I had been wondering why I’d stopped receiving the OneNewsNow.com e-mails I never signed up for in the first place. I did a rare perusal of my spam folder before emptying it last night, and saw that Gmail had begun doing me the favor of flagging both these and the messages I’d been getting from the American Family Association as junk. Heedless of Gmail’s sage interpretation, I opened the newest one and saw a link to “Sleeping with your GirlFriend,” and had to see what that was about.
When I clicked on the link, I was taken not to a post imploring chastity, but to this column by Frank Turek (whom I’d encountered once before), an obviously apocryphal tale about a Christian apologist talking a smug young fella who’d been reading New Atheist literature out of his unbelief. In a nutshell, after a few minutes of argumentation, the apologist asked if the kid had been sleeping with his girlfriend, at which point the kid blanched in guilt and confessed that he had. Evidently this was all that was needed to refute everything the kid had been relaying from his atheist readings.
Turek’s editorial comments about atheism are so ridiculous that they straddle a jackstraw boundary between childish desperation, buffoonery, and the triumphant glee of the morbidly ignorant, never quite seeming to find a home in any of these. He mentions “the sound evidence that supports Christianity” and says that “It doesn’t matter (to atheists) that you’ve just answered their question with an undeniable fact.” He writes that “Christian apologetics…involves providing evidence for the truth of Christianity,” but apparently has never asked himself why, if there’s so much evidence for God, apologetics are even necessary in the first place. Why ae there no apologetics to accompany the teaching of anything but religious doctrines?
His main theme, however, is the hopelessly tired, “If God didn’t exist, no one would argue against Him!” or its alternative formulation “God must exist, because people couldn’t argue against Him if he didn’t!” It’s amazing how such ideas persist–and as profound insights at that–when they are easily overturned in a matter of seconds by noting that, by this reasoning, every fictional character in every book, movie, play, or comic strip ever produced must also exist.
Here’s Frank’s “debunking” of the New Atheist jamboree:
It’s not that Hitchens and Dawkins offer any serious examination and rebuttal of the evidence for God. They misunderstand and dismiss hundreds of pages of metaphysical argumentation from Aristotle, Aquinas and others and fail to answer the modern arguments from the beginning and design of the universe. (Dawkins explanation for the extreme design of the universe is “luck.”)
I’m not sure what “metaphysical argumentation” is, but I know what it isn’t: evidence.
I intended to submit the following text, but comments on “Awaken Generation” are extremely restricted in length, so I went to the the cross-post TownHall.com (an almost unrivaled epicenter of raging right-wing flakery) and submitted it there, in two parts. Mine were the 408th and 409th comments, so I doubt that Frank will notice them, but there’s no shortage of rabid cartoon characters watching and posting, so I left them the URL in the hope of keeping things from getting too boring around here this week. (An observation: Why do so many of these religion-soaked sites feature ads with pictures of blondes in tight T-shirts in prominent places? You’d almost think that money were more important that piety to these God-proponents, or something.)
Hi, Frank. A few questions and points.
1. You repeatedly assert that there is all sorts of evidence for God. If this is the case, why has no one presented it? “Metaphysical argumentation” hundreds of years old is kind of shaky, isn’t it? And why, if there is so much evidence, must Christianity invoke “apologetics” at every turn? There is no other body of human knowledge for which apologetics is a necessary source of support besides religious doctrine. Have you never asked yourself whether something fueled by heated, full-scale, and continual denial of counterarguments and indictments of clear Biblical contradictions and absurdities might just be wrong? And please don’t say that these objections have been “asked and answered,” because were this the case, the challenges would have ceased long ago. And please don’t insist that people are simply refusing to let God into their hearts, because that is senseless. Why would people reject something so promising if there were a shred of merit to it?
2. You claim that the fact that people dispute the existence of God, often vehemently, implies that God must exist, or else they would have nothing to argue against. Do you really not see the gaping holes in this? Do you deny the existence of Allah, Vishnu, Baal, and any of the other hundreds of gods I can name? KIds at Christmas often rail against Santa when they don’t see what they want under the tree. Does this validate Santa’s existence? What about odious figures such as Darth Vader, Gollum, and Jar Jar Binks? Are they real? After all, I can not only conceive of them, I can dislike them.
What you fail to consider is that it is not God that people object to, but the people who won’t stop trying to use a fictional entity to shoehorn bad ideas into biology classes, stifle important biomedical research and medical procedures, and impose outdated and often misogynistic notions of morality on other people. If I repeatedly walked up to you and said uncomplimentary and untrue things about your mother, you would surely rile in short order. Would your anger be proportional to the truth of my ramblings?
The “New Atheists” you mention are not angry at God. In fact, they are not angry, period. I’ve seen all of them speak, and they have compelling things to say. They list implacably the numerous gaping holes in scripture, including the notion of a flat earth and countless other things that can be neatly accounted for by the fact that the Bible is not divinely inspired, but a product of the state of human knowledge thousands of years ago.
3. Finally, how does the fact that the kid was sleeping with his girlfriend in any way invalidate whatever his arguments were–or those of Dawkins et al.? There is no logical connection. (It seems clear that the account you mention was crafted for demonstrative purposes and never actually occurred, but that is beside the point.) Even were this kid motivated by guilt to abandon Christianity and look into the debunkings of same, this has no correlation to the truth or falsity of his claims.
That’s all. I suggest that in a follow-up post you list, in as succinct a manner of possible, the various rock-solid facts standing as evidence for God. I will remind you that every other religion has them, and that for you to claim that Christianity is somehow superior constitutes special pleading borne of your happening to be born in the United States.