Invincible Ignorance

The number of different religions on this planet is vast, and all their associated arguments and apologetics form a library that’s vaster still. No matter how well-read or well-traveled any atheist is, they’re bound to run into claims every so often that they’ve never heard before. It happens to me at least once a month, on average. And I have to admit, when I first hear a religious apologetic or miracle claim that’s new to me, often my initial response is to feel a little tremor, as I wonder, “Could that really be true?”

You would think I’d know better by now. Invariably, in the cases I’ve looked into, the fact being claimed is either false, unverifiable, or doesn’t prove what the claimant thinks it does. And even if one such fact were to bear out, it would have to overcome a considerable weight of contrary evidence. Still, I’m glad of that momentary tremor of doubt. To my thinking, it’s a reliable sign of open-mindedness.

Jusus Saves

Not everyone shares this trait. On more than one occasion, I’ve run into theists who are so arrogantly certain their beliefs are supported by the facts that they feel they don’t even need to check what the facts actually are. When these smug and ignorant assertions are in conflict with reality, the results are always hilarious. Culled from the responses I’ve received on this blog and other sites, here are some of my favorite examples of arrogant apologists who don’t let their ignorance get in the way of a good talking point:

Was Tyre destroyed and left barren as the Bible predicts? A commenter at Greta Christina’s by the name of Rev. Cawley asserted, in contradiction to my essay “The Theist’s Guide to Converting Atheists“, that the Bible contains many miraculously fulfilled prophecies. Here was one of his examples regarding the ancient city of Tyre:

Of Tyre, God said through the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 26: 4, 5, “And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.” Today, fisherman mend their nets on the barren rock where Tyre once stood. God also said in Ezekiel 26:14, “And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord God.” The site of ancient Tyre is quite suitable for habitation, but the prophecy has stood fulfilled now for over 2, 000 years, and Tyre has never been rebuilt.

In response to Mr. Cawley’s claim that Tyre has never been rebuilt, I posted satellite photos of the city today. No doubt, the 115,000 or so inhabitants of Tyre would be quite surprised to learn that they’re living in a city that has never been rebuilt.

In reality, although Tyre was fought over and conquered many times in antiquity, it has been inhabited almost continuously since 1300 BCE, and was an important commercial site and trading post for much of that time. Evidently, Mr. Cawley could not be bothered to check whether the city actually existed before asserting that it no longer does, because the Bible says so. His blithe willingness to erase whole cities from history in the name of an apologetic talking point is a superb example of invincible ignorance.

Did PBS put words in the mouths of creationists to make them look bad? Another of my favorite examples from Greta Christina’s: a post where she discussed “Judgment Day,” the PBS special about the Dover, Pennsylvania intelligent-design trial in which the IDers were decisively defeated.

In her post, she quoted an exchange from the show in which plaintiffs’ lawyer Robert Muise got the ID proponent Scott Minnich to admit he had never bothered to do any of the experiments that would have tested his ideas about ID. An offended creationist commenter named “blilley” huffily asserted that an exchange which paints ID in such a poor light couldn’t possibly have been real, and must have been made up by PBS to make proponents of ID look bad:

I guess in instances where PBS doesn’t have any real evidence to back up certain propoganda objectives they can always resort to using imaginary, made-up evidence confident that people like you will call it “overwhelming”.

In fact, the reenactments in “Judgment Day” were taken directly from trial transcripts, and this “imaginary, made-up” exchange between Muise and Minnich actually happened in the courtroom. Clearly, blilley thought that Minnich came away from the cross-examination looking foolish. In the future, I suggested to him, he should consider why that is, rather than leaping to accuse scientists of inventing arguments to attribute to creationists that make them look bad.

Were the original twelve apostles “Earth shakers”? In my post from last year “How Did the Apostles Die?“, I pointed out the curious fact that there are no contemporary historical records of the twelve apostles, neither of their lives, nor of their deeds, nor of their deaths. They vanish into obscurity almost immediately after being named in the Bible – a fact which fits with the conclusion that Christianity began with a belief in mythical figures that only gradually transmuted into belief about real people in history. A commenter took issue with this conclusion:

What you are forgetting here is that these 11 men, who were previously fishermen, carpenters and tax collectors, suddenly became Earth shakers. This group of nobodies were somehow able to convince thousands upon thousands that there is one true God and that his son Jesus came so that we may know the one who created this Earth and everything on it, in it, above and below it, on a personal level.

