Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The atheist fundification of believers.

This is what I call the atheist fundification of believers. This is a quote from Ben Yaachov. He was talking about what an atheist had said in the course of discussion at Common Sense Atheism. 


He added the problem with an Atheist insisting on a fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture to a non-fundamentalist Christian is he the atheist in a sense has to put on the hat of a Fundamentalist Religious Apologist and try to convince his opponent to adopt a view of Scripture both already reject before turning around and offering an Atheist criticism of the Fundamentalist view. 


I should add that when atheists fundify believers, they commit them to a lead-footed literalism that goes beyond what would be taught by an inerrantist theologian. They commit us to a position that probably couldn't be found much of anywhere else but Jimmy Swaggart Bible College, when it was in existence. 

36 comments:

BeingItself said...

Just so we atheists don't fundificate you, please tell us which parts of The New Testament are false.

Oh, and also what method you use to determine that.

Mr. Mcgranor said...

The Natural Law and its Order are conveniently left out of the argument...As if the atheist even had a humanist or scientific point.

B. Prokop said...

To Being Itself,

What is your definition of "false"?

B. Prokop said...

This is a serious question, B.I.

For instance, we know that Jesus did not normally speak in Greek (although there is oblique evidence that He may have known that language). But the Gospels are written in Greek. Therefore, even in the oldest manuscripts, we do not have the original words of Christ, but rather translations from the Aramaic. So under no circumstances can we regard the accounts as literally word-for-word accurate. Does that make what we have "false"?

What say you?

Victor Reppert said...

Jesus said "I am the door." He however, clearly had no knobs on his body. Therefore, I guess he lied, and his words were not true.

BenYachov said...

That Atheist dude I dialoged with way back was a smart guy.

I was trading barbs with an obvious teenage fundie Gnu'Atheist type who got so upset that I didn't take Genesis One literally nor did I hold to any Day-Age type interpretations (thus all the links to various Atheist websites debunking Day-age & or YEC he posted left me non-plused) he broke down and said I liked to perform unnatural acts on donkeys.

Lovely fellow.

But this other Atheist guy chimed in & he made the brilliant insight you are reading at this post.

God bless the rational Atheist types. They are closer to God more then they know.

God help the Gnus. It's one thing to be in danger of Hell it's another to go to Hell and be an idiot for all eternity.

Karl Grant said...

BeingItself,

As Bob said, the Bible we have now is a translation of a translation. And since languages don't always translate smoothly into one another....well, you get the idea. And as Dr. Reppert pointed out, Biblical writers made full use of metaphors and similes and symbolism.

Hell, I remember one time an atheist trying to tell me the Bible teaches the Earth is flat and offering up a list of passages, with Daniel 4:11 at the top of the list, to prove his point. The problem is that Daniel 4:11 is describing the images Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream and they not meant to be taken literally (you know, there is a reason he has summoned someone there to interpret the dream).

So much for reading comprehension. =)

Walter said...

I imagine the reason many atheists use arguments targeted towards fundamentalists is because they were once fundamentalist Christians themselves and those same arguments burned down their house of faith. I'll bet that rigid anti-science fundamentalism creates far more atheists than Dawkins could ever hope to. Counter-apologists love fundamentalism because it presents a fixed, easy target while liberal beliefs are seen as being far too fluid.

BenYachov said...

There are Catholic Blogs out there (Mark Shea's comes to mind) that if an Atheist shows up and starts spouting fundie interpretations of the Bible(then attacking Catholicism as if the Holy Church taught them as dogma) they will get royally piled upon and generously mocked.

Scratch an Atheist find a fundamentalist is the battle cry in the Catholic Blogaverse.

Other manifestations of Atheist Fundamentalism can be seen when guys like Loftus refer to non YEC interpretations of Genesis One as "The Liberal view" (as if Augustine where a liberal?).

Or Dennett insisting God must be understood purely in anthropomorphic terms and all transcendent views of God such as referring to the Almighty as "BeingItself" or "Ground of All Being" are "deepitys".

Which of course is stupid since the concept of Being is as old as philosophy itself and is founded in Plato, Socraties, Aristotle and too many later Atheist philosopher then I can count.

But then again Dennett philosophy doesn't likely go back any further then Hume in his thinking. Which is one of the many reasons why he sucks as a philosopher.

BenYachov said...

@Walter

That last post of yours just before mine.....I find myself in 100% agreement with you.

BenYachov said...

Wait let me qualify that....

>Counter-apologists love fundamentalism because it presents a fixed, easy target while liberal beliefs are seen as being far too fluid.

That last bit I don't much care for.

