Monday, December 12, 2011

Anti-Intellectual Tendneicies in Atheism

Photobucket
Adolf Von Harnack, 1851-1930
Major liberal Bible scholar


This is a statement by a troll on a Message board:


In reply to this post by jimbo
Last edited by Metacrock : Today at 03:06 PM .




Fact is, "exegesis" was developed and honed just to thwart such attacks as mine. They are just specious explanations that ARE NOT BIBLICAL! THAT IS NOT WHAT IT SAYS, FOLKS! It is what it says and not just when it is convenient for your position! I don't fall for that "commentary" BS! I now well how to read and interpret things for myself, including the Bible! What we have here is the phenonenon described in the book WHEN PROPHCY FAILS. Read it!


I realize that this guy does not represent all atheists. But I have seen many other atheists reflect this same idea. In fact the whole concept of the "Courtier's reply." This response shows such extreme ignorance. He thinks textual criticism was made up to answer atheists. That's so excessively stupid. Textual criticism of the Bible goes back well before there were any atheists to speak of (Renaissance). If one has to attach a conspiratorial reason to its existence it would be morel likely to have been invented as a means of thwarting faith in the Bible. This just has no sense of history, he knows nothing about the topic he's discussing. Textual criticism is a tool of liberal theology and liberals are perceived as "non believing." That's a wrong perception but that's the way they are seen by fundamentalists.


Atheists are always coming up with little gimmicks. Anytime you trump them with real knowledge they get up set and find a gimmick. The Jesus myth theory was such a gimmick. Jesus was such a compelling figure and there is some decent evidence he rose from the dead, so to counter that they just pretend he never existed, and give it a little name and make up some pseudo intelligent sounding crap pertaining to it. The "default" and the "extraordinary evidence credo" these are all gimmicks atheists made up and they are passed off as pseudo official sounding quasi logical tactics that in actuality mean nothing.

The latest is the Courtier's reply. This is it:


I recently referred to the "Courtier's Reply", a term invented by PZ Myers to rebut the claims of believers who insist that their superstitious beliefs are ever so much more sophisticated than the simple version that Dawkins attacks.

PZ's response deserves much more publicity because it goes to the heart of the debate between rationalism and supersition. I'm going to post his original Courtier's Reply below (without permission, but I'm sure he'll understand) but before doing so I need to remind everyone about the original fairy tale [The Emperor's New Clothes]


This is a statement by a reductionist scientism king. Larry Moran is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. He's on a blog called Sand Walk.


So What this courtier's reply is saying is that if the skeptic says stupid things about theology and demonstrates that he knows nothing about it and the theist says "O your criticism is invalid because you don't understand what you are criticizing" then all the atheist has to do is say "that's the courtiers reply" and the theist is supposed to go "O my God, I've violated a law of logic!" and give up and stop believing in God. But in realty it's into a log of logic, I never heard it in a logic class.It's not in a logic text book, and the meaning of it is silly. I'ts just saying 'You can't point out my ignorance of theology because I will not allow theology to have any kind of validity or importance and religious people may not not any sort of human dignity." That's all it's saying. It's nothing more than anti-intellectual stupidity.


Sanders lauds PZ Myers's version of the tactic,Here is Myers statement about it:


The Courtier's Reply
by PZ Myers


I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor's boots, nor does he give a moment's consideration to Bellini's masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor's Feathered Hat. We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the beauty of the Emperor's raiment, and every major newspaper runs a section dedicated to imperial fashion; Dawkins cavalierly dismisses them all. He even laughs at the highly popular and most persuasive arguments of his fellow countryman, Lord D. T. Mawkscribbler, who famously pointed out that the Emperor would not wear common cotton, nor uncomfortable polyester, but must, I say must, wear undergarments of the finest silk.


Dawkins arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity.

