Essay: Conservapedia's reply to atheist Penn Jillette

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Two of the major risk factors for becoming obese according to the Mayo Clinic are poor dietary choices and inactivity.[1] Of course, the same risk factors likely apply to people becoming overweight who are not necessarily medically obese.

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

Conservapedia has an article entitled atheism and obesity. In the article there is a section which declares:

Penn Jillette (born 1955) is an American illusionist, comedian, juggler, musician and writer. Penn Jillette is an atheist.[2] A picture of an overweight Penn Jillette can be found HERE and HERE

Conservapedia was informed that the atheist Penn Jillette made a video response to Conservapedia's atheism and obesity article which was entitled "Are you a fat atheist?". I wish I could offer a link to his video, but unfortunately Mr. Jilette's "response" was laced with profanity. However, should he decide to muster a good faith bona fide response in the future to Conservapedia's atheism and obesity article which contains no profanity I will most gladly link to it.

Below is Conservapedia's reply to Penn Jillette's video which originally, albeit with some revisions, was made to another Conservapedia editor:

Contents

Lack of due diligence and irrational "response"

The evolutionist and immunologist Dr. Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University, perfectly epitomized the irrational evolutionary denial of the evidence for creation in his correspondence to the science journal Nature. Dr. Scott wrote: "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic".[3]

(photo obtained from Flickr,photographer: Anne-Sophie Leens, Flickr username: *spo0ky*, Title: Irrational™ Business Card, see: license agreement)

See also: Irreligion and superstition

How can someone adequately address an article they claim they didn't even read fully? It certainly sounds awfully convenient that he didn't read the entire article. Needless to say it was an irrational "response". Of course, with his busy eating schedule, he probably found it difficult to read the whole article (If Mr. Jillete could read up on the fallacy of exclusion, it would certainly be appreciated). For example, nowhere does the article claim that because there are fat atheists, therefore atheism is invalid (Conservapedia's atheism article offers a wide variety of sources which demonstrate the falsity of the atheism worldview).

Multiple instances of irrationality

See also: Irreligion and superstition

The video has multiple instances of irrationality. Another example: At the ending of the video he says he is happy. Thin people and people who are not considered medically overweight can't be happy? I would argue that healthier people as a population are more happy due to psychological and physiological reasons and people with weight problems have more health problems and the science supports me on this matter (Please see: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health and Psychology, obesity, religiosity and atheism). Another example: Jillette points out that Richard Dawkins is not fat(thin). Well, so does the Conservapedia atheism and obesity article. Jillette's comment about Dawkins' thinness reminded of this line of Ben Stein: "There are 8 billion people in the world Mr. Dawkins, how many letters have you had?".[4]

Do not believe there was any real conviction

During much of Jilette's monologue I didn't detect any real conviction and I don't believe he believed what he was saying in parts. I think much of the video was a cop out. While I applaud Penn Jilette for saying he respects Christians who tell others about their faith and doesn't mind it when they proselytize to him because it shows their sincerity, I can't say it is a big deal to me if he "addressed" the article. By the way, in addition to creating the atheism and obesity article, I watched a few videos of Jilette's because the popular Christian YouTube video maker Shockofgod was very irate at a poorly done anti-Bible video of Pilette's s and it spurred my curiosity. That is one of the reasons I found out his views on proselytizing. It is somewhat humorous that if Jilette hadn't done that video that Shockofgod so was irate about, I probably would wouldn't have found out about Jillette and featured him in the overweight atheist article.

Too much play and not enough exercise makes Jack an overweight boy

Obesity is positively associated with neuroticism, impulsiveness and lower self-discipline.[5]

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

In addition, while there is certainly nothing wrong with entertainment and it has its place. I do think many people overdo it as evidenced by the fact that the average American watches 4 hours of television each day.[6] That's about 1,500 hours a year. It takes about 5,000 hours of study to gain an undergraduate degree. The sad truth is that many people in America wouldn't be overweight/obese and/or losing their homes if they didn't waste so much time on often mindless entertainment. Many European nations and America would not be having the economic and obesity problems if they had better priorities. So while I realize it is a big thing to some people if celebrity entertainers mention their work, to me it is not a big deal. I do think in many cases celebrity atheists such as Penn Jillette and PZ Myers often engage in entertaining and empty rhetoric rather than substance. PZ Myers "attempts" to "address" the article wasn't any better (see: A reply to atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers). But I am not disappointed about this behavior. I expected this to happen.

