Cellar Door Skeptics 165: Be Intellectually Humble Through Intelligent Speculation

Well if you have not heard the news, #45 is not shutting down the government, but issuing a national emergency to get his ridiculous wall built. This week on the show we had to address the wall, some of the criticisms or lies that he is supporting to try and fund the wall, and how there could be an emerging law suit all because he has to brag about his supposed accomplishments.

The interview part of the show is with a PHD candidate of Physics and creator of Intellegent Speculation Platform. We discuss with him what he purposes as the laws of critical thinking, how he became a freethinker, and his journey to agnosticism. Given the climate we live in, this is an important subject we hope everyone engages in to try with the upcoming elections.

The show closes talking about our charity of the week and our Quick Saves.

Subscribe: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CellarDoorSkeptics
RSS Feed: https://www.spreaker.com/user/8326690/episodes/feed
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cellar-door-skeptics/id1044088575?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Website: http://cellardoorskeptics.com
Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/cellar-door-skeptics
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/cellardoorskeptics
PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/CellarDoorSkeptics
Intro Music: http://aloststateofmind.com/

Links
——–
Segment: Declaring a National Emergency Over Nothing
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/02/trumps-declaration-national-emergency-full-text/582928/
https://youtu.be/iEtXjuSJcLg
https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/11/03/us/immigrants-crime-numbers
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/430215-trump-says-he-didnt-need-to-declare-emergency-but-wanted-faster
https://www.cato.org/publications/immigration-research-policy-brief/their-numbers-demographics-countries-origin
https://www.cato.org/blog/immigration-crime-what-research-says
https://lawandcrime.com/lawsuit/lawsuit-against-trumps-national-emergency-immediately-throws-his-own-words-back-in-his-face/
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/california-ag-least-13-states-suing-over-trump-s-national-n972796
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/could-congress-block-trumps-emergency-declaration/
https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/21519-3/
Segment: Interview with Jonathan Maloney
https://www.intelligentspeculation.com/
https://www.intelligentspeculation.com/podcast
Charity of the Week: Black History Months Charity Navigator
https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=4710
QuickSave segment
Tanner: African American Inventors
https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/brown-marie-van-brittan-1922-1999/
Hanna: A Hitch Slap for ol’ Seanny
https://youtu.be/We7DyKWw61I?t=70

Fundamentally Fundamental about the Fundamentals of Fundies: Facepalms of Biblical Proportions

Despite loose usage of the term and the tossing about of its diminutive form, “fundamentalist” is not a pejorative: the word was invented by conservative Christians for purposes of self-identification and bears an exact meaning that has only secondarily to do with attitude. I’m well acquainted with the history of this word because it is my interesting fortune to have been raised in one of the small, fractious, separatist, backwater Christian sects that coined it around the turn of the 20th century.

 

By the time I was born at mid-century, Missionary Baptist churches all over the U.S. South proudly touted their fundamentalist bona fides on the signs that identified them: “Independent – Bible-believing – Fundamental.” While dismissing the historic creeds as the inventions of fallen man, such churches showed not the least hesitation in publishing “statements of faith” (as though “creed” meant something different) sometimes disguised as “church covenants,” and those published statements always included an article such as “We believe the Bible to be the divinely-inspired and wholly inerrant Word of God.” Fundamentalists of the other monotheistic religions hold a similar attitude regarding their various “holy books.” Belief in the divine origin of a “sacred scripture” is essential to fundamentalists of all sects, because it’s the primary premise – often unspoken – in all of their arguments.

 

What I wish I could say to fundamentalists of all stripes (and wish they could hear me when I say it) is that their foundational premise is false. The Bible is most certainly not the Word of God: it has no more to do with the (alleged) creator of the universe than the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon or the Left Behind series.
Continue reading “Fundamentally Fundamental about the Fundamentals of Fundies: Facepalms of Biblical Proportions”

The Power of Ockham’s Razor

Ockham’s Razor is a simple concept. Essentially, it says that when two explanations have equal amount of explaining power, it is best to take the simpler explanation over the more complex one. I have discussed it in passing within previous articles, but I really believe that this concept deserves a post of its own. This is because Ockham’s Razor is an extremely valuable concept in debating theists, who like to rationalize away the problems with their belief system, and really tip a debate with two seemingly viable explanations for an event in favor of the atheist. When used properly, this logical tool literally cuts through the bull that I often see Christian apologists and other theists try to peddle.

 

I recently had a conversation with someone over the problem of evil, and why bad things happen in our world. My explanation is simple: Bad things happen because God is not in control of the universe. There is no evidence this being exists, and the state of the universe seems incompatible with this being’s core characteristics. An omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent being cannot exist because such a deity could have made the universe without evil; it would know that this universe would lead to evil, and an omnibenevolent being would seek to minimize evil. Since evil exists, this model of God cannot exist.

Continue reading “The Power of Ockham’s Razor”