Saturday, April 11, 2009

How to defeat the "What If?" Christian game, Hitchens-style

One of the most common tools and tactics employed by Christians against atheism and atheists is the notorious "What If?" game, or some variant thereof, where they ask unsuspecting atheists scripted questions along the lines of "If God created you and everything you hold dear, are you in his debt?", or "If you were to be judged along the Ten Commandments, would you be going to Hell?", or even "If repenting to Jesus absolves you of your sins, then would you repent to Jesus?", and etc. Of course, the game's point is that the questions are scripted to encompass the answer "yes", which – somehow, despite it being a game of hypotheticals – "proves" that God exists and how we are truly at His mercy and are "owned" by Him. It's a pathetic con, a rhetorical employed by dinks like Ray Comfort quite often, and even the staunchest of atheists are at times taken off-guard and are sent falling down logical loophole after logical loophole.

Todd Friel, who looks every bit like the pathetic brainwashing evangelical that he is, tried to pull this game on someone over the radio on the show "What If?", but I daresay he met his match: perhaps he was aloof, or perhaps plain stupid, because he thought he could work this stupid game on ... Christopher Hitchens. You know, one of the biggest guns of the atheist party, a celebrated journalist and author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, a man whose long journalist career has pretty much armed him with the wit, knowledge and fearlessness to tackle anyone at any time?

The result is, while unsurprising, definitely entertaining as Hitchens refuses to follow the preset scripted answers, leads Friel down logical roads and pathways that confound the poor pathetic evangelical, and in the end has – pardon the expression – "beaten him at his own game", leaving Friel stammering around like a fool.

Part One

Part Two

How beautiful.

(via Pharyngula)


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