Friday, June 28, 2013

Why Julia Loves the Gang Of 8

It's all right here.

Good News: Most Rapes In The Military Don't Involve Women At All

The news is here, and it involves men raping men; homosexual protests will follow, no doubt.

Even if there were no women in the military, apparently rape would still exist. But obviously even with women there in the military, many rapists still prefer to attack men. Certainly the rate of rape is higher for victimizing women. But the quantity of rapes is apparently higher for victimizing men.

More Than A Moral Issue, It Is A Functional Issue.

The intolerance of the Toleranti is objectively observed every day, now. I think I'll set up a special category which collects that data. In the meantime, here is a viewpoint from Erikc Erikson (Yes, You Will Be Made To Care) which outlines from a Christian perspective the natural Progressive, Hegelian, Alinskyan, Communal, sectarian/totalitarian future which is coming:

"Tim Keller has gotten a lot of heat for saying that “you can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.” He was not talking about himself. He was talking about the compromise many young evangelicals are making.

Some, though, are going the next step to

I. Do. Not. Care.

The left will allow no fence sitting. You may not believe me. You may think me hyperbolic. But the history of the world shows this. Events ultimately come to a head. They boil to their essence. And at that point you must choose.

That is why so many Christians are fighting. Because we see in Europe and Canada what will happen here. Christianity is a religion of the city square. Christ compels us to “go forth and teach.” It is the Great Commission. We cannot go forth and teach when the left bars us from the town square.

Many people say we should have legal gay marriage, but not have religious gay marriage.

The left will not honor the distinction. Look to Canada. Preachers can be brought up for
hate crimes charges merely for discussing passages of the Bible that deal with same sex sexual relations
. You may not care that it is a sin, but the world surely does.

Look at Louie Giglio, who could not honor the President at his inauguration because of his orthodox Christian beliefs on this subject.

In short, you may choose not to care and in so doing sit on the sidelines or give aid and comfort to the open minded and tolerant who want gay marriage so everyone can have equal rights.

But the world will one day make you care. Your church, should it open its doors to all, but refuse to perform a same sex wedding, will be accused of discrimination. In some places, the church will be forced to stop performing weddings. Many churches will lose their tax exempt status. The costs of sharing the gospel will go up.

Already Christians are being harassed by fellow American citizens for not wanting to participate in a gay marriage.

The time will come, more quickly than you can imagine, when you will be made to care.

It is not, as mjdaniels posits, this:

If, as the anti-SSM crowd would have it, the levers of State are to be wielded to enforce the commands of Scripture, then pardon me, but what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks are we doing spending so much time, energy and effort fighting to overturn Obamacare?

We are not using the state to enforce the commands of Scripture.

We are using the state to protect our ability to preach the scripture under the first amendment. If the state has the power to change the definition of an institution that it did not create, but that God himself created, the state can compel and coerce the church to honor that definition or sit on the sidelines.

A Christian on the sidelines is a Christian not going forth.

You can be a sincere Christian and support the idea of gay marriage. But you would also be foolish to ignore what is going to happen to the church once the state decides something is a matter of equal protection. You can dismiss me now, but you are ignoring what’s already happening.

Keep in mind as well that many of those who you make look to for reassurance that I’m wrong are hostile to the church already and will not be on the side of the church as the equal protection arguments against it grow.

The state did not create marriage and it should not now exert the power to change the definition of that which it did not create.

Those of you who are Christians who support gay marriage will one day have Archbishop Chaput burning in your ears. He said that evil peddles tolerance until it is dominant then seeks to silence good. That’s why Christians fight on this issue. It is not to force themselves on others, but to protect themselves from others being forced on them.

[emphasis added]

It WILL be forced down our throats. Why? Because, as Obama declares, "It is a fierce moral imperative". That fierce moral imperative was re-emphasized by Justice Kennedy in striking down DOMA: DOMA is bigotry. There is no step required to get to thought crime punishment for advocating against recognizing homosexual equality, morally and legally, and for that matter, any other group which becomes the Victimization darling of the Left.

The AtheoLeft makes up its own morals, and those morals apply to everyone EXCEPT the AtheoLeft. They can be as intolerant as they wish, while forcing tolerance of their every pagan, libertine, Marxist whim. Their whims are, after all, fierce moral imperatives.

They are exceedingly dangerous; they are totalitarian; they are in charge.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Atheism, Tolerance, and Rational Collapse

The Hypocrisy of Justice Kennedy and the Left Displayed Plainly

Hypocrisy Check: We shall compare the Left’s consideration of DOMA as it should apply to Roe v Wade:

First up is the conclusion of the USSC decision on US v Windsor:
”The power the Constitution grants it also restrains.
And though Congress has great authority to design laws to
fit its own conception of sound national policy, it cannot
deny the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of
the Fifth Amendment.

What has been explained to this point should more than
suffice to establish that the principal purpose and the
necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons
who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires
the Court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
The liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment’s Due
Process Clause contains within it the prohibition against
denying to any person the equal protection of the laws.
See Bolling, 347 U. S., at 499–500; Adarand Constructors,
Inc. v. Peña, 515 U. S. 200, 217–218 (1995). While the
Fifth Amendment itself withdraws from Government the
power to degrade or demean in the way this law does,
the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment makes that Fifth Amendment right all the more specific and all the better understood and preserved.
The class to which DOMA directs its restrictions and
restraints are those persons who are joined in same-sex
marriages made lawful by the State. DOMA singles out a
class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition
and protection to enhance their own liberty. It imposes a
disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status
the State finds to be dignified and proper. DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with
whom same-sex couples interact, including their own
children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no
legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to
disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its mar-

riage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.
By seeking to displace this protection and treating those
persons as living in marriages less respected than others,
the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
This opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit is affirmed.”

Now let’s replace the references to homosexuals with “Preborn humans at any stage of development”, and DOMA with “ABORTION/Roe v Wade”:

”The power the Constitution grants it also restrains.
And though Congress has great authority to design laws to
fit its own conception of sound national policy, it cannot
deny the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of
the Fifth Amendment.

What has been explained to this point should more than
suffice to establish that the principal purpose and the
necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons
who are [lawful preborn humans at any stage of development ]. This requires
the Court to hold, as it now does, that ABORTION/Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
The liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment’s Due
Process Clause contains within it the prohibition against
denying to any person the equal protection of the laws.
See Bolling, 347 U. S., at 499–500; Adarand Constructors,
Inc. v. Peña, 515 U. S. 200, 217–218 (1995). While the
Fifth Amendment itself withdraws from Government the
power to degrade or demean in the way this law does,
the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment makes that Fifth Amendment right all the more specific and all the better understood and preserved.
The class to which ABORTION/ROE V. WADE directs its [class] restrictions and
restraints are those persons who are[lawful preborn humans at any stage of development ]
made lawful by the State. ABORTION/ROE V. WADE singles out a
class of persons deemed by a State entitled [not to be killed on demand, removing their own liberty]. It imposes a
disability on the class by refusing to acknowledge a status
the State finds to be dignified and proper. ABORTION/ROE V. WADE instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with
whom [lawful preborn humans at any stage of development]interact, including their own future
children, that their [existence as normal humans] is less worthy than the existence of others. The federal statute is invalid, for no
legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to
disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its ABORTION/ROE V. WADE laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.

By seeking to displace this protection and treating those
persons as living [lawful preborn humans at any stage of development ] as less respected than others,
the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
This opinion and its holding are confined to those
[lawful preborn humans at any stage of development ].

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit is affirmed.”

The following is from NRO, Bench Memos:
”In Kennedy’s translation, the Defense of Marriage Act showed its animus in its very title: The defense of marriage was simply another way of disparaging and “denigrating” gays and lesbians, and denying dignity to their “relationships.” As Justice Scalia noted so tellingly in his dissent, Kennedy could characterize then as bigots the 85 senators who voted for the Act, along with the president (Clinton) who signed it. Every plausible account of marriage as a relation of a man and woman can then be swept away, as so much cover for malice and blind hatred.

As Scalia suggested, that opinion can now become the predicate for challenges to the laws on marriage in all of the States. A couple of the same sex need merely go into a federal court and invoke Justice Kennedy’s opinion in the DOMA case (U.S. v. Windsor): The Supreme Court has declared now that a law that refuses to recognize same-sex marriage is animated by a passion to demean and denigrate. Any such law cannot find a rational ground of justification. As Kennedy had famously said in Romer v. Evans, those kinds of laws can be explained only in terms of an irrational “animus.””

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marriage is Now...

...meaningless. With the US Supreme Court ruling based that "discrimination" in favor of man/woman marriage to be unconstitutional, then discrimination against any union whatsoever is also unconstitutional by that self-same logic. Discrimination, as a concept, is now evil, regardless of the necessity for discrimination against the behaviors which is outlined in tens of thousands of laws which are still on the books. If discrimination is to be eliminated, then all laws must go the way of DOMA, in favor of completely legalizing all behaviors. Otherwise discrimination still exists, only it exists as applied to other behaviors, just not to homosexuals, who are now favored in the discrimination equation.

And with Obama immediately declaring that he will not force churches to perform homosexual weddings, it is apparent that he believes that he could, in fact, do that. The First Amendment is effectively dead, except as it applies to the benefit of the Left.

