Don’t you realize how dumb you look? – Bad Argument Against Young Earth Creationism # 1

19 Jun

Let’s call this argument the “It makes you look stupid argument.”

Someone calling himself “Alex C” writes,

My fellow Christians: Please wake up. Evolution is true and the earth IS NOT young. We have misinterpreted the bible for so long now, it’s time for us to step up . Do you really believe a snake spoke to Adam? Do you really think God would allow incest? ( adam and eve having kids meant that their children would have sex between them). The story of genesis is only a story to teach us something deeper. I feel so embarrassed that we as christians don’t use our God given brain. Why is it that the education for christian states in the U.S is so poor? I’m not even catholic but at least Catholics are updated when it comes to science. Long ago , christians thought it was ok to have slaves and that slavery was from God. It took one man of God to put to shame those ignorant christians. I hope that one day we’ll realize that to deny truth (evolution and old earth) makes us sound stupid, uneducated and ignorant. I love my brothers and sisters in the faith but it’s the truth. PLEASE , let us work hard toward the education of our next christian generation.

There is a lot of really bad reasoning in this paragraph. In fact, I may make several posts out of this poor example. But now I’ll focus on just one thing: the “it makes you look stupid” appeal. Alex tries to appeal to his fellow Christians to give up young earth creationism because it makes them look stupid. So believing ‘x’ will make you look stupid. Therefore, you shouldn’t believe ‘x’.┬áLet’s think about this. ┬áSay you are a young earth creationist. Why do you believe in a young earth? We can be pretty certain that you do so because you believe the Bible is the Word of God and the Bible teaches young earth creationism and you think you should believe what God teaches you. These seem like reasonable assumptions. If you denied any of them, you’re probably not a young earth creationist. So, basically, this is what the claim looks like to young earth creationists: Alex wants you to know people will think you’re stupid if you believe in a particular truth God is trying to teach you (or else Alex is just begging the question).

The irony is that if you find Alex’s reasoning convincing, it could only be because you really are stupid. Why? Because deciding what is true based on whether some people think it’s stupid is itself stupid. And that makes Alex’s argument stupid. Maybe Alex thinks a stupid argument will convince stupid people (like young earth creationists). And maybe he is right, but it won’t help them stop being stupid.

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