Archive - Oct 17, 2007

Irony Is Also Immaterial

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Memo to Jimmy Lisle and Answers in Genesis: X=DUMB. X=U. THEREFORE, U=DUMB.

There are two distinct disadvantages to being an atheist. I can mitigate the first by simply buying my own goddamned crackers and grape juice, but there's very little I can do about the second one: the mind-numbingly stupid arguments by the religious who think it's us atheists who are the crazy ones.

For the most part, the usual suspects in this regard roll off me like water off the back of a magic, frictionless duck. Sure, it gets tiresome hearing that the lack of an objective morality imposed by a deity's rule system means that there is nothing keeping me from suddenly deciding to sodomize puppies. But I like to think that every day I, and my fellow atheists, refrain from fucking a fundie's dog represents a clear moral victory.

So I have to give Dr. Jason Lisle of Answers in Genesis that tiny modicum of fake credit I give many people before tearing into them. It's rare that someone actually steps up with an argument so bad it merits my attention.

Of course, as a fervent creationist, Lisle is no stranger to slipping science a roofie and having his way with it in the back of his van. So I wasn't TOO shocked to discover that he thinks he's found Atheist Kryptonite, and the glowing green rock is... wait for it... a bit longer... LOGIC.

Yes, logic. Foundation of rational thought! Beloved of Vulcans, the emotionless interstellar atheists*. A concept ostensibly as alien to a creationist as the Internet is to Larry Craig**. Yet it is proof of atheists' wrongness nonetheless. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Reasoning involves using the laws of logic. These include the law of non-contradiction... But why is this law true? Why should there be a law of non-contradiction, or for that matter, any laws of reasoning? The Christian can answer this question. For the Christian there is an absolute standard for reasoning; we are to pattern our thoughts after God’s. The laws of logic are a reflection of the way God thinks. The law of non-contradiction is not simply one person’s opinion of how we ought to think, rather it stems from God’s self-consistent nature. God cannot deny Himself ( 2 Timothy 2:13), and so, the way God upholds the universe will necessarily be non-contradictory.

This, by the way, is what logicians call the "assertion". Shorter version: God made logic.

"The materialistic atheist can’t have laws of logic. He believes that everything that exists is material—part of the physical world. But laws of logic are not physical. You can’t stub your toe on a law of logic. Laws of logic cannot exist in the atheist’s world, yet he uses them to try to reason. This is inconsistent. He is borrowing from the Christian worldview to argue against the Christian worldview. The atheist’s view cannot be rational because he uses things (laws of logic) that cannot exist according to his profession."

I'm not exactly sure what a "materialistic atheist" is. I'd look it up on my new iPod, but I'm much too busy playing my XBox and sodomizing puppies. I assume it's a gratuitous derogatory modifier, like the "douchebag" in "douchebag creationist". It also exists to create a completely insane strawman - the atheist who doesn't recognize the existence of abstract concepts.

It's bullshit either way you look at it. I mean, I believe in dick jokes. A dick joke exists. A dick joke exists even if I only think of it, and it doesn't take on an observable form from me putting it on the Internet or yelling it out during a wholly inappropriate social situation. Does Lisle want to give God credit for dick jokes? I bet he doesn't.

Alternately, science has shown that the human brain operates via observable electrochemical processes. So even though you can't stub your toe on a law of logic, or snag a dick joke in your zipper, they are still physical, observable processes. No divine intervention necessary.

Now, Lisle has anticipated that last one, and attempted to prebunk it with the assertion that the laws of logic are universal and immutable (unlike brain chemistry). In an example of unaware projection that could be bronzed and put in a museum dedicated to unaware projection (I think there's one near Cincinnati, come to think of it), Lisle offers up this:

"Rational debate would be impossible if laws of logic were conventional, because the two opponents could simply pick different standards for reasoning. Each would be right according to his own arbitrary standard." Boy, I sure do wish I could think of a group that exemplified the very concept that Lisle claims is impossible, but God is apparently refusing to line up my synapses properly.

*Albeit atheists with temples, scantily clad priestesses, and ritualistic death duels.

**Congratulations, readers of lefty blogs! You've earned todays Joke For A Tiny Percentage Of The Audience!