Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Creationist Is/Ought

Will creationist Lucy allow humanist Charlie Brown to address the football? You know the answer.

Creationists have a peculiar habit of starting with facts and then extrapolating from them wildly. I call this "the Creationist Is/Ought." They'll begin, for instance, with a statement on how amazing a living cell is or how fantastic a galaxy is. But then they use this statement to argue that the very first-ever living cell or the very first-ever galaxy had to come about because of the magic of their god.

It goes the other way, too. They'll make the obvious point that Atheists reject the existence of gods and then go on to claim that Atheists think life is meaningless and empty. This second part is bunk for me as well as for many Atheists I talk to.

But this is why it can be so difficult to argue with creationists. They have lots of the facts, but they're also cramming these facts into a pre-set agenda. They argue their unwarranted extrapolation, denigrate the more reasonable limitations allowed by the facts, and "orientalize" a more empiricist bent.  Plus, creationists don't want their agenda out on the surface, so they try to couch the facts and the speculations carefully.

For example, when intelligent design creationist William Dembski argues, as he did in his recent debate with Christopher Hitchens, that --
We now know that every cell (and all life is composed of cells) is a vastly complicated assembly of interconnected technologies that argue for intelligent design. We need to be engineers to understand what’s inside the cell, and the level of engineering we find there far exceeds anything humans have invented. (emphasis added)
he applies the language of ingenuity and intent to frame the cell (and all life) as, ultimately, an invention of a being that far exceeds the capabilities of the human. Dembski's language, not his facts, reinforces a design hypothesis. His use of "engineers" is interesting, too, because it seemingly promotes technical understanding while not mentioning at all biological and historical understandings. No doubt, we should should seek to understand what's inside the cell from the standpoints of the technical (what parts, what structure, what local function), the biological (what process, what role), and the historical (what precursors, what changes or differences).

*  *  *

The Creationist Is/Ought is an argumentative bait-and-switch. You think you're getting a straightforward argument but what you're actually getting is evangelism. The evangelism can be of the soft-shoe variety, as with Dembski, or it can be more of the Torquemada sort, as with a character called "GEM of The Kairos Initiative," who describes himself as "A Caribbean-based applied scientist, educator and strategic change/ transformation advocate and facilitator." Here is an example of his style:
Nor, am I merely giving metaphors. If you do not know that the genetic code is a 4-state discrete code, you are utterly too ignorant to be a part of this discussion. If you do know that, you know or should know that such an entity is an instantiation of a digital code based system.
Further, as just one example, the protein manufacturing process using mRNA, AA-loaded tRNA and ribosomes is a step by step, code driven finite process that takes in inputs and generates defined outputs. That is, it is a physically implemented algorithm. If you don’t know that, you are not ready for this discussion. Kindly, go do a 101, starting from the linked above.

If you do, and try the “metaphors” dismissal, you have no excuse for the above “metaphor” remark.

Rhetoric ruses into reality: CRUNCH!
GEM recently made the following argument to me:
We live as contingent creatures amidst a world of other contingent creatures, in an observed cosmos that is evidently finely balanced at an operating point that allows for C-chemistry cell based, intelligent life.

Such a contingent cosmos implies a necessary being as its ultimate ground. That necessary being would be the ultimate reality.
GEM goes on (and on), but I want to pause here because our discussion quickly became de-railed partly because of an offhand comment I had made.

GEM’s argument is familiar enough. In the end, it’s a Cosmological Argument: a contingent cosmos presupposes having been caused by a necessary being. The extra stuff -- fine-tuning, ultimate ground, ultimate being -- is window dressing. The relevant objections to GEM’s argument, then, are that (1) the causal relationship between the cosmos (even a finely tuned one) and the necessary being is suspect and that (2) the existence of a necessary being requires justification per the principles of causation or sufficient reason.

The Creationist Is/Ought happens in the transition from the fact -- a contingent cosmos -- to the unwarranted speculation -- the necessary being (i.e., God). That first paragraph talks of contingent creatures, fine-tuning, and "C-chemistry cell based, intelligent life." And then in the next paragraph, boom! A "necessary being" with no obvious connection to what's come before and with no explanation as to why or how the necessary being arrived to become the cause of the contingent cosmos.

