Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Handicapping Bashir's performance

Surfing the web, I notice a number of Bell’s defenders who are critical of Bashir’s opening salvo because they think it’s a false dilemma:

Which of these is true? Either God is all powerful but doesn’t care about the people of Japan and they’re suffering or he does care about the people of Japan and but he’s not all powerful?

I agree with them that it’s a false dilemma. That, however, doesn’t mean Bashir was wrong to ask the question that way. After all, that’s a stock objection to Christian theism. It’s a variant on the hoary Euthyphro dilemma.

Ironically, many of Bell’s defenders have hitherto defended him for “just asking” the kinds of questions that many doubters do. Well, this is one of those questions.

It’s up to Bell to explain why the question poses a false dilemma.

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