Open Thread for AETV #790: Matt and Darrel Ray

The Atheist Experience welcomes special guest Darrel Ray, author of The God Virus and Sex and God.

On an unrelated side note, sometime in the last few weeks our FTB blog passed a million hits.  Hooray!


  1. says

    Was great to see Matt back! He was brilliant (I wasn’t surprised about that) but more surprisingly calm and patient with the callers of all kind and let them say what they have wanted to say without interrupting them (like for the pastor guy). Matt was perfect!!

    Kudo to Mr. Ray for his book!! I will get a copy for sure.

  2. says

    There’s a known substance that is a composite of hats and asses, packed into an extremely compact form. It’s called Asshatronium, and it’s the most dense material in the universe, just short of a singularity.

    Matt from Oslo is made from pure Asshatronium, and I don’t believe for a second that anyone from the audience actually threatened him. He’s been nothing more than yet another mosquito, in a long line of mosquitos, buzzing in the ears of the show, and that’s hardly something to be issuing death threats over.

    It was just another angle to troll the show.

  3. GrzeTor says

    Don’t you realize that Matt from Oslo carries a message from God? That’s what he is communicating by speaking in tongues!

  4. Kevin in MO says

    Have not seen the show yet, so can’t comment on that.

    But happy one million hits! And hopefully none of you got too bruised out of the ordeal. 🙂

  5. Lord Narf says

    Shame we couldn’t get a bit more in depth with the preacher guy. He just kept preaching Bible verses and wouldn’t respond to questions about why we should accept anything in the Bible as truth, when we know so much about it’s history … or more to the point know that no one knows a damned thing about who wrote the Gospels or other huge chunks of it, know that several of Paul’s letters were forgeries, and know that the Old Testament is mostly just a big, steaming pile of crap, from an historical perspective.

  6. Lord Narf says

    I meant to add: in older episodes, we’ve gotten more in depth discussions about why the Bible isn’t anything approaching a reliable document. The hour-long format kind of hurts good discussions with theists.

    Heck, I’d say, once you get someone like that who actually wants to discuss the Bible, and you happen to have Matt on the show, you should just give the rest of the show to the guy and take it back to basics.

    Matt from Oslo doesn’t help matters much either, of course.

  7. John Kruger says

    Matt from Oslo must be running out of ideas. Claim death threats to make the hosts guilty or something? Then a contrived and obviously fake apology followed by a bizarre vocalization. What the heck does he think he is accomplishing? What is his end game plan?

    After the call: “Well that was weird. Guess we better pack up and cancel the show now. You win Matt.”

    Just beyond weird. I was mildly amused by the how pathetic he was, but I don’t think he accomplished much else.

  8. anaximanchild says

    Regarding the caller that said the “observers of Jesus’ miracles” were ignorant and so mistakenly thought Jesus was casting out devils, when “in fact” he was performing miracles of healing … so, to say it another way, the observers were ignorant of what was really happening, so they did the best they could describing what they saw using their flawed frame of reference. Their mistake was simply a reflection of their ignorance.

    This was the same guy that said the trees and the sky was “proof of intelligent design”.

    Um, it’s almost embarrassing to have to mention the irony here.

  9. says

    I always get squeamish whenever someone (in this case, Matt himself) says they “believe” in something like the Universe.

    As soon as you admit you “believe” in a scientific property, law, axiom or theory, you put it in the same arena of debate as religion and philosophy, and that’s what the theologians/apologists want because then they can argue against it. And that’s dishonest.

    You should say that you “accept” something like the existence of the Universe as being true based on the millions of independent studies, tests, experiments and observations conducted over hundreds of years that verify its assertions and properties.

    Science, after all, is not dogma. It is a process for understanding the properties of the Universe, and that’s the one thing it has over religion: Independent verification and evidence from countless sources. While it is true that science cannot prove certainties — only high probabilities — and that to assert ultimate truth of anything requires an amount of faith (without getting solipsist about it), it is still a much higher proposition than religion which usually only has one source: Holy books.

    So evolution, Big Bang, the Universe, life origins, etc. are not things you believe. They are things you accept beyond a reasonable doubt as the most probable truths given the evidence.

