Perhaps sometimes it really is not worth it. Because you may find that the mud slinging offers itself up as a dirty fight, one that you do not want to wage because you do not want to wallow in the filth. Facts, evidence and keeping to the point should be enough for a rational conversation. Otherwise avoid.
Using the good old tag surfer on WordPress I came across this blog which mentioned that a loved one’s ashes could now be turned into a diamond. The only thing was that the person claimed that the technological process that allows this was proof that the earth had been designed in a short period of time. That this was another part of the jigsaw to prove a global flood and the earth being created in 6 days. This also apparently proved evolution wrong though the discussion was about geology.
Yep a Young Earth Creationinst. Got to love these guys, and the way they make an argument.
So I commented:
Human technology in the creation of diamonds does not prove there was a designer for the natural processes that create them, let alone a global flood. Nor does it have any bearing on evolutionary biology.
Synthetic diamonds have been around since the 1950s. However, rumours that all you need is peanut butter, a microwave and some coal are hugely exaggerated.
The blogger responded:
I know it doesn’t prove anything as a stand alone contribution. It simply adds to the pre-existing mountain of evidence confirming a young earth.
You can drag someone to the fountain of knowledge but you cannot make them drink.
However, the person came over to my blog and made some comments – which I thought I would share (free speech) but decided not to give the person a free reign to post without moderation:
On reading About Me:
You left one cult (J.W.) To join another (atheism)??
“Atheism is the religion of the deranged and evolution is their creation story”.
Well there is a difference between the Jehovah’s Witnesses which are a cult and atheism. For one the hours are better. I do not have to ask myself whether my inner thoughts confirm to the wishes of a supreme being that has the ability to mind read. Nor am I kept in line by images that the majority of people are going to be destroyed in a forth coming war, with only door bell ringers of the good news that you will die in Armageddon being saved. Though not as soon as The Society (governing body of J.Ws) assumed in the past.
I do not have to worry whether my clothing confirms to a designated style. No fellow atheist will demand that I get a hair cut or else I am letting down atheism. Nor does my status in the pecking order depend on towing certain tenants. Among the fellowship of atheists there is ammo shot at the four horsemen as with plenty reserved for those that would trounce on hard won freedoms from religious bigotry and refuse the evidence of science. I am encouraged to think things through and to look at the evidence, rather than relying on someones authority to tell me what is true.
I also accepted the theory of evolution before I was an atheist. It helped when I could actually find out about the theory when I read beyond the books published by The Society. My atheism is not based on evolution theory. It is more based on the reasons that Bertrand Russell articulated.
On reading Labelling yourself:
You are the personification of deranged. You are in favor of keeping the scum of the earth alive and yet also in favor of killing unborn children who have never done wrong to anyone.
“Atheism is the religion of the deranged and evolution is their creation story” – Michael D. Shoesmith
Funnily enough the blog was not about abortion or the death penalty. As a European it is not really a surprise that I do not favour the death penalty. That is because there can be no appeal from the grave, and there have been too many instances where miscarriages of justice would have led to people being put to death though the evidence was not conclusive, and those found guilty were on later review released.
The other argument is to try and understand what makes people criminals so we can better protect the law abiding. Whether that takes you on a voyage like Marilynn Rosenthal who used her experience in academia to find out about the 9/11 killer of her son who died in the south tower or Richard Dawkins calling for us to learn about genocidal murderers so we can stop people like Saddam Hussein getting to power rather then put them summarily to death and squander that opportunity. The death penalty is about revenge, as an ultimate punishment. It does not cancel out the evil done, nor bring loved ones back. What it does do is add to the body count in the fight against crime. The death penalty is opposed by religious groups too.
As to abortion – well I do not favour abortion. I see women being able to have legal, professional medical access preferable to backstreet abortions. McCain was of the same opinion before realising he needed the religious right that now controlled his party. I do not want the legal system to be used to enforce a personal view that a fertilized egg has equal rights with a fully grown woman. This stance does not mean that I take pleasure in how many women have abortions. Reproductive issues are a matter for the individual not the state. I would hope every conception brings a healthy, loved, and wanted child that can be provided for. Society needs to see how to address that. I want women empowered to make a real choice. Banning abortion will not solve the social ills that belay our countries. Some religious groups feel that too:
“The directorate of the [United Church of Christ]’s social action office first addressed the abortion issue in 1970, affirming freedom of choice for women, calling for church action supporting the repeal of overly restrictive abortion legislation and encouraging the expansion of sex education programs. Freedom of choice in reproductive matters was first affirmed by the General Synod in 1971 and has been reaffirmed in one way or another by several General Synods since.”
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Unitarian Universalists in the United States be urged to promote passage of federal legislation to:
guarantee the fundamental right of individual choice in reproductive matters [source]
As for a delusion well the definition is:
A false belief that is resistant to confrontation with actual facts; The state of being deluded or misled; That which is falsely or delusively believed or propagated; false belief; error in belief. [source]
On that score, Young Earth Creationism fits perfectly. Below is Eugenie Scott on YEC: