Sunday, August 21, 2011

How to Convince an Atheist to Become an IDiot


You all remember GilDodgen, right? He's one of the IDiots who post regularly on Uncommon Descent. Nothing that he says about Intelligent Design Creationism is unusual but he does have one characteristic that appeasr to set him apart. Here's how he describes himself [ID and Prager University].
As many UD readers know, I was once a Richard Dawkins-style atheist. I was not just an ordinary, garden-variety atheist, but a really obnoxious, nasty, self-aggrandizing, pathetically prideful atheist like Dawkins. I prided myself in using my intellectual capacities in an attempt to destroy any belief that materialism cannot explain everything.
Can you believe it? He used to be just like Richard Dawkins: obnoxious, nasty, self-aggrandizing, and prideful. (GilDodgen is still all of those things but now he's an IDiot.)

What an amazing transformation! I bet you're wondering, just like me, how the other IDiots managed to convert him.

Well wait no longer 'cause GilDodgen lets us in on the secret.
What a fool I was. The story of my conversion is available, but the most salient point concerning ID is that my interest and expertise in basic science, engineering, and especially highly sophisticated computational algorithms, led me to recognize the inherent design in living systems and the transparent desperation of ID opponents to explain away the obvious.

A major influence in my journey over the years has been Dennis Prager. I first started listening to him on the radio more than 20 years ago. His intelligence, eloquence, and articulation about ultimate issues had a profound effect on me.

Prager is a Jew, not a mindless evangelical Christian.

For those who are interested, check out Prager University, especially here and here.
Did you resist clicking on the links to Prager University? No, neither did I. There was just too much potential for a good laugh.

Let's look at the first of these major influences on the life of an atheist. We'll save the other one for later [Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Bang Bang].

The first thing you notice about the video is the title: The Most Important Verse in the Bible. That's exactly the sort of thing a nasty, materialist, atheist might be watching, right? Of course it is. That's exactly why we're all going to watch it!

The second thing you notice is the cation under the video.
No one, not even the most devoted atheist, denies that the Bible is the most influential book ever written. So, what is the most important verse in this most important book?
Now correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there five billion non-Christians on this planet? Is it true that they can't think of a more influential book among all those that have ever been written?

Really? I didn't know that.

Before you watch the video, see if you can think of the most important verse in the Bible—assuming you have read it. Now watch the video and see how convincing it would be for a typical atheist.

WARNING: This video contain powerful theistic messages. Watching it might be hazardous to the rationality of atheists. Viewer discretion is advised.1




1. For the benefit of all non-Americans I should explain that this phrase is prominently displayed before every segment of a TV show (or movie) where you might catch a glimpse of an uncovered female breast or hear the word "shit." It's got to be one of the stupidest, meaningless, sentences every written.

24 comments:

  1. It sound better to claim being a converted atheist. Always better than saying "i was christian all along".
    Why?
    Because the underlying message seems to be more convincing.
    "See even I, an intelligent atheist couldn't resist the call of truth."

    Fortunately in Germany (where I live) these videos don't work.

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  2. Well, I was going to guess John 11:35 "Jesus wept".

    But geez, Prager has a university now, along with Glenn Beck? Do universities now come as prizes in Cracker Jack boxes or something?

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Wait... wait... wait. So this self-proclaimed die-hard, obnoxious, militant, ultra-Darwinian Dawkins-acolyte, completely converted to ID-creatiofascistic theism, because it says in the bible everyting was created in the beginning, by god?

    I... I can't really put my finger on it, but somehow I just find that hard to believe.

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  5. That's the best attempt at a knock-down argument for the existence of the Christian God?

    Colour me unimpressed. He even contradicts his own argument several times in the space of six minutes.

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  6. AFAIK it is widely conceded that the Bible and Euclid's Elements were the two books that most influenced human history over the last two millenia (with the Koran coming in third) - this is based on number of printings, translations, etc. Whether Elements edges out the Bible hinges on exactly how much influence it (the Chinese edition of Elements, published only in 1607) had in China, which is hard to pin down.

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  7. konrad,

    But how many buyers have read the bible? IF you buy something, but don't read it, how can it be influential? I know this is not your argument, but how some have decided influence. Euclid's elements would have been bough to learn something, but the bible is often bought because people think it basic to have it, but then it serves no other purpose but to accumulate dust.

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  8. The video. I could not finish. It was going nowhere. It talks to Christians, not to atheists. Christians are happy to hear this crap. If this was all it took to Mr. GilDodgen the IDiot, then he was not like Dawkins at all.

    Shit, why did I click on the link. Now I learned that I love kicking cats ... could this be the start of my conversion?

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  9. @Negative Entropy,

    We'll get to kicking cats shortly. Right now I'm in Ottawa and I won't be able to kick any cats until after I drive back to Mississauga.

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  10. Viewer discretion is advised.

    Sure, put the warning after the links to Prager "university.

    Now I'll have to rinse my brain out with bleach.

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  11. @NegEnt: Actually, one should probably argue the other way: most of those influenced by the Bible in the last 2000 years would have been illiterate and would not have had direct access to a copy; instead, it was read to them. I imagine the Bible would have influenced many more people per copy than Elements would have.

    Euclid's Elements had a huge influence because it affected scientific thought, which affected technology, which affected society. The Bible had a huge influence because it affected (mostly Western) society directly, and Western society had a huge influence on the rest of the world.

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  12. see if you can think of the most important verse in the Bible

    I want to get my guess on the record before I watch the video:

    Matthew 6:5-6
    And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

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  13. I was wrong.

    And I want my five minutes and 21 seconds back.

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  14. Ah fuck. I used to be an atheist, Now I've been converted by this powerful video.

    Why didn't I use my discretion, whyyyy?????

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  15. Anyone else offended by his description of Richard Dawkins?

    ". I was not just an ordinary, garden-variety atheist, but a really obnoxious, nasty, self-aggrandizing, pathetically prideful atheist like Dawkins. "

    Speaking directly about people's religious beliefs is somehow obnoxious, nasty and prideful. I don't recall Dawkins using those terms to describe believers.

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  16. Personally, it was the elevator music soundtrack that converted me or was it fried my brain. I guess the they both mean the same thing.

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  17. I like the part where the bears come along and eat everybody.

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  18. The whole idea that one book could be the most influential is silly. It like asking who was the greatest person that ever lived or what the most important invention in history was. Highly subjective and wholly dependent on what criteria you chose to use.

    The Bible is certainly an important book and its myths have had a profound influence on literature, language, and culture. Not sure what baring that has on the claims contained with in it.

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  19. The bible might have been the most influential, but that doesn't mean its influence was positive.

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  20. Prager is completely right. Genesis I:I is not the case and so all that follows does not matter!

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  21. I really don't want to watch this video. I've already watched 5 minutes of the other Prager video, so I've destroyed enough brain cells for today.

    Will someone please tell me what the most important verse in the bible is?

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  22. Martin, without doubt the most important verse in the bible is Deuteronomy 23:1

    "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD."

    - 1769 Oxford King James Bible 'Authorized Version'

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  23. Wouldn't "take care of the weak" come from Hammurabi?

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