My response to Ray Comfort’s response to why God Wont Heal Amputees
Ray Comfort made a short DVD response to a popular atheist video on YouTube “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees.” This video is part of a website called www.whygodwonthealamputess.com
The DVD by Ray Comfort is 20 minutes long.
The video is structured to be a response to the atheist video, allowing it to provide its material first. The atheist video begins by assuming the viewer is a smart, educated person with a college degree who knows how to think critically. Well in this case, Ray Comfort has no degree in science, religion, history, or any other field. And as Ray’s record has revealed, he does not have a clue how to think rationally – in fact, he discourages Christians from engaging in rational and intellectual discussion and encourages Christians to instead appeal to people’s emotions.
Ray’s Response: As a standard practice of a manipulator to first flatter his hearers and then phrase his questions so that it contains the answer that he wants. Like the old “You’re an intelligent lad, so answer me: Yes or no? Do you still beat your mother.” So let’s play this manipulative game for a moment as we address the first question: why won’t god heal amputees? If you are an intelligent person, also ask yourself this question: why won’t god put money in the back accounts of the poor? That has never happened, therefore god does not exist. Here is another one, why hasn’t god never grows new hair on bald men’s heads? All balding men pray for new hair, and you know that he completely ignores them, therefore god does not exist. Here is some more, can god make a rock that is too heavy for him to lift? Or can he make a square circle? These are powerful intellectual arguments that prove to the intelligent, thinking, clever, logical, rational, and educated mind hat god doesn’t exist. If however, after using such critical thinking skills you conclude that he doesn’t exist, you are left with scientific impossibility of having the net belief that nothing created everything. There is no alternative for the thinking person.
My response: Ray Comfort basically shoots himself in the foot here he might as well be amputated. The point of this questions was to show that if there is a god who promises to respond to prayer, and yet ignores healing amputees (or even feed the hungry or gives riches to the poor) then he is not a good god – and according to Ray’s Christianity, god is good by definition. But this reveals god is not good, therefore there is no god.
Last note, the alternative to there being no god is not the view that “everything came from nothing.” This is a deliberate straw-man Ray Comfort attributes to all atheists – and every time he gets them to say they do not accept that, he immediately responses with “so you believe that everything came from something.” Lets address this now: another possible alternative that Ray ignores is that perhaps the universe is eternal. If God can be eternal, why not the universe (Occam’s Razor would agree with this). This point was brought up to Ray Comfort and his sidekick Kirk Cameron in a debate with the Rational Response Squad – to which he responded with complete silence, looking defeated.
Finally, the statement “so you believe that everything came from something” is misleading because it implies that everything CAME FROM X. He is merely asserting that matter and energy had to come from somewhere, rather than think that matter and energy did not come from anywhere and rather was always here.
Ray’s Response: The second question, why are there so may starving people in the world? Let’s take that a little further: why does so many children and adults get cancer and die of other terrible disease? We are so many burned to death in fires or crushed by earthquakes, die in tornadoes and hurricanes, are killed by animals and even murdered by their own parents. So the question becomes: if god exists and he good and loving, he would do something about these terrible things. Well the book of Genesis gives a perfectly rational explanation as to why all these things happen. But that’s in the Bible, and that is therefore inadmissible for a thinking person. The conclusion: that god does not do anything to stop evil or suffering and therefore he doesn’t exist. Nothing created everything.
My response: Ugh, read my first response above.
Ray’s Response: The third question, why dose god demand the death of so many innocent people in the Bible. The answer: he doesn’t demand the death of any innocent people. He demands the death of guilty people. Not only in the Bible, but also in this whole sinful world. We have all experienced the reality of death because we are guilty of violating his moral law. We are also told, among other things, that god demands that we kill these disobedient teenagers. That is just not true (on screen he calls in a straw-man). Why would anyone in today’s society instigate the three-thousand-year-old injunctions of Hebrew civil law. God demands no such thing of any of us.
My response: “God demands no such thing of any of us.” HELLO!!!!!! Ray just admitted this practice was a “ three-thousand-year-old injunctions of Hebrew civil law” which means this was indeed God DID demand us to do these horrible things. Also, they were not Hebrew CIVIL laws, many of these are laws by god himself. God himself in Exodus 21 orders the death to anyone who works on the Sabbath (this was explained in the video) and yet here is ray flat-out denying the plainly obvious before his eyes.
