Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blind as a Bat?

Here is my reply to what I consider to be Loftus' ad hominem attack on me, which he has just posted.

You are picking up on something that I realize was not properly clarified and you are running with it. I quite admit that I made it sound as if the comment from the book was a grounds for simply dismissing it, but let's put this in context.

I made three statements. One was that I thought that it wasn't clear that God is necessarily a supernatural being, and that I didn't see any reason a priori why God couldn't figure into a supernatural explanation, and that we could, at least in theory, predict God's actions through science.  I then asked if seeing a miracle would count as real evidence for God, and then I pointed out that I had seen evidence of the paranormal. In response to that I get the familiar charge of being delusional, and a book on how to think about weird things as proof of that. Now, I don't see exactly which claim of mine was supposed to prove delusion, or what in the book was supposed to do show what was wrong with what I said. At least in the eyes of one reviewer, the book makes several appeals to our sense that something seems ridiculous or silly in order to dismiss it. Since lots of stuff that seems ridiculous or silly has often turned out to be true on investigation, (think quantum mechanics, or even Darwin's theory of evolution) it would be certainly problematic, at least to my mind, for the book to do that. Now, maybe, the reviewer misread the book.
But surely you would agree, (or would you?), that this would be a problem if it were an accurate reading.

But there are lots of books on all sides of lots of questions. One would like to compare Schick's critique of NDEs with the best defenses of them.

In any event, it is arguments, not arguers, that are the appropriate objects of consideration. You're only as good as the argument you are presenting. To forget this is to commit one of the cardinal sins of critical thinking, the ad hominem fallacy (or the appeal to authority fallacy). 

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sometimes think the winner is the one who has gotten under the skin of the opponent. Which leads me to believe we are all too human. This makes me conclude that God has weighed us all in the balance and found us wanting.

Either that are JWL is right, in which case who really gives a damn.

Marcus McElhaney said...

Ad Hominem attacks are all John Loftus really has to attack Christianity. He didn't manage to prove you blind or anything he claimed to. The thing I found most distressing about his post, aside of his hostility towards you, is when he wrote


I now consider you an idiot for grabbing one negative review off Amazon, written by an anonymous person who's credentials you haven't got a clue about, despite my recommendation and the recommendation of many other critical thinking professors who use it in their classes. You are a dimwit. Do not claim you were joking either. I don't buy it.


It's pathetic because he does the same thing with the Bible and he is too blind to see it. .

Victor Reppert said...

It's disappointing, because I really thought, in the course of the previous discussion, that the tone had improved.

Marcus McElhaney said...

God still does miracles. It could still improve

Anonymous said...

The tone only improves if John thinks he'll look better if he does so. If the discussion is leading to places which makes him look weak (and frankly, it's always just a matter of time), he'll hit the ad hom panic button.

You're dealing with a shyster, Victor. How many times does he need to demonstrate as much?

Anonymous said...

Also, loving the comments.

First, John punts and says "Go read this book, this book is used in some professor classes and it will show you why you are wrong in ways I can't explain right now!"

John rages in reply with ad homs, and then adds that the only reason he's using ad homs is because he hopes it will make Victor change his beliefs. Because, uh... that makes it acceptable? Maybe it says that in the book. ;)

Morrison said...

John has apparently lost it, and is consumed with rage.

But more than that, he had Libeled you by saying you deserve to be fired for some remarks in a exchange with him.

Seriously, you would probably have a legal action against him if you were so inclined.

He is taking a reference you made to an Amazon comment and, as you point out, "running with it" but he is also making a string of Appeals to Authority by saying "but look at what the EXPERTS recommend! Look at them! Look a them! They are EXPERTS!"

Sure...as if "experts" dont' have an agenda. A lawyer I clerked for quipped that "I can find an EXPERT to back up any position in a case that I want to take."

Go figure.

John W. Loftus said...

Vic, I like you. I applaud your cordial behavior and willingness to read and engage the opposition. I like discussing with you the issues that divide us very much. But I must keep you honest. You should know that you cannot pull the wool over my eyes. So why did you try?

