This is a really good point that Brian Thomas is making here. I find the No True Scotsman debate fallacy similar to the Straw Man debate fallacy only the No True Scotsman fallacy is much more subtle.
The Straw Man tactic is to incorrectly characterize or provide a misconception of your opponents position, setting up the straw man, and then proceed to knock down that straw man or attack that false conception. For more precise definition click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man . I am not saying that Bill Nye used this tactic but I think he, more subtly, used the No True Scotsman fallacy as Brian Thomas points out. Both tactic fallacies shows in a real honest debate that the arguer, the one feeling the need to use such tactics actually feels deeply threatened by his opponents point of view.
Nye vs. Ham Debate: No True Scotsman by Brian Thomas, M.S.
A surprisingly large number of people—some three million—watched live online February 4 as debaters discussed the topic “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” Ken Ham took the affirmative position while “Science Guy” Bill Nye took the negative. During the debate, Nye’s use of a certain fallacy was soon evident, and viewers should beware of this tactic because of the subtle way it can skew perception.
Each time Nye contrasted “Ken Ham’s creation model” of a young world with “us in the scientific community,” he committed the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle wrote in Discerning Truth that this fallacy is committed “when an arguer defines a term in a biased way to protect his argument from rebuttals.”1
The informal fallacy’s name comes from an imaginary conversation in which a Scotsman claims that no Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge. A bystander replies that he, too, is from Scotland but does put sugar on his porridge. The first Scotsman rejoins, “Well, notrue Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
What did he do? He essentially redefined the word Scotsman to insulate his argument against virtually any example that refutes it.
The fact that Ham presented specific examples of fully credentialed scientists who adopted the Bible’s creation account of history had no effect on Nye, who continued to insist that scientists are evolutionists—by definition. The “Science Guy” insulated his assertion from scrutiny by defining “scientific” to suit his needs.
The common general definition of science includes observing, measuring, and interpreting natural processes. But Nye’s definition of true science seems to involve observing, measuring, and interpreting natural processes only according to evolutionary tenets.
Nye was wrong to assume that no real scientist could ever hold the creation model, since scores of real scientists have and do. This is amply demonstrated in books like In Six Days: Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation and The Genesis Files, containing 22 interviews with Ph.D. scientists who ascribe to Ham’s creation model and tell their stories.2,3 And of course, early creation scientists forged the paths of each of today’s major scientific branches of inquiry, like Isaac Newton’s physics,4 Matthew Maury’s oceanography, Louis Pasteur’s immunology,5 Michael Faraday’s electromagnetism,6 and George Carver’s agriculture.7,8 Are we to believe that Newton and Pasteur were not real scientists?
Apparently, facts like these do not matter to someone who is so fully committed to the false idea that real scientists only believe in evolution that he is more than willing to adjust the very definition of scientist to preserve his argument.
The fictional Scotsman who actually does put sugar on his porridge was willing to present and perhaps even demonstrate his case. In the same way, a minority of true scientists are willing and prepared to make their cases for biblical and scientific creation. Why would anyone even feel the need to protect their anti-creation definition of scientist with a “no true Scotsman” fallacy unless the evidence for recent creation that believing scientists are prepared to present constitutes a real threat?
SPOILER ALERT, I thought I would get that out first lest you hate me for revealing too much, but I don’t think I really give a way enough to spoil anything. This is not necessarily a review of this movie but this post is more or less about the thoughts that I had during and after watching this movie.
First of all I was not planning to go and watch any movie at all but at my eldest son’s insistence, and my wife’s insistence that our 15-year-old and his Daddy have a little one-on-one Daddy-time, we decided to spend part of our Martin Luther King Jr day off from work and school watching this thriller. Turns out I really did enjoy the film, we both did, another reboot and re-imagining origin story about the characters that Tom Clancy first created years ago. Plus I really enjoy all of the actors in their past roles and now in this movie too.
Briefly, the premise of the movie is that it is about an ultra-secret plot within the Russian Government to undermine and destroy the US economy to create a devastating and worse second Great Depression. This is the world of this spy-thriller fiction, but, compare that with the fact that in reality there is an ultra-secret plot within the American Government to undermine and destroy the US economy, namely in the real-life person of evil, socialist, multi-billionaire, George Soros and his backing, especially financial backing, of the current President and the current radicalized Democrat party. The only reason it is ultra-secret in real life is because the main-stream media is merely an extension of the current radicalized Democrat party.
