Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Chat With Eric Hovind

So, I got mentioned in the blog of Eric Hovind, as in “Kent Hovind’s son”. It was mostly about a conversation between him and a cool chick named Paula, aka Nerdista. After that post he continued the discussion with the both of us. I decided to post the part that I participated in here. There are spelling mistakes, of course. Blame autocorrect and the twitter character limit. The link to each individual tweet is below the words (I copied it into word that night, so it's more than 3 or 4 hours old despite wording it that way.) Click the link to read it all.


It starts with me quoting then, commenting on, something he said…


benfromcanada Ben Dobson

@erichovind: @Nerdista Using any logic is to use my worldview. Yours can't account for the unchanging absolute laws.”Dumbest thing eversaid

4 hours ago


@erichovind Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada Would you care to try to explain how an immaterial law came from a material world?

3 hours ago


Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada speaking of your tweet, remember this? "truth doesn’t need to be “absolute” to be true"

3 hours ago

Ben Dobson

@erichovind "law" is only a word we use to describe an observed phenomenon. Get past the word.

3 hours ago


Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada "law" describes an "absolute"! but you don't believe in those.

3 hours ago


Ben Dobson

@erichovind what makes a law "absolute" has nothing to do with our calling it a law. It could be "the pizza of gravity" would still be true

3 hours ago

Meanwhile, there was another thread to this discussion, which does tie back into this idea of absolute, objective laws right around here.

Eric Hovind

@Nerdista Of course no person invented logic or morals. That is the irony. They must come from something outside this material world.

5 hours ago


Nerdista Paula

@erichovind And science can track how morality evolved, and it's not given through god.

5 hours ago


Eric Hovind

@Nerdista Morality did not "evolve". If it did then we could make the killing of children for fun morally OK. Just vote it in! Change it!

5 hours ago


Ben Dobson

@erichovind @nerdista if morality didn't evolve why does your bible support slavery while you do not? BTW thanks for mention in your blog.

3 hours ago

Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada NP. And clearly you don't quite understand the Bible vs the African slavery you speak.

3 hours ago

Ben Dobson

@erichovind oh, I understand it alright. African slave trade was perfectly in line with your bible. 100%

3 hours ago


Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada Is it wrong? If so, why? What difference does it make what my chemicals do to someone else's chemicals? Is slavery wrong?

3 hours ago


Ben Dobson

@erichovind slavery damages society & thus harms humanity's longterm survival rate, so yes, slavery is wrong.

3 hours ago

Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada You are assuming that longterm survival rate is "good". Again you appeal to a morality. Are moral laws unchanging?

3 hours ago


Ben Dobson

@erichovind do moral laws have to be unchanging to be useful? Yes, survival is "good", no, I don't need to borrow anything to say that.

3 hours ago

Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada I am not asking about usefulness. I could find it useful to steal from someone, doesn't make it right.

3 hours ago

Ben Dobson

@erichovind it's useful to the thief, but if everyone steals, it ruins the group. Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

3 hours ago

Ben Dobson

@erichovind I know exactly how you'll twist that. No, murder never benefits "the many" so don't even ask.

3 hours ago

Ben Dobson

@erichovind to clarify: thievery damages group because if all simply steal, no one is productive, we all suffer.

3 hours ago

Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada ?? where did you get that from? So if the whole world decided we need to kill the Jews, that would make it OK?

3 hours ago

Ben Dobson

@erichovind I guess you missed my follow up tweet predicting that. No, murder is never useful.

3 hours ago

Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada So murder is always wrong. Right?

3 hours ago

Ben Dobson

@erichovind murder cannot be justified except as self defence. So yes, it's wrong

3 hours ago


Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada By what standard is it wrong? In other words, says who?

3 hours ago



Ben Dobson

@erichovind does declaring a thing "wrong" or "right" make it so? Survival & all that aids it is "right" regardless of proclamations

3 hours ago

Due to the nature of twitter, there was another side thread where Eric replied to a tweet of mine twice in different ways. We eventually got back to the real point, though.

Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada Is hurting society "Wrong"?

3 hours ago


Ben Dobson

@erichovind society benefits all in it, aids in survival, thus all that damages society is "wrong" & what benefits it is "right"

3 hours ago


Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada So if it benefits one society to take over another one, is it right to do?

3 hours ago


Ben Dobson

@erichovind one can try to justify it. As we've seen, learning what our gov'ts do to other societies can hurt our own society (cont)

3 hours ago


Ben Dobson

@erichovind above society is "species". Ultimately, survival of the species is the ultimate good.

3 hours ago


Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada How do you know that? What if I said, survival of "Mother Earth" is good and killing all people will help?

