Sac’s Guide to Arranging Debates & Boosting Blog Clicks

A short excerpt from @Sacerdotus new book, “How to Threaten Your Critics and Get Away With It”

Sac’s Guide to Arranging Debates & Boosting Blog ClicksWhite flag Sac copy

  1. Select a far more intelligent, semi-famous atheist and create a debate proposal for her/him on your blog.
  2. DO NOT INFORM the atheist of the challenge. Instead post over and over on social media “the atheist is afraid to debate me” and remember to link to your blog where the atheist must accept or decline. This will manipulate people into visiting your blog. They will complain and say “That atheist doesn’t even know about your challenge, you immoral twat!” but remember: “More clicks equals more validation!”
  3. When the atheist finally catches wind of the debate through your dishonest, libelous posts, DO NOT acknowledge him directly on social media. Instead talk about the atheist in third person by directing him to the blog to respond. Everyone will laugh at your nonsensical, indirect instructions to the atheist, on a social network, but they will all visit your blog in a buzz of controversy. More clicks!
  4. Continue harassing the atheist with libelous claims of cowardice until he contacts you on your terms. Even if the famous atheist initially declines, still send everyone to your debate page to read how much of a manipulative ass you’ve been, just to get the atheist to acknowledge your offer.
  5. Don’t let it end there! Continue claims of the atheist’s cowardice, but also start new rumors saying that the atheist is a tax fraud, child abuser or other damaging claims, until he comes back to the debate table. BE SURE to blog about these and post them hourly, in order to get more site visits.
  6. When the atheist finally “breaks” and agrees to a live debate (on the condition that you stop all defamation of his good name), tentatively agree and post the hell out of the agreement and your blog, of course. Your site visits per minute should now be off the chart due to the famous atheist finally submitting to your harassment. Yes, feel free to brag, because “More clicks equals more validation”.
  7. When traffic starts to die down, add on some absurd debate requirements like “The debate can only happen on my hangout program and only at 2 in the morning.” The atheist probably won’t agree to the debate after that, but if he threatens to call your bluff, take no chances and continue to insert nonsensical requirements until he rejects your terms.
  8. Now endlessly post “See? The atheist is afraid to debate me!” accompanied by blogs and videos gloating about your victory. Be sure to warp this claim into “All atheists are afraid to debate me!” in blog form, to get as many angry clicks as possible on your site.
  9. Repeat steps 1 through 8 as needed to become more famously respected and to keep your blog clicks high, because “More clicks equals more validation!”

    *        *        *

Debating and confronting Sac is worthless, due to his endless manipulation and deception.  He would rather threaten you with police and legal action or start hurtful rumors about you, before admitting his lies. Indeed it is better to stay away and even block him out of your life.  This post was the result of multiple recent inquiries about Sac and his possible debate with a well-known and respected atheist.

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When Believers Say They Have “Experiences”

The following is how I tend to respond to believers citing their own personal experiences as valid evidence for supporting their god beliefs.  Since believers often resort to other fallacious arguments surrounding this concept, I have included those refutations as well.  The numbers merely allow quick reference when directing somebody to read a particular response.

1.  “I have personal experiences and amazing visions and realize god’s miracles. I know he is real because God revealed himself to me.”  – So you  claim to know that God is real, but still have nothing to demonstrate it (especially to yourself), despite your divine connection. You instead cite subjective feelings, experiences and mysteries as evidence, but always fail to show that a god caused any of it, let alone that it’s even supernatural!  There’s NO indication that your experiences aren’t naturally occurring events.  Our brains are not fully understood and may be capable of more than we realize… especially with a coercive environment.  Even if your experience were supernaturally manipulated, how did you verify, with a merely natural brain, that its not a deception?

