Here’s a doozy, a Christian claiming no atheists could be in birthing centers because human births are SO amazing that he can’t fathom how they could occur without a god. Time to revisit the logical fallacy of personal incredulity:
Personal Incredulity: Also known as the argument from ignorance, is an assertion that because one can’t understand or believe a premise, then it must be false.
Of course once a premise is then “proven” to be false, then that opens the door for alternative premises, often rather irrational ones. Let’s look at some examples…
• I can’t see how this wireless thing works, so it must be some kind of magic.
• I fail to see how a man of god could hurt a child, so clearly none have.
• There’s no way I can see how you could have guessed the correct answer, so you must be psychic.
• There’s a noise coming from the attic but no one is up there, so it must be a ghost.
You would (hopefully) laugh at such comments, but would you also laugh at the idea that human reproduction is so amazing that it must be due to a god? Still laughing? How about because it’s unknown how life started here, that it must have been put here by a god? Or it’s so amazing that we’re on this planet which is perfectly suited for our existence, in the perfect place for such an existence, that it must all be due to a god? These all are examples of this fallacy, as unwarranted as the ones above, yet people still make them even if they can recognize those other ones as being fallacious.
So why is it done? Well generally it’s not so much an exercise of intelligent inquiry but rather a clearing the way for the premise you want to pass. For instance, you may not want to accept that religious leaders could hurt children, so you conclude it’s not possible. You may want to believe there are ghost, perhaps as a confirmation for the existence of life after death, so an unexplained noise is credited to a ghost. Of course this method could easily be used by someone else to make way for their belief (ie – “The idea of just one god makes no sense, so clearly Hinduism is the true religion.”)
Mr. Heck also exhibits a false analogy to bolster his personal incredulity, a variant of the watchmaker’s fallacy using F-16s in a hangar instead of a watch on the beach. How clever.