Thursday, February 21, 2008

Turkey-- Our Islamic Doppelganger?

We are nowhere near Halloween, but Tander Edis just had a creepy, creepy essay published in the 'History of Science Society' newsletter. Its like seeing a ghostly double in the mirror:

In the 1970s, political Islam started to gain strength in Turkey as well as the rest of the Muslim world. Evolution became a minor culture war item, as a way for Islamists to demonstrate opposition to secular life without taking the risk of naming official secularism as a target. But creationism came into its own only in the mid 1980s, when in the aftermath of a short period of military dictatorship, religious conservatives gained control of the Turkish Ministry of Education. These conservative Muslims thought evolutionary ideas were morally corrosive, yet they found themselves in an environment where science commanded significant cognitive authority. So they needed a way to suggest that evolution was a fraudulent, scientifically dubious idea. They found the resources they needed in American “scientific creationism,” and invoked Christian creationists in a curious mirror image of the way Turkish secularists regularly relied on Western scientific authorities. While the Muslims downplayed some features of popular American creationism such as a young earth and flood geology, they adopted the bulk of the anti-evolutionary debating points developed by their Christian counterparts. Indeed, the Ministry of Education had many instances of creation-science literature officially translated and made available to high school teachers and libraries. Since this mid-80s breakthrough, Turkish textbooks have often contained anti-Darwinian or explicitly creationist material. The creationist paragraphs have disappeared in the infrequent occasions when secularist parties have shared power and reappeared when Islamists returned to government. At present a moderate Islamist party sympathetic to creationist views holds power. This party won another overwhelming electoral victory in 2007, and so it looks like conservative Muslim concerns will continue to influence Turkish science and education policy for the foreseeable future.
**shudder** A nightmare. A dystopic horror unleashed in reality.

Reality.

Its real.

And its what they want for us.

But dont despair! I gots a good Behe Bash in the works ;)

27 comments:

Darek said...

This is especially depressing when you consider the contributions to science and technology that came from the Muslim world.

As for Behe, are you not bored with him yet? It’s time for the fundies to throw some fresh meat your way.

Nadia said...

The evolution of creationism, huh?

Reynold said...

Yeesh. It's pathetic and ironic, considering that the conservatives here like to imply that the secularists are helping islam by opposing xianity.

For example, Ann Coulter

Phil Donahue: "I just want to make sure we got this right. Liberals hate America. They hate all religions except Islam. Liberals love Islam, hate all other religions."
Ann Coulter: "Post 9/11."
Donahue: "Well, good for you."
--Donahue, MSNBC, July 19, 2002


As far as I know, the "liberals" have never worked with Islam to the admittedly limited extent that the christian religious right has.

Christian Right groups at the UN also continue to strengthen their interfaith ties and internationalize their message through regional conferences and their newfound political power in the international arena.[3] Their shared commitment to opposing LGBT, women’s and children’s rights, abortion, and international cooperation has enabled them to overcome centuries of divisive sectarianism. In addition, Christian Right groups continue to strengthen their ties to Social Conservatives in other religions, including Muslims, Jews and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).


The religious right will use whatever allies they can get for a particular cause, then dump them when they're no longer useful to their causes.

Ann Coulter again, from the first link:

On Islamic extremists: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
-- Ann Coulter, National Review Online, September 2001



A little bit more here.

Matt Dick said...

The United States is patient zero in the epidemic of Creationism, but it's far from the only casualty at the moment.

Here's a fun little video to gape at -- all about Islam's particular brand of "raise your hand if you don't believe in evolution".

bauxmjhh

Anonymous said...

It is not logically possible for atheism (as a personal philosophical stance) to be anything but temporary. At the end of life the atheist will either find it to be manifestly wrong, or the stance will end because the atheist will end. As such, an absolutist and vehement attachment to such a stance seems misplaced; atheism for any particular person can never be anything but a passing phenomenon. Would not, then, the absolutist attachment to an alternative stance--one that at least holds out the logical possibility of staying power--be more rational? By the same token it is not even a logical possibility for a theist to find out that he was ultimately wrong (given that he would not then any longer exist), or to have to face any ultimate consequences for being wrong. However, it is a logical possibility for the atheist to face these things. There is something attractive about a position with the logical possibility of staying power as well as the logical impossibility of finding oneself in very serious trouble. To choose such a stance seems at least reasonable, with plenty of possible upside and no ultimate downside.

