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Re: The "Transcendental Argument" for God

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  • Todd S. Greene
    ... Of course, the truth of the matter is that it took a long time for Daniel Denham to even offer any actual argument to try to rationally justify belief in
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 1, 2007
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      --- In Maury_and_Baty, Todd Greene wrote (post #10911):
      >> FINALLY, at least one of the theists has decided to be
      >> at least a little bit honest by recognizing that I did
      >> indeed challenge him to back up his claim that God
      >> exists, and that belief in a god requires something to
      >> back it up.
      >>
      >> (Up to this point, it seemed as if these guys thought
      >> that "misrepresenting what atheism is" is the same thing
      >> as "backing up belief in God." Not to say that they
      >> aren't still operating under such a delusion. As proof
      >> of this is Daniel's very own statement below, in which
      >> he asserts that atheism must "account for" something.
      >> Atheism doesn't need to account for anything. It is the
      >> theists who claim that there is a God who must account
      >> for why they make such a claim, by providing
      >> substantiation for their claim. If their arguments are
      >> bad, then theist has simply not backed up his claim -
      >> and in this case the atheism "wins" because the atheist
      >> is thus correct that "belief in a god is not backed up
      >> by any good evidence," so, therefore, "there isn't any
      >> good reason to believe in a god." In this regard, notice
      >> my FIRST criticism of Daniel's, and Bales', argument,
      >> below.)
      >>
      >> Daniel Denham quotes James D. Bales advocating what is
      >> more generally known in philosophy as the
      >> "Transcendental Argument for the existence of God," or
      >> TAG. This is summed up in Bales assertion that
      >> "Materialism cannot account for mind, and the realm of
      >> mind points to the realm of divine mind as its source
      >> and origin." Far from being "outstanding and devastating
      >> to atheism," these arguments are old hat theistic
      >> rhetoric that is based on simply ignoring reality.
      >>
      >> I realize that philosophers have stated a number of
      >> problems with TAG (and anyone who is capable of using
      >> Google can find this out easily enough at the click of a
      >> button), but from my perspective I only need to state
      >> two of the major problems that TAG has. (Not so
      >> incidentally, arguments about morality are subsumed by
      >> what I shall point out, because in this sense morality
      >> is a mind producing judgments about the future
      >> consequences of actions.)
      >>
      >> (A) TAG is really nothing more than a fallacious "God of
      >> the gaps" argument (also known as an argument from
      >> ignorance, or "We don't know, therefore God"). We do
      >> know that conscious thought is intimately entwined with
      >> our brains, though we don't know all of the details
      >> concerning how it is produced. But with what we do know
      >> about it NONE OF THE RELEVANT EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE shows
      >> anything OTHER than processes taking place IN THE WORLD
      >> WE LIVE IN. Bales merely ASSERTS that materialism cannot
      >> account for mind, but in fact HE DOES NOT KNOW THIS. The
      >> only way he or any other theist making this argument
      >> could know this is if we knew all of the relevant
      >> details concerning how our brains are involved in
      >> producing thought, but we don't know (read that again:
      >> WE DON'T KNOW), and that's why this is a productive
      >> field of scientific research (neuroscience, and related
      >> areas; indeed, it is early days in this kind of detailed
      >> research). Bales does not appeal to any empirical facts
      >> to substantiate his assertion, but merely appeals to
      >> ignorance, which is why this is a fallacious "God of the
      >> gaps" argument. (Compare: We don't know how lightning is
      >> produced, therefore God Did It.) All this does is make
      >> the word "God" a delusional mask to try to cover over
      >> our ignorance about something.
      >>
      >> (B) It is completely false that there is no explanation
      >> for how we should come to have rational thought in terms
      >> of natural processes. There are three different points
