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Interview: Ray Comfort Answers Your Questions


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Note: if you enjoy this interview, feel free to vote for us on reddit!

 

Well, the questions have been sent, and Mr. Comfort has sent back his answers in record time.

 

Due to the interview's length, and the tendency of Internet audiences to skip over long texts, here's a summarized list of the questions, so you can find what you're interested in. I do encourage you to read the entire interview, however, as it's interesting as a whole. In particular, Mr. Comfort's answers to questions 8, 9 and 10 may surprise you.

 

  1. Why did you feel the need to shift to taking on evolution? What brought about this shift?
  2. Before the publication of your edition of On the Origin of Species, were you worried about potential negative press, or did you believe it would be well-received? And how would you characterize the reception since -- positive or negative?
  3. Have you achieved your goals with the edition's publication?
  4. What do you make of Christians who nevertheless believe in evolution, such the famous biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky?
  5. If shared retroviral DNA is not evidence for common ancestry, what is it?
  6. Do you ascribe your views to any particular theology, or do you develop your views independently?
  7. You've talked about the theory of evolution being like a cloud -- it changes constantly as new evidence is uncovered. Isn't it also true that the basic tenets of Christianity have changed over the past two millenia as views about the Bible and Jesus's preaching changed?
  8. Do you feel that science has become a social or moral movement rather than the honest quest for knowledge it is claimed to be? If so, is this a bad thing?
  9. What do you believe the proper role of science is, in light of your religious beliefs?
  10. Imagine, for a moment, a world where religion never existed, for whatever reason. Its citizens go about their lives having never heard of any religion. In your mind, what would the world be like -- worse, better? Why?

 

My thanks to Ray Comfort for spending his time answering our questions! Let us hope that all of our future interviewees take the time to give such detailed and thoughtful answers.

 

1. You've published dozens of books and pamphlets over the years, and you made news recently by distributing an edition of On the Origin of Species with your own Special Introduction included -- and this is just one of several books in your recent publications that attacks evolution specifically. Why did you feel the need to shift to taking on evolution? What brought about this shift?

 

This isn’t a new subject for me. There isn’t a “shift.” I wrote a book back in 1990 called God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists that among other things dealt with the subject of evolution. However, I have written more on the subject recently to answer those who think that the Theory of Evolution is scientific, and in doing so throw out Intelligent Design.

 

In 2009, I read, On the Origin of Species (a very dry read), and came to the conclusion that if Darwin was alive today, he would be snapped up by Disney as an imagineer. His imagination was incredibly fertile. He lived in a fantasy world. There is nothing real or scientific about his theory. There were no species-to-species transitional forms in his day to confirm his beliefs (both in the fossil record or in the existing animal kingdom), and 150 years later, there are still no species-to-species transitional forms. Believers who post at “Atheist Central” usually fly off the handle when I say that, mistakenly thinking that I am saying that “there are no transitional forms.”

 

However, I maintain that there are no undisputed species to species transitional forms. No kind of animal has ever evolved into another kind of animal. There are transitions within kinds, but, as the Bible clearly says over and over, every animal brings forth after its own kind. The missing link is still missing. The theory of evolution is just a belief. Yet millions embrace it as gospel truth because they unquestioningly believe what they have been told by others, who, like Darwin have a fertile imagination. Charles Darwin brought forth after his own kind. Again, there was no “shift,” just an increase in my writing on the subject.

 

2. The publication of a new edition of On the Origin of Species was a controversial one. Before its publication, were you worried about potential negative press, or did you believe it would be well-received? And how would you characterize the reception since -- positive or negative?

 

I wasn’t at all worried about negative press. Anything about Intelligent Design is going to get negative press in contemporary media. If by “press” you are also referring to on-line reaction, I was surprised by the intensity of opposition. So-called freethinkers called for censorship. Atheists posted vicious video clips, one getting well over a million views. I have always believed that the free exchange of ideas is very healthy. Evolution should be discussed. But, as Charles Darwin said in his Foreword to On the Origin of Species, the opposing side should also be presented. Otherwise you will be left with narrow-minded intolerant and unreasonable people who have been brainwashed into thinking that there are no other perspectives. That’s what we found.

