Monday, 6 February 2012

Evidence for Life, the Universe, and Everything… Required

This is the script I used for my video, Evidence for Life, the Universe, and Everything… Required (, a response to the DawahFilms video 'Evidence For God: Not Necessary' (

I broke the paragraphs up to make it easier to read for the recording and haven’t put it back to the way it was written. Sorry about that.

The time-stamps are for the points in Dawah Films’ video - the time stamp denotes where the section that I’m responding to ends.

Transmission commences:

Hi Ali, and anybody else who cares to watch. This is my first go at doing a critique - I hope you don’t mind, Ali, but I’ve used clips from your original video for clarity’s sake.

Ideally I’d like this to open up a respectful discourse between you (Ali) and myself, but I suppose I shall have to accept that there may be trolls on both sides.

I shouldn’t really have to say this, but, for clarity’s sake, for anyone watching, I will.

Everything I say that follows is my opinion. From my point of view what I say runs the gamut from that which is purely opinion because it can only be opinion, albeit carefully considered, through to that which I hold to be self-evident truth, due to the available evidence.

I respectfully ask that you consider what I have to say with the due care that I used to come up with it, and reject it if you find it unworthy of you. Further, I would ask that if you think it unworthy of me, that you let me know (along with your reasoning, obviously), so I can do the same.

Anyway, on with the critique…

DawahFilms - 1:00

That’s fine, don’t. But also don’t call into question anyone else’s beliefs (or lack thereof) ever.

If you have good reasons and sufficient justifications then give them, otherwise it’s a baseless assertion – and even ‘because it feels right’ is a better answer.

I would anticipate that your reasons and justifications for belief don’t stand up to evidence or reason because that’s not where it comes from.

I’d go so far as to say that ‘because it feels right’ is a pretty good description of where it comes from, wouldn’t you say?

There is an increasing amount of evidence showing exactly which psychological phenomena combine to give one godly feelings and experiences of the divine.

DawahFilms - 1:03


DawahFilms - 1:28

There is actually a difference between evidence and empiricism, and science doesn’t solely rely on the latter to provide the former…

Sometimes science draws inferences from what can be apprehended.

Sometimes science draws inferences from a lack of something that should be there, given the known interplay between those things that are available to the senses:
Ultra-violet light & infra-red light, subsonic & hypersonic and even audible (but not visible) sound waves, black holes, dark matter… it’s a long list.

And on a side-note… 5 senses?
What about thermo-reception? Proprioception? Equilibrioception?

But I digress…
To answer your question, no, evidence isn’t only found in science. How about law? Forensic accounting? History? ...and just the day-to-day information and deductions that we use to get by. Sometimes we call it knowledge.

(Storm: Looseweave)

In fact we can only genuinely call something knowledge if it comes to us with evidence. Without evidence it’s faith.

DawahFilms - 1:36

I agree, many atheists do and, to an extent, so do I.

I get that the God you postulate is non-material and supernatural and so defies all direct testing (which, you’ll admit, is mighty convenient for the burden of proof), and if something can only be experienced then it’s harder to test (in fact you’d have it so that it’s completely unfalsifiable)…

Unfortunately for this standpoint all Abrahamic religions have claimed God’s hand in our physical world, so there should be inferential evidence of she/he/its existence.

Another alternative would be monitoring the brain-activity of believers. A study in 2009 (link below) showed that believers’ brains on fMRI light up almost exactly the same way when asked about their opinion and God’s opinion.
This was on everything from abortion to the death penalty to Iraq to marijuana legalisation.

Different areas lit up when asked about the opinion of the average fellow American or George Bush (it was 2009… and does that imply that George was a below average American? I think, yes).

Now, before you say:
‘of course people will believe that they believe the same as God’
– it was further found that reasoning about God’s beliefs activated areas associated with self-referential thinking, more so than did reasoning about another entity’s beliefs.

To quote Epley, the study’s author (with a couple of additions for clarity):
This research suggests that, unlike an actual [moral] compass, inferences about God’s beliefs may [instead] point people further in whatever direction they are already facing.

DawahFilms - 1:39

Problem? There are numerous claims of God having physically interacted with the world, so why wouldn’t there be evidence?

The problem I see is that you’re either:
a) denying elements of your own faith’s ideas about God’s physical interaction with the world in order to get out of having to allow that there really is no evidence, or;
b) you’re implying that she/he/it deceptively wiped down the fingerprints and swept away the footprints.

