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Blinded by Scientism

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posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


You are the last one that has any room to speak as you are. And that little add on of "and not me waa" illustrates that nicely. I mean seriously, how much deeper can we waltz into collective "our crap don't stink" land arr you going to go?
His response in a nutshell has been, in classic "all or nothing" false dichotomy fallacy form and ad hom attack is "you're attacking science". Which does not seek to debate the information provided and only attack me based on what he has decided my aim is. Despite repeated praise for science, none the less. Opened with a question on a quoted passage that is answered later within the material. And when I point this out I get a silly accusatory statement with an erronous assumption based on my use of quotation. As if not wishing to waste my time to formulate a response to someone who is almost assuredly not paying attention to the sourced material is an obvious indication that I don't understand the material I am presenting. Why exactly should I entertain the delusion he'll pay anymore attention to me? Which is responded to in true "all or nothing" fashion with "see I paid attention to some, that means I paid attention to all", topped with evovation of science. To which I responded and you found an excuse to take self righteous umbrage despite how you act as a first responss to those with whom you disagree.

Smarmy response as answer to someone I am guilty of, not the fluff of which you accuse me.

And incidentally, so, have you reported me yet?




posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 09:10 AM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
How exactly pray tell is it an veiled attack by proxy or are you taking the classic chant of "Yous jus attacking science!!!"?
Caricatures, Feser already serves them plenty.

I have heard once or twice now. Scientism is not science sorry to inform you.
I didn't say it was science. Lets not thicken the veil here. Feser has had a long running commentary on the Likes of Hitchen and Dawkins, the beef is with the New Atheists who source science as their mode of inquiry, scientism is the proxy used by Feser.


No. It proves that you are paying attention to certain posters in this thread.
"awwww da man dwidn't say dat I am da smarttist in va fwed".
Why would I pay attention to you, you just cut and paste.
Now that, is a caricature.


Not that you are paying attention to the whole thread, invoke science all you may wish.. And if you bring up the opening parts of some of the information I posted. I would like to point out it's the first part and the rest explains it's self rather well.
I know it explains itself. But it is a rhetoric that establishes a means by which science must prove itself, yet ignores that no other mode can prove itself by what is presupposed about itself. You ignore that entirely.


Your comments are evidence you stopped there reading or paying attention. And as for you silly ad hom I will just ignore the that ignorant comment.

Your OP is just spitting chips about the dominance of one philosophy. That is all it is. That is the problem, not the philosophy, but that some people have a bias for it and that it is becoming more common.
What is disturbing is that your OP fails to discuss the reason for this evolution( pun intended).
When juxtaposed with other modes of inquiry it is quite clear why some people have a bias towards science as the mode best eqipped to explain or investigate existence. Feser ignores this, as do you, Why?
Astyanax asks this question earlier, yet you won't address it. If you really want to discuss scientism then do so. That includes the reasons for why it is a philosophy that is used.


Um, empiricism, fundamental to the scientific method, is a philosophy I am sorry to inform you.


Yes I know, so how does the empirical philosophy prove itself as the most rational mode of inquiry using empirical philosophy.
That is essentially what Feser wants Scientism to do.




Answer to questions within it's limitations, otherwords, physical ones that can be answered with data from our senses.. And scientism does claim they can answer them, by ignoring they exist.
And do "pray tell" what it is that exists, that they are ignoring? But you are getting to the sore point. You want to limit the sciences and any philosophy it inspires because it is encroaching into areas previously dominated by other philosophies. Feser pretty much points that out in the OP's opening paragraphs. Why should it be limited?


That would be the problem hinted at, elevating science beyond all philosophy. Or as I view it, ignoring the mind for the brain.
We do that all the time.
Duh! Earlier philosophers and scientists had the same complaints regarding Religious philosophy back in the days of its dominant philosophical mode of inquiry.
This is how it works. Evolution.


You are familar with Socrates contributions to philosophy are you not?
Yes, he was a foundation but we are moving forward.

