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Friday, April 22, 2016

Apologetics and Showtime at the Apollo





If you have a few hours to kill, I invite you to watch the preceding two debates. I haven't watched them myself, although I have watched very similar debates in the past. I don't need to watch these particular debates, because I've learned that apologetics debates follow a certain pattern in the same way that sitcoms follow a certain pattern. I.E. If you've seen one, you've seen them all. That statement is probably going to be upsetting to some people. I know, I know. You've got a debate that's completely different. You've got a debate that's totally different than:

Atheist:
  1. Evil men do evil things. Where's God?
  2. There are diseases, wild fires, pestilence, wars, cancer, rape, torture, etc. I don't believe in an omnipotent and omniscient God who'd let that kind of evil happen.
  3. Oh yeah and don't forget that evolution and the Big Bang already explain everything.
  4. Also don't forget that because life is that simple to explain, we don't need a magic man in the sky, virgin births and some mythical fairyland where some people are tortured for eternity while others are feted and live rapturously forever and ever.
  5. How do you know your religion, out of more than four-thousand, is the one true religion?
Apologist:
  1. Things exist.
  2. It is possible for those things to not exist.
  3. Whatever has the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    1. Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
  4. There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    1. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
    2. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
  5. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
  6. The uncaused cause must be God.
These debaters are doing it wrong. They're not listening and they're not responding to each other's debate points. Richard Dawkins says evil happens and God does nothing, while William Lane Craig starts off on some confusing litany of logic that reminds me of an eight year old reciting multiplication tables. The atheist is there to evoke laughter from the non-choir and the apologist is apparently there to try to prove the unprovable using sophisticlistian and abstruse Christian calculus. The apologetically unenlightened Christian n00b is ubiquitously baffled, while the agnostics and the atheists guffaw at the Dawkins snark as though it was a Sanford and Son's laugh track.

Neither debater is even bothering to listen or respond to the other's points. That's not debate! It's chaos and cacophony. Most people would agree that science and it's attendant astronomers have definite scientific evidence that all matter in the universe is moving outward.
When astronomers talk about the expansion of the Universe, they usually express it in terms of the Hubble parameter. First introduced by Edwin Hubble when he demonstrated that more distant galaxies are moving away from us faster than closer ones.The best measurements for this parameter gives a value of about 68 km/s per megaparsec.

Let's recap. Hubble. Universe. Galaxies. Leaving. Further means faster. And then I said something that sounded like "blah blah Lando blah blah Kessel Run 68 km/s per megaparsec". Which translates to if you have a galaxy 1 megaparsec away, that's 3.3 million light years for those of you who haven't seen Star Wars, it would be expanding away from us at a speed of 68 km/s. So, 1 megaparsec in distance means it's racing away at 68 km/s.
So there was a Big Bang.

That's where it starts—and stops—for the atheist. He doesn't know why the Big Bang happened and he doesn't have to know why. He's not a physicist, not an astronomer, not a whatever, and therefore it's not his field...but trust him because he knows what he's talking about... He doesn't have to know how or why the Big Bang happened because he simply knows that it did. Case closed. This is funny stuff. You see, you just have to take the Atheist's word that what he says is true because ... wait for it ... it simply is true. The atheist knows what he knows without any proof whatsoever ... because. A Christian would describe this unshakable yet unprovable belief as simply faith.

Meanwhile at the other podium, the Christian apologist is reduced to reciting his memorized litany of Christian Calculus ... If X exists or it doesn't exist then then we must postulate that other variables exist. If other variables exist then some variables must be unequal to X. Therefore ... X = God. This debate style is slightly less exciting than my trigonometry instructor in high-school. (And that's saying something!) This is funny stuff, too. You see, the Apologist has proven his point if only we were smart enough to follow the logic. If X = Y and Y = Z then X = Z. Elementary my dear atheist.

The point is simply this ... A debate is between two debaters! It's not an unconnected series of unrelated speeches made to an ambivalent audience. It's not an Algebra proof and by the way Mr. Dawkins, it's also not Showtime at the Apollo!

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