Now that Pastor Bob Enyart has failed to defend a single one of the laughable claims he made while I was on his show, after admitting that he hadn’t even read the rebuttals he was supposed to respond to, and despite being unable to disprove me on any point therein either, I suppose it is no surprise that he claims victory in our debate. It obviously doesn’t matter that everyone who actually read that debate says otherwise.
So here [above] is my debate with Ray Comfort. I must have read hundreds of the comments posted to this video. More than 99% of them claim a clear victory for me and a deeply embarrassing loss for Ray. The consensus of all but one of these observers would imply that Ray suffered a humiliating defeat in a wholly one-sided onslaught, wherein he was shown to be dishonest, obtuse, and willfully ignorant by all accounts. How does he respond to that?
Here Ray claims an easy victory in that same debate -against someone he’s never heard of, some guy named Aaron in Texas. Whoever this Aaron-guy was, he was so obscure that he attracted an audience of so many thousands of viewers that they crashed the station’s servers five times. In this video, Ray alleges that I believe in my wife’s existence on faith, because I cannot prove to him that she exists -even if I brought her to meet him. Here he ridicules me for understanding the mitogenomic analysis of caniform and feliform relationships, and he criticizes me for using big mystery words like ‘arboreal’. Bewildering! You just can’t beat the Dunning-Kruger out of some people’s confirmation bias. Oh well, maybe Morton’s Demon will give him the stones to do a second round with me? I doubt it.
91 thoughts on “The Black Knight always triumphs!”
Well done, Aron. It was an entertaining listen and Ray was so predictable.
I had to laugh when he didn’t know what arboreal meant!
I don’t know how you manage to put up with all these charlatans, Aron. I’m glad you do, though. Just out of curiosity, what is your book going to be about?
phylogeny and death metal..
Incantation! And Edge of Sanity!
His arguments seem to rely on some kind of theory of super-density, where no information can get in to affect his preconceived notions.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the facts are refused even moreso when they threaten their paychecks..
You honestly did a really good job.
I was a little worried when you started off the with The Beatles. did you know he was writing the book? It’s part of his series that started with Hitler, God & The Bible, after the Beatles he has Mark Twain and Darwin lined up.
But you really did do a great job. Well done. I can’ imagine Ray willing to do a part two with the same rules.
I particularly the loved the final part where you gave him a dozen openings to respond and he stayed silent, only to finally whine that you never let him speak.
Aron, it was nice to listen to this debate – you are a great speaker, after all. And I admire you for that.
However, I think, that during the second part of the debate you did much better, because you gave Ray an opportunity to speak.
The beauty of the debate is in eloquent answers to arguments offered by your opponent. Unfortunately, you cannot do this, when you constantly “dominate the ring”, which is what you did in the beginning. You’ve made this mistake in other debates too and I think you should modify your strategy.
So, please, let you opponents offer 2-3 arguments, take notes, then destroy these arguments. This will look much more powerful, IMHO.
Oh… And did you win the debate? Of course you did! Who would dare to doubt it!? 🙂
His strategy is just fine, he responded to each and everyone one of Ray’s questions and arguments. Right down to explaining words Ray obviously didn’t understand (or didn’t want to understand). We can’t help the fact that the knowledge gap is so wide it takes half the time just to explain simple definitions.
Oh, and the arboreal bit was hilarious. I’d honestly never heard the word, but just from logical deduction I was able to understand the meaning. Damn, I guess that makes me smarter than Ray Comfort (like that’s hard).
And yea, you won by a landslide, no doubt about it.
Allowing Comfort easy speaking time like that could allow him to easily Gish Gallop over Aron. Gish Gallops are the primary reason people like PZ don’t do debates.
That and that there’s nothing really in it for someone of PZ Myers’ status appearing in a debate- they don’t gain any real notoriety and the creationist always uses it for PR.
