March 17, 2011

How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God's Existence


In terms of the meaning of life, the question of identity is a critical one. What is the basis of identity? Is it mainly extrinsic or intrinsic? Are we to understand reality and identity based on appearance alone?  How are logic, truth and identity related? The following is a brief outline of how identity, logic and physics help to prove God's existence. The word "proof" has a fairly relative meaning depending on how you decide what makes for convincing evidence. I would not consider this my favorite logical argument, but a deductive argument entitled "The Organizing Principle of the Universe: Hierarchy and the Central Truth" is logically stronger. This article an inductive argument that leads to the most likely conclusion that God exists. So far, there have not been serious challenges to the premises, though this has not been due to a lack of invitations. The following is an outline:

How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God’s Existence:

I. Formal logic presupposes certain truths theoretically exist as a basis for sound reasoning.
II. The foundation of cohesive logic appears to have been undermined by quantum physics.
III. NDE Cases support a cohesive, logical understanding within a theistic framework.
IV. Materialism has failed to provide support for answers to foundational questions while Theism has provided such support.
V, Conclusion: proof is affirmed by logic and material evidence and the preponderance of evidence supports a theistic interpretation of the universe. 

I. Formal logic requires certain elements as a basis for sound reasoning.

Since the foundation of classical philosophy was laid in Aristotle’s time, the principles of formal logic have been developed and refined. From the beginning, it was noted that universal truth and validity must be presupposed in order for formal logic to work. To this day, a formal philosophical proposition, known as a categorical syllogism, must have both true premises and a valid form in order to be considered logically acceptable. It’s possible to have false premises and a valid form and vice versa.[1 ]The following is an example of a syllogism:

Premise 1: A conventional syllogism offers proof using true premises and a valid form.
Premise 2: Certain philosophies deny true premises and valid forms can exist.
Conclusion: Certain philosophies deny that a conventional syllogism offers logical proof.


As the above syllogism shows, the conventions of formal philosophy have certain philosophical implications in and of themselves. Like today, many philosophers in Aristotle's day tried to reject the fact that consistent truth and validity are required as a basis of debate. They were called Sophists. The Sophist Protagoras stated, "Man is the measure of all things." Everything is relative and there are no values because man, individual man, is the measure of all things.“[2] We see this same opinion today widely accepted in society in various forms.

Among intellectual atheists, the laws of logic are about as popular as pork chops at a bar mitsva. Atheist Ayn Rand defined logic mainly as a subjective art: "Logic is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification."[3] Logic, however, consists mainly of objective laws and principles. I offered to debate atheists at the Debunking Christianity blog but the basic answer was "We don't do logic." Instead, they offer what is called an "Outsider Test" in an attempt to disprove God's existence. The fact is, though, their experiment is based upon the primary laws of logic. The law of identity, law of the excluded middle, and the law of non-contradiction all come into play. Any critical thinking depends on the laws of logic, even if people don't realize they are using the laws intuitively. These laws are quite easy to understand. The law of non-contradiction basically says it is not possible that something be both true and not true. The law of identity says A is A and A is not B. In other words, something is what it is and needs at least one identifying characteristic in order to differentiate it from something else.

II. The foundation of cohesive logic appears to have been undermined by quantum physics.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy testifies of how discoveries in quantum mechanics have shaken the basis of our understanding of the physical world including the nature of identity and uniqueness: "Indeed, the transition from classical to quantum physics marks a genuine revolution in our understanding of the physical world."[4] "This should not suggest that the uncertainty principle is the only aspect of the conceptual difference between classical and quantum physics: the implications of quantum mechanics for notions as (non)-locality, entanglement and identity play no less havoc with classical intuitions."[5]

The definition of Materialism according to Webster’s Dictionary states, “Materialism: a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter.”[6]

Materialists, however, has so far failed to fulfill this definition as a theory. Precious little “can be explained” regarding the most important metaphysical questions of existence. Why is there something instead of nothing? What's the origin of matter, the universe, the origin of life, the origin of information, the origin and makeup of consciousness? Quantum mechanics has undermined the basis of materialist reasoning and logic as well. Quantum physics offers mainly metaphysical under-determinism and more questions than answers.

As you consider the following essential definition of entanglement, you can understand why QM has created a problem for many philosophers: “Quantum entanglement is a process in which two objects are linked together in such a way that any changes to the properties of one can be measured from the other regardless of the distance between them.”[7] Quantum particles remain mysteriously connected no matter how far away. This phenomenon forms the basis of new quantum Internet technology. Boundaries that were assumed to be finite and localized are not. Because of the implications, many materialist philosophers have felt the need to reject proven science in order to maintain their worldview. Take, for example,  this quote by Ayn Rand objectivist Dean Sandin:

“Quantum Mechanics holds that a particle is nowhere and everywhere throughout some extended region, until magic happens and instantaneously it’s at one place. Of course, QM doesn’t say “magic”. But rationally speaking it means magic, i.e., non-identity in various guises, whether named non-locality, backwards-in-time causality, indeterminacy, the (literal and physical) primacy of consciousness, or whatever.

“To reject QM as physically wrong is fine. It’s necessary. But it is not merely physically wrong. The deeper rot in QM is the admission of non-identity into physical reasoning. Doing physics right doesn’t merely mean getting the right answers from a mathematical formalism – not while the underlying entities can’t be non-contradictorily grasped. It also means eliminating the contradictions that prevent the clear grasp of the physical entities. And that means rediscovering identity, and admitting back into the basis of physics the real entities that QM gives up on.”[8]

Note how the "objectivist" materialist philosopher must "reject" proven science because it opposes his subjective view of reality. Sandin's view is not isolated, but represents objectivists in general, according to objectivism101.com:  "In Objectivists circles, one major application of the Law of Identity is to reject the Copenhagen model of Quantum Physics... These, and other ideas, are based on the idea that the light particles do not exist as anything until they are detected. It exists as both a particle and a wave, and yet neither. It has no specific attributes until the probability wave is collapsed. The point of all of this is that it says that something that exists doesn't exist in a particular way. The Law of Identity rejects this."[9]

Objectivists are moderate relativists who recognize the importance of logic to some degree. Atheists who desire to justify their beliefs logically must somehow come to terms with QM paradoxes and address them. Many atheists simply live in denial pretending there is no conflict. According to the objective scientific method, if your hypothesis does not line up with documented scientific facts, the correct decision is not to preemptively reject science, and not to live in denial, but to consider another hypothesis, another explanation. According to the MIT Technology Review, QM studies by scientists in Poland and around the world are identifying information as the bedrock of reality and this point is in perfect agreement with a theist view of creation: "All this work stems from the growing realization that it is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round."[10]

In Darwin’s day, scientists naively referred to the living cell as a simple cell or a simple  lump.. Now we know living cells are incredibly complex. In a similar manner, the subatomic world, as the apparent foundation of the physical world, is more mysterious than first imagined. Article “Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory” by Stanford University has outlined present problematic metaphysical issues related to identity and under-determinism.[11]

Scientific American has outlined how the quantum world is not neatly compartmentalized and separated from our visible day-to-day environment, as philosophers and scientists had thought: “The impression that quantum mechanics is limited to the microworld permeates the public understanding of science… Yet this convenient partitioning of the world is a myth. Few modern physicists think that classical physics has equal status with quantum mechanics; it is but a useful approximation of a world that is quantum at all scales… Until the past decade, experimentalists had not confirmed that quantum behavior persists on a macroscopic scale. Today, however, they routinely do."[12] The studies mentioned in Scientific American show there is an overlap of quantum physics and classic physics in both the micro- and macro- worlds, however, quantum logic and classic, Aristotlean logic remain unreconciled for the materialist, especially since the more mysterious quantum physics forms the primary foundation of the physical world. Studies in quantum physics reveal an under-determinism of specific particles in addition to an under-determinism with regard to larger questions of how sets and systems in the physical world interrelate.

III.  NDE Cases support a cohesive, logical understanding within a theistic framework.

If quantum mechanics seems to dismantle a cohesive logical explanation of the universe, it is likely that there is a non-materialist explanation. Consider another possible explanation of identity. Research has shown that many people, including Ernest Hemingway, have had near death experiences wherein they perceived their spirits were leaving their physical bodies. Ernest Hemingway describes his experience during WWI:

"A big Austrian trench mortar bomb, of the type that used to be called ash cans, exploded in the darkness. I died then. I felt my soul or something coming right out of my body, like you'd pull a silk handkerchief out of a pocket by one corner. It flew around and then came back and went in again and I wasn't dead anymore."[13]

The Apostle Paul described a possible out-of body experience in 2 Corinthians 12. 3-4: "And I know how such a man-- whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows- was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak." 

A skeptic may argue that people who tell of visiting heaven and hell are describing mere psychological experiences, but additional research has shown that eyewitness accounts are, in fact, verifiable.  Pamela Reynolds described a NDE account wherein she realized she was observing her own body from an elevated perspective describing images she could not have seen with her taped-shut natural eyes: "The saw thing that I hated the sound of looked like an electric toothbrush and it had a dent in it, a groove at the top where the saw appeared to go into the handle, but it didn't ... And the saw had interchangeable blades, too, but these blades were in what looked like a socket wrench case ...” She also described statement made during her operation while she was under heavy anesthesia with special clicking earplugs in her ears: "Someone said something about my veins and arteries being very small. I believe it was a female voice and that it was Dr. Murray, but I'm not sure. She was the cardiologist [sic]. I remember thinking that I should have told her about that ... I remember the heart-lung machine. I didn't like the respirator ... I remember a lot of tools and instruments that I did not readily recognize.”[14] The account was documented by BBC and is free for viewing on YouTube,.[15] And part 2, where doctors describe more of the precise details, is also on YouTube[16]

Critics have stated the interview with Reynolds took place three years after the operation and is therefore invalid. However, Pam’s recollection of other details that day remained extremely detailed and vivid and a 13 year Dutch study published in the Lancet, a prestigious, peer reviewed journal, stated the following: The scientists were surprised that the NDErs recalled their experience with the same degree of detail when interviewed again several years later.”[17]

The Lancet published information on another case: "In another account, from a prospective Dutch NDE study, a nurse removed the dentures of an unconscious heart attack victim, and was identified after his recovery as the one who removed them. This surprised him, as that patient had been in a deep coma and undergoing cardie-pulmonary resuscitation at the time.”[18]

People who have been born blind who have recorded testimonies in hospitals with detailed, visual accounts of rooms, instruments, equipment and people they could not have seen with their nonworking natural eyes. Kenneth Ring has interviewed over 30 such blind people with NDE testimonies and describes the accounts in his book Mindsight: Near-death and out-of-body Experiences of the Blind.[19] A videotaped interview with Vicki Noratuk, who had been born blind but saw during her NDE, is listed on YouTube. [20] 

IV. Materialism has failed to provide support for answers to foundational questions while theism has provided such support.

Concepts of truth and validity are required as implied tandem universal certainties in order to propose a conventional philosophical argument. But absolute truth is mainly rejected by materialists because either they don't like the implications there is an absolute moral standard, or, because it seems to be an admission of a transcendent reality. They philosophically depend on implied absolute truth as a foundation for making their arguments while at the same time they mainly reject the reality of the foundation and its wider implications. Quantum physics has further highlighted the logical inconsistency of materialism. Materialists mainly use Aristotelian logic in the day-to-day world, while attempting to apply a separate logic for QM phenomena. However, there is no real clear boundary between these worlds, as referenced in the aforementioned Scientific American article.

Materialism has also failed to provide specific answers for and/or evidence regarding the origin of the universe, the origin of matter, the origin of life, the origin of information, the origin and makeup of consciousness. Many materialists had assumed that dualism had been refuted. But NDE cases and evidence have revived this debate.

Theism does provide a logical and cohesive framework and specific answers to the above questions in keeping with documented evidence and critical reasoning. In theism, the basic laws of logic, such as the law of identity, can be used as tool for comprehensively describing the physical and spiritual world because there is a deeper foundation than the quantum world as a basis for reality. This basis of identity is described in scripture. As note previously, The MIT Technology Review summarized how “ it is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round.”  Hebrew 11.3 confirms how Logic, information and the spiritual dimension form the basis of prime reality. John 1.1, 14 shows how God, as the Logos,  is the logical basis of prime reality. Colossians 1.17 shows how God is both the creator and ultimate enabler of the physical world. Also, scientific studies show that practicing unconditional forgiveness offers incredibly health benefits, likened to quitting smoking.[23]. A lifestyle of thanksgiving[24] and a lifestyle of religious worship also offer significantly increased health and happiness[25]. These facts are not logically supported by a materialist paradigm. Materialist theorists claim that both forgiveness and vengeance are natural and good moral actions. If both forgiveness and vengeance are supposedly morally natural, practical and good instincts, then why do they have opposite health effects? These combined facts underscore the truth that the identity of Christ serves as the reference point for the ideal moral life.

Full Outline: How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God’s Existence:

I.
Formal logic presupposes certain truths theoretically exist as a basis for sound reasoning.
    A. A categorical syllogism, for example, requires the existence of implied universal truth and validity.
        1. At least two laws of logic apply in all possible worlds.
             a. Law of non-contradiction: It is not possible that something be both true and not true.
             b. Law of identity: A = A. Something is what it is and has at least one identifying characteristic.

II. T
he foundation of cohesive logic appears to have been undermined by quantum physics.
    A. A quantum particle has ambiguous identifying characteristics until it is measured and collapsed.
    B. Quantum non-locality and entanglement imply boundaries that were assumed to be finite and localized are not.
    C. QM phenomena and influences are not neatly compartmentalized apart from the Visible day-to-day World
    D. If the physical world is truly interconnected by energy, there is only one implied physical identity.
    E. It is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way around.

III. NDE Cases Support a Cohesive, Logical Understanding within a Theistic Framework.
    A. NDE patients describe situations they could not have perceived with their physical senses.
    B. Reynolds described the appearance of a unique instrument used and recalled a specific conversation.
    C. A Dutch NDE patient described aspects of an operation that occurred observed during clinical death with a cardiac arrest.
    D. People born blind have made accurate, detailed descriptions of images they could not have seen with their natural eyes.
    E. A specific identity and locality is maintained while experiencing clinical death, consistent with the law of identity.
    F. NDE accounts imply that human volition (free will) exists and operates on a spiritual level.
    G. NDE accounts imply a God with a loving nature exists. This supports the theist view over other religions.

IV.
Materialism has failed to provide support for answers to foundational questions while theism has provided such support.
    A. Universal and certain truth and validity are implied as a necessary combination in making formal philosophical arguments but the possibility of absolute truth is rejected by most materialists because of the theistic implications.
    B. Studies in quantum physics offer metaphysical under-determinism while cohesive logic regarding identity remains beyond reach.
    F.  Materialism has Failed to provide minimal answers with regard to the origin of the universe, the origin of matter, the origin of life, the origin of information, the origin and makeup of consciousness.
    G. Theism does provide a logical and cohesive framework and specific answers to the above questions in keeping with related evidence.
 
V. Conclusion
     A. Proof is affirmed by logic and material evidence and the preponderance of evidence supports a theistic interpretation.
         1. The materialist view is logically inconsistent and in conflict with science and evidence implying the supernatural.
         2. The Christian view is supported by cohesive logic, science, evidence and scriptural text.
              a. Hebrew 11.3: Logic, information and the spiritual dimension form the basis of prime reality.
              b. John 1.1, 1.14: God is the logical basis of prime reality.
              c. Colossians 1.17: God is both the creator and enabler of the physical world.

References:
[1] Philosophy Pages: Categorical Syllogisms    http://www.philosophypages.com/lg/e08a.htm, Fundamentals of Logic, http://web.utk.edu/~nolt/courses/logic.html
[2] The History Guide: Greek Thought: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, http://www.historyguide.org/ancient/lecture8b.html
[3] Ayn Rand Lexicon: Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 125., http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/logic.html
[4] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Uncertainty Principle http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/
[5] Ibid.
[6] Webster’s Online Dictionary, Materialism, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/materialism
[7] News.com: Australian Scientists may have Worked out the Mystery of Teleportation, http://www.news.com.au/technology/australian-scientists-may-have-worked-out-the-mystery-of-teleportation/story-e6frfro0-1225739271558#ixzz1GpW3PoWT
[8] Incinerating Presuppositionalism: In Comment posted By Dawson Bethrick October 23, 2010 http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/
[9] Objectivism101: Law of Identity http://objectivism101.com/Lectures/Lecture19.shtml
[10] MIT Technology Review: The Foundation of Reality: Information or Quantum Mechanics?
http://technologyreview.asia/blog/arxiv/23541/
[11] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-idind/
[12] Scientific American,  Living in a Quantum World, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=living-in-a-quantum-world
[13] IANDS: 17 Near-Death Experience Accounts from "Beyond the Light"  http://iands.org/nde-stories/17-nde-accounts-from-beyond-the-light.html
[14] Testimony of Pam Reynolds,  http://www.physicspost.com/physicsforums/topic.asp-ARCHIVE=&TOPIC_ID=898.htm
[15] YouTube: BBC: PAM SEES GOD. NDE Pam Reynolds. Amazing! Full version!, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNbdUEqDB-k&feature=related
[16] YouTube: BBC: PAM SEES GOD. NDE Pam Reynolds. Amazing! 2 part, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osfIY4B3y1U&annotation_id=annotation_815715&feature=iv
[17] the Lancet , Dutch NDE Study, http://www.mikepettigrew.com/afterlife/html/dutch_study.html
[18] The Lancet, "Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A prospective Study in the Netherlands” http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2801%2907100-8/abstract
[19] Near Death: People Born Blind Can See During a NDE, http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence03.html
[20] Near Death Experience - Blind woman SEES while OUT OF BODY, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbtoX3Q5O
[21] New Testament; Romans 1.18-23
[22] Burns, Jennifer; Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right; p2

[23] Templestream, Christmas: The Beauty and Challenge of Forgiveness, http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/12/first-global-christmas-forgiveness.html
[24] Templestream, The Health and Logic of a Thankful Lifestyle, http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/11/health-and-logic-of-being-thankful.html
[25] Templestream, Gallup Polls Highlight Happiness, Health and Logic in Spirituality, http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/12/gallup-polls-highlight-happiness-health.html

Tags: nonlocality contradicts the laws of logic, what is the ultimate basis of logic? Does logic have a logical foundation? physics proves God's existence,  logical proofs of God's existence, documented near death experience NDE as evidence of God's existence, peer reviewed NDE articles

Article last revised January 19, 2012

Related:

The Nature of Truth as a Logical Proof of God's Existence

The Organizing Principle of the Universe: Hierarchy and the Central Truth

The Health and Logic of a Thankful Lifestyle


342 comments:

  1. Hey Rick, I enjoy the exchanges between you and Dawson Bethrick...

    I personally know someone who was pronounced dead, and then came back to life. He came back to life inside the body bag.

    He told me that there was nothing...no shiny lights, no pearly gates, no red devil man.

    He believed there was heaven and hell before the incident, and after, he doesnt know what to think. I dont think that you claiming "There is another dimension, a spiritual dimension, which is verifiable in NDE research and testimonies." is at all accurate.


    So what do you think happend to my friend when he died and came back, yet saw no "spiritual dimension"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Action,

    "I dont think that you claiming "There is another dimension, a spiritual dimension, which is verifiable in NDE research and testimonies." is at all accurate."

    -The NDE research doesn't propose that every person who has a NDE experience sees the same things or must see or experience anything unique at all.

    By saying these experiences are not "accurate" are you implying all NDE should experience something extraordinary in order to be true? I don't believe that.

    I don't believe Ernest Hemingway was lying in his personal account and I don't believe there is any materialist explanation for NDE blind people who offer detailed descriptions of hospital buildings.

    Regards,

    Rick

    ReplyDelete
  3. "are you implying all NDE should experience something extraordinary in order to be true?"

    from what I understood from your blogpost, you are saying that since people have "seen angels" or "blind people have described hospital buildings" it seemed you were saying that everyone had these experiences...so, if some people see angels and some people see nothing at all after having a near death experience, why do you think this proves that there is a spiritual dimension?

    ReplyDelete
  4. "it seemed you were saying that everyone had these experiences."

    - Sorry that this point has become a stumbling block for you. I didn't mean to imply the meaning you suggest in the article.

    I did post two new links in the article that highlight the documented, transcendental nature of identity. One is an interview with Pamela Reynolds Lowery and another with a blind woman named Vicki Noratuk. These videos may help to clarify why these accounts are not explainable based on the standard materialistic understanding of the mind.

    Regards,

    Rick

    ReplyDelete
  5. When are you going to have a post about how quantum physics proves your belief that the invisible god-man in the sky watched earth spin for 4 1/2 billion years and then said "You know, that little spot there in the Middle East is really starting to intrigue me. The other 99% of the planet, not so much. And those little children of mine who have been struggling to live for the last 200,000 years, again, not so much. But this Moses guy is just really fricken awesome!!

    And then he turned himself into a man in order to get a little more personal with his peeps.(Only in the Middle East, of course. He's only one god, right?)
    And after spending a few years making donkeys talk and impregnating the occasional virgin, he decides that a really great idea would be to allow his very own creation, whose very existence is owed to him, to savagely beat himself to death in the most barbaric,disgusting,revolting,sickening,immoral manner possible.

    All in the name of forgiveness and love.
    Right?

    I'll be waiting for that post.

    Oh, a book you might enjoy-"Why I Believed: Reflections From a Former Missionary" by Ken Daniels. It's available on his website for free.

    Hope this post isn't too verbose but whenever I'm enjoying an interesting discussion on an Atheist blog and one of you Christian nutters feels the need to stick your nose in with your religious nonsense, I just kinda like to respond with a friendly "Hi, everyone on this blog is aware of the ridiculous views of christian fruitcakes and and we don't really need to hear yours because we've heard it all before."

    ReplyDelete
  6. Part 1.

    Hello Kilo Papa,

    You seem to be more interested in unloading bitterness and resentment than getting at the truth. Your post is off-topic, essentially a rant against the Bible. If you want to try to disprove the Bible, I suggest you read this post: "An Open Challenge to Bible Critics"

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/01/open-challenge-to-bible-critics.html

    If you want to discuss why there is pain and suffering in the world, the reason is because people are created with free choice and history shows we don't have a very good track record.

    Love requires free choice. By God's free choice He chose to offer grace and mercy and His own life as a sacrifice for us. That is the highest expression of love. Hollywood's egocentric versions of love seem to pale in comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Part 2

    "Oh, a book you might enjoy-"Why I Believed: Reflections From a Former Missionary" by Ken Daniels. It's available on his website for free."

    I checked out his website and story and how Ken's Christian life was based on one faith crisis after another. It's a good example for the blog "Debunking Christianity" where they believe a person's place of birth determines their beliefs.

    When you look for Ken's underlying argumentation against Christianity, it seems to be based upon personal opinion: "A good God wouldn't be like that." My article above isn't so much based on personal opinions but on science and logic. You failed to address any of the points in my article rationally and logically. You can still point out any factual mistakes in my article if you are able to.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Part 3

    "I just kinda like to respond with a friendly "Hi, everyone on this blog is aware of the ridiculous views of christian fruitcakes and and we don't really need to hear yours because we've heard it all before.""

    - If you've heard it all before should probably have a way of refuting its obvious mistakes, right?

    Actually no, you have not addressed any of the points at all. You offer an appeal to hyperbole and personal insults, which is a typical sign of someone at a loss for answers.

    I would suggest you read a brief history of an intelligent physicist "Why I am a Christian" by Professor Henry Margenau.

    People who agree that science and faith in a higher power are compatible are in agreement with a whole bunch of "fruitcakes" as you described: Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Dirac, Wigner and many others.

    http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth16.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. 1) Logic exists. Some blog didn't want to deal with presuppositionalism for the umteenth time. They offered an acceptable reason to reject theism, but we'll ignore that because logic exists.
    2) Some Objectivist on a forum post somewhere is wrong about Quantum Mechanics, and the nature of science.
    3) People have brain trauma hallucinations.

    Conclusion:
    GOD!

    That's not coherent, reasonable, or acceptable. Fail.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello Tatarize,

    >> 1) ...They offered an acceptable reason to reject theism, but we'll ignore that because logic exists.

    - Don't ignore it, whatever it is, please, let's see it.

    >> 2) Some Objectivist on a forum post somewhere is wrong about Quantum Mechanics, and the nature of science.

    - No, not one - according to Objectivism101: "In Objectivists circles, one major application of the Law of Identity is to reject the Copenhagen model of Quantum Physics."

    >> 3) "People have brain trauma hallucinations."

    - No. The events listed describe documented out of body experiences, verified by multiple doctors and first-hand witnesses.

    ------------------

    Here's the deal, Tatarize, moderate relativists, such as objectivists, recognize the need to use logic as a basis of reasoning. But, knowing you a bit, I understand you believe you can say:

    "I believe QM, I believe the law of identity, I believe I have a free will... and there's no problem."

    You are an atheist who seems to be in denial, refusing to acknowledge the logical contradictions of your beliefs. And you don't want to consider the BBC testimonies as valid evidence. To critique these propositions with validity, please use logic and evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  11. D) Your conclusion is fallacious. First you show logic. Then you say well, Objectivist's (but not all atheists) don't agree with quantum mechanics, thus they're relativists (you never conclude that they are wrong about their view of quantum mechanics). Then you bring in your fallacious argument that renders your conclusion fallacious. The argument from ignorance is the most common argument for God. You, first, show something that is very hard to believe (I don't mean that I don't believe it but you need something that'll catch people's attention), yet, instead of trying to do something to show a conclusion, you automatically say that it is God.



    E) Assuming you that your arguments were actually true, your conclusion that the Christianity God is true, is debatable. For instance, in this particular article, you do not argue that the Bible is a reliable source. You do not argue for Christianity, instead, at best, you are arguing for deism. Your arguments, even if they were true, does not prove that the Christian God is real as opposed to Allah, deism, or any other religious god.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  13. These are just the main criticisms of your essay. There are mini, less important nitpickings that I could argue against (such as you being no different than any other "philosophical sophist"). As a former Christian, I really hope that people do not try to use these fallacious arguments because they simply just will not work and are embarrassing. They do not represent an argument against atheism (simply just against Objectivism). Even then the argument is not very good. You spend two paragraphs on quantum mechanics itself, simply citing a philosophical dictionary (as if all philosophies agree on everything), then the rest of your argument is saying that Objectivists are relativists. You don't bother to rebuttal their argument against quantum mechanics. In fact, you don't bother to even explain why they don't believe it. Then thirdly, you commit the fallacy of arguing from ignorance without showing evidence that it was a deity that helped these blind people. Lastly, the most detrimental, you fail to prove why it is the Christian God that people should believe in. Rather than any other deity from any other religion.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Tyler,

    Thanks for your comments but I find fault in your generalizations.

    It is incorrect to say my article and evidence rely solely on the "argument from ignorance."

    For anyone who does not know what this is, here is a published definition: "It asserts that a proposition is necessarily true because it has not been proven false (or vice versa)."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

    Materialists have a much more serious problem than finding supporting truth to "prove" or vindicate "propositions" such as the theoretical origins of matter, life, free will and consciousness - This is what the argument from ignorance implies.

    No, my argument begins with a more presup position. Materialists have a bigger problem in making any kind of proposition whatsoever because there are logical contradictions in their definitions of logic, truth and identity. You can't even make a rational proposition to begin with if you believe logic is either unimportant or contradicts your basic presuppositions about the world.

    Or, Tyler, do you believe it is possible to make a rational proposition without the laws and principles of logic?

    Materialists generally call truth a mere relativistic human convention invented for human happiness but, at the same time, they often recognize the need for absolute principles and laws(intuitively or otherwise)in logic in order to support their propositions.

    >>>...instead of trying to do something to show a conclusion, you automatically say that it is God.

    Wrong again. I underscore the existence of logic and the fixed laws it entails. But my position on logic is not merely theoretical. My worldview, if you want to call it that, is shown to be in harmony with the laws of physics and specific, documented evidence.

    In my conclusion I offer documented and verified NDE experiences. Because science today has a bias - methodological naturalism, atheists offhand call NDE junk science. It is not proposed as science but, nevertheless, it is supporting evidence for a logical worldview.

    The implications of this evidence are in harmony with the laws of logic and the laws of physics. My proposition is more rational philosophically than ones, such as Rand's atheistic objectivism, presented presupposing methodological naturalism.

    ReplyDelete
  15. >>>Lastly, the most detrimental, you fail to prove why it is the Christian God that people should believe in. Rather than any other deity from any other religion.

    - Please re-read the title of the article. What am I actually proposing proof of? The main idea was not to prove the specific theistic God in this one short article. However, I did point out that NDE experiences are largely characterized by accounts of a loving and personal God. This implies Buddhism and other religions may be off.

    If you desire to understand why the Bible and the Christian understanding of God are far superior to evidence for God proposed by other religions, I suggest you read this article:

    An Open Challenge to Bible Critics

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/01/open-challenge-to-bible-critics.html

    Regards,

    Rick

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rick Warden said on incinerating presuupositionalism:"
    I challenge any atheists at this blog to disprove the following argument for God's existence:

    How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God's Existence

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-identity-logic-and-physics-prove.html
    "

    Hey Rick, you never came back after your drive-by post over at Dawson's blog, so I figured I'd come to the source. My refutations are in brackets.

    I. Logic is Based on Universal Truth and Validity.

    [This is false. Logic is a process or technique used for connecting concepts and drawing inferences.
    Formal logic, which is the relevant type (there are others, used in computing and mathematics) can be applied
    to entirely unreal propositions and return logically valid results. For instance, this is a logically valid
    syllogism:

    A:Always two there are, a master and an apprentice
    B:Mace Windu killed the apprentice
    therefore
    C: There is now 1 Sith alive, who is a master

    This is logically valid, and correct within the story. If Lucas had arbitrarily added more Sith, the moviegoing public
    would lose some of their willing suspension of disbeleif. Logic can be used without regard to factual content.]

