'$100,000 Dollars'
To Disprove Bible?
We'll See!
Thomas O'Ryan (Vince Farraducci?)

  This is another one of those letters which prompts a response such as, "If you cannot be truthful with me about what I can verify, how can I trust what you say about unverifiable claims, such as the existence of a god, the existence of the Christian Hell, the "true" meaning of the Holy Cross, etc."
     All definitions quoted are from Mirriam Webster's Tenth Collegiate Dictionary.
 

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Vince Farraducci"
Subject: Re: quick question
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 14:42:53 -0700
 

I insist on truth in the sense that I don't want you to lie to me.

For example: You signed this letter "Thomas O'Ryan" but your return e-mail address says you're "Vince Farraducci." You will need to explain this to me before you regain your credibility with me. This is not "my truth" or "your truth," this is a matter of plain old truthfulness.
 

This is not necessarily true. If someone makes an existential claim, for example, that an invisible leprechaun lives on his hat, but cannot make a strong case for believing his claim, it is most reasonable of me to disbelieve his claim. This would especially be true if he claimed that invisible leprechauns lived on Mars. I cannot go to Mars to prove him wrong: I don't have to. If he cannot make a solid case for his existential claim, I have no business believing it.
 

Why do you call an atheist a theist? Are you trying to degrade atheists by doing this? Why can't you accept that an atheist is an atheist? Why do you start off this dialogue by insisting, right off the bat, that we have a god -- that is, that we are theists?

And what is cynical about what I say? I would say that you are the one being "contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives" -- particularly mine. You say that "everyone tells lies" (your words). This is very cynical of you; it is the epitome of cynicism, a classic example of it.

Meanwhile, I don't say that everybody tells lies. In fact, I only reserve the right to insist on truthfulness in all my transactions, because some people have lied to me in the past. I do not begin any transaction by insisting on truthfulness. I wait, and only insist on truthfulness in the event that I detect or suspect untruthfulness on the part of the other party. Even in those cases I sometimes remain silent as to my suspicions. To call somebody a liar is to make a serious charge -- and possibly a serious error.
 

And I say that you are lying about me. You have set up a false, easily refuted misrepresentation of what I have said, and then knocked it down by using falsehood. This form of dishonesty is known as the Straw Man.

If you claim Christianity is "the Truth" (unless you mean something different by the word "truth" than is commonly accepted, which would be deceitful in itself), then I can assume by this that you claim to have a respect for truthfulness. However, you used a deceitful method to make your case. Thus, you are the hypocrite in this matter, not I. You implied that I am a theist when you said that I have a god. I am an atheist. This is enough for me to label you a hypocrite.
 

It is immoral to believe that a claim is true simply because believing so is comfortable.

People do not need to believe in gods to have a fulfilling life -- or for any reason, for that matter. I am a case in point. This cannot be a universal "human need," simply because over twenty percent of the world's population rejects the notion of the existence of a god or gods.

You need to back up your claim that I malign ("utter injuriously misleading or false reports about") theology. What is false about what I have said about theology? I disdain it, and have explained why I think it is falsehood and why I think it is dangersous. I dare you to find any falsehood or deceitfulness or anything misleading in my arguments against theism. If you can find any falsehood, I will accept your accusation that I "malign" theology (theism?), but until you do, I inisit that you retract your accusation.

Meanwhile, you malign agnosticism by "utter[ing an] injuriously misleading [and] false report about" agnosticism. Agnosticism has two classes: (1) Theistic agnosticism, which acknowledges the likelihood of a god, but thinks we cannot know any more than that; (2) Atheistic agnosticism, which does not know if there is or is not a god. The latter class of agnostics is the one you malign, since you say (falsely) that "agnostics acknowledge the existence of SOME higher power." Many agnostics, if not most, do not acknowledge anything. This is the main point of atheistic agnosticism: to refrain from acknowledging what you insist that agnostics, in fact, do acknowledge.

Also, your statement "stating that atheism is not a theology is a fallacy, not only that but it is arrogence" is false. Atheism is clearly the lack of a theism -- the lack of a theology. I don't understand why you insist that atheism is theism. This is not unlike saying that light is darkness (the lack of light) or that the presence of air is a vacuum (the absence of air).
 

The Bible is clearly falsehood, in that it is self-contradictory. It also makes erroneous statements about the nature of things, particularly the sphericity of the earth and the order in which things came into existence. I have made several demonstrations of this on this webpage.

However, I don't know what you mean by the word "Christianity." Are you talking about Greek Orthodox? Roman Catholic? Lutheran? Presbyterian? Fundamentalist? Liberal? I don't have much to say about Liberal Christianity because they don't have a very precise conceptualization of their god or their religion. We cannot hold a discussion without clear concepts to discuss. Biblical Christianity is the easiest to see through, though. It is clearly falsehood, and malignant in its effect upon society and on the individual.
 

You're on! You determine the definition for "Christianity" and I'll take the Bible at face value.

As soon as you have placed the $100.000 into a trust similar to the one into which James Randi has placed his $1,000,000, I will start picking my representatives for the panel of judges. (I am not going to waste my time unless you can verify to me that this game is on the up and square; thus, the need for an account and a panel of judges: half of them picked by me and half of them picked by you.) Let me know when you have secured the $100,000.

No fair using someone else's money, because you said, "i will pay no less than $100,000 dollars." Also, this is not a debate, but a monologue, since you said, "to the man, woman, or child who can disprove any aspect of Christianity or the Bible." In other words, I speak, you listen. Also, I need only disprove one of the Bible's claims, and I get the money -- as you said.

If you don't put the money into a secure trust (similar to Randi's fund) I will know that you are just another liar, being yet another in a long line of Christian liars who have written or spoken to me.

The main reason I doubt you are telling the truth, here, is that it is very unlikely that someone who spells and writes as poorly as you do would have "$100,000 dollars" to put up for a bet like this. Thus, in this case, I insist on the right to insist upon truthfulness up front. If you come through with the documents proving that $100.000 is in a secure trust, I will humbly apologize. However, I do have my doubts, considering your use of two different names plus your use of one of those anonymous HotMail accounts.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

Graphic Rule

Graphic Rule

  Notes:
     
As of September, 1999, when we reformatted the link back to the Positive Atheism Index in all documents, we have not received a response to our acceptance of the offer for "$100,000 dollars" made by Mr. O'Ryan? (Farraducci?) -- or any response from Mr. O'Ryan? (Farraducci?), for that matter!
     As of August, 2000, when we updated the formatting of all our letters, we have not received a response to our acceptance of the offer for "$100,000 dollars" made by Mr. O'Ryan? (Farraducci?)!
     As of June, 2001, when we reformatted the the Browse links and color schemes of all our letters, we have not received a response to our acceptance of the offer for "$100,000 dollars" made by Mr. O'Ryan? (Farraducci?)!
     As of December, 2002, when we updated the chronological index, we have not received a response to our acceptance of the offer for "$100,000 dollars" made by Mr. O'Ryan? (Farraducci?) -- or any response from Mr. O'Ryan? (Farraducci?), for that matter!
     Do you think he might have been lying to us?
 

Graphic Rule

Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.