The response

Of course we get ridiculed, tortured and killed anyway. . . . JkagX8l


  1. Kevin
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    That says it all.

  2. Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:50 am | Permalink


    • Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      How strident. 😛

      • Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        “But the evidence for God is there if only you had eyes to see it!”


        • Sabunim5Dan
          Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          Ah, the compelling power of “personal experience” … burdened as it is with observer-relative confirmation bias.

          • darrelle
            Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

            The main purpose is to put the blame squarely on them that can’t see it.

  3. sshort
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink


  4. Frank
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    This is why Dawkins has proposed that “doubting Thomas” should be the patron saint of scientists and rationalists – notwithstanding his portrayal as flawed apostle in the Bible.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Simplicity at its finest.

  6. Anomalous
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    But you don’t have to! Because you can change my mind.

    There are other reasons not to kill or torture someone. Such as it being immoral to do so.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Hmm. I never thought of that.

      • Anomalous
        Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Apparently a lot of people never thought of that until the Enlightenment.

        • darrelle
          Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          It is depressing. And, of course, darkly comically ironic that at the same time Christianity claims the moral high ground. The only moral ground, actually. As do other major religions, but especially the desert dogmas.

        • Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          I’d be willing to bet the proverbial farm that the folks at American Atheists (I think?) are well aware of the moral reasons for not killing or torturing people. Their point is that many theists *do* resort to violence, which is tragically ironic because if the theists were right, and good evidence were available, their perceived need for violence would evaporate.

          I see this poster’s message as:

          1) theists’ violence amounts to a tacit admission of epistemological and ontological defeat, and

          2) an attempt to shame theists into realizing that violence is not a legitimate way to settle any kind of disagreement.

          I think this poster assumes most people understand why torture and murder are immoral.

          • eric
            Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            I doubt they had a deep point, beyond just to offer pointed commentary on the earlier poster. They included the ridicule/torture/kill lines simply because the previous poster did.

            • Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

              That is also the martyrdom thing. Saints of yore: Tortured and didn’t recant, blah, blah, blah.

    • Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Your ‘nym. I see what you did there.

  7. Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink


    You come across (or come up with yourself) these succinct arguments or points that really don’t need any improvement, and you think “that should be checkmate”.

    I say “should” because, frustratingly and depressingly, theists always manage to miss the point and mistakenly think the argument continues. In this case, I can hear all my theist acquaintances replying “there’s lots of evidence”, because they don’t understand how evidence actually works.

  8. EvolvedDutchie
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    But what if you have no evidence?

    *crickets chirp*

    Back to torture it is!

    • darrelle
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Torture is easier anyway. Evidence takes time and work. The hard kind of work, cognitive.

  9. rose
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Christians will say they don’t need evidence all the need is faith.

  10. DSG-LV
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    WHEN I do my “street epistamology” I always get “the evidence is in the bible” and I say
    “well where is the evidence that the Bible is true” and they ALWAYS SAY

    and we go in circles over and over…..

    Remember this??
    “Pete and Repeat were on a fence and Pete fell off, who is left”


    “Pete and Repeat were on a fence………”


  11. Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    An alternative (mine); probably too verbose … 


    • EvolvedDutchie
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      To respond to threats of torture with “I’d really rather you didn’t” sounds very British, if you don’t mind me saying.

      • Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Well, I am! (Apart from being ¼ Dutch and ¼ Flemish.)


        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted June 2, 2015 at 2:54 am | Permalink

          The usual mongrel then. Truly British…

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I like it. 🙂

    • Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      I like it.

  12. Posted June 1, 2015 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Is there a t-shirt?

    • Jim Knight
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      If there isn’t a t-shirt, why not? If there is a t-shirt, may I have the source so I can purchase a LOT of them…!

    • gunnerkee19
      Posted June 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      It would be easy enough to make. I have a creators account on Zazzle. The prices for the shirts won’t be great, but it is a custom print.

    • peepuk
      Posted June 2, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      “You can torture me,
      you can kill me”

      I wouldn’t would think twice.

      • peepuk
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        I would think twice

  13. krzysztof1
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I am in the process of reading Prof. CC’s new book Faith vs. Fact. On page 29 he quotes the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “fact” as “something that has really occurred or is actually the case; something certainly known to be of this character; hence, a particular truth known by actual observation or authentic testimony, as opposed to what is merely inferred . . .”

