You lost the debate. I won it.

Let me preface this by saying that I do not believe in god, but am not by any means an atheist. I believe in nothing. And by even classifying myself as an atheist, or an agnostic, or a satanist, would imply a belief in something. I don’t believe in believing in anything. I have no desire to be associated with the Rational Response Squad, and no desire to ever be labeled an atheist. I offer my insight on this topic simply as a fairly educated, reasonable individual capable of observing the world around him and using his own intellect to form logical, rational conclusions and opinions. I do not depend on the media or pop culture to dictate how I think. I do not claim to be an expert on religion, god, space, philosophy, history, or science. However, one does not need to be an expert in order to form reasonable, rational conclusions on this subject. In the mortal words of Ray Comfort, all one needs are “eyes that can see and a brain that works.”

The inherent problem when it comes to “debating” these hardcore Christian nutcases in this format is that they are allotted too much time to talk. Everything they say is so muddled in inconsistencies and contradictions that by the time they are done speaking, it is impossible to address all of the flaws in their argument. Brian and Kelly did a decent job, but it’s only natural that there were a lot of things they failed to mention or recognize. So, I’ve taken the liberty of painstakingly addressing each argument point by point, clip by clip, to prove not only that there is no god, but that Ray Comfort and Mike Seaver’s own arguments actually help support the fact that there is no god. I’m sure there are things I’ve left out, either because they were already covered, because they are too obvious to even bother mentioning, or because to cover every conceivable angle is just impossible. Feel free to use any of my points in future debates. If anyone asks where your new ideas came from, just tell them god told you.

*Note: If the audio suddenly stops working on any of the clips, just refresh the page and replay it.*

If you are able to use subjects such as entropy, cosmetology, biochemistry, relativity, or quantum mechanics to prove the existence of god, why don’t you? This is your opportunity to prove to the world – scientifically as you put it – that god is real. Why would you limit yourself by confining your argument to “beautiful simplicity?” I’m not a molecular biologist or rocket scientist either, but I can still say with absolute certainty that “beautiful simplicity” is not a scientific discipline. Biochemistry is. Quantum mechanics is. This is tantamount to me saying, “I could drive from Seattle to Miami in 4 hours, but I’m just going to take an airplane instead.”

This doesn’t have much to do with disproving god’s existence, but I feel I need to point it out anyway. It should be “the sweet bubbly brown substance” or even “the sweet brown bubbly substance.” You wouldn’t say “the red big balloon”; you’d say “the big red balloon”. The same logic applies here. Whenever you use an adjective to describe a color, it is a generally accepted rule of the English language that the color comes after its describer. Other examples include “the dark red apple” or “the ugly green pants.” This isn’t something that is taught in Ivy League colleges or anything; this is just common sense. If you are unable to understand simple grammatical rules, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously as you discuss a topic as profound as the origin of life as we know it?

This entire argument is flawed on so many levels; I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, you are comparing things that are incomparable. A painting is a physical object. A building is a physical object. Creation is not a physical object. It would be like comparing the physical properties of a stapler, a unicycle, and gravity.

However, a painting, building, and creation do have one very important thing in common:

The building was created by a builder. The builder was a human being. Therefore, the building is a manmade creation.
The painting was created by a painter. The painter was a human being. Therefore, the painting is a manmade creation.
Creation was created by a creator. The creator was a human being. Therefore, creation is a manmade creation.

This is not to say that “god” was a human being. What this says is that the entire concept of there being a god is a manmade creation. The fact of the matter is, NOBODY knows how life began. Stating that god is the only possibility is as erroneous and presumptuous as stating that the big bang is the only possibility. I don’t care if your name is Ray Comfort or Mike Seaver or Isaac Newton or Charles Darwin or Kelly “I don’t need a last name because I have a huge rack”, whatever you believe about the beginning of life is, by definition, WRONG. It is something that will never be known to anybody. There are plenty of sound scientific theories, but at the end of the day that’s all they are – theories. Nobody can ever be 100% certain of what happened billions and billions of years ago. Instead of accepting the fact that there are some things in life that will never ever be known, man created god as a convenient way to explain the unexplainable. That’s all that god is – a convenience. Ray Comfort has absolutely no idea what happened billions of years ago to create life, but instead of embracing this ignorance he uses the convenience of a supreme, all powerful, all knowing otherworldly creature to explain away what he doesn’t understand; what he can’t possibly understand.

Yesterday morning I noticed about a 2-inch scratch/burn on the right side of my face. It didn’t hurt or anything, it was just suddenly there. I didn’t scrape my face on anything, I didn’t get punched in the face, I don’t recall doing anything possible that could have caused this facial abrasion. The fact is, I have absolutely no idea where this scratch came from. When co-workers asked me what happened, I relayed this lack of knowledge to them. I didn’t create an elaborate story to try to rationalize what happened. I didn’t blame it on aliens or gnomes or goblins. I didn’t spend hours and hours trying to study the abrasion and the multitudes of ways it could have gotten there. I didn’t retrace my steps throughout the morning in an effort to track down the exact moment something could have contacted my face. I just simply accepted the fact that I will never know how the abrasion got there, and that ultimately this lack of knowledge means nothing. In a few days, the scratch will be gone and how it got there will no longer matter. It’s the same thing with god. Eventually the human race will cease to exist and with it all reference, all knowledge of god will be forever lost. God cannot exist without human beings because god is entirely a manmade creation.

According to Ray, all you need to believe in god are “eyes that can see and a brain that works.” Okay, so what about blind people? They cannot see; does that mean they are incapable of believing in god? Yes, that is a rhetorical question to a non-literal statement. However, the next part of the quote is very interesting and lends further support to the nonexistence of god. “A brain that works.” So what about people that are brain damaged or in a coma? According to Ray’s logic, they are incapable of believing in god. Finally, something we can both agree on. One of the foundations of a belief in god is the ability to form complex thoughts; an ability that is exclusive to the human brain. No other species of animal on this planet is capable of analytical deductive reasoning. Human beings are the only species on the planet capable of believing in god. This statement alone is evidence that god cannot exist. If god is such a universal thing, why are there no cat churches or lizards practicing Christianity? Cat and lizard brains are not capable of rationalizing the existence of a supreme ruler. Human beings are the only species capable of believing in god because human beings are the only species capable of creating god. It’s not a coincidence; it’s a fact. So, if one of the prerequisites for believing in god is a brain that works, it can be logically assumed that a brain dead/damaged individual cannot believe in god. Why? Because god exists only in the confines of the human brain. If the human brain ceases to be, god ceases to be. It’s as simple as that.

