Monday, October 20, 2014

Creationists trash Denmark

Denmark present a real problem for many Christians. It appears to be a successful secular society that has all but abandoned extreme forms of religion. These Christians can't figure out how a country could be moral if it's full of nonbelievers.

Vincent Joseph Torley (vjtorley) has found the answer [Is something rotten in the state of Denmark?]. He's responding to claims by Jerry Coyne that Denmark is a successful country.
Perhaps Coyne might be interested to read an eye-opening article by Carol Brown over at American Thinker on what is happening in Denmark. Ms. Brown paints a terrifying portrait of a society which is falling apart under the influence of religiously motivated violence. Crime in Denmark has exploded, and street gangs "have taken over large parts of Danish towns and cities. There are numerous "no go" zones where even the police are afraid to venture. Is this Coyne’s idea of a successful secular society?

Some morals to be drawn from Brown’s article:

1. Not all forms of religion are good; some are toxic.

2. Nature abhors a vacuum. Secularism is powerless to drive out toxic forms of religion.

3. The only proven way to drive out toxic forms of religion, and keep them out, is with wholesome forms of religion.
I was in Denmark for seven days and I never saw any sign of this sort of lawlessness or even heard about it. But maybe I was just in the wrong places? Or maybe it's not true? (Heavens!)


97 comments :

  1. There is certainly *some* of this going on (for an insightful and amusing take on Denmark and Scandinavia in general, read Michael Booth's "The Almost Nearly Perfect People" -- Booth is an Englishman who married a Dane and lives in Denmark and can thus describe it both from an insider and outsider perspective).

    But he makes the point that immigrant clashes with police are hardly anything new in any country, and history shows us that typically after a generation or two people get assimilated. (Nobody in the US fears the descendants of Italian and Irish immigrants anymore, but in the 19th and early 20th century there were fears that US society would collapse under the influx of Papist foreigners (spolier alert: it didn't).

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  2. As a Dane I can happily report that it's mostly bullshit and overblown scaremongering perpetrated primarily by xenophobes.

    The description Torley gives should raise some red flags already when we see what kind of language he uses, for example: "a society which is falling apart under the influence of religiously motivated violence" is hyperbolic in the extreme.

    It's funny because, if I got look up crime statistics from Danmarks Statistik, crime has been more or less steady over the last decade: http://www.dst.dk/pukora/epub/upload/17950/krim.pdf

    The decade before that, crime was overall dropping: http://www.dst.dk/pukora/epub/upload/3103/krimi.pdf

    These are in danish so get some translation :)


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    1. Oh sure Rumraket, you think you know more about Denmark than IDcreationists just because you live there!

      All you proved is that the Conspiracy is international. They're all in it together!

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    2. Perhaps Coyne might be interested to read an eye-opening article by Carol Brown over at American Thinker on what is happening in Denmark.

      Perhaps starting with a legitimate news source would be a good idea before anyone bothers considering the "article". But in that case these idiots wouldn't have much fabricated fodder to use as "facts"

      As someone who lived most of his life in a supposed "Christian" country in Southern Europe (and visited many others), and who has been living in Finland for almost 10 years, I can say for a fact that, so far, the more "christian" the worst it gets. Go to Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, etc, alone at night, especially if you are a woman, and chances are you're not going to have a nice experience. Heck, go to Southern America, and then tell me about it. Then go to Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen or Stockholm and check the differences. And by the way, how's that criminality in God's favorite country (US) going?

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    3. I've been to Copenhagen myself. My son is studying there. My daughter returned from a few days' visit to Copenhagen yesterday. We all agree it's one of the nicest, safest and friendliest places in Europe. A violent fringe can be found everywhere, but there's far less of it in Denmark than in most other countries I've seen (much less than anywhere in the US, while we're at it). Torley's drama refers to some alternative universe which I don't recognise as my own.

      The idea that only "wholesome" religion can successfully oppose "toxic" religion is a perfect recipe for a religious war. Every religion regards itself as wholesome, and tends to believe that other religions are toxic. I'm inclined to agree with all of them as regards the latter part.

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  3. "2. Nature abhors a vacuum. Secularism is powerless to drive out toxic forms of religion."

    This is analogous to a major argument used in Nazi propaganda: liberalism, with its blathering about equality and democracy and the Brotherhood of Man, was too weak to resist Marxist revolutionaries and invading immigrants. Therefore, strong, cold men who were brave enough to face the "facts" were necessary. Of course their "facts" were gut feelings and emotional blurts, but...

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    1. You are such a naïve moron... with some inadequately centered intelligence...
      Should I pray for your for God to give you the understanding he gave me...?
      I can't see any other option... why can't you see the obvious...? You are not a stupid guy.... I can appreciate that.... I even like you for some reason... if that make sense to you....

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    2. Should I pray for your for God to give you the understanding he gave me...?

      If "understanding" is what you call it (leaving aside for the moment whether its provenance is divine).

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    3. Quest: "Should I pray for your for God to give you the understanding he gave me...?"

      Please, no. I would like to maintain my IQ above room temperature level.

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    4. Re Williamn Spearshake

      Quest's IQ rests in the single digits.

