Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lesson 2: how to turn their diversionary tactics

 photo Runningthegauntlet2byStevenWhite_zps73da724c.jpg
running the gauntlet

On CARM there was a discussion about a phil papers survey that shows the vast majority of professional philoshpers are atheists.

this is my post to answer theirs showing the stuffy they didn't tell us about, that the editors brought out as caveats.

I put up an answer "what they don't tell you about the phil papers study:"

My post begins here:
In the thread "what do most philosophers believe?" Tralala quotes a survey on phil papers that shows huge percentage are atheists.

I find that amazing because for a decade atheists on this and other boards acted like philosophy is so stupid because it's about belief in God. I told them that was amazingly ignorant and asserted that most philosophers are probably not believers in God.

I would not expect them to be.

*most philosophy students are given minimal exposure to God arguemnts.

*most philosophy anthologies are designed to make it appear that no one believes in God anymore and that the God arguments failed.

*most philosophy anthologies are light on pro God stuff and give minimal exposure to thinkers like E.L. Mascall who held down the fort in the decades before Malchom and Hartshorne revived the OA.

Philosophy is a lot different now than it was in the middle ages. It's not about answers now days. It's about asking interesting questions.

these criticisms discussed by the editors of phil papers and made by the people who took the survey.

What do most philosophers believe? Are most philosophers atheists, or theists? Do they lean toward Platonism or nominalism? Do they lean toward externalist or internalist epistemic justification?David Bourget and David Chalmers have released the results of the largest survey of professional philosophers ever conducted. There were 931 respondents from 99 leading philosophy departments around the world.1
So what are the results?

72.8% atheism
14.6% theism
12.5% other

(1) they agree it is anti-philosophical

they admit that this is sociology of philosophy and not philosophy

As for misrepresentation: We certainly agree that a philosopher's views cannot be captured in a set of survey answers. The survey answers should not be seen as any sort of definitive representation of philosophers' views. At best, they capture a few dimensions or aspects of those views. Likewise, the survey should not be taken as any sort of definitive representation of the state of the philosophical profession. Like any survey, it just captures a few limited aspects of the state of the profession.

Finally, we recognize that there is something comical about the idea of doing philosophy by multiple choice. But we think that the results are of significant interest all the same, and multiple choice is by far the most feasible way to get the relevant data.

(2) it's unfairly biased agaisnt continental traditions and for analytic.

2. The survey is biased toward certain traditions and areas. In particular, it is biased toward analytic philosophy as opposed to non-analytic traditions, including continental traditions, non-Western traditions, and others.

In response: Yes, it is. We recognized this in the survey's information page. We considered incorporating questions drawn from non-analytic traditions, but it proved difficult to find questions that would be accessible enough to a predominantly analytic audience. So we decided to explicitly orient the survey toward analytic philosophy, which is the tradition within which our own expertise lies.

A number of respondents suggested that we should have incorporated questions drawn from continental traditions, Asian traditions, the pragmatist tradition, and from the history of philosophy, among others. There were relatively few concrete questions suggested here. We appreciated the concrete suggestions that were made (e.g. "Madness: historical or ahistorical", "Hegelian dialectic or Marxist dialectic", "Early and late Wittgenstein: complementary or contradictory?"), but they tended to reinforce our initial sense that such questions would not have worked in context.
(3) limited from truth by protocols

We would have liked to have an option for a view on which the external world is somehow mind-dependent without this being idealism (e.g. social constructivism), but we couldn't find a good accessible generic term here. Of course we expected a big majority for non-skeptical realism, but we were interested to see whether there would be a good number of skeptics and idealists out there.
Read that whole page it's pretty interesting.

What percentage of philosophers read Phil papers? Are these the only surveys on these matters? they don't know. post ends here.

[one thing I didn't know but saw today is that in the field of philosophy of religion the majoirty are theists. that sort of undoes the implication].

The study was prestend as disproof of God. But the implication was made in several ways. Yet when I presented this list of caveats about the study they did not answer a single one. They began with a classic atheist ploy, which is divert attention form the issue by bringin up criticism of the person making the argument.

61 replies and not a one of them talks about the actual crititicism made above. 

 A new atheist "America" led off trying to evoke a ridiucle gautlet by using the stretegy of divert attention with persona criticism. He ceased upon my quip above about how atheists have rejected philosophy in the past and reused to accept that they do that.

Originally Posted by America View Post
That's false. Atheists do not act "like philosophy is so stupid because it's about belief in God", and you can't find a single atheist quote to show differently.

You do this a lot, don't you? Arguing against positions people don't actually hold.

He continued to pick at it (I ignored him) several times demanding "where is your proof that any atheist ever said that. I said I've been on the board 15 years, the board has been washed 60 times no way I can get those, I do remember them. He continued to assert that I must be lying it never happened, no true atheist would ever say that. I had talked about the way philosophy was taught when I was undergraduate and the way philosophy anthologies published in the 60s where structured, all of which was calculated to give the impression that belief in God was all washed up, while ignoring important current developments like the rise of the "back to God philosophers (Hartshorne and Plantinga, Purtil). Hilly Billy immediately asserted that I had to be wrong and implied I was lying:

Originally Posted by HillyBilly View Post
I do. Nothing Meta said about philosophy education is true. It's almost as though he never got a philosophy education.
you know that's bs. you clearly never read an anthology used in mid 20t century in under graduate school. Perhaps you are too young. That was my experience with the books we used. The would have St. Anselm talking about OA then Kant and Bertrand Russell saying why it's not good but not Hartshorne saying why it is. So they created the impression that it's not.

I can show you the book. I have about five books like that. I can list the citations if I have to, but that's a lot of busy work I see no need.

Nothing he says nothing about philosophy education is true that's such an obvious like it tells me he has not made university training.

The truth of it is I don't think Silly Billy ever got any kind of education other than little science stuff. He thinks he's a big philospher I'm betting he's only been intorduced to it through an Ayn Rand group.

At this point it's well on the way to becoming a ridicule gauntlet I would be overwhelmed by atheists making little sarcastic one liner quips. At this point I found a tipping point and turned around. How?
In the last lesson I gave the advice of calling them out individually and embarrassing them by demanding to know their credentials, their accomplishments, in other words saying "what do you know about it?" I started to use that appraoch and hit America  I struck gold. I just got him at a point where he embarrassed himself. He said that my criticisms were shallow and silly or something to that effect. I pointed out that the criticisms I presented were made by the editors who did the survey. So they were shallow and silly that the servery was done by incompetent people. I thanks America for disproving the survey for me. From that point on he began to falter.

Most of those posts have been deleted by the mods but they were hilarious. He had to start actually defendind the study agaisnt the criticisms that meant his purpose in divering attention was blown.
He wound up whinging and demanding to be taken seriously and I was laughing at him.

Unfortuatnely most of that has been taken out by the mods. i must learn to be faster in recording such things. but one exchange that's left, which much tamer but gives an idea:

 Originally Posted by America View Post
There's no need for a response. Your OP revealed gaping holes in your "reasoning" (lol) within the first few sentences.
No it didn't. I did nothing more than repeat what the editors of the journal said. that was the thinking of the very people who did the bleeding survey!

you can't have it both ways. if that's flawed then the survey is probalby flawed.
you must demonstrate the flaw. not just assert it. more opinion.


Until you're willing to address them, there's no need for me to be tackling anything else you've written here. Your argument is based on a straw man - deal with it like an intellectual.

PS. still no link

wrong. it's the arguemnt of the editors. you must give a reason you can't assert that it's wrong and then stick with the burden of proof. he asserts an argument must prove it.

 Originally Posted by America View Post

Editors of the journal said atheists think "philosophy is so stupid because it's about belief in God"?

You said that, and you were wrong.

Deal with it like an intellectual.
screw your head on straight. pull it out of the sand. now read again: the original OP says several criticism of the survey. they are clearly labeled as such. they includes the idea that it's biased toward analytical and against continental.

the unimportant statement about atheists think which was an after taught and off the cuff and matter not at all, was not one of the criticisms in the OP.

you have said nothing about those criticisms.

here they are again: (I repeated the OP at that point)

Originally Posted by America View Post
The original OP also says atheists think "philosophy is so stupid because it's about belief in God"

If you can't bother to not say stupid things in the first few sentences, there's no need for anyone to read further. Deal with it like an intellectual, Metacrock.
 yes. I said it was not the major point, which you would know if you read carefully. I also said it was an after thought. I added at at the end. I just didn't put it in the end I put it up front but I thought it after everything itself.

It's not very important. the stuff at the major boy id what matters. you are hiding.

The point is to head off those situations where they are ganging up and making one liners and ridiculing making you look foolish and taking the attention away form the issues by shifting the focus to their incompetents as judges.

Most of what atheists do, on CARM at any rate is  to move the spotlight from the message to the messenger, detract form the issue. everything is personal, everything is about what you do wrong, always shift the spot light from the message to the messenger. that's their stock in trade. That is clearly a hate tacit it's all about why they hate apologists.

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