The funniest plea for attention we’ve ever gotten


Sometimes theists will try to goad and taunt atheists into an argument, because that’s what you have to do when you haven’t actually got a good argument. But this one, which came in a personal email to Beth Presswood, is just all kinds of hilarious.

I feel like getting into a debate with you guys, but the problem is that I have access to scholarly philosophical arguments from William Lane Craig and you guys have popular arguments from Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris, so you guys aren’t going to understand proper logic. You’ll make a fallacious statement without knowing it. I’m not really sure what to talk about, but could you give me a topic and we can discuss something? I’m not trying to insult you or anything, it’s just on your show, you use popular internet atheist arguments that are simply unsophisticated and unscholarly. But let’s talk about something.

Your friend in reason,
Anthony
ReasonableFaith.org

Anyway, it’s Russell and Jeff on today’s show. See you then.


Anthony has written back, and I’ve responded in detail after the jump.

I don’t really know what to tell you at this point because at any professional institution, the existence of the historical Jesus of Nazareth is so certain that they don’t even bother debating it.

I don’t think any legitimate scholar would claim that degree of certainty, but I’ve always found debate over whether there was a historical Jesus to be something of a red herring. Even if a real person existed to inspire the character in the Gospels, there is little to nothing definite we can say about his actual life that we can reliably separate from myth. And having evidence of a historical Jesus would still provide no evidence of any of the Bible’s supernatural and divine claims, no evidence of his miracles, or his resurrection, or of the dozens of revived zombie saints who rose from their graves and entered Jerusalem following his resurrection (as per Matthew 27:52-53 — I’d be very interested to know which “professional institutions” take seriously the certainty of that occurrence, as I’d expect quite a lot of historical sources would have written about something so remarkable).

The real question is, who was the historical Jesus? By the way, I want to give you guys an example of how I get my arguments for the existence of God from a scholarly source,

You mean William Lane Craig’s website.

but it seems that you just get your argument’s against God’s existence from popular internet sites and so forth.

Right. Because William Lane Craig’s website is not a popular internet site.

Richard Dawkins is not a pilosopher. He’s a scientist, and when he makes philosophical claims about the existence of God, he is only a lay-person, not a professional. I’m a scholar, and I am being trained in philosophy.

So you’re using yourself as the subject of an argument from authority fallacy. Cute.

If your point is that only “scholarly” “philosophers” have any business giving an opinion on the validity of Christian teachings, then it seems (since you’re such an expert on logic and all) that the necessary conclusion to draw is that if no atheist who lacks such credentials can have a valid opinion against Christianity, then no theist who lacks such credentials can have a valid opinion in favor of it. Which means that over 99% of Christians who went to church and sat in the pews this morning lack the necessary scholarly, philosophical training to have valid reasons for their beliefs.

But if Christianity is a belief system that can only be comprehended and rationally defended or refuted by those with such credentials, then the entire belief system is irrelevant to common people. But I don’t think you want to go there. What you ought to be willing to agree with is this: to whatever degree philosophers are able to glean so-called brilliant insights into Christianity, the core tenets of the belief ought to be comprehensible to the average person if Christianity wishes to have any followers. And since Christianity is entrenched in Western culture, I’d say the churches have done their best to pursue that goal?

So why are Christians without “scholarly” “philosophical” educations perfectly validated in their choice to believe, but atheists without such a background lack any valid basis for making refutations?

Here is a scholarly article by William Lane Craig who is a professional philosopher and scholar: Theistic critiques of Atheism

This may surprise you, but we’re well aware of who Craig is and what his arguments are (Kalam, etc.), and they aren’t especially impressive. He is a brilliant public speaker, and his rhetoric is impeccable. But that’s about the best you can say about him. In any case, you keep using this word “scholarly,” and I don’t think it means what you think it means.

I’ll be happy to smash the article you link to if you really want me to, as long as you don’t mind if I do it over the span of a few days. My work schedule is tight right now and it will take time to respond properly.

This is why it’s hard to debate with the Atheist Experience personalities, they are not trained to understand proper logic.

