This spring, the LA Times wrote a story about religious-themed iPhone apps. The New York Times took a second pass at this story, and did a much better job with it, starting wit the headline: “You Say God is Dead? There’s an App for That.”
For religious skeptics, the “BibleThumper” iPhone app boasts that it “allows the atheist to keep the most funny and irrational Bible verses right in their pocket” to be “always ready to confront fundamentalist Christians or have a little fun among friends.”
In a dozen new phone applications, whether faith-based or faith-bashing, the prospective debater is given a primer on the basic rules of engagement — how to parry the circular argument, the false dichotomy, the ad hominem attack, the straw man — and then coached on all the likely flashpoints of contention. Why Darwinism is scientifically sound, or not. The differences between intelligent design and creationism, and whether either theory has any merit. The proof that America was, or was not, founded on Christian principles.
Users can scroll from topic to topic to prepare themselves or, in the heat of a dispute, search for the point at hand — and the perfect retort.