Saturday, October 31, 2009

In Praise of Satire – A Response To Daniel Chew Huicong

Note: This post is a satirical response to this post by Daniel Chew Huicong. To show the kind of liar Daniel Chew is, here he writes, “This would be my last word on the cyber-terrorist, liar and anti-Christian watchblogger anonymously called "Antithesis".” But just two days later, he writes about “Antithesis” again. Does he even have a single iota of integrity as a self-professed Christian?

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:23-28

Nope, I am not praising Watchman Chew, and I am not out of my mind. I am merely praising the art of satire.

In our struggle against the flesh and the world, nothing ever comes close to practically surfacing the sinful desires of the flesh than trials and tribulations, especially when others wrong us and slander us without cause and without truth e.g. Watchman Chew’s relentless condemnation and anathematization of a multitude of churches, pastors, elders, worship leaders, and fellow brethren-in-Christ.

What shall we do then? We can attempt to fight fire with fire, and attack those who anathemathize us even more harshly and vociferously. After all, don't we all have a right to protect ourselves and defend our reputations, especially when the venerable Watchman Daniel Chew Huicong condemned so many of us to hell fire and called us heretics? Since the truth is on our side, victory is all but assured and we can thus steamroll all opposition, can't we?

To tackle this question, we must look at what the Scripture teaches about the topic of satire and mockery. In fact, there is an entire book written to defend satire within Christian writings and polemics. The problem with the usual approach is that it doesn’t go through the head of hidebound hypocrites like Watchman Daniel Chew Huicong.

But what is “satire” according to the Bible? It is written in this book, “A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking,”

“Satire treats the foibles of sinners with a less than perfect tenderness. “Satire is the exposure of human vice or folly through rebuke or ridicule. … It might consist of an entire book (e.g. Amos), or it can be as small as an individual ‘proverb.’” But nevertheless, if a Christian employs satire today, he is almost immediately called to account for his “unbiblical” behavior.” [1]

Hence, satire is defined as the “exposure of human vice or folly through rebuke or ridicule.” “Ridicule” would include the usage of mockery, humor, sarcasm, derision, teasing, scoffing and scorn, while “rebuke” would involve chastisement, criticism, censure, and castigation.

One biblical approach to dealing with our enemies is to follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of course, his use of satire and mockery:

“The disciples were worried about the effects of the Lord’s rhetoric. Did you know the Pharisees were offended when they heard this? (Mt. 15:12). Yes, I did, He replied in effect. His mission was accomplished (v. 13). The Lord attacked the scribes and Pharisees for their long robes, sanctimonious geegaws, prayer habits, tithing practices, their ways of greeting, their seating arrangements, their hypocrisies, and so on. If the Pharisees had funny hairdos, like they do on TBN, we would have heard about that too.” [2]

In replying an opponent, the satirical exposé exposes the hypocrite for who he is, warts and all. This hypocrisy would include Daniel Chew’s two-faced notion of naming a post, “In Praise for AT,” and then turning around, pretending that he is a little god, and pronouncing eternal damnation upon my soul:

“He as a Neo-Orthodox heretic is not saved. Yet, to desire for his good means to desire for his salvation from his vain way of life. Seen in this light, I pity him. His emptiness has generated only hatred in him which he spews at people like me who proclaim the truth. He has nothing to offer; no Gospel to save him from his sins and he is on the road to perdition.”

This kind of “praise” would probably be the kind of praise Daniel Chew offers to God when he sings, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” – the utter hypocrisy and his “fair show in the flesh” is clear to those who have eyes to see.

It is not within the scope of this post to discuss Daniel Chew Huicong’s long robes and graduation gown, his sanctimonious gewgaws, prayer habits, tithing practices, his ways of greeting (for example, he would commend you as a brother-in-Christ, then nitpick on your writings, call you a heretic, and condemn you to hell like he is God Himself), his seating arrangements in church (especially when he is late for service on the Lord’s Day – his pastor would know this), his hypocrisies, and so on. If Chew had a funny, twisted smile on his face – like he does on his graduation photograph – we would have heard about that too if this were a satirical exposé.

The English Puritan, George Swinnock, writes:

Sin reigning in the heart, is oftentimes more hurtful
than when it rages in the life. Such civil people go to
hell without much disturbance, being asleep in sin.
They are so far from being awaked that they are many
times praised and commended.

Example, custom, and education, may also help a man
to make a fair show in the flesh. They may prune and lop
sin, but never rip it up by the roots. All that these can do,
is to make a man like a grave, green and flourishing on
the surface and outside, when within there is nothing but
rottenness and corruption.

