One of the most common arguments I hear from the religious is that their beliefs and mine are the same. They believe they know what the creator of the universe thinks and desires, and I think they are wrong. They view these positions as having equal weight.
Let me try to illustrate how strange this is.
Imagine two people discover a ruined city somewhere while hiking in a remote location and come to find a huge number of things that don’t make sense. Neither of them are archeologists or otherwise specifically prepared to decipher the civilization.
They find doors in strange places, plates shaped like triangles, pottery in odd shapes, etc. And the whole city is set up in a very strange way. The roads loop back to themselves, there are abrupt stops in certain places — overall, the place just seems quite different than anything either of them have ever seen.
The first person says, “This city was created by aliens. They were 4 feet tall and spoke Hindi. Their spaceship looked like a fireman’s boot, and they are from the planet Zorba, which sits behind the moon — invisible and undetectable.”
The second guy says, “I think you’re insane. None of that is true.”
“Ah, well that’s your belief.”, says the first guy, “You have yours, I have mine, and that’s fine, but just don’t go thinking that yours is superior.”
In short, you can’t make outrageous claims as to the nature of reality without providing evidence, and then attempt to share equal ground with those who simply dismiss you as silly.
Remember, the 4-foot tall aliens who spoke Hindi and lived behind the moon — that’s all VERY SPECIFIC. And they’re claiming not that it’s interesting, or that it’s just fun to think about — they’re claiming it’s how the world actually works. They’re claiming it’s reality.
Well, it’s the exact same thing when someone says that the creator of the universe created his own son who he knew would die, sent him to earth to absorb all sin from humans, all of which he put there in the first place (he had full control of the entire process, remember?). Throw in some snakes, virgin births, and some miracles for good measure — all of which have been in other religions long before Christianity.
For someone to say that these claims are false — just as with planet Zogra or a flying teapot near Mars — is NOT the same thing as saying they are true. The responsibly lies with the believer of these very detailed and specific claims about reality, not with those who think they are preposterous.: