Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Atheist Turn of Mind

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Nothing can ever count as evidence for God or against atheism in the mind of the atheist. I established this last time I was posting here. The skeptical mind forces itself into a corner which eventually, through constant use in a skeptical mode, tricks the user into thinking he/she is making some big gain of insight but he/she is actually closing off the ability to take the necessary risks to step beyond that which is proven and extrapolate to a position of belief.

I am not saying all atheists always think this way. I'm just saying these tendencies that are brought by the skeptical habit of mind.

(1) the mentality to dobut as long as possible.

If any kind of doubt is possible, however slight the probability, the atheist must take it.

(2) Unless something is totally proven it cannot be given any kind of presumption no matter how rationally warranted or how strongly evidenced.

If God is not 100% proven God is 0% proven and though one may consider God 99% proven if it is not 100% then its nothing.

(3) The "no evidence" circle.

this is a form of question begging/circular reasoning that works like this

*there is no evidence for the existence of God because God is not absoltuely proven.

*Since there is no evidence there can be no evidence

*since there can be no evidence than anything presented as evidence must be wrong.

these are all just a large circle of reasoning based upon the false premise in no 1. There are probably corresponding problems that the faith habit of mind produces. But what this mens is that atheism is unverifiable/falsifiable. It's not an analytical position because it's not open proof or disproof.

This applies especially to atheist on message boards. I think atheist seek to gain preferences for their view. the dictum about extraordinary evidence proves this. why should religious experience be deemed "extraordinary?" when it includes 90% of the people in the world.? the assumption is that their assumptions should be the "default." That's why they are always trying to claim mass populations they are not intitleed to, like Buddhism or all new born babies.

The better paradigm would be:

(1) doubt as long as you have real doubts and be willing to assign prima facie to good arguments.

(2) rational warrant.

rational warrant is about all any world view can offer. belief in God is a world view. there is no reason to islaote it form other views or set the bar any higher for it than for any of them.

This is only to rich. I put this put on CARM atheist board. And this atheist is going to show me what's wrong with it. here are his responses:

*there is no evidence for the existence of God because we've for naturalistic explanations for almost everything we've ever studied.

*If the God hypothesis were correct, we'd have found evidence for it by now.

*Since there is no evidence yet, we can feel comfortable in assuming tentatively that there is no God. Taking this assumption will put us in a position where atheism may disproved by contradiction.

Is it possible to saything that would more clearly illustrate the points I just made?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Who is the Narrow Minded One?


A certain percentage of the real hateful sort of atheists are gay. For a lot of them their hatred of Christianity is in relation to that. It's no big mystery that's what I would expect.What I didn't expect was one who doesn't really care about truth he only cares about mileage. That is he wants to make political mileage from his arguments about Christianity. It's not because he's gay, a gay could be honest and really care about what people think. It's nothing to do with his sexual preference. It's nothing to do with his being an atheist either. It has more to do with this guy, just being who he is. Although I suspect it also has to do with his activism, becasue political activism--I say from experience--sort grinds you down and forces you into a mold where your true beliefs and sensibilities get turned into tools in service to the cause. I think that's the case with "Paradoxical" a poster on CARM. Its good to be aware of this becuase even tough I don't use it to draw stereotypes about people but it is a good lesson, some atheists may be reacting as they are for reasons that are not connected to atheism.

I think the hatred and zeal for anger against Christianity one finds in atheism is feeding this guy's dogmatism. The issue is gays, is being gay a sin or not? He was asking me what I thought I was dumb to think he really wanted an answer. He doesn't want an answer he wants a stooge that he can mileage out of.

the original post he asked if I think Homosexuality is a sin:

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
It's a tough issue. I have gay friends and a gay relative. I can't just ignore the Bible and my gut but I accept accept those guys going to hell either.

I don't believe in treating people like sub humans even if one does believe its a sin. that is not no excuse for treating people badly. We all sin, there's no reason to assume one kind of sin so much worse than all others.

I think the key to it is I don't believe in hell.
to which he answers:

Why is homosexuality a "sin", Meta?
I didn't actually say it was and we went round and round on this point.

Is it? Did I say that it was? I thought I said I can't ignore the Bible? Does the bible teach its' a
sin? why don't you prove to me that the Bible teaches that?

Did you forget you said the below, Meta? They're not going to hell, but...??? You as much said it was below, so quit playing Mr. innocent and dumb.
PS. Homosexuality is an obomination and they deserve death....YOUR God, and YOUR bible
[yes he is a libertarian so he's making a pun on Obama]
So what's just happened? I said "if" and spoke conditionally he sys "You said this" on goes on a rampage as though I really did not speak conditionally. Why? As we will see not because he care what I said, not because he gives a rat's ass about my answer it's because he wants me to say "because they are evil" so he can say "Christians are evil." I had some real reasons for not saying one way or the other. In course of the thread I laid these out. They made no difference to him.

On the side of gayness being a sin I said that the Bible condemns it as such. Paul says it's a sin. He says it's dishonorable passions. That may be a cue as to why it would be a sin. Althlough trying to figure out why something from the first century is "dishonorable" as a passion in the 21st century is a daunting issue. I also shared the into that a certain Greek word translated "effeminate" in 2 cor really means to be on the receiving end in the homosexual intercourse act.

On the contrary side of the issue I've seen a good word study that abomination means just a violation of ritual purity laws. Since Christians are not under ritural purity laws of that OT now the OT prohibitions would not apply. Asdie from Paul's statments in Romans (dishonorable Passions) and 2 cor (homosexual intercourse) there's not much about it. Jesus never said it was a sin. No other NT writer says it's a sin. I can't tell you why it should be a sin. To say it's a sin one would have to base that purely upon Paul himself. I am not sure that's really strong enough. I am not an inerrantist. I reiterated the bit about treating people rightly. While the status of gayness is not clear to me it is clear that we are to treat all people as beloved creatures of God and give the basic human respect they deserve. None of that is good enough for him of course. We had more exchanges like hte one above where I'm dancing around saying I don't know if it's a sin because I sensed that he wanted me to make a stand so he would have be pigeon holed. He is dancing around trying really hard to force me to say Yea or nay about it being a sin.

Originally Posted by Paradoxical View Post
Meta, psst, it's the Ugandans who want to kill millions of gay people because it's in the bible.
where in the bible does it say to kill them?
what that has to do with anything I don't know becuase I never said anything that would support killing anyone.

You aren't "sure" yourself, and you're as liberal as they get.
he's saying if the liberal Christian can't be any more determined to support gays than this then we can expect most Christians to try to kill them, or something like that.

I'm not as liberal as they get. Real liberals like the one's I studied under at seminary would say "why would it be a sin?" In fact that seminary hired a gay to teach there, openly gay Methodist. UMC openly accepts gays.
I don't really know the official UMC position and being in the UMC (United Methodist Church) I would assume they don't know themselves. But there's a lot of acceptance for gays in the UMC.

Is it any wonder people justify bullying them, hanging them, and now giving them the death penalty?


that's totally ridiculous. you are trying to make me feel guilty by saying I don't know. so why are you so admitted about forcing me to a position? what do you gain by my taking a position?

People don't harass gays because they don't know if it's a sin. People who do that know for certain what they think about it. That is also contradicted by my stance that if I don't know about that activity then I do at least know clearly how to treat people I've already nixed treating anyone as less than human. Treating people as "human" for means respecting them as humans.

It is obvious to me you are the intolerant [one] who cant' allow others to have their own views. If I don't take a stand in agreement with you then I'm one of "them." You are as brown shirt as they get without actually using your fists.

It's funny to me that you just ignore what Is aid about how to treat like I didn't even say it. It makes me wonder if it even really matters to you. I didn't think you care what I say. you have this canned response all planed out. talking to me is just part of a ploy. you don't give an rat's hind quarters about truth or thinking or anything.

It's in YOUR bible, and the great Meta isn't even sure if it's a sin....
you are making of fool of yourself. I knew you would not be able to talk in a reasonable way about it. That's why I wasn't really willing to do it. You couldn't care less about my positional it's all matter of what can you get the mirage pout of hu?

you are not a thinker of any kind you are knee jerk reactionary.

a man who studies the bible minute for most of his life does''t even know if the God he worships thinks it's a sin. What a despicable, decadent religion.
At this point I think it's more anger because I wouldn't give him an excuse to rail against Christians for being intolerant than anything else. He's clearly trying to guilt me into taking a stand.

you probably tell people Christianity motivates by guilt and shame. what are you doing?

ok class here is the lesson in dealing with narrow minded intolerant ******* political activists. Notice he is driven to force me to declare.

if I say it's a sin then he has a foil O see I knew they are all like. I defuse that by saying "I don't know" so he can't stand it so tries to do it anyway by making me feel guilty about noting being definite.

