O'Reilly interviews Kirk Cameron
Posted: 26 May 2007 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2007-03-29

Two top minds reveal their genius.
 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 May 2007 02:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1835
Joined  2006-03-26

LOL

Billo said he won the “debate with Richard Dawkins.”?? There was no debate. Billo told Mr. Dawkins what he thought and that was it. In fact, Richard won in my opinion when Billo said humans were looking for answers to the moon and the tides,(“tides go in, tides go out”) to which Richard quipped, “We have those answers to the moon and tides through science.”

Cameron goes on to say the human body proves that a creater is responsible. No, we evolved from ape like creatures. We have something called fossils!

 Signature 

Bill Maher’s New Rule About Religious Tests for Office

Sam explains the difference between the belief in Elvis and belief in Jesus

Support the Separation of Church & State!
Freedom From Religion Foundation

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 May 2007 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2007-03-29

It seems like about everything these two guys say is wrong in one way our another. I’m starting to think, though, that O’Reilly doesn’t understand basic science. I believe in the interview with Dawkins he said he understood the “physiology” of the tides. And in this clip he says “and I can poke holes in the big bang theory or whatever crazy idea their trotting out here”. Nobody said anything about the big bang and its undisputed in cosmology. He can barley even talk about science.

  I feel like I’m wasting time pointing these obvious things out but let me waist a little more for this last point. O’Reilly’s wrong when he says that scientists can’t give him an full explanation of the universe (why we’re here, where it all came from).  Scientists could do a much better job then Jesus (see Deepak Chopra). They choose not to because they are not liars and charlatans (on the whole).  Ancient barbarians were arrogant, unscrupulous, or deluded enough to claim they knew gods exist and what they want of us. These people are apparently more reliable to O’Reilly than our top scientists.

BTW, the debate has already been won. Something else is going on in the discourse on this subject.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 May 2007 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1835
Joined  2006-03-26

I don’t understand why christians say the answer to not knowing has to be faith. Why must we fill in the gaps with religion? Just because something is a mystery or can’t be proven, is not proof of the existence of god.

 Signature 

Bill Maher’s New Rule About Religious Tests for Office

Sam explains the difference between the belief in Elvis and belief in Jesus

Support the Separation of Church & State!
Freedom From Religion Foundation

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 May 2007 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2007-03-08

Bruno wrote:

O’Reilly’s wrong when he says that scientists can’t give him an full explanation of the universe (why we’re here, where it all came from).

 

O’Reilly is a full blown idiot, but he is not wrong on that point.  Science by definition cannot provide such a thing.  It behoves atheists and sundry rationalists and humanist types to get these philosophical points in order before speaking critically about religion and the folly of the beliefs therein.  There cannot be a complete explanation of existence for the same reason that the first cause argument for God fails. Think about it. 

Plus, it is a fact that all scientific models are contingent.  This does not alter or diminish their utility in any way, but it must be taken into account when analysing the extent of their explicatory power.

Dan Rowden
The Reasoning Show
Atheist Society of Australia

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2007 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2007-03-29

Dan Rowden:

  I can’t tell if you misunderstood me. To be clear, I was not saying scientists can legitimately give a complete explanation of the universe (at the current moment anyway). I was saying they could pretend to if they wanted to.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2007 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1568
Joined  2006-03-02

[quote author=“bruno”]Dan Rowden:

  I can’t tell if you misunderstood me. To be clear, I was not saying scientists can legitimately give a complete explanation of the universe (at the current moment anyway). I was saying they could pretend to if they wanted to.

So I’m curious.  Are you just saying that scientists be as arrogant as theists who pretend to have all of the answers (answers that are in no way intellectually satisfying).  Or do you really think that scientists can give an explanation that would be more satisfying than a theistic explanation?

 Signature 

What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2007 02:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2007-03-08

Waltercat wrote:

So I’m curious. Are you just saying that scientists be as arrogant as theists who pretend to have all of the answers (answers that are in no way intellectually satisfying). Or do you really think that scientists can give an explanation that would be more satisfying than a theistic explanation?

Yes, I’m not exactly sure what Bruno intends either, but I would doubt he means for scientists to try - or even contemplate trying - to imitate theistic arrogance.  By and large, the explanations (or descriptions if you prefer) of phenomena provided by science are vastly more satisfying than those provided by theology simply because they have some basis in evidence and verified rather than merely inferred relation.  In other words, science has a proven and solid methodology that has stood the test of time.  It is, however, a somewhat disquieting fact that some modern scientists are speaking beyond their station and making claims about the explicatory power of science that they are simply not entitled to make.  This is unfortunate as it gives the theistic community ammunition in their critiques of science.  I’m thinking of the Paul Davies kind of scientist here. 