      >> that are relevant to this:
      >>
      >> 1. We observe the fact that the brains that we possess
      >> that produce our thought (and, I repeat, we do not know
      >> of ANY other way by which our conscious thought is
      >> produced) are themselves produced by natural processes.
      >> Human beings are produced by a sperm combining with an
      >> egg, which then develops into a human body. The brain is
      >> part of the body that develops. Again, all scientific
      >> research in this area has observed ONLY natural
      >> processes of THIS world, and nothing else.
      >>
      >> 2. In terms of our physical history as a species, we
      >> observe that our brains have become substantially larger
      >> over time (over millions of years) from various
      >> ancestral species to relatively recently in geologic
      >> history. (The brains of the *Homo ergaster* species or
      >> the *Homo habilis* species, for example, were
      >> significantly smaller than ours.)
      >>
      >> 3. In terms of natural selection, brains (and not just
      >> human brains) have been "molded" by natural selection
      >> processes. Organisms that deal better with the external
      >> world than other organisms can have a selective
      >> advantage. (But note that natural selection processes
      >> operate across a wide spectrum of environmental
      >> pressures, and "brainpower" will not be affected by
      >> natural selection processes in isolation from hundreds
      >> of other aspects of organisms that are subject to
      >> natural selection processes. There are many different
      >> kinds of environmental constraints. Large brains are
      >> physiologically expensive! Another way to look at this
      >> is to consider that a species can experience many
      >> different kinds of adaptations, but all these
      >> adaptations must fit within an interbreeding population,
      >> ultimately within a single organism, and these
      >> adaptations must "compete" with each other for the
      >> "resources" of the organism.) Arguing that natural
      >> selection processes could not possibly have any
      >> relevance to increasing intelligence makes no more sense
      >> than saying that such processes couldn't possibly have
      >> any relevance to increasing visual perception (such as
      >> color vision).
      >>
      >> (C) There is a third problem, but it is more of a
      >> weakness from the perspective of Daniel Denham than it
      >> is a problem with respect to a general concept of God.
      >> The weakness is that even if the argument were correct
      >> all it would imply is that there is some form of
      >> "Supreme Mind" (whatever that might be) that created us.
      >> But it doesn't tell us anything else about this "Supreme
      >> Mind."
      >>
      >> (D) In the context of Christian theism in particular
      >> (but also theism in general) there is a fourth problem
      >> that is also pragmatic in nature, which is the simple
      >> fact that while Christian theists hold their God up to
      >> be the alleged basis for rationality, the reality of
      >> Christian theology is that it is filled with
      >> inconsistencies, confusion, contradictions, and bogus
      >> claims. In terms of the practical results of rational
      >> analysis and understand of the world, scientific
      >> investigation is far superior to Christian theology, and
      >> has the practical results to back this up.
      >>
      >> Now diverging somewhat from the previous discussion I
      >> must also make this historically pragmatic point: It is
      >> precisely religious fundamentalists such as James D.
      >> Bales and Daniel Denham who have over the centuries (and
      >> millennia) fought against rational exploration of
      >> thought and rational exploration of the world because it
      >> offends beliefs that they hold on the basis of RELIGIOUS
      >> TRADITION. Note that TAG, about rationality, is being
      >> advocated by men who SPIT ON RATIONALITY AT EVERY TURN.
      >> In other words, they're contradicting themselves. If
      >> their god is truly a god of rational thought, then why
      >> do they oppose rational thought all the time?
      >>
      >> Bales was a young earth creationist, which demonstrates
      >> a profound ignorance of science, so it is little wonder
      >> that he makes assertions and implications in which he
      >> completely ignores relevant details about the real world
      >> that we do know about.
      >>
      >> Do note that I realize there are various claims about
