Great non-debates – faith and willful ignorance gets it in the teeth

I’m truly amazed at how my (religious) detractors on this blog can engage me in debate, with some of the most asinine and dogmatic ideas, and arguments that have long since been consigned to the scrap-heap. In fact many of these arguments have been flagged by pro-religious organizations like Answers in Genesis (AIG) as being debunked or outdated and recommend that they not be used.

Yet, my on-line tormentors persist in using them. I have observed that the religious latch onto the first thing they hear about or read somewhere (invariably a pseudo-scientific resource), that somehow, even in the most miniscule way, seems to confirm a particular religious belief they hold, and then they hold on for dear life. No amount of logic or reasoning will sway them. Faced with unrelenting rational discourse, they, in dogged defense, are prone to come up with even more absurd arguments or stray from the topic altogether, usually onto another bizarre tangent. Most times they never return after becoming frustrated with trying to convince me of their irrational beliefs. I really hope this failure to win someone over to the Cause, doesn’t count against them when they face the Big Cahuna in Heavensville.

Some recent examples (out of sequence) from one person in particular, but many have gone before him using the same non-arguments:

Josiah:

4. Evolution has been SCIENTIFICALLY dis-proven it has been shown by thousands of scientists, Logic, and hundreds of discoveries in archaeology.

So not including the massive amounts of evidence for God in human nature and other “non-sciences” there are all the evidence in science.
so before you attack something try to learn about.

Lenny:

4. Evolution can never be SCIENTIFICALLY dis-proven through the study of, or discoveries made in archaeology, no matter how many thousands of “scientists” try to. Archaeology is the study of “human cultures through the recovery, documentation, analysis, and interpretation of material culture and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, biofacts, and landscapes. Archaeology aims to understand humankind through these humanistic endeavors.” [wikipaedia definition, but you can google definitions from other sources and they will tell you basically the same thing]. Evolution is the study of much more than simple humans. Not only have you got your sciences all mixed up, you obviously haven’t the slightest clue what evolution is all about. Never mind, it was to be expected. There is no evidence for god in human nature whatsoever; there is evidence for human nature in human nature. There is no evidence for a god in any science or non-science, and you can shout out loud as many times as you like that there is; it won’t change a thing.

Josiah:

…another problem with evolution is that it assumes that life can come from non-life – spontaneous generation – which is an aristotelian theory which has been exploded.

Lenny:

Evolution does not “assume that life can come from non-life.” In fact evolution does not postulate anything about the start of life; that field of study is known as abiogenesis. Evolution can be defined “a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.” [The TalkOrigins Archive]. Evolution does not explain how life started. More proof that you know nothing about evolution.

Josiah:

4. It may not postulate anything about the origins of life, it’s basic assumption of evolution, here is the definition: “premise: a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn” spontaneous generation is assumed to be true because that is what makes the theory of evolution possible.

Lenny:

“spontaneous generation is assumed to be true because that is what makes the theory of evolution possible” No it does not!!! Anyone who understands evolution, which once again, I must repeat, you absolutley do not, would shudder to even think about such antiquated beliefs. Although I don’t like Wikipaedia definitions of anything, I’ll give you the Wiki definition anyway; you can Google other resources which will tell you basically the same thing: “Spontaneous generation or Equivocal generation is an obsolete theory regarding the origin of life from inanimate matter, which held that this process was a commonplace and everyday occurrence, as distinguished from univocal generation, or reproduction from parent(s). The theory was synthesized by Aristotle[1], who compiled and expanded the work of prior natural philosophers and the various ancient explanations of the appearance of organisms; it held sway for two millennia. It is generally accepted to have been ultimately disproven in the 19th Century by the experiments of Louis Pasteur, expanding upon the experiments of other scientists before him (such as Francesco Redi who had performed similar experiments in the 17th century). Ultimately, it was succeeded by germ theory and cell theory.”

Josiah:

…the universe is an effect and it is a scientific law that all effects must have a cause so there must be something higher than the universe, someone or something, but it is deluding yourself to believe there is no god when you wouldn’t be here without one.

Lenny:

Ah yes, that old nugget again – the infinite regress or Cosmological Argument. Call me delusional, but if all effects must have a cause, then that higher cause you speak of (god?) must also have a cause. I take it you’re expecting me to accept without question that your god is the only uncaused cause? Really?

Josiah:

No my God respects the right of people to believe what they want, why else do you think he gave them free will? it’s just that if they do not believe the truth they will have to suffer the consequences. It’s called responsibility.

Lenny [At which point Josiah failed to return]: 

You’re really not thinking things through. If god knows everything you are going to do before you do, and everything that is going to happen before you do, how is it possible for you to have free will. The omniscient property of god would mean that your will would be bent to what god already had in store for you. Don’t you think that it would be a really cruel trick for a god to play on someone. Do you understand this conundrum?

This lazy approach by the faithful to seeking knowledge, this reluctance to dig deeper, find more information, this wilful ignorance, is sometimes extremely annoying for me, but in truth, highly amusing as well. However, the things that bugs me the most is the penchant for believers to project their love-affair with faith onto both myself and the scientific community; they go to great lengths to remind us how we also rely on faith, because they have this reprehensible inability to comprehend how we can accept scientific truths without faith.

I confess though, that sometimes, in my quest to dispel the myths, slay the dragons of irrational belief, and inspire critical thought, I get carried away, and may come across as arrogant and a know-it-all. I try really hard to temper my responses; I try to be kind, but wilful ignorance always gets to me.

And thus I wrote this blog, as a warning and an apology…