Now granted I used some harsh rhetoric, but it was not an ad hominem. What you don't even know what that is? I made an argument against what you had said, that it was stupid. Attacking the man is to sidestep the argument, claiming instead that your argument can be dismissed because of something about you. You have once again shown yourself to be incompetent. I'll assume you do not teach a critical thinking class.

Defending the faith makes you stupid and here is yet another example of this.

Given the comments here I'm not subscribing. Do you have any intelligent people here?

Papalinton said...

And, Victor, defending the faith and holding the line must be becoming the most difficult task known to human kind given the advances in the sciences, cosmology, physics, social sciences, medicine, etc which are forming a more integrated and holistic narrative of the human condition than that previously founded around the rather narrow and sectarian theological perspective.

And we know that the religious perspective can seem so reasonable and somewhat compelling under particular conditions, such as poverty, or in times of uncertainty when people revert back to our primal basic instinctual survival mechanisms.
And we know that while logic and reason can be applied in theology and the study of the superstitious supernatural, the basic premise of these studies remains flawed. We know
reasoning and logic are just tools. Reasoning and logic can have you chase an idea down a rabbit hole as easily as to send a robot to Mars. It is the truth or veracity of the fundamental proposition that makes the difference. If the fundamental premise itself is flawed [or based on ungrounded assertions] then applying reason will surely run you down a rabbit hole to a ‘logical’ conclusion.

And that is, sadly, the outcome of applying ‘personal experience’ to Apologetics as the principal investigative tool in the study of theology.

Patrick Chan said...

Papalinton said:

And, Victor, defending the faith and holding the line must be becoming the most difficult task known to human kind given the advances in the sciences, cosmology, physics, social sciences, medicine, etc which are forming a more integrated and holistic narrative of the human condition than that previously founded around the rather narrow and sectarian theological perspective.

Is there an argument here against "defending the faith" in the midst of your vague words about scientific, technological, and medical progress?

As you well know, Papalinton, since you've been over on our weblog with such random mutterings (where, by the way, we've had to correct your scientific illiteracy), there are plenty of Christians who happen to be scientists, cosmologists, physicists, social scientists, medical doctors, etc. who set forth reasonable arguments which "defend the faith." Just because you don't happen to agree with them doesn't mean they're wrong.

And we know that the religious perspective can seem so reasonable and somewhat compelling under particular conditions, such as poverty, or in times of uncertainty when people revert back to our primal basic instinctual survival mechanisms.

By the same token, we likewise know the irreligious perspective can seem so reasonable and compelling under particular conditions such as affluenza, in times of overconfident certainty which outstrips the actual argumentation and evidence. So what? Are you suggesting we should therefore conclude atheism is mistaken after all?

However, as far as your point goes, it could be that such dire circumstances reveal truths which a person has forgotten or buried. We could take it with a grain of salt, but there could be a grain of truth to the adage that there are no atheists in fox holes.

And we know that while logic and reason can be applied in theology and the study of the superstitious supernatural, the basic premise of these studies remains flawed.

Belly Button Linton, since it evidently didn't cross your mind, logic and reason can likewise be applied to atheology, atheism, metaphysical naturalism, and so forth. It cuts both ways.

Again, you don't offer any actual argument here let alone a reasonable argument. You just driveby comment on various weblogs with your random mutterings. This is despite the facade you wish to maintain as some sort of a rational person, which Paul Manata noted in our recent tete-a-tete with you.

And that is, sadly, the outcome of applying ‘personal experience’ to Apologetics as the principal investigative tool in the study of theology.

This is a caricature of Christian apologetics. It's also not the first time you've repeated this and been corrected on it.

What about when atheists apply "personal experience" in their atheist apologetics "as the principal investigative tool" (such as atheist psychologists)? Do they get a pass from Mr. Linton Wilson?

B. Prokop said...

"Defending the faith and holding the line must be becoming the most difficult task known to humankind, given the advances in the sciences, cosmology, physics, social sciences, medicine, etc."

Curious statement. As a fanatic amateur astronomer and president of the local astronomy club, I devour science texts at the rate of 2-3 per month, every month, and observe the stars every chance I get (using some very sophisticated instruments). And yet, the more I learn about the universe, the stronger my faith.

