10/03/2010 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Tusk ~
Hello, Humans. The story I'm about to tell you isn't that old. I've been surfing this site for a couple months now, commenting here and there. I'm only out to a handful of friends, but I'm fairly certain that my family suspects. Recently though, an old friend of mine has decided to take me under his wing and direct me back to the fold. We've been emailing back and forth for a couple weeks...but then everything changed.
Image by JavierVazquez via FlickrWhat started out as an innocent C.S. Lewis quote on my Facebook wall, led me to my Haymaker moment. You might know what I'm talking about. The statement or conclusion that makes the Christer STOP. IN. HIS. TRACKS. I mean... K-O.
Now, to my benefit, the guy is already dead set on being rational. And he thinks he can, while maintaining all his beliefs. So, my task wasn't necessarily to prove him wrong; it was to prove him irrational at the core. This probably wouldn't have worked on someone who doesn't have a problem being irrational.
I'll set the scene:
"If 'good' means 'what God wills' then to say 'God is good' can mean only 'God wills what he wills.' Which is equally true of you or me or Judas or Satan."
Taking this as a threat, he promptly responded with 4... yes 4 other inconsequential C.S. Lewis quotes. Whoa, right? This guy clearly knows more Clive quotes than I do. Eventually, after the nonsense of God-of-the-gap arguments, I asked if God could create a gap so vast, that even He couldn't fill it.
He then fired another C.S. Lewis quote, like a sniper using bullshit for ammunition.
"Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable."
The best way to proceed was to AGREE that the questions were nonsense, BUT to tell him why. Something he was not expecting. "What makes any of these questions irrational from the start," I said, "is the unfounded assumption that a god exists and can do...anything (make a rock so big, nuke a burrito so hot, make a gap so wide). How could anyone expect to have a "rational" discussion with the irrational premise of faith in God's existence?"
BOOM! He blew up. Telling me that was just my opinion and accusing me of dancing around the issue, and "sickening an honest thinker" like him. He really used these words. And he was doing it in the loving, Christian way you are all familiar with. "You're premise is that God does not exist. Your conclusion is that faith in God's existence is irrational. You're using your conclusion as your premise. You just don't like God" Blah, blah, blah.
But did you catch it? Keep in mind, this entire discussion has been an exercise in assuming God does exist. "God does not exist" never once came up in the discussion. Here is where he realizes how irrational he is. Here is the first triumph of my young atheist experience. Feast your eyes on the Haymaker...
"My conclusion, 'Faith in God's existence is irrational,' is absolutely not based on the premise, 'God does not exist.' Stop putting words in my mouth. It is a conclusion based on the premise that 'Faith is irrational.' It has nothing to do with God's existence. And it has nothing to do with whether I like or dislike the proposal 'God exists.'
Faith is maintaining a belief in a concept despite a lack of objective supporting evidence or in spite of any or all objective evidence to the contrary. I know exactly what irrational means, and 'faith' fits the bill. This has nothing to do with whether I like or dislike faith. You have faith that God exists. You maintain a belief in God's existence despite lacking objective supporting evidence. And you are not open to any evidence to the contrary. I think your past responses make that abundantly clear. This is irrational.
Which is why I asked how anybody could expect to have a "rational" discussion with such an irrational premise as having faith in God's existence.
Interestingly, though, you lack faith in Vishnu's, Mithra's, Thor's, Brahman's, Ra's, Quetzalcoatl's, and Apollo's existence. Even though, the objective evidence supporting their existences is equivalent to that of your invisible incorporeal infinite God's...zero. This is irrational. Not because I don't like it, but because it is without reason. The God of Truth has no more supporting evidence than the God of War or the God of Coffee. So why have faith in any of them?"
You know what his response was?