Seattle Analytic Philosophy Club Message Board › Does Evolution Undermine Naturalism -SETTLED!-

Does Evolution Undermine Naturalism -SETTLED!-

A former member
Post #: 11
This discussion is a continuation from the event page:
http://www.meetup.com...­

Perhaps the funniest thing about this entire mock-debate is that there are people who actually buy into this bullsh^t... I mean to take something like this serious? Dear god man! Mr. Modrow is correct {god bless his little wooden heart}: “I have my own theory in regards to evolution and God: namely, the mere fact most people, including even so-called "educated" people like Plantinga, can believe in something as primitive as a personal god, is the strongest possible proof that not only have we evolved from apes, but also that we haven't evolved that far from being apes.”

Beautiful refutation: (b) in (g) is proof of (e).

How do we know this is true: because of the nature of (g). So does belief in God undermine human intelligence? [this is a far better question than the one Plantinga asks.]

I like this one best; if evolution is true then belief in Mr. Modrow’s argument is rational. (At least, this is what Plantinga would say).

Is belief in God a form of intelligence? This is a much better debate topic. Though I must confess, I am already bursting at the seams with laughter… the thought of some serious, analytical-epistemologist balancing himself on the thinnest wire, sweat pouring from brow, symbolic logic written all over his face, eyes rolling through head, mathematically confident, all in an attempt to justify his desired deity. “But I’m afraid you missed a step Mr. Rollic.” {oh sh*t worst nightmare comes true; computer failed to connect dots, switch to backup program: we don’t need to connect dots, belief in God is true by default—properly basic—.}

[Maneuver is masterful, convinces many pedantic people.]

I believe Mr. Modrow is correct, we are still sloppy, fumbling apes. Belief in God is developmentally immature.

My theory; people who pay attention to this kind of sophistry are people who like to play analytical games, symbolic games, word games, or merely games in general. Plantinga gives the puzzle-junkies something to do. It is philosophy for the sake of philosophy itself, which is the worst kind of philosophy of all!

Confidently yours,
Jersey Flight

Gene L
user 19640341
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 581
Hi Jersey,

Just some modest questions here.

Here is a prior post of yours I recall.

http://www.meetup.com...­

4-10-13

Mr. Plantinga I will be speaking in Seattle on April 14th at 3:00 pm. The topic is "Atheism in the Modern World." However, the conclusion of my lecture will be a short, general criticism of your so-called philosophy (sweeping in scope).
http://img2.meetupsta...­
After the lecture the group will talk amongst themselves.

If you are in town I think you might find it fascinating to attend? If you are interested please let me know and I will send you the details.

If you find my criticism compelling I would be happy to engage you in a written debate? (I must say however, I am skeptical as to your willingness to do this once you hear my criticism... because I believe you have made your mark by avoiding the particulars, all the while relying on the particulars. It stands to reason [for the self-preservation of your life's work] that you would not want to discuss what could effectively be a total refutation of your view. My guess is that you would simply say: "to prove thus was not my point." How convenient, and yet the question demands an answer.)

If you cannot attend, but would like a copy of my criticism please let me know.

We would not need to have a long debate (I tend to work rather quickly on theism).

Respectfully yours,
Jersey Flight

Err, it looks like you are challenging Plantinga to a "written" debate above.. So I would be curious why you wanted to engage in written debate with Plantinga, given the material in your above post - are you criticizing your past self now?

But for some reason, you aren't interested in live debate here. I'd also be curious why you are interested in written debate, but not live debate.


A former member
Post #: 12
“am I criticizing my past self?”

Well, I suppose this depends upon the reason why I wanted to have a debate with Mr. Plantinga in the first place? Was it because I believe his apologetic to be proficient? For me debate is about winning over culture (persuading the audience not the proponent). I would gladly have a written exchange with Plantinga (most specifically because he is the purveyor of his views). But in this do I take his rhetoric serious? Am I shaken to the core by his pontification about God (one moment the God of Christianity another moment the God of vague theism)? NOT AT ALL! [One has the opportunity to make an example.]

I do not believe there is inconsistency between my replies. Indeed, I have writings which predate my letter to Plantinga dealing with the sophistry of Plantinga. If I see a lunatic persuading children in the street, I may very well stop and expose his lunacy, but not for the lunatic’s sake, for the child’s sake!

