Debate with a Catholic obfuscating the word 'Meaning' = "Equivocation Fallacy"


Here is a section debate concerning the word 'Meaning' with an extremely obstinate, irrational, Catholic fundy.

Debate Source:




Well Emm:

It is the human brain that gives words meaning, including yours.

It is the human brain that imposes meaning onto the known universe, because the unknown universe exists, even though we have no meaning for it.

Meaning is a mind based illusion.
Before humans existed and conjured up a meaning for everything we perceive, the universe existed.

Thus for 13 billion years a meaningless universe existed.
It has only been the last 70,000 years that we know of, humans have been attributing meaning to the Sun, stars and perceived objects in the sky.

Thus the universe has only had meaning for that 70,000 years.
Before then, it existed without words describing and attributing meaning to it.


A Rock or Asteroid still exists, even when no consciousness exists to name it a Rock or Asteroid.

The meaning we attribute to objects is only a word, a word which only exists in the mind of those describing and attributing meaning to those objects.

Before the mind/consciousness of those objects existed, the objects themselves existed, thus they existed without names and without meaning.

A previously unnamed and without meaning asteroid breaks away from the Van Allen Belt and hurtles towards Earth, being picked up by telescopes, and suddenly a nameless, meaningless lump of rock is given a name and meaning.

Though most of the universe is unknown, and exists without names nor meaning.

So very simple.

Isn't it?


Emm's Response here is typical of his dodge (distraction) tactic, or Red Herring Fallacy:


G'day M8,

"A Rock or Asteroid still exists, even when no consciousness exists to name it a Rock or Asteroid."

A rock by any other name is still a rock. It is never a rose. 


"It is the human brain that gives words meaning, including yours."

Language gives words meaning.

"It is the human brain that imposes meaning onto the known universe,"

Impose? I could substitute other words such as discover, infer, deduce. From where do the meanings of these words come? Why is impose a more legitimate term than these others?

"Meaning is a mind based illusion."

Then meaning has no meaning and neither mind nor illusion have any meaning.

"Thus for 13 billion years a meaningless universe existed."

Or, you just weren't around to know what it means.

"It has only been the last 70,000 years that we know of, humans have been attributing meaning to the Sun, stars and perceived objects in the sky."

So then, what is the meaning of the sun, and the other stars and perceived objects in the sky?


Notice the Equivocation Fallacy here.

He is giving two definitions for 'Meaning' in the same paragraph.

Meaning as a definition (Noun, Sun, Stars, Object) and Meaning as a purpose (Meaningless (Adjective) Universe or Purposeless Universe).   

He is not defining whether he is specifically using the Noun or the Adjective form of Meaning, 

He is actually using both forms of the word 'Meaning' here.

This is confusing the term 'Meaning', thus producing an Equivocation Fallacy.


Moi: cut

Ha Ha Emm:

@ "A rock by any other name is still a rock. It is never a rose. "

Well it could be a Rose if another language exists which uses the term Rose to describe small hardened lumps of Earth.

But, if you know ever studied how languages form, you would know that the sound Rose, would be something softer than a rock as it does not have a short hard sound.

Words in languages are mostly descriptive of form and texture.
Things hard have hard sounds to describe/name them.
Things sharp have sharp sounds to name them.
Soft things have soft sounds for a name.
Rounded objects have rounded names.
Colorful objects have fancy or colorful names.
Words to push people away are said with the lips pushing outward, such as 'Away'.
Words that are meant to bring people closer are said with the lips pulling inwards in gesture such as 'Come'.


-------------------------------------------I'll shorten both responses to the main points:

Emm (cut):


Naming a thing doesn't bring it into existence or give it meaning/purpose. Naming it merely recognises its existence and meaning/purpose. So rocks and roses have meaning not because of their names but because they exist and have particular characteristics. Without such characteristics and hence meaning/purpose they would not exist."


Note: Here he is trying to say that things have a purpose (intention or divine reason) for existence, where he is using the Adjective variant of 'Meaning', but Naming things is the Noun variant of "Meaning".   Thus he is committing an Equivocation Fallacy in a single sentence.
He is also asserting that there was a purpose for every object in the universe, without any knowledge of how or what this purpose may be, thus he is committing an "Argument From Ignorance Fallacy!

