Theist Trick – Scotsman Fallacy


So I think all of us have faced the “true christian” crap before. It’s yet another weasel-ly way christians defend themselves against charges that their religion is responsible for making people do shitty things. McViegh? Oh, he wasn’t a REAL christian. Abortion clinic bomber? Not a REAL christian. Pedophile priests? Not REAL christians. Any of these criminals and suspected criminals? Not REAL christians. You get the picture. Now in fairness, considering how many different christian sects there are, it might be understandable for say a baptist to say those priests aren’t real christians since they differ greatly in their belief, or out of spite after the Pope said protestants aren’t real christians. Certainly one sect might consider everyone in a different sect not real christians so no big deal. Unfortunately though, when it suits them, they’re all considered one big happy family.

Most christians would cite something like this and “woo hoo” and high five each other and be triumphantly satisfied that “they rule!”. They’ll also cite stats showing that 78.5% of Americans are christian or that because Founders like Jefferson carried a bible, they were christian (ignoring the fact that Jefferson ripped out the “unseemly parts”, making his own bible and most of the rest were more deists than christian) to push their christian nation myth and try to force bullshit House bills. They’ll also cite missionaries brutalized or killed in foreign countries as christian persecution, regardless of their sect. Even in this country, speak out against any one sect or individual christian and they all circle the wagons and cry “Persecution!”

So I find the “REAL christian” line dubious at best. Clearly when it suits them, they won’t split hairs but when it doesn’t? Oh nooooooo, he/she/they are nothing like us REAL christians. It’s the old Scotsman Fallacy. As originally laid out, it goes like this:
Argument: “No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”
Reply: “But my uncle Angus, who is a Scotsman, likes sugar with his porridge.”
Rebuttal: “Aye, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”

The reason why I’m bring this up is because I came upon another way the christians use this fallacy, and it’s more offensive than defensive, and that’s when used against ex-christians. The asshat I found said:

“I’ve came across a lot of “ex-Christian” atheists on various blogs. There is no such thing. There are only two categories of people in this world: people who have been awakened to the beauty of Christ and people who haven’t.

So I wondered what the motivation might be for christians to employ this fallacy. First I thought of superiority. Certainly one can be rather smug in their contempt for another by dropping the “you weren’t a REAL christian then” much like they’ll, like the Pope, drop such smugness on another sect with the “you’re not a REAL christian then”. It’s cheaply bought elevation because it’s paid for at the expense of the one(s) insulted. Well this may very well be, but you know atheists really strike a nerve for the christians, far more than other christian sects do, even the ones wearing magic underwear. So I think there’s more to it than just cheaply gotten superiority. I think there’s a bit of fear.

An ex-christian, by definition, would be someone who was a christian and now isn’t, someone who believed all the christian gobbley-gook and now doesn’t. That’s potentially quite frightening to a christian. Faith is a tenuous thing it seems, even Mother Theresa had her doubts. I also feel that in this world where we live the majority of our lives relying upon evidence and experience to make rational decisions day after day, the faith thing must be quite hard to maintain. For a christian, facing an actual ex-christian just drives home the reality that faith is not invulnerable, it can be lost. However, what if that ex-christian wasn’t actually an ex-christian? What if they never were a REAL christian? Well then, that’s different. Now the christian can tell himself that that ex-christian never REALLY believed, never REALLY felt the feelings they feel, that they never REALLY got the full effect or else they’d never turn away. Ah, what a booster to the old faith, eh? Oh no, you could never become like that so-called ex-christian, no sir.

Make no mistake though, regardless of the motivation this trick is an attack upon ex-christians. It’s disparaging and an insult for selfish gain. Now just in case the good christian has some nagging guilt for pulling this dickishness, they can wash away that guilt with some passages from their holy book, like:
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, -Heb. 6:4-6
or this absolute gibberish:
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” -1 Jn. 2:19

Claiming justification for such an action by citing a book of dubious authorship makes the insult no less an insult though. It’s dickish, yet another trick they can pull to keep the boat afloat.

Oh and since I’m talking Scots, I’ll leave you with this interesting “True Scotsman’s” stool:

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35 Responses to “Theist Trick – Scotsman Fallacy”

  1. Hoot, mon.

    Great post, to which I have nothing substantive to add. I like the balls-holder on the stool; it looks like an upside-down heart.

  2. The stool would be way too small for me so I must not be a true Scotsman.

    They’ll also cite missionaries brutalized or killed in foreign countries as christian persecution, regardless of their sect.

