Monday, February 22, 2010

Common Objection #9: "If you were born in Arkansas and you think Christianity is true and Islam false, knowing full well that you would think..."

...the opposite if you have been born in Afghanistan,you are a victim of indoctrination."

The skeptic who makes this statement is basically trying to say- "Particular religious beliefs are just the random product of one's environment/upbringing."

However, does it then follow that all religions and/or worldviews are equally the same?

Philosopher Paul Copan exposes the fallacy of this type of objection:

"If you'd grown up in the Soviet Union, chances are that you'd have been part of the Communist Youth. But should we therefore conclude that all political systems are morally equivalent (Communism vs. democracy, for instance?) Certainly not! Similarly, the diversity of religious systems doesn't mean that (1) all belief systems are equally plausible or (2) one religion can't be true vis-a-vis the others. Our ability to step back and reflect upon cultural influences, and even resist them, indicates that we are thinking, choosing beings made to seek truth, whatever our limitations...appealing to geographical statistics doesn't settle anything. History, philosophy, experience, and revelation are some important reasons for considering a religion to be true." [2]

The person who offers an objection such as the one above commits the genetic fallacy- meaning, they are rejecting what someone believes based upon the origin of their beliefs, thus avoiding having to deal with the merits of the belief itself.

However, the question that must be asked is, "What is true?"

Courage and Godspeed,


1. Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 3.
2. Paul Copan, Don't Religious Beliefs Reflect Where One Was Raised?, The Apologetics Study Bible, p. 1199.


Mariano said...

Oh, I get it; if you were born in America in general you are most likely to be a Christian and not an atheist so…

Oh wait—I know, I know; atheist have evolved so far beyond the rest of us that they are not subject to such worldview adherence via geography, or something.

Also, so much for their lofty claims about European countries that are majority atheist since those people are only atheitst becaue they were born in atheist majority countries.

Brian said...

Now now... Mariano...

How could you be so ignorant? Those people simply lack the belief that God exists. : )