Edward Feser and Vincent Torley

I have been following Vincent’s spat with Edward Feser (A Catholic philosopher with some reactionary views – his blog) over whether Feser’s own “cosmological argument” has the merit Feser seems to think. Here’s Vincent’s latest post on the matter.

Not being able to post at Uncommon Descent, I thought I might catch up with Vincent at Feser’s blog but I seem to have worn out my welcome. In case anyone decides to pop in from Feser’s blog, I thought I’d offer this thread for discussion. And please regard it as an open thread. Nothing will be considered off-topic. Usual rules apply!

Should Everything Be Cured?

The debate regarding homosexuality reminds me of a larger issue. What do we mean by normality, and do we want everyone to be normal?

For example, some forms of deafness are inherited, and some deaf parents do not want their children “cured”. I do not know how homosexual parents feel about this. (There are gay parents. Some adopt children, and some marry and have children by conventional means.)

Not everyone who deviates from majority traits considers their variation to be a handicap. I come from a family where left-handedness is common. It causes some problems, the most notable of which is with using scissors. I wonder if parents would go for some simple and inexpensive intervention that would guarantee right-handedness. I also have color-blindness in the family, including a nephew who is totally color-blind. There are some benefits to these traits.

I thought it would be fun to make a list of such differences and toss around opinions about whether they are actually detrimental and whether people would readily adopt medical technology that normalized children.

It’s obviously controversial, but I hope we can play nice.

Overt Homophobic Piggery, or Genuinely Clueless Idiocy?

From our favorite Right Wing Authoritarian, Barry Arrington:

6. A man’s body is designed to be complimentary with a woman’s body and vice versa. All of the confusion about whether same-sex relations are licit would be swept away in an instant if everyone acknowledged this obvious truth.

Is it possible to forgive a man in our modern world for saying such bigoted things?  Isn’t Barry just as bad as his white christian forebearers who said that it was obvious that Africans were better off in slavery in America, in the protection of their careful owners? Obvious truth?  Hmm, not like christians have a good record with the concept of truth …   

Of course it IS NOT OBVIOUS that gendered bodies are “designed” to be “complimentary”.  Jayzuz, Barry, talk about assuming your conclusion before you begin your argument.

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Eric Harris Übermensch

Barry Arrington (the current owner of the blog, Uncommon Descent – the former “playground” of William Dembski, advocate of “Intelligent Design”) is a lawyer who seems to regard his finest hour when he acted for some victims families in the wake of the Columbine massacre.

Regular readers of Uncommon Descent (come on, admit it – it’s not just me) may have noted Barry’s singular style of posting “gotcha” questions and using the answers and his ability to control what appears on his blog to bolster his claim of “crickets”. (No complaint from me – ID is a lost cause as a philosophical view so whatever Barry does cannot make any difference in the real world – whether he allows discussion or limits it, the hollowness of ID shines through). The latest post, Eric Harris Was Just Paying Attention, seems to blend Barry’s contribution to Columbine with his predilection for the gotcha. Continue reading

Quine, Alston and Hall On What There Is

As we have been discussing ontology as it refers to hidden variables and multiple worlds, I thought there might be some interest in this excerpt from my Hall book, The Roots of Representationism.  It focuses on a shift in Quine’s position subsequent to “On What There Is,” but I think it touches on some of the broader questions of ontology and how one ought to investigate it as well. Continue reading

ID / UD and the War on Materialism

http://ncse.com/files/pub/creationism/The_Wedge_Strategy.pdf

Governing Goals

To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/about-2/

Uncommon Descent holds that…
Materialistic ideology has subverted the study of biological and cosmological origins so that the actual content of these sciences has become corrupted. The problem, therefore, is not merely that science is being used illegitimately to promote a materialistic worldview, but that this worldview is actively undermining scientific inquiry, leading to incorrect and unsupported conclusions about biological and cosmological origins. At the same time, intelligent design (ID) offers a promising scientific alternative to materialistic theories of biological and cosmological evolution — an alternative that is finding increasing theoretical and empirical support. Hence, ID needs to be vigorously developed as a scientific, intellectual, and cultural project.

At its (theistic) core, ID and creationism is angry with materialism / philosophical naturalism. Denyse, as “News”, is quick to assault any mainstream science she can find through her powers of misunderstanding. KF advocates (but can’t defend or explain) immaterial process that enable minds and contemplation. And yet, like our own WJM, they are all functional materialists.

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Corrupt Catholic SCOTUS officially makes women second-class citizens

The Hobby Lobby case.

It’s finally happened.  The conservative Catholic gang have found a case where they could drop their pretense of legal objectivity in favor of (male) bosses’ supposed “religious rights” to interfere with female employees’ personal healthcare.

Note that there is no pretense whatsoever that this decision is fair and equal with respect to its effect on both men and women.  On the contrary, the 5-judge majority make it clear that only women are allowed to be victims of their employers’ religious prejudice under this decision.  The Court wrote that it intends this decision to apply only to forms of contraception specifically for females (which would have been covered by the employees’ insurance under the ACA) and NOT to apply to any other employer “religious” objections such as those against transfusions or vaccines, which might affect both male and female equally.  Hobby Lobby’s paid health insurance will still cover vasectomies. And erectile-disfunction prescriptions.

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The tight grip of the teleological mindset

In a new post at UD, Denyse O’Leary quotes an article from The Scientist (which she misattributes to Science):

Populations of Escherichia coli grown in the lab quickly evolve tolerance when exposed to repeated treatments with the antibiotic ampicillin, according to a study published today (June 25) in Nature. Specifically, the bacteria evolved to stay in a dormant “lag” phase for just longer than three-, five-, or eight-hour-long treatment courses, before waking up and growing overnight until the next round of treatment began.

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