    ReplyDelete
  17. II. Quantum Physics Undermines Materialist Presuppositions
    A. A quantum particle has no identifying characteristic until it is measured and collapsed.
    [This is incorrect. A quantum particle has indeterminate characteristics which can be defined based on probability.
    While we cannot know specific properties of quantum particles, we can know into what bounds those properties will fall
    and what the probability is that they will fall into each state, although we cannot know what the specific state is until
    it is collaped.]
    B. Quantum non-locality and entanglement imply that boundaries that were assumed to be finite and localized are not.
    [This does not appear to be relevant to the discussion. The assumptions of science are continually updated based on new
    data, and this does not conflict in any way with my presuppositions.]
    If the physical world is interconnected by energy, there is only one implied identity or no identity.
    [While these are all English words and the sentence is grammatically correct, it appears to convey no semantic meaning.]
    C. It is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round.
    [Granted. This also does not conflict with my presuppostions, and I am an atheist, making this and A above examples of a
    strawman fallacy.]
    III. Evidence from NDE studies reveal the laws of logic and physics are in fact consistent.
    A. Evidence of this phenomenon is verified by multiple doctors in the case of Pamela Reynolds.
    1. Reynolds accurately described the appearance of a unique instrument used to cut her skull open, that she had never heard described or seen with her physical eyes.
    [The latter portion of this statement is unproven. It is entirely within the scope of current knowlege regarding
    cognition and neural function that she could have seen the device before or after the surgery and edited that sight into
    a different time frame in her memory. Memory of temporal intervals is often poor, and memory inconsitencies are a known
    side effect of surgical anasthesia.]
    2. Reynolds accurately described specific conversations between doctors she could not have heard with her natural ears, according to the actual time-line of events.
    [This is incorrect. Per the timeline of the surgery available to me, the statement she recalled was made prior to her clinical
    death. ]

    ReplyDelete
  18. B. People born blind have made accurate, detailed descriptions of images they could not have seen with their natural eyes.
    [Citation needed]
    C. The specific identity of individuals is maintained after experiencing clinical death, consistent with the law of identity.
    [If this means to say that a person who is revived from a breif state of clinical death retains their memory and personality
    it is unclear to me why it is introduced. Memory shapes personality, and memory is physically recorded in the brain. The clinical death
    stte is short enough that no significant physical damage to the brain ooccurs, then there is no reason why the brain should treat it differently from any other period of unconsciousness.]

    D. NDE accounts confirm that human volition exists on a spiritual level.
    [Not proven. See A above, and the extensive literature mentioned earler in the blog and dismissed due to the supposed counterexample she provides.]
    E. Metaphysically, materialists cannot account for human volition and free will. A closed system of cause, effect and probability cannot conceivably produce free will.
    [Logical fallacy: Appeal to emotion. The fact that you, or indded most people, might consider somthing unpalatabnle does not mean that it is untrue.
    Arguements regarding free will are also essentially meaningless. Either we have free will, or it was predetermined that
    we would feel like we have it, and neither proposition is verifiable. ]

    F. NDE accounts verify a God with a loving nature exists. This supports the theist view over other religions.
    [The first sentence is unsupported. There has still been no proof offered that NDE's occur outside the brain, and therefore
    they are not evidence of a God. The second sentence is also untrue: Kwan Yin, Allah, and Shiva are all described as loving
    gods, and I could name numerous others with a bit of research. At least this line admits that you're trying to prove three separate propositions,
    the first being the existence of a soul/spirit, the second being the existence of one or more divinities, and the third
    that your definition of god matches that divine entity. None of thes are proven here.]

    ReplyDelete
  19. IV. Conclusion
    A. Proof is affirmed by logic and material evidence.
    1. The materialist view is logically inconsistent and in conflict with science and evidence of the supernatural.
    [No evidence of the supernatural has yet been provided, nor have you shown any inconsisencies in my worldveiw.]
    2. The Christian view is supported by cohesive logic, science, evidence and scriptural text.
    [I could provide numerous citations from a variety of supposed holy books saying similar things, but that's more effort than I'm willing to put
    in until I have some confirmation that you're debating in good faith.]

    ReplyDelete
  20. In Dawson's blog you said:"I suppose I will just make it formal. I challenge you...to come and refute my article if you believe you can. "

    I have taken up this challenge, and you have failed to take up your end of it. Therefore, I feel justified in claiming victory, unless you emerge from under your rock to do battle.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hello Dalai Lama,

    So, the Tibetan word lama corresponds to the Indian word guru. You do have a lot to live up to.

    My comment at Dawson’s blog wasn’t a “drive by” comment. If you had checked before posting here, you’d have noticed my second comment specifically requested Dawson to come to this blog and take up this challenge.

    Part I.
    Your first example uses "entirely unreal propositions" with a correct logical form, a syllogism. However, a sound philosophical proposition requires both a valid form and true proposition. This was already spelled out in the above article with a reference cited: “To this day, a formal philosophical proposition, known as a categorical syllogism, must have both true premises and a valid form in order to be considered logically acceptable.” I’ve added the word “sound” to the premise to underscore this convention. If for some reason you believe I’m making this convention up, read the cited references and the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Because “true” premises are required for a sound syllogism, this implies that truth does in fact exist and it is not an arbitrary or relative truth. If you want to disprove part 1, you need to disprove the conventions of formal logic.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Part II.

    “although we cannot know what the specific state is until it is collapsed..." –You didn’t refute my point but simply clarified it, thank you….

    Quantum non-locality and entanglement imply that boundaries that were assumed to be finite and localized are not. [This does not appear to be relevant to the discussion.]

    Actually, it’s highly relevant. This is the main reason Dean Sandin felt the need to reject QM, as quoted. When physical objects have no boundaries or location, from a conceptual standpoint, objectivists like Sandin believe the law of identity is broken. The spiritual identity, however, can be localized in spite of QM.

    If you want to disprove the premise of Part II, you need to somehow show that non-locality and entanglement do not challenge classic Aristotlian logic and the law of identity. You haven't done that.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Part III.

    Reynolds accurately described specific conversations between doctors she could not have heard with her natural ears, according to the actual time-line of events.
    >>>[This is incorrect. Per the timeline of the surgery available to me, the statement she recalled was made prior to her clinical
    death. ]

    Can you cite the time-line you used? Check this link for a documented time-line: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pam_Reynolds_%28singer%29
    According to my cited time-line, clinical death ensued when the doctors began cutting into Pam’s skull. In the videos referenced in my article, the doctors state the patient had never seen the device used to cut her skull. Her eyes were taped shut, yet she later described it perfectly, according to the doctors. The following occurred after she was diagnosed as clinically dead: “Reynolds hears a female voice saying that her veins and arteries are very small.”

    NDE accounts confirm that human volition exists on a spiritual level.
    >>Not proven

    In the case of Reynolds, she saw and heard specific items and events not possible with her human senses. This is valid evidence based on the testimonies of professional doctors in the video clips cited. She explained that her perception of these events was under the control of her will. For example, she resisted entering her body at the end of her NDE because she knew she would be in great pain.

    Metaphysically, materialists cannot account for human volition and free will. A closed system of cause, effect and probability cannot conceivably produce free will.
    >>Logical fallacy: Appeal to emotion. - I did not mention any emotion here, simply objective facts.

    NDE accounts verify a God with a loving nature exists. This supports the theist view over other religions.
    >>The first sentence is unsupported. There has still been no proof offered that NDE's occur outside the brain, and therefore they are not evidence of a God.

    No, Dalai, I cited references to video clips of doctors testifying that NDE did in fact occur under a controlled and highly monitored environment.

    If you want to disprove part III you need to show why you believe the testimonies of professional doctors are not credible.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Conclusion

    >>In Dawson's blog you said:"I suppose I will just make it formal. I challenge you...to come and refute my article if you believe you can. " I have taken up this challenge I have taken up this challenge, and you have failed to take up your end of it. Therefore, I feel justified in claiming victory, unless you emerge from under your rock to do battle.

    - Thank you, Dalai, for affirming that my challenge was to Dawson. You are not Dawson. And I don’t recall “my end “ of this challenge was to answer a response within 24 hours. Can you point this out to me? You have helped to clarify some of the points in the argument but have failed to make a dent in the basic premise and conclusion.

    As a self-appointed surrogate for Dawson, I hope he is satisfied with your attempt. I don’t believe he would have fared much better, had he the wherewithal to come and take up the challenge personally. He prefers to write his own articles as a response to other articles. That helps to put him in a good light. But hiding behind one’s own articles and never venturing beyond the borders of one's own blog is a sign of great philosophical weakness.

    Regards,

    Rick

    ReplyDelete
  25. Quantum Mechanics is the new Woo buzzword that can be used to tie 2 unconnected concepts together with wishful thinking. Ten years ago it a nebulous concept of "energy", ten years before that it would have been "vibration"

    ReplyDelete
  26. Reginald SelkirkJuly 19, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    According to my cited time-line, clinical death ensued when the doctors began cutting into Pam’s skull.

    That is not correct. According to the timeline at Wikipedia, opening the skull happened sometime after 8:40.

    Cardiac arrest would be ~ 11:05, when her core temp had cooled, the ECG indicates malfunction, and she was given a dose of KCl. Cessation of brain activity, as monitored by brain stem activity, is reported compete by 11:20. I'm not sure which you would want to count as "clinical death," but it was most certainly not at 8:40.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Reginald SelkirkJuly 19, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    And you don't want to consider the BBC testimonies as valid evidence.

    I do too. The BBC account was a warm and fuzzy account, with reenactments and visual effects, to convey a believer's story. They did not distinguish, for example, details of the timeline which reveal that the alleged veridical events happened before the induction of clinical death. They just glossed over that entirely. It is not detailed, and it does not raise, let alone refute, critical objections.

    The next question might be why you stopped at the BBC account rather than look for something more respectable and convincing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Reginald SelkirkJuly 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    A videotaped interview with Vicki Noratuk, who had been born blind but saw during her NDE, is listed on YouTube, linked here

    Once again, a warm and fuzzy account, with reeneactments and visual effects to guide you into accepting the story. No critical analysis is raised, let alone refuted.

    She says she was blind since birth, but the medical details are never mentioned. Specifically, is the problem in her eyes, or in her brain?
    To understand why I would raise this, read up on blindsight
    "Blindsight is a phenomenon in which people who are perceptually blind in a certain area of their visual field demonstrate some response to visual stimuli."
    Maybe her eyes could actually form images, and send them to her brain, but this information was never made available to her conscious "self." Maybe not, but we'll certainly never find out from that 4 minutes of warm and fuzzy.

    She says she saw people, made up of light. How would she know, since she has allegedly never seen people before?

    She felt like she left her body. So what? That doesn't mean she actually did. Already addressed.

    If you want to be taken seriously, you're going to have to try harder.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Part 2. Quantum physics does not harm materialism in any way. Materialism is the concept that the material world is the totality of reality. Quantum physics consists of physical objects being measured through physical means. These objects behave in ways that do not make sense to humans, however that doesn't mean that they don't exist or are in a spiritual realm. Maybe the reason why strange action at a distance happens is because both particles are actually a part of a single particle (a rod that has the rest of its existence in one of the higher dimensions posited by string theory). It is also possible that the rules which govern quantum mechanics are beyond human understanding. Again, reality is the determiner of reality, not humans. However, to discard materialism is to accept immaterialism, the idea that there is more to reality than the material world. Quantum mechanics gives no evidence for this immaterial world. With no evidence it is idiotic to propose the existence of an phenomena.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Apparently my first comment didn't post, here it is then

    It seems that you (Rick) wander about trying to get atheist site managers to respond to you. Anyone with a large enough site seems to be ignoring you, but apparently some of the readers feel the need to comment. Like Dalai, I am a reader of another site and feel the perverse desire to rebut your arguments.

    Part 1. Yes, deductive logic requires true propositions that are logically connected to create a logically necessary conclusion. This, however, requires absolute logical connections and verifiable true propositions. It is very difficult to find absolute logical connections and impossible to have absolutely verifiable true propositions. One can view the classic example of deductive logic to see how these problems arise.
    Socrates is a man
    All men are mortal
    Therefore: Socrates is mortal.
    We can question the logical connections here. It is possible that Socrates found a potion of immortality and now, though still a man, he has become immortal.
    We must also question the second premise. We may be able to prove that Socrates is mortal, but we cannot prove that all men are mortal. It is always logically possible that there is one man who is not mortal. In that case the argument breaks down.
    Deductive logic is a form of tautology, a statement which is true by definition. For instance:
    All bachelors are unmarried men. Or:
    It is either raining, or not-raining.
    The first is true because the definition of bachelor is "unmarried man" therefore it is analogous to saying "all cows are cows". It tells us nothing about the men or cows, it doesn't even tell us that they exist. "all cumbabas are pelulus" is true if I define "cumbaba" as "a sub-type of pelulus". It is a logically true tautology that tells us nothing about reality.
    This is the reason that since the enlightenment, deductive reasoning has been discarded for the most part. Deductive reasoning only applies to an imaginary world of tautologies and tells us nothing about actual reality, for the most part. This is primarily because we cannot confirm the absolute truth of any proposition.
    What is relied on now is the inductive argument. The inductive argument is basically an acceptance of the fact that we can only show what is most likely to be true rather than what is absolutely true.
    Finally, it is not absolutely true that the laws of logic apply to the world. Such a world would be difficult for us to conceive of, but what humans can understand has nothing to do with reality. It is possible, though highly unlikely in my opinion, that reality does not follow the laws of logic. In the end, reality is the ultimate arbitrator of what reality is, not what we want reality to be.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Part 3. It is absolutely true that near death experiences are a phenomena. Something is happening. What is unclear is what that thing is. In science there is something known as anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is when you take one event and then try to rest an argument on that one event. Anecdotal evidence has no validity because it doesn't give us a full picture of the situation. If we accept that Vicki Noratuk had a NDE and saw even though blind we are forced to ask ourselves, how many other blind people come close to death but do not have similar experiences. If they have not then it is not the closeness to death that caused the phenomena but rather something else.
    This is how causality is determined. You look at multiple events and figure out what they share, and what they differ in. The amount of NDE and the wide variety of NDE make it impossible, at the moment, for us to conclude what is really happening. Maybe it is a dream state induced by lack of oxygen. Without evidence, we cannot conclude what is going on. NDE does not prove the idea of spiritual identity. Brain damage has proved conclusively that mental identity is a product of the physical brain and not of some spiritual world. In every case of brain damage there is damage to the mental identity of the person. This damage may be limited to a few missing memories or it may be a complete rewriting of the personality.
    Maybe the world is deterministic. Philosophically, it is almost certain, but that is an argument for another time. NDE does NOTHING to confirm or deny free will and human volition. Even if NDE was a product of conscious choice it would be no more proof of free will (or rejection of determinism) than drinking a glass of water. Even if NDE was the product of a spirit leaving the body, that spirit could just as easily be fully deterministic.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello Reginald

    >>That is not correct. According to the timeline at Wikipedia, opening the skull happened sometime after 8:40.

    - Thanks for bringing that point up. It wasn't cardiac arrest at 8:40 but the NDE begins around that time. Pam later describes the utensil that cut into her skull.

    >>The next question might be why you stopped at the BBC account rather than look for something more respectable and convincing.

    BBC documentaries are generally considered valid. Are you aware of a non-acceptable BBC documentary distorts facts?

    ReplyDelete
  33. >>Maybe her eyes could actually form images, and send them to her brain, but this information was never made available to her conscious "self." Maybe not, but we'll certainly never find out from that 4 minutes of warm and fuzzy.

    The video was one example of many sources that are available. Here is another account with more specific detail:

    the body she was observing was certainly her own. - I think I was wearing the plain gold band on my right ring finger and my father's wedding ring next to it. But my wedding ring I definitely saw ... That was the one I noticed the most because it's most unusual. It has orange blossoms on the corners of it.

    with more dethttp://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence03.html

    As far as the warm-fuzzy video clip goes, you can find simple interview accounts in text if you prefer. The point is, the details of what she saw were distinct.

    ReplyDelete
  34. 11. You have not shown that materialists cannot account for free will. (Daniel Dennet has one theory of how free will and materialism can both be true).

    12. You have not shown that free will actually exists.

    13. "The IDE {I assume you mean NDE} accounts verify a worldview in which the spiritual dimension is superior to the physical one" is an unsubstantiated claim. The truth of NDE would not show that the spiritual world it reveals is superior to the physical world. It could be possible that the spirit world is inferior or simply equal but different.

    14. Hebrews 11.3: "By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear." You claim that this passage shows "Logic, information and the spiritual dimension form the basis of prime reality." however what it says is that we have "faith" that the "word of God" shaped the world and that the physical world is not made out of physical object. This does not claim that logic or information have anything to do with "prime reality". Furthermore, both logic and information "appear" to the human senses as we can perceive and understand them. This would make the bible verse a refutation of the idea that reality is based on information or anything else that can be perceived by humans. Finally, the bible quote states that it is known "by faith". There is no rational person who takes seriously the idea that "faith" can be a valid basis for epistemological certainty. Therefore, the bible quote merely says "I believe that reality is based an God's word which is unknowable" while admitting (through the use of the term "faith") that it has no proof and would accept no proof.

    15. You claim that the materialist view is inconsistent with science and evidence, yet you have not proven this claim. Furthermore, science and evidence are based on materialism. To disprove materialism would likewise disprove science and evidence.

    16. "supernatural" is a logically inconsistent concept, and evidence of such is laughable. For something to be "supernatural" it would have to exist outside of reality. Since reality is defined as "all that exists" the supernatural, by definition, does not exist. If NDE exists then it is natural. If God exists then it is natural. If God affects the real world then God can be analyzed through natural means. There can be no "supernatural"

    Until you can answer these questions you cannot claim that you have produced a definitive proof of God. I look forward to your response.

    ReplyDelete
  35. It wasn't cardiac arrest at 8:40 but the NDE begins around that time.

    OK then. So why do you continue to label the "veridical" experiences as part of the NDE, since it was literally hours before her "death"?

    BBC documentaries are generally considered valid.

    By whom? By you obviously, but I am making the case that your standards are not high enough.

    Are you aware of a non-acceptable BBC documentary distorts facts?

    I have already in this thread pointed out multiple weaknesses in the BBC video. It is not detailed, nor rigorous, and it uses story-telling techniques (recreations, animation) to relay one viewpoint to the viewer. I do not have to further denigrate BBC documentaries as a class since the weaknesses are fully on display in the one offered up as evidence.

    The video was one example of many sources that are available. Here is another account with more specific detail:
    the body she was observing was certainly her own. - I think I was wearing the plain gold band on my right ring finger and my father's wedding ring next to it. But my wedding ring I definitely saw ... That was the one I noticed the most because it's most unusual. It has orange blossoms on the corners of it.


    And of course there is no conceivable way she could know what the ring she was wearing looked like, unless she actually saw it in her OOBE. Do you not see the weakness in that argument?

    ReplyDelete
  36. >>So, the Tibetan word lama corresponds to the Indian word guru. You do have a lot to live up to. This is correct. However, the word in my username is llama, a Spanish word referring to a cameloid ungulate native to South America. You've persistently misspelled the first part as well. >>My comment at Dawson’s blog wasn’t a “drive by” comment. If you had checked before posting >>here, you’d have noticed my second comment specifically requested Dawson to come to this blog >>and take up this challenge. Your second comment postdated my initial response by a wide margin, and in the post to which I responded you challenged any atheist to disprove your alleged proof of God

    ReplyDelete
  37. Part I.
    D'n has largely covered my response here, go ahead and refer to his post regarding logic and its relevant applications.

    Part 2
    >>Actually, it’s highly relevant. This is the main reason Dean Sandin felt the need to reject QM, as >>quoted. When physical objects have no boundaries or location, from a conceptual standpoint, >>objectivists like Sandin believe the law of identity is broken. The spiritual identity, however, can be >>localized in spite of QM.
    I don't care in the slightest what Objectivists believe about QM. I am not an Objectivist and never have been. You claim above that you have proven God, not that you have disproved some element of Objectivism, and therefore your argument should be able to stand against all comers, not merely Objectivists
    >>If you want to disprove the premise of Part II, you need to somehow show that non-locality and >>entanglement do not challenge classic Aristotlian logic and the law of identity. You haven't done that.
    D'n noted above how QM does nothing to the law of identity. Aristotelian logic is useful only insofar as it models reality, and must be discarded when is ceases to do so. In much the way that Newtonian physics models are still use for many purposes, even thought Einsteinian mechanics and QM show that that is a severely incomplete. Also, you cite Aristotlian logic as supporting your argument. You can't simultaneously claim that you've disproved it and use it as the basis for your argument.
    Part III.

    The timeline has already been adequately addressed. As far as the videos go, BBC documentaries, while often well researched, are heavily tilted towards sensationalism. In fairness, almost all documentaries are tilted that way because there's a lot of competition for audiences. They do not constitute evidence on the same level as repeatable experiments, peer reviewed articles, and other instances of scientific inquiry.

    ReplyDelete
  38. >>For example, she resisted entering her body at the end of her NDE because she knew she would be >>in great pain.
    This is not a terribly difficult meditation technique, I am not at all surprised that in times of extreme stress the same neurological effects are triggered. One focuses on the image of being outside one's body, separate from the person/organism that is experiencing it, and thus reduce your conscious awareness of the pain.
    >>Logical fallacy: Appeal to emotion. - I did not mention any emotion here, simply objective facts.
    In that case, you can hardly claim that it is argument. If the objective facts are deterministic, then they are, that's not an argument against materialism.

    Conclusion



    >>Thank you, Dalai, for affirming that my challenge was to Dawson. You are not Dawson. And I don’t recall “my end “ of this challenge was to answer a response within 24 hours. Can you point this out to me?
    The timing was less important than your claim that no response existed on his blog. I assumed from that that you did not care to address the arguments presented.

    >>As a self-appointed surrogate for Dawson,...[cut for brevity]
    I am in no way claiming that Dawson and I share any type of beliefs whatsoever, nor that the arguments I make are his. Your initial challenge said:”
    I challenge any atheists at this blog to disprove the following argument for God's existence.”

    Therefore, as an atheist, I took up the challenge. If you wanted a debate with an Objectivist, you should have specified.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Part 1.

    I've not read all of the comments, so perhaps these problems have been pointed out previously.

    I. Sound Logic is Based on Universal Truth and Validity.
    Formal logic is a system for manipulating symbols, a set of rules.

    A. Formal logic, a categorical syllogism, requires the existence of universal truth and validity.
    (A) looks false. Formal logic is a system for manipulating symbols. As far as I'm aware, theories of truth are a separate issue.

    1. The laws of logic apply in all possible worlds.
    a. Law of non-contradiction: It is not possible that something be both true and not true.
    b. Law of identity: A = A. Something is what it is and has at least one identifying characteristic.

    (1) also looks false. There are different systems of formal logic, for one thing. Secondly, there seems nothing "special" about the laws of identity and non-contradiction - they're simply axioms of your specific formal system. There are systems of formal logic which don't have "non contradiction" as an axiom.

    II. Quantum Physics Undermines Materialist Presuppositions
    This seems to rely upon a flawed understanding of QM.

    A. A quantum particle has ambiguous identifying characteristics until it is measured and collapsed.
    QM is statistically deterministic. There is no magic involved.

    B. Quantum non-locality and entanglement imply that boundaries that were assumed to be finite and localized are not. If the physical world is interconnected by energy, there is only one implied identity or no identity.
    Again, this belies a lack of understanding of the physics. However you're using the term "energy" here, it doesn't seem to be standard. Energy in Einstein's "E=MC^2" stands in for photons, as I understand it (and energy is, more generally, the capacity to do work).

    C. It is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round.
    This sentence just seems confused.

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  40. Part 2.

    III. Evidence from NDE studies reveal the laws of logic and physics are in fact consistent.
    Evidence from NDE's shows that brains in low oxygen states behave strangely.

    A. Evidence of this phenomenon is verified by multiple doctors in the case of Pamela Reynolds.
    The phenomenon itself is not in question, but the interpretation given it by people such as yourself. An account which doesn't involve dualism of any sort is both more coherent and more consistent with our other knowledge.

    1. Reynolds accurately described the appearance of a unique instrument used to cut her skull open, that she had never heard described or seen with her physical eyes.
    2. Reynolds accurately described specific conversations between doctors she could not have heard with her natural ears, according to the actual time-line of events.

    I've heard of the Reynolds case before, and find the dualist interpretation unconvincing.

    B. People born blind have made accurate, detailed descriptions of images they could not have seen with their natural eyes.
    If the people were born with defective eyes, then the visual centres of their brains will still be functioning, and so it would seem unsurprising that their brains would generate images which they've likely built up using their other senses and their imaginations.

    C. The specific identity of individuals is maintained after experiencing clinical death, consistent with the law of identity.
    This is false. People change through time, and so are different "people" from moment to moment. The continuity of the persons experience is how we determine identity in such cases, and this seems to simply rely upon physical brains and bodies.

    D. NDE accounts confirm that human volition exists on a spiritual level.
    They confirm no such thing.

    E. Metaphysically, materialists cannot account for human volition and free will. A closed system of cause, effect and probability cannot conceivably produce free will.
    Libertarian free will, as you seem to be alluding to, reduces to an indeterministic coin flip, rather than a choice of some sort on the part of the agent.

    F. NDE accounts verify a God with a loving nature exists. This supports the theist view over other religions.
    NDE accounts generally support the beliefs of the person having them, like all "religious experiences" seem to.

    IV. Conclusion
    A. Proof is affirmed by logic and material evidence.
    1. The materialist view is logically inconsistent and in conflict with science and evidence of the supernatural.

    You failed to establish this.

    2. The Christian view is supported by cohesive logic, science, evidence and scriptural text.
    The Christian view is undermined by such things - the Christian concept of God is incoherent, science currently shows no need for the supernatural and the scriptural text is a hodgepodge of mythical, legendary, theological texts with some small amount of history thrown in.

    a. Hebrew 11.3: Logic, information and the spiritual dimension form the basis of prime reality.
    This doesn't follow from that passage. All you seem to be able to get from it is that faith in God is/should be sufficient to answer any questions regarding creation.

    b. John 1.1, 1.14: God is the logical basis of prime reality.
    That doesn't follow from those passages. All you can get is that the word existed at the beginning of time (or is eternal).

    c. Colossians 1.17: God is both the creator and enabler of the physical world.
    That passage only supports the latter contention - though I'll accept that other passages claim Yahweh is the creator god.

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  41. Part 3.

    Your argument does not appear to be logically valid, with the conclusion not following from the premises (even if the premises were correct). You seem to be misunderstanding or misrepresenting the facts underlying the premises in order to arrive at your preferred conclusion. Your understanding of QM sounds like it is informed by someone like Deepak Chopra rather than a physicist.

    In short, your proof for the existence of God fails.

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  42. D'n, You have a mysterious tag spelling. The Jews remove letters from G-d's name because they believe the word to holy yo spell out. I hope you are not using this convention for the same reason.

    As far as inviting atheist bloggers, yes, I have invited what seem to be some of the more revered atheist bloggers because I believe there is quite a a bit of showmanship that goes on, while at the same time the tenets of atheistic belief are rarely seriously tested. i have found some of the responses to my challenge amusing and amazing. Such as this one by John Loftus: "Rick, let's do it this way, the simple way. Let's assume that your arguments are spot on. What does that really get you?"

    Now, on to your rebut...

    You agree with me that truth and form are important in justifying a formal philosophical conclusion: "Part 1. Yes, deductive logic requires true propositions that are logically connected to create a logically necessary conclusion."

    But, from thereon in, you dismember your own statement. Like Tatarize, it seems you want to throw all the non-conforming apples and oranges into one cart and then try to pawn it off as a kind of genetically modified, hybrid logic. Like Monsanto, your product seems healthy on the surface. But, given a little observation and consideration, over time your product is shown to have serious defects and causes philosophical sterility.

    In short, you imply that the laws of logic are important, inductive and deductive reasoning are both valid and discoveries in quantum mechanics don't really effect the validity of your position. But you are being logically inconsistent here. Dean Sandin made a correct observation that the law of identity is necessary in order to make basic logical deductions. Please justify your position, D'n, that you can have any valid logical reasoning without the law of identity. You see, you are stuck in Part 1 of my argument. For you as an atheist, QM is the foundation of your physical reality. In philosophy, you can't just say "everything works together somehow." You have to show a justification for your beliefs.

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  43. D'n,

    You've made a few statements about free will: "You have not shown that materialists cannot account for free will." "NDE does NOTHING to confirm or deny free will and human volition."

    A will that is spiritual and transcendent, and furthermore, created from a sentient Creator, has the true possibility of free choice. A mind that is merely the product of a materialistic, deterministic, probabilistic process of cause and effect does not. Show me how the former does not have the possibility of free will.

    >>The truth of NDE would not show that the spiritual world it reveals is superior to the physical world. It could be possible that the spirit world is inferior or simply equal but different.

    - This depends on what you personally consider superior. I believe an environment of pervasive love and harmony and pleasure beyond what our senses have known is superior, as do the NDE witnesses.

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  44. >>There is no rational person who takes seriously the idea that "faith" can be a valid basis for epistemological certainty.

    In your first few comments you basically proposed that the laws of logic are philosophically irrelevant to your personal thought processes, as relate to discoveries in QM.

    You should probably dig yourself out of that first philosophical hole before critiquing spiritual concepts supported in the conclusion of my argument.

    >>You claim that the materialist view is inconsistent with science and evidence, yet you have not proven this claim.

