Ray Comfort thinks that “bibliophile” is an insult

This exchange was posted on creationist Ray Comfort’s public Facebook page, and I also have permission from Leonie Hilliard to use it.  Nothing really needs to be added save that Leonie is a member of Atheist Ireland:

Picture 1

Oy vey.

151 Comments

  1. gbjames
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    lol-worthy!

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I’m having a hankering for an intelligently-designed banana, for some reason I cannot quite grasp…

      • Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        If reasons were banana-shaped, you’d grasp them more easily…

        /@

        • Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

          I’ve hit upon a theory for why male human genitalia are shaped the way they are…

          …it is a theory, and is mine, yes.

          • Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            To fill a God-shaped hole? (Too risqué?)

            /@

            • Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

              I have another theory… a second theory… which is mine, and belongs to me…

              • Amos the Talented
                Posted April 3, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

                Heh! Nice Monty Python bank shot, there.

    • Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Gbjames

      It would have been funnier if Ray hadn’t admitted his mistake.

      • gbjames
        Posted April 8, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        It is plenty funny because it is perfectly in character.

  2. John K.
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    On a side note, he is not illiterate. His parents were married.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      *chortle*

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      That’s necessary, but not sufficient for literacy. Were they married to each other, and at the appropriate time?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Which also begs the question of, what is the gestation period of Creationists (and other Liars-for-jebus)? Given the evident lack of brain development, and the impossibility of pre-marital sex amongst them, then could one reasonably suspect something in the region of 7 months?
        Does the American public records system provide enough information to find out? i.e. dates of birth and of the preceding marriages. There are almost always embarrassing little details hidden in plain sight, if one cares enough about genealogies to plough through the sordid details. (Which I don’t. But I have a relative into that sort of thing, who thinks that both he [and therefore I] may be descended from one Archbishop Ussher, of the 4004BC claim.)

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

          To be fair to Ussher, at the time such chronological efforts were a far more respectable pursuit (Newton apparently had a go at it) and required considerable scholarship. It wasn’t as patently absurd as it seems today.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted April 3, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

            At the time, yes, this was perfectly respectable scholarship, in the absence of any better tools for dating.
            What surprises me a little when I think of it is that the raw idea for dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) goes back to time immemorial, but it’s practice only dates back to the 1950s. It is, hardly, the most conceptually complex of dating techniques.

        • E.A. Blair
          Posted April 3, 2013 at 5:32 am | Permalink

          It doesn’t beg the question, it raises</b it. One of my pet peeves is the misuse of the phrase “beg the question”. To beg the question means to accept the answer as given without proof, making the question a type of circular logic. In formal terms, this is also known as petitio principii.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted April 3, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink

            To beg the question means to accept the answer as given without proof,

            … and I’d already decided on the answer “7 months” (or something equally insultingly short) before framing the question. So it was all a bit of a rhetorical ploy and to construct a plausible looking “proof” for it.

    • Marta
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I guffawed at that!

    • jimroberts
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      +1

  3. Griff
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    This wasn’t posted yesterday was it? I mean, I know the man’s a bit dim, but surely?

    • lamacher
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      When Jonathan Swift invented the Yahoos, he clearly had Ken Ham in mind.

      • DaveyB
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        I remember reading, I think it might have been Robert Graves, that the Yahoos had been inspired by a sect that chanted Ia-Hu as a name of god. Apparently in the process of becoming Jehovah, the name had been appropriated from an older dove goddess. I think the story goes that some British explorers came upon a still extant sect whose exhuberant worship included loud, repetitive chanting of Ia-Hu, hence Yahoos.

  4. Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    So funny! Brightened this cold morning.

  5. Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    “I thought it was just another atheist insult, a cross between pedophile and Bible.” — No, that would be “Catholic priest” … :-o

    /@

  6. Griff
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    And to give the man credit (much as I hate to do it), he does come across as quite a nice guy.

    Delusional, but nice.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Over the last 30 years I have met most of the principal ICR, AiG, BSA and DI folks (some of them on multiple occasions), and most all of struck me as very “nice guys” (though deluded clean-to-the-bone) — I can only think of six whose characteristic demeanor placed them in the Give-‘Em-A-Wide-Berth category.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        No disrespect Frank (where does that name ring bells from), but I think you need to stock up on the alcohol-gel hand sanitiser if you’re meeting that many low-lifes in your, errr, life.
        It’s like vampires and holy water, but for rationalists.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          Re: Name ringing bells. I followed your link.
          Standby…
          March 16, 2010
          Under construction…

          Yeah, been there, done that, got that tee-shirt back from the cleaners last week and still not hung it up.[GRIN]

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Griff, really? Nice?

