Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ex-apologist: Science and Faith: Are They Compatible?

ex-apologist: Science and Faith: Are They Compatible?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Please also refer to my old blog rationalist, which adds to these comments.

No to Ayn Rand!

Ayn Rand saw herself as a rationalist, one who uses empiricism and reason to get to the truth. She  was hardly that as she used  her unconfirmed intuitions to make for the Truth as she declared her system as complete and tolerated no deviance as her heir Leonard Peikoff also does.
 Her egoism was nothing new but just her own view with her idiosyncratic definitions of egoism and altruism. To work, egoism must be universal, presupposing harmony amongst humans. She by definition stated that there are no rational  conflicts amongst people when two people apply for the same job that neither had the right to it and so no conflict.No, that is an ignoratio elenchi-irrelevant- as one wins over the other; that is the nature of the conflict.
 She uses a straw man in defining altruism as one enslaved to society when it only means helping others, and mutual altruism is no more than mutual back- scrubbing!
Our Social Contract provides for taxing for the benefit of all, and so she here makes the libertarian straw man of taking from the rich to give to the  poor, and  calling that theft!Government by vote has to establish how much taxation for what form of ensuring the general welfare..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scriptures' verification of miracles?

Can any scriptures verify their accounts of miracles? How do we know that Muhamad ascended from Jerusalem on a horse or split for a while the Moon?What about the miralcle of the fall of Jericho?

 None can verify any miracles! No Amazing Randi was around to see if people actually saw what they thought were such, and to determine if they were hoaxes or mere natural phenomena.

By, experience rather than by a priori we find no evidence for miracles.

Had Muhammad split the Moon or had Joshua stopped the Sun, bad thngs for humanity would have ensued as any such matters have further consequences. People disn't and-still don't recognize that.

 Archaelogists find that Jericho had decades ago  disappeard before the allege miracle could have happened! And they disconfirm the story about the manna, as there was no Exodus!

We have a better morality than that of the writers about the miracles of the  Deluge and the divine commands for genocide, for which no evidence exists anyway!

And why does a deity perform unfair, selective healings? Why would it let  perform a Marian apparition and not stop the Holocaust? To prattle that He has His ways is just to argue from the argument from ignorance!

 Here ones own eyes deceive as with any other magical trick!

 When we skeptic investigate the Vatican- sanctioned miracles -62 in all- we find natural explanations that its own investigators overlooked. And with better medical knowledge, it will approve fewer!

Naturally, naturalism!

Supernaturalists insist that there exists a realm beyond Existence that interacts with it, but which we naturalists cannot investigate.

 When supernaturalist aver that miracles, the Virignal Birth, the Resurrection and so forth happen, then perforce we can investigate them, and having done so, we find no evidence therefore. Where we cannot investigate,  where  a theory is unfalsiable like supernaturalism, then it is meaningless.

 That is part of ignosticism.

  John Haught avers that we naturalists a priori to avoid other venues of knowing ,but  he begs the question. Rem B. Edwards avers that we beg the question in not discerning that supernaturalism also accounts for what naturalism does, but no, because the former depends on convoluted ad hoc assumptions, violating the Razor.

 John L.Schellenberg, fellow atheist, claims that we naturalists rely on changing science. But that is science's glory!. Science confirms naturallism in its on-going undertakings for knowledge as we naturalists find that whilst such as evolution is quite true, aspects of it are tentative. We are searchinf for the truth, not preaching the Truth.

Supernaturalists and other prattle that we are scientistic, but no, we don't just rely on science but on any rational method, which perforce excludes the supernatural.

  How do you justify ontological [philosphical] naturalism? Or why do you reject it?



Socrates and skepticism

About what are you skeptical? Are you skeptical about the supernatural and the future state? Are you skeptical about contra-causal -no causes- free will? Are you skeptical about naturalism?

Martin Gardner, the great skeptic, however, was a fideistic deist! Can one and why be a skeptic and a God-believer?

 Are you skeptical about creationist evolution or evolutionary creationism [ theistic evolution]?

Are you skeptical about miracles and faith-healing?

 What is the basis of your skepticism?

Do you oppose skepticism and why?

I believe that Socrates would be a modern skeptic.

Viewers, what else might Socrates affirm?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Socratic Spirit

Socrates admonishes us not to claim to know more than we know. This is the modern skeptic position. We skeptics find some claims false such as creationism, others provisionally true in aspects whilst confirmed over all like the role of genetic drift in evolution and others  we're just at the outer edges of inquiry like the origin of language.

To be a skeptic, one need be also an empiricist, naturalist and rationalist, eschewing religious traditions, revelations, scriptures,faith and unfounded intuitions, looking for only  natural causes.

 Ockham's Razor forbids us use convoluted, ad hoc assumptions so that  we cannot use God did  as He is the quintessential violator of the Razor.