One purpose of satire is to awake such “civil people” who “go to hell without much disturbance, being asleep in sin. They are so far from being awaked that they are many times praised and commended.” Being constantly praised and commended by fellow bloggers for condemning so-called heretics and churches to hell, it is little wonder that such hypocrites or fools continue to be asleep.

The Bible discussed many ways of answering a fool. Sometimes, we answer not a fool according to his folly, lest we be like him (Prov. 26:4), but “in other situations a fool must be answered according to his folly lest he become wise in his own conceits. “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit” (Prov. 26:5). In other words the Bible says that answering a fool does provides a temptation to the satirist, and so he must watch out. But not answering provides a temptation to the fool and allows him to marinate further in the juices of his own vainglory.” [3]

Indeed, the marinating juices of vainglory has got to one’s mind and soul, that it seems an almost impossible task of coating the slippery body with a crunchy, tasty breadcrumb crust of “Christ-likeness” so as to fry the fool within the oil of sanctification. Just look at what the Watchman Chew has written about himself:

“Through AT, whatever things that can be used against me has been dug out somehow, thus showing me my weak spots. Although all of AT's commentaries are outright lies, yet because he is by nature an enemy, he would endeavor to collect as much dirt as possible to smear my reputation. In this regard, I am thankful for how little he can actually find, thus requiring the manufacture of entire sets of lies in order to malign my character.”

What a self-deluded individual he is! Whatever little we have done, we do it out of our own leisure and free time. We have not even started dabbling in his appalling writings at Credo 500, his self-acclaimed “papers,” and his long blog posts – we simply do not have the time (like Daniel Chew has) to critique such unedifying “papers” and narcissistic blogging attempts. Of course, if we get paid a lucrative salary for doing it, we might just spend our precious time performing a thorough critique of all his writings. But it will not be an enjoyable task. And of course, Daniel’s assertion that we are lying is, indeed, a lie in itself (please refer to our previous post).

Daniel laments, “But whatever happens, the main thing we should remember is that faithfulness to God and His Word counts more than our reputations. Jeremiah's reputation wasn't very great in his entire life time [sic], and he was imprisoned many times for the truth. We should care less about our own reputations and more about the honor of God's name. Rather that we be despised by the world than for God to be dishonored.”

What an honorable aim in life for Daniel: to call down hell fire upon his opponents, to relentlessly pick on pastors, elders, teachers, church leaders and various denominations in order to condemn them as heretics. What do we say to Watchman Daniel Chew’s attempt at being a Watchman? This is our answer:

“Consequently, prophetic rebukes should come from seasoned prophets, from men called to the ministry of guarding those people who belong to the Lord. The work should be done by men of some age and wisdom, and not by novices, firebrands, and zealots. The work should most certainly not be done by the kind of man who practices on his mom, wife, or kids. … A man who has a need to cut others is a man who ought to be silent.” [4]

In conclusion, in our dealings with the enemy, let us seek to emulate the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us have the courage to call the charlatan for who he truly is – a hypocrite. Towards a hypocrite who demands the Matthew 18 methodology in approaching a brother-in-Christ when we deal with him, while he himself indulges in calling down hell fire upon his opponents without ever bothering to even contact them, we would plead for the use of satire as laid out in the Word of God. God will judge in the end, and His judgment will be perfectly just according to the sins committed. May we learn therefore how to desire the ultimate good for our enemies, even through the use of biblical satire. Amen.


[1] Douglas Wilson, A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2003), p. 12, quoting Leland Ryken et al, eds., Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1998), p. 762.

[2] Ibid., 101

[3] Ibid., 103

[4] Ibid., 104-5.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Very Short Reply To Daniel Chew Huicong

Do refer to this post of his – his language will reveal to you what kind of person he truly is.

As a large portion of his post is merely reiterated ad hominem attacks without reasonable evidence or logic (e.g. I’m immoral, unsaved, hell-bound, a liar etc), I would only point out a few things for the benefit of our readers.

Watchman Chew Daniel Huicong: WC
Antithesis: AT

WC: The first order of the day of course was to attempt to use my church and my pastor, Rev. Paul Goh, against me (and related allegations by WC thereafter concerning a “Mr Lee”).

AT: No I didn’t. I have no idea who Mr Lee is. Bare assertion ad nauseam. The only contact I have with his pastor is a comment on the pastor's blog.

WC: It can be seen through this episode that AT and gang have no qualms about lying, misrepresenting other (me) [sic], and taking God’s holy name in vain.

AT: I do not lie about you or your writings; what you wrote is on your blogs and articles, and is available for all readers to see. I also do not misrepresent you; your writings are pretty clear about various issues. Lastly, I do not take God’s name in vain. Again, bare assertion ad nauseam.

Do you think you can make an allegation true simply by asserting it?

WC: In a post titled “According to Watchman Daniel Chew Huicong, All Churches Involved in Festival of Praise are Blaspheming God and Condemned to Hell”, AT starts his spin machinery by totally misrepresenting my position.

AT: It becomes apparent to the reader that I have not misrepresented his position in all of my posts. For example, these are the very words of WC, “May God have mercy on us all for this blasphemy conducted in the name of Christ, and may he grant the people involved repentance unto eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It is clear from his wording, “may he grant the people involved repentance unto eternal life,” that the “people involved” in the Festival of Praise ought to repent in order to receive eternal life i.e. “unto eternal life.” It is easy to see what WC meant, that these people do not have eternal life to begin with. If these were already saved, why the need to repent “unto eternal life?”

It is true that even Christians need to repent of their sins, but only hell-bound unbelievers need to repent unto eternal life simply because these have no eternal life to begin with. Therefore, according to WC – all churches, pastors, leaders, and church members involved in the Festival of Praise are going to hell unless they repent “unto eternal life.” In the meantime, they are hell-bound.

So who is really using his “spin machinery” to make black “white and white black?” I am merely reporting what WC has originally written.

WC: Such people are the wicked [sic], and unless they repent of their wickedness (and their heresies), they would be judged by God and damned to eternal hellfire.

AT: Isn’t it true that WC thinks he is a little god? He actually claims to know what God thinks about me! That’s incredible! Well, God alone would judge my eternal status, not that little god WC.

May God bless his soul and make him more charitable to his brethren-in-Christ.

PS: It really doesn’t bother me as to how he treats me. Look at how he ‘trashed up’ his very own brother-in-Christ, Jason Loh. Brother Jason defended WC right from the start, and will the readers see for themselves how Jason is being shamed by WC now. (Chew may have deleted some comments that would work against him, but we have saved all the web pages for further references in future.)

Truly, one has never seen a better actor than Daniel Chew Huicong.

Note: Daniel Chew has since deleted all those shameful comments he made about Jason Loh. You can download the original UNDELETED comments and web page from here:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Of Parrots, Pablum and Pap


Meta-Ethicists have argued over the meaning of “moral culpability” or “moral blameworthiness” for eons (not really eons – a hyperbole, really), and there are probably as many understandings of “moral culpability” as there are meta-ethicists. We have heard of simple emotivistic (and hence subjectivistic) understanding that P, where P is “moral culpability,” for example:

Moral culpability (P) = An agent X is morally blameworthy for performing action A iff it is appropriate for a blame emotion – resentment, indignation, or guilt – to be felt toward X in response to X’s A-ing.

Or perhaps some of us have stumbled upon definitions by ethical objectivists (realizing that there are numerous versions of objectivism), including some theists, who believe in the existence of objective moral truths. For instance:

Moral culpability (P) = An agent X is morally blameworthy or culpable for performing an action A iff it is morally wrong for X to perform A.

Here, culpability or blameworthiness is not associated with what the agent believes or thinks is wrong, but with what is in truth objectively wrong, independent of subjective opinion. Notice that in the aforementioned proposition or definition of P, culpability is distinguished from wrongness.

Judgments of wrongness and judgments of blameworthiness or culpability have very different implications. Even where a moral wrong was committed, it does not follow that an agent X should be blamed or be culpable for the wrong. This is for the reason that there are factors that lessen or remove blame from X for a morally wrong act, but that cannot in any way make the wrong act right.

For instance, Tommy suffers from a factual ignorance: he doesn’t know that the bowl of soup contains arsenic. Jane, a very good friend of Tommy, has deceived him into believing that the bowl of soup was indeed nutritious and tasty. Out of good will and love, he gave the soup to his mother; and since there is only one bowl of soup left, he even thought that he was being modestly self-sacrificial in giving what he wanted to consume to his mother. In offering that bowl of soup to his mother, Tommy killed his mother! Assuming that this scenario constitutes non-culpable factual ignorance, Tommy is not culpable for murder. [1] But does this non-culpability make the action of Tommy right? Non-culpable factual ignorance only exculpates the moral agent; it does not make wrong acts right.