But GEM and I never got into these issues because the discussion got de-railed. How? Well, it started when I said --
Implies? I disagree. In any case, I wouldn’t hang my hat on an implication.
My primary aim in this comment was to disagree that there was a clear and present implication from the contingent cosmos to the necessary being. Implication requires a reasonable connection between the antecedent (contingent cosmos) and the consequent (necessary being), and in GEM’s argument this connection was based only on assumption. My point, then, was that GEM needed to explain how we know that necessary beings cause contingent universes to exist.

My second statement, however, was made off-handedly. What I meant by the statement was that implications are funny things, and we need to keep some perspective on them. Implications can be strong or weak. They can be clear or muddy. They can be misleading, depending on how one gauges the relevance of the conditions to the consequences. No one should “hang their hat” on an implication in argumentative discourse because implications are not automatically iron clad; indeed, they are very much in the realm of interpretations. When people assert implications, they also better do a good job of connecting the dots between antecedent and consequent. Simply asserting “X implies Y” is not itself compelling, and asking someone to accept an implication on its face is intellectually dirty.

But I guess this point didn't make it through to GEM, who in response to my statements became indignant and accused me first of “selective hyperskepticism” --
Going further, do you understand what implication means, i.e. P = > Q?

[P is sufficient for Q so that if P holds P will also hold, and Q is necessary for P so that unless Q holds, P cannot hold?]

That every time you depend on an aircraft or airplane or computer or similar designed system with underlying laws and mathematical specifications, you are relying on the power of implication to hold in the real world?

In short, you routinely rely on the logic that you want to reject when it is inconvenient to your preferred worldview.

That is classic selective hyperskepticism.
And then of rejecting the very basis of reasoning --
You are the one who tried to dismiss the logic of implication, which is also closely connected to cause-effect thinking. Indeed, it is foundational to inferential reasoning.
GEM seems fairly apoplectic. Questioning a weakly formulated implication is hardly the same as dismissing all inferential reasoning, and it’s not inconsistent at all. We're having a discussion with reasoning as a main part of the subject, for FSM's sake.

What are the lessons in all this? A first lesson is that the logic of the Creationist Is/Ought is poor. One has to call out the issue immediately and not let the discussion proceed until the "ought" is excised. Related to this is the lesson of not getting distracted by other "oughts" or soupy terms, such as GEM's additional gobbledygook on fine-tuning, ultimate ground, and ultimate being. These terms are apart from the main claim being made and so will have to wait for later or another time. Although one's blood pressure might go way up in the presence of nonsense terms like "ultimate ground," one needs to follow the old advice of choosing battles.

A third lesson is the general hysteria of creationists when you aren't playing their game. If you don't get all starry-eyed about "C-chemistry cell based, intelligent life" on the way to their "oughts," they become abusive and belligerent. It's not difficult to see why. People generally don't want to go back and check their math, but especially in what they consider their strong suit.

*  *  *

UPDATE: But of course I take requests! GEM has asked for some substantiation to my claim that the Uncommon Descent site has "censored" my comments. So, here's an image of what's happening (click to enlarge):

The title of the thread can be seen in the blue stripe at the top of the image. Post #37 remains "awaiting moderation," as does the post before it, which was submitted on 12/14. There's your substantiation.

GEM, your 48-hour demand is amusing and dickish. Settle yourself down and let's have a conversation. Would you like to respond to anything specific in what I've posted here?

*  *  *

Well, whaddaya know? For some mysterious reason (wink, wink), UD has taken my last comment out of moderation. Funny, that.

Unfortunately, it doesn't help either GEM's argument or style of argumentation.

25 comments:

  1. Mr Tanner

    I see much of your post above tries to excerpt and rebut remarks I have made, neatly snipped out without the context where I said it -- e.g. cf here and in the UD thread that has excited Mr Tanner's ire here) so that onlookers can judge for themselves what the true balance is on the merits.