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  4. Denmark is definitely making strides. They're finally getting around to banning bestiality in 2015. Your volume of posts concerning "creationists" has inspired me to start a blog of my own. I will be blogging about keeping swimmers in my home state of Colorado safe from shark attacks. I have to wonder, are you threatened by "creationists" or do you just enjoy talking about things you claim are IDiotic?

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    1. Hey Beau, is the planned Danish ban on bestiality forcing you to adjust your upcoming European travel plans ?

      Not to worry, there's still Bangkok, a favourite stop for Catholic priests and other clergy worldwide.

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    2. Very funny Steve, it made me laugh, but I don't want to read evolutionist X speculating about the sex life of creationist Y, or vice versa. So enough of that.

      As for Catholic priests, we know from recent stories that, if they're into kiddies, they do missionary work in Central and South America.

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    3. Point taken, I do apologize for dragging the discourse down to the level of the resident IDiot mouth breathers.

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    4. Re Steve Oberski

      Catholic priests probably visit boys town in
      Bangkok in substantial numbers.

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    5. Canada's very own Raymond Lahey, former head of the Diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia, was caught in 2009 at Ottawa's airport after authorities checked his personal computer and found a large cache of child pornography.
      ...
      Lahey was charged in September 2009 after he was arrested at the Ottawa airport while returning to Nova Scotia from a trip to Europe. His passport contained stamps for Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

      Extracted from several new articles.

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    6. OK Steve, I concede your Bangkok. But the Dominican Republic is popular too.

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    7. It seems you two have quite the list of destinations for the sexually deviant traveler. Perhaps you could join forces and start a travel agency?

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    8. Well, if they were to start such a travel agency, they could make a fortune catering to deviant christians, muslims and other god pushers. Catholics alone would be big business.

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    9. Lord knows, those poor christians seem to need a lot help lifting their luggage.

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  5. Larry,

    This is all very subjective... It all pretty much depends on what you likes and dislikes are... If you are a non-smoker, you probably shouldn't travel to Barcelona-Spain....
    If you don't mind the Danes leading the stats in the divorce rate or failing behind in their natural growth... you are fine... They got in "trouble" in the first place with "extreme religions" by having too many abortions and having enough offering.
    They needed bring immigrants that don't mind too procreate... based on what Larry...?

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    1. Quest: "They got in "trouble" in the first place with "extreme religions" by having too many abortions and having enough offering" [sic].

      So Quest, are you hinting that the Danes should practice some eugenics? Bit of manipulation of the birth rate of desirables, eh? If that's your meaning, you wouldn't be the first creationist to promote eugenics.

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    2. "They got in "trouble" in the first place with "extreme religions"

      I think that you might have a point. The largest mass murder in recent history in Scandinavia was conducted by a christian opposed to immigration. So immigration is definitely the problem.

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  6. We stayed in Stockholm Sweden, an amoral and godless Scandinavian neighbour of Denmark, for a week, a few years ago.

    Other than the almost complete lack of street people, an extensive and well planned transit system, very pedestrian friendly in the central old town, no visible police presence, women walking and jogging alone at night, it was just like any North American city.

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    1. Re steve oberski

      women walking and jogging alone at night, it was just like any North American city.

      I don't know about North American cities north of the border but I wouldn't advise this for most major cities in the US. Certainly not DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, or Los Angeles.

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    2. This is my acid test for how "healthy" a society is, if I see women using the public spaces at any time of the day or night without apparent fear, e.g, running/walking alone at night, then I deem it to be a healthy society.

      This is what I saw in Stockholm. Not so much where I live in Toronto. Definitely not in large cities in the US that I have visited.

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  7. "American Thinker" isn't a legit news source; it's just a haven for far right-wing hacks. I wouldn't trust a damn thing that is said there without independent verification.

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  8. I'm trying my best to figure out exactly what point Torley is trying to make there. (I won't even attempt to determine its relevance to the "biological theory" of intelligent design creationism).

    The sources he cites mainly attribute the alleged outbreaks of violence to Muslim immigration. A lot to unpack there, not least the undercurrent of racism that seems to frequently raise its head in creationist writings. But taking his claims at face value, the connection to "secularism" remains unclear. If his concern is that a secular state allows Muslims to immigrate and retain their religious identity, then I wonder what Torley believes a non-secular (by which he obviously means "Christian") state would, or should, do differently. Quotas on immigrants of a particular religion? Maybe laws regulating citizens' religious beliefs and practices? Or perhaps not even those measures go far enough.

    I'm not sure I could distinguish Torley's "non-secular" state from a fascist dictatorship.

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  9. 3. The only proven way to drive out toxic forms of religion, and keep them out, is with wholesome forms of religion.

    Yes, well, we have seen this idea in action lo these many centuries and to this day in many parts of the world. How many graves belong to this pursuit?

    The best way to drive out the toxic forms of religion is to break the cycles of generational indoctrination by all religions through the promotion of reason and rationality.

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    1. Reason and rationality on what? the chemical reactions in your very own brain?

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    2. If the "chemical reactions in your very own brain" don't produce reason and rationality, it might be rather difficult for you to have a fruitful discussion on this topic - or any other.

