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Another Round Up of Comments!

I have a confession to make.

I hate answering comments.  Seriously.  I hate it with an unparalleled passion.  That’s why I procrastinate doing it forever.  I keep hoping, one day, that my blog will be large enough that I can let my Christian readers defend my points, while I continue to write new posts and articles.  But, alas, my readership tends to be atheists who are reading me to disagree with me.

Which might be better, in a way.  At least I know that the Gospel message is getting out there.  If my readership was entirely Christian, I’d just be preaching to the choir rather than defending the faith.

And so, now I shall wade into the comment sections and pick up the neglected comments.

First up, Boz weighs in on my much derided post on philosophical ignorance.  The post was with regard to Monica (@Monicks on Twitter) making a tweet that confuses methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism.  Atheists, who are metaphysical naturalists, often thought there was no difference (or shouldn’t be).  That was completely unexpected.  And by completely unexpected, I mean completely expected!

He told me to stop insulting Monica by calling her ignorant.  I told him I wasn’t; I proved she was ignorant.  To which he replied:

Alexander Johannesen asserted that you were ignorant in the comments of another thread, and you responded that it was an ad hominem/personal insult.

Wrong-o.  What Alex said was:

Your surprising ignorance of other religions are quite astounding considering you make such big and bold assertions about them, and right now you stand as a prime example of the arrogance the outside world see when we look in on people like you.

The bolded portion is the ad hominem, and (I thought) quite rude.  Alex (in that thread) also thought that I meant the ignorant comment was the ad hominem.  But Christians are the shallow thinkers who forgo science and just say that God did it solely because we don’t understand it and don’t want to.  Riiiiight.

Next, Alex responds on the same thread to J.W. Wartick and I talking about how metaphysical naturalism defeats itself by providing no way to actually prove itself:

May I remind you both that none of you two can step outside of the natural world to confirm any of your claims? And that, in fact, you don’t need go outside the boundaries of scientific epistemology in order for *any* philosophy to be correct. And who in their right mind could claim a model of thought for correct, anyway?

And this is the type of thinking that led me to post this.  I’m claiming that something aside from the material world exists.  Alex is claiming otherwise, since he says  that we don’t have to look any further than science to find out what is happening here.   I’m also understanding him to mean that one cannot claim a thought model correct, since he’s saying no one in his right mind would try.  So it seems that since he actually can’t step outside of the natural world either (per J.W.), he’s going to point out that no one can, then say that there’s no way to know who is correct.

If that’s true, then all of us are fighting for nothing.  If we can’t know, why bother?  But here is postmodernism rearing its ugly head: all opinions are equally valid, and what’s true for you might not be true for me.  Sorry, no.  Truth is such because it’s true.  It corresponds exactly to reality.

That’s the lazy man’s way out–just claim you can’t know it.

All right, now for a couple of quickies on this post.  First up, Boz, who links to this category in Wikipedia and then challenges:

Maybe you could response to the slogan: “You’re an atheist to literally thousands of CREATOR gods.  I’m only an atheist to one more CREATOR god than you!”   ?

Sure, and I’ll respond via link as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/Jesus.  He claimed to be the Son of God and backed it up with a Resurrection from the dead, in fulfillment of Scriptures written hundreds of years before his life.  I’d say that trumps the other creator gods.

Then, Brian Westley:

Yes, people make up all kinds of gods, some more powerful than others.  This doesn’t make your god more likely; in fact, the reverse is true.

So, when more people think of a similar idea, that makes it less true?  Your philosophy of language must be really interesting.

In philosophy, however, we should always interpret terrible arguments in the most charitable way possible.  So I’ll assume that’s probably not really what you meant.  You might have meant (and this is by far the more intriguing argument), that because a plethora of creator gods exist, that makes it a lot harder to know which is the actual creator god.  And you have a point.  But, it makes your default position of atheism look very apathetic.

For why, let’s assume that everyone in the world has a soul mate (I don’t actually believe this; I think that people choose a mate and then work really hard to build a solid marriage).  If you’re single, then somewhere out there is your soul mate, and it is up to you to seek her and then marry her.

If your position were applied consistently, then you’d conclude that because a plethora of women exist, that overwhelms the odds of finding your soul mate.  So, you’ll just stop searching.  Apathetic.

So, how would I know which creator god is the correct entity?  That’s tough to argue subjectively, since Muslims know Allah is the only one, while others are just as convinced (including Christians) that some other entity created this universe.  As I answered above, Jesus of Nazareth would be objective confirmation of “my” God.

Okay, join me next time for more from the comment bag.  I’ve got to stop letting these pile up!

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on July 16, 2011, in Apologetics, God. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hey there,
    First timer here. Just think of dealing with comments like this. They may not be as much fun as writing. But if a preacher said, “I only want to preach, I don’t want to deal with the people afterwards,” I don’t think he would last long in his position. So chin up, keep up the faith and remember, you’re not going to win everyone, but Heaven rejoices with a salvation of just one.
    God bless.

    • Thanks, I can always use encouragement.

      And, if all I got was a whole bunch of “atta-boy” comments from already-convinced Christians, then I wouldn’t actually be doing my job as an apologist. Apologists are supposed to defend the faith, and in order to do that I have to engage with the dissenters in the crowd, showing them why their objections to my points are misplaced.

      Thanks for reading! May God bless you as well.

  2. Ugh. That was awful. I’ll respond in due time, but I’m a bit disappointed by your attempt to comprehend those you debate with, and not to mention the way in which you keep dragging out the context instead of answering directly. Like, why that was rude? By what reasoning? And by what definition of Ad Hominem you’re using, because, frankly, this is somewhat incomprehensible … kinda like the argument I was giving; you display arrogance in your statements of how the outside world observe you on the inside. This is not Ad Hominem; this is a definition of constraints around the larger discussion, and you seem rather oblivious of it. Sad.

    The rest will have to be addressed later. Busy, busy.

  3. Quoting me, at first:

    Yes, people make up all kinds of gods, some more powerful than others. This doesn’t make your god more likely; in fact, the reverse is true.

    So, when more people think of a similar idea, that makes it less true? Your philosophy of language must be really interesting.

    People have made up thousands of gods over millennia; when so many past gods are clearly false, I find it much more likely that all gods are false, rather than thousands are false with one being true. When it’s clear that gods are regularly made up, it’s more reasonable to me to start assuming gods are made up unless shown otherwise.

  4. Maybe you could response to the slogan: “You’re an atheist to literally thousands of CREATOR gods. I’m only an atheist to one more CREATOR god than you!” ?

    :

    Sure, and I’ll respond via link as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/Jesus. He claimed to be the Son of God and backed it up with a Resurrection from the dead, in fulfillment of Scriptures written hundreds of years before his life. I’d say that trumps the other creator gods.

    :

    a) What prior probability do you assign to a bodily ressurection of any random person?

    b) what Bayes Factor do you assign to the evidence (the first and second century manuscripts) ?

    c) What final(posterior) probability do you assign to a bodily ressurection of jesus?

    a*b=c

  5. Cory Tucholski, if you hate answering comments, just don’t do it! There is no compulsion.

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