Now playing at ABC News: Cameron and Comfort versus the atheists

posted at 1:15 pm on May 9, 2007 by Allahpundit

I promised you the link on Monday, so here it is. The hour of reckoning is at hand, my friends. But, er, not for me — I won’t have time to watch until tonight. Some of us have jobs, you know.

Will C&C prove the almighty’s existence through the skillful use of their local produce section? I’m going to buck the CW and guess — yes! Click the image to watch.

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WTF?

John from WuzzaDem on May 9, 2007 at 6:41 PM

I’m guessing FSM is the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

http://www.venganza.org/

Esthier on May 9, 2007 at 7:09 PM

FSM

Nonfactor on May 9, 2007 at 3:07 PM

WTF?

John from WuzzaDem on May 9, 2007 at 6:41 PM

I’m guessing FSM is the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

http://www.venganza.org/

Esthier on May 9, 2007 at 7:09 PM

OK

John from WuzzaDem on May 9, 2007 at 7:32 PM

Until science stops reconstructing specimens out of one jawbone they don’t have my respect.

Rose on May 9, 2007 at 7:41 PM

Esthier

By your questions it is obvious that you didn’t take Bible 101, because the answers are therein. You can also get the answers to your questions by watching the religious programming shown each year at Christmas time unless, of course, your not into watching “fairy tales”.

As to the question why God is hiding, why would He want to talk to someone who doesn’t believe in him. Throughout the Bible, God only communicates with the faithful not the faithless.

pocomoco on May 9, 2007 at 7:43 PM

Lay athiests? Aren’t all athiests, by definition, lay?

No, some atheists are professional philosophers who specialize in the defense of atheism and the critique of theism.

Bill Ramey on May 9, 2007 at 7:58 PM

I deny the Holy Spirit!

What do I win?

Seixon on May 9, 2007 at 7:59 PM

Blacklake

I completely understand what you are saying. However, whatever you want to call the ‘process’ the fact remains that it and faith cannot coexist. One requires the complete subservience to God, while the other requires the complete subservience to ones self. Atheists, of course, believe in the latter.

pocomoco on May 9, 2007 at 7:59 PM

I deny the Holy Spirit!

What do I win?

Seixon on May 9, 2007 at 7:59 PM

Good for you. That’s not the unpardonable sin.

PRCalDude on May 9, 2007 at 8:14 PM

(Besides, there are some of us that would rather turn the humping robot loose on the good doctor.)

Ahh Conspiring against the good Doctor! Make sure your humping robot is lubricated!

Drtuddle on May 9, 2007 at 8:19 PM

Well either way the atheist doesn’t go to heaven.

If he’s right, the atheist doesn’t go to heaven.
If we Christians are right, the atheist doesn’t go to heaven.

…and this is hope for the atheist?

Mojave Mark on May 9, 2007 at 8:43 PM

This is silly and it keeps non believers from taking faith seriously.

No, it doesn’t. What keeps non believers from taking faith seriously is the apparent need of many believers to act if they are right and non believers are wrong.

I never begrudge someone who has faith their right to believe what is by definition unprovable. Faith is a powerful trait for those who have it. But believers should realize that lack of faith isn’t a weakness. It’s a different outlook, neither above and certainly not below anyone else’s.

It’s as if they were jealous of something we knew and they didn’t.

pocomoco on May 9, 2007 at 5:10 PM

The defense rests.

JackStraw on May 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM

I never begrudge someone who has faith their right to believe what is by definition unprovable. Faith is a powerful trait for those who have it. But believers should realize that lack of faith isn’t a weakness. It’s a different outlook, neither above and certainly not below anyone else’s.
JackStraw on May 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM

Well said Jack. I’ve argued the same point from the believers’ perspective. Since existence of God can be neither proven nor disproven, the them vs. us dynamic that develops only divides people who otherwise agree on many important subjects other than religion. The debates are interesting and should continue, I just hope we can be as respectful as possible.

Buck Turgidson on May 9, 2007 at 9:08 PM

I never begrudge someone who has faith their right to believe what is by definition unprovable

What is by definition unprovable?

Bill Ramey on May 9, 2007 at 9:25 PM

I completely understand what you are saying. However, whatever you want to call the ‘process’ the fact remains that it and faith cannot coexist.

