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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Randomness and Godwin's Law for Fundies....

So, I had to go to the mall yesterday to get my engagement ring re-sized. I've lost so much weight now that the damned thing was about to fall off my hand(I had no idea my fingers were so fat... 0.0). Anyway, while I was in People's, they take out this measure-y thingie and slip different sized rings on me to figure out what size I am now - it's 7.5 for all of you who want to send me large and expensive diamond rings( ^_-).
So, while all this attention is being paid to my fingers, I start to pay attention to them too. I go on about my day but I keep feeling at my fingers...with my other fingers - which makes me feel weirder. And something about them is bothering me in some fundamental way - kinda like when you bite the inside of your cheek accidentally, and it hurts when you poke it with your tongue, but you can't stop doing it.

So, that night, I'm talking to my fiance. We, like most couples I assume, are prone to having these odd conversations and sharing strange, random thoughts. I say to him, "Graham, my fingers are bothering me." And he wants to know how I hurt them. To which I reply, "No, I mean they bother me in some kind of profound way. Think about it, there's no where else on your body that makes it quite as apparent that we're merely a bit of skin stretched over a bit of bone as your fingers do." So, we both kind of look down, feeling our fingers with our other fingers.

After a while he turns to me and says, "I just thought of something. All those people who think that we have souls? I wonder if they ever realize that they're basically saying that people are bags of haunted meat."

Heh.



Also, how to know you've won a debate with a presupposistionalist.
If, after 500 posts of inane nonsense and continuously asking them to account for the unproved premise in their worldview they:
A)Threaten you with damnation <-- Godwin's Law for Fundies
B)Decide to abandon any semblance of discussion and instead accuse you of being an alcoholic

you can be assured that this is their way of conceding.

42 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the weight loss, Maragon!

    I love the 'bags of haunted meat' statement, ha!

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  2. Thanks NM!
    I'm actually back to my teenage sizes now, so I'm practically perfect. =D

    Yeah, I loved it too, and I thought you guys would.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Heh..."haunted meat"...

    Reminds me of a cute little short story I read once. Here it is, for your reading pleasure:

    THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT

    by Terry Bisson

    "They're made out of meat."

    "Meat?"

    "Meat. They're made out of meat."

    "Meat?"

    "There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

    "That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"

    "They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

    "So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

    "They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

    "That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

    "I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."

    "Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

    "Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"

    "Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

    "Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

    "No brain?"

    "Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."

    "So ... what does the thinking?"

    "You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."

    "Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

    "Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"

    "Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

    "Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

    "Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"

    "First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."

    "We're supposed to talk to meat."

    "That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."

    "They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
    "Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

    "I thought you just told me they used radio."

    "They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

    "Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

    "Officially or unofficially?"

    "Both."

    "Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

    "I was hoping you would say that."

    "It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

    "I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

    "Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

    "So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."

    "That's it."

    "Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

    "They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

    "A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

    "And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

    "Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

    "Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

    "They always come around."

    "And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."

    the end

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  4. Maragon, every worldview starts of with basic assumptions. For the presuppositionalist his basis is scripture. Others will start off with certain assumptions about the uniformity of nature,logic and the validity of evidentialism and such.
    Mike could ask you to justify evidentialism and empiricism if he was cruel.
    I don't want to troll or bother Maragon but this is an honest question for anhyone who watched the 4-way between Quasar ,Sye and Scmike and Maragon.
    Was anyone impressed by Maragon using
    1) "logical proofs" to prove logic works,
    2) or her using information from her senses to verify their validity
    Both attempts struck me as verycircular.

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  5. MFT,

    I hope no one was impressed by the things you're citing, because they never happened - not in the way you're straw manning them.

    "1) "logical proofs" to prove logic works,"

    I did not bring up this particular line of useless rhetoric, you did. I asserted early on that logic is a tool utilized by humans to explain the world around them. Something is logically true when it's proven to be. The law of non-contradiction is accepted as logically true because it's backed up with evidence. It was not asserted before it was substantiated - it's based on evidence and observation.

    Unless you can provide evidence that logic is all encompassing you have no basis for your assertions.

    "2) or her using information from her senses to verify their validity"

    I don't assume my senses are valid. I accept that they're valid when they bring me to correct conclusions that correspond with reality as I and others view it. If my senses were frequently fooled, I'd likely be dead. Basic erroneous beliefs about the nature of reality have and do get people killed.
    My senses can and have been tricked. So have yours. So have everyone's. They're not absolute, they're not perfect, but they're the only tool we have to interact with the world around us, so don't knock them unless you have a better alternative.

    And you ignored my question to you from the other thread(3 times) in regards to your claim that our senses our invalid.

