLABICATION: ag•nos•tic
PRONUNCIATION: g-nstk
NOUN: 1a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism. 2. One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.


I find this definition interesting.  Here is the definition generally accepted here and is the one from the OED as well:

agnostic A. sb. One who holds that the existence of anything beyond and behind material phenomena is unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable, and especially that a First Cause and an unseen world are subjects of which we know nothing.


The American Heritage is an interesting one that's for sure.  Here is the primary definition from dictionary.com:

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
ag•nos•tic      /ægˈnɒstɪk/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ag-nos-tik] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1.    a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
2.    a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
–adjective
3.    of or pertaining to agnostics or agnosticism.
4.    asserting the uncertainty of all claims to knowledge.

How about this:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Cite This Source

Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning "without", and Gnosticism or gnosis, meaning "knowledge&quotEye-wink is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently unknowable due to the nature of subjective experience.

Agnostics claim either that it is not possible to have absolute or certain knowledge of the existence or nonexistence of God or gods; or, alternatively, that while individual certainty may be possible, they personally have no knowledge. Agnosticism in both cases involves some form of skepticism. Some agnostics are termed agnostic theists since, while they do not claim to know any deity exists, they do believe (with varying degrees on skepticism) in, at least, one.


None of this reflects on your stance as to if you are or are not a theist.  Atheist is simply not theist.

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There you have it. Of course, you're free to simply say "no, everyone is wrong but me". Quite right. We all are. So sorry.


You can't keep making these kinds of annoying little side-steps if you want to be treated with respect and integrity.

Quote:

I again ask you (I may as well ask the nearest tree) if you hold scientists up to this same standard. Would you tell a scientist studying string theory that he must either believe in strings or not, and that if he says "I don't know", then he is in fact really a nonstringtheorist? No, of course you wouldn't. This behavior is foul and reprehensible, and indeed one of the more grossly illogical tacts of the RRS. Oh, I'm sorry...not the RRS...just their provided and promoted videos/tracts/bullshit.


Yes, scientists should be held to the standards I described.

You continue to make misconception that atheist implies denial of the possibility which it has been stated many times does not.  And even your own dictionary definition states this clearly enough.  Disbelief is not denial.

This has nothing to do with tactics of the RRS; these are just the definitions of the words.  

Once again these types of comments will not gain you any form of respect that you seem to comment that you want.

Quote:

You might consider reading/understanding books before burning them.

Most people here have read the bible more than once.

If you'd like to get into debates about the integrity of the bible and it's writings I suggest you take it up with Rook Hawkins through the forum.  I also suggest you get that account up so I don't have to approve your comments.

Quote:

Is this what qualifies as honesty? So in order to propose a counter to any position, I must first believe it? That interesting. Where'd you pick that one up, exactly?


There is no justification to debate something with someone that they don't themselves believe because it's a waste of time.  There is no benefit.  What if he manages to convince you? Well, it doesn't matter because you already didn't believe it.  This is the type of debating that I used to do in school all the time, and though enjoyable is not constructive or helpful.

All the same, if you take it to the forums you'll find many people quite willing to do so.

Quote:

Additionally, it should be inescapably clear to you that I wanted your opinion on the Kalam argument. It could be that your response is the same as mine.


The only thing clear to me at this point is that you wanted to have an argument with him and perhaps wanted to make it a very public exchange so that you could gain some kind of credibility or attention.  Either way, your approach was deplorable and should in no way be expected to elicit a constructive response.  If you wanted an answer to that question, you should have just asked the question instead of all the other bullshit you tagged around it about wanting the public debate, emailing him everyday etc.  You must realize that the type of response you get is going to depend on the delivery of your questions, and your delivery stinks.  There appears to be no interest in gaining information at all, just the seeking of argument.

Quote:

That's like a surgeon saying he doesn't need anatomy. Refuting cosmological arguments is your job, dingbat...quit being so lazy and do your own work. That's right - you. Not Shaun, not some other board member, but you. You're obviously not even familiar with the argument since you attribute it to Craig (he used it, didn't author it, dipshit), so you certainly can't claim that you have already dealt with it. Thus you are holding beliefs (atheism) that refuse to address contrary views.


Why is it his job? He doesn't get paid to respond to trolls.  And you once again state your inability to understand what the word atheist means.

Quote:

 If you don't see how this is, feel free to reread all this. No, wait...here...an illustration!

1) Sapient is an atheist.
2) Atheism is challenged by the Kalam cosmological argument.
3) Joshua has addressed the Kalam cosmological argument.
4) Joshua is an agnostic.
5) Joshua is justified in his beliefs (MP, 3,4)
6) Sapient has not addressed the Kalam cosmological argument.
7) Sapient maintains 6) is acceptable behavior.
Cool Sapient is not justified in his beliefs (MP, 1, 6)


You don't understand what an atheist means.

I don't even know what the fuck the Kalam argument is and guess what? I still don't believe in god.  Guess what that means? I'm an atheist.

Quote:

There. Here's another since it's easier for you now.

1) Sapient does not believe that the universe was created.
2) The Kalam cosmological argument provides rational argument (evidence through reason) that the universe was created.
3) Sapient does not believe he has to address the Kalam cosmological argument in order to maintain his beliefs.
4) Therefore, Sapient does not review valid contrary arguments to his position.
5) Sapient is bullheaded. (MP, 1, 4)


/yawn.

Ok I looked it up just for fun...I reject it after 1 paragraph of reading based on the fact that it is not based on evidence.  Heard it before, just didn't know what it was called.

There we go.  Thanks for coming out.




I'm sure I just wasted a lot of time, but he...maybe you'll get the fucking clue as to the meaning of the word atheist / atheism.  And maybe you'll even start to use the forums.

I bet against this and will donate $50 bucks to the RRS if you do actually start to post regularly on the forums.  In the end though I think it is far more likely that you're just a troll here to try to gain some attention.  You don't have an interest in learning about what is going on here, about the type of arguments that are made, or the varied leveled of expertise of the many different people in the community all of which are smarter than I am.

Instead you get me.  And you'll likely only get me because until you show some interest reading people’s posts you're probably not ever going to garner interest from anyone else.

Despite my belief that you won't follow through...I leave the door open to prove me wrong.  Get some balls and take your arguments to the atheist vs. theist forums with an actual fucking account so I don't have to approve your posts.


Joshua Ryan Dellinger (not verified)
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"Apparently you're under the

"Apparently you're under the impression that Brian IS the RRS, and as such is REQUIRED to familiarize himself with every single argument out there?"

--Brian is a militant atheist. He should at least know the most standard arguments against his positions and have ready refutations of them that HE HIMSELF has constructed.

"Since you claim to be an authority on logical fallacies, perhaps "Appeal To False Authority" rings a bell. I don't see any reason why your contention should have any authority. You've displayed no evidence of the credentials you have claimed, and no consistent reasoning at all."