 The atelic-teleonomic adds substance from the side of science in that the weight of evidence evinces teleonomy -no desired outcomes- behind natural causes  rather than teleology- planned outcomes- which no only violates the Razor but also contradicts those causes! To add divine intent perforce makes for incompatibility rather than the compatibility of  the supernatural and the natural! And the new Omphalos arguments intrudes that He thereby deceives us by hiding His intent as the old Omphalos alleges He makes entities appear millions of years older than they are!

I maintain that the presumptions of empiricism, naturalism, rationalism and skepticism lead to that more abundant life!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rationalism over faith

 Rationalism removes mountains of  ignorance whilst faith rests on the argument from ignorance. Reason removes the tyrants of prejudice and hate whilst faith enthrones the tyrants  of woo and false hope. Reason builds our conservation of knowledge whilst faith attempts to throw it away.
 Faith, that begged question, is the we just say so of credulity. Science is acquired knowledge whilst faith begs the question of being knowledge as Sydney Hook affirms.
 Whilst faith answer no prayers nor produces miracles, reason produces better and better medicines and life-support systems. Whilst faith-healing without medical means brings death to children, reason gives us hope for  that more abundant life!
 Whilst faith cannot instantiate results of prayers, reason can instantiate real medical advancements.
The faith in answered prayer means post hoc faith- coincidence and people so rationalize unanswered prayers as paranormalists rationalize failed tests as as due to skeptic intrusion.
 John Haught and Alister Earl McGrath  claim that the Bible from start to finish is all about hope rather than about morality. Ah, what are those hopes found in the Deluge and the genocides? Why the hope through the human blood sacrifice of the Atonement? When will we see the fulfilled hope of the greater good of the Shoa and the Arab-Jew conflict ?
  That hope revels in the blasphemy of faith to reason!
 When we skeptics query where is the  beef for the understanding of God and the Bible, people cry out, have faith1 That belies McGrath's indictment of Clifton Richard Dawkins's use of faith as idiosyncratic. McGrath maintains that faith -trust- takes hold of the whole person to affect her. Should the person wills her life better , then that faith is no more than the placebo of inspiration for her to use her own  inner resources. Faith takes credit where reason is the cause as in the answered prayers and miracles!
 Reason helped the Allies defeat the faith of the Axis powers in their woo of  ignorance and prejudices!
Reason uses the presumption of empiricism- real facts whilst faith ever revels in its unfounded intuitons.
 Reason underscores the failure of Alvin Plantinga's dogmatism!


Explanations should be knowledge-bearing. The God-one is phony, a pseudo-explanation, because it doesn't explain how He affects the changes that people maintain that He brings about. How does He do miracles? How did He cause the Big Bang? How does he design things? By magic?
 Without specifying how He does all that, then God did it means nothing and He bears no knowledge.
  Theories should be falsifiable. When  we skeptics investigate, we find natural causes and explanations sufficient in explaining matters. Our Ockham's Razor cuts Him off as an explanation as He adds nothing to our explanations, being parasitical on them and requiring convoluted, ad hoc explanations Himself. He explains no more than demons do for my psychological problems than psychology itself does or what mechanics does for mechanical failures than do gremlins or Thor for the weather and climate. Here then is the  principle of simplicity at  work.
  However, theologian Richard Swinburne claims that He is simpler than those causes as He is a simple entity. No, the Razor doesn't refer to the number of entities but rather to the simplicity of the theory itself. And so Swinburne's attempt fails.
 Anon on the other elements of successful theories.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Skeptic's View

We skeptics find that some natters are settled in the negative completely like creationism, some provisionally like the steady state theory; we find others mainly true like evolution, but provisional in their parts like how much a role natural selection plays in evolution ; and we yet have to find much confirmation on others like the origin of language. We are open-minded but not credulous.
 Climate deniers are hardly skeptics by reason of their not overcoming what the consensus of scientists find to be the evidence. This in not the fallacy of authority, but rather what the inter subjective view is .There surges forth some doubts as to the magnitude up or down. The deniers seem to be reasoning a priori ideologically: some are libertarians who view this this view as due to leftist determination to increase the size of government by giving preference to new energy industries and to tax people even more. Then, too. oil companies don't want to face new competition. Now, why don t they get onto the act?
 Why not see that the new industries will make for more and better jobs?
Now, this is no case of the genetic fallacy but of divulging why people oppose themselves thereto and since their argumentation lack merit. They rest on dubious facts.
  Now, time and money limit what resources we can spend on investigations. Some matters, like creationism only have the extrinsic need to rebut from the false propaganda. And we give no attention to any propose perpetual motion machine!
I find that the supernatural and the paranormal are  of the extrinsic kind; they are what   philosopher Paul Kurtz calls the 'Transcendental Temptation."
However, the late great skeptic,Martin Gardner, was a fideistic deist- wishful thinking!
Let us all discuss how we can better use skepticism and how to combat ignorance about science and how it works!