Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How to be a christian leader

     This is based on my own observations of Ray Comfort.
     Misrepresent the beliefs of non-christians (preferably with something completely ridiculous -- like expecting a monkey to give birth to a cat.) Explain to your followers that the bible is trustworthy because it says so right there in the bible and they know the bible is trustworthy. Take snippets of what non-christians say to make it look like they hold a position that they do not -- some scientists are so verbose that whole paragraphs could be lifted out of context. When outsiders correctly point out the strawmen, circular reasoning, and quote mining, respectively, insist that that's what they do when presented with "credible evidence for god."
     Remember your target. You are not trying to convince outsiders. In fact, if they think critically at all, that would be impossible. You are trying to make outsiders look unreasonably stubborn to your followers.
     Use claims like "creation proves a creator." Never admit that the claim that the world is a creation is in dispute.
     When an outsider points out an obvious lie, ignore it. Do not even acknowledge he said anything. Your followers will quickly forget.
     Claim that people who committed attrocities were not True Christians™. Keep your definition of christian sufficiently vague that you can always exclude someone at convenience.
     Tell your followers that they have everything to gain and nothing to lose by believing. Never acknowledge the possibility of a judge other than the christian god. If someone professes deism, pretend that is an endorsement of christianity.
     Tell your followers that you need money for your ministry. The donation should flow. Never mention the mansion or the Rolls Royce. [Editor's note: I am speculating on the actual expenses.]


Dan +†+ said...

So I guess you just proved Ray's list in one post, good job! The line in that proverbial sand is being drawn, that's for sure. Can't you just feel it!

Pvblivs said...

     No, Dan, I showed most of Ray's list to be an outright misrepresentation. Or, rather, I declared it and rely on the fact that you can see that this is what he does. There is no one that believes that a monkey will give birth to a cat. I seem to remember him, however claiming that's what evolution means. (He may have been using different animals.) Now, if you have an example of "credible evidence," I will certainly hear it. But I have shown what gets called "strawmen," "circular reasoning," and "quote mining."
     Interestingly, I don't think that all people who call themselves christians are insincere. I do think that to be a leader among christians you can't "believe the magic." And, frankly, he's not trying to convince outsiders. He's trying to portray outsiders as stubborn.

Whateverman said...

How exactly do you "prove" a list, anyhow?

Ray's criticisms are invalid for the following reasons: each one can be show to happen independent of whether the person is a Christian or an athiest, a Republican or someone who favors chocolate over vanilla.

Quote mining happens. Circular reason happens. Close mindedness happens.

For someone who claims that God allows him to love atheists, Ray seems awfully quick to damn an entire group of people through generalizations and insults. I suspect that he's sorely lacking in intellectual integrity.

Igor said...

A true believer is someone who agrees on everything with Ray (well almost everything, they can disagree over which Psalm is their favorite). But I can't help to wonder if they would classify "false Christians" as atheists.