Ray’s Response: why does the Bible contain so much anti-science nonsense? The answer: god supernaturally created all things, and he therefore has the ability to suspend natural law. He parts seas, walks on water, prepares the bellies of whales, flood the earth which has ample empirical evidence (on screen he shows a picture of the Grand Canyon), and rises the dead. With god, nothing shall be impossible.
My response: First of all, so god makes the earth flat and immobile, and yet Ray response he can do whatever he wants? When did god make the earth orbit around the sun, the day before we invented telescopes?
Second of all, there is ZERO evidence for a global flood – Ray left no source nor provide any argument to prove his case. All he did was show a picture of the Grand Canyon. There is nothing in the Grand Canyon to suggest a global flood. In fact, if there was a global flood, why the hell is there only one Grand Canyon?
How does one create 20 million annual layers, each layer which would have taken at least a month to settle due to hydrodynamics as is observed in the Green River Formation? How does one explain seasonal of pollen grains found in the layers?
Why would there be Precambrian rocks below ones feet in the Canadian Shield area, yet the entire geologic column in the Williston Basin in North Dakota? Why would a global flood scour down to the Precambrian in one place yet at the same time deposit tens of thousands of feet of sediment in another when it is exactly the same process? Giant post-pyramid ice ages are not an explanation as there is no written record or other evidence of increased historical glaciation to the extent needed to scour the Canadian Shield down in the last 4500 years, not to mention such Precambrian rocks elsewhere on Earth like South Africa.
Ice sheets & Ice caps can’t reform in the time allotted since any global flood of 4500 years ago.
The geologic record includes roughly 8 x 10E24 grams of lava flows and igneous intrusions. Assuming (conservatively) a specific heat of 0.15, this magma would release 5.4 x 10E27 joules while cooling 1100 degrees C.
In addition, the heat of crystallization as the magma solidifies would release a great deal more heat.
Limestone formation: There are roughly 5 x 10E23 grams of limestone in the earth’s sediments [Poldervaart, 1955], and the formation of calcite releases about 11,290 joules/gram [Weast, 1974, p. D63]. If only 10% of the limestone were formed during the Flood, the 5.6 x 10E26 joules of heat released would be enough to boil the flood waters.
Meteorite impacts: Erosion and crustal movements have erased an unknown number of impact craters on earth, but Creationists Whitcomb and DeYoung suggest that cratering to the extent seen on the Moon and Mercury occurred on earth during the year of Noah’s Flood. The heat from just one of the largest lunar impacts released an estimated 3 x 10E26 joules; the same sized object falling to earth would release even more energy. [Fezer, pp.
Other: Other possibly significant heat sources are radioactive decay (some Creationists claim that radioactive decay rates were much higher during the Flood to account for consistently old radiometric dates); biological decay (think of the heat released in compost piles); and compression of sediments.
5.6 x 1026 joules is enough to heat the oceans to boiling. 3.7 x 10E27 joules will vaporize them completely. Since steam and air have a lower heat capacity than water, the steam released will quickly raise the temperature of the atmosphere over 1000 C. At these temperatures, much of the atmosphere would boil off the Earth.
Aside from losing its atmosphere, Earth can only get rid of heat by radiating it to space, and it can’t radiate significantly more heat than it gets from the sun unless it is a great deal hotter than it is now. (It is very nearly at thermal equilibrium now.) If there weren’t many millions of years to radiate the heat from the above processes, the earth would still be unlivably hot.
Ray’s Response: we tend to look at slavery through the cruel American slave trade, where races of people were kidnapped and sold for slaves. Kidnapping was a crime that the god of the Bible considered to be so serious it was punishable by death. Biblical slavery, that is bond-servant wasn’t kidnapping and it wasn’t determined by skin color. Those who are in debt paid off their debt through becoming a bond-servant. After six years, the bond-servant was given his freedom. However, rather than have their freedom, some would even chose to stay as bond-servants because Hebrew law not only provided for them, it protected them legally. For example, is a slave was mistreated and died at the hands of is master, the master was to be put to death himself according to Exodus 21:20-21. The law of Moses did allow the use of enemy slave labor a did civil law in American with German soldiers captured in WWII (Source:http://mshistory.k12.ms.us/index/php?id=233).
My response: We do not look at slavery through the perspective of the American slave trade. Slavery, in all forms, is the complete ownership of another human being to be used as tools.
Ray says the Bible protects slaves by punishing their masters if they killed their slaves. HOW THE HELL does this help? If the slave is dead, there is no protection. All that will follows is that there will be another dead corpse.
There is a lot more that Comfort did not mention regarding slavery. Leviticus 25:44-46, the Israelites were allowed to buy slaves from other nations, and then hand them down as an inheritance. In Leviticus 25:39 buying your brother as a slave is allowed. What we find appalling about slavery is the ownership of another human being, not just the mistreatment. What’s more, not even Jesus was against slavery. He never said a word about slavery or how horrible it is. In fact, in Luke 12:45-48, the Parable of the Faithful Servant, Jesus discusses the punishment of slaves, and says that a slave may be punished for not doing something he wasn’t instructed to do.
Ray’s Response: God’s definition of a good person is someone who is morally perfect in thought, word and deed – and only God is good. A more relevant question would be: why do good things happen to bad people? The answer is that god lavished his goodness upon us despite our may sins.
My response: So God allows goodness to happen to evil people? But supposedly we all get a share of this goodness? This is ridiculous. There are children born, and all they did in their very brief lives on this earth was starve. Where is the goodness in that? But rather, God sees fit to be good to bad people? lets not forget, whenever God wants he can punish a very good person just because he wants to (I am referring to Job).
Ray’s Response: what sort of evidence should we expect to see from his walking on water or the feeding of the 5,000 or the raising of the dead? Wet feet, bread crumbs or an unreturned undertakers check? There is of course the real evidence of eye-witness testimony. But that is in the Bible and it is therefore inadmissible.
My response: We would indeed expect A LOT of historical data from a village of 5,000 people being fed with a few loafs.
As I discussed on my blog on the historicity of jesus, we should expect a lot of historical evidence for someone who claims to be soooooo popular that he followers from Jordan, entered the Temple on Passover and start a riot – AND YET not be mentioned one time. This, and more, gives credence to the liklihood that jesus never existed.
Ray’s Response: how do we explain the fact that jesus has never appeared to you? These questions are getting even weaker and a little weird.
My response: Ray did not even bother answering the question. Cop-out.
Ray’s Response: when the Bible says “and as they were eating, jesus took bread and blessed it and broke it; and gave it to the disciples and said ”take, eat, this is my body’ he was physically with his disciples. They weren’t eating him. So any intelligent, educated, rational person would know that his words were not disgusting, cannibalistic, satanic ritual. They were symbolic, the wine and the bread were symbols and metaphors for his blood and his body.
My response: My problem with this bit is – do we even know that jesus even said this, or that this Last Supper story even happened?
Ray’s Response: They don’t! Skeptics are continually saying that the church is filled with hypocrites and this is proof that it is. A hypocrite is a pretender – that is a fake christian. The Bible calls them goats that mix up with the sheep, and god warns that he’ll sort them out on the day of judgment. And by the way, divorce is allowed for Christians if the spouse commits adultery according to Matthew 19:9.
My response: So, the Bible allows biblical divorce, and yet when Christians get divorced they are not longer Christians!? Do you see the problem there?
According to Comfort, divorce is only allowed if the spouse committed adultery. But Comfort constantly states that any man who looks at a woman and lusts after her, he commits adultery in his heart. So one can argue that every case of Christian divorce could very well have been because someone was looking at some eye candy before they divorced – thereby making all Christian divorces following Matthew 19:9.
One last thing, lets look at 1 Corinthinians 7:15 “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.” So it seems divorce is also allowed in the ‘unbelieving’ spouse chooses to leave.
Bottoms line, divorce is allowed. Comfort contradicts himself when he stated that those who get divorced are fakers.
