Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't be the Turkey

When I started this blog, I was interested in what I called indirect apologetics. I got this idea through a book named, Strategy that looked at what made successful campaigns in war. The best strategy was to be unpredictable or to attack where it was least expected. Direct attacks were very costly and didn't tend to work. I tried to apply this idea towards bringing people to Christ.

It is time for a change in course due to the situation that Christians find themselves.

Instead of thinking exclusively on how to bring people into the truth of Christ. I am going to now focus more on keeping fidelity to Christ. I am going to try to tinker and take risks to do this.

Secular culture has been extremely effective with using indirect tactics against Christians. So the question that I am going to keep in mind is the following; How do you protect against the constant barrage of indirect attacks by the media and secular society so that you do not end up being a turkey.

I have been influenced by the book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb entitled The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. In Taleb's book he used an annalogy of the turkey. The turkey's every day experience confirms the belief that the owner cares for his best interest. Every day the owner feeds and gives waters to the turkey. This keeps going until the turkey reaches a maximum level of trust for his owner but then comes the chopping block.

What I want to do is to look for ways as a Christian, immersed in a powerful secular society, to not be the turkey.


a secular humanist said...

now look at it is this way, just as u attempt to convert non-catholics in order to "save" them;

i, am also trying to save you.

ergo, we are basically doing the same thing, except that my motivations are purer than yours, for...

i do not earn any "credits" for doing what i do, nor i am driven by the GREED of promised rewards or FEAR of punishment from imaginary powers that be.

i purely want good for you from the bottom my heart.

surely u can see that i am not motivated by carrots/whips, and my intentions are pure and undisguised, so why not you open your mind n breathe the fresh air.

break away from them the addiction to the drug of religion which has blinded you thus far, open your eyes and see the clear skies, do good for others with pure intentions like us, n the world will be a much better place without the hypocrisy and pretensions of the religious.

we welcome u with open hands and a warm heart.

Cure of Ars said...

I have done the thought experiment of atheism and have taken it to it's logical end. If there is no God then what I believe is on account of evolution. That there is no God is a type of mutation that is competing with the idea that there is a God. What will win is not on account of what is true because all human beliefs are an illusion created by evolution. What will win is what will more successfully pass on genes. You can say that your motives are pure, but if there is no God then motives are just an evolutionary illusion to pass on our genes. Charity is an illusion, a trick, to pass on genes. And because all beliefs are an evolutionary illusion then belief in God or a denial of God are equally bullshit.

You told me that you wanted to "save" me. But if atheism is true then salvation is not possible, we are all turkeys no matter what we do because we have no choice in the matter.

If we really do have a choice then atheism is not an option. This is one reason I don't drink the atheism Kool-Aid.

a secular humanist said...

now, to say that evolution creates illusions is a highly unorthodox, arbitrary and subjective argument, i do not agree with u & no neutrals /authority on evolution will agree with u. we currently do not have a full understanding about evolution thus i think neither of us have any authority to make up anything abt it which is non mainstream.

second, in the senario where evolution is correct and god is a lie, then any consequences which results from evolution does not affect the truth if is true, regardless if u dislike any of the consequences which might be inconvenient for u.

though i disagree that evolution creates illusions, even if u really want to insist that evolution results in illusions, then i am sorry to inform u that the consequences(the illusion u perceive) does not change the reality of the truth(should evolution be true),

it's like saying pigs are evil becos they are dirty, the inconvenient truth that they are dirty does not make them evil. that is a logical fallacy.

i believe on a fundamental level we do agree that neither u or me can prove/disprove the existence of god empirically to ppl on each side and neutrals in a convincing manner, that is the nature of the equation now n the world reflects it as it is, but i would also argue that the burden of proof lies with your side.

u are arguing along the lines of pascal's wager, u talk abt winnning, n losing, i do not wish to be immodest, but i do know a thing or 2 abt pascal's wager, n i would also like to dispel it's lies, pascal seeks to say, ok u bet on god, if u get it wrong theres nothing to lose, which is WRONG.

first there is the issue of hedging bets, u cannot bet on all possible competing gods from the various religions like u can on a gambling table since religious dogma prohibits it, so the bet's percentage strike is not cost effective, not to mention when u treat faith like a bet, any intelligent god will more likely reject this fickle fake gambler worshipper.

second, n more importantly, the reality is if u bet on god u lose this entire lifetime in order to "win" the promised life after this, for u will be required to act in a manner prescribed in the scriptures, your actions in this lifetime will be calibrated to adhere to the option u choose. i am sure if u did not choose god u would have lived this life very differently, since it is our belifs that control our actions, i would argue u would have a chance to live this very lifetime much more authentically if u did not choose god, not to mention u squander your precious time on worshipping him n following lies.

in the event that u are WRONG, u would have lived the one and only life which is granted to u, following a pack of lies. how silly is that?

to put it intelligently, u forsake the sparrow in your hands(the life u have now) to persue the imaginary sparrow in the bush(afterlife)

so pascal thinks he has nothing to lose? he will lose EVERYTHING the moment he starts to bet.

when u have figure out these fundamental u will realise that there is no need to indulge in words like salvation, so what if the so call "salvation" is not possible, salvation is a religious centric idea, another form of control, u only need salvation if u have fear, the whole doctrine indoctrinated into u have made u fear to lose what is promised to u, your greed for extravagant promises of rewards have made u fear losing it, it drugs u, u pursue some reward which u can never honestly convince yourself that it really undeniably exist.

Anonymous said...

[What I want to do is to look for ways as a Christian, immersed in a powerful secular society, to not be the turkey]

as i have observed, this is trying to portray that the Christians are some sorta marginalised victims, some weak party surrounded by so call powerful secular powers.

the truth is this is just trying to play the sympathy card, to create a siege mentality that they are under siege.

in really nothing of this is happening, religious bigots are going around US in their old usual ways dishing out decrees as if they own the place.

the secular are simply asserting the basic fundamentals enshrined in the constitution of the US to guarantee freedom of belief and the separation of church and state.

at this very moment where u claim the position of a victim(under seige from secular forces), there are religious zealots trying to establish Christianity as a state religion, certainly this is not something a group that views itself as a threatened minority would be thinking of doing. the truth could not be further than what is claimed to be.

it is precisely that they are not under siege, they are in fact just angry becos they fear losing the power they have, they arrogantly think they can kick the constitution into the trash can n act as they wish.

Cure of Ars said...

If you are going to be a good God denier evangelist you need to work on your good news. Sure I know what your against, but what they hell are you really for?

I’m really not arguing Pascal’s wager. I’m talking about the here and now. With my thought experiment you told me that I should be an atheist because it’s true. You’re talking like truth has a mystical/metaphysic reality to it. As a Christian I would agree that you should always seek the truth, because, “the truth will set you free”. Christ is the truth so I have no reservations about seeking it. But under the atheist thought experiment this is not the case.

From a materialist standing point truth was created by evolution. For the sake of argument, lets say that evolution was able to create a brain that saw more truth then illusion. Evolution is a non-rational process that is tyrannical. Evolution has no, rhyme or reason, no purpose. Evolution is the foundation of human truth. Because evolution does not have my best interest in mind why shouldn’t I rebel against this truth?

Let me ask you a question to make my point. You look to have a commitment to the US Constitution. Why not run a society on evolutionary principles instead of Constitutional principles? Why shouldn’t the genetically strong join forces to make a government that snuffs out the genetically week?

Anonymous said...

i do not need to work on the good news since it conflicts with my principles with intellectual honesty, surely i can invent and package my arguments with sugar coated paper(good news) n promises of goodies, but that is not the way i work, if my dog is dying i will just tell my son his pet is going to die & return to nature, not invent some feel good story that my dog is going to take a long holiday in sugar fairly mountain which is filled with cookies and sweets.

religious evangelism involves dishing out imaginary sweets to drug a person's soul, secular ppl like me only give u the brutal fact, even if u don't like it. look at it in this way, we are actually more sincere n honest.

