In yesterday's post, I pointed out Dinesh's mistake in saying John Loftus was guilty of the genetic fallacy. Once again, the entire debate is not available yet on line and I have only heard a few clips. In one clip, Dinesh says that atheists, such as John, must have an ulterior motive in not believing in the Christian God.
He says that atheists are just in rebellion against the rules that the Christian God has established. In other words, they don't want to be under the authority of the Christian God, so they try to convince themselves and others that this God does not exist.
I really tire of this argument. I get it all the time from Christians. The implication is that anyone who does not believe in God must be immoral.
First, Christians certainly do not have a monopoly on ethical behavior. All one has to do is read history to see the terrible things that have been done in the name of the Christian God. This immoral behavior continues today (for example, priests molesting children, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals involved with homosexual prostitutes and illegal drugs while preaching against both, a megachurch Pastor having sex with his parishoners, etc.). In addition, having been on the inside of Christianity, I saw little difference in the morality of Christians and the morality of unbelievers. So, if one is looking for an excuse to "sin," he certainly doesn't have to become an atheist to do so.
Second, I have known many unbelievers in the Christian God who live very moral lives.
Third, the Christian God himself, seems to be less than moral. He has no problem killing toddlers and infants in the Old Testament. He has no problem sending people to an eternal hell for not believing in him, etc. He has no problem today allowing earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. to devastate whole populations.
Fourth, the implication is that there can be no real intellectual reasons for unbelief. That is condescending and patently absurd.
(Here is an excellent spoof on how Christians like Dinesh think.)
Dinesh goes on to say that if someone doesn't believe in something, he should just walk away from it. Why should atheists care if some people believe in God (For an excellent post about why we should care, see this blog)? Dinesh says: I don't believe in unicorns, but then I haven't written any books called The End of Unicorns, Unicorns are Not Great, or The Unicorn Delusion.
His analogy is is ridiculous. Belief in unicorns, assuming there really is anyone who believes in them, has not caused the damage to society that belief in God has. Have people been tortured and executed because they didn't believe in unicorns? Has the advancement of humanity through science been hindered because of a belief in unicorns? Have millions of dollars on elaborate temples, cathedrals, and churches been wasted because of a belief in unicorns? Do those who believe in unicorns have a political agenda? I could go on and on.
Once again, I have not heard the entire debate but what I have heard at this point makes me wonder how anyone could think that Dinesh won the debate. His arguments and analogies are unsound.