[But I will curb myself here.] If you believe this argument is true and you want to debate it because you believe there is something vital being missed, then what more can I say, I applaud this kind if perseverance and authenticity. But to debate this issue because it seems fun [I will speak plain] this is not a method of philosophy I can relate to. And here a wise man agrees:

“There is a marked tendency among professional philosophers to work at whatever will bring them the warmest approbation from the people they esteem most highly in the profession. This means they are slaves to fashion, albeit high fashion; and when the fashion changes, so does their work— indeed, so do their interests. They write not about problems which they have but about whatever it is that their most admired contemporaries are writing about.” Confessions of a Philosopher, Bryan Magee, Random House 1997 Pg.86

However, I do believe it is wise and healthy to debate ones past self. [By god one should always debate ones self!] If I at one time thought that Plantinga was relevant, then I, at that time, was wrong. I transcend my past self! However, I have always known (at least as far back as I can remember) that Plantinga is merely playing a game (and not a good one at that). To demand a definition of God (via justification of that definition) is to destroy the critique of Plantinga long before Plantinga can begin!

As to why I prefer a written exchange (of course to me this is obvious), it is harder to smuggle in assertions… because I find it to be more precise. One can easily blurt-out, personalize propositions in such a way that they make emotional contact with the audience. I find that a written exchange is not as easy to manipulate in this way. In fact my dear friend, I am far more suspicious of people who prefer a verbal exchange over a written exchange. If we are seeking the truth, then it should not matter if we win the verbal exchange, what should matter is whether or not our beliefs are true according to some kind of evidence or warrant of truth, even if we can only be poor presenters of this truth in person. {I said truth not Truth.}

What more can I say. I am not infallible, but I do find the emphasis of Plantinga to be rather trendy in an analytical, gamish kind of way. [One should simply ignore fanatics like me; it is very possible my opinion doesn’t count.] It is better to do what one finds best for one’s self. In my case I enjoy mocking the unserious nature of Plantinga’s subject, which Plantinga takes to be deadly serious, which makes it all the more comical! Are we really supposed to have a serious philosophical conversation about the Trinity? I mean, this is truly a joke pontificated by an ape. And yet, for some reason Plantinga is not a Muslim!!!

Respectfully yours,
Jersey Flight
A former member
Post #: 13
As far as addressing the argument on the grounds of the argument, does anything else really need to be said [link has been updated to something better]: http://stephenlaw.blo...­

[this has been added because it puts this whole Plantinga obsession in context]: http://freethoughtblo...­
Gene L
user 19640341
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 582
As far as addressing the argument on the grounds of the argument, does anything else really need to be said: https://www.youtube.c...­
That guy doesn't understand the argument. Talk about attacking a straw man.

Regardless, per your original post, you aren't interested in the issue, so why does it matter?
Gene L
user 19640341
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 583


[But I will curb myself here.] If you believe this argument is true and you want to debate it because you believe there is something vital being missed, then what more can I say, I applaud this kind if perseverance and authenticity. But to debate this issue because it seems fun [I will speak plain] this is not a method of philosophy I can relate to. And here a wise man agrees:

Respectfully yours,
Jersey Flight
Jersey,

Well, you don't have to relate to it, if you aren't interested, just don't pay attention. You run your own, very interesting, group and you can discuss whatever topics you want there, no? The vast majority of people will do what they enjoy, if they are not being paid - I'm not sure what you are suggesting, you don't relate to people wanting to do things they enjoy?
Gene L
user 19640341
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 584


As to why I prefer a written exchange (of course to me this is obvious), it is harder to smuggle in assertions… because I find it to be more precise. One can easily blurt-out, personalize propositions in such a way that they make emotional contact with the audience. I find that a written exchange is not as easy to manipulate in this way. In fact my dear friend, I am far more suspicious of people who prefer a verbal exchange over a written exchange. If we are seeking the truth, then it should not matter if we win the verbal exchange, what should matter is whether or not our beliefs are true according to some kind of evidence or warrant of truth, even if we can only be poor presenters of this truth in person. {I said truth not Truth.}

Respectfully yours,
Jersey Flight
http://www.meetup.com...­

Ok but you did engage in a verbal debate recently.

