Showing posts with label "Flannagan". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "Flannagan". Show all posts

Dr. Matthew Flannagan Opposes Known Facts Requiring the OTF

Ladies and gentlemen, I humbly submit to you more in the case study of Dr. Matt Flannagan's view of the The Outsider Test for Faith. Here's an example of what cognitive biases do to someone's brain when rejecting the requirement for sufficient objective evidence. He's digging his heels in deeper and deeper into the muddy waters of his faith bias. [See Tag for earlier entries].

This exchange took place on Facebook. I had posted pictures of the Christian apologetics books I own and Flannagan commented.

Flannagan: I am pretty confident that during my education: through secular public school, a public university known for leftist leanings and activism and a secular philosophy department. I studied, read and listened to more atheists and secularists than the average atheist has to Christians. I certainly have read more atheists philosophers than any atheists I know has read Christians.

I had to pounce!

Loftus: You had me up until the bold claim of your last sentence. I think you may know of one such atheist. Even if what you claim is true, it only shows that cognitive biases run wild within your brain. I know this from your review of the outsider test for faith.

The goal of the OTF is to help indoctrinated people to require sufficient objective evidence for their own faith, just as they require it for the faiths they reject. You failed to properly object to the OTF because your brain wouldn't allow you to understand it. LINK.

Christian Apologists Reject Truth By Rejecting Both Relativism (the problem) and Objective Evidence (the solution)

Christian apologists must denigrate science to believe. That is a fact. It should warn everyone to avoid it, or any other religious faith. Not long ago David Marshall objected to my quoting this from a CSI episode: "People lie. The only thing we can count on is the evidence." Why would he do that unless he's denigrating science? apologist Mark Mittelberg also has a dim view of science.

On Facebook I made the comment: "Every claim about the nature of nature, or how it works--or worked--needs sufficient objective evidence commensurate with the type of claim being made."

Christian apologist Matthew Flannagan responded: "That claim of course leads to an infinite regress, so it's hard to understand why you take it seriously."

I replied: "Matthew Flannagan my first thought is if you are right then all claims lead to an infinite regress. For if sufficient objective evidence isn't the foundation of knowledge nothing else works. So if all claims lead to an infinite regress Pragmatism is the view that sufficient objective evidence works to get at the truth better than any other foundation."

I had a debate/discussion with apologist Travis Dickinson where he made the claim that relativism is self-refuting. I responded that relativists think in exclusively terms of the probabilities, so what they say cannot be self-refuting. Dickenson should just remember how he starts his philosophy classes. Instructors dislodge the idea of certainty out of their students by asking them to justify why they aren't dreaming, or in a Matrix, or brains in a vat. Any college student knows certainty is an impossible goal, so whether they state it or not these former students, who go on to become philosophers and intellectuals in the universities, are always talking in terms of probabilities. So relativism cannot be self-refuting. They are saying it's highly likely objective truth is beyond our means of knowing it, or knowing it completely, or knowing it unless there is objective evidence for it. Their statements cannot be self-refuting since they're not universalized statements. In a world where our brains haven't evolved to seek after objective truth, but rather to survive, Pragmatism (which acknowledges this about the human brain) is the only way forward. Pragmatism embraces objective evidence as a way to get at the truth precisely because our brains skewer the data in favor of preferred comfortable tribal social beliefs.

Five Questions Matthew Flannagan Hasn't Answered

Flannagan said: "As to the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF) you'll see I have pointed out that argument is incoherent." Really? For a refresher on the OTF see this and the links to follow. Over three years ago I asked Flannagan to respond to five questions. So far he hasn't done so. Here they are again:

Quote of the Day, by Andreas Schueler on Matthew Flannagan

People might think I was hard on Christian philosopher and apologist Matthew Flannagan when he argued against the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF). But Andreas quoted from him and then summed it up by saying: "Calling this 'stupid' is an insult to stupid people." Here's the comment by Andreas. He first quoted from Flannagan, who said:
The reason you [me, John Loftus] gave for being sceptical about religious beliefs was the religious diversity that exists across cultures and time. People brought up within a Muslim society tend to be Muslim. If they were brought up in a different time and place they would not be. The same features apply to science, if you had been brought up in the 14 century you would not believe in evolution or relativity. If you were brought up in NZ maori culture in the 1700’s you would not accept scientific methodology at all. So by the OTF you should be sceptical of science, yet you claim its childish to be so.

Andreas: "Calling this "stupid" is an insult to stupid people. I think this response would be appropriate:"

Then Andreas offers another quote from Flannagan, saying it "...might be even dumber than the last one:"
Finally, note you [me, John Loftus] reintroduce the problem at a new level. Because you state “Science has produced the goods in an overwhelming number of areas” two problems with this. First, how do you know its produced the goods, presumably by a scientific survey of the past results of science. So your using science to vindicate science. Great, then one can argue the bible is the word of God because the bible says so.
Andreas again: "If he would have just said this in a debate, it would already be incredibly stupid. But using a computer and the internet to communicate this message is just stupidity of truly epic proportions..." Link.

Anyone who needs this explained to them is ignorant. There are some people who simply cannot be helped. They are impervious to reason. Flannagan is one of them. Since believers like him cannot be helped I highlight what he must say in order to defend his faith. I do this in order to show more reasonable believers how their top-notch apologists reason with non-believers. Hint: It is stupider than stupid. This has ALL the markings of a brainwashed person who needs an intervention. Now you might think Flannagan is an aberration, but I assure you their name is Legion.

Only Paul Copan and Matthew Flannagan Can Set the Record Straight

[Written by John W. Loftus] I get comments and emails from skeptics who think Christian apologists do not really believe what they defend. They think the case is so bad that apologists must be lying for ulterior motives, that they are liars for Jesus. Here is a case in point for two apologists, Paul Copan, President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and Matthew Flannagan. I'm not accusing these two apologists of lying for Jesus. But it sure makes it appear that way when they won't or can't answer some simple questions both Hector Avalos and I have posed to them.

More Hand Waving From Matthew Flannagan on the OTF

[Written by John W. Loftus] Dr. (they hand out PhD's to anyone these days) Matthew Flannagan said: "As to the OTF you'll see I have pointed out that argument is incoherent." Really? No, Really? That's a very large claim of his, akin to the claim to have refuted it. I don't think in these debates of ours I would ever claim to have refuted an argument. Remember, the larger the claim is then the harder it is to defend. Does he know this? A refutation of an argument is a very difficult thing to produce. My response:

Dr. Flannagan Denigrates Science, Why Am I Not Surprised?

[Written by John W. Loftus] This is getting ridiculous and predictable. So let me get this straight, okay? In order to believe, Flannagan must denigrate science. Get it.? What utter rubbish. This alone should cause believers to question why they believe what they do based on their upbringing in a Christian culture. Science is the only antidote to how easily we can believe and defend what we were taught on our Mama's knees.

Dr. Flannagan Just Does Not Get it, The OTF Again and Again and Again...

[Written by John W. Loftus] Christian philosopher Matthew Flannagan wrote a review of The Christian Delusion for Philosophia Christi, the journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. He offers nothing but canards against the OTF. Was he not paying attention?

The Delusionary Thinking of Both Matt Flannagan and Paul Copan

[Written by John W. Loftus] According to Thom Stark, both Matt Flannagan and Paul Copan have backed themselves into a corner in order to defend their faith. "According to the Bible, Yahweh killed children, and ordered others to kill children. There's no way to get around that fact," but watch them try. As I have said before, defending the Christian faith makes smart people look stupid. Check it out.

Madeleine Flannagan is Happy to be Treated as Women Were in the Bible!

[Written by John W. Loftus] Here's exhibit "A" of the backward thinking of some Christians. This is incredibly ignorant:
"So yes, happy to be treated the same way women were in the Bible."

How much more ignorant can someone be? Although, her husband probably likes it! ;-)