Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Official : Hitch Did Not Convert

Religion has often been a crutch for the hopelessly weak and pathetic.  One of the many claims that I've heard so many people make is that people who were previously not religious declare suddenly the existence of God and convert on their deathbed.  Every creationist at some point or another has claimed that Darwin converted to Christianity on his deathbed...  Something which is known to be untrue.  I've had people claim to me that Einstein converted from Judaism to Christianity on his deathbead, which is funny since Einstein was essentially only a Jew by descent, and anything he said on his deathbed can't possibly be known because he is on record as having said it all in German...  and none of the attending doctors or nurses understood enough German to decipher it.  Richard Dawkins quipped at one point that he would put a tape recorder by his deathbed to ensure that nobody mistakes what he says.

Christopher Hitchens died last night of complications from his esophageal cancer.  He did not convert.  He did not call out for any god's help.  He did not accept anything supernatural right down to the very end.  He laid down his final "Hitchslap" with that.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kalam Defense Showing More Failure (part 2)

If you missed part 1 wherein I deal with the premises of William Lane Craig's favorite argument, here is the link to that part --

Link to Part 1

In a generic sense, part 1 is actually a sufficient stopping point because it simply tears down the validity of the premises on which it draws its conclusion.  When all your premises have some faulty aspects, and the very construct on which you build your argument is inherently weak in the context and every means of support you offer is provably and demonstrably dishonest in all instances, you don't have much room to go any further.  But we are talking about William Lane Craig here, and like all forms of religious apologetics, the truth of any idea is not based on investigation and forward-looking progress and future gathering of information, but on the acceptance of revelation and the rationalization of previously existing preference towards specific brands thereof.  No amount of fact or reason could ever mean anything to these people.  Reason, logic, and evidence are things which are to be filtered through the lens of pre-existing belief...  and Craig says this rather clearly while simultaneously surrounding it in a veneer of loquacity that serves to mask the intrinsic anti-thought bias.

Well, the thing is that there's no need to stop there anyway.  You can tear apart and/or poke holes in every single idea that Craig has to offer from A to Z and back again.  There is not a single concept anywhere in the argument which holds so much as a molecule of water.  So in this part, I attack everything that follows after he draws his primary conclusion of the existence of causality for the universe.  This is where he draws a series of insane speculations declaring them to be definitive certainties in order to identify the cause as a personal god.

For the sake of getting into this particular area, we have to assume the validity of the Kalam argument's assertion that the universe had a cause.  So at least for the sake of argument, I'll just take the first part of the Kalam argument as correct.  Even doing that, it leaves a wonderful example of how much of an abject failure William Lane Craig really is.  Even if you accept everything on the cosmological argument, where he goes from there is just a putrid pile of stupid.  And, yes, I'm putting it nicely when I say that.

Monday, December 5, 2011

We Have Trust Issues Here...

It's always a funny thing whenever you see religious people play the victim.  "How dare you nasty atheists bring facts into the argument?"  "It's so mean of you to expose the flaws in our thinking!"  Sure, there are those who apply the live and let live philosophy, but the religious ignore that fact that "live and let live" is a two-way street.  The standard excuse is of course, that being brainless intolerant and willfully ignorant assholes who make a point of marginalizing outsiders is part of their belief system, whereas atheism demands no such duty upon atheists -- which is ironic considering that these are often the same people who will purport that atheism is a religion.

Of course, you look at the facts, and you can easily find that atheists are the most hated of all groups.  Which itself is a bit of an oddity because of the fact that atheists aren't really a cohesive group in the way followers of a particular religion might well be, though there is some indication based on the test that the very existence of prominent literature like that of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, et al all count for some degree of perception .  There was a study performed at UBC recently which has been garnering a fair bit of press.  If you go by the news articles, the study says that religious people tend to vilify atheists to roughly the same degree as they do rapists.  Actually, if you read the study itself, atheists are slightly more distrusted than rapists, though the difference is not really statistically significant.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kalam Defense Showing More Failure

I came across a video a few days ago wherein a William Lane Craig fanboy collected a series of clips into an hour-long video attempting to refute established refutations of WLC's favorite argument, the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  The KCA is a modern re-jiggering of the old first mover argument, really, and all it really does is play with wording in order to mask the special pleading that it does for "God."  The cosmological argument is one that has been refuted absolutely and conclusively and without a shred of hope several hundred years ago, but for people of faith, facts are things meant to be denied.  It is old hat for religious apologists to be miles deep in denial and to brazenly lie about things and deceive the listeners, and Craig has this weapon of being able to coat his lies with a veneer of verbosity that makes him (and pretty much any believer who follows his apologetics) feel as if he's invincible enough to pretty much assert anything without ever having to actually explain himself.

I believe one can review much of William Lane Craig's content and realize that what he is is not a skilled philosopher, logician, or even an intellectual of any stripe.  He's a person who knows how to play around the format of formal debate in order to basically dodge the need ever to have to do anything.  But he can throw enough words into the system to make it sound as if he's made a point and then when there's enough of a word salad out there, he can throw in a bald, baseless assertion, and then say it's true for reasons he's already stated...  never mind that he never actually states them.  But the worst part of his responses to rebuttals is that he never takes on any of them.  He prefaces every response with a blanket insult to say that atheists are intellectual lightweights because they don't believe in talking snakes and global floods.  Of course, he doesn't actually draw anything from those pejoratives, so he narrowly avoids the direct application of an ad hominem.  But being that he has no actual evidence or facts or explanations to offer, it is of the utmost importance for him to belittle the opposition, else his own feigning towards making a point might be exposed for the pitifully thin shadows of thought they are.

Well, Mr. William Lane Craig...  turnabout is fair play, and there is one thing all religious apologists -- whether it is you, or Duane Gish or Zakir Naik or Babu Ranganathan or whoever it may be -- have in common.  And it is something you have demonstrated clearly and indisputably in every appearance I have ever seen you make.  When I say "every" here, I do indeed mean "every" without even a single isolated exception.  That thing happens to be a criminally egregious magnitude of outright intellectual dishonesty.