Friday, 27 March 2009
Vagueness is your friend, if you are an apologist. Why do I say that? Well, it's actually not a bad strategy, if you are on the bad end of a debate and can't support your arguments. Let me explain.
Many apologists like to keep their beliefs hidden from view. They won't tell you what they believe, and if you ask, they find some irrelevant tangent to go off on (or they accuse you of various things to take the emphasis off the fact that they aren't answering the question). They do this for a couple of reasons. One is that if they give you some concrete belief, you can point out the logical inconsistencies of it. If they never give you anything to work with, they can safely keep their beliefs out of harm's way.
Another reason is so that they can argue for whatever they think will win the debate without having to admit that they don't even believe the position they are arguing for. Yes, it's highly dishonest, but I've found that most apologists don't care for honesty. For instance, I recently had an encounter where a theist claimed that he didn't know what omni-max meant and that he wasn't arguing for it. On a different blog the next day, he argued specifically for an omni-max deity. Why did he do this? It's because I pointed out the problems with his argument and holding to an omni-max deity. Again, it's dishonest, but most apologists don't have a problem with lying for Jesus.
Lastly, they think it's a good tactic to use so that they can stay on the offense and attack you. If no one knows what beliefs they hold, then they never have to defend, and they can continue to press and attack in the debate. When debating with an apologist, make them play their cards on the table. Point out that they shouldn't be afraid of the truth, because if they believe they are correct, then they have nothing to hide or be afraid of, since the evidence should back them up. Of course, they will inevitably lose if evidence is used, since the only evidence we have points us away from god, but that's what happens when you take the wrong side in a debate over factual matters.