And I am sure you have heard of Solipsism. No, your generalization is incorrect. And I assume you are doing as most of those that give themselves over to scientism and confusing the natural world with that which we use to study it?
You are confused over trying to study that which we use to study the natural world with. None of it can prove itself outside of itself.
Feser will only point that out in scientism.
Are you an Idealist?





[edit on 4-4-2010 by Derised Emanresu]



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by Derised Emanresu
 


Look, all your silly putting my words in my mouth *I never said me, you did actually you copied asty, to fascilitate your childish taunt, I said you are not paying attention to the material* and treating your subjective and bias ridden opinion as fact aside.
The simple fact of the matter is scientism is contradictory ay best as it takes a emotionally based value decision *no matter how justified you may think it may be* to be arrived at that then, after that seeks to discount emotion. Actively ignoring how the position is arrived at in the first place.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 05:40 PM
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There seems to be a lot of confusion. Particularly, people saying, "The assumptions of science themselves are proven by science!" No.

I myself naturally lean towards empiricism; I think that our knowledge is based in the senses, and this is a view held by those within scientism. But there is a problem which empiricists must face, and that is, "What grounds empiricism itself? What grounds my believing that the scientific method works?" And it's a hard question!

There are many ways you might try to answer. If you say that it is just based in itself, then you are creating a vicious circle. David Hume (1711-1776), a grand empiricist, atheist, and lover of science, pointed this out hundreds of years ago.

You might say that it is grounded in some intuition we have, that it's just a basic belief we naturally have to trust our senses. But now you are on the slope to no longer being an empiricist. But, is that so bad? A recent survey of hundreds of the worlds top academic philosophers showed that about 1/3 are empiricsts, 1/3 rationalists, and 1/3 "other". Maybe this rationalism stuff isn't all bad.

A final answer, and one I might take myself, is the pragmatist route; science works! It does good stuff for us! I use valid rules of inference and the scientific method, and I come up with goodies! Also, I can rationally predict how it will work out, it follows rational rules. How do I justify it? Nothing fancy, just accept that it works and move on. Most philosophers won't take this view of course, but that's because they are chasing after a level of justification they just can't have, in my humble opinion.

An interesting aside: I'm in philosophy, but have plenty of friends in other fields, many serious scientists, and most of them are happy to let philosophers do philosophy of science. Quite frankly, many of them find philosophy of science annoying! "The readout says 0.5, and you, Mr. Philosopher, are asking me what that really means? I don't know, and I don't care, but I know I can put it in my paper!"



posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 03:11 AM
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reply to post by OnceReturned
 


It's not clear to me why this conversation has gone from, "there is something wrong with scientism" to "well, science is really just like religion, so all you scientists who think you have found something better than religion are really just hypocrites."

I'll tell you why. It's because scientism, in the sense beloved of the OP, is nothing but a stick shaped by dualists and other lovers of mumbo-jumbo to beat science with. Taken in this sense, it has no other reality and no other purpose.

I have now dipped into Feser's deceitful attack on science in the name of scientism, as well as into the OP's other full-length cut-and-paste job, which turns out to be a very intelligent article by the philosopher Susan Haak. Feser's diatribe offers not an atom of evidence that what he calls scientism actually exists in the scientific community. He takes the obligatory swipes at Richard Dawkins (who is a scientist) and Christopher Hitchens (who is not), but can give no example of how their writings are 'scientistic' except to state that they regard religion as unscientific - which, of course, it is. His statement that Dawkins and Hitchens claim that religion has no rational foundation is a downright lie*. But for all his ill-concealed venom Feser can produce no actual examples of scientism in the work or public utterances of well-known scientists. So much for his claim that scientists indulge in scientism!

Susan Haack does provide several examples of what she calls scientism. Significantly, not one of them features a scientist; they are all from philosophers, sociologists and popular authors. Haack explains scientism in philosophy and the social sciences as deriving from what she calls 'science envy' - the envy of thinkers in other disciplines for the success of the scientific method. I can find no fault with her thesis.