DawahFilms - 1:44

Tablets of stone? Physical. The parting of the Red Sea? Physical. The raising of Enoch into Heaven? Physical. It’s another long list.

Oh, and I don’t know whether you identify with this story, Ali… but the earthquake and blacking out of the sun at the time of Jesus’ resurrection? Physical… And cosmological… And historically absent despite the number of people affected (and that includes the ruthlessly efficient administrators and record-keepers in the Roman Empire).

DawahFilms - 1:55

Yes, we believe it’s not possible, which is consistent with our position. How is that a word game, exactly?

DawahFilms - 2:02

Acting open-minded?
You’re aware of the yardstick for belief –evidence - if you can’t meet that requirement why have the discussion?

Is it because YOU’RE ACTING open-minded?

(Tim: The denial of evidence so that faith can be preserved)

(clip from Openmindedness?)

If you provide evidence for your belief then, by rights, we would have to test the evidence and, if found to be irrefutable, accept the evidence. That said, just as all science is open to being refined or rejected by subsequent tests and evidence, so your evidence would be subjected to the same rigour.

It’s not actually our fault that you lack evidence (empirical or otherwise) for your belief. If that lack of evidence saddens you then you know what you have to do…

DawahFilms - 2:12

As previously stated, indirect material evidence should abound given God’s purported heavy-handed influence in times past.

DawahFilms - 2:20

The amputees thing is given as an example because limbs do not grow back, whereas cancers do go into remission, and cataracts do reduce, and so on. It’s a nice, simple, eminently achievable act for a deity… you’d think.

Why does God only act as Health Insurance for otherwise the able-bodied?

DawahFilms - 2:32

I’m sorry, but asserting what you believe atheists would say is not an argument. Sure, many atheists would be extremely resistant to it, just as you are resistant to our assertions about your contentions.

Which just goes to show how all-embracingly human that behaviour is.

If, however, it did occur and had a proper case history so that any possibility of fakery was excluded, then it would be pretty incontrovertible.

Well, that is until stem-cell research gets more traction, then your golden hope will be gone because man will be able to heal amputees and your God won’t.
Bear in mind, also, that we’re now turning skin-cells into brain-cells without even needing stem-cells, so God’s time is limited.
(Link for that one down below, too)

It’s interesting to note that Jesus healed the lame and lepers and all manner of other maladies that can be faked for the credulous or simply misdiagnosed by the layperson – but he never tackled amputees.

Why is that do you s’pose?

DawahFilms - 2:42

Naturalism of the gaps? Cute. Ridiculous, but cute.

Yes, the great thing about science is that it accepts the gaps and tries to find answers, as opposed to being afraid of the gaps and inserting an all-purpose filler, aka God/Allah.

Saying ‘I don’t know’ is not an admission of failure, saying ‘GodDidIt’ is.

Pro-actively looking for gaps in our knowledge to supply naturalistic answers is entirely different from reacting to gaps and plugging them…

You’ve merely confirmed an existent normative, natural bias rather than increasing the sum of your knowledge.

DawahFilms - 2:55

It’s your life, Ali, shouldn’t it be based on something a bit more substantial than Aesop’s fables and a funny feeling in your head? You probably put more mental effort into deciding who cuts your hair and which video camera and editing software you use.

You put a lot of effort into justifying the decision already made rather than making the decision based on all available information, it seems.

DawahFilms - 3:06

Again with an unfounded assertion, but this time about the foundations of atheists’ unbelief…
There’s no doubt that some atheists don’t have a strong epistemology, but that’s hardly the preserve of atheism, now, is it?

Did you happen see the last Pew Report?
It showed that atheists, in the US at least, have a better understanding of religion than the religious do (admittedly Muslims weren’t polled, being such a small minority in the US).
Epistemologically Atheists tend to be more knowledgeable about the available options, not less.

In the words of Albert Einstein: "When you understand why you don't believe in other people's gods, you will understand why I don't believe in yours."

Given that most, if not all, holy texts are internally inconsistent, logically incoherent, and fail to demonstrate the slightest evidence of the oft-claimed foreknowledge, Atheism is by far the most sensible default-state because few ideas based on incorrect information have real world value.

Even if it’s only YOUR god that I don’t believe in I can justify that stance with exactly the same book you base your belief on, in much the same way that you don’t believe in every other god-hypothesis out there. Not living by a book that is incongruent, even if you live by no other written rules whatsoever, is more sensible.

You’ll notice that many atheists will assert an underpinning of secular humanism or sceptical, metaphysical naturalism or similar. In other words a lot of thought has gone into the adoption of the atheistic position, and that atheism is consistent with their worldview (not the other way around).

