Sunday Toons: The Trilemma’s New Clothes

For today’s trip to toonland, I want to finish up a few loose ends in Holding’s attempted defense of C. S. Lewis’ famous “Liar, Lord or Lunatic” trilemma. First, though, let’s take a quick look at a comment Holding made about this blog in the “July Screwballs” section of theologyweb. He introduces a comment of mine with this little gem:

And, Dumplin’ Dumbash on why he responds to me, and why he therefore has Dunning Syndrome:

The reference to “Dunning Syndrome” is apparently a reference to an Ig-Nobel-award-winning paper (available in PDF here) in which authors Kruger and Dunning discuss people with very low mental aptitude (e.g. 12th percentile) having impaired ability to assess their own intellectual performance. Wikipedia has an entry for this phenomenon under “Dunning-Kruger Effect” (not “Dunning Syndrome), and describes it as “the phenomenon wherein people who have little knowledge (or skill) tend to think they know more (or have more skill) than they do.” Holding wants to accuse me of suffering from this problem, but in his rush to accuse, he mistakenly calls it a “syndrome” and gets the name of the authors wrong, thus demonstrating that he really doesn’t know as much about this condition as he thinks he knows. The gypsy curse strikes again!

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Posted in Sunday Toons, The Gypsy Curse, Unapologetics. 1 Comment »

Sunday Toons: Liars, Lords, Lunatics and Ghosts

For our Sunday morning toons this week, let’s have a look at Holding’s attempts to rescue his own attempt to rescue C. S. Lewis’s famous “Liar, Lord or Lunatic” argument (aka “the Trilemma”). Holding seems to be replying to an earlier post of mine entitled “Tekton Apologetics on the ‘Lord Liar or Lunatic’ Argument,” even though he entitles his page “On ‘Compromising God’,” referring to a different and unrelated post. He begins by accusing me of trying to change the subject to something “outside the scope” of the trilemma argument.

The main way used to defuse the trilemma is to try to add to it. As I have noted, these efforts are misguided. Dumplin’ whines (as do other) that the trilemma leaves out stuff like, “How do we know Jesus did say these things?” Actually, it doesn’t; that is just outside its scope. The Trilemma does assume that Jesus’ words are recorded accurately; but positing that they weren’t does not dissolve the Trilemma; it goes outside of it.

Notice that Holding assumes that I am trying to argue that the New Testament documents are unreliable records of what Jesus actually said. That is indeed a valid concern, however that was not the point I was trying to make, nor does my post anywhere raise that particular issue. Holding claims I tried to refute the trilemma argument by asking how we know Jesus said such and such, but I never raised any such objection nor did the idea figure in my argument at any point. So right off the bat Holding is attacking a ghostly straw man, a mere figment of his own imagination.

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Posted in CAMWatch, Sunday Toons, Unapologetics. 3 Comments »

Sunday Toons: How NT writers used the OT

I’ve mentioned JP Holding’s cartoon-style apologetics before, but there’s so much good stuff there I might have to make this a regular feature. As a preview of today’s episode, here’s Holding lecturing “Dumplin’ Dumbash” on how name-calling means you’re a loser.

As a matter of fact, Dumbash, it does settle it, and calling the text and its authors names (“Bronze Age,” “superstitious,” “unbelieving”) just shows how inept you are at providing an actual answer.

I may have to revise my opinion of Holding’s grasp of the art of parody.

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Posted in Amusements, Sunday Toons, Unapologetics. 5 Comments »