Saturday, August 07, 2010

Quote of the Day: "Often as Arrogant as They Are Ignorant"

This photo was taken by my wife during a cruis...Image via Wikipedia
"...  it often pains me to see how desperately ignorant many young atheists and agnostics are. Often as arrogant as they are ignorant, they just have no inkling of the incredible intellectual resources contemporary Christian philosophers have provided for the formulation and defense of basic Christian doctrines....  --William Lane Craig, to a "friendly atheist".

Knowledge without humility is not true knowledge, at least not true knowledge of one's self. Christ said of himself, "I am meek and lowly in heart", which is an astonishing claim when we consider by whom it was made, and a claim that is too seldom echoed in our own lives.

As for ignorance, I would never accuse the regular posters at the Ball Bounces on this score-- they are very smart and know a lot, which I trust, adds to browsers' enjoyment of both my posts and their reposts.
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15 comments:

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Coming from an ARROGANT, IGNORANT, I-know-jack-about-evolutionary-biology-but-I'll-bloviate-about-it-anyway Creationist, this comment is ludicrously pot calling the kettle black.

It is made even more silly given that Craig is a Fellow of the arrogantly ignorant notoriously dishonest anti-science propaganda mill, the Discovery Institute.

Likewise seeing him whine about "knowledge without humility", whilst practising ignorance without humility, is nauseating. I would further point out that there is nothing "meek" about Biola University, it is very much 'loud and proud' about its advocacy of Biblically-based-ignorance.

I call Poe's Law -- because these statements are indistinguishable from self-parody.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

(Apologies, the "knowledge without humility" whine appears to be your own. But given that (i) you likewise seem to practice the same (scientific) "ignorance without humility" as Craig, and (ii) are clearly a supporter of his viewpoint, my point holds.)

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Also, if we're going to argue about "arrogance" and atheism, I would like to ask that note be taken of David Hume, arguably the first 'New Atheist'. The Christian Church in Scotland had the arrogance to put him on trial for heresy in the mid 18th Century.

The simple fact of the matter is that many Christians are uncomfortable about assertive atheists holding religious beliefs up to the light of reason, and that this has been true for at least a couple of centuries. All this 'New Atheist' rhetoric is simply an attempt to displace this discomfort.

Joe said...

Actually xn hrfn woa most atheists are empty egos who blather on in ignorance. To say they are arrogant is more than a bit mild. Being clueless doesn't seem to stop them from spouting off. What's that old adage about 'tis better to be silent and thought a fool than to put atheistic postings on a Christian website thereby removing all doubt.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

"Actually" Joe, what you have to say is nothing but the empty unsubstantiated assertions of an ignorant Christian chauvinist.

We get that you think that Christianity is the best thing since sliced bread, and that you feel oh so superior to those who believe other than you do. Nobody cares.

Joe said...

Well xn hrfn woa what would you call a know nothing, done nothing who continues to spout his nonsense directed at those who have done something and do know something except arrogance?

It took me a long time to come down from my own arrogance and use the courage of my convictions to change sides when I saw my side was an empty void. Never more so than when it was abundantly clear that the other side had logic, evidence, and a plausible explanation.

You see at one point I was a strident atheist so full of myself I couldn't see past the end of my nose. There was nothing I loved more than to try to trash a Christian's belief system. Fortunately for me I lost the argument and I became that which I had loved to disparage, a Christian.

So when I say atheists are arrogant, based on my personal experience when I was an atheist and my experience in debating atheists it is a truism. Not that is should be unexpected after all if you are your own god arrogance is in the premise.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

"Well xn hrfn woa what would you call a know nothing, done nothing who continues to spout his nonsense directed at those who have done something and do know something except arrogance? "

I would call that whole accusation an empty ad hominem.

"It took me a long time to come down from my own arrogance and use the courage of my convictions to change sides when I saw my side was an empty void. Never more so than when it was abundantly clear that the other side had logic, evidence, and a plausible explanation."