2.  “How else do you explain vivid and insightful visions, miracles of terminal patients recovering instantly, the design in the universe, life coming from non-life and the universe coming from nothing, if not from an omnipotent intelligence?”Concluding that your God did it by citing the lack of answers for mysteries, is called an argument from ignorance.  It doesn’t logically follow that your imagined answer is right.  BESIDES did you appropriately research ALL the potential natural forces in the universe to be able to legitimately dismiss them as causes?  No, obviously not, but lets say you did… Okay, you’ve OMNISCIENTLY discerned, tested and dismissed ALL NATURAL FORCES in the universe as being the causes of your miracles, experiences and mysteries. Now you officially have no answer within the known universe, yet you still can’t conclude your one God even exists.  All you can say is “It could be faeries, intelligent ectoplasm or maybe one of those god myths.” …but the fact is there’s a universe of natural possibilities which you have willfully or blindly skipped over to arrive at an utterly unproven supernatural conclusion.  By the way, who confirmed that your experiences are indeed from the source you claim they are? … and how do they know?

3.  “If you’re wrong though, then the feelings, experiences and visions would be direct information from God and you are not taking it seriously!”IF it were supernatural in origin (which isn’t evidenced at all), the believer is merely the viewer of events and visions which s/he was permitted to see.  Not unlike a movie, the content NEED NOT indicate the truth about anything.  Its laughable to say that the visions must be reflecting reality or that it must be telling you about the sender!  Utter nonsense.  Would a vision depicting the Faerie King verify, in any way, that the Faerie King was real?  Of course not.  Even if you KNEW 100% that these sources were supernatural (and you absolutely don’t) you would be believing, worshiping and loving ONLY what you have been fed and have verified nothing about the sender.  The TRUTH is that unexplained visions, experiences and miracles could all have natural explanations, but you have prematurely and irresponsibly dismissed this likelihood in favor your favorite magical one.  The real concern here is… Why would you, an intelligent person, let anonymous and unverifiable messages dictate a truth to you, when they could easily be false?

4.  “You don’t know and can’t prove that experiences, visions and miracles ARE NOT God’s doing.  How do you know I’m not right?”Mostly because you simply guessed about the sender/causer based on your family’s, community’s and country’s influence of popular god myths, with zero validating evidence.  You probably relied on stories, authority figures or even historical conclusions to decide what your experiences and/or mysteries are revealing.  Further, your choice is merely one myth of thousands, while you conveniently and baselessly have excluded the possibility of natural causes (which are the only verified type of causes).  So its a joke that you attempt to justify your choice as anything but ignorant and blind.  You are much more likely to be wrong than, by chance, happen to be close to correct. 

Ultimately, YOU have made a claim and I challenge you to show the evidence that you are correct. Believers often say “Atheists can’t prove that God doesn’t exist, so I can still believe.”  but their claim still remains unproven and their belief unjustified.  Not being able to prove that the Faerie King doesn’t exist, lends no evidence of him existing and provides no justification for believing in him.

5.  “Why do you try to force me to abandon my faith?  It’s a form of oppression!  Don’t you believe I have the right to believe?”  – The reason most atheists, secularists and some theists even bother to debate stubborn believers is because dogmatic ideas and laws, based on faith alone, threaten the well being of innocent people.  Yes you may not be imposing the harmful dogma in question, but until you reject the validity of religious faith, you are at least in part supporting those who would impose by it.  This unfortunate situation regarding the imposing tendencies of religion arguably requires a reality check.  Enter the atheist, humanist, secularist and concerned theists to challenge the validity of stubborn, insistent believers and their religion.  And NO, its not oppression to question ridiculous ideas and to try to inspire changes through reason.  It’s dishonest to say we are forcing you to ditch your faith, when you are just being asked to think about your belief.  So, please understand the stakes and put forth some real evidence that your God exists and his inspired word is valid, or think about leaving it all on the curb.

6.  “God is beyond our perceptions, measurements and tests.  Doubters want to use human senses and empirical methods to verify God, but he is beyond such things.”  – If He’s in-perceivable in every human way, that’s the same thing as believing in and worshiping NOTHING!  Correct, God and Nothingness would therefore be indistinguishable from each other!  Further, any believer saying this is admitting that believers have zero evidence justifying their belief in God.  Worse for you, it also means that not believing in gods, (the atheist position) is the only justified position.  Well done.

Alternately, defending your lack of evidence by claiming God doesn’t leave evidence, is saying that miracles, visions, disasters and the whole universe IS NOT evidence of your God.  Care to revise your position?

