Probing DD’s Standard: Truth Is Consistent With Itself

Posted in Blogosphere, Epistemology, Philosophy on  | 4 minutes | 9 Comments →

I recently stopped by DD’s blog to see what sort of arguments are on offer, as I usually do every few months or so. Today, I’d like to raise some questions relating to DD’s standard of evidence as delineated in his post, Alan Roebuck and the Covert Materialism. DD writes:

…if there is some evidence that is better than the rest, believers could and would bring that evidence to the forefront. This fact invalidates the Courtier’s Reply because if there were good evidence, then the dialog between believers and unbelievers ought to focus on that. If good evidence does exist, then there’s no point in complaining that skeptics have failed to study the bad stuff. Bring out the good stuff, and let’s see how they deal with that. And conversely, if it’s all equally bad, then an exhaustive study of all the bad evidence would be merely a waste of time.

First off, we seem to have differing opinions about why people use the so-called Courtier’s Reply. I’ve never been of the opinion that the Courtier’s Reply is for skeptics who haven’t studied the bad stuff. Rather, any so-called Courtier’s Reply I’ve given is usually towards skeptics who’ve failed to study the good stuff.

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Response To DD’s “What Biblical Inerrancy Really Means” Pt. IV

Posted in Bible, Blogosphere, Responses on  | 6 minutes | No Comments →

Here, here, and here, I've responded to DD's post, What Biblical Inerrancy Really Means (WBIRM). DD has responded to those responses, and I think now would be a good time to revisit DD's original post that prompted my responses in the first place. There's quite a lot going on in DD's original post, so let's try to strain the pertinent arguments from his personal opinions. DD makes 4 claims in WBIRM that I feel the need to respond to:

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The Masoretic-Greek Hypothesis: Strategy

Posted in Bible, Blogosphere, Religion, Responses, Skepticism on  | 4 minutes | No Comments →

First, in light of yesterday's definition of the MGH, I submit that the following describes DD's GH's problem summarized: It includes just enough baseline doctrine for DD to make his case, but not enough baseline doctrine that his Myth Hypothesis constitutes a reasonable basis for rejecting the truth claims of Christianity. In short, DD's disproved DDanity – and among others who've said the same – I don't care.

“…by demonizing those he seeks to refute and ignoring their valid criticisms, DD’s authoritarian approach begins with and proceeds by disagreement in a spirit of hopeless futility that agreement will somehow ensue."

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You Can Lead Atheists To Water, But You Can’t Make Them Think

Posted in Atheism, Blogosphere, Logic, Religion, Responses, Thinking Critically on  | 6 minutes | No Comments →

*Comments are closed on this post because it was moved here.

For the past weeks, I've foregone Rebutting Atheist Universe to debate Deacon Duncan (DD) from EvangelicalRealism over his series, which for some still-undisclosed reason he's titled Evidence Against Christianity. It was bad enough when DD gave Dominic Saltarelli (not arguing as a believer) credit for making the exact same argument three people (all arguing as believers, incidentally) made in the first two weeks of the discussion. It was bad enough when DD denied that his GH was Christianity, yet absolutely refuses to this date to explain why it consists of distinctly Christian pre-conceptions about God. It was bad enough when DD claimed that all people who apply the tools of reason consistently and without bias in biblical exegesis are skeptics. It's bad enough that many of DD's commenters are so on the man's nuts that they can't see clearly and end up focusing near-exclusively on me. It was bad enough when DD eschewed my invitation to one-on-one, real-time debate.

It was bad enough when DD crafted an entire sub-series titled The Loser's Compromise in direct response to his perceptions of my arguments, then denied that the posts were aimed at me. Now, folks – as if it wasn't bad enough already, as if it could get any worse – DD's latest "argument" has left me truly baffled.

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Utterly Disappointed, Or, My Response To DD’s Evidence Against Christianity, Pt. 1

Posted in Bible, Blogosphere, Religion, Responses, Skepticism, Thinking Critically on  | 14 minutes | 90 Comments →

Beginning here, Deacon Duncan of Evangelical Realism (DD) offers a series titled Evidence Against Christianity which compares the predicted consequences of two hypotheses against real-world evidence to determine which hypothesis seems more likely to be correct. The first hypothesis represents how the world should look if God existed and is called the Gospel Hypothesis (GH). The second represents how the world should look if God did not exist, and is accordingly called the Myth Hypothesis (MH).

I see absolutely nothing wrong with DD's approach, and no believer I'm aware of has voiced a problem with DD's methodology. For example, DD says,

One advantage of comparing two hypotheses by measuring their consequences against real-world fact is that this approach allows us to make a clear, functional distinction between honest, unbiased inquiry and mere rationalization. (DD)

I agree. That's all fine and dandy – but there's a catch: When they assume pre-existing premises, hypotheses must be accurate, and I'm not the only one to claim that DD's so-called Gospel Hypothesis is no gospel hypothesis at all.

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Another Question For DD

Posted in Atheism, Blogosphere, Logic, Quickies, Religion, Responses, Skepticism on  | 1 minute | 3 Comments →

I don't know if it's the full moon or last night's aforementioned adult beverages or what, but I simply cannot seem to stop thoughts of logic from forcibly invading my mind today. You implied that it's reasonable to want to be with those we love forever, and I agree, but assuming you accept stock claims of theism's irrationality, have you thought of the disadvantage this puts you at?

If loving others is at least a partial motivation for theism, are not the subset of theists who share said motivation at least partially sustained by a rational and reasonable proposition?

MiracleQuest Continues: On Deacon Duncan’s “Unapologetic”

Posted in Atheism, Blogosphere, Faith, Logic, Religion, Responses, Skepticism, Television, Thinking Critically on  | 10 minutes | 33 Comments →

So I was about to hit "post" when I took a break, and found myself randomly staring at a TV that was on. It was that History Channel show called MonsterQuest and now you probably see the significance of the title. The show begins with narration on the nature of different sorts of monsters, you know, Big Foot, the New Jersey Devil, Werewolves, et cetera: "Monsters. Are they real? Or imaginary? Join us as science tries to find out."

That's exactly what's been going on at EvangelicalRealism for the past few weeks now: we've been on a MiracleQuest. Except that MonsterQuest can at least define exactly or near-exactly what it is they're looking for. Despite my stodginess on the issue and the naysayers, I think we'll soon solve these problems of definition and criteria. The more we talk about it, the more ideas get tossed out, the bigger the pile of potentially good ideas grows, and sooner or later we're there.

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