Because you just love it when we share our emails


There’s a fine art to trolling, I am discovering. And when you’re an intensely devout evangelical type with a really awesome stack of scripture quotes and (what you don’t quite grasp are) fallacies that you can’t wait to unload on some pain-in-the-ass online atheists who think they’re so smart, it’s best if you first make sure you’re bringing your trolling A-game. Because you’d better know we will.

In this spirit, allow me to excerpt the more entertaining bits of a recent email exchange we’ve been having with a gentleman named Travis. This is edited for brevity, as Travis is one of those guys who thinks that we will actually read all the way through an email containing enough Bible quotes to fill War and Peace.

[…]

He begins:

How atheism is dead? Lets take a look on how by pointing out to creation. (By the way if you do believe in that nonsense called evolution, here are it’s two hearts that destroy it: time and mutations. Mutations are very rare and at times cause death. Time is not on evolution’s side, it fact it weakens it and mocks it. Take for example you have a old computer, and you take it apart. You put it into a box and shake it. Without touching that box how long will it take to put that computer back in that box? 10 years, 100 years, 1,000 years? Never, because time mocks evolution)

How the Earth was formed: [Three Bible passages.]

Interlude (The Fall of Lucifer changing into Satan) [Two Bible passages.]

Interlude Ended (Back To Creation) [Four Bible passages.]

Conclusion [Passage from Isaiah.]

How God created the rest of earth for seven days

First Day: [And he just goes on like this a whole lot more.]

Russell replied:

Dear Travis,

Thank you for taking the time to copy and paste your favorite passages from a book you like. As a way of showing my gratitude, I will now send you something from a book I like too, and that will seal our friendship.


Russell Glasser
The Atheist Experience

[Several pages from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland pasted.]

Some days later, Travis replies, none too pleased.

You think the Bible is a game? It is a warning but also a fact your kind is so ignorant that the god of this world (Satan) has fooled you. I believe you don’t like to be fooled by him don’t you, right? Answer this with your humanistic reason, why have many people died over the fact of sin and lived with it like a disease they get rid of? Bible has an answer for that: they are consumed by their own lusts by their heart and they have been alienated from the Word of Truth. How about you look beyond your eyes, because it has shown many times by you atheists have been fooled by your own eye sight. It sickens me what you do and how you do it. Let me explain, you say their is no God yet you treat your brain like a god, you have this thing called rationalization as a god, and you treat yourself like a god. It’s ironic on what ou say yet in secret you worship yourself. You don’t bow down to yourself but it’s the way you act. It’s called hypocrisy in another sense. Why is it you advocates of hell say this, “Join us or we’ll curse you and bash you”? Last time I checked, as an American I have my first amendment freedom. Also as a human I have free will. What I don’t get is how you atheists want to dimish that free will in people. Are you afraid people will soon know the Bible is truth and, atheism has been lying since it’s birth (1300 A.D. around the renaissance time).

[And there’s another paragraph following this where he tries to prove more stuff with Bible quotes.]

So I wrote him back this time.

Dear Travis,

Cool story, bro. Thanks for sharing!

Please enjoy this picture of a bunny.

Best,
Martin
Atheist Experience

We could do this shit all day.

How was your morning?

[PS: In the spirit of fairness, Matt has given him a slightly more serious and respectful reply, which I’m sure Travis will think about very, very deeply.]

Comments

  1. says

    Mutations are very rare and at times cause death.

    In the name of the Lloyd. Most mutations are virtually undetectable.

    All it requires, during the combination of parent DNA, is for one copy error of one pair, and *poof* you have a mutation.

    Sure, it may only result in your fingernails being 1mm longer, or your skin pigment to change from #e5f0ef to #e6f0ef – but it happened. Some are beneficial, some are detrimental, most are benign.

    This guy’s characterization of a mutation is that you’re born with two heads or something. No – that’s when the DNA combination gets chemically napalmed.

  2. jacobfromlost says

    Some weirdo (purported theist) in the chat Sunday kept sending me private messages, made a couple very bad drive-by arguments, then asked me if it would be ok for him to post are discussion on some faith board as he really thought he got one over on me (this was after about three minutes of discussion that I was only half attending to).

    I ignored the request, then proceeded to rip him apart (rhetorically). After I explained how neurology indicates no evidence for a soul, and that I certainly am not a “material reductionist” (he claimed I was, and I explained how we could easily have physical evidence of nonphysical souls, if nonphysical souls were real–or at least identify evidence that was highly suggestive such a thing existed), he countered that he could explain how his god claims were falsifiable because they were logically consistent. A few moments after that he claimed his god claims were unfalsifiable, so I called him dishonest for claiming they were falsifiable moments before.

    Then he was confused and demanded a quote where he said such a thing. I then supplied the quote.

    Then I had to explain what “falsifiable” meant, how lots of logically consistent things don’t (and can’t simultaneously) exist, and how he was really bothering me because I was trying to watch the show.

    Then I told him he could post our conversation on his religious website, lol. I have yet to find it posted anywhere, though. (I can’t remember exactly what site he said.)

    P.S. And now I have Dale corresponding with me daily once again, just because I saw him on AE and commented on his youtube vid. Thanks a lot AE. :-P

  3. says

    Gratuitous Python quote

    TIM: There he is!

    ARTHUR: Where?

    TIM: There!

    ARTHUR: What, behind the rabbit?

    TIM: It is the rabbit.

    ARTHUR: You silly sod!

    TIM: What?

    ARTHUR: You got us all worked up!

    TIM: Well, that’s no ordinary rabbit!

    ARTHUR: Ohh.

    TIM: That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

    ROBIN: You tit! I soiled my armor I was so scared!

    TIM: Look, that rabbit’s got a vicious streak a mile wide! It’s a killer!

  4. TX_secular says

    What did the computer in a box story represent? That is the second dumbest argument I’ve heard today and it’s only 4:30 CT (the first is McLeroy discussing atheism on Colbert which I watched this morning-aired 4/23).

    The bunny pic was a nice touch.

  5. CompulsoryAccount7746 says

    Thank you for taking the time to copy and paste your favorite passages from a book you like. As a way of showing my gratitude, I will now send you something from a book I like too, and that will seal our friendship.

    *wipes away a tear*
    That was beautiful.

  6. says

    It’s a black hole of stupidity characterization of how evolution supposedly works – i.e. that it operates by chance combinations instead of descent with modification filtered through natural selection.

  7. 'Tis Himself says

    you say their [sic] is no God yet you treat your brain like a god, you have this thing called rationalization as a god, and you treat yourself like a god. It’s ironic on what ou [sic] say yet in secret you worship yourself. You don’t bow down to yourself but it’s the way you act.

    It’s obvious this guy is arguing with the straw atheist which lives in his head. I don’t worship myself either in public or in secret. I’m fully aware of my foibles, faults and failings and they are hardly godlike.

  8. Snowshoe the Canuck says

    The bunny clinched for me. PZ can take his false squid- god and have calamari for dinner. All hail his Bunnyness!

  9. jacobfromlost says

    You mean evolution doesn’t predict that you can put all the chemical constituents of a person in a blender, and after 4 billion years of blending have a man crawl out?

  10. cswella says

    Russell’s response reminds me of that “Bslash26″ guy who tried to pay a bill with a picture of a spider.

  11. echidna says

    Oh, I’d say you were better than godlike, ‘Tis. Compared to the Middle-Eastern arsehole of a god who can’t prevail against iron chariots, anyway.

  12. Agemaki says

    That bunny is soooooo cute. Now I *know* there is a god, and it has big round dark eyes.

  13. Alex says

    One cannot know the state of the computer in the box. In fact it is simultaneously in all the possible states it can be, including the functional ones.

  14. 1000 Needles says

    Thank you for taking the time to copy and paste your favorite passages from a book you like. As a way of showing my gratitude, I will now send you something from a book I like too, and that will seal our friendship.

    This was the best laugh I’ve had all day. You guys rock.

  15. says

    I get similar emails as responses to my blog—this brings one question to the forefront of the discussion: Is it imperative that evangelicals skip English Comp or any other sort of grammar class? Aside from their insane logic, I have yet to get an email from a fundie that made any sense grammatically.

  16. says

    Matt basically just schooled the idiot on the fact he’s a former fundamentalist who was training for the ministry, and not only does he almost certainly know far more about scripture than Travis does, he also used to teach it. And so there’s not a single thing Travis could tell Matt about the Bible that Matt isn’t already leveled up on.

  17. says

    I always find it interesting how people can deny that evolution exists and is responsible for changes over time while at the same time there are whole industries (e.g., pesticides) which are forced to deal with exactly the problems caused by evolution *every* *day*!

    Of course, you only post these particular emails because they’re so totally uneducated as to be entertaining; in the same way a small child can be entertaining due to their lack of understanding. Education is such an overlooked thing in this world. It’s a pity…

  18. says

    One might point out that they’re probably poes, but my question becomes – are there really waves upon waves of atheist trolls attacking all blogs everywhere?

    I can see an occasional troll, but we’re talking about some kind of army of atheist trolls in an apparent organized effort.

    … or they really are incoherent theists.

  19. jacobfromlost says

    I have this hypothesis that human thinking (ie, how people actually think) is a partnership of analytical/critical thinking, and emotional “thinking”.

    If the critical thinking part of that partnership is atrophied, either from lack of use or lack of innate ability (I’m convinced the vast majority of the time it is lack of use that, after a certain age, could be lost forever), then the emotional thinking takes over the “critical thinking” too. If you are in a culture that reinforces the emotional thinking, and shuns the critical thinking, then any time a problem comes up that requires critical thinking the problem gets shunted to the emotional thinking, and “Climate change isn’t happening, trickle down economics works, and people have the freedom to choose never to get sick by praying to Jesus and thus shouldn’t be required to buy health insurance by socialist Nazis.”

    And a side effect of shunting most of your analytical thinking/critical thinking to the Emotional Thinking Department is that your spelling simply becomes how you feel words should be spelled–spelling rules, spelling consistency, clarity of thought, etc, all becomes totally inconsequential (and not even considered) because nothing is being referred to a more rigorous thought process.

    Just my hypothesis. It could be wrong.

