Monday, November 19, 2012

An atheist on the new atheism.

Atheist Burgess-Jackson on the New Atheists.

Apparently he doesn't like the emphasis on non-rational persuasion.

85 comments:

Crude said...

The one thing I'd disagree with KBJ on this is that he suggests philosophers are above the sort of thing Dawkins discusses. That's an ideal, but in practice, it's not true.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Out of curiosity, did you discover this after seeing my link on SO?

Crude said...

So, Jeff, do you agree or disagree with KBJ?

Victor Reppert said...

Actually, Steve Hays sent this to me.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

I disagree with Dawkins and agree with KBJ regarding contempt.

Dan Gillson said...

Dr. Reppert,

Burgess-Jackson has behaved contemptibly in the past, so I would be wary of giving him any spotlight, lest the crazy come back to bite you.

BenYachov said...

>Burgess-Jackson has behaved contemptibly in the past, so I would be wary of giving him any spotlight, lest the crazy come back to bite you.

Is that code for "humiliated some philosophically incompetent Gnu with relish and without pity"?

Because if so I like him already.

I love the way this guy smacks Gnutoids like Carr upside the head.
Read the comments box.

Anti-philosophy Gnu Atheists are in my experience intellectually inferior.

>The one thing I'd disagree with KBJ on this is that he suggests philosophers are above the sort of thing Dawkins discusses. That's an ideal, but in practice, it's not true.

Well the ideal is always better then the practice. Still bad Atheist philosophers with Gun tendencies are like bad sex.

Even when it bad it's still pretty good(at least compared to the fair given by the Cult of the Gnu).

Some examples "Stephen Law had a better change given his skills to hold his own against Craig. Dawkins would have been destroyed."

Even Dennett has the good sense to admit "There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination" in spite of his kneejerk scientism.

Rosenburg....nuff said.

physphilmusic said...

The one thing I'd disagree with KBJ on this is that he suggests philosophers are above the sort of thing Dawkins discusses. That's an ideal, but in practice, it's not true.

It's not hard to find examples. Anybody familiar with the blog of Brian Leiter, the "philosopher kingmaker" who maintains the Philosophical Gourmet graduate school rankings? He is a glaring example of how left-liberal Marxist sympathies and contempt for religion can make his online utterances sound like those of a snobby left-wing version of Rush Limbaugh. I thought that a Western analytic philosopher would be more cautious of casually trumpeting the latest left-liberal or feminist shenanigans, but I was wrong.

Incidentally, KBJ and Leiter have clashed in the past.

Matt DeStefano said...

This guy is a piece of work: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2005/10/keith_burgessja_1.html

Victor Reppert said...

Well, if we are going to get into the Leiter-KBJ feud, we won't get anywhere. However, mixed-up people can make good points.

Matt DeStefano said...

It's not a feud if one side is certifiably insane and the other merely catalogues the insanity.

Crude said...

Apparently the argument here is that even a supposed lunatic can rightly call out Dawkins out Dawkins for what he is.

By the way, Jeff - okay, you disagree with Dawkins and agree with KBJ. Why?

Dan Gillson said...

Mixed up people can make good points just like serial killers can use screwdrivers to screw in screws. That doesn't mean I'll trust either of 'em to not stab me in the back when I least suspect it.

im-skeptical said...

"I love the way this guy smacks Gnutoids like Carr upside the head.
Read the comments box.

Anti-philosophy Gnu Atheists are in my experience intellectually inferior."

And you are superior to Dawkins in what way?

Crude said...

And you are superior to Dawkins in what way?

Gosh, where to begin.

Ben, for whatever he's guilty of in comboxes, does not advocate doing mental and emotional harm to people who are atheists, and he also differentiates between the Cult of Gnu and atheists generally.

BenYachov said...

>And you are superior to Dawkins in what way?

Of course Philosophy & Science are the basic means of mere natural knowledge. Not Science alone as idiot Gnus like him believe.

If Dawkins where the equivalent of a believer he would be a Young Earth Creationist & a Neo-Geocentrist.

He doesn't know philosophy from his own arsehole.

His version of Atheism is for the truly stupid.

>This guy is a piece of work: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2005/10/keith_burgessja_1.html

That settles it for me then. I like him even more now. Leiter is a twat and not the fun kind.

BenYachov said...

If Dawkins where arguing with a YEC on their superficial anti-Evolution arguments I would clearly bet on Dawkins.

He sole anti-religous polemical skill is defense of Evolution against spurious YEC attacks (like people who claim the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics make Evolution impossible or some such nonsense) and other scientific criticisms of YEC.

That is it. Anything more sophisticated then that the man is rubbish.

BenYachov said...

I just took a closer look at KBL's blog.

He leans to the right politically!

Now I really like him.

To many Gnus are kneejerk left-wingnuts.

It doesn't follow if one denies God one must tilt to the left. Indeed if I lost my faith tomorrow I could see myself in the camp of Ayn Rand while reading SE Cupp's lastest tome.

On the flip side many of my Catholic brothers (with the exception of social issues) tilt toward the left & yet believe in God.

Bob is the obvious example. RS & Crude on another Blog have been arguing Healthcare and let us just say My sympathies lie with Crude in that discussion but Bob would likely back RS.

Of course we are all still brother with the same Mother The Holy Church.

Crude said...

At a glance I like KBJ's blog because he seems relatively and truly unique in perspective, even if he's rambunctious. An atheist who's an apparent social conservative? Quite a thing to see.

Anyway, KBJ's Leiter interactions make him seem off-kilter, but as I said, his point on this topic remains. Call it a 'broken watch right twice a day' thing if you like. His comments section is (unintentionally?) enlightening - we have atheists who cheer on Dawkins' "don't just laugh at them - hurt them" lingo, but some guy was called dumb and oh my Darwin that's just terrible, KBJ how could you?

I think that's the worst of it. I mean, the open viciousness and irrationality is one thing, but really, cultists of gnu tend to be ridiculously thin skinned on top of it all.

Steven Carr said...

The trouble with mockery is, of course, that Christians will also mock atheists.

Take Victor Reppert's latest post on his Dangerous Idea blog, where he quotes A.N.Wilson's mocking taunt - 'Do materialists really think that language just "evolved", like finches' beaks, or have they simply never thought about the matter rationally?'

If atheists taunt Christians 'Do you really believe Jesus sent a lot of demons into a herd of pigs, so that the pigs were then possessed by demons?;, Christians will simply taunt scientists back 'Do you really think language just evolved?'

Crude said...

Dawkins specifically said that the mockery is supposed to go beyond mere laughter and poking fun at and not taking seriously.

Again: "We need to go further: go beyond humorous ridicule, sharpen our barbs to a point where they really hurt."

I have a great idea for anyone who endorses Dawkins' method. Imagine a kid, 14 years old. He goes to school. He also happens to be a Christian.

Describe how you would hurt him. In fact, I have some suggestions!

* Tell him he's a moron, an idiot, an imbecile for believing what he does. If you can get the faculty to turn their heads about this or even endorse it, so much the better.

* Isolate him from his peers. If anyone is his friend, mock them. Make being friends with this kid have a social cost.

* Play pranks. Mock him on facebook - and hey, if you can get a picture of him and alter it in a mocking way, then get it passed around, you're doing great. Remember to keep the subject on his faith.

* Try to get his family involved. Make them ashamed to be related to him, if at all possible, for being Christian. Get them on your side, not on his side, intellectually and emotionally. Remember: the goal here is to make these barbs hurt.

I look forward to seeing the contributions from Dawkins' fans on this one. Perhaps the methods I imagined are too timid - feel free to embellish. We'll all learn something, no doubt.