    Not to mention, that they were usually brutalized and/or killed by other (not true) Christians.

    You make a good point. Christians will tell you that they are the largest religion in the world with some 2 billion “members”. But if you ask if they consider Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah Witness, etc. to be Christians, they say no. Yet in those statistics, they ARE considered Christians. In fact, if you took out the Catholics, Christians would drop down to about the 5th largest religion! And for any one group (that disowns other groups as “true” Christians) they are unlikely to make the Top 10 among the world’s religions.

  3. This has been answered a while ago.

    I’d recommend that blog to your regular reading. Might learn a little sumpin’.

  4. Rhology:You've already said why Mormons are not real Christians; according to you they're polytheistic. So in what way is a "real" Christian not polytheistic? Doesn't he or she believe in a father, son, and cosmic goo? You can call those an all-in-one, like the various incarnations of Krishna, but some of us atheists see it as equally polytheistic with Mormonism. In addition, some Catholics pray to Mary who — while perhaps not technically a goddess — sure seems to be at least a demigod. That increases the entities in the Catholic polytheistic world view. And surely Satan, in whom many Christians believe, is, at very least, a kind of god. Otherwise, how do you explains his superhuman powers? You may not like referring to him that way, but how is he not? So are Catholics "real" Christians in your book? Are people who believe in Satan "real" Christians? If not, please explain why not and how these people differ from real honest-to-god Christian monotheists. If so, please explain how you reconcile a blatant polytheism with your claim that Christianity is a monotheistic religion. Don't quote biblical chapter and verse to me, or refer me to any historical writings, or link to blog posts by nitwits. Use your own brilliant words, please, to explain in what way Christianity is not a polytheistic religion. Teach us sumpin — if you can.

  5. Do you seriously believe I’m presenting the Scotsman as something new? Of course not.
    Your links have nothing to do with the first half of my post, merely the second, so I don’t see how my post is being redundant nor unnecessary.

    Addressing the links, the first one reads to me like an argument between two groups of Trekkies squabbling over how to reconcile a disparity between two series of Trek shows, only less entertaining, although the visual imagery of armadas and a flagship going down was very colorful and cute. The second takes that to a very intellectual yet amazingly silly extreme. The amount of effort wasted in arguing over minutia like that when the very ideas of there even being a god or an afterlife are unreasonable and fanciful seems to me quite silly.

    Learn a little sumpin’? Yeah, I think I did. I think a way a believer with an intelligent mind manages to maintain faith and not seriously address the 1000lb gorilla of unreasonableness in the room is by rechanneling his eyes and intellect at minutia like Heb 6.

    So ok, one possibility I didn’t consider in my christian motivations was that by calling the ex-christian someone who never was a REAL christian, it opens the door for those people to rejoin the christian club. Alright, that may be one an attempt at being nice, but also a great example of the christian perversion of The Golden Rule. In the christian’s mind, they’re doing something nice because they’re creating a way to rejoin the club and that’s what they’d want done for them if in that situation, but that completely ignores the feelings of the ex-christian. The ex-christian still will be insulted.

    Anyway, thanks for both cluing me in to another possible misguided motivation for christians to drop this crap on ex-christians, and also the idea of theological in-fighting as being a away for intelligent believers to maintain faith through distracting and redirecting their intellect. Fascinating. :)

  6. Hey PhillyChief,

    The second takes that to a very intellectual yet amazingly silly extreme.

    It’s an argument ad absurdum. I suggest you take notes – it’s a common tactic and a useful one.

    The ex-christian still will be insulted.

    Oh NNNNOOOOOOO!!!!! Not in-in-in-inSULTed!
    Is part of your moral position that insult is a serious transgression or sthg?

    And you’re welcome for posting those links. Your lack of interaction with them is telling. At least one reader has noticed – big on talk, short on substance.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  7. rhology writes: And you’re welcome for posting those links. Your lack of interaction with them is telling. At least one reader has noticed – big on talk, short on substance.

    What does this mean? “lack of interaction” with – the links? Christian people?

    You can’t live in America without having more than a fair share of such interaction. What is the great insight that one would receive by spending more time in such interactions? Let’s face it friend, it’s all about that unreasonable faith that Philly mentioned. You don’t need more time around it. You either have it or you don’t. And it’s clear that if you do, you will see others who are equally filled with faith as having gotten it wrong if they believe something slightly differently. I’ll assume you are not a Mormon. Do you believe as they do, that God is in heaven and sent his son Jesus to die on the cross and that in the “final days” he chose a prophet to renew the “word” and lead the people in those days? Of course not! Unless you ARE a Mormon. But why is their superstitious beliefs significantly different than yours or anyone else’s? But they aren’t “real” Christians, even though they worship Christ, right?

