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Old 8th November 2012, 02:49 AM   #41
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Old 8th November 2012, 04:27 AM   #42
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"Newton believed in God. You're claiming Newton was an idiot and you know better"

absolutely anything involving the words "Creationist Scientist"
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Old 8th November 2012, 04:29 AM   #43
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The "Big" prefix ("Big Government" "Big Business" "Big Pharma" and whatnot)

Also the use of the term "Official" as a negative, usually as in "Well sure that's the Official Story..."

"Philosophy" to mean "Random crap I made up."
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:35 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
"Newton believed in God. You're claiming Newton was an idiot and you know better"

absolutely anything involving the words "Creationist Scientist"
And I've heard these too - "Einstein believed in God", AND "Carl Sagan believed in God" which is even more absurd since Sagan made it pretty well known what his beliefs were...
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:39 AM   #45
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:43 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ferguson
Originally Posted by John Albert View Post
"Science is also responsible for things like the atomic bomb, Chernobyl, Agent Orange, human experimentation and "Franken-foods." With a track record like that, you still trust it?"
I actually had a christian woman I'm friends with say almost exactly that to me a few days ago... in an argument about whether prayer worked or not. I was gobsmacked.

ETA: Atomic bomb and GMO's were two of the reasons she gave not to "trust" science. It still blows my mind. The atomic bomb and GMO's quite obviously work.
I thought God was responsible for everything? And if he's not responsible, then clearly, he's irresponsible, and why should I trust someone who is irresponsible?
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:17 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Moon-Spinner View Post
And I've heard these too - "Einstein believed in God", AND "Carl Sagan believed in God" which is even more absurd since Sagan made it pretty well known what his beliefs were...
TBH I was thinking less of the obvious distortions like Einstein and Sagan and more of the (undoubted geniuses) who lived at a time when we collectively knew far less and goddism was the default position (at least publicly if you didn't want to be guest of honor at the next church BBQ). It also glosses over the fact that despite his genius Newton also believed a mountainous pile of horse droppings.
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:22 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by TjW View Post
I thought God was responsible for everything? And if he's not responsible, then clearly, he's irresponsible, and why should I trust someone who is irresponsible?
No, God is only responsible for the good stuff, the bad stuff is scientists, free will or Satan. This can be proven indisputably [mumble]bible[mumble] anyway I choose not to do so right now and it's getting late and I have to get on with my work and there's other good reasons too so just take my word for it okay?

I'm glad we've got that sorted out.
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:22 AM   #49
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I get annoyed by this statement which is offered both by Science fans and Creationist woos

"This is the best answer we have so far, until something better comes along I'm going with this...."

As if "truth" is what "you can understand" As if reality is only based upon it being understood.
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:24 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Moon-Spinner View Post
And I've heard these too - "Einstein believed in God", AND "Carl Sagan believed in God" which is even more absurd since Sagan made it pretty well known what his beliefs were...
Actually there is an even more idiotic form of that, namely, "But X converted on the deathbed!" Yeah, I guess if I'm gonna trust someone's judgment about such an issue, it makes sense to go with someone whose brain is shutting down at the time
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:40 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
TBH I was thinking less of the obvious distortions like Einstein and Sagan and more of the (undoubted geniuses) who lived at a time when we collectively knew far less and goddism was the default position (at least publicly if you didn't want to be guest of honor at the next church BBQ). It also glosses over the fact that despite his genius Newton also believed a mountainous pile of horse droppings.
Yes, sorry, I understood what you were getting at and I should have prefaced my comment thusly. It was that your original comment reminded me of the Einstein and Sagan comments.

