Pat Condell

If you’re ever in the mood for anti-religious humor, largely consisting of 6-minute antireligious rants, check out Pat Condell. The introduction says, “Hi, I’m Pat Condell. I don’t respect your beliefs and I don’t care if you’re offended. Cheers.”

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Interesting…

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06394155516712665665 CyberKitten

    Not a big fan of religion then…. [rotflmao]

    I bet people will *still* pray for him though!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16241851773339800938 Charlie

    One big nonargument. Useless.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Charlie:

    I only watched a little of the video, but enough to see that he did make at least one argument, from the demographics of religious belief. That’s at least one argument more than you’ve made (in your comment or on your blog, for that matter).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16241851773339800938 Charlie

    Hey Jim, come back when you’re prepared to quote word-for-word the alleged “argument” he made, rather than just asserting that he made one.

    (I trust you are familiar with (at least) elementary sentential and predicate logic so that you can distinguish b/t arguments and nonarguments.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    From 1:27 to 1:52, he says:

    “you’d be far better employed reflecting on the fact that your deeply-held beliefs are really nothing more than an accident of birth. The parents that you happened to be born to and the stuff they happened to believe in is now doubtless what you believe in. Had you been born elsewhere, you’d believe other stuff, and this stuff you’d consider heretical and false. Yet in both cases, yours would be the only true religion. How are you not embarrassed?”

    This is not phrased as a deductively valid argument, but it is certainly an argument with premises that provide evidence for a conclusion.

    You can find the argument spelled out in more detail and with more sophistication in Raymond Bradley’s “The Rivalry Between Religions.”

    BTW, are you familiar with Donald Davidson’s principle of charity or H.P. Grice’s maxims? I find that following them tends to make discussions more productive.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16241851773339800938 Charlie

    Jim,

    “you’d be far better employed reflecting on the fact that your deeply-held beliefs are really nothing more than an accident of birth. The parents that you happened to be born to and the stuff they happened to believe in is now doubtless what you believe in. Had you been born elsewhere, you’d believe other stuff, and this stuff you’d consider heretical and false. Yet in both cases, yours would be the only true religion. How are you not embarrassed?”

    This is not phrased as a deductively valid argument, but it is certainly an argument with premises that provide evidence for a conclusion.

    That is not an argument (not even implicitly). It is a series of assertions without support.

    You failed.

    [snipped red herring]

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Charlie:

    Condell could have expressed his argument more explicitly and without eliding premises, but it’s not difficult to reconstruct it as something like this:

    1. Your parents were born in the USA.
    2. It’s likely that, if your parents were born in the USA, that they believe in Christianity.
    3. It’s likely that, if your parents believe in Christianity, you also believe in Christianity.
    4. It’s possible that your parents could have been born in Saudi Arabia.
    5. It’s likely that, if your parents were born in Saudi Arabia, that they believe in Islam.
    6. It’s likely that, if your parents believe in Islam, that you believe in Islam.
    7. If you believe in Christianity, you believe that it is the one true religion and that Islam is false.
    8. If you believe in Islam, you believe that Islam is the one true religion and that Islam is false.
    9. It’s not the case that Christianity is true and Islam is true.
    10. Therefore, it’s possible that you could incorrectly believe that your religion is true. (Based on an accident of birth.)

    This argument can be extended to yield a conclusion in which it is *likely* that you incorrectly believe that your religion is true, rather than merely possible, with the appropriate statistical syllogisms or by following Bradley’s argument form.

    If you really couldn’t recognize this argument, then that’s indicative of your failure, rather than mine.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12219441698166265008 Charlie

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12219441698166265008 Charlie

    Jim,

    First, you asserted that Condell made an argument in his video. You were then asked to quote where Condell made any argument. You failed to do so. Twice. The attempt now to produce your own separate argument and say that Condell “could have” made it is a red herring and does not excuse your failure.

    Second, the new argument of yours contains nonsensical premises (e.g. “If you believe in Islam, you believe that Islam is the one true religion and that Islam is false”) and, of course, it is patently invalid (there are no inference rules that would get you to (10), even if the premises were true).

    Amusingly, even if your ‘argument’ were valid, nearly all intellectually serious religious theists already believe that (10) is true. Your argument is paltry if it’s meant as any sort of challenge to religion.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Charlie:

    It appears to me that you may have taken a basic symbolic logic course, but it also appears to me that you didn’t cover inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning, non-monotonic logic, modal logic, or even get a good grounding in translation from ordinary language to formal logic. You keep harping on validity and deductive inference rules, when I’ve said from the very first time I offered the quotation that this is not a deductively valid argument, but it’s still an argument.

