Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Vindication of My Argument Against Theism from Rick Warden's Ill-fated Maneuvers

Rick Warden has attempted another refutation of my argument. He already tried once and failed (see here). Then, after seeing that his attempted refutation of my argument failed, Warden requested “a summary of the specific premises and logical syntax of the argument,” which can only serve as an admission that when he attempted his initial refutation, he did so without knowing what my argument’s premises are. I recommend that Warden adopt the policy of “look before you leap.” It might save him some skinned knees.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Three Steps Proving that Theism Cannot Be True

In the comments section of my previous blog entry, Christian apologist Rick Warden of Templestream Blog has requested that I produce “a summary of the specific premises and logical syntax of the argument” which I employ against theism.

Curiously, Warden’s request comes after he posted a blog of his own in which he attempted to refute my argument. Warden’s methodology seems logically reversed; one would hope that Warden would already be familiar with my argument’s premises before publishing his attempts to refute it. Perhaps Warden has simply “presupposed” that my argument is unsound and, eager to act on this presupposition, didn’t bother to check the facts from the beginning. Needless to say, this would explain a lot.

Below I present three steps sealing the conclusion that theism cannot be true. Step 1 is a proof that truth as such rests exclusively on the primacy of existence metaphysics (this is the reason why we often hear the undeniably true retort, “wishing doesn’t make it so”). Step 2 is a proof that theism assumes the primacy of consciousness metaphysics (think of the claim that a god created the universe by speaking, that it governs human history by its “counsel,” that it “controls whatsoever comes to pass,” etc.). Step 3, drawing from the previous two Steps, is a proof that theism therefore cannot be true.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rick Warden’s Ill-fated Effort to Refute the Argument from Metaphysical Primacy

Precisely one year ago today, on November 25, 2012, Rick Warden of the Templestream blog posted a blog entry titled A Refutation of Dawson Bethrick's Central Argument Against Theism. In this blog entry, Warden set out to achieve what the title suggests: he attempted to refute the argument from metaphysical primacy.

You see, Warden really wants his god to be real, and he wants his god-beliefs to be true. And like every good Christian, he wants everyone else to believe likewise and submit. Unfortunately, his zeal to vindicate his god-beliefs has clouded his critical faculties to a devastating degree.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Examining Stefan's Presuppositionalism

StefanMach (to whom I shall again refer as Stefan going forward) has left a series of comments responding to my blog A Reply to Stefan on Induction and Deduction. Stefan is clearly sympathetic to presuppositionalism, though he seems to be wary of Greg Bahnsen, which is curious in itself.

Below I reply to Stefan’s comments.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

For Jonathan

Over on my blog Before the Beginning: The Problem of Divine Lonesomeness, internet apologist Jonathan Bradford (whose expert execution of presuppositional apologetics can be observed here) left a comment recently in which he asked me for “a detailed explanation of what a ‘consciousness’ is.”

He claims to have had interactions with Objectivists and gave the following statement:
I've never really received a satisfactory, rigorous definition of the concept as used by Objectivists.
In response to this, I explained:
The concept ‘consciousness’ is an axiomatic concept. Part of what this means is that it is conceptually irreducible and thus cannot be defined in terms of more fundamental concepts. So if you’ve been talking with Objectivists and they are not giving you a definition of ‘consciousness’ in terms of more fundamental concepts, that’s why. The same is the case with the concept ‘existence’ and those denoting sensations. These concepts are defined ostensively – essentially by pointing to those things which they denote. Axiomatic concepts are the most fundamental concepts; there are no concepts that are more fundamental than these. They are conceptually irreducible.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Reply to Stefan on Induction and Deduction

On my blog Sye Ten Bruggencate vs. the Absolute Laws of Logic which I posted back in July, a visitor posting under the moniker StefanMach (to whom I will refer as Stefan henceforth) recently left a comment about the relationship between induction and deduction and presuppositionalism.

Specifically Stefan inquired about the consequences induction has for deductive conclusions given the view that “inductive argument conclusions are classified as either strong or weak and can never be classified as true or false.”

