Thursday, December 13, 2012

Answers In Genesis Should Have an Atheist on Staff

They have no clue what a lack of belief in a god is.  First of all, an atheist is an individual who doesn't believe in one or multiple gods.  What that effectively means is that Mark Looy, the author of this feedback letter, is as much an atheist, believing that all gods, other than his god, do not exist, as an atheist who doesn't believe his god exists at all.

Mark says:

If there is no absolute authority, people are free to make up their own rules.

This argument is so prevalent in the Summit Ministries/Ray Comfort era we live in today.  It has been regurgitated ad nauseum, and subsequently pilloried.  And yet, apologists for "biblical morality" continue to use it.  It's sad, really, for two reasons.

First, it's a fact of history that people have been free to make up their own rules.  All societies do.  Individuals, as well as the individuals as part of a collective society, have built many common understandings of the way life should be.  As that society learns more, the rules progress. 

During the days of the Bible, it was commonly believed that children should be stoned if they disobeyed their parents.  It was also believed that a god spoke to people from the sky and told them to commit genocide on millions of unfortunate souls that had the misfortune of being in the path of a band of nomads.  Rape was sanctioned by that god.  Kidnapping of women.  Subjugation of women.  Slavery.  Smashing children against rocks.  Killing gays.  Abstaining from sex with a woman because a menstrual cycle was dirty.  Cutting people off from society when they were sick with diseases that had no cure. 

Even in modern times, we believed that you should bleed people to heal them.  We also believed that you should burn witches and heretics.  We believed that sex outside of marriage meant you had to wear a proverbial scarlet letter on your chest, never allowed into normal society as an upstanding citizen.  Most importantly, the majority of protestant Christianity used to believe that abortion was the decision of the woman who was carrying the fetus.

As you can see, rules, no matter what "absolute authority" is referenced, will always change.  It's a smokescreen for the second reason this argument is saddening - those who claim the knowledge of absolute truth from their self-imposed absolute authority have a deep fear of (even a hatred for) people being allowed to make their own decisions for their own lives.

Mark goes on to explain his reasoning with a laughable example:

In fact, suppose someone considered your personal views to be dangerous and sought to harm you? Why shouldn’t they hurt you if that’s their wish and there is no absolute standard of behavior to prohibit them from doing so?
This can be answered in several ways.  I could tell Mark that the person who sought to harm me was foolish in believing that his standards of morality were somehow superior to the collective society he was a part of.  That collective society has already set up a standard of behavior. I could also point to many readily available stories of Christian leaders, the ones who are supposedly the closest to their god, understanding the intricacies of what they perceive as absolute morality, and yet purposefully commit crimes against those beliefs.  Many crimes against those beliefs are not considered evil in society, thus allowing the criminal to continue in his "ministry", unscathed and "forgiven".  I could also point out the myriad equivocations that Christians go through whenever a sin is committed.  "Don't be quick to judge" is a powerful tool to begin the discussion on whether a sinner really sinned, making a mockery of absolute morality.  I could go on.  But I digress.
You did not offer a basis for the beliefs you presented in your email.

 Is that even necessary?  That question, while decent, is a moot point to Mark.  He is being very disingenuous here.  All he wanted the letter writer to have done was to offer a basis for his belief so he can yell, "Nuh uh!  God!"  But we've been over the murderous and self-loving beliefs that Mark's god requires of mankind.  Why should we, a modern society, stoop to that iron-age level of understanding.  We actually care about women and children these days and find value in their opinions and worth to society.  We don't look at foreigners as potential slaves, merely squatting on land that is rightfully ours because a magical voice in our head told us so.  Those types are in prison - on psychological medication, pulling out their hair, refusing to bathe.

Go ahead and read the rest of that response.  Mark continues to ask the same question over and over again, thinking that if he says it in enough ways, everyone who is an atheist, or who believes in the morality of another god (news flash for Mark: many do!) will miraculously realize that they should kill all the gays.

He also slings a little mud, trying to prove to the letter writer that the writer has no purpose.  That's quite a position to take.  He also makes the erroneous claim that if you don't believe in his god, you must know everything.  No atheist has ever claimed that.  And if they did, I would ask them how many yellow toenails I have out of ten.  Mark is obviously a Ray Comfort follower.

It's really quite laughable towards the end.


1 comment:

  1. they say that God has given them free-will - to make up their own rules?