Wednesday, March 14, 2012

FacePlant of the Day - Debunking Christianity: The Major Reason Why I Am a Skeptic

John Loftus has posted some thought about his interaction with David Marshall and the difference about which they view the world

 David Marshall continually says I must read up on world religions and the history of religions. But why? It's because he thinks it will help me to believe. So David, I'll grant that you have read more world literature than I have and that you have the benefit of world travel. But I think the brain is such that if I had your experiences and read only the works you have, I would agree with you and think like you. Our brains are like that. So in order to think like you I must be more like you (which also includes IQ, gender, race, sexuality, place and time of birth, and so forth--do you know that sociologists can identify different ideas held by people born in America during the 20's vs the 30's vs the 40's vs the 50's and so on?). BUT I AM NOT YOU! Nor can I ever be. The same thing goes in reverse for you. If you had my experiences and read only the works I have, you would agree with me and think like me. That is probably the major reason why I am a skeptic, because of this propensity of ours to believe and defend a host of ideas just because we were exposed to them, which is as obvious of an empirical fact as we can get. It's overwhelming that our respective cultures influence us, since that's what we're talking about. Just take four babies and raise one in China the other in Saudi Arabia the third in Kentucky and the fourth in Russia and you will see clearly how cultures influence us all. And it’s never more pronounced than when it comes to religion. Knowing this I must reject faith based reasoning of any kind. Knowing this I am skeptical of ideas that do not have sufficient evidence for them. Knowing this I try as best as I possibly can to only accept science based reasoning. Science is the only hope out of this epistemological morass. How can you possibly counter this? How can any believer counter this? Believers can only do so out of ignorance, pure ignorance, willful ignorance, a head-in-the-sand type of fear based ignorance.

Loftus admits the following:

So David, I'll grant that you have read more world literature than I have and that you have the benefit of world travel.

But he also asserts:

Believers can only do so out of ignorance, pure ignorance, willful ignorance, a head-in-the-sand type of fear based ignorance.

Rather inconsistent.  Loftus admits that in reference to Marshall, he is ignorant about a lot of things that Marshall is knowledgeable about. Given that Marshall is a Believer, it would mean that many, if not all, of Loftus' assumptions and premises are flawed, leading to his flawed conclusion.

Debunking Christianity: The Major Reason Why I Am a Skeptic

32 comments:

  1. I'll admit John often misses the mark, but here he's actually making an incredibly strong point. So rather than nitpicking on a completely irrelevant and context free apparent discrepancy, how about you try to address his real point?

    I know this is dangerous territory for you given that your internal, personal experience is, although maybe not convincing to others, it's the only real evidence that you have that can't absolutely be ruled out by the non-believer. However, John's point goes a very long way to invalidate internal, personal experiences in general.

    Seems either you missed the point or you've just got an axe to grind.

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  2. And just what do you think his real point is? As I see it, he's saying the same thing he always says,
    Believers can only do so out of ignorance, pure ignorance, willful ignorance, a head-in-the-sand type of fear based ignorance.
    Then we can talk about if I addressed it or not.

    He has an ax to grind. Just like you.

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  3. Loftus admits that in reference to Marshall, he is ignorant about a lot of things that Marshall is knowledgeable about. Given that Marshall is a Believer, it would mean that many, if not all, of Loftus' assumptions and premises are flawed, leading to his flawed conclusion.

    Also, please explain in detail how this means that ANY of John's assumption, premises and conclusions are flawed.

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  4. Loftus claims that ignorance leads to belief, but Marshall is not ignorant. Marshall's existence shows that Loftus' assumption is wrong, given that Loftus admits that Marshall is not ignorant. Flawed premise and conclusion.

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  5. Added to the failure to show that Faith-Based reasoning (using the Biblical definition of Faith) should be rejected only goes to show more fail only adds to the fail.

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  6. Loftus' claim is that since the human brain is imperfect, then skepticism should be the default position.

    Do you even read his posts anymore or do you just scan looking for isolated comments to pounce on?

