DBT01: Peter On The Bible & Germ Theory

Posted in Bible, DBT01, Science on  | 2 minutes | 6 Comments →

Hey all. I don’t have anything new to post so I thought I’d shoot you over to Peter’s blog where he’s finally gotten around to confronting my claim that the Bible provided precisely what he asked for when he wrote,

…knowledge of the germ theory of disease contained in the Bible rather than left to be discovered by fallible scientists would have saved billions of lives. Why [God] didn’t do so, given that it would prove [God’s] glory and goodness beyond a shadow of a doubt, is unknown.” [see Point Three under the section, Is Suffering Necessary for Consistent Physics?]

So if you’re interested, go read Peter’s response. All I’ll say for now is that I’ve noticed Peter getting increasingly cocksure lately. True to the trend, before even hearing what I have to say in response, he concludes his response with,

…this is enough to say that Cl’s proof is busted. Looks like I did have a rational alternative after all — The Bible’s medical knowledge is nowhere near remarkable as Cl made it sound, and this alleged overwhelmingly compelling superargument turned out to really just incomplete research.

Hardly. The show’s just getting started! Although, I’ll give him one thing: my original argument was incomplete. After all, it came as little more than a closing thought at the end of my opening piece and I had a very short amount of words to do so. Soon—and by “soon” I mean sometime this week, not three months from now like it took Peter—I’ll post my “more complete” version of the argument.

We’ll see how “busted” my proof is then.

DBT02 Update: JT Eberhard Withdraws His Challenge

Posted in (A)Theist Debate League, DBT02, Debate on  | 1 minute | 96 Comments →

What would JT do? Well, suppress intelligent dissent just like the others who couldn’t hang. I don’t get it. Here we have a self-touted “freethinker” who feels the need to resort to censoring rational inquiry. I tried to leave a comment on JT’s blog, to no avail. So, I guess I’m banned.

“Free speech,” they cry at the top of their lungs any other day.

“Unless of course it comes from an intelligent dissenter,” reads the subtext.

Eh, oh well. I’m going to follow through on my end of the engagement anyways. Meaning, I’m going to publish a systematic dismantling of JT’s arguments just as I would have had he not scurried off with his tail between his legs. I guess in their world it’s only acceptable to be “confrontational” or “annoying” if you’re an atheist, eh?

DBT02: Call For Judges, Topic Suggestions

Posted in (A)Theist Debate League, DBT02, Debate on  | 4 minutes | 7 Comments →

So JT Eberhard has agreed to an exchange. We are still working out the details of the exchange, but I’d like to go ahead and post everything we’ve exchanged in our emails so far, creating an absolutely transparent public record of all dialog (because it’s a good practice in general, but also to give a certain hater even less to hate on). It began with this post on JT’s blog, where he said he was looking for “someone to exchange emails with on the existence of God.” I shot him an email, and here was his first response:

Accepted (was hoping for you or Jayman). If we’re doing the existence of God, you wanna go first?

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DBT01: Closing Comments

Posted in DBT01 on  | 12 minutes | 8 Comments →

Matt and Andrés both told their side of the DBT01 judging fiasco here, so now I guess I have to tell mine. First, I’d like to explain why I believe I effectively won the debate, despite officially forfeiting out of frustration. A few weeks ago, Peter Hurford dropped the following comment:

… it is not true that if God exists, removing any instance of suffering must make everyone net worse off. Thus, I hereby recant all the essays I wrote in which I argued this position. …the Problem of Evil, as traditionally conceived, fails. (source, bold orig.)

That says it all. A debate aims to show who created the more persuasive arguments. Regardless of my concession that needless suffering existed per Peter’s definition, I was ultimately arguing that the POE was impotent, and Peter ultimately agreed. Plain and simple, his recanting should carry more weight than my concession.

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Now Taking Suggestions For A Credible Debate Scoring System

Posted in Debate, Philosophy on  | 1 minute | 23 Comments →

Well this whole PZ Myers Memorial Debate sure sparked quite the fiasco, but it’s really got me thinking. A few commenters both here and at VoxWorld have tossed out some pretty decent ideas as far as judging debates are concerned. If you were to judge a debate, what would you look for? What sort of things would you award or penalize? Have you seen any successful debate scoring systems before? What sort of scoring do you think would be fair? Based on what we’ve seen in the recent judging, what sort of things would you advise for or against? Where did the judges do well? Where could we have done better? Was there anything you wanted to see, but didn’t? Let’s see what we can come up with.

The PZ Myers Memorial Debate

Posted in Blogosphere, PZ Myers Memorial Debate on  | 3 minutes | 82 Comments →

In honor of Paul Zachary Myers publicly declaring that he won’t debate creationists anymore, Vox Day has offered the PZ Myers Memorial Challenge. Long story short: PZ wussed out, said a bunch of mean-spirited personal crap about Vox’s dad, and qualified himself as a “coward” by his own definition. PZ, always the friendly and gentle atheist, wrote:

Who is Vox Day? He’s a recipient of wingnut welfare, a pretentious nobody who had a rich and rotten crook for a father and who writes cheesy fantasy novels in between penning cheesy political discourse.

