Refutiation of “Defender’s Guide for Life’s Toughest Questions” by Ray Comfort
“Defender’s Guide for Life’s Toughest Questions” is a book authored by Ray Comfort. The book was published in 2011.
I will provide a summation of each chapter in italics whereas my responses and counter-arguments will appear in normal font.
Ray Comfort constructed this book in response to certain objections from non-Christians, skeptics, atheists, secular humanists, and such. According to the book’s description on Amazon, young Christians are leaving their faith because “they are not equipped to give an answer to every man that asks the reason for believing in a “bronze age book of fables,” especially in the light of what is said to be the “scientific” nature of Darwinian evolution.”
Is that so? Young people are ill prepared to guard their superstitious beliefs in magic against reason and evidence?
Do help keep his audience in the dark about knowledge and reality, Comfort constructed this book to provide his readers with his own brand of illogical apologetic material against science and critical thinking.
The Product Description of this book on Amazon.com reads:
The Internet has given the average skeptic the ability to cut and paste the cream of anti-Christian atheistic arguments, and become an instant Richard Dawkins clone, who can eloquently stump the average believer with seemingly tough questions. However, even the toughest of questions has an answer. This book will place that answer in your hands and confirm to you that the foundation of the Christian faith is as solid as a rock. (http://www.amazon.com/Defenders-Guide-Lifes-Toughest-Questions/dp/0890516049)
Every question has an answer…. but who is to say that the answers are even relevant, rational or correct? As this review will show, the “tough questions” Ray Comfort tries to respond to are by far not the toughest. These are, for the most part, a collection of moderate questions. Many times, Ray Comfort does not fully address the whole question, present the full argument, or even provide a valid argument for faith.
Comfort begins by sharing a common poster used by atheists that lists several important historical figures as atheists. The list includes Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Carl Sagan, and Ernest Hemingway. Comfort tries to quote each person to show that they were not in fact atheists but instead theists.
I imagine that Ray Comfort gave himself a huge pat on the back for this. His grand collection of defenses for Christianity begins with… targeting and deconstructing a Internet meme – something teens in high school create in their free time on 4chan or other websites.
Of all the things Ray Comfort could have addressed (a book, a lecture, a study, an atheos argument, etc), he choose to address some Internet meme. This alone comes to show what a colossal failure and intellectual weakling Ray Comfort is. It also reveals to me that Ray Comfort could not find anything significant to tackle atheism with. Rather, this deconstruction of a meme was nothing but a page filler to get the writing of this book over with faster so it could sell off the shelves faster.
If Ray did think addressing this Internet meme was a worthy accomplishment against non-belief, then I have the utmost embarrassment for the man. To make it worse, it turns out that Ray Comfort continued to use this same argument after printing this book. For instance, he used it in a short film “Evolution vs. God.” It is apparent that Ray Comfort really believes here that he has done a great accomplishment, or he really can’t find anything fallacious with atheism in general.
While going through each of these individuals to find out if they were atheists, two things must be kept in mind. The first one is that Ray has a history of deliberately and willfully quote-mining. The second thing is, to make a Internet meme requires zero education in history. Basically, finding a mistake or two in some Internet meme only shows that the maker of this meme was lousy, NOT that non-belief is somehow just as lousy.
The only person on the list he concludes was an atheist is Ernest Hemingway, but tries to paint him as a depressed alcoholic who committed suicide. Comfort then claims outright that atheists are “unthinking” men, then providing a quote from Sir Isaac Newton addressing atheism. In summary, he says atheists are closed, put their faith in erroneous information and harden themselves from God and Christianity while using the Bible to support this claim.
Comfort only addresses the people in the poster, but does not mention other prominent figures from the past and present who are atheist.
Did the above men believe in God? Here are the quotes Comfort provides for each person:
Thomas Jefferson – “I have thought religion a concern purely between God and our consciences, for which we are accountable to him, and not to the priests.” The truth is Jefferson was not an atheist, he was a Deist. He did however, despise religion,
“Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites.” -Thomas Jefferson (http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/superstition-christianity-quotation)
Jefferson was a deist, who eventually created his own Bible (called the Jefferson Bible). Jefferson stripped the Bible of all its miracles and every instance when and where Jesus claimed to be divine. If Ray remained consistent with himself, Ray would label Jefferson a “idolater” – that is making a “god in his own image.” Ray accused Hitler of doing the same exact thing, and claimed that was Hitler’s greatest crimes, because in so doing, Hilter’s version of god permitted the genocide of millions.
Of course, Ray Comfort would not dare label an American icon as a “idolater” and risk losing his marketed audience. He instead only labels bad people like Hitler, as well as the hundreds of people he interviews and records in public (and post those said interviews online for the world to see). In those interviews, often when going through the “Are you a good person?” routine, Ray Comfort will try to point out the person he is interviewing has a different perception of God than Ray does, that’s when Ray paints them as “idolaters” (making a God in their image) – which is as hypocritical and despicable as it gets, because Ray Comfort is just as guilty of making God appear however he wants, even though he denies it.
Albert Einstein (whom Comfort claims was angry that atheists had lied about his religious position) is quoted as saying “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.”
Comfort conveniently leaves out the following quotes from Einstein:
“I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.” -Albert Einstein
“Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment – an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections.” -Albert Einstein (http://atheism.about.com/od/einsteingodreligion/tp/Was-Einstein-an-Atheist-.htm)
“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” -Albert Einstein (letter to an atheist (1954) as quoted in Albert Einstein: The Human Side (1982) edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman)
So, Einstein declared himself an agnostic instead of an atheist. Which is not a problem to atheists, but it is a problem to theists like Ray Comfort – that a brilliant mind like Einstein could not come to brin himself to believe in “childish” things like a personal sky-daddy.
Mark Twain (whom Comfort claims despised religion, but was not an atheist), “None of us can be as great as God, but any of us can be as good.”
It is difficult to pinpoint Twain’s views, since he often shows hints of theism and atheism at times. The answer of whether he was an atheist or not is unclear, as Mallory Howard, the curator at the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, said, “He was always trying to figure out an answer without ever coming to a conclusion.”
Yes Twain was raised in a Presbyterian church and buried at one, and yes he was very vocal and critical of religion throughout his life, and he was especially harsh against the mixed messages in the Bible, but he was a spiritual man who late in life was fascinated with Joan of Arc and started to write a book about her.
At best, Twain was a spiritually-minded individual, who shunned religion and the Bible, but likely held some belief in a higher force. And I, a godless apistevist, think no less of Mark Twain.
Benjamin Franklin (whom Comfort claims loved God for giving him life), “It is that particular wise and good God, who is the author and owner of our system, that I propose the object of my praise and adoration.” In one of his youthful essays he professes a sort of polytheistic belief as shown by the following extracts: “I conceive, then, that the Infinite has created many beings or gods vastly superior to man…It may be these created gods are immortals; or it may be that after many ages, they are changed, and others supply their places.” Franklin was not an Atheist; he did not deny the existence of a God; he believed in a God; but his God was the humane conception of Deism and not the God of Christianity. His biographer, Parton, says: “He escaped the theology of terror, and became forever incapable of worshiping a jealous, revengeful, and vindictive God” (Life of Franklin, Vol. i., p. 71).
Notice the reasons why Parton says that Benjamin Franklin could not come to worship the god of Christianity. Because the God of Christianity is “jealous, revengeful, and vindictive” and Christianity is a “theology of terror.”
Ray Comfort provides nothing to counter these points.
Comfort says that Charles Darwin was disillusioned with Christianity, but was far from being an atheist.
“When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.” -Charles Darwin (Michael Anthony Corey, Back to Darwin: the scientific case for Deistic evolution page 12)
The above quote comes from Darwin in his early life in the 1840’s, until 1879 he responded that he had never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God, and that generally “an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.”
President Abraham Lincoln (whom Comfort claims revered God), “While we are grateful to all the brave men and officers for the past few days, we should, above all, be very grateful to Almighty God, who gave us victory.”
John T. Stuart, Lincoln’s first law partner: “He was an avowed and open infidel, and sometimes bordered on Atheism…He went further against Christian beliefs and doctrines and principles than any man I ever heard.” If Infidelity and Atheism were synonymous terms it would be difficult to maintain that Lincoln, during the last years of his life at least, was an Infidel. But Infidelity and Atheism are not synonymous terms. An Atheist is an Infidel, but an Infidel is not necessarily an Atheist. A Presbyterian is a Christian, but all Christians are not Presbyterians. Christians themselves coined the word Infidel, and they have used it to denote a disbeliever in Christianity.
Thus, it is likely that President Lincoln could have been an atheist, or at the least a non-religious man. While President Lincoln did include “God” in his speeches, his references to God may have been strictly political.
Finally, Carl Sagan (whom Comfort says “met his Maker” after dying of cancer), “An agnostic is somebody who does not believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.” Ray says he died an agnostic.
While it is true that Carl Sagan did not identify himself as a atheist, and he did try to distance himself from atheists… nevertheless he matched the prerequisites to be an atheist.
In this quote, Sagan says an “agnostic” is someone who does “not believe” until evidence is presented, and Sagan admitted that he held to that position that he “does not believe.” What Sagan messed up with was confusing atheism and agnosticism, which to be fair during his time most people were confused on what an atheist even was. Some could not tell atheists and satanists apart. But nevertheless, atheism deals with beliefs, whereas agnosticism and gnosticism deal with knowledge. An agnostic is someone who claims no one can know anything about god(s), whereas atheism is regarding a person’s lack of belief in any god(s). And since Sagan said that he “does not believe” until evidence is presented, then he therefore is by definition an atheist because he lacks belief. Despite his confusion, he died an atheist.
Chapter 1: Humanity: Rights and Suffering
Comfort accuses Darwin of racism while ignoring the racism and slavery found in the Bible
Comfort admits that the Bible does condone slavery and encourages it, but Comfort tries to soften the issue by claiming that usage of the word “slave” in the Bible is not the same as we picture slaves in the American south. “Slave” in the Bible, according to Comfort, means “servant”, and the Old testament condemns “man-stealing” (Exodus 21:16). Comfort also admits that the Bible was used to justify slavery, as well as many other atrocities (such as Hitler, genocide, etc.), but points out that this does not shake the message of the Bible.
Let’s first address Darwin and his alleged racism. While the views of Darwin are irrelevant to the subject and validity of evolution, it is important to know virtually all Englishmen in Darwin’s time viewed blacks as culturally and intellectually inferior to Europeans. Some men of that time (such as Louis Agassiz, a staunch creationist) went so far as to say that they were a different species. Charles Darwin was a product of his time and no doubt viewed non-Europeans as inferior in some aspects, but he was far more liberal than most: He vehemently opposed slavery (Darwin 1913, especially chap. 21), and he contributed to missionary work to better the condition of the native Tierra del Fuegans. He treated people of all races with compassion.
Now, does Comfort’s view of the Bible and slavery agree with what the Bible actually says? Many translations of the Bible use the word “servant”, “bondservant”, or “manservant” instead of “slave” to make the Bible seem less immoral than it really is. While many slaves may have worked as household servants, that doesn’t mean that they were not slaves who were bought, sold, and treated worse than livestock. According to Leviticus, you can purchase and treat slaves like property:
However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46)
Remember, Jesus never said a word about abolishing slavery. If Jesus is the perfect moral guide as many Christians proclaim he is, how can he miss something as important as slavery? Instead, Jesus says that disobedient slaves will be punished (Luke 12:47-48). Other parts of the Bible also condone slavery and punishment of slaves. Paul had every opportunity to write in one of his Epistles that human slavery — the owning of one person as a piece of property by another — is profoundly evil. His letter to Philemon would have been an ideal opportunity to vilify slavery, but he wrote not one word of criticism.
Comfort mentions Exodus 21:26, but the very next verse says “And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.” The reality is the verse 21:26 does not say “do not steal another person”, instead it is more like “do not steal a slave that does not belong to you.” This same chapter goes into detail about how to beat your slaves, and it forgives those who beat and kill their slaves. If you read the beginning, it allows you to buy one slave, but you must set him free on the seventh year. If you have “given” him a wife and she bears children, then you get to keep the wife and kids. If he refuses to leave his family when his seven years are up, then bore a hole though his ear and keep him forever.
Anonymous person uncomfortable with their own mortality and the mortality of their family, friends and “species”
Comfort jumps into this, saying that some people think they will live for a long time, and take refuge in drugs and alcohol. He goes on to say he plans to live a long and healthy life. At the end, Comfort claims that the universe was not an accident and that our conscience tells us that we have sinned against God’s “perfect” law. Comfort also calls Hell a reality, but not once even attempts to provide any proof of such a place.
This is not as much of an objection as the other comments. The person sees that their days are numbered, but it does not go any deeper than this. Many would argue that a mortal life is what give us purpose and meaning. It drives us to live life to the fullest. What would be the point of living if you would live for an eternity?
