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When atheists try to be clever...

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#1 Ken Gilmore

Ken Gilmore


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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:46 AM

This cartoon:

Posted Image

with the caption "When a theist starts a debate with an atheist..." has been doing the rounds of the atheist blogosphere. All very sophomoric and self-congratulatory, but as Brandon Watson says:

it is logically and mathematically impossible, given any standard rules of chess, for either side to win this game. The rules of chess require an automatic draw if there is an impossibility of checkmate -- once it is established that no legal series of moves can reach checkmate, the game is over and both sides tie. A game with no kings has no possible checkmate, and so is an immediate draw. In trying to depict with a chessboard how much better their arguments are, a task in which they had perfect freedom to choose any possible chess set-up, they still managed to give themselves an unwinnable board. In other words, the atheist player doesn't know what he's getting into: the board is rigged so that the theist, with nothing but pawns, can guarantee a draw no matter how many queens the atheist has. Diabolically clever theist, getting atheist hopes up while making it impossible for them to win! That's on standard rules. And, of course, if the rules are supposed to be nonstandard, it is impossible to know what this board even means.

Now if the cartoonist had drawn something like this:

Posted Image

he may have made his point, but that assumes he knew what zugzwang was, or how to spell it.
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” - Galileo Galilei

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