Category Archives: Humor
A user with what I believe to be a cribbed e-mail address posted the following comment on my lament that Dr. Randal Rauser beat me to debunking the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” nonsense:
Just right points?I would be aware that as anyone who in reality doesnt write on blogs a lot (in fact, this can be my first submit), I dont assume the time period lurker is very turning into to a non-posting reader. Its no longer your fault in the least , however possibly the blogosphere may come up with a better, non-creepy title for the 90% folks that experience studying the content material .
This is a textbook example of talking without actually communicating anything in particular. It’s wordy, and it doesn’t really say anything.
He left two other comments (also marked as spam) that asked legitimate questions. I was about to clear them when I read that. Wow.
Just for fun, it wasn’t his “first submit.” I’ve seen that e-mail address used before, and even sent him an e-mail prior to this about unrelated topics. In any event, he has a lot to learn about “content,” as he has no content in that paragraph. I read it five times and I can’t figure out just what it actually says!
Maybe it was randomly generated. Why not? A paper made at that link made it into a peer reviewed conference.
Guest Post by Tom Scanlon
At first, I was a tad upset by Cory’s April Fool’s Day post, much like everyone else. But that’s just a knee-jerk reaction to being called a name. I thought about what Cory’s insult really means in the grand scheme of things.
See, I don’t believe in Cory’s God. Or any other god. I think that Cory is delusional for believing in such nonsense. The Bible is filled with fairy tales, mythology, and stacks of propaganda for the little Yahweh cult started during King Josiah’s reign. If I really believe that the Bible is no authority of any kind, then I’m not a fool for saying, “There is no God,” whether I say it in my heart or in my head. Cory can re-post the text of any Psalm he wants, and it shouldn’t make a lick of difference.
For those atheists that got mad at Cory for posting that garbage, it looks like hearing the words of the Scripture convicted your conscience. As if you’re suppressing the knowledge of God and when reading his word against you, you lash out. Lashing out means you know the Scripture is true and you’re just trying to stifle those who try to proclaim it. That way, you don’t have to keep hearing it and get that pang of conscience that goes along with suppressing the truth.
Like when the murderer trying to convince the police of his innocence sits in the police interrogation room, and the detectives lay out piece of evidence after piece of evidence. He knows he’s guilty, but it’s getting more difficult by the piece of evidence to deny. So he lashes out at the detective questioning him. He gets angry and shoves all of the evidence away from him. He doesn’t want to hear it. He doesn’t want to see it. He wants to keep denying he committed the crime, but he can’t because the truth is right in front of him.
So that’s why I’m taking it calmly. Getting fired up is to be an inconsistent atheist, which I am not. Getting fired up makes us look guilty of a sin. We all know there’s no sin to be guilty of, so why let it get to us? Right?
Guest Post by Tom Scanlon
So we understand each other, atheism itself didn’t cost me my marriage. That would be ridiculous. But the methodology I used to embrace atheism did cost me my marriage!
As a Christian, I believed in the Resurrection. But I realized that the Resurrection left no evidence, except for numerous stories from eyewitnesses. We all know that eyewitness testimony is extremely unreliable. I can’t rely on eyewitness testimony, even the staggering number of people that claimed to see Jesus after his death (Paul said it was north of 500), because you just can’t rely on eyewitnesses! It’s too subjective.
Realizing the subjectivity of eyewitness accounts, and realizing that there was nothing I could forensically touch or taste that would lead me to the truth, I have to side with the fact that never have I seen a body three-days dead get up and walk. It should take more than inherently unreliable eyewitness testimony for anyone to believe that.
Eyewitness testimony is bad!
So, to be consistent, I started applying that to my everyday life. When Laura, my wife, told me that it was raining outside, unless she was drenched when she walked in the door, I’d go check for myself. She’s an eyewitness, after all. She could be biased towards rain that day since the weatherman had predicted it, and thus be mistaken. She could have just wanted it to rain and believed she saw rain. Or, she could be lying to me to further an unseen agenda.
Either way, the only way to ascertain the truth would be to see it with my own eyes. If Laura announced dinner was ready, I wouldn’t believe her until I smelled the food or saw it on the table. If she told me a story about her past, I would try to empirically verify it, either from her old yearbooks or by looking at her scrapbooks. Not her journals (that’s still eyewitness testimony); only pictures would do!
I started doing that at work, too. I never believed what I was told, only what I could see with my own eyes. There were lots of whispers, and no one wanted to work with me. But I continued to verify every story someone told me, regardless of how mundane. If I couldn’t forensically verify it, I didn’t believe it.
When Laura, or someone acting on her behalf, told me that she was staying late at work or visiting my in-laws, I never believed that outright. If Laura were having an affair, that is exactly the sort of thing they’d tell me to keep it a secret. So I always drove by her office or my in-laws on the way home to see if her car was there.
Laura started to get this crazy idea that I didn’t trust her. “Honey,” I’d reassure her, “it’s not you. I trust you. I just don’t trust any eyewitness testimony. Period. Unless I can get forensic evidence to back it up, then I just won’t accept it on someone’s word!”
I thought she’d understand, but she filed for divorce only six months after I started this. She also filed for an order of protection. Since I was constantly driving by her alleged whereabouts, she got this crazy idea that I was stalking her.
What ticked me off most is that she had no forensic evidence to back up her claim: no tire tracks, no paint chips from my car, nor any surveillance tapes showing my car checking up on her. Nothing like that. Just three eyewitnesses. The judge accepted the eyewitness testimony and granted the order! Can you believe that? How insulting. Not to mention a bit ironic.
J.P. Holding was one of my inspirations for entering apologetics ministry. Before I saw his site, I had no idea that Christians even did things like that. I love writing, I love arguing my point, and I love teaching people things. Apologetics seemed to offer that, and an opportunity to serve God while doing it.
