Sunday, June 25, 2023

Frank Turek vs. the Laws of Nature

Recently I saw a brief video on Youtube of Christian apologist Frank Turek interrogating someone who appears to be a student in some kind of public venue, like a seminar or classroom setting. The clip is clearly an excerpt from some longer broadcast, but I have not seen the whole thing. The clip is just under a minute long (what is called a “short” on Youtube) and was apparently deemed worthy enough to publish as a standalone piece of entertainment.

The interaction here exemplifies an all-too common tactic in apologetics: the apologist demands that another person (presumably a non-Christian) present an explanation of something of a general nature about reality, and if the thinker cannot satisfy this demand, the apologist affirms “God” as the correct explanation, and the thinker’s inability to provide an alternative is construed as confirmation of the theistic worldview. On this strategy, a child repeating the affirmation of the existence of a god that he learned from adults in his life would be treated as having supplied an informed explanation. In essence, it is an appeal to ignorance packaged as a seemingly innocent gesture of philosophical inquiry. We must never forget that gods always come in the shape of man’s ignorance. The purpose of apologetics is to mask this ignorance as a recondite form of insight.