This morning, I had quite an amusing experience around the passing period between second and third period. See, the route I take takes me right past two of my friends moving in the opposite direction, and if I’m not too worried about being tardy for English that day, I change directions and walk with them until I’m nearly on the opposite end of campus, and then I walk as quickly as possible to my class… three buildings away.
Anyway, I have often been accused of being obsessed with Richard Dawkins. Granted, it’s hard to think of anybody who I admire more than him (except, perhaps, some fictional characters if they count… which they don’t), but I’d like to point out that one of these two friends actually wants to call him. The other friend, who happens to be a theist, kept bothering me about getting his e-mail address so that he could debate him. I am content with dinner, and an e-mail.
Now that I’ve gotten that off-topic thing out of the way…
My theist friend who wants to debate him over e-mail was bothering me for it again today, when I switched directions to walk with them. We began debating about whether you could disprove the existence of God. My other friend pointed out to him that though you can not disprove the existence of the deistic God, you still can disprove a text-based God, like the God of the Bible.
“I know” he said, “but I still believe in God.”
And of course, I pulled out the argument that Richard Dawkins uses often (again, I am not obsessed… it’s simply a good argument worth committing to memory) and pointed out “You also can’t disprove the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the Celestial Teapot, or Ra, Thor, Zeus. Why don’t you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to?”
“Well, there’s more evidence for God than there is for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”
“Look. I’m not going to convince you to believe in God, and you’re not going to convince me to not believe in God, so just shut up about it.”
“But you haven’t got a reason to believe!”
“I don’t care. Just shut up.”
At this point, I was nearly on the opposite end of campus from my English class, and I began walking back with a grin on my face at his quick change of mind from wanting to debate about God with Richard Dawkins (and I was basically using the arguments he would get if he had tried debating with him, assuming Dawkins decided to waste his time replying to him) to wanting me to shut up… but someone is not getting Richard Dawkins’ e-mail address (yes… he could Google it like I told him to, but he obviously is too lazy to do so because he asked me again today) since I learned today that he, like all the other theists I know (except for perhaps one), are actually unwilling to debate about the existence of the Skyfairy, and are content to remain blindly faithful without having it challenged.
Actually, I was quite surprised.
I used to divide theists into two groups. Those that want to debate and don’t want to admit that the only reason they believe is faith, and those that take great pride in it and love ending arguments (sometimes before they’ve even started) by shouting “It’s something called FAITH! Something that you will never understand!” in my face.
Either way, I normally counted him amongst the former of the two types of theists, having a keen interest in having me meet his other theist friends, and showing me books. I was quite surprised when he transformed into the latter of the two types. Actually, I see this behavior a lot. More often than not when I debate theists, I hear them admit that I was winning just before they blow up, or stick their fingers in their ears and chant “La la la la la. I can’t hear you.”
The point is, up until today I always divided theists into those two groups. Those who tried to defend their claims, and those that simply didn’t. I’m starting to think that I was wrong. There is only one type of theist, but some can go longer before retreating to their little warm, cozy, fuzzy corner of their mind called faith. It’s the faith obstacle that I’ve never been able to get past. With only that type of theist, is there really any hope for the world?