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Friday, July 25, 2008

A Letter to Ray Comfort


You wrote in A Letter From an Atheist that you are concerned for us ungodly atheists. I have heard you give interviews, I have watched you on television, I have seen you in a debate, and I have seen your soapbox performances. I am, however, still an atheist.

Is this because I am a fundamentalist atheist (whatever that means)? Is it because I am obstinate? I do not think so, as I have changed my mind on many issues, once I was convinced by sufficient arguments and evidence. They were not of a trivial nature either. I have changed my mind on an array of different issues, including things like abortion. I was very well read in abortion literature, I knew both sides very well, and went to great lengths to understand such a complicated issue. As with all things, though, I accept I may be wrong. I have heard you often criticize people for using such words as "I think" or "It may be" and then turn right around and criticize people for failing to come around to your viewpoint when you fail to convince them. Unlike you, Ray, I don't claim absolute knowledge or omniscience. I do not even claim an invisible entity who is omniscient so as to somehow justify my own beliefs.

But just as with abortion, I, like many, fail to be persuaded by your personal attacks or arrogance. Sloganized terms like "Pro-Choice" or "Pro-Life" were insufficient. Arguments such as "men should have no say" or "my body, my choice" were also insufficient. Repeating the same argument over and over is insanity.

And yet, Ray, you fit this colloquial definition of insanity more than anything I had seen in an abortion debate. How many times have you been corrected on evolutionary theory? How many times have you been corrected on the definition of atheism? How many times have you had circular reasoning explained to you? False analogy? Straw man? Poisoning the well? Bare assertion? How many times have you been shown the arguments you make for the Christian God could also be used on Allah, the Mormon version, Ra, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? How many times?

And yet, you persist with your asinine banana argument, your ridiculous Coke can argument, and your ludicrous crocoduck? These crass, idiotic arguments would only persuade the most doltish individual who had not spent any time studying such questions and just happened to call himself an atheist after the fact (*Kirk Cameron*). These foolish arguments further appeal only to your own choir.

And how many times must you call us fools? I think Christianity is a foolish belief, and each of its doctrines exceedingly foolish. Does that mean that, when I speak to Christians, I call them fools? Why would any person of even modest intellect think to call someone they are trying to persuade a fool? Only a fool would. Have you ever had anyone persuaded by Psalms 14:1? How did it go?
Atheist: I don't believe there is a God or the Bible being true.
Theist: The Bible says in Psalms 14:1: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."
Atheist: What? Really? The Bible says that? It must be true, then. Well, I don't want to be a fool, so I'd better believe the Bible is true and that the Christian God exists.
Show me the atheist from that conversation and I will show you a fool indeed.
The unbelievers among the People of the Book (the Bible) and the pagans shall burn for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures.
Ray, you vile creature, are you persuaded to Islam yet? If not, I don't understand why, as that's a verse straight out of the Koran. Perhaps a verse from the Koran does not convince you because you don't believe the Koran to be anything more than man-made. The same goes for me about your Bible.

Ray, if you truly care about those like me as you do, why don't you listen to us and change your tired material? The banana proves God about as much as the crocoduck disproves evolution. In your mind, it probably does. In the rational mind, it does not. If I believed most of those aroundme were going to be tortured for all eternity, I would be constantly distraught. I just care too much for people. I would put everything I had into saving them. I wouldn't write haughty little blog entries with childish little cartoons maligning those I wish to save. I would seek to understand why they believe what they do and why they aren't convinced by what I have to say. I wouldn't write entries calling them fools or evolved chickens or evil or any of the countless ad hominems and caricatures you come up with.

If I believed people were going to Hell, I would be seeking to save them, not bursting into tired tirade after tired tirade. I would not continually recycle the same debunked arguments just to save face and to point to the long time I have used them as proof that those I wish to save are obstinate and have blind faith in their own fundamentalist beliefs, after they have repeatedly told me what is so blatantly wrong with such arguments.

Until the day comes when you stop your silly little shenanigans and really seek to convince me that Christianity is true and the only right path, you may not say that you have been at it 35 years and may not speak of the tireless effort you put into it. Pounding away at a boulder for 35 years with a rubber chicken -- no matter how much force, heart, or effort you put into it -- can not count as an earnest attempt when there is a sledge hammer lying right next to you that countless passersby have pointed it out to you! Stop the debunked, fallacious arguments and let's have something genuinely intelligent (after all, you are the evolved form of Albert Einstein).

Just Another Raytractor


  1. So strange, I was just about to write Ray a letter just like this, as I've been wondering if he realizes he does more harm to his religion than good.

    I doubt he's winning over any fence-sitters that are reading his blog.

  2. everything i have wanted to say stated more eloquently than i could have said it.

  3. I must say, I don't know how the contributors here are able to even read all of Ray's posts and the comment from his fan club. The stupidity there serioursly burns.

    I only recently started trying to read it, and maybe would try to continue if every post didn't contain the same failed analogies. Cheers to you all for doing what you're doing!

    I'm glad people are standing up against him.

  4. I read Ray's blog and my fingers itch.

    How can you refrain from commenting?

    Ray's circle of friends are so smug, so stupid it freaks me out when their "way to go Ray" fawning and ridiculous metaphors go unchallenged.

    On the other hand I seriously recommend not provoking Terry. The man is dangerously deranged

  5. Like woodworms, Ray's lurkers are coming out to congratulate each other for posting a Bible verse, and to tell each other how great they are at handing out little pieces of paper with Bible verses on them. Yes, they seriously think that annoying passerbys on streetcorners is the best thing they can do with their lives. This oafish activity is their refuge in a world that's too multi-faceted to comprehend. They are incapable of impressing anybody but the most bovine specimens of humanity, and therefore have no understanding of how to convince anybody so different from them. No, they will not and cannot change their style, they are simply not equipped to do so. They are certain that one day, the rubber chicken will break the boulder. If the boulder doesn't break, it's his fault.

