Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Rodent Most Unlearned

Previously we had a series on people who never learn. Now we’ll do a little series on people who need to. Specifically, we’re looking at some samples from those who on John Loftus’ apostasy poll gave some reasons for their apostasy (or start into it) that frankly stink. Thanks to Nick Peters for collecting these and offering some comments.

We start with a chap styled “Hamsterwheel” who said:

INITIALLY it was the diversity of so many mutually exclusive religions. That was the biggest problem for me back when I was going to a private Christian school with chapel every Wednesday and church every Sunday. I think other religions are probably the biggest source of intellectual insecurity that Christians try to ignore, and they are a significant component of the OTF. Every reference to another religion in the news or in the world around them is a frequent reminder that faith is delusional nonsense.

As Nick observed: “ So when I see differences amongst evolutionists on abiogenesis or the way evolution played out, I should decide that the whole thing is nonsense?”

I’ve remarked on the bankruptcy of Loftus’ OTF a few times, and its lack of originality. The main issue here though is that someone was simply too lazy or ignorant to face diversity with anything more than a white flag. So they’re diverse, and mutually exclusive – so what? It’s no source of “intellectual insecurity” to those who do their homework, especially when you consider that despite the diverse numbers of religions, the actual number of variations in type of belief are exceedingly small.

Put it this way: While there may be countless cults that misunderstand the Trinity, there are really only a small number of ways you can mess it up in a way that deserves consideration. (Eg, not stuff like, “God is a grapefruit, the Son is a pomegranate,” etc.) The JWs deny the eternality of some members. The Mormons deny the interrelatedness of the members. Oneness advocates deny the unique personality of the members. That’s as far as the variations go reasonably, and virtually every other deviant group is just one of these under another label. Diversity? It’s just not that diverse – sorry!

It takes an exceptionally benighted and ignorant person to say that “every reference to another religion” is a “reminder that faith is delusional nonsense.” Of course, with the mental horsepower of such of Loftus’ readers being as limited as it is, that’s understandable. But I’m not in that position. References to other religions don’t frighten me like a little lamb lost. Nor do they frighten intelligent Christians who have studied other religions in some depth, such as my friend Jochen Katz at Answering Islam. So “hamsterwheel” can speak for himself and his fellow ignoramuses on that score.

I couldn’t close this post without noting that this is also a good advertisement for having classes on worldviews and world religions in our church training programs. But admittedly, many pastors are more like hamsterwheel on this subject than they are like me or Katz!

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