Obviously they can co-exist in some sense, or there’d be no western civilization at all.

If you mean there’s a fair amount of cognitive dissonance to be had there, I’m certainly inclined to agree. But a person can claim an experience of faith (whatever that is), and so long as it remains a subjective claim and not one that entitles the experiencer to make empirical claims that lack evidence, it’s not an inherent contradiction.

It’s a bit weird, if you ask me. I even suspect there’s a biological explanation for it. But it’s not contradictory.

Blacklake on May 9, 2007 at 9:36 PM

That which can not be proved. Thus the term, faith.

I’m not being a smartass. If God exists for you then He does because you have faith. You simply can not prove in any emperical way that He does. The pope can’t.

Frankly, I’ve never really understood the need believers have to assert so ardently God does exist. Religion is supposed to be a personal choice. If you believe, mazeltov. Why does it matter to you what anyone else believes?

I believe if the Mets can strengthen their starting rotation after the All Star break and Pedro comes back to 80% of his former self, we will get to the Series. But that’s my faith. Your mileage may differ.

JackStraw on May 9, 2007 at 9:38 PM

I’d like to share a fascinating story about my pastor. For someone who’s sermons draw heavily on his life experiences, he rarely talks about this event.
When he was a teen he was alone in a pool and went under in the deep end. For reasons I can’t recall he couldn’t reach safety and drowned. A friend arrived in time, pulled him out and he was resuscitated. In private once, I asked him, “What was it like? What do you remember? He said, “all I can tell you is I’ve never felt panic like that before or since. Then it dissipated and I felt a calm and a peace I’ve never experienced before or since.” That’s all he’ll say about that. Ask him about God and he has plenty to say. Great guy. I like Kirk Cameron and respect what he’s doing, but I would never have come to faith by someone talking on TV. Such a personal thing requires more investment than channel surfing.

Buck Turgidson on May 9, 2007 at 9:42 PM

What is by definition unprovable?

A contradiction would be one thing. Any conclusion that can’t be derived from its premises would be another. And Kurt Godel had a crazy complicated whopper for us all.

Of course, I don’t think “proof” generally means what people think it means, though, or they wouldn’t seem to be so interested in the notion…

Blacklake on May 9, 2007 at 9:44 PM

Buck

When he was a teen he was alone in a pool and went under in the deep end. For reasons I can’t recall he couldn’t reach safety and drowned. A friend arrived in time, pulled him out and he was resuscitated. In private once, I asked him, “What was it like? What do you remember? He said, “all I can tell you is I’ve never felt panic like that before or since. Then it dissipated and I felt a calm and a peace I’ve never experienced before or since.”

That’s kinda spooky. I went to school in Maine and one of our favorite seasons was “It’s Not Frozen”. My sophmore year, a buddy and I decided to go whitewater rafting on one of the rivers during “Damn, It’s Melting” season. This was right after INF and the rivers tended to swell with all the winter runoff. What were minor ripples became pretty testy.

We couldn’t get a raft so we improvised. We “borrowed” a canoe from the Woodsman’s team. We did ok for a few miles till we hit a pretty major section and the canoe swamped and we got dumped. My buddy got to shore pretty easily but I got swept downstream. After a bunch of banging around and trying to stay afloat, I started to go down. At first it was sheer panic but as it became clear I couldn’t fight it anymore and I was going down I felt this amazing calm.

Then I got tossed into a fallen tree that was submerged but was still rooted on shore. It sort of shocked me awake and I was able to pull myself along it to shore.

Long way of saying the calm before drowning thing isn’t faith for me. Been there, had the pneumoia. That, I believe in, just like your pastor. Same experience, different conclusion.

JackStraw on May 9, 2007 at 10:06 PM

JackStraw on May 9, 2007 at 10:06 PM

I’m sorry you had to go through that. My pastor never makes any religious claims regarding the experience. No white light, etc. He doesn’t need to. When I was under the raft on the Gauley river in W.Va. I didn’t stop kicking and clawing untill I saw good oldfashioned sunlight. Take care.

Buck Turgidson on May 9, 2007 at 10:22 PM

Any conclusion that can’t be derived from its premises would be another.

