Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – ever so “better”

This is a recent post by John Branyan, a self-described Christian comedian. I’ve crossed swords with him before (and his daughter).  You can also see it here, if you are not feeling the need to give him a click, preserved for posterity.

He is amusing, but not in the way I think he wishes.  In this most recent post, we can see the honest arrogance of a conservative Christian.  As usual, it is full of baseless claims, a little man who is trying to make himself feel important.

Alas, JB can’t explain why, if he is ever so much better than everyone else, he is so very average.  A man who must pretend he is best friends with an imaginary being.  Unfortunately, per his own bible, he, as a baptized believer in Christ as personal savior, he should never lose.  He should never have to buck up that self-esteem.  Alas, the quote from the bible he gives at the end, never works for Christians.  They die, fail, etc just like everyone else.  JB isn’t better than anyone else.     It’s also notable that his god fails in the rest of that promise that it supposedly makes in Luke ““I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority[a] to cast into hell.[b] Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”

JB never gets that help.  Christians never do.  They should be so proud of each other. Now what I’m expecting is that he will insist that he was just “joking”.  Wannabee bullies often do that.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – reminder to Christians who challenge me: do your research

A recent post of mine has been address by Jon, a Christian who I’ve repeatedly crossed swords with.  He has a blog “nonviolent Christians” which is always ridiculous considering how vicious their god is depicted in the bible.  You can see how things went there. He’s also commented here at the Boss’s Office.  One can see just how he avoids questions here and constantly offers excuses.  He has yet to explain his claim that Russell’s Teapot doesn’t work, among other things. Alas, Jon’s supposed “atheist friend” never came to support him or comment.

Let’s get to his comment (his is in italics):

“Is it true?

You have, in the past asked me to provide you with examples of your use of logical fallacies.

If I understand your post correctly, you are arguing that Therapist, Erica Komisar has reached conclusions that do not logically follow from the study funded by the Templeton Foundation.

Abductive Reasoning

I did not watch the video or read the study. I will attempt to determine if your conclusion that Komisar is in error is correct. I will use abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning is the type of reasoning that Darwin used to test his theory of evolution. “

Jon claims he is addressing what I’ve written (https://clubschadenfreude.com/2021/08/10/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-thou-shalt-lie-as-long-as-we-can-get-our-claws-in-kids/this is the blog post involved) but we start with nothing more than Jon referring to relatively obscure(at least for me) claims of logical fallacies.  As usual, Jon, cannot show where I’ve used this.  He cannot cut and paste these fallacies I’ve supposedly used. 

Jon also did not watch the video that I was tearing apart or read the study.  How interesting.  He claims that just by reading what I’ve said he can determine if I am correct.  How he think this can work is indeed a mystery.  He has no idea what Komisar claims which means he has no idea what I’m discussing.

For those of you who don’t want to bother going back to the original blog post, this is at the link for the video by “Prager U” and Komisar says this “As a therapist, Erica Komisar is often asked by parents, “How do I talk to my child about death if I don’t believe in God or heaven?” Her answer is always the same. Can you guess what it is?”  claims that one should teach their children about the Judeo/Christo/Islamo god since it is seen as beneficial by a study done at Harvard, even if you don’t believe in it.   Here’s a transcript of exactly what Komisar says

Now, abductive reasoning is little more than occam’s razor.  Merriam-Webster has a nice article on the differences between inductive, deductive and abductive reasoning.  This is the first paragraph there: “Deductive reasoning, or deduction, is making an inference based on widely accepted facts or premises. If a beverage is defined as “drinkable through a straw,” one could use deduction to determine soup to be a beverage. Inductive reasoning, or induction, is making an inference based on an observation, often of a sample. You can induce that the soup is tasty if you observe all of your friends consuming it. Abductive reasoning, or abduction, is making a probable conclusion from what you know. If you see an abandoned bowl of hot soup on the table, you can use abduction to conclude the owner of the soup is likely returning soon.”  

Darwin may have used abductive reasoning to arrive at his evolutionary theory, going from observations to a hypothesis that seems highly probable.  However, evolutionary theory did not stop being supported with Darwin.  This is an example of how some Christians must ignore the advances of science to try to claim that there is something wrong or unsupported by facts.  Abductive reasoning has long been left behind in favor of deductive reasoning thanks to direct observation of what is predicted by evolutionary theory.

“I did not watch the video or read the study. I will attempt to determine if your conclusion that Komisar is in error is correct. I will use abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning is the type of reasoning that Darwin used to test his theory of evolution.

Abductive reasoning typically begins with an incomplete set of observations and proceeds to the likeliest possible explanation for the set. Abductive reasoning yields the kind of daily decision-making that does its best with the information at hand, which often is incomplete.

With abductive reasoning, a person ascertains the known facts to determine the most probable conclusion.”

Jon then continues with plagiarized definitions of abductive reasoning.  Much of the above is plagiarized by many so it’s rather hard to figure out the original. 

“Analysis:

Observations:

1. You strongly feel that Komisar is in error in her conclusions.
2. You did not demonstrate that the Templeton financed study was incorrectly conducted. For example, was the correct sample size used? Where the question in the study leading questions? Etc.
3. You did not demonstrate that Komisar’s conclusions do not logically follow from the results of the Templeton financed study.
4. You use the ad hominem logical fallacy argument and the red herring logical fallacy argument to defend your position and make your arguments.”

Here, Jon tries to analyze what I’ve read, again with having no clue what Komisar said.  #1 is quite true.  2. He tries to claim that I should not consider the fact that the Templeton Foundation funded the report as suspect. 3. He tries to claim I haven’t shown that Komisar’s conclusions do not logically follow from the study.  4.  He yet again makes claims about ad hominem fallacies, and red herrings, but cannot show that these were used.  This is a very common action from Jon. 

When looking at studies, the funder is always to be looked at.  The Templeton Foundation is a well-known foundation that supports research in their attempt to validate religion, with a focus on Christianity.  I encourage folks to look at the wiki about the Foundation, and to look at the various links within it.  I find this one quite damning.  It tracks very well that the Foundation’s tactics go with the notorious “wedge document” written by creationists.   

“Conclusion:

I think that it is highly probable that Komisar’s conclusions do logically follow from the results of the study,

I do not know if your assertion about Komisar is correct. But, I think that if Komisar’s conclusion did not logically follow from the study, you would have shown the inconsistency if it existed. I think if the study had been improperly conducted you would have demonstrated that fact. When someone uses logical fallacies it immediately raises a red flag in my mind about the truthfulness of their conclusions.

If later, I want to determine with a higher probability if Komisar’s conclusions are true, I will need to listen to the video and read the study and then logically analyze them. I do not find your conclusions convincing.”

Now, there is a problem, that Jon has no idea what Komisar concludes nor can he show that anything follows “logically”.  He has already admitted that he has no idea what either say.  I’ve already show that Komisar’s conclusions do not follow from the study.  Right here: “The study was for all religions, not just christianity, so it is not the faith, but the community that is the influencing factor. “

“Ad Hominem Logical Fallacy Argument

You gave me a definition of ad hominem logical fallacy. http://nizkor.com/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

I agree with that definition.

Example of your use of the ad hominin logical fallacy.

“Komisar also goes on to try to lie and claim that nihilism is equal with non-belief in her god.”

Does nihilism equal non belief? You argue that Komisar is wrong because she is trying to lie.”

I am unconvinced. Based on my knowledge of the writings of philosophers such as Jean Paul Sarte, I am forced to conclude that there may be some truth in Komisar’s claim.”


So, again, we see no evidence from Jon that I used an ad hominem argument, nor has he shown anything from Sartre that nihilism is equal to nonbelief.  This is what the link to nizkor said “An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:

  1. Person A makes claim X.
  2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
  3. Therefore A’s claim is false.

“ 

It *is* a lie (a false statement made to benefit the individual making the claim)  that nihilism equals non-belief.  Jon, unsurprisingly, cannot show otherwise.  His being “unconvinced” is no more than a baseless opinion.  

“Red Herring Logical Fallacy Argument:

Red Herring logical fallacy: A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences toward a false conclusion.

Example of your use of the Red Herring logical fallacy.

“Unsurprisingly, this research was funded by the Templeton Foundation who has an investment in wanting religion to be promoted.”

Instead of demonstrating that the study was improperly conducted you seem to be saying it is obvious the study was improper because the Templeton Foundation promotes religion.Where am I wrong?”