The actions of the current leaders shows that there is a plot to destroy the American economy. Due to the current actions of our current leaders we have the slowest job creation since the Great Depression, a number of failed stimulus packages, the highest sustained energy prices ever, the over regulating of business, the never-ending over spending, the failed Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, and a failing economy overall. Simply look at the fact that this current administration has acquired more debt than all previous presidents COMBINED. During the upcoming state of union address President Obama will not surprisingly do very little more other than continue to propose more spending and more economy-killing tax hikes.
Kenneth Branagh’s character, financial mogul, Viktor Cherevin, reminded of real-life, financial mogul, George Soros.
More on George Soros:
Shoot, my social media clout is so great that I probably just spoiled any of the Oscar award hopes that this movie ever had.
Bear with me but I wanted to update this post and include a horrifying excerpt from Soros: Republic Enemy #1: http://web.archive.org/web/20101027070859/http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/14700
Remember this is Obama’s and the Democrats’ most fervent backer, including financial backer, and is embraced, albeit somewhat secretly, by the current US political leaders:
“The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.”—George Soros…György Schwartz, better known to the world as George Soros, was born August 12, 1930 in Hungary…The Schwartz’s, who were non-practicing Jews, changed the family name to Soros, in order to facilitate assimilation into the gentile population, as the Nazis spread into Hungary during the 1930s. Soros is an Esperanto word meaning “to soar.”
In 1944 Hitler’s henchman Adolf Eichmann arrived in Hungary, to oversee the murder of that country’s Jews. The Soros children were all given fake identity papers, and were shipped out to various Christian families. George Soros ended up with a man whose job was confiscating property from the Jewish population. Soros went with him on his rounds.
Soros has repeatedly called 1944 “the best year of his life.”
In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Joshua Muravchik notes that, “70% of Mr. Soros’s fellow Jews in Hungary, nearly a half-million human beings, were annihilated in that year. They were dying and disappearing all around him, and their numbers no doubt included many whom he knew personally. Yet he gives no sign that this put any damper on his elation, either at the time or indeed in retrospect.”
During an interview with “Sixty Minute’s” Steve Kroft, Soros was asked about his “best year:”
KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who
swore that you were his adopted godson.
SOROS: Yes. Yes.
KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.
SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.
KROFT: I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the
psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?
SOROS: Not, not at all. Not at all.
KROFT: No feeling of guilt?
Of course he didn’t feel guilty. Soros has the moral depth of a clam. Nonetheless, he has said, “my goal is to become the conscience of the world.”
This is really poignant interview that occurred decades ago but today we seem to be losing the wisdom here of Milton Friedman or of the founding fathers for that matter… Originally posted on TheBlaze.com on Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 1:19 PM CST
On radio this morning, Glenn played a portion of a 1979 interview between Phil Donahue and Milton Friedman, in which Friedman offered a very well-articulated argument in favor of minimizing the role of government in a free market system as a means of creating political and social freedom. It is Friedman’s eloquent delivery of what could be considered a complex theme that Glenn was most concerned with.
“[We have to be] more than alert and knowledgeable,” Glenn said. “We have to be able to explain to our fellow citizens what raises our eyebrows, what makes us even more alert, and what we have found in our knowledge… Milton Friedman did a great segment on the Donohue show years ago on greed. Listen to what he said.”
Watch Friedman and Donahue debate the power of greed:
“That is a beat-down of everything that’s being said right now,” Glenn said. “[But] nobody is articulating it that way. He asks the question: Where in the world does greed not rule?”
What makes Friedman’s delivery so unique is his ability to discuss harsh realities, while holding fast to his principles. Considering the lack of honesty in our world today, Glenn questioned why Friedman is often characterized as a villain.
“Nobody is talking about real world stuff. Nobody is saying the truths that need to be spoken. He spoke truth,” Glenn concluded. “It was clear. It wasn’t about politics. It was about basic principles. Milton Friedman should be the most popular guy on every campus because this guy is talking truth…”
Tim Wildmon – http://www.afa.net
Thursday, December 05, 2013 – See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/tim-wildmon/2013/12/05/to-those-who-say-there-is-no-war-on-christmas#sthash.Eefk3Brh.dpuf
Christmas is the most notable day on the calendar where the general American public is reminded of the life of Jesus Christ. That is why some want to do away with it.
