This is not one of those emails.
Normally, I would just let Kazim's response speak for itself. The gang over at The Atheist Experience needs no help from me to deal with this attempt at apologetics.
But I just had to clean coffee off my monitor, the wall behind my monitor, my keyboard, and my desk. Not only was I forced to spit-take by this email, but I almost choked on my beverage. This email owes me.
All quotes are from the email to The Atheist Experience, written by someone with the handle “Advanced Technology Solutions.”
I have a few questions for you. I am a Christian, and a strong Man in my faith, therefore these questions may be hard for you to respond to
I hope they are difficult. I love a good argument. Allows me to strengthen my own points, and perhaps learn something new. Bring on the intellectual stimulation!
1.) Are you a scientist?
2.) Do you speak, write, or translate Hebrew, or Greek?
3.) Are you a parent?
Wait, what? Those are random. I bet he's building to a killer argument, starting with three seemingly unconnected questions before dropping the proverbial hammer that ties everything together. The only reasons I am not literally quaking in my boots in fear of my faith in atheism being destroyed are my complete lack of faith and my current lack of boots. I've dealt with too many bad arguments lately, but this one shows promise, if only because I have no idea what rabbit hole I will wind up down. I need to arm myself for this one. Bible, stack of books on atheism and counter-apologetics, textbooks on Christianity, and french pressed coffee; I am prepared, do your worst.
1) No I am not, although I am studying psychology with the goal of doing research. So no, I am not yet a scientist. Although, philosophically, are we not all scientists? Our whole existence is a series of experiments, from which we learn about ourselves and our world, using the resulting data to build our lives.
2) No, I can not. I would love to have that knowledge and the ability to read the bible and the apocryphal texts in the original language, and perhaps someday I will, but one can not be an expert at everything. I still take classes on Christianity, other religions, and biblical scholarship when I can, but psychology takes up the majority of my time and effort.
3) No, I am not a parent, although my ex has two little girls whom I love and fathered for 4 years. Since they were not my seed, I can not say this with complete confidence, but I feel like I loved them as my own.
Below are my reasons for asking these questions
I can not wait to see where this is heading.
1.) If you are not a scientist, then in fact you must take the word of someone you have never met, and use it as evidence for your case. Guess who else does that? That’s right Christians do that every day.
*insert raised eyebrow here*
Is that really "in fact" what I must do? I, as well as all other atheists, just take anything some random "scientist" says and immediately incorporate it into my worldview as gospel truth? Do I really have to explain how science works again?
Scientist looks at issue. Scientist develops a hypothesis concerning the issue. Scientist tests the hypothesis. Scientist publishes the results of the test. Other scientists read the published paper, critique it, and try to replicate the results of the test. Scientists either confirm or debunk the results of the first test. Each scientist and his/her test brings a little more knowledge to our table of understanding the issue. Eventually, if enough scientists and their tests all converge on one answer, the hypothesis may become strong enough to be called a theory. Even then, scientists will continue to poke, prod, and test the theory, using new methods, new ideas and new evidence to try to either strengthen or bring down the theory. Some theories have been tested and confirmed by so many scientists with so much evidence that they are considered by everyone who honestly examines the evidence to be fact. Some of the strongest theories include the germ theory of disease, the theory of relativity, the theory of a spherical earth, and the theory of evolution by natural selection. No matter how strong a theory may be, there will always be scientists examining the evidence and retesting them, because producing the evidence to overturn an established theory is the career equivalent of winning the Powerball for scientists.
I can see how you got confused. Cause believing a Bronze Age text was written by your god, accepting everything your priest/pastor tells you, and having faith that billions of people and their beliefs are wrong while you know the true mind of God is exactly the fucking same.
2.) If you answer no o this question, then how can you understand how these ancient texts were to be translated? Oh I know you rely on an expert who has studied these sorts of things their entire life. They have read the books, and been well educated. Let me ask who wrote these books? Men, flawed creatures, who believed the world was flat, and that the center of everything was the earth. Again blind faith in Men.
The stupid is starting to hurt. Is he arguing with himself in this paragraph? Let me see if I can get this straight. I can not read/translate Hebrew and Greek, therefore I must depend upon experts who have studied the languages and the texts to translate them for me. But it doesn't matter either way, because the ancient texts were written by flawed men from the Bronze Age.
If “Advanced Technology Solutions” is arguing that belief in the Bible as the word of God is blind faith in flawed men, men who clearly did not understand the world and the universe, and thus an outdated worldview, he'll get no argument from me. I know the bible was written by men from a pre-scientific time who used a tribal deity to account for their ignorance of the world they lived on. I know scribes added and subtracted from the manuscripts, I know certain books were written with ulterior motives, I know some books were outright forgeries, and I know the gospels were each written to make specific points, not as history. I also am aware of how the Bible was pieced together, by flawed men, and that there were many other books they could have included in the bible, yet instead decided to burn. Flawed men once again making the decision. And I am not even going to touch on the many different flavors of Christianity jockeying for dominance prior to the establishment of orthodoxy. Established once again, you guessed it, by flawed men.
At least we agree on something.
Although I get the feeling that what “Advanced Technology Solutions” really means here is that his experts have a direct line to God and can accurately explain the meaning of Scripture, while secular experts, who we apparently lack the ability to question, can only fuck it all up.
