The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

The Test (Updated)

August 31, 2005 | 81 Comments

I have devised a test to determine whether someone is truly an atheist. Or a believer. In either case, it’s the same test.

A common misperception about atheists is that they really believe in God, but merely hate Him or fear Him. This has arisen because they talk about Him so much, something they presumably wouldn’t do if they were unconcerned about the possibility of His existence. (The perception has been reinforced because when people think of atheists they think of the most vocal ones, who by definition are the ones who talk about Him the most). The test I have in mind puts the belief into action and reveals the true level of concern.

Ask your atheist to look up at the sky at night and say this out loud: “Hey God, you’re a [expletive]. Do me a favor and give my [wife, baby, mother, father, brother, sister, beloved friend] the most painful, lingering form of [brain cancer/leukemia/AIDS] imaginable and let me watch as they suffer and waste away. You [expletive] [expletive].”

Tell the atheist to make sure to refer to the loved one by name and think of him or her while saying that. You can try it yourself, preferably in front of a witness. I’ll give partial credit if you just say it to yourself — even in a whisper — as long as it’s out loud.

I once challenged a friend to take the test [dialogue approximate]:

Friend: I’m not going to say that.
TRA: Why not?
Friend: There’s no point to it.
TRA: It’s just words. Are you afraid of God?
Friend: What’s the point of it?
TRA: To see whether you believe in God.
Friend: Why should I say I want terrible things to happen to [my girlfriend]? It’s not true.
TRA: You lie all the time, and this isn’t even a lie because you’re just saying the words without meaning them or intending to deceive anybody. I’ll know you don’t mean it.
Friend: It’s a waste of time. It’s pointless.
TRA: So you really think all that stuff might happen just because you say it?
Friend: Why say such terrible things? It’s a waste of time.

I badgered him for about ten minutes with no success. You know that when someone spends ten minutes arguing against doing something that takes five seconds on the ground that it’s a “waste of time,” time isn’t really the issue.

No, it’s not a nice test. Most believers reading this post will wonder why atheists mire themselves in such negativity. That the thought could even occur to someone, they think, is evidence of a diseased mind. I suppose: as diseased as the minds that believe that perfectly decent people with a life of good works get tortured eternally for disbelieving, or for never discovering some silly dogma or scripture, or for never sprinkling water on their heads.

As I said, it’s a test for believers as well. Believers, at least those believe in God as loving or good, wouldn’t worry that the Almighty would actually grant such a prayer. They would certainly reject the idea that God would grant the prayer of a stranger to harm their family. Some might say that wishing it upon your own loved ones is different, but it’s not. Would a loving God do that to unknowing, innocent people out of pure spite, without even considering their wishes, to grant a wish which by its own terms is not really sincere?

Believers, naturally, have an easier “out.” There are countless scriptural prohibitions in every religion against blasphemy, against harboring evil thoughts, against “testing God.” (Though every prayer for something good tests God, it would seem to me). What a substantive atheist objection would be to taking the test, however, I don’t know. I suspect many of them are deterred by subconscious phobias carried over from childhood. They won’t do it for the same reason they won’t walk through a graveyard at night, even though they don’t believe in ghosts. Or walk under a ladder. Or step on a crack. (Or tell the Devil to come out from behind that dark fence and get them like I did when I was eight and you should have seen me run when those dogs I didn’t know were on the other side starting jumping against it and barking).

The thought of this test first occurred to me about a year ago when I was trying to think of something to top the cruelty of The Atheist Jesus Poetry Contest. (The prize was the pledge of a terminally ill blogger to die for the winner’s site). The new contest would have called for the nastiest prayer directed at a loved one. I scrapped the idea when it occurred to me that the entries might all be interpreted as death threats.

What made me think of the test more recently watching the end of Brian Flemming’s The God Who Wasn’t There. The last few moments alone justify the entire price of the documentary (which, in my opinion, so far outstrips The Passion in intellectual content and compassion that I want to bang my head against a wall every time I consider the comparative popularity of the two). Flemming has described the chapel scene, involving a test of sorts, as “very cathartic.” I’ve seen it twice in theaters and although the immediate reaction of (primarily atheist) audiences each time was laughter, I don’t think even the most hardened viewers were unmoved, even those whose road to atheism did not being at fundamentalism.

My test, however, is harder than the film’s test, which involved a form of blasphemy which would come easily to most non-believers. Perhaps one day a blogger, maybe Mr. Flemming, will administer my exam; he’s “moved on” as he said, and is a probably a better, braver atheist than me. Unless he thinks it’s just a waste of time.

UPDATE: Brian Flemming takes the test.

Although I had only suggested that he administer the test, not take it, his post and his comment make me realize that a few modifications to the exam are in order:

(1) The prayer may not be about another atheist, or about the person who challenged you to take the test. You may take the test in front of that person, however.