You're absolutely correct in saying that some of the most revered minds of centuries past also believed in what is now considered crap, but it was fitting for the time they lived in. Even today there are scientists that have added to our knowledge in various fields, but also have other questionable beliefs, and those questionable beliefs are the ones that are used against science as a whole.
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Old 8th November 2012, 09:54 AM   #52
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A Facebook page recently sprang up dedicated to the theology of "Pantheism" (the notion that everything in the Universe is essentially divine). The owner of that page posts daily quotes from prominent skeptics, atheists and agnostics (citing such personages as Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, Arthur Schopenhauer, Salman Rushdie, etc.) and misrepresents their words as arguments in favor of his supernatural worldview. When I questioned why he cited all these atheists to support such a decidedly anti-atheist view, he said, "They're really more like agnostics, and Pantheism is a lot like agnosticism."
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Old 8th November 2012, 10:20 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
I get annoyed by this statement which is offered both by Science fans and Creationist woos

"This is the best answer we have so far, until something better comes along I'm going with this...."
In science, I don't see that as a particularly bad statement, as long as there is actual evidence for the "best answer we have". It's when people use non-evidence (like the bible) to support their position that it causes problems. The key distinction here being evidence to support the position. That's how science has been advancing since it started.
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:31 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by LarianLeQuella View Post
In science, I don't see that as a particularly bad statement, as long as there is actual evidence for the "best answer we have". It's when people use non-evidence (like the bible) to support their position that it causes problems. The key distinction here being evidence to support the position. That's how science has been advancing since it started.
I don't agree. It should apply to science as well which is why I specifically included it. I see a lot of people who don't know the first thing about science or theories who just "trust the scientist" and go with it. Good for them. But for those of us who do know a thing or two in some specific areas and may know of controversies or changing opinions in science, then questioning ideas in science is perfectly acceptable.

In my experience there are quite a few ignorant people who used to follow along believing in God like lemmings. Once it finally sunk in that God wasn't real they followed the line with whatever science said and treated anyone who questioned science like they were rejecting it as a whole.

Ex. I'll often question the way dinosaurs are displayed in museums etc because I think they can sometimes give a false sense that we know more than we do about dinosaurs. Ex (warm blooded or not) When I point this out I'm attacked by these yahoos as being someone who believes in ID.

When I mention that I'm not rejecting evolution or science just questioning what science is saying I get "Well do YOU have a better answer? No? Then shut up!" As if we must not ever question what we are told.

This is surprising and freaky to me. At least it was at first. But now I realize that whatever tow the line type mentality they have that caused them to believe in God so strongly is probably still at work.

They didn't start thinking more critically when they stopped believing in God they just replaced it with a different guru to blindly follow.
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:44 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by LarianLeQuella View Post
In science, I don't see that as a particularly bad statement, as long as there is actual evidence for the "best answer we have". It's when people use non-evidence (like the bible) to support their position that it causes problems. The key distinction here being evidence to support the position. That's how science has been advancing since it started.
I agree, take Dark Energy for example, at present we don't know EXACTLY what it is our how it works, but we have an idea on how and why it exists. So, until the knowledge base is expanded on the subject, all scientists have to work with are the present day estimates. This doesn't mean that they go "that's it, we have a reasonable guess, time to move on!!" But it DOES mean that at present, this is the level understanding we have!

The difference between science and woo is that all science needs is better data and POOF!!! The fundamental science will change to fit the new understanding of whatever thing it describes. Science evolves.
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:46 AM   #56
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No kidding. That doesn't mean it's always right when it comes up with a new explanation. Often times the explanation is completely wrong and once we realize this the information is shifted to a different perspective. Heliocentric solar system anyone?

