Theistic Follow Up

Previously I made a post which examined the logic (or lack thereof) in a post made on parabiodox. Today I see there has been a follow up post that addresses some of the “issues” I made, so I think it is only fair that I (in turn) address some of the new comments.

First off, I have to say “thank you” to parabiodox for his reasonable, and generally kind comments. I am flattered. The blog post begins:

This is a very readable, calm and intelligent response to a rather bombastic blog entry from me.
Of course the only reason I wrote it was I was hoping that someone would come along and write the kind of response that Why Dont You Blog? has provided.
Myself I do indulge in a bit of calm and measured article writing once in a while, but what’s wrong with a bit of mud-slinging as well ? Variety is the spice of life I think.

I couldn’t agree with the sentiment here more. There is nothing wrong with a bit of mud-slinging and, to me, the reason people blog is to get issues of their chest. At least this way no one gets hurt (unless they are very thin skinned..). Blogs would be boring places indeed if people did not rant, rave and froth every now and then.

Talking of mud-slinging I did detect a bit of it in the article Theistic Logic, the implication being that this is the way all theists think, of course as I know only too well it definately isn’t.

This, I am not to sure about. Where ever possible I try to avoid stereotyping people into a particular school of thought, and I certainly pounce on it when people try to do it to me, so I hope this is an interpretation issue more than anything else. Looking back on the previous post, the closest example I can find is when I begin “Sadly this is an infuriating example of the theistic line of logic.”

Now, that was never intended to mean it was the way all “theists” think – but it is a common fallacy which is used in many, many, blog posts where theists refer to atheists. Parabiodox continues:

The blog entry was parabiodox thinking, and there’s only one member of that particular philosophy to date.

While that is reassuring, ( 🙂 ) it is not completely accurate. IMHO most blog posts only speak for the line of thought adopted by the person who made the post, however this is a line of thought which is echoed across dozens of blogs (and is often found in the comments section on atheist blogs). While parabiodox does indeed seem to follow a unique philosophy, the fallacies in this particular post are reasonably common.

Theistic Logic

(or lack thereof). The joys of Technorati have brought me to a post on parabiodox today, titled “Moderate Christians, Fundamentalists and Atheists (where’s the connection?)”

Sadly this is an infuriating example of the theistic line of logic. Obviously when I say logic, I mean fallacies…

The post (in full) reads:

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 Ignorant and Proud Labels: rants

“One does not have to be a fundamentalist to put a Jesus fish on one’s car. Some of those who do so are certainly fundamentalists, but many more would better be described as moderate Christians. And yet, they share at least something with the fundamentalists – some degree of pride in their faith (i.e., their belief of something without evidence).”

Also shared with the Atheist faith of course, if you accept the author’s premise.

But of course there’s a lot more evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for the non-existence of God.

Now, for so little words there is so much “illogic.” Starting with the first sentence: There is no such thing as the “Atheist faith.” It is meaningless. Any argument surrounding such comments is crying out to be accused of woo.

The second sentence is interesting – mainly in the way it is constructed. I actually know people called Jesus so I agree there is a lot of evidence that Jesus exists. If we are talking about a Jewish carpenter, 2000 years ago then I am also happy to accept that Jesus existed. The important issue is: Was this Jesus the Son of God (while being God at the same time)?

Now here the evidence retreats to the land of woo. What “evidence” is there that this Jesus is the son of God?

In addition to this, the argument uses a fairly blatant form of fallacy (False Dilemma). It tries to present the existence of Jesus and the non-existence of God as the two opposing sides with the implication that proving the existence of Jesus falsifies claims of the non-existence of God. This is nonsense.

There is more evidence for the existence of Reindeer than for the non-existence of Santa, therefore there is a Santa Clause. Evidence for the non-existence of something which doesn’t exist is notoriously hard to come by (what evidence is there that the tooth fairy, unicorns, floating teapots etc dont exist?). In general terms, what is required is evidence that something exists. The more fantastic the claim, the stronger the supporting evidence has to be for it to be accepted. Unless of course you are a devout theist, when no evidence is required for belief…

[tags]Religion, Theist, Theism, Christian, Christianity, Belief, Philosophy, Logic, Logical fallacies, Rants, Society, Culture, Atheism, Atheist, Evidence, Faith, Jesus Christ, God, Fundamentalist, Santa Claus[/tags]