Paul Baird felt it necessary to break his posting hiatus with his post, “For Chris Bolt,” which is written in response to my latest post, “Paul Jenkins and Damage Control.” According to Paul, he is “annoyed” that he must do so, not even getting past his second word before using the typical fundamentalist atheist rhetoric. The rhetoric continues with Paul’s description of my post as “paranoid delusion.” Of course, Paul does not actually explain how I exhibit paranoia in the post, or how it is delusional, or whether or not his description even makes sense in and of itself, but his assertion sounds good to fundamentalist atheist ears so it must be true. Paul claims that he felt he had to comment, “if only to put the poor bugger out of his misery.” Poor bugger? Misery? I am not sure what Paul is referring to, but if I am a poor, miserable, paranoid, delusional bugger then imagine what Paul Jenkins must be like…he did, after all, actually prompt my post with his own! So if posting a response to Paul Jenkins makes me paranoid, then Paul Jenkins must be petrified, but of course all of this is nonsense. The only reason it comes up is to divert attention away from the content of my critique of the three Pauls podcast featuring Sye and Eric.
Paul Baird goes on to explain that the reason he is taking a break from his blog is, “primarily because I’m changing jobs.” That is great, I saw Paul’s change in jobs announced some time ago on his blog, I am happy for him, and I certainly understand. However, the original reason Paul gave for leaving his blog had nothing to do with changing jobs. Instead, Paul explained, “I’m at the stage where this blog is going to be put to bed until the New Year, not because I’m tired of it but because there is really nothing under the sun to be said or read in this ongoing debate about whether or not there is some supernatural eternal entity and whether there is something or nothing once we die.” I responded to this vacuous claim in “Bye, Bye, Britbaird.” If Paul is actually leaving his blog for another reason, perhaps he should have said so from the beginning. Obviously it is not that big of a deal that he did not say so, and there is no reason to think that Paul is lying, however, it is a bit of a problem when Paul later attempts to correct me because I properly cited and responded to the reason he originally provided for leaving. Paul continues to give the same reason as before anyway, claiming that, “the whole theistic apologetic bores me.” So I responded to the reason Paul originally gave for leaving his blog, had Paul counter my alleged “angst” by explaining that the primary reason he left is actually because of a changing jobs, and then had Paul repeat the very same reason he gave before that I already responded to.
In any event, Paul goes on to mention other podcasts and blogs that have little if anything to do with me (which is fine, except that the post is, after all, “For Chris Bolt”) as well as his four debates with Sye. He writes, “I gave Sye four good attempts in a debate format to convince me that his worldview was worth following and that mine should be discarded – he failed.” Apparently Paul missed (or just ignored) a significant point of the post he is responding to. Proof and persuasion are two different things. Paul’s appeal to his exchanges with Sye have little to do with me since I am not, so far as I know, the same person as Sye. Finally, I have already carried the discussion further than the exchanges with Sye, so it does not really help Paul’s case to cite his exchanges with Sye as a reason for not being that interested in my review of those exchanges!
Paul continues, “All that PA manages to assert is that there are some transcendental things that may require the existence of another transcendental thing.” Well, no, PA “asserts” a great deal more than this, if it even asserts this oddly worded claim. Since I do not really know what Paul means by “transcendental things” or what his point here is, I cannot offer much more by way of response with respect to this particular statement except to point out, once again, that this is merely another assertion on Paul’s part. He gives us no reason to believe it. The same is true with respect to Paul’s claim, “That is not exclusive proof for the existence of the Christian god and never will be.” A bold statement full of confidence to be sure! But what reasons do I have for believing it? None. Neither does anyone else, at least not in terms of what Paul actually provides us with. I already pointed out here and here that these type of empty assertions can just as easily be turned around. For example, I might just as easily assert, “PA manages to prove much more than that there are some transcendental things that may require the existence of another transcendental thing; PA provides exclusive proof for the existence of the Christian God.” My point here is that while there is no argumentation on Paul’s part there is plenty of naked assertion.
Paul complains that I must “be more punchy with your points,” that I am “just indulging in verbosity,” that he will “now lose interest more easily,” and that he is, “not going to sit listening to your four analytical podcasts without being provided with a series of bullet point highlights.” Instead of attempting to address any of the content of my posts or podcasts, Paul Baird resorts to the same tactic used by Paul Jenkins; attack the style of my posts or podcasts. I suspect that it is only a matter of time before the “Big Bad Bolt” card is played as well.
Such diversionary tactics are a welcome addition to the processes of dodging points raised against one’s position and suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. So far as I know, no one is required to read, listen to, or respond to any of my posts or podcasts. I do not see how it could help those I am reviewing to stick their heads in the sand in response to what I produce, but that is their business and not mine. My podcast series is available for those interested in seeing why the three Pauls could not defend their views against Sye and Eric, and it consists of much more than the empty rhetoric that characterizes the posts coming from the two Pauls as of late.