Or maybe we would have encountered a relativistic rendition of P, where:

Moral culpability (P) = An agent X is morally blameworthy for performing action A only if X has the belief that it is wrong for her to do A and this belief plays an appropriate role in X’s A-ing.

It is not our intention in this short post to discuss the various existing definitions of “moral culpability.” Nevertheless, we do owe a reply to Daniel Chew Huicong’s spanking new defender or apologist – Mr Jason Loh – who calls himself Augustinian Successor, and who had decided to answer Ming Liang on Mr Chew’s behalf.

Augustinian Successor Succeeds in Failing

From the above introduction, we realize that there are several conceptions of moral culpability. But I have yet to see a defense of the proposition that P1, where P1 is “moral culpability,” that is, according to Mr Jason Loh:

Moral Culpability (P1) = “to be accountable for one's actions”

Or rather,

P1 = An agent X is morally blameworthy or culpable for performing an action A only if X is accountable for A-ing.

It is truly amazing (and possibly culpable) that Mr Jason Loh, a self-professed “Prayer Book Anglican” – who is at the same time a member of the Lutheran Church in Malaysia and Singapore (LCMS) – believes that P1.

In his reply to Ming Liang, we recall that he wrote:

“Ming Liang and friend(s) are trying to argue that God must be morally culpable is [sic] the Creator of evil. God is not for the simple reason that God is not answerable to anyone but Himself. To be morally culpable is to be accountable for one's actions.”

So according to Mr Loh, “to be morally culpable is to be accountable for one's actions.” (P1). But P1 begs the question; in fact, P1 begs several questions, as we shall soon see.

What does Mr Loh mean when he allege that X is “accountable” for A-ing? From his previous statement, “God is not [culpable] for the simple reason that God is not answerable to anyone but Himself,” we can see that Mr Loh would understand “accountability” as referring to “answerability.” Hence, for Mr Loh, to be accountable is to be answerable.

But this begs the next question, “Answerable to what or who?”

If he were referring to the secular law of the land, then he would be submitting himself to the relativistic view of “moral culpability.” There are different secular laws with different values, sometimes even within the same country; for different moral agents (i.e. X1, X2, X3, etc) to be answerable to different standards of law would require moral relativism. This is not what Mr Loh as a theist desires, I believe. [2]

There are several fairly ridiculous options e.g. being answerable to your parents, to various authorities, or even to household plants, which we wouldn’t consider – unless Mr Loh chooses to differ with us on this.

As a theist, Mr Loh would probably mean this: being answerable to God. So, we can refine P1 to mean:

P1 = An agent X is morally blameworthy or culpable for performing an action A only if X is accountable or answerable to God for A-ing.

We had helped Mr Loh in defining his definition of moral culpability, and assisted him in teasing out his thoughts from his aforementioned statements. Even so, besides begging the question concerning the truths of Theism (e.g. the existence and character of a theist’s God), we can see that P1 is quite deficient, and lacks further thought.

Is Jason Loh, then, morally blameworthy for doing charity only if Jason Loh is accountable to God for doing charity? According to P1, he is. In fact, according to P1, he would be morally culpable or blameworthy for marrying a woman or even worshipping God, and P1 is also why he is morally culpable for even blogging (reductio ad absurdum).

In his understanding of P1, he has failed to distinguish culpability from wrongness (see my introduction above); this is the most fundamental error in his discussion with Ming Liang. The questions he begs also require further argument and analysis.

Denying the Law of Non-contradiction

Interestingly enough, according to P1, God would also be culpable for things He does! This is because God (agent X) is still answerable to God (Himself) for A-ing. [3] Therefore, his previous statement, “God is not [morally culpable] for the simple reason that God is not answerable to anyone but Himself” contradicts the latter, “to be morally culpable is to be accountable [to God] for one's actions.” If his understanding of P1 is such that, “to be morally culpable is to be accountable [to God] for one's actions,” then Mr Loh has just denied the Aristotelian Law of Non-contradiction. God cannot be P1 (morally culpable) and not-P1 (not morally culpable) all at the same time!

It is also noteworthy that Mr Jason Loh follows in the footsteps of Daniel Chew in denying the Law of Non-contradiction.

Augustinian Successor Succeeds in the Further Denial of Logic

We now peruse Jason Loh’s statements in his other reply to Ming Liang.

Jason: Circular reasoning is not neccessarily [sic] illogical.

AT: This is a bare assertion. Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy. That's logic 101. Here are some exercises in logic that might be helpful.

