I want to preface this by saying that I love Hemant Mehta and his totally positive attitude toward atheism. He’s truly a friendly face and not hostile at all. It’s people like him who will successfully bring more theists into the light of reality, because he’s not too busy getting their back up first. He just makes sense, and he does it smiling, and calmly. He has all the same attributes I adore in Sam Harris. As I said in this post, he’s cooler that a bike rack in Fargo in January.
That said, I came across this video just now, by Hemant over at the Atheist Voice YouTube channel that I don’t fully agree with. In the spirit of friendly debate, I wanted to quickly discuss the points I didn’t like.
First, you should check out the video, because it’s full of great info and excellent points:
My first point of disagreement is where Hemant states that faith healers truly believe that they can heal, and that they’re doing it for what they perceive is the greater good. I completely disagree with this point. Although there could never be an accurate study done of faith healers and what they truly believe, because most of them would lie, I am fairly certain they know full well that they’re full of shit.
Case in point: This is not a faith healer, but instead one of my readers who practiced speaking in tongues. He was kind enough to write a guest post for me a while back about it, in which he admitted that there was a small part of him deep down that knew he was lying. Outwardly, he appeared to be fully convinced that he was actually speaking in tongues, but he admits that he didn’t truly believe that. I can’t imagine a faith healer being any different, especially witnessing daily failures, as I am sure they do. I think it is far more likely, that they have the gift of acting, and discovered that they can trick people out of their money with it. I think all faith healers are dishonest and take advantage, knowingly, of the grief-stricken and the ill.
The second point I wanted to address with this issue, is the existence of Jesus Christ to begin with. Hemant makes a comment about how some atheists may deny that Jesus existed at all and I happen to be one of those atheists. I know, I know, you’re all going to start yelling at me about there being plenty of evidence for a historical figure named Jesus and that plenty of historians agree. Here’s the thing though: that’s merely evidence that a man named Jesus existed in the time frame that the New Testament is set in. If he didn’t perform all those miracles, and wasn’t the son of God, and had no divine gifts, and did not return from the dead, then he’s hardly the Jesus we’re discussing, is he? He’s just some guy named Jesus. There are plenty of those. When considering whether or not Jesus existed, it’s ridiculous to consider just a regular man who was either completely delusional, or built up to be more than he was in death.
If you’re wondering what my answer to the question, Mad, Bad or God, is, it’s none of the above. I choose the 4th option provided by Hemant: legend. Jesus was just a regular dude who said a few neat things, and had some lusting ladies follow him around the desert like Charlie Manson. When he died, the myth of Jesus was blown out of proportion and his legacy is nothing but lies. It’s like saying the old, scary man who lived down the street from me is a historical figure because after he died we told ghost stories about him. It’s just not a rational thing to say.
To me, Jesus is no one worth a second consideration.
What did you think of this video?