This is topical given that deductive arguments attempt to draw conclusions from at least one premise which, as a generalization, must be the conclusion of an inductive inference. Thus if an inductive inference can only produce a conclusion that is at best “strong” (as opposed to “weak”), then any attempt to draw a conclusion by means of deduction from an inductive conclusion would necessarily inherit the tentativeness already present in the inductive conclusion. Consequently, how can any deductive conclusion be accepted as reliably true or certain?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Moral Code of Life

In its most general sense, morality is a code which guides one’s choices and actions.

Consequently there are two basic codes available to man, both mutually opposed to one another.

They are:
the moral code of life vs. the code of death.
Let us explore what distinguishes these two mutually opposed codes.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

An Examination of the Ontological Argument

In my previous entry, Twerking for Jesus, I mentioned that I would be posting a new entry examining the ontological argument for the existence of a god more closely. So here it is.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Twerking for Jesus

Just in time for Halloween, TUaD is at it again over on Theological Bullsushi, twerking for Jesus as he so lovingly does. This time TUaD posted a link to an article titled “Computer Scientists ‘Prove’ God Exists.” Presumably we are expected to be impressed by the titular statement, that is of course until we learn that it’s yet another version of the tired, outworn ontological argument.

In fact, one wonders how closely TUaD has read the article that he himself linked to in his own comment. TUaD does quote a section of the article in his comment, but he skipped over some key statements about the nature of the article and the significance of the accomplishment it showcases.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reason vs. Faith

A favorite question which many Christian apologists like to pose to atheists is “How do you know?” When challenged by such apologists to identify any item of knowledge that the atheist knows with certainty, an atheist might say something such as “I know that the sky is blue,” “I know that turtles are reptiles,” or “I know that I got up this morning and had breakfast.” And as though the apologist really had no way of dealing with an atheist who does have full confidence in at least some items of his knowledge, the apologist retorts as if by trained reflex: “How do you know that?”

Now, we should understand that the apologist’s line of interrogation here is not motivated by some deep love of knowledge and how the mind works. Quite the opposite is the case: the apologist is on a mission to undermine any non-believer’s confidence in his own mental faculties. Such simple questions are thus intended to accomplish three things:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Behold How the Holy Ones Speak!

Take a look at this Christian who posts under the moniker “Truth Unites… and Divides” (TUaD hereafter) over on theology served undercooked. Here’s what TUaD wrote recently in response to our very own NAL:
Hey MALformed, another laughably stupid atheist who's spending so much time on this blog thread when considering your atheistic convictions and worldview. You only have a limited time on earth before you die. Why spend those precious moments debating Hodge and other Christians?  
LOL, the MALformed atheist! That's a good one!
There, there. Feel better now, TUaD?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mike Licona says: “I want it to be true”

I would really like to know how Christians react to this candid admission by a rather high-profile Christian apologist, Mike Licona. (His website is RisenJesus.com, and he even has an entry on Wikipedia.org.)

In a discussion between Licona, Gary Habermas and Robert Price, Licona makes a fascinating autobiographical revelation – really a confession.The discussion is available on YouTube and has been sliced rather sloppily into four sections. Those who are interested in the debate over what if anything is historically reliable in the New Testament might enjoy listening to this discussion, so here are the links to the different installments:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Primacy of the Inner over the Outer

A regular visitor to my blog who comments under the moniker NAL brought my attention to some continuing discussions over on B.C. Hodge’s blog Theological Sushi, and although he specifically noted that a fellow commenting there under the name “Rian” has been raking Hodge over the coals, the first blog entry that I looked at when I visited TS did not feature any discussion between Rian and Hodge himself. Rather, what I found – in the entry titled Christianity Doesn't Require Omniscience from Its Adherents - is a discussion between Rian and none other than Steve Hays of Triablogue.

