I am rarely left speechless on twitter, but I came close last week. What you are about to read took place over 11 hours or so on the 5th November and involved not an American but a Scot who, I had rashly assumed, would know better.
I was wrong.
I know what you’re thinking… Anyone who interacts with me will know I have a short fuse when it comes to stupidity and you would be right. However, I was so stupefied by such a flawed theistic logic, I hung on to confirm whether he genuinely believed the bullshit he was spouting or whether he was a ‘Poe’.
What followed confirmed that he genuinely believed his methods were legitimate. I can only take from this the depth of his delusion and his ability to lie and actively pursue a sophism I rarely, if ever, see.
For anyone unclear on the definition of sophism:
SOPHISTRY (A definition from the Oxford Dictionary)
- a subtle, tricky, method of argument that is seemingly plausible though actually invalid and misleading
- a false argument
So, what started this marathon of debate? Just a simple tweet link I had posted an hour earlier. You will find it here: Jesus Never Existed. You may also find of interest Hitchens thoughts on the matter: The True Core of the Jesus Myth.
My correspondent’s response started with the usual theistic monotony, ‘of course, we have proof of Jesus existence’. I waited as you can imagine with bated breath, alas to no avail as unfortunately he used the usual proof from the Bible. I remember him fixating on the Book of Mark and he continued in this vein for some time with the usual nonsense including telling me I had no proof he didn’t exist. Ya, di ya, di ya!
I was accused of deflection when I gave no physical proof that there is no proof of Jesus existence. Yes, I will let that one sink in; we should have proof there is no proof. I thought that made the answer simple. Apparently not! The logic passed him by.
Having confirmed his belief was based on faith and not proof, we got the first of three comments which illustrate the depth of his delusion and the pointlessness of further debate.
Yep! You heard that right! Now I know you are wondering which dictionary he got that little gem from and to his credit he did furnish us with the answer. That’s right Bible Word Study because, as he argued, no scholar/academic would use a dictionary as a source!
Should I let you go calm down and stop laughing before I carry on? Go, get a cup of tea – or something stronger – and I will continue.
Repeatedly, he asserted he wouldn’t use a mere dictionary as he would only believe the truth from ancient texts. I pursued this flaw in his logic as I mentioned the Illiad, the Odyssey, the Bhagavad Gita, the Quran and any number of texts that must, on his level of observation, mean many gods were true. We spoke of Socrates but, despite there being physical proof of Socrates and none for Jesus, it didn’t mean much to him. No, only the Christian Biblical scholars were to be believed; no others could possibly be true. Wow!
His next assertion: there is proof Jesus existed because his name is mentioned in several primary texts (again, these proofs were never forthcoming). The other flaw in his logic was, even if we had proof of a man called Yeshua living in the right time, this would not prove a damn thing other than a man called Yeshua once lived in Jerusalem.
You see why he lost his credibility so quickly? There are no mentions of the name Jesus anywhere – 200 BC or anywhere. It simply was not a name in use at the time and, as I mentioned, the man he knows as Jesus was more likely a Yeshua (due to the alphabet used at the time), but he would hear none of it. We discussed the origins of the New Testament but since the proof we had was not found in his various commentaries, he ignored us.
His dishonesty knew no bounds when his only base for discussion was biblical propaganda pages written by others in his fish bowl of delusion and designed solely to keep him swimming in circles. Science and historical knowledge were swiftly dismissed as nonsense whilst his biblical fairy keepers were scholars.
Oh dear. Ali…!
Others joined in as he continued digging his hole to Australia. We tried to educate him as to the origins of his New Testament and that the ‘infallible word of God’ was actually man made, written by a group of men whose only purpose was to perpetuate their control of their audience. At this point I lost interest and apart from checking in occasionally to see how the excavations were going, this was our final interaction. It was a corker!
Wow, right? Let’s just see that again:
Modern English was actually invented because of the translation of the Bible into English
Now I’m going to throw in a few facts on this little gem.
- The King James Version (KJV) or, as it is more correctly known, the Authorised Version (AV) of the English Bible was written between 1604 and 1611. It was deliberately written in an anachronistic style because they felt it would seem more authentic if it looked ‘old’. The same thing still happens with many modern bibles, e.g some still even use ‘thee’ and ‘thou’
- It was illegal to translate the Bible into English when Henry Vlll came to power in 1509. This only changed when Henry fell out with the pope for refusing him divorce so he could marry Anne Boleyn.
- The team of translators who worked on it basically lifted 80% from William Tyndall’s Bible, which was based on the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament.
- English is a hybrid of many languages, it comes from the same origins as modern Dutch and German, it absorbed Norse and French and it continues to develop today. Since there was no English language in use in first century Palestine (!), no amount of English can ever make it look authentic. But many modern day believers are still fooled. Witness the number of devotees of the KJV (as it is usually known outside the UK) who will consider using nothing ‘less’. Such ill informed devotion smacks more of idolatry than a quest for truth.
All of this passed him by so I passed him on to others willing to spare the time to discuss his delusions.
He aptly demonstrated what it takes a theist to ignore ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ and convince themselves that a baseless mythology is true and to ignore all evidence to the contrary. To hold such a belief means they have to lie to themselves and, for anyone with even a morsel of intelligence, must involve a high degree of cognitive dissonance.
The desperation was palpable throughout his various interactions, clurching at straws, convincing himself of ‘biblical facts’ in direct opposition to his request for proof from the atheist interaction. The proof of “I’ve got this book” didn’t seem to convince him that Zeus was not a fictional character as he is mentioned in various Greek mytholgies. Funny that.
It was sad to see someone, apparently capable of rational thought, utterly fail to use any rational thought at all when it came to biblical studies and his faith.
Maybe it was the feeling I was flogging a dead horse that the following came to mind:
You can lead a fundie to wisdom but you can’t make him think
His inversion of belief and reason showed a slavish devotion that runs so deep it has robbed him of his autonomy, his knowledge of self and the only tool he has for discovering truth: his reason. This is someone who values belief more than he values believing only that which is supported by evidence and reason.
At this point we should conclude that he has left the rational thought game and must be considered a lost cause. This is the end product of brainwashing and indoctrination which can only lead to insanity
It reminds me of a favourite quote:-
The whole religious complexion of a modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a Lunatic Asylum
When next you engage with a theist in ‘debate’, start by asking them one question:-
“Are you prepared to change your mind about your deity if all evidence and reason points to your beliefs being defeasible?”
If the answer is ‘no’, then you’re done.
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