Posted by: FLPatriot | June 2, 2009

Analyzing the favorite strawmen of evolutionists.

Over the last 6 months or so I have been reading posts across wordpress from creationist, evolutionists and everyone in between. I would like to start a series on my blog address some of the favorite strawmen that evolutionists like to build up to represent Christians, creationists and generally anyone that does not think the same way they do.

So lets start with one of the most common strawmen built to represent Christians, “just because you where born in a Christian family you believe in Jesus” (or some variation on this).

This one is so over used that my mind blocks it out if I try to read it. This is so easy for me to refute because I am an example of someone that was raised in a completely secular home and now follow Jesus. I did not grow up in an atheistic home, my family had no belief either way.

When someone someone joins the Army they ask you what religion you hold to so they can put it on your dog tags, this way the chaplain knows what prayers to say over your body when they find it. I had no idea what to say, I did not follow any religion, so the receptionist put agnostic on my paper work. This suited me fine and I went on my ignorant way.

It was not until later in life when I began to study the world more and question the things I was taught that I discovered the truth of Christianity. I am over joyed to say that it was only a couple of years after I was saved that both my mother and father have some to know Jesus and are secured in His gift of salvation. As a side note, they both grew up in non-religious families also.

There is also the testimony of many in the middle east and Asia that grew up in Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist cultures that are now followers of Jesus that refute this strawman. If an atheist, evolutionist or Darwinist wants to be taken seriously in a discussion or debate, AVOID this strawman at all cost.


Responses

  1. I’ve not seen anyone use that strawman. Where’ve you seen it?

  2. I’ve never seen anyone use that either.

    What I have seen, on occasion, is people make the comment: “Isn’t it interesting how the religion that the majority of people think is the correct one also just happens to be the religion of their parents.”

    Of course you can bring up specific occasions that go against the general trend. But that doesn’t mean the general trend isn’t still there.

    I also don’t see how this has anything to do with ‘evolutionists’ (by which I assume you mean ‘biologists’).

  3. I do not want to call out a specific person because this is not about any person specifically. Here is a part of a recent comment,

    “I much prefer that to filling in stuff from one of the thousands of religions, usually the one you grew up with.”

    This is one of the ways it is commonly phrased. If you have not seen these remarks then you are not reading a lot of wordpress comments or you are selectivity ignoring posts.

    morsec0de, I will do a post about rabbit trails and you will be the star of it😉

    How many occasions must there be before a generalization does not work any longer?

  4. mcoville,
    I do not want to call out a specific person because this is not about any person specifically.

    You mean that no one specifically has argued the strawman you describe? Wow, you made up a strawman about strawmen. [read the whole comment, I quoted someone I just don’t want to attack a specific person. The person who made that comment knows who they are – mcoville]

  5. Agree with Dan. This post itself is a strawman, sadly.

    Also, as morsecode said, I don’t see what this has to do with evolutionists in particular.

  6. mcoville,
    Please don’t edit my comments, I consider that rude.

    But yes, I know you quoted someone. Let me remind you, you titled this post “analyzing the favorite strawmen of evolutionists.” You then specified that strawman as “just because you where born in a Christian family you believe in Jesus.”

    And here, in the comments, you said that this is about someone who said, “I much prefer that to filling in stuff from one of the thousands of religions, usually the one you grew up with.”

    So let me get this straight, someone says that most people belong to the religion they grew up with (something I think we can agree is true). In response, you criticize the statement, “just because you where born in a Christian family you believe in Jesus.”

    That is a caricature of the original comment – by definition, a strawman on your part.

  7. Dan, first I did not mean to be rude only brief in response to your comment. Secondly, you appear to suffer from SRS (selective reading syndrome). I generalized the strawman, ” (or some variation on this).” I was not pointing to a specific person’s comment, I was addressing the use of the strawman in any of it’s variations, so not to make it personal.

    I never said it was about a person, my post is about the use of this particular strawman, and I gave the example of a recent comment in response to your, and others, claim that you had not seen this strawman used before.

  8. I see two flaws with your argument here mcoville.

    Most pertinently, “just because you where born in a Christian family you believe in Jesus” is not a straw man argument.

    It is a generalisation, but that’s a moot point, because that’s not what a straw man argument is.

    A straw man is an argument that falsely represents your opponent’s actual position, to make it easy to argue against. Generalisations are abstractions of more complex situations to make them easier to deal with – they may not apply to everyone, but they are generally applicable – that’s the point!
    In essence, generalisations are not arguments, therefore it is invalid to call a generalisation, taken on its own, a straw man.

    The second flaw is to say the quote is an evolutionist argument. Sans context, you can’t say it comes from an evolutionist – there are no intrinsic evolutionary connotations to the quote.

  9. Check the Pew Forum’s recent survey of how Americans change religion during their lifetimes for good numbers and descriptions of atheists becoming Muslims, Jews, or Christians, or the other way around, or just moving from one sect to another within one religion, and so forth.

    In “The God Delusion”, Richard Dawkins states that studies show that 11 out of 12 people follow the same religion that their parents follow. Perhaps this kind of study is the source of your straw man.

    In any event, I’m not sure what this straw man has to do with evolution. Perhaps that will come up in a future post.

  10. arrogantscientist,
    Most pertinently, “just because you where born in a Christian family you believe in Jesus” is not a straw man argument.

    A straw man is an argument that falsely represents your opponent’s actual position, to make it easy to argue against.
    That’s just it – in his ‘generalization,’ mcoville falsely represents the quoted position, by taking the key word ‘usually’ out of the quote. That changes the meaning of the quote, caricaturing it.

    Classic strawman.

  11. “If an atheist, evolutionist or Darwinist wants to be taken seriously in a discussion or debate…”

    C’mon, mcoville. You’re not about to let THAT happen, are you?

  12. It is common for someone raised in a Muslim home to be a Muslim when they grow up. This is just a fact of life and can be seen in any religion. We must also remember that if you are born in America, you are likely to be exposed to the Christian form of God than any other God. So our society has much to do with many of us following a Christian God. If we are born in a Muslim Society we are likely to follow that God. We aren’t born believing in allah or christ or krishna or buddha, …we learn to believe in them. Each person that believes in a God believe in their God with just as much passion as the others and each will claim their version is true.

    Additionally, never of those belief systems provide a shred of evidence to demonstrate their specific version of God is real or any other version is not real.

    Some of these people are also influenced by the story told by each specific religion. Some Gods give your virgins when you get to heaven if are good. Other Gods give you eternal life and health. Some God threaten to torture you unmercifully if you don’t believe in them. An example they might give to re-enforce this fear of their God is to tell a story about how their God flooded the earth which resulted in the torturous drowning of most all life (to include babies and pregnant women, which would result in abortion). Of course this God has done many other “scary” things to demonstrate his ability to kill, torture, slaughter his children….of course this is all moral. haha

  13. Well put, truelogic. Religion is provincial, same as language. Not so long ago, there were 12,000 human languages. Mass communication has whittled that down a bit or a lot, depending on who you ask, but the laws of provinciality otherwise apply.

    One of my favorite religions has got to be the snakehandlers. Guys who force their wives to put their hands into a basket full of rattlesnakes? I love it. Then, of course, for those wusses who just aren’t scared enough of poisonous snakes, there’s the hardcore followers who take up beakers of stricnine into their hands. Things evolve way too fast these days.

  14. Religion is provincial, same as language.

    True is that.


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