(2) The prayer may not be directed at yourself.

(3) The “loved” one must be someone you would conceivably look in the eye and say “I love you” to, or have sex with, not someone you merely respect or love in that phony, all-encompassing Christian sense.

(4) Directing insults or curses at God doesn’t count (what do you think this blog is about)? Doing so is a sure sign that you are too cowardly to take the test and, more than likely, a believer.

(5) Remember that you can just say the prayer out loud without posting it on a blog for your family to see (perhaps Mr. Flemming’s would like to revise his weasely comment to reflect that he has done this).

TSK, TSK:

(6) Don’t immediately qualify the prayer with statements about how bad or mean you felt (unless you’re trying to get back on God’s good side, you pussy faux-atheist).

(7) Remember to curse God at both the beginning and end of the prayer. A polite request beginning with “Dear God” doesn’t count. Rule No. 4 meant only that cursing God alone, without simultaneously wishing ill upon a loved one, didn’t count.

Comments

81 Responses to “The Test (Updated)”

  1. Mookie
    August 31st, 2005 @ 12:47 pm

    Nice test, but I’d rather just deny the existence of supernatural beings, instead of challenging them to harm loved ones. Even in the off chance something bad did happen to a loved one, we cannot put the cause to a supernatural power.

    I can only imagine the retarded comments this post will create. Come on nutballs, fill up the comments section with idiocy.

  2. Jennifer
    August 31st, 2005 @ 1:38 pm

    Mookie, I think you just failed the test.

  3. Brian Flemming
    August 31st, 2005 @ 1:40 pm

    Thanks, RA. See:

    http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/archives/001747.html

    Here’s the problem with doing this publicly: Even if no painful death would result, it would be emotionally painful for most of my loved ones to read a call for their gruesome deaths on my blog.

    I do hereby call for His Assholiness to strike me right now with the most terrible disease he can imagine, however.

  4. Jennifer
    August 31st, 2005 @ 1:54 pm

    Why not an all around happier test, like having sex in a church. Now THERE is a quality film

  5. sternwallow
    August 31st, 2005 @ 2:10 pm

    I had to make a couple of changes because there isn’t anyone I like well enough to qualify as target/victim. Also I have a cross burning this evening so why not say this thing in daylight while the sun god is visible (oops)? Why must it be outdoors when the main god being referred to, if it existed, would omni-present? So with those few caveats, I submit the following as a public expression of my certainty that there is no god.

  6. Reed
    August 31st, 2005 @ 2:20 pm

    A similar test, which I’ve tried a few times to scare the hell out of friends, is to shout out a challenge to strike me down with a bolt of lightning while standing atop of a mountain or in an aluminum canoe on a lake. Better still to give the deity an advantage by doing so during inclement weather. So far, no luck.

  7. a different tim
    August 31st, 2005 @ 2:22 pm

    I’d fail.
    I put it down to subconscious fears carried over from my childhood.
    Actually this is a complete bastard. I now feel more uncomfortable failing to affirm my atheism as I would actually doing the test.
    So perhaps I’ll do it after all.

  8. Sam
    August 31st, 2005 @ 2:30 pm

    I’m an atheist and I wouldn’t say that. Not because I fear there may be a God but because I wouldn’t wish anything like that on anyone I care for. “Wishing” and “Praying” are the same thing. Most of the variables that cause cancer are out of our control so wishing or praying for one outcome or the other is nonsense.
    I wouldn’t say it because I don’t want to think about it…. not because I think if I say it, and it happens, then it’s my fault.
    My Aunt has cancer…. I don’t “pray” for her, as that does no good. But I do think about her and hope she will be OK… that’s not believing in God… that’s just blowing on the dice!

  9. Father DAn
    August 31st, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    A few friends / family members comment once in a while that I’m gonna get stuck by lightening one of these days.

    I went to a wedding a few weeks ago. As I walked into the back of the church with a coworker and my wife I said – just loud enough so they could hear it but the guests couldn’t – STRIKE ME NOW MOTHERFUCKER!

    I lived to tell my tale.

  10. Brian Flemming
    August 31st, 2005 @ 3:12 pm

    Okay, in light of the revised rules…

    (1) The prayer may not be about another atheist, or about the person who challenged you to take the test. You may take the test in front of that person, however.
    (2) The prayer may not be directed at yourself.
    (3) The “loved” one must be someone you would conceivably look in the eye and say “I love you” to, or have sex with, not merely someone you respect or merely love in that phony, all-encompassing Christian sense.
    (4) Directing insults or curses at God doesn’t count (what do you think this blog is about)? Doing so is a sure sign that you are too cowardly to take the test and, more than likely, a believer.
    (5) Remember that you can just say the prayer out loud without posting it on a blog for your family to see (perhaps Mr. Flemming’s would like to revise his weasely comment to reflect that he has done this).

