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Not even not as smart as he thinks

Posted by That Other Mike on 10/02/2008

As eny fule no, I habitually wander around teh webz looking for interesting stuff to mock, laud or be baffled by. I do this frequently because of my extremely short attention span; if I go back to a site more than once, I’m either interested or a victim of a car crash blog.

The process involves a great deal of tag and blog surfing, and it was under the tag “atheism” that I found this screed by Neil, although it should be noted that it also falls under a number of other tags which are equally inappropriate.

I would urge you to read it before I give it the deep fisking it so richly deserves, but my conscience won’t let me; if you read it unprotected, the stupid may get you. In other words, let me be your mental condom* while I deconstruct the idiocy.

I would expect macro-evolutionists to fall squarely in the pro-life camp.

This may be a new record for onset of Duh Syndrome, ladies and gents: the very first sentence. It starts with “macro-evolutionists”, which tells us a huge amount about the perpetrator of this essay. For a start, macro-evolution is a term which is really only in vogue amongst Creationists; they love to say that micro-evolution (variation inside a species) occurs, while claiming that macro-evolution (speciation) does not. None of them has ever adequately explained this “species barrier” that they seem to believe in; I’ve never seen one give details on how genetic change only occurs to a certain degree within an arbitrarily defined population. Simply put, the whole micro/macro thing is a smokescreen, a way of conceding that genetic variation occurs (because, let’s face it, you’d have to be extremely stupid to deny any change at all) without conceding that genetic variation leads to speciation. It’s along the same lines as conceding that gravity exists while maintaining that the planets stay in place because of some kind of invisible cosmic orrery.

The second major indicator of a sufferer of Duh Syndrome is the implicit accusation of “evolutionist” – we commonly tag things with –ism and their followers with –ist to indicate beliefs, ideologies and so on. What our boy Neil is doing (and rather sneakily, I might add), is implying that acceptance of “macro-evolution” is somehow the same as a political belief or similar. The actuality being, of course, that evolution is a scientific theory backed up by massive amounts of available evidence. As I said, it’s rather underhanded; it constitutes a way of making an accusation while preserving the “Who, me? You’re picking on meeeee! What did I do?” defence. Bad Christian! No Jesus!

And so to the next:

After all, if their definition of “morality” is survival of the fittest and perpetuating the species, they should at least concede that deliberately destroying the unborn would not qualify as a moral good.

And Round 2 of the stupid begins. Evolution is a scientific position based on observation; it does not entail a moral judgement anymore than a diagnosis of a cold implies the immorality of tissues or gravity implies the wickedness of flight. That’s a non sequitur; what is does not define what ought to be.

What Neil’s doing here is a fallacy (shocker, right?) called equivocation, which is the misleading and/or deceptive use of a word with two meanings. He’s equating evolutionary theory (which used to be called Darwinism, a term rarely used these days) with Social Darwinism, a misnamed belief that competition between individuals or groups in a society drives social evolution, and that this is the way things should be. Social Darwinism is an extended case of the appeal to nature: the argument that something is good and right because it occurs within nature.

That being said, you won’t find very many thinking people who advocate Social Darwinism, although it seems, ironically, to be quite common among Republicans and others suckling at the teat of the religious right.

Now that we’ve seen that the characterisation is incorrect, we also need to point out that Atheism (no doubt the “thinking” in Neil country goes that only the godless accept evolution) does not imply anything about one’s beliefs for or against abortion (or indeed anything else besides the existence of deities).

But if those I encounter in the blog world are representative at all, that is not the case. While they reflexively use straw-man mockery in asserting that Christians are anti-science, most of them ironically turn around and play dumb about what the unborn are – as if science didn’t emphatically prove that the unborn are human.

Oh, the irony! Neil complains about strawmen… And then whoosh! He shoots a strawman version of an Atheist.

As to “the unborn” being human – first thing is that use of the term “the unborn” is a dreadful, shameful appeal to emotion. Second is that something being human doesn’t mean much; my toenails are human, but I don’t see anyone banning nail clippers. My hair is human, but I don’t see anti-abortionists surrounding barber shops. It’s equivocation again – human is not the same as a human.

I’m always terribly amused when the science-lovers deny the humanity of the unborn.

Citations? No? Didn’t think so. And another thing – anyone around here who is anti-science in any way, please quit using your computer, take off your industrially-manufactured clothes and live in a tree.

Read the embryology textbooks. It is a new life. If she wasn’t living and growing, the abortion wouldn’t be desired, right? She has unique human DNA, human chromosomes, etc. and is at the stage of human development that she is supposed to be at that time, just as toddlers are at a different stage than teens.

That would be the embryology textbook written because of scientific endeavour. Sorry, no dice. Appealing to science to prove a point mere seconds after trashing it does nobody any favours; nor does the attempted comparison of a foetus with a toddler, a transparent and clumsy attempt at emotional manipulation.

It is as if they are genuinely surprised when a human baby comes out. “Wow, Dr., I had no idea! I thought maybe it was just a big tumor, or a puppy, or perhaps an armadillo. Another baby?! That’s three times in a row. What are the odds of that?”

I think his imagination failed him at this point.

They have also made appeals to animals performing abortions, as if mimicking animal behavior should be a model for us.

Who? Who does this? And if you find someone who does, you have my blessing to call that person an idiot for engaging in fallacies; be prepared to be called a hypocrite if you do, though.

I started to write that I could see them supporting abortions to weed out the disabled, but that would only be true if they were also in favor of destroying the disabled outside the womb. At a minimum I would expect them to be against gender-selection abortions. Well, a strawman will do whatever you want it to; if I create a strawman of Neil, I can have it go around screwing sheep in my imagination. And he means sex selection; gender is a social construction of what a sex should be or do.

Even Planned Parenthood used to concede the humanity of the unborn. What scientific discoveries did they find to change their minds?

Or maybe Neil is just pulling stuff out of his arse again. It’s equivocation again, folks. Human is a term which can be applied to teeth, toenails, and the missionary position; it’s being equivocated here with humanity, a whole different vessel of piscine organisms.

I think it that the root of the ro-abortion macro-evolutionists’ worldview is not a love of science but a hatred of God.

Once again, we have a strawman; the attempt to call acceptance of scientific concepts a belief system; and an accusation of deceit. If you say that an Atheist is an Atheist because s/he hates your god/s, you’re accusing him/her of being overly emotional and deceitful. But there’s the rub – we don’t believe in gods. If we don’t believe in gods, we can’t hate them. QED – Neil’s a dumbass.

Abortion may not be the desired solution in many situations, but it isn’t a choice someone else should be making for women. If the foetus is still pre-viability, then it’s all about her bodily autonomy. We all need to be aware that going back to the days of illegal abortion would be socially disastrous; the fact is that the situation as it stands is a better one. Make no mistake – returning to illegal abortion would kill many women, condemn many families to misery and poverty, result in uncountable parentless children living in poverty and squalor, and make the lives of millions of people take a huge turn for the worse; not least the women whose fight for rights and equality would be dealt a massive blow.

And I guess that goes right to the heart of the issue –- if you’re so pro-life, why don’t you try to make life better for the people who are already here?

As always, remember that forgiveness and healing is possible for those who have participated in the abortion process.

And is it available for liars? Because if it is, Neil needs to apply immediately.

People don’t need forgiveness from a bunch of self-righteous whackjobs without any moral or intellectual authority; I wish more Christians understood this, rather than wasting their time spewing lies and fallacies. Some do, and they are people to be cherished; they are medics at the front line of the culture wars.

Based on his ridiculous little carnival of idiocies, though, I doubt Neil will be signing up to carry a stretcher any time soon.


* Eww. Grossed myself out there.

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29 Responses to “Not even not as smart as he thinks”

  1. Neil said

    Hi – I stopped reading after the first couple paragraphs of inanity, but thanks for the link. I am confident that anyone without your outrageous bias will see the point that macro-evolutionists (or Darwinists, or materialists, or naturalists, or whatever you want to call yourselves) should obviously take a pro-life view.

