Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Tried to Warn Him (2)

Now, having taken "Pastor" who-me? down for the count again, we continue exposing his commentary against Caleb Shay's answers for the codswallop it is.

Q8 : Let's assume , for the sake of argument here , that this was indeed a "perfect" world . With no evil , hate , wars , crime , natural disasters , etc.. would you THEN believe in God ? If not , why ?

CALEB'S ANSWER : No, because such a perfect world might just be one of the billions that naturally arise in the multiverse. (See copernicus’ blog on that!)

Pastor Mickey Mouse again:

Here again , you give the quintessential politicians answer by 'tap-dancing' around the question . Also , you say "such a perfect world might just be..." Well , gee , I "might" just be" a multi-millionaire this time tomorrow - but I seriously doubt it . Also I'll refer you back to my comments on Q4 . Also , as for suggesting I see "copernicus’ blog on that!" - I have - and it's garbage too ! “

So, here we have Pastor Mikey calling a fellow Christian (the physicist Frank Tipler) "garbage". Can you get much lower than that? What next, will he dispatch Prof. Tipler to "Hell" along with atheists, agnostics, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists and Hindus?

Again, it isn’t even Caleb defending this (though he could have more specifically referenced the link!) but Christian physicist Frank Tipler! As I pointed out in my blog on the multiverse, in terms of the problem of evil:

As Tipler puts it (from his ‘Physics of Christianity’, page 239):

In the multiverse, all universes consistent with physical law actually exist. All human-caused evils could have been avoided, because human-caused decisions to act one way or another are only made after the constraints of physical law are taken into account. ....Therefore, there is a universe in which Hitler never rose to power and the Holocaust never happened. There is a universe where none of the evil empires that have murdered people in our universe ever arose. There is no evidence that any human caused evil is required by physical law.Therefore, there is at least one universe in which no human evil ever occurred....”

In other words, a perfect universe! Thus, in a multiverse, there is no reason why all possible plants and animals - as well as all possible humans - must exist! As well as all possible planets, both perfect (no earthquakes, or tidal waves, or massive destructive storms, tornadoes) and imperfect ...... . The permutations simply make it a certitude that at least one such universe will emerge. Indeed, as Tipler points out it must - since otherwise a putatively "infinite and all-powerful" deity would have shown itself incapable of making even one perfect universe out of gazillions!

This isn’t “tap dancing” but a direct result of the nature of a brane collision in the initial negative vacuum energy state leading to the spontaneous creation of over 10^54 universes of all possible specifications and forms.

Q9 : You state there are no moral absolutes . Is THAT an absolute statement ? YES OR NO ! If no , why ?

CALEB'S ANSWER : No, it’s a statement about an absolute statement – a different thing. Also, there are multiple ways of expressing it which don’t come out so dogmatically as you’ve put it. For example: "In morality there exist relative or gray areas subject to moral provisionalism not simple relativism or absolutism."

Huffer Bluster comments:

"OK , so you , as an atheist , are conceding by YOUR own answer that there are NO moral absolutes , as well as NO relativism . In other words , you wimp out by not taking one position or the other . You also redefine "moral absolutes" by saying , "it’s a statement about an absolute statement." Well , gee . Caleb said it - so guess it must be true , huh ?

Actually, it’s not "wimping out" but distinguishing a simple statement of self-reference (about an axiomatic system or in this case an assumed abstract moral system with zero conditionalities) from the system itself. For example, saying “Thou shalt not kill is a commandment” is of fundamental difference from saying “The 10 commandments don’t cover all the needed commandments” - which is a statement of self-reference.

As for not taking one position or the other, there’ s no need to since moral provisionalism is a valid position that doesn’t devolve to either extreme (though a black and white thinker wouldn’t see this) as author Michael Shermer (The Science of Good & Evil) notes:

"Provisional ethics provides a reasonable middle ground between absolute and moral relative systems. Provisional moral principles are applicable to most people, for most circumstances, for most of the time - yet flexible enough to account for the wide diversity of human behavior"

As an example, according to ethical incrementalism abortion cannot be ethical in ALL circumstances for all conditions. Thus, since - as Sagan and Druyan have noted - fetal brain waves appear past 6 months, NO abortions should normally be allowed in the third trimester. The only (provisional) exceptions would be: a) the health of the mother (e.g. if she were to have the child she'd die), or b) case of incest or rape - wherein having the child would create extreme mental trauma for the victim. (By that I mean possible psychosis or severe depression, including attempted suicide).