7.  “You won’t know or prove God’s existence until you open your heart to Him.”  – So let me get this straight. You now contradict your position by revising God’s utter imperceptibility with the simple fix of having an open heart and just believing in him?!  So… to see “evidence” of God, I have to IGNORE the glaring LACK of empirical evidence for God, by SUPPRESSING my perfectly justified skepticism and disbelief?  Then I have to BLINDLY believe some virally popular myth and open my mind to it… for no reason other than your word?  Yes, let the brainwashing begin as follows:  I am to be compelled to accept the “truth” suggested by my family and community and not question it.  The more I blindly accept those stories of experiences, visions and miracles, the more likely my own brain will interpret events in that way.  My conditioned brain is even being primed to let me have visions of my own, which will likely relate to my constantly reinforced beliefs!  The evidence contradicting my belief system would be mentally compartmentalized and explained away by authority figures and fallacious arguments.  My position becomes solidified more and more until rational people sound absurd to me… just like atheists challenging beliefs based on somebody’s word with zero evidence.  No thanks.  That ploy may work on children and the emotionally needy, but I prefer to NOT open myself up to coercive influences and baseless claims.  If a god did make us, then he would expect us to use our advanced reasoning abilities to stay clear of such obvious manipulations.  As an atheist and skeptic I see right through your position for what it is… a baseless and outdated belief system.

Thanks for reading, @FreeAtheism on Twitter

Challenging Sacerdotus to a Debate

*See status updates below*

*** NOTE CHANGE BELOW per 11-29-14: To accommodate @SCDTVS’s claimed religious restrictions about being forbidden to use webcams.***

On 11/26/14, I am hereby challenging the twitter user @SCDTVS (Sacerdotus /Michael) to a debate. It will be held on his blog, under his standard listed rules. I will choose one of his supplied 3 preferred debate topics. This gives the distinct advantage to Sacerdotus.

However, to first “clear the air” each debater’s first 2 turns (before Michael’s debate rules officially take effect) will be set aside for any apologies regarding personal misbehaviors during our past online interactions, specifically between Michael and myself.

The only acceptable method for @SCDTVS to accept or reject this debate, is for him to post a video of himself speaking directly to the camera, with his face well lit and unobscurred, saying “I Michael, aka Sacerdotus, accept (or do not accept) the debate offer by Artie aka @freeatheism“. He must also show a valid government issue photo ID, clearly to the camera, to verify he is indeed Michael responding to the debate offer. Michael may cover up his address, last name and ID number, but the ID must otherwise be unobscured enough to verify it as a valid ID. Michael must then post (and leave posted) the video link on twitter, mentioning @freeatheism in the tweet.

***UPDATE (To accommodate @SCDTVS’s religious restrictions): Due to Mr Jeff T. Follon’s in-depth involvement, knowledge and communication with @SCDTVS, he may hereby video accept my debate offer as detailed above on Michael’s behalf. Jeff’s Government issue ID should be presented instead, but with his full name displayed as he lists. His acceptance declaration in the video should state “I Jeff T. Follon, aka @CatholicGadfly, accept on behalf of Sacerdotus (or do not accept) the debate offer by Artie aka @freeatheism.” This accommodation is MORE THAN FAIR as it will let @SCDTVS continue to avoid any & all video appearances, as his fearful excuses demonstrate.***

No other means of communication or media, beyond the above described process, will be considered a valid response to this offer, because only the above method addresses this particular debate offer. @SCDTVS has noted many times that he is willing to video debate live, but his schedule made it impossible. This video acceptance CLEARLY accomodates his schedule, so any video related excuse will be rejected. (***See above extra special accommodations for @scdtvs due to his ongoing excuses***) Further, any excuses given for not responding or for not responding appropriately will only be rejected and interpreted as indicated below.

Failing to accept or not accept the debate (and civilly clearing the air) precisely in the above manner will be interpretted as Michael personally indicating:
1. that he is scared to debate me on his preferred venue.
2. that he is running from a theistic debate where he would clearly hold the advantage.
3. that he is unwilling to be civil enough to even hear (or offer any) apologies regarding past behavior.

