Monday, January 09, 2012

Is there Anything to Discuss?

This links to a post typical of Loftus these days. 

Given this set of responses, do you think real dialogue between believers and nonbelievers is even possible? These claims are, at least here, just asserted. It really does look like a dialogue stopper to me. If you say “I don’t have to answer your objections because anyone who defends the position I’m attacking looks stupid whenever they do that,” then I am afraid the parties are left pretty much with nothing left to say.

64 comments:

soku said...

Does Victor mean this post?

http://freethoughtblogs.com/loftus/2012/01/09/the-mind-of-the-believer/

If so, I entirely agree.

soku said...

Hmm, I meant agree with Victor and not with Loftus. Let's clear that up. :)

theway21stcentury said...

Real dialogue is still possible, just less common. This is so especially on the internet where everyone is an expert and people have a sense of anonymity or impersonality, and behave badly accordingly.

John has put his heart and soul into debunking christianity, and most of us are not impressed. What is he going to do? Admit that his arguments can be met by just as good ones in reply? Not likely, that is too threatening. So he is going to demonise his opponents, the biggest insult he can make is to call believers illogical, delusional, etc.

Of course it is often the same in return. Christians will also call atheists names in frustration that they won't listen. I personally avoid the name-calling, but I can't help thinking similar things to what John says, as I can't believe intelligent people can so glibly ignore evidence or believe so weak an argument.

But people do change their views from time to time, in both directions, so discussing truth is not totally worthless. I think the internet spoils us by providing so many more opportunities for discussion than we have in real life. Therefore we should be more judicious in which discussions we enter into, and choose those which seem likely to be productive, and withdraw if they prove not to be.

After all, "someone is wrong on the internet" is in itself hardly a good reason to engage.

unkleE said...

Addendum: this new comment procedure is a little confusing. My previous comment showed up as unklee in preview (using my Wordpress account), then defaulted to my blog name. This is a test to see if I can get it to show the name I usually use here.

Wouldn't show unkleE again unless I switched to Blogger name - but I no longer use Blogger. Sorry to bore you all with my problems, but I'm afraid this comment system may drive away more than the trolls.

John W. Loftus said...

We are "World's Apart," as the book by Norman Geisler tells us. James Sire speaks of "The Universe Next Door" in his book. Others like James Speigel, in "The Making of an Atheist," R.C. Sproul in his book "If There's a God, Why Are There Atheists?" and Paul Vitz in "Faith of the Fatherless" all talk about how skeptics reject the truth because they do not want to know it, or that we had bad father figures.

Why is it that my conclusion is anything different than theirs, even though they would dialogue with me in hopes of changing my mind? Those books should be debate stoppers too. But they aren't.

So let's try it again.

Crude said...

Why is it that my conclusion is anything different than theirs, even though they would dialogue with me in hopes of changing my mind?

Norman Geisler, James Sire, James Speigel, RC Sproul and Paul Vitz "would dialogue with you in the hopes of changing your mind"? Have these men actually attempted to talk with you on their own, or is this something closer to "why, I imagine they would"?

Those books should be debate stoppers too. But they aren't.

So, you're denying that "real dialogue is even possible", but also this shouldn't be a debate stopper.

Alright.

mattghg said...

JWL, what James Sire has to say is nothing like what's in your post. His book is about explaining the content of different worldviews. He doesn't say that anyone who disagrees with him is immune to rational argument. I can't comment on the other books you mention, but with respect to Sire at least you're being unfair; there's just no comparision.

Steven Carr said...

Here is a link to some believers dialoguing in a church Christians in earnest dialogue

I doubt if a non-believer would even be able to enter the church doors to join the discussion.

B. Prokop said...

This posting by Loftus is interesting in light of something I heard on NPR a few weeks ago. The speaker was relating results of a study that showed when people of diametrically opposed views on a subject they are passionate about engage in dialog, two things usually occur:

1. Each side emerges strengthened in their own views, as a result of having to articulate them clearly to the others.

2. Each side ends up with greater respect for the other point of view and the people that hold it, despite fundamental disagreement, as a result of listening to them.

