"Faith" We ALL have it!

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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Wed May 21, 2014 6:44 pm

Yep. You think atheists and scientists discount "supernatural" explanations. You think atheists and scientists do not consider "supernatural" explanations. You are wrong. I've explained how you are wrong in a dozen different ways. I'm largely done repeating myself.

If you want to continue claiming that I have certain beliefs despite my continued protestations otherwise, be my guest.

PS: You say: "But you don't use deduction or induction directly or exclusively to get God." Then what else do you use "to get to [a] god"? Keep in mind that reasoning on circumstantial evidence is inductive reasoning, is Bayesian reasoning.

I'm still waiting on you to answer what methods, processes, and standards of belief and justification you use to learn about your god if not solely deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, Bayesian reasoning, and science. What is it?
Last edited by EnlightenmentLiberal on Wed May 21, 2014 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Wed May 21, 2014 7:02 pm

So you are going to try to tell me that you don't understand the distinction between deductive evidence that "proves" that someone murdered someone, and a "circumstantial" case where the INFERENCE to guilt from indirect evidence is strong enough for a conviction?

Not only do I not "understand" the difference, I argue strongly there is no qualitative difference. No conclusion about our shared reailty is ever "proved" from evidence. It's all a matter of degree of confidence, of degrees of probability. In both cases, you are using inductive reasoning, aka Bayesian reasoning, on evidence. In one case, the evidence might be strong, and my confidence might be near 99% (but never 100%). In another case, the evidence might be weak, and my confidence may only be 90%. Perhaps there is no relevant evidence, and I am undecided, and my confidence is 50%.

This is what it means to be a skeptic, to use science, to practice critical thinking. No conclusion is ever deductively proved. All deductive conclusions rest on inductive premises, which means all of our conclusions are only as strong as our evidence, which means we skeptics are always willing to revisit conclusions when new evidence comes along. Skeptics also recognize that we are fallible in our thought processes, that we have biases. That's why we demand proper statistical analysis for important claims, and that's why we're always open to being shown that our reasoning for any conclusion is wrong.

Our only dogma is the values of humanism, the usefulness and correctness of the method of inductive reasoning aka Bayesian reasoning aka the method of science, and that there are no other dogmas.

deductive "proof".

You don't use pure deduction to show guilt of a defendent in court. That is nonsensical. It always involves some degree of evidence, and thus it always involves some degree of inductive reasoning, aka Bayesian reasoning. As I mentioned before, no conclusion abuot our shared reality is ever "proved (beyond all doubt)". There is no such thing in a court case as "proved guilty (beyond all doubt)". With evidence - direct or circumstantial - all you can ever show is a likelihood or high probability, never 100% certainty.

The applied sciences must use methodological atheism to perform experiments.

No, they don't. I don't know what you're talking about.

The historical sciences,(evolutionary biology when it looks at origins of life, cosmology when it looks at origins of the Universe), when they try to limit inquiry to the same methodology,

No, they don't. I don't know what you're talking about.

Crick, Dawkins, Harris, in all of their writings frame their outlook, from what they consider the ONLY scientific way to see things, as an exclusive basis for rationality defined by materialistic naturalism.

I don't know about Crick, but Dawkins and Harris do not. Science is not based on the assumption of naturalism, philosophical naturalism nor methodological naturalism. Dawkins and Harris agree.

methodological naturalism

Again, many people say this, but they're wrong. Science does not use methodological naturalism. Again, I know many people say this, but they're wrong. Science uses methodological test-ism and methodological obserable-ism - not methodological naturalism. (Often, some people merely mean testable and observable when they say "methodological naturalism", but you're bringing in a separate definition which is not what these speakers intend.)

Then the highly rational interpretation of the evidence that Intelligent Design offers should be something

I've been asking what evidence you have several times now. You haven't clarified. Please clarify. Are you making an argument that we have known cases of irreducible complexity? Or are you making an argument against abiogenesis? Both? Again, please clarify.

The anthropic coincidences that set fine limits for the laws of physics to make the universe able to sustain life;

A coincidence with sample size one is what we call "an anecdote". "Anecdote" is not a synonym of "evidence".

Also, that supports the Flying Spaghetti Monster just as much as it does your Christian god. It's a non-sequitur to this discussion.

the miraculous levels of intelligent information encoded within living systems;
Which is the result of the unguided process of random mutation, inheritance, and natural selection.

Also, that supports the Flying Spaghetti Monster just as much as it does your Christian god. It's a non-sequitur to this discussion.

these evidences SHOULD be able to infer for you the possibility (likelihood) of a designer.
Are we having a conversation about deism or Christianity? I do not want to have a conversation about deism. I am agnostic on the question of deistic god. I am an atheist - all that means is that I am not convinced that there is a god. I do not know if there is a deistic god. The question of whether there is a deistic god does not interest me in the slighest.

Are we having a conversation about your Christian god, or a deistic god?

either means that your statements above are simply untrue about your stance as a materialist, or (more likely) that you really are lost in dogmatism and really can't see the hard clash within your own thinking.

Or, your evidence and argument are really bad, and you are conflating Christianity with deism. I have been arguing this entire time about Christianity, not mere deism. Stop with the bait and switch.

...