Seabhag said...

ERV you just "HAD" to give me the shivers this morning didn't you? :P Thanks a lot.

Anon. Leave Pascal's Wager alone. We've heard it before and aren't convinced by it.

Personally, having come from being raised in a Fundamentalist Christian home, where YEC was taught as truth, athiesm is more rewarding intellectually and emotionally for me.

It had to do with the Bible. I'd grown up being told I was supposed to hear from God. I never had. And the Bible seemed to be full of places where it said two different things. One reason you can be sure most Fundamentalists haven't read the Bible through. Doing that is what caused me to realize that something was 'wrong' with Christianity. And my interest in mythology helped me open my eyes to my atheism to every other god out there.

Lledowyn said...

Yay, Pascal's wager! If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I think I could retire by now. Just for fun though, which god should I follow? I kind of like Thor, and some of the gods in the Roman pantheon look like a lot of fun too. While you're at it, explain how picking your god over the other gods doesn't come with the possibility of "ultimate downside," given that the other gods might be slightly miffed if I didn't pick them. I'm just sayin'.

Rrr said...

Lledowyn said...

-quote- Yay, Pascal's wager! If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I think I could retire by now. Just for fun though, which god should I follow? I kind of like Thor, and some of the gods in the Roman pantheon look like a lot of fun too. -/quote-

Nahh. I "believe" Anon is one of the Lokis (or is that Locos? Motives well known.)

Janine said...

Anonymous said...

It is not logically possible for christianity (as a personal philosophical stance) to be anything but temporary. At the end of life the christian will either find it to be manifestly wrong, or the stance will end because the christian will end. As such, an absolutist and vehement attachment to such a stance seems misplaced; christianity for any particular person can never be anything but a passing phenomenon.


I changed all references of atheism to christianity. Strangely, it makes just as little sense. The only true statement that is made is that any beliefs comes to an end when the holder of that belief dies. The reason is simple, that the dead person in no longer capable to believe anything, let alone come up with a basic thought.

As for Pascal's Wager, I dislike the name. It parses everything down to if there is a god or not. It ignores what type of deity it is or if there is more then one. It should be called Pascal's Roulette Wheel.

SAWells said...

Anonymous seems to be arguing that it's better to be wrong than right is being right means recognising that you're going to die some day.

But we're all going to die anyway. I'd rather live right than live wrong in the meantime.

Mark said...

This should be the automatic response to Pascal's Wager, for anyone who hasn't seen it: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/heaven.html

Torbjörn Larsson said...

It is not logically possible for atheism (as a personal philosophical stance) to be anything but temporary.

But of course atheism is as much about the individual as opposed to the population, as life is about the organism instead of evolution of a population. I.e. nada, zip, zero.

It's rather stupid and irrational to parade Pascal's wager about when there are no rational takers. As only a faithhead would accept anything on faith.

Anonymous said...

lledown:

"Just for fun though, which god should I follow? I kind of like Thor, and some of the gods in the Roman pantheon look like a lot of fun too. While you're at it, explain how picking your god over the other gods doesn't come with the possibility of "ultimate downside," given that the other gods might be slightly miffed if I didn't pick them. I'm just sayin'."