Scientism as a strict philosophical position is not beloved of scientists; nor could it ever be, since to them the irksome limitations of science are evident at every turn. Scientism, if it exists at all as a strong philosophical position, must be sought elsewhere. It will be recalled in this connexion that Comte was a philosopher, not a scientist.

So far we have been discussing 'scientism' in the strict philosophical sense, as 'refuted' (as though it needed refutation) by Feser, and its emotional component, 'science envy' as described by Haack. Both are extreme and ill-advised reactions to the spectacular successes of scientific inquiry. But we may admit a less strict sense in which the word could be used. Thus we distinguish between 'strong' and 'weak' scientism, as in this definition:


Scientism, in the strong sense, is the self-annihilating view that only scientific claims are meaningful, which is not a scientific claim and hence, if true, not meaningful. Thus, scientism is either false or meaningless.

Strong scientism is what Feser attacks in his article. It is, as many of us on the thread have pointed out, a straw man; what Feser and his like really object to is the success of the scientific worldview, or scientism in the weak sense:


Scientism is a scientific worldview that encompasses natural explanations for all phenomena, eschews supernatural and paranormal speculations, and embraces empiricism and reason as the twin pillars of a philosophy of life appropriate for an Age of Science.

(The definition is by Michael Shermer, quoted in the above source.)

In this weak sense, nearly all scientists, as well as large numbers of lay folk, are indeed guilty of scientism.

But this weak scientism isn't a philosophical position held to be exclusive, as strong scientism is: it's just an opinion - the opinion that a scientific approach usually gives the most trustworthy answers when we are looking to find out about something**. I hold to that opinion; many of us on this thread do; yet we are all perfectly willing to accept that science is based on premises that cannot be scientifically established, that science cannot answer all our questions, and that even if it could the answers may not be satisfactory or fully comprehensible to us. None of us practises scientism in the strong or absolute sense - the straw man sense.

Haack, in her article, defines scientism as 'linking philosophy too closely, or inappropriately, to the sciences'. This pertains to her criticism of those who are too easily swayed by scientific or scientific-looking methodologies and presentations (such as a recent piece of feminist pseudoneuroscience gullibly reported in the Guardian, a UK newspaper). For Haack, it seems, scientism isn't a failing of scientists but rather of academics who wish they were scientists, but aren't. Feser's sneaky article is itself, by Haack's definition, pure scientism; it is guilty of the very thing it purpotes to denounce!

To sum up, then: there is no evidence that the strong philosophical position scientism is espoused by any scientist. Weak scientism, namely the opinion that scientific inquiry is the most reliable route to knowledge, is widespread, but its only crime is to refuse aid and comfort to mystagoguery.
 
*See, for example, Of What Use is Religion? by Richard Dawkins. Hitchens, in God is Not Great, states that


Religion comes from the period of human history where nobody – not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms – had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs).

Infantile, maybe, but still a rational origin.

**I have argued elsewhere, as Haack has also done, that science is just the normal human way of finding out about things, elaborated, debugged and formalized.

[edit on 5/4/10 by Astyanax]



posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



I'll tell you why. It's because scientism, in the sense beloved of the OP, is nothing but a stick shaped by dualists and other lovers of mumbo-jumbo to beat science with. Taken in this sense, it has no other reality and no other purpose.
A proxy and a veil that the OP won't even acknowledge or discuss.


I have now dipped into Feser's deceitful attack ......... His statement that Dawkins and Hitchens claim that religion has no rational foundation is a downright lie*.
I too pointed this out, but what is more revealing about the OP's source, are the topics he associates Hitchen and Dawkins with. This is the real beef, it is about science encroaching into realms once dominated by other philosophies inspired by abstracts, these philosophies inspire Feser.

There is at least a whiff of scientism in the thinking of those who dismiss ethical objections to cloning or embryonic stem cell research as inherently “anti-science.” There is considerably more than a whiff of it in the work of New Atheist writers like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, who allege that because religion has no scientific foundation

Scientism is the proxy used to object to this. It is pretty transparent from the beginning but the OP has been suckered into thinking that this is actually an honest philosophical discussion.


But for all his ill-concealed venom Feser can produce no actual examples of scientism in the work or public utterances of well-known scientists. So much for his claim that scientists indulge in scientism!
The aim is to limit the ability for science to enter in to discussions once dominated by other philosophies. Scientism is the stick with which to beat science back with.
Look at the two topics Feser injects, along with ethics. Other philosophies, like religion, have their own objections, opinions and rational challenged by science, Feser points this out. So they need to cripple science or any opinion inspired by it, in order to stay relevant in such issues. I think it is merely insecurity that inspires Feser.

Feser makes the attack clear by first asking scientism to prove itself true, but quickly marches past that straw man and on to his real target. All in the first few paragraphs of the OP cut and paste fest.

Indeed, that science is even a rational form of inquiry (let alone the only rational form of inquiry) is not something that can be established scientifically. For scientific inquiry itself rests on a number of philosophical assumptions: that there is an objective world external to the minds of scientists; that this world is governed by causal regularities; that the human intellect can uncover and accurately describe these regularities; and so forth.

As I have said before, No form of inquiry can over come its philosophical assumptions. "Assumed" is meaningful in contrast to "known". No mode of inquiry can know it is the most rational or accurate. Feser has now developed his own dilemma. Feser has effectively leveled the playing field. Although Feser does not address the playing field, just science and scientism.

Again he sets the bar too high for every mode of inquiry and philosophy.

Both tasks would require “getting outside” science altogether and discovering from that extra-scientific vantage point that science conveys an accurate picture of reality—and in the case of scientism, that only science does so.

What Feser fails to even discuss, is that those he targets with Scientism have formed a bias for science as the best mode of inquiry for this very reason: we cannot be outside of any of these modes of inquiry to establish what he asks So we do it inside. Again, only science and scientism get beaten for falling under the bar set by Feser. How convenient that is for Feser, and the OP.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 11:46 PM
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reply to post by Derised Emanresu
 


A proxy and a veil that the OP won't even acknowledge or discuss.


As it is neither and you have done little but bare asserted it constantly as fact. I fail to see why I needed to. But I understand that you have decided that it must be so. Isn't this called attacking the motivation instead of the argument? But I know a subjective being attempting to use mental alchemy to define their subjective opinion as obective fact must do these things.
Which screams of little more than a "I don't understand WHY they would argue against. So. They MUST have an ulterior motive."


I too pointed this out, but what is more revealing about the OP's source, are the topics he associates Hitchen and Dawkins with. This is the real beef, it is about science encroaching into realms once dominated by other philosophies inspired by abstracts, these philosophies inspire Feser.

There is at least a whiff of scientism in the thinking of those who dismiss ethical objections to cloning or embryonic stem cell research as inherently “anti-science.” There is considerably more than a whiff of it in the work of New Atheist writers like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, who allege that because religion has no scientific foundation

Scientism is the proxy used to object to this. It is pretty transparent from the beginning but the OP has been suckered into thinking that this is actually an honest philosophical discussion.


Yes because if someone critisizes someone that MUST be the overriding agenda to any other critisisms.....
You are cogniziant of the fact that people can hold non-overlapping albeit within a wider general topic opinions right?


The aim is to limit the ability for science to enter in to discussions once dominated by other philosophies. Scientism is the stick with which to beat science back with.
Look at the two topics Feser injects, along with ethics. Other philosophies, like religion, have their own objections, opinions and rational challenged by science, Feser points this out. So they need to cripple science or any opinion inspired by it, in order to stay relevant in such issues. I think it is merely insecurity that inspires Feser.


Actually no. The aim is discourage the over emphisization of scientism. But I understand how a fanatic would see that as a bad thing.


Feser makes the attack clear by first asking scientism to prove itself true, but quickly marches past that straw man and on to his real target. All in the first few paragraphs of the OP cut and paste fest.

