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.
Posted by Rmj at 10:53 AM