April 20, 2012

Stephen Law: EGC Illusionist Debunked

Stephen Law is a senior lecturer in philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London. At first he seemed to me like a fairly likeable guy. I have not met him personally, but I've engage with him a few times at blog until he became irritated by my questions and eventually began deleting my comments.

The first comment of mine that Law deleted regarded the logic of his approach to philosophical questions. While Law will give lip-service to logic and reason, there is an evident under-appreciation for actual logical thought and logical arguments in his work. For example, Law once presented a 1.5 hour long analysis of Dawkins' book The God Delusion and did not once address "the central argument" of the book, as defined by Dawkins. This is probably somehow connected with the fact that Dawkins' central argument is illogical.

Whether conscious or not, Law seems to be well-practiced in the art of atheist acrobatics and logic avoidance. Law's philosophical challenge, the Evil God Challenge (EGC), seems logically unsound in my opinion and in the opinions noted at Thinking Christian and Patheos. In my critique, I outline why the challenge seems to have both false premises and an invalid logical form.

My encounter with Stephen Law reminded me of an encounter with the Ukrainian police department, in which I challenged the validity of a traffic ticket. Looking at me across his big desk with the little golden Buddha statue, the Ukrainian police officer said in his calm Russian voice, "I just want to tell you, I hear what you are saying, but I am not going to answer you." It may have been my note pad and pen. It may have been my cell phone sitting on the desk. It may have been my direct question about my traffic ticket. Something made for an interesting encounter.

When I use the word obfuscation in this post, I'd like to be clear that I'm not referring to deceitful sophistry. I don't know a person's inner motives. When a person avoids direct questions, however, and avoids using logical arguments and principles, these facts can be objectively pointed out. If you doubt anything in this article, or disagree with it, then challenge it. Write a comment below.

I. Stephen Law's obfuscation
II. Stephen Law's challenge
III. Why Law's EGC is invalid and false

I. Stephen Law's obfuscation

On April 15, 2012, I asked atheist philosopher and professor Stephen Law for an outline of his favorite logical argument for atheism. This highlighted link is a link to my comment (April 15, 2012 9:49 PM). There was no answer to my question. I asked again and again. No answers. And then, I asked a fourth time referencing my previous questions, at this article:

Hi Stephen,

In the last few days, I've politely asked for you to present your best argument for atheism three times now:

1. "...what would you consider your strongest argument in favor of atheism? Can you present it here in a logical syntax? Can you offer it in a few premises and a conclusion?" (April 15, 2012 10:03 PM)

2. Also, if it's not too much trouble, can you outline the premises and conclusion of the EGC argument for atheism, as you understand them. (April 17, 2012 3:42 AM)

3. When I asked you what you consider the best logical argument for atheism, you stated, "I like the EGC". Can you please show the premises and conclusion of this argument, as you best understand them? (April 18, 2012 5:54 AM)

Instead of ignoring my requests, it might be helpful for the cause of atheism to show what is under the logical hood of that bad-boy atheist machine of yours.

Regards,

Rick

Instead of simply posting a basic outline or link to his specific favorite argument, Stephen Law writes the following:

"The argument is already out there in various forms, Rick. Engage with them or don't. I could do you your own textbook version, set out as a deductively valid argument, but that would either leave various important stuff out, or else be very complicated in which case I don't have time." (April 19, 2012 11:53 AM)

Consider this:

1.  I asked for his best argument as he would "best understand" it. In other words, the specific version he would find the strongest. In his reply, he avoids choosing any version, it is simply "out there in various forms." It does not seem very helpful in my opinion to know that I can find random versions of his "best" defense of atheism "out there" on the Internet. But maybe that's just me.

2. "Engage with them or don't." In other words, 'Guess which form of my argument I would choose, and then address it.'

3. Then, as clarified, Stephen "could do" me my own "textbook version" that would be a "deductively valid argument" but that would either leave "important stuff out" or be "be very complicated" - Therefore, Stephen doesn't "have time" to offer me an example of his best defense of atheism.

Wow.

In short,

1. There is a leading apologist for atheism who apparently does not have an outline of his favorite argument for atheism anywhere on his own blog.

2. Not only does he not have an outline or description at his own blog, he apparently cannot provide a link to any version on the entire Internet he considers valid.

3. When I did find a version on the Internet and asked if he considered it a valid one, he did not reply.

4. Instead of providing a simple link, a strange anomaly occurred, the linking feature at his blog became disabled. When the comment is linkable, there is a highlight color on the date and time which, when clicked, provides a link that may be referenced. Personally, I believe comment link features at my blog are essential in order to help accurately keep track of what has been said. Somewhere between my first and last comments at Stephen's blog, this feature was lost and is apparently now inoperable. Stephen later told me that it was not his doing. It was just a Google Blogger Blog bug. I've had my share of them as well. 

II. Stephen Law's challenge

Stephen Law's favorite argument in support of atheism is known as the Evil God Challenge (EGC). At Stephen Law's blog, I posted a comment (April 19, 2012 2:14 PM) asking him to clarify whether or not a summary I found on the Internet at the Whole Reason blog would be considered valid in his opinion. Law did not answer my question. Apparently, the long and drawn out argument at this link is the one Stephen Law considers valid.

III. Why Law's EGC argument is invalid and false

As presented, Law's argument does not actually have any summarized syntax, premises or conclusion. In other words, it avoids recognized standards for a logical argument. Off the mark, we may call it a logically invalid argument according to the bare-minimum of formal logical standards. It is more of a philosophical commentary than a philosophical argument. According to more formal logic, the Venn diagram at the right shows how true premises overlap in a valid argument to form a valid and necessary conclusion.


AAA-1 (valid argument )

All M are P.
All S are M.
Therefore, All S are P.

The reason that Venn diagrams are helpful is because they graphically show the basic overlapping of a logical deduction. For the empiricist-leaning atheist, this should especially be poignant. Remember, seeing is believing, right? In a valid argument, there is a logical bridge, an overlap from one thought to the next. If you look at the second line of the syllogism, it acts as the bridge between two ideas. This is not to say that a three-part syllogism is the only valid syntax. But the aspect of overlapping is necessary in longer arguments as well.

A commentator at my blog, Tony LLoyd, made an "if - then" claim, "If accepted (the classic laws of logic), these entail that there are only two truth values." An "if - then" claim is also known as the "rule of substitution" and modus ponens. In Tony's case, however, his claim is oversimplified because the classic laws of logic do not apply on a quantum level, with regard to specific quantum phenomena. Recognizing his false claim, I tried to explain to him why his conclusion was not valid, that there was no logical bridge from his premise to his conclusion, and he answered,

"Eh? What the..? This makes no sense at all. It’s perfectly true but, as I never claimed there was such a logical bridge, it’s just so much blather."

In claiming his modus ponens statement is "perfectly true," Tony is demonstrating his belief that this is a self evident fact. However, the classic laws of logic are not reliable on a quantum level. And modus ponens is not a logical law, but is merely a mechanisms for the construction of deductive proofs.

In Tony's case, he would either have to show how the classic laws on logic are immutable on a quantum level, or he would have to formulate a solid logical argument based upon firm logical laws. He has provided neither. It does not matter if a person has "claimed" there is a logical bridge or not in making a logical point. In logic, if a person want to claim something must be "perfectly true," then firm laws of logic are required, not just speculative, unsupported claims.

Logic and mathematics

The close relationship between mathematics and logic helps to underscore the fact that logic is a precise means of discerning truth. Not only may formal logical principles be graphically represented, they may be mathematically represented. At this link from Santa Barbara City College is a lot of information devoted to critical thinking, Venn diagrams and the hard-and-fast rules of logic.

Law's premises are untrue.
Because Law did not answer my question regarding a valid summary of his argument. I will just have to go with what seems to be the best possible variant of Law's argument, as outlined at the Whole Reason blog:
  1. Most theodicies that explain why God is all powerful and good can be flipped to explain why god is all powerful and evil.
  2. Since both lines of argument are so similar, you must either accept them both as equally plausible (and in doing so, break the law of non-contradiction), or dismiss both as spurious.
  3. Ergo, we must logically dismiss both as spurious.
The first premise can be shown to be false for various reasons.

1. Premise one wrongly assumes that the characteristics and nature of literal things and literal features of the universe are arbitrary and can be flipped and inverted.

Though abstract numbers can be inverted in the theoretical realm, in the literal realm, where things have specific characteristics and identities, this is not possible. If God exists as a hypothesis, then God should be taken to be literal in this context with literal and specific characteristics. But then what does this imply?

Empirical science demonstrates that nothing in the literal world can be flipped or inverted arbitrarily. Everything is highly specific to the integrated whole. Nothing at all is interchangeable. Not one thing is ambiguous and lacking in essential and a specific identity features. Darwin had thought the living cell was a "simple" cell without unique and specific qualities and identifying characteristics. He was quite wrong. The specificity of the physical world  is seen down to the quantum level, where matter 'becomes' energy. The atomic frequency of the elements is in keeping with the characteristic organizing principle of the universe, as noted in an article on hierarchy in the universe:

"Carbon is one of the main building blocks of life, and it is unique among the elements with regard to the vast number of variety of compounds it can form, up to 1.7 million. Carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules have three different vibration modes. Altogether, there are 117 elements on the periodic table. Because the combination tendencies are embedded in the elements themselves, the Periodic Table of the elements helps to represent the hierarchical structuring of molecules: "It is not a human-devised structure but a fundamental picture of nature disclosed by human investigation. ...It is worth reiterating that those individuals who deny the existence of hierarchical structure and firm taxonomies, and some current humanists do, are denying the very basis of both modern chemistry and modern biology."

