The cost of honesty.

Ok, so a recent event.  Setting the scene.  Facebook, the ‘wall’ or ‘timeline’ of an aquantance I have come to know through a different chat board.

There is a horrendously dishonest and intellectually fraudulent meme that believers perpetuate about a student making the argument that evil is the absense of god, and that student being Einstien.

Now if Einstien had ACTUALLY made that argument, so be it.  The argument is a fallacious play on words and meaningless, and so to make it sound legitimate, believers will lie about it’s source.  Because surely if Einstien said it…

http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

But he didn’t.

So I bit.  And to be fair, my initial response was a little heavy handed.  To see lies perpetuated about a man who has had so much abuse heaped on his shoulders, a man who lived to see his life’s work co-opted into one of the most destructive weapons humans have yet to concieve, but did not live to see his life’s work shown to be truth, something that the LHC accomplished last year.  Being dead, he can no longer speak for himself.  So it falls to humans, to hold each other honest.

So yes, I was a little heavy handed.  I recieve a message complaining about how offensive I am being.  So I respond with the above point.  The content of the argument is irrelevant.  Putting it in the mouth of someone who decried the source as dangerous nonsense, is the height of intellectual fraud.

I followed up with a much more moderated response on the ‘wall’ posting the link above, and asking that people simply be honest about the source of their arguments.  And that Einstien, in his own words, denied he was a christian, or a believer in a ‘personal god’ that religions described.

I was told that regardless of the legitamacy of the claim of it being Einstien that said it, they liked the sentiment.  They also ‘unfriended’ me.

So I figured, If I am going to be damned, I might as well be damned with complete honesty.

Let’s take a quick look at this argument from absense of god.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evil_is_the_absence_of_God

I cannot say it BETTER than here, but for pithy …  I have always liked Epicurus

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”

The bones of it is, if there is an absense of god, then god is not as described by religion.

 

Reflection on results.

While I like and care about this person as a friend.  I am of the belief they will not change this kind of behaviour.  They showed me that they consider intellectual fraud just fine if it says something they like.  I am unable to sit idlly by and let that happen.  My atheist morality won’t allow me to permit a believer to be immoral when I can call them out.

Maybe this series of events is as yet unfinished, time will tell.  But if someone’s faith is so fragile, and so tied to their identity that they are unable to handle when someone calls out behaviour that is abusive to others, then I don’t think this is someone that will be able to live around me on facebook.  I asked the question to them, why is it that the offence caused to believers by calling out dishonest and bad behaviour is more important to you than that caused by the bad behaviour itself?  I wonder if that is a question they will honestly ask themselves….  The cynic in me doesn’t think so.

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~ by scawalrus on February 6, 2013.

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