The clod-hoppers at Answers in Genesis have demonstrated the depth of their stupidity in a recent post that is being discussed at the Internet Infidels message boards. Red State Rabble has also done a concise takedown of the following young-earther display of "Look ma, no brains!"
Have you ever noticed that evolutionists are so sure that they have the answers to how everything began and that the Bible has to be wrong—yet every time a new discovery is made, it’s the evolutionists who have to change their theories! The only true thing about their evolutionary theories is that whatever they believe to be truth today, seems to change tomorrow!
But God’s Word NEVER changes. It’s NOT subject to modification every couple of years when a new discovery is made about the universe. If you really want to have the absolute, unchanging account of everything, go to the book of Genesis.
For Chrissakes, you creationist cretins, which is it? Are "Darwinists" dogmatists, as you often whine, or are they waffly mind-changers, as you now imply? It seems that whatever attack you're mounting against science today seems to change tomorrow!
What the godtard brigade doesn't realize is that science's quality of adapting to new discoveries and new evidence is its greatest strength. Conversely, mindless Biblical dogma is etched in stone no matter what new discoveries come to light. And these fools are boasting about their intellectual inflexibility, strident dogma, and stubborn ineducability as if that makes their way of doing things better! Look at what they write — it's all there. Their beliefs are "NOT (all caps, wow!) subject to modification"! Evidence has no place for them! Full stop. So the next time to hear a young-earther talking about some bullshit "evidence" they have that the earth is only a week and a half old last Tuesday, or whatever tripe they're spouting, you can catch them out simply by saying, "Evidence? But you've admitted you don't use that. So were you lying then or lying now?"
Plus, if one is a young earther, and one wants to apply one's attitude about how facts are determined consistently, one must live a hopelessly confused life in which belief and reality are constantly frought with conflict. If a friend or relative says they've bought a new car, and they wish to drive it over and show you, and you form a belief in your mind that this car is going to be a Porsche, and it turns out to be a Hyundai, you are not allowed to deviate from your belief that it is a Porsche even after you have seen it's a Hyundai and ridden in it! Belief before empirical reality at all times!
Of course, I doubt most young-earthers apply their belief practices in that way. But that means they're applying them inconsistently, and adhering to don't-think-ever! dogmatism only to those subjects like evolution that they feel threaten their cherished myths. In short, just more evidence they're the least intellectually honest people alive.
To modify a hilariously vulgar line from a sci-fi novel I just read, my dick can fart better than these people can think.
They're like children, screaming and pitching a fit at reality, hoping it'll give them something they can't have. It never does, so they just scream at it louder, expecting that to resolve the issue in their favor.ReplyDelete
Hmm. While it's always tempting to simply point and laugh at creationists for holding on to the beliefs that make them comfortable, I don't think the above quote has to be interpreted as quite so hypocritical as all that.ReplyDelete
If one accepts premise that God's word is inerrent, then yes, mindless Biblical dogma is etched in stone. And no matter what new discoveries come to light, they have to fit that dogma. They simply *have* to. Their dogma is not subject to modification, which means that any evidence which *seems* to contradict the dogma has to have been false or misinterpreted.
Science has the unfortunate handicap of not already knowing the answer to the questions it asks, like 'where did life, the universe, or the human species, originate?' Science has to reconcile (change, adapt) old theories with new evidence, while creationists only have to reconcile (interpret, treat with skepticism) new evidence with known 'facts'.
So if a young-earther talks about evidence they have that the earth is young, you haven't necessarily caught them in a lie. It's not that they've already admitted that they don't use evidence. They do use it. They often make it fit like a square peg in a round hole, but they use it.
And when the peg happens to be already be round-ish, of course they'll point out how well it fits -- they know the evidence *must* fit their dogma. It has to be exciting to see evidence work to support their dogma in the same way evidence works in their daily life. They know that, next to emotional appeals, evidence is the most powerful persuader.
Sure, creationists have a huge blind spot for evidence -- they don't accept the simple, most likely conclusion of all the evidence which exists against creationism. So they make mental leaps as to what the evidence must point to. They already *know* the conclusion, so they absolutely cannot adhere to Occam's Razor. They use a form of Chatton's anti-razor: if the evidence doesn't point to 'God did it', then you're missing or misunderstanding some evidence.
