Fundamentalist atheism – why bother?

Paul Jenkins has written a post here (you need to read this post to make sense of what follows) which, I take it, is supposed to be some sort of response to my “obsessive and tedious” commentary on one of his podcasts. Really it is an implied instruction to his fundamentalist atheist friends not to listen to the three Pauls failing miserably in their attempt to defend their foolish fundamentalist atheism. Paul’s post reminds me a bit of a cult leader’s plea to his followers not to listen to the satanic messages of the outside world. In any event Paul’s post is another example of what I recently mentioned in this post. If the fundy atheists keep this up we may have to start a new category!

Some of my readers may have endured what has become known as The Fourth Debate, in which the three Pauls of the Skepticule Extra podcast were taken apart by the presuppositional apologetic argument of Eric Hovind and Sye Ten Bruggencate. We have reviewed some of it, unedited, for several episodes of  Praxis Presup.

I believe I can safely assert that this exchange was the final word on fundamentalist atheism as far as I, personally, am concerned. FA has been shown, increasingly and repetitively, not to work. It doesn’t convince Christians, and it doesn’t convince those atheists (the thinking, as opposed to mocking ones) who claim to have evidence for the non-existence of God. It appears that FA is only considered valid by those who already hold to it. As an atheistic method, therefore, it’s a dismal failure.

For some people, however, this isn’t enough. Paul Jenkins of the Notes from an Evil Burnee blog and Skepticule podcast has commented on the aforementioned episodes of Praxis Presup with snide and sophistic rhetoric. There are currently four editions of “Praxis Presup” covering The Fourth Debate — numbers 12, 13, 14 and 15. Two-and-a-half hours of commentary (including clips of the “debate” itself) is a lot, and there’s more commentary to come, but based on the responses of the three fundamentalist atheist Pauls so far, I’ve no reason to think that there will be any meaningful interaction coming from their camp any time soon.

All of which leaves me with a nagging question: for whom is fundamentalist atheism and its respective podcasts like Skepticule Record intended? Certainly not Christians, who — if they bother to listen — will only be confirmed in their conviction that FA is nonsense. Evidential atheists won’t be convinced, as FA apparently assumes their approach is invalid. The only people who will agree with the three Pauls will be fundamentalist atheists themselves — and why do they need this, if they are already convinced by FA?

It’s a mystery.


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