"Atheism is the belief that one knows everything and that all humans are actually machines with no freewill whatsoever. And that paramecia can think as well as dolphins. That's just stupid, and can twist the language to call it whatever you want. Show at least a minimum basic familiarity with the difference here."
An impolite and fairly abusive atheist blogger has brought up an interesting "Quazy Quistian Question" that I thought would be worthwhile to dissect.
Apparently this is the sixth part of a series of QQQs, ranging from the serious (on the role of evidence to the Christian) to the lighthearted (including one on sushi that has me drooling and my tummy growling at this very moment).
The Exterminator attempts in a few of these QQQs to perform a critique on Christianity. The first problem with his approach is that he is employing an atheist worldview to approach the critique of Christian ideas, which is invalid on several counts.
-First and foremost, atheism cannot account for rationality, intelligibility, or the existence of evidence. A rational critique of some other worldview departing from an atheistic foundation is thus, obviously, eliminated as impossible.
-Following up on that, the atheist must therefore borrow from theism in order to
1) utilise rational discourse in his critique,
2) bring up evidence in said discourse,
3) believe that evidence means anything to anyone,
4) believe that other minds are capable of digesting and interpreting evidence,
5) believe that the laws of logic are not arbitrary, and
6) that they will not arbitrarily and spontaneously change tomorrow.
Among many other things.
-More specifically, The Exterminator is performing an external (rather than an internal) critique, which is the equivalent of the following:
Atheist: "There is no god."
Chrischun: "Yeah huh, the Bible says so, and you're just a fool."
Atheist: "But what abou-"
Chrischun: "Nope! Fool! In your heart! Said 'no god'! Fool! Nya nya nya!!!!"
How would The Exterminator consider that exchange? Useful? Rational? No, not at all, and rightfully so - the Chrischun here has performed an EXTERNAL critique on atheism, coming from the Christian worldview to the atheist worldview. According to the Christian worldview, the atheist IS a fool. But that doesn't mean that we use such language in a discussion with an atheist in explaining or defending our position!
Similarly, The Exterminator is employing his (uneducated, apparently ignorant, and willfully incorrigible) view of the doctrine of the Trinity, and calling it crazy. But of COURSE it's crazy from an atheist standpoint! As if anyone would argue otherwise.
Rather, TE's job is to show why it is internally inconsistent within its own worldview.
So, TE's main question is: Isn’t Christianity a polytheistic religion? If not, how do you account for all those super-beings running around? Explain your response.
He expounds on his leading-up-to-the-question thinking in the post, and it appears that these quotes sum it up:
-We’ve got three entities here, not one.
-I said, “technically it’s not one big salad. It’s actually four different salads, all on one plate.”
-Dad, Junior, and the Cosmic Goo
Here are some decent startup articles on identity and explication of the Trinity, data which TE has either neglected to read or to take into account:
What is the Trinity?
Is God a Trinity or a Triad?
Isn't the Trinity doctrine really a teaching there are three gods?
About the Trinity
There is one God and one God only. He alone is omnipotent, eternal, uncreated, timeless, creator, omnipresent, omniscient, etc. One homoousios - one essence, substance, entity. One "What".
God is three hypostases, three persons, three "Who"s. The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. None of these is the other. Each's personhood is distinct from the others, and all 3 are co-equal, consubstantial (which is a big word meaning "of the same substance", if TE is reading), and co-eternal. Each has a different role, each is God. The Father is not the Son, the Son not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit not the Father.
Now for a brief critique of some quotes from his post:
If you challenge Christians to explain how 3 = 1
Which an educated Christian won't do. Neither is it 1 + 1 + 1 = 1. All analogies fail at some point; the Trinity is mysterious, though neither irrational nor illogical nor contradictory.
"One essence and three essences" would be, though, as would "one person and three persons". But that's not what we say.
Atheists don’t believe in what the bible says, nor do we put any credence in the long, tedious, lying tradition of Christian apologetics.
