Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The following is an exchange I had recently with a professing atheist on Youtube. I wanted to present it here to show that some professing atheists don't always practice what they preach.
(The professing atheist's comments are in italics. Edited for brevity.)
Professing Atheist: "Faith" in the religious context means accepting dogma as fact in the absence of evidence. This is a poor policy for uncovering the truth.
Me: Um... no it doesn't. Faith in the Christian religion is based upon fact. It's based upon the written account and oral testimony of eyewitnesses.
One thing that we could ask of you, [his screenname], is "what day is your birthday?"
PA: You claim there is an afterlife , and an invisible deity who will judge you when you die. (I assume) These are not facts Mr Lane but speculation. Just because some bronze age peasants saw Jesus produce a bottle of Merlot does not give any credibility to all that supernatural spirit world spiel does it?
My Birthday ? why ?
Me: You don't have to actually share the day here if you'd rather not. I'd just like to know if you actually have a birthday. (ie. the knowledge of the day that you were born.)
PA: Ok yes I do . I think I see where this is going. I dont have a star sign though , as I refuse to give Astrology any credence.
Me: That actually isn't where this was going. So we've declared that you do have a day you consider the day of your birth. Ok.
Why do you consider that day to be your birthday? Do you remember it? Did you write it down the day you came out of the womb? What are you relying upon to determine that that is your day of birth?
PA: My mum remembers it because I weighed nearly 10 pounds ! and I guess that medical records could be scrutinised. However , if you are attempting to suggest by logical extrapolation that this is the same as believing that the empirically tested laws of physics were broken 2000 years ago because it was witnessed by a number of people I have to point out that more people than that claim to see Elvis every year. (respectfully I might add )
Me: Well, what I am asserting is that you are relying on written accounts and eyewitness testimony for the day of your birth, so I'm wondering if you will grant that for our position. If you do, then we would have to determine whether your mom and the doctors are lying. That would be all that was left. The same would be true about the apostles. We just have to determine if they were telling the truth since we both agree then that written and oral testimony can be permitted as credible.
From that point, the conversation didn't get back to any discussion about ""Faith" in the religious context mean(ing) accepting dogma as fact in the absence of evidence." Just wanted to share so our atheist friends would have something to think about. Happy birthday this year, atheists.