Sophisticated theology (or, something that annoyed me yesterday)

Yesterday I popped over to Debunking Christianity, where John had a post up talking about some the paradoxes of the omni-qualities of God (omniscience, omnipotence, etc.). It's a great post. But, like clockwork, some Sophisticated Theologian™ calling himself Dr. G√ľnter Bechly chimed in to remind us all what intellectual cretins we all are:
"I am a scientist and not a Christian, but such arguments by new atheists are rather embarassing than convincing, because they show a fundamental ignorance or lack of knowledge about sophisticated theology. .... No professional philosopher could yet demonstrate that the concept of classical theism is logically incoherent.
I know, you're probably peeling your palm off your face. But wait, there's more! When asked by others to expound on Monolism, part of this Sophisticated Theology™ of which we're apparently totally ignorant, our umlauted teacher replied,
"I am not prepared to explain Molinism here (get a book, read some of the papers by Lane Craig on Molinism, and ... Wikipedia and Google are your friends)."
So you see, you foolish atheist, there are these sophisticated arguments that are in fact so sophisticated that they cannot possibly be concisely summarized and discussed. But if you simply were to read the books I have read, you'd know the folly of your ways.

I call shenanigans. All theology requires the a priori assumption of the existence of the supernatural and/or a revelatory epistemology. There is simply no road by which we can travel from the empirical to the non-empirical. That's why, in the end, even the most Sophisticated Theologians™ are reduced to arbitrary faith statements, like William Lane Craig tacitly admitting that the main reason he believes in God is because he feels it's true. We can dismiss Sophisticated Theology™ on its face because it's just a more rhetorically dress-up version of an invalid epistemology.

Elsewhere in the thread, Gunter further patronizes the deconverted:
"It is not a success if you bring people from theism to atheism with fallacious arguments, only because you can fool some non-sophisticated believers with pseudo-philosophy. For me an irrational atheist, who believes in atheism because of stupid and dogmatic arguments as those from Dawkins' "God Delusion", is not better than any Christian fundamentalist believing in the inerrancy of the bible because his megachurch told him so."
I always chuckle when people dismiss The God Delusion because it's not 'sophisticated' enough. It does precisely what it intended to do, incisively and effectively. But the larger point, I feel, is that anyone who radically alters their position because of the arguments of one person is probably lacking in the critical thinking department. Critical inquiry necessarily involves considering numerous, often diametric points of view. What makes Gunter think that anyone in that forum deconverted only because of The God Delusion?

So I, among others, called Gunter out on this bullshittery. His response? He called us "fundamentalists" and ran off. Look, theists – if you're going to claim that we atheists are ignorant of sophisticated arguments, the burden is on you to offer a concise summary of your position that can be discussed. Otherwise, we can just turn the bullshit train around and tell you that you need to read the entire bibliography of A.C. Grayling before we can even have a conversation. Patronizing others solely on the basis of them having arrived at a different conclusion than you have is just transparent ruse to mask your own lack of critical thinking. Stick that in your sophisticated pipe and smoke it.


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