Another terrible analogy. What he conveniently forgets is that cars did not always work like this. The earliest automobile did not have a windshield and did not have windshield wipers. Eventually, the conditions and schematics of operating an automobile facilitated the need for these things, among others, to be invented. And so, the automobile has EVOLVED over the course of a century into the machine that it is today, complete with a windshield, wipers, “lubricating squirters”, tape decks, air conditioning, automatic transmission, GPS devices, and so on. The automobile that existed in 1907 is impractical to operate in 2007. Why? Because the automobile has needed to undergo significant changes over the course of just 100 years in order to survive. This is the foundation of evolution. Human beings, nay, ALL species of animal, have had to undergo significant changes over the course of time in order to survive.

Again, all he is doing is lending support to there being no god. How anybody can hear what he just said and not see how it is supporting evolution, is beyond me. He acknowledges the incredibly intricate way the human body works. He even admits these intricacies exist in other species of animal as well. Why is his amazingly complex human brain unable to simply connect the dots? All mammals have certain things in common – 2 eyes, a nose right beneath it, and a mouth right beneath that. 2 ears on the side or top of their head, a heart, a stomach, a penis or vagina, an anus, vertebrae, lungs. Is this just a coincidence? If man was created by god in his image, how do you explain the simple existence of all these other species of mammals and how all of them share such remarkably similar characteristics with human beings? God did not create man in his image; man created god in his image.

Since he bought it up, let’s move onto the reproductive system. Another perfect way to show evolution at work. A man ejaculates into a woman’s vagina, releasing millions of sperm cells. Millions of tiny, microscopic cells. One of these cells reaches the woman’s egg and fertilization occurs. Within weeks, an embryo is formed, which turns into a zygote, then a fetus. Then the fetus becomes a newborn baby. A baby with a head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, heart, arms, legs, feet, toes, fingers, kidneys, lungs – all the parts that make up a human. What started off as microscopic, unicellular sperm eventually turned into the multicellular form of an embryo and then a fetus and then a newborn and then an infant and then a child and then a teenager and then a young adult and then an adult and then a middle aged adult and then an elderly adult and then a dead adult. Something small, sperm, turns into something big, a human. I don’t think you will find many people – creationists included – that can falsify this claim. So using this model, let’s look at evolution. You have a small, unicellular organism – say an amoeba – that eventually over time turns into something bigger – say a fish or an insect. Did fish evolve from amoeba? I don’t know. But this lack of knowledge on my part does not constitute a lack of knowledge that this phenomenon is real. Just because I don’t fully understand it does not mean I will dismiss it entirely and seek an alternate explanation. The point is, the evolution of a human being in 2007 is no different than the evolution of human beings thousands of years ago. You start off with something small, and it becomes something bigger. This is how life works. This is how life has always worked and will forever work. There is no god. God has absolutely nothing to do with the creation of life. This complex reproductive system is in and of itself proof of evolution at work. Something small becomes something big. I don’t need faith to believe in evolution. All I need are eyes that can see and a brain that works.

HUH?

In the first 12 seconds of his monologue, he said “God’s existence can be proven absolutely scientifically without even mentioning faith.” Yet here he is mentioning faith. Here he is purporting that you need faith in order to “see” god. I thought all I needed were “eyes that can see and a brain that works.” Now you’re saying I also need faith? What happened to science? What happened to you and Mike Seaver’s vow to not even have to mention faith in order to support your claims?

Furthermore, if I want a builder to do something for me, I need to PAY HIM or offer him some kind of motivation or compensation for his services. Faith has nothing to do with it and, as you hypocritically pointed out, has no place in this discussion. Ironically, if you want to have the feeling that God is doing something for you, you’ll also need to pay him – or more accurately pay the church which worships and perpetuates his existence.

If the atheist puts himself on an intellectual pedestal by proclaiming unequivocally that god did not create the universe, what are you doing by proclaiming unequivocally that god did create the universe? Like I said before, NOBODY will ever know. To claim with 100% certainty what happened billions of years ago is reckless, irresponsible, and puts you on a far higher “intellectual pedestal” than even the most avid atheist could ever aspire to be.

What can be so powerful? The conscience, or the belief in god? If the conscience can drive men to suicide, and if the conscience is a creation of god, then what this is logically saying is that believing in god can drive men to suicide (not to mention homicide and genocide).

Again, what separates us from the animals is our complex thought patterns, deductive reasoning, communication skills, memory patterns, and other factors consistent with having a more advanced, developed brain. Saying that we’re made in the image of god does nothing to prove whether or not he exists.
The court systems he refers to that exist today have not always existed. They came to be out of a need. Thousands of years ago, the judicial system we know of today wasn’t even close to being a reality. The way in which we punish wrongdoing has changed dramatically over the years. Thousands of people were executed under the guise they were a witch. It didn’t matter whether they were a heretic or not, or whether they practiced witchcraft or not; they were still burnt at the stake and were otherwise tortured in some of the most cruel and inhumane ways the world has ever seen. Then of course there are the crusades. Thousands more were killed, in this case because they believed in a different god than the Christian god. Looking back now, it seems barbaric to justify the murders of thousands of people just because they have a differing opinion about god than your own. For better or worse, human beings have become a bit more tolerant over the years. Not much, mind you, but just a bit. So to say “we have a distinctive knowledge of right and wrong” is completely up to how you interpret what is right and what is wrong. Today it is wrong to burn someone alive because they might live a lifestyle that you disagree with. But back then burning people alive was a completely justifiable act.

Wrong again. There is no inbuilt, inherent code written into us that says it’s wrong to do anything. Nobody is born with an innate moral code. These morals need to be taught to us, not by god but by our parents. If parents raised their child as a lying thieving adulterous murderer, he will become a lying thieving adulterous murderer. If you raised a baby from the time it’s born with the ideology that it’s okay to steal from the weak, okay to lie to get what you want, okay to have sex with whoever you want, and okay to murder whoever you don’t like, that’s the knowledge this child will be inbuilt with.

First off, this so called “evidence” has no place in this discussion. You said at the outset that god can be proven scientifically. The ten commandments have absolutely nothing to do with science. The ten commandments are a list of religious and moral rules designed to control people’s lives and tell them what is right and wrong. You claim that if you’ve broken any of the commandments, you’ll have to face god on judgment day. Where is the proof of this? Where is the scientific evidence to support this claim? Show me the lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer as he makes the descent into hell for sinning against god. Show me the thieves and liars, murderers, hypocrites and bastards, and lechers. Show me god at work; passing judgment on someone and casting him into heaven or hell. This is supposed to be a scientific debate; you yourself defined science as “producing knowledge.” Well, produce some knowledge that god exists. You cannot use abstract ideas such as judgment day, the gospel, heaven or hell to support something scientifically. You cannot cite what the bible says as proof that god exists. That is not producing knowledge; that is regurgitating text that was written centuries ago. All that proves is that you know how to read.