Personally, I suspect that perhaps the Emperor might not be fully clothed — how else to explain the apparent sloth of the staff at the palace laundry — but, well, everyone else does seem to go on about his clothes, and this Dawkins fellow is such a rude upstart who lacks the wit of my elegant circumlocutions, that, while unable to deal with the substance of his accusations, I should at least chide him for his very bad form.


Until Dawkins has trained in the shops of Paris and Milan, until he has learned to tell the difference between a ruffled flounce and a puffy pantaloon, we should all pretend he has not spoken out against the Emperor's taste. His training in biology may give him the ability to recognize dangling genitalia when he sees it, but it has not taught him the proper appreciation of Imaginary Fabrics.





In other words, knowledge of theological subjects is just plain bull shit and it doesn't matter if Dawkins doesn't understand it because it's not worth understanding. So it's not valid criticism of him to say that. Except the problem is, if he understood theology he would see that his criticisms are wrong. The criticisms he makes are almost always about fundamentalists views. Since he refuses to accept that there are other non fundamentalist types of theology, when you point it out he just says O that's ridiculous because all theology is crap so it doesn't matter--but if he knew that he might not make the criticisms becasue they don't apply. But it's not worthing knowing that. he's just reasoning in a cirlce.

Here's his logic:

Him: religion is evil superstiion because fundies believe X

Liberal: we don't beileve x

him: that doesn't matter becasue religion is all crap no matter what. so even if you don't believe the thing I say is crap you still your own crap that must be stupid because you are religious. I know it's stupid because religion is stupid. Of course that's based on the stuff that you don't believe but that doesn't matter.

Narrow minded anti-intellectual brinkman ship in a most unsophisticated manner.

A very emotionally immature atheist tried this on me recently. Here's how it went.

Brent: All religious people believe in big man in the sky.

Me: process theology doesn't believe in big man in the sky

Brent: that's nonsesne all religous people do so they mustt.

Me; you clearly don't know enoguh about theology to say that

Brent: Courteiers reply! Courtiers' replay!

Like some magic king'x X that's suppossed to mean something. Clearly it's stupid because they are only trying to dodge the fact that their criticisms are based upon things they don't understand and that don't apply. Its' an attempt to hide their ignorance. They are committing an informal fallacy with the use of this gimmick. It's called "ipsie dixit." It means "truth by stipulation." They are saying in effect "I simply stipulate that I will not allow you to have knowledge. AT this point on your knowledge is now void becasue I declare to be so, since it's religion and religion is stupid."

Again their reasoning is quite circular since the reasons they would give for reducing religion to superstition don't' apply to modern sophisticated theology, but the fact that it can be labeled "theology" and they don't even know what that means, they stipulate that it must be stupid. So even though their reasons don't apply they just demand that they must do so any way.

Again they are merely stipulating truth and insisting they are right without any just reasons. It's idiotic to try and criticize a whole field you know nothing about. To make up for appalling ignorance they imply a third rate gimmick that is actually made up of two informal fallacies: ipsie dixit and circular reasoning.


This anti-intellectual tendency is not confined to this one tactic. The new tactick, which I have noticed for a few years now, is to deny any sort of discipline of scholarship that has developed within the theological community. So any self defense that a believer could make is automatically suspect and wrong merely becasue it is theological. But then one wonders how the skeptics knowledge that theology is all bull shit could ever have developed in the first place? When we consider the history of Biblical scholarship it becomes clear that the atheists are merely arguing in a circle.

The history of scholarship shows us that it was not invented in answer to pressing atheist attacks on the bible. There was no body of talented intelligent atheists pressing for a logical reading of the bible in the days before modern Biblical scholarship. Modern scholarship grew out of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment in answer to the re-birth of classical learning and the advancement of scientific knowledge. One of the first modern textual critics was Erasmus. Erasmus, who live din Rotterdam in the Northern Renaissance, never had a body of atheists to contend with. The major scholars who created modern Biblical scholarship in the 19th century were arch liberals and practically skeptics themselves, such as Von Harnack. So clearly scholarship is a trick to protect the bible from the "brilliant, Penetrating analysis" of these arrogant know nothing who are too lazy to read a couple of books.