Penn Jillette you'll need to do better, information, flair and coffee

Next, while the extra web traffic is nice, my material already gets significant amount of traffic through various sources. I have been told by people with doctorates in related fields that they find my material informative and by others that they think at times I have exhibited a certain "flair" in my internet activities - so gaining web traffic is not really a problem to me. Besides, $1.00 and a celebrity offering a "response" to your volunteer work, will get you a cup of coffee.

Message to Penn Jillette: A small request

One small request which I hope Penn Jillette can accommodate me with:

Mr. Jillette points out that Conservapedia linked to this Squidoo web page which features both a cartoon caricature of Mr. Pillette in additional to an actual photograph of Mr. Penn from Wikipedia.

The web page formerly prominently featured an actual photograph which was a full length picture of Mr. Jillete that Conservapedia was particularly fond of for purposes of demonstrating that Mr. Jillete has had height and weight proportion issues. Unfortunately this web page photograph was removed or at the very least featured less prominently. As a result, the web page was replaced with these pictures. Conservapedia certainly thanks Mr. Jillette for his "response" to the Conservapedia atheism and obesity article as it spurred a replacement for the web page which was altered. If Mr. Jillette could kindly ask the Squidoo page owner to feature some of these pictures, Conservapedia would be most indebted to Mr. Jillette and we would certainly consider once again featuring the Squidoo page. Mr. Pillette, please let Conservapedia know if you have chosen to grant our small request.

Sincerely,

User:Conservative

My debate challenge to atheist Penn Jillette

See also: Conservapedia's challenge to atheist Penn Jillette and Atheism and Debate

My debate challenge to atheist Penn Jillete:

I challenge Penn Jillette to a written debate. The debate will be between Penn Jillette and two atheists of his choosing and myself and two Christians of my choosing. I prefer written debates as I believe they offer the audience the maximum amount of information to render a decision. Oral debates are often subject to the participants' memories and also do not allow additional research to be done on particular points.

The subject of the debate will be: "Does God exist?". The content of the written debate will be offered to the public as public domain content.

I am considering asking the popular YouTube video maker Shockofgod to be one of the Christian debaters of my choosing. So below I offer few suggestions to Penn Jillette - two of which relate to Shockofgod.

Five suggestions to Penn Jillette

Texas is a very influential state in the United States when it comes to biology textbooks.[7] A supporter of Creation Ministries International with a large Christian YouTube audience (YouTube video producer Shockofgod) has declared he is going to aggressively promote the Question evolution! campaign in Texas.[8]

(graphic obtained from Wikimedia commons, username:Huebi , Title of picture:Map of USA with Texas highlighted, see: license agreement)

1. Please be ready to offer proof and evidence that atheism is true.[9]

2. Please be ready to answer the "15 questions that evolutionists cannot answer" which are featured in Creation Ministries International's Question evolution! campaign.

3. Consider reading Conservapedia's atheism article and the Conservepedia Christian apologetics article to better prepare you for the debate. You may find you want to change sides and debate on the Christian side of the aisle given the abundant evidence for Christianity and the lack of proof and evidence for atheism. In addition, please consider reading Creation Ministries International's atheism article which can be found here which is written by Ken Ammi as it offers quite a bit of information concerning atheism which you may be asked to address.

4. Please consider losing some weight. I certainly don't want you to claim you could have done better in the debate if your body and mental acumen had been operating at "full atheist power". I am giving you 150 days to shed your flabby physique and replace it with a "mean, lean, atheism debating machine". Given the "superior atheist intellect" which you no doubt possess, I am sure if you put your mind to it that you will be able to lose the weight. However, if you need more time, I can certainly accommodate you. I have put some helpful resources below which offers some of the best information from medical science, exercise science and nutritional science as I know that many atheists purport to love science. Plus, according to medical science, there are a number of health risks associated with being overweight which are cited in Conservapedia's Atheism and Mental and Physical Health article.

