What's More Fun
Than Arguing Religion
With A Fundamentalist?
Jason Follower of the Carpenter

From: "Jason Follower of the Carpenter"
To: "Positive Atheism"
Sent: April 26, 2002 11:01 PM
Subject: Challenging the nonexistence of God.

Well, Cliff, its been some time since I e-mailed you something. Lets not have any false accusations this time, ok?

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Note: We abridged Jason's letter for no other reason than the fact that we banned Jason from our Forum well over a year ago. Jason did slip through the cracks at least once by changing the name on his e-mail account in order to bypass our filters. We are not aware of this having happened on other occasions though that doesn't mean it hasn't! (Hell, we have over 1,500 complete exchanges already posted, plus, an additional 700 or so Letter-Reply pairs awaiting an opportunity for us to format and post them!)
     We barred Jason because he is a liar of the type where even if it is in his better interest to tell the truth, he will still lie. I spent several hours going back and forth with him before coming to this conclusion, eventually tossing several "test questions" to see if I was dealing with the type of person I here describe him as being. I did not, by the way, check to see if we are dealing with a troll.
     We do not wish to suggest that religion is what did this to Jason or that religion does this to anybody, even though in Jason's case, what he lies about most just happens to be his religious claims.
     Since we think some of our readers might find portions of our response interesting (to say the least), we will post our response, wherein we try to describe precisely how much fun we think this little game of bluff actually is!

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Hope you have fun with this one.


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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine"
To: "Jason Follower of the Carpenter"
Subject: Re: Challenging the nonexistence of God.
Date: April 27, 2002 10:00 AM

Why do you keep insisting that I have made a positive claim that gods do not exist? Why do you keep lying about me like this?

And what makes you think I care about what you tell me you think?

And speaking of what you think, I still question whether you've ever come up with an original thought of your own; thus, while I have zero interest in debating the "god-question" with anybody, I most definitely have no time to hold a discussion with the memorized script of an apologetics video such as one might order through some 800-number flashing on the television screen, while the man in the brown suit rants on.

Why would I consider such an activity even remotely resembling "fun"?

You're the one who claims that gods exist, not I.

Perhaps I could think of something less interesting, compelling, useful, healthful, or whatever, than arguing the "god-question" if I applied myself, but I would have to be trying really hard.

Perhaps if given the choice of arguing the "god-question" and watching a parade, either in person or on television, I might be persuaded to choose arguing the "god-question." I don't think I could be persuaded to watch a parade voluntarily.

But suppose someone were to call me during the wee hours and complain about there being over a kilogram of impacted fecal matter lodged in his or her rectum, having been pressed together so tightly in the intestine that it has become too large to pass the anus. And suppose that the only other candidate for the tedious and nausea-inducing task of carefully digging out the Big Turd was the roommate, who was busily engaged in a high-stakes online argument involving the "god-question." (Let's say the theist on the other end of the "chat room" has agreed to renounce her or his faith if "we" prevail, and "we" are right on the brink of prevailing and the theistic opponent has admitted such!) Let us further suppose that this "god-question" debater would gladly perform the "shit work" if and only if someone with my level of skill at debating this topic would take his or her place in the argument! Finally, we'll add an element of suspense (if you will) by observing that there are no tools, instruments, or supplies available other than what one might expect to find in the minimally equipped apartment unit of two college freshmen studying humanities at a very conservative University such as Brigham Young. There are, thus, no lab or medical supplies, and one would not reasonably expect to find any drug paraphernalia or sex toys on such a conservative campus.

The question is this: Would I choose to take that person's place and continue the argument over someone's claim that gods exist? Would I sit down at the computer terminal and let the roommate perform what some might call "the dirty deed"?

Hell, no!

If this were the choice offered to me, and if I were put on the spot and somehow required to choose between these two activities, I'd opt for digging out The Big Turd, and I'd give not a moment's thought to this decision. Nobody who has known me from up close would think of me as some queen of butt-sex or anything like that, so with me, you're not dealing with a fetish of any kind; it's simply a job that needs to be done, unplesant though it may seem. The challenge would be to minimize injury to the surrounding tissue; the honor would be in helping a fellow human be relieved of a painful and unhealthy situation; the reward would be in watching my friend obtain a powerful motive for becoming much more careful about diet, nutrition, and hygiene in the future.

My only response, again, is to show (again) why I cannot discuss science or any other matter with you:

Ask anybody who has ever dealt closely with a rock-hard butt-load of compressed shit, and chances are they will fervently to jump to this conclusion.

However, there is much more to it than to simply say "matter exists" because were you to compact The Big Turd to its particle component, eliminating anything resembling the "empty space" said to exist in between individual particles, the resulting "matter" would still be too small to detect with any light-based microscope.

In addition, under a specific condition there would be enough of what you appear to call "matter" in the load of excrement resulting from the single defecating session of any multicellular organism currently living on the face of this planet (take your pick) to "create" (literally: "result in") more universes with characteristics similar to our Universe than you could count in your entire lifetime.

Thus, to say "matter exists" is to omit so much of importance that I really don't want to talk with you about this subject.

The first law of thermodynamics is correct as far as the current, most up-to-date understanding of physics is concerned, according to the preponderance of physicists alive and working today. The first law of thermodynamics is subject to being overthrown by newer, stronger evidence than that upon which we currently base our understanding of this law.

The second law of thermodynamics is correct as far as the current, most up-to-date understanding of physics is concerned, according to the preponderance of physicists alive and working today. The second law of thermodynamics is subject to being overthrown by newer, stronger evidence than that upon which we currently base our understanding of this law.

Do you see why it is impossible for me to hold a discussion about science with a preacher? For the same reason, it is impossible for me to hold any sort of philosophical discussion with anybody who approaches that discussion with the intent of proving his claims to be correct. Since the Evangelical and Fundamentalistic varieties of the Christian religion presuppose the inherent correctness of the Christian religion, I really have nothing to discuss with you.

As I stated in a previous (unposted, of course) letter to you,

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How can I communicate with someone about an institution, when that someone insists that the institution is above reproach? How can I talk with someone who can so easily (and without remorse) twist my words around and then try to refute his corruption of my words without once addressing anything that I actually said? How can I communicate with someone whose entire understanding of history and science has been systematically altered to make it appear to that individual that the Christian religion is truthful? whose understanding of "science" and "history" are unique, and not part of that shared experience which marks the genuine study of history and science.


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We really have nothing to talk about, here.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Six-and-one-half years of service
    to people with no reason to believe

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