Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dawkins and the OTF

Noted atheist and debunker of religion, John Loftus, came up with something he calls the "Outsider Test for Faith" (OTF). The idea is that if members of a particular religion applied the same amount of skepticism to their own religion that they apply to others, then they would be equally skeptical of their own religion and would give it up for agnosticism or atheism. With this in mind, it is interesting that Mike Gene recently posted some of Richard Dawkins' tweets about Mitch Mitt Romney*, including these:

Bible & Koran genuinely old, written in the language of their time. Book of Mormon written by 19thC charlatan. Romney too stupid to see it.”

“Could you really vote for a man who thinks the Garden of Eden was in Missouri?”

“Christianity, even fundamentalist Christianity, is substantially less ridiculous than Mormonism (and Obama, if he is Christian at all, is certainly not fundamentalist).”

Let's repeat that last tweet: Richard Dawkins, an atheist and debunker of religion, tweeted that "Christianity, even fundamentalist Christianity, is substantially less ridiculous than Mormonism." In other words, if a Christian were to apply the OTF to both her own religion and to Mormonism, then according to Dawkins, she would be justified in rejecting Mormonism and preferring her own religion. Now no doubt Dawkins thinks that Christianity is ridiculous, also. However, according to him, if one wanted to choose the less ridiculous religion of the two, she should opt for Christianity.

It's not clear that Christianity would pass the OTF, but apparently at least one prominent atheist thinks it would do substantially better than Mormonism.

*BTW, I probably won't be voting for Romney, but not because he is a Mormon. I just happen to disagree with his proposed policies.

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