@realanews dishes on the election and has an #evangelical preacher argue from design!

This was a special edition episode recorded and posted on election night. I was very sad I couldn’t join, but I was, well, watching the election.

Lots of good talk, but the highlight for me was the inclusion of Jerry, an evangelical preacher who “used to be” an atheist.

So tired of that horseshit.

Let’s go to the actual bit. Lee asked Jerry why he was a believer and, after some further conversation including the allegation that Jerry believes in magic, this is what Jerry said:

“I say it’s physics.”

–Jerry

Right. Physics.

My problem with this argument is…

  1. While physics demonstrates a consistency in universal, natural laws that accurately predict all cause/effect relationships,
  2. this in no way necessarily leads to a designer/creator of such laws,
  3. and even if it did, that still wouldn’t necessarily lead to any specific interpretation of said creator/designer,
  4. whether generally the Abrahamic one,
  5. or particularly the Christian one,
  6. or even more particularly the Evangelical one.
  7. And the testable nature of physical laws is completely inconsistent with the unfalsifiable nature of all supernatural Evangelical claims.

What’s left is, the universe seems designed because it looks to bear resemblance to things that we know are designed (having detectable, predictable patterns), therefore there must be a designer, and that designer must be whatever socially acceptable concoction I choose to emotionally invest in (because I want to).

The keys, though, are “seems,” “must be,” and “want,” all of which are completely irrelevant to the evidence.

That there seemed to be only five natural elements, earth, air, fire, water, and the fifth essence of, um, er, whatever, doesn’t change the fact that we’ve discovered actual elements.

That there must be an explanation for almost everything, particularly the exotic, yet familiar human eye, brain, and the cosmos, doesn’t change the fact that each of these things has been discovered to have specific components, specific functions, and specific mapped out development timelines completely devoid of the need for any external, intelligent agent.

That there is want for meaning, justice, righteousness or whatever other emotional element people crave doesn’t change the fact that these are all human constructs which, while perhaps fulfilling specific evolutionary needs, bear no inherent significance.

And that’s just my problem with his whole “physics” thing. Now for the horseshit!

“I used to be one of you.”

–Jerry

It’s an extremely persistent popular claim that people like Lee Strobel “used to be atheists.” I can’t say whether any of them ever was. Obviously to claim that they weren’t is to pull a Not a True Scotsman. I get that. But the inconsistency I see is that in every case of which I’m aware in which the believer claims to have been an atheist, he either has no clue what it means to be an atheist, he ultimately admits that he wasn’t, or he relies on the identical fallacies as the worst of the apologists to support his current belief.

Clearly, to claim that one was an atheist leads dramatic weight to the alleged conversion. It’s so much more impressive for a non-believer to turn into a believer than for one who was indoctrinated since childhood to be a believer and all he’s done is remained one.

This is why every time I’ve heard the claim, I’ve asked what convinced the believer. And every time it’s some version of “personal experience,” a reliance on fallacy like “the universe is too complicated NOT to have been designed,” or it turns out the believer has always been one, but had never been as committed to his faith as he is now and so labels his previous lack of commitment a lack of faith.

I don’t know Jerry. I probably never will. Certainly not how Brian knows him. Despite this, I remain confident that nothing he’d ever have to say in defense of his faith would impress me any more than any of the above.

“If you were able to show me incontrovertible proof [that atheism is true]…”

–Jerry

What the fuck was up with his attempt to shift the burden of proof? He used to be an atheist? Awesome. He’s now an evangelical preacher. Fantastic. Then how the fuck is it in his years as an atheist and now as a preacher he’s either never bumped into or is so incompetent a thinker as to not be able to avoid this tired, old trap?

Try this on for size, Jerry. Prove that the Easter Bunny DOESN’T exist.

  • Don’t say because no one’s ever seen him. Maybe they weren’t looking hard enough.
  • Don’t say kids made him up because the belief in Him, just as what you believe in, developed organically over time.
  • Don’t say the claims of Him are impossible because the same applies to your faith.

What you’re left with is you can’t disprove the Easter Bunny. But that’s not your problem. It’s the problem of the Easter-Bunny believer to prove His existence, not your job to prove His lack of existence.

I have to wonder if this truly is the best that people like Jerry can do. An appeal to design, an appeal to conversion, and an attempt to shift the burden of proof. No wonder the evangelical numbers are slipping. It’s only a matter of time before people like Jerry have to get real jobs.

Here’s A-News, the episode on A-News, and here it is on iTunes.

5 Responses to “@realanews dishes on the election and has an #evangelical preacher argue from design!”

  1. To be fair, he did used to be one of us… all believers did. They just don’t remember it.

    • Sorry to be unkind but you’re sort of a mindless
      idiot. If you think it’s edgy or your surrounding
      community thinks it’s a scandal to be an atheist
      you need to move to a major American city this
      shouldn’t be a big deal in this day and age. Fuck
      Penn Gillette he’s a nasty person. The 12 step issue
      needs to be taken seriously and outlawed. Look
      beyond the surface presentations you are shown.
      Why is your moniker sexually solicitious. You have alot to learn little girl I wish you all th best. Take good care.

      • Anton A. Hill Says:

        I’m assuming you’re referring to Windsupmyskirt. You know, it could just be that wind blows up skirts because it, well, blows. Is there anyone, other than Obama, you’re not angry at? 😐

  2. A friend of my mom’s converted to Judaism because she married
    a jewish dude. I’ve seen her at the sedar and she takes this nonsense ritual seriously. Here’s the scary part she was the editor
    for the Jersey section of the Times and got promoted to the overnight
    Washington editor of the Times. She’s a huge twit independent of
    believing/engaging in stupidity and sillyness both my brother and I think she’s an idiot. To believe in a religion because you have been
    brainwashed from a young age is understandable and there are
    psychological, social and cultural reasons people continue unexamined relationships with organized religion. To convert as an
    adult is RETARDED. I have no respect for that and question the
    judgement and intellect of these Morons I mean Mormons. I’ll
    give a shout out to my late great Dad who was born in 1926 came up
    in the church (he had George Carlin R.I.P. in class when he was a
    music teacher at Cardinal Hayes) and minored in anthropology at
    Columbia U so he studied thought about and understood how
    socities were organized and the functions of their various institutions.
    Despite being indoctrinated as a small child in a fire and brimstone
    cultural climate he knew religion was a man made lie. His brother
    became a Franciscan priest and is a clueless self absorbed jerk.
    What about these Muslim converts? Some religions are stupid and
    silly some are evil. Islam is a religious and political doctrine.The
    West needs to learn more about what Islam really is. Believe what
    you want it’s everyones right in a free society. Religion is ridiculous.

    • Anton A. Hill Says:

      Funny how you find some things offensive, but not others. 🙂

      Never underestimate the powers of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. I’m never really surprised when so-called atheists become Christians in the US because there’s intense social acceptance of such. It seems to be only when former “atheists” become other whacky things like Satanists or Wiccans that anyone seems to take notice.

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