  20. says

    Sometimes I wonder what theists would do if everyone in the world woke up and converted to their religion, and only their specific denomination of that religion. Something tells me they would find something new to argue about. But really, if they expect me to convert to a religion that wishes me eternal pain and suffering simply because I refuse to bow to an invisible 2000 year old father figure, and claim its in the name of said father figures love for me, then they can burn in their own self righteous, self proclaimed, self made ignorance. I’d rather be a good person :)

  21. annabucci says

    “Sometimes I wonder what theists would do if everyone in the world woke up and converted to their religion, and only their specific denomination of that religion.”

    That would be sooo epicly awesome.

  22. rowanvt says

    It boggled me when I discovered that a woman who breeds morphs of corn snakes…. did not believe in evolution. She selectively breeds mutations…. but evolution doesn’t happen at all.

    I just. There are no words.

  23. N. Nescio says

    Seconded. That is hands-down the best response to a ‘wall-o-bible-quotes’ that I have seen. Well done.

  24. Mike M says

    Time Mocks Evolution would be a good name for a band…or at least no worse than Limp Bizkit or Hootie and the Blowfish.

  25. says

    It’s the thing I really don’t get with people like this. Ok, so they have different views on this and that, they accept the existence of a god for (in my view) quite poor reasons, they may be vague on what actually constitutes a reasonable argument, etc

    However, surely we should all be able to agree that if you’re going to disagree with a position, it might be a good idea to know at least the very basics of what that position is, right? It’s not really that much to ask, is it?

    In my experience, the more people disagree with evolution, the less they actually know about it. I’m sure there are exceptions, but by and large, creationists all seem fundamentally ignorant on the subject.
    More importantly, they stubbornly refuse to be corrected. No matter how many times you point out a misconception, they stick with their strangely deformed version of evolution.

    I was just thinking about this and it occurred to me that I can’t think of a single case where I’ve corrected a creationist and they’ve responded with “Ok, so what is your position, then?” It’s like they don’t even care about getting it right.

    I’ve been working on the idea that the real problem in these debates is that the question of god is perceived in a very different manner by the different sides.
    To atheists/skeptics/rationalists, god is a hypothesis. A possible explanation that we need to investigate, discuss and consider, before coming to a conclusion.
    To many theists, god is an axiom. God exists. Done. It’s not actually up for discussion. Furthermore, since the existence of god is accepted axiomatically, arguments that go against it can be rejected simply because they’re against it.
    If you’re arguing against the existence of god, you’re wrong. They don’t really need to look at your arguments, examine the evidence or even stop to think for a moment. They know you must be wrong because you’re arguing against something that’s axiomatically true.

    In this sense, it’s much as if someone presents you with a mathematical formula and in looking over the formula, you discover that if the formula is correct, then it follows that 2 + 2 = 17
    Naturally, you’d reject such a proposed formula. Even if you couldn’t identify the exact error, you’d know that there was one because 2+2 just can’t equal 17. It’s not possible. It goes against the definitions of the terms.

    I think the theist position is similar to this, which has important implications.
    First, they’re not being irrational. In fact, their reasoning is perfectly rational. There’s nothing irrational at all about rejecting an argument if the conclusion goes against an axiom. That’s quite reasonable. The only irrational part is the acceptance of the axiom itself and the refusal to examine its axiomatic status.
    Second, since the problem isn’t a lack of intelligence or ability to reason, being intelligent or reasonable doesn’t necessarily inoculate you from the effects of religion. This explains why we sometimes have quite intelligent, well-educated people saying some awful nonsense.
    Third, we’re not getting anywhere until we can first get them to agree that the question of god’s existence is actually something that’s up for discussion; not just as a means for preaching, but really, truly up for discussion. We have to get them to accept that god’s existence is not a premise, but a potential conclusion and as such, to reach the conclusion, evidence and argument must be provided.
    Fourth, this would also indicate why it’s so effective to get religion into children early. If you can get them to accept the axiom before they’ve developed critical thinking skills, the axiom will stick around, even after they’ve learned enough to reject it. If it gets in early, it gets behind the critical shields and can influence the rational mind from the inside, safe from critique.

    Pardon the rant. I think better when I’m trying to explain my ideas. Work in progress, comments welcome.

  26. says

    That’s actually one of my arguments against the Pascal’s Wager “what’s the harm in just believing?”

    As you say, critical thinking is a skill – a habit – that must be maintained and practiced. Faith interferes with that. So what I say is “Faith dulls a thinking mind”.

    The other ways faith harms us is (but without taking into account any specific dogma):

    1) Encouraging wasting time on stupid things instead of important things

    2) Placating people in bad situations to the point they don’t do anything to improve their situations

    3) Maintains a sympathetic environment for those with more extreme views, who take more direct harmful actions

  27. Yellow Thursday says

    I was trying to figure out if “in secret you worship yourself” was coded language for masturbation.

  28. Otrame says

    I think some evidence for your hypothesis is that fact that so many theists can’t quite wrap their heads around the idea that we really don’t believe in gods. We’re “angry at God” or “in rebellion (so we can do kicky sex stuff*) or “we worship Darwin/evolution/Dawkins/ourselves”.

    *. As if being devout means you don’t do kicky sex stuff anyway.

  29. Edward Norkett says

    Corn snakes breeding corn snakes is hardly evolution. Ever seen finches breeding falcons or pigeons breeding parrots, now that would be evolution! If you can’t get a bird to evolve into a bird, where their phisiology is very close, what chance have you of getting a reptile to to evolve into a bird with a completly different phisiology? If evolution were true we would be knee deep in the fossils of the intermediate stages. PS I’m into herpetology myself.

  30. Edward Norkett says

    and I explained how we could easily have physical evidence of nonphysical souls. Tell me more.

  31. says

    Breeding is evolution, just not evolution on a large scale. If you breed a tomato strain that’s larger or a differnent color – that’s evolution in play.

    Evolution is the change in allele frequency over the generations.

    Many people don’t understand the connection between “mirco” and “macro” evolution (though technically those don’t exist). If one can agree that “mirco” evolution can produce results like different bone sizes/ratios, more or less hair, etc, then the mere combination of multiple “micro” evolution iterations would account for the differences between a cat and a human.

    Humans are just cats with less fur, different leg bone length ratios, longer “fingers”, shorter claws, and shorter tails. Outside of that, cats and humans are incredibly similar.

    If you can’t get a bird to evolve into a bird, where their phisiology is very close

    … what? Is this some bizarre mischaracterization of evolution?
    A parent gives birth to a child that is only slightly different from her. Evolution has happened and is very close in physiology.

    , what chance have you of getting a reptile to to evolve into a bird with a completly different phisiology?

    The point is that they don’t have completely different “phisiology” – they’ve very similar (Most dinosaurs weren’t reptile, by the way).

    If evolution were true we would be knee deep in the fossils of the intermediate stages

    1) We do have many transitional fossils.

    2) Technically, we’re all transitional forms. Every individual creature that have ever existed, but I assume you mean specifically from one major type of creature into another – but we do have those anyway.

    3) Fossilization is a rare process, which, outside of whether evolution were true or not, would severely limit how many examples we have to work with. It’s not like every bone ever has fossilized.

  32. says

    Not a bad idea. Whole world wakes up the same religion, and those that were always trying to convert people end up bored and hating it. So they find new things to argue about. Oh well, let someone else right it.

  33. says

    Ever seen finches breeding falcons or pigeons breeding parrots, now that would be evolution!

    Actually, that would be evidence against evolution. Evolution doesn’t predict that a member of one species will suddenly give birth to a member of a different species and modern species do not evolve into other modern species.

    What evolution predicts is that over time, we’ll see genetic change in populations. That this is possible is an established fact. That this process can produce novel characteristics is an established fact.
    The idea that for some reason there should be a limit to the amount of change a species can undergo is not an established fact. Rather, it’s absolute horseshit. Nothing that we know about genetics suggests such a limit and nobody has ever been able to provide a possible mechanism for this sort of thing.

    If you can provide such a mechanism and use it to make a testable prediction, please let me know. That’s how science works, after all. Not just by pulling some vaguely-phrased possibility out of your ass and then asserting that it’s true, but by supporting your ideas with evidence and allowing them to be tested.

    Can you provide any evidence in support for why we should believe that there is such a limit?
    Can you explain any kind of plausible mechanism for it?
    Can you provide a testable hypothesis based on your idea?

    I think we all know the answer to that.

  34. says

    A parent gives birth to a child that is only slightly different from her. Evolution has happened and is very close in physiology.

    I’d like to modify my statement. It’s arguable whether that’s one iteration of evolution, or whether the child would have to make it through natural selection to reproduction first, or not – but that’s immaterial to the point.

    Secondly, going back to the dinosaur bit…

    It’s not like this strange little yellow bird I photographed this morning is the descendant of a triceratops or some ancient alligator thing.

    All of modern birds evolved from bird like dinosaurs at the time. Out of all the dinosaurs that existed, alongside the newer mammalian/rodent things, were the most likely to survive. They were small and efficient and, specially for these flying dinosaurs, very mobile – all of which would have helped survive the mass extinction.

    And all these “bird-like dinosaurs” were was regular small up-right dinosaurs with webbing (sort of like our flying squirrels of today). All it’d take is some scales to be longer and lighter before they turn into feather-like structures.

    Once you break this transition down, it becomes incredibly easy to trace the path, each step of the way in which would conform to “micro” evolution, from beginning to end.

    This isn’t a problem.

  35. Captain Mike says

    I worship myself and encourage the same in others, but I don’t make a secret out of it. Also, so what? I’m clearly a thing that exists. Faith isn’t required.

  36. Jag says

    Yes, indeed.

    I swear, sometimes it’s as if they think we had a bad breakup with a significant other or some such nonsense. They can’t wrap their head around the idea that we simply don’t believe. And that belief isn’t a choice, it’s a belief; therefor not something I can just “change my mind” about.

  37. Skip White says

    Saying that we treat ourselves as a god is just silly. We as humans have the capacity to make up all kinds of gods. Therefore, we’re not gods ourselves, but meta-gods.

  38. jacobfromlost says

    1) I outlined it in message 3.
    2) I’m now not sure if Edward Norkett is the same person.
    3) I can’t tell if Norkett’s post on evolution was supposed to be “ironic” or serious. Some here apparently thought it was serious also.
    4) It looks as if he forgot to put quotes around part of a sentence from my post, then he wrote “tell me more” after it, which confused me.
    5) I’m still confused. I don’t know if Norkett is an atheist, a theist, or the theist I argued with in chat.
    6) My point in the sentence he seemed to quote without quotation marks was that in principle, if nonphysical souls were real, we could have physical evidence of them that would be highly suggestive such a thing existed. I can easily imagine nonphysical soul claims that could be tested with falsifiable methodology, and pass the test if they were real. (One might be the dude who called AE who said he had “out of body experiences” every night, and tested this experience by putting a random playing card in another room without looking at it. The next time he went “out of his body” he went to the card, looked at it, and after awaking went to confirm it was the same card. It wasn’t. If it WERE the same card, we could make the testing more rigorous and repeat again and again, and the more times it passed, the more supported would be the claim of a soul out of body.)

  39. says

    JT–I am not sure if it is organize trolling, but they seem to want to “save” us atheists and there is probably not an easier method or confrontation free target than email. I would venture to guess that is why most of the communications I get from Christians is in email form and not as a blog comment. If it were a blog comment then any and all readers could respond and that might be scary.

    Interesting hypothesis jacobfromlost…I would agree that the hate mail from trolls is most certainly written from an emotional state. The rest of what you said I need to think on for a bit…but it is certainly interesting…

  40. redpanda says

    When you say that most dinosaurs were not reptiles, do you mean that they wouldn’t fit within the Linnean definition of reptile? Because from a phylogenetic sense dinosaurs were all indeed modified reptiles, as are birds and mammals.

  41. says

    It doesn’t help that “dinosaur” is a very broad category to begin with.

    I more meant in how we consider reptiles now – an important aspect of which is cold blooded cardiovascular systems.

    They couldn’t pull off running around up on legs if they weren’t at least mostly warm-blooded.

  42. Jdog says

    I’m still disappointed that Austin never went with the voted-in name for their solid waste services department, the “Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts”.

  43. Rick says

    Wow, you guys are like cats. You play with your pray rather than put it out of its misery.

    More importantly, why take the time and the energy to engage, in any manner, individuals that are clearly just not going to get it. In an indirect way we atheist lend credibility to their position simply by our acknowledgement of their crap and engagement with them.
    Engage the leaders, leave the sheep to follow.

  44. AJ Green says

    In much the same way that we have a current generation that do not know what the word “rewind” means, pretty soon we shall have a generation that do not know what the word God means.

  45. derekmeyers says

    Atheism has been around for far longer than 1300 A.D. (Just as far back as Socrates). I don’t find myself arrogant when I can think for myself or even question certain things that doesn’t feel right. I feel sad for Travis and many others who are still caught up in the “Matrix”. He definitely needs to take that red pill, it works wonders.

  46. says

    I’m not so sure about that. Part of the reason I started reevaluating things is that a coworker took the time to engage with me. As a result of that conversation, I realized that I didn’t really have any good arguments for what I believed. It planted a seed that grew into the mighty tree of my current awesome self.

    Disabusing people of their delusions is no easy task. It’s definitely a long-term process, but I think it’s possible to, over time, lay the stones for a rational foundation, one conversation at a time.

    Besides, debating with the rank and file lets you sharpen your arguments, so you’re better prepared to take on the leaders if you get the chance. First you fight the goblins and level up, then you go for the wizard’s tower. So to speak :)

  47. Brony says

    I’m a good example of evolution.
    http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2010/06/tourettes.php

    I have Tourettes and that makes me what I would describe as “procedurally obsessed” with language. As a result I tend to be really good at pointing out deception in arguments, spotting logical fallacies, and best of all It does awesome things to my research skills. So Mr. Norkett, how am I not a good example of evolution? I have at least one mutation, and it provides me with a selective advantage with writing.

    In the right environment someone with Tourettes can do really awesome things. This guy has had a permanent affect on our language and probably defined it in ways that it would be impossible to properly estimate.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Johnson

  48. Robert says

    They should totally add some sort of prophecy-reading as a skill in WoW.

    But really, +22 int for someone who has 525 in a profession? o.O Seems awfully low.

  49. TBRP says

    I had a similar experience with someone on Youtube. They sent me this lovely piece of drek:

    I would like to share some piece of information with you,

    The concept of God Man existed even before he was born and will continue to exist after death. He did not create himself but he has been created before he knew himself. The inanimate objects around him did not create him because he is a rational being whereas they are not. Everything in this universe has bean created from nothingness by one God,

    Man has not chosen the family in which he was born. If we to follow the true religion of God, then that religion should be of our choosing, it should not be something we inherited from our parents. So it is the case if your parents are Hindus your concept of God is Hindu concept , and likewise if they are Christians or Jews or Muslims.

    How could man know that his parent’s religion and their concept of God are right, though all humans have the same origin and only one true God?

    The concept of God in Islam

    Chapter 112 The Noble Qur’an

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

    Say (O Muhammad (SAW)): “He is Allâh(God), (the) One. (1) “Allâh-us-Samad [Allâh the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)]. (2) “He begets not, nor was He begotten;[] (3) “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” (4)

    Interpretation

    (1) Which means “Say” a decisive statement which you believe in and be aware of, “He is Allah, (the) One” which means, the oneness is confined in him, he is the one who posses alone perfection, Who has the most beautiful names, and perfect supreme attributes, holy deeds. He is unexampled and matchless.

