Welcome back to Feedback Friday! Arkenatan (Aka: Ark) is a FREQUENT commenter on quite a few Christian blogs. I had seen him making LOTS of comments other blogs. Ark’s modus operandi is pretty simple, as you will see. What remains a TOTAL mystery, even though I have tried to get him to explain it to me on several occasions, if WHY HE BOTHERS. He is an atheist/evolutionist who spends a LOT of time in the comments of Christian and Creationist bloggers. A LOT of time. But he NEVER makes reasonable arguments or presents evidence for his position or against your own. I can’t imagine what he thinks he’s accomplishing, or how it could be enjoyable for him. None the less, this seems to be his only hobby.
So one day he dropped in on my blog to generally ignore the content and toss out vague yet leading questions:
This is another reason why the Biblical worldview and depiction of God is far more rational than any other.
Are you referring to Yahweh?
The first line was him quoting me, so his ONLY contribution so far is “Are you referring to Yahweh?” None the less I was excited to see him find his way onto my blog. My Very Own ARK Encounter! The excitement has since died down considerably.
ARK! OMGnR (Oh My Guns N Roses) my own ARK encounter! This is exciting. I’ve seen MANY of your conversations over at the Comedy Sojourn, but I’ve never found the (presumably) many threads which have caused John and Peaches to stop answering this question, so I literally have no idea where you think the conversation is going!
It’s like a choose your own adventure. Remember those?
I was going to ask if you are old enough to remember them, but according to your thumbnail you are probably a few thousand years old, so, naturally, the 1980’s are like yesterday to you, right?
Well, first off, welcome to A Bit of Orange.
I’m not sure how to reply, since so many terms get bantered about by people in different ways. For instance the Mormons use MUCH of the same terminology in reference to God and salvation in VERY different ways than Christianity, but I guess I’ll do my best to make my position clear and see what happens.
I am a Christian. I believe in the God revealed in the Bible, and one of the names He is given is YHWH, which we anglicize as Yahweh. So, unless I misunderstand the question- yes. Yes I am.
Brace yourselves. If you have any Christian faith, it is about to be SHATTERED!
And you are aware that he is simply a Canaanite or slightly post-Canaanite deity, as well presume?
And even had a wife, too!
So, I am curious as to why you would worship a man-made / make-believe deity?
This was his entire comment. It has NOT been edited for brevity.
Greetings again Mr Aten. Are you aware that Akhenaten, known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV, was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC? I don’t think I’ll be going out on a limb to suggest that the name you use is NOT meant to imply that you are the SAME Akhenaten, but rather you’re some guy from Boston who has spelled the name phonetically. Just a guess, but not I think an unreasonable one.
See, like I said previously, names get used by different people in different ways, and that the Canaanites would have borrowed the name of the God who smote all of Egypt is not surprising. That depends on what time period they were using that name. What IS surprising is that people would suggest that the Jews stole a god from some random pagans.
Well, not VERY surprising, as Atheists and other anti-Biblical scholars are constantly forced to grasp at straws, as this article about the topic states:
I wonder if you have had the sense to be skeptical of the anti-biblical sources in the same way which you choose to be skeptical of the biblical sources?
I mean, I’ve heard this idea proposed by former members of Monty Python, but I would suggest that retired British comedians are no resource for historical truth or Biblical insight. Just because someone proposes some “facts” that disprove the Bible doesn’t mean you should blindly put your faith in that person or their BBC television special.
Have the sense to be skeptical of the skeptics too.
All that to say, I do not worship a man made deity, but rather I worship the creator or heaven and earth, Lord, God, Savior and King. The history of the true God begins at the start of time itself, as found in Genesis. Naturally, you expect Biblical ideas and names to be used by pagans, as they are merely a decomposition of a former truth, disseminated over many generations like any history which is passed along in primarily oral tradition (Which is why it is good the Jews were not forced to rely only on oral tradition but also had written accounts going back to the first generations).
The God of history is forgotten by pagans, and his name may be kept, and certain traits, but like a folk tale based in historical fact, things are added and removed to suit the desires of the story teller. The Flood of Genesis has gone through similar distortions in the more than 200 other versions which exist, but the further back in time, the more they resemble the true account from Genesis. Similarly, the Canaanites may have once remembered God as they were descended from Noah’s sons, as we all are, but eventually they decided to abandon the truth to make the true God more like themselves- as we all tend to do.
Unless you have a clear understanding of the facts, this is, I think, and easy error to make, just as it is understandable with limited knowledge to think that the flood of Noah is just another flood story, instead of the actual account the others derive from.
Keep studying Mr Aten! It can all be made clear to you too.
And thanks for your questions and comments.
