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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Revisiting Ray Comfort

You know it has been a long while since I have mentioned Ray Comfort. I discussed him even before he had his own blog, Comfort Food. Reading his blog one thing becomes clear; simple questions to him beg absurdly simply answers. And more importantly, well-thought-out questions do not exist and thus have no need of answers. This is obvious in the types of "questions" which get asked and answered As anyone who peruses his blog can see. Nothing tough or above the simple strawman is ever addressed, just simple-minded questions and even more simple-minded answers. This leads one to wonder if this simplemindedness is the only level on which Ray Comfort is able to operate. He after all, is the arch-architect of the infamous "banana" argument for creationism. This alone should has disqualified him from and reasoned Christian discourse. But alas, he has hung around like that pesky "common cold" virus.

I have to admit that I am thankful. For if his is the level of Christian apologetics, then reason, logic, fact and reality have a chance in overcoming Christianity. We can all thank our good friend Ray for that.

Let us take for one example of this, this recent post by our good friend Ray, The Faithiest. He opens it by posing a "question" he recieved. One look at this question and you can instantly tell that it is nothing more than an overly simple question asked in hopes of being overly simply answered. And Ray jumps at the chance of making the simple completely over-simplistic:

"Life forms change over time and given enough time they can and did change dramatically. GET OVER IT! No one is ever, ever going to go back to the idea that species were created fully developed at a specific point in time. NEVER. The details of the theory may change but not the framework. There is no faith involved. Move on. Evolution happens." Milo

I cannot say that I know the mind of Milo, but I can say that his representation here is so absurd as to be laughable. Reality is that humanity learns on a daily basis, we know more today than we did yesterday. Thus what we consider to be factual from day to day never changes, how we interpret those facts as we learn more, changes. Faith is the complete absense of fact. A Muslim has faith in their god, as does a Jew in theirs, as does a Christian in theirs. No fact is involved. Consider a man standing atop the tower of Pisa with a stone in his hand. He cannot say to his friend there, that he has faith if he lets go of the stone it will hit the ground, and his friend cannot say that he has faith it will not hit the ground. This is because they are talking about facts of reality, the real physical world. But in terms of religion, there is no reality whatsoever. It is all faith-based. How can one supernatural god based upon some holy book be better or more real than another god based upon some holy book?

Just look for example at the bible: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" [Heb 11:1 NKJV]. Since all of nature can be seen of evidence of it seen, then none of nature can be considered in terms of faith. This includes evolution. We see evolution, we see evidence of evolution in the past, we have mountains of facts not just including fossils, which are all nature and thus not faith-based to back up evolution. We have the natural laws of physics to back up dating and relational chronographies. We have chemistry and bio-chemistry, DNA, embyonosis. All these are natural and fact based; thus outside the "unseen" realm of faith.

But none of that shows up in Ray's post at all.

Here is what we do see in Ray's response:
You have said, "Life forms change over time and given enough time they can and did change dramatically." This is what you believe. Its a statement that is based on faith. You weren’t there when the life forms were created, and you didn't see them change. You don’t know how life began; you simply believe that what you have been told actually did happen. Like it or not, you are a "believer" in the theory of evolution.

How life began is not an issue of evolution at all. Evolution deals only with how life, once it occurred, changed over time. How difficult is it for Creationists to understand this very simple fact. The origin of the chemistry of life is completely different from the origins of the diversity of lifeforms once life came into existence. One is a question of speculation, the origin of life, and one is a question of understanding all the facts of life and how well we understand the process that fits all those facts together. And here I repeat this simple, nay simply simple fact that every day we learn more facts and thus have a better -- more precise -- understanding of how all present species came to be like they are today.

But look more closely at what Ray actually does say. Take this quote, "This is what you believe. Its a statement that is based on faith. You weren’t there when the life forms were created, and you didn't see them change." Could this not also be said about George Washington? Who today could have personally seen George Washington? Thus according to Ray Comfort we can only "believe" in George Washington via "faith". Furthermore, we have witnessed lifeforms change, even change into new species. So not only do we have a flat out lie about not witnessing evolution, but we have either deceit or ignorance when it comes to the value (or lack of value according to Ray) of things we have not seen but can verify in totally natural records.

This is again in stark contrast to the supernatural and unknowable ways of any god, not just God or Jesus. Since the bible was written by humans and is undeniably rooted in specifically historical events, it is also natural not supernatural. Thus even the bible itself is not proof of anything supernatural other than the supernatural desirables of its wholly natural authors.

So again we come up against this whole canard of faith applied to the provable and understandable natural realm when it is defined solely by the unseen, unknowable and supernatural realm of the gods. Even the bible tells us this.

Ray Comfort, then must either be a charlatan or wholly ignorant of both real reality and biblical reality.

And more importantly, this is just an example. His entire philosophy and blog is exactly the same.

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