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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Anti-apologetic to evangelism

On Twitter, Blake Seidler is attempting to defend one of Peter Boghossian's many errors. It's highly amusing and it demonstrates how most atheists simply are not prepared for rhetorical battle. Seeing them dip their toes into rhetoric and trying to figure it out in their quasi-aspie way is like watching monkeys try to figure out how to drive a car.
BS: Your accusation of science denial is false.

VD: He is indisputably denying science. He is appealing to the long-discredited idea of a Steady State universe.

BS: No he's not, and that's precisely the straw-man I'm referring to. He absolutely accepts the Big Bang model of the universe.

BS: You invoked the Steady State model, not Boghossian.

VD: He's the one who denies the scientific consensus for the age of the universe, Blake.

VD:  "The possibility that the universe always existed cannot be ruled out." - Peter Boghossian. There's your science denial.

VD: "The possibility that the Earth is only six thousand years old cannot be ruled out." - Peter Boghossian (paraphrased)

VD: "The possibility that God created the Heavens and the Earth cannot be ruled out." - Peter Boghossian (paraphrased).
There is more of the same sort of thing, but the fact is that we all know Boghossian actually believes in the Big Bang and the scientific consensus concerning the age of the universe. He simply pretended that he didn't in order to attack the possibility that God might have created the universe. But notice how the simple fact of answering rhetoric with rhetoric has immediately forced Blake, the Street Epistemologist, to beat a hasty retreat to scientific dialectic. Oh, of course Peter Boghossian isn't a SCIENCE DENIER. Of course he ABSOLUTELY accepts the Big Bang model.

Forcing this retreat was, of course, precisely my intention, since now we can cheerfully cram the very words he was attempting to use to cast doubt on our faith right down his throat. Now Boghossian can't even argue with someone claiming that there was nothing but Skittles and bubblegum before the Big Bang, or with someone who argues that Bishop Ussher's 6,000 year old Earth can't be ruled out without facing his own words. He is forced to choose between being hung by our rhetoric or accept that his arguments have been neutralized.

Hit them with rhetoric when they use rhetoric. Then, when they retreat and try to switch back to dialectic, recall their rhetoric and turn it against them. As I've noted, they are NEVER prepared to defend their beliefs or stand by the statements they make in attacking Christian beliefs. Ironically, the less intellectually honest they are, the easier it is to take them apart because they will always say something that contradicts an earlier statement. The more you do this, the easier it gets to spot the statement that will eventually be contradicted.

UPDATE: Boghossian's tactics may be more self-destructive than I'd imagined.
VD: You say we can't believe there was nothing before the Big Bang, but we can believe there were never any gods. You have faith!

BS: no, I withhold belief in God the same way I withhold belief in everything else that I don't have evidence for.

VD: You appear to be pretending to know something you don't. Do you admit there may be a Creator God?

BS: yes. I think a deistic god is impossible to disprove, and a truly omnipotent being could obviously conceal his existence.

VD: Good. You claim there may be something pre-Big Bang and there may be a Creator God. Do you also claim that Jesus Christ may be Lord?

BS: sure. I think the evidence is strongly against it, but if I am open to being shown that I am wrong about that.
And now we're onto the Christian's favored ground. Blake is presently trying to cite various forms of evidence against the Lordship of Jesus Christ, which should be an interesting enterprise. Notice that although he's still repeating Boggie's talking points, we're no longer questioning the essential legitimacy of faith, but are instead discussing the evidence for and against Jesus Christ. I've asked him to focus, in particular, in the historical and textual evidence against Jesus Christ he cited.

So, you see, an unprovoked attack by a Street Epistemologist can be transformed into an opportunity to not only defend one's faith, but share it. The anti-apologetic should be viewed as a potential opportunity for Christian evangelism. Just keep in mind that these are seldom individuals who are wired normally, so avoid any and all emotion-based appeals or personal testimonials and stick firmly to nothing but facts, reason, and logic.