    If you believe that you cannot trust the validity of your senses, would you mind explaining to all of us how you can justify your unsupported belief in the biblical god?
    After all, didn't you use your senses to sense that the bible claims that god exists and that the bible is the inerrant word of said god because the bible says that it is?

    The hilarious thing about presupposistionalism is that it's self refuting. It posits what we all already know - humans are infallible and can be fooled. Therefore how can we know anything for certain? Well, we can't. But no one lives their life that way. Fact of the matter is that we can be CERTAIN ENOUGH about things to go about our day to day business. However, once the presupposistionalist establishes that our senses can be unreliable, they state that they are capable of knowing things for certain - BECAUSE GOD TOLD THEM SO THROUGH THE BIBLE. It strikes me as so sad that these guys fail to see that by pointing out that human senses are fallible they invalidate the argument that god has revealed something to them in a way that they can be certain of. After all, your fallible senses could fool you into thinking said thing has happened when it never really has.
    Furthermore, these guys claim that god has revealed these 'certain' things to them via the bible - which the sensed with their senses was the inerrant word of god because it says that it is.

    "Maragon, every worldview starts of with basic assumptions. For the presuppositionalist his basis is scripture."

    Is not the presupposistionalists posistion that because of the circular nature of the 'atheists worldview' we cannot know anything for certain and therefore ...something something something?
    If you are not positing that the chirstian worldview is circular in nature, does it not stand to reason that you cannot know anything for certain either?
    Furthermore, if you insist that all worldviews are hopelessly circular in nature, then under what authority do you claim yours is any better or more valid than the next one? How would you even know, if your worldview is based on an unproven premise?

    "Mike could ask you to justify evidentialism and empiricism if he was cruel."

    Human made constructs. Simple.

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  6. I get creeped out by teeth

    Teeth are your skeleton poking out of your gums. When you look at teeth your looking at a skeleton.

    EEK!

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  7. Maragon,
    What?! Engaged?
    I thought you were going to marry me!

    Shit. Dumped again.

    ***poor dale writhing in sheer rejection***

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  8. Stew,
    Leave it to you. Now I've spent the last hour looking in this magnification mirror looking at my freaking teeth.
    It's funny how my teeth have moved over the years.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fingers and teeth may be creepy, but eyes were the ones that always got to me, in more ways than one.

    They're these large watery balls of extremely fragile gel held floating in big empty holes in your skull, and they can rotate seperately along two axes.

    And, at the same time, they're (in my opinion) the most beautiful element of human physiology. In particular the sharply defined complexity and unusually bright colour (compared to the pinks and reds of most other body parts) of the iris.

    It's an interesting phenomena that if you think about something long enough, you forget the normal acceptance of it and realise just how "weird" it is.

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  10. Quasar,
    Indeed, the eyes are "the gateway to the soul of a person."

    I hafta tell you. My wife's eyes intrigue me to this very day, and the first time my eyes met her eyes I was mesmorized. I can look into her eyes and see her pain and/ or her happiness in any given situation.

    One of the advantages of being older is the ability to look into the eyes of another, lock in, and asess the integrity of the emotion.

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  11. Well, the good news is that my reply to Jinx got reposted. If that guy isn't a livig example of Godwin's law (or at least some kind of law, I dunno).

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  12. MFT wrote Others will start off with certain assumptions about the uniformity of nature

    There's no one who's ever started off with the assumption that nature is uniform. There's simply no evidence of it being true - it's patently obvious that nature is NOT uniform


    logic

    No one has ever started life with the assumption that logic is valid, effective or even useful. No one. Ever.

    Logic was created by humanity, and thus is not self-evident. It can only be learned and refined.



    and the validity of evidentialism and such.

    No one ever started off life with the assumption that "evidentalism" is valid. That conclusion is learned.

    --

    I have rarely been "impressed" by an argument, and though Maragon strikes me as a very intelligent person, the arguments you listed didn't make me jump up and go "oooo!".

    What impressed me more was that neither Babbles or Sye were interested in dialogue. From the get-go, they refused to support their presupposition, and ignored questions and requests to do so.

    What impressed me about that conversation was the sheer density and intellectual dishonesty.

    If you wish to talk about the faults (and, I assume you'd say, strengths) of formalized presuppositionalism, I'd be more tha happy to give it a go.

    If you do nothing but ask questions and refuse to answer any, I'll dismiss you as well.

    If the only point was to say "The Bible Rules!", there was no need to dance around for 500+ posts to do so.

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  13. By the way, Tripmaster, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. As long as we're talking about creepy stuff about the body, consider your tongue. It just lays there in the bottom of your mouth all day, marinating in your saliva.

    Think about that, won't you?

