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No Nonsense

Anti-pseudoscience, anti-woo, pro science, pro critical thinking, no conspiracy theories, no spin. Count the logical fallacies. No Nonsense!

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"Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out" -unknown

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." -- Carl Sagan

"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." -- Christopher Hitchens

What is a logical fallacy? All arguments have the same basic structure: A therefore B. They begin with one or more premises (A), which is a fact or assumption upon which the argument is based. They then apply a logical principle (therefore) to arrive at a conclusion (B). An example of a logical principle is that of equivalence. For example, if you begin with the premises that A=B and B=C, you can apply the logical principle of equivalence to conclude that A=C. A logical fallacy is a false or incorrect logical principle. An argument that is based upon a logical fallacy is therefore not valid. It is important to note that if the logic of an argument is valid then the conclusion must also be valid, which means that if the premises are all true then the conclusion must also be true. Valid logic applied to one or more false premises, however, leads to an invalid argument. Also, if an argument is not valid the conclusion may, by chance, still be true. For a more thorough discussion of logical fallacies and how to structure a logical argument, see the New England Skeptical Society's article, How To Argue.

Top 20 Logical Fallacies (in alphabetical order) taken from -

The Skeptics' Guide To The Universe

The New England Skeptical Society The Skeptics' Guide To The Universe Science-Based Medicine
The James Randi Educational Foundation
Propaganda
snopes.com
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
Simon Singh and his fight to mend British libel laws
Professor Richard Wiseman
PZ Myers' Pharyngula
Dr. Phil Plait and Bad Astronomy
Skeptic Blog
Michael Shermer's Baloney Detection Kit
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
The Skeptics' Dictionary
List of cognitive biases
Don Watson - Weasel Words
QuackWatch
A List of Fallacious Arguments

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"No skeptic, to my knowledge, ever made a major scientific discovery or advanced the welfare of others."

-- Deepak Chopra (yes, he actually said that)

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but That's funny..." -Isaac Asimov



The scientific world view is full of awe and wonder. Understanding how truly awesome the universe is – in its elegant complexity, its staggering beauty, and the many intricate systems of which it is comprised – gives a profound feeling of connectedness and sparks the imagination. And it has the advantage of being real. -Steven Novella



The glory which is built upon a lie soon becomes a most unpleasant incumbrance. How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again.
— Mark Twain

Discussion Forum

Hell for christians? Hell for all?

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan yesterday. 58 Replies

Hunger influences decisions

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Feb 19. 2 Replies

Why Name Calling

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Oct 30, 2014. 0 Replies

Psychic Power-NOT

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn Oct 14, 2014. 7 Replies

Gish Gallop

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Aug 18, 2014. 4 Replies

Fighting Against Abstinence Only Education.

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Joseph P Aug 6, 2014. 7 Replies

What counts as proof for existential threats

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Jun 14, 2014. 1 Reply

Cheating with Science

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn May 22, 2014. 6 Replies

Apocalypse anxiety

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara May 9, 2014. 7 Replies

Young adults belief in demon posession

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 8, 2014. 12 Replies

Challenging lies doesn't work

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn May 7, 2014. 2 Replies

Mere question elicits false memories

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn May 7, 2014. 1 Reply

Political discourse in US - fundamentally fallacious

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck May 5, 2014. 13 Replies

F*ck You= Australia's Coal Policy

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Loren Miller Apr 17, 2014. 4 Replies

Name truthiness

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 1, 2014. 1 Reply

Frustration at RealClimate

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Dec 1, 2013. 2 Replies

Religion correlates with Climate Denial

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 27, 2013. 0 Replies

Liberal Washing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Nov 2, 2013. 1 Reply

Information Technology amplifies irrational group behavior

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Apr 13, 2013. 3 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Grinning Cat on February 2, 2015 at 2:06pm

"...a Catholic Church that has lasted two thousand years, which comprises 1.4 billion members and which has outlived every regime that ever sought to destroy it."

That merely demonstrates that that religion has been successful at infecting people and spreading, especially in pre-scientific times -- not that we wouldn't be better off without it!