Jason: Atheism is based no less on circular reasoning.

AT: Firstly, we didn't say we are atheists. Secondly, even if we are, your "argument" is a classic tu quoque fallacy. Fallacy again.

The Un-Provability of Non-Existence

The following illustrates how some theists resort to the common logical fallacy of “proving the non-existence” of something ad nauseam.

Jason: There is no God because there is no evidence of God. It begs the question, how do you know? How do you know that God has chosen not to reveal Himself to you (through His Word)?

AT: Another fallacy: you’re asking us to prove the negative i.e. that there is no God. It’s like the following scenario:

Jason: An omnipotent freakish squirming jellyfish exists.

AT: Prove it does.

Jason: Prove it doesn’t. There is no omnipotent freakish squirming jellyfish because there is no evidence of an omnipotent freakish squirming jellyfish. It begs the question, how do you know?

Here is what the The Objectivist Newsletter (April 1963) had to say on the logical fallacy of proving a negative:

“Proving the non-existence of that for which no evidence of any kind exists. Proof, logic, reason, thinking, knowledge pertain to and deal only with that which exists. They cannot be applied to that which does not exist. Nothing can be relevant or applicable to the non-existent. The non-existent is nothing. A positive statement, based on facts that have been erroneously interpreted, can be refuted - by means of exposing the errors in the interpretation of the facts. Such refutation is the disproving of a positive, not the proving of a negative ... Rational demonstration is necessary to support even the claim that a thing is possible. It is a breach of logic to assert that that which has not been proven to be impossible is, therefore, possible. An absence does not constitute proof of anything. Nothing can be derived from nothing. If I say, “Anything is possible” I must admit the possibility that the statement I just made is false. (See Self Exclusion) Doubt must always be specific, and can only exist in contrast to things that cannot properly be doubted.”

Jason: How do you know that God has chosen not to reveal Himself to you (through His Word)?

AT: Yet another fallacy – the plurium interrogationum. How do you know that you haven't stopped beating your wife yet?

Jason: Because you are confusing logic with contents.

AT: Bare assertion. No, we are not.

Jason: Scripture alone gives the information necessary to know the one true and living God.

AT: Bare assertion. Barely asserted, not argued for.


There were a couple of things that we perceived as being odd, to say the least.

Firstly, why would anyone use the picture of John Calvin for his own blogger profile? For a moment we almost thought that Jason Loh looked like John Calvin, or does he?

Secondly, Jason Loh calls himself “Augustinian Successor.” But in what way does Jason Loh succeed the early church patriarch, Augustine of Hippo? Was it in his logic, analysis and thinking? Or was it in the flatus, fetor, and flamboyance?

But what impressed us the most are the similarities between the venerable Watchman Daniel Chew Huicong and Mr Jason Loh, his new apologist. Both are males. Both have plenty of free time to blog and to comment on blogs. And both are adept at using logical fallacies and senseless rhetoric to answer their opponents.

It is little wonder that George Bernard Shaw coined the term “theological parrots” in “The Quintessence of Ibsenism,” and Wayne A. Detzler used the same expression to refer to the liberal, albeit unthinking, rationalistic Christian scholars of the nineteenth century. [4]

There is only so much the theological parrot is capable of. Beyond the regurgitation of their alma mater’s dogmas, or the restatement of content from handbooks they have read, we would expect to see little independent thinking.

And that is exactly what we have received from these gentlemen.


[1] It is not within the scope of this post to discuss the matter further. The simple illustration serves the purpose of explaining that there are factors that lessen or remove blame from X for a morally wrong act.

[2] This view also commits the is-ought fallacy i.e. what is (the current law of the land) does not mean that it ought to be. For example, the law could be unjust, and that which ought to be morally good might be called bad in the current legislation.

[3] It is acknowledged that there is much to be discussed concerning God and free will, and/or moral agency. For a Judeo-Christian theist, the belief in P1 = “An agent X is morally blameworthy or culpable for performing an action A only if X is accountable or answerable to God for A-ing” would lead to a theological absurdity in philosophical theology. God the Son as Man is to be understood as a moral agent, and is subjected to P1. If it would have been impossible for Jesus the Son of Man to choose sin or to go against the will of the Father in the obedentia activa and obedentia passiva of Christ, or if Christ did not have free will in His Incarnation i.e. in conjunction with the two components of the obedentia Christi, then this Christ as the Second Adam in Covenant or Federal Theology would be theologically unsound and inconsistent. Therefore, with P1 as defined by Jason Loh, Christ the God-Man is then morally culpable, which is absurd for Christians – a reductio ad absurdum.