The entire ten commandments argument holds absolutely no water, so is not even worth a rebuttal. But since I am good, since I am just, I will provide some enlightenment. Since Ray conveniently only used a few commandments, I will conveniently do the same. The first commandment says “I am the Lord your God, thou shall have no other gods before me.” All this is is a license to kill. In the history of mankind, more people have been killed because of the interpretation of this commandment than for any other reason. What this commandment says is that every Muslim, Hinduist, Buddhist, etc. is wrong, everything that they believe in is wrong and they must be punished (murdered) for disobeying this very serious commandment. Then the sixth commandment states “thou shall not murder.” So in other words, God himself is a lying hypocrite and must be punished and get what’s coming to him. The last of the ten commandments states, in part, “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Coveting your neighbors, or friends, or co-workers, goods is the foundation of capitalism, of a free market. Seeing an acquaintance that has material possessions that you want is what keeps the economy alive. By saying it’s wrong to covet your neighbor’s possessions, what you are saying is that the founding principles of this country are wrong and that its founding fathers are wrong and are rotting in hell. These principles, these commandments, may have been relevant when they were introduced thousands of years ago, but they have no relevance in the 21st century, nor does anything written in the bible. According to the wikipedia (which is always right) page on the ten commandments, Exodus 20:2-14 states, “the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.” It later goes on to say, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey.” Slaves? Livestock? Alien residents? Donkeys? Oxen? Are these things that people of the 21st century can relate to? It perplexes me to no end that so many people live their lives based on what a book that is thousands of years old says. I found an old baseball almanac from the ‘50s a while ago. It chronicled players’ stats, attributes, skills, etc. The entry for Jackie Robinson began, “This colored whiz…” You couldn’t get away with referring to a black man as “colored” in today’s society. Clearly this book is outdated. Clearly the mindset and ideology of people have changed. And that was only fifty or so years ago. Clearly the mindset and ideology of people have changed drastically more over the course of a few thousand years. Yet what people do is conveniently overlook facts that the bible supports slavery, and instead only focus on what they want to focus on. Because all god is is a convenience. It’s a convenient way for people to throw away all individual responsibilities and instead live their life based on what some outdated book says.

Do you see what just happened here? What began as a “scientific” debate over the existence of god turned into the ten commandments and the bible, two completely unscientific entities. Two entities that continue to exist today because of faith and faith alone. Faith, which was supposed to not have any bearing on this debate. This is what people like Ray Comfort and Mike Seaver do. They have no rational, scientific evidence to present, so instead they distract you with the unsubstantiated beliefs presented in an ancient book. All regurgitating the message of the ten commandments and the bible proves is that you know how to read. In no way does it prove the existence of an almighty being.

Now that that unnecessary detour is behind us, let’s get back to proving Ray wrong. In response to people not believing in hell, he said, “My unbelief doesn’t negate realities.” According to dictionary.com (which is also always right), reality is defined as “something that exists independently of ideas concerning it” and “the state of the world as it really is rather than as you might want it to be” Ray has ideas concerning heaven and hell, but that’s all they are – ideas. Heaven, hell, and god exist only because people have the idea that they exist. Ray wants there to be a heaven and hell and a God, so he has defined that as his reality. But, as the definition clearly states, just because you want something to be true does not necessarily make it true; does not necessarily make it a reality.

Notice what’s happened here? The first “evidence” he presents, while not scientific and certainly not accurate, does offer some semblance of logical, scientific reasoning: this painting must have a painter, therefore this creation must have a creator… But now, after he’s been talking for a good 10 minutes, everyone’s been lulled into forgetting what the goal of this monologue was. So now he’s had to resort to non-scientific terminology like “commandments” and “conversion” (of a religious nature) and “gospel” and “bible”. In this first evidence, he states you cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or smell god. Yet now he’s saying you can see god. God is capable of revealing himself to you, but ONLY if you seek his forgiveness. ONLY if you realize what a disgusting, miserable life you’ve led and apologize for being such a disgraceful human being and an embarrassment to your species. Next he claims that if you don’t understand the “gospel” then you won’t respond to it. I’m going to use my superior human brain to connect the dots and conclude that if you can’t understand the gospel, you can’t believe in god. How does this prove anything? If god exists, why does anybody need to believe in him in order for him to exist? It should just be a given. I don’t believe in affirmative action, but that doesn’t negate its existence. Your suggestion is that the greatest proof of the existence of god is to convince yourself of his existence. The only thing this proves is that human beings are capable of complex thought and capable of convincing themselves that something exists, when in fact there is no substantial evidence to support their convictions. I can just as easily say that vampires exist. All I need to do is create a lengthy document explaining why vampires are real. In order for anybody else to believe in vampires, all they need to do is read and understand this document, and then poof! Vampires are real!

You’re right, this is sounding kind of preachy. Stop it. Again you’re quoting from the bible, which as I already pointed out offers no scientific proof of anything.

Okay, I’m a reasonable, open-minded person. I’ll give it a shot. Okay, I just did it. I cried out, “GOD I’VE VIOLATED YOUR COMMANDMENTS. I’VE SINNED AGAINST YOU. JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR ME AND ROSE AGAIN ON THE THIRD DAY!” Hmm, nothing. God didn’t reveal himself to me. My cat gave me a dirty look before running away, but that’s about it. There’s your ultimate proof.

YES IT WAS. It was most definitely a change you were trying to produce in yourself. You were looking for answers to unanswerable questions, and this was the only way you could rationalize an answer. Your partner himself stated “If you realize you need God’s forgiveness and you seek his forgiveness through the gospel, God himself will reveal himself to you…if you don’t understand the gospel you won’t respond to the gospel.” So according to him, in order to recognize God’s existence, you must first open your mind up to the possibility that God exists. This is exactly what you did. You allowed yourself to be conned into believing something. You wanted to believe in god all along. So don’t stand there and say you weren’t trying to produce changes in yourself. I didn’t want to produce changes in myself when I yelled out a few minutes ago, so nothing overly special happened. You wanted to produce changes in yourself, so you allowed yourself to believe that something special happened.

This really irritates me. Just as NOBODY will ever know what caused life billions of years ago, NOBODY will ever know what happens when you die. It is something that can never, ever be proven. There is absolutely no possible way for anybody that is dead to report on the conditions of death or where they’ve been teleported to. That’s what the meaning of death is. So to smugly sit there and purport to know what happens when we die is an extremely arrogant, dangerous thing to do and it once again lends credence to the fact that you have NO scientific logic or reason to support anything that you believe in.

Before I get into how you just completely contradicted your entire position, let me first chastise the fact that you once again resorted to the F word – faith, which once again has nothing to do with what you are talking about. Faith has nothing to do with understanding the confines of space. Faith has nothing to do with knowing that there are nine planets in the solar system. Faith has nothing to do with knowing that Mars is 35 million miles from the Earth, or that Pluto is 2 billion miles from the Earth. As such, faith has nothing to do with knowing that if something can exist 2 billion miles away, there’s no reason not to believe something can exist 3, 4, 5, 100 billion miles away. How do we know there’s no beginning and end to space? Because we have eyes that can see and a brain that works.

Now, you just admitted that space is infinite. You acknowledge the fact that there’s no beginning and no end to the universe. So if the universe is infinite, why did it need a creator? If the universe has no beginning and no end when dealing with distance, why does it necessarily have to have a beginning and end when dealing with time?

It’s a good thing your little buddy was there to bail you out; you were about to enter an uncharted danger zone of stupidity. First of all, you’re conveniently dodging the question at hand. The point Bashir is making alludes to my previous statement that god is entirely a manmade creation. The mere fact that different cultures have different perceptions of god is indelible proof that god was created in man’s image; not the other way around. Nothing that you said even comes close to disputing these claims. Referring to your god as the “real and true” god does NOT make him any more real and it does not make him any more powerful or important than the Islam god. Now, the last thing you said before Mike wisely interrupted you was to encourage people to “break free from their culture and call upon the name of god.” Yeah, that sounds like a very Christian message. So there’s a young child living in Pakistan, raised Islam by his parents, grandparents, and community at large. And what you’re advocating is for this child to abandon his family, his loved ones, and everything he and they believe in, to start believing in your god. Yeah, that’s a really positive, encouraging message. Everything your parents believe in is wrong and they will burn in eternal hell. But there’s still hope for you, just cross over to the other side. To hell with your family, all you need is the comfort of Ray. Ray Comfort. The only hope you have of not joining your family in eternal damnation is to abandon your heritage. Don’t even bother kissing your loved ones goodbye. They’ll just try to poison you with their blasphemous lies. You don’t need them or their love. We’re right, they’re wrong. It’s as simple as that. Hmm, do me a favor. Disregard my earlier comment that people have become more tolerant through the centuries. Clearly I am terribly mistaken.

Um…and how is what you are doing any different? Why don’t you pray to the Islam god? Because he’s not the “real” god? No. Because you’re comfortable praying to what YOU CONSIDER TO BE the “real” god. Just as a Muslim considers Allah to be the “real” god, you consider your representation of god to be the one real god. This is exactly what Bashir was saying. All god is is a projection of your own beliefs. By saying only your god counts, you put yourself on an intellectual pedestal, which as Ray pointed out earlier is totally NOT COOL.

Yes, that’s it. All those other religions are based on myths and fairy tales, except for this one. Except for the religion that purports a man was born from a virgin, rose from the dead, turned wine into water, walked on water, and had his buddy split a 1200 mile sea with his mind. Listen, I’m not claiming to be any kind of expert on Jesus Christ, the bible, any of that. In fact, I freely admit I know next to nothing about the subject. I don’t know much about what was going on in the world back then. What I do know is that I possess the power of observation. What I do know is that I have eyes that can see and a brain that works. And what I have observed with my eyes and brain are some rather simple, straightforward facts about human beings and the limitations they possess. In the 200,000 year history of homo sapiens, there are certain laws of nature that the billions of humans that have lived have adhered by. For example, no human being has ever been able to fly. No human being has ever survived a decapitation. No human being has ever made himself invisible. No human being has ever walked through walls. No human being has ever been a shape shifter. No human being has ever been able to divide by zero. There are just some things that human beings – all living things for that matter – are not physically capable of. So out of the billions and billions of human beings that have existed, there have been a very select few that lived a few thousand years ago that were suddenly capable of performing all of these mind-blowing miracles? All of a sudden, this Jesus Christ comes along and bends all the rules of physics. Walking on water? Transforming one liquid form into another liquid form? Defying death and raising from the dead? Being born from a virgin? These are not things consistent with the abilities of human beings. Moses held aloft his magic staff and said, "BY THE POWER OF EGYPT, I HAVE GOD'S POWER!!!" and proceeded to split the red sea. When did human beings develop these awesome super powers, and why have they not been passed on to future generations? Is there some kind of mutation in their genetic code? Why have scientists not tried to harness these powers? There’s something that tells of tales that feature a hero capable of magnificent physical feats, defying the odds to come out victorious, using his super powers to teach the world a valuable lesson. They’re called comic books. It’s called fiction.

Okay then. End of debate. Seriously though, I would have just left at this point. When you respond to a statement like “the simplest explanation is that there is no god” with blank stares and “I think people can figure it out”, it basically says that your bullshit meter is running on fumes and you need to refuel, STAT!

Oh man, that looks awkward. Look at the blank stares on their faces. Look at the way Mike Seaver licks his lips, takes a deep breath and squirms around in his chair uncomfortably. You can smell the uneasiness. You can see him trying to reach deep, deep down into the depths of the bullshit factory he calls a brain to come up with some semblance of an intelligible answer. He’s searching long and hard for some bullshit, but just can’t find any. Then at long last, he finds a nice sized batch:

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE! Everybody knows what you believe; that’s not why you’re here. You are supposed to be proving scientifically that god exists, remember? You’re not trying to convince people that you’re a Christian. Yeah, we get it. Whenever you begin a sentence in what is supposed to be a scientific debate with the words “I believe” or “we believe”, it renders everything you are about to say meaningless. Everything that follows the word “believe” should be ignored because it has zero relevance to the discussion. I believe that your conversion to Christianity was born out of a deep-seated jealousy of your sister. Her lame 80’s sitcom was far more successful than your lame 80’s sitcom. She was a much better actor and married a famous hockey player. Your acting career was in the toilet, and this was the only way you could get yourself back into the public spotlight. As “Like Father, Like Son” shows, your acting skills are garbage. You knew you had no chance to work in Hollywood ever again, so you found another way to remain on camera; another way to appear relevant. I also believe that I have been able to kick your ass since I was six years old (and you were fifteen). Are any of my beliefs true or justified? Using your model of “I believe it so it must be real”, everything I just said is 100% accurate. I don’t need to provide any empirical or statistical proof that Full House was better than Growing Pains. I don’t need to provide proof that I can beat you in a fight. I believe it’s true; therefore it must be true. What other alternatives can there possibly be?

This is what makes these hardcore Christians so dangerously ignorant and arrogant. If ever there was an example of putting oneself on an “intellectual pedestal”, this is it. As has been repeatedly illustrated in this demonstration, Ray Comfort believes in some pretty remarkable, outlandish things. Ray Comfort believes in things that, no matter what he may say to the contrary, simply cannot be proven, scientifically or otherwise. And when someone confronts him and attempts to prove how wrong he is by presenting historical data, Ray’s only retort is “how do you know?” “How do you know!?” “HOW DO YOU KNOW!?!?” Are you kidding me? In all fairness, the question is a very good one. How does Brian know? How can someone claim to know anything about anything that was going on thousands of years ago? Sure, books can offer some insight, but the factual reliability of a non-fictional book is invariably biased because it was written by a man. The fact of the matter is, Ray doesn’t know any more about what was going on in the world thousands of years ago than anyone else does. Yet he thinks he does. He puts himself on an intellectual pedestal by claiming to know with 100% accuracy how the world began, what god was like, Jesus' blood type, Mary’s favorite cereal and Moses’ shoe size. How does he know that? Because he’s Ray Comfort. He believes in god and everything the bible says. So he must be right. All the evidence in the world doesn’t matter. God is always right. God wrote the bible, therefore the bible must always be right. How do you know Jesus Christ walked on water? Oh, the bible says so. Okay, say no more. It must be true. Never mind the fact that this is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. The bible said it happened. Case closed.

