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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.

Who created God? January 11, 2008

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


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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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
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>


God and Evolution September 16, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, creationism, evolution, Kent Hovind, religion, science, skepticism, theism.

Many people on both sides of the evolution/creation struggle in the United States want people to believe that their is a conflict between a belief in god and an acceptance of the biological theory of evolution. Let me assure you they are wrong. They want to construct a false dichotomy because it is easier to prop up your side when all you have to do is tear down the other.

If there are more than two options than tearing down the other is not sufficient. One needs to have positive evidence that supports any theory of the origins of species. I will stick with science and the massive evidence across multiple disciplines which converge on a common answer; evolution by natural selection. Whether you be god believer or not I would advise you do the same. If you are skeptical I suggest you approach the evidence with an open mind and realize (as Pope John Paul II did) that “Truth cannot contradict truth.”

As a Christian, a trained engineer and scientist, and a professor at Emory University, I am embarrassed by the Superintendent Kathy Cox’s attempt to censor and distort the education of Georgia’s students. The existing and long-standing use of the word ‘evolution’ in our state’s textbooks has not adversly affected Georgians’ belief in the omnipotence of God as creator of the universe. There can be no incompatibility between Christian faith and proven facts concerning geology, biology, and astronomy. There is no need to teach that stars can fall out of the sky and land on a flat Earth in order to defend our religious faith.

-Former President Jimmy Carter on the inclusion of an ‘evolution warning’ in Georgia’s textbooks.

Something From Nothing? August 13, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, Christianity, freethought, religion, science, skepticism, theism.

In a recent email conversation with a Christian I was annoyed by his frequent assertion that atheism implied that at the beginning of the universe something had to have come from nothing. (Perhaps I am easily annoyed.)