Steven Carr said...

I see Crude has never actually seen Dawkins-mockery.

Perhaps he can give us some examples of how Dawkins mocks people.

Clue. Dawkins wrote an article in a national newspaper quoting Craig saying all the Canaanite children had to be killed or else they would have thwarted God's plans.

That's the sort of mockery Dawkins goes in for - mocking people who think children can thwart the plans of an all-powerful god and so should be killed.

I have given a very recent quote from Victor's blog where Victor quotes AN Wilson mocking atheists with the taunt of 'Do they believe language just evolved?'

That's the sort of mockery Christians go in for - mocking scientists who have studied their subject.

Steven Carr said...

YACHOV
I love the way this guy smacks Gnutoids like Carr upside the head.

CARR
Oh yes, I imagine you enjoyed KBJ pointing out that it was perfectly acceptable for Craig to say that all the Canaanite children should be killed on the orders of Craig's god - because that was a theodicy.

You can kill children , provided it is a theodicy.

It must be true. It is on a blog attacking New Atheists.

Crude said...

I see Crude has never actually seen Dawkins-mockery.

Perhaps he can give us some examples of how Dawkins mocks people.


What I can do is give Dawkins' recipe, in his own words:

"I suspect that most of our regular readers here would agree that ridicule, of a humorous nature, is likely to be more effective than the sort of snuggling-up and head-patting that Jerry is attacking. I lately started to think that we need to go further: go beyond humorous ridicule, sharpen our barbs to a point where they really hurt."

[...]

"But I think we should probably abandon the irremediably religious precisely because that is what they are – irremediable. I am more interested in the fence-sitters who haven’t really considered the question very long or very carefully. And I think that they are likely to be swayed by a display of naked contempt. Nobody likes to be laughed at. Nobody wants to be the butt of contempt."

So no, Carr - your example fails. Dawkins expressly does not have in mind Craig (unless you're going to suggest that Dawkins thinks Craig isn't deeply religious, and can potentially be persuaded by this.)

Dawkins said: hurt them. Make them the butt of contempt. Laugh at them.

So again, Carr: you apparently endorse Dawkins' words. (I mean, it's pretty clear you don't even *understand* what he said, but it's also clear you endorse him anyway at this point.)

So, how would you deal with that 14 year old boy? How, precisely, would you laugh at him? What methods would you use to make sure he's regarded with contempt?

And, again, this goes to any other person who endorses Dawkins on this point. I'm very curious to hear just how you'll hurt people. (Emotionally and socially, of course.)

Steven Carr said...

Crude failed spectacularly to give an example of Dawkins-mockery, even when he was challenged head on to do so.

While I produced examples of Christians mocking scientists (as quoted on Victor's blog) and produced an example of Dawkins-contempt for a Christian (namely Craig's call for genocide ,as defended by KBJ)

So one failure bites the dust.


Crude has failed.


Anybody else want to fail?

By the way, I imagine the average 14 year old boy in the Catholic church has rather more pressing things to worry about than Dawkins.

Although, of course, we are assured that Catholic child abuse has stopped....


Crude said...

Crude failed spectacularly to give an example of Dawkins-mockery, even when he was challenged head on to do so.

What I did was provide Dawkins' own words of what he was arguing should be done. I pointed out how your examples of 'Dawkins Mockery' failed even by his own stated standards, and asked you to please explain how you would apply Dawkins' teaching in this hypothetical test case.

Dawkins said: make it hurt. Make Christians be the butt of naked contempt.

By the way, I imagine the average 14 year old boy in the Catholic church has rather more pressing things to worry about than Dawkins.

Should I take this to be an example of how you would apply Dawkins' recipe to the 14 year old boy? Say, mock him about whether his priest molested him lately? Ask whether he liked it, and if that's why he still goes to Church?

I can't help but notice you won't answer my question. Are you saying that my examples are beyond the pale? That it would not be proper to make that 14 year old boy the butt of contempt, to ridicule him, to hurt him?

Steven Carr said...

Ridiculing children

This is how you should talk to children about religion.

Crude said...

This is how you should talk to children about religion.

That's nice. So, are you saying that the way to hurt the 14 year old boy, make him the butt of naked contempt, is by saying he's like the children at Jesus Camp? Saying he's brainwashed, manipulated, a fool, etc? Maybe put a Jesus Camp sticker on his locker when he's not looking?

Really, Carr - it seems like you want to talk about anything *but* the scenario I highlighted. Yet that scenario is easily entailed by Dawkins' words.

Dawkins said: don't just poke fun at these people. Mock them mercilessly. Find out what you could say to hurt them. Treat them with 'naked contempt' for their beliefs, to force them to give them up.

I'm surprised, Carr. You seem completely unable to describe how you'd hurt and ridicule this hypothetical 14 year old boy.

Perhaps someone else will be willing to lay out their plans.

B. Prokop said...

"Bob is the obvious example"

I am nothing, if I am not obvious!

By the way, Stephen, you are proof (of the negative sort) that language does indeed evolve, since it apparently never has for you. You are spouting the exact same tired lines that I saw from you years ago - no development, no new insight, no originality... just the same content-less ranting.

Off within 10 minutes on a thanksgiving trip. Will not be back to my computer until Monday. See everyone (virtually, at least) next week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Papalinton said...

The bigger picture here is that, generally, religion is slowly being hoisted on its own pertard. Every survey, every census in the Western world is demonstrating a general trend towards secularism. Society is transiting towards the post-Christian era. And I can understand those who are unused to the rapidly increasing numbers of citizens who are now more robustly positing a non-supernatural perspective, this assertiveness comes as a real shock such that the self-assured behaviour is caricatured as bullying, or even militant. But theists reactions are simply anxiety-laden emotional responses to never having been so challenged before and in such a sustained fashion, to properly and adequately justify their belief in supernatural superstition. Mindful that following centuries of almost universal deference, rightly or wrongly, accorded to religion and religious institutions, despite much atrocious behaviour displayed under the aegis of religion, the community is finally awakening to the wrongs and evils perpetrated through religious dogma and religious thinking. On balance, the bads now outweigh the good in religion. The attitude towards women's health generally, the manic objections to contraception, the dangerous circumstances of religious interference in hospital procedures, the portrayal of religious-inspired homophobia, the form of public discourse of the likes of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, proud to claim of their being informed by their religious upbringing, all contribute to increasing social disquiet about the level of influence of religion in public policy formulation and legislation.

Dawkins, no less than the ever increasingly many others, scientists, philosophers, administrators, people in the Main Street, who have recognised and understood the absolute requirement to counter centuries of inertia and the dead weight of religion in the community. As Hitchens so eloquently noted, religion poisons everything.

Within this context, KBJ is generally understood to be an accommodationist. But there have been centuries of accommodationists and they have largely failed to evince the need for theists to seriously review religious content in the light of contemporary life. While his head is in the right place in respect of the nonsense of religious superstition, his process for public engagement with the religiose is about as effective as riding an exercise bike if he imagines he is making mileage in his quest. Indeed he is the quintessential Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

BenYachov said...

>You can kill children , provided it is a theodicy.

Rather it seems you can kill children if an Atheist advocates it.

Like Dawkins friend Peter Singer.

See my comment on KBJ's blog just follow the link Victor gives above.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

That Prof. Burgess-Jackson was an atheist, I had no idea. I read is blog daily and like the guy. He is a great guy. Though him being an atheist, threw me for a loop. I have responded to his announcement.

Thanks for catching this. I missed this. I will still read Mr. Burgess and will pray for his soul.

