John Wright, whose education as a lawyer has unfortunately equipped him with a propensity to believe that splitting a hair is as good as answering a criticism, objects to New Atheists dismissing Christianity without studying its theology. The objection that he himself dismisses the Aztec pantheon without studying its theology he waves aside by pointing out that there are no living worshippers of the Aztec gods, and also they were evil devil-worshippers:
[The Aztecs are] a long-dead cult of devil-worshippers, unsupported by any theology, known only to archeologists and students of the macabre
Given the character of the Christian god, I would be quite happy to refer to Wright as a devil-worshipper, and a cannibalistic one at that; but this does not seem to bear on the question of whether his description of the universe is accurate, so I shall refrain. Quite why he thinks this is an argument worthy of respect I don’t know; shall we measure truth by the body mass of its living adherents? And incidentally, just how does he know that the Aztecs had no theology? For all he knows they had as rich an oral tradition of exegesis and interpretation as the Jews do.
However, that is not the point I wish to address; rather I want to take issue with the necessity of understanding a theology before dismissing it. The point is very simple: Before the Christian can demand one study his theoretical structure, he must demonstrate that there is a reason for doing so. It is all very well to spin theory, but does it actually describe anything? Unless you can demonstrate that there is some reason to investigate this question of gods in the first place, you cannot reasonably demand that anyone read volumes of abstruse argument before saying “It’s not true”. You have to demonstrate that there is something to theorise about. This the Christian cannot do, and consequently all his theology is of no more interest than a Truther’s bibliography about the melting point of steel. It might be a reasonable intellectual exercise, in the same way that one can build mathematical systems which do not describe the real universe and have a lot of fun doing so; but to claim that it has any relation with the truth – well, show me the dang evidence, not the wordy theory.