Over at RayComfort Blog Ignorance Central he has what he calls the Atheist Starter Kit. It is a collection of his ten recommendations for a novice atheist in how to argue with theist…. it’s amusing because it demonstrates that lack of depth with which he proclaims to understand atheists. I wanted to take the time and generally mock these 10 absurd points.
1. Whenever you are presented with credible evidence for God’s existence, call it a “straw man argument,” or “circular reasoning.” If something is quoted from somewhere, label it “quote mining.”
Here the presumption is that you will be presented with “credible” evidence, meaning that the evidence is so compelling that it is to be believed. So Ray has evidence for Proof of God(s) and I assume that he means Jesus is God since he is Christian and not the vague undefined God that is out there…The problem is it is highly doubtful he will present credible evidence and it is more likely that it will be flawed for any number of reason including but not limited to the one he listed above. I would love credible evidence for God(s). Please Provide it!!!!!
2. When a Christian says that creation proves that there is a Creator, dismiss such common sense by saying “That’s just the old watchmaker argument.”
What about when a Muslims, Hindus, or Wiccans say it? Would this be just as much evidence for their God/Goddess? Is he making an argument for Jesus or Just a vague undefined supernatural God? Why should we accept a creator as a default position, cannot the answer be the only intellectually honest one which is we do not know at this time how the creation (universe) was created?
3. When you hear that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose (the pleasures of Heaven, and the endurance of Hell) by obeying the Gospel, say “That’s just the old ‘Pascal wager.'”
It is Pascal’s Wager! Again this argument can come from any religion so what makes your religion more correct than any other religion, they all proclaim the exclusive way through their religious text either sent directly from God(s) or divinely inspired.. Consider there are 6 billion people on the planet only 2 billion are christian that means 4 billion people are not choosing Christianity. That ‘s a lot of people just left to suffer in hell and not because they were bad or evil people but they just didn’t back your God(s)…
4. You can also deal with the “whoever looks on a woman to lust for her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart,” by saying that there is no evidence that Jesus existed. None.
Is that Jesus never existed the best argument here, how about the Freedom argument. Freedom to think and have any thought I want or can come up with. Freedom from the thought control of your book. This seems more about creating a sense of Guilt in believers, I’ll stick with freedom.
5. Believe that the Bible is full of mistakes, and actually says things like the world is flat. Do not read it for yourself. That is a big mistake. Instead, read, believe, and imitate Richard Dawkins. Learn and practice the use of big words. “Megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” is a good phrase to learn.
This one I agree with READ the BIBLE, and you will find many mistakes and contradictions. In fact many atheists have read the bible and other religious texts… actually read it cover to cover and see if it all really does make sense. See the violence, genocide, destruction, the wrath, famine and plagues… read how if you don’t believe this forever you will be damned… and then try and reconcile that with love and tolerance it preaches on the other hand. Also read the Koran, and the book of Mormon, Hindu Purana’s… I am willing to bet Ray Comfort doesn’t want you to read those only his concept of God and religion.
6. Say that you were once a genuine Christian, and that you found it to be false. (The cool thing about being an atheist is that you can lie through your teeth, because you believe that are no moral absolutes.) Additionally, if a Christian points out that this is impossible (simply due to the very definition of Christianity as one who knows the Lord), just reply “That’s the ‘no true Scotsman fallacy.'” PLEASE NOTE: It cannot be overly emphasized how learning and using these little phrases can help you feel secure in dismissing common sense.
Unstated major premise Christian’s don’t lie. The definition of Christianity is one who knows the lord? Where does this come from certainly not Merriam Webster. He must have a different dictionary… I also like how he has conveniently done away with the need for faith, if you know something then you don’t need faith in that thing… this must go back to that credible evidence that he can present… not only can he do away with atheist and agnostics, but all other religions. He knows the lord… wait not Jesus?
7. Believe that nothing is 100% certain, except the theory of Darwinian evolution. Do not question it. Believe with all of your heart that there is credible scientific evidence for species-to-species transitional forms. When you make any argument, pat yourself on the back by concluding with “Man, are you busted!” That will make you feel good about yourself.
Ah the evolution is a religion gambit… when in fact any evolutionary biologist will tell you science is provisional on the latest data and evolution through common descent is well supported. The problem for Ray Comfort is that he cannot come up with any actual science to dispute evolution at best he can point out the holes in the information and say see it’s incomplete as if that is a criticism of of science and not its strength. There will be always missing information our knowledge will never be complete but it will be on going. Do you know what has to be believe 100% for certain with no evidence for it, if you guessed Christianity you would be correct. If you guessed any other major world religion you would also be correct.
8. Deal with the threat of eternal punishment by saying that you don’t believe in the existence of Hell. Then convince yourself that because you don’t believe in something, it therefore doesn’t exist. Don’t follow that logic onto a railway line and an oncoming train.
The difference here and it maybe a subtle one is that railway lines and trains are real. They exist and we have direct evidence for them can your provide that credible direct evidence for God and God’s other sinister creation HELL?
