Wednesday, 3 February 2021

When you can't defend your position

I read a Calvinist response on a message board that amounted to: Paying attention to a specific non-Calvinist is embarrassing. He suggested a Calvinist author instead. While a rather short retort it raises a large number of issues.

Firstly it is an attempt at cool-shaming. Said author is supposedly an embarrassment to theology or Christian truth. Perhaps, but if the claim is not true this is a false accusation.

Secondly, it fails to deal with the arguments. If a person presents such poor arguments he should be easy to refute. It would be better to actually clearly refute nonsensical claims and prove they are an embarrassment, even if you then state the fact.

Thirdly, suggesting a Calvinist author over a non-Calvinist author is it's own fail. You are generally better to give a better author in the same category. If someone recommends Dawkins as a defense of atheism (and this is embarrassing), there are better atheists to read: Nagel for example. Related to this, why would anyone recommend against an opponent using such poor reasoning? A poor opponent himself is an argument against his own position.

Fourthly, someone is better to steer people away from well meaning but poor defenses of even his own position. If a Calvinist recommends a particular Calvinist author who is enthusiastic but poorly reasoned, others can recommend against that particular author in preference to better Calvinist defenders of the position.

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