PS: I'm still waiting on you to answer what methods, processes, and standards of belief and justification you use to learn about your god if not solely deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, Bayesian reasoning, and science. What is it?
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby Howdybud » Thu May 22, 2014 1:40 pm

EL says,

“Let's see if I can use the term Bayesian reasoning without communication difficulty.
Let me explain again. When I look at the world, I see things. I have sensory experience. I see, hear, taste, touch, and smell things. This would include telepathy if it existed. It would include the sense experience of the magnetic field if I had such a sense like sharks, but I do not. This would also include god directly talking to me in my head. When I say observable things, I mean to include any sort of influence on my experience that does not come from within my own head.”


You still don’t get it EL. Let’s say you “observed” something that seemed to be “telepathy”, (Just like Richard Dawkins observes when he concedes in his book The Blind Watchmaker that the Universe “appears” to be designed). Like him, you can “observe” a phenomenon just like me, but what will be the range of allowable INTERPRETATION that your standards allow in drawing conclusions? THAT’S the issue here. I submit to you that, just like Dawkins, if your standard is materialistic naturalism you will either find what you feel is a reasonable MATERIALIST explanation, or you will end up shelving your decision as an, “as yet unanswered question for future materialist discovery”. You’ll ALWAYS end up with an atheist, materialist, conclusion, if you come up with one at all. When questioned as to why you would do that and lock yourself into that materialist circle of reasoning, you would likely say, (Again as Dawkins always does), “But that’s the way “science” works!” Really, however, that’s the way dogmatic atheism works within the historic sciences. Observation is not the issue as far as your explanation of Bayesian reasoning goes. The background limits you place on interpreting what you observe lies at the heart of the matter.

You say,
“On Bayesian reasoning, we can look at intelligent design. On the hypothesis that unguided biological evolution is true, we should expect to see several things, such as the correspondence of the morphological tree of life and the genetic tree of life.”


But when we look at historic events like the Cambrian explosion, the alleged “cone of diversity” required by Darwinian macro evolution, is turned upside down. And after over a hundred years of desperate dogmatic fossil digging the universe of transitionals that should be there are still missing. Bayesian reasoning should recognize that disconfirming evidence as MORE than just “unsolved materialist problems”. That is a non-explanation and a rhetorical, unfalsifiable, dogmatic dodge of the evidence. “Oh but that’s how “science” works”. Again, no, that’s how dogmatic materialistic naturalism works.

You say,

“ On the hypothesis that there is some irreducible complexity in some organisms, we should expect to find such irreducibly complex structures. Yet, despite lots of attempts to find such things, none have stood up, and all have been shown to have evolutionary ancestors. Thus, on Bayesian reasoning, the sensible conclusion is that the hypothesis of irreducible complexity is false, and unguided biological evolution is true.”


Well, you’ll have to submit some evidence that all of Dr. Behe’s examples have been “proven” invalid. Obviously the controversy exists. Obviously you stand solidly on one side of it. Your assertion begs the question unless you can demonstrate that there are no examples of irreducible complexity as he argues. You haven’t done that. His book, Darwin’s Black Box seems to me to make a strong case? You've just made the bald assertion. However, considering even just the two critical issues I mentioned above with respect to unguided evolution, your conclusion that, “unguided biological (MACRO) evolution is true”, is an unfounded assumption, against the disconfirming evidence, that Bayesian reasoning would certainly NOT lead one to conclude as a science fact.

Digressing further and further from the topic that this discussion is supposed to be about (whether atheists act out of a “faith” perspective like non atheists do), you launch into a lot of anti biblical stuff,

“We can use our knowledge of the state of the texts for the first few centuries, and use well established facts like about 5% of the modern Biblical text was added after the third century. (We know this because we have lots of surviving manuscripts, and the texts are different.) That's just modifications after the third century. Imagine how much worse it would have been in the first and second century while the text was still being standardized.”


As if to say that there isn’t 2000 years’ worth of Faith based counter arguments and a lot of false assumptions in your Bible bashing. Frustrating as it may be, I’m not following you out too far on the limb of Bible exegesis and apologetics, within THIS discussion. As I have pointed out several times as you have tried to change the subject, the topic here is whether atheists work out of a “faith” perspective or not. Most deny that they do. You find that “Bayesian reasoning” must reject not only the Bible, but also a more baseline scientific interpretation of evidence as expressed in the Intelligent Design paradigm. What point is it for us to argue more complex expressions of Faith, when we haven’t found common ground on a much more very simple level, based out of science, not anyone’s holy texts.

Trying to steer the discussion back on topic, my observation is that you find it easy to dismiss BOTH the Bible AND Intelligent design by way of “Bayesian Reasoning”, but don’t dismiss Darwinian evolution by the same standard, considering the mass of disconfirming evidence (missing transitionals in the fossil record, inverted cone of diversity demonstrated in the Cambrian explosion.) Your double standard reveals a bias, a faith system at work which you think is grounded in unshakable logic, but that is filled with holes. You exercise a double standard in your APPLICATION of "Bayesian reasoning".

You say,

“... what about the prophesy that Jesus said he was coming back in the lifetime of some people present (Matthew 16:28). Do you really believe there's a two thousand year old Jew from Jesus's day still wandering around?
That's a failed prophesy.”


