Over a year ago I put up a comment on a blog called "Sandwalk," the subject: the so called "Courtier's Reply." This is the story otherwise known as "The Emperor's New Clothes." The story says a king was sold "invisible clothes" by some con men who had him parading around naked under the assumption that his clothes were invisible. Everyone was afraid to point it out, some actually conned themselves into believing that there really were invisible clothes. This story has long been used as a symbol of anything where the authorities are clearly in the wrong but everyone is afraid to say so. In the story of course one Little kids says "he's really naked" and everyone laughs becuase it's obvious even if he had invisible clothes you can still see his private parts. I recall some talking head using this as example of the Nixon administration in the latter days of Watergate. Be that as it may the atheists use it as a metaphor for what the think is going on with religion and bleief in God.
So I wrote an answer to this guy well over a year ago. For months I would check on it no response. The other day I noticed a huge amount of hits on this blog coming from that blog. So looking over there I see he finally got around to answering. Let's look at what he says. He has failed to answer my augments actually. He so called Courtier's Replay is just an excuse to remain ignorant. The major use they make of it is to in answer to the argument "you don't know theology." Atheists copy an essay written by one of their major talking heads who compares theology to tailoring. "you just don't know about invisible clothing" is what they think. Don't forget the only argument atheists have is argument form incredulity. Their reasoning can't be other than circular. They "there is no God so if I get something about theology wrong then it doesn't matter because it's all made up. The reason this is circular is becasue their assertions of disproof of God arguments and their assertions of the irrational nature of belief are based upon not understanding understanding theology. Then to say that doesn't matter becuase its made up anyway is just putting the conclusion before the premise. So the premise is based upon the conclusion that is literally the definition of circular reasoning.
They can only see the demand for theological acuity as a challenge to the intellectual. They are usually not cleaver enough to understand that their criticism are faulty because they don't really know what religion is about, becuase they refuse to learn. The so called Courtier's reply is nothing more than an excuse to be ignorant.
Atheists and theists often discuss the existence of God. Unfortunately, these discussions often degenerate into classic Christian apologetics where the main goal of the theist is to rationalize why his or her god doesn't conflict with rationality.
Here we have an extremely biased and self serving statement that in no way stacks up to what's really going on with religion. He defines reasons for belief as rationalization. Here we see again argument from incredulity, the only argument they ever make. It says "I refuse to believe, therefore, it cant' be true." That is nothing but circular reasoning again. The problem is worse than that ass he defines belief as a conflict with rationality but he can't possibly know that if he doesn't understand what belief is being discussed. Since he refuses to learn what religious belief is really about he has no way knowing if it's rational or not. Of course atheists do this because they can't cope with modern theology. If he actually read modern theology he would see that his views are antiquated and he really understand the modern version of liberal Christian thought.
Before long they are rambling on about how to resolve the problem of evil or why god doesn't reveal herself. These problems only exist once you've accepted the premise that there is a god/spirit. This sort of apologetics has nothing to do with the fundamental question of whether god exists in the first place.Here we see circular reasoning at that again. These issues he brings up such as the problem of evil are impediments to belief. Removing is part of demonstrability of the faith. Of cousre only means of approaching the issue is the form of circular reasoning known as argument from incredulity. "we know there is no God, therefore, these proof of God must be wrong so we don't need to think about them." It winds up they don't understand any of the issues and they don't know believers believe and their trapped in big citation circle quoting their own bad reasoning and making stupid metaphors that don't really apply. He expects one to dump the concept of God a priori before he can deal with the issues as to why one would or would not believe. He's merely privileging his position with nothing to back it up then arguing in a circle. Atheists are also so bad at logic why don't they just give up?
PZ Myers invented the parable of The Courtier's Reply to describe this situation.1 Rather than address the burning question—is the Emperor wearing any clothes?—the believers will complain that you don't understand the latest fashion.No, he stole it from Hans Christian Andersen and turned a fine metaphor into a rationalization for remaining ignorant. What really sticks in my craw is that he did not answer a single thing I said in that first address.
