Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Metacrock vs All comers; other can also reserve. this is for 1x1 debate, please do not respond if you are not specifically demarcated as part of the debate.

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Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby Metacrock on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:09 pm

waiting for "Blondie" to put her two cents in.

why I won

http://www.doxa.ws/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1497&p=18023#p18023
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby Metacrock on Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:41 am

blondie wrote:Atheism, the lack of belief in any orthodox understanding of God or gods, is the most intellectually honest position a person can have in the 21st century.


this is a new thread on carm that you need to read.

http://forums.carm.org/vbb/showthread.php?69114-Perhaps-I-win-debate-with-blondie-by-default

In case you don't know, I'm only telling you this so you will understand the rules.you have to put a case. You have to actually develop arguments backing reasons why you support the resolution. You go first so I'm waiting for you to do that.

please label it "1AC"
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby Metacrock on Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:01 am

INC

Observations about procedure:


I. Let's remember he's the affirmative. His duty is to prove that the resolution is true. That's the duty of being affirmative.

Atheism, the lack of belief in any orthodox understanding of God or gods, is the most intellectually honest position a person can have in the 21st century.

That means he must prove that belief in God is intellectually dishonest. Not enough to cast doubt on God being real, he must show that belief in God is held even though the believer knows there is no God. That would be dishonest belief. Not enough to just show that there’s no proof of God. He must show that believers willfully hold out for belief even though they know the evidence isn’t good enough to warrant belief. He has to show that' it's dishonest. he can't even show that it's wrong.

I don’t have to prove him wrong. Negative is presumed right until proved wrong (presumption). I only have to prove that he doesn’t prove that we should believe the resolution. The affirmative affirms the resolution, the negative negates it. I don’t have to prove it’s wrong. I just have proved he didn’t prove it right.

II. He has not defined his terms:

A. Intellectually honest

Since he has not defined his terms he hasn’t told us what he means by “dishonest” I will define it. Webster’s tells us it’s a “lack of truth, honesty or trust worthiness.” He must show that believer’s beliefs are based upon a lack of honesty rather than just improbable. (webseters on line:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dishonest)

B. Orthodox

He doesn’t establish what orthodoxy means. That’s important because in the context of all religious faith there is no orthodox. Orthodox means the established teaching; it doesn’t mean stereotypical or popular conception. It only applies to a tradition it doesn’t apply to all traditns as one.

Near the end he gives a sort of defintino of Orthodox:

What is an orthodox religion?

Religions are organizations that often include a creation myth, moral codes, rituals and methods for communicating with the “divine,” some sort of holy text or “revealed truth,” and a cultural legend or epic.


That’s inadequate. First of all any religion is orthodox to itself, all religions have Orthodox branches. He has to show there’s one world Orthodoxy if he’s going to argue that different views of God contradict. Otherwise he’s just confusing differences in view with real contradictions. They are not all speaking the same langue so saying things differently is to be expected. I mean that metaphorically as well as literally.

That’s going to be important because he has one major point that he’s making, the contradiction of many religious traditions preludes the truth of any. Divide and conquer. If he can’t establish a standard concept of God then he can’t really argue that the various views of God are not different aspects of the same reality. In order to negate that idea he must show that there is a standard and that none of them live up to it. He can’t show that because there is no standard between faiths. The standard is only within a particular faith.

Therefore I suggest that all we can do is draw out various themes that all touch upon to show that they are all aiming at the same thing. I’ll get to that in a minute.

I want to know why the word Orthodox is included at all. Does it mean that an atheist in his view can believe an unorthodox view of God? But he wont allow a Christian to do that.

I also suggest that he has not established what Orthodox means for Christianity. Without that his criticism of contradiction are meaningless.


Observation of about has case.

Even though his case is huge, it’s a profusion of stuff, I wont bother to answer each individual thing he says, he basically has one major argument; that the differing views of God preclude a single reality behind all the traditions. That for him means that it’s intellectually dishonest to believe but he never says how.

I. he does not make an argument showing how belief is intellectually dishonest.

A. He makes a massive profusion of his misconceptions about realign but he never actually comes to terms with what religion is or way it exists.

B. He seems think that belief in God is a contest between various personality figures rather an attempt to get in touch with an all pervasive reality. He thinks each tradition has to be taken literally and understood as a rival to all the others. He’s not facing the fact of the nature of belief.

I.Meta’s theory of religion:

I’m going to present a crash course in my own view and argue that my view is rational, it is proven to be if not true at least historically and therefore honest, and universal I the sense that it bridges the gap between the various faiths.

(1) Religion is an attempt to answer the question about the nature of being human and to respond to being human with transformative power.
(2) All religions posit a human problematic, the problem at the heart of being human. These differ but that doesn’t matter, they are all aimed at understanding what to do about the human condition. They all posit a transformative experience as the answer. The actual nature of religion itself is to cultivate mediation between these two points.
(3) Belief in deity is a response to the need for transformative power. That power in some way is connected to the view of deity for those religions that embrace deity; for those that do not their sense of transformation is non less connected to some form of organizing principle that stands in the place of deity.
(4) It doesn’t matter that these differed, not only different names, but different ceremonies and different ideas about what the deity wants, or the lack of a deity implied, but that is all minutia. It’s all leveled out in the fact that there can be only one organizing principle that includes deity, that they all have the same basic concepts that motivate the organizing principle.
(5) I’m using the term “organizing principle in place of ‘transcendental signifier’ which it’s an off putting term and people baulk when they hear it because they don’t know it’s meaning so they assume it doesn’t have one. It means the thing at the top of the metaphysical hierarchy that bestows meaning on everything else.


All religions fit this mold. They are all a response to this need to understand the nature of being human and to meet the problematic of being human with transformative power that stems from an understating of the meta narrative, the organizing principle, the orall thing that bestows meaning.”

Belief is intellectualy honest because it’s a response to experience and to innate ideas that are given both in sense data and in the mind. I have presented evidence that the sense of a divine presence is an innate idea in that our brains are hard wired to respond to God talk.(see my argument on “God on the Brain” the evidence by New Berg http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2009/01/god-on-brain-argument-from-innate-god.html (see also Newberg “How God Changes Your Brain,” same link)

Take note. I am not arguing that this proves God is real. I’m arguing it proves that belief is a valid response to a seemingly real experience or idea that is part of our brains. It’s a valid response because the need is real and the solution works. That it’s honest even if mistaken. There’s a difference between being wrong and being dishonest.

II. Mystical experience and God on the brain

A. only one God (or something like God)

I believe that there is one reality behind all faiths. The details in each group’s theology are not that important. What matter is that they have an overarching assumption about the thing at the top of the metaphysical hierarchy and they all share certain basic tents about it. Because there can only be one (otherwise it wouldn’t’ be overarching) they are all hinting at the same thing even though they conceive it differently.

Concieving of it differently doesn’t mean they don’t have the same thing in mind because the more important attributes are the one’s they share:

(a) eternal
(b) ontologically necessary
(c) transcendental signifier (organizing Principe/determining meaning for all else)
(d) ground of being
The personality contest is not important. The competition between a thousand competing characters doesn’t matter, because all those characters. Javhoa and Zeus and Odin, Inanna so forth are competing for the same spot. Whatever is in that spot is God, doesn’t matter what you cal it. God transcends personality and names.

B. cultural constructs

We experience God at a subliminal level. To speak of that, because it is beyond words, we must filter it though cultural constructs. So religions become tainted by the culture in which they filter their experiences. When a tradition is filtered through an oppressive culture an oppressive tradition takes over and drowns out the true message then religion becomes.

That doesn’t make belief intellectually dishonest. It’s an honest reaction to experiences that are not well understood. It means we must be careful to separate culture from experience. I would be intellectually dishonest if I tried to be a fundie again, or if I ignored the experience I’ve had of presence of divine.


III. Shared idea and universal reaction

These are two aspects that prove that belief is an honest reaction to overwhelming experiences and innate ideas of the divine. In doing so it also proves that there is one reality behind all religions. Both derived from empirical observation and thus they prove the view of religion given above.

A. Universality of experince

Hood shows though much research that when we take away the doctrines and the specifics of a tradition the experiences are the same for all mystics around the world, and their reactions are the same to experiences. That indicates they are dealing with the same thing.
(Hood, Ralph. W. Jr. (2006). The common core thesis in the study of mysticism. In P, McNamar (Ed.), Where God and science meet, Vol. 3, pp. 119-138. Westport, CT: Praeger.)

Hood States in German Psychological Journal
Elsewhere I have argued for reading James' treatment of mysticism in the Varieties as an example of the unity thesis in mysticism (Hood, 2003). The unity thesis is the view that both within and outside of the great faith traditions, is an experience that is essentially identical, regardless of interpretation. James put the issue thusly:

In Hinduism, in Neoplatonism, in Sufism, in Christian Mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note, so that there is about mystical utterances an eternal unanimity which ought to make a critic stop and think, and which brings it about that the mystical classics have, as has been said, neither birthday nor native land. Perpetually telling of the unity of man with God, their speech antedate language, and they do not grow old (James, 1902/1985, p. 332, emphasis mine)

The above quote clearly hints at two of the basic assumptions of those who support the unity thesis. First, it implies that a distinction can be made between experience and its interpretation. Second, it suggests that for at least some linguistic descriptions, an underlying uniform experience cuts across language differences (Hood, 2003, 2006). This position has been most systematically developed by Stace (1961) under the rubric of the common core thesis and is the basis of the most commonly used empirical measure of mysticism, the Mysticism Scale which has been used in numerous studies for more than a quarter of a century (Hood, 1975, 1997).(http://www.journal-fuer-psychologie.de/ ... 08-04.html)



B. Universality of the Idea

Adrew Newrber
The Mystical Mind 199
In Western Religion and in Hinduism...God is conceived as the ultimate externaltiy (transcendent) the ultimate internatility (immanent) and sometimes as both...Often God is not perceived as simply a higher being but has been has been described as the Ground or substance of all being. Thus God is not only the higher being but also a state of higher being or ultimate realty. In fact, in the mystical traditions of Western religions, the goal of the practice of meditation is to become intensely untied with God...The important point is that no matter how this ultimate being or state of being is described, it's fundamental characteristics are remarkably similar across traditions and cultures. (on line page 4)




I’m going apply all of this to a few criticisms of some of the major points he made.




self-identified atheists. Few, if any, atheists claim to be able to prove a negative, particularly if the negative in the nonexistence of a vague or undefined entity with vague and undefined supernatural powers. Atheists embrace their title in order to reclaim a pejorative. This is often seen as a civil rights issue. In many parts of America atheists face open discrimination for being honest and vocal about their religious position.


The craze for precision assumes we are making up our response to the divine. He seems to assume if we are making it up anyway we can make It more precise. WE are not making it up so we can’t do that. He can only go by what we understand, we don’t’ understand much because it’s not about understanding it’s about experiencing.
Since we must filer our understanding through cultural constructs it’s going to be a lot more veg than science, but there’s no reason why it should not be so. It’s not a matter of understanding that makes relationship with the divine work.



Non specifics of God concepts

Atheism, as understood by the majority of us that self-identify as such, is simply the lack of belief in any (G)od. But what is a (G)od? The word may refer to any number of things. (G)od can be used to describe anything from an idolized person, like a movie or sports star, to something that is omnipotent, omnipresent,


(1) This is contradicted by the evidence I just gave above (notice he has no evidence). There are specific ideas and experiences (which are more important) that he is not taking into account.
(2) Theologians have developed much more detailed and logically analytical concepts of God than he knows anything about. I wager he’s never read Hartshorne.
(3) None of these differences mean we are not talking about the same thing, because all of those differencing models have to fit into one slot where only one thing can fit. So it doesn’t if we have different ideas about it, there can only be one it’s a unique function so we have to talking about roughly the same thing.


omniscient, and omnibenevolent.

Atheist certainly believe in Brad Pitt, but they don’t see compelling evidence for something that knows everything, is everywhere, is all “good,” and can do anything.

To avoid confusion I will not use the word (G)od to describe “something” with all of these characteristics but will refer to it as X.

Logically X cannot exist as the properties are contradictory as pointed out by Epicurus and countless others.

If X were omnipotent it could defy logic. The Hindu Brahman might defy logic but it is not an orthodox (G)od. Brahman might be understood as the “ultimate reality.” Both the Hindu guru and the atheist believe in ultimate reality but the atheist will not call ultimate reality Brahman, nor will he claim to have unwarranted knowledge of its nature. There is a tremendous amount of baggage that comes with the word Brahman, though much less than the word (G)od.

Any X that cannot defy logic is not omnipotent.



That is not true. He has no bias for arguing this. He doesn’t make an argument as to why it’s true he stipulates it according his his bad understanding of the omnis. As I have said m any times the omnis are defunct. We now talk about Maximal greatness not the omnis. See Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology.

Logical necessity is the limit on omnipotence because omnipotence never meant the ability to do nonsense or meaningless things. It only means “all power.” “All power has a logical limit what is not doable logically.



To be omnipresent is to be everywhere and thus everything, or possibly the substrate for everything. A more precise word for this would be ether. Few, if anyone, would define (G)od as ether, but is (G)od everything?


Being everywhere does not mean being everything. That is a fallacy. The wrong force for example is everywhere where matter is but that doesn’t mean I am the strong force.

A pantheist might say (G)od is everything. But an atheist will just use the word everything because it is less confusing. The (G)od of the pantheist is usually understood to be indifferent to the human condition. It also lacks sentience. It is not omnibenevolent nor omniscient.



