See all the rest of the nominees here.

From the Mailbag

Fairly simple one to start:

You would think you would have learned by now, Farell Till has made you look like the idiot you are on so many occasions that you would do well to just keep your mouth shut. You offer no evidence for anything you say, but merely attempt to interpret the bible book of [deleted] to suit your own needs. And no, I do not want to give you any money.

Also got this one in response to a contextualizing article; the answer was: re-affirm fundamentalist literalism!

Mark 4:11 raises several issues, some anti-rational, but not necessarily. Foe example, Jesus may be rationally (if meanly) desiring some people to not be saved. In your response below I don't see how this general comment ("Oriental teaching styles") answers the plain words of the text; that is; Jesus' intent to speak in parables so that certain people do not understand lest they be saved. Your explanation does not even attempt to address the clear intent of the meaning of the passage. I have highlighted them below. Let me give you an example. If I say "I went to the store in a disguise so that I would not be recognized lest I be set upon by mine enemies." I am trying to avoid that outcome. How does that grammatical construction differ from Mark 4:11? The general (and true) comment that "disguises are historically helpful to make your friends work to recognize you" does not speak to the stated goal here either.

I know it in an ugly sentiment but there it is. I am afraid the answer is that the sentiment is there and it means exactly what it states. I agree that it is contradicted elsewhere but that is what makes the Bible great. It means many things it many people.


The October 2010 John Loftus Collection

Loftus wins big time for posting a "naked Jesus" picture on his blog to celebrate "International Blasphemy Day". In fact it's hard to see how he can ever top himself for screwiness now. However, he also wins for being aimless in wandering as follows:

I am as certain that Christianity is false as Christians are that people are wasting time and money on cold fusion. [I know someone is trying to make headway in that field so don't get me wrong]. I am as certain that Christianity is false as I am that Scientology or Mormonism is false. If I'm risking hell you would think I must be sure of it, right?

We are all justifiably certain that some ideas and theories are wrong. It's easy to do. We merely conclude the case has not been made.

But these are not beliefs of mine. I am not affirming anything. I'm denying something. I deny the cases have been made. Some cases I have never even considered before, but tell me of them and I'll deny them without further thought. We all do this. So I am not doing anything out of the ordinary when I do so.

Loftus also wins for bragging about being inebriated on his blog:

In the picture I was pretty much sauced at the recent Texas Freethought Convention, which was absolutely wonderful! I sobered up for the interview a week or more later with the Oklahoma Atheists podcast. *hiccup* Enjoy.

And on his Facebook page:

Today I have a slight hangover and am officially 56 years old. Thanks again for the kind birthday wishes.

Loftus' fake Christian do-boy Thom Stark also wins for continuing to stand behind Loftus even after the "naked Jesus" debacle -- and for thinking that he can keep us from copying and pasting from his site by disabling the right-click function, as well as a clumsy attempt to exegete self-righteous ignorance of evil from 1 Cor. 5:12-13.

Loftus' stooge Ed "I'm Talking and I Can't Shut Up" Babinski also wins for this comment on my view of hell as shame:

Even if hell is less painful than literal fire and all such metaphors are mere hyperbole, if you agree that those in hell suffer without end, then wouldn't that still constitute torture? Even feeling and thinking nothing but shame for all eternity would constitute torture in my opinion. Eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth.

In the end that would also destroy a person's mind, just reliving the loop of shame with no other input. Quite horrendous. And quite merciless.

Note: We're talking about a guy who would think it was "torture" to be forced to miss an episode of Sesame Street and whose mind would be "destroyed" merely by exposure to high school algebra.

The Lunchback of Notre Dumb

If this is true, then we can hardly wait until Yo Ruckus is alone on a desert island:

Fact is, evil is a moral, subjective and man-made concept. When man goes away, so will evil. God made man and , with him, he ushered in evil. Therefore, God is responsible for evil being in the world! Period!

Random Skeptic Collection

Our new YouTube channel has resulted in a redictable slew of golden material; here's the best of it:

jackamofina: wow...why in the world would god play these kind of word tricks, thats the best he could do! And why would the creator of this video make the opponent look and talk like a mentally challenged person stick figure!. Is it because that is the only type of person that they think they can win against. They even portray the mediator as being biased. This is lame insecure drivel.

