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post #101 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
I'm interested to note on this thread that nobody has even attempted to defend science on a philosophical level--in my experience, that's common in discussions of this kind.
I tried, but you ignored me. Let me try again. You say that the philosophy behind science is flawed because

A) the premise that "Knowledge be gained by the senses" cannot, itself, be proven by the senses
and
B) science is based on induction, which has proven flaws.

OK, so you define "knowledge" as "justified true belief". How do you define "justify" and "true", then? Because I feel like it is pretty self-evident that we can use our senses to gain justified, true beliefs about the world around us. In fact, since our senses are our only interface between our conscious selves and what has been termed "reality", I'd argue that sensual input is the only way to gain knowledge. So I don't understand how you can claim that your statement A is true.

As for statement B, it is a gross over-simplification of the facts. The scientific method includes a lot more than simple inductive reasoning. I would argue that it's based MORE on deductive reasoning than inductive reasoning. I grant it that our senses (and therefore empirical evidence) are not always 100% reliable on an individual basis, and that subjectivity is a problem. But the scientific method includes many elements designed to rigorously combat those issues (experiments/results must be objectively measurable and repeatable, hypotheses must change over time to accommodate new data, etc.).

So, yeah, there are some minor weaknesses in the scientific method due to the fallibility of humankind. But throwing up our hands and saying, "well, I guess that means we can never really know anything about anything" is not helpful. The scientific method is the best way we know how to objectively explore and describe the world around us. I honestly can't see how a parallel system of thought based on the premise that "the Bible is the root of all knowledge because the Bible says it is the root of all knowledge" is any more defensible. How do you defend the philosophy basis of "Christian science"? What objective evidence do you have for believing that the Bible is the word of God, other than that it claims to be? That line of reasoning is fine for faith, but it is a pretty shaky one upon which to build an entire system of "scientific" thought. I think I'll stick with trusting my senses, and those of trained professionals.
post #102 of 118
Quote:
OK, so you define "knowledge" as "justified true belief". How do you define "justify" and "true", then? Because I feel like it is pretty self-evident that we can use our senses to gain justified, true beliefs about the world around us. In fact, since our senses are our only interface between our conscious selves and what has been termed "reality", I'd argue that sensual input is the only way to gain knowledge. So I don't understand how you can claim that your statement A is true.
I define 'justified' as philosophically justified, rather than (as Gettier seemed to define it) apparently justified. So one can't claim a belief is justified just because you have a reason, any reason, to believe it; it must be able to be logically defended. For example, you say that it is 'pretty self-evident' we can use our senses to gain knowledge; but this is an appeal to commonsense, not philosophical justification. Philosophical justification must do more--it must be able to syllogise common sense. So, why logically do you believe we can obtain knowledge through the senses, and only through the senses? And on a related note, how do you explain the relationship between knowledge, which is immaterial, and sensual input, which is material? Can you prove that they are causally related; and if so, can you explain how the material can give rise to the immaterial?

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As for statement B, it is a gross over-simplification of the facts. The scientific method includes a lot more than simple inductive reasoning. I would argue that it's based MORE on deductive reasoning than inductive reasoning. I grant it that our senses (and therefore empirical evidence) are not always 100% reliable on an individual basis, and that subjectivity is a problem. But the scientific method includes many elements designed to rigorously combat those issues (experiments/results must be objectively measurable and repeatable, hypotheses must change over time to accommodate new data, etc.).
It is true that science also uses deduction, but The Scientific Method (TM) is by definition inductive, and relies on a formal logical fallacy--post hoc ergo propter hoc, 'after this, therefore because of this'. This is only one of the logical flaws of the method; again, I refer you to my husband's short series on the subject, which puts it rather concisely. The 'flaws' are not small--they are crippling. They are not minor weaknesses, they are gross philosophical errors!

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I honestly can't see how a parallel system of thought based on the premise that "the Bible is the root of all knowledge because the Bible says it is the root of all knowledge" is any more defensible. How do you defend the philosophy basis of "Christian science"? What objective evidence do you have for believing that the Bible is the word of God, other than that it claims to be?
'The Bible is the word of God' is the first principle of a Christian worldview. As such, like any first principle, it is self-attesting--its truth value cannot be determined by comparing it to any other principle, otherwise you would end up with infinite regression. That's the way first principles work. It can, however, be determined whether the first principle is a) internally consistent (ie not self-refuting), and b) complete enough to be able to form a cohesive metaphysic and epistemology. The scientific first principle fails the first test, as 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' is self-refuting (the knowledge 'knowledge is gained through the senses' is gained through reasoning, not through the senses). Further, it fails the second test, as 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' cannot provide a workable metaphysic or epistemology--it is simply not complete.

