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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.

The Demon-Haunted World June 18, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, books, creationism, ethics, evolution, fallacy, freethought, god, language, life, media, NASA, politics, psychology, reading, religion, science, skepticism, space exploration, theism.
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It’s been more than I decade since Carl Sagan wrote A Demon-haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark, But even as I reread it today its message is as timely as ever. The survival of our way of life depends entirely our scientific knowledge and how we apply it. Yet we have created a society where the vast majority have no knowledge of the methods or findings of science and no knowledge of how the technology they use everyday actually works.

Furthermore we have media and politicians that present everyday anti-science attitudes, watered down and pop-culture simplifications of science, and present pseudo-science uncritically.

Everyone should read this book; theist or atheist; “evolutionist” or creationist. Whatever your stripe you will get something out of it and enjoy the trip.

Carl Sagan explains what makes science the best way we have to know what is:

Some people consider science arrogant, nevertheless, I maintain that science is part and parcel humility. Scientists do not seek to impose their needs and wants on Nature, but instead humbly interrogate Nature and take seriously what they find. We understand human imperfection. We insist on independent and to the extent possible, quantitative verification of proposed tenets of belief. We are constantly prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations, encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs.

Regarding “fundie”. June 10, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, language, religion, theism.
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I do not like the term “fundie” as it is used to refer to religious fundamentalists. I have been guilty of using it myself in the past, but I have now decided not to use it again.

The only way I have seen it used is to demean and insult a particular group of or even religious people in general. It is one of those words, like the term “religious fundamentalist” in whose place it stands, whose sole purpose is to paint the larger group of religious people with the foibles of an extreme minority.

Do you use this term? Does it leave a bad taste in your mouth?