Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's alive!!! But still braindead.

Dinesh D'Souza is posting on the internet again. And I just cannot resist reflexively dissecting his newest inane work like I always do.
The central argument of these scientific atheists is that modern science has refuted traditional religious conceptions of a divine creator.
Oooooo. Close. It has shown that "religious conceptions of a divine creator" are naive, unnecessary, unevidenced and occasionally based on ideas that are counterfactual given newfound scientific revelations. It doesn't refute the ideas, it provides us with a framework that makes it clear that those ideas are ill-founded and impotent in comparison.
But of late atheism seems to be losing its scientific confidence. One sign of this is the public advertisements that are appearing in billboards from London to Washington DC. Dawkins helped pay for a London campaign to put signs on city buses saying, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Humanist groups in America have launched a similar campaign in the nation’s capital. “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake.” And in Colorado atheists are sporting billboards apparently inspired by John Lennon: “Imagine…no religion.”
How the hell is deciding against invoking science in a billboard whose sole purpose is to merely introduce the idea of nonbelief indicative of losing scientific confidence?
There is no claim here that God fails to satisfy some criterion of scientific validation. We hear nothing about how evolution has undermined the traditional “argument from design.” There’s not even a whisper about how science is based on reason while Christianity is based on faith.
That's because they are fucking billboards advertisements, and not jargon filled formal arguments against religion. If you want to bring up the fact that atheists are engaging religion on two different levels (as scientifically devoid of merit and as a sociological hassle) then you might have a point. But you are just saying that atheists (as a unified group in your mind, no doubt) are moving away from science, based entirely on advertisements that probably could not be used as a format for those science flavored arguments even if that were the intent.
In other words, let’s not let God and his commandments spoil all the fun.
More like: "let's not let God's hatred of the butt sex and promises to burn everyone who does not follow him to a crisp spoil all the fun". Could you be any more disingenuous, D'oucheza? Your commandments are an utter crock.
“Be good for goodness sake” is true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go very far.
And you were expecting a comprehensive moral code in addition to a scientific refutation of the existence of God? I would be surprised if it was anyone but you.
The question remains: what is the source of these standards of goodness that seem to be shared by religious and non-religious people alike?
The human conscience, which is based in certain rational necessities for our own successful function in society, which is necessary for our survival. No need to invoke Jesus here.
His “imagine there’s no heaven” sounds visionary but is, from an intellectual point of view, a complete nullity.
That's true. It is hardly intellectual to imagine that something which doesn't exist doesn't exist.
The article begins by noting “an extraordinary fact about the universe: its basic properties are uncannily suited for life.” As physicist Andrei Linde puts it, “We have a lot of really, really strange coincidences, and all of these coincidences are such that they make life possible.”
The anthropic principle. This idea is repeated so often and is so thoroughly entrenched in the belief that human life is an end in of itself that I really can't be bothered to say more to refute it.
Too many “coincidences,” however, imply a plot.
Unless you are too liberal with your definition of "coincidence", in which case it just implies that you are dolt who is trying to find connections where there are none.
Folger’s article shows that if the numerical values of the universe, from the speed of light to the strength of gravity, were even slightly different, there would be no universe and no life.
Issue one: that's why we have a universe with those "values". Because the ones that came short couldn't exist. And the ones where life cannot exist cannot be observed as an existent universe by anyone.
Issue two: this is assuming that we are the only possible reality. That is to say, you may be able to change those cosmological constants and not be able to have a universe as we know it. But there is no reason that it might be consistent with the ability to a different form of reality with different principles to form.
Issue three: equilibrium. Changing one constant at a time might mess things up, but you might still be able to maintain existence as we know it by changing all those values the proper amount so that they can interact with one another properly.
Even Steven Weinberg, the Nobel laureate in physics and an outspoken atheist, remarks that “this is fine-tuning that seems to be extreme, far beyond what you could imagine just having to accept as a mere accident.”
And just like with evolution, "accident" is a strawman. The universe is "fine-tuned", not due to an unknown supernatural agency, but due entirely to the fact that if it were not so, it would not exist.
They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea.”
LOLWUT? Please, I would love to hear that groundbreaking information.
Science is the search for natural explanations for natural phenomena, and what could be more embarrassing than the finding that a supernatural intelligence transcending all natural laws is behind it all?
What could be a bigger waste of time than accepting that as the case? Positing supernatural agencies is ineffectual and bars progress. It is why science focuses on the natural. It sure would be embarrassing to find that a supernatural intelligence is behind all those natural occurrences. But, how that could possibly happen aside from people just leaping to the conclusion when evidence reaches a dead-end, I cannot possibly fathom.
While some physicists are hoping the multiverse will produce empirical predictions that can be tested, “for many physicists, however, the multiverse remains a desperate measure ruled out by the impossibility of confirmation.”
Which is a shame. It is an interesting idea. But, you see the irony of posing that a supernatural agency, with just as much of an "impossibility of confirmation" as the rejected multiverse theory, must be the case, right?
When science, far from disproving God, seems to be pointing with ever-greater precision toward transcendence, imagination and wishful thinking seem all that is left for the atheists to count on.
Of course not. Being self-aware would prevent you from your trademark end paragraph consisting entirely of smug, self-satisfied chest beating and insults, seemingly justified entirely based on the preceding few paragraphs of arguments from authority, strawmen, and dead-in-the-water apologetics. You might as well have just quoted a person saying "design design design" over and over again, because it would have just as much objective scientific content, and slightly less woo. Because, despite all your posturing, all I saw in this article was a common interpretation of physics as specifically fine-tuned for life and the universe (rather than acknowledging that life and the universe are simply the accidental products of physics, and could not exist for us to remark about for non-viable configurations). And, as usual, empty threats about there being evidence for a creative entity. But, since you restrained yourself from providing it, I will have to give you standard grade of "fail", Dineshikins. Better luck next time.


