Wednesday, May 04, 2011

@DearThey criticises me

I got some feedback about my last post.  Not from the addressee, but maybe EricKincade will write back later; not everyone has tons of free time to converse on the blogosphere.
I'd like to deal with the replies from @DearThey, found here (to which tweet I asked for specifics) and then here.

@DearThey may indeed be willing to engage on a longer form than TwitLonger, so I welcome substantive interaction, as always. I would also like to offer my condolences to @DearThey on the poor health of his obviously beloved grandfather. Let me switch to addressing @DearThey (aka Julian Finn) directly.
Julian, death is an enemy, a horrible adversary that is coming for us all. For some, it comes at the end of a long and rich life like your grandfather and my step-grandfather who died 3 weeks ago. For others, it comes suddenly, without warning, after a long life, or a medium life, or a short life. And if atheism is true, it doesn't matter. Death is the way the natural order works, for life forms. Nobody will remember anything you've written in 1000 years. Will they remember you in 100 years? Perhaps. Will they who remember you in 100 years remember much of anything about you, and will they think of you except in passing once or twice a year, as memory fades, crowded out by other sad and happy memories and pressing concerns of life? Where will your accomplishments be then? Crumbled into dust.

This is the thing about the debate between atheism and Christianity - just b/c atheism reduces to utter, total, empty meaninglessness does not mean Christianity is true.  It simply means that, if atheism is true, it does not matter whether atheism is true. It may matter to you but so what? Personal fantasies don't exist in the real world, and that includes fairy tale ideas such as "meaning", "value", and "this matters".  No, it doesn't matter, and I challenge you to show me evidence it does.

Now, you seem not to understand what I mean by "atheism"; perhaps you missed my comment in my last post, so I repeat it here: atheism (by which I mean any system, such as naturalism or materialism, that is atheistic)...
You need to defend your own atheistIC worldview from my critiques and show how they don't apply.

You said:
But since atheism is merely a refusal to believe in extraordinary claims that carry no evidence, it's "truth" is not in question

That's a strange thing to say. Of course we can question whether the negation of a claim is true! We do so by examining whether the claim is true.
Surely you would not claim that we can't examine whether Holocaust deniers are correct in their denial?  After all, they could simply respond as you did: But since Holocaust Denial is merely a refusal to believe in extraordinary claims that carry no evidence, its "truth" is not in question.

You said:
Any argument stemming from the logical fallacy that atheism is some sort theory that can be proven or disproven

A little logic is a dangerous thing; you need more.  Specifically, here I'd like to know which law of logic was violated in considering atheism a sort of theory.

You said:
you seize upon his question regarding the existence of sin and, instead of answering it directly, you first take shots at the tired old chestnut of atheism lacking an objective morality

Tired old chestnuts can be tired and old b/c they've been beaten up so many times, b/c they keep picking fights with stronger, better opponents, and that's the case here. Please present your case for objective morality, on your atheistic worldview.
Warning - in the interest of saving everyone a lot of time, let me tell you in advance what I'll do once you do. I'll ask "Why should I or anyone else believe that?" In other words, I'll ask for evidence, and I'll ask for authority on your part to foist that on anyone and everyone else. Where are your morality badge, your Pope of Morality papal mitre and sceptre?  Who says? You? Who are you to tell anyone else what to do and what to believe?

Now, imagine that once you answer those questions, I ask them again. Do that about 5 times in your reply, and then let's see where we are.

You said:
then answer with a verbose equivalent of "we see as through a clear glass darkly,"

I honestly don't know what this means, so I'll have to ask you for a direct quote where you think I did so.

You said:
which is hilarious since the provable existence of sin must be of utmost import to all Christians

You may have forgotten that EricKincade granted from the beginning the Christian set of presuppositions. We don't claim sin is "provable" in the way you probably mean it, ie, scientifically and empirically. No big deal - plenty of things are unprovable by and inaccessible to empirical science, including the very existence of evidence and the very scientific method itself.
Rather, we believe in sin b/c we believe Jesus, and Jesus' central mission was to seek and save sinners. Our information is divine revelation, in the Bible and in the person of Jesus.

You said:
Arguing against the specifics of your opponents framed issues is the worst form of intellectual laze

That's precisely what EricKincade tried to do, so I appreciate that we can at least agree on his intellectual laziness.
But since a major part of philosophical discourse on the academic level is performed on precisely that level - arguing against the specifics of opponents' framed issues - I think I'm not very inclined to accept the word of some unpublished blogger on that kind of thing. At least, not w/o an argument, rather than the naked assertion you offered here.

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