Tuesday, October 18, 2016

41% of people believe election would be rigged against Trump

If we're ever going to progress as a nation--or a species, even--there's going to have to come a time where things are only believed, especially coming from our politicians, if they're supported by good ole' fashioned verifiable, mind-independent evidence and sound inductive/deductive logic. 

There's 0 basis for believing what 41% of people believe. No evidence. A thing does not become true because one man believes it with all his heart. A thing does not become true simply because your candidate is losing. A thing is only true if logically sound argument can demonstrate it, with supporting evidence.

Trump will lose, and lose badly. But not because anything is rigged against him. It's because he's a crude moron which a penchant for the tu quoque logic fallacy.

But the real problem is almost no one knows what that means. And therein lies the failure of the public school system.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vote Hilary

An appeal to third party voters:

Vote Hilary, because you don't want the Supreme Court packed with right-wing ideologues for the next forty years.

Vote Hilary because she doesn't think climate change is a lie perpetrated by the Chinese government.

Vote Hilary because you care about what might happen to immigrants and children in war-torn countries if her opponent is elected.

Vote Hilary because her opponent's VP pick, a man a heartbeat away from the presidency, is a creationist hellbent on overturning Roe v. Wade.

Vote Hilary because she has an actual plan for fighting crushing student loan debt.

Vote Hilary because you're concerned about what Trump is hiding in his tax returns.

Vote Hilary because every living former president is voting for Hilary.

Vote Hilary because you don't think sexist jokes are okay.

Vote Hilary because the 2000 Bush/Gore election was decided by less than 1,000 votes in Florida. 

Vote Hilary because you trust the leadership and guidance of Bernie Sanders.

Vote Hilary because among all of the candidates that have any chance of being elected (both of them), her values are the ones that most align with yours.

Monday, September 5, 2016

On the failure of our educational system

Our education system has failed on a massive scale because far too many people simply cannot tell truth from deception. This can be done through knowledge of argument. Because it is through argument that we critically assess and vet competing ideas. And that can be hard to do effectively without having basic knowledge of how arguments actually work: what is the structure of an argument, what makes an argument good or bad, and how to spot a logical fallacy (an error in logic). 

When you familiarize yourself wth the various categories of logical fallacies, it becomes easier and easier to recognize them in practice. Some politicians and other public figures spew logical fallacies by the truckload, and maybe many of these people wouldn't see the political light of day if the public were better at recognizing bad reasoning.

 Another important factor would also include include knowledge and appreciation of good quality evidence. And some knowledge of philosophy: who are philosophy's greatest thinkers, and what did they argue?

 To be clear, knowing these things does not necessarily make one a great thinker.
Because humanity is still fallible. And of course, many people get along just fine without knowing how logic works "under the hood." But from these considerations, it does not follow that some people, if not many, would not be better equipped to deal with the arguments and ideas that come at them daily.

 Students of debate and philosophy do pick up most, if not all of these tools in class, but most people in school aren't taking these classes. And I believe some things won't ever change unless these critically important educational gaps are filled for all students.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wouldn't it make more sense...

...for God to keep someone in the Christian fold once and for all rather catch, release, and then bring them back into the fold? Why release them, which can only setback their spiritual growth? Which can only add and contribute to the evil in the world? Wouldn't that make God culpable for such evils?

But maybe there is, as always, some mysterious Reason. So who's to say.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Enemies of Truth

Ideologues.

Blind partisanship.

Rhetoric.

Egos.

Vested interests.

Ignorance of what an argument is.

Ignorance of what a fallacy is.

Ignorance of philosophy.

Fear.

What else?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Relational Aspect of Christian Belief--or How I Can Know There Very Probably Is No God

According to Christian theists, it's not enough merely to believe that God exists. To believe that certain arguments are correct which show that God probably exists. For even the demons believe--and they shudder! One must seek and enter into a salvific relationship with Him (or rather, be drawn into such a relationship by God). That's the whole point. God is not an abstract philosophical concept--He is a Person. Thus we can see that theistic belief is indeed intellectual and relational in nature, and the relational aspect is even more important.

But many nonbelievers, including those who wish that God would exist, struggle with finding any of the arguments for God's existence persuasive and/or find arguments against God's existence persuasive. In that event, theists often implore nonbelievers to seek God out as a Person. Stop treating the debate over the existence of God as an academic exercise. Go to Him and He will reveal Himself. Seek, and ye shall find, as it is written in scripture (Matt 7:7).

But I have sought earnestly, and thoroughly, and I have not found. And it's been years. I've poured over my Bible. I've sought answers in Christian apologetics. I've prayed. I prayed throughout my gradual, agonizing deconversion, where my assurance of immortality and Divine love and protection were lost. I prayed for more faith. I prayed for understanding. I prayed for guidance. I said "I believe--help me with my unbelief!" as the father of the child with the unclean spirit once cried to Jesus. I prayed for forgiveness. But I was met only with silence.

I've even prayed as recently as this week--years after my deconversion. Though not always to just any Christian conception of God--I pray to Whatever or Whoever may be out there, so as not to privilege any one religion. And yet I am met with only more silence.

Not to mention the prayers on my behalf that have certainly come my way.

I continue to read the blogs of the smartest Christian apologists and books by their brightest scholars (right now, I'm reading Jesus and the Eyewitnesses) and yet I continue to remain unconvinced. Whereas books like On the Historicity of Jesus seem to only entrench my skepticism.

In all honesty, I am afraid of dying and fear that I may have a terminal illness as I speak (though unconfirmed). The nihilism that was left in the wake of my deconversion has consumed my life to the point of depression. So I have every cognitive motivation to embrace Christian theism again.

I'm not the only one. Other believers like Justin Schieber have experienced the cognitive abandonment that I've just described. And of course, the argument from Divine Hiddeness captures the spirit of what I'm relating in my life experiences.

This is how can I be near certain that there is no omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God. And why I wonder why I even bother continuing to debate the arguments for and against the existence of God. Because such a God would not have abandoned me. And because such a God would not continually ignore my sincere and genuine desire for His presence in my life. Especially with the threat of Hell looming if I do not repent (or, I guess I should say, re-repent).

So far as I can see, my life is a refutation of Christian belief. There is no more debate for me. The only response I can imagine a Christian making is that God, 'in the end', will come to save me before I die, in some unknown time and in some unknown way. But from my perspective, this is incredibly unlikely (though a remote possibility that I hope is true). Most likely, I will die an unbeliever. I've seen essentially all of the arguments and I've prayed all of the prayers. It is finished.

 Another recourse is to deny my lived experiences and claim that I'm really 'in rebellion' against God. But that does not comport well with the extensive evidence from my life I've just discussed. And any pretense to the contrary is theological assumption or simply begging the question. Or maybe I will be blamed for not finding arguments for Gods existence convincing. But believer, I can no more choose what arguments I find convincing than you can. And regardless, that is only the intellectual aspect. I am talking about the relational aspect.

(Which raises the question, why should a relationship rest on finding any particular argument convincing? What other kind of personal relationship is potentially subject  to that type of refutation?)

If nothing else, let it be said that I was a seeker of truth. And I will continue to read on and debate these issues. And maybe the believer will end up being correct, and their God will come to save me in the 11th hour. But I suspect my experiences have been the way they have been because the arguments against arguments God's existence are correct. So I'm not holding my breath.





Sunday, August 23, 2015

There are no Christians open minded to the idea that their beliefs are false

Since Christians claim to have a relationship with God, they can't be open to evidence against their existence--because in real relationships, there can be no doubt as to the other parties existence. Through communicative elements, their existence becomes undeniable. You can't be in a real relationship with someone while at the same time concede you may be just talking to the ceiling.

 Real relationships are a two way street, therefore the other "street" must exist. So any Christian who believes they could be persuaded out of their beliefs must deny the the divine relational aspect, or argue that relationships with divine Persons are somehow drasticly different from relationships with human persons.

Edit: typo