No matter your faith or lackthereof, we all should want to believe things that are true. You can believe in something because it makes you feel good, or because it helps you be a better person, or any other number of reasons (I like to call these “Arguments From Wishful Thinking”), but none of those reasons make the belief true.
If something is true, it should be able stand on its own merits regardless of the criticism thrown at it. If your religion is true, you should welcome criticism and questions so that you can show just how true it is.
The following common retorts from believers are not arguments at all but simply a shield – a buffer between themselves and those who would question the veracity of their religious beliefs.
I just finished my umpteenth re-read of the Harry Potter series which many people, including the author J.K. Rowling, compare to the Jesus story due to – spoiler alert! – both sacrificing themselves for others, being resurrected, and conquering the ultimate baddies, Voldemort and Satan, respectively.
Secondly, I’d like to note that my writing is normally an outlet for me and aimed at my non-believing or questioning audience alone, but since I’m not one for subtweeting or vaguebooking, I thought it would be sort of lame if I didn’t give the author of “3 Strange But True Reasons Why God Doesn’t Feed All the Starving Children of the World”, a chance to look over my post. Peter has very graciously commented on my response and I’d like to respond to him here. Another Christian blogger has also written a response post to which I’d like to respond to, as well. Some of my responses can apply to both of them, but I try to be as clear as I can.
Every once in a while a post or a tweet grabs my attention and I simply cannot contain my response to 140 characters. This was one of them: “3 Strange But True Reasons Why God Doesn’t Feed All the Starving Children in the World” from the apologetics website “Not Ashamed of the Gospel”. This should be good, I thought. “Strange”, so they probably won’t be reasons I’ve heard before, and “true” so there must be some pretty good evidence to back these reasons up! Sigh. Wrong on both counts. And thus we have my second response post.
So, what are the strange but true reasons God doesn’t feed all the starving children?
Recently, I’ve had some interactions with a fairly respectful Christian on Twitter. Let’s call him “X”. While X and I disagree on most things, we keep it respectful and even playful at times. I don’t consider him a friend, really, because our interactions have not moved beyond religious discussions and his interactions sometimes make me feel he is dishonest. Think William Lane Craig – super nice outwardly, kinda slimy underneath. Or Sye Ten Bruggencate – seething anger simmering just below the surface.
Let me start by saying that I usually avoid dialogue with young-earth creationists, for a few reasons, but mostly because I’m not a scientist. I accept evolution the same way that I accept gravity, or the laws of physics, or how I can operate a car even if I don’t know the intricate workings like a mechanic does. That said, it is simply not my role to educate people on scientific theories.
Today though, someone retweeted Ken Ham’s blog into my time-line, and I just could not pass up the opportunity to get my feet wet with a response post.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed more and more of my tweets and posts have focused on atheism and (dare I say it) the atheist “community”, as opposed to ripping on religion. I think this is because I have been doing a lot of personal reflection and musing on my own goals regarding atheism.
Defending the faith is hard. Trust me, I’ve been there. But there are some arguments for theism I come across that aren’t arguments at all, and I think need their own category. These are usually used by your everyday Christian, not apologists (I’d hope). This is when someone claims something is true just because they want it to be. I call these “Arguments from Wishful Thinking”. For example : “If there’s no God…”