Most times, I figure it is obvious, why bother responding? Perhaps, though, it would be instructive as to how apologists work…
I wrote a a blog entry stating:
As I deconverted, I would read the non-believer’s position. Then I would read the believer’s position. Time and time again, I found the believer’s position to be based on non-truth.
I heard the statement how skeptics once claimed Hittites didn’t exist, but it turns out they did. Not true—no skeptic said this.
Not exactly “Headline of the Day” material! Christians claim skeptics once said Hittites didn’t exist. Hittites DID exist. Therefore, (the thinking seems to go) we need not trust skeptics because they were wrong once—they will be wrong again.
But…as it turns out…we can never find these supposed skeptics who claimed the Hittites didn’t exist. Where are these alleged skeptics? What are their names; where can we find the quotes? My source for this information is Peter Kirby’s article that likewise demonstrates we cannot find this supposed “skeptic” who stated, “The Hittites didn’t exist.”
Now you may think this a fairly innocuous statement; but not Dave Armstrong! This…THIS…is proof positive I am a liar. Indeed, he notes since I used the unqualified term, “no skeptic” all he has to do is produce one (1) “prominent skeptic (professor, etc.)” [his words] who denied the Hittites’ existence and he has proven my contention incorrect. He has proven me…a liar!
And so…after spending “many hours trying to track some down” [his words], Mr. Armstrong wrote a monster 4,000 word blog entry (that’s 8 pages single-spaced) where all he has to do is produce one (1) prominent skeptic who denied the Hittites’ existence.
Go read it, if you like. I’d only ask one thing after you do so—what is the name of that one (1) prominent skeptic who specifically claimed, “Hittites didn’t exist”? See, after removing all the fluff and bibliographies and muddling about, Dave Armstrong fails to do the one thing he needs to do—produce the skeptic!
Oh, he gives examples of specific people claiming “someone” said Hittites didn’t exist—but those people don’t provide names for those skeptics, either.
Let’s see if I have this straight-- I am stating, “People claim skeptics once said, ‘Hittites didn’t exist’ but do not provide the names of these alleged skeptics.” Dave Armstrong then gives examples of people claiming “Skeptics once said, ‘Hittites don’t exist,’” but do not provide the names of the alleged skeptics.
Yeah…um…probably not the best way to argue against a claim…by solely giving repeated examples of exactly what the claim is saying!
Of course, in the end, Dave Armstrong decides he will believe the Christians who assert “some [unnamed] skeptic once said, ‘Hittites didn’t exist,’” which (to Dave Armstrong) means the Hittite-not-existing skeptic did exist, which means he has produced a prominent skeptic (albeit we don’t know who it is), which makes me a liar.
Thus the reason discussion is no longer fruitful with him.