Comfort, stop using your criminal justice analogy, because it is flawed and that this has been pointed out to Comfort numerous times
Comfort claims that this is the first time someone has told him this, and whoever said this made this claim too rashly and without thinking about it. He says there is nothing wrong with a father paying his son’s speeding ticket. According to Comfort, this is what God did when he came to earth as a man and sacrificed himself to save us. (Source: There is a great deal wrong with a father paying his son’s speeding ticket, the son is less likely to learn to avoid dangerous speeding. Similarly Christians too often get into a pattern of repeat sinning and repeatedly asking to be forgiven.)
Why not just forgive? God sacrifices himself unto himself to appease himself for the creation he made for the punishment he demanded. Makes perfect sense… only to fools!
If this is the first time Comfort has heard criticism of his criminal justice analogy, then it seems he tries to remain closed. However, now he cannot claim ignorance of not hearing it, but what he does not provide in the comment is any type of rebuttal to Ray’s analogy.
Is it moral or just to pay for someone else’s crimes? Try walking into a court room and convincing a judge to throw you in prison instead of a deadly terrorist.
Do you believe the Holocaust was God’s punishment for the Jews?
Comfort says he never claimed God used Hitler to commit genocide. Comfort calls himself a Jew and is as guilty as any other Gentile violating God’s law. Comfort recalls the history of the Jews’ struggle with God. God removed his hand of protection when they sinned, but returned through mercy. Comfort says God brought the Jews their nation in 1948, but they are still surrounded by enemies who wish to eliminate them.
Comfort says that the Nazis believed they were eliminating the “weaker races”, which was promoted by Darwin in his book Descent of Man.
Darwin never proposed the elimination of any race or specie, nor did the Nazis get any of their ideas from Darwin. The Nazi Party in general rejected Darwinism and supported Christianity. In 1935, Die Bücherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published a list of guidelines of works to reject, including:
Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel). (Die Bücherei 1935, 279)
Incidentally God, according to atheism did not use the holocaust as a punishment because God does not exist. Christians and Jews have the difficult question, why God allowed the holocaust.
God has the power to stop all the suffering and evil in the world, but chooses not to
Comfort points to Genesis 3 and Romans 5, saying that we all have sinned and that it is our fault the world acts like this. We have not all sinned, children below the age of about seven are innocent but quite often suffer, sometimes severely.
Comfort half-answers the problem of God stopping rapists and murderers, because God sees blasphemers, fornicators, and such as extremely evil and that they can only be stopped through conversion. Comfort says that the commenter is not sincere about stopping evil because the commenter will not start with himself.
This “rebuttal” still ignores the fact that God does not prevent evil and suffering. If God is omniscient, then he presumably already knew beforehand that such evil would exist before Creation, and if God is omnipotent and has free will, then he can prevent a murder from taking place, but chooses not to.
If conversion is the only way to stop such evil, Comfort does not even start with himself. He is a liar and hypocrite, and yet pretends to be a better person by being converted. As pointed out to Ray in a debate with the Rational Response Squad, if all a murderer has to do in order to get into Heaven is to accept Jesus, that provides every evil person with a “get out of Jail Free Card.” Hitler accepted Jesus, as did many Popes, the KKK, rapists, liars, racists, and many others. But according to Ray, they are saved as long as they accept Jesus.
Could anyone address the Bible’s low opinion of women
In the questioner’s view, the Bible is more damaging to society than porn. Comfort says that this person does not know their Bible, or at the least gets their information from atheist websites. He tells them to read the book of Ruth and the Book of Esther, both books value women who are obedient handmaidens to men. Comfort also suggests that they read the parts in the New Testament about a sinful woman washing Jesus’ feet and Jesus saving an adulteress from being stoned to death by an angry crowd. Next, he encourages them to read the Epistles that tell women to love their husbands. He encourages them to read the Bible and goes on to Stereotype all atheists and claim that in an atheist worldview, women are just sex tools.
Okay, let’s read the books of Ruth and Esther. For the record, books containing a title of a female name does not mean it is less sexist. In Ruth 1:14, Ruth loved Naomi as Adam loved Eve (Gigitty-giggitty). In Ruth 3, it shares a story of Ruth being instructed on how to seduce Boaz by hiding in his bedroom, possibly getting him drunk and sleeping with him asking him to marry her, which she does. After all that nice seduction marriage proposal, Ruth tells Boaz that modestly she is his handmaiden. Later on in Ruth 4:10 “Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife” Boaz purchases Ruth to be his wife.
In Esther, King Ahasuerus throws a party and encourages his guests to drink to excess. Then, when they are all drunk, he orders Queen Vashti to show her stuff before him and his guests. She refuses and thus stripped of her royalty as queen. Because of Vashti’s disobedience, the king decrees that “all the wives shall give to their husbands honor, both the great and the small” and “that every man should bear rule over his own house.” He then demands that all the women in the land come forth to please him and the winner would be queen. The winner is Esther, who later accuses several men and they are quickly hung. She then convinces the king to slaughter all Jew-haters and their families from Egypt to Ethiopia. When all the killing is done, the Jews go off to party (this is the origin of the holiday Purim).
Moving on to the New Testament. The story of Jesus saving an adulterer from being stoned does not appear at all in the original gospel. In fact, it does not appear until several hundred years later, inserted by an unknown author who never met Jesus and thus made up this story. What did Paul have to say about women? “Women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate as the law also says (Genesis 3:16)”
“claim that in an atheist worldview, women are just sex tools.” In an atheist worldview? Atheism is not a world view. This has been made clear to Ray, but he refuses to acknowledge this fact just to excuse himself to bash atheism. If atheists viewed women as sex objects, then why do atheists have fewer divorces than Christians?
We do not receive morals from God, who committed many atrocities (such as killing everything in the global flood and murdering his own son) and is thankful that God does not exist
Comfort’s first response is to accuse the person of not understanding the Bible. Comfort claims that not all animals were killed; sea-life still lived, the animals on the Ark, and Noah and his family lived. He then addresses God’s sacrifice of his own son. Comfort says that Christ was actually God, citing John 1:1 and 1 Timothy 3:16. Next, Comfort addresses God’s drowning of the Pharaoh’s army. Comfort mentions that God warned the Pharaoh ten times, but Comfort does not mention that God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart to say no, so God knew and purposely made Pharaoh say no ten times. Finally, Comfort agrees with the commenter, and that God did indeed send fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah because he did not like their behavior.
There is a whole list of atrocities committed by God.
Such as 1 Samuel 6 (God kills 5 farmers just for a petty offense of worshiping him wrong, then he smites 50,000 of the other inhabitants who had no involvement) and 1 Samuel 25 (God murders Nabal just for being morally obligated to his workers), see [[Examples of God personally killing people]]. The commenter is correct that God has performed many horrible things, and it is good thing that we do not receive morals from the Bible. Here is something Ray does not share about the verses he provided. 1 Timothy is considered by the vast vast majority of critical scholars not to have been written by Paul (along with 2 Timothy and Titus). The description of Jesus in John 1:1 conflicts with the worldview of the earlier gospel authors.
As already confirmed by science, the global flood never happened. The Ark is just a fictional myth. It is impossible to fit every animal onto the Ark, let alone build an Ark to sustain itself against a global flood. All models proposed by creationists have no evidence and have been deeply criticized as vague, no predictive value, and conflicts with physics.(http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html)
Could the aquatic creatures survive the Flood? No. Even the slightest pollution can cause many freshwater invertebrate species to disappear from streams. Also, aquatic organisms would have more than salinity to worry about, such as the following: Heat, acid, substrate, and pressure.(http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH541.html)
What is the big deal with using “foul language”
Ray’s first response is, “if you are an atheist, you can’t say anything is morally “wrong”. Basically, an atheist’s perspective and stance on morality is based on what society deems moral and immoral.
This is absurd. Atheists can achieve moral goodness based on empathy, knowledge, and such which makes secular morality not only possible but also practical. An atheist is perfectly capable of saying a certain act is morally “wrong.” On the flip side, what is the Christian perspective of morals? In Ray’s case, it is known as the Divine command theory, basically if God said tomorrow genocide and eating your own children was good and justifiable (this coming from a “perfectly good being”) then Christians much accept it regardless of their feelings. Just as Abraham did not like the idea of sacrificing his son, he was willing to go through with it because God “said so.”
Ray says that the morality Christians stand on is immovable, like the Ten Commandments written in stone. Comfort says the Commandments talk about murder, envy, pride, fornication, lust, greed, and adultery.
Ray Comfort got all of these wrong. The only Commandments in the Old Testament that were written in stone were the ones in Exodus 34, and none of them include or address any of the above. If the Christian morality is immovable, how does Ray explain the thousands of years of Christian cruelty? If it was “moral” to stone certain people to death, then by Ray’s logic it is still logical to do so today.
Ray says foul language violates God law in Colossians 3:8 “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth”.
The same chapter says coveting is evil. By this standard, the economy is evil.
Further on, Colossians 3:18 says “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord”.
3:20 commands “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord”. This verse has been often used by abusive parents.
Ray includes a study of volunteers who placed their hands in cold water and repeatably cursed. Ray says with no doubt the swearing included blasphemy, but provides no reference at all.
Of course the natural reaction of pain is followed by expression of disgust. The response to such a event are many, for instance a masochist could cry “make it colder!” or a person immune to pain could just stand there expressionless.
Why won’t God heal amputees?
Ray’s response is rather dodgy. He asks how does this person know if this has ever happened since Creation or “somewhere else other than his very limited world?”
Is Ray suggesting that God heals amputees on other planets? The question is still unanswered, “Why won’t God heal amputees here?”
Ray focuses that the person is limited in knowledge, and to make such a claim requires omniscience. Next, he asks the reader to look at their arm and “see” God’s creation.
Looking at our arms or legs that are already there fails to answer why amputated limbs are never restored. The only thing that can be achieved by examining your arms and legs is learning their structure and anatomy, but you can also note the phylogeny. When you compare taxonomy and genetics, you will learn your arms and legs are testament that you are a chordate, but when you add all the pieces together you are undoubtedly an ape.
Also, if we are going to argue that X is possible even though it is never observed by using “limited knowledge” as an excuse, then based on the limits of knowledge, who is to say that Ray’s god (assuming there is one) is in fact a creation of a higher god? Ray’s God simply does not want to be known as being a lower god, or just does not recall being created? Whose to say, because we have “limited knowledge”?
Ray hammers the point you are not an animal, since you have the ability to reason.
Unfortunately for Ray we are animals. This is not something that can be wished away, we are animals indefinitely. More specifically, humans are a species of primate, which is a category of mammal, which is a category of vertebrate, which is a category of animal. This was known more than 2000 years ago. Even Aristotle called man “rational animals.”
The real challenge to this question, which Ray does not address in full, is why God won’t heal amputees when asked. Jesus promised:
* If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. [Matthew 21:21]
* If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. [John 14:14]
* Ask, and it will be given you. [Matthew 7:7]
* Nothing will be impossible to you. [Matthew 17:20]
* Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. [Mark 11:24]
The question, therefore, is simple: Are Jesus’ statements in the Bible true or false? By looking at amputees, we can see that something is wrong. Jesus is not telling the truth. God never answers prayers to spontaneously restore lost limbs, despite Jesus’ statements in the Bible.
Finally, near the end of this chapter, Ray quickly addresses evolution. He uses an article from TalkOrigins that addresses the definition of evolution. It points out several definitions that do not completely work, since they leave out some of the details. Ray Comfort latches onto this and says that since there is not a clear definition of evolution, it is open for anyone’s views and therefore cannot be falsified.
What Ray purposely does not show is the same article does include a definition proposed by a scientist is the universal accepted definition of evolution by the scientific community. Ray does briefly mention it, but Ray says the definition is what the particular science believes it to be. If we used Ray’s logic, we all should doubt the Earth orbiting around the sun because the definition of Heliocentrism is only “believed” by scientists. Wrong! The truth of a scientific theory is not based on beliefs, it is based on evidence. In regards to the theory of evolution, it is the most supported scientific theory to date.
Chapter 2: The Bible: Biblical ad Theological Issues
Clear this up: are the 6 million Jews murdered by Hitler in Hell?
Comfort tip-toes across this question (talking about Jesus being a Jew and the first Christians being Jewish and how Christ is the ONLY way to salvation) but cutting through the stuffing, Comfort’s answer is YES. The Jews who died in the Holocaust did not repent to Christ, therefore missing the one way ticket to salvation and therefore end up in the wrong place.
This is Christianity in a nutshell: belief (and gullibility) is all you need to go to Paradise.
One unforgivable sin in Christianity, that not even almighty God can tolerate, is disbelief. It has nothing to do with your works or how much of a moral person you were in life. The Bible does not permit good, kind and charitable saintly souls can go to heaven simply because if they do not believe. So according to Ray Comfort, even the Jews who do not believe in Christ are damned to everlasting torture.
