Dear Anonymous:

No doubt, that after discovering the truth, the folks at the Rational Response Squad are feeling somewhat bitter. As antitheists, many of them have experienced firsthand the intellectual (and often physical) harm that religion can do during one’s formative years. Your posts might better be directed to the RRS and the agnostics they address. I have clearly stated my position and I am not about to change my mind no matter how much anyone prays for me. Like the RRS, I am only interested in truth, not some imaginary afterlife, a trip down spirit lane, or the Templeton Prize.

I appreciate your input on this blog, however, because it helps me show that there really is a contradiction between science and religion. It helps me show that there really are a multitude of nameless religious folks out there who object strongly to that claim. Otherwise, why would even one of them object to some obscure rebel using his “Ten Assumptions of Science” that result in opposite conclusions? It helps me to demonstrate why we need to exclude religious assumptions from science entirely in order to avoid today’s wildly popular absurdities in physics and cosmology. By not being explicit with regard to its assumptions, the currently accepted scientific world view, systems philosophy, fails to do this, caving in to religiously flavored assumptions instead. Thus, by overemphasizing the system and neglecting the environment, systems philosophy hypothesizes a finite universe exploding out of nothing. (Or being created out of nothing by an imaginary man in the sky who presumably created “himself” out of nothing as well.) This makes no sense to me at all. We need to use our brains to formulate a more logical solution, one that states its assumptions clearly and then follows them faithfully to what you probably would call the bitter end (no imagined heaven and no imagined afterlife). We are natural products of the universe, as are the struggles to find that out. Thanks for being part of the action. Now for some more discussion on the deductions that follow from “The Ten Assumptions of Science”…


Mike said...

I see you've had some action here, such as it is. Good. You're right. They are part of the process (and that's as sympathetic as I get with their willful ignorance). I always lament that the theists won't spend their praying - and blog trolling - time more constructively.

Well, let's change directions. As this election year has progressed, I've been trying to apply UD to what passes for political discourse on the web, to see if there is a way out of the circular yammering. It seems to me that the "gotcha"-style discourse between pundits is a result of a microcosmic bias. Pundits get so enamored of the specific argument in front of them, that they ignore broader issues. Issues that might form a trail to broader, more fundamental, dare I say more univironmental questions - which might even lead them to the idea of "assumptions" and the reason that they hold the ones that they do: infinite regress. (These ideas are hard to put into a small amount of words without feeling like your making a crass sweeping generalization. Infinity strikes again.) Obviously each conversation is an "experiment" with parameters, but with tunnel vision. I always feel like - whatever argument it is - that they're having the wrong argument, or at least an incomplete one; that there's a deeper point to be made. I guess that's what UD changed for me: I'm more aware of how I think and the philosophical twists and turns that await.

There's a lot to be said of the awareness that UD engenders...

Anonymous said...

You say that the Rational Response Squad has discovered “the truth.” But according to your theory, the truth is not directly tractable. Instead, we must rely on assumptions. Thus, The RRS has not discovered anything. They have simply deduced something from their premises. Since their premises contain the conclusion, they have committed circular reasoning.

Science does not assume infinity. It assumes ‘indefinity,’ which is not a word just yet, but is etymologically better suited as “always one more.” A science proceeds indefinitely, always asking what the next cause is. You might say that a person looking further down the horizon would see that indefinity reduces to infinity, but this is a quantum leap—which is forbidden by your philosophy as well as any other philosophy. Research hypotheses address proximate causes, not ultimate causes. Thus, infinity cannot be an assumption of science.

Finally, you make the mistake of aligning yourself with ‘truth,’ as diametrically opposed to religion. This is also action at a distance, my friend. Most serious religious people are interested in truth. Science is interested in facts. Admittedly, not all knowledge can come from science—assumptions are required. To the extent that these assumptions cannot be empirically validated, they are arbitrary. You have freely chosen to dismiss religion, and it is my right to pity and pray for you.

Glenn Borchardt said...


Glad to see your contribution and your attempt to make sense of the political scene by using UD. I would love to hear more about what you find out. Our anonymous friend appears to have read parts of TSW, but doesn’t seem to “get it” in the same way that you do. He/she probably should have read only TTAOS and saved a little money. After holding the indeterministic assumptions for such a long time, it can be quite a jolt when confronted with their opposites. Once someone is able to see how it all fits together, like you apparently have, those indeterministic assumptions fall by the wayside. There is some value in not ignoring them altogether. Because they are dialectical opposites, they help us to clarify our own assumptions in still greater detail. Even bad examples can be good examples.


Like the RRS folks, one discovers the truth after one discovers the correct assumptions to use in understanding the universe. Like many of us former theists, they appear to have grown disgusted with the illogic of religion (e.g., imaginary man in the sky, creation from nothing, virgin birth, wine equals blood, souls as matterless motion, supplications to the sky, etc.). By confronting the folks who have those silly beliefs, they are a valuable part of the struggle to develop the scientific worldview. With their assumption of absolutism, indeterminists claim to possess absolute truth, even though various sects have conflicting claims with no possible resolution between them. Those claims are not “directly tractable” either. Faced with INFINITY, we always must deal with “circular reasoning.” This is a sign, just as Pi, for example, forms an endless series, that the universe truly is infinite. As I have said numerous times before, in science we are able to determine whether a claim is true or false by testing it in the real world through observation and experiment. That is what this blog is all about. It is based on the hypothesis that the universe can be understood best by eliminating any hint of religion altogether. Thanks for reminding me that you, along with most folks, including most conventional scientists, don’t think of that as a worthy goal. I still would like explore that thesis in greater detail anyway.

Anonymous said...

Your argument contains the premise that there are "correct" and "incorrect" assumptions. The ground of this correctness or incorrectness is therefore a higher principle, beyond your 10 assumptions. This means there is a criterion by which different assumptions can be judged. This is problematic, however. If there is such a criterion, then any such assumptions are actually deductions, since they follow from a higher principle. But okay, I 'might' be willing to accept that.

So, this brings up the next question: What is this higher principle? And as it must be quite important, why does it not receive a central emphasis in your treatise?

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