Reason Rally Reasoning?

What great reasoning can we expect to see from Unreasonables at the Reason Rally? Let’s find out on Deeper Waters.

Recently, someone found a link of an article that could indicate what we can expect to see at the Reason Rally. This concerns the camp quest of Richard Dawkins. The link can be found here.

Indeed, stellar reasoning we do find here. That is, if you take stellar to mean “I wonder what planet this reasoning was thought up on.”

Astronomy, critical thinking, philosophy and pseudo-science are covered at Camp Quest.

The first, maybe. However, as for the last three, most of that is material we wish Unreasonables would learn for themselves. Critical thinking does not mean thinking critically of every opinion that disagrees with you and is also religious. Philosophy does not mean finding what can be demonstrated scientifically. pseudo-science does not mean “Anything that has anything in it that is not ‘natural’, whatever that means.

There are some atheists who can do philosophy and critical thinking well of course. They’re also able to actually engage with the ideas of their opponents rather than tossing out sound bites. New atheist types like Meyers, Dawkins, etc. are not included in this group. Forget having to go and study the theistic arguments that have gone on for centuries. Just toss out “Who made God?” or “Can God make a rock so big He can’t lift it?” or just claim evolution renders them all moot. After all, who has time to waste on that darn study. Just make sure those darn theists study evolution before they say anything. They surely shouldn’t comment on what they haven’t studied after all.

Moving on we see this:

One of the most popular exercises is the invisible unicorn challenge. The children are told there are two invisible unicorns who live at Camp Quest but that they cannot be seen, heard, felt or smelt, and do not leave a trace. A book about them has been handed down through the ages but it is too precious for anyone to see.

It’s almost as if some people think that theistic arguments do not have to be taken seriously ever since learning the word “fairies.” Never mind that there are differences such as God is a metaphysical necessity in the theistic worldview for the existence of anything whatsoever, or that our book can be seen and read by anyone, or that because of the nature of the entity an argument can be made that is supposed to end in certainty rather than just a possibility. Let’s just go with unicorns.

The children are supposed to disprove the existence of the unicorns for all the adults who claim to be staunch believers in them. What are the rewards?

a £10 note with a picture of Charles Darwin on it signed by Richard Dawkins, or a “godless” $100 bill, printed before 1957 when “In God We Trust” was added to paper currency in the US.

So far, the challenge has been unmet. The camp director, Samantha Stein, wishes to make one thing plain about the challenge:

Stein said that the exercise was not about trying to bash the idea of God – just to make the children think critically and rationally.

For the first part, color me skeptical. For the second part, how does this do it? Perhaps it would help if children were instead taught the laws of logic and were taught how to spot and recognize logical fallacies. Perhaps it would help if they were taught how to use a library and proper research skills. Perhaps they should be told there are other web sites out there for study besides Wikipedia.

Instead, children are taught automatically that being reasonable means being an atheist. My contention is that there are reasonable people on both sides and unreasonable people on both sides. There are some atheists who really do actually engage with the other side and learn their arguments. These are ones who are worthy of respect. Most others instead just toss out sound bites and think that this is sufficient.

They also quickly are seen to be in over their head, but then that invincible ignorance kicks in. This is what is known as the Dunning Effect. Of course, the atheist has to be right because, well, they’re the atheist and they’re the champions of reason and as educated as this Christian might appear to be, we all know really that they’re just insecure and believe blindly because they were scared into doing so or they just want to.

It could never be because they just think the evidence is compelling.

If this is the kind of reasoning we can expect to see at the Reason Rally, then I hope every atheist out there attends it. I am quite thankful for what Dawkins, Meyers, Stenger, Harris, and others have done in further increasing the ignorance of the atheist movement. Let them keep doing so!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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