Nowhere does the Bible damn believers for their works – belief can always get them out of that. If you did something naughty, forgiveness is one telepathic prayer away. So believers can be as vile as they wish – it doesn’t matter. Atheists can be the most moral people ever – it doesn’t matter. Morality doesn’t matter. Gullibility is the only criteria required for redemption. So if you love sin, and you don’t want to get killed for it, just say that you believe in Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Because the only real way to piss God off is not to believe in his son.
The Bible says to stone people to death. It is an archaic book that has no relevance to modern society.
Ray says if you are found guilty you might be executed via electric chair, and notes that it is not quick and sometimes things go wrong. Ray says he would rather be stoned then get the electric chair. He concludes with “the thought of capital punishment by any means is strong incentive for me to never take the life of another person through murder.”
There is an entire ethics debate on the Death Penalty, and that is a separate topic.
But any rational and ethical person can agree that killing someone for picking up sticks on a weekend is NOT a crime punishable by death. Picking up sticks has no victim, no one is harmed. And yet, the god-character of the Bible feels it justified to terminate the lives of anyone who works on a specific day of the week.
1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 104:5 KJV say the Earth is immobile and cannot move. Ray, are you willing to admit the Bible is in error?
Ray says this a typical question from atheist, and assumes this is coming from some atheist website highlighting biblical contradictions. Ray asks where does the Bible say the Earth “sits immobile in the sky”?
Ray claims that skeptics “clutch at the weak straws of metaphors or figures of speech to try to prove that the Bible says that the sun revolves around the earth, etc.”
Ray revisits the Bible verses and notes that the say the Earth is “immovable.”
Ray concludes with the following: “The Bible says that the earth is immovable. It cannot be moved. So now is your chance to prove your point. Run outside and move the the earth. Perhaps you and your friends could jump on it, or find a rocky outcrop and push it together. Maybe after that little experiment you will concede that the earth is immovable. So is Scriptures. You can push, twist, pull, and jump on different verses, but the Word of God isn’t going to move. It is a rock. It cannot be broken. It will jump you on the last day (see John 12:48). You only twist it to your own destruction (see 2 Peter 3:16).” (page 57)
Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses. So when you jump, the gravity of the Earth attracts (moves) you with a force proportional to the Earth’s mass, and you attract (move) the Earth with a force proportional to your size. Ergo, you can move the Earth. It’s just not noticeable change in position because your mass is overwhelmingly dwarfed by the Earth. But the math and the laws of physics testify that you do indeed can move the Earth.
Oh, and yeah, the Earth does move…. around the Sun.
So, in conclusion, the Earth is not “immovable.” It definitely does move. Children learn this fact in the first grade, perhaps earlier. Only religious people have historically denied facts such as this.
The Earth moves around the sun, it moves through space, and it even moves when you jump (as Ray proposed). Therefore, since the Earth does move, by Ray Comfort’s logic, so does his precious Scriptures. By his logic, the Scriptures are not fixed, nor is it like a rock (which, by the way, rocks DO break into smaller bits. Something else a child can know by dropping a stone and watching it shatter upon impact with the ground.)
Given that Ray Comfort clearly does not know how the world works, nor is he aware of the malleability of rocks, it comes as no surprise that he does not have a clue what he is talking about. If he does not know what he is talking about when it comes to something as simple as gravity or rocks, it is obvious that nobody can trust him to know anything what he talks about when it comes to Christianity, the Bible and faith.
Here’s a whole website dedicated to spreading the false idea that the Earth remains fixed and does not move: www.fixedearth.com.
Chapter 3: Science: Scientific Thought and Evolution
Ray Comfort starts off by informing us that he read Charles Darwin book On the Origin of Species, but claims if Darwin was alive today he would be ranked with the top of Disney’s imaginative crew, making big bucks writing science fiction in Hollywood.
Unfortunately, not only is this just despicable ad hominem originating from Comfort’s world of ignorance and religious fantasy, it is very criminally demeaning towards one of the greatest minds of the time. Charles Darwin was not “imagining” evidence or observable reality, quite the opposite actually. Darwin’s ideas were sprouting all across the academia. Around Darwin’s time, the British empire and sea trade expanded globally, and many British scientists went on voyages to observe and document nature. This was made possible due to great expansion of British sea trade across the world. When Charles Darwin was documenting his observations on his voyages, these same observations were also seen by many other scientists, most notably Alfred Wallace.
Known as the father of biogeography, Alfred Wallace was coming up with his own ideas for the obvious fact of speciation, fossils, biological diversity, and such while exploring Indonesia (and identified the the faunal divide now termed the Wallace Line) – this was taking place at the same time as Darwin. Wallace (as well as numerous other scientists) was piecing together these observations and coming up with his own theory that was practically parallel to Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Wallace published a paper on the subject that was jointly published with some of Charles Darwin’s writings in 1858. Wallace never used the term natural selection, even though he conceived the model for it. The reason why Charles Darwin became such a big name in the academia of natural sciences is because he presented all his work to his colleagues and was the first to publish his work, using the model of Natural Selection, and it’s thanks to Alfred Wallace that prompted Darwin.
Ray Comfort’s opening to this chapter is not only just a childish immature attack on a brilliant scientist, it is also the old playground game of “I am rubber you are glue, whatever bounces off of me sticks to you.” Its an infantile tactic that is described as the pot calling the silverware black. Its a sort of psychological spin. Ray Comfort, a creationist, bases his worldview solely on “no-evidence” and complete blind faith in the self-evident fairy tales of ancient superstitious dessert men. How else can you defend an indefensible position? You have to twist everything around; call the evidence-based sciences “imaginary” while pretending your imaginary beliefs hold more weight. That is why the Bible defines the fool as someone who does not believe completely the outrageous claims from the most incredulous sources even without asking for evidence – despite the fact that every other source in the world defines a fool as someone who does all of these things.
If Charlies Darwin was alive today, after 150 consistent years of scientific research proving his theory left and right, he would be hailed as a world-leading brilliant scientist (as he presently and properly is).
Next, Ray Comfort addresses Darwin’s “racism” from the book On the Descent of Man.
Darwin was a product of his time, he was born into a rich family around the height of British imperialism – the most ethnocentric society in the world at that time. Virtually all Englishmen held racist views, but Darwin was among the least racist and among the most egalitarian of them all. He often praised the indigenous peoples he met across the world, and often criticized his peers who held bigoted views against subjugated peoples. He was an abolitionist and found every aspect of slavery abominable, and he did not see “colored” people below white Europeans. These facts are clearly seen in Darwin’s published works and cannot hardly be doubted. When he came home, he became a deeply devoted family man towards his children and wife, qualities we would deem very admirable.
All that aside, nothing about Darwin’s character really matters. Darwins’ personal views have no bearing of the evidence for evolution, and this is the case with any scientist or their work. It would not matter if Sir Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein were both the biggest racists of their time, their personal views do not matter toward the validity of their scientific models.
Also, if Ray wants to play this card, lets not forget the volumes of racism found in the Bible – all coming from a “perfectly good eternal being” which Ray believes his laws and views are eternal and never change. So by Ray’s logic, God remains and always will remain a racist, but also as a speciesist (that is, God only expects 1 of the billions of species on Earth to be morally responsible).
Ray says that Darwin believed that bears who swam for long periods of time with their mouth open (digesting insects from the water) would eventually turn into whales. (“In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.” – Charles Darwin) Ray also says that Darwin believed that giraffes neck grew so long because they needed to “swish away flies” (no reference given). Finally, Ray says Darwin “wondered” about the baldness of a vulture, and perhaps it was because their rubbed their heads on rotten meat.
What Ray is keen on accomplishing is ignoring the vast number of predictions for the theory of evolution that have proven to be absolutely true. A few instances Darwin was off, to which Darwin admitted he was wrong. Just two years after penning his bear-to-whale tale, Darwin lamented to a friend (letter to James Lamont, February 25, 1861), “It is laughable how often I have been attacked and misrepresented about this bear.” However, Darwin’s bear-to-whale fable turns out not to be far off, in the sense that science has revealed that whales did indeed evolved from land animals. As the famous biologist, Stephen J. Gould revealed in an article (http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_leviathan.html) and paleontologist Kevin Padian proved in the famous Kitzmiller v. Dover case (http://www.sciohost.org/ncse/kvd/Padian/kpslides.html#whales)
Ray says anyone who reads the Origin of Species can read Darwin’s “own explanation as to why there is no empirical evidence for his model.” That is, no immediate varieties. Ray Comfort compares the fossils to the Mormon Golden Plates, and the only difference is that the Mormons say the plates went missing whereas Darwin say that there should be millions of fossils, but to this day they all remain missing.
Ray Comfort does not give a single reference as to when and where Darwin said there should be “millions” of fossils and that not a single fossil has been found. When Charles Darwin published his landmark observations in 1859, he lamented that the fossil record was still quite poor at that time. It was only in the last century or so earlier that anyone had even proposed the possibility that a single species could completely die out, and the first dinosaur wasn’t discovered until Darwin was a boy. Fossils were known by previous generations of course, but extinct and therefore unfamiliar varieties were often mistaken for the fanciful monsters of mythology –if they were recognized at all –which usually requires a well-trained perception of both geology and animal morphology. That’s especially rare when you’re talking about an organism no one has ever seen alive.
When something dies, it is usually disassembled, digested, and decomposed. Only rarely is anything ever fossilized, and even fewer things are very well-preserved. Because the conditions required for that process are so particular, the fossil record can only represent a tiny fraction of everything that has ever lived. Darwin provided many environmental dynamics explaining why no single quarry could ever provide a continuous record of biological events, and why it would be impossible to find all the fossilized ancestors of every lineage. But despite this, he predicted that future generations, -having the benefit of better understanding- would discover a substantial number of fossil species which he called “intermediate” or “transitional” between what we see alive today and their taxonomic ancestors at successive levels in paleontological history.
In fact, in the century-and-a-half since then, we’ve found millions of evolutionary intermediaries in the fossil record, much more than Darwin said he could reasonably hope for. There are three different types of transitional forms and we have ample examples of each. But creationists still insist that we’ve never found a single one, because what they usually ask us to present are impossible parodies which evolution would neither produce nor permit, like Kirk Cameron’s Crocoduck. In fact, Darwin explained in detail why we should NOT find anything like this. We’re not looking for a blend of two species that both currently exist. Such a thing would actually go against evolution. Instead, he said, that if his theory were true, then what we should find would be a basal form potentially ancestral to both current species. And in this one case alone, we’ve found dozens of them in a near continuous lineage dating beyond the dawn of the Mesozoic era.
A decade ago, Kathleen Hunt, a zoologist with the University of Washington, produced a list of a few hundred of the more dramatic transitional species known so far, all of which definitely fit every criteria required of the most restrictive definition. Myriad transitional species have been, and still are being, discovered; so many in fact that lots of biologists and paleontologists now consider that list “innumerable” especially since the tally of definite transitionals keeps growing so fast! Several lineages are now virtually complete, including our own.
Ray points out that God is nowhere mentioned in Darwin’s books. That is God was never involved in shaping animals as they are. Ray finally says that Tolkien, Arthur C. Clark, and J.K. Rowling do not hold a candle to Charles Darwin, but then goes on to address several “objections and statements” from anonymous supporters of evolution.
God is not mentioned in Charles Darwin’s books…well big fucking whoop! Pierre Simon Laplace was Napoleon’s scientific advisor. Laplace a determinist and claimed that using Newton’s laws, one could predict the future with the same precision that one knows the past. When he presented a copy of his masterwork, Celestial Mechanics, to Napoleon, the emperor was reputed to have to say, “You have written this huge work on the heavens, without once mentioning God.” Laplace replied, “Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis.” While Laplace’s was conclusion regarding determinism turned out to be completely incorrect, his famous remark to the French Emperor hit the bulls eye: God is unnecessary.
Here is the truth in the matter about science. Science by its very nature does not make any comment on the supernatural. Science is based on methological naturalism, which examines only the natural world. Science and scientists are focused on making actual discoveries and progress, not being fixed in absolute superstitious dogmatism. While brilliant men like Charles Darwin, Richard Fineman, and Einstein were working on how nature operates, Ray Comfort’s ilk were making themselves useful to mankind by calculated how many angels could fit on the head of a pin.
Calculating how many angels can fit on the head of a pin is as useless as it gets. Why? Because no matter what number anyone can imagine, it cannot be tested to verify or prove. This is true for everything regarding the supernatural: it cannot be tested and thus not proven…and God falls directly in this area. Excluding God does not make a scientific model “anti-god.” It’s just science, it does not waste any effort on something it cannot test.
Mankind used to label anything it did not understand as some “supernatural” event, like lightning caused by deities with hammers. Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant movement, called doctors “fools” because they were treating diseases like they came from natural sources rather than diabolical demons. However, when we figured out the real answer to why these natural disasters and phenomenons occurred, we would have NEVER have came up with the real answer if we dogmatically stuck to the supernatural explanations. First we had to remove the supernatural from the equation, then examine nature carefully. And then when we found out what the real answers were to these phenomenons, it was always vastly more interesting. A whole new field of study that we would not have ever dreamt of finally opened, and propelled us forward.
