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Re: A lifeline from mass unpleasantness!

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  • hecd2
    ... Well if that is Chris s conclusion, perhaps he can explain the vast number of Christians who hold to the Theory of Evolution and neo- Darwinism. Chris is
    Message 1 of 4 , May 5 9:59 AM
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      --- In CreationEvolutionDesign@y..., "CLouD5776" <c.l.doyle@o...>
      wrote:
      > Hello Group,
      >
      > This is an interesting thread that Mark started off in response to
      > the rhetorical nonsense that we have come to expect from hate-
      > fuelled, intolerant neo-darwinism. First, a little background.
      >
      > I have been participating in these debates, in various forums, for
      > quite a number of years now and I'm beginning to realise the sad
      > truth about neo-darwinism. The vast majority of its proponents are
      > more concerned about insulting God and religion than they are about
      > applying the scientific method to their own neo-darwinistic faith.

      Well if that is Chris's conclusion, perhaps he can explain the vast
      number of Christians who hold to the Theory of Evolution and neo-
      Darwinism. Chris is of course applying a prejudiced and
      stereotypical view. It seems to me on these lists that close to half
      the supporters of neo-Darwinism are professed Christians.

      In
      > message 3075, I referred to the fact that "the general population
      of
      > the world is sadly ignorant when it comes to the
      > CreationEvolutionDesign debate". This goes some way to explaining
      why
      > it is that the vast majority of neo-darwinists do not and cannot
      > apply the scientific method to their own neo-darwinistic faith. But
      > that is only half of the story. Clearly, the fervent neo-darwinist
      is
      > a man on a mission – a mission to destroy all religion (well, all
      > religions apart from their own neo-darwinistic faith).

      Chris again makes an insulting and erroneous point based on his
      disgraceful stereotype of neo-Darwinists. If this is not an ad
      hominem attack (trying to disprove your opponents position by
      charcterising them as destroyers) I don't know what is.

      That is his
      > primary, and perhaps, sole concern. This dawning realisation sheds
      > light on another subject – the main subject of my own personal
      > interest:
      >
      > Is there a sound scientific basis for neo-darwinism?
      >
      > This is the subject that I have been discussing more than any other
      > both here and elsewhere. In my last post to Cliff, in the thread of
      > the same name, I decided it was to time to seriously emphasise that
      > point – hoping that either he or another neo-darwinist, will
      address
      > it. Since I posted the original message a couple of months ago now,
      > it has been met by overwhelming silence from the neo-darwinistic
      > camp. This is surprising because neo-darwinism is simply an
      > economical term for mainstream darwinism or popular belief in the
      > theory of evolution. Cliff has decided to opt for the stance that
      he
      > is not a neo-darwinist. Apparently, as a naturalist, he is
      something
      > so fundamentally different that the question doesn't apply to him.
      I
      > don't know why the others remain silent, but I'm beginning to
      > strongly suspect that this is because the others simply don't know
      > what the sound scientific basis for neo-darwinism actually is!

      Perhaps Chris will tell us what the scientific hypothesis of
      Intelligent Design is?

      > Further, most are not here to justify their faith. Their primary
      and
      > sole concern is their mission to destroy all religion, apart from
      neo-
      > darwinism.

      Who is Chris referring to here? I don't personally know any neo-
      darwinist who has this motivation.
      >
      > Now, that brings us onto this thread. Mark is on a win-win
      situation
      > here, simply because Alec is trying to defend a completely false
      and
      > absurd position.

      It is Chris's contention that my position is false and absurd. I
      point out to him that Mark did not go as far as he is going and Mark
      presented his strong case with an admirable degree of restraint.
      That thread is not as yet complete, so Chris's conclusion is
      premature.

      However, my contention was that terror in secular societies (ie those
      in which the overwhelming philosophy is atheistic) is relatively no
      greater than in religious societies (ie those in which the
      overwhelming philosophy is religious). I made no claims about
      Chritianity with respect to other religions (but note that Christian
      societies *have* been responsible for some tererible events).

      In fairness to Alec, he probably didn't expect Mark
      > to pick him up, with such a sound and detailed argument – after
      all,
      > this was just one throw away comment from a mission that is full of
      > such comments in his attempts to destroy all religion (apart from
      neo-
      > darwinism).

      Chris misrepresents my motivation and my position and I call on him
      to withdraw that slur.

      Alec probably didn't expect to have to defend a
      > rhetorical and offensive device because he probably doesn't really
      > believe it himself. Rhetoric and offensive is not concerned with
      > truth, it is concerned with scoring points and winning arguments at
      > all costs, and without regard to integrity and justice.

      A proceeding that we observe perfectly in Chris's post.