If the apostles were indeed “Earth shakers”, then one would think that it would be trivial to list some of their mighty, earth-shaking deeds. Was this commenter up to the challenge? Manifestly not, because when challenged, he vanished without ever elaborating on this comment. Apparently, he felt no compunction in grandiosely claiming that the apostles were men of tremendous influence even though he didn’t know of a single specific thing that any of them said or did. His blustery assertion only served to confirm the point that there are no contemporary historical records of how the apostles lived or died.

Did interracial marriage ever need to be affirmed by court order? This last howler comes from the apologetics website CrossExamined, whose author Frank Turek set up a post about same-sex marriage and the danger it poses to our society. It seems this danger is that allowing gay marriage will cause everyone to turn gay and cease reproducing, thus spelling the doom of civilization – clearly the conclusion Turek was putting forward, even if he didn’t explicitly spell it out. But this isn’t the howler I was referring to. In the comments, I and several others pointed out the similarity between arguments of anti-gay-marriage advocates now and anti-interracial-marriage arguments a generation earlier, and asked if this reasoning could also be used to prove that anti-miscegenation laws should have been allowed to stand. A commenter named “Plumb Bob” seemed bewildered by this point:

In response to:
“For Pete’s sake, if we left all civil-rights decisions up to “the people” interracial marriage would probably still be illegal. This is one of the reasons the Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch in general exists in the first place.”

This is simply and completely false. I don’t know of a single instance where a high court ruling was required in order to allow interracial marriage.

This is slightly less ignorant than trying to erase the city of Tyre from history, but not by much. For someone who cares so deeply about marriage, Plumb Bob evidently had never heard of the landmark 1967 civil rights case Loving v. Virginia, in which the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down all state laws against interracial marriage.

Obviously, a person is not required to have a comprehensive knowledge of American history before being allowed to argue against gay marriage. But one would think, at the very least, that a person lacking such knowledge would have the humility to approach the topic with caution – rather than pronouncing, as in this case, that assertions made by more knowledgeable people are “simply and completely false”. Like many of the invincibly ignorant, he never even considered that the facts might not line up with what he preferred to be true, nor that others with whom he disagreed might know more than he himself.

I leave you with this gem of a classic – a creationist using one of the most hilariously inept variations of the second-law-of-thermodynamics argument against evolution ever seen:

One of the most basic laws in the universe is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This states that as time goes by, entropy in an environment will increase. Evolution argues differently against a law that is accepted EVERYWHERE BY EVERYONE. Evolution says that we started out simple, and over time became more complex. That just isn’t possible: UNLESS there is a giant outside source of energy supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy. If there were such a source, scientists would certainly know about it.

This passage has been widely reproduced on the internet under the title “Creationist Almost Discovers the Sun”.

Thanks to Daylight Atheism commenter Robert Madewell for the photo in this post.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • http://deconbible.blogspot.com bbk

    We need many, many more posts just like this one. Not just on Daylight Atheism, but on blogs all over the internet.

  • http://goddesscassandra.blogspot.com Antigone

    I’m sure you’ve heard about the website Fundies Say the Darnest Things, but these lines come straight out of there (http://www.fstdt.com)

  • bestonnet

    Isn’t there something giving out 3e26 W only about 150 Gm away from us?

    Still, it kind of struck me as a parody because it was just so damn ridiculous (not to mention so close to getting it right with the logic leading right towards the sun) but taking into account Poe’s law it could well be real (and probably is).

  • http://www.synapticplastic.blogspot.com InTheImageOfDNA

    I was taught as a child that women had one more rib than men because of Genesis 2:21-2 and that my beautiful Appalachian mountains were rounded and folded and not sharp and craggy like the Rockies or Himalayas because Noah’s flood had eroded them.

    *Shakes down-turned head in bewilderment now in retrospect.*

  • Juan Felipe

    Who knows? Maybe we wil find that source some day XD. I wonder how entertaining would it be if creationism was taught in schools

  • 2-D Man

    Yeah, been there. Done that. Well, not quite that extreme. I seem to have gotten the better of my previous handicap, though…most of the time.