      At best, Comfort is compulsively passive-aggressive, disingenuous and judgemental. The fact that he claims to judge himself by the same standard and pretends to be self-deprecating doesn’t make him a nice guy.

      At worst, Comfort deliberately profits by lying for Jesus or – more accurately – for Comfort. By ‘profit’ I don’t mean that he makes money out of it – I’ve no idea whether he does or not. I mean he gets the attention he obviously craves.

      His entire gig is to tell people – all people – that they are evil sinners and only he knows the One True Way to salvation, which seems to . Along the way, he harms the education of our children by insisting that evolution isn’t true, disingenuously abridging Origin and deliberately contradicting himself whenever he thinks it will score him a point. He says that homosexuality is wrong, that the earth is young and says things about evolution that are so bewilderingly stupid that he can’t possibly believe them.

      He doesn’t come across as a nice guy *at all*.

      • Tan
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Yep, and watch his videos on how to approach strangers. He gets people to admit they’re “sinners” with trap-style questions like, “Have you ever lied?” Then when you say, yes, he eventually sums up that you’re a liar, and you’re a such and such, and you need to be forgiven or face consequences (or something like that).

        Of course, any rationale person knows that he’s actually equating small lies (I took the dog out) to big lies (I didn’t murder that man).

        • Heber
          Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          “At worst, Comfort deliberately profits by lying for Jesus or – more accurately – for Comfort”

          How do you know he’s lying as opposed to just wrong. He can’t both be delusional and lying. If he is delusional, then he is not trying to deceive anybody, therefore he isn’t lying; he is just wrong. By the same token, If he is lying, then is knows the truth perfectly well and hence not delusional. As for me, I think he’s ignorant. So I don’t think he’s lying.

          • gbjames
            Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

            You can be delusional AND lie. People like Comfort are masters of self-deception. Just because you believe your own lies doesn’t get you off the hook for lying.

            • Heber
              Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

              Actually it does. The very definition of “lying” necessitates a factor of intended deception. If someone who’s high on LSD tells the cops that he was kidnapped by aliens and told the secrets of the universe, they could charge him with consumption of illegal drugs, but not with lying to the police.

              • gbjames
                Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

                You don’t get to just define away self-deception, Heber.

                Check out Folly of Fools. http://www.amazon.com/The-Folly-Fools-Deceit-Self-Deception/dp/0465027555

                I’m about half way through it at them moment. Self deception is a very real thing.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

                they could charge him with consumption of illegal drugs, but not with lying to the police.

                That (probably ; IANAL) varies with jurisdiction. Ever since (amongst others) Abelard and Heloise started introducing the concept of intention into jurisprudence (and with it, distinguishing between for example “murder” and “manslaughter”), a lot of “western” jurisdictions have cared about such distinctions. But other jurisdictions don’t necessarily follow those conventions, or count as important things which you or I might consider important.

          • Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

            I’m pretty sure he’s lying because he frequently contradicts himself. He makes whatever argument is expedient. He’s claimed at times to believe in evolution, for example, only to parade a straw version of evolution. Also, he knows perfectly well what is wrong with his understanding of evolution because lots and lots and lots and lots of people have explained it to him very clearly and patiently indeed. And yet he trots out the same untruths time after time.

            By any definition I can think of, this is lying.

          • Tan
            Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            I get your point, but I really think he believes what he says at times, and is simply lying at other times. Example, his banana theory was a lie. If he would have said, “I THINK this is what may have happened, and here is the anthropological evidence…”, then that would be more honest (but he could still be lying since it takes a lot of effort to justify the bigger lies in the first place).

            • Posted April 3, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

              Then you probably *don’t* get my point.

              As someone who writes and talks about evolution quite a lot, Ray has a responsibility to talk about the actual theory of evolution rather than his insane made-up characterization of it. Ray might very well believe it, but he’s been told countless times by experts why he’s wrong. It is simply dishonest to propagate stuff you know to be untrue just because you’d like it to be true. How is that not a lie?

