Jeffrey Jay Lowder has replied to my critique, and I’ve realized that sometimes I talk too much. I suspect verbosity obscured the point because Jeff seems to have misunderstood my criticisms (though I might misunderstand his, only time can tell). I’m responding to his rejoinders elsewhere, but today I want to offer an alternative description of my objections to Jeff’s AHS. But first, a note on brevity.
The more haters hate, the more they prove the truth of God’s Word:
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5: 11,12)
Enter hater extraordinaire, Stephen R. Diamond:
Hey all. I don’t have anything new to post so I thought I’d shoot you over to Peter’s blog where he’s finally gotten around to confronting my claim that the Bible provided precisely what he asked for when he wrote,
…knowledge of the germ theory of disease contained in the Bible rather than left to be discovered by fallible scientists would have saved billions of lives. Why [God] didn’t do so, given that it would prove [God’s] glory and goodness beyond a shadow of a doubt, is unknown.” [see Point Three under the section, Is Suffering Necessary for Consistent Physics?]
So if you’re interested, go read Peter’s response. All I’ll say for now is that I’ve noticed Peter getting increasingly cocksure lately. True to the trend, before even hearing what I have to say in response, he concludes his response with,
…this is enough to say that Cl’s proof is busted. Looks like I did have a rational alternative after all — The Bible’s medical knowledge is nowhere near remarkable as Cl made it sound, and this alleged overwhelmingly compelling superargument turned out to really just incomplete research.
Hardly. The show’s just getting started! Although, I’ll give him one thing: my original argument was incomplete. After all, it came as little more than a closing thought at the end of my opening piece and I had a very short amount of words to do so. Soon—and by “soon” I mean sometime this week, not three months from now like it took Peter—I’ll post my “more complete” version of the argument.
We’ll see how “busted” my proof is then.
What would JT do? Well, suppress intelligent dissent just like the others who couldn’t hang. I don’t get it. Here we have a self-touted “freethinker” who feels the need to resort to censoring rational inquiry. I tried to leave a comment on JT’s blog, to no avail. So, I guess I’m banned.
“Free speech,” they cry at the top of their lungs any other day.
“Unless of course it comes from an intelligent dissenter,” reads the subtext.
Eh, oh well. I’m going to follow through on my end of the engagement anyways. Meaning, I’m going to publish a systematic dismantling of JT’s arguments just as I would have had he not scurried off with his tail between his legs. I guess in their world it’s only acceptable to be “confrontational” or “annoying” if you’re an atheist, eh?
So JT Eberhard has agreed to an exchange. We are still working out the details of the exchange, but I’d like to go ahead and post everything we’ve exchanged in our emails so far, creating an absolutely transparent public record of all dialog (because it’s a good practice in general, but also to give a certain hater even less to hate on). It began with this post on JT’s blog, where he said he was looking for “someone to exchange emails with on the existence of God.” I shot him an email, and here was his first response:
Accepted (was hoping for you or Jayman). If we’re doing the existence of God, you wanna go first?
Matt and Andrés both told their side of the DBT01 judging fiasco here, so now I guess I have to tell mine. First, I’d like to explain why I believe I effectively won the debate, despite officially forfeiting out of frustration. A few weeks ago, Peter Hurford dropped the following comment:
… it is not true that if God exists, removing any instance of suffering must make everyone net worse off. Thus, I hereby recant all the essays I wrote in which I argued this position. …the Problem of Evil, as traditionally conceived, fails. (source, bold orig.)
That says it all. A debate aims to show who created the more persuasive arguments. Regardless of my concession that needless suffering existed per Peter’s definition, I was ultimately arguing that the POE was impotent, and Peter ultimately agreed. Plain and simple, his recanting should carry more weight than my concession.
Hello. I am Peter Hurford, I am the author of Greatplay.net and I am an atheist. I am here because I am involved in a debate with Cl, the author of The Warfare is Mental and somewhat of a Christian theist. While I think there are many reasons to not believe in various gods and many additional reasons to not believe in specifically benevolent gods, we are here to talk about only one part of one issue: the existence of needless suffering.
Happy belated New Year! I don’t know about you, but I sure had a nice rest. Once I noticed that people were finding the new TWIM (presumably through Google searches), I had to step into high gear and get back in action. My apologies if the blog has seemed “dead” for a while. I assure you I’m now fully up and running and will now be responding to comments and posting in my usual manner.
If you were a regular at the old TWIM, you might have noticed that I’ve given it yet another facelift. Although, this time it’s actually more than a facelift. We went from a WordPress-hosted, generic, rigid, ugly, hardly-customizable theme to a self-hosted hand-crafted theme! The “stock” WordPress blog definitely had it’s pluses and minuses, but in the final analysis there weren’t any existing themes that had the look or features I wanted. So I wrote my own. That’s the cool thing about WordPress: a basic coding / graphic design skill set allows you one to do almost anything. It’s definitely a little Beta, but at least now I can do pretty much whatever I want with this blog (technically speaking). Please have a look around and let me know if you come across anything that looks or works funky. Are any areas hard to read? Any broken links? Any weird paragraph formatting? Page(s) not displaying correctly in some browser or device? Leave a comment describing whatever it is, and also your system, device and/or browser if you don’t mind. So far the theme seems to work well in the major browsers and on iPhones.
So what else is new?
Our first debate of the year is officially scheduled as follows:
As explained on the debates page, Peter will argue that needless suffering exists, ergo belief in the traditional Abrahamic God is not justified (NOTE: in our email chain, Peter and I agreed—for whatever reason at that time—that we would not be debating the “ergo” part). The judges for this debate are Daniel Vecchio (Theist), Andrés Ruiz (Agnostic), and Matt DeStefano (Atheist).
A while back, a commenter wrote me asking for a basic outline of my support for what I believe. I replied that my index page was basically it. Recently, a few commenters asked if I had an “about” page that outlined some of my basic beliefs. I promised that I would get one out in “a week or so,” but here we are several weeks later. Eh, well… nobody’s perfect. Nonetheless, my first draft is below the fold, and I welcome your feedback. Though a good start, and a piece I enjoyed writing, I don’t think it’s sufficient, and probably too long, so I’m asking you, dear reader, to tell me what you would find most helpful in a page like this.