Indeed, that science is even a rational form of inquiry (let alone the only rational form of inquiry) is not something that can be established scientifically. For scientific inquiry itself rests on a number of philosophical assumptions: that there is an objective world external to the minds of scientists; that this world is governed by causal regularities; that the human intellect can uncover and accurately describe these regularities; and so forth.


Stating the facts is attack? That is a new one on me.



As I have said before, No form of inquiry can over come its philosophical assumptions. "Assumed" is meaningful in contrast to "known". No mode of inquiry can know it is the most rational or accurate. Feser has now developed his own dilemma. Feser has effectively leveled the playing field. Although Feser does not address the playing field, just science and scientism


Ah, so he last now lapse beyond the scope of his mission which was to address where scientism is wrong? Geee. I would hate to see the papers you would require. Though I am sure this only required of those whom dare to argue against scientism.


Again he sets the bar too high for every mode of inquiry and philosophy.

Both tasks would require “getting outside” science altogether and discovering from that extra-scientific vantage point that science conveys an accurate picture of reality—and in the case of scientism, that only science does so.

What Feser fails to even discuss, is that those he targets with Scientism have formed a bias for science as the best mode of inquiry for this very reason: we cannot be outside of any of these modes of inquiry to establish what he asks So we do it inside. Again, only science and scientism get beaten for falling under the bar set by Feser. How convenient that is for Feser, and the OP.


It's called human limitations and we all have them. Only those too afraid to admit to those limitations take offensively and whine about bars being set too high by others don't take the time to acknowledge that. So committed to their own BS being considered "right".


[edit on 6-4-2010 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



[edit on 6-4-2010 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


I'll tell you why. It's because scientism, in the sense beloved of the OP, is nothing but a stick shaped by dualists and other lovers of mumbo-jumbo to beat science with. Taken in this sense, it has no other reality and no other purpose.


Nope. But I understand how married to your sense of high and mightiness you are.


I have now dipped into Feser's deceitful attack on science in the name of scientism, as well as into the OP's other full-length cut-and-paste job, which turns out to be a very intelligent article by the philosopher Susan Haak. Feser's diatribe offers not an atom of evidence that what he calls scientism actually exists in the scientific community.


Proving it exists was not the aim of the paper? Couldn't be that now could it?



He takes the obligatory swipes at Richard Dawkins (who is a scientist) and Christopher Hitchens (who is not), but can give no example of how their writings are 'scientistic' except to state that they regard religion as unscientific - which, of course, it is. His statement that Dawkins and Hitchens claim that religion has no rational foundation is a downright lie*. But for all his ill-concealed venom Feser can produce no actual examples of scientism in the work or public utterances of well-known scientists. So much for his claim that scientists indulge in scientism!


What you call "swipes" other call "criticism". I know to the mind of the true believer there is no difference but if your going to claim objectivity shouldn't you at least attempt to portray it?
As for the rest, love the use of ad hom.



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows


As it is neither and you have done little but bare asserted it constantly as fact. I fail to see why I needed to.

Blinded by Watcher-In-The-Shadowisms.


But I understand that you have decided that it must be so.
Considering you won't address it, what is there but to consider that?
Care to discuss Feser' religious influences?


Isn't this called attacking the motivation instead of the argument?
Are you attacking my motives?



Yes because if someone critisizes someone that MUST be the overriding agenda to any other critisisms.....
You are cogniziant of the fact that people can hold non-overlapping albeit within a wider general topic opinions right?
Considering Feser uses the issues and these individuals, but does not explain these other then to associate them with scientism in a critique of scientism. Yes it seems to be an overiding criticism.
Feser does not clarify a distinction between the topics or the individuals with a wider general opinion but uses them to Identify that opinion. As the opinion is a criticism, it seems to be an overriding criticism. Feser wants to blur the lines between Atheists and science in order to proliferate scientism as a derogatory. If you want to swallow it, fine.
When did you become an apologists for religious rhetoric as objection to science?