  10. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    in older episodes, we’ve gotten more in depth discussions about why the Bible isn’t anything approaching a reliable document.
    Heck, I’d say, once you get someone like that who actually wants to discuss the Bible, and you happen to have Matt on the show, you should just give the rest of the show to the guy

    A half-hour version of this?
    Video: YouTube – Kissing Hank’s Ass

  11. says

    The interesting thing about Asshatronium is that it can take on the chemical properties of any other matter. It’s known that some people accumulate Asshatronium over time, where it will slowly replace more and more of the person’s body until all other elements have been replaced.

    A person who is thus composed entirely of Asshatronium will look just like any other individual, but may be subject to sudden fits of complete inanity. This is due to the density of the Asshatronium, which impedes the flow of charged particles, and disturbs normal neural function.

    The only known treatment for Asshatronium poisoning of the brain is to apply kinetic force with the lower limbs to the area of the rectum of the afflicted person. This will send a wave of force up through the spinal column to the brain and give temporary relief (i.e. it’ll shut the guy up for a while).
    However, this treatment is strictly symptomatic and as such it may be necessary to apply the treatment repeatedly and on a regular basis.

    Though the symptoms are similar, this affliction should not be confused with infection of Bacillus fundamentalis, which may be cured by a combined course of antibiotics and education.

  12. Lord Narf says

    And God and Jesus didn’t think to correct those observers and make sure someone wrote it down correctly? All of this shit falls apart when you introduce a creator God who is supposedly speaking to his creations and telling him about all of this crap.

    And Jesus, who is partially God in the flesh, came to clear up a few little details about the Ten Commandments which were a little off, but he couldn’t be bothered to clear up a few major details about what causes disease?

  13. says

    A common definition of “believe” is “accept as true”. However, I agree that this is a subject that’s rife with misunderstandings. As such, I think it’s very important to take the time to make it clear what definition you’re using if you want to employ words like that. I think we get into a lot of trouble in these discussions from sloppy language.

    You might also discuss the differences between “believe in” and “believe that” which may or may not mean the same, depending on who you ask.

  14. says

    As soon as you admit you “believe” in a scientific property, law, axiom or theory, you put it in the same arena of debate as religion and philosophy, and that’s what the theologians/apologists want because then they can argue against it. And that’s dishonest.

    You should say that you “accept” something like the existence of the Universe as being true based on the millions of independent studies, tests, experiments and observations conducted over hundreds of years that verify its assertions and properties.

    It depends on the definition.

    Belief can be “accepting a claim as true”, which is compatible with what you’re saying. The question is whether one is doing so for good or bad reasons. I.e. faith is when you’re believing without sufficient evidence.

    I’d just see this particular semantics discussion in a debate as being useful – a point of topic to use to clear things up.

  15. Hayden says

    As soon as you admit you “believe” in a scientific property, law, axiom or theory, you put it in the same arena of debate as religion and philosophy

    No. No, it doesn’t.

    Just because some people hold ridiculous beliefs, it does not make the word “belief” dirty. Don’t let theists dictate our use of the English language.

  16. Lord Narf says

    Heh, yeah. I almost lost it, when I heard him start that kind of inanity. I was about positive he was a Poe, until they jumped onto the Biblical stuff.

    Who seriously thinks that’s any sort of argument for the existence of God? It’s just sad that you get that sort of argument out of a pastor. Now JR, back in the day, sure. That guy wasn’t particularly bright.

  17. says

    Well the thing with Poe’s is by definition they are indistinguishable from the real thing unless they break character. A lot of real believers have used the argument from trees (aka design) over the years. It’s only really lately that people have gotten so hyper active over poes and trolls that I think we kind of forget that yeah a lot of believers have these poor reasons too.

    The moral from Poe’s law should be one about how hard it is to satirise religion and not about how everyone with a dumb argument must be faking it. Sorry the term poe is just a growing pet peeve of mine.

  18. dawiw says

    I will look for “troll calls” like Matt (from Oslo) and compile them and put them put it on you tube soon.

    I think 790 was one of the best episodes out there.

    If you want to add some kinks on the show, then you gotta have some troll calls (funny ones)

  19. MrTrex says

    I feel that it may be a good idea to address the 8th graders in George’s class. If there are some of them who watch the show, they will undoubtedly spread the word that teach was on it, which will inevitably direct them to listen to the show, as well as other students in the school, and other members of the faculty. The end result will be nearly an entire school/neighborhood of potential readers.

    There are going to be many readers who feel that George was treated unfairly or that he wasn’t given a chance to explain. I can empathize with that, however at the end of the day, Matt’s points were valid while George’s were not.

