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.