Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Argument from I Said It First

When a wise person debates with a fool, the fool rages and laughs, and there is no peace and quiet - Proverbs 29:9
I was browsing my usual rounds of websites when I came across this, in reference to the VP debate (pictured right).

Don't worry, I'm not getting into politics here.

What I did notice was the magical Bible quote:
"When a wise person debates with a fool, the fool rages and laughs, and there is no peace and quiet" - Proverbs 29:9
"Okay", I thought to myself. Apparently, we aren't going to address what he said, the merits of the claims, or anything like that. Nope. He laughed, and that's because he's a fool, and therefore we can disregard his content.

How do we know that? The Bible says so. The Bible predicted it.

I'll try to describe this strange phenomenon I've noticed. It's some form of mentality. The Bible makes a claim, as a preemptive attack, against a potential objection - and because the Bible got there first, it takes precedent. It makes a prediction, that when it comes true, establishes an authority that trumps any coherent analysis.

Have you noticed that? I'm not sure how else to describe it.

The Bible is full of these things. Here's a classic:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good - Psalm 14:1 KJV
So now, as a hypothetical theist, and I decide to debate some atheists. I already know they're fools, and they're evil, and I can allow that to taint my perception of his/her motivations behind the arguments.

Why is the Bible quote relevant? Well, it got there first. It's basically Poisoning the Well. It doesn't matter that all one needs to do is find one atheist that did one good thing, and the second sentence is falsified. Christians apparently don't care about minor details like that.

Or how about this one?
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. - Romans 1:19 ESV
Atheists really do know there's a god because God has revealed himself to us. So now, when I as a hypothetical theist argue with an atheist, I know that he/she is actually just lying to me, because the Bible said he/she knows there's a god. It must be because the atheists want to sin, or something, because they clearly don't think there's a question about God. The motivation must lie elsewhere.

Discussions with theists can become downright demented, because their heads are full of these well-poisonings. It becomes very difficult to actually address arguments and evidence of any substance, because you're too busy explaining to them that these verses aren't correct just because the Bible happened to say them first.

Truth isn't first-come-first-serve.

I've encountered this phenomenon frequently, where I'll object to something the theist said, and he/she will return with a Bible quote that basically predicts that people like me will object to what they're saying - and then just leave it at that.

... and? So the Bible predicts something obvious - that when you say insane deluded things, that people are going to point out that you are saying insane deluded things?

That doesn't require magic to figure out - even for bronze-age goat herders.

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