Saturday, June 18, 2011

Loftus misrepresents me again (surprise surprise)

John, why don't you learn to read more carefully. I was very explicit about NOT attributing this to God, or anything like God, so I have never said that the God of the Bible did it.  Nor do I have any certainty about what the explanation is.  I have always found the incident curious. While lots of people go down in spelling bees, the temper tantrum this boy threw is unique in all the spelling bees I have ever been part of. I distinctly remember the time my violin teacher gave for what happened seemed to be exactly the time at which this happened. My teacher spent almost no time talking about clairvoyance, it was never something he was "on about." This was an isolated occurrence.

My memory for these sorts of specifics is pretty good. I can, for example, remember my score in most of the chess tournaments I have ever played in. I can remember three of the four words I went out on in the four years I competed in spelling bees in grade school. I am somewhat

There are clearly three possibilities. One is that he was not aware of what happened at the bee, but that did some fancy guesswork to make it look like he did. The second is that he did have knowledge of what was going on a mile away, but that it has a naturalistic explanation. Or, it could have been something that does involve something over and above what we ordinarily can ascribe to the natural world.

Obviously, I'm in no position to lighten James Randi's wallet. But I still think that skeptical responses to these sort of things are to quick, too easy, and too dogmatic. I did say that this is evidence of the paranormal, but what I am coming to realize is that my concept of evidence may be different from yours. For me, X is evidence for hypothesis Y if experience X is more likely to occur if Y is true than if Y is not true. This is all pretty clearly understandable if there is clairvoyance than if there is no clairvoyance. In fact, I wonder how all of you would analyze the phrase "X is evidence for Y."

That said, I do NOT hold the belief that this is something that is naturalistically inexplicable. I am decidedly undecided on what the explanation is.

71 comments:

John W. Loftus said...

This is getting boring and repetitive.

Victor, I could never be expected to dispute any personal experience you claim to have had over forty years ago. That is asking of me too much. What I do know is what the sciences teach me. And I do in fact know what you claimed.

John W. Loftus said...

I linked to what you said Victor. How does that lead to your conclusion that I misrepresented you?

Get a grip, okay?

Ilíon said...

dishonest fool "This is getting boring and repetitive.
...
"

This is the ol' "Oh, That's Old News" response.

dishonest fool "... How does that lead to your conclusion that I misrepresented you?"

This is the ol’ “Deny And Demand” response.

dishonest fool "... Get a grip, okay?"

This is the ol' "It's Irrational of You to Expect a Rational/Logical/Honest Response From Me" response.

Anonymous said...

What I do know is what the sciences teach me.

You don't even know that much science, John. And your response to Victor has primarily been (sloppily) philosophical and metaphysical.

When will you start being honest? Wait, I know the answer: Only when it suits you, and it almost never does.

Crude said...

This is getting boring and repetitive.

Yeah, Victor. Only John is allowed to be boring and repetitive. ;)

Morrison said...

John's name calling and anger is getting out of hand on his blog...I think there is more going on here than just this dispute with Victor, perhaps a personal problem or something of that nature. For one thing, his anger is probably additionally fueled by the fact that you have a Ph.D. and he does not and that you have an academic job and he does not.

However, as others have pointed out, John is an admitted liar, as he describes in his book. And it did not stop with that, as those who remember the J P Holding fake blog he set up will tell you, and as he alters and deletes posts on his own blog.

Given his level of integrity, I don't see why you are even taking this guy seriously.

He is in a concerted drive to smear you, and one giveaway was his remark that "You should be fired. I am dead serious".

Its worse than simply poisoning the well, although don't forger that John himself has gleefully bragged that his books are "poison" to believers.

Crude said...

Frankly, I think the fact that John justified his name calling and general abuse on the grounds that 'well maybe if I do this Victor will agree with me' freshly exposed him as not only being of bad character, but a poor thinker as well. I mean, assuming more evidence of this was needed.

Though re: Victor's claims...

That said, I do NOT hold the belief that this is something that is naturalistically inexplicable.

What is it about naturalism itself that rules out clairvoyance? The answer is "nothing".

Stephen Hawking apparently believes that aliens exist and are likely hostile. Does he have 'supernatural beliefs'? Or just an odd naturalistic belief?

Victor Reppert said...

Well, you seem to think I had been fooled, which implies that I made some sort of paranormal claim, when I had not done so.

Ilíon said...

Crude: "What is it about naturalism itself that rules out clairvoyance? The answer is "nothing"."

"Naturalism" is just materialism in fancier language. Naturalism rules out the possibility of thought itself, much less of clairvoyance.

But, if you simple need a specific explanation -- clairvoyance (if such exists) refers to knowledge gained without physical/material mediation; thus, if naturalism is the truth about the nature of reality, then there can be no clairvoyance.

John W. Loftus said...

Did Victor lie?

When I said that I had seen evidence of the paranormal, I was referring to the violin teacher incident that I discussed a few months back. Now I can easily see coming out of that discussion thinking that it wasn't a genuine episode of clairvoyance. What I can't see is thinking that it provides no evidence at all for clairvoyance. It seems to me that of course, it's something that is more likely to have occurred if there were such a thing as clairvoyance as opposed to if there were no such thing, even if it is really wasn't clairvoyance
after all.

Crude said...