In this case, Loftus definitely does not follow the observed pattern. His own views have become less coherent over time, and his respect for those who disagree with him has decreased (?disappeared?).

Blue Devil Knight said...

Bob do you have a link, that is relevant to something I am writing up right now.

B. Prokop said...

What do you mean, do I have a link? If you mean my own website, I'm afraid not. (I think that's why a certain troll on this site a while back didn't believe I existed!) Despite my activity on Victor's blog, I'm really a terrible Luddite at heart. I am on no social networks, and frequent almost nothing but news or astronomy-related sites on the web, with the exception of Victor's.

What's the subject of your writing?

mattghg said...

Bob, I think BDK means 'do you have a link to a web address where I can either listen to that NPR report you mentioned or look at the study referenced in it'.

B. Prokop said...

Oh.

It was on the show "This American Life", and the subject was hostility between pro and anti abortion groups in Boston. The transcript can be found here:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/453/transcript

BenYachov said...

>I don’t have to answer your objections because anyone who defends the position I’m attacking looks stupid whenever they do that,”

A YEC could say the same thing when challenged on the validity of his world view or if given a plausible/rational response to his polemics against Evolution.

What earthly good is being an "Atheist" if in your heart & head you are still a fundamentalist?

John W. Loftus said...

The evidence is against B. Prokop's claim against me, but then who cares about evidence, right? Otherwise, what think ye of the co-written book I have coming out with Randal Rauser? It was a respectful dialog. Ask him. However, I do not respect Vic or many the people who comment here much at all. After all, I think Vic's OP here is utterly ignorant along with anyone who agrees with it.

But that's just me.

I'm unsubscribing.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for translating Matt.

Thanks for the link Bob. The link to the story, 'Nemesis', is here.

Sounds very relevant to what I'm writing right now, I will definitely check it out.

One thing that is important is to seek out the best of your opposition, not the worst. This is what bugs me about blogs, it is so easy to just post about something some idiot said, and bash him. To articulate a response to an intelligent opponent, with nuanced views, is outside of the blog ballpark.

Speaking of which I'm getting Rosenberg's atheism book today to go over what he says, in full, about mental states, and will write a review of that aspect of his work over at philosophyofbrains in a week or two.

PhilosophyFan said...

Loftus:
We are "World's Apart," as the book by Norman Geisler tells us. James Sire speaks of "The Universe Next Door" in his book. Others like James Speigel, in "The Making of an Atheist," R.C. Sproul in his book "If There's a God, Why Are There Atheists?" and Paul Vitz in "Faith of the Fatherless"

As Mattghg pointed out above, Sire's whole point isn't like Loftus' at all. I too have not read the other books, but I do remember Dr. Reppert here sort of rebuking Vitz's book on the very same grounds as your post here.

I wonder if the message of Prov 1:29 refers to nonbelievers in general or a certain class of one? My guess is Dr. Reppert would take the second option?

I suppose Christians shouldn't necessarily be shocked at the message here, though in light of 1 Corinthians 1:18. Unless that message ought to be taken in a slightly different way too?

Karl Grant said...

Loftus,

I'm unsubscribing.

That's what? The twelfth time you have done that? Or the thirteenth? I have lost count. You'll be back, everybody here knows that.

B. Prokop said...

I think what he means by that is he's not going to check this particular thread again.

Karl Grant said...

Oh, my bad.

Dr. Evangelicus said...

"I'm unsubscribing."

=>

"I'm picking up my toys and running away."

unkleE said...

B.Prokop said: "when people of diametrically opposed views on a subject they are passionate about engage in dialog, two things usually occur"

I found this interesting, because my experience, which I've heard other people confirm, is that argument tends to strengthen one's own belief, but polarise.

