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The “Me No Speaka The English Distraction”

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In my Not Merely False post I made the following statement.

It is not possible even in principle to account for mental facts . . . on the basis of physical facts.

For anyone who has read Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos, this phraseology should be familiar, because the idea for the post came from that book. Yes, I am basing an assertion on the writings of a materialist author (albeit one who is uncommonly honest about the shortcomings of materialism).

In response Graham2 wrote:

If you people insist on such vague, slippery terms such as a ‘mental fact’ then these discussions are pretty pointless. What on earth is a ‘mental fact’ ?

By “you people” I suppose Graham2 is referring to ID proponents, which is ironic indeed given the provenance of the phrase. Here Graham2 is employing a common materialist tactic. When they have no argument, they resort to what I call the “me no speaka the English distraction.” We have seen this so many times I am going to put a formulation of it in the Weak Argument Corrective section of the site. As we sometimes do here at UD, I am going to open this up for contributions by our readers. I will select the best formulation and post it in the WAC. Thanks in advance to the UD community for their assistance.

The formulation should take this form: The me no speaka the English distraction (“MNSTED”) is . . . . The MNSTED is an illegitimate response to an argument because . . .

I will leave you with a funny video:


'On the specific tactic of asking for a more precise definition. It can be abused – but which is the bigger problem: misunderstandings and errors arising from ambiguous/vague terms or procrastination through insisting on ever more rigorous definitions? Sometimes it is not so much a matter of “Me No Speaka The English” as “You No Writa The English”. The short, but full answer, Mark, is, indubitably, the one you would clearly disdain: '...insisting on ever clearer definitions.' It's absolutely no contest. And, no, it's not a matter of procrastination, as such, but the endless, very wearing evasions and sophistries - of which latter, not only was Elizabeth Liddle a master, but that other chap with a strange username akin to Darwinian Naturalist. Yours are more reactive, and ad hoc. Theirs was often pro-active, but always immensely discursive and really Nobel-laureate level. As a matter of act, someone on our side, perhaps gpuccio, admitted that he sometimes found he'd lapsed a little into one or other of the tricks, but you et al...? Never. Axel
I know it's tangential, but such 'chutzpa' is so 'off the dial', it is reminiscent of the knots atheists get themselves into, trying to argue from false, primordial assumptions without arriving at nonsense. I'm talking about Julia Pearson, the former head of the US Secret Service, who very graciously proffered that she would 'take full responsibility' for the five-ringed circus that was supposed to be five rings of security of the President and his family while they were in the White House. I was half expecting to read that one of her inquisitors had suggested to her that perhaps their own presence there questioning her was therefore redundant; they should all have stayed at home, rather than seek to ascertain what went wrong (or rather, did anythng at all go right?) and who was responsible. He could scarcely have anticipated what was to follow! Unfortunately, even that five-ringed circus was purely nominal, as the circus simply wasn't in town. A scene of total dereliction, the actual intruder only having been arrested by an off-duty security officer, who spotted upon him by chance in one of the corridors. The gem that had had me laughing all day thinking about it, was her wonderful response to the questioning concerning the extraordinary dereliction of duty of her security detail, from top to bottom, i.e. the surely immortal words: 'It's unacceptable.'(!!!!) Again, I would have expected one of her inquisitors to respond in a way something like: 'Oh, well, that confirms it. Is it possible that an error has been made and you should be on this side of the arraignment? Pleading as the accused and giving judgment as the Judge. We surely are redundant here. I'm beginning to have serious doubts about the Nuremburg Trials, now. Imagine those war criminals proffering: 'It's unacceptable.'(!!!) Axel
F/N2: On second reflection, the "You no speaka/writa de Ingles" . . . forgive me, Spanish speakers* . . . variant is little more than the turnabout projective accusation form of the same problem BA has headlined in the OP. KF PS: As, my son coming out of anesthesia responded in Spanish, I still remain with my prediction, I will have to deal with a Hispanic daughter in law. So, I make sure in advance. kairosfocus
F/N: MF at 81 confirms my point in no 78. he is duly directed to the corrective and clarifying links. He may also find this current post on the significance of FSCO/I illuminating, as the heavy lifting is done by visual images. KF kairosfocus
Also, HeKS #3 is a classic! 'It’s like pointing to someone across the street that they’re about to be hit by a bus but instead of moving they take it as an opportunity to make a rhetorical jab that three of your fingers are pointing back at you.' Typical liberal-atheist hackneyed pomposity! I absolutely abhor bla bla, but I will fight to the death to defend his right... bla bla.' All right, that's enough. Buzz off! Axel
humble, your #9: '“If you people insist on such vague, slippery terms…” The irony, the shame haha.' This has to be one of the funniest threads ever. And yours, brief and simple quote that it is, one of the funniest posts, for anyone who remembers Elizabeth. Axel
You can always be relied on to give the 'good oil', Mark. Riotously eristic to the last. Axel
I haven't been following these "Darwinist Debating Tactics" but I am willing to bet that they are used by everyone debating anything at any time on either side. I would also bet that everyone thinks it is "the other side" that is guilty and they are innocent. On the specific tactic of asking for a more precise definition. It can be abused - but which is the bigger problem: misunderstandings and errors arising from ambiguous/vague terms or procrastination through insisting on ever more rigorous definitions? Sometimes it is not so much a matter of "Me No Speaka The English" as "You No Writa The English". Mark Frank
KF @ 78. Indeed. Darwinist abuses of language are legion. Next on the list is the humpty dumpty "words mean exactly what I say they mean" gambit. Barry Arrington
And the award for most superior video goes to BA77 @66 with 'I'll bite your legs off' Another enlightening post thank you everyone. DillyGill
BA: Pardon, but one variant is YOU no speaka de English, projecting blame on the premise that the ID proponent cannot comprehend basic technical vocab. Such need to be pointed to the UD glossary, for starters, and of course the definition of ID here too. Likewise the WAC's in general. KF PS: Notice how the WACs are the no 2 post in the blog . . . word is slowly seeping out, and the DDD's are breaking down. kairosfocus
Acartia_bogart: "At least Groovamos understands the importance of defining the term that forms the foundation of his/her proclamation." I thought I had tried too, in #42... gpuccio
The legless and armless Black Knight yelling at King Arthur as he “rides” away at the end of the classic MP skit linked above:
You yellow bastards. Came back here and take what’s coming to you. I’ll bite your legs off.
A_b has given us the combox equivalent today. But it really has grown tiresome. Barry Arrington
Acartia_bogart @ 67
They are concentrating on the fact that I used the word ‘inherent’.
I am concentrating on the fact that you used the word "superior" as if you knew its definition, and when challenged to substantiate your assertion and its use of "superior", you evaded the challenge by inventing a dependency on how Mung defined "superior". The issue was and always has been your evasion of answering Mung's challenge, claiming the meaning of "superior" became dependent on how Mung defined it from how you used it, when all Mung did was exactly repeat your usage and ask you.
