Intelligent Design needs a Re-Branding

In this age of consumerism, everyone understands the importance of positive branding, and indeed, companies and individuals alike readily comprehend that if your “brand” has negative connotations attached to it, then there are a great many people that will pre-judge you on that basis alone rather than taking the time to survey your ideas in the detail that they deserve, and though this may not be fair, it is reality, and so in light of this fact, I contend that given the branding difficulties that now surround it, it is now time for the Intelligent Design (ID) movement to re-brand itself with a new and improved label, which I claim should be the label of “Agent Detection Science”, and the reasons for this proposition are as follows:

1. First, in making this change, there is the obvious benefit that some small part of the negative branding and prejudice associated with ID would be removed, and thus ID may gain some extra proponents from making such a minor change;

2. Second, at least to me, the label “Agent Detection Science” sounds more professional, academic, and intellectually rigorous than Intelligent Design, just as the term “Forensic Science” sounds more professional, academic, and intellectually rigorous rather “Scenes of Crime Investigation”, and so, such a labeling change will have a positive persuasive effect at an almost sub-conscious level, which, in turn, should give ID at least a change at more of a fair hearing by a greater number of people;

3. Third, by labeling itself as “Agent Detection Science”, the ID movement actually links itself much more closely to other ID-type fields like forensics, archaeology, and SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) given that all these other fields are in the business of detecting the hall-marks of agent causation rather than natural causation, and furthermore, since all these fields are, quite literally, agent detection sciences, then by directly labeling itself as “Agent Detection Science”, the ID movement would gain greater credibility not only through its clear connection to these other already-credible fields, but it would also make it the case that any objections brought against the methodology of Agent Detection Science / ID would also have to be objections against such disciplines as forensics, archaeology, SETI, and so on;

4. Fourth, the label “Agent Detection Science” is more precise than the ID moniker, for ID, as well as all the other ID-type sciences already mentioned (like archaeology) are in the very business of using certain methodologies to detect the presence and activity of agents rather than of natural causes, and so, by changing the name from ID to something like “Agent Detection Science”, the ID movement would, in its very title, be clearly stating what it actually strives to do, and since what ID strives to do is in no way shocking when you consider that SETI, archaeology, forensics, and other fields strive to do the exact same thing, then in providing this clarity in its very label the ID movement would be clear that it is little different than these other sciences are;

5. Fifth, “Agent Detection Science” has the term ‘science’ in its very name, which helps to immediately and directly assert that ID is a science, just like forensics and archaeology are considered to be, and so its status as a claimed science is put right into the open for all to see (and please note that if you truly deny that ID is a science, then it would be easy enough to change the name to “Agent Detection Methodology” or “Agent Detection Theory” or even “Agent Detection Analysis”);

…and so these, therefore, are a number of reasons why I believe that the ID movement should consider the idea of re-branding itself as I think that doing so would help to take ID to the next level of its development while simultaneously dropping some of the negative baggage that is, at the present time, directly attached to the ID label.