(I don’t think this was the thread that NAL had in mind, since Hodge does not interact with Rian in it. Rather, I’m guessing that NAL had in mind this blog entry, in the comments of which Hodge does interact with Rian, and which I have yet to enjoy reading. All in good time!)

Now I have not occasioned myself to read through the entire discussion between Rian and Hays, though I do intend to as time allows. But what I have read so far was more than enough to get me typing – something I haven’t been doing much of lately. While there’s much to say in response to the small portion I’ve read so far, I did manage to get the following reactions of mine written out, and I decided to post them in a new entry on my blog here on IP.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My August Comments to B.C. Hodge

I have had a most busy September, leaving me with no time whatsoever to devote to blogging. My schedule should hopefully loosen up some in October, and to whatever extent it does, I’m looking forward to it. Since I haven’t posted anything so far this month, I am posting the comments that I left on B.C. Hodge’s blog back in late August. I’m supposing that most regular visitors of my blog have already read these comments, but if not, here they are. If so, then obviously there’s nothing new here for you.

I know that Hodge reacted to some of what I have stated below and that some of the regulars here (Robert, Ydemoc, Photosynthesis, NAL, etc.) have continued interacting directly with Hodge on his blog. Unfortunately I’ve been able to read up on small portions of those conversations, but what I have seen so far is quite familiar: rational individuals trying their best to reach someone whose mind has turned its back on reason. There’s clearly more to say, but that will have to wait until later.

So here they are in their entirety, my last bout of comments to B.C. Hodge.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Subjectivism in Hodge's View of Reality and Knowledge

B.C. Hodge has posted a response to my blog Hodge’s Hedgings.

In a much more protracted blog entry, Hodge seeks to defend the idea that perception of reality is somehow epistemologically insufficient for knowledge, and that what really is vital for knowledge is some kind of faith in what he calls “subjective apprehensions.”

In telling his readers of his awareness of my responses (in my comments here and my main blog entry here) to his initial blog entry and follow-up comments, Hodge states that my efforts to rebut him “fail miserably to understand the argument and address the problem” which he apparently believes he has successfully laid forth. Hodge suggests that my intention is “to merely exhaust readers by lengthy posts that give the impression that [I have] actually said something relevant” to his argument. That I interact directly with Hodge’s statements is apparently not sufficient for my reaction to be relevant to what he has argued.

Referring to what I have written as a “sort of sophistry,” Hodge claims that such licentious discourse “is evident in these long posts when they attempt to nitpick everything about my argument, but the argument itself.” So interacting directly with a Hodge’s statements as I have constitutes “nitpicking” which is focused on “everything about [his] argument” somehow misses “the argument itself,” and word count is supposedly an indication of this. Hodge huffs:
”Hey, if you’re going to bluff, make sure you do it with a lot of words so it seems like you’ve got something to back up your claims.”
I noticed that Hodge’s own blog entry was itself quite lengthy, so I compared the length of mine with the length of his. I found that, while my blog had a total of 5,197 words, Hodge’s new blog entry exceeds this, with a total of 6,124 words, nearly a thousand words and over 15% longer than mine. I must say I feel quite humbled to be out-worded like this! But if word count is any indication, it seems that Hodge’s “theology served raw” is a bit over-cooked.

Now, I am happy to examine the entirety of Hodge’s reply to me, but in the present entry I want to focus on the very first paragraph he writes in his newest entry.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

STB: Three Years and Counting

Has it really been three whole years since I posted my critique the argument which presuppositional apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate has showcased on his website?

Indeed it has.

Has it really been three whole years without an attempt by Sye Ten Bruggencate, or any other presuppositionalist for that matter, to vindicate his argument?

Indeed it has.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hodge's Hedgings

In the comments section of my blog Presuppositionalist Pseudolosophy, NAL, a frequent visitor, posted in its entirety the blog entry of a Christian blogger named C.B. Hodge. Hodge runs the blog Theological Sushi and the blog entry in question can be found here: Objectivism Refuted

I read through Hodge’s brief entry and posted my own reaction to it in two comments on my own blog, where NAL had originally drew attention to it.

