Who are YOU to debate religion?

This question, “Who are YOU to debate religion?” (oftentimes condescendingly intoned), is not, I must admit, a completely illegitimate question. Your religious counterpart is trying to ask you, in effect, what makes you feel so qualified to debate such a subject? Amusingly, this question usually comes when your religious counterpart realizes that they can no longer sustain their laughable claims, and it is at this point that they defensively try to change the subject and go for the Ad Hominem.
Oddly enough, this question still deserve to be addressed, but not in the way your counterpart expects. The reason for this is because you are being asked a loaded question – a classic logical fallacy. It is loaded with the baseless assumption that one has to actually be qualified in something in order to talk about, or debate, religion.
As no religion is based on any objective reason or empirical evidence, there are, in fact, no special qualifications, nor indeed anything that need be studied in a conventional manner, in order to become a religious expert. For this reason, nothing need be studied in order to refute and dismiss religious claims as well. This is perhaps one of the most ironic ‘own goals’ that all religions keep scoring; as they insist on claiming that religion is not based on reason and evidence but on faith and spirituality. And as Christopher Hitchens so eloquently put it: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”.
I therefore invite each and every one of you to use your own powers of logic and discernment and dismiss the dismissible. As no reason or evidence based expertise are supplied to justify religion in the first place, none need be given in order to refute it.
Let’s put this conclusion to the test:
Would you agree that Zeus is the literal lord of the universe and that he rules over all the rest of the gods, such as Apollo, Athena, Dionysus and Hercules? Would you agree that temples need to be erected to honor Zeus, and that anyone who does not worship Zeus is a barbarian?
If you answered ‘NO’ to any of these questions, you have pretty much proven my point. One does not need to be a Delphic oracle in order to voice an opinion about Zeus because the existence of this deity was never objectively established in the first place. And neither was the existence of Lord Vishnu, Ra, Odin and yes – also Yahweh and Allah.
In the same exact way that you do not need to match Tom Cruise’s “OT 7” level in Scientology to repudiate the claim that 75 million years ago, Xenu, the dictator of the Galactic Confederacy, brought billions of his people to earth in a DC-8 like spacecraft, placed them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs; you do not need to be a Catholic priest to argue that crackers and wine do not magically become the flesh and blood of a Jewish preacher who was executed by the Romans 2000 years ago. Nor do you need to be a wizard, a Voodoo shaman or an astrologer to argue that witchcraft, Voodoo and astrology are man made nonsense.
Similarly, I do not need to be a professional illusionist in order to determine that Penn & Teller did not actually cut a woman in half and then put her back together again, or that David Copperfield did not just make an entire building dematerialize.
In the same way I can see amazing things with my own “untrained” eyes and still know that these are tricks and that a miracle did NOT just happen, I can hear baseless claims about supernatural beings and conclude that these are man made stories. In the same way that a Christian priest does not need to be ordained in Greek mythology to say that it is just mythology, I do not need to be ordained in Christianity to say the same about Christianity, or about any other religion, for that matter – AND NEITHER DO YOU.

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