Wednesday 20th July 2011, Ray Comfort, Round 2!


Wednesday 20th July 2011, The Ray Comfort Interview.

I guess of forgot to say that prior to heading up towards Mnt Wilson, I capped off a couple of emails, the first to Eugenie Scott, the second to Ray Comfort.  In the morning I was awakened early by a National Forest Ranger tapping on my window.  The first thought when this happens is of course ‘here we go!’.  I was just pulled in a large siding overlooking LA and there was by this time quite a lot of traffic on the road.  Turns out he was just giving me a heads up that if I wanted to do this sort of thing, that I needed a permit from the rangers station for ‘bird watching’ or something.  Either way I think he was just checking me out to see what sort of bum I was, and when it became clear this wasn’t a permanenty-type thing, that he would just let me go on my way.

View of LA coming down from Mnt Wislon

View of LA coming down from Mnt Wislon

Headed down to the nearest Starbux the GPS could find and to see what was going on.  Turns out Ray was interested, and whats more was interested in doing something ASAP.  Part of me ground my teeth at the prospect of driving across LA again, but thems are the breaks.  So almost no sooner had I arrived was I packing up again.  The drive across LA was probably easier in the busy morning than in the quieter dark.  Being able to see things I think helps a lot.  Not sure what time I met up with Ray, as I’ve lost my watch, and when I told Ray about this, he promptly undid his watch and gave it to me.  A very kind gesture to be sure, and the intent was clear.  Unfortunately when I get a watch, a barometer is probably going to be the primary feature.  I can tell quite well how many hours of light there are left in the day just by looking.  I have no such equal intuition about altitude (important if you are in the mountains).   We got some chairs and headed out into the car lot, and had about a 45 min discussion on morality.  We then headed back inside and I spent the next hour or so unsuccessfully trying to synchronize the files with one of the guys from Ray ministry.  During that time we had quite a long chat on ‘prepositional apologetics’.   I gave the obvious answer, which is, if you need to presuppose ANYTHING, then you can’t say for certain if anything is absolutely certain.  We then had lunch, and the conversation of lunch was probably more throughtful than the earlier discussion we had.  After lunch it was back to battling with the computers.  Eventually we got things working and I said my goodbyes and was out shortly before 2ish.  Driving across town was a miserable burden, made worse by the fact that I was feeling terribly fatigued.  Couldn’t figure out why though till I made it back to the starbux and saw myself in the mirror.  For the 40 min discussion with Ray, my pasty limey form had been under full sunlight`  I was mildly sunburned over virtually all my exposed skin, and this was doubtless related to my fatigue and headache.  I put my feet up and went to sleep for about an hour in the car, and woke up feeling much refreshed.  After that I had choices to make.  Mr Deity is in the coast area, and I tried a couple of times (unsuccessively) to contact him.  Decided to head up the coast towards San Francisco, hopefully to bump into Eugenie Scott enroute.  There was also the couple (L n H) who had put me up in Las Vegas, and I was meant to drop by and say ‘Hi’ to, but by this time I was a spent force, and was just looking for somewhere quiet to spend the night.  Headed out to the NW of LA and found a place just short of Filmore and just pulled over into a quiet and secluded siding and went to sleep.

absolutltly

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28 Responses to “Wednesday 20th July 2011, Ray Comfort, Round 2!”

  1. Grand Lunar Says:

    Seems that Comfort is actually a bit more reasonable, conversation-wise anyway, to speak to than the Wesboro people.
    Go figure…

    Quite an adventure you seem to be having so far.

    I’m curious to see your thoughts on the final shuttle mission.
    Being away from civilizaiton, you’re probably not getting much news on it, eh?

    Anyway, keep up the blogging.

    • Bob F. Says:

      The Westboro people were truly scary… Big mouth mama has all the signs of an alcoholic, did you smell any booze on her?

  2. David A Hall Says:

    What is it with Ray and giving away his watch?! Any hidden Tracts on it Tf00t?

  3. Robb Says:

    Enjoy SF if ya need a couch in silicon valley let me know.

  4. chronomax Says:

    I loved the debate, but most of all I just loved your face when you react and say, “You just said that murder and killing is the same thing.” Only to have Comfort slime his way out.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I have seen your videos, i have an offer for you. email echisviper@gmail.com if you are interested

  6. victorvinoda Says:

    Thunder, I’ve said it before and I will say it again… This is a war against ignorance, you my friend are one of our greatest soldiers in the fight for reason and knowledge. You stand as a bacon of hope for all of us, you AronRa, Matt Dillan and hell, even TJ (amazing Atheist).

