Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
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18-05-2015, 08:40 PM
Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
Soooo.... I have a video on YouTube I'm responding to. It's John Lennox basically saying that evolution cannot produce rationality you can trust. I countered that it would, and got this piece of epicness:

Quote:the fact is that an atheist can't trust their brain because rationally there rationality would be incorrect. there would be no reason why a person could use their brain to understand the world around them. That is why the christian assumes that their brain actually is able to see the world and make sense of it, because it has not been accumulated over a long period of random chance and necessity without guidance.

This was in response to my comment of:

Quote:Why should you believe that a set of sensory organs and a brain that evolved for survival would give you anything resembling the truth? Because, computationally, it's a lot easier to deal with the truth than to deal with a carefully balanced set of lies that happen to generate the same end result as the truth would. More than this, the lies have to be exceedingly well balanced since if you hold a false belief and try it against other things, its falsity will show through in other places. Otherwise every belief needs to be incredibly specific to be false. If anything, having such a system of false beliefs that so perfectly balanced one another would be a great indication of intelligent design.

Have I missed something? Is my argument flawed? Is there anything I should add?
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18-05-2015, 08:56 PM
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
(18-05-2015 08:40 PM)OddGamer Wrote:  Soooo.... I have a video on YouTube I'm responding to. It's John Lennox basically saying that evolution cannot produce rationality you can trust. I countered that it would, and got this piece of epicness:

Quote:the fact is that an atheist can't trust their brain because rationally there rationality would be incorrect. there would be no reason why a person could use their brain to understand the world around them. That is why the christian assumes that their brain actually is able to see the world and make sense of it, because it has not been accumulated over a long period of random chance and necessity without guidance.

This was in response to my comment of:

Quote:Why should you believe that a set of sensory organs and a brain that evolved for survival would give you anything resembling the truth? Because, computationally, it's a lot easier to deal with the truth than to deal with a carefully balanced set of lies that happen to generate the same end result as the truth would. More than this, the lies have to be exceedingly well balanced since if you hold a false belief and try it against other things, its falsity will show through in other places. Otherwise every belief needs to be incredibly specific to be false. If anything, having such a system of false beliefs that so perfectly balanced one another would be a great indication of intelligent design.

Have I missed something? Is my argument flawed? Is there anything I should add?

Natural selection is not random.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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18-05-2015, 09:13 PM
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
Another point. I always like to ask a Christian what he could possibly mean by rationality since the Christian Bible has nothing to say on the subject. It has no theory of concepts. It has nothing to say about the conceptual nature of knowledge, how concepts are formed and validated or even what they are. What is the distinctive Christian concept of rationality? There isn't one and Christians are borrowing (stealing) this concept from non-Christian world views.

Rationality is the commitment to reason as one's only guide to knowledge and it rests on premises (the law of identity, the primacy of existence) which Christianity explicitly rejects. That's why rationality is a stolen concept for the Christian.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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18-05-2015, 09:31 PM
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
(18-05-2015 09:13 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Rationality is the commitment to reason as one's only guide to knowledge and it rests on premises (the law of identity, the primacy of existence) which Christianity explicitly rejects. That's why rationality is a stolen concept for the Christian.

I understand how they're violating the primacy of existence (by suggesting that god created all of existence), but how are they against the law of identity?
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18-05-2015, 09:50 PM
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
I would point out that you gave a fairly good explanation of why a brain that can represent the truth and rationally consider it is evolutionarily advantageous, and the theist fool responded by merely restating his original premise, which you'd already dealt with. Not to mention the strawman version of evolution; if he wanted to honestly discuss the topic that'd be one thing, if an ultimately short conversation, but if he just wants to misrepresent the opposing side in order to make his point easier to deal with, well, then it's pointless.

Do not truck with liars.
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18-05-2015, 10:22 PM (This post was last modified: 18-05-2015 10:26 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
(18-05-2015 08:40 PM)OddGamer Wrote:  Soooo.... I have a video on YouTube I'm responding to. It's John Lennox basically saying that evolution cannot produce rationality you can trust. I countered that it would, and got this piece of epicness:

Quote:the fact is that an atheist can't trust their brain because rationally there rationality would be incorrect. there would be no reason why a person could use their brain to understand the world around them. That is why the christian assumes that their brain actually is able to see the world and make sense of it, because it has not been accumulated over a long period of random chance and necessity without guidance.

This was in response to my comment of:

Quote:Why should you believe that a set of sensory organs and a brain that evolved for survival would give you anything resembling the truth? Because, computationally, it's a lot easier to deal with the truth than to deal with a carefully balanced set of lies that happen to generate the same end result as the truth would. More than this, the lies have to be exceedingly well balanced since if you hold a false belief and try it against other things, its falsity will show through in other places. Otherwise every belief needs to be incredibly specific to be false. If anything, having such a system of false beliefs that so perfectly balanced one another would be a great indication of intelligent design.

Have I missed something? Is my argument flawed? Is there anything I should add?

Your argument isn't flawed PER SE. But you seem to be, unwittingly, ceding the lion's share of the territory to your opponent before you even begin.