      >> whether or not Bales was a young earth creationist. I
      >> sincerely believe that Bales intentionally wrote in an
      >> ambiguous manner on this point [the point of whether or
      >> not the Earth is ancient]. I will note here, for the
      >> record, a statement made by Bales that could be
      >> interpreted to be contrary to young earth creationism
      >> (you will note in this article where Bales also uses
      >> TAG, though I'm not quoting it in this particular case):
      >>
      >> From:
      >> "The Relevance of Scriptural Interpretation to
      >> Scientific Thought"
      >> by James D. Bales
      >> (*Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, Sep.
      >> 1961)
      >> http://www.asa3.org/asa/PSCF/1961/JASA9-61Bales.html
      >>
      >>| The Scriptures kept informed believers from assuming,
      >>| an assumption which science shows to be false, that
      >>| the earth was always habitable or that man has forever
      >>| lived on earth.
      >>
      >> It is possible to take this statement by Bales to imply
      >> that he rejected young earth creationism (which, of
      >> course, would further imply he considered young earth
      >> creationists to be scripturally "uninformed"). But I
      >> consider this to be ambiguous. In reading some of the
      >> statements by Bales that I've found online using Google,
      >> it seems to me that Bales went out of his way to be
      >> ambiguous on this point, which is why it seems to me
      >> that he intentionally made no clear unambiguous
      >> statement about the antiquity of the Earth. (I'm
      >> certainly open to people producing quotations of Bale
      >> being unambiguous about this point; indeed, I would like
      >> to see such.)
      >>
      >> Since I'm quoting this article by Bales, here are a
      >> couple of other interesting statements by him:
      >>
      >>| When a conflict between science and Scripture arises
      >>| we may also reckon with the fact that it is possible
      >>| to misunderstand the Bible. Some by misinterpretation
      >>| of the Bible have tried to make the Bible relevant to
      >>| science in a matter where it was not relevant. They
      >>| have brought on unnecessary conflict. One must always
      >>| be willing to study to be sure that he has not tried
      >>| to speak for God where God has not spoken for Himself.
      >>
      >>| The Scriptures do not always distinguish between God's
      >>| direct working and His indirect workings, so we must
      >>| be careful not to conclude that in every place where
      >>| God is said to do something that it means that it was
      >>| done immediately, directly, without working through
      >>| any secondary causes. For example, God sends the
      >>| sunshine and the rain on the just and on the unjust,
      >>| but to conclude that no laws of nature are involved
      >>| would be wrong (Matt. 5:45). It is not an assault on
      >>| the Bible to maintain that the evidence shows that
      >>| laws of God are involved.
      >>
      >> Of course, then he turns around and makes a really
      >> epistemologically bone-headed statement like this:
      >>
      >>| When the Bible sets forth a position we must accept
      >>| it, regardless of the current attitude of some
      >>| scientists.
      >>
      >> In other words, Bales uses the standard CIRCULAR
      >> argument: I will believe what the Bible says, REGARDLESS
      >> of the scientific facts. You would think that a man of
      >> his education, advocating an argument that asserts that
      >> man possesses capabilities of rationality only because
      >> God made it that way, should then turn right around and
      >> contradicts himself by throwing rationality right out of
      >> the window. (
      >>
      >> But I will note here that a few sentences later Bales
      >> tries to soften his hubristic statement with this:
      >>
      >>| On the other hand, humility is a Christian virtue and
      >>| just as we are aware that there is a difference
      >>| between hypothesis and assured result in science, just
      >>| so there is often a difference between what some
      >>| people say that the Bible teaches and what it actually
      >>| teaches.
      >>
      >> Unfortunately, we see a whole lot of the former, and
      >> very little of the latter from fundamentalists like
      >> James D. Bales.
      >>
      >> Well, that's enough discussion from me for now. I was up
      >> all last night and am writing this on Saturday morning,
      >> so I think I'll go get a little rest now.

