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Fear-Mongering about ID: Step Forward Michael Ruse


Over this past week I’ve been engaged in some blogging at the website of the Guardian, the UK’s traditional left-of-centre paper in connection with a new book of mine that defends the pursuit of science as an ‘art of living’ on theological grounds – ones not so different from the ‘Scotist’ ones pursued by Vincent Torley here recently. In response to my piece, which was set up with my defending ID from charges of ‘bad theology’, Michael Ruse has now entered the fray, producing one of the most bigoted anti-ID statements I’ve seen in a long time. I know that many regard Ruse as some kind of moderate in these debates but …. you can judge for yourself.

Look at how stupid the argument Ruse uses is:
"Where this comparison breaks down is that the Protestants were no less Christians than the Catholics. It was rather that they differed over the right way to get to heaven. For the Protestants it was justification through faith, believing in the Lord, whereas for Catholics, it was good works."
He is arguing that both Catholics and Protestants ARE "Christians"- but this is undoubtedly begging the question. What Ruse has done is used a false analogy of his own- presenting his own OPINION as fact (which is very common among materialist positivist anthopocentrics). Yet, to certain hard core protestants Catholics may not Christians at all (some think Catholicism is the whore of Babylon- a false religion)- and certainly for MANY hard core Catholics, Protestants are not Christians at all- due to their lack of faith and acceptance and thus denial in Church dogma. SO Ruse openly displays his ignorance right from the get go. He uses a kamikaze strategy- where his argument is so false that he just openly states the fallacy right in the very beginning so that anyone who is not ready for it and is left reading on after that point, may fall to his broken logic. Once again he is showing exactly why his side is completely wrong in this debate- because they do not understand the philosophy and arguments concerning the controversy (mostly because they choose not to)- and OR they continuously choose to misrepresent them. Usually it is the latter- as Ruse is probably smart enough to know better than presenting personal opinion as axiomatic fact, he is in my estimation just being flat out dishonest. But I never care very much hat Ruse has say on ID anyways- because I have never heard him say anything really intelligent or constructive on the subject. In fact, to me he is just a liar. Frost122585
Bornagain- I wonder why it is that when someone asks what is the best Bible to use, you never hear someone say, "The Geneva Bible"? Phaedros
Historical revisionism is incredibly irresponsible and irrational. You want untruths and inaccuracies to go down in your history? It makes no sense. Phaedros
I guess that David Barton video refutes Seversky head on. Phaedros
I think the founding Fathers would be absolutely appalled at how "liberal" judicial activism has twisted the original intent of the constitution. Pt 1 America's Godly Heritage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PEqmpGK9k 1 Of 3 / Faith Of The Founding Fathers / American Heritage Series / David Barton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnFw1f6K2W8 The Real Reason American Education Has Slipped - David Barton - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4318930 What Happened When the Praying Stopped http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0124_When_America_stopped.html bornagain77
Amen. The state should keep out of religion. yet when the state bans creationism or teaches evolution it in fact is interfering with religion by the very idea it bans religion in schools. The founders of the U.S.A were a very Yankee/Southern protestant people. They never but never put anything in their constitution to ban God/Genesis. in fact they probably would of banned evolution. Its only since the 1960's that creationism became illegal in government institutions. By the way. The founders were not the few men but were in fact the delegates , who represented the people, in majking the constitution. Robert Byers
Here is a question to everyone and seversky in particular. When you speak of secularism are you refering to an agnostic state? Or an atheist state? above
“ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”
The secularists realize that it is that "silly phrase" that stands between us and the internecine religious strife that has plagued so many other countries. Quite obviously, there are many here just slavering at the prospect of tearing down that constitutional wall of separation. But the question that these tunnel-visioned zealots skirt around is the delicate one of just whose religion gets established. Can you honestly see the Southern Baptists accepting the establishment of Roman Catholicism as the state religion? Do you think Catholics will sit quietly by while any of the Protestant denominations get the nod? As for Islam, well, the phrase "snowball in hell" comes to mind, although its chances are probably still better than that of atheists. The Founding Fathers were not dummies. They had a pretty good idea of what could happen so they took the very sensible step of inserting that "silly phrase" provision to ensure that any government kept well out of the religion business for everybody's sake. Seversky
Seversky- They fled religious persecution from a narrow view of Christianity. They were also Christian. Phaedros
The Founding Fathers were educated men and doubtless well aware of the history of bitter religious strife and persecution in Europe. It was, after all, what many had fled to the New World to escape. The Founders would also have been aware that, sadly, like other Old World diseases, they had unwittingly carried that spiritual contagion with them as well as evidenced by a nasty outbreak concerning the Puritans and Quakers in New England. Given all that, it is hardly surprising that they would have been concerned to avoid any "excessive entanglement" of government and religion. Seversky
