My brief summary of the position of apologists for religion, The Courtier’s Reply, continues to rankle the believers, and they continue to make responses that only make me laugh at their cluelessness. The standard rebuttal is to claim that I was making an argument in favor of ignorance in the face of theological scholarship, followed by a laundry list of esteemed theologians … but never, and I mean absolutely never, even the slightest attempt to address the core of my criticism — not once have they presented a solid, confirmable reason to believe in a deity.
Here’s the latest example, and it follows the formula perfectly. How dare Myers accuse Tillich and Buber and Bonhoeffer and Gandhi and Bishop Tutu and Piaget and a long set of dropped names of promoting false beliefs? Yet, as usual, he cannot bring himself to actually discuss the substance of the issue: where is the evidence for his god? Listing invisible flounces, transparent ruffles, and phantasmal frills is simply a confirmation of the validity of my parable.
And yes, I do accuse his honor roll of theological luminaries of perpetuating lies, of credulity, and often, of pettifogging rhetoric. When someone advances remarkable claims of remarkable phenomena, like N rays or cold fusion or polywater (or natural selection or chemiosmosis or endosymbiosis), we demand evidence and skeptical evaluation…but not for religion. God always gets a pass from the people who already believe. They claim the existence of the most powerful, all-pervasive force in the universe, yet will provide not a single shred of support. And worse, this bozo calls the demand for evidence “hooliganism”.
If that’s the case, I’m proud to be a hooligan.