    It seems you don't get it yet. You have to logically justify your beliefs. However, QM has dismantled the basis of your logic, as Sandin noted. Justify the notion of having any belief system whatsoever without a basis of logic.

    >>"supernatural" is a logically inconsistent concept, and evidence of such is laughable.

    My argument justifies belief in the supernatural with logic and reason, as noted above. Please logically justify your beliefs, D'n, including QM as the basis of physical reality, and then get back to me on your critique of spiritual issues.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hello Havok,

    Formal logic, a categorical syllogism, requires the existence of universal truth and validity.
    >>(A) looks false. Formal logic is a system for manipulating symbols. As far as I'm aware, theories of truth are a separate issue.

    - Actually, Havok, the standard convention for all formal philosophical proof is the presupposition of universal truth and validity in the forming of a syllogism. I have references listed in the article and you can check the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy as well. Whatever your personal definition of truth is, a convention is required for basic communication and for analyzing philosophical proof.

    Quantum Physics Undermines Materialist Presuppositions
    >>This seems to rely upon a flawed understanding of QM.

    If you can show me it's flawed, please do. Otherwise, you are in the same boat with Dean Sandin and D'n (please see my recent comments).

    NDE comment: Evidence of this phenomenon is verified by multiple doctors in the case of Pamela Reynolds.

    The phenomenon itself is not in question, but the interpretation given it by people such as yourself. An account which doesn't involve dualism of any sort is both more coherent and more consistent with our other knowledge.

    - I beg to disagree, you need to justify the basis of your logic as it relates to QM before you can make such a presumptuous statement. You are still stuck in Part 2 of my argument and have not refuted it. Please justify the basis of your logic as relates to QM, and then you may be able to qualify your statement that non-dualism is more consistent and coherent.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Rick: - Actually, Havok, the standard convention for all philosophical proof is the presupposition of universal truth and validity in the forming of a syllogism. I have references listed in the article and you can check the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy as well.
    Actually Rick, there are many theories of truth within the philosophy of logic(s), which seems to undermine your point. A quick glance at the contents of Haack's "Philosophy of Logics" indicates the existence of correspondence, coherence, pragmatic and semantic theories of truth.

    Rick: If you can show me it's flawed, please do. Otherwise, you are in the same boat with Dean Sandin and D'n (please see my recent comments).
    If seems you rely upon our inability to measure something as a fundamental property of the thing being measured, which seems rather wrongheaded.
    You also seem to be imputing to quantum entanglement some strange properties - non-locality does not violate the speed of light, for example.
    Your 'C' seems to simply be an assertion which is unargued for.


    Rick: - I beg to disagree, you need to justify the basis of your logic as it relates to QM before you can make such a presumptuous statement.
    No actually, I don't. Both of us accept the validity of various formal logical systems.

    Rick: You are still stuck in Part 2 of my argument and have not refuted it. Please justify the basis of your logic as relates to QM, and then we'll go on from there.
    We can simply use Quantum Logic, which was developed to help model quantum phenomena, and go from there?
    Of course, this isn't the same as classical logic, being a 3-values logic.

    ReplyDelete
  47. DaliDLLama,

    Part I.
    >>D'n has largely covered my response here, go ahead and refer to his post regarding logic and its relevant applications.

    I've already addressed them.

    >>I don't care in the slightest what Objectivists believe about QM.

    In any event, you must deal with QM in order to justify your logic and reasoning. You can't just avoid it.

    >>If you want to disprove the premise of Part II, you need to somehow show that non-locality and >>entanglement do not challenge classic Aristotlian logic and the law of identity. You haven't done that.
    D'n noted above how QM does nothing to the law of identity. Aristotelian logic is useful only insofar as it models reality, and must be discarded when is ceases to do so.

    OK, now that you have conveniently "discarded" the Aristotlian laws of identity, non-contradiction and the excluded middle, please justify your logic and reasoning. Philosophy is not like poetry where you can just jump from verse to verse and stanza to stanza with no logical support.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Rick, you're also arguing that QM invalidates materialism, but you don't actually show this. Perhaps you argue it in your comments, but you seem to present your own flawed understanding of materialism as the concept to be disproved. That would be a strawman.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Havok,

    >>Actually Rick, there are many theories of truth within the philosophy of logic(s), which seems to undermine your point. A quick glance at the contents of Haack's "Philosophy of Logics" indicates the existence of correspondence, coherence, pragmatic and semantic theories of truth.

    The changing fads and definitions of truth do not change the essence of what truth is and means. The fact that a convention is required in communication underlines the need for consistency. The fact remains that the philosophical convention of formal logic is based on the the presupposition- and interrelation of concepts of consistent truth, validity and soundness.

    If you wish to propose the convention for presenting formal, philosophical proof does not include very basic and essential conceptual elements of consistent truth, validity and soundness, please show proof of your position.

    Rick: If you can show me it's flawed, please do. Otherwise, you are in the same boat with Dean Sandin and D'n (please see my recent comments).
    >>If seems you rely upon our inability to measure something as a fundamental property of the thing being measured, which seems rather wrongheaded.

    -No, for me the measuring stick remains consistent. Truth, validity and soundness are essential elements in the process of evaluating and justifying one's propositions. It is you who apparently wants to disband with these elements.

    Rick: - I beg to disagree, you need to justify the basis of your logic as it relates to QM before you can make such a presumptuous statement.
    No actually, I don't. Both of us accept the validity of various formal logical systems.

    It seems we don't agree on the basic conventions for making basic philosophical propositions. I'm not sure how a logical system can be justified in your case, outside of the given basic conventions of logic, which presupposes truth, validity and soundness as real and consistent concepts.

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  50. Rick: The changing fads and definitions of truth do not change the essence of what truth is and means.
    Actually, here you're mistaken. Without a theory of truth, you can't actually know what you mean when you say something is true.

    Rick: The fact that a convention is required in communication underlines the need for consistency.
    Agreed. Not sure what this has to do with your point. That communication requires some sorts of rules is rather obvious.

    Rick: The fact remains that the philosophical convention of formal logic is based on the the presupposition- and interrelation of concepts of consistent truth, validity and soundness.
    Systems of formal logic require consistent axioms to function. There are many such systems, though classical logic is likely to be the most widely known.
    Soundness requires that the conclusion follows from the premises. Validity requires that the premises be true. And truth requires us to sort out what is meant by truth (see theories of truth).

    Rick: If you wish to propose the convention for presenting formal, philosophical proof does not include very basic and essential conceptual elements of consistent truth, validity and soundness, please show proof of your position.
    You seem to be slowly edging towards some presuppositional apologetic here. I hope this isn't the case, because not only are such things ridiculous, but they tend to lead to a very short and unproductive discussion.
    Basically, formal systems of logic rely upon axioms. Different systems use different axioms. This does not require some kind of assent to the sort of transcendent stuff you seem to be implying.

    Rick: No, for me the measuring stick remains consistent. Truth, validity and soundness are essential elements in the process of evaluating and justifying one's propositions. It is you who apparently wants to disband with these elements.
    Don't put words and concepts in my mouth, Rick.
    By measurement I meant in an empirical fashion. To measure something we basically hit it with another particle. This of course has an effect on the particle(s) we're measuring. As such, measurement effects the system being measured.

    Rick: It seems we don't agree on the basic conventions for making basic philosophical propositions.
    Actually, we do. We both agree to certain axioms when we use certain systems of formal logic.

    Rick I'm not sure how a logical system can be justified in your case, outside of the given basic conventions of logic, which presupposes truth, validity and soundness as real and consistent concepts.
    Again, don't put words and concepts in my mouth. Systems of formal logic require and are formed by certain axioms. Different systems of logic have different axioms.
    You seem to be claiming that there is only a single logic, and that classical logic is "it", but there are well known inconsistencies within this system of formal logic (like the liars paradox, if I recall correctly). All systems of formal logic, to my knowledge, have similar sorts of inconsistencies (and lets not forget that the formal logic system of peano arithmetic has the inconsistency related to Goedel's theorem).

    You seem to have some specific line of argumentation in mind, and are unwilling to deviate from this script, even when the argument strays a little.

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  51. Just read through the comments, and nowhere do you actually justify the claim that materialism and quantum mechanics don't mix.
    You seem to be insisting that materialism requires classical logic to be consistent with all levels of reality, but I fail to see why this must be the case.

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  52. Part I.


    >>I've already addressed them.
    Bluntly, no you haven't. You have renewed your initial assertion the this is the case, but you have failed to address any of the people who have pointed out that there are multiple logics and theories of epistemology. You also continue to conflate truth, logical validity and soundness, which are three entirely different concepts.

    >>In any event, you must deal with QM in order to justify your logic and reasoning. You can't just >>avoid it.
    What do I have to deal with? QM does not alter my reasoning in any way.

    >>OK, now that you have conveniently "discarded" the Aristotlian laws of identity, non-contradiction >>and the excluded middle, please justify your logic and reasoning.
    QM does not affect the law of identity; quantum wave structures have identity. The fact that we have an imperfect idea of what that identity is is irrelevant. Aristotelian logic does not apply to quantum level events, but remains useful as a model for larger scale events, much like Newtonian physics. There are other logical structures, some of which are better at dealing with QM, and I don't doubt that as more is learned about QM, there will be better logic models created to deal with it. The law of non-contradiction is pretty questionable, and it has already been pointed out that some forms of logic don't rely on it. Aristotelian logic is a tool, useful in some circumstances, but not all.

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  53. Also, to add to what Dalillama has said, your interpretation of NDE's requires the breaking of some firmly established laws of physics such as the conservation laws. Unless you can demonstrate some actual evidence that these principles don't hold for these experiences, your interpretation ought to be dismissed as the unjustified wishful thinking it appears to be.
    So contrary to you claiming that science and materialism are incompatible, it seems your own position is at odds with scientific evidence.

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  54. Hello Havok,

    >>Actually, here you're mistaken. Without a theory of truth, you can't actually know what you mean when you say something is true.

    - The definition of truth is a big subject. I’ll give an example of universal truth, as noted in the argument: 2 + 2 = 4. This simple math equation involves the law of identity and other laws of logic. The relationship applies no matter what symbols are used.

    >>Agreed. Not sure what this has to do with your point. That communication requires some sorts of rules is rather obvious.

    - Yes, it’s so obvious that people tend to take it for granted.

    >>Systems of formal logic require consistent axioms to function. There are many such systems, though classical logic is likely to be the most widely known.

    -Classical logic is the most widely used and accepted and forms the basis of day to day reasoning.

    >>And truth requires us to sort out what is meant by truth (see theories of truth).

    -It is not always necessary to analyze the concept of truth as used in an argument.

    >>Soundness requires that the conclusion follows from the premises.

    And soundness requires true premises and a generally valid form.

    >>You seem to be slowly edging towards some presuppositional apologetic here.

    -It seems the laws and conventions of philosophical logic and reason indirectly imply this.

    >>To measure something we basically hit it with another particle.

    - In the double slit experiment, particles are not measured when hit, but when they pass through a screen.

    >>Different systems of logic have different axioms. You seem to be claiming that there is only a single logic, and that classical logic is "it"

    - On the one hand, there are specific, agreed upon elements in formal philosophical syllogisms. And on the other hand, I believe philosophers should be able to fit all of reality into a logical framework, however they want to define it.

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  55. Havok,

    Part 2.

    >>You seem to be insisting that materialism requires classical logic to be consistent with all levels of reality, but I fail to see why this must be the case.

    I’m not insisting you need classic logic, per se. But, it seems if you want to justify your philosophical beliefs, you need a basis of logic that accounts for the parts and the whole of reality in relationship together. Seeing as you are a materialist, I don’t believe you have such a logical basis, due QM facts. Maybe you haven’t considered the situation long enough to understand the philosophical problem. Atheist Sandin recognized this crisis and felt the need to reject QM implications.

    I'll discuss this more in Dalillama's next post...

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  56. Hello Dali,

    >>You also continue to conflate truth, logical validity and soundness, which are three entirely different concepts.

    Please see above comment on why these are important.

    >>What do I have to deal with? QM does not alter my reasoning in any way. QM does not affect the law of identity..."

    Just because you cannot see QM activity with your eyes doesn't mean it is not a viable issue for you conceptually that needs to be philosophically addressed.

    “The impression that quantum mechanics is limited to the microworld permeates the public understanding of science… Yet this convenient partitioning of the world is a myth… Until the past decade, experimentalists had not confirmed that quantum behavior persists on a macroscopic scale. Today, however, they routinely do.'

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=living-in-a-quantum-world

    Take a minute or two to consider what you just read and reread what Dean Sandin wrote, as quoted in the article, and you may understand better why QM is a challenge to the law of identity on all levels. Consider why the law of identity is critical to philosophical logic and reasoning.

    Hello again Havok,

    >> your interpretation of NDE's requires the breaking of some firmly established laws of physics such as the conservation laws.


    Yes, I would agree that supernatural NDE experiences do in fact break the laws of physics. I would have thought that obvious. Are you suggesting that the scientific laws of physics can never be broken under any circumstances? That idea is based on methodological naturalism and is based on atheistic preconceptions alone.

    Isaac Newton, possibly the greatest scientists in history, and other theist scientists did not operate based on these atheist preconceptions. Unfortunately, hegemony and censorship in academia have for the most part shut the door to debate on this issue. But the ministry of thought crime has not yet reached the blogoshpere so I still have a bit of freedom here to present this classic notion.

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  57. Rick: - The definition of truth is a big subject. I’ll give an example of universal truth, as noted in the argument: 2 + 2 = 4. This simple math equation involves the law of identity and other laws of logic. The relationship applies no matter what symbols are used.
    Actually, "2 + 2 = 4" follows necessarily from the axioms of peano arithmetic, assuming we give the symbols their usual meaning (I'm also lead to believe that this can be derived from set theory as well).

    Rick: -Classical logic is the most widely used and accepted and forms the basis of day to day reasoning.
    Since it was developed, as I understand it, to describe day to day reasoning (as a formalism of more informal reasoning), this is entirely unsurprising in my view.

    Rick: -It seems the laws and conventions of philosophical logic and reason indirectly imply this.
    Actually, they don't at all, though this is one opinion on the matter. It looks to me like you're taking a very shallow view of the matter.

    Rick: - In the double slit experiment, particles are not measured when hit, but when they pass through a screen.
    They're measured when they hit the detector - this is a collision of the photon with an atom.

    Rick: - On the one hand, there are specific, agreed upon elements in formal philosophical syllogisms.
    Consistency seems to be a major requirement, though it does depend on what you mean, even here (see peano arithmetic and Goedel's theorem).

    Rick: And on the other hand, I believe philosophers should be able to fit all of reality into a logical framework, however they want to define it.
    You're beliefs are not at issue here, and are irrelevant. Perhaps there is a single "logic", but if so, we don't currently know what it's axioms are, since different formal systems are useful in describing different aspects of reality

    Rick: But, it seems if you want to justify your philosophical beliefs, you need a basis of logic that accounts for the parts and the whole of reality in relationship together.
    You'll need to go into further detail regarding what you actually mean here, and what would fulfil your requirements (and perhaps why these requirements are deemed necessary).

    Rick: Seeing as you are a materialist, I don’t believe you have such a logical basis, due QM facts.
    And I don't really care what you believe. I've mentioned quantum logic as being able to describe quantum events.

    Rick: Maybe you haven’t considered the situation long enough to understand the philosophical problem.
    Perhaps there isn't really a problem here, and you've not considered the problem long enough from other viewpoints?

    Rick: Atheist Sandin recognized this crisis and felt the need to reject QM implications.
    I really don't care what another person thought - the arguments you've presented don't support your claims as far as you've presented them.

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  58. Rick: Yes, I would agree that supernatural NDE experiences do in fact break the laws of physics. I would have thought that obvious. Are you suggesting that the scientific laws of physics can never be broken under any circumstances?
    No, I wouldn't claim that laws cannot in principle be broken, or our understanding could not be flawed. My intention was to bring up the fact that these particular laws are rather fundamental and very strongly attested, and the claims you present regarding NDE's are rather vague and unconvincing evidence that our understanding of physics has been violated, especially as there seems to be a rather more parsimonious explanation for NDE's which have been investigated.

    Rick: That idea is based on methodological naturalism and is based on atheistic preconceptions alone.
    Not at all. methodological naturalism works, and as such the idea of philosophical naturalism finds support. That there is no research methodology to investigate and verify or falsify supernatural claims puts any and all such claims on very shaky epistemological ground unless and until such time as processes of methodologies which are able to rigorously investigate claims (supposedly) beyond the reach of methodological naturalism is proposed and accepted.

    Rick: Isaac Newton, possibly the greatest scientists in history, and other theist scientists did not operate based on these atheist preconceptions.
    Actually, they did. They didn't (generally) accept supernatural explanations, and to greater or lesser degrees practised a form of methodological naturalism, and they did this for no other reason than it works and is a rationally justified method of investigation.

    Rick: Unfortunately, hegemony and censorship in academia have for the most part shut the door to debate on this issue.
    Not really. The door has been shut on the issue because supernatural explanations have been found to be impotent, generally speaking.

    Rick: But the ministry of thought crime has not yet reached the blogoshpere so I still have a bit of freedom here to present this classic notion.
    Present away, but don't expect to be able to pass of nonsense as rigorous methodology, and fantasy as legitimate evidence :-)

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  59. Rick, you seem to be purposefully obtuse. I will then explain for you, and any readers, how materialism accepts QM and what identity actually means.

    Materialism is a metaphysical conception of reality. A metaphysical concept is any concept that arranges the world and its components. Metaphysical concepts are useful in that they limit the amount of possible sets in reality. Materialism, for instance, limits possible sets to those including only material entities. Theism is also a metaphysical concept which limits possible sets to those which include god. The problem with metaphysics is that it cannot be proven as one cannot step outside of the metaphysical world to examine it. What one can do, however, is examine the sets found in the universe and determine if they violate the allowable sets within a metaphysical conception. For instance, theodicy shows how the set that includes god and evil is logically contradictory. We know that the "evils" exist therefore we know that reality includes a set which does not include god. This violates theism and therefore theism is proven (via falsification) to be untrue. Materialism, as a metaphysical concept, proposes that all things in the universe are physical. It does not imply how those physical objects act, it does not imply that those physical objects can be observed by the naked human eye, it does not imply that the rules those physical objects follow will make any sense to the human mind. To invalidate materialism one would have to find a immaterial set. However it has been shown that finding this set is logically impossible. We are physical, material beings. Therefore anything we can interact with would likewise be a physical material being. Thoughts are physical (specific electrical impulses operating within the brain), energy is physical, and every other thing we interact with is physical. Two unlike objects (material objects and immaterial objects) cannot interact, by definition. If they cannot interact then we cannot perceive them and thus cannot acquire evidence of their existence, and thus cannot (with any amount of honesty or credibility) assert such. This is why Cartesian duality has been soundly rejected by all respectable philosophers and scientists.
    Quantum physics is the science of understanding how sub-atomic particles behave. The rules which these sub-atomic particles have been observed to follow are alien to our minds and many of our previously established rules for the macro-atomic world. However, every quantum physicist will confirm that quantum particles are A) physical, material particles; B) are causally interacting with their surroundings; C) operate according to rules determined by their nature and the nature of their interactions. These three points show that quantum physics is consistent with both materialism and with logic.
    Now I shall go on further, to explain to you what the law of identity (A=A) and the law of non-contradictions ~(A=~A) actually mean {since you are entering a philosophical debate I am using philosophical symbols a capital letter is a statement or fact e.g. that is my house. "~" means not or negation.) The law of identity states that a thing is what it is (A=A). It does not state that a thing cannot be something else ~(~(A=B)). For instance I have a house (A), my house is blue, my house is large, and my house is in Denver (A=B=C=D). What I cannot say though is that my house is not my house (A=~A). When people say things like that in real life they are committing the logical fallacy of equivalence, using one term to mean two different things. For instance, I might mean that "my house" (i.e. the place that I live) is not "my house" (i.e. a building that I have legal ownership of).

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  60. When spoken correctly the statement becomes "I do not have legal ownership of the place that I live in" which is a non-contradictory statement ~(A=B). You get this flatly wrong when you say "The law of identity says A is A and A is not B." "A" may be "B" or any other number of things as long as it remains "A". This is why the law of identity and non-contradiction are two sides of the same coin. They cannot be separated from each other. Furthermore, as you stated above, to be able to differentiate a thing you must identify the descriptors it possesses and show how those descriptors cannot be applied exactly the same to any other object. Consequently, if there are two objects which possess exactly the same descriptors applied in exactly the same way then those two objects are in fact the same object. E.g. I have a cat name tom who is brown, long haired, and had a really cute mew when he was a kitten. I have a friend, George, who also has a kitten named tom who is brown, long haired, and had a really cute mew when he was a kitten. If George and I examine our cats and determine that every single descriptor they posses is equal (they were born to the same mother, they live in the same house, they love fish, they sleep on the same chair, etc.) we will discover that we are only talking about one cat. However, if we can find even one thing different about them (my tom is sleeping on the couch right now while George's tom is sleeping on the floor right now) we can determine that they are actually two separate cats (maybe they were identical twins).
    Quantum physics does not violate the law of identity (or non-contradiction). This should be immediately obvious from the fact that they can differentiate particles. When a scientist says "these two particles seemed to be linked in a strange way" they have shown that each of those particles has a different, though linked, identity. When the scientist says "this particle exists in two places at once" he is showing that there is one particle which has the strange property of being bi-locational. Neither of these instances violate the law of identity.

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  61. You also seem to be confusing how quantum physics looks at dual property particles. A light exists as both a wave and a particle. They do not say that the same light exists as neither a wave nor a particle, you added that one in to make your argument seem stronger. Until you can scientifically prove that non-perceived particles have no properties (as opposed to unperceived or undetermined properties) you cannot make such a bold claim. You quote this from Dean Sandin who, likewise, is not a quantum physicist and is therefore also talking out of his ass. Quantum physicists are able to identify particles and the properties of those particles without resorting to some form of spiritual properties. This shows, beyond any doubt, that there is a form of identity and non-contradiction to those particles. Let me explain to you, with Schrodinger's cat, how non-contradiction could work within the quantum sphere.
    Schrodinger's cat is placed in a box where it becomes both alive and dead at the same time. Some may believe that this involves a contradiction. However, this would only be the case if the cat was "both alive and not alive". To state that it is both alive and dead is no more contradictory than saying that a carrot is in the refrigerator and on the floor. It doesn't make sense how it could happen, but it is logically possible (bi-locating carrot, extremely large carrot, etc.) To understand the thought experiment (which is a THOUGHT EXPERIMENT not an actual occurrence as macro-atomic objects, like cats, do NOT experience dual properties such as alive/dead) is to realize that alive and dead are not actually contradictory terms. In reality, particles possess the property of particle/wave which, at first, seems as contradictory as alive/dead. However, Schrodinger is trying to show how particle/wave can be a single property through the use of a strange yet familiar metaphor. To take the metaphor too far and assert that part of the definition of "dead" is "not alive" is to lose sight of the fact that it is a metaphor.
    Finally, as I have said before, the basis of reality is REALITY. Logic, reason, faith, intuition, and hope must all submit to reality or they are but the ravings of a madman. I don't believe in quantum physics because I can prove it logically, I believe in quantum physics because it has been SHOWN. I disbelieve in god not because I don't like him, I disbelieve because it has been SHOWN FALSE (see theodicy among others). Anyone who rejects something as well tested as quantum physics because they don't like its implications is an idiot. Anyone who asserts the existence of souls and sky faries because he wants it to be true (even though he has shown NO EVIDENCE for it) is likewise either a fool or a madman.
    Pure logic can "prove" many things which are not true. Leibniz came up with a perfectly logical and non-contradictory metaphysical system which has been soundly rejected. Actually, you remind me of a monad, unable to alter your course because you don't actually interact with those around you, you only look like you do. From now on I think I shall call you Monad.
    I look forward to your next non-response Monad. Hopefully there is someone out there that will actually benefit from this conversation.

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  62. Rick Warden said "If the brain, the mind and all actions are considered the result of cause and effect, then the result is mainly deterministic, with a small variable of randomness. In this view, metaphysically speaking, the idea of personal free will is a grand illusion."

    I'm afraid you are confusing "deterministic" and "predictable".

    Chaos theory has shown that three bodies interacting through deterministic laws (such as the gravitation force) end up following intrinsically unpredictable paths (not "hard to predict" but "unpredictable").

    So billions of neurons interacting through deterministic laws (such as biochemical reactions) can lead to an intrinsically unpredictable outcome, that will be the result of what we call "personal free will".

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  63. Rick: In this view, metaphysically speaking, the idea of personal free will is a grand illusion."
    Rick's view here also completely ignores the incoherence of indeterministic concepts of "free will" such as he seems to be championing.

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  64. Havok (H)

    Before I get back into your comments, I was wondering if you can tell me if you have an affiliation with any particular atheist blog or website.

    T: It seems the laws and conventions of philosophical logic and reason indirectly imply this (presuppositionalism).

    H: Actually, they don't at all, though this is one opinion on the matter. It looks to me like you're taking a very shallow view of the matter.

    T: I made a simple point. I simply explained three of the conventional ingredients required for a kosher philosophical argument you had challenged:

    T: "If you wish to propose the convention for presenting formal, philosophical proof does not include very basic and essential conceptual elements of consistent truth, validity and soundness, please show proof of your position."

    This was your answer: "You seem to be slowly edging towards some presuppositional apologetic here."

    T: So, Havok, if these simple ingredients don't imply a presuppositional premise, why did you suggest they did?

    H: You'll need to go into further detail regarding what you actually mean here, and what would fulfil your requirements (and perhaps why these requirements are deemed necessary).

    T: This is not my personal opinion alone. And it is not limited to philosophy. It relates to all fields of knowledge: "The logical test of truth is that of consistency. Truths that contradict each other are not truths at all, for it is the nature of truth to be consistent with itself and the whole of experience." - The philosophical basis of education, Rolland Merritt Shreves,

    H: No, I wouldn't claim that laws cannot in principle be broken, or our understanding could not be flawed.

    T: Come to think of it, I'm not sure that "breaking the laws of physics" is really the best description for NDE phenomena any more than thinking or meditating are breaking the laws of physics. The mental state and the spiritual condition are similar in that the phenomena are not seen.

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  65. H: Not at all. methodological naturalism works, and as such the idea of philosophical naturalism finds support. That there is no research methodology to investigate and verify or falsify supernatural claims puts any and all such claims on very shaky epistemological ground unless and until such time as processes of methodologies which are able to rigorously investigate claims (supposedly) beyond the reach of methodological naturalism is proposed and accepted.

    T: It’s correct that general, physical scientific tests should be falsifiable. The problem with academic methodological naturalism is that it is not objective with regard to the larger questions of evolution and cosmology. Because of this hegemony, scientific facts that support Intelligent Design are rejected off hand. However, when confronted in a debate environment, the science behind intelligent design is more convincing than that of the evolutionary –minded scientists. Richard Dawkins, for example, has repeatedly refused offers to debate from the leading intelligent design scientists, Stephen Myer, Michael Behe.

    Evolutionary scientists tend to lose debates with creationist scientists and, thus, they categorically refuse to debate them in public:

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_Debate

    H: Actually, they did (operate based on these atheist preconceptions). They didn't (generally) accept supernatural explanations, and to greater or lesser degrees practiced a form of methodological naturalism.

    T: You’re off here H. Though they probably all tested with basic falsification and standard scientific techniques, the greatest scientific minds, such as Newton’s, did believe in scientific explanations and God as the first cause. The reason why Newton sought out the laws of gravity in the first place was because of his belief in an ordered rational, universe including universal laws that operate in harmony with each other. The same goes for Kepler:

    “Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) also used his belief in a Divine Creator to guide him to his pioneering discovery of the nature of the planetary orbits. Believing that God had created the universe in accordance with some perfect numerological principle, Kepler used this expectation to figure out the mathematical nature of the various planetary motions.{26}

    Charles Sanders Pierce, both a mathematician and philosopher, “did not believe that the process of abductive reasoning in science necessarily precludes the supernatural from the explanans. For Peirce, then, "there is no essential hostility between the most essential aspect of scientific reasoning and broadly theistic conclusions."{35}

    These are just a few examples, of which there are many more in all fields of science. As a matter of fact, watch this debate between John Lewis and Richard Dawkins and you’ll see Dawkins admit that modern science was born out of a highly theological milieu and influence:

    http://www.fixed-point.org/index.php/video/35-full-length/164-the-dawkins-lennox-debate

    H: The door has been shut on the issue because supernatural explanations have been found to be impotent, generally speaking.

    T: If you are truly interested to know the facts, read some documented history. Reading the following article will help you to understand the basis of atheistic hegemony today in academia and why so few people know the facts: Are Atheist Jellyfish Taking Over the World?

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/02/are-atheist-jellyfish-taking-over-world.html

    H: Present away, but don't expect to be able to pass of nonsense as rigorous methodology, and fantasy as legitimate evidence :-)

    T: The most difficult thing for an atheist to do is to consider and evaluate opposing, documented facts with an objective, open mind. Pejorative terms don’t count as a refutation. :./

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  66. Rick: Before I get back into your comments, I was wondering if you can tell me if you have an affiliation with any particular atheist blog or website.
    Not really. I do have my own blog, but it is fairly untended.

    Rick: T: I made a simple point. I simply explained three of the conventional ingredients required for a kosher philosophical argument you had challenged
    And I made a point of indicating why these conventional ingredients are not as you made them out to be, or as required for your claims.

    Rick: T: So, Havok, if these simple ingredients don't imply a presuppositional premise, why did you suggest they did?
    By presuppositional apologetic, I meant the ridiclous claims that some Christians make, that the laws of logic themselves imply (the Christian) God, and that simply by using logic and reason, the atheist (or non-Christian) is tacitly accepting the existence of this being. This tactic is an intellectual black-hole.