--Not based on authority, pal...it's based on the principle of justified true beliefs. Virtually all philosophers already hold this position. Justified philosophical belief concerning creation and justified scientific belief on the same matter is not the liberal privilege. You have to earn it. He has demonstrated that he does not care to address arguments that are opposed to his position (nor, having no background in Cantorian set theory, an adequate understanding of equipollence, metaphysics, and cosmology, could he). Again, this isn't MY say-so. This is the judgment in the face of philosophical rigor.

"Why? Why does anyone need an excuse not to believe in something?"

--Good question. The matter has to do with appearances and intuition. Kant thoroughly demonstrated that our initial understanding of metaphysics leads us to posit a beginning to the universe (creationism, big bang cosmology, etc.). But this leads to all sorts of problems, such as the matter of "who created the creator?". If one then wants to act against intuition and the understanding, through reason (read Kant - watershed in metaphysics and epistemology and ethics), not to mention all appearances, then one must supply reasons for their skepticism. There is a reason why religious stories of creation came first and why, after the dawn of Newtonian physics, the problems of metaphysical origins of the universe erupted. If Brian or anyone else thinks they can ignore the intuitive comprehension of the understanding (there must be no infinite regresses, therefore some beginning, some uncaused cause, etc.) then surely this must be grounded in argument. Anti-ID doesn't touch this subject. Reading Dawkins doesn't get you off the ground concerning causality. So you have to address the metaphysical issues concerning a creator being if you want to say you have denied the metaphysical necessity of one. Do you see this yet? Given the way the world is, we naturally (should we actually think about it) cannot believe in an infinite regress of causality. We must therefore address how there can be a beginning (no infinite regression, mind you!) without a creator. What initiated the impetus, so to speak. This acts against our metaphysical intuitions and requires a sufficient argument to do so. You either have one, or your beliefs are simply unjustified and based on...well...what exactly? Say you refute ID. Okay, fine...but what about metaphysics? And no, Kelly, you cannot refute metaphysical causality problems in a five-page paper. (seriously, say that at any philosophy conference and be laughed out of the room) Is this all clear?

By the way: one cannot reference Hume to undo or confute metaphysics, since Hume deals only with the observation of causality, which is why he himself ends in skepticism, not ontological/metaphysical nihilism. If you guys don't know what I'm talking about or have to brush up on these terms you may as well just hit the books before converting tweens on youtube.

"Given your apparent theism, your support of homosexuals was remarkable - as evidenced by the fact that he remarked on the subject."

--Goddamn you guys are blind ha ha ha. Seriously...how many times do I have to tell you I'm not a theist? I won't anymore...it's just pointless. I have dealt with Aquinas' Five Ways (was that a page per way, Kelly?) and the Kalam and a dozen others. My beliefs are justified, and they are not theistic beliefs, as I remain unconvinced of the necessity of a creator being. I also however do not rule it out, and ultimately I suspend judgment because I believe it impossible to know and, out of a principle of modesty and sense, do not pass judgment on matters that I cannot scrutinize. See how that works? It's not atheism, and it's not theism. To your other point, then:

"Theism is the belief in a god, atheism the lack of belief in a god. Agnostic is not a third choice, but a adjective. You can be an agnostic Theist, or an agnostic Atheist, OR you can be a gnostic Theist or a gnostic Atheist. Agnostic and Gnostic refer to knowledge, not belief. Agnostic Theists would say that they believe in god, but can't prove for sure one way or another. Agnostic Atheists don't believe in god, but can't prove for sure one way or another. Gnostic Theists believe in god and claim to have proof of his existence. Gnostic Atheists don't believe in a god, and claim to have proof of his non-existence."

--I suppose if this the only compendium you use for your information, then yes, you're going to have these beliefs. I have supplied the more common, sanctioned, accepted, and accurate definitions. You obviously are not reading my posts, but that's fine. It might not matter if you did. By the way, are you familiar with the ancient Greek school of skepticism? You're not? Why let me tell you about it! But first a little Taylor on Hume: "Opponents of skepticism, however, have urged these objections in a vacuum. No skeptic of whom we have record ever pretended to doubt everything. Usually they have explicitly exempted at least the direct testimony of the senses and the end values served by the skepticism. Philosophical skepticism, in company with all other philosophical traditions, falls somewhere between these extremes. It does not seem valuable to delimit the general skepticism further. It is required only to ask of any presumed skeptic: on what matters does he suspend judgment, and upon what criteria does his skeptical attitude rest?...The question is worth repeating, because it is so constantly forgotten that the suspension of judgment is relative to, and dependent on, critical criteria. it is possible, without contradiction, to affirm a given proposition under one criterion, suspend judgment on it under a second, and deny it under a third. The problem then shifts back to the compatibility of my criteria." On to the Greeks (I take that the Taylor is clear enough?). Diogenes the Dog had a very common response to most inquiries; that being, "I suspend judgment". You see, the problem with Brian and you and those who accept these definitions is they do not recognize the ability of one to doubt a la Descartes and Hume. In this sense, "doubting" means to suspend judgment. Kant dealt with this in his antinomies. Hey, hey...there's a good idea! All you people have probably never read Kant. That's cute! Well, Kant dealt with all this in a little-known work (for you, I suppose) known as the Critique of Pure Reason. This is what you're using in metaphysics, "pure reason"...know why? Because you can only REASON backwards concerning the origin of the universe based on the conditions present now. This presupposes a number of things, all of which have been challenged. A theist who has done his metaphysical legwork is just as justified in his beliefs as an atheist who has done the same, and an atheist who has not explored metaphysical arguments has not earned his right to disbelief anymore than a theist has earned his right to believe based only on reviewing a holy book. The statement "there is no god" is metaphysical. The statement "I do not believe there is any god" is a doxastic or, if you like, epistemological issue. No epistemology can ever become metaphysical in its extension (Kant). So you may reason as much as you like, but you cannot proof nor disprove god, and you are left with only doxastic states of affirmation of denial, with theism the former and atheism the latter. But this will be only because you are dissatisfied with religion, not god. In truth, you are not an atheist, but really anti-religious. I will concede that a person may have a belief in god. Look, we can have beliefs in anything we like, can't we? I can "believe" the world is flat. But that belief does not correspond to the world (correspondence theory of truth) and is therefore not true. You cannot draw a correspondence between any belief - ANY BELIEF - in god and the state of the world. To believe in god requires faith, and to disbelieve requires just as much. Why? Well, to believe requires you to accept something you've never seen. To disbelieve is to deny something you've never seen. Both are the same as standing outside a locked, opaque door and arguing what is on the other side. Surely no holy book is accurate. But did you know that philosophical theists don't hold the world to be 6,000 years old? No, probably not. Aristotle held that the world was first caused by an uncaused cause (or causa sui, although he didn't use this language) why? It wasn't because he was afraid of hell or because he was taught it. It was because he reasoned to it. Do you believe in infinite regresses? No, I should think not. Do you believe in uncaused causes? That is just as difficult. But these seem to be our only choices. So we have the Big Bang. So what? And how did that happen? Where did the motion or energy come from? It cannot be destroyed, yes? But it also does not infinitely regress backwards, does it? My answer (here you go Brian...you won't have to think a bit of metaphysics this week) is tentatively (subject to change after my colleague's publication of his thesis and my completion of Quentin Smith's argument) is that while motion cannot infinitely regress, time can. Time is here understood as the possibility for a sequence of events, even in the absence of any events. Motion is matter acting in sequence. Motion cannot infinitely regress owing to causality. Time is exempt from causality given that time is a mere condition, just as space is a mere condition for presence (I have more difficulties with this one, but just follow me). So we have time allowing event and space allowing objects of the event presence, yes? Newtonian physics is just matter smacking into one another. But we have seen that matter is only energy (avoid all Bill Hicks Tool samples, please). Energy, as most understand it, is both capacity for action and action itself (potential and kinetic). But this is still Newtonian which is subsumed within GR. GR states that all the universe is really a form of monism (energy is all, all is energy). Whether or not energy is susceptible to the same laws as physical objects (motion, causality, etc.) remains to be determined by my personal investigations and I suppose whatever scientific research, schemas, and theories will allow. This, here, that I have been doing, extemporaneously and highly abridged, is what one must do if one wants to address the metaphysical issues of a first cause. You can't refute all holy books and that be it. You can't shake hands with a panda and that be it. It requires philosophical investigations into Aristotelian first philosophy. Better?