    George made an “argument from ignorance”, which he seemed offended by. Its nothing to take offense to, it should be seen as an opportunity to learn something new. Being an educator, George should be delighted to be presented with such a chance. By stating that “it makes no sense” for all of these brilliant things to have appeared “one day”, George demonstrates his lack of understanding of the science he is trying to disprove.

    For anyone who is interested, whether it be student, faculty, family member, or anyone else for that matter, I highly recommend that you go out and do the research yourself. Science is FAR more compelling than the bible, if you are interested in separating fact from fiction that is.

  20. Barefoot Bree says

    I confess that I have a bit of an “ism” about the name Argument from Ignorance. You know and I know that the word ignorance is referring to lack of knowledge, and not stupidity, but most people to whom it is applicable seem to lack appreciation of the distinction, and take it as an insult. So while I suppose that in itself gives our side a bit of superiority or something using it, if the interest is fostering communication, I wish we could come up with a different, more user-friendly name for it that didn’t carry the same connotations.

    Argument from Lack of Knowledge (or Lack of Education) just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  21. Lord Narf says

    Actually, I was using it correctly there. I thought he was breaking character from his previous statements, bringing up things that long-time viewers would recognize as the most stupid, insane arguments that theistic callers used to bring up, back in the day. I thought he was winking at us.

    And then he continued, and I was horrified to realize that this guy is for real. At least I’m pretty sure he’s for real, judging by the way the conversation went, towards the end.

  22. Lord Narf says

    I’ve heard others call it the Argument from Personal Incredulity. “Well, I can’t see how else this could have happened, so it must be this half-assed explanation that has no support!”

  23. rrpostal says

    I call it the “it seems to me” argument. I have a hard time with the hubris of that sort of rationalization.

  24. John Kruger says

    It is pretty true that most people hear “argument from ignorance” as “you are wrong because you are stupid” if they have not studied logical fallacies.

    I have tired “argument from a lack of imagination” or, as Narf says, “personal incredulity”. Sadly, most believers are more interested in “winning” and don’t make much effort to understand the objection, regardless of what you call it.

    Generally speaking I just go right to an ad absurdum rebuttal and skip the name, since the fallacy names only really hold water with those who already understand fallacies well enough to avoid them in the first place.

  25. mike says


    You shouldn’t feel squeamish when the hosts say what they believe in. A simple def. of belief is just something you accept as true. I accept as true that the universe exists, and I have copious evidence to validate that belief. Theists have a belief in gods with no evidence for justification, thats what makes one of these beliefs more valid than the other. The religious have already tainted words such as “faith” and “theory”, I don’t think we should just sit back and let them own another word.

  26. Sonorus says

    That was the funniest call. His “8th graders” have discovered TAE and by reading between the lines I’ll assume (knowing that danger of doing so) that they are starting to ask questions that the minister doesn’t know how to answer. His lack of answers (because there aren’t any good ones) was made clear on the show.

    If any of the 8th graders are reading this…keep asking questions. Questions lead you to the truth. Don’t accept answers that don’t make sense. Keep asking and go find authoritative sources. Don’t take one person’s word for anything. If it’s true it’s verifiable and you can replicate the logic or the experiment that leads to that conclusion.

  27. Kazim says

    I am incredibly wary of claims that there is some kind of mass movement among “the kids” to watch TAE together, as that is exactly the same lie “Mark from Stone Church” told us as a hook when he started calling us.

  28. Sonorus says

    I recently had to sit and listen to a pile of nonsense about how the ancient Egyptians couldn’t have figured out how to build the pyramids on their own. It’s the same argument as this. “People back then weren’t as smart as we are now and couldn’t have figured out engineering problems or understood mental illness the way we do.” total and complete BS! Evolution doesn’t happen that fast. You can look at the elaborate designs and concepts of ancient people and see that they were quite skilled and adept at problem solving. What they lacked was a body of knowledge to build upon and technology.

  29. Sonorus says

    Exactly. I too shy away from using the word believe. I have read enough about current evolutionary biology research to accept that this is our best explanation for how these biological processes work. There is no faith on my part. And my “believing” it or not has no bearing on the validity of the science. I choose to avoid the word because I am constantly confronted by people who think that their belief in something (not just the Christian god but also all manner of new age ridiculosity) makes it equal to my “belief” in evolution. I have no faith in science. I read an article or watch a program, ponder the information and go about my business. It’s not the same as “belief” as it is practiced in our society.