No, I didn’t suggest to allow ‘easy speaking time’, in fact, I said ‘let you opponents offer 2-3 arguments’. But my main point was – if you want to have a dialogue you should let your opponent speak.
Sure- if they’re going to stay on topic. If, as Ray so frequently does, proceed to ramble on about a bunch of things that have absolutely no connection to the question there’s no reason to give them more time.
Why? Don’t see any problem here. For instance, you can always say something like this:’Let me remind you, that you didn’t address my last argument, but offered more false statements…’ and go on destroying these new arguments. Aron did this before.
I love how you pressured Ray on his personal relationship with the ninth commandment.
For Comfort there is no such thing as a lie, only interpretations of “truth.”
I laughed and laughed and laughed until I almost felt guilty about taking pleasure in the utter humililation of the Bananaman.
He, of course, learned nothing, except maybe “Don’t let them deviate you from your script”, but that was to be expected.
I did feel that the use of scientific terms, although entirely correctly used, would allow the fundies to play the “They’re trying to bamboozle us with big words” cards. Mind you, when you’re dealing with someone that doesn’t know what ‘arboreal’ means, it’s difficult to think how simple one might have to make a concept while still having it make any sense.
You wiped the floor with him. It was very, very amusing.
You make a good point that both sides claim victory… Also a good point that the majority on the league of reason agree you won and the majority on your channel agree you won. But then Ray and Pastor Bob will have a flock of supporters who will say their people won.
So objectively there is a winner in terms of presenting the arguments and being scientifically and philosophically correct. That is you clearly…
But is part of the purpose of a debate to convince the undecided rather than score points to your audience? In that I think you will likely have failed as you were too technical. ‘Arboreal’ made me wince, but intellectual snobbishness because I know the definition of a word will not convince anyone – it was not key to the argument that it means lives in trees! I have no idea what the ‘mitogenomic analysis of caniform and feliform’ is in all its nuance, I’d assume you mean the mitochondrial genome of these two carnivorans somehow shows they are descended from a common ancestor. But using technical terms like caniform and feliform to someone who has never come across them before will make you look like an intellectual snob. If you are debating one of the ‘scientific’ creationists who have read a few papers and skimmed wikipedia you would destroy them with this debating style as, like me, they likely don’t understand the nuance that underlies the concepts that they will try and use in their arguments.
Ray just spent a lot of his time saying ‘what’ and I don’t think it was the quality of the phone line that was the issue. He cannot even begin to address your points if you don’t couch them in terms he can understand. If he does come back have a read of Dawkins childrens book and try and explain at that level, or a bit lower maybe.
I’d say that anyone who doesn’t understand those words and do not have the capacity to come to an understanding of it has implicitly admitted that they have no relevant opinion on the subject.
I get the PR angle, but I really don’t think we can make such allowances for people who are clearly incompetent without undermining our ability to even have a reasonable debate.
It’s like someone who wants to discuss the political system without understanding the meaning of “electorate” or discuss human sexuality without mentioning genitalia.
It’s idiotic. It’s crippling to any kind of intellectual process. These people are ignorant and proud of it and they’re demanding that the discussion takes place at their level.
I don’t think it’s snobbish to refuse to take such people seriously. Quite the contrary, I think it’s unbelievably arrogant of them to think that we have some responsibility to take them seriously when they haven’t even bothered to do the most basic homework.
We’re trying to have a conversation about differential calculus and these people don’t understand basic arithmetic. Who’s really being arrogant here?
I am a teacher.
I teach evolutionary theory at a high school level.
If you want to be an effective educator, you MUST teach to the level of your students.
Yes, sometime this means “simplifying” and sometimes this means “dumbing down,” but it NEVER means treating them like they are stupid.
This usually means both using the terms and defining the terms, and while I would expect anyone debating evolutionary theory to know what feli-, cani-, and -form means…I would not expect it of the audience (who cannot ask questions, btw) based on my experience as in the classroom.
