Sunday, April 28, 2019

Wilson's Fixation on Fizzing

In my post celebrating the Fourteenth Anniversary of Incinerating Presuppositionalism, I mentioned that I’d be willing to entertain requests from readers if they’d like to see a certain topic or argument addressed here. One reader named Joe (thank you, Joe!) suggested that I interact with Douglas Wilson’s “fizzing” gambit, the notion that, as Joe puts it, “if we are just chemicals ‘fizzing’ then how can one claim truth over another.” Joe stated that Wilson “brings this up in almost every debate” and noted that other apologists have employed it as well.

While I am aware of Wilson using the “fizzing” stratagem only in his debate with Theodore Drange, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s been deployed elsewhere. For those who are bent on vindicating theistic belief, I suspect that the “fizzing” motif holds substantial persuasive traction, sort of like calling Obamacare “the Affordable Care Act.” (A former colleague of mine went from paying $150.00/month to over $1600.00/month for his medical premium, with considerable increase in deductible as well… And he’s been fizzing about that ever since!) Putting lipstick on a pig won’t fool everyone, but apparently there are some who are susceptible of falling in love with swine so decorated.