And you know this how, o logical one who used a logical fallacy in an earlier paragraph? And even if it were true, as I said, 99+ % of church-going Christians are not properly trained in logic. Are you going to tell them their reasons for belief are invalid as well?

As far as I know, none of them have any degree in philosophy, but I could be wrong. If I am, please correct me. Thanks!

99+ % of church-going Christians do not have degrees in philosophy. Are you going to tell them their reasons for belief are invalid as well?

So please stop with the whole “waving your CV’s around” thing. All it is is a passive-aggressive attempt to deal from the bottom of the deck so that the discussion will lean in your favor regardless of whatever arguments are presented by either of us. And it makes me think you’re writing us not out of an honest interest in dialogue, but out of an emotional and intellectually dishonest need to stroke your ego. If I’m wrong, though, please correct me!

Sincerely,
Anthony
The thinking, and Rational Christian

Can I offer a final note of advice? Rationality and logic are like a really great sex life. The more you need to brag about it, the less likely it is you’ve actually got it.


So, yeah…the dirp is strong with this one.

Comments

  1. MichaelD says

    And we all know that WLC’s arguments are completely devoid of logical problems. That’s why no atheist has ever addressed any of them

  2. LeftSidePositive says

    I just love people who confuse “lots of words” with “scholarly.”

  3. Sheesh says

    Good times. “Sophisticated theology”. Before we get started, one question: is it true?

  4. says

    Oh, come on, guys…. Let’s give the guy credit! After all, Craig *does* work at the Bible Institute of Los Angelos! Clearly, that’s a scholarly institution that’s worth something! /sarcasm

  5. Onamission5 says

    Also, “stuff I want to be true” and “people I agree with.” Which of course then follows that stuff one does not want to be true and people with whom one disagrees are unsophisticated and unscholarly, even if they have like, real facts and everything.

  6. Anne H. says

    I’m fairly certain I got a business card with reasonablefaith.org on it at Reason Rally..

  7. says

    Newsflash for Anthony: Plenty of us have read the “scholarly” arguments from William Lane Craig, John Hick, Alvin Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, etc….and they are neither new nor superior! Someone is confused about the difference between “scholarly” and “valid.” He apparently thinks they are the same, whereas “popular” means “invalid” or at least “shoddy.”

    The problem is, there just aren’t that many arguments for the existence of God. Most of them are variations on a few basic forms, such as the teleological argument, the cosmological argument, the ontological argument (which I refuse to believe has persuaded anybody, ever), the argument from mystical experience, etc. And you know what? They have been refuted time and time again, everywhere from “scholarly” journals to IRC chat rooms. It’s actually boring to see them refuted yet again, since the fact that someone thinks these tired old arguments are somehow novel shouldn’t get to receive a reply without a reminder that they are anything but.

    What Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris did (and by the way Dennett as well, though he delved into the much more interesting question of why religious beliefs are so compelling in the first place. Hint: It’s not because they’re logical) was popularize the refutations to these very old, tired arguments. And the people rejoiced/gnashed their teeth depending on what side they were on, because some of them didn’t realize precisely how tired and old these arguments are, and some of them were just happy to see them publicly refuted by their heroes. That’s why the New Atheist arguments are “popular”– not because they’re not “scholarly” or because they’re any less legitimate.

  8. sharkjack says

    I’m not even sure what he’s saying. At first I thought he meant that he has access to the arguments of WLC as something he could use to back him up. I don’t consider that as particularly threatening but he probably does, so that makes sense. But then he says that because you don’t have access to them and have to rely on RD, CH and SH (you poor sobs) and therefore don’t understand proper logic. I can only interpret that as a claim that reading WLC is the key to grasping formal logic and that christians are the only ones capable of getting their hands on WLC’s works.

    At some point I think accusing someone of being intentionally dishonest is less of an insult than accusing them of unintentional stupidity and Anthony is cutting it very close to that.

