As a parting post before I break for vacation, I thought I’d post this video.
As much as I respect Hitchens, Dawkins, and the rest of the more famous intellectuals in the atheist visibility movement, I’d have to say that my favorite counter-apologist is probably Matt Dillahunty. Being well versed in the Bible, and having previously aspired to become a preacher, he just has a way of engaging theists on their own terms.
My greatest hope in writing this blog is not to “convert” anybody to atheism, but only to encourage anybody and everybody (theists and atheists alike) to apply skepticism and critical thinking to their own beliefs.
This is the best short, real time example I know of what that actually looks like, and it is Dillahunty at his finest:
“So maybe I should just trust myself not even listen to the Bible.”
Yes, Mark, that’s exactly what you should do. Or, at the very least, if you listen to the Bible first, examine the claims and laws written therein with a critical, skeptical eye, and accept them not on faith, but only if they withstand the scrutiny of empirical evidence and a secular morality.
What would Jesus do? Punch your fat face in.
In this clip from the Magic Sandwich Show, dprjones and AronRa are speaking with Matt Dillahunty of The Atheist Experience. Starting at 11:54, Matt describes what he considers to be the best approach for atheists to take when dealing with the religious:
I think there is a best way, and the best way, despite the negative reaction you will often get, is confrontation. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean hostility. But I have yet to meet somebody who’s changed their mind on something without being confronted by a direct opposition. That doesn’t mean you have to be necessarily in your face or, you know, yelling or anything like that.
But if you don’t challenge them – and that is, ‘Okay, what evidence have you got? Can you provide that evidence?’ – if you don’t put something forward, you might as well not even have the conversation. Because, it reminds me of the, ‘Uh, well, let’s just agree to disagree.’ You know, fuck that. We already knew we disagreed before we started the conversation. Why would you end it that way? That makes no sense to me.
I couldn’t agree more.
I should also mention that this was part of the Doctors Without Borders Charity organized by dprjones, and that the donations pages are still open here and here (these links can also be found in the video description).