Wednesday, December 23, 2015


-----{This page will be updated periodically.}-----


Here one can learn more about presuppositionalism, in a concise space, than if one had read all the volumes of Van til, Bahnsen and Frame combined. Theologians always seem to tell us precisely what theology is not.  


[1] Here one must read carefully: one must distinguish the presuppositional apologist's reduction from the presuppositional apologist's justification. In other words, the reductio ad absurdum, performed by the presuppositional apologist, is separate from the reason they give for justification. If this is not the case then they are essentially making an argument from ignorance. When the presuppositional apologist uses skepticism to say that all claims of non-christian knowledge break down (this is not a justification for their position), this is simply a rationalistic reduction. In order to show that their position survives this criticism, they must provide a positive justification, which they think they do, by ignorantly asserting that the statements of the Bible are authoritative because they are "self-justifying." But clearly this cannot be a justification without equally negating itself! Hence, the presuppositional apologist attempts to make use of the fallacy of special pleading... indeed, the presuppositional apologist desperately needs this fallacy in order to avoid the force of his own criticism! But if special pleading is the reason for the presuppositional apologist's justification, then clearly his position is self-refuting.

[2] If the Christian view of the world is correct then there is no such thing as evil, but only the appearance of evil, as "God works out all things according to the council of his own will." One must consider the barbaric logic of this position, for it implies that Nagasaki was good! Insofar as one tries to claim that Nagasaki is evil, one denies that God is all powerful, or one admits that God brought about the horror of Nagasaki for the sake of good, but this would imply that all evil is merely an appearance, nay, this would imply that there really is no such thing as evil! Either one can call something evil, independent of God, or else one must admit that God has control of evil, in which case, either God is evil or there is no such thing as evil. 

[3] ALL apologetics amount to the same thing: an attempt to foster consent, that justification by means of special pleading is not only legitimate, but that this [fictional] justificatory procedure, remains the exclusive right of the apologist alone.

[4] In order to be a presuppositionalist one must be completely given over to the error of authority, in other words, one must be powerless against the claims of authority. Instead of challenging the claims of authority, as authority always bears the burden of proof, a presuppositionalist affirms the claims of authority by default. A presuppositionalist is simply a person with a psychological disability in the realm of resisting authority.*

*{for more on this personality type see Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority; An Experimental View.}

[5] All great Christians have been presuppositionalists insofar as they aim to obey. If a self-proclaimed prophet tells them to slaughter children in the name of God, then being totally subservient (and defenseless) to this form of authority, they deem it morally right and intelligent to obey. Christians always confuse obedience for morality.

[6] Presuppositionalism is nothing more than an authoritarian language; it is an idiosyncratic vocabulary of terms meant to snare the reader; it is a form of sophistry based on reduction.

[7] I have never met a presuppositionalist that had the ability to take his presuppositionalism all the way. In other words, every presuppositionalist lacks the ability to analyze his own presuppositions. Indeed, this is what it means to be a presuppositionalist! It is precisely the fact that one lacks this ability which makes them a presuppositionalist! To identify oneself as a presuppositionalist then, is merely to confess that one has an inability.

[8] The only thing a consistent presuppositionalist discovers is 1) that Christianity is false according to rational and empirical standards and 2) that things are not as they should be, if the universe is in fact, the work of a benevolent God. Contrary to presuppositionalism, man's epistemological dilemma cannot be resolved by appealing to blank authority.

[9] I encourage the reader to find comedy in the presuppositionalist's demeanor. These men prostrate their ignorance before us with the utmost confidence... and all the while... do they really have what they claim to know, merely because they appeal to the assertions of ancient documents? Dear God, they claim nothing less than the total resolution and final solidification of all philosophical problems! [Very much like the stupidity of Plantinga, they speak of the magic of the Holy Spirit.] These bold blockheads really believe that an authoritarian emphasis of the Bible is equivalent to knowledge. Watching them is like watching a bird peck at a rock in hopes of getting crumbs (the funny part is that they claim we are foolish for not doing the same thing).

[10] We owe it to the presuppositionalist, in our concern for his well being, to let him know just how unserious his presuppositional terminology is. Presuppositionalism is a hilarious spectacle of sophistry; "the self-authenticating witness of scripture." [Remember the reduction performed by the presuppositionalist is separate from the actual epistemology of presuppositonalism. Van til hi-jacked this technique of reduction from David Hume, and David Hume learned it from Empiricus. A presuppositionalist's reduction is no different from any other philosophical reduction... well, I suppose there is one attribute which sets his reduction apart, an unprecedented epistemological ignorance regarding the nature of his own view!] 


Saturday, December 19, 2015


There is so much sorrow and suffering in the world that man chooses to look away. I want us to begin by confessing to ourselves that we choose to look away; that we are so disturbed and defeated by the horror of what we see and hear that we have to look away. This is perhaps the beginning of reality.

But what does this mean? It means delusion is preferable to reality. It means reality is painful. Who can be blamed for not wanting to live in reality, when reality is full of despair?

It is true that there are also many good things which take place in the world, but it would seem that these are vastly eclipsed by the forces of evil.

Not only do we choose to look away, but we seek to punish the man or woman who would call us back to reality; we hold such a person in greater contempt than the very evil which turned us away from reality in the first place. Our mentality is thus, "Let us punish the man or woman who reminds us of evil" (which only serves to demonstrate the power of evil).

Apathy parades herself through the streets. Apathy is a garment man wears. Apathy permits the regime of evil in that it means the lack of all opposition to evil.

If there is a God he is a being of supreme evil.

Apathy is the result of personal greed, which means it has its origin in selfishness. An apathetic man or woman is a confused social creature. Apathy stands as a negation of all that one would seek from a just society; it is the subtle negation of justice in any society. Apathy does not mean consent, but indifference. However, eventually this indifference will lead to forced consent, even as apathy leads to the triumph of evil.

It is easy to manipulate an apathetic man or woman, precisely because they stand for the good feeling of their own apathy. All one needs to do, to manipulate such a man or woman, is sell them back their apathy in a modified form, that is to say, make them think their apathy hinges on something else [apathy as enlightened morality or existential practice]. It is the shrewd entrepreneur who can sell the idea of happiness as that which hinges on material possession. 

Apathy is a means of psychological protection; like the child who tries to hide under his blanket to escape the terror of the dark.

Apathy is a form of cowardice, in very few occasions is apathy ever a form of intelligence. In order for apathy to be a form of intelligence one must not only have the courage and strength to resist apathy, but one must also be conscious of all that is at stake; one must be aware of the fact that apathy (at this level) becomes a conscious choice for delusion.    

Apathy is a defect in morality.
Apathy is a defect in character.
Can we ever truly trust an apathetic man or woman?

They that cry apathy in the face of cruelty and injustice must somehow be insulated from cruelty and injustice. Apathy, in this sense, is a mark of privilege. One manifests this proposition: "My conditions are so favorable that I don't have to worry about the terror or horror of evil. I am insulated from suffering."

Would that all people could be insulated from suffering! But this is not the reality of the world in which we live. Man is troubled on all sides; he is attacked both from without and within, from the day of his birth the sparks fly upward, nature stands against him.

Due to an increase in materialism man is not discontent enough to be sympathetic, but his abundance has lead to apathy. Man has been deceived by the very object he created to deceive himself.

Many people have lived and died under the banner of apathy without consequence. Many more will live and die under the banner of apathy without consequence. It is not until society is linked as a chain, wherein one suffers, therein all suffer, that apathy can be defeated. Society is not a chain because societies are fractured, because there are many different societies in the world. It would seem that apathy is here to stay. In the context of the brevity of life, one must ask if this is not the greatest argument for apathy that has ever been made?


Tuesday, December 15, 2015


At this point in my life I am inclined to believe that the existence and pursuit of Truth is unimportant (as so many thinkers have thought before me) while the use and pursuit of truth is part of the common fabric of life. Truth as truth is a pragmatic property of man's social function, while Truth as Truth is an abstract ideal, entirely linguistic in construction, having the high purpose of delivering man over to the pursuit of Ghosts. Truth as truth means truth within the context in which truth is presupposed; it means allegiance to precepts that we use for justification, it does not mean, allegiance to precepts because they are justified. In other words, when we say that ghosts do not exist, this statement is true according to the precepts on which this statement is based... the precepts which make this statement intelligible in the first place (we can rightly call these presuppositions). That is to say, we can know truth just so long as we do not confuse it with Truth. All truth is uttered within a paradigm of truth. If one is not aware of this one may end up chasing Ghosts. 


Friday, December 11, 2015


Atheist: Would you consider yourself a religious man?

Napoleon: Only in the sense that I find religion to be useful.

Atheist: Useful to what end?

Napoleon: Useful for the pacification of the masses. You see, once cities are conquered they must be sustained, and in order to do this religion serves a high purpose.

Atheist: So you admit that your use of religion is entirely pragmatic?

Napoleon: I have no knowledge of this word, pragmatic. I admit that my use of religion is precisely that, a use for the purpose of controlling the masses. Men readily submit to the declarations of the Bible, and the Bible says that Kings and Rulers are put in place by God, hence religion serves the purpose of establishing my authority without actually having to establish my authority. If you can get men to submit without violence, through the use of ideas and assertions, then this is the best way to get men to submit.

Atheist: But personally, you do not believe the universe is ordered?

Napoleon: Precisely not, I have no need of that hypothesis. Part of my power is specifically linked to my knowledge of the way the world works. In other words, I know that power is supreme. I know that there is no such thing as absolute good and evil. I am aware of the fact that we must create our morals, but this does not mean that the use of ideas to establish one's power, should be neglected as a strategy for power. It serves my purpose when men affirm an absolute good and evil, because I am then able to use this belief to my advantage. The fact that I know that such ideas are false (have no bearing in reality) makes me superior to those who submit to such ideas. This gives me the power to stand above their ideas; to use their ideas against them. Men by nature are fools; they are trapped by their belief. The key is to stand above this belief.

Atheist: So you admit that religion is false, but useful to accomplish your purpose. Isn't this deceptive?

