"The Only Objections are Stupid Objections..."

Steve Hays over at Triablogue has responded to a comment of mine by saying: "DC is simply a convenient repository for stupid arguments against the faith. Since the only objections are stupid objections, DC will do as well as anyone else." see here. [Edit, since I linked to Steve he deleted his original comments and instead commented on this post of mine.]

There are a whole host of Occidental thinkers throughout the ages who have rejected Christianity, including Bertrand Russell, while nearly all Oriental thinkers have rejected Christianity. But all of our objections are stupid ones? Really?

Hays believes that Calvinistic Christianity (his brand) is intellectually superior such that all one needs is knowledge to see the truth. This statement of his tells more about him and probably his team members than it says anything about his case. He's certain that he's correct. But subjective certainty says nothing about his case. No wonder he treats anyone who disagrees with him with such distain. All the rest of us are stupid, even those Christians who disagree with his brand of Calvinistic Christianity. Such an attitude is extremely sophmoronic and naive. He will never consider any argument against his faith because he has already presupposed that they are all stupid objections. And he calls on us to become educated and intelligent in order to see the light. But this attitude of his reveals such an ignorance that he is the last one to offer advice on intelligently evaluating our objections.

But Hays has a monumental task ahead of him to convince people of this, since Christianity is losing ground in the marketplace of ideas. His predicted response is that all such people are stupid for accepting the objections to Christianity. If I ask why should God place a premier on intelligence or in a proper education, he will respond that God grants people the ability to see the truth but hides it from those who are perishing. So in effect, we offer stupid objections here at DC because God has allowed/decreed us to believe stupid things. And so Hays & Company treat us as if we are stupid.

This is not someone I care to have a conversation with. I only want conversation/debate partners who will treat me as a dignified person who has sincere objections. Hays & Company cannot do this. They can no longer be taken seriously as serious conversation/debate partners because of their idiosyncratic interpretations of the Bible along with their intellectually superior attitude toward people who disagree with them.

What has probably never occurred to Hays is that it is quite possible that the evidence for Christianity is much weaker than the objections against it, and I can argue this based on his own Calvinistic grounds. It's quite possible that the total evidence is against Christianity but that Hays' God simply makes/decrees him to believe against the evidence. That would conversely make Hays' arguments the stupid ones which are subsequently accepted by stupid people who believe them. Since this is very possible given his Calvinistic God, perhaps he ought to look once again at our objections. But this time he ought to do so seriously.

Or, Steve Hays must show me why I'm wrong when I argue for this here, and here, based upon his own Calvinistic theology. It's his choice. But as of yet I have not seen Hays & Company argue against what I wrote.

4 comments:

Matthew said...

John,

It's very telling that Steve thinks that the "only objections are stupid objections"- this kind of intellectual snobbery on Steve's part is similar to Robert Turkel's extreme intellectual snobbery.

Funny thing is- Hays and Turkel don't apparently like each other. I did a Google search for Steve Hays and noticed that Turkel wrote an article or two in response to Hays and Turkel's articles were far from respectful. Honestly, I almost felt sorry for Steve when I read one of them, thinking that Steve must be a much more pleasant fellow than Turkel.

I shared a link with Ed Babinski (I don't know if you cared enough to see it John; I can e-mail you the link if you're interested) which was to Turkel's scathing rebuttals of Hays.

Matthew

Joe E. Holman said...

It always feels good to look down on an opponent's views and say "That's just stupid!"

Just as with JPHolding, this guy is not worth typing out the text characters to have a discussion with.

He's just right! How can we argue with that?!

(JH)

exapologist said...

In a sense, I can see how this Steve Hays fellow -- and Turkel -- have the attitudes they do. I remember being on the other side of the fence, as an "apologist", and having read a bunch of apologetics books.

Reading apologetics books gives you an unwarranted sense of confidence. After all, you learn all of these arguments for conservative Christianity -- historical, scientific, and philosophical -- and you know that maybe .001% of the population is aware of them. You also learn -- in a way that's primarily indirect and mediated through the writings of the apologists themselves, mind you -- all the philosophical, historical, and scientific objections to your view. Finally, you know -- or you think you know -- sufficient responses to all those objectcions. In such circumstances, it's almost inevitable that you feel like your faith is near bullet-proof.

I know that most of you here used to feel the same way, too, at least for a while. With this sort of a background, it's virtually impossible to feel that you know the sober truth about reality. This is reinforced when you talk to "neighborhood skeptic" types. Talking to them, you think:

"They've never read Craig's Kalam argument, or Robin Collins' Fine-Tuning argument, or Swinburne's Bayesian formulation of the traditional theistic arguments, or Plantinga's stuff on Reformed epistemology; or Blomberg's (or Wright's or Witherington's) arguments for the reliability of the New Testament, or Craig's and Habermas' arguments for the resurrection. If they did, they'd be conservative christians. In fact, I know the arguments for this guy's skeptical position better than he does! I could give a *seminar* on this stuff to them for a month just to get them up to speed on the case for *their own* position, and the key proponents (Mackie, Martin, Schellenberg, Oppy, Q. Smith...). So honestly, how can I take this local skeptic seriously?"


If they care more about knowing what's true more than staying in the apologetics echo chamber, they'll eventually learn that the apologists have been shielding them from the most serious objections, as I did -- and I suspect most of the DC bloggers have.

John W. Loftus said...

exapologist, you seem to be exactly the kind of person I want as a team member on this blog. Go here, email me and let's talk.