Seriously. Is Jerry in middle school? Who could possibly think such an insult is funny or clever? It is on par with calling Dembski, "Dumbski". Speaking of Dembski, it is on par with morphing Coyne's picture onto Herman Munster, as Dembski once did. The two, it would appear, have about the same level of sophistication in their humor.
Jerry doesn't like Tom Gilson much. I am referring to Jer's recent post: It’s about morality, stupid: why Dawkins won’t debate William Lane Craig. It was in this post that Jerry first unleashed the devastating "Thinking Christian is an oxymoron" uber-insult.
The post was ostensibly about why Dawkins refuses to debate Craig. As an aside, like many I am not a fan of debates. For that matter, as a presuppositionalist, I am not a big of William Lane Craig's apologetics, either. But Coyne reports that Dawkins's reason for not debating Craig is Craig’s reprehensible defense of the slaughters ordered by God in the Old Testament.
So Dawkins won’t debate Craig because Craig defends the slaughter of the Canaanites during the conquest of Palestine. I don’t get it—why would the fact that someone holds a position that you find reprehensible cause you not to debate them? Shouldn't it, if anything, stoke the flames of outrage and encourage you to debate?
I say that this is an aside because it is the only on-topic (i.e., related to the title of the post) discussion Coyne provides.
You see, Coyne doesn't really want to discuss why Dawkins won't debate Craig. He sorta, kinda wants to discuss the Euthyphro Dilemma. The old "Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?" conundrum.
And it is not even that. The actual reason for the post is nothing more than this: Coyne wants to criticize Tom Gilson who gave him a less than favorable (but in fact way too kind) review of an atrocious op-ed piece Coyne wrote for USA Today.
The USA Today piece is stupid from top to bottom, beginning with its title (which of course may not have been written by Coyne): As atheists know, you can be good without God. This plays on Atheist Victimhood, which along with all other types of victimhood (including Christian victimhood) is an American epidemic. The title attempts to address what is never charged: that atheists cannot behave morally. Indeed, I suspect my fellow evangelicals will confirm that what their pastors complain about in the pulpit is not that atheists cannot behave morally, but rather that our behavior is not noticeably better.
Coyne's poor logic is demonstrated by the last sentence in his op-ed, which simply reiterates the title: Clearly, you can be good without God. But of course Coyne has demonstrated no such thing--all he has demonstrated (which nobody disputes) is that you can be good without believing in god. He has not established the non-existence of god, and has not demonstrated that god could never be the source of goodness for all men, believers or not. (Common Grace).
Recent studies about American students' mathematical abilities place them near the bottom in actual ability among industrialized nations. But there is good news: they are at the very top in terms of their math self-esteem. Atheist mathematician Jason Rosenhouse who, unlike Coyne, writes with intelligence and integrity, commented on this phenomenon here.
What these students are to math, Coyne is to religion. He is a complete and utter idiot, yet his self-esteem regarding his religious acumen is stratospheric. The first time I realized this is when I was astounded to read that he took the proof of God's nonexistence by Epicurus (God cannot be omnibenevolent and omnipotent, ergo no god) seriously. I'm a presuppositionalist primarily because I cannot take any of the proofs of god seriously--and yet some of those constructs are superior to Epicurus' proof. Coyne can dismiss (rightly so) arguments from Aquinas on the existence of God with a wave of his hand, while at the same time write with all seriousness, and irony meter intact: earthquakes kill people, ergo no god.
Speaking of irony, Jerry's little joke about "oxymoron"in a post about debating is particularly ironic. Tom Gilson, in a debate on religion, would utterly decimate poor Jerry although Jerry, blinded by his misplaced self esteem, probably wouldn't notice.