Stacy said...

Wow - what a maroon. Thank you for posting this. It looks like it took a long time to plow through that crap. I could never do it. -- You have skills. :-)

mac said...

I finally posted one over there at Town Hall.

I figured if they were going to spam the crap out of my mailbox, I should, at least, give them a taste of my idiocy.

I often wonder what atheists have done to Mr D'Souza to deserve his undieing consternation.

I mean, if one is sure theirs is the way, why must one deride others so much? Wouldn't it be better to have a policy of inclusion, to allow others to see their errotr(s)?
Apparantly, having Jesus on your team does nothing for your self-esteem.

Asylum Seeker said...

"It looks like it took a long time to plow through that crap."

No. Not really. I have many posts on here where I do this kind of thing, and most of them are Dinesh's. I've gotten used to screaming about random snippets from retarded articles at this point, so it comes easily!

"I figured if they were going to spam the crap out of my mailbox, I should, at least, give them a taste of my idiocy."

That is some sweet revenge :)

"I often wonder what atheists have done to Mr D'Souza to deserve his undieing consternation."

I believe it is because they wrote some books and they don't mesh with his simplistic view of how everyone should lapping up religion like we were thirsty kittens and it was the best milk available within a five galaxy radius.

"Wouldn't it be better to have a policy of inclusion"

Shhh. Stop right there. "Inclusion" is a cuss word to these people, in both religious beliefs and politics. Besides, if D'Souza and his ilk were accepting of others, this would lose many sources of comedic gold.

mac said...

Yeah....I think I may use the same mine you do from time to time :-)

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

DD is a debater not an intellectual. He has admitted that he resorts to using diversionary tactics rather than presenting a cogent argument. He comes from the Karl Rove school of concept marketing rather than stimulating a frank conversation. Unfortunately too many people are poorly trained in critical thinking and just accept this crap for something with substance.

I could just as easily counter with the a long winded argument that because Stephen Colbert has not been struck by lightening that God doesn't exist.

I guess he's saying if you can't say it as succinctly as 'think Milk' it's over most people's heads.

Guys like him disgust me since he adds nothing of value to the debate other than static.

Sorry, I'm not usually this vitriolic.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

Potential signs of the existence of higher powers?

Ann Coulter has her jaws wired shut during the Presidential transition...

coincidence or design? Hmmmm
Now if Linbaugh and Hannity get their wired shut as well, then I'm off to church for sure.

Asylum Seeker said...

"DD is a debater not an intellectual. He has admitted that he resorts to using diversionary tactics rather than presenting a cogent argument."

And yet he manages to debase the meaning of both debater and intellectual by offering himself up as both. It's a damn shame that diversionary tactics don't work as in type, eh?

"I guess he's saying if you can't say it as succinctly as 'think Milk' it's over most people's heads."

Which I have to say, I call projection on his part, since he has to think that those old canards he brings up are actually good arguments to some degree, or else he wouldn't risk making a fool of himself by using them. He buys into his moronic arguments as much as the sheep he panders to, even if he has a little more realization of its shortcomings which we adamantly refuses to put on display.

"Guys like him disgust me since he adds nothing of value to the debate other than static."

He wouldn't disgust me if he wasn't able to get people to buy into the act that he is something other than a particularly slimy snake-oil peddler whose sole talent is to present bullshit in a way where he cannot be adequately rebutted within a debate format. He has made a career off of sounding authentic, and getting others to say that he is authentic, when he is really just selling the same old crap as anyone else.

"Now if Linbaugh and Hannity get their wired shut as well, then I'm off to church for sure."

And I would become a frickin' televangelist. So, in that respect, let's hope that that never happens :)

Richelle said...

omigawd, reading dinesh's pitiful bullshit nearly makes my head explode every time. his thinking is so simplistic but he always seems to believe he's offering some truly intellectual argumentation.

Pliny-the-in-Between said...

I guess DD's success points to the fact that most people aren't really interested in truth but instead are looking for factoids in support of what hey already think

mac said...

Hey, I don't know about Colbert, but I was struck by lightning. It happened once, when I was a small child. No, I don't have a concious memory of the fact, but I am told as much by my parents and the drs who treated me .

Still no god? Yeah, none for me either :-)

Pliny-the-in-Between said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pboyfloyd said...

"When science points to God."

What a laugh!

A couple of scientists are 'in awe' of the fact that we're here, big deal!

You know what would be really truly awesome? A scientist pointing out that he can show us how we shouldn't be here, or showing us how these universal constants ARE actually variables that can change or be changed by some intelligent designer for example.

Saying, or implying that universal constants might be changed by magic or are being maintained by magic just won't do!


"Don't say it pboy.."
"Floyd.. DON'T SAY it!"
(poof!, we're all gone! Certain absolutely necessary constants were altered to make life in the universe impossible!)

Asylum Seeker said...

Heh. The funny thing about the cosmological constants are that they are they are, effectively, quantitative descriptions of how matter works in our given reality. So, saying that changing one of those numbers a small amount would ruin everything is hilarious, because it is just saying that "if these descriptions of reality as we know it were altered, then reality as wouldn't be reality as we know it". Profound, huh?

Asylum Seeker said...

Ugggh. It will be merry f-ing Christmas when I can go a goddamn day without omitting random words and letters from my posts.

Segment of last post should read "if these descriptions of reality as we know it were altered, then reality as we know it wouldn't be reality as we know it"

GearHedEd said...

Dinesh's target audience is a bunch of check-mailing inbred rednecks, so he HAS to come across simple.

Richelle said...

good point ed.

and you know those bible-thumping rednecks just think he's the bees knees. smartest man alive!

what a joke.