"Do atheists believe that a 3 piece KFC combo meal can feed 5000 people?"
Wouldn't that be a Long John Silvers combo meal?
There are three different "modes" of this argument:Fundy Modes:
"You atheists just worship Darwin and Dawkins and science!" (Fundy Mode A)
"I don't have enough FAITH to be an atheist! Haha! AhahaHAhaHAHAhahaHAAA!" (Fundy Mode B)Moderate/Liberal Believer Mode:
"You atheists are just as dogmatic and intolerant as the fundies are! Meany poopypants!"
Both Fundy Modes seek to establish epistemological parity
between their religion and atheism. Everyone knows that science works
as a way of understanding and navigating Reality, and fundamentalists desperately covet the respect it has earned. They would love, more than anything, to be able to drape the Bible in the mantle of scientific and historical fact. Much of their argumentation revolves around trying to accomplish this feat. Genesis isn't a mythic allegory, no: all that stuff really happened
! Likewise for the Gospel stories. Much of the absurdity of fundamentalism comes from their attempt to interpret the Bible as if it were a scientific or historical textbook, but with an added proviso that it's unchanging and infallible, thus even more
loaded with sweet, sweet truthiness than science and history. Which only compounds their error.
Ultimately however, this project must fail. When it does, the fundamentalist retreats into "ineffable mystery" and injunctions to have faith. "For the Cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, so nyah!" At this point, the fundamentalist feels a need to drag science and reason down to their level, by transforming them into religious dogmas like their own. This is the other side of the fundamentalist quest for epistemological parity.
Fundy Mode A does this with an emphasis on tribalism. "You have your prophets, Darwin and Dawkins and Harris and Hitchins, but we have our
prophets, Moses and Elijah and Ezekiel and Isaiah and Jesus and Paul! And ours
are in the Bible
while yours are just sinful men!" This approach is taken throughout Ken Ham's Creation "Museum," where "God's Word" (Creationism) is contrasted with "Man's Reason" (science). First, the claim of epistemological parity: "The evidence is the same, it's how you interpret
it that counts. We interpret it through the lens of a Biblical world view, you interpret it through a godless human world view." So now we're just two tribes making the evidence say what we want it to. "But our
tribe (the God's Word Tribe) is better than your tribe (the Sinful Human Reason Tribe) because our Great Chief in the Sky created the Universe! So nyah!" This links together with another fundamentalist bromide, that their belief isn't a religion, it's a relationship.
Incorporating this, they can classify atheism with all the "other" religions they reject and despise, while elevating their tribe/belief to a lofty, superior position.
Fundy Mode B takes the "thumb-in-your-eye" approach, blissfully ignoring the self-contradiction it entails. They know atheists do not hold faith as a virtue, but (usually) see it as a vice. So it can become the basis for a kind of playground accusation: "Youuu haaa-ave faaa-aaith! HA-HA!" And cooties too, no doubt. While using this, they have to be careful to compartmentalize it from their own belief that faith is the greatest of virtues, otherwise they'd have to concede that they think atheists are more virtuous than they are.
The Moderate/Liberal Mode doesn't so much seek epistemological parity, as assume it: "Everyone's belief is as good as anyone else's, and anyone who doesn't think so is a meany poopypants!" Ignored is the distinction between why the fundamentalists think they're right, and why atheists think they're right. Fundamentalists think their literalist interpretation of the Bible is the one with all the truthiness, Because
God Said So. "Scientific/historical/scholarly" protective coloring is adopted when useful, and discarded when it becomes too much bother. Atheists think they're right because of actual findings of science and history, which reveal a Universe getting along just fine without any Invisible Magic Persons involved. The Moderate/Liberal establishes playground supremacy by operating in the mode of the moralizing schoolmarm: "You atheists and fundies stop fighting and thinking you're right, and play nice!"
They're less concerned with epistemological parity (because they can just accept the findings of science, history, and biblical criticism as true, and believe in their religion--nebulously--anyway) than with a position of moral superiority. They seek to establish a moral
parity between fundamentalists and atheists, by tarnishing atheists with the brush of dogma and intolerance (the fundies are already brightly arrayed in those colors). As champions of open-mindedness and tolerance, they can be "right" because they're the nice
people, rather than because their beliefs (whatever they are--just try pinning one down) correspond to Reality.