"There is no end to inquiry."

--Peirce disagrees. Have you read him? You might like him. I recommend his article on fixing our ideas, which if I recall correctly is simply entitled just that.

"Does this idea still apply when the response to many arguments is to say "the Bible says otherwise, and I believe the Bible"? Do we have to put up with the belief that the world is less than 10,000 years old simply because someone has a verbal response to all the evidence to the contrary? It sounds like a nice ideal, but as it is not applicable to every example you should suspend your belief that it is workable. Clinging to something like this will only color your conclusions."

--You only have to refute the Bible thoroughly once in order to refute reference to it again. I'm not asking you to recreate the wheel for every debate. What I am requiring is that, if you want to refute a text, you actually understand it and have read it and probably some secondary source material. The "blasphemy challenge" misses the entire goddamned point, and is seriously flawed. Look - between someone who has studied the master narrative of a book and someone who hasn't, I'll take the former for interpretations. But, really, do I even need to in this passage? The excerpt I supplied was from a quick search online (I did not have a bible handy, which is not to say I don't own one). But concerning the passage, even a complete dilettante such as Sapient should see clearly that what the character of jesus indicates as blasphemy is falsely attributing diving works to demons. It's got nothing to do with "denying the holy spirit". Look, even if it's a fairy tale, it's a very simple one. Sapient, the architects of the blasphemy challenge, and anyone else who misunderstands the narrative are beyond obtuse. Much of the bible is ambiguous. That section? Not at all. How someone can get "denying the holy spirit" is beyond me, but I'd openly hear their reasoning. But, as we've seen, Sapient maintains that by correcting him on the issue, I am "defending" the bible. What nonsense. And horse shit.

So thoroughly refute the bible and you can refute all reference to it. But you cannot refute something you don't a) read and b) understand. Sapient and everyone involved in the blasphemy challenge are only laughed at by theists because they can't even blaspheme right. And, by the way, that's not a theistic principle - it's simply understanding a goddamned text. No wonder the radio sound has been out for months...I wouldn't trust these goons to replace a watch battery. But most likely Sapient will say I have created a straw man (even though I've supplied the text already where he clearly states that I have defended the bible, which I didn't, so who has the straw men here?) or will simply deny that he claimed I defended the bible by correcting him. I frankly don't care what he does, as I know well enough not to argue with irrational, self-redacting assholes who haven't even studied advanced deductive logic. Goddamn, man...if you expect me to take you seriously, you'd better know what a biconditional is!

"On the other hand, if you want a third choice, you can say that you don't know, and aren't thinking about it. You don't have to accept a label. You can't arbitrarily redefine a very precise, specific term for your own use, but you CAN say "I don't know". Saying that you honestly don't know, and that you choose not to take a side is an intellectually honest and respectable stance in comparison to the above absurdity."

--Well this is the closest to intelligence we've come so far. But again, see the definitions I have supplied from the American Heritage dictionary. Goddamn - you guys are like a cult...you've got your own language and everything!

"This is an astonishing display of ignorance even for what we have come to expect from you. We are not talking about causation of mental disorders, we're talking about a matter of belief and disbelief. Conflating the issue is not going to help you."

--Well I think I've sufficiently demonstrated that I'm not ignorant. I'm sure I've studied at least as much if not more than most people here, can dismantle that bullshit "refutation" in five minutes (Nietzsche is no refutation of ANYTHING for pete's sake...and to reference Dawkins against metaphysics? Dawkins doesn't even ever address metaphysics! He only deals in ID! And to use only five sources for the work of this redoubtable stature? Give me a fucking break. Look, this weekend I'll type up a refutation if I have time and submit it. This is just pitiful). So you have no right to call me ignorant unless you are still labeling me a theist and all theists are, to you, ignorant. Ignoring the gross generalization and unwarranted universal predication there (what was that, Sapient? yes, I know these words are alien...I'm sorry), this is a blatant category mistake. I am not a theist and I will not brook anymore accusations thereof. If this is necessary, then something is sorely lacking on your part. I don't even think you utilized "conflating" correctly here, as I have never claimed that the genesis of schizophrenia is the same issue as knowledge of god's existence. What I did claim was the following, which your goddamned inept, bungling intellect was simply incapable of grasping. Again, I'll use the simpler tree structure:

1) Knowledge of an objective state of affairs, including causality, requires the study of evidence, the formulation of theories, and the repeated testing of these theories within legitimate and repeatable trials. (Scientific thesis)
2) When forming a theory, a scientist must first postulate a hypothesis. Concerning the veracity of the hypothesis, he suspends judgment.
3) Experiments are conducted and data is collected.
4) Depending upon the results of the data and the relation to the hypothesis, a theory may be formed.
5) If the theory involves more testing, or if there are conflicting views, the scientist should only continue to suspend judgment.
6) The methods of science are thus determined (1-5) through methodological skepticism (suspended belief/judgment) and hypothetical research.
7) Philosophy has corollaries to science. Philosophy as well involves hypothetical examination of theories while suspending judgment on the objects of investigation.
8*) The scientific method, insofar as it includes the suspension of judgment, is valid.
9) The philosophical method then, insofar as it too includes the suspension of judgment, must too be valid. (6-9)

If you have any problems with this logic please let me know. My point with the example of a research psychologist or neuroscientist with respect to the efficient cause of schizophrenia was as follows: if a scientist is allowed to suspend judgment on certain matters which have but two choices, why can an inquirer into the metaphysical necessity of god's existence not do the same? Why is suspension of judgment/belief valid for science and not for philosophy? If you want hard entities, then use my other example of superstrings, or perhaps subatomic particles. Scientists thought inferentially that there might be subatomic particles, but concerning their existence, even though they constructed arguments and experiments designed to investigate said entities, they remained mute and unaffiliated. This is scientific skepticism (which is really a redundant characterization) and it remains valid for philosophy. You have no more right to claim that a person must either believe in god or disbelieve in god than you do forcing a scientist to either believe or disbelieve in subatomic particles (before they are definitively known). Show me how the principles are divergent. Please. Yes you can say "but we're talking about god here!!!". Quite right. But we're also talking about skepticism concerning existential judgments in both cases. So go ahead.

