Mailvox: The evidence for God

I really fail to understand why so many Christian apologists have such a difficult time answering such easy questions:

Don’t know if you’ve ever seen this before.  In my opinion this little kid embarrassed Eric Hovind. Eric may even have a valid point he’s trying to make but I’m not sure exactly what it is. I know its hard to present a coherent summary of evidence for God very quickly (your debate with Dominic has really given me some food for thought when thinking about evidence for the existence of a deity) but what would you give as a very short, snappy answer to someone who asked “What is your evidence for God?”

I don’t know who Hovind is, but I tend to agree.  I stopped watching after Hovind said “without God, you can’t know anything.”  Even if that is perfectly true, it’s an incredibly stupid answer.  One might as reasonably answer “without oxygen, you can’t know anything”, and to as little effect.

The correct answer concerning the evidence for God is precisely the same as it is for practically everything else in the historical record, which is to say the copious documentary evidence available.  We can no more reasonably doubt the existence of God than we can doubt the existence of Alexander the Great, Abraham Lincoln, or any other human being who existed before the invention of audio and video recording and for whom there are physical artifacts that support the documentary evidence.

Can skeptics produce plausible explanations for why so much false documentary evidence of God exists if He does not?  Sure.  Just as I can plausibly explain that the myth of George Washington was invented in order to provide Americans with founding Romulus-style figure of reverence in order to compensate for their lack of kings and common history.  I mean, there were no cherry trees in Virginia.  And isn’t it ludicrous to take literally the myth of Washington’s rjection of the proffered crown when the story is a patently a straightforward imitation of the Roman dictator Cincinnatus.

As for the other part of the question, where the boy declares that communication with God is simply a part of one’s brain talking to him, I would have asked the kid how he was able to distinguish between one part of my brain talking to me and an alien transmission from Alpha Centauri.  I would have also asked him precisely what part of my brain was doing the talking, and to what, precisely?  I would have pressed him until it became obvious that he knew nothing of neuroscience, was simply parroting something he’d been told, and that his assertion was actually less credible than the God hypothesis.

It’s one thing to claim that your brain must be talking to itself when you’re the only one who hears it.  It’s another when other people hear it too.

Most modern Christian apologists are incompetent because they approach the discourse as a chance to explicate theology rather than understanding that it is a form of intellectual combat where the goal is to discredit the interlocutor.  So, like Hovind, they explicate a little theology that looks like an irrelevant evasion while simultaneously managing to get intellectually discredited by young boys.  Frankly, I’d be surprised and a little disappointed if I didn’t have the kid in tears and questioning his faith in science within minutes after asking such a pair of stupid questions.

First things first.  Destroy the interlocutor.  Answer every question directly, on his terms, and then go after the vulnerabilities they reveal with a flamethrower.  Only then, when you are standing upon whatever quivering ashes remain, can you explicate further if you wish.