Is Paul Baird Ashamed of Atheism?

“Every system of philosophy must tell us whether it thinks true knowledge to be possible. Or if a system of philosophy thinks it impossible for man to have a true knowledge of the whole of reality or even of a part of reality, it must give good reasons for thinking so. From these considerations, it follows that if we develop our reasons for believing that a true knowledge of God and, therefore, also of the world, is possible because actually given in Christ, we have in fact given what goes in philosophy under the name of epistemology. It will then be possible to compare the Christian epistemology with any and with all others. And being thus enabled to compare them all, we are in a position and placed before the responsibility of choosing between them. And this choosing can then, in the nature of the case, no longer be a matter of artistic preference. We cannot choose epistemologies as we choose hats. Such would be the case if it had been once for all established that the whole thing is but a matter of taste. But that is exactly what has not been established. That is exactly the point in dispute.” – Cornelius Van Til, A Survey of Christian Epistemology


Paul Baird said…

The CBC latest –

This is at least – progress of sort.

Unfortunately Chris does then rather engage in special pleading (again) and also engages in a misunderstanding of Paganism (which is understandable as he is a Christian) and then some hypocrisy in finding an issue with the duality of the god/goddess but not the trinity of the Christian faith.

Then the CBC quote Bahnsen’s definition of the self sufficient knower, without justifying why such a definition should apply. It also begs questions of the dialogues between Jesus and his father in comparison. Whatever argument is advanced against the duality or even polytheism of a Pagan worldview can equally be advanced against the dualism of the earthly Jesus and the non-earthly father. So, sorry, but that critique is a special pleading fail.

Bahsens quote
“If they have independent histories, K and DK could maintain their respective self-sufficiencies only if they had mutual control over each other’s thoughts, plans, activities, and judgements.”

is particularly appropriate – why did Jesus need to address his father or his father address him unless they were not the same self sufficient knower ?

But that’s an aside. 🙂

“Polytheism posits that there are multiple entities which go by the label “god,” but these entities are often so much like humans that they do not merit the label.”

Sorry, but who was this Jesus bloke ? A god who was born like a man, lived like a man and died like a man. Special pleading again.

“Pagan deities are thus to be viewed as on par with human cognizers, and this realization has massive implications with respect to answering the NTC.”

Pure assertion CBC.

The remainder of his critique, such as it is, is a series of strawman statements based on ignorance of the Pagan worldview.

Finally, CBC complains that I waste his time – ok, you do know that I’m not twisting your arm or waterboarding you and yet you still see fit to respond to my points ?

To quote Sye Tenbruggencate quoting Shakespeare

“Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”

Let me guess how long the CBC will wait until they respond.

6 October 2011 13:40


Paul Baird links to my most recent post and accuses me of the strawman and special pleading fallacies.

First, Paul accuses me of the strawman fallacy. A quick way to remember the strawman fallacy is to think of it as using a misrepresentation of another position. Paul claims that I have misunderstood Paganism, but does not specify where I have done so. He also links this alleged misunderstanding to the fact that I am a Christian, when any reasonable person knows that Christians are just as capable of understanding various positions as an atheist like Paul can. But what is most troubling about Paul’s accusation that I have misunderstood Paganism is that in my post I was working with Paul’s understanding of Paganism! Insofar as I have misunderstood Paganism, so has Paul, because I was simply working with what Paul provided concerning Paganism.

Second, Paul accuses me of special pleading. A quick way to remember the fallacy of special pleading is to think of it as using a “double-standard.” Paul has been accusing me of committing this fallacy throughout our exchange. Now, where have I done this in my exchange with Paul? I have not. What is worse is that even if I had committed the fallacy, then Paul has not specified where. So Paul’s charge up until now is just an empty assertion. But now Paul accuses me of special pleading with respect to the Christian doctrines of the Trinity and Christology. He claims that, “Whatever argument is advanced against the duality or even polytheism of a Pagan worldview can equally be advanced against the dualism of the earthly Jesus and the non-earthly father.” But Paul is missing a significant difference between Paganism and Christianity here, isn’t he? Paganism teaches a “duality” in the sense that it is polytheistic. Christianity does not teach a “duality” in this sense at all! Rather, Christianity teaches that there is one God. Christianity is monotheistic. Paul asks, “why did Jesus need to address his father or his father address him unless they were not the same self sufficient knower?” Because the Father and Jesus are two different persons. Next Paul asks, “Sorry, but who was this Jesus bloke?” His answer, “A god who was born like a man, lived like a man and died like a man.” But Jesus is not a god, He is the God. The attributes that the one God possesses are attributes that no one of the many pagan deities can possess, as demonstrated in the argument of the previous post in this series.

So if there is any “misunderstanding” here, it is on Paul’s part. The previous paragraph is basic Christian theology, and yet Paul, who claims to have once been a Christian, seems completely ignorant of it. Meanwhile I have fairly represented Paganism in my last post as Paul presented it, and have refuted it through a negative transcendental critique. Not only did Paul fail to address that critique, but he has persistently failed to address a negative transcendental critique as it pertains to his own worldview.

Paul claims that his, “worldview, as such, is actually irrelevant.” But Paul is very much mistaken. If Paul bases his case at all upon logic (for example) then his case is eventually based upon a particular view of logic and that particular view of logic is eventually based upon a particular worldview. In this instance that worldview is atheism, since Paul is an atheist. Since everything Paul offers is thus characteristically atheistic, I would call upon Paul to account for how he can make sense of anything he claims from within the context of that particular worldview. Everything that Paul has to say regarding other world religions or positions is atheistic, and hence his worldview has everything to do with the claims he makes. All the presuppositionalist is asking for from Paul is support for the claims he makes. Paul tosses out positions that he does not believe in and claims he can refute, yet acts as though the Christian cannot also refute them. This is what I referred to as a waste of time. Paul Baird simply refuses to man-up and defend atheism. Perhaps he knows that atheism will not do the trick.

Paul Baird wants to play the game of Russian Roulette with worldviews, but he’s going to lose. Not only will none of the rounds go off on the Christian’s turn, but the atheist is incapable of holding the gun to play in the first place.

One Comment


Maybe you should move on from arguing with the Atheistopagan WV.

Leave a Comment