              He’s been told countless times that his understanding of evolution is wrong, but he doesn’t change his tune. He ignores the experts. He pretends they don’t exist. He pretends that objections to his idiotic idea of evolution don’t exist. He’s a liar by *any* definition.

              • Tan
                Posted April 4, 2013 at 1:46 am | Permalink

                I also think he’s lying about evolution; I think my banana example indicated that. What I should have been clear about is that I think he may truly believe there’s a god and the Christian god is it, this includes many metaphysical ideas that come with such a belief.

    • Notagod
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Even in his insincere apology he can’t resist taking a stab at atheists. If he was sincerely sorry instead of trying to slither out of the embarrassment he caused himself wouldn’t have done that.

      • john
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        In effect, he is guilty of the very indiscretion by which he was offended.

    • neil
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      I agree with Comfort on one thing–Leonie Hilliard was indeed most gracious. Good for her. I would have called him an idiot.

      • Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        I thought: “I never meant to cast that aspersion on you” was a subtly barbed way of saying the same thing.

        • Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          And it went right past him.

        • Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          I thought that was brilliant (and it was doubleplus brilliant that Ray missed it completely): “I never meant to imply you liked reading! Heaven forbid!” Not only does fundamentalism rob you of your reason, it also short-circuits your humour recognition :)

        • Karen
          Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          I enjoyed that as well! Went right over his head.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      I find little “nice” about someone who is a incompetent liar. He might be polite, or jovial but not nice.

      • Griff
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        I suppose I like to allow for the possibility that may be genuine if delusional.

        It’s possible that he is cynically exploiting religion for financial gain, but he is no more deluded than any other creationist, so it is possible that he believes the nonsense he spouts.

        • Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          I would differ. In that there is no lack of evidence, no lack of scientific study that shows Mr. Comfort is completely wrong, he is at best willfully ignorant which means he is a liar by intentional omission as I see it.

          • whyevolutionistrue
            Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            I agree in the main. He knows by now that his assertions don’t agree with the scientific evidence, but he keeps repeating them. That certainly makes him intellectually dishonest, though I wouldn’t formally call him a “liar” unless he believed differently from what he said. But willful ignorance causes misrepresentation of the facts, and that’s pretty damn close to lying.

            • Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

              Agreed, but I still call him a liar. I’ll ask you, Dr. Coyne and others, is there a common definition for intellectually dishonest and or might anyoen have a personal one they would offer? Because, I really can’t see much difference at all. What does the “intellectually” part bring to it that I evidently can’t quite see?

              • Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

                oh, I was going to continue one. Since lying is :1: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive 2: to create a false or misleading impression

                I find that any creationist who claims he can prove that evolutionary theory is wrong to be lying since they cannot do this and thus intentionally cause a false or misleading impression.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

                I’d have to disagree. They may well genuinely believe they can prove evolution wrong. They may be optimistic in this belief (and they may never have had to demonstrate their proof in argument) but I wouldn’t call them liars unless they claimed specific facts which they knew to be wrong.

              • Posted April 3, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

                I can see your point, but I have a question for you. Let’s take another type of person who repeats false claims. Would you use the same arguments above for a white supremacist or would you simply call them liars? From my observations, admittedly limited, it seems that a lot of non-Christians are loathe to call theists liars or so removed from reality that they should be kept from dangerous objects, children and animals, when that’s ends up being the two choices we are left with. I understand that “liar” is a very strong word and no one likes to be called one. But sometimes the shoe fits, when “genuine belief” is only intact because of a determined effort on the part of the believer to present false claims and to hide the facts. I guess it’s the intent where I find the difference.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted April 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

                White supremacist? I’m not familiar with all flavours of white supremacists, whether they think ‘whites’ are simply superior to non-whites, or whether they think ‘whites’ should actually rule the world – but either way, the same applies. If they genuinely believed in what they were saying then I wouldn’t call them a liar. (I might call them a few other things though; I think – on average – they’re probably more obnoxious than most religious people).

                Please note though, I don’t think sincerity of belief is an excuse for anything – at the risk of Godwinning the thread, I’m sure Hitler was entirely sincere in his beliefs.