The laws of logic are used to develop science. And when science is interpreted philosophically using the laws of logic, it logically points to the existence of a good and wise God.

2. God is made up of more than one or two characteristics.

If you notice in Premise 1, Law reduces God to two characteristics before offering his opposing challenge. God is simply all good and all powerful. This is the essence of a straw man argument. As an opposite, God can supposedly be all evil and all powerful. However, there is a lot more to the picture. God is also considered true, trustworthy and reliable. But a God who is disingenuous and a chronic liar would not produce a true and cohesive logic. Yet, the world does retain a cohesive and consistent logic, as demonstrated in mathematics and the laws of physics. The scriptures state "God is love" and this does not factor into Law's challenge. Does this mean the essence of Law's god is, "God is hate" or is this aspect to simply be ignored. If God is hate, then how may God also be considered, wise? Consider what wisdom entails.

3. Wisdom is a characteristic of goodness, not evil

Wisdom is defined as accumulated philosophical and scientific knowledge. When we talk of philosophy, we talk of subjects such as logic and ethics. The reason God is called wise in all types of religions is because it is understood that God's knowledge transcends the knowledge of scientific facts, God's knowledge includes understanding of ethics and morality as well. Basic ethics and morality are necessary for society to function. God could not understand ethics and morality if there was no basis for their existence. But these do exist as real concepts and accepted philosophical necessities in society.

1. Wisdom is defined as a concentrated combination of practical and philosophical knowledge.
2. According to practical and philosophical knowledge, there must be moral rules and a valid moral barometer of good and bad in order for society to function.
3. God must be perfectly wise in order to create and govern the world.
4. A wise God must understand the need for practical and valid moral rules and barometers of good and bad in order for society to function and continue.
5. Because God must be wise, God must understand the necessity of practical goodness in society.
6, Therefore, God must be good.

The crux of Law's argument can be overturned simply by observing society. From an empirical standpoint, we recognize that some kind of moral rules and a valid standard must exist in society in order for it to function for the long haul. We tend to take it for granted that a generally valid moral code and moral barometer has been set for most of society. After some consideration, it should be recognized that a world with "evil moral values" would be a self-contradiction. It is not a logical possibility because the term "moral values" implies that good moral values are better than bad moral values if a society is to function. Good moral values are in harmony with a well-functioning society. If morality, good and evil are relative and interchangeable, then we would have probably seen a prosperous and successful society with dedicated "evil moral values." Sometimes atheists mistakenly believe that sin is bad only because it is forbidden. But sin is forbidden mainly because it is intrinsically bad.

4. God and truth must be aligned.

This question can be further clarified with regard to the nature of truth. Truth has two important characteristics, it is both correct and it is reliable. For example, the principles of math are considered true because formulas such as multiplication and addition work. They are considered true principles because they are reliable and they function. It is true that a house divided cannot stand. If God is not aligned with and supportive of truth and true principles, then there can be no reliable truth. There could be no reliable laws of logic and no reliable mathematical principles because this would go against God's nature. If God is not true and is self contradictory, then there would be no hope for God's creation to exist and function. The foundation must be stronger and more sound than the building it supports. If God is considered an unreliable and evil  liar, there is no hope for any people to be superior to God and a world of unreliable evil liars could not function.

Why atheism is ultimately illogical

I will give Stephen credit for his civility and for having a blog where people can present challenges in a respectful tone. This is far more than can be expected at PZ Myers' blog, Pharyngula. However, when it comes down to discerning truth, Law is in the same boat with other atheist apologists in that he is ultimately avoiding the proven principles of logic as tests for his ideas. Atheism is illogical for one simple reason, it denies the central and logical core truth of God's existence.

Stephen is more developed as a professor and writer and therefore he has a more sophisticated ability to present his ideas without using logical principles. By avoiding principles of logic and obfuscating arguments, however, he seems to be working more as an illusionist than a philosopher, though he may not even be aware he is self deceived.

Other atheist authority figures are a little more transparent than Stephen, perhaps because they have not had as much practice and training in atheistic philosophies.  A good example would be Austin Cline. At his profile, Austin states, "When was the last time you saw an openly atheist politician, an article on atheism in a major periodical, or anyone discussing secular humanism as a serious alternative to religion?" Also, at his profile, Cline wrote that he studied philosophy. Keep these things in mind.

At one point I had challenged Austin Cline to refute an argument for God I had written and Cline declined. I asked him, "Can you perhaps more clearly clarify that you are declining my challenge?" His somewhat humorous response was, " No, because that’s not what I’m doing." He has since deleted that comment, but a record of his logic remains. In an article I wrote December 14, 2010, entitled, Gallup Polls Highlight Happiness, Health and Logic in Spirituality, I quoted a sentence by Austin and referenced the original article.. The sentence read,

"Atheism doesn't need to be illogical and, if it is, that doesn't matter."

That sentence has since been modified to a different one, "Strictly speaking they shouldn't need atheism to be illogical and, if it is, that shouldn't matter." Cline has changed the article text, but still believes it does not matter if his beliefs are illogical. This is quite a dilemma, if we are to take atheist belief as a "serious alternative."

1. Austin Cline in the authority on atheism at the About.com website. And he has an unstated purpose of rationally explaining atheism.

2. Cline claims that the logic of the specific belief he supports is irrelevant to his beliefs.

3. If reason and logic are used to explain what atheism is, then he believes that reason and logic have necessary value. However, Cline claims that atheism does not need to be logical.

On a hunch that some day I might need a copy, I saved the original webpage. There is no note anywhere in the present version to note that the article had been edited on a given date. The original article is posted in its full context below as a web-page image.

Conclusion

The Stephen Law Evil God Challenge (EGC) is not a formal logical argument. It is presented in an ambiguous form. The aim does not seem to be logical accuracy, but truth avoidance. For these reasons, the argument may have been said to have been debunked as well as disproved. The premises can be shown to be false for three reasons.

First, Science shows that the literal world is highly specific and not interchangeable or invertible. Theoretical logic is accurate and this suggests that the literal world may be interpreted accurately and truthfully. The fact that logic is used to develop science, but logic is avoided when atheist philosophers interpret science is telling. In avoiding the correct use of accurate logical laws, atheists tend to avoid the logical conclusion of God's existence as a good God.

Second, a world with "evil moral values" would be a self-contradiction. It is not a logical possibility because the term "moral values" implies, by necessity, "good moral values" if a society is to function. A wise God is a logical necessity and a wise God would understand the logical necessity of goodness in society.

Third, the close interrelationship between truth and God is essential for the world to logically exist. Truth has two characteristics, correctness and reliability. If God is an unreliable evil liar, then there could not be unchanging, reliable laws of logic and principles of math. These things would be against God's nature.
If God is not true and is self contradictory, then there would be no hope for God's creation to exist and function.
 
The obfuscations and acrobatics of avoidance atheists are willing to go through in order to try and defend their illogical belief is actually a testimony of the truth. I would point out that I do not want to have a judgmental attitude towards Stephen. I believe he and all atheists are in a state of spiritual blindness and simply aren't cognizant of the logical truth. The truth avoidance of atheist apologists can be logically demonstrated:

P1. The top atheist apologists mainly avoid or seriously misuse logic.
P2. Sound logic is required in order to test the truth of ideas.
C. Therefore, top atheist apologists are probably not very interested in the truth of ideas.

We Christians need to keep in mind there are serious consequences for people who avoid truth and pray for them. Romans 1.18: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,"(NKJV)






Photo of contortionist from Flickr Commons (No copyright)

Addenda:

Back in October 2012 I asked Stephen Law his opinion on whether or not Richard Dawkins offered a logical argument in The God Delusion, as quoted in the following post:

http://templestream.blogspot.com/2013/02/remember-when-wl-craig-refuted-god.html

As noted there, Law referred me to his video-taped assessment of The God Delusion. Contrary to what Law had stated, this lecture does not answer my question at all. Law never discusses the logic of The God Delusion argument throughout the entire 1.5 hour long review. Instead, Law actually ignored half of the central argument! So far, in defending Law's assessment, we have the following excuses from atheists at my blog:

1. Law was not obligated to list and address Dawkins' six-point argument because fitting six summarized points onto one slide screen would be inconvenient (therefore the latter three points may be completely ignored).

http://templestream.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-analyze-philosophical-argument.html?showComment=1363957570510#c5996788530541390607

2. Law did not need to include three premises out of six because they were unquestionably and obviously true points.

http://templestream.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-analyze-philosophical-argument.html?showComment=1363971553614#c6758844226743334739

3. Law was only obligated to list and evaluate the premises that he personally felt were questionable, the rest he was justified in ignoring.

http://templestream.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-analyze-philosophical-argument.html?showComment=1363986594699#c3315182043451265643

I posted a comment at Professor Law's blog and offered him a fair opportunity to defend his assessment and he ignored my comment:

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=1905686568472747305&postID=1862177871830595660&page=1&token=1364043227246

Romans 1.18 pretty much spells it out: people who have already made up their mind about God's existence are more interested in suppressing truth than seeking it.

(revised 03/26/13)

Tags: sophistry and atheism, the logic of atheism, suppressing the truth, atheist acrobatics, atheist self-contradiction, atheist truth avoidance, Romans 1.18 examples, Romans 1.18 commentary, God's wisdom as proof of God's existence, Is Stephen Law's Evil God Challenge (EGC) a logical, valid argument? Law's challenge is not a logical philosophical argument, Stephen Law debunked, Austin Cline debunked, obfuscation and atheism

Related:

Why Top Atheist Apologists Avoid Logic Like The Plague

Remember When WL Craig Refuted The God Delusion?