Concerning your closing aspersions: thanks, really. Is this like saying "well so far today I haven't slapped anybody, so here I go!". I'm glad you patted yourself on the back for stifling your priapic and adolescent ire for all of ten minutes, but this was more or less immediately nullified by the fact that you then proceeded to do just what you had taken satisfaction in not doing. That's cute! Gee, you guys are swell!

Okay. Hit the books and respond. Seriously. I'd like to hear your metaphysical arguments. This does not depend on religion - just pure reason and the state of the world as it stands today. So knock yourself out. And do continue to pull out the words you save up and employ in personal attack as if they were, well, impressive. Here are a few off the top of my head that I always thought sounded nice: recherche, grandiloquent, magnanimous, importunate, adolescentia (Latin, sorry), solicitous, gravid, seriatim, and pertinacious. Add them to your list, tiger!


Joshua Ryan Dellinger (not verified)
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I'm only going to try to

I'm only going to try to respond to one thing here for now, as I've got to hit the bed.

"Ok I looked it up just for fun...I reject it after 1 paragraph of reading based on the fact that it is not based on evidence. Heard it before, just didn't know what it was called."

I see that you adopt a positivist attitude. You are aware of the flaws in positivism, I suppose? Oh, I see, you're not. Well here's a quick one...

In the 20th century in Vienna an analytic philosophical movement began known as logical positivism. Why the logical in front of the positivism. Oh, you silly, cute boy. Here's why:

Logic cannot be empirically proven. There is no "evidence" for all reason. That modus ponens and tollens and disjunctive syllogism and exportation and all our other good friends cannot be experienced empirically requires that pure reason (i.e., abstract thought of the mind alone) be included in the methods of inquiry. But you obviously don't believe in logic anyways. I'll evince my claim in a bit. But here's another tidbit of thought. Don't choke now!

Do you believe in your free will? That is, do you believe that you are capable of moving your arm to respond to me right now should you like to? Yes? Where is the evidence for this? Quite simply, you will never find any. The notion of "will" is entirely inscrutable to empirical investigation or "evidence", if we use your terminology. So "will" is something you must toss out as well, right? But don't you believe you are free to do what you like? Why is that? Show me the evidence that you are a freely acting agent? You can't. So drop the belief, Mr. Physicalist. (If you are actually a determinist, then I feel sorry for whomever loves you, for they will have to accept that your feelings are the result of only chemical and material causality. Happy Valentine's Day!)

So address that. Why believe in free will when you can't empirically verify it? Take note of the following: you can't use your own feeling of free will, as your own feelings have lied to you before, yes? Your "feelings" are not empirically quantifiable nor scrutable. Your "feelings" bear no evidence. So if you only want evidence, then you may additionally kiss your autonomy goodbye. It's not so much to lose, really...unless you like agency, identity, morality...

Have fun with that.

Too tempting.

"Yes, scientists should be held to the standards I described."

My dear sweet friend...you are beyond ridiculous. You are only affirming what I have come to suspect, which is that this forum exists in its own qualified world. Take that to any scientist, PLEASE. PLEASE tell him or her that they must express positive or negative belief in hypothetical entities. I would love to see how that goes over. Goddamn, you are really, really silly. Why Dennett ever even came within two miles of this shit is beyond me.

Alright guys...drum roll! Here's the big, crowning achievement of dyslogic.

"I would be an adeadcatist because I don't conform to the belief that it is in fact dead. But I am also an acatalivist because I do not conform to the belief that the cat is alive."

HA HA HA. Okay, man. So let me get this straight here: a person who does not conform to the belief that the cat is either alive or dead is actually both an adeadcatist and an acatalivist. I see. So a person who does the same for god (replace cat in your logic...I sense a diagram coming) is at the same time an atheist and a theist. This has officially become ludicrous.

Here, this is what you say:

1) A cat is in a box, sealed away, with something deadly leaking out.
2) At some point the cat will be dead, but we cannot look into the box to know if it is alive or dead at present.
3) The cat's vital state is thus inscrutable.
4) A person (according to Mr. Atheist) can at the same time disbelieve the cat is alive and disbelieve the cat is dead.
5) Mutatis Mutandis, a person can disbelieve in the existence of god and disbelieve in the nonexistence of god.
6) A person is thus both an atheist (disbelief in existence) and a theist (double negation, 5, "disbelieve in the nonexistence")
7) A person is thus capable of believing in logical absurdities.

Congratulations, man. You have just violated basically the only principle of reason which is universally recognized, that of noncontradiction. How? Well, here's the whole shebang right here:

You have claimed that scientists must choose between belief and disbelief. This is your principle. Skepticism is not allowed. But you then turn around and say that a person is allowed to disbelieve the only two options concerning the cat example. So a scientist is not allowed to suspend judgment, but then MAGICALLY you can concerning the cat! HOW CUTE YOU ARE!

Look: review your argument. If you can doubt both the vitality and mortality of the cat, then there's no reason why a scientist, skeptic, philosopher, other person cannot doubt both the existence and nonexistence of god. Get some help if you need it. And do post this. By the way - this argument makes use of INFERENCE RULES, not STRAW MEN. You and others seem to have a problem with logic altogether, but I believe yours are more explicit than any others.

P.S. Can I have your real name so that I can include you in future logic courses? Also, I think you should review John Duns Scotus' punishment for those who violate the law of noncontradiction as you so deftly have here.


Joshua Ryan Dellinger (not verified)
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Concerning agnosticism and

Concerning agnosticism and atheism.

Okay, so you don't like the wording of agnosticism. At most what we have proven is that we don't have a universal definition of these terms, and therefore this problem of semantics will continue insolubly. There may, however, be a bit of hope here.

Let's look at atheism, from the dictionaries you provided. Please note: I will not bicker over semantics anymore. You maintained that atheism simply means lack of theism, therefore subsuming skepticism. Very well...I will drop the problem that is being kicked all over the place here (agnostic atheists, agnostic theists) and simply refer from here on to "skepticism". How is that? I suppose if your education consists in mostly Wikipedia and dictionary.com, you're going to express very abecedarian, quotidian comprehensions. That's fine, but don't expect me to engage in a more nuanced argument with you.

