Friday, June 28, 2013

Religious Apologists

I haven't posted in quite a while.  For those of you who enjoy my writing, I apologize.  For those who are uncomfortable with my topic, you're welcome.  I've been inactive for all this time for several reasons:  school, work, etc.  Graduate school requires a lot of time to do the projects and papers.  Sure, I have fewer classes, but that does not make it easier.  Work has been interesting, and I intend to post about that in a confidential way, but that's not the topic today, is it?

Today, I'd like to discuss something that's been on my mind lately, which is -- you guessed it -- the religious apologist!  Now, the word "apologist" comes from the Greek apalogia, which is essentially a formal speech or rebuttal of an argument.  When referring to religious apologists, typically it is a defense or push back against other religions or, in my case, secularism.  Current apologists tend to offer arguments for Christianity or Islam.  Sure, there are other apologists, but the Christians and Muslims are the most prolific.  Let me be clear, before I move on.  When I say that apologists offer arguments for their religions, what I mean is they rehash the same ones over and over.  Really, go watch any debate by William Lane Craig or any other apologist.  YouTube is full of them.  You'll see the same arguments repeatedly.  They'll be the Ontological Argument by St. Anselm, any of the five arguments for the existence of a god by St. Thomas Aquinas, arguments from ignorance, authority, and so on.  They're all arguments that have been thoroughly torn down over hundreds of years, but the apologist just keeps beating that dead horse.  Now there was that one time that Ray Comfort tried to disprove evolution by saying a banana was designed to fit in the human hand.  He really said that.  Google it.  When you type in "Ray Comfort" the drop-down suggestion box has "Ray Comfort banana" in it.  That's how well known this "argument" is.

Okay, that's enough bashing the banana man for now.  It still seems interesting that the devout must still have these apologists who try and sway people their way using arguments that have absolutely no credibility any more.  I think that is a pretty strong case for the other side:  Secularism.  Why?  Well, do you see any apologists for Mount Everest?  Of course not!  If anyone tried to argue that Mount Everest existed, you would let them make their argument, then go, "Yeah, and here's a picture.  You didn't need a philosophical argument for that, friend.  We have conclusive evidence it exists."

Consider the same for Christianity.  An apologist says, "Look, here's what you should believe."  The unbeliever is likely to say, "Sure, but the bible is full of holes and contradictions.  The Genesis story has been conclusively discredited, Noah's Ark was never a thing, and slavery is morally wrong.  The believer may attempt to say any of the following:

"If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?"
"Where did we come from?  Where did that come from?  Where did that come from?  You don't know?  God.
"Why don't you believe in God(TM)?  What if you're wrong?  Isn't it better to believe and be saved than not?" 

There are countless examples of this happening.  I experienced all three of these just last year when the SSA group I work with had a fund raiser on the same day as a Christian organization.  Never mind that the answers to the questions are, "We didn't evolve from monkeys," "If everything needs a creator, so does your god," and, "What if you're wrong about any of the countless other gods and goddesses?"  So, back to topic.  What would you, my religious readers, say if someone came to you and said they had conclusive evidence that Mount Everest existed?  What would you say if someone tried to debate the existence of the Minotaur?

I'll give a hint.  The reasons for believing in the Minotaur are exactly as credible for the reasons you believe in your god.  There is a reason why Minotaur and Mount Everest apologists don't exist.

1 comment:

  1. Even though we don't adhere to same beliefs in terms of religious ideals, I can always relate to and respect your point of view. Between the well thought out arguments and plethora of facts, this blog always enlightens me.