  9. tracieh says

    Yes, it’s funny when adults use the “If I call them chicken they’ll have to respond.” Basically the tactic of “If you don’t do X, then you are ABC (usually random insult based on a personal assessment with no objective merit whatsoever).” So, argue with me or you will have shown yourselves to be unsophisticated cowards. It’s especially funny, because no build up is necessary. Anyone may call the show any time, or even write to us, to discuss whatever they want. Rather than write to say why he doesn’t think we’re worth talking to, he could have saved some of his passive-aggressive energy and just called or wrote with whatever points he actually wanted to make. I wonder if these people realize how see-through their childish motivations are to others? I feel embarrassed a bit for them–but you can’t always save a person from himself… :/

  10. Andrew Pang says

    If the sender hadn’t included the website, I would’ve thought the email came from a fellow atheist mocking fundie Christians, hence Poe’s Law.

  11. says

    Or if not being christian specifically that Dawkins et al are all hopelessly lost in the realm of good philosophical debate so we only have their tortured logic to stand on….

  12. says

    christians are the only ones capable of getting their hands on WLC’s works.

    Yeah: I hear Craig hides all of his arguments in secret containers called “books”.

  13. johnathanstabler says

    Here’s my prediction if he calls:

    1. If he asks for a topic and the hosts simply say that there is no evidence for god he’ll go to the argument from design.
    2. If he starts the discussion it’ll be based on Christian presupposition.

    Either way, we’ve heard it all before. I think it’ll be a good test for the hosts to be able to nail him on his premises and get to the “gotcha”.

  14. Bob Moynihan says

    Modify the pronoun tenses appropriately, and i think you have the perfect reply to “Reasonable Anthony” right there.

  15. Micheal says

    Gretchen,

    Do please add my name to that “some of us.” The only proviso is that you extend my list of authors back to the pre-Socratics (just for gin and giggles).

    Oh no! Wait! I guess being an atheist PhD who teaches logic and ethics probably isn’t scholarly enough for this guy. Oh well. At least I tried.

  16. nibor says

    Actually, the best reply would be to say that your time is too valuable. It would be a shame wasting time on a conversation with someone like that. At least it had to be a public debate so that others can learn from it.

  17. says

    Oh goodness! What an oversight on my part. Yes, indeed…Euthyphro especially should be in there, given how fervent and numerous are his representatives today.

  18. Hermes says

    The issue with WLC isn’t if he can or does make logical arguments. It’s that they are PR, not what personally convinces him.

    What convinces WLC is what he calls the ‘self-authenticating experience of the Holy Spirit’. He takes that above and despite of any evidence or any argument he makes.

    So, I don’t see a reason why I should take seriously any argument someone cites using William Lane Craig as their source when Craig himself does not see those arguments as at the core of his own claims. They are distractions at best.

    Craig wrote:

    In other words: Regardless of the evidence and *even if* his primary arguments are shown to be invalid, he goes with his intuition. To me he seems to be mistaking his imagination for some outside entity and then in the next step he ignores reality entirely as his intuition trumps reality.

    I have found that this perspective is consistent with most theists who claim to be *personally convinced* that any gods exist. The ones that don’t claim a personal experience of some sort (intuition, ‘spiritual event’, …) often do not claim to be personally convinced or they will avoid the issue and start arguing abstractions or they will bring up arguments from someone else that aren’t the reasons why they are theists.

    References:

    Craig: “A self-authenticating means of knowing that Christianity is true, wholly apart from the evidence”

    More Craig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-fDyPU3wlQ

    Very good commentary by Theo Warner: http://blog.leagueofreason.co.uk/reason/william-lane-craig-is-not-self-authenticating

    Another example;

    Francis Collins – 3 part waterfall made him think of the trinity and he considered that to be a sign from God.

  19. Hermes says

    Ignore the line “Craig wrote:”; I meant to delete that as I moved the actual quote down to the References section just before posting.

  20. Donovan of NH says

    I love how it’s always “[name drop] has brilliant reasons to believe in God,” or “I have so many great reasons for believing in God.”

    Okay, fine. Give me one. Just one. That’s all I ask for.

    And Billy Craig is an idiot and a charlatan.

  21. says

    Send him to me! I’m also a philosopher in training, so I should be able to talk to him without being labeled “unworthy”. It should be a nice conversation, seeing as we’re both members of “The Secret Scholarly Philosopher’s Club”. We could discuss the brand new, secret and scholarly arguments, like real philosophers! Fuck yeah!

    Seriously though, it seems our dear friend, Mr. Logical Scholar, is unfamiliar with “the genetic fallacy”. I wonder if he eats anything not prepared by a chef. After all, anything else is just “popular food”.

  22. says

    Yawn, it’s the old Courtiers’ Reply with a soupçon of ad hominem (UR too stupid to avoid logical fallacies, LOL) on top. Given that WLC’s biggest argument is a heaping helping of special pleading stacked on a false (or at best, unjustified) premise: “everything that begins to exist has a cause.” The only things I’m aware of that truly “begin to exist” in any meaningful sense, virtual particle pairs generated in a vacuum, in fact have no cause. Everything else that exists has always existed, albeit the shape and properties have changed frequently over time.

  23. Jeremy Shaffer says

    That’s new: a theist that is trying to protect against having his arguments demolished by way of pre-emptively dismissing your ability to even make counter- arguments. No matter how efficiently you trounce his claims he can write it off because you’re not “scholarly” and thus do not know proper logic. If he really doesn’t think you cut the mustard, you could send him over to Reasonable Doubts, The Uncredible Hallq or Cammels with Hammers. I think they might have the qualifications he claims to be looking for. However, I think he’ll be like a creationist that has been given a biologist’s contact information and suddenly lose his taste for the discussion.

  24. says

    The belief that philosophy is the proper way to prove the truth of the supernatural is properly basic ;-)

    Has anyone ever been converted to Christianity from reading or hearing WLC’s “logic?”

  25. says

    “99+ % of church-going Christians do not have degrees in philosophy. Are you going to tell them their reasons for belief are invalid as well?”

    Probably he would, but he’d excuse it, because at least they came to the “right” conclusion, even if they got there by the “wrong” reasons.

  26. 'Tis Himself says

    I’m surprised that after comparing Craig to Dawkins et al, Anthony didn’t finish with: “And my dad can beat up your dad, so there, nyah!”

  27. ah58 says

    Yes. You should secretly have one of the “real philosophers” reply to his arguments. When his arguments are trashed and he tries to play the “what you say doesn’t matter because you’re not a philosopher” card, you can reveal that he was wrong about that too.

  28. ah58 says

    “I’m a scholar, and I am being trained in philosophy.”

    So it appears he doesn’t have a degree either. Using his own argument, he’s unqualified.

  29. says

    so you guys aren’t going to understand proper logic. You’ll make a fallacious statement without knowing it.

    Followed by:

    I’m not trying to insult you or anything,

    Mhm, yeah …

  30. mikespeir says

    Like we don’t have scads of PhD-level philosophers on our side? Our new “friend in reason” Anthony needs to be set straight on that first. I don’t think he really wants to get into an authority-slinging contest here.

  31. theodorewarner says

    “I have no idea who this Anthony is. It’s conceivable that he could be associated with a local chapter somewhere unbeknownst to me. Or he could just be using our name. I’ve asked Chris Shannon to look into this. I disassociate myself and our ministry from his comments.”

    This comment was posted by Reasonable Faith on their facebook wall in response to a link to this blog post.

    Sorry, Anthony! It looks like even Reasonable Faith isn’t too keen on the way you’ve handled this.

  32. shockna says

    He calls atheists illogical, and his best source is William Lane Craig? Really?

    Ok, quick take down of what appears to be Craigs main schtick; the Kalam Cosmological Argument Fallacy:

    1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

    2. The Universe began to exist.

    3. Ergo, the Universe has a cause.

    The first premise is flawed; very little in the universe can really be shown to “begin to exist”, except as a re-arranging of pre-existing component parts. And second, the science of quantum mechanics is altering our entire way of thinking, at the sub-atomic level, of causality itself. Cause for elementary particles in quantum mechanics, assuming I’ve somewhat comprehended what I’m being taught now, is based on probability. Even if we grant the first premise based on this probabilistic cause, it undermines Craig’s argument for an uncaused first cause.