Anonymous said...

i have no allegiance to the US constitution for i am not a resident of the united states, but i do care enough abt the ppl in the US to make a point, for i do believe we, as human beings do have a collective responsibility towards each other, regardess if u r in america, africa or anywhere else in the world.

your last point is logically flawed, the question is why should we run a society with "evolutionary principles", even if evolution is true? your point doesn't make sense n tries to peddle a false dilemma (aka either-or fallacy), simply recognizing evolution DOES NOT EQUAL to the requirement to run some "evolutionary principles" in society. it simply doesn't work this way. ergo, to put it mildly, i think u r talking crabshit. even dawkins doesn't believe in doing this shit n he's a evolutionary biologist, n u a catholic believes in this?? what a hilarious joke.

certainly there are other ways to run society than to use your so call "evolutionary principles", look, we are obviously not running on your brand of "evolutionary principles" now, n we are neither running on religious principles, so, after we say evolution is true , suddenly the principles that we are running on now(which is NOT RELIGIOUS NOR EVOLUTIONARY) becomes deershit and we have no choice but to run on some Austin Cartwight's evolutionary principles??? i say this does not happen, numerous countries recognising evolution do not function on these so call "evolutionary principles" (watever it might mean anyway-mostly I guess it could mean anything as long as it sounds evil enough).

it's like saying "sorry, either u like apples or oranges, if u like anything else other than that(for example the water melon u r eating now), u die."

this is a wild punch u r making here, so what does your exclusive brand of Austin Cartwight's evolutionary principles consist?? would u like to elaborate?, just one principle?? the genetically strong join forces to make a government that snuffs out the genetically week??, well, to do? what? what does that achieve?

hey, lets be serious, the society we live in now is governed by a complex array of rules, one silly blind ploy of creating enemies within the fractions of society n make them kill each other isn't gonna cut it, u want to regulate society by one principle derived from Austin Cartwight's knowledge of evolution?? wow, that mightily ambitious. lets be realistic, Austin Cartwight's evolutionary principles are not practical, not possible and not functional.

Anonymous said...

now, i would not be tackling your other wild punches since they have little substance.

i can also say my table is tyrannical, my shoes are tyrannical n so on n so forth. hot air n more hot air.

Anonymous said...

[but what they hell are you really for? ]

oh for sure, u can know what i am for if u ask the right questions.

or else u will just be boxing shadows.

Anonymous said...

Well, after dismantling austin cartwight's dubious idea of some so call evolutionary principled government

i am going to bring u a more grounded idea, if the fundamental religious folks would have their way (which is entirely possible since there are states else where in the world running on religious principles) they would run the government on religious principles.

In which something really inconvenient would really happen,because the ppl will soon realise that religious principles in governance are not compatible with democracy.

The state will become a absolute monarchy, ruled by a absolute monarch (yes this is not a joke), it is in fact consistent with religious teachings, the pope in fact IS a absolute monarch (they can it Ecclesiastical sacerdotal-monarchical), well they flowery euphemisms are not important, merely it means the monarch has dictatorial powers, simple to understand.

It means to hell with congress, to hell with presidency, n yes, sorry to mention no voting, sorry no human rights, n basically a lot of things american's identity themselves with are no no.

There are more ugly things to say, but i'd stop here, what i would like to highlight is if u want to paint a picture of “what if” i can do that too, n the difference is my suggestion is actually possible, where yours is not.

Cure of Ars said...

Here is my line of arguing...

Point 1. God is not an object, so the scientific method is not able to prove or disprove God. On a scientific level, the reality of God is an unknown. There are other philosophical proofs of God that I could give but you will just say that you are not convinced, giving yourself a high five, and brag about how you dismantling me. I just have better things to do than play games with you.

