The following comment amongst others was left on my article Letter to Robert O. Adair. I don’t feel it is necessary to refute them all as they all seem to follow the same general malaise.
“Van Noir, I repeat, you cannot refute the Cosmological argument nor can you make a case for the ontological significance of logic. Dismissal and denial are logical fallacies. You should also study the Ad Hominem fallacy. Pointing out that you don't know what you are talking about is not an ad hominem attack. Neither is pointing out that you lack the intellectual tools necessary for your task.”
Robert just because you say that I cannot refute the Cosmological Argument does not make it so. The Cosmological argument has been refuted (not absolutely disproven) by many different philosophers. There are several variations of the argument but none of them are irrefutable (Reichenbach, 2008). Now if by irrefutable you mean I cannot absolutely disprove what you are saying then by all means I agree with you. But in the same regard it does not matter which version of the cosmological argument you present, you cannot prove it to be true. If the only truth you have is the fact that someone cannot absolutely disprove what you are saying than you are arguing from ignorance.
I am going to assume that you have been out of school for awhile and you have forgotten the definition of some of the fallacies of logic. The Ad Hominem fallacy is an attack on the person rather than his or her point. You have continuously attacked my points through this fallacy by bringing into the argument the non-relevant point of me being an atheist. Here is the definition of Ad Hominem and an example for your information.
“An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of "argument" has the following form:
- Person A makes claim X.
- Person B makes an attack on person A.
- Therefore A's claim is false.
The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made) (Nizkor Project, 2009).”
Here is an example:
Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."
Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest."
Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?"
Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said, you're a priest, so you have to say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I can't believe what you say (Nizkor Project, 2009)."
Van Noir: I believe that the Cosmological argument is wrong.
Adair: Of course you would say that, you’re an atheist.
Van Noir: What about the arguments I gave to support my position?
Adair: Those don’t count. Like I said, you’re an atheist, so you must be wrong.
Further, you are not capable of arguing against the Cosmological argument because you are not skilled in philosophy.
You have continuously stated that I do not know what I am talking about but yet have offered nothing to refute any of my claims. But isn’t this the trick with people like you Robert? You attack everything that doesn’t jibe with your zealot claims. You have continuously redefined words in order to suit your ends and then insinuated that anyone who does not think the same as you is uneducated or as you say “…lack the intellectual tools necessary for your task.”
The truth is that you have no real argument. I have searched your articles and I cannot find a single article in which you espouse a coherent argument for any of your beliefs much less the cosmological argument. Furthermore, you make a reference here and there to certain philosophers yet cite nothing as proof for your accusations. Make no bones about it that is all that you make; accusations. You have yet to write a real discourse anywhere on AC expressing your view of why people should believe in God or your proof for God.
But again this is all part of the con. You are a Sophist, specious reasoner. You use your vocabulary to distinguish yourself as a scholar but in truth you are just manipulating those who do not know any better. You sound ‘wise’ to the uneducated, faith-filled, and to the gullible, but you don’t fool me or other educated people with your brand of knowledge. You are just running a con.
Now all you have to do to prove me wrong is write down your irrefutable argument for God or the cosmological argument. But you are not going to do that, are you Robert? You are not going to do that because you can’t. You don’t have an irrefutable argument about anything. It is easier to spend your time blaming the atheists, or accusing people of being ill equipped intellectually for philosophic debate; than actually constructing an argument and having to debate it. But the worst part and the part that burns me up is that you hand out your pseudo intellectual ideas in the form of comments on your site taking advantage of those individuals who are fooled by your façade. Good luck with that argument I will be waiting for it.
Nizkor Project, . (2009). Fallacy: ad hominem . Retrieved from http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html
Reichenbach, B. (2008, September 11). Cosmological argument. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/