You see, you're trying to argue in defense of an empirically established, and tested, fact: Evolution. And he's trying to frame the argument not in terms of evidence, prediction, verification, or falsifiability, but spin and navel-gazing and armchair philosophizing.

And you're playing his game.

I'd suggest dragging him kicking and screaming into the realm of empiricism. Are our brains rational? Yes, with shortcomings. How do we know this? WE CAN TEST IT. Can we identify the ways in which our brains tend to be irrational? Yes, and for many of them we have! Point out his own faults -- confirmation bias, to start. Then ask how a theist can confirm their own rationality, if not through empirical testing? Not just assume or reason it (because the assumptions and reasoning can be flawed), but actually observe it?

Can rational intelligence -- functional rationality, to hell with any abstract, ephemeral spiritual mind crap -- evolve? Yes. Under laboratory conditions, even -- check out genetic algorithms. Granted this is artificial intelligence rather than natural intelligence, but if the principle didn't work in general it wouldn't work for genetic algorithms. And if the principle DOES work -- and it does -- why should the default assumption be that it couldn't have happened with humans?

The moment you cede empiricism as the standard of arriving at fact, you have lost. Hold onto it to your last.

EDIT: And don't forget to switch to the offensive. The Theory of Evolution has made many strong predictions which, in essence, were going out on a limb. That is because these predictions are predicated on the theory's truth. If they fail the theory is false, but if they hold then it provides a strong argument that the Theory of Evolution is accurate because HOW THE FUCK ELSE WOULD WE HAVE CALLED IT SO PRECISELY? And then drown him in evidence -- similarities in genetics backtracking to origins, pheneotype similarity, fossil record, and so on.
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19-05-2015, 03:20 AM
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
(18-05-2015 08:40 PM)OddGamer Wrote:  Soooo.... I have a video on YouTube I'm responding to. It's John Lennox basically saying that evolution cannot produce rationality you can trust. I countered that it would, and got this piece of epicness:

Quote:the fact is that an atheist can't trust their brain because rationally there rationality would be incorrect. there would be no reason why a person could use their brain to understand the world around them. That is why the christian assumes that their brain actually is able to see the world and make sense of it, because it has not been accumulated over a long period of random chance and necessity without guidance.

This was in response to my comment of:

Quote:Why should you believe that a set of sensory organs and a brain that evolved for survival would give you anything resembling the truth? Because, computationally, it's a lot easier to deal with the truth than to deal with a carefully balanced set of lies that happen to generate the same end result as the truth would. More than this, the lies have to be exceedingly well balanced since if you hold a false belief and try it against other things, its falsity will show through in other places. Otherwise every belief needs to be incredibly specific to be false. If anything, having such a system of false beliefs that so perfectly balanced one another would be a great indication of intelligent design.

Have I missed something? Is my argument flawed? Is there anything I should add?


My answer to your christen U-tuber

First, the brain may act as the physical foundation of thought, but the part of us capable of abstract thought is called the mind. I wonder, if one cannot trust one’s mind, what can they trust? No other organ in the human body can perform that function. Well, one could always put their trust in a God.

Second, human beings as a species could benefit greatly from better abilities to reason about, predict and understand the world. French social and cognitive scientist Dan Sperber, with his colleague Hugo describes the idea that there could have been other forces driving the evolution of reason. Sperber points out that reasoning is very difficult for humans to do effectively, and that it is hard for individuals to doubt their own beliefs. Reasoning is most effective when it is done as a collective - as demonstrated by the success of projects like science. Sperber says this could suggest that there are not just individual, but group selection pressures at play. Any group that managed to find ways of reasoning effectively would reap benefits for all its members, increasing their fitness. This could also help explain why humans, according to Sperber, are not optimized to reason effectively alone.(1) Patricia Cohen, writing for The New York Times, summarizes some of Mercier's thoughts on this "Argumentative Theory" (which states that reason is adapted to persuasion). To Cohen, the idea is that humans debate like lawyers: they often commit to one side of an argument and converse until the truth is discovered.(2)

Third, when U-tuber writes, “That is why the christian assumes that their brain actually is able to see the world and make sense of it…” Well how can we check that out?

Example 1: Dec. 2005 Christians lying to the court to impose their view on American children
Do you remember the Intelligent Design vs Evolution Trial in Denver? Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688). What did the courts write in the Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688) case?

What was Judge Jones decision about the Christian defendants on the Dover School Board? He wrote, “In fact, one consistency among the Dover School Board members' testimony, which was marked by selective memories and outright lies under oath, as will be discussed in more detail below, is that they did not think they needed to be knowledgeable about ID because it was not being taught to the students. We disagree. .... an educator reading the disclaimer is engaged in teaching, even if it is colossally bad teaching. .... Defendants' argument is a red herring because the Establishment Clause forbids not just 'teaching' religion, but any governmental action that endorses or has the primary purpose or effect of advancing religion.”


