Just a quick one this morning to see if the Facebook connector I set up to publish these posts to my new Facebook page actually works this time…
A while back, a commenter insisted that my questioning the origins of the claims that his god exists is a genetic fallacy. I wrote about it here. In my own words, a genetic fallacy is when one only takes the origin of someone or something into account, without considering its current meaning.
Obviously for anyone to make this claim that my argument is a genetic fallacy, the person must ignore that atheism is actually about the fact that no evidence exists to support the existence of any gods, and that anyone pointing out when a god claim came about is simply making an observation… They point out when the god was created. It is only when you assume that the particular god exists, without evidence, and you are indoctrinated, that you then insist it existed before anyone claimed it did.
All religious people claim they have evidence for their gods, and they all claim the same evidence. Using circular reasoning, they insist that the things they believe to be created are proof of the creator.
Using their “logic”, I could claim that mountains are evidence of Monty the Mountain God, who manifested in the form of volcanoes and vomited up all of existence. Mountains exist; therefore they show that Monty was involved. Furthermore, the world exists, showing that Monty created it. It doesn’t matter that I just made him up… I am merely the messenger and Monty has been here since the beginning of time. To doubt this is a genetic fallacy.
Likewise, you can apply the same argument to Scientology. Just because it was invented by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, and is sold to potential believers (literally) bait and switch style, such that most believers won’t ever pay enough to know the odd details that could only have been invented by a mediocre science fiction writer who wrote under the influence of amphetamines and cocaine, does not mean that it isn’t true. From their point of view, Scientology has meaning, therefore to doubt it because you know who made it up is a genetic fallacy.
Obviously in all cases, you have to ignore why the disbeliever really disbelieves. It isn’t only about the source of the god claim – there’s a tad more to it than that. When an atheist mentions the origin of your god claim, that is peripheral to their argument. Thus what you have is a fallacy of irrelevance, which is amusingly ironic… because a genetic fallacy is a type of fallacy of irrelevance. My original post, the one where the commenter claimed a genetic fallacy, wasn’t one, but his claim made a fallacy of irrelevance itself.
But of course the origins of the various god claims are worth mentioning. And of course, it is not a genetic fallacy to do so. As a Christian, you might laugh off Scientology just because you know when it was invented and by whom. It does make some batshit crazy claims, but then again, Christianity was invented by the anonymous authors of the Gospels, and it makes some equally batshit crazy claims. How are anonymous authors better than Mr Hubbard, or is it by any chance easier to accept something that you already believe and have been taught since childhood not to question? Don’t be so quick to laugh at either one if you believe in the other.