This is all part of the divide an conquer strategy. If there are differences in concept they can’t be talking about the same thing. That is a total fallacy. Of they can be talking about the same thing, they conceive of it differently but it’s in the same metaphysical slot, the ground of being and the transcendental signifier. So clearly are the same thing, having difference conceptions doesn’t change the reality. The reality behind the traditions is the unknown part that we experience but can’t talk about. We filter it through constructs to be able to talk of it that makes it different for every culture that does this.




Allah is orthodox and understood to be X by its believers. But to believe in Allah is to believe that the Koran is its divine revelation. For the sake of brevity I will just state that the atheist is justified in lacking the belief that the Koran is of supernatural origins.


Again he does not define orthodoxy and he cant’ establish what this means. It’s not orthodox for non Muslims. It’s only orthodox in the tradition that uses the cultural constructs of the filter that make that concept. So what does that mean for the others that they are dishonest? No how does that follow? They are all just following the tradition they are given and its’ shaped by the constructs of that culture that are used to make the ineffable effable.

Blondie presents an array of different views of God but he has no data that would contradict the studies of Hood that say the mystics of all of those traditions have the experiences and when they take away the spesicific names they still identify the conditions of faith as the same. Newberg shows that the same ideas keep turning up in all traditions especially the Ground of being which Tillich says is the meaning of the term God.


Divide and conquer

How he’s going to juxtapose the various traditions to each other and use that to knock them all off.

Worshipers of Christ feel justified in rejecting all of the Hindu (G)od-men (with the exception of Christ itself) so the atheist can be said to be equally justified in doing so.


Christ is understood by its followers to be the avatar of the more abstract Jewish (G)od YHWH. It also has many similarities to other (G)od-men from the time and place of its origins. Christians certainly would object to Jesus being labeled as an avatar but the atheist sees this as a fair and clear description.

Today there are numerous understandings of the (G)od-man Jesus and there have been many more throughout that religion’s history. The different versions of Christ are arguably more numerous than the (G)ods of the Greco-Roman pantheon, of which it is the sole survivor. Though most of these varied understandings of Christ’s nature have it as being a continuation of YHWH.


He doesn’t something interesting there in trying to relate (badly) Christian concepts to Hindu meaning he really undermines his own his own argument when he almost says doctrine of Christ’s deity is just another version of the aviator. Of course he get’s the Christian doctrine wrong in that it’s not analogous.

None of that means that either tradition is wrong. All it really means is that he’s using the wrong perspective. They don’t’ knock each other off by having different understandings. Understanding is not the most important issue. The only real issue in ther religious life is experience and transplanting experience into love. Experience = knowing even if it doesn’t’ mean understanding (to know, gnososko, the Greek work meaning to know first hand because you experience it) and love = doing, Love is action. Love is how you treat each other.




An objective look at the archeological evidence and the writings of the followers of YHWH clearly show it to have evolved from a not atypical Canaanite (G)od into something more like X.

As Christians feel justified in dismissing YHWH as understood by its followers, the atheist can be equally justified in doing so.

As the worshipers of Allah feel justified in lacking belief in Christ the atheist is also justified in rejecting it.

The atheist is justified and intellectually honest in the rejecting of all orthodox understandings of (G)od.


that might be an interesting debate in itself. It proves nothing of his case except that he’s just putting a spin in things to make it appear that to disagree with his outlook is dishonest in and of itself. That’s all a matter his framing it in terms that flatter his understanding.

Notice that he doesn’t quote any information or any archaeologist or theologian to try to prove his point. This is just a matter of his untrained understanding.

Again it’s not up to me to prove that Christianity is true, all I have to do is prove that he did not prove it’s dishonest. His arguments of its untruth are not proof of dishonesty because of course believers don’t see the same information in the light he sees it. I suggest that light for him is dishonest and biased.



But how does the intellectually honest person of any persuasion go about understanding the deep questions concerning the universe and the nature of man?


I just showed you above.

To be intellectually honest one must admit that there are untold mysteries beyond human understanding. One my ask, “why are we here?” But first one must ask if this is even a rational question. Is there is any purpose at all?


He’s sawing off the limb that he’s crawled out on. His view is no less arrogant to claim understanding than the religious believer’s view.


One may ask, “where did the universe come from?” But before this we must first ask if it came from anywhere. Is this even a rational question? We should be humble enough to accept that these answers may still be far beyond us. The various orthodox religions provide different answers to these questions. The atheist finds them far from compelling.


Framing the question I a different light does not mean those who bring to it other perspectives and found in it other answers are intellectually dishonest.

Here he talks about Orthdoxy
What is an orthodox religion?

Religions are organizations that often include a creation myth, moral codes, rituals and methods for communicating with the “divine,” some sort of holy text or “revealed truth,” and a cultural legend or epic.

Religious people often claim there are ways of acquiring information, including answers to the mysteries of life and the universe, that are different from our standard sources of evidence. These include communication with the “divine,” revealed truth, and rhetoric.


He’s going to try to list several things that relate to each other from one tradition to another. That’s going to establish a standard. He inslcudes God arguemtns.

The classic arguments for the existence of (G)od are based on rhetoric and there are equally compelling rhetorical counter arguments. So it is safe to assume rhetoric is not a useful way of arriving at satisfactory conclusions.


This is just an opinion, and clearly not well read opining.notice he doesn’t use any philosopher to back it up. Had he been willing to debate my God arguments he would surely learn different. He wasn’t willing to face that. I think it’s telling that he wasn’t.
In any case he does not prove that point.


The various revealed truths of the orthodox religions, the Vedas, the Koran, the Bible, etc. are contradictory and habitually avoid justification and thus demand incredulity.


Does he mean internally contradictory to themselves? OR does he mean they contradict each other? That’ makes a difference.

(1) all of these faiths have different ways of understanding their books. You can’t assume there’s an international standard for inerrancy for example. Not basis for an argument that they contradict each other. They aren’t to be compared to an interfaith orthodoxy because there is no such thing.
(2) We will have to take them book by book and piece by to argue about them contradicting themselves.
(3) He can’t even prove that inerrancy is an aspect of historical Christianity because it was born in the 19th century
(4) Essentially the point he’s making is void. It’s creating a standard that is arbitrary and religion doesn’t have. A standard of his own making taken from misapplying American Christian fundamentalist standards.

Prayer, meditation, mystical experience, and other methods of directly communicating with the “divine” have been performed by atheists and found lacking.


(1) no basis to that statement at all. Notice uses no documentation at all.
(2) He wrongly assumes mystical experience is communication
(3) There’s no data, not study (not one) nothing of any kind to suggest that atheist ever fond it lacking. Those who have had such experiences say they are good and helped them. Even when they deny that God is part of it they still say it’s a realty they discovered, ultimate reality.
(4) Hood shows that even the atheists have same reacting they related to the void as if it were God, the same way the mystical relate to it. They don’t call it “God” but they related to it in the same way. That doesn’t mean to go to atheist mystic church and sign “praise the void” but they regard it as the ultimate reality.

Revealed truth, rhetoric, and communicating with the “divine” have continually failed as a means of discovering information about the natural world. Claims about discoveries of any non-natural order have been unconvincing, contradictory, and often incoherent.


He has no basis upon which to argue that. He offers no evidence. All he’s really done is set up expectations based upon fundamentalist inerrancy. When it didn’t meet those expectations he decided it was a failure. That’s because it’s not about inerrancy or verbal plenary inspiration. That’sthe false idea, not the idea of experiencing the divine.

what is most crucial to remember Is that even if I’m wrong about what I’m saying that doesn’t make me dishonest. He has failed to prove that religious belief is dishonest. That means he has not proved that atheist is the most honest.

at this point he set’s up a justification for supporting his world view.


So how does one find answers to life’s most profound questions?

Origins are best explained by physicists, biologists, and chemists who have a proven track record for success, objectively reliable methods, and convincing, though tentative, theories.

Questions of why are arguably meaningless.

Evidence for revealed truth or direct communication with the “divine,” such as the supposed miracles at Lourdes, or the supernatural stunts of gurus and prophets have been tested and proven to be far from convincing.


That is a totally unsupported statement. I’ve demonstrated with much evidence that Lorudes miracle are well documented and supported by the best medical evidence. he offers you no evidence of any kind. He doesn’t quote anyone, he has no studies no sources he says that totally out of his own opinion. I have tons of evidence to quote.

http://www.doxa.ws/other/Miracles.html



MODERN MIRACLES HAVE STRICT RULES

BY DAVID VAN BIEMA

The paradox of human miracle assessment is that the only way to discern whether a phenomenon is supernatural is by having trained rationalists testify that it outstrips their training. Since most wonders admitted by the modern church are medical cures, it consults with doctors. Di Ruberto has access to a pool of 60 - "We've got all the medical branches covered," says his colleague, Dr. Ennio Ensoli - and assigns each purported miracle to two specialists on the vanquished ailment.

They apply criteria established in the 1700s by Pope Benedict XIV: among them, that the disease was serious; that there was objective proof of its existence; that other treatments failed; and that the cure was rapid and lasting. Any one can be a stumbling block. Pain, explains Ensoli, means little: "Someone might say he feels bad, but how do you measure that?" Leukemia remissions are not considered until they have lasted a decade. A cure attributable to human effort, however prayed for, is insufficient. "Sometimes we have cases that you could call exceptional, but that's not enough." says Ensoli. "Exceptional doesn't mean inexplicable."

"Inexplicable," or inspiegabile, is the happy label that Di Ruberto, the doctors and several other clerics in the Vatican's "medical conference" give to a case if it survives their scrutiny. It then passes to a panel of theologians, who must determine whether the inexplicable resulted from prayer. If so, the miracle is usually approved by a caucus of Cardinals and the Pope.

Some find the process all too rigorous. Says Father Paolino Rossi, whose job, in effect, is lobbying for would-be saints from his own Capuchin order: "It's pretty disappointing when you work for years and years and then see the miracle get rejected." But others suggest it could be stricter still.

There is another major miracle-validating body in the Catholic world: the International Medical Committee for the shrine at Lourdes. Since miracles at Lourdes are all ascribed to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, it is not caught up in the saint-making process, which some believe the Pope has running overtime. Roger Pilon, the head of Lourdes' committee, notes that he and his colleagues have not approved a miracle since 1989, while the Vatican recommended 12 in 1994 alone. "Are we too severe?" he wonders out loud. "Are they really using the same criteria?"





of course the view that sets out is the fortress of facts:

In order to attempt to find the answers to life’s great mysteries we should use the same proven methods we use to answer simpler questions. The scientific method, objective analysis, observation, and measurement have served us well and will certainly continue to do so in the future.

Clear language is vital. All terms must be defined and not merely substituted with equally fuzzy words. Questions must be stated clearly and a hypothesis must be proposed and tested as objectively as possible. One must start with a question and honestly look for answers, not start with an answer and try to rationalize it.


three problems:

(1) he’s not honest because he not only doesn’t use data but he also doesn’t accept the best data which is scientific.


that also brands his view as dishonest because he’s not willing provide any sort of scientific evidence to back up his assertions about mystical experience or anything else. I have 200 studies. Those studies many different things, they all indicate that mystical experience is good for you and a positive thing, some of them also prove its’ not mental illness, some prove that atheists react to it in the same way religious people, they all demonstrate that the experience as effect that support the criteria we use to evaluate reality. They are good academic studies; they are peer reviewed in academic journals. It’s pretty dishonest not to recognize even one of them.

(2) Beyond scientific domain

the subject matter he introduced here about why we are here what it all means is beyond the domain of science. It is not the job of science to answers questions about why we are here. Science can’t do it because those cant’ be found in purse data about the workings of the natural world. For that we need metaphor we need logic, we need speculation.

(3) Truncating reality.

We need a global approach that is not limited to science but includes. He wants to cut it all down to just science then allege that this is all that can be proved so it’s all we can believe. That will just truncate reality.

That’s dishonest because it’s pretending that methods that can’t answer the questions can be used to answer then in reality it’s just losing the phenomena.



All propositions must be treated equally. If a method or argument can explain a phenomenon, any other phenomenon that that argument or method can be used for is equally valid.


That makes no sense at all. That’s like saying if chemistry solves chemical problems then it must also be used for math problems. It’s only logical to use the methods that works for the issue.

Here he tries to subsume belief into the field of history

The historical method presupposes that the natural world functioned in the past the same as it does today. There can never be historical evidence for nature deviating from its course.

By demanding clear language, objective measuring and observation, and equal treatment of all hypothesis no evidence for any orthodox understanding of (G)od has risen to the level one would expect of anything worth believing in.


That’s answered by Motlmann in Theology of hope. We can’t use category like miracle as part of historical fact. That doesn’t’ make them dishonest ti makes them tenets of faith so they can’t be facts. They don’t have to be discarded historical reality is nto totalizing. We can preserve the category of “what we don’t know in history.” As Motlmann calls the category, “history making.” Its not a historical fact but the belief shaped history so it’s history making.




The most intellectually honest position to take regarding any hypothesis concerning a phenomenon that isn’t supported by reasonable evidence is lack of belief.



Holy questing begging Batman. This is jus privileging his position. He’s merely assuming without evidence that there Is no evidence then of course he knows there is but he’s just pretending that the evidence we give has to be wrong. I don’t thin that’s the most honest postion of the 21st century.





Thus the most intellectually honest position to take concerning any orthodox understandings of (G)od is lack of belief until a clear hypothesis is formulated, an experiment conducted, reproduced, and shown to make predictions.