5. Although you might want Richard Dawkins to be a debate partner, please consider this information:

In a letter to fellow atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins which was subsequently quoted by The Daily Telegraph, fellow atheist Dr. Daniel Came wrote concerning Dawkins' refusal to debate the Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig:

"The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[10]

I would encourage you to ask Richard Dawkins to be a debate partner, but please do not be disappointed if he declines as he often is reluctant to leave his "intellectual bunny hole".

Sincerely,

User:Conservative

Questions for Penn Jillette and fellow atheists

Has the outspoken atheist Penn Jillette ever publicly debated a Bible believing Christian before concerning the existence of God before? If not, why not? Surely, a very outspoken atheist with a good case against the existence of God would have publicly debated such a Christian by now about this matter.

If Penn Jillette did publicly debate a Bible believing Christian concerning the existence of God, did he seek out the toughest debate opponent who would agree to debate him or did he seek out the easiest opponent he could find?

If Penn Jillete decides to dodge this debate offer, Conservapedia is giving Penn Jillette 150 days from 6/23/11 to publicly debate the toughest Bible believing Christian debate opponent he can find concerning the existence of God. By November 20, 2011, we will see if Penn Jillette believes he can defend atheism against biblical Christianity. And please Penn Jillette, try to be more logical than you were in your uncouth and illogical "Are you a fat atheist?" video.

News Update

Penn Jillette has been informed about this debate offer via his Twitter account though one of his Twitter followers. Will Penn Jillette come out of his "intellectual bunny hole" and debate the existence of God by November 20, 2011 with a Bible believer? Again, if Jillette declines to debate Conservapedia we certainly strongly encourage him to seek out the strongest Bible believer opponent who is willing to publicly debate him concerning the existence of God by November 20, 2011. If he fails to do this, who knows what people will think!

Penn Jillette makes a contradictory video on his refusal to accept my debate offer

See also: Essay: Penn Jillette's refusal to accept Conservapedia's debate offer

On August 1, 2011 Penn Jillette released a contradictory video on his refusal to debate me, User: Conservative, concerning the existence of God. The debate offered was "Does God exist?". I will not link to the video as it contains profane language. A brief response to Jillette's video is given below.

First, Penn Jillette says he "can't really comment" on the debate offer and then proceeds to comment on the debate offer that he claims he did not read. Second, he then says as much as he would like to debate me, he claims he has an argument on why he will not me, but then quickly says it's a "stupid argument" (Jillette also says the dispute he has with Conservapedia "matters"). Penn Jillette says he won't debate me on the existence of God because he has friends who are Christians whom he loves/respects and he won't debate me because he doesn't believe I truly believe what I say about the existence of God (I might be an atheist he said), but on the other hand I might, but he needs to see more evidence of it (please see: Penn Jillette, here is the evidence you claim you need to debate me). Below, I provide the evidence Jillette requested, but given the weakness of atheism, I strongly suspect at this point Penn Jillette will soon come up with another excuse on why he won't debate me (or remain silent). However, I don't believe whatever excuses Jillette may offer are the real issue and the 2 section below should settle this matter.

In addition, Penn Jillette made a false claim about Conservapedia's Atheism and obesity article which he claims he did not read. Specifically, Jillette claimed Conservapedia said that he is "a stupid atheist" because he is fat which Conservapedia never claimed.

Penn Jillette, here is the evidence you claim you need to debate me

See also: Penn Jillette, here is the evidence you claim you need to debate me

I, User: Conservative, the issuer of the debate challenge, largely created Conservapedia's atheism article which is approximately 53 written pages long and has over 300 footnotes. In addition, I largely created Conservapedia's evolution article which is approximately 45 written pages long and has over 300 footnotes.

Now that we have that cleared up, let the written debate of "Does God exist?" begin and I am giving you until November 20, 2011 to fully prepare mind and body for the debate so you are debating at "full atheist power" (please see: Conservapedia's challenge to atheist Penn Jillette). Given the weakness of atheism, I strongly suspect at this point you will soon come up with another excuse on why you won't debate me (or remain silent). However, as I mentioned above, I don't believe this is the real issue and the section below should settle this matter.

The written debate will be between Penn Jillette and two atheists of his choosing and myself and two Christians of my choosing. I prefer written debates as I believe they offer the audience the maximum amount of information to render a decision. Oral debates are often subject to the participants' memories and also do not allow additional research to be done on particular points. (Please see: Conservapedia's challenge to atheist Penn Jillette).

