Thursday, 4 February 2010

The big country and the umbrella salesman

'Indeed to goodness Iesu mawr!!!' - Now! - how about that then boys and girls? You may be thinking that that is an extravagant opening, a flamboyant gambit like that of the famous chess pirate Fischer, an also sprach zarathustra before the entrance of Elvis Preseli, or the mono-gonadal ranting of a stray Austrian lunatic even, but no! the story I am about to relay is worthy of my ejaculation. Just 8 weeks ago GMT, fate found myself in southern Californ-i-a at the intrastately famous Talbot school of Feelology, Biola University. Well boys bach, if it wasn't just a short drive from beautiful beaches, world-renowned entertainment venues and a wealth of diverse cultural opportunity, then I don't know what it was a short drive from. It matters not - for there it was, and there was I - at the same there - and there I met none other than the greatly self-esteemed research professor of feelology and umbrella salesman, Doctor doctor William Lane Craig:-

REJ:- Doctor doctor William Lane Craig!

WLC:- Richard Emmanuel Jones! An honour to meet me!

REJ:- Yes indeed I'm sure you said that. er....excuse me...

WLC:- I'm sorry what? -

REJ:- Just a bit more...a bit to the left...

WLC:- Is that alright? -

REJ:- Bit more..

WLC:- How about now?

REJ:- That's it! Diolch! Your teeth were scaring the fish that's all. I shouldn't bring my aquarium with me really -

WLC:- Well they do look kinda heavy Richard -

REJ:- Indeed they are! But I have broad shoal-ders!

WLC:- Aren't they a bit heavy Richard? You could put them down on the table there -

REJ:- Yes I could Doctor doctor and diolch to you indeed isn't it? but as I said, I have brrrroad shoal-ders!

WLC:- Well if you put them on the table -

REJ:- You're smiling, you got it didn't you? they said you were clever, a double doctor no less. So good they doctored him twice! Shoal-ders! It's just my little joke doctor doctor...

WLC:- Please, call me Billy -

REJ:- Just a minute then Doctor doctor Billy - *CLUNK!* - Ooopsadaisy! I'm afraid I sloshed a bit onto your monogrammatic bath/spa robe and bamboo blend towel -

WLC:- $21.98! -

REJ:- $21.98 yes. You've been had. They're epileptic you know, the fish. Fine underwater though - that's the funny thing.....anyway the towels are trying to tell us something aren't they? 'Reasonable Faith' is the legend they bear. Now can you tell me a bit about this 'Reasonable Faith' shop? You are the creator I believe?

WLC:- Well Richard, A simple statement of the argument might run:

1. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause).

2. If the Reasonable Faith shop has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is William Lane Craig.

3. The Reasonable Faith shop exists.

4. Therefore the explanation of the existence of the Reasonable Faith shop is William Lane Craig.

REJ:- So it's your shop then is it? -

WLC:- Let me just read that back a Craig......yes I think so. How about this 'Port authority' 2-tone brushed twill baseball cap $4.98?

REJ:- But they're only 3 dollars in Walmart -

WLC:- Not really Richard! -

REJ:- Pardon you me?

WLC:- Not really. You are committing the naturalistic fallacy -

REJ:- Oooh really? I wasn't even trying! Wait until Sioned hears how clever I am - it must be you rubbing off on me....

WLC:- I'm afraid it's an error Richard. Are baseball caps $4.98 or $3.00? When we ask that question, we are posing in a provocative way the meta-ethical question of the objectivity of baseball cap values. Are they valid independently of our apprehension of them, and if so, what is their foundation? Moreover the objective worthlessness of baseball caps in a naturalistic world view is underscored by two implications of that world view:- materialism and determinism -

REJ:- I'll take two if you stop -

WLC:- 37659 of our customers who bought the 'Port authority' 2-tone brushed twill baseball cap $4.98 also purchased the 100% Pima cotton sport shirt at just $19.98...that's right! just $19.98....

REJ:- Does it come in red?

WLC:- It certainly does Richard! and if you buy three 100% Pima cotton sport shirts at just $19.98, we at Reasonable Faith will give you this Port & Company over-the-Shoulder Grocery Tote valued objectively at $5.58 for just $5.50! That's right Richard! just $5.50! - plus taxes.

REJ:- I'd be a fool to refuse!

WLC:- You certainly are!

REJ:- Now we seem to have got side-tracked, Doctor doctor Billy. Do you do sunglasses by the way? Only your teeth have melted this pair -

WLC:- Well Richard, the case for whether or not Reasonable Faith sunglasses exist is a cumulative one. The manifestation of the Reasonable Faith sunglasses and the empty warehouse are multiply and independently attested. The claim here is not the naive assertion that because these events are mentioned in more than one company document they thereby enjoy multiple independent attestation, rather as I stated in my recent debate with the IRS -

REJ:- Have you got any?

WLC:- $9.99. And Richard, how about a District Threads® - Ladies Tank with built-in-bra for your wife - just $11.00 yes! just $11.00! Take a look at this ladies wear catalogue...

REJ:- My goodness.....those are tight tops...and what a smashing pair of models. A bit different from Gwladys the bike - still it's all relative I suppose - one man's meat is another man's wife -

WLC:- It certainly isn't! You have committed the genetic fallacy -

REJ:- I just crossed my legs -

WLC:- No Richard! The genetic fallacy is committed whenever someone tries to invalidate a view by explaining how that view originated or came to be held. Your example of the aesthetic value beauty is a perfect illustration of my point. Suppose we agree for the sake of argument that evolution has programmed men to see young women as more beautiful than old Gwladys the bike because of the selective advantage to the species of mating with younger women. Does that do anything at all to show that younger women are not in fact generally more physically beautiful than old Gwladys, that there is no objective difference between beauty and ugliness? Obviously not! Objective aesthetic values can exist regardless of how we come to apprehend them.

REJ:- Well I'm afraid I don't speak American, but I'd certainly like to apprehend....I mean I'd like to ask....Oooh! I know this one! I'm begging the question! I've been caught doing that before....One night down the park after darts, Meinir Thomas....

WLC:-Your question evinces some misunderstanding. So before I address your question directly, let me clarify what I said. First, God’s existing necessarily is not related to His being all-powerful, all-knowing, and morally perfect, at least in any direct way. For God to be logically necessary He simply needs to exist in every logically possible world; indeed, to say that God is logically necessary just is to say that He exists in every possible world. Now, of course, since the attributes you mention are essential to God, it follows that He will -

REJ:- Ok Billy-boy. You just talk out your arse and sell shit don't you? If I buy 6 Signature® - Sueded Finish 1/4-Zip Sweatshirts -

WLC:- $27.98! -

REJ:- $27.98 - will you untie me? Only you've made the fish suicidal listening to your horseshit. Three have drowned themselves already...


  1. Genius!

    These should be podcasts. If only you knew an actor or two..

  2. A masterpiece! The only thing that could top it would be a debate between doctor doctor Billy and doctor Laurie Fraser.

  3. I'm up for it, with REJ as moderator (if he'll be on my side, that is.)

    A work of unsurpassed brilliance, REJ. You should be getting rich on these.

  4. Two or three genuine laugh-out-loud, choke-on-my cheese-on-toast moments in this post but all cunningly placed within a tightly structured mockumentary piece. Bravo. I love it.

  5. Dr Laurie from Buggamaroo Uni vs WLC?

    Bring it on, I want to see it! :D

  6. As a Christian apologist familiar with Craig's work, I recognized most of these references and I find it, though clearly a parody, still incredibly creative and incredibly great.

    Though it seems that his arguments may go a little over your head. ; )