Theist Argument Checklist

todangst's picture

I decided to make a 'theist argument" checklist - to basically map out 90% of the arguments we get here.

I started working on this a while ago, and I thought I'd post what I have, and have some of you help complete it. Make suggestions, and I'll add the to the list.

Basically, what I have now is some of the common statements theists make, and I have decided to score the statements along the "fundythink" scale.

Anyway, here is what I have so far.

Theist argument checklist

A collective score of over 100 = fundythink (tm)
a collective score over 300 = an honorary doctorate in Fundi-logic
a collective score of over 500 = The winner of the Willow Tree Memorial Award for Advanced Schizophrenic Thinking

Step 1

The theist comes in to announce:

[] Atheists are rude (1 point)
[] A confusion between agnosticism and atheism ( 5 points)
[] Atheists are immoral or amoral (5 points)
[] Atheists are all dishonest (5 points)
[] Atheism does not exist - (10 points) Add 10 points if the theist claims atheists are simply lying about being atheists add 20 points if they hold that atheists are atheists because they are controlled by satan Add 50 points if they hold that a loving god purposely deludes people into being atheists.
[] Atheists are all fools/ignorant (10 points)
[] Atheism is akin to, or responsible for nazism, stalinism/socialism (20 points)
[] Atheists are just angry at god/Atheism is just a situational response to current circumstances/bad life events (20 points)
[] "Atheists must rely on faith" - i.e. anything that implies a confusion between contingent and non contingent faith "(25 points) 25 Bonus points if they fail to see that their argument undermines their own belief in the value of faith.
[] Atheism is a 'religion' (25 points)
[] Any argument that holds that there is one specific "atheist worldview" and/or confuses atheism with naturalism or materialism. (25 points)
[] Atheism is contradicted by modern science (25 points)
[] Anything that amounts to a shifting of the burdon of proof fallacy (25 points)
[] That 'fallback atheism' still has a burdon of proof, even after having this fallacy pointed out (50 points)
[] "Darwinism" is evil, or a conspiracy (50 points)

subtract 5 points if the theist is polite without being passive aggressive.
add 10 points if the poster is rude or dismissive right from the start.
add 20 points if the poster considers politeness to be an avoidance of outright insults while passively aggressively insulting everyone.

The theist's argument is:

[] a poorly worded rehash of Pascal's wager (5 points)
[] Can you see the wind? (5 points)
[] One most know everything before one can make even one negative claim (5 points) add 10 points if they persist in this argument even after being asked for their certain knowledge that one must have certain knowledge before making claims.
[] a cosmological argument (5 points) (Add 10 points if the theist has no background in science outside of a high school dipoloma, let alone a background in cosmology)
[] Argument from desire (10 points)
[] an anthropic argument/fine tuning of the universe argument (5 points) (add 10 points if the theist has no clear background in science or cosmology outside of a high school diploma and the information available on Ken Hovidnd's videos)
[] a teleological argument (20 points)
[] An argument to morality: i.e. Morals must be objective in order to make any sense/atheists cannot have morals without a god to inflict punishment (20 points)
[] C. S. Lewis' argument for the impossibilty of a natural moral conscious (25 points)
[] Any argument to ignorance concerning the existence of the universe, (let's call this the "Then How Did We Get Here" argument), that implies that any failure to answer means god must be the answer (25 points) (Also add points for the false dichtomy fallacy)
[] Any form of the kalam argument. (25 points) Add 25 points if they fail to see the error in holding that an infinite had a starting point an infinite amount of time ago, when an infinite would never have a starting point in the first place!)
[] 'Any god of the gaps argument in general'
[] An attack on atheism for the supposed behavior of atheists (35 points)
[] An attack on "Darwinism" (50 points)
[] The bible is inerrant (50 points) Add another 10 points for circular logic if they use the "Gastrich" defense of this claim: "we must accept that the bible is inerrant, so any claim of acontradiction itself must be in error"
[] That adam and eve knew the difference between good and evil prior to learning the forbidden knowledge of the difference between good and evil (50 points)
[] a young earth creationist argument (99 points)
[] a presuppositionalist argument (99 points)
[] Universal skepticism (100 points Add 100 more points if they fail to grasp that this implies an acceptance of nihilism)

Add 10 points if the theist assumes that no one on the site is likely to have heard this argument before.
Add 20 points is he or she delcares that any above argument is new or unique.

