Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Reply To IM Skeptical

I M Skeptical Analyzes Logic and Stan; Stan Replies.

I M Skeptical has been harassing people with his feigned superior knowledge of science and evolution. He has descended into calling dissenters names, such as “deniers” (to associate falsely with holocaust deniers) and “anti-science” (as if evolution were actual science and the golden standard for all science).

He has spent a few moments at this site, here, and has provided an analysis of what he has found. For a view of the full analysis, go to his site. I reply here because it is too long for a comment box. I will start with his take on the source of intuition:

I M Skeptical:
“The materialist recognizes that logical intuition is acquired empirically and inductively through observation of the world.”
Material “things” do not engage in observing the world. Material “things” do not invent anything, especially not non-material concepts such as empiricism and induction. Material things do not “intuit” anything. Intuition, the act, is not a material thing, so if IMF has it or exercises it, he is using a non-material “something” which he denies can exist. IMS has either completely missed the point or has purposefully created a Red Herring pointing at a Straw Man Fallacy in attempting to avoid the obvious. This crops up again, further down.

” The second thing I noticed is the kind of posts he has made recently, which are not about atheism, but are politically oriented, ultra-right-wing propaganda - the kind of thing you get from Breitbart or Drudge. There is also a smattering of anti-science posts.”
Yes, by illuminating the foibles and crimes of the AtheoLeft, which are strikingly unavailable by accessing the AtheoLeftist MSM of course, that would be called propaganda by an AtheoLeftist. Not surprising nor unexpected. And by commenting on bad science, failed science, and even immoral science, the AtheoLeftist would consider that to be anti-science – especially in light of the frontal attack being made on his precious “science” of evolution. Also not surprising or unexpected. What is omitted is the reference to valid, real science which also is documented. This is a prejudicial omission by IMS.

”So right away, I know a few things about Stan. He's a theist who lays claim to logic and reason. He's an ex-atheist (see my discussion of ex-atheists), who seems to believe that atheists don't value truth and logic, nor do they use logic in their rejection of theism. He is outspoken about his far-right politics, and he is generally skeptical of science. I also know from my brief interaction with him that he is hostile toward me, and apparently toward atheists in general. He is a militant theist.”
Let’s get this right, now, up front. First, I can prove that many if not all Atheists don’t actually value either truth or logic, and have been doing so for a long time. They reject by demanding evidence and logic, and when it is given, they merely assert radical denialism (a form of radical skepticism). When evidence and logic is demanded of them for support of their own principle-free worldview – Atheism – they never, ever, EVER give either empirical scientific evidence or disciplined deductive logic which supports their Atheism (or evolution).

Two things about skepticism as a trait: the afflicted skeptic is never skeptical of his own skepticism; the afflicted skeptic never produces any knowledge on his own because skepticism is merely rejection.

”Evolution Denial

I came to this site to see what Stan has to say about evolution. His site lists a number of links to older posts under the topics of Evolution, Principles of Atheism, and Rational Principles. So I looked at the evolution section. This is supposed to be some kind of educational forum, not for the purpose of teaching about evolution theory, but to debunk it. It says up front "There is absolutely no, NO, creationism involved whatsoever", but it reads like a compendium of creationist literature, casting doubt on evolution science, and including the standard talking points you might find on any other creationist site.”

Note that the use of the terms, “creationist” and “creationism”, are pejoratives. So the prejudicial and false charge of creationism without any evidence of creationism is a cynical attempt to deflect attention from the obvious falseness of evolution onto the presumption of falseness of an unstated contrary. But it is not necessary to state any contrary hypothesis in order to analyze the Truth statements made by evolutionists. And in fact IMS presents no contrary hypothesis of creationism or otherwise. The use of “denialism” and “creationism” as pejoratives is merely a desperation move to deflect attention from the issues which are presented and analyzed. Further, the cry of “denialism” and “creationism” is merely attempted virtue signaling to other True Believers, and rings entirely hollow logically because it is free of content.

This is merely a weak attempt to assert the fallacy, Guilt By [False] Association Fallacy, which is the inverted form of the Appeal to Authority Fallacy. This does not in any way relate to the truth value of the issues raised, nor does it even relate to ANY actual issues. There is no reference in those articles to anything other than the series of logical and evidentiary fallacies upon which evolution depends, and which fallacies rationally defeat the both the underlying premises and inferential conclusions of evolutionary theory. His statement above is false, and contains nothing of substance. Note further that never does he address any of the actual issues raised in the articles; he merely dismisses with pejoratives.

”I'm not going to summarize all this science denialism here. The interested reader can find all the links to these pages on the right side of the blog's main page. But I do take note of the fact that he asserts a purposeful agent as creator of the "information content" in living things:
‘The length of a DNA molecule is far too long to have been correctly assembled by non-purposeful, random forces. Further, it cannot be said to be deterministic because it cannot be deduced to have happened from minerals and their properties. The purpose of the code, the agents, and the code carrier (DNA, RNA, protiens, etc) is purposeful for life, i.e. it is teleological.’ - Stan
This is in direct contradiction to his claim that there is no creationism in this spiel on evolution. ”

Teleology is creationism? Try this:
Oxford Dictionary:

[ˌtelēˈäləjē, ˌtēlēˈäːləjē]
1. philosophy
the explanation of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes.

In other words, evolution theory itself claims that selection performs a teleological function by selecting for the purpose of better fit to changing environments, or for increased emergent complexity for better competition. But can selection actually be teleological? Can emergent complexity actually occur? Those questions are unanswerable, because there is no possibility of observation which satisfies the principles of actual empirical knowledge.

So. Is that all there is to how it is debunked, by the two fallacies, Guilt By Association, and inverted Appeal to Authority Fallacies, and the pejorative-throwing? How then does science debunk teleology? What exact studies will he reference, what data sets will he produce for us which determine that the increase in complexity is not teleological (the claim that it actually can be determined by observation, which he has asserted above). It is actually easy to show that the material universe is controlled by entropy; that complexity decreases rather than increases, decays rather than becoming new information. There is no principle of physics which can be shown to support the “emergence” theories because determinism (prior cause for current effect) rules the materialist, empirical domain, and entropic cause is greater than effect. It is up to the Materialist to show otherwise, because emergence is a Materialist fantasy in a deterministic philosophy. The ruling against teleology is not supported by any science whatsoever; it is an ideological tenet of Atheism and not the voluntary functional materialism of falsifiable empiricism.

”The purposeful creation of genetic codes implies an intelligent creator. Clearly, Stan is a creationist as well as a science denier, and he can't avoid having his creationism spill into this discussion that claims to be free of creationism, on a site that claims to be free of theism.
Even Atheist scientists have posited intelligent creators in the form of aliens who released spoors into the universe: Crick (one of the discoverers of the form of DNA.) and Orgel for example promote Directed panspermia, with intelligent creators of life.
So much for Stan's intellectual honesty.
Nice try. You have provided nothing so far but a smear attempt by using the Fallacy of False Association, which is not supported by anything, neither refutation by logic nor refutation with evidence to the contrary of anything in any of the articles. Nothing whatsoever of any substance. Completely substance-free. Well, there are the pejoratives, so there is that.

”Toward the end of this three-part spiel on evolution, he makes his position clear:
‘What evolution has in its favor is just this: it is a material theory. However flawed, it is necessary to the ideology expressed by Lewontin, above: Materialist Atheism must have a materialist theory of origins. Since materialism is absolutely required when the existence of an intelligent input is denied and locked out of any intellectual debate, then no amount of deterministic impossibility will deter or derail the Materialist true believer from accepting the “possibilities of evolution” from minerals to mind. That makes evolution a religion: blind belief in the face of the failure of any supporting facts. Unlike the voluntary materialistic sciences, such as physics and, yes, modern biology, the imposition of involuntary materialism onto the investigation of the source of life does not meet with useful results in terms of knowledge. In fact, the imposition of involuntary materialism onto the investigation into the source of life results in the equivalent of faerie tales, where “scientists” see what is not there, and refer to it as plausible fact, even “Truth”. That amounts to fraud, and is not science. - Stan”

From this, exactly what scientific rebuttal is given? Here it is:

Clearly, Stan is an avid science denialist (see my discussion on the religion of science denial). I don't expect to see much in the way of objective analysis from Stan. In our conversation at CADRE, I showed him a collection of evidence for evolution, and he simply dismissed it out of hand, probably without reading any of it. This is a guy who isn't interested in understanding real science.”
I read his "real science" - which he wants us to believe is actual ”evidence” - sufficiently to know that there is not a single hard fact contained therein. There is no data, no replication, no falsification attempt. It is all inference, speculation, and opinion, and this he – and they – call science. What sort of “science” produces no hard facts, ever, at all? What sort of science is not falsifiable? What sort of “science” engenders belief systems which attack dissenters as “deniers” to falsely associate them with nefarious holocaust denialism? Only pursuits which are not actually empirical in any sense do that. Only pursuits which cannot produce predictions and consequences do that. And those engender “true believers” which become bullies in the pursuit of protecting their religious beliefs.

Real Science is found in the examples of physics, as I presented at Cadre, and which I present here again:
” I prefer to discuss your empirical evidence here, on this blog. So, present it. To help you decide which of your evidence is empirical in nature, here is the definition:

"Full Definition of empirical

1 : originating in or based on observation or experience

2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory

3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment

4 : of or relating to empiricism

em•pir•i•cal•ly play \-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb "

This is exactly the type of evidence which Atheists demand for proof of the existence of a deity. In order to support their own unprovable ideology: "there is no deity", they assert the demand for empirical evidence, as the golden standard for knowledge. This is the process of materialist science: to be universally observable, or reproducible and falsifiable experimentally and openly to their satisfaction.

