I attended a formal debate a few days ago before an audience of about 200 on the question, “Does God Exist?” The representative for the negative was a college professor of philosophy. The representative for the positive was a pastor of a local fundamentalist Christian church.
The pastor was a typical fundamentalist Bible thumper, a YEC (young earth creationist, yeeecchh!) and believes that everything in the Bible is literally true. His arguments were a compendium of logical fallacies, while he accused his opponent of using logical fallacies.
Not surprisingly he compared atheists to Hitler, with the fallacious syllogism: Hitler was an atheist. Hitler killed millions of people. Therefore, all atheists are as evil as Hitler. Ignoring the fact that Hitler was not an atheist, by the pastor’s “reasoning,” since Hitler was a vegetarian, then all vegetarians are as evil as Hitler.
I believe that the major field taught at the fundamentalist seminaries like the one the pastor probably attended is obfuscation. I was able to get a question posed to him by the moderator. It was “Without quoting from the Bible, give us an objective reason to believe that the Bible is the word of God rather than the Koran.” I restricted him from quoting the Bible because I knew that, if I didn’t, he would use the circular reasoning of quoting from the Bible by saying the Bible is the word of God because it says it is. His non-objective answer was that: they both can’t be the word of God, either the Koran is and the Bible is not, or the Bible is and the Koran is not, and he believed that the Bible is the word of God. He left out the fourth condition that neither is the word of God. Obfuscation at work.
However, the professor was not very effective in his counter arguments. He was too nice to the pastor in my opinion and I suspect that his frequent use of irony went over the heads of many in the audience.
What really bugged me was what happened after the debate. I helped man a table at the back of the room for a local group called the “Community of Reason.” We handed out our monthly schedule of meetings and several pamphlets criticizing the Bible and Christianity. Most people came by and picked up our material without comment.
One woman, however, dragging her pre-teens behind her wanted to tell us about Jesus, sin, and hell. (Incidentally, I was wearing my “Smile, there’s no hell” T-shirt.) She had one of those shit-eating Christian grins like the ones I’ve seen at nursing homes on the faces of those with advanced dementia. She had to tell us that Jesus loves us. (Of course she hates our guts.)
Please don’t label me as immoderate Christian hater. I believe that the vast majority of Christians are good people. It is the things that they support and do that I hate.
This woman is an exception to the average moderate Christian. She is an addict and a pusher. She is addicted to the Jesus, salvation drug. She needs constant fixes to keep her high. Her fixes consist of aggressive, mindless, irrational proselytizing. Why does she need these fixes? Because there is always that still, small voice in the back of her mind that says, “All that you believe about your God is bullshit.” She needs to continually drown out that voice. And by convincing others to join her delusional fantasy, she validates it by adding to her delusional crowd by intimidating people with her irrational rants. But, as long as there are a few people that say it is not so, she cannot silence the voice in her mind.
These people are incapable of reason or logic and their prognosis for recovery is very poor. I’ve learned from sad experience that it is a waste of my time to argue with them, so I quickly shook the dust off my feet and moved on. I feel sorry for her kids.
For other examples of delusional argument, look at the Christian trolls on this site. Thank you for reading my rant. Ex-Christian comments and/or criticisms will be appreciated.
tag: atheism, Chrisitanity vs. Atheism, debate,
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)