    In particular, onlookers should know that no worldview, apart from theism in which the Creator-God is inherently good, has a foundational IS that can credibly ground OUGHT.

    In the case of evolutionary materialism, ever since Plato's last dialogue, The Laws, c 360 BC, it has been known that evolutionary materialism is inherently amoral, radically relativist, implies that "the highest right is might," and so invites adherents to seize power and impose their desires on the rest of society, those who are too weak to impose their own will.

    As the ghosts of over 100 million victims of such evolutionary materialistic regimes in the past 100 years can testify, the result is usually chaos and/or bloody tyranny.

    Now, I originally came here to notify you of my response to your attempt to post a comment at my blog alleging censorship at UD.

    In moderating -- all comments at my blog are moderated; after an incidence of obscene comments by apparently atheistical skeptics -- I have deemed that I will not publish an unsubstantiated, potentially slanderous allegation.

    You therefore have 48 hours in which to substantiate your claim -- you may submit such as a comment at the same post you tried to comment on -- or I will report the matter to the UD leadership as a case of slanderous mischief.

    I have put up a notice at my own blog on the post in question, to that effect; as linked.

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

    ReplyDelete
  2. PS: I see you have managed to slander me by trying to push me into the boat of a Torquemada. That tells me all I need to know about your credibility, fair-mindedness or civility -- rather, the lack of it.

    (And while I am at it you will kindly note that I only infer from a credibly contingent cosmos, that it is best explained on a necessary being that is its cause. This is not a cosmological attempted proof of God; indeed inferences to best explanation are precisely the opposite of proofs. Warrant per inference to best explanation invites comparative difficulties, which means that the alternatives need to also test their start-points. As in, are you prepared to assert and justify that the observed cosmos is eternal [given the Big Bang evidence], or that it is self-caused [contradiction in terms] or emerged from a real nothing [no space, time, matter or energy or personality, etc . . . and a multiverse is not a nothing]?)

    ReplyDelete
  3. "by trying to push me into the boat of a Torquemada"

    No, no. Not you. I characterized a brand of evangelism. Let's focus on reading comprehension and try to use the ol' sense of humor.

    But be honest,have you ever wanted to burn someone at the stake?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mr Tanner:

    Your fallaciously complex, accusatory question is an outrage.

    Worse, it is suggestive of a telling projection unto others.

    I will treat it as it deserves, by refusing to answer it on its terms. If you cannot but project unto those who challenge you or question your views and arguments that they hate and would kill you, that speaks volumes about you, none of it good.

    Please, go take a long, hard look in a mirror, and do better than that.

    You have disqualified yourself from civil dialogue by that misbehaviour.

    Onlookers: no decent person will associate peaceful evangelism or teaching and preaching (which I was NOT engaging in: worldview analysis on comparative difficulties is not evangelism) with the actions of the first grand inquisitor of Spain in its old tyrannical days.

    Mr Tanner:

    Your remarks above, unfortunately, and in spite of your denials, plainly are a slanderous instance of the guilt by invidious and unwarranted association fallacy:

    >> The Creationist Is/Ought is an argumentative bait-and-switch. You think you’re getting a straightforward argument but what you’re getting is evangelism. The evangelism can be of the soft-shoe variety, as with Dembski, or it can be more of the Torquemada sort, as with a character called “GEM of The Kairos Initiative,” . . . >>

    This is over the top and inexcusable.

    (Besides, you are indulging an unwarranted conflation of design thinking and biblical creationism that is unwarranted, has been corrected any number of times -- cf here,from the first several correctives, but remains a favourite atmosphere poisoning rhetorical ploy.)

    And even the old inquisitors, inexcusable as their behaviour was on abuse of people, were trying to defend a state under threat of subversion in the context of a long-running war that in the case of Spain had taken 800 years of bloody resistance to expel Moorish invaders.