UPDATE 2: A new tactical line occurs to me. When asked about the evidence AGAINST Jesus Christ, Blake surprised me by answering: "Historical, archeological, textual, philosophical, psychological, anthropological, cosmological, and experiential."

Given that most atheists actively attempt to limit evidence to "scientific evidence", it may be useful to encourage them to expand the limits of what they consider acceptable evidence by first asking them for their evidence against Jesus Christ. For example, most atheists would run screaming away from the idea that experiential evidence is legitimate in any circumstances. And archeological evidence has played into Christian hands since Nineveh was discovered. But Blake has manfully agreed that all these evidential grounds are fair game, "given sound logic and consistent definitions", restrictions to which I can't possibly object.

In any event, we've agreed that Twitter is too limited a medium for a detailed discussion, so he is going to write up his case for the evidence against the Lordship of Jesus Christ, which I will post here on the blog, unedited, in its entirety.

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47 Comments:

Anonymous TMQ Fanboy January 15, 2014 9:15 PM  

The existence of this account, and its stats are amusing.

Anonymous Porky January 15, 2014 9:22 PM  

Who??

Anonymous Myrddin January 15, 2014 9:37 PM  

Neat.

Anonymous Edjamacator January 15, 2014 9:49 PM  

It's always nice to see a self-important, inflated atheist ego taken down a few (bunches of) notches by one of the faithful. I wonder how they soothe their beaten feelings.

Blogger Harry T. Conan January 15, 2014 9:53 PM  

These are my favourite posts...tutorials on how to use rhetoric and dialectic.

Anonymous zen0 January 15, 2014 9:56 PM  

We have many Street Epistmologists here. They often have sympathy dogs with them, while they sit in front of their begging hat..

My favorite was the old guy that when a younger guy show up with a sympathy dog near his territory, the next day he brought a toy sympathy dog to his station.

I had to give him extra for that.

i think he may have gone to his reward, having not seen him for awhile.

I miss him. He was truly a philosopher of higher calibre than these pretenders.

Blogger IM2L844 January 15, 2014 10:16 PM  

I wonder how they soothe their beaten feelings.

By declaring victory, of course.

Blogger mmaier2112 January 15, 2014 10:35 PM  

Harry T. Conan January 15, 2014 9:53 PM

These are my favourite posts...tutorials on how to use rhetoric and dialectic.


THIS should be the next Voxiversity class...

HOW TO DISSECT IDIOTIC IDIOCIES AND THE IDIOTS THAT ESPOUSE THEM IDIOTICALLY! - A humble Manuscript, by Vox Day, meek Christian

Anonymous zen0 January 15, 2014 10:43 PM  

Interview with PB.

Its all about where you can put your penis.....

Portlland Mercury

Anonymous MendoScot January 15, 2014 10:50 PM  

Is Blake Seidler a socially autistic atheist? The twit/s read/s as idiocy or reading incomprehension bordering on aphasia.

And even if it* is, why should we care?

* Smooth segue, from Blake to they.

Blogger tz January 15, 2014 10:56 PM  

Does he mean this universe or the infinite number of multiverses were eternal.
I'n not shocked that their capacity for constant attempts at dialectic can't get them out of a leyden jar.

Perhaps ruled out has more to do with Catholic schooldisipline by nuns.

Anonymous MendoScot January 15, 2014 11:06 PM  

Its all about where you can put your penis.....

Stop lying Zeno, it's about where you stick your celery.

My mentor said to me once, "Pete, you'd be so much better if you just didn't do stupid shit." That's a lesson for life. If you want to think better, just don't do stupid shit. Don't find a way of thinking that's terrible. Find ways of thinking that are at least mediocre.

Yes, Pete, please don't do stupid shit, even with celery. Your mentor was warning you about the celery, Pete.

BEWARE THE CELERY, PETE!

Anonymous MendoScot January 15, 2014 11:18 PM  

Street crackho'ssian.

