This book by Ray Comfort is copyrighted 1993, and reprinted in 2002, 2005, and 2006, published by Bridge-Logos Publishers.
This book, by one of the leading members of The Way of the Master ministries, is his attempt to show that the atheist doesn't really exist, and also tries to prove the various supernatural events, as true, such as the power of prayer, and the reality of god.
Ray Comfort's mission falls flat once you first open the book, as his arguments are immediately recognized as irrational, and instead of giving you evidence for something, he goes after your emotions, and attempts to use examples which, when looked at closely, have nothing to do with the subject at hand. I will detail what I mean later in my review.
Another realization is the popularity of Ray Comfort, and his show, Way of the Master. Why is this so, when he uses such dishonest methods to convince people what he says is true? Wouldn't people be angry at such an attempt to convince someone of something through the use of lies and deception?
I feel that Ray Comfort is at the very low end of the apologetics totem pole, and it is only with the fame of Way of the Master co-host, Kirk Cameron (from the 80's sitcom Growing Pains fame), that his show is popular at all. I have seen many christians who hate Comfort and Cameron's tactics, and I have even seen on the internet, some christians see right through their lies, and their dislike for their ridiculous hell fire and brimstone preaching methods.
Something interesting is the fact that the forward to this book is by none other then the infamous con-man "Dr." Kent Hovind (the "doctor" got his status from Patriot University, which is considered by many to be a christian diploma mill. My source also indicts Hovind on counts of assault and battery, burglary, and tax evasion, which he was convicted of July of 2006, and is currently serving time in prison for that crime. Source: http://www.nndb.com/people/333/000085078/).
Yeah, Comfort sure keeps some good company, and some qualified "experts" to write forwards for his books (can you sense my sarcasm here?). That tells you one thing about Comfort's message: only the most fundamentalist, and close minded of people could possibly fall for his chicanery. I feel deeply sorry for anyone who falls for Comfort's lies and distortions. Though, they have no one to blame but themselves, because they have access to information which would handily refute Comfort, yet they don't pay attention to it.
As a convenience for my readers here is the review I did of Ray's book The Evidence Bible, which I reference quite often throughout this review, so it's easier to find.
One last observation before beginning the actual review. On the back of the book it says, "Contrary to popular opinion, the existence of god can be proven - absolutely, scientifically, without reference to faith or even the bible."
Even here, Ray claims to be able to "prove" god's existence without mentioning the bible, yet he does so with the ten commandments constantly - yet another example of his hypocrisy. This is also more evidence as to his deception during the "Does god exist?" debate on ABC's Nightline, May of 2007. See my post with the video by the Rational Response Squad's video exposing Ray as a liar. The post is called More Way of the Master Dishonesty, from 11-21-07.
Chapter 1: Who Made god?
In the beginning chapter, Ray's illogical ramblings become apparent. He begins with talking about all of the horrible things which take place in the world, like floods, and diseases, etc.. He says that with all of these horrible things, many people doubt the existence of god, and that is correct.
He claims that there are only three explanations for such horrible events:
1. There isn't a god.
2. god doesn't have the power to control his own creations, or won't, "which makes him a tyrant".
3. The bible tells you the reason for the state of the world.
For any thinking person, number one is the obvious choice, yet Ray would like to continue his discussion about atheists, and faith.
He claims that "faith is often offensive to the non believer (page 10)". Yet, this is not true, because faith is simply irrational to a non believer, not offensive. It doesn't prove anything, yet Ray goes on to claim that non believers should pay more attention to faith, because according to him, you use it every day, which is somewhat true, in regards to a few thing in life.
He goes on for a page and a half talking about all the things we need to have faith in, like making sure that milk producers didn't put something bad in it, and so we must trust - use faith - that there is nothing bad inside the milk. The same goes for the claims of history, and that you have to take on faith that the chair you sit in won't break.
Yes, many of these things are true, however, there is evidence for these things if one wishes to look it up. You can look up the reliability records of a particular food company and see how sanitary they are; you can test a chair to see if it will hold your weight; you may even be able to call up the company and ask the weight limit for such a chair.
These examples do not have to be taken totally on faith - there is evidence which one can examine, as I've just shown. The same, however, is not true of god.
At the end of this discussion, Ray claims that if a non believer wishes to get rid of christianity, by getting rid of faith, he would "[saw] through the branch he is sitting on (page 11)". Yet, this is not true, because the faith that is involved in religious belief, and the faith used in every day life are radically different. In the real world, as I said, there is evidence which one can examine if one so chooses, yet all the so called evidence for god just crumbles under close examination.
These are the false examples which Ray likes to parade around, yet looked at rationally, they just don't hold up.
In the next section called "Trump Card" Ray goes over the supposed question often asked by non believers to a christian. That question is "Who made god"?
Ray basically laughs off this question and quotes the bible for his proof (and once again contradicting his claim that he won't use the bible for evidence), claiming that "god has no beginning and no end....time is a dimension that god has created and it is this dimension that mankind is subjected (page 12)".
Ray also makes the stupidest of statements in saying that "...with god, we have a little more information then we have with space (page 12)".
I cover this absurd claim in my review of his book, The Evidence Bible, in a bit more detail, but basically, we know that space exists. We have traveled in it; we have sent space probes deep into it, sending back pictures of it. We know what it is composed of. Nothing of the sort has ever been done with god, so to claim that we have more information about god, then space, is just absolutely asinine.
On page 13, Ray makes another absolutely crazy statement, saying that, "no one perishes in the hands of god", and that "the promises of almighty god are utterly trustworthy".
First of all, the bible contradicts this many times over. One such instance is Hosea 13:16. As for god's promises, this is just ridiculous because, according to the bible, "the promised land" (or "Land of Israel") was to be given to the Jews, by god, and to have it become their "everlasting possession (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_of_Israel)". This obviously is false, since many wars have been, and still are, being fought over it, and so far, no one has gotten complete ownership of it. If god was real, and truly wanted to give that land only to the Jews, it would be within his power to do so, and his non action in this situation is telling.
In the next session called, "The Atheist Test", Ray Comfort makes the claim that he doesn't believe in atheists.
I've gone over this subject before in the post Agnosticism and Atheism, from 9-18-07, but I'll cover it again.
Ray's claim is completely baseless because he has the definition of agnostic wrong. Agnosticism means the "impossibility of knowledge with regard to a god or supernatural being." This is the definition which Thomas Huxley, the founder of the term, used. I would rather go to the source of a word's usage, then rely on modern societies' distortion of the word, where it's used to imply a fence-sitter.
Before I end my commentary for this chapter, I'll make one more observation; one which I also made in the above posts I mentioned. Ray tries to use more trickery and says that atheists make an "absolute statement" that there is no god, and that in order to do such a thing, a person would need to have all the knowledge about the universe in order to make such a claim. Yet, he seriously contradicts himself because he, himself, makes an "absolute statement" by claiming that god does, in fact, exist, when he doesn't have all the knowledge about the universe...in fact, I'd bet that he knows an incredibly large amount less then most scientists.
Chapter 2: Banana in Hand
Ray starts this chapter off by using his completely absurd examples of supposed "creation". He uses the coca-cola can, the banana and the apple, among other silly examples.
Ray's coca-cola can example is his retarded story about how the can just evolved, and didn't have a maker, which is just stupid. Ray admits this, yet he uses this as "proof" that human beings, and other objects, need a maker as well.
He next points to the banana argument, which was ridiculed on the internet for quite some time, once it was shown that the banana which Ray talks about are grown that way, by humans. A completely natural banana you might find growing is very different. Naturally wild bananas have "numerous large, hard seeds" (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana) within it, which don't seem to make it so well "designed" to eat now.
Given this false argument, it seems that Ray has recently quit using it, since he didn't at that Nightline "Does god Exist?" debate.
Throughout the rest of the chapter, he uses other man made things, such as a book, claiming that mankind, just like the book, needed a creator. Yet, as I've pointed out elsewhere, these man made things are not anywhere close to the biological structures which were truthfully formed by evolution.