So you keep tempting me with Bible errors! OK, Just one! No, I don’t think there are 2000 year old Jews still waiting for Jesus’ return! But, just to show that there are counter arguments to Bible cynics litany of "errors", I believe that at least three people soon after He said this, not coincidentally, saw the vision of Him in the Glory of His Kingdom at the Transfiguration. So context counts and Biblical apologists have answers for skeptics who want to create false arguments out of the more difficult passages in Scripture. Is that an absolutely iron clad interpretation of the text? No, it is even controversial within christian scholarship. But it is a reasonable, fully possible interpretation that, if nothing else, demonstrates that it is not just a simple case of a “failed” prophecy. It is a question of INTERPRETATION. Still, ultimately, we live by “Faith”. The Bible doesn’t “prove” God apart from Faith. The question is, do atheists also act out of faith. Again, most argue that they do not act out of faith. In fact, they claim a mere ABSENCE of faith. The topic here, and my argument, is that they do, in fact, express their God rejection out of a faith based worldview, no less dependent on faith based presuppositions than the person of God believing “Faith”. (Sorry if redundant! I just feel compelled to try to pull us back on topic!)

In the end, (as far as Bible interpretation that can have meaningful implications to the posted topic of discussion), you have not shown me how you would use “Bayesian reasoning” in the case of the Resurrection. After “observing” the evidence, (as I briefly described it in an earlier response), how would the limitations of your defined “Science” interpret the Resurrection of Christ in terms of the possibility of it having been a supernatural event?
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Thu May 22, 2014 9:47 pm

if your standard is materialistic naturalism you will either find what you feel is a reasonable MATERIALIST explanation

I have no such standard.

If I start hearing other people's thoughts, and I can confirm this through controlled repeated experiments, then I would accept that telepathy is real. Materialism is irrelevant.

I might also try to explain "how telepathy works". I tried to explain this to you earlier, but you did not understand. Let me try again.

Did you watch the Feynman video?

Everyone takes for granted that you cannot put your hand through a chair when normal pressure. The chair is solid, and your hand is solid. Everyone takes that for granted. However, when you look at it more closely, that's a question which we might want to answer. Why can't you put your hand through the chair? To answer this kind of why question, one has to give an answer in terms of something else the questioner understands. It's not materialism. It's methodological reductionism.

Why can't you put your hand through the chair? Because your hand is solid and the chair is solid, and you generally cannot put solids through solids. That might satisfy most people, but a curious person could ask "why do solids not go through solids?" Your hand and this chair are solid because they are made out of certain atoms arranged in certain molecules at a certain temperature in a certain chemical arrangement which gives it the properties of being solid. These particular arrangements then repulse each other at close range due to the electric force (electromagnetic).

Ok. Why those arrangements and not other arrangements? Isn't the air also made out of atoms arranged into molecules? And how does the electric force work anyway? Why do I sometimes feel the electric force over a long range, such as electrostatically charged balloons? For the balloon, that's because there's a certain extra amount or lesser amount of electrons to give an object a net total charge. Why do electrons have electric charge and neutrons do not?

Very soon, I will have to answer "I don't know". Even the best physicists in the world would have to answer "I don't know". Modern physicists would likely try to explain the electron in terms of quantum field theory, but then I could just ask why does the electric field and the higgs field (or whatever) have interactions in this way and not that way? Why are the interactions between the electric field and the higgs field different than the electric field and the magnetic field?

No one knows. In other words, we do not have an explanation in terms of something which we're more familiar with. This is methodological reductionism. However, the Münchhausen trilemma applies. Eventually this reductionism approach ends. We've hit rock bottom. We'll hit some base model - in this case quantum field theory - which in principle can explain a great many other facts which you might think are unrelated, like why you cannot put your hand through a chair.

...

Coming back. So, I can easily show that telepathy is real, works, etc. I might not be able to explain how it works, but if the evidence is there, then it obviously works. Like a good scientist, I would try a methodological reductionist approach to see if I can unify models and explain one thing in terms of another thing. Explaining one thing in terms of another is one way - an important way - how scientific knowledge advances.

Telepathy does not explain quantum field theory, and quantum field theory does not explain telepathy. At least - not yet. Maybe someone will show how one explains the other. Maybe someone will come up with a new model that explains both. Inventing new models to explain several other things is another way science works.

or you will end up shelving your decision as an, “as yet unanswered question for future materialist discovery”.

You almost have it right. The right way of putting it would be "Telepathy works. It obviously is real and works. However, how does it work? Can we explain telepathy in terms of some more fundamental and more encompassing model of reality? Nope. It's a as-yet unanswered question for future discovery."

Materialism doesn't come into it. It's not an assumption that scientists and (most) atheists start with.

You’ll ALWAYS end up with an atheist, materialist, conclusion, if you come up with one at all.

Simply false. Imagine a world where the germ theory of disease was wrong, and where exorcisms actually worked. It may then make sense to say that disease was caused by immaterial demonic possession. I just don't have any good evidence of non-material things yet.

But when we look at historic events like the Cambrian explosion, the alleged “cone of diversity” required by Darwinian macro evolution, is turned upside down.

Do your research.
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html
And other pages on talkorigins.

And after over a hundred years of desperate dogmatic fossil digging the universe of transitionals that should be there are still missing.

Like what?

Whales?
http://www.talkorigins.org/features/whales/

Humans?
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC050.html
I've seen different creationists look at the same transitional fossil skulls, and all proudly proclaim that obviously X was the dividing mark between (other) apes and humans, and yet none of them agreed and gave wildly different results. The fossil record was weak in Darwin's time, and he was a genius for seeing the future, but we have much better evidence than Darwin.

Well, you’ll have to submit some evidence that all of Dr. Behe’s examples have been “proven” invalid. Obviously the controversy exists.