The fact that one may not like a middle way moral construct is no reason to reject it, and as we know Aristotle was perhaps the first to lecture incessantly on the nature of true morality being closer to the ‘mean’, than to the extremes. (See his Nichomachean Ethics).

Q9a : Hitler felt it was "moral" for him to exterminate six million Jews . If there are NO moral absolutes , how can YOU say he was wrong ?

CALEB'S ANSWER : Hitler wasn’t operating from a moral code but his own debased opinion. His code met no standards like most moral codes are required to meet, for example, moral provisionalism allows for the greatest good to the greatest number.

And Pastor Pissant's rejoinder:

“Oh ? how do you KNOW that Hitler , in his depraved catholic mind , wasn't "operating from a moral code" ? You throw up the smokescreen by saying he was operating by "his own debased opinion." Take a history 101 course , Caleb - and you'll learn that he was NOT operating on an "opinion."

Actually, YOU need to take a history course, or …better.. get hold of Robert Payne’s book ‘The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler' (1973)

In the third chapter one will find the basis for Hitler’s pseudo-morality in the primitive and anti-Semitic Volkisch movement which had existed since the Middle Ages. In this movement, the Jews were regarded as "Christ killers", and not trusted by most Germans. This ideology, paired with a pseudo-mythical belief in Aryan supremacy (see the 9-hour documentary, ‘The Nazis: A Warning from History’) shows that Hitler’s moral coda was misbegotten from the outset and what he had actually done is to create an official STATE religion that combined Volkisch anti-Semitism, Wagnerian idealism (from his music) and Aryan notions of supremacy.

This STATE religion has no remote connections to Catholicism or to atheism (as Richard Dawkins pointedly noted last night in an appearance on The Bill Maher Show, why on Earth would someone who doesn't believe in a god kill millions? Only a believer would do that because he'd feel his precious beliefs were threatened and he'd have to do something about it.

In Hitler's case, the Volksich movement poisoned his mind to believe the Jews were responsible for all the negative events that happened to Germany, including the Versaille Treaty. He believed he had to eliminate them to get Germany back on a strong national footing and to that end confabulated an expedient STATE morality based on a STATE religion to do so.

He continues his rant:

"But in either case , if there are NO moral absolutes , who are YOU to say he was wrong ? After all , it's all "relative," right ? What was "right" for Hitler just happens to be "wrong" for YOU ! Every time you atheists find yourselves in a corner , you grasp at straws and pull out the smoke and mirrors , and change positions . But hey , at least y'all are making Satan happy ! "

Again you're confusing ‘no moral absolutes” with no moral laws! Just because one doesn’t accept moral absolutes, doesn’t mean he accepts no moral laws! As shown above, moral provisionalism provides a midway path between the extremes of moral absolutism and relativism. This is a real moral choice which is possible to embrace and practice. The fact your 'black or white' brain can't adjust and process that is a declaration of your own intellectual incapacity rather than anything proposed.

Q10 : If YOU approve of teaching evolution in public schools , why then , do you NOT approve then of "equal time" being given to the teaching of biblical Christianity ? After all , wouldn't that allow students who may be on the proverbial fence to at least weigh the evidence of each , and make an informed decision on one or the other ?

CALEB'S ANSWER : The problem is biblical Christianity has no real evidence. Evidence doesn’t exist in books, it has to be apart from them, in the real world. Also,real evidence has to be able at some level to falsify itself as a test, and biblical evidence refuses to do that.

To which Mikey blathers in typical knee-jerk fashion:

“Biblical Christianity DOES have REAL evidence ( archaeological , historical , and scientific ! ) . Again , just because the atheists refuse to accept it , doesn''t make it invalid . "

And just because you say you have evidence doesn't mean evidence really exists! What evidence? Where? Show it and moreover that it is indisputable in terms of being archaeological , historical , and scientific !

In just consideration of the last I already showed how the Bible fails even basic astronomy thresholds for evidence. For example, in Gen.:1: 1-5 it is clear that the “light” referred to in the last three sentences is none other than the SUN. However, it is clear from reading each line through that the Earth was supposedly made BEFORE the Sun. (E.g. Earth without form, darkness upon face of the deep).