*Timeline & Disclaimer: At this time the offer stands until the end of 2014. Any method by which I choose to commuicate this offer to @SCDTVS is to be considered valid and any excuses or counter offers by @SCDTVS or involved parties will not be considered and will be referred back to the above 3 interpretations. I reserve the right to rescind this offer at any time for any reason. Since I made the offer, any reason I give for altering or rescinding the offer is the official reason and no other explanation need be made or may be concluded.

**If @catholicgadfly acknowledges the offer exists, it will be hence forth known that @SCDTVS knows of the debate due to clear evidence that he & @SCDTVS are the same person:https://freeatheism.org/sacs-oops/

Updates:
DEC 1ST: I figured BY NOW Sac would have made an acceptance video, but no, his mouthpiece acct Gadfly has just made more excuses. I cant offer any more advantages for him than above. 1 conclusion; SAC IS SCARED.

Nov 29 2014: @CatholicGadfly may now video accept on behalf of Sacerdotus, but we all know there will be new excuses to accommodate Michael’s fear of debate. I also offered to debate Gadfly > https://freeatheism.org/2014/11/29/challenging-catholicgadfly-to-a-debate/

Nov 28 2014: Another day where Sac’s sock puppet accts are busy with defaming and libeling respected folks. No response to my more than generous debate offer. He is clearly scared.

Nov 27 2014: Gadfly has acknowledged the offer and immediately started making excuses for Sac(k) despite him being the same person. Something about future priests (non priests) can’t use web cams. That excuse is as pathetic as it gets. He is simply and plainly scared to debate.

Nov 26 2014: Both @SCDTVS & @Catholicgadfly have been well informed for 24hrs on twitter via @ mentions and retweets linking back to my generous debate offer. Not even a single mention of the offer from either of Sac’s accounts. I’ve no doubt he is aftaid to debate.

Why Even God Couldn’t Prove That He Was God

“God stood before me on Tuesday.  It rained that day.” One of those claims is verifiable and one is not.  What methods and evidence would you use to test each?  What if that was today?

Do you suppose that direct experience with both rain and God would be impossible to question?  Experiencing rain is a discernable, sensory event, defined by an identifiable material (water) which falls from the sky, under the effect of gravity.  Its evidence is such that a child could explain how they know it rained recently.  Could there be an illusion or false copy of “rain”?  Maybe, but there’s little harm in accepting a perfect replication of falling water as being “rain” if it seems to BE rain in every imaginable way.  However, accepting that “God” is standing before you clearly has very different consequences.

performing copy

If a God-like being were on Earth performing wondrous miracles, unleashing deadly wrath, telling the future and much more, couldn’t he also easily mislead us at will?  Of course he could!  A being of such knowledge and power could give anyone exactly the experience they expected from God, no matter his true identity.  Ultimately, we could only ever take him at his word and hope he isn’t just an impostor.  Why?  Human minds would be laughably inadequate to reveal an all powerful being’s true nature and intentions.

If you can’t imagine witnessing your God’s power, as performed by an impostor, then you haven’t much of an imagination.  Believers already label natural events and mysteries as being from God, WITHOUT directly experiencing the supposed cause.  Talk about leaving the door open to be misled!  God could be a naturally occurring magical being who easily reads our mind, knows the future, raises the dead, makes us feel his presence and of course can look like a human with a perfectly groomed beard. Pure fiction you say?  No, it’s not a stretch considering that believers already suppose exactly the same thing, only replacing natural with supernatural.  Any thoughts?

Perhaps you’re thinking how “THAT discovery would simply be the revealed nature of God, so his rules still apply and he is still God. It’s exactly like your imperceptible copy of “rain” effectively still being just rain to us”.  Is it?  If those many fake instances of rain were indistinguishable from real rain there’s no apparent consequence, even if it were somehow a deception.  Alternately, what if there were two indistinguishable Gods now claiming to be the one real God?
2 gods copy

Suddenly, it becomes obvious and important that one of them (at least) is a fake and/or a deceiver.  Even if they seemed to have identical powers and competed to the death to claim the title, wouldn’t you want the real God of the Bible to win?  Wouldn’t you insist on knowing if the victor was actually the deceiver or not, especially before you kneeled, loved and worshiped him?  Obviously you wouldn’t be okay with worshiping the equivalent of the Devil, even if he filled the roll of God as far as you could tell, right?

