The Atheist Test

19 08 2009

The following is something I found on my Mother’s kitchen table. I read it, thought it was pretty good, and decided to type it up and post it on here. Word-for-word. Enjoy. 🙂

The theory of evolution of the Coca Cola can.

          Billions of years ago, a big bang produced a large rock. As the rock cooled, sweet brown liquid formed on its surface. As time passed, aluminum formed itself into a can, a lid, and a tab. Millions of years later, red and white paint feel from the sky, and formed itself into the words “Coca Cola… 12 fluid ounces.”
          Of course, my theory is an insult to your intellect because you know that if the Coca Cola can is made, there must be a maker. If it is designed, there must be a designer. The alternative (that it happened by chance or accident) is to move into an intellectual-free zone.

The Banana – the Athiest’s Nightmare.
Note that the banana:
1. Is shaped for human hand
2. Has non-slip surface
3. Has outward indicators of inward contents: green – too early, yellow – just right, black – too late.
4. Has a tab for removal of wrapper
5. Is perforated on wrapper
6. Bio-degradable wrapper
7. Is shaped for human mouth
8. Has a point at top for ease of entry
9. Is pleasing to taste buds
10. Is curved towards the face to make eating process easy.

To say that the banana happened by accident is even more unintelligent than to say that no one designed the Coca Cola can.

TEST ONE:
The person who things the Coca Cola can had no designer is:
•  A. Intelligent
•  B. A fool
•  C. Has an ulterior motive for denying the obvious

          Did you know that the eye has 40,000,000 nerve endings, the focusing muscles move an estimated 100,000 times a day, and the retina contains 137,000,000 light-sensitive cells?
          Charles Darwin said, “To suppose that the eye could have been formed by natural selection seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” If man cannot begin to make a human eye, how could anyone in his right mind think that eyes formed by mere chance? In fact, man cannot even make anything from nothing. We don’t know how to do it. We can re-create, reform, develop… but we cannot create even one grain of sand from nothing. Yet, the eye is only a small part of the most sophisticated part of creation – the human body.
          George Gallup, the famous statistician said, “I could prove God statistically; take the human body alone; the chance that all the functions of the individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity.”
          Albert Einstein said, “Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to man, and one in the face of which our modest powers must feel humble.”

TEST TWO:
1. Do you know of any building that didn’t have a builder? • YES    • NO
2. Do you know of any painting that didn’t have a painter? • YES    • NO
3. Do you know of any car that didn’t have a maker? • YES    • NO
If you answered “YES” for any of the above, please give details:
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
___________________________________________________

          Could I convince you that I dropped 50 oranges onto the ground and they by chance fell into ten rows of five oranges? The logical conclusion is that someone with an intelligent mind put them there. The odds that ten oranges would fall by accident into a straight line are mind-boggling, let along tens rows of five.

TEST THREE:
A. From the atom to the universe, is there order? • YES    • NO
B. Did it happen by accident, or must there have been an intelligent mind? • YES    • NO
C. What are the odds of 50 oranges falling by chance into ten rows of five oranges? ____________________________

          The declaration, “There is no God,” is what is known as an absolute statement. For an absolute statement to be true, I must have absolute knowledge. Here is another absolute statement: “There is no gold in China.”

TEST FOUR:
What do I need to have for that statement to be true?
•  A. No knowledge of China
•  B. Partial knowledge of China
•  C. Absolute knowledge of China

          “C” is the correct answer. For the statement to be true I must know that there is no gold in China, or the statement is incorrect. To say “There is no God,” and to be correct in the statement, I must be omniscient. I must know how many hairs are upon every head, every thought of every human heart, every detail of history, every atom within every rock… nothing is hidden from my eyes… I know the intimate details of the secret love-life of the fleas on the back of the black cat of Napoleon’s great grandmother. To make the absolute statement “There is no God,” I must have absolute knowledge that there isn’t one.
          Let’s say that a circle represents all the knowledge in the entire universe, and let’s assume that you have an incredible 1% of all that knowledge. Is it possible, that in the knowledge you haven’t yet come across, there is ample evidence to prove that God does not exist? If you are reasonable, you will have to say, “Having the limited knowledge I have at present, I believe that there is no God.” In other words, you don’t know if God exists, so you are not an “atheist” – you are what is commonly known as an “agnostic.” You are like a man who looks at a building and doesn’t know if there was a builder.

