Thursday, August 19, 2010

atheists poison the well

There's a tactic called "poisoning the well" that means one is so hyped and psyched on how bad his opponent is as  person that whatever the opponent says has to be wrong. We see atheists poison the wall all the time. I've seen atheists just starkly refuse to accept any evidence by religious person regardless of how authoritative or erudite or acclaimed as an expert in the field that religious person is. It's just a matter of saying "religion is stupid and religious people are not trustworthy so it doesn't matter how acclaimed  scholar might be if he's religious just ignore him complete."

this is a rather blunt and unsubtle form of poisoning the well. I've actually seen atheists do it that bluntly too. In we have seen Argy do this twice, once when I started the thread and another time when I backed up my arguments with more evidence. He refused to read the documentation saying "I quite paying attention." The second one he said "you must have taken all of this out of context," of course since he has never read any evdience of mine on that same ground, then he doesn't have any way of knowing he's assuming so becuase I'm religious so i must be wrong. This is poisoning the well!

Meta:In other words,it's not claimed to definitively prove that God exists but only that belief in God based upon rational concepts, ideas, and logically derived from the premises and inferences as a justifiable conclusion.
AL:I sort of stopped reading right there.  It is possible to draw any conclusion you want if you select the opening premise properly.  Like all philosophical arguments at gets down to GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).  If you can test your underlying premises and your conclusions then your argument might have something going for it; otherwise it remains in the realm of speculation.
quote found here:

Firslty, the link you gave me is a mish-mash of unrelated quotations probably lifted out of context so I haven't paid any attention to it.  Besides, its creator seems to be ignorant of a fundamental fact of modern physics.(Ibid, p3)

Poisoning the well is dumb move because it means that nothing can ever count against your position. This is not the case because the position is so well proved but becuase you just wont accept anything that counts against it, on the  assumption it has to be wrong becuase it counts against it. In fact this is actually a form of circular reasoning or begging the question. It's a very destructive version because it shuts down discussion before it can ever get started.

Atheists do this because their position is so weak, it can't stand up against real documentation or measure up in discussion.

take for example the evidence I offered on the argument that the universe is contingent, that space/time is contingent.

Karl Popper:

"Empirical facts are facts which might not have been. Everything that belongs to space time is a contingent truth because it could have been otherwise, it is dependent upon the existence of something else for its' existence going all the way back to the Big Bang, which is itself contingent upon something."(Antony Flew, Philosophical Dictionary, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979, 242.)

(2)Universe is not a Necessary Outcome

Paul Davies:

"You might be tempted to suppose that any old rag-bag of laws would produce a complex universe of some sort, with attendant inhabitants convinced of their own specialness. Not so. It turns out that randomly selected laws lead almost inevitably either to unrelieved chaos or boring and uneventful simplicity. Our own universe is poised exquisitely between these unpalatable alternatives, offering a potent mix of freedom and discipline, a sort of restrained creativity. The laws do not tie down physical systems so rigidly that they can accomplish little, but neither are they a recipe for cosmic anarchy. Instead, they encourage matter and energy to develop along pathways of evolution that lead to novel variety-what Freeman Dyson has called the principle of maximum diversity: that in some sense we live in the most interesting possible universe."

"Some scientists have tried to argue that if only we knew enough about the laws of physics, if we were to discover a final theory that united all the fundamental forces and particles of nature into a single mathematical scheme, then we would find that this superlaw, or theory of everything, would describe the only logically consistent world. In other words, the nature of the physical world would be entirely a consequence of logical and mathematical necessity. There would be no choice about it. I think this is demonstrably wrong. There is not a shred of evidence that the universe is logically necessary. Indeed, as a theoretical physicist I find it rather easy to imagine alternative universes that are logically consistent, and therefore equal contenders for reality." First Things: Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address (1999)

(3)Space and Time constituet parts of space-time.

Dr. Sen Odenwald,Astronomer Nasa

Astronomy Cafe

ibid What is the relationship between space and time?

"Mathematically, and in accordance with relativity, they are in some sense interchangeable, but we do know that they form co-equal parts of a larger 'thing' called space-time, and it is only within space-time that the most complete understanding of the motion and properties of natural objects and phenomena can be rigorously understood by physicists. Space and time are to space-time what arms and legs are to humans. In some sense they are interchangeable, but you cannot understand 10,000 years of human history without including both arms and legs as part of the basic human condition.

This means that the one reality designated as "space/time" the four coordinate system, is the prior condition under which we find space and time. that means that both space and time are contingent upon space/time.

(4) Space and Time contigent upon "field"


Q:Which came first, matter or physical laws?

"We do not know, but matter is derivative from energy, and energy is derivative from 'field' so in some sense, the physical laws that determine the quantum dynamics of fields must have been primary, with matter as we know it coming much later."

"field" is syonimous with space/time

Dr.Sten Odenwald,NASA

This is a very complicated question to answer...and frankly we do not yet fully understand how to answer it. According to Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which is our premier way of explaining how gravity works, there is no formal distinction between the description of what a gravitational field is, and what space-time is. Essentially, space is what we refer to as 3 of the 4 dimensions to a more comprehensive entity called the space-time continuum, and this continuum is itself just another name for the gravitational field of the universe. If you take away this gravitational itself vanishes! To ask where space comes from is the same as asking, according to general relativity, where this gravitational field came from originally, and that gets us to asking what were the circumstances that caused the Big Bang itself. We don't really know.

Can space exist by itself without matter or energy around?

No. Experiments continue to show that there is no 'space' that stands apart from space-time arena in which matter, energy and gravity operate which is not affected by matter, energy and gravity. General relativity tells us that what we call space is just another feature of the gravitational field of the universe, so space and space-time can and do not exist apart from the matter and energy that creates the gravitational field. This is not speculation, but sound observation.

(5) No meaningful concepts of space/time at the point of expansion and beyond event horizon.

Odenwald, NASA

"As I have mentioned in a previous question, we do not know what the state of the universe was like at the Big Bang and beyond. Our best guess at this time suggest that time and space as we know these concepts will become rather meaningless as the universe enters a purely quantum mechanical state of indeterminacy. Cosmologists such as Stephen Hawking suggest that the dimension of time is transformed via quantum fluctuations in the so-called "signature of the spacetime metric", into a space-like coordinate so that instead of 3-space and 1-time dimension, space-time becomes a 4-dimensional space devoid of any time-like features. What this state is imagined to be is anyone's guess because as humans trained to think in terms of processes evolving in time, our next question would then be, What came before the Hawking space-like state? There is no possible answer to this question because there is no time in which the concept of 'before' can be said to have a meaning. The question itself becomes the wrong question to ask.

He ignored all of that on the basis that I quoted so it must be wrong. That's nothing more than a refusal to take part in real debate. In most cases logicians recognize this behavior as symptomatic of knowing one can't win an argument. It's a good sign one knows his position is weak.

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