 

There are only two perspectives in the issue of human origins. Either we believe (as does Richard Dawkins and many others) that nothing created everything, which is a scientific impossibility, or we believe that something created everything. In The Ancestor's Tale the professor said, “… the fact that life evolved out of literally nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved literally out of nothing--is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice” (italics added). Atheists are offended by the thought and try and redefine the definition of “nothing” to save face. But it can’t be redefined. Nothing means nothing. It is nothing, and it can produce nothing. There is nothing more to say on the subject, and for the committed atheist, the alternative is unthinkable, in the truest sense of the word.

 

When we gave 170,000 copies of On the Origin of Species away to 170,000 university students in 100 of the top U.S. universities, and 26,000 to university students in Australia and New Zealand, they we very well received. Most people are reasonable. It’s only a vocal fringe that are intolerant and call for censorship. It has always been my contention that if I am an “idiot,” “a flat-earther,” and “an ignorant fool” as Richard Dawkins has publicly said I am, then he should encourage students to read my ignorant foolishness to strengthen his case. Instead, he encourages students to rip out the 52-page Foreword. I wonder why?

 

3. Have you achieved your goals with the edition's publication?

 

My goal has never been hidden. It is simply to present the case for Christianity--which is either true or it isn’t. My confidence is that it can be proven to be true but putting John 14:21 into practice. I don’t want to censor people from learning about the theory of evolution. However, when someone comes to know God, the issue of atheism is closed, and with that comes a trust in the authenticity of His Word--the Bible. It super-naturally follows, and so by default evolution is proven to be just another of the many myths as to the origin of mankind.

 

4. What do you make of Christians who nevertheless believe in evolution, such as the famous biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky? He specifically wrote "I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God’s, or Nature’s method of creation."

 

True, Theodosius Dobzhansky believed in God. It’s hard not to in the face of this amazing creation. After all, the most intelligent of us can’t create a grain of sand, a frog, a bird, or the simplest flower, from nothing. We don’t know how to do it. So how intellectually dishonest is it to say that there was no intelligent and eternal Creator? So one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to believe in the existence of God. All we need is good old common sense, and that’s what Professor Dobzhansky had--common sense, and there are plenty of other intelligent people who believe in evolution and in God’s existence.

 

However, those who believe in God and evolution have to throw out Holy Scripture, because the Bible tells us that God created male and female in every kind of animal, and then He gave them the ability to reproduce after their own kind (see Genesis 1). We are told in Scripture that there is one kind of flesh and man, and one kind of flesh of beasts. So the god of evolution and the God of the Bible are incompatible. Evolution didn’t “create” anything. It doesn’t have any genesis, and its explanation as to why there are male and female within every animal is ridiculously nebulous.

 

Those who choose to believe in any other god are guilty of violation of the First and Second of the Ten Commandments--something called “idolatry”--making a god in our own imagination, and that was the professor’s problem.

 

5. For this to be a proper interview, it seems like I have to ask a direct question about evolution, so I may as well. It turns out that retroviruses insert their genomes into DNA, and these sequences have been identified -- some have been pulled out and turned back into retroviruses in the lab. However, it turns out that humans and other related animals share similar retroviruses, in similar locations in the genome -- but not, say, humans and dogs, or other animals not thought to be related to humans. If this is not evidence for common ancestry, what is it?

 

The idea that retroviruses in similar locations in the genomes of different animals and humans prove common ancestry is a logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. The fallacious belief is as follows: If humans and animals share a common ancestor then we should observe shared retroviruses in their genomes. Shared retroviruses are observed between humans and animals. Therefore, humans and animals share a common ancestor. However, the conclusion of a common ancestor is not the only one possible, so shared retroviruses cannot be used to prove common ancestry. Another possible conclusion is that humans and animals share retroviruses because they were created by the same Creator, who used similar designs in humans and animals. We share many similarities with most of the creatures on our planet, both seen with the microscope and*with the human eye. Similarities simply confirm that God made animals and human beings with the same blueprint--with legs, a mouth, a tongue, eyes, ears, a heart, blood, liver, kidneys, lungs, teeth, and a brain, just to name a few.