Point 2. By using a thought experiment I was trying to see if there was an advantage to being an atheist. I tried to ask you what you were for. You refused to answer and all you gave me was that atheism was honest and true. But if you go back to point one, there is no proof that God does not exist on a scientific level. Atheism takes faith, just like theism, but there is no pay off for the faith in atheism. Or at least you were not able to give me one. So I don't see how being and atheist is rational. Only payoff I can see is that your are angry (or afraid) of theists for some reason and because of this you get pleasure out of trying to get up in their craw.

Point 3. Agnosticism looks like a rational position if you really don't know. My suggestion would be to do experiments. Seek and ye shall find, as someone once said. Do the agnostic prayer something like this, God, if you exist, please give me the gift of knowing you.

Point 4. If you pray and pray and you are not given the gift of faith, I don't know what to tell you, other than have a nice life.

Anonymous said...

point 1, i would disagree with you on your definition, on a scientific level the reality of god is "unprovable to be existent", NOT "unknown".

the scientific method cannot disprove god, but the burden of proof is on the church, u keep avoiding this point, but i can understand why.

second, it is a good choice not to raise your so call philosophical proofs, for they have never convinced any neutrals, ppl from the other camps or any other ppl in any significant manner. i do not beliveve that u have anything original or new to offer me either, i do not wish to be immodest but from Aquinas to Anselm to Plantinga, anything in between , they have not produced anything impressive.

another correction, i do not dismantle ppl, i dismantle any logical fallacies they make, reasonable ppl like scientist or mathematician do not take any offence personally when their equations are proved to be logically flawed, for equations are equations, it is only the religious like u who invest such vast amounts of blind allegiance to your "arguments" that u take great offence having being proved to be wrong becos your arguments becomes a piece of meat on your body.

it's abt time u differentiate your arguments from yourself, they are NOT yours technically, u merely borrowed them from somewhere else. i thing theres a thing or 2 u can learn here.

i have also have better things to do than to counter arguments that u might borrow from elsewhere which have already been countered by other ppl (who are more qualified than me) long before we even start this conversation.

point 2, why are you still stuck in mud? the thought experiment is to determine which choice is more likely to be the truth, n what did u try to do?? u r [trying to see if there was an advantage to being an atheist], so are you looking for the truth OR the choice which can provide u with the most "goodies(advantage)". if u want goodies u should go to a toy shop or candy shop. hey, u cant even get your directions right.

u went out to get a burger, but u end up buying a cow instead.

there is no such thing as faith in atheism, atheism is derived from reason, atheism does not take faith, only religion takes faith. it is precisely that u do not have reason u NEED faith, those who have reason does not need it.

a atheist will never say, i have faith in atheism, just like a mathematician will not say i have faith that 2+2=4, only the religious does that kinda crap.

a mathematician will say i have reason to believe 2+2=4 n it can be logically deduced. in the same way, an atheist will say i have reason to believe atheism is a logical conclusion.

if an individual have no reason/rationality, he still can easily arrive in belief in god, BUT

if an individual have no reason/rationality, he can never arrive at atheism in the first place.

ergo, to derive atheism from faith is simply IMPOSSIBLE, just like u cannot derive 2+2=4 from simply "having faith" in it, u will simply fail, so stop being ridiculous.

your narrow minded view of the world of petty profits/gains/payoffs/losing/advantages/goodies/rewards/punishments/carrots/whips are all very amusing to me, i do not need to be motivate by anger/fear to do the things i do, i move beyond these things, it seems that u have a long way to go.

Atheism is Based on Faith? said...

Often theists will try to place atheism and theism on the same plane by arguing that while theists cannot prove that god exists, atheists also cannot prove that god does not exist. This is used as a basis for arguing that there is no objective means for determining which is preferable because neither has a logical or empirical advantage over the other. Thus, the only reason for going with one or the other is faith and then, presumably, the theist will argue that their faith is somehow better than the atheist’s faith.