The theist cites the following evidence:

In general:

[] Argument from authority: Newton, or some famous scientist, was a theist (and actually was, 3 points)
[] Einstein, or some other famous scientist, was a theist. (and actually wasn't, 5 points)
[] Some famous killer/criminal was an atheist (7 points)
[] Hitler/Stalin was an atheist (10 points / also stop the thread for a Godwin violation)
[] biblical prophecies (25 points)
[] biblical prophecies, after being taught the concepts of "vagueness" and "postdiction" and having it pointed out to him or her that the New testament is a midrash - i.e. that events were written to fit "prophecies" in the first place (50 points)
[] Arguments that hold that failure to prove a negative implies that the positive assertion must automatically be true (50 points - also score for the fallacy of correct by default, arguing to ignorance and shifting the burdon of proof)
[] Arguments that since god's apophatic nature sheild him from disproof (APATHEIA) we must accept god as an existent (circular logic) (50 points)
[] Any argument that implies dogmatism is superior to induction, because inductive methods may be wrong (argument to uncertainty) (75 points)
[] Anything supporting anti-intellectualism (75 points)
[] Any argument that implies that fanaticism of belief is correlated with validity of belief (99 points)

For the anthropic/cosmological/Teleologial arguments:

[] 'just look around you' - or any argument to wonder (10 points)
[] Any argument that implies that empirical methods require a direct, real time observation of an event as it occurs, for it to be scientific. Otherwise known as the "You can't prove evolution or the Big Bang, you weren't there" argument (A Kent Hovind strawman version of the scientific method) (10pts)
[] citing the 2nd law of thermodynamics (20 points)
[] any claim that asks an atheist to recreate the universe in a lab (although some cosmologists don't consider this request all that crazy anymore) (20 points)
[] Quote mining of any cosmologist (25 points)
[] Quote mining of any cosmologist who is on record for openly rejecting these arguments (35 points)
[] Quote mining of Stephen Hawkings, who openly supports the finite but boundless cosmological model (50 points)
[] Quote mining anything regarding his "imaginary time" model (50 points)

Add 10 points if you can find the theist's statement was taken directly from a fundy site
Subtract 25 points if the theist can actually tell you how many laws of thermodynamics there are
Subtract 50 points if the theist can actually explain what the law of thermodynamics is

For anti-evolution arguments:

[] Darwin's supposed "racism" (or any ad hominem argument, 10 points)
[] Darwinism's supposed role in racism or totalitarianism (15 points)
[] Quote mining of any scientist who supports evolution (20 points)
[] citing Fred Hoyle for any reason (strawman of evolution as pure randomness, 25 points)
[] Any argument that relies on irreducible complexity (25 points) Or any
argument that implies that evolution is goal directed (i.e. Behe's error).
(25 Bonus points if they actually say "What good is half a wing?")
[] Citing that evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics (50 points)
[] Any strawman version of evolution that reveals the poster's ignorance of the basics of evolution: i.e.: Evolution states that man evolved from a rock (99 points)
[] Any strawman version of evolution that confuses evolution for abiogenesis or cosmology. (99 points)
[] Anything else by Kent Hovind (Moon dust arguments, etc.) (99 points)
[] Any argument by Kent Hovind that's been refuted by other young earth
creationists (See Answers in Genesis.com) (100 points)

Add 100 points if they hold to arguments even after being shown that even Answers in Genesis.com considers it a bad argument.

Concerning arguments for Jesus' existence:

[] Citing the Testimonium Flavium (Josephus) (10 points)
[] Pliny the Younger or Tacitus (10 points)
[] Dead Sea scrolls and the "lost gospels." (10 points)
[] George Syncellus, who quotes Julius Africanus, writing in AD 221, who is allegedly quoting Thallus, who wrote in AD 52 about the day the sun went dark on the day of the crucifixion ( 20 points)
[] Talmud (25 points, plus 25 points for hutzpah)

Add Add 25 points if they hold to the Testimonium after being informed that Josephus never again mentions the coming of the jewish messiah in his Jewish History.