Did your common sense kick in just now when you realized that there are DRAMATIC consequences to blindly accepting whoever may be in charge?  If it is a deceiver, then your abandoning of reason was utterly short sighted.  If you’re lucky he won’t punish people for such irresponsible blind faith, but instead reward them like the last guy did.  Don’t stress though, even witnessing “miracles” from the source, all day long, doesn’t demonstrate its divinity, its honesty or the being’s true nature.  The reality is that there is no apparent God running around for humans to even consider as a candidate and the best divine evidence amounts to natural events, mysteries, and anecdotes.  Simply labeling these things with a divine cause is just as silly as claiming that faerie magic did it.  It’s not evidence & it certainly doesn’t confirm a God.

At least that potential impostor god performing miracles would be SOMETHING god-like to worship, while today’s believers have nothing to even point to.  This empty bank of evidence supporting a dangerous culture of faith, makes buying into religion utterly absurd, irresponsible & arguably harmful for anyone to believe, let alone to pass on to others.

Think about it.  Even the best imaginable evidence wouldn’t verify divinity, but instead just a higher power.  Having no such evidence, we can only suppose and blindly guess if such a power even exists.  Assuming you believe anyway, despite such bad evidence, what do you truly know about your imagined God-like being?  The honest answer is “Nothing”.  The intelligent response is atheism.

~By Artie P. at FreeAtheism.org

If an Atheist Flier or Pamphlet Brought You Here:

  • IF AN ATHEIST FLIER OR PAMPHLET BROUGHT YOU HERE:      ( Most fliers are found here )
  • and you were upset to find it where you did:  This site is not responsible for how paper media is distributed.  It is ultimately up to the distributor to appropriately place paper media.
  • and you think atheists should respect religions and leave them alone:  You have a short memory.  How much of the religion inspired harm and absurdities do you actually respect?  Your religion doesn’t get a free pass.
  • and you demand the downloadable fliers page to be taken down:  When all religious fliers stop being EVERYWHERE, I will honestly think about it.
  • and you think it’s Satan’s work:  You need a reality check. Your religious faith enables so much harm…. look at thine own self.  click HERE
  • and you’re angry that it made you start to question your beliefs:  Yes it’s like somebody pulling off your hairy bandage; you would rather it just stay on than face the possibly painful reality.
  • and your child had starting asking questions because of it:  How feeble are the “truths” of your religion, that you can show no facts to refute a simple flier?
  • and you feel god and religion was misrepresented:  The fliers are often a general perspective, but more than likely you are just mistaken.  Typically we are atheists because we actually read our holy books and discovered how horrible and ridiculous they were.
  • and you have constructive criticisms or content to submit:  By all means contact me

(Don’t miss the welcome page for God myth believers)

 

Not Once Did I Think to Pray

I’m not a new father, but its been 5 years since my son was an infant.  My 7 month old daughter is less of a challenge because of the experience, but I’m no expert.  My wife is away traveling for 6 days on business, so I alone have my daughter over the weekend, with no wife and no daycare.  No problem.  Nothing new.

5 days before my wife left, the baby developed a diaper irritation.  We have the cream and know to keep it as dry as possible.  When my wife flew out on Thursday the rash was worse, but I just doubled my vigilance.  By Friday night, after daycare, it had spread and deepened in color… just like a yeast infection.  Further, the baby had a slight fever.  Perhaps cutting a tooth?  I didn’t want to think about a fever brought on by the yeast infection and a trip to unknown doctors (the baby Doc is weekdays only).  Wait… Lets make it worse shall we?

The 2 freezers full of stored breast milk, the baby’s primary food source, was unusable.  The freezing/ storing process can cause the milk fats to break down, while still safe, its like drinking rancid pennies!  Despite this previously known stored milk condition, the baby was taking the nasty stuff in our trials.  Friday was the 1st day of its use, since the milk factory flew away for her job and the fresh stuff was used up.  My daughter had taken less than half of her normal amount at daycare and now would take NONE of it.  Sure, the baby eats puree, but doesn’t keep down or accept other liquids.  Formula = vomiting.  By late Friday her diapers were basically dry.