    Anyone who tries to equate hair, etc. with the unborn because both are “human” is either stupid beyond description or in deep, deep rebellion to God, or both.

  2. Lottie said

    Look, Honey! Wasn’t it nice of your friend to stop by and prove your point?

  3. womantowomancbe said

    I only skimmed your post, but thought I could give you a book that would more fully explain from a creationist perspective why there is variety within species (micro-evolution), but not macro-evolution: After Its Kind, by Byron Nelson. Quite illuminating about this subject.

    And as to the abortion question–you don’t go far back enough in the argument. The argument begins once the baby has been conceived; it should begin before the baby is conceived. Except in the rare instances of a baby conceived by rape (including all forced sex acts), all babies are conceived by consensual sex, which means that the woman chooses to have sex. It’s not the baby’s fault that she didn’t keep her pants zipped, but it’s the baby who will be vacuumed in pieces out of her womb, or chemically burned with a highly saline solution until he or she dies. If a woman doesn’t want a baby, then she should take the responsibility to avoid making a baby.

    Kathy

  4. Mike said

    Hi – I stopped reading after the first couple paragraphs of inanity, but thanks for the link.

    Is that your way of saying that you can’t refute a word of it?

    I am confident that anyone without your outrageous bias will see the point that macro-evolutionists (or Darwinists, or materialists, or naturalists, or whatever you want to call yourselves) should obviously take a pro-life view.

    And people in the 1800s were confident that heavier than air flight and travel at more than 20mph were impossible; it’s the confidence of ignorance.

    Anyone who tries to equate hair, etc. with the unborn because both are “human” is either stupid beyond description or in deep, deep rebellion to God, or both.

    Do you get a bulk discount on that straw? Because I didn’t compare them, I just called you on your equivocation, although I see that you’ve moved onto the false dilemma.

  5. Mike said

    I only skimmed your post, but thought I could give you a book that would more fully explain from a creationist perspective why there is variety within species (micro-evolution), but not macro-evolution: After Its Kind, by Byron Nelson. Quite illuminating about this subject.

    No, sorry. Don’t recommend – give an argument. Show some evidence. Giving me a reading list doesn’t cut it.

    And as to the abortion question–you don’t go far back enough in the argument. The argument begins once the baby has been conceived; it should begin before the baby is conceived. Except in the rare instances of a baby conceived by rape (including all forced sex acts), all babies are conceived by consensual sex, which means that the woman chooses to have sex. It’s not the baby’s fault that she didn’t keep her pants zipped, but it’s the baby who will be vacuumed in pieces out of her womb, or chemically burned with a highly saline solution until he or she dies. If a woman doesn’t want a baby, then she should take the responsibility to avoid making a baby.

    Except that choosing to have sex is not choosing to have a baby. This is why we have contraception. And it isn’t a baby when it’s conceived; that’s a simple appeal to emotion, rhetoric instead of argument.

  6. LMAO… where do you find ’em, Mike? 🙂

    After all, if their definition of “morality” is survival of the fittest and perpetuating the species, they should at least concede that deliberately destroying the unborn would not qualify as a moral good.

    This is so old. Old and as intellectually retarded as ever.

    I am confident that anyone without your outrageous bias…

    I’m equally confident that you’re wrong…. “outrageous bias”… *chuckle* That’s precious, Neil — and you even managed to keep a straight face.

  7. Mike said

    Bottom of my internet shoe.