    In that context, even Wikipedia is forced to acknowledge that there was more to the story than the black legends make out:

    >> Anyone who spoke against the Inquisition could fall under suspicion – as did saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross . . . >>

    In short, there was denunciation of the inquisition's misbehaviour at the time, and specifically coming from the most saintly of Christians in Spain at the time.

    Similarly, in my part of the world, Bartoleme de Las Casas was the very first priest ordained in the new world, and he made it his life's calling to denounce the crimes of his fellow Spaniards in the new world. Indeed, he fully expected the destructive judgement of God to fall on Spain for its wrongs, within 50 years.

    [ . . . ]

    ReplyDelete
  5. Further to this, to give Jack his jacket in due fairness, the inquisition actually did try to have some semblance of procedure -- defective as it was -- and inquisitors were willing to acquit those who were not reasonably under suspicion. Wiki continues:

    >>Although the Inquisition is often viewed as being directed against Jews, in actual fact it had no jurisdiction or authority over unconverted Jews, or Muslims. Only baptised Christians faced investigation; and of those called to appear before the Holy Office, most were released after their first hearing without further incident. >>

    Even a relevant pope (and this was an era of very bad popes indeed -- NB: I am not a Roman Catholic, so I can say in fairness what Catholics may be reluctant to because of the stain of shame) was concerned about real and potential abuses, as a bull from Sixtus IV before Torquemada's regime states, in 1482; though of course it reflects its times:

    >> many true and faithful Christians, because of the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves and other low people—and still less appropriate—without tests of any kind, have been locked up in secular prisons, tortured and condemned like relapsed heretics, deprived of their goods and properties, and given over to the secular arm to be executed, at great danger to their souls, giving a pernicious example and causing scandal to many. >>

    So, Torquemada, bad as he was, was trying to do better than what had happened earlier. Hence the semblance of procedure Wiki discusses.

    His behaviour and that of his colleagues and predecessors was wrong, was denounced by saintly voices and by even at least one pope. So, plainly, it is utterly unfair to characterise or tar Christians as a whole, or individuals in particular -- without further evidence than peaceful argument -- of inquisition tactics.

    That is shameful.

    It utterly discredits you, Mr Tanner, especially when you have now gone on to try to make light of it and/or to deflect my correction.

    I repeat, no decent person will associate peaceful evangelism, much less worldviews analysis with the actions of a Torquemada.

    An apology and retraction are required, not an excuse or a deflection.

    As the first steps in a long process of living down such misbehaviour.

    Next, your accusation of "censorship" at UD -- which still remains here this morning despite your knowing as of the time of this comment that your original comment was in fact passed on moderation at UD and is there as no 36 -- was plainly premature, and in fact your delayed, moderated comment was posted at UD (in response to your direct question at UD: without my intercession with the UD authorities).

    The vulgarities and atmosphere poisoning rhetorical tactics evident above show why it is reasonable to have you on moderation at UD.

    And since this is a busy season for us all, I respectfully submit that we should all try to understand that UD's volunteer moderators will be busy as well.

    As to the case on the merits you make here and there, onlookers may wish to see the onward remarks at UD, especially this one. My earlier remarks to you here on will also be relevant.

    Cho, man, do betta dan dat!

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

    ReplyDelete
  6. Onlookers,

    I earlier tried to post a response, but encountered strange difficulties, So, here is a link to my reply; which appears at UD.

    given how invidious the fallaciusly complex quesiton Mr Tanner posts above is, i excerpt the beginnings of my response:

    ___________


    Mr Tanner:

    Your fallaciously complex, accusatory question is an outrage.

    Worse, it is suggestive of a telling projection unto others.

    I will treat it as it deserves, by refusing to answer it on its terms. If you cannot but project unto those who challenge you or question your views and arguments that they hate and would kill you, that speaks volumes about you, none of it good.

    Please, go take a long, hard look in a mirror, and do better than that.

    You have disqualified yourself from civil dialogue by that misbehaviour.

    Onlookers: no decent person will associate peaceful evangelism or teaching and preaching (which I was NOT engaging in: worldview analysis on comparative difficulties is not evangelism) with the actions of the first grand inquisitor of Spain in its old tyrannical days.