  30. Lord Narf says

    Exactly. This is what first set my alarm off, as I imagine it did to Matt. I forgot about it, afterward, since the trees bit was even more over-the-top.

    Once we got to the trees, I was ready to call him a complete fake. Is your conclusion the same as mine though, Russel? I think he’s for real, and he’s just that squirrelly that he stumbled upon so many of the bat-shit arguments.

    Hell, we know that people make the “children” argument for real, even if it seemed suspect, in this case. I remember the psycho woman in the Illinois moment-of-silence hearing, a few years back, who started shouting about how it was dangerous for people to know that our philosophy even exists.

  31. Kazim says

    Currently I’m leaning towards him being genuine, but I wouldn’t say so for sure. Matt was suspicious at the beginning of the call, as I was, because his stiff greeting sounded like it was masking a thick accent. Turns out it wasn’t.

  32. Lord Narf says

    Yeah, so many sketchy, dubious aspects to this guy. But then he’s a preacher, so what do you expect? ^.^

  33. tonysnark says

    If Jesus was on a mission of morality it seems rather odd that it didn’t cross his mind to condemn slavery or mention that rape and child abuse are bad. Once gets the distinct impression that they were considered too trivial to even mention. Next time he comes around maybe he should hire some PR, I mean it just looks bad!

  34. says

    @Mike and @Hayden

    Yes, I know this and you know this, but semantics arguments are the bread and butter of presuppositionalist apologetics, and their strategy is to get you to admit that science and religion are on equal footing so they can work their arguments for maximum return.

    Part of this is acknowledging that you must “believe” in one or the other. Even if the way you use the word “believe” is different than the way they use it (and incidentally, they would say they are using it the same way you are anyway: they believe, that is they accept as true, the existence of God and Christ’s divinity), they are still going down that equivocation fallacy anyway. It’s word sophistry and it leads to messy sub-arguments that just wastes everybody’s time and muddies the debate.

    For the sake of clarity, brevity, focus, strength of argument, and not playing by their silly little “gotcha” word games, it’s better not to say the word “believe”. Simply state the truth: You “accept as true”….within a high degree of probability.

  35. says

    Then what Matt should have done is taken the theological non-cognitivist position and replied: “What do you mean by believe?”

  36. says

    Not if it doesn’t even come up as a point of contention. The discussion didn’t get to that point, as I recall.

    It could have been that Matt and the caller actually agreed on the definition. It’d be kind of silly to stop automatically every time a word is used that could have multiple definitions, in order to clarify. “Belief” wouldn’t be the only word to have this issue.

    Ultimately, the concepts that are discussed are what’s important, and apparently this wasn’t an issue in this particular discussion.

    Incidentally, this particular issue issue with the ambiguity of the word “belief” has come up in the past – many times. When needed, they clarified it.

    I just don’t think we need to start getting superstitious about it. I try to use the word “theory” correctly, for instance, because within the context of science, there is an actual correct definition, whereas “belief” has no clear context-driven correct definition.

  37. John D. says

    Just watched Matt Dillahunty’s recent debate with a Christian senior pastor Cliffe Knechtle:

    I must say I was very disappointed with Matt’s performance. He seems so emotionless and disinterested in defending his position, unlike the other speaker, who’s so passionate and full of zeal.

  38. says

    Being passionate is good from a publicity standpoint, but it’s worthless without a solid foundation of rational arguments. A good combination of both is the best, of course, but if you can only have one, I’ll pick the solid arguments.

  39. Bbinbgky says

    why, when “believers” are shown – and admit – that their “divinely-inspired” book is wrong about things, and THAT’S the book that their belief in that god comes from: WHY do they think it’s right about that god?

  40. jacobfromlost says

    The “teacher’s” call got me thinking of a counter-apologetic I would like to see used more often.

    When theists start making the “something can’t come from nothing” argument ostensibly in relation to “the universe”, I wish skeptics would respond, “Is god something?” and follow up on all the possibilities, as they are all dead-ends for the god claims (and by extension, clearly a dead-end when theists pursue the same question about the universe to try to force their god into existence).

    That annoying theist dude “Mathew” who Matt talked with on Trolling with Logic established that both he and Matt agreed that the universe was something (or that the universe “exists”, which I think is equivalent).

