God wiped my ass. I know this because my ass is clean.
Yes, it isn’t terribly respectful. It isn’t meant to be. I respect your right to believe what you will but I do not respect the religions that are believed in.
The point is, those two statements are logically equivalent.
- Every creation needs a creator. or The creation proves the creator.
- God cleaned my ass. My clean ass is proof that this is true.
In both cases, the fallacy is begging the question. That’s when the premises of your argument assumes your conclusion to be true. To say that everything was created by god, thus everything is proof of this creation, is absurd because the premise assumes creation by god. The conclusion then concludes that the things (assumed) created prove that creation happened. In this case, the fallacy is obvious because there is nothing to conclude and the conclusion is identical to the given premise. In most real world arguments, there are a few steps in between that obscure the fallacy.
That was my main point for the day, and it also happens to be the response I now use every time anyone makes that argument online. It’s a good response – disrespectful of course, but then again their statement is insulting to begin with. Anyone who can state such nonsense unironically is not worth debating. They can be fun to mock though.
My second point, and this is one that I have no answer for, is that I wonder what statement or question to a creationist can possibly be enough to have them question their faith. Here’s the thing – “Why do you believe?” was enough for me, at sixteen years old, when asked by an atheist, for me to very quickly realize that I did not have a reason, and to stop believing. The best way I can explain it is, it was like someone threw a switch in my brain. I went from belief to disbelief in a matter of seconds. I still wanted to believe at that time, and I even went and spoke to the priest of the church I attended… but nothing he said could convince me. I found his words empty, and in fact he didn’t even try hard to convince me. But as time passed, I eventually became comfortable with atheism.
But I do wonder why that question was enough for me. Was I always going to be an atheist? I did have significant doubts, but yet I was happy as a Catholic. When my fellow Christians mocked someone who didn’t believe at school that day, I approached her because I felt bad that they were laughing at her. I too was different, shy, did not fit in. But I did believe. I approached her because I identified with her because they were laughing at her and I wanted to see if I could make her feel better, but also… I did believe in god and was honestly curious to understand her very different point of view. When she turned it around and asked if I believed, and after I said “Yes”, she asked “Why?”… I was shocked to find I did not know. I was surprised to find my faith disappear instantly, and I went home to think about it for hours, wondering why I had believed so strongly for all those years when it was all such obvious nonsense.
Maybe it was because I approached her with sympathy and honest curiosity that I was open minded enough? Or maybe I was always going to be an atheist anyway and she just hurried the process along? I guess I’ll never know.
But I must ask for anyone reading this, if you can be truly honest with yourself… If you do believe, why do you believe?