Someone sent me an article from USA Today, which has this headline: “Not all Christians believe there is a ‘War on Christmas.’” The article quotes Christian leaders and authors saying they disagree with those of us who believe there is a war on Christmas. I could give a litany of examples of exactly how the war on Christmas has manifested itself the last decade or so. From nativity scenes no longer being allowed on the courthouse square, to schools changing Christmas break to “winter” break, from Christmas parades being changed to “winter” parades, to children being told they can no longer sing carols during their “winter” program, etc., etc. There is an intentional effort by some secularists to purge the word ‘Christmas’ from our culture. Whether it will be successful or not remains to be seen. But it’s discouraging to see some fellow Christians say – “Who cares?”
The very word itself – “Christmas” – is a reminder that this particular holiday is the celebration of Jesus Christ. Those who promote political correctness and extreme multiculturalism resent this because it is exclusionary in their view. Some Christians are willing to go along with that line of thinking. For example, USA Today quoted Dan Scott, senior pastor of Christ Church in Nashville, who said this: “We really need a way to treat the public square as the public square and private realms as private realms and not feel demonized because we come from a different perspective.” In other words, Christians should keep Christmas in our homes and churches – the “private realms” – but we can’t expect the general public to be accepting of Christmas any longer because it promotes Christianity.
Christmas is the exaltation of one particular religion that makes a claim of being the only true religion and that is unacceptable to the movers and shakers of contemporary American popular culture, elitist academia, and many in the mainstream media, news, and entertainment. Therefore, Christmas must be replaced with words and ideas that are broad and general so as to knock Christmas from its traditional place in America’s public life. It is an attempt to define Christianity as no more important to the history and fabric of America than is, say, Hinduism. This is what these people (often called secular progressives) believe, and evidently a number of Christians agree with that position. Subsequently these Christians find more fault with their fellow believers – those of us who want to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America – than they do with those who want to eradicate Christmas.
This is why it concerns me when I read stories like the one in USA Today. One of the people quoted in the article is Christian author Rachel Held Evans, best known for her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood. Evans wrote a blog that went viral where she challenges the idea of a war on Christmas with these questions: “Did someone threaten your life, safety, civil liberties or right to worship?” No. “Did someone wish you happy holidays?” Yes. “You are not being persecuted.”
What Evans has done here is very clever. She framed the issue falsely. She set up a straw man. No one is arguing that Christians are being persecuted physically. What we are saying is Christianity itself is under siege in America. Just ask the Christian bakery owners in Washington state, the Christian florist in Colorado, or the Christian photographer in New Mexico who were all fined by their state governments because they would not participate in homosexual “weddings.” But what Evans has done is like the man who cheats on his wife and she confronts him about it. It might go something like this:
“I know you are cheating on me. What do you have to say for yourself?” the wife says. To which the husband responds: “There are children dying in sweatshops in Third World countries, and you are talking to me about my having sex a couple of times with some woman? Are you serious?”
See how this works? The “logic” is: If your life is not being threatened or your family is not in physical danger or your church is not being padlocked, then we have no cause to point out the war of Christmas. It’s much ado about nothing, say these Christian brothers.
The war on Christmas is really part of the larger war on Christianity and it concerns me that smart people like Rev. Scott and Evans don’t seem to get that.
Then there was the quote from Daniel Darling, vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The article said this about his position: “He (Darling) said on Friday that some media outlets are overstating the war on Christmas debate, and very few Christians actually engage in it. ‘We advise people that, rather than trying to force that weary Wal-Mart worker to say ‘Merry Christmas’ against company policy, how about we be the bearers of joy. Instead of taking offense, say, ‘Here’s the story, we’re the joyful ones. We’re the ones that have the greatest story.’”
Darling, like Evans, has created a false caricature of his fellow Christians who want to keep Christmas alive in the public square. The image Darling creates is one of a Christian bully. Who does this browbeating of store employees? No one I know. (By the way, Wal-Mart does not forbid its employees from wishing customers a “Merry Christmas.”) What American Family Association and some other groups do is produce a Naughty & Nice list of companies that do or don’t allow Christmas in their stores. Due to the efforts of AFA, many household name corporations have put Christmas back in their promotions, advertisements, and stores over the last few years. The Gap was the latest store to write AFA about how they were doing this. This is a good thing. Christians should applaud Gap and others when they refuse to yield to political correctness and recognize that if not for the Christmas gift-buying season, many of them would not be in business.