I wonder whether it depends on the attitude each person brings to the discussion? If one sets out to understand the other person, the effect is as you say, but if one sets out to convince the other person but fails, polarisation and demonisation occurs?

John's own evidence may support this. He has co-written a book with Randal Rauser and presumably doesn't believe or say the same things about him as he says about Victor and the rest of us. Different purpose leads to different attitude leads to different response?

Don McIntosh said...

If it is the case that Christians are as dumb and deluded as Mr. Loftus says, his own professed experience as a one-time dumb and deluded Christian himself should provide the psychological insights into the Mind of the Believer he claims to seek. But then how in the world did he ever acquire the intelligence and integrity to deconvert?

I think this just proves that deep down, the more ideologically driven atheists do believe in miracles – and even a sort of naturalistic version of the doctrine of election. What else could open the eyes of a hopelessly illogical, deluded Christian to finally see the light of atheism?

Crude said...

I think what he means by that is he's not going to check this particular thread again.

Have you ever seen Loftus in a thread? There's even odds he'll be back, even after the second "I'm done with this thread" pops.

I really like how he wholesale condemns all Christians as irrational, illogical and delusional people without exception, to the point where he makes a post talking about how he's not even responding to some PhD's criticisms of his work on the grounds that the guy is clearly nuts and he's heard it all before... and then turns around and says that he believes in (respectful!) dialog.

So, good for Loftus. He gets to choose: either he's inconsistent or he's BSing. Or, you know - both.

Crude said...

unkleE,

John's own evidence may support this. He has co-written a book with Randal Rauser and presumably doesn't believe or say the same things about him as he says about Victor and the rest of us.

The problem with that idea is the following, with emphasis added: "It’s not just the utter buffoons I’m talking about, which are many, but all of them. Christians are illogical and delusional. This I know, after spending years in my own delusion and after years of dealing with them since my deconversion. How can they be so deluded, I ask myself? How can they be so dumb?"

As I said above, there's another option: John's BSing, he's inconsistent, or both. But he's the one saying outright that all Christians, full stop, are illogical and delusional, certainly when it comes to their religion and metaphysics.

I suppose we could tack on "John's absolutely horrible with communicating his own thoughts" as a possible charitable explanation.

Victor Reppert said...

I want to underscore the part of Loftus' comments that prompted my response. He talked about not having to respond to a Ph.D who had offered criticism because it wasn't worth responding to, and then he said that believers look stupid when they're defending their religion. In other words, his sense that the other side is out to lunch gave him a reason to not reply to his critics.

Anyone can refuse to engage in some exchange with some other person, or not be willing to engage the opposition in some particular format (such as the public debate). The problem arises when you are making a case against something, you are engaged in argument, but then, when criticized, you say "I don't have to answer that because it doesn't reflect enough intelligence to make a response worthwhile." Further, he then says that he thinks everyone who defends their religion looks stupid, even well-qualified scholars. And then, you turn around and say he still wants
respectful dialogue.

If you are going to argue for something, then, in one way or another, you've got to engage the other side.

Another species of the problem is the "courtier's reply" type of response to natural theologians, including William Lane Craig.

Crude said...

If you are going to argue for something, then, in one way or another, you've got to engage the other side.

Hasn't Loftus has gone on record saying explicitly that he does not, nor does he feel the need to, rely on reason and rational debate exclusively when it comes to this sort of thing? That he wants converts, period, and if reason and argument won't do the trick, he'll do whatever will?

That's one thing that gets me about your interaction with him, and others at times. It seems like someone can tell you explicitly "I just want people to believe X. If shaming and namecalling them gets them to believe X, I'll do that." and your response seems to be "Yes, well, let's have a reasonable and civil debate." At what point do you just conclude you're dealing with a shyster?

Victor Reppert said...

And if that is what he does, then he exposes himself for what he is.

BenYachov said...