PaulinaPaulino: I find it insane that you have to go through so many hoops to try and disprove what is actually said in the Bible so that you can prove it is consistent with itself: sort of a consistent non-consistency.

Angelalynx999: No blasphemy? Saying anything in contradiction to the bible can be considered blasphemy. So in essence you are only looking for back patters, yes? That can be backed up by the fact that you consider anyone who is not a bible thumper to be an idiot whereas I, ironically, consider anyone who is a bible thumper to be an idiot despite whatever education or documentation they may have. And like NSC said I am only viewing your vid because of his link to it.

Atheist commenter, on why there is something rather than nothing:

This is all very simple. We have a universe of something rather than nothing because the state of "nothing" is UNSTABLE! No god is necessary.

JimL explains why his wasting his time debating:

I am not trying to outmaneuver anyone in order to win a debate, a debate by the way which is unwinnable considering the intractable nature of the indoctrinated mind. I have argued many aspects of the bible with many christians, all of who ignore the facts, no matter how clearly I lay them out before them.

little_monkey vies for Platinum as he uses the "Tacitus was reporting hearsay" canard and gets caught doing a Loftus with a book review on Amazon. He also wins for this:

Logic led me into error, which proves my point, that logic leads into error.

fifi's best argument for atheism:

If this 'God' was floating around the whole time, was an entity that people could see and hear all the time then it would be rational to believe, indeed KNOW, that he existed. However, this doesn't happen, so by the evidence of our ears and eyes it is entirely rational to not believe that he exists as we don't see him around or hear him talking to us (unless of course, you're delusional). I am expecting somebody to come along and twist that, but the rational atheists among us will understand what I'm talking about. Probably also the Buddhists and agnostics.

Does that explain the position more clearly?

Chrissy Hallquist wins for his attempt to debubk the Resurrection in one page, using the standard refuted arguments.

Sarah Boyen wins for this comment on the Debunking Loftus blog:

I saw your email exchange with Stark.

Pfft; you're not are a Christian. You might be the Big Head leader of a small quasi-christian whinging cult (the Turkelians), but you're no Christian.

I also saw your posting of Loftus' business trouble. You really don't care what makes you look bad, as long as you get in your little digs. You must be so jealous of the attention he's getting.

Speaking of digs: I also saw your recent youtube cartoon. The problem for someone with your personality disorder is you think anything you come up with is golden. You can't rely on your Tulkelian cult members to give you reliable feedback. I probably wouldn't bring it up if it were any good but it's not. It's really horrible.

You have no personality, no talent for the stage. You try your various little apologetic excursions but you'll never get far because of your ego and attitude--and total lack of engaging personality. That's why you're stuck with your little internet cult.

Life for you will continue to be like a Twilight Zone episode, surrounded by your supposed lessers.

Go ahead and delete, you big bully.

robertb sums up stupid for us:

The only evidence for the resurrection is that some people may have honestly believed that one occurred. Other then that, questionable as it may be with regards to what I consider acceptable evidence for this particular claim, there is no real evidence to support this claim. It is a question of faith.

Seasanctuary is still setting the bar:

A lot of things would make the historical argument for Jesus' existence, details of his life, and resurrection much stronger. Therefore the actual evidence is much weaker than that.

doubtertom immediately rings up a TWeb n00b Platinum nomination with comments like these:

I appreciate your reply, and understand where you are coming from. I was a hardcore believer for 25 years and a licensed minister. However, we aren't talking about just any ancient writers who were writing for an ancient audience. We are talking about the Spirit of God writing for all people of all time.

Also, I dare say that you are ignorant of "Christian theology" if you don't understand the claim that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. I grew up a in church where the pastor proudly claimed that he believed the Bible word for word from "Holy Bible on the front to genuine leather on the back." Every. single. word. was. from. God. Himself.

That is Christian theology.

***

Getting back to contradictions, I have not seen the ones I brought up addressed yet except for an assertion that God was not interested in accuracy (implied since He controlled the social milieu the Bible was written in and didn't make accuracy a priority.)

