Am I a Poor Philosopher?

Randal Rauser seems to think so in agreement with a recent Christian review of our co-written book, God or Godless?: One Atheist. One Christian. Twenty Controversial Questions. (Not entirely sure).Rauser is also taken to task and he responds, right here. But given one of the charges against him, is he also a poor philosopher? You see, Rauser is accused of begging the question. In fact, he's even accused of not knowing what that means. I for one think Rauser does know what that means, but I'd have to agree with the reviewer that he does beg the question. Actually, to be more precise, he is special pleading his case. Don't all Christian apologists do that?

I just want to respond to the reviewer though. First, despite his unfounded statement that I have taught one college class, I have taught a number of college level classes from accredited institutions on a wide variety of philosophical and theological topics. Second, he says he cannot take me seriously. Well, this is a slam against Rauser then, since he invited me to co-write the book with him. Why would he invite someone who cannot be taken seriously to co-write it? Third, how is it that a poor philosopher such as myself could get the upper hand in "a few debates" unless I was at least better than Rauser at times? And last, the reviewer likes the book despite these flaws. If I had read a book with the same flaws then as soon as I realized this I would stop reading it. I have actually done that, sometimes in the first or second chapters. But he read the whole book.

[Edit: Keep in mind I'm not claiming to be a good philosopher. I'm only pointing out the reviewer's inconsistencies.]

What's going on here folks is called cognitive dissonance reduction, the attempt to rid oneself of the mental pain that comes from trying to reconcile two opposing ideas. It can be painful. So in order to relive that pain the reviewer is lashing out at us both. After the pain subsides he will be able to think more clearly about what he read and what he concludes from it. I call this a score, a victory. Don't let the fact that because your attempts to disabuse Christians of their faith are met with anger lead you to conclude your efforts didn't have any effect. It's a natural response. A bit of lashing out will occur. When it does you know your arguments are slipping into someone's consciousness. Anger is the result. Enjoy the link where Rauser links to the review itself.