Intellectualism Doesn’t Improve Religion Debate

IntellectualI’ve been thinking a lot about my participation in a lot of “intellectual” religious forums of late and have realized that just being around “smarter” or “better educated” theists doesn’t actually make for a better debate.  At best, it just serves to obfuscate the real issues which are actually quite simple.  There is no evidence for the actual existence of gods.  Period.  All the philosophical hand-waving and mental masturbation that tends to go on in such forums really doesn’t make any evidence come into existence, it just serves to hide the fact that there is no evidence.  Intellectualism isn’t a guarantee of rationality.

I’ve always thought that people like William Lane Craig are just blowhards anyhow, full of themselves and their own self-importance but without any interest in actual truth or fact.  Just having a bunch of letters behind you name doesn’t give you the cognitive powers to produce a better argument for the existence of a real god than anyone else.  At the center of the debate, that’s really all that matters.  You can spin all the philosophical fantasy stories you want, concoct arguments based on nothing but wishful thinking, etc. and you still haven’t actually produced a single shred of evidence that any gods actually exist.  You’ve just distracted your audience from the real question for which you have no actual answers. This isn’t physics, where complex mathematics produce models of the world that can be verified and validated, this is religion, where verification and validation simply do not exist.

But if you bring this up to the “intellectuals”, they tend to get pissed because they want to think that their superior education and intelligence actually mean something when it comes to theology.  Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t. Sure, they can use big words and complex-sounding arguments but those arguments don’t actually get them anywhere.  The Kalaam Cosmological Argument really isn’t impressive, it can be easily dismantled once you realize that it’s just a bunch of unsupported claims, based on wishful thinking.  It doesn’t actually prove anything.  The same is true of all of the other common theological arguments, they’re based on faith, not demonstrable fact, they just serve as a distraction from the undeniable reality that theology has no facts whatsoever upon which to base their claims.  Geniuses don’t make facts appear out of thin air, they’re just very skilled at hiding the truth.

And to be honest, I don’t know why more atheists don’t recognize this and call theists on their bullshit.  William Lane Craig and other well known apologists go around arguing for the existence of the Christian God, but why doesn’t anyone debating them actually point out that they’re not really accomplishing anything they claim to be able to do?  If I were debating them, I’d immediately bring up the fact that they’re making empty claims, blind assertions and arguments based on faith, not actually showing that God is real through demonstrable, objective evidence.  I could use the exact same arguments for the existence of Bobo the Tree God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster and have it make as much sense, yet nobody ever calls them on their nonsense as they should.  William Lane Craig isn’t impressive, he’s just a well-educated religious buffoon.

Having philosophical degrees doesn’t make you better at making arguments, it just makes you more skilled at piling crap higher and deeper.

One thought on “Intellectualism Doesn’t Improve Religion Debate”

  1. "Geniuses don’t make facts appear out of thin air, they’re just very skilled at hiding the truth."

    Why are you calling any of these theologians or theists geniuses? I don't think any of them actually qualify. Certainly not William Lane Craig.

    I agree that Craig's arguments are not particularly impressive. They are mostly sophisticated theological sophistry. But I am doubtful of your implied claim that you could or would do better debating him than have many of the prominent atheists who have. I'm pretty sure the atheists who have debated Craig have done the very thing you claim they haven't. Have you watched the debate between Sean Carroll and Craig? Carroll takes Craig's philosophical arguments apart, in part by showing there is no evidence for God's existence. I doubt very seriously you could do as well at debating Craig as did Carroll or most of the other prominent atheists who have debated him. Some atheists with minds and intellects superior to yours have taken on Craig and quite successfully dismantled Craig's arguments. Hitchens, Lawrence Krauss, Stephen Law, Alex Rosenberg, Sam Harris, just to name a few.

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