The Incoherence of Atheists’ Demands for Evidence and Reason

One of the funniest things that I have found about the modern unbelieving movement is 1) their constant claim that we should have evidence before we believe anything, or 2) their often-heard pronouncement that sound arguments are needed to warrant holding a particular belief, or 3) their repeated sermons about following reason wherever it leads, or 4) their endless refrains about the fact that we have a duty to seek the truth no matter what the consequences of the truth may be, and so on and so forth, and yet the reason that I find all these claims and assertions humorous is not because I deny their value and worth as ideas–in fact, I wholeheartedly endorse them–but I find them humorous when coming from unbelievers and atheists precisely because they are coming from unbelievers and atheists themselves, and the reason that this fact is humorous is because in an ultimately purposeless and meaningless universe, as it would be on atheism, and at least when speaking objectively and in absolute terms, we have no “duty” or requirement to believe things on evidence, or on arguments, nor must we or “should” we, in some objective sense, endorse reason or seek the truth, for, on atheism, there is no purpose in this universe that makes us do so, and note that even if a consequentialist-type argument is made to try to convince us to endorse these things in a purposeless atheistic universe, that argument will only work if we care about the consequences in question, which is not always the case, and so, when the atheist and unbeliever is telling us that we should do all these things, he is, in essence, doing no more than subjectively emoting, and in a purposeless universe, his claim that we should believe true things rather than false things, or that we should follow the evidence rather than not, is about as convincing, and about as valuable, as him telling us that he likes chocolate ice cream over vanilla, and that we should like chocolate over vanilla too (and this, needless to say, is not a convincing argument); and perhaps the greatest irony of this whole issue is that it is only on something like the Christian worldview that believing truth, and following evidence, and using reason, ultimately and truly and objectively matters, for if God, who is Truth itself, exists and wants / requires all people to come to know of His existence and nature through the things that have been made, and also forbids us to lie–all of which is the case on Christian theism– then all these things mean that on something like Christian theism, we should follow the evidence of our senses, and we should believe true things over false things, and we should use our reason to discover God’s nature through the natural order, and so on, and thus it is the Christian who can objectively claim that we indeed have a duty and should follow the evidence where it leads, and seek and believe the truth, and have reasons for our beliefs, whereas all the atheist can do is advise us of his subjective preferences about these matters, and yet these subjective preferences can be as easily ignored as the atheist’s subjective preferences about ice cream, cars, and Barbie dolls.

Preferring the Bronze Age over the Present Age

Unbelievers often scoff and mock that Christians follow, as these unbelievers say, Bronze or Iron Age beliefs written down by ignorant peasants and superstitious persons thousands of years ago in a no longer relevant book called the Bible, and by using these pejorative and chronologically-snobby labels for the foundational of Christian belief, the unbelievers are obviously trying to imply that Christians are fools for holding to these antiquated ideas, but, in fact, the truth, in many cases, is the exact opposite of what such unbelievers believe, for the fact of the matter is this:  in this present age, where 1) we have modern academics and “thinkers” telling us that men can become women by mere verbal fiat, and where 2) we have modern academics and “thinkers”, such as modern ethicists, endorsing infanticide and bestiality and incestuous marriage, and where 3) we have modern academic and “thinkers” telling us that something can come from nothing, or that language is meaningless, or that morality does not exist, or that consciousness and the self just illusions, or that there actually is such a thing as equality in the world between people, or any one of the other myriad of absurd and reality-denying claims made in the modern world today, then I tell you that, in many cases, I am more than happy, and I am more than rational, in preferring to believe the common-sense and time-tested wisdom of reality-hardened men from generations long past than I am in trusting some modern gender-studies professor or some “ethicist” who tells me that shagging sheep is A-OK; remember, truth does not respect chronology, and just because it is 2016 does not mean that we do not have many things insanely wrong, and it is for that reason that in many cases, I am more than happy and smart to embrace Bronze Age beliefs rather than wedding myself to the insanities of our present age.

