Field of Science

Ray Comfort demolishes atheist film festival

WorldNutDaily is a precious source of right wing inanity. In

Atheists stage festival for anti-religion films
'Evolution: The Musical,' rants by George Carlin, Woody Allen

they report that
What is being billed as the first-ever Atheist Film Festival and featuring a large number of films that largely address religion will be held in San Francisco Sunday – and it lumps Jesus along with Zeno [sic! - I trust they mean Xenu], Flying Saucers, The Flying Spaghetti Monster and Eden.
Perhaps they write Zeno in a manner akin to PZ writing Jebus (i.e. to not take his name in vain, right?), but I find it more likely that they are ignoramuses.

But, to their credit, in the first half of the short article they do their best to report fairly about the film festival, focusing on the facts. Like, it will be in San Francisco this Sunday from noon to midnight (so it ended minutes ago). Then, being the bastion of religious fundieness that they are, they must of course bring in a detractor, and must list this person's credentials to elevate the pending criticism of the film festival to a level that their readers can acknowledge as sufficient to dismiss the whole thing as childish and irrelevant. So who do they bring in? None other than Ray comfort. If you don't know him, let me start by saying that he is one of the most ignorant of all creationists that I have ever heard about. He is the banana-man. He has challenged Dawkins to a debate, offered him $20,000 for all the pain and suffering, and (ta-daaa) he has written a book about how stupid atheists are, and this book, ironically, relegated Dawkins' The God Delusion from Amazon's best-seller list when it was released. So there! Take that for credentials, and take this for rebutting the atheist film festival:

Oh, there's even more about his credentials (I'm actually sort of live-blogging the article as I read it):
Comfort, who works with Living Waters ministry and has argued against atheism at Yale University, debated the issue on ABC's Nightline and has authored some 60 other books, including "God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists," "How to Know God Exists" and "Evolution: the Fairy Tale for Grownups," has told WND it's atheism, not faith, that lacks a foundation in reality. [My emphasis.]
Well, then, with sixty books, which is at least five times as many as Dawkins has written, there's just no contest is there. And, oooh, he has argued at Yale - bulwark of erudition. Can't get much more respectable than that.

Comfort's arguments against atheism are
  1. Evolution is a logical impossibility, because all sexual animals had to evolve a male and a female at the same time, otherwise the species could have kept going, and
  2. If there's no God, then we are not morally accountable.
PZ Myers have dealt with the male-female evolution issue here (it's a singularly asinine claim). As for godly morals:
"I also show that the 'God' issue is moral rather than intellectual. No one needs to prove that God exists. Creation is clear evidence for any sane person that there's a Creator. But if I can convince myself that there is no God, it means I am not morally accountable, and evolution opens the door to a whole lot of sinful delicacies such as pornography, fornication, lying, theft, and of course writing bad reviews for a book I haven't read," he continued.
Call me insane, then. See if I care. I didn't know that there is anything against pornography in the Bible. As for fornication, lying and theft (I'm surprised he didn't mention murder, since that's one of the usual suspects), the moral codes we all possess in that regard do not come from God or the Bible, but are evolved. Bottom line is that people of different religions, and people of none, are just as moral in these regards as Comfort's preferred brand of Christians. In fact more so, as studies have shown in abundance (e.g. Church goers more likely to steal newspapers).

As for the atheist film festival, I'd like to hear from someone who went. Comfort? Stein? Anyone?


  1. Bjørn,
    Thanks for a great post. Don't tell Ray Comfort, but the Atheist Film Festival was a huge success! Despite many obstacles and nay-sayers, it went off without a hitch and audiences enjoyed a full day of entertaining and challenging films and shorts. Even Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, sent a special video just to warn the AFF attendees that watching these films would send them straight to hell!
    Can't wait for next year's!
    -Dave Fitzgerald
    Co-Founder, Atheist Film Festival

  2. David, thanks for stopping by.

    I'm so glad to hear 1) that the festival was enjoyed by all, and 2) that Betty Bowers could help you out.

  3. 372 people attended the Atheist Film Festival, which was in two different theaters for 11 hours. The Atheist Film Festival t-shirts sold out in 2 hours and people placed orders for future ones. Several cities have asked us for help in setting up their own Atheist Film Festival -- Portland, Oregon; Winnipeg, Canada; Fresno, California; Manila, The Philippines. The group that produced the Atheist FIlm Festival -- the "Atheist Fun Club" - are now planning new events, such as an Atheist Fun Calendar, an Atheist Olympics, and an Atheist Cabaret. It is fun to be an atheist in San Francisco and we hope it spreads world-wide.

    by Hank Pellissier, aka Hank Hyena (founder/producer)

  4. Hank, that sounds great with other cities wanting to do film festivals. Manila?!

    I think the other ideas a great too, except the olympics. I don't know, but I have this emotion that I'd like sports to be besides that point. I suppose anyone can go to the film festival, and a cabaret, but can anyone participate in atheist olympics?


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