In arguments over whether the Bible has evidence (it doesn't), I've occasionally seen Christians use the story of Doubting Thomas like it's some kind of trump card. "Why are you asking for evidence? Jesus already gave it to Thomas. What more do you need?" What are your thoughts on that? *Grabs bucket of popcorn*


For reference, this is the section in question:

It’s super-convenient that the bible says that the bible’s claims are true because of another claim in the bible about a person the bible claims existed. There’s literally nothing to work with here. All it reflects is in-universe continuity. Like when they say you can kill a vampire with sunlight or a stake, and later in the story, guess what, those methods work!

I flew to work last week. I flapped my arms and flew to work. My friend Thommo didn’t believe me, so I showed him. I flapped my arms and flew around the room. He was convinced and bought me a beer. And then everybody on the bus applauded.

Do you now have good reason to believe I can fly?

Here’s another one that comes up occasionally:

The book that claims a magical man lived on Earth is the same book that claims 500 unnamed people we can’t identify, interview or demonstrate even existed at all are the corroboration of the first claim.

We don’t have good reason to believe the Jesus character, as described, as a supernatural, divine being, even existed. Telling more unverified stories about this unsubstantiated character doesn’t help. All they’ve done is create more claims that need proof, without addressing the first one, constructing a Jenga tower of rickety ideas.

Doubting Thomas as an apologetic is completely worthless and demonstrates either a lack of understanding or deliberate avoidance of their Burden of Proof obligations, all the way down to the level of what even constitutes proof, which necessarily includes independent verifiability.

If there’s good evidence for the validity of one of the gods or scriptural books in the real world, why not simply present it instead of just reading out more of the story? At some point, they have to start corroborating at least one of their claims, or we’re reasonably justified in just plain ignoring them.

P.S. I made up Thommo.

Why arguing against capitalism is so hard

‘I don't like living under feudalism’


Whenever someone complains about the oppressive system they are forced to live under, its (usually very privileged) defenders will go on about what it 'gives' to the people in it, instead of arguing against the actual arguments against it.

I'm aware that my phone, clothes, shoes, bags, and everything were made under capitalism (except my home, which was built under 'socialism'). The problem is that people are being screwed over with wages, rents, commodity prices, etc, workers are deprived of their political voice, strikes are met with police violence and unions are shut down by governments, and countless other problems.

Or an even better thing happens:

‘Why dost ye complaine that ye haveth nothing to eat? If ye worked'st harde enough ye could'st eat every daye!’

Because why argue when you can just accuse your opponent of being too lazy?

No honey, I won't become a bourgeoise no matter how hard I work. Where am I going to get the initial capital? Do you know how much a factory costs? A shop? Café? Restaurant? It's all tens to hundreds of thousands. What about e-commerce? Consider all the server and domain costs, and the shipping costs involved! It's still upwards of thousands, and I'd have to compete with huge sites like Amazon. Am I supposed to rely on investment groups that always try to take over the startups they funded? Ruthless bankers?

This is not a question of hard work, but opportunity.

Advice for Brianna Wu

Dear Brianna,

Before you go on a multi-tweet tirade against a troll please understand that you are only helping to prove his point, not show him wrong.

When people say Revolution 60 looks worse then a PSOne game the correct response is not to tell them how the game could not run on a PSOne. Their whole point is that despite all the technological advances you have on far superior hardware, the game looks worse than games released on a console in 1994.

Thank you for your time and please excuse my mansplaining.

The Fallacy of The Fallacy of Ad-Hominem

So this isn't particularly specific to creationism or apologetics, but it's about a failure in argument I see frequently, though not exclusively, from fundie Christians. Basically, it's a complete misuse of what "ad-hominem" means when talking about a failure to make a correct argument. The way a lot of fundies tend to use the phrase it's "you said I was a jerk or being hateful and that's an ad-hominem so I win", but that's not at all the real problem with the "ad-hominem fallacy". You see, I can make a logically sound argument and make a side-note that I think you, are in fact, a total jerkface. The fact that I called you a jerkface doesn't do anything to dismantle my sound argument, it's just rude and maybe a bit crass. An actual ad-hominem argument is when I say "you're a jerk, therefore you're wrong and I win". A person can be horrid and still right, so it's irrelevant to point out that they're horrid and claim that invalidates anything they say.

However, something that is also not an ad-hominem argument is when you refuse to engage with someone who you think is horrible. No one has the right to make you engage in an argument. No one has the right to demand that you talk to them. I've seen people be absolute assholes on this point, which is why I wanted to emphatically say that it isn't a sin to step away from someone who is being rude, entitled, or insulting. If you disengage you're not "conceding" the other person is right and similarly if you drive someone away by being rude and insulting then you don't win.

Now, as far as real ad-hominem arguments go, do you know who does them all the time? Fundie Christians! A really common thing in fundie arguments is to say that since you're a sinner, gay, or have a slightly wrong theology then you can't be listened to at all. It's the reason why in all of my encounters with street preachers one of the first things they try to ascertain is if I'm an atheist (which is mostly true, I suppose), because were I to give them even a shred of evidence I was then they'd declare that I can't possibly have anything to say. That's an actual ad-hominem because it's a, sometimes implicit, argument that because of who you are then what you say can be discounted. I have seen this happen repeatedly to others and I've had it happen to me.

Christians generally justify this discounting by saying that if you don't know God, which obviously you can't if you disagree with them, then you can't have access to The Truth. If you can't have access to The Truth, then anything you have to say is nothing more than blathering. I know that doesn't entirely fall into the letter of the ad-hominem fallacy, but I think it falls under the spirit of the idea: to argue that a person should not be listened to because of some inherent quality of who they are rather than what they're saying.

"Mark and Daisy liked some reylo fanarts they were tagged in! The fact that they’ve liked/reposted other ships means nothing, they totally ship reylo, they totally have the power to make reylo canon, REYLO IS CANON” “John Boyega talked about how Finn and Rey developed a friendship in tfa, that means their relationship can never turn romantic, if Rey doesn’t love Finn then she must love Kylo Ren, REYLO IS CANON” “Rey and Kylo Ren are going to have scenes together in episode VIII, that means those scenes are going to be romantic, REYLO IS CANON” “There is going to be a woc lead in episode VIII, that means she’s going to be Finn’s love interest, if Finn is taken then Rey will be with Kylo Ren, REYLO IS CANON” “Darth Vader chose good in the end, so Star Wars is all about villains becoming redeemable, so Kylo Ren will be redeemed, and if he’s good then Rey will have no reason to not want to be with him, REYLO IS CANON” What’s the pattern here? All “arguments” for reylo being canon are complete non sequiturs. I’m really tired of reylos treating these arguments like they’re at all credible. The Kelly Marie Tran one is especially awful because we literally know nothing about the character she’ll be playing, yet people are already assuming she’s going to be Finn’s love interest. She deserves so much better than that.