I haven’t poked fun at Christian attacking their fellows as being wrong in a while. It’s such a good way to know that Christianity is nonsense, I’m going to indulge myself.
I’ve been crossing swords with “dude” who is a classic Christian who is quite sure that he and only he has the right version of Christianity. This whole thing started when he made the usual claim that atheists simply must be nihilists. I found his post on one of my common tours around the WordPress community looking at posts that mention atheism or atheists. He used no more than William Lane Craig’s argument, which fails as soon as you know that there are atheists who aren’t nihilists e.g. most of us. It ends up that this claim is nothing more than a baseless assertion, since neither WLC or “dude” can show why the lack of belief in a god must require people to think that life has no meaning. And yes, they of course try to excuse their failure by saying that there is somehow a difference between “subjective” meaning and one given by their version of their god. To watch a conservative Christian insist that they and they alone know how an atheist should “really” act is rather pitiable. It’s such a need for making up reasons why said Christian is ever so better than anyone else. Alas, a happy content atheist is all that is needed to know that their claims are wrong. A glass of wine, a good meal with friends is all that is needed to show that at least some Christians lie.
We ended up with him trying to insult me and then when called on it, he offered just the cutest excuses on how he didn’t “necessarily” insult me. It’s always fun when it seems that these Christians think that their god is dumber than the average human to believe that. I’m happily paying out as much rope as he wants to hang himself with it (figuratively of course).
Now, here, I’m going to treat myself with looking at one of his more recent posts. It’s called “low hanging fruit” in response to my post here. Now can you guess what his very first argument against this post is? Time’s up. Why yes, it’s that wonderful nonsense “sophisticated theology”. For those of you who might not know what this entails, it is where a TrueChristian™ who is sure that their version is the only right version attacks other Christians because they don’t offer “sophisticated” enough arguments to support their Christianity, and tries to claim that atheists who show those Christians wrong simply aren’t looking at the “right” arguments. The folks at RationalWiki have a great article on the concept. This depends on a belief that there are any good arguments for belief in magic, and they all fail.
Per “dude”: (all his comments are in italics)
“1. Well, to pick on people like Ray Comfort and Ken Ham is picking on low-hanging fruit. They don’t represent the cream of the crop in terms of the best “logical defense of Christianity”. They’re not intellectuals. I, as a Christian, don’t find their arguments compelling either.”
Funny about that last claim since both of those TrueChristians™ use the same arguments that “dude” uses. It must be rather hard to not find them “compelling” if you use them. It certainly does show an ignorance of what other Christians have claimed, in favor of presenting oneself as the superior Christian. It also shows the usual baseless surety that the TrueChristians™ has the only right answers, even among his fellows.
- Jason Lisle (PhD, astrophysics, University of Colorado-Boulder) and Georgia Purdom (PhD, molecular genetics, Ohio State University) are a cut above. You allege Lisle “has not published one paper” and that “they hide in creationist magazines”. I’m not a young Earth creationist. However, it’s easy enough to look up that both Lisle and Purdom have published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. For example, Lisle has published in the Astrophysics Journal (here) and Solar Physics (here), while Purdom has published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (here), the Journal of Leukocyte Biology (here), and the Journal of Chromatography A (here), among others. Again, this isn’t to suggest I necessarily agree with Lisle’s or Purdom’s arguments, but I’m just responding to your indication that they lack publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. (Just don’t move the goalposts and suggest they haven’t published in prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journals like Nature or Science. However, if you do, it’s worth noting most secular scientists haven’t either.)
“dude” wants to claim that TrueChristians™ with actual college degrees are “a cut above”. He also tries to quote mine me when he claims I said that these people haven’t published one paper when I said that they have not published one paper on their magic based nonsense. Here is what I did say
“One of the speakers is Jason Lisle, who actually has a PhD in astrophysics, and not so strangely has not published one paper on how that idiocy happened, but plenty on how the sun actually works. So much for that long promised “evidence” for creation that AIG, and other peddlers of lie claim to have “real soon now”. They also have one other scientist, Georgia Purdom, who sadly has a PhD in molecular genetics, but has chosen to study “She seeks to understand the original, created, “very good” roles of bacteria in the pre-Fall world and genetic mechanisms that have led to their adaptations and pathogenicity in a post-Fall world.” It appears she is studying evolution, but well, don’t all it that, and well, hers has to be by magic. It is no surprise at all that neither publish in peer reviewed journals anymore. They know that their creationist nonsense won’t pass muster, so they hide in creationist magazines.”
Always fun to catch a TrueChristian in such an easy to determine lie.
As for him not being a young earth creationist, he is merely an old earth creationist. Still no more evidence than the YECs have.
- I myself am in a scientific discipline and have a scientific degree. I have published scientific research. I’m currently at a reputable academic institution. Moreover, I’ve met many intelligent Christians in scientific and other fields who have degrees from and who have worked at prestigious academic institutions too. I don’t say any of this for my own sake, let alone to brag. I don’t really think degrees and titles and names and so on are worth bragging about, though atheists often do, as if science is the be-all and end-all of scholarship or even knowledge in general (scientism). Rather, I say this to point out that even in my small or limited experience I’m aware of many intelligent Christians who can make a “logical defense of Christianity”. For instance, take Neil Shenvi (PhD, theoretical chemistry, UC Berkeley).
He then claims that he is in a scientific discipline (at best I can tell from other posts, something to do with medicine), and has published research and is at a “reputable academic institution”. He may be or he may not be. We cannot tell. This is an appeal to authority, nothing else. He also forgets that we already know that there are indeed many intelligent Christians in the sciences. This does not show that his claims are true at all; it only shows that scientists, like anyone, can fall prey to compartmentalized thinking and belief in nonsense. Amazing how someone who doesn’t find citing degrees to be important, does so all of the time. 😊 In case anyone is interested, Neil Shenvi is a “homeschooling theoretical chemist” per his own website and he makes the same failed arguments “dude” does, the same failed arguments of WLC. Again, those Christians that “dude” claims are making bad arguments, Ham and Comfort, make the same arguments as Craig. How embarrassing.
- Far removed from the confines of my small circles or spheres of influence, it’s still quite evident the “logical defense of Christianity” is very much alive and well. See the booklet of interviews with intelligent and intellectual Christians called Love the Lord with Heart and Mind for a start.
“dude” then recommends a book, that is exactly the same failed nonsense as he writes, espoused as interviews with conservative Christians (Gary Habermas is one, the rest are evidently other apologists with more appeals to authority since a lot of them have degrees in random subjects) Repeating a failure doesn’t make it any more true.
- Scientists aren’t the only scholars who have made a “logical defense of Christianity”. There are many other scholars who would be relevantly or appropriately involved in a “logical defense of Christianity”. Such as historians, linguists, textual critics, theologians, philosophers. In fact, if you want “logical”, the experts in logic tend to be philosophers and mathematicians since philosophy and mathematics involve logic at their very hearts. Personally, I’d prefer to say a “reasonable” defense of Christianity rather than a “logical” defense of Christianity, but I’m just employing your terminology for the express purpose of your post.
Then we get claims that other people have made “logical defense of Christianity” and more appeals to authority. None actually named, but it’s pretty typical for a TrueChristian™ to make a appeal to authority with no names since it’s inconvenient if the named Christian isn’t as “intelligent” aka agrees with “dude” as he might think. There is always the appeal to “many” when there aren’t “many” at all. But it always sounds impressive to a TrueChristan™.
- I realize there’s some irony in my replying to clubschadenfreude, because clubschadenfreude represents the yokel or fundamentalist wing of atheism, not the more intellectually sophisticated wing of atheism. Nevertheless I thought I’d address her allegation that Christianity isn’t intellectually defensible because it has some popular appeal in a secular society like the United States and it’s worth addressing popular notions from time to time.
Now, “dude” has another post where he is “shocked, shocked” that atheists would discuss theology and Christianity. We shouldn’t be interested at all because well, for “dude” that means that we point out how it fails. He would really like us to stop. It’s also great that I am declared to be a “fundamentalist” atheist. Hmmm, exactly what is that supposed to mean? Well, I’m an uppity woman who dares to show that “dude” is wrong, and per “dude” atheists were never so disrespectful. ROFL. I guess “dude” never read Twain or Ingersoll
“They say the religion of your fathers is good enough. Why should a father object to your inventing a better plow than he had? They say to me, do you know more than all the theologians dead? Being a perfectly modest man I say I think I do. Now we have come to the conclusion that every man has a right to think. Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn’t make a decent thief. When I read a book and don’t believe it, I ought to say so. I will do so and take the consequences like a man.” https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Robert_G._Ingersoll
The irony here is his protesting for people to discuss something that isn’t their “business”. He certainly wants to tell us atheists what to do and how to act. I do wonder just who “dude” would cite as an atheist who would fulfill his need for someone who agrees with him, aka those he would declare “intellectually sophisticated”. “dude” is a great practicer of “Craigianity”