    (2) “Allah-us-Samad” [Allah the Self-Sufficient Master] whom all creatures need, All the habitants of the upper and lower world are in utmost need of him. They ask him for their needs, and seek him for their concerns, because He is perfect in his attributes, He is the all-knowing whose knowledge is perfect, He is the most-forbearing whose forbearance is perfect, the most-merciful whose mercy is perfect and embraces all thing and as well all his attributes.

    (3) And of his perfection that “He begets not, nor was He begotten” due to the perfection of his opulence [freedom of all needs]

    (4) “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” Neither in his names and attributes nor in his deeds. Glory be to God

    So this chapter establishes the oneness of God.

    I figured “hey, I can play that game too!” and replied back with the following:

    I would like to share some piece of information with you,

    The concept of Gandalf. Man existed even before he was born and will continue to exist after death. He did not create himself but he has been created before he knew himself. The inanimate objects around him did not create him because he is a rational being whereas they are not. Everything in this universe has bean created from nothingness by Gandalf,

    Man has not chosen the family in which he was born. If we to follow the true religion, then that religion should be of our choosing, it should not be something we inherited from our parents. So it is the case if your parents are Hindus your concept of Gandalf is Hindu concept, and likewise if they are Christians or Jews or Muslims.

    How could man know that his parent’s religion and their concept of God are right, though all humans have the same origin and only one true Gandalf?

    The concept of God (Gandalf) in Tolkeinism

    Chapter “The Shadow of the Past” from The Noble Lord Of The Rings

    “What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!” [said Frodo] “Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. (1) Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, (2) because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.(3)” [said Gandalf]

    Interpretation

    (1) Two different uses of the word ‘Pity’ show that Gandalf is the master of all communications.

    (2) Bilbo Baggins (mithril be upon him), Gandalf’s holy disciple, was untouched by the evil he held by the grace of Gandalf. Because of his service, he was permitted to retire restfully into the house of Elrond.

    (3) Thus Pity is a beginning and ending emotion. When Gandalf created the world, and when Sauron comes at the end of time to destroy it, Pity will be in their hearts. So this chapter establishes the importance of Pity in the heart of Gandalf.

    I’m still sad that they didn’t try to continue the conversation.

  50. says

    It is difficult to read Travis’ emails and not conclude that he is clinically insane in some way. I am not saying this to dismiss him, I truly believe that he is crazy and deserves both sympathy and observation… The bunny was cute.

  51. b9 says

    Computers don’t assemble themself, they’re assembled by people and machines. So not only would you have to throw the parts of the computer into the box before shaking it, but also a bunch of people and machines, for the analogy to be somewhat correct.

  52. LifeInTraffic says

    I was just having a discussion about something like this with my fiance the other day, but you put it much more eloquently than either of us could. We are transplants to a very religious area, and it’s been a culture shock for us. It’s taken us a while to realize that we are, quite literally, walking around in a different reality from almost everyone around us.

  53. jacobfromlost says

    Dale has tweaked his “there is no god” means “there is a god” argument. Since this thread is about crazy email, I hope it is notn off topic. My brief exchange with him today:

    Dale: your a Theist because the word Theist is found in Atheist right take A out of Atheist and the word Theist is there right have u can go Blue in your face but Theist is in the word Atheist

    Me: The word “is” is in the word “atheist” also, must take out the A, the T, the H, the E, and the T. Therefore, who you are IS an atheist.

    Dale: why have the A there in the first place if Atheist do not believe in God why would the person who thought of the word Atheist have Theist in Atheist if i offended u forgive me OK u have a nice day

    Me: And apolitical people are actually political, and asocial people are actually social.

    Dale, did you know you are made of beer? Just take out the D and you are ale. Is this is why your spelling is so bad? You are drunk with yourself?

  54. Alareth says

    I had a fundie co-worker one that seemed to grasp the concept that I didn’t believe God existed, but was completely unable to come to terms with the fact that I also did not believe in Satan.

  55. Gwynn says

    CLASSIC!

    I’ve always kept “Why I Don’t Believe In God” fliers in my bag to pass back to the Christians handing out literature on street corners. (I tell them “eye for an eye” when I hand it to them. They get touchy when atheists quote their book.)

    I think I’m going to trade them out for “Thanks For Sharing! Please Enjoy This Picture Of A Bunny” fliers instead.

    You guys rock.

  56. Paddy says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    A good laugh like that is priceless. Oh how I love to laugh like that. That response was absolutely brilliant, and damn, did it make me laugh.

    Sigh, laughter like that…nothing beats it. Thank you.

    And yes, the bunny in response #2 was awesome.

  57. Tony says

    Last night at my bar, as I was cleaning a few tables up, I found some of those wonderful “Jesus is awesome, read this scripture” pamphlets that believers leave with (and sometimes, sadly, *in place of*) tips. I took one and wrote “fuck Jesus” and “there is no god” and got a chuckle with a few coworkers (the only two atheists I actually know) about leaving these *with* our tips when we go out to eat. I know it would be offensive (though scribbling on a pamphlet just doesn’t measure up on the offense scale the way ostracizing, discriminating, stoning, and bullying do when dealt out by theists), but I don’t respect the vile christian belief system (nor any other religions or woo), so I can’t quite bring myself to care.

