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Mar 24 2011

It’s happening

Barring a last minute surprise, Ray Comfort will be on AETV this coming Sunday via phone.

Been very uncharitable to the fellow here, but to be honest, he’s been uncharitable to atheists. I thought about the fact that, here he is, about to appear on our program after so many people have begged him and us to make it happen — and the most recent post on the blog is one branding him a pathological liar.

But I cannot go back on that, because all his duplicitous and dishonest behavior down the years supports it. This is a man whose entire career in apologetics has involved flame-baiting atheists. It’s the reason he changed the name of his blog to Atheist Central, after all. He repeats all of his P.R.A.T.T. arguments (watch last week’s show for the definition of that acronym) no matter how many times they are annihilated, going the extra step of lying that no atheist has ever addressed them. He lies about science and evolution, claiming evolution does not provide explanations for things that numerous biologists have in fact clearly explained to him over and over again. He’s about cheap publicity stunts, like publishing his own edition of Darwin, rather than learning and bettering himself and the world through knowledge and enlightenment. He is the undisputed poster boy, not only for Christian fundamentalism’s irrationality, but its immorality. Someone who will look you in the eye and lie with every breath is an immoral person, full stop. Perhaps it’s a good thing that he’s making himself the face of belief.

Anyway, much as I think the guy should still be ignored, this is — as of today — going to happen. If you have questions for Ray, send them to [email protected] with the subject line Q for Ray. This may likely take up the whole hour. If anything, it could be the best show we’ve had in years.

81 comments

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  1. 1
    Miroslav

    Ooooo it is on, b*tch :)Give him a banana when he arrives, i'm sure he will be hungry :)

  2. 2
    petew

    Shirley, it'll be 100% predictable?

  3. 3
    Suzy

    Eat him for lunch.

  4. 4
    Mamba24

    SO why is Jeff not co-hosting this week??

  5. 5
    Aridawn

    At least we are getting it done before May 21st. Oh, wait, no…THOSE "believers" are just CRAZY!

  6. 6
    hannanibal

    Not gonna happen. I bet ya he has an excuse.

  7. 7
    John K.

    I wonder what prompted the change in Ray's willingness to come on? I have to admit it seems a bit too good to be true.I am not going to get my hopes up too high until after it goes down.Try not to roll your eyes too much while he is on Matt. Calmly remove the straw men until his argument breaks on a real atheist position.That is, if he actually gives you a chance to debate at all before hanging up or failing to call at all.

  8. 8
    Peter

    I'll believe it when I see it. =)

  9. 9
    JT

    I say 1:10 chance that he'll actually follow through.

  10. 10
    Harker

    Did anyone else see Q for ray and start thinking about ionized bracelets?

  11. 11
    Martin

    Gang, I must admit I share your skepticism and cynicism. Ray does not as a general rule like any interview or debate situation where he can't game the thing to his advantage. I think "something will come up." But I'm being cautiously hopeful all the same.

  12. 12
    Felix

    Ray will use the cue from keywords the questions give him, and run his script off from there, oherwise not responding to anything anyone says in any meaningful way.

  13. 13
    BathTub

    Oh I got one. Ray insists that we aren't Primates, them refuses to answer anyone who asks him 'what does he think a primate is' or any similar question 'are you a mammal, vertebrate, etc'. Ignoring that the taxonomy came from a creationist long before Darwin was even born.

  14. 14
    Rasputin

    This is gonna get ugly.

  15. 15
    Rasputin

    Also…what are the rules for the Ray Comfort drinking game? I think I may have to stock up.

  16. 16
    Jagyr

    "Also…what are the rules for the Ray Comfort drinking game? I think I may have to stock up. "^This

  17. 17
    Aridawn

    @Rasputin and Brandon…Whenever Ray employs a fallacy…twice if he employs one Matt already dubunked. Also, every time Ray changes the subject without actually making any points…make sure to have a spotter nearby to keep you from giving yourself alcohol poisoning…

  18. 18
    Rasputin

    Definitely gonna have to stock up and I think I shall listen lying in bed just in case.

  19. 19
    JT

    He'll probably deconvert 10 minutes before he calls in, and then ask the hosts about how to refute pascal's wager with a theist he's talking to.

  20. 20
    Whateverman

    Lots of cajoling by his detractors. How long did it take? A year? Two? Good luck, folks (as in I hope the show's a good one, rather than as "Good luck, you'll need it").