[4] These are paradoxically rationalistic, yet lack independent thinking, unlike “Hengstenberg, Tholuck and Neander.” Cf. Wayne A. Detzler, “Inerrancy and Revival in Germany,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 28, no. 3 (1985): 327-333.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lessons in Logic 101

We can derive precious lessons in informal logic by perusing the illogical statements and “arguments” of the venerable Watchman Daniel Chew Huicong.

As the readers would have known, there is a little debate occurring between Chew and Ming Liang at the Credo 500 website.

While the storm brews and darkness befalls the tiny island of Singapore, the titter of a sniggering Chew could be heard resounding through the corridors of a particular residential estate. As Chew sets out to “tear down” poor little Ming Liang, Chew pompously (and superciliously) announced:

Chew: “However, the Bible and its truth stand over and against your reasoning. I will now deconstruct your entire argument.” [thunder and lightning]

Narrator: I never knew Derrida’s method of “deconstruction” is such illogical child’s play. Derrida must be rolling in his grave. Let us enjoy the fun that follows.

In the ongoing debate over at Credo 500, Chew began his attack by making a bare assertion:

Chew asserts: "God however escapes moral culpability because sin and sinful actions are not directly caused by Him, but are caused by secondary agents under His control." [audience gasped in awe]

Narrator: Here, Chew insists that God “escapes moral culpability because sin and sinful actions are not directly caused by Him.” So, as any logical fellow would, Ming Liang asked for an argument for Daniel’s bare assertion. The burden of proof falls upon him who makes the claim.

So Ming Liang asked: “Why is it so that God “escapes moral culpability” just because evil are (allegedly) not directly caused by Him?”

Narrator: It follows that Chew commits a classic logical fallacy - shifting the burden of proof.

Chew snapped: “Why is it that God does not escape moral culpability just because evil is not directly caused by him?” [audience gasped further]

Narrator: It’s like the following (silly) debate between Tom and Jerry:

Tom: God exists.
Jerry: Prove that He does.
Tom: Prove that He doesn’t.

In conjunction with the above bare assertion (a logical fallacy as well) by Chew, Ming Liang asked, “Is evil (all kinds of evil?) not directly caused by God? What is your argument for this?” This is a reasonable question since Chew asserts that evil is not directly caused by God. Instead of arguing for his point, Chew repeats the same fallacy of shifting the burden of proof.

Chew: “What is your argument for the contrary? How do you know either way?” [more lightning and thunder]

Narrator: But Ming Liang does not need to argue for “the contrary,” as Chew is the one arguing for the proposition that P = “God escapes moral culpability because sin and sinful actions [or evil] are not directly caused by Him.”

As an analogy:

Chew: “You are an idiot.”
Jason: “Why is it that I am an idiot?”
Chew: “Why is it that you are not an idiot?”

Narrator: It’s clear here who truly is the idiot – the one who couldn’t even conjure up a single argument for his proposition that P. P is still a bare assertion. There’s no way a sane, logical fellow can argue with dunderheads like Chew. In like manner, he’ll probably claim that a flying omnipotent earthworm Jim exists, and demands that you prove why a flying omnipotent earthworm Jim doesn’t exist (which is called proving the negative and shifting the burden of proof).

Chew claimed: “I was not trying to explain evil, but to give a viable philosophical explanation of how God can be the ultimate cause but not the author of sin.” [in the tune of Massenet’s Meditation from Thais]

Then Ming Liang asks a very simple question to clarify Daniel’s point, “What kind of evil are you referring to in “I was not trying to explain evil …’”?

Chew answered: “Precisely the point that I am not trying to explain why evil exists. I am only trying to explain how it exists given the axioms of Scripture.” [audience gasp in wonder]

Narrator: Chew doesn’t even seem to understand basic English. Poor Ming Liang asked “what kind of evil [was Daniel] referring to.” It’s really a simple question. But Chew ignored the question, and “argued” for something that wasn’t even asked in the first place, thereby committing the fallacy of ignoratio elenchi or an irrelevant conclusion.

It’s like this scenario:

Chew: “I like ice cream.”
Ming Liang: “What kind of ice cream are you referring to?”
Chew: “Precisely the point that I am not trying to explain why ice cream exists. I am only trying to explain how it exists given the axioms of Scripture.”

Narrator: What do you folks call this kind of debater – mentally challenged?

