Author Topic: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up  (Read 4326 times)

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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2009, 08:16:08 AM »
There's a phrase that I'm thinking of, but I can't quite get in my head right, "don't argue with idiots because if they have more experience than you then you'll lose" or something more wittily put.


Though obviously not many of us have taken that into account on here. ;)
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Offline Seank

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2009, 08:26:35 AM »
I found what appears to be a Mark Twain quote along those lines:

"Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."

It's very true. When debating evolution with creationists I get the impression that the mere presence of a scientists adds credibility to the creationist cause. Biology and cosmology are not simple subjects, and a lot of people likely lack the necessary background to differentiate between creationist junk science and the real thing. I find myself often complaining at my TV when cosmetics adverts come on, since their claims are legal, but firmly in the realms of talking donkeys and quantum healing.

For a "mass market" debate, I think you really do need someone who is going to viciously dissect the arguments of the opponent, and not just rely on their being correct.
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Offline thegodiknew

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2009, 09:40:52 AM »
Good point. This is why an American President doesn't sit down for a face to face with a two-bit lunatic tinhorn dictator from some backwater country with nuclear aspirations (I'm look at you Kim Jon Il) to talk them out of it. When the person with power sits down with the lunatic it gives the lunatic credibility. The politically savvy will treat, if possible, the opponent with actual credibility and facts the same way: dismiss them, ignore them, and refuse to debate them these very grounds: "No one takes this laughing stock seriously, I'm not going to give them credibility by being seen with them." The very act of debating them raises them to your status. Makes them a choice.

There is another rule of social interaction:

The person with the greatest behavior flexibility controls the interaction - and the person who controls it appears to win every time.

This is seen daily at the super market as the cart approaches the checkout stand and the toddler sees the strategically placed candy bar...

"Momma, want dat."
"You just had a sweet baby"
"Momma. WANT dat!"
"I said, you just had a sweet baby."
"MOMMA. WANT DAT!"
"Not to day, sweet'ums"
Queue jet engines. Queue throwing self on floor. Queue screaming, thrashing, hitting mother....
Queue every head turning to stare at the Mother insisting she stop that disturbance without raising her hand or voice....
Queue momma reaching for candy bar and handing it to cashier.

Who was more powerful in size? Was right? Who won?

Now what is momma had had the behavioral flexibility to throw HERSELF on the floor and scream and thrash (without emotion - just doing the same behavior)? The monster is robbed of his one power. The power to humiliate and socially pressure.

This works. My friend has two daughters who are holy terrors. They have ear splitting screams and when they want something they employ them to get what they want. So if I was in a conversation with their dad and they started demanding something this way, I would join them, without emotion, raising my voice leaning forward and demanding that daddy give them what they want. Instant silence. Their eyes get as big as saucers, they sit back and you hear not another peep.

In short, the creationist and theists should be the one clamoring for debates with evolutionists and atheists and the response of the latter should be simple and straight forward: The creationist/theistic stance is patently delusional and we don't waste our time debating delusional people.

Let them whine and stop and complain. The more they do the more rational people see them for what they are.

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Offline Seank

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2009, 10:01:25 AM »
Heh heh, I liked the supermarket example. Consider the following statements and their opposing arguments:

1) Gravity is caused by magnetism. The planet has a giant iron core, and the rotation of this generates the magnetic force we know as gravity.
2) Gravity is related to the mass of an object, with large objects such as planets having sufficient mass to generate the gravitational force that stops us from floating away.

1) Evolution is about random mutation, but there's no way that something like an eye could randomly form.
2) Evolution about random mutation and a selection process through which beneficial or benign mutations are more likely to passed to future generations.

1) Christianity is God's final revelation, since it clearly says so in the Bible.
2) Islam is God's final revelation, since it clearly says so in the Qur'an.

I may have made some mistakes there, but it's easy to see how people may struggle to separate the junk from the statements based on scientific knowledge. (I know that the final example isn't scientific, but pure religious debates suffer the same problem). The best way we win this is through ensuring decent education in schools, and also for the scientific community to make it very clear that much of modern medicine relies on evolutionary theory. i.e. future generations can have your biblical literalist views or good health, but not both.
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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2009, 10:15:37 AM »
This is all well and good until the creationists are able to mobilize their superior numbers to effect social / political / legal / institutional change which effects the rational minority.



 
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Red McWilliams

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2009, 08:26:10 PM »
There is another rule of social interaction:

The person with the greatest behavior flexibility controls the interaction - and the person who controls it appears to win every time.

This is a good point.  One thing I would add (for all you budding salespeople out there) is that whoever is asking the questions is controlling the conversation.  If someone asks you a question, you answer it quickly and then throw a question right back at them.  Make them play defense. 

