An Atheist Responds To The Rational Bible
Yesterday, right-wing Jewish political commentator released his book The Rational Bible: Genesis. The second book in his five-part series analyzing the first five books of the Bible (AKA The Torah).
I’m not going to deny that Dennis is almost certainly more knowledgeable on these five books then this one online atheist. If he’s to be believed, he’s been studying it for around 50 years, longer than most people alive today have been around for. I’m not even one of those atheists who reads the Bible to mock it like Hugo and Jake over at The Bible Reloaded.
So why am I responding? Well, here’s what he says in the introduction as a note to the non-religious:
I have had you most in mind when writing this commentary.
Why thank you. I’m fairly open minded as a person, and you at least say you are a few paragraphs down:
I look forward to your reactions. They will surely influence my writing of subsequent volumes.
So you know what, Mr. Prager, I’ll be nice to you. You don’t strike me as a bad person — at worst, I think you’re wrong — so it wouldn’t be fair for me to mock you when you just right books.
So let’s pick an essay from chapter one, just like I did with Shapiro not to long ago, and just critique it. How about “On The Question ‘Who Created God?’” That’s the second essay of the book, and is a fun little conundrum that atheists like myself sometimes point out.
As noted above, Genesis 1:1 is completely silent with regards to God’s origins. All prior creation stories contained descriptions of how the gods came into existence (these are called “theologies”). Therefore, Genesis 1:1 begins not with God’s origins — because He has none — but with God acting (creating the world).
For this reason, the question “Who created God?” while meaningful regarding pagan religions, is meaningless with regard to the God of the Bible.
Does Dennis think all atheists are pagans? Sorry, it’s just paganism seems like a kind of weird comparison. Are pagans even still a thing? I mean, that just comes off as a strawman.
You know what, maybe I’m overthinking this. Let’s continue:
If God were created, God wouldn’t be God.
I remember Matt Walsh once made a similar argument with that stone conundrum (which I just find kind of silly). But here’s my response: Says who?
The day before this book was released, Dennis made a video where he said God was (and I’m paraphrasing) “above our human understanding of Gender.” Why can’t “all powerful” also be above our human understandings of power?
Of course, here I’m just being a bit of a contrarian. But let’s go on, maybe he makes a solid argument:
God’s creator — we’ll call him God’s Dad — would be God. But the same people who ask “Who created God?” would then ask “Who created God’s Dad?” And after that, they would ask “Who created God’s Dad’s dad?” Ad infintum.
And now I would like to do a little skit I call “If Dennis Prager Were An Early 20th Century Atheist.”
Dennis: Humans must have evolved from the same common ancestor Apes did.
Theist: Then what did Apes evolve from?
Dennis: Shut Up!
Yes, we would then ask “what was the first spark,” just as we have done for centuries. We have also done this with evolution and are currently able to trace back what became humans starting at the near beginning of time. If we took your view on God in regards to science we would have stopped at “humans came from monkeys.”
I’m going to skip a little, basically, the only thing I have left to talk about is this weird paragraph on the multiverse theory, which I’m at most agnostic on.
[The Big Bang] has disturbed scientists committed to atheism.
No it hasn’t?
Some have therefore posited an infinite number of Big Bangs and/or the existence of the “multiverse,” an infinite number of universes.
The multiverse does not say there are an infinite number of Big Bangs. It simply says there has been more than one Big Bang, something we are half way to proving.
For that matter, proving there have been at least two Big Bangs does not prove there is more than one universe. As you yourself have pointed out, the chance of our universe forming as it is is highly unlikely. As such, it’s very likely other universes have existed that did not form correctly and as such collapsed in on themselves.
But this is truly a statement of faith because there is no possible way of finding another universe.
It’s closer to believing in Aliens than believing in God. Both say “it’s likely something somewhere also exists even if we can’t reach them.”
Overall: This did not convince me. Sorry.