    …I have chosen a loved one least likely ever to read this and wished upon that person a terrible thing. Specifically, I said, “Dear God, Please give [love one’s name] cancer.”

    And I felt very, very silly. And also kinda mean. I mean, “I hope you get cancer” is a nasty thing to say whether you try to involve God or you don’t. In the same way that toasting someone’s health is a nice thing to do, even if you’re an atheist.

    I don’t get why wishing disease upon myself isn’t as good a test. I swear I don’t have ass cancer already. That I know of.

    And taking out the part about insulting God does make the prayer less fun. (And much less fun than Jennifer’s idea about having sex in a church.)

    Somewhat on topic: When The Beast comes out, we may sell little self-inking stamps that say “666” on them and encourage schoolchildren to stamp their own foreheads and those of their friends. (For those unfamiliar with Revelation, that action would be accepting The Mark of The Beast.) The idea is for rebellious children of Christians to send a message to their parents that they truly aren’t scared by all that Left Behind crap.

  11. Vernichten
    August 31st, 2005 @ 3:18 pm

    No need to pray, I’ve watched many faithful loved ones who tried to obey their church’s ridiculous and seemingly arbitrary wishes and were stricken down with gruesome cancer. Apparently god frowns on smoking a lot. He seems to frown on cheese-eating, too, prayers regardless.
    Oddly enough, he doesn’t like people who are genetically pre-disposed to cancer, either. Isn’t that weird?

  12. JP
    August 31st, 2005 @ 3:38 pm

    Dear God:

    You are a rank, blowhard, bully and I just wanted to invite you to take 5 minutes out of your day, full of protecting believers, to fuck up my life.

    You can kill my dog; you can give my mom lung cancer, or even just smite my Dad with a lightning bolt for kicks. You are also free to place my soft, warm, balls in your mouth and gargle.

    Honestly, I don’t think you’ve got it in you; I’ve always just considered you all talk. So here is your chance to fuck me up proper, or someone I love like Mommy and Daddy.

    I’ll give Mom a call tomorrow and give her the bad news, of course, that is if she is still alive. I really wish you would wait and let me watch her suffer, but whatever, you’re the one who is all powerful.

    Look forward to hearing from you soon. I hope the rapture and eventual torture goes well.

    Fuck you very much,

    JP

    cc: Jesus Christ
    Holy Ghost

  13. JP
    August 31st, 2005 @ 3:46 pm

    Dammit man! How can I pass the test if you keep changing the rules? It’s almost like talking to a theist.

  14. MBH
    August 31st, 2005 @ 3:46 pm

    Hm. Maybe it’s the childhood fears, or maybe I just feel uncomfortable even pretending to say such things (try to imagine speaking this as lines in a play), but I guess I won’t be taking this test. Somehow it seems less uncomfortable were I to write it out as JP has done, though, so maybe it’s osmething to do with vocalizing it?

  15. St. Teabag
    August 31st, 2005 @ 3:50 pm

    I have taken this test in a slightly diffderent form. As a teenager I was in a band (playing hendrix and santana covers mostly) and we were erroneously invited to play at a small village fair just outside of oxford. (because the guitar player was also a trumpet player in a church band, so they were expecting jeebus music). When we started to set up out equipment they started to get nervous, and when we started playing they bood us of. Afterwards we retired into the chapel to smoke some reefer and the keyboard started playng the blues on the church organ. The music alerted the vicar who came steaming in and ordered us out, claiming we had defiled god’s house with our smoke and “devil music” [not sure if he was referring to black magic woman or the organ blues]. A bit fed up by this stage I told him to fuck off, and then challenged god “or any of his faggor trinity mates” to strike me down or forever shut the fuck up. Strangely enough, NOTHING HAPPENED! the vicar, however, was furious and did attempt to strike me down. Sarcastically asking for his forgiveness (while relighting my joint) did not assuage his mood at all. And we were never paid the promised fee. Typical.

  16. Michael Tripper
    August 31st, 2005 @ 4:02 pm

    Dude – I tried to post this to Huffingtonpost but was disallowed…

    I’ve always maintained it’s easy to prove god ain’t for real. Say the following words (as I’ve often done – street preachers tend to get upset >;p)

    Fuck god. Fuck jesus christ.

    oh what’s that I’m still alive, wow…

  17. Michael Tripper
    August 31st, 2005 @ 4:02 pm

    Dude – I tried to post this to Huffingtonpost but was disallowed…

    I’ve always maintained it’s easy to prove god ain’t for real. Say the following words (as I’ve often done – street preachers tend to get upset >;p)

    Fuck god. Fuck jesus christ.

    oh what’s that I’m still alive, wow…

  18. Iwan
    August 31st, 2005 @ 4:20 pm

    I’m not going to take this test and yet I do consider myself an atheist. It’s really not that I don’t dare to request something this awful to something that’s supposed omnipotent by some. Why bother, it’s asking something from a non-entity, the big nothing, it’s void. It’s just that I don’t want to force myself to think or say that I wish something terrible happening to my beloved ones. Excuse me very much, but it isn’t a good test.