You seem to in essence be asserting that "because not all theological propositions can be correct, none of them are," which is not logically valid. Also you are displaying an attitude toward discerning the truth which you would deplore in other contexts. What if someone said, "Well there are many scientific opinions about evolution. There is the Neo-Darwinian synthesis, Young Earth Creationism, and Intelligent Design. They contradict each other. Obviously none of them has the slightest idea what they are talking about, so there is no need for me to study any of them further. It's all a confused mess, and there's no 'there' there." Maybe you'll retort that the latter two options are just minority opinions and should be discounted, but then I'd have to ask why you'd bring up Thor or the Roman gods as some kind of stumper, given that worship of them is not a currently live proposition anywhere on the planet. Be that as it may, if you can find good convincing apologetical resources and a community of like-minded souls that make worshiping Thor or Jupiter seem like the best bet, then, hey, go for it!

rrr:
What is a Loki?


janine:
Please clarify. I don't understand what you're getting at.


larsson:
"But of course atheism is as much about the individual as opposed to the population, as life is about the organism instead of evolution of a population. I.e. nada, zip, zero."

I'm honestly having trouble parsing this. Please clarify.

mark:

This should be the automatic response to Richard Carrier's article:

http://www.answeringinfidels.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=59

Jeff said...

Anon, your argument against Thor can be summed up by saying that nobody worships him today, so he can't be true.

If this is actually convincing to you, I'm going to request that you sterilize yourself and never vote.

Darek said...

"You seem to in essence be asserting that "because not all theological propositions can be correct, none of them are," which is not logically valid."

Sounds to me like he's saying that paying lip service to a god is absurd because you don't know which god is the God.

Or should the atheist start worshiping at every church just to be safe?

Meschlum said...

Anon:

You seem to in essence be asserting that "because not all theological propositions can be correct, none of them are," which is not logically valid.

The assertion is indeed not correct. Of course, it also was not made.

Also you are displaying an attitude toward discerning the truth which you would deplore in other contexts. What if someone said, "Well there are many scientific opinions about evolution. There is the Neo-Darwinian synthesis, Young Earth Creationism, and Intelligent Design. They contradict each other. Obviously none of them has the slightest idea what they are talking about, so there is no need for me to study any of them further. It's all a confused mess, and there's no 'there' there."

Then your someone would be wrong.

Maybe you'll retort that the latter two options are just minority opinions and should be discounted,

But not because of popularity arguments, so your protest is irrelevant.

but then I'd have to ask why you'd bring up Thor or the Roman gods as some kind of stumper, given that worship of them is not a currently live proposition anywhere on the planet.

Because people may feel an afterlife with Thor would be more fun than one with the Christian god?

Be that as it may, if you can find good convincing apologetical resources and a community of like-minded souls that make worshiping Thor or Jupiter seem like the best bet, then, hey, go for it!

Note the shifting goalposts.


Now that the (very brief) pass through the verbiage is complete, I'd like to perform a more detailed dissection. Warning: lots of text.

Anon: you came in with the following claim, if I may summarize it my way.

1) Lack of belief in an afterlife means that if afterlife exists, you get a bad one.

2) Belief in an afterlife means that, if an afterlife exists, you get a good one.

2.1) (implied) Only belief in the correct afterlife will be rewarded.

3) Since a good afterlife is better than a bad one, people should believe in an afterlife.

3.1) (implied) People should believe in the correct afterlife.

Sadly, all three statements show poor logic, and are incorrect.


For 1) and 2), the problem is that there is No Evidence that:

a) An afterlife exists. If there is none, the issue is pointless.

b) If an afterlife exists, its quality depends on your belief in it.

Without any evidence, you can choose to believe you are right, but you cannot claim that choices based on this belief are rational. Because there is No Evidence.


For point 3), the problem is that there is No Evidence that the cost of a future bad afterlife is worse than the cost of a present belief.


When adressing the implied points, as was done by Lledowyn, you run into an extra issue, which is that...

There is No Evidence that the 'correct' belief is actually correct.


An easy way for you to resolve all this would be to speak reliably, reproducibly, with the dead. Provide evidence that you can really speak to them, that they can answer, and retain self awareness past death, and you've got something.

Until then... You are free to believe what you want. So long as there is No Evidence, others are free to ignore you, or mock you if you persist in pretending to have evidence.


After failing to respond to Lledowyn, Anon compared the issue to science.

I) Science is not a popularity contest. If everyone on earth voted to reverse the laws of gravity, you'd still fall if you tripped.