But when it comes to evolution, they change the rules to the opposite end of the spectrum. For evolution, there is no need for observation of evolution as it occurs, and there is no need for any ability to produce demonstrable experimental evidence which is falsifiable. It is undeniable Truth without all that folderol.

Why should that be the case? It is because evolution is a non-empirical belief system which supports Atheism. (necessary but certainly not sufficient) It is the Atheist creation story, and it is inviolable for that reason. That’s why it is held to be dogmatic Truth.

But the only reason that it supports Atheism is that it asserts Atheism as a fundamental premise: only material hypotheses are allowed for evolution, no matter how wildly improbable they are. So the logic failure of circularity is entrenched, embedded in this logic:
P1: Evolution is defined to be material-only (Atheist);
C: Therefore its unprovable hypothetical conjectures support Atheism.
However, there are no empirical scientific laws which can be used to predict the emergence of life from minerals (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, chlorine, etc.). So there is no possible empirical hypothesis which can predict life in a non-living universe, much less the “emergence” of increasing complexity and the increasing information requirement of life vs. time.

Further, the Copenhagen understanding of the principles of Quantum Theory have led some quantum scientists to conclude that material existence is wholly dependent upon pre-existing consciousness:
“Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
Erwin Schrödinger

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
Max Planck

“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
Max Planck"
Clearly under quantum theory, the materialist restriction such as applied by evolution is false. Further, the existence of non-material consciousness (and agency, intellect, free will) are not just diametrically oppositional to deterministic materialism; the existence of consciousness et. al. is direct empirical falsification of evolution and its deterministic, materialistic basis.

To know these things and yet to claim that evolution is valid knowledge is irrational. It is an ideology based on false premises regarding the character of reality as is understood in empirical science using today's standards. It is an ideology which persists in spite of the logical and scientific failures of its principles.”

Note that nowhere are any of these issues addressed by IMS. That is most likely because he cannot address them, even though he claims to have more knowledge of science than anyone else.

Hatred of Atheists

I wondered if his analysis of atheism was any more substantial than his analysis of evolution. Turning to the "Principles of Atheism", I could see immediately that his hostility overshadows any kind of rational discussion one might hope to find there. The very first principle of atheism states "Atheism is a VOID, intellectually and morally." The logical basis for this is that atheists supposedly have no grounding for logical beliefs or ethical beliefs, and so they are free to just make it up. There is no discussion of materialist accounts of logical or ethical grounding. There is no atheist's perspective offered as a point of comparison or rebuttal. Just this bald assertion of the "atheist VOID".

So where is the refutation? He doesn’t refute the claim that Atheists are free to make all of their own stuff up. IMS merely says that I should address the stuff which they do make up, which is an absurd deviation, but of course is what I'm doing here, and many other places on this blog. That is not a refutation, it is a validation: he can't refute it. I’m just saying the same things that Nietzsche and hosts of other Atheists have said, as they assert the “incredible freedom” acquired by the abject rejectionism of Atheism, and their newfound ability to make up all your own rules.

”The series on principles of atheism continues with more of the same. It is a lengthy diatribe about atheists' "AtheoLeftism", lack of coherency, bullying tactics, logical fallacies, narcissism, superior attitudes, hypocrisy, etc. Absent in all of this stream of invective is any kind of supporting factual information.”
The blog is devoted to exactly that. There is plenty of evidence being reported, if one cares to look. In fact, the entire post by IMS is void of any science or evidence, at least to this point. And his invective and bullying is found at the CADRE link. What shall we find further down? Remember, it is his position that he is the repository of scientific knowledge and the elite intellectual ability to call others “deniers”. So where is the science?

”The concept of the "atheist VOID" comes up again and again in Stan's discussion of atheists and their arguments, or as he prefers to call it, lack of arguments. An atheist can't make a reasonable, valid, or honest argument because he is intellectually and morally bankrupt. This attitude often comes across in his conversations with atheists. For example, here, in his response to the assertion that atheism is not a religion, Stan says:
‘Atheism is a statement concerning the existence of a creating deity; so it is a religious stance, and cannot be interpreted as anything but a religious stance. Moreover, since it cannot prove the validity of its own stance using either logic or empirical experimental data, it is a stance made in an intellectual vacuum, which falsifies the Atheist claim that it is logic and evidence based. Therefore it is blind belief, a religious stance.’”

So where is the rebuttal? Where is the counter argument which proves otherwise? Where is any evidence to the contrary? Where is the analysis? Where is the refuting data?

Flawed Logical Foundation

I looked to the section on Rational Principles in the hopes of discovering the basis for Stan's absurd view of atheist rationality, and soon found what I was looking for in his discussion of the first principles of rationality. Here, Stan lays out his concept of the logical and epistemological basis for rational thought, including the axioms of logic and other foundational aspects of knowledge. This discussion seems reasonable for the most part, and I'm not going to go into it in detail, except to point out a couple of places where he gets it wrong.

First error: the principles are not mine they are Aristotle’s. So if you can refute them, then you have defeated the Aristotelian logic which has been in use for nearly 2,500 years.

First, in the introduction he notes that axioms are known to us by intuition. Nothing controversial about that, but then he makes a leap of faith:
‘And so, science is based upon a set of unproven, and unprovable principles, that are known to be true only by intuition. Thus, if science is thought to be valid, then intuition is also assumed to be valid.’
‘Last, if intuition is valid, then transcendence exists – because intuition is transcendent.’ - Stan
Huh? What? Where did that come from? This is simply a theistic assumption, and it is only a foundational principle to people who who need logical justification for the postulation of some transcendent being as the source of intuitive knowledge.”

Absolutely false; it is a deduction which is grounded in first principles. You don’t address the logic, you merely resort to your favorite fallacies: Guilt by False Association and the inverse of Appeal to authority. Intuition, to repeat myself, does not exist in the purely material universe; it is an act which is not available to minerals and which cannot be described in any terms of the laws of physics. One cannot find intuition lying around any place. One cannot mine intuition or sell it as a commodity. It transcends the laws of physics. Does IMS show otherwise? No, he claims that it is an assumption which is not needed by materialists, and yet he has provided no evidence that the claim is false. A claim of falseness would require empirical hard data showing that intuition is the result of the laws of physics. He cannot do that.

”In a materialist view, no such justification is required. The materialist recognizes that logical intuition is acquired empirically and inductively through observation of the world. Just as a child gains an intuitive understanding of rudimentary physical principles by observing how things behave, he also gains an intuitive understanding of logical principles in the same way.”
Totally circular. Intuition exists because intuition exists.

How do rocks gain understanding of physical principles? They don’t, because they do not have the non-physical attributes of intuition, intellect, and non-deterministic free will which is necessary to sort good information from random or bad inputs. Rocks are wholly controlled by the laws of physics and are without choice in the matter. Intuition transcends the capabilities of rocks.

”He may not be able to express these principles in a formal way, but he has a feel for how things work, learned from his own experience. By the time he learns the formal expression of these principles, he has probably long since forgotten where his intuitions came from. It is understandable, therefore, that a theist might think they came from God. But the reality is that without the childhood experience of exploring one's world, there would be no such intuitions. And this is the first major flaw in Stan's formulation of the principles of rationality.”
Total non-comprehension of the actual issue: intuition is not material law of physics; it cannot be predicted as a material effect of any physics causal property, either singly or in combination. Intuition cannot be found lying around the yard; it cannot be mined; it cannot be purchased. It does NOT exist as a physical “thing”. It fully transcends physical existence.

By misdirecting the conversation onto something not said, IMS asserts a Red Herring Fallacy.

”Second, as he enumerates these first principles, he comes to item 4a: "No premise should be accepted without evidence", which he describes as the basis for Humean skepticism. Again, this is not controversial, but it is worded differently from all the rest. It is the only one that is not worded as a statement of fact. Instead, it contains the word 'should'. This turns out to be crucial for Stan's theistic worldview. First, he asserts that the word 'should' in 4a provides the logical basis for the grounding of ethics.
‘If Principle 4a, above, (No premise should be accepted without evidence) is valid, then ethical considerations can be intuited as First Principles. This is because Principle 4a expresses an “ought” imperative, which is an ethical statement, and which is considered to be valid for the foundation of Naturalism, and thus is considered to be a universal truth. It is intuited, and cannot be proven by itself, by empiricism, by Naturalism, or by Materialism.’ - Stan
This is bizarre. The principle of Humean skepticism could easily have been stated in a declarative form without using the word 'should'. The conclusion of a logical argument is correct if the premises are epistemically justified and the logic is valid.”

That’s not what Hume said and not what he asserted, is it? Hume actually asserted “should” because he also asserted that there is no rational reason to assume that an effect actually has a cause, other than correlation; therefore, although it is not a must, it is a behavior which “should” be chosen. If the correlation is adequate, then the cause/effect premise “should” be applied according to his ethic of logic. This is far different from what IMS asserts that Hume said and meant. So the statement by IMS above is false.

Aside from that, principle 4a has nothing to do with ethics, despite Stan's assertion that it does. It is a principle of epistemology, not ethics.
It is actually referring to the ethics underlying empiricism, as will be shown.

”A materialist understands that human ethics are derived from some combination of naturally evolved instinctive behavior and cultural or sociological influences.
False. The Materialist assumes that it is true without any empirical evidence to support that belief. He understands what he assumes: circular.

”Inserting the word 'should' into a statement of epistemological principles has no effect whatsoever on human ethics or ethical beliefs.”
The word, “should” is exactly the article which designates ethics. “One should do X, and one should not do Y”.