Again so much ambiguity as to what he means by “Orthodox” that it’s a meaningless comment. His position is not rock sold on honesty when it denies the basis or views other than science, asserts question begging positions on evidence that counts against his position and uses no evidence to back anything up.
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby QuantumTroll on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:47 am

As moderator of this debate, I just wanted to pipe up here and say hello to Blondie and well done thus far to both of you.

Since I am unavoidably partial to one side and the debate is still far from over, I'm going to be very brief here, but I will say that it is Blondie (as the affirmative) who defines the terms of the debate, and I exhort his opponent to try his darndest to stick to Blondie's definition. In clear English: less intellectually honest is not the same as intellectually dishonest. No one is being accused of being dishonest.

Metacrock is, however, right in pointing out that the burden of proof is on the Affirmative, and all the Negative needs to do is poke holes. When the debate comes to its close, I'll review the arguments as objectively as I can and try to announce whether the Affirmative has successfully supported its case or if the Negative has succeeded in deflating all the affirmative arguments.

Good luck to both of you!
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby Metacrock on Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:14 am

2NC



The rules balance advantages for the two sides by giving Affirmative first and last word, while giving Negative a long block of two speeches back to back. Those are this one, Second Negative Constructive (2NC) and first Neg Rebuttal (INR)



In my rebuttal I’ll deal with all the things he missed and summarize their importance in the overall debate.

Definitions

He defined his definitions very badly. He didn’t make them clear and in fact made redundant. I think he’s back peddling on his view of Orthodox.

A. Orthodoxy

It seemed clear that he was trying to make a universally orthodox concept of God. He says no he’s trying to go by each tradition. Clearly his argument was that all the different religions fail to speak of the same concept of God. They all have different orthodoxies, which makes one think he wants them to produce a single orthodoxy. The problem is he understands religion in the mold of Protestant fundamentalism. That’s what he expects religion to be. So he’s looking for that when he doesn’t see it he assumes they are not talking about he same God because they protestant fundies. I show that there’s a different kind of universality that the same concepts are found in all religions but in different forms. He misses that totally says nothing about it.


“Though I spent my entire opening argument explaining what I mean when I say orthodox and intellectually honest, Metacrock still seems confused on these terms.

To summarize, I am using the word orthodox in its less formal sense of being within an established religious tradition”.


that’s actually it’s formal sense.


This is not to be confused with Orthodox (with a capital O) as in Orthodox Christianity or Orthodox Judaism.


that makes no sense at all. He says he’s Using It in the
”less formal sense of being within an established religious tradition” but not with a capital as in Orthodox church or Judaism. That’s the same thing. That’s what it is in a tradition. When we say “the Orthodox church” meaning the Greek Orthodox that’s the formal sense and it’s the Orthodoxy of the Christian tradition. It’s both. It’ a denomination and it always traces its origins to the first church.

When we speak of orthodox Calvinists for example that’s the less formal sense and it’s not the orthodoxy of the tradition.

It makes no sense either way because he’s saying in the first speech that there is no clear universal standard to which they all adhere but that’s not necessary in order for them to be talking about the same reality behind each of their traditions. I demonstrated that very elaborately with my own theory of the nature of religion which he totally ignored.

It makes less sense to say no group comes up to the orthodoxy of other groups because why should they? At this point what he’s trying to say is lost. If the’s not arguing that there is no one standard of orthodox that makes for a uniform understanding of God then what’s the say?

If he is saying that he has not established why there should be.



B.”Intellectual honstry”


The last section of my opening argument I laid out what it means to be intellectually honest. To clarify for Metacrock’s sake, I don’t mean simply honest, but also intellectual. By intellectual I mean curious and using rigorous and proven means of acquiring information.

I never implied that theists are dishonest. Thus the title of the debate “Atheism, the lack of belief in any orthodox understanding of God or gods, is the most intellectually honest position a person can have in the 21st century.”


That’s even more confused because he never actually defined what it means. He says it means no simply honest but also intellectual. I got that when it says “intellectually honest.” I think we all know what intellectual honesty is and it’s not refusing to read a single study or a chapter about the studies when both have been provided in terms of the chapter on line and the source of the studies, over a hundred times; then you claim that you did read a study you never give the title or the author to prove that you did.

I don’t’ think that’s intellectual honesty. Defining intellectual honesty as “not just honest but also intellectual” wont cut it.

He never gives a clear idea of what it is he thinks Theists don’t live up to that atheists do, that would go by the name of intellectual honesty. I said this is most crucial, that there’s a difference between being wrong and being dishonest. he denies that intellectually honest is just being dishonest but he can’t say what it is apart form not being dishonest.

We clearly can’t say that theists are intellectually dishonest because we believe in God. That is not valid. What exactly are atheists doing that theists aren’t that makes them more intellectually honest? remember it’s too late for him to answer that because new arguments in rebuttals. he had two speeches as I did and he didn’t get it done.

I am going to point out some things that athesits are not doing that makes them not as intellectually honest, or at least equally dishonst.

see my rebuttal below for details on what he missed in my answers to his view of orthodoxy


Let’s examine his failure to answer my arguments.

As far as my lack of sources I might suggest that an intellectually honest person might check into my claims. I didn’t feel the need to cite sources in this format


Ironic he should say that. This format is specifically designed for evidence. This is the same format of Policy debate used by both National Forensic league (high school debate) and National Debate Tournament (college debate). Thousands students every single week end all year long lug around heavy files filled with evidence and quote hundreds of quotes in every debate tournament. In those debates one must document every single thing said.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy_debate

http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/debformats.html#policy


Talk bout intellectual dishonesty, he expects us to believe what he says just because he says it. That’s a perfect example of what I said above about privileging one’s position.

A good example of his expecting to be believed just because he says it is the question begging he descends to in dismissing Lourdes miracles out of hand.

I dismissed the Lourdes miracles out of hand not only because, on the surface, they are patently absurd, but also because I have looked into the subject and found the evidence far from convincing. To illustrate this point I can simply go to JSTOR and search all of the academic journals that have information on Lourdes. Not surprising there is nothing for decades. Why? Because the proposition is so outrageous no academic journal would risk their reputation by doing serious scholarly research into the subject. The British Medical Journal soundly dismissed the “miracles” in 1910. The most resent article about Lourdes from that same journal from 1957 states, “the evidence for anything “miraculous” in the popular sense is extremely meager” and calls it, “a lot of nonsense.”



The thing is there are many reasons why scientific journals don’t publish Lourdes miracles, aside from not believing them. Ideological reasons, political reasons. It’s extremely naïve to assert that this is any kind of proof of their lack of veracity. Not the least reasons is the fact that’s not in the proper domain. These are still matters of faith, even if they do have scientific evidence, they are not actually scientific “disprove is.” No reason why we should regard them in that way. To just assume they are false simply because science doesn’t codify them is wrong headed.

Nor does the journal editor not believing it prove that they are not real miracles. That is merely argument from incredulity.

What I said above about Laplace and talking God out of science due to natural C/e is a good explanation of why Lourdes miracles aren’t discussed in medical journals. Not because they are proved false in any way, not because the scientific evidence isn’t good showing that they are not explained. It’s obviously because science decided to go by Natural C/e and to resist any thing that doesn’t go by C/e. obviously religious explanations are in a different domain. It’s not science’s call. The most science could do would be to say ‘this is not explained” but why would they need an article saying “here’s an unexplained thing.

He is begging the question by making this assumption and including the dismissal of facts about Lourdes in an undocumented premise then arriving at the same conclusion form that premise.

Niscore project begging the question

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/begging-the-question.html



It is sort of embarrassing to have to point this out to someone who claims to be a scholar. It is as if my opponent is totally unfamiliar with how research is done in fields other than theology.


Yes I’ve never heard that before. I had no idea that scientists would be skeptics. Thanks for telling me that. Of course I have to tell him why that’s not proof that there’s no God or no miracle. Of course look at what he’s sloughing off in his refusal to answer the argument (he substitutes abuse for an answer).

I quote Van Bemma who is a journalist on the strict nature of the Lourdes Rules, they have major medical researchers every miacle has to be backed by the best scientific evidence. Of he has no evidence of any kid to dispute it. He alludes to an article. Which he does not quote from (snappy scholarship there) which is from 1910, he thinks that’s proof it’s so obviously untrue they haven’t talked about in so long, any real scholar would know immediately that’s just bad schoarlarship, using woefully out dated material.

don’t lose perspective on why we are talking about this He argues that science is able to settle and umpire all questoni including the big one’s that totall out of its domain about why we are here and what life is about:


Origins are best explained by physicists, biologists, and chemists who have a proven track record for success, objectively reliable methods, and convincing, though tentative, theories.


This is a good example of complete intellectual dishonesty. These can’t possibly be answered by science because they are out of it’s domain. Science has business even pretending to talk about such things. That’s not even good scientific attitude to hope that it can. But the totally dishonest science worship crowd in atheist circles thinks science can do anything.

The idea that science can tell us origins is totally laughable because iti’s no where near doing it. Every attempt has been met with more questions and smaller particles and a further back step now even before space/time. These are things into which science is not able to peer.


Questions of why are arguably meaningless.

Evidence for revealed truth or direct communication with the “divine,” such as the supposed miracles at Lourdes, or the supernatural stunts of gurus and prophets have been tested and proven to be far from convincing.


This is statement is not born out because he says they are disproved but has presented no actual disproof. He has no docs to that effect. He doesn’t quote from his 1910 article and that was before x-rays were in general medical use and most scientific medical equipment that we have today was unknown. So how much did that article recall have to evaluate? Probably all it really did was just cast doubt through refusal to investigate.

On the other hand I have the medical evidence at Lourdes I have records of the healings and there are now 7000 remarkable cases.

http://www.doxa.ws/other/Miracles2.html



at this point he sloughs the burden of making good on his arguments again by confussing the nature of his case fro “intellectual honesty.”

Metacrock sets up the straw man argument that I “must prove that belief in God is intellectually dishonest.” I will simply dismiss this. I don’t believe this, and have never stated such. I do believe it is less intellectually honest than the atheist position.


Honesty is comparative. If one is more or less honest. Than another. The only way to prove that atheism is ‘the most intellectually honest” position is to compare it to others. I said in the first one it’s only fair to compare it to theism. If we want to take the topic literally the way he worded it then he loses right now. He says atheism is the most intellectually honest position and it’s not. There are clearly other positions more honest such global warming. That’s much better proved than atheism. It’s cleary more fair to compare atheism to belief in God not all positons on everything. I was giving him a break by taking his badly worded topic in a “better” sense.

Far from setting up a straw it’s only fair to compare lack of belief in God to belief in God and ot to everything else. He doesn’t make one single argument as to way it’s more honest nor does he define honest that’s been dealt with.




Metacrock also constantly switches back and forth between orthodox and Orthodox, which as a good faith measure I will accept as a typographical error and not an attempt at deception.



I am not switching back and forth. The problem is caused by his lack of clarity. It makes no sense to compare the Orthodoxy of two different traditions. They are not orthodox to each other nor should they be. It doesn’t make sense to set up an universal orthodoxy, but that’s what he seemed to imply. How can he compare atheism to every single Christian camp? Otherwise it makes no sense what he’s trying to say.

Next my opponent launched into a defense of the orthodox Hindu doctrine that all religions are basically ways of arriving at the same goal. An educated, and intellectually honest, understanding of this dogma acknowledges that it is not limited to religious practice but also includes such things as yoga and science. Metacrock seems to fundamentally misunderstand basic Hinduism. Furthermore, his attempt to co-opt this doctrine into his own unique version of Christianity only supports my position. He is not arguing for an orthodox understanding of (G)od and not being as intellectually honest as the typical defender of atheism, who would not dance around calling a spade a spade.



Because he spent so much time developing his view on Hinduism it seemed he was making a universal orthodoxy. He’s misquoted what I said. I was quoting my Hindu friends who I bought a car form and became friends with and used to have intellectual dialogues with. They would say “You are the only the only Christian in Texas who does not insult us.”

I’m sure Blondie knows so much more about Hinduism than these folks from Hyderabad. Of course I’m such a lousy scholar I have to have texts to tell me this. I can’t just use my own innate genius as proof without documenting things. He can of course so he has none but, wrecked scholar that I am, I do have documentation.

by Dr. R. K. Lahri
[url]http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=1241
[/url]

The Supreme is enshrined in the hearts of all He alone is the Supreme Reality. So renounce and rejoice in Him and covet not.

In the Vedas, we find nowhere any such mention which may be concluded to show that Hinduism believes in more Gods than one. Vedas, Upanishads and all other authorized scriptures clearly speak of One God and the only God that permeates the universe. He is the Supreme Being – Yajurveda (XLI) says, ”By one supreme Ruler is the universe pervaded. Even every world in the whole circle of nature, He is the True God... For Him, O Man, covet not unjustly the wealth of any creature existing. Renounce all that is unjust and enjoy pure delight, true spiritual happiness.”


That’s what I said about them that to modern Hindus gods are energies. Don’t forget Vedanta which sees God as the void, and the human soul as a microcosm of God. These are not straw and they are new fangled made up stuff it’s just a matter some little thing called “learning” which I think our friend is just discovering and hasn’t quite got the hang of. I’m usre he will.

The point of all of this is that he’s trying to claim that my understanding of Hinduism is wrong and stupid and not good, and I just proved that what I say about it is in line with what at least some school of Hindu thinking says. More importantly that correlates to what I’ve been saying about the same ideas of God in all cultures. The eral acid test, however, is not the words on paper but the same experiences. That’s where the reality behind the tradition is found. Hood’s research proves that they have the same experiences. Already been sited.