Example 2: Christians lying to children
On November 8, 2005 the Christian Kansas Board of Education approved the following changes to its science standards:

1. Add to the mission statement a goal that science education should seek to help students make "informed" decisions.
2. Provide a definition of science that is not strictly limited to natural explanations. (Science is strictly limited to natural explanations.)
3. Allow intelligent design to be presented as an alternative explanation to evolution as presented in mainstream biology textbooks, without endorsing it.(Not a scientifically excepted explanation.)
4. State that evolution is a theory and not a fact.(Theory in science means many facts.)
5. Require informing students of purported scientific controversies regarding evolution.(Science does not recognize any scientific controversy.)

Out of 5 changes to the science curriculum, 4 are falsehoods, another example of Christian reasoning on display.

Historical Record
Christianity reasoning has a long history of being on the wrong side of the scientific and social issues. During the hundreds of years of Christianity’s battle against science and rationality, the score is Christians 0 Scientists 100. A good book for information about these battles can be found in the book: A HISTORY OF THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE WITH THEOLOGY IN CHRISTENDOM by ANDREW DICKSON WHITE. You can grab some of examples of these battles between Christianity vs Science. The chapters can be found at the bottom of the page.

Here are some examples:

Example 1: About Fossils
III. The First Great Effort of Compromise, based on the Flood of Noah.
The theory that fossils were produced by the Deluge Its acceptance by both Catholics and Protestants--Luther, Calmet Burnet, Whiston, Woodward, Mazurier, Torrubia, Increase Mather Scheuchzer Voltaire's theory of fossils Vain efforts of enlightened churchmen in behalf of the scientific view Steady progress of science--the work of Cuvier and Brongniart Granvile Penn's opposition The defection of Buckland and Lyell to the scientific side Surrender of the theologians Remnants of the old belief Death-blow given to the traditional theory of the Deluge by the discovery of the Chaldean accounts Results of the theological opposition to science

IV. Final Efforts at Compromise--The Victory of Scienee complete.
Efforts of Carl von Raumer, Wagner, and others The new testimony of the caves and beds of drift as to the antiquity of man Gosse's effort to save the literal interpretation of Genesis Efforts of Continental theologians Gladstone's attempt at a compromise Its demolition by Huxley By Canon Driver Dean Stanley on the reconciliation of Science and Scripture

Example 2: About Christian reasoning on meteorology
CHAPTER XI. FROM "THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR" TO METEOROLOGY.
I. Growth of a Theological Theory.
The beliefs of classical antiquity regarding storms, thunder, and lightning Development of a sacred science of meteorology by the fathers of the Church Theories of Cosmas Indicopleustes Of Isidore of Seville Of Bede Of Rabanus Maurus Rational views of Honorius of Autun Orthodox theories of John of San Geminiano Attempt of Albert the Great to reconcile the speculations of Aristotle with the theological views The monkish encyclopedists Theories regarding the rainbow and the causes of storms Meteorological phenomena attributed to the Almighty

IV. Franklin's Lightning-Rod.
Franklin's experiments with the kite Their effect on the old belief Efforts at compromise between the scientific and theological theories Successful use of the lightning-rod Religious scruples against it in America In England In Austria In Italy Victory of the scientific theory This victory exemplified in the case of the church of the monastery of Lerins In the case of Dr. Moorhouse In the case of the Missouri droughts

A review of recent events and the historical record show that when Christianity is in power, it oppresses science and reasoning. And when Christianity loses power it turns to lying to influence people. And yet your claim is your happy about this type of reasoning? Well, to each his own.

Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, mathematics, and art and is normally considered to be a definitive characteristic of human nature.” Unless God is doing your thinking for you.

Good Luck,

Daniel
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19-05-2015, 04:38 AM
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
The Ultimate Guide to Winning an Argument on YouTube!


Step 1

Don't Get Into an Argument on YouTube

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
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19-05-2015, 04:45 AM
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
I think Lennox is referring to the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism[1]

This argument basically goes like this:
1. If we evolved to our present state our reasoning should only be good enough to survive, and not infinitely good.
2. This would make me sad
Therefore, God.

Here's my take:
1. If we evolved to our present state our reasoning should only be good enough to survive, and not infinitely good.
2. Our reasoning is in fact only good enough to survive and we have a decent understanding of many of the flaws in our reasoning that confirms this to be the case.
Therefore, the evidence we have is that reality is consistent with our minds having evolved. Moreover, it is reasonable to think that a creator would have done a better job with our cognitive faculties. Under bayesian reasoning the evidence of our imperfect rationality points towards naturalism and away from creationism.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionar...naturalism

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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19-05-2015, 06:24 AM
RE: Seeking more help vs Christian YouTuber
(19-05-2015 04:45 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I think Lennox is referring to the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism[1]

This argument basically goes like this:
1. If we evolved to our present state our reasoning should only be good enough to survive, and not infinitely good.
2. This would make me sad
Therefore, God.

2. This would make me sad Laughat
Bowing

Premise #2, or some variant of it, does seem to be at the core of most theistic arguments. God exists because they think it would be better if that were the case. I've just rarely, if ever, seen it put so succinctly.

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