As in the past, if evolution wasn't known, "creation" would sound like a decent hypothesis, yet we have a much better explanation; one that is backed with over 150 years of evidence: Evolution.
In the next section called, "What About Science?", Ray tries to claim that the idea of a builder making a building is a "scientific" argument.
I think Ray is a bit diluted here, because, I wouldn't call intelligent design a science, in fact, several courts, and thousands of scientists, have ruled it out as such.
Ray continues the final chapter trying to convince his reader that atheism is a dying movement, and cites an article which was published by American Atheists, Inc., however, he doesn't give sources for this article whatsoever, and only uses very brief quotes, which makes me wonder, with Ray's other misquotes, and taking things out of context, if this is the case with this supposed article too.
He claims that atheists "cannot even agree on the simple concept that 'there is no god' (page 23)".
I'm curious about this because it's a simple concept to understand, and I highly doubt that atheists have trouble coming to an understanding about what that means. I have a feeling it's yet another quote taken out of context.
This book was originally written in 1993, and it's a fact that there is a resurgence of atheists now a days, and more of us are speaking out, so to claim that atheism is dying off, is not true at all.
Chapter 3: Seeing is Believing
Ray starts off this chapter with more of his idiocy by stating that god is an "axiom - a self-evident truth (page 25)".
This is so illogical, I don't see how he can get away saying something this stupid. He tries to back up his claim with his "if there is a creation, there must be a creator" nonsense, yet I've disproven this so many times, I'm getting tired of repeating myself.
Ray tries next to use some form of reasoning by trying to insist that you can't always trust your eyes, and so it's not true to say, 'If I don't see it, it doesn't exist". Of course this is something which no atheist has ever said, anyway. Of course there are things which we cannot see with our bare eyes, as Ray lists a few, like "invisible television signals", and that your eyes fool you when you "see the sun move across the sky...your eyes are lying to you. The sun does not rise , move, or set. It remains stationary while the earth turns (page 25)". I find it funny that Ray would use that as an example, because it was the catholic church which feared this truth, and tried to keep it from spreading by condemning Galileo to house arrest through the Inquisition.
If Ray would like to make some excuse that it wasn't actually christians who did this to Galileo, I would find that odd, because the catholic church is a christian church.
Even if certain denominations deem another as "heretical", they are still christians in reality despite church dogma, and according to wikipedia.org, "The Catholic Church or Roman Catholic Church...is a Christian church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. It traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus and spread by the Twelve Apostles, in particular Saint Peter.
The Catholic Church is the largest Christian church, representing over half of all Christians, and is the largest organized body of any world religion. According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, the Catholic Church's worldwide recorded membership at the end of 2005 was
1,114,966,000, approximately one-sixth of the world's population. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_church)."
On page 26-27, in the section called, "Back to da Vinci", Ray says, "Find the most brilliant scientist on god's earth, put him in a laboratory, and ask him to make something from nothing. He can't do it."
This is just silly. Ray insists that all creations need a creator, yet, he never tells us who made god. Of course, as Ray went over in the first chapter, he claims that god is eternal, and doesn't need a cause, which is a contradiction on his part.
Well, the universe may be eternal, and we actually know the universe is here. It's axiomatic, to use a term which Ray likes to use ("axiom"), because it's just apparent. No one denies the universe is here, though there are many who deny that god is real. Maybe Ray should ask himself this question, because if people doubt, maybe there's a good reason? And there is.
On page 28, Ray uses some quotes from Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Both of these men were atheists, and they used the word "god" not to describe this imaginary friend, which Ray is so fond of talking to, but a sort of quasi- mystical feeling about the universe.
I think Richard Dawkins, in his book The god Delusion, explained this very well when he quoted Albert Einstein, and Carl Sagan:
"Let me sum up Einsteinian religion in one more quotation from Einstein himself: 'To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious'. In this sense I too am religious, with the reservation that 'cannot grasp' does not have to mean 'forever ungraspable'. But I prefer not to call myself religious because it is misleading. It is destructively misleading because, for the vast majority of people, 'religion' implies 'supernatural'. Carl Sagan put it well: '...if by "god" one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a god. This god is emotionally unsatisfying...it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.' (Source: The god Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, page 19)."
As for Stephen Hawking's religious beliefs, I'll quote from the book Who's Who in Hell, by Warren Allen Smith, an encyclopedia of freethinkers, both past and present.
On page 486, in the entry on Stephen Hawking, it says, "...when his A Brief History of Time was published and a reporter asked if he believed in god, given the 'mind of god' reference near the end of the book, Hawking responded, 'I do not believe in a personal god'".
In the last page of the chapter, Ray makes the statement that, " Perhaps the name 'god' offends you. Well, let's put it aside for a moment and call it a force, a higher power, or like Einstein, 'a spirit'. Isn't it true that whatever or whoever made this universe must be awesome, to say the least? What sort of supreme force could make something as incredible as the sun (pages 28-29)?"
Well, assuming there was such a being, yes it would be awesome, yet there isn't any kind of evidence for this kind of thing. In fact it's possible to see stars being formed right now, in space. The sun is just a really large star, so why couldn't the sun have been formed through those same natural processes?
Ray continues talking about how we, on earth, are in just the right spot for life to form, and how there must have been a creator who put us at just the right spot to thrive. However, the counter argument goes as follows: If the spot at this place in the universe wasn't just right for life to evolve, then we wouldn't be here to observe it to begin with. It's simply evidence that life evolved, not that something is out there which had to create this enviornment. Besides, there is some evidence of life on other planets as well, though nothing conclusive at this point (I'm speaking of the evidence for primitive bacterial life on Mars in meteorite fragments that were found, and the possibility of water on Jupiter's moon, Europa, because if there is water, there very well could be life. See http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/marslife.html and http://www.solarviews.com/eng/europa.htm for more information ).
Chapter 4: Strawberries and Garlic
This chapter just starts off with Ray asking dozens of ridiculous questions such as, "Where does your hair grow from?...Have you ever studied the ordinary garden snail and wondered how its shell is able to grow in proportion to its body?...Do you give an infant credit for having the ability to grow its own teeth?...If you ever decide to get false teeth, will you have them made, or will you wait for 'chance' to make a pair for you? (pages 31-32)"
These, and other silly statements (many of which we know the answer to) Ray uses to deceive the reader in making these things seem so impossible, and wondrous, that some creator had to be responsible for it. Well, that is clearly false, because we know that it is our genes which determine many of those things about us.
It's odd that so many people try to throw out these questions because an atheist could do the same with god, and it's funny, because scientists actually have answers for much of these things. But, if someone were to ask a christian where god got his powers, how did god come up with our supposed blueprint for his creation, where did god come from, where did god get his hair from (since all the pictures of him show him as this big man with a beard and long hair), etc.? They have no answer, and this nonsense proves nothing to begin with.
In the next section, Ray tries to trick his readers by restating the silly argument in Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, about the "irreducibility" of the blood clotting mechanism of blood. Well, I covered this in my review of Comfort's book, The Evidence Bible, so you can just go and read that information there. The post's name of The Evidence Bible review is called "Taking The Way of the Morons (master) to Task", from 8-27-07, and it can be found at refutation number 20.
In the next section called "A Statistical Monstrosity", Ray goes off and makes more absurd statements about how complex your brain is, how well your ears capture sound, and makes the most absurd statement by saying how it would be such a nightmare if your nose would have been upside down and you were caught in a rainstorm. Where the hell does Ray come up with this nonsense? The simple answer is that things seem "designed" because of natural selection. The mutations that didn't work got sorted out. If it didn't work well to help an organism survive, the genes that created that particular feature got wiped out, and so only more functional features were left to continue on.