 

6. Now, rather than going on for ages about evolution, I'd actually like to ask some other questions for a moment. Right now, I'm enrolled in a Philosophy of Religion course, and we're discussing Christian theology and so on. Do you ascribe your views to any particular theology, or do you develop your views independently?

 

My theological views are shaped solely by the Bible. However, I wasn’t converted by the Bible.. Early Christians didn’t have a Bible. The New Testament wasn’t complied. There was no such thing as the printing press, most couldn’t read. They heard a message, acted upon it, and were converted by the power of God. That was my experience. When I understood the standard of God, that “Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart,” I had a revelation of my own sinfulness. I rightly surmised that if God was just, I was heading for Hell, and it was then that I truly understood why Jesus suffered and died on the cross--to take my punishment upon Himself so that I could be pronounced not guilty. I repented and put my trust in the Savior and came to know God. When I then picked up a Bible, it perfectly described my experience. It told me precisely what had happened to me. This ancient “bronze-age” Book proved itself to be the supernatural Word of the Creator. I have been reading it daily for more than 38 years, and haven’t found even one mistake. There are plenty of seeming contradictions, but with a little study, they are easily answered. So, unlike an atheist, I have a foundation for what I believe. I have a clear agenda. I have the unspeakable comfort of a Book filled with immutable promises of God. That Book gives me absolute assurance that what I experienced more than 38 years ago was the power of God in the life of a guilty sinner. Millions, if not billions, have had the same experience, from all walks of life, and from all ethnicities. So my theology isn’t an independent or narrow exclusive sectarian belief. It is mainstream belief in the universality of God’s “Whosever will may come…”

 

7. You've talked about the theory of evolution being like a cloud -- it changes constantly as new evidence is uncovered. Isn't it also true that the basic tenets of Christianity have changed over the past two millennia as views about the Bible and Jesus’ preaching changed? (For example, the question of whether Jesus was divine was unsettled until several hundred years after his death -- some argued that he was wholly human, others argued that he was not human at all and his suffering was merely an illusion.)

 

When you say “For example, the question of whether Jesus was divine was unsettled until several hundred years after his death -- some argued that he was wholly human, others argued that he was not human at all and his suffering was merely an illusion,” how do you know that? How do you know that is true? Isn’t it because you believe history books? You have no way of substantiation.

 

There is no question (nor has there ever been a question as to the divinity of Jesus) for those who believe Scripture. For example: “In beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-3, 14). Or “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” ( 1 Timothy 3:16). Notice the words “without controversy.” These are only two verses of many that speak of Jesus being the Creator, manifest in human form.

 

To say that Jesus of Nazareth was merely a man leaves us with a dilemma that he was unquestionably a con-man or a mad-man. If He was just a man, He suffered from the ultimate delusions of grandeur. He believed and said again and again that He was God in human form. He spoke of His preexistence, His power over death, that all humanity would be resurrected from their graves at the sound of His voice, that He was the very source of life itself, that those who ate of His flesh (a spiritual not literal--as some believe) would live forever. He said that if we thirsted, we were to come to Him and drink, that He was exclusively the only way to God and eternal life.

 

If he was a mad-man, then we have to attribute such incredible wonderful and wise words spoken in the Sermon of the Mount to someone else. Insane people don’t say the things He said. Who then said them? If it wasn’t Jesus, then we should fall at the feet of whoever it was and call Him “Lord.”

 

My challenge to those who profess to be open to truth, is to humbly read--without presuppositions, Matthew chapters 5-7, and objectively look at the words of the Savior. Or read the Gospel of John. You will no doubt conclude (along with the temple guards the Pharisees sent to arrest Him)--“Never a man spoke like this Man.”

 

8. Do you feel that science has become a social or moral movement rather than the honest quest for knowledge it is claimed to be? If so, is this a bad thing?