Or to put Crude's point in simpler terms. Loftus is still a fundie when all is said and done.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Incidentally, just finished the relevant chapters of Rosenberg's argument that thoughts aren't "about" anything. Basically, advocating eliminative materialism about propositionally structured thoughts, in a way that is unconvincing, confused, without any real positive story about neuronal information processing.

Churchland is so, so much better, with a better articulated vision. Rosenberg is almost like what you get if you take blogger caricatures of Churchland by people that haven't read Churchland.

It is not worth taking the time to summarize in a thorough way, frankly, because it would take so much time, with no foreseeable payoff in terms of my understanding. I largely think he deserves what he's been getting around the Chrisitan blogosphere.

Read Churchland's book 'Neurophilosophy at Work' if you want something substantive.

Ilíon said...

"Loftus is still a fundie when all is said and done."

Or, perhaps, whoever said that is just an ass.

===
the WV for this post is "paroch" ... perhaps WV has figured out that a certain ass has far too 'parochial' a view of reality.

Ilíon said...

"Read Churchland's book 'Neurophilosophy at Work' if you want something substantive."

'Cause "You don't exist" is so much more "substantive" when said with $10 words, rather than $5 words.

Crude said...

I admit, from my reading of the Churchlands and Rosenberg, my impression is mostly that Rosenberg is what you get if you take a Churchlands-style EM line and A) don't beat around the bush, and B) aren't as good at bullshitting.

It's like Loftus and Hitchens. At the end of the day, in terms of arguments, they're not all that different. It's just that Hitchens was actually very good with presentation and presence, while Loftus struggles desperately to hit the "Madalyn Murray O'Hair on a bad, drunken day" eloquence level.

I'd add two things. One, it's not like Rosenberg is only getting trashed by Christians - most atheists seem either to shut up when his name comes up, or aren't too impressed. Two, the same roughly goes for the Churchlands, at least among popular atheists. The fun of skepticism is attacking ideas you dislike - going on defense for EM is a great way to come across as crazier than a guy speaking in tongues and juggling snakes.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Crude, how do you understand the term 'eliminative materialism'?

Blue Devil Knight said...

Crude, I asked my previous question because your invidious comparison to Churchland suggests you haven't read (or at least understood) either author very well.

With Rosenberg, I admit it is understandable that you might miss some of the details. He basically hides his positive view within all the provocative rhetoric that we don't think "about" things. With Churchland, less justified in misunderstanding the details, because he is a clear writer, with a detailed explicit positive view.

But with you it is hard to tell sometimes if you are just trying to be provocative or actually saying something you could back up with details.

mattghg said...

Perhaps its time for another thread about eliminative materialism? It's been a while.

Just a suggestion, Victor.

BenYachov said...

>Crude, how do you understand the term 'eliminative materialism'?

BDK

You should in your own time answer that question too. So you & Crude can compare notes more effectively and have a true dialog.

Blue Devil Knight said...

My hope is that more people would become be aware that 'eliminative materialism' is a catch-all term that has little meaning when applied generically. I am an eliminative materialist about certain theories of the mind, but not others.

Same applies to Churchland/Rosenberg, who think that the brain does not use sentence-like representational states for its computations. They both think it uses a specifically nonpropositional representational format.

I am agnostic about whether the brain speaks to itself in sentences, though I it probably depends on species.

OTOH, Rosenberg does make himself sound crazy by using unnecessarily provocative language (he is quite clear that we think, but just not "about" things in the sense implied by propositional attitude psychology; but then he says the brain uses "maps", but maps are about the world too, so it turns out he is just being provocative).

OK I have to dodge for a while, may come back and check in to see if anything interesting has come up.

Crude said...

Crude, how do you understand the term 'eliminative materialism'?

Broadly, as a position in philosophy of mind that denies the existence of certain mental phenomena, though the specifics depend on who we're talking about. Intentionality, qualia, etc.

Crude, I asked my previous question because your invidious comparison to Churchland suggests you haven't read (or at least understood) either author very well.

