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Sam Harris debates Dennis Prager

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#1
Unbeliever

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I just found this in my in-box:

http://www.jewcy.com...ngry_sam_harris

I haven't even read it all yet, I wanted to post it here for y'all right away.  :Happy:

#2
Seti

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Another classic. He elevates his emotional responses to "wisdom" and sets it above our mere knowledge - as if an understanding of the natural world somehow precludes both emotional response and wisdom. It would seem to me that wisdom exists in basing your perception of the world on principles you can thoroughly test, a sound network of discoveries which combine to build a reliable, self-consistent framework which doesn't require convoluted rationalisations to cope with layer upon layer of inconsistency.

"God told me I can walk on the ice"
"Don't walk on the ice - it's too thin."
"That's just your beleif. My beleif is just as valid - more so, because it comes from God."
"No. The temperature is to high to allow thick ice to form, the colour of the ice tells me it's thin, and this lake rarely freezes enough to support your weight."
"Oh, so you have a shade-chart for ice now. Has it been thoroughly tested against every single frozen lake in the world? Besides, everyone knows temperature is only relative - scientist can't even agree if it should be measured in centigrade or farenheit. And they say the temperature of the sun is millions of degrees, which is ridiculous - how can anything possibly get that hot? The ice is beautiful - it inspires me to walk across it. That, my friend, is true wisdom..."

SPLASH!!!

:farao:

#3
Frozenwolf150

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I noticed that within the first few paragraphs, Dennis Prager strawmans the atheist position as claiming that "everything came about by random chance".  Typical fundie, trying to mischaracterize something he doesn't comprehend, probably because he never bothered to find out.  Natural selection is just the opposite of random chance, and this douchebag's ignorance of basic science should be enough to discredit him.  He's setting up an argument from incredulity.

Secondly, atheism is not about proving a negative.  Sam Harris already covered this, by pointing to the fact that there are plenty of gods most people don't believe in.

Third, let's look at what Prager says here:
[quote]If I and all other believers in God are to be lumped with Muslims who believe that slaughtering innocents gets you sex in heaven, then you must be lumped with Josef Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung and all the other atheists who butchered more innocents than all the religious crackpots in history.[/quote]
This is one of the common lies Christians tell.  There is no evidence that atheism had anything to do with the motivation behind these people's actions, and there is ample proof that communism (practiced as a religion) was primarily responsible, along with the culture of the time.  If this guy knew anything about history, he'd know that the state of atheism was only instituted in order to keep other religions from competing with communism.
http://www.geocities...tlerstalin.html
He's also blatantly ignoring atrocities such as the North American slave trade, the slaughter of natives by Conquistadores and settlers, and the Holocaust.  Not that those should have anything to do regarding the validity of atheism.  Fuckwit.

Fourth, it is facts, not the popularity of an idea or the people who believe in it, that make something true.  Quoting Collins is an ad verecundiam fallacy.  Prager also blatantly misunderstands what kind of code DNA is.  DNA is more of a chemical cypher than a code.  His claim is refuted here:
http://talkorigins.o...c/CB/CB180.html

Next, I see him trying to refute Bertrand Russel, not by addressing his specific argument, but by making an ad hominem attack based on completely unrelated ideas.  It's like a creationist trying to refute evolution by pulling out a quote by Darwin that suggests he was racist.
So far Prager seems no better off than your average fundy Christian troll, and we all know how dense they can be.

Here, his ignorance of history is showing once again:
[quote]Don

#4
Unbeliever

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Typical fundie, trying to mischaracterize something he doesn't comprehend, probably because he never bothered to find out.


Oh, I think he comprehends it just fine, he's just lying about it, because he wants the flock to believe that their faith is somehow "rational".

Prager also blatantly misunderstands what kind of code DNA is.  DNA is more of a chemical cypher than a code.


Again, I think he understands it just fine, but he's intentionally misconstruing it for the sake of fleecing the flock. 

Next, I see him trying to refute Bertrand Russel, not by addressing his specific argument, but by making an ad hominem attack based on completely unrelated ideas. 


Yeah, that was a total ad hominem, all right, and he knew it when he said it, the liar! That part really chapped my dad-blamed hide!

#5
The White Coyote

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That part really chapped my dad-blamed hide!

Is that anything like Gol-durn or gosh-darn?

#6
Unbeliever

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That part really chapped my dad-blamed hide!

Is that anything like Gol-durn or gosh-darn?


Hmm...yeah!  :Wink: Don't you just love euphemisms?  :Happy:

#7
Frozenwolf150

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Typical fundie, trying to mischaracterize something he doesn't comprehend, probably because he never bothered to find out.


Oh, I think he comprehends it just fine, he's just lying about it, because he wants the flock to believe that their faith is somehow "rational".

Prager also blatantly misunderstands what kind of code DNA is.  DNA is more of a chemical cypher than a code.


Again, I think he understands it just fine, but he's intentionally misconstruing it for the sake of fleecing the flock.

Then again, it's just as possible that he really is that stupid.  Remember that nature often compensates for deficiencies, so in the same way that blind people develop a great sense of hearing, stupid people often end up with really big mouths.  There are plenty of fundies who believe the same kind of bullshit Prager expouses, not that it ever occured to them that they might be wrong, because as we've seen, they can be quite scholarly about their bullshit.

Just because you've reached the point where it's possible to laugh at people like Prager doesn't mean that everyone else has.  A lot of people, himself included, are still going to take him seriously, because for them, their pseudo-intellectualism is the only "next step" they need.  It doesn't matter what kind of credentials people have; if they go around claiming they can prove God exists, they're religious bigots, plain and simple.

#8
Unbeliever

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Then again, it's just as possible that he really is that stupid.


Yeah, never underestimate the potential for human stupidity1  [smilie=dunce.gif] [smilie=dunceblock.gif]


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