Ark is amazing for several reasons. First, that he can CONSISTENTLY offer unsubstantiated blanket assertions without being self aware enough to realize that he has not made an argument- not all that uncommon for atheists on the internet I find- but he is capable of simply MOVING ON to the next topic (devoid of facts or reasons) ad infinitum! He refuses to be slowed down by reason, answers, evidence, or anything else which would indicate that he is even AWARE of your side of the conversation. It’s fascinating.
So he replied [I offer his entire comment with some commentary]:
Yes, I am fully aware of the background to the name of the Avater I use … thanks very much. It has pointed out on … one or two occasions.
For the record, I simply like the character for personal reasons.
No I am not trying to be purposefully anonymous and if you are capable of typing Google, am pretty sure it would not take ,long to discover my real name is Ethel Millicent Sidebottom.
[Note: This is not true. His name is Doug]
How, may I ask, would the Canaanites borrow the name of a god that smote(sic) Egypt when no such historical even ever occurred? [Unsubstantiated Blanket Assertion]
The Exodus as described in the Pentateuch is simply a work of geopolitical fiction. [Unsubstantiated Blanket Assertion]
And the evidence is there for any who wishes to make even a cursory inquiry.
[Note: We are expected to merely take his work for it, as he will offer none]
There is not a mainstream archaeologist ( that I am aware of) on the planet that believes otherwise, a view I have read expressed by several of the most well known scholars and more importantly, archaeologists active on this field. [Unsubstantiated Blanket Assertion]
Surely you have studied the archaeology by the likes of Devers, Finkelstein, Avalos etc?
If you were looking for scientific evidence then the last people you would read up on would be the likes of Woods, Kitchen and that disgusting fraud, Ron Wyatt?
[So, if you are interested, here are a bunch of names you can look up and go find their work on the subjects and see how it compares to Ark’s opinion. Because in the place of REASONS, Atheists like to give insinuations and homework- but I can bet you that “Woods, Kitchen and that disgusting fraud, Ron Wyatt” would probably offer opinions different than Ark’s, which is why he clarifies “mainstream archaeologist” at the beginning of this- so he can dismiss anyone whose conclusions he dislikes as NOT mainstream- whatever that means in this context.]
In fact, as far as I am aware, it is only evangelical Christians ans maybe a few die hard orthodox Jews that believe there was an exodus and conquest. [As far as he is aware- and clearly he is dismissing the work of Christians and Jews because he dislikes their conclusions- which is the No True Scottsman Fallacy]
Kenyon’s dating of Jericho stills stands and has not been refuted by any religious fundamentalist, although a few have tried. [Note- only a “religious fundamentalist” would dare question the historical data which Ark himself has faith in.]
I am curious as to whether you are a geologist,paleontologist or have the relevant qualification in plate tectonics etc that you would even attempt to make a case for Noah’s Flood as historical fact?
See what I mean? At first blush, fascinating. But this becomes tiresome quickly.
As a typical and almost boring internet atheist once you know all of his tricks, Ark spent several replies rapid firing a combination of name calling and unsupported assertions. Do you see how he jumped into Noah’s ark for no reason and at the same time started demanding my credentials? After attempting to answer a few of the MANY topics he kept jumping to in every comment, I realized that my answers to him didn’t matter at all and if I was going to help him learn anything, it wasn’t going to be about history, science, or scripture- it would be about himself:
My dear Ark, I am starting to see why JB has such little patience with you. You have devolved into childish name calling rather quickly. I likewise shall tire of that very quickly.
Before I address any of them in specific, I want to point out to you that you have made nothing BUT unsubstantiated blanket assertions. You have not made a case for ANYTHING which you have asserted.
Are you even aware of this?
You have made several outrageous claims, and not only have you not even attempted to build a case of any kind, you have not even offered links to videos or articles or even your own blog where in those assertions could be supported by some sort of fact. Now, I get this a lot, but I never cease to be confused by it. You come to MY blog, where in I make very clear my positions and do my best to defend them with logic, reason, and evidence, and you merely state as fact that I am wrong and some contrary position is so.
But you offer NO reason why I ought to even consider your position.
Why would you do that? And what kind of response do you really expect? Are there people out there stupid enough and weak minded enough to read you declare that the Jews stole their God and they reply to you, “OH NO! Everything I believe is a lie! There is no God!”? I cannot believe those people are out there. Anyone that stupid surely doesn’t know how to make a wordpress blog. Or how to operate a gallon of milk. But let me address a few in particular.
I understand that Evolutionary scientists, atheists, and related persuasions would not respect my view point. But what of it? Only a truly childish person would count noses to determine truth. I hope we are above that folly. If you want to present statistics about believers and disbelievers instead of addressing my arguments, then I have nothing to say to you other than you are being very unwise. I don’t claim to be popular, I only claim to be presenting the truth. I think you will find that the truth is often unpopular. But again, you simply state as fact this consensus of science without offering any reason why I ought to believe it. Every survey in the western world shows that 40-80% (depending on the survey) of people polled reject evolution, with nearly as many accepting creation by God 6,000 years ago. Am I to assume that scientists are not part of the population or that poll takers are horribly biased toward creationism?