  21. 21
    Whateverman

    BTW: "Atheists believe everything comes from nothing" means you finish your beverage in 15 sec…

  22. 22
    Ibis

    Ray is used to being in charge of the conversation, so this should prove interesting.

  23. 23
    Harrod

    I wonder: How on Earth is Ray imagining the show will play out? Does he think there's a decent chance he'll convert one or both hosts to Christianity and Creationism? Or that hundreds of regular TAE listeners will desert atheism because they find Ray overwhelmingly more lucid and sensible?

  24. 24
    Scott

    I really hope it happens but Ray's blatant dishonesty in the past has left me skeptical. I for one don't believe he's going to show up and will have some lame excuse as to why he's unable to participate.I'm also curious to see how this plays out if he does show up. Matt and Jeff aren't going to allow him to use fallacies, lies, and misinformation to support his positions and he's got to know this. So why is Ray willing to appear on TAE? I have no idea but I'm anxious to find out.If Ray shows, this weeks show has the potential to be the best episode ever.

  25. 25
    philip

    I imagine Rays ambitions are wholly unrelated to conversion. This IS a publicity stunt, to some extent, for Rays platform. If he's succesful on the show, in giving off the impression that he's defending his faith, then he can live off that for years! If he fails, he can find some fault with the host that he can point at as a generic problem with atheism. I think this is win/win for Ray.

  26. 26
    Gods_misled_children87110

    I put my bets on the AE getting stood up by Ray Comfort. I'm in disbelief this is going to happen. I'd have backup show plans.

  27. 27
    Gods_misled_children87110

    Anyway if this happens it's definately worth the entire hour of the show..I don't think anyone will disagree on that.

  28. 28
    Mark B

    Ask Ray if he's so interested in evolution why he just doesn't sign up for a biology course?

  29. 29
    Warp

    One possibility is that it goes like the Matt vs. Matt episode: They will argue a half hour about some terminology or other irrelevant minutia, and when no agreement is reached, Ray will later declare himself the clear winner of the discussion.

  30. 30
    Scott D. Smith

    Ray is proof god exists. He was made perfectly for atheist experience to eat.

  31. 31
    magx01

    Martin, may I ask what the volume of questions sent in has been like thus far? Basically, I am wondering if it's feasible for me to even have a shot at getting a question in at this point. I assume not, which, if I am correct, is okay, because I am certain someone will ask the question I have in mind. Of course, I'll send it in if there's a shot of it making it through to the hour.

  32. 32
    nasrogers

    Magx01, I'd imagine that the questions are on a "best question, first served", not "first come, first served" basis. So just send it in, if it's good they'll choose it.

  33. 33
    Rosemary

    I have been informed that I share 50 percent of my genetic make up with the banana. Does this mean that half of me is my own nightmare?

  34. 34
    Scott

    "If anything, it could be the best show we've had in years. "Or at least the most viewed. :)

  35. 35
    Mike Haynes.

    I'm morbidly curious. I know it's going to be gruesome, but I really want to see the train wreck.

  36. 36
    Smartcat.168

    Dunno what trick he is up to. He must have calculated the risk,regardless a lose or win he still wins somewhere.

  37. 37
    bill21843

    I have LOW EXPECTATIONS for Ray's call. Here are the possibilites:1. Ray will not call in at all for some reason. Of course, he will claim it wasn't any fault of his.2. The conversation will be sabotaged by "technical difficulties", real or imagined. Ray will then spin it to sound like the atheist conspiracy interfered with the call once Ray started making his "irrefutable" points.3. The conversation will not even get off the ground because the AETV hosts will immediately call b.s. on Ray, since every one of Ray's arguments is total nonsense starting with point #1. This will frustrate Ray and he will later whine that the atheists wouldn't let him talk for 5 seconds without interrupting him. (Listen to Matt Slick's first call to TAE when he tried to talk to Russell.) 4. The AETV hosts will extend the olive branch and Ray will spew nonsense uninterrupted for a few minutes. The AETV hosts will then shut down his arguments with reason and evidence. Undaunted, Ray will later claim victory just like Matt Slick did after his debate with Matt.I am hoping for a call where the AETV hosts completely lay the smack down on Ray just like they do to callers from the Austin Stone church. But to be realistic, I think this is very unlikely.