9. Blame Christianity for the atrocities of the Roman Catholic church–when it tortured Christians through the Spanish Inquisition, imprisoned Galileo for his beliefs, or when it murdered Moslems in the Crusades.
Wait a minute are Catholics no longer Christians? Was there a tribal council and they got voted off the island? The last time I checked Roman Catholics represent the single largest christian group both in the USA and the World, they were also founded by the apostle Peter… but they don’t really represent Christianity… Ladies and Gentlemen the Protestant Pope Ray Comfort he represents the true Christians.
10. Finally, keep in fellowship with other like-minded atheists who believe as you believe, and encourage each other in your beliefs. Build up your faith. Never doubt for a moment. Remember, the key to atheism is to be unreasonable. Fall back on that when you feel threatened. Think shallow, and keep telling yourself that you are intelligent. Remember, an atheist is someone who pretends there is no God.
Finally, keep in fellowship with other like-minded Christians who believe as you believe, and encourage each other in your beliefs. Build up your faith. Never doubt for a moment. Remember, the key to Christianity is to be unreasonable. Fall back on that when you feel threatened. Think shallow, and keep telling yourself that you are intelligent. Remember, an Christian is someone who pretends there is a God.
Which one looks like a more accurate statment?
Cal Thomas has a post over on the FOX Forum titled Do They Think Jesus was a LiarThere is a lively comment thread over there as well, most of it people saying how you will burn if you do not accept Christ as your savior. What Cal is commenting on is a recent Pew Forum survey.
I am shocked and appalled over a newly published survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. It finds most Americans believe there are many ways to salvation besides their own faith. Most disturbing of all is the majority of self-identified evangelical Christians who believe this.
Apparently they must think Jesus was a liar, or mistaken, when he said: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me.” Look it up.
What I think Cal is referring too is the gospel of John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The Questions was do they think Jesus was a liar and I have included myself in the they, and considering I don’t think Jesus “said” anything…. makes this difficult. The reference is in relation to what Jesus reportedly said… we have no idea of what Jesus may or may not of actually said since he left no actual writings behind. Technically at best what we have here is a case of hearsay… which would not even be allowed in court room testimony… so who was John and are we certain he was in the presence of Jesus when he supposedly said he is the only way to salvation, or in his presence for any of the quotes attributed to Jesus? No one knows really… and we are just supposed to take his word for it, based on faith alone? Also consider the issue that the gospel was written anytime between 30 -110 years after Jesus died.
This like most things with religion seems all to silly to me and just shows how divisive religion can be, b/c as Cal points
If there are many paths to heaven, Jesus suffered and died for nothing. He could have stayed in heaven, sent down a book of sayings and avoided crucifixion. Orthodox Christians have always believed – and their Bible teaches them — there is only one path to heaven and it is through Jesus Christ and him alone. One can believe whatever one wishes, but you can’t be considered a Christian without believing in this fundamental doctrine.
Its my way or the highway that is the true center of religion, it is all about we are right you’re wrong our book is really true yours is not. It’s about group think and conformity, which is increasingly challenged in our current multicultural society, no religion has any true special claim to truth or authority. When it comes right down to it there is no way to tell if it was just made up or not, except in the cases where it is demonstrably false.
So before we can determine if Jesus was or is a liar we need to determine a few other things.
- Was Jesus even a real person?
- What did he actually say? (Remember Jesus wrote nothing, there is nothing directly from him)
- Did the new testament writers ever meet him?
- Why is the bible more accurate than a Koran or any other religious text claim to authority and salvation?
- Has anyone ever been to Heaven?
- Is there life after death?
- Why do the supposedly good people in heaven happily go along with the suffering and damnation of billions of people in hell?
The only real certainty is death and I understand people fear it and you should because since there is no evidence to the contrary it is likely the end of everything you know… but then you wouldn’t really know that you would, you would just be dead. Enjoy life while you can.
Top news on yahoo this morning Sharon Stone thinks that Karma might be the reason China recently suffered a massive earthquake that has killed tens of thousands of people, the last figures I saw had the death count over 50,000 and it could still be much higher… and here is what Miss Stone had to say “And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?” why not just say God did it, was Karma or god punishing New Orleans with Katrina? What utter nonsense is this? This was not and I repeat not a supernatural disaster, it was a natural disaster.
I am trying to wrap my mind around this warped logic and magical thinking… let me take a stab at it. The Chinese government will not allow the Tibetan people independence/freedom and so Karma to balance out the universe unleashes a massive earthquake against innocent Chinese citizens? If I was the Chinese people I would be pissed off and again to make another Katrina reference I was pissed off at the holier than thou preachers who blamed Katrina on the sinful ways of New Orleans. This is all nonsense, and perpetuating such false ideas is not only irresponsible but reprehensible. There has been a disaster and people need help, they did nothing to ask for this and to make this some how political is truly despicable on her part. If it was just an off the cuff comment (which I doubt) she needs to think before she speaks.
Just to note this is not about the Tibetan people and their struggle against the Chinese government for independence and freedom. This is about the fact that natural disasters can happen anywhere and at any time and to blame it on Karma, God, Satan, or anything other than awful things happen is just foolishness.