I was in.
I’ve seen an evolution in Holding. He used to be extremely sarcastic and derisive toward anyone who disagreed with him, including creating a Screwball of the Month Award for atheists who used the dumbest/most ignorant arguments against Christianity. Though he still does much of that, his main site has had most of that material expunged or edited for Christian charity. Mostly, he keeps the sarcasm at bay.
He’d never admit it, but I think he finally started listening to the other side and realized that Christian charity is most important when dealing with outsiders. They know we’re supposed to “turn the other cheek,” and they basically expect us to be doormats on account of that command. Let’s give them what they expect–and more. And, above all, “so far as it depends on you [the Christian], live peaceably with all” (Rom 12:18).
In certain places, however, the sarcasm flies freely. Though J.P. has said a lot of sarcastic gems in the past, this has to be the best retort hands down:
God as a constant fixer-upper is the contrivance of a lazy and ignorant generation that thinks the whole purpose of being omnipotent is to be able to create rational beings and then entertain them. (source)
I laughed for 5 minutes straight. I still chuckle reading back over for the hundredth time. Thank you, J.P., and keep fighting the good fight!
Guest Post by Tom Scanlon
All right, I’m new to blogging so you’re going to have to give me some room. My name is Tom Scanlon, and I’m an atheist. But I feel like I’m different than most atheists in a very important way. I consistently apply the attitudes and methodologies that led me to atheism to all areas of my life.
My life is pretty messed up because of that, but I don’t care. I’m actually happy because I’m 100% consistent in all of my conclusions about life–no matter how weird they are. In the coming weeks, I’m going to post about that, so you’ll see just how messed up things are.
Cory and I used to go to school together and we reconnected through Facebook. I saw Cory had a blog and I talked to him about how to start one, since I was thinking about doing one about how consistent my atheism has become. When I heard that you have to update blogs fairly regularly to get traffic and build loyal readers, I balked because I don’t think I have that much to say, or that I’ll even post that often. So, being a gracious friend, Cory agreed to let me post every now and again to his blog.
So, hi, everyone! I thought I’d start out with a brief introductory post and then maybe later this week or something I can put up a post about applying the methodology for rejecting Christianity to my personal life, and why it messed stuff up so badly.
All my posts will be under the Consistent Atheist category of the blog, so click on that to check me out. Also, I got my own page. All right, that’s it. Hopefully I’ll be back around Friday or so with my first post.
If real life were like Dungeons & Dragons, atheism wouldn’t be an option. Especially if you challenged a god by temple desecration and lynching followers.
Here’s a novel idea for an awesome web comic. Replace the Knights of the Dinner Table with the Four Horsemen. I bet it would look something like this:
If there really were a god, nobody would need faith!
Faith = Trust. Sorry, but you FAIL–once we see that God exists, then we would still need to trust him. That trust is informed by reason (not opposed to it), by virtue of God’s past dealings with humanity. Those dealings are described in the Old Testament, and the sovereignty of God is re-enforced in both Testaments. God has ordained the end as well as the means: he is in total control. As Jesus aptly put it, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Lk 11:23).
The issue is your definition of “faith.” It is most emphatically not “blind faith,” or “belief in spite of overwhelming evidence.”
I read this post from Anthony Horvath. It is well worth the read, as he covers what atheists should understand before trying to criticize the Bible. I’ve generally found that Bible criticisms stem from a lack of understanding of one or more points that Horvath mentions. Occasionally, however, there are other points that atheists miss. Consistent hermeneutics is one; often they will find a “contradiction” by interpreting one passage one way and interpreting the contradicting passage using a completely different hermeneutic. Progressive revelation is another thing that they fail on regularly. Of the two most misinterpreted passages in the entire Bible, one can be settled by looking at the context:
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5:18-20)
Atheists frequently point to that passage as evidence that the Old Testament Law is still in effect. However, if they’d only read verse 17, they’d find something interesting: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Interesting. Jesus is saying in verse 18 that the Law won’t pass away until it’s accomplished, but he assures us in just the previous sentence that he will do that! Our critics are very careful readers. Yeah, right.
But what I think is the most amazing thing about Horvath’s article is the comment section. In the first comment, he dedicates the post to an atheist reader who doesn’t feel that he needs to read the Bible in order to criticize it. The atheist’s response is very telling:
Indeed I do not need to read the texts of Scientology, the Book of Mormon, the Bible or the ravings of David Koresh to deem them extremely unlikely to be true. Don’t make me break out the “SJ’s Flying Car” analogy…
To which Horvath replies, as I would have, that if you’re going to criticize something, then you ought to give it a read:
No, you don’t need to read them to ‘deem’ them anything. But if you’re going to open your mouth in public to knock them then you should actually know what you’re talking about, first. Why you bother trying to convince people, ie, people like me, that my position is ‘unlikely to be true’ when you don’t know jack about the particulars of the position, is beyond me. There is no way you’d be considered credible. Indeed, you aren’t.
On my shelf: The Book of Mormon, the texts of Scientology, the texts of Christian Science, the JW translation of the Bible, the Satanic Bible, the Koran… to name some that come immediately to mind. Are there things I haven’t researched as much that I have nonetheless formed a general opinion on? Of course. I am a finite creature. But you don’t hear me discoursing on those.
You might want to consider a similar philosophy.
And the atheist replies, “I prefer to have a life.”
This is just sad. I know I’ve said this somewhere before: if you’re going to critique a position, at least know what the proponents of that position are arguing. This is why I don’t critique evolution and why I stay away from church history arguments. I don’t know much about either. If that changes, I might reconsider. Indeed, I plan to immerse myself in church history (particularly early church history) this year. But until then, I’m going to stick to philosophy, which I do know something about.