Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.
O Beautiful for patriot dream
that sees beyond the years.
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears.
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
We went over the first six chapters of Dawkins’ Blind Watchmaker tonight; most of us, irrespective of our views on the evolution/design question, came to the conclusion he presented very little in the way of real arguments. The entire book reads more like a rhetorical exercise than any cogent justification of the assertions that are very freely made.
we might not be able expect much in the way of interesting arguments from Dawkins
This is not a post to critique the different forms of Atheism. I want to address specifically PZ Myers’s definition of Atheism.
As I was puzzling over how to answer such an odd question, I realized why I thought it was odd. The scientist and atheist positions are the same. It doesn’t matter which hat I’m wearing, the answers won’t change.
The emphasis is his. Most likely Myers is not even aware that he is resurrecting a form of logical positivism. Logical positivism was originally forwarded by men such as Moritz Schlick and A. J. Ayer to eliminate metaphysics. Logical positivism is the idea that anything outside of sense perception is not real and therefore meaningless. If an idea or thing can not be subjected to empirical testing and verification then it is meaningless. Does this sound familiar? Essentially logical positivism is making a truth claim through tautology.
PZ Myers on Godless Science
I do think that the processes of science are antithetical to the processes of religion — personal revelation and dogma are not accepted forms of evidence in the sciences … The whole philosophy of critical thinking and demanding reproducible evidence arms its proponents with a wicked sharp knife that is all too easily applied to religious beliefs
Posted by: David Harmon
Do you think that science sometimes erodes those non-rational, non-objective human relationships that are, I suppose from your description, also not part of the scientific worldview?
Posted by: PZ Myers
No, not usually, because they generally do not contradict science, and are instead apart from it. Similarly, people can adopt some ethical philosophy like Buddhism or Taoism, or that Deism that was popular in the early days of the Enlightenment, fairly easily — that kind of stuff coexists independently of science.
The problem lies in beliefs that demand you accept the existence of invisible immortal superbeings that nonetheless manage to impregnant young women, for instance. That should make a mind used to thinking scientifically sputter and choke and seize up…so you have to really maintain a dichotomous way of thinking.
PZ Myers continues to show his ignorance and his inability to form a coherent and consistent thought process. In the same breath that he criticizes the beliefs in miracles and “immortal superbeings”, he accepts Buddhism, Taoism and Deism as not contradictory to science?
How much more ignorant of religion and science can you get? I would like to see Myers reconcile the conflict between the reincarnation of Buddhism, or the casting of spells and incantations of Taoism with the scientific methods. Even Deism accepts that there is a super being or intelligence inherent in nature that was or is involve at some point in the creation or workings of the universe. Is Myers now acquiescing Intelligent Design?
The problem with atheists is they are incapable of reconciling the reality of the intangibility of existence with their dogmatic worship of materialistic naturalism. This kind of self-contradicting logic from Myers is enough to cause any scientific mind to convulse in epileptic seizure.