Papalinton said...

Here is another take on preparing little children for a life unwarranted.

Where is natural justice in this scenario?

Papalinton said...

Here is a lighted hearted look at supernatural superstition.

:o)

Papalinton said...

How is this for delightful mocking of christian superstition?

It is the Talmagian Catechism by Robert Ingersoll which I read for the first time over at John Loftus's Debunking Christianity.



Crude said...

So, we've gone a day now. No takers.

Should I take the utter silence - the unwillingness for anyone to explain just how they would follow Dawkins' suggestions with regards to the 14 year old boy - as quiet condemnation of his standards? That, perhaps, ridicule and utter contempt are not appropriate ways of dealing with people who have religious beliefs?

Or is it the opposite - and Dawkins' advice is endorsed, but there's residual shame at the prospect of endorsing it?

It's strange that people want to talk about anything but Dawkins' advice.

BeingItself said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

"Should I take the utter silence - the unwillingness for anyone to explain just how they would follow Dawkins' suggestions with regards to the 14 year old boy - as quiet condemnation of his standards?"

Crude, just as you say, the 14 year-old boy case of yours is a hypothetical. Not really worth commenting on. As many religious , as indeed are you, have an almost pathological and visceral tendency toward extraordinary hyperbole by which they simply misconstrue Dawkins in the extreme. Again it is a measure of intolerance and prejudice towards ideas and philosophies that challenge the fundamental elements of theist thinking, a product sustained over centuries of religious inculcation.

But if you are genuinely serious, here is a real-life scenario. How do you reconcile with parents the protection of god's messengers, priests, following repeated and persistent child sexual abuse, which, under Canon Law is a sin and not a crime? How do you tell parents that it is perfectly moral and ethically OK for Bishops, Arch-bishops and Cardinals to clandestinely parachute offending priests into other unsuspecting communities or ship them to the non-extraditable Vatican rather than report them to law authorities?

I would be very interested in a response.

Crude said...

And before anyone asks me for the turnaround example...

No, I think bullying a 14 year old atheist, doing your damndest to harm him and make everyone feel contempt for him, would be obviously wrong. I also think the same would hold for bullying and ostracizing a 20, 30, or 70 year old atheist for the same reasons would also be reprehensible.

Now, if the atheist is behaving shamefully, or viciously? Say, he's following Dawkins' advice on this matter? At that point, I think some social repercussions would be warranted. Same for a Christian who's doing similar. But that's a response to cruel and vindictive behavior, not merely belief in God's nonexistence/Christianity's truth.

But again - no one, and I mean no one, seems willing to actually discuss Dawkins' words in this context. No one will even say how they should apply the 'sharpen your barbs to do real harm, make him the butt of contempt' rule in this case. Instead, the desire is to talk about something else, ANYthing else.

This is one of those situations where silence speaks volumes. Either no one will discuss how to apply Dawkins' advice because they know it's wrong, or they think it would make them look horrible so they prefer to keep their mouths shut.

I think the most ironic situation would be if this silence was happening because of the fear of how their fellow atheists would react to see them denounce Dawkins on this point. You know, out of a fear that they'll be on the receiving end of hurtful barbs and be the butt of contempt. If THAT'S the reason for the silence, holy crap - there's a lesson to be learned there. Also a lesson about bravery, and what "free thinking" really means for the Cult of Gnu.

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,

How is someone irredeemable at the age of 14?

Dawkin's comment is more applied towards someone like Ray Comfort and yes, there is more mockery pointed at Comfort than actually conversing with him, which is Dawkins point.

Crude said...

Dawkin's comment is more applied towards someone like Ray Comfort and yes, there is more mockery pointed at Comfort than actually conversing with him, which is Dawkins point.

Read Dawkins' comment again. The targets of conversion with this are not the 'irredeemable'. That's precisely the point of being irredeemable - they can't be redeemed. (Like Dawkins knows who can and can't be, but I digress.) He's talking about converting people by pressuring them. Using barbs that actually hurt them. Treating them with contempt. Making them feel isolated and ostracized.

Trying to spin this into, 'Oh no, Dawkins just means Roy Comfort' doesn't work. He says explicitly to use barbs, to make sure those things hurt, and to treat people with utter contempt *precisely* to make fence-sitters and onlookers go into the atheist column because they do not want to be treated like that.

So again I ask - just what barbs do you plan on using on the 14 year old? What kind of fear and anxiety are you going to instill in him to get him into the atheist camp? Or are you saying that no, that's actually a pretty rotten way to go about winning people for the great and glorious cause?

Papalinton said...

"But if you are genuinely serious, here is a real-life scenario. How do you reconcile with parents the protection of god's messengers, priests, following repeated and persistent child sexual abuse, which, under Canon Law is a sin and not a crime? How do you tell parents that it is perfectly moral and ethically OK for Bishops, Arch-bishops and Cardinals to clandestinely parachute offending priests into other unsuspecting communities or ship them to the non-extraditable Vatican rather than report them to law authorities?

I would be very interested in a response."


Still waiting for a response. It seems no one is willing to defend Canon Law and justify its direct complicity in perverting the course of justice of the law of the land. This is an untenable circumstance in a civilized society. The practice of medieval law subverting contemporary civil and criminal jurisprudence is anathema to good governance in civil society.

BenYachov said...

Paps we are still waiting for a response from you on public school teachers who rape children and how their liberal teacher unions protect them.

What's that you used to do for a living again. You where a teacher right.

Of course I was never a Priest so it sucks to be you right now.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/02/is_sexual_abuse_in_schools_very_common_.html

BenYachov said...

Paps

Bob's right about you and Carr. You both keep recycling the same shit over and over again(of course I paraphrase Bob is too fine a person to use foul language like Moi. God love em).

You defend Atheism like Old people shag. Slow and sloppy!

Another reason why Dawkins' "advice" is so stupid is that it goes both ways.

There is no reason why Theists can't return mock for mock coupled with rational rebuttal.

Plus principled Agnostics & Atheists disgusted with Dawkins antics would join in on the Theist side.

If you want civilized discussion I will give it too you.

OTOH if you want to be a dick please note I am Scotish mine is bigger than yours.

That is the bottom line.

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,
“Read Dawkins' comment again. The targets of conversion with this are not the 'irredeemable'. That's precisely the point of being irredeemable - they can't be redeemed. (Like Dawkins knows who can and can't be, but I digress.) He's talking about converting people by pressuring them. Using barbs that actually hurt them. Treating them with contempt. Making them feel isolated and ostracized.”

I think you should read Dawkins’ comment again. That’s one way to interpret it, but that’s not clear from that passage. The way I see it is people are saying that the mockery won’t sway the irredeemable, but Dawkin’s is saying that that is irrelevant since it will sway the third party. It’s the same concept of having a debate with someone who you don’t think can be swayed; you are talking to the opposing debater, but the intended message is for the person who you are not talking to. If you paint a group as being silly to the nth degree (even contemptuous to reason), say the flat-Earth society, then people will be hesitant to join since nobody likes to be laughed at, nobody wants to be the butt of contempt.

BenYachov said...

CC

Dawkins is a savage. As Chesterton said a savage is a person who howls in delight when he is punching you in the face but howls in indignant outrage when you turn around and punch him back.

Dawkins has never been respectful of any believing person. He has called Francis Collins a Theistic Evolutionist and known opponent of ID a "Creationist" for merely believing in both God & Evolution.

I'm sorry but there is no empirical evidence to back up your speculations Dawkins meant this in any charitable or rational fashion. given his known history.