    Rick: T: This is not my personal opinion alone. And it is not limited to philosophy. It relates to all fields of knowledge: "The logical test of truth is that of consistency. Truths that contradict each other are not truths at all, for it is the nature of truth to be consistent with itself and the whole of experience." - The philosophical basis of education, Rolland Merritt Shreves,
    Which doesn't actually tell me what you mean. You seem to dismiss the claims that systems of formal logic are means of manipulating symbols, that there are different systems of logic, that there are different theories of truth, etc, and that this effects your claims, so I'm not sure what it is you're actually claiming.

    Rick: T: Come to think of it, I'm not sure that "breaking the laws of physics" is really the best description for NDE phenomena any more than thinking or meditating are breaking the laws of physics.
    Please don't ignore my actual question to you - the laws of physics that NDE's, if they were actually evidence for immaterial souls/minds, would break are very well attested, and as such, given the poor evidence in support of NDE's why shouldn't we simply dismiss the immaterial/soul hypothesis as explanation for NDE's unless and until there is more evidence in favour of this hypothesis.

    Rick: The mental state and the spiritual condition are similar in that the phenomena are not seen.
    And are empirically impotent if they were to exist, since there is no way for them to interact with our brains. Fortunately there is simply no need to postulate the existence of such a thing given current evidence (and plenty of reasons to discount existence).
    Souls are simply more wishful thinking on behalf of Christians (and others), which are not supported by the available evidence (and have some rather damning disconfirming evidence too).

    Your turn...

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  67. Rick: T: It’s correct that general, physical scientific tests should be falsifiable. The problem with academic methodological naturalism is that it is not objective with regard to the larger questions of evolution and cosmology.
    Evidence to assert this unjustified assertion please.

    Rick: Because of this hegemony, scientific facts that support Intelligent Design are rejected off hand.
    No they're not. They're rejected because they're either unfalsifiable and therefore explanatorily impotent, or they've been falsified already, or they're simply hypothesis waiting some sort of experimental confirmation/falsification.

    Rick: However, when confronted in a debate environment, the science behind intelligent design is more convincing than that of the evolutionary –minded scientists.
    A debate environment is not a conducive way to sort out the truth - rhetoric and sophistry are more important than arguments and evidence, and winning is more important than the truth.

    Rick: Richard Dawkins, for example, has repeatedly refused offers to debate from the leading intelligent design scientists, Stephen Myer, Michael Behe.
    Which means what exactly?
    The published work by both of those figures supposedly supporting ID is ridiculous, and has been critically torn to shreds on both logical and empirical grounds.

    This call for debate is a ridiculous strategy aimed not at finding the truth but at supporting ideological bias and reinforcing beliefs against disconfirming evidence.

    Rick: Evolutionary scientists tend to lose debates with creationist scientists and, thus, they categorically refuse to debate them in public:
    Rhetoric and sophistry, as I said.
    I'd also like to know which debates you think ID and creationists actually win, and whether you think the arguments and evidence cited by "your side" are actually correct when investigated.
    Providing a link to conservapedia only helps illuminate the foolishness of your position.

    Rick: T: You’re off here H.
    No, I'm not.

    Rick: Though they probably all tested with basic falsification and standard scientific techniques, the greatest scientific minds, such as Newton’s, did believe in scientific explanations and God as the first cause.
    "God as the first cause" is not a scientific hypothesis.

    Rick: The reason why Newton sought out the laws of gravity in the first place was because of his belief in an ordered rational, universe including universal laws that operate in harmony with each other. The same goes for Kepler:
    Reasons for investigation don't matter. God isn't accepted as an explanation simply because, for the most part, it's an empty explanation - it has no empirical content worth noting.

    Your quote from Sanders Pierce only reinforces my point - the supernatural is not rejected a priori, but rejected because it is empirically empty and explanatorily impotent.

    Rick: As a matter of fact, watch this debate between John Lewis and Richard Dawkins and you’ll see Dawkins admit that modern science was born out of a highly theological milieu and influence:
    Which is completely irrelevant.

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  68. Rick: T: If you are truly interested to know the facts, read some documented history. Reading the following article will help you to understand the basis of atheistic hegemony today in academia and why so few people know the facts: Are Atheist Jellyfish Taking Over the World?

    That blog post of yours seems to be uninformed and rather silly.
    Perhaps some evidence that this atheist hedgemony exists (and no, simply stating that many scientists are atheists, and that scientific explanations don't invoke God won't do).
    Of course, since the hedgemony is a product of peoples imagination, I doubt there'll be any evidence forthcoming.

    Rick: T: The most difficult thing for an atheist to do is to consider and evaluate opposing, documented facts with an objective, open mind. Pejorative terms don’t count as a refutation. :./
    Again, i'll ask you not to impute words and ideas to me without any sort of evidence they apply. To generalise that atheists do anything apart from lack belief in God is at best simply false, and at worst, a ridiculous strawman erected to try to shore up a persons fantasy.
    And asserting the truth of an argument doesn't make it the case.
    Perhaps you ought to read some history and philosophy of science before continuing further with your claims that there is some atheist conspiracy at work in the academy.

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  69. And Rick, you've still not shown that your view of logic requires the presumptions that help your case, or that QM is troublesome for materialism generally (not simply the flawed ideas of materialism you or someone else entertain).

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  70. The reason why presuppositional logic is flawed is because you are asserting that the presuppositions are true without having any reason to assert they are true. Therefore, if you base a system of thought on presuppositionalism it is no more convincing than a make-believe story told by a six year old. It would be similar to trying to build a house suspended 50 feet in the air because you have predetermined that there is an invisible mountain there and refuse to believe differently. You will quickly find that your building, like your logic, fall to pieces.
    Supernatural explanations aren't allowed in science because they kill our ability to understand. Science is about studying cause and effect. If supernatural causes are allowed then one cannot study the cause and therefore scientific knowledge, or any kind of knowledge for that matter, is impossible. If down birds are the source of gravity I can never study the down birds to figure out how they operate and thus I can never understand how gravity works. If we accept intelligent design then we are left just shrugging our shoulders when someone asks how animals work. The creation of these organisims comes from a supernatural source and is therefore, by definition, beyond our ability to analyze and understand. Supernaturalism would kill science. Of course we know that this is the purpose of intelligent design (see Wedge Document). Intelligent design is a system which its authors and proponents know is false yet they propose it as a way of destroying science and making people think that it is smart to accept God as a cause for reality.
    Scientists, like Dawkins, do not debate intelligent designers for the same reason nuclear physicists don't debate sixth graders on the composition of the sub-atomic world. For Dawkins to debate someone like Behe would be to pretend that Behe actually has an argument worth listening to. This may be a bad strategy by Dawkins, but it is certainly not one based on fear. Every single argument put forth by intelligent design has been shot down so thoroughly that it should make anyone ashamed to be associated with intelligent design. Of course, this article is about how logic and physics prove God (wherase in reality they disprove God).

    Havok, the problem is that Monad (Rick) can't show how logic or QM harm materialism because he doesn't understand what any of those three things are. It is roughly equivilant to the 5th grader lecturing the college professor because the 5th grader had a dream that told him how everything really works.

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  71. D'n: Havok, the problem is that Monad (Rick) can't show how logic or QM harm materialism because he doesn't understand what any of those three things are. It is roughly equivilant to the 5th grader lecturing the college professor because the 5th grader had a dream that told him how everything really works.
    The 5th grader could probably learn something from the professor - enough to retract their ridiculous claims - and if not there's always the hope that the 5th grader will mature as they grow up.
    It remains to be seen (for me at least) whether our host here is able to admit his errors and learn a thing or two.

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  72. Din,

    Before getting back into our debate, I’d like to ask if you are affiliated with any particular atheist blog or website and if you have professional training in science or philosophy. If you don’t want to answer, don’t feel pressured. It can make a debate more interesting to know something about a person.

    D: Rick, you seem to be purposefully obtuse. I will then explain for you, and any readers, how materialism accepts QM and what identity actually means:

    “Materialism, as a metaphysical concept, proposes that all things in the universe are physical. Materialism is a metaphysical conception of reality. A metaphysical concept is any concept that arranges the world and its components…Materialism, as a metaphysical concept, proposes that all things in the universe are physical. It does not imply how those physical objects act, it does not imply that those physical objects can be observed by the naked human eye, it does not imply that the rules those physical objects follow will make any sense to the human mind.”

    T: My brief search revealed a definition of Materialism quite different from yours, e.g. Webster’s:

    “Materialism: a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter”

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/materialism

    It seems your definition is loaded with a little extra personal baggage:

    “it (Materialism) does not imply that the rules those physical objects follow will make any sense to the human mind.”

    The conventional definition implies the opposite of what you implied:

    “all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter”

    Let’s break it down, according to the conventional definition of Materialism: “all (as in every kind) of being (sentient or otherwise) processes (whatever known to exist) can be explained (rationally and logically) as manifestations or results of matter.

    You have a little extra carry-on luggage, D’n, and though it may seem quite small and insignificant to you, it’s in the wrong form and so it just won’t fly, no matter how much you may want it to. Try bringing a bottle of water through an international airport security check line and you’ll get a taste of the situation.

    Compare your definition of Materialism and the conventional one and consider who is really being obtuse. I won’t accuse you of doing this purposefully but would ask that you try to employ more critical thinking.

    I would add, though, that your comment is a good example of a materialist presupposition. You have a false presupposition that your Materialism doesn’t have to logically and rationally account for the whole of reality. This kind of presupposition was perhaps considered OK when the microscope was first invented. But, according to the definition, you are held to a higher level of philosophical accountability.

    I realize this lackadaisical status-quo approach for atheistic academia is common. But for the sake of our little debate here, can we agree to use conventional dictionary definitions as a minimal standard?

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  73. D: We are physical, material beings. Therefore anything we can interact with would likewise be a physical material being. Thoughts are physical (specific electrical impulses operating within the brain), energy is physical, and every other thing we interact with is physical.

    T: These are merely your presuppositions as a materialist.

    D: Two unlike objects (material objects and immaterial objects) cannot interact, by definition.

    T: You seem to enjoy making grandiose and sweeping statements. You must prove them in the context of our debate.

    D: This is why the law of identity and non-contradiction are two sides of the same coin. They cannot be separated from each other. Furthermore, as you stated above, to be able to differentiate a thing you must identify the descriptors it possesses and show how those descriptors cannot be applied exactly the same to any other object.

    T: I basically agree.

    D: You also seem to be confusing how quantum physics looks at dual property particles. A light exists as both a wave and a particle. They do not say that the same light exists as neither a wave nor a particle, you added that one in to make your argument seem stronger.

    T: There you go again, implying you know my motivations. This is not helping your critique of my article and implies you do have a problem with being an objective thinker. I did not even consider the issue you mention here and, if you are correct when I review it, I’ll change it. I’m not sure who “they” are as the experts, but if you supply a valid link, I’ll look into it.

    Where specifically is this the quote you are referring to in may article? Is it this?: “It exists as both a particle and a wave, and yet neither.” Please explain why you believe the source is not credible. If you don’t like my personal statement in the article, please give me my own words in quotes so I know where to look. Thanks.

    D: Pure logic can "prove" many things which are not true.

    T: I’m not sure what you mean by “pure logic.” Does that mean using logical argument forms with untrue premises? DaliLama propsed using "entirely unreal propositions" with a correct logical form, a syllogism. Please see my response July 18, 7:02 PM. Logic, truth, validity, and soundness are all required to form the essential basis of a convincing and solid philosophical argument. While it may be possible to have premises that appear true and are not, it’s highly unlikely a person will use all true premises in a valid form and reach a false conclusion. I would not say that a highly unique exception necessarily disqualifies an agreed upon standard if there is no better standard available.

    D: From now on I think I shall call you Monad.

    T: Your final comment, pejorative name calling. Based on observations of my kid’s behavior, there seems to be an inverse ratio between the juvenile aptitude for name calling and the ability to use clear-headed reasoning.

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  74. Hello Yogi,

    Just curious, do you have a favorite atheist blog?

    You wrote:

    I'm afraid you are confusing "deterministic" and "predictable".

    Chaos theory has shown that three bodies interacting through deterministic laws (such as the gravitation force) end up following intrinsically unpredictable paths (not "hard to predict" but "unpredictable").

    Yogi, As far as I know, Materialists believe everything is the result of determinism and randomness, as I wrote in my article. Free will supposedly arrived from this, but it's not really a viable hypothesis

    Here's the definition you questioned in keeping with my statement: Determinism: The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.

    Please explain and offer a logical, documented example of how random processes, physical laws and chemical reactions can arrive at a state of self-conscious and autonomous volition, i.e., free will.

    This is not a logical transition. It’s never been observed. It’s never been demonstrated or falsified. The only reason this unscientific conjecture exists is to attempt to justify Materialism. But it doesn’t because it is not based on any documented mathematical equations, testimonies or evidence whatsoever.

    Regards,

    Rick

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  75. Rick: Please explain and offer a logical, documented example of how random processes, physical laws and chemical reactions can arrive at a state of self-conscious and autonomous volition, i.e., free will.
    Please explain and offer a logical, documented example of how something immaterial can not only arrive at a state of self-conscious and autonomous volition, and allow rational choice external to the causal chain (ie. libertarian free will), but can also interact with material "stuff" in a manner which breaks and/or invalidated very solidly attested laws and theories of physics.

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  76. Rick: Just curious, do you have a favorite atheist blog?
    Are you asking these questions to pimp your blog and this failed argument around the blogosphere?

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  77. I do not have a website, and I received my degree in Philosophy. I am working towards getting my doctorate in philosophy so I can teach, though that is still a ways off.

    The fact that “all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter” does not imply that those explanations will be understood by humans. Nearly everyone who believes in materialism also believes in a rationalistic universe which is fully comprehensible by the human mind, however these are separate issues and must be dealt with separately. One of the most fundamental philosophical processes is the separation of ideas into their component parts.
    Regardless, I have shown how Quantum physics is consistent with both materialism and a rational world.

    The reason why dualism has failed as an account for reality is that no one has been able to figure out how two utterly unlike substances could interact. Physical objects interact by, basically, pushing against each other. I don't need to defend such a position because it has been defended quite thoroughly by many greater minds. Furthermore, science cannot operate in a dualistic environment because the spiritual world would be unperceivable and therefore unmeasurable.

    I will admit that I had assumed you wrote your article purposefully and therefore chose the quotes you used because they supported your position. Since the quotes you use about the dual properties of quantum physics (in section 2 paragraphs 3 and 5) claim that unobserved particles have no properties I assumed you also believed that. Again, those quotes are from people who are not quantum physicists.
    If you want to understand quantum physics you need to look at sources about quantum physics, not sources by philosophers writing about quantum physics. The Wikipedia article on quantum physics is a good start and a better source than the ones you used. Of course, the Wikipedia article doesn't mention the idea that unobserved particles have no properties and therefore doesn't help your position. I am no expert at quantum physics. Richard Feynman, one of the greatest minds in quantum physics himself claimed that no one understands quantum physics. The science is too young for us to claim we have revolutionized our understanding of reality. That is why so many people claim that quantum reality will explain their fantasy ideas (god, esp, taping words on water bottles to heal people, rewriting reality with our minds, etc.) Quantum physics is that sad blend of scientifically valid yet obscure enough that people can try to make it say whatever they want it to say while looking as if they are scientific.

    "Pure logic" is what the rationalists of the enlightenment used to understand reality. Rather than perform experiments and observations they thought about the universe, adopted what was the most compelling, and then built logical metaphysical constructs to support their ideas. Only experimentation and observation can support a view of reality.

    The problem with pure logic to define reality is that you (and I and everyone in the universe) have no access to truth. You cannot, logically speaking, ever verify that something is true. Logically speaking, even one exception makes something false rather than true. Formal logic relies on dual values, absolutely true or not-absolutely true (which we call false). Plato, who is the originator of your idea of truth, wanted true things to be universal, eternal, and accurate. We cannot affirm any of these positions absolutely and therefore cannot have absolute access to truth. Since you can't have access to an absolute truth you are forced to use a better and more practical source for knowledge, experimentation and observation.

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  78. @ Rick : I don't read that many atheist blogs, and my favourites you already know : Greta Christina and Pharyngula (not to mention Dawkins, who is God made man :-) ).

    The emergence and structure of consciousness is clearly not yet a fully understood feature. My point is only that current science points to mechanisms and similarities that give us clues about how consciousness can appear, and which show how it can be fully compatible with materialism and determinism.

    But first you must reframe your logic and your expectations a bit: we can't rigorously define what consciousness is, nor whether free-will really exists, since it is ourselves, using these very tools, who are trying to define them by using them, "from within" so to speak. So we're looking for phenomena that will behave as if they had "self-consciousness and autonomous volition" and that will call themselves as such, whatever it means.

    Secondly, in very many cases the sum of a number of parts creates a new "being" which exhibits new properties and behaviours, entirely different from those of the individual pieces. Water is wet, not water molecules. A city expands, shrinks and dies, not its inhabitants. Imagining "wetness" from looking at individual molecules is very difficult. Understanding the complexity of a city by lokking at a human being is very difficult.

    Let's get back to determinism.

    Take for example a solar system, even a simpler one than our own. The gravitation law governing its movement is perfectly deterministic; and yet the orbits of the planets cannot be computed beyond a certain duration. It's not because of lack of computing time or computing power: compute as much as you want, on the long term the orbits are unpredictable, because with more than three bodies you get into "chaotic systems". You can't even tell whether the solar system will remain together or whether the planets will be thrown off into space. Literally speaking, the system is "free" since it is impossible to predict what it will do. We do not use that word however because its mechanics look too simplistic to us.

    Now take a neurologic system with clusters of neurons, each cluster more or less specialized in memory, stimuli reception, image processing, proprioception, mental visualization, movement planning, etc, all governed by deterministic biochemical reactions, and have all of these clusters interacting. The resulting behaviour is intrinsically unpredictable. But now, seen from within this intricate network of billions of interacting clusters, we will call this behaviour "free will". "Free will" is hard to imagine by looking at neurons, just like wetness is hard to imagine by looking at molecules. It does exist though, and is based strictly on deterministic laws.

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  79. Reginald SelkirkJuly 21, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    To those reading this blog page:

    I posted a lengthy response concerning Intelligent Design Creationism and debates, making a number of points. Although the blogmaster advertises this site as "Uncensored by mainstream media," he apparently has no qualms about implementing his own version of censorship when he pleases. You may take this as a measure of his intellectual integrity.

    To repeat just one point:
    "Because of this hegemony, scientific facts that support Intelligent Design are rejected off hand"

    I challenge Rick Warden to present even one "scientific fact" supporting Intelligent Design Creationism which has been rejected.

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  80. @Reginald

    Revise that to "I challenge Rick Warden to present even one "scientific fact" supporting Intelligent Design Creationism which has been rejected off hand rather than because it is inherently flawed."

    We reject intelligent design "facts" all the time.

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  81. Havok,

    I had asked you a question:

    T: If these simple ingredients(of a sound philosophical argument)don't imply a presuppositional premise, why did you suggest they did?

    You didn't answer my question but supplied a definition of presupositionalism:

    H: By presuppositional apologetic, I meant the ridiclous claims that some Christians make, that the laws of logic themselves imply (the Christian) God, and that simply by using logic and reason, the atheist (or non-Christian) is tacitly accepting the existence of this being. This tactic is an intellectual black-hole.

    Oops, that answer was a non-sequitur. Can you answer my question? :)

    H: the laws of physics that NDE's, if they were actually evidence for immaterial souls/minds, would break are very well attested.

    T; I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar with this list of laws and specifically how they are broken by NDE. If they’re well attested to, can you offer some links to where I can see this list?

    H: Fortunately there is simply no need to postulate the existence of such a thing (NDE) given current evidence (and plenty of reasons to discount existence).

    T: I offered evidence, testimonies of doctors and medical records showing NDE is verified. Have you refuted my evidence?

    And can you supply us with some of your evidence which supposedly has forever closed the door on the validity of NDE experience?

    T Prev: The problem with academic methodological naturalism is that it is not objective with regard to the larger questions of evolution and cosmology.

    H: Evidence to assert this unjustified assertion please.

    T: Here’s the evidence: Scientific facts which undermine evolution are rejected in academia out-of-hand not because facts are incorrect, improperly documented or not based on science, but simply because the implication seem to oppose evolutionary theory.. For examples there are many sources. E.g. See documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. I'll offer some more examples a few posts later.

    One of the greatest scientific minds in history believed in God, Newton, as this effected his scientific methodology in a very positive manner, as I noted. As soon as you reject the possibility of God's existence as a philosophical question, you are rejecting the basic tenets of critical thinking.

    Critical thinking is based on testing all possible hypotheses objectively. Because you cannot prove God does not exist (proving a negative), the possibility of testing God’s existence remains a hypothetical possibility. To deny this is to imply you oppose critical thinking. Not good.

    Are you implying that you reject critical thinking and want everyone else to, simply because of your personal philosophical predilections? Sad.

    H: No they're not. They're rejected because they're either unfalsifiable and therefore explanatorily impotent, or they've been falsified already, or they're simply hypothesis waiting some sort of experimental confirmation.

    T: You (and anyone who reads this )really need to watch the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, because it is clear you don't understand the reality of why the censorship occurs. It's documented that professors are fired and harassed simply for presenting facts that oppose the status-quo atheistic presuppositions.

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  82. Havok,

    I’ve read Steven Myer’s book, Signature in the Cell, and have found valid scientific evidence supporting the claim that intelligence cannot arrive through a selective process of materialistic evolution. However, this concept has been banned because certain politicians (not scientists)influenced the decision without fully examining or understanding the scientific claims. The book and its claims have been rejected merely because of the implications of the scientific discoveries.

    H: A debate environment is not a conducive way to sort out the truth - rhetoric and sophistry are more important than arguments and evidence, and winning is more important than the truth.

    T: It is true that there is a competitive element to a debate. There is a competition to present convincing facts in order to make a convincing argument. People can write books and articles as much as they want to, but until a debate occurs, the ideas really aren't tested.

    Interesting how Dawkins refuses to debate Myers, who is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and is a qualified scientist. Big implications there. :)

    I invite people here because I'm not afraid of being tested. This, and the fact my ideas have not been refuted is a testimony that my ideas are true. People's refusal to debate is a testimony that their ideas are false.

    At their "blog" I challenged the No God Blog (American Atheists) to came and challenge this article. They made a simple philosophical response to my challenge and I refuted the idea presented. Then they erased all of the related comments!

    If I didn't want to sound presumptuous, I would label that type of reaction fear. :)

    ReplyDelete
  83. Havok,

    Here's another good one, documented in all its glory... Dawkins debated a guy and according to the student poll he lost. What was Dawkins' response? To attack the character of the person and deny the debate ever took place!

    “ ...Dawkins attacked me on his website and denied that he and I had ever debated. My office quickly posted the full footage of a two hour debate which took place on October 23, 1996, a debate which Dawkins actually lost after a vote taken by the students as to which side, science or religion, caused more students to change their minds. In my article on the subject responding to his attack I was extremely respectful of Dr. Dawkins and was therefore shocked to receive a letter in return in which he accused me of speaking like Hitler. Had the noted scientist lost his mind? Hitler? Was this for real?[23] ”

    Atheist Richard Dawkins Lost a Debate to a Rabbi and then Claimed Debate Never Took Place

    http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=2152

    T Prev: you’ll see Dawkins admit that modern science was born out of a highly theological milieu and influence:

    H: Which is completely irrelevant.

    T: In short, you believe scientists like Myers should be shut out of academia because their claims have been soundly refuted. However, Myers makes an excellent point in his book that it is people like Dawkins who are in-fact selling snake oil based on unproven ideas, and he offers a good example.

    One of Dawkins’ touted evidences for evolution is his famous computer model that generated a phrase: Methinks it is Like a Weasel. The problem is that this was a guided experiment with some extra input that didn’t really mirror natural selection at all. Even Dawkins admitted

    “Life isn't like that. Evolution has no long-term goal.”

    It seems it is Dawkins, not Myers, who should be banned from academia.

    I had written: If you are truly interested to know the facts, read some documented history. Reading the following article will help you to understand the basis of atheistic hegemony today in academia and why so few people know the facts: Are Atheist Jellyfish Taking Over the World?

    Your response: That blog post of yours seems to be uninformed and rather silly.

    Calling something “silly” doesn’t refute its claims and facts. Show me where the facts are wrong and then you are justified in making that claim.

    You offered “Of course, since the hedgemony is a product of peoples imagination, I doubt there'll be any evidence forthcoming.”

    The article is filled with documented facts and evidence. You seem to have a penchant for using hyperbole when you are at a loss for evidence to support your claims.

    I wrote: The most difficult thing for an atheist to do is to consider and evaluate opposing, documented facts with an objective, open mind. Pejorative terms don’t count as a refutation.

    You replied: Again, i'll ask you not to impute words and ideas to me without any sort of evidence they apply.

    Your own remarks, in calling an article filled with facts silly simply because you disagree with it, does support my claim. :)

    The propensity to answer evidence with hyperbole typifies the behavior of atheists such as you and Dawkins because there is a lack of underlying substance, i.e., truth.

    Try and refute the article you called silly if you do in fact believe the hegemony in academia is a result of people’s imagination. It should be easy to do.

    Your turn.

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  84. Regarding free will, it's interesting to note that if God exists, and is infinitely omniscient, then He knows the future, including the fate of solar or neurologic systems. Then freedom does not exist since God knows all, and all we shall conform to His vision.

    So if an omniscient God exists, man is not free. Freedom can only exist in a godless, materialistic and deterministic world.

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  85. Rick: I’ve read Steven Myer’s book, Signature in the Cell, and have found valid scientific evidence supporting the claim that intelligence cannot arrive through a selective process of materialistic evolution.
    Meyers book had been thoroughly debunked and soundly criticised. Claiming it presents valid scientific evidence is pretty poor - perhaps you ought to look into peer reviewed scientific literature (ie. the source)?

    Rick: However, this concept has been banned because certain politicians (not scientists)influenced the decision without fully examining or understanding the scientific claims.
    If you're referring to the Dover trial, then perhaps you'd like to explain why all of the ID advocates apart from Behe turned tail and ran?
    And why was it that Behe's scientific evidence was shredded by the prosecution?

    Rick: The book and its claims have been rejected merely because of the implications of the scientific discoveries.
    Just because you say it doesn't make it so.
    The book and it's claims have been rejected on sound scientific, rational, logical grounds.
    It is the ID crowd who seem to be rejecting solidly attested scientific theories because of their perceived implications.

    Rick: People can write books and articles as much as they want to, but until a debate occurs, the ideas really aren't tested.
    You display a profound ignorance concerning the process of peer review and publishing of scientific literature.

    Rick: Interesting how Dawkins refuses to debate Myers, who is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and is a qualified scientist. Big implications there. :)
    Not really. Let Meyers and others conduct scientific experiments, test their theories, gather the data and write papers. Then let the scientific community critique it.
    It's how other scientists work - I'm not sure why ID'ers get treated differently.

    Rick: I invite people here because I'm not afraid of being tested.
    Then why is it that you don't seem able to admit error?

    Rick: This, and the fact my ideas have not been refuted is a testimony that my ideas are true.
    Saying so doesn't make it so. Your logical arguments are unsound. Simple really :-)

    Rick: People's refusal to debate is a testimony that their ideas are false.
    Not at all. Debate, due to time constraints and other issues (which have been pointed out above, I believe) is not a great method of discovering the truth about reality.
    The scientific process, including the peer review and publishing process happens to be the best method we know of. Sure it isn't perfect, and could be improved, but that's where we are.

    Rick: T: In short, you believe scientists like Myers should be shut out of academia because their claims have been soundly refuted.
    You keep imputing claims to me I haven't made. Meyers ideas have not panned out, and have been refuted. Therefore his ideas have no place in academia. Whether Meyers himself has one depends on whether he is able to accept this and move on, or whether he continues to beat a dead horse (he could demonstrate the refutations unfounded, of course, but to do so he might actually have to do some science).

    Rick: However, Myers makes an excellent point in his book that it is people like Dawkins who are in-fact selling snake oil based on unproven ideas, and he offers a good example.
    ID'ists have consistently misconstrued Dawkins' program. You're carrying on a venerable tradition.

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  86. Rick: Calling something “silly” doesn’t refute its claims and facts. Show me where the facts are wrong and then you are justified in making that claim.
    I and others have already indicated where your arguments are flawed. Saying your blogpost (and entire blog, from what I've seen) is silly is simply an additional observation.

    Rick: The article is filled with documented facts and evidence. You seem to have a penchant for using hyperbole when you are at a loss for evidence to support your claims.
    You cited "Expelled" as a reputable source of information. Enough said.

    Rick: Your own remarks, in calling an article filled with facts silly simply because you disagree with it, does support my claim. :)
    Since the "facts" have been brought into question (I'd go further and say your claims have been refuted), I don't see any support.

    Rick: Try and refute the article you called silly if you do in fact believe the hegemony in academia is a result of people’s imagination. It should be easy to do.
    Try to argue against actual positions people hold, taking into account the actual state of affairs, rather than imputing beliefs to people they do not (and are not required) to have.
    It's pretty easy to do :-)

    So, Rick, a number of the commenters here have pointed out where your arguments go wrong, and why your responses are insufficient.

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  87. Reginald SelkirkJuly 22, 2011 at 6:28 AM

    I’ve read Steven Meyer’s book, Signature in the Cell, and have found valid scientific evidence supporting the claim that intelligence cannot arrive through a selective process of materialistic evolution. However, this concept has been banned because certain politicians (not scientists)influenced the decision without fully examining or understanding the scientific claims. The book and its claims have been rejected merely because of the implications of the scientific discoveries.

