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Debunking Christianity blog and censorship

unitedandy
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11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
As a purchaser of John Loftus' books and a frequent reader of his blog, Debunking Christianity, a while ago he had a few posts about wanting to end the philosophy of religion (PoR) and about scientism. I decided to voice my disagreement in a substantive way, and enjoyed the exchanges going back and forth. I think I was pretty much the only dissenter and received disgusting abuse (some of it for being a Christian, which was news to me), but I think, by and large, the discussion was fruitful.

Fast forward to his latest such post about scientism, and again, I was pretty much a lone voice in opposing it and subject to some pretty crude abuse, but I responded to it by giving substantive criticisms, as can be seen here:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk...

Anyway, it emerges that for challenging what I consider to be a fringe view, even among atheists, I was banned from the blog by Loftus. The reason given was apparently that I was Christian and that I was heretically challenging the author of the blog, where unconditionally praising seems to have been expected:

"unitedandy, you are just too smart for your own good. You are a word-twisting gerrymanderer who uses definitional apologetics to support what he believes. I haven't got the time to deal with such drivel. Been there done that.

You're looking at technicalities when I want us all to look at concrete examples like a virgin birth, donkeys and snakes that could talk, a shadow, handkerchief or pool could heal people. You don't get it. You won't either until you lose your faith. Since that's not happening in your life today I bid you farewell."

I should clarify that I denied I was a Christian (as anyone who has read one of my debates will know), but only sparingly a) because it wasn't relevant to any of the topics I discussed and b) I didn't think or expect any different treatment, depending on whether I was a Christian or not.

I guess part of this post is just venting. For an author or a critical thinker to ban the only voice of dissent in the posts I commented BECAUSE it was a voice of dissent strikes me as indicative of cult-like behaviour. And pretty shameful conduct as well. Maybe someone could take me to task for being in the wrong someone though? All criticisms of me are welcome, lol.

More broadly though, has stifling reasonable dissent by either side any place in the God debate?

(P.S. I get that every blog owner has the right to do with that blog what they wish. My point is about what kind of role such instruments should play if we want to have a reasonable discussion between theists and atheists, or anyone else really).

Thoughts?
unitedandy
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11/7/2015 1:53:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I probably should say that there was posts on DC I did agree with. But, to my mind, commenting with posts I agree with seems kind of pointless, for the most part.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,147
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11/7/2015 4:40:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
As a purchaser of John Loftus' books and a frequent reader of his blog, Debunking Christianity, a while ago he had a few posts about wanting to end the philosophy of religion (PoR) and about scientism. I decided to voice my disagreement in a substantive way, and enjoyed the exchanges going back and forth. I think I was pretty much the only dissenter and received disgusting abuse (some of it for being a Christian, which was news to me), but I think, by and large, the discussion was fruitful.

Your conversation really brings to light something that has frustrated me for quite some time now:

Anyone who disagrees with the purely "scientific atheist" is by necessity a theists who does not require justification for any (supernatural) claim.

It really is ridiculous. I have been accused by several atheists, the ones usually frequenting the religion forum, that there is no evidence for my God, that I obviously do not understand science because of my faith and other such things.
Why? Basically because I committed the same heresy as you and resisted the claim that science is the only source of knowledge.

Ironically during that time I had some quotes by Kai Nielsen and Derek Parfit (if I remember correctly) in my signature.

I should clarify that I denied I was a Christian (as anyone who has read one of my debates will know), but only sparingly a) because it wasn't relevant to any of the topics I discussed and b) I didn't think or expect any different treatment, depending on whether I was a Christian or not.

And I bet you a hundred bucks that, had you explicitly clarified you are an atheist, less than half of these people would not have resorted to ridiculous insults.

Thoughts?

I quite enjoy a lot of what you have to say and how you say it. I only read two or three of your debates and I have to say those on the problem of evil are the best one can find on this site and those on abortion made me reconsider the pro-life stance (which to some is just another heresy against science and atheism, obviously).

