How to guarantee that we hang up on you

This was the entirety of the second call we got yesterday:

Russell: “Corey in Schenectady, NY.”

Corey: “Hello?”

Jeff: “Hi Corey!”

Russell: “Hi, how are you?”

Corey: “Hi.  Uh, first thing’s first… this is to Jeff Dee, I don’t care about your opinion, nor do I respect it, so…”

Russell: “Oh okay, thanks for calling.”  [click]

So hey, guess what, we get email!


My name is Corey and I called yesterday. I said that I did not care about, nor respect, Jeff Dee’s opinion. I was calling just to speak with Rusty, and I should have been clear about that from the beginning. I do not know what the point of hanging up was though? Russell said I could call back if I apologized? I don’t know how that would change my perspective on Jeff? So, for what it’s worth, if you felt that I was rude…I apologize:(( crying

Ah, the classic notpology! Not only do we get the typical “I’m sorry if you were offended” line, but he even thought it would help make his point if he gave me a cute nickname!  We didn’t answer, so a few hours later he wrote again.

Hi! I e-mailed you early this morning and it was a little sarcastic. I really want you to know that I truly apologize for being rude yesterday; saying “I don’t respect Jeff’s opinion.” The point I wanted to make was that God exists whether or not you believe. I do not owe you proof for God’s existence nor does God. It is your choice to believe or not believe. Besides if you are looking for proof, what are you looking for anyway? A burning bush in your backyard, a talking turtle or a billboard on the highway that reads HI RUSSELL THIS IS GOD. LET’S TALK? Seriously, why do you demand proof when the rest of the world has to believe by faith? What makes you so different?


The rest of the world shouldn’t believe by faith. No one should believe anything they don’t have evidence for.


That’s your opinion…


Are you ever going to write anything of more substance than that?


Why so you can try to pick apart what I say? Why don’t you have that coward who hung up on me yesterday (Russell) e-mail me? This is my last email anyway to you that is.

So I wrote:

When I heard your first line on the phone, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be productive to talk to you because you might turn out to be an arrogant, self-absorbed, trash talking jackass.

None of the messages you’ve sent so far, including your first not-pology, have made me second guess that initial hunch.  I am delighted to have hung up on you, and I would do it again.

I’ll go ahead and let Corey have the last word on this one, as he can pretty much speak for himself.

You would gladly hang up on Me again, because you are a coward. Trust Me, you don’t want Me on your show. Please answer Me this and I will leave you alone. Question: Why is it o.k. for you guys to insult the intelligence of your callers, and be condescending, and belittle them. But when I do it to you I’m a jackass? Furthermore, apologizing will not change my perspective on Jeff Dee. I did not use profanity on your show and if I was rude, you were also for hanging up. I don’t expect an apology from you anyway. This is my last e-mail unless you answer my questions. God exists! A truth un-refuted remains the truth… And God nor I owe you anything! P.S. I did apologize. It may not be the apology you wanted, but nevertheless… I apologized.


  1. says

    And God nor I owe you anything!

    Spiderman still owes me ten bucks!

    If, however, this hominid wishes to convince me of anything, yes, they do owe me something – evidence.

  2. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    The capitalized “Me” is making me laugh. My SOMEONE thinks he’s mighty important, huh.

  3. Robert B. says

    Though come to think of it, why do we capitalize “I” but not “me”?They’re basically the same word, just in a different grammatical position.

  4. says

    I wonder if this guy recognizes that those different religions hold mutually exclusive beliefs on faith?

    Let’s say there’s only two religions – Islam and Christianity. Only one of them can be right. That means this” Faithemological framework” only has a 50% success rate, max.

  5. Foo says

    “I believe because I have faith” why do these people think just believing in something makes it true? Lol

  6. JamesM says

    Did he have a point anywhere in that? What opinions of Jeff Dee does he not respect? What do opinions have to do with god existing? Opinion is not fact. Faith is not truth. Intolerance of asshattery is not asshattery.

  7. Dorkman says

    If he doesn’t believe he owes you any evidence, he must not have been planning to give any, which means he was just calling to hear the sound of his own voice anyway.

    My favorite part is where he “threatens” to go away if you don’t answer him. Anything but that!

  8. says

    Unfortunately, this individual “sounds” (both from his phone call and his emails) like he suffers from a disability of some sort. That’s just a gut feeling from an online educator. I would, if he were my student, encourage his parents to have him tested. There’s something amiss. If I had to guess, my very, very unprofessional lay opinion would be an emotional disability. : /

  9. Tyrant al-Kalām says

    Surely sounds like a horrid narcissist with a hugely inflated sense of entitlement. Whether at a level that is “certifiable” is beyond what we can know.

  10. says

    Why would not talking to someone who isn’t going to provide any evidence make you a coward? Normally, the theists claim that you’re being cowards because they have awesome evidence that you’re afraid to hear. This guy thinks you’re somehow afraid of his complete refusal to provide evidence, which is just nutty.

  11. Alex says

    The capitalization of gave Me a laugh, too. This guy reeks of self-importance and closed-mindedness, and is probably not worth dealing with.

    Interesting point about I/me, though. Really, “I” should probably not be capitalized since none of the other personal pronouns are, but such is the joy of English.

  12. says

    “A truth un-refuted remains the truth.” Well, there you go. That sums up his whole view on theism: if you proclaim a thing to be true and you can’t refute that claim, then it’s true.