Ming Liang asked, “You referred to moral evil in “sin and sinful actions.” But does God escape moral culpability for metaphysical evil and physical evil? If so, why?”

Chew replied: “First of, upon what basis is evil defined as "evil". Secondly, why must God be culpable for "metaphysical evil and physical evil"?”

Narrator: Chew’s question (in reply to a question) is really amazing. As a Christian who exhorts sinners to do good and to eschew evil, he doesn’t even know what is the “basis” by which evil is defined! I thought he had the Bible, and I thought he would have at least said that the basis for the definition of evil is the Bible. But lo and behold, how can we trust such a “Christian” man to teach good and evil? He would perhaps even confuse good with evil! Chew’s other question, “Why must God be culpable for "metaphysical evil and physical evil," is merely his attempt to push his bare assertion further – without any argument whatsoever – simply by rephrasing that P. This shifts the burden of proof again, and saves his ignorance by rephrasing a question in the negative.

Chew: “God is not culpable for evil (which includes metaphysical evil and physical evil).”

Jason: “Why is God not culpable for evil (which includes metaphysical evil and physical evil)?”

Chew: “Why must God be culpable for "metaphysical evil and physical evil?"

Narrator: That “logic” and “argument” would surely earn him an honors in the BA in philosophy for chowderheads.

Ming Liang asked: “If God is the ultimate cause of all things, and if all things include evil, God is the ultimate cause of evil. Do you agree/disagree with this? If so, why?”

Narrator: It is clear that the arguments are already stated in the above sentence syllogistically:

P1 = God is the ultimate cause of all things.
P2 = All things include evil.
C = So God is the ultimate cause of evil. (Conclusion)

Instead of challenging the major and/or minor premises, and/or the validity of the syllogism, Chew – who is well versed in [the lack of] logic – answered:

Chew: “No, I disagree. Please elucidate the arguments for saying so.”

Narrator: Excuse me, Mr Chew. The arguments are already “elucidated” in the form of a syllogism in Ming Liang’s question. Chew apparently doesn’t even recognize the most basic of all logical arguments – syllogistic reasoning. I think a mutated monkey would disagree with Ming Liang in almost the same manner as Chew.

Monkey: “No, I disagree. But I don’t recognize your arguments or why I even disagree.”

Ming Liang wrote: “I’m sorry, but I believe you’re trying to convince me with circular reasoning i.e. we know that P (e.g. P=God is Good; God is sovereign etc) because the Bible says so; we know that the Bible is true because God inspired it (and God cannot lie); we know that God inspired the Bible (and God cannot lie) because the Bible says so. Hence, a circulus in probando … yeah right. Your direction of reasoning is illogical.”

Chew answered: “Logic, as Jason as said, is the manner of reasoning. It is nonsensical to say that a "direction of reasoning" is illogical.

Narrator: I guess we can all see why Chew’s reasoning is illogical. See all of the above logical fallacies.

Chew continued: “In fact, talking about circular reasoning, yours is also circular. After all, why it is that your axiom of the rightness of your moral sense is to be trusted?”

Narrator: This is truly an amazingly fatuous question from Chew. Ming Liang hasn’t even mentioned a single “axiom” of “the rightness of [his] moral sense,” and Chew somehow purports to know what Ming Liang believes in!

But don’t we all know how Chew utilizes bare assertions all the time to answer questions or to “argue” with those whom he disagrees with?

Chew said: “Since God hold [sic] all responsible for the actions they themselves do, therefore God cannot be the direct author of evil.”

Ming Liang replied: “The Bible claiming that “God [does] hold all responsible for the actions they themselves do” doesn’t mean that this ought to be the case. What if God shouldn’t have held them responsible i.e. **gasp** the Bible is actually incorrect here, or that your interpretation of the Bible is incorrect here, or there’s a mistake in your version, or … etc (e.g. Calvinists even believe that God actually made some humans unto destruction for His glory, depriving reprobates of effectual and particular grace, and these cannot choose otherwise etc)? The Is-Ought distinction must be clearly argued for, not merely asserted (is-ought fallacy plus bare assertion, yeah right).”

Narrator: Ming Liang tried to reason with Chew that he had committed the is-ought fallacy (which is, of course, another logical fallacy). But Chew replied:

Chew: “Sorry, you do not seem to understand what you [sic] talking about. I argue based upon what IS and OUGHT to be based upon the axiom of Scripture. Unlike you, who only argue based upon what IS.”