    The battle is tough, but no one said it would be easy. Please, dont loose your motivation and keep fighting, no matter how many people say bad shit about you, just keep fighting, you have a whole world backing you up. I know I am.

    GO THUNDERFOOT!

  7. Troy Britain Says:

    While I appreciate that you were attempting to give thoughtful, reasoned, answers to Comforts often stupid questions I think that to many it will just come across as evasiveness; with you desperately trying to avoid his “unanswerable” questions. I hate to say it but I’m afraid that with this particular interview you handed him a bit of a propaganda victory.

    • Sam Vittighed Says:

      +1

    • MGP Says:

      Yup… you just gave him loads of time to recite his practised scripts, overlooked his contradictory comments, and didn’t blink when he refused to answer your simple questions (such as: unimplanted fertilised eggs)
      Why are you wasting your time on him? :-/

      There’s a beer (or equivalent) waiting for you if you ever happen to find yourself in Salisbury, Wilts.

  8. rebel38 Says:

    I have been following your work in this context for a while now. Like others that have left comments, I too appreciate all that you do in the search for truth through rational thought and science. Your docile manner and approach are commendable when dealing with people like Mr. Comfort.

    That being said, however, I can’t help but find myself frustrated after viewing your conversations with Mr. Comfort. I completely understand the necessity of avoiding ad hominem attacks, but lets be frank here, the guy is a blathering idiot. This needs to be illustrated in any discussion with him and should be done not in the crude way as I did above, but by illustrating the absurdity of the man’s ideas.

    Its a good fight. Its noble. In the long run, the fight against superstition, blind faith and nonsensical indoctrination will benefit humanity in a significant way regardless of how one measures success. So, please Thunderfoot, stop being so damn nice about it! “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.” Thomas Jefferson.

  9. Joel Says:

    The stark contrast between yourself and Mr. Comfort extends far beyond the obvious physical appearance. He tried to trap you into a corner and found out quite clearly that you don’t surround yourself with walls. Very fitting that it was out in the open. Sorry to hear about the sun burn. Take care TF.

  10. Blaze Urhari Says:

    I LOVE YOU THUNDERF00T :3

  11. monoster Says:

    Hi thunderf00t I came across this podcast a while back and I think that since you’re spending so much time on the road, I hope that you listen to it and keep yourself safe.

    http://traffic.libsyn.com/practicaldefense/Practical_Defense_155_-_Rest_Stops.mp3

  12. Qadeem Says:

    Good work TF, but I think that I agree with Troy. While some people may understand your position in the discussion with Ray, I feel like it will come across as evasiveness. But I liked the discussion.

  13. John Vezina Says:

    I think that Ray Comfort really believes he would score an incredible coup if he were to convert you on video. I see no other reason for him to bother with you.

    Regarding the idiot Ray’s views on morality and your response. Correct me if I am wrong but I think you believe as I do that I need no God to exercise morality. I choose to exercise my morality because I have an inherent empathy towards all life and I got that way because of evolution. I need no God to tell me it is wrong to murder. Basic morality is what allows our society to survive. I know I would not like it if someone were to beat the crap out of me or set fire to my cat, so I do not do these things to others. I also know that I feel really really good when I do things for altruistic reasons, that is, without any reasonable expectation of reward or self-gratification (other than that it makes me feel good that is). It is a no-brainer, really.

    I seriously do not know WTF was wrong with my brain. Perhaps it was because I was brainwashed but I had a very difficult time letting go of religion and embracing science. It took me over 50 years and it is a long story but I did it. Thanks to you and others like you.

    I really believe that Christians are lying to others and especially to themselves when they claim to love and obey God. In my view, if these people were really honest with themselves, they would discover (to their horror) that they only pay lip service to loving God and they really only are trying in the only way they know how to avoid the eternal horror and torture of hell.

    God speaks: “Either obey and love me or face an eternity in the unquenchable fires of hell, but you have free choice. Now, how about a show of hands for those of you who choose to love me and think I’m a pretty neat guy?” Any dissenters…anyone…no? I’m so glad we had this little chat and thank you for choosing me of your own free will. I’m sure now that you love me truly we will get along just fine!”