 

I think that science has been forced that become a social movement at times in history. The scientific community should have spoken out when the Roman Catholic church arrested Galileo. When religion hinders the progress of true science, scientists must lift a voice, or knowledge will be hindered by small minds. This is no doubt why so many evolutionists are so out-spoken. They think Intelligent Design hinders the progress of science. However, evolution is not science. There is nothing scientific about it. The two should only be in the same sentence when one is referring to science fiction. So it’s a good thing when true scientists speak out publicly, as did Einstein, when so many German scientists turned their honorable profession into a means of killing human beings.

 

9. On a similar note, many Renaissance thinkers believed that the role of science was to explore God's creation, while perhaps many modern-day scientists leave out the "God" in that proposition. What do you believe the proper role of science is, in light of your religious beliefs?

 

True, many famous scientists believed in the existence of God: Copernicus, Bacon, Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Newton, Boyle, Faraday, Einstein (who didn’t believe in a personal God, nevertheless Einstein called God “Him” and “He”) weren’t fly-by-nights. These were brilliant men who saw no contradiction or anything intellectually demeaning about believing that that which was made had a Maker. In fact, to believe the alternative is intellectually suicide. Non-life cannot produce life.

 

So I agree with Albert Einstein, when he said "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind," and I’m confident that he was referring to an intellectual belief in God’s existence when he used the word “religion,” rather than a reference to the established traditional church. Any scientist who denies that we live in a “creation” or that nature has been “made” or “built” isn’t a scientist, in the truest sense of the word. The redefining of these words to fit one’s philosophy shows the desperate measures needed to believe atheism. To leave God out of science (“knowledge”) is to leave the ‘wet” out of water. It is nonsensical, or to quote Einstein, “lame.”

 

10. Imagine, for a moment, a world where religion never existed, for whatever reason. Its citizens go about their lives having never heard of any religion. In your mind, what would the world be like -- worse, better? Why?

 

I think that a world without religion would be a much better world. Imagine no 911. Imagine no terror-threats from Islam. No suicide bombs. Imagine no pedophile priests or money-hungry televangelists. Imagine no Roman Catholic Crusades against innocent people or torturous Inquisitions against those who denied their religion. Imagine no religious nuts carrying signs at soldiers funerals saying that it’s good that they died or that “God hates fags.” Imagine no religious hypocrisy, and no trail of human blood down through history through the mass of religious wars. No witch burnings, no hindrances to science . . . imagine.

 

Man has always used religion for his own political or economic gain. Hitler did it. America does it. Iran does it. The Pharisees in the time of Christ did it.

 

Religion is a very grimy and murky bathwater, and those who don’t look carefully can easily miss the baby. A world without religion…how wonderful that would be. May God hasten the day.

 

 

 

 

Again, thanks to Ray Comfort for taking the time to answer our questions! You can use this thread to post your comments and thoughts. Please, however -- as I pointed out in the interview, going back and forth about evolution gets tiresome. If you have evolution-related questions, you can post them in the appropriate forum here on SFN. Let's save this discussion for talking specifically about Mr. Comfort's opinions in the interview.

Edited by Cap'n Refsmmat
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I think his responses are thoughtful, considered and at times surprising particularly the last one.

 

All credit to him for taking the time out to do this for us.

 

A interesting interview all in all Cap'n.

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Whoever had the idea for this interview was a genius. And the person who got Ray to agree to it must be a god.

 

Fair point -- everyone should thank ydoaPs for taking the initiative and emailing Mr. Comfort! Although I think he might disagree on the god part.

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Unfortunately, I will be unable to get a lot of interviews lined up for a while, since my schedule has me in the middle of the ocean a lot for the next few months. You'll have to harp on Cap'n for more.

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#5. ...he actually went with retroviruses in similar locations are proof of common design? Oh, and what of the * and **? Was there something more on the bottom, did he forget to add it?

 

Anyhow, I take issue with that answer. In science, when we say something "explains" a fact, we usually mean that said fact can be predicted from the explanation, rather than merely being consistent with it. Does his hypothesis have predictive capability? Can he, from the hypothesis of common design, and perhaps some additional measured data, predict the presence, absence, and relative abundance in different part of the genome of the various types of mutation (insertions, deletions, frame shifts, single nucleotide polymorphism, silent mutations, inversions, gene duplications, translocations)?

