While I was perusing YouTube, I came across this video.
Firstly, I think KnownNoMore is an intelligent person, and his videos are thought provoking and done respectfully. I also like his Finnish/Swedish/Norwegian/Danish accent. I can’t tell which it is. However, despite these endearing qualities, I find his supposed knockdown argument against Christian apologetics not compelling and unwisely pretentious.
In summary, KnownNoMore’s argument is even if all the alleged problems within Christianity are resolved — Biblical accuracy, Jesus’ resurrection, Biblical contradictions, etc. — aliens are a better explanation than God to the truth behind Christianity.
The first problem I see comes at 5:20. Here, KnownNoMore says, “There is a way to explain anything the religious apologist can put forth in a completely naturalistic way.” If we are to be objective and maintain a healthy skepticism, we must ask why we should automatically assume a naturalistic explanation. KnownNoMore just asserts this and gives no reason as to why this is superior to a supernatural one. He needs to because this just looks like circular reasoning known as begging the question. Remember, KnownNoMore is arguing for naturalism via naturalism by assuming his alien hypothesis to be true. That’s not going to cut it.
To be fair, in a later video he goes where he should have gone in the first place and attempts to use Occam’s Razor to defend his argument, though unsuccessfully. Occam’s Razor states when considering two or more competing hypotheses with equal explanatory power, the hypothesis that makes the fewest unnecessary assumptions is the best. When atheists apply Occam’s Razor to Christianity and religion, they argue the natural world with its laws is a simpler explanation in how the universe came to be to positing “God just did it.” In regards to KnownNoMore’s video, his thrust with Occam’s razor is focused on the Bible’s miracles. Namely, aliens and their advanced technology is a better hypothesis for miracles such as Moses parting the Red Sea or Jesus’ resurrection than being acts of divine power. To KnownNoMore’s credit, this does get around the circularity in his first video, but there are other flaws and they point to uncomfortable implications for atheists.
By only applying his extraterrestrial hypothesis to a couple of miracles and concluding this adequately explains the rest of Christianity’s miracles, KnownNoMore commits a composition fallacy. He takes the parts and makes a general statement about the whole. This faulty inference gets him into more trouble than he realizes, and his alleged “simpler” explanation begins to be shown to be quite fat and can do with some shaving.
When his alien hypothesis is applied to all of the miracles of Biblical Christianity, it faces its death at what I will call Occam’s Guillotine. It becomes lucidly clear the inadequacy of his explanation. The Bible and its miracles require an extraordinary entity behind it. It’s plausible to think the cause of theses miracles must be extremely powerful, vastly intelligent and possessing tremendous longevity, all of which seem near divine in degree. It may be just me, but aliens, finite and contingent beings that they are, don’t make a probable candidate.
KnownNoMore inserts them as responsible for everything: Noah’s Ark, Moses parting the Red Sea, Samson’s super human strength, Jonah and the Whale and Jesus and his resurrection, etc.? That, these aliens interfered at all these moments. What good reason is there to think this is true? They picked this planet and its population out of the entire universe, decided to fabricate a religion based on their meddling and executed this scheme. Really? This conspiracy is absurd and demands an explanation in order to be taken seriously. Sure, KnownNoMore can respond hypothetically in that they are performing some type of experiment, but it seems unlikely finite imperfect beings would devote hundreds of years to pull off some ruse. Maybe KnownNoMore would say these aliens have a very long lifespan. But again, what good reason is there to think this is likely? This is starting to get complicated and Occam’s Razor is starting to look pretty shiny, don’t you think? You see, KnownNoMore’s explanation raises more questions than it answers. Attempts to explain away these questions start to not only be ad hoc in nature, but are completely contrary to the conclusion he is trying to make. Remember, he believes invoking aliens is simpler than God, but this is clearly not the case. I hope the irony is not lost on you.
Perhaps KnownNoMore’s most damning error is his lack of understanding of Christian theology. There is cohesiveness to Biblical Christianity, a coherent intelligence behind it. Many atheists haven’t the smallest inkling to what the purpose the Old Testament is. It serves as a prelude to the New Testament. Without it, the Gospels have no force behind them. Every event, story or miracle in the Old Testament plays a part in the greater part in the whole and eventually culminates in the revelation unveiled in Jesus Christ. For example, Genesis 3:15 is believed to be the earliest reference of Jesus’ triumph of over sin and the Devil. KnownNoMore, in his argument, assumes these miracles are arbitrary, and therefore can be easily explained with extraterrestrial intervention here or there or by means of some hoax. This is simply not true.
Maybe KnownNoMore and others will say there is no underlying thread running through the Bible. That, it only appears coherent because it was revised and edited as propaganda. Well, in that case, go ahead, but may I remind you, KnownNoMore, out of the kindness of his own gracious heart, granted Christian apologetics to be true in every instance. That means he allowed for Biblical inerrancy to make room for your decisive blow against Christianity. His video is entitled “Why Religious Apologists Cannot Possibly Win” and the description reads “slitting the jugular vein of religious apologetics.” If KnownNoMore does rescind his previous statement, out of intellectual honesty, he has to forfeit the alien hypothesis argument as moot.
And personally to KnownNoMore himself, may I suggest debunking an entire worldview with a little more humility. Your confidence is admirable, but a teeny bit misplaced as has been shown. Both theists and atheists, especially on YouTube are guilty of this pompousness. Neither side is as intellectually vacuous as the other attempts to smear them as. I’ll remind you Christianity has endured the harsh criticisms of brilliant men such as David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx and will continue to do so. You are an intelligent individual, but you must understand: I have to be skeptical of someone who touts his own victory against an opponent some of the greatest human minds were not able to topple.