A little later, Ydemoc, another frequent visitor to my blog, posted a comment over at Hodge’s blog entry informing him of my critique of his refutation of objectivism (note the small ‘o’ here – it appears that Hodge has some generic understanding of objectivism in mind here; he makes no reference to Rand, Peikoff or other Objectivist author, and he does not interact directly with any of Objectivism’s own stated positions; moreover, he apparently expects his readers to “just know” what he’s addressing, since he provides essentially no explanation of what he’s trying to refute; in his blog entry, Hodge confines his refutation to an attack on the senses, and he presumably expects his readers to learn of his position by perceiving and interpreting the little marks he’s created on his webpage).

So my initial response to Hodge can be found there, in my comment on my blog.

Now Hodge has replied to me, in the comments of his own blog, in reply to Ydemoc’s comments drawing attention to my interaction with Hodge’s piece. So here is my interaction with his response to my criticisms of his “refutation.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Presuppositionalist Pseudolosophy

The Exploitation of Ignorance

As an example of how theistic apologetics gorges itself on ignorance, consider the ready eagerness of apologists to treat things that are abstract as though one could “account for” them only by appealing to the supernatural. Lacking a good understanding of the nature of concepts and the process by which the human mind forms them from perceptual input, theists assume that abstract ideas have no dependence on the facts we observe in reality around us. How we have knowledge of abstract ideas is supposedly mysterious (it is indeed mysterious to those unacquainted with rational philosophy), so the supernatural must be involved behind the scenes somehow. The world is an ever-changing collection of matter in motion, so – it is presumed – general principles which are static and absolute could not possibly “arise from” our awareness of the things in the world. The essence of the theist’s thinking on these matters amounts to: “I don’t know how man can get unchanging, absolute and universal laws from the ever-changing realm of particulars, so they must come from God.” In precisely this way, ignorance of the nature of knowledge provides an open doorway to mysticism.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sye Ten Bruggencate vs. the Absolute Laws of Logic

In an exchange with David Smalley (here, at 7:27-29), internet apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate asks the following question:
“How do you account for absolute laws of logic?”
Sye loves to pose questions like this and others about knowledge, reasoning, certainty, etc., but this is part of his rue: he’s not at all interested in what anyone might say in response to his questions. He has already presupposed that whatever any non-Christian is going to say is defective in some way which he never pins down or demonstrates.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

John Frame's Empty-Handed Epistemology

Presuppositionalists often tell us things like “only the Christian worldview can account for human knowledge.” Also, presuppositionalists often use confrontational interrogative tactics which consist of repeating the question “How do you know that?” over and over in response to virtually anything a non-believer states. The claim to having a fully worked out epistemology which exclusively “accounts for” knowledge and the implication that non-believers cannot explain how they know things in a manner consistent with their non-belief in the Christian god, are hallmarks of this approach to defending the Christian faith.

I find both of these features of presuppositionalism richly ironic, for not only do presuppositionalists reject whatever non-believers say about their knowing process out-of-hand, they themselves show up conspicuously empty-handed when it comes to discussing the nature of knowledge and the means of discovering and validating it. Presuppositionalists seem uniquely unprepared to answer their own favorite badgering question, “How do you know that?” when it comes to their religious claims.

In this entry I will explore an excellent example of this empty-handedness from one of presuppositionalism’s highest-profile “thinkers,” John M. Frame.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

TAG Defeated in One Fell Swoop

Proponents of TAG paint themselves into an unavoidable corner. They say that their god is an “absolute God” which can only be proved by means of a “transcendental argument.” For example, Cornelius Van Til proclaimed:
Now the only argument for an absolute God that holds water is a transcendental argument.
Also, as a central tenet of their apologetic scheme, presuppositionalists claim that one cannot “make sense” of anything apart from “presupposing” the existence of the Christian god. Or as Greg Bahnsen baldly asserted in his debate with Dr. Gordon Stein: “without Him it is impossible to prove anything.”