  13. hexidecima says

    how cute. Corey seems to be the type of Christian who is sure he can fool his god. Those are the best!

  14. RyGuy says

    Like, holy crap…. every time he wrote “me” in the emails it’s with a capital. And when people write about god it’s always with a capital “H”. He = Me!!!!

    Corey…. are, umm. Are you god?

  15. says

    Capitalization rules have varied greatly throughout the history of the English language. We no longer, for example, capitalize all or most nouns.

    My guess is that a lot of it has to do with aesthetics: it just *looks* better — or, rather, it looked better to certain people who made these decisions — to have a single “I” capitalized. Arguably it might have something to do with “I” being a subject pronoun and “me” being an object pronoun (and thus some subtle idea that there is an inherent dignity of the self as agent of an action)

  16. Otto says

    “It is your choice to believe or not believe.”

    Apparently since ‘beliefs’ are choices Corey can choose to believe he can fly and if he can’t fly it is his own fault.

  17. Comment1 says

    “I am delighted to have hung up on you, and I would do it again.”

    I sure hope I get a chance to say that one day.

    “Why so you can try to pick apart what I say?”

    Ha! Really makes you wonder what the guy was hoping for.

  18. kagekiri says

    Ah, lordy. Corey is yet another Christian who doesn’t know his own scriptures. “God nor I owe you anything”? Really.

    “God” says (through Paul) that the world (“creation”) is supposed to be absolute evidence of its Creator, which is why atheists are so evil (we’re apparently pretending that the obvious evidence doesn’t exist, and hence are just pretending not to believe so we can be evil…fucking Paul).

    This is the argument also advanced by CS Lewis and other apologist/preacher types, saying that just believing there’s a god because you looked at nature would be enough even if you didn’t hear about the Christian God specifically, hence God only giving his religion to the Jewish people at first and letting millions of others ostensibly go straight to Hell over many millenia wasn’t REALLY as cruel and evil as it seemed, because Nature itself was all the evidence they needed to be saved.

    Well, we’ve looked at the world and “creation” very closely over the past hundreds of years, and it is absolutely nothing like “the Creator” described, with little accuracy in terms of the physical or historical events that happened on earth. In fact, that Bible sure sounds exactly like any other totally unscientific view of the world written by ancient, ignorant people with zero knowledge about the mechanics of cosmology, biology, physics, or any other underpinnings of the universe. So “God” gave horribly wrong evidence, and has handily disproven “himself” (or at least the version of him espoused in the decidedly mistaken Bible).

    That’s at least partly why all those fundies get in such a rut over evolution and fossils; it’s the “rocks crying out” against God instead of for him, as scriptures like to claim.

    God’s innocent (of creating the universe, or even existing in any form beyond scripture and believers’ delusions) until proven guilty.

  19. GregFromCos says

    They believe that because it’s what the Bible says.

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    Or from the NIV

    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

    Many Christian apologists try to dance around that definition and attempt to redefine faith as evidence. But for the vast majority of Christians, the Hebrews 11:1 definition of Faith is what they live by. It’s certainly the definition that I used.

  20. koliedrus says

    Question: Why is it o.k. for you guys to insult the intelligence of your callers, and be condescending, and belittle them. But when I do it to you I’m a jackass?

    I think I know this one…

    Let’s say you’re hosting a party and I’m invited. I assume and respect the “Your Party, Your Rules” unwritten law.

    If I get into a conversation with someone, it could get heated and deep. As long as I keep in mind that I could get my ass kicked out for being an obnoxious asshole, I’ll most likely filter my responses accordingly. I’m fairly sure that we could disagree on a topic with passionate discourse and still remain within the boundaries of your rules of engagement.

    Now, imagine that I ring the doorbell, I’m greeted by a welcoming face and a “hello”.

    If the first words out of my face are, “I like you but that sonuvabitch helping you throw this shindig can suck my balls”, I would expect to have the door slammed in my face and multiple cellphones to dial 911.

    It’s important to note that a lot of us apply this behavioral method in public with great success. I work in retail, for instance. People are invited in because that’s what retail business is all about. People are polite to each other for the most part. Sometimes a squabble breaks out between two guests. It gets attention and then it gets handled.

    Now, picture me at my place of work when a wild asshole appears and starts bitching as soon as it enters the building.

    Bet your ass it will be taken outside and, depending on what goes on out there, banned from coming onto the property.

    So yeah, Corey got his ass handed to him for being a prick right off the bat.

    From what’s been said “outside”, it looks like a superb decision.

  21. jacobfromlost says

    It’s kind of rare for them to admit that the reason they won’t support their views specifically is because they know the specifics just won’t hold up.

    Textbook denial. (Right down to starting off by saying he didn’t want to hear from someone he knew would be able to rip his argument apart.)

  22. mooniekate says

    SO passive aggressive. “I’m sorry you felt that way,” instead of “I’m sorry I MADE you feel that way.” Take some responsibility, Corey. I have more respect for Jeff Dee and all the hard work he’s put into changing minds, than I will ever have for you after your little tizzy. I think people deserve courtesy, while respect is something you earn. You lose any chance of that courtesy when you start off with like that.

  23. annabucci says

    LOL he was butthurt. People need to learn to just ask the question and leave out the superfluous banter.

  24. MarkB says

    …or a billboard on the highway that reads HI RUSSELL THIS IS GOD. LET’S TALK?

    I’m pretty sure this one’s been done already. OK, maybe not to Russell specifically.

  25. Tam says

    I am so glad, I am not the only one who gets annoyed by idiots. I just want to know why we carry on arguing with them.

  26. says


    … that might be more compelling.

  27. says

    Under the line a copypaste from wikipedia. The tl;dr version is: “Dunno exactly.”


    There is no known record of a definitive explanation from around the early period of this capitalisation practice.

    It is likely that the capitalization was prompted and spread as a result of one or more of the following:
    changes specifically in the pronunciation of letters (introduction of long vowel sounds in Middle English, etc.)
    other linguistic considerations (demarcation of a single-letter word, setting apart a pronoun which is significantly different from others in English, etc.)
    problems with legibility of the minuscule “i”
    sociolinguistic factors (establishment of English as the official language, solidification of English identity, etc.)

    Other considerations include:

    Capitalization was already employed with pronouns in other languages at that time. It was used to denote respect of the addresser or position of the addressed.

    There is also the possibility that the first instances of capitalisation may have been happenstance. Either through chance or a sense of correctness, in the practice or the delivery, the capitalisation may have spread.

    There are failings of many of these explanations based on other words, but there is the possibility that the factors or factor that prompted and/or spread this change may not have been applied to all similar words or instances.

  28. NorskVind says

    Heresy! Spider-Man used those ten bucks to save you! Repent by donating to the Church of Spider-Man, lest his webbed fury rain down upon your head!

  29. Xairo says

    This is what i read: “The point I wanted to make was that God/ Satan/ the Flying Spaguetti Monster/ the Holy 3eyed Rainbow Pony… exists whether or not you believe. I do not owe you proof for God/ Satan/ the Flying Spaguetti Monster/ the Holy 3eyed Rainbow Pony’s existence nor does God/ Satan/ the Flying Spaguetti Monster/ the Holy 3eyed Rainbow Pony. It is your choice to believe or not believe.”
    Ok, my choice is: no

  30. NorskVind says

    That sounds like a very elaborate troll. I kind of want it to happen to me.

  31. curtcameron says

    Some of my atheist/agnostic friends have a little boy who a couple of years ago was in a Cub Scout meeting, when the Den Leader brought up the Scouts’ idea of “Duty to God,” or in some sense mentioned something about god.

    Our friends’ son exclaimed “My favorite god is Poseidon!”

    He just wasn’t familiar with the concept of a god other than from ancient mythology.

  32. jacobfromlost says

    Another point in regard to “I do not owe you proof for God’s existence nor does God.”

    It has a few odd underlying assumptions. One, real things don’t of necessity “owe” evidence of their existence, so even if one asserts that “god doesn’t owe you evidence”, I would completely agree. Gravity doesn’t owe me evidence of its existence either. Neither does DNA, the spherical nature of the earth, or the Higgs Boson. None of these things OWE evidence to anyone, and yet there is evidence of them anyway.

    Two, I have a nagging feeling that the old “god can’t provide evidence of his existence because that would rob you of free will” thing is floating in there somewhere. Again, not true. If you don’t value reason or evidence, there is nothing forcing you to believe gravity will continue to work the moment you jump off a cliff. You are perfectly free to believe you will shoot off into space despite all evidence to the contrary.

    And three, it seems like the old “god can’t provide evidence because that would demolish faith” thing is floating in there too. But why would that be a bad thing? Besides, we’re told again and again how we have “faith” in science and reason and evidence, and how these things are a “faith” just like any other. If that is the case, then offering actual evidence in light of reason DOESN’T demolish faith, it just confirms it the way any hypothesis would be confirmed.

    And four, the inverse of real things not “owing” evidence of their existence is that UNREAL THINGS DON’T OWE EVIDENCE EITHER. God is on that very long list of things, like unicorns and bigfoot, that don’t owe anyone any evidence of their existence as there is no evidence of them making claims about anything, the least of which would be their own existence. The burden of proof is on the claimant, and I have never heard god or bigfoot or a unicorn make claims to existing.

    If Corey, however, wants to claim something, he does owe evidence if he wants to objectively confirm his claim to himself and others. If he DOESN’T want to confirm his claim, then he doesn’t owe anyone any evidence and thus has no reason to call (or email) AE for the express purpose of doing exactly that. If he truly believes he owes no one evidence, he wouldn’t be calling or emailing.

    And yet he is.

  33. Andrew says

    “Trust Me, you don’t want Me on your show.”

    After insults didn’t work, reverse psychology is sure to do the trick! Ah, thanks for the laughs Corey 😀

  34. Mcsham22 says

    “God exists! A truth unrefuted remains a truth…”


    Wow. So much wrong with this “argument” for god’s existence I don’t even know where to start.

    First off, how does something become a truth? It needs to meet certain evidential criteria. This evidence is based on logic alone, or logic and our senses. God’s existence doesn’t survive on logic alone (regardless of what the faulty ontological argument claims), and God certainly beyond a reasonable doubt doesn’t survive based on any of our senses (if we’re going with the traditional supernatural, immaterial god that’s described within the most popular religions).

    Second, and what first jumped out at me, is that god’s existence is obviously constantly being refuted by atheists and has been refuted by atheists in the past, so I don’t know where he’s getting the idea that it’s “unrefuted.”

    Third, what the heck does the refutation of a claim have to do with its being true or not? Either something’s true, or it isn’t, regardless of what anyone says. If god really does exist, it’s not like if someone refutes the claim that he does exist, he’ll all of a sudden stop existing. A truth is a truth, whether it’s refuted or not means nothing.

    Though I’m sure his response to this would be: “well that’s your opinion… btw, God exists!”

  35. says

    It’s ironic how he says you’re cowardly, then says he doesn’t need to provide evidence for his claim…isn’t that cowardly?

  36. strangelove says

    “And God nor I owe you anything”

    Just as the AE doesn’t owe you airtime.

  37. says

    Xairo #25 really beat me to it, but I came to add this:

    “The point I wanted to make was that God exists whether or not you believe. I do not owe you proof for God’s existence nor does God. It is your choice to believe or not believe. Besides if you are looking for proof, what are you looking for anyway? A burning bush in your backyard, a talking turtle or a billboard on the highway that reads HI RUSSELL THIS IS GOD. LET’S TALK? Seriously, why do you demand proof when the rest of the world has to believe by faith? What makes you so different?”


    “The point I wanted to make was that Leprechauns exist whether or not you believe. I do not owe you proof for Leprechauns’ existence nor do Leprechauns. It is your choice to believe or not believe. Besides if you are looking for proof, what are you looking for anyway? A pot o’ gold under the rainbow, a talking shillelagh, or a billboard by the pub that reads HI RUSSELL THIS IS SEAMUS O’ SHAMROCKS. LET’S TALK? Seriously, why do you demand proof when the rest o’ Eire has to believe by faith? What makes you so different?”

    The question to Corey, as always, is: What distinguishes that first bit o’ blarney from the second?

  38. says

    I do not owe you proof for God’s existence nor does God

    You don’t owe us proof of your girlfriend in Canada, either. Provided you don’t mind us thinking that you’re full of shit, that is.

  39. Roger says

    Here’s a thought on what “Proof” would work for me: Having a piece of paper show up with an address and a time, that keeps reappearing no matter what I did to it. Showing up at said time and place, only to find out that the room I had just been in didn’t actually exist in the building I was just in. Raining INSIDE my car. Seeing a person that said he was God change from a skinny old white man to a heavyset middle-aged black woman while I was looking away for only a few seconds, and then change back again. Having the same man show up in my hotel room and answer scholarly questions in MY handwriting, in a language that has been dead for centuries. That’s what I would accept as proof. After all, it worked for Jerry Landers (John Denver) in the movie, Oh God! On the other hand, I would expect to have the same problems he had in trying to convince anyone else that what had happened was real, given that God (George Burns) went out of his way to NOT provide any evidence that would corroborate Jerry’s story.

    That movie provides an excellent example of personal revelation, and an equally good example of the atheist position. (SPOILERS AHEAD!): The final ruling of the judge in the end was that “On the basis of the evidence, or rather the lack of it, … God did not, in fact, appear here before us.” That’s exactly the right decision. The evidence God gave Jerry worked only for Jerry. When God showed up in the courtroom, the people that were there had a reason to believe, like Jerry’s wife, but the judge correctly ruled that there was insufficient evidence to convince anyone that hadn’t been there.

  40. Daemon6 says

    It’s only 50% if you ignore the numerous sects within each (at least within christianity, I’m not sure if islam is as divided). This, of course, is also ignoring the many other god assertions and their accompanying dogmas.

    All in all, it’s far more likely that the chance of one persons god assertion being correct is probably less that 1%.

    It’s odd, but I’d never considered that particular practical problem with religion before. It does nothing for me, as I not only already consider the god assertion to be absurd, but also consider religion to be a dangerous and virulent poison. However, it’s an interesting condemnation of assertion through faith.

    [side-note: For honesty’s sake I just want to make it clear that I pulled that “1%” straight out of my ass :P. I have no clue how many god variants there are lol..]

  41. Chagrined says

    Russell’s response may have been the first healthy boundary that Corey has ever encountered.

  42. says

    ” A truth un-refuted remains the truth”… Uh, no. He clearly never watches the show. Love his assertion that not only is his belief true, but his rude comments, too. What utter ass-gravy.

  43. soul_biscuit says

    Thank you for spelling “Spider-Man” correctly.

    Thus ends my contribution to this thread.

  44. says

    I so agree. That is probably the same position that my sister would take. She get really mad when she is challenged.

    I am transgender. I am on Facebook as Shea LaRoux, in case your interested in checking out what I look like or whatever.

    My sister refuses to have anything to do with me and won’t let me be a part of any family gatherings if she is present. After having been treated this way have given up all holiday celebrations that were family oriented. I won’t celebrate Harvest, as I call it, and Yule is out too. I don’t even decorate my home anymore. I just don’t see the point anymore.

    My mother is also christian, (notice how I refuse to capitalize that), and she at least has agreed to disagree and likes having me in her life, however limited that it is we communicate or see each other. I just can’t really stomach her that much and never have been able to.

    I am an atheist, and came to be one largely because of the fact that my mother exposed me to christianity and I found it very immoral. I was abused horribly in the church. I also found the teachings to be absurd. I left home at 15.

    I didn’t mean to rattle on like this so I’ll end it here. I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your program on YouTube. I am new to you and will eventually catch on to watching you in real time or at least your most recent programs after they air. I hope to someday talk with you all or a few of you.

    Much love and peace,
    Shea LaRoux, Atheist Forever

  45. jedimasteryoda says

    Furthermore, apologizing will not change my perspective on Jeff Dee.

    There’s correy’s problem, he doesn’t have the correct perspective. I’ve never seen/heard Jeff Dee with my head so far up my own arse that it starts smelling good, but from out here in the sunshine, Jeff Dee is pretty damn awesome.