    God can only be something (exists) or nothing (doesn’t exist). If god is something, and they desperately want to say that “something can’t come from nothing”, then what did god come from? If he didn’t come from anything (nothing?), or if he isn’t required to come from anything…then something can exist without necessarily “coming from” something else.

    If god is nothing, then SAYING everything comes from god is the same as saying everything comes from nothing…and you have a universe that looks exactly like the one we have.

    They might as well say, “Something can’t come from nothing except for god, which proves god because he’s the exception per earlier in this sentence where I claimed he was the exception to the fact that something can’t come from nothing except god, who is the something which doesn’t need anything else to come from…which isn’t nothing unless you think about it and realize that claim about the universe needing something to ‘come from’ just got demolished, and that was the foundation of this entire argument.”

  41. says

    The only response I’ve heard to that is “well, god’s not some-thing,” which is of course complete equivocation.
    They want god to be in a special category all by itself where none of the normal rules apply, but if you accuse them of special pleading, they get oh so offended.

    …which proves god because he’s the exception per earlier in this sentence where I claimed he was the exception…

    Isn’t that basically the argument Stephen Feinstein came with?
    “I don’t need to explain god. Why? Because I just said so!”

    He said that god was a necessary being, but he never actually got around to justifying that claim.

  42. Lord Narf says

    Turns out I was wrong about it being a wink, anyway. I think the guy is legit. He’s just that bug-shit inane.

  43. Lord Narf says

    Pretty much, yeah. The pre-suppositional argument is just the usual special pleading bullshit with some pretty words thrown in. Russel did a fantastic job of ripping the whole thing apart. The end of his third post did a great job of laying out the major problems, and Feinstein never addressed a damned one of them.

  44. Warp says

    When you have a book with thousands of pages, a good chunk of it being filled with poetry, aphorisms and other such abstract text, the likelihood that *nothing* in it won’t ever slightly resemble facts discovered in the far future is actually pretty small, especially if you are liberal in its interpretation. With so much (what amounts to more or less random) text, it’s actually quite likely that some phrases will sound like they could fit some scientific discovery. It would actually be odd if this wasn’t so.

    Anyways, I wondered why the most obvious reason for religions to meddle with people’s sex life wasn’t stated at the beginning of the show: Guilt. When you make people feel guilty about their natural behavior, that’s a terrific tool to make them stay inside the religion.

  45. says

    When you tell someone that they are making an Argument from Ignorance the “ignorance” referenced is actually your own. The structure of an Argument from Ignorance fallacy is this:

    Person A (you) does not have an explanation (is ignorant) for event X
    Person B (the other guy) has an explanation for event X
    B demands explanation for event X
    A admits to not knowing
    B claims that because A doesn’t have an explanation (is ignorant) that A must accept B’s explanation.

    This is the Argument from Ignorance.

    The Argument from Personal Incredulity is slightly different in that B claims that because B can’t think of any better explanation than the one he has A must accept B’s current explanation.

  46. Lord Narf says

    What the heck does he think he is accomplishing? What is his end game plan?

    This guy’s got the emotional maturity of a 12 year-old. I don’t think they generally have an end-game planned out.

  47. Lord Narf says

    Awwwwww, where did those targeted, 6-reasons-to-believe-in-God ads go? That site is a great comedy site. The guy really knows how to Poe.

  48. Lord Narf says

    Heh, that was a joke, man.

    I found it funny, because anyone who’s active on Free-Thought Blogs should know enough to know all of the horrible flaws with the grade-school apologetic arguments on that site. I’m sure he was perfectly serious, though.

    If that mook wasting his money on advertizements on this site helps out FTB, I have no problem with it.

  49. says

    Frankly I had a terribly hard time getting through that video. But, not because of Matt’s performance. Frankly I couldn’t stand being preached at by Cliffe and Shock of God’s asinine text commentary served only to show what a lack of understanding he has of, well, most things. I needed a prybar to remove my palm from my face.

  50. jacobfromlost says

    Well, I would say that anything that exists (in whatever form) is “something”. If they come back and say god is spiritual, or whatever, then I assume they are claiming that spiritual things actually *exist*, and thus are *something*.

    If they claim something exists and by existing isn’t something…I have no idea what they are saying, lol. That description sounds very much like nothing to me…or, at best, imaginary.