    You've found "valid scientific evidence" in a non-peer reviewed book by someone writing on a topic, information theory, in which they have no training and no record of research and publication.

    I invite people here because I'm not afraid of being tested. This, and the fact my ideas have not been refuted is a testimony that my ideas are true.

    (BTW, you have consistently been spelling Meyer's name incorrectly.
    )

    You don't mention specifically what "evidence" you have found, so there is nothing specific to rebut. but here's an account of that book by Jeffrey Shallit, an expert (with a professorship and a record of research and publication) on Information Theory:

    Stephen Meyer's Bogus Information Theory
    http://recursed.blogspot.com/2009/10/stephen-meyers-bogus-information-theory.html

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  88. Reginald SelkirkJuly 22, 2011 at 6:50 AM

    T; I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar with this list of laws and specifically how they are broken by NDE. If they’re well attested to, can you offer some links to where I can see this list?

    Let's start with the clear physical and biological body of knowledge concerning our sense perceptions. We see through our eyes. We hear through our ears. If a "soul" left a body behind on the operating table, how would it see and hear?


    T: I offered evidence, testimonies of doctors and medical records showing NDE is verified. Have you refuted my evidence?

    I have, at length. I have presented arguments showing that

    * You have relied on one-sided, favorable presentations of you favourite anecdotes, which do not even acknowledge, let alone refute, critical questions. They use re-eneactments and animation to convince the viewer of one view of events.

    * You have presented arguments showing that you have not thought through the issues critically, such as that a woman recognizing her own jewelry in an OOBE is evidence that the OOBE is real, rather than the much simpler argument that such a thing is perfectly explainable as part of a dream or hallucination.

    * That OOBEs are not credible for several reasons: delayed reporting, severe contradiction to physical and biological knowledge, good evidence that OOBEs are a perceptual illusion rather than a reality.

    * That the OOBE and veridical portions of the Lowery account happend well before (literally hours) her induced heart and brain death, and thus do not prop up the NDE religious imagery.

    * That reporting of NDEs by subjects necessarily always happens afterwards, not during the experience, and in the Lowery incident currently circulating accounts are based on an interview conducted THREE YEARS after the alleged incident. These delays reduce the evidential value of such accounts.

    * That the NDE portion of the Lowery account contained the usual - light, a tunnel, dead relatives, religious imagery - but absolutely nothing veridical. There is simply no reason to believe that this portion of the account is not hallucinatory.

    * That, since the subject reported afterwards, and did not have a clock with her in never-never land, the attempts to tie the hallucinatory imagery to a timeline, and specifically to the time when her brain activity was stopped- is necessarily weak. The hallucinatory imagery could well have occured while her brain was shutting down, or when it was being restored, or at any subsequent time before the subject woke up.

    * That, if the NDE events happened while the subject was brain-dead, she would have had no way to store the memories. We have some knowledge of how brains store memories, so once again this is a clear contradiction to what is known of biology and physics.

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  89. Reginald SelkirkJuly 22, 2011 at 6:55 AM

    One of the greatest scientific minds in history believed in God, Newton, as this effected his scientific methodology in a very positive manner, as I noted.

    Yes, Newton appealed to God to cover the gaps in his theory of solar systems. However, that particular gap was filled by the nebular hypothesis before the end of that century.

    As soon as you reject the possibility of God's existence as a philosophical question, you are rejecting the basic tenets of critical thinking.

    You should distinguish between a possibility and a probability. Pointing out the extreme improbability of God-hypotheses is not the same as rejecting the logical possibility that some God might exist.

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  90. Reginald SelkirkJuly 22, 2011 at 6:57 AM

    T: Here’s the evidence: Scientific facts which undermine evolution are rejected in academia out-of-hand not because facts are incorrect, improperly documented or not based on science, but simply because the implication seem to oppose evolutionary theory.. For examples there are many sources. E.g. See documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. I'll offer some more examples a few posts later.

    FAIL. I asked you to name a "scientific fact," not a movie.

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  91. Reginald SelkirkJuly 22, 2011 at 7:01 AM

    Havok: Rick: People's refusal to debate is a testimony that their ideas are false.
    Not at all. Debate, due to time constraints and other issues (which have been pointed out above, I believe) is not a great method of discovering the truth about reality.
    H: The scientific process, including the peer review and publishing process happens to be the best method we know of. Sure it isn't perfect, and could be improved, but that's where we are.


    I went into this at considerable length in a comment which disappeared.

    ReplyDelete
  92. You state
    "T: I offered evidence, testimonies of doctors and medical records showing NDE is verified. Have you refuted my evidence?

    And can you supply us with some of your evidence which supposedly has forever closed the door on the validity of NDE experience?"
    in your reply to Havok on July 21, 9:49, paragraph 8 and 9.

    This sentence summarizes, in perfect detail, why this entire debate, and virtually all debates with theists, is a farce.

    As for scientists rejecting ID out of hand...Science is built upon the fundamental concept that all our knowledge is open to question. Scientific revolutions are common and the scientific community welcomes ideas which are new and challenging. However, those ideas must have scientific rigor to them and be truthful. There has been a scientific paper published (within the last few years) by Dr. Daryl J. Bem which purported to show psychic phenomena (namely that people could read a few seconds into the future). Rather than ban him from publication, or take away his credentials, other scientists replicated his study to prove whether he was right or wrong. It turned out that the effect doesn't exist and it happened based on chance, but it shows exactly how science deals with "heretical" ideas: they test them. If ID proponents come up with even one experiment that shows that ID is true then I promise you, scientists will listen. They haven't and that is why no one listens.

    Exactly like you, the ID "scientists" trot out the most flimsy of evidence and then refuse to listen when people show how their evidence is flawed. This is why I call you Monad, you continue using the same arguments which have already been disproven RIGHT HERE in this blog. This is why scientists don't debate theists. Because the theist will (just like you are doing now) repeat the same tired lines over and over regardless of how many times it is shown the are false. Furthermore, the human mind is, in its natural state, a very bad instrument for determining truth. We have so many biases built into us that it is sometimes a wonder we can even tie our shoes. The scientific process is one of the best tools ever devised for mitigating these biases and allowing us access to truth, or at least allows us to get a lot closer to truth than we could with our untrained minds. A debate is putting the ideas to the untrained public and having them basically vote on it. The presentation in the debate is flawed as true evidence takes time (months, years, decades even) to gather and our psychological biases make an argument like "I'm really smart and I think that's why I'm right" sound stronger and more true than "here is literally a mountain of evidence for my position".

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  93. You are the perfect example of why debates don't actually work. You refuse to admit when your evidence is flawed (see above), you continue to hold to your position when it is shown that you are wrong (see this whole debate), and you evaluate evidence in light of how it supports your position rather than evaluate evidence in light of what it actually shows about the world.

    The reason we continue doing these tired debates is to show you that we are no longer afraid. To remind you that the centuries of repression, where to be an atheist was to have a death sentence (even if only social rather than physical), are over. We debate because there might be someone else out there who hasn't been blinded and will see these debates and stop to actually think. What is frustrating is that we are debating someone who is willfully blind to the evidence.

    Now, I'm sure you will counter this with the equivalent of "nuh, uh, you're being blind to the evidence". Selkirk at July 22, 2011 6:50 AM reiterated how your evidence of OBE has been utterly refuted. I, on July 20, 9:12, 9:14, and 9:14 refuted your claims on quantum physics. (Yes, you responded to my post, however your response centered on my definition of materialism and where you claimed that quantum particles have no properties, both of which I answered in my post on July 21, 2011 8:47 AM) I also corrected your misunderstandings about the rules of logic in both of my posts.
    Every single point in your article has been refuted. Rather than concede defeat you have taken on side issues (like intelligent design) and you have claimed that we never refuted your evidence (see the quote at the beginning of this post). I don't really need to know what your motivation is. Your actions speak louder than any words could (i.e. the evidence in this debate). Maybe you are doing this on purpose because it makes you feel important when smart people disagree with you, maybe you are doing this so you can raise you hit rate on your blog, maybe you are doing this because you are so tied down by biases you don't even see that you are incapable of seeing truth anymore.

    You criticize atheists for refusing to think critically and examine evidence. Before you claim the ignorance of others, try looking at your own beliefs. Why do you believe in god? Don't just come up with pat answers but actually examine it. Most people answer that they have felt god or something similar. Look at the world and see how many people "feel god" and how radically different their ideas of god are. If they were describing the same thing then their descriptions would sound the same, since they do not sound the same isn't it more likely that they are describing something different (like a built in psychological bias). If you are interested in quantum physics then actually read about it. Buy a book, or just google "how does quantum physics work". Before denying evolution why don't you actually learn about it? There are so many sources out there that teach the basics of evolution. Many people discount things like evolution because it doesn't agree with the bible. Look it up, if science says "A" and the bible says "~A" then investigate both. You must accept the logical possibility that the bible is wrong (not "accept that the bible IS wrong", but "accept that the bible MIGHT be wrong") or you are lost to all of humanity.

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  94. Atheists are often called free-thinkers because we are open to the possibility that anything we know could be wrong (at least, we are supposed to be). Yes, it is possible that god could exist. When examining the evidence, from the scientific explanations of the world to the evidential falsification of nearly every proposed god (including YHVH and Jesus), free-thinkers are compelled, by the evidence, to reject the god hypothesis and adopt the null hypothesis.

    I'm sure you will ignore this and continue being obstinate and argumentative (though, as in all things, I am willing to be proven wrong by evidence). My only hope is that one person will hear this and open their mind, even if only a little bit.

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  95. To the blog owner: did you delete my comment yesterday, or is it perhaps stuck in your spam filter? I inserted several links to document my arguments, I am wondering if that triggered a filter.

    To repeat one of the arguments, without links:

    The debate format, unlike other formats, does not allow one to pin down a participant and force him to explain and justify his claims.

    Compare to peer-reviewed scientific publication, in which an author must summarize the relevant pre-existing literature, present his methodology in detail, present his evidence clearly, then use his evidence to justify his conclusion.

    Compare also to the courtroom format, in which a witness is subjected to cross-examination, and can be forced to explain his testimony, and checked for contradiction against previous testimony. An example is Michael Behe's testimony in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial. Behe presented his definition of "scientific theory," then was forced to acknowledge that his definition is considerably more lax than the definition supplied by the National Academy of Sciences. He acknowledge that Intelligent Design Creationism meets his definition of a scientific theory, but so also does astrology.

    The complete trial transcripts are avialable at Talk.Origins, you can verify this for yourself.

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  96. I have noticed that I have to hit "post" more than once sometimes. It might be mechanical error that caused your post to dissapear Reginald.

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  97. Well the politeness of your initial invitation was undermined somewhat by calling my failure to jump the debate as soon as you expected "obtuse", so I begin to sense another typical argumentative closed-minded Christian out to convert rather than truly willing to engage in serious open-minded discussion.

    I don't accept your views of NDE or "laws of logic" (as if they are all-knowing/competent to understand our universe), nor do I understand your overall argument. Maybe I would if I kept studying it, but I don't think proving God exists after all will really be worth the effort -- especially if he is the God found in the Bible. No thanks. You can keep him -- unless his values have moved on a bit and he looks back with some embarrassment over his plan to save people by the human sacrifice (that was only for 3 days anyway) of his son.

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  98. More on the limitations of the debate format:

    * The time constraint. In evolution/Creation debates, there is a tactic known as the "Gish gallop," named for Duane Gish. In a Gish gallop the Creationist, unrestrained by reality, tells as many lies as he can with great rapidity (Bombardier beetle, second law of thermodynamics, dinosaur and human fossils found together). The quality of the arguments does not matter. The reasoning is simple: it takes more time to refute a lie than to tell it. So the evolutionist who takes the bait will be unable to refute every bad argument, and the Creationist declares victory.

    * The audience may not have the prerequisite education to judge which debater is using better arguments. Many Creationist debate events, including Intelligent Design Creationism, happen in church settings, where the education level of the audience may vary widely. Thus the Creationist is free to use many bad arguments that a properly educated audience would instantly recognize as faulty (example: second law of thermodynamics. An audience consisting of those with a college education in physical chemistry would instantly recognize the wrongness of this argument. The average churchgoer, not so much).

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  99. T: Here’s the evidence: Scientific facts which undermine evolution are rejected in academia out-of-hand not because facts are incorrect, improperly documented or not based on science, but simply because the implication seem to oppose evolutionary theory.. For examples there are many sources. E.g. See documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. I'll offer some more examples a few posts later.

    We are still waiting for an example of even one "scientific fact" which has been rejected because it seems to oppose evolutionary theory. I saw the movie, which was terrible and dishonest, but it is a scientific fact which you promised us, not a movie.

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  100. Havok (H): Meyers book had been thoroughly debunked and soundly criticised.

    Templestream (T): It has also been validated by leading atheistic sources:

    Evolution News and Views:

    The continued success of Signature In The Cell has driven Darwinists crazy. They’re desperately making louder and ever more ridiculous denunciations of the book and anyone who might have the temerity to suggest people read it for themselves.
    An interesting and informative back and forth has been taking place on the pages of the Times Literary Supplement, where last month noted atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel recommended SITC as one of the best books of the year. Not surprisingly, he was attacked (he responded, and he was attacked again) by a Darwinist who told people forgo reading SITC and instead just read Wikipedia. Is this what passes for civil discourse on important topics now? Just ignore the arguments you don’t like? A pretty pathetic state of affairs if true.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/signatuein-the-cell-darwinist-demands-to-rewrite-product-copy/

    What about you, Havok, do you consider yourself objcetive? Have you actually read the book and critiqued it for yourself or are you merely relying on other people's opinions in order to form your own? :)

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  101. H: Claiming it presents valid scientific evidence is pretty poor -

    T: Let's look at the basic premise of the book:

    The central argument of my book is that intelligent design—the activity of a conscious and rational deliberative agent—best explains the origin of the information necessary to produce the first living cell. I argue this because of two things that we know from our uniform and repeated experience, which following Charles Darwin I take to be the basis of all scientific reasoning about the past. First, intelligent agents have demonstrated the capacity to produce large amounts of functionally specified information (especially in a digital form). Second, no undirected chemical process has demonstrated this power. Hence, intelligent design provides the best—most causally adequate—explanation for the origin of the information necessary to produce the first life from simpler non-living chemicals. In other words, intelligent design is the only explanation that cites a cause known to have the capacity to produce the key effect in question.

    Myers describes Darrel Falk's review of the book:

    Nowhere in his review does Falk refute this claim or provide another explanation for the origin of biological information. In order to do so Falk would need to show that some undirected material cause has demonstrated the power to produce functional biological information apart from the guidance or activity a designing mind. Neither Falk, nor anyone working in origin-of-life biology, has succeeded in doing this. Thus, Falk opts instead to make a mainly personal and procedural argument against my book by dismissing me as unqualified and insisting that it is “premature” to draw any negative conclusions about the adequacy of undirected chemical processes.

    http://www.signatureinthecell.com/responses/response-to-darrel-falk.php

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  102. Havok, I would like to challenge you to back up your assertion: Claiming it presents valid scientific evidence is pretty poor -

    Show us another valid explanation for the origin of biological information and/or demonstrate the power to produce functional biological information apart from the guidance or activity of a designing mind.

    Myers outlines further problems with the book critique and how references the reviewer cites actually support Myers' side, not visa versa. The underlying implication is that the so-called qualified reviewer has an agenda and a non-objective bias.

    http://www.signatureinthecell.com/responses/response-to-darrel-falk.php

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  103. Rick: It has also been validated by leading atheistic sources:
    Nagel is neither a biochemist, nor a biologist, and therefore doesn't seem particularly qualified to assess the arguments of the book.

    Rick: What about you, Havok, do you consider yourself objcetive? Have you actually read the book and critiqued it for yourself or are you merely relying on other people's opinions in order to form your own? :)
    Do I need to read the book?
    I've read Meyer's previous papers, the ones he had snuck into peer reviewed literature, and they're pretty terrible.
    From reading reviews of the book it doesn't sound like he learned from any critiques of this work.
    An inability to learn indicates Meyer has an ideological axe to grind, rather than a valid scientific hypothesis to expound.

    Rick (Meyer): The central argument of my book is that intelligent design—the activity of a conscious and rational deliberative agent—best explains the origin of the information necessary to produce the first living cell.
    And that central argument might actually work if there were independent evidence for such an intelligence with the ability to carry out this task. As far as I can tell Meyer doesn't actually bother to do this - he simply assumes it.

    Rick (Meyer): First, intelligent agents have demonstrated the capacity to produce large amounts of functionally specified information (especially in a digital form). Second, no undirected chemical process has demonstrated this power.
    Which completely ignored the vast body of research on molecular self assembly and biological evolution, which shows this assumption of his to be false.
    Perhaps Meyer should have done a more thorough literature search?

    Meyer's book has been firmly critiqued by experts, and yet he continues to push his failed arguments, seemingly due to an ideological commitment, as I mentioned above.

    I wonder if you're as blinded by ideology as Meyer, or whether you're able to admit error/mistake?

    ReplyDelete
  104. Rick: Show us another valid explanation for the origin of biological information and/or demonstrate the power to produce functional biological information apart from the guidance or activity a designing mind.
    Check the actual scientific literature concerning abiogenesis, rather than relying upon Meyer and his ilk.
    If you did you'd see that the necessary organic molecules can and do form chemically, that they can and do spontaneously self assemble. There are gaps in our knowledge, of course, but none of them seems as unbridgeable as Meyer likes to make out.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Havok,

    With your fresh comments, it appears you want to jump into an immediate debate after I just responded to only three sentences you've made. Trying to commandeer my blog without taking the time to address my comments objectively won't help your case. But it does make for a more difficult dialogue.

    H: perhaps you ought to look into peer reviewed scientific literature.

    T: OK.

    When citing the reasons why Myers' work was rejected from one case of a peer review, nowhere were any scientific reasons or errors of content cited. Actually, the response subtly implied there was the need for atheistic content and tradition:

    The journal, the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, released a statement repudiating an article:

    "The paper by Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories", in vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239 of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, was published at the discretion of the former editor, Richard v. Sternberg. Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process. The Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, and the associate editors would have deemed the paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings because the subject matter represents such a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 122-year history."

    Furthermore, after rejecting the article, The Smithsonian Institution harassed Dr. Sternberg, as documented by a letter from the The U.S. Office of Special Counsel(OSC):

    "During our initial investigations, OSC has been able to find support for many of your allegations. However, the SI is now refusing to cooperate with our investigation."

    As noted, The Smithsonian Institution refused to cooperate in an open and transparent investigation of the matter.

    http://www.rsternberg.net/OSC_ltr.htm

    This underscores the non-objective and hostile tone of SI towards ID.

    ReplyDelete
  106. The government investigation into S.I. behavior continues...

    "Our preliminary investigation indicates that retaliation came in many forms. It came in the form of attempts to change your working conditions and even proposals to change how the SI retains and deals with future RAs. During the process you were personally investigated and your professional competence was attacked. Misinformation was disseminated throughout the SI and to outside sources. The allegations against you were later determined to be false. It is also clear that a hostile work environment was created with the ultimate goal of forcing you out of the SI."

    During the impromptu background investigation allegations were also made that you mishandled specimens and collections during your scientific research. You have clearly explained how damaging this is for a scientist in your position. This information was also shared outside of the SI. And once again managers later had to admit that the allegations were false. And as with the editorial issue there was no effort, as far as we can tell, to correct this misconception. This allegation may have played into a larger strategy to deny you access to the range and collections at the SI."

    http://www.rsternberg.net/OSC_ltr.htm

    ReplyDelete
  107. The government investigation into S.I. behavior continues...

    "Eventually, they determined that they could not terminate you for cause and they were not going to make you a "martyr" by firing you for publishing a paper in ID. They came to the conclusion that you had not violated SI directives and that you could not be denied access for off-duty conduct. This was actually part of the strategy advocated by the NCSE. Undeterred, these same managers then embarked on a new strategy to change your working conditions and create a hostile working environment. Several e-mails complained that you should not be allowed to "live" on the same working floor with other scientists. Two very senior scientists wanted your supervisor to let you know that "you are welcome to leave or resign."

    Essentially, the The U.S. Office of Special Counsel(OSC) noted that The Smithsonian Institution wanted to fire Sternberg but SI believed he "had not violated SI directives" So they decided to simply make life hell for him and make sure no other ID reviewers would ever attempt to review an article again there. The in-house memos documented make this clear.

    Sounds like a transparent and objective environment to me - not :)

    http://www.rsternberg.net/OSC_ltr.htm

    ReplyDelete
  108. Havok,

    The SI article was not rejected because of scientific errors, but ultimately because it went against the grain of traditional SI material.

    "This example of an intelligent design peer-reviewed article was not embraced by the naturalistic crowd, but condemned. Proceedings was attacked for publishing an article of "substandard science." Pro-evolutionists once claimed that a lack of intelligent design peer-reviewed work was due to a lack of credibility. Once such articles are published, however, they seem to question the entire peer-review process. Essentially, those who are entrenched into naturalistic thinking will only support peer review if it agrees with them. Many in the scientific community have made a plea for rational thinking, saying that no theory should be beyond questioning and any logical arguments must be considered. These pleas have mostly fallen on deaf ears."

    http://www.allaboutscience.org/intelligent-design-peer-reviewed-faq.htm

    Despite the atheistic hegemony, "Intelligent design peer-reviewed publications are becoming more common."

    Here is an example of a peer review article Meyers participated in that was published:

    Scott Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer, "Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits," Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece, edited by M.W. Collins and C.A. Brebbia (WIT Press, 2004). (PDF, 620KB)
    This article underwent conference peer review in order to be included in this peer-edited proceedings. Minnich and Meyer do three important things in this paper. First, they refute a popular objection to Michael Behe's argument for the irreducible complexity of the bacterial flagellum. Second, they suggest that the Type III Secretory System present in some bacteria, rather than being an evolutionary intermediate to the bacterial flagellum, is probably represents a degenerate form of the bacterial flagellum. Finally, they argue explicitly that intelligent design is a better than the Neo-Darwinian mechanism for explaining the origin of the bacterial flagellum.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CI/CI001_4.html

    ReplyDelete
  109. So you ignore the points I made about the inadequacy of Meyer's claims, and produce something of a Gish Gallop of your own.

    The Sternberg affair is ridiculous, and the claims of harassment have not been substantiated:
    http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-04-17/#part2

    ReplyDelete
  110. Perhaps instead of simply taking Meyer's word for things you ought to do a literature search yourself, and see if his position is actually supportable and/or supported.

    Still waiting for you to provide responses to the varied critiques of your arguments, Rick :-)

    ReplyDelete
  111. Havok

    Regarding the Dover trial you wrote "And why was it that Behe's scientific evidence was shredded by the prosecution?"

    Look again, Havok. in the court, Behe's testimony was criticized solely on the grounds that ID implied God's existence. There was never any consideration of whether ID was in fact a true theory or if there were any scientific errors in the theory. Read a NY Times account of the trial and you'll notice this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/19/national/19evolution.html

    Intelligent design, according to Professor Behe's definition, is a scientific theory that is able to accept some aspects of evolution, like change in organisms over time, but rejects the Darwinian theory of random natural selection. He said intelligent design "focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose."

    Scientific critics of intelligent design - and there are many - have said for years that its proponents never propose any positive arguments or proofs of their theory, but rest entirely on finding flaws in evolution."

    Of course, what do what does one expect. That is the only avenue available, to show scientifically that evolution is impossible.

    ReplyDelete
  112. I never claimed ID wasn't science, but it's either failed of undemonstrated science.
    In the court Behe made claims regarding the blood clot cascade which were soundly rebutted.

    To show scientifically that evolution is insufficient (most ID'ers accept most of evolutionary theory) requires ID'ers to actually do some science instead of making unjustified assertions.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Havok,

    Consider aspects of the judges actions who decided on the Dover case and you'll see the rejection was more about politics and censoring an alternative world view than anything else:

    1. Judge Jones wrongly claims there are NO peer-reviewed scientific articles favoring ID. “Judge Jones shows no awareness of several other peer-reviewed and peer-edited publications explicitly supporting both intelligent design and Behe's idea of irreducible complexity, even though a list of these publications was submitted as part of the record in the case.”

    2. Judge Jones wrongly treats theologian/philosopher Thomas Aquinas as the ultimate source of the argument to design.

    3. Judge Jones wrongly claims that intelligent design "requires supernatural creation." (p. 30, emphasis added)

    4. Judge Jones wrongly claims that intelligent design grew out of Christian fundamentalism.

    http://www.discovery.org/a/3135#title2

    Here is a list of ID related peer reviewed articles published in secular journals:

    http://www.discovery.org/a/2640

    In short, Judge Jones erroneously judged the Dover case without considering the evidence. The pressure for atheistic hegemony was just too great. My article outlines the origins of this atheistic hegemony:

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/02/are-atheist-jellyfish-taking-over-world.html

    If you can find any errors in my article, please point them out to me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  114. Havok,

    So, Rick, a number of the commenters here have pointed out where your arguments go wrong, and why your responses are insufficient.

    T: Actually, I noted when I made errors and I noted when I made adjustments. Someone pointed out my initial premise cited principles of logic when it should have stated principles of "sound" logic, so I adjusted the article. I acknowledged that.

    But when someone rejects a documentary film because of its cinematographic quality, I won't admit that as an error. Quite the opposite, I will point out that the actual facts in the interviews are the real issue and when a person refuses to look at core facts and nitpicks about side issues, that's a sign that objective thinking is being avoided.

    I didn’t however feel the need to trash the BBC documentary because Regi thought it was “warm and Fuzzy” or something like that. And your comment on the Expelled Documentary implies you are also unwilling to look at the facts of the interviews and information:

    You cited "Expelled" as a reputable source of information. Enough said.

    A mature person interested in truth will consider the facts not the package the facts are dressed in. The saying holds true for a lot of atheists: "There is none so blind as one who refuses to see." :)

    If there are any major errors in my article and argument for God's existence, please clearly point them out.

    ReplyDelete
  115. T: People's refusal to debate is a testimony that their ideas are false.

    H: Not at all. Debate, due to time constraints and other issues (which have been pointed out above, I believe) is not a great method of discovering the truth about reality.
    The scientific process, including the peer review and publishing process happens to be the best method we know of. Sure it isn't perfect, and could be improved, but that's where we are.

    T: I've just outlined some documented facts proving a strong bias against ID work that has nothing to do do whatsoever with scientific errors but is based on anti-God hegemony. If you would take the time to read my article linked here, it would help you to understand why this is so and why debate is presently one of the most effective means of testing what is true:

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/02/are-atheist-jellyfish-taking-over-world.html

    Or, on the other hand, you can continue to make excuses for not reading it and pointing out any factual errors you seem to believe (and hope) are there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  116. 1. Judge Jones wrongly claims there are NO peer-reviewed scientific articles favoring ID. “Judge Jones shows no awareness of several other peer-reviewed and peer-edited publications explicitly supporting both intelligent design and Behe's idea of irreducible complexity, even though a list of these publications was submitted as part of the record in the case.”
    Perhaps he intended there to be no legitimate, high quality peer reviewed papers supporting ID. IN this he seems to be correct because all the explicit pro-ID papers are generally terrible.

    Rick: 2. Judge Jones wrongly treats theologian/philosopher Thomas Aquinas as the ultimate source of the argument to design.
    Regardless of this, the biological design argument is not successful.

    Rick: 3. Judge Jones wrongly claims that intelligent design "requires supernatural creation." (p. 30, emphasis added)
    The prominent proponents of ID all believe this to be the case. Doesn't seem a problem here.

    Rick: 4. Judge Jones wrongly claims that intelligent design grew out of Christian fundamentalism.

    It's well documented that the ID movement grew out of creationism. The judge seems to be bang on target here.

    So there's still not evidence in support of Meyer's "intelligent agent", non-intelligent sources have been shown to generate "information" in the sense Meyer requires, so we have no need to conclude in favour of ID.
    If Meyer or someone else put forward an actual agent then he might have, but as far as our knowledge is concerned such an agent is non-existent.

    ReplyDelete
  117. And it looks like your initial claims which you presented in the initial blog post are still unjustified - NDE's are terrible evidence for the immaterial (as things presently stand) and quantum mechanics is perfectly compatible with materialism/naturalism.

    So there we are :-)

    ReplyDelete
  118. Stephen Meyer, quoted by T: First, intelligent agents have demonstrated the capacity to produce large amounts of functionally specified information (especially in a digital form).

    Could you please define "functionally specified information"?

    Myers outlines further problems with the book critique...

    Why do you refer to Stephen Meyer as "Myers'?

    T: What about you, Havok, do you consider yourself objcetive? Have you actually read the book (Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer) and critiqued it for yourself or are you merely relying on other people's opinions in order to form your own? :)

    What is your training in Information Theory? Do you have the background to understand whether Meyer is accurately citing Information Theory, or is making stuff up? Have you read the criticisms by Jeffrey Shallit, already cited?

    Stephen Meyer's Bogus Information Theory
    http://recursed.blogspot.com/2009/10/stephen-meyers-bogus-information-theory.html

    ReplyDelete
  119. T: This article underwent conference peer review in order to be included in this peer-edited proceedings.

    "Conference peer review" - You have no idea what you are talking about. I have never heard that term before.

    T: When citing the reasons why Myers' work was rejected from one case of a peer review, nowhere were any scientific reasons or errors of content cited...
    "The paper by Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories", in vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239 of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington..."


    Here's a few scientific erasons for you:

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2004/08/meyers-hopeless-1.html
    Meyer's Hopeless Monster
    by Alan Gishlick, Nick Matzke and Wesley R. Elsberry

    The article is allegedly about the Cambrian Explosion (which, unlike mostexplosions, lasted millions of years), but the article includes most of the usual Creationist BS. For example, Meyer claims:

    "In particular, Axe (2000) has shown that multiple as opposed to single position amino acid substitutions inevitably result in loss of protein function, even when these changes occur at sites that allow variation when altered in isolation."