That doesn’t make it unprovable. If the premises of an argument fail to support the conclusion, the conclusion may still be true and provable. Indeed, it may be supported by another argument, one that is both valid and has all true premises.

Bill Ramey on May 9, 2007 at 11:32 PM

That which can not be proved. Thus the term, faith.

I’m still not following. What proposition, exactly, are you claiming is unprovable? And why is it unprovable?

If God exists for you then He does because you have faith.

The only sense I can make of this is that you’re claiming the following: a theist believes in God because she has faith, i.e., she accepts the proposition “God exists” because she has something called faith. How does this work?

You simply can not prove in any emperical way that He does.

So does this mean that (1) it is not possible to offer an empirical argument for the existence of God or that (2) no empirical argument for the existence of God has been successful? (1) is patently false; both the design argument and the cosmological argument are a posteriori arguments. Of course, they could be unsuccessful, in which case (2) would be true.

Religion is supposed to be a personal choice.

Why?

Why does it matter to you what anyone else believes?

Lots of reasons. They might be wrong, or I might be wrong. My beliefs might have some bad consequences, or their beliefs might have some bad consequences. Caring about other people’s beliefs is part-and-parcel of being a rational person.

Bill Ramey on May 9, 2007 at 11:34 PM

As I said in a thread about religion last month. You can’t debate with fanatics.

How can you debate evidence with people that have no concept of what evidence is?

JayHaw Phrenzie on May 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM

What an embarrassment.

*Sigh*

Kurt said: “The existence of God can be proven 100% absolutely without the use of faith.”

Doesn’t the ability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt remove the need for faith?

Slublog on May 9, 2007 at 1:27 PM

No, Faith is knowing what we have not seen. It does not mean you give up logic or reason.

By your own definition it is faith that scientists believe that animals change not by breeds (Great Dane to Pit Bull), but change in kinds (Horse to Whale).

I complaint is that they didn’t get a real apologist and instead relied on apologetical morons.

Why didn’t they get William Lane Craig, Norman Geisler or Surrendra Gangadean to argue? All would give a better defense. Gangadean would solely use logic to prove Material Monism is irrational (Uncaused events and Big Bang Oscillating Theory are irrational at the most basic, being that which is eternal).

Tim Burton on May 10, 2007 at 12:03 AM

Blacklake

A point of clarification. When I say that intellectualism and faith cannot coexist I am speaking in the singular not in the collective. In other words it is impossible for a person to be both an intellectual and also be in the faith because they are mutually exclusive. Being that Atheism requires the complete subservience to ones self, faith is automatically disregarded.

pocomoco on May 10, 2007 at 12:17 AM

That doesn’t make it unprovable. If the premises of an argument fail to support the conclusion, the conclusion may still be true and provable. Indeed, it may be supported by another argument, one that is both valid and has all true premises.

I was talking about logic, not debate. “Proof,” strictly speaking, is a matter of validity. It doesn’t take into account any considerations of soundness. As such, the premises for any given proof are purely stipulative. And if the ones provided don’t enable reduction to the conclusion in question, the proof is impossible.

Given the premises:
1) If the moon is made of cheese, the Earth is flat.
2) The moon is made of cheese

One can logically prove that
3) Therefore, the Earth is flat.

This is a completely valid proof, even though it involves not a single factually sound statement.

This is at least in part why symbolic logic dispenses with verbal claims altogether, and replaces them with simple, abstract letters. There’s no sense dealing with nonsense like the above when you can do the same work with vastly less confusing formulations like:

1) If p then q
2) p
3) Therefore q

Blacklake on May 10, 2007 at 12:40 AM

A point of clarification. When I say that intellectualism and faith cannot coexist I am speaking in the singular not in the collective. In other words it is impossible for a person to be both an intellectual and also be in the faith because they are mutually exclusive…

I’m not sure that makes me feel clarified. I, at least, was talking about empiricism and science, not intellectualism (which I’ve always seen as more of a social posture than anything involving actual knowledge).

My point was that one can consistently, say, be a particle physicist and still have “faith” in some non-scientific proposition, if “faith” constitutes having had some sort of subjective experience that doesn’t lead to the belief in empirical propositions that aren’t supported by evidence. In this sense, the claims “I’ve had an experience of faith” and “My feet feel cold” are roughly equivalent (the difference being, I suppose, that it’s hard to find people who don’t know what it feels like to have cold feet, while it’s easy to find people who have no idea what it feels like to have an experience of faith).

