Google
 
Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Triablogue calls me out!

Paul Manata, at Triablogue, gave a cute effort of trying to debunk one of the articles on my site strongatheism.net, where I debunk Mr. Alvin "personal memories are 100% truthful" Plantinga. Here are some highlights from our favourite presuppositionalist:
1) Plantinga confuses nothing like what Tremblay accuses Plantinga of here. Plantinga actually goes through excruciating detail to define terms like 'rationality.' He does so in terms of "proper function."
Actually, since Plantinga's definition of "proper function" demands design, his definition of "rationality" is hokum, so I hardly saw the need to mention his silly fallacy in that regard. But since you're going to bring it up, Manata, by all means shoot your own foot...
2) The bulk of Plantinga's career has sought to undermine Tremblay's "definition" of rationality. Indeed, on Tremblay's definition, since we do indeed know that the world has been here for more than 5 minutes, or that our wife is not a robot, and we cannot prove this on the evidential basis of other propositions, that does not mean all humans are "irrational." Actually, Tremblay's case is self-referentially incoherent since, if Tremblay claims to know it, he would have to "validate it only with objective evidence" (whatever that means). But, after he does so, we can ask if he "knows" that he has validated the original claim to knowledge. If so, he must "validate it only with objective evidence." Obviously an infinite regress can be seen here.
This kind of juvenile infinite regress can be applied to any claim to knowledge. Manata's reply describes little more than a petulant little child asking "why? why? why?" over and over. In practice, we pass judgment on the evidence presented for a proposition and decide for ourselves whether the evidence is relevant or not. We don't waste our time in constant validation. And of course, unlike Manata's Christian nihilistic worldview, mine has an end point: the axioms.
3) Tremblay says that Plantinga confuses "instinct with rationality." Actually, Plantinga's argument is that the idea that our beliefs are aimed at truth, given N & E, is low or inscrutable.
Yes, that is what Plantinga claims. Manata at least scores high on reading comprehension. However, my response concerned the fact that N&E together only pertain to instincts, NOT rationality (which is the product of a personal process of evolution, and far too subtle to be captured by fundamental and vague factors like N and E, just as basic knowledge of chemistry is not sufficient to extrapolate to the complexity of, say, what it means for me to love my wife), and that therefore any epistemic examination on Plantinga's part can only be construed as complete if we assume that thought, which is partly molded by rationality, is purely the product of instinctual behaviour.

This is, of course, patent nonsense. Plantinga's claim is that we should evaluate our truth-generating faculties solely on the standpoint of being molded by an evolutionary process, while excluding the correcting effects of rationality. Based on this extreme simplification, Plantinga concludes that we cannot trust our truth-generating faculties. Plantinga is refuting a caveman from a Geico ad, not a modern human being. We might as well say that, because Von Neumann didn't know anything about the Internet, we shouldn't trust computers to give us correct information about IP packets.
2. Tremblay is stuck on deontological justification, while Plantinga is addressing the alethic aspect of knowledge.
This is the sound of a worldview clash completely whizzing past Manata's head.

I hope I don't need to answer this nonsense any further. I would, however, like to mention another point that whizzed right past Manata's head. He contrasted my proposition that our sensory perception is necessarily valid with my proposition that a Matrix-style scenario is possible. However, he completely failed to note the part he himself quoted right after I said that:
But why should we consider this possibility as having any epistemic importance whatsoever?
Never mind what I said about Manata. The man obviously failed reading comprehension. How can I be contradicting myself on an epistemic issue when one of the two propositions has no epistemic importance?

Geeze...

Post a Comment


25 Comments:

At 3/08/2007 11:13 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Surely you jest with this response?

Anyway, here's a critique of your other paper on Plantinga. This is as close to a nail in the coffin of your abilities t be taken as a competent critic of Christain theists as there is:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/03/round-2-tremblay-vs-plantingas-reformed.html

Perhaps I'll address this blog entry of your later.