"My dick can fart better than these people think".ReplyDelete
I love it! I'm going to put this in my list of favorite atheist quotes!
You are really SMART. That is brilliant!
Wow! Who could refute that?
You're welcome. I'm happy to be on the long list of sources creationists have dishonestly quote-mined. Even if the quote is an entirely true statement all on its own, which your post confirms. :-)ReplyDelete
So if a young-earther talks about evidence they have that the earth is young, you haven't necessarily caught them in a lie. It's not that they've already admitted that they don't use evidence. They do use it. They often make it fit like a square peg in a round hole, but they use it.ReplyDelete
I fully agree with you, Ouini, and I don't think you're essentially saying anything different than what I was saying. (I was, as usual, simply adding large dollops of snark to my version.) You've given an example of the kind of dishonesty to which I was referring. Any pretense they make towards relying upon "evidence" is simply smoke and mirrors when you consider their minds have already been made up on the subject and they are simply looking for confirmation of preconceived beliefs, not actually seeking to expand their knowledge through the scientific method. To use evidence in a spirit of honest scientific inquiry, one must be willing to accept the likelihood that cherished beliefs held for a lifetime may have to get chucked.
As other writers like Harris have pointed out, creationists will also quite hypocritically demand all manner of evidence for the claims of science (even going so far as Kent Hovind, with his phony $250,000 "challenge," in demanding science prove things it doesn't even claim), but don't feel they need any evidence beyond their Bibles to believe in the Invisible Man in the Sky.
That AIG post is like a parody. It's like something you might see in a Monty Python skit. I often wonder if the people who spout this crap truly believe what they are saying, or if it is the result of some sort of keeping up with the jones feed back loop. Though I try not to be nasty to people who espouse such beliefs, seeing such willful ignorance so enthusiastically proclaimed thoroughly disgusts me.ReplyDelete
By the way, would you please post the title and author of the book that quote came from? I am an avid sf reader but I don't recognize that line. Might have to read it.
You've given an example of the kind of dishonesty to which I was referring.ReplyDelete
Not necessarily dishonesty, is what I'm saying. I think saying something false isn't a "lie" unless one is trying to mislead. And I don't think something is hypocrisy unless one says "folks, including me, shouldn't do thing X," and then one does thing X.
Their minds have already been made up, and they are not actually seeking to expand their knowledge through the scientific method. For a lot of them (I can't even be generous enough to say "most"), they are not being dishonest when they don't use the scientific method. They simply don't understand what the scientific method is.
So for example: If I know that God exists, then I'm cocksure that any evidence that scientists come up with, if looked at correctly, will definitely point towards His existence. I just have to be really skeptical and careful with my evidence to make sure its accurate, where "accurate" means "supports the fact that God exists". Even though that's not how science works, I can see someone believing that amount of scrutiny and careful interpretation is somehow scientific, and therefor *must* fall within this scientific method everyone goes on about.
And for another example, to some degree, I can see how it's not hypocritical for a believer to say, "I demand evidence from scientists to prove their claims. After all, they obviously don't have religious experiences, or use the faultless Bible, to support their claim that creationism is false. All that's left is evidence, which I know will support my claim, not theirs."
They can also say, "I can rely on my personal religious experiences, and my vague notion that the Bible's truthiness was proven to me in tiny irrefutable increments during my formative years. These kinds of experiences aren't terribly sharable however, so I'll point to evidence that anyone can look at, when witnessing to non-believers."
Well, I suppose there are all kinds of dishonesty. It is rare for people on the science / atheist side of the ID vs evolution debate, or the religion vs atheism debate, to be dishonest or lie. It is, however, quite common for the IDst, YECist, or whatever, to be dishonest while engaging in either of these debates. The most common form of dishonesty they use is a lie of omission in the form of quoting out of context, where they intentionally mislead to imply that the quote source in some way supports their position.ReplyDelete
Now, you could argue that the leaders are being dishonest, but that the masses of followers are just regurgitating what their leaders are saying because they believe their leaders. There may be some truth in that. But, if a person knows that there is information out there that bears on the position they have staked out, and they label it false without even looking at it, or making any attempt to understand it, even a little, then at the very least they are being intellectually dishonest.