The acronym “TAG” refers to what apologists call the “transcendental argument for God’s existence.” So it is intended to denote a specific argument. Broadly speaking, an argument is the attempt to infer a conclusion from a set of premises. But there’s a significant problem here, and it’s insurmountable:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Klouda-ing the Issue

Posting under the name Bryan Klouda, a visitor to my blog A Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist recently left the following comment:
Haven't read the comments or the entire post, but got to the square circles part.  
Out side of the context in which the argument is being made, square circles do exist. A shape with 250 sides can be considered a circle, just like a shape with 4 sides can be said to be a circle. Since a circle is defined as something like every point on the circle is equidistant from its center, it can be said that no circle even exists because you can never have a perfect circle, and if the shape doesn't fit the criteria of the definition, it follows that it must be something else.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Some Thoughts on Pope Francis’ Recent Condemnation of Capitalism

A news story I read this morning reports that Pope Francis thinks that money is a form of “tyranny.” This is coming from the head of one of the wealthiest institutions in the history of mankind, the Catholic Church.

The story can be found here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/10061700/Pope-Francis-urges-global-leaders-to-end-tyranny-of-money.html.

I actually think it is a good thing that the pope came out and made this position of his explicitly clear. The usual M.O. for authoritarians is to obscure their true colors in a cloud of euphemisms, feel-good slogans, apologetic platitudes and contentless bromides which are designed to engender sympathetic sentiments. Coming out and stating openly that one believes that money is a form of “tyranny” is far too candid to be misconstrued. So while I do not applaud anything the pope has stated, it is good that he comes out and shows the world what he’s all about in such unmistakable terms.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Apologist: Can You Demonstrate that You’re the Real McCoy?

And now a quote from "Scripture":
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. - I John 4:1
Christian apologists are always looking for ways to turn the tables on the non-believer. They resent the very idea that they might have any burden of proof when they’re out campaigning for their god-belief, and they only seem willing to engage a non-believer apologetically if they are confident that they have some advantage over him right from the start. Of course, many apologists would prefer that the non-believer simply surrender his mind upon their arrival and soak up everything they have to say on their mere say so. If this does not happen, the apologists resort to tactics borrowed from one of their closest cousins, the skeptics. Examples of presuppositionalist strategy infused with attacks inspired by skepticism can be found here and here.

One of the things that Christian apologists resent the most about non-believers is their certainty. Granted, many secularists are uncomfortable with the concept of certainty, and oftentimes that is because they themselves have accepted premises endorsed by the skeptical school of philosophy. This is not to say that Christian apologists are disturbed by a non-believer’s acceptance of skepticist premises; presuppositionalists are eagerly hoping for this. On the contrary, it is the fact that, as someone whose mind is not trapped in the labyrinth of holy terror like themselves, the non-believer may be enjoying what the believers fear most: a full and wonderful life lived without their approval. And the non-believer’s non-belief itself, which is a precondition to enjoying life without Christianity’s approval, is viewed as the highest form of arrogance possible to man. And the only way to bring this perceived arrogance into check, is to undermine the non-believer’s sense of certainty – beginning with any certainty he may have, such as the certainty that the earth revolves around the sun. Christian apologists realize, at least implicitly, that if their campaign to spread their religious program is to be successful, they must undermine the human mind at its roots, at the level of “presuppositions.” And the mere potential that the non-believer holds any truth with certainty is enough to heap hot coals on the Christian’s unquenchable envy (for, like the jealous god they worship, Christians are endemically vulnerable to the vice of coveting another person’s liberty to enjoy pleasures). It sure must be tough being a fisher of men these days.

