Student response to Sax Appeal blasphemy

Tuesday’s edition of Varsity, the UCT student newspaper, carried some responses to the saga outlined in previous posts here. One of them is from Taryn Hodgson, and is reproduced below:

A Christian makes no sense (again)
A Christian makes no sense (again)

There is nothing remotely persuasive about her response, yet she (sadly) seems to take what she says very seriously. Early on, Taryn says that she “has evidence that demands a verdict”. Nice strong claim, which should surely be backed up by something? Let’s see:

1. Taryn starts with the argument from design. While she may not know this, the argument in question has been discussed and beaten to death for centuries now. Let’s, for the sake of argument, concede that there is an intelligent designer. We still need to somehow get from there to an entirely different point, which is that this designer is a) still around, b) gives a damn, c) is an object worthy of worship. Also, why do we even imagine one designer, rather than a team of designers? And who says it was the best team? Perhaps these were some trainee-gods, or one lesser (and incompetent) deity, hence the design flaws of earthquakes and such.
2. “God doesn’t believe in atheists”. God can’t believe or disbelieve in anything, since she doesn’t exist. The only way this makes sense is if we simply grant that god exists, and also grant that god is omniscient, etc. But we’re waiting for the “evidence that demands a verdict” before we can do that.
3. Atheists know that there is a god, because the Bible says that they do. Taryn, the Bible counts as evidence for you, because you believe that it is the word of your god. I don’t believe in your god, so the Bible doesn’t count as evidence of anything to me, and nor does it for atheists in general.
4. Atheists are aware of life after death. Same circular evidence, same response.

The rest isn’t argument, but some emotive moral ranting, leading to the assessment that by her god’s standards, I’m going to hell. But wait, there’s more! I can turn from sin, put my trust in god, and then I get to enjoy eternal life and a relationship with an imaginary friend.

Thanks, but no thanks, Taryn. If this is what counts as “evidence that demands a verdict” in your circles, I’d rather stick with the sane people.

[EDIT] Turns out that she isn’t a student at UCT. See comments for details.

16 Replies to “Student response to Sax Appeal blasphemy”

    1. Yip. And sadly, if she were to respond, it would probably be with another oft-refuted nonsense. Someone should let these Platonists out of their cave (with apologies to other philosophers out there).

  1. There are obviously fundamental errors in Taryn’s arguments, which stem from the foundations of her belief. Your point 3 is a fine example of that.

    One question – because it is a pet hate of mine when christians capitalise the words “God”, “He”, “His” and in Taryn’s case “Heaven”, “Holy” and “Hell”*, too – why have You chosen to give “Bible” a capital B?

    Finally, I look forward to seeing this “irrefutable scientific evidence for a Creator”. I’m surprised, given that gravity and longevity of the arguments surrounding this emotive topic, that this seminal work wasn’t given more of a fanfare when it was released.

    *Also “Designer”, “Creator”, “Eternal” etc etc etc etc

    1. Good question, 6K. To answer: the Bible does exist, and is the title of a book. The fact that it’s a dangerous and incoherent book doesn’t disqualify it from being treated the same as, say, Green eggs and ham, which is also capitalised. I’d like to write “bible”, but the grammar-Nazi in me is nearly as strong as my bullshit-radar.

  2. Her name seems very familiar to me for some reason. I’ll probably remember why at 3 a.m. tomorrow morning.

    Very nicely ‘said’ 🙂

    1. Thanks Goblin. I just Googled her, and found this gem:

      “Abortion is a national disgrace,” says Taryn Hodgson, National Co-ordinator of the Christian Action Network. “The murder of over half a million babies is nothing less than a holocaust. We are literally killing off our next generation.”

      “Instead of discrimination based upon race, we now have discrimination based upon age. What worth is “human dignity” if babies are denied the right to life? The day will most certainly come when future generations will look back on the abortion holocaust of our day with the same revulsion that we now look upon the WWII and Communist Holocausts of the Soviet Union, Red China, Cambodia and Rwanda.”

      Now, I’m not saying that abortion is an easy argument. But once again, can you spot any argument there at all? It’s a verbal version of foetuses in jars, thrust under your nose at a rally or somesuch.

      1. So is Taryn actually a student at UCT?

        Or just anxious to let us all know her thoughts (again)?

        Of course, there could be two misguided Taryn Hodgsons, although that does seem somewhat unlikely.

        (I’m still very tempted to ask for a copy of that DVD).

        1. 🙂 you mean you havent read “The Case for Christ” (the one by Lee Strobel) – the one that has all us atheists shivering???! shame on you! lol 🙂

          i do recommend reading it for a good sense of frustration at circular arguments. Its the first time I encountered “America’s (supposedly) no1 Christian apologist” William Lane Craig lol.

          I’ve actually punished myself and read his theological book “Reasonable Faith” , here is a classic from it:

          1. Thereore, when a person refuses to come to Christ it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties: at root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God’s Spirit on his heart. No one in the final analysis really fails to become a Christian because of lack of arguments; he fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with God. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), pp. 35-36.]

          2. Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 36.]

          3. The Bible says all men are without excuse. Even those who are given no good reason to believe and many persuasive reasons to disbelieve have no excuse, because the ultimate reason they do not believe is that they have deliberately rejected God’s Holy Spirit. [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 37.]

  3. There is nobody registered at UCT under that name. So – a truly scary development – Taryn Hodgson is actually considered an authority on this stuff, judging by her google results. I thought she was perhaps a 1st-year – hence my sympathetic treatment of her letter, obviously.

  4. Well if you would like to find out more about her…her facebook page is wide open. It’s rather interesting to find out what these folk get up to actually.

    1. I wonder, though, whether her Facebook page will tell us how she reconciles sending a letter to a student publication, and the consequent impression readers form, with her actual role and status? Is fraud endorsed somewhere in her religious text? Actually, don’t answer that – fraud is all over it.

  5. I wonder how many of the above have actually taken the time to read the Bible, the whole book that is.
    I look forward to comments when you have.

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