This expands on a recent comment on a recent posting here...
A lot of people when debating or arguing on this and other forums will toss out the name of a Logical Fallacy as if that in itself is a show stopper.
Some of the favorites are;
Ad Hominem, something that gets thrown in to block any derogatory commentary, but it isn't the game ender people hope for.
If I say "Your arguments are wrong BECAUSE you are an asshole."
THAT is an Ad Hominem.
If I say "Your arguments are wrong AND you are an Ass Hole,"
That is an Observation.
Being an asshole doesn't mean one can't be right on any particular issue, just as being right on an issue doesn't mean one is NOT an anal orifice.
Hitler loved dogs and built great highways. (reducto ad Hitlerium)
It's also NOT an Ad Hominem to point out that someone is not qualified to speak on an issue. Kent Hovind comes to mind, a self aggrandizing fraud, who claims educational experience he simply does not have. Pointing out that he is not qualified to speak on scientific matters is NOT an Ad Hominem.
To paraphrase Bill Maher, In a discussion about science, the non scientist simply doesn't get a vote.
Some may have noticed a certain 'slant' in my postings of late and I feel a need to explain and in so doing, I need to digress.
I've noticed that the words "Liberal" and "Liberalism" have been fairly well 'Swift Boated' in the media and in public discourse.
It's time for a new round of the classic Blasphemy Challenge!
I will start this one off with a simple petition, with a goal of 1 million signatures.
Join me in damning your soul to eternal torment!
There will be FUN and DOOR PRIZES! Cake and Punch served!
LC >;-}> aka Bill Moody
I get a little weary over the plethora of Christians and entirely too many Atheists who buy into the myth of the ‘Good and Perfect’ Jesus and his ‘earthshaking message’
I can understand that the writers of the Gospels probably wouldn’t report if Jesus had been banging two shekel, boy hookers by the dozen in the back room any more than I’d expect a friendly biographer of Bill Clinton to make a big deal of Monica’s little blue dress… I get it.
Non-Proofs of God;
Warm fuzzy feelings;
A personal relationship with an idea, fear of death, fear of life, desire for immortality ‘personal experiences’, anecdotes, voices and visions are all non-proofs.
The War on Reality;
Vague and often laughable attempts to disregard or somehow bring into disrepute established scientific concepts. Often this is accompanied by absolutely spurious claims, very bad research and methodology and outright lies. The idea is that if they can call any part of science into question it allows them to ‘wedge’ in the supernatural as a ‘possibility’. This is why I say that the magic requires at LEAST as much step by step explanation as does the science we are called on to defend.
Even if the ‘miraculous’ happened, and someone with a nebulous grasp of high school science COULD call any part of science itself into question, that still wouldn’t go one iota in the direction of proving the existence of a god.
Philosophy for all its erudite and intellectual charms cannot PROVE that ANYTHING does or does not exist. Word Weaving is akin to Basket Weaving in that it’s a pleasant way to waste time, but in the end, only one pursuit will leave you with something you can use.
There is one simple explanation of why there is no proof that a god exists.
I have been confronted no less than six times this week with some twit or another regurgitating Pascal’s Wager, the theistic sucker bet. And each and every one of them believes he/she/it was the first one to pose what to the simple minded religious drones must seem like a stumper…
It goes like this (to the atheist);
If you are right, no harm, no foul, we all just die. But if I’m right, you will suffer a torturous eternity at the hands of my merciful and loving sky buddy…
One does not have to have a deep understanding of logic or formal debate to see at a cursory glance why this bit of fluff fails.
First, this isn’t even an argument for (or against) the existence of a god. It’s a pointless threat made to someone who doesn’t believe the basic premise. That makes it a bit of narcissistic metaphysical masturbation, not meant to influence it’s purported target, but rather to allow the theist to ‘gloat’ over the impending fiery doom they fervently hope will descend on the folks who have made them feel so stupid, for so long about believing.
New rule: Before you can blithely toss out any supernatural claim, you must be prepared to explain, in detail HOW THE MAGIC WORKS. We are often tasked to spend hundreds of column inches giving scientific explanations, sources and evidence by those who want to somehow dispute science and reality itself, so if you want to make claims for the supernatural you MUST spend at least as much time and effort PROVING IT.
Yes, We’ve read your Holy Books and no, we still don’t believe them.
Yes, We are Moral creatures, it derives from our cultural upbringing and no, it doesn’t come from a supernatural source.
Yes, We have purpose in our lives that we define for ourselves and no, it doesn’t center on being a meat puppet for a cosmic puppeteer.
Yes, We believe a lot of things and no, none of it requires magic to work.
Yes, We can give a layman’s explanation of ‘how we got here’ and no, We don’t choose to do so because you should have stayed awake in school.
Yes, We are Atheists, we do not believe that god or gods exist and no, you don’t get to redefine what We are for the sake of some silly semantic argument.
As I contemplate the myriad divisions between religious folk, the strife and disharmony that threatens the fabric of society, I can look back to a simpler time, when Catholics and Protestants stood united, arm in arm on at least one issue. That would be their stern and righteous denunciation of the heresies of Galileo Galilei .
The early 1800’s were a time of religious upheaval in the fledgling United States, a time known as the Second Great Awakening that gave birth to a host of schisms, sects and whole new churches. The Baptists and the Methodist had a heyday, and even the staid Presbyterians and Anglicans saw their numbers swell.
Anticipating the second coming, Advent churches arose, such as the Advent Christians and the Seventh Day Adventists. It was into this swirl of Christian primitivism mixed with the folk lore and superstitions of the country folk that Joseph Smith Jr. was born.