If there were any lingering question that Ray Comfort deserved the appellation of World’s Dumbest Apologist, it would surely be put to rest by reading the exercise in vacuity that is his blog. Mr. Banana calls it “Ray Comfort Food,” and that’s a fairly apt title: perhaps tasty for undiscriminating people looking for a quick snack, but not healthy or nourishing in the least.
Ray’s latest post typically reflects how little is going on between his ears at any given moment. In “The Atheist’s Battle” (a puzzling title, as he never actually addresses what he thinks that is), Ray actually spends two out of three paragraphs simply restating Pascal’s Wager. Yes, Pascal’s Wager. Then, in his third paragraph he asserts that what allows Christianity to trump atheism is the Christian’s willingness to confuse imagination with fact and entertain all manner of delusions.
Like many nowadays, John Lennon imagined only sky. His mind was limited. However, the Christian’s mind isn’t closed. By the grace of God, he has expanded his horizon. For him, nothing is impossible.
Until, I suppose, the Christian tries to put that assumption to the test by standing on the roof of a 40-story building, flapping his arms with the intent to fly to the building across the street, and jumping off. In his final seconds of life, he will have an admittedly brief opportunity to contemplate that, whatever the religion you’ve chosen to embrace has told you, perhaps there are a few things that are impossible.
Like most people who’ve allowed delusion to guide their lives, Ray confuses mindless gullibility with being “open minded,” and cares not a whit whether what he has chosen to believe is actually true as long as it provides “comfort food.” What Ray lacks the ability to understand is that one’s mind is not “limited” by adopting the intellectual integrity and honesty that enables you to distinguish fantasy from reality. The believer may feel all warm and fuzzy by thinking he has “expanded his horizons” to the point where delusion and reality are a blur. But he is still living in delusion. I’m sure I could follow Ray’s advice, and choose to believe that when I die, I will go to Candyland on the Island of Misfit Toys and live in the Popsicle Palace for all eternity, and that anyone who doesn’t share this belief has a “closed mind.” But would that be sensible?
A common element I’ve heard from my fellow atheists, particularly those who were formerly Christian or otherwise religious, is that we all reached a point where we realized that it mattered whether or not what we believed was actually true, and not just comfort food. And the way you determine what’s actually true is through the reliable methodologies of science.
When you read the sad prattlings of a guy like Ray Comfort, who has decided this distinction clearly doesn’t matter, you realize that the “imagination” he so eagerly touts as the key to “open minded” thinking is really a feeble thing indeed. There’s nothing in Ray’s imagination, except the god Ray has made in his image and the fear of his own mortality he has disguised as eager anticipation of “eternity.”
If he were even a smidgen less scientifically illiterate than he is, he’d quickly find that the wonders and majesty of the real universe that science reveals to us are immeasurably more awe-inspiring than the bereft and self-centered fantasies he has embraced. Ray just doesn’t know much. He doesn’t even know how limited his mind is. If he only had a brain. But there I go imagining again.