Sure. I mean, I said Rosenberg and the Churchlands were pretty much on the same page, except Rosenberg was blunter and a worse bullshitter. Clearly that means I couldn't have understood them, much less have them pegged, because if I did I'd have a much higher opinion of them. It's simply not possible to have a low opinion of them and actually know the position they have, right? Or is it that Rosenberg and the Churchlands are very far away from each other in terms of belief about the mind? Please, make that case if you want.

OTOH, Rosenberg does make himself sound crazy by using unnecessarily provocative language

He's blunt, and he doesn't bullshit with either the right quality or quantity. Again, I point out that EM isn't regarded as crazy merely by those mean ol' Christians. Plenty of atheists - hell, plenty of self-described materialists - think the position is ridiculous.

but then he says the brain uses "maps", but maps are about the world too, so it turns out he is just being provocative

Maps are about the world insofar as they relate to a mind. If Rosenberg means that, then he's got a consistency problem on his hands. And if he's talking about "maps" in some very loose way such that no, it's not "about the world", then he has a whole other problem.

Trying to mount a quasi-defense of Rosenberg on the grounds that he uses a vague example and if you squint your eyes and turn your head you can (mis)construe him in a way that doesn't make his position seem flat-out ridiculous isn't very encouraging.

Tony Hoffman said...

VR: “If you are going to argue for something, then, in one way or another, you've got to engage the other side.”

This isn’t true, as anybody who posts on websites knows; some comments are so stupid, ill-informed, and obviously motivated by unrelated emotional and psychological issues that the best response is to ignore them. I think you would have trouble disagreeing, as I think I saw that you have recently announced that you will not allow anonymous comments here. In other words, we all have thresholds for engaging with “the other side,” and ignoring is clearly one that you also espouse.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Crude: Rosenberg's view isn't just a more "blunt" less bullshit filled version of Churchland. You have no idea what you are talking about. But you have presented an ill-defined enough target to be able to deny that you have actually said anything substantive. I might agree with that.

"I just don't have the time to engage in this shit anymore - I'd rather converse with people, or present an idea. Not fight the same ten jackoffs who aren't even saying anything salient."

If you ever want to actually exchange ideas about the issues, rather than pass barbs about who finds whom insane, go to the next thread where we will discuss Victor's published responses to Churchland.

At any rate, my evaluation of Rosenberg is on target, points out hte contrast with Paul Churchland, and I'm not going to write any more about Rosenberg (I certainly wasn't trying to defend him) because I prefer to go after the best representation of a position, not the worst.

Crude said...

Rosenberg's view isn't just a more "blunt" less bullshit filled version of Churchland. You have no idea what you are talking about.

This is a load of bull and you know it. No, BDK, Rosenberg is not off on his own with a position utterly alien to the Churchland view. I'm sure you can find some differences - no two philosophers are ever going to be utterly alike on as broad a topic as this. But when you get down to it, yes, Rosenberg is pretty much what you get with EM if you're blunt and aren't quite as good at blowing smoke.

But you have presented an ill-defined enough target to be able to deny that you have actually said anything substantive. I might agree with that.

Yeah, I gave my brief and straightforward opinion and little else. Your response has basically been to say "Nuh-uh!" and insist I'm wrong. And also imply that it was the "Christian blogosphere" that thought Rosenberg's view was nuts. Like it or not, both Rosenberg and Churchland are regarded as pretty out of it even among self-described atheists and materialists.

If you ever want to actually exchange ideas about the issues

Tell me when you find someone worth spending said time with. I'll add them to the short list.

At any rate, my evaluation of Rosenberg is on target, points out hte contrast with Paul Churchland,

I know! You not only said Churchland was so much better, but so, SO much better! What a contrast - God, it's like night and day!

BenYachov said...

@Crude & BDK,

What are the differences between Churchland vs Rosenberg on EM assuming there are such?

Why is Churchland allegedly better than Rosenberg on this topic or not?

