discussion is taking place over at the Atheist Experience blog. The discussion centers around the following video, entitled God vs. $20, in which this guy named Mike, who brands himself "The Religious Antagonist," offers $20 to a destitute family (who is panhandling in a Wal Mart parking lot) to cross the word 'god' off of their sign (it read 'God Bless You' at the bottom of it):
The focus of the discussion raging across the interwebs is mostly focused on one question: Is he being a dick in this video? Even if he did demonstrate that their religious belief lead to a completely irrational action (refusing to cross 3 letters off of a sign in exchange for 20 dollars, money that they apparently need quite badly) was it right to do what he did for the purpose of proving a point?
I, however, think the discussion is focused on the lesser important considerations. I think the biggest issue with the video is this:
Is his conclusion justified?
They refuse to do what he asks, and he concludes that their religious indoctrination has clouded their judgement and stood in the way of what should have been a simple, pragmatic, utilitarian decision.
The problem, as I see it, is that his experimental methodology, if you will, was not sufficient to draw said conclusion. There are other plausible alternatives that have nothing to do with religion.
His conclusion, while not untrue in the sense that religion DOES lead to irrational, and even harmful decisions/actions, is, in my view, unsupported, and likely biased. He has insufficient evidence to work with, and draws the conclusion that he set out to prove in the first place. That's bad form.
What do you think?