 

More generally, what does he think of the idea that the theory with the better predictive capability is scientifically preferable to one with poorer predictive capability?

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Oh, and what of the * and **? Was there something more on the bottom, did he forget to add it?

I don't really know. I think it may be from Track Changes marks in the document he sent, or something. I don't see them in the document.

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Well I expected most of the answers but the tone was quite pleasurable. Also the last answer was totally unexpected by me at least.

 

I think that a world without religion would be a much better world. Imagine no 911. Imagine no terror-threats from Islam. No suicide bombs. Imagine no pedophile priests or money-hungry televangelists. Imagine no Roman Catholic Crusades against innocent people or torturous Inquisitions against those who denied their religion. Imagine no religious nuts carrying signs at soldiers funerals saying that it’s good that they died or that “God hates fags.” Imagine no religious hypocrisy, and no trail of human blood down through history through the mass of religious wars. No witch burnings, no hindrances to science . . . imagine.

 

Man has always used religion for his own political or economic gain. Hitler did it. America does it. Iran does it. The Pharisees in the time of Christ did it.

 

Religion is a very grimy and murky bathwater, and those who don’t look carefully can easily miss the baby. A world without religion…how wonderful that would be. May God hasten the day.

 

Really probably one of the few times (maybe the only time) I would say that I can agree with nearly everything Ray Comfort said in consecutive paragraphs. I of course don't attest to his beliefs on evolution, but this response, and this last answer specifically, has lead me to have much more respect for Mr. Comfort.


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Thank you ydoaps for setting this up.

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We can't "create something from nothing," therefore it is intellectually dishonest not to think that someone else did. Ok.

 

AFAICT, nothing can cause anything to exist. Causality applies only to things which already exist. An object can cause a new arrangement of objects to exist(create something from something else), but it cannot cause a new fundamental object to exist(something from nothing). To cause an object to exist would require the object to exist so that it may be acted upon. This also really makes sense in light of conservation of mass/energy.

 

</rant>

 

Also, 'What created that something which created something from nothing?' :D

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First of all thanks to everyone who set this up and for Mr. Comfort for answering the questions. I do have an issue with the following part:

Well, the questions have been sent, and Mr. Comfort has sent back his answers in record time.

 

4. What do you make of Christians who nevertheless believe in evolution, such as the famous biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky? He specifically wrote "I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God’s, or Nature’s method of creation."

 

True, Theodosius Dobzhansky believed in God. It’s hard not to in the face of this amazing creation. After all, the most intelligent of us can’t create a grain of sand, a frog, a bird, or the simplest flower, from nothing. We don’t know how to do it. So how intellectually dishonest is it to say that there was no intelligent and eternal Creator? So one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to believe in the existence of God. All we need is good old common sense, and that’s what Professor Dobzhansky had--common sense, and there are plenty of other intelligent people who believe in evolution and in God’s existence.

 

However, those who believe in God and evolution have to throw out Holy Scripture, because the Bible tells us that God created male and female in every kind of animal, and then He gave them the ability to reproduce after their own kind (see Genesis 1). We are told in Scripture that there is one kind of flesh and man, and one kind of flesh of beasts. So the god of evolution and the God of the Bible are incompatible. Evolution didn’t “create” anything. It doesn’t have any genesis, and its explanation as to why there are male and female within every animal is ridiculously nebulous.

 

Those who choose to believe in any other god are guilty of violation of the First and Second of the Ten Commandments--something called “idolatry”--making a god in our own imagination, and that was the professor’s problem.

(emphasis mine)

 

I consider myself a christian and I have no issue with the concept of evolution. I do take issue with the part where he states that to believe in the evolution means we must throw out the scriptures. It is my opinion that he is reading more into Genisis 1 than is really there both in regards to its intent and content and he is disregarding the possibility of any allegorical intent for this part of the bible (which is very clearly used elsewhere in the scriptures).

 

Why is it inconceivable to him that God could use evolution to create the different animals that exist? God must have used some mechanism to do this, why not evolution? Does he also dispute gravity as the mechanism as to how God keeps the planets and stars in their proper places?

