Definition of an Atheist

It’s not a theological or scientific triumph to point out when Ray Comfort is wrong about something.

But sometimes it’s fun to shoot fish in a barrel.

Like in this case.

First, someone asked Ray a question:

<< Munjaros said...What's your definition of an atheist?>>

Then, Ray responded like this:

Munjaros,

An atheist is a person who pretends that there is no God.

Best wishes, Ray

Ha.

We’re all cracking up here.

Then a commenter (Martin James) offered up another definition:

This is mine:

A person who refuses to believe the facts.

I think the facts support the creation account, and not fairy tales.

The original questioner, Munjaros, questioned this definition (though, oddly enough, not Ray’s definition):

martin james:
I was unable to find your definition of atheist in the dictionary. Did you make it up? If we’re redefining words here we’re going to run into problems communicating.

Then, Ray, unable to understand how commenting works on these crazy, newfangled “blogs,” thought Martin was questioning his infinite wisdom and decided to respond. He not only misunderstood the unintelligent conversation taking place, he took the question out of context and changed the question-being-referenced (in other words, he lied):

<< martin james: I was unable to find your definition of atheist in the dictionary. [“An atheist is a person who pretends that there is no God”] Did you make it up? If we're redefining words here we're going to run into problems communicating.>>

Ok, maybe it was just an honest mistake.

What was Ray’s response?

Martin,

I find it interesting that you appeal to the absolute authority of the dictionary. Wasn’t it written by men? Don’t men make mistakes? Aren’t there all sorts of different versions? Which one is right? Hasn’t it changed down through the ages? Besides, who are they (whoever “they” are) to say what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to word definitions? There are no verbal absolutes. Everyone to his own. However, I think we can still communicate.

Oh my god, Ray Comfort doesn’t believe in dictionaries.

He also says all that without the least bit of irony. All an atheist has to do is replace the word “dictionary” with “Bible” in that whole rant to make an easy argument against taking the Bible literally.


[tags]atheist, atheism, Kirk Cameron[/tags]

  • http://protium.blogspot.com Protium

    I remember, as a teenager in the 70s, throwing rotten fruit at this crazed idiot back in Christchurch, New Zealand until he disappeared for tax evasion.

    Ahhh.. Ray Comfort, Town Jester!

  • http://www.alex-parsons.co.uk Alex

    Oh dictionaries, you know, they’re all FACT, no heart! Just elitist tomes that tell us what words ‘really’ mean ‘in reality’, if I want to say they mean something different THAT’S MY RIGHT.

    Remember, real truth comes from your GUT.

  • Steven Carr

    COMFORT
    There are no verbal absolutes. Everyone to his own. However, I think we can still communicate.

    CARR
    Ray does seem to believe that relativism is a workable concept.

  • http://darwinsdagger.blogspot.com Darwin’s Dagger

    To be fair to Comfort, he was asked what HIS definition of an atheist was, not what the dictionary says. You certainly won’t find my definition of a moron: Someone who believes the earth is flat, and/or 6000 years old, in any dictionary either, but it is valid definition from my perspective.

  • Mriana

    The Bible is written by men too and it’s chalk full of mistakes. So, I could ask the same questions of Ray, but he’d only deny that men wrote the Bible. He’s so delusional and self-absorbed.

    All an atheist has to do is replace the word “dictionary” with “Bible” in that whole rant to make an easy argument against taking the Bible literally.

    Yup!

  • chancelikely

    I agree with DD.

    Furthermore, “Words mean what I say they mean” is a primary weapon in the arsenal of the charlatan.

  • http://www.acosmopolitan.blogspot.com Anatoly

    I’m surprised that you even read his blog, Hemant, I tried doing that until my brain crashed due to lack of activity.

    Anyway, since there are no verbal absolutes, I wonder how Ray Comfort can comprehend (or not) his Bible – after all, maybe they’re talking about a great recipe for fish and chips and not a plan for salvation from an omniscient, omnipotent being.

  • Marty

    It’s interesting that Comfort used the word “pretend.”

    I’ve found that one can substitute the word “pretend” for “believe” or the phrase “have faith” in nearly every instance without changing the meaning of the sentence.

    From the Dec. 25 San Diego Union-Tribune (but could be from anywhere):
    “You have faith that God’s there for you,” she said. It doesn’t spare you from tragedy, “but eventually you know it’s going to be OK.”

  • Marty

    “You PRETEND that God’s there for you,” she said. It doesn’t spare you from tragedy, “but eventually you know it’s going to be OK.”

  • http://homoeconomicusnet.wordpress.com/ Homo economicus

    In one of my blogs a believer actually said that we had to separate truth from facts. When I pointed out that truth is based on facts that have been verified he said the onus was on me to prove that definition. Presumably the English language does not count ….

  • Maria

    People like Ray Comfort scare me……..

  • Munjaros

    I actually did comment on Ray’s definition. Mine is the first comment starting out “Lol…”

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    Well, dictionaries are supposed to be descriptive, not prescriptive. They shouldn’t be stifling the evolution of words. I’ve seen lots of atheists dispute dictionaries when they say an atheist is “a person who believes there is no god” (they want it to say “a person who doesn’t believe there is a god”). I think it is entirely legitimate to redefine the word, especially if you are part of a group identifying by the term. If you want a nuanced term, and “atheist” is the closest word, why can’t you use it?

    However, Comfort’s definition is not legitimate for precisely the reasons Munjaros brought up.

  • Karen

    remember, as a teenager in the 70s, throwing rotten fruit at this crazed idiot back in Christchurch, New Zealand until he disappeared for tax evasion.

    Another one of these idiots who doesn’t pay taxes? It’s like an epidemic or something. What don’t they get about “render unto Caesar” ?

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Ray Comfort Lies Again

  • Fred

    People like Ray Comfort scare me……..

    Please don’t let comedians scare you, there are worse things to be frightened of on this planet.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X