John,

Where's the lie? Victor is saying he does not claim that the experience was certainly paranormal - even in your quote, he treats it as something which can provide evidence for the paranormal, even if a person could still view the evidence and ultimately reject a paranormal explanation.

Likewise, an atheist can admit that this or that event was evidence for God, while at the same time not be claiming this or that event was at the end of the day caused by a God.

Not very hard to get.

Ilion,

"Naturalism" is just materialism in fancier language. Naturalism rules out the possibility of thought itself, much less of clairvoyance.

"Materialism" is nowadays suffering from the same lack of real definition. And I've run into too many naturalists who insist that 'naturalism' does not entail materialism anyway.

Ilíon said...

Crude: "And I've run into too many naturalists who insist that 'naturalism' does not entail materialism anyway."

What is so difficult to grasp about the concept that it matters not a whit what ad hoc mish-mash of mis-matched propositions this or that materialist asserts, but that what matters is what logically follows from the -ism itself?

Is it really so hard to see that "’P’ is (or claims to be) an ‘X’-ist and ‘P’ asserts ‘Y’ with respect to ‘X’-ism" is, among other logical fallacies, an ad hominem fallacy?

When trying to critique ‘X’-ism, it don’t matter what ‘P’ asserts that he does or does not believe to be true. What matters is what ‘X’-ism itself entails.

Morrison said...

John asks, "Did Victor Lie?"

The colossal gall of that question is mind boggling, coming from a man like John Loftus who has admitted to lying in his books and been caught setting up a fake blog and altering posts on his own blog.

Does John really think that people don't realize what does?

I am starting to wonder if he has had some kind of breakdown.

Crude said...

What is so difficult to grasp about the concept that it matters not a whit what ad hoc mish-mash of mis-matched propositions this or that materialist asserts, but that what matters is what logically follows from the -ism itself?

Because I'd prefer to point out that the -ism is itself tied to an ad-hoc mish-mash in common or popular parlance. Hence, I disagree strongly with this:

When trying to critique ‘X’-ism, it don’t matter what ‘P’ asserts that he does or does not believe to be true. What matters is what ‘X’-ism itself entails.

I'm more interested in the -ists than the -isms. An -ism cannot believe or disbelieve in God. An -ist can. If a person has a mish-mash of beliefs, and self-described naturalists and atheists regularly do, then I'd rather work with their beliefs, point out their flaws, and point out what they're doing to the definitions. Saying, "No no no, the -ism means THIS and therefore YOU must believe this if you believe in -ism" is less interesting to me.

Papalinton said...

@ Morrison

"... his anger is probably additionally fueled by the fact that you have a Ph.D."

Ahh! But a turkey with a PhD is still a turkey.

Ilíon said...

Crude, please!

"Saying, "No no no, the -ism means THIS and therefore YOU must believe this if you believe in -ism" ..."

Who said any such thing?

"If a person has a mish-mash of beliefs, and self-described naturalists and atheists regularly do, then I'd rather work with their beliefs, point out their flaws, and point out what they're doing to the definitions."

In other words, you agree with what I've said ... yet you still insist that it is wrong, and still insist upon doing the exact opposite of the very thing you're saying here you want to do.

Crude said...

In other words, you agree with what I've said ... yet you still insist that it is wrong, and still insist upon doing the exact opposite of the very thing you're saying here you want to do.

Then maybe I just don't understand what you're saying. This seems to be a long-standing disagreement/miscommunication between us.

Morrison said...

Papalinton, a liar like Loftus who does not have a Ph.d is, well, a liar who does not have a Ph.D.

Nor does he have the "equivalent" of a Ph.D. as he claimed in WIBA.

Papalinton said...

Ilion, you seem to some form of symbiont or parasite that feeds off other's contributions without contributing anything to the commonwealth of the discussion. You know:

"This is the ol' "Oh, That's Old News" response."

"This is the ol’ “Deny And Demand” response."

"This is the ol' "It's Irrational of You to Expect a Rational/Logical/Honest Response From Me" response."

"Naturalism" is just materialism in fancier language."

Being a 'strap-on blog groupie' isn't the best scholarly face or feature to present to others.

Ilíon said...

One can't disprove Christianity by enquiring whether William Lane Craig holds mutually contradictory beliefs about what Christianity is or is not.

One can't disprove atheism by enquiring whether John Loftus holds mutually contradictory beliefs about what atheism is or is not.

In both cases, one must examine -- and understand -- the -ism itself and what follows from the claims it makes.

Crude said...

Ilion,

In both cases, one must examine -- and understand -- the -ism itself and what follows from the claims it makes.

I'm not interested in proving or disproving Christianity or atheism at times, though. Many times I just love to show people what follows or does not follow given their beliefs, what has happened to definitions over time, or where they've gone wrong. For instance, the canard 'there's no evidence for God' deserves to be blown out of the water. Doing so will not itself prove Christianity, but man, it still has an effect.

Likewise, some evidence for God gets some atheists to complain 'But perhaps this God isn't yours!' My response is straightforward: "Perhaps. But if one God or a billion exists, atheism is wrong."

Ilíon said...

Pap,
You're a liar and fool (that is, an intellectually dishonest person, which is far worse than being a mere liar) ... and I don't allow my time to be wasted by the likes of you.

If I notice *anything* you and your sort say, it is generally by accident. For, once I have understood that a person is intellectually dishonest, I make it my general policy to ignore that person’s waste of bandwidth.

If I deign to respond to anything your sort say, it is generally to mock your intellectual dishonesty.

===
I am a Christian, not an adherent of “nice”-ianity. Thus, it doesn’t bother me at all when your sort try to pull the “You Big Ol’ Meanie” ploy. I care about truth and reason, and not at all about whether intellectually dishonest persons say nice things about me … to my face.

Ilíon said...

Did I ever say that proving Christianity (or, for Feser and BenYacov, "classical theism") and/or disproving atheism are the only worthy topics?

"Many times I just love to show people what follows or does not follow given their beliefs, what has happened to definitions over time, or where they've gone wrong."

And how do you propose to do that with out explicit and strict reference to the -ism itself which they believe or imagine they are advocating?

Crude said...

And how do you propose to do that with out explicit and strict reference to the -ism itself which they believe or imagine they are advocating?

It really depends on how they define the -ism, or how they're pretending it's defined. I think a key disagreement between you and I is that you think 'naturalism' and 'materialism' has a lot more meat to it re: definition than I do. I think at the end of the day those words are shockingly empty for many people, adding up to little more than 'not-theism'. And even that is debatable (hence the Zeus stuff, etc.)

Ilíon said...

Crude:Then maybe I just don't understand what you're saying. This seems to be a long-standing disagreement/miscommunication between us.

So I’ve long noticed. But, as far as I can tell, I have done all that I can to explain what I mean … and it is up to you to expend the effort to understand.


Crude:If a person has a mish-mash of beliefs, and self-described naturalists and atheists regularly do, then I'd rather work with their beliefs, point out their flaws, and point out what they're doing to the definitions.

It’s not nothing to show that this or that naturalist or atheist is asserting a set of propositions which together are self-contradictory. But, it’s also not much of anything to have done so. AND, it doesn’t address the real/root problem of his intellectual incoherence, which lies not in the end-node propositions he asserts, but rather in the metaphysical starting-point he espouses. If you never trace the incoherence back to the place from which he begin, then you have done him, and every one else, a grave disservice; and you have strengthened him in his false belief that at worst he just has a few kinks to work out.

====
Crude:I think a key disagreement between you and I is that you think 'naturalism' and 'materialism' has a lot more meat to it re: definition than I do. I think at the end of the day those words are shockingly empty for many people, adding up to little more than 'not-theism'.

Yes and no, depending on how one focuses one’s attention.

Of course there is no “there” there to naturalism/materialism (*). BUT, the so-called atheists, and most people in general, believe that there is some meat and bone there. AND, one has the obligation to do one’s best to use the language and concepts one’s audience or target understands and accepts – this last being something that certain Aristo-Thomists and/or “classical theists” seem quite resistant to understanding.

SO, so long as the so-called atheists are promoting naturalism (and, really, what else can they promote without giving away the show?), and so long as that has traction with the general public, then one battles God-denial by showing the inescapable incoherence of naturalism. It doesn’t do, and never will do, to behave/argue as Feser does; one must address the people where they are, not where (one holds) they ought to be.


(*) “naturalism/materialism” -- they are the same thing, really; any difference being of focus, not of kind, with naturalism being the more “philosophical” up-market expression of the cruder down-market materialism.

Crude said...

Ilion,

and it is up to you to expend the effort to understand.

Hey, if I don't get it, I don't get it. I've tried, I thought I got it. If I fail, it's not for lack of trying.

one has the obligation to do one’s best to use the language and concepts one’s audience or target understands and accepts

I actually agree with that. You'll notice that for my affinity for classical theism, I still part ways with Feser over the value of those alternate approaches.

I think there's something to be said for communicating the failures and flaws of materialism and naturalism the way I do so. I shy away from arguments that require being well-versed in metaphysics, or the dodge of 'Go read this book and then you'll understand you're wrong'.

Tell you what - throw up a post on your blog, and I'll discuss it with you there. Because as it stands we're taking focus away from the antics of a certain charlatan in a hat.

BenYachov said...

Even thought my name was brought up I'm staying out of this.

I like to watch Crude works his mojo on irrational thinking.

Anonymous said...

@Crude
"Materialism" is nowadays suffering from the same lack of real definition. And I've run into too many naturalists who insist that 'naturalism' does not entail materialism anyway.

Exactly! What is matter? Most materialist hold that matter is all that exists, but when you ask what "matter" actually is, they simply say, "the only thing that exists."

In regards to the problems of Naturalism, I recently read where a Naturalist was now including the possibility of God into his definition of Naturalism. Having finally read some theology, he had come to the conclusion that most Christians do not separate natural/supernatural, and that concepts such as seeing God as Pure Act fit squarely within what he would define as a Naturalistic perspective. It was wild.

Mr Veale said...

OTF convention in England!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-13823427

Mr Veale said...

Ilion

I much prefer the "William Lane Craig" isn't a scientist critique of Christianity.

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8853

http://answersingenes.blogspot.com/2011/06/show-me-sausages.html

Gosh, my faith was devastated!

Graham

Papalinton said...

Ilion
Tell me what is intellectually dishonest in challenging you to substantiate your woo.

We are now moving into a post-christian era in which christianity will continue towards gradual entropic decay, becoming a small rump of societal bohemians, not unlike the Masons, with secret rituals and arcane ceremonies that remain centered around the long passed ancient practice of blood sacrifice and vicarious redemption.