 

I also think he is appealing to ridicule a bit.

 

And why is this belief necessarily idolatry? I also believe by applying sufficient heat and oxygen to a fuel source I can create a beneficial chemical reaction (a fire) which I can then use to warm myself, cook food and do other useful things. That doesn't mean I worship the fire I just made.

 

That said, I enjoyed his answers and greatly appreciate his time to respond. I would love it if he would reply to some of the further questions on this thread, but I understand he is probably quite busy and his time is limited.

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And why is this belief necessarily idolatry? I also believe by applying sufficient heat and oxygen to a fuel source I can create a beneficial chemical reaction (a fire) which I can then use to warm myself, cook food and do other useful things. That doesn't mean I worship the fire I just made.

 

I think the idea is that if you don't believe the complete message of the Bible, you're "creating" a different version of God to worship, rather than the true God as revealed in the Bible.

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I think the idea is that if you don't believe the complete message of the Bible, you're "creating" a different version of God to worship, rather than the true God as revealed in the Bible.

 

Which begs the question of the message of which books and why? He even said that early Christians didn't have a 'Bible'.

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Which begs the question of the message of which books and why? He even said that early Christians didn't have a 'Bible'.

 

I expect he'd say* something along the lines of having a revelatory experience, or "knowing in his heart," or whatever. Of course, that doesn't actually answer the question, since that sort of experience seems to be something that all religions have in common. Why believe one person over another? And if they can't all be right, then necessarily religious experiences can have causes other than Revelation of Truth.

 

*I realize I'm putting words in his mouth and thus potentially creating a strawman, but it is what I've heard lots of people say in answer to that question, and it would save time to skip over the usual fallaciousness.

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I think the idea is that if you don't believe the complete message of the Bible, you're "creating" a different version of God to worship, rather than the true God as revealed in the Bible.

 

What is the "complete message" of the Bible? How do I know that his thoughts on this are correct or if someone elses is? Theologians have disagreed on the finer points (such as is this) for centuries without resolution. Its much better to respect differing viewpoints in light of the fact that on these fine points we cannot really know which view is most correct.

 

I understand he takes Gen 1 very literally, but I take it more allegorically (not saying there couldn't be a blend of both in the Gen. 1 account). I guess I feel (perhaps incorrectly...which is one reason I would love a followup by him) that he believes he doesn't consider the possibility that my view (or that of Theodosius Dobzhansky) is actually correct instead of his own.

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Kudos to Mr. Comfort for his thoughtful, well written and reasoned responses. Like many, #10 blew me away.

 

That we disagree on so much, is regretful but certainly understandable. Most of my family--the people I love and would walk through fire for--think much like he does. (Though most could never put it down in print as well, nor nearly so concisely. . .)

 

We could pick his points apart endlessly, but in the end, nothing would change. So let's not. There are other threads on this Forum for that.

 

I will re-read his words many times, and think about them. I can, at least, follow his logic without confusion. That's what we wanted, right?

 

Well done, Sir.

 

Bill Wolfe

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I expect he'd say* something along the lines of having a revelatory experience, or "knowing in his heart," or whatever.

 

This is part of what he says in his response to question 6, actually. Unfortunately, due to the nature of having a revelatory experience, it's rather hard to acknowledge that other people have had contradictory revelatory experiences that were equally compelling. If yours is compelling, you can't accept every other revelatory experience story that comes along...

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This just goes to show that there's a difference between a person and a position.

 

I disagree with Mr Comfort's position, and in my view, some of his claims, are fallacious, but his articulate manner, polite attitude and surprising approaches to some of the questions show that in arguments such as these we can find points that we agree upon, as well as where we disagree.

 

 

As a scientist, I can disagree with his approach that evolution isn't a science, and can point out a few inconsistencies in his claims (might do that later) but I did find quite a few points I thought were thoughtful and interesting as places where, if we were to conduct a philosophical debate, we could start by agreeing upon, and build a civil debate from there.

