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Draft:The Atheist Delusion

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The Atheist Delusion: Why Millions Deny the Obvious is a 2016 apologist movie by Ray Comfort, reiterating many of Comfort's goto arguments. It was released in July 2016 to extremely select theaters. It was then published on YouTube for free later that year[1]. It has since garnered three and a half million views.

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Devil's in the details

Movie Breakdown[edit]

The Atheist Delusion:RationalWiki:


Ominious music plays over a fast paced montage of people speaking on various television shows, interspersed with various science b-roll clips

"Religion is absolutely uncalled for, we're just mere things floating on a rock in space" --Anonymous man in on the street interview

"We are not just figuratively, but literally stardust" --Niel Degrasse Tyson on 60 minutes

"You don't have to go to church on Christmas, it's all about being good, and that's what all religions are about" --Raven Symoné

"Are you an atheist?" "Yeah" --Anonymous woman in on the street interview

"Kill yourself? I'd like to." --Anonymous man in on the street interview

"I need to know what to believe in! I don't want to be a bag of dust."

--Amanda Peet on Late Night
We all love to start out our serious discussions about delusional beliefs with flagrantly dishonest cherrypicking of quotes. We start off with "seemingly reasonable"(i.e. actually entirely reasonable) quotes. The "shocking" turn into unreasonable statement is predicated on removing all context. For example, the interview with Amanda Pete used to show how shockingly afraid of death atheists are cuts off the previous sentence where she unambiguously states she's Jewish, or the next line which makes it clear the sadness in her voice is part of set up for a punchline about haunting her children as a ghost. [2]


The movie proceeds from it's "unsettling" introduction to a longer series of one or two sentence cuts from a series of "on-the-street" style interviews with self-identified atheists. Many of the quotes taken in this segment are people justifying their reasons for being atheists, though still disconnected from context, they don't seem to be making unreasonable statements.

  • "[When the speaker was 15] I started questioning things, and I really started to just think about the logic behind everything."
  • "For the most part we are not shown the evidence for there being a higher power. If we were, I almost guarantee that almost every atheist would immediately agree to there being higher power"
  • "I grew up in a Christian family and as I went through high school I realized there wasn't a lot of evidence to support that belief system"
  • "I would listen to evidence, but it would have to be pretty compelling, out of this world evidence"

These are all familiar notions to pretty much any atheist. Anyone familiar with Comfort's favorite arguments will be familiar with what happens next. The interviewer then hands each of the interviewees a copy of some intelligent design textbook, and asks "Do you think this book could happen by accident? Do you think the various colors in the book red, orange, [...] all fell from the sky and formed itself into those beautiful pictures. And then black ink fell from the sky or nowhere, and formed itself into coherent words and sentences? [...] and there we have a book" Here we watch a watchmaker argument form in real time.

Next the interviewer asks the interviewees to define DNA, which they do an admiral job of, and then plays the an excerpt of DNA: The book of you a Ted Talk by Joe Hanson, the part stating the size of the human genome, but definitely not including the part mentioning a natural origin for some of the sequences in viral DNA. The interviewer then insists on calling DNA "The instruction book for life" and getting the subjects to agree to that metaphor. They also ask "do you know that if you were to take those instructions, just your instructions and lay them end-to-end, it would go to the sun and back a number of times." The unwound length of the human genome is approximately 0.2 meters.[3]