Of course, the natural limitations of science do not in any way give succour to the religious, even if they foolishly - with some help from the aforementioned scientists - think it does.  Where science exhausts its capacity, philosophy and simple logic take over.  I have not in my life encountered a single relgious belief that can withstand analysis from both science and philosophy.

Dan Rowden
The Reasoning Show
Genius Forum

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2007 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2007-03-29

waltercat:

First of all, sorry to be so unclear. I will try to be more lucid.

I am saying that scientists (or anyone else) could choose to be as arrogant as the theists in making supernatural truth-claims. The point I was making is that anyone can be a charlatan. Thankful, on the whole, scientists are generally reliable sources of knowledge.

I thought this was an important point to make because Dawkins could have come on O’Really’s show and said he was the son of Yahweh just like Jesus (ostensibly) told people he was. Obviously this would have been ridiculous but so is believing that Jesus was the son of Yahweh (the belief that O’Really “throws in with”).

You use the word “satisfying”. I think some people may be more satisfied with mythology and others by truth. I prefer truth even when its not satisfying but I usually don’t think of it that way. “When no one believes but fairy tells, there’s nothing they can do but fail”. Truth is more satisfying because it’s always more powerful.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 May 2007 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1568
Joined  2006-03-02

[quote author=“bruno”]
You use the word “satisfying”. I think some people may be more satisfied with mythology and others by truth. I prefer truth even when its not satisfying but I usually don’t think of it that way. “When no one believes but fairy tells, there’s nothing they can do but fail”. Truth is more satisfying because it’s always more powerful.

What I meant was satisfying in an intellectual sense, which is to be sharply distinguished from emotionally satisfying.

Theistic explanations are never intellectually satisfying because, as Dan Rowden explained, they have no basis in empirical evidence and cannot be verified.

But I would go a bit further than Dan. I think that most theistic explanations are intellectually dissatisfying because they almost inevitably leave the target phenomena unexplained.  I am thinking, in particular of theistic explanations for the origin of complex life.  As Dawkins and others have pointed out, the argument from design is a bad argument because, when all is said and done, you don’t actually have an explanation for the phenomena under discussion, namely complex life.  If the existence of complex life demands an explanation (which it surely does), then positing the existence of an intelligent creator will do nothing for our efforts to discover the explanation since, after all, the intelligent creator must be complex as well in order to create life to begin with.  As such, the Intelligent Design is a completely hollow explanation, and ought really be called a pseudo-explanation.

Much the same can be said about the Cosmological Argument. The argument begins by suggesting that the existence of everything needs some kind of explanation (i.e., everything has a cause).  But the argument ends up denying this supposition since it claims that God is the first mover who Himself requires no explanation.  If EVERYthing requires an explanation, then God requires an explanation.  And if GOD does NOT require an explanation, than NOT everything requires an explanation.

So if we think that the existence of the universe requires an explanation, then positing the existence of God is NOT going to help us, since, in that case, God is just one more thing that requires an explanation.


Thus Theistic explanations are hollow and unsatisfying because, even if the (unverifiable) supernatural entity that they refer to exists, they don’t really explain anything to begin with.

 Signature 

What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 May 2007 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1568
Joined  2006-03-02

I wrote something about this a long while back.  After reading it, I decided it probably says it better than what I wrote above.

[quote author=“waltercat”]I would like to draw an analogy to the Cosmological Argument. This argument attempts to prove that God exists from the premise that every event must have a cause. The argument is, roughly, that since every event must have a cause, the universe itself must have a cause and this cause cannot be a part of the universe. Hence there must be a cause that exists external of and prior to the universe. This is the first cause, also known as the Prime Mover, which is itself an uncaused cause.
The problem with this argument is that the conclusion (There is an uncaused cause) is a violation of the premise (ALL events have a cause). The appropriate response to the argument is to say, “Well, if everything must have a cause, then even the external Prime Mover must have a cause. So who caused the Prime Mover to come into existence? Who cause God?” Of course Aquinas and other defenders of the argument don’t want to answer this question; they want God to be uncaused, or, as some have put it, unconditioned. If God has a cause then he cannot be a totally independent being. But, of course, by starting with the premise that all events have a cause, they cannot get the conclusion that God does not have a cause.

