Wishart: the sequel
Mr. Wishart has once again responded. He regrets not being able to post here “unless one sets up an entire blog with Blogger.” Few of the people who post here actually have blogs so he is wrong on that count.
He says: “Boy, a short post really set you off, huh?” You just can’t win with Christianists. If you don’t respond it’s because “you can’t reply can you” and if you do that is indication that something set you off. Consider this however, I was minding my own business quite happily and blogging away with no notice of Mr. Wishart. He is the one who responded to me first and I thought it polite to respond in turn. So who was "set off"?
His full response can be found here.
He says I miss his point, “possibly deliberately”. Right! When some disagrees with you question their motive first thing off. Christians are so compassionate.
He argues: “The analogy of teaching kids manners is a good one. No parent is going to let their child thirst, but imagine the world we would have if learning to be gracious was tossed aside.” Now he ignores entirely the point I made. I actually am stunned with this response because it shows a complete misstatement of my view. So I can see this will be a bumpy ride. I did not say that graciousness should be tossed aside. I said that we have etiquette to avoid misunderstandings and that such misunderstanding is impossible with the god that Wishart invents. So I said the analogy is silly since a deity can’t misunderstand.
He then resorts to the old canard that the deity actually knows what is good for us so maybe all those nasty things are really good. “God knows what the future holds for every individual, so he knows that declining a prayer request or answering it will have an impact. But he alone knows what that impact will truly be.” So if the deity refuses to give water to his children it is because he knows that dying of thirst is better than living, ad nauseum.
This is a real cop out. There is no evidence that dying is better than living or that X result is better than Y result. It is circular reasoning. He presupposes a deity and then assumes the deity must be good. The other alternative, that he is malignant, is too horrible to contemplate. From that he supposes that any result must therefore be good.
Wishart then writes: “You blame God for thirst or famine or all manner of evils. In fact you rage against him, and say that if it was up to you you'd answer all those prayer requests with a yes.”
“The planet would have died a horrible death a long time ago if everyone's personal prayers were all answered. Overpopulation would be one aspect, probably.”
I did not say I would answer all requests with a yes but that requests regarding living, health and basic care would be answered with a yes. He resorts to the Green religion and tries the old overpopulation canard. It is really good for us to die off and suffer in the process because this balances things out. As he says: “God has to balance things.” Of course the all powerful deity could have done this quite easily without causing suffering in the process. I can think of several such options.
One he could strike down the evil governments that create policies that starve people as is done in Africa. Killing a Mugabe is far more humane than letting children starve as a result of his policies. Second, if there is a real over population problem (and there isn’t) he could have increase the abundance of crops the way he supposedly multiplied bread and fishes. Third, he could have made it so that humans can’t reproduce so easily and so prolifically.
Of course the reason population continues to grow in the world is not high birth rates but low death rates. So Wishart has it backwards. God, who balances things out, is apparently derelict in not killing enough people.
He is correct in saying that “raging about the existence of death, disease and misery does not disprove the Bible, per se.” It doesn’t and I didn’t say it did. That silly book falls apart entirely on it’s own. What I do say is that these things prove that there can be no deity who is all loving, all knowing and all powerful at the same time.
The viciousness of Christianity and the Christian god is attested to in the following statement from Wishart: “I would far rather be a starving Ethiopian Christian than a godless contented atheist, if Christianity is indeed true.” It isn’t so I’m not worried. But I have to wonder why these Ethiopian’s are starving while Wishart is well fed. Maybe he offers no charity because he imagines they are going to a better place and that death is better than life? I personally don’t think charity can help when institutional structures, such as are found in Africa, create famine as a matter of public policy. That is how socialism works. It creates famine in the breadbasket of Ukraine and can do it in Africa as well even though it is the least densely populated continent on the planet next to Antarctica.
He then comes up with rubbish arguments. I mean utter rubbish and irrational. “To disprove the existence of God, you must disprove ALL miracles. To prove the existence of God, I must establish only one. The issue of whether God has answered other people's prayers only goes to his agenda, not his existence. To prove his existence requires just one miracle.”
What is a miracle? Anything we can’t explain. Since we are not omniscient there is much we can’t explain. That there are things we can’t explain at this time does not prove the existence of a supernatural being. One unexplained event proves nothing. That is a leap in logic unwarranted by the context of the debate but one necessary to sustain the belief in the absurd.
Now I am happy to continue this debate as time allows. But I will be away for several days and may not have access. However, we may wish to find some other way of doing it. I am sure that neither Mr. Wishart nor myself want to clutter our blogs with such a thing as they will quickly become tedious to our readers.
P.S. I will be away for a short trip and may, or may not, have easy access to the Net. By easy I mean cheap. Since I will be a hotel that may not be the case. This usually means either free or very expensive. I do wish to address an issue that Mr. Wishart brought up though this is not a response to him per se. I want to discuss the issue so-called miracles. I will write it on my journey and will post it as soon as I can.