  51. says

    well if they were any problema with Matt it was that his mic sucks, otherwise he was passionate as well as the other…

    the debate was interesting, both had good points.

    but the christian guy when he said to give it a try to god, like asking him to reveal himself and if he doesn’t then continue as you were he doesn’t said how long we should wait and what would be his manifestation exactly…what would it be? that I feel good for 10 minutes? that a young and beautiful girl will touch my balls in a bar? that some random people will give me 20 bucks? that I will find a bus ticket on the street? see, if something good or special happens in my life stuff like that happened already in my life, what will be the difference if I ask god for a manifestation?

  52. says

    One of these weeks, Matt and Company should just let Matt from Oslo go on his bizarre vocalizations as long as he can. Don’t hang up on him, just let him roll. Let it all out. See how far he can go. See what he does when he runs out of gas.

  53. says

    “veterinian” and “prescription”….
    anyway…I am fucking tired to be asked: “you don’t believe in God???”….better question would be :”a god”…why “god”??? as if that “god” was already understood…anyway….I will fuck with a serbian girl soon :)))

  54. says

    When people just keep going back to the Bible as proof in a debate, I think one trick you could try is to take a piece of paper, take out a pen and write “Anything the Bible says is false”. Then tell them that this piece of paper is exactly as significant to you personally as the Bible is, so if they insist on using the Bible as proof, you might just as well use the piece of paper as a counter-argument, since they’re both equally valid from the other person’s perspective.

    Might be a bit more of a to-the-point-example than comparing the Bible to Spider-Man or Star Trek.

  55. nibor says

    No argument about the origin of the names of the weekdays, but sorry, there is no THOR in THURSDAY. There is a part of thunder’s day in Thursday. Still, there is not THOR in THURSDAY.

  56. Lord Narf says

    With the great vowel shift, which happened in Middle English, it’s right freaking there. Thor is there, much more than thunder is. You’re being deliberately obtuse.

  57. MCB says

    Here is the OED entry for Thursday. The OED is a pretty good place to start for the etymology of English words.

    Thursday, n. and adv.

    Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈθəːzdeɪ/ , /ˈθəːzdi/ , U.S. /ˈθərzˌdeɪ/ , /ˈθərzdi/
    α. OE Þunresdæg, OE Ðunresdæg, OE Þunresdæig (rare), OE Þunresdeg (rare), OE Þunresdei (rare), OE Þuresdæg (rare), OE Þurnesdæg (perh. transmission error), OE Þurresdæg (rare), OE Þursdæg (rare), eME Þiuisdai (transmission error), eME Þunresdæi, eME Ðunresdæig, eME Þuresdei, eME Þurrsdaȝȝ ( Ormulum), eME Þursdei, ME Thrusdai, ME Thurday, ME Thuresday, ME Thursedaye, ME Thurysday, ME Thwrsday, ME Þrusday, ME Þurday, ME Þuresdai, ME Þursdai, ME Þursdaie, ME Þursday, ME Þurseday, ME 16 Thersday, ME–16 Thursdai, ME–16 Thursdaye, ME– Thursday, 15 Thirysday, 15 Thurisday, 15 Thursdae, 15 Turisday, 15–16 Thurseday, 16 Thirsday, 16 Thirsdaye, 16 Thoursday, 16 Thursdaie, 16 Thursdaij; Sc. pre-17 Thrisday, pre-17 Thrsdday, pre-17 Thrusday, pre-17 Thursda, pre-17 17– Thursday; N.E.D. (1912) also records a form eME Ðursdai, and a form of the first element 15 Thurss-.

    β. ME Thoresday, ME Thorisday, ME Thorsseday, ME Þoresdai, ME Þoresday, ME Þorisdai, ME Þorisday, ME Þorsdai, ME Þorsday, ME Þorusday, ME–15 Thorsday, 16 Thorisdai, 17 Thorsdei (Irish English (Wexford)); Sc. pre-17 Thewrisday, pre-17 Thoorsday, pre-17 Thruisday, pre-17 Thuirisday, pre-17 Thuirsday, pre-17 Thurasday, pre-17 Thuresday, pre-17 Thurisda, pre-17 Thurisday, pre-17 Thurisdaye, pre-17 Thursedaie, pre-17 Turisday, 19 Thorsday; N.E.D. (1912) also records a form ME Thoursday.

    γ. lME Þundurday.