Indeed, but then it’s not a debate or even a discussion. If Ray comfort came to Aron and asked him for a lesson about evolution, you’d be exactly right, but that’s not what happened.
You can’t expect to have everything explained to you like the dull student at the back of the class AND ALSO expect that people take your opinion seriously. Either you know what you’re talking about or you don’t, one or the other.
If you can get Ray to accept that he’s the student and that he needs to ask questions rather than issue challenges, then I’ll agree to your approach. Good luck.
I doubt that ANY single event will change Ray’s mind…maybe the cumulative effect of multiple reasoned arguments…but I doubt it.
The real target for these debates, in my opinion, is (or should be) the audience. They are the ones who not only need to be educated, but actually have a chance of listening. This should be an opportunity to show the audience how they have been lied to and what the real evidence is with maybe a secondary consideration of giving other debaters ammunition in future debates to point out the intentional ignorance (or lying) of the other side.
I think that if the point is to change Ray’s mind, then the debate should never take place.
Gentle nudges pushing and informing. I try follow Sagan’s advice in “No Such Thing as a Dumb Question” from Demon-Haunted World.
Two short points on that:
1) What you’re describing is not a debate or discussion, it’s a remedial class. It will only work if Ray accepts that he’s the student and has a lot to learn.
2) Ray won’t ever accept that. The information is readily available to anyone with an internet connection. There can be only one reason why Ray is still so ignorant: he wants to be ignorant. He likes it.
He doesn’t want to learn. He doesn’t want to understand and nothing Aron does can possibly change that.
If Ray wants to start an intellectual duel then hobbling himself by fighting with a nail file instead of a sword, that’s his fault.
Oops, that should read “then hobble himself” rather than hobbling.
Too technical? Please, if someone is unable to understand a simple term like arboreal, when they harp on the topic of evolution, then using the “they are using them fancy words” card is completly negated.
I particularly liked how AronRa turned the tables on one of Ray’s favorite tactic; hijacking the conversation. Never allow a creationist/evangelist to do this.
It is a clear victory, and the opposition’s moaning and groaning can never change the fact that AronRa proved Ray Comfort to be a liar, by using Ray Comfort’s own words and inconsistencies against him (the Pat Robertson interview).
This alone, makes any moderates take pause and wonder. Well done sir.
It just blows my mind that Comfort criticizes something yet he doesn’t even understand what the hell he’s talking about. He’s almost as idiotic as a presuppositionalist. Mind you, he probably is one.
If he could spell it he would definitely be a presuppositionalist.
Given his closeness to Eric Hovind he almost certainly is one though.
Forgot to add: I’ve heard of the phrase playing chess with pigeons before from Troy Britain’s site:
Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon — it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.
This seems to match that perfectly.
Thinking back upon it, probably one thing that you could have done is: after you had to explain to Ray some of the technical terms involved in evolution, you could has asked him “If you had to explain various biblical and/or theological terms to me so that I could understand it, would you feel that I actually understood the bible enough to be able to criticize it?”
Maybe that would have gotten the point across?
Doesn’t count because it’s all the Holy Spirit (TM) telling you that it’s true not all that book learning!
I’m sorry, the debate was maddening to listen to.
Comfort was an idiot, used dodges, time delaying tactics, and irreverent interjections (“Thank the Athiests in Florida who treated me nice when I spoke for them!”) in the middle of honest debate questions.
But AronRa, while obviously knowledgeable, just spoke over Comfort far too much for my liking. As a result it seemed like Comfort wasn’t even given enough rope to hang himself with.
I can understand why Aron did that, but the whole thing was rendered pointless as a result. Too many fallacies in too short a time. These sorts of things shouldn’t be agreed to unless both participants have an agreed set of definitions on key words ahead of time.
Aron Ra did that because of the Gish Gallop argumentation style of every Creationist ever. You throw out a bunch of different arguments, each with a central point, but each of which requires different explanation to counter.
