Good answers to repeated Theist questions.

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McCulloch
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Good answers to repeated Theist questions.

Post #1

Post by McCulloch »

Many newbie theist debaters ask questions and make assertions which have already been well refuted. Use this thread to post links to or post refutations of such items for handy reference.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
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Cathar1950
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Re: Faith

Post #11

Post by Cathar1950 »

bernee51 wrote:Theist will often claim that all of us use 'faith'. We ahev faith that the brakes on our car will work or faith that the sun wil come up and that this is somehow the same as religious faith.

This is an equivocation fallacy.

My answer to this is, and, if you find it helpful please feel free to use.


I suggest that with your use of word 'faith' you believe you level the playing field and remove one of the atheist's more powerful arguments, namely that using reason when evaluating truth claims is superior to using faith.

This claim commits an equivocation fallacy with the term "faith." The only sort of "faith" which might be common among atheists is that of mere confidence based upon and limited by repeatable, objective experiences. This is the sort of faith which can apply to the "faith" that your brakes will work, the bridge won't fall down, or the "faith" that the sun will come up tomorrow. This "faith" is only as strong as the evidence or reason allows and it is defeatable given new evidence or arguments.

The faith you claim - religious faith in the existence of a god - is a very different matter - something Paul clearly recognized when he defined faith as the "...assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebr. 11:1) This is not the sort of faith If indeed the word can even be used) used by those who hold the theory of evolution best explains the observed universe: this is the sort of faith used by those who believe without sound empirical evidence.

The fact that atheists might have the former kind of faith and the fact that theists have the latter kind of faith does not mean that atheists and theists are operating or thinking the same way. It does not mean that we are forming and evaluating beliefs in a similar manner.
I would go even farther and say that faith in the Biblical context is more faithfulness.

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EduChris' amazing idea

Post #12

Post by McCulloch »

EduChris has started a thread in the Holy Huddle room, Non-theist fallacies
.
EduChris wrote:I notice that non-theists keep bringing up the same fallacies over and over, and much time is wasted on repetitive arguments against those same old fallacies which are brought up by virtually every non-theist who joins this forum.

What I would like to do is this: I do not want this thread to be the place where fallacies are actually discussed or debated; rather, I will start another thread on the Holy Huddle named "The Leprechaun Fallacy." Then I will post a link to that thread here on this thread. The thread for the Leprechaun Fallacy will in turn will contain links to any threads on the main forum that deal with the Leprechaun Fallacy. In this way will will have a handy reference to every place where that fallacy has been addressed.

In the same way, we can start other new threads for each fallacy promoted by the non-theists. Each of those threads will contain references to every place where its respective fallacy is addressed in the main forums.

In summary, this thread be the master list with links to the other threads which will each deal with one specific fallacy.
We should probably copy it here.
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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Re: EduChris' amazing idea

Post #13

Post by Cathar1950 »

McCulloch wrote:EduChris has started a thread in the Holy Huddle room, Non-theist fallacies
.
EduChris wrote:I notice that non-theists keep bringing up the same fallacies over and over, and much time is wasted on repetitive arguments against those same old fallacies which are brought up by virtually every non-theist who joins this forum.

What I would like to do is this: I do not want this thread to be the place where fallacies are actually discussed or debated; rather, I will start another thread on the Holy Huddle named "The Leprechaun Fallacy." Then I will post a link to that thread here on this thread. The thread for the Leprechaun Fallacy will in turn will contain links to any threads on the main forum that deal with the Leprechaun Fallacy. In this way will will have a handy reference to every place where that fallacy has been addressed.

In the same way, we can start other new threads for each fallacy promoted by the non-theists. Each of those threads will contain references to every place where its respective fallacy is addressed in the main forums.

In summary, this thread be the master list with links to the other threads which will each deal with one specific fallacy.
We should probably copy it here.
I like the idea, kind of a mirror or shadow thread of his straw man apologetics.
It seems he calls many fallacies but not much substance, as he usually does not explain.
He uses straw men like “scientism� as if the science hasn’t moved beyond 19th century materialism or see the difference between popular material cultures and scientific theories. He uses the flashlight story to dim the lights on what we can see so he can tell us all about what we can’t see. Then there are the “axioms� he seems to think axioms are just pulled out of thin air and unrelated to anything relative, including what the flashlight can show us. I think we need to follow his fallacy thread and respond in kind.
:P

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Post #14

Post by Ragna »

This is my first post in the A-room. I'll begin because of a personal allusion (I don't know if this should have a separate thread or it's OK to be included within Theist questions, though it's not a question).