I give Emm a lesson on how languages form and how objects prescribe their own names through their observed characteristics.


Emm gets the debate back on track:


Now, back to the topic from which you have departed. 

That which has no meaning cannot exist. That which exists possesses it's own innate meaning derived from it's nature. Without that nature it cannot exist. A meaningless universe could not exist. A meaningless universe is an absurdity!"


Moi: cut

@ "That which has no meaning cannot exist. That which exists possesses it's own innate meaning derived from it's nature. Without that nature it cannot exist. A meaningless universe could not exist. A meaningless universe is an absurdity!"

Things have "Properties", not "Meaning".


"6. an essential or distinctive attribute or quality of a thing:
the chemical and physical properties of an element.


Emm really gets beyond naive here, in fact Stupid.

He now claims that Salt, Metals all have meaning which are inseparable from their properties.  He states the meaning of salt exists before our discovery of it and we give it meaning when we name it.  This is an Equivocation Fallacy on Meth.

He is now confusing Meaning with three terms: Name/Identity, Properties and Purpose, all in the same passage.

"This is incorrect. It rests upon the notion that there is no real connection between us and our environment. Yet scientifically this notion is unsupportable. So why do you support it? We don't impose the meaning of Salt (NaCl) upon Salt. We discover its meaning by interacting with it."


I try to explain to him that he is confusing property with meaning, since in Chemistry, meaning is never a characteristic of any compound or element.

In chemistry, only the terms Characteristics/Behaviours or Properties are used and Meaning is not a property in any list of properties for any element on the Periodic Table.

He refuses to budge and even now, still argues that metals like Iron have meaning beyond the identification, which in reality is the meaning of the word iron, but the element itself has no meaning, but Emm will always argue it has.

Because he has put himself in a philosophical corner.

His Severe Cognitive Dissonance is keeping him from ever admitting defeat.

He is still throwing in red herrings and arguments from ignorance.

His cognitive dissonance is so extreme and his actually knowledge is so poor, that he can do nothing more than use distractions and blatant arguments from ignorance to defend his position.

I wonder why he still argues the same points he has been defeated on, for months on end, never admitting that defeat.

Typical dogmatic fundamentalist Catholic.

He reminds me of William Lane Craig, with his never admitting defeat, but, Emm appears worse!

As recently he has incessantly been resorting to Ad-Hominem attacks (personal insults), which I've been occasionally throwing them back at him or pointing them out.

Personal Insults (Ad-Hominem) attacks are a sure sign of defeat!

Yet, like William Lane Craig, Emm will never admit defeat.

Just let everybody else know he has been defeated by his Ad-Hominem attacks and Red Herring distractions.

Though stirring Emm up is still fun!    :D 

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Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on June 3, 2015 at 4:38am

" "

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on May 8, 2015 at 3:44am

Notice he is resorting to name calling, yet he is the only bag of wind in this debate.

His posts deserve nothing more than a face/palm, as this yokel is indeed scientifically illiterate.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on May 8, 2015 at 3:42am

The Idiot won't give up, he still insists that even atomic particles have meaning and all substances have meaning.

He is now saying that the function of a substance is its meaning.

He doesn't understand that substances don't even have a function, they have properties and behaviour, behaviour will vary with environment, substances don't have function or meaning in the chemical sense.

It's humans who give meaning and function to a substance.

We use a substance for our own function, but that function does not exist as a property of a substance.

Link to his post.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on April 16, 2015 at 8:34pm

Though I really should have changed the title of that to:  Religion is Prefrontal Cortex Malfunction.

But I let it stay temporal lobe.j

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on April 16, 2015 at 8:30pm

Here are my latest comments @ a few of the theists on this forum:


Date/Time 17 Apr 2015 11:13:58am
Subject Re: Religion Is Temporal Lobe Malfunction!
BTW Emmaus, Ryan and Mankini

The claim of god being Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient and undetectable by scientific means are all Special Pleading arguments.

Like I did complete my homework but I don't have it because my dog ate it.
Only your claims are a far worse form of Special Pleading Fallacy, because they rely on unverifiable (by scientific enquiry) claims of or Magical Claims. Where the dog eating the homework is verifiable, since they could examine the contents of the dog's stomach and faeces for traces of paper.