    The trick was to know the conclusion to be valid in advance of its supporting evidence. Since back then, I knew that God created the world, it logically followed that any line of reasoning that led to that conclusion must be valid as well. When one thinks like this, they can make up any number of facts and they don’t need to be concerned with the accuracy of such claims. The facts are confirmed by the statement they are supposed to support.

    It wasn’t until I was in a physics lecture that I learned the term ‘self-correcting error’ and it started to occur to me that getting the right answer wasn’t enough. One also needs to know that all the steps involved in getting that answer are correct before the conclusion can be applied to anything other than the conclusion itself.

  • Samuel Skinner

    It is sort of incredible that inter racial marriage has only been legal for 41 years- my parents are older than that!

    Oddly enough, I always thought the case was in 1970- my memory needs work.

  • Christopher

    This is what happens when people start conforming to the herd – all sorts of bullshit (religious or otherwise) is simply accepted as “fact” a priori, so the people trapped in this mentality resort to bending their perceptions of “reality” in order to support the a priori assumptions fed into them by their society. Only the death of the herd will herald an end to this insufferable ignorance…

  • Chris

    my beautiful Appalachian mountains were rounded and folded and not sharp and craggy like the Rockies or Himalayas because Noah’s flood had eroded them.

    What was their “explanation” for why the flood didn’t similarly erode the Rockies and Himalayas (and Andes)?

  • http://www.synapticplastic.blogspot.com InTheImageOfDNA

    Chris,

    The thinking didn’t go that far. The other ranges were never mentioned, only that “the flood” was why the mountains around us were rounded. I was very young at the time and so my critical faculties were not honed, but I would imagine that if I had asked them your question, the answer would have been “the flood affected different areas differently” or some other such special pleading.

    This line of thinking also leads us to another geological gaffe of creationists when they say the Grand Canyon is a deluge artifact. Then why aren’t all river basins grand canyons?

  • http://www.casehq.blogspot.com CASE

    I live in Australia where the majority of fauna are marsupials (different to mammals in that they carry live young in a pouch). I asked a creationist how is was that the marsupials traveled to Australia and not to other places around the world? Do marsupials like koalas, kangaroos and wombats like to travel in packs?

    He said that animal migration is a wonder of God. Koalas, kangaroos and wombats do not migrate.

  • Robert Madewell

    With information so available on the internet, there is no excuse for not researching a subject before you make a claim about it. All Plumb Bob had to do is look up “Interracial marriage” on wikipedia. That page mentions Loving v. Virginia and links to that page. He had no excuse.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    This line of thinking also leads us to another geological gaffe of creationists when they say the Grand Canyon is a deluge artifact. Then why aren’t all river basins grand canyons?

    Not only that DNA, but Genesis mentions the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as existing before the flood, so how could they exist afterwards?

  • Brock

    Genesis mentions the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as existing before the flood, so how could they exist afterwards?
    Well, Duh! It was a different Tigris and Euphrates!
    I have actually seen this stated ion creationist literature!

  • Brock

    How come I can’t spell the word “in” without losing an electron?

  • Samuel Skinner

    I just discovered a good example of arguing… and a techicnically something that belongs to invincible ingorance!
    http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/showthread.php?t=117090

  • John

    All of these attacks on Christianity are based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. It seems atheists like Christians think the Bible some sort of history book. I hate to rain on both your parades, but this simply does not hold up to close scrutiny. The writer if this article is right, the twelve apostles never existed physically on earth, and of course it follows that Adam(a precurser of Christ) as well as Jesus Christ Himself never physically existed here. Your petty arguments for the nonexistance of God are almost as bad as Christian apologetics.

  • bestonnet

    John:

    All of these attacks on Christianity are based on a literal interpretation of the Bible.

    The fundamentalists are in a way more honest than the liberal Christians in that they actually do realise that if you get to throw away one part of the bible you may as well throw away the whole damn thing since you wouldn’t then be able to trust it.

    John:

    It seems atheists like Christians think the Bible some sort of history book.

    No, it’s got too many inaccuracies to deserve that title.

    Though we unlike the more ‘sophisticated’ Christians realise that the bible was intended as a history book (and a science book as well).

    John:

    I hate to rain on both your parades, but this simply does not hold up to close scrutiny.

    Why not?

    John:

    The writer if this article is right, the twelve apostles never existed physically on earth, and of course it follows that Adam(a precurser of Christ) as well as Jesus Christ Himself never physically existed here.

