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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  03:26:26  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Many creationists have gotten a lot of mileage with variations on “The Atheist Professor” story. Kent Hovind told it as meeting one on an airplane and Jack Chick drew it out in a famous cartoon tract named “Big Daddy.” It always follows a certain theme: the professor is taken down a peg, sometimes even violently, by a Christian student. Here's one:

"LET ME EXPLAIN the problem science has with Jesus Christ." The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand. "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?" "Yes, sir." "So you believe in God?" "Absolutely." "Is God good?" "Sure! God's good." "Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?" "Yes." "Are you good or evil?" "The Bible says I'm evil." The professor grins knowingly.

"Ahh! THE BIBLE!" He considers for a moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help them? Would you try?" "Yes sir, I would." "So you're good...!" "I wouldn't say that." "Why not say that? You would help a sick and maimed person if you could... in fact most of us would if we could...God doesn't." No answer.

"He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?" No answer

The elderly man is sympathetic. "No, you can't, can you?" He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. In philosophy, you have to go easy with the new ones. "Let's start again young fella. Is God good?" "Er... Yes." "Is Satan good?" "No." "Where does Satan come from?" The student falters. "From... God..."

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he?" The elderly man runs his bony fingers through his thinning hair and turns to the smirking, student audience. "I think we're going to have a lot of fun this semester, ladies and gentlemen." He turns back to the Christian. "Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?" "Yes, sir." "Evil's everywhere, isn't it? Did God make everything?" "Yes." "Who created evil?" No answer


These things can be quite long, almost in the nature of “Shaggy Dog” stories, so I will cut to the punch line. The whole thing can be found here

"Ah! SCIENCE!" the student's face splits into a grin. "Sir, you rightly state that science is the study of observed phenomena. Science too is a premise which is flawed..." "SCIENCE IS FLAWED..?" the professor splutters. The class is in an uproar. The Christian remains standing until the commotion has subsided. "To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, may I give you an example of what I mean?" The professor wisely keeps silent.

The Christian looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out in laughter. The Christian points towards his elderly, crumbling tutor. "Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain...felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain?" No one appears to have done so.

The Christian shakes his head sadly. "It appears no-one here has had any sensory perception of the professor's brain whatsoever. Well, according to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science, the professor has no brain."

The class is in chaos. The Christian sits...because that is what a chair is for. An atheist has a reason, but no hope for his reason. A hypocrite has a hope, but no reason for his hope. A Christian has a reason for his hope and a hope for his reason; and, I might add: Life with Christ is an endless hope. Without Christ is a hopeless end.


There is a variation on this to be found at Snopes – and elsewhere; it's been around for a long time -- where the snot-nosed, little punk was none other than Albert Einstein.

And here's another old'n but good'n; A Piece of Chalk:


This is reputedly a true story of something that happened a few years ago at USC.

There was a professor of philosophy there who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God could not exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic.

For 20 years he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever really gone "against him" (you'll see what I mean later). No one would go against him because he had a reputation.

At the end of every semester, on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there's anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!" In 20 years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, "because anyone who does believe in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from dropping to the ground and breaking.

Such a simple task to prove that he is God and yet he can't do it." And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the class room and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students could do nothing but stop and stare. Most of the students were convinced that God couldn't exist. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago, there was a freshman who happened to get enrolled in the class. He was a Christian and had heard the stories about this professor. He had to take the class because it was one of the required classes for his major. And he was afraid but for 3 months that semester he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said or what the class thought. Nothing they said or did could ever shatter his faith, he hoped.

Finally the day came. The professor said, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up." The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of classroom. The professor shouted, "You fool! If God existed he could keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!" He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleat of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away unbroken. The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man then ran out of the lecture hall.
The young man who had stood up proceeded to walk to the front of the room and share his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he testified of God's love for them and of His power through Jesus.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Revelation 12:11

"But He knows the way that I take. When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10

Please continue to pass this on from one Christian to the next as a message of encouragement and hope. - - Source Unknown

Link


This one and the others are all used to evangelize, and that causes one to think they were entirely spun from the whole cloth by fundie numskulls, and that is correct. The stories themselves are fictional; mere anecdotes that mean nothing. Their tellers to the contrary, of course. USC has staunchly denied that this ever happened, and when you sit down and think about it, it's really an arrogant and stupid thing for a professor to do, and would probably earn him/her a well-deserved reprimand.

And there we have it in a nutshell. We all loath arrogance and laugh at stupidity (except when it's our own), and teachers were the first real authority figures we encountered outside the family. Thus, they are a prime target for this sort of thing, especially college instructors. These last are highly educated and experienced in their fields, and “need to be sorted out;” atheist or otherwise. Which is the reason that this codswallop is concerned almost exclusively with them.

But to the average heretic on the streets, they're kinda fun. How many laughs have we gotten from Jack Chick, eh? Lots of 'em, and I visit him now & again just for that. I think he's done more Nutty Professor yarns than anyone else. He's actually good at it, if a bit repetitious.

This is no more than a scratch on the surface; there are a lot more stories floating around out there, many with different characters and events but all with the same theme. The Christian or Muslim – yes, the fans of the Al & Moe tag-team, have them too – triumphs over the vile atheist, armed only with God and silliness.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!


Edited by - filthy on 07/26/2009 03:52:54

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  09:36:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good subject, Fil.

The one and only thing this class of tall tale proves is that you can make anyone sound stupid if you write stupid dialog for them and make them say it.

Well, there's a few other things they prove: Fundies generally don't write very convincing dialog. They also like to swear their invented "just so" stories are the gospel. And they steal stories from one another.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  11:20:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Good subject, Fil.

The one and only thing this class of tall tale proves is that you can make anyone sound stupid if you write stupid dialog for them and make them say it.

Well, there's a few other things they prove: Fundies generally don't write very convincing dialog. They also like to swear their invented "just so" stories are the gospel. And they steal stories from one another.


Indeed. If you ask me, I think it takes a lot of damned gall for creationists to accuse the evolutionists of telling "just-so" stories when the Bible is filled with them, beginning with the first verse of Genesis.

The Hovind link is of particular interest, I think, as the rich abundance of the logical fallacies are pointed out as it goes along. Those can all be found in any of these ridiculous tales, whether they are told by Chick, Ham, Dobson, or Deacon Jones at the Wednesday evening prayer meeting.

I find it hard to understand how some folks actually believe them, but they they do. For the rest of us, they provide a diverting amusement.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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podcat
Skeptic Friend

435 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  13:00:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send podcat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's the wikipedia article on Einstein's religious views: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein#Religious_views

“In a modern...society, everybody has the absolute right to believe whatever they damn well please, but they don't have the same right to be taken seriously”.

-Barry Williams, co-founder, Australian Skeptics
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  15:02:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by podcat

Here's the wikipedia article on Einstein's religious views: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein#Religious_views
Old Albert was a bit dodgy and deceptive about his religious beliefs. He didn't like to be pinned down on his religion. He wanted to always allow himself some wiggle room.

Usually, Einstein presented himself as a sort of agnostic Deist. When he wrote (in a kind of gut-level philosophical opposition to quantum mechanics) that God does not play with dice, I think that statement encapsulated his underlying idea of a universe that follows rational rules and is ultimately knowable. He was repelled by quantum mechanics' apparent resistance to logic. The universe and its laws were "God" to Einstein, though perhaps only metaphorically.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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podcat
Skeptic Friend

435 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2009 :  18:22:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send podcat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And the moral of these stories, boys and girls, is that if you encounter someone who you disagree with, it's perfectly acceptable to use humiliation and violence against them.

“In a modern...society, everybody has the absolute right to believe whatever they damn well please, but they don't have the same right to be taken seriously”.

-Barry Williams, co-founder, Australian Skeptics
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2009 :  04:44:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
it amazes me that people can still be atheists after reading this stuff.

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2009 :  05:20:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

it amazes me that people can still be atheists after reading this stuff.
It used to amaze me that, after reading this stuff, people could be anything else. But it doesn't anymore; people being what they are.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2009 :  06:55:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To look at this from a different angle, it's curious how much the theocrats have embellished the "atheist professor" stereotype. It's no wonder that fundamentalist universities thrive in this country, as clearly children (and their parents) actually think that there are real atheist professors who teach an entire semester (to 300 students, no less!) on how Yahweh and/or Jesus isn't real! Having spent quite a time in academia, I can say with some confidence that such professors don't exist. Sure, I've encountered atheist professors, but none of them would try to "prove" such things in class, and no one would call a student a "fool" for their faith, not even in private.

Yet the theocrats peddle these stories and perpetuate this miserable stereotype. Very sad.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9675 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2009 :  08:00:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

it amazes me that people can still be atheists after reading this stuff.
It amazes me that people of faith accepts these stories at face value.

Oh wait...
That's what faith is all about: Accepting just-so fantastic stories without ever questioning the truthfulness of them. After all, they were told by a Christian dude and he wouldn't spin a yarn for a good story and a captive audience?



It's a follow the evidence FAIL.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 08/01/2009 08:01:22
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sailingsoul
SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2009 :  09:19:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Good subject, Fil.

The one and only thing this class of tall tale proves is that you can make anyone sound stupid if you write stupid dialog for them and make them say it.

Well, there's a few other things they prove: Fundies generally don't write very convincing dialog. They also like to swear their invented "just so" stories are the gospel. And they steal stories from one another.



Cheating, lying, thieves like birds, flock together. That's why churches are so full, Hospitals are for the very sick and weak, churches are too. Such pathetic hypocrites. SS
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2009 :  12:29:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Being member of a university atheist group I can indeed say that the 'Atheist professor' is a very rare bird, if he exists at all.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26004 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2009 :  22:54:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon

Being member of a university atheist group I can indeed say that the 'Atheist professor' is a very rare bird, if he exists at all.
I suspect that the target audience for the "atheist professor" stories have never taken college-level courses, and so have little idea of what goes on beyond high school, other than that things are different and the students party all the time (well, that's what the movies all say).

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2009 :  01:02:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And that's not totally inaccurate, either.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2009 :  13:24:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

it amazes me that people can still be atheists after reading this stuff.


These stories are so obviously total bullshit, it amazes me that any thinking person could believe them. They're like Jack Chick tracts without the drawings.

Anyone who perpetuates this crap is either a moron or a liar.

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2009 :  08:27:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I perpetuated a few of these stories at my bible group today and they went down a storm. We all agreed to share one with at least 1 atheist.

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