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  10. I just find it peculiar that 120 000 000 atheists consider their chemical reactions correct and that the other 2 000 000 000 000 people are obviously delusional, but when it comes to the 99% percent consensus of Darwinian evolution the 99% percent are correct but the remaining 1% is wrong. How is that reason and logic? How does an atheist quantify that his chemical reactions are in fact correct? Last time I checked chemical reactions only follow the laws of nature and really don't give a hoot about truth.......

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    1. And if you want to argue this point lets do so from what Crick concluded...

      "What we subjectively experience as "thoughts," "reasoning" and "conclusions" can only be understood materialistically as the unintended by-products of the blind natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains that (as the Smith Model illustrates) serve as cybernetic controllers for our bodies."

      Now this leaves us with the question if evolutionary processes are in fact about survival, how does the truth that you believe fit in with those that differ from you? Evolution does not concern itself with truth does it? And if it does how do we actually test that?

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    2. Andre,

      While I know you came to play rhetorical bullshit, there's a few things that, if you get to understand them, you might avoid some further embarrassment. If you care at all.

      It does not matter how different people describe it, reason is obviously something that we experience and we can use. So, put there any words you like, despise whatever is behind how reason works at the physical level, ultimately reason is still reason, just like solid is still solid even if, given that most of the atom is empty space, solid is not what we thought it was. Do you get this? Knowing that atoms are mostly empty space won't take away how solid feels. Knowing that reason works through biochemical and biophysical processes won't take reason away. See how easy that was?

      Now, a natural process, other than reason, could not care about truth because truth is a concept. Conceptualizing is something our reasoning apparatus does. So, certainly, evolution is not concerned with "truth." You have to learn to distinguish between a concept and its referents. Evolution will still work under reality. That means that its inputs are there. Therefore,, evolution works with what is, not with what is not. We conceptualize what is as "truth." So, if you want to play Plantinga's bullshit, you have to prove that evolution works with what is not, not with what is. You have to show, to be precise, that the evolution that does not involve reasoning proper, could go on what is not, rather than on what is, and still be successful.

      Try and think about it before jumping on giving us further bullshit.

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    3. I'll try again.......... if the chemical reactions only follow the laws of nature how do we know your chemical reactions that make you believe there is no god and that we are the blind workings of matter is correct over my chemical reactions that believe there is a God and that we are not the product of such thing as blind workings of matter. How do we test your claim? How do we know if your chemical reactions can be seen as truth over mine? So how does reason and logic fit in with mere chemical reactions? You have to wrestle with this question instead of trying to be condescending, because if you are sure about your position you must be able to quantify it. Can you? Now try and be nice about before you try and attack my character.

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    4. Since you can't quantify it you have to go into insult mode a tactic that is already such common place it just rolls like water off a ducks back.

      But please do tell how do we know that your chemical reactions in a materialistic framework is in fact the truth? It may very well be I'm not arguing that I'm only asking you how do you know and how can we test your particular version of this is correct?

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    5. It's always heartening when IDiots pretend to become hyper sceptical about material processes as it means that they are but one step away from admitting that they have absolutely no evidence for their invisible sky daddy except for some iron age snuff porn that they keep waving around in public like small boys that have just discovered their penises.

      Embarrassing to watch but one hopes that at some point they will grow up and become fully functioning members of a secular society.

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    6. Steve

      How do we know that your chemical reactions are the truth? Please instead of these condescending remarks quantify that we can trust your version because we can test it. Do we trust you because you say so or do we have any independent confirmation that what's going on in your brain does concern itself with truth!

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    7. Andre,

      Do you really want some answer? I ask because had you read what I wrote you would not have asked the very same thing again. Think before continuing showing yourself to be an illiterate (yes, illiterate because, apparently, you can't read).

      Here it goes again, now in the context of your rephrasing:

      «if the chemical reactions only follow the laws of nature how do we know your chemical reactions that make you believe there is no god and that we are the blind workings of matter is correct over my chemical reactions that believe there is a God and that we are not the product of such thing as blind workings of matter.»

      Because the laws of nature don't preclude the rational process. Because the rational process responds to stimuli and can thus evaluate situations and ideas. Because no matter how awful you might find the description of the rational process as physical-chemical phenomena, it still does what it does, just like solid still feels solid regardless of our knowledge that atoms are mostly empty space.

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    8. Where'd two trillion people come from? Do you even live on Earth, Andre?

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    9. Andre the dishonest IDiot of course knows that science is exactly the way that we test for the truth.

      Back to waving your penis around in public you disgusting troll.

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    10. "How do we know that your chemical reactions are the truth?"

      We test them empirically, preferably with multiple independent corroborations, like all other truth-claims.

      That wasn't hard.

      Now that this was dealt with, my turn to ask questions: How do you test whether your immaterial mind-soul-stuff reactions are "the truth"? Where can I even find immaterial mind-soul-stuff and see how it reacts and determine that it is "the truth"?

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    11. My guess is Andre ingests or smokes some stuff that plays havoc with the chemical reactions in his brain and derails rational thought.