As for hypocrisy, I think we are all hypocrites every now and then, especially anyone raising children (no more ice cream, its bad for you!). But, a little more seriously, most of the people in the anti evolution camp like to criticize us "Darwinists" for slavishly following "darwinian ideology" in the face of overwhelming evidence against it. That is definitely hypocrisy. Considering that this criticism is false makes it dishonest as well.
Now, you could argue that the leaders are being dishonest, but that the masses of followers are just regurgitating what their leaders are sayingReplyDelete
Well put. That's what I'm saying many of them are doing.
... and they label it false without even looking at it ... then at the very least they are being intellectually dishonest.
So long as it's understood that intellectual dishonesty doesn't necessitate willfully misleading others, I can't argue with that.
... the anti evolution camp like to criticize us "Darwinists" for slavishly following "darwinian ideology" in the face of overwhelming evidence against it. That is definitely hypocrisy. Considering that this criticism is false makes it dishonest as well.
Again, so long as being the sort of hypocrite who is simply blind to his own faults, and honestly believes he doesn't put into practice the same faults he sees in others, then yeah, it's hypocrisy. But to my mind, it's definitely still not dishonest if the hypocrite isn't trying to mislead anyone.
Darrell, you claim that it is rare for people on the science/atheism side to lie.ReplyDelete
Balderdash. First, you have equated science with atheism...thats a lie. And a BIG one. Perhaps the biggest one of our times.
And take Dawkins and Harris for example. They talk about wars fought by religious people...but consistently ignore the massive crimes committed by officially atheistic goverments and practitioners of atheistic philosophies...another lie, and a continuing one.
Oh, and they will claim that the crimes of these mass murderers had NOTHING to do with their atheism and hatred of all religion...another lie.
And science is rampant with fraud. Just google "fraud in science".
Who ya kiddin?
They talk about wars fought by religious people...but consistently ignore the massive crimes committed by officially atheistic gover[n]ments and practitioners of atheistic philosophies...another lie, and a continuing one.ReplyDelete
I notice you say "officially atheistic governments". There has actually been only one officially atheist state. That was Albania under Enver Hoxha. Hoxha went far beyond what most other countries had attempted and completely prohibited religious observance, systematically repressing and persecuting adherents.
Now what was the driving factor behind this?
Communism showed that it could be just as dogmatic as the Roman Catholic Church ever was.
It was the Catholic Church that started the trend of religious oppression, and Marx's utopian vision had no place for religion at all. And in their effort to drive out threats to their power and pursue their utopian states, Communist governments repressed religion. Many religious leaders were sent to the Gulags.
But these are also the same people who killed ANY and EVERY threat to their power. Stalin was responsible for the executions of millions and the deaths of millions more. Even if they were Christian commies they would have killed these people anyway, and Mao likewise. It was the cost of securing their power, and it was horrifying.
Few people, if any, were killed in the name of atheism. They were killed for greed, power, etc...
Oh, and they will claim that the crimes of these mass murderers had NOTHING to do with their atheism and hatred of all religion...another lie.
That's some accusation. I would like to read the evidence that drew you to that conclusion.
And science is rampant with fraud. Just google "fraud in science".
Of course it is, just like anything else. Science is run by people, and people lie. But these people are eventually caught.
Just take Hwang Woo-Suk, this guy claimed to have cloned the first human embryonic stem cells (a potentially huge breakthrough). He even published in Science (a peer-reviewed journal). He was later proven to having faked the evidence. He wanted something sooo much that he faked the results to fit what he wanted to see (common practice for theists), but HE WAS CAUGHT. Even though his fraud got published (showing problems with the peer-review system), scientists who read the article saw problems and asked questions...
I apply the same skepticism and rational thought (born of science in the age of enlightenment) to religion the way I (and everyone) does with everything else.
And religion fails every time...
A final note: even if atheism were as evil and dangerous as you claim, it would not prove any of your claims about the universe.
>it would not prove any of your claims about the universe.
I may have missed a post somewhere (seriously, not being facetious). I tried to go over all of Emanuel's posts that I could find; but I can't find anywhere where Emanuel discusses his personal beliefs on theology or creation? I don't know what he believes, and he doesn't appear to see it as relevant or even important.