      --- In ContendingFTF, Daniel Denham wrote (post #7349):
      > Self-confessed liar Todd Greene has decided once more to
      > crawl out and take another stab at something.

      Of course, the truth of the matter is that it took a long time for
      Daniel Denham to even offer any actual argument to try to rationally
      justify belief in the existence of a god. And when he FINALLY got
      around to doing so, I RESPONDED TO HIS ARGUMENT IMMEDIATELY. But
      Daniel Denham lies about everything, including this.

      > He has tried
      > patehtically to answer Bales' opening remarks to Woolsey
      > Teller relative to Teller's implicit forfeiture of his
      > proposition denying the existence of God.

      In other words, Daniel will keep right on misrepresenting what
      atheism even means, long after the cows have come home. This
      misrepresentation of atheism is not unique to Daniel, but is a tactic
      commonly used by theists, because they want to hide the fact that it
      is incumbent on them to rationally justify belief in the existence of
      a god, and if they cannot do so, then the atheistic position wins by
      default. If you claim that a god exists, you need to justify this
      claim. If you can't justify the claim, then there is no reason to
      accept your claim. Thus, until the claim "God exists" cannot be
      justified, the rational position is that there is no reason to
      believe in the god. That is exactly what the atheist position is. I
      have only pointed this out to Daniel at least a dozen times now, but
      keep watching and you will see him just continue to blatantly lie
      about this. He cannot deal with this position in a rational manner,
      precisely because his own position is not rational to begin with.

      > Todd tries to
      > explain the origin of all thought.

      Au contraire, I stated just the opposite:

      >> (A) TAG is really nothing more than a fallacious "God of
      >> the gaps" argument (also known as an argument from
      >> ignorance, or "We don't know, therefore God"). We do
      >> know that conscious thought is intimately entwined with
      >> our brains, though we don't know all of the details
      >> concerning how it is produced. But with what we do know
      >> about it NONE OF THE RELEVANT EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE shows
      >> anything OTHER than processes taking place IN THE WORLD
      >> WE LIVE IN. Bales merely ASSERTS that materialism cannot
      >> account for mind, but in fact HE DOES NOT KNOW THIS. The
      >> only way he or any other theist making this argument
      >> could know this is if we knew all of the relevant
      >> details concerning how our brains are involved in
      >> producing thought, but we don't know (read that again:
      >> WE DON'T KNOW), and that's why this is a productive
      >> field of scientific research (neuroscience, and related
      >> areas; indeed, it is early days in this kind of detailed
      >> research). Bales does not appeal to any empirical facts
      >> to substantiate his assertion, but merely appeals to
      >> ignorance, which is why this is a fallacious "God of the
      >> gaps" argument. (Compare: We don't know how lightning is
      >> produced, therefore God Did It.) All this does is make
      >> the word "God" a delusional mask to try to cover over
      >> our ignorance about something.

      Notice that Daniel completely ignored this key objection to his
      argument.

      > Notice his insipidly
      > stupid statement, which evidences that there is
      > no thought within him.
      >
      >> (B) 1. We observe the fact that the brains that we
      >> possess that produce our thought (and, I repeat, we do
      >> not know of ANY other way by which our conscious thought
      >> is produced) are themselves produced by natural
      >> processes. Human beings are produced by a sperm
      >> combining with an egg, which then develops into a human
      >> body. The brain is part of the body that develops.
      >> Again, all scientific research in this area has observed
      >> ONLY natural processes of THIS world, and nothing else.
      >>
      >> 2. In terms of our physical history as a species, we
      >> observe that our brains have become substantially larger
      >> over time (over millions of years) from various
      >> ancestral species to relatively recently in geologic
      >> history. (The brains of the *Homo ergaster* species or
      >> the *Homo habilis* species, for example, were
      >> significantly smaller than ours.)

      Notice that Daniel ASSERTS that the EMPIRICAL FACTS that new human
      beings are produced by the natural processes of sex and gestation in
      the uterus are "stupid." He doesn't actually explain why that's
      supposed to be stupid (probably because actually making a rational
      argument is too excruciatingly painful for him). (Of course, the
      truth of the matter is that anyone who would deny the empirical facts
      is the one who is demonstrating stupidity.)

      > Notice that Greene
      > does not address the key point that Bales had made and
      > that is that thought must be more than the result of the
      > arbitrary and random action of molecules driven by
      > mindless electro-chemical processes, which have no real
      > purpose or design.

      That is not an argument. That's an assertion. I did address this
      point by pointing out that it was an unexplained assertion. Notice
      that Daniel did not even attempt to back up his assertion. Indeed, he
      completely ignored (1) the fact that all relevant scientific research
      on the issue shows that our thoughts are produced by our brains
      (natural processes) and that there is zero evidence showing anything
      else, and (2) the fact that all relevant scientific research on the
      issue shows that our brains our produced by natural processes (sex
      and development in the womb). Daniel is apparently incapable of
      acknowledging the simple facts, so he tries to hide the facts by
      pretending that I never pointed them out.

