"...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." [Deuteronomy 5:8-10]

Friday, July 23, 2004

That's Just Your Opinion...
Hiero5ant offers some useful advice on arguing with people who say "that's just your opinion", in this Talk.Origins POTM nominated post (emphasis added):

"There is no response to 'just your opinion', any more than there is empirical evidence that 'shut the hell up' is false. That's just not the kind of argument they're making. This really does strike pretty close to the heart of the intractability of many (but not all) creationists. Some of them are, to be sure, bone-stupid, though most are not. Some of them are pig-ignorant, but most are not. Some of them are malicious and wicked, but most are not. Some of them are quite insane, but most are not. The english language doesn't quite have the vocabulary to make subtle distinctions between insanity and certain... let's call them pathological structures of the intellect. I think the driving force behind (most) creationist fear of science and your relatives' 'just your opinion' remarks is that science really does challenge people's beliefs, and most people are cognitively incapable of making the distinction between a challenge to a belief and an attack on the person. I have many friends of both the atheist and theist variety, and I find what separates the latter category from the theists for whom I have a real animosity is that underlying psychological respect for truth and curiosity about the world."
It's a long post - but it's worth the read...

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