Ray Comfort

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How about if we keep the plane scenario, but we change the gifts. You are in a plane that going down, and someone offers you four gifts, but which one do you choose? You are offered a parachute, a time machine (T.A.R.D.I.S. from Dr. Who), a glider (or a jet pack or hovercraft), or the Iron Man suit (you are practically invincible and Jarvis will help you fly it). All of them will save you from the falling plane. You even have the option to have a skilled pilot who could land the plane safely in a body of water, like the Hudson River. That option works just fine. Or, if you are a Star Trek fan, you can have the pilot radio in for help and have you and all the passengers transported off the plane (but then why would we have planes?). And as long as we are involving Iron Man, you may replace that gift with Batman wings. These are already being tested by the military to be dropped from 30,000 feet (compared to Ray's analogy of 10,000 feet) and can glide up to 120 miles. It is true that the time machine and transporter is not present to us (remember this is just an analogy), but the others gifts are theoretically possible (such as the Iron Man suit or Batman wings) or are already available (like the jet pack or glider). We do have gliders and jet packs that can work. But what about the parachute, we already know it can be efficient in saving us? True, but bear in mind parachutes are not always reliable. Some parachutes do not open, some don't inflate properly, or malfunction. This [http://www.dropzone.com/fatalities/ site] shows the statistics of parachute related fatalities.
 
How about if we keep the plane scenario, but we change the gifts. You are in a plane that going down, and someone offers you four gifts, but which one do you choose? You are offered a parachute, a time machine (T.A.R.D.I.S. from Dr. Who), a glider (or a jet pack or hovercraft), or the Iron Man suit (you are practically invincible and Jarvis will help you fly it). All of them will save you from the falling plane. You even have the option to have a skilled pilot who could land the plane safely in a body of water, like the Hudson River. That option works just fine. Or, if you are a Star Trek fan, you can have the pilot radio in for help and have you and all the passengers transported off the plane (but then why would we have planes?). And as long as we are involving Iron Man, you may replace that gift with Batman wings. These are already being tested by the military to be dropped from 30,000 feet (compared to Ray's analogy of 10,000 feet) and can glide up to 120 miles. It is true that the time machine and transporter is not present to us (remember this is just an analogy), but the others gifts are theoretically possible (such as the Iron Man suit or Batman wings) or are already available (like the jet pack or glider). We do have gliders and jet packs that can work. But what about the parachute, we already know it can be efficient in saving us? True, but bear in mind parachutes are not always reliable. Some parachutes do not open, some don't inflate properly, or malfunction. This [http://www.dropzone.com/fatalities/ site] shows the statistics of parachute related fatalities.
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==Appearance on ''The Atheist Experience''==
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On 27 March 2011, Ray Comfort was a call-in guest on [[The Atheist Experience]], with hosts [[Matt Dillahunty]] and [[Russell Glasser]].
  
 
==Books==
 
==Books==

Revision as of 17:58, 29 March 2011

Ray Comfort
Ray Comfort
Born:  December 5, 1949, New Zealand
Residence:  Bellflower, California, USA
Occupation:  Evangelist, Apologist
Religion:  Evangelical Christian
Websites:
Living waters ministries
Atheist central blog

Ray Comfort is a Christian apologist from New Zealand who co-hosts The Way of the Master radio show alongside his partner Kirk Cameron.

Contents

Beliefs

Ray Comfort is an evangelical Christian and a young earth creationist. Ray is a Bible literalist and does not accept evolution or the proper age of the universe.

Ray believes that once someone is born-again God forgives them for all their sins. The following is his words exactly: "once and for all and the moment you trust in him [Jesus Christ] you are completely justified and made right with God, you are made perfect by God's grace. That has nothing to do with living a good life, pleasing God because you can't because you a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart. The only thing you can do is repent and trust in him. The minute you do, in a heartbeat God justifies you. Cleanses you of your sin and you are born again. God gives you a new heart with a new set of desires and you know you are going to escape death and damnation." Listen carefully to Ray's last comment. He just admitted that any person can be saved and clean of sin the second that you repent, making Christianity a "Get out of Jail Free Card." Hitler, murderers, rapists, or anyone can be just as wicked as they want their whole life to their last minute. In that last minute, all they have to do is become 'born-again" and God forgives them.

Ray believes that the Bible says that we are saved by grace alone and not by works. He quotes Titus and Ephesians 2:8-9, which says that not by works of righteousness, but according to God's mercy. However, if we are saved by grace, then that means that all we have to do to be saved is to convert and repent, no matter what kind of evil we have committed. Murderers, rapists, child molesters can be saved if they repent. Does the Bible say that salvation is by grace alone and not by works? Should we be baptized? Psalm 62:12 says "For you render to each one according to his works."

Jeremiah 17:10 says "I the Lord ... give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings."

