Another Creationist Rebuttal.

In-line as usual.  Enjoy:

“Your demand for evidence on my part shows that you completely missed the point of my comment.  I am not ever going to convince you with evidence, because I have nothing new to offer you and even if I did, you would never interpret it the same way, because your starting presumptions will not allow for it.  Before you jump on that last statement, please allow me to qualify it.  I look at the same body of evidence (fossils, diversity of life etc) that atheists use, but because my starting presuppositions are different from yours (i.e. I believe the Earth is a recent creation by God, whereas you believe the Earth and universe are immensely old and life created itself) I come to a completely different conclusion.  This was the whole point of my comment: to show the futility of arguing over the same body of evidence that we have argued over for the last 200 years. “

I don’t have starting presuppositions.  Anything in my worldview is open to revision, as is anything in science.  And you didn’t deal with anything I said.

“An agnostic that I was talking to once told me that his main problem with creationism is that there is no tangible evidence.  He said that, “he could hold the evidence for evolution in his hand, but he could not hold the evidence for God and creationism in his hand.”  This is where he was completely wrong.  He assumed that there was only 1 exact way to interpret the evidence and that no other interpretation apart from evolutionary materialism could be accepted.  However, the problem is that this is not the case at all.  Were we to go on a walk and come across a fossil encapsualted in some sedementary rock, he would look at it and say, “See!  This animal lived several millions of years ago, died, and was slowly covered by sediments, allowing for its bones to be replaced by minerals, which caused it to become fossilized.”  I would look at the same fossil and say that it is direct evidence of a recent global flood.” 

The difference is that modern geology, paleontology etc is not based on “derr, I think this is true!”, but rather has been tested countless different ways which you are apparently oblivious of.  No scientific tests have been done by creationists to try to falsify the idea that fossils are animals that died in the flood, they aren’t interested in testing their views.  They’re interested in reinforcing them.

“It is a proven fact that fossilization does not take millions of years, but under the right conditions can occur extremely quickly.  There are businesses that manufacture petrified wood at incredibly quick rates.  Archeologists often assert that these fossils must have died in low oxygen marshes and been slowly burried by deposited sediment.  However, even in low oxygen conditions bacteria and scavengers quickly destroy all organic material, including bone.” 

To borrow a response from the talkorigins website:

Response:

  1. Most fossils, by themselves, are not a problem for a young earth. The problems come from geological context, including the following:
    • Independent dating of sediments via any number of techniques.
    • Multiple layers of fossils. Sometimes each layer preserves an entire ecosystem, which would have taken decades to establish.
    • Large number of fossils, beyond what the earth could support at once, showing multiple generations were necessary.
    • In-place marine fossils on mountains, showing that the mountain must have risen since the fossil was deposited.
    • Reworked fossils, showing that a mountain must have risen and eroded since the fossil was deposited.

  2. Many fossils occur in amber, and the formation of amber cannot happen rapidly. First, plant resin polymerizes to produce copal, which takes thousands of years. Then the volatile oils must evaporate, which can take millions of years more.

“Therefore, in my opinion, the only conclusion that makes sense in considering the amount and extent of preservation in these fossils is a global flood.” 

If that were the case we would see the same species in every geological layer, there would be zero geological or paleontological uniformity.  Not to mention that there are about a hundred times as many extinct species as there are living species, and the earth could not possibly have supported that much biodiversity.  I’m sorry, but it doesn’t “make sense” to throw out all we know about geology, biology, genetics, paleontology, physics and even more fields because you want to find support for your theology.  Not to mention that the flood is impossible for many, many reasons, some of which I list here.

“Under such conditions, these dead animals would have been rapidly burried by churning sediments, thus allowing them to be protected from exposure to scavengers or bacteria that would have caused them to decay.  Dead animals don’t sink to the bottom of the sea floor or a marsh, they float.” 

