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  1. #1
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    Argument from Mundanity

    From Letters to a Christian Nation:

    "... just imagine how breathtakingly specific a work of prophecy would be, if it were actually the product of omniscience. If the Bible were such a book, it would make perfectly accurate predictions about human events. You would expect it to contain a passage such as 'In the latter half of the twentieth century, humankind will develop a globally linked system of computers--the principles of which I set forth in Leviticus--and this system shall be called the Internet.' The Bible contains nothing like this. In fact, it does not contain a single sentence that could not have been written by a man or woman living in the first century. This should trouble you."

    From Christopher Hitchens' God is Not That Great:

    "One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody--not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms--had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think--though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one--that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell."

    Dan Ferrisi writes:

    ...one thinks of the approximately 10,000 distinct religions infecting our otherwise-sophisticated species. Of all the religious texts I have ever read or heard of, none has been the source of new knowledge about natural principles or the miraculous impetus for a scientific leap. Rather, each has been the work of mere humans, serving up large doses of primitive superstition, baseless moralizing, useless commandments and promises just beyond the reach of confirmation. If one religion of the 10,000 actually were true, I should think its veracity would be proved by its unique ability to reveal (think 'revelation') factual information before scientists had discovered it. Then, religion would spread by the power of its evidence, rather than spreading, passively, by the coincidental geography of one's place of birth and, actively, by parents' talent for inculcating their defenseless, trusting young.

    The argument from mundanity tells us what we should be seeing from religions, but don't. If any allegedly inspired text or religion were written by or inspired from an all-knowing being we'd expect to see a lot more than what we actually see. Religions don't spread on the basis of fact. They're spread to children who don't know any better and those who don't fully investigate what they're getting into.

    Discuss.

  2. #2
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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Religions don't spread on the basis of fact. They're spread to children who don't know any better and those who don't fully investigate what they're getting into.
    I disagree. The facts of Atheism are just as lacking. Religion gets investigated all the time - Atheism does not (because there is no belief to investigate - just disbelief).
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  3. #3
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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop View Post
    I disagree. The facts of Atheism are just as lacking. Religion gets investigated all the time - Atheism does not (because there is no belief to investigate - just disbelief).
    You're off-topic. Atheism doesn't claim to be the product of an all-knowing / all-powerful / all-loving being.

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Atheism doesn't claim to be the product of an all-knowing / all-powerful / all-loving being.
    That makes it all the more mundane (ordinary) - so it is on topic.
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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Letters to a Christian Nation
    The Bible contains nothing like this. In fact, it does not contain a single sentence that could not have been written by a man or woman living in the first century. This should trouble you.
    As I understand it most predictions in the bible were clear to the people of the time IE they knew they were predictions, and have already occurred. Except "Revelation". Which once those events happen may become clear as well.

    I think it interesting that "Revelation", the book of the bible that directly answers this question, is as misunderstood today by us as this statment (read quote) would have been by the the Hebrews walking out of Egypt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Letters to a Christian Nation
    you would expect it to contain a passage such as 'In the latter half of the twentieth century, humankind will develop a globally linked system of computers--the principles of which I set forth in Leviticus--and this system shall be called the Internet.'

    The people taking this view have ignored the prophetic statements in the Bible, because they don't make sense to them, while demonstrating that prophetic statements are rarely understood until after they occur.

    Quote Originally Posted by FERRISI
    Then, religion would spread by the power of its evidence, rather than spreading, passively, by the coincidental geography of one's place of birth and, actively, by parents' talent for inculcating their defenseless, trusting young.
    It is beyond obvious that Christianity did not spread in the manner described above.. but rather by the power of the evidence to foreign people all over Rome. The writer has not taken into account the origin of Christianity, or the conditions under which it occurred, in his statment.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Religions don't spread on the basis of fact. They're spread to children who don't know any better and those who don't fully investigate what they're getting into.
    How about this prophecy, made in 1832:

    Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.
    Before the obligatory regurgitation of "But the Civil War didn't involve all nations!" read it more carefully. It says that that time will come after the Civil War. So, how does a dude predict the Civil War, including the catalyst as well as who would fight in it on whose side 29 years before it actually happened?

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    The Bible has many insightful and eloquent passages, but the bulk of it is indeed very mundane. Unfortunately, Christians choose to focus on the inspirational bits while conveniently glossing over the parts where God tediously tells the Israelites how they should not mix threads when sewing their clothes or whose father was the son of who. You would think God would have much more interesting and important things to tell humankind than those. God could have spent a few pages outlining how to kill germs (so that our ancestors didn't have a life expectancy of 35) or how to generate electricity.

    Quite obviously, the Bible is a mishmash of human writing, a hodgepodge of sometimes brilliant insight, sometimes poetic exposition, but mostly superstitious speculation and primitive moralising.
    Trendem

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Quite obviously, the Bible is a mishmash of human writing, a hodgepodge of sometimes brilliant insight, sometimes poetic exposition, but mostly superstitious speculation and primitive moralising.
    And you call that mundane?


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    They're spread to children who don't know any better and those who don't fully investigate what they're getting into.
    That explains absolutely nothing. Children become adults whether they were exposed to religion or not. Children who are not exposed to religion are the truly mundane.
    Last edited by Snoop; September 8th, 2007 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  9. #9
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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by zhavric
    From Letters to a Christian Nation:

    "... just imagine how breathtakingly specific a work of prophecy would be, if it were actually the product of omniscience. If the Bible were such a book, it would make perfectly accurate predictions about human events. You would expect it to contain a passage such as 'In the latter half of the twentieth century, humankind will develop a globally linked system of computers--the principles of which I set forth in Leviticus--and this system shall be called the Internet.' The Bible contains nothing like this. In fact, it does not contain a single sentence that could not have been written by a man or woman living in the first century. This should trouble you."

    From Christopher Hitchens' God is Not That Great:

    "One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody--not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms--had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think--though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one--that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell."

    Dan Ferrisi writes:

    ...one thinks of the approximately 10,000 distinct religions infecting our otherwise-sophisticated species. Of all the religious texts I have ever read or heard of, none has been the source of new knowledge about natural principles or the miraculous impetus for a scientific leap. Rather, each has been the work of mere humans, serving up large doses of primitive superstition, baseless moralizing, useless commandments and promises just beyond the reach of confirmation. If one religion of the 10,000 actually were true, I should think its veracity would be proved by its unique ability to reveal (think 'revelation') factual information before scientists had discovered it. Then, religion would spread by the power of its evidence, rather than spreading, passively, by the coincidental geography of one's place of birth and, actively, by parents' talent for inculcating their defenseless, trusting young.

    The argument from mundanity tells us what we should be seeing from religions, but don't. If any allegedly inspired text or religion were written by or inspired from an all-knowing being we'd expect to see a lot more than what we actually see. Religions don't spread on the basis of fact. They're spread to children who don't know any better and those who don't fully investigate what they're getting into.

    Is not the argument of mundanity really just an argument from incredulity?

    All three of these authors cannot belief that the Bible or some other religion doesnt do this or that and as a result must be false.

    Which is exactly what the argument from incredulity is:

    The argument from personal incredulity, also known as argument from personal belief or argument from personal conviction, refers to an assertion that because one personally finds a premise unlikely or unbelievable, the premise can be assumed not to be true, or alternately that another preferred but unproven premise is true instead.

    ~ Argument from ignorance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So three atheist writers (and one atheist mortgage banker), same argument from mundanity, same fallacious argument from incredulity.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop View Post
    And you call that mundane?
    Considering the number of great literary works I have on my bookshelf right now that contain as much (if not more) moral insight and none of the backwardness inherent in the Bible, yes, very.

    Just look at the Ten Commandments, for example:

    Exodus 20:2-17

    2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;

    3 you shall have no other gods before me.

    4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,

    6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

    8 Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.

    9 For six days you shall labour and do all your work.

    10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.

    11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.