  19. Mijae
    August 31st, 2005 @ 4:57 pm

    Aw man, and I just lent my movie-taking digital camera out, or I could get video proof… but I happily took the test right off the bat. I’ll type up my version for good measure.

    Hey asshole! Yeah, you! God! If you have any supernatural balls at all, I want you to inflict my husband Raahul with the most painful, prolonged, hideous form of brain cancer imaginable while I get to sit back and watch. Not that I bet you’d do it anyway you pansy! I deny you, Jesus Christ, AND the Holy Spirit, and you can all fuck each other in a three-way omni-orgy for all I care!

    It is a brilliant test. Goes right to the mental blocks. I can’t wait to hear my husband’s version.

  20. Seth
    August 31st, 2005 @ 5:34 pm

    Okay, Iwan, MBG, just imagine that your talking to Zeus. What’s the difference anywho?

    I did it, by the way. Twice; once before the update, and once after. Just in case I did anything wrong.

  21. Seth
    August 31st, 2005 @ 5:35 pm

    Okay, Iwan, MBG, just imagine that your talking to Zeus. What’s the difference anywho?

    I did it, by the way. Twice; once before the update, and once after. Just in case I did anything wrong.

  22. Iwan
    August 31st, 2005 @ 6:35 pm

    Seth: Zeus, JHWH, Allah, God or however you want to name it, it doesn’t matter. I just don’t want to wish the worst possible disaster to the people I love.
    The way I understand it you have to sincerely mean what you say, otherwise your prayer wouldn’t be fullfilled anyway.
    Mmh, could we add that to the rules?

  23. Jennifer
    August 31st, 2005 @ 6:41 pm

    Fear Factor – Blasphemer Edition

  24. Kafkaesquí
    August 31st, 2005 @ 7:48 pm

    Ok, I went and did this. There’s a big old rock (basically a hill) near my house, so I climbed it and did the disfunctional, filth-laden litany there. Felt like the perfect place to put me close to Him, so there’d be no miscommunication.

    Here’s hoping my recitation of this prayer didn’t make Jesus cry, the Fucking Douchebag.

  25. Brian Flemming
    August 31st, 2005 @ 8:13 pm

    Jesus Fucking Christ, RA. More rules?

    I just got a pamphlet in the mail from American Atheists. In it, there’s a Q&A that tries to soften the image of atheism. Two of the questions: “Aren’t Atheists just ‘against’ things?” “Aren’t you just a negative organization?”

    If they only knew what we were up to here on this comments thread.

    Okay, in light of the two new rules…

    (6) Don’t immediately qualify the prayer with statements about how bad or mean you felt (unless you’re trying to get back on God’s good side, you pussy faux-atheist).
    (7) Remember to curse God at both the beginning and end of the prayer. A polite request beginning with “Dear God” doesn’t count. Rule No. 4 meant only that cursing God alone, without simultaneously wishing ill upon a loved one, didn’t count.

    …I have once again cursed a loved one. I said, “Hey God, You

  26. John Bragg
    August 31st, 2005 @ 9:59 pm

    1: Do you believe in wishes?
    2: No.
    3: PRove it. Wish cancer on your wife.
    4: Screw you. In fact, go get cancer, jackass.

  27. JP
    August 31st, 2005 @ 10:44 pm

    um….RA, do you have the time to take the test? :)

  28. Jennifer
    August 31st, 2005 @ 11:32 pm

    RA, do you have the time to take the test?

    LMAO

    Did Gepetto worry about becoming a real boy?

  29. MadMan's LinksMatic
    September 1st, 2005 @ 12:57 am

    Are you a real atheist?

    The Raving Atheist has a test to check if you’re a real atheist or not. Looks like I am….

  30. MadMan's LinksMatic
    September 1st, 2005 @ 12:57 am

    Are you a real atheist?

    The Raving Atheist has a test to check if you’re a real atheist or not. Looks like I am….

  31. MadMan's LinksMatic
    September 1st, 2005 @ 12:57 am

    Are you a real atheist?

    The Raving Atheist has a test to check if you’re a real atheist or not. Looks like I am….

  32. MadMan's LinksMatic
    September 1st, 2005 @ 12:57 am

    Are you a real atheist?

    The Raving Atheist has a test to check if you’re a real atheist or not. Looks like I am….

  33. JP
    September 1st, 2005 @ 3:30 am

    Mom won’t answer the phone.