And if this were the case we would be able to get DNA from at least some of the fossils in each strata, but we only ever get DNA from the most recent ones because it breaks down entirely in much less than a million years.  We’ve completely sequenced the genomes of neanderthals and woolly mammoths, which went extinct 10-30,000 years ago.  Why have we never recovered DNA from dinosaurs, trilobytes or any older species if they’re the same age?  Why does radiometric dating of the rocks at different depths confirm the geological model and not yours?  Why is there vast evidence of a rich and long history of mountains forming and eroding and volcanos erupting over long periods of time, meteor impacts etc if the earth is only a few thousand years old?  When exactly did a meteor hit mexico and leave a 105 mile wide crater releasing over a billion times the energy of the hiroshima nuclear blast?  If that happened in living memory, why did no one notice it?  Or the one that hit quebec and left a 62 mile wide crater?  Or the half a dozen others?  If the universe is only 6,000 years old, why does mesopotamian history go back thousands of years before that?  Why didn’t the native americans die in the flood?  They were here before the flood supposedly happened, why do they exist?    Why didn’t the ancient egyptians get wiped out?  Or asia?  Or anyone? 

It never happened.  The “evidence” for it stands up to no scrutiny.

“Lets take the Grand Canyon for example.  An evolutionist would look at the canyon as a monument to slow erosion of the Colorado river over thousands if not millions of years through the soil and rock layers to the level it is today.  However, there are many problems with this view point, one of them being the absense of over 150 million years of evolutionary time in the strata layers.  Geologist admit that they don’t know what happened to this missing strata and often refer to it as a “paraconformity.”  Therefore, when I look at the Grand Canyon I see the result of rapid water runoff occuring shortly after the great flood.” 

If that were the case it would be global, not local.  Your evidence contradicts your conclusions.

“See http://creation.com/grand-canyon-age.  If you don’t believe this scenario is plausible, then I would submit to you the recent observed case of the Mt. St. Helen’s catastrophe as stong evidence of the power of rapidly moving flood runoff water.  See http://creation.com/i-got-excited-at-mount-st-helens.  This runoff from the flooding of the lake created a vast canyon in an incredibly short amount of times (days not millions of years) which is often called “the little Grand Canyon.”

The deeper you go down into the ground the harder and slower erosion gets because the top layers (about what eroded in that instance) are almost entirely made up of dirt, whereas deeper down the soil and sediment is compressed into solid rock, which water flows over, not under and around.  Take a garden hose and spray it over some mud, then spray it over a solid chunk of concrete and see which washes away faster.

“You are wrong in saying that evolution and atheism are not linked.  Richard Dawkins made one of the most telling admissions to this truth when he proclaimed that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” 

I believe I’ve had this conversation with you before.  You’re distorting the quote, which was about how evolution is not the cause of atheism.  They are not linked, atheism has existed for thousands of years and I was an atheist long before I ever knew what evolution was.  Not having an explanation for something doesn’t make a magical explanation a good explanation.  “I don’t know” beats “magic man dunnit” any day.

“Before Darwin, of course people could be atheists, but they had no valid ground to do so.  This is because there are really only two possible conclusions regarding the origin of life.” 

False dichotomy and an argument from ignorance.  The third option is always “I don’t know”.  When people invoked zeus to explain lightning, their lack of an alternative did not mean zeus’ existence had been proven.

“Either, life made itself or it was designed by some sort of higher power.” 

Invoking a complex being to explain the origin of complexity is a waste of time.  Why bother?  It’s like invoking a super-computer to explain a micro-chip, it just amplifies the problem and doesn’t solve it.

“Evolution and atheism go hand and hand, because Evolution (in the molecules to man sense) attempts to offer an explanation to the origin of life without the need for a creator.”

No, abiogenesis does.  Your christian biology teacher and those creationist websites filled your head with pseudoscientific nonsense.  Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life.

“One can be a Christian and still believe in evolution, but one can not be an atheist and not believe in evolution, perhaps an agnostic, but not an atheist.” 

Virtually all atheists are agnostic atheists.  And atheism existed long before evolution science.  Wrong on both counts.

“It just doesn’t work.  If we came across a coke bottle in the woods we would have to consider 2 possible scenarios: A- the coke bottle made itself, or B- the coke bottle had a maker.  The same is the case with life.” 

We know by experience that a coke bottle is manufactured, we do not know by experience that a flower is manufactured.  And in fact a flower does not come off an assembly line and is by definition self-organizing.

“I also want to take the opportunity to assert that in no way am I saying that animals don’t adapt through natural selection.  This does not conflict with my views regarding God’s special role in creation in any way.” 

Sure it does, you say so below.  It’s cruel and all that.