Already, Europe, after centuries of religious wars and bloodletting and two world wars, are understandably weary of internecine faith squabbles and have largely shed their religious skin to emerge as would a butterfly to a different social covenant and a commitment predicated on humanist and secular principles and values.

Soon, long gone will be the street gang, club mentality of christian exclusivism and identity.

Morrison said...

Papalinton, don't forget that the World Wars were secular wars that killed more people, by many times, than all the so called "religious" wars in European history.

Moreover, in the past century alone, Officially Atheistic Governments killed more people than in all the wars you mention.

That said...I notice that the Loftus fanboys don't make much effort to defend him against the charges of dishonesty.

A wise move on their part, since that would be a losing proposition.

Morrison said...

In looking back through the thread, the most amusing part is where John references what "science" teaches him.

This is the same guy who admitted in WIBA that he could never get past getting "D's" in High School algebra and has had no advanced science courses.

None.

He has no more qualifications in this area any more than he has the "equivalent of a Ph.D." and his arguments about "chance" explaining everything...that is the word he uses and the argument for atheism that he makes in the last chapter of WIBA...demonstrate his ignorance.

Ilíon said...

Mr Veale,
I've so far read only a couple of paragraphs of Mr Krauss' "blog-like note on [his] own perspectives" ... and I must say: how precious! Thanks for the link, even if I end up (out of disgust) not reading the whole thing.

Paul said...

Papalinton,

Ilion
Tell me what is intellectually dishonest in challenging you to substantiate your woo.


Hey, no fair. Remember, that's what I demanded you do and you refused and said all you wanted to do was throw bananas and other matter that I won't mention. In any case, maybe there's a bright spot here. If you want to get to "know me," then imagine that I'm a Papalinton to your Ilion here.

Papalinton said...

Paul

"In any case, maybe there's a bright spot here. If you want to get to "know me," then imagine that I'm a Papalinton to your Ilion here."

No you don't. But Ilion didn't press the Big Red Button; Victor Reppert doesn't press the Big Red Button.

Our challenge is through words, not unilateral censorship.

Cheers

Papalinton said...

Morrison

"Papalinton, don't forget that the World Wars were secular wars that killed more people, by many times, than all the so called "religious" wars in European history."

Morrison, see if you can spot the farce in this scenario, which was actually repeated so many times on the battlefields, in churches, and from the pulpit:

British catholics and protestants, praying so hard to god and jesus for his protection against the 'enemy', against the nazis and the krauts, to ensure a victory in battle for their country, and to pray to jesus and god and the holy spirit to watch over the dead soldiers who fought so bravely.
Not more than 100 miles away, German catholics and protestants, praying so hard to god and jesus for his protection against the 'enemy', against the people who want to crush the German people, to ensure a victory in battle for their country, and to pray to jesus and god and the holy spirit to watch over the dead soldiers who fought so bravely.

Tell me Morrison, in the most recent of conflicts, why was it that US bombs arms and ordnance had inscriptions of Bible verses emblazoned all over them? Why were there machine guns and rifles stamped with Bible verses on them from the production factory?


You say, "Moreover, in the past century alone, Officially Atheistic Governments killed more people than in all the wars you mention."
Now this is intellectual dishonesty writ large.
As you well know, Morrison, communism and communist governments were/are a blight on the whole world. Just as theocracies of Iran, and Saudi Arabia are a blight on the world. Just as christianity is a blight on and a clear and present danger to American well-being.

Now for a little selfish indulgence: There is nothing quite like lying for jesus as evidence of intellectual dishonesty. Can you picture, a german priest praying to jesus for victory over the enemy and at the very same time a British priest praying to the very same jesus for victory over the enemy. You seriously have to question the integrity of religion.

Morrison said...

A farce Papalinton? Yes, it is a farce because you know good and well that the World Wars were fought for secular reasons...economic, political, and others, and that your gods of Science and Technology made it possible for them to be as deadly as they were.

Just because some people were praying does not make them religious wars, nor does the fact that someone put bible verses on ordinance in some later wars make them religious wars and not wars for oil.

Yep. You know this, but I won't accuse you of intellectual dishonesty...

And as to Communism it was the Officially Atheistic stance of those governments that led them to kill MILLIONS of believers, not Communism per se...after all, Communism has taken other forms than it assumed in the 20th century, and it does not have to be atheistic.
The Nobel Prize Winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn proved beyond doubt that those goverments killed because of their atheistic hatred of religion. Lenin, Trotsky, and other mass murderers hated religion.

And this is something I hear from atheists today.

Yep. You now this, but, like I said, I will not call you intellectually dishonest.

Nope. You are just an old fashioned liar.

This is just an example of why I question the intergrity of Loftus, and of people like you.

Oh, and thanks for the warnings...

Karl Grant said...

Can you picture, a german priest praying to jesus for victory over the enemy and at the very same time a British priest praying to the very same jesus for victory over the enemy. You seriously have to question the integrity of religion.

I wasn't going to say anything at first but this was too rich. I mean by this farce of logic, two feuding siblings trying to influence their dad to take their side in the argument is proof their father doesn't love them. Or to put it another way, if two of my friends start fighting each other and both to appeal to me for help is proof I don't give a damn about either one of them.

Just as theocracies of Iran, and Saudi Arabia are a blight on the world.