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    12. One good way, Andre, is to note that with increasing ability to observe there tend to be increasing numbers of confirmed observations of things that are true, and decreasing numbers of observations of things that are not. Thus:

      - With increased ability to determine genomes of current and past life forms, the genomic relationships among life forms confirm those from other sources such as paleontology. Thus, multiple sources of independent confirmation.

      - With increased ability to observe what is happening anywhere on Earth (video cameras in phones, satellites, etc.), there's a notable absence of splitting of seas, pillars of fire by day and cloud at night, food supplies falling from the heavens for 40 years, raising people from the dead by calling on a deity, feeding thousands with a handful of fish and bread loaves, etc. Thus the sorts of miracles that were reported in ancient sources as evidence for the existence of a particular deity have tended not to be confirmed, which is exactly the opposite of what one would expect for phenomena that are true and exist in reality.

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    13. "But please do tell how do we know that your chemical reactions in a materialistic framework is in fact the truth?"

      Extensive evidence leading us to this conclusion. Absolutely no evidence leading away from it. Thank you for playing the game. Come back when you have evidence, any evidence, that rationality and consciousness are not the result of chemical and physical processes in the brain.

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    14. Andre is attempting one of a class of arguments for the existence is spooks, which I generally call the Epistemological Arguments for God. Andre's arg is a dumbed down version of Alvin Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN). Other Epistemological Arguments include:

      1. the Argument from Reason (lately deployed by WL Craig) and

      2. Presuppositional Theology (devised by American Cornelius Van Til, the Dutch pro-Apartheid theologian Dooyeweerd, and by American racist, pro-eugenics Christian totalitarian theologian Rousas Rushdoony; recently defended by Jason Lisle of ICR.)

      The Epistemological Arguments as a class may all be refuted as follows:

      1. First, all Epistemological Arguments depend on God of the Gaps logic. They allege a "problem" for naturalism, then claim that hypothetical spooks or deities are the only possible "solution" to the "problem" they created. But God of the Gaps logic is a non sequitur.

      2. The arg fails to meet any evidentiary burden. The theist never presents evidence that spooks and spirits have properties that could solve the "problem" they invented. If *arrangements of matter* are incapable of valid reasoning, why should we believe *spooks* are capable of valid reasoning? What is the special property of spooks that make them capable of valid reasoning? It's not even specified, nor supported by evidence. Whatever the special properties of spooks are, they must be unlike any arrangement of matter, thus they are extraordinary properties, but not supported by extraordinary evidence.

      3. It's self-contradictory on several levels. Note that Christian theology actually *rejects* the reliability of human reason because the Christian God is real. Martin Luther was very clear: "Reason is a whore", "We must pluck out the eyes of reason". Assuming Christianity is true, say Christian theologians, Adam ate an apple and "fell", we inherit original sin, therefore our reason is clouded. Martin Luther opposed reason because it led to the conclusion that God did not exist. Therefore Reason is unreliable; it must be replaced with Force and Jew-killing. Thus Christianity contradicts the premises of all the modern Epistemological Arguments, that Reason is reliable.

      To be continued...

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    15. Continuing on the self-contradictions of the Epistemological Arguments for God:

      4. Another self-contradiction of the Ep Args is that they assume it is possible to know with 100% certainty what the properties of (hypothetical) universes without gods would be-- which contradicts the other premise of the Ep Args, the claim that, in a universe without gods, nothing could be known. Christian metaphysics always assume (but never demonstrate) that universes without gods would be total chaos, and the Ep Args add that, in chaos, it is impossible to know anything. First, of course, "chaos" is not even well-defined and is thus an incoherent claim. Second, not only does this metaphysics fail to support itself with evidence, but any conceivable attempt to get supporting evidence for the claim "A universe without gods is total chaos" is self-contradictory because any attempt to get knowledge about universes without gods assumes that universes without gods are governed by laws-- they must be governed by laws for us to have any knowledge about them-- thus universes without gods cannot be total chaos. To put it another way: you say universes without gods would have no laws and just be total chaos, but if you actually defined "chaos" that would itself constitute a law that applied to universes without gods: they would obey the law that there are no laws... uh... except this law, that there are no OTHER laws, except this law...

      To put it a third way: how can you know an Absolute Truth about a hypothetical place where you say knowing anything is impossible?

      As a dichotomy: does your claim "In a hypothetical universe without gods, knowledge would be impossible" assume the existence of God... or not? Yes or no. If your premise merely assumes the existence of God, it can't be used to prove the existence of any god, since it is assuming its conclusion: circular logic. If it does not assume the existence of God, then it is possible to know some things with certainty even in universes without gods: thus you have contradicted your own premise, which is absurd. You are left with the choice of assuming your desired conclusion... or self-contradiction.

      To be continued...

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    16. Diogenes,

      I'm sorry, but, while I agree that those are the "foundations" for Andre's rhetorical questions here, you're giving him too much credit. With someone so pathetically out of the game, you need more basic explanations. Something he would be able to read. Even though we know he won't read it. If it's short, at the very least he would be "without excuse."

      :)

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    17. Fine Photosynthesis, excuuse me, you want me to dumb it down so Andre can understand it.

      OK: Andre, if my brain is not just a bunch of interacting chemicals, why does putting alcohol in it feel so good?