Now here’s an idea on how we can make things even more difficult for apologists.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

A Lesson on Presuppositional Gimmickry

Okay, over on his blog, presuppositional apologist D.A.N. proves that I called it right in my blog On the Validity of the Senses when I stated in my 4 April comment on that blog that
D.A.N. really does not care about knowledge, how we acquire it, how we can rationally put to rest skepticism’s gimmicks, etc.
D.A.N. is out there spewing the same thing that has already been answered here. Observe:

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

On the Validity of the Senses

D.A.N. of Debunking Atheists recently posted some comments on my blog Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Eight. In his 28 March reaction to the entry marking the anniversary of my blog’s inception, D.A.N. wrote:
I am cheering the day you abandon this blog to renounce your current autonomous and fallible reasoning as faulty, and worship the God you know exists. That is worth celebrating.
In part of my response to this statement, I wrote:
you insinuate that “my reasoning is faulty,” but you cite no example from my writings as evidence to support this. Is this because you have no example to support this? Or, is it because you think there is so much evidence that it should be self-apparent to anyone reading your comment?
Then D.A.N. in turn replied:
Well, you tell me, is it viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning?
Now, D.A.N. made the insinuation that my reasoning is faulty, and I noted that he produced no evidence to support that insinuation. And even after I point out the fact that he provided no support for his charge, he still fails even to make an attempt to provide support in his response. Instead of substantiating his claim, he asks me whether or not it is “viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning,” which does not strike me as relevantly supporting the characterization of my reasoning which he published on my blog. But in spite of this, I am willing to explore the matter.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Eight

Today is March 26, 2013, which means: Incinerating Presuppositionalism is another year older! So I invite everyone to join me in singing “Happy Birthday!” to my blog!

While I am delighted to see that IP is still going strong, I cannot say that I’m exactly “surprised” that it is. When I started this blog back in 2005, I had every intention of sticking with it and developing my critiques against presuppositionalism in particular and Christian apologetics in general as long as I could go. I have not set any kind of sunset date for IP, but in the last couple years I have not been able to keep my focus on my writing for IP at the top of my list of priorities. Many responsibilities compete for my time and energy, but my passion for what I do here has not waned at all.

As I have done since the first anniversary of my blog, here is a listing of the entries I published over the past year:

276. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Seven - March 26, 2012

277. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part I: Intro and the Nature of Truth - April 7, 2012

278. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part II: The Nature of Logic - April 8, 2012

279. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part IIIa: The Uniformity of Nature - April 12, 2012

280. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part IIIb: The Problem of Induction - April 15, 2012

281. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part IVa: Objective Morality - May 12, 2012

282. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part IVb: Collectivism, Evil and Slavery - May 19, 2012

283. Greg Bahnsen on the Problem of Evil - May 21, 2012

284. Christian Anti-Morality: A Response to Nide - May 22, 2012

285. In Shambles: Nide's Crumbling Worldview - May 23, 2012

286. Presuppositionalism’s Finest? - May 24, 2012

287. Craig Keener on Miracles - June 17, 2012

288. Chris Bolt vs. the Evils of Demanding Evidence in Support of Truth Claims - July 22, 2012

289. Is Anyone Truly a Christian? - August 4, 2012

290. STB: Two Years and Counting - August 27, 2012

291. Answers to “50 Important Philosophical Questions” - September 15, 2012

292. Christianity vs. Happiness - October 8, 2012

293. Hell is for Believers - October 11, 2012

294. Is Math Christian? - October 18, 2012

295. My Discussion with Michael Rawlings - November 16, 2012

296. Michael David Rawlings and the Primacy of a Bad Attitude - December 9, 2012

297. Rawlings' Bawlings - January 3, 2013

298. Prayson Daniel vs. the Imaginative Nature of Christian Theism - January 29, 2013

299. Debate between Objectivist Andrew Bernstein and Dinesh D’Souza Now on YouTube - February 18, 2013

300. A Case in Point, Part I - March 5, 2013

301. A Case in Point, Part II - March 13, 2013

Year Eight saw some wonderful additions to my growing list of body-blows against the Christian worldview. I began the new season with a six-part series providing a comprehensive answer to Christian apologist Dustin Segers’ presuppositionalist apologetic. So far as I have seen, Segers has never acknowledged or replied to my interaction with his list of questions for atheists. In fact, I haven’t seen hide nor hair of the guy anywhere on the internet, nothing new from him anyway, since I posted my responses to him back in April and May last year. Perhaps he’s been busy with other things. Maybe he’s focusing his efforts on “street preaching,” preferring to bamboozle passersby minding their own business and having other things on their minds, and not having the time or resources to examine what he preaches at them carefully. Who knows. Until we hear from Segers, it appears he’s been put to rest.