He loses nothing whichever way I go. If I say it's a sin then's gained an example of how evil Christians are, if I say it's not a sin then he can use me as support for his views and that will the thin end of the wedge to use cognitive dissonance to get ground on other issues.

saying I don't know louses his whole deal he doesn't have any lever so he tries to shame me into talking a position.
this evening he does this one:

Originally Posted by Paradoxical View Post
Meta, you are a self proclaimed bible expert,
self procalimed? what happened to my Masters degree. do you think you can take that away from me? Like I didn't get it because you dont' want me to have it?

I have a Masters degree weahter you like it or not. I read the NT in Greek weather you like it or not. That makes me much more of an expert than you will ever be.

and one who knows the history of that time period like the back of his hand.

I never said that. I have been triened as a historian. you have not be so trianed.

You know without me telling you that the bible which people contend is the word of God says they are an abomination and deserve death, and you feign ignorance as to whether or not YOUR God believes this is a sin.

where does it say they deserve death? didn't I already tell you that abomination is debatable as to what it means? why do you make up things? can't argue honestly?
you are so desperate to find the villain the evil Christian to point to you can't even listen to beings said directly to you.

In Uganda, they are using the bible in an attempt to give gay people the death penalty.
I don't live in Uganda. I didnt' go seminary in Uganda. Texas is not as primative as Uganda. I don't belong to a Ungandan chruch.

In America, Baptists use their money to deny gays the right to marry. When bullies beat them up and embarrass them to the point of suicide, it's because their parents have taught them that the BIBLE says being gay is sinful.

can you say "guilt by assocaition?"

do you know what a fallacy is? did you know guilt by association is a fallacy?

And YOU, an admitted bible expert contend you don't know?

I know what people say about it. also know it's a lot more complex than that. You are really having a hard aren't you? It would make it so much easier for you if I jsut said its' a sin so you can say "Ha! see the evil Christians Ooooooooo!"

guess what? I'm not going to prostitute my position just to make pionts in arguement like you are. Unlike you I have actual beliefs rather than just causes.

That absolute BS and you know it.
you are being simple minded.

I tried to get a yes or a no out of you and you feign ignorance again.
ROTFLOL! you failed. you are not a very good interegator are you?

By YOUR silence, Meta, YOU and others like you are responsible for the harrassment and killing of gays.

Me and others like me. that means I'm like the little red neck idiots who tied the guy to the fens because why? becasue I wont knuckle under and say what this jr. brown shirt wants me to say. That is so utterly stupid. It's obvious I'm not like those guys and it's stupid to say that not pronouncing gayness as fine and dandy is the same killings that lame brained.

ahahaahahahaah you are so desperate to have a villain and be the hero have someone to dump your bile over. That's pathetic. People like me. you don't know anything about me. You just making of bunch of silly judgments based upon the rhetorical need. You need someone to lash out at so you are going to pretend I"m some some evil fundie weather I am or not!

Their blood is on your hands because they get their nonsense from the bible. The very same one that you, as a bible EXPERT, better than a priest or pastor, contend doesn't give you a clue as to whether or not it is a sin.

I claim you bound in Jesus name> I reverse your curse in the name of Jesus.
(getting a little frivolous there)

ROTFLOL! ahahahaaha can you really be and inane! That's such a selish liittel tantrum. First of all I didn't say it was a sin. because I wont say what you want me to you are to just declair that I'm guilty.

You are not going to inteimiate me you are not going to control me. get that through your little head. I'm don't play your little games do you hear waht I'm saying?

You cannot pronounce me guilty of anything. you are guilty. you are guilty. Where were you when the people of Nicaragua were being murdered? you off at some little self gay thing instead of working to end the murder, rape, torture and lies of the contra war. I did work on it. I put my life on the line with the FBI to fight contra aid and I don't have to feel guilty about anything.

I went to the anti-Bork rally and almost got beat up by right wringers. I don't owe you anything. You are not anywhere near up to my level of activism and you are gonna have to a lot more in the struggle to match that I did 30 years ago. You not even in the struggle your a right winger so you actually guilty yourselves of the murder of the poor.

These are human beings, Meta....BORN that way, and it is despicable Christians who denigrate them, and remain silent when they commit suicide and when Uganda wants to kill them because of some Evangelical Christian having read some books that says they can change. I'm ashamed of you Meta. I thought better of you.
I said its' a sin to hurt people. I said guys are entitled to every bit the same human rights as anyone. If that's enough too bad. tugh.

you are a phony. you are not a fighter for human freedom. you are part of the problem because you don't even get the issues. Ayn Rand was a fool and murderer of the poor anyone who follows her garbage is guilty of murdering the poor.

I am not silent. I have condemned harming gays or harassing them. I have said explicitly it doesn't matter if it's a sin or not treating people that way is a sin. If that's enough then too bad. that just proves he's not sincere about his beliefs he's throughing a tantrum because I wont do things his way.

He's not upset because I might say gayness is a sin.If I said he would be happy. he' not trying to force me to say it's not a sin. If I say it's a sin he has ammunition if I say it is not then he has an endorsement. In saying I don't know he's deprived of the ammunition he wants so he's throwing a little tantrum. I don't think this is a particularly gay way to act. I'm sure there are mature gays than this guy. It's not necessarily an atheist way to act. It's a stupid way to act and we should be prepared for that.

What is my true opinion on the issue? I really don't know. I am opposed fundamentally to persecuting anyone. "Sin" does not translate into "opening season on the sinner."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day Atheists: Happy Thanksgiving! Everyone


I'll be back on monday. I'm giving myself a day off from blogging on Friday, need time for the Turkey to digest.

I have a lot to thank God for, and I pray that all my readers have good times with people they love over this holiday.

Yes, I believe in that prayer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Of course Paryer Doesn't Work": When Prayer Scares Atheists to their Roots!


The Board is CARM the Poster is Paradoxical. I see a thread that says "of course prayer doesn't work." That doesn't sit well with me so I look. Paradoxical and "Big thinker" (very ironic name) say post after post after post "why would Christians think prayer works, when it's so obvious it doesn't?" Christians will come on and tell them "prayer works because the bible says blah blah" and they keep going "why would they think that?" They also unveiled theory after theory all which involved the thesis that Christians are stupid and believe in prayer because they can't face life, ect ect. So I went in. I said hey you know I believe in prayer because I've seen it work. I told them about my father. Christmas eve he had a major heart attack. He's in the ICU.He had already a couple of big heart attacks the day before, but this one was massive. I had been at the hospital all night the first night then all day the next day up to midnight so we went home to get some sleep. We went home thinking this is the end of his life. The Doctor had already asked for the next of kin, asked if we wanted heroic measures to keep him alive. My twin brother had the presence of mind to say "Of cousre!" Thank God he did.

We are watching the Pope's midnight Mass. I didn't tell Paradoxical this at first until much latter in the three but I prayed when the Pope called for prayer for the sick. I prayed for my father then drifted off to sleep. During the night I dreamed the Pope came to me with my father who looked great and was wearing a new suit, the Pope said, "he will be remain with you." My Dad said "I'm going to be alright." In spite of this happy dream I woke up thinking "I wish that could be true but I bet he died last night." I was feeling very mournful and thinking about the world without Dad when I think my mother called and said "he made it thorugh the night and he's better." My brother and I went up there immediately and as soon as I walked into the ICU nurses came up to me saying "have you heard about the miracle?" Everyone was real excited. One nurse said "this is all we talk about this morning a real Christmas miracle." His heart was fine. He was not conscoius but he was breathing well and his heart was rhythmical and strong. The Doctor came in and I said "I've word 'miracle' banded about." He said "I have never used the word miracle in my practice but this has to be a miracle." It seems he was dead for 11 minutes. He had very aruthmical heart beat before he flat lined. They would have given up but one guy said "it's Christmas let's give it one more try." The neat part is I talked to the doctor about when that was and I can time it by the show I was watch that was just right after I prayed. The doctor said the real mriacle is not so much coming back from flat line, that happens. Believe it or not that's not that amazing although eleven minutes a long time for it. The really amazing part is that he's 89, heart beat was so weak and arrhythmical and came back so strong. The doctor said "this just does not happen."

I told the atheists that part of course they just went into a frenzy. They are so conditioned and so brain washed into thinking nothing can ever depart from their slave thinking about how thing must work, they could not consider for a moment that something different could happen.