It's simply not a choice between liberalism vs fundamentalism.

One can be orthodox without being either.

BenYachov said...

In fundamentalism a "Liberal" is seen as any Christian who deviates from the Fundamentalist interpretation( but even they aren't always so absolute).

In Catholicism a liberal dissident is a person who deviates from Catholic Doctrine/Dogma and the limits of Biblical interpretation set by the Church.

BeingItself said...

"After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus."

Did this event happen, or not?

(I absolutely love it when when Christians play the post-modern card and ask what 'false' means.)

Walter said...

That last bit I don't much care for.

It's simply not a choice between liberalism vs fundamentalism.

One can be orthodox without being either.


At May 23, 2012 7:42 AM , Blogger BenYachov said...

In fundamentalism a "Liberal" is seen as any Christian who deviates from the Fundamentalist interpretation( but even they aren't always so absolute).

The last quoted paragraph is on the money. When I was a fundamentalist I consider most Catholics to *be* liberal Christians because they did not accept a hyper-literal interpretation of scripture. I never really considered Catholics to be true Christians. Mormons, JWs, Unitarians, and Catholics were all heretics and idolators headed for the same hell as atheists, agnostics, deists, and New Agers.

BenYachov said...

Why would I even entertain the idea it didn't?

I really don't believe when the End of Days come a literal beast with seven heads & ten horns will arise from the Ocean & be given control of the United Nations.

Somehow if a creature with those literal physical characteristics came out of the Ocean either scientists would put it in a lab to study it or someone will call the Army to kill it. Or someone will shout "Aliens".

In Genesis One portraying the Universe as a Tent like structure most Middle Eastern persons dwelled in with Temple imagery doesn't strike me as literal either.

The Bible says there where literally 600,000 men of military age among the people of Israel. So that suggests 2,000,000 people in the Exodus. OTOH the word for "thousand" elaph can mean 1,000 or generically a "military unit", "clan", "chieftain" etc so maybe there where 600 military units of men and the people in the Exodus numbered no more than maybe 20,000.

The Bible is true in everything it teaches. It's just not clear.

Something Fundies like you BI should learn before you become tedious.

Even more rational Atheists like Matt have this malfunction of hyper-literalism.

I am unsympathetic.

BenYachov said...

@Walter

Thank you for the insight into the person that is you.

Cheers.

BenYachov said...

>(I absolutely love it when when Christians play the post-modern card and ask what 'false' means.)

Is 600 elaph false? Or is it just unclear we are talking about literally 600,000 men or 600 military units (which could contain 5 to 13 men)?

You are a mindless Fundie BI.

BenYachov said...

You see the Fundie in BI will compel him to dogmatically decree it's 600,000 men?

Why because the logistics of a 2 million person exodus from an ancient country(Egypt) that never had more then 3 million people in it's population in ancient times is a nightmare for people to explain.

Thus it's easier to polemic as an Atheist.

But what makes BI a fundie is I can with ease imagine there is no God and still think it is strongly possible this text really means 600 military units.

Of course if I was an Atheist with a silly desire to waste my finite existence converting people I would learn classic philosophy so I can make philosophical cases against the existence of God.

I wouldn't waste my time pushing fundie interpretation of scripture on non-fundies.

I know better. There is no such thing as a one size fits all polemic or apologetic.

The world is too big.

BeingItself said...

"Why would I even entertain the idea it didn't?"

I rest my case.

BenYachov said...

>I rest my case.

What case?

BenYachov said...

As we can see with BI just as Fundamentalists have a simplistic easy believeism he has an equally simplistic easy disbelief.

How can any rational person Atheist or Theist take it seriously?

BeingItself said...

"Why would I even entertain the idea it didn't?"

The story is ridiculous. No reasonable person could believe it.

Yet you do. Why? Because it's in your Magic Book.

And you have the gall to make fun of fundies.

BenYachov said...

>The story is ridiculous. No reasonable person could believe it.

>Yet you do. Why? Because it's in your Magic Book.

>And you have the gall to make fun of fundies.

So this is a bait and switch?

You dogmatically reject all reports of the miraculous(no doubt based on Hume's faulty logic) and equate me not believing God miraculously made the world in a literal 144 hour period in the year 4004 B.C. with rejecting miracles?

Thus you think I make fun of Fundies for believing in miracles?

Sorry to break it too you BI but I do believe in miracles and belief in miracles does not logically mandate a fundamentalist interpretation of scripture.

Thus folks for BI any belief in the Supernatural or Miracles is fundamentalism.

Francis Collins is a fundamentalist for believing in the literal resurrection of Jesus even thought he accepts evolution.

Sorry buddy but if you want to make the argument for reductionist materialism, scientism & metaphysical naturalism over and against Scholastic Realism, Classic Theism and supernaturalism then go for it.

But equating it with fundamentalism doesn't even pass the laugh test.

This is what you get refusing to learn philosophy. A simplistic form of non-belief.

BenYachov said...

BTW BI you are inconsistent.

You have been participating in the discussion of THE LAST SUPERSTITION over at Prof Robert Oerter's blog.

I've seen you defend his claim Quantum Events are un-caused.

So I guess belief in "magic" and the rationally ridiculous is OK as long as you do it at the sub-Atomic level.

What a hypocrite!

BeingItself said...

Ben,

How did the "witnesses" know that Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah? Did they wear name tags?

BenYachov said...

>How did the "witnesses" know that Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah? Did they wear name tags?

What does this have to do with the topic and why are you being so disingenuous?

You originally said "tell us which parts of The New Testament are false" then you asked me if I believed a specific event reported in the NT was literally true.

I was under the impression you where really asking "Do you take reports of miracles in the NT as reports of actual events or some type of allegory?".

No indication your actual agenda what to ask "Do you really believe miracles happen and why do you believe the reports of miracles in the NT?".

Those are two very different questions & switching them over without my consent is not fair.

If you are going to conceal your actual questions and agenda then you deny me the real choice to participate or not in the discussion.

I am not prepared to discuss why I think miracles are real or why I should trust the NT reports of them. I haven't studied arguments for the issue. I don't argue questions in areas I am not competent.

That is why I don't take on BDK on neuro-phenomena and dualism. I am not well versed in the topic. I study natural theology and philosophy.

Go find someone who is competent in the area of miracle and historical evidence for the Bible and ask them. It's not my field of expertise.

Oh & when you do. Some advice be up front with what your asking.

Using bait and switch doesn't convince anyone. It just makes you look dishonest.

I am being honest with you here. I am skeptical you will return the favor.

BeingItself said...

"What does this have to do with the topic and why are you being so disingenuous?"

It is the type of thing a critical thinker would wonder.

No surprise it did not occur to you. No, you just believe the story. As you said, it just would never occur to you not to believe something in the bible.

BenYachov said...

>It is the type of thing a critical thinker would wonder.

But it's not the question you originally asked. Broadsides from left field have nothing to do with critical thinking.

>No surprise it did not occur to you. No, you just believe the story. As you said, it just would never occur to you not to believe something in the bible.

So now in full troll mode you bait and switch again to my personal motivations for belief?

You are not a critical thinker at all BI. I mean both you and djindra had a brief moment over at Prof Oerter's blog.

But now it's gone and you still refuse to learn any philosophy or make any worthwhile argument against belief.

BTW I'm still waiting for you to answer my challenge from Prof Oerter's blog to give a philosophical argument showing that it is possible to conceive
of an "un-cased event".

So I have to prove all my beliefs to the N'th degree but you don't have to prove any of yours?

Like I said what a hypocrite.

rank sophist said...

BI,

You're a joke of a debater. Your "arguments" are quasi-literate troll attempts based on sentences taken out of context. You beg countless questions ("Belief in miracles is the same as fundamentalism!") and then declare yourself the victor. You are wilfully ignorant of philosophy but then claim that you are the smartest guy in the room, all the while insulting anyone who disagrees with your foolishness. You're like a less sincere djindra. I don't know why Victor and Feser haven't yet banned you.

BeingItself said...

"Why would I even entertain the idea it didn't?"

rank sophist said...

I forgot to mention that you repeatedly quote these out-of-context sentences as though they proved something. When challenged, you merely quote them again. Truly impressive.

B. Prokop said...

I've been away from my computer all day, so I've missed all the recent sturm und drang, but to answer B.I., yes, I do believe the Transfiguration did take place. It's in all four Gospels, plus two of the letters.

BeingItself said...

"It's in all four Gospels, plus two of the letters."

Therefore it's true!

B. Prokop said...

Your words, not mine, B.I. (and I must assume, your "logic" and way of thinking, as well).

I was merely pointing out that the Transfiguration is an event with multiple accounts, and is woven into the narrative of the New Testament in a way that makes an attempt to single it out rather suspect. Now I don't mind a good debate on the historicity of the Gospels, but to attempt to do such on an incident by incident level is hopeless without establishing their veracity (or lack thereof) as a whole.

BeingItself said...

"I do believe the Transfiguration did take place. It's in all four Gospels, plus two of the letters."

It was reasonable for me to assume a logical connection between your two sentences. If you did not intend a logical connection, then you should have started a new paragraph. Or something.

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