Jon presents the claim I’ve used a red herring fallacy  He plagiarized the definition from Wikipedia.  He returns to the claim that mentioning that the Templeton Foundation cannot be done, insisting it has no pertinence, which is false.  The Foundation’s stated intent is quite pertinent to the discussion.  The wiki article shows that there is reason to question their intentions.

I’m rather surprised at myself that I didn’t put a link to more about the study.  I can remedy that now.  Here is an article: Religious upbringing linked to better health and well-being during early adulthood | News | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  It says “One limitation of the study is that it consisted mainly of children of white females of relatively high family socioeconomic status, and therefore might not be generalizable to a broader population, though prior research by VanderWeele suggested the effects of religious service attendance for adults may be even larger for black versus white populations. Another limitation was that the study did not look at the influences of parents and peers on adolescents’ religious decisions.” 

That prior research has the conclusion “Conclusions and Relevance  Frequent attendance at religious services was associated with significantly lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality among women. Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that physicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate.”  Which is also ignoring that it is community, not religion, that could be the causing factor.  There is an assumption of correlation here that cannot be supported. 

This is what Jon harvests when he doesn’t even try to look at things but just to attack me.  So he is wrong in many places.  I have to wonder if he tried this to cast doubt on my methods so he could cling to his beliefs.  If so, that didn’t work so well.   

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “Who’s on the side of science now?” how saying something doesn’t mean it’s true

Caroline (a Christian who I’ve tangled with before) certainly has written an amusing piece on her blog, insisting that science supports theism.  No matter how much she wants to “boldly proclaim that not only are science and faith not in conflict with each other, theism is the worldview better supported by science” it isn’t even remotely true.  It is notable that she doesn’t’ say it supports Christianity.  That’s what she means. 

Caroline tries to falsely claim that it is really Christians who are “on the side of science.”.  Of course, Caroline also makes this claim “For instance, I believe that I am not going to contract COVID-19 unless God allows it to happen, and that for a morally justifiable reason.”  And “A bug is no match for God.“ and “I live without fear of things I can’t see because I know he sees them and has absolute control over them.“

oh and isn’t this a typically conservative Christian bit of nonsense “What the parable doesn’t teach is that we are obligated to put ourselves in need to possibly extend the lives of some who are mere statistics to us.”  This is regards to if humans should care about others and if the locking down for the pandemic was necessary. It’s very nice to see such honesty.

So much for Caroline’s claim about being on the side of science.  I wonder if she regrets these word “ I’m praying that our government leaders increase their concern for the wrong being done to many of our neighbors in their directives meant to protect the lives of a relative few. And to also hold as of primary relevance that God ultimately decides who lives and who dies.”  This was written back in May of 2020.  And hundreds of thousands of deaths later….

Caroline’s claims aren’t supported by the science she claims she supports.  Her lies about abortion are quite pitiful.  Science supports the fact that a fetus is not the same as an adult or a child.  Science supports that a fetus requires a human to exist (at least so far).  Science supports the fact that if Caroline prevents women from having legal abortions, they have a chance to die from illegal abortions.  One has to wonder about Caroline’s disregard for life as indicated here and above. 

“Honestly, it’s like they really don’t know how babies are made. You rarely hear from pro-abortion folks, “practice safe sex,” and never hear, “refrain from sex if you’re not open to conceiving a child by it.” They fail to make the connection between sex and reproduction. Science, people!”

Funny how people like me, like Planned Parenthood, etc always are saying practice safe sex, advocating for easy access to birth control, etc.  Quite unlike Christians like Caroline.  She is an incompetent liar as usual. We aren’t the ones having a fit about condoms being handed out. 

Caroline is confused about gender and sex.  Science supports that there is gender and there is sex, and does not support the conservative claim that things are only binary.  Caroline of course simply ignores the science that contradicts her claims.  Psychology is one of the sciences and it is bemusing to see Caroline run to it when she wants to claim how the poor children are being somehow injured if they are told that gender isn’t a fixed thing but try to claim it isn’t important otherwise.  Caroline is also terribly ignorant about DNA and genetics, if she thinks gender is “hardwired” there. 

In that not all Christians agree with Caroline, there is no reason to think she or they have any knowledge at all about some magical being in the sky. 

The next claims are even more pitiful.