The cosmological argument begins with a very reasonable observation, namely that all events seem to have causes. Extrapolating backwards with this observation, however, leads to a very uncomfortable conclusion: there must be an infinite chain of causes extending backwards in time indefinitely. It is very mysterious how this could occur. All of these observations are entirely reasonable. We get into a problem, however, when we posit a being who is, by definition, exempt from our initial observation (i.e., when we say that God did not have a cause). We have “solved” a genuine mystery only be declaring that there is a being that is not subject to the mystery. But this is just special pleading. We haven’t really solved the mystery we have just decided that we won’t worry about the mystery as it applies to God. You don’t solve a mystery by just arbitrarily declaring that it is no longer a mystery.

The same sort of mistake occurs when we reason from the objectivity of morality to the existence of God. We have something that appears mysterious: that there exist objective rules governing our conduct. We don’t see how the blind forces of the universe could give rise to such rules. So we just decide that God is capable of creating these rules. But, of course, we don’t explain how it is possible for God to do this; just as we didn’t explain how it is possible for God to be uncaused. We just say, in essence, “With God, what seems impossible is possible.” But this is NOT an explanation. It is a cop out. We decided that there is no longer a mystery by positing a force that we don’t understand any more than we understand what we are trying to explain to begin with.
With both arguments it is as if we say, “There is this phenomena that is a complete mystery. It seems impossible to account for. So let’s posit a realm wheter it isn’t a mystery. That’ll do the trick.” It’s the “And then a miracle occurred” argument.

 Signature 

What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 May 2007 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3208
Joined  2007-04-26

[quote author=“waltercat”]You don’t solve a mystery by just arbitrarily declaring that it is no longer a mystery… We just say, in essence, “With God, what seems impossible is possible.” But this is NOT an explanation. It is a cop out.

You are a gentleman and a scholar.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 May 2007 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2007-03-08

In fairness to theists - if one is prepared to admit fairness is due them, and I concede this is no easily determined matter - “explanation” is a somewhat slippery concept.  The argument from design is certainly not a scientific explanation for anything, but then it isn’t supposed to be one.  It is really just pointing to the origin of a thing sans a delineation of the causal dynamics.  But then, that’s what a proper explanation is, isn’t it - the delineation of the causes of a given thing?  That, at least, is my working definition of “explanation”.  However, such a definition leads to certain limitations with regard to that which can be explained:

Scientific models are necessarily arbitrary and incomplete (contingent).  This is due to the fact that all things are ultimately connected.  It may well be possible for the practical functioning of a given model to ignore certain related phenomena (indeed it may be necessary to ignore them).  That’s perfectly fine, but when it comes to science as an explanation, we must concede that there can only ever be partial explanations of any given thing.  The reason being that a complete explanation of anything requires an explanantion of everything - and that is logically impossible.  The Universe/existence cannot be explained - ever.  The reason for that ought be obvious enough: any explanation for everything necessarily constitutes part of said everything and is therefore not an explanation of it at all.  This is the same sort of logic that defeats the Cosmological argument for God, as Waltercat has nicely laid out.  God just isn’t an explanation for anything, but may be said to be part of an explanation (however unsatisfactory and full of inference and bullshit).  The real proplem when dealing with the theistic mind is that its criteria for “satisfactory” is limited and grounded in psychological convenience.  If it makes him feel better it’s satisfactory.  It doesn’t need to meet any particular intellectual requirements and it’s usually better if it doesn’t.  The more stringent the requirements the less likely any explanation is to be satisfactory in a psychological sense.  At this point we have to examine the nature of those psychological needs and how coherent they really are - not just for the theist, but for us as well.

But that’s a subject for another post….

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 May 2007 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1568
Joined  2006-03-02

[quote author=“Carstonio”][quote author=“waltercat”]You don’t solve a mystery by just arbitrarily declaring that it is no longer a mystery… We just say, in essence, “With God, what seems impossible is possible.” But this is NOT an explanation. It is a cop out.

You are a gentleman and a scholar.

Thank you very much, that is very kind.  I flatter myself to think that either actually applies to me.  Budding scholar?  Maybe.  But I am far too prone to letting my anger and ego get the better of me to think of myself of a gentleman.

 Signature 

What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
-Ivan Karamazov

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 May 2007 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  531
Joined  2006-12-05

o’reilly- ‘I think i beat him’

lol

thats what cracks me up about that guy, he’s still stuck in that mind frame of ‘winning’.

 Signature 

“All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed…
Second, it is Violently Opposed…
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 May 2007 03:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2007-03-08

An atheist who feels they have won something when viewing the idiocy of the O’Reilly show is not an atheist I want to know.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed