Friday, March 03, 2006

Test drive

“Recently I made my first stab at an argument in "The Resurrection vs. History". I regret not taking this into consideration but I more-or-less took it for granted that most people contributing to the discussion on here would assume that these posts of mine are attempts by myself to test arguments I am working on. My first post in which I made an argument was such an attempt. I noticed that on a Christian blog, a fellow by the name of Steve wrote a response, but it was prefaced by an ad hominem attack. I was labeled an "insidious villian" and then he proceeded to critique what I wrote. I am grateful that he wrote a response although I wish that he might have posted what he wrote in the feedback section of our blog. I'm not sure why he didn't. I'm not sure why he felt the need to name-call. I made my intentions known in a post on why I contribute here and I don't believe I deserve any title like "Insidious Villian"! I was thinking of writing something in response and even perhaps taking any good points he might have into consideration as I refine my thinking on the subject. I would try to be the first to confess that an argument of mine has been destroyed, especially if I am testing them out.

The majority of my posts here will consist of testing arguments. For instance, I am working on an answer to a challenge of Dr. William Lane Craig to skeptics over the nature of visions. He has a challenge for skeptics that he complains has never been taken up. I plan to do my best to answer any arguments. It's my hope that if my argument is posted, the folks at Triablogue will provide a friendly critique of what I have written so I can best refine my argument, correct any errors I have made, and if there are any ignorant gaps in my thinking, I can be politely prodded to cure my ignorance with further reading, studying, and thinking on the subject.

Look, I want to say that I do not consider myself an expert on Christian apologetics or ancient history. I am hoping that my participation here can help me to acquire expertise or at least set me on the path to where I need to be. For what it may be worth, I see no shame in admitting that I am a undergraduate student. Graduate school seems a year and a half or so away for me.”

In reply to Matthew:

i) I didn’t call him an insidious “villian.” Rather, I called him an insidious villain.

ii) As to my motive, Calvin Dude nailed it:

“While I am in no position to state definitively whether it was meant as ad hominem or not, I think the reason he called you an insidious villian was because of this post --> I don't think he meant anything personal other than just a play on words with that post--but you'll have to ask him to be sure.”

My title was a satirical take-off on the Nixonian title by Loftus.

Actually, I’m not quite sure what a “villian” is. Sounds like the diabolical spawn of an unholy marriage between a Van Tilian and a villain.

Is this Rosemary’s Baby dubbed in Dutch? Will a red-eyed urchin by the name of Damien Van Til be the Antichrist?

iii) Aside from intellectual qualifications, the chief moral or emotional qualification of a blogger is a sense of humor, especially an ability to laugh at himself.

There are too many unbelievers, and not a few believers, in the blogosphere who take themselves way too seriously.

iii) I would be more appreciative of Matthew’s intellectual modesty if it were more evenhanded. For someone who admits that he’s no expert on the subject, he’s very sure that Christianity is wrong. At a minimum, one would like to see his humility extend to the fortunes of atheism as well as theism.

iv) An aggressively atheistic blog populated by militant apostates who regularly launch full frontal assaults on the Christian faith is a very poor venue to float trial balloons and expect friendly feedback.

If Matthew wants to email me in private, I’d be happy to deal with him in a less confrontational manner.

v) As to why I don’t post feedback in the combox of Debunking Christianity,

a) Since I have my own blog, I don’t need a second-party blog in which to express myself.

b) I’ve built up my own readership over the past couple of years. I know I have an audience for what I post at Triablogue. I don’t know what audience Loftus has at Debunking Christianity. I’m not going to fire my artillery into the bushes.

c) I enjoy editorial control at Triablogue. I don’t enjoy editorial control at Loftus’ gig. He has a habit of deleting comments he doesn’t approve of.

Why would I venture onto a tilted playing-field and put myself at the mercy of Loftus? That would be rather foolhardy. I’m not the kind of guy to lay his neck on the chopping block, hoping that no one will lop it off.

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