Ray, also misquotes Darwin about the eye by quoting Darwin when he said, "To suppose the the eye could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
This is a clear misquote, because Darwin famously posed questions to his readers in his book, but after, he answered the question he just asked, and it's the same with this quote. These idiots (like Ray) who use Darwin's quotes like this never bother to actually see where the quote came from, and put it in it's proper context. They just see that Darwin seemingly contradicted himself, and think they got the theory of evolution by the balls, when that's not the case at all. It just makes these quote miners look stupid. The partial quote which is often used, I placed in italics, so you're able to see where the quote was taken from, and of course, Darwin's answer following immediately after.
Here is Darwin's actual quote from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/origin/chapter6.html#eye:
"To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound."
It's even known now, how the eye formed, and it's also possible to see these different stages of eye development within nature itself. The reason is, natural selection only perfected each organism's eye for what was necessary for survival, so not every animal's eye is as advanced, I suppose I can say, as another animal's eye.
At the end of the fourth chapter Ray says, "The most godless person must be humbled with a sense of awe and wonder when standing beneath the mighty power of Niagara Falls, gazing into the Grand Canyon, or staring into the infinity of space. How much more should we be humbled by the maker of these things (page 36)?"
This is just silly because of course atheists feel a sense of awe when we look around at nature, and it's even more amazing because we know that no magic man in the sky did all this; that it's just the blind forces of nature working on the planet, and in the universe.
Chapter 5: Stronger Then the Sex Drive
This chapter starts out with Ray talking about death, and the fact that we will all die, and that our will to live is very strong. Ray calls this will "god given", yet this is just absurd, because no other animal is aware that it will die, so why are humans so aware of their impending death? Ray claims it is our "sin", yet that argument has so many holes, and is so stupid. The reason should be obvious. The reason for this fear of death is the development of our brains, and our fear of death drove the evolution of religious ideas. We basically have to lie to ourselves that we won't just die, but will live on in some other place. Ray's apparent dreaded fear of death is very telling, because I think it's this fear which makes him such a believer in the lies of religion. He is so scared of death that he literally lies to himself (and others), thinking that he will never actually die, but will live on in some supernatural realm.
The rest of the chapter seemed a little odd. Ray seemed to jump around a lot, and talked some more about death, and how god will give us everlasting life if we just have "faith", and again restates more nonsense about how everyone needs to have "faith" in everyday life and gives more silly examples, which don't really rely on faith at all. One example he gives is, "Try having a relationship without faith. Walk up to a woman and introduce yourself. When she tells you her name, say, 'I don't believe you'. Watch her reaction. When she tells you where she lives, say you don't believe that either (page 42)".
Again, another stupid, senseless argument. These things do not need to be believed on faith alone. There is evidence which one can see which would confirm that she was telling the truth.
In the last section titled "How Does He Get In?", Ray uses the same argument, I believe from his Evidence Bible, and talks of a skeptic who doesn't know how a television works, and the skeptic wonders how a man can float down from the air, and end up inside the box. Ray admits that the claims of christianity are "truly fantastic" and "illogical" (page 43), yet claims that all one has to do is "press the button" and just let god in.
He claims that people just "won't" find god, and chooses not to try. This is just silly because all a person does when they do this is fool themselves into having some miraculous experience, when they're not. It's a flat out denial of reality.
His television argument is equally lame because it's possible to show how a television works, and how the signal gets from the television station, to the millions of televisions. You don't need faith to use a TV, as you do with the absurd claims of religion.
It's contradictory too, because in that same section (page 43) he makes the claim that this is "provable" yet if that's true, why do we need to rely so much on faith? This in itself is a contradiction. If there is evidence for something, there is no need for faith. This weakness exposes the truth about christianity, and religion in particular. They have no true evidence for their claims, if they must rely on faith.
Chapter 6: Atheist Obstacles
This chapter starts with more illogical ramblings by Ray Comfort, with him claiming that, "A favorite argument of the atheist is that god's existence cannot be disproved. This is true. As mentioned earlier, one needs to be omniscient to disprove god's existence. However, one should also be omnipresent (dwelling everywhere at once) to be absolutely sure that god doesn't exist (though it could be argued that one who is totally omniscient wouldn't have to be omnipresent)."
"It is because the atheist is neither omniscient nor omnipresent that he then takes an illogical leap by concluding that there is no god, because it cannot be proven that he doesn't exist. Such reasoning is absurd (page 45)."
Ray's reasoning is actually what is absurd. It's a fact that one cannot disprove a negative. Can Ray prove that fairies or leprechauns don't exist? Since he cannot disprove them, should I try and convince him that because he cannot disprove them, that he should believe, just in case? No! This is the insanity which Ray Comfort subjects people to. Atheists are simply debunking all the supposed evidence for god, which the faithful have been throwing around, for centuries.
For more mind numbing insanity, Ray begins to talk about prayer, and how atheists (for someone who doesn't believe in atheists, Ray, you sure call us that a lot...why not just call us agnostics, so that way you're not contradicting yourself, since according to you, an atheist doesn't exist. So, I guess you're actually addressing no one, then?) don't see any kind of miracles at work. If a child dies of some disease while the family attempted prayer to save them and the child dies, the atheist counts that as an unanswered prayer; if a child lives, it's again unanswered, because the child's body simply healed itself.
Ray claims that the prayers were answered because, according to Ray, even if a child dies, because god, "took him to heaven because he wanted the child there" (page 45).
So, according to Ray's silly rationalization, god answers prayer whether or not anything happens. Does that make any sense at all? No, I didn't think so. As I said, more insanity.
Another absurd argument by Ray is his example to show what he means. Ray says, "I have a Dodge Caravan. Let's say it has a problem. What would be my intellectual capacity if I concluded that it had no manufacturer simply because I couldn't contact them about the dilemma? The fact of their existence has nothing to do with whether or not they return my calls (page 46)".
This example is just breathtakingly stupid because, once again, this example doesn't simply rely on faith, because you could drive to where the actual body shop is, or get some other proof of it's existence. This is yet another retarded example that Ray uses to fool you.
Besides, Ray continually talks about the infallibility of the bible, and even in his Evidence Bible, he claims that "god always answers prayer" (page 204 of Ray's The Evidence Bible), yet I debunked this claim in my review of his Evidence Bible in objection number 19 (See my review called Taking The Way of the Morons (master) to Task, from 8-27-07 for a more detailed response).
This is simply a psychological ploy. You can pray to anything and get the same results.
Ray next rambles on about how you should just be on the safe side and "put on the 'parachute'", which is your faith in jesus christ, just in case this is all true.
This of course is the famous argument called Pascal's Wager, which says you should believe anyway, just in case this is all true, and you can avoid the horror of hell. Well, the logical fallacy of this is that how does Ray know that his religion, is the correct one? I could say the same thing to Ray, that he should just believe in buddha, and to hurry up and gain enlightenment, so that he won't be reborn in a hell. The gaping hole in this silly argument is apparent.
Chapter 7: Worms Transformed
Ray starts us off with a huge dose of retarded thinking by talking about how each species has a male and a female, and that each sex must have been designed to fit the other. First of all, not all species reproduce sexually, some do it asexually, so to say that all creatures were designed to do this is just not correct.
Second, the evolution of sex is not as well known as many other branches of knowledge of evolution, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Once again, our gaps in knowledge are used as supposed proof of their god, when it doesn't prove a thing.
I'd also like to add one thing to Ray's seemingly wondrous attitude towards the act of reproduction, and shatter it. Not all people can reproduce! It's a fact that sometimes men and women's reproductive organs do not work properly, and they're unable to reproduce. As for Ray's silly comment that, "Like a nut and a bolt, they are made to fit together perfectly (page 52)", sorry to burst your bubble Ray, but not every person "fits" so well with another. Some people's sexual organs are far too small, or too large to "fit" as well as Ray claims.
Yet another blow against this so called "intelligent design".
In the section "A Coincidence", Ray uses the same arguments that he and Kirk did in his Way of the Master television show (See my post The Way of the Master TV Show: Another Review, from 8-17-07), where he asks how leaves could simply fall in a straight line, or how our human bodies are like a car - perfectly designed with "little squirters called tear ducts" (page 55), which he likens to the supposed design of our eyes, among other preposterous examples.