Granted if you need to believe in Dawkins' reasonableness at all costs I know that nothing Crude can document for you would convince you otherwise.

Crude said...

I think you should read Dawkins’ comment again. That’s one way to interpret it, but that’s not clear from that passage. The way I see it is people are saying that the mockery won’t sway the irredeemable, but Dawkin’s is saying that that is irrelevant since it will sway the third party.

Trying to twist Dawkins' words to mean 'he doesn't mean you should mock, hurt or hold in contempt anyone but real extreme guys like Comfort' doesn't work. Even in your own example, Dawkins' explicit point is this hurt and contempt should be in play against everyone - it works because they fear it *being applied to themselves*, and that's a green light for it being used on them.

So, again - just what sort of barbs should be used against the 14 year old boy (or girl - let's expand it)? Explain the fear you'd like to instill, explain just what sharpened barbs you'd use to hurt them to keep them in line.

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,
"Even in your own example, Dawkins' explicit point is this hurt and contempt should be in play against everyone - it works because they fear it *being applied to themselves*, and that's a green light for it being used on them."

It can only be applied to themselves if they in turn become irredeemable. So I ask again, how is a 14 year old irredeemable.

Ben,
You should apply the principle of charity more often. You’ll get a different picture when you’re not making quotes confirm to your preconceived notions. If you think someone calling someone else a creationist who thinks that God created humans such that we are unique and that defies evolutionary explanation merits being called “fierce, violent, and uncontrolled,” then the problem is with you.

HyperEntity111 said...

Steven Carr posted: ''Dawkins wrote an article in a national newspaper quoting Craig saying all the Canaanite children had to be killed or else they would have thwarted God's plans.''

Dawkins thinks morality is an illusion and that we cannot meaningfully state that the Holocaust was an atrocity. He thinks this is entailed by naturalism. Is Dawkins immoral for observing the logical consequences of naturalism?

''That's the sort of mockery Dawkins goes in for - mocking people who think children can thwart the plans of an all-powerful god and so should be killed.''

Dawkins encourages the murder of babies with incurable diseases. He thinks there are morally sufficient reasons that justify killing babies. How do you know God didn't have morally sufficient reasons when ordering the destruction of Canaan (assuming it even happened)?

Steven Carr posted:''Oh yes, I imagine you enjoyed KBJ pointing out that it was perfectly acceptable for Craig to say that all the Canaanite children should be killed on the orders of Craig's god - because that was a theodicy.''

You praise Richard Dawkins despite his observing the nihilistic moral consequences of metaphysical naturalism. But you attack Craig for observing the moral consequences of his version of divine command theory. Why?

''You can kill children , provided it is a theodicy.''

It seems that Steven Carr and Richard Dawkins think that it is rational to accept the moral declarations of a fallible human over those of omniscient and morally perfect entity. So if an omniscient and morally perfect being ordered the destruction of the Canaanites, Carr would say that this is immoral because the omniscient being couldn't possibly know facts that would justify such a thing. But if Richard Dawkins was found killing terminally ill babies in a hospital, Carr would defend him because Dawkins has morally sufficient reasons for doing so.

BenYachov said...

>You should apply the principle of charity more often. You’ll get a different picture when you’re not making quotes confirm to your preconceived notions.

Why doesn't Dawkins himself apply the principle of charity then? His very advocacy of this principle of ridicule belies this. Why are you not bothered by that?

>If you think someone calling someone else a creationist who thinks that God created humans such that we are unique and that defies evolutionary explanation merits being called “fierce, violent, and uncontrolled,” then the problem is with you.

Sorry no a "Creationist" is a term accurately ascribed to persons who believe God brought about creatures in their present physical forms by a direct miraculous act of fiat creation. Regardless if one believes this was done a mere few thousand years ago in the case of YEC or Billions of years ago in the case of Old Earth Progressive Creationism. Collins naturally accepts Evolution & thus cannot be classified as a "Creationist". The term "Creationist" is used by Dawkins to belittle & ridicule Collins nothing more.

Like I said Dawkins is a savage. An intellectually inferior one at that.

Also one need not believe in God to see humans are clearly unique. Atheist philosophers like David Stove & or Mary Miggley have long known this & have argued it. The idea Darwinian selection may not account for human uniqueness does not eliminate other possible natural explanations for it & it doesn't mandate God as a "gap" explanation either.

Anybody with a passing understanding of philosophy (outside of economic theory) should know this.

Crude said...

It can only be applied to themselves if they in turn become irredeemable. So I ask again, how is a 14 year old irredeemable.

First, no it's not 'only applied if they become irredeemable'. It's applied wherever it will have an effect, *including* towards fence-sitters. Instilling fear and hurt in that fence sitter is expressly the point.

So again: what harm would you cause to a 14 year old boy? What steps would you take to ostracize him? I've asked this repeatedly, but no one wants to answer. Because everyone knows what the answer is, and it's deplorable. Instead, everyone wants to engage in what frankly amounts to exegesis and theodicy on behalf of Dawkins. Pretty freaking sad.

Second, as I said: on the one hand, no one knows who is or isn't irredeemable. On the other hand, if we merely mean apparently irredeemable, a 14 year old boy can qualify as easily as anyone else. But again, Dawkins doesn't so limit himself: keep in mind his great example of someone who should be hurt and ridiculed wasn't Ken Ham or Pat Robertson.

It was David Bentley Hart. Not exactly Roy Comfort there.

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,
“First, no it's not 'only applied if they become irredeemable'. It's applied wherever it will have an effect, *including* towards fence-sitters. Instilling fear and hurt in that fence sitter is expressly the point.”

You’ve made the same mistake again. Let’s try another example. The US wants people to not do drugs. Some people are fence sitters, they are contemplating on whether to use say marijuana. So, the US enacts laws that give harsh penalties to those who do drugs. This is not applied to the fence-sitters, but it is saying to them, don’t do drugs because you don’t want to get these harsh penalties. If you have a 14 year old fence sitter, you have the option of explaining the merits of drug use or the societal consequences. Similarly, Dawkins doesn’t want people to believe in creationism. Some people are fence sitters. Some people use ridicule and contempt against those who are creationists. This is not applied to the fence-sitters, but it is saying to them, don’t become a creationist because you don’t want to be on the receiving end of ridicule and contempt. If you happen to have a 14 year old fence sitter, you can either explain the merits of the position or the societal consequences of believing in silly ideas.

“So again: what harm would you cause to a 14 year old boy? What steps would you take to ostracize him?”

None. As far as I can tell, this is Dawkins stance as well, your confirmation bias notwithstanding.

“It was David Bentley Hart. Not exactly Roy Comfort there.”

Citation please.

cautiouslycurious said...

Ben,
“Why doesn't Dawkins himself apply the principle of charity then? His very advocacy of this principle of ridicule belies this. Why are you not bothered by that?”

Just because you ridicule someone doesn’t mean that you are not applying the principle of charity. Do you even know what the principle of charity is? How does his advocacy violate it?

“Collins naturally accepts Evolution & thus cannot be classified as a "Creationist". The term "Creationist" is used by Dawkins to belittle & ridicule Collins nothing more.”

Collins doesn’t accept evolution, he can say he does, but when he specifies what he actually believes, it does not align with the scientific theory. He states that “God’s plan included the mechanism of evolution to create the marvelous diversity of living things on our planet. Most especially, that creative plan included human beings.” The problem is that evolution is not a teleological process. Humans aren’t the end result of evolution. If you start the experiment again, it would be wildly improbable for humans to result again, yet Collins thinks that this was a giant plan with humans included. I’m sorry, but that’s not evolution by *random* mutation and natural selection. So, yes, Dawkins is ridiculing Collins for not accepting evolution.

