Monday, September 17, 2007

Name That Logical Fallacy

For those of you who are still in the dark about this snake oil salesman, this will serve as a good introduction. Please watch this brief video and post your thoughts in the comment section. It will be interesting to see what everyone's views are.


Henwli said...

Started at least with a false analogy, then moved on to build the ol' "angry at God" strawman. Do I get a badge? That was from the first 50 seconds... They're all over the place with this video.

We can put Brian Sapient and Todd Friel in a room (actually they've met each other) and have them duke it out. There, physical, unequivocal evidence that Sapient exists on the same plane as us. Now let's do the same with God, shall we? Oh, He'd rather play hide and seek?

Of course it could be stretched into a philosophical argument that none of the people in this video exist, as far as we know. Maybe the only time they pop into existence is when their digitised voiced and likenesses appear on our monitors and headphones? Maybe they're a mass hallucination? Can we know? They could be computer generated, of course, but as of yet we haven't seen anyone producing such lifelike digital asininity.

If our perception of the world is not evidence enough, then what is? Religion appears to distort the fabric of reality that our brain weaves together, adding layers of falsely perceived "reality", but that's a tirade for another day.

I hate to admit it, but I often react very emotionally to WotM material and can get quite irate. I was in no way and "angry" atheist before I started listening to their show, and now this side of me only comes up when listening to them. Pavlovian reaction I gather. I'm still not angry at any figments of imagination, only at how these people misuse the brains(!?) they were given.

AnathemaUnbound said...

Here's the problem with relying on just our five senses: they can be deceivingly wrong.

Here's analogy that doesn't have a fallacy: If a blind man (which many 'Christians' would say of atheists) hears my MacBook Pro talk using iSpeak, he will naturally believe that someone (even if their voice is funky) is in the room speaking to him. He cannot see the man for he has no sight, but believes he is there because he 'hears' him.

Now is there actually someone in the room with him? Nope. But he believes someone is there because of his perceived notion that a voice is heard, thus someone is talking.

How can the blind know the difference then if someone is in he room or not if hearing a voice? In all honesty, he cant until his 'eyes are open' for a lack of better phrasing.

It's the same concept with atheism and Christianity. Christians believe that atheists eyes haven't been 'open' and they're 'believing' in something they perceive as true because they don't know any different.

In this video, Mr Friel was simply putting together a sarcastic response regarding the absurdity of many (most definitely not all) atheists remarks regarding their claim that God doesn't exist. Plain and simple.

Also, I watched and intently looked for logical fallacies and couldn't really find any. Maybe nit-picking it one may be able to find one but the overall arching theme seems to be a pretty intact argument.

David said...

WOW. Henwli was right; ALL OVER THE PLACE! Isn't it just sad to know that people still buy into this crap? Wear a smile and talk really loudly...THAT'LL convince people.

Henwli said...

About anathemaunbound's (fallacious) analogy:

First off, you begin with the five senses, and then deprive your main character of the one most people mostly rely on.

The blind man might might actually want to touch (his way of "seeing") the person he hears speaking. Now if he finds the computer and actually realizes it to be the source of the voice, does he still keep on believing that it's a person speaking to him. Or did you forget to mention you shackled the blind man into a corner before commencing this "experiment"

He believes in the voice at the beginning of your analogy because you've taken away sight and touch. He could also taste, or smell another person. Seriously, you've left out 4 of the 5 senses here. After long enough, I'm sure he would grow suspicious of the humming of your MacBook, maybe even smell overheating compoenents? There is actually no way you could make this analogy fly. Of course you could lock him in a solid container with a speaker that only emits the voice he's supposed to hear. Also, a blind person living in modern times would most likely realize that the sound comes from a computer (sound distortion and all that jazz). There's so much wrong here I could go on ad nauseam.

I'm not going to get nasty here, but this analogy could work even better against religion; deprive people of the existing evidence that's available to them and you arrive at belief.

I don't feel it's necessary to extend my dissection of this analogy to the flimsy parallel you draw between your analogy and theists and atheists, later :)

Nate Phelps said...

I arrived at this blog by way of another blog suggesting similarities between WOTM and my family. I had never heard of WOTM before seeing this video. My primary thought after watching it: Why would anyone devote a moments energy countering this gibberish. The entire argument is based on the absence of logic and the hope that his followers are incapable of recognizing that.

The juvenile notion that they can equate a lack of belief in god with a lack of belief in humans who exist here and now is to showcase his ignorance of the concept of Empirical evidence. As an aside, AnathemaUnbound makes the same mistake in her analogy of the blind man and the computer voice.

Additionally, all of his arguments flow from, and exist only in, the assumption that god exists. THE VERY ISSUE IN QUESTION HERE! Unless and until someone can demonstrate that there is another set of rules for proving or disproving a matter, the logical, scientific method is the only legitimate way to debate.

How I do or don't feel about an entity that I don't believe exists isn't relevant either.

The fallacy in all this becomes apparent as soon as you replace the word "god" with a name like "Zeus" or "Apollo". Our friend, Mr. Friel wouldn't dare put his smiling face on a video suggesting such a notion.

Friel says: "once again, calling god angry doesn't prove he doesn't exist." Huh?!? Is he serious?!? It's his's up to HIM to prove god exists not the other way around. Again, replace "god" with "Zeus" and that statement is laughable.

One final thought for anyone reading this who is sincere about discovering the truth to this argument. So much of what the Christian apologist relies on is the long history of "belief" in this god and the systems and structures that exist all around us supporting this belief. This is a logical fallacy. You cannot prove or disprove anything based on the beliefs of another...even when that belief is held by the vast majority of others.

Maronan said...

Wow, talk about missing the point with a vengeance.

It's kinda cute, though, how they just "reversed" the arguments of the Rational Response Squad without even the slightest inkling of understanding as to why they're evidence against the Christian god as they define him and why they're not evidence against the existence of the actual people who created the Blasphemy Challenge.