I know that. Aron didn’t really have much choice in terms of options/tactics, so he went with the best one available.
It still looks bad, and it still makes for something pretty much unintelligible to watch/listen to.
This should be a requirement when debating Ray Comfort:
“Define the Theory of Evolution for me. Define atheism for me. Define agnosticism for me.”
If Ray doesn’t define these properly, refuse the rest of the debate. Tell him he’s being dishonest, and he’s arguing things he doesn’t understand. Say “thank you, but I’m not giving you a chance.”
When you try to press Ray on specific definitions he seems to shut right down.
That’s cause Ray is not interested in providing definitions. It’s one of those ways that he can get away with saying the stupidest stuff. He can say “well that’s your definition” for everything. When he’s provided with a definition (I can’t remember how many times I told him the definition for the theory of evolution, for evolution, and for a theory and his response was to simply throw it away and use his own misinterpretations.
You can’t nail him to a single definition, and it will always waver. It’s like Aron Ra said about faith. He’s using two different definitions of the same word in the same sentence. It’s manipulative and it’s dishonest.
If Christians and Creationists ever had any true faith in their beliefs, they would be able to provide a standard, simple definition. They’d argue a point honestly, without referring to wishy-washy double meanings.
Aron, will you be inviting him to a continuation in the form of a written debate like with Enyart? Your last sentence implies it. I can imagine you get rather exasperated of those.
Also, about Enyart claiming victory: Someone better pick up that phone. Cause I totally called it :).
I do not intend to debate Ray Comfort again. He has no skills for it and no education or understanding of any of the areas where the discussion would necessarily go. It wouldn’t matter if we argued scripture, science, history, philosophy, or morality; I would have to school him in every topic -to such a level that I would appear to be abusing the indigent. So I won’t debate someone at Ray’s level again. He’s just not very good at it.
He has no skills for it and no education or understanding of any of the areas where the discussion would necessarily go.
Are there any high profile creationist bullshit peddlers that do? William Dembski, William Lane Craig or Kurt Wise mabye?
I think it says quite a bit about “respected” apologists that they won’t touch Young Earth Creationism, or trying to outright deny evolution. Hell, Craig won’t even field any questions about YEC, and even Plantinga accepts evolution, but he tries to use it as justification for divinely guided evolution.
For aptitude, I would choose Kurt Wise over anybody. WLC is too easy, no better than Comfort. The only advantage to Craig is that he’s such a liar that I would be justified in my typical treatment of such people. Going against Dembski wouldn’t feel any different than just giving a speech by myself with no opponant at all. I’ll tell you what I would like though, some totally evil hate-monger like Hagee, someone seething with a malodorous vibe. That would be fun! And we have lots of those types here in Texas to be sure!
Hagee was my pastor when I was a little boy.
No he didn’t molest me…
Well not my body anyway.
I think my next target will be Ham. It won’t be a debate. No spoilers, but he’s gonna get butt-hurt.
the history of the Hellenization of Judea:
Since paztor Bob made a swipe at the Greeks. It’s a common “disdain” amongst all walks of funda-mentals.
I’ve never heard Ray Comfort in a debate before and I was expecting better from him, I thought he might at least have some skills in debate. It was all in all quite embarrassing. He seemed fairly proud that Richard Dawkins affectionately calls him an idiot, and from what I know of him and what I heard in this debate I think that that description treats him with the correct amount of contempt.
Although, nice to know that he doesn’t like war, would protect his wife if she was attacked(if we can say for sure she exists) and that he rides a bike.
I did enjoy those bizarre tangents he went off on. 🙂
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire show! Well done! Ray and my father have so much in common. I’ve invited my father to watch your YouTube video series, but like Ray, he refuses to be educated. That way he can say things like, “For the past two-thousand years men have been making claims like yours, but science is always changing–one day this ‘theory’ is absolutely correct, but then its replaced the next day with yet another ‘theory.’ God’s ways are foolish to the wise and he made salvation so simple that child-like faith is all that is needed. Besides, evolution is absolutely ridiculous and takes more faith to believe anyway!”