“Also one need not believe in God to see humans are clearly unique. Atheist philosophers like David Stove & or Mary Miggley have long known this & have argued it. The idea Darwinian selection may not account for human uniqueness does not eliminate other possible natural explanations for it & it doesn't mandate God as a "gap" explanation either.”

Our uniqueness would not be explained by evolution from natural selection but from genetic mutation. The only way to get away with saying that evolution can’t explain humans is to say that there is something more to us than our genes and their material counterparts. Anyway, let’s go straight to the low hanging fruit. When Collins says that humans are unique he’s not simply talking about the ability to do calculus or make instruments, one of the examples was God gifting us (humans) with an immortal soul. So, I would like to know how Stove and Miggley argue for an immortal soul and how does that not eliminate natural explanations. Please share! This is more rhetorical than anything since it’s obvious that you have not dealt with these issues and are defending someone when you don’t even know the full extent of what he said.


“Anybody with a passing understanding of philosophy (outside of economic theory) should know this.”

Do you have a point here? You obviously don’t have a foothold in the discussion. You don’t know Collins position, yet defended him. You brought Stove and Miggley into the discussion to defend a pseudo position of Collins when they would disagree with Collins actual position. You don’t know what evolution is about. And you don’t seem to know what the principle of charity is about (hint: it has nothing about whether ridicule is acceptable or not). In spite of this, you seem to have little doubt, which begs the question, has someone found a way to correct the Dunning-Kruger effect in philosophical circles?

Crude said...

You’ve made the same mistake again. Let’s try another example.

Thanks, CC. See, you just illustrated the mistake you're making. Unintentionally, natch.

First, I didn't specify a 14 year old fence sitter in my examples - I specified a 14 year old Christian. So even by your own reasoning, that 14 year old Christian is fair game - he's not merely a fence-sitter at that point, he's a dealer.

In the case of fence-sitters, ones who are inclined to regard some theistic arguments as having merit, even if they're not entirely sold on theism generally or Christianity specifically, are getting the same treatment. Even your own example cedes that instilling fear in them is operational under Dawkins' view. You simply haven't gone far enough, since Dawkins is also including nominal Christians (just ones who aren't irredeemably religious) as fence sitters. Therefore, yes, fence sitters are fair game. Do you honestly think Dawkins is talking about going after, as of 2009, the *agnostic* community?

None. As far as I can tell, this is Dawkins stance as well,

Yeah, it's Dawkins' stance. You're just intimidated at having to disagree with him, much less condemn him.

Which you already did indirectly, by refusing to stick to his advice with regards to the 14 year old christian.

Citation please.

Man, you didn't even read what he said? Okay, as you wish.

Right here.

"If you can bear to listen to him, take, as an example of a typical faith-head trying to be contemptuous, David Bentley Hart, whose radio interview happened to be posted here at the same time as Jerry’s article.

Listen to the stumbling, droning inarticulacy, the abysmal lack of anything approaching wit or intelligence. Imagine this yammering fumblewit coming up against Christopher Hitchens, or Dan Dennett, or PZ Myers – doesn’t it make your mouth water?"

Putting aside for a moment that Dan Dennett got schooled by Dinesh D'Souza, the Scrappy Doo of Christian apologetics, it shows right there just who Dawkins has in his sights with harm and contempt. Here's a theist who is far, far away from Ray Comfort. A pretty thoughtful, soft-spoken guy. And there's Dawkins, talking about how the prospect of really tearing into him makes his mouth water.

Face it, CC. You were wrong. Dawkins' 'hurt and contempt' rule is meant to be applied, broadly, to Christians. Including nominal Christians, 'irredeemably religious' or not. Yes, even including 14 year olds.

Crude said...

Actually, I'll amend things. Based on what he's written, that's the obvious takeaway point of Dawkins' stance. But I think if someone point-blank asked Dawkins whether 14 year old Christians should be aimed at with hurtful barbs, or made the butt of contempt, he'd do what he tends to do whenever he steps in it - he'd back off.

As it stands, he openly advocates verbal abuse, ostracization and contempt being aimed at theists, bar none. On the flipside, I bet the atheist+ debacle and other such helped illustrate to him that yes, it's entirely possible to mock the Cult of Gnu viciously.

Tony Hoffman said...

cautiouslycurious, great stuff. I thank you for taking taking the time to post here.

Dunning Kruger + Psychological Projection = Soooo much I read here. It's refreshing to see its opposite pop up in such stunning relief.

Cheers, and happy Thanksgiving.

Papalinton said...

An overview of the D-K effect can be found HERE.

Evidence of course is always a good measure to assess or establish a substantive baseline, and of particular note, in the article, is the following:

"But do Christians really lack competence in their religion? One way to measure this would be to measure their knowledge of the Bible, relative to other groups. This has been done, and the results - confirming the D-K Effect - should be shocking to Christians. The Pew Research Center’s US Religious Knowledge Survey of 2010 reported that atheists and agnostics were the most knowledgeable on the Bible, followed closely by Muslims and Jews, with Protestants and Catholics trailing far behind.

Further, while nearly 80% of Americans self-identify as Christians, Time magazine observed in a 2007 cover story that only half of U.S. adults could name even one of the four Gospels, and fewer than half could identify Genesis as the Bible's first book. Obviously, most Christians have scant knowledge of even the basics of their own religion. Or, as George Gallup Jr. and Jim Castelli said in a widely quoted survey finding, "Americans revere the Bible but, by and large, they don't read it."

While nearly 80% of Americans self-identify as Christians, Time magazine observed in a 2007 cover story that only half of U.S. adults could name even one of the four Gospels, and fewer than half could identify Genesis as the Bible's first book. This helps explain why debating religion with the typical Christian generally becomes frustrating very quickly. His knowledge of the Bible and critical thinking skills are usually severely limited. BUT HE FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THIS! And that is the message of the D-K Effect."


The upshot here is that to apprise the believer it is often necessary to mitigate the effect of D-K through the jolt of ridicule and mockery. Reason and logic is simply not enough to crack the D-K barrier due to the nature of the D-K affliction. A certain level of discomfiture is a necessary condition when applying new learning or entering a process of re-learning from past misconstrued experiences and knowledge.

Theists will claim that they do call their faith into question. As indeed they should. But where the D-K effect kicks in is that rather than reading wider, most bury their heads deeper into theistic philosophy or reading varying interpretations of christian theism for the answers rather than questioning the very basics of their beliefs. Of atheists in the US, where they live in communities that have consistently declared themselves as christians, which until very recently, [in the last couple decades] was up to 95% christian identified, the vast majority were once believing christians that have overcome the D-K effect, and are now aware of the debilitating effect of the pathology. of the D-K condition.



BenYachov said...

cc

Your dogmatic Positivism runs deep as does your ignorance of philosophy

>Collins doesn’t accept evolution, he can say he does,If you start the experiment again, it would be wildly improbable for humans to result again, yet Collins thinks that this was a giant plan with humans included.

Rather you CC are ignorant of philosophy and confuse scientific claims with philosophical ones. Much like Carr on the other thread.

>He states that “God’s plan included the mechanism of evolution to create the marvelous diversity of living things on our planet. Most especially, that creative plan included human beings.” The problem is that evolution is not a teleological process.

It's not mechanistically teleological of the kind thought up by Paley but mechanism is not the only form of teleology.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/09/four-approaches-to-teleology.html

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/09/manzi-on-wright-coyne-dispute.html

So that is your first mistake.

