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← Refuting supernatural

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Jos Gibbons

I'm dropping out of this thread

You promise?
Seriously, can I justify replying if I know in advance I’d be having the last word? Actually I think I can, because otherwise you’ve just discovered the perfect way to have the last word yourself while seeming like you plan to do the exact opposite. So I’ll reply anyway. Having said that, you then add:

If I see a serious reply I might decide to make an exception

which means for all I know you’ll go through a line-by-line response to everyone. So I will reply to you as if you’d never made such “I’m off… but maybe not” comments.

there have been replies from individuals who do not understand what a fallacy of begging the question is even when it is clearly explained to them

I remember you being one of them, me being the one doing the explaining. Informal fallacies differ from formal ones in that, rather than you getting to bin any argument whose structure is such as to “commit” them, you have to explain what’s wrong with their premises (this doesn’t mean you have to disprove them, but only to explain why they ought to be given more justification than is at hand). “Begging the question” is an especially pernicious form of complaint because every deductively valid argument “commits” this “fallacy”, if our offense-detection mechanism is the primitive one you use.

Other contributors do not seem to understand the difference between scientific and metaphysical claims.

The trouble with declaring a statement metaphysical and non-scientific is you need to show it cannot in principle be falsified, and not just make a declaration to that effect. This is why you ought to deal with the examples of Stenger’s I mentioned above. If you want to see the proper way to make a case for a claim being in principle empirically untestable, I suggest you read Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic, in which he makes several such arguments. That they are all good arguments isn’t exactly the philosophical consensus, but at least he puts some articulate effort into it.

Some persons that an unsupported assertion is all that is required to support an argument.

You’re the one who responded to my saying assertions should only be accepted if evidence supports them with an argument you claimed proved I was wrong, so you advocate the view at least some claims can be accepted without such support. So how are you not an example of “some persons” such as above? It’s as if you copy-pasted that complaint from a standard bag of argument-winning tricks rather than thinking about what it would say in the context at hand.

There have been other silly claims too numerous to mention

In other words, you won’t prove any silly claims were mentioned at all. You won’t even give one example of such a claim, let alone explain how you know it’s silly. You are looking increasingly guilty of that last complaint above. No wonder you didn’t name offenders.

wild misattributions

Again, apparently no examples. Are they also too numerous to mention? Nothing is too numerous to mention, unless you plan on being unnecessarily exhaustive. (If asked for evidence for evolution, I don’t literally need to recite TGSOE and WEIT in their entirety, because nowhere near all the evidence is needed.)

contributors have resorted to offensive comment when they have been cornered in argument

How do you know they were cornered and that was why they spoke offensively (not that the latter is objective anyway)? Maybe you’re just getting exasperating. Indeed, isn’t the tone of your latest comment an example of such behaviour too?

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 12:48:45 UTC | #949177