      > In fact, he
      > confirms Bales' criticism,

      I "confirmed" that Bales made an unsubstantiated assertion. Daniel
      has not even tried to back up this assertion.

      > and thus admits
      > the defeat of atheism's truth claims a priori.

      What we're observing is Daniel giving up on the rationality of his
      belief, because he thinks it's perfectly okay to believe something by
      merely asserting it. Of course, this is the whole problem. Belief in
      a god is not made rational just because you want to believe in it.
      That's what is called "faith." The whole point of the atheist
      objection, from the perspective of reason, is that to rationally
      justify your belief you have to take it beyond mere faith and
      actually back it up. Daniel not only can't back it up, he doesn't
      even try.

      > The mind/body problem
      > causes no small problem for atheism. Yes, indeed, folks
      > the mind is a marvelous thing, but it is clearly more
      > than simply the mechanistic operation of the brain
      > itself,

      Again, Daniel does not provide any explanation or rational
      justification for his assertion. All he does is just assert it again.
      Daniel apparently believes - irrationally - that if you repeat an
      assertion often enough that somehow magically changes it into a
      rational argument.

      > which is all
      > that Greene and his atheistic pals are left with, even as
      > his statement shows. Free will, which is inherent in a
      > human being by virtue of that remarkable aspect and
      > quality of human nature called "the soul" or human
      > "spirit,"

      Now we see an incoherent assertion. Many Christians disagree with
      Daniel's assertion. They assert the opposite. It's called "Calvinism."

      Additionally, notice that Daniel is trying to back up his assertion
      by - yes, you guessed it - making a circular argument. He "backs up"
      one faith assertion by appealing to another faith assertion. He
      cannot cite any empirical facts because he doesn't have any.

      > must indeed transcend
      > the mechanisms of the brain, or else it is not genuinely
      > free: for its "decisions" would always be predetermined
      > by these blind processes.

      Indeed, our brains are constrained by physical reality. This is my
      point. Our thoughts are limited and fallible. This is reality. This
      is MY point, not Daniel's.

      > The atheist claims
      > he cannot see it or quantify it so it must not exist.

      Now we see Daniel again making the argument "We don't need no
      stinkin' evidence." Every time Daniel makes this argument he is
      admitting the fundamental position of atheism.

      > Yet in insisting
      > that their proposition that God does not exist is true,

      Here we observe Daniel misrepresenting atheism - again. The atheist
      proposition is that there isn't any good evidence justifying belief
      in a god.

      > while myriads of other folks claim the opposite, only
      > serves to show the very fact of free will and
      > subsequently that the mind is more than the functioning
      > of an accidental, deterministic operation of chemicals.

      What it serves to show is that the mind is limited and fallible.
      There is nothing whatsoever about the atheistic position that implies
      EITHER (1) that the mind is not limited and not fallible, OR (2) that
      the mind is produced by "accidental, deterministic operation of
      chemicals."

      So notice that my discussion about natural discussion apparently went
      completely over Daniel's head!

      > No wonder he
      > does not desire to debate the existence of God but seeks
      > constantly to change the subject.

      Daniel is correct that I do not desire to discuss atheism. It's
      because I find the subject dry and boring. (As I have pointed out in
      a very recent post - but I've also pointed this out at various
      incidental times over the years in other discussions - I like to
      discuss science.

      In regard to seeking to "constantly...change the subject," the fact
      of the matter is that it is the young earth creationists who
      constantly sought to change the subject because they're so
      embarrassed about the fact that their religious dogma of young earth
      creationism is scientifically false. So here we see Daniel lying
      about this too, as he has been constantly lying about it all along.

      > He is affirming
      > a purely naturalistically deterministic system,

      No. In fact, the position I advocate is that beliefs require evidence.

      > which dooms his
      > position to abject failure.

      It's impossible to doom my position with a straw man argument.

      > Well, he is
      > not going to set up the playground just his way.

      I didn't set up the "playground." Reality is reality. Reality is not
      determined by people making things up. This is why beliefs about
      reality require evidence. Without evidence, beliefs are just things
      that people have made up and don't necessarily have anything to do
      with reality.