72 comments:

  1. "And, not only that, he has disabled the comment link features at his blog so now it is not possible to directly reference any comments at his blog."

    eh? what you talking about?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Stephen,

    If you look at the date next to your name in your comment here (Apr 22, 2012 05:40 AM), it is highlighted and can be linked to at any time in the future as a reference. The comment is link friendly, so to speak. As I noted in this article, when I posted my last comment at your blog, the settings for comments were not link friendly. There was no way to reference specific comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a change made by me. Didn't disable anything.

      Delete
    2. >Not a change made by me. Didn't disable anything.

      - That's an odd anomaly, I guess.

      But thanks for letting me know. I'll adjust the text of the post to make sure that's clear.

      BTW - Could you please verify if the summary of your challenge in the post here is accurate or not?

      Delete
  3. Rick Warden
    If God is an unreliable evil liar, then there could not be unchanging, reliable laws of logic and principles of math. These things would be against God's nature.
    If God is not true and is self contradictory, then there would be no hope for God's creation to exist and function.

    So your whole worldview is, at least partly at the core, based on the logical fallacy of "fear of consequences"?

    That explains how frantic you were to try to dismiss the deception in 1 Samuel 16:1-5 so much...it really messes up your worldview if your god is found to endorse falsehoods.

    Here's another one, though more subtle:
    1 Corinthians 9:20

    Bottom line, Rick..someone is "supressing the truth" but it ain't us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reynold,

      I have comment linking at my blog, as I just pointed out to Stephen. It would be helpful to know what specific comments you are referring to so people can reference your points.

      Can you post a link to the comments in question?

      Thanks,

      Rick

      Delete
  4. You mean you don't remember the huge argument we had starting here?

    Oh, let me guess: You're using this to try to take a shot at Stephen aren't you?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Reynold,

    You have automatically inferred that I don't remember something and I am intentionally maligning Stephen because I ask you to to reference your comments so anyone who visits this blog may be informed and participate in the dialogue?

    Wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rick...you acted like you didn't remember when by all rights you should have because it was a long argument that we had; it should have been easy for you to find on your own blog.

      Then when you ask me for the link, you made a point of mentioning the issue that you claim to have had with Stephen Law and his links by pointing out that you do have "comment linking" on your blog.

      Rick, since you like to throw around false charges of bestiality, you have lost all rights to play the astonished, poor little victim here.

      Delete
    2. >Rick, since you like to throw around false charges of bestiality,

      Have you been hanging out with Havok lately? False accusations with no specific quoted references...? Not good.

      Delete
    3. Hello? Don't you remember the post you made about PZ Myers and his daughter?

      There is no way that you could have forgotten that. Absolutely no way. You have lost the right long ago to play the wounded innocent here.

      That pal, is "not good"! You have made false accusations. Quote please, where his daughter says that she "supports legalized bestiality".

      Unbelievable that you don't tolerate it when other people made ad-hom attacks, but you see no problem in doing so yourself, you pathetic hypocrite.

      Delete
    4. >Quote please, where his daughter says that she "supports legalized bestiality".

      It's obvious you did not even bother to read and verify the references in the article I wrote. Today I've specifically added the phrase "the legalization of bestiality" for people who don't want to click reference links. The link was there all along though, with a long quote by Myers' daughter supporting bestiality. The only thing added was the phrase on legalization:

      - "The full text by Skatje Myers may be seen at comment #35 at the aforementioned blog post. [6] In the full context of the text, Skatje implies she is for the legalization of bestiality: "I don't support it being legal because I want to hump animals. You might ask, why even bother arguing for this position if it really doesn't actually matter to me." and then she addresses what she considers the 2 main objections to bestiality. According to Skatje, sex with animals is not necessarily abusive:: "Animals can approach humans for sexual reasons too. Ever owned a dog? They'll come right up to you and start poking at your crotch." According to Miss Myers, sex with animals can be consensual

      "Animals understand what sex is and they CAN communicate it. Not in words, of course, but in action." Skatje clarifies why she personally does not practice bestiality: "That said, I remind you that my position isn't based on my own personal wants. I just don't see any reason to ban it other than the same reason things like homosexuality and sodomy were banned: it's icky. I think it's bad practice to put social taboos into legislature when no actual logical argument can be made against it."[7]

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/pz-meyers-animal-sex-big-question-for.html

      - Whenever you are ready to apologize for your false accusation and slander, Reynold, you are welcome to.

      The difference between people like Havok and myself is this. If I see a quote or quotes that clearly imply something, I will write what it implies with a reference.

      Someone like Havok, who you seem to be mirroring lately, will make claims such a "you are a liar" and "all your arguments have been disproved" without offering actual quotes as a references.

      This is the difference between good and honest journalism and illegal, deceitful slander. The fact that Havok cannot even consider the possibility of apologizing when he is shown to be slandering with unsubstantiated claims shows that he has serious personal problems.

      Let's see if you can apologize, Reynold, when you have been shown to have been wrong. You slandered me and your claim is shown to be false. Can you apologize for that?

      In my opinion, Myerrs' may be afraid to condemn bestiality, if he does have any moral opinion on it, because he might lose up to half of his blog readership.

      Delete
    5. You have, as Myers has noted of others who have done this: Severely misquoted her.
      Allow me to demonstrate:

      That quote you had? From that post 35 that you mentioned?

      Guess what? That's not Myers daughter's post. That's a post from another religious bs artist who's also misquoting her!

      That post that you rely in gets shot down in the very next comment!

      Skatjie doesn't chime in until this post.

      There, she outright says: I do not support bestiality.

      Although that's what everyone's trying to make it look like I do. I guess squawking about "Those evil Darwinists will have all our children completely apathetic about bestiality! They won't even demand locking zoophiles up in prison!" doesn't sound as nice.


      I am not the one who needs to aplogize, Warden: It's you. Not that it will ever happen of course.

      Delete
    6. Reynold,

      First of all, you only quoted a small fraction of Myers' daughter's comment, the part that supports your view. That is quote mining.

      Secondly, you are incorrect in your deduction about the actual original source of the quote I posted referred to as Skatje's quote.

      Reynold, None of the comments following the quote I posted deny that is was a quote by Myers' daughter. The atheists erroneously claim that huge quote was "quote mining". But claiming a quote many, many paragraphs long is quote mining is ludicrous.

      Comment 71 suggests where the quote was originally sourced from:

      "...she's been trolling Skatje's blog, though."

      The quote you referenced seems to have been an attempt by Skatje Myers at damage control.

      However, she still does not deny that she defends bestiality is a legal sense. What she is attempting to do is to clarify that there is a vast difference (in her opinion) between her personal feelings on the subject and other people's legal rights. Skatje's original comment made this clear:

      "I don't support it being legal because I want to hump animals. You might ask, why even bother arguing for this position if it really doesn't actually matter to me."

      In the quote you selectively quote mined, she starts off with the same idea:

      "I don't tell people that it's a good thing to have sex with animals, nor a bad thing. I'm entirely apathetic about it."

      You see, Reynold, in your confirmation bias, your capabilities for logical deduction seem a bit weak.

      Skatje has not denied her original opinion. She does not mention the legal issue. She simply clarifies that her personal opinion towards the subject is neutral and apathetic. But she does not deny her originally stated opinion that others should have the legal right to do it if they want to. As noted, for her personally there is no conflict in this dichotomy.

      So, Reynold, you are further clarifying your own confirmation bias and struggle with regard to objective research. And you are still basically wrong. You still need to apologize for your false claim against me. And you should probably apologize for your additional false claim that I will "never" apologize.

      I've apologized many times at my blog if and when I've been in error, offended someone or if someone seems to have a valid reason and asks for an apology. Here's one example of many:

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/10/dawkins-craig-debate-genocide-israels.html?showComment=1319837050660#c816408932207386348

      So, Reynold, are you able to apologize when your errors and offenses are shown to have increased?

      Delete
    7. Just to be clear on the subject, you only apologized because I cornered you after several weeks of mostly semantics. I cannot remember when you apologised out of your own free will. But in most cases you just drop off the subject and ignore criticism, repeating the same nonsense in other articles. Your spam reply to Havok illustrate this well.

      And yes, you are throwing ad hominem attacks at people, trying to discredit atheism. Why the hell would you be interested in the views of Myer s daughter on besteality otherwise?

      Delete
    8. Anonymous,

      So, I'm glad you can acknowledge that I do apologize at this blog, if necessary.

      I would offer that it is not just to you. I also apologized recently to a commenter named Kazeit (sp?) as well.

      Havok has made unsubstantiated claims and accusations. If I had done the same you would have been all over my case. But it is not surprising you have a double standard for atheists.

      My critique of PZ Myers' is not an ad hom attack. I'm simply pointing out his hypocrisy. PZ Myers believes "nothing must be held sacred" but he can't even seem to declare or justify his own moral positions.

      If he cannot or is unwilling to explain his own moral opinions or justifications, he should probably apologize for criticizing religious beliefs on morality and for desecrating what Catholics hold to be sacred symbols. He should probably apologize anyway, but this issue further underscores his hypocrisy.

      Delete
    9. R:Havok has made unsubstantiated claims and accusations. If I had done the same you would have been all over my case. But it is not surprising you have a double standard for atheists.

      I never said that you never apologize. You just do it very rarely. Havok s claims are not groundless. You ask for some specific points where you made a mistake and, when presented with some, you end up ignoring them later on. Copy-pasting the same posts from one article to another is tiresome.

      R:If he cannot or is unwilling to explain his own moral opinions or justifications, he should probably apologize for criticizing religious beliefs on morality and for desecrating what Catholics hold to be sacred symbols.