This claim relies upon the erroneous assumption that all propositions are created equal and, because some cannot be conclusively proven, then therefore none can be conclusively disproven. So, it is argued, the proposition “God exists” cannot be disproven.

But not all propositions are created equal. It is true that some cannot be disproven — for example, the claim “a black swan exists” cannot be disproven. To do so would require examining every spot in the universe to make sure that such a swan did not exist, and that simply isn’t possible.

Other propositions, however, can be disproven — and conclusively. There are two ways to do this. The first is to see if the proposition leads to a logical contradiction; if so, then the proposition must be false. Examples of this would be “a married bachelor exists” or “a square circle exists.” Both of these propositions entail logical contradictions — pointing this out is the same as disproving them.

If someone claims the existence of a god, the existence of which entails logical contradictions, then that god can be disproven the same way. Many atheological arguments do exactly that — for example they argue that an omnipotent and omniscient god cannot exist because those qualities lead to logical contradictions.

The second way to disprove a proposition is a bit more complicated. Consider the following two propositions:

1. Our solar system has a tenth planet.
2. Our solar system has a tenth planet with a mass of X and an orbit of Y.

Both propositions can be proven, but there is a difference when it comes to disproving them. The first could be disproven if someone were to examine all of the space between the sun and the outer limits of our solar system and found no new planets — but such a process is beyond our technology. So, for all practical purposes, it is not disprovable.

The second proposition, however, is disprovable with current technology. Knowing the specific information of mass and orbit, we can devise tests to determine if such an object exists — in other words, the claim is testable. If the tests repeatedly fail, then we can reasonably conclude that the object does not exist. For all intents and purposes, the proposition it disproven. This would not mean that no tenth planet exists. Instead, it means that this particular tenth planet, with this mass and this orbit, does not exist.

Similarly, when a god is defined adequately, it may be possible to construct empirical or logical tests to see if it exists. We can look, for example, at the expected effects which such a god might have on nature or humanity. If we fail to find those effects, then a god with that set of characteristics does not exist. Some other god with some other set of characteristics may exist, but this one has been disproven.

One example of this would be the Argument from Evil, an atheological argument which proposes to prove that an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent god cannot exist alongside a world like ours which has so much evil in it. If successful, such an argument would not disprove the existence of some other god; it would instead merely disprove the existence of any gods with a particular set of characteristics.

Obviously disproving a god requires an adequate description of what it is and what characteristics it has in order to determine either if there is a logical contradiction or if any testable implications hold true. Without a substantive explanation of just what this god is, how can there be a substantive claim that this god is? In order to reasonably claim that this god matters, the believer must have substantive information regarding its nature and characteristics; otherwise, there is no reason for anyone to care.

Claiming that atheists “cannot prove that God does not exist” often relies upon the misunderstanding that atheists claim “God does not exist” and should prove this. In reality, atheists merely fail to accept the theists' claim “God exists” and, hence, the initial burden of proof lies with the believer. If the believer is unable to provide good reason to accept the existence of their god, it is unreasonable to expect the atheist to construct a disproof of it — or even care much about the claim in the first place.


Anonymous said...

Point 3. Agnosticism looks like a rational position if you really don't know. My suggestion would be to do experiments. Seek and ye shall find, as someone once said. Do the agnostic prayer something like this, God, if you exist, please give me the gift of knowing you.

Point 4. If you pray and pray and you are not given the gift of faith, I don't know what to tell you, other than have a nice life.

point 3
i must admit that u r great at coming up with funny arguments, in your first sentence u asserts that rationality is good and u hint that believe u have more rationality than me, subsequently u suggest that i do an experiment that involves doing something irrational like praying, lol, ok, joke taken. if u have ambition of being a stand up comedian, u have a chance.

point 4
if u think and think and u cannot reason that agnostic/atheistic humanism is a more logical choice, than sorry for u, good luck to u.