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    18. That's more like it Diogenes. Much better than anything I wrote. In what I wrote Andre can still pretend that I did not answer his "questions," that he's unable to read that many words and understand them.

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    19. Now if I may return to my point. My previous four refutations apply to the Epistemological Arguments for God generally, but this fifth refutation applies specifically to Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument against naturalism (EAAN), which Andre expresses as:

      if evolutionary processes are in fact about survival, how does the truth that you believe fit in with those that differ from you? Evolution does not concern itself with truth does it?

      5. The key word here is "truth." Plantinga's argument is invalid because it doesn't define truth, so that it can equivicate-- flip between two different defintions of "truth". Is "truth" something we can determine by interacting with matter? Or not?

      The EAAN tries to flip between two things, calling both "truth." It first assumes that "truth" cannot be accessed by interacting with matter-- therefore biological evolution, because it involves matter interacting with matter, can never yield this kind of "truth" nor produce a brain that could ever access "truth." But why should scientists care about a "truth" that can never be accessed by interactions with matter? They shouldn't. Scientists care about the kind of "truth" that can be accessed by interacting with matter.

      Thus the EAAN, in claiming that evolution is a "problem" for Reason or Science, must equivocate and flip silently to the other defintion of "truth", the kind scientists care about: whether gravity is real, whether germs cause diseases, etc. Now that kind of truth CAN be accessed by interacting with matter-- therefore, Natural Selection can select for it-- therefore, brains produced by NS may access that kind of truth: e.g. science. But brains produced by NS cannot obtain the kind of "truth" that cannot be accessed by interacting with matter: that is, religious beliefs and allegations about gods and their desires and purposes and existence.

      Ironically, Plantinga's EAAN is a problem for religion and not for science: if our brains evolved by NS, our brains might sometimes (not all the time) access reliable knowledge about "truth" that involves interactions of matter, but those same brains cannot access reliable spiritual knowledge about gods and spooks, e.g. that the Christian God really hates gay marriage and the capital gains tax. You can't ever know THAT for certain, but gravity and quantum mechanics, we've got down.

      Thus, scientists around the world converge on the same answers to questions-- the kind of "truth" they care about-- while religionists arrive at contradictory answers to every question and wage never-ending wars over unresolvable immaterials.

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    20. Now this is my absolute last argument, and it is a dumbed down one that should please everybody, even Photosynthesis.

      6. Argumentum ad abdurdem: Andre, your argument, attempting to disprove naturalism and thus prove spooks are real, could equally well disprove sex and prove that babies are brought by magical storks. Apply your argument to the embryological development of the individual, rather than the evolutionary development of the species. If sex is real, your brain developed from a single celled fertilized zygote with no reasoning ability, and the construction of your brain was just a bunch of chemicals interacting. If, as you premise, interacting chemicals care nothing about "truth", then why should your brain be able to reliably determine "truth", if it was produced by messy, dirty, materialistic, sexual reproduction? This being unpleasant to contemplate, you must have "proven" that as a baby, you were not produced by sex, but delivered supernaturally by a magical stork. That is as believable as thinking that some immaterial spook in an invisible alternate universe is, by an unknown mechanism, stimulating electrical signals in your prefrontal cortex.

      And with that I am done for the day.

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    21. Andre,

      You have to wrestle with this question instead of trying to be condescending, because if you are sure about your position you must be able to quantify it. Can you?

      Wrestle? Your questions are nonsensical Andre. There's no wrestling against nonsense. I'm not trying to be condescending. It's obvious that you're confused about a lot of things that are quite clear to me. If they are clear to me, then I can try and explain them to you. You guys are very sensitive about explanations, and always take the "condescending" card to avoid trying to read and understand the explanations. What about you tried to be a bit more humble yourself and read for understanding?

      Now try and be nice about before you try and attack my character.

      Try and be nice instead of showing off as if you were dumb. Try and read for comprehension for one.

      Since you can't quantify it you have to go into insult mode a tactic that is already such common place it just rolls like water off a ducks back.

      Glad to read that it rolls like water off a duck's back. But if so, then you should be able to actually read for comprehension, right? Insults or not.

      But please do tell how do we know that your chemical reactions in a materialistic framework is in fact the truth? It may very well be I'm not arguing that I'm only asking you how do you know and how can we test your particular version of this is correct?

      Again, malformed question. The proper question is not whether chemical reactions are true, but whether the chemical reactions are being used properly to attain a conclusion that is true, or at least closer to the truth. The chemical reactions are parts of an apparatus. What you do with this apparatus is what determines if the apparatus reaches a proper conclusion or not.

      Got it now?

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    22. Andre,

      Put it one more way. How I drive my car is what determines if I reach my destination or not. If I drive down the right way, it does not matter if all cars are "merely" mechanical parts, I will end up in the right place.