All I've found so far is that he came to the forum, told us he'd been subjected to abuse (which he connected to this abuser's theological ideology). And then he proceeded to try to work out his issues with his uncle using this forum as a role-playing model. We are Emanuel's uncle. Here he gets to "tell his uncle" all the things he wanted to say as a child, that he couldn't.
Unfortuantely, the resolution he failed to obtain via his uncle, will not be any better obtained at this forum. Emanuel will not find the resolution he needs among us.
Emanuel's goal is not to preach, not to argue the existence of god (which I can't even find he mentions anywhere--certainly if he does believe in god, it's not very prominent or important to him--I can't even find where he talks about it), it is clearly only to address his issues with this uncle that remain unresolved.
While I understand his motives, I can't advocate what's happening here, because it won't help Emanuel in the end. Going to a forum to rail against strangers, because he's unable to rail against his uncle (or perhaps has done so, without a resulting resolution), isn't helpful to anyone. It wastes the time of the people at this forum, who can't help Emanuel even if they wanted to; and it only keeps Emanuel in an abusive loop where he continues to fight a never-ending battle of his own creation against a past abuser, and refuses to (or, more likely, doesn't know how to) heal an, apparently deep, childhood wound.
To put it in perspective, I know someone who was a prisoner of war in Korea. He was tortured during that time--brutally. To this day, he despises all Asians. He is openly prejudice and hateful toward them.
Do you think I can reason with this man that all Asians aren't bad just because the men who held him prisoner (who also happened to be Asian) were monstrous? I don't foresee myself making any headway in such an endeavor. His pain, expressed as hate an anger, are deeply rooted in an ongoing victimization in his own mind. His captors are gone--but he holds himself captive now, and can't even perceive a need to let himself be free from all this negativity.
Reason has nothing to do with it. Reason cannot affect it. Emanuel can free himself at any time--but he's currently locked in a cycle/pattern that he isn't able to see a way out of. We're the current version of the battle with his abuser. And I would encourage the people at this forum not to engage in this. It is hopeless. Emanuel is not an apologist, he's a highly emotional victim of abuse, using this forum as a way to continue his abuse, with strangers in the role of his uncle. That is not what this forum was created to address. He needs a helpful and sympathetic counselor, not a forum debate.
Handle him however you would like--but I don't see the point to engaging in this.
“It is rare for people on the science / atheist side of the ID vs evolution debate, or the religion vs atheism debate, to be dishonest or lie.”
This may be true but it seems like a weak argument to me if it can’t be backed up. While I understood your meaning consider that not all atheist are also rationalist who argue in favor of (good) science. Even among those like us there are plenty who exaggerate, make poor arguments, don’t understand logic and fallacy, and make incorrect claims about the religious.
Simply being right doesn’t make you smart or skilled at debate or expression. I’ve seen many people railing against religion with arguments that were I playing devil’s (in this case synonymous God’s) advocate I could easily rebut (before pointing out more sound arguments). I even do so on occasion for the fun and exercise. I’m not sure how much of this is because of my familiarity with logic and argument and how much is from having been Christian and argued from that side in earnest. But that’s beside my point.
Being right doesn’t always mean one is more intelligent, and it certainly doesn’t mean one is necessarily more honest. Those are all separate questions.
I think most of us would agree that pollution is bad, but there are plenty of nature groups that have been caught fudging the facts to make their claims. Does that mean pollution is good, or not a problem, no.
Emanuel Goldstein said:
“you have equated science with atheism...thats a lie.”
Lie is a bit harsh. Especially with “lie” having in this very thread been so carefully defined. I’ll grant that it’s an overgeneralization though. Personally, I’d have said science/reason or reason/skepticism rather than throw atheists in there. Again, “atheist” is too vague, meaning only lack of belief in a god or gods. Just as there are plenty of theists adamantly opposed to ID, there are plenty of non-believers supporting all nature of pseudoscience, which is arguably just as counterproductive to the advancement of legitimate scientific progress.
"Balderdash. First, you have equated science with atheism...thats a lie. And a BIG one. Perhaps the biggest one of our times."
