Friday, February 7, 2014

The Skeptics Guide Responds

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe has already issued a response to my review of their Podcast. To tell the truth I'm somewhat surprised they replied. Normally the subject of one of my reviews has a thread about it in their own discussion forum and leaves it at that.

The review was written by Rebecca Watson of the SGU. She's the female host of the program. Most of the male hosts share a surname and are, I assume, related.

In her review she replies to the points I made that she felt most relevant and in need of commentary. She also complimented her fans on their replies to my original review, and plunged into a few other pages of my blog to point out where she disagreed with me on issues like vaccination.

I have little to say about her review. It's largely the kind of rationalization I've come to expect. I do however want to make a few points.

She comments on my post "The Coward who could save Billions of Lives." In it she criticized me for accepting the word of an anonymous source, clearly ignoring the fact that the entire POINT of the post was my complaining about the fact that the source is in fact anonymous. Such cherry picking attempts at criticism fall flat when you read my actual article about the unknown vaccine researcher and his claims.

Surely she can admit that if the interview is genuine and accurate then serious questions about the safety of vaccines are raised. The problem is, the source is refusing to come forward and reveal himself. This is a cowardly act if the interview is genuine. Miss Watson and myself agree on the fact that the source needs to come forward.

She further comments on my mention of the fiction of "Separation of Church and State" and pretends I was criticizing the Founding Fathers with the comments. She admits the phrase "Separation of Church and State" never appears in the Constitution and even quotes the passage revisionists use to cram the "Separation" claim into the Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .


What I didn't spell out in my SGU review is that I do not blame the Founding Fathers, most of them pastors, for the fiction of "Separation of Church and State." The frequent appeals to God in their writing and the overall bodies of their works, make it clear that they saw Christendom as the cornerstone of the nation.

The myth of a church / state barrier was injected years, even decades later by humanist thinkers seeking to exclude God from the pubic sphere. I think my understanding of the Constitution's actual words is highlighted in my essay "It's legal for the states to ban Islam." The Constitution's goal was to prevent the Federal Government from making a national religion, in part because many of the original 13 states already HAD an official religion.

The Fed is banned from making laws regarding religion, not the states. A stab against federal hegemony is being misused to alienate God himself.

Finally, she goes over some of my previous podcast reviews and agrees with most of them. I guess there's hope for her after all.

20 comments:

Angela said...

If I supported a belief for which the only "evidence" was anecdotal and/or unfalsafiable, I think I'd complain, too.
I haven't the patience to detail Alex's cherry-picking, misinterpretations and inaccuracies; I leave it in the capable hands of the rest of Rebecca's horde of smitten admirers.

cpd314 said...

Treaty of Tripoli.... look it up.

cpd314 said...

...particularly Article 11.

Anonymous said...

By the same logic you use to show that "separation of church and state" isn't in the Constitution, "separation of powers" (you know, the idea that the different parts of the government get to do different things) isn't in the Constitution, either. So you can either allow the President to create laws, Congress to decide decide who goes to jail, and the Judiciary to run the military, or you can admit that just because the Constitution doesn't include the exact phrase "separation of powers", it doesn't mean that the concept isn't woven through the document, and similarly, that "separation of church and state" is in there too. (Hint: "[N]o religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States", and the 1st amendment)

Cornswalled Is A Moron said...

Seriously, folks - Cornswalled is a joke. He isn't real. It's all a hoax. I thought the Christians were sheep for reading this crap, but the rational thinkers?

Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, damn those "humanist thinkers" like Thomas Jefferson. What does he know about Constitutional law?

Anonymous said...

Cornswalled by your logic all people that fall sick from an illness is being punished by God for some sin they did. But by Christine logic we are born sinners so we should not make it past birth. Which would be bad for the human race.

O whell I'm happy I got vacinated as a child saved me from dying of polio or something like that

brett said...

Read what the Fifth Congress unanimously approved:

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Andrew said...

It's good to know that your God isn't even powerful enough to smite people who have been vaccinated. It's a shame that other religious people have bought into the apparent heresy that their God could make them sick even if modern medicine attempted to inoculate them.