My response is, unfortunately, usually something quite sarcastic,
“Yes, Dad, childishness is much simpler than years of study, experimentation, observation and opening your research up to intense scrutiny through peer-reviewed publication.”
Yeah, because all of those nice inventions like electricity, antibiotics, modern food and automobiles were listed in the Bible. Hmm.
So Ray’s only recourse was to run off to his own forums and misrepresent the events of the debate to people that either didn’t watch it or are willing to tell Madred that there are five lights because he said there are.
Isn’t this the man that badgers people on the street about what horrible liars they are?
Ray Comfort seems to have trouble with truth (damn those pesky commandments!). His first little video clip announces “Ray hangs with atheists and changes what they believe” What a sad, little man. I would think a christian would want things open and honest. I don’t get that from this man – Ray Comfort comes across as a tricky, snake oil salesman. A little weasel who’s afraid he will get caught and that will be the end of his money making game. (Now I feel I owe all weasels an apology.)
Listening to the debate was hard – I kept getting embarrassed for Ray. You won. Loved the monkey line – did that have more than one meaning?
I managed to feel sorry for him when he acted as though his manipulation of the message was a victory instead of something so worthless and petty.
Really Ray? Really?
I suspect that even if he were actually swayed by the arguments he runs across he would never openly admit to it. His current social circle’s bonds are too dependent on his Christianity (and possibly Creationism). Why pursue truth when he can be a Christian superstar with all the benefits that entails?
Come now, this cannot even be remotely considered surprising and its the primary reason debating any of these ignoramous’ is a colossal waste.
Aron expends time and speaks to truth and it will go in one ear and out the other of every single Comfort follower, encountering no grey matter whatsoever while it transits those few inches.
Then at the end they claim victory over the foolish scientist/athiest and pat themselves mightily on the back. This is the conclusion to each and every debate with these apologists and the only group that benefits from it is the apologists as they get to claim victory after victory over well known opponants.
Ah yes. Ray Comfort, the Argument from Ignorance in human form.
Hey! After posting that, it suddenly hit me. Ray really was created in the image of his god!
Ray Comfort’s claiming not to understand the terms Aron used just emphasized his willful ignorance. It was also a tactic to avoid having to actually discuss the issues. If he wants to be taken seriously in a discussion about evolution, he should be expected to have, at very least, a basic understanding of what evolution is and the terminology explaining it. So, it was quite appropriate for Aron to be using the terms he did. This was, after all, supposed to be a debate, not a tutoring session.
Ray was way, way, way out of his league. I can understand why Aron feels it would be a waste of time to engage with Ray again. There is just too wide a gap in terms of class, intelligence, knowledge, honesty, integrity, ………….
I wish there were a way to put the debate up on a podcast!
If you’re desperate enough, there’s a program called “Free YouTube Downloader” that you can grab that has an option for outputting mp3s.
Poor Ray. You can hear the fear and desperation in his voice as he “testifies”. Sputtering the magic words didn’t help him much. He will never, ever change. It would probably kill him.It’s pathetic, like an injured dog that snaps at anyone who tries to help.
Aronra, all I know is that from now on Ray Comfort will never have to wonder where his arse is! Seeing as you so eloquently handed it to him on a silver platter he will never displace it like car keys for example, it will always be readily ‘findable’ on that platter. Likewise, in tatters, bruised and battered beside his arse on that platter will be his credibility. Torn asunder and shown to all the world as a fraudulent mirage he trots out to his faithful who believe he has an ounce of it (credibility) anywhere in his being.
