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Thread: Common Christian/Muslim argument: I have an answer and you don't!

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    Elder Contributor Underseer's Avatar
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    Common Christian/Muslim argument: I have an answer and you don't!

    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."

    So let me explain what is wrong with this category of arguments by making another argument of this type. I'll address this one to Christians because I'm too lazy to type out "and Muslims" over and over, but you can consider these same arguments as applying to both.

    Dear Christians,

    God was farted out of the butt of a giant space goat.

    There. I have an answer for why God exists, but you Christians do not have an answer for why God exists, therefore, the space goat is real. The space goat is proved by the fact that you have no answer to the question "Why does god exist?"

    Do you feel that I have proved the existence of the space goat?

    What?

    You don't?

    But I have an explanation for why God exists and you don't, therefore my explanation is true and your understanding of things must be false! You don't have an answer to the question "Why does God exist?" and I do. You have to acknowledge that this proves my explanation is true and your explanation isn't! You're just afraid to acknowledge the truth of my statement because I have an answer to the biggest question and you don't!

    You just deny the space goat because you hate him!

    Now let's discuss what's wrong with the above argument.

    First of all, having answers doesn't matter. What matters is not having answers, but having answers that are independently verifiable. The fact that I have an explanation for God doesn't prove the space goat. If I want to claim that the space goat created God, I have to provide evidence for the space goat, then provide evidence for the space goat creating God. The fact that I have an explanation for God is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the space goat exists and is irrelevant to the claim that the space goat created God.

    Sometimes, the only honest answer is "I don't know."

    A lot of Christian apologetics seem to be built around this basic argument: "I have an answer, and you don't!"

    This reveals something odd about the theist mind.

    I've always thought that theists are theists because they want the satisfaction of having answers without having to do any of the work in finding out if any of those answers are true. Nothing reveals that more than the frequent use of the above argument and variations on the above argument.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    A lot of Christian apologetics seem to be built around this basic argument: "I have an answer, and you don't!"

    This reveals something odd about the theist mind. .
    I think part of it is the stigma attached to doubt.

    At 9/11, a LOT of people had their faith shaken. How could a loving god, how could MY God, allow this to happen?

    A bishop got a lot of air time saying that doubt was okay. Faced with such horrors, it was perfectly human to question things. Doubt was good AS LONG AS you came back to God in the end. I thought it was a pretty reasonable effort to console a lot of wounded people, while not encouraging apostasy. Just thinking, and the necessary rationalizations, to make your peace with the Creator.

    He got blasted by all the other religious authorities. Doubt was WRONG! Doubt BAD! Doubt will send you to HELL!

    They can't allow themselves or their congregations to think too much or they might stop accepting 'goddidit,' or 'has His Mysteries' or 'His Will' and so on.

    So to that mindset, saying 'I don't know' is tantamount to spitting on the Cross. The idea that all scientific knowledge is technically subject to being falsified looks, to them, like a sand castle.

    "God only knows" is the end of the conversation to many. For many others, however, it's the start of a request for funding,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Underseer View Post
    There are a lot of Christian and Muslim arguments that boil down to "I have an answer and you don't, therefore my answer is correct."

    So let me explain what is wrong with this category of arguments by making another argument of this type. I'll address this one to Christians because I'm too lazy to type out "and Muslims" over and over, but you can consider these same arguments as applying to both.

    Dear Christians,

    God was farted out of the butt of a giant space goat.

    There. I have an answer for why God exists, but you Christians do not have an answer for why God exists, therefore, the space goat is real. The space goat is proved by the fact that you have no answer to the question "Why does god exist?"

    Do you feel that I have proved the existence of the space goat?

    What?

    You don't?

    But I have an explanation for why God exists and you don't, therefore my explanation is true and your understanding of things must be false! You don't have an answer to the question "Why does God exist?" and I do. You have to acknowledge that this proves my explanation is true and your explanation isn't! You're just afraid to acknowledge the truth of my statement because I have an answer to the biggest question and you don't!

    You just deny the space goat because you hate him!

    Now let's discuss what's wrong with the above argument.

    First of all, having answers doesn't matter. What matters is not having answers, but having answers that are independently verifiable. The fact that I have an explanation for God doesn't prove the space goat. If I want to claim that the space goat created God, I have to provide evidence for the space goat, then provide evidence for the space goat creating God. The fact that I have an explanation for God is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the space goat exists and is irrelevant to the claim that the space goat created God.

    Sometimes, the only honest answer is "I don't know."

    A lot of Christian apologetics seem to be built around this basic argument: "I have an answer, and you don't!"

    This reveals something odd about the theist mind.

    I've always thought that theists are theists because they want the satisfaction of having answers without having to do any of the work in finding out if any of those answers are true. Nothing reveals that more than the frequent use of the above argument and variations on the above argument.

    I think you're projecting a lot of nonsense onto Christians and Muslims.

    The goat thing sounds as crazy as anything a deranged fundamentalist would say.

    If you think they have the "I have an answer and you don't" attitude, invite them to explain it to you. Make them say it out loud and see if they are still so sure.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    If you think they have the "I have an answer and you don't" attitude, invite them to explain it to you. Make them say it out loud and see if they are still so sure.
    They say it explicitly.
    It's very clear in creationist arguments when they demand that evolutionary theory explain everything from the Big Bang to male pattern baldness, else it's 'just a theory,' and every response of 'don't know' is tagged as a sign of the weakness of science, the failure of science, or the gullibility/blind faith of the evolutionist.
    They insist that their 'side' of the argument, 'Goddidit,' is superior and thus, not merely a theory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    If you think they have the "I have an answer and you don't" attitude, invite them to explain it to you. Make them say it out loud and see if they are still so sure.
    They say it explicitly.
    It's very clear in creationist arguments when they demand that evolutionary theory explain everything from the Big Bang to male pattern baldness, else it's 'just a theory,' and every response of 'don't know' is tagged as a sign of the weakness of science, the failure of science, or the gullibility/blind faith of the evolutionist.
    They insist that their 'side' of the argument, 'Goddidit,' is superior and thus, not merely a theory.

    I don't doubt that some of them say something like this. If there explanation is "Goddidit" then they aren't very bright. Why bother with them?

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    I don't doubt that some of them say something like this. If there explanation is "Goddidit" then they aren't very bright. Why bother with them?
    Bright or not, they are sometimes elected to an office where they have inputs on educational content or funding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    I don't doubt that some of them say something like this. If there explanation is "Goddidit" then they aren't very bright. Why bother with them?
    Bright or not, they are sometimes elected to an office where they have inputs on educational content or funding.
    What is being taught in schools that you think shouldn't be?

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    I don't doubt that some of them say something like this. If there explanation is "Goddidit" then they aren't very bright. Why bother with them?
    Bright or not, they are sometimes elected to an office where they have inputs on educational content or funding.
    What is being taught in schools that you think shouldn't be?
    Kitzmiller v. Dover comes swiftly to mind...

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    Veteran Member seyorni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post

    What is being taught in schools that you think shouldn't be?
    It's what's not being taught. Any eighth grader should recognise a false dilemma when s/he hears one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seyorni View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post

    What is being taught in schools that you think shouldn't be?
    It's what's not being taught. Any eighth grader should recognise a false dilemma when s/he hears one.

    What's not being taught in schools that you think should be?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post

    What is being taught in schools that you think shouldn't be?
    Kitzmiller v. Dover comes swiftly to mind...


    Intelligent design isn't taught in schools.

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