The controversy only exists among non-scientists and a less than 1% fringe of practicing professionals.

You don't understand how bad the position is. It was made abundantly clear at trial. Read the transcript.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Kitzmille ... rict_et_al.

Watch the talk by the serious Catholic Ken Miller who was an expert witness in the case.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK0CYZvaJLw

For the bacterial flagellum.
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB200_1.html
We have identified 50 precursor proteins. 50.

For blood clotting.
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB200_2.html

I haven't yet taken the time to thoroughly research into the third of the infamous trifecta - the immune system - but I can imagine how it would go. Quoting the Dover decision (written by a Judge appointed by President Bush):
Although in Darwin’s Black Box, Professor Behe wrote that not only were there no natural explanations for the immune system at the time, but that natural explanations were impossible regarding its origin. (P-647 at 139; 2:26-27 (Miller)). However, Dr. Miller presented peer-reviewed studies refuting Professor Behe’s claim that the immune system was irreducibly complex. Between 1996 and 2002, various studies confirmed each element of the evolutionary hypothesis explaining the origin of the immune system. (2:31 (Miller)). In fact, on cross-examination, Professor Behe was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented with fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not “good enough.” (23:19 (Behe)).


Back to you:
Obviously you stand solidly on one side of it. Your assertion begs the question unless you can demonstrate that there are no examples of irreducible complexity as he argues.

I have to do no such thing. That is an unreasonable shifting of the burden of proof.

Currently, AFAIK there is no known case of actual irreducible complexity, and AFAIK every single poster-child case of irreducible complexity has been destroyed. We also have lots and lots of good examples showing the evolutionary ancestry of many many things. Applying proper statistical analysis, aka Bayesian reasoning, on this evidence, one finds that the only reasonable expectation is that in every future case, we'll find an evolutionary pathway.

I'm sorry, you cannot say that "Until you give a specific evolutionary pathway for each and every protein in all creatures in existence, you haven't shown that evolution is true". That's just bullshit.

Trying to steer the discussion back on topic, my observation is that you find it easy to dismiss BOTH the Bible AND Intelligent design by way of “Bayesian Reasoning”, but don’t dismiss Darwinian evolution by the same standard, considering the mass of disconfirming evidence (missing transitionals in the fossil record, inverted cone of diversity demonstrated in the Cambrian explosion.) Your double standard reveals a bias, a faith system at work which you think is grounded in unshakable logic, but that is filled with holes. You exercise a double standard in your APPLICATION of "Bayesian reasoning".

You're just ignorant of the evidence, and possibly in denial about the evidence too, aka delusional. (Not clinically insane, just a normal delusion. Most people have some degree of delusion.)

Trying to steer the discussion back on topic,

You're trying to have your cake and eat it too. You are the one who said that I use faith to dismiss biblical prophesy, and that I have an atheist presupposition which denies biblical prophesy. Either drop that as an argument, or allow me to respond in kind. To respond to that argument, I need to point out that there are as many failed prophesies as there are fulfilled, and then argue that there's no reason to think that the writers of the bible had any special knowledge of the future.
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby Howdybud » Sat May 24, 2014 1:43 pm

EnlightenmentLiberal says
“Yep. You think atheists and scientists discount "supernatural" explanations. You think atheists and scientists do not consider "supernatural" explanations. You are wrong. I've explained how you are wrong in a dozen different ways. I'm largely done repeating myself. If you want to continue claiming that I have certain beliefs despite my continued protestations otherwise, be my guest.”


Well EL, you keep asserting that the scientific establishment has it right in how they define science, and I don’t understand how science works and have a “neutered” vision of what science ought to be. You also keep asserting that supernatural consideration is just fine within the present scientific paradigm. So let’s see if you are correct. I quote from a paper written by William A. Dembski
http://www.designinference.com/document ... _of_ID.pdf

"Critics of intelligent design who hold to methodological materialism say that nature operates
only by natural causes and is explained scientifically only through natural explanations. But what
do they mean by “nature”? Eugenie Scott (1998), director of the evolution watchdog group the
National Center for Science Education (NCSE), explains how methodological materialism
construes nature:
“Most scientists today require that science be carried out according to the rule of
methodological materialism: to explain the natural world scientifically, scientists must
restrict themselves only to material causes (to matter, energy, and their interaction).
There is a practical reason for this restriction: it works. By continuing to seek natural
explanations for how the world works, we have been able to find them. If supernatural
explanations are allowed, they will discourage—or at least delay—the discovery of
natural explanations, and we will understand less about the universe. “


Thus, for Scott, nature is “matter, energy, and their interaction.” Accordingly, by natural
explanations, Scott means explanations that resort only to such material causes. Yet, that is
precisely the point at issue, namely, whether nature operates exclusively by such causes.

…in defining science as the search for natural explanations, Scott presupposes precisely what
must be demonstrated. If, by natural explanations, Scott simply means explanations that explain
what is happening in nature, there would be no problem, and intelligent design would constitute a
perfectly good natural explanation of biological complexity. But, clearly, that is not what she means. “


So Dembski observes the same thing I have been arguing all along in this discussion. Namely, that your rules of science, by definition, create a methodology hopelessly stuck in circular reasoning. You CLAIM to accept the potential possibility of the transcendent, but your methodology, your rules, could NEVER allow such a conclusion.

