“The best argument against religion…”
This seems to be another undefined statement. Which religion? All religions? Five religions? Or just Islam? We don’t know.
“The best argument against religion is a five-minute conversation with the average religious person.”
There is much one could say in the context of this statement. Firstly, this is not an argument; it is a statement. Secondly, five minutes? So is Nye saying that it just takes a mere five minutes to refute all the traditional arguments for “religion” in as long a time as it takes to puff a cigarette? Can Nye give answers and rebuttal to arguments from the first cause to the beginning of the universe (the Kalam cosmological argument), from fine-tuning, from Jesus’ resurrection, from religious experience, from objective morality, from the reality of miracles in just five minutes? Nye is clearly attempting to bite off far more than he could ever possibly chew. The irony here is that even a recent debate Nye had against a creationist lasted well over an hour! Nye’s five minutes wouldn’t even cover one or two queries during the Q&A period. Let’s not make mention that these single arguments take of many pages, and chapters, if books.
Thirdly, it is questionable that Nye thinks that it is credible to conclude that “religion” can be said to be false after speaking with an “an average religious person.” Well, what is an “average religious person” anyway? Is an average religious person someone who calls himself a Christian but doesn’t live out the necessary values? Is an average religious person someone who claims to be a Christian but never reads his Bible? Or is it, as I believe Nye is referring to, one who claims to be a Christian but doesn’t really know what she believes? If it is the latter then I am quite disturbed by the fact that Nye thinks talking to an average religious person is preferable over talking to an above average religious person. Maybe religious people should start talking to only the average atheist person, and then conclude that that is the “best argument” against atheism.
On a final note, unfortunately for Nye, who is an atheist naturalist, talking to an average religious person doesn’t go as far as to provide evidence for naturalism. Even if one could soundly refute “religious” arguments it doesn’t mean that atheistic naturalism is true. To affirm atheism the naturalist would have to give reasons for his belief.