“He made the original created kinds (i.e. dogs, squirrels, birds) with a high degree of genetic variability that would allow them to be able to adapt to their environments.  Therefore, the original dog kind most likely being heterozygous for most characteristics would have had offspring with long, medium, and short hair.  As these dogs reproduced and spread to different parts of the world, their environment would select for certain genes.  For example, in colder climates, dogs with longer fur would be better able to survive so natural selection would cull the gene pool and would move the species inhabiting that region toward that specific adaptation.  Notice this is not a gain of function, but rather a loss of information.  These dogs can no longer produce puppies with short or medium fur, but only long hair.  Natural selection is almost always a matter of destroying genetic information.  There are very few if any examples of novel gain in information within species. The entire process is going downhill, not uphill as evolution requires.” 

This is a lie that is not based on any evidence or science, and is known to be false by every biologist on the planet.  You really need to use talkorigins or google.  Or both.

“And you are flat wrong about my theological progression!  I don’t write things just to write them.  I did not say I was an atheist.  I said I was an agnostic, hinging toward atheism.  I grew up in the Catholic church and as a child had no problem believing in God, but as I got older and learned more about evolution, I gradually believed it more and more.  I found myself trying to make sense out of two diametrically opposed contentions.  Has there always been death from the beginning?”

Yes.

“Is death a creative process or did it come about as a result of sin, corrupting God’s original very good creation as I learned in church?” 

Yes and no.

“I didn’t know how to answer these questions.”

I do.

“Then in high school I had a teacher who was a theistic evolutionist.  He believed that God used the process of natural selection to make all life forms, directing and shaping the evolution of each species.  This idea was originally fascinating to me, because it posed a reconciliation between the two opposing points, allowing me to retain my faith in a Creator while still believing in evolution.  I went along with this for a while, but soon, I began to have questions regarding the sovereignty and benevolence of a god that would allow so much death and suffering in the world.  It was my misconceived presumption that evolution was true (and that death and suffering always existed) that obfuscated my belief in God’s “goodness.” 

Evolution may have been an assumption on your part, but it isn’t an assumption to biologists who have actually done the research and experiments.

“After questioning God’s goodness, I no longer believed that Christianity was the only true religion.  I thought that Islam, and other monotheistic religions essentially worshipped the same god, but under a different name and different understanding regarding his nature.  This led me toward agnosticism.  I believed that some sort of higher power was necessary to account for the complexity and order of the universe and life, but I didn’t know which god was the right one or believe that anyone could truly know. ”

And I’m guessing around this time something crappy happened in your life and you clung to faith for support, running away from science without even a basic understanding of it and reading every creationist article you could get your hands on.  Am I right?

“At this point, I had some serious doubts at times even regarding the existence of a creator, hence, my assertion that I was “hinging on atheism.”  I was not a full blown atheists, but at times I found it hard to believe in the existence of something that I could not see.  Gradually, I questioned more and more whether God existed at all since He allowed so much hurting and suffering in the world.  What kind of a god would allow this, but not only that, use it as a creative mechanism.  It seemed cruel.”

You act as if there is not a lot of suffering in the world anyway.  And drowning every last man, woman and child to death isn’t cruel?  Cursing all women to suffer agony in childbirth to punish them for something they didn’t do isn’t cruel? 

“My freshman year of college I took an intro biology class through the university.  At first, much of what I learned regarding evolutionary biology made much sense and served to push me further to the side of atheism.  If life could have made itself, what need is there for a creator or an intelligent designer?” 

I rejected the idea of a creator as illogical long before I knew what evolution was or had a viable alternative.

“However, always the visual thinker, I felt the need to think through the process in my mind from start to finish that caused a single celled organism to “evolve” into an incredibly complex human being.” 

You’re skipping many, many steps.  The first cell was not the first form of life, and an amoeba didn’t evolve into a person.  Many, many forms of life evolved before primates came along.

“Starting at the beginning, I imagined the first living life form as some sort of an asexual amoeba.  I then tried to imagine the amoeba becomming multi-cellular or a sexual reproducer and this is exactly where the train stopped.  I realized that there is absolutely zero reason for an asexual, single celled organism to have evolved into a sexually reproducing, multicellular one.  Natural selection is a very practical process.  If evolution were true, natural selection could only propogate in nature, genes that are beneficial for survival or else there would be no selection pressure to narrow the gene pool to specify for that characteristic.  This is where the problem lies.  I could not then (or now for that matter) imagine one scenario in nature that would favor a reproduction process that required an organism to search out and find a mate and copulate over one that allowed the organism to simply copy its own DNA and split off into 2 beings.  The latter seems much easier and more practical.  Thus, there is not a single reason whatsoever why life should have “evolved” beyond asexual amoebas.”

