Why is it that Unreasonables are so often emotional? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
Lately I’ve been dialoguing on several fronts with atheists concerning the Reason Rally and one method of argumentation is to speak of something that angers the atheist in the Bible and then the argument is formed.
Premise: X occurs in the Bible.
Premise: I don’t like X.
Conclusion: God does not exist.
Some might think this is simplistic, but it seems that for many, if you just mention the incident of Elisha and the two bears, well that’s enough. The whole thing can be thrown out the window because of that and we can rest assured that Christianity is not true because the holy book contains something distasteful to us in it.
This gets us into what I wrote about last time. Most atheists do not bother to understand the Bible but only come with a superficial reading and act like that destroys all of it. Note I said most. There are some exceptions that are actually capable of dialoguing on the subject. For most, the story ends with something that is not liked and that is the end of it.
If you agree with them that it is distasteful, well you need to come out of your God belief because you would not condone it at all unless God did it. If you seek to explain the passage in question, well it’s obvious that you really believe that the whole thing is horrid and you’re just trying to justify that tension that you feel in your own mind.
Darned if you do. Darned if you don’t.
There is no concept that this book was written in a different time, place, and culture. There is no idea that if God exists, then we should not really expect Him to be just like us and if He is the Lord of all the universe, He does have that authority to take lives as He is the giver and sustainer of all life and He does not owe anyone their life, or anything else for that matter.
Now I am not going to write out a defense of every single event in the Bible. I have written about many elsewhere and will be glad to pull up anything I have written if need be. I mainly want to counter the basic thrust that I see throughout the whole argument. It is the idea that because something is distasteful or seen as morally evil, then obviously the Bible is not the Word of God.
It’s not really that obvious. It could be many times we do not understand something properly and when that happens, we need to improve our understanding. If we are right, further research will help to elucidate that. If we are wrong, further study will do the same.
Also, it could be for the sake of argument that the Bible is not the Word of God and there is no justification for some of these things. This is not my stance, but it’s a possible stance. So what? There are Christians who do have this view and do believe that there is still enough evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. The idea that the Bible must be Inerrant in all that it teaches in order to be true in anything is a fundamentalist idea. It is that for both fundy atheists and fundy Christians. Keep in mind I do hold to Inerrancy, but if Inerrancy is wrong, I’m not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Outrage is just outrage. Being angered about something does not make it wrong. Not liking something does not make it wrong. For that, you actually need to dialogue and seek to understand the situation. Christians in dialogue should realize that if an atheist just wants to rant about something and not dialogue, well that’s how it’s going to be, and while that aspect can’t be changed about them unless they want to, one can usually sit back and explain everything and trust the audience watching sees which side is presenting the more rational presentation.
Yet doesn’t it seem odd that those who claim to rely so much on reason consistently have an appeal to emotion with a conclusion that does not follow?
Tags: Reason Rally