Matthew 5:20 says "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Btw, the Pharisees followed over 613 laws.

Matthew 16:27 spells it out nicely "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works."

Philippians 2:12 says "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

James 2:14 asks "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?" Later on in James 2:17 it says "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." Near the end, James 2:21-25 "Was not Abraham our father justified by works? You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rabab the harlot also justified by works? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

1 Peter 1:17 says "The Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work."

Revelation 2:23 says "I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

It seems Ray (and Kirk) does not know the Bible, or purposely cherry-picked one side of the discrepancies to make other branches of Christianity appear foolish to give his faith more credibility. Other branches of Christianity believe that both works and faith is required, some believe God has already predetermined where you end up in the afterlife.

View towards Atheists

Ray Comfort makes no attempt to hide his grudge against atheists and atheism, which is evident through his extensive work focused on opposing atheism. According to Ray "An atheist is someone who believes that nothing made everything. He will deny that through gritted teeth, because it is an intellectual embarrassment. But if he says of his Toyota that he has no belief that there was a maker, then he thinks that nothing made it (it just happened), which is a scientific impossibility. So, to remain credible, he falls back on something made everything, but he just doesn’t know what that something was. So he’s not an atheist–he believes in an initial cause." Ray Comfort encourages all Christians to not be intimidated by atheists because "they're not intelligent, the bible says they're fools."

Of course Comfort got the definition of atheism wrong and this whole thing is set up to make atheists seem like idiots. He uses the false objection to atheism "so you believe in nothing?" This is blatantly false, since an atheist is somebody who does not believe in any gods. Atheism is not a belief system. Even if this first sentence wasn’t meant as a definition, it is factually wrong because Comfort makes the mistake of all atheists share more than just a disbelief in gods. In the academia, the real "intellectual embarrassment" are proponents of creationism, which is Ray Comforts position. Ray's comment about atheists and the origin of the car (or any other man-made objection) is a rework of the argument from design. Not all atheists share the same beliefs, and he makes it seem so evil to admit "he just doesn’t know what that something was." If not enough evidence is provided, it is intellectually honest to say 'I don't know' and Ray falsely believes that response alone makes his position win by default. On the last point, an atheist only needs to lack a belief in god(s), and his/her position on causes of anything are a separate issue. If atheists are not intelligent, then how is it that Comfort's banana argument got intellectually obliterated to the point Comfort denied he ever made it?

  • Note regarding Ray's remark that an atheist believes nothing made everything, which is a popular theist view about atheism, is demonstrably wrong. When physicists say "nothing" it is not what most people think they are talking about. As NASA astronomer Dr. Sten Odenwald puts it, " when physicists say 'nothing' they are being playful with the English language, because we often think of the vacuum as being 'empty' or 'nothing' when in fact physicists know full well that the vacuum is far from empty. Nothingness was not nothing, but it was not anything like the kinds of 'somethings' we know about today. We have no words to describe it, and the ones we borrow (that are listed from the Oxford English Dictionary) are based on the wrong physical insight."

Favorite arguments

Ray Comfort has appeared on many freethinking radio shows. Some arguments come up time and time again (see our articles about these arguments for relevant counter-arguments) in his books, episodes, debates, street preaching, and such. Ray constantly uses a bushful of fallacies, such as appeal to emotion, argument from ignorance, false dichotomy, straw man, equivocation, ad hominem, and many more. Ray is also known to lie for Jesus.

Ray believes there are three "irrefutable" evidences for God.

  • 1) Creation: Using a coca-cola can as an example, Ray "theorizes" the origin of the can came from billions of years ago, when there was an unexplainable massive explosion in space, and from it came a rock and on the rock was a brown bubbling pool where after millions of years, aluminum came forth and created itself a tab on the top. Millions of years later, red and white paint fell from the sky and formed the words on the coca-cola can. Ray says nobody would believe tht, because we know the coca-cola can had a maker. He then says we also know that the banana must have a maker. Ray Comfort claims that if you find something that was created, there must be a creator. He claims that a building must have a builder and a painting must have a painter, even though you cannot see, touch, smell, hear, or taste him. This to Comfort is scientific proof of a creator and does not require faith to believe in a creator. According to Ray, all you need is eyes that can see and a brain works. Ray asks himself "can we scientifically prove that a painting had a painter?" He replies if we put a dozen scientists in a room with a painting, they will all answer that it indeed had a painter. Ray includes nothing more. He then says the human body is a very complex machine and the eye is perfect so there must be a designer. He then addresses those who are not convinced by his arguments as people who put themselves on an "intellectual pedestal."