Yet they ignore everything else that I have said.
You, Acartia_bogart, are the one who keeps ignoring everything that has been said to you. I've repeated the above refutation several times and not once have you acknowledged it. You even finally admitted that you didn't see the point in reading my entire comment. That is you ignoring what has been said to you. But had you initially responded to Mung with "That depends on how you define 'inherently' superior", and still evaded answering his challenge, we'd still be concentrating on the fact that you used the words 'inherently' superior and still failed to acknowledge that they remain your words (with you presumably knowing your meaning in your context), and yet you feign inability to substantiate "Since humans are not inherently superior to other organisms". Your recent emphasis on the word "inherently" while ignoring your repeated failure to substantiate your assertion "Since humans are not inherently superior to other organisms" (the entire phrase, not just 'inherently'), is a red herring.
You [Barry Arrington] have accepted their statements at face value because they are creationists like you.
Or maybe he accepts our statements because, he: a) has the requisite reading comprehension b) distinguishes between the claims laid out against you vs your evasions, equivocations, red herrings, moving goal posts and "Definition Deficit Disorder" or "terminopathy" c) sees that on the face of it, you've neither made your case, nor been intellectually honest d) knows that our being creationists didn't cause you to write what you wrote e) concludes that you have no one to blame except yourself. Sincerely, if you want your views respected, while accuracy isn't always necessary and agreement isn't necessary, intellectual honesty is always necessary. Feigning not being able to answer what you meant without someone else supplying your definition for you will just earn more derision. Snarky comments can be overlooked when someone has a reputation of otherwise being honest. But after a while, even if you contribute something agreeable and informative, an intellectually dishonest reputation will taint any credibility that would otherwise be deserved on a subject you actually know (see Elizabeth Liddle). Charles
At least Groovamos understands the importance of defining the term that forms the foundation of his/her proclamation. But Groovy is talking about the superiority of a view point. Or maybe of a world view. Not an entire species. But, at least, he/she is willing to define what he/she means by superior. Not try to argue that asking for a definition is a sign of a weak argument. Acartia_bogart
Mung: Another recent example: A_b: “Since humans are not inherently superior to other organisms there is little point to this subject.” M: “I suppose next you’ll assert that it is a scientific fact, as sure as the fact of evolution, that humans are not inherently superior to other organisms.” A_b: “That depends on how you define superior.” Materialists have a very ambitious program to define superior. It consists of establishing in the collective mind of the culture an elite group, termed "Brights" who are superior by definition. So it would seem that the rest of us dreary, run of the mill types, by defining humans as a family superior to other species, are much less ambitious and even downright, dare I say, ecumenical. The word broadly fitting as inclusive of Materialist Brights who are of their own shared religion. groovamos
thank you Mung
Comment #69: "A_b tosses packages of shit..." Classy. Acartia_bogart
@Mung #22 Not to get all preachy, but while I fully appreciate your ultimate point, should Acartia_bogart’s politeness really be met with derision? I think your point could be presented with equal power in a slightly more attractive package.
A_b tosses packages of shit and I toss them back. How they are packaged is determined by A_b, not me. Mung
lol Mung
Councillor: "A-B, you’ve been soundly thrashed by several observers. What is the point of continuing this farce? Just admit you screwed up and move on." Really? Have you bothered to look at the validity of the arguments and accusations of Mung and others? Obviously not. You have accepted their statements at face value because they are creationists like you. They are concentrating on the fact that I used the word 'inherent'. Yet they ignore everything else that I have said. But, the entire purpose of this OP, your OP, is to address the issue of evolutionists playing with the definition of words to obfuscate everything. But when it is your 'side' that is using this tactic, not only do you condone it, you jump on with both knuckle dragging appendages. So, how is this post progressing? Acartia_bogart
It's possible, isn't it, to disagree in good faith? Unless you reject faith. A_b:
Tim. OK, I will play it your way. Why can’t an atheist accept the job in good faith (ignoring the ‘faith’ concept)?
It depends on how you define faith, I bet. A_b:
However, a non-theist, who believes that ethical norms are, and should be, determined by society, which admittedly includes a religious component, could apply for this position in good ‘faith’ (using the secular use of the word, not the religious).
Monty Python - I'll Bite Your Legs Off! - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0idLSOQZmRw bornagain77
Tiresome, isn't it. -Q Querius
A-B, you've been soundly thrashed by several observers. What is the point of continuing this farce? Just admit you screwed up and move on. Barry Arrington
Acartia_bogart @ 61 You now shamelessly move the goal posts from your dependency on how "superior" is defined [Mung's post #27]:
A_b: "Since humans are not inherently superior to other organisms there is little point to this subject." M: "I suppose next you’ll assert that it is a scientific fact, as sure as the fact of evolution, that humans are not inherently superior to other organisms." A_b: "That depends on how you define superior."
to the meaning of "inherent":
so I will admit that I stated that humans are not ‘inherently’ superior to other animals. ... And since Barry the barrister will not allow us to question definitions, I will rely on the one [definition] that appears when I hover my finger over the word ‘inherent’:
Apostrophes around inherent now duly noted, but no one ever accused you inventing a dependency on the meaning of "inherent", so your admission is really a red herring, isn't it.
I admit that I didn’t read your entire comment (what would be the point?)
Ummm, that you might not lose track of your original assertion, where you put the goal posts initially?? Charles
MNSTED is little different than an illusionist waving his right hand so your attention is temporarily taken off the left. It is deliberate obfuscation attempting to disguise itself as intellect and should be dismissed as such. wyseguy
Charles, because life is to short, I admit that I didn't read your entire comment (what would be the point?) so I will admit that I stated that humans are not 'inherently' superior to other animals. And I stand by this comment. I will rely on the one that appears when I hover my finger over the word 'inherent': "law vested in someone as a right of right or privilege". So, what law vests us with superiority as a right or privilege? Acartia_bogart
Acartia_bogart @ 56
Charles, if you look at my comments here, and in the previous OP, I talked about different types of superiority.
LOL!!! Only after you first used "superiority" in an assertion, and after Mung challenged your assertion, you claimed dependencies and started obfsucating with different types of "superiority". You weren't so nuanced initially, were you. No, you dogmatically, without qualification stated "Since humans are not inherently superior to other organisms there is little point to this subject." You didn't qualify which type of "superiority" you meant then, did you. No.
And said that it is important to state what you mean when you say superior. The fact that you choose to ignore this is your problem, not mine.