That apologetic creates questions regarding the foreknowledge of God (which some have resolved by saying that God doesn't know EVERYTHING. I'm sure you all disagree with that position.)

So, what time was Jesus crucified? What day was the Lord's Supper and the Crucifixion? Why are the accounts different, and why do you think that is not important for God to clearly communicate this central event when He has the power to do so?

***

My reasons for being a Christian were probably the same as most other evangelicals. I grew up in a Christian home and I had a personal experience with Jesus. I read devotionals, had a prayer life, fasted, performed mission work. I didn't have any negative experiences with other believers that caused problems for me. I didn't have bad experiences at church like some people. My father is a music minister, my grandfather is a minister, my brother is a minister.

Commenter wins for this from a review of a Conan movie:

As someone from what it seems is an atheistic present from a monotheist past, I have to note that while I completely agree with you on the problems of mind control and organized religion, something you left out is that even though Conan says that they can help him or "to Hel with you"... they do indeed, at least Valeria does, help!

The problem with cults is the same problem with monotheistic religions of all kinds; monolithic control of ideas/"the truth".

Conan, as envisioned by the great writer Robert E. Howard, was a proto-Celt, and just like the Germanic Gods the Celtic Gods were not one to answer simpering prayers pleasing supplications. These are the OLD GODS.

And with that also comes a lack of the all-encompasing truth. Most polytheistic religions talk about the creation of the earth/solar system by Gods/forces in an already existant universe, yet most monotheistic cults have the unmitigated gall to try to map out the creation of all existance.

And there if of course the sedictive maniputation that is known as absolution. Many polytheistic religions lack that comforting womb of repentance and forgiveness, but then there was once a time that a man's word meant something and sorry was spelled B-L-O-O-D.

When you live in a world where you are responsible for your actions for all time, you either come up with some justifcations, live as you will consequences be damned, or live according your INNER sense of morality rather than one handed to you and especially not one that shifts or allows for you to be big fat hypocrite as absolution definitely does.

So its not that Conan is non-theistic, its just his spiritualism doesn't get in the way of his brain.

Rational Responder Alex, on sourcework:

You keep referring to books as if they are magical things that make the information in them foolproof. If the information in them was so truthful, why can’t you point to some links where they’ve been published online? Oh wait, publishing things online means that the audience for criticism gets infinitely larger, and we wouldn’t want your precious point of view to have to put up with that, now would we?

Heaven forbid you have to learn something new, like using a computer for real research. I mean, it can’t be done. Only books contain truthful information.

Kooky Christian and Theist Collection

franktalk gives his estimate of the intelligence of preterists:

I think Preterism is dangerous because they will not be looking for certain signs and they think the false Christs have already come. So when they see someone perform miracles are they going to follow that being even if that being makes a statement about being God?

Mormon Jo, after being a contextualized definition of faith:

When faith is being discussed with relationship to God, who cannot be seen, I think we need to look beyond this translation in order to understand the "God" concept about faith. For instance, how can the non-believer receive sufficient "evidence" that an unseen God is worthy of his trust and loyalty? Mustn't he first hope in what a believer is telling him about God? Now, as believers, we already know that God is worthy of our trust and loyalty. Yet we continue in faith as the trials of life are experienced because the Holy Spirit has witnessed truth about the Kingdom of God to our spirit, even though we still have no physical proof. We can view His Creation which is physical - but we only see the Creation as evidence of His existence because we trust the witness of the Holy Spirit. We still have not seen God with our own eyes, or touched Him with our own hands. So, we walk in faith and not proof while here on the earth. It is only our spirit which can be touched by the Spirit internally. This spiritual witness is more convincing than anything we can experience physically; and the Holy Spirit along with His teachings, can only be discerned spiritually.

She also says:

This argument is an example of seeking physical evidence to try to prove something that can only be discerned spiritually. For the non-believer it is the same as placing the cart before the horse. The empty tomb is accepted by believers BECAUSE they believe; it is not WHY they believe.