  34. Tatarize
    September 1st, 2005 @ 4:42 am

    Personally, I think the test would be effective against the Holy Ghost. See, this way it would weed out people who believe God is all good and wouldn’t grant such a request. But, blaspheming the Holy Ghost is always wrong and completely unforgivable. Furthermore there’s a subsect of people who think that God doesn’t lift a finger unless you finish with “In Jesus’ name.”

    The Holy Ghost blew me last night for a long time. I hope he kills my entire family, or at least the ones who love me. And they die horrific deaths… In Jesus’ name.

  35. SteveR
    September 1st, 2005 @ 10:09 am

    Tests like this are why there are agnostics.

  36. Dada Saves
    September 1st, 2005 @ 10:23 am

    “I badgered him for about ten minutes with no success. You know that when someone spends ten minutes arguing against doing something that takes five seconds on the ground that it

  37. MBains
    September 1st, 2005 @ 10:27 am

    A common misperception about atheists is that they really believe in God, but merely hate Him or fear Him. This has arisen because they talk about Him so much, something they presumably wouldn

  38. cubic rooms
    September 1st, 2005 @ 10:34 am

    I do not feel the need to prove to anyone that I am an atheist. If you don’t believe me go fu…, er, go jump in a lake.

  39. DP
    September 1st, 2005 @ 12:08 pm

    Here’s my own test: does The Raving Atheist love his wife (or girlfriend)? Does she love him? How does he know? Can he see love? Can he touch it? Isn’t it just on faith that he believes he loves her and she loves him? I mean, maybe it’s just a neat social convention to share the rent and other burdens, get a lower tax rate, propagate and the like. Isn’t love just an ephemeral, self-indulgent fantasy? Easily explained by tax law and hormones?

    So, TRA, I dare you to go home tonight and tell your significant other that you don’t believe in this fantasy, make-believe goo-goo nonsense called love. Tell her you don’t love her, because love doesn’t exist. Oh, and feel free to tell her how much you appreciate how she’s holding up her end of the contract. She’ll like that.

    Please get back to me and let me know how the test goes.

  40. leon
    September 1st, 2005 @ 12:19 pm

    DP That is simply absurd.

  41. leon
    September 1st, 2005 @ 12:20 pm

    DP That is simply absurd.

  42. AK
    September 1st, 2005 @ 1:07 pm

    Jennifer,

    The problem with a sex in chuch scene, is that it isnt nearly as cool when an atheist does it. You gotta get the sex in chuch scene with religious people doing it!

  43. schemanista
    September 1st, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

    I’m game.

    Dear God, please immediately afflict my two-year old daughter [name redacted-email me for details], whom I love more than life itself, with a lingering terminal illness. Immediately after this diagnosis has been confirmed by a second opinion from a respected specialist in the relevant medical field, please give my spouse [name redacted, email me for details] a horrible lingering terminal illness (don’t pick lung cancer–she’s an ex-smoker and this could be attributed to natural causes–leukemia would do nicely) such that she dies in terrible agony, only after observing my daugther die in terrible agony. Then arrange things so that after my wife and daughter are dead, my inevitable attempts at suicide would all be thwarted and that I die only shortly after I recover from the worst of my grief without the aid of faith but not after I’m able to pick up the pieces of my life and move on (you do want my unbelief to be the reason why I burn for eternity, not some bullshit suicide clause, right!).

    Sincerely and honestly,

    [name redacted. email me for details]

  44. DP
    September 1st, 2005 @ 1:50 pm

    Leon:

    Absurd, huh?

    Well, I assert that love doesn’t exist.

    You assert that God doesn’t exist.

    I’ll accept that God is based on faith, just like love. They’re equally preposterous manifestations of human need.

    But if you accept something as amorphous as the concept of love, why is accepting the possibility of a Creator such a huge jump for you?

    We can’t prove either one, can we?

    DP

  45. Paul
    September 1st, 2005 @ 3:12 pm

    DP, this is easy.

    Love is not real in the way that trees, for instance, are. Love, as the emotion itself, is completely internal to a single person. There is no way one can verify the existence of an internal emotion or perception (no way to tell if your perception [qualia] of red is the same as mine). We can only verify that the behavior the love induces exists, but the actual emotion itself is forever trapped within one’s own consciousness. Our minds are forever separate from each others’. I feel love, but there is no way to prove it in the same way that we know trees exist. We assume that others feel love, and this assumption works (unless you get dumped), but we can’t prove it for anyone but ourselves.

    When we say a tree exists, we’re not talking about the internal experience of it (like the internal experience, or qualia, of “red”). We mean that a tree is real when *anyone,* in principle, could verify that the tree is there. I cannot, in prinicple, verify that your red is the same as mine. When we can verify something external to ourselves, we call it reality.

    So, if god is part of reality, we’d have to be able to verify god’s existence in the same way we do a tree; otherwise, it’s like trying to prove that my red is the same as yours.