All of this Christians criticizing other Christians, often based on false information as demonstrated here, seems to be a trend. I’m not sure why this is, but I have a couple of theories. First, we Bible-believing Christians have been so maligned and lied about by the media, particularly the entertainment and news media, that the negative stereotype that has been created has stuck. And now even we are quick to believe the worst about our fellow brothers and sisters. The second reason is what I call the “nicer than Jesus” mentality. It is human nature to want to be liked and avoid confrontation. Christian activism, while it should always be carried out with civility and manners, is sometimes by necessity confrontational – and confrontation is not considered “nice” by some. But Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is talking here about a public stand for biblical righteousness, not just being a Christian. The world doesn’t care if you are Christian … as long as you don’t talk about what’s right and wrong, moral and immoral, or good and evil. That’s when the persecution comes.
Is there a war on Christmas? Yes. Is it part of a larger war on Christianity? Yes. Does this matter to the future of our country? Most certainly.
Just because Christians are not being physically persecuted in America today doesn’t mean these matters are not important. Not only is Christianity good for the individual, the moral value system that comes from Christianity is also good for society at large. God help us get it back before it’s too late.
The U.S. government has just passed a new law entitled “The Affordable CAR Act” declaring that every citizen MUST purchase a new car by April, 2014.
These ‘affordable’ cars will cost an average of $54,000-$155,000 each. This does not include taxes, tags, registration, fuel, maintenance, or repair costs.
This law has been passed because, until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase cars. This new law ensures that every American can now have an ‘affordable’ car of their own, because everyone is ‘entitled’ to a new car. If you purchase your car before the end of the year, you will receive four ‘free’ tires (does not include mounting).
In order to make sure everyone purchases an ‘affordable car,’ the cost of owning a car will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people don’t want or can’t afford to maintain. But, to be fair, people who can’t afford to maintain their car will be regularly fined and children (under the age of 26) can use their parents car(s) to drive until they turn 27, after which date they must purchase their own car.
If you already have a car, you can keep yours (not really). If you don’t want or don’t need a car, you are required to buy one anyhow. If you refuse to buy one or can’t afford one, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase one, or face imprisonment. If you cannot (or don’t want to) purchase an ‘affordable car’ from a private business, you can buy a starter car from the U. S. government ‘affordable car exchange.’ Such a car will have the basic necessities and will only cost ‘slightly more’ than a similar car purchased from a private business. Plus, since your tax dollars will subsidize the purchase of a car from the U. S. government’s ‘affordable car exchange,’ it will appear that you are getting a good deal.
Failure to use the car will also result in fines. People living in areas with no access to roads are not exempt. Pre-existing conditions such as age, motion sickness, experience, knowledge, nor lack of desire are not acceptable excuses for not using your car.
A government review board will decide everything, including when, where, how often, and for what purposes you can use your car, along with how many people can ride in your car. The board will also determine if one is too old or healthy enough to be able to use their car, and will also decide if your car has out lived its usefulness or if you must purchase specific accessories like spinning rims or a newer and more expensive car.
Those that can afford luxury cars will be required to do so … it’s only fair. The government will also decide the color for each car. Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.
Government officials are exempt from this new law. If they want a car, they and their families can obtain cars free at the expense of tax payers. This includes lifetime maintenance and automatic adjustments for fuel charges.
Unions, bankers, and mega companies with large political affiliations ($$$), Muslims and Amish are also exempt.
Conservatives focus on good results. Liberals focus on good intentions. No one ever said “The road to hell is paved with good results.” Also PLEASE CLICK HERE: http://willemdax.tumblr.com/post/66879308202/liberals-focus-on-good-intentions-conservatives
Originally posted on Inequalities:
When social policy experts create a new intervention to solve some social problem or make people’s lives better, there’s two possible outcomes they’re expecting: either the intervention works, or it doesn’t. But what we forget is that there’s a third option – that our well-meaning intervention actually makes people’s lives worse.
This isn’t just an idle fear. Shockingly, this seems to be true of the biggest randomised controlled trial of an intervention that has ever been conducted in the UK (and with legs in the US) – the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project.
This video, Wealth Inequality in America is painful to watch because it makes me realize that the thinking behind it is far too prevalent in our society today. Also equally painful is that many who come across it and see these ideas perhaps for the first time are probably going to buy into it, and actually believe that we should adopt a socialist form of government. Very sad.
