Thursday, December 14, 2006

Et tu, tu quoque?

Steve Hays says this.

I reply:
"Tu quoque" is the best you can do? Granted, your philosophical idealism is even sillier than Berkeley's, so it's not as if you are a paragon of logical rigor, but I still wouldn't expect such an obvious mistake from you.

It's just factually inaccurate to say that the argument came back to bite me; where do you think I got the argument in the first place? I use it against Calvinists precisely because (1) I think it's a valid argument, (2) the reason I think it is unsound as applied to Catholicism is that I don't think St. Thomas means what Photios says he does, (3) I think Calvin DOES say what Photios thinks he does, and (4) I have yet to see any response from a Calvinist that convinced me it was unsound as against Calvinism. In other words, I knew the gasoline wasn't landing on me well before I started pouring it on anyone, which might be contrasted with White, who wouldn't know it if he were on fire. So while I certainly take your point regarding care with flammable substances, I know exactly what I'm doing.

By the way, if I thought the argument were sound as applied to Catholicism, I could have converted to Orthodoxy and still cheerfully used it in the same way against Calvinism, because the success of the argument as a defeater against Calvinism doesn't depend on its success against Catholicism. That's the nice thing about valid arguments; anyone can use them against anyone.

It just so happened that White's abortion remark was so sick-minded that it made a good example of the mentality that was under discussion, but I never had any delusions about White even understanding it, much less actually responding with anything other than name-calling. And, lo and behold! That's what he did.

The only thing that surprises me even a little bit is that Calvinists are offended by a charge of monothelitism. Historical dyotheletism says that there are two libertarianly free wills in Christ. You say that there is no such thing as libertarian free will. Why do you care? If you don't believe in libertarianly free moral agents, then there is only one actual will in the whole universe: God's.