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    23. sez Andre Gross @ Tuesday, October 21, 2014 7:12:00 AM:
      …how do we know that your chemical reactions in a materialistic framework is in fact the truth?
      If, by "truth", you mean "Absolute Truth which is absolutely true 100% of the time, end of discussion, worlds without end, amen"… well, I'd say that we do not know Absolute Truth which is absolutely true 100% of the time, end of discussion, worlds without end, amen. I would further say that it's not just a matter of accepting a materialistic framework, because a non-materialistic framework provides no way for you to tell whether or not any putative instance of 'truth' really is Absolute Truth, as opposed to being some sort of practical joke being played by a disembodied trickster-thing.

      Now, it is of course quite possible for a person to believe, wholeheartedly and very sincerely, that some particular notion really is Absolute Truth… but if you make up a list of all the notions that various human beings have ever believed to be Absolute Truth, you'll find that some of those notions contradict each other. Which means (to me, anyway) that belief is a crappy way to tell whether or not some given Notion X really is Absolute Truth or not.

      I don't have any particular preference as regards the 'source' of reason; I take the pragmatic view that reason works, in the sense that reason helps people deal with the RealWorld more effectively than not-reason. As Quine noted, "Creatures inveterately wrong in their inductions have a pathetic but praiseworthy tendency to die before reproducing their kind." When it comes to explaining how/why reason can be effective, I don't see that adding in an hypothetical, unsupported extra layer of spiritual/theistic whatever-it-is, on top of the empirical, existing layer of neurons and brain architecture, is at all helpful. I can see that some people might find that hypothetical spiritual stuff to be a source of emotional comfort… but that doesn't make the spiritual stuff an explanation. Rather, it makes the spiritual stuff a security blanket.

      If you happen to be the sort of person who needs that security blanket, fine. Go for it. Knock yourself out. All I ask is that you not misrespresent your security blanket as being an explanation.

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  11. This reminds me of one of my favourite places; Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod. I have no idea how secular it is (I'm betting it's a pretty high percentage), but it is certainly full of homosexuals, the other bugbear of the fundamentalists. And of course, being full of homosexuals is a sure path to Hell and damnation, the destruction of the family and society.

    Yeah? Spend some time walking the streets there. You will find yourself immersed in a live and let live culture that is peaceful and happy. If you see a cop on the street there's a good chance that he's leaning against a building, and looking bored out of his skull. I haven't seen any acts of violence, and aside from one crabby waitress at a restaurant, I've never had an altercation, of any kind, with anyone.

    Dave Bailey

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    1. Providence is a great place. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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  12. Well quite simply, the bullshit story advanced on uncommonly dense is not supported by the actual numbers I linked from the official bureau of statistics in Denmark. Case closed, time to move on.

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  13. The Danish Air Force is bombing ISIS, and the Swedish Navy is chasing a [Russian?] sub.

    I've learned something this week. I wasn't aware that these countries would rattle the saber.

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  14. On an unrelated subject (sort of)

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ud-announces-general-amnesty/

    "UD Announces General Amnesty
    Today UD editors completely deleted both their “banned” list and their “comment moderation” list. Anyone in the world with access to the internet is currently free to comment on the site.

    I (i.e., Barry Arrington) am almost certainly going to regret this decision and sooner rather than later. There were hundreds of trolls trapped in the “banned” and “moderation” queues. Frankly, images of this scene from Ghostbusters went through my mind as a pressed the “release” button."



    WTF???

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    1. He may have deleted the lists by mistake.

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    2. ... or October 21 is when UD celebrates April Fools Day. Or he just got lonely after banning all but a few of the sensible commenters. Or he wants a chance to ban a whole bunch of "Darwinists" again for making points that did an uncomfortably good job of refuting him.

      We'll see. It should be entertaining.

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    3. I don't know if I'll ever go back there-- I don't trust them. Their whole shtick is to lure in evolutionists, insult them, then ban them when they make a good argument. Then after said evolutionist is banned, when he or she can't reply, they make up stories about how he was banned for name-calling, personal attacks, profanity etc. when 1. it never happened and 2. the regular UDites do that all the time, and Arrington the Abortion Ambulance Chaser cheers them for it.

      The official rule of UD is that pro-ID proponents can insult and threaten evolutionists, but vice versa will get the evolutionist banned. Arrington the Abortion Ambulance Chaser (and the other UDites) justify this on the ground that their insults are great truths, whereas our insults are not truths. viz. their recent treatment of Piotr.

      Arrington didn't rescind that rule, so he can kiss my ass.

      Another official rule of ID is that they can ban you for what you write anywhere on the internet-- if you criticize ID, UD, the Fellows of the Discovery Tute, etc. anywhere else on the internet they will ban you from UD. That's an explicit rule. I'm persuaded I was banned from UD because of things I wrote elsewhere, probably at Sandwalk.

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    4. I think he is doing it just to increase his hit rate and attract more advertisers. Maybe we should point Viagara, Planned Parenthood and other like advertisers in their direction.

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  15. An update. The UD amnesty has ended. Moderation and banning are back in play. Oh well. Two days was longer than I thought it would last.

