Posts Tagged by skepticism
|July 22, 2011||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, atheism, Blog, Creationism, evolution, homosexuality, scientism|
The media knows that they have a significant role in shaping public opinion. They know that if they don’t report the ‘minority’ position you, my dear reader, will likely never hear it. If you are lucky enough to ever hear it, they can count on you to dismiss it without further thought, “If it was a valid viewpoint it would be in the papers” “This flies in the face of the scientific consensus, you idiot! They said RIGHT ON THE BBC that this is the SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS!” or “Why would the governments of the world be pushing this way if it weren’t true?”
But this article allows one to pull back the curtain, just a shade, to see the truth. They are manipulating you. You are being manipulated. You are a regular reader of the news and keep abreast of current affairs by watching the nightly news. You think you are informed. You aren’t. You are a gullible dolt being led by the nose by the powers that be to believe just whatever it is they want you to believe right now. At least, that is what the media thinks, and this article implies. And why would they think that way if it weren’t true?
|May 23, 2011||Posted by Anthony under Blog, Creationism, evolution, General, philosophy, scientism, Secular Humanism|
It’s easy to be a skeptic because it is much easier to not believe something as to believe it. Skepticism has no non-arbitrary stopping point. That is, full blooded skepticism will naturally morph into cynicism. There is no objective point where any kind of argument, piece of evidence, or logical deduction must coerce belief. This is a point I raise in this post. Many skeptics construe their skepticism as an act of courage, as though being willing to question everything shows a brave streak that others do not have. To a point, there is courage… and in a way, yes, there is something to that.
However, if it is brave to question everything it is braver still to believe anything. Let me illustrate.
|March 27, 2011||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, atheism, Blog, Creationism, evolution, politics, science, scientism, Secular Humanism|
if one applies a higher standard of inquiry against claims that they might deem extraordinary, then claims they find to be ordinary will ordinarily be accepted- without demonstration at all. Here again we see skepticism turned on its head: the skeptic is not skeptical about the things he is prepared already to believe. It is only the things he deems unlikely that he is skeptical about- God alone knows how the skeptic determined something was ‘unlikely.’
It is a fact of human nature, I think, to quickly accept things that one is already prepared to accept. If I am told tomorrow that some Democrat in high office has failed to pay his taxes- again- I will pretty much accept it as a fact because I have become accustomed to Democrats doing such things (eg here, here, here, and here). We should expect nothing less from the people who believe that we should all pay higher taxes; by ‘we all’ it is known they mean us all. I am prepared to believe it as a pretty ordinary claim in the realm of things and therefore will demand very little evidence to support it. So you see, I am not exempting myself from this human tendency.
|March 1, 2011||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, atheism, evolution, intelligent design, Knights of Contention, philosophy, science, scientism, theology|
This ministry hosts a regular online round table discussing matters of substance and controversy. Christians and NonChristians are invited but it is not necessarily an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ debate. Past topics have included matters of controversy only amongst Christians and due to the flexibility of the discussion, topics can change on a dime. The next…
|March 1, 2011||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, atheism, Blog, Christianity and Culture, General, Jesus, literary apologetics, scientism, Secular Humanism|
Over the last three hundred years unbounded skepticism has been applied to religion and Christianity especially. Atheist philosopher David Hume was one of the prominent voices calling for stringent criteria in evaluating miracle claims, and the like. Not everyone thought very highly of this criteria. One such person was the Reverend Richard Whately, who skewers Hume’s reasoning by showing how if it were applied consistently, one could not be reasonably certain that Napoleon existed- a public figure that was said to be alive and roaming Europe even as he spoke!
This playful little book is not a treatise by any means, but it provides a glimpse into the conversations of the 1800s and challenges the ‘enlightened’ skeptics to decide: If they won’t apply their principles thoroughly and consistently, but choose only to apply them to certain claims (and how did they choose which ones?), are those principles worth their salt?
|May 28, 2009||Posted by Anthony under apologetics, atheism, Blog, General|
Barker’s Challenge explicitly says: “…without omitting a single detail…write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension… [it] does not have to pretend to present a perfect picture- it only needs to give at least one plausible account of all of the facts. … The important condition to the challenge, however, is that not one single biblical detail be omitted.”
Who among us is surprised to hear that by ‘plausible’ Barker basically means ‘naturalistic explanations’? Even I, I mean, even I, was shocked to hear Barker dismiss the plausibility of Kingsley’s chronology because, well, one must adopt a naturalistic perspective of what counts as ‘plausible’! Unbelievable! Consider this exchange leading into Part 2: [More...]
Dan: Yes. But we’re not there yet. In order for your evidence to be admissible, you have to produce a coherent, noncontradictory, plausible version of it.
Elizabeth: And that is the point of your Easter Challenge. I understand. So the only way for us to proceed is to assume that we are both naturalists, simply looking at the details of the stories themselves, on their own merits.
Dan: Yes. That’s all I was trying to say.