When atheists and theists fight, my head hurts…

November 30, 2006

because I can’t for the life of me understand the theist’s argument!

Check out this dialogue between Sam Harris (one of my secular heroes [swoon]) and Dennis Prager, a radio talk show host and advocate of the Judeo-Christian flavor of religions. It’s pretty short, should only take about twenty minutes to read (okay, maybe that’s not short, but if you’re interested, it’s worth it).

So much argumentum ad hominem goes on in this between both parties. But at the same time, Prager just goes on and on about how the Judeo-Christian god has to be the right one. And he also talks about how immoral atheists are. Here’s an example quote:

My argument is that unlike Judeo-Christian America, secular societies—generally meaning those of Western Europe—lose their will to survive (by not reproducing), and stand for nothing (they were largely morally worthless in the Cold War against Communism and are worthless or worse in helping to keep Israel alive against Muslims who vow to exterminate the Jewish state.) When people realize this, they may conclude that something that is necessary for society to survive—belief in the God of Israel—may in fact exist.

No, they don’t lose their will to survive. They just realize that maybe, just maybe, quantity does not equal quality, especially in a finite world with finite resources. Then, earlier, he asserted that maybe they were just too “selfish” to have more than one child. Double what? Too selfish to have too many children. This guy really has the complete reverse of any of the values I have.

You’ll have to read the entire correspondence to understand my confusion. And if you do read it and aren’t confused by Prager’s argument, please explain it to me.

And I’m being completely honest and sincere here. If someone could explain why he thinks the way he does (other than the obvious developmental perspective that he’s at the lower, mythic stage of development while Harris is at the rational stage), I’d be greatly obliged.

Because, honest, just three years ago, I believed much more strongly in a “god” than I do now. But even then, it was a more deist, distant god, and most certainly NOT a specific flavor of god.

I don’t think this has added anything to the conversation, but at least it gave me a crack at using my writing skills.

I hope everyone has a great Friday. TGIF (ironic, I know). :)


2 Responses to “When atheists and theists fight, my head hurts…”

  1. Ed A. said

    “God” in terms of “Thank God” is more of just a saying nowadays. Does anyone actually think they’re tanking the Big Guy Upstairs In The Big Chair when they just barely make their train or find their lost set of keys before they’re late?

    It’s just so ingrained into people that “there must be a God, and this man-created book (don’t start there! I hate people that say the Bible is the word of god. Pfft.) is everything he says and wants us to do.”

    It’s a book of stories, and maybe when people understand that they’ll understand why there are aetheists (or at the least, agnostics like me).

  2. Dave in the West said

    I have no idea Dave… we’re in the same boat on that one. I’ve just learned to nod and smile :)

    I got a kick out of this post btw. Good work. Especially the irony at the terminal end.

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