With wanton killing of progeny on demand and the sodomizing of marriage, the Left has effectively de-institutionalized moral behavior and codified libertinism. Further, Congress is no longer a player in the law of the land; the Supreme Court is now the director of that. And the Supreme Court has been corrupt for at least a century now, having been stacked with Leftists who are not touchable by anything but their own deaths. Even Republicans have appointed hard Leftists to the Court. Democracy, and even representative government, cannot withstand the dictatorship of the amoral who ignore the actual ruling document called the Constitution, and who depend upon their own personal desires instead.

It seems now apparent that the recovery of a nation which is moral in nature cannot happen, that is, it cannot happen without a realignment of the government which is disruptive in nature, driven by a desire to restore constitutional respect in all the separate engines of government, from the absolutely out-of-control executive branch to the Supreme Court. If they will not respect the US Constitution, they must be eliminated from the reins of power.

Silverman On Morals

David Silverman is the President of American Atheists, the organization started decades ago by Madelyn Murray O’Hair. Silverman gets a lot of face time in his official capacity, and he has started to appear at Progressive functions, since, as he puts it,
” The progressive community is chock full of atheists. The National Organization of Women, People for the America Way, the ACLU, Americans United, the Creating Change: these are movements, these are organizations chock full of atheists that need to know that we’re here, that need to know that we’re here to help them, and that need to know that we’re here to help them by fighting their fight with them.”
This time Silverman is at Netroots Nation, and is interviewed by Raw Story. The most interesting response by Silverman is this:
” Now, to your question about morality. What needs to be said about morality is that people make their own moral decisions. Everybody makes their own moral decisions. Then a theistic person would go to a church and find a place where the church agrees with him or her and actually say, “Well, okay, now my morality comes from my church. Now my morality is perfect. Now my morality is flawless, unchangeable, and unquestionable.” And atheist will say, “I have this opinion, but of course it can be changed.” A theist will change their opinion, too, then they change churches, and when they change churches, they again reinforce their opinion of morality with the dogma of the church they have chosen because it matches their opinions. So when we’re talking about politicians using religion as a morality, what we have to understand is that it’s not that religion is the source of morality. Humanity is the source of our own morality. And when they use religions to justify it, what they’re really doing is hiding behind their religion so that they don’t have to justify their positions. And I think that’s what has to be exposed. When somebody says, “I believe X because that’s what my god tells me,” that’s a lousy answer, and we have to expose that.”
Silverman makes two claims here.

First, he claims that theists have changeable morals, and that they choose a church based on its dogma. What he assumes is that the moral premise changes radically from church to church, when in fact, it does not because the moral premise is contained in a document which is not edited by the individual church. The Christian theist has a fixed morality which is contained in a document which is not church-specific. And no Christian theist will actually claim to be perfectly moral. The Christian claim is to be struggling with the fallen nature of man. Silverman has outlined his own ignorant and prejudiced view of how Christians think in a false cartoon which he pushes as truth. Silverman has created his own personal “reality” which doesn’t reflect actual facts. It is worse than that: it is purposefully false; a lie. Perhaps Silverman is projecting the moral concept which Atheists themselves have: make up your own morals to match your Atheist proclivities, and find reasons to support it with rationalizations. Whether Silverman knows it or not, that is the reason that a great many Atheists (Atheists are mostly male) are NOT feminists: it's not what they want.

Second, Silverman admits fully that for Atheists, morality is merely opinion. “Of course it can be changed”, he says, referring to the volatility of Atheist morality. As for a lousy answer, the Atheist claim of “morality” certainly qualifies, in spades. A changeable opinion might serve as a temporary ethic, but it is not morality. The volatility of Atheist “morals”, and their self-directed, self-enabled moral authority are precisely why Atheists are not trusted: they can generate no consistent moral responses upon which to depend and trust. They have no consistent moral code, so it is impossible to have a consistent Atheist moral response. No consistency, no trust. And in fact, the Silverman misrepresentation of theist thinking is an example of an opinion which is not trustworthy. Yet Silverman, like most activist Atheists, spends a lot of time making moral judgments. And since he makes those judgments based on cartoons rather than real facts, plus his admission that Atheist morals are merely opinions which can change, Silverman's moral proclamations are completely dismissable.

What Silverman has done, inadvertently to be sure, is to admit to Progressivism being heavily Atheist, and that Atheism is without any common, demonstrable morality, yet Atheists make moral judgments and pronouncements almost daily. He should be given credit for the truth of those statements. Thanks, David.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Is Chelsea Clinton an Argument For Abortion?

Incredibly, she thinks so. Her "her much-admired maternal grandmother was the child of unwed teenage parents who “did not have access to services that are so crucial that Planned Parenthood helps provide.”

For those Choicers who read this, maybe the concept should be explained: You see, if Chelsea's grandmother had been aborted, Chelsea wouldn't be here... Oh never mind. Ignoring their corrupt "moral sensibilities", Choicers aren't into common sense, either. Barbara Boxer made the same sort of comment, complaining that her mother didn't have Choice to kill her off.

There is a theory that Leftists will kill off their future Leftist constituents by abortion if not by other means; but of course they will import more constituents from south of the border to take up that slack. Can they import them faster than they kill them? Probably, even considering Fast and Furious attempts to kill off the imports.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Will Be Scarce For a While Because...

I will be attending my father's funeral several states away, and I will not return until about a week from now. I hope to find some time to get to questions and maybe a post but it might not happen.

Hasta next week.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why John Loftus Is An Atheist, Part 2

So far in addressing John Loftus’ article on Why He Is An Atheist, we have clearly seen that the list of theist propositions which he attacks are hardly worthy of discussion, they are so poorly presented. So Loftus’ supposed refutations are against non-contenders. Whether this is an artifact of the person Loftus is debating, or whether Loftus crafted these statements himself, they are not basic theist positions, some of them are blatantly false statements, some of them are double negatives, and so on.

So I will leave those types of issues, since they have no bearing on the issue of whether God or any creating deity for the universe actually exists. Loftus, nowhere in this article addresses that essential fundamental argument.

Instead, we will move to the list of questions Loftus developed to give his opponent to answer. Presumably some of these will answer the question, well why ARE you an Atheist? What can you prove about Atheism? What is your evidence for its validity?

Here are the questions:

“I developed some questions for Rauser beforehand (whether I get to them in the debate/discussion that follows I can't say):

1) If you wanted to know what happened at Custer’s Last Stand wouldn’t you want sufficient evidence before coming to a conclusion? Why is that different when it comes to the claim that a virgin gave birth to God incarnate?”

The demand for evidence is not rationally separated into physical vs. non-physical. With no differentiation, the demand is seen to be a Category Error. It is that Fallacy for several reasons. First, the evidence for Custer’s Last Stand is material in nature. (I’ve been there, and seen the evidence which was revealed after the grass fire allowed it to be found and collected). There is no expectation of material evidence for the birth of Jesus. The fact that Loftus conflates the two into a single demand demonstrates his lack of differentiation and thus his logic error. Further, this is not even close to the basic issue of whether there is an originating agent for the universe, and whether Loftus can provide material evidence regarding that either way, presumably against. Most Atheists object to that demand for evidence on the basis that it is unreasonable (after all, it is a Category Error), but they will not relent in their demand for the exact same thing from theists, as Loftus does here, regardless of being apprised of the error. That is an exercise in non-coherent rationalizing, where a demand is made on an opponent which one cannot satisfy himself respecting his own argument. In fact, Loftus projects his own Special Pleading in the next question:

”2) Can you provide any objective evidence for your faith without special pleading or begging the question?”
If one can ignore the well-poisoning attempt to maintain the Category Error in the demand for “objective evidence”, one can certainly point out that it is indeed a Category Error, as well as Special Pleading for his own case. Here he has ignored (implicitly denied by poisoning) the validity of any evidence which is not material (aka “objective”). Additionally, the term “faith” is prejudicial, because there are in existence rational, non-blind-faith based deductions in support of the basic reasoning for theism which are not “faith” based. These deductive arguments are rational, not objective reasons. Loftus summarily excludes them categorically, because the term objective very likely refers to objects and material evidence only, Loftus being a science fetishist (adherent of irrational scientism) as we have demonstrated earlier.

”3) Do you reject personal private subjective experience when it comes to other religions? If so, why don’t you reject those same kinds of claims when it comes to your religion?
It is not necessary to accept any subjective experience in order to consider the logical deductive case for a creating agent for the universe. The presumption that all claims will be accepted if they are within a specific “religion” has no basis in fact. This question is neither necessary nor pertinent to Atheism, it is merely an attack on a presumption of theist dependence upon faulty premises. But the predication of the attack is false because the presumption does not match the actual basis for theism.

”4) Can you provide any reason at all to think that sufficient objective evidence is not good enough when it comes any historical claim?”
No matter the answer to this question, either yes or no, it does not cover the issue of the Category Error involved in the definition of “evidence”. The presumption is that the answer will be yes, so that answer can be applied by false extension to theism. This fails for two reasons: it does not address the basics of theism, and attempts to entrap in a False Association Fallacy rather than explain.

Even if answered yes, which is obvious, it does not apply to the fundamental propositions of theism. It is merely an attempt to use the Category Error of demanding “objective evidence” (material, that is) for subjects which are not addressable materially, and cannot be falsified materially.