    • ANCB Says:

      I agree and empathize with much of what you wrote here John- I was “raised Christian,” and even though I can ‘t honestly say that I ever really, really believed in any of, I too found it a bit difficult to give in to reason- but for me, it was not the “fear of Hell” that kept me “imprisoned” by baseless faith- Hell seemed just as unreasonable and improbable as the notion of heaven.

      For me, the full “transformation” away from accepting any connection to the magical, mythological Christian model was delayed substantially due to my own mind’s inability to adequately find acceptance with the unsettling notion of the inevitable- absolute nothingness upon death. It can be a painful notion to fathom (especially having grown up “in the church”), and rejecting it proved substantially troublesome at first. It was a bit like a mourning process that I had to come to terms with and truly accept….since then I have been able to move on with that knowledge, and embrace the scientific pursuit of knowledge with much more verve and gusto.

      • John Vezina Says:

        Thanks, ANCB, I knew my experience was not unique – can I say thank god for that? :o)

        Another reason I think the evangelical leaders such as Ray Comfort, and countless other sincere and not so sincere people will never listen to reason is because they have such an investment and a financial interest in not changing. Can you imagine Ray Comfort suddenly going on air and saying – “You know, I’ve just realized I’ve wasted my entire life pursuing a fantasy and not only that but I’ve unwittingly bilked all of you followers for millions of dollars. I guess I will now shut down my only source of income and close my church. Sorry about that, ha ha!”

        It just is never going to happen, and so maybe Ray Comfort has brainwashed his own self in order to avoid this awkward situation. In other words, these people really are mentally ill. How else would you classify a mind which refuses to accept reality, preferring fantasy? Clearly, those who deny reality are indeed mentally ill. (And I was also mentally ill, but I cured myself with much support from everyone).

  14. Edeyn Says:

    We need you on Google+ … I’m finding myself ambushed in Hangouts by religious folks because I’m openly Atheist in my profile.

  15. Chemist Says:

    Thunderf00t great job with Ray. Just a quick suggestion however. Before you do these types of discussions go argue with some crazy preachers on university campuses. You need to learn the art of not letting them lead the conversation down their paths and to not let them interrupt you so much. They are used to arguing with crowds not individuals and they just talk right over you. In the words of Andre the giant in the Princess Bride, ” I just figured out why you give me so much trouble. [...] Well, I haven’t fought just one person for so long. I’ve been specializing in groups. Battling gangs for local charities, that kind of thing.”

  16. lljames Says:

    Ray is genuine and believes in his rhetoric. He’s really so into it that even you, the expert at deprogramming minds, couldn’t dig him out. But, that doesn’t mean he’s not genuine about his feelings towards those he likes or doesn’t feel threatened by. He like TF. Just deal with it. Other than that, TF is doing right by auctioning for Doctors Without Borders.

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  18. Tim Christie Says:

    Hi

    Thanks for all you do TF.

    You seem to occupy / defending a contextually relative, naturalistic meta-ethical theory. Yes, there is some room for variation and or choice; yes, context matters; and yes, there are — biological, chemical, physcial, etc., — absolutes, given what kind of critter we are (morality has to be a morality that we use, we apply).

    In the context of “obeying norms” or following norms, etc., may I be so bold as to offer a suggestion?

    When a theist of whatever stripe offers you some version of the “A person can’t be good without God” line, challenge them with a parralel: many normative activites get along perfectly well and in a more or less non-mysterious way without any “Commander” or “Creator fo the Laws”– logic, math, grammar, essay writing, etc., etc., Keep in mind, these are norm-based activities that the person you are debating with uses every day.

    All of these fields generate binding norms (A person ought to agree that -(A & -A)– The law of non-contradiction; A person ought to agree that ten dollar bill, and ten singles is a mathematically appropriate way to make change for a $20; and etc.,)

    Why is morality so special it needs “God”? (Even Kant said it just needed reason!).

    Tim

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  22. Michael Carpenter Says:

    TF, not a good idea to defend abortion. No good reason to. Instantly puts you on unstable footing. You can be an Atheist and personally believe it’s not ok to destroy something on the way to being a person (As we all were at one point.) There are other ways to deal with problems resulting from someone being born. Killing is the lazy way out. Believe in our fellow humanist in stepping up the plate in other ways. Nothing dirty to defend anymore.

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