On the thread Fallacy of the unattempted debate (burden of proof) he links to a debate against me to illustrate that there is no burden of proof because we were talking about Quantum Physics vs God. I actually never claimed that Quantum Physics were the origin of the universe, but instead defended that the universe needn't have a cause as understood. These were the two positions being argued, and the link can be misleading.
EduChris wrote:Often the non-theist will claim that s/he makes no claims that need to be defended, and instead will devote unceasing effort to tear down theistic proposals while never offering alternate proposals of their own, and never making any similar effort to evaluate and critique non-theistic claims.

The fallacy here is, we know that either theism is true, or else non-theism is true. If logic is valid, one position must be true; the other must be false. And yet since we have no direct empirical evidence for either position, we must necessarily engage in indirect reasoning. And since there is no a priori way to determine probabilities either way, there is no burden of proof that applies to one side more than the other.


See this post:

http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 675#366675


Later on that thread I exposed how this reasoning for defending theism falls under the logical fallacy known as circular reasoning and got no reply:

http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 578#371578
"Theism proposes that the universe is not all existence, and so it is contingent because it's an expression of existence, so then there must be something beyond, causeless, that can account for it. This explains why the universe, which is contingent, exists."

Can you see the circularity? It explains the cause, which arises from our contingency, presupposing that there is other existence so that the universe can effectively be contingent.


Therefore the burden of proof does exist for that who makes the positive claim of existence beyond Nature defined as "all which can interact - matter, energy and space-time", like for all positive claims.

Theism is no exception. The nature of these proofs or their availability is a separate topic and no excuse. (This should do for the Leprechaun fallacy as well)

---

On the thread The Fallacy of the Equivocal Definition the poster again gives a link directing at me (and many of the contents or the thread han been also directed at me at some point).

Then he proceeds to make a logical tu quoque fallacy by calling the definition reductionist with no factual rejection of it.

A tu quoque fallacy consists in criticizing the intrinsic validity of a point by what the opponent says/does/believes, while not worrying about the point itself. We have a magnificent example of what I mean here, in precisely the same link given in that thread:
EduChris wrote:We all must rely on faith in our daily lives and our work and study; none of us have the time and the resources and the ability to validate even a tiny fraction of the ideas we accept. Singling out "religion" as unique in this regard simply demonstrates uncritical thinking.


A tu quoque fallacy demonstrates an inability to criticize a point and to acknowledge it while refusing recognition; though implicitly accepting it.

The fact that *faith* with that definition is not only used in religion doesn't mean it's not a valid definition. What's more, the kinds of faith cannot be equated by several reasons, including the ones already given in this thread by Bernee.

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Post #15

Post by Ragna »

Apologies for the messy BBCode in the end in previous post, I don't know what went on and I couldn't finish editing. :P

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Post #16

Post by Meow Mix »

upallnite wrote:Zzyzx response to a literal global flood
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... php?t=6164

Once a week could you check the thread for new links and add them to the OP so that people don't have to search the thread for what they want? I will be adding more when I find them.
I didn't read that whole thing, but I noticed that at one point Zzyzx's opponent mentions how in real science it's considered possible for the earth to have once been covered in ice/snow but how it's scoffed that it would have once been covered in water.

I just wanted to point out the absurdity of this comparison here.

Take a G.I. Joe and put it in a bucket. It's going to take several inches of water for it to be covered with water. However, if you dump a little snow on it, it sure doesn't take much to cover the G.I. Joe. This is because for Earth to be "covered" with snow/ice didn't require a liquid volume to do so such as with water.
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Post #17

Post by Meow Mix »

Ragna wrote:Apologies for the messy BBCode in the end in previous post, I don't know what went on and I couldn't finish editing. :P
If it's any consolation, I share your frustration with that poster's perceptions of what are fallacies or not.
"Censorship is telling a man he can`t have a steak just because a baby can`t chew it." - Unknown

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Post #18

Post by Ragna »

Meow Mix wrote:If it's any consolation, I share your frustration with that poster's perceptions of what are fallacies or not.
Good thing this is a web page and all good points made remain written :D. That's a good consolation. I'd imagine if it were an oral conversation that would be worse.