I disagree with the whole premise of this video. This study assumes a false premise that all of America’s wealth is nothing but a huge horde of cash, a huge pile of wealth that everyone is sitting on and that this pile of wealth is distributed very unequally, therefore we should all adopt socialism so that this pile of wealth will be distributed equitably. Wonderful socialism that includes, in the name of fairness and angelic, pure intentions; so therefore we are going to break into private homes and businesses and seize parts of their giant horde of the people that are in the upper 20% and then help distribute it among the lower classes, and then your benevolent government will only skim a portion of these seizures to pay for expenses of course (and maybe just a little more…wink, wink)–but I digress. The socialist people that created this video wrongly believe that economics is a zero sum game; that if one American or group of Americans succeed in acquiring more wealth that means that someone else or some other group of Americans are losing their wealth. But this line of thinking is truly a foolish way to think about how economic distribution works.
If you take for example the “Parable of the Bags of Gold” (or the “Parable of the Talents” but the NIV says “Bags of Gold”). Read Matt 25:14-30. http://www.bible.com/bible/111/mat.25.14-30.niv (click on a blank area on the side of that web page) This study in this video above assumes that every person in America acts like that third servant and just buries and sits on what they have and that therefore the upper 20% or upper 1% acquired their horde unjustly. But this study does not take into account how economics truly works or how free enterprise or the capitalist system works. America’s wealth hinges on the actions of the 1st and 2nd servants in the parable. America’s wealth is dynamic and in a constant state of flux through investments and the buying and selling of goods and services and especially through creativity and the innovations that constantly improve those goods and services. The constant drive to make a better mousetrap so to speak. Steve Jobs used to say, regarding his and Apple’s constant creativity and innovations, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
But if you try and equal things out as the makers of the video suggest, if you try and apply socialism even in just little bits, history has shown many times that that takes away the drive to make a better mousetrap, it takes away innovation and creativity and therefore it also ultimately takes away the wealth. The very thing that you wanted to distribute equally in the first place. If a socialist system is adopted it puts everyone in equal misery and equal poverty and we will not only lose the upper 20% or upper 1% but instead we will create a small fraction of a fraction of 1% that will end up as the ruling class and the only ones that have any kind of wealth and power. And this wealth and power of the ruling class is truly gained on the backs of the poor, what socialists wrongly tell you that all wealth is. Ultimately if we lose the top 1% shown in the video then we truly lose the most innovative and most creative among us, we lose people like Henry Ford, Sam McLaughlin, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and even people like Earl Bakken. Earl is the guy that founded Medtronic where I work. Oh and incidentally if it weren’t for the innovations of Earl Bakken and his company Medtronic not only would many tens of thousands of people like me not have a means to provide for our families but also many lives would have been much shorter on this earth, among their loved ones due to the lack of Earl’s and Medtronic’s medical breakthroughs. But unfortunately many people just see Earl as some rich fat cat living it up in Hawaii.
The makers of this video above should have ultimately been with me and my family last Sunday morning as there was a great sermon at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Joe Rigney, author of Live Like A Narnian (more info on him here: http://bethlehemcollegeandseminary.org/index.php/academics/faculty/joseph-rigney) preached a great sermon titled “Winning the War Against Envy and Rivalry” When that sermon is available online I may post it on my blog, it was that good. I truly think that when socialists decry the injustice of economics I think that this is all due to the dangerous sin of envy on their part, and all the sins that go along with envy (You would know what I am talking about if you were to just listen to that sermon. That was a great sermon, by the way, among many things we learned the subtle yet important differences between jealousy, covetousness and envy–but I digress again).
We all also must realize that everything ultimately is not our own. Everything we have is on loan from the Master, the God of the universe. An important lesson from the Parable of the Bags of Gold and other parables, namely the “Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard,” and also many other passages in the Bible (see other parts of Matthew about the Widow’s Offering or the passage about not letting you left hand know what your right one is doing), anyway one important lesson is that we must not worry about who has what, or how much that person has or how little I have or how much more that person earns and in general how unfair life is. Everyone must realize that in real life, just like in the parables that the Master is coming back soon and each of us must give an account of what we did with our horde, our time and resources, lets not waste our lives, or our horde, in the envy of others.
***P.S. Here is that really good sermon I mention above: Part 1: http://willemdax.tumblr.com/post/67307834951/winning-the-war-against-envy-and-rivalry ***
***P.P.S. Here is Part 2: http://willemdax.tumblr.com/post/67596474565/learning-to-love-the-dance-of-grace-this-is ***
****P.P.P.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KENaWXPmBr0 <—This video is a direct response to Wealth Inequality in America video above.