"A cruel debate opponent" "Pagan blasphemer" "Reverse-iconoclast" "don't get pissed at him b/c he pwn yalls whiney asses"
My Photo
Location: Indiana, United States

Miscellaneous meanderings and philosophical ramblings. The title from a spiral notebook I used to jot down my thoughts on religion and other matters some years ago. I like to write, think and express my views on various issues. Robust discussion is welcome.

Chris of Rights and Charles Martin <-- Lists of debunked Sarah Palin rumors

"Lan astaslem."
I will not submit. I will not surrender.
Choose your language: Francais/French Deutsch/German Italiano/Italian Portugues/Portuguese Espanol/Spanish 日本語/Japanese 한국어/Korean 中文(简体)/Chinese Simplified

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rational Response Squad...

Master baiters and not much more.

I'm sure the (ir)rationals are gloating over the media attention their "Blasphemy" challenge has generated. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the recent Nightline segment was also an example of incompetence by the reporter or intentional omission to justify another segment to further milk the story for ratings. Such shallow reporting requires an extended post to cover what was lacking from the show.

The reporter seemed rather incredulous and rightfully so, that someone 30 years old, has no real job, other than attacking religion from his basement Internet connection. Unfortunately certain details were left out, or simply missed due to a lazy research effort. This left several items in the show without balancing elements.

One that stood out to me right away was The Sap being eager to show the reporter hateful messages sent to him, as if atheists of his bent are vestigial virgins in that regard. Furthermore, the reporter could have, but didn't, for whatever reason, bother to ask The Sap, why it's then ok for him to have said this:

"I lost my mother to Jesus, and vow to conquer those who have led her to harm, yeah... no bullsh*t. Well, I should clarify, she is still alive but her brain has been melted down to a non functioning level where synapses wont connect, known as born again christianity... she has become Christarded. I hate theism, I do not hate theists"


If I could get a mental health clinic (I couldn't) to admit someone for fervent belief with no evidence specifically Christianity, and I could get my mother to go (I couldn't), I'd take her, pay for it, support her, be there for her, whatever.

Such comments need no further commentary from me.

Certainly some Christians, and those only superficially claiming the name, are immature and hateful with their responses, and this is wrong. However, that Brian uses this to justify his pseudonym while other atheists, members of the (ir)rationals  and assorted hangers on, criticize apologist J.P. Holding of Tekton ministries for doing the same, as if it's a meaningful point, smacks of downright hypocrisy.

I could point out more but Frank Walton at Atheism Sucks! has covered a few already with his post here:

Berman states that Brian's methods leave it open for critics to call him "disrespectful." Brian replies,

"If I knew that their belief system was wrong and I didn't say something, that would be much more disrespectful."

Well jimeny jillickers, Brian! Since I know that your belief system is wrong and if I didn't say something, that would be much more disrespectful. So can you blame me when I make articles against you? All you do in return is just cuss me out...

The Nightline article about the show, includes The Sap responding to the charge that they're not being very nice with their tactics:

"We are not indoctrinating people," he says. "There is no fear of hell in what we do, in our activities. We don't tell people that if they do believe in God they are going to hell. We are against fear-based systems."

No, you don't reference hell, but you do say believers are irrational, that religion is a mind f*ck, a disease etc. Those are certainly not means of persuasion that place you on some supposed moral high ground compared to some Christians who harp far too often on hell. For someone billed as the (ir)rationals philosophy "expert" by the self-proclaimed ancient texts/historian "expert" of the group, it seems rather odd that he would miss that point. But typical of his little team, what they do is fine, no matter what, while pronouncing judgement on those they disagree with.

Another problem with the reporting was stating that the DVD, The God Who Wasn't There, was actually a "hard-hitting documentary". That DVD is nothing but crap scholarship and has been responded to multiple times by Christians. Another instance of omission by incompetence or a desire to stoke the controversy further.

A Review of Brian Flemming's DVD "The God Who Wasn't There"
The God Who Wasn't There: an Analysis
Great Expectorations Or, The Apostate Who Wasn't All There

Another part of the show that presented no balancing elements, was The Sap inviting anyone to present their evidence.

"If they want to come to the table and present their evidence, I will present my evidence. And we will see how much of theirs is based on faith, and how much of mine is based on fact."