Next Metacrock feels the need to spell out his theory of religion. As this debate concerns orthodox understandings of (G)od it is of no issue.


Of course it’s of great importance, talk about intellectual dishonesty, it’s a direct disprove of his only argument. He says that religions are not talking about the same reality, I show that they are. I show there is one reality behind all traditions (that’s proved by the same experiences and the same concepts documented in several ways such as what Newberg says) he tries to say this is some really stupid thing but let’s see if he has any skill in refutation. It doesn’t bode well that he can’t see the obvious importance of it.



Metacrock claims that all religions fit within one mold.


Nope, never said that. Didn’t say anything like it. It’s a totally different concept than the one I used. My concept is that they are made different by filtering through cultural constructs. It’s not the religion that are the same but the reality behind them, yet that is beyond understand and beyond speaking.



As stated above, this is basic Hinduism, but that orthodox religious tradition allows for atheism to also “fit within that mold” and is clearly a more sophisticated philosophy than what Metacrock is trying to champion.


(1) offers no evidence to that effct. He has no standar or criteria by which to judge it.
(2) He fails come to terms with the evidence I use to prove it.

(a) I quote Hood who shows that the doctrines and names are just incidentals the experiences that are universal.
(b) I quote Newberg who researches religious people around the world and shows that they all have the same ideas. Not that all are the same but they have certain idea that are the same.


Next my opponent puts forth his argument for peak experience and once again supports my argument by demonstrating a level of scholarship that may pass in theology but doesn’t come close to what one would expected in other disciplines. Basically Metacrock believes that peak experiences and the new science of brain scanning are arguments for the existence of some sort of (G)od.


I must say, he has violated the agreement not to insult. Yes of course that’s an insult and it was calculated to be so. I am a trained scholar, an academic Ph.D . Candidate I ran a journal and yes, I know you think theology is BS but my Ph.D. work was in a secular field in a state university in history of ideas. Of this might not be an insult to everyone but it is to me, and he knows that. He’s doing it on purpose.

We will see that his assertions are vain imaginings.

There are too many problems with Metacrocks hypothesis to warrant a lengthy rebuttal but I will respond with a few choice quotes from a book that summarizes the state of “neurotheology,”


Yea that’s real fair and scholarly lay down a heavily insulating statement designed to wound and tear personally at me because of my past and to destroy a reputation I care about as a scholar, then to imply that he has all massive stuff that I’ve done wrong but he’s not going to give it. Not enough time. So great that it can’t be given quickly. Yea that’s really keeping the agreement isn’t it?

He’s claiming that atheism is INTELLECUALLY HONEST! I would think if it was it would attract spokesmen who are as well. Even though I say he blew the agreement I wont press it because I want these last rebuttals to take place to make my point.

He quotes a source that I put on the CARM board so I assume he never heard of it until I came along (McNamara), another mark of a superior scholar not knowing the field.


Where God and Science Meet: The neurology of religious experience by Patrick McNamara. In doing so I will make it clear that Metacrock is cherry picking his information and being less than intellectually honest.

http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr= ... ng&f=false

Basically all we can say for sure is that certain religious practices correlate with blood flow in the brain. McNamara writes, “the strongest statement that can be made from the results from brain imaging studies are correlational not causal.”

Unlike Metacrock’s wild and unsupported claims about the findings of this research, the most casual look into the subject will find it very sober and well within the bounds of what one would expect from serious scientific research.



this statement is false (that’s another trait of superior scholars they always make really wild claims that not accurate). First he says my argument is unsupported. That is not true, it is supported by an article was actually in the McNamara book (Hood). Also by several works by the major pioneer in the God on the brain field, Andrew Newberg.

What Mc says is right, but I didn’t use Mc to argue for my view. He can’t claim that got his view wrong because I didn’t use to support my argument. What he says about it is true as far as it goes but it doesn’t actually disprove my argument. He’s talking about the question of God gene. He’s not talking about Newberg’s research of showing that the brain reacts in certain ways to God talk. Mc does not discuss that per se. He talks about God gene. He says it’s not enough research done to argue for a God gene and I agree. I don’t believe there’s a gene for God. I never said there was.

Neither does McNamara say that there is no relation at all between brain chemistry and God. No far from that! What it turns out is that without a gene there’s the possibly of a spandrel. And I think that will do for my argument just as nicely. I got that from the very same book.

The McNamara is an anthology. It has many articles pro and con. He’s treating it like everything in the books says I’m wrong, it does not. That just proves he has not read the book. I would not be surprised to find that the only part he’s read is that one part by McNamara. Another mark of superior scholarship is not knowing your sources.

McNamara states that, “such studies…can legitimately make statements about the human experience or perception, not about the specific objects experienced,”


I agree. That Is not any kind of contradiction to my argument. This entire line of argument means is that Blondie doesn’t pay attention (no offense—like all truly great scholars he doesn’t bother to know what his opponent thinks).


and “ just because the brain activity patterns of those Christians corroborated their belief that they were in a personal relationship with God (as Jesus Christ), this does not lead to the conclusion that the brain imaging findings prove that these Christians were in fact in such a relationship.”


That’s not what I claim either. We have several arguments but let’s just go with the two major ones: very different, the Hood article about reaction to mystical experience and the universality of it. That has nothing to do with brain chemistry as a proof. It’s in the same book as Mc but not the same thing that he’s dealing with. The other is Newberg (who may be in there too I can’t remember, I don’t own the book it’s been two years or ore since I saw it). I used that book in my book so I have some material form it stored but not the whole book. It’s also in three big volumes, a lot there.

The first time the claim is based upon the universal experiences and the similar reactions; of course the upshot I that it’s a reason to believe not proof.

The second type is about the brain reaction to God talk. There I approach it through innate ideas.

This is an important point and one that many atheists don’t understand. They think science is literally about fortress of facts. So you quote a study you have to use the findings exactly the way the author would use it (they think). That’s not true.

One can always extrapolate and use it in the way the findings suggest, if they speak for themselves. But you have to be honest about it. Which I am. I know what both authors think because I talked to them about it. I’m not contradicting their views. I’m not falsifying their data or talking it out of context. I’m just going one step further with then they do because they feel it’s not their jobs as scientist to do that (argue for God).

In both cases the data shows that the experiences meet the criteria of epistemic judgment and that’s where my argument turns. There’s noting in that conclusion that either author would be upset by.



Metacrock’s outrageous claims based in this research are far from warranted.


He’s dancing on the edge of the insult agreement. This is a totally unnecessary false accusation. Again he characterizes something I wrote a whole book about as “unwarranted.” He presnts no evidence. He has no proof of any kind. He doesn’t’ even quote McNamara which is not valid. It’s warranted with 200 studies and five years of research.


His conclusions and speculations are wholly dissimilar to what one would expect from serious scientists or intellectually honest researchers.


unfortunately real scholars know better than to base their claims on ‘expectations.” What one would expect a “serious scientist” to say and what they do say are different things. One would not expect a serious scientist to say Qm particles don’t’ have causes or at least there was a time when that was the case. So you can’t use your ideological exceptions and documentation.

That is nothing but agreement form incredulity and begging the question. Guess what that is? It’s intellectually dishonest! Argument from a combo of incredulity and question begging is not the mark of a superior scholar!



One of the first questions I would ask is how do the brain scans of religious practitioners compare to nonreligious activities that result in peak experience?


there are no activities that result in it. Those are all triggers they are not causes. The cause of the thing is not in the trigger. We know this because there people who have them with no triggers. There are many different triggers.

There’s another misconception here is that he’s confusing peack with Newberg’s God pod stuff. That’s not the same at all. Peak experience is not studied by watching the the brain light up. Newberg and McNamara are not doing peack experience. Although there may be something about it in the Mc books because Hood is in that book.

We know form the studies that those who don’t’ have peak experience don’t’ have the effects of those who do, we don’t’ have brain scans of them. He’s confusing two different kinds of research.

Possibly a musician when he or she is “in the zone.” If chanting can get you there what about singing or dancing? McNamara also makes this point and writes that such experiments have yet to be done. It seem as though the more intellectually honest a person is the more they would look at the overall state of this new field of research rather than jumping to wild conclusions about the nature of man and the universe without justification.


I have looked at it. How does he know I haven’t? He has not read my book. He hasn’t really read much of anything I’ve written. He doesn’t know what I say, he doesn’t even know what my arguments are about.

My opponent’s observations that these peak experience sometimes result in possibly beneficial mental states are more reasonably understood as a product of evolution than as evidence of some sort of supernatural agency.


That is a totally unjustified statement which he has no documented back and no basis in fact to make. We have discussed this on the board before.

I took care of that in the God on the brain argument. I even quoted sources to disprove it.



(a) No scientific correlation between uniformity of brain structure and uniformity of experience

Clearly we don't all experience the same things just because we are human.

(b) Universal behavior is always assumed in scinece to be genetically based in some sense.

We must assume that ideas are from culture. Fully formed concepts are cultural constructs. These are not genetic the usually differ form culture to culture.

Anders Rassmussen Blog
"Universal Human Behaviors"
Friday, December 29, 2006
There is a trend amongst scholars in sociology and gender sciences to argue that more or less everything is social constructions. Relationships and roles in the society are constructed by humans in our conversations. Hence, they argue, there are almost no universal behaviors. Anthropologists writing about strange habits in different societies are often cited to show that there is great variability between people living in different places, and indeed there is. However, it is often overlooked that there are many similarities between different cultures as well. I argue that even though there are many differences between people in different societies that stand out, there are also many, more fundamental, behaviors which do not vary between different cultures. These behaviors seem so natural to us that we barely notice them...

Take beauty for instance. Is it true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Research suggests not! People from cultures all around the globe agree on what faces are beautiful and which are not beautiful. For example, symmetrical faces are seen as more attractive than non-symmetrical faces. Similarly, around the globe a 0.7 and 0.9 waist to hip ratio for women and men respectively, is considered the most attractive body shape. Preferences for the amount of fat on the body varies between cultures. In starving countries in Africa "wider" ladies are generally preferred whereas in western cultures almost anorectic women are seen as very attractive, but consistently it is found that people prefer 0.7 and 0.9 waist to hip ratios. We can do even better than this. For example, have you seen someone who becomes happy when faced with misfortune and sad when life is good? Have you heard of a society where there is neither love nor hate?

If there's a genetic disposition to the idea of God that's a pretty good reason to believe God had to put it there. Could a gene or a Spandrels really develop based upon an imaginary being in the sky? Or even based upon the ground of being? There would require ideas implanted in the gene structure, if they were false ideas that would be even more remarkable.

Either it's cultural in which case it shouldn't be universal or it's genetic in which case the geentic structure of an idea must be explained.



From O'Connor article above.
Evolutionary scientists have suggested that belief in God, which is a common trait found in human societies around the world and throughout history, may be built into the brain's complex electrical circuitry as a Darwinian adaptation to encourage co-operation between individuals.

Problems:

(a) why not just adapt to genetic trait for co-operation? why all the mystical and religious hubub just for that? It seems that would be more efficient and would have been more likely.

(b) in other endowments we don't mustache belief in fantasy and unreal things that just happens to work out to benefit us.

"Religion Is Not an Adaptation" 159
Lee A. Kirkpatrick
In Where God and Science Meet
ed Patrick McNamara
Preager
Finally, perhaps the biggest problem with religion-as-adaptation theories
is that, in virtually every example I have encountered, it seems clear that a
much simpler design could solve the (presumed) adaptive problem at least
as well as religion. Natural selection is a very conservative process that,
starting from the existing design, fashions new adaptations by changing as
little as necessary. Simpler designs are more evolvable designs. Consider, for
example, suggestions that religious beliefs are adaptive because they provide
relief from anxiety or other psychological benefi ts. In addition to other problems
outlined previously as to how religion could represent an adaptation
designed to produce such effects, it seems obvious that a much simpler way
for natural selection to reduce anxiety would be to simply tweak a parameter
of the anxiety system or mechanism to make it quantitatively less reactive
in response to threats or to simply recalibrate it to produce consistently
lower levels. Such a minor change in an existing anxiety system would be far
easier—and thus more likely—for natural selection to produce than all the
complex systems and mechanisms (not to mention group-level phenomena)
required to produce anxiety-reducing religion.



(c) that assumes that somehow our genes would know that religious is bound up with social cooperation. It just happened to develop as side stream of co-operation but that's assuming a lot. There's no reason why belief in God had work into a social thing. The individual aspects of belief indicates there's more to it than that.

(d) The full blown concept of TS, the top of he metaphysical hierarchy and the basis of all that is seems to be present in all God concepts, weather personal or impersonal. Evolution can't bestow a full formed idea. That has to be a cultural construct and a produce ot culture becuase it's sophisticated and consists of too many prior concepts











Metacrock continued to preach his unorthodox version of (G)od as a “transcendental signifier” and “ground of being.” Vague metaphysical terms are relative to this debate if they are part of an orthodox tradition, which he failed to, or didn’t attempt to, establish. Saussurean linguistics are irrelevant in a defense of any kind of orthodox understanding of (G)od.