      I am not a reader of Myers blog, but I am sure he does explain at least some of his moral system somewhere on it. However, his moral views are mostly irrelevant. One does not need to present an alternative moral system to show that Christian morality is unjust and cruel.

      Myers does not hold the opinion of his daughter sacred, however he has a right to defend his familly against slander. Many accused her of bestiality, which is blatantly false. Myers own views on bestiality are completely irrelevent here.

      Delete
    10. So Warden's hypocrisy and dishonesty strike again:

      My critique of PZ Myers' is not an ad hom attack. I'm simply pointing out his hypocrisy. PZ Myers believes "nothing must be held sacred" but he can't even seem to declare or justify his own moral positions.
      I should think that his pointing out that people have misquoted his daughter, and his obvious rage at the topic that was misquoted should tell you, if you have any honesty at all, what his views truly are! He has declared them: You're just too dishonest to admit it.

      We don't need "god" to justify our moral positions. Why should we? What if "god" told us to lie? Or to kill unbelievers? What would we do then?

      History shows us what his believers would do!


      First of all, you only quoted a small fraction of Myers' daughter's comment, the part that supports your view. That is quote mining.
      How does the rest of her quote support your assertion then?

      Back to her quote:
      I don't tell people that it's a good thing to have sex with animals, nor a bad thing. I'm entirely apathetic about it.
      The worst that you can possibly say about it is that she's neutral about it. That's not what you did though, did you?

      You earlier said:
      Skatje implies she is for the legalization of bestiality...

      Back to the passage:
      Here's the fact: people tend to read "condone" as the strong opposite of "condemn." Yeah, you can find a definition in the dictionary like "accept," but people (and I'm guilty of this as well) tend to read condone as "support" or "encourage." I do not support bestiality.

      Although that's what everyone's trying to make it look like I do. I guess squawking about "Those evil Darwinists will have all our children completely apathetic about bestiality! They won't even demand locking zoophiles up in prison!" doesn't sound as nice.


      Let me repeat what you keep ignoring: She flat out says I do not support bestiality.


      The quote you referenced seems to have been an attempt by Skatje Myers at damage control.
      Let me get this straight: If she does come right out and say that she's against it, it's "damage control"? But until then she's all for it, right? That's what you've been saying. See your quote above.

      Either way, you win. Smart. Not honest or honorable, but smart.

      Now the ironic part:
      You see, Reynold, in your confirmation bias, your capabilities for logical deduction seem a bit weak.
      I'm not the one who when faced with the quote where she flat out says that she does not support bestiality, goes and says that she's doing "damage control". You are the one who's still trying to pin that on her.


      So, Reynold, you are further clarifying your own confirmation bias and struggle with regard to objective research. And you are still basically wrong. You still need to apologize for your false claim against me. And you should probably apologize for your additional false claim that I will "never" apologize
      Not so. I never said that you never apologize, period...I said that you'd never aplogize for your baseless charge against Myer's daughter.

      And you haven't. AGAIN.

      So bringing up a different case where you did apologize is irrelevant.

      All you're doing is proving my case: No matter what Skatjie says, even when she flat-out says that she does not support bestiality, you STILL try to pin it on her by saying she's doing "damage control".

      My charge against you was made stronger by that last post of yours.

      Delete
    11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgW9vJ4QyFw

      Here is another proof of how sloppy Rick is in his research. Just half an hour on google and voila. Myers answer on morality at the end of the video

      Delete
    12. Oooooo, It's the "Myers answets on morality...video"

      Let's see, at the 6.20 mark Myers says "Morality comes from a sense of empathy." That is Myers' "objective" morality. How profound. So how exactly does that inform the question of bestiality? it doesn't. And feelings of empathy are not an objective basis of morality. Myers is a lost and confused soul. what is equally sad is that his fauning atheist fans actually believe what he says because he uses the vocabulary of a scientist. ...'He must be right because he sounds so technical...' Sad, sad, sad.

      Delete
    13. Rick, Myers' appeal to empathy it more than a little better than your appeal to a non-existent entity and pretending certainty. At least in Myers case (which you are no doubt mangling) there is the opportunity for reasoned dialog.

      But of course you're certain in your certainty, with no reasonable justification for said certainty, and you have no interest in learning or the truth, because you have already decided that truth is "whatever I agree with".

      Delete
    14. R:That is Myers' "objective" morality. How profound. So how exactly does that inform the question of bestiality? it doesn't. And feelings of empathy are not an objective basis of morality.

      1. You never managed to prove the existence of objective morality. And Myers never did claim having an objective morality. The only objective thing about morality is its impact on the survival rate of concerned species.

      2. You claimed that Myers is unable or unwilling to explain where his morality comes from. You have been proven wrong

      3. Myers views on bestiality are completely irrelevant to the issue of slander against his daughter or to the criticism of religion.

      Delete
    15. Anonymous,

      1. God's existence is affirmed through logical proofs. There is a logical proof in the link here you can try to disprove (hierarchy argument) if you want to:

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-circadian-rhythm-echoes-ultimate.html

      After affirming God's existence, a transcendent God is a source of objective morality

      2. I have claimed that Myers refuses to take a moral position on bestiality. He has not and you have not shown it.

      3. Myers stance on bestiality is completely relevant to his daughter's views, which he vehemently defends. Also, Myers is hypocritical to tell the world "Nothing must be held sacred" when he cannot even offer a single moral opinion on the subject of bestiality, a subject that has come up a number of times on his own blog.

      BTW - In the video Myers says that the ultimate source of morality is biology. Biology would be considered an objective source of morality according to Myers, though the idea that "feelings of empathy" from biology should be considered the basis of morality is foolish. If it were not so, he would not be afraid to offer his views on bestiality.

      If Myers' view of morality is correct, then if a sheep looks lonely and Myers empathizes with the lonely sheep, then by all means he should be able to pleasure the sheep and make it feel better. And Myers should be able to thoroughly enjoy the experience himself.

      Do you also believe that feelings of empathy are the basis of morality, Anonymous? I hope not.

      Delete
    16. Rick Warden
      Do you also believe that feelings of empathy are the basis of morality, Anonymous? I hope not.
      It's a hell of a lot better than using biblegod as a basis for morality! Remember? Myers vs. Craig?

      Myers is against Genocide, while Craig was arguing FOR it, as long as biblegod commanded it, of course!

      Craig's view:
      So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.


      Myers view:
      No. No, I can't imagine that. I can imagine parts of it: I can imagine a long, heavy piece of sharp metal in my hands. I can imagine a frightened, unarmed woman in front of me, trying to shelter her children. The part I can't imagine, the stuff I'm having real trouble with, is imagining voluntarily raising my hand and hacking them to death. I have a choice in that situation, and I know myself well enough that if have to choose between killing people and letting them live, I'd let them live, not that it would be a difficult decision at all. I also have no illusion that, in this imaginary situation where I have all the power and my 'enemies' are weak and helpless, I am the one who is being wronged.

      Here's a clue Warden: If something was "absolutely" wrong, it would be wrong regardless of who ordered it!

      Xians just pretend to have "absolute morality" when in reality, it's all subjective to what they (think) biblegod wants (or wanted)...the reasons you people give in the OT for the various actions that civilized people today frown in amounts to nothing more than "situational ethics".

      Delete
    17. R:I have claimed that Myers refuses to take a moral position on bestiality. He has not and you have not shown it.

      And why does he have to take a stance on bestiality? He does not need to do so to defend his daughter against slander.

      R:Myers stance on bestiality is completely relevant to his daughter's views, which he vehemently defends.

      Where did Myers claimed that bestiality should be legalized? Show me some link first. He only defends his daughter against slander. She might be supporting the legalization of bestiality, but not bestiality itself.

      R:Also, Myers is hypocritical to tell the world "Nothing must be held sacred" when he cannot even offer a single moral opinion on the subject of bestiality,

      Again, why should he? There is no contradiction between the idea "nothing should be held sacred" and not declaring publicly what his views on bestiality are. Why do you care about Myer s views on bestiality in the first place, Rick?

      R:Biology would be considered an objective source of morality according to Myers, though the idea that "feelings of empathy" from biology should be considered the basis of morality is foolish.

      That is only an assertion from your part. Emphaty is also only the basis of morality for Myers, not morality itself

      R:Do you also believe that feelings of empathy are the basis of morality, Anonymous? I hope not.

      I have already presented to youy my moral system based on virtue ethics and Maslow s theory of needs. You never managed to produce any coherent critisism against it.

      Delete
    18. Anonymous,

      I've already explained a few times now why I have brought up the issue of bestiality with Myers and this is the last time because it just does not register with you.

      1. Myers has adamantly claimed that "nothing must be held sacred."

      2. As a Christian, I believe that morality is one aspect of life in which the sacred is important, as in the case of moral human exceptionalism.

      3. I pointed out that Myers frequently writes about animal sex at his blog. I pointed out that there was a big debate at his blog regarding bestiality, based upon the opinion of PZ Myers' daughter that bestiality should be legalized.

      4. Instead of taking a stand on this subject and defending his moral opinion, PZ simply whines that someone had the audacity to republish a very long comment his daughter had already publicly published.

      5. If PZ Myers wants to desecrate people's symbols and claim "nothing must be held sacred" then he should probably be able to explain why. You obviously do not agree with my opinion. So what. Get over it.

      6. If PZ Myers' opinion is true, that morality is based on feelings of empathy, then he should be morally justified to go into a field and sodomize a lonely sheep if he wants to.

      7. If you believe that Myers' views on morality are valid, then you should be in perfect agreement. Are you in perfect agreement, Anonymous, that PZ Myers would be morally justified to go into a field and sodomize a lonely sheep if it gave both of them pleasure?