So you drank the Koolaid -- why am I supposed to care? And N0, I don't accept your assertions that "my side was an empty void" or "other side had logic, evidence, and a plausible explanation" -- as I've seen nothing to support either assertion, either in your & Rick's empty truthiness & illogic-based arguments here, or anywhere else.

"You see at one point I was a strident atheist so full of myself I couldn't see past the end of my nose. "

That I can well believe -- you seemed to have completely missed seeing anything resembling the intellectual arguments against theism (which is blindingly clear from your inability to even attempt to counter some of the more widely known of them).

"Fortunately for me I lost the argument and I became that which I had loved to disparage, a Christian."

So you went from being a strident, ill-informed atheist, to being a strident ill-informed Christian. I don't see the improvement. And although I may be arguably strident, I am not an atheist, nor was I strident when I was a Christian (which isn't surprising as I spent a good half of my time as a Christian slowly and semi-consciously lapsing).

I would recommend extrapolating from your own personal experience to the experience of all atheists -- I have seen nothing to date to suggest that you're a representative sample.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Shorter Rick & Joe:

"Christianity is the G-R-E-A-T-E-S-T! If you atheists can't see how great it is then this means you're arrogant. All we need to do to support this view is keep running a string of (often ludicrously dodgy) assertions and arguments. If you atheists point out that the 'emperor has no clothes' (in terms of substantiation or logical validity), then that's just because you're shallow."

As below, I call Gish Gallop on this nonsense, and will repeat this call hereafter until Rick & Joe start addressing the shortcomings that have been pointed out in their posts.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

("I would recommend extrapolating" above should read "I would recommend against extrapolating".)

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Further to my "you seemed to have completely missed seeing anything resembling the intellectual arguments against theism" comment, I would like to inquire of Joe which of the Arguments Against the Existence of God he encountered, and what he considers the flaws of each of these 18 arguments to be.

Joe said...

"Arguments Against the Existence of God he encountered,"

I am supposed to give credence to nonsense like that? Why don't we just argue about whether the sun exists? I know God exists because I have encountered Him! I know the sun exists because it comes up every morning. I know my wife exists because I gave her a hug a few moments ago. Good Grief but you are slow man! What's more I am not alone in that experience millions and millions of people over thousands of years have recorded the same kind of encounter. Which am I to believe the guys who witnessed the Titanic sinking or the theorists who said it was impossible for the Titanic to sink? I'm going to believe the eyewitnesses in large part because I am just such a witness.

xn--hrfn-woa said...

Joe:

Given that many of these arguments were developed by famous philosopher, dismissing them as "nonsense" without countering a single one, simply demonstrates what an ignorant close-minded bigot you are, and that your atheism was every bit as superficial as my Christianity was.

"Why don't we just argue about whether the sun exists? I know God exists because I have encountered Him!"

Because as anybody other than an idiot, the majority of the Earth's population have seen the Sun, but have not "encountered" God. In fact many of them have had religious experiences contradictory to Christianity. Why should I trust your religious experience over theirs (particularly given that your credibility with me is so low that I wouldn't trust you further than I could drop-kick you)? I have made this point repeatedly, but you just continue to Gish Gallop right on past it.

Joe said...

xn hrfn woa sure does have trouble understanding the difference between theory and practice. Back in my engineering days we used to have fun proving that bumble bees can't fly and no airplane can travel faster than the speed of sound. The logic and the mathematics were impeccable. Except for one thing. They were right in theory and wrong in practice. Bumble bees fly and airplanes go faster than the speed of sound.

In some shallow philosophy God doesn't exist. In reality I've met Him and testify to that fact. Millions upon millions of others have likewise encountered Him and they too testify to that fact. Those millions of people who so testify are not gathered in one place and one time so it can not be mass hypnosis or group delusion as could otherwise be expected. Rather over millenia sane rational grounded individuals some of great influence others of none all testify to the Truth.

