Monday, July 20, 2009

Cowardly Bully Attempts Defense: Deabte with Runamuck


Yesterday I was taken aback to find that a cowardly troll had attacked by writings with a lot of insulting ignorant garbage and like the little cowardly bully most of the hate group atheists are, he mocked and derided ideas he doesn't understand. Nevertheless I've decided not to respond in kind but to actaully demonstrate to this miscreant why his ideas are lame and silly. So here is a post he made in response to my major post yesterday. It's posted in the comment section of my piece on Religious a priori.


If your statement is not infalsifiable, then how would one go about falsifying it?

He's talking about my piece on religious a priori. We have to clear about what can be falsified and what can't be. It might also help to understand why falsifiability is an issue. I am sure Runamuck thinks that falsifiability is some standard that scientists came to in the laws of physics. It is actaully the result of philosophy of science ( fact that atheist carm spit through their noses over if they knew about it, since they believe no good can come of philosophy of any kind, and philosophy of science is Philosophy which they hate trespassing on the land of their little tin god science). Falsification is actually the work of Karl Popper. The idea is that one can't actually prove a hypothesis but if it could not possibly be disproved then we don't need to take it seriously. So the very concept in the beginning only apply empirical things, it only applies to things that can't be proved. Hypothesis that don't need falsification would be things like "life is worth ilving." How could you prove or disprove that life is worth living? It's a totally subjective matter because it's in the eye of the beholder. To one man a life might be totally nightmarish but another might find life in the same circumstances entirely wroth it for whatever reason.

Atheists tend to think that subjective things a false and stupid a priori. Atheists fear and loath the subjective. But no one actually deny the existence of a life worth living. It can't be proved or disproved but it can't be ignored or treated as a myth. Some people find life worth living. Now belief in God is not exactly on the same level, but it's not on a level empirical things either. A statement is not nonsense just because it's not falsifiable. Atheists will often pretend that that's the case, or not pretend just they don't know anything about it. That's not what Popper said:

In contrast to positivism, which held that statements are senseless if they cannot be verified or falsified, Popper denied that lack of falsifiability makes statements meaningless. According to Popper, falsifiability is a general notion of creditability, even though he admitted that falsification is only method by which scientific theories may be formulated, criticized or refuted at all.

God is not merely another fact in the universe. Belief in God is not adding a fact to the universe. Belief in God is more like a world view. God is the basis of all reality, the ground of being, so while not given in sense data and not falsifiable, God is not an object of empirical investigation so the non falsifiability is not a minus for the rationality of belief in God. Falsifiability is not a turnstile of existence. It's not a test, or a job philosophical gate keeping to determine the reality of a thing just because it may not be falsifiable. This ignorance person runamuck is very lame to think that it is. This shows a complete lack of education in not understanding the ramifications of the concept. There are major wings of thought in the Western tradition that don't support the ideological slogans of the reductionists.

Nevertheless there are certain aspects of belief that are falsifiable. While God is not given in sense data and is not a direct object of empirical investigation, there are co-determinate of God which are empirical. A co-determinate is an aspect or a ramification of the existence of something that is indicative of that which is it's co-determinate. For example the a foot print in the snow is the co-determinate of the foot that left it there. A fingerprint is indicative of the finger that made it. If one were tacking the invisible man, you could not see the man but you could see his footprints in the snow. This is analogous for the situation with God. Not that God is invisible but is the basis of reality and thus off scale, can't be measured, not given in sense data. But aspects of belief in God can be understood as the trace of God. i talk about these in religious a priroi part 2 the continuation of the piece runamuck attacked with such ignorant rage. There is a huge body of scientific work that demonstrates the empirical validity of religious experiences. There are several arguments that can be made based upon this hug body of scientific work.