Also, having an "in" to the medically and scientifically educated circles at Johns Hopkins University in nearby Baltimore (due to some family connections) I find that an utterly overwhelming percentage of doctors and medical researchers (close to 90%) that I've come across are theists (most being Catholic, but then I do live in a majority-Catholic state, Maryland).

So why should advances in science be a problem for me??? I have noticed over the years that it is almost always the non-scientist who conjures up some mythical notion of "Science" being a supposed Faith-destroyer, whereas the genuine professional scientist, doctor, researcher, etc., rarely has a problem embracing both (as they should).

Emanuel Goldstein said...

Does John see the logical trap he is in as he tells you that attacking the man is to "sidestep" the argument while he calls you names?

And then he says he likes you? WTF?

Imagine what it would be like if he didn't like you.

Loftus has become a joke.

I think part of his anger is exposed when he made that remark "You should be fired. I'm dead serious".

He is obviously angry that you have an academic post and he does not.

He is a loose cannon and it is not suprising that even other atheists have distanced themselves from him.

And the previews of his new book at Amazon...wow! It is going to be more biased and superficial than the last anthology.

Nothing to worry about there, although I plan to give it a warm welcom at Amazon with my review! LOL!

Jason Pratt said...

Well, one man's WTF is another man's FTW, and vice versa. {g}

JRP

Jason Pratt said...

Drat, I had meant to register in passing with that comment, but "Booger" tricked me; so here's the register comments comment...

Ilíon said...

Is it an ad hominem or just crude insults?

steve said...

Of course, bats can afford to be "blind" since they compensate with echolocation. John's putdown is speciesistic. Bats would retort that John is deaf as a doornail.

Papalinton said...

Hi Patrick
Good to talk with you. Paul threw a little tantrum and trip over his bottom lip.

1. Patrick you say, "there are plenty of Christians who happen to be scientists, cosmologists, physicists, social scientists, medical doctors, etc. who set forth reasonable arguments which "defend the faith."

Well, no. They don't set forth reasonable arguments defending the faith. There is nothing they can bring to their science investigations that can be a considered factor or principal element in determining any outcome of their research. Their religious proclivity is always an afterthought in expressing the 'grandeur of god' in what they do. How would an evolutionary biologist work during the day knowing full well the science he/she plays with points to a common progenitor for all living things on this planet, and at night declare that there is a real Adam and Eve who were the first humans created by god? Except of course by 'compartmentalization'. Two mutually exclusive concepts, one for which the evidence is formidable and accepted regardless of the scientists' religious affiliations, the other, solely dependent on the theology one subscribes to, and a wholly-owned derivative of that theology, with no universal acceptance.
Patrick, I'm sure you have an apologetical response but it can only hide this fact, not explain it.
During the day they are scientists, sociologists, cosmologists and physicists first and religionists second; after work they are religionists first and scientists second; never the twain shall meet.

2. Patrick, you say, "By the same token, we likewise know the irreligious perspective can seem so reasonable and compelling under particular conditions such as affluenza, in times of overconfident certainty which outstrips the actual argumentation and evidence."

So the gist of your response implies we should never try to improve our well-being and security of housing, employment, improved medical welfare for your family, all those things you pejoratively call, 'affluenza', as this leads us away from god?

3. You say, "However, as far as your point goes, it could be that such dire circumstances reveal truths which a person has forgotten or buried."

Highly unlikely. When one's back is against the wall, the ancient and primitive 'fight or flight' response is invoked to ensure basic survival. An contemporary and tragic example; I would say the surge to faith in Africa is not about some revelatory experience, but almost certainly a salve against the grinding poverty, terrible living conditions, non-existent medical care, and dreadful life expectancy rates. If you were one of those parents, and saw no end of it, why would you turn away from the only hope you have of garnering some form of relief from the mental anguish of watching your children die? Their condition is not one of a conceptual hole in one’s existence or some aching for meaning in one’s life, it is a survival yearning to protect themselves and their family. It then is very troubling for me that any assistance we might provide comes at a cost, a price; proselytizing one’s faith when the beneficiary is at his/her most vulnerable, most unprotected. To me that is both immoral and unethical. While there is ever poverty in the world, religion will always have a captive audience.
[cont]

Anonymous said...

