Sunday, October 4, 2015

Not Fun At All

I grow weary of religious apologists.

Laughter might truly be the best medicine if it can encourage friendly conversation between Christians and atheists. That was Andy Bannister’s goal when he wrote The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist.

In his new book, Bannister uses humour as a way to recognize and dissect what he calls “atheist sound bites,” common cliché arguments that are being used to support the New Atheism movement. He hopes that in writing this book he will be able to engage Christians and non-Christians alike.

“I often think that too much Christian literature, for those who are non-Christians, isn’t fun to read, so the humour is (in the book) for a reason,” said the British author. “I wanted to write an apologetics book that is fun to read, so that when (a reader) gives it to an atheist friend ... (he or she) can say to them, ‘Look, you might not agree with everything in this book, but you’ll enjoy it.’ ”

Bannister begins each chapter with a scenario that exposes what he calls the lazy skepticism that many atheists use today. In the first chapter of his book, Bannister tells the story of how he first came across London’s “atheist bus.”

An ad on a London bus reads, “There is probably no God. So stop worrying and enjoy your life.” The advertisement, sponsored by the British Humanist Association, is a good example of a bad argument.

“An argument so bad, so disastrous, in fact, that one has to wonder what its sponsors were thinking... Like a cheaply made cardigan, they’re full of loose threads, that if tugged firmly, quickly began to unravel,” Bannister writes.

“But here’s my question: what’s the connection between the non-existence of something and any effect, emotional or otherwise? There probably aren’t any unicorns, cheer up. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is just a parody, so take heart.”
Shorter version of all of this: God exists because we say he does. This book is funny because we say it is. Atheists will like the book because we say they will. We are logical because we say we are. Atheists should want to debate us and listen to our theological nonsense. If they only would really listen to our theological nonsense, then they would believe in God.

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