Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ray Comfort vs. Reality

Ever hear of Ray Comfort? He's an evangelist who's buddies with Kirk Cameron (he of Growing Pains and annoying proselytizing fame) who has a series of videos called "The Way of the Master." Basically, it's all about spreading the word of God (read: selling their books and crap). He has this one spiel where he asks people on the street if they've ever told a lie. Of course, everybody says yes, and then he asks if they've ever taken God's name in vain. He continues along with the 10 Commandments and goes on and on until he concludes that they need to be saved by Jesus. I could go into greater detail, but just trust me that it's full of all sorts of assertions and logical fallacies.

He also likes to attack evolution, and he demonstrates his basic ignorance of the subject each time he does so. Luckily for him, most people aren't very informed, so the people he talks to aren't able to point out just where he's gone wrong. For instance, when he begins describing evolution, he talks about the Big Bang and how "first there was nothing" and then there was an explosion. Well, for one thing, the Big Bang theory doesn't say that there was "nothing" it just states that there was a Big Bang, and there is evidence to support that. Secondly, the Big Bang has absolutely nothing to do with evolution, but hey, why argue actual points when you can make up some of your own?

I first found out about him when somebody sent me this link to his "Atheist's Worst Nightmare" video. In it, he claims that a banana proves that there is a God. Do check it out, but don't take a sip of your drink before doing so:

Ummm...yeah. He's got me there. Never mind the fact that coconuts and pomegranates are pains in the ass to eat. Let's also not pay attention to the fact that the bananas that we enjoy are the products of selective breeding, and they do not exist that way in the wild. But hey! It's spreading the word of Jay-sus! Why bother yourself with little trivialities like facts!?

Mr. Comfort has a blog, which I've been checking out and even sometimes posting on it. It's a pretty funny site, as he keeps saying the same old crap, a few die-hard fans of his will tell him his post was brilliant, and a bunch of atheists point out how illogical he is (or how he continues to make the same factual errors over and over again.) Sometimes I think that he's really an atheist himself, and he's doing a Stephen Colbert-type of a sendup of fundamentalists Christians.

Anyway, I let most of the other atheists make whatever points I would have, but I felt the need to respond to his assertion that humans are intrinsically evil. According to his brand of Christianity (I realize that there are many sane Christians out there who find Ray Comfort to be as offensive as I do), we're all sinners and deserving of hell, whether our sins are murder or stealing gum - all of the sins are equal. Also, the only way to be saved is to believe in Jesus and give yourself over to him. According to him, and I shit you not, Anne Frank is burning in hell, as well as all the other victims of the Holocaust. Nice loving God he's got there. Of course, he gives all sorts of convoluted explanations filled with doublethink that explain why this only proves that his god is a god of love, but anybody with half a brain can see right through it.

So, his point that we're intrinsically evil caused me to respond as follows:

“What a depressing belief system you subscribe to. Humankind is intrinsically evil? I don't buy it. Are we capable of evil? Sure. But we're also capable of good. For instance, while taking a walk one time, I saw a hummingbird on the road. I picked it up to get it out of danger, and I warmed it up (it was a cold day) in my hand. Eventually, it recovered from whatever shock it was in and it flew off. If I was intrinsically evil, then I would have smashed it, or I would have simply left it lying on the street. Your assertions make absolutely no sense.”

He then took that quote to make a blog post of his own. Notice how he completely skips around my actual point without ever directly addressing it.

I responded yet again, but I didn't go into too much detail. What's the point, really? The guy makes a living scaring and shaming people into believing his theology, and the more believers he gets, the more money he's going to make. If you want to see more of his silliness, with comments by somebody who actually knows what he's talking about, check it out:


Dan said...

Holy crap, I think it is scary that he was able to make the banana film with a straight face!
Yes, I agree I could see Colbert doing a bit like this exactly -- this is almost funnier because he is to be taken seriously.
I think the banana argument is a stretch even for an extremist.
Did you notice as he is doing his banana presentation Kirk Cameron's body language? He looked as if he was maybe going to laugh for a second. He did a bit of shifting around in his seat looking uncomfortable -- as if he did not believe what the idiot was saying. Cannot imaging why :)...
Oh, and the film you posted that debunked the debunking of evolution was brilliant. I wish there were more specimens out there like this...

Steve said...

I like reading the Ray comfort blog, for my daily dose of humor. Maybe I will volunteer teaching children how to read as well.

Any way,

BTW thanks for the last video in the post.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

The funny thing is, regarding the banana thing, he now backtracks and says that it's a "parody". Ummm...what exactly is it a parody of? Crazy creatonist bullshit?