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on February 2, 2015 at 1:16pm

Gay Byrne conducted an interview with Stephen Fry from Oscar Wilde's former home in Dublin for his Irish TV show The Meaning of Life (Not Monty Python's).


Byrne asked him at the end of the interview what he would say to god if he were proven wrong and found himself at heaven's gate after shuffling off the coil, Fry said, among other comments, It’s perfectly apparent that he is monstrous. Utterly monstrous and deserves no respect whatsoever and that The moment you banish him, life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living in my opinion.


The Interview went viral, and blogger Father Ed Tomlinson, taking umbrage, wrote an attempted rebuttal titled Without God, the world would be worse off. The entire piece was published by the Cahtolic Herald


Here are some highlights of the wannabe rebuttal. The usual apologists' brew of unmitigated arrogance, outrageous presuppositions and cherry picking revisionism come to the fore:

For if we remove our Judeo-Christian values and beliefs from modern society, the values that inspired the creation of the West, then what do you propose we put in their place? A serious question as we try to navigate through a modern landscape that seems economically, spiritually and morally bankrupt. When you burst the Christian bubble what else do you offer the many people who look to you in modern life? I ask by way of warning. For it strikes me that modern liberal secular values are only found where they parasitically feed of a dying Christian culture. The values they espouse having been taken from the very Christian culture they seek to destroy. It is a path to nihilism.

But despite these faults it is also a place in which people are loved and held to be sacred. And despite the hideous blots on our copy book, which our sins represent, the fact remains that human civilisation has soared under the influence of Christianity. Why then dismiss it all simply because of the existence of natural evil?

 
And if natural evil is a thorn in the Christian’s side, so moral evil is a thorn in the atheist’s side! For if there is no God and we are, as Darwin and Nietzsche suggest, cells with no purpose beyond procreation and existence, then why complain as you did? What possible meaning does life have? Why not cull in concentration camp or gulag? Why not kill those who contribute little but use up resources? Why not let the worm eat the eye? If we stop upholding the sanctity of life, a clearly theistic notion, then what possible reason do we have to be angry? It is simply what it is.


But that doesn’t seem to be what you actually believe. For it is obvious from your emotional response that you actually hold life to be precious. Your rage at the worm suggests you see something infinitely precious in humanity that makes it worthy of dignity, protection and care. Good for you! Christians agree and include you in that number. But Stephen, why rail against God if you don’t believe in him? . . . No, the emotion you display is only rationally, surely, if delivered to a living agent you do suspect might just be there.

Perhaps then it is not that you disbelieve in God, so much as feel anger towards him and what you think he has revealed? . . . For there must clearly be something of value in a Catholic Church that has lasted two thousand years, which comprises 1.4 billion members and which has outlived every regime that ever sought to destroy it.

Comment by Patricia on January 24, 2015 at 3:14pm

Yeah well, xians went to Africa to rape/convert everyone too, & I've seen documentaries where the Africans are wearing large wooden crucifixes along with their own superstitious idols. Then I heard some phrase about the last thing Africa needs, is more religion!

Comment by Michael Penn on January 24, 2015 at 3:11pm

You might add "do you think you would believe in Jesus today if your slave ancestors had of all stayed in Africa?" The statement rings true with a sharp barb and has right wing believers actually using it to explain how slavery was a great service to black people. It allowed them to find Jesus.

How much more totally ignorant could you ever get?

Comment by Patricia on January 24, 2015 at 2:54pm

Comment by Joseph P on January 18, 2015 at 4:09pm

Sadly, they "demonstrate" it with bullshit setups.  They sip a tiny amount of highly diluted bleach.  The most you'll get from their demonstrations is a mildly upset digestive tract.

Pentecostals, your displays of faith aren't very impressive when any nonbeliever can do the same.  Get back to me when you're willing to chug a cup or two of bleach, straight from the bottle that I bring in myself.  I have too much practice as an amateur magician to trust anything you've handled yourselves.

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 18, 2015 at 3:15pm

I would very much like to see that demonstrated.

Comment by Patricia on January 18, 2015 at 2:27pm

Embedded image permalink

Comment by Ian Mason on January 9, 2015 at 6:14am

Comment by Idaho Spud on December 21, 2014 at 12:14pm
 

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