”5) When it comes to Mohammed flying on a winged horse to visit the heavenly realms, or the golden plates that Joseph Smith supposedly translated into the Book of Mormon, or Scientologist’s claim that an intergalactic emperor named Xenu placed people in a volcano and blew them up, do you require sufficient evidence in order to believe them? Why are your superstitious claims exempt from this same requirement? “
Ignoring the well-poisoning yet again, the basics of theism are not based on faith or superstition; they are based on rational deductions, which are not subjective and not addressed by Loftus. So the final question is a fallacious question not deserving of an answer. But we will answer it anyway. Sufficient evidence in the mind of a rigid materialist like Loftus can mean only material evidence. He refuses to be convinced by anything other than empirical, scientific, material evidence. So he thinks – believes erroneously – that theist claims must, must be submitted to empirical, scientific, material scrutiny. The non-falsification criterion of Popper never enters his thought space. The difference between material investigation and non-material investigation is completely transparent to him… apparently. Given his credentials it is difficult to see how this could be so. But it certainly appears to be the case.

”6) What is the specific doctrinal content to your subjective experience of God? Does your experience provide any? What is it? If not, how can you claim your experience leads you to believe as you do? If so, what is it and why do other evangelicals who claim this same experience believe differently based on it? Do evangelical witch-hunters in Africa have the same properly basic belief about God?Specifically with regard to salvation. Specifically with regard to the Bible.”
Why should there be “specific doctrinal content” during the subjective experience? This attack is meaningless in the sense that no possible answer would suffice for Loftus. I.e., it is a question where all answers lead to rejection, regardless of their content. He demands answers that he believes will demonstrate that the subjective is not universal. Of course it is not. It is personal, which is why it is called subjective. The issues of salvation and the bible are not part of the experience, why should they be, and why should Loftus demand that they be? Only because he thinks that those points prove something which they do not: their absence proves exactly nothing. Those issues are non-starters both theologically and logically.

None of this addresses anything regarding the disproof of a creating agent entity. Loftus is attacking subjective experience with demands for specific content without any comprehension of how subjective experiences work. He presumes that his interpretation must be descriptive of actuality when it is not. He has not had such an experience; why should he be considered knowledgeable?

Plus, his complaint about cultural differentials has no bearing on actual validity of the experience, or validity of salvation, or validity of the bible. The point here is that the expectation which Loftus has is that a subjective experience gives deep knowledge of the nature and thoughts of the deity, when it is highly possible that the experience is that the deity exists, or that there is a personal expectation of the recipient. There is no reason to presume that Loftus knows otherwise. Loftus can only denigrate this but not disprove it. His idea of disproof is the attempt to show that some religions are false, therefore no religion is true. Probably some subjective experiences are false, therefore none are valid. This again is the Fallacy of False Association.

”7) Can you explain why your so-called properly basic beliefs change with more study? Why does a child have properly basic beliefs about God that an educated Christian adult would deny?”
This question appears intended to throw implications of doubt on the quality of knowledge of the understandings of the nature of the deity which Loftus presumes are attained not by personal experience, but by gradually understanding the accumulation of proposed theological knowledge by others. This type of knowledge is not even advertised to be exact and irrefutable by theists, but the implication of the question is that it should be. The question presumes that theists argue from certainty just as Atheists do: without evidence. (Atheists are certain that ALL theist arguments fail, without evidence of that). The type and quality of the evidence used by theists cannot be replicated in type or quality by Atheists. So Atheists deny that it exists and can exist and assert that any knowledge theists have is of no value, in this case, due to its ability to grow and change with increased understanding based on rational assessment. By contrast, Atheists can claim no non-empirical knowledge aside from the presumption that theist propositions are false. And that claim without a shred of empirical data for support.

”8) Do you believe in psychics? Are you a psychic? Can you know whether or not a virgin had a baby (or any of a number of other purported historical claims in the Bible) based on psychic abilities? Isn't claiming to know you can irrational?”
The presumption of knowledge of non-physical issues to be either material in nature or to require clairvoyance is false. Deductions are neither. Deductions are rational and predate empiricism. This question is another prejudicial entrapment which is based on false suppositions.

”9) Can you read God's mind? Every believer on the planet claims to know God's mind.”
This is blatantly false to the point of being a flat out lie. He cannot know what every believer on the planet claims, and it is virtually certain that very few make that claim. His questions become more aggressively irrational as they progress.

”10) How do you escape the charge that you're just making stuff up as you go?
This is a personal attack which appears to be projection. Loftus has not proven anything by attacking the list of phony theist issues above, nor do his questions represent any danger to theism. If this is all there is to his idea of reasons or reasoning which he thinks demands Atheism, then Loftus is no danger to theism. Somewhere he references his “opus magnum” book, which one would have to pay him for, and which he claims contains the actual reasoning. Yet the title of this article claims to contain his reasons: “Why I am an Atheist”. If this article is representative, then his book is not essential to rejecting his reasoning for Atheism.

The proper response to that question is “how do you escape the charge that you have made no substantive case against theism, much less an evidentiary (empirical of course) case for Atheism – despite your claim to explain Why You Are An Atheist?”

Finally, let’s address some of Loftus’ text in between the itemized lists.

The religious context:
Loftus attempts to discredit all religious claims by stating that they are too far removed for investigation of evidence. Loftus claims,

” If anything, the religious context would help to discredit it, since miracle claims within religious contexts are a dime a dozen.”
Has he abandoned the empirical testing approach for the idea that miracles are commonplace? Too commonplace? No, he asserts under the unstated presupposition that all miracles are false, regardless of whether they are actually proved to be false. In other words, Because Atheism is True, there are no miracles. His bias colors his thinking at every step, including his concept of evidence and existence.

The following illustrates that fact:
” They will concoct disanalogous hypothetical stories that have no bearing on the need for sufficient objective evidence. No reasonable person should believe that a virgin gave birth to God incarnate in today's world without sufficient objective evidence. Can you even imagine what evidence would convince you that she did? So why should this requirement be different when it comes to the ancient pre-scientific superstitious past? If anything, it should be foremost on our minds. Whether a virgin gave birth to God incarnate is a historical claim about what supposedly happened in the past. There is only one kind of evidence that can show this, if it can be shown at all. Objective evidence. We need a sufficient amount of it to convince us. No amount of intellectual gerrymandering can weasel out of this reasonable requirement. “
[emphasis added]
Calling a requirement “reasonable” does not make it so; in fact it points to the issue of the reasonableness of the issue which is being whitewashed with presumptive definition. In this case, it is obvious that there is no possible evidence of historical occurrences of pretty much anything that will convict the hardcore materialist of ancient facts concerning life. Documentation is not “objective”, at least not for Loftus. Let’s do try to imagine what type and amount of “sufficient objective evidence” would be required. First, of course, a virginity test. No, that would not suffice, because there might be physical way to circumvent the maidenhead. So constant monitoring of the female for at least ten months in advance of the birth would be required. The monitors must be monitored of course. No unmonitored breaks for ablutions, either. The entire life of her offspring would have to be monitored for signs of deity activity. And all of that would have to be accomplished today, by John Loftus, or the sources of the data would not be trustworthy because reported information is not “objective”.

Loftus cannot disprove the claim. So he makes irrational demands for evidentiary support.

The demands made by Loftus are absurd, yet they are the very demands of Philosophical Materialism (which cannot prove its own premise and thus is non-coherent). Can Loftus believe that Washington crossed the Delaware? That Caesar crossed the Rubicon? That Hannibal crossed the Alps? Is it irrational to give credibility to these assertions? Apparently for Loftus.

In fact, the ultimate constraint on “sufficient objective evidence” is this: it must be personally experienced in order to be considered valid. If personal experiential apprehension is not acceptable to Loftus, then there is no such thing as “objective” apprehension, either (a serious personal paradox). In fact, he cannot provide me with “sufficient objective evidence” that he even exists, when I assert certain levels of Skepticism.

As for the objectivity of empiricism, it is well known that scientists sometimes lie, that they too commonly submit bogus papers which get published, that they have personal biases, that they sometimes pursue ideologies. So mere scientific papers can have no credibility; only the experiential knowledge obtained by personally performing the exacting experiments oneself can qualify for the most exacting demand made for “sufficient objective evidence”.

Not that Loftus does require this, except for certain specific areas of knowledge, specifically religious claims. In fact, he has already shown a belief in a zero-energy universe, and a universe popping into existence from nothing, and has used that unsupported belief as a counter argument. So he is capable of using blind belief in ungrounded premises which support his own Atheist bent. Given that, Loftus is prejudicial in his demand for evidence, being lenient for his own worldview but irrationally strict on the Other. That constitutes Special Pleading. And it is done based on the Fallacy of Category Error.

Further, if Loftus does demand experiential evidence of miracles, including ancient miracles, then he accepts personal, subjective experience for himself while rejecting it for others. Special Pleading. Can he deny that all of his knowledge involves personal experience and interpretation of neural inputs to his thought system? Of course not. If knowledge were not subjective, it could be installed into the brain in physical modules. Again, he is Special Pleading for his own Atheism.