Ray Comfort has been shown to be a liar and a disingenuous person before, but not so efficiently as you did the other day. When faced with simple questions he could have answered truthfully, he tried to divert the flow back to his scripted street questioning…. Fail. When given the opportunity to impress the listener with his knowledge of a topic (evolution) he proudly claims to have attacked for decades he… Fails. When further faced with someone clearly offering to prove he is an ape, he resorts to the scripted responses the theist uses to assist them with their fingers in their ears ‘I refuse to be shown facts!’ mentality.
His choir consist of small minded and intellectually dishonest or simply ignorant persons, which he clearly showed he himself to be amongst the highest ranked. Still he has to make a buck and rational critical thinkers are hard to swindle.
It short, it wasn’t a fair fight…. shame on you. But I loved every minute of it. Please, do it again soon.
Ray Comfort is a street huckster. He has the equivalent of a stand-up comic routine, and it is funny, if you stand back far enough. His only goal is to do his shtick and sell his trinkets to that part of the population gullible enough to pay him. That is why any attempt to discuss his content is doomed to face the Black Knight.
I’ll just add that when the religious try to accuse me of having “faith” in my life, I let them know, “No, I have reasonable expectations based on prior evidence.”
Finally got to listen to it, and you did an excellent job of keeping Ray in his place and not letting him get too far into La-La Land before bringing him back into reality. It convinced me that Ray loves the sound of his own voice more than the content that comes out of it. He doesn’t give a crap about his pet brand of kooky Christianity. He seemed happy to ramble on about anything as long as he had free rein to keep on rambling! And then whine about it when you stepped in to correct him and educate him. If anyone else decides to “debate” Ray (which he has shown is probably impossible), your way is the way to do it.
I was unable to listen to the entire show, the unbridled stupid that dribbled from Comfort’s mouth was simply intolerable. No victory was had here, you cant win over people with evidence, when those same people think evidence is of the devil.
Great job Aaron – I found your rebuttals spot on. Also, Comfort’s definitional games with the word ‘faith’ makes me want to throw things. There were many other obnoxious points but it’s pointless to list them. I think I even heard shades of Bill O’Reily’s ‘you can’t explain that’. I made it to the 33 minute mark before giving up.
I wouldn’t say one side or the other “won” because it wasn’t really a debate; there wasn’t a particular issue they were debating. I will say, though, that Ray came off as a real slimeball douche. He’s normally not like that, too. He usually comes off as fairly thoughtful (albeit totally wrong), but not this time. I think he thought he was gonna roll right over Aron, and so he didn’t prepare.
Arboreal? Arboreal? You bastard.
That was painful to listen to. His level of willful ignorance was off the charts.
Also great job Aron, you have a lot more patience than I would have in that situation.
excellent work Aronra.
I honestly didn’t expect you to make an impression on the dishonest sleazebag charlatan.
I thought i was going to be proved right when he kept interrupting and philabusting with irrelevences in the beginning, but you stayed your course and it would be obvious to anyone with an IQ in the double digits that he was cornered and avoiding. I’ve never seen (or expected to see) Ray so flustered as he was towards the end, the smarmy lying git.
I have said it before, and say it again. I see neither victory nor triumph, as no challenge was offered.
I understand the entertainment value of seeing someone with vastly superior knowledge about certain subjects stomp someone to the ground in debates like this. What I do not understand is any other purpose or reason to engage own time and effort into such activities.
As I understand it, people like this Ray make a living out of doing what they do. They even gain a kind of increased social status by the following they attract. This makes the case of truth or not irrelevant, as they feed of the attention and debate itself, and do not depend on anything presented having any kind of validity. Even if they believe or not in what they claim, it is the duel itself that see as important.
Personally I have find it difficult to take a position on something that does not exist, and label myself with simply not being religious. My curiosity and interest in the debate is simply one of observing sociological, philosophical and other aspects related to the atheist vs theist conflict. What I struggle to understand is where the activism can be found. In other words, what is the purpose, what is the goal, and how do these aspects correspond with actions and result actions return.