No, it is important that you say what you meant when you said "superior". You made an assertion that depended on your definition of "superior" and when challenged to substantiate your assertion, you attempted to foist the dependency on to Mung. You were the one who used "superior" in your assertion that "humans are not inherently superior to other organisms" and Mung challenged you to substantiate your assertion, to which challenge you introduced an artifical dependency on the definition of "superior". The meaning of "superior" didn't have any dependencies that precluded your using the term initially. You only invented a dependency when your assertion was challenged. The meaning of "superior" didn't change, just your dependency on it. The challenge was to you and your use of "superior", no one elses. Mung didn't ask you for Mung's definition, rather Mung challenged you for your usage, a usage which you have already admitted "Was the word used in the title of the OP". So either you didn't understand the meaning of "superior" in the OP, or you didn't understand the meaning of "superior" when you used it yourself, but in neither case is it anyone elses problem but your own. You admonished everyone in your post 40 "If you can’t adequately define a term that is central to your argument, then maybe you should reevaluate your argument." Well, you were the one who argued "humans are not inherently superior to other organisms": your use of "superior" is central to your assertion, not mine, not Mung's, none but your own. The problem and your dependency on your use of "superior" in your assertion has always been yours, and it will remain so after your next post and ever thus. Charles
I've never seen a thread authored by another animal inviting comments on here. I wonder why. Axel
Groovamos, unfortunately I am not on the RRS feed from UD. I only see what is visible on the UD site with regard to comments. But your criteria still is accounted for by the fact that humans have a larger brain (at least part of it) than other animals. Yes, it allows us certain capabilities that other animals don't have, but other animals have many capabilities that we don't have. This doesn't make us superior unless this is how you are defining (limiting) superiority. Acartia_bogart
How about we define the superiority of humans in this way, one possibility: Humans are the only species with the ability to choose psychospiritual progress OR regress. In my post on Barry's last thread, I mentioned one way to do this is to undergo a particular course of therapy, very useful for people with borderline personalities, character disorders and other mental afflictions. Humans I think we can say are the only species able to choose a long term course change in order to learn from and alleviate their own suffering. In this way humans are vastly the superior species. My last paragraph in the previous thread introduced something related to this, was directed as an answer for A_B and apparently had little of interest for the contributor. groovamos
Charles, if you look at my comments here, and in the previous OP, I talked about different types of superiority. And said that it is important to state what you mean when you say superior. The fact that you choose to ignore this is your problem, not mine. If your entire argument is based on parsing of phrases, or where the punctuation is, you have lost. What we are talking about is whether it is important to define (or be willing to define) terms that we use as a central theme of our argument. I say that it is critical. But your reaction to this (the parsing of my phrases, even though you know what my point is) is exactly what Barry is complaining about. Obfuscating by criticizing sentence structure. I have a faint recollection of a phrase that would be appropriate here. I think it contains the words 'kettle', 'black' and 'pot'. Acartia_bogart
Another one for the glossary: 'typo'! Tee hee. But entertaining as this is, and a very humorously-detailed analysis of their m.o., with people who can say with a straight face words to the effect that while all of nature looks as if it were designed, it actually isn't(!)*, surely any abyss of lunacy is possible. Imagine if, like Dawkins, the early Christian scientists, such as Bacon and Newton, had repudiated the sense of a divinely in-built rationality in the construction of the physical world. I think that, as an ultimate abyss of nihilism, it must be on a par with the multiworld. *And without adducing any evidence that it wasn't/isn't(!). Ratehr like saying water may seem wet, but it isn't. Axel
Acartia_bogart @ 53
Charles, reread my first sentence with the first period removed.
Ok. A typo. So you meant "And i thought that superior Was the word used in the title of the OP; Humans are less superior to animals than we think?" So, regardless, you still had some meaning of "superior" in mind when you asserted "humans are not inherently superior to other organisms", didn't you, which meaning of "superior" you still declined to depend on when evading an answer to Mung. You could have depended on that same meaning of "superior" and substantiated your assertion that "humans are not inherently superior to other organisms", but you equivocated then and you continue to equivocate. The cookie crumbs are all over your lips, but you keep protesting that your hands are empty (albeit smeared with chocolate - lol) thinking if it fools your child-like friends it fools your mom. You are so busted. Charles
Charles, reread my first sentence with the first period removed. Whenever I hit the space bar twice on my iPhone it starts a new sentence. See Qureus, typos are possible. Acartia_bogart
Querius, Really. Life imitates art. Charles
Charles, "Tis but a scratch." LOL -Q Querius
Acartia_bogart @ 48
And i thought that superior.
Then you didn't need a different definition to substantiate your assertion that "humans are not inherently superior to other organisms", did you. You could use the same definition you presumed in your assertion, couldn't you. Even though you "thought that superior", you evaded answering anyway, didn't you. And you were being asked to substantiate your assertion, your meaning, not someone elses. You had all the definitions you needed to substantiate your own assertion and terminology, didn't you.
Was the word used in the title of the OP; Humans are less superior to animals than we think?
And had Mung ask that, you have a point. But he didn't and so you don't. He quoted your exact assertion and asked you to substantiate it. And you protest with child-like naivete “nuh uh uh” because you know where an honest answer dependant on the same definition you "thought that superior" leads. What suprises you, is like a child with cookie crumbs on his lips, you think your denials clever and you don't realize just how busted you are. Charles
Mung #46: "It just struck me as rather funny, as many things do, that you haven’t really said that humans are not superior, but only that their superiority is not inherent." That is why I was asking how you were defining superior. Depending on how you defined it, my answer might be different, as would yours. I didn't think that it was such a difficult question. I admit that some people ask this type of question to obfuscate, but it is obvious to anyone who looks at my comment string, that was not my purpose. Acartia_bogart
Charles #44:"LOL! “Superior” was your term that you used in your assertion, and Mung quoted your exact phrase including “superior” and challenged you to substantiate, at which point you needed a definition for the exact same word “Superior” you just used!!!" And i thought that superior. Was the word used in the title of the OP; Humans are less superior to animals than we think? Acartia_bogart
Wow, what wonderful, insightful, and hilarious observations regarding certain debate behaviors. There are, of course, also striking parallels in the natural world. As you might already know, the primary ingredients in cephalopod ink are melanin and mucus, and might also contain psychoactive compounds and irritants. In addition, cephalopods can release pseudomorphs with greater mucus content to distract predators. So, being completely overmatched in a debate, the "octopus" can use several strategies: 1. Cloud the water. This includes challenges to common definitions, distortions, disingenous responses, and misinformation. 2. Release mucus. This includes ad hominem attacks, disparaging comments, arrogant dismissals, and other snotty behavior. 3. Include irritants and other chemicals. This results in altering the atmosphere of the discussion to one that's hostile and combative, rather than honest and sincere. 4. Form pseudomorphs. This includes falsely misrepresenting oneself as an expert in something such as statistics, claiming false credentials, and so on. Isn't this uncanny? ;-) -Q Querius
Since Mung #27 and Charles #30 are using my question about how they defined “superior”, I assume that Barry will allow me to comment without deletion.
lol So here's how the rest of that conversation played out:
A_b: “Since humans are not inherently superior to other organisms there is little point to this subject.” M: “I suppose next you’ll assert that it is a scientific fact, as sure as the fact of evolution, that humans are not inherently superior to other organisms.” A_b: “That depends on how you define superior.” Mung: "And here, honest discussion necessarily ends. Pity that." A_b: “And I always thought that a clear definition of terms was important for any discussion if you hope it to have relevance. But I guess that clear and agreed to definitions are not important to creationists like yourself."