Next Loftus takes on Plantinga and his assertions of warrant for belief. The money sentence in Loftus’ critique is this:

”The very fact that believers like Plantinga deny the need for sufficient objective evidence is because they intuitively know their faith does not have it, for if it did, they would be the first ones crowing about it. If nothing else, this should serve as a red light warning that one’s faith is a delusion. “
All Loftus has to offer is his continuous demand for “sufficient objective evidence”. Those words are actually becoming a mantra for Loftus, an excuse for denying everything. Without “sufficient objective evidence”, any proposition is a delusion, by Loftus’ definition. Yet on their own, those words have no meaning. They have no means of measurement, no means of identifying sufficiency, no definition of what would be deemed valid or non-valid (i.e. no specifications for pass/fail). “Sufficient objective evidence” is a requirement without substance. Loftus has built an anti-intellectual force field to protect his own religious preference: Atheism. Behind his anti-intellectual force field, Loftus can deny any information input at all, simply by claiming insufficiency, or non-material (not objective), or even “not evidence” (as in the case of documentation, rather than objects of a material nature).

So he has built a cloistered, shielded parapet from which to assert mere denialism. He has nothing more than that, no evidence of any sort of his own to present to support his own case. He can merely shoot, from behind his shield, meaningless demands for more or different evidence. There is no substance involved.

Concerning natural theology, Loftus says this:

” If there was ever a testing ground for the claims about Jesus the Jews in his day were it. Yet they didn’t believe. They were there and they were believers and yet the overwhelming number of them did not believe. Why should we? “
Ignoring the fact that those Jews who had the actual objective evidence at the time chose to die at the hands of the Romans rather than recant what they knew to be the case, Loftus is making a fallacious point: If someone, or many someones do not believe a thing, it should not be believed. This is absurd, considering that Loftus insists that evidence is the determining factor for knowledge, not the number of believers. Can he presume that if a majority does believe a thing that it then should be believed? I doubt it. His point has no rational merit. Would he allow a lion to ravage him to support what he “knows” to be true?

His following statement demonstrates false knowledge of the bible, leading one to doubt his credentials in that area yet again:

”So let me ask, were the Jews stupid or did God mislead them? Are Christians really willing to say nearly 8 million Jews at the time of Jesus were stupid? Are Christians really willing to say they did not desire to know the truth, that they insincerely preferred to believe a lie, almost all of them, such that Paul had to preach the gospel to Gentiles for converts?
There is no reason for Loftus to use the insult “stupid” except as an emotional exacerbation. Ignoring that, the idea that most Jews rejected Jesus has no bearing on who he was and what he did. In fact, it merely demonstrates the hard-headedness (biblically they were referred to as “stiff necked”) of those who demand personal subjective experience of “objective” evidence. Because Jesus did not represent the common concept Jews had of a conquering warrior messiah, there was a disconnect between Jewish fantasy and actual reality. Does Loftus actually not know this?

The shot at Paul’s preaching to Gentiles for converts is a massive miscomprehension of text. Acts is the place to find that it was Peter, not Paul, who was ordered to expand to include Gentiles. Sheesh. Paul was ordered to stop killing Christians and to become one, well after the inclusion of Gentiles.

”And if God misled them to believe a lie, then he also condemned them to hell. Which is it?”
None of the above. Only denial of Free Will could explain this blatant False Dichotomy.

Loftus changes subjects mid-stream:

”The fact is there is no prophecy in the OT that is to be regarded as a prophecy that specifically points to the birth, life, death or resurrection of Jesus. None. All you need to do is read the so-called prophecies in their original contexts and you’ll see that the NT writers grossly mishandled them. “
This claim is made in a vacuum on the Atheist side. Each of the commonly accepted claims must be defeated specifically, not merely claimed to be false. He makes this claim with no evidence whatsoever, certainly not with “sufficient objective evidence”.

And next he tumbles into his own illogic:

” Natural theology therefore died a long time ago, before it was born, with the Jewish rejection of Jesus as the resurrected Messiah. If there was sufficient evidence to conclude Jesus was the resurrected Messiah then almost all Jews in the first century would have become Christians.”
Here he presents as fact a position which he cannot possibly know. He is projecting his own desirable outcome on a situation of which he has no “sufficient objective evidence” to create this “knowledge” assertion. This statement is merely an absurdity.

And finally he dictates what Christians must do:

” In fact, almost all theists should be Christians since they share the same belief in a creator miracle working God. The problem is that just because someone is a theist does not mean it’s more likely than not that a particular Christian miracle took place. All theism grants you is the possibility of miracles. But I too allow for them. Theists in other religions require sufficient objective evidence before accepting the miracle claims of other theistic religions. The raw uninterpreted historical data must therefore provide the reasonable theist with sufficient evidence that a God did this or that particular miracle before accepting it. So to be consistent without using any double standards, theists within their own religions should require sufficient objective evidence before believing that a theistic God did the miracles within their own religion. They must require this without begging the question or special pleading their own case.”
Loftus Special Pleads the case for rejection yet again: His mantra, sufficient objective evidence, crops up as if a chant in an echo chamber. The character of actual miracles is that they are singularities, and are non-falsifiable, both empirically and logically. Erroneous claims of miracles can be falsified; statues crying blood have been found to be rigged to do so. But the major claims, such as Lourdes, have not been falsified either logically or empirically. And Atheists never take the challenge to do so, because it is obvious that they cannot. So Loftus’ only choice is to deny them using his demand for “sufficient objective evidence” regardless of the inapplicability of that demand to the situation. And yes, that is his only choice: the use of Category Error to Special Plead his case. It’s all he has, he has no positive evidence in support of his Atheism.

Looking back over his text, I see that I must address this:

” 10) God raised Jesus from the dead. Not true. No reasonable person today should believe 2nd 3rd 4th handed testimony coming from a lone part of the ancient world as we find in 4th century manuscripts written by pre-scientific superstitious people who doctored up and forged many of these texts.”
These accusations are demonstrably false. Resorting to vilifying the era and its inhabitants, rather than actually refuting data, is intellectually unconscionable. Especially so when using unsupported and false claims to do it. He has attacked not the information itself, but the sources, and he does that using innuendo intended to discredit by implication, not by factual refutation. This is truly a sorry statement.

” Almost all of our questions go unanswered, the kind of questions we have been able to ask of the rise of Mormonism in the modern world, leading us to reject it. What did the early disciples actually claim to have seen? Did they all tell the same stories? Did any of them recant? All we have is Paul’s first person testimony, and if we’re to believe Acts 26:19, he said his Damascus road conversion was based on nothing more than a vision.”
Because he actually quotes a bible verse and then misrepresents it, we can conclude that Loftus is intellectually dishonest, and completely so. Acts 26:19 is not the account of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus; Acts 9 contains the account of conversion of Paul, a conversion which had the material, physical manifestation of blinding Paul temporarily, with sounds made available to observers which were words to Paul. I take this falseness to be intentional.

From this I am forced to conclude that Loftus, given his presumed considerable education in theology, has chosen to misrepresent it in the pursuit of supporting his deconversion and its products. Further, this article claiming to have presented the reasons for his Atheism has no such reasoning included. His attacks are on weak to false theist arguments, not to actual deductively reasoned arguments for basic theism and the existence of a creating agent. His attacks via questions are false due to prejudicial demands for inapplicable evidence, rendering them logical errors. He has created a mantra of logically incorrect evidentiary demands, Category Errors, which he uses for Special Pleading for Atheism. He apparently purposefully misrepresents biblical accounts.

These characteristics render any work by Loftus to be suspect a priori.

Monday, June 17, 2013

John Loftus Explains Why He Is An Atheist, Part 1:

John Loftus writes "Why I Am An Atheist", and we will examine his enumerated reasons.

1) If there is no God then life has no meaning. Wrong. No one should ever reject the evidence for a conclusion simply because they dislike the conclusion. If there is no God then we are our own meaning makers. Period. Only after you realize God doesn’t exist will you see this.”

Loftus has charged a logical error against the deduction. What has he charged? Let’s look at the statement:
”No one should ever reject the evidence for a conclusion simply because they dislike the conclusion.”
So if I don’t like the conclusion that “life has no meaning”, then I must not reject the premise that “there is no God”?

First reaction is, why not? Sartre did. But let’s move on.

If the actual universals are used (“meaning = universal, common meaning), then we can ask, how does that change the statement?
“If there is no God then life has no meaning”
”If there is no God then life has no specific, commonly understood, objective meaning”
And this tends to agree with Loftus’ position. Most Atheists would agree that there is no specific, commonly understood, objective meaning to their existence, and that, like Loftus claims, all meaning is subjectively determined.

But let’s examine his premise. Loftus’ point seems to be that what appears to be a premise in the original statement is the actual conclusion: “there is no God”. The evidence is not to be rejected. Any conclusion should support the premise. But how is that premise supported? It is not enough to merely assert a premise as Truth; there needs to be a supporting premise chain which delineates the undeniable Truth of the conclusion:

”IF [X1 through (Xn-1)], THEN [Xn]

”IF [Xn], THEN [there is no God.]”

This would represent a valid argument, IFF X1 through Xn can be shown incontrovertibly and incorrigibly inarguably valid, correct and true.

Only then can the following argument be made:
”IF there is no God, THEN all meaning is subjective and relative.”
If the conclusion follows the premise(s), then the conclusion is accepted, unless the argument fails coherence tests. But the contrary can also be valid, as when contrary premises are used:
”If there is God”, THEN all meaning is STILL subjective and relative.”
Common meaning which is found is still found individually, even by theists, who study and interpret and meditate on prior theist writings. And any theist assertion of contact with deity cannot be assumed to be a universal, it is a specific, subjective experience.