Given that 40+% of US Catholics are unaware of the miracle of transubstantiation (a key tenet of their faith), and that most Muslims maintain the faith they were born into, it’s fair to suggest that those of faith cannot claim the level of rigour that most atheists can.

DawahFilms - 3:10

I’m pretty sure that only theists would be screwed – that is until some evidence comes forth.

DawahFilms - 3:20

Seriously? Evidence is a concept, much like logic and maths. YOU claim that God exists beyond the conceptual level and has a direct affect on this world.
You create the demand for evidence by the terms of your claim.

Evidence is necessitated by logic, and both logic and evidence show their value by allowing us to describe and predict the world in a way that works. Here’s an example of how logic works with regard to evidence:
I go to street vendor (A) for food. Later that night I’m sick.
I go to street vendor (B) for food. Later that night I’m not sick.
I go back to street vendor (A) for food. Later that night I’m sick, again.
The evidence suggests that I shouldn’t go to takeaway place (A) for food.

Every time I derive a useful rule for my continued existence based on evidence it is also evidence that using evidence works, evidently.

And, before you say it: it’s not a closed system, it allows new information in, so it’s not circular reasoning, even though it is a cyclical process.

As with science, nothing is ever proven, but confidence in any other method asymptotically approaches zero with each cycle.

It is a framework, which, amongst other things, gave rise to philosophy. You know… the very thing you’re studying.
Where would philosophy be without logically derived axioms? Axioms themselves are based, at some point in their past, or the past of their contributory axioms, on evidence.

DawahFilms - 3:26

You know what, Ali, I gave that a look, and honestly, it’s beneath you to have it up, and beneath me to answer it. But I’ll be happy to critique it if you think I’m just posturing, here.

DawahFilms - 3:42

Right, now we get to the nub of your argument.

It’s our normative, natural predisposition to believe that heavier objects fall faster than light objects. As you know Galileo proved this wrong.

Presumably our normative, natural predisposition come from primitive man being more inclined to get out of the way more quickly for larger objects - a survival mechanism.

It’s our normative, natural predisposition to follow authority figures, even when it means doing something unethical or immoral.
And the more witnesses to a rape/murder in progress the less chance that anyone will step in to stop the rape/murder from happening (known as the bystander effect or diffusion of responsibility).

It’s the normative, natural predisposition to be rubbish at estimating any number of things, often to our detriment. Agenticity, pareidolia, apophenia, ratios, and our own emotions in the future, for example.

It’s the normative, natural predisposition to adhere to in-groups and to punish out-groups on the flimsiest of pretexts (ahem).

No, transcending your normative, natural predispositions is what life is about. We should be striving to not be a slave to a re-purposed hunter/gatherer brain and nervous system.

DawahFilms - 3:45

Condescending much?

DawahFilms - 3:53

Wait, so now scientific inquiry is useful? The evidence-based approach to gathering information and deriving logical conclusions from that which is observed? Now it’s OK? Cherry-picking at its finest.

DawahFilms - 3:59

Not “hard-wired” no, that would get us into a debate about free will vs. determinism… some other time, maybe. We are pre-disposed, certainly.

DawahFilms - 4:13

Whilst trying to find the basis (or rather the mechanism) of agency in things may have started the ball rolling for science – I’ll grant that – scientific inquiry is in some ways the denial of our hard-wiring.

Science requires that someone else observe the same thing I’m observing so that my own personal biases (normative, natural predispositions) don’t get in the way. The scientific method is very nearly the exact opposite of what we would otherwise do.

Or, to put it another way, as I have, recently:

…as a species, working together, each compensating for the other, we find the ultimate expression of humanity: science… using our collective strength to overcome our individual failings…

DawahFilms - 5:05

Which just goes to show that you’re not prone to ’realism’ at all, you’re prone to perceptionism as part of your apperception (which is interesting, because that’s a form of empiricism).

You’re not ‘forced’ to believe anything – you can choose to stick with what seems like the easy answer, or you could ask some questions of the universe, with a bit of help from a few unbiased or counter-biased friends, and see what you can discover. To quote your own profile page:

"The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim."

DawahFilms - 5:09

The previously mentioned scientific method is a paradigm shift.

You can change your programming or psyche if you choose to, or you can let your normative, natural predisposition run (or is that ruin?) your life.

It is exactly this attitude which kept us in the Dark Ages for so long.