Please write a book so I can read it lol.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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11/7/2015 5:14:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I posted there a while back and was banned too. The funny thing is, I thought at the time since so many there were *so* quick to point how different they are than the "god-botherers" and are only led by "reason and logic" and are "free thinkers", that they would tolerate dissent a bit, well, better.

I've been banned from more, um, conservative Christian blogs for challenging a lot of things put forward and have been called an atheist, heretic, etc, etc.

It's almost as if those sorts of demographics are two sides of the same coin...
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
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11/7/2015 5:16:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 4:40:30 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
As a purchaser of John Loftus' books and a frequent reader of his blog, Debunking Christianity, a while ago he had a few posts about wanting to end the philosophy of religion (PoR) and about scientism. I decided to voice my disagreement in a substantive way, and enjoyed the exchanges going back and forth. I think I was pretty much the only dissenter and received disgusting abuse (some of it for being a Christian, which was news to me), but I think, by and large, the discussion was fruitful.

Your conversation really brings to light something that has frustrated me for quite some time now:

Anyone who disagrees with the purely "scientific atheist" is by necessity a theists who does not require justification for any (supernatural) claim.

It really is ridiculous. I have been accused by several atheists, the ones usually frequenting the religion forum, that there is no evidence for my God, that I obviously do not understand science because of my faith and other such things.
Why? Basically because I committed the same heresy as you and resisted the claim that science is the only source of knowledge.

Ironically during that time I had some quotes by Kai Nielsen and Derek Parfit (if I remember correctly) in my signature.

I should clarify that I denied I was a Christian (as anyone who has read one of my debates will know), but only sparingly a) because it wasn't relevant to any of the topics I discussed and b) I didn't think or expect any different treatment, depending on whether I was a Christian or not.

And I bet you a hundred bucks that, had you explicitly clarified you are an atheist, less than half of these people would not have resorted to ridiculous insults.


Or they they might of just called him a "compromiser". :P I see a lot of that rhetoric thrown at people like Michael Ruse.

Thoughts?

I quite enjoy a lot of what you have to say and how you say it. I only read two or three of your debates and I have to say those on the problem of evil are the best one can find on this site and those on abortion made me reconsider the pro-life stance (which to some is just another heresy against science and atheism, obviously).

Please write a book so I can read it lol.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Fkkize
Posts: 2,147
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11/7/2015 5:47:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 5:16:39 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/7/2015 4:40:30 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
As a purchaser of John Loftus' books and a frequent reader of his blog, Debunking Christianity, a while ago he had a few posts about wanting to end the philosophy of religion (PoR) and about scientism. I decided to voice my disagreement in a substantive way, and enjoyed the exchanges going back and forth. I think I was pretty much the only dissenter and received disgusting abuse (some of it for being a Christian, which was news to me), but I think, by and large, the discussion was fruitful.

Your conversation really brings to light something that has frustrated me for quite some time now:

Anyone who disagrees with the purely "scientific atheist" is by necessity a theists who does not require justification for any (supernatural) claim.

It really is ridiculous. I have been accused by several atheists, the ones usually frequenting the religion forum, that there is no evidence for my God, that I obviously do not understand science because of my faith and other such things.
Why? Basically because I committed the same heresy as you and resisted the claim that science is the only source of knowledge.

Ironically during that time I had some quotes by Kai Nielsen and Derek Parfit (if I remember correctly) in my signature.

I should clarify that I denied I was a Christian (as anyone who has read one of my debates will know), but only sparingly a) because it wasn't relevant to any of the topics I discussed and b) I didn't think or expect any different treatment, depending on whether I was a Christian or not.

And I bet you a hundred bucks that, had you explicitly clarified you are an atheist, less than half of these people would not have resorted to ridiculous insults.


Or they they might of just called him a "compromiser". :P I see a lot of that rhetoric thrown at people like Michael Ruse.

That makes it sound like he is one of them. I haven't read much of Ruse, I disagree with him on almost every topic, but what I have read is that he is not really sympathetic to the new atheists.

