How Many Eyewitnesses of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Have Willingly Died for Their Witness?
by Matt Rawlings
Yesterday, I wrote about the weaknesses of the central arguments of Richard Dawkins’ bestseller The God Delusion. But aside from the core contention that neo-Darwinism (even with all of its admitted flaws) somehow disproves God’s existence, Dawkins also sets forth a number of side arguments that I want to address. For example, Dawkins states that a person is just as justified in believing in the “flying spaghetti monster” as in the God of the Bible.
This is quite similar to Dawkins argument that a person is as warranted in concluding that Santa Claus is real. To this, Oxford professors Alister McGrath and John Lennox responded that they had never met an adult who came to faith in Santa Claus.
All that aside, Dawkins, like his “New Atheist” compadre Sam Harris, commits the basic logical fallacy of the categorical mistake. What do I mean by that?
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Matt Slick over at CARM writes, “A category mistake is an error in logic in which one category of a thing is presented as belonging to another category. For example, to say “the rock is alive” assigns the category of life to an inanimate object. Another example would be to judge the beauty of a painting based on how much it weighs. This is a category error, since the category of beauty is not determined by the category of weight.
So, for the atheist to work from inside his materialistic, non-transcendent worldview and require evidence for the non-material, transcendent God (which necessarily exists outside his perceived worldview) is a category mistake because it is asking for the material evidence of the non-material, the non-transcendent evidence of the transcendent. It is like asking to have a thought placed on a scale. It doesn’t work because they are different categories.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not exempting the Christian faith from scientific inquiry but you have to apply the right method and the correct test is one of history. For example, no group who has claimed to witness the flying spaghetti monster has died rather than deny their claim. Yet, early Christians suffered poverty, torture and death rather than deny they had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No other religion presents such a set of claims…