Further, Hume directly connected cause and effect to ethics:

From “The British Philosophy and the Age of Enlightenment”; Routledge History of Philosophy, Volume 5; A.J. Jacobsen; pg 161.
”Moreover, Hume uses his discussion of causation to propose a solution to the problem of freewill. In discussing freewill Hume gives us the first thorough articulation of a compatibilist position; that is a position which says we can both be causally determined and morally responsible.
It is a specific falsity to claim that Hume did not connect causation and morality. But IMS doesn’t appear to know anything about Hume. Instead IMS attempts to "correct" the wording by asserting a false notion, that of semantic falsity of a specific word. Because of that approach out of ignorance, IMS fails to understand that the statement is true, regardless of his opinion of the semantics. In fact, his attempt to prove a true notion false is one failure; his miscomprehension of the word “should” is a second.

Definition of “should”, HERE.

” It is merely a semantic trick - a leap of logic to say that this constitutes a basis for ethical grounding. So if Stan uses this as a basis for grounding his ethical beliefs, his ethics are grounded in a logical fallacy. And this is the next major flaw in Stan's thinking.”
Exactly which fallacy does IMS think has been asserted, given the definition of the term “should”, and the principles outlined by Hume connecting causality to moral ethics? Obviously no fallacy has been asserted, except by IMS.

”The other point that Stan raises about principle 4a is that it proves the incoherency of materialism.
Because the “ought imperative” of Principle 4a is the necessary and sufficient principle upon which Naturalism and Materialism are based, it is easily shown that the transcendent nature of the underlying foundation of these concepts produces a contradiction that violates the anti-transcendent worldviews themselves.

In other words, Naturalism and Materialism declare that intuition and other transcendences cannot exist, yet the basis for Naturalism and Materialism is itself necessarily intuitive and transcendent.

So Naturalism and Materialism deny their own foundational validity, and thus are paradoxical (violate the Principle of Non-Contradiction), and so are neither coherent nor valid’ - Stan

This is based, of course, on Stan's illogical conclusion that an intuitive understanding of logical foundations comes from some transcendent source. ”

In fact, as I already discussed, the materialist has perfectly valid reasons for believing that logic is grounded in physical reality, and our understanding of it is empirically derived.

And as already demonstrated, IMS misses the issue completely. The issue is not the grounding, nor is it empirical derivation. The issue is that the comprehension of the need for grounding in order for a statement to point to a true conclusion is a transcendental which does not exist in the material world which is described by physics. Not even close. There are no laws of physics which can predict intellect, comprehension, autonomy, agency and the body of knowledge based in logic and observation. They are transcendent outside of the purview of physics, and physical existence.

”The theist, on the other hand, resorts to logical fallacies in his attempts to support his belief that logic comes from God through intuition. It is the theist whose logic is ungrounded.
This false “proof” is dependent upon a false understanding of the issue of intuition. There is no premise made that asserts “logic comes from God”. The issue is that intuition, itself, transcends physics and physical existence, thereby making both Materialism and determinism blatantly false. So his analysis is completely trivialized by his misunderstanding to the actual issue.

The whole point is that physics and by extension, evolution, cannot explain much of reality. To deny that is an indication of religious Scientism, not actual science.

Further, since none of the above references anything other than the falseness of Materialism and Atheism, and does not promote theism as an alternative, this once again is a false characterization based solely on prejudice and without any evidence either for or against it. In other words, it is a triviality in the discussion.

Finally, since there is no theist position taken, then there is no theist logic which is ungrounded. IMS has betrayed his prejudice once again. And he doubles down:

”Stan has it backwards. It isn't the materialist whose position is incoherent - it is the theist. And this is yet another major flaw in Stan's thinking. It is more than ironic that he chooses to use this particular principle of epistemology as justification for his superstitious belief, for which there is no observable evidence.”
Here he merely attempts a misdirected Tu Quoque Fallacy. He has presented only consistently absurd arguments which do not even address the issues being placed before him.

”In Conclusion

Stan is a militant theist with a chip on his shoulder. His attitude toward atheists is hateful and contemptuous, and he suffers from the delusion that he is morally and intellectually superior.”

I only analyze the content of the Atheist/Materialist statements, and then respond in kind when attacked. The hubris of IMS is displayed in full blossom as he fails to provide any actual evidence or logic for his worldview: Atheism and evolution and whatever he decides is right as an Atheist moral authority. And according to him, counter attacking his relentless bullying is hateful.

So IMS resorts to the following analysis, while having provided only fallacies as arguments against the issues which he cannot defeat rationally or with material evidence. He presents absolutely no empirical material evidence for Materialism or Atheism and no disciplined deduction which points to the necessity and sufficiency of Atheism. In other words, he has nothing. But read on for his cutting analytical assessment:

”He fancies himself to be a paragon of rational thought, but his whole belief system is founded on demonstrably flawed logical thinking.”
By using actual logical procedures, one does reach superior conclusions. IMS has failed publicly and miserably in trying to reach this conclusion.

”Stan should get the chip off his shoulder. He should give due consideration to his opponents' arguments instead of dismissing them with a wave of his hand.