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  16. Denmark is one of the best functioning countries. An explanation is that people trust each other. Recently, this has been argued in the book ‘Trust’, by Gert Tinggaard Svendsen.
    http://www.amazon.com/Trust-Reflections-Gert-Tinggaard-Svendsen/dp/8771243534/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414155706&sr=1-1&keywords=gert+tinggaard+svendsen
    Trust between strangers might be the consequence of social and political stability. The US seems to be dysfunctional , see boor review in Forbes:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/keldjensen/2014/06/22/trust-a-fragile-but-wealth-building-commodity/
    http://www.ssoar.info/ssoar/bitstream/handle/document/37869/ssoar-hsr-2012-3-svendsen_et_al-Explaining_the_emergence_of_social.pdf?sequence=1

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  17. The Summary,

    Denmark may be and it probably is a nice country to live in... I get it.. However, it is a country with it's problems.... The society may very well be mostly secular, but it is no guarantee for success or "paradise"... Yes, most people who know me may find it strange, but I have come to a conclusion that most religions are actually toxic... If Darwinian/Atheistic "religion were on the list, I would place it along Catholicism...

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    1. "Darwinism" or atheism aren't religions.

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    2. No guarantee? The best guarantee possible. Secularism has shown itself as a paradise. And a paradise to live in leads to secularism.

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    3. Peter wrote:

      "No guarantee? The best guarantee possible. Secularism has shown itself as a paradise. And a paradise to live in leads to secularism."

      I guess when history was taught about secular societies under the rule od Stalin and Mao Zedong and the paradise they created to tens of millions murdered in the name of athletic beliefs, you were studying Darwinism...?

      If so, can you connect the dots between Darwinian secularism, paradise and mass murders of close to 100 million of innocent people who didn't agree with secularism...?

      Tell me you are naïve...and I will accept that...

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    4. Chris B wrote:

      "Darwinism" or atheism aren't religions."

      Darwinism and atheism are being worshiped and are based on faith.... so what's the difference...? Besides, many atheists attend so called atheist churches that are popping up all over the world....

      You may not like it but it is obvious to me where it is headed and what it has become...

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/11175092/Britains-atheist-church-now-pulls-in-crowds-from-Berlin-to-Ohio.html

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    5. Quest doesn't understand the definition of "secularism". Anyone surprised?

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    6. Wrong again, Quest:

      "Darwinism and atheism are being worshiped and are based on faith.... so what's the difference...? "

      Nonsense. Atheism is a non belief in a god, given that there is no evidence to prove the existence of god. Produce evidence, and an atheist might change his/her mind. Just like I don't believe bigfoot exists, because there is no evidence for bigfoot. Produce some evidence, and I'll consider it. No faith needed there.

      I don't know what you mean by "Darwinism" but if you are talking about evolutionary theory, it is provisionally accepted by scientists based on the overwhelming evidence in support of it. Again, no faith needed there.

      "Besides, many atheists attend so called atheist churches that are popping up all over the world...."

      So what? Actually, it seems kind of silly to me. I don't need a church to attend in order to affirm my belief that astrology does not predict the future. Maybe people go for the comraderie. They can spend their time as they wish.

      "You may not like it but it is obvious to me where it is headed and what it has become"

      And what is that?

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    7. Atheists Bad, Bad People. Not fear Sky Daddy. Big Problem.

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    8. Chris B,

      Why don't you make a comment about secular societies in the past and even currently where Darwinism was and still is a driving force... It is ok according to you that secular governments worship Darwinism and torture and kill people as long as they stay secular... If oppressed people want change... so that the discrimination, torture and killing would stop it can't happen because people who are oppressed and being killed are religious... Why don't you move to North Korea...? They would love you there...

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    9. I don't mind secularism... I don't agree with secularism where Darwinism is being worshiped and the effects of it... Stalin and Mao Zedong and the lunatic running the North Korea... are perfect examples of that...

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    10. Chris B,

      You are in the inferior position though...

      You wrote: "Nonsense. Atheism is a non belief in a god, given that there is no evidence to prove the existence of god"

      But there is no alternative evidence either... so on what scientific evidence do you base your supposition... ? I have asked Larry and others many times... Give me one piece of scientific evidence for the origin of life and I will investigate it... But you are just blind...

      Example: Even if you put into the best, plausible condition all the components of a cell, it will not form a cell membrane... If you damage a cell membrane in the best possible conditions and the content will leak out... It will not reassemble.... No way!!!
      I will say more.... no scientist in this world can reassemble it other... I know someone who has spent a lot of money to try that... It didn't work...

      So, what makes you believe that all other steps leading to the formation of a living cell were accidental as evolutionists believe...? It is bullshit to me...

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    11. Quest,

      You are not listening.

      "But there is no alternative evidence either... so on what scientific evidence do you base your supposition... ? I have asked Larry and others many times... "

      On the topic of the existence of god, YOU are making the claims. You are in the inferior position of providing evidence to support your claim. Atheists don't have any evidence for the existence of gods, so they don't assume there are. In the same way that most people don't believe unicorns exist, because there is no evidence that they do. I don't have to go around providing evidence that unicorns don't exist. If you say they do, you prove it.

      "Give me one piece of scientific evidence for the origin of life and I will investigate it..."

      As I have already told you many times, whether or not scientists can explain exactly how life began on Earth is irrelevant to the validity of evolutionary theory. Do you understand that? You are posing a god of the gaps argument, an argument from ignorance. It is a logical fallacy.

      "But you are just blind..."

