RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Lausten on Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:54 pm

I grew up in suburban areas, then moved to a small town in Indiana for High School. The science teacher said a sentence or two acknowledging that creationism was something that many people believe and that evolution was not an attempt to discredit it. God was never mentioned again. At that time, I believed a lot of things that my teachers said without question, so luckily that was all that was said about it.

In that same class, we could bring in articles we had read and give short reports on them. I brought in one by Isaac Asimov about how almost every scientific advancement has had some helpful practical purpose, and has also been used for some destructive means. At question and answer time, there was dead silence. The guy sitting next to me presented an article on high-lysine corn for feeding pigs. That generated a considerable amount of discussion, including from the teacher.

I think we still live a world with very few Marco Polos or William the Conquerors. Even those who travel stick to the main streets and tourist attractions. Business travelers don’t wander much further than the bar in the hotel. We have not developed coping mechanism for how our actions affect the rest of the world or how we are affected by history, except denial. Without that, expecting people to evaluate something that happened thousands of years ago and reconsider how it relates to them, is a lot to ask.

Skepticism is not usually taught. If it is learned, it is often the hard way, by losing a few bucks to a con man, or much worse. I forget if it was Jeremy or David that has the class about it, but I would love to see some of that curriculum.

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Neon Genesis on Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:01 am

Brad wrote:
While there are still many in the atheistic camp who don't really understand determinism and therefore can't fully embrace its explanatory and practical value, the fact is that theists cannot embrace, or even honestly allow themselves to comprehend, determinism without turning their foundational life concept into mush.
If there is some exception to that rule, I'd sure like to know where and in whom, it exists.
So is it unsurprising that these two Christian radio jabberers would speak as they did and be as obtuse as they were?





As I've mentioned earlier in the thread, there are Calvinists who believe God has determined the fates of humanity and there are plenty of biblical passages that promote a predestined worldview. As you mention in your post yourself, there are also theistic versions of Buddhism where some Buddhists believe one's status in this life is effected by their actions in a previous life. They may have reached these conclusions in different ways than scientists, but there are plenty of theistic religions out there who believe in some sort of divine fate or predestination worldview.

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  Lausten on Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:47 pm

Just kinda FYI. I quit the church. Some of my comments might make more sense in that context. I never fully accepted the resurrection as truth, and now I feel much more free to declare to my Christian friends that I flat out deny it's truth. As a United Methodist, you are allowed to not believe in creation, the virgin birth and many other things, but the resurrection is kinda critical. I still think it is a great story, but it is a fantasy.

I have also run in to some trouble with the leadership structure. Those two things combined led to my break with the church.

Looking forward to future discussions,
John

If you like stories...click here

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Re: RD Extra -- Jeremy on The Don Johnson Show

Post  StopNot on Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:08 am

Neon Genesis wrote:I have three questions on determinism myself. If everything is determined, were the hosts of the Don Johnson show predetermined to not understand determinism and be frustrating hosts and so can we really hold them accountable for being frustrating? And if we don't have freewill over our beliefs, then are religious people really delusional if they were predetermined to be religious? If everything is predetermined, then were humans determined to invent the belief in freewill and believing in freewill was inevitable?

Yes! The principle is that whatever occurred was necessary. I think it is often more useful to use the word "necessary" than "determined" since some people seem to get tripped up over the notion of determined as unerringly predicted as opposed to just being predictable, in principle, given enough knowledge of the causes coming to bear on a point in time.

Accepting determinism as true doesn't mean that "hold them accountable" makes no sense, it just changes the question we ask about something we don't like from "who is to blame?" to "how was this necessary?". Asking the latter question leads to knowledge of the relationships between things and, subsequently, to insight on how we can influence/control things according to our desires in the future. There is no need to give up "delusional" as an accurate description of a persons current state of reasoning, just because that current state was necessary.

Yes, there's plenty of irony to be found when determinists speak/act in conventional (non-deterministic) terms about events. Imagining something else were they? This relates to a point that I think Jeremy will do better to consider conceding to the hosts, namely, that determinism demands a departure from "free will" terminology for people to get clear about it. Such words as "choice" and "choose", which are almost always taken to imply "free" as in "not compelled", need to be abandoned in favor of words like "decision" and "decide".


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Props to Jeremy

Post  melissassippi on Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:58 am

Major props to Jeremy for remaining so patient with those guys.

The bottom line is they didn't understand determinism at all and I'm not convinced that they really wanted to understand it. There can be no real debate when one side applies supernatural characteristics to the natural world. To them the "spirit", "God", or whatever other entity they might imagine into existence *is* a part of the natural world and cannot be separated from the argument. Therefore, they are incapable of thinking critically or taking into account empirical evidence. For them "God" is the empirical evidence (and they don't understand this as a contradiction). But at the same time, their supernatural being cannot be defined, or characterized. They even admitted that this immaterial "spirit" is arbitrary. Speaking from being raised this way, I know that Christian fundamentalists apply their own rules to the natural world and cannot be reasoned with.

Great job Jeremy for sticking it out! I think the description someone made of your being "Christopher Hitchens crossed with a special education teacher" was accurate. You had to be able to have a highly intelligent argument with people who were not capable of understanding such a concept. Well done!

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