An argument which can be proven by contradictory premises has no meaning, logically. The conclusion shows true, despite any involvement of the existence of a deity. It is not a falsifiable proposal.

So Loftus is right, although his attachment to one premise over the other is without any merit so far. What he has done is merely to reject a theist’s illogical assertion. He has not given a reason to reject the existence of a deity.

Argument 2

2) If there is no God then everything is permitted. Wrong again. The ones doing the permitting are people in their respective societies. Even if Thomas Hobbes is correct that we are at war with everyone else, we must still adopt some kind of reasonable social contract whereby we join together for the common good. If not, a society will collapse into chaos. Since no one desires chaos there are reasonable limits to what any society will permit. By contrast, if God exists there are no limits to what can be permitted when people believe something to be divinely authorized.”

The first argument here seems to be that Loftus thinks that there must be some objective, preordained limits to the behaviors of humans. His assertion is without actual evidence, but is rather a “must” statement which indicates either a moral imperative or a natural law which demands satisfaction. He provides no case for either. Further, he presumes that the limits he imagines are necessary to prevent chaos, but he gives no justification in the form of hard evidence for that. In fact, there are “Lord of the Flies” types of justifications for the original statement: objective rules cannot exist without an objective source. Subjective rules can include or exclude anything. Denial of an objective source entails the denial of an objective rule set. Without that, any individual is ruled only by what he thinks he can get away with. This is supported by Atheists from Kinsey to Dahmer to Dawkins (who could not say that Hitler was wrong).

The second argument is this:
”By contrast, if God exists there are no limits to what can be permitted when people believe something to be divinely authorized”
This is true only for certain religions and cults, not for all religions. Loftus seems to want to assert a Fallacy of Overgeneralization in order to perform a Fallacy of Guilt By Association. If not that, then he has performed a perversion of the theology of Judeo-Christianity. It is accepted that there are, in fact, perversions of Judeo-Christianity extant; that does not prove the universal claim Loftus makes here.

Loftus has again not proven that there is no deity, nor given any reason to think that.

”3) Science is no substitute for religion. Bogus. If there is one mark of the deluded mind (defined as "believing against the overwhelming evidence") it’s that somewhere along the line he or she must be ignorant of, or denigrate, or deny science. Religion has given us nothing in comparison to science. Faith-based reasoning processes are notoriously unreliable. They do not help us get at the truth. What do they offer as a substitute for evidence based reasoning processes? “
Here Loftus reveals his certain ignorance of science as a philosophical derivative of logic, and he attacks with phony “evidence” that there is no knowledge which is not scientific or evidence-based. He claims that the opposition is ignorant of science or denies it (a common scientismist failure), while giving no evidence (scientific or otherwise) to support his prejudice. In fact, if he were as educated as some would have us believe, then he would be familiar with the falsification limitation to material experimentation, not non-material, which Popper illuminated; he would be familiar with the failure of induction to provide certainty, and the necessity of empiricism to engage in deduction, which is a mental process not a bag of scientific “factoids”.

Loftus even suggests that there should be an information source within religion which provides competition to empiricism, but there is not. Of course not. Were Loftus truly educated in the theology as is suggested, he would know that religion is oriented toward the meta-narrative of cause and purpose for the material universe and its inhabitants, not the details of the universe’s behavior. The meta-narrative is suggestive of purpose, while the science is incapable of determining such. Loftus seems to think that science has capabilities for determining things outside of material behaviors; it certainly does not.

Loftus claims, ”Faith-based reasoning processes are notoriously unreliable.” Really? Which ones? The deductive ones? Why? Where is your vaunted cache of evidence to support that claim? And as for your claim of “notoriously” unreliable, how is that measured, physically? And is it universally applicable to ALL theist deductions? Has he logically disproved EVERY theist process and claim? Prove that, please. We need scientific evidence here.

”They do not help us get at the truth.” Undoubtedly “truth” for Loftus is a bag full of empirical factoids, as yet unfalsified, yet falsifiable. Actual truth does not exist for science, only probabilities of non-falsification. Loftus shows no sign of knowing that. Truth is determined by disciplined deductive logical examination of propositions. Factoids regarding material things are determined by empirical experimental investigation.

Religion is relegated here to “faith”, which Loftus probably equates to having no intellectual input. That would be a product of his personal bias, not of knowledge of how theist philosophies actually function. If Loftus is educated in those areas, it does not show. Nor does he avoid logically useless disparagement.

4) God is the best explanation of the whole shebang. Spurious. Believers have always said this, even though science has made great strides in answering this question. God of the gaps arguments like this one have failed so many times in the past it’s quite surprising to see Randal still using it. So many questions abound. The scientific hypothesis merely starts with an equilibrium of positive and negative energy along with the laws of physics. Grant this and there is a 60% chance something should exist. Given the fact of evolution there is no need for a God, and there’s no evidence he is involved in this process at all. The main thing scientists have not yet explained is the origin of life. If your theology hangs on that gap then you are betting against everything science has solved so far. And once you allow god explanations into your equations then most any god will do, even an evil one.”
First accusation: Spurious/God of the Gaps. That argument has no basis, considering that science is limited to material-only parts of the “shebang”. The meta-narrative of the universe is and always will be untouched by material considerations, and the limited knowledge generation of science.

Next accusation: “ Something exists. So either something—anything—has always existed, or something—anything—popped into existence out of nothing. Those are the choices. The best explanation for our existence is the simplest one.”

That is false; as Einstein proved, “everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”. He showed that Bohr’s theory was too simple when he proved that Brownian Motion demonstrated the existence of atoms moving. Ockham’s Razor is not a universal law of physics or of anything else.

” The theistic hypothesis is that a three-in-one God exists who never had a beginning or a prior moment to choose his own nature, who never learned any new propositions, who cannot think because thinking requires weighing alternatives, who cannot even laugh because nothing takes him by surprise, who created this world with its natural disasters, who doesn’t even benevolently act in the midst of our sufferings. This is no explanation at all.”
This is no disproof at all. The basic theist premise is that ”there is a cause for the existence of an expanding universe, an existence which is an agent with the capacity to implement that subsequent existence”. What Loftus has done here is to inveigh upon a specific ecclesiastical iteration of deity his own concepts of how that deity must exist or behave. As with his other arguments, he offers no material, empirical evidence for the argument, because there is none to be given: the argument refers to a non-physical existence which Lotus imbues with his own imaginative characteristics which he deems impossible, apparently thereby proving the impossibility of the existence. For example, attacking the creating entity for allowing natural disasters and not being benevolent enough for Loftus has no bearing on whether an agent was involved in the creation of the universe.

” The scientific hypothesis merely starts with an equilibrium of positive and negative energy along with the laws of physics. Grant this and there is a 60% chance something should exist.”
Presented without evidence or reference, there is no way to determine where he got this. As far as I know, there actually is no such thing as negative energy. It is pure speculation that gravity serves as negative energy, balancing the universal energy to zero; it is purely hypothetical, especially considering that no one actually has a valid theory of gravitation, and the use of negative energy is proposed due to the inability of science to answer questions using the mass/energy which they actually have.

Further, the pre-existence of a quantum field is necessary for the origination of the first particle/anti-particle. The idea of a Free Lunch universe is predicated upon empirical ignorance of the initial conditions in terms of discoverable knowledge.

”Given the fact of evolution there is no need for a God, and there’s no evidence he is involved in this process at all.”

This is propaganda; it ignores the issue of first life jumping out of mere minerals; it ignores the creation of reasoning by changing the position of electrons just prior to a thought; it ignores the complete determinism of material existence, except for the unfortunate existence of agency in certain living things. There is no empirical evidence or rational deduction which favors a purely material existence.

5) If there is no God then we don’t know anything. False. If so, chimps don’t know anything either. They don’t know how to get food, or mate or even where to live. Without knowing anything they should’ve died off a long time ago. And yet here they are. They don’t need a god to know these things. Why do we need a god for knowledge? We learn through a process of trial and error. Since we’ve survived as a human species, we have acquired reliable knowledge about our world. Period. “

I suspect that the way the “theist” arguments are presented by Loftus is prejudicial toward his purpose, and not representative of the actual argument which was made. The stated deduction doesn’t represent any theist argument I’ve ever heard, yet I suppose that it might have been made. So let’s look at the response which Loftus makes.

” False. If so, chimps don’t know anything either.”
This attempt at Reductio Ad Absurdum is itself absurd. He has tried to take the conclusion out of its context into an exaggeration, but the result doesn’t disprove the argument. It is not a true Reductio, because it does not invert the logic. A true Reductio would entail something like this: [Even] If there is no God, Then we know things. This statement actually does refute the argument (which deserves it), but it has no bearing on the truth of the statement, There is no God. So far, Loftus has not proved this, or even addressed it as an Atheist issue.

The arguments are not properly parsed from the start, probably a failure of the theist involved. The attempt seems to be to assume consequences for the absence of a deity, and then argue that the consequences prove the premise to be false. It’s a sort of twist on “affirming the consequent” problem. The actual argument would be this: ”IFF we have knowledge (can think) THEN there is a God.”

Or this:
IF we are deterministic electrolytic minerals, THEN knowledge is not possible without God.
The point of the argument is that we actually do have knowledge; what chimps know is also evidence in favor of the argument.

” They don’t need a god to know these things. Why do we need a god for knowledge? We learn through a process of trial and error. Since we’ve survived as a human species, we have acquired reliable knowledge about our world. Period. “
This has to be the crowning achievement of focused ignorance. What Loftus argues is this: Why do we need a source for X? We have X. That’s all we need: X. Since the argument he is countering is not even addressed, this statement, besides being absurd, fails to address the argument, regardless of the phony verbal punctuation at the end. Loftus apparently thinks and wants us think, too, that just the existence of knowledge is enough to explain the reason it exists. Again, this is absurd.

So far in his reasons to be an Atheist, Loftus merely takes half-baked theist claims and gives his unconsidered reasons for rejecting them. At no point does he give any reason for Atheism, except that these particular arguments don't satisfy him.

This is all for today. Maybe tomorrow I will address the second five arguments which Loftus makes as reasons for his Atheism. Maybe.

Progressivism and Pedophilia

The Progressive Problem
The current mantra of “hope and change” marks the Progressive problem: hope for what, and change to what, are not specified. We get constant change, driven by the rejection of “old morality” and in exchange we are forced to accept the “new reality” which is imposed upon us, mostly by unelected judges. This is implemented in the Hegelian manner of incremental steps between thesis, antithesis and synthesis, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The pressure is constant, like water eroding the granite foundations of great structures of yore.

The synthesis is never a slippery slope, according to the antithesis protagonists. We just want this one concession. To claim slippery slope is hysterical, they say. The evidence, however, is conclusive. The slope is not merely slippery, it no longer has any traction at all.

Progress never stops for the progressive, and the march toward elimination of moral principles is indefatigable. Moral principles hamper the Progressive view of themselves, which is that they are self-endowed with overweening “morals” which supersede the old morality. The replacement of “old moral principles” with new ones which are dictated by the Progressive results in the new moral principle of “tolerance”: tolerance of only those principles with which Progressives agree, and complete intolerance of disagreeable principles and those who hold them.

Tolerance of me, not of thee.

This is born out in universities which allow only Leftist speech and Leftist professors, and now the major institutions of government are found to be nearly completely populated with Leftists (who are free, and enabled, to persecute those deemed disagreeable). Disputing this is futile, considering the daily news reports.

Tolerance proves to be something other than a behavior, something other than an attitude. Tolerance in Progressive parlance means to do nothing, to ignore whatever onerous encroachments onto the culture which the Progressives seek at any particular time. To object (ie. Not ignore, to do something contrary to Progressive cant) is deemed a moral failure: intolerance, which is not to be tolerated, so is designated Hate, and where possible is codified into criminal law.

Intolerance of Contrary Opinion, With the Claim of Tolerance.
The issue of the slippery slope is borne out with
(a) no-fault divorce resulting in destruction to marriage with divorce now destroying half of marriages (that’s the synthesis), and the next antithesis being homosexual marriage;

(b) women’s right to kill their unborn progeny resulting in more than 50 million deaths (the synthesis) and unaccountable abattoirs focused on blacks, with the new antithesis being the push for the Right to kill defective newborns and young children;

(c) the sexual revolution resulted in the current fad of cohabitation until tired of it, with countless single mothers and fatherless children resulting and expected promiscuity in every TV show and movie;

(d) the unionization of education resulted in ever increasing illiteracy;

(e ) the unionization of government employees, resulting in Leftist policies of persecution by government agencies;

(f) the war on poverty resulted in more poverty and increased taxation of the productive as well as the re-enslavement of blacks onto the Progressive plantations of welfare entitlement.
The list goes on and on. Gays? AIDS. Responsibility for consequences? denial. Persecution of dissenters? punish whistleblowers who contribute to dissent by revealing Leftist activities.

The idea that there is no slippery slope with Progressivism is false.

It is demonstrable that Progressivism is destructive when the government becomes the messiah for the culture. Progressivism is infested with elitist messiahism and self-anointed messiahs. Progressives feed their egos by designating categories of victims for whom to provide salvation from their oppressors. Thus the existence of oppressors is absolutely required, so they are designated and vilified constantly and shrilly: oppression is intolerable, and the oppressors cannot be tolerated. And denial of the moral authority of the messiahs is also intolerable: messiahism is exactly the moral thrust of Progressivism. As discussed above, that which is designated intolerable is the moral crime of “hate”, which must be abolished from humanity by means of harshest punishment. So Hate Legislation ensues to harshen punishment of otherwise ordinary crimes, but against protected categories.

Continuums of Normal Behavior: A Moral Concept
The Kinsey Report, the Kinsey book, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” and its enthusiastic acceptance by progressives is a case-in-point. The metanarrative of Kinsey’s position is that there is a continuum of behavior, none of which should be accorded moral approbation. Hence, homosexuality is purely a behavior (not a disorder) and thus not subject to moral judgment.
”But the scientific data which are accumulating make it appear that, if circumstances had been propitious, most individuals might have become conditioned in any direction, even into activities which they now consider quite unacceptable. There is little evidence of the existence of such a thing as innate perversity, even among those individuals whose sexual activities society has been least inclined to accept.”
Kinsey,, ”Sexual Behavior in the Human Male”, Saunders and Co, pubs, 1948, pg 678.

Kinsey reported extensively on child sexuality, from anal contact to coitus to oral contact and orgasms. (Ibid, pp 157 – 192).

He proceeded to address the concern of “normal” vs. “abnormal”:

"Most of the complications which are observable in sexual histories are the result of society’s reactions when it obtains knowledge of an individual’s behavior, or the individual’s fear of how society would react if he were discovered. In various societies, under various circumstances, and (as we shall show later) even at various social levels of the population living in a particular town, the sex mores are fundamentally different. The way in which each group reacts to a particular sort of history determines the “normality ‘or “abnormality’ of the individual’s behavior – in that particular group (Benedict 1934). Whatever the moral interpretation (as in Moore 1943) , there is no scientific reason for considering particular types of sexual activity as intrinsically, in their biologic origins, normal or abnormal. Yet scientific classifications have been nearly identical with theologic classifications and with moral pronouncements of the English common law of the fifteenth century. This, in turn, as far as sex is concerned, was based on the medieval ecclesiastic law which was only a minor variant of the tenet of the ancient Greek and Roman cults, and of the Talmudic law (Angus 1925, May 1931)….”
The concept of amoral spectrums of behavior has permeated western society, at least the Progressive faction. This is coupled with the moral protection of the continuum or spectrum concept, which is now a moral feature, and to some extent protected by law, and enforced governmentally.

The question of how pedophilia fits into this environment is almost moot; with the ever-changing DSM, the ever present pressure against old standards, and the always present slippery slope, the hazard of social acceptance of pedophilia is possible. Not by present standards, of course, but due to the philosophy that “cultural acceptance” changes (note 1), and that morality is culturally deterministic. There is no possible way to predict that culture will never accept any given change, especially in an atmosphere where “change” itself is revered for its own sake.

The idea that mental disorders as presented in the DSM are fixed concepts or representative of reality is not the case. The DSM has just changed, yet again, to its fifth iteration. The author of the DSM IV is a heavy critic of the content of the new DSM V, and it is becoming clear that even the definitions of the term “disorder” are debatable. So under the American Psychiatric Association, mental disorders are relative to the opinions of certain influential people or groups, they are not fixed, objective principles of nature, or the universe, or biology, or even psychology. Again, relativism leads to continuums of arguably unproblematic symptoms.

Still, DSM IV TR retains the definition of DSM III and DSM III R, as follows:
In DSM IV, each of the mental disorders is conceptualized as a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or patter that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or disability (i.e., impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom. In addition, this syndrome or pattern must not be merely an expectable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event, for example the death of a loved one. Whatever it’s original cause, it must currently be considered a manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction of the individual. Neither deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual, as described above).
DSM IV TR, pg xxxi. (emphasis added).
Further, DSM IV TR defines paraphilias (pedophilia is a paraphilia) thus:
”A Paraphilia must be distinguished from nonpathological use of sexual fantasies, behaviors as a stimulus for sexual excitementin individuals without a paraphilia. Fantasies, behaviors, or objects are paraphilic only when they lead to clinically significant distress or impairment (e.g. are obligatory, result in sexual dysfunction, require participation of nonconsenting individuals, lead to legal complications, interfere with social relationships).
(emphasis in original)
For homosexuality, the issues of distress, impairment, legal complications, and social relationships have been eliminated as factors because they are now attributed to cultural stigmatization of that behavior. The idea of nonconsenting individuals concerns rape, which is a separate legal issue: that of consent and who can consent, and legally, who actually did or did not consent when they could have. (Note 2)

For Pedophilia, the same issues and eliminations can logically apply.

In fact, the DSM IV TR definition of pedophilia disorder (actually a paraphilia) is not predicated solely on the possession of a certain set of mental proclivities or attitudes, it is predicated on the consequences of those proclivities or attitudes:
(a) possession of sexual urges or feelings regarding children;
(b) acting on those feelings.
Both (a) and (b) must be in place in order for the diagnosis of pedophilia to be made. Thus, just feelings or urges alone do not qualify for the diagnosis of pedophilia; action is required. It is the action which is a moral consideration under the current culture (which will be discussed below). And it was denied in the original definition, above, that deviant sexual behavior is a reason for diagnosing a disorder. So the diagnosis of Pedophilia is somewhat of an incoherent statement, contradicting the very definition of disorder.

