Unbelievable? Chapter 8


A chat with Dawkins

This was to me the most boring chapter.

He writes he asked Dawkins, if we lived in a universe where rape was considered fine, would that mean rape is fine.

He says Dawkins response was that it is enough that we live in a universe where rape is not considered fine, a response which Justin finds inadequate. To turn this question on its head, if as Justin insists, we live in a world governed by god who is the lawgiver and it programmed such a law, what would we do? The argument that god is good by definition will not cut it. We have no way of knowing the nature of god, so the Christians have told us. They can’t have it both ways.

Justin takes issue with the following memes

  • Atheism as simply a lack of belief in god

He claims that atheism has been defined typically as the belief that there is no god. On the contrary I think many atheists have defined atheism as a lack of belief in the existence of god as contrasted to theism which is the belief that their is a god. This could be splitting hairs but they mean different things. Again contrary to his claim that this definition makes the atheist no different from an agnostic, many atheists would willingly admit they are agnostic with regards to belief in god, that is, we do not know whether or not a god(s) exists. It is no argument against atheism that there is disagreement on how it is defined.

  • god didn’t create humans, humans created god

As far as memes go, this is interesting. Maybe Nietzsche had a point, was god man’s first mistake.

Justin goes after the argument, unsuccessfully I must add, that our belief in the supernatural began in an ignorant age arguing that the source of a belief should is not sufficient to prove that its contents are also false. We however have occasion to believe that humans make wrong inferences all the time, and so it is with religious belief.

  • out of the thousands of religions only Christianity is true

Justin says this argument undercuts the grounds of atheism as well. I don’t see how. It is either one religion is true, all are true or all false. But atheism isn’t a religion. He continues to say Christians hold some common beliefs with other religions such as a creator god and that historical evidence supports the existence of Jesus. The Jesus question we already dispensed with in a previous chapter.

  • Hell

He says god is not sending anyone to hell. That you are consciously choosing with your own freewill to go to hell by rejecting god. Why did god create hell if she didn’t want anyone there anyway? And why not nudge us away from disbelief?

  • Religion is to blame for all the conflict in the world

is first of all a strawman. No one makes this claim ( I don’t know if the claim by Hitch that religions poison everything could apply?) but what I have heard is at least that religion is responsible for some of the conflicts in the world. And this is undisputed. To claim a body account between atheism and theism doesn’t advance the argument for theism. It only tells us human systems have their flaws.

 

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

18 thoughts on “Unbelievable? Chapter 8

  1. Mordanicus says:

    Actually I wonder why wonder with the likes of Justin at all, he raises points that have been refuted for a gazillion times. Personally I prefer to ignore those folks as much as possible and focus my energy on things that really matter, not on imaginary stuff.

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    • makagutu says:

      He claimed he has had discussions with atheists, agnostics, Hindoos, Buddhists and all in the last 10 years so I expected something solid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mordanicus says:

        I wonder what “discussions” he had with those people and who those people were. In my experience discussions with christians like Justin, are very one way “jesus is good” without any substantial argument and even less genuine interest in the other side. So I can easily imagine that his conversation partners simply gave up on some moment.

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          They were on radio! Imagine that. For 10 years to boot. He says he has interviewed most of the famous atheists as well and I don’t know who else. It however doesn’t show in this work. It is all so common place

          Liked by 1 person

      • meh, those people are likely as real as the “many people” that orange jackass Trump claims idolize him.

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        • makagutu says:

          He says he interviewed Dawkins and I think Limey listens to his show so there’s credibility that he has interviewed these fellows. The problem I am having is after 10+ years, you expect better argumentation than what’s in the book

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          • I’m still reserving my doubts since these little fellows love to hook their wagon onto famous people to get attention.

            I think the issue is that there isn’t any better argumentation. They all fail.

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            • makagutu says:

              He also said to a person in great pain, it doesn’t help them to make an academic argument for why they suffer, that they need care and empathy. So maybe he knows theistic arguments are weak and leaves room for emotional appeal.

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    • basenjibrian says:

      The problem, though, is these beliefs in things that are imaginary do deeply influence the real world. Especially in politics. So we cannot avoid engaging with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “He says god is not sending anyone to hell. That you are consciously choosing with your own freewill to go to hell by rejecting god. Why did god create hell if she didn’t want anyone there anyway? And why not nudge us away from disbelief?”

    I do love when Justin tries to lie and ignore his bible.

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    • makagutu says:

      He would say John the baptist says repent for the kingdom of God is at hand but there is still the small problem of the chosen ones & other conditions to be met.

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    • basenjibrian says:

      Justin’s argument is not a common one in Christian history. The far more common one (particularly in these Benighted States) is we are all disgusting sinners and only because God tortured Himself/His Son/His bargle bargle it’s ineffable just believe, dammit! are we saved from eternal, relentless pain and suffering.

      Of course, my response is always: who was The Creator? Who MADE that disgusting creature who DESERVES to be PUNISHED? (And no, freewill is not a logical response when it comes to a omnipotent, omniscient deity)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ron says:

    “. . . if we lived in a universe where rape was considered fine, would that mean rape is fine?”

    Isn’t that the universe prescribed in Numbers 31:18 (“but keep alive for yourselves all the girls and all the women who are virgins.” — Good News Translation)?

    Perhaps he should be telling us why he deems it wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

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