There is something ironic about a guy who keeps going on and on about the science and how great it is, describing the country with the world's fastest scientific growth rate as a blight upon it.

Papalinton said...

@ Karl Grant
" .. two feuding siblings trying to influence their dad to take their side in the argument is proof their father doesn't love them. Or to put it another way, if two of my friends start fighting each other and both to appeal to me for help is proof I don't give a damn about either one of them."

Just as I thought. A juvenile's rendition of the substitute father-figure for a perpetual child that refuses or is incapable of growing up and maturing. It adds so much weight and credence to the adage, 'born again christian'. A childlike, nonintellectual, naive and credulous perspective of life. I say, "No thanks, I did it right the first time, and there is no need for any regression, relapse or backslide into an infantile state."

The sciences stand alone as a beacon, Karl, even in a theocracy. But ask the people what they really want, democracy, liberty, individual freedom, religious freedom from persecution [particularly the tiny minority of christians], peace, stability, shelter. Science would give them this. Religion never does. Science gives them improved health and life outcomes. Religion never does. Religion always is the nasty and manipulative bedfellow wherever there is poverty and repression.

Sorry Karl, you are on a hiding to nothing in your support for superstitious supernaturalism.

Papalinton said...

Morrison

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a devout Russian Orthodox christian. Do you envisage his saying anything different?

Morrison, it's not a question whether it was a religious war or not. That is irrelevant. What it is portraying the absolute , stupidity, ludicrousness, inanity, foolishness, idiocy, insanity, of religious belief. That's what it shows. It shows religion to be absolutely useless as a means of conciliation and finding alternative paths to peace. Christianity is a blood sacrifice, a killing belief system that glorifies the unwarranted taking of life. It is based on ancient cannibalistic beliefs glorifying the eating of the flesh and drinking the blood of the victim.

Religion has never been a driver of peace, unless it is done on their terms expressly.
I can only add, the expression of such naivety is beyond belief, Morrison.

Papalinton said...

Morrison

"Yep. You now this, but, like I said, I will not call you intellectually dishonest.
Nope. You are just an old fashioned liar.
This is just an example of why I question the intergrity of Loftus, and of people like you."

There is a lot of pious religious inspired hatred in your words, Morrison.

Karl Grant said...

Papalinton,

Just as I thought. A juvenile's rendition....

No, merely pointing out how stupid your comment was. In fact, here is how your criticism(if you could call it that) of religious belief was structured:

1) Party A (God) professes to love Parties B (British) and C (German). Parties B and C love and profess devotion to Party A.

2) Parties B and C begin to fight. Both appeal to Party A to take their side in the conflict.

3) Therefore, love and devotion expressed Parties B and C to Party A and the love Party A expressed to Parties B and C is a farce.

That is bullshit. Premise 3 doe not follow from the two previous premises. My point is that you can substitute anything for A, B and C and it quickly shows how stupid the comment was. Let's say A = Papalinton, B = Papalinton's son and C = Papalinton's daughter. Say B and C fight, both try to get A to take their side in the argument; according to you that is proof that you don't love or care about your children.

The sciences stand alone as a beacon, Karl, even in a theocracy.

Wrong, scientific progress within a country is depended upon the support of the country at large. Universities cost money and require the approval of the government to remain open. The same goes with R&D centers. The Manhattan Project did not spring out of nowhere. Oxford did not just spring out of nowhere. And if a government wants to halt all scientific research and technological development within its borders it can, look at Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate.

[particularly the tiny minority of christians]

Tiny minority of Christians? Christianity is the world's largest religion, with the number of adherents exceeding 2 billion or around 33% of the world's population. Atheism, on the other hand, only accounts for 2.3% of the world's population according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Science would give them this...Science gives them improved health and life outcomes.

Science has given the world machine guns, nerve gas, genetically engineered bio-weapons, nuclear-tipped ICBMS. The reason we are facing the threat of global warming is because of unrestrained scientific, industrial and technological development. And there in lies the problem, science can give us a nuclear reactor, it can't tell us what to do with it.

Religion never does.

Studies suggest otherwise:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11493130

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15895540?dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11493130

http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/1075553041323803

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673605669103/fulltext

Papalinton said...

Karl Grant

"The reason we are facing the threat of global warming is because of unrestrained scientific, industrial and technological development. "

No. How can this be when you contradictorily posit that, " .. scientific progress within a country is depended upon the support of the country at large."?

The answer is far deeper than that Karl. It has all to do with a worldview, in the case of christians, the 33% of the world's population is, [ Gen 1:26] "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." [KJV]

Or as Sarah Palin [a devout christian] would say, "Drill baby, drill".

Christian eschatology is the basis for wanton and rampant use of finite resources and abusing the earth. For many christians this is a sign of the prophecy of the end of the world, the inevitable destruction of the earth, the fulfilling of John's revelation. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, aided and abetted by christian thinking. The distinct lack by big business and leaders of international corporations, many if not most of them christians [if statistics is a guide of the US distribution of 80%plus christians], seem quite oblivious to the call to reign in wanton profligacy. It seems it is bad for business in 'god's own country'.

So Karl, don't trot out your pious drivel about unbridled science as the cause of all our woes. It simply does not cut it. It is the science that saved you from that heart-attack, that by-pass operation, that early detection of prostate cancer, the blogging on the internet you enjoy, the air-conditioning in the heat of summer, the protective monocoque safety shell designed into the body of a car, nuclear energy.