Ilion: Welcome back. It gets deeper yet, to 1648, Treaty of Westphalia. In effect, the Framers adapted the cuius regio, eius religio concept to federal-republican circumstances, by stipulating: [1] there would be no federal church of the USA (contrast, say, the Anglican Church in Britain, and Lutheran, Calvinist/Reformed and Catholic churches in Europe) -- in fact [2] Congress and associated federal bodies have no proper jurisdiction on establishment, so can make no law on that subject; [3] Congress may not prohibit the free exercise of religion and commonly associated behaviours: speech, publication, assembly, petition for redress. (It is helpful -- this side of the Civil War -- to recognise that there is a reason why the founders sometimes spoke of "these united States.") Thus, in a republican context, the right of the local state to establish its own state church was protected [nine of thirteen states has just such state churches at the time], and the rights of dissenters were protected. Backing this up, the 10th Amendment reserves rights not explicitly delegated to the Federal Government to the states and their people. The intended effect -- sadly, long since materially subverted through activist courts imposing and in effect establishing decidedly minority secularist opinions on matters where the courts often have no proper jurisdiction [and thus are building up exactly that tidal wave of hostility that the Framers sought to avert!] -- would be that in the local community, the majority sentiment would shape its general religious tone, but the minority down to the individual would be heard and protected. Liberty, in short. Y'know, real freedom a la Webster's 1828:
LIB'ERTY, n. [L. libertas, from liber, free.] 1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions. 2. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government. 3. Civil liberty, is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.
Yup, fellow slaves, THAT is what was intended! GEM of TKI kairosfocus
That's absolutely correct Ilion. I should have mentioned the fact that most of the early states did in fact have established religions and that the constitution was not intended to change that. The problem we have today is that liberals have dominated academy for three generations, and inconvenient truths about our laws and our history tend to get conveniently misplaced. tragic mishap
... my point is that the secularists use that silly phrase to turn the express language of the Constitution on its head. Ilion
Tragic Mishap: "... However, it’s a myth that the “separation” language is in the U.S. constitution. That language comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist minister assuring him of exactly the opposite sort of thing that the language is used for today. What’s in the constitution is the establishment clause, which only says that Congress shall make no law establishing religion." Actually, the situation is even worse (from the POV of the secularists) than that. What the Constitution says is that “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” – that is, Congress shall seek neither to establish a religion nor to dis-establish a religion. At the time the Constitution was ratified, about half the States had established religions; the amendment forbids Congress to “fix” the problem. Ilion
The fear of creationism is itself a recommendation of the rising intellectual challenge to the old ones. They must persade audiences that creationism is a threat because they know they have and are failing to snuff it out by the claims of authority or discussion. Likewise the common belief in God etc is itself a threat to evolutionism. Right back at them. Evolutionism was always a hope for anti-Christian elements to free themselves from a Christian civilization. In fact acceptance of evolution moved through circles already hostile to God/Christ. They have threatened by motives and words the truth, the better relationships between men, and the foundations of post reformation civilization. Indeed much of the bad and dumb ideas that have mattered has come from a lesser confidence in Christian principals and evolution was a part of that. So Europe burned and was less then it could of been. Robert Byers
Usual thing from a Canuck: Hmmm: The whole idea that natural selection creates vast amounts of new information is completely ridiculous. But some Darwinists will sign onto this list, if they are not here already, to announce otherwise, based on paltry evidence. That is how they make a living off the taxpayer. At some point, somehow, somewhere, there needs to be a time for truth. Not for Darwin. For truth, evidence, accuracy, etc. But you can count on the Darwin lobby putting it off indefinitely. O'Leary
Ruse ends his piece with: "Take it from Michael Ruse, a Brit living in America, that you shouldn't listen to Steve Fuller, an American living in Britain." Anyone who caps off a fear-mongering missive like that by advocating that one not even listen to the opposition has moved outside of reasoned discourse and into demagoguery. William J. Murray
The bigger problem is government funding in science. Depending on government money will inevitably skew anything into a political issue, not just science. But I agree I don't like how the separation of church and state idea has been used here in the U.S. However, it's a myth that the "separation" language is in the U.S. constitution. That language comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a Baptist minister assuring him of exactly the opposite sort of thing that the language is used for today. What's in the constitution is the establishment clause, which only says that Congress shall make no law establishing religion. tragic mishap
Thanks, Andrew. You're right. Considering that the non-separation of church and state in the UK has caused much less trouble than the separation of church and state in the US, I can't see why anyone in their right mind would want to import that particular piece of American legal culture into the UK. Steve Fuller
I enjoyed your article Steve and look forward to reading your book. You have a lot more to say than Ruse's repetition of his well known dogmatic position. I can't help feeling that he is seeking to protect his version of science by using the American political constitution as a sacred text, in the same way the victors at Dover used their court judgement. But one may wonder why a political text must be used to shape science in this way, especially for those of us who are not bound by the American constitution. Andrew Sibley

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