    12 Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

    13 You shall not murder.

    14 You shall not commit adultery.

    15 You shall not steal.

    16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

    17 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
    Guess what - God spent more than half of the passage posturing and commanding absolute respect for him and the Sabbath day, threatening to punish your children and your grandchildren's children if you don't comply. How this mundane garbage managed to pass down generations and be displayed on the walls of Christian homes everywhere is beyond my comprehension. There is more piercing moral insight in the latest Harry Potter book.
    Trendem

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem
    Guess what - God spent more than half of the passage posturing and commanding absolute respect for him and the Sabbath day, threatening to punish your children and your grandchildren's children if you don't comply. How this mundane garbage managed to pass down generations and be displayed on the walls of Christian homes everywhere is beyond my comprehension. There is more piercing moral insight in the latest Harry Potter book.
    Hmm, counting the three authors and zhavric that makes five arguments from incredulity.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Guess what - God spent more than half of the passage posturing and commanding absolute respect for him and the Sabbath day, threatening to punish your children and your grandchildren's children if you don't comply. How this mundane garbage managed to pass down generations and be displayed on the walls of Christian homes everywhere is beyond my comprehension. There is more piercing moral insight in the latest Harry Potter book.
    ... and how exactly is lack of belief in God less mundane?

    Both are equaly mundane and both are equally profound. That's what makes life anything but mundane. Life is derived from a higher power which is anything but mundane.
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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Hmm, counting the three authors and zhavric that makes five arguments from incredulity.
    Your definition of an argument from incredulity is so horrendously elastic that any argument can be considered an argument from incredulity.

    Chad: "All three of these authors cannot belief that the Bible or some other religion doesnt do this or that and as a result must be false."

    This is not the case of mere personal belief. It is a case of the Bible not demonstrating any divine authorship. This is a common type of reasoning used in determining the authorship of historical documents. Does the writing reflect the character of the alleged writer?

    The Bible is claimed to be written by an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being. Yet we read of cases of outright massacre. We read of God promising to punish innocent children and grandchildren for their ancestor's mistakes. We read of scientifically infantile views of our world. We read of silly virgin birth stories that are replicated in hundreds of other myths. We thus conclude that it is highly doubtful that God really authored the Bible.

    If this is an argument from incredulity, then I'm sorry, historians and scholars have all been arguing from incredulity all this while.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop View Post
    ... and how exactly is lack of belief in God less mundane?
    Pray tell, what is the relevance of your question?

    You don't seem to be getting the logic here. Mundanity is a thorn in the Christian's stance because they claim that their Bible is the most unique book ever, that their God is so great and wise. But it turns out that the Bible is actually an unremarkable work in terms of its content.

    The atheist makes no such claims. Atheism is the NEGATION of theistic claims. Of COURSE it is mundane.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoop View Post
    Both are equaly mundane and both are equally profound. That's what makes life anything but mundane. Life is derived from a higher power which is anything but mundane.
    Challenge to support a claim.
    Last edited by Trendem; September 8th, 2007 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Trendem

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem
    This is not the case of mere personal belief. It is a case of the Bible not demonstrating any divine authorship.
    It is a case of mere personal belief.

    Lets look at each of the three arguments:

    Sam Harris

    -sets up an arbitrary standard of what prophesies should and must say (why must a prophesy fit Sam Harris's opinions?)
    -Then dismisses the Bible because it does not fulfill what his personal opinions on what prophesies should say.

    Christopher Hitchens

    I concede on this one, its not an argument of incredulity.

    Rather its several fallacies rolled into one.

    Hitchens begins by using half truths and hasty generalizations to use as ammunition for his ad hominem

    -Begins by making a hasty generalization about the understanding and intelligence of all ancient people
    -attempts to support his allegations with some pathetic half truths
    -Then to finish it off, makes an ad hom attack against ancient people, rather than addressing the issue itself: Religion

    Lets not forget where we got Logic, Science, Medicine, and Mathematics.....the ancients.

    Dan Ferrisi

    -claims to have read lots of religious texts
    -claims none of these have offered any new insight to our understanding of nature (I would argue that this is a hasty generalization)
    -then follows the same track as Sam Harris, because he believes that religion, if true, must fit his arbitrary standards of the insights it provides
    -Because religions do not fulfill his personal opinion of what they should accomplish, they are therefore false.



    Trendem, everyone of these arguments is fallacious. These authors use ad homs, hasty generalizations, half truths, and basically each one dismisses religion because it doesnt fit their personal beliefs and opinions on how things should be.

    Heres my argument from incredibility (pun intended),

    How did they fit so many fallacies in such a short paragraph?!?!?