  8. womantowomancbe said

    Mike,

    In a nutshell, the larger part of the book that I mentioned that deals with what you term “micro-evolution” and “macro-evolution” talks about genetics, plain and simple. Using a variety of different species, the author shows that there is great variety within species, as allowed by the DNA that is already in the plant, animal or human. Some of the different varieties are color (of fur, petals, wheat kernel) or shape (of wings or peas or the comb of a bird). For instance, through cross-breeding and selective breeding, it is shown that when a black guinea pig and a white guinea pig mate, all the offspring will be black; but these offspring if mated with a white guinea pig can produce either black or white, depending on the genes (because black is dominant and white is recessive). It is therefore possible for two black guinea pigs (with recessive white genes) to produce a white guinea pig, which looks like “micro-evolution” but the truth is that these factors were simply recessive for quite possibly many generations, although always inherently there in the genes. Another large portion of the book undertakes trying to breed across species lines (for instance, crossing a cow and a buffalo–which was attempted by a wealthy rancher, in an attempt to get the best part of both species), and determines that almost every time that a hybrid is born, it is sterile. The males are always sterile; and the females are almost always sterile. On the rare occasions that a female is fertile, when it is bred with a bull, almost all traces of buffalo are gone; and should another cross take place, the resulting offspring are indistinguishable from normal cows. In essence, there is no genetic possibility of new species forming from current species. The offspring are always genetically like their parents; hybrids are almost always sterile; and any hybrids that aren’t sterile will not produce new species, but their offspring will be the same species as the father. But there is great variety within species–such as in humans, the color hair, eyes, skin, the build of the body, and quite possibly the intelligence (although there is some degree of “nurture” in all of these).

    Choosing to have sex *is* choosing the possibility of creating a baby, whether you like it or not. Aside from “test-tube babies” the only way babies are made is by sexual intercourse. Simple biology. Contraceptives fail (and most birth control is not strictly “contraceptive”–many times conception occurs, but the fertilized egg does not implant in the lining of the uterus because of the hormones or some other action of the birth control). Abstinence is the only sure-fire, fail-safe way to keep from conceiving. Once conception takes place, it is no longer just the woman’s body. Genetically, that fertilized egg is half of her DNA and half of the father’s. At the point of conception, it is genetically a totally different human being. I understand you don’t want to call it a baby at that point, because then it feels like murder when you want to do away with “the products of conception”; however, if allowed to grow unhindered, a baby will be born. A unique individual (even in the case of “identical twins” there is slight variation), that is the product of two human beings’ different DNA coming together to form one totally new human being. And you were once that fertilized egg. At one time you implanted in the lining of your mother’s womb, and you got your total sustenance from her body, and grew in complete safety and comfort within her body. And then you were born; and the life that you had while you were still inside her body was made manifest at birth when you cried for the first time, and made your move to some degree of independence, in that you could finally breathe on your own. But you were still totally helpless and dependent on others to feed you and keep you warm and change your diapers. Even after several years, you were almost completely dependent, though you could walk around and put food into your own mouth, because you could not acquire and make the food by yourself. Only when you matured and became an adult could you finally call yourself completely independent from your parents. I’m sorry you don’t find it totally repugnant that your mother could have had you vacuumed out of her womb, tearing you limb from limb, while you were helpless to do anything about it. But I do.

    Kathy

  9. Mike said

    For instance, through cross-breeding and selective breeding, it is shown that when a black guinea pig and a white guinea pig mate, all the offspring will be black; but these offspring if mated with a white guinea pig can produce either black or white, depending on the genes (because black is dominant and white is recessive). It is therefore possible for two black guinea pigs (with recessive white genes) to produce a white guinea pig, which looks like “micro-evolution” but the truth is that these factors were simply recessive for quite possibly many generations, although always inherently there in the genes.

    Except that new variations of genes occur which did not exist before, making this argument moot.

    Another large portion of the book undertakes trying to breed across species lines (for instance, crossing a cow and a buffalo–which was attempted by a wealthy rancher, in an attempt to get the best part of both species), and determines that almost every time that a hybrid is born, it is sterile. The males are always sterile; and the females are almost always sterile. On the rare occasions that a female is fertile, when it is bred with a bull, almost all traces of buffalo are gone; and should another cross take place, the resulting offspring are indistinguishable from normal cows.

    Except that speciation has little to do with cross-species breeding, making this argument also moot. This is a red herring.