              • Posted April 4, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

                Understood. I feel that claiming that white people are superior (or that creationism is true) is a lie because it takes intentional ignorance to hold onto that belief and that this intentional deception is spread for the sole purpose to encourage others to agree with you.

  7. Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    “I thought it was just another atheist insult, a cross between pedophile and Bible.”

    Passive-aggressive, intellectually dishonest folks like Comfort are hilarious to observe. He needs so much to undermine the potency of the opposing viewpoint, therefore, he embraced the hope of that word, that mysterious word he did not know (why didn’t you pray to the dictionary in the sky, Ray?) to dismantle the gist of Leonie’s words. And in apologizing he adroitly inserted an insult. And as usual, he has sex on the mind, which is OK, but let’s be honest about being preoccupied with it.

  8. Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Ray is built for comfort, he ain’t built for speed.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      >snort-GUFFAW-choke<

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        New keyboard on order?

    • DrBrydon
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      +1

      I LOL’d

      • Jolo
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        As did I

  9. Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I suppose he’s avoided Philadelphia all this time.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      One hates to think where he thinks the cream cheese comes from…

  10. @eightyc
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    hahhahhahhahaha

  11. Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    In South Wales in 2000, a pediatrician’s house was attacked by a mob. They thought she was a pedophile.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1353904/Paediatrician-attack-People-dont-want-no-paedophiles-here.html

    In Wash, DC, a guy was fired for saying ‘niggardly’.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_about_the_word_%22niggardly%22

  12. Filipe
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Come on, «lover of books?» Those people want to make «sweet sweet love» with the holy books of religion and they want us to believe it’s purely platonic?

  13. Walt Jones
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    What a great reply. Basically: I didn’t mean to imply that you were learned.

  14. Dela
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Ohhh .. how embarrassing..

  15. Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    That’s amazing. If I didn’t know any better (but I do), I’d swear it was fake.

  16. Mark
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Come on, I don’t think we need to make fun of people for not knowing a definition — especially when they admit their error. It’s a funny example of why you should always google and not assume, but it’s a mistake someone of any belief could make.

    I’m sure he has plenty of fallacious material that we could better spend time on. (i.e., can he differentiate the way he’s met the author of the Bible from the way a Muslim or Mormon thinks they’ve met the author of the Quran/Book of Mormon. Isn’t that just as much evidence of their beliefs as it is of his? and therefore, not much evidence. A fence-sitting theist reading this post would be less amiable to atheist arguments in the future whereas if they’d come across a post explaining why other people aren’t convinced by his reasoning, they may stop and think.)

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Please lighten up; this is funny. And really, do you seriously think that someone who’s contemplating giving up their religion is going to go back to it after reading this post? “Oh dear, those sarcastic atheists! I’m going back to God!”

      That’s the straight accommodationist line and there’s no evidence for it. In contrast, the hard line, as espoused by Dawkins, has made many converts. Just see his “Converts’ Corner page.”

      And when theists make fun of me, as they do repeatedly (the Discovery Institute once published a picture of me next to one of Herman Munster, pointing out the resemblance), I don’t notice a flock of “fence-sitting theists” converting to atheism. They can mock atheists all they want, but nobody tells them to hold off because it may hurt their cause!

      Plenty of people have analyzed Comfort’s arguments by now and I don’t feel like doing that.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        (the Discovery Institute once published a picture of me next to one of Herman Munster, pointing out the resemblance)

        That was their attempt at an insult? Wow, they’re weak! Herman was by a long reach the most interesting and amusing of the Munsters characters, who as a cast were streets ahead of the Addams Family characters.

      • Mark
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        I agree, it’s really funny. I’ll probably use it as an anecdote sometime. But it can be presented in a way that shows the humor without being needlessly insulting. Maybe it’s just because I’m not familiar with the person, but it seems at least possible that there’s a fundamental attribution error here and the story would be just as funny without the mistake being he’s an idiot (maybe someone just recently called him a bible-thumping pedophile so that’s what was on his mind). Or maybe not but either way, it’s always better to be kind.

        Repeated, blunt, exposure to the truth has a much better chance of getting people to see the truth than an accommodationist approach. I don’t think most people get exposed to effective arguments and so you do a great thing by being vocal. You do a great job showing how people’s beliefs are logically weak or contradict evidence and you mock arguments when they deserve to be mocked. I just don’t think this contributes to that.

