This is one of those mindlessly stupid arguments made by the faith junkies in an attempt to both make their addiction appear rational AND discredit those who, rightly so, label them irrational. It’s the old science didn’t see that coming argument. It goes something like this…

According to science, the ancient Greeks were irrational for believing in atoms because there was no evidence to support the belief, but they were right, weren’t they? There ARE atoms! Science didn’t see that coming. Still say they were irrational?

Short answer, yes. Wonderful stab in the dark that was close to the mark, but to believe such a thing at that time would have been irrational. Why? Because the ends don’t justify the means. Let me give you an example….

Billy just knew in his bones that school would be cancelled the next day, so he didn’t bother doing his homework. Sure enough, when he awoke he heard that the school’s furnace had broken, causing school to be closed. Was Billy’s decision to not do his homework rational? Afterall, he didn’t have school just like he “knew in his bones”. Like the ancient Greeks, Billy was acting irrationally. It’s not the end result, but the means. What if there was school? Then everyone would say he was being irrational, but again, it’s not whether there was school or not, it’s the means by which he formed his belief.

Faith junkies use this argument as a way of saying, “the Greeks were right when everyone said they were wrong, so I could be right, too.” Yeah you could be, but there’s no credible reason to believe you are. Even if you are right, you’re still irrational for believing now. How’s that for a kick in the pants? That’s because, again, it’s not about the ends but the means. Your means are irrational. The girl who correctly guesses how many gumballs are in a jar isn’t necessarily a math whiz, either. Get it? So be it atomism, asteroids, or whatever else that someone believed on faith and later was found (to some degree) right, it doesn’t matter. Faith based beliefs are inherently irrational, and holding them prior to credible supporting evidence is irrational. I don’t know how many other ways I could put it. Spending your lottery winnings before the winning number is drawn is irrational, whether you end up with the winning number or not.

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10 Responses to “The “science didn’t see that coming” argument”

  1. Using logical thinking to come to theories about how the world works when one lacks the ability or technical know how to engage in first hand obervation is not necessarily irrational and is not necessarily the same thing as "Priests say they speak for God. They must be right." :)

  2. [youtube ALk9viSel9A http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALk9viSel9A youtube]

    Let's remember that faith junkies aren't looking at some question and arriving at their beliefs, they're indulging in the belief first and then not testing it, but rationalizing holding the belief. They'll hold anything which supports their belief (or holding the belief, which is not exactly the same thing) as evidence and anything which doesn't is dismissed. That's how it works when you have an addiction, and faith indulgence is highly addictive.

  3. From the Italian doom/black metal band Void of Silence:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Void_of_Silence

    You can pray to God
    You can pray to Allah
    You can pray to whomever

    He will not hear you
    He cannot hear you
    your empty prayer
    You embarass yourself
    Like some infected junkie
    Searching for a fix.

    Your God is a needle
    Your God is a rusted razor

    The filth in this world.

    It's good to see you posting again, by the way!

  4. It's harder to find something that'll make me say anything. The crazy shit hasn't stopped happening, it's just that it's the same crazy, different day. It's like writing about Pascal's Wager for the 100th time. meh

  5. Is the person who you quoted at the top of of this post happen to have a 2 letter name?

  6. I forget what it was that I read, but it immediately reminded me of that jackass. Asteroids and atoms were his two choices for this argument.

    His defense is an elaborate ad hominem and emotional appeal. The ad hominem comes from saying the objector considers themselves to be an ultra-rationalist, which plays to the base's contempt for elitists. Then he implies that said elitist can't admit that science was wrong before, which then paints the elitist as irrational, for only irrational people stubbornly say the wrong answer is still right even when shown that it's wrong. The ad hominem directs away from seeing that it never was wrong, as I explained above for the ends don't justify the means. The more the objector objects and tries to correct his bullshit, the more he just milks the ad hominem and the emotional appeal of how they were right and science wrong which is what any faith indulger wants to hear since it sounds like it justifies their indulgence.

    We may never know whether he really indulges in faith or not, but we can know that his argument and defense of it are pure bullshit.

  7. The original quote is wrong for yet another reason…Greek hypotheses about atoms were very "rational" if one defines rational as based on reasoned consideration of a problem. That was certainly the case in Ancient Greek Natural Philosophy, no?

    He also misuses the word "believe"…the Greek atomic theory was a hypothesis to explain, ina rational way, what they thought the nature of the world was. Not "science" per se, but not raw belief either.

  8. I think this is a good point. A hypothesis doesn't have to be believed. In fact, hypotheses may be exactly what you don't want to believe, so the very idea of citing hypotheses like atoms isn't a proper analogy to believing something to be true, especially believing on faith.

    This is further evidence, imo, that a prime motivator for the faith indulger is to continue to indulge. No one is stopping them in this country but themselves, motivated by a need for respect and social acceptance. In other words, if indulging falls out of public favor, even becoming a shameful thing, then many would feel pressured to stop (or go in the closet). Look at how kids stop believing in Santa.

    Using the argument that it was wrong to scoff at the Greeks is really about how it's wrong to scoff at them. The 2-letter jackass in particular can't take being scoffed at.

  9. I don't expect you to agree with what you clearly misunderstand.

  10. I don't expect you to demonstrate a proper understanding of anything, including a grasp of reality which would include knowledge of your own shortcomings, as you're a textbook example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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