 
At 3/09/2007 12:16 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Sometimes I think you live in a different world. Did you seriously think your blog entry was a serious argument? You don't even read what you quote!

Silly presup.

 
At 3/09/2007 12:38 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

And it heats up!

Franc, nice response, although I fear Manata has more patience to debate this Plantiga thing than you do. Remember that there are readers here who want to have explained the things you take for granted.

 
At 3/09/2007 12:39 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Paul,

Perhaps I'll address this blog entry of your later.

I hope so. I want to see what you think of this post beyond "Surely you jest,".

 
At 3/09/2007 3:37 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Aaron, here ya go:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/03/round-3-come-back-kid-or-rope-dope.html

 
At 3/09/2007 7:36 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Wow. How many "nails in the coffin" does it take, Paul? For a bunch of incompetents, you sure have been spending a lot of time dealing with us here.

 
At 3/10/2007 4:57 AM, Blogger Frank Walton declaimed...

Dude, Paul whipped you.

 
At 3/10/2007 4:07 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Sure, kid. Go back to insulting other blogs now.

 
At 3/10/2007 6:31 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Zach, if I'm wrong, maybe you can show how Franc's position and arguments wasn't put through the ringer.

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

No rabbit trails, and deal with the immediate context of the posts.

 
At 3/10/2007 6:33 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

btw, Moore, you'll notice that I haven't bothered with y'all for quite some time. But, I did start posting here again on a post of yours that was indirectly realted to myself. So, one wonders what your point was, if any?

 
At 3/11/2007 5:11 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Zach's point, Paul, is that the people you spend the most time arguing with are the ones you claim to be the least worthy of your amazing superpowers.

 
At 3/11/2007 8:51 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Aaron,

I don't claim to have amazing super powers, and, I've claimed that anyone who makes an argument is worthy of refutation, doesn't mean their arguments are good.

Interesting how you guys constantly employt the fallacious use of ad hominemt arguments here. Though I may engage in sacasm, humor, and the like, it is always independant of my arguments. Frequently, y'all here at Goose, focus the discussion on *me* and how *mean* I am, without engaging in substantive rebuttal. So, I admit to using ad hominems, but they are not of the fallacious kind. I cannot say the same for you guys. I mean, even if what you say is true, that does *nothing* to avoid the arguments I gave against Tremblay. And so you guys have, one again, engaged in the *fallacious* use of ad hominem argumentation. It would be good if y'all, for one, used the ad homs just for fun, and not in leu of argumentation.

Anyway, I'll be sure to not try and offer rebuttals to your guys' position. It appears you all take it too personal and get flustered by attacks. So, I'll let you continue on in your delusions.

cheerio,

~PM

 
At 3/11/2007 10:51 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

btw, Plantinga doesn't claim, as Franc portrays him as doing, that "memories are 100% truthful."

I mean, disagree with the guy all you want, but why lie about him? Surely atheists don't need to lie to win... do they?

 
At 3/12/2007 7:24 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Interesting how you guys constantly employt the fallacious use of ad hominemt arguments here. Though I may engage in sacasm, humor, and the like, it is always independant of my arguments. Frequently, y'all here at Goose, focus the discussion on *me* and how *mean* I am, without engaging in substantive rebuttal

Except for me. Dont forget our little evolution/quote mining debacle, where you embarassed the Hell out of yourself.

Oh, and I really did enjoy the one where you refused, or were unable, to understand the primacy of objects over consciousness when arguing with Dawson.

You see Paul, when you claim victory over and over, the atheists laugh at you and shake their heads while the Christians lift you up onto their shoulders. And then, when us atheists claim victory, the same thing happens, just in reverse.

So of course you are going to think that we never engage you with anything substantive. And of course the "victories" I mentioned earlier will surely NEVER be seen as atheist victories in your eyes. Im quite sure you laughed in disbelief when I even mentioned them, just as I laugh in disbelief when you cite your claimed debate kills.

Im surprised you dont already see or understand this little fact.

 
At 3/12/2007 7:31 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

So, I'll let you continue on in your delusions.

LMFAO!! Continue repeating that to yourself as you pray to your imaginary friend. Oh wait, how many imaginary friends do you have anyway, is it 3 or 1? Or is it simultaneously 3 AND 1?

Yea, us atheists are blind deluded fools. Oh but wait! Havent you repeatedly asserted that everyone, even atheists, KNOW that God is real? So are we just liars, or are we deluded? Which is it?

Maybe your 3-headed invisible hydra-God-man can tell us. Will you do me a favor and pray for him to let me know whether Im lying to everyone or just deluded?

Oh wait! I almost forgot that your 3-headed imaginary friend doesnt actually talk to us humans (anymore). I guess we'll just never be able to figure out if we are deluded or lying.

Your non-communicative God reminds me of the imaginary friends that little children have, who even sit at the dinner table with them, but the kids eat their food on their behalf because their imaginary friend is conveniently always "not hungry" or some such nonsense.

 
At 3/12/2007 7:36 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I mean, disagree with the guy all you want, but why lie about him? Surely atheists don't need to lie to win... do they?

Actually, according to you, we do, since we all KNOW that God is real because he writes this knowledge in our heads even before we receive any sense-data. I remember you stating this in your debate with Derek Sansone.

Its actually all a big conspiracy. Seriously. Youve heard of the EAC, right? Well, its real. Us atheists chat online all night, plotting new lies with which to deceive the public at large in order to bring forth the reign of the antichrist.

 
At 3/12/2007 7:41 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I almost didnt catch this one:

Interesting how you guys constantly employt the fallacious use of ad hominemt arguments here.

...

It would be good if y'all, for one, used the ad homs just for fun, and not in leu of argumentation.


Au contraire! Ad Hominem is central to your argument. I already explained in an earlier comment, but I will explain again here:

You claim that atheists are liars and you support this with actual scripture. So your very worldview contains a character attack on everyone who doesnt agree with you.

Atheists have no such insult bembedded within their worldview. We dont think you are a liar; we simply think that you are taking a book of fairy tales far too literally.

 
At 3/12/2007 9:00 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Sticks and stones, Kinney.

Anyone else want to ignore my arguments against Tremblay, or is Kinney the only one?

 
At 3/12/2007 9:20 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Reverse Manata's arguments against him, and he gets pissy. Surprise, surprise.

 
At 3/12/2007 11:47 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3/12/2007 11:49 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

No one reversed anything, Tremblay.

But, you guys are doing a good job deflecting the attention from yourselves.

All Kinney's done is to lavish his comments with pejoratives, misrepresentations, and name calling. Sorry, not biting.

All he's done is to *claim* that my posts didn't refute your two SA articles. His "arguments" are like an invisible friend. They're always "there" but never show up for anyone to see because their conveniently "somewhere else" at the time. Must be nice to have invisible impersonal friends, kind of like your belief in Momma Nature and how we shouldn't "harm her." Keep our impersonal "Mommy" safe. Oh, what, don't like it when I do to your beliefs like you do to ours? Misrepresent and butcher them.

Anyway, I can see this thread is going to quickly turn into a "smack talk" thread, so I'll bow out now.

~PM

P.S. Aaron, I'd *love* to see your comments regarding my comments on Franc's use of Michael Martin. And, I'd *love* to see your comments where I copied Plantinga saying *exactly the opposite* thing Franc accuses him of saying.

I mean, is this really something "the atheists" think Franc won, and Christian think I won? Do atheists think people win points by misquoting other people's position? Sad... truly.

 
At 3/13/2007 11:50 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Sticks and stones, Kinney.

Anyone else want to ignore my arguments against Tremblay, or is Kinney the only one?


Another way of saying "I have no retort" :P

 
At 3/13/2007 12:22 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

No one reversed anything, Tremblay.

But, you guys are doing a good job deflecting the attention from yourselves.


Thanks for admitting that our smokescreen of lies and deceit is totally kicking the crap out of your Righteous Christian Truth!

