It’s come to my attention that my brother, “Pastor” Mike- in the course of a slurry of new blog posts against atheism -continues to labor under the delusion (illusion?) that I “conceded” in the course of a debate on his All Souls I-Net church blog last year. This is to correct that mal-perception, and indicate that any “concession” transpired exclusively in Mike’s confused mind, not in any way by me.
In the exchange – which I had with Mike and an equally impervious cohort named Renee- the debate ranged from issues of the definition of atheist and agnostic (in which I offered standard definitions) to the question of atheist morality to whether Albert Einstein was in any manner a god believer or remote religionist. In the latter case I presented actual quotes from Einstein (from his book ‘Ideas and Opinions’) to show how both Mike and Renee had skewed their interpretations to what THEY wanted. Einstein had no truck with any personal deity and certainly accepted no afterlife.
Using my final contribution to his "I-Net" site (which I happened to save), I now document word for word what I actually wrote and readers can judge for themselves whether I at any time used the term “concession” or "concede":
Mike wrote: "Phil ,stated in his post that atheism is NOT a "religion" , but it IS - because , as my 'brother' Rene said , it's a worldview . "
NO, NO AND NO!!!! A "worldview" is NOT a religion!!!! THIS is exactly why it is impossible to conduct a productive debate with you both because you incessantly conflate and obscure words, definitions and terms (as your "brother" Rene with 'atheist')
You corrupt all debates by the misuse of terms and then render them useless. Look, a WORLDVIEW is a WORLDVIEW. For example, the worldview of neo-liberal capitalism which extols the free market is just that - NOT a religion.
If we continue to confuse worldviews and religions and use these terms interchangeably then we confuse and corrupt thought and make all languages more debased and impoverished than it is.
BUT I am thankful to Mike for showing in the clearest terms yet why debates are impossible and indeed futile with him so long as he engages in these tactics.
Note the words used above. MIKE showing in clearest terms WHY debates are IMPOSSIBLE. Let's go on:
"So , I , MYSELF ask , can the atheist present a logical reason how his worldview can account for the abstract laws of logic?"
This is another example. He is using CIRCULAR reasoning here, basically asking the atheist to use LOGIC (present a logical reason) to account for the LAWS of logic. This again is unworthy of him. One cannot use or invoke circular reasoning by invoking a mechanism, in this case logic, to explain logic!!! This is what we call making a meta-statement which only ensures one remains within a closed loop.
IF now Mike asks how rational thought came to arise, we can provide an answer. And let us bear in mind that logic is an outcome of rational thought. IF one is therefore irrational one cannot employ logic.
The answer is that in the course of brain evolution certain specific neurons developed in a new layer ( the neo-cortex) and from here the ability for abstract thought (which includes logic) ensued.
Once more this is a sterling illustration of why debate is futile. Since in one of my first comments to Mike I referenced the book that explained all this, 'The Evolution of Consciousness' by Robert Ornstein.
Again, attend to the language-words used. At no time or point is "concession" or "I concede" ever used. What I was asserting is that debate was futile. If one persists in relying on strawmen, red herrings, malpropisms, circular logic, appeal to authority, ignotum per ignotius - or no logic- then, as Isaac Asimov once noted, "rational debate is futile". Asimov also added that: "in any irrational 'debate' - the irrationalist will always have more comebacks simply because there is more irrational gibberish in the world than rational substance. Just as garbage grows exponentially from simple consumption - so does irrationality from the inability to exercise critical thinking ( from the Lecture at Queen's Park - Barbados, Feb. 1975)
Saying a debate is futile , then, is not the same as a concession! It is saying that an activity (in this case a putative "debate") is sterile, unproductive and useless. It also carries the subtext that the person you are directing arguments act is incapable of making equal, substantive arguments in return. In other words, it's a waste of time. Einstein was the one who also made the famous remark:
"When the same action is repeated over and over without success and the outcome is the same each time, that defines insanity".
So my ending debate was simply to terminate the insanity ongoing with Mike and his disciple, Renee. The insanity of them using the same circular arguments and nonsense and not getting anywhere - just wasting time. Mike, in his fervid, delusionary hallucinations, has wrongly interpreted that as "concession". (He actually apparently even goes to a dictionary in one of his blog posts - which is of course, useless since I myself never used the term - hence the meaning of the word is not at issue but his interpretation of simply rescinding a bad judgment: to wit, to rationally attempt to engage Mike & Renee in the first place.
We go on (this segment had to do with Einstein and God):
In truth and in fact then, IF Einstein were alive today and writing this, he'd be just as excoriated on Mike's "False Doctrines" page as Mormons, Catholics and atheists are now.
I do hope he finally processes this without adding any more confusion, when in his lead-in comments to this blog he promised to mainly stay out of it. His incessant intrusions only show he is not only hyper-religious but a control freak as well.
And this IS my final post.
If again people superimpose their own subjective meanings and interpretations on words, we get no where. No logical or rational exchange is feasible. My hope is that one day, my zealous brother will at least spend as much time taking a course or two in Logic (and mayhap some basic science) as he spends devoted to his bible and attacking any form or manifestation of belief (or unbelief) that doesn't bear him imprimatur.
But I am not too confident this can be the case, especially - since our father's untimely departure from this world - he seems to have grown even more combative (against atheism and atheists - with posts including images of boxing gloves) and hyper-religious.
I have been advised to moderate the comments to this blog on account of several spurious, attempted comments that appear to have originated from Chinese or Japanese sources. So, henceforth, all comments will be assessed first, and if they are warranted to add to or enhance the discussion, or the main article- will be allowed. If not, they won't be posted.