Thursday, March 27, 2008

I am posting a comment here I made on another blog.

     The blog is "Comfort Food; Ray Comfort's blog". I am copy-posting my comment here because I expect him to delete it. Anyone interested in the context should check the thread A Blogger's Confession.

"Ray Comfort:

     " No, I haven't been using a name at all. I have been using a noun. It is the same noun used to describe mythical beings in other religions. You have apparently deleted my posts because I will not embrace your lie. If you serve a father of lies, leave the posts deleted. All will understand. If you do not, restore the posts.


     "You are quite correct. I refuse to capitalize a common noun and thus embrace a lie. But I was willing to compromise. Ray knows I was not using anyone's name, nor a substitute for anyone's name. I explained this in another post; but he deleted it in a dishonest manner."

     The fact is that when the word "god" is used as a noun, it is not a name at all. It is a noun that has been used to describe many fictional beings. (At any rate, I have no reason to believe they are not fictional.) No one ever complains about the use of lower-case unless it is a reference to his god. Seriously, does anyone see a problem with the claim that Mars was a Roman god?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Has he checked a mirror?

     The person running the blog Atheist Watch has written a post entitled "The arrogance of ignorance." If you switch the sides of pro-religion and anti-religion, he is easily talking about himself.
     Now, he is quite correct that there are educated christians. I have run across a few and read the works of others. The generally recognize that it is not possible to prove the christian god is correct. It is just something they believe. I can actually respect that. I don't agree with them; but I don't agree with anyone on everything. However, educated christians generally respond to criticisms of their positions with arguments and references to back them up; and even recognize impasses caused by defferences in worldviews. They do not respond with, "You're stupid. Go buy a logic book."
     In his "Fallacious Reasoning" thread, I responded that, if he would actually provide a reference to the text where he gets his definition of "appeal to authority," I would be happy to check it. It doesn't conform to the way I have heard the term used anywhere. I also pointed out that I checked the site where he said he quoted it and couldn't find a citation, making his claim of accessibility suspect. Unsurprisingly, he deleted that post. I say unsurprising because I expect he created his own definition for his own purposes and does not want to be called on it.

     Update: He apparently let the comment through after all. I guess I was wrong. But it had been a full day; and he did make a new post.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Debating tactics

     I have noticed one christian who seems to have the tactic of asking people to justify their worldview or their reasoning ability. (I have little doubt that this method will show up for other belief systems; and I doubt he is unique.) This is, of course a complete sham because all justifications are based on reasoning, axioms, and observations. Simply put, these are the things one must assume before one can justify anything. He can no more justify his worldview than I can mine, because he needs to assume it to make any justifications.
     There is one thing of which I am not certain. I cannot tell whether he is deliberately engaging in a sham or whether he truly cannot see it and doesn't undertand when I explain why it is a sham. Personally, I am inclined to believe that it is deliberate on his part. Either way, it would be pointless to attempt to answer sham questions.