You are incorrect. I did not "equate" science with atheism. I was writing about two different, but related, debates. The ID vs Evolution debate, and the religion vs atheism debate. Two separate debates, but with many of the same people involved with both. I wrote "science / atheist" as short hand for science and or atheist. Since scientists and atheists are almost always on the same "side" of the two debates I was writing about, and since I wrote nothing about science equaling atheism, I fail to see how I lied. One possibility is that you decided to interpret what I wrote the way you wished so as to provide a lead in for your canned body count rant.
"And take Dawkins and Harris for example. They talk about wars fought by religious people...but consistently ignore the massive crimes committed by officially atheistic goverments and practitioners of atheistic philosophies...another lie, and a continuing one.
Oh, and they will claim that the crimes of these mass murderers had NOTHING to do with their atheism and hatred of all religion...another lie."
I think you fail to understand that atheism is not an ideology. Lust for power, and fear of the loss of power, is the cause you are looking for. Dawkins point is that organized religion has often facilitated people seeking satisfaction of their lust for power. Dawkins does not claim that religion is the only ideology that has done so.
"And science is rampant with fraud."
I don't know about "rampant," but sure there is fraud in science, and some scientists have lied on occasion. As many others have said, science is practiced by people and people sometimes lie and cheat. Of course, science is pretty good at eventually catching the lies and fraud. However, I was clearly writing in the context of the debates between ID vs Evolution and religion vs atheism. I have never encountered a case of an atheist or scientist lying about a claim while engaged in either of these debates, but I included "rare" because people being people it has probably happend. My claim is that theists engaged in these debates often lie, in one form or another. I'll go even further and say that for many, for example the DI, lying seems to be a standard tactic. And that their lies seem to be aimed more at their followers than at their opponents, since it is clear that their opponents have no problem spotting the lies.
"Again, so long as being the sort of hypocrite who is simply blind to his own faults, and honestly believes he doesn't put into practice the same faults he sees in others, then yeah, it's hypocrisy. But to my mind, it's definitely still not dishonest if the hypocrite isn't trying to mislead anyone."
You may be right, but it is often hard to tell with many of these people whether they are aware of their hypocrisy or not, or whether they are lying or simply repeating the lies of others. I absolutely agree that a lie requires the intent to deceive. I also believe that your average theist is not intent on spreading lies and deception. It's their leaders in the debates that I have referred to that I was thinking of.
I love you Tracie (and Emanuel and Darrell and reader)! I feel foolish to have followed your comment mine but yours wasn’t there until I’d posted. I see what you mean and I'll leave it alone. My quote was mostly to address Darrell's comments.ReplyDelete
It should be pointed out that Emanuel is a well-known troll who has gotten himself banned from numerous atheist and science blogs for the kind of behavior Tracie describes. Again, I don't do banning here unless the person in question gets out of hand, as I believe in free expression. We will see how things go with Emanuel. He is, for the moment, free to make unsupported assertions about the perceived failings of science and atheism, and the rest of you are free to educate him in return.ReplyDelete
Anyway, he clearly hasn't read Harris, in that Harris has answered his main claim. Whenever an atheist mentions crimes throughout history in the name of religion, believers predictably throw back in our faces guys like Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot. Ol' Adolf is easily dealt with, as his own writings testify to his religious views. But where the other governments are concerned, Harris has pointed out quite clearly: not all irreligious movements have been humanist or rationalist in nature.
All it takes to be atheist is to not believe in any gods. Bad and stupid people can do this as well as good and smart people, and people can have bad reasons for being atheist. As Andrew pointed out, communist nations suppressed religion in order to do away with a major threat to the absolute control they wanted over their societies. As we lack any actual writings (that I know of) from Stalin saying things like, "I am doing all I am doing for the reason that I don't believe in God and no other," it is simply Emanuel's emotionally-based prejudice against all atheists that backs up his baseless assertion that these leaders' crimes had everything to do with their atheism and nothing else. While Mao said "Religion is poison," there is ample biographical information about him to demonstrate he was no hero of humanism either, and was just as suppressive towards freethought. It has been noted that the politics of people like Mao and Trotsky were rooted in the necessity of class conflict and antagonism, which is inimical to humanist ideals on its face.