I’m sorry, but that is idiotic.  Abandoning an idea before learning about it because you cannot imagine out of ignorance how it could work is ridiculous.  I couldn’t imagine without learning anything about it how einstein’s relativity could work either.  Nor could I imagine how the eye or the lungs or the digestive system could evolve step by step, but if I google “evolution of…” for any of these things I will find a wealth of knowledge on any of these subjects.

In reality the math for evolution works fantastically better with sexual reproduction because it allows the existence of a gene pool where every member benefits from the selection of the genes of every member so that a beneficial mutation only needs to occur once in a gene pool.  This is why even many single-celled microbes and most bacteria exchange DNA through horizontal gene transfer. 

“Later I learned that I had been too generous in even allowing for the existence of as complicated a being as an asexual amoeba.” 

No, you had been too ignorant to assume without researching the subject, that the modern amoeba which has been evolving for billions of years was the simplest possible organism.

“DNA itself is immensely complex.  Like any coding it requires interpretation.  Information itself means nothing  without the ability to decode it and interpret it(i.e. mRNA), hence I had to come to grips with the reality that information as well as the process of interpreting would have had to have evolve simultaenously for either to have any meaning.  Furthermore, the formation of DNA in a primordial soup was also highly suspect because of the chiralty dilemna.  In order for DNA to have arranged itself in a primordial soup, only left handed or right handed proteins could have existed as DNA and other protein sequences must be homochiral.  This is very technical, but here is an article by an extremely distinguished and respected Biologist, who also happens to be a young Earth Creationist, Jonathon Sarfati: http://creation.com/origin-of-life-the-chirality-problem.  The odds of DNA assembling itself into any sort of biologically meaningful code, and having evolved simultenously with its own intrepretor are astronomical if not impossible.” 

This is the watchmaker argument being presented as a strawman of abiogenesis, then being presented as yet another strawman of evolution.  You cannot attack evolution by attacking abiogenesis, and you cannot attack abiogenesis by deliberately starting with an overly complex starting point.  It’s like “proving” the car could not have been invented prior to 1973 because GPS did not exist, and modern cars have GPS.   Or arguing that it could not have been invented before the 19’th century because internal combustion did not exist, when the first ones were steam powered, etc.

It’s an argument based on (willful) ignorance.

Nor is it scientific to say “we can’t explain this therefore x proposition is true”.  That is not evidence, it’s not testable, it’s not science.  And no scientist could ever, ever get away with that nonsense and only creationists are dishonest enough to try.  Here is an excellent video that you won’t watch about one modern model of abiogenesis that explains the existence of cells, DNA, reproduction and eating.

“Many evolutionary biologist, including the one most often credited for the discovery of DNA, Francis Crick, often try to shift the dilemna of the origin of DNA to outerspace by claiming that life was seeded by extraterrestrials living elsewhere in the universe.” 

That’s speculating about exobiology, not an attempt to shift the problem.

“However, this just merely shifts the problem to a location where we can’t observe it.” 

Um, and invoking a magical creator doesn’t shift the problem to where we can’t observe it?  Look in the mirror.

“It still neglects the extreme unlikeliness that life could have evolved in the first place”

You’re conflating evolution with abiogenesis.

“as the next question becomes: how did the aliens come about?  Did they evolve?  It is mere speculation and wishful thinking on the part of those whose worldviews are so entrenched in evolutionary materialism and atheism that they can not allow themselves to even consider the possibility that the better explanation for complexity and order is a complex and orderly, Creator.” 

“Explaining” complexity in the universe by starting with an inexplicable more complex creator is a waste of time. It’s the ultimate example of shifting the problem and ignoring it, something you just criticized.

“Afterall, DNA is essentially biological information and nowhere has information ever been observed to create itself.”   

It happens all the time.  This is how creationists maintain this argument:

Creationists: No one has ever shown a mutation produce new information.

Scientist: Um, here’s an example of a mutation doing just that, and here are a few dozen more examples – it happens all the time.

Creationist: Those don’t count, that’s not “real” information.

Scientist: Why isn’t it “real”?  What would you consider “real” information?