Comfort is supremely skilled at doing that.  Thunderf00t makes great arguments in his wonderful videos but he doesn't appear to have much skill talking to someone face to face about this stuff.
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2009, 09:30:02 AM »
One more analysis that seems to be spot on;

tooltime9901
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TyZkgdvKr4[/youtube]
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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2009, 09:54:19 AM »
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOeW0TI5f3o[/youtube]
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Red McWilliams

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2009, 10:14:10 AM »
^That sure seems like a cop out to me.  If it was really supposed to just be a learning experience and a chance to contrast two different ideologies, why did Thunderf00t make such a big deal about debating Ray in person?
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Offline Asmoday

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2009, 10:42:20 AM »
Meh. If I was him, I wouldn´t have done the whole thing.

I mean, he knew he was going to debate someone, who is earning his money by making people believe the crap he spouts out.
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Offline thegodiknew

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2009, 12:28:46 PM »
Perhaps an off camera sit down discussion over coffee would have at least gave TFoot a warm up. I think he was pretty fair and honest about his performance. Yes, he was out of his element, and in enemy territory. It takes considerable training to perform under those circumstances. I agree that having Ray freely express the logical yet insane out-growths of his belief system was no small win.

Good on you T-Foot for standing up and charging in there for us. May many more be inspired to build on this work.
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Offline Red McWilliams

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2009, 12:42:29 PM »
I think this should be a lesson to all of us.  Get some practice talking to these people in person.  Get your nose bloodied a little in a small setting in case you ever have the chance to talk about this stuff in a large setting.  That way you know what you're getting into and won't be surprised by anything the other person says.

The creationist, especially of the likes of Ray Comfort, has a very clear set of objectives and a very clear path to reach them.  We have to be aware of that, create our own objectives and paths and have specific tactics to get the creationist off of their script.  You're never going to be able to do that unless you've got hours and hours of talking to these people 'belly to belly'.

Let's say you like hitting baseballs at the batting cages.  You've even become a decent hitter on the 80mph cage.  Then, the next day you go to the ballpark and get in the box to face Tim Lincecum.  You're going to fail miserably.  You can't expect to hit homeruns against major leaguers until you've gotten good at hitting them against minor leaguers.

Making youtube videos and debating online is the equivalent of the batting cages.  It gives you some practice holding the bat and can teach you not to be afraid of the ball, but does very little to prepare you to face other professionals.
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2009, 12:48:40 PM »
Re-post from The atheists nightmare thread;

I think the only way to approach Ray Comfort is to relentlessly call him on his BS, and not address his comments at all.  I think this is acceptable behavior in his case because he has shown that he lies so he can preach, and he has no interest in an honest discussion.
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2009, 12:54:11 PM »
Another tip: Don't let them control the environment.  A hotel room would be fine.

Note that the RRS made that mistake by not bringing their own camera and thinking they could get copies of the debate they had from Ray (who never gave it) or Nightline (who did not give the unedited video).
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 12:57:29 PM by Hermes »
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline Hermes

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2009, 12:55:39 PM »
As soon as Ray started to assert knowledge of something that is really a belief, he should be slammed for it.  He should not be able to get away with such a claim.
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Offline Crocoduck

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2009, 01:04:28 PM »
As soon as Ray started to assert knowledge of something that is really a belief, he should be slammed for it.  He should not be able to get away with such a claim.

that was my biggest point, he let him off the hook from the get go when he should have beat this horse to death and beyond before moving to the next topic.

(i actually exchanged some messages with him before his trip and warned him about this)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 01:08:54 PM by Crocoduck »
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Offline thegodiknew

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2009, 03:08:27 PM »
I also note that Ray spoke to TF not as a scientist but as simply a wayward believer, with Ray as the patient minister of God intent on showing (or confusing) the wayward soul back into the fold. This was Ray' s frame. Had TF been aware that Ray was setting the frame and roles in the interaction he could have reframed and set the rules. Instead it appeared that this completely foreign frame confused TF completely in the beginning.

And always remember: "I reject the premise of your question." When the premise or presupposition is flawed. ie. Ray's presupposition was I KNOW God exists because the Bible says so.
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2009, 03:15:16 PM »
Yep.  Ray never strays from that.  Everyone is a lapsed Christian -- even someone not raised as a Christian.  Why?  Because, to Ray, everyone has 'God written in their hearts' or some similar nonsense.

Also, Ray bops between faith-only-personal-revelation-sans-Bible to Bible-is-God's-word-so-follow-it.  The two aren't really compatible.  If the Bible is not necessary, it raises how he knows what to call his religious beliefs.  If the Bible is necessary, then it can be questioned.  Many twisty little paths running off into the distance, all that look the same.
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Offline thegodiknew

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2009, 03:23:16 PM »
Yeah, I know that one well. As a missionary I had to struggle with the justice of sending generations to hell before we got there with the gospel. The "things about God which can be known through the creation" clause became the wiggle room that was needed to let God off the hook. Your point would have undone it immediately, but of course no one wished to think that next step further.