I assume and hope there is something that eludes me from comprehending it as more than simply another contribution to the culture infected by the “Panem Et Circenses” virus. Perhaps someone would or could elaborate about the intention, purpose and goal of this kind of activism. And how one see actions serve purpose when it comes to achieving desired goals?
If Aron is not partially motivated by the amusement of debates he engages in provides him, or is influenced by the “thrill of the hunt”. I would say his capacity and resourcefulness is more or less wasted. Not that I see anything wrong with mentioned personal motivational factors, as sometimes the slap received is deserved. To use metaphor as elaboration, a big game hunter should hunt big game, and not cut heads of chickens with a friggin` battle axe.
I would nonetheless appreciate it if someone could take some time to inform me about the elements of a broader picture I obviously fail to see. I could of course do as others, stalk and annoy Aron until my curiosity is satisfied in a “duel”. But i would rather take my chances with someone here, than being mauled and humiliated by the “Black knight” because of my inquisitive nature.
Thanks in advance ( no, I am not dishonestly polite. I just use stimuli to increase probability of positive response. )
Born heathen, raised heathen, proud Norse and flawed example of the human species with my desire for women, violence and other shameful attributes we “Atheist-” represent.
I’ll take a stab at this. The point is not to win a “debate,” it is to further reduce Ray Comfort’s credibility and to educate potential victims. I’m fairly confident that Aronra never mistook Ray for being educable, but rather to put out a counterpoint to Ray’s proliferation of deceptive videos where he shows the “stupidity of evolution” by interviewing people who are mostly uneducated in evolution, but yet believe. You question on the effectiveness of this tactic is a valid question in educating people, but clearly the comments show that many people found the show quite entertaining–is that not enough?
I think you may have misunderstood. In the Monty Python sketch, it is the Black Knight who is “mauled and humiliated” yet claims victory anyway. Just as Aron Ra mauled everything that came out of Bananaman’s idiotic mouth, and utterly humiliated him by skillfully drawing out of him exactly how little Ray knew or wanted to know about evolution despite claiming to have argued against it for decades. That’s not arguing. That’s protesting. In order to argue, one has both to understand that which one is arguing against and put forward a better explanation. Ray does neither, and from this total rout by Aron Ra it is obvious that he is incapable of either. All he can do is protest, like a toddler who doesn’t want a needed nappy change.
Well done, Aron Ra! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to notice that Ray accused you of interrupting (when he wanted to make outrageous claims hidden amongst other stuff, but you called him out on them anyway) but failed to answer when given plenty of time to do so. The blank pauses would have been embarrassing on their own, but with his attitude of “I’m right, you’re wrong! Lalalalala!” the whole of Ray’s side of the ‘debate’ was embarrassing. Your ‘interruptions’ weren’t depriving him of speaking time; they were wholly necessary to prevent him sneaking in his garbage accusations and then claiming later that you hadn’t addressed them. “Well done!” doesn’t seem enough, somehow!
I understood the comical symbolic reference the “Black Knight” was intended to portray. I was only using the same symbolic reference to describe a role or position people can play, and not a literal factual scientific unique description of Ray.
That was why I painted the scene where questions of curiosity and inquisitive nature would be bashed by the one taking the role as the “Black Knight”. Although I would not argue that what I wrote lack the wittiness I intended it to be.
Still, I find it very strange that none actually put attention into the question I raised. I end up with answers like this;
“You question on the effectiveness of this tactic is a valid question in educating people, but clearly the comments show that many people found the show quite entertaining–is that not enough?”
Am I to understand the movement and activism related are motivated by the simple intention of how one finds entertainment value in humiliating someone.
Although I can agree with the stomping of Ray can be entertaining, I am not the one advocating belonging to a movement that represent a higher moral position.
