Sometimes you start a conversation hoping to learn something, or wanting to make a point that you think might help get someone to understand. Maybe you don't really know what you are going to say, but you decide it's worth it to try.
Then, sometimes the talk degenerates a little bit here, a little bit there. You become confused because there just is too much stuff going on. Arguments can fail, under these circumstances. They fail because you are confused, and maybe the other person does not understand.
I recently spoke with Chris whose blog is Dude, Where's my Enlightenment? We had a conversation that ended that way. I was unable to make my point. He was confused. He said I was incoherent. I'm torn. I think he has the wrong commitments.
Afterwords, I told him I would think about what he had to say. This is an examination of that conversation. It began,
December 10, 2006
Materialism, Religion, and Appeals to Consequences
Some of the contributors at Uncommon Descent really confuse me. Consider this post on the consequences of materialism and religion. The whole point of the post seems to be something like materialism has bad consequences so we should not believe it and religion has good consequences so we should believe in it. That's really bad reasoning. The author commits an appeal to consequences against materialism and then runs the fallacy the other direction in favor of religion. The alleged consequences of a belief are irrelevant to its truth or falsity.