Getting real answers to real questions is a much better vector for knowledge than putting your hands up and saying, sorry, I’m just an ape with an ego, a monkey in shoes, I can’t transcend my lowly existence.

DawahFilms - 5:16

Yes, this is what we get, individually. Another tool that we get in our toolbox is socialising with other humans – we are in fact predisposed to seek out company. And not just for sex!

If you haven’t experienced the joy of being challenged intellectually by someone you admire then your life is the poorer for it.

DawahFilms - 5:59

Hang on! You’re doing philosophy – isn’t the study of the nature of reality kind of your thing?

Unfortunately for your argument there is not necessarily a functional difference between the homeless guy whose mind is addled and your belief that only what your mind is predisposed to interpret is true. You are assuming causal correlation between his apparently intoxicated state and his belief about the nature of reality.

What if he is predisposed to believe that, and it is only through alcohol or drugs that he can, A) live with this concept and/or, B) summon the Dutch-courage to try and explain it to other people?
Some would call that proselytising.

How do you know that he’s not clinging to chemical intoxicants for his relative sanity in much the same way you’re clinging to conceptual intoxicants for yours?

DawahFilms - 6:19

How do you know that what the homeless guy was expressing to you wasn’t what he perceived ‘uninhibited’.

Do you have the slightest clue about the idea of Qualia and the fact that what we perceive about the world around us is, essentially, unique and personal?
It just happens that through language we’ve managed to find an equilibrium of sorts, a democratisation, a commonality of understanding as to the nature of a jointly perceived reality…

But the nature of reality, as we individually perceive it, will always be personal. Anyway, weren’t you questioning what evidence is and why we should even use it a few minutes ago? Now evidence has truth-value?

DawahFilms - 6:26

What? You mean, like the supernatural? I agree.

DawahFilms - 6:57

You have no reason to question something until you have reason to question it? Brilliant!
And it’s that thinking that gets in the way of the scientific inquiry that you were so happy to invoke back at 3:53 (in your original video).

The “reason to question” something would be contradicting… say it with me… EVIDENCE.
What you’ve effectively said is that evidence is necessary, except when it comes to god.

Bear in mind that what you were talking about was enquiry into the nature of the human mind. By your logic, what possible reason would we have to question the nature of the human mind in its normal state?

I’ll tell you. Because if we don’t benchmark what ‘normal’ is (and that’s an average across the population) we can’t know what ‘abnormal’ is.

As individuals we can’t tell what constitutes abnormal in our own mind if our personal change from normal to abnormal is gradual.

The descent into madness affects your apperception such that the delusions become normal and you can’t know what is normal as most others see it.

One man’s normal is another man’s madness.

DawahFilms - 7:07

No, we’re far more interested in finding out how what’s really there really works, how it may be used elsewhere, and how it got to be really there in the first place.
It’s part of our normative, natural predisposition, as you said yourself at 4:12 (in your original video) - looking for agency.
Trying to prove that it’s really there in the first place is philosophy – which is what you’re studying.

DawahFilms - 7:21

Ooh, cognitive dissonance! Do you know how cognitive dissonance works?

DawahFilms - 7:43

So the answer’s ‘no, you don’t know how cognitive dissonance works.’ All we can ‘KNOW’ IS the natural. You said that it is our predisposition to ‘BELIEVE’ in the supernatural – believe, not know.

So you have a belief in the supernatural, but all you can sense is the natural world. Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that you need to modify what you believe or how you interpret what you see so that the two are congruent and no longer in conflict…

Do you know how you most likely do that?

By attributing even more to God and the supernatural than you are already predisposed to do, imbuing clearly natural things with supernatural agency.

So your default state becomes self-referential and your very own personal cognitive bias… as such you have indeed moved beyond the normative, natural predisposition that you have. Sorry.

I would respectfully suggest that you have done so in the wrong direction.

DawahFilms - 7:54

Normative does not imply rational as has been repeatedly pointed out.

What is normative was evolved on the plains and deserts and hills and woodlands over the last 150 thousand years or so.

Much of what was evolved there has become excess baggage over the last 150 years…

For example, we crave the sugars and fats that drove us to pick fruit and kill animals for food, but now it just makes many of our species obese.

It is normative to seek out others like us, to extend our in-group, to homogenise those directly around us so we can hedgemonise everyone else.
We do this so that we can either reinforce each other in our shared beliefs or correct each other’s incorrect beliefs.
It is then the basis of that belief that becomes the issue.