      8. Why don't you answer this question instead of making monotonous, circular points over and over again?

      Delete
    19. 6. If PZ Myers' opinion is true, that morality is based on feelings of empathy, then he should be morally justified to go into a field and sodomize a lonely sheep if he wants to.
      Ok, Warden...this is showing how effed in the head you truly must be...for one thing, Myers is a human, a sheep is a sheep.

      Besides the fact that biologically, this makes no karking sense, and would probably cause some damage, one does not need "sex" to help another deal with loneliness, not even when one is dealing with just humans!

      Please note that last point...if you disregard everything else, that shoots down your so-called point 6.

      Nuts, I could go on, but instead I'll just submit that lunatic quote of yours to FSTDT and be done with it.

      Delete
  6. Rick, when critiquing this:
    P1: "Most theodicies that explain why God is all powerful and good can be flipped to explain why god is all powerful and evil."
    you claim this:
    "It wrongly assumes that the characteristics and nature of literal things and literal features of the universe are arbitrary and can be flipped and inverted."

    Since this is a gross misrepresentation, as P1 only refers to theodicies, and not to the character anything else, and since you managed this gross misrepresentation so close to where you reproduced P1, I can only assume that you're either purposefully misrepresenting the argument, or you are a complete idiot. I'll leave it up to you to demonstrate just which of these you are.

    You show no willingness to actually attempt to address the argument as you've even given it, and as such there seems no reason to actually interact with your claims on this page.

    Play your childish games of not responding to my points all you like - it just reinforces your inability to mount a successful attempt for your unjustified beliefs :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a Havok Spam-filter Reply,

    In the interest of avoiding comment moderating for all comments, and for the reasons stated below, I've found it most unprofitable to attempt to engage in civilized discourse with the commenter named Havok.

    Beginning in December 2011, Havok became so frustrated with his lack of answers that all he could do was to post unsubstantiated slander against me. He claimed, for example, that I ignored or did not adequately address valid critiques of articles, such as, "How Identity, Logic and Physics prove God's Existence". However, Havok has yet to provide one such referenced example.

    Instead of apologizing, he continues to post more unsubstantiated lies and slander.

    Havok also continues to insist that I am "lying" about Richard Dawkins. I have clearly described why Dawkins is shown to be cautiously open-minded towards the moral viability of eugenics in an article,"How Richard Dawkins' Evolution Justifies Racism and Genocide" (VI. Richard Dawkins' moral relativism and views on eugenics)

    Havok now claims I am rejecting valid arguments because I will not engage him. If a third person, a civilized person, believes that Havok has offered a valid argument, I would be willing to entertain it. Havok is a good object lesson. His consistent slander and lies demonstrate that the sin nature is alive and well, though atheists such as Havok will continue to deny that it exists.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Rick,

    I notice that you tend to deform whatever is said, then over-abuse your original deformation by putting it in yet another context. An example follows.

    Here you presented this as a valid argument:

    All M are P.
    All S are M.
    Therefore, All S are P.


    Then, after a long paragraph you jump into another paragraph and say:

    A commentator at my blog, Tony LLoyd, mocked this concept. When I pointed out that Tony's argument did not have any logical bridge from his premise to his conclusion, he answered,

    "Eh? What the..? This makes no sense at all. It’s perfectly true but, as I never claimed there was such a logical bridge, it’s just so much blather."


    Only after re-reading this I noticed that you might mean that Tony mocked this bit from the previous paragraph:

    In a valid argument, there is a logical bridge, an overlap from one thought to the next.

    However, the way you present it you imply that Tony mocked the very idea of a logical argument, or perhaps the usefulness of venn diagrams.

    Yet, even after reading this, and the referred comment, plus the one Tony was answering, you misrepresented Tony's point everywhere. Tony was not mocking the idea that there has to be a logical bridge. His original comment went like this:

    1. Law of identity (A = A)
    2. Law of excluded middle (A or not A)
    3. Law of non contradiction (not both A and not A)

    If accepted, these entail that there are only two truth values.


    You reinterpreted this as:
    2. There is no logical bridge from, "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale" to "Only 2 truth values exist"

    Which is not what Tony said. Tony clearly said that the classic laws of logic entail that only two truth values exist. Which makes perfect sense even if not "presented in the form of a logical argument."

    So, obviously, if Tony did not say "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale," nor did he jump from that to "Only 2 truth values exist," his answer:

    Eh? What the..? This makes no sense at all. It’s perfectly true but, as I never claimed there was such a logical bridge, it’s just so much blather.

    Let me break it down for you:

    Eh? What the..? This makes no sense at all.
    Means that he has no idea where you got that from.

    It’s perfectly true
    Means that he agrees that there is no logical bridge between the first part of your "rephrasing" and the second. So, this is hardly mocking of the idea that there has to be a logical bridge between syllogisms and conclusions.

    but, as I never claimed there was such a logical bridge
    Means that he never said that. Which is true.

    Clear enough?

    I don't think that you will acknowledge your several mistakes here. But I could not resist trying anyway.

    In closing, if you "rephrase" this way from something I can verify, why should I trust that you don't do so for things I can't verify?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I truly don't see how it would be called "obfuscation" if Stephen Law does not want to engage with you on a debate of sorts. I would not consider you to be worthy of such a thing either. Only Stephen knows when something will or will not be of sufficient value. Here you deformed what Stephen said in almost any part of your presentation. How could any serious philosopher be sure that you will keep within the point rather than, ahem, obfuscate, as you do with Tony's comments?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Part 1

    >I truly don't see how it would be called "obfuscation" if Stephen Law does not want to engage with you on a debate of sorts.

    Obfuscation is more than just refusing to answer questions. It is attempting to make a philosophical 'argument' while at the same time attempting to avoid the laws and principles of logic.

    This is the same problem Tony has. It is apparent you also do not seem to appreciate this problem as well.

    Your critique of my little exchange with Tony did not begin at the beginning of the thread.

    The nature of the debate between Tony and I was how to clarify the nature of truth. My claim and arguments offer that mathematics and other evidence point to a logical necessity that fixed absolute truth exists.

    On April 16, Tony claimed my argument was "confused" because I imply truth can have eternal and unchanging properties, properties that "do not belong" in his view.

    >The various arguments are confused, largely as a result of applying concepts that do not belong. (Apr 16, 2012 07:29 PM)

    The same with existence: how does anything exist absolutely? Even the idea that truth exists is a little strange...The world exists and propositions about the world exist.

    - Tony has a preconception that truth can have no possible significance beyond a binary value of correct or incorrect.

    But quantum mechanics completely dismantles this preconception.

    This is where you entered in, Negative:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RIck,

      Well, I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised that you missed all my points. Seems to be your M.O.

      Stephen obviously does not want to bother with you. That's not obfuscation. That's wisdom. Look at me. I am being foolish because I am still trying to get you to notice some obvious mistakes, yet you really have no clue. I mean really. The only thing in my favour is that I did not give you for real the benefit of the doubt. I assumed that you are incapable of noticing your mistakes, and there. presto. While anybody else here, despite some of them insult you in words, they think that you will understand what they say. I know you won't.

      As for Tony, I was not coming to his defence. He can do that himself if he wants to (apparently he doesn't, maybe another wise guy, like Stephen). I was showing you how you deform what they say. Even though I presented this at Kinder-Garden level, you still missed it. Guess what? I knew you would. Only I had to do the experiment, and you performed as predicted.

      With that I much further understand Stephen's refusal to even give you a link. He knew he would have tons of nonsense coming, and had no patience for it. Man, you think that Stephen has a problem with logic, but you can't understand a basic presentation of for mistakes.

      Your presentation of your arguments with Tony don't solve the problem that you deformed the parts that I showed you deformed, nor does it solve the problem that you accuse him of mocking the logical bridge when he did not do such thing. Can you understand that at all? I don't think so.

      Ciao. Really no point in talking much further to you.

      Delete
  11. Part 2

    “Tony, there are many different theories of what truth consists of”.

    Correct. None of them, though, need be accepted or denied in order to establish that there are just two truth values. The classical laws of logic are...

    You see the set up here to his main point, Negatve?

    P1. There are many interpretations of truth.
    P2. But it does not matter, only two truth values exist.
    P3. Look, these are the classic laws of logic.
    P4. If we accept them as true, then only two truth values exist
    C. Therefore, two truth values exist.

    When Tony's argument is summarized in a 'logical' format, it is shown to be invalid because there are mising bridges from point to point.

    Also, you noted Tony's main point, P4, If we accept them as true, then only two truth values exist. But this a false over simplification. I do accept the laws of logic as true, but only in the correct context. I do not accept them as individually true in the quantum world. But Tony implies that they must be, "because there can only be two truth values." I don't know if you or Tony will ever be able to really grasp the nature of the problem. But I will try to explain it again.

    I tried to show Tony that quantum physics undermines his preconceptions about the nature of truth:

    "Where is gets a bit tricky is in quantum logic. If a particle A is split into two halves, B and C, and these halves are separated by a great distance, what are we to conclude when B is spun and C instantaneously spins at the same time?

    Is it possible now to simply state that A = A?

    Or, is this a more accurate description of this situation: [(A = A), (B = B), (C = C) and (A = B + C)]

    Has the law of identity been broken, Tony? Or, is there perhaps more to truth and logic than meets the eye?

    Tony did not answer my question. If his understanding of the nature of truth is correct, then he should be able to provide a true answer. But he has provided no answer.

    The implication is that absolute truth is a foundational reference point for other relative truths. We use mathematics and classic logic to describe quantum mechanics. We are able to because the underlying principles of these tools are based on the underlying presupposition that absolute truth and absolute validity exist. However, the classic laws of logic do not work, as is, is in the realm of the quantum world. That's why I said that Tony was putting the cart before the horse in attempting to justify the nature of truth by merely looking at the classic laws of logic in a general context, not specific to any situation (and not actually using the principles of logic himself in forming his supposedly "perfectly true" conclusions.)