Now then: skepticism vis-a-vis atheism. Are they the same? You maintain that they are, because anyone who does not believe in god must, as an analytic proposition, be an atheist. I and others maintain that this is simply false. You are operating under a definition that I do not accept. What you have yet to address are my reasons for rejecting your definition. Do you see? So long as you still accept it and I do not we will never get anywhere. But, if you look at WHY I REJECT IT, then you will see clearly (well, maybe not since you let go of that logic thing a long time ago) where you are wrong.

Skepticism suspends judgment. It is not contrary to anything. Skepticism is one-half of a binary opposition. It is simply the suspension of judgment, even on a binary opposition. Thus when you say "I don't know" means the same as "atheism" which means the same as "does not believe in god", you are going way, way too far, and I think I know why. You are taking a quite literal interpretation of the word "atheist". This is itself a fallacy, known as the etymological fallacy (a version of the genetic fallacy, I believe). If this is your understanding, let us look at another word "disaffected". What would you take this word to mean? Now look it up. There is a definition which is its actual meaning that is beyond the mere conjunction of the prefix and the root word. Do you see? Okay, good! Now, atheist is not simply "not" and "the belief in god". This is a fallacy. We could apply it to many other words, but what's the point? We are all familiar with words whose etymological meanings differ from their standard use OR whose meanings extend beyond the meaning of common semantic operators (dis, re, non, pro, etc.) and root terms. Now, if you want to continue in this fallacy, then "atheism" only means "without theism". But, then, as we have seen, I could be both an atheist and a nonatheist, because, in being ambivalent about the matter, or merely skeptical, I am both without the belief in god and without the lack of belief in god. Are you starting to see why your definition is abominable?

Atheist understood as merely in contrast to theism creates a false dichotomy IF it holds that anything other than theism is atheism. Surely one cannot have a belief about an entity before one knows about the entity. Please reference doxastic intentionality, okay? It might make you seem less flagrantly stupid. And here I thought theism was for undereducated types?

Here's a quick sampling. Doxastic propositions concern belief states. Mary believes it's raining outside. Intentionality is the tenet that all our beliefs are about something, i.e., that beliefs don't occur without objects orienting them. So Mary has a belief ABOUT the RAIN outside. Now then, suppose Mary has just been born and she doesn't know what rain is. Does she have a belief about rain? No, not at all. In fact, she can't. Mary is unfamiliar with the concept of rain and therefore cannot apply any belief to it. She does not believe it is raining, but she also does not believe it is not raining. This is basic level philosophy, okay? This is why Craig et al don't debate you fucks. Because they'd only spend their time in review.

So, back to Mary. She is not born an atheist. Why? Because beliefs are about something, and she has no concept (a mental "about something") to apply beliefs to. You may not get this. I won't be surprised. Ignore that snarky comment and think hard. Again. Now if Mary is not born an atheist (because she cannot apply beliefs to a lack of a doxastic object) this means that the lack of being a theist does not imply atheism. And thus your definition is clearly inadequate and flawed.

When binary choices are forced upon agents where there exist more than two choices, one has committed a false dichotomy. You say "there is only atheism and theism and all non-theism is atheism". Well, that's nice. But you are looking at the word itself instead of the concept it implies. This, again, is a form of etymological fallacy. You might say that the etymological fallacy only contrasts what the word originally meant versus what it now means. This is not accurate, and I'm sure if you look into it, if you actually care to, you'll see why. Hey...you like wikipedia, right? Here's a couple of helpful pages:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_change#Types_of_semantic_change http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymological_fallacy#Examples_and_processes

Even IF "atheism" only ever meant "not-theism", which is dubious, it does not mean that today. The semantic value of the word "atheism" is not simply "without theism", for then a skeptic could be both an atheist and theist, and so could an ambivalent person, and so could a confused person, etc. And we have already seen that an infant would be neither atheistic nor theistic. The semantic value of "atheist" is best understood through the definitions that were provided by outside sources which contradict the very peculiar definitions this site makes use of. I am not saying this to "escape labels", so take your speculative ad hominem and keep it to your fallacious self. I say this because it's the goddamn linguistic fact.

So, now that that has been addressed, let us look to the case of the definitions provided. "Refusal or reluctance to believe". Okay, this sounds exactly like "skeptical". If all you mean by "atheist" is "without a belief in god", then this definition will not hold up. We have already demonstrated why elsewhere, but in this case what RRS claims in their condoned video is not the same as the definition here. "Refusal" is sharply different from "reluctant". It may be that this too is an inadequate definition. I should like to keep it, though, and so I will demonstrate how this is not incompatible with my position that a skeptic is no atheist.

True, a skeptic "is reluctant" to believe in god. Yet he is also "reluctant" to not believe in god. Do you see the problem? If we say that a person who is "reluctant to believe" in god is an atheist, then a person who is "reluctant to not believe" in god would be a theist. Following your trend, there may be all reasons to not want to abandon the belief in god. However, until they "go all in" with their forfeiting, they still believe in god, right? Well then, here is yet another of your hallowed logical absurdities. A skeptic is a person who is reluctant to pass judgment on matters. He or she would then be understood as "reluctant" to both belief in god and disbelief in god. Thus he or she would at the same time be both atheist and theist. It is unintelligible to speak of a skeptic as having to be atheist because he does not hold theistic beliefs. He also does not hold atheistic beliefs, because, FOR THE LAST TIME, he has no beliefs on the matter whatsoever. As we have stated, he is at once unwilling to commit to atheism and unwilling to commit to theism. You remark, aping the dictates of this newspeak of yours, that any person who is unwilling to commit to theism is an atheist. Well, let's have a couple more examples. A person who has never heard of intelligent design, for example: does he or she believe in it? A person who has heard of it but remains unconvinced by either camp, remarking that it is equally possible that there could be a designer and that there could not be. What then? I may ask you what you believe of shuldenfratz, then say you must either think it sweet or not-sweet. If you don't know what that is, and I then tell you that they're extinct, you can have no beliefs concerning it. Does that mean that you must pick either sweet or not-sweet? No, not at all.