It has been suggested by a reader that a disorder is defined as follows:
1. Harm to others or self
2. Personal distress
3. Inability to fulfill necessary obligations, (viz, employment, parenthood).
4. In violation of cultural norms (which is flexible and changes over time).

None of these conditions suggests the possession of a pathological mental attitude or urge, including the propensity toward behaviors which are culturally repugnant. All of these conditions are specifying only the consequences, personal or social. And even the personal consequences can be explained in terms of social approbation. So there is still no deviancy seen in pedophilia, except in the social context.

However, if we accept that the definition of disorder is actually those four consequences of a behavior, rather than the possession of the psychological need to behave a certain way, then there are few, if any behaviors which are not acceptable… unless specific circumstances stack against a certain specific individual. For example, there is no way to predict that loving sex with a child will always produce problems for the child later in life. There is no way to predict that every and all parents will have problems with the fact of their child having loving sex. There is no way to predict that all pedophiles have problematic lives due to their proclivity for sex with children. So there is no disorder to be predicted with pedophilia, except the cultural revulsion, which can be destigmatized just as was homosexuality (Note 1), which still engenders revulsion in most of the population.

This concept was brought to fruition in 1998 when the American Psychological Association published a peer-reviewed study by Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch and Robert Bauserman, which was a metastudy of 59 other studies. Now known as the Rind Study, it concluded that the activities traditionally called child sexual abuse, or CSA, were not only not necessarily harmful to children, but also were not necessarily associated with long term psychological harm in adulthood. The abstract is here:
”Many lay persons and professionals believe that child sexual abuse (CSA) causes intense harm, regardless of gender, pervasively in the general population. The authors examined this belief by reviewing 59 studies based on college samples. Meta-analyses revealed that students with CSA were, on average, slightly less well adjusted than controls. However, this poorer adjustment could not be attributed to CSA because family environment (FE) was consistently confounded with CSA, FE explained considerably more adjustment variance than CSA, and CSA-adjustment relations generally became nonsignificant when studies controlled for FE. Self-reported reactions to and effects from CSA indicated that negative effects were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women. The college data were completely consistent with data from national samples. Basic beliefs about CSA in the general population were not supported.”
After an organization called NARTH discovered and revealed the study to a wider audience, conservatives took note and objected, resulting in an unprecedented condemnation of the article by both chambers of Congress, which had never before condemned a scientific finding.

The findings were referred to the AAAS:
”On July 12, 1999, our meta-analysis on child sexual abuse published in Psychological Bulletin, one of the American Psychological Association's (APA) premiere journals, was condemned by the U.S. Congress (H. Con. Res. 107). The condemnation followed months of attacks on the article, the APA, and us by various social conservatives and psychoanalytically-oriented clinicians. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was asked by the APA to independently review our article. After considering criticisms of it and the article itself, AAAS declined, but commented that it was the criticisms, not our methods or analyses, that troubled them because these criticisms misrepresented what we wrote.”

In 2005, a subsequent study by Heather Ulrich confirmed the findings of the Rind Study:
”Research conducted during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s consistently reported widely accepted negative outcomes associated with child sexual abuse. In 1998 Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman conducted a meta-analysis challenging the four most often reported correlates of child sexual abuse. The present study attempted to reexamine the four main objectives of the Rind et al. (1998) study, correcting for methodological and statistical problems identified by Dallam et al. (2001) and Ondersma et al. (2001). The current meta-analysis supported the findings by Rind et al. (1998) in that child sexual abuse was found to account for 1% of the variance in later psychological outcomes, whereas family environment accounted for 5.9% of the variance. In addition, the current meta-analysis supported the finding that there was a gender difference in the experience of the child sexual abuse, such that females reported more negative immediate effects, current feelings, and self-reported effects. The implications of these findings, problems with replicating the Rind et al. (1998) meta-analysis, and future directions are discussed.”

Further observation:
”In addition to their perceived potential misuse by individuals with certain personal or ideological agendas (e.g., individuals with favorable attitudes toward pedophilia), one likely reason that Rind et al.’s findings were roundly denounced is that they directly contradicted many individuals’ intuitions and convictions. The Rind et al. affair demonstrates that when social science research and common sense clash in the court of public opinion, common sense is often the winner (see Shermer, 1997, for other examples). Dr. Laura’s remark that any scientific findings that conflict with common sense should typically be regarded as erroneous strikes a responsive chord with much of the general public. Nevertheless, it reflects a deep—although widely held—misunderstanding of the nature of the scientific enterprise.

Karl Popper (1965) and many others (e.g., Meehl, 1978; Platt, 1964) have pointed out that science involves placing favored hypotheses in grave danger of refutation. The more cherished a claim, the more deeply ingrained it is in a belief system, the more crucial subjecting it to the risk of falsification becomes. As Carl Sagan (1995) pointed out, one must be especially cautious about accepting claims that accord with strongly held beliefs, as such claims are often found to be subjectively compelling or even intuitively obvious (see also Rind, Bauserman, & Tromovitch, 2000). The scientific method remains the optimal means of rooting out error and myth (Bartley, 1984; Popper, 1965), and this method grinds to a halt if the process of self-correction that is so essential to science is short-circuited. If Richard Feynman (1985, p. 311) was correct that the essence of science is bending over backward to prove oneself wrong, then scientists must be encouraged to report findings anddraw conclusions that run counter to common sense. It is also probably worth recalling Voltaire’s (1764/1972) admonition that common sense (which, in contrast to my usage here, Voltaire conceptualized as scientific/logical reasoning) is not especially common.”
The purely rational conclusion, scientifically supported and without moral input, would be that in loving family environments the natural sexual urges of children could be fulfilled without harm to the child, even later in adulthood. Without harm, the practice is acceptable. One might argue that intellectual, social, and hunger appetites are willingly fulfilled by loving adults in the child’s life; how does that differ from sexual appetites and development? I’m certain that if I can conceive of this train of thought then the pedophile community can also dredge it up.

The Issue Of Consent
If child sexual activity can be harmless and supported in certain environments, then the remaining objection is functional: the child cannot consent. Yet parents consent all the time to various commitments for the child, commitments which the child might even hate, like attending school or eating vegetables or doctor appointments and vaccinations or not playing video games. And the parents can commit the child to pleasurable activities like going to parties, soccer teams, summer camp, etc. When pedophilia is mainstreamed, the issue of consent becomes moot. Parents these days are told to accept their child’s homosexuality as normal; should they not be told to accept their child’s budding sexuality as normal?

Any further objections are moral in nature, and concern the “ick” factor which is roundly rejected as a valid response to any behaviors on the continuum, especially homosexuality, transgenders, fetishists, etc., who recently have been mainstreamed. Morality is no longer accepted; the continuum of acceptable is amoral, and moral proclamations regarding behaviors on the continuum is now designated to be Hate thought. So the “ick” factor and any moral concerns are dismissed, a priori, as valid objections regarding behaviors along the continuum of behaviors.

The Over-Arching Principles of Tolerance And Change
The dedicated pursuit of cultural and political amorality to which Progressives adhere is unconstrained, morally, except for self-defensive principles such as “tolerance” and “change”. Tolerance becomes the anti-moral principle, declaring all behaviors to be acceptable. Change becomes the Great Commandment for the messiah class: all society which is not Progressive (or is the stupid herd) is evil and must be changed. Constraint and personal restraint in the moral sense, including personal responsibility for consequences, are intolerant demands on the pursuit of Change. It can be seen that messianic failures never constrain future messianic assaults on cultural norms; personal responsibility is never taken by the messianic class. (Note 3)

The demolition of morals and “good character” has consequences which can be foreseen, especially given the history of Hegelian Progressivism and its anti-moral assaults on culture. Those consequences include the acceptance of almost any behavior (logically, the absolute acceptance of all behaviors), and the denial of responsibility for consequences of their own beliefs and behaviors. As with government spending, failure (economically or socially) means only that more is needed. More Progressivism is always the answer, regardless.


Note 1: The homosexual war for cultural acceptance is outlined in the book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the90's (Plume) by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen (Sep 1, 1990).

Note 2: For some Progressives such as Whoopi Goldberg, sex with children who consent is not “rape rape”, and punishment is unfair and unjust.

Note 3: Thos. Sowell, “The Vision Of The Anointed; Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy”; 1995; Basic Books/Perseus Book Groups.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Ignominy of Hitchens’ “Razor” Failure

Christopher Hitchens’ made the following assertion:
”That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence”
This has been referenced to his book, “God Is Not Great”, although I have not found it there in my quick re-perusal of my underlinings throughout. Hitchens' book is a study in bias generation and prejudicial selection of anecdotes in order to form an ideological argument. In that book, Hitchens cherrypicks selections which he adjudges evil under his own moral standard of evil, and he selects quotes which are colored toward his own Atheist hatred of religion.