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem
    The Bible is claimed to be written by an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being. Yet we read of cases of outright massacre. We read of God promising to punish innocent children and grandchildren for their ancestor's mistakes. We read of scientifically infantile views of our world. We read of silly virgin birth stories that are replicated in hundreds of other myths. We thus conclude that it is highly doubtful that God really authored the Bible.
    If this is an argument from incredulity, then I'm sorry
    It is an argument from incredulity and your not sorry.
    Last edited by chadn737; September 8th, 2007 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by maklelan View Post
    How about this prophecy, made in 1832:



    Before the obligatory regurgitation of "But the Civil War didn't involve all nations!" read it more carefully. It says that that time will come after the Civil War. So, how does a dude predict the Civil War, including the catalyst as well as who would fight in it on whose side 29 years before it actually happened?
    Wait, someone predicted that the nations would fight each other and that the American slaves would rebel?


    Dude, no way...



    Everyone had predicted that that would happen to America, even England --hell, eve our Forefathers. As for the national wars --uh, again, not to hard to work out. England was off colonializing the world, bound to get some wars eventually.

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Challenge to support a claim.
    If I said life came from a lower power would that make sense? Life had to come from a higher power by deductive reasoning.

    How about if I said that religion AND lack of religion were BOTH mundane - would that make you happy?

    "An argument from mundanity" makes no sense as far as this thread title goes. Murder is mundane to a murderer - what does that prove?
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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Wait, someone predicted that the nations would fight each other and that the American slaves would rebel?


    Dude, no way...



    Everyone had predicted that that would happen to America, even England --hell, eve our Forefathers. As for the national wars --uh, again, not to hard to work out. England was off colonializing the world, bound to get some wars eventually.
    Can you name one that mentions that it will begin with South Carolina and to whom the South would appeal? I have found the story to be different, but I will concede the argument when you show me one example to the contrary.

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Sam Harris

    -sets up an arbitrary standard of what prophesies should and must say
    Dislike on your part in no way evidences an "arbitrary standard" on the part of Harris. He's accurately pointing out what we see in the bible is exactly what we'd expect to see from bronze age authors making clueless guesses about the natural world.

    Christopher Hitchens

    -Begins by making a hasty generalization about the understanding and intelligence of all ancient people
    You realize that words & terms have meanings, right? You do realize you cannot simply assign a fallacy to something you dislike, right? You have to prove how it's fallacious. A hasty generalization is committed when a conclusion about a population is drawn from a small & inaccurate sampling. Hitchens doesn't even come close to framing his argument this way. There's no singling out specific individuals and drawing conclusion about a larger group. Instead, he accurately points out that people living when mos world religions were invented hadn't a clue about the natural world because knowledge of the natural world came far later in history.

    Please take some time to brush up on Hasty Generalizations.

    -attempts to support his allegations with some pathetic half truths
    Empty unsupported accusation.

    As I stated, his argument points out information on the natural world was lacking. To substantiate your above quoted claim, you'll need to prove that religious founders knew what science has revealed to be true. Since none of them HAD science, even if they did get something right (like Democritus) they were (at best) making guesses.

    -Then to finish it off, makes an ad hom attack against ancient people, rather than addressing the issue itself: Religion
    Dislike on your part doesn't equate to fallacies on the part of the author, Chad.

    A 9th grade earth sciences class has more knowledge in it than anything the bronze age hoped to have.

    Sorry, but your argument smacks of desperation.

    Lets not forget where we got Logic, Science, Medicine, and Mathematics.....the ancients.
    Let's not be disingenuous, Chad. Let's not forget the creators of math, logic, science and medicine had nothing to do with the formation of Judaism or Christianity. They were mostly Greek scholars who were neither Jews nor Christians.

    Dan Ferrisi

    -claims to have read lots of religious texts
    Any evidence he hasn't?

    -claims none of these have offered any new insight to our understanding of nature (I would argue that this is a hasty generalization)
    None have. It's that simple, Chad. There aren't any religious texts that give any dazzling insights into the modern world. Not one.

    -then follows the same track as Sam Harris, because he believes that religion, if true, must fit his arbitrary standards of the insights it provides
    Nope. You're wrong. You've got it backwards.