    In essence, there is no genetic possibility of new species forming from current species. The offspring are always genetically like their parents; hybrids are almost always sterile; and any hybrids that aren’t sterile will not produce new species, but their offspring will be the same species as the father. But there is great variety within species–such as in humans, the color hair, eyes, skin, the build of the body, and quite possibly the intelligence (although there is some degree of “nurture” in all of these).

    This is a fine example of what Richard Dawkins called discontinuous thinking. Have you ever heard of ring species? To save my typing out reams of info, I’m just going to link you to the Wikipedia article. Species are not discrete, black and white categories, and throwing out red herrings does not change the following facts: speciation occurs when selection pressures act on modified descent. Populations separated by certain factors will be selected for different survival traits, causing a genetic gap between them which will widen until they no longer interbreed or cannot.

    Choosing to have sex *is* choosing the possibility of creating a baby, whether you like it or not.

    Only in the sense that crossing the street is choosing the possibility of being hit by a car. It isn’t the necessary aim or desire.

    Aside from “test-tube babies” the only way babies are made is by sexual intercourse. Simple biology. Contraceptives fail (and most birth control is not strictly “contraceptive”–many times conception occurs, but the fertilized egg does not implant in the lining of the uterus because of the hormones or some other action of the birth control).

    In other words, they prevent conception (not a synonym for fertilisation), “products of conception” being the medical term for an implanted zygote.

    Abstinence is the only sure-fire, fail-safe way to keep from conceiving. Once conception takes place, it is no longer just the woman’s body.

    Except that it is; until such time as the foetus is externally viable, it is literally not a separate being.

    Genetically, that fertilized egg is half of her DNA and half of the father’s.

    Gee, thanks! I always wondered about that. </sarcasm>

    At the point of conception, it is genetically a totally different human being.

    Almost as if there were genetic changes not seen before… As if there were some kind of genetic drift. Say, if there were several like that and some were more able to survive… You get the point, I’m sure. You’re contradicting yourself here.

    I understand you don’t want to call it a baby at that point, because then it feels like murder when you want to do away with “the products of conception”; however, if allowed to grow unhindered, a baby will be born.

    “Baby” is not a medical term; it’s a basic English term commonly referring to a child between birth and the age of one. And no, it won’t necessarily grow into foetus and then be born; approximately 25% of all pregnancies will spontaneously abort.

    A unique individual (even in the case of “identical twins” there is slight variation), that is the product of two human beings’ different DNA coming together to form one totally new human being.

    Again, extraneous rhetoric aside, you’re contradicting yourself.

    And you were once that fertilized egg. At one time you implanted in the lining of your mother’s womb, and you got your total sustenance from her body, and grew in complete safety and comfort within her body. And then you were born; and the life that you had while you were still inside her body was made manifest at birth when you cried for the first time, and made your move to some degree of independence, in that you could finally breathe on your own. But you were still totally helpless and dependent on others to feed you and keep you warm and change your diapers. Even after several years, you were almost completely dependent, though you could walk around and put food into your own mouth, because you could not acquire and make the food by yourself. Only when you matured and became an adult could you finally call yourself completely independent from your parents. I’m sorry you don’t find it totally repugnant that your mother could have had you vacuumed out of her womb, tearing you limb from limb, while you were helpless to do anything about it. But I do.

    Wow! You totally changed my mind by making it about me in a shameless emotional play! It’s almost as if I had never used my brain to think about this! Jeez. Shall I go on, or have you had enough sarcasm for one day?

    Don’t come onto my blog and insult my intelligence by presuming to influence me by the use of transparent, juvenile rhetorical tricks. I’m an adult who uses his brain, meaning I see right through them.

    More to the point, you have absolutely no idea how I feel about abortion; you’ve only seen me argue against your and Neil’s cheap trickery and religious waffle.

  10. womantowomancbe said

    Yes, sarcasm *is* about the only answer you have to logic.

    Cheers,
    Kathy

  11. Neil said

    Good points, Kathy. You have more patience than me.