  38. 38
    Shival

    I am absolutely convinced Ray has some angle here. I would bet that he's going to try to accuse the hosts of being angry and unreasonable, and moving the goalposts.For example, "Why don't we see a crockoduck?""Because evolution doesn't predict that.""You're just changing your story/moving the goalposts"Get some of the stuff he's written, and make notes to poke holes in it, so he can't claim he "never said that"

  39. 39
    bill21843

    I have LOW EXPECTATIONS for Ray's call. Here are the possibilites:1. Ray will not call in at all for some reason. Of course, he will claim it wasn't any fault of his.2. The conversation will be sabotaged by "technical difficulties", real or imagined. Ray will then spin it to sound like the atheist conspiracy interfered with the call once Ray started making his "irrefutable" points.3. The conversation will not even get off the ground because the AETV hosts will immediately call b.s. on Ray, since every one of Ray's arguments is total nonsense starting with point #1. This will frustrate Ray and he will later whine that the atheists wouldn't let him talk for 5 seconds without interrupting him. (Listen to Matt Slick's first call to TAE when he tried to talk to Russell.) 4. The AETV hosts will extend the olive branch and Ray will spew nonsense uninterrupted for a few minutes. The AETV hosts will then shut down his arguments with reason and evidence. Undaunted, Ray will later claim victory just like Matt Slick did after his debate with Matt.I am hoping for a call where the AETV hosts completely lay the smack down on Ray just like they do to callers from the Austin Stone church. But to be realistic, I think this is very unlikely.

  40. 40
    Joel

    There's only one question you need to ask Ray; "How on earth do you sleep at night?"

  41. 41
    OnceProudKnight

    Ray Comfort is like an Uri Geller of apologists. We take away his loyal fan base that believes everything he says and don't allow him to bring in his own props (Atheists that have been video edited to appear pretty dumb, or FSM forbid an actor pretending to be an atheist), and he will flail miserably and dodge all attempts to show us his magic.Uri Geller is to The Tonight Show as Ray Comfort is to The Atheists Experience. Matt Dillahunty, put your James Randi face on!

  42. 42
    entilzha

    I can't wait to see (er, hear) Ray Comfort meet the mute botton.

  43. 43
    Nathan

    As much as I want someone to take Ray down, I don't think he will ever admit it or even understand why he is wrong. This is just going to give him publicity so he can write another book. I think this is a bad idea.

  44. 44
    from the multiverse

    This is two day's after the supposed "atheist holiday" according to Ray Comfort. Makes sense that he would observe it by trolling around to spew his bullshit at us all.I'm really glad to see that Matt and Jeff will be the ones facing off with him. I like all of the AE hosts, but dealing with fundies seems to be one of Matt's specialty, and dealing with trolls seems to be one of Jeff's. XD

  45. 45
    BathTub

    The 27th of March comes before April.

  46. 46
    from the multiverse

    btw, I think it is a great idea to have him on. Hopefully, some of his regular viewers will find their way to the show and see what an ass-hat their leader looks like when he must preform live and can't cut together dishonest videos that misrepresent the facts and opinions presented by his opponents.At the very least, it might lead someone to think "Atheist Experience? What is that?" and cause them to come looking for the show. Hopefully they'll open their minds and something will fall in.

  47. 47
    from the multiverse

    Oh, I'm sorry, I was looking at the wrong week.

  48. 48
    Dorkman

    I'm not sure Jeff should be on when Ray calls in, actually. Ray's whole spiel is the threat of hell and how we deserve it, and we all know how well that goes over with Jeff. A long and loud "How DARE you!" rant — satisfying as it would be for us — will only give Ray fodder for his BS about how atheists are angry and that's the cause of their rebellion against Teh Lawd. If Ray calls in at all. I'm with Martin et al. expecting that "something" will come up.

  49. 49
    from the multiverse

    Nono, I think that Jeff's "How DARE you!" rants are perfectly justified, and can even be productive. It is the concept of hell that really got me questioning my own beliefs in the first place, and without people like Jeff to point out the obscenity of hell and other such atrocious concepts in Christianity, I might not have ever been able to recognize the truly immoral nature of the Bible.Sure, it won't convince Ray, but who the fuck cares about Ray? I'm concerned with the people who blindly follow Ray, and hoping that someone will open their eyes.