Here's just one example

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzalcoatlus


Quote:
The nature of flight in Quetzalcoatlus and other giant azhdarchids was poorly understood until serious biomechanical studies were conducted in the 21st century. One early (1984) experiment by Paul MacCready used practical aerodynamics to test the flight of Quetzalcoatlus. MacCready constructed a model flying machine or ornithopter with a simple computer functioning as an autopilot. The model successfully flew with a combination of soaring and wing flapping;[15] however, the model was half scale based on a then-current weight estimate of around 80 kg, far lower than more modern estimates of over 200 kg.[16] (Also, see below.). The method of flight in these pterosaurs depends largely on weight, which has been controversial, and widely differing masses have been favored by different scientists. Some researchers have suggested that these animals employed slow, soaring flight, while others have concluded that their flight was fast and dynamic.[4] In 2010, Donald Henderson argued that the mass of Q. northropi had been underestimated, even the highest estimates, and that it was too massive to have achieved powered flight. Henderson argued that it may have been flightless.[16]
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:48 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
No, God is only responsible for the good stuff, the bad stuff is scientists, free will or Satan. This can be proven indisputably [mumble]bible[mumble] anyway I choose not to do so right now and it's getting late and I have to get on with my work and there's other good reasons too so just take my word for it okay?

I'm glad we've got that sorted out.
There's something else that's along those lines, but not argument related, and still annoys me. After accidents or disasters, when people are thanking god that someone survived, especially when there were others who died in the same incident. Does god hate the people who died? Or was it just part of his plan?
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Old 8th November 2012, 12:03 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
"Einstein believed in God".
Also, any time anyone refers to science as a religion. Ditto for atheism.
Anytime anyone refers to the study of evolution as "Darwinism" - the indirect way of equating evolution with religious belief.
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Old 8th November 2012, 12:07 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
I don't agree. It should apply to science as well which is why I specifically included it. I see a lot of people who don't know the first thing about science or theories who just "trust the scientist" and go with it. Good for them. But for those of us who do know a thing or two in some specific areas and may know of controversies or changing opinions in science, then questioning ideas in science is perfectly acceptable.

In my experience there are quite a few ignorant people who used to follow along believing in God like lemmings. Once it finally sunk in that God wasn't real they followed the line with whatever science said and treated anyone who questioned science like they were rejecting it as a whole.

Ex. I'll often question the way dinosaurs are displayed in museums etc because I think they can sometimes give a false sense that we know more than we do about dinosaurs. Ex (warm blooded or not) When I point this out I'm attacked by these yahoos as being someone who believes in ID.

When I mention that I'm not rejecting evolution or science just questioning what science is saying I get "Well do YOU have a better answer? No? Then shut up!" As if we must not ever question what we are told.

This is surprising and freaky to me. At least it was at first. But now I realize that whatever tow the line type mentality they have that caused them to believe in God so strongly is probably still at work.

They didn't start thinking more critically when they stopped believing in God they just replaced it with a different guru to blindly follow.
I think we're arguing semantics, and basically agree then. "I don't know." is of course a perfectly acceptable answer, and should be the default position. I suppose that my problem with the first post was an unfair characterization of the scientific method. Newtonian mechanics were "the best answer we have so far" and was perfectly acceptable until Einstein showed up. Mendel was the best answer we had until a myriad of scientists made their contributions to genetics. Ad nauseum.

I guess the way it should be stated then is:

""This is the best answer we have so far as supported by the evidence and is a decision made in an informed manner based on actually knowing what I am talking about, until something better comes along I'm going with this...."

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Old 8th November 2012, 12:32 PM   #60
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Somewhat semantics, but I kinda still take issue with the end conclusion

Quote:
""This is the best answer we have so far as supported by the evidence and is a decision made in an informed manner based on actually knowing what I am talking about, until something better comes along I'm going with this...."
Until something better comes along doesn't mean that it's the right answer. Picky I know.

Here's a good way of thinking about what I mean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q4_nl0ICao

In the double slit experiment a lot of people couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. It seemed that if the experiment was 'watched" it would predictably change the results. That seemed eerie.

But turns out the entire experiment was based on conclusions about electrons and how they traveled that was completely off base. So even though it looked like a science experiment, it seemed like one, at the end of the day it was being interpreted by people and people make mistakes, are biased, and don't understand.

Science can sometimes be completely accurate. But many times it can't be. Big on my personal interest and annoyance is talking about how the world was in the past. I think we can try to figure it out but then we're hit with something that throws everything off and woah.......it has far reaching implications. For one, aging, cause of dinosaurs dying off, carbon dating etc.

This doesn't mean I'm jumping on the ID happy train. That is completely impossible.

But it does mean that I think that certain fields of science build theories on ideas based on ideas and not actual science.

(awaits some frothing at the mouth person to come along who doesn't understand what i just posted and start trashing me for dissing science and believing in a sky daddy)
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Old 8th November 2012, 01:12 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
Until something better comes along doesn't mean that it's the right answer. Picky I know.
Nit picky even. Until something better comes along just means that it goes into the first part, and you keep searching, so you are always waiting for something better to come along. As we get better tools and insturmentation, we are always refining our observational ability. So we'll always have something better to come along. Of course, that something better may not throw out what we had before (according to some, the Apollo missions used simple Newtonian math instead of Einstein to go to the moon and back), it just refines it. That is of course if you started off supported by the evidence and made a decision in an informed manner based on actually knowing what you are talking about. That's the whole self correcting thing Sagan was so fond of pointing out.
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Old 8th November 2012, 01:26 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by John Albert View Post
A Facebook page recently sprang up dedicated to the theology of "Pantheism" (the notion that everything in the Universe is essentially divine). The owner of that page posts daily quotes from prominent skeptics, atheists and agnostics (citing such personages as Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, Arthur Schopenhauer, Salman Rushdie, etc.) and misrepresents their words as arguments in favor of his supernatural worldview. When I questioned why he cited all these atheists to support such a decidedly anti-atheist view, he said, "They're really more like agnostics, and Pantheism is a lot like agnosticism."
Argh. I've just been asked to join that group. I was going to (my personal beliefs are Buddhist-agnostic), but now I don't think I'll bother. I already spend quite enough time on FB arguing about the beliefs of famous people - Einstein, Darwin etc - being misrepresented by fake quotes or quotes taken out of context.
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Old 8th November 2012, 01:26 PM   #63
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Sagan I love, people who think they think like Sagan when they in reality think like Pat Robertson, not so much. However, when we see people making statements in a scientific way that are not science, it is important for us to point it out. That's what makes me nit picky.
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Old 8th November 2012, 02:35 PM   #64
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How about ths one. "You're not a skeptic, you're a debunker."
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:16 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
How about ths one. "You're not a skeptic, you're a debunker."
Yes, that's a good one. It may also be followed by imputations that one is not a proper skeptic at all.
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:50 PM   #66
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"They" changed 'global warming' to 'climate change' because it stopped warming in 1996
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Old 8th November 2012, 07:53 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by truethat View Post
Sagan I love, people who think they think like Sagan when they in reality think like Pat Robertson, not so much. However, when we see people making statements in a scientific way that are not science, it is important for us to point it out. That's what makes me nit picky.
Like when you said Krakatoa caused an 20 degree drop in global temperature?
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Old 8th November 2012, 08:05 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by bit_pattern View Post
Like when you said Krakatoa caused an 20 degree drop in global temperature?
Actually that's a great example because it's what it said in a documentary about Krakatoa. And it's things like that which cause me to question information and ask for citations. Very similar to Discovery channel shows like "Walking with the Dinosaurs" that make claims and people just think it's true. I try to be more mindful of it, I'll see if I can find the clip or the citation. Because I just recently heard it and it really confused me about global warming which is why I came and asked you guys about it.

There's a thread on here about Disasters I started that should have the film in it. I'll find it for you and post it in the other thread so as not to derail it here.

But thanks for pointing it out. It's exactly situations like these that give me pause about when people report information without citations.
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Old 8th November 2012, 10:17 PM   #69
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Any argument where the person declares some great insight into what God, Christ, Ghandi, Einstein or fictional characters would have to say. Not quotes that pass comment on a subject, but totally imagined opinions on something that had no baring on their life.

Or people who say "this country persecutes christians" but mean "the state should be christian because I am" or "this country recognises people may have beliefs other than my own and I dislike other celebrations happening while I am enjoying Christmas".
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Old 8th November 2012, 10:24 PM   #70
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Arguments from ignorance.
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:14 AM   #71
Shrike
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"Science doesn't know everything". As Dara Ó Briain said (google him, funny man): Ďf science knew everything, it'd stop".
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Last edited by Shrike; 9th November 2012 at 05:17 AM. Reason: Ó Briain, not O'Briain
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:42 AM   #72
LarianLeQuella
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Cool

Originally Posted by truethat View Post
Discovery channel

There's your problem. I think that channel stopped doing actual documentaries back in 1995 or so...
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:54 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Shrike View Post
"Science doesn't know everything". As Dara Ó Briain said (google him, funny man): Ďf science knew everything, it'd stop".
Indeed.

ETA: I guess you could oogle him, but it's funnier if you Google him.

Last edited by Resume; 9th November 2012 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:14 AM   #74
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Are you calling the witnesses liars?

This seems to be particularly popular among UFO and Bigfoot believers. The answer of couse is that they could be lying, they might be reporting a dream or hallucination, or they might just have misinterpreted whatever it they saw.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:40 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Anytime anyone refers to the study of evolution as "Darwinism" - the indirect way of equating evolution with religious belief.

Exactly, as if their confidence in the theory of Evolution is based on reverence for Darwin as a personality, instead of recognition of the relevance of his observations to the workings of nature.
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—Mark Twain
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:41 AM   #76
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:01 AM   #77
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Well, if I'm to give actual examples, most broken logic irritates me, but the two that take the cake are the ones that aren't even much of an argument at all. Fortunately, they're rare, but all the more annoying when they do rear their ugly head.

1. What I'd informally call an argument from distributed denial of service. The author isn't even making any particular argument towards the conclusion himself, but just shovels in a herculean and fully irrelevant task for you to do if you want to disagree with his delusion.

E.g., if you don't individually address each and every single apology on some site, or better yet on all sites, then the apologists win. Don't laugh, it's actually been done verbatim in the Religion And Philosophy forum. If pressed enough to actually have an argument at all, the one going for this argument will just post a list of 100 unrelated links, e.g., half the index of an apology site, without further explanation or even any comment for why exactly those are relevant (especially when they don't even cover the same topics.) But no matter how hare-brained, or irrelevant, or just some personal opinion of some nobody, if you don't take the task of disproving them all, then the cultists are right.

E.g., the same but with books or papers published in some obscure pseudoscience journals. Basically I'm not telling you what the argument is, but unless you read books A, B and C and disprove everything there, I win. Oh, you did? Have books D, E and F too.

Bonus points if the one making the argument hasn't read all that either.

Jackpot points if it's not even possible to. E.g., in one thread, someone's certitude about his position rested upon a book that wasn't even out yet.

2. The pseudo-atheist or pseudo-skeptic or such.

E.g., poster X claims to be an atheist, and really, same as you, but he/she/it is making exactly the first argument described above anyway: before you can pick on the theists, you should disprove every single apology from some idiot fundie sites, plus the few hundred links he/she/it can list. Oh and he/she/it actually thinks that those arguments are right, despite claiming to not believe in the God they support. Exactly how it works that one can think several arguments for Y (Y=God, included) are sound, yet not believe Y is true, is left as an exercise for the reader.

E.g., poster X is an atheist and all, or so they say, but comes up with arguments like that belief in God stops people from raping babies. No, again, such a stupidity actually happened.
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:10 AM   #78
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A-"You don't have the missing link between X & Y"
B-"Here's a fossil that fits in the gap"
A-"Now there's TWO missing links!"
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:11 AM   #79
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"I used to be a Satanist (ie once picked up a copy of D&D in a bookstore) but now I grew out of it. Therefore God"
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:22 AM   #80
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TBH even vilifying D&D isn't as idiotic as the kind of mild stuff that people are made to announce as formerly serving Satan by some of the crazy 'born again' cults. E.g., if you remember Kurious Kathy, at one point she said she was a former servant of Satan because she did a bit of partying and stuff in her youth.
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