Siggy Ivasson has God on his side:

I was asked by my pastor to stand up in front of the congregation and give a word. So I spoke of the wedding in canaan. I mentioned that they had run out of wine and that jesus' mother asked him for help. He said my time has not come yet. For a Rabbi to enter into his ministry he had to be thirty and be married. She insisted so he obliged. He had some vessels brought with water in it and other empty ones. He then poured the water into the empty ones and they turned into wine. Then I explained to the people that water was symbol of truth and wine was symbol of joy. The pastor mistranslated my english and he thereby grieved the lord. Two years latter his two year old grandson died of cancer. So the child died because of the transgression of the grand father.

There are quite a few people in jail serving time for nothing. But if you liked your Ferrari more than God he would probably total it. It is not about God being vengeful it is about getting your treasure.

Ty Rockwell on his own scholarship:

I in no way defend MegaHertz, but R.T. France's commentary is only his opinion. And it is not better than mine.

MegaHertz offers an interesting reading of Gen. 4, 10:

There was only one 'nation' during the reign of the fallen angels. Nation(s) didn't exist until after the flood. North America is an Isle, South America is an Isle, as well as all the other land masses on this earth.

Something's gone wrong with Epoetker:

Women will socially assume they have the powers and money of any man they're married or even connected to. And it seems that Forbes is now going along with it. Maybe their editorial selection board has finally become all-female, so all their mental connections of one thing to another are getting a bit hazy between E-mailing cat pictures or attending diversity classes.

Oingo sums it up on apologetics, and thus nominates Platinum:

No you dont understand, there are no arguements only facts. People who argue are people who try to convince themselves they are right.

Aplogetics ought to be destroyed, you wont see God apologising on Judgement day - as I recall the bible says peoples mouths AKA gobs will be stopped. The bible says people are without excuse for unbelief, when you argue you with them, you are giving them excuses and justifying their unbelief. The bible also says if they won't believe let them be anathema.

So whats with all this "apologetic" with moronic fools in aid of?

Its well worth taking to a psuedo Christian with a knotted rope and clattering him about the head an face with it but it's not worth casting your pearls to swine.

Facts are very simple things and not open to apologetic (which is simply another word for people who like to argue, which for the most part IMO are people arguing because they are still not quite convinced themselves yet. If they where convinced, they wouldn't be arguing) just as scripture is not open to interpretation, With respect.

The field of pouring your heart and soul into an honest intellectual seeker is not called apologetics its called making deciples. A skeptic is intellectually immoral.

OneSizeFit has a new theory for comparative religions:

Here is the deep part..I do not think Islam is the doctrine of demons, I think it is the doctrine of another level of angels who are trying to earn brownie points with the Most High, it might possibly be the religion of the Angles....Where as Jesus' teachings, whether you believe he is god incarnate, an angel or a man, are clearly from the Most High. It isnt about taking sides, but understanding.

Asyncritus says, on oral societies:

Now if you could write, and were a journalist/writer, witnessing the most stupendous events in the world's history, wouldn't you write things down as you went along? A diary of some sort, for instance? Of course you would. Unless you were stupid, and decided to wait for 30 years so you could forget all manner of details.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=39076

http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2008/05/10-reasons-you-should-never-have-a-religion/

http://www.pupaganda.com/originals/Unplug_the_signal_welcome.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/08/AR2010100807248.html -- Screwball to Vermont

http://inthenameofwhowhat.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-son-truth-or-fiction.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1320392/Retired-teacher-Marlene-faces-jail-ripping-Muslims-veil-case-burka-rage.html?ITO=1490

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn13trfpYSk&feature=sub

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20101019/sc_livescience/endoftheearthpostponed

Michele Obama wins for this screwy comment found on a YT video:

We got this man in office. I think we're all proud of Barack and his accomplishments. Everybody I know in our communities are praying for us, every day. It means all the world to us to know that there are prayer circles out there and people who are keeping the spirits clean around us.

It's very important to keep the spirits clean. You don't want the spirits becoming dirty, that puts off the taste.

TV show Platinum nomination for the History Channel's Ancient Aliens.

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/original/article_212328009.shtml

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/10/22/civil-rights-complaint-filed-christian-roommate-advertisement/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39812143/ns/world_news-europe

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1323310/Google-admits-Street-View-cars-DID-emails-passwords-computers.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8KxXHibv6A&feature=related