Should have seen that one earlier.

Blogger Log January 15, 2014 11:29 PM  

There is not necessarily a logical inconsistency between the Big Bang and an eternal universe, says Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)

Blogger Log January 15, 2014 11:30 PM  

At least, if it is necessarily logically inconsistent, that fact has not been demonstrated.

Anonymous kh123, struggling with turning extremely heavy alloyed pages January 15, 2014 11:36 PM  

No... must resist... putting on... the umim...

Anonymous bob k. mando January 15, 2014 11:52 PM  

speaking of science denial ... did y'all know that 'Noah and the Ark' is getting the blockbuster treatment?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uVJAGJ5SVM#t=114

and from the trailer ... it looks like they're doing it serious? they've got at least 3 high profile Oscar winners in it ( Crowe & Connelly, Hopkins ) i am so flabbergasted.

Anonymous Anonymous January 15, 2014 11:55 PM  

DC Red Dogs said: Scientists are a lot more humble than they were back in the day (when a Caltech degree could earn you a nice house in any of the 50 states and nobody yet believed in dark matter, multiverses, hologram universes, and Sheldon Cooper's beloved string theory). Your thoroughly modern science acolyte has no answer to the argument that "if we are in an alien-designed hologram the Bible is as likely to be completely true as the non-Bible" and the argument that "if there are infinite multiverses there has to be one in which every claim of the Bible is infinitely true and there is no basis for denying that this is not that universe". Of course, access to the truths of Christian philosophy (love alone suffices, to roughly translate the central principle from the original Greek) answers the conundrums that agitate them, but they don't have that access yet. Let us pray for them.

Blogger Me Guerrero January 16, 2014 12:03 AM  

The estimated of the age of the Universe is 13.7 billion years, whereas according to Hindu cosmology it is 155 trillion years.

Anonymous jm January 16, 2014 12:09 AM  

Noah has actually gotten some negative press from the faith-based viewing groups who have attended screenings. Liberties have been taken, I would presume.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 16, 2014 12:19 AM  

jm January 16, 2014 12:09 AM
Liberties have been taken, I would presume.



had they not, i would be gobsmacked.

reading comments elsewhere it appears that there may be some Midrash derived elements which ... being Hollywood ... how could there not be?

i'll note that the reason stated in the movie for the deluge is that man is 'too violent'. which flatly contradicts Genesis:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%206&version=KJV
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.


every imagination of his heart was evil? garsh, we wouldn't want to start considering things like lust and envy and gluttony. best just destroy the world because of the failure of antediluvian man to ban guns ... er, sorry, violence.

Anonymous Y January 16, 2014 3:00 AM  

**Ironically, the less intellectually honest they are, the easier it is to take them apart because they will always say something that contradicts an earlier statement.**

Such as first claiming that whites are superior to blacks, because they have a higher average intelligence, but later on claiming that even though athiests have a higher average intelligence than Christians, Christians are still superior, because the fact that there are more Christians than athiests, means there are far more Christian geniuses than athiest geniuses.

Or claiming to believe in a God that wants certain inner virtues, yet continually making snide remarks about people's outer looks.

Anonymous VD January 16, 2014 3:05 AM  

There is not necessarily a logical inconsistency between the Big Bang and an eternal universe, says Wikipedia

"The hypothetical particle or field thought to be responsible for inflation is called the inflaton."

They're wrong, of course. It's actually highly compressed phlogiston that God mixed with luminiferous aether. Science!

Anonymous VD January 16, 2014 3:08 AM  

Such as first claiming that whites are superior to blacks, because they have a higher average intelligence, but later on claiming that even though athiests have a higher average intelligence than Christians, Christians are still superior, because the fact that there are more Christians than athiests, means there are far more Christian geniuses than athiest geniuses.

You atheists sure are caught up in your ego-massaging superiority games. Where have I claimed that whites are superior to blacks? Where have I claimed that Christians are superior to atheists?

Forget intellectual honesty, you're just a straight-up liar.

Blogger Outlaw X January 16, 2014 5:11 AM  

Well done.

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 16, 2014 5:16 AM  

"whereas according to Hindu cosmology it is 155 trillion years."

IIRC, (correct me if I'm mistaken) one thing the ancient Hindu cosmology got semi-right was their idea that the earth was not at all at the center of the universe, but was just a randomly-located place adrift in the rest of the cosmos. They seem to have intuited that the stars were not a vault or a "firmament" enclosing earth, but were a snapshot of the vastness of the universe itself. I don't know what sort of reasoning led them to this [correct] conclusion, though.

Hindus 1, all other ancients 0.

Blogger Allabaster January 16, 2014 5:55 AM  

Don't forget that he assumed such a thing of a certified man of color!

Anonymous VD January 16, 2014 6:08 AM  

Don't forget that he assumed such a thing of a certified man of color!

I prefer the term "Melange". "Man of color" is now racist and offensive.

Blogger mmaier2112 January 16, 2014 6:32 AM  

In any event, we've agreed that Twitter is too limited a medium for a detailed discussion, so he is going to write up his case for the evidence against the Lordship of Jesus Christ, which I will post here on the blog, unedited, in its entirety.

Bravo, Vox.

The archeological aspect is a surprise to me too.

Back in the early 90s, I distinctly remember thinking how archeology was seemingly always confirming The Bible, instead of beating the dead horse to dust as I suspected it MUST. How could a bunch of stupid ancient fairy tales be true, after all?

Anonymous p-dawg January 16, 2014 6:32 AM  

@scoobius: "I don't know what sort of reasoning led them to this [correct] conclusion, though."

They had possibly experienced space. Check out this link.

I'm not claiming it's definitive, it's just a good take on the ancient spacecraft theory. Also note that the Scriptures do refer to people who have died out in space being part of the Resurrections.

Anonymous Peter Garstig January 16, 2014 7:03 AM  

Must be an aspie of the highest order. Can't possibly understand the void he created himself that he's jumping into.

Anonymous VD January 16, 2014 7:25 AM  

It must be one hell of a philosophical piece of evidence for him to be willing to open up that particular can of worms. I am intrigued. If it's a rote bit of Dawkins or Harris, I will laugh.

OpenID simplytimothy January 16, 2014 7:35 AM  

These are my favourite posts...tutorials on how to use rhetoric and dialectic.

I very much appreciate them as well.

Anonymous zen0 January 16, 2014 7:37 AM  

When asked about the evidence AGAINST Jesus Christ, Blake surprised me by answering: "Historical, archeological, textual, philosophical, psychological, anthropological, cosmological, and experiential."

Here's hoping there is something other than material from this site:

rational wiki - evidence for historical jesus

Blogger IM2L844 January 16, 2014 8:17 AM  

so he is going to write up his case for the evidence against the Lordship of Jesus Christ...It must be one hell of a philosophical piece of evidence for him to be willing to open up that particular can of worms.

It's a refreshing departure from the typical emphatic avoidance of any burden for making a case. I hope it's interesting.

Blogger Rick January 16, 2014 9:17 AM  

Vox,
I realize it may be counter to the point of this exercise but, how did you come to your faith? By experience or reason (intellect)? In my own case, it was first by experience, then reason. Or rather, the experience permitted (in a sense) what would lead to the intellect never being disappointed. Where previous, the intellect was never satisfied (with some things). This was in my case, and I don't make much of the experience in any way where I feel special or gifted or anything remotely like that. In fact, I could be quite wrong about ever feeling there was anything special about the experience at all at the time. But I acknowledge where it led, and for that I am forever grateful.

I ask because I too wonder about these kinds of atheists. I'm new here but I've seen you mention somewhere you suspect a form of autism may be at work. In some way similar I think it may be a form of envy. Where, if the intellect is quite important to a person, and you sense it (genuinely) satisfied in others, this tension is released in (unfortunately) infantile ways.

Anonymous Incurvatus January 16, 2014 9:21 AM  

Creative writing professor Reza Aslan was interviewed by Lutheran Public Radio regarding his book, "Zealot; Life & Times of Jesus of Nazareth." The format at LPR is to let the author speak freely, and the bring in subject matter experts in later segments to examine. You know it's going to be good when the author of a book about Jesus proclaims that "scholarly historians agree that history is a modern concept" and that "ancients had no concept of facts."
(Hey, so what if Dr. Luke STARTS his letter, "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.")

Dr. John Warwick Montgomery took Aslan to the woodshed. (Montgomery is widely cited in the fantastic apologetics primer Evidence That Demands a Verdict, an excellent reference for eviscerating online atheists.)

http://issuesetc.org/2014/01/14/1-responding-to-reza-aslan-author-of-zealot-the-life-and-times-of-jesus-of-nazareth-dr-john-warwick-montgomery-11414/

Blogger JartStar January 16, 2014 9:23 AM  

I look forward to reading it, particularly if it is rigorous and well thought out.

Blogger Markku January 16, 2014 9:59 AM  

I can't get past those Faith Monsters. You know, this guy might just end up being more of a riot than the entire Obama administration.

Blogger JartStar January 16, 2014 10:06 AM  

Probably the best historical argument against the Gospels are that they are pious forgeries. They really did believe that Jesus was a prophet or perhaps even the savior which explains their martyrdom, but they exaggerated things to try to convince others and themselves of their beliefs.

Blogger Markku January 16, 2014 10:09 AM  

The only reason you'd say in that culture that the witnesses to the empty tomb were WOMEN would be because it's embarrassingly true and you're not willing to give value-added narrative.

Blogger Joshua_D January 16, 2014 10:28 AM  

"p-dawg January 16, 2014 6:32 AM

Also note that the Scriptures do refer to people who have died out in space being part of the Resurrections."

To which Scriptures are you referring?

Blogger Subversive Saint January 16, 2014 1:55 PM  

Joshua_D "To which Scriptures are you referring?"


"And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." - Matthew 24:31

Blogger Markku January 16, 2014 2:03 PM  

Rev 19:14. It's the ACTUAL heaven. The saints are coming back to earth to kill all the godless with swords, so that fowls may eat their flesh.

Anonymous automatthew January 16, 2014 3:36 PM  

"'Noah and the Ark' is getting the blockbuster treatment?"

And they're apparently including elements derived from The Book of Enoch, specifically one of the Watchers. Nifty.

Anonymous automatthew January 16, 2014 3:38 PM  

Citation:
The "nephilim" that Darren Aronofsky refers to in his tweet is taken directly from the Bible, specifically in Genesis 6:4 where they are described as "sons of God" and "daughters of men." Samyaza himself is the leader of the Grigori, a.k.a. Watchers, a group of angels who were consumed by lust for mortal women and became fallen angels.

Anonymous The Faith Monster January 16, 2014 9:15 PM  

Jartstar: "Probably the best historical argument against the Gospels are that they are pious forgeries. They really did believe that Jesus was a prophet or perhaps even the savior which explains their martyrdom, but they exaggerated things to try to convince others and themselves of their beliefs."

That's not even an argument, that's just an attempt at an explanation. For it to be an argument, you would have to include much more, like textual evidence from the early Church that they had doubts about their beliefs, and decided to fake it; or earlier versions of the Gospels or epistles that vary from early Christian belief. You'd also have to explain why people who didn't believe in a doctrine were willing to be martyred on its behalf, and maybe include some examples of other cases where people who didn't have true faith in a radical new doctrine consented nonetheless to torture, dismemberment, immolation, and being consumed by wild beasts, when they could have opted out by recanting.

Yours is just a "What if..." conjecture, like thousands heard in undergraduate bull sessions.

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