Actually no. The aim is discourage the over emphisization of scientism. But I understand how a fanatic would see that as a bad thing.
Yes, I agree with you. Feser is a fanatic and it is true that he does feel that the emphasis has moved on from his theological rhetoric and that this is bad.
You love pointing out ad homs in other posters replies, don't you.





Indeed, that science is even a rational form of inquiry (let alone the only rational form of inquiry).
That isinteresting about science, isn't it?


Stating the facts is attack? That is a new one on me.

Factually speaking, you point out the fact that Feser attacks science even thought his aim was to discuss scientism. Cheers.



Ah, so he last now lapse beyond the scope of his mission which was to address where scientism is wrong? ...........against scientism.

Feser does not do that. He mentions individuals, but gives no examples other then to infer there is a "whiff". He is specific about issues and religion but does not compare that with which scientism claims it is superior to, in that specific sense. Why not?

who allege that because religion has no scientific foundation (or so they claim) it “therefore” has no rational foundation


How did Feser arrive at this conclusion?

For the whole point of scientism—or so it would seem given the rhetoric of its loudest adherents—was supposed to be to provide a weapon by which fields of inquiry like theology might be dismissed as inherently unscientific and irrational.

Feser, inferring intent, names a competing mode of inquiry, but won't discuss the actual claim that Scientism is superior and that theology is inherently unscientific and irrational.
That would be the easiest way to point out the fallacy, would it not. Feser gives us all the elements, so use them!
He states the claim and intent of scientism, so test it.

was supposed to be to provide a weapon by which fields of inquiry like theology might be dismissed as inherently unscientific and irrational.

He attacks the inquiry of science and a paradox that effects all philosophy and inquiry, but this does not argue the belief that it is a superior mode of inquiry.

all mental activities saturated with meaning and purpose—falls on the “subjective,” “manifest image” side of scientism’s divide rather than the “objective,” “scientific image” side.
All mental activities. Some people prefer that their activities be scientific.



[edit on 7-4-2010 by Derised Emanresu]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 



Astyanax: It's because scientism, in the sense beloved of the OP, is nothing but a stick shaped by dualists and other lovers of mumbo-jumbo to beat science with. Taken in this sense, it has no other reality and no other purpose.

Nope. But I understand how married to your sense of high and mightiness you are.

'Nope'? Just because you say so? Then can you provide a better answer to OnceReturned's question? Engage the issue instead of talking rot about my marital arrangements.



Astyanax: Feser's diatribe offers not an atom of evidence that what he calls scientism actually exists in the scientific community.

Proving it exists was not the aim of the paper? Couldn't be that now could it?

If you go accusing people of something, better give some evidence of it, no?



Astyanax: He takes the obligatory swipes at Richard Dawkins (who is a scientist) and Christopher Hitchens (who is not), but can give no example of how their writings are 'scientistic' except to state that they regard religion as unscientific.

What you call "swipes" other call "criticism". I know to the mind of the true believer there is no difference but if your going to claim objectivity shouldn't you at least attempt to portray it?

Here is the reference:


There is considerably more than a whiff of it in the work of New Atheist writers like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, who allege that because religion has no scientific foundation (or so they claim) it “therefore” has no rational foundation at all.

Call that criticism? He makes a false allegation about the authors concerned, detects a whiff of 'scientism' on the basis of it, and moves on. He barely mentions Dawkins or Hitchens again, certainly never to give an example of an act or statement by either of them that might support his thesis. I call that a swipe. A flailing, hopelessly uncoordinated swipe.


As for the rest, love the use of ad hom.

No need to tell us. Your replies to others on this thread throb with your passion for it.

[edit on 7/4/10 by Astyanax]



posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 

Do you honestly not understand the difference between epistemology and science? One explains "how" the other asks "why." Both complement each other, but neither question supplants or trumps the other.

Don't conflate theism with deeper philosophical questions probing why certain patterns are so ridiculously persistent. The answer will more than likely be a combination of both "how" (1) and "why."



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