Napoleon: You can call it that if you so wish, but in the context of life, I refer to it as a form of intelligence. It is no good to stand within the infrastructure of religion, it is only good to stand outside the infrastructural of religion. In other words, to be a convert is to be utterly deceived; is to give up one's power to those who understand the manipulation of power. The only superior use religion can have is a use where one controls religion, as opposed to being controlled by religion. In the latter case religion destroys one's power. If I were to submit to the infrastructure of religion (to practice religion within the context of religion) I would always be the servant of weaker men; men who use the assertions of religion to pacify and control stronger men. My life would be forfeit to a power structure that kept me subservient. Any time I tried to gain... any time I tried to step outside this power structure I would be contained by this power structure. This is the way to destroy men, even as the practice of religion is the way to destroy oneself. We must get something straight, the last thing religion does is liberate any man; religion, by its very nature, is a form of ideological control. To be religious is to give up power to those who wield power within the context of religion. The only way to be superior to religion is to use religion; is to stand above religion as an authority to religion. I am the civil magistrate put in place by God; this is what religion says, and just so long as I operate within this frame of reference, I am the voice of God. Religious people do not understand this; they think religion is a matter of truth, but here their belief makes me superior. Religion is the pacification of the masses on the basis of bold assertions. The difference is that I know these assertions have no power (aside from the power to deceive the man or woman who affirms their power)... my advantage is that religious people have no knowledge of this. They are like mindless sheep being led by mindless commands. God is a useful hypothesis, but not so useful as the hypothesis which knows that the idea of God is totally lacking in substance outside its capacity for deception... allegiance to God leads to a kind of social control. He that believes in God has ceased to challenge authority!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015


I've lost several friends in the last few weeks to irreconcilable differences, but dear god have I learned a great deal about standing my ground. My conclusion is this, whether I like it or not I'm a rationalist, and being critical tends to have the effect of pushing irrational people away. So be it, I take full responsibility for my rationalism. If this means I must lose friends, then it means I must lose friends. I aim to live my life in the presence of reason, not the absence of reason.

When a person complains, that someone is being "too critical," they had better mean that the person is being too critical in an irrational way, because there is nothing wrong with being critical in light of reason. It is a stupid thing to complain about someone else being correct. Arrogance is the sin of not being able to learn from the wisdom of other people. It is delusion to assume that we must always be correct, or that the genesis of truth must be born in us. Tyranny is the result of unjustified authority. If being critical makes me a bad person, then I'm better off being a bad person, because those who judge us as such, are often merely complaining that we would not submit to their unjustified authority. Be gone with these hyper critical uncritical people! We are safer and wiser to keep company with those who share our value of reason. Thought is the only safeguard against an unconscious life of stupidity.


Monday, December 7, 2015


Theist: You just used the word evil, but you can't speak of evil apart from God.

Flight: What do you mean by evil?

Theist: Something that is wrong at all times for all places and all people.

Flight: What does God have to do with a thing like that?

Theist: He is the one who ensures the constancy and existence of goodness, and therefore we can speak of evil. I hear you speak of morality, but in this you are ignorant because you cannot have morality without God.

Flight: You are correct that I speak of moral things, but why do I need your God for morality?

Theist: Because without God you have no Absolutes.

Flight: Oh dear! Why do I need Absolutes to have morality? Are you saying that I need to recognize, prove that an idea is Absolute, before it can be moral?

Theist: There is no such thing as morality if there are no Absolutes. I'm saying you can't have morality without God!

Flight: I think you meant to say that I can't have Absolute Morality without your belief in God? Well my friend, I'm afraid I simply have no experience of Absolutes. I don't know how to speak about Absolutes, and I certainly don't know how to speak about God. Everything I say is contingent to some time, place and limited portion of people.

Theist: Then you can't have Absolute Morality, all you can have is subjectivity.

Flight: I never claimed that my knowledge is able to rise above the status of subjectivity (but I hardly see how this equalizes all claims in the context of existence)? I can see you think this is a serious problem, but I still have morality, even as I'm a moral person, and what is more, my morality continues to progress! Surely this should be impossible if your view was correct?

Theist: No, you can have morality, but you can only have it because God exists. The reason you are a moral person is because God exists. The fact that you are moral is proof that God exists.

Flight: I see... but I don't consult your God when deriving or practicing my morals. While I agree with the idea that I'm a moral person, I have an exceedingly difficult time understanding how this furnishes proof for God?

Theist: Because you can't have Moral Absolutes without God.

Flight: It seems to me you can't have Moral Absolutes even if you believe in God? (At least this seems to be the case insofar as you have defined Absolutes). Surely you are not claiming that your belief in God is proof that he exists? So which one is it; does the existence of God prove the existence of Absolutes, or does the existence of Absolutes prove the existence of God? Are you sure you are not confusing your belief in Absolutes for the existence of Absolutes? Are you sure you are not confusing the existence of morality for the existence of Absolute Morality? As to say, "because morals exist, therefore Absolute Morality exists?" But this gets worse; you seem to be saying that if Absolute Morality does not exist, then morality itself cannot exist? But why is Absolute Morality required for the existence of morality?

Theist: Because you believe in Absolutes therefore God exists, and you can't have Absolutes without God. You need God in order to have Absolute Morality, and you need Absolute Morality in order to have morality.

Flight: I suspect I am not interested in your belief in Absolute Morality, just as I am not interested in your belief in God (both things appear to be a fiction). You are very good at making assertions, but I already have morality without your God. You keep on insisting that I need him for something, but I have lived my whole life without him, why do I need to believe in him now?

Theist: Because God is the source of goodness, because it is not possible to have goodness without God. Only God can tell us what is good and evil.

Flight: Moral people are not merely obedient; there is a sharp contrast between moral people and obedient people. You are saying I need to be obedient in order to be moral. I suspect you are very confused about the nature of morality. You are free to believe in God and Absolutes, but please do not pretend that your belief is proof that they exist, insofar as it is not proof that your belief is authoritative. Though you say, "I need your God," it is clear that this is merely your belief, this assertion does not make contact with existence. I will not only continue to practice morality, but I will also continue to discourse about morality. Your God is not merely defunct (as he would first have to exist in order for this to be the case) but even if he does exist, he is totally irrelevant, not only to morality, but existence itself! You may take him as an aesthetic idea if it brings you joy, but such mindless authoritarianism is too juvenile for me.

Theist: You will be very sorry for your arrogance when you die. God will make you submit, but by then it will be too late. You will burn in eternal fire. Either believe now or believe later, but no matter what you will eventually believe!

Flight: O man of conviction, I'm done lending you my ear, you will have to find a new audience for your tyranny. 


Sunday, November 29, 2015


 "...the climax of infamy has been reached by our present “law and order” system, for it defrauded more than nine-tenths of mankind of their means of existence, reduced them to dependence upon an insignificant minority, and condemned them to self-sacrifice. At the same time it has disguised this relation with all sorts of jugglery so that the thralls of today – the wage slaves – but partially recognize their serfdom and outlawed position, they rather incline to ascribe it to the caprices of fortune." John Most, The Beast of Property, Speech given in 1884

If the history of mankind is that of serfdom, in all its varied and subtle forms, then what direction would we expect society to continually drift in the future; toward freedom or slavery?

But serfdom is hidden beneath layers of beauty; beneath layers of rhetoric. Hence, the enslaved man considers himself free, even though he is determined by social conditions that are not of his making. It would seem that wealth can pull the world down!

How can we unearth this conspiracy, seeing the power of the social realm is against us? The wealth of the ruling class is set against the freedom of the worker. For those who rule desire the continuation of their rule.

The conspiracy is precisely that the dichotomy of slave and master is still in place, although not easily detected; for the slave believes himself to be free! The masses, in general, lack the resources to analyze their condition, which is precisely how the conditioners of the system prefer the subjects of the system. A moral framework has been put into place; a moral framework that seeks to exalt the hero of capital. Hence, the exploitation of one's fellow humans, for the sake of one's personal advantage, becomes a character trait of the virtuous man, a sure sign of intelligence.

It is exceedingly difficult for a subject of the machine to think contrary to the machine... authoritarianism locks belief in place... [and make no mistake, the machine controls the field of authority]. What "I think" as a product of the machine is itself conditioned by the machine.

Freedom requires divergence from our conditioning. This can come about precisely because the conditioning (control) of capitalism is not absolute. There are gaps in capitalism's program. Consciousness is the weapon we use. Man must be made aware of his status in the universe [i.e. material circumstances], that is to say, the world is not the way the capitalist has painted it; the capitalist has imposed an artificial system on the world [i.e. private property, virtue by accumulation]. What is man's economic status before the world as a man? Man finds himself existing on the earth, the earth has not restricted itself from man, but man has restricted himself from the earth! Behold the tyranny of idealist abstraction!

In capitalism man contends with man in a battle to claim the earth. Why not share the earth? Why not cooperate toward the realization of a better community?

[The ideology of the ruling class has become the religion of the masses!]

The history of the world is that of slaves and masters. Indeed, there will always be those who seek to exploit their fellow man in the name of freedom for the sake of profit. They that would build a society must be aware of this moral defect. In order to secure society laws must be passed which prevent individuals from accumulating large bodies of wealth, as such wealth [i.e. power] destabilizes society. We must get to the point where mankind can understand this as a scientific fact, a vital law of economics. So long as the individual's accumulation is the centerpiece of society, the growth of society will equally mean the death of society. Society therefore gives individuals the power to destroy (and exploit) all that society has built.  


Saturday, October 10, 2015



----------FLIGHT to MUNOZ----------

"Can an ethics without objectivity still lay claim to progress?"

My dear friend, this entire conversation hinges on what we mean by objectivity, by what we mean by progress. [My suspicion is that the moral realist defines these terms, from the outset, in such a way that he or she seeks to smuggle in some kind of supernaturalism. That is to say, objectivity and progress are defined in such a way that they become transcendental entities. [I am not talking about theism. At this point the philosopher must think!]

Take the idea of goal; one says, "but where does the goal come from?" It generates out of the needs of life, in many respects the formation here can be called organic. It is simply false to claim that moral realism is required to make progress in ethics. We can say (X) is better, pending the circumstances of a situation. We can say (X) is better in contrast to (P), in that (X) and (P) are not the same thing, and therefore, will not accomplish the same goal. Each has a separate effect in relation to life.

We can say, if a man wants to be entirely without morals, then he must exempt himself from society; for society presupposes the moral.

