Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A dialogue from Opposite Land

In Opposite Land, scientists are dangerously unstable, superstitious nutballs who throw logic to the wind to concoct their bizarre theories, and the religious believers are level-headed, rational, scholars who carefully sift through the evidence in the search for truth. To get an idea about what debate is like in Opposite Land, examine this dialogue (written by Vox Day) in which Vox Day slaps "Athiest Science Supporter" around with his own logic.

If the intent of the dialogue is to convince people to abandon atheism for some for of theism, the argument is not particularly convincing. For example, we have the following exchange:
ASS: No, there is [scientific evidence], but it's not what was generated by the application of the scientific method. Data was what was generated. The labelling of that data as "evidence" afterwards is subjective.

VOX: You're saying that scientific evidence is subjective, then?

ASS: Er... yeah.
Here Vox has his creatively written, atheist stooge fall into the trap that was left out in plain sight for him. After a little irrelevent verbal fencing for show, Vox springs the trap and lets his atheist character dissolve into a fury of ad hominem attacks:
VOX: I have no doubt it [the scientific method] produces data very effectively. The relevant question regards the validity of the subjective interpretations required to transform the data into evidence. But regardless, when you talk about "scientific 'evidence'", you actually mean "the subjective interpretation of data", right?

ASS: "The subjective interpretation of data produced by the scientific method", actually.

VOX: All right. So when one says "there is no scientific evidence for the existence of God", one is actually saying "there is no subjective interpretation of data produced by the scientific method for the existence of God." And this is quite clearly false, as there are tens of thousands of examples to the contrary floating around the Internet. Therefore, by your own definition, there is not only evidence for the existence of God, there is also scientific evidence for the existence of God.
There we have it! Scientific data is entirely subjective evidence, so of course you cannot actually prove anything with science; don't even bother trying to prove that God does not exist with science! On the other hand, in Opposite Land, every fragment of stone tablet or scrap of papyrus from millenia ago is objectively evidence for the existence of God:
VOX: The Bible is documentary evidence, just as Arrian's manuscript written on the basis of non-existent texts is documentary evidence for the existence of Alexander the Great and Commentarii de Bello Civili is documentary evidence for the existence of Julius Caesar. Rainbows and the Jewish people are real evidence of God's existence, as, theoretically, is the Cohen gene. "The Passion of the Christ" is demonstrative evidence, as would be a three-dimensional chart explicating the improbabilities posed by the Anthropic Principle.
In conventional reality, the situation is the exact opposite from what Vox Day describes. It is the scientific data which is objectively evidence for or against (or, possibly, not bearing upon) hypotheses. It is mostly Vox Day's fellow Christians who are using the subjective interpretations of data as evidence to prop up their theories (and I'm sure it pisses Vox off to no end when they do this in his comments).

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