    The first time I read that I had no problems. When I went back and thought about it, I got hung up on “a particular truth known by actual observation or authentic testimony, as opposed to what is merely inferred . . .”

    First, it seems that “authentic testimony” must be defined rather narrowly in order for the thing attested to to be considered true. Bible believers think that the Gospels are “authentic testimony,” for example.

    On the second part, “as opposed to what is merely inferred,” doesn’t this run up against how we “know” evolution is true? It may seem obvious, but it seems to me that the fact of evolution is inferred from the evidence of the fossils as well as genetic similarities among species, etc. It’s not possible to observe an ape evolving into H. sapiens, but we infer from the evidence that it happened.

    So I’m not sure exactly what that last part means. I suspect they meant for “merely” to be a qualifier to “inferred”, on grounds that one can make incorrect inferences sometimes. But it could have been clearer.

    It’s also possible some editor who is also an Anglican priest stuck those parts in there. I’m sure all the OED definitions are reviewed before being allowed in.

  14. Posted June 1, 2015 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s the closed minds that’re the smallest ones.


  15. Posted June 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I have to admit that I’ve been pretty open and I’ve never had a problem. Then again I live in the US and am a professor (small college) and atheism is just a “normal” position to hold.

  16. Randy Schenck
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I thought the religious one was mostly stupid and the point of it only makes them look stupid. Making a joke of it is one way to handle it but I would pass on the Atheist sign because mostly they will not get it. Copying the crazies is usually not a good way to look sane.

  17. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Ironically, the Greek word often translated in the New Testament as “repent” in classical Greek means to “change your mind [or heart or sense of purpose in life]”

    The word is “metanoia”.
    It was a minor bone of contention in the Protestant Reformation that Catholicism had falsified the meaning of the word by simply identifying it with going to confession and doing penances.
    The Reformers (Martin Luther and John Calvin) objected, pointing out that in Greek it really meant changing your mind, your whole way of thinking.

    The term has since been appropriated by psychologists such as R.D. Laing and Carl Jung.

    Either way if you have abandoned any sort of religion for secular humanism, you have definitely undergone “metanoia”.

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted June 2, 2015 at 2:39 am | Permalink

      That was interesting. I’ve often wondered if we get the full meaning of such words (see also akrasia, ataraxia) because the language, time and culture are so displaced from our present ones.

      • John Scanlon, FCD
        Posted June 2, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        Vocabulary stultified by layer upon layer of sophisticated piety.

  18. Posted June 1, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate the sentiment but this does rather read as if it is OK to torture people to try and change their mind!

    Why not…

    You can ridicule me
    You can torture me
    You can kill me

    But please don’t. You can change my mind with evidence and reasoned debate.

    Not quite as pithy, I know.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted June 2, 2015 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Change “can” to “could.”

  19. Sastra
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Given that the evidence is admittedly insufficient (it needs faith!) then oh darn, it looks like they’ll have to revert to the default.

    I think the symbol used here is interesting — the universal/circle atheism symbol with some added atomic stuff from the American Atheist logo. While I’m a purist myself (as seen by my atavar) I’m seeing this variation more and more. It’s a bit more complicated to draw, but it does look nice.

  20. merilee
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 11:32 pm | Permalink


  21. Wayne Tyson
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    It is ironic that “Atheism,” as PRACTICED resembles religion so much. A-theism is different.

    • Posted June 2, 2015 at 1:30 am | Permalink

      Fool! We don’t practise atheism; we’re perfect already. 😁


  22. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, for many religionists, the second alternative is kinda difficult, and anyway the first alternative is what comes naturally to them and they enjoy it so much more.

  23. kelskye
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    The one I’ve noticed from theist apologists recently is that the problem is that the “new atheists” aren’t open to evidence. Of course they won’t show what the evidence is, but simply accuse the “new atheists” of not being open to the possibility.

    It’s a strange sort of argument. You’d think the best way to refute the “new atheists” is to show the case for God. Instead, we get the possibility of a case, or the need for open-mindedness to the possibility of a case. Where’s the actual case?

    • Posted June 3, 2015 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      Yes, some people need to learn the difference between being open to evidence versus being convinced by the evidence presented. Just because you find something convincing, it doesn’t mean that every open-minded person will also find it convincing. (I guess, likewise, we should be careful about saying there is no evidence for God. We really mean, there is no remotely convincing objective evidence for God.)

%d bloggers like this: