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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.

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Who created God? January 11, 2008

Posted by Joe in atheism, belief, Christianity, faith, freethought, god, logic, science, skepticism, theism.
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13 comments

This link was posted as a comment regarding a different topic. It is a common argument flung at atheists when a theist seems to realize there is no evidence for the existence of god. It is neatly summarized on the linked page thusly:

1. Everything which has a beginning has a cause.
2. The universe has a beginning.
3. Therefore the universe has a cause.

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What is Faith? (and do atheists have it?) September 25, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, evidence, faith, freethought, god, logic, religion, skepticism, theism.
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7 comments

Atheists often define the word ‘faith’ as “belief in something without evidence or int he face of contradictory evidence”. I don’t believe this is really what theists mean when they use the word, but I cannot come up with a reasonable meaning that fits their usage. They seem to use it as a justification for their religious beliefs and as a way to buttress their belief in the face of doubts.

Faith is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows:

Main Entry: 1faith
[snip]
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>
synonym see BELIEF
on faith : without question <took everything he said on faith>

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“Does God Exist?” August 2, 2007

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

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.

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Proof vs. Evidence June 19, 2007

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

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.