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Fallacious Arguments, 1962 February 14, 2008

Posted by Joe in argument, fallacy, internet, language, logic, psychology, skepticism.
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A Classification of Fallacious Arguments 

Looks like argumentation was about the same now as it was then. It probably wouldn’t be very hard to find examples of all these fallacies on WordPress blogs.


“Does God Exist?” August 2, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, evidence, fallacy, freethought, god, logic, morality, religion, skepticism, theism.

Here are notes I made while reading William Lane Craig’s “Does God Exist?

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Atheism does not imply meaninglessness.

Atheism does not imply lack of hope for a better future. (It does put the onus of making the future better on us.)

Even if there is a god there is no “deliverance from aging, disease, and death”. Even if there is an eternal afterlife in paradise we still age, disease, and die.


Stop that! June 25, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, church state separation, creationism, fallacy, freethought, god, morality, religion, theism.

To my fellow atheists/agnostics etc…:

Stop blaming all, the majority of, or any tragedies of the past on religion! (more…)

Proof vs. Evidence June 19, 2007

Posted by Joe in belief, creationism, evolution, fallacy, freethought, logic, psychology, science.

The Hovind challenge referenced yesterday repeatedly called for “scientific proof” of evolution. There is no proof in science. Proof is for mathematics and alcohol. You cannot prove anything in science to a certainty, though you can disprove a lot. All scientific theories are tentative and subject to revision. Even the “law of” gravity is subject to revision, and in fact was revised by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Science is about evidence. Evidence is the result of a structured scientific experiment or observation that supports the claims of a theory. In order to be useful a different outcome for the experiment or observation must be able to falsify or disprove the theory.

That is, there must be a well defined result that if observed would demonstrate that the theory would be false. Every experiment or observation must be structured to test the theory, thus allowing the possibility for it to fail. A theory can be disproved by a single verifiable counter-example, but no amount of confirming evidence can ever demonstrate a theory to 100% certainty.

Hovind’s $250,000 June 18, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, creationism, ethics, evolution, fallacy, Kent Hovind, logic, psychology, science, skepticism.

The inimitable Kent Hovind has had his $250,000 dollar version of The Amazing Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge offered for anyone who can “give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution.*” available since 1990. (The quoted star is significant, because you have to prove his straw man of evolution to capture the prize.)

Here is how Hovind defines evolution:

Evolution is presented in our public school textbooks as a process that:

1. Brought time, space, and matter into existence from nothing.
2. Organized that matter into the galaxies, stars, and at least nine planets around the sun. (This process is often referred to as cosmic evolution.)
3. Created the life that exists on at least one of those planets from nonliving matter (chemical evolution).
4. Caused the living creatures to be capable of and interested in reproducing themselves.
5. Caused that first life form to spontaneously diversify into different forms of living things, such as the plants and animals on the earth today (biological evolution).