Recently, I was referred to this video by a Christian friend:
Of course, not only is the story completely false, Einstein went to a Catholic Elementary, this doesn’t prove God doesn’t exist, and the ending about putting religion back in education is a non sequitur.
If you are in Facebook, you can follow a discussion surrounding this video. As expected, numerous people linked to snopes and other sources to demonstrate the video is false, and numerous people responded how even if it wasn’t Einstein, it could have happened, and it was making a great point.
And others, (who obviously hadn’t read the previous comments), jumped in with how great the video was, and how Einstein was so smart for being so young. And still others made the stupid argument we couldn’t prove it didn’t happen. In other words—the same tripe we’ve seen on dozens of topics in dozens of places.
This brought back to mind one of my great concerns while deconverting—how many times I caught Christian apologists in non-truths. I understand people bristle at the accusation of “Liar.” When we point out the complete and utter falsehood in a Christian apologetic, the battle cry is rounded out: “Prove they knew it was false!”
So they were either incredibly incompetent in doing even the most elementary research OR they printed an outright fable—either way, it is not persuasively credible.
In this instance, though, they made a full production video. It is difficult for me to believe no one on the staff performed even the most cursory search to discover this is false. But let’s assume they didn’t; let’s assume someone heard this story from someone, thought, “Gee, that would make a great video” and never thought any further on the subject.
This—THIS—is where I struggled in my research. Too many times, Christians were willing (myself included) to believe anything--anything--in support of the belief. A video about Einstein trouncing an atheist professor? Must be true, ‘cause it conforms to our belief.
See, at some point, in the evolution of this story—someone lied. Someone initiated this story, knowing full well they were making it up. They inserted Einstein in a previously fabricated story, knowing they had no basis or reason to believe it to be true.
And rather than be caught on it, someone else said, “Hey, that’s a great story” and passed it on. And that person passed it on. What bothered me, in reviewing the discussion on this video, was how many times it was pointed out to be false, and how many times Christians didn’t care! A lie? You think lying (and that is what it is, once you know it to be false) is O.K. if it gets the point across?
When else is a lie acceptable? When else can you bend the truth?
As I deconverted, I would read the non-believer’s position. Then I would read the believer’s position. Time and time again, I found the believer’s position to be based on non-truth.
I heard the statement how skeptics once claimed Hittites didn’t exist, but it turns out they did. Not true—no skeptic said this.
I heard the statement of how skeptics claimed Pilate didn’t exist, and it turns out he did. Not true—skeptics have always claimed Pilate existed.
Claims of how Daniel prophetically determined the very day Jesus entered Jerusalem. Not true. How Darwin converted. Not true. How coins proved Quirinius’ second Governship. Not true.
How disciples died for a lie—when Christians don’t even know how they died!
I would have hoped Christians would see such videos and proclaim, “This is a lie! This is wrong! This didn’t happen! Please do not take this to be anything but a fiction along the lines of Beauty and the Beast.” Instead they promulgate, pass it around, and re-enforce how God must exist because Einstein baffled a professor with one of the oldest responses to the Problem of Evil that ever existed. And not even one of the better ones.
I don’t care whether a person knew it to be true or not. Once it is pointed out as false, Christians would be far more persuasive if they acknowledged it to be false, rather than attempt to justify it. Rather than pass it on. Rather than thump each other on the back with how great this lie is.