Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Phail: A Giimpse into the Mind of Dinesh D'Souza

If you have a strong desire for the lolz and losing your hope in humanity by bogging yourself down with pseudointellectual garbage, then Dinesh D'souza has exactly what you need.

I'll give you a brief sampling of his genius work, which lend obvious credibility to the half-dozen published books he has to his name.

The Power of Pascal's Wager: "This central human conundrum is the subject of Pascal's famous wager. Pascal did not invent the wager. It was offered by the Muslim theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali in his medieval work The Alchemy of Happiness."
[I know...I can't stop laughing either...]

"The ingenuity of Pascal's argument is that it emphasizes the practical necessity of us making a choice. This necessity is imposed by death...The unavoidability of the decision exposes the sheer stupidity of agnosticism and religious indifference. These are people who refuse to choose when there is no option to abstain. So the refusal to choose becomes a choice--a choice against God."
[Funny that he is assuming that we know enough about this issue to make a choice, that we can choose "against God", and that agnosticism is not the proper position to take about something that is unknown at such a level, including its actual threat to us or benefits. But, of course, if you are assuming that the Christian God exists throughout this little "Wager", of course people denying its existence or not caring about it are going to suffer...that's the entire point of your mythology! If we assume something else, well...agnosticism starts to look a bit smarter, and you look like more of an incompetent a-hole]

"If you are trapped in the den with a hungry lion, and there is a door that may offer a way out, what sane person would refuse to jump through the door? Viewed this way, the atheist position becomes a kind of reckless intransigence, a foolish attempt to gamble with one's soul."

[This is an excellent analogy...if the door in this example could become pissed off at you for not using it and turn into the lion, and there were thousands of other ineffectual doors that led you back into the same room, angering the one true door each time you make such a foolish mistake...along with no immediate, apparent danger to spur you into trying to escape to begin with]

"With their trademark venom, atheists typically condemn, although they cannot refute, Pascal's wager"

[LOL! This is why I love this guy! Almost endearing in his combination of condescension and obliviousness!]

Looking for Nietzsche's Last Man: "Lab-trained atheists like Dawkins, who have hardly any knowledge of history, seem to think that transcendence--the notion of something eternal, something 'higher' than this life--is an invention of revealed religion. This is pure ignorance. An ethical code like Confucianism preserves transcendence without recourse to the gods."

[Spoiler Alert: All he does in this article is keep using the word "transcendence" over and over again, adamantly asserting that it has to exist, when really the only thing "transcendent" that we can really say to exist as anything recognizable or real is simply feelings that lead us to believe that "transcendence" exists...hardly enough to postulate much beyond humankind's ability to yearn for more...]

"What happens when you get rid of transcendence? Nietzsche worried that you get petty, narrow, selfish and grasping human beings..."

["Petty, narrow, selfish, and grasping human beings"? You mean pretty much everyone to ever exist on our planet, right? Seriously...I am beginning to detest the Pacifier Test for philosophical validity (Item X makes people less uppity and mean, therefore X must be authentic, true, and good all around!). Especially when people use it as if it actually proves something...]

" I guess it's not so easy to crack jokes when your voice is failing and your body parts are giving up. Yes, it's sad. For Kinsley the solution lies entirely in pills and cures that he hopes will extend his tenure on the track a little longer, although he fears that modern science won't come through in time for him. And here is what I find most unfortunate: entirely missing from Kinsley's article is any notion of a universe beyond himself, of any transcendent hope that can sustain him when other earthly prospects are running down."

[Sadism for Jesus! Oh, and how is hoping for a cure for your disease a bad thing? Just because he does not fool himself into thinking that transcendence exists, and because he isn't joking gleefully during the onset of illness, does not make his perspective incorrect. Just because something gives you hope does not make it correct. Truth is not determined by what makes you feel best about your position in life!]

Ben Stein Exposes Richard Dawkins: "'How did life begin?' One would think that this is a question that could be easily answered. Dawkins, however, frankly admits that he has no idea. "

[He says this as if it were ignorance, rather than an attempt at agnosticism on a topic with little evidence...]

"Is it possible that living cells somehow assembled themselves from nonliving things by chance? The probabilities here are so infinitesimal that they approach zero."

[I find the probability suggested here is akin to how people viewed the probability of any given species of animals coming about "by chance" as being infinitesimal, before the idea of evolution came about. That is the difference between something popping into existence and coming into existence by steps. As such, cells as we know them today would probably have difficulty forming from chemicals alone. But, primitive cells may have been significantly different from the cells we are familiar with, and could have had a smaller probability needed to come into being. I'm not saying that it is likely, but that it is unwise to dismiss the idea of abiogenesis through the probability argument]

"Crick suggested that maybe aliens brought life to earth from another planet. And this is precisely the suggestion that Richard Dawkins makes in his response to Ben Stein. Perhaps, he notes, life was delivered to our planet by highly-evolved aliens."

[Poor, poor Double D...he obviously has never heard of speaking hypothetically...but, in fairness, neither has Ben Stein.]

Last, but not least...

How Did Life Begin?: "My last blog remarked on the fact that Richard Dawkins, one of the world's leading atheists, now believes in the possibility of 'intelligent design.' "

[See above/Fail]

"Intelligent design is okay with Dawkins as long as that intelligent design does not involve a supernatural creator. "

[Because a supernatural creator leads to more questions than answers, and because, by definition, supernatural entities are beyond the scope of science. Hell, even the nature of this supposed supernatural force is beyond our comprehension and detection, so why bother saying anything about it? In fact, due to the essentially unreachable and unknowable nature of this creative entity, absolutely any form of alternate explanation of origins would be more effective and acceptable from a practical viewpoint, in that, at least if there were naturalistic explanation, we would know more about the nature of our universe and its laws. If we simply posit something outside of nature at work, we can do nothing and learn nothing...hence why supernatural phenomenon are not typically integrated into scientific observation and theory]

"If you enjoy seeing atheist arguments exploded in this way--or even if you're an atheist with masochistic tendencies--you may want to attend one of my "God v. Atheism" debates this week"

[You forgot the third option that most people take when they come to see you debate on these issues: they enjoy seeing you make a fool of yourself! But, I guess someone who spews forth a thousand pieces of semi-factoids to support hundreds of wrong assertions, and leaves with most of them unaddressed, can feel like he has won everytime. It's kind of one will be able to tear him apart effectively enough to make him realize that he has no idea what he is talking about...]

Well, that's it for that. If you wish to trudge into the filthy world that is Dinesh's haphazardly supported opinions, I suggest you do it with never know when he will actually make a valid point!

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