Here’s a thought: actually give an argument for analysis; a legitimate one which is couched in disciplined deductive logic, based in first principles, passes Reductio Ad Absurdum, and is neither circular being dependent upon the opinion of authority, nor is an open-ended infinite regression. Or present some scientific, empirical, non-opinion, experimental hypothesis non-falsification, with open data and procedures, peer reviewed and published – in other words, actual scientific contingent factoids. Otherwise there is nothing of actual content to analyze, save opinions.

IMS, you have been challenged time and again to provide those disciplined arguments and data; you have not done so. So your statement has no meaning, because an “absent statement” cannot be “considered” can it? Of course not. So your complaint is vacuous and without merit.

” He should also give due consideration to the flaws in his own arguments. Above all, he should take a sip from the cup of humility. ”
To offer such advice is non-coherent, considering the failure of your “analysis” to produce any actual fallacies other than your own. In fact, you have not addressed any of the failures of your own worldview, period. You have produced nothing of substance or consequence to support, much less “prove” Materialism and Atheism, yet you barge into blogs and tell those folks how stupid they are and how smart you are, and that they are “deniers” and other denigrations. BUT when actually challenged to back up your claims with actual scientific evidence and/or disciplined deductive arguments you produce this sort of serial fallacy-laden self-justification attempt. You merely prove over and over that you have nothing of value to support any of your claims. But rather than self-analysis, you double down with self-justification by fallacy.

But it can’t work for you, because you still have no empirical evidence or disciplined deductive logic, and you continually provide proof of that. You have nothing of value to support your position; you have only opinion. And that doesn’t pass Reductio.

And so it is “hateful and contemptuous” to take issue with your sort of fallacy-laden non-discussion of the issues of Materialism, Atheism and Evolution. It must certainly seem so. But the truth is where you find it, not where you make it up and demand that it be universally accepted as Truth when it is really just a series of fallacy-ridden opinions cobbled together.

No, it is not possible to have contempt for such arguments as do not actually exist. But I do have contempt for bullies who attempt to clothe themselves and their ignorance in false auras of knowledgeability and to wield that falseness as badges of superiority such as you have done. By labeling your bullying victims as “deniers” and “anti-science” you prove yourself both ignorant of actual principles of the discipline of science, and that you are filled with the self-important childishness of schoolyard bullies. I find bullying to be despicable. So my contempt is for you, specifically.


Steven Satak said...

Try to remember that this guy exists on the internet. Ten minutes of his empty posturing and folks would either elect him for public office or ignore him. Only the Internet permits him to maintain this Schrodinger-esque state of floating in mid-air, with no visible means of support (actual logic and evidence) while demanding that the rest of us are the problem. Only in the fantasy world of the internet can you state 'because I said so' and it has some impact on others.

But only on others in the internet. In the real world, this guy is a joke and a bad one at that.

Hugo Pelland said...

Steven, doesn't this apply to Stan too, or any of us commenting online?

JBsptfn said...

He has put his response to Stan on that Militant Theism Analyzed link, basically accusing him of being a science denier. This guy really seems to believe that there is good evidence for materialism (for some reason).

JBsptfn said...

On that CADRE link (it is where Stan wrote "Harassing People" at the beginning of this entry), I put a link from a website called True Origins in response to something he posted from Talk Origins (29 Evidences for Macroevolution).

Hugo Pelland said...

Yes he accused Stan of science denial. And Stan accuses Atheists, as a whole, of lying, or denying logic, truth and empiricism, etc... unfortunately.

Regarding Materialism, yes, it is actually more reasonable than Immaterialism I believe. There is good evidence for the position, and only poor support, based on faulty assumptions, on the side of immaterialism.

Steven Satak said...

@Hugo Pelland: I think you missed my point. I am going to assume it is because I didn't phrase it clearly enough, and not because the suggestion is antithetical to your own personal philosophy.

What I mean is 'this guys exists ONLY on the internet'. The internet is the home of the Atheist Echo Chamber. Only on the internet can you shut out dissenting opinions by spouting slander and insult, unsupported accusations and the like.

It doesn't require reason or accountability, logic or truth. It just IS, like a giant billboard. And like that billboard, folks who man the catwalk 24-7 and block anyone who disagrees from changing their small corner of the big billboard are going to have their say.

And these days folks are starting to treat the internet as though it were some kind of real place, without realizing how utterly devoid of anything beyond images and text it really is.

The Left, and atheists in general, love to claim that everything is relative, that a thing is so because they *said so*. Well, on the Internet, this is true. You don't need logic or reason or education or common sense on your side: all you need is 'because I said so'.

This is the ghostlike foundation on which IM Skeptical bases everything he or she says.

Stan, on the other hand, takes the time and effort to explain what is actually going on and why his opponent is, essentially, doing the internet equivalent of shouting, shaking his fist and flinging poop at anyone who disagrees.

