Marc Barnes at Bad Catholic thinks atheists need to stop using certain arguments… but he misses the point of each argument entirely:
1) Babies are atheists
Barnes says that religion is innate! Babies believe in the supernatural from early on! One study showed it! So there! How dare all the atheists equate religious indoctrination with child abuse!?
Well, babies don’t believe in god the same way that many adults do… so we’re not actually off base. Still, no atheist ever suggests that babies are thinking, “There’s no proof for God’s existence.” We’re saying babies aren’t mature enough to consider questions about the supernatural at all. Just because they might have thoughts about the supernatural at a young age doesn’t mean any of it is accurate. Just because children believe in Santa doesn’t make him real. And no one really believes babies are thinking about Jesus or Allah or Vishnu or miracles or all the other nonsense that comes along with belief in god…
When parents teach children — who are not old enough to challenge them — that Genesis is factual or that they must pray five times a day (or else!), that is a form of abuse because you’re not allowing the child to make up his or her own mind about a very serious issue. And we’re not even talking about the threat of hellfire for not believing these things…
2) Priests Rape Boys
This is a sell-out argument, right up there with HITLER WAS AN ATHEIST SO ATHEISM IS BAD! Now to be fair, the Internet-Atheist crowd hardly ever use it as an actual argument. It’s just this awkward, religiously pasted bit of snark that ends every post about why the Catholic Church is the worst thing in the world.
You know why atheists say priests rape boys? Because priests have raped boys.
To be sure, even if all priests raped boys, that wouldn’t be an argument against god’s existence, only an argument that no one in their right mind ought to support the Catholic Church.
But no one’s saying all priests are rapists. What we object to is the way the Church covered up the pedophilia that existed for so long, how priests were shifted from one parish to another in a way that let some of them rape young boys again.
Zach Weiner captured our side of this well:
Yes, there are also other pedophiles out there in other professions. But the pedo-priests’ devout faith obviously didn’t stop them from committing these awful crimes. So what good did it do?
3) Light before the sun? #godsfake
Barnes is responding to the idea that, in Genesis, God created light on Day 1… but the Sun/Moon/Stars on Day 4. (His response: God just created photons on Day 1, you guys…)
Well, I guess if you think a fertilized egg is basically the same thing as a grown fetus, that’s not a huge stretch…
I don’t even need to get into the science, though. This is only one of *many* things Genesis gets wrong if taken at face value. And it goes against the 60% of Americans who believe in the literal six-day-Creation-myth in Genesis (according to The Barna Group).
After all that, Barnes still thinks he has a slam dunk. He doesn’t. And he ought to know better than to create atheist strawmen.