    A quick perusal of one of the many sequence data banks would tell you this statement is utterly false. Pick just one protein, say hemoglobin, and look at how many fully functional variations are found in nature.

    The scientific content of the paper is very bad. This hs the most basic issue.

    * In addition, the usual editorial process was circumvented by von Sternberg.

    Given that the paper was very bad, and that von Sternberg cut corners to get it into print, how would you expect him to be treated? Should he have been awarded a medal for doing his job so poorly?


    * In addition, the individual in the Office of the Special Counsel whom you quote at length acknowledged that this case is out of his jurisdiction. That should have been the end of his comments. There is a Special Counsel for the Smithsonian, who has not agreed with the allegations of wrongdoing in the treatment of von Sternberg.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Look again, Havok. in the court, Behe's testimony was criticized solely on the grounds that ID implied God's existence. There was never any consideration of whether ID was in fact a true theory or if there were any scientific errors in the theory. Read a NY Times account of the trial and you'll notice this:...

    Your statement is false. Behe's testimony was criticized on may grounds. For example, he acknowledge that his lax definition of "theory" would qualify ID as a theory - and astrology as well!

    BTW, I do not base these statements on a NYTimes article, since the complete trial transcripts are readily available online:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/kitzmiller_v_dover.html

    See Behe criticized because he claims there is no literature on the evolution of hte immune system- only to be presented with dozens of books and articles. Most of which he acknowledges he hasn't actually read.

    See Behe criticized when he claims it would take an enormous number of bacteria to ensure a certain type of mutation would occur - only to be forced to admit that there are even more bacteria than that in a ton of dirt.

    See Behe admit that his definition of "irreducible complexity" is broken, and that he has not bothered to revise it in years (although he still cites it as though it were valid).

    Etc. etc. etc.

    ReplyDelete
  121. 4. Judge Jones wrongly claims that intelligent design grew out of Christian fundamentalism.

    Evidence was presented during the Dover trial establishing that "Of Pandas and People," the text at issue in the case, started out as a Creationist book, and as some point the phrase "Creationism" was systematically replaced with "Intelligent Design." The switch was made just after the 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard ruling that attempts to insert "Creation Science" into the public school curricum were religious, and violated the first amendment.

    For a related funy anecdote, read up on "cdesign proponentsists."
    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/11/missing-link-cd.html

    ReplyDelete
  122. Scientific critics of intelligent design - and there are many - have said for years that its proponents never propose any positive arguments or proofs of their theory, but rest entirely on finding flaws in evolution."

    Interstingly enough, even some ID proponents have admitted this. See for example George Gilder, co-founder of the Discovery Institute in a 2005 interview by the Boston Globe:

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/07/gilder-intellig.html

    “What’s being pushed is to have Darwinism critiqued, to teach there’s a controversy. Intelligent design itself does not have any content.”

    ReplyDelete
  123. Havok,

    You wrote: Please explain and offer a logical, documented example of how something immaterial can not only arrive at a state of self-conscious and autonomous volition, and allow rational choice external to the causal chain (ie. libertarian free will), but can also interact with material "stuff" in a manner which breaks and/or invalidated very solidly attested laws and theories of physics.

    T: The theistic understanding is that God is eternal, so it’s not so much a “how” question as it is a true/false question. Once the supernatural is accepted as a real possibility, the miracles and interactions you mentioned are no problem logically.

    The problem with evolution, on the other hand, is that there is no claim of a transcendent agent, and yet, because it is non-falsifiable, evolution technically cannot even be called scientific:

    IS EVOLUTION EVEN FALSIFIABLE?

    Karl Popper popularized the idea that for something to be scientific, it must be falsifiable. If it’s not falsifiable, then it can’t be labeled scientific. This has been trumpeted near and far by most skeptics in their criticism of Christians. They have not trumpeted so widely these 2 facts:

    1) ALL scientific theories are based on at least a few assumptions. This is a basic axiom and it is impossible to avoid making some assumptions. Assumptions are the scientific word for faith in something that you can’t prove. For example, there is no way that we can prove that our senses are accurate, because we can only use our senses to prove things..thus it is impossible to check. We have to believe that they are accurate totally on faith. There are many other examples like this.

    2) Karl Popper before he died wrote this:
    "I have come to the conclusion that Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme ....." Karl Popper in his autobiography "Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography", Fontana Books, 1976

    This and the other quotes listed mean ironically, that evolution is almost completely a religion.

    http://english.sdaglobal.org/research/sctstbel.htm

    ReplyDelete
  124. D’n,

    You wrote "I have shown how Quantum physics is consistent with both materialism and a rational world."

    That's a big claim and you aren't bringing anything new to the table here.

    I believe you had implied that QM and the observable world could be neatly compartmentalized. And here you write phenomena “can be explained” but does not imply that those explanations “will be understood” by humans. I believe both of your ideas are not really supported strongly. I’m not sure if you are familiar with recent studies regarding identity and individuality in quantum theory. I recently added the following link to the article that shows QM cannot be explained at present, let alone understood. The implications of underdeterminism imply they may never be really explained. It is perhaps a deeper problem than you realize.

    [11] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory,

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-idind/

    You like to talk about neatly organized sets and systems but I had mentioned and linked to an article Scientific American article showing how the quantum world is not neatly compartmentalized and separated from our visible day-to-day environment, as philosophers and scientists had thought: “The impression that quantum mechanics is limited to the microworld permeates the public understanding of science… Yet this convenient partitioning of the world is a myth… Until the past decade, experimentalists had not confirmed that quantum behavior persists on a macroscopic scale. Today, however, they routinely do.'[12]
    This reference has also been added to the article:

    [12] Scientific American, Living in a Quantum World,

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=living-in-a-quantum-world

    ReplyDelete
  125. Yogi,

    Rick : I don't read that many atheist blogs, and my favourites you already know : Greta Christina and Pharyngula (not to mention Dawkins, who is God made man :-) )

    T: Yogi, it seems you have fallen for the Dawkins delusion :)

    Y: we can't rigorously define what consciousness is, nor whether free-will really exists, since it is ourselves, using these very tools, who are trying to define them by using them, "from within" so to speak.

    T: That’s a good point. That’s why I find the evidence in NDE experience interesting. Because it offers example when consciousness is not experienced “from within” so to speak but, rather, implies it operates on a supernatural level.

    Y: Literally speaking, the {solar) system is "free" since it is impossible to predict what it will do. We do not use that word however because its mechanics look too simplistic to us.

    T: I believe there is a big difference between unpredictable and having autonomous volition. The latter cannot arise mechanically. The fact that abiogenesis has never been seriously found to have occurred in a laboratory somewhat underscores at least one of the major hurdles to materialistic and deterministic free will.

    ReplyDelete
  126. To D’n and Reginald

    You both challenged me:

    "I challenge Rick Warden to present even one "scientific fact" supporting Intelligent Design Creationism which has been rejected off hand rather than because it is inherently flawed.

    T: I replied to Havok earlier today and offered a link to a Stephen Myers article. Signature in the Cell offers evidence to show that biological information could not have been arrived at through purely mechanistic, deterministic means. Meyes explains how his central thesis was never refuted.
    Here’s the basic premise of the book:

    The central argument of my book is that intelligent design—the activity of a conscious and rational deliberative agent—best explains the origin of the information necessary to produce the first living cell. I argue this because of two things that we know from our uniform and repeated experience, which following Charles Darwin I take to be the basis of all scientific reasoning about the past. First, intelligent agents have demonstrated the capacity to produce large amounts of functionally specified information (especially in a digital form). Second, no undirected chemical process has demonstrated this power. Hence, intelligent design provides the best—most causally adequate—explanation for the origin of the information necessary to produce the first life from simpler non-living chemicals. In other words, intelligent design is the only explanation that cites a cause known to have the capacity to produce the key effect in question.

    Myers describes Darrel Falk's review of the book:

    Nowhere in his review does Falk refute this claim or provide another explanation for the origin of biological information. In order to do so Falk would need to show that some undirected material cause has demonstrated the power to produce functional biological information apart from the guidance or activity a designing mind. Neither Falk, nor anyone working in origin-of-life biology, has succeeded in doing this. Thus, Falk opts instead to make a mainly personal and procedural argument against my book by dismissing me as unqualified and insisting that it is “premature” to draw any negative conclusions about the adequacy of undirected chemical processes.

    http://www.signatureinthecell.com/responses/response-to-darrel-falk.php

    ReplyDelete
  127. D'n,

    You seemed to have an issue here with my statements:

    "T: I offered evidence, testimonies of doctors and medical records showing NDE is verified. Have you refuted my evidence?

    And can you supply us with some of your evidence which supposedly has forever closed the door on the validity of NDE experience?"

    in your reply to Havok on July 21, 9:49, paragraph 8 and 9.

    This sentence summarizes, in perfect detail, why this entire debate, and virtually all debates with theists, is a farce.

    T: I outlined the testimonies of doctors and patients. I have also added two Dutch studies in the references which were published in a peer reviewed journal, the Lancet.

    Here are the links and you can look in the article for the specific references.

    [17] the Lancet , Dutch NDE Study, http://www.mikepettigrew.com/afterlife/html/dutch_study.html

    [18] The Lancet, "Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A prospective Study in the Netherlands” http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2801%2907100-8/abstract

    People had complained that Reynolds gave her testimony 3 years after the event, therefore it was invalid. But the first Dutch study, in a peer reviewed journal, outlines how a majority of NDE casesremembered their experiences sharply years after the events occurred.

    ReplyDelete
  128. D'n,

    You wrote: "Atheists are often called free-thinkers because we are open to the possibility that anything we know could be wrong (at least, we are supposed to be). Yes, it is possible that god could exist.

    T: It seems to me an agnostic is more truly open-minded. Atheism is ironic to me because a negative cannot be proved, i.e. God's non-existence, but atheists seem certain usually not very open to looking objectively at facts.

    If you would read the following article, it may help you to understand the vastness of the atheistic agenda of humanism and how militant atheism and academic hegemony promote intolerance against people of faith:

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/02/are-atheist-jellyfish-taking-over-world.html

    D'n: I'm sure you will ignore this and continue being obstinate and argumentative (though, as in all things, I am willing to be proven wrong by evidence).

    T: I didn't ignore it. And I hope you won't avoid looking at the evidence of this hegemony and growing intolerance towards believers, as other posters on this thread seem determined to do.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Regi,

    I wrote a comment regarding true critical thinking: As soon as you reject the possibility of God's existence as a philosophical question, you are rejecting the basic tenets of critical thinking (the freedom to test a any hypothesis)

    You replied: You should distinguish between a possibility and a probability. Pointing out the extreme improbability of God-hypotheses is not the same as rejecting the logical possibility that some God might exist.

    In a free society (and in a free mind), no such prejudiced rule needs to be made. Many of the greatest scientific studies were begun as merely intuitive whims. Most people thought the Wright brothers were crazy, for example.

    It's ironic that the very conventions of philosophy and logic favor a theistic rather than a non-theistic understanding.

    I added this syllogism example to my article:

    Premise 1: A sound syllogism requires truth and validity as implied universal and consistent conditions.

    Premise 2: Certain philosophies reject truth and validity as universal and consistent conditions.

    Conclusion: Certain philosophies are unsound.

    According to your dictate, atheist philosophers should hang up their profession because their logic has a low probability of being sound. :)

    ReplyDelete
  130. Rick Warden: The problem with evolution, on the other hand, is that there is no claim of a transcendent agent, and yet, because it is non-falsifiable, evolution technically cannot even be called scientific:
    ...
    Karl Popper...


    Once again we see you mistake in getting your information only from Creationist web sites.

    http://ncse.com/cej/6/2/what-did-karl-popper-really-say-evolution

    1) Popper wrote "evolution" when he clearly meant "natural selection."

    2) Numerous people explained to Popper what an idiot he was, and he later admitted that he was wrong.

    " The fact that the theory of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people, anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that it is a tautology. . . . I mention this problem because I too belong among the culprits. Influenced by what these authorities say, I have in the past described the theory as "almost tautological," and I have tried to explain how the theory of natural selection could be untestable (as is a tautology) and yet of great scientific interest. My solution was that the doctrine of natural selection is a most successful metaphysical research programme. . . . [Popper, 1978, p. 344]

    I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation. . . . [p. 345]

    The theory of natural selection may be so formulated that it is far from tautological. In this case it is not only testable, but it turns out to be not strictly universally true. There seem to be exceptions, as with so many biological theories; and considering the random character of the variations on which natural selection operates, the occurrence of exceptions is not surprising. [p. 346]"

    ReplyDelete
  131. Reginald SelkirkJuly 24, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    T: 1) ALL scientific theories are based on at least a few assumptions. This is a basic axiom and it is impossible to avoid making some assumptions. Assumptions are the scientific word for faith in something that you can’t prove.

    "Faith" is such an overworked word. Expand your vocabulary.

    For example, there is no way that we can prove that our senses are accurate, because we can only use our senses to prove things..thus it is impossible to check. We have to believe that they are accurate totally on faith. There are many other examples like this.

    Your example is quite wrong. We can invent measuring instruments and procedures to test our senses. In some cases we can prove quite conclusively that our senses and cognition are prone to illusions. Numerous such perceptual and cognitive illusions are well-documented.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Reginald SelkirkJuly 24, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Meyes explains how his central thesis was never refuted.

    Well, there's an objective source!

    First, intelligent agents have demonstrated the capacity to produce large amounts of functionally specified information (especially in a digital form). Second, no undirected chemical process has demonstrated this power.

    First, "functionally specified information" is a phrase Meyer made up. Perhaps this is because Dembski's earlier work with "Complex Specified Information" proved so fruitless in that he had to keep changing the definition to evade criticism of weaknesses, and had never successfully applied his maths to any actual example.

    Second, the ability of the replicative machinery of the cell to "create new information" through mutation, recombination and duplication of genes is well-established. See for example M. Long, "Evolution of novel genes", Current Opinions in Genetic Development 2001 11(6) 673-680.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Reginald SelkirkJuly 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    T: This and the other quotes listed mean ironically, that evolution is almost completely a religion.

    What an idiotic thing to say. It could mean that the person quoted didn't know what he was talking about.

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  134. Reginald SelkirkJuly 24, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    T: Atheism is ironic to me because a negative cannot be proved, i.e. God's non-existence, but atheists seem certain usually not very open to looking objectively at facts.

    You replied: You should distinguish between a possibility and a probability. Pointing out the extreme improbability of God-hypotheses is not the same as rejecting the logical possibility that some God might exist.

    In a free society (and in a free mind), no such prejudiced rule needs to be made.


    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Do you believe in Santa Claus? You can't prove he doesn't exist, so may I presume you are agnostic with regard to Santa Claus?

    Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? You can't prove he doesn't exist, so may I presume you are agnostic with regard to the Easter Bunny?

    Hopefully you can understand the distinction between a possibility and a probability, and notice that we use probabilities every day. Certainly our views should be "prejudiced" by probabilities. Otherwise you will find yourself once again sitting alone next to the pumpkin patch waiting for an appearance of The Great Pumpkin.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Reginald SelkirkJuly 24, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    I added this syllogism example to my article:...

    What a ridiculous strawman characterization.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Regi,

    Regarding NDE

    R: Let's start with the clear physical and biological body of knowledge concerning our sense perceptions. We see through our eyes. We hear through our ears. If a "soul" left a body behind on the operating table, how would it see and hear?

    T: This is precisely one of the reasons the events have supernatural implications.

    R: You have relied on one-sided, favorable presentations of you favourite anecdotes, which do not even acknowledge, let alone refute, critical questions

    T: I have presupposed the criticisms I know of in the article and added some points. For example, the three year delay in the testimony of Reynolds. A peer reviewed article in The Lancet outlines how a majority of NDE patients in a 13 year study retained sharp recollections years after the NDE experiences.

    R: You have presented arguments showing that you have not thought through the issues critically, such as that a woman recognizing her own jewelry in an OOBE is evidence that the OOBE is real, rather than the much simpler argument that such a thing is perfectly explainable as part of a dream or hallucination.

    T: You may have been too involved with the warm and fuzzy cinematography to listen to what was being said. In the documentary it was stated she had never seen before and this experience was unlike any dream or hallucination she could have had. Why? As stated, a person borm blind has no frame of reference for the images of a hallucination. This experience was basically seeing for the first time, though she was not using her eyes. It wasn’t just the ring but the rooms, the lights, the people. She had never seen these things before and this was actually here first ever frame of reference for the “outside” world. Professionals noted the account and descriptions were basically like a blind person receives natural sight.

    R: That OOBEs are not credible for several reasons: delayed reporting…

    T: The link to the Dutch study in The Lancet addresses this.

    R: Severe contradiction to physical and biological knowledge

    T: This is a little vague, but, as far as the testimonies went, I didn’t notice a “Severe contradiction to physical and biological knowledge.”

    R: …evidence that OOBEs are a perceptual illusion rather than a reality.

    T: I’ve read critical articles on NDE and I find this argument lacking, as noted in the blind example above for one reason. The main issue is that specific things were seen that could not have been seen in a mere hallucination. Reynolds, the blind people, and the Dutch cardiac patient I recently added to the endnotes all testify to this. Based on what was seen, the hallucination scenario simply isn’t a possibility in these cases.

    Cont...

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  137. R: That the NDE portion of the Lowery account contained the usual - light, a tunnel, dead relatives, religious imagery - but absolutely nothing veridical. There is simply no reason to believe that this portion of the account is not hallucinatory.

    T: the verified out-of body experiences in the operating room are the strongest evidence the NDE experiences are real. This is supporting evidence that the heaven stuff was not likely to have been a mere hallucination.

    R: That, since the subject reported afterwards, and did not have a clock with her in never-never land, the attempts to tie the hallucinatory imagery to a timeline, and specifically to the time when her brain activity was stopped- is necessarily weak. The hallucinatory imagery could well have occured while her brain was shutting down, or when it was being restored, or at any subsequent time before the subject woke up.

    T: In the cases, the OOBE tied into events that transpired in the operating rooms. These events seemed to have been the gauge of the timeline. Reynolds felt she was being lifted out of her body upon the beginning of the operation when they operated on her skull. When she heard the voice people were gathered at her legs.

    R: That, if the NDE events happened while the subject was brain-dead, she would have had no way to store the memories.

    T: Again, this is evidence suggesting that a supernatural event was occurring. It is a materialistic presupposition the mind is a mere product of the brain and there is no spiritual element.re

    BTW, I don’t know what happened to your comments on debating that were lost. When I comment on blogs I usually write it out first on another word or notepad program so if there is any problem I can repast it.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Neil,

    You wrote: "I begin to sense another typical argumentative closed-minded Christian out to convert rather than truly willing to engage in serious open-minded discussion."

    T: I consider myself to be a very open-minded and creative person. I have a degree in architecture and have produced 2 music albums as a singer songwriter. I married a Ukrainian woman and live in a culture completely alien to my home town.

    These are what nay be issues for you: Do I believe truth exists? Yes. Do I believe I can defend the truth philosophically? Yes. Do I believe it is good to help people understand what is true? Yes.

    You mentioned you were interested in a "serious discussion." I thought that's what a debate was. You mock Christianity in your comments but decline the opportunity to disprove it by debate, a bit odd considering you refer to Christ as a myth at your blog.

    Your comments suggest the real reasons you don't believe in God are more personal. There seems to be some kind of bitterness festering in your attitude. I'm sorry to see that. I pray you come to terms with the real reasons for your rejection of Jesus Christ. If you truly believe it's a myth, the comment box is open and you are welcome to come for a friendly debate any time.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Reginald SelkirkJuly 24, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    T: the verified out-of body experiences in the operating room are the strongest evidence the NDE experiences are real. This is supporting evidence that the heaven stuff was not likely to have been a mere hallucination.

    The out of body experience was not verified, how could it be? Did someone see her spirit floating up near the ceiling? Were controlled, repeatable experiments run while she was allegedly OOB? (answer: no) The veridical details can be easily explained by incomplete anesthetization and incomplete sensory blockage.

    The OOBE and verical stuff happened literally hours before heart and brain "death," thus they do not support the hallucinatory account. This has been explained to you repeatedly.

    T: Again, this is evidence suggesting that a supernatural event was occurring. It is a materialistic presupposition the mind is a mere product of the brain and there is no spiritual element.re

    No, that is not a materialistic assumption. That is a reasonable conclusion based on many experiments. The entire history of ESP and paranormal studies contains many similar claims, none of which can be reproduced under properly controlled experimentation. That vision involves the eye, and that memory involves neurons, etc. are the product of centuries of scientific investigation. They are not presuppositions, they are not assumptions.


    Do I believe I can defend the truth philosophically? Yes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
    Dunning-Kruger effect

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  140. Reginald SelkirkJuly 24, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    evidence that OOBEs are a perceptual illusion rather than a reality.
    T: I’ve read critical articles on NDE and I find this argument lacking, as noted in the blind example above for one reason. The main issue is that specific things were seen that could not have been seen in a mere hallucination.


    I gave you a link to the best OOBE study ever done - because the patient was a conscious and responsive. For example, she claimed to see her body from above, but she could not read signs which would be visible from above but not from the location of her eyes.

    All NDE-related OOBE accounts are not controlled in this way. They are reported afterwards by a subject who was unresponsive at the time. So when a subject claims to have seen something, how do you know that they actually did?

    And the example you provided, about a woman recognizing her own wedding ring during an NDE shows a complete lack of critical thought. Your response indicates that you think the situation is:

    She viewed a body during her NDE. Whose was it?

    This is not the appropriate question. The appropriate question is:

    She claimed to view a body during her NDE. Was it an actual viewing, or a hallucination?

    A woman recognizing her own jewelry is most certainly the sort of detail that could show up in a dream or hallucination.

    If you don't even understand the appropriate questions, there is no way you could have adequately examined these claims critically.


    I find myself repeating things which you either failed to understand or ignored when they were first introduced, so I'll leave now.

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  141. Rick: Once the supernatural is accepted as a real possibility, the miracles and interactions you mentioned are no problem logically.
    So?
    I was asking for scientific evidence? There are a lot of ridiculous notions which are not a problem logically (The Harry Potter universe is logically possible, after all).
    I'm still waiting for that Feynman diagram for interaction of photons with a soul.

    Rick: The problem with evolution, on the other hand, is that there is no claim of a transcendent agent, and yet, because it is non-falsifiable, evolution technically cannot even be called scientific:
    You're mistaken once again. Popper, once he had evolutionary theory explained to him, dropped his objections of it being unfalsifiable.
    You really need to broaden your reading sources.

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  142. Rick: I wrote a comment regarding true critical thinking: As soon as you reject the possibility of God's existence as a philosophical question, you are rejecting the basic tenets of critical thinking (the freedom to test a any hypothesis)
    While no one here has rejected the possibility of a God's existence, I suspect you reject the notion of God's non-existence, and therefore it seems you're falling prey to your own claims, contradicting yourself - the above statement applies equally well to yourself (replacing existence with non-existence).
    Inconsistency isn't a good sign for your thought processes.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Havok,

    I had written that Signature in the Cell has also been validated by leading atheistic sources.

    H: Nagel is neither a biochemist, nor a biologist, and therefore doesn't seem particularly qualified to assess the arguments of the book.

    T: It is not surprising that any more atheist biologists would objectively evaluate the book and its evidence after what happened to Nagel. Militant atheists basically try to ruin the career of any atheist who supports objective evidence in ID:

    http://santitafarella.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/new-atheist-heat-rises-on-philosopher-thomas-nagel-for-praising-stephen-meyers-id-book-signature-in-the-cell-2009/

    But Darrel Falk, who did review Myer’s book, is a biologist and his non-objective review and critique of the book is actually supporting evidence for the ID side: 

    http://biologos.org/blog/response-to-darrel-falks-review-of-signature-in-the-cell

    One person who seems qualified but afraid to debater Myer is a very outspoken atheist biologist named Richard Dawkins. Though Myer's work has appears in peer reviewed articles, the posturing poser Dawkins seems afraid to help resolve the issue. 

    I wonder why. Actually, I don't wonder why. I wonder why you don't wonder why.

    ReplyDelete
  144. H: Check the actual scientific literature concerning abiogenesis,

    T: The Stanley Miller experiment was a guided experiment manipulated to produce a desired result. The chemical makeup of the conditions for producing the result was disingenuous. Some results related to simple organic amino acids may have been achieved but not the complex type required for life.

    This oft touted experiment was really a failure. Even the scientist who performed it admitted it was a failure years later. You can hear this testimonial account of how Miller basically admitted it was a failure and view the outline of the experiment in video format this link in a 6 minute chapter entitled Chemical Evolution:

    http://www.christiananswers.net/creation/aqoo/

    You seem to have a habit of telling me to go search for mythical evidence as though not doing so will somehow prove you are right. When life has been produced in a laboratory from non-life, by all means, post the link to the article on this blog and I’ll be the first one to look at it.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Rick: T: The Stanley Miller experiment was a guided experiment manipulated to produce a desired result.
    Rick, Miller's seminal experiment was conducted in 1952. Perhaps you could evaluate the current state of science, rather than relying upon ancient history?


    Rick: The chemical makeup of the conditions for producing the result was disingenuous. Some results related to simple organic amino acids may have been achieved but not the complex type required for life.
    Again, look at the current research.

    It ridiculous that you rely upon something which happened over 50 years ago, in the infancy of the field, as evidence that the field is without merit.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Rick: T: It is not surprising that any more atheist biologists would objectively evaluate the book and its evidence after what happened to Nagel.
    Nagel was rebutted. Some of it may have been unfriendly, but that doesn't mean that his point was a valid one (or that Meyer's book is valid).

    ReplyDelete
  147. Rick: One person who seems qualified but afraid to debater Myer is a very outspoken atheist biologist named Richard Dawkins. Though Myer's work has appears in peer reviewed articles, the posturing poser Dawkins seems afraid to help resolve the issue.
    As has been pointed out a number of times now, debate is not a very successful means of finding the truth. Meyer's contributions to peer reviewed scientific papers have been shown to be very poorly argued indeed. As such I see no need to even bother debating Meyer - if he had a valid point it would have survived the critique of other scientists. It hasn't so why continue as if Meyer had a valid point to make?

    ReplyDelete
  148. H: The Sternberg affair is ridiculous, and the claims of harassment have not been substantiated:

    T: The more obvious the evidence, the more you like to use hyperbolies like "ridiculous."

    I gave you an in-depth response with links to actual memos showing Sternberg was harrassed and all you can say is ridiculous. The actual letter from the The U.S. Office of Special Counsel(OSC) was cited and presented in full, outlining:

    "During our initial investigations, OSC has been able to find support for many of your allegations. However, the SI is now refusing to cooperate with our investigation."

    As noted, The Smithsonian Institution refused to cooperate in an open and transparent investigation of the matter.

    http://www.rsternberg.net/OSC_ltr.htm

    You are in a state of denial.

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  149. H: I never claimed ID wasn't science, but it's either failed of undemonstrated science.
    In the court Behe made claims regarding the blood clot cascade which were soundly rebutted.

    T: Were they really "soundly rebutted", or is this just the opinion the spoon feeding propagandists was you to believe? Let’s look at the other side…

    “Simply put, in Darwin’s Black Box, Michael Behe only argues for irreducible complexity for the components after the “fork” (red) in the blood clotting cascade. Behe makes this unmistakeably clear, writing: “Leaving aside the system before the fork in the pathway, where some details are less well known, the blood-clotting system fits the definition of irreducible complexity.” (p. 86)

    Behe also made this clear in his Dover testimony that his arguments only applied to components after the fork:
    "The relative importance of the two [initiation] pathways in living organisms is still rather murky. Many experiments on blood clotting are hard to do. And I go on to explain why they must be murky. And then I continue on the next slide. Because of that uncertainty, I said, let's, leaving aside the system before the fork in the pathway, where some details are less well-known, the blood clotting system fits the definition of irreducible complexity. And I noted that the components of the system beyond the fork in the pathway are fibrinogen, prothrombin, Stuart factor, and proaccelerin. So I was focusing on a particular part of the pathway…”

    Ken Miller’s response to Behe was that certain vertebrates—such as the puffer fish or certain cetaceans—lack components of the intrinsic pathway (such as blood clotting factors XI, XII, and XIIa), but their blood still clots. The problem with Miller's argument is that all of the components he cites come before the fork (from the blue "prong").

    Since Behe made it clear in Darwin’s Black Box that his argument for irreducible complexity only applied to components after the fork (the red), Miller did not actually test or refute Behe's arguments.

    http://www.discovery.org/a/14081

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  150. Rick: You seem to have a habit of telling me to go search for mythical evidence as though not doing so will somehow prove you are right.
    Not to prove I'm right, but to demonstrate how badly mistaken your position actually is.

    Rick: When life has been produced in a laboratory from non-life, by all means, post the link to the article on this blog and I’ll be the first one to look at it.
    When you produce evidence that life from non-life by intelligent means occurred (as opposed to citing a gap in knowledge as if it were positive evidence), then I'll be the first to read it as well. As it stands, we simply don't know how life originated on Earth.
    What we do know is that there are a number of promising naturalistic hypothesis and pathways from chemistry to biology. We also know that supernatural hypothesis have in the past been abject failures. We also see that current proposed supernatural hypothesis for biogenesis are sorely lacking both in explanatory power, as well as supporting evidence. We also see that there is no scientific evidence for an intelligence capable of the acts attributed to it by ID proponents existed prior to humanity coming on the scene (whether natural or supernatural)

    Given the above, the supernatural hypothesis of design, as well as the natural hypothesis of design (and the design argument in general) is without merit and plausability, and as such is rightfully dismissed as a viable alternative within the academy.