While science pushes forward, not a single “supernatural” claim has ever been proven. To confirm this, James “the Amazing” Randi, a former Las Vegas illusionist well-versed in the angles used in supernatural pseudoscience -has for ten years- offered a million-dollar prize for anyone who can show testable evidence of the things we should expect would also be true if there were ethereal entities influencing things with molecular structures. In that time, he has exposed a few frauds. But to date, no one has ever produced any actual evidence for faith-healing, telepaths, psionics, precognative psychic friends with astral bodies, past life remembrance, or spectral manifestations of any kind. So where is there any field of study or accurate fact positively promoting a magical creation? Nowhere.
There are mountains of evidence to support evolution, even though it is not perfect it is better than believing in magic
The anonymous person asks if Ray is afraid to look at the evidence, and welcomes Ray to visit his blog (which is not provided in this book). Ray says a “simple-minded man” once believed Pinocchio was true, and said he had evidence to support it. His evidence: a doll described as that in the story and a photo of a child who looked just like the doll, from that he concluded that the doll came to life. This man (Ray never names him) said that his theory was scientific and anyone who disagreed was being unscientific. Ray links this to atheists – a person who does not believe in God, but accepts life came from non-life and the wild speculation of evolution. Ray says many people are gullible, as evident due to his experience as a magician and tricking people. People believe a whale had legs because of some bump in its side or “some amino-acids means that chickens were once dinosaurs.”
Any middle-schooler who passed general science can tell why Ray’s Pinocchio argument is fallacious and nonsensical. First of all, Ray does not name who this person was, nor their credentials, backgrounds, etc. Second, simply comparing pictures and drawing up links without any empirical proof is not that different than when Ray looks at the earth and claims that an invisible creator did it.
When Ray says “atheist think…” right there he is already lying. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in god(s), it has nothing to do with views of origins. So why do many people believe life can come from non-life? Perhaps it is because of the evidence supporting abiogenesis.
Ray Comfort claims to have looked at the evidence for evolution and is not afraid to look at the “starter information” because the finish does not exist. Ray concludes the argument is over when God reveals himself to you.
What Ray should have said is that he is not afraid to look at poor sources and dismiss them out of hand. He dares not go and address professional biologists, neither for his books or his program Way of the Master. If anyone here is gullible, it is those who are fall prey to magic tricks like Ray Comfort: magic man in the sky done all of it. As for why people believe whales have legs, Ray seriously lacks the anatomical education, but we can see today that certain whales are born with legs. These lost traits are called atavisms – another proof for evolution.
The appendix has some uses
The next anonymous person from the Duke University Medical Center talks about the appendix and that new material has shown that it is useful for storing bacteria. William Parker said it was time to “correct the textbooks” and from this Ray declares that this was an honest move of declaration the theory of evolution is wrong. Ray says for years the appendix was used as evidence for the theory, now it has been shown to serve a critical function and (like a child) Ray suddenly bursts into saying things like: There’s no admittance of wrong. They discovered that God made it for a reason…Of course, believers will parrot that there is no need for an apology because science is never “wrong.” Ray says that he is not bothered what people believe, so long that it does not conflict with the “truth of Christianity” and “causes them to reject the gospel.”
Nowhere in this study does it say that the appendix is not a vestigial, nor that vestigial means useless. Vestigial only means it lost its original function, and this study seems to show that it has formed a new function. This is certainly not a declaration that the theory of evolution is wrong, nor would the entire theory rest on one appendix when compared to the vast amounts of evidence from many fields of science.
What Ray is very worried about is not whether something is true or can be clearly demonstrated to be true, it does not matter to Ray. Ray only holds dearly to he presupposition that the Bible is literally true and nothing can conflict with its contents. Ray is not worried about discovering the truth, only as long as it is his truth. Unfortunately for Ray, the evidence overwhelmingly sides with reality: evolution is a fact. Ray will never accept this, because it conflicts with a literal translation of the Bible, which means his faith binds him to live in a world of ignorance.
Christian Comment and an Atheist Replies
The next piece deals with an atheist responding to a Christian. The Christian instructs people to put a frog in a blender, blend it, pour the remains on a table, and see if life “hops” out since all the ingredients for life are present. (Is Ray seriously suggesting that people carry out this cruelty?) The atheist responds that it is dead, and the frog took billions of years to appear on earth, and then the atheist speculates (very clearly speculates) that if the remains were brought to an alien planet, perhaps something would happen.
Ray says the atheist “obviously doesn’t know what atheistic evolution believes.” Ray describes it as in the beginning there were no remain and no “conditions” for life. There was no water, no sunlight, no air, no DNA, NOTHING. Ray says that atheists believe everything came from nothing, but they respond with “who made God?” Ray does not answer, instead he rather calls them “an unthinking mind” and rationalizes itself because they refuse to accept the eternity of God.
Obviously, Ray does not have the slightest clue what evolution is all about. First of all, evolution is not atheistic. There are hundreds of theistic scientists who accept the theory of evolution as a fact. Notable scientists include the Rev. Robert Barker; Rev. Keith Miller founder of Stan Firm Ministries; Dr. Kenneth Miller (a traditional Catholic); Dennis O. Lamoureux; David N. Livingstone Ph.D.; Prof. Richard Colling Ph.D.; Dr. Francis Collins; Howard J. Van Till; Dr. Larry Arnhart; Prof. David I. Wilcox Ph.D.; Dr. Graeme Finlay; Prof. Donald Nield Ph.D.; Dr. Denis Edwards (author of “The God of Evolution”); Prof. Rev. John Polkinghorne Ph.D.; Prof. Stanley L. Jaki Ph.D.; and Theodosius Dobzhansky (who once said “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”)
Furthermore, the theory of evolution as a whole does not rule out God anymore than astrophysics. At best, the theory of evolution only refutes a literal interpretation of two chapters of the Genesis account. That is the only problem Ray Comfort and his ilk have with the theory of evolution, and they will label it whatever they can to deceive others.
So according to Ray Comfort, there were no life-forming conditions and elements at the beginning of the earth. Ray Comfort uses the specific word “nothing.” Unfortunately, science easily refutes this. The conditions for life have indeed been present on Earth and have remained constant for millions of years in the early stages of Earth. Cell theory requires that all living organisms are made of cells, and to have cells you need certain elements. These existed for millions of years on earth before life came to be on this planet. Ray Comfort simply made up or deliberately lied that there were no elements on earth. As for the “unthinking mind” person here, it heavily seems to be Ray Comfort.
Comfort is ignorant regarding the evolution of sex. There exist hermaphrodites and asexuals
The fourth anonymous person calls out Ray who is ignorant in the field and not willing to so much as go to Wikipedia. Ray responds by re-asking the question when did sex evolve, and wonders why he is called names when he does not accept the explanation provided. Ray goes to their “source” and reports it is just verbal sleight-of-hand. The quote is taken straight from Wikipedia,
In most multicellular sexual species, the population consists of two sexes, only one of which is capable of bearing young (with the exception of simultaneous hermaphrodites). In an asexual species, each member of the population is capable of bearing young. This implies that an asexual population has an intrinsic capacity to grow more rapidly each generation. The cost was first described in mathematical terms by John Maynard Smith. He imagined an asexual mutant arising in a sexual population, half of which comprises males that cannot themselves produce offspring. With female-only offspring, the asexual lineage doubles its representation in the population each generation, all else being equal. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sexual_reproduction)
Ray responds with this,
Wait a minute! Isn’t his imaging, he has just pulled a big rabbit out of the hat. He is talking about asexuality and suddenly makes a reference to “males” and “female-only offspring.” But there’s no explanation as to where he and she came from, or how he and she came, or how long it took for him or her to evolve. Where did she and he come from, and, just a minor point to the evolutionist, why did he and she appear in the 1.4 million of the earth’s species?
Ray stops there and does not look any further and declares “There you have it. There is actually no explanation at all, just a supposition that ‘evolution did it.’ Magic. Male and female suddenly appeared.”
Starting off, Ray Comfort wonders why he gets called “names” when he rejects the explanations given by scientists. The answer is simple: he is in deliberate denial for irrationality sakes. Just like a religious zealot who thinks the Earth is flat, Ray Comfort is not interested in the scientific answers or the truth, and a person like that gets called out on it.
Here we have Ray only visiting Wikipedia (a VERY poor source to begin with) and only reading half of a chapter, and then stopping. Without going further, he adds in his own two cents, then draws a conclusion based on his own two cents that his opinions were correct. He repeats his old questions, but again seems to have deliberately skipped the whole article and did not bother to do a two-minute research on Google. It is obvious and not surprising: Ray Comfort is willfully ignorant.
As for the evolution of sex, already there are numerous valid explanations for its origin.
Comfort’s falsely claims that atheists believe that everything came from nothing while at the same time believe nothing created something
Ray does not comment on his beliefs of how everything came to be, rather he sticks to bashing the “atheist beliefs” and quoting Scripture to call them fools. Next, he quotes Richard Dawkins from his book Ancestors Tales where Dawkins admitted that life “evolved literally from nothing — it is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to its justice.” Ray says that he would be mad, but if the atheists want to stay in the “intellectual” arena they must justify it. Ray does not provide a single explanation, but rather that they all speak in the “language of speculation” (words like probably, perhaps, etc) and ends it by quoting Romans 1:21-22.
Ray clearly demonstrates his one-sided bias. He seems to have no intent or thought of critically examining himself and his own beliefs. Rather, he seems to have a strong mind that if he makes his opposition look bad, then his position wins by default. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work.
Ray does indeed believe something can come from nothing via magic – he admits it himself by claiming that God DID speak things into being (an incantation). As for what an atheist believes, as already noted, atheism is simply the lack of belief in god(s) and has no say on origins. Any atheist can have any thought of how the universe came to be, so Ray creates a straw man here and claims victory when he knocks it down.
What would Ray accept to reconsider his views of evolution?
Ray calls evolution the most unscientific, faith-based, fundamentally brainless idea brought forth by man and the pages of the Origin of Species seem to be written by a man who believed the sun was square, came out at night, and was made of ice. Ray says the only honest thing mentioned was when a friend of Darwin came to him and told him he surrendered his life to a fantasy (no reference provided). While Richard Dawkins mocks Ray Comfort for his banana fallacy, Dawkins believes that bananas are his cousins.
Ray’s rather closed, immature, intellectually-free rant here reveals much of his character and shallow skin. It is an excellent example of projection; slapping all the obvious wrong things regarding his Bible onto a observable and undeniable fact as evolution that contradicts his flawed sacred book. Ray cannot name a single instance when or where Darwin ever even hinted that the sun was square and such. Darwin’s theory of evolution barely mentioned the sun at all. What does the bible say about the sun? It says the sun is just as old as the stars, younger than the earth, can sing, moves while the earth remains motionless, and was made by magic.
As for bananas and humans, the main thing we have in common is that we are both eukaryote – that is, we are made of cells enclosed within membranes. All plant and animal life are as well, which fits perfectly into the evolutionary model. At the dawn of life, it is expected that the earliest forms of life would share similar characteristics. However, over the course of adaption and natural selection throughout the ages, changes would occur to the point life became vastly diverse.
In the end, Ray just puts any word out there to make evolution seem foolish, and there is absolutely no chance whatsoever to convince him that evolution is true and God is not real.
It seems Ray is proud of his ignorance and his lack of ability to comprehend and understand how science works. Hypocritically and ironically, it is Ray Comfort who often asks his readers and viewers to “keep an open mind” in Chapter 1 of his book How to Know God Exists.
Possible deist examines Ray Comfort’s tactics
The next person (not clearly an atheist, perhaps deist) addresses Ray’s letters-to-words analogy and why it fails, while also confessing that the person could not figure out why God did things the way he did. Ray does not attempt to defend his analogy, rather he attacks the person for not believing in Genesis 1 and 2 and not accepting that we live in a fallen world – which Ray says is why the person is not sure why God did things in such a way. Next, Ray changes the argument to argue the anonymous person does not exist is just as absurd as saying God does not exist.
What the person thinks about God and why he did what he did (if he did it at all) is not important. What is more important is if anyone can show that God DID do these certain things. Ray Comfort, nor any creationist, has ever shown or provided a model that points to the Christian god as being the creator of anything.
Finally, Ray’s last argument is a straw man. Science already has given us a clear understanding how the universe could have arisen without the need of a God. Based on that, plus the lack of evidence for Ray’s God, there is nothing wrong with concluding there is no god.
Why did God create the appendix?
Ray says that for a long time that evolutionists accepted vestigial evidences such as the appendix.
First note, Ray Comfort did not answer the question. Instead, Ray Comfort describes them as “anatomy left over through the course of evolution” but does not hint that evolution states that vestigial organs are completely useless. Their function may have diminished or disappeared.
Why did God create the human tailbone and third molers?
Ray says that it is not a “tail” but the end of your backbone, and without it you could not sit to go to the bathroom. As for the teeth, Ray says that the claim that the third moler causes damage crowding has not been met under scrutiny and they were given by God to enjoy your food.
What evidence does Ray have that God gave us molers to enjoy our food? None.
No scientific article, no anatomical description to explain himself, nothing.
And yes the tailbone, the tailbone is indeed appropriately named the tailbone, because it is a vestigial remnant of the tails our ancestors once had. It’s still in our genetic codes, and sometimes people are born with those tails.
More than 100 cases of human tails have been reported in the medical literature. True human tails are rarely inherited, though several familial cases are known (Dao and Netsky 1984; Ikpeze and Onuigbo 1999; Touraine 1955). In one case the tail has been inherited through at least three generations of females (Standfast 1992).
The coccyx was already addressed, and yet creationist still think that scientists claim that vestigial means “useless” — this is incorrect. “Vestigial” does not mean an organ is useless. A vestige is a “trace or visible sign left by something lost or vanished.”
Atheists do not accept the universe was a “creation” and thus could not be “created” as Ray often argues, but rather it is the result of natural processes
Ray ignores this, and points out that the person is “careful” not to say the universe is eternal, because the person knows it is a scientific impossibility because “all that heat would have been used up.” Ray says that atheists believed that everything “formed” itself. Ray hypothetically writes an atheist Old Testament to say that the atheist believes “in the beginning there was nothing, and nothing formed itself into everything” but notes that the person said he/she believed the universe was formed by natural laws. So Ray asks what caused nature?
Careful not to say the universe is eternal? What heat? Ray is implying the second law of thermodynamics, but in reality it does not say that an eternal universe is impossible. Ray Comfort is more than happy to claim that his God is eternal, but why not save a step and say the universe is eternal? Ray does not provide any argument why the claim an eternal universe is a “scientific impossibility.”
When Ray said that atheists “believe…” he immediately shot himself in the foot. Claiming what atheists “believe” is nonsense, and making an atheist “Old testament” is just as ridiculous. The one thing that connects all atheists together is the lack of belief in a god(s). However they view how the universe came to be is up to them. Also, Ray’s terminology is deliberately misleading. Saying that the “universes formed itself” implies that some planning or thought of action was in place. This is not the case.
Ray asked what caused nature? This only implies that the “cause and event” is always relevant. In quantum mechanics, the cause and effect does not apply (as do several other physical laws). Therefore, Ray is asking the wrong question, and if he continues to ask this question he will only be met with disappointment. Unfortunately, it is likely when this is properly answered to Ray, he will take this “disappointment” to portray that the question remains unanswered, and therefore he claims his position that everything was made by magic wins by default. This is how Ray operates to boost his position while demeaning any alternative (and often more logical) views.
Is Ray is honestly arguing all the ingredients for life were not present on earth?
Ray says absolutely not.
But he seems to contradict himself, because when addressing the third person above, he states that there was no air or water. Rather, Ray says here that dirt is dirt – it has no life in it at all.
Ray goes on to quote Scripture to support that God created life and souls, and uses the Bible to preach what happens to your soul after death. Ray also notes that there are several elements in the soil that is also in the human body, therefore when God made the human body from the soil it makes sense that they would share certain elements.
And the only evidence Ray provides is just a few Bible verses and speculation based on no evidence. This is why Ray fails to convince people.
Not only that, look at what Ray defends: creationism. According to the book of Genesis, God makes man from dirt and mud and “breathes” life into it…. in other words, this is the exact equivalent of a Golem Spell.
Regarding pleas from www.liveScience.com beneath an article titles the “Top 10 Missing Links.” A person stresses he/she is not religious or a creationist, but wants to see evidence for human evolution via missing links. Wherever the author asks for evidence, it is always biased. Another person explains there are no missing links in the sense he is talking about. Everything is linked, and there is evidence to support it (while providing book references) and there are no “missing” evidences. The only comment from Ray is “What did this person get? ‘There are no missing links. Go read a book and study bacteria, plants and insects.'” Ray then concludes “The dilemma is that there are no undisputed species-to-species transitional forms.”
Actually, the response to the doubter was very good. The only thing is that Ray flat-out denies that transitional fossils exist, and he does it through his gritted teeth.
Ray Comfort says there’s no evidence of “species-to-species” – ignoring the fact this has been observed and documented. Ray Comfort likes to latch on to the word “observed,” claiming that the scientific method is entirely based on observation and testing. And yet, it is no mistake that I said that “species-to-species” has been observed. This is a process called speciation, where we can see the development and evolution of brand new species that did not once exist. There are thousands of examples of speciation that have been scientifically proven and peer-reviewed.
Another observable example of “species-to-species” is specie rings. In this case, it can be observed that when a species migrates or is geologically cut off from the original population, they undergo evolution and become new species that can no longer breed with the original population. Specie rings reveal different evolutionary stages exist all at once in a geographic rather than chronological distribution. Subspecies (A) may breed with subspecies (B), and (B) may breed with (C), and (C) with (D), but (A) and (D) cannot interbreed because by the time their territories overlap again, they’ve grown too distant genetically, and can’t come back. This is when we see the formation of new features, organs, or skeletal structures, each examples of new genetic “information”. What all these show is that even though a new species of perching bird (for example) is “still” a finch, it is now a different “kind” of finch, a distinct descendant species proving there is no “boundary” against macroevolution.
A decade ago, Kathleen Hunt, a zoologist with the University of Washington, produced a list of a few hundred of the more dramatic transitional species known so far, all of which definitely fit every criteria required of the most restrictive definition. Myriad transitional species have been, and still are being, discovered; so many in fact that lots of biologists and paleontologists now consider that list “innumerable” especially since the tally of definite transitionals keeps growing so fast! Several lineages are now virtually complete, including our own.
“I don’t believe in evolution. I simply have confidence in science”
Ray talks about the discovery of the fossil Ardi and the scientists dating the soil. Ray says this is like if his gets buried in a sediment 2.6 million years old, and then later discovered, would that make Ray 2.6 million years old? Ray ends it with this “honest atheist” that basically he trusts the word of the geologist and taking his word for it – basically showing the faith the atheist have in scientists.
While people generally do not take their words for it, and through modern technology we can read, evaluate, and analyze the works of scientists. Some of us can make the same observations or do some tests. However, this is material coming from men in certain fields they have trained for many years, but they are always open to scrutiny. In science, scientists are like vultures to their peers, constantly trying to refute their ideas and data. Not once in 150 years has anyone refuted evolution, but more to the point, scientists are not always right. However, even men like Ray Comfort assume their work is correct without ever verifying it or taking a peek at their work before he goes to a hospital and ask for medicine.
As for Ardi, they did date his remains. Dating the soil around him and compared to the data results from the fossil confirms they belong in the same era. So even if Ray was buried in a sediment several million years old, both his remains and surrounding can be tested, and it can clearly show that he does not belong there.
Angry rant at Ray and his idiocy regarding science and “home-school” textbooks
Ray basically defends home schooled kids and homeschooling for two pages.
Conservative evangelical Christians dominate the home-schooling movement in America. Creationism is often taught, alongside the parents religious views.
Atheists do not believe everything came from nothing, it is just Ray simply does not care about being honest
When Ray says that God always existed, people can say the same about the universe. When Ray calls them ridiculous, he is basically ridiculing the same logic used by non-Christians. Ray’s first response: “And in doing so, you reveal you don’t understand the basics of science. The second law of thermodynamics shows that the universe cannot be eternal because it would have crumbled into dust (in time).”
Ray does not address his own beliefs and why he does not call himself ridiculous, rather he bashes the person -calling them a fool as it says in the Bible- and that science is repeatable and the Big Bang is not.
“And in doing so, you reveal you don’t understand the basics of science.” The ULTIMATE projection. The second law of thermodynamics does not say such a thing, it just says that heat will always move to cold areas. Energy (potential and kinetic) create heat within the universe. If this is only Ray’s objection to an eternal universe, he already lost. Ray again reveals here he has no intentions of critically examining and critiquing his own beliefs. This is what separates Ray from honest people – when they are wrong or mistaken, they will admit it. Ray here criticizes people who use the same logic he does, but is blind to see the obvious.
Chapter 4: Philosophy: Beliefs and Worldviews
You may not need proof to believe in your god or any god, but if all those fantastic stories were true there would have to be some sort of proof right?
Comfort starts off by telling this person that they may be able to believe without proof, such as the theory of evolution, but in Comforts case he does depend on proof, otherwise he would not dedicate his life to his conviction. He says there is proof of God, which he knew about before he became a Christian. His proof: creation requires a creator. He says atheists say there never was a “creation” so they get rid of the word “made” because it speaks of a maker. Comfort names shows and cars that all were made by someone, which prove there was a maker.
Comfort says there is a lot of proof for the stories in the Bible, but the reader will not be willing to look because of their presupposition stance. Comfort challenges the reader to go to a website that walks the reader through his “Are You a Good Person?” tactic and then read John 14:21 several times. “It is either true or it isn’t.”
I already have debunked each step of Ray Comfort’s “Are You a Good Person?” tactic, which you can read here.
The only thing driving Comfort’s work is not “proof” of God, which is evident given that not once in his evangelical life has he provided a lick of proof of god, instead the main thing driving his work is the dollar.
Claiming the universe was created because cars are man-made is a false equivocation. Cars are artifacts and are thus artificially manufactured. The universe is natural product of physical laws, therefore it is the exact opposite of a artificially made product.
While one might be able to pick out a small handful of stories in the Bible that did happen, there are many stories that are historically false (there was no grand consensus, Tyre still exists, there was no Exodus, etc). In addition, simply noting several stories that did occur or locations or people that did exist in ancient history does not mean everything in the story happened. For instance, we do know that several locations and kings in Homer’s epic Iliad did exist. But that does not mean sea monsters, mythical giants and Greek Gods are true.
Charles Darwin was a good, humble man whereas the Bible is full of dangerous myths (page 96)
Comfort states “I once believed that Charles Darwin wasn’t a racist (as some suggested), and that even if he was, his personal morality was irrelevant when it came to the theory of evolution. But after studying him closely, I changed my mind. Lets look at his own words:”
“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”
Comfort says that this shows Darwin thought civilized races will replace savage races, the gap between the races will become wider just as wide as the white man and the gorilla. Comfort says that Darwin believed blacks were closely related to gorillas, and yet admires of Darwin try to find pieces of Darwin speaking kindly of their intelligence and despising slavery in England. Comfort compares this to how one may speak nicely of dogs (being well mannered and intelligent).
According to talk.origins, this is a common creationist quote mine.
One of their examples of creationist citing this quote is: (Answers in Genesis June 1999)
When Darwin referred to “race” he meant “varieties,” not human races. (For example, in Chapter 1 of On the Origin of Species, Darwin writes “the several races, for instance, of the cabbage”.)
In the passage “there is nothing in Darwin’s words to support (and much in his life to contradict) any claim that Darwin wanted the “lower” or “savage races” to be exterminated. He was merely noting what appeared to him to be factual, based in no small part on the evidence of a European binge of imperialism and colonial conquest during his lifetime.”(http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part4.html#DarwinRaceQuotes Quote #4.6) Darwin’s passage, in full context, reads:
The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. (Charles Darwin (1871) The Descent of Man, 1st edition, pages 200 – 201. (From Cambridge University website))
Even though Ray Comfort says his research shows that Darwin thought highly of blacks and their intelligence, Ray Comfort insists that Darwin was a racist for his evolutionary theory to claim that blacks are closer related to gorillas then whites.
Next, Ray Comfort brings up “evolutionary scientist” James D. Watson and his book, Darwin: The Indelible Stamp; The Evolution of an Idea, that got himself
Why wont you answer my question: who brought you to Jesus Christ? (page 101)
Ray Comfort answers: Graham Reid.
Meeting him after Ray became a husband, Ray Comfort says he never knew his new friend Graham was a Christian. On a surfing trip April 1972, he found a Bible in Graham’s car, read Matthew 5:27-28, and “realized I sinned against God.” That night, Graham shared the “good news” with Ray, and Ray became born-again at 1:30 A.M.
Ray Comfort says that he could not believe that his new wife was going to die like everybody else. In tears, he asked why was this so? Ray says he did not think he was heard that night, but claims he was heard by God, which is what caused Ray Comfort to “fell at the Savior’s feet.”
Ray Comfort loves to share that he became a Christian in the 1970’s, but remember he is from New Zealand. But strangely, ever since 1976, New Zealand saw a dramatic rise in “no religion” amongst it’s citizens and a drop of the number of people who professed to be Christians. Since 1976, the percentage of the population who identified as “non-religious” was about 4%, but in 2006 it had risen to 33% and still continues to grow. That’s a huge climb, whereas every denomination of Christianity saw a steady decline and continues to drop.