I wonder where one gets this idea that objectivity is necessary for progress (for criticism in general)? This seems to be left over from the dialectic of Christianity, wherein Christianity wages war against life in order to deify its superstitions. (I only bring this up as an explanation of origin).

----------MUNOZ to FLIGHT----------

I think the impulse behind realism of any sort---scientific, religious, moral, logical, or aesthetic---has to do with the human need for assurance beyond appearances.

The realism/anti-realism debate comes up in any field of enquiry if pursued far enough that we want certainties that are not so dependent on human vagary or general flakiness---certainties that have and will be regarded as such by others distant in space and time and are not merely symptoms of our location in the scheme of things.

Sure, Jersey, moral realism is likely to be associated with religious realism, but also, I might add, with scientific realism. The founder of the analytic club, Alex Novack, a specialist in the philosophy of science, was a scientific realist, if I recall, but also was inclined to defend moral realism. He had no religious convictions whatsoever as far as I could tell.

While most people, I would say, have this need to assert something real beyond what is needed to exist materially in the world, certainly not all. But most see no harm in it. It is convenient for the scientist in explaining the results of his or her studies in terms accessible to the person on the street to speak as though there really were objects external to the data from which it, the data, emanated. Most practicing scientists (and philosophers of science) are (and probably always were) realists about the external world. It serves no purpose they have to pretend otherwise, never mind the absence of a smidgen of empirical evidence for anything other than what is still more empirical evidence. (There is never an "of" for the empirical evidence to be of but still more empirical evidence.) The realist conviction that there is an external world persists. Some fictions are so useful we forget they are fictive. (But there "could" be an external world, you say? Suppose there is, Berkeley said, what does it have to do with us if we never interact with it?)

I think only philosophers feel compelled to resist the natural impulse to speculate on what is or is not "really" beyond the edge our senses. They are in the business of being eternally suspicious. Scientists, like everybody else, are not. Suspicion, for them, is only called for when there is cause for questioning. They want to know what is under the rock---not why there is anything for anything else to be under, or what being "under" means, or why anyone should be here to ask, as might occur to a philosopher...

But nothing stops the scientist or the person on the street from once and in awhile waxing philosphical and entertaining such questions. That's when the speculations start about what allows our sense experience to cohere or to persist and how this might suggest something "real" back of all the sense data. Or in the case of moral realism something "true" behind what concurrence of opinion is detected, say, across cultures, something as true and real and as "objectively there" as anything else could possibly be. It is usually taken for granted that there is something "objective"---some fact that would be the case even were there never anyone to remark on it and "subjectify" it by merely entertaining it in thought.

I don't think that moral realism has any special problem with objectivity that any other form of realism doesn't have as well.

I can understand someone consistently taking an anti-realist position across the board, but cherry-picking requires some convincing justification I haven't heard.

Many people believe that human progress is possible. Implicit in that is that moral progress is possible. More concretely, that it is possible that per capita the amount of human-created evil can be lessened. Some go further and say that it has lessened, say, in the last century, or millenium, or at least since recorded history. (I am not among those who are certain that progress of this sort has happened but that is beside the point.)

If moral progress had a static goal (like a peak it had to climb), the idea of "progress" would have clear meaning. When your goal stays put you can measure the distance covered and still before you toward that goal and compare them. But the history of what counts as a moral issue does not show that it is a fixed target. So perhaps it is more correct to say there is moral movement. Though it's obstacles keep recurring in new forms.

Let's take for example, the expansion of the kinds of entities that should get moral consideration. From a Hobbesian state of nature with every person looking out only for themselves (and God or the universe against all*), we have expanded the circle of moral concern from individual to family, friends, those with whom we have racial, cultural, or geographical ties, etc. to people of different sexes, orientations, animals, the environment... The circle of moral concern keeps getting wider and it is not as though morality has conquered those inner circles and it needs more responsibility to occupy itself, having discharged some aleady. Instead, we keep putting steadily more moral obligations on our plate.

This expansion of the moral sphere is seen by many, Peter Singer, for instance, as moral progress. One day, he thinks we (self-regarded right-thinking people) will look back in as much horror at the way we treat animals today as we now do at child labor in 19th century England.

(One of my favorite obscure philosophers from a century ago thought we will morally progress someday to the point that we will begin to see our own existence as gratuitous, and work to gracefully make ourselves extinct. Only in this way, will we truly conquer nature. As long as nature has us believing it's all about survival, nature is calling the shots and we remain caught up in a slave mentality.)

I suspect it is the expansion of consciousness. As we have the luxury to be concerned about the other, we will be concerned about the other. And that has interesting consequences.

Realism about morality is one way to keep moral ideals always over the horizon to make sure we never get too smug in our accomplishments. The fear is that if we think we can do the Nietzschean thing and storm the divine fortress and install ourselves there, that's just what we will do. Prematurely.

Nietzsche really was talking about "supermen." I don't think I know any outside cartoons. That said, I think he was right to place that vision before us. We have a long way to go. God may be dead, but creation still reeks of him.


*From the original title of Werner Herzog's film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser.

----------FLIGHT to MUNOZ----------

The man who claims that progress is not possible without some form of moral realism must certainly explain what he means by progress.

The equivocation arises precisely at the point of the realist's conclusion: "so basically you are claiming there is no such thing as progress?"

That all depends, my friend, on what you mean by progress? Is the formal definition, used at the beginning of the syllogism, the same as the term we find at the end?

The main question here is whether there can be [moral] progress without [moral] objectivity (everything else seems to be a side note, or a lesson in history)?

Thus I conclude: because the very nature of morality is that of contingency, to define the term progress outside this context, is to speak of something which does not apply to morality (indeed can such thinking apply to anything?). Hence, when we speak of progress, "as being possible," we speak in terms of contingency... not as though such contingency qualifies as a refutation of progress (as that would destroy the term moral as well) but that progress always takes placed within a contingent set of circumstantial fluctuations.

When I say progress is possible without objectivity (indeed, I can speak with more force)... a moral realist, who believes in the existence of progress, claiming that such progress is contingent on objectivity, is confused about the ontology of his belief. "Objective progress," he says! Is this man not utterly deluded? The point is that the moral realist believes that progress exists (because it does!) but his confusion is that he tries to claim that what he sees is objective. This is the fallacy of all moral reasoning: because morals exist, therefore objective morals exist! The conclusion does not follow from the premise. ---

because progress exists, therefore objectivity must exist.

But is this not the better form: progress does not proceed from objectivity, but from contingency, which does not nullify the existence of progress, in that the context of life, is itself, that of contingency!

respectfully yours. 


Tuesday, September 15, 2015


"Social theory should motivate your economic system not the economic system motivate your social theory."*

This, as a starting point, is both profound and realistic. If the premise is accepted it destroys the objections of the capitalist, precisely because his objections to socialism are entirely economic. He can no longer complain about the "evil deficits" produced by social action. Instead, this premise allows us to all-the-more-clearly see the defects in capitalism. Surely the needs of life ought to dictate our economics, as opposed to our economics dictating our needs... indeed, it would seem the latter is a physical impossibility. 

But what more can we learn from this? The problem of capitalism is not a problem of refutation; it is not a problem of formalism, but a problem of practice. Capitalism is the system of the world. The theoretical death of capitalism took place long ago, but why did this death not kill capitalism? The answer is because capitalism works, but this answer is also deceptive because capitalism doesn't work.

How can capitalism be function and non-function at the same time?

Capitalism works on a level of immediacy, which is to say, it has intervals of success. These intervals are akin to cycles, and these cycles swing back and forth between production and chaos. Long has man known that capitalism is a system of crisis; crisis is the ethos of capitalism; crisis is the ontology of capitalism. 

Man has a short memory (which is the reason why capitalism is allowed to repeatedly fail). Man has problems with calculation; we struggle to predict the future; we are incompetent when it comes to learning our lesson. Life is short, which is another reason for the success of capitalism. But if we speak in terms of longevity, if we are more objective in our evaluation of history, capitalism is like Aristotelian logic contrasted with dialectics (this analogy will require the reader to have some knowledge on the subject of dialectics). 

The immediate impression of the thing, the immediate effect of the thing, is the essence of capitalism:

Socrates is happy eating sweet bread, never mind the fact that such a diet will rot his teeth and lead to the overall deterioration of his health. 

Under capitalism life is doomed, but let the earth recover herself!

If the theoretical death of capitalism is certain; if this event took place long ago, then why are we still haunted by the corpse of capitalism?

It must be true that man is greedy, and to appeal to this attribute (in the sense of possibility) ensures the system by which his greed may be realized. Man doesn't want a system that's fair; he wants a system that allows him to accumulate as much as he possibly can. For thousands of years man has have lived in poverty, the overabundance of capitalism gave him ideological security against the forces of nature. The fact that man can win abundance is psychological motivation to endure his poverty.  

But in all truth if man could achieve unity, he could even surpass a system of fairness, man could literally create a system of universal leisure. Man could break free from the chains of nature; he could finally become the great Creator that he is. But does not wisdom tell us that unity is utopia, an idea confined to the world of hope and imagination?

When the drunkard finishes his bottle he throws it in the street.

It's simply not enough to expose the errors of capitalism; it's not enough to show the terrors of capitalism, in this sense, knowledge is not enough to transcend capitalism. We know that capitalism is an unjust and ludicrous system. (I long for the day when men look back and wonder at the stupidity of capitalist society): that individuals were allowed to hoard unlimited sums of wealth... this can only happen in a society that is not conscious of the very thing it claims to be! The science of society literally contradicts the existence of capitalism: the two cannot co-exist. And yet man may never learn this... perhaps we will eradicate ourselves in the name of capitalism. But even if man never knows this on a grand scale, let it be known as the wisdom of a higher order.

If man will prolong himself; if he will continue to transcend then he must learn to recognize and negate his stupidity (society requires a consciousness of what society is). 

The reason capitalism is still with us is because we are primitive.  

*Damien AtHope in conversation with J.F.


Thursday, August 27, 2015


My dear friend, though yesterday is what I would call a transformative day, I fancy the transformation was negative.

There is now a side of me that completely rejects activism... in a sense yesterday's experience turned me into an anti-activist. I believe (per Adorno) that what is needed is a greater unity of theory and praxis... I also fancy I know why Adorno was so quick to reject activism: because it contains the foundation seeds of fascism.

This is not to say I am against activism, but I am against a certain kind of activism (that which is mindless or impulsively moral). I am against activism as the default position; I am against the idea that activism in-and-of-itself is what it means to be moral... quite the contrary, I find that anti-activism is not only the default position, but also the moral position of any intelligent, self-respecting revolutionary--- in all reality the burden of proof is on the activist! "Action is what serious people do," strikes the chords of a false premise.

I reject and challenge the presuppositions of activism. I demand that the activist justify his activism.

Sometimes the work of theory is the greatest work of praxis.

respectfully yours,
Jersey Flight


Thursday, August 13, 2015


Love crashes like a wave,
Love subverts,
Love pursues against all reason.

It occurs to me (and god knows I am not ready to give this concession to any subject) that I think of love as something mystical as opposed to scientific. I suppose that love is the closest man can come to mysticism; the closest he can come to the divine. This is because I see love as irrational but powerful. If there is one thing we can assign the category of mysticism it must be that of love (God is not worthy). If there is one subject that defies understanding it must be that of love. I suspect that love is often without reason, which is to say, the reason for love is love itself. 

{Notes from Correspondence

There is no reason in fatal self-sacrifice to promote the well being of another but that of love.

What I am ready to concede is that love is a form of caring that transcends reason.


There are two readers of this exchange: those in love, and those who merely stand at a distance and analyze what they think they see. I suspect the substance of love is not the analysis, but the experience of love.

Whether or not this greatest of all events; whether or not this greatest of all gifts; whether or not this most powerful of all substances can be explained biologically, makes little contact with the experience of the lover.

So far as I know there is no greater force in the universe than that of love.

Reducing love to a syllogism or empirical observation seems to miss the authentic transcendence of love.

While I do not believe in love as a supernatural thing; I do believe that love is the only thing that comes close to (the idea) of the supernatural, which is merely to speak of the power of love.

While your discourse focuses on the biological explanation of love, my exposition is specifically centered on the transcendence of love. And by transcendence I am not referring to metaphysics or invisible forces; I am referring to the power of love in the context of life.

Love, like hope, has the quality of transcendence. And I suppose (if we must) this can be explained by the provocation of strong feelings… however, I totally deny that these feelings are merely a figment of the imagination (for God is thus but Love is not). In this sense my dear friend… in the name of greatness, this means love is real!

respectfully yours,

Jersey Flight


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

GOD IS NECESSARY: A Conversation with the Sophist Zachary

----------ZACHARY to FLIGHT----------


One must believe in God or else there is resistance in the last vestige of one's soul. Cut it up, divide it however you will. It's no use. This is known only by being brought to the very brink of Self, where the vistas are open and clear-sighted, no longer clouded or fogged by doubt, insecurity, dogged anger (or vengefulness) and one can fully go on one's way. You, however, I believe, do not truly trust yourself.

[I hope you don't mind, as shallow as I feel I've made it, a little reading between the lines of the last letter. It, by things prudently enough unsaid, does away with popular sentiments such as "we all believe in the same God, at last" and also, in another sphere, shows how wars throughout history with God behind them have not been silly or trifling affairs but actually very serious -- as serious as you can get...]

Where is all this coming from? The inevitable contrary.
-- The waves come in, the waves go out...




The first question that comes to mind is what's wrong with resistance? I must admit, I am totally ignorant when it comes to the soul.

You might consider the way your thought seems to work:

Emotional affirmation of a suggested proposition is not proof that one's suggestion is true. Perspectivalism is severely limited.

You may have "felt" this knowledge in your experience, but that is not enough to substantiate the claim.

Lack of belief in God is evidence that one is strong enough to confront reality, as opposed to projecting idealism against reality. 




If you said "what do you mean by God" I would've taken you a little more seriously. But it follows that you must, based on the avenue you took above, draw the broadest assumptions in so many areas of your thought (including the supposed "emotional affirmation" you think I made). I'm completely aware of how my thought seems to work to you...

Anyhow, would I have even answered you? Life needs to be lived. I have no interest in quibbling which, by the way, is proof of how much of a "theist" and/or "idealist" you still are...Haven't you learned: a blade sharpened too much bends.

I want to help you. I'm going to give you something you might have never come across and save you much time of your life. Read Pascal's Pensees -- 135 and 139. I think, if you really understand him, it will help you to feel less despair and to get beyond the sickliness and confusion of searching for "truth" and many of those sickly spheres of thought (including much dialectic...), and to help you realize just WHAT you're doing and getting out of it. At least it will, I hope, set you out on a better, healthier path.




I honestly and sincerely thank you for your reply (as well as your original letter). It is certainly not my intention to draw forth a battle with you. It was a bizarre paragraph you sent (and I was entirely aware that I may have missed the gist of your thought, as your style is rather cryptic).

I appreciate the Pascal references. I will certainly read them. As for being in despair (this is not something that plagues my life these days). My inclinations toward self-extermination are the result of intelligence (not despair). (And God knows I have no desire at present to engage in my own extermination).

As I see it you are sorely mistaken in your revolt from dialectic. It is intellectually irresponsible (not to mention hypocritical) to shirk the burden of proof. It is reckless to go about making metaphysical statements without any standard of falsification.

In many ways I respect you. I know you think about things, but the problem (as I see it) is that your thought proceeds from a very small and selfish space... you don't seem to think things through.

Allow me to speak directly (and here you must be tough as this is not personal) your dialectic, upon entering the arena of thought, would be obliterated in seconds. I find it exceedingly unchallenging and underdeveloped... there is no rational force attached to your ideas... it is perhaps best described as a series of interesting thoughts that lead nowhere. And because you have not done the dialectical work (in the process of thinking) this means the reader must do it for you, but what he finds is that there is not enough dialectic (in your thought) to carry your thought.

A good thinker begins with hard to refute premises.

Just take your fallacious reduction, which you created by using the word, "quibbling."

"Anyhow, would I have even answered you? Life needs to be lived. I have no interest in quibbling which, by the way, is proof of how much of a "theist" and/or "idealist" you still are...Haven't you learned: a blade sharpened too much bends."

The fact that life needs to be lived does not exempt the act of answering from the act of living. To answer is also to live.

Is a quibble a negative thing? (but this is more direct): is something a quibble just because you say it's a quibble? Basically you have injected, assigned a negative identity without establishing the identity you assigned. To say that Mr. Flight is a brigand means there is no need to refute Mr. Flight. By reasoning thus you may very well end up isolating yourself from legitimate dialectic! Poisoning the well is often a form of cognitive dissonance.  

Quibbling is proof of theism? Very well, I can think of many ways in which I affirm this premise, but I am tired and haven't the patience for this procedure, allow me to skip ahead (I'm afraid you will have to connect the dots): quibbling and rational discourse are not the same thing. In order for authority to be authoritative justification is necessary. If "quibbling" is never necessary then what is necessary? Surely at some point rational discourse is necessary? (Eventually one must draw a distinction between quibbling and discoursing).  

At some point the thing you don't want to do becomes necessary, and when we deny the thing that is necessary the outcome is often delusion, weakening by unwarranted isolation and repudiation. To repute something is very different from refuting something (the former is empty while the latter has substance).

If you make an assertion (and someone challenges the premise behind that assertion) it is your responsibility to defend and substantiate your claim. To attack the challenger at this point is to shirk the responsibility of your metaphysics. A man or woman who proceeds thus robs themselves of the right to object.

It would seem that your complaint (like so many other complaints) is that one should not be rational or careful in the process of establishing authority. Needless to say, this is not only a dangerous position to take, but it is also dishonest.

As per Pascal (having now read your references)... surely you are aware of the fact that he affirmed the idea of original sin? Hence, he condemns existence to despair. Further, the fact that he thought all of man's problems stem from an inability to sit with himself in solitude is the surest sign of his social ignorance. Man is only what his social and material conditions permit him to be. If he would be greater therefore, he must alter his social and material conditions. 

I must bring my thought to an end (as I suspect this letter has already tried your patience).

If your assumption is that of infallibility in relation to your views (if you do not think a refutation can come from a beggar) then you are the maker and keeper of your own bondage. Seek truth not power!

Those who challenge us are not our enemies, but our friends... by travailing with us in resistance, by objecting to and challenging our assertions, they often help us to escape our error.

I have carefully considered everything you said, and it seems to me you are saying that it's not necessary to be critical or rational?

" get beyond the sickliness and confusion of searching for "truth" and many of those sickly spheres of thought..."

Does this mean we should deny the existence error? If the search for truth is sickly, then what should we call the cultivation of error?

Here I would offer a much needed qualification: the search for Truth is sickly, not the search for truth. I agree that there are sickly spheres of thought in the world, but in order to gauge those spheres one must apply some kind of standard. It would seem the complaint is the affirmation of the thing rejected. In order for Truth to be sickly something else must be healthy. "What then is healthy," said the quibbling dialectician to the philosopher?      

respectfully yours,


(In one sense) we are largely on the same page when it comes to philosophy. Contrary to what you might think, I do not play the game of philosophy. I have spent a great deal of time rebuking and refuting the futility of Analytical Philosophy.

I am very distant from the last place we parted. Dialectic directed me back at life like a meteor shot to earth from the gods.

But there is a large difference in our views... one cannot dispose of rationality and criticism; one cannot legitimately use life as an excuse to evade thinking; one cannot forgo the burden of proof in relation to authority.

The real test of any thinker is his ability to resist nihilism given the collapse of his precepts, which means the disintegration of their authority. (We can also say that this is the test of any truly moral man).

Most men, at this point, conclude the futility of everything... this is weakness, this is not real transcendence (which refers to natural transcendence; which refers to the act of creation against the absurdity and hatred of existence). Real power is resilience in the face of a subjective ontology, resilience against a subjective epistemology; real power is not thwarted by the despair of this reality, but instead, brings forth value, not as a deduction or a discovery per se, but as a creation! The future can then deduce from these values, even as they must learn to create their own values. In the absence of all supernatural value the man of power does not despair, he creates value precisely because he is a moral man! [and the fact that he is moral to such a high extent of resilience is the very reason for his transcendence.]

