Good afternoon on this the twenty third day of December, in the year of our Lord 2016.
I see that TOF just posted his latest installment in the Deus Vult series. It’s a series of historical blog posts which is very reminiscent of his excellent Great Ptolemaic Smackdown series. I’m looking forward to reading that.
I finally got my video responding to my friend’s nephew out. (The Probability of Theology.) I’ll be posting the script to it soon. I’ve still got a bunch of other videos to edit, including Chapter 4 from Orthodoxy which I recorded several months ago. Editing audio can be a real chore, I’ve found. Partially I’m not that fond of listening to the sound of my own voice, but partially it’s that it’s hard to edit audio in less time than about three times the time that the audio takes to run. Even with fast movements, one must listen to the audio, make the edits, then listen to make sure that the edited audio is correct. It’s quite time consuming. On the plus side it can be done five minutes at the time, and while the house isn’t as quiet as it has to be for recording.
On an unrelated note, something I’ve never understood, and may well never understand, are thin-skinned people with sharp tongues. I can understand people who can give as good as they get, but it just doesn’t make any sense to me that people who can’t take sharp criticism will give it out. That’s just inviting people to respond in kind; it’s like a person with brittle bones picking fights with strangers on the street. It makes no sense purely from the perspective of self-interest.
This is related to the phenomenon of twitter atheists telling me I’m irrational, delusional, and mind-controlled by an evil entity, then complaining when I tell them they’re badly educated and incompetent at logical thinking. Twitter atheists are almost invariably both of those things; one fellow who told me that theists can’t deal with logic seemed taken aback when I asked him how many university-level logic courses he’d taken. I’m increasingly wondering if this isn’t just an influx people who all want to be the next Christopher Hitchens or TJ Kirk or Bill Maher or whomever, all trying out what they’ve seen and hoping to get fame and fortune as a result. In fairness to them, who becomes popular is often very hard to predict. None of the famous atheists I mentioned are particularly beautiful or smart, though they are charismatic in the same sort of way that dogs are. I mean, if you think about it, people love dogs despite them being ugly, smelly, greedy creatures who urinate on your floors and expect you to clean it up. That’s not a bad metaphor for popular atheists, either.
Also that atheist who told me that theists can’t handle logic later offered to debate me without insults, and I explained that I’ve read Hume and Nietzsche, and I have several friends who are Nietzsche scholars, so what the hell does he have to offer me that I should debate him? He told me that he wasn’t interested in debating me any more because I’m too full of myself. Meanwhile, in theory he doesn’t even have a position. Which is necessary for a debate to happen anyway. I had to point this out to a number of commenters. If one person makes the case for a position and another person says that he didn’t do it well enough, he’s just heckling. As my friend put it, “If you don’t have a position then by definition you’re in the audience. Shut up, sit down, and listen to the people who do have positions. Maybe you’ll learn something.” I wonder how many of these people realize that if they’re doing anything, they’re making Christianity seem more plausible by making atheists look dumb. On the other hand, it is their claim that while geniuses can be Christian, and even partial idiots can be Christian, all complete idiots are atheists. It’s tempting to say that they’re voluntarily claiming to be dumb as a bag of hammers, but it’s never been proven that hammers are that dumb. It is a very curious question in what way hammers relate to God. Of course in the aftermath of Modern Philosophy we like to think of matter as dead, but experiments in quantum mechanics certainly are suggestive (though by no means conclusive) that that’s not the case. It turns out that elementary particles just don’t behave themselves (hence falling back to statistical trends instead of individual prediction). And the world is in general a stranger place then we tend to imagine it.
God bless you.