Ray Comfort’s Promotional Pictures “The Primates”: theatrically displaying ignorance, again

Apparently Ray Comfort still exists. Not only that, but apparently he’s done some documentary, or something. On principle, I’m not going to tell you what it’s called. Instead, I am going to show you the pictures he’s given his followers to promote the documentary. Although these are promotional pictures, I’m not going to promote the documentary (I haven’t watched it). What I am going to do is give a short and stock (probably) rebuttal to what I think is going on in each picture. As you’ll notice from looking at them, it is not at all obvious what some of them are about.

You know where the guy with the awesome goatee (I’m going to call him Alan) says “that’s right”. Imagine if he actually said “No, of course not. We know that we only see one billionth of the electromagnetic spectrum. We also know some things we do see are not real: optical illusions and the appearance that the bang and the flash of a firework don’t appear at the same time. As atheists, we are the people who simply don’t believe in God. Some of the most vocal of us, myself included, believe in the things that can be reasonable inferred from the evidence we have. Take some of the most abstract of emotions: love, hate, awe and elevation. There is plenty of behavioural evidence to suggest people do experience this. There is experiential evidence, insofar as I’ve experienced it myself and you may have too. There are even chemical patterns that can help us explain how these delightful emotions appear”.

Yes, I know that doesn’t fit in the box as well, but that’s the truth. Then again “Sometimes you say the dumbest things. Go read a book” works just as well.

Trite. But okay. Voldemort isn’t really evil, because he doesn’t exist. But if you claim that the character of Voldemort is that of a good guy, then we’re going to disagree.

I don’t get it.

This is revealing; the mentality of that’s difficult; don’t think about it written by a Christian.

The question is difficult. But look around you. There is plenty of behavioural evidence to suggest that chimpanzees don’t just think, but are capable of metacognition*. There are attempts to rank animals by their intelligence. One of the easiest to follow is here. How you explain thought is a difficult question. I think a material explanation gets rid of freewill, and I accept that. Some people do not accept that. It’s a huge discussion.

* metacognition is when you think about how you think. You can recognise it by seeing a being mitigate risk or expressing doubt.

Do you remember the first one of these, where Alan told the fat kid (now called Peter) to read a book? Well, read a book.

I want to explain how Peter is making an equivocation, but I’ve explained that before. Instead, I’m going to focus on how stupid Peter is. See, Peter probably cannot define nothing. No, I’m not being facetious. People like Aristotle would have called empty space nothing i.e. no things. But, from this nothing, something comes. But there are both space and time in that nothing, so a theologist has an easy time explaining that this nothing certainly is not nothing. Well, get rid of space and time and now you have nothing, right? There certainly are no things there. There is no space for there to be things. Well, from that nothing something can still come.

Therefore, it’s not nothing. Peter probably describes nothing as ‘that from which only God can create something’. Okay, so I’m stealing Lawrence Krauss’ little joke here, but he’s the one that’s indulged in the conversation. Quantum mechanics and cosmology have given observations to suggest that nothing really can give you something. That is simply the property of nothing that the universe is offering us. Don’t like it? Well, reality send it’s regards and says it doesn’t much care (to paraphrase Spherical Bullshit).

The fact is that we simply don’t know what we can do with nothing, because where there should be nothing we keep finding something.

We disagree about justice. Consider this: eternal retribution is not justice. The thought that Peter had isn’t actually that bad; it is perfectly consistent for us to think that justice necessarily includes a punishment. But I disagree. Punishment can have its uses, and it’s certainly good as a deterrent and maybe good as a way of rehabilitating people. But that’s not inherent. In fact, Hell is the worst rehabilitation centre conceivable because you are never allowed out and an eternity of torture is unlikely to make well-adjusted people. That isn’t justice or compassion. That is capricious and vindictive.

The only thing it may achieve (but look around you, it clearly doesn’t) is a deterrent. But that’s not justice.



9 thoughts on “Ray Comfort’s Promotional Pictures “The Primates”: theatrically displaying ignorance, again”

  1. Well I can see you’re a smart guy, you had a lot of interesting things to say here. I would encourage you to see if you can find the error in your superficial evaluation of nothing. But regarding Comfort’s film, you said you haven’t seen it, here it is if you’re interested:

    1. I will watch that at some time. If it’s provocative enough, I’ll even post about it.
      But it you search my blog (the search bar is in the top right) you can search for “creationism” and see that I have vowed not really to deal with it any more.

  2. Interesting. Well, I’m a young earth creationist, so if you talk to me, it will come up. It is also likely to come up when you make a blog post about the film Evolution vs. God.

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