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Friday, March 11, 2011


Nick (ApologiaPhoenix) a somewhat contributor here and frequent moderator over at TheologyWeb, brought this to my attention as I was skimming the March 2011 Screwballs thread:

If you've kept up on any recent news lately, you'd know perfectly well that John is talking about the tsunami mass earthquake which hit Japan sometime mid to late evening yesterday.

Now it's not so much that I disagree with John's viewpoint on the nature and extent of these disaster and their implications for theological beliefs. It's just, well...

Check out the title: Devastating Tsunami Hits Japan. You Want Evidence There Isn't a Good Omnipotent God? Here it is.

*Sigh*....does this sound like anything new from Debunking Christianity? If you answered no, then you would most certainly be correct. Anything bad that happens in the world on a major scale is likely to get pinned down by John and like-minded folk as evidence that there is no good omnipotent God.

Except when these arguments turn into a formulated pattern, and become a franchise just like the majority of John's other arguments and propositions, then where does there effectiveness lie? Where is the substantial content? Where is this "evidence" that John speaks of. At some point it becomes an "argument" which relies on your emotional suggestiveness. Does it actually address anything on a cerebral level? Does it provide anything of coherent structure? NO. It's really quite similar to the tactics used by one of my favorite and often mentioned domestic terrorist groups, PETA. I have compared John to people who endorse PETA (even though I cannot state as a matter of fact that John would be amongst those who do) because he relies mostly on the power of suggestion rather than the power of reason. What does PETA do to convince people that eating meat is wrong and abhorrent? They compare eating chicken McNuggets to the Concentration Camps, they prey on children with videos of the horrific and illegal torture of endangered species. Do they at all attempt to explain such statements as why eating meat is "wrong" for humans to do? Never.

In the same sense, does John provide anything of content beside videos and soundbites, news clips, and rehashed arguments? We await the day that John could commit to actual substance. That is a hope and anticipation of ours here on this blog. And if somehow John could explain in this particular instance, how its implied significance is different or moreso than in other previously mentioned cases, then we will afford John that merit.

John writes just above the embedded video:

"Here it is. Try explaining this rather than explaining it away."

And in conjunction with a comment made this very morning:

"Mike, I written about tragedies before and every time I do some people say I'm insensitive. But if I wrote about a distant event in the past it would not be fresh on people's minds."

Well John, maybe you could look at this way: You do make a fuss about just any type of calamity that comes to your attention. You have a tendency like that of the media to skew these events to fit your perspective, just like the media's allegations that Jared Loughner was a right-wing conspirator, not a registered Independent with severe psychological problems not related to religious affiliations or even politics.

And something else you fail to touch upon is what I've already brought up in this post: You fail to explain how the recency of an event makes it much more signficant than those of the past. What does this earthquake prove about anything? What could it possibly indicate? You leave these questions hanging in the air for the individual to decide. That's employing the same reasoning used by Creationists, John. What does this prove that couldn't somehow be proven from the distant past?

Keep in mind that because calamities have always been a fact of life, such instances were happening even during the time the Bible was being written. Does this make the Bible true? No, not by necessity. But it does show that it is a very small probability that ancient people were ignorant and oblivious to natural disasters. The key is to pinpoint what the ancients were conveying about their world at the time that they wrote this material which is now affecting our contemporary society. John makes no effort really to address any of these topics. This is why his arguments fall flat on their face.

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