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Appalling Logic - response to commenter Gary Llewellyn

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?
in response to reader comment: Book Worshippers!

Submitted by P. McHenry (United States), Jun 29, 2005 at 14:30

The illogic of those radically opposed to the God hypothesis is always visible, but rarely as stunning as in the post titled, "Book Worshippers!" The poster asked, "Is every NOW living 'God' inaccessible to living men?" Of course not! The core claim of Christianity is that God is not only accessible, but also near to and reaching out to every living person.

The poster then went on to make the bizarre claim that, essentially, merely being alive was ample qualification to have one's thoughts and beliefs taken more seriously than anyone who is dead. He asked, "How many 'dead' men would you trust to work on your car? To remove your gall bladder? To fix your computer?" Does he have any clue how many dead men's knowledge we are relying on to even have cars and computers, or to know how to remove a gall bladder?

Finally, the poster made these nearly incomprehensible statements:

"If LIFE is better than DEATH, why would I trust what 'dead' people claimed in old writings? They 'are out of the running' in this thing we call LIFE. They are the 'losers' The don't say ANYTHING new!"

Where to begin? First, it's not clear that life is better than death, ultimately. Pretty much every religion holds out the promise of something better than this life beyond the grave. But even if the premise is accepted, why would it necessarily follow that there is no value in learning what dead people said? After all, they were alive when they said it! He's basically claiming that immortality is the only acceptable basis for credibility. By that logic, why then would we listen to the living either - until they began to convince us of their credibility by far exceeding natural longevity?

I suspect that this logic leads right where the poster wants it to go. Like all committed atheists, he need only listen to himself - until he too ultimately 'loses' this 'game' called life. It takes quite an ego to call all of humanity that went before us 'losers' before one has actually found a way to avoid 'losing' in exactly the same way!

Apologies for picking up on the side trail, but I thought it deserved comment. BTW, I also found Dr. Pipes' argument in this article to be a simple but accurate linguistic analysis where only a deep and careful theological analysis can really answer the question he poses.
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