Re: [humanism-174] Loads of Fact checking/ Debunking Needed

From: TC3
Sent on: Friday, November 30, 2012 12:16 AM
I heard the Nazis were the first to fluoridate water in masses in the camps. lol


On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:35 PM, Tim Campbell <[address removed]> wrote:

I concur with Randy.  To be blunt, Russ, I won't make any deals with you. When you make unwarranted statements and assert irrational assertions, I will call you on them. I really do not care what you think or say about my comments.
 
The JFK and NAZI escapees are both interesting subjects.  I'm not an expert on either, and I seriously doubt that you are either.  At this stage of the game, both subjects are of little more than academic interest to me.  I would hope that someday hard evidence is discovered or presented to give true finality to the JFK case, but I doubt that such evidence will come from any of the conspiracy folks out there.  Until then, all we have is discussion or argument, nothing of any real substance.  When I referred to years of research and doubt, I was referring to religion, NOT to government conspiracies.  Don't put words into my mouth that are not there.
 
There are degrees of acceptance and non-acceptance.  Yes, I am personally convinced that the god of the bible does not exist.  I am with Randy on "God" in general.  I cannot disprove the existence of any invisible beings, but find the god of the bible to be self-contradictory and a highly unlikely creature.  I have an opinion on this being as a fictional character, but again, my beliefs or non-beliefs are meaningless for anyone but me. Same for you.  Believing something is true does not make it so, and not believing something is true does not necessarily make that something untrue.
 
I tried to be clear here. If you still have difficulty understanding what I an Randy have written, I apologize for both of us. Our skills may be too limited. Or the problem is you.
 
Tim Campbell
 
In a message dated 11/29/[masked]:16:31 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, [address removed] writes:
Russell,

I know you were talking to Tim, but I am going to answer. I, nor you, can be absolutely certain whether Oswald acted alone. And any chance of a reasonable degree of certainty is probably now long since gone given the acrimonious and intellectually polluted discussion this nation has had over the years about this topic. However, while I can't be certain about this topic, I remain unconvinced by the evidence that has been offered up by you and others over the years. It is a string of circumstantial claims and unsupported suppositions and the like, all begging a critical thinker to accept a massive government conspiracy and coverup. Conspiracies do happen. But the one we are asked to believe here is so huge that the application of skepticism makes me seriously doubt the claims. It is akin to the moon hoax conspiracy in its credibility.

I too, though not recently, explored this claim myself. I don't know that I have invested the amount of time you have. But this is of little relevance. Nothing I examined in the past, nor have seen since, is compellingly convincing of the claim that Oswald was a patsy in a large-scale conspiracy, orchestrated by our government and/or other parties, to assassinate President Kennedy. I suspect that the problem here is that you have a much lower threshold for what qualifies as convincing and compelling evidence. And I suspect that this is driven or fueled by some emotionally driven mistrust you have of government in general based on your political ideology. 

You mentioned, in response to comments I posted earlier, you find it frustrating "when people refuse to hear things I think are true." I don't doubt the veracity of this statement. Problem is that just because you think it is true does not make it so. As Richard Fenyman said on more than one occassion, the easiest person to fool is yourself. I suspect you are doing just that where it concerns this topic and perhaps others. By the way, your suspicion was correct. My comment was meant as sarcasm.

You are wrong when you stated there are no "differing degrees or flavors of truth." Just two examples: absolute truth and provisional truth. Somethings are held to be true by some as absolutes. Those same people may hold other truths to be provisional, meaning they may change their mind as a result of reexamination of the existing evidence and/or consideration of new evidence. In fact, the entire discipline of science is built on provisional truths, while much of the foundation of religion is built on absolute truth. So truth does come in "differing degrees or flavors."

Finally, I don't know where Tim is on the continuum between belief and non-belief, but I am as close to certainty as one can get without being absolute certain there is no God. Christianity has had over 2000 years to make its case. Islam has had over 1300 years to makes it case. Judaism has had at least 3000 years to make its case. These religions and all others have failed miserably in substantiating their core claims with a body of compelling and convincing evidence. Using the Dawkins scale, as described in his book The God Delusion, where 7 is absolute certainty that God does not exist, I fall somewhere very close to 6.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 certainty there is no God. This is based on the evidence, as provided by science, that the material universe and all in it are well explained without resorting to the supernatural and philosophical arguments that lead to me conclude that the concept of God is absurd, a logical impossibility and irrational.

Finally, I find it intellectually troubling and suspect that there are things you "believe might be true." A critical thinker, employing the tools of critical thought, including skepticism, should not be making such statements. The moment you accept that something "might be true" you are susceptible to accepting it as true with a lowered standard of evidence. I refuse to accept or believe any claim to be true or even "might be true" until there is compellingly convincing evidence to support that it is true. And then acceptance of the claim is provisional, meaning subject to revision should additional, more compelling and convincing evidence be presented that requires a revision of the original claim or complete rejection of it. You appear, as I suggested three paragraphs earlier, to accept the truth of a claim with a lower standard of evidence or burden of proof than do I. Claims of large-scale conspiracies involving the government or any other large body or segment of society, strike me as extraordinary claims, requiring an extraordinary body of evidence. Like those who believe in the moon hoax conspiracy or the 911 conspiracy, the evidence offered to date for the JFK assassination conspiracy simply has not risen to the higher standard needed.

 




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