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Monday, February 06, 2006

Question of the Day #25: Argumentum ad Ignorantum

Image hosting by PhotobucketWhy is the appeal to ignorance such a powerful appeal in society?

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32 Comments:

At 2/06/2006 3:11 AM, Blogger UberKuh declaimed...

Most do not think for themselves and they tend to like others who share their inverted perspective on life. Another way to say this is that misery loves company.

 
At 2/06/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

I think that there's still a huge amount of longing among most people for priveleged access to "secret" knowledge. Aside from religious beliefs, this can be seen fairly obviously in acceptance of pseudoscientific claims, which are typically advanced with this particular fallacy. Strangely enough, I would venture to say that specifically because such claims cannot be supported by good evidence, they become more attractive. It's almost like saying, "you don't know that it isn't true," is less of an indictment of one's own position than it is an indictment of the intellectual insufficiencies of another's (ignoring, of course, that this fallacy implies that both parties are ignorant of the facts).

 
At 2/06/2006 9:54 AM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

uberkuh-

Would this be true of atheists also? It seems to me that most of the atheist I encounter, in person or on blogs regurgitate something they have heard or read. It is normally Neitzsche,Marx,Freud or Sartre or Rand.

I am not hearing anything new from the atheists that wasn't stated by someone else first.

 
At 2/06/2006 12:12 PM, Blogger Mr. Neil declaimed...

Streetapologist, answer the question or hit the bricks.

 
At 2/06/2006 12:35 PM, Blogger UberKuh declaimed...

streetapologist, I cannot vouch for your level of comprehension, but, my experience with atheistic blogs informs me that most contain some original thought. For instance, I have not seen Nietzsche's name mentioned in some time. Maybe I visit the more original blogs.

As an aside, quoting an author does not constitute lack of originality.

 
At 2/06/2006 1:02 PM, Blogger mathyoo declaimed...

argumentum ad ignorantium is appealing because it works so well with cognitive dissonance. It allows people to continue with just about any belief because it gives them the illusion that there's a shred of credibility to their belief, in spite of an utter lack of evidence supporting it.

to take uberkuh's last statement one step further, it's been my experience that most atheists who quote outside sourced do so to SUPPORT their own position, but theists tend to spout back quotes AS their position.

 
At 2/06/2006 1:19 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Mr. Neil-

You will need to provide some context for your question. For example: Are you asserting that most people believe in God therefore they are ignorant? If that is the case, then I of course cannot answer your question as I believe it is the atheist who are in fact appealing to ignorance.

 
At 2/06/2006 1:59 PM, Blogger Mr. Neil declaimed...

Street apologist. Do you even know what the appeal to ignorance is?


"Are you asserting that most people believe in God therefore they are ignorant?"


No! I'm not asserting anything. I'm asking a simple question that doesn't even necessarily address the atheism/theism argument. I would appreciate it, just once, if you could answer a question without putting words in my mouth.

It's a general question. Why do people appeal fall strongly for the appeal to ignorance; i.e., why do people automatically assume truth of an unsubstantiated claim, simply because the claim hasn't been proven false?

Now that you know what the appeal to ignorance is, please answer my question.

 
At 2/06/2006 2:41 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Mr. Neil-

I really get under your skin don't I? Who can forget the little tyraid you went on after my first post.

Most people appeal to this type of fallacy because they are lazy. They don't want to take the time to investigate the root of their presupposition.

 
At 2/06/2006 2:49 PM, Blogger Mr. Neil declaimed...

"I really get under your skin don't I? Who can forget the little tyraid you went on after my first post."

Yes, because I don't like to hold people's hands.


"Most people appeal to this type of fallacy because they are lazy. They don't want to take the time to investigate the root of their presupposition."

Thank you. That's all I wanted.

 
At 2/06/2006 4:19 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Mr. Neil-

I am not asking for any hand holding, I can assure you. Your first tyraid was because you simply couldn't answer my questions.

When you ask your question of the day, you are facing the question with a presupposition. You can claim to be "just asking a question" however this is subtle deceit. Your intent and the intent of this entire blog is to undermine and destroy people's faith.

You cannot justify your own epistemology and worse yet I believe you know this.

 
At 2/06/2006 4:44 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

What is a "tyraid" and how is it justified by Christian epistemology?