    . . .

    ___________________

    Good day

    GEM of TKI

    ReplyDelete
  7. KF - let he who is without sin ...

    Perhaps you should go back over all your posts at UD and make a note of how many times you have 'slandered' people, how often you accuse people of lying, deceiving, distorting, ad hominem attacks, and generally being responsible for the destruction of society... and all the while you fail to realize that the product of your consistent failure to turn the other cheek to these imagined attacks is a gentle trickle of ad hominem and slander from your own mouth that distracts from and distorts the debate.

    You complain about an implied association with Torquemada yet when you debate people who disagree with you you use that very tactic yourself - you once tried to associate me with lawyers who blame rape victims for the crime, yet the result of my complaint about this offensive and uncivil comment was more abuse from you, appeals to moderators and eventually my bannation from UD.

    Perhaps you should take a good look in the mirror and remove that beam from your eye before you complain about the mote's you seem to see in everyone else's.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Onlookers:

    BB, just above, is indulging a favourite, turnabout accusation tactic. It simply compounds the original slanderous tarring by association with a notorious torturer.

    I recall the incident very well, BB twisted a remark on how rape victims were often blamed as inviting the rape, to make that false accusation. He was wrong then, and he is wrong now to carry the false accusation to others who are in no position to know the truth for themselves. For shame!

    That is utterly different from what has happened above, where Torquemada's tactics have unjustly been associated with open discussion on comparative difficulties.

    For the third attempt, since I have been having excessive difficulties getting comments through here, here is my response, at UD.

    Further to all this, I find it interesting that attempted responses yesterday have somehow not appeared here, without any reasonable explanation. Blogger's comment system is not that bad. (I actually had comments that were "saved" -- Blogger's term for accepted -- that have not appeared at all.)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Onlookers,

    Corrective comments yesterday and today by the undersigned have vanished, even though registered as "saved" and originally displaying in the comment thread here. (But a few minutes ago, the comment thread had four comments displayed, now it is back down to three.)

    That is beginning to look not so good, especially as Mr Tanner has maintained his assertion of "censorship" at UD, even though the substantial comment he made is no 36 in the thread there.

    Again, my substantial response to Mr Tanner is here, and that to BB is now here, both at UD.

    GEM of TKI

    ReplyDelete
  10. KF.
    Onlookers will note that instead of replying here you chose to respond to posts at this blog on UD where you know neither of us are able to reply.

    I think that says everything.

    As for your tirade about 'turnabout accusations' - do you not realize the irony? It is an admission that you are always the first to cast stones. Nobody can accuse you first because you are always the first to accuse!

    ReplyDelete
  11. As a matter of fact, BB, my responses here -- including the main one yesterday [that should apear as a two-parter, and then with a link to UD where it appears in entirety after odd things here] -- have been consistently vanishing mysteriously.

    I have cross-posted at UD, and have given the link to this blog.

    It is however, quite plain that something is very wrong here.

    G'day

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi folks,

    I don't moderate or delete comments. I'm kind of a free speech guy. When comments are posted, I get a message to my personal email. I will re-post, under my own name, all the comments on this thread that I have received.

    But we all know what's going on with someone like Gordon. It's called "lying for Jesus."

    ReplyDelete
  13. First comment, from the delightful GEM:
    ---------------------

    Mr Tanner

    I see much of your post above tries to excerpt and rebut remarks I have made, neatly snipped out without the context where I said it -- e.g. cf here and in the UD thread that has excited Mr Tanner's ire here) so that onlookers can judge for themselves what the true balance is on the merits.

    In particular, onlookers should know that no worldview, apart from theism in which the Creator-God is inherently good, has a foundational IS that can credibly ground OUGHT.

    In the case of evolutionary materialism, ever since Plato's last dialogue, The Laws, c 360 BC, it has been known that evolutionary materialism is inherently amoral, radically relativist, implies that "the highest right is might," and so invites adherents to seize power and impose their desires on the rest of society, those who are too weak to impose their own will.