As if anyone should care what atheists believe here. We already know you think Christianity is false. Show an internal inconsistency or admit you're preaching to the choir.
We’ve got three entities here, not one.
Christianity has never, ever claimed that.
But this is what TE is shooting for - *HE* wants to get to define what I believe; I don't get that privilege.
He even explicitly said as much:
Just because you announce that (Satan)'s not a god doesn't make that so.
Is he dealing with Christianity here? Looks like he wants the privilege of knocking down a strawman. That's easy enough to do - just see the first line of this blogpost. Ask yourself whether such is fair. Then ask yourself how intellectually honest TE is being.
when Jesus was on the cross, he cried out to his papa.
Son talking to Father, one person/hypostasis to another person/hypostasis. Yes. Now TE is reduced to recycling pitiful, old, Oneness, Unitarian objections.
So god and Jesus, at least, must be different beings
They are different persons. He's close.
unless the “savior” was just talking to himself like a crazy man. Was the “savior” a lunatic?
He was not talking to Himself.
And that third god is some vague entity used conveniently to plug the gaps into which neither Jesus nor the Big Guy fit
This shows a breathtaking and amazing ignorance of the way the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit. It's as if TE doesn't realise that the Holy Spirit is mentioned, identified, and named explicitly numerous times in the Bible. Does TE think we just made Him up? In the last, what, 20 years? 100 years? 400 years? Does he have any evidence of that, or is just pulling this out of his butt?
Most reasonable people would call the Satan character a god.
Why? Biblically, he is not any of the things I said of God above: Not omnipotent, eternal, uncreated, timeless, creator, omnipresent, omniscient, etc.
He is limited in power, created in time, not able to create, limited in knowledge and in scope and in presence.
But TE says he's a god, so dang it, he must be a god! TE would bewitch me, hypnotise me to make me defend sthg other than what I actually posit.
TE's methodology of proposing a strawman and refusing correction is tantamount, when taken to its logical conclusion, to the end of all rational discussion between worldviews. When you tell me what I believe and I tell you what you believe, what do we have? Can we communicate? Can we even disagree with any chance of even understanding the other?
Either that, or TE just wants to exert his power over Christians. *He* gets to define what he believes, and *he* gets to define what *I* believe. Let us pray TE never finds his way to a position of significant governmental influence.
Christians arguing that a god can be a god only if he’s omnibenevolent,
Which is not my argument. Thanks for playing.
In Christian belief, Satan has the power to challenge the divine personage they call “God” for people’s souls.
B/c God permits him a short time to do so.
He’s either immortal, or, if vanquishable at some future date, at very least unusually long-lived.
Yes, he will never cease to exist. But neither will any human or other angel.
He is supernatural; he does not die like humans die. Neither do any angel or demon.
He’s omnipresent, almost omnipotent, and omnimalevolent.
Again TE defines what Christianity teaches.
One wonders whether he simply ASSERTS and expects what he hath said to be thus, or whether he can cite any biblical text to support his assertions.
The Demigods of Christianity
Here he continues to perform his fallacious external critique. He's closer to the truth here than he is in other areas, and I join him in critiquing RCC and EOC.
Of course, since he's the authority, he apparently gets to tell me that I believe that Mary is a demigod. Too bad for me!
Finally, I love that TE also illustrates his own willful ignorance in this:
I’m going to have to insist that no quotes, links, or historical references be used.
It makes one wonder whether he would understand them.
Does that mean I don't get to use the terms "hypostasis" or "homoousios"? How about "person", "essence", "entity", or "substance"? These are all historical words; he himself uses "essence" (100% incorrectly, as it turns out) and "entity" (correctly) in his post to poke fun at the idea of the Trinity as salad. But *I* don't get to, eh?
Does this person care about what I have to say? Or is he just poking fun for the sake of scoring points with all his fundy atheist commenters? You be the judge.
I thank TE for this opportunity to expose these kinds of statements to the light of scrutiny.