Now if you were half the scientist you claim to be you would do the things that others testify to doing and thereby proving them right or wrong. To sit on a website all day throwing ill conceived rationalizations of the atheist positions that you have read about somewhere you prove yourself a fool. You remind me of a friend of mine who read all kinds of literature on building aircraft. He could recite ad infinitum the design parameters of this or that airframe. That is until a tool was placed in his hand and he was told he would be restoring a vintage aircraft. As the cowboys call it "All hat, no cattle". When the time came his 'vast learning' did him no good. He couldn't figure out how to stretch the fabric. Its the same with you. You have read lots of books. I'm impressed (not). Now do some real leg work so we can at least have an informed discussion. Go do some exploration of the Spiritual.

Hræfn said...

Joe:

The "difficulty" seems to exist only in your own mind.

"Back in my engineering days..."

Why aren't I surprised. Shades of the Salem Hypothesis: "In any Evolution vs. Creation debate, A person who claims scientific credentials and sides with Creation will most likely have an Engineering degree." It also means that you, in all likelihood, had no exposure to the Scientific Method or the Philosophy of Science.

"...we used to have fun proving that bumble bees can't fly and no airplane can travel faster than the speed of sound. The logic and the mathematics were impeccable. Except for one thing. They were right in theory and wrong in practice. Bumble bees fly and airplanes go faster than the speed of sound. "

Same discredited old canard. Buddhists have seen bumble bees flying and supersonic jets, they have not met God.

"In reality I've met Him and testify to that fact. Millions upon millions of others have likewise encountered Him and they too testify to that fact."

And why should I trust your testimony, when I don't trust you? And why should I trust your "millions upon millions" over the billions who have had contradictory religious experiences? For that matter, why should I trust your religious experience over my own?

"Now if you were half the scientist you claim to be..."

Actually, unlike you, I never claimed to be a scientist at all. I simply understand the Scientific Method and the Philosophy of Science better than you do (see point (i) below).

[contd]

Hræfn said...

[contd]

"...you would do the things that others testify to doing and thereby proving them right or wrong."

Which proves you wrong on two levels: (i) science seeks material explanations for material phenomena -- religious experiences are neither, so have nothing to do with 'being (half) a scientist'. (ii) In that I have had religious experiences, I have already done "the things" -- it's just that the result (in common with the majority of the Earth's population) was different from your experiences.

"To sit on a website all day throwing ill conceived rationalizations of the atheist positions that you have read about somewhere you prove yourself a fool."

To call the creation of great philosophers "ill conceived rationalizations", whilst evincing no facility with philosophical argument yourself, is the height of blinkered arrogance. It also further demonstrates how shallow your atheism was, further devaluing what miniscule value I should put on the testimonial value of your conversion.

"You remind me of a friend of mine who read all kinds of literature on building aircraft. He could recite ad infinitum the design parameters of this or that airframe. That is until a tool was placed in his hand and he was told he would be restoring a vintage aircraft."

Except that I no more claim to be a holy man or some other religious expert than I claim to be scientist. I just claim to have a working knowledge of philosophy and logic, and thus an ability to recognise, and point to the flaws in arguments & claims.

Actually, what this reminds me of is the long line of creationist 'experts', from George McCready Price through to Ken Ham, who scratching through the scientific literature, for fragments that the can take out of context to prove their points, but never do actual scientific research.

It is you who is "All hat, no cattle" at philosophical argument (and also it would seem from your previous claims at the History of Science).

Your arrogant, strident, repeated demands that non-Christians should privilege the religious experiences of Christians over the billions/majority of religious experiences of non-Christians has become more than a little grating. It now amounts to an Argumentum ad Nauseam.

I will conclude by repeating my earlier question: why should I trust your religious experiences over the contradictory ones of billions of others and over my own contradictory experiences? All else is mere Gish Galloping.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"