Transcendence is the act of bringing forth what is not there, it is the act of creating even though one has experienced the collapse of all formal systems and precepts. The latter reality is not enough to thwart the power of the transcendent man. Nihilism cannot stop him because he does not rely on the authority of formal systems; because his essence is not derived from the certainty of logic.

respectfully yours,


More assumptions on your part. I'm sorry, I don't want to get bogged down in all of that muck...

I will simply ask: where does all this lead you to? I see none of it, I hear none of it manifested in your personal life. Nothing a person says, regarding the real respect gained for their character, matters. What a person does, what a person succeeds at matters. I see people every day acting superior to everyone else, I hear moral and/or spiritual constructs, some of them ingenious, for strength and courage and "going against the tide" -- but these people exhibit none of that! I see no action whatsoever!

When everything is dissolved to its last contents, I don't care about words, I care about deeds -- only backed by words (the echoes of accomplishment) if need be.  Generally, words are so cheap, they cost nothing. Why should we think them so valuable?

But, notice: when a person of ACTION uses words people tremble, prepare, they shed tears, they smile and are filled with energy, they respond according to the substance because it is a person of substance! All else is misunderstanding, deceit, pageants of eloquence and cowardice always lurks in the background with sly evasions.

The worst of it all, and it is all too common, is perfectly put by Napoleon: "When small men attempt great enterprises they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity."


What more can I say... if you declare that something is "muck" I have no choice but to conclude that it must be muck. I suspect only a fool would deny your classification.

[Of course, I could ask you why you consider rational discourse to be muck, but I suspect your reply would amount to the same re-assertion. And should I be mad enough to probe for the substance behind this assertion, I suspect your reply would amount to a personal attack, articulating defects in my character, defects no doubt, that have the same authoritarian grounding as your assertions against reason.]


Now by god we must get this out of the way: if Crutalis claims to be the strongest man in the world, then he must be able to lift the most weight in the world. This is because his claim to strength was a reference to his action. I don't know of anyone who would deny this. It seems rather simple to me. In order to have substance action words must have a physical correspondence. Indeed, substance must equally be present for all claims of authority. So one can legitimately ask (according to your own criteria)... you are claiming a certain thing about words, but where is the substance?

"I will simply ask: where does all this lead you to?"

Aside from the fact that I find this to be a rather vague question, I'm not exactly sure how to answer. I suspect I don't know where "all this" leads.

"Nothing a person says, regarding the real respect gained for their character, matters. What a person does, what a person succeeds at matters."

I suspect this means that speaking is not an action? (It is a strange metaphysical stance to claim that words don't matter). Isn't speaking a thing that people do? Perhaps you are referring to speech without success, but is there such a thing as successful speech, and if so should this speech be considered an action? I would think that a person who does words is a person who does something. I would also think that a person who succeeds at words is a person that succeeds at something.    

"When everything is dissolved to its last contents, I don't care about words, I care about deeds -- only backed by words..."

I must admit, this is quite difficult to understand. Are deeds backed by words or words backed by deeds? Do deeds inspire words or do words inspire deeds? Could it not be a kind of mutual exchange? (In either case it would seem your calculation here is flawed).

"Generally, words are so cheap, they cost nothing. Why should we think them so valuable?"

Truly I would love to probe your assertion that words are cheap, but I suspect this might lead to the conclusion that they are not so cheap as you think. Whether or not words cost something depends on what we mean by cost? Surely they must cost something?

If you reject the value of words then why do you not reject words altogether? (Here and now you would use words to solidify the valuelessness of words?) Is this because words have no value? (Or perhaps they only have value in a negative sense?) In sharp contrast to your assertions, words are one of the most valuable things I have ever encountered... in all truth my friend, I would be lost without them.

At times it is action enough simply for a man to use the right words. Using words powerfully is one of the most important things a person can do. To be a success with words is one of the greatest successes one can ever achieve.   

"...when a person of ACTION uses words people tremble, prepare, they shed tears, they smile and are filled with energy, they respond according to the substance because it is a person of substance!"

While I don't deny a legitimate contrast between words and action, I believe that words are a form of action. Words can and do precede action, and in many cases great actions require great words.

This is my advice, when you land on a conclusion land in humility, always know that a refutation can come from the lowest beggar. {And here I must defend beggars as I am one myself.} Do not be so definitive in your declarations.

If there is indeed substance to what you say I most certainly want to know it; I would that God should strike me down before I negate the truth! In my experience the most valuable people I have ever come into contact with have been people of words, no doubt, they have also been people of great character (but perhaps never apart from words). I agree that there is a contrast, but I do not agree that it is so distinct as to negate the value of words.

"I see none of it, I hear none of it manifested in your personal life."

It seems to me there is a silent scale attached to your idea of action (in other words) you fallaciously assume that one's actions must achieve some kind of immediate and universal status? You also seem to assume that your perception of substance is the criterion of all substance. Surely it is possible that your grand and unrealistic perception is the problem? We act where we can with the limited resources we possess. How many people must our words (or actions) affect before we can say they qualify as substance? If "a person of substance" is only defined by action (in your sense of the term) then how do you prove that words are not a form of action?    

Whether I am a good man or a bad man has nothing to do with the truth of my speech. I am indeed a man of words, but from this, I am not exactly sure how one gets to the conclusion that my words are wrong (unless of course, one generally assumes that words are in themselves wrong)?

In believe that words should lead to action, but I also believe that words are a form of action. I believe Marx's quote on philosophy is the most important philosophical quote ever uttered:

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it."

Your moral claim seems to be that words are inferior to actions, but this is simply too general and vague to have much value. Many men have altered the world with words.

How will you teach a man to act nobly without using noble words?

[In order to cultivate strength as a thinker it is necessary to offer a refutation, as opposed to making oneself feel better by constructing an ad hominem. The latter rarely makes contact with the subject.]

I suspect the reason you are so down on rational engagement, is because you know your ideas cannot stand up to criticism (one might call this a lack of substance in authority). I would never be content to live this way. I want people to challenge my assertions because I want to know the truth; I am not content to live in delusion; I am not content to conduct my life on the basis of error.

He that seeks power cares little for truth.  

respectfully yours,
Jersey Flight


Saturday, July 25, 2015


Dearest Dr. M & J,

I would like to truly and deeply thank both of you. You have both helped me to become significantly more aware of my dialectic (not that it is fallacious but that it is being perceived as fallacious) (the objection against it is that it is morally wrong). And though I am within my logical rights to demand a justification for this morality (which in most cases the defendant will not be able to provide) I believe that such a complaint comes too late (the fallacious assumptions of the individual are already set in stone-- they are proclaimed without falsification!). One sees the negative and assumes it must be wrong; one is offended and assumes their offense is evidence of evil.

I am now faced with the question of how to reach the full potential of dialectic without compromising the power of dialectic for the sake of peace (even though I suspect the latter may at times be necessary in place of the former--- but if this is the case then the case must be made)!

This signifies a turning point in my life as a polemicist.

respectfully yours, 
Jersey Flight


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

INTELLIGENT DESIGN AND INTELLECTUAL HONESTY (an exchange between Jersey Flight and Casey Luskin)

[A Letter to Casey Luskin:]

This is strange... I seem to have fallen into a hole (something they call theology). How does one get out of this catastrophe?

I can see a light above my head. There is a man holding a torch, but the question is how long his torch can remain lit?

It should be clear to any discerning student that those who advocate Intelligent Design are intellectually dishonest.

By god I would grant the premise!

Now the real question is why such a conclusion matters? Can the inference of design tell us anything about the Designer or Designers? Can it tell us whether or not these beings have anything relevant to do with existence aside from being its cause?

But who or what caused these mysterious Designers?

(Never mind this question, I am content to affirm the premise that they remain the axiom of existence).

What do you know about these beings that can tell us why they are relevant to life?

Saying "they caused it" does not disprove the fact that they may now be long dead. So perhaps Intelligent Design can only tell us that the Designers of life are irrelevant to life? How do we know that the Designers of life are not estranged from the process of life?

It will be uncontested that the evidence we examine to deduce the conclusion of Intelligent Design is not irrelevant (because its existence is immediate), but what about the Designers of that which exists, surely they are not evident in the same way that "their design" is evident? How then can one claim they are relevant to life?

Curiously yours,
Jersey Flight 




Dear Jersey,

Greetings and thanks for your email. There are good answers to all of your questions. But I’ve been around the block many many times, and I know exactly what it means when you say: “It should be clear to any discerning student that those who advocate Intelligent Design are intellectually dishonest.”

As long as you think that “those who advocate Intelligent Design are intellectually dishonest,” then that tells me that (1) You probably don’t know very much about intelligent design, and (2) there’s a very high chance that you are not interested in seeking truth

So here’s my question to you: Are you open to the possibility that advocates of intelligent design are not “intellectually dishonest”?  If you’re not, then you’re not seeking truth, and you’re the problem here, not me.

If you are, then I’m open to having a dialogue with you.

I know that I am intellectually honest, and I know that there are good answers to your question.

The question is whether you’re open to hearing those answers or whether you just want to make personal attacks against that are rooted in your ignorance of people you disagree with.





Mr. Luskin,

Perhaps it may come as a surprise, but I agree with you.

"Are you open to the possibility that advocates of intelligent design are not “intellectually dishonest”?"

Yes, it is entirely possible that my calculation of the Intelligent Design disposition could be wrong. It is possible that Intelligent Design advocates are the most honest people on the face of the earth.

I also affirm the fact that I could be exceedingly ignorant about Intelligent Design.

I am most certainly open to hearing answers, but I wonder if you are open to hearing objections?

The only other thing I can say is that the possibility of something is not the same as the reality of something. It is very easy to fallaciously mistake the denial of a favored proposition with the denial of truth (even though the latter is not necessarily equivalent to the former).  

respectfully yours,




Hi Jersey,

I dialogue with ID critics constantly and I’ve spoken before many skeptics groups and skeptics forums where I’ve heard numerous objections. So not only am I “open to hearing objections” but I’ve probably heard most of the objections/question you might raise, and there’s even a good chance that I’ve answered those objections/questions in a compelling and respectful manner.

So I will give you the benefit of the doubt here that you’re open to the possibility that ID proponents are not intellectually dishonest (even though in your prior email you gave every indication that you aren’t open to that possibility because you wrote, in extremely strong terms, “It should be clear to any discerning student that those who advocate Intelligent Design are intellectually dishonest. By god I would grant the premise!” But I’m happy to look past all that until you give me new reasons to doubt your sincerity!