Back in May last year, we saw everyone’s favorite court jester “Nide” – now affectionately known as Nidiot – make a couple appearances on the Fundamentally Flawed podcast circuit. I must say that never prior to this time had I felt so embarrassed for another human being. Then again, perhaps I’m in error for indulging Nidiot’s delusion of being human. Regardless, there’s some real entertainment value to enjoyed there.

To might delight, much of the juicy stuff from the past year can be found in the comments of several of my blog entries. So I offer my gratitude to those readers who contributed to the discussion.

In early November last year, a Christian apologist by the name of Michael David Rawlings initiated a discussion which escalated into repeated hysterical meltdowns publicly suffered by a believer the likes of which I have never witnessed before. This of course encouraged Nidiot to up the ante on his own obnoxiousness as he gave himself up for adoption to the swashbuckling Rawlings. The fireworks can be enjoyed in the comments of entries 294, 295, 296 and 297.

Unfortunately, because of the horrendous abuse of my blog by these two self-effacing characters, one difficult decision that I had to make during Year Eight was to turn on comment moderation. I tolerated Nidiot for roughly a year and half; I allowed him to post his comments at will on my blog, and readers were free to respond. Most of his comments were one-liners that proved over and over again that he had no original substance whatsoever to share, but at least his participation did offer some entertainment value. An unwitting court jester, Nidiot was clearly unaware of the degrees to which he could embarrass himself. But Rawlings was a different matter. Rawlings would post sizable comments, sometimes several in a row, and even though his comments would be answered, either by myself or by others, or as in many cases by both myself and others, he would simply repost previously submitted (and previously rebutted) comments as if they still needed answering or as though they raised some new point that no one had yet considered. It was clear that Rawlings was not interested in a mature, honest discussion, and his unrelenting abuse required me to take action.

While I am still holding out hope that I can eventually turn off comment moderation, I’m glad to say that turning it on has not brought the discussions on my blog to a halt. Interest in my Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist was rekindled when a Christian apologist sought to challenged my proof’s premises. Amazingly enough, this brought out several believers who actually challenged Premise 1 of my proof – i.e., the basic recognition that the imaginary is not real – in order to defend their Christian theism. This in turn led to me providing even more support on behalf of my argument, which has proved to be more effective than I had originally expected. Thank you, Christian apologists!

So here’s to Year Nine! There's lots more to come. Hoist the steins, folks, and drink to another fun-filled year of anti-apologetic detection!

by Dawson Bethrick

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Case in Point, Part II

We continue now with the second and final installment of my interaction with a comment reacting to my blog Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist posted by a Christian over on Prayson Daniel’s blog.

The initial installment of my interaction with the Christian author’s objections can be found here. In that installment, we saw that the author rejected Premise 1 of my argument, which affirms the recognition that “that which is imaginary is not real.” To affirm his rejection of Premise 1, the author used the example of a leprechaun that he imagined, saying:
…since our leprechaun can be imagined, it has been given reality. So to say that God, Who can be imagined, is not real based on the premise that He is imaginary begs the question.
Thus the author has already essentially admitted that the Christian god is something he has imagined, just as he imagined the leprechaun in his example. Why else would he find it necessary to say that my argument’s Premise 1 (“that which is imaginary is not real”) “isn’t even accurate on its face”? Why else would he state that the leprechaun he admits to imagining “has been given reality” in the context of defending his god from an argument that sets out to prove that it is not real?