    As the ghosts of over 100 million victims of such evolutionary materialistic regimes in the past 100 years can testify, the result is usually chaos and/or bloody tyranny.

    Now, I originally came here to notify you of my response to your attempt to post a comment at my blog alleging censorship at UD.

    In moderating -- all comments at my blog are moderated; after an incidence of obscene comments by apparently atheistical skeptics -- I have deemed that I will not publish an unsubstantiated, potentially slanderous allegation.

    You therefore have 48 hours in which to substantiate your claim -- you may submit such as a comment at the same post you tried to comment on -- or I will report the matter to the UD leadership as a case of slanderous mischief.

    I have put up a notice at my own blog on the post in question, to that effect; as linked.

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

    ReplyDelete
  14. Second comment, again from GEM:
    ------------------------------

    PS: I see you have managed to slander me by trying to push me into the boat of a Torquemada. That tells me all I need to know about your credibility, fair-mindedness or civility -- rather, the lack of it.

    (And while I am at it you will kindly note that I only infer from a credibly contingent cosmos, that it is best explained on a necessary being that is its cause. This is not a cosmological attempted proof of God; indeed inferences to best explanation are precisely the opposite of proofs. Warrant per inference to best explanation invites comparative difficulties, which means that the alternatives need to also test their start-points. As in, are you prepared to assert and justify that the observed cosmos is eternal [given the Big Bang evidence], or that it is self-caused [contradiction in terms] or emerged from a real nothing [no space, time, matter or energy or personality, etc . . . and a multiverse is not a nothing]?)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I predict another fit of pique over this new slander.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Third comment, from an increasingly cranky GEM.

    ---------------------------------

    Mr Tanner:

    Your fallaciously complex, accusatory question is an outrage.

    Worse, it is suggestive of a telling projection unto others.

    I will treat it as it deserves, by refusing to answer it on its terms. If you cannot but project unto those who challenge you or question your views and arguments that they hate and would kill you, that speaks volumes about you, none of it good.

    Please, go take a long, hard look in a mirror, and do better than that.

    You have disqualified yourself from civil dialogue by that misbehaviour.

    Onlookers: no decent person will associate peaceful evangelism or teaching and preaching (which I was NOT engaging in: worldview analysis on comparative difficulties is not evangelism) with the actions of the first grand inquisitor of Spain in its old tyrannical days.

    Mr Tanner:

    Your remarks above, unfortunately, and in spite of your denials, plainly are a slanderous instance of the guilt by invidious and unwarranted association fallacy:

    >> The Creationist Is/Ought is an argumentative bait-and-switch. You think you’re getting a straightforward argument but what you’re getting is evangelism. The evangelism can be of the soft-shoe variety, as with Dembski, or it can be more of the Torquemada sort, as with a character called “GEM of The Kairos Initiative,” . . . >>

    This is over the top and inexcusable.

    (Besides, you are indulging an unwarranted conflation of design thinking and biblical creationism that is unwarranted, has been corrected any number of times -- cf here,from the first several correctives, but remains a favourite atmosphere poisoning rhetorical ploy.)

    And even the old inquisitors, inexcusable as their behaviour was on abuse of people, were trying to defend a state under threat of subversion in the context of a long-running war that in the case of Spain had taken 800 years of bloody resistance to expel Moorish invaders.

    In that context, even Wikipedia is forced to acknowledge that there was more to the story than the black legends make out:

    >> Anyone who spoke against the Inquisition could fall under suspicion – as did saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross . . . >>

    In short, there was denunciation of the inquisition's misbehaviour at the time, and specifically coming from the most saintly of Christians in Spain at the time.

    Similarly, in my part of the world, Bartoleme de Las Casas was the very first priest ordained in the new world, and he made it his life's calling to denounce the crimes of his fellow Spaniards in the new world. Indeed, he fully expected the destructive judgement of God to fall on Spain for its wrongs, within 50 years.

    [ . . . ]

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fourth comment, again [yawn] from GEM. Here, he waxes in admiration for poor Torquemada, who just got a bad rap from history.

