Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ray Comfort odds and ends

There seems to be a lot of Ray Comfort related stuff on my radar lately, so I'll dump it all in one post.
  • Sam, a grad student in New Zealand, debated Ray for $100.  Considering all the sneaky tricks regarding format, and Sam's status as a novice speaker, I would have asked for a lot more.  But according to people I've heard from, Sam made a surprisingly good showing, and Ray turned out to be incredibly bad at it.  You can judge for yourself by reading Sam's post, and there are even audio files attached.
  • Everything Else Atheist mocks a recent blog post by Ray for his very, very bad understanding of sex and relationships.
  • Guy P. Harrison, author of 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God, made us an interesting offer.  He wanted to see a good takedown of Ray Comfort's new book, You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics.  But he didn't want to read it himself, so he sent it to us instead.  I've read it, and now Matt's reading it.  At some point in the near future, the plan is to either appear together on Atheist Experience or do a Very Special Episode of Non-Prophets that will give this, ah, very enlightening book the attention it deserves.


  1. Good update; I'm greatly looking forward to the book review on either venue!

  2. I vote for Non-Prophets because the format allows extended discussions (free will, anyone?).

    Maybe you could announce a couple of weeks ahead of time, to give others the opportunity to read it before listening? On the other hand, I'm not going to shell out any money for a Ray Comfort book.

  3. Am downloading Sam's sound files and will listen to them tonight.

    If they are as he described, and he does a good job of debating Comfort then it makes you wonder how Ray would cope against a real debater.

  4. I don't think I simply don't have enough time and energy to get through a Ray Comfort book so I will defer to the superior intellect of Mat and Russel. I suppose I would consider it reading it If I could find a free copy.

  5. I recommend checking out for a comprehensive review of Comfort's book. Its a very well done review, and still going.

  6. For some reason I read Harrison's offer as "I need to take care of this rotting opossum carcass under my crawl space but I don't want to actually touch it...HEY MATT AND CO, DRAG THIS OUT TO THE TRASH FOR ME!?"

  7. Basically, Comfort now not only has to pay for sex, he even has to pay for people to debate him.

    Which probaly is the same thing to him seeing as he gets royally assfucked either way.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Listening to Comfort's debate.

    He is embarrassing himself. He honestly thinks evolution says that dogs evolved into dogs without eyes. Dumb ass.

    I can answer all of his questions such as which came first, heart or blood (Blood since plasma is a modification of the external environment. and in simple organisms was just proliferation to allow circulation of the external to other cells.) Ugh dumb dumb.

  10. I've read it, and now Matt's reading it.

    Wouldn't it have been cheaper, easier, faster, and more enjoyable to just have Schilling jab knitting needles into your eyes?

  11. I'm almost through listening to the debate now, and Comfort was completely outclassed by Sam. "Angry Atheist" wonders above how Comfort would fare against a "real" debater, but Sam did better than any experienced debater I've ever heard. Most famous folks want to make their own points and don't address the arguments of the other side, and don't ever even take time to read what their opponent will say ahead of time.

    Sam was to the point, knew the points Comfort would make, and didn't come across as a butthole.

    It was especially good how he pointed out that these misunderstandings of evolution (eyes, blood, sex) had already been explained to Comfort multiple times, so it was dishonest to keep asking the questions as if they didn't have answers.

    Comfort's mainstay of a debate point is that "creation" must have a creator, but Sam did a good job pointing out that this "creation" was just a simple burst of a large amount of energy, not anything complex. And much simpler than a God existing without its own creator.

    The best part was that Comfort was backed into the corner of simply preaching to the audience for most of his talk - you better be on the right path or you won't be right with Christ, that kind of thing. When he went there, it's like he was throwing in the towel.

  12. "Angry Atheist said...
    Am downloading Sam's sound files and will listen to them tonight.

    If they are as he described, and he does a good job of debating Comfort then it makes you wonder how Ray would cope against a real debater."

    Sam is a real debater. He may be new at it but he did an awesome job and was well prepared and knowledgeable on all fronts. It was nice to hear a fresh voice in the debates.

  13. "I've read it, and now Matt's reading it."

    I'm confused. How is it that you are capable of posting? Shouldn't you be incapacitated by now, clutching your belly laughing uncontrollably or tearing out your eyes in horror?

  14. Can you and Matt tackle reading the Necronomicon next for the rest of us. Apparently you are immune to biblo induced madness.

  15. I listened to the debate and I was impressed. Sam was competent and made sure the debate wasn't hijacked by a theist.

    I have experience of public speaking and so have an advantage when it comes to debate. Sam may have been a bit nervous and got lost a couple of times, but he came through because he knew his stuff and had done the research. I have the utmost respect for him.

    The thing that pissed me off was the fact that a university seemed to struggle so much to find someone to debate a theist!

  16. Can anyone tell me the conversion rate for New Zeeland Dollars to US? I'm really hoping that Sam got a lot more than 100 US.

  17. Look What I Found at The Local Christian Bookstore

    Ray quotes several commenters from his blog (me included ... I think) and he doesn't credit anyone. I bet Matt D. is quoted in there several as well. It'd be nice if he'd put a gratuitous "--RM" or something. All his quotes are just quotemines anyways.

  18. Sam got 100 NZ Dollars. so about 50 US Dollars.

    I have some photos from Sam so I might try putting this whole thing up on YouTube.

    I also recommend Zizturs Ray a Day series (and not just because I have contributed) where Ziztur and Flimsyman each day for the last couple of months have taken another page or two from the book and pointed out the idiocy.

    If you start at the bottom you can read quite a lot of the book.

  19. @Bathtub.

    Oh man...that sucks for him. I was taken back at how rude the Christians were to him. You don't treat your guest like that.