 
At 2/06/2006 6:33 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Zachary-

this was a misspelling on my part the actual word is tirade. (ooops)
it has nothing to do with epistemology, I was simply pointing out that Mr. Neil has used invectives on numerous occasions without answering any of my inquiries. I would be happy to post these on my blog if you or he will comment

 
At 2/06/2006 6:40 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

streetapologist.

I know- that's just the "Goosing" part of this blog. ;)

Mr. Neil is far less patient than myself. Given the caliber of your comments thus far, I wouldn't expect anything more from him- he does not suffer fools gladly.

 
At 2/07/2006 3:04 AM, Blogger Mr. Neil declaimed...

My patience is very thin.

 
At 2/07/2006 3:35 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

So is mine, and I'm frankly failing to see the point of these so-called arguments. They just consists of the same naked nay-saying we're used to see from presuppositionalist idiots.

You've got to give it to them though, they can take a pounding and keep on bleating.

 
At 2/07/2006 7:42 AM, Blogger Mr. Neil declaimed...

"I am not asking for any hand holding, I can assure you. Your first tyraid was because you simply couldn't answer my questions."

But yet, that's what you needed. I had to take you by the hand and walk you through the question the way I would if I had to walk an a child across the street. I don't like playing the role of nanny.

The other guys like to go back and forth with you presuppositionalists ad nauseum, but you're not going to get that from me, so don't try it. If I see that you're deliberately not participating in the topic that I presented, then more often than not, I'll simply walk away.


"When you ask your question of the day, you are facing the question with a presupposition. You can claim to be "just asking a question" however this is subtle deceit. Your intent and the intent of this entire blog is to undermine and destroy people's faith."

But the question in particular didn't deal with that specifically, and I would appreciate it if didn't read context into my questions that don't exist.

Now, if you actually read this blog, then you would see that a few topics actually take issues with agnosticism and other forms of atheism. And indeed, I do happen to notice other atheists appealing to ignorance when making arguments, so it's not an exclusively Christian thing.

So basically, if I wanted to ask a question is specifically targeted at Christianity, then I would have said so.


"You cannot justify your own epistemology and worse yet I believe you know this."

Again, if you actually read this blog, you'd see otherwise.

I'm not going to take your bait, so don't waste your time.

 
At 2/07/2006 12:04 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2/07/2006 12:07 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Mr. Neil-

Kindly point me to the resource on your treatment of epistemology and I will read it. Also does the Goose brain trust resolve the problem of universals and particulars also? Could you point me to this resource as well?

 
At 2/07/2006 2:00 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

streetapologist: "does the Goose brain trust resolve the problem of universals and particulars also?"

Can you show us where the bible deals with this problem? Book, chapter and verse, please. I'd like to see what Christians take as a model "solution" before spending any time on explaining to you the basics of concept-formation.

Thanks,
Dawson

 
At 2/07/2006 7:54 PM, Blogger Damian, the Left-Hand Player declaimed...

Why? Simple. Man has always had problems with that which could not be understood. That's where religion came from - man saw things he didn't get and asked, "Why?" And he came up with "god", and it snowballed from there.

 
At 2/07/2006 8:38 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

damian: "Man has always had problems with that which could not be understood. That's where religion came from - man saw things he didn't get and asked, 'Why?' And he came up with 'god', and it snowballed from there."

It's really no more complicated than what Damian says here, and it's not difficult to see how presuppositionalism is just another cheap god-of-the-gaps strategy for bamboozling non-believers. In the case of presuppositionalism, the whole field of man’s cognition is one giant gap which the believer, who has really no substantial understanding of the processes which make up human thought, sees as an opportunity to point to the existence of an invisible magic being which supposedly "explains" it. Cf. presuppositionalism's tiresome questions like "how do you account for laws of logic?" Apparently we're all supposed to just throw our hands up in the air and say "Duh, I donno! Must be god did it!" Science is to be credited for rescuing vast areas of learning and knowledge from the clutches of mind-negating religious zealots, such that today's mystics can no longer point to thunder and lightning as evidence of an angry deity hiding amongst the clouds ready to strike down those whose ideas it does not approve. But we’ve been let down by centuries of philosophers who defaulted on their own minds and sold out their profession. The result, for most academics, is a persisting intellectual void, which is fertile ground for the mystic who preys on uncertainty and ignorance as a means of campaigning for his man-hating philosophy. They’re counting on those whom they proselytize to be ignorant or worse, for their apologetic tactics depend on this. When presuppositionalists called on it, they flee into the shadows, for they know that all they have is a bluff.