        (Or does it? if there’s evidence, from a consequentialism perspective, that mocking people in addition to / instead of mocking arguments gets better results, I’d really like to know. I’m not being snarky with the question and could see how maybe that would be the case even though my common sense says you’re less likely to get people to listen to you that way).

        I’m just picturing the poor little HS student, raised in a religious home, wondering if there might be something to that evolution thing. So they look at your website and if the first thing they see is something that is kind of insulting (even if it is funny). You may have missed a chance there. It seems like sometimes people that are exposed to weak arguments (e.g., ad hominem) think they’ve seen the arguments and can refute them, so their position is fine. But once they see the stronger arguments, they’ll get it.

        • gbjames
          Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          Mark. Please. Stop tone trolling.

        • Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          This post dies simply show the humor without being needlessly insulting.

          Where’s the alleged needless insult up there?

        • Notagod
          Posted April 3, 2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink

          Christians don’t normally respond well to respect, they generally take it as an invitation to push their nonsense further.

          Scientists and rational people have tried to be gentle with christians for a long long time. It’s past time to stand firmly with passion, asserting our well grounded knowledge that christianity is filled with deception and lies that are harmful to individuals and societies.

          Any decent people that are deluded by the notion that christianity is a positive force need the extra push to break from the brain washing that they have endured. Those christians that know christianity isn’t true but still persist in spreading the christian disease don’t deserve any respect, Ray Comfort may well be in this latter category. Are you too?

    • gbjames
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Are you kidding, Mark?

      Ray Comfort is eminently mockable. Google “Ray Comfort Banana” and enjoy the fun.

      • Tan
        Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Okay, Ray Comfort banana is my favourite.

    • Tan
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Good post Mark.

      • Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Ignorant post. Could’ve saved a LOT of typing by simply Googling Comfort and/or putting it into the search box at above left. He’s defending one of the world most-mockable ignoramuses — someone bred in a country with one of the best educational systems in the world.

        • Tan
          Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think he’s defending Ray or his absurd beliefs and methods. I think he’s saying we should present ourselves in a more respectable way so we could draw more positive attention. I said good post because his theme and arguments are valid to me. I’m not so sympathetic to Comfort whom likes to manipulate people’s emotions (as I posted elsewhere on this page).

          • Notagod
            Posted April 3, 2013 at 1:59 am | Permalink

            Then stop it already!

            • Tan
              Posted April 4, 2013 at 1:49 am | Permalink

              Stop what?

          • gbjames
            Posted April 3, 2013 at 5:06 am | Permalink

            Yeah, he wasn’t defending Ray Comfort, he was tone trolling.

            Still doesn’t qualify for the adjective “good”.

            • Tan
              Posted April 4, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

              Mark’s post wasn’t really about Comfort, but more about the possible perceptions a possibly open-minded religious person would have on Atheists. To me he wants to draw more people to rational thought, and the way we handle people like Comfort could sway someone. If we harden the hearts of such “fence sitters”, we could lose them to irrational thought for good.

              For the record, I don’t disagree with ridiculing obnoxious religious people like Comfort (IMO), but one’s disdain for Comfort doesn’t make Mark’s comments invalid. There are always chances to draw religious people into rational thought, and it doesn’t have to always be in the form of debates.

              • gbjames
                Posted April 4, 2013 at 4:38 am | Permalink

                I don’t read it like that. The post was an “it’s funny but” argument against ridicule.

                He says “But it can be presented in a way that shows the humor without being needlessly insulting.” Was it needlessly insulting? No. There is a great need to ridicule comments like this from people like Ray Comfort. He makes his living lying for Jesus. His false statements about evolution have been explained to him countless times but he persists in making them. Ridicule is entirely appropriate.

                He says “Maybe it’s just because I’m not familiar with the person, but…”. And this is why it is a tone-trolling comment. With a few moment’s googling, Mark might have become more than familiar enough to understand how appropriate ridicule is for someone like Ray Comfort.

                “… it seems at least possible that there’s a fundamental attribution error here and the story would be just as funny without the mistake being he’s an idiot…” No. Ray Comfort is an idiot.

                “… it’s always better to be kind.” Mark confuses kindness with offering undue respect to compulsive liars and fools.

                That’s just the first paragraph. I won’t bother with the rest of the Mark’s comment.