    I’m glad you don’t think being insulted is such a bad thing. So I’m sure you can agree that when atheists tell any believer that they are living a lie, there is nothing to be insulted about. Just take it as the helpful information it is meant to be.

  8. “lack of interaction” with – the links?

    Yes, with the response to his argument in this post.

    What is the great insight that one would receive by spending more time in such interactions?

    The argument would be seen to have been refuted.

    I’ll assume you are not a Mormon.

    Correct.

    Do you believe as they do, that God is in heaven

    Yes. Except that our definition of “God” varies wildly from the LDS’.

    and sent his son Jesus to die on the cross

    Yes. Except we have a different Jesus than the LDS do.

    and that in the “final days” he chose a prophet to renew the “word” and lead the people in those days?

    No.

    But why is their superstitious beliefs significantly different than yours or anyone else’s?

    B/c, like atheism, their beliefs are incoherent and irrational.

    But they aren’t “real” Christians, even though they worship Christ, right?

    No. To be a real Christian, one must believe in Christianity. The LDS believe in Mormonism, which is radically different. Mormonism is polytheistic, for example, henotheistic to be exact. Millions, even billions, of gods. Christianity is monotheistic. It’s a foundational, basic difference.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  9. I would find cooking a rancid piece of meat to be silly. Now would you find that statement “telling” of how I don’t understand the fine art of cooking? Likewise, if I refused to participate in cooking rancid meat, would that also be “telling” that I lack the skills to cook it? Of course not, that would be silly, as silly as actually cooking rancid meat or squabbling over that other rancid piece of meat you call your bible.

    As for insults, I agree, big whoop! People should have thicker skins, like not having to censor an awards show because one of the winners cracked a joke about Jesus, or fire an on-air personality because she insulted christianity at a private network function, or whatever it is this week some christian is going to cry “insult!” over and drop the infamous “p” word (persecution). However, insulting strictly to hurt is “telling”, as is attempting to advance yourself at the expense of another, and finally insulting inadvertently due to a complete lack of empathy for others due to your belief system is quite “telling” as well. All in all though, would you consider insults as a viable part of a belief system of “peace”?

    Anyway, I am interested in both what exactly you see as the singular argument of my post Rhology, and how you see it as refuted. If you wouldn’t mind indulging us swine with your pearls of intellect, that would be great.

  10. You mistook the “insult” comment from me, so I’m not sure I should think you will understand the rest of a short comment, let alone a longer post like the ones I linked to.

    The argument from you is that Christianity is guilty of the no true Scotsman fallacy. The two posts I linked to, the 2nd in particular, respond thereto. The arguments from you and from an Arminian are virtually identical, and my position is Calvinism.

    Hope that helps.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  11. One thing I certainly have not mistook and that is your perpetual attempts to be insulting, Rhology. To answer your earlier question more directly, I do find insults to be a transgression, but one that could be more against oneself than another. I might get insulted by your perpetual shots at my intellect, but I find the need to do so on your part, as opposed to having a civil discourse where your possibly superior intellect could be made evident and irrefutable, as “telling”.

    I thank you for both outlining what you thought the singular argument of my post was and how you feel it was disputed. That certainly clarifies things, does it not? Quite a waste of time arguing over things we don’t even realize aren’t the same things. Unfortunately, you missed the main point of my post, which of course means you’re mistaken about it being refuted since “it” was incorrectly identified. Now I find that troubling since it could be that I wasn’t clear enough in my post. It could just as well be that you’re an idiot of course, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Would you care to explain to me why you came to your conclusion? It might be helpful for both of us to explore that.

    If you still have time, I was wondering if you could answer a question I asked in my last comment – would you consider insults as a viable part of a belief system of “peace”? I would have to conclude your answer is “yes”, but I fail to see how you reconcile that. Could you elaborate?

    Thanks a bunch.

  12. B/c, like atheism, their beliefs are incoherent and irrational.

    It’s easy to toss out insults. What is humorous is that you would call atheism irrational in defense of superstition!

    Please tell me how my refusal to believe in a god who is unknowable other than by faith is irrational. I’d love to hear this one. Back up your insults.

  13. If you think I’m writing insults, you need a thicker skin. And your jabs at Christianity are of the same stripe – you dish it out but can’t take it? Please. Moving on to actual thinking…

    The Exterminator said:
    in what way is a “real” Christian not polytheistic?