 

Great interview. If Mr Comfort is reading this, by any chance, I'd like to thank him for taking the time to answer our questions. ydoaPs, thanks for making the effort and getting this interview, and of course, Cap'n, for carrying it out. Great job. We need more like these.

 

~moo


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We could pick his points apart endlessly, but in the end, nothing would change. So let's not. There are other threads on this Forum for that.

No, I disagree here.

 

Picking apart his points is not disrespecting him, it's being thoughtful. Not in the common usage of that word, perhaps, but more in the term that you read the arguments and actually analyzed them.

 

You don't just disagree, you show why you disagree. If you do it in a civil manner, then it's a good endeavor to take.

 

But for me, analyzing people's claims isn't so much to convince *them* of their error, it's more as a way to keep my philosophical faculties in check, to train my reason and reasoning skills and to constantly test my own beliefs. I might have a few things I change my mind on. It would probably not be the scientific nature of evolution, but it might be an approach to take with some religious/evangelical debaters. It might be my approach to religion in general, I am not sure, but whatever it is, it will only happen if I take the time to consider the arguments made, not just read them and move on.

 

By analyzing other people's claims - specially ones my immediate reaction is a disagreement -- I check my own reasoning and see if *I* am consistent. If my own morality or my own logic stands to the same scrutiny I automatically give the other side.

 

I feel that if I don't d that, I'm in danger of transforming my beliefs into dogmas - just holding them because it's comfortable or a matter of habit, and that's dangerous. I want to grow as a person and improve myself, and I can only do that if I think things through.

 

Analyzing and criticizing Mr Comfort's claims shouldn't be taken as a sign of ridicule or disrespect. On the contrary, we are taking the time to properly consider them, for good and bad, see if they're consistent, and if we are convinced, or if they got us thinking and made us shift our perspective, even if not totally towards his.

 

 

 

~moo

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world i dont think can be better without religion. because then people will feel free to do anything they like may cause troubles for other. but with a uniform religion which everyone accepts. world will surely be better.

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"This isn’t a new subject for me. There isn’t a “shift.” I wrote a book back in 1990 called God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists that among other things dealt with the subject of evolution. However, I have written more on the subject recently to answer those who think that the Theory of Evolution is scientific, and in doing so throw out Intelligent Design.

 

In 2009, I read, On the Origin of Species (a very dry read)" Only took him 19 years to get raround to it. Well done, Ray.

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world i dont think can be better without religion. because then people will feel free to do anything they like may cause troubles for other.

 

Really? Because the available evidence completely contradicts that. In general, the more secular a nation is, the better its society is in pretty much every way. This isn't to say that secularness causes societies to be more civilized, but it DOES mean that your thought process above is completely wrong.


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If you're interested, I posted some relevant data here.

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world i dont think can be better without religion. because then people will feel free to do anything they like may cause troubles for other. but with a uniform religion which everyone accepts. world will surely be better.

 

This is a very common argument. I once--upon telling a coworker that I was atheist--had this fellow ask me what kept me from abusing my three young (at the time) daughters, since I didn't believe in hell.

 

Now, if his religion is the only thing keeping this fellow from sexually assaulting his own children, then by all means, pass the plate. I'll donate.

 

My answers. . ."Because I love them, don't want to hurt them, and would destroy anyone who tried to do so. Besides, I don't want to do that." just seemed to confuse him.

 

Some of us have an internal moral code that I would put up against any which is exteriorly imposed by religion, anywhere in the world.

 

So maybe some of us just don't need it?

 

Bill Wolfe

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I highly suggest the book The Science of Good and Evil to answer questions like that. It discusses how the basics of morality likely evolved as we became social animals. In other words, acting morally is an evolved behavior, not a result of religion.

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I would have liked for him to answer his views on the age of the Earth and if he believes it is only a few thousand years old. While him answering a few questions was nice, if he really wanted to be fair he should come here for open debate, he wouldn't because he knows both his assertions and his methods of asserting them would fail the test of reality.

 

He can easily assert his reality in a simple answering so many questions exercise as he has done here but his disingenuous nature was clear and his reasons for not being willing to openly debate his assertions is clear from his own answers to these questions.

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