II) Science relies on evidence. Something happens, you come up with an explanation. Then you *use* that explanation somewhere else to predict things. If it works, you're good. Try it somewhere new. If it fails, you need to discard the explanation (or parts of it), and figure out a new one (or correct the parts that didn't work). then try again.

Science is constantly trying to improve its explanations, to test them in new places and see how well they work. The explanations that survive are called Theories. People have been trying to make them fail for a long time, and it hasn't worked yet.

Creationism and ID have (repeat after me) No Evidence. No a priori explanations that can be used to make predictions. No corrections to the explanations when they don't work.


Comparing science to non-science is therefore not analogous to making statements based on beliefs, which have No Evidence to support them.


Finally, Anon makes a garbled popularity argument in terms of religions, implying that the most common religion should be the right one.

Does this mean that you should convert to Shinto if you go to Japan?

Does this mean that you should try to kill everyone who has another faith, so that your god becomes the real one?

Does this mean that your place in the afterlife is doomed, since religion will change in a few centuries, and you'll be a heretic?

That last one is another interesting argument: unless you follow the precepts of the faith *exactly*, there is a chance that it will change over time. And once it's changed, you (now dead) are not with the majority. So you're in a Bad Afterlife. See you soon!

Lledowyn said...

Darn Meschlum, you pretty much wrote my post for me. I will add, that the Nordic gods are alive and well with their own followers via Neogermanic Paganism. Mind you, I still think they are nuts to follow that, but hey, they happen to worship them.

I will also add that Anon's most likely brand of christianity (some form of evangelism) has less worshipers than Islam. So does that mean that we should worship Allah?

And lastly, it's funny how every time that they get into a corner, the typical theist will try (and fail) to use the science is religion argument. *sigh* Yet another argument that I've heard a million times.

Again anon, since you didn't in your reply, tell me which god I should worship. Also provide evidence as to why this god is right, and why his afterlife is just peachy.

Anonymous said...

meschlum:

You entirely miss my point. I was not making a popularity argument. I was pointing out that the flippant mention of the existence of fringe religious positions such as Thor or Jupiter worship in no way absolves one from applying prudence to the investigation of conflicting religious claims. Again, I detect an attitude here that the mere fact that there *are* conflicting claims somehow justifies the throwing up of hands, the assertion of theological incredulity, and the abandonment of all claims as being worthy of serious examination and discernment. Such an attitude is obviously unacceptable for success in science, and the same goes for religion. And if there is a strong case for worshiping Jupiter, or embracing Shinto, then so be it. Popularity has nothing to do with it. I just don't find there to be much compelling about the invocation of the well-worn "I'm just atheist with respect to one more God than you; which God?; why not Oden?" canard, that's all. To me it is the same as saying "Oh, it's all so complicated! There's no way to figure this stuff out! Screw it!" You perceive IDists to be doing precisely that with science. And you hate it. So why do you do the same thing with religion?

The point of my original somewhat Pascalian post is not to prove God, but merely to try to make the case that based on the weight of logical necessity alone, the overall question calls for a sober consideration of the best arguments on offer from all quarters. The stakes are high enough that one should be searching out the best arguments with an open heart and mind, not looking for the nearest likely-sounding "refutation", not confining oneself to only dealing with the other side's weakest proponents, and not searching for the closest and quickest opportunity to proclaim "case closed!"

Given that it is highly doubtful that anyone here really is afraid of being smitten due to choosing "the wrong God," or seriously expects to end up in Heaven by rejecting theism and thereby passing some sort of "Spanish Prisoner" shell game test set up by Richard Carrier's god, I think the calculus of logical possibility still stands. The atheist needs to be vastly more certain of his conclusions to avoid mishap than the theist. As such, atheistic arguments should simply not be embraced so readily, nor theistic ones rejected (or ridiculed) so readily, given the asymmetric structure of the Pascalian matrix.

Sorry if that makes it sound like the deck is stacked, but it may just be that it is.