Emanuel's (and many other believers') confusion is that he thinks all atheists are cut from the same cloth and favor the Stalinist suppression of religion. In reality, the trajectory of eastern atheism -- as practiced in communist nations such as China and the USSR -- can be seen to be wildly different than that of western atheism, which is informed by Enlightenment philosophies like humanism and freethought. In the west, secular societies rather than those actively suppressing religion have evolved naturally, such as Norway where only 10% of the population are churchgoers and the church is maintained mainly as a hub for social outlets. Allow the free exchange of ideas about religion -- which is allowed neither in openly anti-religious societies nor in theocracies -- and religion has to compete in the marketplace of ideas, where many times it loses. I didn't need a "re-education camp" to become atheist. Neither did any other atheist I know. Religion's lack of intellectual merit spoke for itself.
Speaking for myself -- as a hardcore atheist, religion-hater, and freethinker -- I'd say that an "atheist government" would be every bit as wrong-headed as a theocracy. It is not any government's place to dictate to its citizens a position on religious belief, just as it isn't its place to dictate a "correct" political or philosophical stance, or to tell people how to dress, what books to read or how many kids to have. A free society is one where personal decisions are left solely in the hands of the people, and the free marketplace of ideas is given all the room it needs to grow. Naturally, this allows for a society that includes both rationists and fools, extremists and moderates. But I'd rather live there, even with clods like Dan Marvin and Emanuel, than in Stalinist Russia or 16th century Spain or modern-day Saudi Arabia any day.
"I didn't need a "re-education camp" to become atheist. Neither did any other atheist I know."ReplyDelete
Really? They're a lot of fun though. Especially fishing in the lake. I caught a four-legged trout!
I did not see Tracie's post before I posted my response to Emanuel. I apologize, if I had I would not have responded.ReplyDelete
I am not the greatest writer, or debater, and have probably not been as clear as I would like. I would like to point out, clarify even, that in the section of my post that you quoted I was speaking of the debates amongst the major players, such as the DI, prominent scientists and or atheists, that the rest of us read and rehash. I was not making a statement about all scientists, atheists, theists. I don't conflate intelligence with being correct, or honest. I don't equate science with atheism. I agree with your arguments against what you interpreted me to have said. I need more practice at debating and clearly writing down my thougts.
I think you did fine and I understood what you meant but I also saw where it was vulnerable to twisting and misunderstanding. I only meant to help clarify not to correct.
> Again, I don't do banning here unless the person in question gets out of hand, as I believe in free expression. We will see how things go with Emanuel. He is, for the moment, free to make unsupported assertions about the perceived failings of science and atheism, and the rest of you are free to educate him in return.ReplyDelete
Thanks for this Martin. I agree. It would take a lot for me to even think of wanting to ban a person. I only wanted to make sure that the people here were aware of what they were dealing with. We're all used to handling apologists--such as Dan. Dan was pretty much "par for the course"--but it's abundantly clear, when you read Emanuel's posts, that we're dealing with a different type here all together. Emanuel has only one clear motive: to pour out emotional anger (I believe as a means to 'get revenge' on his uncle).
There's no "argument" or "point" being made. He's not even offering, from what I can see, any preferred alternative to atheism--he's just here to say atheists are awful people.
Anyone can see the psychological absurdity of someone claiming they hate X, and then seeking out X for contact. From a healthy-minded standpoint Emanuel's behavior, in coming to this forum at all to engage us, is absurd. The logical/healthy thing to do, if he really viewed us as he claims, would be to avoid us all together.
For example, wife beaters aren't people I'd like to encourage, and I think they're detrimental to society; so I don't spend my time on seeking them out to repeatedly tell them all how much I dislike them. My time is better spent on something that benefits me and others in some way--than something that puts me in a negative state and benefits nobody in any way.
The beaters won't care what I think of them -- they don't even know me (just as nobody here cares what some angry stranger thinks). But by engaging us in dialogue, it "feels" like we care what he thinks--because we care about issues of theology. The problem is that E's issue has nothing to do with theology.
There are, literally, two different discussions happening in this section.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
Dan's comment has been removed as it violated his agreement that he would not post here any more. I'm not at home at the moment. When I get there, I will ban his IP. Serves me right for trusting him at his word, which I suppose we all already knew to be worthless.ReplyDelete
FWIW, Dan's still up to his amateur apologetics. Strobel's The Case for a Creator has already joined the long list of Christian books debunked before the ink was dry.
Perhaps you'll get a kick out of this:ReplyDelete