You lovely commenters.

In response to my reply to Matthew the other day, a commenter named Jayman entered the fray to defend the Cosmological Argument.  I sat down with a perfectly open mind which Jayman extinguished with one of his first points.

In response to me saying…

“We trust the experts because we have solid reasoning and evidence to support the conclusion that the consensus of physicists dwarfs our individual knowledge about physics. This isn’t faith, it’s not being arrogant as all hell.”

Jayman said…

That’s a definition of faith: “confidence or trust in a person or thing” (first definition given at dictionary.com). You have trust in experts. Theists have trust in God.

No, theists do not have trust in god. God has not come down and told them how it is (which would be within his power).

Theists have trust in other human beings who, themselves, trusted other human beings and interpreters  on down the line until you get back to a small cabal of people in a very ignorant part of the ancient world (compared to, say, the Chinese) who said “We’ve spoken to god!  He’s not going to speak to you, but he spoke to us and you should listen to what we have to say!  We’ll even write it down in this book.  Oh, and he rose from the dead.”  If you encountered these people directly today you would immediately write them off as mad.  You wouldn’t even trust them face-to-face.

The reality is that both atheists and theists trust humans.  Atheists just trust the humans who gave us cell phones.

As a side note, this is what baffles me with the evolution debate.  Even if you knew absolutely nothing about science, your options are to trust the consensus of scientists who have transformed this world into a Utopia for humankind, or to trust a group of people who didn’t know enough to wash the hand they wipe their ass with before eating and whose ignorance of the universe would be dwarfed by a modern day five year-old.  To call the choice the theist makes merely “wrong” is to obscure the breadth of how humiliating it is.  It is to reject this century for the first.

Anyway, the rest of Jayman’s comment was thoroughly and beautifully dissected such that I don’t feel moved to do any more than boggle at the comment above.  Well done, all.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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