The Baloney Detection Kit, by Michael Shermer

Check it out below:


Unknown said...

nice video

Glenn said...

Interesting - so if a large number of errors that a person makes tend to slant towards a certain perspective or belief, that belief is suspect? This is a claim the rpesenter makes in that video,

Well, right or wrong, this principle is utterly damning of the internet skeptics of Christianity that I am aware of. Their errors are so often errors that involve clear mishandling of biblical texts, traditional philosophical arguments or misrepresentations of the beliefs of the Christian community that, using this guy's method, we ought to regard their belief that Christianity is false to be, well, again using this guy's words - "baloney"! Nice own goal. ;)

PS: John, would you consider changing the "choose an identity" option on your blog so that people can use name/URL identification? Currently I'm using an ID that creates a link to a blog that's not even real, because I have to use my Google login.

Jer said...

or misrepresentations of the beliefs of the Christian community

Truthfully, there isn't a "Christian community" - there are a whole lot of "Chrisitian communities", each representing different beliefs and each utterly convinced that every other "Christian community" is in fact not Real True Christians and are in fact heretics.

Which is why it's so damn hard to have a rational discussion about faith with an individual Christian over the Internet. Who knows which particular heresy they believe in, until you point out that "Christians believe X" and they accuse you of holding up a straw man argument because THEY PERSONALLY don't believe X. Nevermind that X is something that many, many Christian communities do believe in (literal reading of the Bible, for example) - in their particular worldview, it's not something they believe. Therefore you're making a "straw man" argument.

I see this most often debating with academics on the Internet. I can repeat an argument that I just heard on my way into work from evangelists out on my college campus public square about why I should believe in God and they're called "straw man" arguments that no "Real Christian" actually believes. It's becoming quite clear to me that there is not such thing as "Real Christianity", only a million different interpretations and misunderstandings all carried along by individual believers who must really wish other believers would just shut up and stop embarrassing them so much with their "obviously wrong" interpretations of what "Real Christianity" actually is.

Anonymous said...

Back in 1883 Edwin Abbott wrote 'Flatland'. He uses it to give an understanding of contiguous geometric worlds, each existing at a higher level of dimensions. Today 'Techie Worlds' is available. Written for people with a mechanistic understanding of our world, it looks at ridiculous Christian teachings, such as Trinity, soul, resurrection and judgment. In so doing, 'Techie Worlds' follows science's lead in examining phenomena in the light of theory. Contiguous dimensional worlds provide a logical, mechanical explanation for those phenomena.
So an intelligent, intellectually honest and open-minded person has excellent reason to hold religious views. In the light of Pascal's wager, people would be foolish to deny the Christian teaching of love or to hold Moslem or pagan beliefs.
'Techie Worlds, Visible & Invisible' is available from It completely reformats all discussions about God and where He is.