In Scripted Video, Atheist Dentist Challenges Christian Patient. She Very Nearly Converts Him In Under a Minute

Gone (to Jesus) in 60 seconds:

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Dentist: “OK, we’re done.”
Patient: “Yes. Thank God for that.”
Dentist (incredulous): “God?”
Patient: “What do you mean?”
Dentist: “Who in this day and age still believes in God?”
Patient: “Well, I do. Why’s that?”
Dentist: “Well, you obviously missed all the wars, the devastation, the poverty, everything that goes wrong with this world.”
Patient: “Well, I don’t believe in dentists. If there are dentists in the world, why do so many people have broken, infected, and missing teeth?”
Dentist: “I can’t help people that don’t come to me to have their teeth fixed.”
Patient: “Exactly! Same way with God. It’s a bit rich for us to expect God to help people who won’t come to Him and instead insist on doing things their own way.”
Dentist (wavering): “And how am I meant to come to God?”
Patient: “Just — talk to him. He’s listening.”

And that patient’s name – Albert Einstein.

I kid, I kid. But the video, distributed by an Australian evangelical organization, is real; and the setup — a patronizing atheist in a position of dominance is outwitted by a young Christian who appears to employ, of all things, logic — is all too familiar.

Like the dentist, I have some questions. Mine are for the makers of that video, and for the Christians who love it.

  1. Are you aware that “Thank God” is just a figure of speech that doesn’t actually mark the person saying it as a theist? Would you then agree that the second line the scriptwriter puts in the dentist’s mouth constitutes a strawman?
  2. Do you really believe that agnostic medical professionals go around upbraiding patients for saying “Thank God”; and that there are medical organizations whose code of conduct allows members to ever-so-nonchalantly pick fights with patients over religious matters?
  3. What is this logical equivalence you see between God and dentists? Because I’m pretty sure I can see my dentist, and that she isn’t a figment of my imagination. Oh, and she demonstrably fixes things. Why doesn’t God?
  4. What does it say of your faith in an intercessory Creator when people do talk to him and he doesn’t listen, as billions experience daily, over and over?
  5. Corollary question: What do you say when people dedicate their lives to him and he rewards them by killing their children with malaria or bone cancer — or, if he’s in an especially bad mood, by wiping out their region with a flood or an earthquake, killing thousands?
  6. Please explain why your benevolent God, without whose divine intent no butterfly can flap its wings, decided to lead five little girls into a pond and then let them drown because, presumably, they didn’t call his name.
  7. What’s this business about God not being able to help people who “won’t come to him”? Your own theology says that’s wrong; God, supposedly, can do anything. Whether he wants to is another matter then, yes?
  8. Please explain God’s demand that we must embrace him before he’ll lift a finger for us, especially in light of your doctrinal certitude that he has created believers and non-believers alike — and that, being omniscient and all, he knows in advance which of his children won’t think he exists.
  9. What do you make of the fact that one reason teeth become infected — and one reason for many other festering afflictions — is that certain believers ask God for assistance instead of going to a dentist or doctor?
  10. Would you be comfortable visiting a dentist with a success rate as abysmal as your God’s?

Enough. This video has, as they say, no teeth.

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.


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