    EricRC has a semi-valid object to this on John's combox if you actually want to learn something.

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  7. Loftus' claim is that since the human brain is imperfect, then skepticism should be the default position.


    It's funny that you seem to think that you can judge my comments. At first you were trying to claim that I missed Loftus' point, but I would say that attempts at several points. I am also amused that you think the comment about imperfection of the human brain is a good one given that it's been brought up before, I didn't see any reason to bring it up again. That's what I get for assuming that an objection is obvious. In case you don't see it, I'll spell it out: If the human brain is imperfect how can you trust your assumptions about what is probable vs improbable. If you appeal the imperfection and limitation of human brain as a reason to be skeptical, then you have no have to be skeptical about every thought that comes from your imperfect brain. Gee, an infallible standard outside of your own "internal, personal experience: would really be helpful...oops...you don't have one you recognize. However can you know what you think you know is true? Pity.

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  8. If the human brain is imperfect how can you trust your assumptions about what is probable vs improbable.

    Right, so the obvious solution is punt to revelation...

    If you appeal the imperfection and limitation of human brain as a reason to be skeptical, then you have no have to be skeptical about every thought that comes from your imperfect brain.

    Ah, the classic apologist misuse of reductio ad absurdum.

    Gee, an infallible standard outside of your own "internal, personal experience: would really be helpful...

    Um, how would you know? Would you like to eat your cake too?

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  9. Right, so the obvious solution is punt to revelation


    Jesus said that revelation is the only way we can really know God in total. It's not "punting". It's telling the truth. My faculties are just as flawed as yours. The only way we know the way of things the way God sees them is by God showing us.


    Ah, the classic apologist misuse of reductio ad absurdum.


    With no rebuttal or refutation. Classic.


    Um, how would you know? Would you like to eat your cake too?


    Better than your cake.

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  10. Jesus said that revelation is...

    No, someone said Jesus said revelation is the only way, but that someone's faculties are just as flawed as yours and mine.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. You'd have to demonstrate that the Gospels are wrong in order to say that. In other words you'd have to show that Jesus did not say that. While you are at it, Why not demonstrate Julius Caesar did not say "Fortune, which has a great deal of power in other matters but especially in war, can bring about great changes in a situation through very slight forces."

    Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/julius_caesar.html#ixzz1pcsIQDR5

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  13. While you are at it, Why not demonstrate Julius Caesar did not say...

    This only hurts your case.

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  14. Only if you can show that Jesus did not say that God must be revealed to you. And if you can show that Ceasar did not say the things attributed to him. Go ahead. Waiting.

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  15. Only if you can show that Jesus did not say that God must be revealed to you.

    Well, given the gospels are not written by this Jesus character, anything Jesus supposedly said is more Julius Caesar saying "I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
    Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear." than anythigng actully attributed it him.

    But again, regadless, you're still stuck in the "flawed facilities" Rabbit hole.

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  16. Well, given the gospels are not written by this Jesus character,


    So what? That does not mean Jesus did not say it.

    anything Jesus supposedly said is more Julius Caesar saying "I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
    Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear." than anythigng actully attributed it him.


    Well, if I recognize the quote correctly, that's from Shakespeare's play - which we know was not even meant to be a quotation of anything Caesar said, while the quote I referenced is attributed to the historical Julius Caesar. The fact that you are trying to connect the two to cast suspicion on the reliability of the Gospels should be beneath you. I'm not surprised that it isn't. You have nothing else.

    But again, regadless, you're still stuck in the "flawed facilities" Rabbit hole.

    The point is the Gospels are not dependent on my flawed faculties which are no worse that yours. However your song-and-dance objections are based on your flawed faculties.

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  17. So what? That does not mean Jesus did not say it.

    It means you don't know he said it.

    Well, if I recognize the quote correctly...

    Well, I doubt you recognized it at all, but google is your friend...

    The point is the Gospels are not dependent on my flawed faculties...

