"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Saturday, March 01, 2014

And as long as I'm avoiding real work....

The primary problem here is, a) conflating "religion" with "Christianity" (I've yet to read one atheist propose arguments against Hinduism or Judaism) and b) reducing Christianity (which is religion, solely; apparently) to a "thing" that is so simple its only justifications are based on argument.

All Stenger gives us is a series of straw men, all carefully constructed and then set ablaze, because the only reason people are "religious" is that they are not "reasonable," and all discussions of human behavior are resolved by a very narrow definition of reason because anyone who is not similarly "reasonable" is, by definition, "unreasonable."

But I can reduce Stenger's long list and attempt at argument to this single sentence from his post:  "It is very unwise for a layperson to debate a theologian."

Because he follows his own advice:  there isn't a single item in his list of straw men that any competent theologian would deign to raise in a debate over Christianity.  And most theologians would be smart enough not to debate the issue at all, since there's really nothing to argue about, and nothing to be gained from such a groundless argument.

Christian apologetics, going back to the days of the "Church Fathers," is vastly more sophisticated and subtle than Stenger's list suggests; and most theologians have even read Euthyphro!

UPDATE:  The best possible response, actually, is here.


Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

Victor Stenger is one of a long line of scientists who went into Christian bashing after their productive days in science are at an end. Bertrand Russell set the mold, unfortunately the stuff they're made out of is a cheap imitation, these days. Stenger isn't even one of the more nearly impressive of them.

The theory that they put these pieces up to serve as click bait is obviously the reason they do it. I wonder how long it will work for the atheists, it will end, it's just a question of when it does.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

More of that "integrity of the internet" that is being corrupted by....well, by somebody.

12:09 AM  
Blogger JCF said...

I'm just cringeing as some of my favorite sites {cough JoeMyGod cough} will probably breathlessly link to this as Yet Another Hysterically Funny & Spot-On Destruction of Religion. Le Sigh...

1:54 AM  

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