Written communication, be it millennia old, or milliseconds old, is the newest addition to our normative toolbox. We are predisposed to ascribe too much agency and authority to writing:

“it’s written down so it must be true!”

Your predisposition is to believe in the centuries-old tradition (because it’s also normative to believe that things were better in the past, which is demonstrably untrue) – mine is to follow where the evidence leads to the future.

DawahFilms - 8:02

Dumb? Ooh, snappy rhetoric!

To again quote your profile:
"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance." Einstein

The baby thing was only ever brought up to illustrate the point that the default starting position is lack of belief.

Now I know you want to say that we’re hard wired to believe, and so on.

But until a child’s cognitive abilities are significantly more developed it’s not possible for a child to believe in a god, in and of and for itself, as you’ve effectively said.
It’ll need to have well-developed language faculties before it can be told the “good news”, let alone accept it.

DawahFilms - 8:14

Do you think that all atheists are English or something? To be clear, I do live in England, but I’m from New Zealand.

You’re misapplying the baby analogy, as pointed out previously, and I certainly wouldn’t use it to point out I’m more rational than anyone.

Failing to understand the baby analogy, however…

DawahFilms - 8:16

Yes, really.

DawahFilms - 8:36

Yes, you did, that’s perfectly normal, as is assuming supernatural powers of your parents.

DawahFilms - 8:44

Supplying a name to the natural artefacts of a developmental stage (the thickening of the corpus callosum) such that you have now not functionally progressed from it is indeed unfortunate.

There is a reason why atheists, when in condescension-mode refer to God/Allah as the sky-daddy:
You haven’t progressed to the stage of being a fully autonomous being - you’ve taken the autonomy your parents ceded to you by degrees, and by degrees you’ve passed them on to a proxy.

When you realised that mummy and daddy weren’t all-powerful you applied that characteristic to that which you came to call God or Allah.

DawahFilms - 8:54

You’re not forced to believe anything! You can choose to believe based on the limitations of your experience, or you can choose to take on new experiences with a genuinely open-mind, and let brain plasticity do its thing.
Instead you’re bogged down in the doldrums of primacy - assuming that the first answer, or rather the by-product of normative, natural predisposition, is the best answer.

It may have been the best answer out on the savannah 150,000 years ago when an assegai and fire-making tools were the height of technological sophistication, and language and philosophy were still in their infancy…
But none of those things are the case any more.

The products of human civilisation, as a whole, have evolved more quickly than we have, as individuals.
We have the cognitive ability to recognise this and, because we are social creatures who can catalytically use each other’s minds, we can transcend it.

DawahFilms - 9:05

I agree, it should have – so stop perpetuating it.

DawahFilms - 9:25

So you’re really using the supernatural as a rational starting point? You’ve said yourself that you’re forced to believe it. What is rational about belief that you’re obliged to hold?
Here’s a real world example of why it’s not:

Children born in North Korea, until recently, were obliged to believe that Kim Jong-Il is god (and may be forced to believe the same of Kim Jong-Un).
Given your own journey of supplying the name ‘God’ to the agency you saw all around you there would be no functional difference to a Korean child having given that same agency the name Kim Jong-Il.
With one important difference – TV appearances.
A North Korean child had more reason to believe that Kim Jong Il was real, even if predisposed to imbue him with powers that aren’t.

DawahFilms - 9:45

I don’t think you should necessarily prove everything you’re naturally disposed to believing, but you might want to test your predispositions against reality once in a while (for reasons previously given).

Furthermore, as there is no evidence for God it absolutely falls to you to prove God’s existence, especially if you want us to believe you… or take your belief seriously.
It’s reasonable to assume that you do want us to believe, or you wouldn’t put so much effort into debate on YouTube.

Or are you just a Poe?

DawahFilms - 9:50

No, it’s OK, we’ve got this thing called the scientific method that can help you establish benchmarks and test evidence and stuff. It’s brilliant. You’ll love it!

DawahFilms - 10:01

You do, yes, along with other people.

Just like morality is achieved by consensus, so is reality – although we find that testing the outcomes for truth-value is super-handy.

And before you jump on my use of ‘morality’, I think it’s worth pointing out that our respective moralities will be functionally very similar, certainly on the important stuff, and I didn’t arrive here via any god.

I can justify my morals with evidence and logic, and I use those tools to test them for consistency on a near daily basis.

DawahFilms - 10:10

Not an illusion, no, just open to mis-interpretation, as witness the fact that you’re predisposed to seeing agency when there is none.