Several problems with that statement:

(1) The unclear distinction between little “o” and big “O” orthodoxy. In terms of Christianity The supra essential Godhead (Ground of being) is both, although it’s a meaningless distinction.
(2) The distinction is that between the denomination “Greek Orthodox” (which is actually inclusive of Russian, Assyrian and many others) vs orthodoxy within Christianity as a whole. This is meaningless because What is popularlary term “Greek Orthodox” is orthodox little “o” for all of Christianity. It traces it’s roots to seven ecumenical councils that drew up the creeds.
(3) It’s also the case that when the context of all the major demoninational sweeps such as Roman Catholocism and Protestantism God as the Ground of being is accepted by the major brunt of Christian theologians.
(4) Just because the average pew sitter doesn’t know doesn’t make it not true. The average Christian in the pew doesn’t know that the Trinity is three persona in one essence but the creeds show it is. most people don’t go to seminary, this is why going it helpful.
(5) I did show that ground of being is little ‘o’ orthdox.

It’s still constructive. If he’s not content with the way I showed it I’ll show it again in a deeper way.

(1) the Orthodox church itself accepts it. The book by Timothy Ware the Orthodox Church is designed to introduce what is normally called “Greek Orthodox Chruch” to the American Potestant and RCC audience. IN that book he says clearly that the Orthodox Chruch accepts that God is being itself. Ware, the Orthodox Chruchp Penguin, 1963, 65.
(2) . The concept of God as Being itself is ratified by Vatican II and is a major premise of modern Catholic doctrine. Jean-Luc Marion, [p]God Without Being[/i] Chicago U. press 1991 (original French 1982)
(3) list of major theologians that I compiled who aer known for supporting the view:

Clement of Alexandria (150-215)
Origen (185-253)
Gregory of Nyssa (335-394)
St.Augustine ?
Dionysus The Areopogite ( w/500)
John of Scythopolis (536-550)
Maximus The Confessor (580?-662?)
John of Damascus (676-749)
St.Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Paul Tillich
Hans Kung
Wolfhart Panennberg
Hans Urs Von Balthasar
John Macquarie (1919-2007)

(4) the Newberg quote that I used to show that the same idea of god is in all cultures says specifically the idea of God as being itself is in all cultures.




My opponent’s argument seems to be a scientific verification of orthodox Hinduism, which he, himself, masks as liberal Christianity. The briefest look into the science he presented shows nothing that would warrant such a claim. The intellectually honest person should look at this data and find it woefully lacking as supporting evidence for his hypothesis.


The intellectually honest person would try to figure out what I’m really arguing because I said no such thing. I said nothing about any kind of scientific defense.

Moreover he didn’t answer a single argument I made on that point. Not a one! I’m going to go over those in my rebuttal.


Thus, if anything, Metacrock’s rebuttal


It’s not a rebuttal it’s a constructive speech. That sounds like nit picking but it’s not. I’ll be making a real rebuttal in a minute. That is a short speech in which no new arguments can be made, but one may extend upon the old arguments in defense of them.


only solidifies my affirmation. He refuses to present an orthodox understanding of (G)od and does a poor job of rationalizing why any intellectually honest person would accept the Hindu understanding of “(G)od” he promotes: a concept of “(G)od” that when understood in an orthodox sense is totally in line with atheism.


(1) what he’s calling “orthodx” is not only unclear but contradicts the basics of theology.I dealth with this extensively in my first speech and in my 1NR I will go back and show what he did not answer.
He essentially didn’t answer anything I argued, and he has misrepresented it in dishonest fashion.

As illustrated by Metacrock’s inability to make a compelling case for belief in any orthodox understanding of (G)od, the intellectually honest person must lack belief in such an entity.


(1) part of that is actually his inability to make a clear argument. He never rally made clear what he’s saying about orthodoxy. Is it a universal standard that all religions come up to? Is it that each demonetization is orthodox to itself? Is it a standard in each major religion he never says and it makes a difference but none of those really make sense.
(2) I said that he confuses what other religions are about with fundamentalist Christianity, for example he thinks religion is about communicating through holy books, the big cheese up stairs sends down the word. That’s his model of religion that’s just the American fundamentalist mentality, which is probably the only religion he’s ever studied. He has not studied Hinudism, he’s just compared what little he’s read of it as though it were American protestant fundamentalism.
(3) I talk about the universality of all religion being in the need to define the human problematic and to mediate transformation. He does not even touch that/s that’s the orthodoxy not the communication in holy books and all that stuff. He doesn’t even mention it!
(4) I ground the universality in brain function ala Newberg and in mystical experience and the reaction to it ala Hood. He says nothing at all about that. He totally ignores and misses my entire response and my counter theory about how to understand orthodoxy.
(5) It’s too late for him to do that because it’s now rebuttals and those will be new arguments.

sorry doing it right is just part of debate. New argument in rebuttals is a no no. I pointed that several times.


INR

The one argument he makes is that the various religion have different ideas of God, so that in his mind means there can’t be a single reality behind them all. That explanation is a lot clearer than any way he puts it. I show that his understanding of religion is limited to American Protestant fundamentalism. Because he expects all religions to reflect that’s what he’s looking for so he fails to see the common ideas because he’s not looking for that. I show them in my scenario of the cultural constructs that makes the difference in religions.

He thinks it’s being dishonest to try and understand the commonalities because he only knows one modal of religion to look for.

O document the unity in terms of experience he offers no counter documentation or any arguments that would disprove that.

He defines orthodox religion in terms of American Protestant fundamentalism. He doesn’t say that’s what he does but look at the characteristics.

What is an orthodox religion?

Religions are organizations that often include a creation myth, moral codes, rituals and methods for communicating with the “divine,” some sort of holy text or “revealed truth,” and a cultural legend or epic.

Religious people often claim there are ways of acquiring information, including answers to the mysteries of life and the universe, that are different from our standard sources of evidence. These include communication with the “divine,” revealed truth, and rhetoric.[/qote]

Instead of taking it systematically he just goes by what he has seem himself of religious people saying, but he understands that through the lens of fundamentalist Christianity.

He’s going to try to list several things that relate to each other from one tradition to another. That’s going to establish a standard. He inslcudes God arguemtns.
The classic arguments for the existence of (G)od are based on rhetoric and there are equally compelling rhetorical counter arguments. So it is safe to assume rhetoric is not a useful way of arriving at satisfactory conclusions.

The various revealed truths of the orthodox religions, the Vedas, the Koran, the Bible, etc. are contradictory and habitually avoid justification and thus demand incredulity.

Prayer, meditation, mystical experience, and other methods of directly communicating with the “divine” have been performed by atheists and found lacking.



Each of those ideas is based upon fundamentalist Christianity. I did point this out.

I argue this:

(1) all of these faiths have different ways of understanding their books. You can’t assume there’s an international standard for inerrancy for example. Not basis for an argument that they contradict each other. They aren’t to be compared to an interfaith orthodoxy because there is no such thing.
(2) We will have to take them book by book and piece by to argue about them contradicting themselves.
(3) He can’t even prove that inerrancy is an aspect of historical Christianity because it was born in the 19th century
(4) Essentially the point he’s making is void. It’s creating a standard that is arbitrary and religion doesn’t have. A standard of his own making taken from misapplying American Christian fundamentalist standards.




(1) no basis to that statement at all. Notice uses no documentation at all.
(2) He wrongly assumes mystical experience is communication
(3) There’s no data, not study (not one) nothing of any kind to suggest that atheist ever fond it lacking. Those who have had such experiences say they are good and helped them. Even when they deny that God is part of it they still say it’s a realty they discovered, ultimate reality.
(4) Hood shows that even the atheists have same reacting they related to the void as if it were God, the same way the mystical relate to it. They don’t call it “God” but they related to it in the same way. That doesn’t mean to go to atheist mystic church and sign “praise the void” but they regard it as the ultimate reality.


He doesn’t answer a single one of these issues. What he says in his response is:

(1) That I try to defend Hinuism on scientific grounds, I think he confuses what I said about Hindu gods being energies with a scientific concept of energy.
(2) He talks about he McNamaara book which has nothing to do with this

He does not say a single thing about any of these response. He doesn’t show respond when I say that mysticism is not about communication or that that religions have different concepts of holy books. He doesn’t respond to my understanding of religion as medication of transcendence or identification of the human problematic. He says absolutely nothing about any of that. All of that means that he’s looking at the things that mean something to fundamentalists while I’m showing the world religions don’t care about those things, at least not in the same way.

That is intellectual dishonesty and bad debating. It means that has failed to defend his only argument. He’s misconceived the nature of orthodox (big or little o) and what it would mean for religions to have the same referent or the same reality behind them.

He’s totally missed the fact that they do not have to understand that they have the same reality behind them for that to be true.

what is most crucial to remember Is that even if I’m wrong about what I’m saying that doesn’t make me dishonest. He has failed to prove that religious belief is dishonest. That means he has not proved that atheist is the most honest.
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby Metacrock on Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:50 am

2NR




He has lost the debate already. He lost because he broke the insult agreement when he started ridiculing my scholarship. He lost before that anyway because he has failed to defend the resolution.

(1) He’s lost because He failed to even show what it means.

He has made about four different ideas of what intellectually honest means, including defining it as “not so much honest but mostly intellectual” so it would read “atheism is intellectual intellectual.” (2AC) what does that mean?

Among the different views I started out assuming he meant a universal orthodoxy that they can all come up to. Then says there’s a difference between little orthoxy and big O Othdoox he doesn’t say how that related to honesty. Now he says I need to show an established tradition that’s the new way he’s defining it. Of course I did show it, Greek Orthodoxy and Roman Catholic both agree God = being itself.

(2) He lost because he doesn’t define intellectually honest.

That’s where he says not so much honest but intellectual.

(3) He lost because he never connects those two ideas, orthodoxy and intellectually honest, to demonstrate how atheists are more intellectually honest than religious believers.

I said there’s a distinction between being wrong and being dishonest. We know the atheists think belief is wrong. We are not debating about “does Gdo exist.” So that’s not important. If you think it’s wrong that’s one thing, but does that make me intelleciualy dihshonst to believe it.

it doesn’t’ matter how many of you think that’s true, what matters to win the debate he must how it’s true. He as don’t nothing to show that.




(4) He lost because he doesn’t answer anything I said in constructing my sense of inter-faith orthodoxy. Look at how much of his rebuttal he based on that, and all the while he claims I didn’t do it. I gave a long senero about mystical experience and cultural constructs, go back and look at my first speech it takes up almost half of the speech. He said nothing at all about it. Nothing!

I argued that orthodoxy is meaningful only within a faith tradition, in arguing that there is unified reality behind all faiths, there is no inter-faith orthodoxy to appeal to, the very idea is a contradiction. That doesn’t’ mean I can’t hold the belief, it means there’s no standard for me to have to come up to!

(5) he lost becuase:

The orthodox nature of my view is also neither here nor there because he has not connected newness to dishonesty. He has done nothing at all to set up a standard or show why orthodoxy is important. Why is being new dishonest?

Those are all fatal flaws any one of this destroys his case.



My opponent seems determined to go through the entire debate without ever addressing the topic at hand. If Metacrock did not want to argue against the affirmative, “Atheism, the lack of belief in any orthodox understanding of God or gods, is the most intellectually honest position a person can have in the 21st century,” he should have not agreed to the subject.


We can’t argue about a statement the terms of which are never clearly defined.

So far he has just tossed out ad hominems, gone off on wild tangents, and fixated on the never-declared rules and format of the debate itself.


That is nothing short of a lie. I’m not saying this to insult him, It’s obvious he is lying about what I’ve said all he has to dos is go back and look at my words. HE BROKEN THE AGREEMENT OF HO INULT NOT ME> I CALL UPON THE JUDGE TO MAKE RULING I have said nothing that can be construed as ad hom.
He is confusing argument against his logic with arguments against him.





He has refused to champion any orthodox understanding of (G)od but has rather decided to spend his time preaching his own unique brand of religion.



That’s horse manure. In fact that contracts the three different conflicting positions he’s taken already that’s a new fourth position.

(1) I said there is no authodoxy between the major faiths, there can’t be that’s not the meaning of the term.

(2) said the Greek Orthdox church which is both big O and o orthodoxy fo rChristinty accepts my view and that is the standard I prefer so that would function as an orthodoxy if you need one.

(3) I also said we don’t need one because the same realtiy as meaure by experience not words on paper, pervades all religions.

(4) I also argued the same ideas are found in all faith about being itself (quoted Nweberg) he never answered any of that.
My position has always been that we don’t a single orthodoxy to defend because experience of reality is more important than orthodoxy we have though the M scale.

If you need an orthodoxy to hang my thing on I already supplied one in the Greek Orthodox.

(5) Since he was never able to clarify the connection from orthodoxy to atheist intellectual honesty (why do we need one for the other? Or for the lack of the other?) There’s no connection to the topic and thus it’s a moot point. It’s not a defense of the resolution. He’s failed to demonstrate that he defends the resolution.




I am defining orthodox as, “being within an established religious tradition.” I don’t know how I could make it clearer than that. I spent most of my opening argument clarifying what is and isn’t orthodox in my opinion. He even seemed to be confused when I clearly spelled out that I’m not using the term as a proper title of a religion like Ethiopian Orthodox or Orthodox Judaism. It is a common word and I chose to put it in the title of the debate because I realize how easy it would be for anyone to redefine (G)od in some unorthodox way such as “nature” or “everything.”



so far he’s issued four confused muddled versions of what orthodoxy means.he’s never connected it to the topic. With this one he says “being an established religious tradition” he can’t show why that is necessary to be intellectually honest, but even so I showed in my lst speech that my view is harmonious with the Greek Orthodox, they could double because they are an tradition themselves and they are the oldest form of Christianity.
Remember I quoted Timothy ware? What has he ever quoted to defend his view? Nothing.

I also quoted ware in saying that Vatican II supports God as being itself. So both of the oldest forms of Christianity agree.