An example is his selection of quotes from Einstein which would leave the uneducated reader to think that Einstein was a rabid Atheist: he was not, he was a deist after being introduced to the universal red shift by astronomer Hubble. The same cynical manipulations are done for Jefferson and others, and he specifically manipulates the concept of totalitarianism into the idea that it is theist in nature despite the secular Atheism that inheres to Marxism and to its bloody social experiments in China, the USSR, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Cuba, etc. He purposefully conflates “dogmatic” with “religious” in order to define totalitarianism with theism. The Atheist dogmatic pursuit of total control becomes the religious pursuit of total control (falsely biasing the reader to consider theism to be the issue and ignoring the actual Atheist roots).

Examples of statements made in “GING” by Hitchens:
Regarding historical Atheists: ”We cannot know the names of all these men and women because they have in all times and all places been subject to ruthless suppression.” p254
He cannot possibly support that statement: it is emotionally based.
”It was never that difficult to see that religion was a cause of hatred and conflict, and that its maintenance depended upon ignorance and superstition.” p255
This is stated as a universal, without any corresponding support.
”The study of literature and poetry, both for its own sake and for the eternal ethical questions with which it deals , can now easily depose the scrutiny of sacred texts which have been found to be corrupt and confected.” p283
This is false, on its face. Literature does not produce moral positioning, nor does poetry. That is not their purpose. Further, the validity of certain texts has continued to be validated more and more by archaeological findings; in fact, many archaeologists use those texts in their investigations.
”If I cannot definitively prove that the usefulness of religion is in the past, and that its foundational books are transparent fables, and that it is a man-made imposition, and that it has been an enemy of science and inquiry, and that it has subsisted on lies and fears, and been the accomplice of ignorance of guilt as well as slavery, genocide, racism and tyranny, I can most certainly claim that religion is now fully aware of these criticisms” p229
Evidence? Here Hitchens admits that he actually has none. He admits that what he actually has is criticisms without evidence. In fact, his criticisms are prejudicially intended, and purposefully inflammatory all while admittedly being without proof. And he salts all this with the next:

”It [religion] is also fully aware of the ever-mounting evidence, concerning the origins of the cosmos and the origin of the species, which consign it to marginality if not irrelevance.”

Hitchens has completely misrepresented the existence of impending knowledge of the origins of both the cosmos and the species. Neither is claimed to be addressed by science. Neither the cause of the Big Bang nor the cause of first life can be addressed by empirical science. So if he means empirical evidence of the originating source for either the universe or life, then he is making a false statement. And if he doesn’t mean that, then his implication is still false. So in fact, Hitchens has again violated the Hitchens Razor, and in fact has made false claims.

Hitchens is still without any evidence which is pertinent to the fundamental theist arguments and evidence; he has produced no evidence, just accusations and those cherrypicked for effect.

I point this out about Hitchens claims and intellectual methodology in order to give a flavor for his type of intellectual processing and integrity. Hitchens does not hesitate to give just one side as Truth, to assert opinion with the aura of fact, to assert non sequiturs freely, and to use non-coherent assertions as if they are rules. In fact, the assertion which he made above is now called a rule of logic by Atheists (not logicians), and is called Hitchens’ Razor, after Ockham’s Razor.

It should be noted that Ockham’s Razor is not a rule of logic either, and was roundly defeated by Einstein, who said that “everything should be made as simple as reasonable, but no simpler” when his use of Brownian motion to demonstrate the actual existence of atoms disproved a published theory of Bohr which depended on theoretical oversimplification.

What, Exactly Is Hitchens’ Razor?

With that background, then what of this assertion which is called Hitchens’ Razor? Is it an irrefutable logic statement? Is it a universal? A meta-universal? What exactly is it?

The statement is more completely expressed thus:

IF [evidence is required in order to consider an assertion], THEN [ I assert that “that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”].

The premise shown here is presumed and is an opinion, not a valid premise for a truth statement. Hitchens makes his assertion with no premises given.

So the statement is merely an assertion without premises, a conclusion which is declared as Truth, yet is without evidence of its own Truth value. It is presented as universal, and it is taken that way by Atheists who intend to deny any responsibility for giving rational reasons for their rejection of theist evidence (either disciplined deduction, or material empirical evidence). Yet it is possible to conceive of exceptions to the Razor, so it is not a incontroverible rule of either logic or universal epistemology.

The Demonstration of Non-Coherence:

A statement which self-refutes is paradoxical, i.e. non-coherent. Hitchens’ statement not only cannot prove itself, nor is there any evidence of its universal truth, it has the unfortunate characteristic of providing the means for its own dismissal: If the statement is true, then it is dismissable as without value. If it is dismissed without value, then how can it be true and valuable? It cannot. Paradox and non-coherence render a concept to be non-logical and irrational, and that is the fate of Hitchens’ Razor.

Consequences For Atheists Who Attempt to Use Hitchens’ Concept:

Hitchens’ comment regarding dismissing without evidence backfires directly into the faces of Atheists who try to use it in defense of their denial of intellectual responsibility for their rejection of actual theist evidence, both material and non-material.

The Atheist denial of the intellectual burden to rationally defend their rejection is never accompanied with any evidence in its support of the denial, just as their rejection itself is never accompanied with any evidence.

Because Atheists have no evidence to support the position that there is no god, that position also is dismissable under Hitchens’ decree. In fact, any and all Atheist positions are dismissible under Hitchens’ Razor – see Hitchens’ very own admission of lacking proof for his accusations, above. Thus, his accusations may be dismissed without evidence, in fact without any reasoning at all, under Hitchens’ Razor.

If Hitchens’ unsupported (non-coherent) statement is declared valid, THEN all Atheist positions can be dismissed immediately, because:
(a) Atheists cannot produce any evidence whatsoever that basic theist positions are incorrect;

(b) Atheists cannot produce evidence which proves that they can rationally deny the validity of an argument without showing why the argument is not valid (denial of Burden of Rebuttal);

(c) Atheists cannot produce evidence which proves that there is no creating agent for the universe;

(d) Atheists cannot produce evidence which proves that there cannot exist a creating agent for the universe.

(e) Atheists cannot support with evidence the claim that there is no evidence for theism.
Atheists can make exactly no truth statements and can produce no evidentiary findings regarding either theist deductions of the existence of a creating agent, or theist claims of material evidence (e.g. the miracle at Lourdes, France).

Intellectual Emptiness: Rational Death Blow To Atheism:

Any assertions made by Atheists, then, are made without evidence, and can be dismissed… WITH evidence, evidence presented for theism, which Atheists cannot disprove or refute. (note 1) When Atheists attempt to use Hitchens’ Razor to defend their avoidance of giving reasons for rejecting theist evidence, they have to ignore the fact that evidence has been given to them, and that Hitchens’ Razor – aside from its non-coherence and self-refutation – cannot possibly apply. The attempt is futile. And to insist upon it is intellectually dishonest.

This is far more damaging to Atheism than trying to apply Hitchens’ non-coherent demurral of intellectual responsibility to empty rejections of theist evidence. An Atheist rejection without evidence is a rejection without reason or reasoning: intellectually empty.

It is possible that Atheists might insist that it is unreasonable to demand such evidence from them (that is false, of course, but let’s go with that claim to its conclusion and consequence). What the Atheists are then claiming is that they can declare a truth value (the theist claim is without merit) without any evidence to support that truth claim.

But under the Hitchens Claim, since they have no evidence – regardless of any adjectives considering the reasonability or any other modifier of the term – then their claims are dismissible out of hand (without evidence).

No matter how they logic-chop it, they wind up with completely dismissible claims (especially claims of dismissibility).

Hitchens was a virulent Atheist; his comment was expressly intended to address the Burden of Rebuttal problem which Atheists have: dismissal of arguments and evidence without giving any reason because there is no reasoning attached to the dismissal process. But the entire concept fails, because there actually is evidence, and it either can be refuted with contrary evidence (logical or material), or it cannot be refuted.

Hitchens and his Razor wish to deny the existence of that evidence, and dismiss theism without even addressing the evidence which is given to them with either rational deductive argumentation, or material, empirical evidence as disproof.

Because they cannot. They have no rational arguments to offer, and no material empirical evidence to present, either proof of Atheism or disproof of theism. They are without evidence. Atheism is empty. Atheism is just a VOID, entered via emotional rejection without either evidence or argument in support. And that is what Hitchens was trying to protect, even if it took a non-coherent assertion to do it. He and his Razor attempt to justify rejection-without-cause, which is a purely emotional response to evidence which Atheism cannot refute.

Being without rational arguments or material, empirical evidence on their side, Atheism is seen to be a purely emotional decision which results in claiming both reason and science when it actually has none to offer in its support. This is non-coherent and irrational.

For these reasons, the emotional basis and the irrationality of Atheism, there is little chance of encountering a rational conversation with an Atheist. This is demonstrated frequently here on this blog.

Note 1:
The follow-on claim by Atheists is that it is absurd to require the proof of a negative. This claim is easily falsified by demonstrating that if the claims are false, material claims can be empirically falsified by material, empirical techniques, and logical claims can be falsified by submitting them to the rules of disciplined deductive logic, including form analysis, premise analysis, Reductio Ad Absurdum, and testing against First Principles. Regarding the deductive arguments made in this blog, and the claim of the Miracle at Lourdes, no Atheist to date has made any of the required analytical assessments; all have merely complained about them, and offered excuses such as the Hitchens Failure shown above.