I particularly like what he said about Dawkins and The God Delusion:

"Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing. As I have said elsewhere, for the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the ontological argument."

http://www.beliefnet.com...
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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11/7/2015 6:42:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Thoughts?

I'm always sorry when I see the term 'scientism' brought up, Andy. Really, in most of these discussions, the word should be 'empricism.' Science uses empiricism, but not all empiricists are scientists, and not all empiricism is scientific.

Science is just empiricism using best practice methods to eliminate imprecision and error. If you reject empiricism -- if you believe there are non-sensory methods producing viable knowledge -- then you're not necessarily rejecting science as a source of knowledge; you're just saying science isn't the only source of knowledge. But conversely, if an empiricist rejects your view, they're not necessarily doing so because they uphold scientific methods; they may not even be science-literate.

Moreover, if your epistemologies don't even align -- say if you hold that knowledge is any belief you'll act on, while the person you're talking to holds it to be information you can independently show as robust -- then case becomes unarguable.

I didn't see either you or Zarquon define knowledge well enough, Andy, but I think that may have been the case in your discussion. I think you were asking questions outside epistemological alignment, and failing to understand the epistemological assumptions of Zarqon's questions, and both failing to address definitional inconsistencies directly, so it broke down into sneers.

A better blog might have facilitated a reapproach to the discussion, but I could easily understand the blog-owner not wanting the social effects to recur. The decision to ban one member and not another might be to do with the quality of past contributions.
unitedandy
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11/7/2015 7:33:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 6:42:23 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Thoughts?

I'm always sorry when I see the term 'scientism' brought up, Andy. Really, in most of these discussions, the word should be 'empricism.' Science uses empiricism, but not all empiricists are scientists, and not all empiricism is scientific.

Sure. The blog post though was about scientism, roughly speaking that only science is knowledge producing).

Science is just empiricism using best practice methods to eliminate imprecision and error. If you reject empiricism -- if you believe there are non-sensory methods producing viable knowledge -- then you're not necessarily rejecting science as a source of knowledge; you're just saying science isn't the only source of knowledge. But conversely, if an empiricist rejects your view, they're not necessarily doing so because they uphold scientific methods; they may not even be science-literate.

I made this point frequently.

Moreover, if your epistemologies don't even align -- say if you hold that knowledge is any belief you'll act on, while the person you're talking to holds it to be information you can independently show as robust -- then case becomes unarguable.

I didn't see either you or Zarquon define knowledge well enough, Andy, but I think that may have been the case in your discussion. I think you were asking questions outside epistemological alignment, and failing to understand the epistemological assumptions of Zarqon's questions, and both failing to address definitional inconsistencies directly, so it broke down into sneers.

The reason I didn't define knowledge is because doing so seems to me overtly philosophical. At the very least, it's beyond what would be construed as the scientific method. So, it seems question-begging for me to rely on a philosophical insight when folk were arguing there are none. I did ask Zarqon to define knowledge because I was sure both that would use a philosophical conception, thus refuting his own position, and/or describing an inadequate definition, which again would show why epistemology is necessary. But he refused a whole bunch of times, so I guess the discussion was doomed.

Moreover, I don't really think one has to. If we agree that some x is a case of knowledge (however that is defined), the question becomes (for the purposes of scientism) whether every such x is scientific. I think I gave a number of examples to the contrary.

A better blog might have facilitated a reapproach to the discussion, but I could easily understand the blog-owner not wanting the social effects to recur. The decision to ban one member and not another might be to do with the quality of past contributions.

I've got to disagree, see the Loftus quote above.

Also, apart from the odd sarcastic remark (usually after some ridiculous abuse) and a few "lols", every post I made was civil and almost always substantive. It just happened to disagree with Loftus and his blog followers. If you're going to ban someone, why ban the only dissenting voice and the only one who hadn't resorted to character assassination (which even Loftus resorted to). Plus, he's got previous. Right now, he's telling folk on his blog to go after a reviewer of his book.

Anyway, disagree with your assessment, but cheers.
unitedandy
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11/7/2015 7:39:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 5:14:39 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
I posted there a while back and was banned too. The funny thing is, I thought at the time since so many there were *so* quick to point how different they are than the "god-botherers" and are only led by "reason and logic" and are "free thinkers", that they would tolerate dissent a bit, well, better.