So if Ray Comfort wanted to share his new found love for God, why did he not stay in the country of his birth and try to confront the turning tide? Instead, Ray Comfort traveled across the Pacific to the most religious 1st world country in the world, the United States, where the majority of it’s citizens are Christians and there was no noticeable slide in religious beliefs on the way, no apparent rise of atheism, and therefore no reason for a new evangelical preacher to show up. So why did Ray Comfort ignore the desperate need for Christian evangelism in his own country who were turning away from the Bible and embracing a more secular path, and instead move to the U.S. where the majority were staunch firm believers? Because Ray Comfort found the easiest way to make money there is, preach amongst the flock of believers who will hand over their money to anyone with an ounce of charm who told them what they wanted to hear. Faith was never his driving motivation, otherwise he would have spent all his energy evangelizing in his own country, instead the carrot at the end of his stick has always been the money. Ray Comfort doesn’t believe every word he preaches, but it doesn’t matter to him because he only saws what his religious flock wants to hear, and so long as he keeps doing that, they will fill his pockets with loads of money.
So how much money does Ray Comfort generate? A lot actually.
“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.” – Carl Sagan (page 102)
Ray Comfort says that this quote by Carl Sagan shows he was truly “lost” and “misinformed” about living on a forgotten planet.
Ray Comfort says “the fact this earth has oxygen, that it has water, that it is just the right distance from the star we call the sun sets us apart as having great significance.”
The fact that the Earth has oxygen and btw, can vary from 147 to 152 million miles away from the sun due to Earth’s elitical orbit (and can in fact could decrease by 4.5 million miles or increase 34 million miles, and still be in the “habitable zone”), does not mean there is a “creator.” It’s not that Earth is tuned for life, it’s the other way around, life is attuned to this planet. That’s the significant part.
We look to the stars for signs of planets that resemble our own (having water, oxygen, and right distance from the sun) because we hope to find life like ours, but the search is a bit narrow. As physicist Victor Stenger once discussed, it is perhaps possible to find life based on other elements similar to carbon, such as silicon.
Ray Comfort says this planet is not “forgotten” because God knows everything. Of course, atheists don’t believe that. To which, Ray Comfort says “imagine the tragedy and sense of betrayal – if you base your whole life on the empty philosophy of Carl Sagan, and find on Judgment Day that he did repent and trust in the Savior. Imagine seeing him separated to Heaven, and you yourself cast into Hell because you followed him in life but weren’t privy to his death.”
All talk, no proof. All this talk of pending “judgment day” coming without providing proof that it or the “judge” even being real. It’s as nonsensical and feeble as arguing that Carl Sagan can’t be taken seriously because Ragnarok is coming, and the gods will battle, the Earth will plunder into chaos and the wolf Fenrir will swallow the sun.
As for Ray’s “god” (which he has yet to proven even real), when we examine this god-character with logic, we see that he cannot know everything and be all-powerful at the same time.
You [Ray Comfort] do not understand how science works, so you should shut up. Go learn about paleontology, geology, and biology and then come back when you understand it. (page 103)
Ray Comfort only responds to this with a quote from Charles Spurgeon:
“Away from the old-fashioned belief of our forefathers because of the supposed discoveries of science. What is science? The method by which man tries to conceal his ignorance. It should not be so, but so it is. You are not to be dogmatical in theology, my brethren, it is wicked; but for scientific men, it is the correct thing. You are never to assert anything very strongly; but scientists may boldly assert what they cannot prove, and may demand a faith far more credulous than any we possess.
Forsooth, you and I are to take our Bibles, and shape and mould our belief according to the ever-shifting teachings of so-called scientific men. What folly is this! Why, the march of science, falsely so-called, through the world, may be traced by exploded fallacies and abandoned theories. Former explorers, once adored, are now ridiculed; the continual exposure of false hypotheses is a matter of universal notoriety. You may tell where the learned have encamped by the debris left behind of suppositions and theories as plentiful as broken bottles. As the quacks, who ruled the world of medicine in one age, are the scorn of the next, so has it been, and so will it be, with your atheistical savants and pretenders to science….
So the bubbles go on bursting, and meanwhile more are being blown, and we are expected to believe in whatever comes, and wait with open mouth to see what comes next. But we shall not just yet fall down and worship the image of human wisdom, notwithstanding all the flutes, harps, sackbuts, psalteries, dulcimers, weekly papers, quarterly reviews, and boastful professors. Show us a man of science worthy of the name, and then we will not follow him if he dares to oppose revealed truth; but show us one in whom the next generation will believe; at present, there is not one alive worthy to be compared with Newton and other master-minds reverent to the Scriptures, compared with whom these men are mere pretenders.”
The piece in the middle that was left out right after “atheistical savants and pretenders of science” was “But they remind us of facts. Are they not yet ashamed to use the word? Wonderful facts, made to order, and twisted to their will to overthrow the actual facts which the pen of God Himself has recorded! Let me quote from “Is the Book Wrong?” by Mr. Hely Smith, a pamphlet worthy of an extensive reading.” Charles Spurgeon goes on to examine pieces of pottery found in the Nile River.
In your personal experience, in what ways to you experience divine wrath and mercy? (page 104)
Ray Comfort says he never experienced wrath, but he realized the wrath that was upon him the moment he realized he broke God’s “perfect law” (the Ten Commandments).
This is the equivalent of a hostage with a criminal holding a gun to his head saying “oh I know this man, he’s a nice neighbor and always sweet to my family, so I better love him and obey him otherwise he will blow my head off.” What would we call such a person holding a hostage at gun point and threatening to harm them if they don’t do what he wants? We would not call them kind or merciful, perhaps wicked and/or tyrannical.
Second of all, regarding the “perfect law” of the Ten Commandments…. I must remind my readers, that the only time in the entire Old Testament are they called the “Ten Commandments” is in Exodus 34. That’s the only time. Now for a little context, Moses is told by God in Exodus 20 that he has a set of rules for him and the Jews, but Gonly only “speaks” them, he does not write them down anywhere. It’s only after that does he instruct Moses to go up the mountain alone for 40 days to make the tablets. When Moses is done and comes down with the tablets, he sees the Jews worshiping a idol, a golden calf. Moses gets angry and smashes the tablets, then orders 3,000 Jews to be put to death. Only after that, God tells Moses to go back up the mountain alone and will return with identical tablets. So when Moses finally comes down from the mountain with the tablets, it’s only then are these laws called the “Ten Commandments”…. now take a look at what the laws are:
“Do not cook a goat in it’s mother’s milk”…. “firstborn’s belong to me”….
… these are the “perfect law” of the creator of the universe? Bread with no yeast? Celebrating festivals?
Notice there is no mention of killing, lying, adultery, coveting, or dishonoring your parents in this list. None of these are mentioned in the “Ten Commandments.” Apparently, murder and theft and adultery is not important to God at all. Instead, God only seems to care how much you praise him and offer him stuff.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what Ray Comfort’s theology teaches: Kiss God’s ass or he will smite you with wrath.
Ray, are you afraid of dying? (page 108)
Summed up, Ray says he is afraid of the process of dying, but not death itself.
Ray Comfort just contradicted himself. In his book, “Jaws Without Teeth” on page 122, Ray Comfort shares he is talking to a Christian woman if she is afraid to die. When she says she was not afraid of death itself, Ray Comfort writes the following: “But I have it from a trustworthy Source that she was lying. Strong words, but true. She was lying through her terrified teeth. The Bible says that all of humanity are “all of their lifetime” haunted by the fear of death (see Hebrew 2:14–15).”
So, if everyone is afraid of death (according to Ray and his trust-worthy source) then even Ray Comfort himself is afraid of death. So either he is lying here or he is lying that his trust-worthy source is accurate.
Chapter 5: Religion: God and Atheism
If there is a God, why didn’t He kill Hitler before he killed millions of people?
Ray answers, while also including Himmler, “it would make sense that if God were to have stopped Hitler by killing him, he should also have killed each one of those evil men because they were also potentially mass murderers.” Right after that, Ray says no more about Hitler and switches straight to Stalin, and says that God should have killed him. Ray says God should have also killed the guilty in Rwanda, Pol Pot, the Armenian genocide, and such. Ray goes on and on, listing the horrible people and we expect God to do the “right” thing and kill them. But then, Ray says should God kill drunk drivers who kill innocent people? What about suicide bombers? Mafia bosses? Bomb builders? And then Ray includes the kidnappers, rapists, and torturers. Ray argues that if God killed people before the committed evil, this would include ALL of us. Ray reassures the person and his readers that the evil people will get what is coming to them in the afterlife. How are we all in trouble? Ray says God sees lusting as adultery and hatred as murder, any sin we commit is just as bad committing murder. Ray then mentions several instances in the Bible when he DID kill people on the spot for idolatry, homosexuality, lying, and committing sexual sins.
There is a big difference between a drunk driver and Hitler. One is aware of his deliberate intentions of trying to wipe a certain group off the face of the earth, while the other finds themselves in a tragic accident under the influence of alcohol.
America is a secular country and God is not needed in the 21st century
Ray begins by saying that once upon a time, prayer was allowed in schools (which Ray believes was an unalienable right) until one atheist parent convinced the Supreme Court (8 to 1) that prayer in schools was unconstitutional. This was accomplished with the creation of the “wall of separation of church and state” (which Ray says is not found in the Constitution). Ray provides what is written in the First Amendment (Ray says all ten of the amendments are “God-given liberties”).
How Ray can just quote the First Amendment and miss the essence of the separation of church and state? While the words “separation of church and state” are not there, it clearly states the government will not and must not endorse one religion over any other. One of the cores of the constitutional law is to protect the rights of the minority.
Ray, along with many conservative Christians, may wish too see prayer in schools, but laws are not made by popular vote. Many people did not wish to see colored students go to school with white students, but all it took was a brave few to push the country to protect their constitutional rights.
If I become a Christian, would I have to give up sex?
Ray says that “it may come as a shock to the average atheist, but sex did not evolve. It wasn’t an accident.” Ray says sex was created by God to give humans the gift of procreate.
Indeed sex was not an accident, but it indeed DID evolve.(http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB350.html)
Sex is not limited to just procreation. It’s also fun and enjoyable. In the same sense, our digestive system is meant to digest food in order to survive, but that does not mean we are only meant to eat just to get through the day. We also eat food because we enjoy it, it’s tasty and delicious. At best we only require three meals a day, but many people eat a little extra (like a snack or a dessert). It’s true that some people become obese, which has its health problems. This is where responsibility comes in. You eat right and take care of your own body, in the same way you be responsible for your own sex life. Your sex life is not restricted and limited to just procreation. Just be responsible, be healthy and do not harm another person.
I want to see actual proof that if there is a God, how can it be known that said God is the Christian God rather than Allah, the God of Islam?
Ray answers that Christianity is “unique” and what makes it unique is the Cross. Comfort then goes on a rant talking about man is sinful and Jesus is the way out.
This does not answer the question at all. The question was asking for empirical proof that if there is a God, how can it be determined that God is a particular God, not what makes a certain religion (which is man made) unique.
An atheist said, “So what should we believe in….(God) just ‘poofed’ everything into existence?”
Ray says what about the following ‘poof’ but no proof:
*Poof! Explosive dust cloud to planetary systems and galaxies!
*Poof! Bacteria from primordial soup!
*Poof! Cambrian Explosion!
*Poof! Invertebrates to vertebrates!
*Poof! Fish to land animals!
*Poof! Dinosaurs to birds!
*Poof! Reptiles to mammals!
*Poof! Apes to man!
Ray says “Lots of poof but no proof.” Ray quotes John 1:3 that God made everything. Ray says either God is the authority or man is, and it is up to us to decide. Ray asks who should we believe? “A perfect, all-knowing God who has always been there or fallible, sinful human beings who weren’t there?
Dodging the question, particularly missing and ignoring the part that creationism has no proof, except for Ray’s belief in a “perfect, all-knowing God who has always been there.” This is all the proof Ray requires for his dogmatic faith. Ray falsely portrays that the natural scientific explanations (which he straw mans) have zero proof, when in fact they actually do have proof. Bear in mind, none of these are “poof” instances, in the sense they happen instantaneously and spontaneously.
*If Ray is referring the the Big Bang Theory, he is way off. Rather, more likely, he is referring to the formation of the solar system. No scientist worth his salt said that these things just “poofed” from dust. The formation of planets and especially galaxies takes a long and complicated process, all possible without the aid of any god or magic.
*Abiogenesis is the study of how life formed naturally on earth. There are many plausible scenarios that have evidence to support them. Ray is giving the false impression that a fully-formed bacteria cells appeared from a mixture of elements. The first living cells were much simpler than the cells of the present. Biochemistry is not run by chance, but rather it produces many complex products.
*The Cambrian Explosion is not a “poof” instance. The Cambrian “Explosion” was a several million years process, while ignoring the vast amounts of life that existed (and fossilized) BEFORE the Cambrian.
*There are Cambrian fossils transitional between vertebrate and invertebrate, as well as living invertebrate chordates and living basal near-vertebrates that show plausible intermediate forms.(http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC211.html)
*Dinosaurs did not “poof” into birds, birds are still dinosaurs today. No animal can escape its heritage. Just as humans are mammals by definition, birds are still dinosaurs. The change in morphology between dinosaurs and modern birds is also revealed through the fossil recorded. While Ray may deny it, legitimate intermediate fossils do exist (as well as genetics) and have proven this transition beyond a shadow of a doubt. (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC214.html)
*The transition from reptile to mammal has an excellent record. (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC215.html) (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part1b.html#syn2mamm)
*Apes never “poofed” into man, because apes are still man and man are still apes. Similarly how a duck is a bird and a tiger is a cat. A duck never “poofed” into a bird, because a duck is a bird by definition.
Hypothetically, if I had the omnipotence of God, I would stop a rapist from harming a little girl while ignoring the concept of free-will (the person reasons not taking any action for the safety of the child is simply evil)
Ray responds by walking the person through several instances if they would kill a rapist or murderer. But Ray goes further, asking if the person would kill blasphemers, fornicators, greed, adulterers, rebellion, and such. Ray concludes out of hand that the person would only stop at rape and murder because the person does not see blasphemy and such just as evil as murder and rape. Ray says all of these are equal in God eyes, who apparently has a “standard of righteousness infinitely higher than ours.” Ray says if the person wishes God to strike down all those who commit evil, it would include the entire human race. Ray reassures the person that evil people will be punished in the afterlife.
So, in Ray Comfort’s mind, rapists get a free ride because some chap on the other side of the globe works on a weekend to feed his family? How is that moral?
Ray says that these rapists will be punished in the after life. Can you, the reader now, think you can watch a rapist kidnap and rape a 10-year old RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU and say to the rapist “I’ll punish you when you’re finished”? Would you say that, or would you do everything you could to stop the rape that instant? Ask yourself that question. It will tell you a lot about yourself, whether you are a decent moral being or that you’re a horrific monster.
In 2013, a man named Ariel Castro was arrested in Cleveland, Ohio. He tied up three women in his house for ten years. He constantly raped them and punched their stomachs to make them miscarry. If some stranger (who never got involved in this rape) knew of this whole thing that Ariel did to these women, from the day it started and every day onward FOR TEN YEARS, and said or did nothing to stop it, would that person be called a monster?
Regarding this supposed “standard of righteousness” Ray spoke of, when we examine this standard, it is clear that Ray Comfort has surrendered all sense of morality and common sense to believe that this standard is good, in every sense of the word. How is it righteousness to let a rapist commit a horrible act because someone else thousands of leagues away says “I believe in Krishna”? This idea that god is perfect in righteousness blinds people from seeing the horrors and atrocities it commits, stripping gullible people of their moral senses.
Imagine that your society had a new leader, who published four absolute laws that would intend to phase in as follows;
Any citizen who talks on a Friday will be executed. The leader was born on a Friday and did not talk and thus wants this respected in law.
Your leader can kill citizens or order their killing for any reason.
Any citizen forced by your leader to commit crimes through mind-altering drugs will be punished.
Parents who commit crime will have their children killed. And if it is not their first offense, they will be made to eat their children.
These laws would no doubt spark outrage. Law 1 kills people for a crime with no victim. Law 2 makes the lawmaker unaccountable by declaring their own killings lawful by definition. Laws 3 and 4 explicitly punish the blameless, directly contradicting the principle of personal responsibility with Law 4 adding an obscene element designed to dehumanize. They are definitive cases of injustice. So if asked about our objections to these laws, we are not confined too say that they are not to our taste. We have non-arbitrary reasons to object. These laws would clearly lead to identifiable abuses, we know too much what constitutes as harmful behavior, suffering, and responsibility to allow such laws to be incorporated into our justice systems.
But what if this leader has been in office all your life and you have been brought to think of him as morally perfect? Such a lawmaker would not make laws that were unjust. So this would create major cognitive dissonance. How would we respond? Perhaps we would fit some context into which it is of course right for someone who had done so much for this society to make some obsessionally arbitrary demands, or perhaps we would try to evade the problem that saying the leader’s grasp of morality was so far ahead of ours that we could not understand them, that they worked in “mysterious ways.” But we would be wrong, clearly the root of the problem is the root and false corrupting idea that the lawmaker is perfect. It is corrupt because it is causing us to accept unjust laws, it leaves us defending the undefendable. Remove this idea, and we can see the unjust laws for what they are. When we accept ideas uncritically, or make them sacred so we don’t question them, this can distort our moral reasoning because we are them prone to make mistaken ideas ruling our attitudes and behavior outside our awareness. Those who swallow whole, or injected the idea, the lawmaker is perfect, cannot properly evaluate the law until this distorting idea is identified and removed. Removing uncritical ideas we swallowed whole is often the key in resolving certain problems we have in many areas of life.
When we see the traits attributed to the biblical deity Yahweh, clearly if it existed, it could not be better placed to meet our fair consistent justice. We are told it knows our thoughts, knows whose guilty or innocent, and is perfectly moral. So unlike human justice administrators, it would have no excuse for punishing anyone but the guilty, or for punishing them disproportionately. And yet according to the Bible, it permits, commits, and commands the vilest atrocities corresponding directly to the laws we just rejected above as unjust. It orders the killing of those working on the Sabbath, gay people, and women who show insufficient evidence of virginity on their wedding night. It kills 70,000 people when David takes a census at Yahweh’s request, and kills almost all land animals by flooding for human wickedness. It hardens the heart of the pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the King of Heshbon through mind control to enable their defeat and destruction. It sends a powerful delusion to make certain people believe a lie just so they can be condemned. And it deceives prophets into giving false messages, then punishes them for doing so. Having stated that no child shall be killed for the sins of the father, it orders the killing of children for their father’s sins, the killing of the Amalekite infants, the killing of children without pity, and at least three books in the Bible have Yahweh committing perhaps the most vilest atrocities we can think of; making parents eat their own children.
But if there is a person who argues that God works in mysterious ways, ways that utterly contradict our notions of moral behavior, then its nature is clearly not the source of our morality. If according to the Bible that Yahweh’s nature is familial cannibalism a just punishment, yet when we call any human who provides such a law as depraved, then these positions are in direct conflict. And invoking divine mystery does nothing to resolve that conflict.
Responding to these atrocities with examples of mercy does not work either, it just shows that the Bible contains both atrocities and mercy.
Comfort continues to purposefully misunderstand the 2nd law of thermodynamics
Coming from a person who claims to have already corrected Ray’s misunderstanding and misuse of the second law of thermodynamics and the claim “nothing created everything.” The person notes that Ray continues to repeat the statements that was just refuted, and thus the person asks Ray to do the honest thing and stop repeating the lies. Ray replies with the following: “I am happy to acknowledge that answers have been given to explain the “nothing created everything” dilemma, but those answers are wrong. There is nothing to refute.” Ray does not explain why this is so. Rather, Ray says that he has known atheists “admit” they are not atheists when they admit that something had to have create everything (“popping the bubble of atheism”). Ray says that if atheists don’t like him saying such things, they are free to go, otherwise his blog would not be called “Atheist Central.” Ray figures atheists get tired of just talking to those who “profess to be atheists” and thus come to his blog.
Ray then asks what do you believe: Creator or no creator? If the answer is that there is no “creation” Ray says that is “absurd” (no reasoning given). Ray says if the answer is “I don’t know” then the person is not an atheist, but an agnostic. Ray says trying to define nothing as something is “ridiculous.” Ray says an atheist once said that atheists accept whatever made everything was not “intelligent” because cosmology, abiogenesis, and evolution have shown that everything can come to be without any aid from an intelligent agent. Ray calls this “crazy talk.” Ray concludes that atheists are left with a dilemma. finally, Ray provides another answer from an atheist: the atheist believes that something not nothing created everything, just that something was not God but a natural force. Therefore, he is indeed an atheist. Ray’s immediate response is only the following: “So he does believe in a Creator as the cause of the universe. He’s not an atheist.” That’s it.
Not once did Ray provide a single line of reasoning why the counter-arguments were wrong. He did not even name them or provide any reference to them. Rather, all he has seemed to have done is simply flat out ignored them, ran off with his hands in his ears, crying “I can’t hear you!” Simply labeling your criticisms as “crazy” or such is not a valid argument. You have to explain and demonstrate why and how the arguments are wrong.
Now lest go through Ray’s points. He does not explain why the claim that “we do not live in a creation” is absurd. The reasoning behind the claim we don;t live in a creation is sound. There is no empirical data or facts to show that our universe or earth was specially designed via magic.
Claiming “I don’t know” implies knowledge, not belief. If a person does not know if there is a god, this is associated with agnosticism. Most atheists are weak atheists (or agnostic atheists) – in the sense they do not know if there is a God, they just do not accept the theists beliefs that there is a god. Gnostics claim that God can be known, but agnostics disagree. Theists believe there is a god, atheists don’t buy it. In the end, atheists are still atheists for the simple fact that they lack a belief in God, whether they claim to know or not know.
There is no evidence for Intelligent design, and science has done a excellent job of explaining the origins of many things – all of which can be shown and proven to come about naturally without the aid of the supernatural. Further evidence that the supernatural was not involved can be seen by the severe lack of design and the argument of poor design. This is not “crazy talk” rather the only crazy talk is that a magic man in the sky created everything magically from nothing.
Finally, the last comment is actually accurate. As already stated, an atheist is a person who lacks a belief in a god(s), and an individual atheists personal opinion of the origin of the universe is up to him or her. If this particular atheist accepts the unknown variable need to explain how the universe came to be by answering it with a natural force (physical laws or forces) rather than a supernatural deity, then indeed he/she is an atheist. A natural law is not a “Creator” as Ray states, because the word “Creator” implies a personification of an entity. Physical laws do not have minds, sentience, or thoughts, and thus cannot be labeled “creators.” So Ray, again, is wrong; he is still an atheist.
It is strange, this book is called “Defenders Guide,” but if all Ray has to defend his beliefs is by labeling his criticisms as “crazy” then he does not have any case at all.
Ray trumps his atheist enemies by admitting there is a Supreme Being which Ray admits is not a loving God is a reverse double bluff
Ray responds by claiming he wishes he would be friends with all atheists. Ray claims to understand why many cannot accept God as a “loving” god while committing many horrible acts. Ray says the answer to why God does such things is because God is “just” and “holy”. Ray then asks the readers to think “objectively” about their sins. Ray then walks the reader through the old are you a good person tactic and states you are guilty and therefore must be saved now.
Too bad for Ray Comfort, pathological liars like himself will have a difficult time making friend. If Ray wished us to think “objectively” about “sins” he must first prove that sins exist in the first place! If a Buddhist asked Ray to think “objectively” about his crimes for breaking one of the Eightfold Paths, Ray would dismiss it because 1) he does not believe in Buddhism and 2) has not been convinced the Eightfold Paths have any relevance to his existence.
All Ray Comfort has is a presupposition that the Bible is true (without any evidence necessary). The book says that all humans are criminals in the eyes of its main character, and Ray Comfort merely believes it. It is that simple. Ray Comfort does not and never has proven that this main character (god) exists. Not only does Ray Comfort advocate believing in ridiculous nonsense, he has lost all sensibility and rationality that he thinks a being that kills people for picking up sticks on a weekend is somehow “just.”
It is hypocritical to believe “nothing created everything” which is as absurd when Ray states that “nothing created God who created everything”
Ray responds that time demands a beginning. Since God is eternal and created time, he exists in a realm that is not limited to time.
Nice try Ray, but unfortunately Ray’s argument holds no water. If God created time, that means he would have to exist before time itself. Now, God has a mind that makes decisions that is turned into actions. When God created the universe, he said “Let there be…” So, in order for God to create time, he first had to think about the concept of time, and then transmit that thought into performing the action of creating. That being said, time is required for a idea to become an action, therefor God could not have created time.
Ray Comfort claims his god created time. For the sake of argument, could Ray’s god created time? In order for anyone to believe that a god created time, they would have to believe that at one point time did not exist in order for their god to create it.
P1) God is defined as the arbiter of all things, including time;
P2) A decision requires transition from indifferences to will (requires time)
P3) Since time cannot exist prior to its existence, God cannot choose to create time;
P4) If God cannot choose to create time, he is not arbiter of all things;
P5) Therefore, a personal entity cannot be the ultimate arbiter of all things;
P6) Therefore, God as defined is internally inconsistent
C) Therefore, there is no God.
If “god” existed outside of time, he could not do anything before he did anything else, he could not do anything after he did anything. That means if God exists outside of time, he does not exist. He cannot do anything before and/or after what he is doing, then he cannot do anything. So we disprove God just based on his own definition.