In your mindset you keep harping on “Bayesian reasoning” as if your outlook is one of a value free objectivity. You say,

“PS: You say: "But you don't use deduction or induction directly or exclusively to get God." Then what else do you use "to get to [a] god"? Keep in mind that reasoning on circumstantial evidence is inductive reasoning, is Bayesian reasoning.”


But you still fail to realize that antecedent to any “observing” one does toward which one might employ such “reasoning” is the edifice of background presuppositions that one carries that limit possible interpretation of what the observation might mean. We all carry our presuppositional “baggage” with us when we board the Bayesian bus EL. Your assertion of having an utterly objective methodology is just false. You exercise a pre- bias through which your reasoning, Bayesian or otherwise, gets filtered. Me too. Dr Behe is a quite brilliant, funded, working biochemist. So is Kenneth Miller. They approach their reasoning from different presuppositional backgrounds. Thus, if I may be so bold as to circle us back on topic, what you consider objective “science” (while Intelligent Design is not) is NOT a “Bayesian” conclusion any more than mine is that ID reveals significant scientific implications for understanding the Natural world. WE BOTH ULTIMATLY ARE ACTING OUT OF A FAITH POSISTION BASED UPON BACKGROUND PRESUPPOSITIONS! Yours sets hard limits as to what inference from circumstantial evidence might entertain, if it dares to suggest anything beyond the strictly natural world. I think Dr. Eugeine Scott, who formally represents the science education establishment, demonstrates that quite clearly.

Do we both use deduction and induction? Of course we do. I am compelled to consider the circumstantial evidence that ID argues necessitates and intelligent Mind, an intelligent agent, as the primal Cause for the effects we observe in living biological systems and the organized “specified complexity” that begs an INTELLIGENT source. You are not. What is the difference? You, like Dr. Scott who represents the official point of view you express, are not willing to consider explanations that in any way go beyond the natural world. Thus, by definition, any possible explanation you might come up with, will be atheistic. You are blind to even the possibility of any explanation beyond that self imposed limitation.

Last EL you say,

“Im still waiting on you to answer what methods, processes, and standards of belief and justification you use to learn about your god if not solely deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, Bayesian reasoning, and science. What is it?”


That’s a very good question EL. Unfortunately the answer is not so simple and actually, for us both, is quite mysterious. We aren't talking about Bayesian Reasoning, or logic, or deduction or induction. What we are really talking about is that which must PRECEDE those mental processes. (The filter through which we apply those processes.) How did it happen that your present state of background presuppositions came to be what it is?, or mine? We have spent a lifetime reacting to various experiences, allowing ourselves, often unwittingly, to be influenced by various people and various asserted perspectives. At the end of that virtually untraceable path our presuppositional outlook emerged. Maybe that gets petrified, (even though it continues to develop and evolve, it’s path gets fairly well set). Or maybe one experiences a mysterious epiphany at some point, as in the case of C.S Lewis, an avowed atheist who, in formally attempting to disprove God, found Him instead. The point I would share with you is that you are naïve in thinking that your perspective comes out of some values free utterly objective “Bayesian reasoning”. That, my friend is a delusion.
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby Howdybud » Sat May 24, 2014 2:08 pm

EL says,

“There is no such thing in a court case as "proved guilty (beyond all doubt)". With evidence - direct or circumstantial - all you can ever show is a likelihood or high probability, never 100% certainty. “


Agreed! That seconds my assertion that we have to act on faith. That is, we make judgments about what things mean that we hope are correct and that we formulate out of our overall background belief system. Mine accepts the circumstantial evidence of what Dembsky calls, “specified complexity”, indicating an intelligent Cause (Mind). Those are examples of specified complexity which we can readily observe in Nature and draw conclusions on DEPENDING on what limits we set in advance. Yours disallow that consideration (possibility) in advance of observation (again, referring back to my previous post, as Dr Eugenie Scott herself asserts).

I had said that the applied sciences must use methodological atheism to perform experiments.
You retort,

“No, they don't. I don't know what you're talking about. “


Then you also don’t know what Dr Scott who represents the formal science education position is talking about. So I really don’t know what to tell you at that point? That has to be my response to the next several of your responses? Maybe you have a novel outlook out of touch with the mainstream scientific establishment?
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby Howdybud » Sat May 24, 2014 3:41 pm

After a lengthy example explaining how one tries to make sense of observed phenomenon under observable conditions EnlightenmentLiberal says,

“So, I can easily show that telepathy is real, works, etc. I might not be able to explain how it works, but if the evidence is there, then it obviously works. Like a good scientist, I would try a methodological reductionist approach to see if I can unify models and explain one thing in terms of another thing. Explaining one thing in terms of another is one way - an important way - how scientific knowledge advances.”


So now you are essentially agreeing with Dr Eugenie Scott. Either one of two conclusions limit your possibilities. Either one can explain a phenomenon by strictly materialist processes, or one has to submit it to the circular file of “unanswered or unanswerable” questions. A transcendent possibility will never emerge as a viable consideration. That’s OK if that’s how you want to limit your science. It’s just that you don’t seem to realize that that is what you are, in fact, doing. As you limit science in that way, the observation of “specified complexity” or “irreducibly complex systems” will be subject to the same limitations and will never open for you even the POSSIBILITY that a Creative Intelligent Mind, EXTERNAL to the natural world, could be a Cause on the table up for consideration.

At some point in your post you suggested a link for me to watch a video saying,

“Watch the talk by the serious Catholic Ken Miller who was an expert witness in the [Dover] case.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK0CYZvaJLw


Well, besides this video you posted enough quickie internet links and video links to keep a grad student busy for a year! Not to say that being overwhelmed with fascinating things to consider is bad, but, if I don’t immediately respond to each and every one of the mass of links you inserted in your post, I will nevertheless respond to the one that I think has a chance of keeping us on topic. And it was very fascinating indeed for reasons I didn’t at first quite realize. Despite the fact that I am not a grad student, I spent the hour or so watching Kenneth Millers rant. It was actually VERY convincing! I rewound at several points to really try to get the gist of his arguments. As I did so several things came to mind. One, you conveniently suggested him in a presentation wherein no one had a chance to respond in rebuttal. Such videos do exist. In fact one that I will refer to actually has Miller directly rebutted by none other than Dr Behe himself. To me, hearing presentations one proposes that are “preaching” to the proverbial "choir" of your select choosing doesn’t offer nearly as much as a good debate in which BOTH sides of the issue can be fleshed out. The video you offered is not nearly as revealing of the issues involved as the debate video. (Big surprise). There is more that came to mind about Dr, Miller’s stance; (particularly as an avowed Roman Catholic!). But later for that. Rather than waste time responding only to him preaching to the materialist choir, I want rather to mostly respond to him in debate with Dr. Behe about some of the same points that he argues in his solo “speech”. What it will reveal, I think, is Dr. Miller’s own dogmatic bias, and how, caught within the same sort of mindset you are EL, he can be seen to draw conclusions with an extremely low threshold of objectivity, dismissing critical distinctions and harping incessantly on a straw man he has set up. One walks away from the debate with a FAR different impression than the solo rant. The chief point I will focus on might also have relevance to your link for the bacterial flagellum. (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB200_1.html).

Here is the link to the more balanced view of the issues and the one I will refer to in this response in terms of whether ID has just been “disproven” by “objective” scientific inquiry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzrQMYoFIvc

So let’s talk “flagellum” shall we? (Sounds risque!) In the solo speech video, Miller “exposes” the “flaw” in Dr. Behe’s assertion that the flagellum is irreducibly complex. Miller asserts that if you remove 40 parts of that molecular machine you can still get “a” (some) function. He argues that there is a “Type 3 Secretory system” left over that functions and is similar to the way a virus might invade a cell. Bingo, function! Thus, no irreducible complexity and Behe is just dead wrong.

But a very different conclusion emerges when Dr. Behe gets to have a say and rebut that argument. In the first place it immediately becomes apparent that Miller grossly misrepresents Behe’s prime contention, that the SYSTEM UNDER CONSIDERATION is irreducibly complex. A “Type 3 Secretory system” is a
BROKEN
rotor. In fact, the function Miller observes is obviously UTTERLY different than the original rotor function and utterly irrelevant as to the consideration of the irreducible complexity of the original system! Behe observes that in Darwin’s Black Box he formally concedes that various parts of an irreducibly complex system might be able to serve some other function. That is irrelevant as to whether the system up for consideration, IN ITS DEMONSTRATED FUNCTION, is irreducibly complex or not. (Behe also speaks of "redundancy" of some parts in his book, which Miller ignores, and that bears on Miller's weak case against Behe's example in the blood clotting cascade as being irreducibly complex). Also, Behe observes in an earlier "The Great Debate: part 2" video wherein he makes his opening speech, that one has to imaginatively extrapolate from a Darwinian bias as to how one might even get from an utterly alien function in some disparate part, to the ultimate macro function of a larger more complex system at large that is the true consideration, (In the case of a flagellum, that is, in the function of an outboard motor functionality as being irreducibly complex). Again, the complex function being considered is BROKEN when Miller’s 40 parts are removed. Miller harps continually on this straw man right up to the end when he jokingly uses part of a mouse trap as a tie clasp for the audience. But his joke is his undoing. Why? Because the main point Behe is making lies in the fact that Miller may co-op (by intelligent manipulation no less) some part of the mouse trap for a different function, but he will never catch any mice in doing so!

But Miller’s argument is worse than misrepresenting Behe’s case for the irreducible complexity of a flagellum AS A ROTARY MOTOR. He has utterly dismissed some considerations that reveal that his seemingly SIMPLE removal of 40 parts of the flagellum is not the whole story. Behe points out that Miller, in his dogmatic outlook, has conveniently left out some real differences between the fully functional flagellum, and the Type Three Secretory System. Now I am not a biochemist myself and the conversation at this point in the video went over my head in terms of the “shop talk”. But I am able to perceive how the selective dismissal of distinctions by Miller painted a FALSELY SIMPLE case where his argument was concerned. Behe thus argues; 1. The Type Three Secretory System does not have the same proteins but only homologous ones. 2. The Amino acid sequences are different. And 3. Other different proteins are also involved.
I go to this length EL for a reason. Both of these men are very bright scientists. But Miller, when his argument is debated out, is revealed to be arguing out of a
BIAS
that causes him to grossly misrepresent Behe’s argument for irreducible complexity, and conveniently ignore the implications of hard distinctions to draw a falsely simple case of comparison. Why? Because he already knows where he wants the case to go. He IS NOT being objective in any sense of “Bayesian reasoning”.