And if that is what he meant, he is not only an idiot, but an arrogant idiot.
On to number 3. Don't take a drink while reading.
3.) If the answer is yes, then you understand the rage of God “The Father.” Sometimes as parents we do become angry with our children, and we tell them “you will understand when your older.” And things of this nature. And to say that God is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow is correct. Look in exodus where he plans to kill the Israelites, but Moses intercedes for them, and God spares them. We see his rage in the great flood, and his compassion, and we read in the new testament that Jesus is seated at his right hand and makes intercession for us. He gives one reason for his wrath, he cannot stand Sin, but Jesus intercedes for us so that he not wipe us out.
If I was a believer, I would be praying right now that “Advanced Technology Solutions" is not only not a parent, but also infertile and unable to ever adopt.
Think that's a bit harsh? Then reread what he wrote. If you are a parent, then you understand the "rage" of God.
That quite frankly scares the shit out of me. My ex has two little girls whom I love dearly. While I was their step-father, I could never have raised a hand against them, let alone drown them, turn them to salt, stone them, have them gang raped to death, have them gang raped (but not to death this time), sacrifice them as a burnt offering, have sex with them, sell them, kick them out for eating fruit, tell them their sex makes them second class citizens, and/or condemn them to eternal torment.
Of course, he'd just claim that I don't understand any of those passages in the Bible, although I'm not really sure how else to interpret them. So fine, I'll toss the Bible aside, his own words are enough.
Look in exodus where he plans to kill the Israelites, but Moses intercedes for them, and God spares them......He gives one reason for his wrath, he cannot stand Sin, but Jesus intercedes for us so that he not wipe us out.
So when one of your kids does something bad, someone has to stop you from fucking killing them?
We see his rage in the great flood, and his compassion,
So if you had 5 kids and they did something bad, and your wife wasn't around to stop you, your bipolar response would be to kill 4 of them and compassionately allow 1 to live?
You either are sick, or just completely fail at constructing analogies. As much as I hope it is the latter, I still wouldn't let you within 100 yards of any children I know.
On a side note. If you are going to accuse Christians of Being “Stupid” You should understand that without proper theological training that you have no case for the non-existence of God, Just as I am not a Plumber, therefore, I must take his word when he says “frozen pipes.” The point is Pastors, or other men with theological training are here to help us make sense of the teachings in the bible, just as your “experts” help you understand the world. Without objection (right, everyone has an agenda, even Atheist) In closing learn Hebrew, and Greek, Translate the Bible for yourself, and ask where is YOUR proof that God does not exist, not the proof from another group of “experts” Who like everyone else is left roaming the earth looking for a
[It just cuts off there]
I do not claim that Christians are stupid. Misguided, mistaken, and wrong, perhaps, but not stupid. You, however ......
You are not a plumber, so you have to take it on faith when he tells you that your pipes are frozen? I so wish I was your plumber. $$$$$
So without theological training, I have no place in the debate? Then cough up your PhD in Theology or shut the fuck up.
The point is Pastors, or other men with theological training
Why do I get the notion that his idea of "theological training" has nothing to do with any University and everything to do with bible study at the local church?
In closing learn Hebrew, and Greek, Translate the Bible for yourself
Why? Didn't you already say that the bible was written by flawed men? And even if I could translate it myself, I don't have the rigorous theological training you claim I need to make sense of it anyway.
ask where is YOUR proof that God does not exist
Burden of proof. I don't claim to be able to disprove the existence of God, only that there is no evidence to make me believe one exists. You're the one making the claim, you're the one who needs to bring the evidence. Disagree?
Then disprove my invisible pink unicorn.
I can only assume that while composing this letter, “Advanced Technology Solutions” believed he was writing a scathing, effective rebuke of atheist arguments.
Which makes reading his critique of atheism even more painful.
When I first began reading Christian responses to atheist arguments, I would immediately chalk pieces like this up as a Poe and move on to the next. I spent a lot of time and effort going over the atheist position and studying Christianity and other religions. It is obviously an issue I care deeply about, and I wanted to make sure that my arguments were well thought out, rational, and effective. I assumed that since Christians believe their eternal soul is at stake, they would seriously examine their own beliefs and be able to coherently explain not only what they believe, but why as well.
It took about 1 day for me to shelve that notion. I don’t pretend to understand why so many believers lack the ability to win an debate with a piece of lint, but I’ve argued with enough of them to no longer be shocked at the low quality of arguments they consistently put forth.
Their confidence while spewing forth these horrid arguments however, never ceases to amaze me.
This is the non-Kirk/Ray equivalent of the banana debunking evolution. 3 questions that have no bearing on the topic whatsoever, that he strongly felt would rock the foundation of atheism and force us all to find God. Normally, the points I see repeated by those suffering under blind faith are points that have been dealt with so many times that they are ex-parrots, only not pushing up daisies due to being nailed to the perch of apologetics. This however, this is just nonsense. I know 4 year olds who can structure a better argument. Things like this, they make me laugh, but then they get me depressed. Presumably, “Advanced Technology Solutions” is an adult with probably at least a high school education, and in his mind this was an effective argument.
And that is just sad.