an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

Thoughts on the Debates with Sye et al

In the comments here, a chap calling himself ‘imnotandrei’ commented that Sye’s drive by TAG’ing of PZ Myer’s blog, had resulted in him turning up on mine. By means of reply Sye told him to listen to the three discussions that Fundamentally Flawed had hosted with the Circular Canuck. You can hear the three featuring Sye here, here, and here, plus the other episodes that touched on the subject here, here, here, and here. For some reason Sye thinks these recordings are a vivid example of a brutal defeat for atheism.

‘imnotandrei’ replied like this –

Sye, I listened to some of those exchanges. I’d recommend, if you want to convince people of your point, *not* pointing them there. It does not reflect well upon you.

The following is based on my reply….

Sye has a problem understanding that, as the discussions went on, we got better and better at dealing with the presup arguments. During our first encounter neither Jim or I really had a clue what they were talking about, seeing only the circularity of their ‘1. If reason, then god 2. reason, 3. therefore god’ argument. It was only later that the penny dropped that they actually START by accepting that their god is real, and then work from there.

I think the reaction in that first debate was useful though, and telling. Faced with Sye and Eric gibbering out their TAG silliness, Jim and I were pretty much forced into verbalising two big question marks throughout the whole show. Hovind and Ten Bruggencate literally didn’t make any sense, and I think our reactions were fully appropriate.

As we went on, we got better at understanding the ‘argument’, and reached a point where we could identify successfully that the presubullshitter assumes the truth of the Primacy of Existence before they even start building their theist edifice on top. Basically they steal wholesale from the objectivist worldview, erect a church on top of it, then climb the bell tower,  to shout down that they alone can account for reality and knowledge and that the base reality we’re experiencing wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the monument they’ve build on top of it. To put it another way (as we said to David Smart), they start building with the roof, and then smugly declare that very roof the essential foundation for everything beneath it!

By my third debate with Sye, he was reduced to looking like a total fool, admitting that he took on faith the revelation he claims to have had, and struggling when forced to discuss Biblical errors. I believe Sye is a clear example of the Dunning Kruger effect – he fails horribly because he lacks cognitive ability, but that lack of cognitive ability causes him to think he’s won, and declare himself victor when all can see how disastrously he’s fucked things up.

In a moment he’ll be along to comment that he HAS won, and, in so doing, will prove my point perfectly.

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Debates with Sye et al

  1. Alex,I really enjoyed when you wrote: "To put it another way (as we said to David Smart), they start building with the roof, and then smugly declare that very roof the essential foundation for everything beneath it!"Some time ago over on Dawson's blog I had written to a comment to a believer: "With every word you utter that posits a supernatural being, you are actually attempting an epistemological leapfrog backwards, with reality providing you with no place to land. To the extent you claim to have a spot to land, it is merely a product of your imagination."Ydemoc

  2. An excellent analogy.

  3. "Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."- Scott D. WeitzenhofferI would say exactly the same about debating presuppers on just about any topic.

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