Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Logic and Reason

Logic and First Principles of right reason

At Reasons.org: “I Think, Therefore It Must Be True,” Part 1: The Science of Belief

"While Bertrand Russell, and many others, may attribute unbelief to lack of evidence, the Bible declares that belief is a choice. Research on human decision making has demonstrated that we are heavily influenced by nonrational factors that can lead to faulty decisions and incorrect belief (or unbelief). It seems the Bible’s view is well supported." Read More ›

L&FP, 62a: Science can rightly — and usefully — be viewed as “reverse engineering of the natural world”

Here, it is helpful to headline an update to L&FP, 62, as we need to return to a rich vein of thought that allows us to approach science in light of systems engineering perspectives: [[We may add a chart on a key subset of SE, reverse engineering, RE: One of the most significant Reverse Engineering-Forward Engineering exercises was the clean room duplication of the IBM PC’s operating framework that allowed lawsuit-proof clones to be built that then led to the explosion of PC-compatible machines. By the time this was over, IBM sold out to Lenovo and went back to its core competency, Mainframes. Where, now, a mainframe today is in effect a high end packaged server farm; the microprocessor now Read More ›

L&FP, 62: The Systems (and Systems Engineering) Perspective — a first step to understanding design in/of our world

Our frame going forward, is knowledge reformation driven by application of the adapted JoHari Window, given obvious, fallacy-riddled ideological captivity of the intellectual high ground of our civilisation: Ideological captivity of the high ground also calls forth the perspective that we need to map the high ground: If you want some context on validity: So, we are now looking at ideologically driven captivity of the intellectual high ground and related institutions of our civilisation, leading to compromising the integrity of the knowledge commons through fallacy riddled evolutionary materialistic scientism and related ideologies. Not a happy thought but that is what we have to deal with and find a better way forward. We already know, knowledge (weak, everyday sense) is warranted, Read More ›

L&FP, 61: Learning about Agit Prop from the H G Wells, War of the Worlds broadcast (and from the modified JoHari Window)

Notoriously, on the evening of October 30, 1938, many people missed the opening remarks for Orson Welles’ radio dramatisation of H G Wells’ War of the Worlds. As History dot com recounts: Millions of Americans, as they were every night, huddled around their radios, but relatively few of them were listening to CBS when it was announced that Welles and his fellow cast members were presenting an original dramatization of the 1898 H.G. Wells science-fiction novel “The War of the Worlds.” Instead, most of the country was tuned in to NBC’s popular “Chase and Sanborn Hour,” which featured ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy . . . . disoriented listeners who stumbled onto the “Mercury Theatre on the Read More ›

L&FP, 60: Illustrating an all too common atheistical attitude

The below is taken from a typical Internet Atheist trollish rhetorical stunt, illustrating all too familiar patterns of fallacious reasoning that are here seen in an attempt to bully and stereotype Christians as ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. For first level responses see here [Jesus], here [worldviews], here [evil Christians]. This sort of polarising snide stunt is what we need to recognise as a real problem (and no, turnabout projection is not an acceptable response), acknowledging that it is unacceptable bigotry and intellectual irresponsibility, and then set such aside, there are fate of civilisation issues on the table: Now, let us ponder: Where we do not need to go. END U/D, Oct 1, on the real political spectrum by way Read More ›

L&FP, 59: Building a body of knowledge in a hyperskeptical, ideologically polarised era that often dismisses truth and objectivity

It’s not hard to recognise that we are in a hyperskeptical, ideologically polarised warped thinking age at war with objective truth and knowledge. Fundamentally, our academics have betrayed us, starting with putting the inferior substitute, skepticism, in the place of prudence. Once that was done, there is no firewal on skepticism so it spiralled into selective hyperskepticism that promotes favoured narratives while finding any excuse to dismiss the despised other. Inevitably, knowledge has fractured. So, let us again turn to the JoHari window to see how it can help us build a responsible, and often counter-narrative body of knowledge: Now, steps of thought (adapted from an earlier comment): 1: We must properly understand what knowledge is, including its subtleties, limitations Read More ›

L&FP, 58b: The JoHari Window and recognising limits of our knowledge

The JoHari Window provides a useful context to control speculation or accusation or assumption posing as knowledge: Here, we see a personal focus. This can readily be extended to institutions, movements, interest groups and the public. We can even see, through faction dynamics, how a minority may see while the community at large is innocently or even willfully blind, stuck in an ill advised business as usual. For example: Therefore, we are well advised to heed an adjusted form of Dallas Willard’s observation on knowledge and how it confers legitimate authority: To have knowledge in the dispositional sense—where you know things you are not necessarily thinking about at the time—is to be able to represent something as it is on Read More ›

L&FP, 58a: Dallas Willard, on knowledge and its significance: “knowledge authorizes one to act, to direct action, to develop and supervise policy, and to teach”