The unidimensional theist bubble is a blight to humanity.

Papalinton said...

@ Karl Grant

In checking out your references:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15895540?dopt=Abstract
"Results: Overall, 47.2% of study subjects reported that they pray for health, and 90.3% of these believed prayer improved their health. After adjustment for demographics, those who pray had significantly less smoking and alcohol use and more preventive care visits, influenza immunizations, vegetable intake, satisfaction with care, and social support and were more likely to have a regular primary care provider. Rates of functional impairment, depressive symptoms, chronic diseases, and total health care charges were not related to prayer

Conclusions: Those who pray had more favorable health-related behaviors, preventive service use, and satisfaction with care. Discussion of prayer could help guide customization of clinical care. Research that examines the effect of prayer on health status should adjust for variables related both to use of prayer and to health status.

My assessment of this PubMed report is that:
1. People *believe* prayer helped improve their health. They smoked and drank less, ate more vegetables, accessed health care services regularly, immunized against the flu etc etc.
2. This is just good personal health and hygiene that any concerned person would attend to regardless of faith.
3. The conclusion for the efficacy of prayer is behaviour related only.
4. The real kicker in the report, and the critical one in relation to the power of prayer curing illnesses, is, "Rates of functional impairment, depressive symptoms, chronic diseases, and total health care charges were not related to prayer."
5. So it is all about the touchy-feely and nothing to do with prayer magically fixing people's problems.

Papalinton said...

@ Karl Grant

The other Pubmed reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11493130

Result: After controlling for the demographic, physical health, and mental health variables, higher religious struggle scores at baseline were predictive of greater risk of mortality. Two spiritual discontent items and 1 demonic reappraisal item from the religious coping measure were predictive of increased risk for mortality: "Wondered whether God had abandoned me", "Questioned God's love for me", and "Decided the devil made this happen"

Conclusion: Certain forms of religiousness may increase the risk of death. Elderly ill men and women who experience a religious struggle with their illness appear to be at increased risk of death, even after controlling for baseline health, mental health status, and demographic factors.

Karl, no need for me to say anything here, other than confirm that 'religion never does'.

Papalinton said...

@ Karl Grant
You referred this site twice in your list: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11493130

Karl Grant said...

Papalinton,

No. How can this be when you contradictorily posit that, " .. scientific progress within a country is depended upon the support of the country at large."?

Keywords: within a country. Are you so dumb that you confuse local and global? Australia can go entirely green and it still wouldn't affect global warming if China keeps building two or three coal plants per week?

Or as Sarah Palin [a devout christian] would say, "Drill baby, drill".

Sarah Palin gets money from the oil companies in the form of campaign contributions. Also, Barack Obama is a devout Christian and he keeps pushing green energy.

Christian eschatology is the basis for wanton and rampant use of finite resources and abusing the earth...

I saw the word dominion (area of control) above, not rape and pillage. And I suppose that you are saying that atheists are unmotivated greed? That if the world switches to atheism we will no longer see greedy, ruthless corporations? That the people of the world were no longer consume natural resources to sustain themselves? What fantasy world do you live in?

unbridled science as the cause of all our woes...

I never said science was the cause of all our woes, I merely pointed out that science has its downsides. Yeah, medicine may have given us heart-bypass surgery but it also gave us the Children of Thalidomide. It gave us nuclear energy but has forced us to live with the threat of nuclear annilation for over the last sixty years. Science is a tool and like any tool it can be misused. And unlike you, I am not going to prostrate myself before a tool or remain blind to its defects.

Papalinton said...

@ Karl Grant

Re your 4th referral on a trial on The Effect of Remote Intercessory Prayer at the U. Texas: http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/1075553041323803

Results: No direct intervention effect on the primary outcomes was found. A marginally significant reduction in the amount of pain was observed in the intervention group compared to controls. The amount of concern for baseline problems at follow-up was significantly lower in the intervention group when stratified by subject's baseline degree of belief that their problem could be resolved. Prayer intervention appeared to effectively reduce the subject's level of concern only if the subject initially believed that the problem could be resolved. Those in the intervention group who did not believe in a possible resolution to their problem did not differ from controls. Better physical functioning was observed in the intervention group among those with a higher belief in prayer and surprisingly, better mental health scores were observed in the control group with lower belief in prayer scores.


Three points I would make:

1. "No direct intervention effect on the primary outcomes was found."
2. "Prayer intervention appeared to effectively reduce the subject's level of concern only if the subject initially believed that the problem could be resolved."
3. "... and surprisingly, better mental health scores were observed in the control group with lower belief in prayer scores."

Papalinton said...

@ Karl Grant

your final referral: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673605669103

Background: [abridged by me]
We undertook a multicentre, prospective trial of two such practices: intercessory prayer and music, imagery, and touch (MIT) therapy.

Findings
371 patients were assigned prayer and 377 no prayer; 374 were assigned MIT therapy and 374 no MIT therapy. The factorial distribution was: standard care only, 192; prayer only, 182; MIT therapy only, 185; and both prayer and MIT therapy, 189. No significant difference was found for the primary composite endpoint in any treatment comparison. Mortality at 6 months was lower with MIT therapy than with no MIT therapy.