            • Tan
              Posted April 4, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

              gbjames, You’ve made comments (in detail) about Mark’s second post. However, I’ve only been commenting about his first post. My first comment, based on Mark’s first comment, is the one where I said, “Good post”, and Anonypuss first replied to me.

              Regardless, I do acknowledge all your points and I’m aware of Comfort’s character and tactics.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Mark, this is a man who is intentionally ignorant on many many levels and who intentionally lies about many things. He was already to act on his ignorance by banning someone, and I’m sure only stopped because someone privately emailed him what bibliophile meant. Of course, acting on his ignorance is nothing new for good ol’ Ray.

      He deserves as much ridicule as possible. That also works in showing theists that their fellow theists are not to be trusted at all.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary – we should make fun of people who don’t know a definition if their first reaction to a new word is to immediately assume the worst take offense to it instead of finding out what it means.

      Further, the fact that Ray automatically assumed he was being insulted speaks to his atheist bigotry (as well as his lack of awareness of the reasons that he actually does get insulted: ignorance, dishonesty and bigotry). He cared so little about discerning what this woman was actually saying that he immediately chalked up a word he’d not heard before to malice.

      We should also make fun of the fact that Ray missed her rejoinder, which can be summed up as “I’m sorry I implied you liked books.”

  17. Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    ‘No human being has ever seen God. They have seen manifestations of God’.

    I have seen that this is manifestly double-talk.

    To be fair to Ray, language is not his first language.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Yes, the ‘bibliophile’ issue aside, Hilliard clearly won the exchange. The chapters and verses cited do show clear contradictions in the Bible (I assume this was the point). The ‘manifestations’ BS is pretty lame, and the citation of John 1:1 is a total non sequitur.

  18. Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “Have you ever read about cognitive dissonance?” I doubt if Ray ever heard of or could even pronounce the two words correctly. Given that he is so freakin’ clueless about such a simple word as “bibliophile,” what chance is there that he has any clue whatsoever about the meaning of “cognitive dissonance?”

    Indeed, what a freakin’ moran.

  19. Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I agree with Mark.

    It’s nice to see someone being big enough to admit they made a mistake (trivial or not) in a public forum.

    I doubt my fellow Canadians will see Justin Trudeau admit that he doesn’t understand what proportional representation means. (see note #3) https://justin.ca/democratic-reform-trusting-canadians/

    • Jolo
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      And when have you ever seen a Trudeau admit they were wrong?

      • Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        True enough. I’m a bit worried since it seems to me that he is his mother’s son, riding on his father’s name, and will probably end up being a force in Canadian politics…and not for the better.

  20. Walt Jones
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    His gaffe is funny and his apology is sincerely written (no weasel words or redirection of blame – I can’t read his mind to know whether it is sincere)). His argument, however, is typical, and it goes back at least to Augustine, who wrote something along the lines of “if you find the scriptures to be other than eloquent, you do not understand them.”

    • RedSonja
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Eh. I was turned off from the “apology” as soon as he said “just another atheist insult”. It’s hard to take an apology as sincere if you immediately couple a passive-aggressive insult with it.

  21. Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I think that everyone needs to back off a bit. The guy made a mistake. He owned up to it and apologized. Let only the infallible criticize him. Others are acting hypocritically. Ain’t nobody who’s perfect.

    If anything, this blog owes him an apology for how he was treated.

    sean s.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      1. This is not a blog
      2. I don’t owe Comfort an apology at all
      3. Nor do I demand apologies when creationists or religionists make fun of me, as they do constantly.
      4. I suggest you read elsewhere, as I don’t like to be told on this site what I need to do.

    • kevinj
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      People can laugh at me if i make a mistake. As for how he was treated? Seems fairly kind eg no convenient cutting off after Leonie’s first response (which would be classic quote mining opportunity).
      For the specific mistake, if I wasnt sure if someone was insulting me or not I would google the suspected insult before getting upset. As it is seems a rather convenient dodging of the main question.

    • neil
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Comfort can start some real trash talk, if he wants, and call JAC an atheist ailurophile.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      The bigger mistake he made wasn’t the one he owned up to!

      It’s not that he didn’t know the word “bibliophile” (not an egregious error for someone who left education at 17), it’s that he jumped to the conclusion that it must be “just another atheist insult”.