I've dealt with these absurdities elsewhere, so I won't go over it again. It's simply the silly "intelligent design" argument all over again.
Chapter 8: Tombstone Face
This was just a short chapter about Ray discussing more of his supposed reasons why someone should start believing in christianity and claims that even if someone considers themselves a good person, they aren't, according to "...god's definition of good..." (page 61).
There isn't really anything in this chapter, other then more of Ray's mumbo jumbo about getting "saved".
Chapter 9: I'll Resurrect Her for You
Ray begins this chapter with some of his attempts at preaching, and asks why "pseudo intellectuals [who] know the answer to everything except the issues that really matter...they haven't the faintest idea what they are doing here on earth" (page 65).
I'm assuming he's talking about scientists of some type or another. I find it odd that he calls them "pseudo intellectuals" because last I checked, scientists aren't the ones going around, trying to act like they have the answers to everything. I think Ray is projecting there a bit, because it's religion which usually tries to pretend it has the answer for everything, not science. A scientist (at least an honest one) will tell you that they don't know something; not so with most religious people. One more thing about this, is that it's philosophy which is the branch of knowledge which one could find a meaning in life, not science specifically, and no one ever claimed that science had all the answers to begin with.
In the section called "The Assumption" Ray goes off the deep end and starts to call evolution a fairy tale, and that no evidence exists to back it up.
He says, "Listen to their special language: "We believe, surmise, suspect, think, assume, perhaps, maybe, possibly... "(page 65).
It's funny, because, as I said before, science doesn't pretend to have all the answers, so it wouldn't be realistic for someone talking about evolution and say that they know something for an absolute fact all the time. It's also hypocritical because I've even heard Ray, and even Kirk, use that "special language" themselves, both on their Way of the Master TV show, and on the "Does god Exist?" Nightline debate, May of 2007.
Next, Ray quotes Darwin...well at least that's what he wants you to think. The bogus quote Ray uses is, "I was a young man with unformed ideas, I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything: and to my astonishment the ideas took like wild fire. People made a religion out of them."
This was not spoken by Darwin, but a women who goes by the name "Lady Hope" (Believed to be Elizabeth Hope, a British evangelist. Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Hope ).
Hope claims that she visited Darwin on his death bed, and this quote was part of her story about when she supposedly visited Darwin. She also made the claims that Darwin recanted his belief in evolution, and that he became a christian before he died.
According to my sources, at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/hope.html, and an article called "Did Darwin Die as a Christian?", by Christopher Chui, Ph.D., all these claims are false.
From the article by Mr. Chui:
"Dr. Wilbert H. Rusch concluded that the story of Darwin's conversion has several internal inconsistencies. Apart from the above problems, Lady Hope's account reads, 'I was a young man with unformed ideas, I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything: and to my astonishment the ideas took like wild fire. People made a religion out of them.' Although young Darwin wrote extensively on natural selection, his ideas were not published until he was 49 years old. At that age, he could not be 'a young man with unformed ideas.' "
"When [Darwin's] daughter Henrietta wrote about the matter she said there was no 'Lady Hope' that visited her father."
The article can currently be found here: http://members.aol.com/mjsawyer/darwin.html
I have also saved a copy of this article in case the page is taken down in the future.
I would also like to say a quick thank you to those who helped me at the RichardDawkins.net forum, in helping me find information about the "Lady Hope" false Darwin quote. Thanks a bunch!
On page 67, Ray continues with his supposed arguments against evolution, and says that maybe you belive in evolution because of "scientific proof such as carbon dating....A science article in Time (June 11, 1990) subtitled 'Geologists show that carbon dating can be way off' should show you that scientific proof isn't worthy of your trust."
I was able to go to Time magazine's website and I found archived this particular article, and therefore I have undeniable proof that this is taken out of context.
Here is the article, from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,970345,00.html.
One quick note, there is no author or subtitle listed, so I cannot verify if that was even the correct subtitle, but either way, after reading the article, it's clear that it's taken way out of context.
Mistaken by Millenniums
Monday, Jun. 11, 1990
Ever since its development in the 1940s, radiocarbon dating has been a vital tool for historians and paleontologists trying to pinpoint the ages of everything from ancient animal bones to prehistoric human settlements to Egyptian mummies. By measuring the decay of the natural radioactive isotope carbon 14, which almost all organisms ingest while they are alive, scientists can estimate how long it has been since an animal or plant died.
But those estimates, while valuable, are also known to be somewhat uncertain. Last week geologists at the Lamont-Doherty Geological Laboratory in - Palisades, N.Y., offered firm evidence of just how uncertain. Writing in Nature, they showed that some radiocarbon dates may be off by as much as 3,500 years -- possibly enough to force a change in current thinking on such important questions as exactly when humans first reached the Americas.
The technique the geologists used was based on another sort of radioactive decay. Organisms contain traces of uranium, which degrades into thorium. The rate of decay is known, and by measuring the relative amounts of the two substances in a sample, age can be accurately calculated.
In this case, samples came from a coral reef off Barbados. Carbon 14 and uranium-thorium dating largely agreed for pieces of coral up to about 9,000 years old. But for older pieces the findings diverged, with a maximum disparity of 3,500 years for coral about 20,000 years old.
Why did the scientists assume that the uranium-thorium tests were right and the carbon 14 tests wrong? For one thing, the carbon datings pointed to the strange conclusion that ice ages, thought to be related to changes in the earth's orbit around the sun, have mysteriously lagged behind those changes by a few thousand years. But uranium-thorium dating shows no such lag. Moreover, carbon 14 levels in the air -- and thus the amount ingested by organisms -- are known to vary over time, and that can affect the results of carbon dating.
Uranium-thorium has another advantage besides accuracy: it can be used to date objects up to 500,000 years old, while carbon 14 is good for only a few tens of thousands of years at best. The one drawback of the uranium-thorium technique is that it is useful mostly for marine animals and plants; uranium is more common in seawater than on the surface of the land. Scientists will no doubt continue to use all possible dating methods in the quest to construct an ever more accurate chronology of the earth's history.
This article was talking about how scientists did have trouble with Carbon-14 dating, however, it's misleading to say that dating methods won't work, because there are other dating methods scientists can use, such as uranium-thorium, as talked about in the article.
In the article, the scientists themselves rejected the Carbon-14 date and used a different, more reliable method. It's not that Carbon-14 isn't useful, as even the same article said that it was a "vital tool for historians and paleontologists", it's just that some dating methods are more useful for certain periods of time and certain substances, and scientists know this, and can adjust their methods as they go, just as this article demonstrated.
So, here is yet another example of creationist deception.
Again on page 67, Ray says, "If you are a believer in evolution, answer this. Did the fish first that crawled out of the ocean to be come an animal have lungs or gills?"
Well, I'll answer you, Ray. From Kenneth Miller's book Finding Darwin's god, pages 124-125, it says, "In 1991, two British scientists reported on an unusually detailed skeleton of Acanthostega, a remarkably fish-like tetrapod. Paleontologists have recognized for years that the earliest tetrapods retained scores of fish-like characters, but this specimen of Acanthostega was so well preserved that it contained....internal gills. No other amphibian possesses internal gills, and the structures preserved within the fossil make it clear that Acanthostega could breathe with its gills underwater, just like a fish, and could also breathe on land, using lungs."
Again, on page 67, Ray doubts that the giraffe's neck was "made" by evolution.
There have been some ideas regarding the lengthening of the giraffe's neck, and one of them is because of the pressures of eating atop hight trees, yet this paper delves into the reasons for the evolution of the long neck, and evidence stating why this idea could be wrong.
I found this paper by Edyta Buhalski, who has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, at her website, http://www1.pacific.edu/~e-buhals/GIRAFFE2.htm, which explains possible reasons for the evolution of the giraffe's long neck. The paper is called "Evolution of the Giraffe Neck Via Sexual Selection".
