Sunday, February 16, 2014

Straw Atheism explained in 45 seconds

I came across this video:

So much wrong... many wrong.

Forth those who don't watch the video, here's the synopsis.

A dude, standing in forest, puts a handful of Legos in a bag and shakes it. He then pulls out a fully-formed Lego helicopter, puts it on a stand, and walks away. Then, some text appears on screen:
.. were they created by nothing, or were they creators [of themselves]? Or did they create the heavens and Earth (cosmos) - nay they have no firm belief - Quran 52:35 - 36.
It's the Junkyard 747 argument, basically. The difference is, it's being used to argue Islam instead of Christianity this time.

First, it's a straw man. My position on abiogenesis is "I don't know". We have some clues, but we don't know yet. The theist is the one who is claiming that some invisible sky wizard did it, with zero evidence, zero reason, zero logic. Due to the fact that their claim is unevidenced, undemonstrated and does not correspond to observable reality, I do not accept their claim.

That's the reason why I'm an atheist.

There's a lot of things we don't know yet. To jump at a god as an explanation without any evidence is an Argument from Ignorance / God of the Gaps.

Secondly, he's presenting a false dilemma:

  1. God did it
  2. Life made itself from nothing
There are other possibilities, such as, given how the universe works, it's too be expected. Oddly enough, we don't have a "during winter, icicles created themselves from nothing, or invisible sky wizard made the icicles" dilemma. Rational and knowledgeable people get that icicles form, based on how thermodynamics, chemistry, physics, etc, work. It's to be expected. Icicle formation is no accident, nor is it intelligently designed.

Thirdly, because something is "unlikely" does not make it false. We're talking about tens of billions of years with an unfathomable quantity of galaxies, stars, planets and conditions to work with. If life arising through the physical laws is possible at all, the chances of it happening approach inevitability. Even if the chances only get to the point where one planet in the entire universe is likely to have life... we could be that lucky lottery winner. Intelligent life considering its own existence wouldn't happen on a planet where it didn't happen.

For a video mocking "atheist logic", it sure does seem to be gushing logical fallacies out every pore. We have, so far:

  • Straw man fallacy about the atheist position
  • Argument from Ignorance about how life requires a god
  • False Dilemma about the possibly ways life could start
  • Begging the question about the likeliness of life arising due to chemistry/physics

That's a lot to cram into 45 seconds, especially when most of it is uneventful and dramatized.

... and I've left, after watching the video, with my increasing generalization that apologists are illogical, uncritical, ignorant idiots, once again affirmed.

Good job.

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