Interpretation
Neither masked prayer nor MIT therapy significantly improved clinical outcome after elective catheterisation or percutaneous coronary intervention


Karl, further confirmation of the power[?] of prayer.
Sciences gives people quantifiable and qualitatively improved health outcomes. Prayer and religion do not.

Karl Grant said...

Papalintion,

I can see you like to use selective quotes.

Let's take a look at 15895540:

A study of prayer use by patients showed that 47% of study subjects prayed for their health, and 90% of these believed prayer improved their health. Those who prayed had significantly less smoking and alcohol use and more preventive care visits, influenza immunizations, vegetable intake, satisfaction with care, and social support, and were more likely to have a regular primary care provider. The study concluded that those who pray had more favorable health-related behaviors, preventive service use, and satisfaction with care.

And from 11493130:

Our findings suggest that patients who indicate religious struggle during a spiritual history may be at particularly high risk for poor medical outcomes. Referral of these patients to clergy to help them work through these issues may ultimately improve clinical outcomes; further research is needed to determine whether interventions that reduce religious struggles might also improve medical prognosis.

Here is what I think you did, you sped read through those studies cherry picking quotes instead of reading and comprehending what they were saying (This seems likely since less than an hour has past between my original post and your replies). Otherwise, you would realize that 11493130 is saying that people who are struggling with their religion are more likely to have health problems as opposed to people who have no problems with their religion, people who I think you referred to as 'sheep.'

Papalinton said...

@ Karl Grant

"It [science] gave us nuclear energy but has forced us to live with the threat of nuclear annilation for over the last sixty years."

But only if christians or muslims get their hands on it. You see, Karl, if one lives by an irrational superstitious supernatural mythos, who can say with any certainty what in their mind constitutes an ethical or moral decision. Is it the god of the OT or the god of the NT which speaks? Is it going to be the Amalekite solution? Who knows. Only christians have dropped a nuclear bomb on another peoples.

Karl Grant said...

Furthermore, from the Lancet:

Overall, the study found no significant effect of prayer. However, major adverse cardiac events were reduced in the prayer group (23% to 27%), as were death and readmission rates (33% to 35%).

Sciences gives people quantifiable and qualitatively improved health outcomes.

Only if you ignore the negatives. The mainstream medical community once destroyed Ignaz Semmelweis's career for suggesting that doctors need to wash their hands between surgeries. How many tens of thousands of people died needlessly because of that? It was modern medicine that gave us thalidomide and still continues to manufacture faulty drugs. Hardly a month goes by were you don't hear about some class-action suite against a drug company for manufacturing faulty products. Somehow, I doubt the family of this kid would agree that science improved his life.

Papalinton said...

@ Karl grant

Every quote you quoted from the studies I quoted verbatim. Not a word left out. No speed reading, no cherry-picking.

Karl your pious rage and utter impotence to manage a reasoned discourse is emblematic of the Apologist 'confirmation bias'. Nothing more, nothing less.

The qualitative substance of not one of those references supports your claim. READ THEM CAREFULLY.

The comment taken from the findings you quote, "The study concluded that those who pray had more favorable health-related behaviors, ..."
favorable BEHAVIOURS not HEALTH OUTCOMES.
It is just as I say, 'touchy-feely' stuff, and nothing about improved medical outcomes resulting from prayer.

The record stands on its merits. Prayer and religion have no direct causal relationships for improved clinical outcomes.

Karl you have been slapped.
Incidentally, I don't call people 'sheep'.

Karl Grant said...

Papalinton,

But only if christians or muslims get their hands on it. You see, Karl, if one lives by an irrational superstitious supernatural mythos, who can say with any certainty what in their mind constitutes an ethical or moral decision. Is it the god of the OT or the god of the NT which speaks? Is it going to be the Amalekite solution? Who knows. Only christians have dropped a nuclear bomb on another peoples.

You contradict yourself in the same paragraph. only if christians or muslims get their hands on it....Only christians have dropped a nuclear bomb on another peoples. Christians and Muslims (The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a nuclear power, Iran probably already has a warhead or two) already have nuclear weapons. We're still breathing. And none of this changes the fact that science gave Muslims and Christians those weapons to begin with.

And the decision to bomb Japan was based on purely strategic reasons, namely as hope to avoid a full scale invasion of the Japanese islands. It was not to destroy the Japanese religions; Japan was predominately Shinto and Buddhist back in the 1940s and it is predominately Shinto and Buddhist now.

I'll ask again, what fantasy world do you live in?

Papalinton said...

@ Karl grant

I noted, "The record stands on its merits. Prayer and religion have no direct causal relationships for improved clinical outcomes."

If they did, it would be a bloody miracle.

Karl Grant said...

Karl your pious rage and utter impotence to manage a reasoned discourse is emblematic of the Apologist 'confirmation bias'. Nothing more, nothing less.

You really like to toot your own horn, don't you?

The qualitative substance of not one of those references supports your claim. READ THEM CAREFULLY.

I linked to them so it is safe to assume that I have read them and analyzed them long before you did.

favorable BEHAVIOURS not HEALTH OUTCOMES.
It is just as I say, 'touchy-feely' stuff, and nothing about improved medical outcomes resulting from prayer.


The study points out that the reason they have those more favorable behaviors tends to be because they are religious.

Karl you have been slapped.

Yes, I believed it was possible to have intelligent discourse with you and that you might have a working brain. You have proven me wrong. Three cheers for Pap!