My arguments are not about proving the existence of God. They are about proving that religious belief is rationally warranted. Why is this? Because God can't be proved with empirical data, but it is more than rational to believe in God. this is because belief based upon religious experience is verifiable, falsifiable and demonstrated to be the best thing one can experience in life. I have made these arguments on this blog many many times so I wont go through that now. Just follow the links and you will see. There are hundreds of studies they prove that people who have religious experience are far better off than those who don't, their lives are changed dramatically for the better, then have long term positive effects. A great deal of scientific data demonstrates tat it's not a illusion or mental illness it's a real experience probably caused by something external not imagination or placebo. The crux of these studies is called the "M scale." It was developed by Ralph Hood Jr. of University of Tennessee Chattanooga. The M scale tells us when and whether or not one has had a valid mystical experience. It's so accepted by psychology of religion that it's become standard procedure to use it in all studies about RE. The M scale has been cross culturally verified in a a half dozen different cultures including India and Iran and others. This is a means of falsification. IF God were false if the trace of God were false (the "trace" being the experiences and their effects) they could not be validated by the M scale and the long term positive effects would not be detectable. Because the experiences are real and the effects are real and consent is about God we can assume logically that this the trace of God.

I will be happy to debate these arguments with Runamuck latter. I need to bracket that for now so we can get through the rest of his schlock.


I suggest you, instead of just reading apologia, read some A. J. Ayer. Essentially, it is meaningless to debate the subjective, because you cannot logically deduce objective truth from subjective premises.

Meta: Of course that's not insulting is it? He's just accused a Ph.D. candidate of only reading apologetic sites. But this ignorant one Dashes off the name of Ayer so proudly as though marking himself as a great thinker. I was reading Ayer when you were a gleam in the milk man's eye. Moreover I figured out what wrong with Ayer and put him down before you were crying for your mother to change your nappie. Ayer is not the hall mark of the Western tradition. He was refuted, debunked, and dismissed decades ago. You need to learn the name of and read the people who put Ayer away: Michael Polanyi,Fredrick Copleleston, Norman Malcum, and E.S. Masscal. When Polanyi pointed out that the strong principle of verification also undermined the existence of science, history and all other forms of thought then Ayer dropped downt ot he "weak principle." When he did that Msscal showed that he was only talking about his habits. So the strong principle destroyed everything and the weak principle was too weak. Ayer was discredited and considered beaten and is no longer important in philosophy. As to the statement about debating subjective things. I wasn't debating. you launched a cowardly attack on a mere article that had nothing to do with a debate. I'll never understand how these people who fancy themselves "free thinkers" are so afraid so stark staring scared to death of ideas that differ from their own.


Essentially, if you are claiming the existence of something that only truly manifests itself subjectively, you might as well be having a heated argument about which is the best type of ice cream. You can cite survey data, sales receipts, and even professional reviews, but it all depends on the individual's subjective feelings on the matter.
Meta: I noticed Runamuck was shocked to hear someone say that science is not the only fom of knowldge. IT's clear he is so badly read that he is totally unaware of major portions of Western thought, such as the axis from Schiller through Hegel to Marx, the Rationalists and Empiricists, Descartes to Locke, and the Existentialists and phenomenologists, the segment of thought from Schleiermacher through Kierkegaard, up through Brintono, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre and Derrida. This guy has clearly never read any of these people except perhaps some of the rationalists who he read as early scientists. What he's saying here is not a fact that he can back up with empirical data nd hard studies it's a slogan; it's a propagandist ideological slogan such as "the glorious five year plan," or "better dead than read," or something of that nature. He doesn't do anything to demonstrate the truth claim in the statement. The bit about ice cream not withstanding this is more telling is state of ignorance than anything else. But the fact of the is I wasn't debating anything I was just talking about ideas and I guess that's sent him into a rage. Atheists seem extremely bothered by the fact that there are people in the world, just a few left now, a merely 92% who dare to actually believe something other than believe.

The fact of the matter is while it is rather dubious to debate the existence of God (although that never stopped me form trying) it's perfectly logical to debate the co-determines because those are empirical and there's nothing subjective about the evidence. Its' empirical scientific evidence and there's not one single counter study.


And, like taste preferences, there is scientific research that is picking apart belief in the supernatural.

No there is not. I've demonstrated over and over again a vast aray of empirical evidence for the supernatural. The problem is the philosophizes change the term, they high jacked the concept and changed the term so they weren't dealing with the real concept of the Christian supernatural. No atheists has attacked that in three centuries because they don't know what it is. In their extraordinary ignorance they just don't read John of Damascus or Dionysius the Aireopegite. There is a quite a bit of empirical evidence for the Supernatural, but first you need to learn what it is.