1.  Physics does indicate a beginning for the universe we have now.  We have no evidence that some magical being is required.  She does try hard with the philosophical argument of a first cause.  It is not scientific.  We do have examples of things “popping” into the universe. 

2. She tries the argument from beauty, which is a common Christian tactic and reveals just how ignorant and selfish they are when they have no problem ignoring that there is a good bit in this universe that isn’t beautiful at all.  She also tries the “complexity” argument and cannot show that a god is needed for that either since we get to see how complexity is evolved into being and it can be evolved out too.  There is nothing scientific about either of her arguments. 

3.  Then we get the ol’ “fine-tuning” argument.  That isn’t scientific either.  We don’t know yet what exactly is needed for life to be or how far things can vary.  She lies again when she says that fine-tuning is accepted by “most cosmologist and astrophysicists”. 

The wave that Caroline mentions doesn’t exist and we currently are watching religion fail since it doesn’t reflect reality.  The recent poll about how acceptance of evolutionary theory is rising terrifies Christians like Caroline.  So much for her claims about science.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – thou shalt lie, as long as we can get our claws in kids

Wow, one of the more unpleasant videos by conservative Christian liars I’ve seen in a while. I found this on a Christian blog by a Dr. Bob.  It’s about how even atheists really need to teach their kids about the Christian god.  For their good, of course.   It’s a few years old but still a lovely sample of how much some Christian rely on deceit to spread their false claims.  Just like ol’ C.S. Lewis in his encouragement to lie to potential Christians about the contradictions between Christians and their hate for one another.

No need to tell children about an imaginary being who damns people to eternal torture for no fault of their own.   A vicious god that kills children for no fault of their own. 

I do love the video since it shows just how vile conservative Christians can be.  It shows that Komisar (evidently a jewish believer), and christians, have no problem with making false claims about religion and misrepresenting that Harvard study.  The study was for all religions, not just christianity, so it is not the faith, but the community that is the influencing factor.  Unsurprisingly, this research was funded by the Templeton Foundation who has an investment in wanting religion to be promoted. 

So any religion is fine, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.  Christianty, Judaism: nothing special. 

Komisar also goes on to try to lie and claim that nihilism is equal with non-belief in her god.  Alas, that is not the case at all.  Komisar says to lie to your children aka “Fake it”.  She excuses her lying by saying that all parents falsely promise their children that nothing bad will ever happen to them.    Hmm, this is rather close to this god saying that it will take care of every believer like the lilies.  It doesn’t do as promised and all believers have is blaming victims to excuse their god e.g. You didn’t pray enough, etc. 

Amazing how that works when this god of Komisar’s says never to lie, not even if you think you are lying *for* it, Romans 3, or if she is jewish “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.” Psalm 101 and “11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19.  She also claims that the only way for a child to be taught gratitude and empathy is by organized religion.  Of course, she means her version of Christianity, no other.  Alas, we have millions of people, who needed no religion to be humane humans.  Observation outweighs her lies. 

In conclusion, all she has is “think of the children” as a basis for her attempts at recruitment for religion. It’s so sweet to see her false concern for free choice of religion offered as a reason why parents should bother their kids with baseless myths.  Ah, the pure hypocrisy there. 

“prager u” is not a university at all, just a conservative media company known for its false claims. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – christians afraid of science fiction

Now, one of our favorite thoughtless conservative Christians, Winter Knight, is now very afraid of us nerds.    Why?  Because science fiction makes atheists!  <cue scream>.  He found a nice little article from a conservative Christian/desperate Catholic/white nationalist rag called The American Spectator from 11 years ago to support his “research”.     

That original article is quite whitewash job, claiming how important the Catholic Church was to astronomy.  It entirely ignores how the RCC was material in holding astronomy back, and its murder of those who dared to disagree with it.  The author, one Hal Colebatch, is “shocked” that it was noted that many science fiction writers are noted to be atheists.  I *think* this is the compilation of essays he is talking about.  It does look good.  Alas, it’s kinda expensive. 

The article makes little sense in that Hal isn’t sure why writing science fiction makes one able to consider the question if there is a god or not.  Unsurprisingly, Hal thinks that only theologians are qualified to talk about this, the old “sophisticated theology” argument.  The mere fact of being an atheist doesn’t necessarily make one a good anti-apologist, nor does being a science fiction writer.  However, many science fiction writers are polymaths and they have indeed spent time in thinking about such things as all of the possibilities of a universe, including whether or not there is a god involved. The article wraps up with a Christian so upset that people don’t mention them in every breath.  