>Humans aren’t the end result of evolution.......

This is a metaphysical claim you are making here not a scientific claim.
Indeed in a godless universe for example governed by quantum super determinism humans would be the end result of evolution(since it would be impossible for them not to be since no other outcome is possible) except it would not be because God willed it so. It would just be a meaningless brute fact inherent in reality.

So that is your second mistake.

>I’m sorry, but that’s not evolution by *random* mutation and natural selection. So, yes, Dawkins is ridiculing Collins for not accepting evolution.

It conflicts with Dawkins' personal unexamined philosophical views in the area of reductionist materialism & the philosophical view that nature only contains efficient and material causes not formal or final causes.

But it really has nothing to do with what evolution is - that is lifeforms changing their morphology over very long periods of time as a result of natural forces.

That is evolution philosophically in a nutshell. The specific mechanisms not withstanding.

This would be your third mistake.

BenYachov said...

>The only way to get away with saying that evolution can’t explain humans is to say that there is something more to us than our genes and their material counterparts.

Which could very well be the case & it doesn't require God or gods.
OTOH it may just mean there are still more discoveries to be made.

>So, I would like to know how Stove and Miggley argue for an immortal soul and how does that not eliminate natural explanations. Please share!

Rather they argue the uniqueness of humans in contrast with let us say animals. Both naturally believe in evolution even if they unlike Dawkins do not assign such broad explanatory powers to evolution.

It's that simple.

>This is more rhetorical than anything since it’s obvious that you have not dealt with these issues and are defending someone when you don’t even know the full extent of what he said.

A Strange coincidence I have the same feeling here about you.

>Do you have a point here? You obviously don’t have a foothold in the discussion. You don’t know Collins position, yet defended him.

I've read his writings & unlike some of us I haven't had them filtered threw Dawkins a philosophic illiterate and incompetent whose sole anti-religious polemical skills lie in refuting people who believe the world is under 10,000 years old and can't deal with anything more sophisticated then that.

I understand Collins well enough. You OTOH clearly conflate science with philosophy.

>You brought Stove and Miggley into the discussion to defend a pseudo position of Collins when they would disagree with Collins actual position.

So what? My point stands, one need not believe in God to believe humans are unique & said uniqueness can't be explained by Darwinism as opposed to other possible known or as of yet unknown natural explanations.

>You don’t know what evolution is about.

Clearly I do you OTOH don't known the difference between Dawkins unexamined philosophical views vs his scientific ones or how he equivocates between them.

It's your own fault since you refuse to learn philosophy.

>And you don’t seem to know what the principle of charity is about (hint: it has nothing about whether ridicule is acceptable or not).

If you have read my posts you can see I myself have no problem with cruelty & ridicule especially toward Gnus. But Dawkins is all ridicule when it comes to any type of religion. Even Atheists who don't share his Naturalism, Materialist reductionism or Positivism or kneejerk hostility toward religion are ridiculed by him. Atheists who are not left wingnuts like him the same.

It remains self-defeating & irrational behavior.

>In spite of this, you seem to have little doubt, which begs the question, has someone found a way to correct the Dunning-Kruger effect in philosophical circles?

What empirical evidence do you have to show me Philosophers are more susceptible to the Dunning-Kruger effect then others?

Believing in Science alone without philosophy I find it odd you don't already have something here.

Of course New Atheists it seems suffer from the dunning-kruger effect and of course Dawkins is cited as the chief example.

http://phillipjensen.com/articles/new-atheists-and-the-dunning-kruger-effect/

BenYachov said...

additional:
>If you start the experiment again, it would be wildly improbable for humans to result again, yet Collins thinks that this was a giant plan with humans included.

But if we rewind time why should we believe what has happened before would not happen again assuming nothing is done to change it?

Of course there is nothing intrinsic in the mechanisms of evolution to necessitate the production of the human form as we have it today. If we left a bunch of Apes on another planet and came back in 10 million years we have no reason to find their descendents looking like us even if they evolve.

OTOH God can see all possible futures & the chances Apes left on another planet would evolve again to look like us are on the level of flipping a trillion coins & having them all turn up heads.

But both are possible or rather neither are intrinsically impossible & there is no reason why given the doctrine of Divine Providence God could will either possible future to be the actual future.

No this nonsense is a Red Herring.

Talk about a D-K effect.

BenYachov said...

Thus to claim Collins doesn't really believe in Evolution because he believes God providentially uses the mechanisms of evolution to form man exactly the way He wants him formed is more than silly.

This is a mindless dogma of Fundamentalist Atheists who have absolutely no training in philosophy.

It's not an intelligent or valid belief.

Papalinton said...

"OTOH God can see all possible futures ..."

No it does not and no it can't. That which configures in your head as god is untutored superstition. The omni-max attributes ascribed to it are ancient nonsense claims conjured at a time of man's infancy in his understanding and knowledge of the world, the cosmos. It is this notion of the absolutist belief in spectral numens capable of physical intervention across a purported natural/supernatural divide that characterises the D-K's operant pathology.

BenYachov said...

Paps,

The weird blather you just came up with was worthy of S.J. Kammerhead III, Jr.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jdujUF0was&noredirect=1

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

Ben
"Paps,
The weird blather you just came up with ...."


But that's precisely what I have been attempting to inform you. All that weird blather of gods, supernaturalism, the agglomeration of mythical stories about rising cadavers, walking on water, water to wine, physical levitation, is precisely that; superstitious folly. And you believe all this rather bizarre and quirky stuff as if it factually occurred. It is the absolutist nature of your belief in this woo that characterises the classical features of the D-K diagnosis.

For me, it is really quite disturbing that a demonstrably intelligent and astute adult as you seem to be, would entertain these instances as anything other than folkloric mythos.

From the All Reference Libraries:
"Typical characteristics of myths:
The main characters in myths are usually gods, supernatural heroes and humans.[5][6][7] As sacred stories, myths are often endorsed by rulers and priests and closely linked to religion or spirituality.[5] In the society in which it is told, a myth is usually regarded as a true account of the remote past.[5][6][8][9] In fact, many societies have two categories of traditional narrative, "true stories" or myths, and "false stories" or fables.[10] Creation myths generally take place in a primordial age, when the world had not yet achieved its current form,[5] and explain how the world gained its current form[2][11] and how customs, institutions and taboos were established.[5][11]"


Ben, social enculturation is a very, very powerful force within a community but not all enculturated mores are based on fact. They are true only in so far as a group of people collectively believe it. In other words, the power comes not from the truth of the things themselves believed but from the power of the group dynamic that is in play.

Cheers

Jake Elwood XVI said...

Dunning-Kruger Effect seems very interesting.

I know this could be seen as a demand to respect those with training but it has always seems rather arrogant to quickly and with out care reject those with specific academic training. On the OP link a commenter said all he has learned from Alvin Plantinga was how many varieties of special pleading there are. It maybe the case but but such a confidence statement especially in an area that he appears not to be trained in at least professionally is perplexing and quite likely an example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

I am always bewildered at the confidence shown by the likes of Papalinton and Carr. It is very similar style to a person with the moniker CASEwithscience. The funny part about his handle was that he was lawyer with only high school training in science. Though he did "work in the field of research contracts and intellectual property" as he put it.

BenYachov said...

Hey Paps,

In reference to the video I just linked too.

You live in Australia right?

Say hi to Leggy Mountbatten for me.

There is a good fellow. Keep your trousers tight. Leggy likes that.

Papalinton said...

