Another great day in San Diego.
Helped set up around 10:00am. We moved to the shaded side of the Prado in anticipation of an 80f + afternoon.
The morning was busy with quite a few atheists stopping to talk and to let us know that they are glad we are out representing. Some very interesting people – locals, people from other states and a few from Europe.
In the early afternoon I spoke with a Christian gentlemen from Iran.
He was born and raised Muslim but converted to Christianity after some research into different religions. He seemed to be a person who at least tried to make rational decisions regarding his beliefs but I was soon to learn that was not the case.
He started by stating that what non-believers think as evil and immoral actions by god in the Old Testament are just gods way of teaching his children how to behave properly. He said his father had taught him the right way to act towards other and assumed my father had also done the same for me.
He felt that God issued rules for slavery and stoning people to death so we could learn those action were inappropriate.
I pointed out that my father and, I assumed his, did not teach us to own other people or stone people to death. I was taught the exact opposite – treat people like I would like to be treated and don’t hurt others.
He ignored the obvious error with his analogy and said all that doesn’t matter because Jesus provided a new covenant and all the Old Testament rules no longer applied.
I asked him if that meant that eating shell fish was no longer an abomination. He said “Of course. We no longer have to follow the Old Testament rules.”
I quickly asked if that meant that gay sex was no longer an abomination. He stated that that was still forbidden because it was evil unlike eating shrimp. I guess all abominations are not created equal! Hail the shrimp eaters!
Our conversation was than hijacked
by a Christian woman. She wanted to know what evidence atheists had that God did not exist and if we could not prove it, our viewpoints were equal.
I mentioned that the burden of proof was on believers because they are making the extraordinary claim, but she felt that everything needed to be believed if it could not be shown to be false. I then presented Russell’s teapot analogy. See Russell’s Teapot.
She did not believe it was true but could not provide any evidence it was false. Still she failed to make the connection.
So I asked her for evidence that God was real. As you can guess, she quickly went to the standard circular reasoning fallacy. God exists because the bible says so, the bible is correct because it is the word of God.
She did not see any problem with that and said ” All evidence is circular reasoning.” I was dumbfounded by that remark. Does anyone know what that even means? I muttered “Jesus Christ” under my breath over that one!
They both decided Pascals Wager was their last recourse but I wasn’t playing along anymore.
Before they left, the Iranian guy mentioned that he was part of an international skype group called “Tune In”.
They broadcast from Australia, North America and Europe using absat (which is the Arab Broadcasting satellite) and the Trinity Channel.
He invited me to join in their conversations as the dissenting voice. Perhaps I will.