Response to Creationist 2

2. “Are you scared of a Divine Creator?”

I love this one, because 2’s question reveals a lot more about 2 than it does about whoever she thinks she’s asking it to.

The simple answer to the question is ‘no’. If the Judeo-Christian god did exist, he’d be a terrifying murderous tyrant, so in that sense I suppose you could say that he’s something to be scared of. But that’s like asking, “Are you scared of the five-headed dragon rampaging toward your house?” I would be scared of it if there were one, but I have no reason at all to believe there is.

If 2 could genuinely imagine herself in the position of an atheist, she’d understand that point, and see why her question is nonsensical. But that’s not what she’s done. The only mindset she’s aware of is her own, and that’s why her question is so telling. She’s extrapolated a faulty assumption about the belief-forming mechanisms of atheists, from the only belief-forming mechanism that she’s experienced herself: fear.

If you’re a scientist, an atheist, a rational human, you simply don’t use fear as a way of determining what you believe in. You use evidence and reason. That’s why, to the atheist reader, 2’s question is laugh-out-loud preposterous. However, 2 obviously takes the question seriously, and that’s because she does use fear as a way of determining her beliefs: both forming them and, more pertinently, retaining them.

It’s not we who are scared of a Divine Creator, but 2 who is terrified of having to accept there isn’t. Look again at her face. Look at the fear in her eyes. All the evidence and rational argument there is in favour of evolution, much of which she’s just listened to at the debate, isn’t going to persuade her to let go of the beliefs she’s so desperately clinging on to.

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