    No evidence exists for the second claim. The Universe underwent a rapid expansion from a state of singularity approximately 13.7 billion years ago, but before that, we don’t yet have the required theoretical framework to research the question.

    As the third premise is based on the first two, it can be dismissed as the first two premises are not based on solid reasoning. If I’ve erred in debunking it, someone let me know so I can modify the argument.

  33. Cafeeine says

    That’s actually pretty much the whole schtick behind presuppositional apologetics. They push the idea that the debate is already done, that you already agree with their position (meaning, atheists know they believe in God) but are suppressing it, and any demands for evidence will be met by repeating the same mantra: “I’m right, it’s impossible for me not to be right and you also know I’m right, so there is no need for me to do anything”.

  34. says

    Well, the funny part is his warning us we’ll “make fallacious statements without knowing it,” without knowing himself that he had already made two (argument from authority and the genetic fallacy). Irony, thy name is Apologist.

  35. Edward Buatois says

    It is funny when people for conveniently arbitrary reasons hold one person or school of thought to be valid, but another person or school of thought invalid.

    In any event, the existence of God cannot be proved — or disproved. It is possible to believe in God and do no harm, but it does, as Rufus might say, require us to believe in a good idea, rather than a rigid belief structure.

  36. Edward Buatois says

    shockna: You obviously have put a lot more thought into it than I have, but I’d say it’s even simpler:

    If the faithful insist that the Universe must have had a metaphysical cause, because nothing just happens by itself, then ask, “Okay, what caused God?” They will of course say that God is, was, and always will be, but at the very most this just says that God and the Universe both had potentially arbitrary beginnings, so, that leaves us back with, “God can neither be proved nor disproved.”

    As to the Universe, we will probably never know what started it. There are a number of competing theories — a quantum fluctuation, universe bubbles, branes colliding, all of the above — because specific knowledge probably will require knowledge of phenomena outside our universe, and right now it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll be able to attain knowledge of anything outside our universe. But of course, just because we don’t know it or even can never know it doesn’t mean that there must be a metaphysical cause.

    Actually digressing a bit further: Even if the universe was created by an intelligent force, fundies proceed immediately to, “He is the God of the Bible.” Okay, why would that be? Tons of religions having nothing to do with Christianity suppose one, or more, such beings. How do we know that it’s the one the Christians know and love? Or one that any of the religions that have ever existed suppose? Really, the chance that any human has gotten it anywhere near close to right is vanishingly small. Which, bottom line means, even if there is an intelligent force that created the universe, this still doesn’t lead directly to “believe in Jesus or you’re going to hell”; it means that Christians are as likely to be 100% wrong about the nature of God as anyone else, which puts them heaven-wise right back at square one.

    Personally I think the safest thing for anyone is to be as good a person you can be. If there is no God, that’s what you’re supposed to do anyway. If there is a God, then we all like to believe He’ll reward you for it. It’s a win-win. As for the rest of it, all the little rituals and beliefs and “Divine Laws” that make little or no real sense, please, leave those at the curb.

  37. says

    Personally I think the safest thing for anyone is to be as good a person you can be. If there is no God, that’s what you’re supposed to do anyway. If there is a God, then we all like to believe He’ll reward you for it. It’s a win-win.

    What if Christianity/Islam is right and he rewards faith over works?

  38. Andrew says

    I’ve never felt compelled to announce my credentials or standing as a thinking, rational person in ANY dialogue whatsoever. Who actually does this? If you feel that your arguments can stand on their own, why is there any need for hand-waving and bluster?

  39. Andrew says

    Exactly. He would say that they are justified in their beliefs because they are listening to the “proper” authorities.

  40. jacobfromlost says

    In thinking about the “first cause” stuff, I sometimes take this approach as it may eliminate bad ideas about time and cause and effect.

    Let’s set aside the idea of “the universe”, space-time, cause and effect, etc., and consider *existence* itself (even hypothetical things that could exist outside of space-time).