However, this is physically impossible. We know from modern astrophysics that the solar proto-nebula had to collapse first to yield the SUN. (No planets, since they had yet to spin off the collapsing nebular cloud – it hadn’t cooled enough to allow it). As the proto-solar nebula collapsed it also began spinning and gained angular momentum. This angular momentum was then transferred to regions of the nebula that cooled and separated from the whole, and these regions became separate clouds of dust and gas that aggregated into the planets.

Under a combination of electrostatic attraction (between larger charged particles) and gravity (attracting the whole mass from the center of the cloud) each planet was formed as what we call a “planetesimal”.As more angular momentum was transferred – the planetesimal’s (each one) acquired their own spin (in a period of revolution) and specific shapes. The giant planets (e.g. Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus) garnered more spin momentum than the more dense, terrestrial planets. Thus Jupiter’s planetesimal ended up as an oblate spheroid with diameter of about 88,000 mile and rotating rapidly with a day of ~ 10 hours. Earth meanwhile ended up as a relatively spherical orb with diameter of ~ 8,000 miles and day approaching approach 24 hrs. Mars ended up in a similar shape to that of Earth and a diameter of 4200 miles and day ~ 24 hours.

Thus, the Earth spun off about 1.1 billion years after the solar nebula fully collapsed, and it could not have come BEFORE the Sun. Indeed, the absence of the central mass of the Sun, or ~ 10 33 kilograms, would have meant the Earth- if made with no Sun present- would instantly have been hurled into a direction toward the constellation Hercules at 12 miles per second with no central mass to keep it in check. We can compute this exactly using the basic principles of celestial mechanics.

It is clear from this that Gen.1:1-5 has stated a patent impossibility which violates all known laws of physics and dynamics and is therefore WRONG!

But this isn't the only error by any means!

Contrary to the first chapter of Genesis, which claims the first mammals appeared on Earth a mere twenty four hours after the first fish, the first mammals did not actually appear on Earth until more than 300 million years of fish evolution had transpired! Birds, which according to both creation myths in Genesis, were created on the same day as fish do not enter the fossil record untill the Jurassic period - 190 to 136 million years ago.

Thus, even in basics the Bible gets it wrong, so can't be scientifically inerrant. It is an ancient form of pseudo-science.

Not content to disclose his mammoth ignorance in this way, he compounds it by scribbling:

"Also , if "Evidence doesn’t exist in books," then how do we know that George Washington or Abe Lincoln ever existed ? Were YOU there to personally see and talk to them ? Show them to me here in the "real world."

Any dimwit knows, of course, one doesn't have to "go back" to personally verify a historical personage - like George Washington- actually existed. Again, he tries to be too cute by half and ends up cutting off his nose to spite his blubbering mouth. We have thousands of archives of actual written records, not to mention Washington's DNA on record from those documents he handled, or signed. We can trace his lineage genetically and tie him - his presence- to actual materials he signed or authored. In addition, we have a vast web of his historical connections and interactions which themselves can be independently validated. By contrast, where is any evidence that an actual "Jonah" ever existed or was swallowed by a whale, lived in its hydrochloric acid stomach for 3 days and emerged alive?

Finally, trying to be smarter than his IQ permits, he writes:

"As for your statement "real evidence has to be able at some level to falsify itself as a test," give me an example using evolution - and ATHEISM !! "

This is so easy it's like shooting fish in a barrel. A test for falsification of evidence in evolution would be to test the isolated 2p and 2q chromosomes in chimpanzees, and see if genetic manipulation via induced telomeric fusion can cause them to become the single chromosome '2'. (The hypothesis is that the 2p and 2q chromosomes in apes underwent telomeric fusion to become the '2' chromosome in humans, when hetero-chromatin is excluded, thereby reducing the chromosome pairs from 24( in the ape-human common ancestor) to 23 in humans.

Atheism isn't subject to falsifiability as evolution is, since it is not a scientific hypothesis! Atheism is a philosophical perspective or outlook predicated on the latest findings of naturalistic science. So, to the extent the falsification tests for these scientific supports holds up (as for the example above for evolution) so does the basis for atheism.

Again, he shows an inability to differentiate actual scientific claims, hypotheses and inquiry from purely philosophical positions. But this isn't at all surprising given how he repeatedly confuses so many other things, such as ontogenesis (theory of life origin) with evolution, natural selection with artificial (human incepted) selection, the theory of the Big Bang with evolution, and the quantum based theory of spontaneous inception of the cosmos with "atheism".

But what do you expect from a character who never could pass even a basic test in evolution far less thermal physics?

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