Monday, February 15, 2010

Unicorns Are Not Great

Video of a portion of the debate between Dinesh D'Souza and John Loftus, February 9, 2010, followed by an open letter from me to Dinesh D'Souza:

(via Le Café Witteveen)

I don't believe in unicorns. But you'll notice, I haven't written any books... "The End of Unicorns"... "Unicorns Are Not Great"... "The Unicorn Delusion"... I don't spend my life debating and obsessing about unicorns... [H]ere you are, John [Loftus], if you don't believe in god, you don't think there's any evidence for it, walk away from it! But you seem passionately obsessed with this topic, and that seems to suggest that maybe you're trying to get away from something, and your own statement offers a clue: Christianity offers certain rules... 'thou shalt not do this', 'thou shalt not do that'. So one possible "ulterior motive" for wanting to reject Christianity is to get out from under the shadow of moral judgment, avoid the ten commandments, try to accept the morality where you make up the rules as you go along...

Dinesh D'Souza, February 9, 2010

Dear Dinesh D'Souza,

I was in the audience during your debate with John Loftus. I listened to you use the old "If you don't believe in god, why do you speak out against him?" argument. You suggested there must be an ulterior motive. Maybe atheists really do believe in god and are in denial. Maybe, as you suggest, atheists don't want to admit there's a moral standard and prefer to remain in wickedness.

Dinesh, you said you don't believe in Unicorns, yet you're not spending time speaking out against them. Neither are atheists. Why? Because no one who believes in unicorns is trying to influence society or sway the minds and behaviors of people.

Come on, Dinesh. What if there were a large group of Unicornists out there lobbying for legislation that reflected their Unicornist views and morality? What if there were a significant number of believers in Unicorns who were trying to get "In Unicorns We Trust" on our currency or the phrase "under Unicorns" added to the Pledge of Allegiance? What if Unicornists were a majority who started calling the United States of America a "Unicorn Nation"? What if Pat Robertson said the earthquake in Haiti was due to the wrath of the Unicorns because the Haitians made a pact with the Pegasus? What if there were millions of Unicornists who condemned others to hell because they don't believe in Unicorns and have "a personal relationship" with the Unicorns? What if irrationality, prejudice and violence were committed in the name of Unicorns? Would you not then, Dinesh, write books like Unicorns Are Not Great and The Unicorn Delusion? Would you not speak out against a belief in Unicorns?

And when the Unicornists respond that you're in denial or just trying to avoid the divine moral judgment of the Unicorns, wouldn't you find that argument just as nonsensical as atheists find yours?

I agree with you that there is for many atheists/agnostics/skeptics at least one motive, though it is not ulterior: the desire for truth. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you care about finding the truth as well, even though you are convinced that you are already pretty sure what the truth is. Personally, that's the reason I write on my blog and get into discussions about god and religion with people of various beliefs. That's why I watch debates like the one between you and John.

Dinesh, since you are still using that old argument, I must conclude that you haven't read anything like this article by Bruce Gerencser:

If Christianity Doesn’t Matter Why Do You Bother With It?

I must also conclude that you haven't seen this video on YouTube by NonStampCollector:

If you have read or seen anything like this, my apologies. The evidence seems to suggest otherwise. Of course, I must ask: if you have, why are you still using that argument?

Your fellow A-Unicornist,

Bud Uzoras


Bud said...

An entry devoted to unicorns and I couldn't find a way to mention The A-Unicornist. Here's a shout out to you, Mike.

Mike D said...

Haha right on! I was totally going to suggest that video too, as soon as I saw the title of the post.