  58. JAVIER says

    THE ARGUMENT OF GOD WAS USED CENTURIES AGO WHEN THERE WAS NO WAY TO UNDERSTAND HOW NATURE WORKED,NOW THANKS TO SCIENCE WE KNOW A LOT MORE THINGS AND WE CAN TEST THEM IF NESSESARY, HOWEVER PEOPLE ARE STILL FAR TOO CHILDISH TO ACCEPT THE IDEA THAT EVERYTHING CAN BE EXPLAINED THROUGH PURE SECULAR MEANS AND THAT’S WHY WE STILL HAVE RELIGIOUS-BRAINWASHED PEOPLE AROUND US MAKING RIDICULOUS CLAIMS AND PROVIDING NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THEM.
    I’M FROM ARGENTINIA AND YOU MAY BE SURPRISED EVEN THOUGH IT’S A 3rd WORLD SOCIETY THE NUMBER OF SECULAR ATHEISTS AND FREE THINKERS IS INCREASING VERY FAST,EVEN SOME BELIEVERS TRY TO PASS FOR ATHEISTS OR NON-BELIEVERS TO AVOID BEING LAUGHED AT,IN FACT HERE WE HAVE EVOLUTION THEORY BEING TAUGHT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS ,LEGAL GAY MARRIAGE AND MANY OTHER THING ,WHEN I TRAVEL FOR THE FIST TIME TO USA I WAS SURPRISED I NEVER THOUGHT THAT THERE WERE SOOOOO MANY THEIST ,I’BEEN LIVING IN SPAIN BACK IN 2002 A COUPLE MONTHS AND I WAS ALSO SURPRISED WITH THE EXISTANCE OF RELIGIOUS FANATICS THERE AS WELL,ANYWAY ATHEISM IS THE FUTURE

  59. Andrew says

    “Thank you for taking the time to copy and paste your favorite passages from a book you like. As a way of showing my gratitude, I will now send you something from a book I like too.”

    That’s absolutely brilliant, I think that I’ll have to use that from now on.

  60. Edward Norkett says

    Ever seen finches breeding falcons or pigeons breeding
    parrots, now that would be evolution!

    Actually, that would be evidence against evolution.

    How can finches evolving into falcons etc be evidence against evolution?

    Can you provide a testable hypothesis based on your idea?

    I think we all know the answer to that.

    Bad language aside, genetics is testable. DNA strands can now be ‘read’. Referring to the corn snakes as a test subject. When a colour morph is developed it is the ability to generate colours that is effected, in fact the ability to generate certain colours is lost! In a wild situation this usually renders the colour morph more susceptible to predation or it mates with natural coloured individuals and the dominant genes replace the missing genes in the decendants.

    Modern spicies do not evolve into modern spiecies.

    Why not? If there are no limits!

    Variation within species is well known and is the result of the random combinations of the existing genes of the parent stock.
    That genetic information can be lost is proven and is used to produce the wide variation we see in captive bred animals.
    Can genetic information be gained and where would it come from? This can be tested by checking DNA.
    In a laboratory genes from one animal can be introduced into another, in natural reproduction you have the existing genes of the parents, these can combine in different ways but would not introduce any new genes and again this is testable by checking the DNA.

  61. says

    How can finches evolving into falcons etc be evidence against evolution?

    “Evolving” is fine. However, by “breeding”, I assumed you meant that it would happen over a relatively short amount of time. Your original complaint was that we hadn’t seen it. My point was that evolution takes time. We simply wouldn’t expect to see such a large change in the time we’ve been looking.

    So, two options:
    1) You meant breeding (fast change over a few generations), in which case, it would indeed be evidence against evolution
    2) You meant evolution (slower change over many generations), in which case your original complaint is invalid, since we haven’t been looking for long enough.

    Which is it?

    Bad language aside, genetics is testable. DNA strands can now be ‘read’.

    Indeed, which should make it easy for you to produce a testable hypothesis. Hop to it.
    You’re not providing a testable hypothesis. Here’s how it done:
    1) State your hypothesis
    2) State the prediction that follows from the hypothesis
    3) Check if the prediction is correct

    I’m not sure what your point is with the crap about color genes or why you think it should be any problem for evolution.

    Modern spicies do not evolve into modern spiecies.

    Why not? If there are no limits!

    Well, I suppose technically its possible, but it’s just outrageously unlikely. In fact, it’s so unlikely that, as far as we know, it has never previously occurred.

    Can genetic information be gained

    Yes, it can.

    and where would it come from?

    See if this sounds familiar: mutation combined with natural selection.

    This can be tested by checking DNA.

    And we have tested it and we have found that new genetic information can easily be generated without human interference. I refer you to the Lenski experiment which demonstrated not only new genetic information, but a brand new, functional gene that provided a selective advantage to the organism.

    I’m still not convince you really understand what you’re talking about.

    Btw, the blockquote tags are easy. They’re demonstrated just above the text box for posting.

  62. Edward Norkett says

    Hi, to set your mind at rest, I haven’t argued with anyone in chat, humble apologies for lack of punctuation, I’m not used to how this site works and will try and be more careful in future. Re out of body experience, I too would like nice tight testing methods unfortunately it’s a situation where control tests are the last thing on peoples minds. All we have to go on are the testimonies of people ‘back from the dead’ and how it affects their lives and interpretation of that data is wide open to personal opinion. If you want more information about me, ask and you will receive.

  63. Edward Norkett says

    “what’s the harm in just believing?”

    It doesn’t do anything. It effectively treats salvation as an insurance policy, an attitude I do not endorse.

    “critical thinking is a skill – a habit – that must be maintained and practiced”

    Definitely!!! The more you do the better you get, but you can still fall flat on you afterburner at times!

    “Faith dulls a thinking mind”

    Disagree. A friend of mine, Professor Roy Peacock whose field is thermal dynamics, has a very sharp mind and a strong faith. You can gooogle him to find out more. BUT I do know what you are referring to, fundamental Islam, ‘blind’ faith etc and as far as that goes, spot on.

    Points 1,2,3.

    Would you stop freedom of choice?

  64. Edward Norkett says

    LykeX, thank you for the blockquote tag hint, I will try and work out how to use them.

    “1)You meant breeding (fast change over a few generations), in which case, it would indeed be evidence against evolution”

    Again why?

    “2) You meant evolution (slower change over many generations), in which case your original complaint is invalid, since we haven’t been looking for long enough”

    How much time do you want?

    Dogs have been bred for thousands of years.
    Goldfish have been bred for thousands of years
    How many generations of fruit flies have been bred?
    I googled Lenski, E. coli long term evolution project. After more than 50,000 generations as far as I can tell, they still have E. coli. All they have done is develop another strain of the same bacteria (I believe there are hundreds of strains of E. coli, some harmless, some dangerous food poisoning pathogens), creationists would be quite happy with that predictable result

    Thanks for the tips on hypotheses.

    “State your hypothesis (with alternatives)”

    1) Is it possible to breed a dog with retractable claws?
    2) Is it possible to breed a dog with a third eyelid?
    3) Is it possible to breed a fruit fly with 4 wings?
    4) Is it possible to breed a fruit fly with 4 legs?
    5) Is it possible to breed a fruit fly that eats carrion with biting mouthparts?

    “State the prediction that follows from the hypothesis (in brief)”

    1) No
    2) No
    3) Yes
    4) Don’t know
    5) No

    Ref 3), If memory serves 4 winged fruit flies have been artificially induced by genetic modification but were not able to fly thus rendering them non viable
    Ref 4), With genetic manipulation fruit flies have been produced with legs (and eyes) in all sorts of odd places. To be valid the experiment would have to be done without this kind of intervention. Would a 4 legged fly still be an insect?

    “Check if the prediction is correct”

    Run the experiment, time wise the best choice would be the fruit flies but, as Isaac Newton still has an experiment running long after his death, the dog experiments could be ongoing.

    “I’m not sure what your point is with the crap about color genes or why you think it should be any problem for evolution.”

    The point was the loss of information! There are various cells that produce colour, google chromatophores and leucistic for a start. When the strain is ‘fixed’ the ability to produce 1 or more colours is lost, the remaining colours produce the amazing results. Patterns can also be selected for plus length of fins in fish etc.

    “Modern species evolving outrageous!”

    Coelacanths, crocodilians, sharks, turtles are these modern species or were they around with the dinosaurs, modern species or ancient?

    “Can genetic information be gained by mutation and natural selection?”

    Mutation, by definition, is of existing genes.
    Natural selection can only work on existing genes.
    The best you have is new combinations of existing genes.
    Re the Lenski experiment. I would need to further research that but, lets say you have a ‘new’ gene, if the information for this ‘new’ gene came from the parents, then it becomes a novel recombination of existing genes. Either way you started with E. coli and you finish with E. coli. Even if it is a new/novel strain.

    (Could not find the reply tag for LykeX so went to next one, appologies to JT (Generic), likewise the blockquote tags)

  65. Max says

    “Ladies and gentlemen I present to you a fine example of Rules of the Internet numbers 31 and 32.”

    Tits or GTFO????

  66. says

    For the first time in a few years I had some god-botherers knock on my door this morning. I grabbed my pink unicorn walking-stick and donned a dressing gown (I thought it was the neighbours; had I known who it was I would have removed my pyjamas instead, blow the freezing winter air) and opened up to two conservatively-dressed middle-aged women.

    We had the following conversation. I had a big, happy (or creepy; not sure which) grin throughout.

    “We are asking if people are interested in our bible-based magazine”.

    Me: “I am perfectly willing to listen to you discuss your Christianity, if you will promise to listen to me tell you about Pastafarianism.”

    “Ummmm…” (baffled looks).

    Me: “I mean, I am open to being converted to a Christian, if you are open to being converted to Pirates.”

    “Err” (glances at the whopping great pirate flag hanging from my front door (you’d think that would have been a big clue, along with the model of the Queen Anne’s Revenge being attacked by an octopus in my front room window) and backing down the steps with nervous smiles) “We’re not trying to convert anyone…”

    Me: “Goodbye!”

    “Goodbye.”

    =^_^=

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