But the author does not stop here. Oddly, he was not content attacking just one premise of my argument. Instead, he found it necessary to attack every premise of my argument.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A Case in Point, Part I

Recent controversy concerning my proof that the Christian god does not exist has brought a few of Christianity’s more daring defenders out of their comfort zones. We have already seen Prayson Daniel’s unsuccessful attempts to attack my argument (see his blog entries here and here).

I have already interacted with Prayson’s feeble efforts to discredit my argument in a blog entry of my own: see Prayson Daniel vs. the Imaginative Nature of Christian Theism. The discussion in the comments of this entry is particularly fascinating given the fact that Christians are taking issue with my argument’s Premise 1, namely the recognition that the imaginary is not real. Believers are preferring to challenge the premise that the imaginary is not real over seeking to topple my argument’s fourth premise, which affirms outright that the Christian god is imaginary (and not without supporting evidence; see here). The choice to attack my argument’s Premise 1 instead of its Premise 4 suggests, quite strongly I might add, that the believers who take this route are admitting through their actions that they know the god they worship is in fact imaginary. Their concern is not to prove that their god is not imaginary, but to challenge the view that the imaginary is not real.

One comment submitted to Prayson’s blog was particularly noteworthy for the abundance of blunders one can find in its author’s attempts to refute my argument. Posted under the moniker “bethelbaptistchurchblog,” its author does not provide his name (which seems customary for many Christians these days – they apparently want to keep their identities concealed). Trying to remain anonymous might be the only wise move the author made in posting his comment. Throughout his comment, the author incorrectly refers to me as “Beckwith.” This was not his only error, nor was it his biggest. In fact, his comment is so full of fundamental blunders that it is hard to know which one should win an Oscar.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Debate between Objectivist Andrew Bernstein and Dinesh D’Souza Now on YouTube

The topic of the debate is: Christianity: Good or Bad for Mankind? The debate was held at the University of Texas, Austin, on February 8, 2013. Details on the YouTube page are as follows:
DEBATE: Christianity: Good or Bad for Mankind? 
Dinesh D'Souza vs. Andrew Bernstein  
Is Christianity the source of important truths, moral law, and man's rights and thus profoundly good for mankind—or is it antithetical to all such values and thus profoundly bad? In this debate, Christian conservative Dinesh D'Souza argues that Christianity is good; Objectivist atheist Andrew Bernstein argues the alternative.  
Brought to you by the UT Objectivism Society and The Objective Standard  
For more information on Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism and its application to cultural and political issues, visit: http://www.TheObjectiveStandard.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Prayson Daniel vs. the Imaginative Nature of Christian Theism

A Christian blogger by the name of Prayson Daniel has responded to my blog A Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist. Prayson’s blog entry can be found here: Bethrick: A Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist? The basic syllogism of my argument is as follows:
Premise 1: That which is imaginary is not real.  
Premise 2: If something is not real, it does not actually exist.  
Premise 3: If the god of Christianity is imaginary, then it is not real and therefore does not actually exist.  
Premise 4: The god of Christianity is imaginary.  
Conclusion: Therefore, the god of Christianity is not real and therefore does not actually exist.
Prayson grants that my argument is formally valid, adding “and thus if premise 1-4 are true, Bethrick would have succeeded in showing that God, as believed by Christians, does not exist.” But of course, given his allegiance to the Christian worldview, Prayson can be expected not to accept that my argument is sound.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Rawlings' Bawlings

In the comments sections of the previous three entries on my blog (beginning with the most recent: Michael David Rawlings and the Primacy of a Bad Attitude, My Discussion with Michael Rawlings, and Is Math Christian?), we have had the opportunity to observe the spectacle of a most pompous individual.

From the beginning, Rawlings has come to us wielding multi-syllabic jargon and point-missing braggadocio in a most characteristic fashion. But according to Rawlings and the defenses he’s provided, what does the Christian worldview have to offer in terms of philosophical value? Let the reader decide, but the reader should be informed before settling his opinion prematurely. So here is an overview (but I caution the reader: this is by no means an exhaustive catalogue of Rawlings’ indiscretions and deficiencies – not by a long shot!):