    In the same way an atheist is not monotheistic. Christianity is monotheistic. It’s not polytheistic. Next.

    Doesn’t he or she believe in a father, son, and cosmic goo?

    Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, yes. Those are not each godS. They are ONE God.
    Show at least a minimum, basic familiarity with the concept of the Trinity and we’ll talk. Claiming polytheism doesn’t get you there.

    some of us atheists see it as equally polytheistic with Mormonism.

    As if anyone should care how ignorant atheists like you “see it”. Some people care about truth.

    That increases the entities in the Catholic polytheistic world view.

    Sure seems to, and I join you in criticising that practice.

    Satan, in whom many Christians believe, is, at very least, a kind of god.

    All Christians believe in him. And he’s not a god.
    You don’t really even seem to know what you’re talking about. I’m sorry, but it’s a waste of time to talk to someone as ignorant as your comment makes you seem.

    are Catholics “real” Christians in your book?

    Not those who hold to Catholic dogma on salvation. But I’m sure there are some ignorant or slightly-dissident people who attend a Catholic church who actually do know Jesus.

    PhillyChief said:
    One thing I certainly have not mistook and that is your perpetual attempts to be insulting, Rhology.

    Please. Quote me insulting you.

    would you consider insults as a viable part of a belief system of “peace”?

    Depends on what or who is being insulted, for what reason, and in reaction to what.
    There are quite a few taunts in the Bible, taunt Psalms, insults, etc. The answer is: Could be, yes.
    Now go ahead and quote me insulting you.

    you missed the main point of my post,

    I’d be interested in knowing in what way I did so.
    Let the reader judge.

    John Evo said:
    What is humorous is that you would call atheism irrational in defense of superstition!

    It’s humorous to me that people continue to defend atheism as rational.
    Let me recommend the Bahnsen-Stein debate to your hearing.
    Then this post and the two subsequent, which will explain how atheism lacks the ability to ground rationality.
    To get more deeply into it here would derail the convo, and we wouldn’t want to do that after all the absence of whining about insults! Oh wait…

    Peace,
    Rhology

  14. Depends on what or who is being insulted, for what reason, and in reaction to what. There are quite a few taunts in the Bible, taunt Psalms, insults, etc.

    Well I’m fine with that, but then I’m not pretending to be following a belief system of peace or signing my comments with “peace”. I fail to see how attempting to provoke people is either in line with an ideology of peace or a means for bringing about peace. You might find justification for being insulting in your bible but just like I mentioned in the post, that doesn’t erase the offense, just whatever guilt afterwards you might have or whatever obstacle of conscience beforehand that would otherwise stop you from behaving that way. Of course if you’re already a mean spirited, vindictive, revel at another’s expense type, this christianity thing would be very appealing, but what’s sad is it can make an otherwise decent person into, or at least behave like that type, and perhaps even delude them that such behavior is peaceful or the path to peace. Afterall, as you expressed Rho, there are quite a few examples in the bible (which, btw, you’re more than welcome to list here as what you find to be examples of and/or justification for insulting behavior).

    Of course the insulting behavior is a one way street. Christianity today seems to be far less of that “turn the other cheek” business and more unleash the she-bears for laughing at my bald head. As I said above, I’m fine with that Conanesque “crush your enemies…” stuff, but to call it peaceful? No that’s hypocritical, which brings us to one of the points of the original post, and that’s hypocrisy. Christians will employ the true Scotsman fallacy to distance themselves from those bad sheep in the flock, which is bad enough, but then abandon it when it suits them, like to get a head count or to claim persecution when anyone calling themselves a christian suffers at the hands of another. Attack anyone claiming to be christian, and it’s an attack on you all. Someone claiming to be christian does something bad though, then they must not have been a real christian. Hypocrisy. That’s point number one Rho. The Scotsman fallacy there wasn’t THE point, but used to show as a means to an end, a disingenuous means since usage of it is opportunistic, not absolute, which is clearly hypocritical.

    Now hopefully you can see how the point of my post wasn’t, as you said, “Christianity is guilty of the no true Scotsman fallacy”. What I did was show how, in two different ways, christians use the NTS fallacy. Now I could have accepted that my post wasn’t clear enough, and that’s why you came to such a mistaken conclusion, if not for you adding “The two posts I linked to, the 2nd in particular, respond thereto.” With that you’ve shown you either failed to truly read my post or perhaps failed to truly read the posts you linked to. Hell, maybe you failed on both counts. Here, let me show you. From my original post:
    Certainly one sect might consider everyone in a different sect not real christians so no big deal. Unfortunately though, when it suits them, they’re all considered one big happy family.
    Now let’s see what your guy said in your 2nd link:
    Does this mean a Calvinist is guilty of the NTS fallacy? If the considerations I just adduced were ad hoc, ex post facto considerations introduced as a face-saving device to deflect evidence to the contrary, then Calvinism would be guilty of the NTS fallacy.

    Far from refuting me, your 2nd link validates me. My argument showed it was a face saving device, and as such, your guy showed that’s an example of NTS fallacy. Thanks again for the link.

    Now as a Calvinist Rho, you no doubt feel that the second example of the NTS fallacy used on ex-christians isn’t a real example since you truly believe that nonsense of them not actually having been real christians. Fine. That still doesn’t dismiss the fact that the act of following through on that doesn’t function to provide some smug superiority or erase any tinge of fear or doubt in faith when facing an ex-christian. In fact, the belief that the behavior is justified, like the rest of the insulting behavior you feel is justified by your bible, I find to be quite “telling” that christianity is anything but a belief in or for peace. But hey, let the reader judge, right?

  15. Rhology says:
    Show at least a minimum, basic familiarity with the concept of the Trinity and we’ll talk. Claiming polytheism doesn’t get you there.

    The concept of the trinity is merely a way to cover up the fact that Christianity is polytheistic. You can twist the language to call it whatever you want, but there are three gods there. Show at least a minimum basic familiarity with the difference between three and one. Teach me sumpin’.

    All Christians believe in [Satan]. And he’s not a god.
    Just because you announce that he’s not a god doesn’t make that so. I say he is a god in the polytheistic system known as Christianity. Now why don’t you demonstrate how he’s not. Teach me sumpin’.

    It’s easy for you to smugly claim that you have the “truth” and that everyone who doesn’t is “ignorant.” But you make absolutely no case for your views other than pronouncing that they’re right and all others are wrong. Then, when challenged, you cravenly run away like a schoolyard bully: I’m sorry, but it’s a waste of time to talk to someone as ignorant as your comment makes you seem.

  16. I’ve been watching (reading?) this discussion and had almost decided to stay out of it. Except for one thing. Rhology is employing a rather nasty tactic in the debate, one which I have seen used many times. I have seen and/or heard it used in many settings: politics and religion seem to be the most common. The dishonest tactic? “Here’s what you meant to say and you are wrong.”

    Rhology, I admire your guts for entering into this debate. Be honest, though, and debate the actual post, not what you would like to believe the post said. It will make the discussion much more civil and useful. Unless uncivility and uselessness was your goal.

  17. Rho said: if you think I’m writing insults, you need a thicker skin. And your jabs at Christianity are of the same stripe – you dish it out but can’t take it? Please. Moving on to actual thinking…

    The thickness of my skin is of no importance (and not what’s at stake). It’s strictly a reflection of who YOU are! You present yourself as one who wants to defend the theistic mindset in an intellectual arena and then ignore specific questions put to you, provide answers in the form of links when you were asked for YOUR thoughts, and ultimately dismissively insult your interlocutor. This is the “intellectualism” one might expect from one defending superstition.

    You asked for examples of insults.
    Let’s start with the quote I opened with:

    “Moving on to actual thinking…”

    “it’s a waste of time to talk to someone as ignorant as your comment makes you seem.”

    “like atheism, their beliefs are incoherent and irrational.”

    “As if anyone should care how ignorant atheists like you “see it”.”

    Again, you will miss the point if you want to focus on what you think my hurt feelings are.

    Now, I claim that atheism simply means that I am “without god”. In my case, an intellectual position based on a number of things. If we want to talk about specific religions, such as Christianity there are countless examples of things that are dubious, and nary a single example of verifiable truth. As to the larger and, in my opinion, much more important case of “any god, anywhere”, again, there is not a shred of empirical evidence that could lead one to belief in “a” god/s. Others have told me that belief in god is not about empirical evidence but about faith and inner-understanding. Fair enough. I have neither and my not having those prerequisites for god are in no way a comment on irrationality. Some might argue the opposite.

    Now, given my position, please articulate how I am, in your opinion, irrational. No links, just tell me how you reason it out. I’ll be happy to set all of our other issues aside if you’ll just concentrate on explaining my irrationality. I’m fascinated.