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  15. There is only one part of the human body that totally creeps me out and that is the heart. I can not STAND the sound of a human heartbeat and I can't stand to see the heart move.

    And wouldn't ya know it I'm in school for a medical degree working with cardiac patients. o_0

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  16. NM wrote I can not STAND the sound of a human heartbeat and I can't stand to see the heart move.

    I thought I was the only one!

    When I was little, I hated needles with a passion; every time I got a shot at the doctor's, I'd tell the person that I hoped to grow up to be a doctor some day - so that I could give little kids shots too.

    Yeah, I was a twisted little kid :)

    As I got older, you who what really began to freak me out, more than shots? Getting my blood pressure checked.

    Even typing it now, I'm remembering the feeling of my heart stopping for a few split seconds after the doctor begins to release the pressure - and then the thud ... thud .. thud

    /shudder

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  17. Cheesy, 1970s gay porn mustaches creep me out.

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  18. Cool post.

    On the great show Futurama, there was a surly robot who liked to call humans "meat bags."

    Plug here--Futurama is a great show created by the same guy who created the Simpsons. It's on Comedy Central M-F, 9pm (local listings may vary).

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  19. Yeah, someone here recently quoted Zapp Branigan:

    "If we hit that bulls eye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."

    I love that line.

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  20. Well, if we're talking about "Meat-bag" robots, I present HK-47, Protocol Droid:

    "Retraction: Did I say that out loud? While it is true you are a meatbag, I should refrain from addressing you as such."
    -- HK-47, Protocol Droid

    "Clarification: It’s just that,you have all these squishy parts master! And all that water! How the constant sloshing doesn’t drive you mad, I have no idea."
    -- HK-47, Protocol Droid

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  21. ""But Master, how do you live knowing about the nature of your slushy innards?"
    -- HK-47
    "As you say Master. Would you prefer me to call you something else? Perhaps liquidous fleshbag?"
    -- HK-47

    ReplyDelete
  22. Back on topic: Maragon, in homage to your reference to Godwins Law over here, I pointed out to Sye that Godwins Law is in fact a perfect example of a law of logic that was formed from evidence and observation, has changed in the past, and was invented by a human: Mike Godwin.

    For what it's worth, my prediction (I give this an 80% probability) is that he asks me how I account for the senses Godwin used to observe the phenomena if not with logic.

    I will then give up all hope, activate the doomsday device and retreat to my impenetrable bunker.

    PS: I love the new word verification, which seems to produce pronouncable combinations. Todays is "dident".

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  23. 1970s .. porn

    Speaking of randomness (rated G, don't worry), here's an audio clip from Lialeh; the music was important back then...

    (For you audiophiles, the drummer was/is world famous. Bernard Purdie, currently in the GBWRecords for having been the most recorded drummer. The clip is pure funk, with the unmistakable 70s pr0n shtick.

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  24. Music like that *always* cheers me up :)

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  25. Maragon:"I did not bring up this particular line of useless rhetoric, you did."

    (from thread)-Logic is proven, not assumed. Hence logical 'proofs'.”

    " The law of non-contradiction is accepted as logically true because it's backed up with evidence. "
    Did you answer my question about whether the law of non-contradiction could be supported by evidence and not supported by evidence at the same time?



    " I accept that they're valid when they bring me to correct conclusions that correspond with reality as I and others view it."
    So how did you view reality. Was it through your senses?
    "Basic erroneous beliefs about the nature of reality have and do get people killed."
    But again you only obtained this information from the senses(news reports and such)

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  26. MFT wrote But again you only obtained this information from the senses(news reports and such)

    Can you please come to the point? I'm having a very difficult time following the constant asking of questions without the stating of opinion.

    I understand this conversation doesn't involve me - I'm not trying to butt in. I simply want to understand the point of repeatedly poking a sharp stick at the idea that "perception (and thus understanding) is fallible"

    ReplyDelete
  27. "Did you answer my question about whether the law of non-contradiction could be supported by evidence and not supported by evidence at the same time?"

    Uh, no?
    Because it's an utterly vacuous, retarded question that doesn't deserve to be dignified with an answer.
    You're not being clever, just tedious.

    I'm not going to answer any more of your inane questions until you scroll the fuck up and answer mine. I'm sick and tired of putting effort into answering your mindless drivel when you can't ever be bothered to answer anything anyone asks you.

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  28. "Because it's an utterly vacuous, retarded question that doesn't deserve to be dignified with an answer."
    So you admit that it invalidates your argument and shows your argument is circular (using law of non-contradiction to prove law non-contradiction)
    Thanks for the honesty

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  29. @Quasar
    What do you think are the flaws of pre-suppositionalism?
    (Are you a bioware fan btw?)

