This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
Bradley R.E. Wright: spin doctorOh Dear.
When David Eller and Valerie Tarico use social science to debunk Christianity, it's science. When Bradley Wright draws conclusions favorable to Christianity from social science, he's a spin doctor. On what non-question-begging basis do you draw these conclusions, Papalinton?
Victor"When Bradley Wright draws conclusions favorable to Christianity from social science, he's a spin doctor."From his website: "Bradley R. E. Wright: I am a sociology professor and a Christian, and I study the sociology of Christianity."Nuff said, Dr Reppert.
And we could do the same thing with Eller. We could say that he is an sociologist and an atheist, and therefore his research in support of atheism is biased and therefore invalid.
The conversion card? By that logic, C. S. Lewis's conversion from atheism to Christianity means that he knew both sides and realized which is nonsense. Without knowing in advance which is nonsense, the conversion card doesn't cut a lot of ice, because there is traffic in both directions. Rodney Stark wasn't a Christian until he did his historical researches in to the history of Christianity and science, does that mean that his research must be trustworthy since he wasn't a believer beforehand?
I see that you removed the comment I was replying to.
But in any event this seems to be the ad hominem circumstantial fallacy. Bulverism, as Lewis called it. Wright offers reasons for believing that Christians are not hate-filled hypocrites, and you reply by saying "You are only saying that because you are a Christian." That's not an excuse for ignoring arguments.
Victor"The conversion card? By that logic, C. S. Lewis's conversion from atheism to Christianity means that he knew both sides and realized which is nonsense."Oh Victor, Lewis was getting older and began seriously worrying about the prophetic [?] implications for Pascal's Wager. It is what one wag calls, "cramming for the finals".Equally, the trend is growth in the atheist/no religion category. The British census is being conducted at the moment and the Australian census is due in about a month. Trends will become clear soon.
Lewis became a theist at the age of 31 and a Christian a few years later. I think you have him confused with Antony Flew, who is often accused of cramming for his finals, since he was getting very old. The problem is that even though he accepted the existence of God he continued to reject life after death, not something one should expect from someone cramming for their finals, as it were. But, here again, this is ad hominem cirumstantial. We can ignore your arguments, since we know you have an ulterior motive. That's easy as pie to do with John Loftus, for example, and Christians do it all the time. "You had an affair, you didn't want to face the consequences of repenting to God for breaking faith with your wife and misleading your congregation, so you softened the blow to your ego by rejecting Christianity." But this ad hominem argument isn't an excuse for ignoring John's arguments, and the ad hominem circumstantial is not an excuse for ignoring Lewis's arguments, or Flew's, or Bradley Wright's. You were arguing that Eller, for example, could be excused from an ad hominem argument by pointing out that he is a former believer. No, I'm afraid the whole method of arguing ad hominem is mistaken. The fact that more people may be migrating to atheism from theism (a trend that I think can be disputed, if you add in the people who are defecting from atheism in the former Soviet bloc), is neither here nor there. If you think the trend is proof of anything then you are committing another informal fallacy called bandwagon or ad populam. The fact is, Bradley Wright offers arguments in defense of his position. He therefore deserves to have those arguments considered, and not dismissed because he himself is a Christian. Being objective is hard to do. It takes work. Converting from one view to another doesn't absolve you of having to work at being rational.
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