      --- In ContendingFTF, Daniel Denham wrote (post #7350):
      > Todd Greene, whom Rick Hartzog has admitted is a fool,
      > does not realize just how limited his view of the world
      > is by virtue of atheism.

      I totally agree that my view of the world is limited by the
      requirement that what we believe about reality should be determined
      by the evidence.

      > Even his foolish
      > and vapid thoughts are the result of the mindless
      > blundering of the electro-chemical processes of his brain
      > -- WAIT, MAYBE HE'S ON TO SOMETHING THERE! He He He.

      I totally agree that human thoughts are limited and fallible. The
      thoughts/remarks of Daniel Denham are a great example of just how
      limited and fallible they can be.

      --- In ContendingFTF, Daniel Denham wrote (post #7351):
      > In fact, we may see more such stupid and vapid thoughts
      > spill forth from Todd's "brain."

      Actually, what we're observing - which is what we've been observing
      for many weeks now - is that stupid and vapid thoughts spill forth
      from Daniel's brain on a routine basis. The public record speaks to
      this quite well. Indeed, Daniel's demonstration of this is going to
      make a great addition to my website.

      > Just remember that
      > it's all predetermined by the minless blundering off his
      > electro-chemical processes, and that he has no real free
      > will in the matter. Free will is just an illusion, given
      > Todd's goofiness.

      This is merely a straw man argument, as I've already pointed out
      above.

      --- In ContendingFTF, Daniel Denham wrote (post #7356):
      > Todd Greene has admitted that his thoughts are the
      > results of the mindless blundering of the
      > electro-chemical processes in his brain and nothing more.

      Notice Daniel's typical "weasel word" usage of the word "admitted."
      We have noticed that Daniel uses that tactic an awful lot. (It's a
      rhetoric tactic used to try to denigrate an argument that has been
      made. The word "blundering" in that sentence is also the use of
      this "weasel word" tactic.)

      I did not "admit" the argument. I stated the argument, and I stated
      it explicitly, as a statement concerning what we know about reality
      by scientific examination of reality. This is the STRENGTH of my
      argument. There's nothing to "admit" when I'm stating an argument
      that is precisely one of the strengths of my position.

      > By sheer random
      > blundering

      This is a false statement. The electro-chemical processes of the
      brain are not "random blundering." I defy Daniel to back that up.

      > of these processes
      > he has thus become an atheist.

      Actually, I became an atheist because in studying my theistic beliefs
      I realized that they could not be rationally justified. And Daniel is
      demonstrating this for us.

      > Had he been
      > born in India he would no doubt have bungled into being a
      > Hindu or a Buddhist. In China his brain would have
      > accidentally made him a Communist or maybe a secretive
      > Taoist. In Arabia he would have been possibly Bin Laden's
      > right hand stooge.

      This is FUNNY!!! Apparently Daniel doesn't realize that I was born in
      the United States in a CHURCH OF CHRIST family, and that that is the
      religious faith I believed in for many years until through various
      stages of examination of my religious beliefs I realized that they
      could not be rationally justified, so I rejected them for lack of
      evidence. So in making the statement he has made here Daniel has
      unwittingly indicted his own position!

      > Instead he is
      > leftist one in atheism.

      Ooooooo... So horrible. LEFTIST. This is the typically stupid and
      vapid remarks you get from Daniel Denham. "Leftist" has nothing to do
      with atheism. Not only that, BUT I'M NOT "LEFTIST"! Sometimes
      Daniel's remarks just fall into the totally moronic.

      > His buddies Robert
      > Baty and Rick Hartzog are no better off.

      How is this relevant to the discussion at all? Of course, it isn't.
      Just another typical Denhamism.

      > Baty believe that
      > he is the intellectual equal or superior to Matthew
      > Fontaine Maury,

      What a stupid and vapid comment by Daniel. Robert has never stated or
      implied any such thing.

      > and pretends to carry on conversations with the great
      > scientist.

      Wow, this misrepresentation doesn't even mean anything. Talk about
      stupid and vapid.

      > Some folks in
      > rubber rooms believe that they are Napoleon Bonaparte or
      > Josephine.

      And some folks have their heads buried so deeply in the sand that
      they seriously think that the Universe and the Earth didn't exist
      more than about 6,000 years ago!

      > Then there's Rick
      > who has trumpeted loudly the values and virtues of
      > "cat morality"

      This is just Daniel burying his head in the sand again, because he is
      incapable of dealing with the reality that animals display many of
      the behavioral aspects of what we call morality. Daniel merely
      denigrates the point rather than even trying to deal with the facts.
      This is one of his standard operating procedures.

      > and who has intimated that some people are
      > more human than others.

      This is a point from Rick's discussion, that Daniel failed to
      address. Again, rather than even trying to deal with the facts of the
      discussion, Daniel just runs away from the points being made and then
      later just makes stupid and vapid remarks about points that he ran
      away from even dealing with in a rational manner.

      > Maybe too it
      > is the rudimentary workings of their electro-chemical
      > processes responsible for such silliness and stupidity.

      Well, we KNOW that the silly, stupid comments such as this are coming
      straight from Daniel's brain. At least, that's all we have any
      evidence for.

      > That, hoever, removes
      > them from any consideration of being "cured," because
      > unless the molecules can be so alligned as to remedy the
      > problems in their brains, they are stuck with such
      > vapidity of thought on their part.

      Daniel is correct that all human beings are stuck with minds that are
      limited and fallible. I agree with him on this point. We have to work
      at it to engage in abstract rational discussion, just as people have
      to work at it to do Calculus. And mistakes and screw-ups are made all
      the time, which is why when our errors are pointed out to us we need
      to do a little work to correct our errors in order to try to improve
      are apprehensions. Some people are better at this than others.
      Daniel, of course, comes in pretty low on that scale.

      > One suggestion that
      > might would bring some help to them is take one another
      > "out behind the barn" and knock each other silly

      Note that this comment is coming from a guy who condemns people to
      being tormented eternally hell when they disagree with him!

      > -- well, they're already
      > silly, but you know what I mean -- and hope that having
      > the pudding knocked out of them will somehow get those
      > neurons to firing like they should and jiggle those
      > chemicals into place long enough for them to change their
      > minds on their foolish thoughts.

      Notice the sheer irony of that ridiculously silly comment.

      > Otherwise, they are
      > doomed to a life of folly.

      See?

      These are the kind of remarks you get from people who cannot
      substantiate their position on a rational basis.

      > Just a helpful
      > suggestion based on Todd's own implicit admissions.

      There's that "implicit admissions" weasel words tactic again. Of
      course, there was nothing "implicit" or an "admission." I stated my
      points explicitly, and far from being any "admission" my points
      substantiate my position.

      - Todd Greene
    • Todd S. Greene
      Speaking of mistakes, in post #10935 I posted the following statement: Thus, until the claim God exists cannot be justified, the rational position is that
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 1, 2007
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        Speaking of mistakes, in post #10935 I posted the following statement:

        "Thus, until the claim 'God exists' cannot be justified, the rational
        position is that there is no reason to believe in the god."

        This is a good example of how editing and missing a full edit can screw
        things up. In the process of writing that sentence, I had started of by
        typing "Thus, if the claim 'God exists' cannot be justified...." then
        moved my cursor back to the "if" because it was better to state it
        as "until," but then I neglected to edit the other part of the phrase
        accordingly. So that sentence should be:

        "Thus, until the claim 'God exists' is justified, the rational position
        is that there is no reason to believe in the god."

        That statement on its own, by the way, is a concise statement of the
        atheistic position.

        - Todd Greene
      • Robert Baty
        ... It looks like that cannot should be a can ! Alas, I had written the above, checked your latest incoming post, and noticed you have already noted and
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 1, 2007
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          Todd, you wrote, in part:

          > Thus, until the claim
          > "God exists" cannot be
          > justified, the rational
          > position is that there is
          > no reason to believe in
          > the god.

          It looks like that "cannot" should be a "can"!