  50. 50
    Andrew

    my advice: bring a biologist and EVIDENCE: that means fossils, pictures of fossils, a powerpoint presentation with the DNA evidence and sources from journals…

  51. 51
    Andrew

    bring a plantain and a banana and compare them: and bring a banana expert if you can find one who can explain how we domesticated the banana. by the way, he has a $10 000 prize for anyone who shows him a transitional fossil: make a powerpoint with the best transitional fossils from talkorigins.org.

  52. 52
    Andrew

    he will play dumb re any crazy stuff you try to pin on him. so take notes on what he said and when so you can quote him.

  53. 53
    Gods_misled_children87110

    Ray makes all christian's look like idiots. I think the smarter, conservative ones living here in Albuquerque would rather not have him representing their kind. The people here basically disown/ignore him or any single person functioning as a representative of god/christ because they know that's impossible.

  54. 54
    The Invisible Pink Unicorn

    @ NathanThis was never about taking Ray down. Look at his blog, Atheist Central. The most prominent person I can think of is a user named Steven J. This guy is there every day, refuting as many lies, misrepresentations, and flat out stupid statements as one humanly can, and he is not doing it for Ray's sake, or the sake of his ilk. We do this for the fence-sitters, the uninitiated, the unsure even.He wouldn't be Ray Comfort if he wasn't gonna try to use a few tricks. Matt is great with dodgers, and I've brought the subject up with him several times. Matt is Neo, he is…The One.Okay, epic as that may be, he's still just a human who isn't guaranteed to "win" in any sense this Sunday. But go look on YouTube and see how Matt handles people who try to dishonestly debate. He nails them to the wall, and then tells them why.Sunday will be awesome, provided Ray actually calls.

  55. 55
    BathTub

    My number 1 piece of serious advice for the show is simply to tell Ray… Address my words and thoughts, don't tell me what Dawkins or PZ Myers thinks, or pretend you can read my mind and tell me what I think, And in return I won't put Fred Phelps words in your mouth. Ray loves arguing from Authority and practically explodes when people like PZ give him quotes he can use against atheists. But setting down the above limits his use of quote mines.He will drag out no end of quote mines, but then you just remind him of hs own blog entry where he himself said Athiests aren't a group you can summarize as 1 solid voice.

  56. 56
    Aridawn

    So I downloaded a sample of "You Can Lead An Atheist to Evidence" just to see what this guy is really about. Bwahahhahaha! I already have a page of notes where I, a super novice when it comes to debunking and recognizing fallacies, was able to point out exactly where he went wrong! I only got to read like six pages…but I would love to read more. I told my fiance that this would be a great way for a dunce like me to get an easy course in logical fallacies…because I love watching TAE and listening to the Non-Prophets…but frankly, you guys just graze the top of my head…and I'm left giggling at something Denis said while you are all on a new topic!!My idiocy aside, if Ray doesn't chicken out…you will make short work of him…

  57. 57
    Aridawn

    @Bathtub, I've noticed that, too. I mean, the very fact that he has an Einstein quote up on Atheist Central (give me a break). In his book he also used a commonly misused Hawking quote:"It would be very difficult to explain why the universeshould have begun in just this way, except as the actof a God who intended to create beings like us.” —STEPHEN HAWKINGGuess what, Ray…I can quote you out of context, too. Everyone, this is pretty much the jist of what I got out of Ray's latest blog post:"Atheists are…love…" –Ray Comfort

  58. 58
    Apostulous

    @AridawnDont feel bad that you didnt read the whole thing. I was lucky and got Ray sent me a free, autographed copy if it, along w/ a copy of his version of On the Origin of Species.It's the same tripe that he always says, and it's no surprise that he cant come up with a new idea that's not PRATT.One other thing: if you want to get a free copy of his book, check his blog frequently; it's where I learned that he was giving them out. I had to email him for it. I was so happy when I got it cause it added my second autograph from a major creationist [I got Kent Hovind's autograph also after mailing him in prison :p]

  59. 59
    Gene

    Ray: "Let me ask you something, Matt. Have you ever told a lie…"Matt: ""No, no, no, no. You're done!"

  60. 60
    vanpastel

    Ok, I'm staying up for the show this week instead of watching it on monday even thought the show starts quite late for me here in Spain, I definitely think it'll be worth it. Give him your best guys! I'm looking forward to it.

  61. 61
    Aridawn

    @Gene, I thought atheists were non-prophetic…@Apostulous, I was just saying that I should write to Ray and ask for a copy…then I wouldn't have to feel hinky about paying for it. I guess it could be worth a shot.