Meta, you're telling me God chose to save a 89 year old because you prayed? And you believe that sort of thing? While thousands die that are prayed for that are much younger? God picks your dad? For what? To add a few months to hios life because you played a Groucho Marx and said the magic words? If your dad was "dead", where is the death certificate? You and the doctors just thought he was. To think god would save an 89 year old when that's well beying life expectancy is not healthy Meta. It supposes God favors people because of words. it's beyond ridiculous. It's being out of touch with the real world and not using common sense.
They alleged that "Christians always twist evidence and stretch things." Of course that's just circular reasoning becasue they assume from the outset there can't be evidence for what they think is supernatural so when such evidence is presented it must always be discounted and disbelieved at all costs. So nothing could ever count as evidence for it because it disproves their ideology, and they are ideologues so they can't have that. Notice what he's saying about his age, God wouldn't help him, it's utilitarianism. God has to be ruthlessly efficient and disregard emotions and love. He has to sweep aside the elderly (that's just on a par with racism, ageism is less reactionary and bigoted than sexism or racism). Not all atheists are such bigots. But that is really spoken like someone with low self esteem "who are you to think God would help you?" Studies have shown that this is a factor in atheism.

Also notice that in charging that God wouldn't heal an old man thier claim not only belies the atheist amoral ant-life philosophy but also demonstrates the shallow selfishness of atheists. All he can think of is the point of one guy's life. He doesn't even stop to consider the effect upon other people of that one guy being alive. He doesn't consider the quality of the three years he livened beyond that point. He has no concept of what my father's living did for other members of the family. I am not shocked that atheist has no concept of compassion or love, but I am amazing people can't see that. It's really hard for me to accept that good people are willing to identify themselves with a movement that is obviously a totally disaster morally and intellectually.

Quote Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
hey look, this is not twisting things. My father was dead. The heart surgeon said he waws. His own doctor said he was. the guy that used paddles and said "clear!" he told me. they all thold me he was dead, 11 minutes. then came back and his heart was much stronger than 89 year old man with arrhythmia ever is. His doctor said "this is a miracle." the doctor was not a believer. He was freaked out.
I am not making it up, I'm not stretching the language that's exactly true literally.
another time the ER guys were in our living room all the stuff hooked up to him and they literally freaking out as watched his vitals change form heart attack to nomral. one of them was screaming 'this can't happen!"
I am not twisting it. that's exactly what they said. you can't get clearer than they were.

why it is so hard for you to stretch your little mind and get in your head that you don't know everything? HU? why is it so hard for you to accept that you are wrong?

why do you keep flapping your gums when YOU WEREN'T" THERE!???
I went on confronting them this way for most of the thread and they become more and more angry about it. They never really argued rationally but kept insisting I had to be wrong, my interpretation of events had to be at odds with the facts, they kept trying to use shame and ridicule to force me to admit it didn't happen. The peoplel who weren't there and didn't talk to the doctor and don't know are so cock sure they can't be wrong. Paradoxical kept insisting that the doctors were wrong he could not have been dead. I think that's pathetic. Talking clutching at straws!

Originally Posted by Paradoxical View Post

Meta, all you've told us is that some doctors THOUGHT your dad was dead.


That's so stupidly silly! ahaahahahahahah some doctors thought he was dead! He was only in intensive care and hooked up to the machines with the major heart Surgeon in Texas around. why would anyone think those doctors would know anything? Science is only worth something when it backs atheism I know that. When scinece contradicts your precious God hating world-view then science is crap!
he had the state of the art! state of art care. do you understand what I'm saying?
That's low man, that's so low. Try to deny that the state of art in medicine could tell if he was talk bout clutching at straws. If you are willing to say that where wont you try to deny the facts when they are given? what good does it do to discuss anything with you if you can't accept the facts when they are obvious? you will just saying to deny the truth then pronouncements about prayer mean nothing. Nothing could ever count to prove it works, any evidence you see you will automatically resist.

Did they monitor his brain activity?
what do you think they do in intensive care, duh? ever been to a hospital?

Did they monitor his heart to see that it stopped beating for the entire 11 minutes?


Naw they read comics and played tick tac toe and they decided to lie about it latter to help me believe in God. That's what doctors do in hospitals isn't it?

what if I asked these kind of stupid questions about your little supposed anti-prayer study? did they remember to check and see who prayed? Did they make sure the people were really sick? they have actual medical stuff around them? did they actually remember to have a double blind?

Was he declared dead?

why would they be puttying paddles on his chest and shocking him if they thought e was fine? Yes, they ready to declair him dead. The said "let's give it one more try, it's Christmas, we have to say we really gave it our best shot."

Was he written up in medical journals?
that is such a stupid argument. These guys have such a cartoon understanding of how science works.


do you have any kind of understanding of anything? why would you think medical journals are sitting around waiting for reports of miracles? I was part of the academic publishing world. I know how academic publishers do. I was one. I know that they are not string around wait to confirmation that destroys their world. If you sent them a report "man comes back to life" they would say "we cant' publish this, it will bother our atheist readers. this is an academic publication not a religious pamphlet."
forget the crap about "truth." academic publishing is not about "truth" it's about getting the article you need that your readership wants to pay money for.
It is far from unknown in medicine for people who have been dead for several minutes to start living again. The really amazing stuff I haven't told you yet. But that's beside the point. The point is there is a case that contradicts your view and you so desperate to dismiss it that you resort to childish stuff "how do you know the doctors know what they are doing?"

If not, why not? This certainly would be one for the Christian books. Meta, let me know where I might find the written reports on this miracle.
Shocking ignorance.

Exactly, you just answered your own question. One for the CHRISTIAN books. But most academic journals an medical journals are not Christina books. so they are not going to publish it because they don't want to turn off their readers. Their readers are materialistic and if they see a report of a miracle they will be like you and want to make it go away. No one is going to say "O this is proof at last I found God." that's rare. extremely rare.
Another ridiculous aspect of that is this is far from the only claim of resurrection I've seen. I myself met four people who claim to have been raised from the dead, counting my Dad. BTW he never could say if he remembered anything of being dead. He tired to tell me once but it was incoehernet. He said some incoherent stuff about angels. Other times he said he had no memories. I was at Chruch of the Resurrection (Episcapol Chruch that used to have inter-deonom friday night services that were quite an occasion among Dallas Charismatics). A woman claimed that on a trip to Mexico that summer she met someone who had been raised form the dead and the whole village acknowledged it. I met Doctor Richard Ebby. I met a man named "George" who I have seen discussed on NDE websites, claimed to have been shot by KGB and dead in morgue for three days. I also met a woman who claimed to have been dead and brought back and who spoke being at the throne of God.


Meta, people pray millions upon milions of times in a day.



they get answers every day too. they feel God's presence every day too. that's more important than getting stuff. that's the real point of prayer. prayer is about knowing god not getting stuff. If you are blessed enough to be in the zone and get a miracle its' extremely rare but it's really super cool and important and it does happen.

It's like playing the lottery.

no it's not, not to any degree. Because a Lottery doesn't have a fix in where a will can grant the giving of the favor.

this is all a bunch of palaver. the point is you are desperate to deny the truth. I know it's true, I know prayer works. I've seen it I was there.
I wonder why they like to compare it to the lottery? Is it to make it seem foolish? If it's the rarity of "wining" what does that have to do with weather or not the answers that are claimed actuality did happen? The Lottery is blind chance, prayer depends upon a will on the other end. It's not dumb luck it's weather or not the answer fits the design and plan of the will that is in charge of granting the prayer. Another major difference is that prayer is important for it's own sake. Prayer is not about getting things it's about contact with God. If one is not granted the objec to petition one still cannot say the prayer was useless anymore than one can say spending time with one's father was useless.

These guys are clearly alarmed that something happened and they are confronted directly with someone who saw it, something that contradicts their ideology. They are vested in their ideology they can't handle it. So they have keep denying that there is any reason to believe. No matter how incredulous one might be, no matter how entrenched in doubt and unreasoning denial it should be obvious that clutching like denying the ICU would know if he was dead, merely refusing to believe it happened no matter what, trying to find silly technicalities like the death certificate had not been filled out so he could not be dead, all indicates minds being blown and vested interests being smashed..About the death certificate argument, I had no idea if was filled out or not. It's pretty reasonable to think that if he was still on the table and they were still in a position to shock him one more time that would expalin why if in fact they had not. Maybe they did and then tore it up? It's totally stupid to claim that until the certificate is filled out he can't be dead. Then all I have to do is get my relatives not fill out the death certificate and I'll live forever. The funny thing is having no idea weather it was or not Paradoxical first just assumes it wasn't then tries to use that as some last minute pathetic argument.

I left that thread with him screaming and ranting and going on about how stupid I am to believe that. It could not have happened I'm so dumb. Using ridicule and shame to try and brow beat the opponent into submission.These are not the ear marks of intellectual thought. It's amazing to me that intelligent people will throw in their lots with these fools. Why can't just admit that people can have reasons to believe things they don't agree with? They vested in their little ideology they can't accept anything that counts against it. That means there's no way any sort of logic or evidence will make any difference to them.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Atheist Assualt on Higher Learning

On the CADRE blog I got into it again with an Atheist from the DC crowd named "Russ."

I just can't keep my foot out of my mouth. Yet in his response which are totally ad hominem we not only see the Character assassination tactics I have referred to but also the true nature of that segment the atheist community which I refer to as "ideolgoical."

Of course I've met many atheists in school who were part of the history of ideas program where I did my doctoral work. Most of them would not fall into the category of which I speak. But the those on the net tend to be non academics (maybe working class or white collar business or probably most of them are computer people). Few of them really seem to have any background in anything like Arts and Humanities. They are all very opinionated about how evil useless and stupid arts and humanities are, but they will express a fondness for art because it's pretty. Yet they have nothing but total contempt for any sort of idea that emerges from the realms of human thought governed by arts and humanities as a discipline.

Let's face it, most atheists on the internet think that the only form of knowledge is science. I suspect his is becasue very few of them went beyond the sophomore level in college and most of them are products of trade schools, the kind that advertise "you don't have to waste years learning all that book stuff just get 'hand's on' professional computer learning." Despite this bias against any form of knowledge that doesn't cater to their reductionism, they still feel that they know all about the things they have never studied.

Here is an example of one of them, Ross, who in the comment section demonstrates his utter contempt for any sort of liberal arts ideas:

First he quotes me to show what he's going to attack:


You said,

Of cousre if you are willing to only examine the surface, like a good little reductionist, then of course you are going to create the illusion that there's no God.

You never have to see what you do not wish to see.

I suppose he thought I was saying that he's not bright because he mistakes the term "shallow" for an appraisal of his intellectual abilities. Nothing was further from my mind. I admit I should have used more careful wording not to convey that impression. I just wasn't careful enough. What I really had in mind was that as materialist most atheists believe on in the surface of reality. A rose is a rose is a rose it has has no larger significance, no symbolic value relating to any higher metaphysical meaning. Everything is on the surface. There are elements we don't see but not because they are in other other dimensions or made out of spirit, but just because they are too tiny. In my mind this is surface level because its cutting off a connection with anything beyond, behind or above the material level.

Of course he's been angered because thinks I've said he's not deep as a thinker, which I did not mean to say. I apologize for creating that impression, but I think we can learn a lot from the nature of his response.

His first statement demonstrates true contempt for any form of thinking now sanctified by the ideology Dawkinista reductionism:

There is no reason to go beyond the surface in theology or philosophy of religion. Christianity has had lots of time, most of two millenia, to show even superficially that it offers hope to believers. It doesn't. You can shroud all your pretentions in obscurantist schlock, but in the end, whether you argue at the deepest levels your near-PhD can take you or stick to the shallows where the failures and defects of Christianity are well-lit, you will, just like every other failure of a theologian before you, arrive at nothing of use to practicing believers. You might have an article accepted for publication, but - and you know this to be true - it will, in all likelihood, never even be referenced unless you do it yourself.

Only someone who has never studied these subjects would try to say this. He's saying he doesn't have to study Philosophy because he knows it's stupid. We have seen this voiced in other ways around the net. The major one is the fallacious "Courtier's Reply" which is nothing more than a broad indictment that "your source of knowledge is not sanctioned by my ideology." As I put it on my blog:

Again their reasoning is quite circular since the reasons they would give for reducing religion to superstition don't' apply to modern sophisticated theology, but the fact that it can be labeled "theology" and they don't even know what that means, they stipulate that it must be stupid. So even though their reasons don't apply they just demand that they must do so any way.

Again they are merely stipulating truth and insisting they are right without any just reasons. It's idiotic to try and criticize a whole field you know nothing about. To make up for appalling ignorance they imply a third rate gimmick that is actually made up of two informal fallacies: ipsie dixit and circular reasoning. (Ibid: see link above)

This reminds me of an argument I had with an atheist once who asserted that all Christian theology is a about a big man in the sky, and ti's stupid to believe in a big man in the sky. I answered that Paul Tillich's theology explicitly denies that God is a big man or even a being at all. Process theology certainly denies that as well (based upon Whitehead it defines God as a "community of occasions"--don't ask). This guy asserted that I was lying. I told him well I studied theology and you apparently have not. He then said that's just the "Couriter's Reply" as though I had committed some kind of fallacy of logic. I repeated, "you are factually in error i gave two examples of schools of thought in theology that explicitly contradict what you claim all Christian theology is about. He merely retorted that it didn't count because theology is stupid so whatever the answer is it must be wrong. So he explicitly just refused to to accept a documented factual correction to his error on the grounds that he can basically say anything he wants and doesn't have to know what he's talking about because he's armed with the catch phrase "Courtier's Reply."

Then he gets into ad hominem attacks:

Your degree is largely useless to you and the rest of mankind. Your degree offers you no tools for adding to or augmenting the vast store of accumulated human knowledge.

It's pretty obvious that any Ph.D. is useless in his eyes unless the upshot of having it is to back his ideology. Dawkin's Ph.D. is good because science is the only valid from of knowledge. But if you study the history of science, that's invalid becuase it doesn't give you the sacred gate keeping knowledge of the white lab coat guy. Of course if he knew Dawkins was really a Museum keeper and that his chair was not earned but purchased it might some difference, but I doubt it.

He continues the Ad Hom:

So, you, the near-PhD, hang out on an obscure blog hoping beyond hope that someone will engage you in a way that will at least let you think your pursuing the near-PhD was not a complete waste of time. If it was anything beyond a waste of your time and money, you could solve or at least address some real problem facing humanity. You would not be left wrestling with issues that matter to none but the few helping you waste yet more time working through those fantasy issues over a few beers.
I am so very worried that it might have been a waste of time to learn things. Does not tell us his attitude, and the attitude of a segment of atheists, toward learning? Why would I have to worry that learning "might be" a waste? Why wouldn't I know up front if I thought learning was a value? Why would learning be a waste? Does this not tell us that his value is not learning and knowledge, his value system places very low capital upon actually knowing, but rewards some sort of social use, perhaps making money, but more probably confirming the ideology that he is brain washed upon. Knowledge is only of value in direct proportion to it's confirmation of the ideology, it's ability to assure him that God looks less and less likely, thus to free him from the fear of hell. Actually knowing for the sake of possessing knowledge is clearly not part of his value system. Neither is understanding the things he criticizes. In my view there is no greater intellectual sin than to criticize that of which of you have no knowledge. For the ideologue the ultimate criticism is that an idea is not sanctified by the ideology.

Sadly, your near-PhD does not even provide you with the intellectual wherewithal to respond to my comments in context. It's obvious, J. L., that you did not even attempt to ascertain the context. You quote-mined for fragments that you could attack, then dove right in.
This said by the guy who failed even once provide any focus upon the issues. This is the guy who focuses totally upon the ad hom and whose one great point of attack is that I studied a field that his ideology does not justifying as valid knowledge.

If you had a valuable degree in a useful discipline, you would have been able to discern that I was not in any way trying to disprove the existence of your Christian god. You should have been able to see that the data I noted simply clarified the point that while Christians make their self-serving claims, the veracity of those claims is simply not born out by the data.

Of course I said nothing to imply that proving the existence of God had anything to do wit the issue. He took it that way because, well for obvious reasons. Of course here he's trying to have it both ways by first asserting that it' snot about proving the existence of God then he tries to imply that somehow the data speaks again the existence of God. Of course there is no data against the existence of God, this is nothing more than the height of ignorance.

What is at issue bottom line in this venting of hatred? why do they have to drag their proletarian sense of superior intellect into it every single time as though understanding the truth of the universe is the ultimate proof of one's intellectual worth. As though somehow one's metaphysics is determined by one's IQ? I think this has to do their sense of powerlessness. They hate Ph.D.'s and learning and education and liberal arts becuase they identify it with elites, with an education they are not able to obtain. I've noticed many times that the real venting of hatred against Christians by atheists is often linked to this sense of powerlessness. It caters tot he sense of being a total minority of being looked down upon for views that castigate the vast majority of humanity.

I'm sure that all suited up in your near-PhD, you've got a million proofs for a million gods. I'm sure that any day now, Christians will no longer use the word, "faith" because your proofs will give them reason to use the word "know." I'm sure that for all of your new and improved near-PhD efforts, all Christians will have lives so distinctly superior to that of any non-Christian, that all people will immediately convert to the one true religion headmastered by the one true god.

Doesn't this tell us more about his value system? I mean when I was in the working world in my youth I often found that people on jobs just refused to believe me.It seemed the basic procedure was to doubt what any worker told them. I asked an older worker why this would be the case an he said "they lie, so they expect you to lie. They steal so they expect you to steal." I see the same psychology going on here. The only thing "knowledge" means to the ideologically motivated atheist is a standardized justification for belief system. Its' not a matter of learning, not a matter of expanding horizons, not a matter of starching yourself and seeking truth it's must a matter of justifying the ideology so you don't have to feel inferior anymore. This is his motive for learning, thus he expects it to be my motive for learning.

Millions of people are starving, J.L., and your imaginary god will not do anything about. You will, no doubt, tell me that Christians will do what they can and give the credit to their god, and attribute to god's will all the deaths. If all the time wasted getting near-PhD's and playing big fish on little blog were turned to useful human endeavors, perhaps fewer people would die. But, then if we actually took care of each other, there would be nothing for gods to do, and we know that theology near-PhD's working the religion industry would never stand for that.

I think this really proves my point about power. He equates the lack of social power with his atheism, and the presence of elitism and social oppression with the belief his ideology has singled out as the target of ridicule and the scapegoat for personal failings and the villain which explains the powerlessness they feel in society. Of course since history is not valid knowledge they are totally ignorant of the Christian left which goes back all the way to the Time Christ and finds Christians leading peasant revolts, contributing to socialist, liberation, and freedom movements from Johachin of Flora in the middle ages, to the Peasants of south Germany to the underground rail road to the abolition movement and w omen's suffrage to the civil rights movement to Obama, who is a total contradiction to everything this guy connects up with Christianity as a social ill. Not only are the Christian activist groups a total disproof of his statement (and a much more significant contributor to liberation if he only read some history and knew where to look for them) but theology as well. He's totally missed the 60, 70s, 80s and even 990s where liberation theology guided all of Latin America into revolution, and all of Western Europe into socialism and all of Asia into Min Jung theology and has created liberation and hope for people around the world. All of this escapes his notice because to know anything about it he would have to know something about the forces of knowledge that his ideology writes off as unjustified.

How can it be that a movement that bill itself as "free thought" is really based upon an ideology that excluded 90% of human knowledge as invalid and only sanctions the learning of a tiny sliver of what goes on in the academy? its' because they are not free. Knowledge is power. Instead of learning this they have told themselves and been told "only science is knowledge." Knowledge is power but the only true knowledge is science and the only true science is that which justifies a naturalistic view point. That is neither free nor knowledge. It is ideology. The atheist community is hard at work distributing an anti-intellectual gospel wrapped up in the phony garb of intellectuals. Gee if I studied history I might come with knowledge of another movement that told powerless people they could be powerful if hey eliminated a certain group that caused all their problems and stood in their way. But of cousre that's on the menu of valid knowledge so we can't learn about it.

It should be pretty obvious at this point why the ideology seeks to destroy all forms of knowledge save that which contributes to it's own propaganda. If one were to really learn history and the liberal arts one would see through the ideology.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pixie on Tweb and Toulmin's rational warrant

On tweb I am beset by this know nothing (PIxie) who is so stupid, so badly read. Hes' never heard of Stephin Toulmin and at first he ried to stick me with inventing the idea of "rational warrant." He produced post after post talking about how stupid I am to invent such a dumb idea." Having argued this way all day I finally mentioned Toulmin enough that the monorail actually started talking about it.

But he's still convinced I'm stupid because I'm a Christian, since he doesn't know logic he's convened that "ratioanl warrant" is something I made up.So he goes and finds one or two little things that say "warrant' in connection with Toulmin but they don't say "rational warrant" He's convened this proves that I made up ratinoal warrant and that it's a stupid innovation. his understanding is pathetic he really thinks that because he finds one summary of Toulmin, not the man's own words, but a thumb nail of his idea, and it doesn't say "rational" warrant and it doesn't say "rational warrant is more likely to be true" I say it is, then that means I made up the rational part and i made up the idea of it being more likely. Of course these are stupid ideas. He can't just judge the nature of the idea by thinking about it's content, I have to have an official science person tos ay 'this is good" or else it's not good. That's the decrepit nature of his understanding of thought.

Does it really seem likely to you that a logician would have a concept of warrant that doesn't involve showing likelihood? If you can't show likelihood it may well be warranted anyway, but if you do does that make it wrong? that's the issue, the things there's no official that says the warrant can make it more likely so it guess can't.

do you see how stupid that is? He thinks that it's a devastating indictment of my understanding of Toulmin that Toulmin doesn't say the rational warrant has to be more likely and I do. That is a petty difference. It's from from proving I don't understand Toulmin, he didn't even know Toulmin existed until I told him. Moreover, he's misquoting me anyway. Christopher brought up the issue of likelihood and I said if it's proved to be more likely then obviously it's better warranted. He reads that to mean "Toulmin says rational warrant requires greater likelihood." not what I said not what I meant either. Anyone who thinks that this is a major issue for Toulimin's idea hasn't a clue about concepts. you don't get it. No reason why one cannot or should not demonstrate the likelihood of a rationality warranted proportion. Laconically that would be a stronger warrant. Its' not necessary but it would obvioulsy be better.

we are talking about a proposition backed by 200 empirical studies vs. no counter studies.

he also claimed that he could not find a single example of rational warrant in a goole search.

here's the search from google. how many of these say "ratioanl" warrant?

Did you mean: what is Stephen Toulmin idea of "rational warrant?"

Search Results

Book reviews
- 2 visits - Nov 17
curious theory of branching time so as to accommodate the idea ... stood by "rational warrant" he does not say. Now a judgment that ...... Stephen Toulmin is one of the best philosophers working on the problem of conceptual change. His ...
Book reviews
Rather, the atomic idea and the continuum idea are continually to hand ...
Show more results from springerlink.com
"the genius of couching in terms of rational warrant"
"'tis usual for men to use words for ideas, and to talk instead of thinking .... No it's the genius of Stephen Toulmin whom Britannica encyclopedia shows is ...
http://www.theologyweb.com/.../showt...tional-warrant... - Cached
Metacrock's Blog: On Rational Warrant
- 2 visits - Nov 16
Jul 11, 2010 ... The basis justification for doing this is the "rational warrant. ... always treating rational warrant as though its some sort of freak idea I made up ... "The article discusses the argument of Stephen Edelston Toulmin ...
metacrock.blogspot.com/2010/07/on-rational-warrant.html - Cached
Some Contributions of Existential Phenomenology to the Philosophy ...
by JJ Compton - 1988 - Cited by 4 - Related articles
the formal adequacy of and "rational warrant" ..... and perceptually present to it, yet the idea of truth ..... order," as Stephen Toulmin called them?which form part of the background for the scientific prac? ...
Rationality and Reasonableness: A Discussion of Harvey Siegel's ...
by NC Burbules - 1991 - Cited by 15 - Related articles
It is the idea that there is a boundary beyond which defensible ..... not be stereotyped as just another version of “positivism” - your discussion of Stephen ... Toulmin suggests that a successful account of the "rational warrant" of ...
by G MAGILL - 1991 - Cited by 2 - Related articles
the same Divine Author, whose works cannot contradict each other' (Idea, ...
Show more results from wiley.com
History and the Christian historian - Google Books Result
Ronald Wells - 1998 - History - 248 pages
... Harvey borrows a model from early work by Stephen Toulmin. ... then I would have "rational warrant" for believing that God was part of the cause of the ...
[lit-ideas] Re: lit-ideas Digest (editing) and Missouri) - lit ...
Nov 14, 2008 ... Independent of > "rational warrant"for belief, one may as well believe P and not-P ... Stephen Toulmin is very good on this topic. ...


The Relation of History of Science to Philosophy of Science in The ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
by V Kindi - 2005 - Related articles
"rational warrant" there was for taking one or another of its compo- .... too eager to play down some of his most radical ideas in order to accom- ... Toulmin (1972, pp. 103–. 105) makes a similar point in relation to both the Copernican ...

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Counter Argument
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Arguably, Stephen Edelston Toulmin's The Uses of Argument ...... to be ”..."rational warrant" of claims to correctness' (Rescher (1980), p. 37). A ”rational ...

Science has limits
Oct 29, 2010 ... If you want an idea to be a hypothesis, it has to be testable, ... taht. why else would I use Stephen Toulmin's thing about "rational warrant"
forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?29678-Science-has-limits - Cached
Science has limits
anyone with a real brain can see taht. why else would I use Stephen Toulmin ...
forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?29678-Science-has-limits/... - Cached
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Philosophy Of Language And The Challenge To Scientific Realism ...
by C Norris - Cited by 4 - Related articles
It is often hard to say just when the idea for a book first clicked but in this case ...... Stephen Toulmin and Harry Woolf(Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1971), pp. ...
English Language Philosophy, 1750 To 1945 - Research and Read ...
by O General - 1909
irresistible belief can thereby get a rational warrant. ...... and Stephen ...
Thomas Kuhn - Research and Read Books, Journals, Articles at ...
by T NICKLES - Cited by 43 - Related articles
Stephen Toulmin, John Watkins, and especially Imre Lakatos, whose ...
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Thomas Nickles (ed) - Thomas Kuhn Contemporary Philosophy in Focus
Apr 12, 2009 ... The work of Kuhn, Feyerabend, N. R. Hanson, Stephen Toulmin, ...... a static body of knowledge and asked what rational warrant there was for ...
http://www.docstoc.com/.../Thomas-Ni...sophy-in-Focus - Cached
Thomas Kuhn
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
The work of Kuhn, Feyerabend, N. R. Hanson, Stephen Toulmin, ...... and asked what rational warrant there was for taking one or another of its ...
Thomas Kuhn
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Stephen Toulmin, John Watkins, and especially Imre Lakatos, whose ...... and asked what "rational warrant" there was for taking one or another of its ...
Stephen Edelston - Deutschland - E-Mail, Adresse, Telefonnummer ...
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11. Sept. 2010 ... Philosophy of Science Portal: Deceased--Stephen Toulmin · The Toulmin model today: Introduction to special issue of... On "rational warrant"...



See what's going on here. This is the Tea party know nothing lynch mob mentality that just can't accept being wrong. even though they know nothing, they know they have no logic or they have never heard of Toulmin but because they have no experience of academic life or scholarship or learning they can't imagine that their opponent would know these things. He knows he has nothing to say but he's tryign to find every little picky piece of crap that he can to throw up there.

It's the idiotic lynch mob mentality of the uneducated. That's what athesim has sunck to becasue Dawkins believed that the fundie mentality was what make Christianity and he wanted to re-make it; ignorant, unread, unthinking, foolish hot head violent fools trying to persecute the learned.

Originally posted by The Pixie on T Web


I think it would be interesting to see exatly what you said about Toulmin with regards to rational warrant, given that it now turns out he never used the phrase.

Metacrock: you don't know what Toulmin's rational warrant means?

Metacrock #6, talking about "rational warrant": It's a real ideas I didn't invent it. It was invented by Stephine Toulmin who, if you weren't totally uneducated, you would know is a major guy in logic.

Metacrock #6, talking about "rational warrant": No it's the genius of Stephen Toulmin whom Britannica encyclopedia...

Metacrock #9: he doesn't know anything about ratioanl warrant. he doesn't know about Toulmin he doesn'y know who invented it.

Metacrock #14: I did not invent this remember. Stephen Toulmin. you can look up Toulmin if you don't believe me. I fyou cknow how to look up.

Metacrock #26: I have a whole page on Google every one is hit on rational warrant. The reason you can't find it because you refuse to look where I told you. I looked for STEPHEN TOULMIN you feruse to accept that I have even mentioned him.

Metacrock #26: since you do not know anything about logic (if you did you would know about rational warrants and Toulmin) then you don't know.

Again and again and again you have been citing Toulmin as an authority on rational warrant. Let us keep this in mind as we look at your latest posts.

You were making a big deal about "rational warrant" like it is this important concept invented by Toulmin. The truth is that Toulmin does not use the term! Why cite Toulmin as an authority on rational warrant, if Toulmin has nothing to say about it?

So what it a two-word term is wrong by one word? That makes it 50% wrong!

If Toulmin uses a different term, would it not be a good idea to use the same term? You know, if you want to refer to the same concept, and cite Toulmin to support it?

Two different things, Metacrock

Toulmin: Justification for a claim made in an argument, for example by the prosecution in a law court

Metacrock: Justification for belief

May be I have misunderstood your point here. Maybe you only claim to have a rational warrant to argue the claim, and that warrant is merely a possibility (as Toulmin uses the term), but I seem to remember you saying that rational warrant to you meant that it was the most likely explanation, and that it gave a reason to believe the claim.


ok big genius man put on your thinking cap try to get this through your ignorant little head. the philosopher you never heard of until you met me says that this thing he called "ratioanl warrant' "warrant" for short doesn't matter he meant the same thing, is logical permission to believe with out absolute proof.
very simple concept. nothing complex at all. It just means "If you have a good reason to believe it then it's valid."

Now My argument is that I do not shoot for absolute proof of God's existence I shoot for proof that it is rationally warranted (there's a good reason) to believe in God.

that is nowhere in any way contradictory or out of keeping with Toulmin's idea. nothing contradictory about it. I am much closer to being an expert on Toulmin than you are. You never heard of him until I told you about him. One of my major professors in Ph.D. work studies with him.

this is not a big deal. you are desperate to save face. you are trying to dig up any kind of dirt on me and since you don't know anything you have to try the scatter gun and must make trouble about every little thing. you know that's it.


It shows you are talking out of your backside. You say that rational warrant means it is the most likely explanation. It was only on page one of this thread, so perhaps we can just check:


no I didn't say that little one. I sure did not. you are reading that in.

Metacrock #6: "Rational means "good reason" and "warrant" means permission. It does not mean "it might be possible." It means we have logical permission to believe even if it's not absolutely proved. That doesn't mean it can be improbable."

So you are using the term "rational warrant", and insisting it is gounds for belief, and must be probable.

where the hell do you get that? you just quoted a quote from me where I say exactly what I said I say. Look at the parts in red. that's exactly what I say above. you are dogmatically ignoring that fact and reading in something I never said at all!

nowhere in that quote do I say anything about it meaning that it's more probable.

in fact you look at the quote above I actually contradict the idea that it deals probability. go look turn your little eyes up to the quote now and look!

"It does not mean "it might be possible." It means we have logical permission to believe even if it's not absolutely proved. That doesn't mean it can be improbable."



And to support that you cite Toulmin, who does not use the term "rational warrant", is proving a basis for argument, and does not require it is probable.

Toulmin does use the term ratinoal warrant. I proved you are lying. you are basing that upon two little summaries you read by people who where not Toulmin. I showed you two pages of Google search that showed over a dozen examples of otehr people using the term in relation to Toulmin's idea, and Toulmin himself using it including something he wrote called "ON RATIONAL WARRANT."


If you can do that, then you have a good argument. But it is not Toulmin's warrant, not his model for an argument, so do not cite him as an authority.


(1) it's stupid. If he says "I argue for warrant" and I say "I argue for rational warrant" what's the difference? do you think Toulmin (who you have never read) is arguing for irrational warrant?"

how is warrant different from rational warrant and why does it matter?

(2) why can't you understand ideas? why do you have to so literalistic and picky"

do you not understand that the morel literalistic a person is the dumber they are?

(3) you quoted a summary by Salomone else. show me a quote by Toulmin saying "I do not support Rational warrant but only warrant?"

So when are you going to show that the most likely explanation for mystical experiences is that they come from God? How are you going to do that? You are on your own here, because Toulmin's argument does not require him to do this. You cannot cite him.


You have not answered my arguments on that point. you diverted attention with picky crap. I've kicked your you know what. you have lost give it up sucker.

To be able to fairly assess the probability, you need to consider the alternatives and you need to consider the evidence again your explanation, as well as te evidence for. Something you seem incapable of doing. If you only consider the position evidence for your argument, then you will end up convincng yourself of any nonsense (such as the Earth is flat).

this is just revisiting the same blather that I answered in the thread early on. I have thoughtfully kicked butt on this. go read the first half of the thread. stop bothering me with your ignorant blather.

I had not even heard of the guy until you started throwning his name around.

I know you haven't. that' reflects badly on you. "throwing hi same around" because he's the best and he's famous the fact that you had not heard of him means YOU ARE IGNORANT AND YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING YOU REALLY SHOULDN'T BE COMMENTING ON THIS SUBJECT BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED!



And yet already I have discovered that he does not use the term "rational warrant", and that he does not require that a warrant be probable. Did these two facts elude you in your extensive studies? Or were you trying to hoodwink us? Me, I am guessing bad scholarship.

how do you explain the two pages of google where I put in read all the times it says "rational warrant?" hu? how do you explain the quotes by Toulmin where he says "ration warrant?"

you are a liar and cheat. you know they wont let me quote stuff on here so you think its' safe to lie. I will not put up with your lies. you are a lying little pest you have no education and you can't think.

even after I quoted two whole pages of article you still didn't see it because you are too stupid to look at the evidence.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Need more shovels

On my political blog, Need more shovels, we look at the cuts to medicare and the condition conservative elderly have left themselves in.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why Do Atheists Compare Prayer to Winning the Lottery?

original Lourdes Miracle

Atheist love that comparison but it's totally daft. I think their love it demonstrates their hatred of God. This real proof they are not bright, becuase it shows they can't think analogously. The analogy is obviously about the rate of probability. yet there's no way to consider the probability analogs because one is the result of blind chance the other of a will that meets a designed purpose. The hit rate alone does not make two outcomes analogous. There is no way to calculate the frequency. First of all we are warned in scripture not to "ask amiss." This gimmick the atheists website about amputees has so ridiculously created as a straw man; "close your eye really tight, demand that God create a candy bar in your had, no candy bar, therefore, no God," that gimmick is a straw man because it bears no resemblance to prayer. Prayer is not about getting stuff. So if you ask "god please heal my mother" and she dies anyway you can't assume "God let me down.' Yes didn't get your mother healed and you feel let down but that doesn't you are acutally let down because you don't know what God had in mind or why he did it. There is something to be said for the old cliche that we always get answers but sometimes they are "no."that in itself is stupid, but It points to the fact that there is much more to be considered in prayer than just getting something.


"Winning at a slot machine is not more than nature by itself would produce. An incurable disease disappearing over night is."

I disagree. It's unusual, it's against the odds, and we may not fully understand why it happens, but it's not impossible.
It's not really analogous odds. you can't say that the same odds exist for a will as for blind luck. Even if the hit rates are both based upon very small percentages of hits that doesn't mean they are the same or that they alike or that you can even calculate them the same way.

"Obviously there is or you wouldn't be arguing about it. The only variable that changes (Lourdes rules rule out drugs)"

Except we've seen that visits to Lourdes actually DECREASES the rate of cures, so the only correlation you can assert there is actually a negative one, which doesn't help your case.
Total poppycock. I don't know where you just such bull shit but it's not true. With emprical reuslts you have to go case by case. you are still trying to assume that God obligated to heal every time you ask so you are treat God like a drug or a slot machine. It's automatic he has to do it on pain of being called "non existent." that's just stupid. You are not goign to intimidate God. You are not going shame him into doing it your way. He's not a drug, he's got his own will he will do it his in his time, nothing you can do about it. That is not a vaild comaprision to try and make out like it can be calculated in probability.

answer my theodicy position

Read the question more carefully, this one isn't answered by any theodicy.
Yes it does answer it. sorry you are too lazy to read it but ti does answer it. If you will stop being lazy and read the theory you will see immediately it explains all instances of non healing at least to the extent that it's a classifiable reason why God would allow pain and not heal all the time. You are too lazy to read about it so you just assume it's no good. you dont' even know what it is. Because you wont click on the link I'll explain it again:

Basic assumptions

There are three basic assumptions that are hidden, or perhaps not so obivioius, but nevertheless must be dealt with here.

(1) The assumption that God wants a "moral universe" and that this value outweighs all others.

The idea that God wants a moral universe I take from my basic view of God and morality. Following in the footsteps of Joseph Fletcher (Situation Ethics) I assume that love is the background of the moral universe (this is also an Augustinian view). I also assume that there is a deeply ontological connection between love and Being. Axiomatically, in my view point, love is the basic impitus of Being itself. Thus, it seems reasonable to me that, if morality is an upshot of love, or if love motivates moral behavior, then the creation of a moral universe is essential.

(2) that internal "seeking" leads to greater internalization of values than forced compliance or complaisance that would be the result of intimidation.

That's a pretty fair assumption. We all know that people will a lot more to achieve a goal they truly beileve in than one they merely feel forced or obligated to follow but couldn't care less about.

(3)the the drama or the big mystery is the only way to accomplish that end.

The pursuit of the value system becomes a search of the heart for ultimate meaning,that ensures that people continue to seek it until it has been fully internalized.

The argument would look like this:

(1)God's purpose in creation: to create a Moral Universe, that is one in which free moral agents willingly choose the Good.

(2) Moral choice requires absolutely that choice be free (thus free will is necessitated).

(3) Allowance of free choices requires the risk that the chooser will make evil choices

(4)The possibility of evil choices is a risk God must run, thus the value of free outweighs all other considerations, since without there would be no moral universe and the purpose of creation would be thwarted.

This leaves the atheist in the position of demanding to know why God doesn't just tell everyone that he's there, and that he requires moral behavior, and what that entails. Thus there would be no mystery and people would be much less inclined to sin.

This is the point where Soteriological Drama figures into it. Argument on Soteriological Drama:

(5) Life is a "Drama" not for the sake of entertainment, but in the sense that a dramatic tension exists between our ordinary observations of life on a daily basis, and the ultiamte goals, ends and purposes for which we are on this earth.

(6) Clearly God wants us to seek on a level other than the obvious, daily, demonstrative level or he would have made the situation more plain to us

(7) We can assume that the reason for the "big mystery" is the internalization of choices. If God appeared to the world in open objective fashion and laid down the rules, we would probably all try to follow them, but we would not want to follow them. Thus our obedience would be lip service and not from the heart.

(8) therefore, God wants a heart felt response which is internationalized value system that comes through the search for existential answers; that search is phenomenological; introspective, internal, not amenable to ordinary demonstrative evidence.

In other words, we are part of a great drama and our actions and our dilemmas and our choices are all part of the way we respond to the situation as characters in a drama.

This theory also explains why God doesn't often regenerate limbs in healing the sick. That would be a dead giveaway. God creates criteria under which healing takes place, that criteria can't negate the overall plan of a search.


One might object that this couldn't outweigh babies dying or the horrors of war or the all the countless injustices and outrages that must be allowed and that permeate human history. It may seem at first glance that free will is petty compared to human suffering. But I am advocating free will for the sake any sort of pleasure or imagined moral victory that accrues from having free will, it's a totally pragmatic issue; that internalizing the value of the good requires that one choose to do so, and free will is essential if choice is required. Thus it is not a capricious or selfish defense of free will, not a matter of choosing our advantage or our pleasure over that of dying babies, but of choosing the key to saving the babies in the long run,and to understanding why we want to save them, and to care about saving them, and to actually choosing their saving over our own good.

In deciding what values outweigh other values we have to be clear about our decision making paradigm. From a utilitarian standpoint the determinate of lexically ordered values would be utility, what is the greatest good for the greatest number? This would be determined by means of outcome, what is the final tally sheet in terms of pleasure over pain to the greatest aggregate? But why that be the value system we decide by? It's just one value system and much has been written about the bankruptcy of consequentialist ethics. If one uses a deontological standard it might be a different thing to consider the lexically ordered values. Free will predominates because it allows internalization of the good. The good is the key to any moral value system. This could be justified on both deontolgoical and teleological premises.

My own moral decision making paradigm is deontological, because I believe that teleological ethics reduces morality to the decision making of a ledger sheet and forces the individual to do immoral things in the name of "the greatest good for the greatest number." I find most atheists are utilitarians so this will make no sense to them. They can't help but think of the greatest good/greatest number as the ultaimte adage, and deontology as empty duty with no logic to it. But that is not the case. Deontology is not just rule keeping, it is also duty oriented ethics. The duty that we must internalize is that ultimate duty that love demands of any action. Robots don't love. One must freely choose to give up self and make a selfless act in order to act from Love. Thus we cannot have a loved oriented ethics, or we cannot have love as the background of the moral universe without free will, because love involves the will.

The choice of free will at the expense of countless lives and untold suffering cannot be an easy thing, but it is essential and can be justified from either deontolgoical or teleological perspective. Although I think the deontologcial makes more sense. From the teleological stand point, free will ultimately leads to the greatest good for the greatest number because in the long run it assumes us that one is willing to die for the other, or sacrifice for the other, or live for the other. That is essential to promoting a good beyond ourselves. The individual sacrifices for the good of the whole, very utilitarian. It is also deontolgocially justifiable since duty would tell us that we must give of ourselves for the good of the other.

Thus anyway you slice it free will outweighs all other concerns because it makes available the values of the good and of love. Free will is the key to ultimately saving the babies, and saving them because we care about them, a triumph of the heart, not just action from wrote. It's internalization of a value system without which other and greater injustices could be foisted upon an unsuspecting humanity that has not been thought to choose to lay down one's own life for the other.

If there is some purpose behind these miracles, something to be learned, then we should be able to see some consistency, some pattern, some sense to them. But there is none; they are indistinguishable from random chance.

Obviously there is, that's why I brought up theodicy. Clearly that is it. That explains it and in explaining it gives us a way to understand. That sort of understanding is closed to those of you who want nothing to do with inner life. it's only open to people who have an inner life and who know God and seek God. For the result it's a gibberish becuase you no idea of the depth of being. But that theodicy thing gives a damn good hint. Too bad you are too lazy to read about it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Austin Cline Doesn't Understand Miracles

Talking head and profession know all Austin Cline (Saturday February 7, 2009) weighs in on the question of miracles:
Austin Cline

Both religious and paranormal beliefs are consistently defended by references to so-called "miracles" — events which are so improbable that they simply must have been caused by supernatural or paranormal forces. Believer categorically deny that a purely natural explanation for the events is even possible. The problem is, these "miracles" are often not so improbable after all. To understand why, we just need to know a little math and statistics — subjects which too few people understand well.

quoing Cilne here

In Scientific American Michael Shermer wrote:

[A] principle of probability called the Law of Large Numbers shows that an event with a low probability of occurrence in a small number of trials has a high probability of occurrence in a large number of trials. ... In the case of death premonitions, suppose that you know of 10 people a year who die and that you think about each of those people once a year. One year contains 105,120 five-minute intervals during which you might think about each of the 10 people, a probability of one out of 10,512--certainly an improbable event.

Yet there are 295 million Americans. Assume, for the sake of our calculation, that they think like you. That makes 1/10,512 X 295,000,000 = 28,063 people a year, or 77 people a day for whom this improbable premonition becomes probable. With the well-known cognitive phenomenon of confirmation bias firmly in force (where we notice the hits and ignore the misses in support of our favorite beliefs), if just a couple of these people recount their miraculous tales in a public forum (next on Oprah!), the paranormal seems vindicated. In fact, they are merely demonstrating the laws of probability writ large.

But of course he hasn't given us any examples. this is nothing more than a straw man argument. He's only dealing with one kind of claim. I notice that this is generally true of all of his bs. He just sets up straw man arguments, claims that a significant enough number of christians fall for whatever it is so they it's worth picking on, then attacks his straw man as though it represents a valid position argued by those he wishes to ridicule.

In a review of Debunked! [physicist Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton] invoked "Littlewood's Law of Miracles" (John Littlewood was a University of Cambridge mathematician): "In the course of any normal person's life, miracles happen at a rate of roughly one per month." Dyson explains that "during the time that we are awake and actively engaged in living our lives, roughly for eight hours each day, we see and hear things happening at a rate of about one per second. So the total number of events that happen to us is about thirty thousand per day, or about a million per month. With few exceptions, these events are not miracles because they are insignificant. The chance of a miracle is about one per million events. Therefore we should expect about one miracle to happen, on the average, every month."

Quantifying the rate of miracles is an extremely stupid mission. So many times people are assuming that God is some automatic force that has to obey a set of laws that it can't violate. When we consider that God has a will and a consciousness and doesn't have to do anything we expect "him" to, ever, there may not miracles at all for a century and then one a second for a year and none of a decade and they twenty in the next century and so on. It's a totally foolish to try and predict a rate of miracles.

It almost goes without saying that many bad, poorly reasoned, and unfounded beliefs would not exist if it were not for widespread ignorance — in particular ignorance of science and math. If people were more knowledgeable and better thinkers, they wouldn’t fall for every hokey idea that comes along. Maybe if the above information is spread around a bit, some people will be spared from perpetuating bad beliefs.

He should know about poorly reasoned arguments, since like this one, most of his are.The preceding paragraph for example, plays upon the informal fallacy of guilt by association. It works like this, some miracle claims work by the fallacious method in the straw man example, therefore, since that involves the idea of miracles, then anything that involves the idea of miracles is automatically also invalid.

Then again, maybe not. So many of these beliefs are comforting in various ways, so it could very well be that even exposure to mathematics and scientific facts won't cause very many to seriously reconsider their beliefs. People don't change their minds easily once they have a personal investment in some ideology. I doubt it would hurt, though, so it's probably a good idea for atheists to familiarize themselves first with these issues.

Maybe it could be that some people have actually seen miracles, so they are convinced because they have seen them? No, that can't be it. Why if that were the case then Austin's little smug ideology of supiriority would be wrong. That can't be because Austin went to an Ivy league school and he knows everything. Why's he's a profession know all! He must be right because the universe would be broken if he wasn't.

Unfortunately, math and statistics aren't exactly easy subjects — they aren't simple to learn and they certainly aren't simply to explain to people, especially online. It would probably be a good idea to come up with methods to educate people at least a little bit about these subjects, given how important they are. Can you think of any ways to better explain to people some of the math and statistics necessary to counter false ideas about what is and is not genuinely improbable? Maybe some analogies which help make these large numbers more readily comprehensible?

Unfortunately a lot of people don't' want to beileve. So they just refuse to believe anything that contradicts their little ideology. Let's notice that he doesn't use any examples. He doesn't demonstrate the level of documentation for any argument about miracles. He's merely assuming that the only real proof is the comforting nature and the wild statistically variation. But what he's missing of course is straight out empirical proof, which does exist. For example the diagnostic committee for medical evidence at Lourdes doesn't go by statistics in this sense. They go on a case by case basis. The statistical probability of remission does come into it, but only to the extent that a case in an area where the probability of recovery is 0% and the patient recovers are people assumed to be recovered. This is because with 0% recovery is assumed to be impossible.

one such example is the lungs of Charles Anne.Anne was a young seminary student in the early part of the twentieth century. He developed a case of TB of a kind that left his lungs as ravaged as those of a coal miner with black lung. He was on his death bed and wasn't expected to live. He prayed to the woman who was to become St. Therese of Lisieux (this prayer and its' answer was the second "miracle" that put her over the top for sainthood). The next morning his lungs were good as new. He literally grew back a pair of lungs overnight. This is impossible. You can subject it to statistics: the probability is 0. It's never happened, in all of recorded history. More importantly, there are good reasons to suppose it can't happen; it's impossible. It violates our understanding of the law of nature. For this reason there is more of a barrier to accepting this than just improbability.

All the miracles at Lourdes, both the 66 official miracles the church as so declared and the 2,500 "remarkable cases" that just barely missed making it. The total number is 6,500 cures from Lourdes, most of them coming before the committee was established so they cannot be considered as "official." This is the total number claimed. The following was written by men on Doxa, but my research was from the Marian Library newsletter:

The Lourdes Medical Bureau and the International Bureau hold Symposia and conferences at which medical experts of all kinds present papers on the data of the miracle claims. Both philosophical and medical questions are addressed. The papers of top academic quality and the discussions are very important. There is a very interesting section on the Marian Newsletter site about this, it is well worth reading, but we cannot go into that here. I urge the reader to click on that link and consider all that is said. One of the major issues addressed is the meaning of miracles. The Catholic church does not regard miracles as proof of the existence of God, rather, it understands them as a message, a sign form God, and the Pope has declared that miracles are a call to prayer and to seek God. In light of this realization, I present a few examples of healing from Lourdes:

the part of the verification process in which the claims are subjected to scientific scrutiny involves strict rulesand the requirement of the best medical evidence.


The paradox of human miracle assessment is that the only way to discern whether a phenomenon is supernatural is by having trained rationalists testify that it outstrips their training. Since most wonders admitted by the modern church are medical cures, it consults with doctors. Di Ruberto has access to a pool of 60 - "We've got all the medical branches covered," says his colleague, Dr. Ennio Ensoli - and assigns each purported miracle to two specialists on the vanquished ailment.

They apply criteria established in the 1700s by Pope Benedict XIV: among them, that the disease was serious; that there was objective proof of its existence; that other treatments failed; and that the cure was rapid and lasting. Any one can be a stumbling block. Pain, explains Ensoli, means little: "Someone might say he feels bad, but how do you measure that?" Leukemia remissions are not considered until they have lasted a decade. A cure attributable to human effort, however prayed for, is insufficient. "Sometimes we have cases that you could call exceptional, but that's not enough." says Ensoli. "Exceptional doesn't mean inexplicable."

"Inexplicable," or inspiegabile, is the happy label that Di Ruberto, the doctors and several other clerics in the Vatican's "medical conference" give to a case if it survives their scrutiny. It then passes to a panel of theologians, who must determine whether the inexplicable resulted from prayer. If so, the miracle is usually approved by a caucus of Cardinals and the Pope.

Some find the process all too rigorous. Says Father Paolino Rossi, whose job, in effect, is lobbying for would-be saints from his own Capuchin order: "It's pretty disappointing when you work for years and years and then see the miracle get rejected." But others suggest it could be stricter still.

There is another major miracle-validating body in the Catholic world: the International Medical Committee for the shrine at Lourdes. Since miracles at Lourdes are all ascribed to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, it is not caught up in the saint-making process, which some believe the Pope has running overtime. Roger Pilon, the head of Lourdes' committee, notes that he and his colleagues have not approved a miracle since 1989, while the Vatican recommended 12 in 1994 alone. "Are we too severe?" he wonders out loud. "Are they really using the same criteria?"

Reported by Greg Burke/Lourdes
Copyright 1995 Time Inc. All rights reserved.

There is a lot more involved here than just the assumption of probability of some event that seems comforting and then seems not to happen much. Like most atheists Cline is just cheating himself out of a wonderful life in order to feel superior to some group and thus flatter his ego.