I've been banned from more, um, conservative Christian blogs for challenging a lot of things put forward and have been called an atheist, heretic, etc, etc.

<em>: It's almost as if those sorts of demographics are two sides of the same coin...

I think that's absolutely right. I'd also say (maybe it's just a coincidence, or maybe it's to do with applying the principle of charity) the best thinkers tend to be the least aggressive, with a few exceptions of either side.

To be fair, I went into it with my eyes open. I knew Loftus had a reputation for this kind of behaviour (his posts about Jeff Lowder are an example). So, I suspected banning could be a possibility, which is why I made a point of being even more civil than I usually try to be. That way, if I did get banned, it would be for what I said, rather than how I said it. Low and behold . . .
RuvDraba
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11/7/2015 7:48:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 7:33:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/7/2015 6:42:23 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Thoughts?
I'm always sorry when I see the term 'scientism' brought up, Andy. Really, in most of these discussions, the word should be 'empricism.' Science uses empiricism, but not all empiricists are scientists, and not all empiricism is scientific.
Sure. The blog post though was about scientism, roughly speaking that only science is knowledge producing).

The idea that only science is knowledge-producing is misconceived, and speaks to the conflation between science and empiricism that I mentioned earlier.

We had empiricism a long before we had science: trial-and-error engineering, for example, is empirical and seen all through human history. Chipping flint tools and building wooden shelters are empirical processes -- ones that can improve over time, through trial and error. But they cannot be scientific processes until you introduce methods that ancient peoples didn't have.

Does anyone really argue that only science produces knowledge? I think they're talking about empiricism.

Calling it 'scientism' is intellectually dishonest, but politically convenient because it casts stink at scientists, implying that science is a religion with a sacred dogma, when when it's actually the reverse: science is about the most anti-dogmatic intellectual discipline humanity has ever produced. :)
unitedandy
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11/7/2015 7:48:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 4:40:30 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
As a purchaser of John Loftus' books and a frequent reader of his blog, Debunking Christianity, a while ago he had a few posts about wanting to end the philosophy of religion (PoR) and about scientism. I decided to voice my disagreement in a substantive way, and enjoyed the exchanges going back and forth. I think I was pretty much the only dissenter and received disgusting abuse (some of it for being a Christian, which was news to me), but I think, by and large, the discussion was fruitful.

Your conversation really brings to light something that has frustrated me for quite some time now:

Anyone who disagrees with the purely "scientific atheist" is by necessity a theists who does not require justification for any (supernatural) claim.

It really is ridiculous. I have been accused by several atheists, the ones usually frequenting the religion forum, that there is no evidence for my God, that I obviously do not understand science because of my faith and other such things.
Why? Basically because I committed the same heresy as you and resisted the claim that science is the only source of knowledge.

Ironically during that time I had some quotes by Kai Nielsen and Derek Parfit (if I remember correctly) in my signature.

The irony of that is I tried to get a discussion about scientism on here before and failed, which is why I went to DC in the first place, lol.

But yeah, as PCP said as well, it seems to be if you dissent from anything, you're the enemy. Which is bull. Fact is, if it comes down to it, I'm more sure scientism is false than atheism is true, so if scientific atheism were the only game in town, I'd be a theist.

I should clarify that I denied I was a Christian (as anyone who has read one of my debates will know), but only sparingly a) because it wasn't relevant to any of the topics I discussed and b) I didn't think or expect any different treatment, depending on whether I was a Christian or not.

And I bet you a hundred bucks that, had you explicitly clarified you are an atheist, less than half of these people would not have resorted to ridiculous insults.

Perhaps, although I suspect I'd be accused of being a closet theist and so on, which is why I tried to leave it. I stupidly thought it would minimalise the red herrings and ad homs.

Thoughts?