So look, pal...this is really, really tedious. You obviously have no concept of semantics, linguistics, pragmatics, theories of meaning, skepticism, or even bare logic. You have admitted the most flagrant of contradictions (cat in the box example as valid but skepticism, i.e. suspension of judgment or reluctance towards both options). You have committed the etymological fallacy. You are niggling over the most trivial of distinctions, including what it means to "disbelieve". I've brooked all of this so far, but to no avail, really, because you don't see the basic futility of this. I don't have a belief concerning theism nor atheism because I am a skeptic. I have no agenda, but I'm goddamned willing to hear all your arguments. If any pass the test of analysis and critique, then I'll possibly adopt them. You, however, want to refute theism and demonstrate that I must somehow be atheist, since I don't hold theistic beliefs. Well, rocks are atheist then too, right? And dolphins as well? This makes no sense, because you are overlooking what it means (there's where some good ol' philosophy of language might do you some good) for a thing to have a belief or not have one. A belief is a position, yes? A belief is a stance on an issue. A belief is taking one side or another, if there are only two. Mind you, IF there are only two. Skepticism is the suspension of beliefs. Do you not see that yet? It refuses to take any stance, just as if I were to ask you how you took your coffee, sugar or non-sugar, and you reply "I don't drink coffee.". You could not then say 'NON-SUGAR IT IS!!!'. Belief in a god does not apply to me, nor does it have to, because I maintain that there is no way to ground beliefs in either the positive or the negative. You are the only person I have ever spoken with who maintains that scientists, WHILE STILL INVESTIGATING HYPOTHETICAL ENTITIES, must take an existential position on them. Why don't you ask Kelly what she thinks of this (she's the scientist, right? I mean...she played one on TV). Seriously...ask any scientist what they think of this. This is your private understanding of science, and I can guarantee you it begins and ends with you. There is nothing in the principle of science that holds what you believe, and in fact there are principles which directly contravene what you would impose upon researchers. So, seriously then, man...ask around.

Alright. Good luck being logically ignorant. Please take an LSAT or GRE or basic logic course and see how well you do. Honestly. For the sake of all netizens worldwide.


Mr. Atheist (not verified)
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You know what...I started

You know what...I started reading your posts...but you maintain the same asshole approach so I'm not even going to honor you with reading them.  You are worthless and a waste of my time. 

Thanks for coming out.  When you are prepared to act like a man with balls take your arguments to AvsT.  Until then, you're just a long-winded parrot repeating the same bullshit every theist is and in the same manner that they deliver it.

You asked for clarification, I gave it to you, and you ignored and continued an argument based on an assumption of a definition that we have stated many times we are not using.

So sod off.

/bored 


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Mr. Atheist wrote: You

Mr. Atheist wrote:

You know what...I started reading your posts...but you maintain the same asshole approach so I'm not even going to honor you with reading them. You are worthless and a waste of my time.

I read one sentence of the first post on this page in which he presents our position, then calls it militant atheism.

 

Quote:
When you are prepared to act like a man with balls take your arguments to AvsT.

I guess I didn't make this clear before, as a troll he is not welcome on this site, however in the interest of fairness he can say whatever the hell he wants in THIS THREAD and never anywhere else for however many years he wants to.

- Brian Sapient


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I think that he makes a few

I think that he makes a few interesting points (at least in the most recent posts) and doesn't really come off as some random theist spouting nonsense.

It appears that the greatest dischord comes from arguments over terms. A large segment of the thread is bickering over the definition of the word atheism, which doesn't really seem to matter in the larger scheme of things.

The major disagreement I would have would be that he seems to be applying standards of philosophy to the scientific method, which I think leads to some inconsistent results because the two are not really equatable in that manner.


Mazid the Raider
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Okay, good. You chose

Okay, good. You chose option 2.b - keep on being stupid while misconstruing what I said (as opposed to option 2.a - keep on being stupid and ignoring me). The fire burning your dumb ass to a crisp hasn't gone out yet, but you adding some more thermite to the mix is always fun.

First, I would like to invite you to write shorter posts. You're not nearly good enough at writing that anyone is really going to bother reading you 2000+ word essays, dripping as they are with stupidity and inexperience. Find a more precise, concise way to state your points.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
Brian is a militant atheist. He should at least know the most standard arguments against his positions and have ready refutations of them that HE HIMSELF has constructed.

Why? Why reinvent the wheel? We all stand on the shoulders of giants - unless you want to claim that you invented the clothes you wear - anyways, if there's a tool that does the job of refuting a stupid argument why should Brian, or I, or you, have to come up with a new one? See, that's the beauty of being Homo Sapiens - we can use tools! 

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"Since you claim to be an authority on logical fallacies, perhaps "Appeal To False Authority" rings a bell. I don't see any reason why your contention should have any authority. You've displayed no evidence of the credentials you have claimed, and no consistent reasoning at all." --Not based on authority, pal...it's based on the principle of justified true beliefs.

Who justified your beliefs as true? Besides: "Your search - "principle of justified true beliefs" - did not match any documents." (result of Google search). If you typed the wrong term, please feel free to correct me. Politely.

 Okay, then you blather about this for a while. Until you learn to form a cohesive paragraph you can bet I'm not going to bother with this sort of shash.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"Why? Why does anyone need an excuse not to believe in something?" --Good question. The matter has to do with appearances and intuition.

 SHAME on you! Intuition?! Intuition should never enter into the conversation. Intuition has nothing to do with logic - it's a first guess. Anyone who is going attempt to forward a logical (or illogical, in your case) argument based on INTUITION has already failed, and failed miserably. 

Oddly enough, that almost made me forget that you gave the wrong answer. There can be no imposition on the right to disbelieve any more than we can impose a belief.  

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
If one then wants to act against intuition and the understanding, through reason (read Kant - watershed in metaphysics and epistemology and ethics), not to mention all appearances, then one must supply reasons for their skepticism.

Ah, lovely. I like Ayn Rand's take on Kant: "...if you want to propagate an outrageously evil idea (based on traditionally accepted doctrines), your conclusion must be brazenly clear, but your proof unintelligible." I take it this is your method? That would certainly explain your incoherent writing, but you got the "brazenly clear" conclusion wrong - unless the conclusion is that you are in fact a troll.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
If Brian or anyone else thinks they can ignore the intuitive comprehension of the understanding (there must be no infinite regresses, therefore some beginning, some uncaused cause, etc.) then surely this must be grounded in argument.

 Who says there has to be a beginning? Your vaunted intuition? Nobody has any reason or inclination to pander to your intuition.

 Okay, so now you blab on some more... talk about other people... okay, here's something moderately interesting.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
See how that works? It's not atheism, and it's not theism. To your other point, then: "Theism is the belief in a god, atheism the lack of belief in a god. Agnostic is not a third choice, but an adjective. You can be an agnostic Theist, or an agnostic Atheist, OR you can be a gnostic Theist or a gnostic Atheist. Agnostic and Gnostic refer to knowledge, not belief. Agnostic Theists would say that they believe in god, but can't prove for sure one way or another. Agnostic Atheists don't believe in god, but can't prove for sure one way or another. Gnostic Theists believe in god and claim to have proof of his existence. Gnostic Atheists don't believe in a god, and claim to have proof of his non-existence." --I suppose if this the only compendium you use for your information, then yes, you're going to have these beliefs.

 Yes, I'm sorry. I use language properly, I base my information in reality, so yes: Those are the two options - each with two variations. 

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
I have supplied the more common, sanctioned, accepted, and accurate definitions.

You managed to find one definition with imprecise enough language that almost sounds like it doesn't support my use. Congratulations, you're an idiot. 