In his posthumous book (completed by colleagues), Willard makes a key observation on knowledge, one that challenges a power-obsessed, agenda driven era that is dismissive of objectivity rooted in good warrant: To have knowledge . . . is to be able to represent something as it is on an adequate basis of thought or experience, not to exclude communications from qualified sources (“authority”) . . . . knowledge authorizes one to act, to direct action, to develop and supervise policy, and to teach. It does so because, as everyone assumes, it enables us to deal more successfully with reality: with what we can count on, have to deal with, or are apt to have bruising encounters with. Knowledge involves assured Read More ›

L&FP 58: Knowledge (including scientific knowledge) is not a simple concept

. . . as a result of which, once there is an issue, complex questions and limitations of the philosophy of knowledge — Epistemology — emerge. Where, in particular, no scientific theory can be even morally certain. (Yes, as Newtonian Dynamics illustrates, they can be highly empirically reliable in a given gamut of circumstances . . . but as Newtonian Dynamics [vs. Modern Physics] also illustrates, so can models and frameworks known to be strictly inaccurate to reality. Empirical reliability is something we can know to responsible certainty.) So, it is important for us to understand the subtleties and limitations of knowledge and of knowledge claims. As we have discussed previously, on balance, a good definition of knowledge (beyond merely Read More ›

L&FP, 57: What is naturalism? Is it a viable — or even the only viable — worldview and approach to knowledge?

What is naturalism? (And why do some speak in terms of evolutionary materialistic scientism?) While everything touched on by philosophy is of course open to disagreements and seemingly endless debate, we can find a good enough point of reference through AmHD: 3. Philosophy The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.4. Theology The doctrine that all religious truths are derived from nature and natural causes and not from revelation. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy suggests: The term “naturalism” has no very precise meaning in contemporary philosophy. Its current usage derives from debates in America in the first half of the last century. The self-proclaimed “naturalists” from that period included John Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: 2. Infinity illustrates that the universe has a beginning

The absurdities that an infinite past time would create, while not a definitive mathematical proof, are solid evidence that our universe had a beginning. Read More ›

L&FP, 56: Can we invent or define a nine-sided hexagon?

One of the many fundamental errors of nominalism is to confuse labels with logic of being substance. To clarify the matter, let us ponder: As was noted in the ongoing defending thread: KF, 839: As a start point for rethinking, please, show us a nine sided hexagon. (What, you can’t, isn’t the term hexagon just a word we can apply as we please, rewriting the dictionary at will, there is no such thing as a nature so there is no difference. So, on such radical nominalism, there is no difference between truth and error, truthfulness and willful deceit, justice and injustice, male and female, knowledge and myth, indoctrination and education, acquitting the innocent and knowingly condemning such, sound policing and Read More ›

L&FP, 55: Defining/Clarifying Intelligent Design as Inference, as Theory, as a Movement

It seems, despite UD’s resources tab, some still struggle to understand ID in the three distinct senses: inference, theory/research programme, movement. Accordingly, let us headline a clarifying note from the current thread on people who doubt, for the record: [KF, 269:] >>. . . first we must mark out a matter of inductive reasoning and epistemology. Observed tested, reliable signs such as FSCO/I [= functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information, “fun-skee”] beyond 500 – 1,000 bits point to design as cause for cases we have not observed. This is the design INFERENCE. Note, inference, not movement, not theory. Following the UD Weak Argument Correctives under the Resources tab, we can identify ID Theory as a [small] research programme that Read More ›

L&FP, 54: J C Wright on the haunting “Morlockery” of many today, in the neo-gnostic, nihilistic “Technoplutocracy”

Mr Wright, a noted Science Fiction/Fantasy writer [and married to another, L Jagi Lampwriter Wright] observes a pattern of our times: Technoplutocracy is my term for our current intellectual elite, a combination of traditionally leftwing and rightwing elements [–> outdated reference], dominating our public institutions, political and legal and scholarly, corporate culture, international finance, but most particularly in our mass media and social media. Not all Morlocks are technoplutocratic elites, but all elites are Morlocks. “Morlock,” is a strange term, tracing to pioneer Sci Fi writer H G Wells in Time Machine. As Wright describes, “[i]n Wells, the Morlock is a cannibal troglodyte who treats other human descendants [the “fair, childlike Eloi”] as cattle [–> as in, food].” So, he Read More ›

L&FP, 53: Mackie’s concession regarding the deductive form argument from evil against the existence of God (answering CD et al.)

It seems there is still a feeling in some atheistical quarters that Mackie’s formulation of the deductive argument from evil has withstood Plantinga’s challenge. This recently came up here at UD. and led to an exchange: PART A: THE EXCHANGE IN THE MAGAZINE BIAS THREAD CD, 183: >>KF @ 174I found this an interesting aside: So, in an era with the Plantinga free will defence — as opposed to theodicy — on the table, what can be offered that makes God a suspect notion? ________ I think claims that Plantinga defeated the logical problem of evil are wildly exaggerated, if not downright wrong. For an excellent discussion of this, Raymond Bradley’s article is a must: The Free Will Defense Refuted Read More ›