    So we can’t believe the bible for anything?

    You have any other proof of theism?

    John:

    Your petty arguments for the nonexistance of God are almost as bad as Christian apologetics.

    We don’t actually need any arguments because the burden of proof is on the theists, if a person who claims that a god exists can’t provide some decent evidence then we win the debate by default, with no need to argue anything at all.

    It is a petty argument but it’s also a very powerful one and I can easily see how those who aren’t atheists can be annoyed by it.

  • Sam L.

    Frank Turek was invited to speak at the university I attend (in my also beloved Appalachian mountains!) so I went to see what he had to say. Sadly, Turek’s lecture packed the house. Turek is a fast-talking flim-flammer, an aging pretty boy who talks about his supposed family values (and yes, at that talk he did explicitly state that homosexuality would cause the doom of civilization). This precisely calculated used car salesman played to the gathered crowd’s collective superiority complex while spouting repeated lies about Einstein and physics in a dishonest attempt to “prove” god’s existence through unrelated science. Turek’s cronies running cameras in the audience lobbed him softballs in a Q&A afterward, as the credulous audience egged him on. His book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist” is cretinous junk. The man is like the Bill O’Reilly of religious speakers, drowning out anyone who stands up to him with bluster, canned humor and outright lies.

    I never hated these people until I heard one live.

  • Valhar2000

    I asked a creationist how is was that the marsupials traveled to Australia and not to other places around the world?

    Actually, there are a lot of marsupials in South America. They are almost as successful as the Australian marsupials: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsupials#Description

  • Valhar2000

    Oh, I forgot to close a tag there…

    I was answering something CASE had written.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    His book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist” is cretinous junk.

    Having read part of that, I can say without equivocation that your comment is spot on. That book was so ridiculous that I laughed out loud at some of it, much to the chagrin of my gf at the time, whose book it was.

  • velkyn

    I’ve found that the last few verses in Ezekiel 26 are some of the best to show to a theist about Tyre, perhaps even better than oh, the current city there ;)

    “19 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I make you a desolate city, like cities no longer inhabited, and when I bring the ocean depths over you and its vast waters cover you, 20 then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of long ago. I will make you dwell in the earth below, as in ancient ruins, with those who go down to the pit, and you will not return or take your place [b] in the land of the living. 21 I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

    Hmm, even if there weren’t an extant city of Tyre on the site, we have found plenty of archaeological evidence. We FOUND it. We must be stronger than God.

    and a heck of a lot smarter than many many theists (though not all).

  • velkyn

    oh John, so just how should I know that your version of Christianity is sooooo much more “right” than others? There are more than a few Christians who take the Bible literally, some all of it, others just the bits and pieces that they like. Even you have that “magic decoder ring” that somehow tells you that you are the only “TrueChristian”. You think that a magic man who supposedly “rose again” is real but ooh, if someone says that the city of Tyre really did vanish against all evidence or that the Flood is “real”, also against all evidence, then you get your panties in a twist when an atheist points out just how hypocritical you are.

    “All of these attacks on Christianity are based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. It seems atheists like Christians think the Bible some sort of history book. I hate to rain on both your parades, but this simply does not hold up to close scrutiny. The writer if this article is right, the twelve apostles never existed physically on earth, and of course it follows that Adam(a precurser of Christ) as well as Jesus Christ Himself never physically existed here. Your petty arguments for the nonexistance of God are almost as bad as Christian apologetics.

  • goyo

    All of these attacks on Christianity are based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. It seems atheists like Christians think the Bible some sort of history book. I hate to rain on both your parades, but this simply does not hold up to close scrutiny. The writer if this article is right, the twelve apostles never existed physically on earth, and of course it follows that Adam(a precurser of Christ) as well as Jesus Christ Himself never physically existed here. Your petty arguments for the nonexistance of God are almost as bad as Christian apologetics.

    Uh-oh. John, are you sure you’re not Dutch in disguise?

  • Smurfy

    The Bible ? A History Book ?
    More a Book of Feary Tales, like the Brothers Grimm, and a bad one, at that.
    I found another Site full of Christian, Anti-Rational Lunacy : http://www.godandscience.org/
    If this abhorrence is known here, sorry, but if not, you really should be aware of it.

  • nfpendleton

    Owned! I love it. Keep fighting the good fight.