I am embarrassed that I have to explain this to you. I think you already know it. I think some part of you knows that none of the atheist posturing would mean a thing outside the internet. Materialism might seem more 'reasonable' to you, but that is because you ignore the flat logical contradiction at its core. If you want to live in a fantasy world where two and two add up to anything you like, where a logical paradox is still a 'thing' rather than a self-cancelling non-entity (as it is in the real world), dozo.

But don't expect me to follow you.

JBsptfn said...

Hugo, Materialism is good in it's realm, but it's not good for understanding core questions of existence. Here are a bunch of writings by Joe Hinman on his Religious A Priori blog that touch on the inadequacy of materialism to explain existence:

The Religious A Priori: Materialism search

Hugo Pelland said...

Steven, that was already clear, yes. I agree with you on IMS, mostly. But I disagree regarding Stan, and materialism's core:

JB, what core questions of existence do I misunderstand then? I went through a few articles following that link, but saw nothing that explains why my core beliefs are wrong. It's the conclusions we disagree on.

For instance, we all believe there are immaterial minds alive today. We understand they have their own perception of the reality around them. We share those experiences of reality, and have abstract representations of such experiences.

What we disagree on is which comes first: the minds, or the objective reality minds experience. It's much simpler to assume the first, but it's more reliable to assume the latter. Our shared reality is an objective reality. It exists regardless of what minds think it is. On the other hand, the immaterialist says the minds exist first, because that feeling of existence is the first, and only, thing that anyone can really know.

And that makes sense, because knowledge starts from withing, from our own selves. We know we exist, nobody can deny that. But I don't believe that mind, mine or others', means anything without a body, which does exist as a thing in the material world. In theory, it's possible, but their existence needs to be proven... I have heard lots of versions from people who believe in these ideas being true; I don't believe them.

Phoenix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
im-skeptical said...

I thought I already posted this message here, but perhaps I was mistaken.

This post is much too long for me to respond to everything at once. What I propose to do is make a series of separate comments in response. And I propose to do that in my blog, for a couple of reasons. One is that I want my audience to see the discussion engendered by my original post. Another is that my blog is set up to allow replies to individual comments. So if you want to discuss an individual issue further, you can use the reply option to maintain a separate thread for each separate issue. Of course, others are welcome to participate, too. But just to try to preserve some order where there are many issues, I would like to keep each issue in its own thread.

All this assumes, of course that you are willing and able to discuss issues in a reasonable manner.

I have already begun with some responses. More to come.

im-skeptical said...

Steven Satak,

What I mean is 'this guys exists ONLY on the internet'. The internet is the home of the Atheist Echo Chamber. Only on the internet can you shut out dissenting opinions by spouting slander and insult, unsupported accusations and the like.

The internet is the home of many echo chambers. How does Stan deal with dissenting opinions? He shouts them down with name-calling, bullying, and lots of accusations of logical fallacies (regardless to what their argument is, or even whether they are trying to make an argument). His own arguments are loaded with appeals to authority and other fallacies. And if you tell him he's making an unsubstantiated claim, he responds by demanding a peer-reviewed study proving it's not true.

This guy is a real piece of work.

Phoenix said...

I was really looking forward to finally viewing some experimental data which has also been independently replicated. To my disappointment, I am just viewing more of the same.
Atheist: Evolution is true and no true scientist will deny its veracity.

Theist: That's a clever way of question begging coupled with a no true scotsman fallacy. Prove your assertion by providing either evidence from an observational or experimental study that has also been independently replicated.

Atheist: You're a denialist for being skeptical of evolution man. That's just plain evil and dumb.

Theist: Can you please stop with the ad hominem attacks and just provide the particulars.

Atheist: Hey, that's not very sciency man. And why is "Atheist" like in capital letters man? That's it I'm outta here.

Seriously though, I'm tired of getting my hopes up with these fools.

im-skeptical said...

Theist: Where's the experimental data?

Atheist: Read a book. There's tons of evidence to support evolution theory. Here's some to get you started.

Theist: Where's the experimental data?

Atheist: Where's the experimental data to support your "theory"?

Theist: Seriously though, I'm tired of getting my hopes up with these fools.

Stan said...

That's rich, IMS, you admit just above to both a Red Herring Fallacy AND a TU Quoque Fallacy, in one short demonstration. Good Job!

But really, when will you actually admit that your "evidence" claim is just for inference and opinion, not containing any empirical evidentiary value at all? That shows how bogus your claims are, and how you stick with them regardless of having been shown that they are bogus, multiples of times.

I gotta admit tho, the above admission is a classic. Thanks for the chuckle.

Stan said...

I'll respond to your rather lengthy comments when I get time. I've got farm issues, plus an article to write, before I get time though. I will get to you, I promise...

But now I gotta go.

Hugo Pelland said...

Thanks for the note Stan; no worries, as I always say, I don't have much time myself for this, so I have to skip quite a lot of interesting points of discussions in any case...


im-skeptical said...

