Quote of the week: Gene Witmer on how Christian presuppositionalists see us

25 02 2009

Warning . . . it’s a long one:

Key to the presuppositionalist position are two psychological claims about believers and unbelievers. I’ll use “unbeliever” here as a blanket term for anyone who fails to believe that God exists, including those who believe that there is no God and those who simply don’t believe either way.

The first claim: So-called unbelievers in fact already know that God exists. Their declarations to the contrary simply manifest a kind of willful self-deception and sin.

The second claim: This knowledge manifests itself in various things the unbeliever does and says. So, for instance, when the unbeliever reasons or makes moral judgments, he betrays this implicit knowledge. He in fact constantly, without acknowledgement, “presupposes” this knowledge. Hence the name “Presuppositionalism.” [. . .] Read the rest of this entry »

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Counter-apologetic pwnage par excellence

20 02 2008

At Richard Dawkins’ site, Paula Kirby offers a lengthy but absolutely devastating critique of four anti-Dawkins books–Alister McGrath’s The Dawkins Delusion?, John Cornwell’s Darwin’s Angel: An Angelic Riposte to The God Delusion, Andrew Wilson’s Deluded by Dawkins? A Christian Response to The God Delusion, and David Robertson’s The Dawkins Letters: Challenging Atheist Myths–focusing most of her attention on the last of these, which she finds the best of the four, though that is certainly no compliment to Robertson.

As Kirby’s review demonstrates, all four books are chock-full of the same canards, fallacies, unsubstantiated assertions and other varieties of woolly thinking (to say nothing of blatant misrepresentations of The God Delusion) that many of us experience in countless exchanges with apologists–the one about how since Stalin and Hitler were atheists (arguable in the extreme in Hitler’s case), atheism leads to Stalinism/Nazism, & c. & c. being a particular favourite. Kirby’s reaming of Robertson (who apparently trolls the discussion fora at Dawkins’ site) is so thoroughgoing that it serves as an eminently useful primer in counterapologetics. So much so that it has earnt itself a permanent slot on my sidebar. Read the rest of this entry »