Metacrock could have chosen to champion any number of orthodox understandings of (G)od, many of which have elaborate scholarship and rationalizations. I wanted to challenge myself by going far out on a limb and saying atheism would be more intellectually honest than any of them, but at this point I guess that debate will have to wait for another day.


I seriously doubt that he read my last speech. I think he read the first few lines maybe a few in the middle. I really doubt that he read the whole thing. I answered this, I just answered it above, It’s four time in this speech he’s made the same irrational meaningless comment.


My opponent even claimed to have trouble with the term “intellectually honest” yet turned right around and stated, “I think we all know what intellectual honesty is.”


It ant the way he argues. What I think it means is not the issue. The issue is what did he mean by it? He can’t prove that he defends it if he can’t make clear what he means by it, he never did.



I don’t believe I can state it clearer than I did before so I will repeat: “I don’t mean simply honest, but also intellectual. By intellectual I mean curious and using rigorous and proven means of acquiring information.”



That’s exactly my point! [b]He can’t state it any more clearly, that’s the problem!
he’s supposed to be saying that atheism is intellectually honest. “Intellectual” modifies “honest” and tells us what kind of honest. To then come back and say “I don’t mean simplify honest but also intellectual” is redundant because now the modifier just repeats itself. What of honest, no kind, jus intellectually intellectual. The modifier modifies itself.

Now just ask yourself readers, “what kind of honesty does he means when he says “not simply honest but intellectual” when he’s already specified intellectual honesty?

He clearly muddaled the point.


Metacrock has devoted his entire argument to preaching his liberal version of Christianity, which I don’t consider orthodox. If he wanted to establish his version of (G)od as orthodox he should have done so rather than getting caught up in dubious claims of faith healing.


Now back to the orthodox thing. Why the hell does he get to decide what is Orthodox? He’s not even a believer! He makes it sound like no has ever figured this out when in reality it’s a standard concept in all of theology. I actually demonstrate in several ways that the major world religion’s orthodoxy does agree with my view:

(1) in Christianity I show (a) Greek Orthodox (b) Catholic, (c) liberal Protestant. So Christianity is in, it agrees with me.
(2) 2 NC I quoted a Hindu theologian who says exactly what Is aid about all Hindu gods being energies of the one true reality behind all religion.
(3) I also frame a inter-failth orthodoxy based upon actual experience of the sense of the numinous or peak experience.
(4) I quote Newberg who has studied adherents of all the major religions to check them for the God pod he says they all have the same idea of God as being itself.
(5) Blondie h as never denied this he never argued with it, never quoted a single expert source to disprove it!


My opponent seems to be arguing against a straw man of his on construction. He has continually accused me of being unread and seems to believe my understanding of religion is limited a fundamentalist version of Christianity.


I never said he’s unread in this debate. Moreover, what he’s calling straw man is just attempt to make up for the problems caused by his muddled definitions.

As Metacrock has not presented an orthodox understanding of (G)od for me to make an argument for the intellectual honesty of lacking a belief in,


This is a revealing statement because it affirms my fist response to his use of Orthodoxy that he is trying us the issue to say that religions are talking about different things. Of course I have done so I just talked it the quote before this. He’s just repeating himself.

(1) I said I see the orthodoxy in terms experience, more important than words
(2) They all have the idea of God as being itself, I use Newberg quote because he has studied the actual followers of each religion to see how their brains light up when you talk about God.



I will take the rest of my time here to address the tangents he has brought up simply for my own amusement and restate the case for my affirmation in my closing remarks.


He’s the one who introduced McNamara.




DEBATE POLICY
Though Metacrock has repeatedly called me dishonest I would like to note that we never agreed on any debate format. There are many different debate formats and no debate is necessarily limited to any of them. People are free to create their own and do so all the time.


I’m very disappointed that he has not kept the agreement but I have. I am going to ask the judge for a ruling on that.




He seems to imagine we are in his high school debating class. I would note that these rules insisted on appear never to have been used in this forum before.


That’s of course silly. I have them in this way all the time. They work ok/ It’s true they are the format for policy debate so they are usually used to talk about government policy like land use and product safety, but I think they lend themselves pretty well to debate about religion. I’ve used them this way many many times. Look at the old CARM boards 1x1 board.

Btw you don’t debate in a “debating class” you debate in tournaments with people from other school from all over the country and they are judged by the coaches or whomever they get to judge. Same format used in college. So people from Harvard, and Northwestern and Georgetown, USC using the same format.



LOURDES MIRACLES
I was hoping this exchange would be an excuse for me to look into some of the subtle arguments of something like Sufism, which I would consider orthodox though may Muslim’s would not. Rather I get a peek into Metacrock’s argument for faith healing at Lourdes.


that is neither here nor there, it’s not a proof of his argument and it’s not my responsibility to help him with his continuing education.



As I stated earlier, these sorts of claims are little embarrassing and I have never come across faith healing debates in academic circles. I don’t consider believing in the healing properties of the water at Lourdes dishonest, but I certainly wouldn’t call them intellectual.


Though I seriously doubted I would find anything confirming these 67 supposed miracles I did look into the claims. I have read that statistically, given that five million pilgrims visit the shrine each year, one is no more likely to spontaneously recover from an illness by going to Lourdes than by not going.


That’s real cleaver to wait until rebuttal to make a new argument. He might say he’s extending, extending is more than just saying something new about the same topic. It’s actually extending an argument already made; he did not make a statistical argument in constructive. Never mind that. I’ll disprove his argument:

(1) I quoted Lourdes magazine and the Marion website both, saying that there’s a larger group of “remarkable cases” the latest number is 7,000. So it’s more than just 65, that will change his ratio of spontaneous recovery beyond the actual number.
(2) More importantly, the rules at Lourdes are set up to screen out remissions. Fore example they don’t consider leukemia until 10 years after the disease. It has high rates of remission.
(3) He cannot produce a single case of proved remission. Don’t let him assert that any healing is automatically remission, because remission doesn’t vanish ournight without a trace.
(4) You can’t grow back new lungs with remission, and I document the Lungs of Charles Anne grew back overnight. That’s a saint making miracle but that committee has the same rules.


To explain why academic journals don’t publish article about Lourdes Metacrock had to resort to a conspiracy theory.


Climate of opinion is hardly conspiracy theory. I pushed an academic journal for several years, I dare say he hasn’t’ read one let along published in one or published one.



He claimed these journals have “ideological” and “political motivations” for not writing articles about the supernatural. I would never say conspiracies don’t occur, but to just plug in the holes of your argument with them rather than providing evidence has all the tell tale signs or pseudoscience and isn’t something one would expect from an intellectually honest person who wanted to find real answers.


Anyone who has been in graduate school knows what climate of opinion means. It’s obviously not a conspiracy theory. When you say “ideology” you are saying “other than conspiracy.” So obviously that’s the opposite of a conspiracy. Its’ saying people in this field are not disposed to understand things this way.

his refusal to deal honestly with that argument is clear proof that he’s not even trying to argue fairly. He’s trying to label my argument as something it’s not so he can dismiss it. The idea that a medical journal would seek answers about God’s existence is really naïve.

Metacrock cites himself, a journalist, and the Catholic Church on the subject. I did the sort of research any intellectually honest person would do. I checked JSTOR. I might not have written a term paper on the subject but I did look into this excellent source for academic journals and didn’t see anything to suggest any serious, objective scholar considered the miracles real.


ahahahahahhaah He thinks I’m David Van Beama? I never clalimed to be a journalist. I have published an academic journal. Negations: Interdisciplinary Journal on Social Critics. It’s an academic not journalism. Get it? Its colleges and intellectuals not Newsweek understand? David Van Beama is a journalist and I am not he, he is not me. I put up a link to my miracles page on Doxa and he thinks I’m quoting myself.

Then he goes on an irrelevant tirade about Lourdes, it’s all rather irrelevant.

The Virgin Mary at LaSalette and Lourdes: Whom Did the Children See?
Michael P. Carroll

How Does Autodialogue Work? Miracles of Meaning Maintenance and Circumvention Strategies
Ingrid E. Josephs, Jaan Valsiner

Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 68-82
Miracles and Theism

Leon Pearl
Religious Studies, Vol. 24, No. 4 (1988), pp. 483-495

Daniel L. Pals
Reviewed work(s): Miracles and the Modern Religious Imagination by Robert Bruce Mullin
Church History, Vol. 68, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 743-745

Divine Healing
A. E. Sawday
The British Medical Journal, Vol. 1, No. 4977 (May 26, 1956), p. 1240

A Lourdes Case
Francis Izard
The British Medical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2599 (Oct. 22, 1910), p. 1289

The Catholic Church And The Lourdes Cures
Francis Aidan Gasquet
The British Medical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2590 (Aug. 20, 1910), pp. 465-467

The Catholic Church And The Lourdes Cures
Henry H. Sturge
The British Medical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2596 (Oct. 1, 1910), p. 1003

A Lourdes "Cure"
The British Medical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2597 (Oct. 8, 1910), p. 1086

Miracles
Malcolm L. Diamond
Religious Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Sep., 1973), pp. 307-324

Though I found nothing that would suggest any medical professionals believed in the miracles of Lourdes I did discover that study of the Lourdes phenomenon led to useful science in the development of theories of the placebo effect, which is a much more sober and yet still very controversial.



This whole tirad is a combination of guilt by association and outdated evidence. The articles from 1910 pre date the use of modern medical research, even x-rays weren’t in public use in that day. That’s not relevant. Notice he doesn’t quote anyting from the article and I bet he probably hasn’t read them. They may say “this is proved to be true miracle” for all he knows. They probably don’t say that but they probably do say “this is unexplained but not proved to be a miracle.”

That’s the all time face saver, doesn’t he get that? That way they are not on the hook because it’s unexplained but doesn’t prove it. So they can’t be blamed and they said nothing.

By not quoting any of the articles he’s creating the impression that they all agree with him.

He does not quote anything that says Lourdes miracles are a fake.



Prayer versus Placebo:
Some Diagnostic Reflections as a Preliminary to a Prescriptive Agenda

Anne Harrington
Department for the History of Science
Harvard University

“[J]ournalist Norman Cousins described a remarkable cure -- one that his doctors would have deemed impossible -- in the pages of The New England Journal of Medicine. He did not ascribe the cure to the grace of God, however. Prayer had played no role in it. What had cured him, he believed, was the power of his own mind; and, most important of all perhaps, a strong conviction in the possibility of his own cure. Was it really possible that positive attitude itself could produce dramatic healing in this way? Was there any prior evidence? In asking these questions, Cousins invoked the object lesson of Lourdes. But then he suggested that the apparently miraculous healing seen there were neither more nor less miraculous than his own, and that perhaps there was a common explanation for them all: not the power of faith, but the power of the placebo effect.”

Prof. Willem Betz from the Free University of Brussels finds the whole thing “disturbing” and notes that one is much more likely to die in route to the shrine than be cured.

Etienne Vermeersch, former Vice-Rector of Ghent University notes that no one who is missing an arm returns from Lourdes with two arms.

http://translate.google.com/translate?s ... 3Dgn2pdd21

No one is claiming that the Catholic Church doesn’t maintain that 67 miracles have occurred, though Metacrock prefers the anecdotal number 7000. Miracle stories are common and extraordinary claims far from uncommon.

http://www.bfro.net/GDB/#usa



None of his placebo evidence demonstrates incurable diseases being cured over night with no previous trace f illness, or do they match up to growing a new pair of lungs overnight, as Charles Anne did.


Given that the evidence for the Lourdes miracles is very suspect, the intellectually honest person is obligated to lack belief in the healing powers of the waters until they are recognized by the medical community.


Notice he does not quote a single article saying it’s suspect. He gives this long string of articles not one of them say “ this is suspect.” He says it himself of his own misconception.

Nor can he tell you why it’s suspect.

(1) top diagnostic equipment
(2) best medical experts in Europe
(3) skeptics on the committee
(4) the reports are form the people’s own doctors
(5) church doesn’t even get to see the cases until the doctors rule that they can’t explain it.
(6) Of course he places the onis on the water rather than the power of God behind it. There are cures related to Lourdes that have nothing to do with the water.
(7) There are also the Casdroph miracles that he’s not even dealing with, those are Protestant and Pentecostal. (see the link to my miracles page)
http://www.doxa.ws/other/miracles5.html

Besides, Metacrock seems to believe these dubious healings are support for his liberal Christian theology when they would actually be evidence orthodox Catholic dogma and apparitions of the Virgin Mary, which are a dime a dozen.


they would be if I bought into the RCC line on Lourdes. No reason why one can’t understand them in a larger context.



http://resources0.news.com.au/images/20 ... ndwich.jpg

typical guilt by association. If one crazy idea of a miracle exits all ideas of miracles are loony. Still an informal fallacy. That’s all he has ever argued from is informal and formal fallacies.

INTELLECTUAL HONESTY
I have made it clear that I do not think theists are necessarily dishonest and do not believe Metacrock is dishonest.


ahgahhahaha sure. He also has not made clear what his standard is. He just says it’s not so much honest as intellectual. So it’s intellectual intellectuality. I guess with a dash of honesty thrown in.



I believe he is being less than intellectually honest when he does research to support his religious theories and cherry picks supporting information and ignores contrary information that should negate his hypothesis.


He has never provided any kind of evidence to pull that off. I suggest it’s because he doesn’t know the fiddle, had no idea what theology says, he wouldn’t’ “cheery picking’ (read with sarcastic nasal twang) if it bit him I the ass!