Add 50 points if they insist that any of these people were contemporary witnesses

Presuppositionalist arguments:

[] Any presuppositionalist argument that simply assumes god is necessary for logic, reason, etc. that never actually explains why (50 points)
[] Any presuppositionalist argument that confuses cosmology for epistemology (50 points)
[] Any presuppositionalist analogy that relies on the naturalistic world to make it's point (50 points, also add 50 points for the self refutation)
[] Any logical argument that implies man cannot possess valid knowledge on his own. (50 points)
[] Any category error that asks a materialist what the weight of an idea is, or where logic is located in the brain (hint for you theists: it's a left hemisphere cerebal cortex function) (50 points) Also add 50 points for this clear argument to ignorance
[] Any fallacy of equivocation, such as: 'If our world is constantly changing, are the laws of logic subject to change?" (50 points)
[] Any presuppositionalist argument that reveals that the presuppositioanalist doesn't know what an 'axiom' is: (100 points)

For all of the above, Add 50 points if you can show that the 'evidence' was taken, word for word, from a fundy site.

For all, Subtract 50 points is a novel or unique idea is presented.

Concerning Biblical Inerrancy/contradition arguments:

[] cites the need to return to the "original Greek" or any other translation, implying that this amateur theologian has a better translation that the translation experts who translated the bible (50 points)
[] Ignores the ad hoc nature of this "need" to translate "problematic" words (and only these words) (100 points)
[] Gives the 'gastrich" circular argument that any contradiction must itself be in error, as we must simply accept that the bible is inerrant. (100 points)

Logic Section:

[] The theist makes an ad populum argument (5 points)
[] appeal to incredulity or personal wonder (5 points)
[] appeal to antiquity (5 points)
[] appeal to normalacy (5 points)
[] appeal to authority (5 points)
[] naked assertions (10 points_
[] argument to uncertainty(i.e. holding that since inductive methods are not certain, that this means that all inductive claims are probably false) (10 points)
[] an appeal to faith as the basis for an argument (10 points)
[] Weak analogy (10 points)
[] No True scotsman fallacy (10 points)
[] Reification (25 points)
[] Circular logic (25 points)
[] Ad Hocism (25 points)
[] A theist incorrectly accusses another of an informal logic fallacy (10 points. 20 bonus points if they commit the very fallacy they are acusing you of in their post.
[] an ad bacculum Fallacy (25 points) 50 hypocrisy points if they use threats after scolding atheists for being immoral or rude.
[] Self refutation (50 points)

Writing/Posting Style:

[] Use of more than one emoticon in a post (5 points)
[] Arguing by posting links (5 points)
[] Not using paragraphs (10 points)
[] Using a string of emoticons (10 points)
[] Posting links from fundy sites (25 points)
[] Use of ALL CAPS (25 points, also add 25 points on the schizophrenia scale)

The theist's response to a refutation of his argument includes:

[] Simple repetition of the argument, as if nothing happened. (5 points)
[] Repeated use of smiley faces/scorn about (10 points)
[] a statement regarding how ignorant the atheist response is (without demonstrating why) (10 points)
[] a statement regarding how wrong/incorrect the response is (without demonstrating why) (15 points)
[] a claim that the atheist refutation actually supports his case (20 points)

The theists final response in the thread includes:

[] The declaration of a moral victory, based on the fact that he was insulted. (25 points. Subtract 5 points if he was actually insulted at some point. Add 10 points if the sole "insult" was that he was told he was ignorant of the subject.)
[] The declaration of an outright victory, without responding to a point by point refutation (50 points)
[] Prayers for the lost souls (50 points)
[] Damnation threats (50 points)
[] A comment such as "be well" that was preceded by at least 3 insults (100 hypocrisy points)

Special behaviors:

[] Actual physical threats (300 points)
[] Cyber stalking (300 points)
[] Attempts to bring down the site (300 points)
[] Returning to the site using another name, such as "atheist hater" or "athelogian" or "I hate atheists" (500 points)
[] Creating false accounts so as to sign on and agree with your own posts.
(500 points)

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.

BGH's picture

Thanks Todangst! I am going

Thanks Todangst! I am going to use this list on here all the time, there are going to be some very high scores.

HisWillness's picture

 How many points for "no

 How many points for "no transitional fossils"? That one has come up a LOT. I get caught by it every time because the idea that the natural order of the world just stops for prehistory is so fantastical to me that it's shocking.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence

lpetrich's picture

I think that this list needs

I think that this list needs some spell-checking; I spotted several misspellings in it.

Aside from that, it's a good idea; I recognized it as a takeoff of John Baez's Crackpot Index. I recall seeing a biology version somewhere, but I forget where.

And another argument you might want to add is the "God or chance" false dichotomy. I've seen that one here and there.

stuntgibbon's picture

Don't forget the countless

Don't forget the countless interjections of "god bless you" in combination with any of the points above.