The Argument from Ignorance and related thoughts.

Yesterday, in order to preserve my sanity as much as anything, I was forced to “unfriend” a person on FaceBook whom I largely like and mostly agree with politically.  Barn has one huge problem however; he absolutely refuses to accept any concept that derives from science, constantly falling back on the argument from ignorance and god of the gaps pleas, along with ad hominem attacks, whenever an idea causes him discomfort.
I suspect he prefers modern medicine to the chanting of witch doctors or exorcists driving out demons, but then again I could be wrong about that.  I do know that such basic scientific ideas as evolution and climate change send him into convulsions of vituperous ignorance, unwilling (unable) to present either evidence or logic to support his world view preferences.
The argument from ignorance simply says “I do not understand how that could have occurred naturally, so god must have done it”.  End of argument.
God of the gaps is similar, except it references what science does not yet know.  “You cannot explain how or why this happens or that occurs, so god did it.”
We have all been victims of ad hominem attacks.  “John old boy, science is a fraud and when you accept what it says you are showing how dumb you are.”
So, after a year of unsuccessfully trying to engage in an honest and logical discussion, I finally cut it off.  Life is too short.
All of which is prelude to what now follows:
If you cannot cite evidence for your position, do some research.  Barn simply would not do that.  If however you insist on relying on argument from ignorance or god of the gaps illogic, then please do us both a favor and “unfriend” me now.  I am no longer interested in wasting my time with those who choose to wallow in that combination of ignorance and arrogance that demarcates true believers.  Be gone.
Perhaps just as importantly however, I have come to realize that many Liberals/Progressives use debating points similar to the argument from ignorance to support their positions on a variety of topics.  See if you recognize this:  “If government doesn’t step up and help people (choose one) who are losing their homes, have lost their jobs, are uneducated, can’t afford college, don’t have healthcare (you get the point) no one else will.  It is the civilized (humanist, communal, caring, etc.) thing to do and you are greedy (selfish, uncaring, fascist, etc.) if you object.”
They reject much of the American experience, the Free Market, charity, and personal responsibility with the same alacrity that Barn dismisses evolution and climate change.  Largely Atheists, agnostics, or humanists, they extoll their skepticism about the God of Abraham, all the while worshipping prostrate before the almighty god of big government.
They have not, as they imagine, abandoned the thought of, or need for, a god, they have merely substituted one god for another.  Far from having gained independence, they have only shifted the object of their dependence to one just as arbitrary and controlling as the original.  They suffer in essence from a very unhealthy codependence with government.  I challenge them to rethink that codependency and discover real freedom at last.

1 Comment

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One response to “The Argument from Ignorance and related thoughts.

  1. I have often said that it amazes me how many otherwise rational atheists still believe in the god of The State, and how many otherwise rational anarchists still believe in god.

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