Hi Jake
Long time no hear. You might know, being also from Australia. Can you fill me in me with what it is about Leggy Mountbatten's relationship with Australia, as Ben seems to be making. I have never heard of Leggy, until Ben introduced him to me. And Leggy is funny :o)

In respect of your comment: "I am always bewildered at the confidence shown by the likes of Papalinton and Carr." I cannot speak for Steven, but you seem, as do many believers on this site, forgotten that I have tasted life from both sides. For more than two decades I was a believer, as ardent as you. I know what it is like to live and breath as a believer and to subscribe to the cultural and social traditions that fashion and shape the religious life style. But I have also lived life of many decades outside of that tradition. It is not without personal experience, knowledge and understanding that the measure of confidence I may be exhibiting seems to be trending towards surety. On balance of the evidence, proofs and facts, it is with a modicum of confidence that I can conclude that theism, christian theism, is a social and cultural artifact, designed to provide meaning of humanity's existence, and its relationship in the world and cosmos. On balance there has been no insight into the existential reality of supernaturalism. There is nothing wrong with that, of course. Every culture, every society since the dawn of time have created them. That is why we know there are so many. But that is not evidence of fact or proof. They are true only in the limited sense that they are believed to be so by a group of people, collectively.

Truth can only be established by demonstrating the underlying fact or proof, not by declarations of faith. It is unfortunate that theology, given its long tradition and scholarship, has not provided that evidence. And the sciences, notwithstanding the many believers who happen to be scientists, has to date not shown even the slightest hint of supernatural perturbations to the existing physical laws as they have been discovered, be it biology, genetics, neurosciences, anthropology, chemistry, cosmology, physics, etc. It is unfortunate theology remains a single discipline, on a limb on the tree of knowledge separated from every other field of human knowledge that has demonstrated significant correlations and transfer of concepts and evidence, and lines of reasoning, applicable across these disciplines.

Papalinton said...

Hi Ben
Following up on Leggy, I'm not sure of the relationship between him and Australia. Let me know what it is.

I notice you did not respond to my comment in which I outlined the current understanding of the mature of religious belief and its univocal link as expressions of cultural and social mores.

You and I are not so far apart. Indeed you are far closer to my position than you can imagine. For example, of the, say, one hundred gods in existence on this planet today, you are sure that 99 of them do not exist, period. You reject 99/100 of these gods. Remember there are billions of people that believe in these gods that you reject. That is, you are 99% of the time an atheist.

If there were 1,000 gods extant, then you are 99.9% an atheist. I too reject all those gods you reject. You and I are almost brothers in belief. From a not an exhaustive list of gods from the Encyclopedia of Gods found HERE [though I have yet to read it] it seems that of the 2,500 gods you would reject 2, 499 [99.96%] of them for the exact same reasons that I reject them.

Think about it for a moment. There is nothing extraordinary about being an atheist. You do it 99.96% of the time which is so close to me as to be almost statistically indistinguishable. I think 99.96% of the time as you would think.

Cheers

BenYachov said...

>Following up on Leggy, I'm not sure of the relationship between him and Australia. Let me know what it is.

So you have never seen The Rutles?

Nor did you know Leggy Mountbatton the Rutles former manager in a fit of depression over being thrust aside by the Pre-fab Four committed an act that was desperate, sad & tragic?

He took a teaching position in Australia!

Jesus Paps! You are so not as cool as Moi.

Papalinton said...

"Jesus Paps! You are so not as cool as Moi."

Apparently not, Ben.

BenYachov said...

Here Paps learn something.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OciPC27WBPM&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1&safe=active

Papalinton said...

Corrigendum
"I notice you did not respond to my comment in which I outlined the current understanding of the mature of religious belief and its univocal link as expressions of cultural and social mores."

should have read:

"I notice you did not respond to my comment in which I outlined the current understanding of the nature of religious belief and its univocal link as expressions of cultural and social mores.

BenYachov said...

Paps you don't read or understand philosophy nor have you ever watched the The Rutles!

Even in a hypothetical godless universe that renders you hopelessly tedious.

Papalinton said...

Good stuff Ben [From you

I love it.

BenYachov said...

Now if only you would learn philosophy and move beyond your Young Earth Creationist level of Atheism........

You also might end up being as cool as moi.

Something to strive for.

Papalinton said...

Ben

Here are some anagrams. I think you’ll love them:

PRESBYTERIAN:
When you rearrange the letters:
BEST IN PRAYER

ASTRONOMER:
When you rearrange the letters:
MOON STARER

DESPERATION:
When you rearrange the letters:
A ROPE ENDS IT

THE EYES:
When you rearrange the letters:
THEY SEE

GEORGE BUSH:
When you rearrange the letters:
HE BUGS GORE

THE MORSE CODE :
When you rearrange the letters:
HERE COME DOTS

DORMITORY:
When you rearrange the letters:
DIRTY ROOM

SLOT MACHINES:
When you rearrange the letters:
CASH LOST IN ME

ANIMOSITY:
When you rearrange the letters:
IS NO AMITY

ELECTION RESULTS:
When you rearrange the letters:
LIES - LET'S RECOUNT

SNOOZE ALARMS:
When you rearrange the letters:
ALAS! NO MORE Z 'S
A DECIMAL POINT:
When you rearrange the letters:
I'M A DOT IN PLACE

THE EARTHQUAKES:
When you rearrange the letters:
THAT QUEER SHAKE

ELEVEN PLUS TWO:
When you rearrange the letters:
TWELVE PLUS ONE

AND FOR THE GRAND FINALE:

MOTHER-IN-LAW:
When you rearrange the letters:
WOMAN HITLER

Cheers

PapL.

Papalinton said...

And finally:
DID YOU KNOW...

A recent  study found that the average Aussie walks 900 MILES  A YEAR!!!
Another study found that Aussies  drink, on average, 22 GALLONS OF ALCOHOL A  YEAR!!!

THAT MEANS THAT, ON AVERAGE, AUSSIES  GET ..... 41 MILES TO THE GALLON.
MAKES YOU  PROUD TO BE AN AUSSIE DOESN'T  IT?

:o) Cheers

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,
“Yeah, it's Dawkins' stance.”

There’s nothing new to say here. If you want to fabricate the context of the passages you quote, go ahead, but I’m not going to then agree with you. I’ve already stated my objections on this point.

“Man, you didn't even read what he said? Okay, as you wish.”

I was hoping that you would quote something that supported your claim. He didn’t say that contempt and ridicule should be used against David Bentley Hart. He asked what if theists used the same tactic and offered him an example of a theist using contempt and ridicule at atheists. He then concluded that if he ever ran up against someone like Hitchens that Hart would get a smack down so atheists shouldn’t worry if theists start to use contempt and ridicule. In case you were blind to the preceding paragraph:

“You might say that two can play at that game. Suppose the religious start treating us with naked contempt, how would we like it? I think the answer is that there is a real asymmetry here. We have so much more to be contemptuous about! And we are so much better at it. We have scathingly witty spokesmen of the calibre of Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. Who have the faith-heads got, by comparison? Ann Coulter is about as good as it gets. We can’t lose!”

I’m also curious how you turned “I emphatically don’t mean we should use foul-mouthed rants. Nor should we raise our voices and shout at them: let’s have no Da Souzereignty here. Instead, what we need is sarcastic, cutting wit” Into “he openly advocates verbal abuse, ostracization and contempt being aimed at theists.” It looks like you are imposing your own meaning onto Dawkins words and taking home the wrong message or perhaps you really do think that cartoonists need to be censored for their sarcastic wit aimed at different demographics.

