Nuggets of Wisdom

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Demotivational Poster: "What If You're Wrong"

"What If You're Wrong?"

Earlier this month, conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura was interviewed by Piers Morgan on CNN. When asked how he could believe that 9/11 was an inside job, Ventura asked how Morgan could believe that “19 Islamic radicals armed with box cutters taking orders from a guy in a cave in Afghanistan could defeat our multi-billion dollar air defense system?”

World-renowned atheist Richard Dawkins behaved similarly nearly four years ago during a book tour stop at Randolph College to promote his book The God Delusion. When asked by a girl in the audience what would happen if he was wrong about God’s non-existence, Dawkins replied, “what if you’re wrong?”

His response has been popular among the atheist community. The YouTube video of his response, as of this post, has received over two million views and over 19 million likes.

There’s only one problem with his response: he never answered the question!

Like Ventura, Dawkins merely dodged his question with another question, which shows that he, like Ventura, lacks integrity in his own position. He could have easily answered, “I don’t care if I’m wrong, I refuse to believe in your God,” and his answer would have been much more acceptable than his pseudo-intellectual counter question.

But let’s indulge Dawkins by answering his question. What if we’re wrong about God’s existence?

The simple answer: We’re not!

Granted, as with other matters about the supernatural, no one can be absolutely certain of the existence or non-existence of God; but they do have good reason to consider his existence. The universe began within time and space, which is scientifically proven by Big Bang cosmology and the second law of thermodynamics; and since everything that begins within time and space has a cause, the universe, by its very nature, has a cause.

Once again, no one can be absolutely certain that God, especially the Christian God, is the cause of the universe; but they do have good reason to believe that he is. Most accounts in the Bible, unlike other religious texts, have been proven by historical and archeological evidence. Therefore, it is probable to believe that the Christian God is the cause of the universe.

So Dawkins is clearly wrong.

But what if he isn’t? What if we’re wrong and God doesn’t exist?

Then there is nothing for us to fear. If the Christian God doesn’t exist, then neither does the Christian afterlife of heaven and hell; and therefore, there is no consequence, negative or otherwise, in believing in him. The only thing we can expect after death, as can Dawkins, is an eternal dirt nap.

The same cannot be said of Dawkins if he is wrong. If the Christian God does exist, then so does heaven and hell, and therefore, there is a consequence in not believing in him, which is hell. So Dawkins has more reason to fear being wrong about his position than does the God believer.

But don’t expect a straight answer from Dawkins. After all, his denial of God’s existence is just as rational as Ventura’s conspiracy theory that 9/11 was an inside job.