    I'm pretty sure you'll be unable to accept this conclusion, but it seems fairly obvious to me.

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  151. Rick: I gave you an in-depth response with links to actual memos showing Sternberg was harrassed and all you can say is ridiculous. The actual letter from the The U.S. Office of Special Counsel(OSC) was cited and presented in full, outlining:
    As pointed out by a previous commenter, the report from this special council was rather out of the ordinary, and this person had no jurisdiction.

    Perhaps you ought to do further research, rather than accepting at face value things from those you agree with?

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  152. So, the Dover Case was basically won based on a misinformed understanding of Behe's work.

    This is further underscored by Kenneth Miller's refusal to address or debate the issue since the trial. (Nothing surprising here)

    As of February 1, 2010, Miller has not responded to the rebuttals from Behe and Luskin. Instead, Miller has posted on his "Evolution Resources Page" a link to his own original responses to Luskin, boasting that they are "A response to charges from the Discovery Institute." But Miller has in fact not responded to the charges from Discovery Institute because he has not responded to counter-rebuttals from both Behe and Luskin showing Miller's blatant misquotes of Behe.

    http://www.discovery.org/a/14081

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  153. The Dover trial was dubbed “new scopes trial”. However, the Scopes the trial was more significant because it helped established the status quo of atheistic hegemony in academia.

    From thereon in, evolution could not be questioned in academia. But what was the victory of the scopes trial based on? Fraudulent evidence was used. The Piltdown Man was mentioned by two experts in affidavits.

    Scopes fraud - http://conservapedia.com/Piltdown_Man

    So the myth of evolution cloaks the emperors of evolution as they parade down their academic halls. But when it comes time to debate, the emperor has no clothes and it is quite embarrassing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  154. Rick: So, the Dover Case was basically won based on a misinformed understanding of Behe's work.
    Since Behe equivocates between different definitions of his work, this is hardly surprising (nor is it a valid critique of the court ruling).

    Instead of constantly referring to an organisation which has constantly misrepresented both itself and scientific knowledge (as well as having an ideological rather than scientific mission) ie. the "Discovery Institute", perhaps you ought to find another source of information.

    ReplyDelete
  155. From wiki on the Miller-Urey experiement:
    "Based on sealed vials from the original experiment, scientists have been able to show that although successful, Miller was never able to find out with the equipment available to him the full extent of the experiment's success. Later researchers have been able to isolate even more different amino acids, 25 altogether. Professor Bada has estimated that more accurate measurements could easily bring out 30 or 40 more amino acids in very low concentrations, but the researchers have since discontinued the testing. Miller's experiment was therefore a remarkable success at synthesizing complex organic molecules from simpler chemicals, considering that all life uses just 20 different amino acids."
    and
    "Miller had also performed more experiments, including one with conditions similar to those of volcanic eruptions. This experiment had a nozzle spraying a jet of steam at the spark discharge. By using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, the group found more organic molecules than Miller had. Interestingly, they found that the volcano-like experiment had produced the most organic molecules, 22 amino acids, 5 amines and many hydroxylated molecules, which could have been formed by hydroxyl radicals produced by the electrified steam. The group suggested that volcanic island systems became rich in organic molecules in this way, and that the presence of carbonyl sulfide there could have helped these molecules form peptides."

    Seems to me that the original experiment wasn't the failure you claimed.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Regi,

    R: Numerous people explained to Popper what an idiot he was, and he later admitted that he was wrong.

    " The fact that the theory of natural selection is difficult to test has led some people, anti-Darwinists and even some great Darwinists, to claim that it is a tautology. . . . I mention this problem because I too belong among the culprits. Influenced by what these authorities say, I have in the past described the theory as "almost tautological," and I have tried to explain how the theory of natural selection could be untestable (as is a tautology) and yet of great scientific interest. My solution was that the doctrine of natural selection is a most successful metaphysical research programme. . . . [Popper, 1978, p. 344]

    T: This same quote in the conclusion is found at a Creationist site highlighting the fact he referred to evolution theory more as philosophy, metaphysics, than as science:

    “My solution was that the doctrine of natural selection is a most successful metaphysical research programme. . .”

    http://english.sdaglobal.org/research/sctstbel.htm

    Popper is not the only atheist who questioned natural selection:

    Even Gould (-1977, p. 39) admits ...... although I wear the Darwinian label with some pride, [I] am not among the most ardent defenders of natural selection" More blunt is Bethell (1976) who concludes, "Darwin's theory [of natural selection] I believe is on the verge of collapse. . . . Natural selection was quietly abandoned, even by his most ardent supporters, some years ago."

    Gould, in an article defending natural selection (1977, p. 40-41) admits that, "Bethell argues quite correctly that [Darwin] relied upon analogy to establish it [his definition of survival of the fittest] a dangerous and slippery strategy." Yet, many scientists are still struggling not only to define it, but also to demonstrate that it has a role in megaevolution (Maddox, 1991, p. 653).

    The assumption that all life and all of its traits owe their existence primarily to natural selection, thus these traits must be adaptive, is still supported primarily by thought demonstrations.

    http://www.rae.org/natsel.html

    Darwin himself once said, "A fair result can be obtained only by fully balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question."

    For every “gap” filled, science creates new gaps all over again. The process is “inexhaustible.” - Berlinsky, The Devil's Delusion.

    http://www.thebibleistheotherside.org/currentarticlep11.htm

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  157. R: In some cases we can prove quite conclusively that our senses and cognition are prone to illusions.

    T: This is a great quote! Sorry you don’t see the irony in it. It’s right up there with Austin Cline and John Loftus quotes I recently attributed. 

    “This and the other quotes listed mean ironically, that evolution is almost completely a religion.”

    R: What an idiotic thing to say. It could mean that the person quoted didn't know what he was talking about.

    T: Compare theism with atheism objectively, as relate to nature and cosmology, and you’ll see atheism requires more faith. The facts in this documentary cover a lot of ground for anyone interested in objectively looking into the facts:

    http://www.christiananswers.net/creation/aqoo/

    T: Atheism is ironic to me because a negative cannot be proved, i.e. God's non-existence (atheism implies certainty, agnosticism implies healthy skepticism)

    R: I have no idea what you are talking about.

    T: Sorry to hear that. It's pretty basic.

    R: Hopefully you can understand the distinction between a possibility and a probability

    T: Yes, it is more probable that God exists, as shown both by logic and science. Can you disprove my syllogism?:

    Premise 1: A sound syllogism requires truth and validity as implied universal and consistent conditions.

    Premise 2: Certain philosophies reject truth and validity as universal and consistent conditions.

    Conclusion: Certain philosophies are unsound.

    - If you can’t refute it, it implies God’s existence is more probable.

    Prove me wrong and refute it. :)

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  158. Regi,

    R: I gave you a link to the best OOBE study ever done - because the patient was a conscious and responsive.

    T: In your opinion it may be the “best OOBE study “because the patient was a conscious and responsive.” In my opinion the best OOBE evidence is provided by patients who later report sights they could not have possibly seen with their natural eyes. Reynold’s case is considered one of the best because of these verified sight and the fact the medical conditions were closely monitored.

    R: A woman recognizing her own jewelry is most certainly the sort of detail that could show up in a dream or hallucination.

    T: I went over this already: It was stated in the documentary how she had never seen before and this experience was unlike any dream or hallucination she could have had. Why? As stated, a person born blind has no frame of reference for the images of a hallucination. This experience was basically seeing for the first time, though she was not using her eyes. It wasn’t just the ring but the rooms, the lights, the people. She had never seen these things before and this was actually here first ever frame of reference for the “outside” world. Professionals noted the account and descriptions were basically like a blind person receives natural sight.

    R; I find myself repeating things which you either failed to understand or ignored when they were first introduced, so I'll leave now.

    T: I know the feeling.

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  159. R: The out of body experience was not verified, how could it be? Did someone see her spirit floating up near the ceiling?

    T: As mentioned many times, the patients could not have seen what they did apparently see with their physical eyes unless somehow their vision occurred from an OOBE.

    My position is verified by a peer reviewed paper - the kind you love :)

    From my article: "Critics have stated the interview with Reynolds took place three years after the operation and is therefore invalid. However, Pam’s recollection of other details that day remained extremely detailed and vivid and a 13 year Dutch study published in the Lancet, a prestigious, peer reviewed journal, stated the following: The scientists were surprised that the NDErs recalled their experience with the same degree of detail when interviewed again several years later.”[17]

    The Lancet published information on another case: "In another account, from a prospective Dutch NDE study, a nurse removed the dentures of an unconscious heart attack victim, and was identified after his recovery as the one who removed them. This surprised him, as that patient had been in a deep coma and undergoing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation at the time.”[18]

    Endnotes here:

    [17] the Lancet , Dutch NDE Study, http://www.mikepettigrew.com/afterlife/html/dutch_study.html

    [18] The Lancet, "Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A prospective Study in the Netherlands” http://www.lancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2801%2907100-8/abstract

    T: Do I believe I can defend the truth philosophically? Yes.

    R: you offered a link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect
    Dunning-Kruger effect

    T: Whatever you wanted to show me, it’s a bad link, as stated: “Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name.”

    Better regroup Regi

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  160. Havok,

    Rick wrote: Once the supernatural is accepted as a real possibility, the miracles and interactions you mentioned are no problem logically.

    H: So? I was asking for scientific evidence? There are a lot of ridiculous notions which are not a problem logically (The Harry Potter universe is logically possible, after all).

    T: While science can be used to refute the flawed theory of evolution, as shown, it cannot be used to create laboratory experiments producing spiritual phenomena. Theism is no way implies it can. What must be considered is the preponderance of evidence as a whole. My article outlines this premise and how NDE does suggest the supernatural (specifically theism) as he best explanation, though NDE cannot be duplicated on demand.

    H: Rick wrote: The problem with evolution, on the other hand, is that there is no claim of a transcendent agent, and yet, because it is non-falsifiable, evolution technically cannot even be called scientific:

    H: You're mistaken once again. Popper, once he had evolutionary theory explained to him, dropped his objections of it being unfalsifiable. You really need to broaden your reading sources.

    T: Popper’s flip flops don’t seem to be a very stable source of truth. But no matter how you slice it, the biological proceeds of natural selection with regard to macro-evolution is non-falsifiable. It cannot be demonstrated.

    However, DNA and the fossil record can be tested and falsified to some degree today. And both are problematic for evolution.

    “…there are two huge gaps in particular that should be emphasized. The evolutionary distance between single-cell organisms and the vast array of multicellular, highly complex marine invertebrates precludes even rapid evolution. In the supposedly 600-million-year-old layers of rock designated as Cambrian (which contain the first appearance of varied multi-cell life), sponges, clams, trilobites, starfish, etc., are found without the required evolutionary ancestors.

    The gap from marine invertebrates to the vertebrate fish is likewise immense. To make matters worse for the evolutionists, fish fossils are also found in Cambrian strata. If evolution is true, fish must have evolved from something, and invertebrates must also have evolved from something. Evolution has no ancestor to propose, but the evidence exactly fits the creation model, which insists that each animal type was created fully formed, with no evolutionary transition.”

    http://www.icr.org/article/biggest-problems-for-evolution/

    It gets worse for evolution when you look at the mathematical improbability of necessary proteins forming and evolving...

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  161. When you consider mathematical improbably of the necessary proteins forming in nature, even evolutionists readily admit chances are “too low to be plausible.”

    Evolutionist Paul Erbrich:

    "The probability, however, of the convergent evolution of two proteins with approximately the same structure and function is too low to be plausible, even when all possible circumstances are present which seem to heighten the likelihood of such convergence. If this is so, then the plausibility of a random evolution of two or more different but functionally related proteins seems hardly greater."

    [Paul Erbrich, "On the Probability of the Emergence of a Protein with a Particular Function," Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 34 (1985), pp. 53-80 (quote is from the abstract emphasis added).]

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/origin-of-life-ref.html

    Evolution from Minerals and Water?

    Evolutionist and biochemist Klause Dose, Ph.D., a leading origin-of-life researcher:

    A "mineral origin of life? This thesis is beyond the comprehension of all biochemists or molecular biologists who are daily confronted with the experimental facts of life. The poor response of life scientists to [A.G.] Cairns-Smith's thesis is therefore no surprise."

    [Klause Dose, "Book Review of Clay Minerals and the Origin of Life by A.G. Cairns-Smith and H. Hartman," Biosystems, Vol. 22, No. 1 (1988), p. 89 (emphasis added).]

    Hoyle and Wickramasinghe:

    "Life cannot have had a random beginning The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (10 to the 20th) to the 2,000th = 10 to the 40,000th, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.

    [Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24, 150, 30, 31 (emphasis added).]

    Sir Fred Hoyle is a well-known British mathematician, astronomer, and cosmologist. Hoyle is, also, the co-author of the book, Evolution from Space, which states:

    "Once we see, however, that the probability of life originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favourable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect deliberate.

    [Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), pp. 141, 144, 130 (emphasis added).]

    There are more such quotes at the link below by atheist and theist scientists alike who readily admit the possibility of life occurring and evolving in a purely materialistic framework is infinitesimally small:

    http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/origin-of-life-ref.html

    Though God cannot be proven in a laboratory, the preponderance of evidence points to the God hypothesis as the most rational choice. This is confirmed in light of logic, and NDE studies I presented.

    Dawkins has admitted that Creationists most often use probability in their debates. It is very difficult to argue with.

    And thus he has categorically refused to debate them. He is thus acknowledging it is convincing evidence. :)

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  162. Rick: T: While science can be used to refute the flawed theory of evolution, as shown, it cannot be used to create laboratory experiments producing spiritual phenomena.
    Science is not limited to the lab, and if a phenomena has empirical consequences, then it is amenable to scientific study.

    Rick: Theism is no way implies it can. What must be considered is the preponderance of evidence as a whole. My article outlines this premise and how NDE does suggest the supernatural (specifically theism) as he best explanation, though NDE cannot be duplicated on demand.
    NDE can be explained by a naturalist hypothesis, and there is therefore no need for the supernatural.
    Still waiting for the Feynman diagram for photon interaction with a soul.

    Rick: But no matter how you slice it, the biological proceeds of natural selection with regard to macro-evolution is non-falsifiable. It cannot be demonstrated.
    Only if you ignore the evidence which has been gathered in support of this contention.

    Rick: However, DNA and the fossil record can be tested and falsified to some degree today. And both are problematic for evolution.
    If such things are problematic for evolution, a theory which has led to successful predictions for fossil finding (Tiktaalik and a whale ancestor being examples of the top of my head), I can only think a creationist/ID'ist explanation is in even more trouble.

    Rick, you're fond of citing creationist and other ideological propaganda in support of your position, but as yet you've reference next to no actual scientific evidence - papers appearing in legitimate peer reviewed journals, which have withstood peer critique and been used to build further research and knowledge.

    You seem to have a zeal for knowledge, but don't seem to have the capability to assess knowledge and sources of knowledge.

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  163. And, as regards the initial "challenge" posed in this blog post, it seems you introduced a large amount of irrelevant material, but still have not bothered to address the serious critiques of your claims (regarding NDE's, quantum theory and logic, and how/why such things undermine naturalism).

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  164. Havok,

    H: I suspect you reject the notion of God's non-existence, and therefore it seems you're falling prey to your own claims, contradicting yourself

    T: No, while it is possible God does not exist, it is highly improbable for reasons I just stated and more. I am not in any way contradicting myself. You need to show clearly why you believe this is so.

    I think it is you who is contradicting yourself. You pretend to be objective when it is fairly obvious you are not. You had mocked the idea of academic atheist hegemony but couldn't bring yourself to read about it because Expelled was in the end-notes. An objective seeker of truth would at least look into facts before making presumptuous statements

    Try and refute it, Havok:

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/02/are-atheist-jellyfish-taking-over-world.html

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  165. Rick said : "It seems to me an agnostic is more truly open-minded. Atheism is ironic to me because a negative cannot be proved, i.e. God's non-existence, but atheists seem certain usually not very open to looking objectively at facts."

    Atheism does not exist per se: it's just the normal state of mind of any reasonable person including yourself.

    I suppose you don't believe in flying carpets nor in werewolves, even though these phenomena have been heavily described in a number of books. But since you never saw any evidence supporting their existence, and as they are contradictory with everything else you know about the real world, you just discard them and don't bother to call yourself an a-flyingcarpetist nor an a-werewolfist, even though you can't prove there isn't somebody, somewhere, morphing into a wolf with every new moon.

    If however you found yourself surrounded by obsessive flying carpet proponents, constantly hammering that it is the only sound explanation to Middle-East people travelling abroad, you might want to claim yourself an a-flyingcarpetist just to underline your own mind sanity.

    Or do you consider yourself "agnostic" about werewolves, flying carpets, telepathic unicorns, leprechauns, etc etc? All of these are alternative explanations to very many of our daily experiences with strange sounds, lost keys or other coincidences, so why would you discard them so easily? How long would you stand a debate with a leprechaun proponent?

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  166. Rick: T: No, while it is possible God does not exist, it is highly improbable for reasons I just stated and more.
    Those reasons do not seem to make God's existence probable (unless you already think God exists).

    Rick: I am not in any way contradicting myself. You need to show clearly why you believe this is so.
    I merely reversed your own claim and applied it to yourself.

    Rick: You had mocked the idea of academic atheist hegemony but couldn't bring yourself to read about it because Expelled was in the end-notes. An objective seeker of truth would at least look into facts before making presumptuous statements
    I've seen expelled and have investigated the claims it makes. They don't pan out, on the whole. I mocked the idea because expelled is such a slanted, biased and incorrect "documentary".
    Perhaps you ought to take your own advice?

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  167. Havok,

    You wrote: Science is not limited to the lab, and if a phenomena has empirical consequences, then it is amenable to scientific study.

    T: As I mentioned, philosophical proof is not limited to science alone. If this is your sole and penultimate requirement for philosophical poof, as it seems to be, I suppose I should just ignore you.

    My article presents evidence from the principles of logic, physics, and NDE which together provide a preponderance of evidence supporting God’s existence. In addition, I have added links showing the infinitesimally small possibility of the proteins forming that are required in the process of evolution.

    You can beat on your "science-only" drum all you want to but it is irrelevant to my article. It takes a an orchestra or at least a few instruments to make the kind of philosophic music necessary to provide a convincing argument fr God's existence and science is one aspect of that music. But, like Dawkins and others, you will likely beat on your science-only drum while ignoring the larger implications of all the facts.

    H: NDE can be explained by a naturalist hypothesis, and there is therefore no need for the supernatural.

    T: No, Havok, It seems you haven't really thought it through. To explain anything you need logic. You need the law of identity. OOBE shatters the naturalist presumptions of mind and body with reference to logic, but you don't seem to want to take the time to consider this.

    Let me ask you: What is the basis of your identity? Please explain what your identity consists of and where your identity is located.

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  168. H: Only if you ignore the evidence which has been gathered in support of this contention. (in support of natural selection)

    T: This is getting old fast. I’ll say it again, I’m not going to try and chase down evidence which I believe is erroneous. Do your own homework abd come up with some serious points. I’ve addressed every piece of evidence you’ve offered and found it wanting.

    H: Rick, you're fond of citing creationist and other ideological propaganda in support of your position, but as yet you've reference next to no actual scientific evidence - papers appearing in legitimate peer reviewed journals, which have withstood peer critique and been used to build further research and knowledge.

    T: Yes, I’ve referenced theist-based sources. I referenced websites with lists of peer reviewed books and articles that support ID that have withstood peer critique. Just because you don’t agree with the conclusions doesn’t mean they are inadequate. I’ve listed peer reviewed articles in my article supporting NDE. This line of reasoning is flawed anyway because I have cited many facts showing there is atheistic hegemony in the academia and the peer review process itself, which will probably only get worse as non-objective militant atheism grows


    Let me ask you, Havok, in a Soviet style society such as China, is God’s existence impossible because there are no academic institutions that would allow scientific work that implies God’s existence? Is God’s existence impossible because no peer reviewed articles supporting ID are not coming out of atheistic China today. - Of course not. It’s an empty argument.

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  169. H: You seem to have a zeal for knowledge, but don't seem to have the capability to assess knowledge and sources of knowledge.

    T: You seem to have zero interest in looking into the true condition of society and the world in order to realize that atheistic hegemony does play a strong factor in limiting the research and publication of material that suggests ID is true. If you had looked into the references I had shown you, you would be aware of this.

    H: And, as regards the initial "challenge" posed in this blog post, it seems you introduced a large amount of irrelevant material, but still have not bothered to address the serious critiques of your claims (regarding NDE's, quantum theory and logic, and how/why such things undermine naturalism).

    T: No, Havok, I have been logically responding to your objections. If I don’t go about doing your homework for you and chasing after your implied mountains of proven research you accuse me of negligence.

    If I do go into a subject in-depth, you accuse me of posting irrelevant material. Anyone observing this thread objectively will be able to see that. You may consider certain topics “irrelevant” but I have addressed everything you've laid on the table.

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  170. Premise 1: A sound syllogism requires truth and validity as implied universal and consistent conditions.

    Premise 2: Certain philosophies reject truth and validity as universal and consistent conditions.

    Conclusion: Certain philosophies are unsound.


    You fall here at the first fence.

    Logic has little to do with truth but everything to do with validity.

    Truth, as far as the premisses of any logical argument is concerned, is decided in advance of that argument.

    Logic allows you to reach conclusions which are valid, according to logical rules, the truth of which may be determined by other rules AND the truth of the original premisses.

    Were you to assume the truth of the premiss that the earth is flat, conclusions derived by valid logical argument from this premiss would be true.

    Similarly, your first premiss, that sound syllogisms require truth and validity as implied universal and consistent conditions, is assumed by you to be true.
    This is NOT the case.
    What a sound syllogism requires is that the truth of the premisses be both known and agreed by the participants in the argument prior to the argument's commencement. If this basic requirement is not met, both participants will necessarily reach the same, valid, conclusions by means of logical rules, but will disagree as to the truth or usefulness of those conclusions.

    For example, the standard training syllogism:

    All men are mortal
    Socrates is a man
    Therefore Socrates is Mortal

    reaches a valid conclusion, however you look at it.

    However, is it true that all men are mortal? Xians certainly believe that there is one who is not, so the truth of the first premiss is in dispute.
    Is it true that Socrates is a man?
    He is actually, at best, a corpse, so the premiss may be defined as false.

    Hence, the conclusion, though entirely valid, a condition independent of its truth, is not necessarily true as that value depends upon the a priori condition of the premisses in the argument.

    It is so often the case, among amateur users of formal logic, that they fail to notice that they have made certain a priori assumptions in respect of the truth of their premisses and so assume the truth of their conclusions.

    You have committed this error in your first premiss and have made a further error in respect of the attribute of truth as assigned to premisses, seemingly unaware of the nature of logic in this regard.

    Logic cares not for the truth but for the validity of the argument:

    All men are wombats.
    Socrates is a man.
    Therefore, Socrates is a wombat.

    This is a perfectly correct and properly formed syllogism and the conclusion is valid by the rules of formal logic.

    The truth of the conclusion depends NOT on the logic used but on the truth of the premisses wmployed.

    When you have redeveloped your original argument and use premisses that are demonstrably true, or accepted as such by all of your audience, then you will have a useful argument. Until then, what you present on this page is merely a demonstration of sophistry and contains no substance of value.

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  171. @ Rick : And as for your claim of Christianism being "logical", it's still unclear to me how do you reconcile an all-knowing God with man's free will. Does God know which path will be chosen by each of us, or not?

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  172. glebealyth,

    Great points, thanks. I actually had the body of the article for a long time but just added the syllogism as an example. I changed it so as to simply state the convention as is, with no stated implications:

    A conventional syllogism offers proof using true premises and a valid form.

    Certain philosophies deny true premises and valid forms can exist.

    Certain philosophies deny that a conventional syllogism is proof.

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  173. Yogi,

    >>Does God know which path will be chosen by each of us, or not?

    Yes, God does know. I believe your question has to do with the issue of time and eternity.

    Scientists today basically affirm the universe and time had a beginning:

    "The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago."

    - Stephen Hawking The Beginning of Time

    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/beginning.html

    Theists believe God is eternal, outside of time. If God is outside of time, that is, not restricted by the time-space continuum, it is possible for God to see the whole of human history in one glance.

    For example, if a helicopter pilot were in the sky looking down on a small parade, the pilot would be able to view both the beginning of the parade and the end of the parade at the same time. If the pilot remained in the sky for the duration of the parade, he would be able to see the actions of any people for the duration of the parade. It's a crude example, but helps to explain the question.

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  174. Point 3: Unlike in logic and physics, I have no training in medicine, so I'm not going to attempt my own counterargument. Other people who have studied the matter do have counterarguments to this point, however. How do you refute this article, and the scientific studies that it references: http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/08/near-death-experiences.html

    Point 4: This is confirmation bias. Here you are selecting only the important questions where it might appear that materialism does not have a satisfactory answer, and ignoring those where it clearly does, such as "why do bad things happen to good people?", "what causes death?" and "how did the Earth and the Sun come to be?"

    Furthermore, I dispute your unsupported claims that materialism doesn't have satisfactory answers to all those questions. To take an example from my field, I'll consider the origin of the universe. I assume by this you are referring to the problem of first cause. It turns out that this problem includes a false premise, where we assume without evidence that our everyday observations reflect the fundamental nature of the universe.

    In my part of the world, and presumably in yours, every object has a north side. From that object's perspective, out of all the possible directions one can look, one of those directions is always north. It's a fact so obvious that it's actually a little confusing to think about (for me, anyway) because it seems so fundamental. In fact, there are six basic directions, six "sides" that every object has: north, south, east, west, up and down. Every possible direction is a combination of up to three of these.

    However, imagine we take this same object to the north pole. Now it has no north side. No direction we look will be north, because there is no more north to look at. There is only up, down, and a whole bunch of different directions that are all due south. This is bizarre, but the geometry is undeniable: at this one point, our otherwise universal rule breaks down, and we can have an object with no north side, nor an east or west side either.

    Similarly, in our part of spacetime, every event has a cause. If you like, you can think of the cause as the event's "past side," in analogy with the north side. Because time is continuous, everything must have something linked to it that happened immediately before. This is the relationship we mean when we talk about causality.

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  175. However, the "universal" truth that every event has a cause is only true because of the properties of the region where we live - there can, in fact, be exceptions. The Big Bang cosmology proposes that at the beginning of the universe, time closes off in a curve, in the same way that the surface of Earth closes off in a curve at the north pole. At the point of the Big Bang, there is no more past. At this point, and only at this point, there can be an event with no cause. In fact, the Big Bang event _can't_ have a cause, because there is no time before it for a cause to occur in. The phrase "before the Big Bang" has no meaning, in the same way that the phrase "north of the north pole" has no meaning. It seems incredibly weird to us, because we live in continuous time where it's impossible for an event to lack a cause. But the geometry is sound. Even if it turns out that the Big Bang theory isn't actually correct, despite its successful predictions, the geometry of spacetime used in that model demonstrates that a causeless event is possible in principle.

    Finally, I'd like to point out that my ability to answer that question has larger implications. Just because a theory has no known answer to a specific question, does not mean that this answer is impossible. Remember that, while absolute truth may exist (as I assume it does), absolute human knowledge cannot. One thing that atheists and theists agree on is that humans can never be perfect. This is why atheists sometimes become frustrated when believers argue that unanswered questions constitute evidence for God - an argument we sometimes call "the God of the Gaps." The absence of these answers can prove nothing, only suggest - and that suggestion is pretty weak when stacked up against all the answers that science and material philosophy have provided, from the small and routine to the large and profound.

    I'm sure you'll have a response to make, but first, thanks for giving me the opportunity to debate from a standpoint of reason and two-way dialogue of ideas. I was disappointed when Greta Christina declined your invitation, but I hope a non-famous atheist's ideas will still give you something to think about.

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  176. Uh-oh... that was supposed to be a three part post; I seem to have lost the first part. Sorry about that!

    Well, perhaps you can answer what I managed to get down, and I can reconstruct my arguments against your points 1 and 2 later on. I'm one of the commenters who posted, in response to your offer to debate Greta Christina, that I had some points to make after Greta had her chance. Since she turned you down, I decided to go ahead and post my ideas here.

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  177. Sorry to be stepping on Yogi's toes, but...

    Rick: Scientists today basically affirm the universe and time had a beginning:
    No they don't, at least not in the way you seem to be implying.

    "The conclusion of this lecture is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years ago."

    • Stephen Hawking The Beginning of Time

    Perhaps you should have copied some more of the quote:
    Nevertheless, the way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, if the universe satisfied the no boundary condition. This says that in the imaginary time direction, space-time is finite in extent, but doesn't have any boundary or edge.
    So, no absolute beginning of "time".
    The thrust of your contention also completely ignores various theories, the natural extrapolotion of which leads to a multiverse.

    Rick: Theists believe God is eternal, outside of time.
    Not all of them do, actually. William Lane Craig beliefs that from the moment of creation, God is within time (though was timeless and eternal prior to this).
    So, since beliefs on this differ rather dramatically, how can we check these claims?

    Rick: If God is outside of time, that is, not restricted by the time-space continuum, it is possible for God to see the whole of human history in one glance.
    Without time, how does God think or act? Such things seem to presuppose time in which the thinking or acting takes place. This sort of difficulty has led people like the aforementioned WLC to postulate something he calls "metaphysical time".

    Rick: It's a crude example, but helps to explain the question.
    It also helps a little to elucidate the problem such a view has on the concept of free will. Basically, such a God's eye view frame of reference endorses a 4D view of space-time which is also strongly implied by relativity. Such a view of space-time endorses determinism, so there seems no room left for libertarian free will (even assuming such a concept were coherent).

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  178. @ Rick : Thank you for your answer.

    It seems to me however that if God is outside of our time, sees the whole of human history in one glance, and is creator of all things, it would "logically" ensue that:
    - free will does not exist in the face of God, since our future decisions are already known to Him,
    - prayers are useless, since God's plan already includes (or not) His interventions,
    - original sin was fully known and acknowledged by God at the very "moment" He created the world. In a way God "created" voluntarily the original sin altogether when He created, in one single gesture, Adam, and Adam's and mankind's history. It's hard then to see the Passion as a sacrifice we should be thankful for since it was planned from the very beginning and a pure result of God's will.

    All this is very puzzling to me regarding the claimed "logic" of Christianism.

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  179. Robert,

    How do you refute this article, and the scientific studies that it references: http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/08/near-death-experiences.html

    This article is very easy to refute. Greta refused to debate me on this so thanks for the opportunity to shred it.

    Greta's article is filled mainly with hyperbole and sensationalist language, not evidence. Greta wrote her evidence is not based on “a woo believer with an axe to grind who's cherry-picking the data.” But that’s exactly what she does in her article. She says she admires “peer-reviewed research” but the famous peer reviewed research supporting NDE accounts is selectively left out of her article and references. It’s not even mentioned in passing.

    Greta Lists 6 sources of evidence but not one seems to be a serious research paper.

    There’s the Skeptics Dictionary, the National Geographic op-ed piece, and the closest thing to a research paper: Hallucinatory Near-Death Experiences (2003) (Updated 2008). But, as far as I know peer-reviewed papers aren’t updated and edited every time the writer comes up with a new idea. In short, Greta’s resources do not seem to contain any peer reviewed material:

    http://www.skepdic.com/nde.html
    http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/08/near-death-experiences.html
    http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2010/08/near-death-experiences.html
    http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/visitations_after-death_contacts/
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/immortality.html#scicase
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_augustine/HNDEs.html

    At the end of her long list she writes smugly,

    “And... oh, you get the idea.”

    Yes, I do get the idea. Famous peer reviewed articles supporting NDE, such as the Dutch studies, are conveniently left out. The idea is that this is pure propaganda. But, sorry Greta, quantity does not make quality.

    My article does list peer reviewed references:

    Critics have stated the interview with Reynolds took place three years after the operation and is therefore invalid. However, Pam’s recollection of other details that day remained extremely detailed and vivid and a 13 year Dutch study published in the Lancet, a prestigious, peer reviewed journal, stated the following: The scientists were surprised that the NDErs recalled their experience with the same degree of detail when interviewed again several years later.”[17]

    The Lancet published information on another case: "In another account, from a prospective Dutch NDE study, a nurse removed the dentures of an unconscious heart attack victim, and was identified after his recovery as the one who removed them. This surprised him, as that patient had been in a deep coma and undergoing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation at the time.”[18]

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  180. The only article that even comes close to dealing with the critical issues is the last one in Greta's list:

    "But," Sabom asks, "was Pam's visual recollection from her out-of-body experience accurate?" (186). That is indeed the question to ask regarding the veridicality of her report."

    Pam had described a "groove at the top where the saw appeared to go into the handle" and the critic wrote it was not located "where the saw appeared to go into the handle" but at the other end. And for the critic this is the main smoking gun that all she said was a fabrication.

    Let’s consider the logic of this. A person accurately describes one side of her head being shaved, a tool she’s never seen before as an instrument that looks like a dentist’s drill, and pieces she saw that looked like socket attachments. But because the groove on the saw itself was not precisely located by the patient, then all the other images must have been imagined.

    "Why had this apparent discrepancy arisen in Pam's description? Of course, the first explanation is that she did not "see" the saw at all, but was describing it from her own best guess of what it would look and sound like" (187).

    The famous Dutch studies are mentioned in Greta's first reference. But the entire focus is on the psychological aspects. Cases, such as the one I mentioned in my article, are ignored.

    Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands

    These studies were printed in the peer reviewed journal back in 2001, so its not like Greta could say they are new and she didn't know about them. Sadly, Greta's article does appear to be pure propaganda when you dig a little. This is a great example of why debates are valuable.

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  181. Robert,

    You wrote: Point 4: This is confirmation bias. Here you are selecting only the important questions where it might appear that materialism does not have a satisfactory answer, and ignoring those where it clearly does, such as "why do bad things happen to good people?", "what causes death?" and "how did the Earth and the Sun come to be?"

    T: Robert, I wanted to clarify your criticism so I researched this issue. I searched for life’s big questions, top questions, deepest question, top questions of existence and found the most important one:

    "Can a pregnant woman drive in the carpool lane?"

    – Just kidding. :) Martin Heidegger’s question seems to be the most essential of all: "why is there something instead of nothing?" (1. M. Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, Yale University Press, New Haven and London (1959), pp. 7-8) Heidegger didn't try to answer this one but Leibnitz did:

    Gottfried Leibniz's argument in part seven of The Principles of Nature and Grace,26 shows some implications of this questions:

    1. Every fact has an explanation. (The Principle of Sufficient Reason)

    2. The fact that there is something rather than nothing cannot be explained by the series of contingent things (that is, "bodies and their representations in souls"27).

    3. Therefore, the explanation for the existence of "something" must lie outside the series of contingent things, in a being that exists necessarily.

    To argue in this way effectively explains why there is "something", but the explanation is just that there is no alternative, because of the existence of a necessary being. The argument does not by itself construct an explanation for contingent beings, although it does direct us to the point from which Leibniz thought the explanation must proceed.

    http://www.hedweb.com/witherall/existence.htm

    Is it my fault, Robert, this question is another basic one that seems to imply that God exists?

    While you raised some very good questions, I didn’t find them on any of the top 10 lists I found. Like you, I can add some more extra questions of my own that seem to imply my beliefs:

    Why are religious people the happiest people?

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2010/12/gallup-polls-highlight-happiness-health.html

    In short, my research shows I can stand by my basic list of questions regarding existence, though I did add Heidegger’s question to the article because it seems to be THE question of questions. thanks for bringing up this issue and you are welcome to challenge this list with your own research and links if you'd like to. Please show me some backup for your criticism.

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  182. R: Furthermore, I dispute your unsupported claims that materialism doesn't have satisfactory answers to all those questions. To take an example from my field, I'll consider the origin of the universe…. in our part of spacetime, every event has a cause. If you like, you can think of the cause as the event's "past side," in analogy with the north side. Because time is continuous, everything must have something linked to it that happened immediately before. This is the relationship we mean when we talk about causality.

    T: Interesting description of the “past side” as a reference point in causality. But it doesn’t really seem to take us very far.

    R: However, the "universal" truth that every event has a cause is only true because of the properties of the region where we live - there can, in fact, be exceptions. ..The Big Bang cosmology proposes that at the beginning of the universe, time closes off in a curve, in the same way that the surface of Earth closes off in a curve at the north pole. At the point of the Big Bang, there is no more past. At this point, and only at this point, there can be an event with no cause.

    T: I agree that there can be a reality without a first cause, in God as the basis of ultimate reality.

    R: In fact, the Big Bang event _can't_ have a cause, because there is no time before it for a cause to occur in.

    T: I don’t believe we really know enough to make such an emphatic statement.
    The phrase "before the Big Bang" has no meaning, in the same way that the phrase "north of the north pole" has no meaning. It seems incredibly weird to us, because we live in continuous time where it's impossible for an event to lack a cause. But the geometry is sound. Even if it turns out that the Big Bang theory isn't actually correct, despite its successful predictions, the geometry of spacetime used in that model demonstrates that a causeless event is possible in principle.

    Finally, I'd like to point out that my ability to answer that question has larger implications. Just because a theory has no known answer to a specific question, does not mean that this answer is impossible.

    T: At the beginning of this note you wrote:” I dispute your unsupported claims that materialism doesn't have satisfactory answers to all those questions.” And here you concede: “Just because a theory has no known answer to a specific question, does not mean that this answer is impossible.” This is at the conclusion of your best possible example for materialism. That’s not very encouraging.

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  183. Robert,

    R: Remember that, while absolute truth may exist (as I assume it does), absolute human knowledge cannot.

    T: You assume absolute truth exists? And you are an atheist? What does absolute truth correspond with? Most philosophers believe in correspondence theory. I believe absolute truth corresponds with absolute reality in the person of God. Do you believe in absolute reality? If so, please describe some of the characteristics of this reality.

    R: This is why atheists sometimes become frustrated when believers argue that unanswered questions constitute evidence for God - an argument we sometimes call "the God of the Gaps."

    T: Let me turn it around and say I become frustrated when evolutionists call upon their Naturalism of the gaps in order to try and account for the vast holes. My argument for God’s existence is based on the preponderance of the evidence and I believe anyone looking objectively at the big picture will acknowledge the existence of God is far more likely than the alternative.

    R: I'm sure you'll have a response to make, but first, thanks for giving me the opportunity to debate from a standpoint of reason and two-way dialogue of ideas. I was disappointed when Greta Christina declined your invitation, but I hope a non-famous atheist's ideas will still give you something to think about.

    T; Thanks for your posts. I appreciate your sincere tone and believe you have excellent questions. Because you recognize the likelihood that absolute truth exists, in my opinion you are close to believing in God’s literal existence as well.

    You've taken up my challenge, now you may want to consider this challenge as well: "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29.13

    The book of John can be a good introductory book in the Bible because it outlines the basics and Jn 1.1 and 1.14 outline Jesus as the word which is "logos" in the Greek, where we get the word logic.

    http://niv.scripturetext.com/john/1.htm

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  184. @ Rick : It's still unclear to me why you attach so much importance to "logic" in attempting to make your point, while we've seen that christianism itself is profoundly self-contradictory and illogical.

    If "logic" has any value to you, first thing you should do is change religion, don't you think ?

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  185. To say that NDE's are proof of gods existence is just a childish way to defer the burden of proof. I can provide you with links on perfectly healthy peoples experiences with aliens or hallucinations of this or that and yet you expect me to take the visions of a dying human, presumably on the brink of complete cortical collapse as proof of god's existence? I've read stories where an interviewer speaking with a blind man was shocked to made aware of details about the room they were in that the interviewer himself was as of yet unaware.
    I agree with Yogi about logic, what possible understanding of logic could anyone obtain from the bible or religion?
    And if anyone was looking to discover Christianity and looking to begin reading scripture, I suggest you skip over the book of John and go straight to the origins, and read the old testament. If the horrors in that book don't make you sick to your stomach then you are ripe for religious indoctrination.
    Regarding your account of the god of the gaps and to say that:
    'I believe anyone looking objectively at the big picture will acknowledge the existence of God is far more likely than the alternative.'
    displays a complete and utter ignorance of reason.
    You think that objectivity is better realized in the belief that a supernatural being is responsible for creating every gradual step in the evolutionary process, then leaving innumerable volumes of markers behind to show otherwise? Why is this god so compelled to erase all proof of his existence, as to create incomprehensible amounts of information to the contrary? Why would a god go out of it's way to create man and sin, and then proceed to punish him for it. Why would a god create other religions, and then make the first 3 commandments demand you love and pray for him and no other or be punished for doing so because he is 'a jealous god.' Why would a god create the entire universe with only a microscopic percent of which to live for his greatest creation, life. Then proceed to create countless viruses, illnesses, natural disasters to scour them. If there were a god, I would consider him a foul and cruel supernatural individual at best.

    P.S. I only choose an anonymous account because I don't feel like creating one here... I go by FrozT on most forums.

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  186. Havok,

    You began with my comment...

    T: Scientists today basically affirm the universe and time had a beginning:

    H: No they don't, at least not in the way you seem to be implying.

    T: My main point was that they do basically agree the universe had a beginning. What this implies for the scientist very much depends on the ideological investment of the scientist. A committed atheist, such as Hawking, says,

    "Nevertheless, the way the universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics.”

    Yesterday, an article was published based on black energy: The universe 'will expand forever', new Nasa study on 'dark energy' concludes” The article states: “scientists could say for the first time that the expansion of the universe “will continue to accelerate and the universe will expand forever””.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/7955379/The-universe-will-expand-forever-new-Nasa-study-on-dark-energy-concludes.html

    Before there was absolute proof of the expanding, accelerating universe many atheists firmly held onto the oscillating universe theory as a means of avoiding a beginning of time. Atheists will often choose the less probable over the more probable for ideological reasons.

    Frederick Burnham, a science historian, said ..., “The idea that God created the Universe is a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years.”

    http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/audio/newevidence.htm

    The world's greatest observational cosmologist, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution, was called the Grand Old Man of cosmology by The New York Times when he won a $1 million prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He said:

    The nature of God is not to be found within any part of the findings of science. For that, one must turn to the Scriptures.

    In one book, Sandage was asked the classic question, "Can one be a scientist and a Christian?" and he replied, "Yes, I am." Ethnically Jewish, Sandage became a Christian at the age of fifty.

    Hawking's idea that the laws of physics are some kind of god-like reality that could have determined the universe as we know it is highly improbable. When you consider all the many variables that had to come together perfectly in the universe and solar system in order for life to exist on Earth, "physics did it" just isn't logical, the Genesis account is more logical:

    http://www.mbowden.surf3.net/creat.htm

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  187. Havok,

    Rick: Theists believe God is eternal, outside of time. Not all of them do, actually. William Lane Craig beliefs that from the moment of creation..

    Fair enough. I acknowledge there are different views within theism on God's sovereignty, man's free will and the nature of time and eternity. I won't pretend to be an expert on this subject.

    T: If God is outside of time, that is, not restricted by the time-space continuum, it is possible for God to see the whole of human history in one glance.

    H: Without time, how does God think or act?

    T: God is of a higher order, not a lesser one, so it does not seem to be a problem of acting in this regard.

    A crude example would be a painter painting a painting. At first the painter paints a line, which is only one dimension.

    Then the painter portrays a man sitting painting a painting, it's a self portrait. The man painting is making a creation in his image and he's a great artists so it looks just like him and the eyes twinkle it looks so real.

    In the act of painting, the painter has influenced 1D and 2D environments, even though the painter occupies 3 dimensions, a higher order. The 2D painting cannot influence the 3d world but for the painter it's is no problem to influence lower orders.

    We tend to think visually and physically, but as Robert pointed out, it is possible to see past actions as possible abstract orientation points.

    If God is the creator and ultimate orientation point, such as a metaphorical origin point in a Cartesian grid, then all lines and planes dimensions of reality can be connected to that orientation point both in time and in an eternal perspective.

    Do I understand exactly how it's possible? No. But I can have a simple metaphorical understanding of how it is possible to be connected to everything at once.

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  188. Havok,

    H: Basically, such a God's eye view frame of reference endorses a 4D view of space-time which is also strongly implied by relativity. Such a view of space-time endorses determinism, so there seems no room left for libertarian free will (even assuming such a concept were coherent).

    I'm not committed necessarily to the libertarian free will if there seems to be one that better corresponds to the various questions. According to the following comparison, my understanding may be better represented by a Compatibilist free will:

    "Libertarian free will, that a person is equally able to make choices between options independent of pressures or constraints from external or internal causes. Compatibilist free will holds that a person can choose only that which is consistent with his nature. Therefore, for example, a person who is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:14-20) and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14) would not be able to choose God of his own free will because his free will doesn't have the capacity to contradict his nature. There is much debate on these issues and, depending on which side you lean, your interpretation of scripture will be affected.

    http://carm.org/if-god-knows-our-free-will-choices-do-we-still-have-free-will

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  189. Rick: T: My main point was that they do basically agree the universe had a beginning.
    As I said, no they don't.
    You're point not only requires a fairly sharp beginning to the visible universe (which the Hawking-Hartle no boundary model, and others, shows unlikely), but you also require our visible universe to be all there is (which the extrapolation of existing physics show very unlikely).
    Your point doesn't seem to work out as needed.

    Rick: What this implies for the scientist very much depends on the ideological investment of the scientist.
    Not at all. Much of it seems to be simply extrapolations from existing science - see M-Brane Theory, Eternal Inflationary hypothesis, etc.
    The scientists tend to follow the evidence (though of course they do have their favourite hypothesis).

    Rick: Before there was absolute proof of the expanding, accelerating universe many atheists firmly held onto the oscillating universe theory as a means of avoiding a beginning of time.
    As did many theists. Not for ideological reasons (or not only) but because it was the most reasonable hypothesis given the evidence.

    Rick: Atheists will often choose the less probable over the more probable for ideological reasons.
    Someone who postulates the existence of a tri-omni triune immaterial being probable shouldn't be chiding anyone concerning what is "less probable".

    Rick: Hawking's idea that the laws of physics are some kind of god-like reality that could have determined the universe as we know it is highly improbable.
    Actually, that the laws of physics as we find them, have determined the universe (from the time it was very dense and small) is rather well supported.

    Rick: When you consider all the many variables that had to come together perfectly in the universe and solar system in order for life to exist on Earth, "physics did it" just isn't logical, the Genesis account is more logical:
    It seems you're relying upon the (very flawed) fine-tuning argument here.
    I'd like to know how you calculated the probabilities that God was just right to create the laws of physics as we find them?
    It seems on the face of it that invoking God to solve the fine tuning argument leaves you in an even worse position.

    Rick: Fair enough. I acknowledge there are different views within theism on God's sovereignty, man's free will and the nature of time and eternity. I won't pretend to be an expert on this subject.
    And ALL of them seem to contain ad-hoc premises to avoid problems.

    Rick: T: God is of a higher order, not a lesser one, so it does not seem to be a problem of acting in this regard.
    Invoking the "mystery card" won't help. Thought and acts as we understand them require time. To claim that God carries out these tasks, but in a timeless manner, makes the words somewhat meaningless.

    Rick: Do I understand exactly how it's possible? No. But I can have a simple metaphorical understanding of how it is possible to be connected to everything at once.
    Your analogy did nothing to illuminate the problem with God thinking and acting while still remaining timeless/eternal.

    Oh, perhaps while your providing a Feynman diagram for how photons interact with souls, you could provide one for how photons (and other fundamental particles) interact with God (or would the diagrams be the same - souls and God are the "same" substance?)

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  190. Yogi,

    Y: It seems to me however that if God is outside of our time, sees the whole of human history in one glance, and is creator of all things, it would "logically" ensue that:

    - free will does not exist in the face of God, since our future decisions are already known to Him,

    T: I offered an image of a parade passing by to offer one example, which I described as a crude one, of how God may be able to see both past events and future events from "outside" of time. However, I do not literally believe God is outside of time. I believe God is of a higher order and is very much involved in our world as a time-space continuum.

    As I mentioned to Havok, I believe aspects of a Compatibilist free will may actually be more biblically accurate than a Libertarian one. Jesus taught that we must be born again (John 3.3) But we don't realize this need until God reveals it to us. In this manner, our free-will is somewhat limited by our spiritual blindness before we know who God is. This seems to be consistent with the compatibilist view"

    "Compatibilists (aka soft determinists) often define an instance of 'free will' as one in which the agent had freedom to act. That is, the agent was not coerced or restrained. Arthur Schopenhauer famously said "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills". In other words, although an agent may often be free to act according to a motive, the nature of that motive is determined. Also note that this definition of free will does not rely on the truth or falsity of Causal Determinism."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibilism

    Y: It's still unclear to me why you attach so much importance to "logic" in attempting to make your point, while we've seen that christianism itself is profoundly self-contradictory and illogical.

    T: Compatibilism is logical. Maybe you should change your religion, Yogi. By the way, lying at the other post probably doesn't put your religion in a very good light. :)

    Here's your first post at the new article:

    "the very same arguments that have been already thoroughly debunked in the previous conversation."

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/07/top-20-atheist-bloggers-decline.html#comments

    It seems you are just a lying atheist troll after all. Everyone who had read these comments in their entirety knows I've answered every question with sound answers.

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  191. FrozT,

    F: "To say that NDE's are proof of gods existence is just a childish way to defer the burden of proof."

    T: I never stated that NDE cases alone are proof of God's existence. You need to look at all of the evidence together objectively and then decide.

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  192. @ Rick : Comptabilism doesn't solve the problem that either Man has some free will, and then God is watching in awe with no idea about where mankind is headed to, or God knows our future and then Man cannot do anything else than follow that path, i.e. is "restrained".

    This is especially important in Adam's case. Did God know (i.e. created) the fact that Adam would sin and condemn us all, in which case the whole Passion is just a staged act that God decided and designed at the very moment he created Adam and the whole of human history, or did God wake up one Godly morning shouting "Holy Me ! What's going on here ?" when He discovered to His dismay what Adam had done, in which case the unfolding of human history must be everyday more surprising to Him.

    Good luck trying to reconcile your faith with even the lowest "logic" standards.

    As for my comment on the other post, either I'm a liar, or you're too blind to recognize evidence when it's brought right under your eyes. I guess we'll leave that to the honest reader to decide :-) !

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  193. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6HrvkuwY7g

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  194. Yogi,

    Y: "Did God know (i.e. created) the fact that Adam would sin and condemn us all, in which case the whole Passion is just a staged act that God decided and designed at the very moment he created Adam and the whole of human history, or did God wake up one Godly morning shouting "Holy Me ! What's going on here ?"

    R: Mocking the scriptures does not refute the compatibility of human free will with God's nature.

    The Bible does offer that history has aspects of a "staged act" as you mentioned as a kind of object lesson. Romans 5.8 states "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Dispensationalists believe there are 7 epochs of history which demonstrate the need for an absolute salvation as the only answer for humanity.

    "Comments by the 'father' of modern-day dispensationalism clearly reflect his compatibilist viewpoint."

    http://withchrist.org/freedom.htm

    As far as your lying goes, so far we have 2 untruths:

    1. "I am not sure you'll get much following here, as you're restating anew the very same arguments that have been already thoroughly debunked in the previous conversation."

    2. "For me it's enough. There is enough matter for any honest passer-by to make his/her own mind by reading the thread under the previous post." - See comments from July 28 at this post:

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/07/top-20-atheist-bloggers-decline.html#comments

    Your additional comments make for a total of 2 untruths now. How many more shall we see?

    :)

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  195. @ Rick: As usual, the link you provide does not address at all the problem at hand. As usual, you will claim to have answered the question but did not the least.

    Once again, the problem is the omniscience of an out-of-time creator.

    With an omniscient out-of-time Creator, you logically cannot write "While we were still sinners". You have to write "God knowingly made us sinners", since when God created Adam, He created altogether, in a non dissociable manner to His view, Adam and the whole of mankind history with all its sin and evil. It all is God creation. He knew it. He made it. He even did it *purposefully*, assuming that God is Himself free.

    For what wicked reason did God purposefully create an evil and suffering creature in order to sacrifice His own Son (actually, Himself) to save that creature from His own wrath, that is the question for your faith to answer.

    Until then, please stop using the word "logic" anywhere near the word "Christian".

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  196. Hi there! I stumbled on your blog by pure chance and since I have way too much time on my hand, I read your post and all your comments.

    There are a couple of points I would like to discuss and clarify with you. I am not following any blogs online and my main interests would be history, psychology and philosophy.

    1) I was never a big fan of Aristotel s logic so your position seems quite weak to me, because the "sound" logic you use to prove the existence of a universal being is not always true. But that point has already been covered by others.

    2) As for your critic against science, mostly based upon discoveries in the quantum field of physics, to my mind it looks irrelevent. You have managed to point out that our understanding of the Universe through materialism is incomplete and sometimes even flawed (though it does not mean, that it will always be incomplete and flawed). You have also stated that life is too complexe to have been created by sheer luck. However, according to the laws of probality, it does not mean, that the creation of the Universe and life by chance is impossible. Just the same way as an infinite pack of monkeys with typewriters may one day recreate the Bible for example.

    On the other hand, an intelligent designer is even less likely to act behind the scene, since evidence towards it existence is not trustworthy enough. Science provide fossiles, experiments and other materialistic evidence to convince others, while Religion mostly use subjective accounts of questionable content. Granted, the theological stances make things much easier for people and offers an easy explanation to the most disturbing questions of humanity, but it does not mean that the answers are correct.

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  197. 3) In your essay you use the Near-death and out-of body Experiences as a proof of the existence of the divine. Unfortunately, these testimonies are no more accurate than the testimonies of people "abducted" by UFO or poltergeist sightings. From my opinion, a metaphysical world could exist, but it would still not be a proof of God. As it was already pointed out, we only know that the brain behaves strangely in near-death circumstantions.
    "Visions" from an oxygen deprived brain are not very convincing to most scientists, even when people do manage to describe events that they supposedely do not have the knowledge of. Furethemore, a human memory is initialy flawed and easily influenced. People might subconsciously pick up different details of their surrounding and even add more details based on the words of others. That phenomena is often called "False memory". People are being easily influenced by their surrounding and cultural background. No suprise that a devout Christian might see "angels" in a near-death situation.

    4) Your assumption of an atheist plot to silence Religion is also doubtful. People are generally conservative and it takes some effort to persuade them about a new idea. Still, if the researcher fails to provide adequated evidence of his theory, it will always be dismissed. That is the case of ID.

    5) I would also like to tell you why I consider atheism to be superior to religion. The problem with religion is that it is based on dogma wich is not supposed to be questioned. One is not allowed to disobey the commandments of God, though those commandments can easily be distorted to manipulate the masses, as history has shown us on many occasions.
    Of course, modern Christianity did manage to get rid of most its ludicrous statements from the middle ages, but there is no guarantee that they will not be resurected.

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  198. We all know the horros that were brought by religion (Crusades and ect). Some argue that atheism also killed millions, however that is incorrect. Usually the names of Hitler and Stalin are invoked without any deep understanding of the matter. Hitler was hardly an atheist since in a good number of his speeches he spoke of God as the one leading him. Stalin was an atheist, but it does not justify the accusation against atheism. Communism did not persecute religion because it was atheistic, but because religion went against the marxist dogma of materialism. Both National-socialism and Communism were a type of religions wich tried to get rid of everything unsuited to their dogma and holy books. Any movements with a dogma at its core have a high potential to create an intolerant authoritarian regime.

    Religion can be beneficial to a society at first. It will promote some revolutionary concepts and establish a solid foundation for a government. Unfortunately, with time religion always starts to lag behind reality. Its consepts become outdated and the dogma starts to hinder social and scientific progress of a society (slavery, flat earth and so on). Sometimes a genius like Moses would appear to modernize the religion, however a genius of such scale is difficult to find.

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  199. Y: With an omniscient out-of-time Creator, you logically cannot write "While we were still sinners". You have to write "God knowingly made us sinners"

    "He knew it. He made it. He even did it *purposefully*, assuming that God is Himself free."

    R: You have a recurring problem in confusing omniscience with determinism and predestination. You made the same argument at another article and I answered it:

    Y: "I pointed the logical incompatibility between man "free will" and the idea of an omniscient out-of-time Creator."

    R: And I pointed out that the theory of compatibilism allows for both free will and an omniscient out-of-time Creator. So what?

    http://withchrist.org/freedom.htm

    Y: According to the Christian vision of God being an omniscient out-of-time Creator, then God knowingly and voluntarily made us sinners.

    R: No, according to compatibilism, God gave humans free will and choice allowing us to obey or disobey God.

    Y: He then condemned mankind for being what He had made, and went on sacrificing His own Son (actually, Himself) to save His creature from His own wrath.

    R: Mankind suffered the consequences of disobedience from God, which is separation from God. We live in a world where there are consequences. Where there is no truth, there are no consequences. Where this is truth, there are consequences. This is quite logical.

    Y: This blatantly shows that Christianity is self-contradictory and deeply logically flawed...

    R: No, this shows you have a problem with the idea that truth and consequences exist. According to your worldview, there is no absolute truth and there is no basis for logic.

    Yogi, you need to look into compatibilism and the difference between constraining and nonconstraining causes. Did you actually read the article at the link I offered? Apparently not.

    http://withchrist.org/freedom.htm

    It is a bit hypocritical to try and judge Christianity for being illogical when you cannot even support the basis for the existence of the laws of logic. :)

    You are like an art critic complaining about a painting's design when you don't even know how to obtain a canvass, a brush and paint. You should probably try and justify the first philosophically before criticizing the latter. :)

    Y: "Until then, please stop using the word "logic" anywhere near the word "Christian"."

    R: Christianity is perfectly logical when supernatural reality is taken into account. Because you don't like the manner in which Christ was crucified, and because you don't want to look into the philosophical basis of compatibilism, that does not make it illogical.

    You can continue to make off-hand comments without addressing the deeper basis of my arguments, but any honest observer will see that your criticisms here are quite superficial.

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  200. R: And I pointed out that the theory of compatibilism allows for both free will and an omniscient out-of-time Creator. Yogi, you need to look into compatibilism and the difference between constraining and nonconstraining causes. Did you actually read the article at the link I offered? Apparently not.

    Y : I sure did. Compatibilism explains how God can "gently" (nonconstraining) rather than "brutally" (constraining) force or guess human actions. And it doesn't solve the problem I submitted: either way, it confirms than during the days prior to Adam's existence, God knew perfectly well that Adam would sin.

    How could the original sin be any of Adam's choice and responsibility, since God chose to create a sinner Adam and an evil-oriented mankind even before any of them came to existence and could make any choice?

    What a kind of prank is it then to play surprise and to condemn mankind for being what God created them to be? Nonsensical, illogical, contradictory or perverse.


    R : It is a bit hypocritical to try and judge Christianity for being illogical when you cannot even support the basis for the existence of the laws of logic. :)

    Y : The laws of logic are part of the "reality" of our universe and are discovered just like the rest of it. There might be other universes with other laws. In any case following the rules of logic and the values of good and evil - which are exhibited by all primates and many mammals, and are anterior to any form of religion - the Christian God is either incoherent or perverse. Or both.

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You are welcome to post comments but, please, no uncivilized blog abuse. I reserve the right to ignore any comments that are abusive, off-topic, or patently false. I don't have time to waste feeding the trolls.