Also, does time need a beginning? People can look forward and cannot see an end, but those who look back like Ray Comfort speculates there must be a beginning. The Big Bang Theory does not say time itself started at the Big Bang, but that time we can measure in our universe began.
Some say how can there be an infinite amount of time before now, the moment you finished reading this sentence!!!! If you think about it, it takes you an infinite amount of time to take a step forward. For your foot to hit the ground, it has to pass a mid-way point. After it reaches that mid-way point, it has a second half-way point to pass. Repeat this so on and so on. Mathematically, your foot never reaches the ground. And yet, from simple observation and experience, we know that our feet touched the ground. In the same manner, it takes an infinite amount of numbers in between the number 1 and 2. Likewise, there is an infinite amount of time between one second and two seconds. Philosophically, Achilles and the Tortoise proved this point: If Achilles (the mighty Greek hero) gave the slow tortoise a head start in a race, no matter how far the tortoise gets (even if it is one foot past the starting line) or how fast Achilles can run, Achilles will NEVER catch the Tortoise. Why? Because Achilles would have to pass an infinite amount of half-way points before he reached the tortoise.
Who designed the designer?
The person points out in Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion, a major argument is “who designed the designer?” Ray says that a brilliant response has been given by William Lane Craig. Here is Craig’s argument;
“This rejoinder is flawed on at least two accounts. First, in order to recognize an as explanation as the best, one must needn’t have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. If archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from. Similarly, if astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there. In order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn’t be able to explain the explanation. In fact, so requiring would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn’t be able to explain the designer.”
Basically, what Ray and Craig are attempting to answer the question “who designed the designer” by basically saying: asking that question is unnecessary and forbidden. Unfortunately, Craig’s argument is both nonsensical and ridiculous for several reasons.
We all have parents, but according too Craig’s logic, we cannot ask if we have grandparents.
Also, we see in nature patterns and things that appear “designed” but in reality they are the result of natural forces: snowflakes, clouds, mountain bridges, crystals, etc.
Finally, the argument for design is not consistent with itself. If there was an “intelligent” designer/agent, this entity’s mind would not be a bunch of random synapses, in fact it would have to be just as complex or even more complex than the design. But if “design requires a designer” then therefore, the designer’s mind must have a higher designer.
In summary: there is no designer at all. Not bothering with the “infinite regress” the problem is that it has not been established or proven that there is “design” in the universe that could not have come about via naturally. Thus, invoking a supernatural “intelligent designer” is unnecessary and unreasonable.
I will stop the myth of creationism!
The person, speaking for himself, says he is there to take a stand for reason and attempting to stop the spread of the myth of creationism. Ray Comfort claims “this is censorship at its best. Those who are anti-knowledge see themselves as the intellectual saviors of poor dumb college students, who don’t have the ability to think for themselves. These are the book burners, who do what they do for the good of society. Their society. And they do do what they do in the name of “reason” and “science,” when their atheistic belief is completely unreasonable and absolutely unscientific. The atheist has no basis to say reason exists. What is mass logic? It has none. It is immaterial. Oh, no! Atheists say there is no immaterial because God may be there. We can use logic because we are made in the image of God.” Ray then goes on asking the reader if they think “nothing created everything” and that the smartest human cannot create a grain of sand from nothing. Ray then lists several scientists who did believe in God.
Censorship!? Ray must be joking.
Do we consider it “censorship” when we don’t teach the Earth is not flat or that it does not revolve around the sun? Of course don’t, and we would laugh at anyone who suggest it so. We don’t teach these things because we know for a fact that “Flat-Earthism” is false.
And we are not the ones who are “anti-knowledge,” actually that’s exactly Ray Comfort’s side. Knowledge is demonstrable and provable, which creationism never has been. Apparently, once a movement such as creationism/intelligent design (their both the same thing, lets not kid ourselves) is proven in court to not only violate constitutional law (the supposed God-given liberties), ID/Creationism was proven in the Kitzmiller v. Dover court case that intelligent design/creationism was NOT SCIENCE.
Anyone can read the judge’s evaluation themselves here.
*”ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science.”
*”ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research.”
*[ID is] “fringe science”
*[ID proponents have] “not proposed a scientific means of testing its claims.”
*”It is notable that defense experts’ own mission, which mirrors that of the IDM itself, is to change the ground rules of science to allow supernatural causation of the natural world, which the Supreme Court in Edwards and the court in McLean correctly recognized as an inherently religious concept.”
So clearly, ID/creationism is not science, nor is it “knowledge.” The anonymous person claiming they will “stop the myth of creationism” is actually doing much good. We should not be teaching kids fringe science that has no evidence or an ounce of acceptance in the scientific community. Even Phillip Johnson, the founder of the ID movement admitted there is no scientific support for intelligent design. He said the following (emphasis added),
“I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it may contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are quite convinced that it’s doable, but that’s for them to prove…No product is ready for competition in the educational world.” Phillip Johnson, quoted in Berkeley Science Review, Spring 2006.
As you can see, intelligent design is clearly NOT science, and therefore has no basis to be taught in a science class. Excluding ID from science classes is not censorship. The goal of schools is to teach students actual science, not pseudoscience. This is why we do not teach exorcisms and faith healing in our medical schools, or teach our engineers to use prayer or magic wands rather than their hands to build structures. We don’t teach flying magic carpets in aerodynamics class. When people, such as the anonymous person in the section, fight to defend science, they are not “book-burning” or refraining the students from anything, rather they are serving the students to learn what science actually reveals rather than nonsense. By allowing creationism to slide into the science rooms, we are not just failing to teach our children, we are teaching them the wrong thing, and that is a major problem.
Atheists don’t make absolute statements because nothing can be known absolutely
The person says that an atheist was not arrogant in making absolute statements. The atheist said that all elevators and planes are safe, but there is the probability and possibility that they could falter and thus cause harm. The atheist claimed that anyone who made an absolute claim is lying. Ray responds that this atheist made a hypocritical statement. Ray says that when the atheists uses the term “all” he makes the absolute claim that he is familiar that every plane and elevator built by man is indeed faulty and not perfect. Ray says the atheist requires omniscience to make such a claim, as well as to state the “all” knowledge is probably requires absolute knowledge. Ray ends this section by defining an atheist: A (“without”) theist (“God”), therefore atheist means “without God.”
Actually, the word theist means “belief in God” and thus, atheist means “without belief in God.” This basically undermines many (perhaps all) of Ray’s misguided arguments in this book and all his material regarding atheism and what atheists think, believe, or know.
I am an ex-christian, now atheist, who knew the Lord but lost my faith because of rational thought and skepticism
Ray responds if the person is skeptical of his/her rationalism?
Ray then says he has a dilemma for those who claim there were Christians. Either 1) they thought they knew God or 2) they did know God, thus making their atheism a fallacy.
By Ray’s logic, there is not a single Christian on earth and never was, nor ever will. Same thing for everyone of every faith. George Harrison, the guitarist for the Beatles was a Bhaki Hindu, believed in a personal god, and he said that if one chants the mantras with devotion, Lord Krishna would visibly appear and speak to him in an audible voice. Many pagans are similarly convinced of having met their deities too. For example, a cat fancier in Texas insists he began worshiping Bast only after the Egyptian goddess dramatically appeared physically manifest, having personally chosen him to become her disciple. The Chinese religion is a mixture of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, polytheism and ancestor worship. Devotees of this blend of traditions are capable of remarkable feats of faith, and many of them claim direct communication with their gods and spirits as well. All of these different believers, and some Buddhists too, talk about their spiritual rebirth once they accept whichever deity into their lives. Every religion boasts their own miracles and prophecies proving theirs is the truest faith. So its no surprise that Christians say the same things about their versions of God too. No religion is significantly different from any other in this respect. But whatever else may be going on, when men claim revelation from God, it usually means is that they’ve decided to promote their own biased and unsubstantiated opinions as if they were divinely inspired.
Comfort shares that in 2010, Stephen Hawking announced God did not create the universe, instead the universe came from nothing. Comfort quotes Hawking from his book The Grand Design,
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will cause itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”
Comfort says it is “embarrassingly unscientific to speak of anything creating itself from nothing. Common sense says that if something possessed the ability to create itself from nothing, then that something wasn’t nothing, it was something – a very intelligent creative power of some sort.”
Common sense told us that the Earth is flat and lightning was created by gods. Simpletons rely on common sense. To unlock real knowledge of how our world and universe works relies on the countless hours of dedicated scientific investigation.
To understand why “nothing” is a near useless word is that it is near unimaginable to comprehend. In order to define “nothing” you have to give it some defining property, but that which has property is not nothing! So, in reality, we try to apply words that closest correspond to reality. So when you remove all matter and energy in a given location, you essentially are left with a vacuum, which is the closest we can get to “nothing.” It’s as nothing as nothing can get. But as Nobel-laureate physicist Frank Wilczak one famously said, “nothing is unstable.”
The total amount of matter + energy in the universe may be almost zero when the negative mass of the energy stored within gravity is summed with the positive mass of the universe. In this sense universes can spring out of the vacuum almost effortlessly.
Theists often ask why is there something rather than nothing, to which one has two ask 2 questions. One: why do they assert that nothing is the default position, and Two: why is there God instead of nothing?
We know that nature is fully capable of building complex structures by process of self-organization (simplicity arising to complexity), and in the probability of a nothing (as unstable as it is) producing something is over 60% (Source: Stenger, The Comprehensible Cosmos, supplement H). It would take a supernatural agent outside the universe, like God, to maintain a state of nothingness — so the fact that we have something is just what we would expect if there is no God and the universe originated naturally.
Comfort goes on to say that Hawking “violated the unspoken rules of atheism. He wasn’t supposed to use words like “create” or “made.” They necessitate a Creator and a Maker. Neither are you supposed to let out that the essence of atheism is to believe that nothing created everything, because its unthinking.” Comfort mentions this confirms the title of his book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, but You Can’t Make Him Think. Comfort also mentions that an atheist should not speak of gravity as a law, because a law implies that there is a law-giver because “laws don’t happen by themselves.”
There is no “rule” of atheism. Words like create and made are not forbidden when they are applied appropriately, no different than any other word.
There is no essence to atheism either, all atheism is is the lack of belief in god(s). Nothing more, nothing less. It does not mean that an atheist must accept that the universe came from nothing, or the universe being a hologram, or a eternal universe, or that everything is a dream and reality started last Thursday.
As for calling gravity a law, it should be pointed out to all readers that gravity is also, and appropriately, called a scientific theory.
But calling something a “law” does not imply that here is a law-giver. That is a fallacious argument. Even Philosophy 101 students know the difference between prescriptive laws (like highway speed limits) and descriptive laws (like inverse-square law of gravitational attraction). Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges.
Besides, if this “requires a law-giver” argument was valid, then the mind that created these laws would not be a random jumble of synapses and therefore would have to depend on certain laws, and thus require a higher law-giver.
Quotes From Famous Atheists Who Went to Meet Their Maker
Except that….. there is no evidence of there being a creator or that you “go” somewhere after death.
“I have encountered a few creationists and because they were usually nice, intelligent people, I have been unable to decide whether they were _really_ mad, or only pretending to be mad. If I was a religious person, I would consider creationism nothing less than blasphemy. Do its adherents imagine that God is a cosmic hoaxer who has created that whole vast fossil record for the sole purpose of misleading mankind?” Arthur C. Clarke
It’s a valid point, why would a creator create the universe as billions of years old, and then tell it’s followers that it is only 6,000 years old? That would make the creator a liar, and a lying god is blasphemous, right?
“No god ever gave any man anything, nor ever answered any prayer at any time – nor ever will…..The purpose of human life is not to prepare yourself for death. The purpose of human life is to live, free of fears, guilt, anxieties, and feelings of personal inadequacy.” Madalyn Murray O’Hair
“Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!” George Carlin
Lets quote more of George Carlin: “Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”
“My philosophy is as simple as ever – smoking, drinking,… reading and writing (not arithmetic). I have a selfish absorption in the well-being and achievement of Noel Coward…In spite of my unregenerate spiritual attitude, I am jolly kind to everybody and still attentive and devoted to my dear old Mother.” Noel Coward
Interesting, Ray Comfort left out the whole quote: “My philosophy is as simple as ever – smoking, drinking, moderate sexual intercourse on a diminishing scale, reading and writing (not arithmetic). I have a selfish absorption in the well-being and achievement of Noel Coward.”
“One must choose between God and Man, and all “radicals” and “progressives,” from the mildest Liberal to the most extreme Anarchist, have in effect chosen Man.” George Orwell
He’s not wrong. Even Ray Comfort, who despite his claims that he has chosen God, all he has done is choosing the word of superstitious men who wrote the Bible. If there was a word of God, it has never fallen from Heaven, it was always written by the hands of men.
“If someone is really sick, I don’t pray to God. I look for the best doctor in town.” Richard Rogers
Again, he’s not wrong. Find a doctor, nothing fails like prayer.