My Next Book "Unapologetic" For People Like Paul K. Moser Who Have Lost Touch With Reality

There is only so much a person can take when dealing with people who have lost touch with reality. Must we always maintain a patient attitude when we already know their arguments? Must we always respond in a dispassionate manner to people who are persuaded against reason to believe something delusional? We know this about them based on everything else we know (i.e., our background knowledge). I for one, see nothing wrong with dispassionately discussing the beliefs of philosophers who do little more than build intellectual castles in the sky without any solid grounding to them. I do this all of the time. But sometimes I don't. Sometimes I get too fed up with the pretend game of faith with its ever receding theology.

I don't intend to write this new book with the jaded attitude I have today, so this is probably just for today. I'll not apologize for arguing it's time for the philosophy of religion to end though. It's time to put the hammer down hard on pseudo-intellectuals.

What follows is just a taste of what I'll be doing with the philosophy of religion, taking as my cue what Paul Moser wrote in one of the most comprehensive philosophy of religion textbooks today, The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion (2nd edition, 2013), edited by evangelicals Chad Meister and Paul Copan, containing over 800 pages! [I'm thankful professor Chad Meister gave me a personal copy.] For the record, the phrase, lost or "losing touch with reality" comes from a Christian song I've put below. I'm sure Moser would sing it, and embrace it, seriously! You may be stunned with what I'm about to write. Even I, was very surprised.

First look at Part 1 of this textbook. If one is to teach the philosophy of religion at all then this is a good way to start, by privileging no religion over the others. It borders on what we might find in Comparative Religion classes, which I will argue is the best way to look at religions. So I turned the pages and began reading and learning of the various issues and divergent opinions within each of these religious traditions. Almost all of them stressed the wide diversity of responses within these other faith traditions.

Then I read Paul Moser's essay on Christianity, chapter 6. I was quite surprised by what he wrote. Moser would not do what the others did. We don't have a clue from reading his chapter that there are any divisions within the Good Ship Christendom. In fact, about 80% of it is something a Bible thumper could have written, since he merely refers to the Bible without also saying there are Christians who disagree with his interpretations. We know nothing of his particular branch of Christianity out of all the other sects either, and he never locates his faith on the Christian spectrum, running from fundamentalist to moderate to liberal to radical to secular Christianity. We just don't know. If we were ignorant it would seem all Christians believe what he's writing.

Moser ends by answering the objection of the skeptic. Forget for the moment that the other religious traditions represented in Part 1 would all scoff at what he says. By his lights they too would be skeptics. In fact, every believer who does not accept his particular sect on the exact point on the spectrum he is at would be skeptics, for the evidence of the Spirit should be evidence on behalf of something, some kind of specific faith that has content to it. Surely Moser wouldn't want to say the Spirit provides evidence for what a different kind of Christian believes, who is racist, sexist, child-beating, young earth creationist, King James inerrant Bible thumping right-wing Republican, who claims his politics are God's politics. If the Spirit provides evidence of something then what exactly is the Spirit providing evidence on behalf of? What about evangelicals in Africa who beat and burn accused witches and homosexuals? Would the Spirit confirm their beliefs in this manner? Why can't they accept what Moser defends and say the Spirit provides evidence for what they believe? Is Moser's God happy with them doing so? If not, is Moser's God happy with him doing so?

Even though Moser is writing a chapter in a textbook that is philosophical in nature, purporting to rationally discuss his religious faith, he says his faith is not philosophical. His strategy reveals a deep crisis about Christian apologetics from which I don't think they can escape. If there was sufficient evidence for Christianity then Moser would not have to argue this way. The very fact that apologists like Moser are forced into arguing in this fashion is a good reason, all by itself, to walk away from this delusion. I've made this argument in my book, How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist. For if there was sufficient evidence to believe they would be crowing about it. So Christian apologists themselves acknowledge they don't have the requisite evidence to believe when they don't defend the view that there is sufficient objective evidence to believe, and instead argue in ways that Moser and Plantinga and Mavrodes, and Wolterstorff, and Copan and Meister do.

Moser's essay, if true, undermines this very philosophy of religion textbook. He's writing theology not philosophy, since philosophy is by its very nature an abstract discipline. He's writing as a religionist who doesn't care that the other authors in Part 1 of the book would flatly disagree with him. He's claiming to have private subjective evidence that no one else but a certain sect of Christians on a certain point on the Christian spectrum have, or that others are willfully ignorant about. The apologists in other religious traditions represented in Part 1 could stoop that low too, and say the same thing Moser does. To their credit they don't do so, which should say something important about their intellectual honestly when compared to his honesty. In other words, he has lost touch with reality AND PROUD OF IT!

So I put it to you. If Moser is correct then philosophy of religion should end. Keep in mind that Meister and Copan chose Moser, out of the many other Christian pseudo-intellectuals, to write that chapter. So they think he best represents Christianity. And they also approved what he wrote upon writing it, and placed it in their textbook. Yet, there is no use discussing philosophical questions with Christians like Moser. Pseudo-intellectuals like him have lost touch with reality. [Have I said that before?]

You can see this same thing coming from Moser in a discussion I had with him a few months back on Facebook (click on "View more replies" to see it all). Moser's last two comments resemble the deer caught in the headlights phenomena, for he is staring straight into the evidence and not blinking, nor is he moved. He has lost touch with reality, knowing full well what he should do, but ignoring it. If this isn't a clear case of willful ignorance then I don't know what it is.


Now for the two songs Moser can sing with gusto and be proud of them, even though they're clearly anti-intellectual, which brings up the question why we should listen to anti-intellectuals, or have them teach anything in the intellectual disciplines like the Philosophy of Religion discipline in the secular universities? I don't think we should. That will be a major thrust of my book.


One last thing while watching these songs. As I research this book and write it, I'm going to need people to help me out financially. There are authors who have benefactors who financially help them while they write their books without having to worry about working an 8-5 job. If I had to do work like that, I'd be too tired to write much when I got back to my one bedroom apartment at night. In other words, it wouldn't get done. As of right now I live off my writing. So if you think what I write is important and you want to keep me writing please consider making a donation of some kind. Yes, I'm a starving artist, so to speak. If I told you how much I live on per year you would wonder how I do it. I do it because I would rather change the world than be well-off financially. Help me out if you can. You can say you helped change the religious landscape if you do, even if you didn't write a single word. If you can't, I certainly understand.