You say, “There is not a single peer-reviewed paper on any subject pertaining to this topic written by a Creationist that has been published in any recognised scientific journal.
So you can see my dilemma, I hope?”
And yes, I see your dilemma perfectly. Not really a dilemma so much as a flagrant error. You are making amazing assertions which you make no attempt to defend, and which I know to be false. Once again, this comment is not only an unsubstantiated Blanket Assertion, but shows how very little homework you have done. Don’t be lazy. Go look it up. Christians and Creationists get published in peer reviewed papers all of the time, despite the blatant bias against them. Mark Armitage’s work on soft tissue in dinosaur bones is a recent example which comes to mind.
Just as your ignorance concerning historians who accept the exodus as historical fact, your ignorance of Peer Reviewed Creationist authors doesn’t make them magically go away. It only shows you have more homework to do. I don’t doubt that you have done some homework, but if your unsubstantiated blanket assertions are any indication, you are getting your positions from Aaron Ra or TalkOrigins.com, or other such anti-Creationists who aren’t concerned with the actual facts. But as a long dead Egyptian once said to me, “…if one is completely indoctrinated to believe otherwise then any evidence put forward will simply be hand-waved away, I suppose?”
That often does seem to be the case. I am hoping this doesn’t apply to you. [Note: It absolutely did]
Just to address your major logical flaw in these comments (unsubstantiated Blanket Assertions): If the Bible is “replete with interpolations and fraud” as you say, certainly you must realize that I am not merely going to take your word and abandon what I have learned? You make no attempt to defend this accusation any more than you did to defend the ridiculous claim that the Jews stole their God from the neighbors. In fact, you have made NO attempt to defend ANY accusation or assertion you have made. You can’t really expect me to reject what I know based on what you don’t tell me? You cannot expect any reasonable person to be willing to abandon what they believe they know to be fact merely because someone on the internet tells them they are wrong, even if they also assert that LOTS of scientists agree with him?
Your assertion is false and completely unsupported. What response would you expect from a reasonable person? Would you even respect me if I replied, “OH! I though the Bible was true. Thank you for setting me strait. I shall burn my copy immediately.” I don’t think you would.
And this: “the Human Genome Project has demonstrated there was never an original Adam and Eve as described.” This is not only an unsubstantiated blanket assertion, but factually wrong for MULTIPLE reasons. First, because the 15 years the project spent mapping the genome had nothing to do with discovering our origins. Its work was not one which COULD prove that, let alone did it, and it made no attempt to.
Secondly, work since then has proven that the data of genetic studies (And genetic decay rates, etc) show a male and female ancestor for the whole human race about 5-10K years ago, which suits my 6,000 year model just fine. The mitochondrial eve date had to be adjusted UP to account for evolutionary assumptions so it would be older, while the researchers admitted that the data itself fit the Genesis account just fine. I wrote about that somewhere. If I can find that research I shall link it. Otherwise, you can Google it.
You can start here: https://www.icr.org/article/5657/
This article quotes the peer reviewed journal “Science” as saying “researchers have calculated that “mitochondrial Eve”–the woman whose mtDNA was ancestral to that in all living people—lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa. Using the new clock, she would be a mere 6000 years old.” Science showing evolutionary assumptions to be false? The scientist who reported it almost certainly don’t accept Biblical creation, of the facts they report still certainly defend it. This is the norm.
And not to be rude, but this whole collection of logical fallacies on your part makes me wonder “…even if presented with rock solid irrefutable evidence you would still deny the science and consider it was an evil plot by The CHURCH, am I right?”
Let us not be childish. Very simply if this is your opinion about me, then by all means stop sending me questions and comments. Consider me unsalvageable. I shant be offended. If you can think better of me, then make a case for your position or lead me where I can find the facts you believe to be so. Perhaps I can be taught, but I won’t learn anything by merely getting the bullet pointed list of “facts” in the comments of a blog.
And as always, thanks for your comments and questions.
In the many exchanges which followed, he never presented a case for ANY of his positions or against mine, and OFTEN relied on name calling and profanity, much of which was merely deleted with no reply. Like a lot of internet Atheists, the worst of which I refer to as “Roach Clowns,” he offers spite instead of reason, belittling instead of arguments, and then when you announce that you are done with the conversation he whines like someone you’re kicking out of your car because they won’t stop farting.
Take it from me, you don’t have to answer every Atheist on the internet. If what they have to offer is nothing better than a far in a car, then pull over and drop them off.