Our New Home

We have a new home, come join us at WeAreSMRT (We Are Skeptical Minds & Rational Thinkers)

The Forum

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Theist Test

I don't know how long Ray has had the atheist test linked to from his blog, but I recently noticed it. I read the original source for it, God Doesn't Believe in Atheists, a while ago. When clicking through to it I saw the Coca Cola can on it and recognized it. I thought, surely, he has removed the thoroughly debunked banana argument from this. But alas, no, just as he continues to misrepresent Einstein and continues defining atheism as knowing there is no God, he continues to use it.

In case you haven't seen The Atheist Test, you should have a read through it. With Clostridiophile's post about a group project such as a book, it got me to thinking about another group project. How about instead of analyzing it, why not do a satirical Theist Test? It would have things such as the creation of the Coke can, coconuts disproving God, evolved beings necessitating evolution, etc. Circular logic and false analogies for all!



  1. That should be fun -- questions along the lines of, not "do you believe?" but "exactly how much weird shit CAN you believe without your head exploding?"

    It gives us a chance to channel (among others) the late great George Carlin:

    "- There's a magic man,
    - who lives in the sky,
    - and has a list of ten things he doesn't want you to do,
    - and if you do any of these things he will consign you to eternal torture,
    - but he loves you,
    - and he needs your money,
    - and if you can't believe any or all of this then you're never gonna get laid and it'll be your own fault."

    Or something like that.

  2. Yeah, for the text have something along those lines. And then also parody the gags he has.

    For example, with the Coke can he is applying a caricature of a biological process to a manufactured item. To satirize that sort of faulty argument, we would apply a caricature of a manufacturing process to a biological item. For example, my common argument against such comparisons to manufactured items is pointing to humans and sexual reproduction. So, for our gag we would describe a human manufacturing plant and then conclude that humans don't have bolts or anything, so it's silly to think they've been built as opposed to emerging from a biological process called sexual reproduction.

    Then the banana gag we do a gag with coconuts to show how they weren't intelligently designed. We conclude with a parody of his test:

    The person who thinks you did not result from a biological process is:
    ___ A. Intelligent
    ___ B. A fool
    ___ C. Has an ulterior motive for denying the obvious

    For the places where he quote mines Darwin, we would quote mine Ray Comfort.

    So, parodies of those gags and satire for the text. I think it would be fun.

  3. Indeed. I think that the point shouldn't be to actually try and debunk religious belief, but to use the exact sort of reasoning that Ray uses against him.

    I like the bit about how we obviously weren't made since we don't have nuts and bolts. We should also point out that we don't have expiration dates, copyright symbols, etc.

  4. Lance,

    The problem is that if you are going to match Ray, we are in fact saying we weren't made, so this is an attack on religion. This is where I depart ways with Ken Miller, because if you are a Christian you must believe that we were made purposefully by God. Miller's deity seems more like the God of the enlightenment to me. Bipity bopity boo, bubye! Whereas Christians won't accept this. Also, the direction that evolution takes is contingent on "just history" as Gould famously said, and has been confirmed recently in a largescale project with E. coli. Meaning, if we wind the tape of evolution back and replay it, odds are humans probably wouldn't form again. Think, the dinosaurs only died because of a freak disaster. What would be here now if they had not been wiped out? Does this sound like the Christian plan?

    I know that many here would argue that you can accept evolution and be a Christian. In my mind, the more you look at the history of life..and then look at Christian claims, they are irreconcilable. Ken Miller is an anomaly.

    Think about this...if we parody Ray's ridiculous tract we are parodying religion, and this is how it will be perceived. Particularly if we parody a factory where we are NOT made. I'm all for it, but I am just pointing out the implications. This will be seen as an atheistic evilutionist attack on Jesus. But that's cool with me. It certainly shouldn't be overly offensive, as Steve and I are on my blog at times. But make no mistakes.

  5. That's a valid point Clos. My idea of it is not to parody religion, but rather to parody the arguments Ray uses. The arguments he makes are always so baseless or illogical that you can use the exact same line of argument against whatever he argued, for example a coconut instead of a banana. Or instead of "creation necessitates a creator" have "evolved beings necessitates evolution." The point being to show how ridiculous his atheist test is.

    So, it's something to think about.

  6. And to also point out that the christianity Ray appeals is paranoid about nazism, and like to be judgemental against freethinkers only.

  7. "For example, my common argument against such comparisons to manufactured items is pointing to humans and sexual reproduction. So, for our gag we would describe a human manufacturing plant and then conclude that humans don't have bolts or anything, so it's silly to think they've been built as opposed to emerging from a biological process called sexual reproduction."

    This is a good idea....we could also show in a funny way that for Ray's analogy to work, one coke can would have to have little coke can babies...rather than being manufactured. Ask the reader when they were delivered to your family from the factory?

    This would work, and would be less offensive to religious people and get them to think...and more importantly reject Ray.

  8. I think it could also be funny to have the parody Ray talk about things that are incredibly inconvenient and dangerous and still insist that it's evidence of special creation.

    For instance, I imagine him with a coconut and making his case thusly:

    "Here we have a nourishing fruit that grows up in a tree. While we human beings are definitely not the best climbers in the world, we're certainly not the worst. Imagine a zebra trying to climb a tree! He couldn't do it. However, God wants us to have the coconut, so he makes us, at the very least, 'okay' at climbing.

    Of course, they also sometimes fall out of the tree, and statistically speaking, the odds of one hitting you and killing you are very small. If there wasn't a creator, don't you think those odds would be a lot higher? But no, he cares, so he keeps them low.

    And all you need to open them is a simple machete. And those can be purchased at many hardware and sporting good stores around the country - all you have to do is check your local listings. Obviously, God wanted it to be convenient for us to eat these wonderful fruits and make pina coladas with them."

    Something like that.


Unlike Ray we don't censor our comments, so as long as it's on topic and not spam, fire away.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.