Lledowyn:

I hadn't noticed that I was in a corner. Your surmise that I am an evangelical Christian is incorrect Again I made no argument from popularity. As far as which God you should worship, that's something for you to figure out. I can't figure that out for you. I don't doubt that you have an intellect that is capable of handling the task. That is, unless you prefer to remain in "it's all so complicated, so what can a guy do" territory.

Rrr said...

Quoth Meschlum unto anon, in truth: "Until then... You are free to believe what you want. So long as there is No Evidence, others are free to ignore you, or mock you if you persist in pretending to have evidence."

Anon asks: rrr: What is a Loki? Why, He is of course the brutally mocking god of the Norse, among Odin, Thor, Frej, Freja, Baldur and many others. Jim Carrey played one of His many, ever changing characters on film once.

I'll believe whatever I wish. You are, in your ignorance and short of evidence, of course totally at liberty to mock me for it. ;^)

Logan said...

For anyone's interest, Edis has a book-length discussion on this type of stuff in "The Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam".

There's also an article about science and Islam in the new issue of Free Inquiry by Pervez Hoodbhoy.

Tyler DiPietro said...

"To me it is the same as saying "Oh, it's all so complicated! There's no way to figure this stuff out! Screw it!" You perceive IDists to be doing precisely that with science. And you hate it. So why do you do the same thing with religion?"

I'll take this to mean that you think that religion is comparable to science. I ask accordingly: what objective metric do you use to analyze the content of religious claims?

I have examined Christian apologetics, quite more thoroughly than your average Christian. I find that they are usually so riddled with fallacy and stacked assumptions that they can be safely dismissed. So, to rephrase the above question, what are your best arguments?

Anonymous said...

tyler:

The way I evaluate religious claims is by placing them in a test tube and conducting laboratory experiments on them. Obviously. The methodologies of science being omnicompetent, what else could I possibly do? Most claims are amenable to simple titration, others require a mass spectrometer. The most abstruse might require finite element analysis and wind-tunnel testing.

If all else fails I can always fall back on philosophy, history, theology, and direct experience of God through prayer, which as every smart person knows, are wretchedly inferior methods compared to cloud chamber photographs and pH testing.

But, the stakes being so low, those other non-scientific areas of knowledge (as if there could actually be such a thing) are probably better shrugged off without a second look. I mean, what's the worst that could happen, really?

As every good atheist knows, through an exhaustive and painstaking search of theological and philosophical works (the atheist being the empiricist par excellence and all), the essence of faith is believing without any evidence whatsoever from any field of human knowledge whatsoever. And if he hasn't seen this for himself, his many atheist friends will tell him so, and save him from having to do any hard work.

It must be frustrating to really want to find God, as so many atheists do, but to end up being stymied by an utter and complete lack of evidence. The desire is there, but there is just no damned evidence. That's the problem. Ah, well, what can one do, really?

Tyler DiPietro said...

"That's the problem. Ah, well, what can one do, really?"

They could always answer the questions posed to them, as opposed to going on multi-paragraph, confused ramblings that state absolutely nothing of substance.

meschlum said...

Anon: First things first.

I *like* logic. It's fun, playful, and one of the best ways I know to mess with minds. Therefore, I am sad when it is abused.

Thus, should the need ever arise, there is an easy way to make me disappear in a puff of logic.

Simply state that you are not basing your arguments off logic. Faith? Fine. Belief? Sure. Reason? No problem. Logic? FOOM I'm there again.

Easy.

Now, on your reply. You are in italics, I'm in bold for the first pass.


You entirely miss my point.

Great! Maybe it should have been made more clearly?

I was not making a popularity argument.

You were not *only* making a popularity argument.

Also, you only replied to the popularity argument aspect. I wrote a lot more. Did you read it?


I was pointing out that the flippant mention of the existence of fringe religious positions such as Thor or Jupiter worship in no way absolves one from applying prudence to the investigation of conflicting religious claims.

Wall of text. Also, we're not discussing 'conflicting religious claims'. We're discussing the validity of religious claims as a whole.

At least, that's what I think you're doing now.


Again, I detect an attitude here that the mere fact that there *are* conflicting claims somehow justifies the throwing up of hands, the assertion of theological incredulity, and the abandonment of all claims as being worthy of serious examination and discernment.

Wall of text. Your ability to know my mind astonishes me.

Have you heard of James Randi? He'll give you 1 million dollars if you can prove you read minds.


Such an attitude is obviously unacceptable for success in science, and the same goes for religion.

Correct. If there are multiple explanations in science, you test them on something new. The explanations that work are kept.

If you want to link religion to science, explain how you'd test religious claims. And get the same results, no matter who makes the test.

If you can't, then religion can't be compared to science. In this topic, anyway.


And if there is a strong case for worshiping Jupiter, or embracing Shinto, then so be it. Popularity has nothing to do with it.

So you say that science works via popularity (since you say that's why ID and creationism are ignored). Then you say science is like religion. Then you say religion does not rely on popularity. Then you implicity agree that science does not rely on popularity.

One thing is clear: you need to work on your clarity.

But I'm glad to know that you'll embrace any religion that proves itself.


I just don't find there to be much compelling about the invocation of the well-worn "I'm just atheist with respect to one more God than you; which God?; why not Oden?" canard, that's all. To me it is the same as saying "Oh, it's all so complicated! There's no way to figure this stuff out! Screw it!"

So you have compelling arguments for your version of God?

Interesting. Let's hear them, not what you don't think is compelling.

To go with the science analogy, when you have a new model, the important thing is showing it works. Showing that your neighbor's scribbling on a Sudoku puzzle is not biochemistry does not prove you are right.


You perceive IDists to be doing precisely that with science.

Doing what? The appeal from ignorance?

The argument from ignorance goes:

"I don't know, therefore no one does."

Or, as a refinement:

"I don't know, therefore the answer is X."

Please note these summaries. There will be a test. You are now assumed to know them.



And you hate it.

Mostly because it goes on and on, like 'This is the song that never ends...'


So why do you do the same thing with religion?

You have failed the test.

I (at least. Don't know about the others) do not argue that I don't know which God is right, therefore no one does.

What I argue is that the claim that belief is a rational choice *requires* that we know what the rewards are.

I further claim that there is No Evidence that the different theistic claims about an afterlife are correct.

Therefore, I state that choosing to believe based on the afterlife is not a rational decision.

I am not saying that I do not believe. I am not saying that I believe.

I am saying that, with No Evidence for an afterlife, claims about the afterlife are equally valid. And invalid.

In science versus ID, there is evidence. If you have evidence for an afterlife, then please give it. Otherwise, logic based on the properties of the afterlife is like logic based on 1=2. You can prove anything with it, and it's all worthless - even if it's right. Because every wrong statement is also provable.



The point of my original somewhat Pascalian post is not to prove God, but merely to try to make the case that based on the weight of logical necessity alone, the overall question calls for a sober consideration of the best arguments on offer from all quarters.

Wall of text.

Also, why not say what you want to say, rather than go off topic? Strange idea, I know.

Finally, SHOW ME THE LOGIC!

Thank you.



The stakes are high enough that one should be searching out the best arguments with an open heart and mind, not looking for the nearest likely-sounding "refutation", not confining oneself to only dealing with the other side's weakest proponents, and not searching for the closest and quickest opportunity to proclaim "case closed!"

Wall of text.

There are invisible Venusian flatworms in the intestines of every living being on Earth. These creatures consume us from within, causing old age and cravings for cookies.

The stakes are high enough that one should be searching out the best arguments with an open heart and mind...

Oh wait. They are fictional and I just came up with them.

I'll stop channeling you, then.


Given that it is highly doubtful that anyone here really is afraid of being smitten due to choosing "the wrong God," or seriously expects to end up in Heaven by rejecting theism and thereby passing some sort of "Spanish Prisoner" shell game test set up by Richard Carrier's god, I think the calculus of logical possibility still stands.

Wall of text.