Again I ask. Do this claimed movement have a purpose or goal other than one of being entertained? If so, is repeated actions resulting in expected outcome how change occurs? Is there actually any higher purpose to bashing and humiliating what clearly is a vastly inferior opponent, other than the excitement and feeling of pride and joy of humiliating opponent that offers no challenge? I can not help to think there must be more to it than such simple primal motives, at least from the perspective of people like Aron.
In other words, are there questions to be raised concerning tactic. Or is questioning in itself simply some act of heresy.
Did you have a specific recommendation for how to proceed?
Because as is your comment sounds suspiciously like concern trolling.
I really admire your patience with those nutbags and I am confident you trashed them thoroughly. I can’t even bring myself to listen to debates with them because every time I do, I get this uncontrollable urge to bash my head against the keyboard.
Please don’t do a round two until Ray has worked his way through a set of biology workbooks for grades 5-8.
I Just took another look at the “discussion” Thunderf00t had with Ray a few years ago.
Thunder was roundly critisised for failing to “crack” Ray at the time. I remember being dissapointed myself.
However having re-viewed it I think Thunder did rather well. He called Ray out on the potential damage of his misinformation and demonstrated Rays ignornce and duplicity in a whole series of fields.
Its just that he didn’t get Ray flustered like Aronra did.
Huge fan. Wanted to ask a question about something you had to explain to Ray. By the way, fantastic job. It’s obvious Ray has no desire to understand his opponent’s position. That is my biggest pet peeve when engaging theists. He was def out of his league. Okay, so, when you explained to Ray that agnosticism is the position that one “cannot” know if god(s) exist I was under the impression that in addition it can also mean one “does not” know, but doesn’t necessarily rule out future knowledge. Is this correct? I apologize if I seem pedantic. Thanks for knowing your evo and the work you do in the movement. I’ve learned a lot from you.
If you accept the proposition that one cannot know if a god exists, then A PRIORI one does not know. If Yahweh was at my place last Saturday for pizza and beer, it would be ludicrous for me to say I cannot know if he exists.
As for the possibility of future knowledge forcing us to reevaluate our positions, obviously we must always keep ourselves open to change. OTOH, billions of people have spent thousands of years searching for proof of a god, and we’ve got bupkis. I sure wouldn’t bet the farm that things are gonna be any different in the future.
In other words, as the Soup Nazi might say, “No God for you!”
On rereading your post, perhaps you meant that there could be two mutually exclusive definitions for Agnosticism:
1. One CANNOT know if a god exists.
2. No one CURRENTLY knows, but we might know in the future.
In either case, I still think the only logical response is to assume there are no gods. If any valid evidence to the contrary shows up, plenty of people will be sure to tell you, so you really don’t need to expend any effort on this yourself.
I posted a comment before your radio discussion with Comfort deriding your decision to do it. You replied, “My goal is to cut some of Ray’s income by reducing his flock”. Well, we’ll never know if that goal is realized and I’m thinking he’ll still be able to use that recording as a teaching tool in his various enterprises.
But, congratulations. You reduced him to a whining petulant dullard protesting that he wasn’t given enough time to answer your questions. It was skillful the way you kept him on the defensive. Every attempt he made at doing his shtick sounded desperate rather than the triumphant tone he often has. You made science, biology, and evolution sound interesting and perhaps that will dissuade some of his converts from accepting his ignorance.
Plus you entertained the choir
I thought both of you were terrible.
His reaction to the word arboreal made me piss my pants! Meanwhile he uses words like “nebulous” to try and wow his audience into thinking he knows big words! Hypocrisy at its most self deluded.
I just listened to this… ‘Amazed at the comments. You never recovered from the original discussion of faith. You tried to laugh it off and condescend. He toasted you Aaron. I’m sorry, but he did. You “believe” in your wife, but the questions he asked demonstrated that you must ultimately trust in something outside of you- i.e. evidence. But… it’s trust (faith) nonetheless. If you are honest, you were really off guard after that and attempted to ramble on and on about concepts that can be examined subjectively according to your own bias.
You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!
Wow like the black knight
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