Poor WK he is upset that reading science fiction shows that religion is anti-science.  Now, what science fiction he is reading is beyond me since I do not recall a single instance of this and I’ve read a LOT of science fiction.  Religion is rarely if ever mentioned, so where WK is seeing this persecution of poor WK is a mystery.  As noted above, it’s just the need for attention.

What WK seems to be most bothered about is that a fair amount of science fiction shows that humans and aliens aren’t that different and humans aren’t as special as a conservative Christian must believe he is.  WK and his god aren’t needed. 

WK is upset that his god might not be the creator.  For all of his lies about intelligent design, he just can’t stand it if his god isn’t considered the designer.  He also again lies about the multiverse hypothesis (not theory) and the false claims about fine-tuning and of course hasn’t a clue about the Big Bang Theory, still insisting that it’s evidence for his rather silly god.  The BBT does show a beginning; it doesn’t say it was the only one.   

Here’s his whine “. And that’s why when we produce evidence for them in debates, they will believe in speculations rather than go where the evidence leads.”  Nope, we consider the speculations of WK and find them to be unsupported since our creationist has no evidence for his claims.  His religion is revealed as nothing more than speculation and fiction. 

Here’s another gem from WK “They seem to think that untestable speculations are “good enough” to refute observational evidence –“   Hmmm, WKs god?  The ultimate untestable speculation.   No evidence at all for it.  We can see that WK has never read science fiction or watched it.   Alas, nope, it doesn’t make the mysterious of the universe seem easy to understand to the atheist.  WK whines that SF invents imaginary answers to the questions of the universe.  It can, and surprise, that’s what the bible does, showing it to be the fiction it is.  As WK himself says, this fiction is accepted becausethere is a  “want and need to believe in those speculations”.

Alas for WK, fictional characters and real humans can be moral and intelligent without WK and his god.  The bible are myths that the Christian wants to believe. 

Us SF fans want both the evidence for the BBT and the imagination for warp drives. As we know from many interviews with scientists, it was science fiction that caused them to question and move forward, not listening to religion which says “we already know the truth”.  Poor WK, the cosmic background radiation and nucleosynthesis shows his primitive myth about gods and creation to be wrong. 

Then ol’ WK entirely goes off the rails, and rants about how atheists are only atheist because we want to enjoy sex.  Poor dear, he is always about the sex.   I guess the poor fellow is jealous of so many things.   Alas, our worldview is not discredited at all.  Poor WK, he can’t even get other Christians to agree with him.

If WK really wants to see religion in science fiction, he should watch Babylon 5.  There is a whole episode about religion, The Parliament of Dreams, but alas he’ll be upset with it since it dares to show *all* of earth’s religions, as well as those of aliens.  There’s also a great episode about Christianity and monks:  Passing Through Gethsemane.    And then we have G’Kar, an alien who shows the best of what a spiritual sentient being can be (after being a general pain in the ass through out much of the series). 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – conservative Christians losing their Sh*t over a blue furry alien puppet

Yep, folks, we have morons again losing their shit over imaginary character.

Not remembering how stupid they looked when they had a tizzy over the Teletubbies, we have complete idiots like Candace Owens (hilariously idiotic black gal who shills for conservatives) taking a fit about Gonzo the Great, a Muppet. And she isn’t the only one, here’s one, and here’s one, etc.

For those of you not familiar with Gonzo, he’s one of the Muppets, like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, etc.

This, my friends, is Gonzo:

The blue one is Gonzo. Camilla is the chicken.



Hmmm, Gonzo the Great is a puppet or more correctly, a Muppet. As written, he (and I use that word out of simple ease) is likely a space alien, so poor Candace has no idea what sex it could be. Gonzo often has *chickens* as romantic interests. Yep, again we have conservatives showing just how stupid they really are.

Addendum: And funny how we won a world war with this:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpg-w2W1-GI

Public service announcement

hard to tell if this is just satire against theists or not. But in any case, great job of showing how prayer always fails!

Random thoughts

We interrupt our irregular broadcast to bring to your attention this very important new item that reached our desk.

We will be waiting with bated breathe for this day.

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