This is funny. Via Pharyngula today I found this piece of very poor reasoning from Dinesh D'Souza. D’Souza is banging on about how the spiritual world is of a completely different order from anything we know, and how we have no way to investigate or comprehend it. PZ has the obvious response: “So how does Dinesh D'Souza know anything about it?” Read D’Souza’s whole piece – it’s all bad.
I just had to laugh at one point he made – and it’s that part I want to comment on. Bereft of any arguments of his own, D’Souza relies on an argument made by the philosopher Kant. Briefly, Kant argued that human knowledge is limited by “the limited sensory apparatus of perception” we possess. That is, we cannot be sure our perception of reality shows us what reality is really like. D’Souza goes on to say this (with my bold):
When I challenged Daniel Dennett to debunk Kant's argument, he posted an angry response on his website in which he said several people had already refuted Kant. But he didn't provide any refutations, and he didn't name any names. Basically Dennett was relying on the argumentum ad ignorantium-the argument that relies on the ignorance of the audience.
LOL – argument from ignorance is an argument that relies on the ignorance of the audience? Nooooooo. Can he really believe that’s what argument from ignorance is? No. Argument from ignorance is:
… a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false or that a premise is false only because it has not been proven true.
And here’s the funny bit. You see, super duper ironically, that’s exactly what D’Souza is doing when he says that since no one can refute Kant – Kant must be right. D’Souza’s argument is an argument from ignorance. Add the straw man D’Souza started with, and you have a mish-wash of illogical waffle.
Of course, Kant could be right. There could be another reality we can’t comprehend. But just because there could be a different reality we can’t comprehend, that doesn’t mean there is one. And even if there were, there is no reason to believe that it’s anything like the version D’Souza or any other religious nit wits believe in.