    δ. 15 Fursday; Sc. pre-17 Fowresday, pre-17 Fuiresday, pre-17 Furisday, pre-17 Furysday, pre-17 17 19– Fursday, pre-17 17– Fuirsday, pre-17 18 Forsday, 17–18 Foorsday, 18 Foardsday (Galloway), 18– Feersday (north-east.), 19– Feursday (Shetland), 19– Fiersday, 19– Foersday (Shetland); Irish English 19– Fursday.

    Etymology: Originally cognate with or formed similarly to Old Frisian thunresdei , Middle Dutch donresdach , donderdach (Dutch donderdag ), Old High German donarestag (Middle High German donerstac , donrestac , German Donnerstag ) < the genitive of the Germanic base of thunder n. (used as the name of a god: see note) + the Germanic base of day n., originally after post-classical Latin dies Iovis day of (the planet) Jupiter (2nd or 3rd cent.; frequently from c1115 in British sources; compare Hellenistic Greek Διὸς ἡμέρα , probably after Latin); subsequently (in β. forms) reinforced by early Scandinavian (compare Old Icelandic þórsdagr, Old Swedish þorsdagher (Swedish torsdag), Danish torsdag), itself probably after forms in West Germanic languages.
    In γ. forms remodelled after thunder n.

    The Latin days of the week in imperial Rome were named after the planets, which in turn were named after gods (see discussion at week n.). In most cases the Germanic names have substituted for the Roman god's name that of a comparable one from the Germanic pantheon. The Germanic god could be identified with Jupiter as a controller of thunder; he was also identified with Hercules in other contexts. Compare also quot. OE1 at sense A.α. and the following glosses:
    eOE Corpus Gloss. (1890) 70/1 Iouem, þuner.
    eOE Cleopatra Gloss. in W. G. Stryker Lat.-Old Eng. Gloss. in MS Cotton Cleopatra A.III (Ph.D. diss., Stanford Univ.) (1951) 252 Ioppiter, þunor oþþe ður.

    Compare ( < post-classical Latin dies Iovis ) Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French, French jeudi (1119 as juesdi ), Old Occitan dijous , jous (13th cent.; Occitan dijòus , jòus ), Catalan dijous (late 13th cent., also jous (late 12th cent.)), Spanish jueves (late 11th cent. as joves ), Italian giovedì (1253 as giovidì ).

    The α. forms show original short ŭ and its reflexes; the β. forms chiefly reflect early Scandinavian long close ō , which was retained in Middle English and developed regularly into Older Scots ui /yː/ . Some Scots forms are ambiguous and have been listed with the α. forms.

    The δ. forms show substitution of f for th chiefly in Scots (see th n. (6)).

    I think it's fairly clear from that that the origin is from the god Thor (whose domain includes thunder btw).

  58. says

    Interesting article.

    Anyway of course Thunder is related to Thor for he was the god of thunder.

    But for Jeudi in French I have learned that it comes from Jupiter and that was a slang latin for Deus Pater (God the father lol) anyway…

  59. MCB says

    If you read the OED entry you will see that the Roman gods were switched out for Germanic gods of similar power. So Thor replaces Jupiter. It makes sense that these changes would not be preserved in Romance languages, since they are based on Latin, where there would be no need to switch out the word.

    The Romans had an interesting notion about religion. When they would go and conquer some new territory and discover different religious practices, they generally just assumed that they were different methods for worshipping the same gods. So to the Romans, Thor was just another name for Jupiter with slightly different traditions.

    This kind of multiculturalism did not work very will with Christianity or Judaism, both of which insist that everyone else in the world is totally wrong about god.

  60. jacobfromlost says

    Lord Narf is correct. (I can still remember my “History of the Language” class, and a professor who said that if we forgot everything else, remember the Great Vowel Shift, lol. Ok, so I remembered a few other things too.)

    It’s amazing how many people think languages are written in stone, and always existed (or are somehow written into the very fabric of reality), but usually it’s the theists who say, “If English was good enough for Jesus…”

    Thursday is Thor’s day. (P.S. There is a nice wikipedia article on it also.)

  61. jacobfromlost says

    Sadly, some theists think Jesus spoke “King James” English. There was recently a letter to the editor in our local paper where the writer said the “King James” version is the definitive version of the bible (and to ignore all others as inaccurate). Some people no doubt believe it is the “original” version, thus if Jesus is speaking English in it…he must have spoken English.

  62. Lord Narf says

    The bit about the KJV being the only true version doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is the level of idiocy of those who think Jesus spoke English. There’s some asinine line about God guiding the hand of King James, as he translated the Bible.

