Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Another dishonest tactic of creationists

One quite dishonest tactic that many creationists (and other type of religious apologists) use is to take an opinion held by a small minority of atheists/skeptics/scientists, and generalize it and claim that all of them hold said opinion.

For example, many creationists say that the vast majority of scientists are naturalists (the philosophical view that everything can be explained by natural and physical causes) and that naturalists refuse to even consider any alternatives. In other words, because the majority of scientists are naturalists, they must reject even the possibility of supernatural phenomena, out of prejudiced principle.

There probably are some scientists who hold such a strong opinion, ie. that they must reject any supernatural explanations without any consideration or rationale, purely out of principle. However, these are a minority. For the majority of scientists and skeptics naturalism is not a driving principle, but simply a consequence of what they know. In other words, the creationists reverse the cause-and-effect: It's not naturalism that "forces" the scientists to automatically reject non-natural explanations. Rather, they are naturalists because of what they know about the world. And they do not reject supernatural explanations out of stubborness and without even wanting to hear any arguments.

Another example is that some apologists claim that in the modern world "truth" is by far no longer appreciated, and there's a prevalent view that "truth" is subjective and dependent on the person. What's true for one person may not be for another, and it depends on the world view.

This is also a minority view, expanded by apologists to allegedly be a majority one. This may be so mainly for some new-age hippies, but the vast majority of people, especially those with any kind of scientific education, do not hold any such view. The truths about this universe are what they are, and it's not up to anybody's opinion.

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