So what, Palp?

The world offers me nothing...do you think this society will forgive you if you really screw up?

I can go hang for all it cares. Atheists would as soon spit on me as look at me...if men like Loftus had control he would have us commited to mental institutions.

He has even admitted as much.

Look at what he said about Vic. "You should be fired. I am deadly serious."

I believe John.

He was deadly serious, and he would see Vic's carreer destroyed if he could.

Loftus is a bad guy.

Do you think he forgives? No way, pal.

That is is Achilled Heel, and the Achilles Heel of Atheism.

On The Way Out

Papalinton said...

@ Patrick [cont]

4. You add, " .. but there could be a grain of truth to the adage that there are no atheists in fox holes."

Patrick, there being no atheists in fox holes isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.

5. Patrick, " .. logic and reason can likewise be applied to atheology, atheism, metaphysical naturalism, and so forth."

Of course it can, but the bewildering level of testable, veridical, reliable evidence, fact and proofs in favor of the natural world can only be denied by the blindest of faitheists. And claims found to be hares running are easily refuted. Whereas for theology, nothing can be refuted and nothing can be proved, theology is by its very interpretive nature a discipline in [perpetual?] limbo.


Re poor old Paul Manata, his only action in defense of his faith is to press that Big Red Button at Triablogue headquarters to censor, censor, censor. A sort of, stick your fingers in your ears and call la la la lalalalala. For Paul any hint of a suggestion against or criticism of his faith is always in his opinion a random, off- topic proposal, regardless of the content, and he thumps that Big Red Button.

6. You say, "This is a caricature of Christian apologetics. It's also not the first time you've repeated this and been corrected on it."

Yes I have said it regularly and no it has never been corrected, simply denied. The irony is of course christian apologetics *is* a caricature of genuine academic scholarship.

Papalinton said...

@ Patrick

And the reason for this is that apologetics has one simple aim; to present the christian story as a monobloc of a favorable, positive, unequivocal, incontrovertible, indisputable, undeniable, unmistakable, irrefutable, reliable, concrete, tangible, clear-cut, explicit, firm, decisive, real and actual narrative.

And we all know this is not true.

Papalinton said...

Hi Bob

You say, "As a fanatic amateur astronomer and president of the local astronomy club, I devour science texts at the rate of 2-3 per month, every month, and observe the stars every chance I get (using some very sophisticated instruments). And yet, the more I learn about the universe, the stronger my faith."

Well of course you would. There is no reason that being a faitheist would diminish your love of astronomy. Why should it? It is beauty in itself. Intrinsic, deep and transcending. And would you believe it, atheists feel exactly the same way about astronomy. It's the next bit where it becomes murky and factually groundless. Do you realize that even ancestor worshippers from Papua New Guinea, educated, enjoy astronomy as much as christians, but they don't invoke any causal link to the universe that has anything remotely similar to a jesus or a god, although they do have 'spirits'.

Bob, is you reference to John Hopkins University and the numbers of christian doctors and medical researchers , an 'argument from authority' or an 'Argumentum ad populum'? I would suggest that the numbers of christian medical people has not much to do with medical science, but rather more to do with the cultural mores of the community in which they live. Medicine can be perfectly and probably better performed by those without such enormous personal investment in superstitious supernaturlism, if for no other reason than, as evidenced in catholic hospitals, there would be no conflict that would put the life of a woman in danger as would personal religious proclivity and clerical pressure in the case of a pregnancy gone wrong. And we know this happens. It has been reported many times around the world and we have read about it.

Bob, you say, "So why should advances in science be a problem for me??? " It shouldn't unless you apply some of the more fanciful and egregious proposals from the judeo-christian tome as scientific fact, whatever the field.

Papalinton said...

Hi Anonymous
You say, "The world offers me nothing...do you think this society will forgive you if you really screw up?