Narrator: That is again another amazingly fatuous statement! First of all, we haven’t seen a single argument from Chew; at a minimum, “arguments consist of one or more premises and a conclusion.” What premises, conclusions, and valid logical forms had Chew offered thus far? None. We have only seen bare assertions and logical fallacies all throughout Chew’s replies.

Ming Liang had previously tried to explain that, probably as a non-Christian himself, he didn’t accept Scripture to be divine revelation, and Daniel’s replies thus far had been based upon circular reasoning.

Ming Liang explained: “I’m sorry, but I believe you’re trying to convince me with circular reasoning i.e. we know that P (e.g. P=God is Good; God is sovereign etc) because the Bible says so; we know that the Bible is true because God inspired it (and God cannot lie); we know that God inspired the Bible (and God cannot lie) because the Bible says so. Hence, a circulus in probando.”

Narrator: But Chew here persists in his circular reasoning, and it is viciously circular indeed!

Chew: “I argue based upon what IS and OUGHT to be based upon the axiom of Scripture.”

Narrator: And hence, Chew finds circles coherent within his frame of mind and “logic”. [in the tune of Legrand’s Windmills of the Mind]

Lacking a definite argument for his bare assertion that P (where P = “God escapes moral culpability because sin and sinful actions [or evil] are not directly caused by Him”), Chew repeats the same formula of success – shifting the burden of proof.

Chew wrote: “Since God is sovereign, evil must be under His control. The only way IMO that the two can be put together consistently is that evil is indirectly caused by God.”

Ming Liang replied: “Here you acquiesce that “evil is indirectly caused by God.” GIVEN [emphasis here to emphasize that this is given to you, and not that I agree with you] that God is the indirect cause (and indeed, the ultimate cause) of evil, how would you argue from that fact (?fact) that He is not morally culpable?

Narrator: Here, Ming Liang is simply asking for Daniel Chew to argue his case that P. Notice that Ming Liang thus far is examining Chew’s beliefs via questions; Ming Liang never asserted any proposition.

But Chew predictably replied: “How can you argue that God is morally culpable for sin even if he is the ultimate cause of it? Prove your bare assertion.”

Narrator: Once again, he shifts the burden of proof by rephrasing the question in the negative, and asserts that Ming Liang made a bare assertion. Where is this “bare assertion” by Ming Liang, pray tell?

That would certainly earn Chew a Masters in Philosophy for chowderheads.

A hypocrite in the making

Chew: “As stated earlier, your epistemic direction is wrong. We must start off with the axioms of Scripture, then seek to understand how they logically cohere. We are not to start with our own autonomous human reasoning and question the teachings of Scripture.”

Ming Liang replied: “As stated earlier, your epistemic direction is wrong. We mustn’t start off with circular reasoning, and then seek to understand how “circles” logically cohere. We should not be afraid to use reason and logic. Isn’t it hypocritical if we must first use reason and logic to understand or to interpret scripture (how else would you understand scripture or derive these “axioms”?), then turn around and say that we should start from scripture, and not from “autonomous human reasoning”?”

Narrator: Ming Liang here tried to explain that, since Chew had started with “autonomous human reasoning” and logic in order to understand the writings, axioms and propositions of Scripture, it is really hypocritical to alleged that “we are not to start with our own autonomous human reasoning …”.

But apparently, Chew failed to see that fact.

Chew replied: “And of course, your own circular reasoning is off-topic for discussion, I presume. Aren't you doing the same, except instead of Scripture, you substitute your own moral sense?”

Narrator: My point is – what “circular reasoning” had Ming Liang committed thus far? None. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Chew had no choice, but to “save face” by making up allegations against his opponents. Or was he hallucinating or hearing voices in his head?

More importantly, Chew commits a classic tu quoque fallacy. Instead of defending himself from Ming Liang's allegation (of Chew's circular reasoning from Scripture), he accuses Ming Liang of the same. Worse, Ming Liang really did not commit the fallacy of circulus in probando.

Chew closes off the discussion with a classic ad hominem fallacy – poisoning the well.

Chew: “Yea, right. Tell him (or is it you) to make more sense, instead of talking rubbish. And btw, don't expect to go to AT's slanderous and blasphemous site.” [background music: Psycho]

Narrator: Is Antithesis’ blog really slanderous and blasphemous? Please check out the facts for yourselves, dear readers.

The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

When Chew has no arguments for his bare assertions, he commits logical fallacies one after another in order to appear erudite and scholarly.

Well, at least he deserves a Masters in Philosophy.

For chowderheads, that is.