Atheist YouTuber Thunderf00t Debates Banana-man Ray Comfort

Atheist YouTuber Thunderf00t recently debated banana-man Ray Comfort.

I’m not a fan of these debates because the Creationist side never has anything relevant to say, and Ray Comfort is no exception. By debating his kind, we are merely giving Creationists the satisfaction of thinking they have something valuable to offer, when in fact they don’t.

Let’s see the tape:

You want proof this type of debate is useless? Here’s a brief excerpt:

Comfort: So what was in the beginning? How did all this happen?

Thunderf00t: Well, there is the assumption that there was a beginning. I mean, this is what we would call in scientific terms an “unknown.”

Comfort: You don’t know what was in the beginning.

Thunderf00t: It’s unknown. There are things that we know and the things that we don’t know and there are, as [Donald] Rumsfeld would say, there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

Comfort: I gotta stop you there because I know what was in the beginning. You don’t know. I know what was in the beginning. In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. You don’t know. I do.

And then they move on to something else.

I applaud Thunderf00t for attempting to converse with Comfort, but this is no better than a Nightline debate, which is to say good for ratings but useless to advance the dialogue.

  • Siamang

    Comfort: I gotta stop you there because I know what was in the beginning. You don’t know. I know what was in the beginning. In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. You don’t know. I do.

    The appropriate answer is this:

    “No Ray, you don’t know. You weren’t there. I wasn’t there. All you have is a book telling you what happened… and your *BELIEF* that the book is correct.

    But the truth is, you don’t know, and I don’t know. Neither of us knows. Unless you *are God* or are infallible, you don’t know for 100% fact. Neither of us knows, but only one of us is willing to be honest about that fact.”

    Hit him hard with the “gee, are you PERFECT? Are you GOD? Well then, how can you know that?”

  • http://defiantskeptic.wordpress.com/ Alex

    I have to say, all things considered, I really like Thunderf00t. Even if Ray is completely wrong, Thunderf00t is taking another step in the direction of showing people that we godless heathens can be quite reasonable people.

    Not that it will change the minds of any of the fanatics, but maybe some more moderate believers will at least be inclined to realize that atheists aren’t shrill, obnoxious, joyless monsters like Richard Dawkins is wrongly accused of being.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    From the moment that Ray called atheism and Christianity “opposing viewpoints” I knew I wasn’t going to be too impressed by this, sadly. Ray seems to believe that everything about atheism is diametrically opposed to everything Christians value.

    I’m more than a little disappointed. Personally, I’d never let Ray get away with calling the universe ‘creation’, since that’s just assuming the conclusion, and I’d never let him assert that if man can’t make it then a God must have.

  • Richard Wade

    If these debates are futile and useless, then watching a video of one more futile and useless debate is also futile and useless, and I suspect that my making this remark right now is at least very close to being futile and useless, if not completely futile and useless too.

    Every time somebody says Ray Comfort’s name, somewhere a brain cell dies.
    –Ouch.

  • http://tuibguy.com Mike Haubrich, FCD

    The issue with Ray Comfort is that he really has nothing at stake. He believes that he is going to die and go to Heaven and this Big Blue Marble will only be a memory,a past life. Jesus will say, “You saved a lot of souls, Ray. Come sit by my side and watch the wailing and gnashing of teeth of those atheists who were ‘too smart’ to see your wisdom.”

    Materialist facts are meaningless when you have the confidence of certain knowledge. Ray knows, Siamang. Ray knows.

  • Tom

    Ray Comfort is a fool for sure, and debates like these are a fool’s errand

  • Tony

    Not that it will change the minds of any of the fanatics, but maybe some more moderate believers will at least be inclined to realize that atheists aren’t shrill, obnoxious, joyless monsters like Richard Dawkins is wrongly accused of being.

    I think Dawkins would have shredded Comfort to pieces for his nonsense. Thunderf00t is genuinely trying to discuss the subject, rather than to win the debate.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com miller

    I’m basing this entirely off the excerpt (I didn’t watch the video), but I actually disagree with Thunderf00t. While there are a lot of theories in which the universe has no beginning, in the currently best accepted model, there is a beginning. I would tentatively side with the current consensus. However, this doesn’t necessarily imply a creator, and even if there were a creator, it says nothing about the nature of the creator (ie we have no reason to think the creator is conscious, benevolent, or singular).

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    I watched part 1 and about half of part two. It was just too painful and I had to stop it. Ray had his talking points and wasn’t interested in discussing anything.