    As Trendem and I pointed out, we see in religious texts exactly what we'd expect to see from bronze age human beings guessing about the natural world. This stance is so easily crushable... so easily overturned... all you would need to do is show the bit in the bible that explained about atomic bombs or harnessing steam power. Hell, even a better way to build a plow or how to mine & refine iron. There are limitless possibilities, Chad. Yet the bible and all religious texts are utterly retarded when they begin describing the natural world.

    Instead of evolution, we get that we're from some dirt named Adam and a rib named Eve.

    Come back when you've calmed down and can add something to the argument besides an arm full of false fallacy accusations.

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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric View Post
    Instead of evolution, we get that we're from some dirt named Adam and a rib named Eve.
    Dirt evolved into Adam and Eve. Now THAT'S mundane.

    From dust we came is symbolic of the natural elements used in creation. I guess that is mundane.
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    Re: Argument from Mundanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    Dislike on your part in no way evidences an "arbitrary standard" on the part of Harris. He's accurately pointing out what we see in the bible is exactly what we'd expect to see from bronze age authors making clueless guesses about the natural world.
    Dislikes? Lets talk about dislikes here. Harris's entire argument is based on what he believes a valid and worthwhile prophesy says. Prophesies about Assyria invading Israel, or the signs of the Messiah.....according to Harris these are not worthwhile prophesies, because they are not directly relevant to Harris, his time period, and his world view.

    Harris dismisses everything because it doesnt fit how he thinks it should be.

    Harris clearly shows in that paragraph what his personal dislikes are, and its not something based upon actual evidence, but based on his own biased views. Religion is automatically disqualified based upon his opinion. His assertions of what a bronze-age view is, is not defined, nor does he prove that this disqualifies any aspect of religion. At best he says it should worry us....well I've never had the opinion that predicting the internet was necessary for any religion, particularly when it is not relevant to religion, because I know, that this is not religions purpose.....predicting the Messiah trumps the internet in terms of importance and relevance.

    Thats why I said early, its an argument from incredulity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    You realize that words & terms have meanings, right? You do realize you cannot simply assign a fallacy to something you dislike, right? You have to prove how it's fallacious. A hasty generalization is committed when a conclusion about a population is drawn from a small & inaccurate sampling. Hitchens doesn't even come close to framing his argument this way. There's no singling out specific individuals and drawing conclusion about a larger group. Instead, he accurately points out that people living when mos world religions were invented hadn't a clue about the natural world because knowledge of the natural world came far later in history.
    "hadnt a clue about the natural world?"

    Thats complete Bull ****.

    We love to think of our modern selfs as being intellectually superior to the ancients because they lacked the same level of technology that we possess today. But what is it that Newton said.....something about standing on the shoulders of giants? Thats right, because everything we have today is built upon the work of the ancients.

    Hitchens makes broad sweeping generalizations about the ancients, claiming that they lived in an infantile fear of the world and had no clue what was going on. Thats crap, utter crap. We benefit today from a knowledge base which has developed over the course of several thousand years, but that knowledge base does not make the ancients any less intelligent, logical, or capable. Hell most of them...such as Democritus....would blow anyone of us here at ODN out of the water, let alone Hitchens daughter.

    Hitchens has a technocratic bias. Since we moderns have technology, obviously we are more logical and smarter, at least that is the argument and position he takes. He applies this to every single ancient, regardless of how smart or dumb they are.

    And though it is true that we know more about certain subjects than the ancients, it is not true that they were the fearful infants that Hitchens makes them out to be....he using half truths here.

    I would love to pit your natural knowledge of animals, plants, and ecology against an ancient hunter-gatherer. I wonder, who will have the superior knowledge of animal behavior? Of plant growth patterns? Of the ecological system in general.

    I wonder who would win?

    Please take some time to brush up on Hasty Generalizations.
    Does Hitchens not make a grand sweeping generalization of all ancient peoples as "babyish," "fearful," "infantile," etc?

    Upon what is this based upon?

    It is based upon the half-truth argument that the ancients didnt possess the same amount of knowledge which we do.

    That half-truth forms the basis for his entire generalization. Since that is the only thing which Hitchens bases such a pathetic generalization on for all of the ancients...wouldnt that be the inaccurate sample upon which his hasty generalization is based?

    And if not.....then what is it based upon.....nothing? Seems likely to me.

    Empty unsupported accusation.