Why should it? It's not a live being. But I am sure someone in society, religious or otherwise would look to helping you if you screwed up. And yes i think society will forgive you [if that is the appropriate response] if you screw up. But the outcome all depends on you, on your acceptance of the responsibility of your screw-up and a genuine attempt on your part to redress that screw-up. If you externalize the problem and not own it, then it is likely that the community would not assist you. it's all about personal responsibility. end of story.

I'm absolutely sure and confident that Vic is big enough and ugly enough to look after himself, and would shrug off Loftus' tirades or fight back as he does. There is no shortness of courage there. After all the two have been 'at it' for quite some years now, and both have given as good as they have got. Vic is no shrinking violet, and I think you sell his strength of character far too short.

Let me suggest to you Anonymous; atheism is good.

Paul said...

Papalinton said...
Paul threw a little tantrum and trip over his bottom lip.

**********

Weird way to refer winning an argument, but Papalinton is from Australia after all.

Re poor old Paul Manata, his only action in defense of his faith is to press that Big Red Button at Triablogue headquarters to censor, censor, censor."

Yes, I am a meany; one of my requirements for participating in a thread of a post of mine is that if you're going to criticize it you must present arguments. I gave you (I think) four chances to start arguing, you chose to refrain.

"For Paul any hint of a suggestion against or criticism of his faith is always in his opinion a random, off- topic proposal, regardless of the content, and he thumps that Big Red Button.

Of course, that doesn't explain the lengthy discussions with critics of my arguments that have gone on in some of my posts. So this strikes me as sour grapes. What did happen is that I posted a criticism of a particular defeater-defeater Loftus uses, you then wanted to discuss Muslims and the crusades. I even indulged you and corrected many of your simplistic and tendentious assumptions. You chose to respond with name calling and more non-arguments. I then said you weren't free to comment anymore in my combox. Your response was to thank me and claim that you had succeeded in what you were trying to accomplish, i.e., get banned from commenting at T-blog.

Given that you claimed you were hoping and trying to get the red button pushed on you, doesn't that take all the force out of your complaining about me and my quick trigger finger? Facts are stubborn things.

Jason Pratt said...

{clapping for PaulM!}

Meanwhile, there you go, John! Papa is one of your fans, and basically agrees with you, as well as deploying most of the same tactics. Now you have someone intelligent to talk to in this thread. {g}

JRP

Papalinton said...

@ Paul Manata

The thing is Paul, i did not raise the issue of Triablogue on victor's site. It was your pen pal, Patrick Chan who raised the issue and I was not going to let his egregious comment go uncontested.

If you felt the compelling need to come over to this blog to defend and rationalize your actions in relation to banning me on your site, that is a matter for you.
I do note though, that the only time Triablogue comes alive is when I comment over there and challenge your Calvinist woo. All other times, the site is as dead as a maggot. Why? because any person who looks or even sniffs like their contribution might be a challenge to your brand of apologetics, it is snuffed out by the Big Red Button.

Paul, you say, "You chose to respond with name calling and more non-arguments."
You know this is an untruth. Show me the examples of 'name-calling' of any of the Triablogue OP writers that I have made. And of course, your definition of my 'non-arguments' is precisely the issue of the resort to the Big red Button of censorship, regardless of the content of the question, query or comment s I have contributed.

Paul, "What did happen is that I posted a criticism of a particular defeater-defeater Loftus uses, you then wanted to discuss Muslims and the crusades. I even indulged you and corrected many of your simplistic and tendentious assumptions. You chose to respond with name calling and more non-arguments. I then said you weren't free to comment anymore in my combox. Your response was to thank me and claim that you had succeeded in what you were trying to accomplish, i.e., get banned from commenting at T-blog."

We will never know now, because you have completely redacted my record of any discussion. The only remaining are those few pieces referred to, without context, by some of the Triablogue sycophants who responded to some of my comments. A patchy remnant of whatever discussion may have taken place.

