It’s a Tarp

I blogged today about a question that was intended to distract from a discussion of evolution and the shortcomings of young-earth creationism, and one person quipped on in a comment, ‘as the good Admiral would say…’ That reference was of course to the popular Admiral Ackbar “It’s a trap” meme.

That in turn reminded me of a collection of 37 things only Star Wars fans will find funny that I saw a few days ago. And it included a couple of variations on the Ackbar meme, including one rather like this:

Questions about someone’s doctrinal views concerning miraculous, supernatural, and metaphysical matters are not just a trap when they are posed during a discussion of evolution and other areas of science. They are also a tarp, which are intended to cover over the fact that the worldview of the one posing the question is a derelict mess with holes in it, beneath the facade of doctrinal orthodoxy.

Such questioning can also involve a bit of a song and dance routine – which leads here:


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  • arcseconds

    some of us have also experienced this kind of questioning from doctrinaire atheists. If you start to sound as though you might be insufficiently hostile to mind-brain dualism, ethical realism, religion, or generally deviate from a rather narrow dogma, questions designed to uncover you as a Christian fifth-columnist often follow.

    (Edit: changed ‘ethical anti-realism’ to ‘ethical realism’)

    • Ian


  • Kubricks_Rube

    I think the impulse to ask these leading questions comes from a confidence that one’s own reasoning is obviously sound and anyone who undergoes this bastardized Socratic method will inevitably be lead to the same conclusions.

    • arcseconds

      While I’m sure that there’s some truth to what you say, I think it’s often more of a defence mechanism. At least, that’s tended to be how I’ve encountered it amongst materialists. Suspicion of being a Christian is deployed after the standard philosophy 101 arguments haven’t silenced the critic.

      I’ve also seen this happen with apologists, and that’s what appears to be happening to James at the moment.

      • arcseconds

        That’s not to say that it can’t be both, of course.

        • Kubricks_Rube

          True, I should probably amend that to “…be lead to the same conclusions or be exposed as really X and therefore not a threat to one’s way of thinking.”