The Christian worldview, on the other hand, can defend much of the scientific method by its belief in a Creator. From the Bible and logic it can justify many of the assumptions held by secular science, such as 'the future will (generally) be like the past' (without which, one could not be sure that the laws of physics wouldn't suddenly go topsy-turvy) and 'senses are generally reliable'. This latter, which is foundational to science, but which secular science cannot defend except by circularity, can be accepted by Christians due to the doctrine of occasionalism, which also neatly avoids Hume's problem of induction. So in fact, the Christian scientist is in a far stronger position to trust science than the secular scientist.
post #103 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Have you read the Flood myths? They don't just say that 'floods happen'. The similarities are far too great and striking to be coincidental. The Creationist answer to your bolded passage is that all current races are descendants of Noah, so they would have taken the story with them as they spread across the globe.
For someone who likes to talk about logic so much, you sure do not demonstrate it often. By your reasoning, people really do get probed by aliens on a regular basis. And any reason that you are giving more weight to the similarities instead of the differences?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
In any case, see what you're saying. Similarities between genetic codes is not 'evidence'; it is 'data'. Slipping weasel words into the description such as 'development' and 'progression' merely indicate your commitment to the evolutionary worldview. Because of this worldview you interpret the genetic codes as sequential and developmental, thus creating 'evidence' (remember, data interpreted according to presuppositions). However, the genetic codes themselves are not 'evidence' of evolution or of anything. They are simply data. It's a little like saying 'Here's a pancake, a sponge cake and a gateau--they all have similar features, and if we line them up so we can see a clear progression, so we can theorise that pancakes evolved into sponge cakes, and sponge cakes evolved into gateaux'. (Slight mooshing of evolutionary theory there, but you get my point). Whereas of course, somebody else might look at the cakes and say 'They share common elements, they must have been made by the same baker'. Or whatever. The point is, the cakes themselves are not 'evidence'; they are 'data'. So be careful how you use terminology.
No, you are not understanding what the data/evidence is. (And I'm not sure where I'm slipping the "weasel words" 'development' and 'progression' into anything - it's like you're responding to a post that isn't here.) It's absolutely nothing like your "3 different cakes" analogy. If you understood the science behind it, you would know why that is totally ridiculous. You're giving me this lecture on terminology when you don't even know what I'm referring to when I say "DNA evidence". You're mixing up hypothesis and theory, also.
post #104 of 118
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For someone who likes to talk about logic so much, you sure do not demonstrate it often. By your reasoning, people really do get probed by aliens on a regular basis. And any reason that you are giving more weight to the similarities instead of the differences?
Obviously, because the similarities suggest the connection. And the fact that people give remarkably similar accounts of alien abduction certainly suggests a connection. Given that we now live in a mass media world it is possible that this connection is no more than access to similar media influences; then again, it could be more than that. It's not something I've studied in depth. But discounting multiple similar anecdotal accounts for no good reason is hardly a sign of logical thinking. Whatever the cause of alien abduction stories--actual alien abduction, mass hysteria, psychological illness--they should certainly be studied rather than ignored.

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No, you are not understanding what the data/evidence is. (And I'm not sure where I'm slipping the "weasel words" 'development' and 'progression' into anything - it's like you're responding to a post that isn't here.) It's absolutely nothing like your "3 different cakes" analogy. If you understood the science behind it, you would know why that is totally ridiculous. You're giving me this lecture on terminology when you don't even know what I'm referring to when I say "DNA evidence". You're mixing up hypothesis and theory, also.
I did mix up hypothesis and theory; sorry. You seem to have missed the point of my analogy, though; or do you care to dispute my definition of 'evidence' as 'data interpreted by presuppositions'? More to the point, will you address any of the philosophical problems which beset secular science? Talking about 'the evidence' while refusing the discuss the presuppositions behind them is simply pointless.
post #105 of 118
Gah, double post
post #106 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
So, why logically do you believe we can obtain knowledge through the senses, and only through the senses? And on a related note, how do you explain the relationship between knowledge, which is immaterial, and sensual input, which is material? Can you prove that they are causally related; and if so, can you explain how the material can give rise to the immaterial?
Here's my logic:
- We accept that we have knowledge about the real world (if you're not going to accept that, there's no use discussing anything, 'cause I could be a rainbow trout or a hallucination or a gummi bear, for all you know). This knowledge of knowledge is gained through our senses, because we find that we can predict future experiences based on knowledge gleaned from past experiences.
- Our senses are by definition the only interface we have between our minds and the real world. They are the only way our minds have any information about the world beyond ourselves.
- Therefore, our knowledge of the real world must come from our senses, and only our senses.

On the related note: our sensual input is not strictly material. It comes from a material source, but that's the whole point of sensual data: to turn a material experience into an immaterial concept our brains can then process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
It is true that science also uses deduction, but The Scientific Method (TM) is by definition inductive, and relies on a formal logical fallacy--post hoc ergo propter hoc, 'after this, therefore because of this'. This is only one of the logical flaws of the method; again, I refer you to my husband's short series on the subject, which puts it rather concisely. The 'flaws' are not small--they are crippling. They are not minor weaknesses, they are gross philosophical errors!
Where are you getting your definition of the scientific method? I have read your husband's blog and he grossly oversimplifies the steps and methods of the scientific method, just as you have done above. The scientific method does NOT "rely" on post hoc ergo propter hoc. Causation must be proven, according to the scientific method. True, the scientific method is generally inductive in nature, but it also relies enormously on rigourous deductive testing of any hypothesis. Furthermore, even Hume recognized that while induction alone may have inherent flaws, "without the influence of [inductive reasoning as a matter of] custom we would be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
It can, however, be determined whether the first principle is a) internally consistent (ie not self-refuting), and b) complete enough to be able to form a cohesive metaphysic and epistemology. The scientific first principle fails the first test, as 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' is self-refuting (the knowledge 'knowledge is gained through the senses' is gained through reasoning, not through the senses).
You asked for a logical defense of the statement "Knowledge is gained through the senses", and I provided it above. The two premises upon which my deductive logic (or syllogism, to use your fancy word) is founded are both utterly grounded in sensual experience. Therefore, my knowledge that "knowledge is gained through the senses" IS gained through my senses.

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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Further, it fails the second test, as 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' cannot provide a workable metaphysic or epistemology--it is simply not complete.
You have yet to prove why the scientific method is not complete, beyond dickering about simplistic concepts of the method that supposedly "reveal crippling errors". Centuries of scientific discovery have shown beyond a doubt that it is by far the most complete system of thought available to us to teach us about the world.

OK, I'm done defending secular science. I am neither a trained scientist nor a philosopher, so maybe someone more suited to the task can pick up, if necessary. I don't really think it needs more defending.

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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
'The Bible is the word of God' is the first principle of a Christian worldview.
I've asked twice already, and you haven't responded. I'll ask again: why logically do you believe that the Bible is either the word of God or the root of all knowledge, as your husband claims? How can you base an entire system of thought on an unproven and unprovable premise? You asked me to logically prove the first principle of secular science, and I did; I ask you to logically prove the first principle of Christian science. I agree that the first principle of Christian science passes your first test of consistancy. But how can you claim it passes the second test? How can an unproven principle support a "complete", "cohesive" or "workable" epistemology? What's your philosophical justification for the statement "the Bible is the word of God?" I'll remind you of your definition of justification:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
I define 'justified' as philosophically justified, rather than (as Gettier seemed to define it) apparently justified. So one can't claim a belief is justified just because you have a reason, any reason, to believe it; it must be able to be logically defended. For example, you say that it is 'pretty self-evident' we can use our senses to gain knowledge; but this is an appeal to commonsense, not philosophical justification. Philosophical justification must do more--it must be able to syllogise common sense.
post #107 of 118
rockin post lilkat.
I'm just too busy to participate effectively right now but I certainly couldn't have phrased that better.
post #108 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
And the fact that people give remarkably similar accounts of alien abduction certainly suggests a connection.
Emphasis is mine.

Funny how you don't immediately assume that the connection is mass alien abductions. You're now not applying your own rules simply because the anecdotal "evidence" doesn't fit your world view.

The related flood stories do suggest A connection, but not the one you suggest.

It is infinitely more likely that if these accounts are ALL true accounts from different cultures (which, based on some of the sources, I tend to doubt), that the FEW (the vast majority of these stories have nothing beyond the very loose connection based on a flood of some type) stories with mention of Noa/Noah and/or an ark are due to the fact that it's a popular story which is retold often and changed. There's a movie called Evan Almighty, which has an interesting retake on the Noah's Ark story. I suppose I should take that as evidence that the bible is absolute truth.

I would debate the "philosophical" consistency of science with you if I thought it would be interesting, but since you have ignored any posts asking you to step outside of an argument which consists primarily of throwing your own personal "weasel" words into the debate, it's likely to be a fairly snore-rific conversation.

So far, the conversation has gone:

You say something about science being illogical. I ask you about it. You answer in an inaccessible way. I point this out, and interpret it. You ignore me. When others ask you to clarify, you say that you're too lazy (or possibly uninformed?) to answer it yourself.

So, essentially, whenever anyone tries to debate with you, you just point them to a random resource. You are definitely using an "Appeal to Authority". When you point to religious sources on scientific matters, it is 100% an appeal to authority. So, in essence, by the logic that you're so interested in, those sources are irrelevant to the debate. It's like taking a doctor's opinion on string theory. He's an authority, but not in the right subject area.

If you want to counter evolution, or any of a number of scientific theories (not read: guesses), try pointing to a SCIENTIFIC authority or more helpfully at SCIENTIFIC evidence from peer reviewed scientific journals.

And if science is nonsense, then stop pointing us to "scientific" articles on the falsehood of science. Please at least make an ATTEMPT to be consistent.