Actually A_b, the ball is in your court. Feel free to continue the discussion here once you figure out what you meant when you said that humans are not inherently superior to other organisms. It just struck me as rather funny, as many things do, that you haven't really said that humans are not superior, but only that their superiority is not inherent. Perhaps we should explore your definition of "inherent" back in the original thread. Mung
If only Darwinists were as demanding of their own terminology. What does "random" mutation mean? What does "natural" selection mean? Have those terms been scientifically quantified? William J Murray
Acartia_bogart @ 40
If you can’t adequately define a term that is central to your argument, then maybe you should reevaluate your argument.
LOL! "Superior" was your term that you used in your assertion, and Mung quoted your exact phrase including "superior" and challenged you to substantiate, at which point you needed a definition for the exact same word "Superior" you just used!!! If you don't adequately know the meaning of a term that is central to your assertion, you'd best not brandish it about as if you do. Charles
William J Murray @ 35 An excellent contribution, though I would be less charitable. It is "terminopathy" (trademark pending) in that they know precisely the term(s) they need to undefine as they very precisely, deliberately and with malice aforethought, reject every standard, common, and technical definition which exposes their sophistry. Further, to extricate themselves from the innumerable intellectual corners into which they've painted themselves, the commensurately innumerable terms which they undefine renders them functionally illiterate with child-like persistent "whyyyyy" responses to every definition proferred or "nuh uh uh" when told to look it up. Seemingly undefined are "intelligent", "life", "conscious", "information", "code", "abstract", "natural", "arbitrary", "representation", "effect", "random", "chance", "material" (yes materialists would even undefine material), .... it never ends. Use your browser to 'find' on any thread instances of "define" or "definition" and the illiteracy, the terminopathy, of the materialist comes to the fore. Charles
Acartia_bogart: Well, I can agree with you that the supercilious use of "superior" is despicable, even about animals. I have three beautiful cats who are certainly convinced that they are superior to me, and they could well be right! And at least one of them is very, very supercilious. :) However, there is a very simple sense in which we could maybe say that humans are "generally" superior to other animals, without any supercilious connotation. It is the same sense in which we could say that eukaryotes are superior to prokaryotes, ot that metazoa are superior to unicellular beings. Now, I have nothing against bacteria. I have often stated that, IMO, they are the best, especially in a strict darwinisn sense (optimal reproductors!). And they are certainly the owners of the planet, in terms of numbers. But, I don't agree with many darwinists who say that evolution has no direction, no purposes, no targets. For me, it is rather obvious that evolution of life, whatever its explanation, has gradually built new complexity, and the only apparent reason for that is to implement new functions. In that functional sense, eukaryotes implement more complex functions than prokaryotes, and so on. And humans? OK, we cannot fly, and a simple strength confrontation with other mammals would not see us as winners. But in humans many new and amazing functions have emerged, which had never before found expression in "lower" :) animals: one for all, the ability of language, understanding, symbolic reasoning, dFSCI generation, and in one word the ability to change "historically". Not a trivial achievement! So, in that sense, using "superior" for different outcomes of the evolution of life simply means recognizing a direction and growing levels of functional complexity. You or others may not agree with that concept, but I don't think that it is in itself "supercilious". gpuccio
William J Murray at #35: :) So true, so true! gpuccio
Since Mung #27 and Charles #30 are using my question about how they defined "superior", I assume that Barry will allow me to comment without deletion. [BKA responds: A-b, you are always welcome to participate in the debate in good faith. When all you want to do is whine or show your ass, your comments are liable to get deleted.] 'Superior' is a very loaded term, with numerous definitions. One of these is "having or showing an overly high opinion of oneself; supercilious." When I hear someone say that they are superior to another person, this is the definition I would use. I would use the same definition if someone said that one race was superior to another, simply because the person saying this always belongs to the superior race. And I would use the same definition when someone says that humans are superior to all other animals, for the exact same reason; supercilious. If someone said that humans had superior running/flying/strength/camouflage/etc. than other animals, they would be wrong. However if they said that they had a superior intelligence to other animals, I would agree. And if they argued that this gave them the potential, through use of technology, to be superior in most of these other capabilities, I would give a qualified agreement. But to simply say that we are superior, without agreeing (or agreeing to disagree) on a definition is a non starter. I apologize for the length of the above but I wanted to make sure my point was clear (not that I succeeded). But if you are trying to argue that a definition is not critical to a valid argument, why do some people get so upset when someone refers to an ID supporter as a creationist? My only point is that insisting that people who disagree with a point you are making and asking for a definition, arguing that requiring a definition implies a weak argument by your opponent is, in itself, a weak argument. I would go as far to say that it is a lame argument. If you can't adequately define a term that is central to your argument, then maybe you should reevaluate your argument. Any good lawyer would tell you the same thing. Acartia_bogart
The mechanism and properties of bio-photon emission and absorption in protein molecules in living systems - May 2012 Excerpt: From the energy spectra, it was determined that the protein molecules could both radiate and absorb bio-photons with wavelengths of less than 3??m and 5–7??m, consistent with the energy level transitions of the excitons.,,, http://jap.aip.org/resource/1/japiau/v111/i9/p093519_s1?isAuthorized=no Symphony of Life, Revealed: New Imaging Technique Captures Vibrations of Proteins, Tiny Motions Critical to Human Life - Jan. 16, 2014 Excerpt: To observe the protein vibrations, Markelz' team relied on an interesting characteristic of proteins: The fact that they vibrate at the same frequency as the light they absorb. This is analogous to the way wine glasses tremble and shatter when a singer hits exactly the right note. Markelz explained: Wine glasses vibrate because they are absorbing the energy of sound waves, and the shape of a glass determines what pitches of sound it can absorb. Similarly, proteins with different structures will absorb and vibrate in response to light of different frequencies. So, to study vibrations in lysozyme, Markelz and her colleagues exposed a sample to light of different frequencies and polarizations, and measured the types of light the protein absorbed. This technique, , allowed the team to identify which sections of the protein vibrated under normal biological conditions. The researchers were also able to see that the vibrations endured over time, challenging existing assumptions. "If you tap on a bell, it rings for some time, and with a sound that is specific to the bell. This is how the proteins behave," Markelz said. "Many scientists have previously thought a protein is more like a wet sponge than a bell: If you tap on a wet sponge, you don't get any sustained sound." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116084838.htm Photocount distribution of photons emitted from three sites of a human body - 2006 Excerpt: Signals from three representative sites of low, intermediate and high intensities are selected for further analysis. Fluctuations in these signals are measured by the probabilities of detecting different numbers of photons in a bin. The probabilities have non-classical features and are well described by the signal in a quantum squeezed state of photons. Measurements with bins of three sizes yield same values of three parameters of the squeezed state. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16520060
There are even pictures of this 'biological laser light':
Strange! Humans Glow in Visible Light - Charles Q. Choi - July 22, 2009 Schematic illustration of experimental setup that found the human body, especially the face, emits visible light in small quantities that vary during the day. B is one of the test subjects. The other images show the weak emissions of visible light during totally dark conditions. The chart corresponds to the images and shows how the emissions varied during the day. The last image (I) is an infrared image of the subject showing heat emissions. http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/006/481/original/090722-body-glow-02.jpg?1296086873
and testimony from NDEs
Coast to Coast - Vicki's Near Death Experience (Blind From Birth) part 1 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y Quote from preceding video: 'I was in a body and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head. It had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And 'it' was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.' - Vicky Noratuk
Thus, taken together, all in all there is an impressive body of evidence strongly supporting the fact that we have souls/minds that survive the death of our temporal bodies. Verse and Music:
Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." The Police – Spirits in the Material World http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq0KW-_48Cc&feature=player_detailpage#t=62s
supplemental note:
Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit
Thus, since it impossible for non-local, beyond space and time, quantum information/entanglement to 'emerge' from a matter-energy basis, since matter and energy bith ultimately reduce to quantum information, then this quantum information entanglement/information, that resides in the temporal human body on a massive scale, is something that must be 'added to' the material particles of the human body when the human body is being formed, or knit together as the Psalmists would say, in the womb. Also, in making the case from physics for the existence of the soul/mind, it is interesting to note that energy is of a 'higher dimensional' value than matter is,,, ,,,The main difference between energy and mass, that really stands out for me, is that mass is temporal whereas energy is eternal. i.e. It is shown that time, as we understand it temporally, does not pass at the speed of light:
“I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.” Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005 “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.” Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12
To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.
Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video https://vimeo.com/93101738
Here is another interesting, thought provoking, video along that line:
Science vs God: Bryan Enderle at TEDxUCDavis – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn7YQOzNuSc
Moreover, as the huge particle accelerators that have been built testify, regardless of how much energy we pour into a particle of matter, we can never ‘push’ the particle of matter to the speed of light:
Question: If a particle with rest-mass were to, in theory, travel at the speed of light, would its mass actually be infinite, or just very, very, very, large, just like it would supposedly take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate the particle to the speed of light in the first place? How can you calculate this? Answer 4: A particle with non-zero rest-mass cannot be accelerated to the speed of light. Put in other terms, the energy of a moving particle with rest-mass m equals E=(r-1)mc2, where the factor r=1/sqrt(1-(v/c)2), with v the speed of the particle and c the speed of light. You can use this formula in an Excel sheet to try different values of rest-mass m and speed v. This equation tells you that you need an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a particle to (exactly) the speed of light, however, you can always take it to, say 99.99999% the speed of light with a finite (but huge) amount of energy. http://scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=1571 “By special relativity, the energy needed to accelerate a particle (with mass) grow super-quadratically when the speed is close to c, and is infinite when it is c. Since you can’t supply infinite energy to the particle, it is not possible to get (a particle with mass) to 100% c.”
The reason why there is such a sharp division between the temporal realm of mass and the eternal realm of energy is that energy is of a higher dimensional value than matter is. To illustrate this ‘higher dimensional’ point, please note what happens at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light,,
Optical Effects of Special Relativity - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4 (Of note: This preceding video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.)
Here is the interactive website, with link to the relativistic math at the bottom of the page, related to the preceding video:
Seeing Relativity http://www.anu.edu.au/Physics/Searle/
It is also important to note higher dimensions would be invisible to our physical 3 Dimensional sight. The reason why ‘higher dimensions’ are invisible to our 3D vision is best illustrated by ‘Flatland’:
Dr. Quantum in Flatland – 3D in a 2D world – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyTxCsIXE4
And like the 'non-local' quantum information, which is found on a massive scale in our temporal bodies, this 'higher dimensional' light is also found in our bodies on a massive scale,,
Are humans really beings of light? Excerpt: "We now know, today, that man is essentially a being of light.",,, "There are about 100,000 chemical reactions happening in every cell each second. The chemical reaction can only happen if the molecule which is reacting is excited by a photon... Once the photon has excited a reaction it returns to the field and is available for more reactions... We are swimming in an ocean of light." http://viewzone2.com/dna.html Biophotons - The Light In Our Cells - Marco Bischof - March 2005 Excerpt page 2: The Coherence of Biophotons: ,,, Biophotons consist of light with a high degree of order, in other words, biological laser light. Such light is very quiet and shows an extremely stable intensity, without the fluctuations normally observed in light. Because of their stable field strength, its waves can superimpose, and by virtue of this, interference effects become possible that do not occur in ordinary light. Because of the high degree of order, the biological laser light is able to generate and keep order and to transmit information in the organism. http://www.international-light-association.eu/PDF/Biophotons.pdf Bioactive peptide design using the Resonant Recognition Model - 2007 Excerpt: There is evidence that proteins and DNA have certain conducting properties [12]. If so, then charges would be moving through the backbone of the macromolecule and passing through different energy stages caused by the different side groups of various amino acids or nucleotides. This process provides sufficient conditions for the emission of electromagnetic waves. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1997124/
In fact an entire human can, theoretically, be reduced to quantum information and teleported to another location in the universe:
Quantum Teleportation Of A Human? – video https://vimeo.com/75163272 Will Human Teleportation Ever Be Possible? As experiments in relocating particles advance, will we be able to say, "Beam me up, Scotty" one day soon? By Corey S. Powell|Monday, June 16, 2014 Excerpt: Note a fascinating common thread through all these possibilities. Whether you regard yourself as a pile of atoms, a DNA sequence, a series of sensory inputs or an elaborate computer file, in all of these interpretations you are nothing but a stack of data. According to the principle of unitarity, quantum information is never lost. Put them together, and those two statements lead to a staggering corollary: At the most fundamental level, the laws of physics say you are immortal. http://discovermagazine.com/2014/julyaug/20-the-ups-and-downs-of-teleportation
Thus not only is information not reducible to a energy-matter basis, as is presupposed in Darwinism, but in actuality both energy and matter ultimately reduce to a 'quantum' information basis as is presupposed in Christian Theism (John1:1). It is also important to note, in making the case for mind/soul, that this beyond space and time, 'non-local', quantum information is conserved. i.e. quantum information, that both matter and energy ultimately reduce to, cannot be created or destroyed.
Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-quantum-no-hiding-theorem-experimentally.html Quantum no-deleting theorem Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_no-deleting_theorem#Consequence
In further making the case for a mind/soul, it is important to point out that Materialists/Darwinists hold that all information in life 'emerges' from a material basis. i.e. Materialists hold that matter-energy is primarily 'real' and that information in the temporal body is merely abstract or illusory to that material basis that it supposedly emerged from. Yet contrary to the materialistic belief that matter and energy are 'real' and information is merely illusory in the temporal body, it is found that this non-local quantum information, that matter and energy both ultimately reduce to, is in our bodies on a massive scale. In fact, 'non-local', beyond space and time, quantum information is now found to reside in every DNA and protein molecule of the temporal human body.