Ben,
You haven’t posted much of substance and going back in forth would just be a waste of time. Indeed, you have demonstrated that you are not afraid of ridicule, but you have poisoned the opportunity to have a sane conversation. I’m going to engage in others seem to be interesting in a dialogue.

Re: Dunning Kruger
Since I’ve mentioned this term, it’s come up several times. Most of those instances in reference to atheists rejecting the expertise of philosophers yet spending less time in that area. This is not necessary a Dunning-Kruger effect. One feature of the Dunning-Kruger effect is that you can ‘rehabilitate’ the more confident less skilled person and the less confident more skilled person. The way you do this is simple; you let them see the other players’ scores. If they scored in the 80’s and everyone else was in the 90’s, then they will see that they actually aren’t that great compared to the rest and therefore decrease their confidence. I was asking whether there was a way to correct this effect with regards to philosophy. What is the test for philosophers? It’s basically a back-handed way of saying that there is no set criterion for a good philosopher so that you can always ridicule someone for being bad at philosophy, regardless of their reasoning. You could do this with any wacky belief system. If you’re opponent hasn’t read the 2,000 page tome on astrology, just paint them as someone unwilling to learn about astrology before rejecting it; they are ignorant, arrogant, and unsophisticated. After all, isn’t it easy to villianize someone for not learning about a subject before rejecting its foundational assumption? However, this doesn’t mean that those who reject it are displaying some unwarranted confidence in the subject. They have valid reasons to reject astrology on scientific grounds, and no amount of philosophy can change that (hence it being futile to read the tome). If only more people were scientifically literate. Next time, we will learn about when someone thinks they learned something because they devoted resources to learning it, but didn’t actually learn anything.

Crude said...

There’s nothing new to say here. If you want to fabricate the context of the passages you quote, go ahead, but I’m not going to then agree with you. I

Fabricate it? I've provided full quotes from the very context. You're the one desperately engaged in exegesis to try and read the quote some way, any way, other than the obvious.

When you're cornered, CC, you have a nasty habit of fibbing.

was hoping that you would quote something that supported your claim. He didn’t say that contempt and ridicule should be used against David Bentley Hart.

CC, he's writing a comment arguing explicitly that contempt and hurtful attacks should be used against religious people, with the express people of scaring those with less resolve out of their religious beliefs. Then, in that very same comment, he gives the example of David Bentley Hart - not exactly the wild-eyed YEC extremist you implied Dawkins would focus on - and talks about how mouth-watering it was to imagine laying into him.

So yes, the obvious takeaway is that David Bentley Hart is an example of someone he thinks this tack should be taken with. It takes some tremendous mental gymnastics to think Dawkins doesn't think hurtful barbs and the 'butt of contempt' stuff shouldn't be used on the one guy he gives as an example in the very same piece he advocates those things.

I’m also curious how you turned “I emphatically don’t mean we should use foul-mouthed rants. Nor should we raise our voices and shout at them: let’s have no Da Souzereignty here. Instead, what we need is sarcastic, cutting wit” Into “he openly advocates verbal abuse, ostracization and contempt being aimed at theists.”

Because I didn't say that Dawkins advocated 'foul mouthed rants'. I pointed out that he was advocating verbal abuse (he's the one who specified their barbs should really hurt - and abuse doesn't require foul mouthed ranting), contempt (again, his words rather than mine), and ostracization (which is part and parcel with someone being the butt of contempt).

I gotta ask, CC. When you run this kind of really bad defense, do you ever feel ashamed? I mean, you know that what you're saying here is transparent, desperate spin - you seem smart enough to realize as much. What is it you hope to gain here? Is Dawkins really *that* important to you that you have to engage in a completely unconvincing exegesis just to avoid criticizing the guy?

Like I said: free-thinkers indeed.

cautiouslycurious said...

Crude,

If you are going to just ignore my points and reassert your original position claiming that its obvious, then there is nothing that I can say to change your mind. My position for why you're wrong is stated for others to see in this thread so I have no reason to further this conversation. If they would like to ask questions, then they are free to ask.

HyperEntity111 said...

I have some question. Dawkins has stated that religious people must be subjected to hurtful abuse and treated with naked contempt. This must be done in such a manner that no one will want to associate with the religious for fear of enduring similar treatment (social ostracization). We know this because he has been quoted saying so. You have defended him by posting a statement in which a) argues that atheists are much better at treating people with contempt than Christians b) explains that you don't need to swear or shout at people in order to treat them with contempt c) salivates over the prospect of humiliating a Christian man. Do you believe that you have to swear or shout in order to verbally abuse someone? This is a serious question. From your response to Crude it seemed that you were saying that verbal abuse and social ostracization could only be carried out if you shouted and swore at your victims. You don't believe that do you?

You also stated that people who have scientific reasons to reject astrology don't need to read books defending astrology because they already know that science disproves astrology. I don't understand the relevance of this analogy to theism. Can you tell what scientific facts contradict the proposition 'God exists'?

Tony Hoffman said...

Hyper111: "You also stated that people who have scientific reasons to reject astrology don't need to read books defending astrology because they already know that science disproves astrology. I don't understand the relevance of this analogy to theism. Can you tell what scientific facts contradict the proposition 'God exists'"

You raise a good point. The short answer is that we have even less with which to engage with the proposition that "God exists" than we do "The cosmos control our destiny." You see, the cosmos exist; from that simple, verifiable fact, we can easily gain traction to examine astrology's claims about controlling our destiny, and from there dismiss those claims (reliably, objectively, and verifiably) as unproven. Hence we need waste none of our time further examining the subject when it's most basic claim, upon which all of its other claims must be based, is so easily disproven.

BenYachov said...

>You haven’t posted much of substance and going back in forth would just be a waste of time. Indeed, you have demonstrated that you are not afraid of ridicule, but you have poisoned the opportunity to have a sane conversation. I’m going to engage in others seem to be interesting in a dialogue.

Rather after observing your proformance too date with Crude & others you are clearly just Paps only (I will give you this) more polite but dogmatically and fundamentalistically resistant to learning anything outside your dogmatic Positivist world view.

>If you are going to just ignore my points and reassert your original position claiming that its obvious, then there is nothing that I can say to change your mind.

Excuse me but that is all you have been doing with Crude here and it is not convincing.

cautiouslycurious said...

HyperEntity,
“Do you believe that you have to swear or shout in order to verbally abuse someone? This is a serious question. From your response to Crude it seemed that you were saying that verbal abuse and social ostracization could only be carried out if you shouted and swore at your victims. You don't believe that do you?”

No, it’s not a requirement that abuse requires shouting. However, I don’t think that contempt, ridicule, ostracizing, etc. necessarily mean verbal abuse either. I think abuse occurs when there is a lack of consent. If you look through the comments on this blog, you will see a lot of name calling, I wouldn’t call that verbal abuse (except if it was against Victor) since the receiving party could end the dialogue at any point. It becomes a problem when the receiving party cannot end the conversation either due to the abuser following them or simply being a captive audience.

“You also stated that people who have scientific reasons to reject astrology don't need to read books defending astrology because they already know that science disproves astrology. I don't understand the relevance of this analogy to theism. Can you tell what scientific facts contradict the proposition 'God exists'?”

The point I’m making works even in the absence of facts that contradict the hypothesis (e.g. for unfalsiable hypotheses). If you would like, change astrologers to psychics who claim that skeptics drain their aura and see how well that claim would last in the scientific community. However, depending on how you define God, there is any number of things that could count against it such as the prayer studies, evil, etc. Again, it all depends on how you define your (God) hypothesis. If you define it in a more nebulous way, then the analogy becomes more like the psychic who makes his claim unfalsifiable by explaining the failures away.