    -------------------------------

    Further to this, to give Jack his jacket in due fairness, the inquisition actually did try to have some semblance of procedure -- defective as it was -- and inquisitors were willing to acquit those who were not reasonably under suspicion. Wiki continues:

    >>Although the Inquisition is often viewed as being directed against Jews, in actual fact it had no jurisdiction or authority over unconverted Jews, or Muslims. Only baptised Christians faced investigation; and of those called to appear before the Holy Office, most were released after their first hearing without further incident. >>

    Even a relevant pope (and this was an era of very bad popes indeed -- NB: I am not a Roman Catholic, so I can say in fairness what Catholics may be reluctant to because of the stain of shame) was concerned about real and potential abuses, as a bull from Sixtus IV before Torquemada's regime states, in 1482; though of course it reflects its times:

    >> many true and faithful Christians, because of the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves and other low people—and still less appropriate—without tests of any kind, have been locked up in secular prisons, tortured and condemned like relapsed heretics, deprived of their goods and properties, and given over to the secular arm to be executed, at great danger to their souls, giving a pernicious example and causing scandal to many. >>

    So, Torquemada, bad as he was, was trying to do better than what had happened earlier. Hence the semblance of procedure Wiki discusses.

    His behaviour and that of his colleagues and predecessors was wrong, was denounced by saintly voices and by even at least one pope. So, plainly, it is utterly unfair to characterise or tar Christians as a whole, or individuals in particular -- without further evidence than peaceful argument -- of inquisition tactics.

    That is shameful.

    It utterly discredits you, Mr Tanner, especially when you have now gone on to try to make light of it and/or to deflect my correction.

    I repeat, no decent person will associate peaceful evangelism, much less worldviews analysis with the actions of a Torquemada.

    An apology and retraction are required, not an excuse or a deflection.

    As the first steps in a long process of living down such misbehaviour.

    Next, your accusation of "censorship" at UD -- which still remains here this morning despite your knowing as of the time of this comment that your original comment was in fact passed on moderation at UD and is there as no 36 -- was plainly premature, and in fact your delayed, moderated comment was posted at UD (in response to your direct question at UD: without my intercession with the UD authorities).

    The vulgarities and atmosphere poisoning rhetorical tactics evident above show why it is reasonable to have you on moderation at UD.

    And since this is a busy season for us all, I respectfully submit that we should all try to understand that UD's volunteer moderators will be busy as well.

    As to the case on the merits you make here and there, onlookers may wish to see the onward remarks at UD, especially this one. My earlier remarks to you here on will also be relevant.

    Cho, man, do betta dan dat!

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

    ReplyDelete
  18. The next item is a re-post from GEM. If he's getting the message I'm getting, then his post are too long. Blogger generally limits the length comments. The fix is either to be more brief or to break up long comments across two or more postings.

    -----------------------------

    Onlookers,

    I earlier tried to post a response, but encountered strange difficulties, So, here is a link to my reply; which appears at UD.

    given how invidious the fallaciusly complex quesiton Mr Tanner posts above is, i excerpt the beginnings of my response:

    ___________


    Mr Tanner:

    Your fallaciously complex, accusatory question is an outrage.

    Worse, it is suggestive of a telling projection unto others.

    I will treat it as it deserves, by refusing to answer it on its terms. If you cannot but project unto those who challenge you or question your views and arguments that they hate and would kill you, that speaks volumes about you, none of it good.

    Please, go take a long, hard look in a mirror, and do better than that.

    You have disqualified yourself from civil dialogue by that misbehaviour.

    Onlookers: no decent person will associate peaceful evangelism or teaching and preaching (which I was NOT engaging in: worldview analysis on comparative difficulties is not evangelism) with the actions of the first grand inquisitor of Spain in its old tyrannical days.

    . . .

    ___________________

    Good day

    GEM of TKI

    ReplyDelete
  19. Then Bill Bigge made his comment, and GEM replied (and then apparently later decided to delete it).