Creationist: [either gives some ridiculous parody about a dog giving birth to a monkey etc or changes the subject]

“Getting back to an earlier point so as not to leave you in suspense, after I began to study Christianity more and more and to investigate claims of creationism and the intelligent design movement, I discovered that Christianity actually makes quite alot of sense out of the world.  As C.S. Lewis put it, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” 

And as benjamin franklin said, “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.”

“Once I saw that evolution didn’t really work in a practical sense”

It of course does.  The ID/creationism movement gains converts by misinforming them.

“and sought instead an alternative theory (the only alternative theory), which is that life was the product of an intelligent designer”

That is not a theory, it’s not even a hypothesis.  It’s a pseudoscientific assertion which cannot be empirically tested for accuracy.

“rather than billions of years of blind, unguided accidents,”

Did you learn ANYTHING about evolution before you rejected it?  It is not random or un-guided.

“I allowed myself to re-evaluate the evidence through a different lens (that of the Bible).” 

If I recall correctly this was your first and only lense.  And what you mean is that you “proved” to yourself the bible was accurate by assuming it was and fitting the evidence to it.  And now to assuage your intellectual guilt you buy into creationist books and articles that tell you that that’s all scientists do all day too, so it’s okay when you do it.

“Once I started looking at the world by the true account contained in Genesis regarding the special creation of the animal kinds, corruption (death entering the world because of Adam’s sin), and God’s judgment of the world in a catastrophic global flood suddenly, the objection I had against God disappeared.  As long as I thought that death and suffering had always existed (a necessary contention for evolutionists) I was hindered from seeing any sort of higher being responsible for the sad state of affairs of he world as anything, but cruel and sadistic.”

I’m sorry, but the fact that believing x makes it easier to believe y does not make x true.

“However, after reading the Bible, I learned that death and suffering where never a part of God’s plan.  God created the world very good with no death or suffering in the garden.  Adam and Eve would have lived forever, reproducing in God’s own image and their offspring would have filled the earth.” 

So god creates man with the capacity to sin, creates the tree that allows the fall, puts it next to adam and eve and even points it out, creates a serpent, lets the serpent tell them to eat from it, lets them eat from it, doesn’t reverse it’s effects and foresaw the whole damn thing before day 1 and somehow holds no responsibility for anything despite being all knowing and all-powerful?  I’m sorry, but that is insane.  You cannot have power over something and not be responsible for it.  Either god is unable to prevent suffering, unwilling or both.  If he is unable he is not good, and if he is unable he is not a god any more than we are.  And that’s assuming such a being exists to begin with.

“However, when Adam sinned against God, he brought wrath upon himself.  A Holy God can not turn a blind eye to sin. His holiness demands judgment, so as a condition of his wrath, death entered the world and brought along with it sufferening and pain.” 

So god’s wrath is the cause of suffering and pain and he’s still not responsible because “we had it coming”?  And why?  Because someone ate a piece of fruit from a fucking tree?  Hang on, I’ll go tell the holocaust survivors it was totally their fault, one of their ancestors got tricked by a talking snake into having a snack, so they totally deserved everything that happened to them and their loved ones. 

Are you kidding me?

“I could now see that God’s will was for man to obey Him and love Him, but when man went against that will, God made a plan through Jesus to put an end to the curse.  The Bible says, “cursed is anyone who is hung on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).  Jesus took the sin upon himself, by hanging on a tree to pay the penalty of our sins.  In doing so, he led captivity, captive.  Death has no hold on the person who has placed their faith in Christ Jesus!  In dying on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice and raising from the dead, Jesus has conquered death.  Now that I see everything through the light of the Bible, the world makes much more sense.  If you don’t believe in the Bible, I don’t expect you to see things the way that I do, but believe me, I understand why you believe what you believe (if you are agnostic or atheist) and I do not pass judgment, because I was there not too long ago myself!  Life is a journey and mine has lead me into the loving embrace of my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ!”

Yes, jesus sacrificed himself to himself to convince himself not to punish us for things we didn’t do.  It’s so rational.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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16 Responses to Another Creationist Rebuttal.

  1. striemmy says:

    To be fair, as a part of our species you do, by default, have starting presuppositions. If anything major to your core beliefs or world-view was turned on its head it wouldn’t be as simple to reconcile that new data as your more reasonable inclinations would have you believe. We just aren’t built that way psychologically, unless you have a personality disorder or condition that keeps you from becoming emotionally connected to reality and the information therein. 

