Saturday 18 August 2012

Choosing Hats or choosing facts?

It's time for the Choosing Hats blog to change its name. In a post by Matthias McMahon (a mad hatter I've not encountered before1) titled "But They're All The Same" an attempt is made to show that Christianity, amongst all religions, is exclusively the correct one.

What McMahon does not address here is why it's necessary for any of them to be correct. He begins with a statement that might, however, be true:
"It is often alleged by many atheists that all religions are the same, and all religions are false, and since Christianity is a religion, therefore Christianity must also be false."
Perhaps some — even many — atheists allege this, but it's not a line I would take. My problem with Christianity is not that it's a religion amongst many, it's that the truth-claims of Christianity are insufficiently substantiated. McMahon then offers a decidedly odd proof:
"Legend has it there was a tree dedicated to Thor many years ago. It was said that cutting this tree down would incur the wrath of Thor. A Christian missionary proceeded to cut the tree down, and to the surprise of everyone but the Christian, Thor did not appear in his thunderous array and strike down the missionary. If cutting down that tree should have incurred the wrath of Thor, and it ultimately did not, then it’s reasonable to conclude Thor does not exist."
"Legend has it…"? Did the missionary establish the veracity of the dedication before using it to disprove the existence of Thor? If I was a follower of Thor I might claim that the legend was misinterpreted, or that Thor's wrath would be manifest in other ways than a rather crass strike of thunder. This smells of a straw man.

Then we get our regular dose of PABS2:
"“Facts” of reality are interpreted underneath the umbrella of “Nature of Facts.” Facts are secondary to the meaning or nature of Fact. This explains much more fully the out-of-hand rejection of religion and gods by certain atheists. It’s not, “I’m not convinced that this religion is true,” but more like, “No religion is true. Therefore any fact supporting any religion isn’t valid.” But he seldom articulates this, because he is often unaware that he possess his own take on the Nature of Facts. His feigned neutrality is in reality a plain bias rooted in sinful suppression of his knowledge of the truth of God."
This straw man is rotting so much it will spontaneously combust. But McMahon gallops on regardless, head down, PA blinkers on:
"The Christian religion is so robust as to include claims regarding the very reasoning abilities of the atheist in his denial of Christianity’s truth. Indeed, there is nothing the atheist can do or say that *can’t* be explained by Christianity. The the scheme of Evolution, the most popular  fallback reason for the non-Christian, depends upon ideas and preconditions for which the atheist cannot account. The moment an atheist (or any other non-Christian) opens his mouth to utter a syllable in denial of Christianity, he has begged the question in favor of Christianity’s truth."
And then this:
"But, just so that I’m being perfectly clear: I’m not alleging that Christianity is just the best explanation for reality. I’m asserting that it is the *only consistent* explanation for reality, and therefore the best. And since the doctrine of Christianity is the formulation of reality given to us by the very God who created reality, it’s only appropriate to affirm such, unashamed. As such, it has never been refuted. Particular historical facts surrounding events in the Bible have been questioned, but only by men who on better days would admit their reasoning isn’t perfect all the time, and their hyper-skepticism regarding biblical history consequently destroys all knowledge they could possibly hope for, resulting in special pleading on their own part. Grand “scientific” schemes have been constructed as an allegedly viable alternative to the Biblical account, but these constructs fail to be either consistent with themselves or comprehensive enough to stand on the same ground of Christianity in competition."
Yeah, we know; Goddidit. There's more of course, but frankly I can't be arsed. I'm done with this crap.

1Turns out this is McFormtist without the wacko username.
2Presuppositional apologetic bullshit.