So you wanted to engage in a written debate with Plantinga.

Then you criticize the idea of debating Plantinga's arguments (after you wanted to debate them).

You don't want to engage in a verbal debate about his arguments.

But you do engage in verbal debates. In which case, which topics would you debate?

So actions and words don't seem to match. Unless you are engaging in continual self-criticism - which is a good thing.

A former member
Post #: 14
G: “Ok but you did engage in a verbal debate recently.”

Your original question: “I'd also be curious why you are interested in written debate, but not live debate.”

My reply: ‘As to why I prefer a written exchange…’ [it is my preferred medium.] I at no point rejected the procedure of verbal exchange.

G: “So you wanted to engage in a written debate with Plantinga.”

That is correct.

G: “Then you criticize the idea of debating Plantinga's arguments (after you wanted to debate them).”

No, I criticized a mock-debate over Plantinga’s arguments. ‘I would gladly have a written exchange with Plantinga [himself] (most specifically because he is the purveyor of his views).’ This gives me the chance to make an example of him.

G: “You don't want to engage in a verbal debate about his arguments.”

No, I don’t want to engage in mock-debates about his arguments. I have no problem with proponents of his view (though I would probably forgo a debate with anyone that was not Plantinga or at least a major defender of his view). [This would imply that they actually believe his view.] In all my refutations of Plantinga I have addressed Plantinga himself. Why go after the disciple when you can go after the master?

G: “But you do engage in verbal debates. In which case, which topics would you debate?”

There are several topics. But I think the point is that I’m more concerned with questions of existential relevance as opposed to questions of fanciful intrigue or disconnected curiosity [see Magee]. As you well know, we have been trying to set up a discussion on Analytical Philosophy versus Continental Philosophy. I find myself wedged between these two. I am open to debating many topics, but never for sport! Philosophy is not a game to me (though it is perhaps the greatest game).

G: “So actions and words don't seem to match. Unless you are engaging in continual self-criticism - which is a good thing.”

The implication is that there is a contradiction between my actions and my words. This could very well be the case, but it could also be the case that you have misconstrued my actions against my words or my words against my actions?

I will try to be clear. This has to be the end for me. I don’t believe this exchange constitutes a good use of time. [please do not take this as a reference to your abilities— you are not the topic I am referring to.]

I do believe in verbal exchange; I believe it plays a very important role in shaping societal consensus. I also believe that Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument is a waste of time. But this does not mean I would reject the chance to smite the Pied Piper in public. I also believe that written exchange (if we are seeking the most accurate conclusion) is preferred to verbal exchange.

But is the real issue here my seeming inconsistency or whether or not Plantinga’s views are a waste of time? What makes his argument worth discussing? Postulating the supernatural against the natural will never work because the super— presupposes the authority of the natural!

Respectfully yours,
Jersey Flight
Gene L
user 19640341
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 586

But is the real issue here my seeming inconsistency or whether or not Plantinga’s views are a waste of time? What makes his argument worth discussing? Postulating the supernatural against the natural will never work because the super— presupposes the authority of the natural!

Respectfully yours,
Jersey Flight
No Plantinga's views are definitely not a waste of time, in my opinion. In fact I think they are much more worthy of discussion than dozens of other things I can think of on public philosophy boards. It is not your time, so what does it matter to you? I happen to think opera is a waste of time, for me. So I just ignore opera. But of course, some people enjoy opera, so it is a not a waste of time for them, and why does it matter to me?

Again, here is another inconsistency. You don't think Plantinga's views are a good use of time. But you are posting about it again and again, at great length. So again, actions and words don't match.

I'm very confident about debating this. Most people would agree with the sayings - actions speak louder than words, talk the talk, walk the walk, talk is cheap, and so on. What else needs to be said here? On the other hand, many who are willing to declare how bad Plantinga's views are on message boards don't seem to want to debate. Surprising, because if Plantinga's arguments are as bad as alleged, then it should be quite easy to dispatch me in verbal debate, no? So again, actions and words don't seem to match.

So can we drop this?

This is the last I will say here.
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