Quantum entanglement in hot systems – 2011 Excerpt: The authors remark that this reverses the previous orthodoxy, which held that quantum effects could not exist in biological systems because of the amount of noise in these systems.,,, Environmental noise here drives a persistent and cyclic generation of new entanglement.,,, In summary, the authors say that they have demonstrated that entanglement can recur even in a hot noisy environment. In biological systems this can be related to changes in the conformation of macromolecules. http://quantum-mind.co.uk/quantum-entanglement-hot-systems/ Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010 Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours. “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford. http://neshealthblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/quantum-entanglement-holds-together-lifes-blueprint/ Does DNA Have Telepathic Properties?-A Galaxy Insight – 2009 Excerpt: DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn’t be able to.,,, The recognition of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits, occurs in a way unrecognized by science. There is no known reason why the DNA is able to combine the way it does, and from a current theoretical standpoint this feat should be chemically impossible. per daily galaxy DNA Can Discern Between Two Quantum States, Research Shows – June 2011 Excerpt: — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin. – The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. They then exposed the DNA to mixed groups of electrons with both directions of spin. Indeed, the team’s results surpassed expectations: The biological molecules reacted strongly with the electrons carrying one of those spins, and hardly at all with the others. The longer the molecule, the more efficient it was at choosing electrons with the desired spin, while single strands and damaged bits of DNA did not exhibit this property. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110331104014.htm Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA - short video https://vimeo.com/92405752 Coherent Intrachain energy migration at room temperature – Elisabetta Collini and Gregory Scholes – University of Toronto – Science, 323, (2009), pp. 369-73 Excerpt: The authors conducted an experiment to observe quantum coherence dynamics in relation to energy transfer. The experiment, conducted at room temperature, examined chain conformations, such as those found in the proteins of living cells. Neighbouring molecules along the backbone of a protein chain were seen to have coherent energy transfer. Where this happens quantum decoherence (the underlying tendency to loss of coherence due to interaction with the environment) is able to be resisted, and the evolution of the system remains entangled as a single quantum state. http://www.scimednet.org/quantum-coherence-living-cells-and-protein/ Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding – February 22, 2011 Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way. Excerpt: First, a little background on protein folding. Proteins are long chains of amino acids that become biologically active only when they fold into specific, highly complex shapes. The puzzle is how proteins do this so quickly when they have so many possible configurations to choose from. To put this in perspective, a relatively small protein of only 100 amino acids can take some 10^100 different configurations. If it tried these shapes at the rate of 100 billion a second, it would take longer than the age of the universe to find the correct one. Just how these molecules do the job in nanoseconds, nobody knows.,,, Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins. That's a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo's equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics. per 'technology review' etc..
As to establishing substance dualism, i.e. the belief that man has a mind/soul that lives beyond the death of his body.,,, That man has a mind/soul that lives past the death of his body is fairly well established as far as observational evidence is concerned. In fact, in regards to observational evidence, the evidence that we have a soul/mind is far more rigorously established that neo-Darwinian evolution is,,,
Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist's Evidentiary Standards to the Test - Dr. Michael Egnor - October 15, 2012 Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE's are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception -- such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE's have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,, The most "parsimonious" explanation -- the simplest scientific explanation -- is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species , (or the origin of life, or the origin of a molecular machine), which is never.,,, The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE's show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it's earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it's all a big yawn. Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/near_death_expe_1065301.html "A recent analysis of several hundred cases showed that 48% of near-death experiencers reported seeing their physical bodies from a different visual perspective. Many of them also reported witnessing events going on in the vicinity of their body, such as the attempts of medical personnel to resuscitate them (Kelly et al., 2007)." Kelly, E. W., Greyson, B., & Kelly, E. F. (2007). Unusual experiences near death and related phenomena. In E. F. Kelly, E. W. Kelly, A. Crabtree, A. Gauld, M. Grosso, & B. Greyson, Irreducible mind (pp. 367-421). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Michaela's Amazing NEAR death experience - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTcHWz6UMZ8 Dr. Jeffrey Long: Just how strong is the evidence for a afterlife? - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mptGAc3XWPs
,,, The evidence from NDEs is certainly very impressive as to establishing the fact that man has a mind/soul that is capable of surviving the death of his temporal body. But what about the 'physics' of it all? Exactly, as far as physics is concerned, is it possible for a soul/mind to live past the death of the temporal body?
"Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting." -- Ernest Rutherford
Well, in making the case, from physics, for the mind/soul, it is important to learn that ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement (A. Aspect, A. Zeilinger, etc..) can be used as a ‘quantum information channel’,,,
Quantum Entanglement and Information Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/
And by using this ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, ‘quantum information channel’ of entanglement, such as they use in quantum computation, physicists have reduced material to quantum information. (of note: energy is completely reduced to quantum information, whereas matter is semi-completely reduced, with the caveat being that matter can be reduced to energy via e=mc2).
Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original,,, http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/Issues/2004/October/beammeup.asp Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009 Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,, “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2171769/posts Scientists Report Finding Reliable Way to Teleport Data By JOHN MARKOFF - MAY 29, 2014 Excerpt: They report that they have achieved perfectly accurate teleportation of quantum information over short distances. They are now seeking to repeat their experiment over the distance of more than a kilometer. If they are able to repeatedly show that entanglement works at this distance, it will be a definitive demonstration of the entanglement phenomenon and quantum mechanical theory. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/30/science/scientists-report-finding-reliable-way-to-teleport-data.html?_r=2 Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves - April 2011 Excerpt: In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. This is a major advance, as previous teleportation experiments were either very slow or caused some information to be lost. http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-04/quantum-teleportation-breakthrough-could-lead-instantanous-computing How Teleportation Will Work - Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made. per 'how stuff works' Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,” http://researcher.ibm.com/view_project.php?id=2862
Definition Deficit Disorder: Psychology: a form of cognitive bias; when a person involved in a debate displays a convenient lapse of understanding of even the most common terms, esp. when those terms are employed in a manner that demonstrates a contradiction or major fault in their position. Those suffering from DDD often demand unreasonable, even impossible definitional criteria be filled in order to simply avoid the conclusion by claiming that their opponent can't "appropriately" define their terms. Excample 1: ID advocate: "The theory of ID asserts that the best explanation for complex, functionally specified information beyond a reasonable chance threshold is intelligent design." DDD: "What do you mean by "intelligent"?" Example 2: ID advocate: "Chance causes cannot account for the generation of novel macroevolutionary features." DDD: "What do you mean by "chance"?" William J Murray
Discussions about "information" usually bring out the MNSTED. People use information every day. Crick defined biological information (Crick was never an IDist) and yet evos always bring the MNSTED when "information" is discussed. "Blind watchmaker evolution" also brings the MNSTED. I have been accused of fabricating a strawman when I bring it up with evos. Joe
M-m-m... If you people insist on such vague, slippery terms such as a ‘definition’ and a ‘term’ then these discussions are pretty pointless. What on earth is a ‘definition’ ? How do you define it? And what does it mean ‘to define’? And what on earth is ‘earth’??? ;) I agree with MrCollins @26, materialists often use that MNSTED tactic in debates - not for the sake of finding the truth of course, but for the sake of "winning the battle". They also very much like the tactic of calmly denying the obvious and making you prove something which is quite evident (you keep explaining that "something" over and over, but they just say you're wrong, and then you might think, well, perhaps I am indeed wrong?). They use the latter strategy as a sort of hype to make their opponent doubt in something apparent. That's not a sound debate tactic, that's demagogy. Lesia
StephenB @ 31 lol - ok, and when materialist claims prove false... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFvujknrBuE Charles
You know, I don't have any more witty responses to offer, but this issue has just reminded me of a discussion I had a couple years ago with an atheist about the debate between William Lane Craig and Stephen Law. I offered an argument in response to Law's "Evil God Challenge" to show 1) that it was ill-conceived and failed at every point in its primary, intended form, and 2) that even in its gambit form that is fallen back on after the primary argument fails, one could still offer an argument to show that it is more reasonable and parsimonious to believe that God is good rather than evil, which the challenge, in its gambit form, basically says cannot be done. Someone tried to offer a rebuttal to my post in which they tried to use the Evil God Challenge in some form to prove my argument didn't work. I can say, without bias, that the person failed completely. The argument that they tried to offer in response, which consisted of an alternative moral framework to what I used in my initial argument, was literally incoherent. When it was unpacked it amounted to little more than a jumble of words that held no real content. Anyway, the point I want to get to here is that I offered copious amounts of definitions and clarifications in my argument, defining what I meant by a "moral framework", what I meant when I spoke of the "orientation" of a given moral framework, what I meant by "good", what I meant by "evil", and so on and so forth. My argument and posts were filled with these definitions and clarifications at any point the meaning of some term might be ambiguous. Furthermore, any time he asked for clarification on terms, even obvious ones that were used in their normal sense, I humored him and provided a definition. For example, he requested that I define what I meant by "obligation" and "prohibition", so I offered him definitions:
A requirement or obligation is something that MUST be done, demanding positive action. A prohibition is something that MUST NOT be done, demanding a lack of action.
Anyway, so this conversation went on for a while spanning dozens of typed pages. Finally, after I repeatedly showed in great detail that his argument didn't work, that the best parts of it were circular, and the definitions he was relying on to explicate his proposed alternative moral framework to defeat my argument were utterly nonsensical, resulting in him defining a moral framework that consisted only of privations and privations of privations and ended up making both "good" and "evil" identical while neither one was capable of containing any content, he replied with a post in which he said this:
A problem with the validity of your argumentation when you start to respond to my post is one that seems typical for Christians : reluctance to provide proper definitions for used concepts. Through most of your exposition I was wondering what those concepts meant, trying to deduce their meaning from your arguments. .... I think a reason Christian apologists dislike clear and complete definitions is the following : Definitions provide clarity. Clarity leads to truth. The truth is that Christianity is false, which is unacceptable. Vague or ambiguous concepts create confusion, which can be used to confuse oneself and others into believing Christianity is true.
He then also said this:
Another problem with your definitions is that they do not lean themselves to the construction of deductive arguments.
Of course, my argument was not intended to be deductive, but abductive. I wasn't claiming that my argument proved as a matter of logical necessity that God was good, but only that it demonstrated that the belief God was good was far more reasonable and parsimonious than the belief that he was evil. But apparently the problem with my abductive argument was that it wasn't a deductive argument. Of course, it's possible that with some work and thought it could be constructed as a deductive argument, but that was unnecessary for the purposes of defeating the Evil God Challenge. I typed up a response to much of what he said in the three rambling posts that started off with these statements, but I never got around to posting it. I will eventually, but it's hard to feel motivated to keep going when you have to deal with this kind of nonsense. HeKS
Mung @ 29:
A_b: "Since humans are not inherently superior to other organisms there is little point to this subject." M: "I suppose next you’ll assert that it is a scientific fact, as sure as the fact of evolution, that humans are not inherently superior to other organisms." A_b: "That depends on how you define superior."
(face palm) Classic invocation of MNSTED. Acartia_bogart presumes a definition of "superior" implicit to his own unqualified assertion, and when Acartia_bogart is questioned about factual support for Acartia_bogart's own assertion, Acartia_bogart equivocates that Acartia_bogart's answer now depends on some explicit definition of "superior" in lieu of the whatever implicit definition Acartia_bogart originally presumed. Acartia_bogart won't presume his own definition of "superior" to substantiate his own usage of "superior". Materialist self-conflicted incoherency in a microcosm. Charles
MNSTED Charles, I call your raise and I raise you back. here StephenB
Barry @ 16, thanks. However, what I wrote may need a bit of rework if we include in the requirements that the person claiming to not understand a term has himself recently used that term as if it was comprehensible to anyone else reading his post. RDFish immediately comes to mind. Perhaps that is a sub-category of MNSTED. I just saw that word being used in a sentence somewhere and thought it was cool and wanted to use it myself. I didn't really know what it meant. I am not responsible for knowing what the words that I use actually mean. I don't really know what it means, I only use it because I think you know what it means. At some level we have to be able to communicate, even if we don't know what the words mean. We need to be clear about definitions, that's why I refuse to define my terms. Everyone knows what that word means, but maybe you are using it differently, so you need to say what you mean by it. and on and on it goes ... Mung
Another recent example: A_b: “Since humans are not inherently superior to other organisms there is little point to this subject.” M: “I suppose next you’ll assert that it is a scientific fact, as sure as the fact of evolution, that humans are not inherently superior to other organisms.” A_b: “That depends on how you define superior.” here A_b: "And I always thought that a clear definition of terms was important for any discussion if you hope it to have relevance. But I guess that clear and agreed to definitions are not important to creationists like yourself." the irony. By some strange coincidence Daniel King felt the need to interject his insightful comment right after I called out A_b on his unsupported assertion. like peas in a pod? Mung
For my idea of the MNSTEd I think it would be well described as a clarity diffusion tactic. It sure would be helpful if there was a dictionary for these terms but it still seems that you can interpret it however you want it. I'd name it the Clinton tactic. For the defense he used "it depends on what your definition of is, is." It's a debating style forcing technical clarity in order to find a technical out. So you could either make your own list of defined terms or make commenters list their own definition if they are questioning a term. MrCollins
Charles@12, Exactly! Brilliant! The resemblence of the Monty Python video to some of the attempts at argument here is both uncanny and profound! Love it!!!! :-) -Q Querius
Daniel, If YOU were honest, you wouldn't feel the need to ignore comments that call into account your errors in reasoning. Joe
The MNSTED is an illegitimate response to an argument because it is the verbal equivalent of drooling and wetting yourself. Joe
A bit of a digression, admittedly, but have any of you ever read Hunter S Thompson? A wild but brilliant man, who seems to have been an autodidact, but, by temperament, with more interest in life, and the wilder side of it, at that, than any matters academic. Your reference to Zen, redwave, reminded me of the rather brutal revenge he took on a Zen teacher in front of his class, who gratuitously sought to humiliate him. He entered the class-room and asked the teacher if he knew the kind of prices the local houses went for. Something along those lines. The teacher sneered to the giggling class that they would obviously be out of his range. Thompson asked if he knew the sound of silence. Something of a Zen cliche, I believe. On receiving a negative reply, Thompson cupped one hand and clapped it hard against one of his Nib's ears, compressing the air in the eustachian tubes, thereby puncturing his eardrum! The sort of ready vengeance you might see in a Spaghetti western. Axel
HeKS #3 Even funnier, HeKS! Axel
Barry Arrington @ 13:
and sadly reminiscent of some of the outrageous claims our opponents have made on these pages.