According to her research, the reasons for the long neck came about are as follows:
"A few hypotheses were proposed to explain the evolution of the neck which give insight on how the giraffe got its neck.Darwin speculated on the idea that natural selection chooses animals that are best able to feed on the highest treetops, where food is most abundant and competition minimal (Gould, 1996).This interspecific competition could provide a selection pressure that elongated the neck.Lamarck, through his principle of “use and disuse”suggested that the long neck is attributed to the frequent stretching of the neck as giraffes reached for food (Gould, 1996).This hypothesis would infer that long necks were passed to offspring by altered heredity.A novel alternative proposed by Simmons and Scheepers (1996) suggests that the increased neck length has a sexually selected origin.Giraffe males fight for dominance over females by clubbing opponents with their massive heads and necks.This intrasexual combat is called “necking” through which larger-necked males gain the greatest access to estrous females and thus, have a greater contribution to the genetic makeup of the next generation.The most recent explanation is most plausible since it provides better evidence for evolution."
She concludes that, "Sexual selection is a more valuable explanation for the evolution of the long neck.Behavioral analysis, courtship rituals, fossil data, and anatomical scaling all provide support for this type of evolutionary model.First, giraffe males use their necks in combat which determines hierarchy among male herds.The bull male with the longest neck gains access to estrous females and, thus, passes his “long-neck-genes” to the next generation.With geological time the giraffe species would tend to show increased neck length.Second, since mainly necks are used in necking this would give rise to asymmetric increase of the neck over other body parts which in fact is observed.Third, males have larger necks than females of the same body mass, hence there is sufficient evidence that necks are maintained by sexual selection.It can be concluded that neck elongation via sexual selection provides the strongest evidence for the evolution of the giraffe’s neck."
Since creationists always love to have some form of "proof" the article also mentions several giraffe fossils with necks of various lengths, which shows that the giraffe did not just get "created" as Ray's religious claims state.
Next, Ray quotes several people, in an attempt to win people over, by making use of the logical fallacy called an "appeal to authority".
A few of these I've already gone over in my review of his Evidence Bible, so I won't repeat those, but I will tell you where you can find the answer in my other review.
First, Ray quotes Sir Arthur Keith, which is false, and you can find information on this bogus quote in my post called Taking The Way of the Morons (master) to Task, and can be found at refutation number 31.
The next bogus quote is by Malcolm Muggeridge ("the famous British journalist and philosopher"), who said, according to Ray, "I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it's been applied, will be one of the great jokes in history books of the future."
After looking up information on this man, he was actually a christian, so that places doubt on his opinion to begin with. Plus, the fact that during his time, evolution wasn't as well tested during his time, as it is now. It's been confirmed by many more lines of evidence, since Muggeridge's time. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Muggeridge)
Ray also quotes from another Time magazine article from November 7, 1977, which says, "Scientists concede that their most cherished theories are based on embarrassingly few fossil fragments and that huge gaps exist in the fossil record."
I mentioned this bogus quote as well in my review of Ray's Evidence Bible, but I've actually been able to find the actual article at Time magazine's website.
The article can currently be found at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,947970-1,00.html
The article is very long so I won't quote it in it's entirety, however, the name of the article is "Puzzling Out Man's Ascent".
Here is the quote, taken in context, from the actual article. The creationist quote is in italics.
"While his Australopithecus cousins foraged or scavenged, Homo habilis began to make tools and to hunt. Both actions accelerated his evolution. Toolmaking, which required reasoning and more complex neurological hookups, gave a survival advantage to the creatures with the biggest brains. That led to an increase in brain size. Hunting, with its emphasis on outwitting animals that were either faster, stronger or fiercer than the hominids that hunted them, also stimulated rapid brain growth. In addition, says Milford Wolpoff of the University of Michigan, it placed a premium on cooperation, strengthening the bond between members of the group and starting man on the road toward developing language.
These developments, probably more than any others, hastened the differentiation between man and earlier hominids. Explains Anthropologist Charles Kimberlin ("Bob") Brain of the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria, South Africa: 'Meat eating and hunting were important factors. If you remained a vegetarian, the necessity for culture was not nearly as great.' Richard Leakey too believes that hunting helped to make emerging man a social creature. Says he: 'The hominids that thrived best were those able to restrain their immediate impulses and manipulate the impulses of others into cooperative efforts. They were the vanguard of the human race.'
Still, doubts about the sequence of man's emergence remain.
Scientists concede that even their most cherished theories are based on embarrassingly few fossil fragments, and that huge gaps exist in the fossil record. Anthropologists, ruefully says Alan Mann of the University of Pennsylvania, 'are like the blind men looking at the elephant, each sampling only a small part of the total reality.' His colleagues agree that the picture of man's origins is far from complete."
Even this same article says, "In this pursuit, Leakey's team has turned up at the Turkana site alone more than 300 fossilized bone specimens, from an estimated 180 of man's ancestors. All told, during a decade-long Leakey has found more and better pre-man and early man fossils than any other anthropologist. His work has helped upset many held ideas on evolution..."
So, to say that even at this time, all scientists had to go on were a few "fossil fragments" is a big mistake. This quote is taken out of context. What they are talking about is not evolution itself, but they're talking about the lack of fossil evidence at that time for evidence as to how modern man emerged from his prehistoric ancestors.
However, with more modern tools, like genetics, and studying DNA, it's been shown that man did evolve from an ape-like ancestor. It's also fairly obvious this is a bogus quote to begin with, because it's from so long ago, and there have been many other fossils finds to help shed some light on the emergence of modern man.
I have saved the article, if anyone would like to read it.
On page 69, Ray repeats the same old arguments as he did in his Evidence Bible, so I will simply point you to that information now, so I don't have to repeat myself. It's found in the post Taking The Way of the Morons (master) to Task, from 8-27-07, refutation number 28. He uses his absurd arguments about Java Man, Heidelberg Man, Piltdown Man, etc.
On page 71, Ray makes the most absurd claim that, "Dogs have puppies, not kittens. Cats have kittens, not chickens. Horses have foals, not calves...."
From this statement alone, it's clear this idiot hasn't got the slightest clue about evolution.
Again on page 71, in the section called "The Big Bang Theory", Ray again makes some absurd claim about this scientific fact, that "big bangs cause chaos", and not order. I covered this in my review of his book, The Evidence Bible, as well, and it can be found at refutation number 12.
But I will say, that the big bang doesn't have anything to do with evolution, it's cosmology, you idiot! The big bang and evolution are two totally separate things, and both have plenty of evidence to back them up.
On page 73 Ray makes even more insane comments. He says, "Mother nature can't do anything to stop the thousands of diseases that plague humanity. While evolution carries on for all of the animals, there will be no new lungs for those humans with emphysema and no new brains for those with brain disorders....The noses of those who live in Southern California will not evolve a smog filtration system, neither will orange pickers who have longer arms survive the over the short-armed orange pickers. Men will not have their right hand evolve into a remote control, neither will drivers evolve hands-free cell phones on their chins."
These statements are so insanely stupid, I am speechless. First of all, humans' technology will solve many, if not most of these problems. In fact, many of them have already been solved, with hands-free cell phones that we have today, and if stem cell research can get underway, because of the stupid religious' ideas of tampering with "god's creation" or some nonsense like that, then we very well could develop new lungs, but it won't be because of evolution....well indirectly it will be. Evolution gave us our large brains, which enable us to solve these, and many other problems we might face.
At the end of this breathtakingly asinine chapter, Ray states, "If evolution is true, then the bible is not the creator's revelation to humanity. (page 74)"
Wow, that's the most reasonable thing I think I've ever read from Ray's many bullshit writings. Well, you better re-read that sentence you wrote, Ray, because evolution is true, and you are the one who is believing in a fairy tale.
I'm glad I'd done with this chapter...it was nothing but one big, long lie.
Chapter 10: Who Wrote the Letter?
Ray starts this chapter off talking some about his conversion to christianity, and how he is thankful for his gift of "everlasting life". Yet more proof of Ray's immense fear of death, which is my guess why he is so close minded, he just can't see past his bullshit.