TEST FIVE:
The man who sees a building and doesn’t know if there was a builder is:
•  A. Intelligent
•  B. A fool
•  C. Has an ulterior motive

          Perhaps you have questions that hold you back from faith. First, almost every question you have about suffering humanity, etc., can be adequately answered. Second, we have faith in plenty of things we don’t understand. Did you understand the mechanics of television before you turned it on? Probably not. You took a step of faith, turned it on, and after it worked, understanding HOW it worked wasn’t that important. We accept that there are unseen television waves right in front of our eyes. We can’t see them because they are invisible. For them to manifest, we need a receiver, then we can enjoy the experience of television.
          God is not flesh and blood. He is an eternal Spirit – immortal and invisible. Like the television waves, He cannot be experienced until the “receiver” is switched on. Here is something you will find hard to believe: Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). Either that is true or it isn’t. Jesus Christ says that He will manifest Himself to anyone who oberys Him. Approach the subject the same way you approached your first television set. Just take a small step of faith. If it works, enjoy it; if it doesn’t, forget it.

          Or have you an ulterior motive? Could it be that the “atheist” can’t find God, for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman? Could it be that your love for sin is clouding your good judgment? If the Bible is true, and Jesus Christ has “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel,” then you owe it to yourself just to check it out. Here is how to do that:

TEST SIX:
With a tender conscience, check this list of the Ten Commandments:
1. Have I always loved my Creator with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength? • YES    • NO
2. Have I made a god in my own image (a god to suit myself)? • YES    • NO
3. Have I ever used God’s name in vain? • YES    • NO
4. Have I kept the Sabbath holy? • YES    • NO
5. Have I always honored my parents implicitly? • YES    • NO
6. Have I murdered (God considers hatred murder)? • YES    • NO
7. Have I committed adultery (which includes premarital sex and lust)? • YES    • NO
8. Have I stolen (the value is irrelevant)? • YES    • NO
9. Have I lied (including fibs and these questions)? • YES    • NO
10. Have I coveted (been greedy or materialistic)? • YES    • NO

          If you have even broken one Law, then you have sinned again God and therefore will “surely die,” for the “wages of sin is death.” We are all guilty of breaking the Commandments. Listen to the voice of your conscience, and let it remind you of some of the sins of the past. We are not perfect as we are commanded to be (Matthew 5:48), either is our heart pure. On Judgment Day our transgressions will be evidence of our shame. Think of it: God has seen every sin we have ever committed. We share our thought-life with Him.
          We are guilty of violating His Law a multitude of times, yet if we repent, God can forgive us because Jesus stepped into our courtroom 2,000 years ago and paid that fine for us. His death on the cross satisfied the Law we so blatantly transgressed, and at the same time demonstrated how much God loves us – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). His shed blood on the cross can make you clean in the sight of a Holy God… as though you have never sinned. God doesn’t want you to go to Hell. Please, forget your arguments, repent and put your trust in Jesus, and be saved from God’s wrath. Make Psalm 51 your prayer, then read the Bible daily and always obey what you read; God will never let you down.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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20 responses

19 08 2009
morsec0de

Just out of morbid curiosity…when was the last time one of your Coca-Cola cans reproduced?

Try taking a biology course at a reputable university some time. Then you’d at least understand what you’re ideologically opposed to.

19 08 2009
hethiebaby

I must be honest with you, and say that your arguments really make no sense. I apologize if this seems rude to you. The person who wrote this was using that as a mere example. The Big Bang idea is associated with the worlds being created, NOT the human race as a whole; hence, he made the Coca Cola can represent the worlds. BOTH are ridiculous ideas – THAT is the point the author was trying to make.

19 08 2009
Shamelessly Atheist

What Morse is saying is that comparing the Coca-Cola can to an organism is a false analogy and therefor invalid. Reproduction of Coca-Cola cans and organisms have absolutely nothing in common. It’s comparing apples to oranges (actually, that’s being nice) making the analogy a non sequitur. But Ray Comfort was never the brightest match in the pack.

