For those of you guys on Facebook Why?Outreach shared a meme with links to Christian responses to a meme arguing against God/Jesus/Christianity.
Here’s the meme:
There’s several approaches one can take in response to this meme. The articles “Why?Outreach” linked in response to this meme is include “Does Spider-Man Really Exist?” and “Jesus and the Spiderman Fallacy.”
I thought I chime in with my response.
- The reasoning according to this meme is that just because something is written it does not mean it is true or that something exists because it is mention in writing.
- However we must also remember that just because something is mentioned in a book that does not necessarily mean it is false either.
- To demonstrate how absurd this meme is let us plug in another referent besides God:
- As seen above, the force of the argument behind the meme is weaker than they first appear.
- The second meme might provoke the response by some that a text book is different than a comic book. This observation only highlight the weakness of the meme; specifically the problem with this meme is that it is rather shallow. It is shallow in that the person behind the meme has failed to properly acknowledge the similarities and differences between the various genres/literary forms of various writings and books. And like any shallow arguments and memes, it starts getting into trouble when we start examining the details more closely.
- Of course if the skeptic thinks the Bible is the same thing as a comicbook he or she has the burden of proof of demonstrating how they are the same literary genre. That is, they have the burden of proof of showing how the two have same literary elements that make up a comic book.
- Objectively speaking comic books and the Bible are not of the same genre. The Bible is more an encyclopedia of various writings comprised of various genres. These genres ranges from Law, narratives, poetry, wisdom literature, prophesy, epistles, genalogies, etc So the meme is wrong to equivocate the Bible with comic books like the same way it is wrong to equivocate the Bible, a math text book and a comic book are the same thing.
- Our discussion in point 5-7 is about literary form is not a dodge from the meme. Identifying literary forms takes precedence before one can determine the literature’s truth value. For example when we are discover that we are reading a romance novel we know its not describing reality in the same way as a receipt. Discussion of literary forms is about the authorial intent and function of the literature. The authors of both intended very different things with their works. Thus the individual who designed the meme is comparing apples to oranges.
- Furthermore, this meme fail to account for the fact that proofs can be given in written book form.
- Actually depending on the nature of the item being discussed proof for something abstract can sometime be more logical than empirical and demonstration of the proof requires words whether spoken or written.
- Per point 9, we must also keep in mind that we prove various things using various and different methods. To quote Christian philosopher Greg Bahnsen, we must not commit the fallacy of trying to physically look for God in the pantry because He’s not that kind of being.
- This meme fail to account for the evidential dimension of the Bible itself. The Word of God is self-evidencing, attested by the Spirit, contain many fulfilled prophecies that include the fulfillment by Christ of Messianic prophecies, etc.
- Also do not forget that according to the Christian worldview it is not only the Bible that is “proof” for God. The biblical worldview also acknowledge that God has revealed Himself not just only in Scripture but also in the world which Christians often call general revelation (see Psalm 19 and Romans 1).
- Its fascinating that skeptics and atheists share this meme online as something “reasonable.” Yet even though atheists attempt to use logic and engage in the process of reasoning, their view of ultimate reality undermine the very laws of logic they are trying to use. The atheist worldview destroys the foundation for laws of logic and knowledge. Its like someone irrationally doing Math with Dice. For a technical presentation of the problem see James Anderson’s “The Lord of Noncontradiction: An Argument for God from Logic.” For Dr. Anderson’s response to three critics of the argument click here.
- Rather than scoring against Christianity the meme raises more problem both with the meme itself and the attack on God itself being a self-defeater. It reminds me of the guy torching A Safe Full of Fire Works. Just don’t do it.