Sat 6 Dec, 2014 04:40 am
I have recently got into Christian apologetics after moving to a big city for my new job. Boy, does everybody have an opinion here! There are quite a few atheists in my community, though most are Christian (or say they are). However, even the Christians question the truth of the Bible, and I frequently have to defend myself from philosophical attacks. I was hoping you could help me come up with rebuttals to some of their arguments.
Here, for example, is an argument a colleague presented to me the other day to refute the story of Noah and the Great Flood. He argues that the Flood can't be true because there are no kangaroos in Turkey. He argues that if the Ark landed on Mount Ararat in Turkey and unloaded its cargo of animals, there should be a population of kangaroos native to Turkey, because there should have been a pair of kangaroos on the Ark. He says that that pair of kangaroos couldn't have traveled all the way to Australia from Turkey; they would have starved to death or something. I told him that God might have helped them along, but he accused me of "plugging a hole with more miracles". I don't know what to say to him now. If I say he is being deluded by humanist scientists he gets mad at me. How can I respond?
You can't convince unbelievers of the "truth" of the Flood, mainly because there is so much evidence against it. You cannot find any yourself, or you wouldn't be asking here.
"plugging a hole with more miracles".
Now there's an excellent way of putting it. Any theist who wants to account for such things as the distribution of species on this planet need only say that "god" did it. Trying to make a thoroughly ridiculous story such as the Noachian flood into literal truth is a futile exercise. The only thing a theist can do is invoke supernatural, miraculous intervention. Man, have you come to the wrong place to ask for that kind of help.
The OP is a complete "plank" as we say in Britain. He didn't like the replies he got here so he started another one.
Perhaps we can help him out there...
There are hundreds of arguments to this. First of all Noah, did not have time to collect all of the species on the Earth. Seriously, if an ark were built today, and modern cars, trucks and aircraft were used, how long would the collection of animals take. Seriously the Arc story may not yet have happened and the rain could be water, radioactivity or disease. The fact is that the Earth is finite, like it's photosynthetic source of life.
"If you don't succeed at first, try, try again."
Except that you just double and triple your failures...
It might well be a prank, however there are people who live with such logic systems and defend them with rigor.
If I say he is being deluded by humanist scientists he gets mad at me. How can I respond?
By agreeing with him. Scientists don't set out to prove religious dogma wrong. They set out to find the truth. Galileo discovered that the Earth orbits the Sun by looking at the evidence. He didn't do it just to piss off the pope.
Unlike scientists, religious nutters do set out to disprove science and fail miserably. So they end up grasping at straws and blowing up slight anomalies out of all proportion. Noah's Ark did not happen, unless it's the story of a small scale operation where a farmer saved his livestock due to local flooding. That might have happened, but I doubt it. The story in the Bible is a myth, end of.
so frankly and hysterically insane--like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell--mouths mercy and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!”
― Mark Twain
Yea whatever he says, because he says it.....
@DNA Thumbs drive,
Nah, that's what happens with the pope, charismatic holy rollers, faith healers and other charlatans. When you have empirical evidence and necessary inference, people can double-check your claims and call bullshit. As long as the basis of your claim is magically invisible and miraculously undetectable, nobody can double-check your claims, so you are free to make up whatever fantasy world makes you feel good. That would be fine, as long as such people kept their ideas to themselves, but you've got AIDS-deniers preaching against contraception, creationists who refuse medicine for their dying kids, etc ad nauseum
I think Biff double posted. Both threads started at the same time.
I had always been under the impression that kangaroo fossils have been found on other continents, suggesting the land masses to have been connected at that time. I'd like further information, of course. But, for me, a 4500 year old mystery can remain a mystery so long as the important concepts remain connected.
A 4500 year old mystery.
Gotta wonder what your take is on pottery that is between 19000 and 20000 years old.
Or cave art that is reliably dated to over 40000 years old
(At 40,800 years old, a red disk on the wall of El Castillo cave was proclaimed to be the oldest reliably dated wall painting ever in a 2012 study in the journal Science.)
Personally, I find the older mysteries more interesting than something which would have left a lot of evidence if it had happened as it was, comparatively, so recent.
I was referring only to written history which goes back 5000 years or so - and the Biblical flood account c. 2370 B.C.E.
The putative account of the alleged flood was lifted wholesale from the Gilgamesh Epic, and, as such, it is just more of the typical bullsh*t which makes up scripture.
The Gilgamesh Epic and the Biblical account are most likely the same event, IMO.
Of course, both could be fairy tales, too--like most of your holy writ.
Along with the countless other flood myths of the world - all in the same category . . . apparently with no explanation