3 hours ago


Ben Dobson

@erichovind that's silly. Human survival is above all. That's the basis of all codes of morality, if you study with some seriousness

3 hours ago


Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada Why is human survival above all?

3 hours ago



Ben Dobson

@erichovind because we are human. Chimp survival is highest goal for chimps, elephants for elephants, etc. And before you try to day(cont)

3 hours ago

@erichovind that we can use that to support 1 "human" group over another, yes. That's why Darwin is important. He shows we're all human(cont

3 hours ago

@erichovind and so it's wrong to harm any human, regardless of where they're from. That's morality evolving due to science for you.

3 hours ago

Eric Hovind

@benfromcanada So we go back to "I can do whatever I need to do to survive?" Hardly a "Standard" for morality. Sry, good night for now. 3am

3 hours ago

Ben Dobson

@erichovind uh, no, not at all what I said. We depend on each other, so we have to look out for each other, silly. Have a good sleep, then.

3 hours ago

Essentially, I made it as clear as possible (in 140 character tweets) what my moral philosophy was, and though I didn’t explain fully why, I did allude to it. As you can see by his recycling his dad’s talking point of “killing all people to save mother earth” right after I said human survival was the goal, and the very last tweet from him, he clearly misinterpreted my ideas. Perhaps he lacked the reading comprehension skill necessary to interpret what I’m actually saying, perhaps his prejudice blinded him. Who knows? Either way, I got a full discussion with the head of Creation Science Evangelism AND I was mentioned in his blog. Feather in my cap right there

5 comments:

  1. Yeah, I feel like we've really made it! Which is totally feeding my sinful ego, I hope he's ready to take responsibility for that. But honestly, that was one of the most frustrating and demoralizing discussions I've ever had. His basic definitions for words were totally incorrect and he kept insisting that because I needed evidence, because I "believed" in evidence as proof-that meant I believed in god. I mean, he's totally delusional. One bright spot is that one of his followers did also reach out to me and we had a very nice and polite discussion. So, perhaps there is a glimmer of hope.

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  2. Oh god, Eric has bought into the presuppositional bullshit?

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  3. The absolute truth argument is a very easy win for Hovind or anyone. What Nerdista is saying breaks the law of non-contradiction.

    There is no absolute truth.
    There is scientific truth, which is absolutely true.
    Problem: There is no absolute truth. There is absolute truth.

    Or even better yet. "There is no absolute truth". In order to be true, this statement would have to be an absolute truth itself, making it false. It's self-negating.

    Postmodern thought can summed up succintly by the statement "Heads I win, tails you lose". Just sayin'.

    Now there is another prejudice I saw in those tweets; that the Bible is incompatible with science. This misunderstanding is mainly due to Christians who force bad interpretations of Scripture down everyone's throats.
    In fact, there is not one biblical claim that contradicts a settled scientific fact.
    How's that one for a debate starter? Cheers

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  4. Jimbo: My objection to the term "absolute truth" is the idea that it is decided by someone, rather than being true on its own. Facts are not determined by anything. We discover what they are by science, but facts are true independent of the proclamations of men or gods. Truth is the only god.

    There actually are a few biblical claims that contradict settled scientific fact. You can interpret the bible figuratively to get around the flat earth, young earth, geocentric and creationist claims, but rabbits do not chew cud (so Leviticus 11:6 is wrong) there were never giants (Genesis 6:4 and other verses fail) and bats aren't birds (so Deuteronomy 14:18 is wrong). So there's 3.

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  5. Ben**My objection to the term "absolute truth" is the idea that it is decided by someone, rather than being true on its own.**

    Agreed. SomeONE should not decide absolute truth. But groups of people can establish irrefutable facts like you being in Canada right now and me being in Florida by the pool. My belief in God is also evidence based. God leaves open the element of faith. Supposedly, the only time we'll all get to see Him in all His glory is at the end times. It's almost like He wants us to love Him for who He is; not unlike our girlfriends who want us to love them for other reasons than them having nice breasts. How's that for an analogy?

    Your little points about the rabbits and bats are debatable. The focus of the Bible is not to classify everything scientifically. You'll find you can prove a literalist like Hovind wrong but that's no big deal. They are wrong on many points anyway. I was treated to a tour with my wife and daughter through a "museum" with displays representing the 6,000 year history of earth with drawings of men in robes watching dinosaurs play. I thought I was going to die from laugh-suppression. Some biblical interpretations are just plain bad.

    The Bible is infallible not because it's more accurate than CNN but that it never fails US. If you seek the life commanded in the Bible you will find that it works. We can be content in all circumstances.

    ReplyDelete