19 08 2009
shirhashirim

Then why is it called ‘the evolution of the coca cola can’? It was my first thought as well: coca cola cans don’t procreate!

But anyhow, why would the big bang idea be so ridiculous? Sure, no coca cola can ever materialised in the universe (oh really, how do we know?), but if it had, I wouldn’t be surprised given the fairly large amount of time available and the hugely large amount of things that did materialise that are much more complex than coca cola cans.

You’re arguing on the grounds of mindboglingly small chances. That’s a flaw: no matter how small the chances are, no matter how close they get to zero, you’ve still not proven they’re impossible. Sure, the possibilities may defy our powers of imagination, but does that say something about the possibilities, or about out powers of imagination?

Absolute statements: Euclid proved that the number of primes is infinite, but he did not have absolute knowledge of primes! (he knew just enough)

19 08 2009
hethiebaby

No. Coca Cola cans don’t procreate. neither do rocks. or slime. or explosions.
“Evolution” does not mean “reproduction” or “procreation” of life. Definition follows:
“Evolution”:
1. any process of formation or growth; development: the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane.
2. a product of such development; something evolved: The exploration of space is the evolution of decades of research.
3. Biology. change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
4. a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions.
5. a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine.
6. a pattern formed by or as if by a series of movements: the evolutions of a figure skater.
7. an evolving or giving off of gas, heat, etc.
8. Mathematics. the extraction of a root from a quantity. Compare involution (def. 8).
9. a movement or one of a series of movements of troops, ships, etc., as for disposition in order of battle or in line on parade.
10. any similar movement, esp. in close order drill.

19 08 2009
Shamelessly Atheist

You know what really ticks me off? When dishonest people quote mine. The ‘test’ has a quote from Darwin about the complexity of the eye. Yes, he wrote that in The Origin. What Ray Comfort disingenuously omits is the very next chapter wherein Darwin describes the evolution of the eye in detail. Just as dishonestly, there’s an Einstein quote about spirituality, yet Einstein himself made if very clear that he rejected a personal god.

Comfort also confuses knowledge and belief. (No surprise- the bananas that are found in the grocery store are the result of hundreds of years of HUMAN cultivation. You would not want to eat wild-type bananas. The banana argument just makes him look a fool. ) I can be agnostic about the existence of gods (why are we limiting ourselves to just the Abrahamic god, anyway? doing so just sets up a false dichotomy) – this is a statement of knowledge. I can also be atheistic about the existence of gods – this is a statement of belief. They are totally compatible. I do not need to know everything about the universe to not believe in gods when there is no evidence (and thus knowledge) of their existence.

What I can’t stand even more is this offensive argument that I have some ‘sin’ (sin does not exist outside of a religious frame, and since I am an atheist I reject its validity) that I don’t want to be accountable for. I am accountable to myself, and believe me I am a harsh critic. This presumption is so offensive, so repugnant that I am unable to contain my disgust for those who posit it. Without knowing anything about me, Comfort suggests that I am a hedonistic immoral person. Perhaps he would like to explain why roughly 15% atheists/agnostics yet represent only 0.1% of prison populations?

19 08 2009
Shamelessly Atheist

Gene frequencies change because of reproduction, so it really does matter.

23 08 2009
Laughing Boy

Shameless: What Ray Comfort disingenuously omits is the very next chapter wherein Darwin describes the evolution of the eye in detail.

You mean to say, “Where Darwin speculated about the evolution of the eye in detail”, don’t you? Darwin did not present empirical, peer-reviewed facts. He just layered imaginative guesswork upon his subjective interpretation of facts. Dawkins does the same thing regarding the sonic capabilities of bats in “The Blind Watchmaker”. Much of what passes for evolutionary facts, especially as they pertain to origins, is nothing more than “just-so stories”. Good stories don’t reproduce facts, but hypotheses. Hypotheses are fine, often being the foundation of discovery and knowledge, but in the case of Darwinistic evolution, the hypothesis has come up short against many observed facts. But it’s hard to bury the grander claims of evolutionary theory since they (being just-so stories) morph so easily too accommodate any evidence.