Ray continues to talk about how, after his conversion, he would read the bible "with the fervor of a man gripped by gold fever", and asks if the bible is trustworthy, and if it was full of mistakes like so many people had said.
Ray mentions the Dead Sea Scrolls and claims that these manuscripts are "a thousand years older than any other existing copies...[and that the scrolls reveal how] the bible hasn't changed in content throughout the ages... (page 75)."
Sorry to burst Ray's delusion, but the fact is that the Dead Sea Scrolls don't even contain one word about jesus, and the various gnostic writings reveal many different views on the teachings of christianity. Christianity did not have a single set of beliefs which were passed down over the centuries, but rather, it has many different teachings, which I will get to in a minute, but the different schools of thought fought viciously to get their own views to become the dominant ones. This is very apparent when looking at the many scriptures that have been found.
In fact, scribal changes were so common that the author of the book of revelation threatened damnation to anyone who "adds to" or "takes away" words from his text (Source: Misquoting Jesus, by Bart D. Ehrman).
Some of the different teachings, and groups of christians, during the early history of the religion, were called Ebionites, who didn't believe in the virgin birth of jesus, and believed that god had adopted this earthy man to be his son. They also believed that jesus' parents, being a flesh and blood person, were Joseph and Mary.
Another group, called the Marcionites, believed that there were two distinct gods, not one. They believed that the god of the old testament was the evil, vengeful god, while the god of the new testament, in jesus, was a different god who came down in human form, and was the kind and gentle god.
The creator of the Marcionite theology held that jesus was not a real man; he only looked as if he was a real, flesh and blood human (Source: Lost Christianities, by Bart D. Ehrman).
These differences are just the beginning of the many different teachings, which fought with one another, and the teachings we have nowadays, are the teachings which won these scripture wars.
So, to say that christianity hasn't changed throughout time, is an outright lie.
On page 76, Ray says something humorous. He says, "...if [the bible] is merely a historical book, the writings of men, then it needs to be exposed as fraudulent because millions have been deceived by it".
Well, once again, sorry to break it to you, Ray, but that is the truth, and there is much evidence which proves this, yet you're just too blind to want to see it.
Next, Ray goes over some of his supposed "scientific facts" which he says are within scripture, which Ray claims is evidence that it is a supernatural book.
Let's look at his claims to see if they measure up.
The first one, Ray talks about Job:26:7: "He hangs the earth on nothing", and Ray claims that this passage means that the earth simply floats in space while, according to Ray, science thought that it sat on a large animal, or giant.
In pre-scientific cultures man did make up stories about how the earth formed, and the creation myth is one such story, which people still oddly accept today.
Now, when the science of astronomy began to be developed in Greece, from simple observations of the sky, about 2,500 years ago, that was when man started to put away his childish stories about angles, or gods, moving the plants, etc.
If Ray wants to talk about scientific truth, let's talk about the fact that the catholic church deemed it heretical for anyone to say that the earth was not the center of the universe. It was the church which deemed it illegal for anyone to perform an autopsy, because they didn't want anyone to learn how the body really worked. The church stifled science for thousands of years, and killed people who discovered things which contradicted their scriptures.
The second claim is that "Most cosmologists...agree that the genesis account of creation, in imagining an initial void, may be uncannily close to the truth (Time, December 1976)".
I have already covered this claim in my Evidence Bible review. My response from my review is:
Again they use an outdated quote, when many scientists now agree that the universe could be eternal, following the law of conservation of mass and energy, which states that mass and energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only change forms from one to another. So according to this theory, the universe is most likely eternal, and was never "created."
Next, he makes the most absurd claim, which I also debunked in my Evidence Bible review. Following is the crazy statement Ray makes again in this book, and my reply:
"Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power, and motion. Genesis 1:1-2 revealed such truths to the Hebrews in 1450 b.c. " In the beginning [time] god created [power] the heaven [space] and the earth [matter]…And the spirit of god moved [motion] upon the face of the waters…"
How anyone can believe that the quote talks about scientific principals is not thinking clearly. I have no doubt that the people of bible times had a concept of time and space, though didn't know how to explain them. But claiming that the bible "revealed" these "truths" to people is an enormous overstatement.
He also throws the silly "the bible says the earth is round" nonsense from Isaiah 40:22, to which I respond, also from my Evidence Bible review:
Well, I can debunk their B.S. about their maintaining that Isaiah 40:22 is talking about a sphere pretty quickly. In Matthew 4:8 it says,"Again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world…" Now if the earth were a sphere this would
not be possible to see the whole world all at once, unless it was flat.
However, let's just say for the sake of argument that Isaiah does indeed mean a spiracle earth. It really wouldn't be very special because "the shape of the earth may already have been known in Isaiah's time. Ancient astronomers could determine that the earth was round by observing its circular shadow move across the moon during lunar eclipses. There is some suggestion that the Egyptians knew of the earth's spherical size and shape around 2550 B.C.E. (more than a
thousand years before Moses). The Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who was born in 532 B.C.E., defended the spherical theory on the basis of observations he had made of the shape of the sun and moon (Uotila 1984). If this information was known by educated Greeks and Egyptians during biblical times, its use by Isaiah is nothing special."
Ray goes over several other silly claims, but I won't waste my time going through them. I've already proven the bible not to be scientific in any way with the above mentioned facts.
Ray also repeats the silly claim that Albert Einstein believed in god, as he did in Chapter 3: Seeing is Believing, and quotes Einstein, yet I went over this claim once, so I won't go over it again. However, I will add that I have read that Einstein was an atheist, but I've also read that he was more of a deist. But even if he was a deist, it's a far cry from believing in a christian god, one which intervenes in the lives of his creation.
A quote of Albert Einstein's from the book The Encyclopedia of god, by Constance Victoria Briggs, page 71:
"I believe in Spinoza's god who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a god who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings".
These many quotes, too, may have come from different times in Einstein's life, and maybe he was an atheist at one point in his life, and a deist in another?
But once again, this is a very different belief then that of the christian god who forgives sins, answers prayer, etc.
Chapter 11: Benevolent Jelly
This chapter was Ray just preaching again, about peoples' supposed sin, and how the only thing which can save you is the "blood of jesus christ", and more nonsense. I really don't have any comments on this chapter at all.
Chapter 12: The Real Thing
In this chapter Ray starts talking about "hypocrites" and makes the claim that all the christians who started all these wars, and killing, etc. were not real christians, they were "pretender[s]".
Yeah, right, Ray. So, the people who murdered during the crusades were not "true" christians? I beg to differ. These people believed in god so much that they attempted to force people to convert in order to save their souls.
That's pretty much all I have to say about what is in this chapter. As Ray gets into his book he is just preaching, and it's just not very interesting at all. Almost seems as if he's trying to just use filler, to make up room in his book, so it seems like he actually has something of value to say.
Chapter 13: Death Sentence for Error
In this chapter Ray talks about bible prophesy, and how, if a prophet wasn't one hundred percent accurate, they would be put to death. If this is true, wow, that's harsh. Well, no wonder they started the tradition of faking their so called prophesies: they didn't want to die!
I've covered the supposed prophesies in detail before so I won't go over this nonsense again.
But, Ray goes through all of these different "prophesies" and cites things that have happened in the world, such as murders, earthquakes, etc., and claims these are proof of the bible's prophesies. Sorry, but that's just a bunch of idiocy. These things have happened throughout the history of mankind, and the world. There is not a time in history when wars were not being fought, people getting diseases, people killing others, etc.
That's pretty much all that this chapter is. I don't have any more comments about it. However, one last thing. I highly recommend a book called The Bible Against Itself: Why the Bible Seems to Contradict Itself, by Randel McCraw Helms. The entire book is interesting, but the third chapter bares on this subject of prophesy. According to Helms, and he has some very good evidence to back this up, the so called prophesies were from people who had suffered from hallucinations, from intense migraines. They simply mistook these natural phenomenon as miraculous signs from god. He compares the visions described in the book of the bible called Ezekiel, with descriptions of modern day people who suffer from these migraines, and they are strikingly similar.