Magical Special Pleading arguments are the Most Fallacious arguments in existence.
They are evidence against god's existence, not for it.
Because if a god really existed, theists should not have to resort to such irrational, unverifiable fallacies.

Because you often present such fallacies, is proof that you really don't have a clue what or where a god is.
Thus you are arguing from your own immense ignorance.
Also making your arguments Argument From Ignorance Fallacies.

All you have to offer us are Fallacies.
Nothing more!

From another ex-Christian who lost his faith through realizing the fallaciousness that is religion, especially Christianity.
Just wonder if anybody likes this comment?
I thought it made a point.
Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on April 14, 2015 at 2:13am

BTW Deidre, you don't have to sign up to make comments in that forum, you can simply log in as a guest and make comments, so long as you keep on topic of the thread.

Some of their stories are interesting, the last was about the Muslim camel herders that opened up the deserts of Australia to trade and tourism.

I actually called these Muslims heroes, because they did not proselytize and kept their Islam to themselves, even the women they married were not expected to behave as Muslim women and most of their descendants never followed in their father's Islam faith.

They were truly secular Muslims.

This is why I considered them as great men, well worthy of Australia's reverence.

It is just a shame that these men were denied citizenship.

There are lots of interesting stories and debates about religion on this forum.

It is the Australian ABC Compass forum.

Compass is the program on ABC that discusses all aspects of religion.

I've been debating others and attacking creationists on this forum for a decade now, under different aliases.   

One time I had the alias "Drongo Slayer"

Drongo is Australian slang for somebody who is essentially brainless.



Link to Compass (again) for your or anybody else interested in havi...

I'm currently under the alias of "goiday_myd" which I've used for a few years now.

'myd' used to be MyD, or Doctor of Mythology.  :-D~

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on April 14, 2015 at 1:29am

I wasn't intelligent or aggressively narcissistic and money hungry at the time to cash in on my visions.  I suppose I could have had my own cult, like Garabandal Catholic cult, which my friend who saw Jesus's heart smash is a member of.

Comment by Deidre on April 13, 2015 at 9:28pm

You should have cashed in on all that. A lot of Catholics would have paraded into your home to watch the ''young boy who has visions.'' It be a miracle, everyone! Call the press. 

You might be up for sainthood status, someday. hehe ^_^

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on April 13, 2015 at 8:57pm

BTW: I've had many experiences and visions.

When I was about 11 and in hospital having my appendix removed, I had an Out Of Body Experience where I floated above my bed and saw myself growing old.

It seemed more real than reality, as I was so focused (clean symphony).

Yet, the position of the heart monitor gave it away as I reviewed it afterwards.

Others were due to drugs and being bashed in a fight (brain injury, most likely).

So experience has taught me about visions and hallucinations.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on April 13, 2015 at 8:52pm

True Deidre, 

Emm believes in his god strongly due to a persona experience/revelation, which is anecdotal, unverified evidence, but, some people put personal revelation above all evidence.

I experienced it, thus it must be real.

A Catholic friend of mine is the same, he saw the heart of Jesus fall from Jesus onto the ground and break into a million pieces.

I once asked him, how come a heart can shatter like that and how did he count the pieces.

He just gave me an angry blank stare, so I ended it there.


The apologist, William Lane Craig is also another who puts faith in a vision, above any evidence.

These people are all victims of the Anecdotal Fallacy.

They cannot believe that their experiences are most likely illusions or hallucinations.

If a vision is more real than reality, it is definitely a hallucination.

Neurology knows this, because of the following:

Consciousness is like a dissonant symphony where not every instrument (neuron) knows the score.

Many neurons may follow another score as reality is full of distractions.

When a person is hallucinating, most often all the neurons (especially in NDEs) are tuned into the same score, so a hallucination is like a high quality symphony, or clearer and more harmonious than reality.

Thus if your vision is harmonious and a clean symphony, it is more likely to be a hallucination.

Because if it was reality, there would be distractions and discord.

Another explanation is that our brains are multitasking in reality.

In a hallucination they are single focused on the vision, which makes it much more vivid.

In an NDE, the remaining working neurons are likely all focused on the illusion.

Making it appear more vivid and real than reality.



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