25 08 2009
shirhashirim

‘Describe’ or ‘speculate’, the point was that quoting an introductory passage without any reference to the chapter that followed, was a wilfully dishonest way to misrepresent what Darwin thought. (whether his thoughts were correct is -for now- beside the point)

26 08 2009
Laughing Boy

True enough. But is Comfort really trying to deceive his readers into believing that Darwin didn’t believe in Darwinism? I hope not.

He’d have been better off, IMO, limiting the piece to just Test Six. All the other stuff is a distraction—and in the case of the banana, an embarrassment, which, ironically, would seem to be a more powerful argument if his readers were apes. Test Six says all that needs to be said, as Shamelessly’s comments affirm. (BTW: Shamelessly’s ire falls right in line with the Christian view of human nature.) Either you accept that God exists and that he makes demands of us or you don’t.

27 08 2009
shirhashirim

I’m not sure it’s that simple. First of all test 6 isn’t really a test, it’s a questionaire (to which loads of perfectly honest people would answer ‘no’ on all accounts), a bunch of bible quotes plus interpretation (sensu Calvin) that may not make any sense at all to someone from another culture (e.g. Catholic). Second, not all those who believe that God exists, also believe that He makes demands of us (let alone the specific demands mentioned above). Third, what about people who do not believe God exists, but still believe in Him?

27 08 2009
hethiebaby

Shirhashirim –

“What about people who do not believe God exists, but still believe in Him?”

To me, this makes no sense at all – your question seems to contradict itself. Please explain.

Thanks.

28 08 2009
Laughing Boy

1. I answer “no” on a most accounts myself, as would every honest person. That’s the function of the Law.

2. What do you see in #6 that’s particularly Calvinistic or insensible to Catholics?

3. “…not all those who believe that God exists, also believe that He makes demands of us…”

They are among those who “don’t” on my account. I meant that there are those who hold that set of beliefs and those who don’t. However, your distinction is valid. It may be that most theists (and a significant percentage of self-proclaimed “Christians”) would take this position. One of their identifying characteristics is the denial of the reality of Hell.

4. Like Heather, I must be missing the subtle logic of your third statement. Do you mean people who don’t think God is real but still find Him a useful imaginary crutch? If so, then I will stipulate a third group consisting of the insane. If not, then I’m at a loss.

28 08 2009
shirhashirim

I don’t see a contradiction. There are people who believe God exists, there are those who believe in Him. Most of the people in these two groups coincide (i.e. they both believe He exists and believe in Him), but some don’t. There are those who don’t believe in God, even though they’re convinced that He exists and there are those who believe in God, without thinking He exists. They’re small groups alright. Seems pretty simple to me.

Anyway, given these groups of people I thought lauging Boys statement that test 6 ‘says all that needs to be said’ needed some nuancing: it only says all if you look at it from a particular viewpoint. For other groups -e.g. those who believe in God, but don’t think He makes demands on us (or even exists)- test 6 makes little sense.

28 08 2009
hethiebaby

I’m gonna back up to your first paragraph again…. If someone doesn’t think something exists, they are not going to believe in it. And on the contrary – I think it takes thinking/knowing something exists in order for me to put faith in it and believe it’s really there.

I feel like I’m talking in circles…. but then again, i think so are you.

28 08 2009
shirhashirim

“Do you mean people who don’t think God is real but still find Him a useful imaginary crutch?”

Not exactly, according to them God is very, very real, maybe even the most real thing there is. He just doesn’t exist. They’d object to the use of ‘useful’, ‘imaginary’ and maybe even ‘crutch’, but otherwise you’re perfectly right. That may sound as a joke. It isn’t.

“If someone doesn’t think something exists, they are not going to believe in it.”

But they are! And they do! Really, I know people who do exactly this and they are most certainly not insane! They do NOT think you need to think something exists before you can put faith in it, rather the reverse: you should put faith in it otherwise it wouldn’t be there (‘be there’ in the sense of ‘exist’).