He quotes nothing! He did not research it himself. He’s asserting it but he doesn’t know the field as I do, so he’s totally in the dark and he’s guessing.



I only bring this up because Metacrock tried to call foul when I said his scholarship was “unwarranted” and “demonstrat(ed) a level of scholarship that may pass in theology but doesn’t come close to what one would expected in other disciplines.”


Let’s put a crock in this lie right now. Theology is exacting it’s heavily schoalry and it retirees the utmost learning, scholshirp and ability in academic subjects. Theologian are origin prototype of schoarlship. They invented it! Theologians kept learning alive in the dark ages, they were the monks that copies the manuscripts and kept the Vikings form burning them.

Every major university in the world has theology. Let’s seem him go enroll at Oxford and see what kind of Grades he makes. Let’s see him go to Northwestern and pass even scrape by with a C.

Perkins has hard requirements. Students who made A’s in state university made B’s at Perkins. You couldn’t even stay in with a C.

He wants to talk about scholarship, does he really understand that word? I showed in my last speech that his scholarship is lacking in numerous respects. He doesn’t understand what the McNamara book says, or even that it’s an anthology. He doesn’t understand the distinction between Newberg’s research and Hoods. He doesn’t’ get that McNamara’s article doesn’t’ apply to the M scale, or to mystical experience. He actually thought that article could be used against Hood, that’s really major proof that he didn’t read the article.


I believe this is fair, particularly when Metacrock accused me of “bad schoarlarship” (sic) and “complete intellectual dishonesty.” I just think it is amusing to point out the hypocrisy.


go lok at the book. His ignorance speaks for itself.

SCIENCE
Science is just a method of measuring things and figuring out how the world works. When I stated before that, “Origins are best explained by physicists, biologists, and chemists who have a proven track record for success, objectively reliable methods, and convincing, though tentative, theories,” and “questions of why are arguably meaningless.” Metacrock created another straw man by claiming I said “He argues that science is able to settle and umpire all questoni (sic) including the big one’s that totall (sic) out of its domain about why we are here and what life is about.” As I stated before, I don’t believe Metacrock represents all theists and I would never accuse the average theist of resorting to these sorts of mischaracterizations. What I do believe is that by using clear language and proven strategies for gathering information belief in the various orthodox understandings of (G)od is unwarranted.


Look at what he didn’t say. I said science doesn’t’ tell us about origins, that’s not its domain. It is not about why the world exits. Science is about how the natural physical world works. They talk about the origin of the universe through cosmology but not from the stand point of ruling on the existence o God. They are not in the business of tell us “there is no reason for the universe to be here it just is, they say “form a scientific standpoint we cant’ say why the universe is here.” I don’t think any real scientists will even attempt to say “science job is to rule out God.” The idiot Dawkins may say that but I said Major scientist.

That will never be science’s job. He totally leaves this out. I said he can’t use science to determine God or religious belief, he didn’t disprove that, he’s trying to imply that he can but he didn’t take it up directly because he knows he’s wrong; that is not science’s domain.

HINDUISM
Because Metacrock refused to defend any orthodox understanding of (G)od and insisted that all religions are somehow one and the same I classified his beliefs as Hinduism. This orthodox religion, or more correctly collection of religions, accepts all religions as fundamentally the same. A Hindu understanding of (G)od would admittedly be difficult to challenge as less intellectually honest than atheism.



Every single time he’s mentioned orhtodxy he’s lied about my not representing it. He’s never dealt with my position on it. He’s mentoned this tpic numeroius times in this speech, he didn’t answer my long senerio about the nature of religion and the single reality behind them all, never even said a word about it, then he spends the rest of the time pretending I didn’t talk about it.

I told in that first speech the reason I was saying all that was because the reality behind the religions and the experience of it (which is mystical experience, peak experience, and sense of the numinous) stands in place of a formal orthodoxy.

He was so muddled about weather he wanted an inter-faith Orthodoxy or orthodoxy of each religion that agree that he created a total muddle of the whole issue. I said in my first speech that expeince and unity of idea is more important than a formal orhtodxy. If they are all talking about the same thing beyond all the faiths what difference does it make if they have a formal orthodoxy or not. I proved in several ways that this is the case:

(1) mystical experience (I documented Hood in the McNamara book that he didn’t read)
(2) Newberg saying they all have the idea of God as being itself
(3) The Hindu guy saying there gods are different aspect of the same energy that’s behind all faiths.
(4) He gives no answer, the never mentioned it then goes on babbaling about I didn’t say anything!


Though Metacrock believes I am unread and am only aware of Christian fundamentalism I am actually very familiar with Hinduism.


apparently not.


I have read enough Hindu philosophy and holy texts to know that there is no monolithic idea of Hinduism. I am aware that Hindu “theologians” contradict each other constantly and anyone who listens to one Yogi and thinks they understand Hinduism is woefully unfamiliar with the subject. Metacrock’s understanding of that religion seems to be limited to the specific beliefs of a friend of his who has told him that the “Hindus gods are energies.”


what’s going on is since my worthy opponent is a fundie, as an atheist he’s a Dawkie, (Dawkamentalist—not an insult –per se just an analogue to Christian fundamentalist) he examines the Hindu fundies. He reads the classical text (he claims he does) but he doesn’t know what the modern hindu’s believe.

I quoted one. I quoted an expert on their faith.

Not being satisfied with regaling me with a condescending and grossly inadequate primer on a subject that I have taught at university, Metacrock felt the needed to tell me that this is a “little thing called ‘learning,’ which I think [Blondie] is just discovering and hasn’t quite got the hang of.”


I referred to his pretense about the NcNamara book. He totally got wrong what the article was about and what it said. I admit I was somewhat sarcastic but no more so than he was insulting. He said my scholarship is bad, that’s obviously designed to be insulting to me.

He made it personal. He did not have to say my scholarship is bad he chose to put it on that level knowing how I would take it. He did that first. My statements were response to that. YOU CAN PROVE IT! GO LOOK> READ THE SPEECH AGAIN!



METACROCK’S THEOLOGY
After accusing me of “intellectual dishonesty,” Metacrtock decided he needed to p reach his unique version of religion again. It can fairly be classified as one of many varieties of liberal Christianity and is a much newer version of that religion than the equally unorthodox fundamentalism he seems to be obsessed with. Metacrock embraces the universality of Hinduism as do many new age understandings of religion and bases much of his theology on the work of Paul Tillich who reduced the Christian idea of (G)od to the impersonal concept of “the Ground of Being,” or “Being Itself.”



I quote a list of theologians the oldest one being St. Augustine who lived in the 300-400s. Most of those I quoted were in the fisrst six centuries of the church. The argument that I’m representing some new dal is just BS.

The orthodox nature of my view is also neither here nor there because he has not connected newness to dishonesty. He has done nothing at all to set up a standard or show why orthodoxy is important. Why is being new dishonest?

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/top ... d-of-being

That’s an article from Britanica but that’s not good enough. That’s not an official source for theology. He needs to quote Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology. That sources says basically p 241 says that the modern movement of the 20th century is toward ideas of existentialism and that has influenced for Tillich and being itself and the such ideas.

Though every version of orthodox Christianity that I am aware of believes in a personal (G)od, Metacrock chooses to embrace a new age philosophy that uses the language of Christianity to reconcile itself with 20th century thought.



[url]http://books.google.ca/books?id=PN7UMUTBBPAC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=true[/quote]



But Blondie is not a theologian is he? Does have a master’s degree theology like I do. No. He doesn’t know what it says. I quote Christians major one’s from the 400s, 500s, 600,s middle ages all saying God is being itself.

(1) he doesn’t know what it means
(2) he doesn’t know what Christian orthodoxy is.
(3) I quoted Timothy ware trying to sell the Orthodox church to America saying “we believe in God as being itself.”
(4) I quoted a scholar saying Vatical II affirmas God as being iself.
(5) Why is that not orthodoxy?

He has never clarified or dealt with the orthodoxy issue in this debate. He muddled it from the being and he’s never clarified it. It’s a little late now. This is why he’s lost.

You should say he’s lost right now because of that.


According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Probably the theologian Paul Tillich was a pantheist in little more than this minimal sense and his characterizing God as the ground of being has no clear meaning. The unanswerable question ‘Why is there anything at all?’ may give us mystical or at any rate dizzy feelings but such feelings do not differentiate the pantheist from the atheist.”

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/



One thing it’s not going to say is that Tillich is wrong or that he doesn’t’ represent a major trend. The Western dictionary says he does. It says Tillich in the major flow. I want Blondie to read his Stadnard article again because it doesn’t’ say Tillich is a panethist. Tillich specifically arugues against Patneism I can site chapter and verse (see Systematic vol 3 page 241).

What the article says is “Pan[/b]EN[/b]theism.” Huge difference and if he knew theology he would know that. That’s famous that Tilich was a panENtheist.

Blondie imagines that “personal God” is orthodoxy because that’s what he learned about as a fudnie. That’s not good enough because the fudnies are not well educated. Get it? They don’t know nuth’n that’s why they are fundies!

Tillich corrects this misimpression in his article to Einstein that I quoted from just recently. When he says God is transcendent of personality but that’s not the same as a dead impersonal force:

http://being.publicradio.org/programs/einsteinsgod/tillich-einsteinresponse.shtml

what he talking about is the real Christian orthodoxy of the early centuries of Platonist Christianity.

I wont get another speech so he will say who knows what probably ignore it but remember this: true Christian orthodoxy is the church as it was when eh creeds were written and when the canon of NT was drawn up. That was the Platonisitic church that did that. That’s the view Tillich is trying to bring up into the 20th century. You have to read the article above to see that.

It’s complex I just got through writnig a book about it and saying this a distillation of that work which took three years. This is book 2 not the experience book.


Metacrock also listed a group of theologians who he claims, without support, agree with his 20th century version of (G)od. This could actually be relevant to the debate but he provides no supporting data.


I don’t need to supply to supply supporting data. The list includes people famously are known for the position like Augie who Tillich quotes and Dionysus. Tillich’s word we may take prm facie because he was one of the top scholars and most respected theologians of the 20th century.



Very well, not a new argument but an extension:

Tillich in Theology of Culture p12-13 sites Augustine:


Augustine, after he had experienced all the implications of ancient skepticism, gave a classical answer to the problem of the two absolutes: they coincide in the nature of truth. Veritas is presupposed in ever philosophical argument; and veritas is God. You cannot deny truth as such because you could do it only in the name of truth, thus establishing truth. And if you establish truth you affirm God. “Where I have found the truth there I have found my God, the truth itself,” Augustine says. The question of the two Ultimates is solved in such a way that the religious Ultimate is presupposed in every philosophical question, including the question of God. God is the presupposition of the question of God. This is the ontological solution of the problem of the philosophy of religion. God can never be reached if he is the object of a question and not its basis.



a second source confirming Austine:

…St. Augustine’s view that God is being itself is based partly upon Platonism (“God is that which truly is” and partly on the Bible—“I am that I am”). The transcendence of time as a condition of full reality is a central theme…[in Augustine’s work].
Reality: Readings in Phlosophy. Indianapolis, Indiana:Hackett Pulbishing company, inc. Carl Avren Levenson, John Westphal, editors, 1994, 54

Timothy Ware in the Orthdoxy Chruch sites Gregory of Nissa in his statement about the Orthodox understanding God of the Order of being itself. (p64-65). Tillich sites Clement of Alexandria in history of Christian thought.

That should be enough to establish that I know what I’m talking about.






I find it hard to believe Martin Luther or Thomas Aquinas would agree with Metacrock’s idea of (G)od. [/qutoe]

why would you find that hard to believe? I have a masters degree in the field why wouldn’t I know something about it? It’s not as though Martin Luther agreed with me personally. The point is Blondie doesn’t know theology and I do!


Tillich history of Christian theology 247


Luther was one of Tillich’s heroes, he was Lutheran, so it’s only natural that he would his major idea in Luther’s work. Perhaps he’s reading it in, but it does show us what Tillich believed, whether or not it shows us what Luther thought. Tillich believed that Luther had one of the most profound conceptions of God in human history. Tillich quotes Luther:

Luther Denies everything which could make God finite, or a being beside others. ‘Nothing is so small, God is even smaller. Nothing is so Large God is even larger.’ ‘He is an unspeakable being, above and outside everything we can name and think. Who knows what this is, which is called-- God?’ ‘It is beyond body, beyond spirit, beyond everything we can see, hear and think.’ He makes the great statement that God is nearer to all creatures then they are to themselves.
‘God has found a way that his own divine essence can be completely in all creatures, and in everyone especially, deeper, more internally, more present than the creature is to itself an at the same time and at the same time no where and can’t be comprehended by anyone so that he embraces all things and is within them. God is at the same time in every piece of sand totally, and nevertheless in all above all and out of all creatures.’

Tillich continues:

In these formulae the only conflict between theistic and pantheistic tendencies is solved; they show the greatness of God, the inescapability of his presence, and at the same time his absolute transcendence. I would say very dogmatically that any doctrine of God that leaves out one of these elements does not really speak of God but of something less than God. (emphasis mine).





I’m sure any imaginative person could cherry pick quotes but that would not be intellectually honest. All new religions imagine themselves to have long and noble histories by co-opting older traditions.



He’s poisoning the well. Anything I say in answer must be wrong because I’m bad. I’m just (read with sarcastic nasal twang) “cherry picking.” What does this guy know abou tit? Does he know the field. No. He’s never read a major theologian. I have a Masters in the field. I know what the field says. He has no reason to assume that I’m not careful as a scholar. What we have seen in this debate he doesn’t even understand the articles he reads.