Chapter 14: Bizarre to the Insane
The beginning of this chapter has Ray talking about how important information is, and how the information we do have governs our actions. This is true. Yet, he again states his true motivation for his lies. Religious belief - not evidence.
On page 99-100 Ray says the following:
"Perhaps you see nothing wrong with believing the theory of evolution, even if it can't be substantiated. But remember - your information will govern your actions. If you believe a drink contains poison, you won't drink it. If you believe it is safe, you will drink it. If you believe evolution is true, and from that premise believe that the bible is false, then you won't repent."
I think Ray feels justified in his lies (assuming he knows he is doing it) because it is his (false) belief that he can "save" people and get them eternal life.
On page 100-101, Ray states that, like a caterpillar that wraps itself in its cocoon, a christian like- wise wraps himself/herself "with the rules and regulations, hiding from the real world in the cocoon of christianity."
Wow, that's one of the few times that Ray actually is being honest! He actually said how christians do not live in the real world, which is so very true. They live in a fantasy world where their imaginary friend will answer prayers, and punish those who do bad things. I doubt this was what Ray actually meant, but I think it's telling.
Once again, Ray uses the logical fallacy known as Pascal's Wager, which I spoke about in my commentary on chapter 6. Ray attempts to reason with his reader and says, "If you are right and there is no creator, no afterlife, no justice, no heaven and no hell, you won't even get the chance to say, 'I told you so!' If you are right, then creation was an accident, the bible is nothing but fables, jesus christ was a liar, christians are deceived, and I have spent hours pouring out my heart into this book for nothing".
Yep, I'd say you're right on track there....
Yet, Ray continues, "But if what I'm saying is true, the atheist [again with the word, atheist, if we don't exist, Ray, who in the hell are you blabbering to?] will get the shock of his life - at his death. He will wake up dead, and will find that he truly has 'passed on'. I ask again, is it possible that you could be wrong? Come on, bend a little. Just between you and me, have you ever been wrong? Are you divinely infallible? Are you different from the rest of us?"
All I have to say about this, is that of course I am fallible. I never said I didn't make mistakes, but once again, all the evidence tells me that your beliefs are full of it, and evolution is true. I can understand the feeling of knowing you're going to die, and that there is no ultimate justice for those who do evil things, but that's reality. Accept it.
Chapter 15: Going for the Spider
The chapter starts out with the statement that the worst thing you can tell a person is, "you're wrong", and that it's a blow to the ego. I agree that it is a blow to the ego, but it certainly isn't the worst thing you can say to someone. Perhaps he is talking about faith, and that it's considered wrong to tell someone they are wrong about their faith?
Either way, telling someone you want to kill them, or you wish for their death is certainly much worse (Depending on who it is. Some people deserve to die.) then telling someone they are wrong about something.
I think it's a good thing when people question people, because that's how you get to the truth of things. See, Ray doesn't want to find the truth; only live in his little fairy tale world, so to him, someone telling him he's wrong would be considered very rude, because he doesn't want that "spell" broken, to borrow the word from Daniel Dennett, from his book Breaking the Spell.
He goes on to say how the reader may have been convinced there is a god by reading his book, and to that I say...well I don't really have anything to say, except laugher at that statement. Only a person who doesn't use their brain would be convinced by this book.
He uses his silly analogy, about accepting jesus just in case, with being on a plane with you, and knowing that it will crash. He says that he has a parachute, and that you have one too, under your seat, but just don't feel the need to put it on, because of various reasons, which he spells out, though they are highly illogical, and basically evolve around there has to be a maker, if something exists, which of course has been refuted over and over again.
Next, he goes over his "ten commandments" argument, in an attempt to convince you that you need his religion's cure - the bullshit cure for sin is jesus of course. I've dealt with this nonsense before, so I won't go over it again. Reference my Evidence Bible review, and my review of the Way of the Master shows..I believe I cover this argument in there...I cannot remember.
But, I've caught Ray being a hypocrite because the back of the book said that he would not use the bible to convince you of god, yet he has quoted the bible continuously throughout the book, and has used the ten commandments as a witnessing tool.
Near the end of the chapter, Ray makes a reference to one of those auto safety commercials where they have the crash test dummies in the car, and they show the dummies getting thrown forward into the windshield. They're warning you, or as Ray says, using "fear tactics" in order to make sure you wear your seat belt. Ray compares his hell fire preaching to the reality of the fact that you need to wear your seat belt, just like you need to take jesus as your lord and savior, and Ray uses scare tactics with his talk of hell, etc.
Well, the problem with this is that it's clear that you will be thrown from your car if you don't wear your seat belt. It's demonstratable; it's testable, while Ray's nonsense about god, and getting "everlasting life" is based on nothing but wishful thinking, and a book which has many errors in it.
Chapter 16: The Repellent
In this chapter, he talks about his hoping that you're feeling guilty because failing the ten commandments test would make you feel as if you need his god, in order to be saved, and continues to make his case that god is "just" and will indeed punish you for your sins.
I don't have much to say about this, except, where you're proof, Ray? You talk a big game, but can't back up one thing you say. To me, it's like you're screaming at me to watch out for some bus (what Ray would call the threat of hell) and I'm looking at him like he's crazy, because there is clearly no bus headed toward me. Ray is simply hallucinating, and I don't need to worry about getting run over by this supposed bus.
On page 121, Ray says, "How's your conscience? Is it doing its duty? Is it accusing you of sin? Is it affirming the commandments as being right? If not, which of the ten commandments do you feel are unjust? 'You shall not steal', 'You shall not bear false witness' (I think Ray ought to listen to this one!), 'You shall not murder'?"
It's odd how apologists always cite the usual ones, like no killing, no lying, don't cheat on your wife, etc., yet they ignore the first half of the commandments, which have nothing to do with morality whatsoever! The first four are nothing more then religious dogma, and therefore, unimportant.
The rest of the chapter is Ray simply rambling on about how guilty you are, how you should listen to your conscience, and how jesus' blood washes away your sins, and how Ray hopes you will listen to him, and obey the law, and admit you're a sinner.
Spoken like a true arrogant, idiot.
Ray wants people to believe him about the ten commandments and his promise of eternal life, yet he has no evidence for such a thing. Science, however, has much evidence going for it, but Ray discards it in favor of his myths.
One last observation about the ten commandments test. For fun I've taken this test online at their Way of the Master website a couple times, and I noticed something interesting. It's sort of like a trick question...you get the same result no matter what you answer. I've given the true, yes and no answers to the test, and I've also answered that I haven't broken any of the commandments just to see what would happen. Well, at the end it still tells you that you're still a sinner, because everyone does, and no one is perfect, and cites some bible verse.
So, in reality, this ten commandments ploy is nothing more then a little marketing tactic; like a trick question, in order to make you feel guilty in order to make you feel as if you need their god.
Chapter 17: A Hopeful Presumption
Ray continues his preaching to his reader in this chapter, hoping that you've chosen to accept jesus as your savior. He tells you that all you have to do is have "faith and patience" and god will always keep his promises.
The rest of the chapter is Ray talking about what it's like to be a new christian and how things are like a "culture shock", and he compares this to his experiences when he first moved from New Zealand to the U.S..
For one who isn't enamored with Ray's (undeserved) celebrity status, this chapter was very dull, and boring. I really could care less about how when he first moved here, he accidently got into the wrong side of his car, since they drive in what is the passenger's side in the U.S. , in New Zealand. All it shows is that he is human, and is prone to mistakes...and this book is one huge one for him.
Chapter 18: Watch and Pray
Ray begins this chapter talking about one of his open air preaching sessions, and then jumps to his thinking about all of the violence and murder that is going on in the united states. He thought hard to come up with a solution. He said he would pray. How funny. Prayer doesn't do anything, and I can cite a multi million dollar study to prove it (see my post Taking The Way of the Morons (master) to Task from 8- 27-07, refutation number 24)!