Yeah, so? You’re saying the evolution argument is null and void because nobody’s seen it happen. But at the same time you put all your stock in this invisible man in the sky that nobody’s ever seen. Even if what you’re saying is true – even if there’s been no credible, observable evidence to support evolution, how can you sit there and claim there has been credible, observable evidence to support god? Clearly you’ve presented none if it here tonight. Again, just because you believe in something does NOT make it a reality. I can use this statement to rebuff every single “evidence” that you and your partner have presented. Just as Ray said earlier that your unbelief does not negate realities, it can just as easily be said that your belief does not negate realities.

And what does it show when you quote the bible? Blind faith, in any form, is dangerous and gets people killed. But it would seem far more rational to have blind faith in a textbook written this decade or even in the last several decades than a book written centuries ago. A textbook written this decade would seem to me to be a far more accurate reflection of the world than a book written centuries ago that has been retranslated over and over and over again.

If the issue is so clear, why was it so important for you to maintain your train of thought? If the answer to her question was so easy, why did it take you that long to answer it? Why were you continually sidestepping around the issue? I believe it’s because you had to buy a little bit more time to reach deep down and find the proper mixture of bullshit to pull out and showcase. And since I believe this, it must be true, right? “The bible says we live in a fallen creation.” That explains why bad things happen to good people. That explains why planes flew into the World Trade Center. That explains why women have miscarriages, babies die of SIDS, children get cancer, and why priests molest young boys. We live in a fallen creation. Deal with it. Sounds like a huge cop out to me. If we live in such a messed up world, what’s the point of even believing in god? If this world really is his creation; if he really did create all life in his image; if he really is this supernatural, almighty being, why does he subject the creatures he loves so much to this suffering? If he is so powerful, why doesn’t he snap his fingers and turn this “fallen creation” into a “risen creation?” If he is such a benevolent god, where is the proof? Where is the benevolence?

So by that logic, the proof that god does exist can be proven by the fact that there are countries that believe in him. And this brings me back to my earlier point that personal beliefs are irrelevant in regards to a scientific debate about the existence of ANYTHING.

I guess this is as good a point as any for my final thoughts. What he just said essentially sums up everything that is wrong with religion. People that believe in god do so out of blind faith. They do so because, as Mr. Seaver pointed out, they want to be controlled. They want the feeling that somebody is in charge of their life. As complex as the human body is, the human being itself is a very simple-minded, stupid creature. Instead of living their life the way they see fit, people create this fictional, almighty parent figure whose authority they must obey. Instead of living a rational, logical life in which they indulge in all the joys and pleasures life has to offer, they limit themselves by creating this authority figure that gives them this made up sense of morality, along with a made up list of rules which must be followed. What this blind faith does is take away a very important thing called individual responsibility. More than that though, it creates a world of uncreative, narrow-minded people unable to fathom an original thought or idea. Instead they depend on what other people have written, centuries ago, to define who they are and what they stand for. Ray and Mike offered very little of their own thoughts and views on why god exists. In lieu of coming up with original ideas, they recited works from the bible and ten commandments to try to convince you not that there is a god, but that you need to believe that there is a god. It doesn’t prove a thing. All it proves is that they believe in god, but everybody already knew that.

Mike makes it sound as if there’s something terribly wrong with atheists because they don’t want someone telling them what they can and cannot do. So? What’s wrong with that? This is just a sign of an independent, free thinker that doesn’t want to be bossed around. It is up to him to decide, based on his own sense of morality and not what fictional beings dictate morality should be, how he lives his life. Besides, who in their right mind would subject themselves to be under someone else’s complete control? This is one of the principles of slavery, which not coincidentally is endorsed by the bible. Nobody wants to work for the strict boss, always breathing down your neck making sure you’re working non-stop for eight hours a day. No personal phone calls, no browsing the internet, no solitaire, no non-work related conversations with co-workers, no masturbating in the bathroom. Would you rather work for him or for the boss that gives you free reign to do whatever you want, just as long as the job gets done? The boss that is supportive of your work, but doesn’t need to constantly hound you to make sure everything is getting done. The boss that gives you some breathing space; some control over doing your job. All religion does is seek to control people and the way they think and live their lives.

Some people want to be controlled. Some people don’t. Who cares? It really doesn’t matter. Despite evidences to the contrary, I really don’t care what Ray Comfort or Mike Seaver or Brian “Sapient” or Kelly Hugerack have to say. It doesn’t matter. Whether they believe in god or not has no affect whatsoever on my life. The problem I have with this “debate” and the motivation that led me to this lengthy presentation is not that I don’t believe in god, or that Ray and Mike are wrong and idiotic for believing in god. They are free to believe in whatever absurdities they want to believe. The problem I have is that they have the gall to profess that the existence of god can be proven using science. As their demonstration indicates, this simply cannot be done. They are so caught up in their beliefs; they are so sure that they know the answers to everything, that they completely dismiss a subject as fundamental and straightforward as evolution in order to spread their message. Believe in what you want to believe. But when your beliefs permeate into the realm of science and cast doubt on what has long been regarded as scientific fact, you enter very dangerous territory. If people like Ben Seaver’s older brother can brainwash a large group of people into believing that evolution is a hoax, what’s next? Math? 2+2 does NOT equal 4, because the bible tells us that on the 4th day god said “someone iron my jeans.” Yes, this is an extreme example (and no, I don’t know what “iron my jeans” is supposed to mean). But this is what the mindset of these people has become. They believe so strongly in the bible that they become dangerously incredulous of anything else that’s been written, theorized, or proven outright. Trying to explain there is no god to people like this is like trying to explain to a blind man what green is. Why? I’m glad I asked. Because this god creation has exploded like Mike Seaver's ego when Leonardo DiCaprio became more famous than him. Seemingly everyone believes in him. And he’s been around for a pretty long time, at least in human years. What happens is that from the time they are born, they have this god monster embedded in them and they grow up knowing nothing else. It is just an accepted fact that there is a god. It is so instilled in them that no amount of ration, reason or logic can ever get in the way and shake the foundation of this belief. He believes in god because his parents believe in god, who believe in god because their parents believed in god, who believed in god because their parents believed in god, who believed in yeah okay. As I said earlier, human beings are a very simple-minded, stupid bunch. And the stupidest of the bunch undoubtedly reside in this country, where enough people believe so strongly in god that they elected a president whose IQ is actually lower than their own…twice! So it’s not like it’s that difficult to convince the offspring of these cretins that there’s an invisible man in the sky that sees everything you do and if you break any of his rules you will be severely punished. I guess it’s a better scare tactic than, “me and your mother are just a few doors down and if you break any of our rules, you will be severely punished…if we’re still awake after the O’Reilly Factor.” It takes away far too much parental responsibility when these people use the bible to raise their children. “We don’t know how to think for ourselves and formulate our own opinions, so you’ll never know how either. BWAHAHA!” Hey, I’m all for that. Responsibility is for losers, that’s what I always say.

I would have a lot more respect (i.e. sperm-sized respect) for Ray if he had just come out and said, “God exists. He is real. But we have no way of actually proving it. You can either believe in him, or not. If you don’t, you’ll burn in hell for eternity. Any questions?” and then proceeded to answer every question with a direct quote from the bible. At least it would be honest. Or at least as honest as a person like Ray Comfort can be.

So there you have it. All the proof necessary that god does not exist. If you disagree with anything I’ve said, let me know and I will be more than happy to prove you wrong.

Fin.

Holy_Spirit_is_Welcome's picture

Right...

The debate of the existence of God is an endless one.  It has been going on thousands of years, and will continue until time is no more.  All of the work you put into this post has solidified your own belief that God must not exist, but makes no objective proof. The saga goes on outside of  Blasphemanus's World...

"Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the assembly at the gate he has nothing to say." Proverbs 24:7

Wrong...

Actually there is objective proof. You just choose to ignore it. Instead of responding to any specific claim(s) I made, you chose to make the general statement that I didn't provide any factual, unbiased opinions. If you actually read the entire article you would know this to be untrue.

 

 "Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." -H. Simpson

 

 

Domomojo's picture

I skimmed your post, and I

I skimmed your post, and I probably agree with most of it. That must have taken a long time to write! Just one little comment about your first sentence:

 "Let me preface this by saying that I do not believe in god, but am not by any means an atheist."

But by definition, that IS an atheist. Maybe you don't like to label yourself, but I can label you. 

Otherwise, good job on your analysis! 

Very imformative.  You've

Very informative.  You've gone to a lot of trouble.  I'd be more inclined to say that human life starts with an egg rather than a sperm.  It's the egg cell that divides and multiplies and becomes a baby.  The sperm cell doesn't.  It only provides the other half of the genetic material.  

It did take a while to

It did take a while to write, so I appreciate it when people like Domomojo can take the time out of their busy schedules to gloss over it.

Fine, I guess technically I'd be considered an atheist. If labels are that important to you, go ahead and label away.

Egg cell, sperm cell, whatever. Without the sperm cell, there can be no baby. That's all that really matters.

ObnoxiousBitch's picture

Great post

I'm just wondering whether your disavowing atheism is linked to your apathy toward the questions that can never really be answered. I ask because I share that apathy, but identify as atheist. I don't much care how life, the universe and everything came about - but I'm 99.9999999% sure it wasn't the magic of some invisible being, much less the Christians' god of choice. And I'd be more than happy to leave them to the consequences of their ignorance and superstition if they'd just keep it out of my government, and stop trying to control what people do in their own lives using their invisible daddy's "laws" as justification. Especially when, as you pointed out, those laws were created by and for people who were, as Lewis Black said, "three hairs away from being baboons."

Your use of humor throughout is also much appreciated. Today is already an awesome day! Not only did I wake up, but I got a couple of good belly laughs in before I have to go to work. Laughing

This, for some reason, made me laugh out loud: It would be like comparing the physical properties of a stapler, a unicycle, and gravity. Not the analogy itself, but your choices of objects to compare. Its absurdity makes it a perfect analogy for the arguments of believers. 

I do hope you'll reconsider your "association" with the RRS, if only to post your thoughts. Everyone doesn't have to be an activist (though it would be nice!). No doubt, there are plenty of obviously well-educated people around here who can argue the scientific and technical details, but it's rare to see someone whose main opinion is "The claims of people who live by an ancient book are absurd and irrelevant in the modern world. Who gives a rat's ass what they believe when reality leads thinking people to know otherwise?" If they weren't hindering human progress such as they are, I could be completely apathetic toward them and their magical thinking. But since they are, and their ancient ideas are infringing on my Constitutional liberties as an American, I can't help but do whatever I can to see an end to their unwelcome influence and presence in my everyday life.

Thanks for taking all the time you did to post this entry. 

Invisible friends are for children and psychopaths.

I am a big fan of apathy.

I think apathy is the only reasonable way anyone can look at something like the origins of the universe. Nobody will ever know, so even discussing or debating it is ultimately a futile endeavor. Still, I acknowledge it is a fascinating subject only because of how unfathomable a billion years is to a human being. Everyone (myself included) talks all the time about "a billion years ago" without even realizing how incapable they are of rationalizing that amount of time.

As far as the "hindering human progress" thing, I am far more apathetic towards this than to the origins issue. My apathy is linked more towards the state of the world now than to the state of the world billions of years ago. I don't appreciate when their beliefs infringe upon my life any more than you do, but at the end of the day I just don't care enough to do anything about it. Besides, the only way they could infringe upon me is if I allow them to have that effect. It's much easier to just dismiss them as inferior and not give them any more power or attention.

As futile as it is to debate the origins of the universe, it is even more futile to think anything can change the mind or actions of these hardcore Christians, or any highly religious individual for that matter. This post is proof enough of that. It is another inherent problem in trying to debate them. Everything I've said is true, and they know it. If they believe so strongly that they are right, they should have no problems tearing apart all of the points I made. But they can't. Just look at the first reply here. He disagrees, but can offer no real explanation why. Their inability to offer a logical counter argument is all the proof anyone should need that I am right.

Domomojo's picture

Yeah, I am a little anal

Yeah, I am a little anal about labels. My own little foible!

Despite your assertions of apathy, you put a lot of effort into your blog post here! Eye-wink

If the Christian Right gets any worse and starts instituting mandatory school prayer and banning evolutionary biology I hope you will break out of your apathy to help do something to stop it.

I'd be hypocritical to criticize your apathy too much though. In many areas I am worse than apathetic, I'm lazy! There is a lot I should be doing. Maybe if I had hellfire motivating me... hehe. 

Agreed, it does seem a bit

Agreed, it does seem a bit ironic to claim such apathy yet to put the time I did into this post. But realize this: 90% of it was done while I was bored at work. The video editing I did at home, but except for a bit of editing, all of the writing occurred at work. What that means is that not only did I prove that god does not exist, but I got PAID to do so. Not only that, but I work for the state, which means that taxpayers' money went towards me proving their god does not exist. How's your "perfect creation" now, jerks?

That, and I do like to write. And I like to be right. This endeavor provided me the opportunity to accomplish both, AND to get paid for it. If ever there was a "perfect creation", that would be it.

DewiMorgan's picture

Yeah, I admit that I thought

Yeah, I admit that I thought while reading it "this guy has way too much free time. Procrastinator!"

Then I realised I was reading it.

Ah well, wonderful post, fellow procrastinator Laughing out loud

(who, me, label you? Sticking out tongue)

T="theists who's posts are fun-to-read, truth-seeking and insightful". Your own T will be different, but Tdewi includes { Avecrien, Cory T, crocaduck, JHenson, jread, wavefreak }

thraxas's picture

You have made a blatant

You have made a blatant error in your first line. You ARE an atheist by your description of your beliefs. You say you do not believe in a god. This is the meaning of atheist - non - belief in a god. QED you are an atheist. Atheism is not a world view or a philosophy. sorry

Biochemist & Law Student

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." -Thomas Jefferson

Yeah right.

Next you'll be telling me that life starts with the egg cell and not the sperm cell.

DewiMorgan's picture

thraxas wrote: You have

thraxas wrote:
You have made a blatant error in your first line. You ARE an atheist by your description of your beliefs. You say you do not believe in a god. This is the meaning of atheist - non - belief in a god. QED you are an atheist. Atheism is not a world view or a philosophy. sorry

That really depends on your definition of atheist.

There is no term accepted by all unbelievers/non-theists/secular-persons/atheists that includes them all.

You can wave dictionaries at eachother until you are red in the face but you will always be able to find authorities that use the words differently.

This is why I have started tryingto make an (a)theism code, so that people can identify their worldview specifically, without having to use these woolly words, and without having to have a huge conversation about it.

Insisting that "You are atheist" if someone says "I don't believe in God" is as silly as claiming "You are christian" if someone says "I am moral".

Depending on your definition, "atheist" may mean: "completely deny the existence of God, any intelligent creator, or any spiritual or supernatural entity" or "Don't find the judaeochristian god sufficently likely to run my life as if it existed".

One thing I have learned is do not ever, in a debate, assume that someone is using "atheist" in the same sense as you are. They may mean "devil-worshipping child-eater".

T="theists who's posts are fun-to-read, truth-seeking and insightful". Your own T will be different, but Tdewi includes { Avecrien, Cory T, crocaduck, JHenson, jread, wavefreak }

Sapient's picture

DewiMorgan wrote: This is

DewiMorgan wrote:

This is why I have started tryingto make an (a)theism code, so that people can identify their worldview specifically, without having to use these woolly words, and without having to have a huge conversation about it. Insisting that "You are atheist" if someone says "I don't believe in God" is as silly as claiming "You are christian" if someone says "I am moral".

The proper analogy would be if someone says "I believe that Christ was the son of God." Anyone who doesn't believe in god is an atheist. Claiming my last sentence is silly is properly analgous to: saying that calling a homo sapiens a human is silly.

 

Quote:
Depending on your definition, "atheist" may mean: "completely deny the existence of God, any intelligent creator, or any spiritual or supernatural entity" or "Don't find the judaeochristian god sufficently likely to run my life as if it existed".

Both of those definitions are merely qualifiers to the particular persons atheism. Here's what you've done...

Depending on your definition, "human" may mean: "enjoys sports, watches NASCAR, drinks alcohol" or "blond hair, blue eyes, 36C, 120 lbs".

Both people are still humans.

 

Quote:
One thing I have learned is do not ever, in a debate, assume that someone is using "atheist" in the same sense as you are.

I agree that ones lack of belief doesn't always look exactly like mine. I also don't assume that everyones penis looks exactly the same, just because I have one. This however doesn't change the definition of penis, which like atheism can be broad.

Quote:
They may mean "devil-worshipping child-eater".

There is no such thing as an atheist who worships the devil, such person is a theist. There are Satanists who are atheists, but they don't believe in a literal devil, and they don't worship it.

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Icebergin's picture

The OP here is absolutely

The OP here is absolutely great! I'm a little over halfway through it. Good job man!

DewiMorgan's picture

Quote: Depending on your

Quote:
Depending on your definition, "human" may mean: "enjoys sports, watches NASCAR, drinks alcohol" or "blond hair, blue eyes, 36C, 120 lbs".

No, those traits are not necessary and sufficient to be called human: the first could well describe my cat. Equally, "doesn't believe in God" describes my cat.

Is my cat an atheist?

I'm afraid that you do not and cannot speak for the entirety of all people who use the word "atheist".

This is a "definition of a woolly term" argument: the answer to these is always "well, different people use the word in different ways", whether the word you are defining is love, sentience, or atheism. This is why we define the important terms at the beginning of a debate or paper on the subject.

While it may be the RRS position that they personally define an atheist to be anyone who disagrees with the existence of God, this is in contradiction with the usage of other groups: the humanist association, the brights, the secular society, and others.

Does apatheist, agnostic, deist, secular, bright or humanist imply atheism? If some members of the groups say "no, I am not atheist", then you really have no right to say "you are an atheist": all you have the right to say is "by my broad definition of the word, you are an atheist, which I see as redundantly identical to nontheist and to freethinker".

The whole reason for creating "Bright" was as a better umbrella term to include those who are NOT atheists: but it didn't work because a whole lot of us think it's an egotistical term.

You may speak for yourselves, you may even claim to speak for all of us: but you cannot do the latter with any authority, when such a large swathe of the population you claim to speak for disagrees with what you are saying about them.

T="theists who's posts are fun-to-read, truth-seeking and insightful". Your own T will be different, but Tdewi includes { Avecrien, Cory T, crocaduck, JHenson, jread, wavefreak }

Sapient's picture

DewiMorgan

DewiMorgan wrote:
Quote:
Depending on your definition, "human" may mean: "enjoys sports, watches NASCAR, drinks alcohol" or "blond hair, blue eyes, 36C, 120 lbs".
No, those traits are not necessary and sufficient to be called human: the first could well describe my cat.

I can hardly imagine your cat enjoys sports, watches NASCAR, and drinks alcohol.

Quote:
Equally, "doesn't believe in God" describes my cat. Is my cat an atheist?

Yes, all cats are atheist.

 

Quote:
I'm afraid that you do not and cannot speak for the entirety of all people who use the word "atheist".

I don't speak for any of them. I am speaking for myself when I say, by definition of the most respected dictionary in the world of the English language, anyone who is without a positive belief in a god is an atheist. I say this speaking for myself, as a person who cares about the integrity of language.

Quote:
This is a "definition of a woolly term" argument: the answer to these is always "well, different people use the word in different ways", whether the word you are defining is love, sentience, or atheism.

I agree people use words differently. When people start grossly mischarecterizing what words mean we speak up. If someone started saying that love can mean "an intense feeling of desire followed by a long period of rage" I would speak up and state that this person has left the definition of love and moved into another realm. Thus is true for those redefining atheist (most likely) because of their inner fear of the negative stigma attached to the word. It's not up to me to change the definition of terms (in this case atheist) to fit someone elses irrational or ignorant desire to avoid a word that describes them.

 

Quote:
This is why we define the important terms at the beginning of a debate or paper on the subject. While it may be the RRS position that they personally define an atheist to be anyone who disagrees with the existence of God, this is in contradiction with the usage of other groups: the humanist association, the brights, the secular society, and others.