Obviously BDK likes Churchland the same way I might like Feser. Obviously Crude feels about Churchland the same way Ilion feels about Feser.

OK I get that & full dis-closer I am predisposed to reject EM regardless & am predisposed to Feser(who has read Rosenberg) review of Rosenberg and Churchland.

But never the less I would prefer to see specifics here then BDK: "Churchland is awesome & Rosenberg sucks!" vs Crude: "Both suck! But Rosenberg is more honest about the suck!".

That would be a more enjoyable discussion. If either of you guys are up for it.

If not that is OK too.

Ilíon said...

"Obviously Crude feels about Churchland the same way Ilion feels about Feser."

I'd say "what an ignorant idiot" ... but idiots don't choose to be ignorant.

Ilíon said...

"The fun of skepticism is attacking ideas you dislike - going on defense for EM is a great way to come across as crazier than a guy speaking in tongues and juggling snakes."

What? Catholics play with snakes? No wonder in my very “low church” upbringing -- in which people did "spoke in tongues" ... and, allegedly, climbed the walls and spit fire -- Catholicism was regarded with extreme prejudice.

BenYachov said...

OTOH maybe that is an unfair comparison?

In terms of base hostility I would compare Crude's contempt for Churchland with Ilion's contempt for Feser.

But that is not to say Crude hostility isn't based on principled objections to Churchland's thought & a principle set of reason for believing he is bullshiting.

Blue Devil Knight said...

BenYachov I'm done with this thread--am talking about actual details in the next thread. If you want to talk details, substance, go there.

As I said there, I am not an eliminativist, but agnostic lean against (at least for humans). But I do try to correct the confident yet incorrect pronouncements on what he has said.

BenYachov said...

Then I will see you there BDK.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Good, and maybe you will become an eliminative dualist, a real option that is nare explored. :)

Victor Reppert said...

Well, I didn't mean to say you have to engage everyone on the other side. So, if Richard Dawkins ignores Kirk Cameron, I wouldn't say he's open to criticism.

Crude said...

Ben,

Obviously BDK likes Churchland the same way I might like Feser. Obviously Crude feels about Churchland the same way Ilion feels about Feser.

Not really. First, I don't think Ilion 'feels' some way about Feser that's wholly hostile - I think Ilion would even say he agrees with a lot of what Feser says. But he disagrees on some key points, and if I recall right (of course, Ilion can and will correct me if I'm wrong) he thought Feser wasn't intellectually honest on some point, and that was that.

And I'm not all that animated against Churchland, or Rosenberg - I just don't think much of them. I mean really, take a good, hard look at what I said in this thread. I made it known I don't have a high opinion of Churchland (What a shock!), and I'm of the opinion that Rosenberg and Churchland pretty much end up on the same page at the end of the day - it's just that Rosenberg's blunt and a bad BSer. That's pretty minor. BDK didn't even ask what I meant or for clarification - just, boom, 'OMG you're wrong, wrong, wrong'. And writing off anything nutty either of the two say as 'provocation' and 'inessential'. I see in the other thread, even the materialism aspect isn't regarded as essential or worth dwelling on with regards to the topic. Hey, if I can rip out every page of a philosopher's book that I dislike and merely comment on the remainder, I can compliment everyone. (I bet Churchland has nice penmanship and writes a bitchin' appendix.)

I guess that should be the takeaway point here. The big defender of Churchland here, who freaked out that I equated him with Rosenberg, bills himself as agnostic to leaning against Churchland on key issues, knocks the nutty stuff to the side as provocative and inessential, and apparently brackets even the materialism in the conversation. That's actually more of a slight than anything I said.

Crude said...

Ilion,

What? Catholics play with snakes?

Man, were you really taking that as a high-church Catholic versus low-church Protestant thing? I'm well aware of Catholic charismatics, and frankly I include them in my example - because this isn't a Catholic v Protestant example. Even if snake-handling and speaking in tongues is wholly legitimate, it still has the impression that it does - and that impression is all I was referring to.