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Post #19

Post by smalltownatheist »

Since I don't see it mentioned here, I'd highly recommend the Iron Chariots wiki as a top-notch resource for counter-apologetics -- named so after Judges 1:19, "And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron."

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Post #20

Post by Cathar1950 »

Ragna wrote: This is my first post in the A-room. I'll begin because of a personal allusion (I don't know if this should have a separate thread or it's OK to be included within Theist questions, though it's not a question).

On the thread Fallacy of the unattempted debate (burden of proof) he links to a debate against me to illustrate that there is no burden of proof because we were talking about Quantum Physics vs God. I actually never claimed that Quantum Physics were the origin of the universe, but instead defended that the universe needn't have a cause as understood. These were the two positions being argued, and the link can be misleading.
EduChris wrote:Often the non-theist will claim that s/he makes no claims that need to be defended, and instead will devote unceasing effort to tear down theistic proposals while never offering alternate proposals of their own, and never making any similar effort to evaluate and critique non-theistic claims.

The fallacy here is, we know that either theism is true, or else non-theism is true. If logic is valid, one position must be true; the other must be false. And yet since we have no direct empirical evidence for either position, we must necessarily engage in indirect reasoning. And since there is no a priori way to determine probabilities either way, there is no burden of proof that applies to one side more than the other.


See this post:

http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 675#366675


Later on that thread I exposed how this reasoning for defending theism falls under the logical fallacy known as circular reasoning and got no reply:

http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 578#371578
"Theism proposes that the universe is not all existence, and so it is contingent because it's an expression of existence, so then there must be something beyond, causeless, that can account for it. This explains why the universe, which is contingent, exists."

Can you see the circularity? It explains the cause, which arises from our contingency, presupposing that there is other existence so that the universe can effectively be contingent.


Therefore the burden of proof does exist for that who makes the positive claim of existence beyond Nature defined as "all which can interact - matter, energy and space-time", like for all positive claims.

Theism is no exception. The nature of these proofs or their availability is a separate topic and no excuse. (This should do for the Leprechaun fallacy as well)

---

On the thread The Fallacy of the Equivocal Definition the poster again gives a link directing at me (and many of the contents or the thread han been also directed at me at some point).

Then he proceeds to make a logical tu quoque fallacy by calling the definition reductionist with no factual rejection of it.

A tu quoque fallacy consists in criticizing the intrinsic validity of a point by what the opponent says/does/believes, while not worrying about the point itself. We have a magnificent example of what I mean here, in precisely the same link given in that thread:
EduChris wrote:We all must rely on faith in our daily lives and our work and study; none of us have the time and the resources and the ability to validate even a tiny fraction of the ideas we accept. Singling out "religion" as unique in this regard simply demonstrates uncritical thinking.


A tu quoque fallacy demonstrates an inability to criticize a point and to acknowledge it while refusing recognition; though implicitly accepting it.

The fact that *faith* with that definition is not only used in religion doesn't mean it's not a valid definition. What's more, the kinds of faith cannot be equated by several reasons, including the ones already given in this thread by Bernee.


I Have pointed out a number of times, as have others, that he creates a false dichotomy with his "theism vs non-theism" and says nothing about either as to what they even mean. I will follow Hartshorne, and others, that some form of theism or some form of positivism exhaust the metaphysical possibilities, either the Divine or all inclusive being exists necessarily or it is impossible and it is a matter of meaning. The intelligent attack upon theism it that they hold contradictory meanings or nonsense which I believe classical theism to be a good example of both problems. What seems to be misunderstand it that while The nature of the Divine might be Necessary its actualization must be contingent and relative to all that exists by definition and it is modal or an objective theory of temporal existence and by immaterial they mean an empty abstraction separated by misunderstanding the relationship between Necessary, possible and actual or contingent and it is being obscured by calling "God" noncontingent as if that was anything.

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