I quite enjoy a lot of what you have to say and how you say it. I only read two or three of your debates and I have to say those on the problem of evil are the best one can find on this site and those on abortion made me reconsider the pro-life stance (which to some is just another heresy against science and atheism, obviously).


Please write a book so I can read it lol.
unitedandy
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11/7/2015 7:59:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 7:48:21 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 11/7/2015 7:33:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/7/2015 6:42:23 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Thoughts?
I'm always sorry when I see the term 'scientism' brought up, Andy. Really, in most of these discussions, the word should be 'empricism.' Science uses empiricism, but not all empiricists are scientists, and not all empiricism is scientific.
Sure. The blog post though was about scientism, roughly speaking that only science is knowledge producing).

The idea that only science is knowledge-producing is misconceived, and speaks to the conflation between science and empiricism that I mentioned earlier.

We had empiricism a long before we had science: trial-and-error engineering, for example, is empirical and seen all through human history. Chipping flint tools and building wooden shelters are empirical processes -- ones that can improve over time, through trial and error. But they cannot be scientific processes until you introduce methods that ancient peoples didn't have.

Does anyone really argue that only science produces knowledge? I think they're talking about empiricism.

Well, some of the bloggers did. Pretty sure Rosenberg thinks along those lines. Atkins described science as "omnipotent", lol.

I'm not sure that's correct.I think when Atkins talks about it, he means science specifically. On the Loftus blog, one of the implications of that from many of the commentators was anti-philosophy. I'd be happy to say something like "scientific empiricism", as long as the meaning is roughly the same.

Calling it 'scientism' is intellectually dishonest, but politically convenient because it casts stink at scientists, implying that science is a religion with a sacred dogma, when when it's actually the reverse: science is about the most anti-dogmatic intellectual discipline humanity has ever produced. :)

Advocates of it (like Rosenberg or Atkins) describe themselves as such. But it's not aimed to be a pejorative (for me anyway), just a placeholder for that kind of project.
Fkkize
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11/7/2015 8:05:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 7:59:51 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Atkins described science as "omnipotent", lol.

I'm not sure that's correct.I think when Atkins talks about it, he means science specifically

Atkins? Like Peter Atkins?
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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11/7/2015 8:12:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 5:47:22 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 5:16:39 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/7/2015 4:40:30 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
As a purchaser of John Loftus' books and a frequent reader of his blog, Debunking Christianity, a while ago he had a few posts about wanting to end the philosophy of religion (PoR) and about scientism. I decided to voice my disagreement in a substantive way, and enjoyed the exchanges going back and forth. I think I was pretty much the only dissenter and received disgusting abuse (some of it for being a Christian, which was news to me), but I think, by and large, the discussion was fruitful.

Your conversation really brings to light something that has frustrated me for quite some time now:

Anyone who disagrees with the purely "scientific atheist" is by necessity a theists who does not require justification for any (supernatural) claim.

It really is ridiculous. I have been accused by several atheists, the ones usually frequenting the religion forum, that there is no evidence for my God, that I obviously do not understand science because of my faith and other such things.
Why? Basically because I committed the same heresy as you and resisted the claim that science is the only source of knowledge.

Ironically during that time I had some quotes by Kai Nielsen and Derek Parfit (if I remember correctly) in my signature.

I should clarify that I denied I was a Christian (as anyone who has read one of my debates will know), but only sparingly a) because it wasn't relevant to any of the topics I discussed and b) I didn't think or expect any different treatment, depending on whether I was a Christian or not.

And I bet you a hundred bucks that, had you explicitly clarified you are an atheist, less than half of these people would not have resorted to ridiculous insults.


Or they they might of just called him a "compromiser". :P I see a lot of that rhetoric thrown at people like Michael Ruse.

That makes it sound like he is one of them. I haven't read much of Ruse, I disagree with him on almost every topic, but what I have read is that he is not really sympathetic to the new atheists.

I particularly like what he said about Dawkins and The God Delusion:

"Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing. As I have said elsewhere, for the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the ontological argument."

http://www.beliefnet.com...

I'm a bit confused, are you referring to "he" as in unitedandy? Perhaps I was unclear in what I wrote before.

I meant - in a very tongue-in-cheek way - that "they" (the DC crowd) would probably accuse him (unitedandy) of being a compromiser like Ruse. I've often seen rhetoric from the DC-like crowd in which they heap abuse on atheists like Michael Ruse because he seems to be a sort of compromising atheist. I know unitedandy (like Ruse) isn't that sympathetic to a lot of New Atheist rhetoric.

I like that quote too.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
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11/7/2015 8:13:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 8:05:54 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 7:59:51 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Atkins described science as "omnipotent", lol.

I'm not sure that's correct.I think when Atkins talks about it, he means science specifically

Atkins? Like Peter Atkins?

Yea. I believe he did that in the debate with WLC. Atkins got wrecked, and I'm not even the biggest fan of WLC.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Fkkize
Posts: 2,147
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11/7/2015 8:18:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 8:12:36 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/7/2015 5:47:22 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 5:16:39 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/7/2015 4:40:30 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
As a purchaser of John Loftus' books and a frequent reader of his blog, Debunking Christianity, a while ago he had a few posts about wanting to end the philosophy of religion (PoR) and about scientism. I decided to voice my disagreement in a substantive way, and enjoyed the exchanges going back and forth. I think I was pretty much the only dissenter and received disgusting abuse (some of it for being a Christian, which was news to me), but I think, by and large, the discussion was fruitful.

Your conversation really brings to light something that has frustrated me for quite some time now:

Anyone who disagrees with the purely "scientific atheist" is by necessity a theists who does not require justification for any (supernatural) claim.

It really is ridiculous. I have been accused by several atheists, the ones usually frequenting the religion forum, that there is no evidence for my God, that I obviously do not understand science because of my faith and other such things.
Why? Basically because I committed the same heresy as you and resisted the claim that science is the only source of knowledge.

Ironically during that time I had some quotes by Kai Nielsen and Derek Parfit (if I remember correctly) in my signature.

I should clarify that I denied I was a Christian (as anyone who has read one of my debates will know), but only sparingly a) because it wasn't relevant to any of the topics I discussed and b) I didn't think or expect any different treatment, depending on whether I was a Christian or not.

And I bet you a hundred bucks that, had you explicitly clarified you are an atheist, less than half of these people would not have resorted to ridiculous insults.


Or they they might of just called him a "compromiser". :P I see a lot of that rhetoric thrown at people like Michael Ruse.

That makes it sound like he is one of them. I haven't read much of Ruse, I disagree with him on almost every topic, but what I have read is that he is not really sympathetic to the new atheists.

I particularly like what he said about Dawkins and The God Delusion:

"Proudly he criticizes that whereof he knows nothing. As I have said elsewhere, for the first time in my life, I felt sorry for the ontological argument."

http://www.beliefnet.com...

I'm a bit confused, are you referring to "he" as in unitedandy? Perhaps I was unclear in what I wrote before.
Ruse

I meant - in a very tongue-in-cheek way - that "they" (the DC crowd) would probably accuse him (unitedandy) of being a compromiser like Ruse. I've often seen rhetoric from the DC-like crowd in which they heap abuse on atheists like Michael Ruse because he seems to be a sort of compromising atheist. I know unitedandy (like Ruse) isn't that sympathetic to a lot of New Atheist rhetoric.
Oh, I thought you meant Ruse uses this kind of rhetoric.
Thanks for clarifying :)
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
unitedandy
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11/7/2015 8:22:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 8:05:54 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 7:59:51 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Atkins described science as "omnipotent", lol.

I'm not sure that's correct.I think when Atkins talks about it, he means science specifically

Atkins? Like Peter Atkins?

https://www.youtube.com...

Yep. Incidentally, one of my favourite debate moments. I despise the arrogance of Atkins. Craig can be insufferable, but Dawkins and Atkins are much worse and unduly so.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,147
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11/7/2015 8:25:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 8:13:47 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 11/7/2015 8:05:54 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 7:59:51 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Atkins described science as "omnipotent", lol.