I have finished commenting on your post. Here's an excerpt that kind of sums it up:

But here's the thing: this was supposed to be an argument about the incoherence of the materialist's position. So if that's what you want to argue, you should start from the materialist's position, not your own theistic position, and show how it is incoherent. You don't do that by simply asserting your own position and declaring that the materialist is wrong. As it is, your argument amounts to "Your position is incoherent because it doesn't agree with mine." And as the self-proclaimed paragon of logical thinking, you actually think you've proved something.

JBsptfn said...

This article from Bernardo Kastrup best describes these atheists:

Bernardo Kastrup: How Militant Atheists Stole Your Sense of Meaning to Enhance Theirs

im-skeptical said...


Yes, he went to visit.

Xellos said...


"you should start from the materialist's position, not your own theistic position"

That's funny. Because he did, and does.

"Stan: Where's the experimental data?

im-skeptical: You're a theist."


JBsptfn said...

On Im Skeptical's site in that Militant Theism Analyzed entry (link above), I posted the rebuttal to 29 evidences for Macroevolution, and this is what he said:

Quote"It's not surprising that you turn to the bubble of pseudo-scientific literature for lame attempts to explain away the evidence and the theory. When you live in the bubble, your view of the real world outside is distorted and limited. Try reading some literature by real evolutionary scientists for a different perspective."Quote

Typical. He hasn't even read what they are trying to say, and he dismisses it because it calls his precious evolution into question.

Hugo Pelland said...

JB, I don't like his response, which unnecessarily uses adjectives such as 'pseudo-scientific' or 'lame attempt', but you're also not making any point; posting a link means nothing. We can all find people who agree with us online... Plus, he is replying to similar accusations. Saying that evolution is anti-scientific, dogmatic, atheistic/materialist, and so on, is also outside the scope of any rational discussion.

im-skeptical said...

I just love it when I visit a site like this one where they feel free to say all kinds of things about people like me, many of them absolutely untrue, and then get all perturbed if I say something like "that's pseudo-science" or "you're a science denialist".

Hugo Pelland said...

Yep, you are right about that. I just think you "win" by not indulging in the same kind of arguments, if you see what I mean.

Whether we like it or not, Atheists are a minority and it's thus even more important, imho, to project an image of humility and an open-mind, instead of being unnecessarily combative or agressive, no matter how stupid a position appears to be. If an attack is directed personally at you, why not just ignore and stick to the point? The insult, and thus its author, are already shown in bad light, on their own.

Steven Satak said...

@IM Skeptical: you're on the internet, dude. You're a collection of self-contradictory rhetoric. I have real life attend to, and have said my piece. Don't you see how silly you look here? Addressing these words to you and Hugo is like bailing water from a swimming pool - sure, it's possible, but after a short time you begin to wonder - what's the point?

There isn't one. I'm not here for your amusement, and you're secure enough in your assumptions that mere words will never change you. Good luck with your rich fantasy life.

Phoenix said...


Theist: Where's the experimental data?

Atheist: Read a book. There's tons of evidence to support evolution theory. Here's some to get you started

O boy! IMS makes a claim then when pressed for evidence he's response is that the opposition should find the evidence FOR him. Talk about theatre of the absurd.

Phoenix said...

@ Hugo

How do you think your fellow Atheists are fairing thus far? Can you recommend anyone (other than yourself of course) that can have a civil and fact based discussion on the evidence for evolution or the lack thereof?

I should copy IMS' style of debate from now on. Just make any grandiose claim and leave it up to my opponent to find the evidence for my assertions. I'm so jealous that I didn't think of that before, would've saved me hours of searching through journals. Just imagine all the longboard surf sessions I could've enjoyed in the meantime.

Hugo Pelland said...

You write @Hugo but I don't get what this has to do with me.

You imply you know something about evolution that Atheists don't. Hence we should believe you're right regarding evolution, as a whole? What does that even mean?

Phoenix said...

You write @Hugo but I don't get what this has to do with me

I thought it's obvious, the impotence of Atheism is clearly visible here.

You imply you know something about evolution that Atheists don't. Hence we should believe you're right regarding evolution, as a whole? What does that even mean?

This is a stretch, even for you. I made no claims, explicitly nor implicitly, regarding evolution other than the claims of Atheists have no explanatory power.

Hugo Pelland said...

No, the impotence of Atheism is not visible here. You just disagree. And that was supposed to explain why you wrote @Hugo because...?

Ok, you make no claims. Moving on.

Xellos said...


"I made no claims, [...] other than the claims of Atheists have no explanatory power."

"Ok, you make no claims."

Reading&comprehension level: smug anime grill pics (you didn't even try).

Hugo Pelland said...

Xellos, it's weird you would read into that. That was genuinely just moving on, since he clarified I shouldn't see his comments as implying any claims regarding evolution.

John Rhue said...

Thanks for totally debunking this atheist scum. I'll have to read this post next week. Street preaching Saturday.