  18. Good interjection there, Anonymous.

  19. Exterminator,

    Sorry man, you apparently have no concept of what the Trinity has meant historically or what the Bible has to say about it, or you just don’t care to exercise it.
    You’re no better than an atheist Jack Chick tract. Good for a quick and dirty vacuous one-liner, worthless when it comes to actually engaging an alternate worldview.

    Anonymous said:
    “Here’s what you meant to say and you are wrong.”

    Where? If you admire my guts, did you not admire them enough to point out which statement you refer to?
    Also, if you haven’t yet, I’d recommend you read a few other posts on this blog to get an example of PC’s style. This isn’t exactly a case of a rabid pit bull demolishing a museum full of porcelain china sculpted by nuns.

    John Evo said:

    “Moving on to actual thinking…”

    A judgment on the unthinking nature of that first comment.

    “it’s a waste of time to talk to someone as ignorant as your comment makes you seem.”

    A judgment on your comment. Maybe you could spend a little more time crafting your comments.

    “like atheism, their beliefs are incoherent and irrational.”

    A judgment on your beliefs. No one is forcing you to hold to them.

    “As if anyone should care how ignorant atheists like you “see it”.”

    You ARE ignorant on that point.
    Yes, thicker skin is called for, sir. An insult is more like “you are an idiot” or “your mother wears army boots” or “I bet you have several sexually transmitted diseases”. None of which I have said nor would say.

    Christianity there are countless examples of things that are dubious, and nary a single example of verifiable truth.

    Not even one?
    This is serious and unjustified hyperbole.

    please articulate how I am, in your opinion, irrational.

    To state a universal negative like you have is one example.
    For other examples, I refer you to the already-posted links.

    PhillyChief said:
    Well I’m fine with that, but then I’m not pretending to be following a belief system of peace or signing my comments with “peace”.

    Fair enough – you have abandoned your assertion. So noted.

    I fail to see how attempting to provoke people is either in line with an ideology of peace or a means for bringing about peace.

    Part of the hope is that some will read and come to a knowledge of the truth, which would give them true peace in their hearts. The concept I’m aiming for is far deeper than what you’re expressing here.

    Of course if you’re already a mean spirited, vindictive, revel at another’s expense type

    You’re an atheist, aren’t you? Is this a moral judgment? On what basis do you condemn such statements as bad?
    Is it the same kind of judgment when you say you dislike chocolate ice cream?

    Christianity today seems to be far less of that “turn the other cheek” business and more unleash the she-bears for laughing at my bald head.

    Whatever that means, I’m not inclined to defend an amorphous “Christianity today”, but rather the precepts of the worldview expressed in the Bible.

    but to call it peaceful? No that’s hypocritical

    Another naked assertion.

    Christians will employ the true Scotsman fallacy to distance themselves from those bad sheep in the flock

    You’re just repeating yourself now rather than responding to the arguments in the links I posted.
    That’s your prerogative; it’s your blog. Just be more honest and don’t pretend to be reasonable in your attack.

    What I did was show how, in two different ways, christians use the NTS fallacy.

    And the links respond to that.

    the NTS fallacy used on ex-christians isn’t a real example since you truly believe that nonsense of them not actually having been real christians.

    Correct. Which is why it’s not an exercise of the fallacy at all. If they’re REALLY, TRULY not members of the target group (ie, they were born in China and have never even left 10 miles of their Chinese hometown), then they’re really, truly not Scotsmen. Too-wide attempts to ascribe this fallacy to people results in a dissolution of any group’s right to form its own identity.
    Shoot, you know what? I was an atheist for 3 yrs when I was younger. I still am an atheist. Seriously. Don’t try to say I’m not, no matter how wrongheaded it seems, no matter how embarrassing to have a conservative Calvinist calling himself a mbr of your own group. You wouldn’t want to commit the NTS fallacy.

    let the reader judge, right?

    Couldn’t've said it better.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  20. I understand why people more familiar with you Rho are far less cordial. Insulting? Disrespectful? Oh, that’s fine. I can handle that. Refusing to defend a point with nothing more than simply restating the point, or insisting X is Y when it’s been shown to be X? Now that’s annoying.

    Still, this exchange has given me another motivation for christians dropping that ‘you were never a real christian then’ line on ex-christians, has clued me into how christians with some intelligence and education may maintain the belief by distracting and rechanneling their intellect (and of course those links helped validate my point), and I’ve become more aware of how being a dick is apparently justified and encouraged in the bible, so all in all this bore fruit. Good deal.