  • Nurse Ingrid

    Here’s what I love about Rev. Cawley and his ilk: they’re always saying that atheists are not justified in rejecting a belief unless we have studied it down to its most arcane detail. And if we do that and we still don’t believe, we must not have studied hard enough. It’s not that we don’t believe, they whine. We just don’t understand.

    Apparently the same standard doesn’t apply to them. They can remain absolutely pig-ignorant about their own religion, even as they claim to believe deeply. Apparently the bar is much lower for acceptance of a belief than for rejection of one.

  • Robert Madewell

    John said:

    … if this article is right, the twelve apostles never existed physically on earth, and of course it follows that Adam(a precurser of Christ) as well as Jesus Christ Himself never physically existed here.

    I think you hit on something here. Hmmm. The 12 apostles never existed. Jesus Christ never existed. Adam never existed. You know, John, you might be right. It all sounds mythical to me as well.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Nurse I,
    It’s actually only true if we reject their religion. They have no problem with rejecting or us rejecting all other religions. Apparently, they and we can reject all those out of hand, but their’s must be given serious consideration, and we are not to stop considering it until we accept it.

  • Nurse Ingrid

    Exactly, OMGF. It’s not like they studied a lot of Greek mythology before deciding they didn’t believe in Zeus.

  • John

    You will not understand what I am talking about for it requires diligent Bible study and earnest, honest prayer – none of this will you do for your minds are made-up. I merely state the obvious, that the literal Bible is full of flaws(as you have attested ad nauseaum) Nobody will ever find Noah’s Ark or any other Biblical artifacts. Archaeologists will never find any historical evidence of the carnal existance of Moses. Yet, The Bible is The Way to know God. Keep-up your petty arguments with Christians who are too lazy to study The Word – it’s an argument you will always win; sort of like arguing with an eight year old who believes in Santa Claus. Enjoy your very temporary victories, atheism is a dying religion. Headline from last weeks Sunday tribune;” Jesus Rising in China.”
    “Ecc 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

    All is vanity – as the Bible verse above states, it has already happened.

    cu all in heaven

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    Thanks for the name-checks, Ebon! What really struck me about Rev. Cawley was that he is, if his handle speaks true, a minister. Supposedly an expert in his faith. Yet his ignorance about the subject is vast.

    And still, atheists are expected to make experts of ourselves, and study every arcane piece of theology, before we reject religion. Well, why the hell should we, when the actual experts don’t even bother? (Yes, I know, we should because we don’t want to imitate our opponents and argue out of ignorance… but it still bugs me.)

    And John is making a standard fallacy in debates about religion: “You’re not arguing against my particular version of religion — therefore your argument is invalid.”

    Different versions of religion require different arguments against them. Every single piece of atheist argument can’t be expected to refute every single religious belief on the planet. Ebon is not making up straw men to argue against here. He’s citing examples of real people and real arguments that they make. There are different arguments against non- literal beliefs… and many of us, including Ebon, have made them at great length. He just didn’t make them in this piece.

  • bestonnet

    John:

    You will not understand what I am talking about for it requires diligent Bible study and earnest, honest prayer – none of this will you do for your minds are made-up.

    If there were any actual evidence we’d be willing to change our minds but there isn’t so we won’t.

    But either way, your religion has no special claim to truth that no other religion has so a Muslim or a Hindu could use the arguments you’re using and they would be no less valid.

    Jonh:

    I merely state the obvious, that the literal Bible is full of flaws(as you have attested ad nauseaum) Nobody will ever find Noah’s Ark or any other Biblical artifacts. Archaeologists will never find any historical evidence of the carnal existance of Moses.

    Yes, so why should we expect bible study to be anything other than a waste of time?

    I mean if the book is that error prone how can you expect to find any god in it or any evidence that there is a god (we can’t even trust it to tell us what π is).

    John:

    Yet, The Bible is The Way to know God.

    So despite the emperor clearly not wearing any clothes we can still know of the invisible fabrics he wears?

    John:

    Keep-up your petty arguments with Christians who are too lazy to study The Word – it’s an argument you will always win; sort of like arguing with an eight year old who believes in Santa Claus.

    Arguing with any religious believer is like arguing with a kid who believes in Santa Claus since they both have the same amount of evidence on their side.

    John:

    Enjoy your very temporary victories, atheism is a dying religion.

    Two problems there.

    1. Atheism isn’t dying it all but is actually taking over.
    2. Atheism isn’t a religion.

    John:

    Headline from last weeks Sunday tribune;” Jesus Rising in China.”

    China is a mostly backwards dictatorship with a low standard of living and most of the population practising religions other than Christianity (despite what the government there says).

    The gains that Christians are making in China and other third world countries aren’t at the expense of atheism but at the expense of other religions whilst the gains that are made by atheism happen to be in the west and happen to come at the expense of Christianity (among all other religions). Once the standard of living in the third world rises to that of the first world we can expect to see them follow the same path away from religion that the west is following right now.

    John:

    cu all in heaven

    No, we won’t be seeing each other in a place that doesn’t exist.

    You might want to read up on the Courtier’s reply.

  • Brock

    John Said:
    “You will not understand what I am talking about for it requires diligent Bible study and earnest, honest prayer – none of this will you do for your minds are made-up.”
    I’m so glad I have people like John around to tell me what I do and do not do, because I’m sure I’d live in continual confusion without them. John, would you also like to tell me what I believe without really knowing that I believe it? I’m dying to know.
    You are an ignorant churl. The first several times I read the Bible I was a practicing Christian. After I threw off the yoke of religion and read the Bible again, it was like I was reading it for the first time. It was like bombs going off in my mind as I realized how deluded I had been. Others have already commented on the ludicrousness of your discarding almost all of the Bible and then still claiming that it is the way to god. Read the Bible yourself if you have not already done so, and read it, if you are capable, with the open mind you deny that we have. I dare you!

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    Indeed. It is having an open mind that brought most of us to atheism in the first place; most of us grew up as Xians.

  • Smurfy

    Let’s just face it : as long as people will have to die of illness or age, ‘GOD’ won’t die either, because ‘he’ is the only hope, albeit a false one, to escape from the fact of Death. I have long given up arguing with religious people, it’s pointless, just as it is pointless arguing with the inmates of some Lunatic Asylum.
    Let them have their insanity called Jesus, God or whatever.

  • bestonnet

    That’s why I’m hoping that the success of transhumanism will result in the disappearance of religion since there will no longer be a market for those peddling an afterlife.

  • He Who Invents Himself

    “Still, I’m glad of that momentary tremor of doubt. To my thinking, it’s a reliable sign of open-mindedness.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. And to any atheist who desires to have a strong standing ground, this feeling should come frequently from regularly looking into the arguments from the other side.

    It seems that the general trend among some who are amateur apologetics is to first assume something’s true, and then find where the evidence for it would be if they had looked, and then finally assume that the evidence actually exists. (This is the inverse of the way it should be.) This would explain why many work so hard to interpret scripture cautiously (in order to stay consistent), and it would also explain why when Brock “threw off the yoke of religion and read the Bible again, it was like [he] was reading it for the first time.”

    I can’t help but laugh at the “Creationist Almost Discovers The Sun” post. Also, I found it extremely delightful to be linked to a Super Smash Bros. forum (a favorite game of mine) from my favorite blog, Daylight Atheism. I have that “It’s a small world” feeling now.

    snex: “not only do scientists know about it, but we see it every day. its called the sun.” Reality Check ++

  • RollingStone

    Dear John,

    If we can’t criticize and reject Christianity until we’ve read and studied all there is to know about it, then isn’t it only fair that we apply this standard to other religions as well? Shouldn’t we be required to read the Koran, the Vedas, the Talmud, etc. etc. in addition to the Bible? And shouldn’t YOU be required to read and study everything ever written about atheism before you can criticize and reject it? Well, lucky for you, you can start right now with this blog, and when you’re done with it, you can follow the links to all the other atheist blogs out there. And don’t forget all the books that have been written about atheism as well. Happy reading! Let me know when you’re done!

  • bestonnet

    John is as you might expect applying a double standard and only requiring people to understand Christianity completely before rejecting it.

    It’s not fair by any sensible definition of the word, but then again, Christians can’t win if they play fair.

  • Mike

    Hmmm…so the point of this post is to show that there are stupid Christians? I suspect that if I was bored out of my skull and had nothing to do, I could post as many claims by stupid atheists.

  • http://www.whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    No, the point was in the third paragraph. Did you not bother to read it or did you simply want to try for some gotcha moment?


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