An Apple Is A Failed Orange: Boghossian’s Error

So this Peter Boghossian guy seems to be the atheist du jour since I went on hiatus. I’m not surprised that John W. Loftus sings his praises. Loftus has a penchant for finding bad atheist arguments and running with them, and his latest crusade to end philosophy of religion seems no different. In fact, it’s based mostly on Boghossian’s rhetoric. Why should we end philosophy of religion? Because faith is a failed epistemology! That, in a nutshell, is Loftus’ answer. If it seems laughable, don’t blame me. As usual, Loftus gives no good arguments, no evidence, no good reason, just… rhetoric.

Many writers have already dismantled Boghossian’s scholarship, so why should I say anything? I don’t know, actually. I’m trying to force myself back into writing and honestly, I’m not too into the idea of lobbing shots at these self-proclaimed defenders of reason. But the flipside is that these people persuade large groups of people with their illogic.

If you’re a theist, and especially if you’re a Christian, all you need to know is this: Boghossian and Loftus seem persuasive, but they’re just attacking strawmen. Yes, it’s true: faith has no method and no system. That’s because it was never designed to be an epistemology in the first place! Faith, to the Christian, is really no different than the faith Loftus and Boghossian exhibit when they aim to publish books. There is no “proof” when you start writing that you’ll be published. No. Instead, the author trudges forward by hard work and, ahem… faith that their hard work will produce the desired results.

As an apple cannot be a failed orange, so faith cannot be failed epistemology. Without faith we’d have less books, less business ventures, and less successful relationships, because faith is a central component in each. This discussion can and should end for good, but I’m pretty sure it won’t. Atheists will always misconstrue “faith” as a bad thing and attack it. That’s just what they do!

7 Comments

  1. VQ says:

    Hey cl,

    You’re back! Good to see! Did you hear the McGrew v. Boghossian debate on Unbelievable? It’s worth a listen. Seems he wants to play the nice guy, but he also has some more sinister sections of his Manual for Creating Atheists. He wants to get religious faith diagnosed as a mental illness, and he wants to change tax policies, etc. to destroy religion. I think he’s dangerous.

    Best,

    VQ

  2. TMG says:

    Hello cl,
    I was an atheist a few years ago, and I used to follow the “commonsenseatheism” blog. Your comments there forced me to reconsider my views, and now I’m a monotheist. But I’m not a Christian; I’m a Muslim.

    Why? Because the concept of the Trinity is completely illogical. It violates the law of identity. Moreover, St. Paul (may he burn in Hell for misleading others) never actually met Jesus. The Christian faith rests on Jesus’ resurrection after his death, but nowhere does Jesus talk about the significance of his crucifixion.

  3. credulo says:

    Hello, CL! It’s good to see you have returned!
    Are you interested to continue with the debates?
    Also, a hint: how about to make a book of all your blog, using the Blog Booker service?

  4. cl says:

    Hello back, I’m not sure one post in 3 months counts as a “return” but now that the year is over I foresee some writing. I’m getting the itch again. Although, not so much for the (a)theism stuff, at least not the same way it was. I’ve been thinking about writing creatively about that type of stuff, i.e. using well-developed characters to deliver the messages and arguments. Who knows.

    I’m definitely into continuing the debates. Did you have anybody in mind? The one person that comes to mind for me even after over a year off the scene is Jeff Lowder. I like that guy.

    As for the book, yeah, I always intended to make a book out of the blog. Thanks for the link and Merry Christmas

  5. cl says:

    Hi there, yeah, I remember Luke’s blog quite well. I guess if anything else there was at least enough diversity there that stories like yours can exist. That’s awesome.

    I read your comment a few weeks ago and didn’t have time to reply, but the question popped up into my head a few times since then. After a year away from the dichotomous nature of (a)theist blogging I’ve had a lot of freedom to play with raw, uninfluenced ideas. If you had left this comment a year or two ago, I probably would have attempted to counter-argue that “no the concept isn’t illogical at all” or something like that. I’m not sure why you say it’s illogical, we could discuss that later, and I’m not even sure that I think the concept is logical or illogical at this point. The new freedom for me is that I’m no longer bothered with the presence of illogical concepts in my worldview. Why?

    It seems to me the second we demand that everything be “logical” is the second we constrain our acceptance to only those ideas our limited brains can understand. This poverty strikes me as a result of scientism run amok.

    Would you say there are instances in the Bible where Jesus alludes to His crucifixion?

  6. cl says:

    Yeah, I’ve heard quite a bit of the “dangerous” side of this guy’s ideas. I’m sure he’s been debated and spanked by quite a few, but I wonder if anybody has directly addressed the Reich-ish aspects of his delivery? It kinda scares me. If the tide of scientism gets high enough, perhaps even agitated to a boil by manufactured world crises, we could easily have a religiously driven Holocaust based on the “good” of ridding our “advanced evolutionary society” of “irrational” ideas.

    Yikes

  7. TMG says:

    Thanks for the reply.

    In my view, the concept of trinity – 3 persons in 1 Godhead, is not the kind of pure monotheism that the prophets in the Hebrew Bible preached. If God can be divided into 3 parts, then this goes against the concept of divine simplicity. Indeed, it is the divinity of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) that caused endless debates amongst the early Christians. Today, philosophers like William Lane Craig are forced to come to absurd conclusions about the relationship between God and time (i.e. God “entering” time post-creation) in order to reconcile his belief that Jesus was fully human AND fully God simultaneously. Spacetime itself belongs to God, so how can we point to a set of coordinates on the x-y-z-t plane and say “God is located here. Now God is located here, etc…”? How is this any different to the sort of idoltary that Yahweh strongly condemned in the Hebrew Bible? God is not a physical object confined in space, nor is spread out across space (pantheism). Rather, God is truly transcendent. Sure, the Christian will say that the trinity is a mystery. But how can I believe in something that I cannot even apprehend, let alone comprehend? What if I asked you to believe in a square-circle? Would you be able to do it? Of course not. Our God is not an evil God. He wants us to use our brain. This is why God performed miracles in Old Testament. This is why Jesus was able to perform miracles, by the permission of God like the prophets before him, to convince people to worship his God, our God. And this is why we modern people, who cannot witness such miracles currently have a book, the Qur’an, which is widely acknowledged to be a linguistic miracle that no Arabic poet or soothsayer can imitate.

    As for Jesus alluding to his crucifixion, I’m sure there are verses in the synoptic gospels here and there. The problem of course is that these gospels were written decades after Jesus left the earth by anonymous authors. In Islam, we don’t accept the works of anonymous authors (see Hadith sciences). This is why you won’t find a single contradiction, a single inconsistency in the Qur’an and the Hadith literature.

    Thanks for reading, friend. May God/Allah bless us all.

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