Ray Comfort on Rational Response Squad

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Ray Comfort on Rational Response Squad

See the official thread for the Nightline Beatdown of Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron

 

THE FOLLOWING POST IS THE PROMOTIONAL PIECE THAT WENT OUT TO PROMOTE THIS SHOW WHEN IT FIRST AIRED 


Recently I had the opportunity to talk to Ray Comfort (Christian author, Radio show host, and famous Evangelist). Ray is well known for several arguments, many of which have been posted right here on this message board. The most well known is his argument that atheists don't exist. This argument has two huge flaws. The first flaw is that he defines atheism in his own manner. He claims all atheists know for sure God doesn't exist, yet that is an extremely small percentage of atheists. Atheists, are of many variety, most are similar to what you might consider and agnostic. Simply put atheists are anyone who isn't a theist. They (we) are (a)=without theism.

So, he starts with a strawman and then tears it apart with his redefinition of atheism, a definition that sadly many Christians ignorantly adhere to. The other huge problem with the atheists, don't exist argument is that it effectively washes all Christians out of existence as well. Ray claims that atheists must confess in the knowledge they don't have they must admit there could be evidence for God, yet he forgets that in the knowledge that Christians don't have they must hold to the same standard... they must admit there is a chance that evidence exists which prove God doesn't exist. Ray goes on to give an example that he only needs to find gold in a mans tooth in China to prove God exists, which is of course a ridiculous example. Ray claims to "know" for sure God exists, that he doesn't "believe" and that is why he doesn't need to hold to the same standard he wants atheists to hold to. Of course if Ray had any universal evidence for his god, something that he could claim empirical knowledge, something that is 100%, there would be testable and falisifiable scientific evidence for God. I think most of you would agree. In fact most Christians if not almost all admit they believe based on faith. Listen to the show, and hear me confront Ray on these points, however depending on what side of the theistic fence you sit on, you may say "Ray is confronting Sapient" not the other way around. 

Ray has another famous argument, from his Way of The Master videos with Kirk Cameron in which he claims that the banana is evidence of intelligent design. In fact ironically, this is actually a great example of natural selection at work. The banana has flourished in part because it has been eaten and its seeds have been released through fecal matter. Were the banana impossible to open with seeds on the inside, it wouldn't have lasted long, and in fact there are many plants and trees that have seen that particular fate. Additionally what does one make of the pineapple or coconut? Those are neither easy to eat or open. Claiming the banana is evidence of intelligent design is no different than me claiming that the pineapple is proof that no god exists.

And here are two more examples that you will hear in the show: Zucchinis are intelligently designed for the anus, and the gp120 protein of the HIV virus is intelligently designed perfectly to fit with the CD4 protein of a childs T-cells. Praise Jesus!

I am frustrated in myself that I didn't present the best arguments on the show, it's prerecorded, if that wasn't clear. I had computer problems that delayed our discussion about 30 minutes, and had me running around the studio like a chicken with it's head cut off. I along with several friends are willing to debate and discuss any points I've made here or any arguments that Ray Comfort makes for that matter. Feel free to discuss how Sapient gets beatdown by Ray Comfort after you listen to the show. Sticking out tongue There is an illusion to Christians who insult atheists in the show, Ray calls them out. Here's a free clip of that. (if you hadn't heard Mikebboy was deleted from myspace for abuse this week- too many threats to kill peoples pets)

 

 


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Ray Comfort on Rational Response Squad tonight 9pm, 11pm et!

Won't be here at 9, i'll probably be home for the 11pm show.


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Re: Ray Comfort on Rational Response Squad tonight 9pm, 11pm

Sapient wrote:

And here are two more examples that you will hear in the show: Zucchinis are intelligently designed for the anus

woo! HOT DAMN!

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Ray Comfort on Rational Response Squad tonight 9pm, 11pm et!

It is opening night at the theater where I volunteer.

Alas, I will not be able to join you all tonight.

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Re: Ray Comfort on Rational Response Squad tonight 9pm, 11pm

Sapient wrote:
Simply put atheists are anyone who isn't a theist. They (we) are (a)=without theism.

Well there's no disputing that. But I think the dispute here is that while this is certainly a *necessary* condition for atheism proper, this criterion alone is not *sufficient*. Pantheist = not-a-theist. Deist=not-a-theist. The problem with that criterion appears that it's just too vague to be very useful except to say "I'm something other than a theist"

Sapient wrote:
...they must admit there is a chance that evidence exists which prove God doesn't exist.

