Friday, February 20, 2009

Because I find him just that distasteful I dedided to dissect Ray Comfort's "Atheist Starter Kit". I'm sure its been done by just about every intelligent Atheist out there, at least in their own head, and probably on a thousand blogs, but here's my attempt.

<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."

  • Please present said evidence. As of yet I have heard nothing resembling credible evidence for God. In Ray's work I have seen only broad assertions without backing evidence other than redefinition and a propensity for closed-minded defensiveness.
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."

  • You're playing the game wrong Ray. You've immediately defined the Universe -as- creation. That's an assertion, not evidence. You cannot equate life to a watch. It just doesn't work that way regardless of what the Hebrews tells you. You imply it is common sense, when you haven't even proven that the Universe was created. It exists, clearly, but whether that was through natural forces, i.e the big bang, or your deity has not been proven beyond doubt, or to the point of common sense. At this point, unless you can provide something better, then yes, it is the often and well refuted watch-maker argument, and its still just as fallacious as it has always been.

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.'"

  • I see it quite differently. I see it as having everything to gain -or- everything to lose. Sure, if your god is real, then by believing in him I could gain a heavenly paradise. But what if he doesn't exist? How many hours, years, decades of my life will have been wasted in a pursuit of a fiction, and when I die I'll be dust. I could have spent that time learning, studying, trying to make a difference in the world without wasting my time at church or praying, or worshipping a false deity. If it is the one life I have, as i currently believe it to be until better evidence presents itself, I wish to enjoy it, and ancient outdated parts of the Christian morality code have no place in that equation. Beside that, what assurance do I have that even if there is a god, its your god? It could be any deity/deities. So yeah, I guess it really is just pascal's wager. Once again, easily refuted. Jut because you don't like that it's fallacious doesn't make it less so.

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.

  • Neither of your statements say anything about atheism, nor does your absurd answer. The existence of Jesus as a man, whether real or not is irrelevant to your question, and no Atheist that I know would answer like that. They would more likely ask what your point is, since there doesn't appear to be one.

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. "Megalo-maniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully" is a good phrase to learn.

  • Ah, this one. The bible -is- full of mistakes. Two contradictory creation stories, people going to home towns for the census, the entire book of Daniel (clearly maccabean propaganda), contradictory accounts of David vs. Goliath, no record of the Hebrews in Egypt as slaves, etc.etc ad nauseum. Richard Dawkins was speaking sensationalistically, but was essentially right on that quote. I don't personally repeat it, but I agree with it in essence.

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.

  • Generally speaking, Atheists don't lie any more or less than any other demographic. That aside, you ARE committing the no true Scotsman fallacy. How hard is that to understand? You can't simply dismiss someone as not ever having been Christian because they've moved on, or realized that it was all bunk. I was never what you would consider a Christian (raised Mormon), but I still say I'm an ex-Christian. I believed I knew God. Then i realized that wasn't the case, well before I became an Atheist I was an Agnostic Christian leaning for about a decade. You don't like the No True Scotsman fallacy because you have no answer to it. Sorry Ray, you don't get off that easy.

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.

  • Like all Creationists Ray is still stuck on Darwinism. The Modern Synthesis is currently the best theory out there. Calling it Darwinism is a distraction. Please explain tektaalik, Archaeopteryx, the Microraptor, Zegulodon etc. without evolution? Its not possible. If you want to argue theistic evolution, that's fine. You're welcome to believe that, but saying there is no evolution is absurd, and there's too much evidence to ignore it.

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.

  • Not an argument any atheist uses. Weak athemism argue that without evidence there's no reason to believe. Said Atheist has plenty of evidence of material threats in the form of visuals, physics, chemistry. In short observation. There is no such observational evidence for God.

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.

  • I blame the Roman Catholic Church for its own crimes. That said, it certainly doesn't speak well of Christianity considering it was the only Christianity of Western Europe at the time. Protestantism wasn't much better. John Calvin ruled as a murderous dictator, Martin Luther was vehemently antisemitic. Protestants certainly didn't stop witch burnings (or hangings), and were not above torture. And yes, keep the "No True Christian" argument to yourself. When it applies, it applies.
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.

  • Wrong again Ray. The key to Atheism is rationality. That's the point. An Atheist can be convinced by EVIDENCE. You never provide any. Why do you hang out with Christians? Because you prefer to be with like-minded individuals. This is normal for Atheists too. Atheists are perfectly willing to doubt. At least most that I know of are. Its the Dogmatic people like you, thinking they have absolute undeniable proof that are unreasonable. And arguing with an atheist telling them they're "pretending" is no less condescending than me saying A Christian is someone who pretends that there is a God who took human form and was executed.

I'm sure someone could do it better, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

No comments:

Post a Comment