    Feel free to come back and re-evaluate this discussion when you have some understanding of those things.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16241851773339800938 Charlie

    Jim,

    We’re still waiting for you to defend your assertion that Condell made a single argument in his video. Quote his alleged “argument” in your next post or concede the point and stop wasting our time already. Readers are noticing how you continue to dodge the task and how you continue with the hand waiving from one reply to the next.

    Your own last minute “argument” above — which you deceitfully tried to attribute to Condell to save face — is patently invalid, since there is no inference rule by which you can derive (10) from the antecedent premises. The argument especially wouldn’t make sense if you intended it to be inductive, since the conclusion bears little or no probabilistic relation to the premises. In order for it to be a good inductive argument, you would need additional (controversial) premises stating that such geographical factors increase the probability of one’s religious beliefs being incorrect. As it stands, your conclusion comes out of left field.

    The amusing thing, though, is that most serious theists would grant the conclusion anyway. Do you realize what you’ve done here? In trying to challenge religion, you’ve offered an incredibly clumsy and nonsensical argument whose conclusion ends up being something many (perhaps most) religious believers would actually have no problem with, namely, that it’s possible that some of their beliefs are wrong. Well no shit, Sherlock!

    Also, I realize you’re desperate here, but resorting to baseless assumptions about me will only make you look worse in front of the readers. For your information, I have as of last semester taken four courses in logic (and philosophical logic), one of which dealt extensively with nonstandard and multi-valued logics, and one of which was a grad seminar on modal logics (I presented on epistemic logic). I covered abductive reasoning (and IBE) extensively in my phil science course, under a well-respected, premiere philosopher of science. (Not to speak of all the independent work I’ve done.) But congrats for those assumptions of yours.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Charlie:

    My only point here has been that Condell’s video contained at least one argument, contrary to your initial dismissive statement. I suggest you print out this thread, give it to your well-respected, premiere philosopher of science, and post that individual’s assessment of the commentary here.

    No geographic probability factors are necessary for the argument I presented–the mere single alternative possibility and the fact that the falsity of at least one religion of Christianity or Islam is sufficient, allowing the derivation of the conclusion.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16241851773339800938 Charlie

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16241851773339800938 Charlie

    Readers,

    As you can see, Jim Lippard has for the third time failed to quote the alleged “argument” made in the youtube video. He tries to backpedal and says, “my only point here has been that Condell’s video contained at least one argument.”

    Yes, Jim, we already know that’s your point. But you failed to support your point when you were asked to quote the “argument”. There’s a big difference between asserting your opinions and actually arguing for them.

    For the record, my prof would not have the time to wade through your sloppy and illogical comments, Jim, especially with torturous paragraphs like this:

    No geographic probability factors are necessary for the argument I presented–the mere single alternative possibility and the fact that the falsity of at least one religion of Christianity or Islam is sufficient, allowing the derivation of the conclusion.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16826768452963498005 Jim Lippard

    Any reader can see that I quoted the argument in the very first comment I posted after I was asked, but Charlie has continued to demand what has already been produced. I offered a more detailed elaboration of the argument twice, citing Ray Bradley’s paper and offering an elaboration of my own. Charlie continued to complain that the argument was not deductively valid, even after I have said repeatedly that it was an evidential argument rather than a deductive one.

    Charlie has engaged in namecalling, accused me of being “deceitful,” and generally behaved in an uncharitable, boorish, and insulting manner. Further conversation on the subject doesn’t appear to be likely to be productive.

    Charlie: Good luck in your studies.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16241851773339800938 Charlie

    The rational reader is free to go back to beginning of this thread and judge whether this:

    you’d be far better employed reflecting on the fact that your deeply-held beliefs are really nothing more than an accident of birth. The parents that you happened to be born to and the stuff they happened to believe in is now doubtless what you believe in. Had you been born elsewhere, you’d believe other stuff, and this stuff you’d consider heretical and false. Yet in both cases, yours would be the only true religion

    is a logical argument. The rational reader is also free to go back and judge whether the argument Jim Lippard produced in premise-conclusion format can honestly be attributed to Condell.

    Jim Lippard has filled his comments with hand-waiving, red herrings, backpedaling, dogmatic assertions, baseless assumptions about me, intellectual carelessness, and ostensible deceit. He has generally engaged in clumsy thinking from one reply to the next. He also cannot write clearly or sensibly (e.g. “If you believe in Islam, you believe that Islam is the one true religion and that Islam is false.”; “the mere single alternative possibility and the fact that the falsity of at least one religion of Christianity or Islam is sufficient,”)

    Thanks for the good wishes, Jim


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