    Of course not, they are dependent upon the flawed faculties of whoever wrote, transalted and edited them...

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  18. It means you don't know he said it.

    Also it means that you don't know Jesus didn't say it. You have no reason to assume he didn't.

    Well, I doubt you recognized it at all, but google is your friend...

    So I guess that's a backhanded compliment. I'm smarter and more well-read than you thought. Kudos to me. Not too hard to know stuff you don't. Everyone has to read Shakespeare.

    Of course not, they are dependent upon the flawed faculties of whoever wrote, transalted and edited them...

    We have so many copies and lines of transmission it is easy to see if our translations are good or not. And you still haven't demonstrated that the New Testament is wrong or flawed.

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  19. And you still haven't demonstrated that the New Testament is wrong or flawed.

    Well I can't demonstrate it's wrong (unluckily for you) just that it's very late, in a very real and relative sense. But bah! What's 25-70 years amongst friends!

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  20. Well I can't demonstrate it's wrong (unluckily for you) just that it's very late, in a very real and relative sense. But bah! What's 25-70 years amongst friends!

    25-70 years is not late compared to the centuries of time between originals and copies of other works of antiquity. And it's too bad for you that you can't demonstrate the New Testament is wrong because you are just making an assumption without good evidence. Pity for you.

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  21. 25-70 years is not late compared to the centuries of time between originals and copies of other works of antiquity.

    But it is late. VERY late.

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  22. For extraordinary claims, it's too late.

    Sorry about your luck.

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  23. For extraordinary claims, it's too late.

    Sorry about your luck.


    I have nothing to complain about how God chose to do this. The bottom line you have no really good reason to dismiss the New Testament other than your blind faith.

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  24. ...about how God chose to do this.

    Unsubstantiated assertion, see "flawed faculties".

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  25. No, that would be under:

    "For extraordinary claims, it's too late."

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  26. It's amazing you don't believe anything and everything, but then again, you are intellectually dishonest, so I guess it makes sense.

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  27. Also "For extraordinary claims, [25 to 70 years is] too late." would be an opinion.

    Saying "how God chose to do" something would be an unsubstantiated assertion.

    Just FYI.

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  28. It's amazing you don't believe anything and everything, but then again, you are intellectually dishonest, so I guess it makes sense.


    you agree that you have flawed faculties and no evidence to back up what you say, and yet claim to know that the gospels are wrong. that is intellectually dishonest.

    Also "For extraordinary claims, [25 to 70 years is] too late." would be an opinion.

    yes, an erroneous opinion based on nothing but unsubstantiated assertions.


    Saying "how God chose to do" something would be an unsubstantiated assertion


    nope. it is a Biblically based conclusion based on the facts that we have and that God is in sovereign control of everything - including the fact that you haven't had the revelation and never had it.

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  29. a Biblically based conclusion...

    Yeah, that, in and of itself, has nothing to do with reality, but punt away...

    ...including the fact that you haven't had the revelation and never had it.

    In other words, "RETREAT!!! RETREAT!!! RETREAT!!! Into the bunker of something I can't demonstrate is true, but even though others can show that it's not probably, they can't show it's not possible! RETREAT!!!!!!!"

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  30. In other words, "RETREAT!!! RETREAT!!! RETREAT!!! Into the bunker of something I can't demonstrate is true, but even though others can show that it's not probably, they can't show it's not possible! RETREAT!!!!!!!"

    The fact that you can't demonstrate that your assertions are true should give you pause. Just because you think you can show that something is improbable is not equivalent to proving that it is false. It seems simply stupid to reject something that you can't demonstrate is false. It's you who are running and hiding.

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  31. The fact that you can't demonstrate that your assertions are true should give you pause.

    You continually miss that I'm not asserting anything. But given you live in an assertion soaked world, it's understandable.

    Just because [...gibberish...] something is improbable is not equivalent to proving that it is false.

    Granted, but if something, from 2000 years ago, is EXTREMELY improbable, in the absence of extraordinary evidence, you have no reason to believe that it is true.

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