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Monday, July 18, 2011

Stupid 'Atheist' Tricks II

I sometimes present the observation that when hard-pressed logically, 'atheists' (*) will always retreat into illogic and even outright anti-reason, so as to protect their God-denial from rational criticism and evaluation.

In this "Stupid Atheist Trick", the 'atheist' isn't even particularly pressed ... and he still makes a point of planting his flag in the swamp of anti-reason --
statement by a 'theist': "When the findings of physics point to and give probative confidence for believing in a Super Intelligent Creator Being, then it is unreasonable and somewhat not fair to claim a leap is being made when the evidence, the evidence gives us the probative confidence. Not the final reason for believing, but good probative confidence."

response by an 'atheist': "It sounds like you’re suggesting that we can use the evidence to infer a Super Intelligent Creator Being, but this doesn’t really do anything for us - I can infer anything from any evidence, after all."

Evaluation by Ilíon: --

Translation: if I can reason falsely, then you cannot reason truly.

Further translation: it is impossible to know that one has reasoned truly from known facts or truths to presently unknown truths.

Ultimate meaning: it is impossible to reason … or to know any truth.
What our 'atheist' seems to be doing is taking the known fact that "starting with a false premise, one can imply anything ... and its denial" and turning it into something like, "no one can reasonably infer a 'new' truth and *know* that it is true".

And, notice, as I said, the 'atheist' isn't even particularly hard-pressed here before he makes his dash for anti-reason. Here, the 'theist' (*) isn't presenting an argument that God is, much less an irrefutable one; rather, he is countering the frequent twin assertions of 'atheists,' those self-proclaimed Paragons of Reason, that belief in God is both unreasonable and utterly lacking in evidence.

And, of course, when 'atheists' make the above claim, their generally unstated companion assertion is that only "scientific evidence" can ever count as real evidence. One can see this line of "reasoning" in the linked thread. So, the 'theist' -- still attempting the logically impossible task of reasoning with persons who give themselves permission to say just anything, including the denial of what they have just said -- has responded, in effect: "well, you know, the findings of physics, that hardest of the hard sciences, are compatible with 'theism' and even seem to make more sense in a created world than in an accidental world."

(*) When referring the the run of the mill so-called atheist, I generally put the word 'atheist' in quote-marks, because there are passing few real atheists in the world. A real knows that nothing at all makes any difference, whatsoever -- we all die, our societies die, our civilizations die, our species will die, our universe will die; and that's the end of it.

The reason I frequently put the word 'theist' in quote-marks is because the word is generally used to lump the classical pagan polytheists with the modern Hindu polytheists with the Judeo-Christian monotheists -- as though these were points on a continuum. In point of fact, classical paganism and most (if not all) strains of Hinduism lump with materialistic atheism, not with "monotheism".


Crude said...

You know, I'll be honest. I think sometimes your tone is too demeaning - but many times, more than most people seem to credit, I think the tone is warranted. This would be an example of the latter.

One 'trick' I'm particularly tired of is this: "Atheists are just as moral as theists, so you theists better say this if you want any dialogue with atheists." Except A) Who wants dialogue with atheists, particularly New Atheists who are bound by politics more than anything? And B) On what grounds do I say atheists are as moral as theists? My stock reply is, oh, so atheists are typically against abortion, gay marriage, premarital sex, and other things I view as immoral? And that usually seems to shut down that move, if only for that particular moment.

The evidence thing is another crazy-ass twist.

Ilíon said...

"You know, I'll be honest. I think sometimes your tone is too demeaning ..."

I'm demanding: I demand that people be reasonable, logical, and rational and that they hold themselves to the same standard they demand of others. I'm not a partisan about this: I try to not give "the good guys" any slack in this regard, just because I like them or broadly agree with them.

Ilíon said...

"You know, I'll be honest. I think sometimes your tone is too demeaning - but many times, more than most people seem to credit, I think the tone is warranted."

I think my "demeaning" tone is always warranted; else I wouldn't employ it when I do employ it. I had hoped by now you'd have noticed by now that I don't automatically assert intellectual dishonesty of those who merely either disagree with me or assert silly/stupid things ... not even of 'atheists.' My publicly stated view that someone is choosing to be intellectually
dishonest, or my mockery (I mean, the "heartless" or non-gentle mockery) of the things he says, is a response to overall behavior, generally involving superciliousness in addition to a continuing disinclination to reason correctly.

Someone who merely declines to reason correctly about something I think important, I tend lose interest in. Though, it's not an absolute loss, in these cases.

Someone who combines declination to reason correctly with a certain obnoxious hauteur about something I think important, I may (though, not always, of course) call out, and then lose interest in. This tends to be total.

Oddly, perhaps, I far more readily to lose interest in, and stop reading, those whom I had once strongly respected; for instance, since I never had that high an opinion of Vox Day, realizing that he is intellectually dishonest didn't lead me to totally lose interest in reading his thoughts.

Crude said...

I think my "demeaning" tone is always warranted; else I wouldn't employ it when I do employ it.

Of course you do. Hey, I'm just being honest here - and frankly, it's a modest difference of opinion.

I think theists in general need more of an Ilion approach than the opposite. I've personally given up on extreme varieties of niceness.

The old 'acknowledge that atheists are just as moral as theists!' bit is a good example. For a lot of theists, "Of course they are! Why, even better sometimes!" is the knee-jerk response. It's bull, and I really think it stems more from a desire to be polite and nice (or worse, though of as polite and nice) than, you know. The freaking truth.

And yep, I notice you dole it out to everyone, theists and atheists, who you think warrant it. No one can accuse you of theistic bias here, that's for sure.

Take what I'm saying as qualified agreement more than anything.

Ilíon said...

"... and frankly, it's a modest difference of opinion. ... Take what I'm saying as qualified agreement more than anything."

That was pretty clear; but it offered a good opportunity to clarify some things.

"I think theists in general need more of an Ilion approach than the opposite. I've personally given up on extreme varieties of niceness."

In my experience, those extremely nice people -- the ones who cannot abide the "Ilion approach" and are very forward in letting me know just how "un-Christlike" I am (which claim, notice, is no different in principle from the "Ilion approach") -- are anything but nice when they get their hackles up. But, rather than rationally using "not-niceness" as a tool when it is appropriate, it irrationally uses them, and they say and do things they are ashamed of.

"I think theists in general need more of an Ilion approach than the opposite."

People have this strange idea that Christ was the sissy-unto-doormathood that the Victorians depicted him as being. Have they never *read* the Gospels? Have they never tried to see-and-understand how "not-nice" he is, when warranted?

If one can get the "nice" Christians to grudgingly admit that Christ was "not nice," they'll then usually mouth some blather about, "Oh, but that was the religious leaders he called out."

Sabio Lantz said...

You said, " when 'atheists' make the above claim, their generally unstated companion assertion is that only "scientific evidence" can ever count as real evidence. "

I would say that many atheists could not define "scientific evidence" if you asked them. Neither could most theist, for that matter. Heck, it is just hard to define. We all think our word have more meaning that they do. We are all deceived by our own language.

If we only use "evidence based medicine", medicine would never have developed and we'd have to throw out 80% of what we do in Western Medicine. Unless, of course, for "evidence" we count anecdotal evidence, no matter how low, as "evidence".

Anonymous said...

Copied from;f=14;t=6300;st=13920#entry191431 for your convenience. I invite you to join the discussion there, although I suspect you lack the minimal intellectual integrity required to participate in a forum where you aren't protected from your critics.


You are a liar and a cad. Your statements are utterly unsubstantiated and I strongly suspect that you are far too cowardly to make them in a face to face conversation. The combination of ignorance, pomposity, rudeness, and profoundly unjustified arrogance you routinely present make you eminently well suited to Uncommon Descent.

Even in that cesspool of craven imbecility, your abusiveness towards someone who is so clearly your intellectual and moral superior stands out.

I look forward to meeting you one day.



Ilíon said...

"I would say that many atheists could not define "scientific evidence" if you asked them."

Of course.

"Neither could most theist, for that matter."


Ilíon said...

I wonder whether my "intellectual and moral superior" is quite superior enough to realize that any more of his droppings he leaves on my blog shall be sent to the digital compost heap, without being read?

Crude said...

I look forward to meeting you one day.

Okay, Pat. Let's say you meet him. And you're told to your face, "I think Elizabeth Liddle is a liar, and a fool besides."

What would you do next?

Details, please. I'm dying to know.

Ilíon said...

"What would you do next?"

IF Patrick is the same troll who periodically creates a new Google account and then wastes his time for many days posting inane crap that gets immediately deleted, then I am pretty sure his next move would be to proposition me.


Ilíon said...

On the other hand, it's kind of unfair of you to ask Patric the question, and more than "kind of" for me to have pasted about your question. For, after all, should Patrick respond, I will delete his post as soon as I become aware of it; he had his chance and he blew it.

Crude said...

It will forever remain a mystery.

Ephram said...

I'm thoroughly confused as to why Patrick is getting so indignant over Ilion's behavior. He's presumably a full-blown atheistic materialist who adheres to determinism.

I wonder how much moral indignation is warranted for events in a deterministic cosmos, seeing as the outcome of every event that has happened and will ever happen was and has already been determined by the causal matrix arising from the Big Bang.

How could anyone care about fixed outcomes?

On his view of metaphysical naturalism, human beings are biological machines that “unfold” according to the laws of physics – they are not the origins of their actions and they do not deflect the course of events, but are merely conduits through which the processes of nature operate, little parishes of a boundless causal web arising from the Big Bang and perhaps terminating in the Big Crunch. The lives of human beings are simply unfolding physical events. These atheists cannot look back on any event in human history - say the Holocaust, or the Inquisition (those sicko Christians!) - and coherently maintain, "That event should not have happened!," anymore than they can coherently maintain, "The earth should not have formed!," "Evolution should never have taken place!," "That galaxy on the other end of the universe should not have died!," "That star over there should not have become a black hole!," etc.

Hence a heated internet exchange might as well be an internet exchange played out by third-rate robotic machines made out of junkyard scraps. Same deal, essentially.

In this light, if I were such an atheist it would be nearly impossible for me to summon forth genuine care for any occurrence within human history, and to cultivate any sort of genuine hope for the future. Things will simply be what the Big Bang intended them to be, and that's all there is to it.

So why get furious with Ilion's posts when Ilion was clearly unable to write other than they did? And Crude and Sabio Lantz were unable to prevent themselves from responding as they did, and I was somehow unable to stop myself from writing this as a result of Patrick's indignation...

So why the unbridled fury? Why does he allow himself to be so outraged by the alleged intellectual dishonesty of theists like Ilion?


Oh wait. I remember now.

He literally couldn't help himself.

This atheistic worldview is a complete joke.

Ilíon said...

Ephram, welcome to my dusty little corner of the internet.

At one level of analysis, the reason for all this fury is because these so-called atheists don't really believe what they assert to be the truth about the naure of reality (which is why I call them 'so-called atheists').

At another level of analysis, the fury is so strong (and indulged by so many) precisely because I am not "a liar and a cad" and because my "statements are [*not*] utterly unsubstantiated"; nor are the other charges Patrick makes -- even that of rudeness -- true. The anger is because I mock the pretensions of this sort of toy-atheist -- and I have the audacity to teach others the rational reasons *why* it is to be mocked.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Righteous indignation is not the same thing as being indignantly righteous.