      Anyway, now
      > that he finds himself in this uncomfortable position, I would like
      to
      > throw him a life line – on the off chance that Alec is not like the
      > vast majority of neo-darwinists, that he is not simply on a mission
      > to destroy religion without concern for the application of the
      > scientific method to neo-darwinism.
      >
      > Alec, your position is false because no religious text sanctions
      the
      > sort of activity and bloodshed you list here:
      >
      > > Crusades: 1.5 million
      > > Thirty Years War: 11.5 million
      > > European wars between 1672 and 1721: 1.5 milion
      > > War of the Spanish Succession 1.3 million
      > > Seven years War 1.2 million
      > > French revolution: 2 million
      > > Napoleonic wars: 3 million
      > > Zulu wars: 2 million
      > > Taiping rebellion: 20 million
      > > Paraguayan war: 1 million
      > > 19th Cenrtury colonial famines: 46 million
      > > Albigensian crusade: 1 million
      > > Arian schism: 1 million
      > > Carthiginian struggle: 1 million
      > > Saracens slaughtered: 7 million
      > > Saxon and Scandinavians resisting Christianity: 2 million
      > > Other 'Holy' Wars against Netherlands, Albigenses, Waldenses, and
      > > Huguenots: 1 million
      > > Inquisition: 350,000
      > > Ivan the Terrible: 200,000
      > > Manchu conquest: 25 million
      > > Mughal empire: 2.6 million
      > > African American slavery: 18 million
      > > Conquestt of the Americas : 20 million
      > > Mongols: 30 million
      > > Timur: 7 million

      Does Chris really think that my position is that religious texts
      sanction *all* these atrocities? That is obviously not the case,
      although I am sure that the leaders of the Crusades and other Holy
      wars and the Inquistion believed that religious texts sanctiioned
      their actions. Furthermore, religious texts were used
      (inappropriately no doubt) to justfy African American slavery.

      However, my point is not that religious texts justify or encourage
      these atrocities but that being 'religious' does not prevent people
      from committing them.

      >
      > There is one exception to that fact: neo-darwinistic scriptures
      would
      > certainly sanction that sort of activity. Those scriptures preach
      > amoral values so there is no law which states that thou shalt not
      > kill. There is only one law in the neo-darwinistic faith: every man
      > for himself. It's a jungle out there and just do whatever takes to
      > survive and reproduce. But that is an aside.

      That is an unjustified and insulting attack on science and on
      scientists. You misrepresent the science and the people who carry it
      out. Disgraceful.

      >
      > It is an invalid philosophical argument to move from an ought to an
      > is or vice-versa. If religious theory doesn't sanction the activity
      > listed above, then no matter if every single practioneer of that
      > theory were wanton and evil murderers, it would in *no* way reflect
      > on the theory.

      I never claimed that it reflected on the theory. I simply pointed
      out that being 'religious' does not prevent people from carrying out
      atrocitioes at the same rate as being 'atheistic' does, against your
      scurrilous argument that atheism leads necessarily to more atrocities.

      Chris has taken that argument even further in this disgusting post
      and stated that neo-Darwinism is somehow morally degenerate and he
      has indulged in an unwarranted personal attack against those who
      accept the theory of evolution.

      He has made the charge that neo-Darwinism preaches amoral values and
      by implication those who accept it are amoral. This is as great an
      ad hominem as has ever appeared on this list. He ignores the fact
      that all science is amoral and that it describes what it finds even
      if that upsets his religious sensibilities. The truth in science is
      not subject to religious censorship although religious institutions
      have tried to do so constantly since the 15th century. And to top it
      all, he hopes to persuade us that the Theory of Evolution is
      falsified by these spurious charges, whist not being able to present
      any sensible scientific argument against it. I hope he is ashamed of
      himself.

      But Alec, I truly hope that you already understand
      > that piece of elementary philosophical reasoning. For example, to
      > suggest that the terrorists of September 11th are a reflection of
      the
      > evils of religion would be an invalid philosophical argument. Why?
      > Because the Qu'ran doesn't sanction that sort of activity – on the
      > contrary, it warns against it with the threat of great punishment.
      > But there are people in this world who think the laws don't apply
      to
      > them – religious or otherwise. That is no reflection on the laws,
      it
      > is a reflection of the motives of the man in question – be they
      > political, selfish, evil or otherwise. Therefore, it is
      > entirely "unreasonable to conclude that that 1 in 20 people pre
      20th
      > century died at the hands of others and that Christian societies
      are
      > not noticeably better" because Christianity does not sanction the
      > execution of 1 in 20 people.

      I have not made the argument that Chris ascribes to me, nor would I
      do so. My contention was, however, that being religious does not
      significantly change one's propensity to commit atrocities.

      I leave aside for the moment all the passages in the Old Testament
      which glory in the destruction of the enemies of god's chosen people
      which give the lie to Chris's claim that Christian texts do not
      sanction atrocious behaviour.

      >
      > Okay, I know, I'm flogging a dead horse now. So here is the
      lifeline:
      > *Discuss* the sound scientific basis for neo-darwinism. Pick a
      piece
      > of evidence that you find the most compelling, that lends exclusive
      > support to neo-darwinism, and discuss it. Is that not a great
      > lifeline for getting out of a no-win situation and addressing the
      > truly important issues? No thanks are necessary, my reward will be
      > the enjoyment of the discussion that would follow when you detail
      the
      > sound scientific basis for neo-darwinism.

      Perhaps Chris could tell us what the scientific hypothesis of
      Intelligent Design is?

      >
      > Cheers
      >
      > Chris

      Alec
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