A new Christian commenter, Rhology*, has recently given us a perfect example of theistic shuck and jive, lies and bullshit, tales told by idiots, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."**
*It's all good publicity if they get your name right, eh?
**The quotation is, of course, out of context.
In a discussion on my ethics, Rhology hinges his counterargument on the proof that the Bible is the word of God. (I've condensed the discussion; you can read the entire text in the linked comments.)
I asked, "Why should I assume there's any correlation whatsoever between what you say and what God wants?"
His whole argument hinges on this point; he mentions earlier, "But if God has self-revealed in the Bible, then it's not arrogant at all [to believe there's a correlation].
"Not asking you to assume it," Rhology responded, "I'll be happy to provide biblical documentation at any time, just ask."
I'm not about to pass up so generous an offer! I ask, "Submit an essay in your own words... proving the divine provenance of the Bible and... I'll publish it on the front page of the blog."
And here comes the inevitable shuck and jive.
Suddenly he's not quite so happy. Asked if he can scientifically prove a divine provenance for The Bible, he answers unequivocally, "On historical terms, yes." But will he supply the proof? Apparently not: "Hmm, I guess I could. Or better yet I could just link to 10 of them. But it wouldn't do any good. Why? B/c you presuppose its untruth and so would refuse any evidence I gave you." Apparently, I "would use reason and logical arguments to try to prove its untruth." How mean of me!
So he can provide the proof! (Or, so much better, links to proofs, because we all know that if ten sites on the Internet say it, it must be true.) But I would ignore it because I both presuppose its falsity and I'll prove its falsity with reason and logic.
But of course, when pressed for the actual proof, it's not a matter of proof, it's really a matter of metaphysics: "How could one "scientifically" test metaphysical claims? It's a clumsy question." Well, yes, it's a clumsy question, but it's one that he was supposedly happy to answer, one that he practically begged me to ask.
He descends into that murky quagmire of philosophical bullshit quaintly known as Presuppositional Metaphysics: "In [using reason and logical arguments], you'd be assuming that reason and logic are workable, are objective. Yet as an atheist, you'd have no basis to think that, so you're borrowing from the Christian worldview to poke holes in the Christian worldview. This is the sad predicament of the atheist."
Of course, Rhology is stating a canard and a blatant falsehood when he says that I "presuppose its untruth and so would refuse any evidence." My metaphysical position is a matter of record, albeit cleverly hidden under the metaphysics label on the sidebar. I presuppose nothing, true or false, about God or the Bible, and I explicitly state the absolute metaphysical primacy of evidence.
I accused Rhology of being a liar for the above statement, but I feel I must, in all honesty, retract the charge. To lie, one must know the truth; even to bullshit, one must have disdain for the truth, but the more charitable interpretation would be to conclude that Rhology is so deeply deluded, so utterly brainwashed, that he's simply unable to comprehend even the notion of truth.
And that's the fundamental evil of religion. This happens every time: Not just Rhology but even the most liberal, ordinarily sensible religious people will sooner or later come up against some truth incompatible with their fantasy world, and it's like their brains just seize up. It's not that they're actually lying or even bullshitting, it's just that the whole part of the brain concerned with ordinary notions of truth shuts down and the most amazing blather comes out of their mouths.
I don't think there's anything we can do about people such as Rhology. The best we can hope for is to simply expose their insanity as often and as directly as possible, so that ordinary, sensible people, puzzled by this weirdness, will not simply accept it as normal and think they are the ones insane.