    We can’t prove god exists within one person’s mind, though. Saying that god exists is like saying a tree exists. If you want to say god only exists in your mind, that’s fine. But that means he is not real in the way a tree is, and is more like how love is real, which isn’t much.

  46. Benjamin
    September 1st, 2005 @ 3:16 pm

    DP, some people don’t believe there is anything supernatural about love. My fiancee and I aren’t soul mates as there is no such thing as a soul. We both understand that if we weren’t with each other, we would be with other people, and we would be just about as happy, or happier. We still tell each other “I love you” . You assume that love is supernatural, but most people here would disagree with you. To most people here love exists as another level of fondness. Now for that test:

    God, you pathetic piece of shit, give my mother a terrible illness that brings new meaning to the word suffering. Make me suffer in turn. Make the book of job look like a party, if you can take your head out of your ass long enough to make it happen, fucktard.

  47. Dada Saves
    September 1st, 2005 @ 4:21 pm

    Can God make His own head so big that even His holy ass could not accommodate it in one gulp?

    Just askin

  48. Mijae
    September 1st, 2005 @ 4:24 pm

    I could rant about the proof of love, or love not being supernatural all day. But for now I think I’ll just quote one of my favorite writings on the subject, from a letter Dawkins wrote:

    “People sometimes say that you must believe in feelings deep inside, otherwise, you’d never be confident of things like “My wife loves me.” But this is a bad argument. There can be plenty of evidence that somebody loves you. All through the day when you are with somebody who loves you, you see and hear lots of little titbits of evidence, and they all add up. It isn’t a purely inside feeling, like the feeling that priests call revelation. There are outside things to back up the inside feeling: looks in the eye, tender notes in the voice, little favors and kindnesses; this is all real evidence.

    Sometimes people have a strong inside feeling that somebody loves them when it is not based upon any evidence, and then they are likely to be completely wrong. There are people with a strong inside feeling that a famous film star loves them, when really the film star hasn’t even met them. People like that are ill in their minds. Inside feelings must be backed up by evidence, otherwise you just can’t trust them. ”

  49. tamer
    September 1st, 2005 @ 5:57 pm

    I don’t believe there is god if anything started to universe that would be a scientific event. I don’t think testing oneself is relevant about weather he believes what he believes truly. The more I read about religiost books such as bible and quran the more i believe how everything based on bullshit and people following it blindly. I wouldn’t say any awfull words like these on my family it is because it is plainly awfull and of course knowing I would have no effect on it, otherwise i would say I want to win the lottary right now and that’s not gonna happen. It is just not nice to say words like that over family and no test is needed for my intelligent mind I might say :))))

  50. LucyMuff
    September 1st, 2005 @ 6:10 pm

    you dumb tamer, god is BE the scientific event, and you clear be big pussy since you have not courage of conviction. The fact that so many atheist refuse the test is good to show that they be liar or scaredy. At very least it show with much clearness that they are big phony and at end of day know in their heart that GOD IS REAL and JESUS IS LORD. IF you really truly believe there be no god then words is just empty wprds what don’t mean nothing so all your excuse “it’s not nice” etc etc are excuse and it be well obvious. Congrats RA for proving GOD BE REAL and also that lot of atheist is fake (even though test be too blasphemous).

  51. Baconeatingatheistjew
    September 1st, 2005 @ 6:28 pm

    My only problem with this test is that although I have no doubt about God not existing, I do think the mind is capable of things that we haven’t figured out yet. I think there is a possibility of ESP, I think that the mind is capable of curing some diseases some of the time. Therefore, I will not take any chances and possibly hurt a loved one, even though the chances are quite small uttering your test will do this, there is still a chance.

  52. Daddy Lows
    September 1st, 2005 @ 6:46 pm

    Lucy the Muff,

    Speak you with accent of JarJar Binks? Me hates you.

    Peace

  53. LucyMuff
    September 1st, 2005 @ 7:14 pm

    who is YOUR daddy lows? I tell you who, JESUS

  54. FZ
    September 1st, 2005 @ 9:18 pm

    Tell me if this is a reasonable compromise between the two. Both sides can respect the lack of scientific evidence to support or deny the existence of any diety. Both sides can also respect that “unimaginably wicked bullying cowardly twat” accurately describes the antagonists of humankind. I have taken and passed the atheist test many times. However, the cause of my dismay remained as ubiquitous as the antagonists. I think both sides can reason with the obvious notion of humans being the natural enemies of humans. So, if there was not a diety to save me, how could there be one responsible for my troubles? I do not condone misanthropy because it is not constructive, by the way. So why question the whole “God” thing? What would it change? Because, it would give authority to those on the winning side over others. God exists, therefore, you must obey His anointed followers! There is no God, therefore, science, its practical applications, and research and developement should continue unabated by religious beliefs! I came to the conclusion that even people with good intentions were merely fighting for power. Thus, all our good intentions have led us into a kind of purgatory. I, a Catholic, hope God exists; I hope there is something to give us forgiveness so that we might exit this place into a better one–not to finally prove or disprove. Or you can sin, earn, or inherit your way into an artificial heaven I really do not care. I find this to be more gentlemanly than shouting into the sky. Besides, there’s a common contradiction to that test (which I’ve heard too many times). Please enjoy finding holes in my opinion.