  62. 62
    MAtheist

    I think something is wrong with me, I feel a bit sorry for Ray. Maybe I need a banana, but they do scare me so.

  63. 63
    Lister_of_SMEG

    I presume Ray will be on phone and not watching the feed. So can someone please bring a banana to have on the desk during the show ?Has anyone called aronra to ask wot hes doing this sunday ? I'd cheerfully chip in for gas for his bike.

  64. 64
    farmboy

    Ooh! Having AronRa on the show when Ray calls would be perfect! Ray would never get away with spewing his uneducated lies about evolution and then Matt would nail him on all the logical fallacies that leave his mouth. They would make the perfect team to debate Ray, but I think Jeff might make a great wingman too, especially if he does the same as he did last time, asking that tremendous question: "Why are you so eager to have us be enemies?" That was terrific and cut straight to the point.The only way Ray can win this if he cheats and lies. And sadly, that's all he's ever done.

  65. 65
    sans_Dieu

    Here's a idea: If he doesn't call, use all the time on his most used arguments and trash them.

  66. 66
    bdw3000

    If he doesn't call, hopefully Richard Dawkins will call again. Here is his first call to the show – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUPbgQtYpNY&feature=related

  67. 67
    Jeremiah

    Can't say I'm optimistic this will actually happen. Also, if it does I'm a bit worried Ray's intentions may be to only answer the questions emailed into the show in a strict way and then refuse to answer Matt or Jeff's rebuttals to back up his response to the email. The man is practically incompetent you guys, I don't really expect Matt or Jeff to be able to nail Ray on any points because Ray won't deviate from the script and will simply pretend not to hear/ say that God say's he's right etc. Should be fun to watch though.

  68. 68
    The Invisible Pink Unicorn

    Go check out Ray's blog. He posted about the show again.

  69. 69
    BathTub

    It's full of Ray's standard BS. There are plenty of people waiting to debate him. He runs after people who don't want to debate him, then issues press releases crowing about how they don't want to. eg Dawkins, SANE @ Berkley…Then ignores the people that want to debate him. AETV, Aron Ra, Abbie Smith, etc…

  70. 70
    Martin

    Well, he's no longer avoiding us, at any rate.

  71. 71
    BathTub

    Is Jeff able to make it or will someone else be co-hosting?

  72. 72
    Martin

    It's Matt and Russell.

  73. 73
    Aridawn

    Did anyone even look at Ray's script? Dan and I tried to read it and it was super idiotic!!! If he does stick to the script, this'll be a short call with absolutely no climax. It'll be like logical blue balls….

  74. 74
    Hermes

    Folks, please rein in your enthusiasm and remember the fiasco that Thunderf00t walked into. Ray can't be trusted and he is skilled at selling his wares, even if he doesn't believe what he's saying from moment to moment.

  75. 75
    Kate M. S.

    It appears to be happening already.I don't know the specifics of the arrangemnt on Sunday, but over on his blog Ray is saying that he will pick up when TAE calls … so if anyone is expecting a call from him (and maybe I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that's what's supposed to be happening) it probably won't occur.And then, of course, he'll tell all of his sheep how it was TAE who chickened out. I wouldn't be surprised if he's planned two or three shenanigans to get him out of the actual debate while making it seem like he was trying to make it happen.But if it does happen, it should be good. Have fun with this one, Matt and Russell!

  76. 76
    Los

    Kate wrote: "over on his blog Ray is saying that he will pick up when TAE calls"I noticed this as well. I'm hoping, of course, that some arrangements were made and that the hosts will be "getting Ray on the line" before the show goes on the air.I'm imagining that the show will begin with Comfort already on the phone and that the entire hour will be devoted to an interview/debate.

  77. 77
    farmboy

    Are you a good person? Do you want to be a good person? Than KNEEL before Zod!And if you don't you'll be thrown into the Phantom Zone.And if we don't like being threatened into obedience than it's somehow our fault and not Zod's. I'm expecting this to be Ray's main argument. Just look at the trees!

  78. 78
    Donny Gonzo

    Just don't let him go on and on without stopping him just because he is famous. Treat him like the other theists that say stupid stuff on your show. Call them out on it.

  79. 79
    bdw3000

    Let's get ready to RUMBBBBBBLLE!!!

  80. 80
    Jolly

    I'm making some Atheist Nightmare Bread to go with the show. Yum!

  81. 81
    Winston

    Is Ray more or less callous than WLC?

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