Also, please let me note from the outset that I am a Christian and I believe the designer is the God of the JudeoChristian religions. Now this is not a conclusion of ID. ID as a scientific theory does not address religious questions about the identity of the designer (see:  Rather, my belief that God is the designer is my personal religious viewpoint that stems from factors and arguments outside of ID. There’s no intellectual dishonesty here: I’m being transparent with you about what I believe from the outset, because I think that’s important. In fact it’s very easy to find that ID proponents are open about their personal religious (or otherwise) views.

Thus, I should note: there are ID proponents who aren’t Christians, and ID proponents aren’t even religious. They see scientific evidence for design in nature, and I completely agree with them on that point!  But we have very different views about the identity of the designer. ID is not unified about some viewpoint about the identity of the designer. Rather, it’s unified about the view that there is scientific evidence for design in nature.

In any case, you first ask: “Now the real question is why such a conclusion matters? Can the inference of design tell us anything about the Designer or Designers? Can it tell us whether or not these beings have anything relevant to do with existence aside from being its cause?”

I reply: We have to treat your question on both a scientific level and on a philosophical level.

Scientifically, a scientific inference to design only tells you that there was an intelligent cause. So scientifically, it doesn’t tell you a whole lot more. However, I do know that on a scientific level the theory of intelligent design leads to many interesting additional scientific questions and avenues of investigation. For example:

• ID encourages scientists to do research which has detected high levels of complex and specified information in biology in the form of fine-tuning of protein sequences. This has practical implications not just for explaining biological origins but also for engineering enzymes and anticipating / fighting the future evolution of diseases. (See Douglas D. Axe, "Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 301:585-595 (2000); Douglas D. Axe, "Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 341:1295-1315 (2004); Douglas D. Axe, "The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds," Bio-Complexity, Vol. 2010).)

• ID has inspired scientists to seek and find instances of fine-tuning of the laws and constants of physics to allow for life, leading to a variety of fine-tuning arguments including the Galactic Habitable Zone. This has huge implications for proper cosmological models of the universe, hints at proper avenues for successful "theories of everything" which must accommodate fine-tuning, and other implications for theoretical physics. (See Guillermo Gonzalez et al., "Refuges for Life in a Hostile Universe," Scientific American (October, 2001); D. Halsmer, J. Asper, N. Roman, T. Todd, "The Coherence of an Engineered World," International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(1):47-65 (2009).)

• ID leads scientists to understand intelligence as a scientifically studyable cause of biological complexity, and to understand the types of information it generates. (See Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004); W.A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); A.C. McIntosh, "Information and Entropy -- Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems?," International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(4):351-385 (2009).)

• ID directs both experimental and theoretical research into how limitations on the ability of Darwinian evolution to evolve traits that require multiple mutations to function. This of course has practical implications for fighting problems like antibiotic resistance or engineering bacteria. (See Michael Behe & David W. Snoke, "Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues," Protein Science, Vol. 13 (2004); Ann K Gauger, Stephanie Ebnet, Pamela F Fahey, Ralph Seelke, "Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness," Bio-Complexity, Vol. 2010).

• ID produces theoretical research into the information-generative powers of Darwinian searches, leading to the finding that the search abilities of Darwinian processes are limited, which has practical implications for the viability of using genetic algorithms to solve problems. (See: William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A: Systems and Humans, Vol. 39(5):1051-1061 (September, 2009); Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, and Robert J. Marks II, "Evolutionary Synthesis of Nand Logic: Dissecting a Digital Organism," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, (October, 2009); William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Bernoulli's Principle of Insufficient Reason and Conservation of Information in Computer Search," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, (October, 2009); Winston Ewert, George Montanez, William Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Efficient Per Query Information Extraction from a Hamming Oracle," 42nd South Eastern Symposium on System Theory, 290-297(March, 2010); Douglas D. Axe, Brendan W. Dixon, Philip Lu, "Stylus: A System for Evolutionary Experimentation Based on a Protein/Proteome Model with Non-Arbitrary Functional Constraints," PLoS One, Vol. 3(6):e2246 (June 2008).)

• ID has helped scientists develop proper measures of biological information, leading to concepts like complex and specified information or functional sequence complexity. This allows us to better quantify complexity and understand what features are, or are not, within the reach of Darwinian evolution. (See, for example, Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004); Kirk K. Durston, David K. Y. Chiu, David L. Abel, Jack T. Trevors, "Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins," Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Vol. 4:47 (2007); Chiu, David K.Y., and Lui, Thomas W.H., "Integrated Use of Multiple Interdependent Patterns for Biomolecular Sequence Analysis," International Journal of Fuzzy Systems, Vol 4(3):766-775 (September, 2002).)

• ID has inspired scientists to investigate computer-like properties of DNA and the genome in the hopes of better understanding genetics and the origin of biological systems. (See Richard v. Sternberg, "DNA Codes and Information: Formal Structures and Relational Causes," Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 56(3):205-232 (September, 2008); Ø. A. Voie, "Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent," Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, Vol 28(4) (2006): 1000-1004; David L. Abel & Jack T. Trevors, "Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models," Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 3:211-228 (2006).)

• ID encourages scientists to reverse engineer molecular machines like the bacterial flagellum to understand their function like machines, and to understand how the machine-like properties of life allow biological systems to function. (See for example Minnich, Scott A., and Stephen C. Meyer. "Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits in Pathogenic Bacteria," Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, Rhodes Greece, edited by M.W. Collins and C.A. Brebbia (WIT Press, 2004); A.C. McIntosh, "Information and Entropy -- Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems?," International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(4):351-385 (2009).)

• ID causes scientists to view cellular components as "designed structures rather than accidental by-products of neo-Darwinian evolution," allowing scientists to propose testable hypotheses about causes of cancer. (See Jonathan Wells, "Do Centrioles Generate a Polar Ejection Force?." Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum, Vol. 98:71-96 (2005).)

• ID has spawned ideas about life being front-loaded with information, such that it is designed to evolve, and had led scientists to expect (and now find!) previously unanticipated "out of place" genes in various taxa. (See, for example, Michael Sherman, "Universal Genome in the Origin of Metazoa: Thoughts About Evolution," Cell Cycle, Vol. 6(15):1873-1877 (August 1, 2007); Albert D. G. de Roos, "Origins of introns based on the definition of exon modules and their conserved interfaces," Bioinformatics, Vol. 21(1):2-9 (2005); Albert D. G. de Roos, "Conserved intron positions in ancient protein modules," Biology Direct, Vol. 2:7 (2007); Albert D. G. de Roos, "The Origin of the Eukaryotic Cell Based on Conservation of Existing Interfaces," Artificial Life, Vol. 12:513-523 (2006).)

• ID helps scientists explain the cause of the widespread feature of "convergent evolution," including convergent genetic evolution. (See Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, "Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis, and the origin of irreducible complexity," in Valerio Parisi, Valeria De Fonzo, and Filippo Aluffi-Pentini eds., Dynamical Genetics (2004); Nelson, P. & J. Wells, "Homology in biology: Problem for naturalistic science and prospect for intelligent design," in Darwinism Design and Public Education, Pp. 303-322 (Michigan State University Press, 2003); John A. Davison, "A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis," Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 155-166.)

• ID encourages scientists understand causes of explosions of biodiversity (as well as mass extinction) in the history of life. (See Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, "Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis, and the origin of irreducible complexity," in Valerio Parisi, Valeria De Fonzo, and Filippo Aluffi-Pentini eds., Dynamical Genetics (2004); Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004); Meyer, S. C., Ross, M., Nelson, P. & P. Chien, "The Cambrian explosion: biology's big bang," in Darwinism Design and Public Education, Pp. 323-402 (Michigan State University Press, 2003).)

• ID has inspired scientists to do various types of research seeking function for non-coding "junk"-DNA, allowing us to understand development and cellular biology. (See Jonathan Wells, "Using Intelligent Design Theory to Guide Scientific Research," Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design, 3.1.2 (Nov. 2004); A.C. McIntosh, "Information and Entropy -- Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems?," International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(4):351-385 (2009); Josiah D. Seaman and John C. Sanford, "Skittle: A 2-Dimensional Genome Visualization Tool," BMC Informatics, Vol. 10:451 (2009).)

Now on a philosophical level, of course ID raises the question of “whether or not these beings have anything relevant to do with existence aside from being its cause?” But the theory of ID takes a scientific approach so it does not answer such philosophical questions—it only raises them. As you properly note (when you say you “fell” into “theology”), our relationship to the designers is a theological question—and theological questions require theological answers. In that regard, if you are interested in that question, I would encourage you to explore various theological views which address our relationship to the designer.

You also ask, “But who or what caused these mysterious Designers?” and then state “(Never mind this question, I am content to affirm the premise that they remain the axiom of existence).”

I like your latter point here. Regarding the origin of the designer, your question essentially boils down to “what is the origin of the designer?” or “who designed the designer?”  I know one thing is clear: unguided processes do not design designers.  So is it wrong to infer design? Let’s discuss:

As regards the scientific theory of ID, again it doesn't address the origin or identity of the designer (see   One can detect design without knowing who the designer was, or how the designer originated. Thus, your question is not a scientific one but a philosophical / metaphysical objection to certain types of design. We can talk about it, but this is a discussion that is outside the scope of science and treads into the realm of philosophy of metaphysics.

Thus, let’s say for the sake of argument that one is operating under a theistic perspective which holds that the designer is God.  (I personally am a Christian so this is my personal view, though that not a conclusion of ID.)  If is it inappropriate to postulate “God” as the designer? I don’t think it is.

In fact, the answer to the question is another question: Where did the universe come from?  Atheists / materialists have no answer to that question.  Theists believe that God is eternal and has no origin.  I’m a Christian, and a theist, so I’ll admit, I can't tell you where God came from, because either (1) nobody knows, or (2) to ask the question is to commit a category fallacy, like asking why there can't be married bachelors.  This does not trouble me at all; don't throw us theists in the briar patch of God's origin: atheists / materialists cannot say where anything came from.  All worldviews have, at their base, an uncaused cause.  The question is thus not "is it philosophically acceptable to believe in God, who has no origin?" but rather it is "Whose uncaused cause is most reasonable?"