Pardon the capitalization. I couldn't be bothered to hit the bold button.
post #109 of 118
I shouldn't have bothered to post. Lilkat wrote far more eloquently and far less tetchily than I managed.
post #110 of 118
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Here's my logic:
- We accept that we have knowledge about the real world (if you're not going to accept that, there's no use discussing anything, 'cause I could be a rainbow trout or a hallucination or a gummi bear, for all you know).
I accept that I have knowledge about the real world, because I can philosophically justify it; it's not necessary for debate for me to accept that you have knowledge (justified true belief) about the real world; in fact, I believe you don't. But your argument is apparently going to justify it, so cool; carry on.
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This knowledge of knowledge is gained through our senses, because we find that we can predict future experiences based on knowledge gleaned from past experiences.
Okay, this is simply wrong. Your contention is that knowledge of the first principle 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' can be gained through the senses; correct? But this statement seems to imply that the statement (and knowledge itself) is a physical thing. It is not. The sentence is not simply physical (pixels on a computer screen) but propositional; and contains the property of intentionality, or 'aboutness' (ie., it is about something). These elements, the propositionality and intentionality, comprise the knowledge; the physical aspect, the pixels-on-a-screen, is irrelevant. Sensory data, therefore, cannot by definition gain knowledge. Seeing the sentence 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' will not give you the knowledge that knowledge is gained from the senses--otherwise you could show the sentence to someone who knew no English, or to a small baby, and he would understand. Hearing the sentence 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' will likewise not impart the knowledge that knowledge is gained through the senses (again, you could test this by repeating the sentence to a non-English speaker). Touching the sentence, smelling the sentence, and tasting the sentence will likewise not give the information. Now, it is commonly accepted that there are more than five senses--the sense of balance, thermoception and so on. Tell me, which senses--what kind of sensory input--give you the knowledge that 'Knowledge is gained through the senses'?

The answer is, of course, that none of them can, singly or combination. Even if I could see, hear, smell, taste and touch 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' (which is impossible, as the statement is propositional and not physical), these senses would not give me the knowledge that 'Knowledge is gained through the senses'. In order to achieve that knowledge, I must rely on faculties other than sensory input--for example, logical laws, which are immaterial. The law of non-contradiction allows me to know that the word 'Knowledge' is not both 'Knowledge' and 'not-Knowledge' at the same time and in the same sense; the law of indentity allows me to know that the word 'Knowledge' is the word 'Knowledge', and not the word 'Refrigerator'. Whether or not I am aware of these logical laws as formally laid out, I implicitly rely on them in order to gain knowledge; and they are not sensory input. Similarly, I require past experience, a priori knowledge, in order to make sense of the statement 'Knowledge is gained through the senses'. I need to have a basic grasp of the English language; I need to be aware of the definitions of the words involved; I need to be familiar with reading or speech (depending whether I read or am told the sentence) in order to process that the marks on the page, or the sounds coming from your mouth, are the propositional sentence 'Knowledge is gained through the senses'. And again, as prior knowledge is knowledge, and knowledge is immaterial, my understanding of 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' is not dependent on sensory data, but on the immaterial and abstract process known as reason.
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- Our senses are by definition the only interface we have between our minds and the real world. They are the only way our minds have any information about the world beyond ourselves.
I just covered that, but to reiterate--not true. A sensation--say, a leaf brushing against your cheek--is not knowledge. Knowledge (except in the case of immediate knowledge) is gained by the immaterial process of reason, which determines things like 'That sensation was caused by an object apart from my own body', 'That sensation felt soft', 'That sensation was caused by that object which is now lying on the ground', etc.

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On the related note: our sensual input is not strictly material. It comes from a material source, but that's the whole point of sensual data: to turn a material experience into an immaterial concept our brains can then process.
And how do you propose this happens?

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Where are you getting your definition of the scientific method? I have read your husband's blog and he grossly oversimplifies the steps and methods of the scientific method, just as you have done above. The scientific method does NOT "rely" on post hoc ergo propter hoc. Causation must be proven, according to the scientific method. True, the scientific method is generally inductive in nature, but it also relies enormously on rigourous deductive testing of any hypothesis. Furthermore, even Hume recognized that while induction alone may have inherent flaws, "without the influence of [inductive reasoning as a matter of] custom we would be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses."
I'm happy to discuss deduction; DH's articles mostly discuss induction, simply because those articles are part of a larger work, his book The Wisdom of God, which covers deduction in other chapters. But then again, you've accepted that your first principle is 'Knowledge is gained through the senses', which by definition excludes deduction from your worldview; so you have a problem. As for Hume, his quote merely accepts what most intellectually honest (if intellectually lazy) scientists come to state--'It shouldn't work, but as far as we know [which technically, isn't very far at all, given the problem in question] it works, so we'll ignore the philosophy and just keep a-chuggin''. Which is either endearing or supremely frustrating, as your mood dictates.

You still haven't given me a response to the problem of induction, incidentally. Saying 'Well, we use other methods too' isn't terribly compelling. If that one method, induction, is formally fallacious, it should no longer be used.

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You have yet to prove why the scientific method is not complete, beyond dickering about simplistic concepts of the method that supposedly "reveal crippling errors". Centuries of scientific discovery have shown beyond a doubt that it is by far the most complete system of thought available to us to teach us about the world.
Really? Evidence of this?

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I've asked twice already, and you haven't responded. I'll ask again: why logically do you believe that the Bible is either the word of God or the root of all knowledge, as your husband claims?
Because it is the only worldview I have yet discovered which is logical, internally consistent and provides a complete and workable metaphysic and epistemology, as well as answering specific philosophical questions such as the problem of unity and plurality.

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How can you base an entire system of thought on an unproven and unprovable premise?
You need to go back and reread my posts, or look up 'presuppositionalism' or 'foundationalism'. First principles, by definition, are unproven and unprovable; that's not the point. They are judged not on 'Can you prove this?' but 'Is this internally consistent, and does it provide enough information to develop a cohesive metaphysic and epistemology?'

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You asked me to logically prove the first principle of secular science, and I did; I ask you to logically prove the first principle of Christian science.
I just refuted your 'proof' of the first principle of secular science. And, as I stated above, asking me to 'prove' the first principle of Christian science simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of foundationalist philosophy. If you want complete theological training in the Christian worldview, which is necessary in order to fully explain why it is epistemically and logically superior, that's outside the scope of this thread; but I can direct you to my husband's book The Wisdom of God, or any of the presuppositional works by Vincent Cheung, Gordon Clark or Greg Bahnsen.

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I agree that the first principle of Christian science passes your first test of consistancy. But how can you claim it passes the second test? How can an unproven principle support a "complete", "cohesive" or "workable" epistemology? What's your philosophical justification for the statement "the Bible is the word of God?" I'll remind you of your definition of justification:
Again, you're not engaging with presuppositionalist thought. The fact that a first principle is unprovable in no way impacts its ability to support a complete, cohesive and workable epistemology; so I'm puzzled as to why you'd bring that up. The first principle 'The Bible is the word of God' contains within it the entire propositional content of the Bible, which gives a rather complete epistemology (knowledge of knowledge; a few examples are 'All knowledge comes from God', 'Much knowledge is revealed by God on the occasion of sensory input', 'Objective knowledge is possible through the use of logic', etc) and metaphysic (basically, a study of the nature of reality: for example, the Bible gives information on the nature of man, sin, love, knowledge (epistemology being a subset of metaphysics), death, matter, the immaterial, God, etc).
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Funny how you don't immediately assume that the connection is mass alien abductions. You're now not applying your own rules simply because the anecdotal "evidence" doesn't fit your world view
My own rules? You need to read my post #96. Although I find it interesting that you immediately assume my worldview doesn't allow for mass alien abductions; as far as I know, the Bible is silent on the matter.

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It is infinitely more likely that if these accounts are ALL true accounts from different cultures (which, based on some of the sources, I tend to doubt), that the FEW (the vast majority of these stories have nothing beyond the very loose connection based on a flood of some type) stories with mention of Noa/Noah and/or an ark are due to the fact that it's a popular story which is retold often and changed. There's a movie called Evan Almighty, which has an interesting retake on the Noah's Ark story. I suppose I should take that as evidence that the bible is absolute truth.
You are contradicting your previous stance. Are you now stating that these various, disparate groups, which you alleged had no contact with each other, were swapping stories?

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So, essentially, whenever anyone tries to debate with you, you just point them to a random resource. You are definitely using an "Appeal to Authority". When you point to religious sources on scientific matters, it is 100% an appeal to authority. So, in essence, by the logic that you're so interested in, those sources are irrelevant to the debate. It's like taking a doctor's opinion on string theory. He's an authority, but not in the right subject area.
Uh, I'm debating philosophy, not science, so a religious authority is no worse or better than a scientific one, depending on the philosophical education of the religious authorities and the scientists in question. Also, 'appeal to authority' is only a fallacy, and an informal one at that, if the appeal is used in lieu of argumentation. Quoting a source who provides that argumentation is not a fallacy, and that is what I have done (I assume you're referring to my husband's blog by 'religious authority', as I have quoted no other religious sources).

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If you want to counter evolution, or any of a number of scientific theories (not read: guesses), try pointing to a SCIENTIFIC authority or more helpfully at SCIENTIFIC evidence from peer reviewed scientific journals.
*bangs head against wall*
Okay, this is simply proof that you have utterly failed to engage with or understand anything I have read. I am debating science on a PRESUPPOSITIONAL level. Not an evidential level. 'Scientific evidence' is therefore irrelevant, as it relies on scientific presuppositions rather than defending them!

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And if science is nonsense, then stop pointing us to "scientific" articles on the falsehood of science. Please at least make an ATTEMPT to be consistent.
Pardon me, but I have linked to no 'scientific' articles whatsoever. You're confusing me with another poster, or reading a different thread, or... something. If you have any arguments to make which actually address my arguments, I am willing to engage; but I'm not interested in your hostility or, as you put it, 'tetchiness'. I'm pregnant; I have limited mental resources; please allow me to conserve them for actual argumentation, not offensive slurs to my character, mk?
post #111 of 118
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Originally Posted by Smokering
Why do you believe it is impossible to determine the merits of various translations?
I have no idea what you are talking about.

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Originally Posted by Smokering
The redundancy and accuracy of the Biblical texts is remarkable.
Completely untrue. I've looked at Hebrew, Greek, Latin and English forms of the Bible and found differing translations of the same passages. Completely different meaning were purposefully changed by monks in the Middle ages and earlier.

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Originally Posted by Smokering
As for the 'conflicting' Genesis accounts, you are mistaken. There are not 'two versions'.
There ARE two conflicting stories. One tells a story of Adam and Eve created at the same time, the other tells of Adam created first and Eve second as an afterthought. Trying to say one is just an overview is putting words in the Bible's mouth. It does not explain WHY.

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Originally Posted by Smokering
As for parables, see above regarding genre. The Bible is a mix of genres, and I have never seen any compelling textual evidence to indicate that Genesis is anything but what it appears to be--poeticised historical narrative.
Yes, the Bible is a mix of genres. Sometimes there can be parables within the whole parable of the book itself.

"Compelling evidence" to you may not ever exist because you are so determined to believe it doesn't exist. If such evidence were shown to you, would you even consider changing your mind? I doubt it.

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Originally Posted by Smokering
The only reason for reading the early chapters of Genesis as myth, or parable, or any other genre unsupported by the text, is because of a prior assumption of the truth of evolutionary theory. Which indicates, at best, a severely messed-up epistemology.
How do you know I think evolution is true?

But of course you wouldn't think studying evolution with the assumption that genesis is fact messed-up. You can't have it both ways.

This argument is pointless so I am bowing out. I won't be reading this thread anymore. Sorry to the OP for hijacking your thread.
post #112 of 118
You didn't apply your own rules. You immediately made an assumption on the flood stories, but merely state that there was some connection when it came to alien abduction. If anecdotal "evidence" is sufficient proof that the Noah's Ark myth is true, then anecdotal evidence should be sufficient to show that alien abductions are true. If anecdotal evidence is not sufficient evidence to support alien abduction, why do you assert that anecdotal evidence is sufficient to prove the Noah's Ark myth. If it is sufficient, then why would you say that there is "a connection" rather than stating alien abductions are fact if not because alien abductions conflict with how you see the world?

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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
You are contradicting your previous stance. Are you now stating that these various, disparate groups, which you alleged had no contact with each other, were swapping stories?
I have in no way contradicted myself. Few of the flood myths on the page linked reference Noah or the Ark. I did not say that the groups had no contact. Look at the dates of the books referenced for each story. They were ALL published long after the time when the Noah flood myth had circled the world. Yes. I am alleging that they swapped stories. That is my theory. Story swapping.


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Uh, I'm debating philosophy, not science, so a religious authority is no worse or better than a scientific one, depending on the philosophical education of the religious authorities and the scientists in question. Also, 'appeal to authority' is only a fallacy, and an informal one at that, if the appeal is used in lieu of argumentation. Quoting a source who provides that argumentation is not a fallacy, and that is what I have done (I assume you're referring to my husband's blog by 'religious authority', as I have quoted no other religious sources).

. . .

Pardon me, but I have linked to no 'scientific' articles whatsoever. You're confusing me with another poster, or reading a different thread, or... something. If you have any arguments to make which actually address my arguments, I am willing to engage; but I'm not interested in your hostility or, as you put it, 'tetchiness'. I'm pregnant; I have limited mental resources; please allow me to conserve them for actual argumentation, not offensive slurs to my character, mk?
You're right. I was referring to another poster all together. Your arguments just blended in my head. It happens.

Additionally, there was no slur to your (or anyone else's) character. I think you read far too much into what I said.


Quote:
Okay, this is simply proof that you have utterly failed to engage with or understand anything I have read. I am debating science on a PRESUPPOSITIONAL level.
Honestly, since you've ignored my attempt to interpret what you're saying and thus engage you, I haven't engaged you. I like debating. I even like being bested in a debate, because it means I learn something.

Let me try AGAIN to interpret what you're saying. Maybe you could respond to my interpretation this time, and I'll try not to let my wonky hormones push the temper button.

Your argument is that reason is not accounted for by the physical world, and thus science is illogical because it doesn't account for where reason comes from? Am I kosher on this? Therefore, you assert that there must be a God to account for the laws of logic.

If this is the case, then I argue that it is irrelevant to science where the laws of logic originate from. If reason is absolute, then it doesn't matter if it comes from God, Buddha or the Easter Bunny.

If I am misinterpreting, please respond with where I have it wrong, preferably in plain English. I don't speak philosopher.

I'm not going to bother with tackling induction until I try to figure out what your position is on this "gaining knowledge" thing.
post #113 of 118
You didn't apply your own rules. You immediately made an assumption on the flood stories, but merely state that there was some connection when it came to alien abduction. If anecdotal "evidence" is sufficient proof that the Noah's Ark myth is true, then anecdotal evidence should be sufficient to show that alien abductions are true.
Quote:
If anecdotal evidence is not sufficient evidence to support alien abduction, why do you assert that anecdotal evidence is sufficient to prove the Noah's Ark myth. If it is sufficient, then why would you say that there is "a connection" rather than stating alien abductions are fact if not because alien abductions conflict with how you see the world?
I wouldn't say the Flood myths are necessarily sufficient evidence to 'prove Noah's ark'; but the least you must admit is that the similarity of the myths proves a connection, just as with the alien abduction stories. The difference being that the 'connection' in the case of Noah's Ark does further bolster the theory itself, as connection or story-swapping between disparate races at least indicates either a common origin, or more intertravelling between races than current scientific theories would allow. Whereas the 'connection' between alien abductees could be as simple as the Internet, which of course does not necessitate travel for communication.

Out of curiosity, just how similar would you expect the myths to be, and in what number, before you would believe there was a connection (other than story-swapping centuries after the myths developed)?

Quote:
I have in no way contradicted myself. Few of the flood myths on the page linked reference Noah or the Ark. I did not say that the groups had no contact. Look at the dates of the books referenced for each story. They were ALL published long after the time when the Noah flood myth had circled the world. Yes. I am alleging that they swapped stories. That is my theory. Story swapping.
Errr... are you saying that the publication date of the books in any way correlates to the origin dates of the myths? A modern publication of ancient myths doesn't mean that the myths themselves are modern.
Quote:
You're right. I was referring to another poster all together. Your arguments just blended in my head. It happens.
Fair enough.

Quote:
Your argument is that reason is not accounted for by the physical world, and thus science is illogical because it doesn't account for where reason comes from? Am I kosher on this? Therefore, you assert that there must be a God to account for the laws of logic.

If this is the case, then I argue that it is irrelevant to science where the laws of logic originate from. If reason is absolute, then it doesn't matter if it comes from God, Buddha or the Easter Bunny.
Er... I'm confused. I've made a number of arguments, but I'm not sure to which one you're referring. Are you asking me for my views on the origin of knowledge? Or is it the first principle thing?

Assuming it's the first principle thing (correct me if I'm wrong), that's not exactly my argument. The secular scientific worldview rests (usually, there are some who disagree) on the first principle 'Knowledge is gained through the senses'. My contention is that as a first principle, this statement fails on both counts required for validity. Firstly, it is self-refuting, or logically nonsensical--which can be proven by the fact that knowledge of the statement 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' cannot be gained through the senses (as I discussed above... somewhere up there... post 110, first and second paragraphs). Secondly, a first principle is the absolute most basic principle of them all--hence the term 'first'. It is possible to have multiple, interrelating first principles, but that hasn't yet been proposed by anyone, so we'll stick with what we know for now. Because a first principle is so basic, it needs to provide a solid foundation for an entire worldview, all by itself. It needs, specifically, to contain enough information for a workable metaphysic, ie. theory of reality. (Subsets of metaphysics include ontology and epistemology, but never mind that for now). Now, the first principle 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' simply does not contain enough information. You can't deduce from 'Knowledge is gained through the senses' any kind of worldview which corresponds to reality. You can't logically justify love, for example, or reason, or death; you can't explain the evil that men do, or the good that lives after them; in short, working solely from that first principle, without sneaking in any concepts from other worldviews, you would end up with a very patchy and incomplete view of the universe. If your son asked you 'Why did I feel sad when Fluffy died?', you'd draw a 'Does not compute'--the worldview has no concept of grief.

Okay, I'm not sure if that answers your question 'cause I'm not sure what you were asking, but that'll do for now. I do think that reason cannot be accounted for by the physical world--by definition, as reason is not a physical concept or reducible to physical events--and I also believe that science is illogical, but I'm not quite sure why you linked those two thoughts together. The main 'science is illogical' argument I have made in this thread is the fact that induction is based on a formal fallacy. But I'm not sure how that's relevant, so... could you rephrase the question?
post #114 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Have you read the Flood myths? They don't just say that 'floods happen'. The similarities are far too great and striking to be coincidental. The Creationist answer to your bolded passage is that all current races are descendants of Noah, so they would have taken the story with them as they spread across the globe.

Science stands or falls on philosophy. If I'm ignoring or rejecting evidence, that is because evidence is simply data interpreted according to presuppositions. If the presuppositions are wrong, the evidence cannot be seen as reliable. [B]If you found that a famous doctor was treating patients based on the throwing of dice, no matter if he had a pretty good success rate and a great reputation, would you take your child to him to be cured?[/B
I only read till this part. If you're comparing science to throwing dice, you have a lot to learn. That is ridiculous.
You use lots of "big words", but you make little sense when you try to explain the philosophical flaws of science, or whatever your point against the scientific method is, and you seem unable to explain your ideas in a simpler way, which makes me think that you're trying to hide flaws in your own thinking by using the argument by prestigious jargon thing, or that you don't understand what you're saying that well yourself. - IME some technical terms are usually necessary to explain complex ideas, but if you understand it well enough you can always find a way to explain it better to someone who doesn't have a degree in the subject.