    For a more detailed explanation of this issue, see this article

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

    You see, Negative, I can explain my view of truth thoroughly and logically with respect to QM and absolute truth. People like Tony and Stephen Law cannot because they do not believe absolute truth and validity can exist in any form.

    If the classic laws of logic are, in and of themselves, the underlying basis for understanding the nature of truth. Then please explain to me, Negative, how the classic law of identity is not broken by quantum non-locality?

    If you look at the article I referenced earlier, you'll see the details of the issue. But this is the main question with regard to quantum non-locality.

    Is it possible now to simply state that A = A?

    Or, is this a more accurate description of this situation: [(A = A), (B = B), (C = C) and (A = B + C)]

    The classic law of identity is not immutable, Negative. Thus, it is not an accurate foundation for discerning the nature of truth. If you would like to defend Tony, you are welcome to. But, if you do, please put up some evidence and a logical argument.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My point was not whether Tony was right or wrong, but that you deformed what he said, and accused falsely of mocking the idea of a logical bridge.

      Delete
  12. Rick: Also, you noted Tony's main point, P4, If we accept them as true, then only two truth values exist. But this a false over simplification. I do accept the laws of logic as true, but only in the correct context. I do not accept them as individually true in the quantum world. But Tony implies that they must be, "because there can only be two truth values." I don't know if you or Tony will ever be able to really grasp the nature of the problem. But I will try to explain it again.
    This is a misunderstanding on your part Rick.
    Tony said that if we accept the axioms of classical logic, then there are only 2 truth values.
    The axioms of classical logic do not seem applicable to quantum phenomena (hence the development of quantum logic).
    Tony's claim is not in error, but your understanding and representation of his claim is.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Rick, you're contradicting yourself:

    Rick: We use mathematics and classic logic to describe quantum mechanics.
    ...
    Rick: . However, the classic laws of logic do not work, as is, is in the realm of the quantum world.

    Classical logic does not seem applicable to quantum phenomena, so your initial statement seems false.

    This is indicative of your sloppy thinking and writing.

    Rick: I can explain my view of truth thoroughly and logically with respect to QM and absolute truth
    This is an assertion which you have failed to back up with successful argument and evidence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not sloppy thinking and writing, it's plain incompetence. I am truly amazed that he thinks that he has some extraordinary capabilities, and that he deserved answers from the top notch best known atheists in the planet, while calling them "apologists" (talk about muddling the waters). Once some group of Christians asked me if I would debate on "creationism versus evolutionism." I said I would not, because the word "evolutionism" betrayed them as mere quacks.

      Anyway, good luck. But I think you give this guy too much credit.

      Delete
  14. Negative,

    Let's take it real, real slowly, Negative, and see if you can pick it up this time.

    Tony wrote the following statement:

    "1. Law of identity (A = A)
    2. Law of excluded middle (A or not A)
    3. Law of non contradiction (not both A and not A)

    If accepted, these entail that there are only two truth values."

    Maybe if I paraphrase the conclusion, it will help you to better understand the problem.

    'If you accept the classic laws of logic as true, then there are only two truth values.'

    1. Tony is attempting to make an authoritative claim.

    2. But it is not just a bald assertion. He's attempting to make a logical deduction.

    A. 'If you accept the classic laws of logic as true...

    B. then there are only two truth values.'

    As I pointed out, this is not a reliable conclusion because it is a gross oversimplification. It does not work very well in the realm of quantum physics.

    A. I had explained this:

    "Where is gets a bit tricky is in quantum logic. If a particle A is split into two halves, B and C, and these halves are separated by a great distance, what are we to conclude when B is spun and C instantaneously spins at the same time?

    Is it possible now to simply state that A = A?

    Or, is this a more accurate description of this situation: [(A = A), (B = B), (C = C) and (A = B + C)]

    Has the law of identity been broken, Tony? Or, is there perhaps more to truth and logic than meets the eye?"

    Now, I didn't happen to notice the reply you, Mr. Negative, or Tony offered in response to my question. Before you accuse me of "sloppy thinking" and "incompetence" you might want to consider why.

    1. Do you not understand my question?

    2. Do you need to learn more in order to answer my question?

    I referenced an article where you can read up on the subject of QM. If you have any questions about this point, feel free to ask. But to accuse me of "sloppy thinking" and "incompetence" when you can't even seem to address my questions, seems a bit juvenile. You've been taking pointers from Havok, it seems.

    2. I pointed out that the reason Tony likely ended up with a false conclusion is that he did not follow any of the basic principles of logic. When I pointed this out, Tony mocked the idea that logical principles should be necessary to back up his claims.

    Now, you can make juvenile comments about me as much as you want to, but the fact is plain for anyone who reads these comments to see, that you cannot answer my questions, and you don't even have the wherewithal to explain why. All you can do is make ad hominem attacks. Good advertisement for atheism :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RIck,

      The issue everybody can see here is that you are giving me red-herrings (and that you don't know the meaning of an ad hominem). I said and I repeat, that you deformed what Tony said by giving you two examples of deformation. Then you want me to discuss things that have nothing to do with what I presented to you: obvious deformations of what Tony said. Read my comment. You said that Tony mocked the idea of the necessity for a logical bridge, which he did not as I demonstrated. Worse, you presented this in a very obscure way, because you cited Tony's comment in a different paragraph, and after presenting a lot more than the need for a bridge, which makes it appear as if you are saying that Rick mocked the usefulness of Venn Diagrams, or of logic itself. This seems to be because of incompetence. Hum, you changed your main post! So why not then admit to your mistake and stop pretending that I was the one in error? Now I suspect dishonesty [too].

      As for your red-herrings. I said it before and I repeat, I was neither saying that Tony was right nor that he was wrong. I was pointing to the deformations you made of his statements. As for the laws of logic. That they might not be applicable to quantum mechanics does not mean that they don't entail two and only two sets of truth values: true and false. It also seems that trying to think of these laws as applicable to physics, when they are tools for argumentation, would be a bit of an equivocation. But you seem aware of this fact. So, if Tony was saying that there are only two truth values in the universe, then you should have argued against equivocation. But I don't know, and I don't care. All I said is that you deformed what he said, and indeed you did.

      Unfortunately, I went for part of your red-herrings, meaning that you have excuses to bring even more of them, rather than notice/acknowledge your mistakes.

      Be well.

      Delete
  15. I've expanded the commentary on Tony's authoritative claim referenced in the post so that it will hopefully be more clear to future readers:

    "A commentator at my blog, Tony LLoyd, made an "if - then" claimt, "If accepted (the classic laws of logic), these entail that there are only two truth values." An "if - then" claim is also known as the "rule of substitution" and modus ponens. In Tony's case, however, his claim is oversimplified because the classic laws of logic do not apply on a quantum level, with regard to specific quantum phenomena. Recognizing his false claim, I tried to explain to him why his conclusion was not valid, that there was no logical bridge from his premise to his conclusion, and he answered,

    "Eh? What the..? This makes no sense at all. It’s perfectly true but, as I never claimed there was such a logical bridge, it’s just so much blather."

    In claiming his modus ponens statement is "perfectly true," Tony is showing his belief that this is a self evident fact. However, the classic laws of logic are not reliable on a quantum level. Modus ponens is not a logical law, but is merely a mechanisms for the construction of deductive proofs.

    In Tony's case, he would either have to show how the classic laws on logic are immutable on a quantum level, or he would have to formulate a solid logical argument based upon logical laws to support his claim. He provided neither, thus his claim appears to be both an invalid and untrue claim. It does not matter if a person has "claimed" there is a logical bridge or not in an argument. In logic, the rules and laws of deduction are already firmly set.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was claiming that your statement (that There is no logical bridge from, "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale" to "Only 2 truth values exist") was perfectly true. He agreed that there was no bridge between those two things you attributed to him, but he clarified that he did not say that.

      Man this is so obvious, yet you insist in the misinterpretation. This is called basic reading comprehension. Check Tony's sentence. You have cited it now a thousand times. Have you read it rather than just copy and paste it that many times?

      Delete
  16. "If classical laws (A) then exactly 2 truth values"
    i.e. A -> B

    You claim ~A (from Quantum theory)

    ~A entails A -> B

    Your argument appears to be:

    A
    If A then God
    Thus God

    But then you ~A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tony,

      In my actual logical argument, I never mentioned the word God, only absolute truth.

      Where did I refer to God in the argument?

      Please try to be more accurate.

      Delete
    2. Tony,

      I agree with you that the word "absolutely" is not a good choice in a logical argument as an adverb. The following is a revised version of the argument:


      P1. Both the principles of mathematics and mathematical answers hold true in a universal, timeless and unchanging manner as they explain the physical world.
      P2. What holds true in a universal, timeless and unchanging manner, holds true in an absolute relationship.
      P3. Therefore, the principles of mathematics and mathematical answers signify that absolute relationships exist.
      P4. If absolute relationships exist, then the statement, "absolute relationships exist" is true as an absolute truth.
      C. Therefore, absolute truth exists.

      I would appreciate your critique of the argument. But please don't inject words into it that are not there.

      Thanks,

      Rick

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/stephen-law-helps-reveal-nature-of.html

      Delete
    3. Rick

      There are two motives for asking for criticism of an argument, post or position:

      1. Honestly: To find areas where the argument post or position can be improved. This I try to do, with little success on my blog (click my name).
      2. Dishonestly: To advance the argument rather than improve it. “Please critique” can be read as “refute that!!”