But Brian, Ray's argument isn't intended to prove that "therefore theists are right". Rather, the conclusion being defended is that --at least on this count-- "atheism proper is not defensible". There are many other options other than the theism/atheism dichotomy, so your rejoinder merely brings the argument to a Scottish verdict, which suffices to diffuse positive atheism, so construed.

Sapient wrote:
Ray goes on to give an example that he only needs to find gold in a mans tooth in China to prove God exists, which is of course a ridiculous example.

I can't say much for the merits of Ray's argument here. As it stands, I'm not sure how it succeeds. At any rate, what remains true is that the given form of his argument is valid and can be shown simply by observing how the propositions oppose each other:

Let G be "God" where: (x) ~Gx ---- (∃x) Gx

These two statements are formal contradictions of one another: if one is true, the other must be false. If one instance of an x is found to be God, by necessity the given proposition opposing it must be false. Though Ray's form of argument is valid, I agree he will have to do more to demonstrate his argument is sound proof for the existence of God. But in my estimation, there are probably much better examples of just such arguments from Christian philosophers elsewhere, and I trust Comfort would readily agree with that.

Sapient wrote:
Ray claims to "know" for sure God exists, that he doesn't "believe" and that is why he doesn't need to hold to the same standard he wants atheists to hold to.

I think Ray would be well within his epistemic rights to make that claim if he indeed had a veridical encounter with God in his life. It's not going to be evident in some empirical way such that the substance of this experience can be analyzed or tested, but I suspect this is largely due to the fact that science as construed by most naturalists, simply excuse the relevant criterion from the outset. So of course there will not be evidence sufficient enough to satisfy the demand. Nonetheless, Alvin Plantinga's work on Warrant provides some initial grounds for considering that Ray's experience might well secure his right to claim true Knowledge of God's existence. I'll have to forego expounding on it here though in favor of listening to the radio program --which appears is about to begin in 15 minutes.

At any rate, I look forward to hearing your further insight on these matters, Brian. And thanks for the DVD!!


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Ray Comfort on Rational Response Squad tonight 9pm, 11pm et!

How can god not exist in atheists if he does not exist?
I guess the easterbunny also doesn't believe in the a-easterbunnieist?


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 The audio for this show

 The audio for this show now exists for free on Youtube and has been added to the first post.  This thread is a great place to discuss any of the particulars of the show.

 

- Brian Sapient


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Any thoughts on new

Any thoughts on new shows? I've never been all that big on internet shows, but I've watched a few and looked into the business a bit. It seems the greatest driver is constant new content. Getting all this back on youtube is great, but doing some new shows at a regular pace would drive more traffic.

Once-Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Thoughts?  Yes.Thinking

Thoughts?  Yes.

Thinking I'll actually put it into practice?  Not really.

I've always said never say never.  I've always thought about doing more... but down the road.  

 

- Brian Sapient


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Sapient wrote: Thoughts?

Sapient wrote:

Thoughts?  Yes.

Thinking I'll actually put it into practice?  Not really.

I've always said never say never.  I've always thought about doing more... but down the road.  

 

I was going to mention this before but I find it a bit redundant, but I wondered what it would take to get on the atheist channel which I'm occassionally watching on ROKU.

http://atheists.org/AtheistTV


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digitalbeachbum wrote:I was

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I was going to mention this before but I find it a bit redundant, but I wondered what it would take to get on the atheist channel which I'm occassionally watching on ROKU.

http://atheists.org/AtheistTV

A good concept, the time to do it, the drive.  

I've got plenty of friends over there, I have the "in."

- Brian Sapient


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Sapient

Sapient wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I was going to mention this before but I find it a bit redundant, but I wondered what it would take to get on the atheist channel which I'm occassionally watching on ROKU.

http://atheists.org/AtheistTV

A good concept, the time to do it, the drive.  

I've got plenty of friends over there, I have the "in."

yeah, i would totally go for it. do an hour long show with lots of humor. news. interviews. i'd be totally pumped to sponsor it if i had lots of spare money laying around.


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Ray Comfort is an idiot.

Ray Comfort is an idiot. Krik Cameron is a complete moron. Every time I see their videos or listen to them talk, they ooze stupidity and ignorance.


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 Sing us a song, you're the

 Sing us a song, you're the Banana Man, sing us a song tonight, cause we're all in the mood for a fallacy, and you'll have us laughing all night.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Brian37 wrote: Sing us a

Brian37 wrote:

 Sing us a song, you're the Banana Man, sing us a song tonight, cause we're all in the mood for a fallacy, and you'll have us laughing all night.

wow. not bad.


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Sapient

Sapient wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I was going to mention this before but I find it a bit redundant, but I wondered what it would take to get on the atheist channel which I'm occassionally watching on ROKU.

http://atheists.org/AtheistTV

A good concept, the time to do it, the drive.  

I've got plenty of friends over there, I have the "in."

I think a lot of people underestimate the sheer amount of work that goes into even an informal show. You start putting in things like deadlines and a requirement to fill up X amount of time with something interesting and it starts eating up a lot more time than the camera time. Does anyone know if Rich Woods is still running his podcast? I watched it for a bit but then got away from it and haven't really thought of it for probably a year. He hasn't been on here shamelessly self promoting for quite some time.  

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving wrote:Sapient

Beyond Saving wrote:

Sapient wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I was going to mention this before but I find it a bit redundant, but I wondered what it would take to get on the atheist channel which I'm occassionally watching on ROKU.

http://atheists.org/AtheistTV

A good concept, the time to do it, the drive.  

I've got plenty of friends over there, I have the "in."

I think a lot of people underestimate the sheer amount of work that goes into even an informal show. You start putting in things like deadlines and a requirement to fill up X amount of time with something interesting and it starts eating up a lot more time than the camera time.

I agree which is why I would need a steady income from an alternate source to fund or be involved with such a project. I used to work for a company which did training videos and the amount of time going in to a 30 minute production was beyond words. Scripts, directors, producers, make up, lighting hands, actors, etc. It's a lot of work.


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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

 Sing us a song, you're the Banana Man, sing us a song tonight, cause we're all in the mood for a fallacy, and you'll have us laughing all night.

wow. not bad.




not to derail the thread too much, but i never understood why billy joel insisted on squeezing "you're the" into the chorus. just "sing us a song, piano man" fits both the musical and poetic meter so much better. anytime you have to transform "i" into a consonant ("pyano man"), you've got way too many syllables in there. it's always bothered me, especially since it's totally unnecessary and, frankly, jarring on the ear. [/rant]

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I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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 Finkle, Inhorn, Finkle,

 Finkle, Inhorn, Finkle, Inhorn, Finkle, Inhorn FINKLE IS IWBIEK! "Laces out".

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iwbiek wrote:digitalbeachbum

iwbiek wrote:
digitalbeachbum wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

 Sing us a song, you're the Banana Man, sing us a song tonight, cause we're all in the mood for a fallacy, and you'll have us laughing all night.

wow. not bad.


not to derail the thread too much, but i never understood why billy joel insisted on squeezing "you're the" into the chorus. just "sing us a song, piano man" fits both the musical and poetic meter so much better. anytime you have to transform "i" into a consonant ("pyano man&quotEye-wink, you've got way too many syllables in there. it's always bothered me, especially since it's totally unnecessary and, frankly, jarring on the ear. [/rant]

I never gave it too much thought.


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Beyond Saving wrote:I think

Beyond Saving wrote:

I think a lot of people underestimate the sheer amount of work that goes into even an informal show. You start putting in things like deadlines and a requirement to fill up X amount of time with something interesting and it starts eating up a lot more time than the camera time.

Exactly.  I'm a perfectionist so any show I do would take me something like 10-30 times the length of the media.  So if I have a one hour show between prep, production, research, etc... I'd need to prepare for 20 hours or so.  One of the greatest things about our multi-headed show once we got in the swing of it, was I often felt I didn't need to have as many questions prepared in advance because my co-hosts would jump in.  And after about 30 episodes I started to get the hang of how to keep my production times down.  But you work on a curve... and anything new... is a big committment.  My primary concern right now is a better job so I can pay the large college bill I'm about to have for my little man.

 

Quote:
Does anyone know if Rich Woods is still running his podcast? I watched it for a bit but then got away from it and haven't really thought of it for probably a year. He hasn't been on here shamelessly self promoting for quite some time.  

I just talked to him the other day.  He just got finished writing a book.  You probably wont like it but everyone else here will.  It's essentially about how so many Americans (lower/middle class) are being convinced to vote against their own best interest by voting for the Republican party and how Religion plays a role in hooking those people in.  Hamby wrote the foreword to the book and I have another blurb on the back cover.  He has no plans on doing his old podcast again but does have plans to do something with his wife in the world of podcasts in the future.  That show will be quite a bit different than his old show.  

 

- Brian Sapient


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