This tendency in atheism, the revenge of the trolls shows the true intellectual bankruptcy of Dawkamentalism. They are actually spitting on their own roots when they say since, since modern skepticism and modern Biblical scholarship both grew out of Renaissance humanism. Clearly so when they don't even know that just ten years ago their predecessors on atheist boards (secular web for example) lauded liberal Bible scholars such as John Dominick Crosson. They will quote the Jesus seminary guys without even know these are Bible scholars, this is the product of Biblical scholarship.

12 comments:

Dave Wildermuth said...

I think you may be misunderstanding the Courtier's Reply. It doesn't matter who explains Christian theology best, since that theology in entirely made-up.

Further, I've noticed your "atheism is a hate group" tag on this post. Atheism isn't a group; it's a single belief that there are no gods. I don't see how that espouses any kind of hate.

Metacrock said...

Dave Wildermuth:

"I think you may be misunderstanding the Courtier's Reply. It doesn't matter who explains Christian theology best, since that theology in entirely made-up."

Calling it "made up" is not an excuse to claim you undestand and are capble of critiqiting it when in realtyy you know not what it says.

you are assuming it's "made up" (as though that's a meaningful concept) merely because you think it says' God exists" you want to snuff out belief i god so your brain washers tell you to think that Christina ethology is "made up" whatever that means.

genomatry is made up. there are no lines on the ground or in the air. all the lines and circles and geometric stuff is in our minds and not in nature. it is made up. That doesnt' make it fale.

lanague is mad eup.

scientific theories are made up.

theology is not just a bunch of guys going "god exists, god exists." if you actually know anything about it you would know how puerile that is. Yet you don't know anything about it and that just proves my point.


"Further, I've noticed your "atheism is a hate group" tag on this post. Atheism isn't a group; it's a single belief that there are no gods. I don't see how that espouses any kind of hate."

read the blog. this whole blog is about proving that. I have tons of examples and all kinds of studies and other things that prove it.

Dave Wildermuth said...

"scientific theories are made up"

Yes. And then they are tested, refined and retested. Religion isn't.

You have studies showing atheism to be a hate group? Cite one.

Metacrock said...

Theological ideas, if one is working in the Tillich mode, are tested. They can be verified or falsified by setting correlation between doctrine and empirical experience, such the religious experience studies do.

Religious experience studies set up a criterion established by verifying the theories of W.T. Stace. Then testing the result of religious experience in the life of the experiecer.

Textual criticism affords empirical testing by comparison with actual texts and textual fragments.


there are many such examples if you stop flapping your ignorant gums and try actually reading some theology and find out what it's really about.

It is totally imbecilic the things these ignorant atheist prosers say about things way over their head that they do not study.

Dave Wildermuth said...

Ok, show me a source that provides verifiable evidence for God's existence; I'd be happy to study that.

Also, does your verbal abuse of me make your beliefs a hate group, too? Or is that just something you get to call other people?

Dave Wildermuth said...

By the way, I noticed you never cited any studies showing atheism to be a hate group. Who's intellectually dishonest, again?

Metacrock said...

"By the way, I noticed you never cited any studies showing atheism to be a hate group. Who's intellectually dishonest, again?"

I haven't found any. what I lack in quantification I've tried to make up for in empirical. I show case after case of atheists making hate statements. the first post on the board is about how atheist behavior matches the FBI definition of a hate group.

the conclusion on that is that it doesn't match beyond stage four but we have some evidence of it bleeding into the early aspects of stage five.

Yet the fact that we see it unfolding in the first four stages makes it clear it might possibly evolve into a full fledged hate group.

another thing you need to be aware of is that I never said all of atheism is a hate group. I began by saying only a segment contained a hate group element. Atheists are not very fair in relaying such distinctions. No atheist ever reflected that distinction in their quoting of what I said.

