September 17, 2011

Sam Harris, Intellectual Honesty and 9/11

I knew it wouldn't take long for atheists to milk and distort the September 11 "anniversary" (for lack of a better word) for their own confused, hateful ends. Sam "Ben Stiller" Harris may have been the first of the atheist popes to hop on the "all religion is evil" express again. He did a piece crying for "intellectual honesty" (a quality that I find sadly lacking in modern Internet atheists, especially since they have the magical ability to discredit articles without even reading them, but I digress).


Surprisingly, apologist Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason says that Sam Harris is right, it is a time for "intellectual honesty". Well, sorta...

Atheism and the Destruction of Society


A fascinating and provocative piece by PPSimmons discussing the way atheism works with liberalism in undermining traditional values and to destroy our faith in God — and society itself. This article looks like the beginning of a series, and I'm looking forward to the continuation.
One of the characteristics of atheism that is immediately noticeable is the overwhelming amount of foul language that is used. Even the most educated among them seem to suffer from the affliction of tourette syndrome. As much as I hate to do it I was forced on a couple of occasions to delete comments due to their graphic content. I have to repeatedly remind these self proclaimed animals that foul language and belittling others in order to prop yourself up are leading indicators of a lesser intelligence.

See the rest of "Atheism's DISTURBING Doctrines and tenets... plus videos!" here. Then, you can read "The Atheist Delusion — Response to Richard Dawkins" here.

Logic Lessons: Appeal to Motive

Keep an eye out for this fallacy, not only in discussions about faith and reason, but in political arenas.

In its simplest sense, the Appeal to Motive fallacy is rather easy to spot. It is a form of the argumentum ad hominem fallacy. I posted some song lyrics in the comments section of a Weblog, and someone said that I posted them "to feel better about myself". (What gave him the idea that he had insight into my mental processes, I have no idea.) It seems to me that one of the most common indicators that this fallacy has been engaged is terminology resembling, "He/She/You are doing this because...", but the accuser has no way of knowing what is going on inside your soul.

In a more difficult manifestation, the Appeal to Motive is not always a fallacy. This is when something tangible can be brought into question, such as, "Snidely is suggesting that we use General Universal Widgetarium because he holds stock in that company". Well, that may be worth further investigation, but to reject Sindely's suggestion out of hand because he holds stock in the company could have negative consequences.

Plato and Aristotle, probably
discussing the folly of Appeal to Motive
On a variation on this theme, someone could very well have an ulterior motive that is either good, or at least, harmless: "We can't let Ray give away this video because he wants to present the gospel message!" So? Either ignore or receive the message, but his motive is probably not a good reason in and of itself to refuse to allow him to give away a video.

When you are on the receiving end of the most blatant Appeal to Motive, you can easily counter it by saying something like, "How do you know what is going on inside my head?", or, "Your guess about my motive has no bearing on the validity of what I said". (That is, if you think the attack is worth giving a response in the first place.) Many times, I have seen this fallacy used simply to attack a person instead of engaging in honest discussion. Being aware of its existence can help you keep a cool head and not get wrapped up in emotional distractions and you can get back to business.

On the other hand, when you are seeing or hearing a remark from someone who is questioning the motives of someone else, exercise restraint. It may not be a fallacy if the questioner has some kind of insight about the motives. Also, you may be right about someone's motives based on your own experiences, interactions and evidence. But it may not be a good idea to speak up too quickly, or even to speak up on that at all.

So, the Appeal to Motive fallacy is a frequent kind of ad hominem attack, and you can parry the thrusts of your opponent. But be careful, sometimes it is valid to question someone's motives if you have actual knowledge and want to examine their statement or proposition further.

September 13, 2011

Brave Muslim Heroes Burn American Flag

Those brave heroes, burning an American flag on September 11, 2011! Oh, such inspirations! Never mind that they didn't even do it in the United States. 'Smatter, Hassan, too much security? Or were you gutless wonders afraid that the people would shove your allahu where the sun doesn't shine? Boy, someone burns a Koran and you think it gives you license to "jihad" and murder people, but you burn an American flag on the tenth anniversary of the date that your shameless, cowardly compatriots murdered three thousand Americans, and yet, you are still living! Shows a bit of a difference, huh?

Strange Searches: Disturbing

Again, for the "gotcha" troublemakers in the world, I will repeat that people will use odd phrases and words that are not really sentences in their searches. Still, when those searches bring them to my Weblogs, they get interesting. In this case, a bit disturbing:


September 11, 2011

Reminder


Petra "Whole World" lyrics

Words and music by Bob Hartman
Based on Hebrews 1:3, Matthew 20:29, 6:34

Hearts are falling left and right
Children fear this planet's plight
Fatalistic fears abound
And take their toll without a sound
But through the vague uncertainty - comes a bold assurity
This world is under sovereignty - divinely ordered destiny
He holds this world together with the Word of His power
Safe within His hands - til its own appointed hour

(Chorus)
He's still got the whole world in His hands - tonight
And only He knows where the sparrow lands - tonight
And nothing in this world can stop His plans - tonight
'Cause He's still got the whole world in His hands
In His hands tonight

Humanistic lies lament
The holocaust is imminent
Doomsday prophets in the news
Predicting who will light the fuse
The fate of His creation isn't subject to a man
The final consummation is according to His plan
He's still got you - He's still got me in His hands tonight

Terrorists Do Not Seem to Fear B. Hussein Obama

Last year Obama made a statement during a 9/11 event in which he said “as Americans we are not — and never will be — at war with Islam.”
Maybe the president needs to remind Islam about this because they certainly don’t seem to know.
Since taking office, the U.S. has either been attacked or threatened by attacks by Islamists at least 11+ times.  These aren’t random terrorist affronts by other countries, or Jared Loughner-type kooks (as the mainstream media would like you to believe)—they are ISLAMIC TERRORISTS. 
Here’s a list of Islamic terrorist attacks and/or threats of attacks that have occurred on U.S. soil and U.S. military bases since Obama took office in January, 2009.
Oh and just a reminder—although 9/11 happened 8 months after President Bush took office, during his 8-year presidency we never had any other Islamic terrorist attack in the U.S.  They knew better.
Read the rest of "Islamic Attacks and Threats During Obama’s Presidency" here.

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