Plus the clause from Roman's doesn't say the heathen is saved through the recognition of God through the creation, merely that he is condemned because of it. Kinda fn sick.
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2009, 03:32:13 PM »
Seems like the Christian God is not only a jealous god, but one with an unrequited stalker mentality; 'They'll love me, they know they do, and if they don't, I'm going to get my just revenge'. 

If it wasn't fiction, I'd want a time machine and a really big dose of anti-psychotic drugs.  Can they be delivered in airborne payloads via rockets?  I'm thinking someone follows Abraham around, and when he talks to the big guy, flood the place with the meds.  Either that or illicit drugs.  That raises a question: If God were high, would God see God -- and would it think that was awesome, or would God then go off and try and find God again, worshiping it's own God named God?
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Offline thegodiknew

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2009, 03:40:15 PM »
Now THERE is a movie. Some one goes back in time and kills Abraham before he leaves Ur. That would solve our three biggest problems.

We could call it The Abramater.
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Offline thegodiknew

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #50 on: July 26, 2009, 03:42:10 PM »
  That raises a question: If God were high, would God see God -- and would it think that was awesome, or would God then go off and try and find God again, worshiping it's own God named God?

In the Hindu texts Brahma is ignoring mankind as he sits with his back to us contemplating HIS god.
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #51 on: July 26, 2009, 03:44:59 PM »
Now THERE is a movie. Some one goes back in time and kills Abraham before he leaves Ur. That would solve our three biggest problems.

We could call it The Abramater.

The Talmudator?


Back in the real world, there's Towing Jehovah by James Morrow;

Author's site: http://www.sff.net/people/jim.morrow/towing.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Towing-Jehovah-Harvest-James-Morrow/dp/0156002108

Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=eQoOHOI_fQIC&dq=towing+jehovah&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=qb9sSvOeComQNtvusPkG&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4
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Offline thegodiknew

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #52 on: July 26, 2009, 03:55:39 PM »
Rational World Pre-Crime Division
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Offline Onesimus

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #53 on: July 26, 2009, 05:10:06 PM »
I think this should be a lesson to all of us.  Get some practice talking to these people in person.  Get your nose bloodied a little in a small setting in case you ever have the chance to talk about this stuff in a large setting.  That way you know what you're getting into and won't be surprised by anything the other person says.

This is a really good point.  As crappy as I was as a Christian apologist, I can't say that I'm gobs better batting for the other team.

Just a couple of days ago, somehow I got into one of these little discussions with a friend of mine, and he was going through what we used to call a "dark night of the soul" where he felt spiritually alienated.  Even so, he was toeing a pretty hard party line and was determined to be spiritually victorious, whatever that might mean for him.  And at that moment, I was really more concerned with his overall depressed mood than anything else.  I didn't even take a swing at the softballs he lobbed ("There are no missing link fossils anywhere - every fossil is a distinct species, no transitions!").  I was really only concerned that he get a better grip on his emotional health, and I know from experience that emotional health is usually the first casualty of spiritual searching. 

I'm also in a different kind of headspace right now.  I'm heavily involved in a creative project, and I don't want my personal views to infiltrate the project to the point where it becomes alienating to a large percentage of my audience.  The things I'm interested in saying don't, and shouldn't, rely on a non-theist (or for that matter theist) audience mindset.     

Offline Red McWilliams

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #54 on: July 26, 2009, 05:14:51 PM »
Ony, you big softie!
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Offline Codswallop

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2009, 05:36:36 PM »
As crappy as I was as a Christian apologist, I can't say that I'm gobs better batting for the other team.    

Yeah, but it's not like we all have to be Dawkins/Dennett/Harris/Hitchens or whatever. As has been said here many times, atheism (or non-theism, if you prefer) is not just one thing. In fact, it's not a thing at all. It is a non-thing. There isn't an explanation for it, any more than there's an explanation for why Earth does not have three moons, or why water does not flow up hill. So you don't have to be a Charles Ingersoll.

Ask me, I'd say anyone who manages to be a nice person around here is way ahead of the game. Good on ya!
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Offline Onesimus

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2009, 06:15:21 PM »

Offline IwasWrong

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Re: Thunderf00t/Comfort disscussion is up
« Reply #57 on: July 27, 2009, 12:32:04 PM »
thegodiknew - I agree with your observations on this debate.  I was pretty disappointed.  I'm sure Ray will show this video all over now at his training camps.
"And this is one big problem on these forums. Proof is needed for every statement.
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