In fact, his overall outlook seems to me to exist in a terrible internal double standard that is quite mystifying to me? As a Roman Catholic one would assume that he might lend SOME credibility to Romans 1:19 which asserts that God is perceptible from within the Creation specifically because the Creation was made in such a fashion as to render us all responsible for responding to that inherent aspect engendered within it! Yet I just listened to him argue for an hour and a half that there is no way to do that ! He is conflicted to say the least!

In fact, this double standard is revealed in an even more striking way as we see that he himself has otherwise been criticized as a Creationist! He evidently feels that what we may consider acceptable concerning the laws of physics, is different than what we may accept when considering biology! Consider this from Bill Dembsky’s paper, “In Defense of Intelligent Design “, page 4. I think it reveals quite a conundrum concerning Dr. Miller;

http://www.designinference.com/document ... _of_ID.pdf

“…consider that one of the most prominent critics of intelligent design has himself been called a creationist. That critic is Kenneth Miller. In his book Finding Darwin’s God, Miller is critical of intelligent design in biology. Nonetheless, in that book he argues for an intelligence or purposiveness that underlies the laws of physics (laws that are necessary for the universe to be life-permitting—see Miller 1999, 226–232). Miller’s reward for proposing intelligent design at the level of physics and cosmology is to be called a creationist by University of California professor Frederick Crews. In reviewing Miller’s book, Crews (2001) writes:
“When Miller then tries to drag God and Darwin to the bargaining table [by finding design or purpose underlying the laws of physics], his sense of proportion and probability abandons him, and he himself proves to be just another “God of the gaps” creationist. That is, he joins Phillip Johnson, William Dembski, and company in seizing upon the not-yet-explained as if it must be a locus of intentional action by the Christian deity.”


So he sweats blood to remove the deity from biology, but evidently doesn't see the double standard in how he views the laws of physics? I certainly can’t sort that one out???

Bottom line. Kenneth Miller is acting on faith defined by a presuppositional background, (that seems in serious internal conflict!), and he is approaching observation from that perspective. He is making mistakes because of it but that is not the point. The point is that materialism, naturalism, and modern scientists in drawing their conclusions, are doing the same thing theists are doing. They are building a sense of reality and acting and deciding and judging things from out of a background faith worldview. Not just theists, but atheists alike.

You may have the last word.

I really want to start a new thread that I think will be interesting for discussion. That is,
The Atheist position is not only amoral, that position, rationally, must ultimately be seen as “immoral”

Now there’s a lightening rod!
I will post the new topic soon (and then duck!)
Last edited by Howdybud on Sat May 24, 2014 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Sat May 24, 2014 11:11 pm

A transcendent possibility will never emerge as a viable consideration.

One. I don't know what "transcendent" means, and I don't know what "material" means, except as a completely arbitrary and completely useless cultural convention.

Two, false. If your god comes down to New York Times Square and agrees to undergo any scientific test we want, that's a great first step to showing that your god is real.

As you limit science in that way, the observation of “specified complexity” or “irreducibly complex systems” will be subject to the same limitations and will never open for you even the POSSIBILITY that a Creative Intelligent Mind, EXTERNAL to the natural world, could be a Cause on table up for consideration.

I have no clue what you are talking about. I do not limit science except to the testable and the observable.

irreducible complexity

There are two arguments of irreducible complexity.

The first kind of argument is that for a given structure, there are no evolutionary pathways to evolve that structure. This kind of argument is a valid argument. If we found such a structure, then this would be good evidence against evolution. (Of course, remember Orgel's second rule.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgel%27s_rule

The second kind of argument is the one Behe makes. The general argument itself is wrong.

Let's consider the flagellum. The conventional explanation is that the 50 or so proteins of the flagellum existed in ancestors and served separate functions. Those separate structures were not a motor. Each of those are also reducible to simpler ancestor machines which may have had different functions or similar functions, until we get to a point where the simple parts may have come about by blind chance.

In reverse, the evolutionary hypothesis is that 50 different proteins served about 50 different functions (or thereabouts). Then over the course of generations, errors and mutations caused the proteins to start to come together. Most of the combinations were useless, but every so often a combination of proteins of separate functions would improve an earlier function, or it would serve an entirely new useful function. Over time, eventually this cascade continued, and we got all 50 parts together to make the flagellum.

Behe compares this to a mouse trap in a garage. He says that it's silly to consider the 5 separate parts of a mouse trap coming together randomly from the junk in the garage. This is where Behe makes his fundamental error. I didn't realize for the longest time that this is the argument which Behe is actually making. He's not arguing that there is no evolutionary pathway. He's arguing that proteins serving separate functions do not sometimes randomly combine to form a new structure that performs a new function. I don't know if this is dishonesty or sheer complete ignorance of basic biology. This happens all the time. We observed this many, many times.

Evolutionary hypothesis #1: we find that sometimes proteins serving separate functions combine together to perform a new function. Status: confirmed.

Evolutionary hypothesis #2: we have found ancestor proteins for all 50 proteins of the bacterial flagellum (or thereabouts). Status: confirmed.

Behe's hypothesis #1: Proteins serving separate functions can never come together to perform a new function. Status: falsified.

Behe's hypothesis #2: The bacterial flagellum has no evolutionary pathway. Status: falsified.

He is making mistakes because of it but that is not the point. The point is that materialism, Naturalism, modern scientists in drawing their conclusions, are doing the same thing Theists are doing.