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
You obviously are not reading my posts...

I've addressed this. Nobody is going to willingly wade through that much stupidity, unless it's for charity - and you are a charity case.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
...are you familiar with the ancient Greek school of skepticism?

 Didn't you just say that we needed some excuse to be a skeptic, you raving Kantian you.

 Incidentally, you may notice that I ignore everything you say after you answer your own question. That is because you are using a Red Herring ploy to invent a brand new conversation to go your way - because nothing else here ever will until you start using some of the logic to which you claim to aspire.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
Diogenes the Dog had a very common response to most inquiries; that being, "I suspend judgment".

 Suspension of judgment is a valid option, but it is not Agnosticism. You're buying into a common theist fallacy, and a common linguistic mistake. Be careful not to conflate terms.

Lets see... you rant on some more... whoops, wipe the rabid foam from your chin and try again...  here we go.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
...you cannot proof nor disprove god...

 Who said we can? None of us. Stop pretending we say shit like that. See that? Right there you set up a Straw Man. THAT's right, reread through your own slobbering mess. You just used a logical fallacy, plain as day.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
Motion is matter acting in sequence.

Wrong, btw. 

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
"There is no end to inquiry." --Peirce disagrees.

 Bummer. Peirce is wrong, or you're misquoting - again.

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
You only have to refute the Bible thoroughly once in order to refute reference to it again. I'm not asking you to recreate the wheel for every debate.

 That is precisely what you are telling Brian - that he has to refute every argument that YOU consider compelling that exists, reinventing the wheel on YOUR WHIM. That's only part of why you're a fucktard, but it's a pretty big part.

 Okay, you bleat some more like a sheep that doesn't like what your dad is doing to it... wow, you do carry on. How about making your point quickly and then STFU?

Joshua Ryan Dellinger wrote:
Dawkins doesn't even ever address metaphysics!

 *gasp* He doesn't??!??! A biologist is talking primarily about biological evidence? Oh Noes!!! You're a stupid shit, you know that Joshua? You do, don't you.

 Righto, the entire rest of your post, not to mention the subsequent posts, are so severely skippable that it brings tears to my eyes... oh wait, no it doesn't. Oh well. Two free tips, Joshua: First, stop with the P.S. bullshit - nobody wanted to hear your initial thoughts, let alone your post scripts, and secondly, Stop with the ignorant trolling. Take your theistic Kantian strategies, shove them up your already well lubed and stretched anus sideways, and hire a plumber to pull them back out of your throat for a second go-around.

 And have a nice day! Laughing out loud

"But still I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me!" ~Rudyard Kipling

Mazid the Raider says: I'd rather face the naked truth than to go "augh, dude, put some clothes on or something" and hand him some God robes, cause you and I know that the naked truth is pale, hairy, and has an outie
Entomophila says: Ew. AN outie


Mr. Atheist (not verified)
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Hey Josh I'm wondering if

Hey Josh I'm wondering if you could do something for me.

Would you take the Blasphemy challenge?

What is your stance on the historical Jesus Christ?

And since it does not mean anything to you...

could you please also swear to god that you are skeptical of his existance and give equal weighting to the non-existance of a deity as well as all other deities?

Could you swear that on a bible actually, that would be appreciated.

It's just for fun.  If you're truly a skeptic none of this will mean anything or matter. 


Joshua Ryan Dellinger (not verified)
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EDIT: Skepticism is NOT

EDIT: Skepticism is NOT one-half of a binary opposition. Typo.

EDIT: Sorry for all the bold-faced. Not sure what happened there.

EDIT: I still haven't received my password, so it's not my fault if you're annoyed that I haven't logged in. Fix your busted site.

RESPONSE: Of course no one would deal with the actual arguments here, e.g. the fallacies I pointed out, the metaphysical principles, etc. By the way, look up "justified true beliefs". It's a principle in epistemology. See how that works? We should coin a fallacy after you...let's call it the google fallacy!

Google fallacy: a material fallacy in which one rejects a proposition, definition, or selection of evidence because it does not appear in a Google search.

MILITANT ATHEISM: Sapient is a self-described atheist. So are all the members of this team. Yes? Yes. The stated goal of the RRS is the elimination of theistic beliefs and creation arguments. That is what we call militant.

HERE!: mil·i·tant /ˈmɪlɪtənt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mil-i-tuhnt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective
1. vigorously active and aggressive, esp. in support of a cause: militant reformers.
2. engaged in warfare; fighting.

I'm sorry you don't like the description, but it's apt. Nothing could be more so. Perhaps you prefer "militant anti-theistic beliefs" or "militant anti-religious beliefs" or "militant anti-homeopathy". Either way, you're militant and ill-equipped, and everyone herein has only been repeatedly exposed as such.

I suppose you hate being called all number of things you can't choose yourself, which is why you've elected that horrible misnomer. But that's just a theory. Smiling

For future observance: Please address the arguments, not the gripes you have with whatever impressions I may have of your cause. Oh, that's right...you don't actually respond to arguments or criticism. You all just stroke each other and feel better about this pseudo-activism. I have presented very worthy arguments for 1) the metaphysical necessity of a first cause 2) the etymological fallacy of grouping everything not theist with all things atheist 3) the lack of justified beliefs held by members of this site. I even did a lot of the work for you by offering up alternatives to the argument I posted...oh...probably about five days ago. No one has yet to respond to the cosmological argument, and I cannot say I am surprised. Linking me to a page where someone else responded is, by the way, not a response, since you had nothing to do with the study and formulation of reply. When presented with decent logical arguments, the never-erring RRS simply ignores them in lieu of bitching by saying "oh you misrepresent us!". That's a pity, and I'm sorry I take actual militant fervor to be militant fervor, but this still has you failing to respond to any of the arguments.

So what can we say other than this site is nothing more than any typical message board? You all believe in a cause so adamantly that not even reason can break through. If you were truly rational, you would ignore whatever mistakes might be contained in my posts and instead address the flaws in the arguments (kalam, epistemology, genetic fallacy, ad hominem, linguistic fallacies, etc.). That this has not occurred signals only your crippling inability to defend your beliefs, especially rationally. Mission accomplished. Back to the fray.


Joshua Ryan Dellinger (not verified)
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"That is precisely what you

"That is precisely what you are telling Brian - that he has to refute every argument that YOU consider compelling that exists, reinventing the wheel on YOUR WHIM. That's only part of why you're a fucktard, but it's a pretty big part."

--Brian has to refute an argument that is different from the arguments he has been dealing with, which typically are only ID theories. The point about the bible was that once you vitiate a source, that source can be dismissed. So if I prove a specific study (amoeba in a dish eating other amoeba to prove Lamarck) then I can dismiss an argument BASED on that study. This argument (kalam) is not based on the bible nor anything that Brian has previously dealt with, ergo is is a NEW argument. It is a new class of argument, and thus, even IF Brian had previously dealt with a cosmological argument based on, say, modality, he has not dealt with any argument based on causality. The argument thus still stands in need of address. Do you really not see that, or are you just joking?