No wonder in my very “low church” upbringing -- in which people did "spoke in tongues" ... and, allegedly, climbed the walls and spit fire -- Catholicism was regarded with extreme prejudice.

Wait, what? Because Catholics did it too (were they using wrong snakes?)? Or because Catholics turned their noses up at it? I can't parse what you're saying here.

Crude said...

And for the record, in my youth, I too climbed walls and spit fire on a regular basis.

Blue Devil Knight said...

Crude:

bravado+ignorane ≠ knowledge.

You still have no idea what you are talking about.

Ilíon said...

"Man, were you really taking that as a high-church Catholic versus low-church Protestant thing?
"

Not at all.

I'm pointing out that "speaking in tongues", even if it is odd, has nothing to do with snakes.

Ilíon said...

"First, I don't think Ilion 'feels' some way about Feser that's wholly hostile ..."

Indeed, Ilíon doesn't 'feel' anything about anything ... he thinks and reasons.

"... I think Ilion would even say he agrees with a lot of what Feser says. But he disagrees on some key points ..."

Probably more minor than 'key'.

"... and if I recall right (of course, Ilion can and will correct me if I'm wrong) he thought Feser wasn't intellectually honest on some point ..."

And he explained, in boring detail, *why* he had come to that conclusion.

"... and that was that."

It was *because* Ilíon once thought so highly of Feser that his intellectual dishonesty so disgusts him that he no longer wastes his time on the man.

Ilíon said...

BDK: bravado+ignorane ≠ knowledge.

You still have no idea what you are talking about.
"

Yet, whine + disingenuousness (as see in just this thread alone) still = far worse than "≠ knowledge"

Ilíon said...

... about the whining I mentioned in the last post: I had considered explaining just why BDK's silly attempt at reclassifying standard-issue atheistic whinging about the non-existent "Problem of Evil" as being examples of reductio ad absurdum fails (i.e. is itself absurd) … but, why bother? BDK ain’t listening to reason; if he were, he wouldn’t still be asserting atheism.

Crude said...

bravado+ignorane ≠ knowledge.

Repeating "you're wrong!" over and over doesn't make it true, BDK. Though I loved your masterstroke of linking to your contrasting 'on target' evaluation of Rosenberg v Churchland. It's not that Churchland is just better, or so much better - he's SO, SO much better! Checkmate! ;)

Crude said...

Ilion,

I'm pointing out that "speaking in tongues", even if it is odd, has nothing to do with snakes.

That was the comment? Huh. Well, alright.

BTW, what do you take high church and low church to mean anyway? I'm getting the impression it's a loosely used term.

Count Murmuroth said...

Blimey, the comments thread on the Loftus post was depressing!

Same old cringe-making arguments popping up ('Christians think it's irrational to believe in Zeus, so they should realise it's irrational to be theists at all! And they only believe because they're afraid of dying!). How can anyone claim to champion reason and still peddle this guff?

Some folks - on both sides of the fence - don't want debate; they want deference. They give themselves away when, having failed to make their case, they complain that their opponents are unreachable.

Ilíon said...

Count Murmuroth: "Some folks - on both sides of the fence - don't want debate; they want deference. They give themselves away when, having failed to make their case, they complain that their opponents are unreachable."

Count Murmuroth: "Blimey, the comments thread on the Loftus post was depressing! ... Same old cringe-making arguments popping up ('Christians think it's irrational to believe in Zeus, so they should realise it's irrational to be theists at all! And they only believe because they're afraid of dying!). How can anyone claim to champion reason and still peddle this guff?"

I wonder; are you able to see the conflict -- and even contradiction, and self-condemnation -- between these two thoughts?

Nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Count Murmuroth said...

Ilion -

Sorry, I put my responses to two sets of people (the ones with the hackneyed arguments and the ones refusing to argue) in the same rushed coffee-break comment. Sloppy.