I find atheism a bit of a quirky worldview because a significant group of the more militant atheists seem to be willing to believe in weird things that are obviously false. Even things that are denied by the majority of scholars. And sometimes things denied by ALL scholars. And yet as long as they can make fun of people and tell jokes about it, they are very happy to go on believing things that are obviously false, and congratulate themselves on how clever they are.
Anyhoo, here is an interesting case in point, in which “The Infidel Guy”, who thinks that Jesus never existed, confronts skeptical historian Bart Ehrman. Bart Ehrman lets the true believing jihadi know that the world really is round and that leprechauns most certainly do not exist.
When I look at atheists, I do see a lot of belief without evidence, and I suspect that they are just projecting their childish Santa Claus epistemology on Christians. Atheists believe weird things. They deny the Big Bang cosmology, and believe that the universe is eternal (Secular Humanifest Manifesto I). They believe you can explain the origin of life by appealing to unobservable aliens (Richard Dawkins). They think that morality doesn’t exist (Jerry Coyne). They think that cosmic fine-tuning is not real (Victor Stenger). They think that it is morally permissible for a society to murder unwanted 5-year olds (P.Z. Myers). The ice caps will be melted by 2014 (Al Gore). The majority DNA is non-coding “junk” (John Timmer). The universe popped into being, uncaused out of nothing (Lawrence Krauss). And so on. Don’t even get me started on the multiverse! Oh my. Talk about believing things without evidence just because you want to believe them.
The most powerful argument against Christianity
You know, the most powerful argument that radical atheists can press against the reliability of the New Testament reports about Jesus’ empty tomb and post-mortem appearances is their own gullibility. What they should do in a debate is stand up and say “look at me! I believe Jesus never existed! I am batsh*t crazy!! Bleh bleh bleh! (Dances the robot) And if I am this crazy, then maybe the early Christians were as good at believing weird things as I am!” That is an argument that could cause any Christian to quake in fear.
That is actually the strongest argument against Christianity in my view – the widespread delusions of the radical “New Atheist” community. If a group of people can be that credulous, then maybe the early Christians were that credulous as well? If people can invent an alternate Easter Bunny / Santa Claus reality when it suits their desires, then maybe the early church could do the same. Maybe humans are as credulous, in general, as these radical atheists are and just make things up. Maybe we are all just believing what is comfortable for us against the evidence, like the Infidel Guy and his buddies.
Now, I realize that there is a large group of non-radical atheists who are just not convinced by the evidence for theism and Christianity, and for those moderate atheists, we should prepare a defense for them, because they are still open to being convinced by arguments and evidence. Many of them may have grown up in the church, listening to anti-intellectual sermons and never getting answers to their questions. That’s fine, and we should be respectful and thoughtful with them. But I am just saying that there is another group of radical atheists out there who are just interested in deluding themselves, and we needn’t be impressed by them.
8 thoughts on “Did Jesus exist? Agnostic historian Bart Ehrman debates Infidel Guy”
“But I am just saying that there is another group of radical atheists out there who are just interested in deluding themselves…”
Or just interested in selling books and making TV appearances for profit.
Al Gore is atheist? I know Dr. Craig indulges Dr. Krauss’ self-identification as an agnostic antitheist.
The label New Atheist or antitheist probably best captures this radical, reality-challenged subset of skeptics the best.
I appreciate your taking the fringees to task. Well said.
Well, I might be stretching there, but he is a pro-abortion Democrat who lies about global warming for money. Hard to square that with theism.
Al Gore is a Baptist, albeit obviously a very liberal one – much like Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton, I would think.
He claims to be a Baptist. But between his support for abortion, and his “release the second chakra”, I cannot believe that he is really a Baptist.
And adultery is for atheists, not Christians:
Good show, WK! Calling Al Gore a Baptist, or not calling him out when he calls himself same, is the equivalent of labeling the Abortion President a Christian.
Nevertheless, I can see how atheists would recoil at the thought of having such a hideous character as Gore in their camp. Perhaps “pagan” would be a better moniker, since he worships Mother Earth and is morally deficient in the extreme? He has his “gods” after all.
“If a group of people can be that credulous, then maybe the early Christians were that credulous as well?”
Aaah, but atheists have a strong motivation to remain in their delusions – they can justify sinning without limit. Deep down they know that any attempt at morality is unground-able in their worldview, so anything goes.
The early Christians, on the other hand, had everything to lose (in a worldly sense), and nothing to gain by having their worldview rocked by switching from the apparent defeat of their Messiah to their “delusion” – the arguably verified resurrection of Jesus. The same is true today for those of us who switched from being slaves to sin to prisoners of Christ Jesus. How many times has an atheist, or reprobate, posted to me that my type never ends well?!? A true statement, in a worldly sense, but the tables will be turned in Eternity.
This sentence ““look at me! I believe Jesus never existed!…” in its entirety, is very close to making your Hall of Quotes, WK. So many quotes, so little room in the Hall. :-)
Reblogged this on Reflection On Plumb and commented:
Wintery Knight shares this great video debate between Bart Ehrman and Infidel Guy regarding serious historians and the evidence for Jesus. You really need to see (or hear) this.