There are evolutionary anthropologists who look at the evolution of morality;

Like what is that suppossed to prove? So moraltiyi evolves so what? I sense some how you think thts' some kind of big deal. Let us in on the secret.

anthrobotanists who look at the plants that sparked religious vision, which were once considered magical and now are known to just contain hallucinogens and dissociative chemicals.


There is no evidence that religion is the result of magic mushrooms. Even if it was that would not be a problem because there are people who support the concept enthnogens who think that magic mushrooms opens sensory receptors to God and that's just fine wtih them.


We have even determined which parts of the brain are active when someone has a "religious experience" (other than the drug-induced kind) and the chemical processes involved. The more science discovers, the less space your God of the Gaps finds hospitable.


ahahaah who was it who said there's nothing more cleched than a young man who has discovered an old idea and thinks he's the first to think of it? This notion hold no toror for me or any other believer. anyone who has done his research knows that the major researchrs in the feidld are far from believing that they have disproved religious experince. Newberg in Why God Wont Go Away tells that if God wishes to communicate with us in any way he would either have to use brain chemistry or he would have to create a whole knew communication process. We do not see the wrold directly in an unmediated state. Our brains re-write our perceptions. Empiricism is stupid in that it could not be more wrong, we do not see the world i a pure unbaised state. Our brains rewrite it for us they use brain chemistry to do it so we have to expect that God not no God. We should expect to find brain chemicals just as surely if there is a God as if there wasn't. So that doesn't prove a damn thing.

We do not find is studies claiming to create religious experience using the M scale to prove they did it. That's crucial because the M scale is the only one that has been cross culturally validated. that means the other aren't measuring mystical experience at all and they can't prove they have ever produced it. None of those those studies prove that RE originates through brain chemistry. they most they could ever prove is that either it originates nationalistically or God uses the brain chmeistry which we would have to anyway. So it doesn't prove a thing.

Newberg: Why God Wont Go Away:

A skeptic might suggest that a biological origin to all spiritual longings and experiences, including the universal human yearning to connect with something divine, could be explained as a delusion caused by the chemical misfiring of a bundle of nerve cells. But …After years of scientific study, and careful consideration of the a neurological process that has evolved to allow us humans to transcend material existence and acknowledge and connect with a deeper, more spiritual part of ourselves perceived of as an absolute, universal reality that connects us to all that is.(157-172)

Newberg again:

…Tracing spiritual experience to neurological behavior does not disprove its realness. If God does exist, for example, and if He appeared to you in some incarnation, you would have no way of experiencing His presence, except as part of a neurologically generated rendition of reality. You would need auditory processing to hear his voice, visual processing to see His face, and cognitive processing to make sense of his message. Even if he spoke to you mystically, without words, you would need cognitive functions to comprehend his meaning, and input form the brain’s emotional centers to fill you with rapture and awe. Neurology makes it clear: there is no other way for God to get into your head except through the brain’s neural pathways. Correspondingly, God cannot exist as a concept or as reality anyplace else but in your mind. In this sense, both spiritual experiences and experiences of a more ordinary material nature are made real to the mind in the very same way—through the processing powers of the brain and the cognitive functions of the mind. Whatever the ultimate nature of spiritual experience might be—weather it is in fact an actual perception of spiritual reality—or merely an interpretation of sheer neurological function—all that is meaningful in human spirituality happens in the mind. In other words, the mind is mystical by default.


As Chris Hitchins once said:

That which can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof

Arguing from subjective experience is very weak indeed.

He thinks he's going to impress me by quoting the great fools Wanna be.


Runamonk said...

I was looking up Thomas Kuhn on your site in regards to scientific paradigms.
Well, I happened to find 2 or 3 blog pieces with what looked like my forum name. I was surprised because the quotes did not sound like how I write, words I use, or read authors quoted.
This is old and don't care that much. But it was surprising.
This is a different person if I am not mistaken.
I don't care that much but felt like saying this. Especially since this is from years ago.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

It's not you. I didn't say it was. I's runamuck. You are Runamonk monk.