  6. addendum: That's why they desire so much to travel abroad to underdeveloped countries. There they will (or imagine to) find people who know nothing of the world beyond their village, people whose only activity is to find food and water, who have never read a book and are unfamiliar with any technology more complicated than a pulley.

  7. I was wondering where you guys went to. Good move, making your own blog. I like to see people voting with their feet. Contributing to Ray's blog was just encouraging him.

  8. Did anyone else think it was amusing that the cartoon that illustrates Ray's "Letter From an Atheist" story includes a pagan symbol as one of the ways "God has tried to get through to us"?

    Well done, Ray. Why don't you include Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny while you're at it?

  9. I would put everything I had into saving them. I wouldn't write haughty little blog entries with childish little cartoons maligning those I wish to save. I would seek to understand why they believe what they do and why they aren't convinced by what I have to say. I wouldn't write entries calling them fools or evolved chickens or evil or any of the countless ad hominems and caricatures you come up with.

    You nailed it right there. I don't believe Ray cares about people, I think Ray cares about his ego.

  10. I seriously question Ray's and other fundamentalist's sincere belief in hell. I brought this up earlier and received only evasive answers. As much as they carry on about the unsaved atheist, we are nothing but a feather in their cap, brownie points for Jesus. Each one of them has either children, family, or friends doomed to hell. Not the wishy washy hell that liberals imagine. This hell burns and torments for eternity. The pain and terror are unimaginable (especially for rational humans).

    So tell me, if you truly believe that hell is so real and God so judgmental, how do you get up and face the day? As the fundies are always reminding us, you never know when death will come knocking at your door and take you or your loved one off to hell. Those who live with the uncertainty of salvation and the certainty of hell have a cloud hanging over them. Yet where is the panic, anguish, or any other normal reaction?

    I can't imagine giving birth to children with even the smallest possibility of hell in their future. It's not like having a child with a birth defect. It's not even having a child born into poverty and a broken home. It's bringing a being into this world that will spend eternity in excruciating pain. A person whom despite their faults, you love with all your heart. Any small falling away from the faith could cause their downfall. A temporary teenage rebellion could end in damnation. The odds just aren't in your favor- only 7% of the world is saved. A dozen children in heaven would not make up for one in hell. There is nothing God could ever do for me to blot out that lost child.

    So, enjoy your family now because someday they could be in hell. What a way to live!

  11. Milo, I may have to award you again for that one.

  12. ExPatMatt - We've had the No True Scotsman and the Painter/Painting idiocies in quick succession, what's next? A bit of Sturgeon Gold?

    July 23, 2008 2:11 PM

    Posted by Ray Comfort
    July 24, 2008

    "Charles Spurgeon said, "If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and un-prayed for.""

    Did I call it or did I call it?

    Now I feel icky all over, like I just crawled through a fundie's excuse for a brain. Scary.

    Spot on Milo, spot on.

  13. As I said before on Ray's site: If god cared so much for us, why didn't he have angels do the witnessing? Wouldn't they be more reliable and be themselves better evidence for his existence?

    They dodge the issue by saying that

    1) even when christ was among them, that he didn't convert everybody. I responded that he did well enough to (in their views) start a whole new damned religion.

    I don't know if any replied to that yet.

    2) sometimes they quote the rich man & lazarus story, about how the rich man was told that if his friends wouldn't believe the prophets god sends, they woudn't believe the dead come back to life either. A transparent dodge, since no one's ever actually been dead for a few days and come back. Most xians themselves dismiss "near-death" experiences.

    Besides, if people coming back from the dead and angels would not work, why bother sending just normal people in the first place?

  14. Stew said...
    I read Ray's blog and my fingers itch.

    How can you refrain from commenting?

    Well, the way I cope with that is that I just go have sex with somebody.

  15. Milo,

    After reading way too many posts on raptureready.com's bulletin board, it seems as though, while they are uncomfortable with the thought of their children spending eternity in hell, they believe that once they're in heaven, they will be so happy kissing their gods ass that they won't even remember those who ended up in hell. Apparently they don't have relationships in heaven like we do here, everyone is married to jesus and husbands and wives on earth love each other no more or less than everyone else up there. Its like one big fundie orgy.

    Kinda makes me wonder if they realize that if everyone is married to jesus, that makes him a bisexual polygamist...

    Forgive me for abusing commas in that first sentence.

  16. Muffin,
    (btw- love the name)

    That may explain their total apathy towards their loved ones, but doesn't account for their zeal and fake anguish over random atheists. Is it some sort of competition to get God to notice you? Maybe they are each issued a card and get a hole punch for every soul saved- redeemable for extra holiness!

    Anyway, I find that mindset creepy.

  17. @ Dale,

    you said: Well, the way I cope with that is that I just go have sex with somebody.

    From your description of yourself, you must keep your wife a busy woman or you have an inflatable friend!

  18. Milo,

    That response cracked me up!
    I was hoping someone would latch on to that comment, because I knew that I would get everything I deserved for saying it!


  19. By the way, inflatable dolls are equal to "Somebody" in my book....

    Just sayin'.

  20. By the way, inflatable dolls are equal to "Somebody" in my book...

    Have you ever lusted after an inflatable doll?

    I wonder what Jesus had to say about THAT.

  21. Well, since you guys just proved that inflatable dolls are someone (airtight!), according to Jesus they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, being the epitome of meekness.


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