  55. MrMxyztplk
    September 1st, 2005 @ 11:28 pm

    Personally, I can’t handle wishing cancer on anyone. Even people I detest, eg Pat Robertson or Karl Rove.

    However, I can handle wishing for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost to take turns sucking off Mithras the Golden Bull God. And then when they are finished doing that, they take turns sticking Thor’s hammer up each other’s asses.

    That essay may not be enough to pass the test, but who gives a fuck?

  56. Mijae
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 1:15 am

    But the point is, you’re NOT wishing cancer on them. You’re stating out loud that you wish it, even though you don’t actually wish it. Even if you did hold some belief that the act of sincerely wishing could somehow zap them with cancer-causing ESP beams, this test at least shows that you don’t believe the words themselves contain magic power.

  57. ElDiablo
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 8:38 am

    You fucked up piece of shit! God, or whatever the cretins call you… I dare you to give my wife, Sherry,cancer, make her fall asleep at the wheel and run headlong into a fuckin’ truck you lowly piece of carion! Com’on, you sick, twisted, fuckhead! Make my father, Jim, reel with pain by slowly choking the life from him! You see, you really don’t exist and never will! Go ahead fuck with me!
    God, what a fuckin’ joke! You’re nothing but puke!

    How liberating… NOT!

  58. markm
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 11:03 am

    I doubt that this tests belief in God as much as belief in curses. That’s older and deeper than the beginnings of Judaism. I wouldn’t worry at all that the Judeo-Christian God might respond to my prayer to strike my grandchildren with incurable cancer – if He existed and was paying attention at all, something would have happened to Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson long ago. But there is some primitive part of my brain that worries that some power might respond to that request.

  59. Evan
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 2:23 pm

    Sheesh, don’t we atheists have enough to deal with in this country without suggesting something like this? I understand this is mainly meant as dark humor, but how hard would it be for a prominent Theist to use this so-called test to “prove” that athiests are evil, as they openly wish horrible diseases and death on their loved ones? I mean let’s not give them ammo, for Christ’s (or Yahweh’s, or Allah’s, or Santa’s, etc.) sake!

    Your rant today is titled “Show Them We’re Better Than They Are”, and I think that’s something we atheists should always be trying to do. We need to be kinder than them, more charitable, more reasonable and in every way morally better than our Theist counterparts. This “test” in my opinion represents a step in the wrong direction.

  60. Jennifer
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 2:30 pm

    Evan, why would we worry about showing them anything?

  61. Lucy Muff
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 4:46 pm

    all of you be prooving what we all know in my church, and that be that atheists are mostly mean spirited. After all, even if you no believe in GOD and JESUS why is there to be gained from wish cancer on loved ones? IT’ just nasty for no reason, and you should be ashamed to be doing this things. Would you call your mother and say hey, I hope you get cancer mom, but not for real? Try it, and see how happy mom be after this.

    Eventually there be reckoniong for all these things and you cannot lie to JESUS. MAybe better change ways now while still can, otherwise look forward to burning in hell. You too kafkafool, unless you acept jesus since last time you blaspheme

  62. Jesus Christ
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 4:56 pm

    Hello, LucyMuff my child.

    Lo I have beheld your crafty comments these last few years, and although they lack grammatical form, proper punctuation and recognizable sentence structure, I must commend you still on your continuing battle against the heathen atheist masses.

    You shall forever be by my side when your time comes to slough off this mortal coil.

    You can wait 4 months, can’t you?

    -JC

  63. Lucy Muff
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 5:03 pm

    Jahrta, you try to make me think you be JESUS, but you are no JESUS. JESUS IS LORD, while you are little prick. Pretending to be JESUS (WHO IS LORD) is dumbass fool thing to do and what is done by satan and his devil friends. IT seem maybe you be one of them. I know difference between JESUS lord of all and son of GOD the CREATOR of ALL (not Darwin who create only one thing, which be some bogus theory that don’t make no sense) and sad little boy Jahrta who need love and kindness to help him get rid of all the hate that drive him to hatefgul things. Jahrta, go to church, people there will help you and save your soul, and make life wonderful for you instead of empty existance you have now, where you think you can be JESUS! If it not so disrespectful it be funny, but instead it not. Go to church jahrta, and take some devil friends with you

  64. FZ
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 5:08 pm

    I’d still love to read a retort for number 50.

