I don’t typically watch Mr. Deity videos, as they’re a little contrived for my tastes, but they’re generally well-received in the Skeptic/Atheist community. They’re light, usually well-informed, and poking fun at believers is bound to raise a few chuckles. Low-hanging fruit.
But clearly I was mistaken as to the quality of the skepticism at play. I mean… I thought the Ad Hominem Fallacy was Skepticism 101 (it’s certainly Philosophy 101 (Critical Thinking)), so if Brian Dalton can’t even get that right, then what the hell is the point?
So here’s the video, and I’ve (hopefully) set it to run from the problematic point.
(If the embed code goes horribly wrong, this link will open youtube at the appropriate timestamp)
For the moment, let’s pretend that this is really about the gospels, and not the recent claim that Michael Shermer (at a minimum) sexually assaulted at least one woman. We’ll get to that in a moment.
I have zero issues with the gospels being anonymous. Zero. Why? Because how in the hell is that relevant to their truth claims? Whether I know the person extremely well who is making the claim that “Jesus rose from the dead” or I heard it 5th-hand from someone I’ve never met before, that tells me nothing about its truth.
I disbelieve the gospels because of their internal inconsistency, because they can’t decide on a lineage for Jesus, because his claim to being the Messiah rests on him being the son of Joseph when the gospels also take extreme pains to make him not the son of Joseph, that it’s unclear whether there were two theives on the hill when he was cruxified, or none, and if they were nice, or not. And the amount of narration that occurs when a character (as this is a fiction) is alone is ridiculous. Nevermind the fact that they were written, at best, decades after the fact by people who weren’t there.
But your problem with these gospels, Brian Dalton, is that you don’t know who wrote them? Are you kidding? Is this some poorly thought out double-bluff where you claim to have been teaching the skeptical community to apply their skills against you, their mentor? Because as crap as that is, that’s really the best case scenario at this point…
I’ll absolutely grant that ‘knowing who is making the claim’ allows you to decide in the absence of evidence how credible a claim is, particularly in the face of extraordinary claims. But when dealing with ordinary, run-of-the-mill claims? You need to know who my friend is when I say “My friend thought that Avatar was nothing like Fern Gully”? You’re going to refuse to assess the accuracy of that claim on the basis that you don’t know who made it?
In short: you’re going to focus on the claimant rather than the claim? Ad Hominem Fallacy, sir. Foul! Red card. You are out.
That you then victim blame and mansplain that women need to take ‘personal responsibility’ for getting drunk and then someone taking advantage of their drunken state? What in the holy fuck is that? I mean… What is that?
Just… Get out. Skeptic card revoked. Never darken the intertubes again.
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