Saturday, 30 June 2012

Things Chrisitans say, part 22: Evidence all around us!

A weekly series of responses to the things Christians say to atheists, based on the video reproduced here on 30th January 2012.  The aim is to tackle one every weekend, to give both a moderate, polite response to each question ('Piano'), followed by a more forceful rebuttal of the same question ('Forte'). 

The evidence is all around you. Just look at this world.


To our eyes, there are many aspects of the world that combine beauty, majesty and awe inspiring abilities.  Looking at them with interest we all find things that amaze us, whether we are religious or not.

Since we are looking at this world though, why do we only see the amazingly beautiful and complex things and why would you then attribute all of those to God?

I think if you continue to look at the world and ALL of its evidence you might start to see things that disgust and appal you.  The existence of creatures that are infested by incredibly (albeit unwittingly) cruel parasites can't go un-noticed.  The suffering of innocent children who can hardly be blamed for their sins must raise other questions.

So I have to agree with you.  Just look at this world.  After looking at all of it, can you honestly convince yourself that God did the nice bits but not the others?  I don't understand how you could.

Being all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving he allows - no he makes things this way.



This has got to be one of the weakest of all the arguments for the existence of a god, let alone your particular God.  It combines many logical errors into one or two sentences.

First of all, has it ever occurred to you that people all around the world think that their gods were involved in creating the world?  If you claim that these gods are all different manifestations of your God then I would say that there are two possibilities.  Either you are lying to yourself, or you are deluded in your views.  The properties of all these imaginary beings are mutually exclusive.  Other people deride your god just as you disapprove of theirs (if you are honest).  You only think yours is the most likely because . . . he is yours.

Second - when you look at all this world around you, you can hardly fail to be unaware of the problem of suffering.  (See above.)  I feel that the burden of proof is on you if you want us to believe that God didn't do that as well as the nice things.  If you insist on indulging in cherry-picking and then how can you expect anyone to accept your argument as a logical one.

Third - why don't you go and read some books that tell you the answers.  Read with an open and inquiring mind, instead of listening to preachers who generally know nothing about anything useful.  They only know how to use superficially plausible analogies and metaphors to convince those who have not bothered to learn about other points of view.  In fact, most of the congregation will never have taken seriously the concept that other people believe equally strongly in other gods, and they have little training in scientific and rational thinking.  Of course they can be easily convinced. 

But you ARE reading this.  You are different.

Just because you (or they) personally can't believe that the world came to its current state with the intervention of a deity doesn't mean anything.  You can't have bothered to read the opposing point of view.  In this day and age, with such freedom of information flow, you have to admit that this is intellectually lazy.

Isn't it interesting that this song, What a Wonderful World was used as the theme music for the original series of (atheist) Douglas Adams' Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy?  It was not used because the word 'sacred' appeared once in the lyrics, but perhaps because of

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow 
They'll learn much more.....than I'll never know 
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

That doesn't meant that you should stop learning, even though the babies might eventually know more that you ever will.

Last week:   I really don't think your marriage can be considered a real marriage!
Next week: The banana!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

No particular point, just a great song.