    ------------------------------

    Onlookers:

    BB, just above, is indulging a favourite, turnabout accusation tactic. It simply compounds the original slanderous tarring by association with a notorious torturer.

    I recall the incident very well, BB twisted a remark on how rape victims were often blamed as inviting the rape, to make that false accusation. He was wrong then, and he is wrong now to carry the false accusation to others who are in no position to know the truth for themselves. For shame!

    That is utterly different from what has happened above, where Torquemada's tactics have unjustly been associated with open discussion on comparative difficulties.

    For the third attempt, since I have been having excessive difficulties getting comments through here, here is my response, at UD.

    Further to all this, I find it interesting that attempted responses yesterday have somehow not appeared here, without any reasonable explanation. Blogger's comment system is not that bad. (I actually had comments that were "saved" -- Blogger's term for accepted -- that have not appeared at all.)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Here's Gordon, who I guess is GEM:
    -----------------------------------

    Onlookers,

    Corrective comments yesterday and today by the undersigned have vanished, even though registered as "saved" and originally displaying in the comment thread here. (But a few minutes ago, the comment thread had four comments displayed, now it is back down to three.)

    That is beginning to look not so good, especially as Mr Tanner has maintained his assertion of "censorship" at UD, even though the substantial comment he made is no 36 in the thread there.

    Again, my substantial response to Mr Tanner is here, and that to BB is now here, both at UD.

    GEM of TKI

    ReplyDelete
  21. After another Bill Bigge comment, GEM/Gordon replied.
    ----------------------------------

    As a matter of fact, BB, my responses here -- including the main one yesterday [that should apear as a two-parter, and then with a link to UD where it appears in entirety after odd things here] -- have been consistently vanishing mysteriously.

    I have cross-posted at UD, and have given the link to this blog.

    It is however, quite plain that something is very wrong here.

    G'day

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think this catches us up. GEM, if you want your posts to appear, all you have to do is keep the length appropriate (I don't know what Blogger's limit is) and stop deleting them.

    Now, do you have anything of substance to say or do you just want to troll?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Does your choice of handle now mean it is OK to call you Gordon or do you wish to remain 'he who must not be named'?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Gem of TKI7:06 AM

    For the record:

    I must thank Mr Tanner for what seems to be fetching the vanished comments from his email box and posting under his handle, though some of the added commentary is a matter of debate.

    I note that I have made two rounding off, for record comments here and here. Subject to moderation [which as a rule targets civility], it is my understanding that Mr Tanner may of course respond there.

    I ask onlookers to ponder these issues, before drawing final conclusions.

    Good day

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I do not understand why Blogger so labelled my comments, but it is my general request that my name [and email] not be used or published on the web, on issues of spamming and other issues in an era of identity theft and hacking. (In fact it seems I suffered a significant cyber attack yesterday, and had to go through a special administrative process to recover from it, at a most inopportune time. I hope that helps onlookers understand the different kinds of exposure different people have.)

    ReplyDelete
  25. This post came in from GEM this morning, but I don't see it here now.

    And, for the record (whatever that means), a comment of mine from yesterday remains in moderation at UD.

    ------------------------------------
    Gem of TKI has left a new comment on your post "The Creationist Is/Ought":

    For the record:

    I must thank Mr Tanner for what seems to be fetching the vanished comments from his email box and posting under his handle, though some of the added commentary is a matter of debate.

    I note that I have made two rounding off, for record comments here and here. Subject to moderation [which as a rule targets civility], it is my understanding that Mr Tanner may of course respond there.

    I ask onlookers to ponder these issues, before drawing final conclusions.

    Good day

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I do not understand why Blogger so labelled my comments, but it is my general request that my name [and email] not be used or published on the web, on issues of spamming and other issues in an era of identity theft and hacking. (In fact it seems I suffered a significant cyber attack yesterday, and had to go through a special administrative process to recover from it, at a most inopportune time. I hope that helps onlookers understand the different kinds of exposure different people have.)

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to comment if you have something substantial and substantiated to say.