Setting the new worry of dehydration aside, on late Friday night, her fever hit 102.5 degrees.  Shit.  High enough for half a dose of infant Tylenol.  This condition, however, only added to my regular new daddy lack of sleep.  She wasn’t sleeping much at all in the past 24 hours and I had almost none in the past 30 hours, from her variety of conditions.  This is when one breaks down.  This is when one loses control in the frustration and worry.  This is when some people look up and pray to a sky wizard for a break.  It never occurred to me to do any such thing.  Not once.  Any sane person knows prayer only makes oneself feel better and doesn’t magically fix things.  With a screaming baby nearby, and a massive stress headache, I stood still, eyes closed, emptying my mind and breathed for 30 seconds…

I picked up the phone and called the one I worship and love, my wife.  Regarding the yeast, she had been on Facebook with her network of other new moms and conferred with … you know you love it… Google.  She said “Coconut Oil”.  “Coconut oil will deal with the yeast and hopefully the fever, if they are connected.”  Great!  But, None of the moms could solve the liquids dilemma, beyond syringing water down her gullet if she wouldn’t drink.  I had done that until she gagged from screaming about it.  Not even puree flavored water worked.  Then I saw it… Infant yogurt in the back of the fridge.  “Just add water!” I said out loud to my wife on the phone.  I explained that I may have just solved the dehydration problem.

A tablespoon of yogurt mixed with 4 ounces of water, that’s it.  After convincing the baby that it wasn’t horrible tasting milk or puree water or formula… she sucked it dry and screamed for more.  The worry of a fevered, infected, dehydrating baby all evaporated within 10 minutes.  I wept and laughed all while praising my daughter with a repeated “Good girl!”

Was it a sky wizard?  Hell no.  That’s just insulting.  It was my reliance on my wife and the results of science and technology.  Medicine brought the fever down, while technology networked the knowledge of people for a solution.  Persistence and experience solved the rest.

Two days later the diaper irritation/ infection looks to be half of what it was.  The yogurt milky shakes are a hit.  The fever has been beaten back to nothing.  The headache lasting a day and a half was vanquished… and I have slept.

Prayer wouldn’t have fixed any of that without human intervention to help fix it all.  A simple meditation, even under stress, lets us access all of the calm, patience and clever thinking one might need.  Ask your friends, family and other experts for help and you will never again have to pretend that some imagined access to divine magic, is somehow going to help.

Thanks for reading,

Artie

The Why of “The Atheist Way” Posts

The Atheist Way list is not a set of rules, requirements, suggestions or best practices, but rather a list of freedoms and tendencies we atheists often embrace. It’s a purposeful highlighting of common traits typically associated with the atheist position, while often missing from theistic mindsets.

I bother creating such a list for two reasons:

1. Many of us can agree, such atheistic strengths, methods and freedoms are worth being proud of. Many times we personally have fought a world of theistic conditioning and peer pressures to finally escape unreason, bigotry & narrow mindedness. Even for the life long atheists, religion can easily be recognized as delusional, harmful and worth avoiding. The “Atheist Way”, in a sense, is like a celebration of our freethought, choices and freedoms.

2. Related to this, my reasoning extends over to the theistic side of the fence. Religious folks frequently aren’t even aware of our many freedoms, moralities and methods or are conditioned to think badly of them. By pointing them out as more appropriate and even desireable, believers may start realizing how their beliefs are restrictive, innapropriate and obviously lacking.

* * *

So, no I’m not defining a dogma or suggesting that atheists need to fit into a special “Atheist Way” mold. Instead I’m a proud atheist observing and noting our strengths, tendencies and freedoms. All “Atheist Ways” I list are certainly not equal or necessarily common, but the intent as mentioned above still applies. I hope this addresses any questions or objections you might have. Please feel free to engage me on this topic further if you like.

Thanks, Artie … @FreeAtheism on twitter