Saturday, February 28, 2015

New book by Frank Turek

I have a little time to myself this morning.  Rosemary is at work, I am feeling too lazy for my usual Saturday morning desert run, so let's sit at the computer and see what Bruce Gerencser has to say.  I have recently re-discovered his blog.  Among other things, he has lately become a news aggregator from Fundamentalist websites and magazines.

Hmm.. HERE is one.

Frank Turek, "one the nation’s leading Christian apologists", is plugging his new book through an interview at World Magazine.  The book's title, "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" makes it sound like God Himself will make the case for atheism.  But no, after reading the interview, it turns out that Frank Turek is claiming that atheists cannot claim to make an intellectual argument against God without using logic and reason.  Since God made logic and reason, then we can't consistently use those tools to argue against His existence. 

Bruce Gerencser makes a good point about the automatic assumption that God means The Christian God.  Every argument that Mr Turek makes can just as easily be used to argue for a deity of pretty much any arbitrary religion.  Bruce makes a good point, and I have lately gotten sensitive to that also.  I have been trying to get into the habit of calling Him the Christian Deity, but strictly speaking this Deity does have a name.  His name is given in Scripture.  Jehovah.  YHVH.  Yahveh.  I have rarely heard Christians use this name to refer to their Deity.  I suspect I know why.  Giving the Deity a name closes the gap that Christians perceive exists between their Deity and the deities of every other religion.  Krishna.  Thor.  Zeus.  Allah.  Jehovah.  In order to separate their chosen Deity from all the rest, Christians have inadvertently co-opted the generic term 'god' for the defacto name of Jehovah.  This has the implied effect of discounting all other gods as frauds and imposters.  I know I have absolutely no say in this matter, but I am in favor of calling the Christian by His given name.  His name is Jehovah!

But besides that, Frank Turek's interview at World Magazine is the usual bullet points against atheists.  The inverview is HERE:

*Our public school system assumes there is no god.
*The existence of 'good' is proof of the existence of God (again - implying the specific existence of Jehovah).
*if God doesn’t exist, there is no real objective purpose to life and people can do whatever they want.
*Evil exists because God gives us free will.
*Biblical faith is believing that something is true because you have evidence and then trusting in the implications of that evidence.  (Contrary to everything I was taught as a Christian.  I call this the necessary redefinition of Faith for a skeptical, post-internet generation.)
*We cannot even try to disprove the existence of God without the logical tools that God created!
*Atheists believe in atheism without evidence.
*There cannot be a creation without a creator, or laws without a lawgiver.
*We follow a moral law written on our hearts.
*Atheists have no true intellectual objections to God.  They only have moral objections.
*Atheists claim they do not believe because they rebel against the moral code written on our hearts
*It takes more Faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.

I have only vaguely heard of Frank Turek before reading this article, but outside of his definition of Faith, he sounds no different from the scads of Christian apologists I read and listened to when I was a Christian.  It is the same crap.  I do not know if a Christian apologist has the easiest or hardest job in the world.  If I can take the cue of this interview of Frank Turek "one the nation’s leading Christian apologists", apologists only have to repeat the same bullet points over and over and over again.  Sounds like an easy way to make a living to me.  On the other hand, they have to say it and sound believable, which may be the toughest job in the world.

I could make a quick argument against each of those bullet points, but I am having some people over later today and I have to get the ribs marinated and the barbeque ready.  But I do have time for just this.  I do not typically call myself an atheist, but I will when I know I am explicitly referenced in an argument.  This is the time. 

Why am I an atheist?  I do not believe.  I do not believe your Jehovah exists.  I do not believe the claims you are making that He is the author of all logic, all reasoning and all morality. 

That is it.  I am done.  I offered no logical argument in defense of any 'atheistic worldview' that I may have.  I do not have to answer to you.  I don't have to logically respond to a used car salesman when he is trying to sell me a clunker.  I see the clunker, I say no thanks, and I am done.  No Faith is involved.  Non-belief if effortless.  I do not pray or chant to myself everyday in the attempt to bolster my Faith in Atheism.  I do not read science books or search science blogs in the attempt to respond to your theistic claims.

No.  I just don't believe you.  It is done.  End of story.

I do not have to know the answer to how the universe began.  I do not have to know how life began.  I do not have to know a blasted thing about Darwin or Evolution.  I do not have to know where morality came from.  Christian Apologist, why do you expect me to know all this stuff?  Why do you expect me to be an expert in cosmology, biology, information science, New Testament and Church history, and have a ready answer to any question you might try to stump me with? 

I don't know this stuff.  I am curious and read a lot.  But there is no way I can possibly know all this stuff.  And I don't have to.

I just don't believe you.  Just like you automatically do no believe the claims of any religious apologist that is outside of your own religious tradition.  No justification is needed.  No reasoning is necessary.  You do not believe them.  And I do not believe you.

Done.  I am hungry.  Friends are coming over.  Time to prep the barbeque.


Zoe said...

Great post.

Lori McFarlane said...

Love that last part. I don't believe you. End of story. Exactly!