  65. Jennifer
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 5:16 pm

    I find this to be more gentlemanly than shouting into the sky.

    But, we like it.

  66. andy
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 7:16 pm

    I once asked a Christian friend to pray with me that, as we both stood there, lightning would strike him dead. He’d get to go to Heaven and I’d be a convert. It’s win-win.

    He declined the offer. Shocking.

  67. DHA
    September 2nd, 2005 @ 10:16 pm

    So to prove I do not belive in god I have to call on god?

  68. Lucy Muff
    September 3rd, 2005 @ 3:15 am

    you should ALL call on GOD and beg for forgiveness

    do it now

  69. a different tim
    September 3rd, 2005 @ 1:03 pm

    I’ve just realised I can’t take the test because I hate everybody.

  70. freethinkat
    September 3rd, 2005 @ 4:28 pm

    Another way of seeing this test is like this: Try to ask to a chair, a tree, a pen, or whatever thing to kill your loved one. Like this: Hey chair kill or give cancer to my dad!! go ahead kill him!!
    I mean you know that the chair is not going to kill or harm this person.
    But still I feel bad about asking something as stupid as an inanimate object to harm a loved one.
    Then the explanation is that I wouldn’t do it, not because I have a doubt about the chair actually attacking my dad, but just because it gives me a negative feeling saying something like that. Mmmh I don’t know if I made myself clear.

  71. glenstonecottage
    September 3rd, 2005 @ 5:15 pm

    I agree wholehoggedly, freethinkat, as I hope my comment above made clear.

  72. Shevek
    September 5th, 2005 @ 10:47 am

    Sorry, but I can’t take this test. As an atheist I do not pray. Plus I think people begging imaginary beings for something make themselves look stupid. I do not want to look stupid. Proving an atheist attitude by prayer just strikes me as absurd.

    And as a theist I could still say the words, for example if I did believe in God, but not in an interfering god.

    What this is is just a childish test of courage – do you dare to be a bad boy and utter this prayer? And it’s lame. If you want to prove you’re a bad boy go to a catholic church and piss on the host in front of the congregation. That needs courage.

    If you want to prove you’re a real atheist: Get that terminal desease yourself and do not even think about crying for religious comfort when you die. As my Granddad did when he send the priest away an hour before exiting. He told the guy he never felt the need for religion in his life and he wasn’t about to start now.

  73. St. Teabag
    September 5th, 2005 @ 8:26 pm

    can anyone remember who it was that, on their deathbed was asked by a priest to renounce Satan and replied “this is not the time to be making enemies” or somethng similar???

  74. Debbie
    September 5th, 2005 @ 8:56 pm

    Teabag,

    That would be Voltaire.

  75. St. Teabag
    September 5th, 2005 @ 8:59 pm

    Ah yes, who else. Thanks Debbie.

  76. Branko Collin
    September 6th, 2005 @ 7:15 am

    I fail the test, but would like to invoke the glass floor argument in my defense.

  77. Mark Fournier
    September 7th, 2005 @ 1:56 am

    Actually, I’d wouldn’t do this test…not because of any concern about God, but because it seems to me an emotional betrayal of a loved one. Take God out of it entirely, and it still stinks. Magical thinking has one single grain of truth–that the symbolic act does have an affect on one part of the world–the person doing it. Never mind the rational argument–this isn’t a rational act, it’s purely emotive. It’s a negative prayer. This is an exercise in emotional desensitization, not a proof of atheism. Sorry, but you’ve really gone out into left field here. And I think most psychologists, even the most atheistic ones, would back me on this.

    The other problem I have with it is that it also seems to be centered on the hatred of God as well. If you’re an atheist because you hate God, you’re probably not really an atheist. There’s nothing to love or hate there. It’s one thing to be pissed at religion. That’s about people, foolish choices, and bizarre and ignorant beliefs. But hating God is like kicking a stone. The stone won’t notice, but pretty soon your toe will.

  78. Dr. Prahalathan KK
    September 13th, 2005 @ 2:29 pm

    I wouldn’t mind utter such a test. God simply doesn’t exist! Great Post! I’m yet to check out the rest of your blog though…

  79. Erik Pierce
    September 15th, 2005 @ 6:51 pm

    Hey God,

    You

  80. Mark
    October 9th, 2005 @ 6:09 am

    My favourite trick to see if a christian is lying is to challenge them. May god strike you down if you are lying. I’ve just watched the god who was’nt there and thought it was great. Johnathan Miller has also produced some great Atheist videos here in the UK. The question of god series is also good but I found the christians really irritating.

  81. Aaron Carpenter
    October 9th, 2005 @ 7:51 am

    You have a very talented and skilled writting. I had a great time reading your comments. In a small saucepan: http://mooshoopork.net/pork/index.php?p=154 , small ship set out

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