    Ray called him an idiot to his face multiple times...fuckwit.

  20. As a resident of Christchurch, his recent return to his hometown inspired me to research Ray Comforts lesser known publications, from the 70’s and early 80’s.

    Some of his earlier work I have in my possession is truly hilarious and at times troubling.

    Read from the pen of Ray, about….

    1.) Killer on the Loose

    2.) Ray Comfort finds ‘A Cure for Cancer’

    3.) One-way trips to ‘The Pit of Hell’

    4.) What to do ‘When Bugged by a Jehovah Witness’s’

    I’ll be doing a review on another one of his literary masterpieces over the long-weekend we are about to have here in New Zealand.

    Enjoy, and as I say – there’s heaps more to come (reading the stuff brings on an instant migraine, so bear with me troops)



    Note; I’ve also done an article on Rays earlier days in Christchurch here:

  21. @Robert:

    Lack of attribution for anything he says is a major theme that I picked up in Ray's book as well, along with his blog and all of his other works. He has a stated policy of deleting every comment with links to atheist material. He continues this tradition in the book by refusing to provide so much as a name for any quotes. In the back of the book, he reprints somebody else's very long blog post IN FULL without attribution.

    His justification is "I don't promote atheist sites." Bullshit. It's not about promotion, it's a lack of basic integrity. I link to stuff I disagree with all the time. But Ray seems to be afraid that his followers will escape from the echo chamber if they accidentally follow a bad link.

  22. Comfort should be called on plagiarism.

    The Christians who questioned Sam I noted came out as "winners" since they didn't let him answer and were assholes spewing the "NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!!!"
    While the people questioning Ray made the 'mistake' of letting him answer for which he went on tangents where you couldn't quickly respond to the first flawed point he makes.

    Really Ray makes a point that Christianity is good because that works don't matter only faith. Yet he wonders why Atheists can be moral with no higher purpose or what not. How can Christians be moral? Their works and actions DON'T matter to them. They can be as big as assholes as possible and they still get their heaven gift from Santa Christ. Since Jesus forgives and accepts them no matter what, there is NO inherent incentive in their religion to better themselves morally. It's a defeatist attitude. If someone says that he can't help beating his wife because he's an alchoholic and then KEEPS DRINKING that is not a good person. People like Ray say they can't help but sin and then what a surprise, we get people like Kent Hovin who I guess just couldn't help it.

  23. The audio is now youtubified if people would rather 'watch' it.

    Share it around!

  24. I really wish there were some way in which non-Christians of every variety, including atheists, could come together and throw down a sort of gauntlet - tell Christians that there are certain non-negotiable items that they need to repudiate or be relegated to the margins of society. Ray is one; Calvinism is another. But it will never happen.

    It really pisses me off to no end that liberal to moderate Christians will admit privately that Ray is a moron, but they aren't shouting about it publicly as atheist bloggers are.

    This has bothered me for some time. Jim Wallis of Sojourners is a very good man, and I have no problem with his Christian faith, but he wants to bring the fundies to the table. Just once, I'd like to hear him say, publicly, "Pat Robertson is a psychotic asshole and is not a Christian". I've been told this would be counter-productive, but I don't believe that's the reason he and others like him don't do it. They don't do it because Pat is their "brother in Christ" - something we can never be. This is why I don't entirely trust them. They haven't declared themselves to my satisfaction, and I'm of the opinion that if cornered, ultimately they will side with the fundies. They may not like it - but I think they'll do it.

  25. Paul,

    What's with the picture on your site of the Dalai Lama superimposed onto a German uniform?

  26. If I'd have to take a guess I'd say it's because of the very strict theocratic class structure Tibet had under Lama rule. The Dali Lama was an absolute monarchy before invasion and there was what would be called a slave class. So as much as I do sympathize and support Tibet being given more rights and less abuse by China it wasn't the perfect utopia a lot of people imagine it as. And I am a fan of Buddhist philosophy and of the Dali Lama when he speaks, so that was a hard reality for me to face when I looked into the research, but it goes to show that if you care about the truth you do have to investigate your opponents claims and be willing to adjust your world view and accept reality. "If you see the Buddha, kill him" Buddhism teaches it's crucial to eventually be able to let go of religious and hero worshiping attachments...and once you do it is easier to accept said people on realities terms and not be soul crushingly disappointed in them when they fail to be paragons of virtue.

  27. It's true; Tibet was no paradise. It was governed by factions of monks and aristocrats. The amount of power wielded by the Dalai Lamas over the past several centuries didn't remain constant, but it was never absolute. And this DL was little more than a boy when China invaded, and he already wanted very much for Tibet to change.

    I have a history with Buddhism and the Tibetan community, and I get touchy when people believe the Chinese PR. The Dalai Lama goes all over the world promoting universal compassion, a just and equitable society and environmental responsibility. He pushes himself to the extent of endangering his health. Comparing the DL to a Nazi is not merely inaccurate, it's disrespectful.

  28. Cipher, go to my site and read my articles on Tibet - then it will all make sense.

    This is no the place to debate. the.



  29. I like how the very title includes the word "angry" as a modifier of "skeptics". It's a double-dose of logical fallacy, being both a straw man, since he's clearly implying that any skeptics that don't agree with him are angry; and ad hominem, since he's also implying that they are wrong for being angry.

    It's the kind of circular logic that you can only get from a Creationist.


PLEASE NOTE: The Atheist Experience has moved to a new location, and this blog is now closed to comments. To participate in future discussions, please visit

This blog encourages believers who disagree with us to comment. However, anonymous comments are disallowed to weed out cowardly flamers who hide behind anonymity. Commenters will only be banned when they've demonstrated they're nothing more than trolls whose behavior is intentionally offensive to the blog's readership.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.