          Alas, I had written the above, checked your latest incoming post, and noticed you have already noted and corrected the error! :o)

          You also noted that:

          > Daniel (Denham) will keep
          > right on misrepresenting
          > what atheism even means,
          > long after the cows have
          > come home.

          Speaking of which, the "cows" (i.e., according to Donald Canny, the "girlie-men" who are most vocal on the ContendingFTF list) are all due home tomorrow.

          What else will they be doing once all the cows come home?

          Todd, you also wrote:

          > Notice that Daniel did not
          > even attempt to back up
          > his assertion.

          I noticed!

          Todd, you also noticed:

          > What we're observing is
          > Daniel giving up on the
          > rationality of his belief...

          Didn't I note that Bales warned us of that. Daniel is in a place where reason doesn't dwell.

          Todd, you again properly notice, for the record:

          > In regard to seeking
          > to "constantly...change the
          > subject," the fact of the
          > matter is that it is the young
          > earth creationists who
          > constantly sought to change
          > the subject because they're so
          > embarrassed about the fact
          > that their religious dogma of
          > young earth creationism is
          > scientifically false.

          > So here we see Daniel lying
          > about this too, as he has been
          > constantly lying about it all
          > along.

          Sincerely,
          Robert Baty



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        • w_w_c_l
          ... Todd, thank you for pointing that out. As I just posted in the other thread (in part): ***** Here is the message that shows Daniel Denham would have been
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 1, 2007
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            Todd, you quoted Daniel Denham:

            > > Then there's Rick
            > > who has trumpeted loudly the values and virtues of
            > > "cat morality"

            And replied:

            > This is just Daniel burying his head in the sand again,
            > because he is incapable of dealing with the reality
            > that animals display many of the behavioral aspects of
            > what we call morality. Daniel merely denigrates the
            > point rather than even trying to deal with the facts.
            > This is one of his standard operating procedures.

            Quoting Denham again:

            > > and who has intimated that some people are
            > > more human than others.

            You replied:

            > This is a point from Rick's discussion, that Daniel
            > failed to address. Again, rather than even trying to
            > deal with the facts of the discussion, Daniel just
            > runs away from the points being made and then later
            > just makes stupid and vapid remarks about points that
            > he ran away from even dealing with in a rational
            > manner.

            Todd, thank you for pointing that out. As I just
            posted in the other thread (in part):

            *****
            Here is the message that shows Daniel Denham would have
            been better served to just keep his mouth shut about me
            and my "cat morality" and my "intimations" of what makes
            a human a "human":

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Maury_and_Baty/message/9782
            *****

            Quoting Denham:

            > > Just a helpful
            > > suggestion based on Todd's own implicit admissions.

            You replied:

            > There's that "implicit admissions" weasel words
            > tactic again. Of course, there was nothing "implicit"
            > or an "admission." I stated my points explicitly,
            > and far from being any "admission" my points
            > substantiate my position.
            >
            > - Todd Greene

            Just a "helpful suggestion", Todd: you might want to
            copy your last paragraph here to a handy place so
            you can paste it repeatedly into any replies you may
            make to Daniel Denham. Those "implicit admissions"
            of yours will be where Denham gets himself into trouble --
            you can say the sky is above the sea and Denham will
            take that as an "implicit admission" from you that you
            believe the sea is above the sky.


            Rick Hartzog
            Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
          • Robert Baty
            Rick, Todd: I think you might find some good evidence as to just how hard I ve hit Daniel Denham by simply doing some checking on the use of the term, in its
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 1, 2007
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              Rick, Todd:

              I think you might find some good evidence as to just how hard I've hit Daniel Denham by simply doing some checking on the use of the term, in its various forms, "implicit".

              I have used the term so successfully to note various aspects of where David P. Brown and the boys are at that it really got to Daniel Denham.

              So, Denham has recently picked it up and started using it, ineffectively, in his postings.

              What a hoot!

              Denham can't be like Wallace!
              Denham can't be like Warren!
              Denham can't be like Bales!

              Denham wants to try to be like Baty!

              I win again!

              Sincerely,
              Robert Baty






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