    ————————–

    Hey there Anonymous, I encourage you to sign in with a name so we can at least distinguish you from the other Anonymouses (or is it Anonomi? perhaps Anonomice?).

  21. Rhology, you wrote:
    Sorry man, you apparently have no concept of what the Trinity has meant historically or what the Bible has to say about it, or you just don’t care to exercise it.

    This non-answer is your weasel-y way of not addressing my question. It’s irrelevant what the bible has to say about the trinity (I remind you that I don’t believe in what the bible has to say), and it’s equally irrelevant what the trinity has meant historically (because we atheists are not interested in the long, tedious, lying record of Christian apologetics). No, I’m asking YOU, Rhology, to explain how the concept of the trinity is not polytheistic.

    Don’t give me quotes, or links, or dubious historical references. Use your very own words and explain this. Teach me sumpin’.

    And you still didn’t address the Satan question. Again, please use only your very own words. How, exactly, can you claim that Satan is not a god in the polytheistic system known as Christianity?

    If you continue not to answer these two questions I have no choice but to conclude that you’re too ignorant and/or cowardly to engage in a conversation about actual ideas. All I’ve seen from you so far are groundless assertions backed up by further groundless assertions or references to the thoughts of others. I’m beginning to suspect that your oh-so-smug guise is a way of hiding the fact that you don’t have an original thought in your head.

  22. NOTE TO ANYONE FOLLOWING THIS THREAD:

    Feel free to read my last comment to Rho and then the part of his comment that was directed at me. Case closed.

  23. Evo: Anonymous is me. Sorry for not getting my name on it, but I was in a hurry and clicked the wrong identity.

    Rho: Haven’t you been paying attention to what you are typing?

  24. I didn’t recognize you. It was too short. :)

  25. Evo:
    Well, of course you didn’t recognize him. There were no nested parentheses.

  26. I (said (I (was (in (a (hurry (didn’t (I (?)))))))))

  27. Rhology Chronology

    Last comment to him/her/it from Philly: yesterday, 4:26 pm

    Last comment to him/her/it from Ex: yesterday, 4:31 pm

    Last comment to him/her/it from Evo: yesterday, 4:55 pm

    Rhology: No responses yet. I’m guessing that he/she/it doesn’t have enough language skills to put his/her/its thoughts into coherent, original English.

    Maybe he/she/it is crammin’ busily, tryin’ to learn sumpin’. What a brainless wuss! (Note: that assertion is based on evidence.)

  28. I just didn’t see anything I felt worth my time to respond to.

    I’ll also note that, for those who have been whining about my being insulting, The Exterminator has employed gratuitous, irrelevant-to-the-topic-at-hand insults here. Doesn’t bother me, but it shows the hypocrisy of complaining about the same from my own end.

    Anyway, just so you know, don’t expect me to respond unless you bring up some new argument; I typically respond when I estimate that it’s worth it. Hopefully the reasonable among the readers here won’t begrudge me that.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  29. Rhology:
    I just didn’t see anything I felt worth my time to respond to.
    Well, apparently you felt it was worth your time to spout nonsense — until someone asked you to back it up. But you may be right; it’s probably not worth your time. You’d have to learn sumpin’, and that would get god angry.

    I’ll also note that, for those who have been whining about my being insulting, The Exterminator has employed gratuitous irrelevant-to-the-topic-at-hand insults here.
    Well, you have me mixed up with the other commenters. I never complained about your being insulting. I thought your insults were kind of endearing, like a simple-minded child telling off intelligent adults. But I do object to your characterizing my insults as irrelevant-to-the-topic-at-hand. First of all, all those hyphens are ridiculous: “irrelevant” would have been sufficient. Second, my insults were completely relevant. Because you chose not to respond to fairly simple questions in your own words, I called you a craven, a coward, a schoolyard bully, and a brainless wuss. I think those insults were right on point, sonny. And, to quote you: It’s not like I said “you are an idiot” or “your mother wears army boots” or “I bet you have several sexually transmitted diseases”. None of which I have said nor would say.

    By the way, I’m assuming that your mother doesn’t wear army boots. If she does, I apologize for not acknowledging that.

  30. 1. I find it “telling” that you can’t tell one commenter from another, much like how you can’t tell one point from another, or fact from fiction

    2. You’re the peace guy, so you’re supposedly the only one who should be on his Ps and Qs allegedly, Rho. But of course your peace is one that involves insults, justified even in your little book. I’d still like to learn how that works,. Maybe some day.

    3. I’m sure the readers here will judge you now just as they did before and as I’ve seen you judged on other blogs, Rho. No worries.