 
At 2/08/2006 10:43 AM, Blogger Mr. Neil declaimed...

"Kindly point me to the resource on your treatment of epistemology and I will read it."

I've published no such article. And even if I did, I'm not interested in your opinion of it. You're a Christian, and thus your epistemology is bankrupt. It'd be like asking a blind person for directions.

 
At 2/08/2006 1:34 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Mr. Neil-

I apologize. I completely overestimated you. I thought you had something of value to add.

My epistemology is bankrupt? Nice assertion care to demonstrate?...I didn't think so.

 
At 2/08/2006 1:48 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Dawson-

You asked:

"Can you show us where the bible deals with this problem? Book, chapter and verse, please."

Of course I can: Genesis Chapter 1 vs. 1. The Epistemological problem of Universals and Particulars has just been solved.

 
At 2/08/2006 2:32 PM, Blogger Mr. Neil declaimed...

"I apologize. I completely overestimated you. I thought you had something of value to add."

I'll say this one last time, and if you don't get it this time, then I'm just not going to answer anything you say anymore.

I agreed to publish here for one reason: To do Question of the Day. I do it for my own learning. I am not a philosopher, and I am not interested in going round and round with the likes of you and Manata. In fact, having gone this far with you was a mistake on my part. I should have stuck with my usual stance of not feeding the trolls.

I will not be prodded into this philosophical pissing contest that you keep trying to engage. It's not going to happen! How many times do I have to tell you this?

Now, in the future, kindly answer my questions and leave it at that. Do not hijack my topics.

Pretty please. With sugar on top.

 
At 2/08/2006 3:52 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Neil : may I suggest we make the questions of the day for atheists only ?

 
At 2/08/2006 4:06 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Mr. Neil-

First, you are posting questions of a philosphical nature. I am not interested in a pissing contest with you either. You and your pals here are "goosing the antithesis" by "attacking Christians who monopolize epistemology", and are the delusional "guardians of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" so if you are not a philosopher and don't want to be perhaps you could dismantle this blog and start another blog by the name of "goosebrained morons attempt to attack what they have no knowledge of" or something to that effect.

 
At 2/08/2006 4:45 PM, Blogger VanTilsGhost declaimed...

Streetapologist doesn't seem to spend much time on the streets apologizing...

 
At 2/08/2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Mr. Neil declaimed...

Franc sez: "Neil : may I suggest we make the questions of the day for atheists only ?"

I think that's a very good idea. That means I'll have to change a few future questions, but oh well...

Some people just aren't happy until they ruin it for everyone.


Streetapologist sez: "First, you are posting questions of a philosphical nature."

And your point is...? Oh, I know... It's to dog me into an argument that I already told you I wasn't interested in.

Even after I was gracious enough to thank you for doing what I had asked (even though I had to walk you through it like a toddler), you still continued to post your usual obnoxious posts long after I told you I wasn't interested.


"You and your pals here are 'goosing the antithesis' by 'attacking Christians who monopolize epistemology', and are the delusional 'guardians of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil'..."

So what you're going to do is stomp your feet and throw a hissy fit because I'm not playing your infantile game of asking stupid questions, so you can play god-of-the-gaps when I say I don't know something. I know that game far too well, which is why I'm not interested.

"...so if you are not a philosopher and don't want to be perhaps you could dismantle this blog and start another blog by the name of 'goosebrained morons attempt to attack what they have no knowledge of' or something to that effect."

And maybe you could start a blog titled "Stupid Christian Who Doesn't Know How To Read".

As promised, you and I are done exchanging words. So why don't you do the Christian thing and shake the dust from your feet.

 
At 2/08/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

I asked: "Can you show us where the bible deals with this problem? Book, chapter and verse, please."

streetapologist: "Of course I can: Genesis Chapter 1 vs. 1. The Epistemological problem of Universals and Particulars has just been solved."

I see. You admit that the biblical account of universals is subjective in nature. As I had supposed.

Thank you for confirming this.

Best regards,
Dawson

 
At 2/09/2006 7:50 PM, Blogger streetapologist declaimed...

Mr. Neil-

I owe you an apology. It was presumptous and rude of me to begin dissecting your posts from the get go. This did nothing to further my position nor did it spur any honest dialogue. Please believe me when I say I am honestly sorry.

 

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