Comment: Ray simply does not understand the word "theory," misleading people. His argument is of course a logical fallacy: anything that exists, simply because it exists, must have been deliberately created by an intelligent being for an intended purpose. By his logic, does lightning have a lightning maker? His argument also includes an argument from design fallacy. We see design and beauty in snowflakes and crystals, but we also know they form under natural causes without invoking the supernatural. The thing is, we can actually test if a painting had a painter and we could verify who it is and how they did it, but we cannot do so with God. And that is where Ray fails, who claimed that he would be able to prove the existence of God scientifically. Also, Ray builds an absurd straw man of the Big Bang Theory, abiogenesis, and evolution and falsely thinks that disproving them makes creation win by default. He also tries to mock the intellect and present an ad hominem towards those who don't believe in God by implying that their eyes and brains must not be functional. He insults skeptics as putting themselves on a pedestal, basically Ray's arguments are so feeble that they are simply comical and doe not require a lot of thought to see through it, and that is why Ray attacks the intellectual and trying to prevent the audience from thinking to deeply into things.

  • 2) Conscience: According to Ray, God put within each of us conscience when God made us in his image. This separates us from the other animals since we have the ability to know right from wrong. But, according to Ray, our conscience has "lost its life on the outside" and each of us are "self-admitted blaspheming, lying, thieving, adulterers at heart" and could only be restored by the Ten Commandments. He then goes on using his old tactic of "are you a good person?"

Comment: In this speech, Ray very briefly tells the gospel is the greatest evidence for God anyone could have. This of course is based on ignorance of science (zoology, sociology, evolution). All societal species (including humans) have a sense of compassion and community amongst their kinsmen, friends and fellows which - in many species - leads to acts of devotion, defense, and even self-sacrifice on their behalf.

  • 3) Conversion: According to Ray, if you believe in God and seek him out, you will find him. "That is the ultimate proof."

Comment: What Comfort failed to understand was the same result can be achieved for those who seek out ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, or any deity "with their whole heart", meaning they have already assumed these things exist without question or prior evidence that they exist in the first place.

The Watchmaker Argument

He will usually say something along the lines of "If I see a watch, it must have been made by a watchmaker, a loaf of bread by a baker, a building by an engineer, a creation by a creator." He will also say "Creation is 100% Scientific proof there was a creator."

This is the argument from design.

The Banana Argument

The banana argument, in which Comfort points out several features of bananas that indicate they were designed for human use, was presented as evidence of a creator in the Way of the Master episode entitled "The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism". Although he called it "the atheist's worst nightmare" in the episode, he later conceded the weakness of the argument on the Hellbound Alleee show. Comfort still uses it, however, and promotes it in his Atheist Test tract.

A response to "The Atheist's Nightmare", by Nick Gisburne, can be found here.

Are you a good person?

Main article: Are you a good person?

This argument uses the appeal to emotion and cherry-picking a version of the Ten Commandments. Comfort asks the unbeliever a set of questions. A nutshell version of the argument is as follows:

  • Are you a good person? Are you sure?
  • Have you ever lied in your life? Yes? Then you're a liar.
  • God hates lies. You deserve to go to hell.
  • Luckily, you have Jesus. Hope you'll accept him.

Comfort will seize any admission of imperfection to condemn his interlocutor: stealing a piece of candy from a store when one was a child counts as a "yes" answer to "Have you ever stolen anything?" Comfort's god considers this equivalent to robbing a bank.

Parachute Analogy

Imagine you are on a plane, and suddenly it is going down. You fear for your life and want to be saved. Someone hands you the Mona Lisa, you push it away. Someone offers you keys to a Ferrari, you reject it. Someone offers you a million dollars, you reject it too. Suddenly someone offers you a parachute that can save you. This parachute provided to you from Ray Comfort is faith in Jesus Christ that will save you from a terrible fate.

This however, is an flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager. Ray Comfort says his parachute (provided by his invisible friend) is safe and harmless, but suddenly another passenger tells you "Don't use his parachute, it has holes in it. Use mine provided by my invisible friend." Then a third passenger announces "Only my parachute on this plane works, but my invisible friends demands you pray five times a day for it to work." A fourth passenger announces "My invisible friend slashed all the parachutes on board. He takes care of his chosen people, and as none of you were born into the correct lineage, it’s too bad for you." Some people refuse parachutes and urge others to do the same, because it would interfere with the master plan of the father of their invisible friend (these are the same people who refuse medical care in favor of prayer and faith healing). A fifth person gets up and says "Do not worry if you jump off the plane or die, if you were good in your life you will come back and have a wonderful life" -basically reincarnation. The drama goes on with the rest of the passengers, until you demand to actually see proof of a doomed plane and which parachute does work. Some say you must not demand for evidence and just have faith. Regardless, you inspect the plane and the parachutes. The plane is operating just fine in every way and each parachute has holes in them big enough you can fit your head through them. Some of the parachutes terribly constrict people, harming them. Some parachutes are very old and terribly worn out and could not possibly withstand two seconds the heavy winds. The plane reaches its destination safely, but the drama continues through the terminal, security, all the way out beyond the airport. You learn from airports around the world that many people have harmed many others and themselves due to their faith in their parachute provided by their particular invisible friend.