Yes. And when confronted with their irreconcilable self-conflicted quotes, and their bluffs and evasions lay eviscerated in bloody stumps, they resort to ad-hominems and declare victory - cum laude graduates of the Black Knight school of debate. Charles
By the way, Barry, I'm archiving my comments before you delete them! Have a blessed evening. Barry Arrington responds: DK, you write that as if I should care that you are preserving your adolescent blitherings for posterity. Here's a clue: I don't. You and A_b are obviously trying to goad me into banning you, so you can run and tell all your friends, "look Barry is poopyhead." I won't. I will just keep deleting your off topic rantings. So go ahead. Waste as much of your time writing them as you like. Daniel King
The MNSTED is an illegitimate response to an argument because . . .the argument is OBVIOUS! Daniel King
The MNSTED is an illegitimate response to an argument because . . . it is not Mu! Background: The Zen Koan Mu ... What is mu? Joshu (A.D. 778-897) was a famous Chinese Zen Master who lived in Joshu, the province from which he took his name. One day a troubled monk approached him, intending to ask the Master for guidance. A dog walked by. The monk asked Joshu, "Has that dog a Buddha-nature or not?" The monk had barely completed his question when Joshu shouted: "MU!" Mu. "Not one of the 1700 koans of Zen has any other purpose make us see our Original Face." Master Daito Kokushi (1280 - 1348) redwave
Mung @ 14. Nice. From the post Mung links in 14 is UB’s classic slap-down of an ideologue employing the MNSTED tactic. As is usually the case with UB, it is an elegant and powerful at the same time:
Here's the deal Onlooker. I have no desire to play definition derby with an ideologue. This argument has already been in front of specialists in relevant fields and not a single one of them asked me what I meant by anything I said. When I say that, I am not saying that I didn’t have to re-explain much, or not very much – I am saying I didn’t have to change a single word in order to be understood. So when an ideologue rolls up and overplays his position by taking every opportunity to position the argument as incomprehensible, I rightly call bullshit on it. That’s a classic defensive maneuver which is intentionally irresolvable for the purposes of generating rhetoric. It’s the intellectual carcass from defending a weak position
Barry Arrington
What about the fact that mental facts can account for physical facts? One of the best attested phenomena in medicine is the "placebo effect." People start to get better from many illnesses when they believe they have received a treatment that works. Which is why all drugs today SHOULD be tested against placebo. Where I live, some patients will start to get better when they hear that Dr. Schultz, visiting professor from the University of Heidelberg in Germany, has been able to make time from his busy lecturing and teaching schedule, to see them. Do the diseased cells know this? Do they understand its significance? No, but the patient does. All I know for sure is, whatever Dr. Schulz prescribes will probably work better if HE prescribed it than if it was just doled out as part of some routine procedure. Minds are like that. News
The me no speaka the English distraction (“MNSTED”) is the assertion that because I can say that I don't understand you it must mean that no one else can understand you either and therefore I can pretend that your argument has no force for as long as you're willing to put up with me. For a display of MNSTED in all it's glory visit this classic thread (with particular attention to 'onlooker'): UB Sets It Out Step-By-Step The MNSTED is an illegitimate response to an argument because the ability to obfuscate should not be confused with the ability to comprehend. In fact, obfuscation is evidence that the person who claims to not understand in fact understands all too well and just can't stand to follow the argument where it leads. It's intellectual dishonesty. Mung
A classic Charles, and sadly reminiscent of some of the outrageous claims our opponents have made on these pages. "'tis but a scratch." "A scratch! You're arm's off." "No it isn't." [points to arm on ground] "Well, what's that then?" "I've had worse." "You lie!" Mark Frank: "It is no part of the job of an "ethicist" to make judgments about ethical matters." Why to they call them ethicists then Mark? "Because he 'splains ethics and stuff without making ethical judgments. It's a hard job." Barry Arrington
Barry Arrington:
I will leave you with a funny video:
I'll see your funny video and raise you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ikssfUhAlgg#t=74 Charles
"MNSTED" (see "Elizabeth Liddle"): Verbal chaff confusion countermeasures. When the materialist combat fighter realizes she is outgunned, out maneuvered, and all her English-seeking definitions have been retargeted and locked-on to her own materialist argument, in a last-ditch evasive effort the materialist deploys MNSTED; scattering English-confusion chaff into her posts so as to deflect her own previously fired English-seeking definitions from climbing up her six. Charles
Jim @1: This reminds me of the Chinese proverb:
When a wise man points at the moon, a fool looks at the finger.
"If you people insist on such vague, slippery terms..." The irony, the shame haha. humbled
Indeed Charles, Liddle routinely practices argument by MNSTED. Barry Arrington
"MNSTED": (See "Elizabeth Liddle") Charles
I also like post#1 ... lol the tilted dog head fallacy but of course dogs aren't trying to mislead you.. they legitimately don't get it...so, that wouldn't be an exact comparison...but i get it! i.e. the focus is on the thing providing the thing you should actually be focused on. JGuy
linguistic herring :P JGuy
The MNSTED is an illegitimate response to an argument because . . . such a response invariably demonstrates understanding of all aspects of the argument except that which the respondent doesn't like. For example, Argument:
The taking of innocent human life as one of life's "finer conveniences" is wrong because human life is sacred.
MNSTED response:
It is hard for us to understand who is innocent, what is alive, the boundaries of convenience, or if any"thing" can be sacred.
But in other contexts, the very same MNSTED'er has wholly acceptable and somewhat straightforward definitons of all these ideas. From this we can see that the MNSTED'er understands, but avoids. Put another way, avoidance is not an argument. Tim
@Jim Smith That's pretty great :) It makes me think of a different but kind of related scenario... It's like pointing to someone across the street that they're about to be hit by a bus but instead of moving they take it as an opportunity to make a rhetorical jab that three of your fingers are pointing back at you. HeKS
DK and A_B, this post has a specific purpose. We are not interested in your sadly all-too-predictable attempts to defend the indefensible. Barry Arrington
It is like a dog looking at your hand instead of where you are pointing. (I think this was said by Dean Radin) Jim Smith

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