They are full of little pithy maxims to justify their ignorance: "you don't have learn about astrology to see that astrology is wrong." That would depend upon your criticism of it. In fact this pithy saying assumes you know what it is. If a, astrologer came along and said "I have developed my own updated system that doesn't assume the stars are controlling human destiny so I do all that signs and stuff, I have a new system that works entirely by scinece," and Sandwalk tried to answer it with the same assertion that astrology in the old sense is stupid and we don't need to know about it, his arguments would be totally wrong. Of course the pithy saying assuming you know how astrology works. If there was a loophole than changed what it said the pity saying would be misleading. Obviously if you criticize something you have to know what you are criticizing. That is sheer stupidity to deny that.
They say you can't have a serious discussion about the existence of god because you aren't versed in the sophisticated arguments of Christian apologetics. In other words, you have to be intimately familiar with all the ways of rationalizing superstitious belief in god before challenging the very existence of god.2
Just another version of the same ignorance, circular reasoning, assumes his world view has to be right, no argument for God could ever succeed so we don't need to read them or know about them we can just sweep all that away a priori because it has to be wrong, why? Well because it's us. It's not our deal so it must be wrong. Remember, if you can deny something constantly then it's wrong. "I refuse to believe therefore it must be wrong." Circular reasoning is the ultimate atheist weapon.
How do you know it's only rationalizing if you don't' know what it says?
Now he starts in on the personal insults against me. I disagree with his world view I must be stupiud and I must lying bout my education yada yada yada.
It's amazing how few theists get the point. The latest person to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of simple logic is Joe Hinman at Atheistwatch. Hinman has a Master's degree in Theology and he is currently studying for a Ph.D. in the history if ideas. He exposes himself by complaining about Anti-Intellectual Tendencies in Atheism.
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.Bingo! Christian apologetics was developed by people who believe in god. They needed to explain why their beliefs seem inconsistent with the real world. Many of these rationalizations are extremely "sophisticated" as you might expect since the problem is difficult.
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.
In other words. It's against my world view so it must be wrong. After all, what is his actual argument? The only argument he makes in that paragraph is "Christian apologetic is done by people who bleieve in God so it must be wrong because I don't' believe in God, since I don't' believe it must be wrong."
It really baffles me how imbecilic they are not to understand why you have to know what you are criticizing. This is like tea party stupid. It's Palin stupid. "I don't have to know what it says I kown'd it be wrong, uncle Jed, cause it's proving what I say is untrue so it must be false."
He alleged that I didn't get the logic of their childish gimmick, where do I fail on that? He doesn't actually illustrate it I guess he assuming if I don't' agree with him then I wasn't convinced so I must fail. They really talk like just making claim is the proof of the claim. Because they can say "there is no God" then there's no God. How could any movement survive based upon such stupidity?
I have demonstrated more than total understanding of the logic because I have actually analyzed their rationalizations and circular reasoning.
I don't give a damn about those rationalizations no matter how many books have been written. Atheists don't have a problem with evil or sin or life after death or the resurrection. It's only theists who have a problem.
What does this mean? The so called "rationalizations" are proof, arguments, evidence and reasons for bleief. So what he's saying is "I don't care about the facts, or don't care what the proof show, I don't ar what truth is...I refuse to believe therefore it must be false." Then asserting atheists don't have a problem with evil is the height of stupidity. For a group of people are their hyper sensitive to being thought amoral and unable to come up with a reason to be good, for people who do so much gum flapping about how they can be moral without God to then come out say "we don't have a problem with evil," has to be sheer stupidity.
If Joe Hinman wants to explain why he is a theist then I'd be happy to discuss that topic. What's his best evidence for the existence of a spiritual world?
What would be the point? He's already said he doesn't care what I have to say and any argument I make would just be rationalization to him so what's the difference? I would like to debate him 1x1 just to demonstrate how inept he is at dealing with God arguments. If he will agree to a debate with rules I will debate him. I don't see any reason to try and discuss anything with someone who just admitted he doesn't plan on listening.
If anything proves atheism is a brain washing cult, an ideology, a hate group, surely it's their own words. These guys are totally sold out to their own ideology they don't care what is true or not. Thank God they are not all like that. I don't think our friend Hermit would be that way.