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The Cartoonist as Logician

I love the Dilbert cartoons, and creator Scott Adams certainly has a right to express himself on matters other than cartooning.

However, his attempt to justify the logic behind his suggestion that “well-funded atheists … devise a legal and ethical method of reducing people’s religious faith” so as to eliminate the threat of radical Islam misses the mark.

After reading the replies to my prior post, I am forced to administer this logic test to the believers among us. Find the error in either the assumptions or the line of reasoning.

1. Ordinary people can be convinced to believe almost any ridiculous thing.

2. I am an ordinary person.

3. Therefore, it is POSSIBLE that I have already been convinced to believe something ridiculous.

True, possibly true, and true, in that order. Also irrelevant.

Obviously, Scott believes that belief in God is ridiculous, which, based on the eyewitness testimony of those present, is itself a ridiculous belief. However, I’ll grant him this belief for the sake of argument.

Scott, how do you propose that these well-funded atheists prove a negative?

Well, maybe Scott’s point is that we need to find a way to replace one ridiculous belief–that blowing up a bus is a fast track into the arms of 72 willing virgins–with another. Of course, the idea that an impoverished life in a state ruled by a dictatorial royal family doesn’t sound like such a great deal. As ridiculous as the promise of 72 virgins might be, it’s got to be pretty tempting in comparison to cold, hard atheistic “reality”.

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