All Kinney's done is to lavish his comments with pejoratives, misrepresentations, and name calling. Sorry, not biting.

Yes. Ignore the substance in my comments and only focus on the name callings that I made in good fun, right Manata? Didnt you just bitch about that same thing a moment ago?

All he's done is to *claim* that my posts didn't refute your two SA articles. His "arguments" are like an invisible friend. They're always "there" but never show up for anyone to see because their conveniently "somewhere else" at the time. Must be nice to have invisible impersonal friends, kind of like your belief in Momma Nature and how we shouldn't "harm her." Keep our impersonal "Mommy" safe. Oh, what, don't like it when I do to your beliefs like you do to ours? Misrepresent and butcher them.

LOL now youre getting it! How does it feel to look at a group of people and shake your head at their worship of an invisible friend?

At least my "invisible friends" you speak of are only arguments, and not imaginary creators of the universe. At least I dont have to pray to my arguments, and they dont forbid me from wanting to get a cool viper like my neighbor, etc...

Anyway, I can see this thread is going to quickly turn into a "smack talk" thread, so I'll bow out now.

Haha I just whupped your ass!

P.S. Aaron, I'd *love* to see your comments regarding my comments on Franc's use of Michael Martin. And, I'd *love* to see your comments where I copied Plantinga saying *exactly the opposite* thing Franc accuses him of saying.

Ok well go find them and Im sure it will be love at first sight.

I mean, is this really something "the atheists" think Franc won, and Christian think I won? Do atheists think people win points by misquoting other people's position? Sad... truly.

On this particular Plantiga argument between you and Franc, I cannot say for sure. I havent conducted a consensus among my fellow Evil Atheist Conspiracy alumni. I will be happy to do so and present to you the results in a notarized and certified survey, but you will need to give me a retainer of $200. Let me know if you want to finance this and I will give you my Paypal account info so you can transfer the money to me. :)

But before I click the post button I want to re-visit something you just said:

Do atheists think people win points by misquoting other people's position? Sad... truly.

Now take this sentence I just quoted, and compare it to the earlier stuff I was asking you about in regards to atheists being delusional, or liars. Paul, do you really think that you win points by misquoting atheist's position on God? Do you seriously have to justify atheists denial of the a priori knowledge of God through an ad hominem attack? Sad... truly.

Actually what I think is really sad is that youre paying money to at a professional superstition college, yet you suck at turning nontheists into theists. While people like Franc and I are amateurs, yet we are deconverting people all the time. Whats sad is that you are paying money to learn how to argue topics like "atheists are fools and are liars; they really do KNOW that God exists but they wont admit it!"

Whats sad is that you are paying money to learn arguments like "humans are totally depraved and worthless!" and "our God is three beings in one entity!"

Im sure you are just filling up the pews with fresh young faces due to those powerful and life-affirming messages, right Paul? I bet your church just cant expand the square feet of its buildings fast enough to accomodate all the new members, right? I bet you got so many new preacher applications that you had to start a "take a number" system, right?

But in all seriousness Paul, whats sad is that you are a very smart and well meaning person who obviously wants to know and share the truth with everyone you come into contact with, yet you sadly cling to the one particular version of theism that is most popular in North America and you seriously think that is it true. Whats sad is that there are so many smart people like you who cannot see the forest for the trees.

Paul, if you and I lived in the same town in Europe 500 years ago, you would be insisting to me that the sun revolved around the Earth. Dont you see that you are revolving your life around a made up story?

Why do I even bother... I dont know why I still care about arguing with you... I guess Im too optimistic, and maybe Im just sad to see a good mind go to waste.

 
At 3/13/2007 2:25 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"maybe Im just sad to see a good mind go to waste."

Are you sure Manata is running on all neurons, so to speak?

 
At 3/14/2007 12:35 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Are you sure Manata is running on all neurons, so to speak?

No, but theres lots of people who I consider to be above average intelligence who are also not running on all neurons.

 

Trackbacks:

Create a Link

<< Home