Sorry, their bad

Pursuant to this, an afterthought:
It’s always struck me that religious traditions are, as far as I know, the only things on behalf of which truth claims are made that require an entirely distinct means of defending those claims–“apologetics.” (I know the word derives from the Greek apologia and is used in other contexts, but I’m referring here to Christian apologetics.) In fact, the word itself cracks me up: “Evidence? Nope, sorry, but we’ve got these mammoth piles of convoluted sophistry instead.”
With other disciplines–supposedly objective ones, that is; I’m leaving aside attempts to persuade in legal, philosophical, even romantic realms–there’s no imperative to develop a means of arguing solely for the sake of winning, by some measure, the argument. When people identify as apologists, it’s an implicit admission that it is their job to convince others that a suspicious-looking proposition with no evidence to support it is in fact true. Even more simply, it’s self-identification as a bullshitter–hell, Christianity makes no pretense at lacking ulterior motives to convince people to sign on.
Nothing profound or unique here, just something that seems funny.

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  1. #1 by Science Avenger on February 28, 2009 - 1:55 pm

    I have had similar feelings about religion. It’s part of the larger picture in which there is one set of rules for religion, and another set of rules for everything else. Whether it is art, finances, personal relationships, or whether this should be the year I get my damned college football playoff, there is far more similarity in approach in those areas than with religion. It’s where all the rules are supposed to change, the exception to everything. Hell, we even speak differently in churches. I think it is this more than anything else that drives us to atheism.

  2. #2 by Science Avenger on February 28, 2009 - 1:55 pm

    I have had similar feelings about religion. It’s part of the larger picture in which there is one set of rules for religion, and another set of rules for everything else. Whether it is art, finances, personal relationships, or whether this should be the year I get my damned college football playoff, there is far more similarity in approach in those areas than with religion. It’s where all the rules are supposed to change, the exception to everything. Hell, we even speak differently in churches. I think it is this more than anything else that drives us to atheism.

  3. #3 by T_U_T on February 28, 2009 - 3:47 pm

    presuppositional apologists don’t “argue” just to win an argument. they debate to
    1. do brainhacking. produce string of letters that throw a monkeywrench into victim’s cognitive machinery thus allowing them to gain control over him and turn him into another presuppositionalist
    2. to make opponents to give up and shut up either by disgust or by sheer exhaustion, so they can push their agenda without opposition
    3. to pretend they have any arguments. Just make others to exchange words with them so that someone clueless can be misled into thinking both sides have some leg to stand on.

  4. #4 by Joshua Zelinsky on February 28, 2009 - 9:41 pm

    Two issues: 1) Many political ideologies have what amounts to apologetics, they just don’t call it that. Hard-core libertarians and hard-core Marxists for example both do this. 2) Apologetics in general, and presuppositionalism especially isn’t so much about converting people as it is for a) shoring up other believers own doubts by giving them superficially reasonable argument and b) shoring up the belief of the one making the arguments by making them more invested in the belief.

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