    That’s another fun bit of stupidity, by the way … people thinking that King James did the translation personally. I’ve heard a couple of people actually say that.

  63. jacobfromlost says

    “The bit about the KJV being the only true version doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is the level of idiocy of those who think Jesus spoke English”

    They were pretty close. I don’t remember the issue, but it was some moral issue where they thought a previous letter writer didn’t understand the nuances of the bible well enough…and should have referenced the King James version for more clarity and authority.

  64. Lord Narf says

    The authority statement (assuming you’re quoting that part accurately) sounds like the translators-guided-by-the-hand-of-God sort of nonsense I’ve heard out of some fundie nut-jobs.

  65. jacobfromlost says

    “The only Bible one should read and study is the King James Bible. The King James Version has much to say about both homosexuality and abortion. Homosexuality is the sickest sin in Scriptures.”

    It get goes on like that for the whole letter.

  66. Lord Narf says

    Ummmmmmmm …

    Wow. So, what she’s saying is that there are versions of the Bible that don’t have anything bad to say about homosexuality? Likewise, the KJV doesn’t actually have anything explicit to say against abortion. I just pulled up a Christian site,

    “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).

    This passage declares that God Himself said that He “formed” and “knew” the baby “in the womb… before” the baby was “born”.

    “What then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?” (Job 31:14-15)

    This passage affirms that “God… made” the baby “in the womb”.

    “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

    They’re reaching pretty badly, with those. Besides, any time Christians have to go to psalms for a Biblical argument, they’re pretty much fucked. When they pull a single line out of context, from psalms, they’re effectively pulling the argument straight out of their ass, even by their weak standards of argumentation.

  67. jacobfromlost says

    “get goes”

    Oops. I was about to say “it gets worse” from there, but didn’t want to overstate things, so changed it to “goes on like that”.

    Then I read this part of the letter: “It’s totally amazing that people who believe in sodomy and abortion also firmly believe in evolution.”

    lol I knew there was a reason I remembered that letter.

    From my reading of the bible, I seem to remember something in Exodus that says if a woman loses a pregnancy due to some “mischief” of a man, the man must pay the woman’s husband for the loss. Which implies, to my mind, if she doesn’t WANT the baby, and the action to end the pregnancy isn’t “mischief”, and she either doesn’t have a husband or the husband declines to take payment…then the bible seems to be fine with abortion. (I take note that most abortions would seem to satisfy all of those conditions.)

  68. Lord Narf says

    Exodus 21:22-25

    22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

    23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

    24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

    25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

  69. Cosmas says

    I’m looking forward to reading Saif’s book “the Islamist Delusion” thanks for introducing him on your show. Listening to him I realized I’m in the camp with ex-Mislims who say: Why bother?
    Possibly since I live in the Midwest where the Xian fundies are the prominent danger to rational discourse.

  70. hypatiasdaughter says

    I heard an anecdote about a woman said she read the KJV because it was written by Jesus’ brother. Of course, that may have been apocryphal…….
    I think people stick to the KJV because of nostalgia – they are just used it. And because it sounds old timey, sort of like fantasy fiction written in some made up Old English or Elven tongue.

    I read a book about the translation of the KJV: God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible by Adam Nicolson. It was very good. King James split up the bible into sections and appointed committees to translate them. They were Anglican clergymen and scholars from varying backgrounds, and like all committee projects, some had problems bringing it in on time.

  71. Lord Narf says

    There’s a better passage, even, which was just pointed out to me:

    Numbers 5:11-28

    The Test for an Unfaithful Wife

    11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah[a] of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.

    16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[b] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

    “‘Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”

    23 “‘The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. 24 He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. 25 The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the Lord and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial[c] offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. 28 If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.

    That passage is basically mandating judicial abortion, if their voodoo actually worked.

    If the fundie nut-jobs were being Biblically consistent, they wouldn’t be pro-choice; they would be pro-abortion. They should be mandating abortion in the case of unwed mothers and unfaithful spouses. The anti-abortion passages they bring up need to be twisted to come even close to a pro-life stance, while the pro-abortion passages are pretty straight forward.

    Mind you, actual pro-choice is completely out of the question, since women should be treated as property, according to the Bible. At least they got that part right.

  72. The SteinMaster says

    Darrel Ray compares religion to a virus.

    Didn’t Hitler compare the Jews to a Bacillus?