Every once in a while, I have to force myself to step back from the whole religion debate and get some prospective. Religious believers ask me every day why I don’t believe in God and I can rattle off any number of debating points. I can point out the lack of evidence, the contradictions in the Bible, the aspects of the Bible which have been shown to be false through science, the “creative” process that has gone into the writing of the Bible, the logical arguments against the concept of God, etc. All that being said, sometimes I just have to remind the religious believer that the whole concept is flat out ridiculous!
Let’s break this down into two categories. The first is the concept of God as it is believed by the vast majority of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. This is a concept based on the Torah. Here we are talking about a character in a book series and depending on your religion, multiple book series. Let’s really be honest here and admit that the God of the Old Testament is flat out ridiculous.
Do I really need to go any further than Adam’s rib? Does anyone really buy the talking, walking snake? Dude, this is just silly. Sure, many religious believers will freely admit that this stuff is silly and that is at least progress. But you can’t turn around and say that most of this silly stuff is make-believe, but that the ridiculously powerful and contradictory main character must be real. So the character is real, but all his characteristics are ridiculously silly and obviously made up? That’s like saying that Superman obviously can’t fly, doesn’t have super-strength, heat vision, super-breath, etc., but he’s still real and from Krypton. Come on, no one could possibly believe that shit.
This takes us to the less specific concept. I’m going to call this a category two deity. It’s the vague higher power. Obviously the Bible is ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be some sort of vague higher power, right? I mean if we water down the concept of God so much that you can’t really even define it, than it isn’t nearly as ridiculous. Oh, but it is.
I mean, how vague are we going to make this concept? At some point the vagueness of the concept becomes ridiculous, making the whole thing just ridiculous. You just have to start laughing your ass off at the way so many religious believers try to water down the concept of their deity just to get atheists to admit that there might be some slim possibility that there might be something. But we all know that this vagueness is just a tool to get back to the category one deity.
I see this all the time when religious believers use arguments like the First Cause, Argument by Design, or some other vague argument, only to jump back to Yahweh, Jesus, or Allah. But the fact remains that they are arguing in favor of something that is flat out ridiculous. No matter how hard they try, they can’t escape the talking snake.
Of course, I am just using that talking snake as an example of the ridiculousness of the Abrahamic religions. You can replace the talking snake with any number of equally or even more ridiculous statements, concepts, and/or beliefs within these religions. My point is that religious believers will always be in a position where they have to distance themselves from the ridiculousness of their holy books.
Now, I know calling these sorts of beliefs ridiculous is not going to fill these believers with joy. They aren’t going to be happy to hear that I am calling their beliefs ridiculous. Some atheists have argued that when I use the word, “ridiculous” that religious believers tune right out. Maybe they are correct, but I don’t think so. I think it is important to remind religious believers that their beliefs sound really ridiculous to anyone outside their bubble of belief. I think this helps to pop that bubble of belief and enables them to look at their beliefs the way they look at the beliefs of others.
Scientology is perfect for this. I don’t know how many times I have defended Tom Cruise from Christians. Sure, Tom Cruise believes some really ridiculous stuff, but do you know what he doesn’t believe? He doesn’t believe in a talking snake, so who is really the one who believes in ridiculous fiction? Like I said before, feel free to replace the “talking snake” with whatever. For Christians, it is usually the virgin birth or the resurrection, but really it is all equally ridiculous.
Let me clear this up with a simple comparison: Evil galactic alien overlord vs. virgin birth. Which one is more ridiculous? Well, we know that there are lots of stars out there and it is highly probable that other intelligent life does exist somewhere in the universe. Given the way our culture has created governments, it is possible that some alien society somewhere also has a government and that that government could be ruled by a dictatorship. So while Scientology certainly seems pretty ridiculous, it is at least possible that there is some evil galactic alien overlord somewhere in the universe. On the other hand, virgin births have never been observed among humans… ever! That shit is completely impossible. When Tom Cruise’s beliefs are less ridiculous then yours, you really need to start questioning your beliefs. Just say’n.
- Atheism Proven Wrong? (skepticink.com)
- Jamaican Christians Upset At Possible Competition (skepticink.com)
- David McAfee’s Atheist Q&A (realitythoughtstheories.wordpress.com)
- Effectively Criticizing Religious Belief: Punching Up and Other Rules of Thumb (richarddawkins.net)
- What humanist military chaplains can offer (Video) (examiner.com)