October 18, 2009

Define Science

Part of my continuing series of "bashing my head against the wall with apologetics" posts.  Please take a look at this exchange, Readers, and tell me what I'm doing wrong here.  Or if there is anything I could possibly say that would help out here.

"Empiricism is not science"?  What do you say to something like that?  Seriously, this is a doomed discussion, isn't it?


Gregory said...

Yes. Yes it is. Though if you wanted to, you ask him for references to his "1920 discocery of many linguistst", or call him out for putting words in your mouth.

Or you could take comfort in the fact that even religious people reading his website can probably see that he's a nut.

Michael Reynolds said...

He's an idiot.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

You're absolutely right and I should remember the rule about getting into those kinds of exchanges. I just can't help myself sometimes, y'know?

S said...

I, too, can't always help myself, but that guy is downright incoherent. I don't think there is anything you can say to get through to him.

Kaz Dragon said...

I agree with S.

But in any case, you defined science as you understood it, and they disagreed because their science includes (or is entirely -- I can't make up my mind) woo.

Also, saying that "the constitution uses the word "perfect", and the only thing you can compare perfection with is the Christian god (obviously), therefore the constitution references god," is a somewhat bizarre logic.

But the thing that gets me the most is the repeated assertion that if atheism were true, then we'd just be machines, therefore atheism is not true.

Aside from the is-ought fallacy, this makes me wonder if the writer has thought about this (or anything) in detail. How is being free-willed that hugely different from being a machine that is not free-willed, but has the delusion of free will?

zzi said...

What's so hard? 1776-1789 pretty important Documents

-When, in the course of human events,... the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them,...

-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

-Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

Conservative Blog-unclogged said...

I would send anyone for a truly lengthy and probably quite accurate depiction of science or the teaching thereof, to a speech given by Richard Feynman at a Caltech ceremony in the 1960's.

I am a Jesus Freak...a scripture reading individual, bible believer who has a strong aversion to RELIGION, or at least to all RELIGION other than what is stated as the ONLY pure and undefiled RELIGION mentioned in the book of

James 1: 27 as follows...Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Now, I already understand your stance on the issue, and it is not a threat to me or my view. Otherwise I would be threatened by my brother, and son who are self declared atheists.

My son is only 12 and he has made up his mind. I tell him I respect his view but he has to respect mine as well, and we must agree to disagree. He is a good kid, and I love him dearly, just like I love my brother.

I can't view either of them as direct threat to this Nation based on their chosen beliefs.

My point is, so often, well intended gestures sometimes lead to unintended results. It is for the mature to give benefit of the doubt in such disagreements. Sweeping judgment is not a position I am qualified for.

I do not view atheism as a direct threat to the United States or the principles it was founded on. This does not mean that I think all atheists are with good intentions or all are with bad intentions. It isn't my place to decide based solely on their belief.

I am pretty level headed about most things, but I am passionately in defense of Liberty, Freedom, Sovereignty of the Individual and the upholding of the US Constitution; on those elements I will not budge.

Does my belief in Jesus make me an idiot? Well, you decide and live with your own thoughts as I am happy with mine. I would like the freedom to believe how I wish, just as you or anyone else hopes to have that freedom.

I am alright with that freedom until someone wants to come along and force their ideals on me, or agenda, or what have you.

Take for instance the NAMBLA movement which increases. If they wish to develop a "religion" of this (I am not sure if they are, just a hypothetical scenario), then I have no respect for their beliefs at all because it harms children and is a perversion no matter how it is looked at. That is an extreme example, but a fair one in light of their growth as a group the past 20 or so years.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on Richard Feynman's comments on "what is science".

Transplanted Lawyer said...

CBU, if you mean Feynman's famous "flying saucer" remark, in which he said "It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible," that's certainly one way to define the term.

But the problem in the link is that the author of a statement like "empiricism is not science" is operating in a non-normal version of reality. Rejecting the analysis and testing of empirical evidence as a basis for science would send Dr. Feynman spinning in his grave.