Regarding the Reincarnation part, Ray and Kirk addressed that belief (and several others) in their episode Why Christianity? They said it is basically a person jumping out of the plane and then being sucked back into the plane. They go on to say Reincarnation will not help you with your sin against God and the reality of Hell. They clearly portray their biased views without proof of sin or Hell, plus their analogy is wrong. If you lived a good life and jump out the plane, you will not get sucked back it, you may turn into an eagle and fly away. Even if you did get sucked back into the plane, you just keep repeating the process over and over. If you are good or not depends which class you get to sit in or what plane you fly (or perhaps what you get served to fulfill your pleasures). While there is no evidence of Reincarnation, there is no proof of Heaven or Hell, and both Ray and Kirk constantly fail to show or present is why their beliefs are more valid than that of a Hindu.

Sometimes Ray uses this analogy but does not reveal the whole scenario that the person is on a plane and will have to jump out soon. When the person answers either the car, money or Mona Lisa, Ray suddenly says "I forgot to tell you, you are in a plane and it's going down, so you have to jump." Basically, he switches the scenario of the analogy all of the sudden, forcing them to choose the parachute. Notice he changes the scenario but keeps the gifts the same. it is easy to change the scenario to force a person to pick the gift you want them to choose. Here is an example: "you are offered the original Mona Lisa, keys to a new Ferrari, a parachute, or ten million dollars. Before you choose, you must get to an important meeting to make ten billion dollars and you need a ride fast." You may pick the keys to the car and drive off. How about this analogy: "same gifts are presented, but you are not on a plane or need to get to a meeting, instead you are in the streets homeless and hungry and you need money to sustain yourself or you will starve." You will probably decide to take the cash.

How about if we keep the plane scenario, but we change the gifts. You are in a plane that going down, and someone offers you four gifts, but which one do you choose? You are offered a parachute, a time machine (T.A.R.D.I.S. from Dr. Who), a glider (or a jet pack or hovercraft), or the Iron Man suit (you are practically invincible and Jarvis will help you fly it). All of them will save you from the falling plane. You even have the option to have a skilled pilot who could land the plane safely in a body of water, like the Hudson River. That option works just fine. Or, if you are a Star Trek fan, you can have the pilot radio in for help and have you and all the passengers transported off the plane (but then why would we have planes?). And as long as we are involving Iron Man, you may replace that gift with Batman wings. These are already being tested by the military to be dropped from 30,000 feet (compared to Ray's analogy of 10,000 feet) and can glide up to 120 miles. It is true that the time machine and transporter is not present to us (remember this is just an analogy), but the others gifts are theoretically possible (such as the Iron Man suit or Batman wings) or are already available (like the jet pack or glider). We do have gliders and jet packs that can work. But what about the parachute, we already know it can be efficient in saving us? True, but bear in mind parachutes are not always reliable. Some parachutes do not open, some don't inflate properly, or malfunction. This site shows the statistics of parachute related fatalities.

Appearance on The Atheist Experience

On 27 March 2011, Ray Comfort was a call-in guest on The Atheist Experience, with hosts Matt Dillahunty and Russell Glasser.

Books

Ray Comfort has written many Christian books including:

External links

  • "The Raytractors" now at "WeAreSMRT", Ray Comfort's Detractors, a community of atheists and theists who critique and respond to Ray and the Way of the Master.
  • Atheist Central, Ray Comfort's weblog (former title: Comfort Food).
The Way of the Master
Season One Episodes:

1. The Firefighter   2. The Mirror of the Ten Commandments   3. The Motive of the Sinner   4. The Summary of Salvation   5. Practice What You Preach   6. Idolatry—The Darling Sin of Humanity   7. The Beauty of a Broken Spirit—Atheism   8. WDJD?   9. Blasphemy, Sabbath, Parents   10. Murder   11. Adultery   12. Theft   13. Lie and Covet

Season Two Episodes:

1. God's Wonderful Plan   2. Conscience   3. Alcatraz, Al Capone, Alcohol   4. True and False Conversion   5. When Things Go Wrong   6. The Satanic Influence   7. How to Witness to Someone Who's Homosexual/Gay   8. Evolution   9. How to Witness to a Loved One   10. The Fear of God   11. Ice Breakers—Gospel Tracts   12. The Greatest Gamble  13. How to Get on Fire for God

Season Three Episodes:

1. Islam   2. Mormonism   3. Witchcraft   4. Buddhism   5. Roman Catholicism   6. What Hollywood Believes   7. New Age   8. Humanism   9. What America Believes   10. Jehovah's Witness   11. Judaism   12. Spiritual Battle   13. Hinduism

Cast
Ray Comfort — Kirk Cameron
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