I'm not sure that's correct.I think when Atkins talks about it, he means science specifically

Atkins? Like Peter Atkins?

Yea.

LOL I started reading his and Professor de Paula's Physical Chemistry literally moments ago. What a coincidence

I believe he did that in the debate with WLC. Atkins got wrecked, and I'm not even the biggest fan of WLC.

I didn't know he advocates this kind of scientism... Oh well, at least he is a good scientist.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
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11/7/2015 8:34:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 8:22:32 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/7/2015 8:05:54 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 7:59:51 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Atkins described science as "omnipotent", lol.

I'm not sure that's correct.I think when Atkins talks about it, he means science specifically

Atkins? Like Peter Atkins?

https://www.youtube.com...

Yep. Incidentally, one of my favourite debate moments. I despise the arrogance of Atkins. Craig can be insufferable, but Dawkins and Atkins are much worse and unduly so.

LOL so my opinion of Aktins drastically went up and then completely hit the floor in a matter of hours now.

Really disappointing hearing him talk like that, since everyone seems to praise and treat his book on physical chemistry like holy scripture.
That video was hilarious :D "the fact that science is omnipotent" made my day.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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11/7/2015 8:36:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 8:22:32 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/7/2015 8:05:54 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 11/7/2015 7:59:51 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Atkins described science as "omnipotent", lol.

I'm not sure that's correct.I think when Atkins talks about it, he means science specifically

Atkins? Like Peter Atkins?

https://www.youtube.com...

Yep. Incidentally, one of my favourite debate moments. I despise the arrogance of Atkins. Craig can be insufferable, but Dawkins and Atkins are much worse and unduly so.

Lol, the look on Atkins face is like "what the hell did I get myself into?"
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
RuvDraba
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11/7/2015 11:22:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 7:59:51 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/7/2015 7:48:21 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 11/7/2015 7:33:33 PM, unitedandy wrote:
At 11/7/2015 6:42:23 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
Thoughts?
I'm always sorry when I see the term 'scientism' brought up, Andy. Really, in most of these discussions, the word should be 'empricism.' Science uses empiricism, but not all empiricists are scientists, and not all empiricism is scientific.
Sure. The blog post though was about scientism, roughly speaking that only science is knowledge producing).
Does anyone really argue that only science produces knowledge? I think they're talking about empiricism.
On the Loftus blog, one of the implications of that from many of the commentators was anti-philosophy. I'd be happy to say something like "scientific empiricism", as long as the meaning is roughly the same.

Scientific empiricism is meaningful, but I still think it doesn't fit the argument.

Science is just empirical exploration with a commitment to best-practice falsification and continuous improvement. So scientific results are a proper subset of empirical results. Science carries an ethical obligation to diligently detect and eliminate error and imprecision, so there's often a lag between empirical observation and scientific validation. (The discovery of radiation, for example.) Thus, scientific knowledge can lag empirical knowledge: empirical knowledge does subsequently become scientific, but there's often a gap.

So there's no sense in which at any moment, all knowledge is scientific. There's at least scientific knowledge and scientifically-unvalidated empirical knowledge.

It might also be that there's intuitive knowledge -- that is, ideas we apprehend without knowing how we know them. Science relies on such intuitions to spawn conjectures and hypotheses -- however, intuitions are subjective -- imprecise, inaccurate, and sometimes incoherent, and science has an obligation to remove subjectivity until whatever objective insight (if any) is all that remains.

There's a residual question about whether intuitive apprehensions are robust enough to be called knowledge, or whether they should be thought a different epistemological category -- and the answer might depend on how you want to use your categories.

But the implication for philosophy I think is this: philosophy appeals to intuition, language and reason. Scientists know that reason alone isn't strong enough to resolve differences of intuition (and probably philosophers know this too.) Thus, scientists set higher quality expectations for knowledge than philosophy alone can produce.

If it should ever transpire that intuitions, language and reason could reliably produce science-quality knowledge of some empirical domain without the need for empirical methods, then Plato's ghost could sigh in satisfaction, and science would have to accept that intuition can be evidence.

However, that hasn't happened despite attempts to clinically test it -- which is not to say that it never shall.

For me, that's the line between the rigour of empiricism and ignorant empiricist zealotry: to point out that intuitions can't be trusted and shouldn't be treated as evidence isn't 'scientism', but to argue that reasoned intuitions are worthless, or that they can never produce evidence is some sort of empiricist zealotry, whether a scientist voices it or no.
Skynet
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11/9/2015 6:10:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 1:50:23 PM, unitedandy wrote:
As a purchaser of John Loftus' books and a frequent reader of his blog, Debunking Christianity, a while ago he had a few posts about wanting to end the philosophy of religion (PoR) and about scientism. I decided to voice my disagreement in a substantive way, and enjoyed the exchanges going back and forth. I think I was pretty much the only dissenter and received disgusting abuse (some of it for being a Christian, which was news to me), but I think, by and large, the discussion was fruitful.

Fast forward to his latest such post about scientism, and again, I was pretty much a lone voice in opposing it and subject to some pretty crude abuse, but I responded to it by giving substantive criticisms, as can be seen here:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.co.uk...

Anyway, it emerges that for challenging what I consider to be a fringe view, even among atheists, I was banned from the blog by Loftus. The reason given was apparently that I was Christian and that I was heretically challenging the author of the blog, where unconditionally praising seems to have been expected:

"unitedandy, you are just too smart for your own good. You are a word-twisting gerrymanderer who uses definitional apologetics to support what he believes. I haven't got the time to deal with such drivel. Been there done that.

You're looking at technicalities when I want us all to look at concrete examples like a virgin birth, donkeys and snakes that could talk, a shadow, handkerchief or pool could heal people. You don't get it. You won't either until you lose your faith. Since that's not happening in your life today I bid you farewell."

I should clarify that I denied I was a Christian (as anyone who has read one of my debates will know), but only sparingly a) because it wasn't relevant to any of the topics I discussed and b) I didn't think or expect any different treatment, depending on whether I was a Christian or not.

I guess part of this post is just venting. For an author or a critical thinker to ban the only voice of dissent in the posts I commented BECAUSE it was a voice of dissent strikes me as indicative of cult-like behaviour. And pretty shameful conduct as well. Maybe someone could take me to task for being in the wrong someone though? All criticisms of me are welcome, lol.

More broadly though, has stifling reasonable dissent by either side any place in the God debate?

(P.S. I get that every blog owner has the right to do with that blog what they wish. My point is about what kind of role such instruments should play if we want to have a reasonable discussion between theists and atheists, or anyone else really).

Thoughts?

Sorry to hear about your treatment there. You are experiencing nothing less than tribal behavior common in most groups of people united by philosophical ideas.
I'd like to challenge atheists out there who believe the old saw that only religious "extremists" are violent, and atheists are cuddly bunnies with foul mouths is all. The comic at the end of this article has been floating around in one form or another for a while.
http://www.patheos.com...
The first time I saw it, ironically, I just got done listening to a documentary on the life of Che. The main difference between most militant religious people and most militant atheists from where I'm sitting is violent religious people today more often are lone attackers who only organize substantially without a stable government, but militant atheists are just as often associated with organized violent groups, like a socialist revolution (Occupy was pretty popular. How many atheists admire Che? He wanted WW3!).

Addressing everyone else too: If you're reading this, and you didn't know, those tend to be bloody from the start, to post-revolution "clean-up," through established Communist party reign, until people get fed up and rebel. Was Cuba or post-crusade Jerusalem worse than Iran or Afghanistan? Pick your poison. Lack of belief in a god does not give you special powers over selfish human nature, lack of self control, moral indignation, rage, or political ambition. Simply not believing the Koran and trusting in empirical testing does not magically impart perfect honesty or the ability to detect all lies automatically. I can guarantee you there is something in astronomy or quantum physics or psychology that you believe in right now that will be shown not to exist in 200 years, and we'll all be laughed at. I don't really expect many to follow my advice, though. The level of vitriol and crazy anger on the Science forum predicts that.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.