One Way to Minimize Both the Mass of Migrants and Their Progressive Enablers

There is no doubt that Europe is presently in the throes of a serious struggle with migrants, and there is also no doubt that this issue is being exasperated by the many individuals of a liberal and progressive and even anarchist persuasion who are encouraging the migrants and the mass quantities of immigration into their European lands, and since the wave of migration into Europe is, in my view, something that is seriously undesirable and will cause massive problems in the near future–problems which are eminently avoidable through a sane migration policy–but also given that we do not necessarily wish to restrict the desires and freedoms of those European progressives wishing to have migrants enter their country, then one way that I propose to both solve the migrant crisis and to make the pro-migrant cheerleaders put their money where their mouth is, is to offer the simple solution that migrants are welcome into a European country, but they are only welcome so long as a European person or family is willing to sponsor them and have them live in the same residence as the person or family for a set period of time, such as one-to-two year; by doing this, we would achieve two things, the first of which would be exposing, once again, the utter hypocrisy of the leftist liberal progressive given that no doubt few of them would actually offer their own homes to house migrants even though they are more than ready to “compassionately” offer other people’s towns and neighborhoods for the migrants so long as the progressive himself is not personally affected by his own “benevolent” policies, and the second outcome, derived from the first, would be a massive drop in the amount of migrants flooding into the country given the lack of progressives who actually would be willing to personally do what they demand so many other people do, namely house the migrants in their own towns, neighborhoods, and homes…and so, in this way, we could, so to speak, kill two birds with our one stone, for we would expose the progressives for the hypocrites that we all know that they are and drive immigration down to a trickle, and yet because this idea would be so effective, it is obviously the reason it won’t be done in Europe today (and note that I in no way think that we should not help refugees in their own country, but that is a different issue).

Actually, It is Materialism that is “Woo”

As an immaterialist, one of the funniest things that I hear is when atheistic-materialists and atheistic-naturalists claim that supernaturalism and theism are “woo woo” style beliefs (or just plain “woo” belief)–and note that “woo” is a term which the Skeptic’s Dictionary claims refers to “ideas considered irrational or based on extremely flimsy evidence or that appeal to mysterious occult forces or powers” and it is generally used in a pejorative manner by materialists and naturalists in order to describe belief in such things as PSI, the soul, God, an afterlife, etc.–and now the reason that it is so humorous to hear materialists and naturalists use this “woo” term against their opponents is because it is actually materialist and naturalists themselves who, at the foundational level, hold to a belief that is as “woo” as any supernaturalist belief is, and is arguably even more “woo”, and this belief is the belief that matter actually exists, for while we in the West have all been conditioned to believe that belief in matter is the height of rationality, the fact is that the belief that matter exists is, upon reflection, obviously a woo-type belief, and we can see that this is the case in a number of different ways, with the first being the fact that even famous philosopher John Locke, for example, called matter a “thing which I know not what”, which meant that Locke was literally admitting that he had no idea what matter was, which makes matter the prime example of some mysterious thing that has strange occult like powers, and the fact is that progress today is just as bad, with modern philosophers and other thinkers not only unable to define what matter actually is in a comprehensive sense (see Hempel’s Dilemma for one such problem), but they have also changed what they mean by matter over the past few generations, and yet the problems of materialist “woo” do not end there, for belief in matter’s existence is also a woo-belief given that there is literally no non-question-begging evidence for the existence of matter, and no good reason to believe in matter given immaterialism’s explanatory scope and power, and there are actually good reasons, such as an appeal to simplicity–which is an appeal that materialists and naturalists, in other contexts, love to use–to deny the existence of matter, and so, as stated, not only is matter some mysterious thing with occult-like powers but belief in its existence is based on flimsy and easily-rebutted evidence; now, the point of mentioning this fact is not to necessarily support immaterialism–although a weakening of materialism will, practically-speaking, indeed provide some tacit support for immaterialism–but the point is rather to show that the materialist and naturalist has little warrant to condescendingly call supernaturalist beliefs “woo” when a woo-style belief is at the very heart of his materialist and naturalist worldview, and so as far as woo-beliefs are considered, the materialist and naturalist fair absolutely no better than the supernaturalist does.

Science is Testimony!