There are several rather funny elements to his claim, once one has more information. For one, as part of the devastating criticism of the DVD they're pimping, there is also the fact that real scholars dismiss the idea that Jesus did not exist as the purview of cranks. It is simply not debatable in serious academic circles. Those that choose to remain committed to the notion that Jesus did not exist, are relying less on evidence and more on their ability to stick their heads in the sand. In addition to this, is the tendency for The Sap and little rookie, also of the (ir)rationals, to run away from debates.

Brian Sapient of "Rational Responders" fame chickens out often do you hear about 2 atheists debating one another? Not often. Which is why I was anticipating a debate between Brian Sapient (picture to your left) and Jim Lazarus. Sapient who thinks he's a rational fella (he's not) was challenged by Lazarus to debate whether or not theism can be rational. Guess what happened? Sapient ran from the debate!

Will Rook Hawkins of the "Rational Responders" fame take on JP Holding?

Rook was asked to debate Holding in an independent forum with an independent moderator. He has refused to debate this simple and fair format...

The Sap also has a misunderstanding of Biblical faith as I've covered here. It is loyalty based on evidence of performance. Unfortunately, too many Christians think evidence is not relevant and such misinformation was only helped by the Christian interviewed for the show who had this to say:

Liles says Brian is simply missing the point. Faith is not something that can or should be proven, she says.

Sorry, but there are Christians who are more informed than that Episcopalian minister. Hardly surprising the reporters would be so under informed as to not have a clue as to who to contact for the show.

For all their blather, the (ir)rationals have also made enemies on the atheist side. It's rather humorous to see non-Christians show great disdain for the (ir)rationals in the Christian group I frequent on myspace. I've also been told that the (ir)rationals are possibly thought even less of, in the atheists/agnostic group on myspace than in that Christian group.

So, the (ir)rationals may be quite clever at generating controversy for a media desperate for such and getting the under informed and easily stirred up youth making silly videos, but they also create unintended consequences. They anger other atheists with their methods and self-proclaimed expert status regarding the Bible and whatever else they feel the need to stroke their egos with. Some, may even turn to God over such antics or their curiosity raised to do some research and actually accept Christ in the long run. Another possibility is that some Christians are motivated to research the faith more thoroughly. Those who do so, with honest endeavor, will find there is no need to fear the strutting arrogance of people like the (ir)rationals. Then there are those of us who have already studied and look at the (ir)rationals as a source of some amusement. Sure, they may be irritating at times, but the end result is that one either chooses to serve God or one ends up being a tool for God. Considering the unintended consequences of their idiocy, I have to almost laugh once more, thinking of how all this will shake out, once the entire story of this world has been completed.

The urge to laugh is however blunted by the knowledge that some will strut and preen until the very end and encourage others to do the same. They justify every rejection of God's outreach to them and do so proudly, only to find all their rationalizations blown away as refuse and chaff and the truth they've long denied exposed. In that day, they will know they had enough evidence, it was always there, but they chose to reject it for reasons insufficient and glorified themselves in self-adulation for doing so. It's bad enough that Christians err too many times and create stumbling blocks to the faith. How much worse for those who do so intentionally and with childish glee? I pray they soon come to their senses rather than find the answer by way of experience.


Previous posts:
How to be publicly stupid 101
If you have to say it so often...


Filed under: Religion -- Christianity -- Apologetics

Trackposted to: Right Pundits, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, The Random Yak, Adam's Blog, Right Truth, Big Dog's Weblog, Shadowscope, Common Folk Using Common Sense, Stuck On Stupid, Cao's Blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, Conservative Cat, Jo's Cafe, Maggie's Notebook | Conservative Blog, Faultline USA, third world county, stikNstein... has no mercy, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Blue Star Chronicles, Planck's Constant, Renaissance Blogger, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Trackback URI                             Submit this post on! width=                     View blog reactions
<< Home

Click for Latest Posts

Creative Commons License

As defined and limited by the license, any use of work from this blog, must be attributed to Mark K. Sprengel and include a link back to this blog.

Get updates by e-mail:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Widgetize! Subscribe Social Bookmark Blogs that link here
My Technorati profile

Also, follow me on Twitter

Search this blog:

powered by Aditya

Recent Comments: