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John Shook - Naturalism and the Scientific Outlook
Posted: 13 July 2008 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Doug, thanks for this excellent commentary! Yes, indeed, Stenger makes a key point! He shows theism as blind faith.
  Now theists use the fallacy of equivocation in stating that we naturalists also use faith as theirs is blind and ours is trust. Faith is the I just say so of gullibility! And it is so silly to state that we are dogmatic when we demand evidence!Haughty John Haught excoriates us for not acceeding to his faith claim that there are not other venues of knowledge than the natural when he can provide no evidence for such! So much for enlightened theists! Such a scam!

[ Edited: 29 July 2008 06:14 AM by Carneades [ lord griggs1947] ]
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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 13 July 2008 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I blame a subset of the academic community for giving the fundies this wedge. With their insistence on absolute relativism, with their insistence that science is nothing more than “just another discourse of power,” they handed this(occasionally effective) argument to the fundies on a silver platter. These academics should have known better,

Having studied and worked in academics since 1986, I can only agree. The so-called “culture critics” have theorized themselves into a dark corner from which there is no emerging. At CFI Los Angeles earlier this year, Ibn Warraq demonstrated this point clearly in his presentation “Apologists for Islam.” The apologists include well-known heroes of post-modernism/deconstructionism, such as Michel Foucault, Germaine Greer, and Edward Said, all of whom say that it is perfectly alright for muslims to behead political dissenters, issue fatwahs against authors they do not like, abuse and mutilate women, and indoctrinate children into creeds of hate, because after all we are all western hegemons guilty of colonialism who have no right to question the beliefs of others. The rampant anti-intellectualism and counter-factual “analyses” of the academic humanities is a shame for the free university system. Basically, the “argument” is that all ideas except the Enlightenment ones are equal (either equally valid or equally meaningless, depending upon topic), while Enlightenment ideas are universally “evil.” Since there is no logic to these contentions, the culture critics rely on great clouds of obfuscatory language (try reading Foucault or Derrida or Said some time and find a single sentence that makes any sense or does not try to puff up a truly mundane idea) and large amounts of invective (anyone who disagrees is “complicit” or a “racist/sexist” or has some “agenda” or is a victim of “ideology” or some such nonsense), certainly signs that no true thought is really going on. I am hoping that some day within my lifetime, the iron grip (or grope) of “theory” on the humanities will slip and some real scholarship will emerge. Until then, academic humanities continues to be a major threat to the values of free thought and free expression from within the only cultural system to promote them: Western culture.

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“Each age has a special risk. Ours is letting half the world starve literally and nine-tenths of it starve educationally” - John Fowles, The Aristos

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Posted: 29 July 2008 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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PZ Myers @ Pharyngula notes that we do not have to fathom theology as even simple denials of faith show that there is no god such that theology is itself nonsense. It would be as if great people of wisdom should state that the child is wrong to state that the emperor is naked when erudite people have written long treatises on his attire. So, those who fault Dawkins for not showing an undertanding of more intricate details of natural theology and theology just bray! [ Now, I find that Graham Oppy, my friend, does have a point that Dawkins does not go into much detail.]

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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 03 October 2008 03:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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The presumption of naturalism that Antony Garrard Newton Flew helped developed way before his dotage is that natural cause and explanations are not only effieicent but also necessary,primary and sufficient. Contrary to Gottfried   Wilhelm Leibniz, they are the sufficient reason, This neither begs the question nor sandbags theists but is merely the demand for evidence for the supernatural and the paranormal as Einstein overcame Newton. This eschews dogmatiism.
Fellow skeptic, John L. Schellenberg in
” Wisdom to Doubt,” faults us naturalists for relyiing on ever changing science, but it is our glory! We have to rely on science’s provisionality, the best-evidenced knowledge in science and moralty. That underlines the difference between it and those two transcendent temptations [Paul Kurtz’s"The Ttranscendent Temptation is a must read!.]
Now some declare that religion can change in that it can accept evolution and such, but ultimately it relies on faith, the we just say so of credulity.Faith begs the   question of its subject as it ignores providing evidence therefor. Science is acquired knowledge, as Sydney Hook observes, while faith begs the question of being knowledge.
And contrary to Alvin Platinga and before him, Clive Staples Lewis and Fr. Ewing   in     their argument from reason, naturalism does not self-destruct. We can rely on our senses by trial and error. Theists want a certitude for that trust. The argument   from reason, like the other teleological   arguments- probability, fine-tuning and design- assume what     they should first show that some mind wanted us to arrive. As one notes in the current issue of     Skeptic, had it not been for the random chance of that meteor causing the demise of the dinosaurs, no other big brain would have arrived!
  Blessings and good fortune to all!

