I can’t even…..

In fact in Josh’s book, Reasons Skept ics should Consider Christianity, Glenn Morton (an undergrad at the time) ghost wrote the young-earth creationist arguments featured in that volume, not Josh. Mr. Morton later gave up young-earth creationism. But Josh never had the brains or inclination to do so but still believes in both a young-earth, a literal Adam and Eve, dinosaurs existing besides humans, and probably a literal garden with magical fruit, Flood geology, a literal confusion of tongues at a literal Tower of Babel, and an inerrant Bible that he imagines he has harmonized all the errors out of. Just read his website today. Meanwhile the undergrad, Glenn Morton, who ghost wrote large portions of one of Josh’s books now has a Ph.D. in geology and debunks young-earth creationist arguments, and even defends the evolutionary idea of common ancestry.


I can’t even….



Well, damn:

This survey shows that a lot of people take on a particular religious label, not because they have a full understanding of what that faith believes, but for other more superficial reasons. Maybe their parents raised them in it. Maybe they were led to that religion by a friend. Maybe they attended a service and found it welcoming and inspiring.

But not because they agreed with what the religions necessarily teach.


Not that surprising, really:

When the whole thing is constructed around the (purported) virtue of “faith”, and distrust of “your own understanding” — such “faith” will (inevitably and predictably) result in a population of stupid cattle, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to be “milked” in whatever way their theological “owners” demand:


THIS is a problem:

The above is a map illustrating a fact which is both so obvious as to be incontestable, and yet, frantically denied/hand-waved away, by (almost) everybody.

As one blog puts the issue:

the map shows that the religious answer to that question depends on where you are! If you live in Tibet or Thailand, Buddhism teaches that we are here to learn to cease suffering and reach nirvana. If you live in Yemen or Saudi Arabia, Islam teaches that we are here to submit to Allah.

We ask the most profound questions of all, and the answers are location specific? What kind of truth depends on location?


The horrifying part is: it gets even dumber, and more vicious:

Such “truths” aren’t merely predictable on the basis of geography (which would be bad enough); they are also strongly correlated with phenotype-based delusions such as “race” or “ethnicity”.


Again, repeat after me: “Bubba is a Baptist, because Bubba was born in the ‘bible-belt’.

Check, please.




Of course most believers, if they think about it at all, just rationalize the inertia of their membership in the religion of their parents. But suppose you don’t like that one, and you are shopping for a new creed; how would you decide? I have often heard apologists claim that, while you can’t demonstrate the truth of any religion, even if it is true, you can at least eliminate some from the competition if they contradict themselves or depend upon statements that are demonstrably false. And then they glibly point out scriptural difficulties or theo-philosophical contradictions in Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism (“You’re supposed to desire not to desire? Yuk yuk.”), etc. And then they pivot around and start the special pleading. Obviously the same sort of stuff can be thrown at Christianity by the bucket-full, but they marshal painfully silly clichés in place of arguments that they would never let their opponents get away with: “God doesn’t sendanyone to hell! People choose to go there!” Why don’t they see their silliness? Why don’t they recognize what they are doing as special pleading? Because of that damn “faith,” which is just the art of the spin-doctor. The epistemology of stonewalling and propaganda. Thus faith corrupts their whole approach.



William Lane Craig: pseudo-intellectual worm

How is the fact that other persons claim to experience a self-authenticating witness of God’s Spirit relevant to my knowing the truth of Christianity via the Spirit’s witness? The existence of an authentic and unique witness of the Spirit does not exclude the existence of false claims to such a witness. … Why should I be robbed of my joy and assurance of salvation simply because someone else falsely pretends, sincerely or insincerely, to the Spirit’s witness? (Reasonable Faith, 49)


His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself — that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.


Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.

Oceana is at war with Eastasia.  Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

“Evidence” to the contrary?  A mere “snare for the proud”.



A particularly stupid example of Fundie Hand-waving:

“God answers prayers.  Sometimes he answers ‘yes’, sometimes ‘no’, and sometimes ‘wait'”.

The above tidbit of “wisdom” is often trotted out (typically by Fundie Protestants), whenever they end up being confronted with something that a genuinely honest observer would regard as an unanswered prayer:

For the record, the whole “faith moves mountains” and “ask, and it will be given” thing.  Keep that in mind.

So, for example: let’s take an example from my own youth.

At one point back during my teens, I used to hang out with a blind guy.  For some reason, this guy tended to humor religious types, whenever they did the whole “laying on of hands” thing, or decided to “pray” for him to be “healed” of his blindness.

Now, any sane person would admit – at the very least – that a medical procedure which produced no result whatever – neither improving, nor worsening the “symptom” – had done nothing, and was in fact, exactly equivalent to not doing the “procedure” in the first place.

In other words, TOTALLY ineffectual.

Not with these Fundie, however.

See, let’s assume that their procedure had actually worked, and my friend had “miraculously” regained his vision.  (We hear a lot of this sort of “healings” in the Bible – typically involving spittle and mud, for whatever reason).

THAT sort of “miraculous” healing – corroborated both by subsequent medical evidence (say, totally regenerated retinas) and my friend (for example) subsequently managing to get the CDL licence and become a truck-driver – wold be definitive evidence in favor of the efficacy of prayer.

NOT specifically of the underlying Christian theology – but merely of “prayer” being efficacious, as such.

But, what about the fact that every single time my friend allowed these fundies to “pray for” him – he remained blind?

Now, THIS is where that special brand of Fundie “Cherry-picking” and doublethink comes into play:

1. Maybe “God” said “no” (because my friend is “supposed to” continue to be blind –  as part of the inscrutable “mysterious ways” of God Fundies are always blathering about.

2. IF my friend (for example) would happen to undergo a medical procedure later in life, which WOULD restore his vision (but which hadn’t been available for whatever reason, at the specific time the Fundie decided to “pray for” healing) — then the Fundie (or any would-be apologist) can simply – retroactively – declare that “God” must have answered “wait”.

There is no possibility of getting the fundie to even entertain the possibility that the “prayer” was ineffective – much less that they should probably rethink their whole underlying theology.

And THIS is what makes the whole fucking thing so insidious:

A popular example of Christian “evidence” is that when you pray and get what you wanted, then God did it. When you don’t get what you wanted, God did that too.

If I point to puppies, sunsets, and other good things in life, the Christian might say it’s because God is a perfect designer. If I point to cancer, tsunamis, and other bad things, that’s because of the Fall. God can’t lose.

When something good happens, that’s God’s gentle and loving hand taking care of his special people. But when something bad happens, that’s God testing us or improving us.

If someone is good, then that’s due to nudging from the Holy Spirit. If they’re bad, that’s their fault.

There’s a snappy answer or rationalization for every situation. If God’s existence is always a given, then we’re going to bend the reality to fit that assumption. But no one approaches truth that way in any other sector of life. We don’t start with an assumption and then try to twist the facts to support it. It’s the other way around: we start with the facts and ask what the most reasonable explanation is.