    Of course, we’re all wrong sometimes and he could be one of those predestined Calvanists and just wanted to avoid wasting the rest of the program (and email thread) on a lengthy discussion hashing the definition of free will…

  46. Andrew says

    I loved the way you hung up on that guy.

    At least unlike the Oslo boy(s), he held no pretense of valuing evidence. That meant that he only called to pick a fight, however.

  47. Dorkman says

    One, real things don’t of necessity “owe” evidence of their existence, so even if one asserts that “god doesn’t owe you evidence”, I would completely agree. Gravity doesn’t owe me evidence of its existence either. Neither does DNA, the spherical nature of the earth, or the Higgs Boson.

    Gravity, DNA, and the Higgs Boson don’t (supposedly) demand your fealty and worship. When someone proposes a god who supposedly does, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say such a god DOES owe me some evidence for its existence first — not to mention some good non-fear-based reasons it deserves my attention, let alone worship.

  48. Chimbley_Sweep says

    There is also the idea that a capitalized I was due to caligraphy and hand printin. Lower case “i” started in 13th or 14th century. Lower case “i” was so small, that it was difficult to read, or with combination of other letters, was hard to make out.

    This topic, and the above answer, was addressed on the most recent episode of the radio show A Way With Words. Check it out.

  49. jacobfromlost says

    Hypothesis: What if “I” was used more often at the beginning of sentences, and the habit of capitalization stuck? Methinks it is difficult to start a sentence with “me”.

    (Also, it could be entirely arbitrary. Like everything else in language.)

  50. jacobfromlost says

    Dorkman: When someone proposes a god who supposedly does, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say such a god DOES owe me some evidence for its existence first

    Me: I think it is making an error (an unreasonable one) to think of the object of the claim as a claimant simply because a human makes the claim that a supernatural being exists WHO ALSO MAKES CLAIMS.

    This is how they think they get themselves off the hook of the burden of proof. But we don’t even GET to the claims of the supposed supernatural being if the human can’t FIRST meet the burden of proof that such a being EXISTS. If we ignore the burden of proof of the human claimant before us and instead focus on the burden of proof of claims of the claimed supernatural being, we have just acknowledged to the human claimant that the burden of proof *doesn’t really matter*, as we ignored it for them (the physical human right before us). Why should we not ignore it for their god who, they claim, is far more significant a claimant than a puny human?

  51. troopdawg says

    the shit you guys put up.

    i believe the norway people are trolling you

    with out getting to angry on the show

  52. troopdawg says

    oops, didn’t finish my comment,

    these repeat callers coming up with different ideas is ridiculous, why are they getting multiple fail attempts?

    it would be nice if somebody shows no potential for intelligence, you guys would call them out as morons and move on..

    /be a dick

    they are trollin

  53. MarkB says

    Besides if you are looking for proof, what are you looking for anyway? A burning bush in your backyard, a talking turtle…

    Why the fuck not? To me this is an admission as to the absurdity of the claim. If you claim to have seen a talking turtle I will not believe you until you produce said turtle. Your privilege doesn’t allow you to see it, but your claims of a god are as absurd as a talking turtle, if not more so. Show me.

  54. darrelle says

    Especially if the claimee refuses to consider the refutation due to religious reasons.

  55. A 'Nym Too says

    Off the top of my head, there are Sunni, Shia, Sufi, and Ahmadiyya. They each have sub-sects too.

    There’s probably loads more too.

    So yeah, how the hell do you decide? Either all or nothing I guess, but frankly – one strain of religion was hard enough, all of them? Fuck that.

  56. says

    It might also be that “I” is considered a replacement for one’s own name as the subject of a sentence, since it is inappropriate to refer to one’s self in the third person in most cases. In that case, “I” would, essentially, be a proper pronoun, in much the same way that “Mom” and “Dad” are capitalized proper pronouns when one is referring to one’s own mother and father, since most people don’t call their parents by name (and doing so is usually considered disrespectful in most cases). Thus, if your name is (for example) Bob, then saying “I am an atheist.” is functionally the same as saying “Bob is an atheist.”, but in the first person.

    Other pronouns, such as “you”, “they”, “me”, etc, would all be objects of a sentence, and not considered to be replacements for a proper noun, since it is appropriate to refer to objects of a sentence in the second and third person.

    However, if that is the reason, then I’m kind of confused as to why “you” or (especially) “we” is not capitalized when used as the subject.

  57. says

    I think there’s well over a hundred sects of Christianity alone. Although not all of them are necessarily mutually-exclusive, that still means that even if Christianity is the “one true religion”, then any given Christian has a less than 1% chance of having picked the right version.

  58. says

    I wonder how Corey feels about people who have faith in godless religions? Such as certain forms of Budhism, Taoism, Confucionism, certain tribal spiritual beliefs, naturalistic religions, etc.

    If one person has faith that there is a god, and another person has faith that there is no god, then which one wins out according to Corey’s acceptance of faith as proof?

  59. says

    “Seriously, why do you demand proof when the rest of the world has to believe by faith? What makes you so different?”

    Burning bushes, talking animals, numerous miracles, and so forth were all necessary in order for the ancient Jews to accept Yahweh as their god according to the doctrine. If it was necessary for God to provide them with overwhelming evidence of his existence (including direct, personal contact), then why can’t he do the same for us now?

    Moses didn’t need faith. Abraham didn’t need faith. Noah didn’t need faith. Jesus didn’t need faith. Why should I have to accept someone else’s faith, when Abraham, Moses, Noah, etc were allowed to ask God to show himself?

  60. InvincibleIronyMan says

    “A truth un-refuted remains the truth…”

    Er, no – that’s called begging the question. He’s assuming the very thing that we have yet to establish, that we’re dealing with a truth. We’re not dealing with a truth, we’re dealing with a claim, which is a very different thing.

    He’s trying to shift the burden of proof, he’s doing it with a fallacy, and on top of that he seems to be some kind of overweening narcissist.

    What a disgraceful spectacle!

  61. InvincibleIronyMan says

    I’m not sure what kind of proof I’d need but it would have to be better than jugglery like turning sticks into snakes and water into wine, both of which tricks are available in good magic shops everywhere. Frankly, it’s insulting.

    How about tearing the Earth out of orbit and putting it into orbit around Jupiter for a short time, or turning the Earth inside out so it’s a sphere with the sun at the centre, or giving me a vision of the entire cosmos all at once, everywhere.

    You know, stuff that woudn’t be totally beneath any self-respecting benevolent creator. That kind of thing.

  62. Kol says

    I’m sure I’m not the only one that recognizes intelligent people who’ve been saturated with bullshit. As a dad, I care that about my kids and want to do what I can to hose off as much crap as I can before they have to take charge.

    It’s actually working. Turns out that a good portion of “idiots” are simply brainwashed from birth.

    I’m lucky.

    I just got brain-sprinkled.

  63. Kol says

    Leprechauns know how to do awesome stuff with marshmallows maybe?

    Don’t you DARE tell me that it was all a corporate ploy that made me bitch at my parents for more cereal!

    Also, did the rabbit ever get to eat Trix?
    I’ve lost track.

  64. sqlrob says

    The number I’ve always heard is in the tens of thousands (certainly not below a thousand, even if I’m adding zeros), so you’re still underestimating.

  65. sqlrob says

    But we already know the Abrahamic god isn’t omnipotent. He can’t even handle iron chariots, where we could go into a sporting goods store and get enough equipment to wipe ’em out.

  66. A Miniskirt says

    “I don’t owe you respect or evidence!”

    “And we don’t owe you time or attention.” [click]

  67. leftwingfox says

    At least once, when they put it to a vote.

    Still, gives me an excuse to post my favourite commercial of all time.

  68. Teletheus says

    I really wish “antipology” would catch on instead of “notpology.” I know it’s one more syllable, but it does roll off the tongue more easily.

  69. mas528 says

    why would that be any more compelling?

    The tech to create a changing billboard is already here (expensive but here nonetheless).

    And the checkup and phone? Who’s to say it’s not a bunch of advanced aliens who have mastered matter transmission and bodyscans that want you to believe that they are gods?

    Totally stolen from PZ and SG-1

  70. michaelpowers says

    Seriously, why do you demand proof when the rest of the world has to believe by faith? What makes you so different?

    As though we were somehow infringing on his right to delude himself.

    We use things like experimentation, observation, logic and reason to determine what is real, and what isn’t.

    There is faith borne of observation and experience, and there is blind faith. The former is, at best, inference, with no guarantees. For that, some sort of physical evidence is required (at which point it is no longer faith). The latter is almost always wrong.

  71. says

    Seriously, why do you demand proof when the rest of the world has to believe by faith? What makes you so different?

    That line stuck out in my mind as well. It demonstrates this weird assumption that the rest of his world is bound by some obligation to do the hard work of faith (with that part, I’d agree… faith seems like it would be hard work), while we seem to take the easy road.

  72. shockna says

    Seriously, why do you demand proof when the rest of the world has to believe by faith? What makes you so different?

    People like this idiot never seem to get that nobody “has” to believe at all.

  73. NorskVind says

    So, stuff that would annihilate the human race? Sounds like something their god would do on a whim actually.

  74. says

    “A truth un-refuted remains the truth…”

    That should make the residents of the world’s psychiatric hospitals giddy with glee.

  75. subbie says


    Please answer Me this and I will leave you alone….This is my last e-mail unless you answer my questions.

    Answer him or don’t, but either way he’s not emailing you again. All win, baby!

  76. Snoof says

    A truth un-refuted remains the truth…

    That is correct, technically speaking. A truth is a truth, whether or not it’s been refuted. This follows from the law of identity.

    On the other hand, an assertion without any supporting evidence (such as “God exists”) is pretty useless.

  77. Max Entropy says

    I am anxiously awaiting Russell’s response to “Pastor” Stephen Feinstein. It shouldn’t take this long to write “No, no, no, you’re done.” Finish him. FINISH HIM!

  78. says

    Hi Shea!

    I’m so sorry you’ve had such a difficult time with your family. The one damn group of people who are supposed to accept you for who you are, and they give you grief. Poseidon’s sake, it makes me so angry sometimes.

    Many of us have had to create our own families of good friends in person and online because of this (as i’m sure you know!). I hope that they came give you the support and acceptance you deserve. I would be more than happy to be a part of yours or vice versa.

    Deanna Joy

  79. Celeste says

    I think I would have responded by sending his words back to him, slightly paraphrased as “This is my last e-mail unless you answer my questions. Fairies exist! A truth un-refuted remains the truth… And fairies nor I owe you anything!”

  80. Shawn Smith says

    He wants to know what would convince me? I’ll tell him. Have his god move M31 (the Andromeda galaxy) to about 100,000 light years away 100,000 years ago, and use the 10,000,000 brightest and 10,000,000 not-quite-brightest stars to make a pattern that can tell our civilization something about quantum mechanics or cosmology that we don’t already know and how to independently verify it. And leave it there for a year, so that anyone can check. After that, move M31 to the other side of the Milky Way, so that the Southern Hemisphere can verify it as well. And finally, after another year, put everything back to were it would have been without the shenanigans. A little excercise like that would be possible even for the Q from Star Trek, so his god shouldn’t have much of a problem with it at all.

  81. Jdog says

    A truth that was refuted would be a falsehood. Couldn’t he just have said ‘a tautology remains a tautology’?

  82. nibor says

    The interesting point about the part you quoted is that it is an ill-posed question. One should rather ask: What makes YOUR GOD so different?

    Everyone asks for evidence when I claim to have a personal relationship with an invisible dragon, but when I claim to have a personal relationship with some god, no evidence is necessary for many people. Why?

  83. Andrew JS says

    Me thinks the reason I is capitalized is because it is at the beginning of sentences most often. People got letters like the following and made assumptions “[I] missed you last week. Will you join [me] in church Sunday?”

  84. Nicholas says

    Corey started the call with the same arrogance that’s reflected in his emails. Can’t talk to people who start conversations in that manner. Sorry.

  85. jacobfromlost says

    Here’s what would convince me (I first posted this on Jan. 16):

    * A holy book that makes specific, falsifiable, ongoing predictions over thousands of years that are such that humans can’t make them happen themselves (and are “ongoing” in such a way as to be occurring every few months or years).
    * Personal revelations that can be and are verified empirically (for instance, “Look for the Higgs around 125 GeV) on an ongoing basis in conjunction with the message that “Specific God X” is passing that message along.
    * Clear and verifiable knowledge that comes from believing in the correct god (without study), and ONLY comes from believing in the correct god. It would be quite compelling if the only people who could write computer code, fix my car’s engine, or develop a model of quantum mechanics that works in reality were those who believed in Specific God X.
    * A continuing demonstration that those who believe in the correct god do not get sick, and those who believe in the wrong ones do, with no disconfirming examples of either of these (no one with correct belief sick, no one with incorrect beliefs healthy).
    * A continuing demonstration that once one begins believing in the correct god, their sicknesses instantly heal, and they gain instant knowledge per above that can be demonstrated empirically.
    * A continuing demonstration that anyone who believes in the correct god cannot be defeated in any way, shape, or form by those who don’t believe in the correct god.
    * A continuing demonstration that belief in the correct god results in broad, observable, verifiable, predictive, and falsifiable outcomes that are MARKEDLY DIFFERENT than the outcomes found with confirmation bias, wishful thinking, groupthink, peer pressure, mythmaking, pareidolia, brainwashing, hysteria, or any belief that is NOT in the correct god.

    If all of these things mutually confirmed each other in falsifiable ways (while accompanied by correct belief), and yet were never falsified, I would believe as surely as I believe in anything. Would I be absolute sure that the object of this belief was real, or even existed? No, as I can’t be absolutely sure of anything, but the evidence would be such that I WOULD believe it until presented with disconfirming evidence…and that disconfirming evidence would have to be pretty spectacular among all of that mutually confirming evidence.

  86. Sonorus says

    Matt has the best response to this. I hope he doesn’t mind and I hope I quote him accurately.

    An omniscient god would know what proof I would require and an omnipotent one would have no trouble providing it.

  87. Evolbob says

    As a call-in show, hanging up on a caller just because he doesn’t respect your opinions, makes me wonder what those opinions were. Maybe he got them wrong, or more interesting, right. And why just Jeff’s opinions? There may have been a whole lot of other questions from Corey, we would have liked you to have dealt with. It would only increase our respect for what you have to deal with, whether or not Corey appreciated it or not.
    Do you really want a prick like this to feel you are afraid to debate any point, unless he first states he respects/likes you 2?
    Matt Dillahunty gets a lot of callers you know – when they start talking, reasoning with them is a complete waste of time, but for the sake of others listening Matt makes the argument, dumbing it down so even a 5 year old could grasp it. So when the caller is still on ‘send only’, we all nod our collective heads and wonder at Matt’s amazing powers of patience!

  88. says

    #56 said

    * A holy book that makes specific, falsifiable, ongoing predictions over thousands of years that are such that humans can’t make them happen themselves (and are “ongoing” in such a way as to be occurring every few months or years).

    OH! But the Bible does! Read 1 Kings 18, the summary is:

    Build an alter, sacrifice a bull and pray. If the bull meat lights on Fire then your god is real. If you FAIL to light the bull meat on fire then you are to be mass slaughtered.

    Oddly, no Christian will take me up on this challenge — even though I promise them that *I* would not slaughter them for failure because that would be unconscionable (secular morality win).

    “My god cannot be tested” is clearly not a valid objection, as Elijah said to the priests of Baal and Asherah: “Shout louder! Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling? Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened?”

    Now, in reality, Bull meat bursting into flames on verbal command would NOT be proof of God — but if it was actually done under the watchful eye of, say, JREF I would have to take it very seriously as evidence of something, possibly supernatural.

    But if you read the story there is a bit of common magician trickery involved… note that Elijah changes the rules for himself by adding the “water” bit. He presents it as “look, I’m going to make it even MORE difficult for me”, but that just smacks me right in the face as misdirection.

    Perhaps they had access to some chemical that reacted with the water? It’s not known to archaeology/history that they had such technology at that time but if it was a secret of some priestly order that wouldn’t be surprising.

    For example, we know, with as much certainty as there can be about such things, that the Eleusinian Mysteries involved a psychoactive agent but we have no idea what it was or how they produced it even though we also have strong evidence that secret leaked out and people were using it outside the official venue. Giving out the secret put your life in jeopardy.

    IFF (and that’s a big IFF) this story is based on any actual event, I call shenanigans.

  89. John says

    Arguing over semantics and refusing to capitalize God or Christianity is ridiculous. The only thing you’re attacking is English grammar.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

  90. JamesM says

    That isn’t an attack on the English language. It is a statement of irreligion and purposeful showing of disdain for pious reverence of religion. It is a small gesture that uses the English language to good effect, one that I myself do consciously and often.

  91. Matrim says

    @Evolbob> I disagree. I don’t really watch TAE anymore (although I will find clips if someone points out something particularly awesome), primarily because the idiots often don’t get dealt with fast enough. It’s annoying when someone monopolizes the time, doubly so when they are someone like this guy. Occasionally one of the long calls is good, but they are the exception rather than the rule. As for being curious about this guy’s opinions, well, we found out what they were…and they were silly. I’m willing to bet that he wanted to speak to Russell rather than Jeff is because Russell is more likely to be patient with people (in general) and Jeff isn’t generally one to suffer fools gladly (no criticism for either M.O., both have their place).

    And who cares what a “prick like this” thinks about being hung up on?

  92. Matrim says


    Honestly, wouldn’t surprise me if someone somewhere believes exactly that.

  93. TxSkeptic says


    Matt made my day with his call from Matt in Oslo.

    M-O: “I got you on the hook once again and you’re not gonna slip off this time like you always do somehow”

    M-Tx: “You wanna bet?”

    M-O: “Uh, yea sure.”


  94. efrique says

    When I listened to the show on podcast, as soon as Corey said that opening line, I said ‘click’ (to indicate hanging up). You did exactly the right thing, and it looks he didn’t say anything afterward that clearly suggests you should have acted differently.

    You don’t have infinite air-time, so you have to prioritize calls. If someone wants a chance to talk on air, they shouldn’t be jerks about it. There’s always the next caller to talk to.

    You don’t expect your callers to *agree* with you (in fact most of the hosts of AXP are generally remarkably patient), but if a caller doesn’t want to hear from one of the hosts, they don’t have to call – what’s hard to understand about that?

  95. Helmi says

    It’s too bad the rudeness was a dealbreaker – his claims were really quite silly and easily shown to be flawed.

    Evidence is required if you expect a reasonable person to believe a claim. No evidence, no belief. No gods owe me anything, but if the men who tell me about gods expect me to believe them, they’d better provide better evidence for their favourite god than there is for any of the other thousands of possible gods, or Santa Claus for that matter. So far they have failed to do so, providing only fallacious reasoning, tricks, and mind games. Worse than that, they tell me about a god who is both willing and able to let me know it exists, and yet chooses to tell me in the most unbelievable way possible, through the medium of the least credible people possible: random anonymous strangers from the bronze age who were factually and morally wrong about damn near everything, and who never wrote beyond the knowledge or intellect of the human men who clearly authored these nonsensical self-contradictory fairy-tale-like stories. This makes no sense from the perspective of “A god exists and wants us to know”, but makes perfect sense from the perspective of “ignorant human men made the whole thing up”.

    Oh, and a claim unproven remains a claim unproven, and can’t honestly be called “truth”.

  96. says

    in my faraway past i was too demanding about how universe is,how did he started where willhe stop, i was in a deep confusion.but now those clouths are begining to sumary , i begin to think that the universe is limited and he is in a continue expansion because of the heat of gazs and the bang of matter and he follows the laws of dynamic energetic and so on,breef it follows all the laws of chemisry mathematics and physics,and perhaps evolution, i mean is there a program or has he some thing like a DNA? i dont know!

  97. Clio says

    Ironic, I just did this calculation for a debate with a mormon I’m having:

    If you count the roughly 30,000 denominations of Christianity, the chances of “your denomination” being the “right” one is 0.0033%, and that’s assuming the lowest of the denominations counts I found and rounding down my several thousand for clarity. (I found numbers ranging from 33,000 to 45,000 denominations.) So your estimate of 1% was enormously generous.

  98. Davis says

    Um…does anyone else notice that he capitalizes every single “Me”? I honestly can’t tell if it’s deliberate or accidental.

    If it’s deliberate, he’s a troll.

    If it’s accidental, he’s making pretty unfortunate typos.

  99. Christopher Lowe says

    We are all gods. Truly, here in the west, if we were to join the merchant marines, and sail to the South Pacific. Certain cultures have built pseudo docking wharves (I bet you this is the first time in your life, and maybe the last you’ll hear the term pseudo docking wharves!) In order to receive the abundant and miraculous objects from the gods beyond the horizon. They built these wharves and incanted over them that they receive the bounteous haul of the holy cargo ships. There are a handful of these in various forms in the South Pacific. They are called “cargo cults”. I’m not making this up. Hop on one of these ships to these destinations and you, too, can be a god! Maybe then you can righteously capitalize the letter M in me. Caveat: try this with the wrong crowd down there and you’ll get your ass handed to you for sure.