Many Muslims who like to debate with atheists commonly use the same fallacies in their approach. When that fails, some will turn to posting videos containing the exact same fallacies, somehow hoping redundancy will make the fallacies less fallacious. This video is a prime example of the main fallacies atheists often hear from Muslims, and I have seen it posted at least 100 times in response to atheists. By pointing out the fallacies, and explaining why they are fallacies, it is my hope that perhaps some may discontinue using this silliness to demonstrate their absence of logic.
The first fallacy is a straw man, whereby the speaker gives their reasons for why an atheist does not believe in their god, as opposed to actually giving the reasons an atheist would give. “I have never seen god. I have never touched him.” Most atheists would simply say, “There is no evidence of any gods.”
This straw man sets up the rebuttal, about souls. This is almost comical considering most atheists don’t believe in souls either. It’s as if the speaker wanted to make perfectly clear he isn’t talking about atheists at all.
The speaker then delves into the second favorite fallacy of Muslims, the complex question fallacy, commonly known as a loaded question. “Who created the stars, the moon and the sun?” By asking “who,” the speaker has already assumed someone created these things. There is no evidence of anyone creating any of these things.
We do, however, have quite a bit of information on how planetary bodies and stars form. It involves gravity and millions of years.
At this point the speaker states that atheists believe the universe and everything occurred by “accident.” When I trip on the rug and bump into the coffee table, that’s an accident. I was trying to do one thing, and something else happened due to unforeseen circumstances. The Big Bang and evolution are not examples of accidents, as there is no evidence anyone was trying to do one thing, and something else happened by mistake.
And now comes my favorite part, the false analogy fallacy. The speaker compares the building of a car to the universe. This is a Muslim version of the Watchmaker argument, which was shot down by David Hume back in 1779.
We know how cars are built. Thus, we use inductive reasoning to determine how any single car would be constructed. We have no such knowledge concerning universes. We do not have multiple examples of universes being constructed in a particular way whereby we can use inductive reasoning to determine how a single universe was formed. We only have our own, and all we know at the moment is that our universe began expanding approximately 13.7 billion years ago.
This analogy also confuses creation ex nihilo (creation from nothing) with creation ex materia (creation from the re-arrangement of pre-existing material). Cars are made by multiple agents using pre-existing parts to construct a new form we recognize as a “car.” The speaker is not claiming that his god rearranged pre-existing parts to construct a new form. Thus, this analogy is flawed at every level.
This same confusion is used in the speaker’s next point about human’s inability to create a fly. Considering the advances in embryology and genetic engineering, using pre-existing material to create a fly would not be difficult at all. A sheep was created in the 90s using cloning technology. So here again the speaker is assuming creation ex nihilo, and then challenging humanity with a task he himself has no evidence for ever happening.
The Muslim in the clip then asks about how the earth revolves around the sun and how a human heart functions. These are basic questions any middle school student in the first world could answer, leaving one with the impression that lack of proper education has led the speaker to inquire of such mundane issues. Planets of our solar system orbit the sun due to gravity and inertia. The human heart is a muscle controlled by the brain.
The speaker then states that because infinite regression doesn’t make sense, there must be a single creator at the top of the creation food chain, and this single creator is conveniently the speaker’s god. This is an example of a special pleading fallacy, whereby the speaker claims everything needs a creator, except his particular creator.
Well, if you’re going to stop there, there’s no reason to even go that far in the chain. One might just as well stop at the universe, or the laws of physics. One could just as well stop anywhere before or after said god is assumed to appear within the chain, or have a causal chain containing no gods at all. The summit of this creation chain appears to end arbitrarily. The intellectually honest response remains we don’t yet know where this chain ends, if it ends at all, or even if the chain can be logically extrapolated outside our universe, as cause and effect is a property of this universe. And even that last tidbit of what might be considered common knowledge comes into question when one examines the findings of quantum physics.
The next error the speaker makes is discussing the attributes of creator and creation in an attempt to justify the aforementioned special pleading fallacy. He claims that the attributes are entirely different, and in some cases this is correct. However, this is not always the case. I, along with a woman, created my daughter. While the ball the speaker holds cannot ask him questions, my 12 year old daughter can, and often does ask me questions. Although none are as silly as the questions posed in this video.
At this point, the speaker plunges straight into dishonesty in an attempt to make a claim for “science in the Quran.” Surat An-Naml 27:88 is quoted, providing a reference about mountains moving. The speaker then says this is because the mountains move with the earth as it rotates on its axis. How could anyone have know this 1400 years ago? One need not even indulge such silliness since the referenced Surat isn’t even speaking about what mountains do on a daily basis. This Surat is making a claim about what mountains will do on the Muslim version of “Judgment Day.” The speaker knows this and is hoping the viewer has not read the Quran and has no access to Google.
And then the speaker makes the claim that since Allah gave us biological life, he can give us life after biological death, yet the speaker has failed to provide evidence that Allah gave us life in the first place. My parents gave me life.
At the end of the video the speaker apologizes if he said anything wrong. Well, that would be just about everything.