Morrison said...

Papalinton, I exposed your lies about the nature of the Secular Wars in the 20th century.

I exposed your lies about the nature of Communism as it was expressed in the 20th century.

And your only response consists of name calling and invective.

Yep, you know you are wrong, and it make you Mad As Hell.

There is a lot of anti religion hatred and bigorty expressed in your atheisitic ramblings, Papalinton.

And subtle threats too...as when you say Christianity is a "clear and present danger".

Like I said...thanks for the warnings.

Morrison said...

Hey Papalinton...I like that picture of you with Dan Barker. Barker was here at KU in Lawrence about a month ago for an atheist rally, so I picked up his books.

Get this, just like Loftus he continued to preach after he no longer believed.

An admitted liar! To the people who were supposed to be closest to him, no less!

And now we are supposed to believe him about his other experiences?

I will say this, I know there are other preachers like that in the Church, maybe more than we suspect, and it is a Miracle that the Church has survived this long.

But can you imagine the damage guys like Loftus and Barker could have done if they had STAYED in the Church? LOL!

And Barker even writes intros to the Loftus books.

Isn't that cute?

Papalinton said...

@ Morrison

This is the latest little chink in the armor of christian theism. Bit by bit, brick by brick, the christian edifice is being dismantled.

Have fun:

http://www.statesman.com/life/faith/author-offers-evolutionary-explanation-for-religion-1546961.html#.Tfzilu6ZtbM;email

Papalinton said...

@ Morrison

"I will say this, I know there are other preachers like that in the Church, maybe more than we suspect, and it is a Miracle that the Church has survived this long."

I think you're right. There are vastly more atheists/agnostics in the pulpit than we imagine. Indeed Daniel Dennet's latest research and interviews into this matter will be an enlightening read.
As far as the miracle bit, not likely. More like favorable historical conditions.

Mr Veale said...

Guys, you're taking the Abrasive Aussie much to seriously.

Papa Linton, bless his Trollish locks, isn't interested in discussion, debate, or even proving Theists wrong.

He just wants to make you angry.

Trust me. There's some rules you need to follow.

First of all, keep him out of the light, he hates bright light, especially sunlight, it'll kill him.

Second, don't give him any water, not even to drink.

But the most important rule,
the rule you can never forget,
no matter how much he cries,
no matter how much he begs

never ever feed the Troll

Graham

Morrison said...

Papalinton...thank you for the admissions.

As you have surrendered the points regarding the Secular Wars of the 20th Century and the Officially Atheistic Basis of Communism in the form it took in the 20th Century, your additional link is irrelevant.

As for atheism, the unfalsifible faith that it holds in the ability of mindless processes to account for existence, life, mind, and reason itself...an undemonstrable claim, even in principle...is not full of chinks, it is cracked right down the middle.

Mr Veale said...

I warned you

I told you the rules

You didn't listen

Here we grow again

Mr Veale said...

(Someone round here has to get a pop-culture reference sooner of later...)

PhilosophyKnight said...

These comments are really far from what I normally see here, which is reasonable and somewhat polite debate.

As for Loftus commenting that the blog posters here are unintelligent, just ignore him. That's just rich coming from someone who frequents this blog himself. If he really thinks that way, why would he ever post here? Just go away then.

Mr Veale said...

Pop-culture references are a neglected art, Philosophy Knight! And there isn't anything else to discuss on this thread...

There's no point in engaging with Papa L. He's just a mischief maker out to ruin the blog.

Papalinton said...

Mr Veale

"There's no point in engaging with Papa L. He's just a mischief maker out to ruin the blog."

You misrepresent me. I wish you to stop peddling your superstitious supernatural woo and keep it to yourself. Everyone has the right to freedom of religion and freedom from religion.
I want humans to be humans, not the plaything of the faery at the bottom of the garden of eden.

Mr Veale said...

Oh, I didn't say I didn't like having you around! To my mind, you're great fun!
There's no point in debating with you. You want to infuriate, and you're engagingly outrageous in your quest to irriate Christians without actually saying anything.
Quite clever, really.
But it's after midnight this side of Atlantic, so I won't be feeding you this evening.(-;


Have a good one

Graham

Mr Veale said...

Which makes you more Gizmo than Gremlin, btw...
I meant what I said. Once a person 'gets' your he realise that you're really quite likeable chap. I have you filed under "loveable rogue".

Papalinton said...

Graham
Thanks, 'a likable rogue'.
And yes my modus is to stir a little. And should one read a little carefully, as you seem to have done, there is game in my commentary. Sometimes a little droll, sometimes a little black.
I'm at an age where I so enjoy life and I prefer to take things not too seriously.

So you can appreciate why it is that responding to Anonymous, or Ben Yachov, or Karl Grant, is quite a nice dig, only by virtue that they seem they somewhat shy of levity when it comes to their contributions.
I am not trying to put them down. I take a positive approach. I try and send them up.
And of course, Ilion and Morrison are just wonderful, unilaterally declaring great victories over atheists. Reminds me of 'Chemical Ali' [as he was dubbed by the Americans] a member of Saddam Hussein's cabinet, who, with the international media all round him, declared 'the Americans are being met and pushed back', even when indeed they were already mopping up around the outskirts of Baghdad.
It was a very comedic moment.

I might add Graham, i do recall you have not been spared a few barbs.

Cheers