  • Mark C.

    miller, what do you mean by “beginning”? There’s a difference between the beginning of everything and the beginning of a particular state of everything. The Big Bang theory, as far as I know, doesn’t go back to this supposed Time Zero (or the time at which some change of state took place).

    As for the videos, I watched all of them and enjoyed them. Ray is so stupid and naive that I actually got plenty of laughs out of this. I don’t know if he deserves it (he may have liked doing this more than I imagine he did, for all I know), but I sympathize with Thunderf00t. A smart man dealing with that much ignorance and stupidity is never a comfortable sight to behold.

  • Geoff

    You can really see why Dawkins doesn’t do this kind of thing any more.
    When Comfort says he ‘knows’ something ‘because it says so in scripture’ then you have to realize that he doesn’t even share a common language with the rest of us.
    I also watched part 1 but couldn’t get through part 2. I wonder how many people got further. Full marks to Thunderf00t for his patience.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com miller

    Mark C.,
    Of course, it’s possible that the expansion of the universe does not apply all the way to time zero. Or… maybe it does. Who knows? The point is that either way, it does not necessarily imply what Comfort thinks it does. So there’s no need for Thunderf00t to bet on an eternal universe as if his argument depends on it.

    And on second glance, it seems he never really did bet on an eternal universe as I had originally thought. So nevermind, his response was good. :)

  • BathTub

    I don’t think Thunderf00t did that great a job, basically I don’t think he had done much of a review of Comforts material beforehand. He let Ray get away with way too much. He should have stuck with the science and away from the bible.

  • Matt

    While I thought this whole thing didn’t really achieve much. I do like Thunderf00t for at least trying. PLUS! His beautyintheuniverse channel has some great videos of his trip to California.

    Overall I wish he was a bit more “hard hitting” then what he was in reality.

  • bernie

    I think debating with creationists and the like should stop immediately. It’s just too much like wrestling with pigs: the pigs like it, and you get dirty.

  • Quixotic

    I watched the full debate and was happy with the way Thunderf00t handled himself. A bit too much stuttering, but i think an objective observer would agree he “won” (if thats what you wanna call it) the conversation. He expressed and supported his views most clearly, whilst forcing Ray to support his own views, or drown with them. Knowing that this was set up as a conversation, not a debate, i think Thunderf00t gave Comfort his fare share of time, and that Comfort wasted it. Though i am a bit biased. :-) Any way, good stuff, and a service to us all IMHO.

  • dudemang

    This type of debate is not useless. This is for the audience and I think there some people who will see the contrast between Ray and Thunderf00t and learn something.

  • ayer

    Actually, Borde, Guth and Vilenkin have conclusively established that the universe is not past eternal and thus had a beginning:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0110012

  • http://www.rationalitynow.com Dan Gilbert

    I watched all of the videos yesterday and found that, while Thunderf00t made many great points and explained his positions pretty well, Comfort basically contributed nothing but vapid questions and some proslytizing… which is basically all he’s got, anyway. It wasn’t so much a debate as a discussion.

    Thunderf00t had responses to almost all Comfort’s nonsense, though he did just let him go on a “I’m just trying to save you” ramble at one point (what else could he do?). However, as everyone here knows, presenting evidence is a waste of time to someone like Comfort.

    Example: When Thunderf00t was explaining speciation, Comfort basically said that it doesn’t matter what the evidence is, he doesn’t believe in evolution. I forget the exact quote, but it was explicitly saying that facts are irrelevant.

    Overall, from reading the notes (Comfort’s, too), they both enjoyed the experience and found each other to be very nice, pleasant people.

  • JJ

    Thanks to Flight of the Conchords, every time I hear Ray Comfort talk, I can’t take him seriously, he reminds me too much of Murray. Not that I could take him that seriously before hearing him . . .

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Overall, from reading the notes (Comfort’s, too), they both enjoyed the experience and found each other to be very nice, pleasant people.

    It is striking that both thought the other to be nice and pleasant but Comfort thinks that his loving God will condemn Thunderf00t to everlasting torment for nothing other than a belief that Thunderf00t finds no evidence for.

    Since Comfort is not calling for the immediate torture of Thunderf00t, I can only conclude that Comfort is better than the God he believes in. In fact, every fundamentalist Christian I have ever met is better than the God they believe in. One would think they would invent a better God. The problem is that they are really just worshiping a book and as such, they are stuck with the text in the book.

  • Bleatmop

    FYI, Thunderfoot objects to being called an atheist.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0zSCpsOSSw&feature=channel_page


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