      No, just not willing to believe in something for which there is zero evidence.

      "Example: Even if you put into the best, plausible condition all the components of a cell, it will not form a cell membrane... If you damage a cell membrane in the best possible conditions and the content will leak out... It will not reassemble.... No way!!!"

      I have already answered this decades old, lame argument. If someone cuts your pancreas out, you will die. This does not say anything about the origins of life. If we knew exactly how cell membranes evolved, we could answer your question. But remember 2 things:
      1. You are just retreating to an area that science has not yet explained, you are hiding in a gap bacause there is nowhere left to go.
      2. Your question is not at all relevant to the validity of evolutionary theory.

      In addition, I already addressed this in a previous "conversation" with you. You never got back to me about the intelligent design of the pancreas. Got any thoughts?

      You wish to remain blind, so you can have some space to put your creator. Fine, put him there. But if you want other people to buy into your fantasy, you are going to have to show how your creator initiated life. Beat the scientists, Quest, and provide what we haven't yet figured out: how did life begin on Earth?

      "I will say more.... no scientist in this world can reassemble it other... I know someone who has spent a lot of money to try that... It didn't work..."

      Now I know you are fibbing, Quest. Have you ever heard of liposomes, micelles, phospholipid bilayers? Look it up. None of these things constitute life, but to suggest that under no circumstances can membranes self assemble, or reassemble, is just wrong. In any case, the ability of a person to create cell membranes (or life for that matter) in a laboratory says nothing about the probability of naturalistic processes to allow the formation of self replicating entities. And it certainly says nothing whatsoever about the validity of evolutionary theory. The origins subject is a no starter for you, Quest. It's a god of the gaps argument, plain and simple. You provide the evidence an invisible omnipotent being started life on Earth. Provide the alternative explanation. Put up or shut up.

      "So, what makes you believe that all other steps leading to the formation of a living cell were accidental as evolutionists believe...?"

      Who said it was an accident?

      "It is bullshit to me..."

      No, it conflicts with your religious beliefs. Sorry, I can't help you there.

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    12. Quest.

      "I don't mind secularism... I don't agree with secularism where Darwinism is being worshiped and the effects of it... Stalin and Mao Zedong and the lunatic running the North Korea... are perfect examples of that"

      "darwinism" has nothing to do with Stalin and Mao Zedong and North Korea.

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  18. "Yes, most people who know me may find it strange, but I have come to a conclusion that most religions are actually toxic..."

    Why would that come as a surprise to us. All theists are under the delusion that their religion is the one true religion and that all others are toxic.

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  19. Do you know what a question mark is really for...? Next time you have a question, just use one...

    Regarding religion: in the West Muslim religion gets a bad wrap... for some obvious reasons.... I personally think the Christian religion is taking a big hit now...

    I have recently visited a big part of Eastern Europe.... When I looked at the video and pictures, there were not young people there at all.... None.... 'Religion as a whole is dying... there is no doubt about that... That, however doesn't mean that God doesn't exist...

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    1. Why do so many creationists... Seem to think it's clever... To pepper their nonsensical blithering... With series of dots...?

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    2. The amazing thing is that, in that very post, Quest attempted a punctuation flame.

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    3. Jonny Harsh,

      What is more than amazing that YOU never provide any scientific/experimental evidence... ???? You seem to be like Larry who promises suit and then he doesn't deliver....

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    4. I strongly doubt that Larry has ever promised you so much as a vest, much less a suit. I don't recall you asking me for evidence of anything, but perhaps I missed it in all the incoherent rambling. ...?????..!....$%**

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    5. Jonny Harsh,

      Why do you blame Larry for your own inadequacies in your own beliefs...?
      You can't make up your mind without Larry doing for you first...?

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    6. I've lost the count. Can anyone tell me what we're up to now?

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    7. I haven't been paying attention, so the count was 108. I see there there are maybe 6 more postings by Quest that qualify, so let's make it 114. Whotta jerk!

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    8. Joe,

      For probably 114th time I'm asking you to explain what you meant by "active Design" in your famous post.... you refused...

      All you can do is pretend I never asked... don't you have any shame....?

      I gather you don't...

      "Whatta jerk" is spelled with an "a" not "o" you megamoran!!!

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    9. The number of his comments showing Whotta Jerk "Quest" is, is now 115. I have usually spelled that assessment "Whotta" and will continue to do so (when I remember to). Whotta Jerk!

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    10. Quest - if you're on spelling flames, what's a 'bad wrap'? A dubious tortilla? 'Bad rep' or 'bad rap' are the conventional possibilities.

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  20. "Do you know what a question mark is really for...?"

    Yes, but I have found that they just confuse creationists when the question is a rhetorical one. It tends to distract them, like balloons and shiny objects do.

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  21. Actually, unicorns do exist, though they are an endangered species. If you translate back into greek it becomes "Monocerous", the Indian one-horned rhino, and you know why the horn is valuable I'm sure.Incidentally the natives use a "Machen", capture them, not a "Madchen".

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  22. sez Andre Gross @ Tuesday, October 21, 2014 7:12:00 AM: ... eckschreibtischgrobe.blogspot.de

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