Or we could just drop the pretense and apply a little bit of Occam's razor, realizing that disease can be explained quite readily without reference to supernatural agency.

Anonymous said...

Successful troll is successful. I applaud you, Alexander Cornswalled, for hooking Rebecca into your trolling. Good job. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

The myth of a church / state barrier was injected years, even decades later by humanist thinkers seeking to exclude God from the pubic sphere. I think my understanding of the Constitution's actual words is highlighted in my essay "It's legal for the states to ban Islam." The Constitution's goal was to prevent the Federal Government from making a national religion, in part because many of the original 13 states already HAD an official religion.

The Fed is banned from making laws regarding religion, not the states. A stab against federal hegemony is being misused to alienate God himself.


Yeah, slight problem there, bub. Federal laws trump state laws, so if the US Government is barred from declaring an official religion, so are states, counties, cites, etc.

Andrew said...

Yeah, slight problem there, bub. Federal laws trump state laws, so if the US Government is barred from declaring an official religion, so are states, counties, cites, etc.

You might want to tell that to Sarah Palin.

Anonymous said...

I have little to say about her review. It's largely the kind of rationalization I've come to expect.

We'll leave all the irrational thinking to you sir.

Sean Reid said...

As usual, dressed in the trappings of religion, a man who thinks too highly of himself has reduced the Almighty God to nothing more than an angry "Ward Cleaver."

Religion is man's creation as a means to understand the message of the Lord. Without which we would simply lack any means by which to *attempt* to comprehend that which exists outside of space and time.

Sir, flatly, your obvious disdain for education is an offense that the teachings of Christ, the blessings of God and the message of the Spirit that were left to us after Christ the man was killed.

You are no man of God and surely not follower of Christ. Christ encouraged questioning. God is not afraid of our questions, rather, they are a key component as we walk this earth in search of meaning. While the answers may not be immediate or what we want to hear, through the Spirit, our own free-will and the intelligence we have gained over centuries they are often there to be discovered.

To ignore these discoveries and express disdain over that which man has achieved is to deny the power of God by placing arbitrary limits on his creations. Who are you to judge that which God created and speak on behalf of the mind of the Lord??

Christ tossed the Pharisees out out of the temples for a reason. Sir, I do believe you have overstayed your welcome as well...

-Sean Robert Reid
Christian/Skeptic/Rational Thinker

JohnFex said...

Sir,

Do I understand that if we are not men of God then we shall be cast out. But are we not ALL God's children as decreed in the Bible?

Also as Christians only account for about a 1/3 of the world, does that mean that God will be banishing 2/3's of us?

Loz said...

She comments on my post "The Coward who could save Billions of Lives." In it she criticized me for accepting the word of an anonymous source, clearly ignoring the fact that the entire POINT of the post was my complaining about the fact that the source is in fact anonymous. Such cherry picking attempts at criticism fall flat when you read my actual article about the unknown vaccine researcher and his claims.

I don't think she missed the point at all, rather that you have missed the point in your rebuttal. Rebecca takes the view that there is no point treating claims made by RandomAnonymousSource as real when there is no way of verifying who made them and what authority they have to make them. You seem to be accepting that they are genuine, and will continue to do so even if you don't find out who made them.

World of difference.

The skepTick said...

I have little to say about her review. It's largely the kind of rationalization I've come to expect.

You mean like the rational kind of rationalization? Can't have none of that, can we? People might start understanding what the bible is really telling them...

Anonymous said...

Hid you ever hear of the 14th Amendment to the Costitution - specifically Section 1:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Check out the legal doctrine of Incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

Joe Sixpack said...

If a majority of the people in the country prefer chocolate ice cream we shouldn't go an ban vanilla.

All ice creams were created equal and none shall have the justification of the government as being a prefered flavor of our nation.

That was we can protect everyones right to have any flavor they want.

The Man called Anne said...

I have also reviewed the Skeptics Guide to the universe.
Podcast reviewing doesn't happen so widely in blogs as it should - IMHO

Anne