    Is it possible for existence itself (in whatever form of that which “actually is”) to be created? If so, wouldn’t it be a requirement of existence to be created by a creator who by definition DIDN’T EXIST, as the only thing outside of existence is nonexistence? And if NOT, then wouldn’t you be claiming that existence was created by a creator who existed…and hence didn’t really CREATE existence?

    So if we take this new understanding back to the Craig argument…

    “1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.”

    Then at a fundamental level, did EXISTENCE begin to exist? Of course not, at least not in the fundamental way the argument implies.

    “2. The Universe began to exist.”

    Here, the argument seems to suggest that time “began to exist”, which applies time (ie, “began”) to ITSELF (“time”). That is a misunderstanding much the way asking what is north of the north pole is a misunderstanding of the nature of longitude, latitude, and the two-dimensional surface of the earth in relation to other existent factors that are NOT the two-dimensional surface of the earth but, nevertheless, are requirements for the two-dimensional surface of the earth to exist at all. How do we know claiming time “began” to exist isn’t making exactly the same mistake (as many observations suggest)? It’s as if the claim is that since all other points have a direction north of them, the north pole must also.

    “3. Ergo, the Universe has a cause.”

    We now know this conclusion is bad, but what if we swap out “universe” for “existence”. Can fundamental existence itself have a cause, regardless of being in a space-time framework? It doesn’t seem so. It would be like asking what thing north of the north pole caused the north pole to begin at the north pole. The question presupposes that all of existence is on a two-dimensional framework much the same way as “the universe has a cause” presupposes space-time was “caused” within a larger framework of necessary Absolute Time in which causes and effects could occur the exact same way they occur within space-time (to such a degree that the very existence of the quality “cause and effect” WAS ITSELF CAUSED TO EXIST, which is an absurdity).

    Reformulated using the same logic…

    Every point on a globe is in two-dimensions and has a direction north of it.
    The earth is a globe that has a two-dimensional surface.
    Ergo, the north pole on the earth is a point that has something north of it in two-dimensions.

    I think the problems with this argument are exactly the same as the problems with Craig’s argument, but perhaps more easily understood by people who can’t wrap their brains around singularities, space-time, or how deeply flawed the entire notion of “causing” the very quality “cause and effect” is. There is nothing stopping our space-time bubble (“the universe”) from being part of a larger existence that is entirely uncaused, just as the north pole is part of a larger existence that has no two-dimensional requirements.

    Indeed, the north pole AS the north pole couldn’t exist without that larger context of existence. Similarly, it seems space-time and “cause and effect” could not exist without being a part of a larger context of existence that has no relation to cause and effect, and yet is required for what we perceive as “cause and effect” to exist at all. There is no contradiction here, and no logical necessity for there to be a “cause” of “the universe”, as “the universe” seems to be just one aspect of fundamental existence…and fundamental existence as such cannot be “caused”…or else it wouldn’t be fundamental.

  41. John Rumsey says

    The things that stun me most about William Lame Craig’s organization and their requirement of scholarly debate are:

    A)They seek out debate with the Atheist Experience Blog, Christopher Hitchens, etc and then complain they are not scholars

    B)William Lane Craig is a Philosopher but debates historians ie. Richard Carrier, Robert Price and Bart Ehrman on history, scientists Victor Stenger (physicist), Peter Atkins (chemist), Lewis Wolpert (Biologist)and I am sure there are many more examples, so he feels free to debate others in areas he is not a scholar in or does he have doctoral degrees in all these areas

    C) He openly pines for a debate with Dawkins who in his mind is not a Philosopher

    These people are just professional debaters and are not credible as anything else. I read an article yesterday of a Christian openly saying that he does not want to believe in the God W.L.C. defends. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2012/07/07/they-dont-believe-because-your-god-isnt-desirable/

  42. N. Nescio says

    I can’t speak for everybody here, but should that be the case I would rather not spend eternity telling it how terrific it is.