  12. Mike said

    Kathy, when you apply some logic, you might have a point. As it is, you’re simply throwing around appeals to emotion and other cheap rhetorical tricks.

    As I said, don’t come to my blog and insult my intelligence with that crap; I’m not stupid, and I’m not a child. If the childish attempts to influence via clumsy manipulation are all you have, don’t even try. When you’re up to showing an argument which is logical and factual, I’ll be all ears.

    As to you, Neil, you’re just as bad, but at least Kathy has shown a little courage. Your net contribution so far has been to fail to rebut any criticism while claiming victory. Not exactly shocking, though, given your espousal of Creationism.

  13. Neil said

    Cute, Mike – a combo ad hom / genetic fallacy!

    Actually enjoy a good debate but am just bored with rabid atheists. A gaggle came over from Dawkin’s website and I had fun annihilating their logical fallacies for a while, but time is precious – Poor arguments to make with theists

  14. Mike said

    Actually, Neil, it’s an observation; for it to be an ad hominem, it would have to be a comment about your cowardice where an argument or rebuttal would be appropriate. In this case, you made no argument to rebut. As to it being a genetic fallacy, you don’t even know what it means. I say this in confidence, because you have plainly misunderstood it; I did not say that any arguments you had made were incorrect because you made them. You obviously don’t have a clue what the words you’re throwing around actually mean.

    In the meantime, please, just sit back and enjoy your hair, because supporting it seems to be all that your head is good for, if this is your Sunday best.

    And yeah, I saw your dancing carnival of strawmen; I wasn’t especially impressed with it, and I really doubt you could “annihilate” anything that a determined modern Atheist could come up with. But please, feel free to wallow in your delusion: it is, after all, what you do best.

  15. Lottie said

    Poor arguments to make with theists

    Hey, Neil! Can you link me to where you’ve seen atheists use arguments the way you’ve presented them here? They’re dreadful arguments that I’ve never seen any atheist use, and I’d love the opportunity to have a go at them myself.

    Can you lead the way, please? 😀

  16. Neil said

    Hi Lottie – Glad you agree that they are dreadful. It is a two-way street, so I had also done a piece on “Poor arguments to use with atheists” that I’ve see Christians use.

    Go to Richard Dawkins’ web site for starters. Or you could read the comment threads from my blog – many items were direct quotes. Happy searching!

  17. Neil said

    Oh, and I just saw this one today (#5 on my list): “As a Christian, you deny all gods but one. As an atheist, I deny all gods. We’re practically the same.”

    http://theframeproblem.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/as-richard-dawkins-says-some-of-us-just-go-one-god-further/

  18. Neil said

    And I think that #14, “Religion poisons everything!” is the subtitle of Hitchens’ book.

    And then there is the ubiquitous and ill-conceived “flying spaghetti monster” example. That gets used that a lot, typically with a lot of virtual back slapping over the alleged cleverness of the phrase.

  19. Lottie said

    Go to Richard Dawkins’ web site for starters. Or you could read the comment threads from my blog – many items were direct quotes. Happy searching!

    Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t work that way. You see, when you make a claim, it is your responsibility to back it up. It is not my job to search the internet for evidence to support your statements.

    You claim that atheists use the arguments listed on your blog. You even claim that many are direct quotes. Please provide links to where you’ve seen this.

  20. Lottie said

    Oh, and I just saw this one today (#5 on my list): “As a Christian, you deny all gods but one. As an atheist, I deny all gods. We’re practically the same.”

    I followed your link and I do not see where anyone said that. Could you possibly copy and past the exact comment you are referring to?

  21. Lottie said

    And I think that #14, “Religion poisons everything!” is the subtitle of Hitchens’ book.

    I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if the subtitle is appropriate. Context is everything.

    And then there is the ubiquitous and ill-conceived “flying spaghetti monster” example. That gets used that a lot, typically with a lot of virtual back slapping over the alleged cleverness of the phrase.

    What is wrong the analogy?

