Thursday, February 10, 2011

One thing that really bugs me

I really enjoy discussing religion with people who are open to an honest discussion. Even if we don't agree on much, it's fascinating to see how differently we can perceive the world around us.

What I can't stand is people who profess an expertise in religious matters without having spent much time bothering to understand the basic arguments. There's a rabbi posting on Huffpost (okay, not much credibility there, but that's another discussion) who has written an open letter to atheists. He writes:
The first point I'd like to explore is that there really are no true atheists. It seems to me that in order to claim with certainty that there is no God you would have to have knowledge of the totality of the universe - seen and unseen - and I don't think any of you guys are ready to make that claim.

Perhaps Rabbi Jacobs is honestly mistaken about the claims of atheism, in which case he will most certainly acknowledge his error, rethink his position, and rewrite the missive with some humility. On the other hand, I have a hard time believing that a Rabbi wouldn't understand the basic position of atheists. If the second case is true, he's simply lying to readers who don't have a strong understanding of the arguments.

A serious person will at least go through the trouble of understanding the arguments before wading into these waters. Maybe Rabbi Jacobs will surprise me and reassess his letter and try again. If not, he's just another in a long line of deceitful religious leaders who are afraid of having honest discussions.