Tag Archives: debate

Belief Equality Dichotomy

I have noticed a common response to criticism, of  belief systems of a  religious, philosophical or ideological origin,  is to assert  that the beliefs is equal to or just as valued as any other type  and is therefore protected from scrutiny.

Protection: 

Advocating protection of the belief systems will ensure a more peaceful and non intrusive society to live in. Beliefs themselves do not harm people, harm is the responsibility of the individual carrying it out. Extreme beliefs are just that, extreme and cannot be used to criticize similar or connected views. Attacking beliefs causes offence. Tolerance is only achieved though respecting ones beliefs. Intolerance of beliefs equals intolerance of said person. A persons beliefs are personal and therefore cannot be criticized without harm to the person. Challenging ones beliefs usually entrenches them deeper  into it.

Criticism:

It is possible to examine ones beliefs without attacking the person. Beliefs influence a persons bias and actions when interacting with others. A persons beliefs can be objectively judged as harmful. Respect is reserved for a people but not always their beliefs.  Dogmatic following of  beliefs, without evidence stunts personal growth. Challenging a person or group beliefs may cause others in society to examine their own.  Having a personal belief does not protect one from being criticized for partaking in a negative action.

Opinion:

I personally am a strong proponent of challenging religious, philosophical and ideological beliefs (including my own). If a belief is to be deemed valid, it is only fair to examine that belief as objectively as possible. Accepting a majority or tolerating an aggressive belief out of respect, is intellectually dishonest and only protects people with a unchallenged agenda that is enabled by our passivity. (an extreme example) Through critical thinking and debate, we have an open market for society to choose our values.  Instead of unchallenged and  uncritical acceptance of beliefs that, if were adopted, might take that right away or deem it unquestionable.


Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate Dichotomies

The showdown between Bill Nye and Ken Ham over the validity of Creationism in schools occurred last week in a southern U.S. location not far from a dinosaur with a saddle(yes, that actually exist).  I encourage everyone to watch it on YouTube to hear their specific arguments. Their dichotomies were fairly straight forward Nye presented a Discovery/Authority dichotomy to Hams Authority/Ignorance view.  Notice Authority is on the negative spectrum for Nye and the opposite for Ham, displaying how the same concept can have differing values.
Discovery/Authority:
Nye described a great many positive attributes to scientific discovery that is directly stifled by the authoritarian view of Creationism.  Once an answer is found in science,  no matter who discovered it, that view can be modified, built upon and even disregarded upon new repeatable evidence. The top down authoritarian view, places borders around discovery, confining it to a small insular view that will retard our progress and stagnate our nation.
Authority/Ignorance:
Ham views the height of virtue and truth is Authority (his is the Christian god and scripture). Without that base of assumed truth,  discovery has value but only for issues and information that has not been eternally fixed by his authoritarian. This simplifies his view of the world and shrinks his perceived ignorance with this assumption. When Nye admits ignorance on a question, Ham is quick to quote or equivocate his unfalsifiable authoritarian. To Ham,  ignorance is not acceptable when convenient truths are fixed and unchanging.
Conclusion :
The absence of predictive value and evidence forces me to disregard the authoritarian view, by creationist,   that is required to follow their logic.  I believe creationist are being logical in their view but it involves to many assumptions to be an objective view, especially promoted in our school systems. Science had once been in a similar state of authoritarianism, to other scientist in the past,  and had to overcome that failing to become a (mostly)  objective discipline.  Unfortunately Creationism is bordered by dogma where it will perpetually stagnate.


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