    As I stated, his argument points out information on the natural world was lacking. To substantiate your above quoted claim, you'll need to prove that religious founders knew what science has revealed to be true. Since none of them HAD science, even if they did get something right (like Democritus) they were (at best) making guesses.
    I just alluded to the half-truths which Hitchens uses. It is true, that we possess more confirmed knowledge today than the ancients did. What is not true is that as a result the ancients were "bawling and fearful" and "infantile."

    Hitchens first ignores the fact that given the technology of the time, ancient theories are actually better supported than our modern ones. For example a geocentric solar system had far more evidence and logical support for it than a heliocentric solar system did for most of the history of man.

    He gives absolutely no support for his false generalization of ancient people as infantile and fearful.

    It does not follow at all that just because they know less about certain topics that they are therefore infantile, fearful, and stupid as is outright stated and implied by Hitchens. He ignores all the other facts...which makes his argument here a half truth.
    Dislike on your part doesn't equate to fallacies on the part of the author, Chad.

    A 9th grade earth sciences class has more knowledge in it than anything the bronze age hoped to have.

    Sorry, but your argument smacks of desperation.
    Actually I think I can demonstrate the absurdity of Hitchens argument (as well as why its an Ad Hom) quite nicely with the following example:

    Chad knows much more about molecular biology than zhavric. So obviously Zhavric lives in a fearful and infantile understanding of the natural world because he lacks the same knowledge base of the molecular world that Chad does. Since Zhavric is an atheist, obviously atheism is a product of Zhavric's infantile understanding of the molecular basis of life.

    Obviously its true zhavric! My argument takes the same form and follows the same logic as Hitchens argument. How could you deny my argument when you will accept Hitchens without question.

    Your entire argument here zhavric smack of you personal dislike for religion and as a result you will show unremorseful bias no matter how fallacious their arguments are.

    Let's not be disingenuous, Chad. Let's not forget the creators of math, logic, science and medicine had nothing to do with the formation of Judaism or Christianity. They were mostly Greek scholars who were neither Jews nor Christians.
    Oh? The founders of modern science were almost exclusively Christian.....men like Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Boyle, Pascal, etc, etc.

    By the way, those Greek Scholars, as well as the scholars of the Arabs, the Indian, and numerous others all believed and followed a religion. So your argument holds no water her.

    The foundation of all our technological superiority can be traced directly to men who followed religion.

    But history must be wrong.....or so we must accept if Hitchens is correct. After all, as Hitchens says (in his gross generalization) all the ancients were brawling, fearful, and infantile who didnt understand anything. Heck his little daughter knows more than the founders of medicine, right?

    Give me a break.

    None have. It's that simple, Chad. There aren't any religious texts that give any dazzling insights into the modern world. Not one.
    Support it.

    Nope. You're wrong. You've got it backwards.

    As Trendem and I pointed out, we see in religious texts exactly what we'd expect to see from bronze age human beings guessing about the natural world. This stance is so easily crushable... so easily overturned... all you would need to do is show the bit in the bible that explained about atomic bombs or harnessing steam power. Hell, even a better way to build a plow or how to mine & refine iron. There are limitless possibilities, Chad. Yet the bible and all religious texts are utterly retarded when they begin describing the natural world.
    You fall the same fallacious reasoning as Harris and Ferrisi.

    All three of you apply your own standards on religion after the fact and to make matters worse, your really making a red herring argument against religion.

    All three of you demand that religion explain some Natural Phenomena or predict some future technological advancement. This has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

    Lemaitre points out the problem we have here perfectly:

    "Hundreds of professional and amateur scientists actually believe that the Bible pretends to teach science. This is a good deal like assuming that there must be authentic religious dogma in the binomial theorem"

    The Bible, religion, does not exist to teach us science, to tell us about better ways to make plows, or to inform us about the coming of the internet. This is not a part of religion, yet that is exactly what you are demanding of it.

    Because it does not fit your demands, you dismiss it out of hand.

    Thats the argument from mundanity, applying irrelevant demands upon religion after the fact, and because it was never religions purpose to meet those demands in the first place you argue that religion is wrong.

    As Galileo said:

    "The bible explains how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go"
    Last edited by chadn737; September 9th, 2007 at 04:08 PM.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

 

 
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