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Author Topic:   An Open Letter to my Secular Humanist Colleagues
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 47 (406107)
06-17-2007 1:03 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by ICANT
06-16-2007 11:56 PM


Re: Re-feeling
I believed the Genesis account of creation 57 years ago and still do today.

You believe now what you've always believed. Like I said.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by ICANT, posted 06-16-2007 11:56 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by ICANT, posted 06-17-2007 3:46 PM crashfrog has responded

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3486 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 17 of 47 (406115)
06-17-2007 6:17 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by ICANT
06-16-2007 11:56 PM


Re: Re-feeling
ICAN'T,

I came to those conclusions because of what I read, not what I was told, not because I had a feeling.

You believe everything you read? No, of course you don't, you had an irrational "feeling" based upon the faulty logic of your previous post. It must have been a feeling, because it wasn't based on evidence.

Mark

Edited by mark24, : No reason given.


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by ICANT, posted 06-16-2007 11:56 PM ICANT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by ICANT, posted 06-17-2007 3:59 PM mark24 has responded

    
Monk
Member (Idle past 2215 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 18 of 47 (406129)
06-17-2007 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by crashfrog
06-16-2007 7:17 PM


Re: Re-feeling
…There are no intellectually sound justifications for belief in the existence of God. There aren't even any that convince philosophers...

There are plenty of intellectually sound justifications for the belief in the existence of God. But these rationalizations do not use the scientific method. Does that make them intellectually void of reason? I say no. One example: C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by crashfrog, posted 06-16-2007 7:17 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by bluegenes, posted 06-17-2007 10:01 AM Monk has responded
 Message 21 by crashfrog, posted 06-17-2007 10:33 AM Monk has responded
 Message 22 by Grizz, posted 06-17-2007 11:00 AM Monk has not yet responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 768 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 19 of 47 (406132)
06-17-2007 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Monk
06-17-2007 9:32 AM


Re: Re-feeling
Monk writes:

There are plenty of intellectually sound justifications for the belief in the existence of God. But these rationalizations do not use the scientific method. Does that make them intellectually void of reason? I say no.

Why don't you give us several of the "plenty" in your own words?

I've never heard any, and I shouldn't have to buy a book when you can enlighten me for free!

Edited by bluegenes, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Monk, posted 06-17-2007 9:32 AM Monk has responded

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Monk
Member (Idle past 2215 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 20 of 47 (406134)
06-17-2007 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by bluegenes
06-17-2007 10:01 AM


Re: Re-feeling
bluegenes writes:

I've never heard any

Well now you have

..I shouldn't have to buy a book when you can enlighten me for free!

You ask for a summation of my faith and a rational argument for the existence of God yet I am limited to a brief post on a website. Exhaustive expositions are available such as the resource I quoted. That was my point to Crash.

I’m not a preacher and have no desire to convert you. If that is a journey you wish to take, then you must do so on your own.


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 47 (406138)
06-17-2007 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Monk
06-17-2007 9:32 AM


Re: Re-feeling
One example: C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity is based on the fallacy of the false dichotomy (well, trichotomy, actually.) It's not a valid justification. It's probably the single worst attempt at Christian apologetics you're likely to encounter, but it's written well enough that you don't notice unless you read it with a critical eye.

You, of course, didn't, because you were already sympathetic to his clap-trap. That's how Christianity persists in otherwise intelligent minds.

There are plenty of intellectually sound justifications for the belief in the existence of God.

There are, in fact, none whatsoever. But you're free to open a new thread with the best ones. I recommend before you do that you Wikipedia the ones you think are best and at least be familiar with what people consider the fatal flaws of each one.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Monk, posted 06-17-2007 9:32 AM Monk has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Monk, posted 06-17-2007 11:38 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Grizz
Member (Idle past 3762 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 22 of 47 (406143)
06-17-2007 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Monk
06-17-2007 9:32 AM


Re: Re-feeling
Hi All

I will get to responding to some of the replies to my OP in a moment. First I would like to bring up a subject that is really in need of addressing:

An argument is Rational if it is valid.

An argument is rational and deductively valid if the conclusion neccesarily follows from the premise.

All apples are green.
I have an apple in my hand.
Therefore the apple in my hand is green.

The above is a perfectly rational argument. One would show the argument to be unsound and therefore false by demonstrating the premises to be false - not by proclaiming the argument to be irrational. There is nothing irrational about the argument itself. It just happens to be unsound.

An argument is rational and inductively valid if the conclusion follows from premises that are a posterei(experience based) and cannot be deductively arrived at.

The sun rises every day.
Tomorrow is another day.
The sun will rise tomorrow.

An argument is irrational and invalid only if the conclusions do not follow from the premise.

Mcintosh apples are round and red
I am holding a round and red object in my hand.
Therefore the object in my hand is a Mcintosh apple.

One need not prove the premises to the above argument false as it is invalid and irrational.