      /@

    • Kieran
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_Sy6oiJbEk It’s a wonderful bit of comedy

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      I take it you didn’t know what bibliophile meant, either.

  22. still learning
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    He’s “still learning”? Sh*t, I’ll have to change my ‘nym.

    All in all, a lolicious exchange. Leonie wins.

  23. quidamwp
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Pedophile isn’t an insult, I like feet!

    • still learning
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      We wouldn’t get anywhere without them…

  24. Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Comfort’s inability to understand his mother tongue should detract from his ability to tell us about the subtle nuances in the Hebrew and Greek which tell him that there are no contradictions in the Bible.

    • Golkarian
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      That’s a good point, considering philia’s and bible’s (hell BIBLE for book!) Greek roots. I don’t think people are right when they say he should only be ridiculed for his passive aggressive insult, this guy claims to know his stuff, enough to teach other people.

  25. darrelle
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    What is also funny* is that Ray Comfort level arguments, such as the “Bananas Are Evidence of God” argument, are not really any sillier than those of the Sophisticated Theologians. For example Plantinga’s version of the Ontological Argument. The only real difference is the specialized language that Sophisticated Theologians have developed over the centuries.

    Actually, I think it could be argued that the STs are sillier than Ray Comfort because of their level of education compared to his. They are at least more pretentious.

    * Or sad depending on how your day is going.

  26. Don
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Actually, in the original post the word “bibliophile” refers to the poster, not to Ray Comfort. She writes, “As a bibliophile, I’m sure the gospels of John…” Neither of them recognizes the misplace modifier.

    • Don
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      *misplaced

  27. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I see the manifestation of Ray “Gone-Completely-Bananas-Now” Comfort on this page, but I don’t think it means I have met him.

    Cognitive dissonance is not a useful diagnosis here. It is more like non-cognitive assurance.

    And what a perfect and suitable reply from Hilliard! [/snorts]

  28. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Please show respect for your fellow species.
    What was that supposed to mean? Did Comfort think ‘bibliophile’ had something to do with bestiality? Maybe he thought “fellow species” meant conspecifics? It’s hard to figure out what he intended.

  29. Matt Blankenship
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Went to Ray’s facebook page. First pic is of him preaching. It looks like he is in front of a large gathering. On his podium is what appears to be a large bible, and a large $100 US bill… Draw your own conclusions. Never met a pastor that didnt have a building fund.

    • Sunny
      Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      God has been a great comfort to him.

  30. Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of the case where the home of a noted paediatrician got vandalised by a mob who say the “paed-” at the beginning of the job description.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Sorry: “who *saw* the “paed-” …”

      • Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        and sorry again, donsevers has already been there.

  31. DrBrydon
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I think the problem is not the obvious biblio-/bible confusion, but thinking that -phile is negative. He might not have been insulted if the term bibliophobe was used, but he should have been.

    Bloody philatelists!

  32. DV
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Gawd that’s embarassing!!

  33. KP
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Just in case Ray sees this thread: Ray, you are retarded.

    Boy, his public Facebook page will start a manic rage in the most mentally stable person out there. How can someone be such a scientific ignorant, yet think he knows what he’s talking about.

  34. Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think I knew who this guy was until I read the banana references. I’ve actually talked to him. I asked him what he made of bibical “Higher Criticism” and the claims it makes — that Moses didn’t write the Pentateuch, the Exodus didn’t happen, the flood didn’t happen, etc. — he didn’t seem to be aware of any of this information. “Of course they happened,” he said. And then he just went on with his script where he tried to use the 10 commandments to get people to admit they are liars, they’re in sin, they need God and Christ to save them.

  35. nedclark
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    You DO realize that believers like Ray Comfort are an unseemly mix of attention-craving `spotlight-divers’ and Martyr wanna-be’s… they crave to be seen as `fighting the good fight’ against an `implacable enemy of overwhelming might'(and it’s so much safer for them when no such enemy truly exists), so they can bask in the adulation and admiration of their fellows and followers.

    Like the come-to-life advertising characters in that episode of “The Simpsons”,
    the Ray Comforts of the world feed on publicity and notice – and the thing that will anger him the most is being ignored… so as Lisa Simpson hummed: “Just don’t look…Just don’t look…”

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      and ignoring idiots like Comfort and not contesting their lies allows others to believe in such utter bullshit and to spread it.

