I was struck by the answer Richard Dawkins gave to the audience member question "What if you're wrong?" (many copies of this have been on Youtube for ages) being so quickly pecked at and unpicked by theists as not being an answer at all. Of course, "we" knew what he meant, but he obviously didn't pick the killer sound-bite sentence or two 'come back'.
So, what's an excellent winning quick-fire answer that could only be understood as an answer and doesn't require too much thinking time on the part of the person being answered?
(Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, I couldn't find it if it was.)
Permalink Reply by M on December 6, 2010 at 7:59pm
Well, if god is anything like depicted in the Bible or Q'uran and I'm "wrong," I still refuse to follow the bastard. He's a woman-hating, hypocritical, jealous, angry, bigoted, ignorant, rape-murder-pillaging-encouraging dictator. I'd rather go to hell and see what's cooking.
Pascal's Wager is a fear tactic. Too reliant on an invention of a boogeyman to counter somebody's else boogeyman. Anybody can always invent bigger, scarier entities to frighten the stupid and create enemies. What if Christians are wrong about Muslim hell? What if everybody is wrong about Cthulhu?
My answer; Then I will have lived a good and happy life. It is all my responsiblity. What if you lived your entire life in fear of a mythical hell, while I have just lived a happy and responsible life?
If a religious person would ask me "What if you're wrong?" I would answer them: "What if you're wrong?".
There is no answer more "in their faces" than this one. You have to remember, if you could argue with religious people, there would be no religious people.
You want an answer that doesn't make them think, but that's exactly what they are lacking.
Theist: "What if you're wrong?"
not-so-humble atheist: "About what?"
Theist: "About God and stuff"
Atheist: "What God?"
Theist: "God Almighty"
Atheist: "If your referring to the Judeo-Christian God, why do you think he's Almighty?"
Theist: "Well he created heaven and earth in six days..."
Atheist: "Yes and rested the 7th day?"
Theist, now getting excited by the way the discussion is progressing: "Absolutely"
Atheist: "Now please tell me: why does your almighty god need to rest at all? And why did he not create the heaven and earth in a single moment, requiring a full six celestial days for it?"
One of the issues I have when talking to a glazed-eyed theist that is not a great debater, but is maybe unquestioningly repeating their mantras in a parrot fashion, is that they seem to mentally 'drift' when presented with more than a few paragraphs, maybe even more than a few sentences. They don't actually listen to the points I am making, but to how I am making them.
In this respect, debate *can* sometimes be marred by an aggressive and confrontational tone which *we* (and 'they') may tend to take at times. I guess this is born of frustration. However, they hear the tone and style and not the actual content.
So, here's the deal. I want to be able to sound calm and unconfrontational, and yet use short and simple sentences to absolutely hit home when answering the "What if you're wrong?" question. I find I have difficulty with this as I tend to meander off on a long monlogue, and that's why I'm reaching out for help!
How about, "If I am wrong I have a bag of Marshmallows which I will enjoy toasting in hell". I'm not convinced that there is a winning answer to someone who can't understand why Pascal's wager doesn't work so you may as well just make light of it.
If you really want to give a simple serious answer I suggest, "Even were there a God, there is as great a likelyhood that you have made the wrong choice as I, so I'll take my chances with the evidence!"
Can any bible thumper say for sure that some important rule that they should be following was omitted from scripture? They all say that scripture is necessary and sufficient. But what if they are wrong?
We already know that god does not grade on a curve and accepts only A+ students into heaven. What about the catch-22 rule? Even worrying about a missing rule is heresy and apostasy. Thinking about the game is losing the game.