I have expanded beyond the hate group thesis.I've discovered more improtant sociological aspects to atheism such as the low self esteem.

now it seems atheism is a movement that capitalizes upon low self esteem, isolation and many other elements that hate groups capitalize upon.

Metacrock said...

"Ok, show me a source that provides verifiable evidence for God's existence; I'd be happy to study that."


there are other things that need verifying that just God's existence. Theology makes many assertions not just one. We can verify many of our assertions we can make scientific hypothesis and test them systemically. Just depends upon what the subject is.

We don't need or want to verify God scientifically. if we could that he wouldn't be God. God is beyond our understanding. God is beyond empirical verification because he's not just another thing in creation but the basis of all things.

we don't need scientific verification to understand that God is real. We know that phenomenologically.

you have to get over the idea that there is only form of knowledge. your atheist masters have brain washed you to believe that. Its not true.


"Also, does your verbal abuse of me make your beliefs a hate group, too? Or is that just something you get to call other people?"

what verbal abuse?

Brap Gronk said...

"Theology makes many assertions not just one. We can verify many of our assertions"

I'm honestly curious what theological assertions you are referring to. I would love to see assertions about salvation or the Trinity verified, but I doubt those are on the list.

Metacrock said...

Hey Brap. I've already talked about some of them in my answer to Dave Wildermuth.

Textual criticism of course. That's part of the general theological world although not theology proper.

there are phenomenoloigcal forms of verification. Salvation can be verified (given certain assumptions) by empirical examination of the outcomes of religious experience.

You can't verify the trinity that's a tenet of faith. Theological doctrines are vocabulary that enable discussion within the tradition. They don't need verifying in the same sense that some other things might.

Dave Wildermuth said...

I'll take your continued refusal to answer my hate group question as an admission that you have no studies after all.

I don't even know how to respond to your babble about God not being God if we can actually demonstrate that he exists using the scientific method. I'll read that as support for the idea that God doens't exist in the first place.

And are you really so used to verbally abusing people that you don't even recognize it anymore? Then there's little point in drawing your attention to where you've done it.

Hypocricy. Falsehoods. Abuse. Disinformation. You're a poor representative of your faith.

Thanks for the exchange.

Metacrock said...

"I'll take your continued refusal to answer my hate group question as an admission that you have no studies after all."

do you not read English? here's what I said in response to the qurry for studies:

Meta:I haven't found any. what I lack in quantification I've tried to make up for in empirical. I show case after case of atheists making hate statements. the first post on the board is about how atheist behavior matches the FBI definition of a hate group.


what part of that can't you understand? I clearly said I don't have studies because there are none so I'm using empirical evidence, that is examples. it may be anecdotal but it's still best evdience.


"I don't even know how to respond to your babble about God not being God if we can actually demonstrate that he exists using the scientific method. I'll read that as support for the idea that God doesn't exist in the first place."

why don't you tyr reason instead of knee jerk reaction. you don't understand because you are not trained in ethology. It's very simple. scinece can only proof empirical things. empirical thins can't be the basis of reality becasue they are in reality. God is not just another thing alongside objects in the world he's the basis of the world's existence. so he's too bit and fundamental to prove in that way.

instead of calling this "bable" why don't you try to understand it?


"And are you really so used to verbally abusing people that you don't even recognize it anymore? Then there's little point in drawing your attention to where you've done it."

I'm still looking for the place where I did. what do you consider abuse?

Hypocricy. Falsehoods. Abuse. Disinformation. You're a poor representative of your faith.

Thanks for the exchange.


that's Just slander. why won't you try actually showing how I did it?

see guys the thing is he's threatened because I didn't just lay down and accept his bullying. he sees standing up to him as abuse.

I made a real point of not calling him stupid even though I wanted to.