Double Speak

In a recent discussion on a Christian blog, the owner made the following statements in rebuttal to one of his visitors that disputed the basic premise of the post, which was that an individual cannot be an empiricist* and a materialist*.

Materialist explanation fail to explain consciousness for one.  [P]anpsychism*, for instance, is not based on empirical evidence, but on magical interpolation based on materialist thinking. 

And …

This is (a) fundamental problem with a materialist ontology.

Confused? You’re not alone. So I did a little research and came across this video. After watching it, I’m sure the referenced comments will all become as clear as, well, the rose-colored glasses that Christians wear.

(Please do not contact me for further interpretation! )

Empirism: (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience
Materialism: (philosophy) the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality
Panpsychism: (philosophy) the view that consciousness, mind or soul (psyche) is a universal and primordial feature of all things. 

33 thoughts on “Double Speak

    • From where I sit, the fatal flaw in much of the dialogue you have with Mel is the way you ask him questions.
      Not that you aren’t correct – you are – but after all this time we know pretty much how he is going to answer, or not answer, and he wants to answer, oh boy, doesn’t he just!. Therefore to my mind the key is to present the question in a manner that allows for only a single answer – which you already know before posing the question. Not a gotcha, but one that will inevitably force him to think and lead him to the right answer and not one he already has swimming around in his head.

      As soon as you include in your comment any language that allows interpretation he will jump on it, tun it on you, and the thrust of the question is lost.
      Unklee plays this game all the time
      Some twit called Dylan behaved like it on KIA’s blog..

      Just a thought ….
      I still have to look up half the words you write.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. OK. I read that sentence three times. Watched the video. Rebooted my poor little brain. Then I cried on my dog’s shoulder, had a glass of gin, and lit an aromatherapy candle.

    I still don’t get it.
    But the house smells nice.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. My introduction to the term ‘ontology’ occurred in a science classroom with the little phrase, “Ontology recapitulates phylogeny.” I had no clue what that meant, but today’s usage of the term ‘ontology’ rarely captures this idea of the ‘what’ it is we’re talking about.

    Always ready to compare and contrast at the drop of a hat, I also include epistemology to compare and contrast with ontology to differentiate ontology’s ‘what’ from epistemology’s ‘how’ because, as your subjects of this post demonstrate so brilliantly, how we think so often determines what we think, that our epistemology very much determines our ontology. Because people think the way they do, they don’t so much arrive at a conclusion as they do recognize its presence. This is often mistaken for encountering a Fundamental Truth, so to speak, rather than a red flag that our epistemology is biased or prejudiced.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. There has been a general diminishment of the quality of apologetic and apologists or possibly it is just a massive dilution because of the reach of the Internet. Too many people are using words they do not understand because, well, somebody else used those words and they sounded important.

    This person’s argument, if you present it accurately, is incoherent. But, gosh, they used such big, philosophish words, so it must true. Gag. Choke. Puke.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too many people are using words they do not understand because, well, somebody else used those words and they sounded important.

      And as you further indicated, they’re big so they must be true.

      Therein lies the mantra of the Christian apologist/pastor that so many of us are familiar with.


  4. I presuppose — and adamantly assert — that a timeless, unchanging, disembodied consciousness created everything you see by wishing it into existence. And to prove it, here are some quotes and a video from people who assert the same thing. My evidence? Whoa — hold up there! First you have to prove me wrong. And if you can’t, I’m right by default. Neener neener.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Whoops! You slipped up. It wasn’t “wished” in existence … it was a verbal command from the timeless, unchanging, disembodied consciousness … that somehow had vocal chords.

      Sheesh! Get your “facts” in order if you’re going to make such broad sweeping assertions.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re right. That should have read: a disembodied consciousness created everything you see by speaking it into existence. But it still makes a lot more sense than the scientific “theories” that propose everything popped into existence from nothing absent such an eternal creator. I mean, that’s just crazy talk.

        Liked by 1 person

        • But it all makes perfect sense to those who believe in that “disembodied consciousness” that’s magically able to hear, speak, and even transform itself into an actual walking, talking human being.

          Gosh, Ron. You’re such a skeptic.


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