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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 06 October 2008 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I think the term “supernatural” is incoherent. It has no real meaning.
First let’s look at common citations of the purported “supernatural”. As a random example, consider ghosts. Let’s say it is conclusively proven that apparitions with the visual and behavioral likeness of departed humans in fact lurk about the earth. Does this prove the supernatural exists? No. It proves the natural world is more bizarre than we thought. Our eyes (or brains) that we see stuff with.. are natural, made of stuff. Atoms. Ghost-stuff (whatever it is) perceived by humans and most probably machines, cameras etc.., is therefore something which interacts with atoms in our retinas or perhaps prefrontal cortex. That makes it quite natural, made of either energy or matter which can interact with other matter or energy.
Next up God. God has the same sort of problem. If he interacts with regular ol’ matter and energy.. he’s just an unusual form of matter and energy him/her/itself. Supernatural would mean separate from the natural.. but any creator god would have to be basically intrinsically linked to all matter and energy. Not very distinct or separate.. decidedly “unsuper”.

Now the philosopher replies with less pedestrian magical-thinking: Well, a second universe a “supernatural” one exists parallel to our own, and never do the two intersect. The first question is, who would care? but snarkyness aside, the idea is still incoherent. What does it mean to be “parallel” to something which does not have physical properties? Parallel/alternate/flipside are all terms that describe physical dimensions and relative locations. You can not be near something that lacks the basic physical properties of the universe you inhabit because “near” would be a nonsense phrase.

re: tautology- In philosophy or science you have to take whatever your most fundamental ideas are as axiomatic. Even if we proved conclusively the naturalistic approach is necessarily correct the new question would simply be “what’s the proof of the proof..” and so on and so on. We arn’t just philosophers, we’re pragmatic critters who need to solve real problems. We have picked the approach that is best at solving real mysteries and problems and advancing our understanding. Will someone come and ask now, do computers really exist? After all the invention is based on the absurd tautology that electrons will keep flowing for the stupid reason they’ve been doing it for billions of years? Should we stop using electonics.. ya know, just in case? After all.. we could be wrong!
Is this really significant or useful discourse? is this what philosophy is about? What a freakin’ waste of time. Get a job, hippy! /rant

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Posted: 13 February 2009 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Haughty John Haught berates us naturalists for not allowing for other venues of knowledge than science but he thereby begs the question of those venues. That bane! He should try to overcome the presumption of naturalism and that of rationalism to portray those venues.
    Fr Griggs doesn’t believe in theologians! Unlike Dawkins who maintains rightly that theology is moonshine and thus one does not have to study it, Fr. Griggs takes on theologians: he has a good sense of humor!
    A videre.

[ Edited: 13 February 2009 03:32 AM by Carneades [ lord griggs1947] ]
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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 11 June 2010 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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sate, yes, that incoherence rings all through that superstition. It makes no sense to speak of the Primary Cause as any god would rely on the law of causation [and any morality]. And as we find no design but rather patterns, He cannot have the referent of Grand Designer. Since He has no referents and has incoherent ,contradictory attributes, He is no more than that square circle or married bachelor, and even He had meaning with referents, He’d be no more than Lord Bertrand William Arthur Russell’s tea pot or just selessly redundant, Alister Earl McGrath notwithstanding.
  As Carneades/Ignostic Morgan, I can state agnostically there is no God as being s square circle is meaningless as being real, though not as being understood [My response to my friend David Ramsay Steele in ” Atheism Explained: from Folly to Philosophy.”
That is Huxley agnosticism the synonym of skepticism,eh?
For serious inquirers there are the blogs .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Strato of Ga. @ WordPress,Thales@ Blogger.com,Thales Ignostic .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Ignosticmorgan’s Blog @WordPress. Feel free to comment at length at any one of them!
I miss Advocatus!
Thus we need to get supernaturalists to define terms with evidence as just defining Him begs the question. We need to be relentless in geting them to see the implications of their superstition!
  Rev. Billly Cracker,Pope Ratz and the Dolly Lama ore on par with Sylvia Brown[e], their mode of argumentation notwithstanding!

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[ Edited: 11 June 2010 06:43 PM by Carneades Thales Strato of Ga. [griggsy ] ]
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[size=6][/“size][color=redLife is its own validation and reward and ultimate meaning>” Inquiring Lynn
      ” God is in a worse condition than the Scarecrow, who had a body to which a mind could enter whilst He has neither. He is that married bachelor. No wonder he is ineffable. ” Ignostic Morgan
” Religion is mythinformation.” An Englishlman.
  ” Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.” Griggsy[/color]

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