There is nothing irrational about many of the statements present in arguments employed in the athiesm/theism debate as most are merely stated as propositionals:

- The laws of nature do not need to account for their own existence.

- God does not need to account for his/hers/its own existence.

I have seen many use the above both as premises in arguments but never as conclusions of an argument. They really are not rational or irrational as they are not arguments - they are simply propositionals and accepted as a valid premise.

I often hear someone say it is Irrational to hold The laws of Nature or God do not need an account for their own existence. Many attempt to demonstrate by appealing to causality that all things require a cause; however, they really succeed in negating both of the above statements and end up in an infinite regress of cause and effect.

As Wittgenstein pointed out - All arguments have to end somewhere.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 23 of 47 (406145)
06-17-2007 11:09 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Grizz
06-17-2007 11:00 AM


Re: Re-feeling
An argument is Rational if it is valid.

An argument is rational and deductively valid if the conclusion neccesarily follows from the premise.

Not everybody agrees that's what "rational" means, friend. I, for instance, would call that a "logical" argument, but an irrational one - because of its obviously false premise.

Rational is not synonymous with logical. Indeed, if it were, we would be forced to conclude that all science (empiricism being illogical) was irrational.

There are no arguments supporting the existence of God that follow as valid deductions from true premises. None whatsoever. It is irrational to believe in God.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Grizz, posted 06-17-2007 11:00 AM Grizz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Grizz, posted 06-17-2007 11:55 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Monk
Member (Idle past 2215 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 24 of 47 (406153)
06-17-2007 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by crashfrog
06-17-2007 10:33 AM


Re: Re-feeling
Mere Christianity is based on the fallacy of the false dichotomy (well, trichotomy, actually.) It's not a valid justification. It's probably the single worst attempt at Christian apologetics you're likely to encounter, but it's written well enough that you don't notice unless you read it with a critical eye.

You, of course, didn't, because you were already sympathetic to his clap-trap. That's how Christianity persists in otherwise intelligent minds.

You assume I haven’t read it. That’s much like 'bluegenes' assuming that people of faith do not think rationally about their faith. Both are false assumptions. I have read C.S. Lewis and find many of his arguments well reasoned. That is the point. There are rational expositions of faith available.

You may disagree with the conclusion, but that doesn’t diminish the presentation of the content.

You yourself have said that “Mere Christianity” is well written. The process of putting forward a rational argument supported by examples leading to logical conclusions is the process used by Lewis to justify his belief in the existence of God. I view his justification to be rational.

It's not the scientific method, but it is rational


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by crashfrog, posted 06-17-2007 10:33 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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Grizz
Member (Idle past 3762 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 25 of 47 (406154)
06-17-2007 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Buzsaw
06-16-2007 6:45 PM


Hi Grizz and a hearty welcome to EvC. From what I've read here I am hoping you will find this board a place where you will want to hang out.

Thanks Buzz. The moderators here appear to be doing a good job of keeping things civil and productive.

It appears that you need us and we need you.
You have stated that you are an agnostic. I am a Biblical Christian fundamentalist. That makes us quite different idiologically but you and I are so much in agreement regarding the excellent OP of this thread that as soon as I finish this message I'm going to nominate your message in Post Of The Month (POM) for June.

To me secular humanism has been a philosphy that alligned with my views - I did not allign my views with secular humanism. I enjoyed reading the views and opinions of others because we shared many of the same ideas. Now it seems more like an exclusive club that has morphed into a platform for young militant atheists to rage against the machine. Those of us who are more moderate in our approach to addressing social and religious issues are becoming the exception rather than the norm.

Though I'm a Biblical fundie, certainly agreeing with you regarding your comments about secular humanism, I agree also with you on other counts including religion, yes, even so far as including major Biblical fundamentalist churches, universities and other groups where divinity degreed doctorated devines dominating educational domains determine doctrine deemed credible.

Likely it is needless to warn you that nonconformity is not conducive to winning friends but hopefully will influence people to be less restrictive in what information is acceptable regarding education, science, debate, discussion, media, et al

The greatest challenge for the non-conformist is to present enough evidence to refute ingrained conformist ideology to such a degree so as to overcome the prevalent majority viewpoint. In some cases, regardless of how much evidence is produced, one might better go at breaking into a boulder with a tack hammer.

I have always had a rebelious streak in me I guess. Rather than direct opposition I always find it more interesting to inquire into ideas that are on the fringes of acceptance within an establishment.

I aggree non conformity does not win you many allies or friends. It does have its advanatges, however. Following the herd gets boring. Spending all ones time and effort agreeing with those who aggree with you also gets boring and leads to complacence.

"Doubts, additional questions, argument and criticism contribute to the strength, not the weakness, of scientific thought". — Robert Macchiarelli


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by crashfrog, posted 06-17-2007 11:58 AM Grizz has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 47 (406156)
06-17-2007 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Monk
06-17-2007 11:38 AM


Re: Re-feeling
You assume I haven’t read it.

Um, in fact, I stated the exact opposite - that you had read it, but that you didn't perceive the flaws because you had no incentive to look for them.

Apparently, though, you assumed I had never read it, or heard of it. Let me tell you something you might not have expected - I read it, and I'm still an atheist.

I have read C.S. Lewis and find many of his arguments well reasoned.

They're not, though. That's the point. They contain abundant logical fallacies.

Like his famous "Liar, lunatic, lord" trichotomy. It fails on at least two levels in three different ways, but I bet you didn't even notice:

1) that it's a false trichotomy; there are other options besides those three, or
2) that it's predicated on the historical Jesus actually having made the claims specified in the Bible, when there's absolutely no historical reason to believe he did. The first written record of any part of the New Testament doesn't appear until seven decades - at least, possibly as many as twelve - after Jesus was supposed to have lived.

Did you?

There are rational expositions of faith available.

You've yet to give one, though, and I've never, ever seen one - and I've been looking for some time, now. I'm just supposed to take your word for it?

The process of putting forward a rational argument supported by examples leading to logical conclusions is the process used by Lewis to justify his belief in the existence of God.

The problem for you is that this wasn't the process Lewis used. His conclusions don't follow rationally from his examples and his premises. His arguments aren't reasonable.

You yourself have said that “Mere Christianity” is well written.

Sure. Lewis was no dummy. He was a skilled, engaging writer with a familiar voice and a great deal of notoriety from his Narnia books and a great deal of authority from his status as an Oxford don. He conceals the logical flaws in his arguments remarkably well, but they're still there, and you can see them if you know what you're looking for.

People unfamiliar with what fallacious logic looks like are pulled in by Mere Christianity. Serious theologians dismiss the book as trash. It doesn't convince anybody who isn't ignorant of logic and/or already sympathetic to its claims. Lewis's arguments do not represent reasonable defenses of Christianity, despite the fact that they appear reasonable to you.

That's why they call them fallacies. Most of the time, they're failures in logic that we miss because they look reasonable. Read through the list I linked. They have examples of each fallacy and you can see how each one can be made to look like a reasonable thing to say - even though the argument is completely invalid.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Monk, posted 06-17-2007 11:38 AM Monk has not yet responded

  
Grizz
Member (Idle past 3762 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 27 of 47 (406157)
06-17-2007 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by crashfrog
06-17-2007 11:09 AM


Re: Re-feeling
Not everybody agrees that's what "rational" means, friend. I, for instance, would call that a "logical" argument, but an irrational one - because of its obviously false premise.

Rational is not synonymous with logical. Indeed, if it were, we would be forced to conclude that all science (empiricism being illogical) was irrational.

There are no arguments supporting the existence of God that follow as valid deductions from true premises. None whatsoever. It is irrational to believe in God.

Frog..

My apologies to the forum. I probably should not have posted my thread as it is going to take the argument off topic - my fault. It would be interesting to open this up as a new thread in the beliefs forum as then all can get in on the debate.

OK...I have started the new thread here..

www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=25&t=2968&m=1 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=25&t=2968&m=1">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=25&t=2968&m=1

Edited by Grizz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by crashfrog, posted 06-17-2007 11:09 AM crashfrog has responded

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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 47 (406160)
06-17-2007 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Grizz
06-17-2007 11:40 AM


Now it seems more like an exclusive club that has morphed into a platform for young militant atheists to rage against the machine. Those of us who are more moderate in our approach to addressing social and religious issues are becoming the exception rather than the norm.

So write more books. That's all the other side did - once we were able to convince the rest of you to let us.

The shoe is really on the other foot. It used to be that the "co-existence humanists" were the ones who determined acceptable dogma, and squelched any attempt to speak out about the horror religion predictably visited on society.

We did it your way for 400 years, Grizz. Why should we waste any more time on your failed philosophies?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Grizz, posted 06-17-2007 11:40 AM Grizz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Grizz, posted 06-17-2007 12:09 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 47 (406162)
06-17-2007 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Grizz
06-17-2007 11:55 AM


Re: Re-feeling
Might I suggest that you use the "QS" tags to make it a little clearer where your remarks begin and the remarks you're quoting end. Read the dBcodes help page for more info, I guess.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Grizz, posted 06-17-2007 11:55 AM Grizz has not yet responded

  
Grizz
Member (Idle past 3762 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 30 of 47 (406163)
06-17-2007 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by crashfrog
06-17-2007 11:58 AM


We did it your way for 400 years, Grizz. Why should we waste any more time on your failed philosophies?

The answer is simple - nobody has to spend time contemplating what they see as a failed philosophy. One is free to engage in their own intelectual pursuits.

btw..I started the new thread as noted above in my earlier post.

Edited by Grizz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by crashfrog, posted 06-17-2007 11:58 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by crashfrog, posted 06-17-2007 12:13 PM Grizz has not yet responded

    
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