Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


agit-prop, opinion manipulation and well-poisoning games

L&FP, 64: The challenge of self-referentiality on hard questions (thus, of self-defeating arguments)

One way to define Philosophy, is to note that it is that department of thought that addresses hard, core questions. Known to be hard as there are no easy answers. Where, core topics include metaphysics [critical analysis of worldviews on what reality is, what exists etc], epistemology [core questions on “knowledge”], logic [what are the principles of right reason], ethics/morals [virtue, the good, evil, duty, justice etc], aesthetics [what is beauty], and of course meta issues emerging from other subjects such as politics, history, Mathematics, Theology/Religion, Science, Psychology, Medicine, Education etc. As we look at such a list, we can see that one reason why these are difficult is that it is very hard to avoid self-referentiality on such topics, Read More ›

A conversation on a [post?]-Christian civilisation and the impact of the design inference on evidence

Peter Robinson’s Uncommon Knowledge brings three authors together, Tom Holland, Stephen Meyer and Douglas Murray: A key consideration: vs, this notorious poetic assertion: Of course, both of these reflect the rise of the skeptical mindset among the educated elites, the modern inferior good that stands in for the cardinal virtue, prudence. So, we cannot escape the epistemic challenge, what it means to know and to what confidence, especially as regards roots of reality and our place in reality. (Where, trivially, for any reasonably definable field, X, the claim that one knows on some warrant that there is no objective, knowable truth regarding X, is instantly self-referentially incoherent and self defeating. As this hyperskeptical claim is about X and claims objective Read More ›

Allowing Rufo and Lindsay to speak in their own voices,

again, as a certain objector here has accused: Right-wing grifters like Jordan Peterson, James Lindsay, and Christopher Rufo make a lot of money selling these lies to the gullible fools who get their worldview injected into their brains by downloading Fox News propaganda I have not previously heard of these two, but — courtesy YouTube — it is only fair to let them speak for themselves. Rufo: Lindsay: (He was here giving a workshop, and onward sessions here and here may be helpful.) I trust that in future, commenters will refrain from such intemperate language. END F/N: William S Lind interviews Roger Kimball in the 1990’s on culture form marxism and political correctness: Similarly, this discussion of the labour theory Read More ›

Tour deals with the rhetorical tactics of a critic

HT Q, here is Dr Tour’s response to a critic’s rhetoric (with some addressing of substantial matters through interacting with an expert caught in the cross fire): It is sad to see that this had to be dealt with. As a point of reference, let us highlight first duties and principles of right reason, extending to those connected with the logic of cause and so too inductive reasoning — which includes inference to the best explanation (i.e. abduction). I trust, this will be useful. END PS, as the critic attacked Dr Tour personally as allegedly lying for Jesus (which does not seem to be warranted on the circumstances), it is relevant to add this on Dr Tour’s response to anti-Christian Read More ›

At SciTech Daily: The Fountain of Life: Scientists Uncover the “Chemistry Behind the Origin of Life”

The requirement of a particular sequence of amino acids endows the protein with vast amounts of information, far beyond what could be "chanced upon" by any natural process within the history of the entire universe. Read More ›

UB’s notes on autocatalytic reaction sets vs languages and symbol systems

UB writes: UB, only way thread, 164: >>My apologies to Origenes, he had asked for my comment, but I was away . . . . I am no expert of course, but thank you for asking me to comment. Frankly you didn’t need my opinion anyway. When you ask “What is the error in supposing something?” you likely already know there is no there there. And someone seriously asking you (like some odd prosecution of your logic) to enumerate what exactly is the biological error or the chemical error in the proposition of something that has never before been seen or recorded in either biology or chemistry — well whatever. Deacon begins by asking the question, what is necessary and Read More ›

Origenes on the self-defeating incoherence of the [hyper-]skeptic

Origenes is on fire these days, so let’s headline: [Origenes, emergence play thread, 57:] The skeptic wants to criticize, but he doesn’t want to be criticized himself. We all make statements of belief, skeptics included. But the skeptic posits a closed circle in which no beliefs are justified. Yet at the same time, he arrogates to himself a position outside of this circle by which he can judge the beliefs of others, a move he denies to his opponents. Since the raison d’être of his thesis is that there is no outside of the circle, he does not have the epistemic right to assume a position independent of it, and so his belief about the unjustifiability of beliefs or reasoning Read More ›

L&FP, 63: Do design thinkers, theists and the like “always” make bad arguments because they are “all” ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked?

Dawkins’ barbed blanket dismissiveness comes up far too often in discussions of the design inference and related themes. Rarely, explicitly, most often by implication of a far too commonly seen no concessions, selectively hyperskeptical policy that objectors to design too often manifest. It is time to set this straight. First, we need to highlight fallacious, crooked yardstick thinking (as exposed by naturally straight and upright plumb-lines). And yes, that classical era work, the Bible, is telling: Notice, a pivotal point here, is self-evident truths. Things, similar to 2 + 3 = 5: Notoriously, Winston Smith in 1984 is put on the rack to break his mind to conform to The Party’s double-think. He is expected to think 2 + 2 Read More ›

That inconvenient US State Dept memo on mass correspondence voting — in Ukraine

Yes, they had to know the fire they were playing with — notice, testimony to congress: Now, you try to tell me that this time and place it’s different. All you will do is raise the question whether you are an empty headed talking point parrot or something worse. Much worse. END PS, here is my basic political analysis, for those willing to learn from hard bought history: F/N Oct 26: In for a penny, in for a pound. Here — for reference — is my 2020 analysis of dirty, McFaul style colour revolutions vs the SOCOM insurgency escalator: Where, here is the Russian Chief of General Staff’s view on dirty colour revolution games as 4th gen war operations: Also, 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 ›