In a moment of reflection, I came to realize something which, though without a doubt having already been thought of by someone else, was still fascinating to me, and this realization was that science is testimony, and by this I do not mean the obvious truism that most science that we know is utterly reliant on testimony for it is only through the transmission of a scientist that we come to know it, but rather I mean the fascinating fact that when we think about the scientific process itself, there is no such thing as “observation”, but only what we might term the self-testimony of observation, for consider the fact that given that the act of observing something is not temporally simultaneous with the mental realization that something was observed, and given, furthermore, that the instant after it is observed, its recollection is itself based on memory, seems to indicate that the most fundamental and important scientific act, that of observation, is itself a type of self-testimony, for we do not actually observe anything, but rather realize what we allegedly observed moments prior, and then only recall that observation after that, and so what this means to me is that any claim that testimony is unreliable–a claim which scientism’s proponents often make–is a claim which does, in turn, completely undermine science itself; and while I completely admit that testimony, and its veracity and strength and reliability, is a relative thing, with some testimony being more worthy of trust than other testimony, the fact remains that what normal human testimony is based on, namely the realization of what was observed and the memory of it, is actually the same thing that science is fundamentally based on, and so, in a way, it appears that it is not unreasonable to say that science literally is testimony (and note that the claim that science is repeatable does not necessarily help it, for, in actuality, each observation  is itself unique, and it is only via the presupposition of the uniformity of nature that we accept this similarity, not through the scientific act itself)…and so, as stated, science is testimony, and what an interesting thing that is to contemplate.

How Secular Humanism Undermines Itself

Although there are, admittedly, a number of different ideas and definitions of what a “humanist” is, one particular definition which caught my eye recently comes from the British Humanist Association, which states that…

-QUOTE-

Roughly speaking, the word humanist has come to mean someone who:

  • trusts to the scientific method when it comes to understanding how the universe works and rejects the idea of the supernatural (and is therefore an atheist or agnostic)
  • makes their ethical decisions based on reason, empathy, and a concern for human beings and other sentient animals
  • believes that, in the absence of an afterlife and any discernible purpose to the universe, human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same. (https://humanism.org.uk/humanism/; Accessed 2016 04 15)

-UNQUOTE-

…and the reason that this definition was so interesting to me was not only due to its combination of relative brevity with comprehensiveness (for a website definition, that is), but also because it vividly shows the rational tension and almost incoherence that lies at the heart of secular humanism, and the way to see this is to realize that if, as the humanist says, there is no “…discernible purpose to the universe”, then this fact, in and of itself, serves to quite literally undermine everything else that the humanist claims to value, for if there is no purpose to the universe–such as, say, the purpose of seeking and believing that which is true, or the purpose of being moral, or the purpose of making one’s self happy–then 1) there is quite literally no reason to bother trusting the scientific method about reality instead of, say, the ravings of a lunatic, and 2) there is no reason to reject belief in the supernatural, regardless of its truth value, if belief in it is what you want to believe in, and 3) there is no reason for making ethical decisions based on reason if you don’t want to, and 4) there is no reason to show empathy if you do not desire to, and 5) there is no reason to have a concern for other human beings or other animals if it is not your wish to do so, and so on and so forth, and so the very fact that the humanist claims there is no purpose to the universe completely undermines his other claims, and thus the best that the humanist can do is to arbitrarily claim that if you “want” to value these things, then you should, but the humanist, in absence of any purpose to the universe, cannot give us any cogent or convincing reason that we should do so; and lest the humanist wishes to claim that we should do so for consequentialist reasons–namely, that society runs better if we adopt these rules and ideas–then this still not serve as a convincing reason for someone who does not care about the good running of society to embrace these ideas, and so, once again, we see that humanism essentially negates itself, for it is only valuable if accepted, but by its own admission, it can only be accepted based not on science or reason, but for the arbitrary reason that someone simply wants to accept it rather than something else, and such arbitrary reasoning process seems to oppose the very idea of making decisions based on reason and science, which is what the humanist allegedly values, and so the humanist is a walking contradiction, for his acceptance of humanism is based on, ultimately, little more than the personal and arbitrary and subjective whim to want to be a humanist, but he is preaching the idea that people should not base their decisions on arbitrary and subjective whims but rather on science and reason, which is precisely what he did not do when choosing to be a humanist rather than something else, and so hence, as stated, the humanist is essentially engaged in a type of performative contradiction simply by the act of being a humanist, which is not, I must say, a very cogent position to hold.