  2. @striemmy – Agreed.The most we can hope for is to plant an infecting seed of proper science. =P

  3. Nice replies.But dang, debating with Creationist is like giving one-on-one tutoring sessions in science. And even worse: the best audiences are unreceptive and the worst are unruly.The difference is that modern geology, paleontology etc is not based on “derr, I think this is true!”, but rather has been tested countless different ways which you are apparently oblivious of. Yeah, and a great body of evidences from widely disparate field paint the same consistent evolutionary picture.The trouble is that most creationists don’t have the prerequisite knowledge to take two steps back and see that, “yeah, palenotology, zoology, and molecular biology seem to all agree on the paricular claims of ToE.”

  4. agnophilo says:

    @striemmy – What I mean is I don’t have any ideological starting assumptions.  If you mean I assume my senses perceive reality, I’m not plugged into the matrix etc – that is true.  But those are the starting assumptions anyone must make to evaluate anything.  And they too, are open to revision.  If I’m plugged into the matrix I would like to know.@Celestial_Teapot – : )@Celestial_Teapot – Creationism spreads by riddling people with fear, ignorance and misconceptions about science before they ever learn the real thing, immunizing people from education and waterproofing their minds from new ideas.

  5. liquor90 says:

    Reading that would upset my highly sensitive humors

  6. The_ATM says:

    Wow, the funny thing you can determine from reading their comments that by the end of their discussion, they must have been thinking, “Slam Dunk!”  It was really starting to get sort of preachy.But no, really, why don’t I run into young earth creationists?

  7. The_ATM says:

    You do know that in the quote “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.” Benjamin Franklin is plainly calling reason the candle and faith the Morning Daylight, just pointing that out.  This is also consistent with his Deist beliefs.Funny that he quotes CS Lewis though, because CS Lewis, to my understanding, was not a young earth creationist.

  8. agnophilo says:

    @liquor90 – Meaning?@The_ATM – It was one response to one veeery long comment, not a back and forth.  But yeah.@The_ATM – I’m pretty sure the candle is meant to be faith.  He is not saying you can see better if you shut the eye of reason.  And deism is not a faith, it is a philosophical position.

  9. The_ATM says:

    @agnophilo – You might want to read up on Benjamin Franklin a little better.   I think the quote is pretty clear. “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.”In the metaphor he is putting out the candle, whereas he shuts the eye of reason in the latter.  If he has suggesting faith was like the candle, he would say “the way to see by reason is to shut the eye of faith: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you but out your Candle.”  I mean everything, their corresponding positions in the sentences, each word being the object on which the verb is acting suggests reason is the candle in this metaphor.But that is ok, it is hard to determine what the writings of another person were intended to mean.  And you can, of course, take it to mean whatever you want.  No big deal; just thought it was worth mentioning.@agnophilo – Yeah. I thought it was one long comment with how he delivered his brilliant finishing blow.

  10. agnophilo says:

    @The_ATM – Franklin preferred reason over faith though, and compared faith to closing your eye – the candle in this metaphor was what was obscuring vision, not helping it.  They are separate metaphors meant to illustrate the same point.  That is the only way I can make sense of them.  

  11. The_ATM says:

    @agnophilo – Yeah.  I am not so sure from reading it.  I went to find the context of the quote and there essentially isn’t any that is relevant to the quote.  Knowing the Franklin supported organized religion and was himself a Deist, I am not so sure he intended the same meaning as you interpret.  Plus, it just isn’t structured that way… but I sort of figured that it wouldn’t make sense to you they way it is phrased (based on your conception of faith and reason as diametrically opposed things) unless you understood it in the reverse.  There is a good chance with Franklin coming from a Puritian background and being religious, in a sense, himself, he did not see them as directly opposing forces.

  12. agnophilo says:

    @The_ATM – You are interpreting a quote that says “the way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason” as not in any way suggesting that faith and reason are mutually exclusive.  The quote is from “the incompatibility of faith and reason, Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)”You are reading your own philosophy into it.And how did he support organized religion? Some other quotes from him:”I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.”From his autobiography: “He [the Rev Mr. Whitefield] used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard.””Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”Etc.Bear in mind also that in his day not attending church services had, not too long prior, been punishable by public beatings.