INSULTS
Next my opponent continues his conversation with the straw man he has constructed by imagining I am only familiar with fundamentalist Christianity.


that is not an insult sweetie that is a straight forward commentary on the state of your lack of knowledge. If it was an insult I would say you are stupid. As it Is I’m just saying you are not well read and you are not careful.

He still can’t fathom the term orthodox though I think almost any dictionary definition would do. I can’t imagine he would fain ignorance, but one has to wonder why he agreed to the debate in the first place.


what I understand of orthodox is not the issue. The issue is what he understands and what he argues and what he proves.

(1) hes’ been nothing but muddled about what he’s arguing.
(2) He’s cling to this one issue throughout this speech and totally ignored what most of my first speech was about because it was this issue and it did clarify my posting and he never answered it and that’s why he has lost. Too late now. New in rebuttals.

He elaborated on his straw man.

M: “he thinks religion is about communicating through holy books”


that is just what he said. I quoted his speech.




M: “That’s his model of religion that’s just the American fundamentalist mentality,which is probably the only religion he’s ever studied. He has not studied Hinudism, he’s just compared what little he’s read of it as though it were American protestant fundamentalism.”




sigh.

Go head and sigh that is not an argument. I read Bhagavad-Gita in high school. I was reading the Uponishods the summer I graduated from high school. I don’t find the things you say about Hinduism impressive. I quoted an expert which has not responded to.

M: “I talk about the universality of all religion being in the need to define the human problematic and to mediate transformation. He does not even touch that/s that’s the orthodoxy not the communication in holy books and all that stuff. He doesn’t even mention it!”

Blondie: I tried to let him defend Hinduism as an orthodox religion that believes in the universality of all religions. He chose to stick to liberal Christianity. All orthodox versions of that religion I am aware of believe in exclusivity. If Metacrock wants to make a case for universalism that he could rationalize as orthodox somehow that would be fine, but he seems to prefer to go off on random tangents.



He’s totally ignoring my quote from the Hindu expert, see 2NC

by Dr. R. K. Lahri
[url]http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=1241
[/url]
The Supreme is enshrined in the hearts of all He alone is the Supreme Reality. So renounce and rejoice in Him and covet not.

In the Vedas, we find nowhere any such mention which may be concluded to show that Hinduism believes in more Gods than one. Vedas, Upanishads and all other authorized scriptures clearly speak of One God and the only God that permeates the universe. He is the Supreme Being – Yajurveda (XLI) says, ”By one supreme Ruler is the universe pervaded. Even every world in the whole circle of nature, He is the True God... For Him, O Man, covet not unjustly the wealth of any creature existing. Renounce all that is unjust and enjoy pure delight, true spiritual happiness.”


What do you suppose this guy means when he says “Hinduism doesn’t believe I more God’s than one/” obviously he has to mean they are all different aspects of the same one. That’ the arguments I made.

It doesn’t matter if I’m wrong because he never connects that belief to dishonesty. He never demonstrates why believing that is dishonest. He never connects lack of Orthodoxy to dishonesty.


M: I ground the universality in brain function ala Newberg and in mystical experience and the reaction to it ala Hood. He says nothing at all about that. He totally ignores and misses my entire response and my counter theory about how to understand orthodoxy.
[Blondie](5) It’s too late for him to do that because it’s now rebuttals and those will be new arguments.
sorry doing it right is just part of debate. New argument in rebuttals is a no no. I pointed that several times.”


this guys a big confussed about what’s going on. He’s probably not read my whole speech way back in the 1NC my first speech. I have done just that in every speech I made. I’ve argued that from the very first speech I’ve mentioned it every single time he has talked about this issue in this debate. Every time I was referring back to my firs speech. This just shows that he doesn’t read the while speech (another treat of true scholarship)

After a thousand non-sequiturs and red herrings Metacrock has yet to even give a definition for his unorthodox definition of orthodoxy, provide any understanding of (G)od that fits into that orthodoxy much less prove why it is more reasonable to believe in it than not.


Here he repeats himself again, we went through song and dance 14 times above, I’m going to say the same things again. This is why he lost, he clings to this one issue like grim death because he doesn’t know what to say to my other stuff that he never answered from the first speech.

guess wht’s missing here guys? McNamara! He totally ignores the McNamara book hoping I’ll forget it because he embarrassed himself so badly.

(1) He didn’t understand what it was about, he thought it was about mystical experience when it was about the kind of research newberg does
(2) He didn’t understand that distinction anyway
(3) He didn’t get that it was an anthology with differing views
(4) He didn’t connect his attacks to the major issues I do
(5) The major one is that Hood is in the third volume of McNamara and he there publishes the article about the universal nature of religious experience. That establishes the pass for Orthodoxy because it means they are all relating to the same reality behind all the faiths. He doesn’t argue about that, he doesn’t say a word about it and it disproves the only argument he has!
(6) That in and of itself is reason enough to say he lost the debate and he totally buries the issue.



Metacrock, opens his rebuttal by reestablishing his straw man of me as a fundamentalist Christian. Then he moves into a grade school lesson in comparative religion designed to educate the straw man.


He has done nothing to disprove the charge. Look at the basic argument he makes. I have to have orthodoxy to spunge off of or my God can’t be held. Who ever thought of such a idea? It’s absurd. Orthodoxy means (I said this in the fist speech and he dropped never answered it) that within a traditions one is in line with the tradition. How does that work on an inter-faith basis? He never gave criteria. That in self loses him the debate because it means his major argument is detached form the issues.



After claiming that I am arguing that the various holy books of the world’s religions are supposed to be inerrant he claimed that I am wrong about this. Of course many Christians believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and certainly many Muslims believe in the inerrancy of the Koran, but this has nothing to do with my argument. If Metacrock was arguing for the (G)od of Islam then possibly inerrancy might be an issue, but I don’t consider fundamentalist Christianity orthodox, though I do believe it is possible to make a case for it.


I quoted his argument from his speech.

Next he has trouble with my calling prayer, chanting, and meditation communication with the divine. He also now starts referring to what I have called peak experiences as mystical experiences. This only confuses the issue. By calling peak experiences mystical he can ignore my observations about comparisons to musicians and the fact that atheists have these experiences too.


I never said that. He totally mis understands the issues.

I myself, as have countless atheists, have prayed and participated in various religious rituals and found the experience lacking. Admittedly many, including myself, see benefits in yoga and meditation but I hardly see this as being an argument for Metacrock’s case, whatever that might be.


Anecdotal. Proves nothing, it can’t outweigh a huge body of empirical studies, but it’s also new in rebottles.

I and many other atheists have had peak experiences. Personally I recognized it as what it was, realized how someone ignorant of the nature of the phenomenon might define it within a certain cultural construct such as religion. I even recognized that I was defining it within the construct of my own atheism. I don’t see how this can be used as an argument for any orthodox understanding of (G)od.


he does not have a score on the M scale to prove that. Even if it’s true It’s just anecdotal. You cant’ base a conclusion on one guy.
He’s real unbiased isn’t’ he? He’s only trying to prove I’m an idiot because he hates me because I’ showed up his arrogance on the regular boards. He wouldn’t admit I’m right if he experienced my rights in his alleged mystical experience and knew I was right. He’s totally biased and what he experienced proves nothing. Look I’m not appealing to my experiences. I’m not saying ‘I experienced this.” I’m willing to use object scientific evidence.

After a few more insults my opponent concluded his rebuttal with:


I did not insult him. I pointed out his flaws of scholarship as he died to do for me. He did it in a way that is insulting and he knows it.

Meta:“what is most crucial to remember Is that even if I’m wrong about what I’m saying that doesn’t make me dishonest. He has failed to prove that religious belief is dishonest. That means he has not proved that atheist is the most honest.”

Blondie: As I have repeatedly stated. I don’t consider Metacrock dishonest though that has nothing to do with the debate. He has yet to produce any argument that belief in any of the many orthodox understandings of (G)od are more intellectually honest than lack of belief.


It is of no importance. We are not debating our opinions of one anther. All that matter is how he defends his thesis. He can’t even present it coherently.


one last thought to leave you with, he keeps denying that he's says I'm dishonest. if he doesn't say it then loses because you can only establish the honesty of a philosophical in relation to the relative dishonesty of other potions. IF he's not saying that my position is relatively dishonest then he's not proving that atheism is the most intellectually honest position.


I just kicked this twerpts ass.

see why I won:

http://www.doxa.ws/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1497&p=18023#p18023
Have Theology, Will argue: wire Metacrock
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby QuantumTroll on Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:04 am

So, this debate has run its course, has it? It's a lot to read, so I'll make a ruling as to "who started it" when I've had time to read it all.

Edit: There's more to come, so I'll keep mum until then. No need to hurry...
Last edited by QuantumTroll on Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby QuantumTroll on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:38 am

Thanks to both of you for finishing the debate civilly :)

In this post I'll try to summarize my take on the arguments in this debate and announce a "winner", if there is to be such. If I say something you disagree with, kindly go ahead and complain and maybe we'll all learn something.

1. Blondie argued that weak atheism (i.e. a lack of belief in an established religion or faith) is more intellectually honest than any belief in an established religion because such a belief requires a leap of faith. Leaps of faith are not quite intellectually honest and should be minimized.

2. Metacrock's counterpoints centered around two main elements.
a. Orthodox religions can be considered in a more liberal light than Blondie admits.
b. Phenomena like peak experiences and unexplained miracles (e.g. at Lourdes) are indications of some sort of spirituality.
Taken together, these counterpoints mean that the leap of faith required for theists aren't as large, and perhaps that a leap of faith is required even for atheists [I don't recall actually seeing this last conclusion, but it was at least implied].

Did I get this about right? I know I'm skipping a lot of stuff, but this seems to me to be the core of your positions.

Assuming my summary is correct, I'd say you both did well as debaters, but for what it's worth I'd call Blondie the winner of the debate. My motivation follows:
I accept Blondie's argument that belief in an orthodox religion requires a leap of faith. This argument was very well-supported, and you'll find few theists who will disagree. By delimiting the debate topic to orthodox religions, we're no longer talking about Metacrock's personal faith or pantheism, panentheism, and similarly liberal beliefs. Metacrock's counterpoint (2a) is aimed directly at reframing the debate, allowing more liberal beliefs with less of a leap of faith into the discussion. I'm no expert, but I'm inclined to stick with Blondie's original intention and only consider more orthodox beliefs because they're huge and important schools of thought even in the 21st century.
Metacrock's other counterpoint about peak experiences, mysticism, and miracles would be a great point to bring up if the debate had been framed differently, but here it misses the mark. Whereas it might be natural and highly intellectually honest to believe that something fantastic lies behind these sorts phenomena, it's a substantial leap of faith to go all the way to specific tradition involving e.g. scriptures and holy trinities.

In short, Blondie wins the debate because it wasn't about the thing that Metacrock perhaps wanted it to be about.
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby Metacrock on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:16 am

QuantumTroll wrote:Thanks to both of you for finishing the debate civilly :)

In this post I'll try to summarize my take on the arguments in this debate and announce a "winner", if there is to be such. If I say something you disagree with, kindly go ahead and complain and maybe we'll all learn something.

1. Blondie argued that weak atheism (i.e. a lack of belief in an established religion or faith) is more intellectually honest than any belief in an established religion because such a belief requires a leap of faith. Leaps of faith are not quite intellectually honest and should be minimized.

2. Metacrock's counterpoints centered around two main elements.
a. Orthodox religions can be considered in a more liberal light than Blondie admits.
b. Phenomena like peak experiences and unexplained miracles (e.g. at Lourdes) are indications of some sort of spirituality.
Taken together, these counterpoints mean that the leap of faith required for theists aren't as large, and perhaps that a leap of faith is required even for atheists [I don't recall actually seeing this last conclusion, but it was at least implied].

Did I get this about right? I know I'm skipping a lot of stuff, but this seems to me to be the core of your positions.

Assuming my summary is correct, I'd say you both did well as debaters, but for what it's worth I'd call Blondie the winner of the debate. My motivation follows:
I accept Blondie's argument that belief in an orthodox religion requires a leap of faith. This argument was very well-supported, and you'll find few theists who will disagree. By delimiting the debate topic to orthodox religions, we're no longer talking about Metacrock's personal faith or pantheism, panentheism, and similarly liberal beliefs. Metacrock's counterpoint (2a) is aimed directly at reframing the debate, allowing more liberal beliefs with less of a leap of faith into the discussion. I'm no expert, but I'm inclined to stick with Blondie's original intention and only consider more orthodox beliefs because they're huge and important schools of thought even in the 21st century.
Metacrock's other counterpoint about peak experiences, mysticism, and miracles would be a great point to bring up if the debate had been framed differently, but here it misses the mark. Whereas it might be natural and highly intellectually honest to believe that something fantastic lies behind these sorts phenomena, it's a substantial leap of faith to go all the way to specific tradition involving e.g. scriptures and holy trinities.

In short, Blondie wins the debate because it wasn't about the thing that Metacrock perhaps wanted it to be about.



yoyu are arging fr him. you are taking positions he did not develop clearly and you are extended on them in ways he did not.

you are debating for him.

I never said you place is say who won. I did not ask you to critique the date. your only place was to say who Rutledge first.

it's a clearly matter of reading the order of the words to see he broke the agreement up frnot.
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Re: Affirmative: Blondie vs Negative: Metacrock

Postby Metacrock on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am

the deal was never fr QT to say who won! never never never it was only regulate the insults I made that totally abortively clear.
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