  22. Neil said

    Lottie, please read carefully: I have seen #5 many times. I wrote the post in early January. As I noted, the link in comment #17 above was one I just saw today. I used the link out of convenience. Therefore, you won’t see those exact words in the quote. As one commenter noted, it is actually a famous quote:

    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    historian Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71)

    Now, there is a documented example.

    Items 2, 10 and 11 on my list were direct quotes from comments on: http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2007/04/02/more-on-hell/

    “Why do religious people keep quoting bits out of a book written long ago by stone aged and ignorant men?

    Why do religious people not understand the scientific and philosophical arguments against the existence of god which clearly refute its existence?

    Why is it that religious people resort to imaginary answers (faith) built on the circular reasoning that the bible provides those answers? Does god exist? Yes, because the bible says so. D’uh!”

    And again, item 14 has a whole book written with that in the title!

    Item 7 was in Dawkins’ book.

    Item 6 got repeated in the comment thread itself.

    I could do the rest, but how about convincing me that you have really never seen those used and that you’d “love the opportunity to have a go at them” yourself?

  23. Neil said

    Here’s a bit on the flying spaghetti monster (an example of #4 from my list) – http://politicsandreligion.wordpress.com/2007/07/25/worshipping-the-flying-spaghetti-monster/

  24. Lottie said

    Lottie, please read carefully: I have seen #5 many times. I wrote the post in early January. As I noted, the link in comment #17 above was one I just saw today. I used the link out of convenience. Therefore, you won’t see those exact words in the quote. As one commenter noted, it is actually a famous quote:

    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    historian Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71)

    But that’s not what you claim the argument to be. You claimed that the statement was:

    “As a Christian, you deny all gods but one. As an atheist, I deny all gods. We’re practically the same.”

    The two are not the same. The actual quote does not state or even imply that “we’re practically the same”, making your “annihilation” of the alleged argument as much a lie as the strawman itself.

    “Why do religious people keep quoting bits out of a book written long ago by stone aged and ignorant men?

    Why do religious people not understand the scientific and philosophical arguments against the existence of god which clearly refute its existence?

    The title of the post we’re addressing is: Poor arguments to make with theists. I wouldn’t call these arguments.

    Why is it that religious people resort to imaginary answers (faith) built on the circular reasoning that the bible provides those answers? Does god exist? Yes, because the bible says so. D’uh!”

    It is circular reasoning. What would you call it?

    And again, item 14 has a whole book written with that in the title!

    So what? It’s the author’s opinion, not an argument.

    Item 7 was in Dawkins’ book.

    So? Another opinion.

    Opinions are not arguments. But it’s becoming clearer by the minute that you are unable to distinguish between the two.

    Item 6 got repeated in the comment thread itself.

    Item 6:

    6. You don’t have empirical evidence for ____ (God, the resurrection, etc.).

    Well, do you?

    I could do the rest, but how about convincing me that you have really never seen those used and that you’d “love the opportunity to have a go at them” yourself?

    I have never seen your strawman version of them. You obviously couldn’t refute the actual arguments, and decided to rephrase them all, refute your erroneous versions of them, and declare yourself the winner.

    Now, how about convincing me that you’re not an idiot and liar?

    Here’s a bit on the flying spaghetti monster (an example of #4 from my list) –

    From your link:

    The FSM and IPU are, according to Wikipedia, the deities in two parody religions intended to help us theists realize how fatuous our beliefs seem to atheists.

    There is a fundamental disanalogy, though, which is that no one really does believe the FSM or IPU exists, let alone is god. And why not? Because there are no reasons to. So, of course it is ridiculous to believe something for which there are no reasons, which takes us back to the fact that we theists believe in God for reasons of all different kinds.

    Ironically, in an attempt to show why the FSM and IPU analogies fail, you have actually shown us why they do not.

    Another thing that’s becoming clearer by the second: Mike’s reason for the title of this post.

  25. Neil said

    Let’s recap:

    You said: “Can you link me to where you’ve seen atheists use arguments the way you’ve presented them here? They’re dreadful arguments that I’ve never seen any atheist use, and I’d love the opportunity to have a go at them myself.”