A presupposition for most of these 10 questions is that if god is good, he would heal amputees, feed the starving, stop bad things happening, and not be a proponent of slavery and he would do miracles when w tell him to. And the conclusion that is because since he did not stop them or won’t obey us by performing miracles, he therefor does not exist. However, there is one conclusion that which intelligent people should come when it comes to god being good. If he truly is good, he must like a good judge, see to it that ultimate justice is carried out. He must make sure that murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, adulterers, fornicators, and blasphemers are punished on judgment day. Judgment day makes sense IF god is good to an intelligent educated person. In conclusion, let me show you something remarkable. Some people believe that god is imaginary. They imagine that he does not exist. And then imagine that nothing created everything, and they say to themselves “that makes complete sense, all scientific evidence supports this conclusion.” That is called “delusionry.” As the Bible points out, such people profess to be wise but they are fools. Rather than following such illusionary thought,it would be wise to use our god-given brain to say “hey, I am offered eternal life through the gospel. An intelligent person would at least look into it.” So please take the time to do that rather than listen to fools.
My response: Nobody in the video (not even whywontgodhealamputees video) was asserting that the alternative view that excludes god is that the universe must therefore come from nothing. This is just dishonest Comfort asserting his twisted distorted strawman against atheism.
Atheists do not “image” that god does not exist no more than they imagine unicorns and red leprechauns don’t exist. None of these don’t exist BECAUSE THEY DON’T EXIST. Theists, like Ray Comfort, are the ones imagining that they do exist. Ray Comfort, through his entire evangelical career, has never presented any proof for God – and despite his whiny claims that he can prove God does exist, he knows he can’t and he never has been able to prove his beliefs without invoking faith and wishful thinking based on presupposition arguments.
Extra: Street evangelism
For the last 5 or so minutes of the DVD, Ray provides a clip of him witnessing to a person in Huntington Beach. My responses will be in bold.
Starts off with Ray asking Jurgen if he is a spiritual person, to which he answers “no I’m not.” Ray asks him if he is an atheist, Jurgen says yes. Immediately Ray asks him “have you ever heard of the Golden Rule?” Jurgen says no and asks Ray to explain what it is. Ray says “you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Jurgen says he loves some of his neighbors, and some he does not.
The golden rule is not “love your neighbor as yourself”, its “don’t do unto others as you would not have then do unto you.” If comfort believes that the Golden rule is “love your neighbors as yourself” – that is actually a immoral position to hold. Imagine how Comfort’s version of the Golden Rule would apply to sadomasochists? Also, if you love everyone willy-nilly, that actually demeans love.
Ray asks Jurgen why he is an atheist, to which Jurgen replies with “because I don’t believe in god.” Immediately Ray responds with “so you believe nothing created everything?” Jurgen replies that he believes in evolution. Ray asks Jurgen “what created everything in the beginning?” Jurgen says he was not there and therefore cannot answer. Ray responds with “well it obviously wasn’t nothing because nothing can’t create anything. So something created everything in the beginning.” Jurgen says “maybe” to which Ray then says “so you are not an atheist. You believe something created everything.” Jurgen replies he does not lose any sleep trying to figure out who or what it was. Ray tells Jurgen he should. Jurgen asks why? Ray answers “well because you have offended him by sinned against his law.”
First of all, as I had already pointed out, atheism does not rest on the view that everything came from nothing – that is ray Comfort’s twisted, distorted strawman he attributes to atheism. Atheism does not comment on the origins of anything, not even the universe. An atheist can hold any view he/she wishes, but they will not include a god.
Comfort’s last statement that Jargen offended god is all based on Comfort’s unsupported and baseless presupposition.
Ray then takes Jurgen down the are you a good person? routine. Jurgen says he already heard Ray repeat this close by and admits he had done some of the things Ray brings up. Jurgen says everyone has lied or stolen, but when Jurgen asks when is “judgment day” Ray replies with “it’s coming. Sure as hell its coming, God knows when its coming.” Jurgen says if Ray is talking about his death, then Jurgen is assured that when he dies he will be dead and that’s that. Ray asks “what if you’re wrong?” to which Jurgen says “then so be it.” Ray asks Jurgen “do you care about your life?” When Jurgen says yes, Ray replies “Jesus said what shall profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?”
Ray tells Jurgen he does not want him to end up in hell, “you seem like a nice guy, I would hate god to give you what you deserve – you’re a lying thief blasphemer and an adulterer at heart.” Jurgen does not seem to take any interest and replies with “whatever will happen will happen. As they say sura-sura.” Ray replies “that’s a song, that’s Hollywood. You do not want to put your faith in Hollywood and love songs, c’mon. You want to put your faith in the savior because he can wash away your sins so you’ll be clean on judgment day and god can let you live forever.” Jurgen asks “who want’s to live forever?” to which Ray responds with “well I do.”
NO ONE deserves an infinite punishment for a finite crime, that is the apotheosis of immorality. Comfort does not care about Jargen nor does Jargen done anything to deserve such baseless threats of damnation. Shame on Ray Comfort.
How is quoting a song an implication of faith? if a person quotes a line from the Beatles, they are not putting their faith in the Beatles, just repeating the words because words by themselves contain truth. Based on Comfort’s reaction, and quickly whining at Jargen seems to me imply that Comfort knows he is playing a dishonest game here.
One last thing, Ray if you want to live forever, then you truly have never lived for a day have you?
Ray asks Jurgen how old he is (68) and how long does he think he is going to live (20 or so more years). Ray asks Jurgen if he is afraid of dying, to which Jurgen answers “no, if someone told me you have one more month to live, I would says okay I have lived a full life with few regrets, so I’m ready to go.” Ray asks “so you wouldn’t have any treatment if you learned you had cancer? You would just yield to it?” Jurgen shows a scar from a recent surgery (he had a clogged artery). Ray says “hang on, you just said that you would not mind dying. You should have just put up with it and died.” Jurgen said it was not as severe as cancer, but Ray interrupts and states “yeah, but you let a person you don’t know cut into your chest so you could live longer.” Jargen said he had to have the surgery because it would have prevented him from living life the fullest as he desired (running, physically active, etc). Ray asks “so you are thankful for a healthy life?” Jurgen says “yeah” but Ray immediately asks “who to?” Jurgen says he is thankful for himself being physically active, but Ray cuts him off “yeah, but who are you grateful to for a healthy life? God gave you life!” Jurgen replies with “maybe so, you can’t prove that anymore than I can.” Ray responds “yes I can! You can’t say I can’t, because I can!”
First of all, as Jargen already shared he is not afraid to die. Jargen loved to stay fit and healthy to lavish in the joys of this life. Cancer or heart problems would have prevented him to continue on living as he wished. Comfort, on the other hand, thinks all credibility for anything enjoyable goes to god. But when Jargen demands Comfort to prove it, Comfort gives Jargen nothing, as we will see in a moment…
Jurgen aks Ray to prove it. This is Ray’s response: “all you have to do is do what the Bible says; repent and trust in him who died on the cross for you. If you’ll do that, if you repent and trust in the savior and say ‘god forgive my sins’ and willfully put your trust in jesus christ, god will reveal himself to you. This is what jesus said: he who has my commandments and keeps them, adheres and loves me and he who loves me will be loved by my father, I too will love him and will reveal myself to him. So there is the gauntlet – if you obey the gospel, god will reveal himself to you.”
This is basically the worst response ever. A Muslim can do the same thing – seek allah and you will find him. What Comfort fails to understand was the same result can be achieved for those who seek out ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, or any deity “with their whole heart”, meaning they have already assumed these things exist without question or prior evidence that they exist in the first place.
Jurgen responds with “are you compelled to do any other thing you desire?” Ray responds with “well let me leave the ball in your court, and maybe tonight you might have a minor heart attack in your bed and you’ll think about the issues of life and death, and your desire to get right with god before death ceases upon me – because this is so important remember, jesus said ‘what shall profit a man if he gained the whole world but loses his very own soul.’ Jurgen thank you for talking to me, I really appreciate it.” Jargen says “you’re welcome, have a good day.” The clip ends with this note: while riding his bike on December 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm, Jurgen Akenbrad was struck by one vehicle, and then run over by another. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 69 years old (they reply the bit where Jurgen says he is 68 and thinks he has another 20 years to live).
Condolences to Jargen and his mourning family. Unfortunately for Ray, Jargen did not lose his soul. Nobody has a soul to lose, not even Ray Comfort.