      I would rather give the poor things a little attention while showing how vile they truely are.

    • Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      “Don’t feed the trolls”?

      No. Ray isn’t a troll. He’s not some disingenuous attention-seeker out to get a rise of people. He’s a true believer who happens to truly believe – and propagate – lies.

      “Ignore him and he’ll go away”?

      That doesn’t work with cockroaches; it won’t work with creationist liars.

  36. Mary Canada
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Oh my!

  37. leonie
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Ray’s misinterpretation of the word bibliophile had me giggling all day Sunday but in fairness, after 4 hours (and plenty of joking at his expense), he apologised and left the post there. I award him very small levels of kudos for that.
    On a serious point though (and I hope you don’t mind me using this comment section as a soapbox for a minute), this mistake has become a bit famous. Not quite Bananagate yet, but it’s gathering a bit of steam. While I am really amused by it (because it was a damn funny thing to say), I’m also a bit conflicted by the whole thing. What I find more disturbing than him jumping to the wrong conclusion and making a bit of an ass of himself is that he asserted:
    ‘I know that you will come back at me with more mistakes, but they are your mistakes, not God’s’
    when I presented him evidence of contradictions in the text of the bible. This comment effectively denied me the right to use evidence, reason and logic when debating with him.
    I would be far happier if he held himself accountable (and we would also) for the misuse of the English language. He is peddling his BS for profit by twisting meanings of words to suit his end. He is not just an Evolution Denier, he is an English Language Denier. I’m going to try and fight his BS on two fronts…reason…and correct use of the English language. Scrap that, I’m a pragmatist, three fronts…reason, correct use of the English language and occasional mockery.
    Hold on…I’ll come in again!

    • Diane G.
      Posted April 4, 2013 at 2:48 am | Permalink

      Go, Leonie!

      Ur doin’ it rite!
      ;)

  38. Peter
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I guess Ray needs to use:

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=bibliophile

  39. Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Total giggle material!

  40. mordacious1
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    That’s got to be one of the funniest things Ray has ever said and he’s well known for coming out with rib-busters. Oh my!

  41. jbrisby
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    I bet Comfort’s uvula wiggles when he masticates.

    • Brygida Berse
      Posted April 3, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      I bet Comfort’s uvula wiggles when he masticates.

      I think that with this comment you went a little too far.

      Even though I consider mastication a normal activity for a healthy person (let’s face it, almost everybody does it), I don’t think it should be discussed here with such graphic details.

  42. marcusa1971
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Good ol’ Ray. Thinks he’s being insulted when he isn’t, and doesn’t realise it when he is actually being told he is an ignorant moron!

  43. E.A. Blair
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what Mr. Comfort thinks a thespian is…

  44. krzysztof1
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    I love how he totally missed the concealed dig that she would never confuse him with a lover of books.

  45. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s a little unkind to exercise one’s erudition by using esoteric terms in conversation with the ingenuous Mr Comfort. But it’s probably okay if it’s done with pedagogical intent.

  46. Griff
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Not that I’m a skeptic (!), but I had to see for myself that this really happened.

    And it did, still there on his FB page.

  47. Dominic
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Creationist christians are not the brightest.

  48. Posted April 3, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Send Ray a fruit basket with a generous helping of bananas with a note apologizing for calling him a bibliophile.

  49. Posted April 3, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    One more little quibble: the title of this thread is false. “Ray Comfort thinks that ‘bibliophile’ is an insult” it says. But by the time it was published, Ray Comfort had already acknowledged his error; he no longer thought “bibliophile” was an insult. The title is an error.

    sean s.

    • hotshoe
      Posted April 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      And you’re a fool, sean samis.

      “Thinks” (and other verbs used in present tanse) in English grammar does not always mean a occurring-now-in-realtime process, as you apparently believe it does, since you try to make a jab at our host for what you think is a verb-tense mistake. Sorry, your mistake.

      Maybe YOU should apologize to Jerry, not him to you.

  50. E.A. Blair
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Obviously, Mr. Comfort is not a logophile.

  51. Diane G.
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    sub, dammit

  52. J Hunter
    Posted July 8, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Comfort: “what did you call me!?!?” (ha ha) (When you’re ignorant, it is revealed in many ways.)


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