    So you already AGREED that they were dreadful arguments – so much so that you thought they were straw men and relished the idea of going at them yourself.

    You wanted links and I provided them. Now you switch gears and turn to hyper-literalism that would make a fundie blush, and you are inventing the opinion / argument false dichotomy. It’s a little late for that now that I’ve caught you lying.

    My hypothesis was that you were lying but as always I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I’m sorry to say that I was completely right.

    I won’t be back, so have fun with last word. I’m sure you’ll fill it full of ad homs and more lies.

    Once again, for the record: YOU said the arguments were dreadful. You asked for links. I provided them – including some DIRECT, WORD FOR WORD quotes. Then you shamelessly wiggled out of your “I’d love the opportunity to have a go at them myself” pledge.

    Thanks for exposing your true motives. You and Mike make a great couple.

  26. Neil said

    P.S. YOU referred to them as arguments. My guess is that you didn’t even read the post originally, and just parroted Mike’s silliness. Then you had to backtrack when I called your bluff.

    Sheesh. This is the thing I hate about blogging. You guys give atheists a bad name.

  27. Lottie said

    So you already AGREED that they were dreadful arguments – so much so that you thought they were straw men and relished the idea of going at them yourself.

    That’s right. And when you can show me where anyone actually used them the way you presented them (which is exactly what I said to begin with) I will have a go at them. Because you have shamelessly misrepresented other people’s arguments, you are not able to show me where anyone actually said what you claim they did.

    You wanted links and I provided them. Now you switch gears and turn to hyper-literalism that would make a fundie blush, and you are inventing the opinion / argument false dichotomy. It’s a little late for that now that I’ve caught you lying.

    You did not provide links to anyone using the arguments as you present them on your blog. That is not hyper-literalism nor is it switching gears; it was what I asked for to start with. The fact that you don’t read or process all the words does not make me a liar.

    Opinions are not arguments regardless of how much you wish they were. And you are the one who has been caught lying, which is exactly why you’ve got your panties in such a wad.

    My hypothesis was that you were lying but as always I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I’m sorry to say that I was completely right.

    No you’re not. I said to show me where the arguments were used the way you present them on your blog, and I would have a go at whoever was doing it. When you do, I will. I won’t be holding my breath, though.

    People’s opinions and casual observations do not count as arguments. I don’t make the rules…

    I won’t be back, so have fun with last word. I’m sure you’ll fill it full of ad homs and more lies.

    This is deliciously ironic coming from the likes of you.

    And you really should stop using terms for which you clearly don’t understand the meaning.

    Once again, for the record: YOU said the arguments were dreadful. You asked for links. I provided them – including some DIRECT, WORD FOR WORD quotes. Then you shamelessly wiggled out of your “I’d love the opportunity to have a go at them myself” pledge.

    I addressed the quotes.

    I haven’t wiggled out of anything. The “pledge” still stands. 😀

    P.S. YOU referred to them as arguments.

    Yes. I referred to the (misrepresented) arguments as arguments. Anything in your list of “arguments” that is not actually an argument, like and opinion or observation, does not qualify as an argument and would, therefore, be excluded from anything I would address as an argument. Is this really difficult for you?

    Good grief! The things you have to spell out for some folks…

    My guess is that you didn’t even read the post originally, and just parroted Mike’s silliness.

    And you’d be wrong. I was actually reading it when Mike rang. I suggested he have a look, he did, and then we had a good laugh together. Thanks for providing this evening’s entertainment.

    Then you had to backtrack when I called your bluff.

    How funny! That’s exactly what I told Mike about you!

    And, thanks! We do make a great couple, don’t we! 😀

  28. Neil said

    While I stand behind the content of all my comments, I do want to apologize for the tone. It was too harsh.

    Peace,
    Neil

  29. Mike said

    While I stand behind the content of all my comments, I do want to apologize for the tone.

    You’d do better to apologise for the content; I take it far more seriously when my intelligence is being insulted.

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