  13. The_ATM says:

    @agnophilo – Wow.  Nice way of making your case with two unsourced quotes attributed to him. Then just pretend sourced quotes that may contrast what you are presenting here do not exist.   I already understand he was not a Christian.You say, “The quote is from “the incompatibility of faith and reason,Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)”But “the incompatibility of faith and reason” is an annotation added by whoever you were quoting him from.  You should be a little more careful.  I found the same annotation in various places on google, but nothing of the sort is present in any of Poor Richard’s Almanack.  In fact, while I was doing a word search to make sure I was correct ( that it wasn’t anywhere to be found ) I found this:”Learning is a valuable Thing in the Affairs of this Life, but of infinitely more Importance is Godliness, asit tends not only to make us happy here but hereafter. At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked,what Proficiency we have made in Languages or Philosophy; but whether we have liv’d virtuously andpiously, as Men endued with Reason, guided by the Dictates of Religion”-Poor Richard Improved (1757)I am fine with you interpreting it however you want, but I don’t think you are accurate.  But go ahead and actually read it in context.  On the contrary, you are reading your own philosophy into it.

  14. agnophilo says:

    @The_ATM – “Wow.  Nice way of making your case with two unsourced quotes attributed to him. Then just pretend sourced quotes that may contrast what you are presenting here do not exist.   I already understand he was not a Christian.”You say, “The quote is from “the incompatibility of faith and reason,Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)”But “the incompatibility of faith and reason” is an annotation added by whoever you were quoting him from.  You should be a little more careful.  I found the same annotation in various places on google, but nothing of the sort is present in any of Poor Richard’s Almanack.”  Fair enough.  I was lazy in looking it up.”In fact, while I was doing a word search to make sure I was correct ( that it wasn’t anywhere to be found ) I found this:”Learning is a valuable Thing in the Affairs of this Life, but of infinitely more Importance is Godliness, asit tends not only to make us happy here but hereafter. At the Day of Judgment, we shall not be asked,what Proficiency we have made in Languages or Philosophy; but whether we have liv’d virtuously andpiously, as Men endued with Reason, guided by the Dictates of Religion”-Poor Richard Improved (1757)I am fine with you interpreting it however you want, but I don’t think you are accurate.  But go ahead and actually read it in context.  On the contrary, you are reading your own philosophy into it.”When we use the word “religion” it connotes supernatural belief, churches, dogma and the like, but in his day the term was literally synonymous with morality, and the term atheism was synonymous with immorality.  Websters defined atheism as immorality until I believe the 1940’s or thereabouts and the founding fathers use the terms in both senses in their writings.  Franklin criticized “religion” in one sense while calling for people to be “religious” in another, and recognized the teachings of christ as a guide for morality, though he explicitly did not believe in christ’s divinity.

  15. Hey Agno decided to read one your posts and comment for once instead of letting you do all the work in our glorious yet surprisingly new friendship Anyway so my question is if it is illogical to believe in a creator why did Aerostotle come to the conclusion that there must be an uncaused cause and unmoved mover? Is it possible that logic is not able to deal with the idea of a creator?

  16. agnophilo says:

    @deltian_shadow – Glorious friendship?And to answer your question, artistotle’s concept of the unmoved mover/uncaused cause was that nothing could move unless moved or “given being” by something else, and since we are “given being” by our parents we can act and exert will.  This was before we understood the chemestry and physics of our anatomy and is a very flawed concept.  He wondered though, how the first being could be given being since we could not have had an infinite series of ancestors.  He posed this as an open-ended question that he didn’t have the answer to.  Then thomas aquinas plagiarized this and other concepts of his, and turned “we don’t understand this” into “we don’t understand this so god must be responsible for it”.  In logic this is called an argument from ignorance, a logical fallacy.  People similarly said in aristotle’s day that lightning must be caused by zeus because there was no alternate explanation.  Did their lack of understanding prove the existence of zeus?  If not then does your incomplete understanding of quantum physics or biology prove the existence of yahweh?The concept of an unmoved mover originally had nothing to do with gods, and there is no reason to think an unmoved mover or prime cause would need to be intelligent, or be named jesus any more than it would be named allah, vishnu or the tao.And if there is a god, where did that god come from?  How did it get the ability to create universes?  How did it create the universe?  Invoking a god answers nothing and creates more questions.

Speak yer mind.

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