So if people are scared of god, they are allowed to dismiss God out of hand, but otherwise not?

You aren't scared of the Venusian flatworms. Let's see your arguments against them!

Also, you are refering to a calculus of logical possibility.

Gwah?

Come here logic, the strange anonymous thing will leave you alone soon (I hope).

You appear to be confusing some form of utilitarian interpretation of mind (which can be valid - see Game Theory) with logic.

Please don't.


The atheist needs to be vastly more certain of his conclusions to avoid mishap than the theist.

Short text! Yay!

Oh, and... Why?

Is there a reason that an afterlife,

* if it exists,
* if it contains both reward and punishment,
* if the total weight of the reward or punishment has higher value than the total weight of life (lots of ifs),

Why would have this reward /punishment depend on correctly reciting an invocation of the Elder Gods rather than on making other people happy?

This is the counter-Pascal again, really.

Namely, a reward in the afterlife is expected to be like a happy life (otherwise, if there is no comparison, how can you know that it's a reward). So wouldn't happiness and creating the same be what is rewarded, rather than only eating figs on Tuesdays?

And then, so long as the theist is content to live and let live, and try to help other people be happy, his or her belief is a) irrelevant and b) of no concern to the atheist, or the theist of a different stripe.


As such, atheistic arguments should simply not be embraced so readily, nor theistic ones rejected (or ridiculed) so readily, given the asymmetric structure of the Pascalian matrix.

Sounds more and more like Game Theory.

Poor you.

I *know* Game Theory.

And you are arguing that your position needs less evidence because it's less reasonable?

Removing the Venusian flatworms will make you immortal and give you superpowers. Obviously, the rewards for their removal are so great that I don't need to defend my position at all.



Sorry if that makes it sound like the deck is stacked, but it may just be that it is.

And it may just be that it's stacked the other way.

Therefore, the argument is invalid. Evidence, remember?



To summarize:

1) You have changed your mind about the topic. Please acknowledge this.

2) You have ignored all but the last part of my earlier response. Please read all of it, and all this one.

3) You are trying (and failing) to make a link between your (poorly undefined) topic and science. Please stop.

4) You argue that implausible positions should require less proof than reasonable ones. Please make sense.

5) You base your premises on a view of people that is strongly influenced by Game Theory. Please go into more detail, so I can rip it to shreds.

6) You assert that you have logic on your side. Please show it, so I can rescue the poor thing.


So, if I may provide a brief summary.

I'm a bit annoyed that you do not appear to have read what I wrote, but then, I write a lot. Fine.

The topic appears to be moving around a lot, which is unsettling. Sticking to one will get you more respect, at least.

Avoid tying your cart to ID - that horse has been dead for quite a while. You might have the makings of a discussion on Pascal's Wager there, but it's obscured by the poor analogies.

I don't really care about your views on theism and atheism. I care about logic and Game Theory.

If you're going to argue that either logic or Game Theory support your views, give me details. Lots of them. Well justified. And prepare to have me exmaine them.

Otherwise, so long as you no longer claim to use logic or Game Theory, feel free to write what you want. I won't mind.

Anonymous said...

meschlum:

Wall of text.

Meschlum said...

Touche, Anon, touche!

Your best argument has completely undone me!

I have been untterly crushed, and must abandon the field.

However, there is a fellow further up, who stated that saying "Oh, it's all so complicated! There's no way to figure this stuff out! Screw it!" was wrong.

Maybe you should get in touch with that person and set them right?

Torbjörn said...

I'm honestly having trouble parsing this.

Simple; atheism is a behavior of a group, not an individual. Your mentioning "personal philosophical stance" is not addressing the "stance" at all. No relevance. Zero. Zip. Nada.

It must be frustrating to really want to find God, as so many atheists do, but to end up being stymied by an utter and complete lack of evidence.

Another religious bed time story to deflect fear, along the line of "science is a religion".

The only non-religious I know of who wanted to literally find a god as opposed to confirm that it is improbable was the Preacher looking for one of the Abrahamic gods, and AFAIU he wanted to kill the bastard.