  43. Daemon6 says

    This guys argument reminds me of a youtube argument I had a long time ago… They both seemed to have this idea that one could arrive at a conclusion about an objective truth through philosophy; essentially asserting that one could define something into existence. They both seemed to continue that absurdity with irony in the form of a claim that their apparent abandonment of logic was the only logical path.

    That aside, that guy sounds like a giant narcissistic douche-nozzle…

  44. Daemon6 says

    An interesting fact, but obviously their not logical or scholarly. Otherwise they’d be parroting William Lane Craig, because he’s the pinnacle of both logic and philosophy.

    …derp derp derp

  45. Daemon6 says

    Obviously you’re not scholarly or logical enough. The master of scholarly and logical knowledge, the profound academic William Lane Craig, is obviously too complicated for one who obviously has no scholarly training in logic. Philosophy.

    It’s seriously a gold mine for satire… lol

  46. Daemon6 says

    I think I’ve changed my mind about this guy.

    At first I thought he was just a self-absorbed blow-hard (which he undoubtedly is), but then it occurred to me… This guy has given us a veritable wealth of hilarious mock worthy material.

    Seriously, this is the kind of material that Monty Python would use to kill people with laughter!

    So my new assessment of this guy is: Bravo!

  47. Daemon6 says

    Well, obviously we can’t hope to understand the inscrutable and, of course, scholarly William Lane Craig. It’s obviously just another example of our profound inability to apply scholarly logic. Philosophy.

  48. says

    From William Lane Craig:

    “I have no idea who this Anthony is. It’s conceivable that he could be associated with a local chapter somewhere unbeknownst to me. Or he could just be using our name. I’ve asked Chris Shannon to look into this. I disassociate myself and our ministry from his comments.”

    – Posted on Reasonable Faith FB page.

  49. Shannon says

    And I like to say I’ve sustained an “irony headache”. Or if especially severe an “irony migraine”.

    In this particular case, though, an “irony embolism” seems appropriate!

  50. Shannon says

    Except that ain’t the half of it! You spend eternity praising it for picking you because you praised it for picking you because you…. and the whole thing disappears up its own logic.

  51. says

    I’m with you. If I were ever to get the notion that I was missing out on something as an atheist (I’m thinking of how Julia Sweeney talks about the things she misses from when she was a Catholic), I have the comfort of not being subject to the threat of an eternal existence in heaven – something which, to me, sounds simply awful.

    (I address this in my article on WLC’s “Argument from Absurdity/Futility” – constructive criticism very welcome.)

    neopolitan

  52. Jdog says

    That blog article was a weird read. The author believes that atheists are winning because we make emotional arguments instead of rational Christian ones.

  53. says

    I only do it when people who clearly have less education on the subject than I do say things like “If only you knew more/understood sophisticated theology, you wouldn’t dismiss Christianity so easily.” Um, yeah. Why don’t you get back to me after doing an MA focusing on the history of Christianity, hun. Be sure to read Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Tertullian, Jerome, Clement, Origen, Basil, Chrysostom, and Augustine first. Learn about Neoplatonism, Manichaeism, Gnosticism, Mystery religions, Theurgy and their influence on the formation of Christian theology. Read about the cult of the saints and Hellenistic magic and how superstitious the early Christians were. And please, don’t stop there. Research the sources of both old and new testament writings, medieval philosophy and theology, Aquinas, and Aristotle. Then, maybe, you’ll be on a level that you can make a judgement about my understanding. Until then, STFU and quit assuming that atheists just don’t know any better.

  54. Robin Brown says

    If only properly trained philosophers who understand logic and stuff can have anything meaningful to say on this subject, how does he account for the fact that the majority (probably a large majority) of the worlds professional analytic philosophers are non-theists.

  55. Doyle Vandrunen says

    Looks like this week will be the week that GMA finally beats Today in the adults 25-54 category. GMA is on fire!

  56. Helmi says

    In the world of religious apologists, “sophisticated” and “scholarly” mean “using fancy sounding words to obfuscate the errors in your reasoning”.

    I generally agree with the sentiment expressed by Kurt Vonnegut that “Any scientist who can’t explain to an eight-year old what he is doing is a charlatan.” But hey, arguments from authority work too.

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