Belief Came Before Disbelief; So What?
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Anthony DeLucchi, in Talk Back 60, seems to think it is relevant that before there was disbelief in god, there was belief in god. As belief in god is older, then it must somehow be more true.
Is this necessarily so?
Prior to December 1973, there was no such thing as Raelianism. Before that time, Claude Vorilhon was a journalist. Until he made his claims of meeting space men in a French volcano, it was not possible to disbelieve the claims of Rael (Vorilhon's new name) because no claims had been made. You could not be a-Raelian until Raelianism existed. Raelianism is older than a-Raelianism. Does this make belief in Rael more valid than disbelief in Rael?
Prior to L. Ron Hubbard's foundation of Scientology in the early 1950s, some claim as the result of a bet, there was no such thing. It was not possible to be a Scientologist until Hubbard invented the movement. And until the movement existed, it was not possible to be an a-Scientologist. Scientology necessarily precedes a-Scientology. Does this make belief in Scientology more valid than disbelief in Scientology?
Until Joseph Smith claimed he had found gold plates, translated them with his head face down in his hat, supposedly with the help of a seer stone there was no such thing as Mormonism. It was no possibly to be a-Mormon until there were Mormons. Mormonism necessarily came before a-Mormonism. Does this make belief in the Book of Mormon more valid than disbelief in Mormonism?
We can push this logic into the past as far as records exist; and it is reasonable to make the same assumption about pre-recorded history. The claim for the validity of a particular religious belief necessarily came before the expression of disbelief. But, that does not mean the initial claim is true. As in the examples above, the initial claim could just be pure fantasy, delusion, or outright fraud.