Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Jeff Lowder

I want to say, for the record, I think people like Jeff do an enormous service to the whole community of dialogue. It was at his invitation that the first Argument from Reason paper appeared on Internet Infidels.

The question that I am concerned with is whether there is a place for an open forum of debate and dialogue between believers and unbelievers. Some people engage discussion in ways that has a tendency to shut down discussion and polarize believers and nonbelievers. In the spirit of I Pet 3:15, and in the spirit of Lewis's founding of the Oxford Socratic Club, I think it wrong for believers or unbelievers to shut down discussion.

He takes as lot of abuse from more militant types taking the position he takes, and has dealt with it with far more grace than I would have.

14 comments:

Dave Duffy said...

We all have (I hope) worthy opponents to our ideas on the faith who are on the same intellectual level we are and we genuinely like as friends. I'm skeptical of finding this online.

For the greatest challenge--get married young (to someone of the opposite sex), stay married, and get a completely different perspective on the whole of life.

Ilíon said...

VR: "In the spirit of I Pet 3:15, and in the spirit of Lewis's founding of the Oxford Socratic Club, I think it wrong for believers or unbelievers to shut down discussion."

So... you're criticizing Lowder?

Jason Pratt said...

As someone who was once (rather hilariously) accused on this blog (not by you, Victor) of being a minion of Jeff Lowder, I approve this post. {g}

JRP

Ilíon said...

... I approve this post.

So, you, too, are criticizing Lowder for his attempts to "shut down discussion"

Victor Reppert said...

What reason do you have to think he wants to shut down discussion.

Ilíon said...

^ This is a perfect example of the Stockholm Syndrome I'm always warning you mavens of "civility" about (*) -- you people just *will not* see the one-sided nature of the "civility" brigades.

Do you not read your own blog's commbox? After you asked a couple of obnoxious 'atheists' to find somewhere else to play, Lowder at least a couple of weeks trying to convince you to tell me to absent myself.


(*) Another example is how you *still* tout BDK as a model of civility even after he (accidentally) outed himself as a sock-puppeteer, and even after I linked to a post in which he was insulting *you* (rather than me).

planks length said...

I wondered why Ilion was making such accusations against Lowder until I saw this exchange over on Patheos (between him and bdlaacmm). Boy, he really doesn't like to hear anything but echoes to his postings, does he?

Way to shut down the discussion!

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

That's a cheap shot, planks length, and it doesn't follow from what I wrote. I responded to bdlaacmm as follows:

That hardly follows. All I am saying is that since I've defended those claims elsewhere in detail, the charitable thing to do would be to interact with the arguments given. I hope you will do that. I mean, I could copy-and-paste stuff directly from those articles into the combos here, but that seems rather redundant. I hope you will advance the discussion by addressing what's already been written.

I invite bdlaacm, planks length, and anyone else to challenge what I've written. I only ask that if you make any objection I've already addressed, you mention that and then argue why the objection stands.

Victor Reppert said...

Come on guys. All Jeff is asking you to do if you deny that these things are evidence against theism is to look at the previous posts where he has arguments that it was.

If Christian commentators on this site can't tell the difference between Jeff and BDK (before he made the horrendous decision to set up a "Christian" sock puppet), and the likes of Peter Boghossian and (name your favorites here), we have real problems. Who are we going to talk about these things with?

Jason Pratt said...

I tend to get along rather well with Jim Lippard, too. I can talk civilly with him or Jeff on various things any time.

JRP

TheWarfareIsMental said...

Hey guys. Breaking out of hibernation for this one, new email, been a while, yada yada... but I have to say that I've engaged Jeff on several of his arguments over the past years only to be less than fulfilled by his responses. I'd love to hear some responses Jeff!

-cl

Ilíon said...

VR: "Come on guys. All Jeff is asking you to do if you deny that these things are evidence against theism is to look at the previous posts where he has arguments that it was.
...
Who are we going to talk about these things with?
"

Who in his right mind gives a flying [badword] about "Who are we going to talk about these things with?"

Atheism is a false set of statements about the nature of reality. We know this, we *all* -- even the 'atheists' -- know this. We (*all* of us, including the 'atheists') know that atheism is a false set of statements about the nature of reality because among the statements logically entailed by the very first, foundational, statement of atheism are such statements as that we human beings do not, because we cannot, actually reason.

When a Dennett or a Dawkins or a Churchland or a Boghossian or an Adkins or a [and on and on and on] comes out with such claims as "Consciousness is an illusion", or "Free-will is an illusion", or "Personal agency/responsibility is an illusion", or "The 'mind' is an epiphenomenon of the brain", that's not just some idiot saying something idiotic; that's some God-denier being momentarily honest about what propositions are entailed in God-denial.

Now, we all -- including Dennett and Dawkins and Churchland and Boghossian and Adkins and Jeffrey Jay Lowder -- know that such statements are false, abd not merely false, but absurd. And, we all -- including Jeffrey Jay Lowder -- know that such statements are entailed in denying the reality of God. Which is to say, we *all* -- including Jeffrey Jay Lowder -- know that it is in the denial of the reality of God that such falseness and absurdity resides and originates. Which is to say, we *all* -- including Jeffrey Jay Lowder -- know that the statement, "There is no God" is false, and worse than false, being absurd, and consequently that the statement, "God is" is true.

How does one go about "talk[ing] about these things with" people who are willing to lie about "these things"?


==================
J.Pratt: "I tend to get along rather well with Jim Lippard, too. I can talk civilly with him or Jeff on various things any time."

Yeah, and I'll bet I could talk "civilly" with Stalin ... so long as I agreed never to say anything of importance, such as, for instance, "So, what's up with all these dead people?"

At some point, *every* 'atheist' will retreat into illogic and irrationality (and "incivility") so as to avoid applying critical rational evaluation to his God-denial. The only difference in the "civility" of this 'atheist' as compared to that is where that point is, where he spooks when he sees God's shadow.

You seem to have made it your life's project to set up awnings.

Hell, Prat, you are so supine, I mean, so "civil", so eager to please and placate those whose summum bonum is the eradication of Christianity and Western civilization, that in just a year or two we can expect that you will finally give over on butchering the English language by intentionally saying/writing 'she' when the grammar calls for 'he'; instead, you'll adopt the new leftie fad of using such made-up pronouns as 'ze' and 'zer' to signal to others that one is one of the "cool kids".

Really, though, what is being a "cool kid" going to profit you in the long run?

B. Prokop said...

"Ze" and "zer"??? These are new to me. And here I thought I was "with it". What do they mean? He and she? If so, why the change?

Ilíon said...

B.Prokop: ""Ze" and "zer"??? These are new to me. And here I thought I was "with it". What do they mean? He and she? If so, why the change?"

Oh, you are so not "with it" when it comes to what your leftist compatriots are up to that it adds an extra layer of irony to your denunciations of me for my denouncing of (all of) leftism.

No, "ze" and "zer" and other similar made-up personal pronouns aren't particularly new -- I've been seeing people trying to advocate for them (*) for a good twenty years or more (**). What is new is that the leftist hive-mind seems of late to be getting serious about imposing this new barbarism of thought-control upon such go-along-to-get-along sheeple as Jason Pratt.

B.Prokop: "What do they mean? He and she?"

"Ze" -- sometimes spelled "zhe", sometimes "xe" -- does not mean "'he' and 'she'"; it means "neither 'he' nor 'she'" (and "zer" means "neither 'him' nor 'her'").

One might notice that "ze" ("zhe/xe") and "zer" appear simply to be "she" and "her" wearing a Hallow'een mask. The better to efface masculinity and maleness, I expect.

B.Prokop: "If so, why the change?"

Because, at its core, leftism is hatred of what is -- this is why leftists never are, and never can be, satisfied by getting their way.

In this particular case, the change must be made because "male and female created he them".


(*) generally, by means of "shaming language", which means is, of course, totally invalid when used for some conservative or traditional end.

(**) it has been at least 15 years since I’ve so much as looked at the newspaper published at my city. Some years before that, maybe even as many as 30 years ago, I read a Letter to the Editor advocating for the use of made-up "gender-neutral" personal pronouns.