Next he talks about how churches need to get back to the fire and brimstone preaching method, and tell everyone how god is an angry god, who will kill you, if you mess up...not his exact words of course, but it will do.
He talks about all the preachers who have been immoral and cheated on their wives, etc.
I think it's funny when people talk about how corrupt the people who are involved in religion are, and say how they need to clean up their act. In my opinion, most people who are preachers do it for one reason: power and money. I suspect Ray is doing it for the same reasons...though he seems as if he's actually dumb enough to buy into the shit he's selling.
Chapter 19: The Lost Alter
The last few chapters have had Ray blame societies ills on there not being enough christians around, and that the message of salvation isn't getting spread enough...though with all of the killings done in the name of the many gods, I don't see how religion can help, and there are statistics that I can point to which show that society isn't necessarily better off with a large population of religious nuts..I mean people.
This chapter is pretty much just about brainwashing...I mean teaching, your children about christianity. Well, for anyone who has read my writings, I agree with Richard Dawkins that kids should not be indoctrinated. If you're going to teach them, wait until they are of an age where they can actually comprehend the bullshit you're feeding them, and then hopefully they will reject it, and society can get rid of needless religion within a generation.
Chapter 20: Tampering with the Recipe
In this chapter, Ray talks about how to make a marriage last, and some of the advice is good...nothing but common sense really, like don't argue in front of kids, don't let your emotions let you say something you will regret in an argument, etc. Like I said, simple stuff.
At the beginning of the chapter, Ray talks about how christian marriages last, while others' don't, and how "nowadays secular and christian divorce statistics run hand in hand" (page 155).
I don't know about the statistics before this study, however, according to a 1999 study done by a christian sociologist, George Barna, atheists have a 21% chance of divorce, while born again christians have a 27% chance. A six percent difference, but still a difference, with atheists in the lead. It's clear though, that having a particular religion doesn't guarantee a couple to have a good marriage. There are people who have different religions, and their marriages are great. However, religious beliefs can also tear couples apart too.
There's nothing earth shattering here...there is no advice Ray could give that someone using common sense couldn't figure out on their own.
Chapter 21: If the Average Girl Knew
This chapter starts off with Ray telling the reader about an experiment in which two people were placed in separate rooms, though could still see each other through a window. Each person was told to hit a button, as fast as they could, once they saw a light come on. The one who wasn't fast enough in reacting to the light, was shocked by the winner, and the winner could choose the amount of shock that the loser got.
The scientist did the experiment with sober, and intoxicated individuals, and when intoxicated, people sent a higher voltage of a shock into the person, than when they were sober.
Ray concludes that this "proves" that people are born "wicked" (page 163), just like the bible says, and states that all the scientist had to do was open the bible to learn of this truth.
I'd say the idea of human beings being evil by nature is debatable. I think it ultimately depends on the circumstances that one finds themselves in, which determines their reaction. Though, I do agree that a certain percent of people are more selfish, and less kind, if not pressured by the standards of behavior which society has set.
I also think that it's just observation of human behavior, by human beings, which made the claim as to the "deceitfully wicked" nature of man. Not that it "proves" the bible is inspired.
Ray next talks about a woman who wrote him about being terrified about potentially having homosexual thoughts. Ray goes into his bullshit about how people have been "hoodwinked into accepting many lies, and one of the greatest is that homosexuals are 'born that way'. If that is true, we are all born homosexuals" (page 164).
I covered this claim in my review of Ray's Evidence Bible ( refutation number 29), but there is still research being conducted about if it's purely a physiological origin, or it's something else. But, it's a fact that even so called "straight" people experiment with this kind of behavior, so the jury is still out, for sure, so to say that it's a pure lie that homosexuals are not born that way is false. The fact is, all the data is not in yet, so it's too early to tell, as far as my research shows.
Ray continues to talk about our "sinful nature", and how when you're a christian you should be even more aware of the fact that you're sinning all the time, it's just that when you're a christian, you feel guilty about it.
This reeks of religious nonsense. It's simply the very core of religious bullshit, with the story of adam and eve, and the eating of the apple. This entire concept is built upon mythology, so how in the hell can anyone possibly take this seriously? Peoples' heads just aren't on straight apparently.
It's funny, but a friend and I, were just talking today about the origin of this religious dogma, and he simply said that ever since man became aware of his mortality, they created gods, who in turn, created them, according to their mythology. Yet, they still couldn't figure out why their gods would create them, and then cause them to die, so they made up the concept of sin, and decided that was the reason for their death, and so they began to make up rules which they claimed the gods (or god) had handed down, which were designated as sinful, which you were to follow in order to get to this eternal life. However, in reality, jesus' blood of salvation pretty much makes one immune, according to christian doctrine, of being punished for doing anything that is considered bad. Just as long as you accept jesus, all sins are forgiven, and you get into heaven no matter what you do. Silly, stupid nonsense.
Next, Ray lists some things a person can do, in order to fight their feelings of "sexual lust" and of course claims that this is yet another sin, and bla, bla, bla. I won't bother going over this stuff.
In the next section called " Diving or Falling", Ray talks about how a "pretend christian" will "dive" into sin, while the true christian will "fall" into it.
Basically, he's claiming that a true christian will do whatever they can to avoid sinning, yet Ray talks about his feeling guilty about taking "the biggest piece of chocolate cake" (page 166), and that he can't help it, because of his sinful nature.
What the hell? This is a contradiction because if Ray didn't want to "sin" and have the bigger piece of cake, then he should have had the self control not to! This is just stupid religious nonsense about Ray making up excuses for his selfish behavior.
This entire concept doesn't make the slightest bit of sense, because according to Ray his supposed sin is against his will, yet he willfully sins. If he looks at a woman and finds her attractive, or if he feels greedy by taking that bigger slice of cake, it's your own response to the women...you turned your head, you took the cake, and therefore you are responsible for your actions. Don't try to blame it on some mythological concept of sin, because you're unable to control your behavior. That's simply a cop out.
After his talk about sin, he does more preaching, and talks more about not giving into sin, and making sure you take jesus as your lord and savior in order to gain eternal life, etc. etc..
The rest of the chapter is simply Ray using examples from the bible, about peter, and his sin, and yet again contradicting himself, because he has used the bible...and for the remainder of the chapter too, for his so called proof.
At the end of the chapter, though he restates his position in his book about atheists only using that as a label as a "weak and transparent shield for sin" (page 178), and quotes the bible, psalm 14:1: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no god'." and yet looks like Ray is in danger of hell fire because it says in Matthew 5:22: "But anyone who says 'You fool' will be in danger of the fire of hell."
Ray doesn't seem so scared of that imaginary hell now, does he?
Appendix: Reasoning for the Faith
This last part of the book goes over questions that Ray found at a "hollywood atheist orginization" (page 179), whatever that is, and attempts to answer them. I won't go over this section much, because I've already refuted his silly arguments...some of these questions he doesn't even answer, and goes around the question! For example, on the very first question, it asks how you would define god, and why you're so convinced there is one, and Ray simply states that "god is the creator, the upholder, and the sustainer of the universe. He revealed himself to moses as the one and only true god" (page 179). He doesn't even really answer the question as to why he's convinced there is a god...unless it's because of what the bible says, though that's not a logical answer to say the least.
On question number 28, page 188, the question is asked if anyone has ever been killed in the name of atheism, and Ray responds with the usual absurd argument about the communist regimes, and claims these were a result of atheism, though, as I've gone over this elsewhere (see my review of the book, The Truth Behind the New Atheism, by David Marshall), I won't repeat my objections to this unsubstantiated claim.
Well, there you have it. I'm finished refuting Ray's silly arguments, and exposing him as one huge hypocrite. I have no doubt that he has many rationalizations which he can throw at me, in a futile attempt to rebut my objections, but almost nothing has ever come out of Ray's mouth, or in the written word, that has not been illogical or a contradiction.
I hope I've effectively exposed Ray's deceitfulness, and I hope at least one person reads this and realizes this fact. Then, I know it was worth it.