Now that’s weird. Does anybody remember what PZ said when J.J. Ramsey insulted his daughter before being censored into Darwinian oblivion?

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The Masoretic-Greek Hypothesis: An Introduction

Posted in Bible, Blogosphere, Religion, Responses, Thinking Critically on  | 2 minutes | 31 Comments →

The basic concept behind the Masoretic-Greek Hypothesis (hereafter MGH) could be summarized as going to the source. Let's face it: the Christianity that many believers argue is indeed a moving target. Although I think it's an intellectual cop-out, I sympathize with atheists and unbelieving skeptics when they accuse believers of trotting out Courtier's Replies. Who wants to get bogged down trying to harmonize all the differing opinions of mainline religions and lesser sects, each of whom claim to be eating from the same salad bar called the Bible? Certainly not me. On the other hand, I sympathize with believers when they accuse atheists and unbelieving skeptics of gross negligence in their characterizations of religion.

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Is This Conducive To The Pursuit Of Truth?

Posted in Blogosphere, Responses, Thinking Critically on  | 10 minutes | 10 Comments →

I was still waiting for the last Power Commenter to respond to Pt. 3 in my response to DD's so-called Evidence Against Christianity when, after a most exuberant and joyous night out enjoying life with my friends (yes, some people actually like me, no I don't pay them, no I don't mean MySpace friends and no, I'm not referring to prostitutes) I hopped online to find 631 very flattering words titled The Heckler's Defense which – like The Loser's Compromise – I fully expect DD to deny are about personalities.

I decided not to respond on DD's blog for a few reasons. Although I disagree that I'm a troll, and I feel that my arguments at EvangelicalRealism are both well-reasoned and made in good-faith, some who disagree are likely to see anything I say as further evidence that I'm indeed a troll. Like a shark to blood, I can sense that DD's just about to his breaking point, and although getting banned from atheist blogs is always flattering, it's also always annoying because it's honestly never my goal – my real goal is the pursuit of truth which entails either emendation or procuring agreement from reasonable individuals that my opponent's argument is not cogent as formed. I hope our new Power Commenting experiment can offer something standard threads seem to have difficulty delivering. At the very least, I can proceed with confidence my Power Commenters won't call each other "mealy-mouthed pricks" or "intellectual cowards," and that they're committed to issues as opposed to personalities. That can't be a bad place to start, right?

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Introducing TWIM’s Power Commenters

Posted in Blogosphere, eBates on  | 2 minutes | No Comments →

As stated in the introduction, the eBate is a real-time, one-hour long online debate between myself and another writer. I'm saddened to say, my opponent for eBate #1 – Deacon Duncan – has eschewed my invitation.

Nonetheless, life goes on, and without further adieu, I'd like to introduce TWIM's first four Power Commenters: MS Quixote, Lifeguard, Brad and Dominic Salterelli. As stated before, neither Brad, Lifeguard or Dominic Salterelli argue belief: All three are skeptics of the atheist variety, as the last thing I wanted was a bunch of Power Commenters who argue belief, inviting charges of padding the jury. Better, all three of them have shown a consistent and objective willingness to both agree and disagree with me, in the complete absence of insults and personal remarks. The same goes for MS Quixote, only he does argue belief – Calvinist Christianity in particular.

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You Can Lead Atheists To Water, But You Can’t Make Them Think

Posted in Atheism, Blogosphere, Logic, Religion, Responses, Thinking Critically on  | 6 minutes | No Comments →

*Comments are closed on this post because it was moved here.

For the past weeks, I've foregone Rebutting Atheist Universe to debate Deacon Duncan (DD) from EvangelicalRealism over his series, which for some still-undisclosed reason he's titled Evidence Against Christianity. It was bad enough when DD gave Dominic Saltarelli (not arguing as a believer) credit for making the exact same argument three people (all arguing as believers, incidentally) made in the first two weeks of the discussion. It was bad enough when DD denied that his GH was Christianity, yet absolutely refuses to this date to explain why it consists of distinctly Christian pre-conceptions about God. It was bad enough when DD claimed that all people who apply the tools of reason consistently and without bias in biblical exegesis are skeptics. It's bad enough that many of DD's commenters are so on the man's nuts that they can't see clearly and end up focusing near-exclusively on me. It was bad enough when DD eschewed my invitation to one-on-one, real-time debate.

It was bad enough when DD crafted an entire sub-series titled The Loser's Compromise in direct response to his perceptions of my arguments, then denied that the posts were aimed at me. Now, folks – as if it wasn't bad enough already, as if it could get any worse – DD's latest "argument" has left me truly baffled.

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