DawahFilms - 10:22

The theory of evolution can certainly give the appearance of agency – of course it can, if you misunderstand it – but the purpose is survival of species by adaptation to environmental factors, also known as life, but that doesn’t require any agency above self.

Agency suggests an end product in mind, which, given that humans are still evolving, is not the case for a creature that was made in God’s image.

What agency or purpose is there to rabbits having to pass cecal pellets in order to re-ingest them and have the contents pass through their digestive tract 3 or 4 times in order to get the full nutrient-load?

That’s not a human revulsion at eating one’s defecation: that’s just disdain for the incredible inefficiency of it.

What agency or purpose is there to the left and right oesophogeal branches of the vagus nerve passing below the right subclavian artery or the arch of the aorta, and then back up to the oesophagus?

It’s a stupid design for humans and outright absurd on a giraffe.

Only evolution without agency explains this… because, yes, bad design IS indicative of a lack of a designer, even moreso when you attribute omniscience to that designer.

DawahFilms - 10:34

Most atheists don’t care for philosophical questions?
How do you figure that one?
And how have you managed to poll most of the world’s 750 million atheists?

The very question of the existence of God is a philosophical one, by definition. Furthermore, science used to be called Natural Philosophy.

Then there’s the small matter of Karl Popper, a philosopher, I’m sure you’ve heard of him, who basically invented the scientific method as we now know it.

Yet you keep mocking the predominant atheist leaning towards science, and now you want to venerate philosophy, from whence science came, from which science takes many of its processes, and to which science often looks?

DawahFilms - 10:38

Philosophy isn’t a form of knowledge – it’s a process by which knowledge is gained and theories put forward and tested, often by logical deduction.

Once hypotheses have been gained in this manner it generally gets passed to one of the –ologies, which is to say sciences for testing.

DawahFilms - 10:45

I dunno, you seem surprisingly ignorant of the philosophy that you’re studying, or at least the logical underpinnings thereof at times.

DawahFilms - 10:51

Given your apparent mis-understanding and mischaracterising of evolution I’d be really careful about mockery at this point.

DawahFilms - 10:59

Key point here – there is nothing stopping a scientist using philosophy or even gut instinct to derive a hypothesis, especially if they do so from a significant level of knowledge within the field they are hypothesising on.

But even if they’re completely ignorant of the field to which their philosophical musings pertain, if they test it with the scientific method, they may well confirm their hypothesis and open up new areas of inquiry.

Now, let’s clear something up, are you dissing science or the scientific method?

I’d be prepared to bet that in many of these conversations you’re having the word science is being used as short-hand for ‘the scientific method’, and the scientific method IS the only way to obtain knowledge, because until it’s tested and confirmed, it’s just a belief, sorry, hypothesis.

This method has been thoroughly tested… by philosophy.

DawahFilms - 11:09

Skeptical? No. Misuse of the term.

"The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim," remember?

To be skeptical you wouldn’t already have a position, or you would be testing that position’s validity.

As you’ve amply demonstrated you have no desire to go outside your normative, natural predispositions for any reason whatsoever, including the seeking of knowledge.

You don’t believe that the atheist position has any truth-value as compared to yours, but you don’t seem to be subjecting yours to any scrutiny whatsoever.

Or, to put it another way, I’m skeptical of your claim of skepticism because skepticism is ‘asking for evidence’ not ‘reactive disbelief’.

DawahFilms – 11:12

Again with the condescension? Aaaaanyway…

In summation:

Your entire video, by any reasonable definition, is a cop-out. There were interesting twists and turns in your reasoning, but even that was often sunk by internal logic and fallacy issues.

I tried not to get bogged down in labelling the logical fallacies as I think it can get in the way of the clarity of disputation.

I have instead presented the reasons why it was a logical fallacy and left it at that – with, I think, two exceptions – one of which I will go into further now…

The single biggest problem with your entire video, Ali, was the hypocrisy of both accepting and not accepting the scientific method and evidence as valuable, depending on your need.

This is cherry-picking (a fallacy) and a logic issue (law of non-contradication, a.k.a. you can’t have it both ways).

You seem to be mischaracterising what evidence is when you use it, as witness your misuse of the term skepticism, which is a demand for evidence.

Further, the decision to ignore vast swathes of philosophical discourse on the nature of reality, which does indeed call into question personal experience and issues arising from ‘theory of mind’, is baffling given your field of study.

Ali, and anyone else bored enough to watch this right through, I hope you’ve found it thought-provoking, and I look forward to some spirited debate off the back of it.

…and if we agree to disagree, at least we agree on something.

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