"Yes, I'm sorry. I use language properly, I base my information in reality, so yes: Those are the two options - each with two variations."

--Interesting that you claim this without addressing the etymological fallacy information I provided. No, you don't use language properly...that's the point. You manipulate terms to your own ends. Way to go, Stalin!

Well everything you said in response to my long-winded but necessary exposition on metaphysics and philosophical skepticism was just pointless, so we'll skip it. What is motion then, pal? Motion is not matter working through time (sequence)? Yes, it has to be, because without time there can be no motion. Some theories of time even reduce time to exactly that: motion. So, again, you don't have the right to refute everything just because you don't like it...you have to study the subject first. You obviously haven't. What's motion, buddy? I'd love to hear what motion is without time, which must be your position, since you deny that "motion is matter acting in sequence". These are first principles, dingbat...sort of hard to deny. But you found a way! So logic and metaphysics are oddly absent in your world. Must be nice to be so free...

"Who said we can? None of us. Stop pretending we say shit like that. See that? Right there you set up a Straw Man. THAT's right, reread through your own slobbering mess. You just used a logical fallacy, plain as day."

--If you'll read the context, I never claimed that RRS was attempting to prove (edit) or disprove god. Not once. I simply said that since it was impossible, it can only be a matter of faith. Right? You agree on that. Yet then you join a group who wants to eliminate that faith. (See the Hanorooki Code page -- top one). Does this code (which is taken as exemplary mission statement) say anything about eliminating only public congregation of beliefs? No, not at all. And what right do you have to say that people cannot come together and collectively believe what they wish? That's mighty fascist of you all, I should like to say. But you're incoherent. You first say that beliefs are fine, a person can be a theist. Then you adhere to the notion that theism should be eliminated. Then you make some ad hoc propositions (look 'em up) stating that private beliefs are okay, just not public ones. Thank god the framers of the constitution anticipated autocrats like you.

"SHAME on you! Intuition?! Intuition should never enter into the conversation. Intuition has nothing to do with logic - it's a first guess. Anyone who is going attempt to forward a logical (or illogical, in your case) argument based on INTUITION has already failed, and failed miserably."

--Let me ask you something here. Object x is both A and not-A. How does that strike you? Well, you have an intuition that is is wrong. Can you prove it? Can you find something in the world that is both A and not-A or is this statement falsifiable (science)? No, not at all. Read some Kripke before you trample "intuition". It means a lot more in your daily life than you might think.

Also, do you believe you have free will? You have yet to address this one, and I think for good reasons. You cannot prove nor disprove free will. So why do you believe in it? It has no "evidence". So what will you do? As someone who only wants evidence (to the point you will reject logic and I suppose first principles as well) it seems you will have to remain mute on the matter...but you didn't do that with the matter of god, did you? No, because there was no evidence, you simply instead noted that theism should be eliminated. So off with the free will, as well. If you object to this, I again implore you: show me the difference. Both god and free will are inscrutable for science. You believe in free will, to the flagrant contrary of your stated principles (no belief without evidence). Do your best.

"Take your theistic Kantian strategies"

Heh. You still insist I'm a theist. YOU ARE SO CUTE!!!

"*gasp* He doesn't??!??! A biologist is talking primarily about biological evidence? Oh Noes!!! You're a stupid shit, you know that Joshua? You do, don't you."

--That's right. I know he doesn't, which is why reading him won't help anyone concerning cosmology, which is what I'm talking about. Dawkins, or at least anti-ID theory, seems to be the bulk of RRS' support for their claims. Or did you want to just ignore the more powerful arguments against atheism? That's right...you did, and do. I'm sorry. Go back to sleep.

And now for the highlight!

"Suspension of judgment is a valid option"

--Alright then. Glad you see things clearly now. So add a third choice (that is what "option" means, right? an available choice?) to your atheist/theist dichotomy and instead make it a trichotomy and thereby not so fascist. Skepticism has hereby been admitted, by you, as a valid option in the formerly dichotomous theist/atheist dimension. Goddamn you guys are easy.


Joshua Ryan Dellinger (not verified)
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This doesn't make

This doesn't make sense...

Why would I swear to something I'm not sure exists? By swearing, I would be making a very strong claim towards the existence of something that I'm not sure is even there...this doesn't sound like proper philosophical conduct to me. But you go right ahead and affirm god's existence. I, however, choose to remain skeptical.

The historical Jesus Christ. Well, unlike you, I've heard points from both sides, and given confused evidence within both, I also choose to remain mute and unaffiliated on the matter. I don't really care so much about this Jesus Christ character anyways, but rather the metaphysical necessity of a first cause. That's my inquiry, not some historical (or not) figure with principles I find objectionable.

I think I've already pointed out that, given the context and accurate reading of the passage concerning blasphemy, taking the "blasphemy challenge" would not actually be blasphemy. So if you're asking me to blaspheme and if you're asking me to take the blasphemy challenge, these two are not necessarily entailed in one another. To the point of ANYONE being capable of blasphemy these days, I do in fact think it possible. I'm not "one of those Christians" who says that no one can even succeed in blaspheming these days and therefore we're all just fine. I already fully define myself as a blasphemer within christian parameters, following a line from Camus. Do you know Camus? Have you read The Rebel? Really much better than atheism. Now be sure and denounce the text as silly or theistic or whatever else before actually reading it.

I've got a challenge for you! Will you take a logical reasoning exam if I pay the fee? I will, you know. In fact I think everyone on the board should...but it must be an official, mutually agreed-upon exam that addresses deductive symbolic logic, inference patterns and rules, assumption recognition, and critical reasoning. I'll personally bet 500 bucks of my own meager subsistence that it won't be instated. Rationality is categorically absent from this abyss, and is certainly no requirement to join.


Joshua Ryan Dellinger (not verified)
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More contradictions from our

More contradictions from our favorite anti-logician!

"Yes, I'm sorry. I use language properly, I base my information in reality, so yes: Those are the two options - each with two variations. " (emphasis added)

Explication: Two options: atheism or theism. Two variations: agnostic or gnostic. Resulting ultimate options: gnostic/agnostic theist, gnostic/agnostic atheist.

Compare that with this:

"Suspension of judgment is a valid option, but it is not Agnosticism."

Suspension of judgment is not agnosticism, so it isn't agnostic atheism or agnostic theism, so those are gone. Is suspension of judgment then gnostic theism? Certainly not. What about gnostic atheism? Again, not at all.

Hmmm. I can see that Sapient is a little slack in his hiring process!

Look, you've already admitted that skepticism is a valid THIRD option. That I don't dispute. But I do think it's important to expose how poorly you can reason, first claiming there are only two options then minutes later claiming there is a third. This is no "straw" man. It is only a very stupid one.