I’m still baffled why atheists like Josh Rosenau and Michael Ruse want to help believers improve their notions of a being who doesn’t exist. Rosenau continues to engage in atheistic theodicy, explaining his mission thusly:
There’s been some ignorant speculation about why a nontheist might try to explore these ideas, so I figured I’d spell it out: You can’t engage an idea without engaging its best presentation, and you can’t engage an idea seriously without accepting arguendo the basic premises.
Yep, that’s me—the ignorant speculator (though I do love the euphemism “nontheist”). But rather than debate the issue at boring length, let me just highlight a LOLzy comment on Rosenau’s post by Larry Moran:
“You can’t engage an idea without engaging its best presentation, and you can’t engage an idea seriously without accepting arguendo the basic premises.”
Let me introduce you to the problem of “naughty and nice.”
One of the arguments against Santa Claus is that he can’t possibly figure out which children are naughty and which ones are nice because there are about one billion children in the world. Some of them are in remote areas without Facebook or cell phones.
I don’t know why you and your philosopher friends aren’t trying to solve this huge problem. All you have to do is assume that Santa exists and you’re off and running.
And have you heard about the problem of how many fairies can dance on the head of a pin? You start with fairies ….
nobody argued of whether Mr. Claus and the fairies were really historically [sic] personages. Perhaps caricatures of the real deal? Dunno? But it would be assinine [sic] to lump coca cola’s fat santa and the faeries with Jesus, whos [sic] historical existence has been pretty much agreed upon by scholars including the godless bunch (e.g. James Randi)
Oh Gawd, no more sound bites like these please
“nobody argued of whether Mr. Claus and the fairies were really historically personages. Perhaps caricatures of the real deal? Dunno? But it would be assinine to lump coca cola’s fat santa and the faeries with Jesus, whos historical existence has been pretty much agreed upon by scholars including the godless bunch (e.g. James Randi)”
We’re not talking about an historical Jesus. We’re talking about the problem of evil. The only possible reason for debating the problem of evil is if you accept the initial premises; namely that an omnipotent God exists and He is good.
If atheists are prepared to do that in order to have a fun debate then why not debate some other, equally ridiculous, issues like those involving Santa Claus and tooth fairies?
We all know the answer. It’s because belief in the Christian God merits some sort of special accommodation even if you don’t believe in such a god.
Why? Why do atheist philosophers spend any time at all on arguments with premises they reject?
Why indeed? What’s the point? It’s like evolutionists telling the creationists where they might search in South America and Africa for all those still-existing dinosaurs.
It’s one thing to show believers that their arguments for god are ludicrous. It’s another to actually help them make those arguments.