      Note that with “1” the positions actually held by the critic are of limited (if any) relevance. Note also that “1” proceeds from the assumption that the argument, post or position can be improved whilst “2” proceeds from the assumption that it is the best thing ever.

      I suspected that you had posted and asked for criticism (all-be-it not from me, but from Stephen Law) dishonestly. I decided, however, to give you the benefit of the doubt and told you what I thought was wrong and how I thought the errors had arisen.

      The only further suggestion I can make is to try symbolic logic. You need to present the post in symbols, just scribble it down in symbols in a notebook. I don’t particularly like symbols either but find that when I transcribe an argument into symbolic logic
      - it’s easier to navigate round multiple operators
      -. I often find the argument I came up with in my head is a total mess


      I doubt, though, that you are interested in that. There is precious little doubt left to give you the benefit of: you are following “2”. Although I am interested in participating in reciprocal criticism on the basis of “1”, I have no desire to participate in a narcissistic, unpleasant, dishonest “debunking” fest.

      Delete
    4. "You need to present the post in symbols"

      should read

      "You don't....."

      Delete
  17. Rick s tape-dancing show is hilarious as always, but I would like to speed up things a little with a clarification.

    The main question where does Rick get his "absolute truth"? Can he prove its existence?

    Laws of logic cannot be used as proof because they are not absolute and cannot be used at quantum level.

    Morality is even a worse argument. We do know that there is no consensus about it in the world.

    Neither can this be done with math since one cannot reject some parts of it (like the concept of infinity)and only argue for a necessity of a reference point.

    Not to mention that math and logic are only faulty human instruments wich we use to explain reality.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi anonymous

    It's not entirely clear what Rick means by "absolute truth". It appears to be something along the lines of "objective reality".

    The trouble is that statements are true or false, whereas..well..objective reality is "objective reality" and not the statements used to describe it. Mixing the two up is a little like claiming that because there are wooden tables there are statements that are woodenly table.

    Rick seems (again it's not entirely clear) to be running an argument from contingency: http://bit.ly/I3IXBw

    Logic (if necessarily true) can be presented as obligatory; the reader must accept logic. Then, handy-dandy, logic is presented as contingent (on God), so that you can run the argument from contingency on it.

    I've written a note on a similar argument (similar but, frankly, much more rigorous) that was recently published in a Christian philosophy journal here: http://bit.ly/IdB0i6 (That one, I argued, equivocated on "is true" and "exists")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty good explanation of the equivocation. I am afraid though, that these things escape most Christians. I am still undecided if they do this on purpose.

      Delete
  19. As I understand Rick, he means that something eternal and unchanging must exists. And only God is eternal and unchanging, therfore, God exist. Morality, math and logic are all part of the eternal and unchanging divine. Unfortunately, he never did provide anything to back that up and I have been at his blog for quite some time. Of course, I no longer have any hope of educating Rick, but he is an amusing fellow so I still hang out here.

    Rick s cosmological argument has been debunked here:

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/01/vilenkins-math-supports-creation-model.html

    No matter how hard we tried to explain to him that his understanding of cosmology is false, he would not bulge. Rick claimed that Vilenkin and other cosmologists said that the Universe must have had a creationist beginning and that the English language allowed no other ubderstanding of their books. Even a citation from Vilenkin himself was not able to change his mind. He claimed on January 31st that a quote from the year 2010 is "outdated", while basing his own article on a paper from 2003. He wrote to the man himself and only after receiving an aswer did he accept his mistake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, 1, 2, or three?

      >As I understand Rick, he means that something eternal and unchanging must exists.

      -This can be logically demonstrated.

      Rejecting quantum physics, putting words such as God into my argument that aren't there, and posting links to my general articles, with no reference to any specific comments whatsoever, are all very interesting ways of claiming my arguments are "debunked. Yes, interesting indeed.

      I sure hope this makes for entertaining reading for anyone who may happen to come and visit this blog. It certainly is for me.

      Delete
  20. Part 1

    Negative,

    >He was claiming that your statement (that There is no logical bridge from, "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale" to "Only 2 truth values exist") was perfectly true.

    - Either way you interpret Tony's statement, it isn't adequate.

    If you can answer some step by step questions, Negative, I'll show you why:

    1. Tony made an authoritative claim. Do you agree or disagree? Yes, or no?

    "1. Law of identity (A = A)
    2. Law of excluded middle (A or not A)
    3. Law of non contradiction (not both A and not A)

    If accepted, these entail that there are only two truth values."

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/stephen-law-helps-reveal-nature-of.html?showComment=1334746732818#c6788010672430544256

    2. I Stated why his claim was not valid. Yes, or no?:

    "As far as your point here is concerned, I would take exceptions:

    "1. Law of identity (A = A)
    2. Law of excluded middle (A or not A)
    3. Law of non contradiction (not both A and not A)

    If accepted, these entail that there are only two truth values."

    1. Your statement is not expressed in the form of a logical argument, therefore it does not carry very much weight for me.

    2. There is no logical bridge from, "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale" to "Only 2 truth values exist"

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/stephen-law-helps-reveal-nature-of.html?showComment=1334722162595#c4851413177717037921

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rick my friend,

      1. Nope. It was not an authoritative statement. It was a simple description of what the laws of logic entail. If you disagree, you have to show how these laws can be built without the foundation of these two truth values (true/false). For further clarity, Tony expressed a tautological truth (something that is true by definition, not to be mistaken for a tautological fallacy).

      2. Yes, you said that his statement was not valid, but you did so poorly and deformed Tony's actual statement into "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale: thus only 2 truth values exist", which is not what Tony said. (Your first excuse is but that, an excuse. That Tony's statement of fact was not built as a logical statement does not change the facts.)

      ...

      Delete
    2. Negative,

      >1. Nope. It was not an authoritative statement. It was a simple description of what the laws of logic entail.

      - Have to disagree, my friend

      As I noted, my initial debate with Tony began regarding the nature of a foundational idea - what does truth consist of.

      Under these circumstances, making an "If..then" claim - a known philosophical mechanism known as modus ponens - implies that he was trying to pass off the collective existence of the classic laws of logic as a be-all end-all justifyer of truth.

      Do you deny, Tony, that "If... then" claims AKA modus ponens are a classic philosophical technique for making a truth statement?

      I went into more detail on this in the above article:

      "In claiming his modus ponens statement is "perfectly true," Tony is demonstrating his belief that this is a self evident fact. However, the classic laws of logic are not reliable on a quantum level. And modus ponens is not a logical law, but is merely a mechanisms for the construction of deductive proofs.

      In Tony's case, he would either have to show how the classic laws on logic are immutable on a quantum level, or he would have to formulate a solid logical argument based upon firm logical laws. He has provided neither. It does not matter if a person has "claimed" there is a logical bridge or not in making a logical point. In logic, if a person want to claim something must be "perfectly true," then firm laws of logic are required, not just speculative, unsupported claims."

      Delete
    3. Rick,

      It was not a modus ponens. It is tautologically true that the laws of classic logic entail a true/false set of values. There is no way in which you can deny something so obviously true. You can't derive these laws without first accepting these two truth values alone.

      Also, Tony continued talking about the difference between argumentative logic and metaphysics, which is something I thought you understood, but now I see you don't. After all, you cited Q.M. as example of breaking at least one of the laws of logic. But, how can Q.M. break a law in classic logic? Q.M. is not a field in argumentation, but a model of some specific reality. Thus, Q.M. could inform us about metaphysics, but not about argumentation.

      I know this is hard to understand, which is why apologist quacks, such as WL Craig, and guys bent into presuppositionalism, rely so much on equivocation. It is often very hard to grasp equivocations (well, maybe the quacks really can't grasp the equivocation problems, but I doubt it, because others have told them about it). More importantly if there are real parallels among different fields, like the need for identity in both classic logic and metaphysics.

      Anyway, I read the stuff you and Tony had going, and Tony seems to be trying to get you to understand that you seem to be inventing a new kind of truth (an "absolute" one, which seems rather of a semantic nature, rather than a need given that each system works all right without it), based on different systems, which seems to mistake "truth" in these fields: mathematics, classic logic and metaphysics (and perhaps semantics).

      So, confused enough? I know. I am trying hard to be clear, but this seems to obvious for me to have to clarify. It's like trying to clarify why the three colour thingie in light is not the same as with paint without me ever having had to explain such a thing before.

      Be well.

      Delete
    4. Negative,

      In the context of the nature of truth, Tony's "If... then..." modus ponens claim that the classic laws of logic (with no context whatsoever) demand that only 2 truth vales exist, is invalid for a number of reasons.

      Even atheists, such as recent commenter Robert, offer reasons why. The classic laws are only valid in the right context. Tony has not (and apparently won't) acknowledged this.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-cash-ban-trend-continues.html?showComment=1335614835015#c1351423334705769437

      Be well.

      Delete
    5. Hello again Rick my friend,

      You have kind of a series of misunderstandings right there. The laws of logic are impossible without the assumption of there being only two values of truth. Check them carefully. That's what allows for the algebra that derives from them. The problem you seem to have is that you demand a context, but these laws clearly belong to a particular context, that of classic logic, as their name proclaims. So, the context is immediately obvious. Thus, we don't need to read what Robert said in order to acknowledge that these laws are valid only under the right context. They are so on purpose. They are so tautologically, that is, by definition. So, since you acknowledge the context issue, why would you try and use them, and break them, in a context where they don't belong (Quantum Mechanics)? Anyway, I am digressing. Well, that's actually Tony's complain. The equivocation and juggling that you employ to go from such laws into defining a new kind of truth, one named absolute.

      Look carefully, and you might notice that you actually agree with Tony, mostly, and that 99% of your confrontation comes from further equivocations you produce whenever you read a paragraph by the guy. You do that my friend. Most of the time. You read something, reinterpret it into something that it is not, and take it from there. This is what my comment was about. Your tendency to deform what you read. Hopefully this is now clear.

      Keep being well.

      Delete
  21. Part 2

    3. In clarifying his point, Tony makes the following statements (Apr 18, 2012 03:58 AM) - Yes, or no.

    "Or I could explain what I mean:

    The Law of the Excluded Middle (LEM) states that a declarative statement is either true or false. The Law of Non Contradiction (LNC) states that it cannot be both. Now, is absolute truth equivalent to truth or falsity, or is absolute truth neither truth nor falsity?

    Do you agree? Do you accept, at least for the purposes of your arguments, LEM and LNC? ...The third option fits in well with the definition of “absolute truth” you quoted earlier “inflexible reality: fixed, invariable, unalterable facts”. This is not a truth value...

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/stephen-law-helps-reveal-nature-of.html?showComment=1334746732818#c6788010672430544256

    4. Tony's later point in the same comment refer's to my comment regarding the validity of his authoritative claim.

    Yes or no?

    >There is no logical bridge from, "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale" to "Only 2 truth values exist"

    -Eh? What the..? This makes no sense at all. It’s perfectly true but, as I never claimed there was such a logical bridge, it’s just so much blather.

    My comment refer's to the validity of his claim, Negative. - Yes, or no?

    Tony's response to my comment on validity is "It's perfectly tre" either - Which could mean, A) a bridge is in fact necessary, or B) Truth consists pf only true binary correctness values.

    I would doubt that he is referring to the former, as you claim. But let's pretend he is.

    A. If a logical bridge is in fact necessary... then my comment on validity would not be "so much blather" - would it Negative? Yes or no?

    or, B.

    If his claim is merely that the classic laws of logic require only 2 truth claims. Then he has failed to address my quantum mechanics point. - Yes or no?

    5. In clarifying his point, that truth can only consist of correct / false claims, he did not address my point on quantum physics the day before. - yes or no?


    (Apr 17, 2012 09:09 PM) I offered why quantum physics undermines his understanding of truth as merely a binary claim of correctness.


    "Where is gets a bit tricky is in quantum logic. If a particle A is split into two halves, B and C, and these halves are separated by a great distance, what are we to conclude when B is spun and C instantaneously spins at the same time?

    Is it possible now to simply state that A = A?

    Or, is this a more accurate description of this situation: [(A = A), (B = B), (C = C) and (A = B + C)]"

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/stephen-law-helps-reveal-nature-of.html?showComment=1334722162595#c4851413177717037921

    If you would be so kind as to answer the above yes / no questions step by step, Negative, I believe it would help to clarity this issue. If there is any particular question you don't understand, please make a note of it.

    You can just delete the word you don't like, whether it is yes, or no. It's very simple process Negative. Can you try it, please, for the sake of clarity?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3. I don't care. This does to change the deformation I was referring to.

      4. Let me introduce you to a new word: context. Please pay a bit of attention:

      ----Context 1 starts----
      1. Law of identity (A = A)
      2. Law of excluded middle (A or not A)
      3. Law of non contradiction (not both A and not A)

      If accepted, these entail that there are only two truth values.

      ----Context 1 ends----

      See that context? Well, you used the following context as an answer to Context 1:

      ----Context 2 starts (your deformation)----
      There is no logical bridge from, "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale" to "Only 2 truth values exist"
      ----Context 2 ends-----

      See how what Tony wrote does not mean what you said? Nowhere in context 1 does it say that The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale; Thus Only 2 truth values exist.

      So far so good?

      Now remember that Context 2 is what Tony is answering in this one:
      -Eh? What the..? This makes no sense at all. It’s perfectly true but, as I never claimed there was such a logical bridge, it’s just so much blather.

      So, from Context 2 above, it is obvious that Tony is saying this:

      It is perfectly true that there is no bridge between "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale" and "Only 2 truth values exist".

      It is also obvious from Context 2 as referred to Context 1, that he is saying that he did not say that a logical bridge exists between "The classic laws of logic exist and work on a human scale" and "Only 2 truth values exist". Since that was not Tony's claim at all, he concludes that such a thing was "just so much blather." This by the way, does not mean that Tony mocked the idea of a logical bridge (another of your deformations, now kind of cleaned up).

      As for quantum mechanics, well, again, I think there is an equivocation going on there. Classic laws of logic are about argumentation, not about describing physical reality. It is an understandable equivocation, but an equivocation nonetheless. But I don't give a damn. I was not arguing for Tony. I was telling you that you tend to deform what people say. QED.

      Be well.

      Delete
  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Tony,

    I believe your critique of the adverb "absolutely" was a valid one and I adjusted the text. Nevertheless, I believe the article has some potential to become a strong argument with a bit of tweaking. So, I suppose I am in danger of being dishonest according to your understanding of the meaning of that word.

    My understanding of dishonesty is when an outwardly expressed view is contradicted by words and actions that follow.

    Whether a person feels an argument is strong or not, whether a person thinks disproving it would be difficult or not, these are not necessarily conditions of dishonesty in my opinion when asking for critique.

    Also, I do not see a necessary dichotomy between using the word "critique" for constructive criticism and for attempting to overturn an argument. Philosophers frequently label such attempts to disprove others as "critiques."

    I apparently didn't have to invite you to share your opinion in a previous post stating that my arguments are "confused" in your opinion.

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/stephen-law-helps-reveal-nature-of.html?showComment=1334579400646#c197809480105086877

    So, with these things in mind. You can consider my request either a request for a critique or a request to attack and overturn my arguments. Frankly, it doesn't really matter to me either way what you want to call it. If you want to stop posting comments here altogether, fine.

    The one thing that I would ask is that your attacks and/or polite criticisms are logical and directed towards specific points in the arguments themselves. This seem to be the most rare types of comments.

    This would mean much more to me than whether or not you call comments an attack or a critique. I hope you can understand why.

    Statements such as "your arguments are confused" and "It seems likely you have deceitful motives" just aren't very helpful in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  24. RIck,

    Just for fun here. Another example of your deformation technique. Which I think is unintentional. It seems that you just can't read.

    ----The Context starts----
    1. Most theodicies that explain why God is all powerful and good can be flipped to explain why god is all powerful and evil.
    ----The context ends

    In response to that context you say:
    1. It wrongly assumes that the characteristics and nature of literal things and literal features of the universe are arbitrary and can be flipped and inverted.

    Well, no, it does not assume such a thing. Let me translate: the very same theodicies can be used as defence for an evil god. There is no "flipping" in the sense you imply. Nobody is changing anything but what is been defended. The very same characteristics of reality, with good an evil alongside, can be used as defence for either gods, evil ones and good ones. Got it?

    This alone makes your argument against "flipping" void.

    Be well.

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

    ReplyDelete
  26. Rick,

    Did you learn about logic on a Friday? Man what an obsession with things having to be presented in syllogisms.

    In any event, you failed at this when giving blather and blather about atheism being illogical while providing nothing else but your anecdotes and your obsession with the idea that everything has to be presented as syllogisms. Pharyngula does not have syllogisms! Atheism is illogical! Some guy who presents syllogisms does not care if atheism is logical! Atheism is illogical! A philosopher does not present arguments for atheism in syllogisms! Atheism is illogical! Man, none of that follows. Just mere and absolute blather. The worse part being the irony that you don;t present very logical arguments. Most of theme mere assertions. Unfounded assumptions. Again, no wonder Stephen did not want to deal with you.

    Keep being well.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi there, Rick. You seem to be quite disillusioned with atheist bloggers and their seeming inability to discuss arguments. I'd like to invite you to take a crack at some of the arguments I've presented on my blog (http://dubitodeus.wordpress.com/). And if you would like, I'll attempt a refutation of the argument you present at (http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-identity-logic-and-physics-prove.html)sometime within the next few days.

    ReplyDelete
  28. >Hi there, Rick. You seem to be quite disillusioned with atheist bloggers and their seeming inability to discuss arguments. I'd like to invite you...

    - Hi Robert,

    If you are the same Robert that commented a while back at my Identity - Logic - Physics post, I would welcome your open and analytical mind.

    You had a point with regard to the actual overturning of the classic laws of logic and my understanding now is more firm that the individual classic laws of logic are not immutable on a quantum realm (as science has demonstrated), however, because absolute truth exists and there is an underlying transcendent logic to the universe, math and the classic laws to work to describe quantum phenomena and phenomena of the entire universe.

    I'll be traveling so I won't be available for a few days. But, look forward to it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "If you are the same Robert that commented a while back at my Identity - Logic - Physics post, I would welcome your open and analytical mind."

    Sorry, but that wasn't me. I just found your blog today. :P Still, I'll try to get something up by Friday. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Well I couldn't sleep tonight, so I decided to just go ahead and write my response. Here it is: http://dubitodeus.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/rick-wardens-argument-for-theism/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robert,

      I thought you made good points and posted an answer at your Wordpress blog, but there was no sign that it would be published. Do you monitor comments there?

      I believe a dialogue with you would be more productive than some recent dialogues here. People make comments that underscore why it's difficult to have a meaningful dialogue, such as this one:

      "Classic laws of logic are about argumentation, not about describing physical reality."

      Delete
    2. Your post on my blog is now up, btw (I just posted the one and not the other as per your request). For some reason the spam filter blocked it. I dunno why. *shrugs*

      Delete
    3. Thanks Rick, I knew I could count with your misunderstanding.
      have a good life.

      Delete

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