    ReplyDelete
  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. "So you admit that it invalidates your argument and shows your argument is circular (using law of non-contradiction to prove law non-contradiction)
    Thanks for the honesty"

    Jerking yourself off and putting words into my mouth is not at all similar to what you've described above.

    You have this huge hardon for the law of non-contradiction and it has not one fucking thing to do with what I'm discussing. I haven't broken said philosophical rule with any of my arguments.

    Point out exactly where I WORD FOR FUCKING WORD said that I was 'using law of non-contradiction to prove law non-contradiction'. Oh, you can't, because it never happened and you're a fucking liar who merely poses the same inane questions without ever answering any posed to you? Yeah, that's what I thought.

    Just because I don't want to refute your same fucking argument for the 12th time doesn't mean that I've conceded, you smug prick.

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  32. Apologies in advance:

    Jerking yourself off and putting words into my mouth

    At the risk of being a total prick, I almost snorted coffee all over my monitor...

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  33. Well, I'm sorry, but watching this guy is like watching someone jerk off.

    May make him feel good but it certainly isn't doing anything for me.

    He's not impressing anyone but himself but he's way too caught up in his activities to realize it.

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  34. @whateverman
    What do you think are the flaws with presuppositionalism?

    ReplyDelete
  35. mrfreethinker,

    I presuppose that the biggest problem with my presuppositionalism is that I can never manage to presuppose back far enough to presuppose a base from which to begin my presupposing without someone presupposing something right on in behind what I've said and presupposing that I'm wrong. Of course, I could always presuppose that they were incorrect in their presupposition...but then they would always ask me to show how I arrived at a presupposition that presupposed their presupposition without presupposing that I am, in fact, able to presuppose such a thing. After a while I came to realize that I wasn't actually getting anywhere and everyone was looking at me as if I'd just taken a dump in their mother's mouth.

    So I stopped doing that and started having real conversations with people...it appears to be working out just fine so far.

    Cheers,

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  36. @ expat

    You have our friend free down to a tee. :D

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  37. @Quasar
    What do you think are the flaws of pre-suppositionalism?


    It presupposes that it's worldview right, and everyone elses worldview is wrong, and if you have an opposing view then your arguments don't count because your view has already been presupposed to be wrong.

    In other words, it's "I'm right and your wrong, Lalala I can't hear you" compiled into a philosophical position.

    And no, I'm not a bioware fan (or a star wars fan, either). But HK-47 is an awsome character.

    "Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope. Statement: This definition, I am told, is subject to interpretation. Obviously, love is a matter of odds. Not many meatbags could make such a shot, and fewer would derive love from it. Yet for me, love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticle, and together, achieving a singular purpose, against statistically long odds."

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  38. @whateverman
    What do you think are the flaws with presuppositionalism?


    Before it can begin to critique logic, it first presupposes the validity of the Bible. It's hypocritical to try to make a logical argument based fundamentally on faith.

    There's nothing wrong with belief in the Bible. But when that untestable belief is used as the foundation for an assault on logic and reason, it's intellectual nihilism.

    Presuppositionalism is fundamentally dishonest; it tries to appear to be based upon logic, yet discards that basis in order to come up with the justification for its existence.

    Look, just say "I believe the Bible to be the word of God", and ignore everything else. Stop trying to bootstrap your belief into the real world by appealing to systems which you've rejected from the get-go.

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  39. @Whateverman
    But don't you guys see the point of presuppsitionalism. Logic is untestable too(What kind of "logical" test can we subject it too?). But the point is god has the added bonus of accounting for logic and reliability of our senses.So you go to admit his worldview has an advanage here

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  40. MFT wrote Logic is untestable too

    This is fundamentally untrue.

    Here's proof of the above, by way of syllogism:

    A) Rain is wet
    B) An atheist is standing in the rain

    Thus, it follows that

    C) The atheist is wet

    ---

    It's falsifiable.

    Are there examples that are less cut-and-dry? Of course. I'm certainly not trying to hold up logic and reason as the sole means by which facts can be learned or evaluated; or that logic can never be faulty.

    The fundamental difference between faith and logic is that the latter does not preclude error. When such an error is found, it calls everything which was based upon it into question.

    ---

    Logic and reasoning were created by humans. They're tools of language. They're imperfect, and subject to change if found to be fundamentally flawed.

    Faith? not so much...

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  41. MFT also wrote So you go to admit his worldview has an advanage here

    I don't see how. Can you please explain this?

    You've already admitted that you're not interested in whether reality conforms to the Bible or not. Of what use is it to use reality to justify Biblical belief?

    ReplyDelete

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