C'mon, Paul. You know you cannot handle criticism of the woo you espouse. Yet you feel quite happy to badmouth Loftus whenever it fancies you. At least on Reppert's site, he has the strength and character to remain true to the discussion even if we atheists parody, blast, and question his belief system. I am hoping to win him over to revisiting agnosticism on a regular basis so that he genuinely tests his system and not simply roll-over in acquiescing to the 'tradition'.

Papalinton said...

As for Anonymous......
It is best for all concerned that he remains so.
Embarrassing.

Ilíon said...

Paul: "Weird way to refer winning an argument, but Papalinton is from Australia after all."

Ah, so you're saying that you smeared him? ;)

Not that it would have been that difficult, considering the anti-rational nature of the metaphyics he asserts (but doesn't *really* believe).

Ilíon said...

"... Now you have someone intelligent to talk to in this thread."

Wouldn't it be better if they just go off and agree somewhare in private?

Patrick Chan said...

Papalinton,

I think it'd be wise if I stayed away from most of your rambling response, which in fact has little bearing to what I actually said to you and rather goes off onto other tangents, since it'll only take us even further off the beaten track.

Instead I'll hone in on a particular point.

On the one hand, you challenge Christians to make reasonable arguments for Christianity.

But on the other hand, you make statements such as the following:

Patrick, I'm sure you have an apologetical response but it can only hide this fact, not explain it.

and

During the day they are scientists, sociologists, cosmologists and physicists first and religionists second; after work they are religionists first and scientists second; never the twain shall meet.

and

[T]he bewildering level of testable, veridical, reliable evidence, fact and proofs in favor of the natural world can only be denied by the blindest of faitheists...Whereas for theology, nothing can be refuted and nothing can be proved, theology is by its very interpretive nature a discipline in [perpetual?] limbo.

and

The irony is of course christian apologetics *is* a caricature of genuine academic scholarship.

and

And the reason for this is that apologetics has one simple aim; to present the christian story as a monobloc of a favorable, positive, unequivocal, incontrovertible, indisputable, undeniable, unmistakable, irrefutable, reliable, concrete, tangible, clear-cut, explicit, firm, decisive, real and actual narrative. And we all know this is not true.

Hence your challenge for Christians to make reasonable arguments for Christianity, which would be to engage in apologetics, is disingenuous, given that you don't actually believe Christians engaging in apologetics can make reasonable arguments for Christianity or, in fact, make reasonable arguments against atheism, naturalism, etc.

Papalinton said...

@ Patrick Chan

I am sorry you feel so threatened by my questions Patrick. How does an evolutionary biologist who happens to be a christian reconcile the 'single progenitor' of all living beings with that of a 'real' Adam and Eve with fig leaf? I am genuinely interested to know why.

How does Apologetics account for and reconcile these two disparate concepts? I want to know.

In terms of my observation, "The irony is of course christian apologetics *is* a caricature of genuine academic scholarship", how do christian apologists such as yourself embrace the work of the many researchers such as Jon Dominic Crossan, or Bart Erhman or Burton Mack, or Robert Price, or even John Spong, in the field of genuine academic biblical scholarship? Or are they simply placed under the title, heretic? Why? For what sound scholarly reason?

And for my statement: "And the reason for this is that apologetics has one simple aim; to present the christian story as a monobloc of a favorable, positive, unequivocal, incontrovertible, indisputable, undeniable, unmistakable, irrefutable, reliable, concrete, tangible, clear-cut, explicit, firm, decisive, real and actual narrative. And we all know this is not true."

How is this not a true statement. Isn't it the principal mandate for Apologetics to make some cogent sense of the arcane nature of scripture? Isn't apologetics about interpreting the *inerrant* word of god? I can understand the recent trend to drop the 'inerrancy' part for the more easily defended 'inspired word of god' concept. What I want to know and am interested to know is, what was the absolute evidentiary truth that underpinned 'inerrancy' in the first instance that now no longer is considered the absolute truth, and what is the foundational evidentiary basis [peer-reviewed papers only please] for the 'inspired word of god' claim? I am interested to know.

Ilíon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ilíon said...