I believe that God (who has no origin) is a far better "uncaused cause" than the "it happened for no reason at all fluctuation in the void" uncaused cause underlying the origin of everything for the philosophical naturalist. At least God is capable of creating the universe. An uncaused fluctuated in the void is not capable of creating anything—in fact it cannot exist without some prior cause. God is thus the only viable uncaused cause in town. 

This issue comes down to ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION.  We may start with this question: Is it really true that, philosophically speaking, it isn't acceptable to believe in God unless we can somehow account for the origin of God?   For the Christian theist, there is no explanation for the origin of God, for God is by definition a Being existing outside of space and time eternally in the past, present, and future, from Whom all things which were created have come, who has no origin: Psalm 93:2: "Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity." Proverbs 8:23: "I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began."  Thus, we can see God as an "uncaused cause."  But is this a problem?

It actually turns out that we have been asking the wrong question.  Here's why: EVERY WORLDVIEW has an uncaused cause at its beginning.  The WRONG question to worry about is therefore "Is it a problem that God has no origin?" because EVERY WORLDVIEW, including ATHEISM, has an uncaused cause at its beginning too.  So the RIGHT QUESTION is thus "whose uncaused cause is most reasonable?"  Atheists assert that the universe is essentially an uncaused cause.  So is it more unreasonable that everything came from nothing, or that everything came from a mind which never "came" into existence in the first place (i.e. the mind always has existed)?

So in my view, theists can answer the question of what was at the bottom of everything: God, who has no origin, is the root uncaused cause.  But atheists have no clue what their uncaused cause is because at the bottom of their chain, atheists never will have a clue how the chain started.  That's why the acclaimed Oxford atheist, scientist, and science writer Peter Atkins writes, "In the beginning there was nothing.  Absolute void, not merely empty space.  There was no space and there was no time, for this was before time. The universe was without form and void.  By chance there was a fluctuation..." (Peter Atkins, Creation Revisited, page 149)

But why was there a fluctuation in the void?  "By chance" is not an explanation.  There's no reason for it.  There's no reason to have a fluctuation in the void.  At the end of the day, whatever we discover, materialists are going to come back to a void and something happening for no reason at all -- "by chance."   So that's what's at the bottom of atheism: An event in a void that happens for no reason. Atheists can't avoid it.  Trying to avoid it will be a lifelong quest for a rabbit that no atheist will ever catch.  Ever.  Theism is superior because theists have a purposeful God who acted for a reason--an uncaused cause that is entirely consistent with our purposeful, meaningful universe.

In this regard, I think that accounting for the order in the universe by postulating a rational, powerful, intelligent being is far more philosophically acceptable than postulating "by chance, there was a fluctuation in the void," which is basically what atheists / materialists say.  Please note again that this little excursion really has nothing to do with the scientific theory of ID as your question was philosophical, not scientific.

You ask: “What do you know about these beings that can tell us why they are relevant to life?”

I reply: Well, as I said, I’m a Christian and I believe the designer is the God of the Bible. Now my belief that the designer is the God of the Bible doesn’t come from intelligent design; it’s my own personal religious belief. But I believe that God is highly relevant to life because (a) He made us because He wants to have a personal relationship with us, and (b) He loves humanity dearly and views us as His children. In fact, because God made us, he knows exactly what is best for us. Kind of like a car manufacturer knows what’s best for the car you just bought, God knows what is best for us and He’s even given us an instruction manual outlining what sort of habits and values and actions will lead to the best kind of life for us.

So I think that God is extremely relevant to life.

And please note: Everything I said in response to this question is completely beyond the scope of ID. There are ID proponents who aren’t Christians and aren’t religious and nonetheless see scientific evidence for design in nature. I agree with them on that point completely—that there is scientific evidence for design in nature!  But we have different views about the identity of the designer.

You also noted: “Saying ‘they caused it’ does not disprove the fact that they may now be long dead.”

I reply: You are correct.

You also wrote: “So perhaps Intelligent Design can only tell us that the Designers of life are irrelevant to life?”

I reply: That’s a possibility, but as a scientific theory, ID doesn’t tell us anything about whether the designer(s) are relevant to life. It doesn’t say one thing or another. ID is a scientific theory and all it does is determine whether life is the result of an intelligent cause.

But, ID certainly raises the question of WHETHER the designer is relevant to life. In fact, we’re seeing that fact in play since you are now asking these questions. ID does not answer those questions, however.

You ask: “How do we know that the Designers of life are not estranged from the process of life?”

I reply: Not through ID. But other things—philosophical and theological arguments that are outside the scope of ID—can help us address these questions: I believe that we see the designer is relevant to life because we see in humanity a strong desire to understand the ultimate, to reach out and understand our place in the scheme of things. I think this was put there by the designer because He wanted us to understand Him.

We also see beauty in nature and immense hugeness of the beautiful universe which point to a creator who is saying “I’m here, I’m great, and I love you, and I want you to know me.”

Thus, over 90% of people who have lived have looked at nature and seen evidence of a loving creator.

For me personally, I know that the designer is not “estranged” from my life because He answers my prayers and has shown me that He loves me.

You write: “How then can one claim they are relevant to life?”

I reply: Not through ID. But you can claim this through other things—like the fact that you yourself are asking this question because it was put there within you but a Designer who wants you to know him. The question won’t go away until you find the answer—because that’s exactly how God wants you to feel.

After all, if the Designer made you, and you have a desire to understand the Designer, then you might want to assume that the Designer put that desire in you so that you would want to know Him/It/etc.

Again, I want to reiterate that a lot of these questions go way beyond ID and get into theology and philosophy. But I hope my answers are a start at answering your questions.






With all due respect Mr. Luskin, it seems to me that what you said amounts to this:

- Certain objects in the world have the appearance of being designed (insofar as we understand design in relation to ourselves).

- Therefore, certain objects in the world have the appearance of being designed.

But can you get beyond this premise?

As to whether you are honest you say,

"Also, please let me note from the outset that I am a Christian and I believe the designer is the God of the Judeo-Christian religions. Now this is not a conclusion of ID. ID as a scientific theory does not address religious questions about the identity of the designer.  Rather, my belief that God is the designer is my personal religious viewpoint that stems from factors and arguments outside of ID."

Then surely you do not use (and would never use) Intelligent Design to persuade someone that your Christianity was true? Do you, from the outset, tell students that your Christian belief is not the conclusion of Intelligent Design? After all, "our relationship to the designers is a theological question—and theological questions require theological answers."

But how do you know this? How do you know that our relation to the designers is a theological question? [What relation? What evidence is there to prove that there is any relation at all?] But I am even further confused by your reply... what exactly is a theological answer? (for here it should be clear, pending your views, that one cannot say "a scientific answer").

And though you claim Intelligent Design encourages, inspires, leads, directs, produces, creates, causes, spawns and helps, I don't see how any of these points rise above the authority of science? In other words, these properties are not contingent on Intelligent Design (and in many ways) are generated far more vigorously without this premise. Not to mention, you listed Intelligent Design as a cause which leads to the act of looking for more Intelligent Design. This is not only absurd but proves the opposite point of your premise. In other words, if Intelligent Design causes the pursuit of Intelligent Design then Intelligent Design is not only irrelevant, but dangerous insofar as it wastes time on a redundancy; on a premise that leads nowhere.

[Your argument for the relevance of Intelligent Design is that it leads to the pursuit of Intelligent Design? But in order for this to be a relevant pursuit you must first prove that the discovery of Intelligent Design is relevant. To "discover" Intelligent Design is very different from explaining how this design works. How is it that the former is in any way necessary to the latter? You can tell me that (X) was designed, but you have told me nothing until you have told me how (X) works.]

My question is thus, what scientific procedure requires the premise of Intelligent Design?

"ID has inspired scientists to do various types of research seeking function for non-coding "junk"-DNA, allowing us to understand development and cellular biology."

Is this accurate, was it Intelligent Design that "allowed us to understand" development and cellular biology?
"I think this was put there by the designer because He wanted us to understand Him."

Given your admissions regarding the nature of Intelligent Design there is no way to know this.

"We also see beauty in nature and immense hugeness of the beautiful universe which point to a creator who is saying “I’m here, I’m great, and I love you, and I want you to know me.”

Given your admissions regarding the nature of Intelligent Design there is no way to know this.

We also see terror and cruelty, a world without mercy, ugliness (but somehow this has no bearing on your honest conclusion).

"Thus, over 90% of people who have lived have looked at nature and seen evidence of a loving creator."

Is this an argument for Pantheism, Deism or Polytheism?

"For me personally, I know that the designer is not “estranged” from my life because He answers my prayers and has shown me that He loves me."

You mean the same way Muslims know their designer-God is not "estranged" from life? And if your experience qualifies as proof then why does their experience not qualify as proof? Is their personal experience somehow less than yours? Is this what you mean by theological answers?

You are certainly honest when you say your belief in the Christian-Trinity-God is not a conclusion of Intelligent Design... to arrive here with conviction one must appeal to something other than evidence.          

Now my interest in relation to Intelligent Design is what one can conclude about the Designer or Designers? (And here I highly doubt your theology takes precedent over the evidence). After all, how did we arrive at the conclusion of Intelligent Design to begin with if it was not by the authority of evidence?

I say Intelligent Design is true, but it is a premise without relevance precisely because the evidence points to the fact of a material creator or creators (which are either long dead or have nothing to do with this universe).

I say Intelligent Design is true insofar as Evil Design is true.

I say Intelligent Design is true insofar as Unintelligent Design is true.

And the difference between these conclusions, and your conclusions of theology, is that these conclusions can actually be deduced by the evidence! They do not violate the original context of Intelligent Design.

I say you are dishonest because you seek to deny these conclusions on the basis of "theology" (all the while affirming the premise of Intelligent Design).

So this is my question, but what logic or authority do you deny the evidence of Intelligent Design in favor of theology?

I grant your premise of Intelligent Design, but I vigorously call you out on your non-sequitur leap to theology.

The conclusion of the Intelligent Design premise is precisely the fact that Intelligent Design doesn't matter.*

Remember, when you say Intelligent Design matters you are not speaking of Intelligent Design, you are speaking of the subjectivity of theology.