Say it all you want. Doesn't make it true.
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Sat May 24, 2014 11:19 pm

The Atheist position is not only amoral, that position, rationally, must ultimately be seen as “immoral”

That's an easy one. I subscribe to the is-ought distinction. The mere existence or non-existence of your god is a mere description of our shared reality, and thus on its own has absolutely no bearing on morality because of the is-ought distinction.

Only by starting with a moral presupposition can you arrive as any moral claim. For example, I've heard many Christians make the moral claim that "might makes right" and thus god's rules are moral. I've also heard many Christians argue that "[the Christian] god made us, and thus he owns us, and thus thus [our] god's rules are moral". All of those are completely unsubstantiated assertions, and what can be asserted without justification can be dismissed without justification.

I have the presupposition that humans and other intelligent creatures have inherent worth, and that we should strive to improve our condition. We should act together in some degree to improve our happiness, safety, freedom, self-determination, and other values of humanism. In other words, we should act to improve our general well-being.

If you god exists and stands in the way of that goal, then we need to imprison or destroy your god. Judging your god based on the contents of your Christian bible, the conclusion is obvious that your god, if it exists, is a huge impediment to my goals. Thus, nuke god!

Live free or die!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Free_or_Die

Give me liberty, or give me death!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Give_me_li ... e_me_death!

Better to die free than to live as a slave.
I die free!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IDieFree
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby Howdybud » Sat May 24, 2014 11:32 pm

EL you say,

That's an easy one. I subscribe to the is-ought distinction. The mere existence or non-existence of your god is a mere description of our shared reality, and thus on its own has absolutely no bearing on morality because of the is-ought distinction. Only by starting with a moral presupposition can you arrive as any moral claim. For example, I've heard many Christians make the moral claim that "might makes right" and thus god's rules are moral. I've also heard many Christians argue that "[the Christian] god made us, and thus he owns us, and thus thus [our] god's rules are moral". All of those are completely unsubstantiated assertions, and what can be asserted without justification can be dismissed without justification.
I have the presupposition that humans and other intelligent creatures have inherent worth, and that we should strive to improve our condition. We should act together in some degree to improve our happiness, safety, freedom, self-determination, and other values of humanism. In other words, we should act to improve our general well-being. If you god exists and stands in the way of that goal, then we need to imprison or destroy your god. Judging your god based on the contents of your Christian bible, the conclusion is obvious that your god, if it exists, is a huge impediment to my goals. Thus, nuke god!



Good! You're interested!

But I want to form a real argument and post it first as a new topic.

(Hint) I am more interested in how ATHEISM has logical moral consequences that bear underlying moral "presuppositions" that are rationally and logically inescapable. I will form an argument and be fascinated to see where it goes.

The points you mention above will be relevant as well and we can take some of them up there if you wish. I will say that the Bible isn't "easy". It isn't "one" book and it was written long ago across many eras separated in time and cultures with multiple literary genres and functions. God seems to want us to expend some energy and effort finding Him! He says we have to "seek" (exert effort and persistence), but if we do we will find!

So, with respect to the Bible, we'll just have to see how "evil" God is :-)

Cheers!
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Sat May 24, 2014 11:38 pm

One last thing. You say that I unduly "limit science" or some such to "only materialism" or something. I've repeatedly asked you what methods, processes, and standards you use then instead of or in addition to my methods, processes, and standards, but you refuse to answer. You criticize my position saying it's incomplete, but you refuse to put up the whole solution. It's an inherently dishonest tactic of debate, and it's all too common among Christians. It's the fundamental error of thinking that if you refute X, then Y must be true, plus a dogged insistence to refuse to question your own beliefs.

I ask again, by what methods, processes, and standards do you learn about your god? How is my understanding of science incomplete? What do I need to add to my science to make it complete?
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby Howdybud » Sat May 24, 2014 11:46 pm

If your god comes down to New York Times Square and agrees to undergo any scientific test we want, that's a great first step to showing that your god is real.


In other words, if God condescends to make himself available for worldly scrutiny, (allows naturalism to perceive His formal material presence), then, that materialist naturalistic standard would accept Him.

Well, he did that. And, He predicted what would happen.

Luke 16:31
""'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'""


See ya at the new topic :P
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Sun May 25, 2014 3:49 am

The new topic is going to be rather boring. I don't think anyone is going to contribute to that topic but me. Dobbie apparently probably won't. If you retreat like an intellectual coward, if you are going to be a hypocrite, then I promise all I'm going to do is copy-paste the same question over and over.

You said my science is limited. You said my epistemology is limited. Ok. What else should I use then? If you are going to critique me, tell me how to be better. What other methods, processes, and standards can I use to learn about your god? What is your epistemology? How can I learn about your god?
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Sun May 25, 2014 3:55 am

x
Last edited by EnlightenmentLiberal on Sun May 25, 2014 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Faith" We ALL have it!

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Sun May 25, 2014 3:57 am

In other words, if God condescends to make himself available for worldly scrutiny, (allows naturalism to perceive His formal material presence), then, that materialist naturalistic standard would accept Him.

How the hell is your position any different? You look at "natural" evidence. You look at DNA, which is material. You look at the Christian bible, which is material. You look at the accounts in the Christian bible, which are accounts of material people seeing material phenomena. You are a gigantic hypocrite and an intellectual coward. I am asking for the exact kind of evidence which purportedly convinced the people in the stories in your Christian bible, and which purportedly convinced you. Unless you are convinced for reasons other than DNA and stories in your bible, which would make you a liar too.
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