Your main argument seems to be that we can't explain everything, but the bible has answers for questions science hasn't figured out yet, so the bible must be right!
That is ridiculous. I could make up a story to give explanations to everything humanity doesn't know and it still wouldn't be more than a story.
Besides, the bible isn't the best way to explain the world, it can be very confusing and it seems that each Christian has their own opinions on what it all means. - Your argument would be stronger if every single Christian believed in exactly the same thing and interpreted the bible in the exact same way.

I'm out of this thread because it is pointless. If you're going to attack someone else's logic, make sure you're using it yourself.
post #115 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
I suggest you look up Biblical presuppositionalism. But of course, something can be right, or close to right, without being divinely inspired. I don't believe Gone with the Wind was divinely inspired (or even a particularly accurate representation of events), but I do believe it fits in with a vast body of textual evidence that the Civil War occured. And I don't believe that the stories of the ancient Finnish gods were true, but I do believe that the striking similarities between Finnish gods and Greco-Roman gods indicate some early interaction between the two cultures. When two cultures share eerily similar mythologies, histories or stories, linguists and anthropologists are nearly always keen to hunt for a connection. Look at the attempts to find Arthurian legend, on very slim textual evidence, in obscure Celtic myths and folk tales. Someone accused me of focussing on stories--well, I studied English at Uni, I like stories. (I'd also be interested to hear how she philosophically considers anthropology a less reliable branch of science to molecular biology). But stories do have their own, rather developed, discipline; and I repeat, I have never heard any explanation which has adequately explained away the striking, repeated and detailed similarities between worldwide Flood myths.
As far as I am concerned, the stories of the Finnish gods are no more or less true than that of Genesis because it is all allegory, mythological truth. Yes, there are worldwide Flood stories because *gasp* people traded with each other. There are also worldwide crucifixion stories of sons of gods (or just gods) pre-dating Christ. But that's what they all are. Stories. I'm not saying Genesis has no merit whatsoever, but as a factual description of how the world truly began scientifically...not a chance. By the way, I'd like to know if there are any trained anthrolopologists who are Creationists. Somehow I highly doubt it. Philosophically, well, I think man created Gods in our own image because we need to have something to comfort us when it comes to the unknown. I came to that conclusion, by the way, after taking many courses in philosophy and studying religions, so philosophy isn't going to somehow turn me back into a Christian any time soon.

Anyway, I am also done with this thread. The lack of logic, disguised by fancy terminology (can't fool this linguist), has devolved into a circular argument and is not worth continuing.
post #116 of 118
I, too, am going to respectfully bow out. From your last response to me, Smokering, I realized that the two of us don't seem to have the same basic definitions of any aspect of this discussion. We're hardly speaking the same language, and I don't think that's something that can be resolved via an online BB.

Thank you for the discussion, though. I think I have at least picked up a little understanding of why some people take the Bible literally. I appreciate that you have obviously put a lot of effort and time into both your research and your posts, and that we have kept the discussion (almost entirely) civil. I apologize if anything I wrote came off as a personal attack, rather than an attack on an idea.

Best of luck with the last few weeks of your pregnancy! I'll see you around the March DDC
post #117 of 118
Just_Isabel: I don't mind you critiqueing my logic, but it would be more compelling if you could point out where it is flawed. This:

Quote:
Your main argument seems to be that we can't explain everything, but the bible has answers for questions science hasn't figured out yet, so the bible must be right!
is a complete misrepresentation of any of the arguments I've made. As for jargon, I do use it, and I apologise, but presuppositionalism is a fairly technical field of study. If you were discussing, say, neuroscience, wouldn't you expect to find a certain amount of jargon, and wouldn't you feel it necessary to enter the discussion with a basic understanding of the concepts involved? Philosophy isn't just opinion and anything-goes; it's a complex, precise field of study containing terms which are used precisely, and this is what I have tried to do. I'm sorry if I have failed to make anything clear, but you are welcome to ask me to clarify any point.

witchygrrl: Pretty much the same as above... if you're going to accuse me of illogic, point out the logical flaw in my arguments. Likewise, if my terminology has been incorrect, point out how. 'You're wrong' is an assertion, not an argument; and I fail to see the logic of 'I don't understand what you're saying, therefore you don't understand what you're saying'.

lilkat: Thanks, it was fun. You're due in March too? Cool. I'm pregnanter than everyone I know IRL, so that's refreshing.
post #118 of 118
Off Topic:


Mamajama, clear your PM Box. I tried to PM you.

thanks
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