An old post of mine may touch on that last phrase:
http://shirhashirim.wordpress.com/2007/12/13/there-is-a-god/
It’s a bit of a long post, but I think it more or less obliquely explains why a God that ‘exists’ is useless (is in fact a pagan god).

30 08 2009
Laughing Boy

Very obliquely, in my opinion. While it could be said that the four of you were serving God, or that, from the refugee’s perspective, you were instruments through which God operated, I don’t see in your narrative where you show God’s existence to be a useless or pagan concept. But then parsing hidden meanings from prose has never been my strong suit.

They do NOT think you need to think something exists before you can put faith in it, rather the reverse: you should put faith in it otherwise it wouldn’t be there (’be there’ in the sense of ‘exist’).

I understand that someone may think that “believing makes it so” or, to put it in your words, “you should put faith in it otherwise it wouldn’t be there”, but it seems to me you’re proposing that these people acknowledge that “it” still isn’t there even after they’ve exercised their faith. (Since they say God is “maybe even the most real thing there is. He just doesn’t exist.”) In this case faith is not the foundation upon which a reality is built, but an unfulfilled wish. Mmmm… Maybe I am beginning to see how God’s existence would be useless for someone with this perspective.

Maybe my Western POV is “hindering” me, but unless you can explain how a thing can be real without having being then this will cease being a conversation and become just so many words flying around.

31 08 2009
shirhashirim

“While it could be said that the four of you were serving God,”

We were not serving God (most of us were atheists or agnostics). We were unwillingly and reluctantly serving this lady, at every moment we were hopelessly at our last breath about what to do now, we were angry, afraid, frustrated, clueless, embarrassed all at the same time. For me, it started to give me some insight into the mystery of the Incarnation, but that’s a very personal emotion, maybe.
No, ‘serving God’ would be the rationalisation of a philosopher after the fact.

“or that, from the refugee’s perspective, you were instruments through which God operated”

She was not in a position to see the difference (between God and His instruments), nor is anyone else, so why even make the distinction? In other narratives the distinction is not made and God is portrayed as intervening directly.

“I don’t see in your narrative where you show God’s existence to be a useless or pagan concept.”

That’s right, I didn’t elaborate on that, because I presumed it would be self-evident and because it wasn’t the main point of the post. I’ll have to come back to that, give me some time! Good point!

1 09 2009
Laughing Boy

We were not serving God (most of us were atheists or agnostics).

Perhaps, but you need not serve willingly to serve. Judas served God by betraying Jesus.

For me, it started to give me some insight into the mystery of the Incarnation…

Now THAT is something I missed.

…’serving God’ would be the rationalisation of a philosopher after the fact.

Any post hoc reflection will give rise to a philosopher’s rationalization, the only variable is what philosophy is applied.

She was not in a position to see the difference…so why even make the distinction?…In other narratives the distinction is not made and God is portrayed as intervening directly.

With the philosophy I apply our distinctions don’t matter much. Also, I don’t, as a rule, think God intervenes directly if, by directly, you mean bypassing all secondary means. Every atom is at His disposal, every moment He has authored, and even our free will is not beyond His control (in some sense), so why should He be so unimaginative as to intervene directly?

I’ll go back and re-read that post with your comments in mind and hopefully give my reading comprehension skills some exercise.

Good talking to you.

1 09 2009
shirhashirim

“Judas served God by betraying Jesus”

I think we’re using a different definition of ‘serving’. In my view Judas betrayed Jesus, period. (I’m disregarding other interpretations in literature and film)
All the rest is just interpretation.

“so why should He be so unimaginative as to intervene directly?”

Why would He not?

There’s this Yiddish joke about a very poor Jew who finds a baby left behind, but he has no means to feed it. He prays to God and the poor Jew grows breasts so he can feed the baby.
‘But why didn’t God rain down some money, so he could have bought milk for the baby?’ the people ask the rabbi, and the rabbi answers:
‘Why would God spend money when He can do with a miracle?’

Actually, it is this discussion which suddenly makes me understand that joke (I’ve known it for years): we make presumptions about God. We should realise we do. (I don’t think it is possible not to)

“Now THAT is something I missed.”

You should have, it wasn’t in the post!

“Good talking to you.”

Same here!

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