I’ve no idea how rare a bird the creature that fits that description happens to be, but if it exists at all I don’t see where it would be internally conflicted.

Blacklake on May 10, 2007 at 12:59 AM

A point of clarification. When I say that intellectualism and faith cannot coexist I am speaking in the singular not in the collective. In other words it is impossible for a person to be both an intellectual and also be in the faith because they are mutually exclusive…

What about all the brainiacs who were also great men/women of faith? The great strides in modern science (within the last two centuries) were almost all made by Jews or Christians.

Instead of reading what dorks have to say about faith you should grapple with the great minds of Christendom in their writings, as they are legion.

Mojave Mark on May 10, 2007 at 1:07 AM

Blacklake

I believe we’ve come to the Apples and Oranges stage of our commentary, and I must admit that you’ve left me behind in your last post.

One point however. To say that Intellectualism is a “social posture” is like saying being born a man or a woman is nothing more than “social posture”. In other words, one does not ‘choose’ to become an intellectual just as one does not ‘choose’ to born a man or a woman. Intellectualism is an innate quality. Either one is born with it or is not.

pocomoco on May 10, 2007 at 9:59 AM

Mojave Mark

It would appear that our commentary has gotten off the track of what I had originally posited about Atheism and God. My point being that Atheists, ‘considering’ themselves intellectuals, believe only in themselves to the exclusion of God.

My argument was not about Intellectualism as a whole. I did not say that intellectuals cannot believe in God. I apologize if this is the impression I’ve given.

pocomoco on May 10, 2007 at 10:53 AM

…Intellectualism is an innate quality. Either one is born with it or is not.

I think you mean “intelligence.” “Intellectualism” has substantially more baggage attached.

Blacklake on May 10, 2007 at 11:12 AM

My point being that Atheists, ‘considering’ themselves intellectuals, believe only in themselves to the exclusion of God.

This statement makes no sense and it is representative of the way emotion has ascendancy over intelligence on the religous side of the equation.

The fact that I type on this website is proof that I do not only “believe in myself”. If I was the only thing that existed, who am I typing this response to?

It is just another meaningless, throwaway insult hurled by theists that do not have a rational argument to stand on.

I actually respect those of you that admit that Faith is the only thing you have, because there is nothing else. It is amusing to see some of you struggle and grapple and try to provide evidence for your fantasies, but in the end, there is none.

Finally, Athiesm is not a belief in anything. It is simply the failure to believe in delusions that have no supporting evidence.

I am just grateful that I live in an era where I will not be tortured and murdered for my free thinking. Thousands, if not millons of people have been killed for daring to challenge the delusions of religion over the centuries.

And it is obvious to me that at least one or two posters on the “God Squad” side of the debate miss those good old days when they could win the argument by burning the free thinker on a stake with his own books as fuel.

However, in spite of my contempt for religions, I would not make them illegal nor would I suppress their right to express their thoughts. To do so would drag me down to their level.

Before you respond, let me remind you of Jesus’s advice to not judge and to turn the other cheek.

So many Christians seem to forget these two lessons from your demi god.

JayHaw Phrenzie on May 10, 2007 at 11:49 AM

Forgot to close quote after the first sentence.

AP or other Admin, please help as I can’t edit my own posts.

Also, while you are at it, can I have a “k” after the “w” on my handle?

Thanks,

JayHaw Phrenzie on May 10, 2007 at 11:50 AM

So there I was going through my mail and idly channel surfing when I come upon a promo for some Fox News show–the guest is this Cameron person and the graphic that accompanies his picture is “God’s biggest fan”.

Some things are stupid. And some things are STUPID. Really, doesn’t God deserve better than this? Such an embarassment.

honora on May 10, 2007 at 12:06 PM

Blacklake

Not so.

Intellectualism is defines as: “devotion to the ‘exercise’ of intellect or to intellectual pursuits”.

When we are born we have no intelligence. It is only through life’s experiences that it grows and develops.

If, then, one is born with the proclivity toward intellectual pursuit, which most of us are not, is when ones gained intelligence comes into play.

pocomoco on May 10, 2007 at 12:47 PM

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