    Have a nice day. :)

  31. Rho: Anyway, just so you know, don't expect me to respond unless you bring up some new argument; I typically respond when I estimate that it's worth it. You still have not responded to PhillyChief's initial post: why is it that many Christians, when confronted by immoral or illegal activities by one of the flock, by a believer, deny that the criminal is, or ever was, a Christian?Rho: Christianity there are countless examples of things that are dubious, and nary a single example of verifiable truth. Not even one? This is serious and unjustified hyperbole.Could you, before dismissing this as 'serious and unjustified hyperbole,' actually give an example of 'verifiable truth' in the Bible? The ten commandments? There are situations where every one of those could and should be 'disobeyed' and have been by Jews and Christians since they were handed down by 'Moses' (of course, it depends a great deal on the definitions used as to whether theists are actually breaking the commandments (thou shalt not bear false witness?)).

  32. There really is no point to a continued discussion. Rho has that much sort of right. Even he can apparently see that there is no use when one side debates from reality and the other from fantasy.

    Example:

    Jones: I think I can explain why Captain Picard blatantly broke the Prime Directive on Kolarus III in Star Trek Nemesis and why the Federation would not prosecute him for it.

    Smith: But that’s silly. Star Trek isn’t real, you know? It’s movie.

    Jones: No, there is a perfectly good reason for it.

    This isn’t a real debate of ideas. Is it?

  33. It’s nice to find an atheist blog where the Christians still take the time to post their silly comments! I’ll be coming back :)

  34. It’s actually pretty rare here, I’m afraid, but they do occasionally pop by. I’m guessing there’s something about this blog that deters them from lingering, unless they’re a bit crackers, of course that’s ok since those are the ones that are the most entertaining, no?

  35. (I know this is weeks later, but it’s such a typical thread, I just have to comment too.)

    Wow! What a great example of a cowardly, lying ‘true christian’!

    They’ve got you dead to rights, and you can’t give a single answer in your own words, instead you slink away until the next time you return to spout the exact same claptrap.

    Whatever else you think you’ve done, you’ve certainly reaffirmed my belief (with plenty of evidence to back it up!) that all too many ‘christians’ are lying weasels. (although I think that’s terribly insulting to the weasels, of whom I can’t think of any documented instances of lying or hypocrisy at all..)

    It’s patently obvious that, by most accounts of ‘gods’ throughout history, Satan meets the definition of a god. Immortal, powerful, omnipresent. He’s a child of god after all, and don’t children grow up to be like their parents?

    There are certainly accounts of the Trinity being in 3 different places and forms at the same time, (Christ’s baptism, is one of the clearest I can think of at the moment. Christ baptized, the voice of god from heaven proclaiming Christ to be his son, and the Holy Spirit descending upon him.) God himself proclaims Jesus as his son – not as himself, but as a separate entity.

    So it’s EASY to see how one could believe that the Trinity were three separate beings, with Satan as yet another god, a god of evil and wickedness and temptation. It is still easily possible to place God the Father at the top of the pedestal, so as to ‘Have no other gods before Me.’

    But in your eyes, if someone has the temerity to believe that the Trinity is/are 3 individual beings, One in purpose if not in body, well, they can’t POSSIBLY be Christians, even if they believe all the same things about faith, repentance, baptism, etc. Oh no, they’re not Christian AT ALL!

    What a monumentally STUPID point of contention! What difference does it make? Can you possibly truly believe that a loving God would punish ANY of His followers over that one point of dogma, one that makes absolutely no difference in any of the rules he’s supposedly set down for us? But you’re perfectly willing to say that the LDS aren’t christians, and that they don’t worship the same Jesus you do. If they don’t worship the same God and Jesus you do, obviously they’re bound for hell, aren’t they? How amazingly judgmental on your part, and what an incredibly petty and hypocritical god you have there, sport.

    So! On to your well-reasoned rebuttal in your own words to the gaping and obvious holes in your argument: ‘I didn’t see anything worth responding to.’
    WOW! I am STUNNED at your oracular genius, sir! I am ready to convert back this instant, praise Jaysus!

    *sigh* An idiot AND an ass. Am I surprised to discover that he proudly claims to be Christian?

    Nope, not at all. Funny that..

    Go on, crawl back to your hole and lick your wounds until the shame has faded. I’m sure that your shining example will be much appreciated by the atheists and freethinkers here when you return.

    They can’t make the hypocrisy of your mindset -nearly- as plain as you do yourself. Thanks!

    Ermine

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