*[Even if we grant the premise that Intelligent Design matters, we must then ask the question as to how it matters? And here the answer is exceedingly limited. For it does not matter in the context of ethics or science. It is true that it might offer a few comrades a sense of inspiration, but this feeling has nothing to do with science. Intelligent Design does not explain but needs to be explained. To say that Intelligent Design matters is to equivocate the term "matters" with subjectivity. Essentially this amounts to saying, "Intelligent Design matters to me." And if it has any existential force, it would seem that this force is eclipsed by the weakness of the premise itself (it is an affirmation that leads nowhere).]

Confidently yours,

-----[Luskin gave no reply -- Flight responds]:


It is clear to any reader that you came out of the gate swinging with the utmost theological confidence, but perhaps second considerations have struck dumb your confidence? I am reminded of the crisis of C. S. Lewis (perhaps the only time he was confronted with reality):

“Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not 'So there's no God after all,' but 'So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer.” A Grief Observed

Even so have I pushed the dialectic against your theological delusions.

In order to retain your theology the questions I asked must remain unanswered, or at the very least, they must be dismissed by fallaciously striking my character.*

You wanted a God and so I granted you a God, but when the more relevant question of God's nature came into focus you abandoned your original line of reason and ran for cover (you ran to the assertions of theology). I then asked you to connect your theology with your original premise... my request was met with silence.

You are dishonest because you use Intelligent Design as a mechanism by which to propagate your Christian theism. You are dishonest because you abandon the authority of your original premise (after you have used it to conclude the existence of a Designer) you then forsake that premise in favor of theology. In this way you prey on ignorance; in this way you deceive children.

By all means do tell; what is the most consistent view of God pending the appearance of design?

Much like Lewis I suspect your theological belief is invincible: "not that I am in much danger of ceasing to believe in God." [Because NOTHING could draw forth this conclusion; it is entirely unfalsifiable!] While it is honest to say, "no matter what I will always be a Christian." It is dishonest to claim that this conviction is the result of some kind of evidence (when in fact) it is the result of psychological considerations.

Mr. Luskin please stop pretending.
Please stop deceiving yourself.
Please stop preying on ignorant people.

It is time for honestly; it is time to face the question of the nature of God in light of your original premise.

Confidently yours,
Jersey Flight

* I anticipate Mr. Luskin attempting to claim that I am doing the same thing to him... poor fellow, he ought to learn to read more carefully. There is a big difference between legitimately deducing one's character (as I have done in the case of Mr. Luskin) and fallaciously striking one's character (as I suspect Mr. Luskin would do to me). I suspect his reasoning will run as follows: Mr. Flight was not open to falsification. But wait! What does it mean to be open to falsification in the case of Mr. Luskin except that one must agree with him? Very well, I granted his premise of God, but where is the evidence for the assertions of his theology? Mr. Luskin has affirmed my dialectic at every major point, how then does he retain his Christian God? I strike a blow with a hammer: this is a violation of his original premise! By what logic does he impose his theology; for surely he must stick to the authority of his original premise? And yet he has already admitted, that from such, he cannot deduce his idea of God!!!

At the end of the day (pending the standards of his own worldview) perhaps Mr. Luskin's position is too subjective to be of any value:

"For me personally, I know that the designer is not “estranged” from my life because He answers my prayers and has shown me that He loves me."


Hi Jersey,

Wow, I’m really saddened by your reply. I thought you were serious when you said you wanted to seek truth, but now I see that you don’t want to give me a chance to reply. You just want to call names. You’re a typical angry atheist who isn’t seeking truth: Why do so many atheists spend most of their time calling names? It’s like the whole community of Internet atheists wants to call names rather than having a serious dialogue seeking truth.

So here’s the deal:

Actually I haven’t even read more than about 5% of your prior reply yet. Why? Because this is actually the busiest season of the year for my job. I normally work 80 hour weeks and this week is Discovery Instituite’s Summer Seminar on Intelligent Design ( WHICH I RUN, and where I’m basically on call working from early morning to well past 10 pm, including weekends. Last week I was very very busy prepping for this, creating numerous talks and handling all kinds of logistical complications of bringing students from all over the world to Seattle for 8 days. This has been an incredibly busy past few weeks. In fact this is arguably the busiest season of the year for my job.

And that’s this week. On a normal week I still get hundreds of emails each week and trust me, you’re not the only person I haven’t responded to this week due to our summer seminar. So please don’t feel too bad about my lack of a reply. But you are the only person this week that I haven’t responded to who is calling me names because of it. Oh well, I can’t worry about things that I can’t control. 

In any case, you just flamed out and exposed yourself as a typical namecalling angry atheist who isn’t seeking truth: You were attacking the character of ID proponents from your very first email (remember “It should be clear to any discerning student that those who advocate Intelligent Design are intellectually dishonest. By god I would grant the premise!”)

I called you on that and said that your personal attacks suggested that you might not be seeking truth. But I answered your questions anyways, very nicely actually. And I didn’t attack your character—in fact I said I was willing to believe you if you say that you say you are seeking truth until you give me reasons to think you’re not.

Sadly, you’ve now just given me reasons to think you’re not seeking truth. You just wrote a reply repeatedly accusing me of being “dishonest” when you didn’t even give me a chance to reply. You are apparently not interested in my reply.

You wrote a reply on July 3 that I haven’t even had time to read yet because this week (and much of last week) are basically my busiest work-weeks of the year. I was hoping to get a chance to write a reply when I’m on vacation with my wife’s family next week.

In any case, you couldn’t wait for that. Despite the fact that your reply to me took about a week (during which time I really didn’t pay any attention and wasn’t even thinking about wanting to call you names), you now take my lack of a reply over about 10 days as some kind of evidence of my dishonesty.

You also apparently think that I use ID to try to promote Christianity. Actually, I have been very clear in all of my public writings that ID is not an argument for God. See for example:

There are many other places I’ve said the same thing.

And here’s the deal: I speak before lots of secular groups and lots of Christian groups. To all of those groups I say the EXACT same thing: ID isn’t an argument for “God” or the “supernatural” and can’t be used to argue someone all the way that Christianity is true. It does, however, provide an argument for an intelligent cause, although the scientific theory does not identify who the intelligent cause is. But I have never said that ID can provide an argument that goes all the way to Christianity. It doesn’t, and I’ve said this publicly and privately and consistently to all kinds of diverse audiences—religious and non-religious—throughout my entire involvement with ID. I’ve only been consistent on this because this is what I believe. 

The only reason I discussed theology in my prior reply is because you raised non-scientific issues that were theological in nature. You weren’t asking scientific questions. You were asking theological questions. Theological questions require theological answers. I explained how ID doesn’t address those issues so I went beyond ID into non-scientific issues. I made that very clear. Then you blew up quite angrily! My goodness—that’s quite amazing to see how hateful and malicious you’ve become just because I tried to answer your theological questions which went far beyond the science of ID!

So here’s where we’re at: I’m a nice guy and I don’t call names and I didn’t call you any names. You apparently like to call names viciously, as your most recent email is extremely mean-spirited and hateful towards me. You’ve shown me that you’re not seeking truth and you’re just a typical angry atheist who wants to call names rather than seek truth.

But I’m a nice guy and I’m willing to give second chances (in your case, this is actually a third chance).

Thus, I am willing to write a response to your July 3 email if you will now apologize for all of the names that you called me in your prior email and admit that you were wrong to assume that I think that ID is an argument for Christianity. Your questions went beyond ID and beyond science and so there was no way to answer them unless I went into theology. You want to hate me because I tried to answer your questions…but if you apologize and show me you are seeking truth I’m willing to give you a third chance.


And just to be clear, because I’m so busy I only want to dialogue with you if you are really seeking truth. Otherwise, it’s a waste of my time. Given that you have called me so many names, you really seem like you’re too emotional and too angry to actually be willing to have a dialogue. You want to dehumanize me through verbal abuse. I forgive you for doing this, but it’s not worth my time to dialogue unless you  are going to treat me in a humane, civil, and friendly manner—in other words if you can show me that you are actually seeking truth.

Again, I forgive you Jersey for the terrible ways you are treating me, but I’m happy to dialogue with you if you want to apologize and show me that you are seeking truth. I can answer your questions and objections, but if you want to hear my answers then you have to unflame your flame-out. That means you have to apologize and stop calling me names. You called me all kinds of nasty names before you even gave me a chance to reply to your July 3 email. (BTW, I was gone all July 4 weekend so that was another time I couldn’t write a reply).

The ball is 100% in your court.

Thanks again,


The error here is mine. I presumed (because all your other replies came in such a speedy fashion, and because you kept on putting forth the idea, that if you perceived a lack of openness then you would discontinue the exchange). Therefore I fallaciously presumed that you did not want to reply (this was a hasty generalization on my part though not entirely unfounded, as you did not get back to me to explain the necessity of your delayed response). Please forgive me for not being more patient, I was certainly eager to consider your reply, which is why I was so disappointed when it did not arrive in the same time frame as the others.

You asked for an apology, this is certainly no apology as I cannot apologize for speaking the truth. Unless of course, you are saying you do not prey on people's ignorance? Are you saying that you do not use Intelligent Design to propagate your Christian theism?

Mr. Luskin your complaints have uncovered a greater issue; an issue far more relevant than the issue of Intelligent Design: the issue of the nature of dialectic itself.

Regardless of whether or not you want to continue this exchange I will respond to what you have written, because I believe it is vitally important to the clarity and future of dialectic; I believe it is important to all the tough-minded thinkers of the world who have been constantly beaten-down and thwarted by the fallacy of piety. In short, it seems to me your response is an attempt to evade the force of my questions by subverting the discourse in the name of a hidden and unjustified morality. Your reply is a red herring; a desperate attempt to shift the burden of proof.

Dear Sir, your presumption is that it is always wrong to say something negative about a person, even if that thing is true. I did not invent the fact of your position, but merely deduced it by reason. If you don't like the conclusion you either need to refute it or change. [Welcome to the land of tough thinkers.]

Let me be clear: you should be offended at someone calling you dishonest, but this offense is not proof that you are honest (and neither is it proof that I have done something wrong in drawing this conclusion).

My forthcoming reply will expose the unfounded moral assumptions behind your claims.

Vigorously yours,
Jersey Flight

[the exchange was not completed because there was an abject loss of interest in the exchange]