And I speak for myself when I state that atheistic groups that contrive new words to avoid the negative stigma of the best word that describes their group is irrational, counter-productive, and/or ignorant. 

Quote:
Does apatheist, agnostic, deist, secular, bright or humanist imply atheism?

apatheist: an apathetic atheist (this implies atheism(

agnostic: ironically this implies ignorance a double entendre of sorts here. The "agnostic" is claiming lack of knowledge of god (ignorance) however generally (and ironically) the person claiming agnosticism and not atheism or theism is ignorant to the definitions of the words (other than common bastardization of the words from the religious right).

deist: not only implies theism, is in fact theism.

secular: implies atheistic

bright: implies confused

humanist: implies atheism  

 

Quote:
If some members of the groups say "no, I am not atheist", then you really have no right to say "you are an atheist":

If some humans tell you that they aren't human, do you think you have the "right to say" "you are human?" I think you do, and I think a person with a desire to help others might do just that.

 

Quote:
all you have the right to say is "by my broad definition of the word, you are an atheist, which I see as redundantly identical to nontheist and to freethinker".

Nontheist is ok too. The term freethinker itself is also misunderstood by theists.

 

Quote:
The whole reason for creating "Bright" was as a better umbrella term to include those who are NOT atheists: but it didn't work because a whole lot of us think it's an egotistical term.

It's amazing the power of the smear campaign on the word atheist. We've got people who want to call themselves pantheist, protestant, and jewish and also call themselves Bright because they are "free of supernaturalism." It's sad to see people that are strong enough to overcome the delusions of a supernatural reality yet aren't strong enough to see through a little bullshit attached to a word. I speak for myself here when I say... pussies.

 

Quote:
You may speak for yourselves, you may even claim to speak for all of us: but you cannot do the latter with any authority,

We at the squad only claim to speak for ourselves when we state that everyone in the world is either an atheist or a theist. If you are a theist you believe in god, if you are without that belief then you are an atheist. Again we here at RRS leadership are only speaking for ourselves when we state this simple reality to others.

 

Quote:
when such a large swathe of the population you claim to speak for disagrees with what you are saying about them.

Many years of brainwashing can make anyone disagree with reality, I see it all the time in theists.

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

DewiMorgan's picture

Quote: Yes, all cats are

Quote:
Yes, all cats are atheist.

See, I would disagree that my cat is an atheist. I would also (and I admit that I am running the risk of strawmanning here) deny that other creatures, my rubber plant and my desk are atheists. I did not kill an atheist mosquito just now: it was just a mosquito.

But if you want to say "all cats, and possibly other creatures or even all of the matter in the universe is atheist except for those crazy theists" then by all means go ahead: but you will be in a tiny minority of atheists who use the word in that way.

Quote:
Again we here at RRS leadership are only speaking for ourselves when we state this simple reality to others. If you are a theist you believe in god, if you are without that belief then you are an atheist. Again we here at RRS leadership are only speaking for ourselves when we state this simple reality to others.

The first sentence was good, the second felt like you were just defining your terms, but you fell down on the third.

The only reality described in the first two sentences is "we define these words in this way on this site": it is not "the word atheist can only correctly be used in the way we use it."

I am not denying "reality", because a word is not a reality. It's a word, and words often have a huge number of definitions.

The only people I have encountered prior to yourself who believed that a word can only have one "real" definition are the Scientologists.

1) I am denying that all people use "atheist" as you do.

2) I am denying that your use of the word is the "definitive" or "correct" ir "real" use, or even the most common.

3) I am denying that other uses of the word are incorrect.

I am happy to agree that it is nice to have clearly defined terms to prevent argument, and to agree that a site-wide definition of the word is sensible. In that case you should say something like "you are an atheist by our local definition". Otherwise it's like telling someone dressed in black that they are Emo or Goth: you cannot force people to be members of your label just because you want them to be members, nor because you refuse to accept that there are other uses of that label.

This is not a difference in understanding: it is simply that different cultures use the word differently. We do that for a lot of words. That's why you define your terms.

[Slightly tangentially to the argument: there are vague areas so demanding that we accept that there are only "believers" and "unbelievers", by whatever name you want to call them, is a bit too binary. You have Deists here being asked by Deist mods if they want their "theist" badges removed because they're not true theists. And is a shamanist or spiritualist or believer in ghosts a theist? Do you even have a decent definition for which Gods that not-believing in will make you an atheist? If I call my cat a god, am I a theist? If I call my cat a god, and you believe in my cat, are you a theist? These questions aren't relevant to the above discussion (though I'm curious about how you see some): they are just an offtopic argument against binary world-views in general, and this one in particular.]

T="theists who's posts are fun-to-read, truth-seeking and insightful". Your own T will be different, but Tdewi includes { Avecrien, Cory T, crocaduck, JHenson, jread, wavefreak }

It doesn’t really

It doesn’t really surprise me that the most contentious part of my post came in the opening sentence. I doubt most people have the attention span or intellect to actually read much further than that. Since I’ve already established that dictionary.com is always right, I will refer to their definition of atheist: “a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings…One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.” So using that definition, I am, as I conceded earlier, technically an atheist. My disassociation with atheism comes not from rejecting this definition, but from rejecting the need to use labels to define people’s beliefs. I don’t believe in god, therefore I’m an atheist. Well, I also believe in a woman’s right to choose. Therefore, I’m a liberal/democrat, right? But I also don’t buy into all of this global warming hype, so that belief could easily label me a conservative/republican. So what am I? Neither. I’m just an independent, freethinking individual that doesn’t have this intrinsic need to identify himself with any particular group of people just because they share some of the ideas that I have. I agree with some liberal ideas. I agree with some conservative ideas. This would likely label me as “undecided” in the eyes of politicians, which could not be further from the truth. I am decided. I’ve decided that both sides are thieves, liars, murderers, hypocrites and bastards and are both equally, overwhelmingly, full of shit.

Using labels to define who people are creates a very limited, constrictive mindset. If you’re a liberal, you must believe in X, Y and Z. There can be no room for A, B, or C. Atheism does not incorporate as many beliefs as a political label does, but it constricts nevertheless. One atheist may believe that the big bang created the universe. I believe that it will never be known what created the universe. So this belief could easily label me an agnostic. But I’ve already established that I do not believe in god, so that must make me an atheist. By creating labels to define who people are, it eliminates the inevitable ambiguity that comes whenever you try to use one single phrase to define something as complex and intricate as a human being.

Don't you just love these

Don't you just love these awkward moments of e-silence? You know what I mean. When there's a nice little back and forth debate/discussion going on, then something is said that nobody can make an intelligible argument against without looking like a complete fool. So what happens is the debate/discussion comes to an abrupt end and everyone involved admits defeat.

I accept your apology, Sapient. No hard feelings.