P.Chan: "Hence your challenge for Christians to make reasonable arguments for Christianity, which would be to engage in apologetics, is disingenuous, given that you don't actually believe Christians engaging in apologetics can make reasonable arguments for Christianity or, in fact, make reasonable arguments against atheism, naturalism, etc."

I don't think that quite captures the essence of it – it’s not so much that he and his sort “don't actually believe Christians engaging in apologetics can make reasonable arguments for Christianity or, in fact, make reasonable arguments against atheism, naturalism ”, but rather that he (and they) refuse to acknowledge that a reasonable argument has been offered, much less admit the truth of it. The closest this sort ever come to acknowledging the existence of a reasonable argument against atheism is that they always retreat into blatant self-contradiction (both of fact and of logic/reasoning) or even directly into irrationality when it becomes painfully obvious to them that simply denying that a good argument against their God-denial has been offered will be clear to even the casual onlooker. They’re not engaging in argument, but in posing and positioning.

This sort “argues” in the mode I call “Deny and Demand” (until they retreat into irrationality) – it doesn’t matter what the other fellow says, they will deny that it has bearing, or is convincing, or is evidence, or on and on, and then demand something more. If, out of some misguided “charity”, one allows oneself to fall for the trick (or worse, demands of another that he submit to it), then one has already conceded to them and there is no point in continuing the dispute.

Patrick Chan said...

Papalinton, you seem to have at least two personas.

On the one hand, you're the uber rationalist atheist with whom no "religious" or "apologetical" argument can hold sway. This persona comes out in comboxes over on Debunking Christianity, RichardDawkins.net, and others. As well it comes out when we best you over at Triablogue - and I presume when other Christians best you elsewhere (perhaps here on Reppert's blog too). In this capacity, you'll hurl abuses, insults, and other ad hominen against us. (Not that I necessarily mind.) People can search our site on Triablogue (as well as I'm sure other sites) to see this aspect of Papalinton's persona in full force.

But on the other hand, perhaps in places where you don't have to let loose, when it plays to your advantage to be a little more circumspect, you ask these supposedly "genuine" questions as you do in your previous comment. Of course, as you well know, when we respond to you with reasonable answers, you by degrees revert to your former persona and disdain our arguments as "apologetics" and the like which, as you have said numerous times, you don't think worth responding to.

But if you were genuinely serious about wanting honest answers, you'd have reasonably engaged the many arguments we've proffered to you in the past and have read the literature we've cited for starters.

Anyway, I'm simply pointing your duplicity out to others here, which again is highlighted by my previous comment to you in this post (wherein I quote you) as well as conducting a quick Google search of your name and taking note of your behavior in other forums and on other sites.

Papalinton said...

But you haven't addressed any of the queries, Patrick.
All you have accomplished is play the amateur psychologist.

Papalinton said...

I ask you Ilion, how do you distinguish god in nature and nature itself?

What were the very last words jesus uttered on the cross? At the moment there are three completely different accounts, which is the right one?

Did jesus ride into jerusalem on a donkey, a colt, or on a donkey and a colt, or two colts or two donkeys? The facts cannot be determined from the *historical* account in the NT.

In so important an institution and central to Jewish existence as is the main synagogue in Jerusalem, why would there not have been copious documentation in Jewish historical texts on the inexplicable tearing of the curtain into two in the most sacred of all Jewish shrines? Where is the evidence from the most obvious point of historical corroboration that one could get? The synagogue would never have been left unattended at any time, that would have been a massive religious failing on the part of the keepers. So Ilion, what is the apologetical response to this most central of claims? What is your response for this 'none event'? Would it ever have occurred to you to go find out? Why would my query not be worth responding to?

There is no 'deny and demand' here, Ilion. I want your answer. What is it?

You say, "The closest this sort ever come to acknowledging the existence of a reasonable argument against atheism ...."

I have yet to hear any 'reasonable argument against atheism', Ilion. Just give it to me in note form if that makes it easy for you. I am really interested in that 'reasonable argument'. You obviously know the right answer, so what is it?

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia on donkeys:

A male donkey or ass is called a jack, a female a jenny, and an offspring less than one year old a foal (male: colt, female: filly).

don't know the original words though