Run That Argument By Me Again
I just received a nice note about my post on Wilson’s challenge to Harris :
I like it that you have argued against his ideas… Your post today was very well written. That is winsome and ultimately will give people pause as they consider that maybe Wilson is a big B…s….er and not worthy of the stature he’s been given.
But how does the Wilson follower, kirk-apologist, process a post like this? Well, if you recall, my old friend Ed Lang helped me discover that I was in a cult as soon as I started a web site and started exposing Wilson’s lies about Brian McLaren. I had known Ed and his wife for years, but he automatically became a public opponent, viciously attacking my character, without so much as giving a call and with very little knowledge of the context of my what was then my mild public criticism of Doug Wilson. Ed vandalized my site in the comments sections, intentionally breaking every one of my posting rules. It was this Ed Lang who just sent me a note about the post on Wilson’s challenge to Harris. He writes:
It seems that you are getting worse every time you post. That is, you used to be able to kinda follow the argument. Has your hatred and bitterness corrupted your ability to understand a simple point? Wilson’s point is not there is nothing wrong with evil, that there is no “problem of evil,” but that given Harris’ presuppossitions he is unable to ACCOUNT for them. Doug is not denying that Harris feels badly about evil. Have you never listened to Doug debate the atheists?
Of course, you have. You are just reaching every day to justify your pig-headed, disresectful behavior. Anyone who has actually read Wilson knows that you are full of it and you are now only in the slander business. IF you really don’t see the point of the rhetorical questions Doug has asked of Harris then my former observations above, that you are bitter to the point of blindness, must be true.
If you are going to argue with Doug’s posts you should at least be able to follow his arguments.
I hope all the best for you and your family.
You have my permission to post this to your site. (Not that you need my permission)
Yes, it is true that Ed’s opening remarks are a bit silly. However, in all fairness, I suspected a kirk apologist would send me a zinger on this one. Also, that Ed interacts with the content of my post is certainly a step in the right direction. He refused to do this before. Yet, it is too bad Ed was determined to come across so confident and arrogant about his understanding of my philosophical argument. He didn’t have to look like such a dummy; he could have simply offered a charitable challenge that could have allowed a nice exchange in which I could have clarified my argument. But this is not Kirk-Wilson style. Oh, no. When you are God’s elect elite, fighting the nasty and corrupt infidel, you have to put your most confident lunge forward. When you go down into the valley with a spear and a battle-ax, you want the opponent to think you are a war god: “bitter to the point of blindness.” I will grant to Ed that I am not trying to respect Doug Wilson as my pastor. But I’m not feeling too guilty about this, and Ed’s letter has not led to any late remorse.
Apparently, Ed does not know what the “problem of evil” is, and gauging Nate Wilson’s interaction with me on this, it would seem, on external evidence, that Wilson does not think the problem of evil is a problem:
I do believe Mr. Metzler and I disagree when it comes to my refusal to take the problem seriously. I don’t think it is a serious problem, or any problem at all really…It all makes complete sense, but not logic…in the end He kills every one of us. I am not puzzled, nor do I see a problem.
I’m not really sure how to respond further to Ed’s criticism. If he has the emotional makeup of the typical Wilson defender, then I might as well argue my complaints with a Zombie. Obviously, I understood Wilson’s “presuppositional” argument, since it was just this sort of argument I detailed from Greg Bahnsen in this very post. That Wilson responded to a secularist who does not “want” violence and irrationality with the claim that this secularist has no “reason” not to “want” violence and irrationality, and that therefore this secularist has no reason to write the sort of book he did, is precisely why I wrote the critique I did. This is ludicrous, but a nice illustration of other similar presuppositional stampeding over the real apologetic issues on the table. If I thought Ed was interested in better understanding the issues, I would be fine discussing this with him. But it seems apparent that this is not what Ed wants at all.
Back to Wilson and Harris: When you have lost all human empathy and the appropriate emotional responses to social situations, then all you have in the game of moral debate is the appeal to a rationalistic foundation qua timeless moral authority. I would not be surprised if Harris has a far better understanding of human morality than did Greg Bahnsen; Bahnsen found Kantian maxim and internalist foundationalism to be a sufficient launching point for his presuppositional approach to the moral argument and anti-narrative theonomy.
Some one writes into this post by Wilson:
Daddy would solemnly observe “If there was no god (and here he would insert a dramatic pause)…I wouldn’t care what I did.”
Well, then, Christians are the most dangerous people on the planet; apparently it is only conservative Christians who would not care what they did if they concluded there was no god. I’m finding this presuppositional argument more and more curious as time goes on.
Luke offers a helpful analysis:
I realize that you’re taking aim at more foundational notions; you’re initiating a conversation in which you hope to ultimately throw back the curtain on what you take to be the bogus presuppositions undergirding the author’s program. But this might be–indeed, probably is–one of the very tactics this fellow fears is ruining our country. And I have to say I’m rather strongly inclined to agree. The people he (and I) are worried about engage in precisely this sort of refusal to seek some sort of common ground from which the governing of the nation–a nation which, whether we like it or not, is filled with non-Christians as well as believers–can be undertaken. Jesus struggled with and ultimately shunned the path of political power and nationalist agenda, as Yoder showed us so long ago. Let’s follow Jesus on this one; whatdya say?
Luke Gelinas – 11/9/2006 4:53:14 PM | Report Comment
No comments yet.