Debate challenge from a leading Christian YouTube channel

See also: Shockofgod's debate challenge to atheist Penn Jillette

Logo for the Shockofgod YouTube channel

The Brights Movement was started in 2003 by Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell in 2003 in order to assist in the advocacy of a naturalistic worldview.[11][12] The Brights movement had a media campaign and was announced in Wired magazine (by Richard Dawkins), Free Inquiry (by Richard Dawkins), and on the New York Times op-ed page (by the philosopher and atheist Daniel Dennett).

Well known skeptics and atheists are listed as "Enthusiastic Brights" at the Brights Movement website.[13] Examples of individuals listed as Brights are notable skeptics/atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Penn Jillette, Daniel Dennett, Margaret Downy, James Randi, Mel Lipman, Bobbie Kirkhart, Herb Silverman, Michael Shermer, Matt Cherry, and Babu Gogineni.[14]

On September 26, 2011, the popular Christian YouTube video maker Shockofgod, who has over 18,000 subscribers, challenged atheist Penn Jillette to a debate.VIDEO. The debate challenge focuses on the 15 questions that evolutionists cannot satisfactorily answer.

Shockofgod points out that although Penn Jillette is an "enthusiastic bright", the website of the Brights Movement has plunging web traffic according to Compete.com[5]. Shockofgod quipped that it appears as if his prediction that atheism will go from "a squeak to half a squeak in American society" due to the Question evolution! campaign is happening faster than he expected. The video with the prediction is located on YouTube HERE.

Shockofgod fan taunts to Penn Jillette

Penn Jillette has been contacted about the debate challenge via Twitter, YouTube and email.

Shockofgod fan: "He's watching. trust me. Most Atheists are obsessed with the TRUTH, they just don't like it."[6]

Shockofgod fan: "Come on Penn, you even WANT people to debate because our opinions on the existence of God are too important to keep private!"[7]

Debate challenge from Christian apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate

See also: Sye Ten Bruggencate's debate challenge to atheist Penn Jillette

The Christian apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate has challenged Penn Jillette to a debate and Jillette has not accepted his debate challenge.

The Christian apologist Mariano Grinbank in an article entitled Will atheist Penn Jillette debate Christian Sye Ten Bruggencate? wrote:

Sye Ten Bruggencate, of the website Proof That God Exists, has challenged Penn Jillette to a Christian versus atheist debate on God’s existence.

Penn Jillette is not merely a Las Vegas legend, as an illusionist, but also adheres to (and proselytizes for) the positive affirmation of God’s non-existence sect of atheism having stated, “I know there’s no God,” for example.

One would think that an illusionist who has made a name and a career intelligently designing shows that have dazzled audiences for decades would know that life, the universe and everything do not just happen. Yet, rebellion knows no boundaries and every atheist concocts consoling delusions—or, consoling illusions.

You may recall Sye from a previous article, Atheism’s debategate: on the Sye Ten Bruggencate vs. Justin Schieber debate and you may be aware that on occasion Penn Jillette has some positive things to say about Christians (such as in Penn Jillette Lays it Down). However, just as often he uses compliments as an open door to challenge Christians, in a good way, yet the goal is always the same: open the door just enough to squeeze in and preach the pseudo-gospel of atheism.

We will just to just wait and see how Penn Jillette responds, for now let us spread the word about this challenge. [15]


Penn Jillette watching global atheism burn.[16] Paralyzed with fear, he is afraid to debate biblical Christianity which is exploding in adherents worldwide.[17] Please see: Debate challenge for Penn Jillette. Also, please see the video HERE.

(Flickr photo, see license agreement)

Penn Jillette, don't just stand there! Do something!

See also: Penn Jillette, don't just stand there! Do something! and Atheist Population and Atheism and Debate

In 2011, the American Spectator citing research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research reported that atheism is on the decline as a whole in terms of adherents.[18]

The American Spectator declared:

The report estimates about 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. These atheists are presumably disproportionately represented in the West, while religion is thriving in the Global South, where charismatic Christianity is exploding."[19]

Penn Jillette, when are you going to show that you believe that atheism is a respectable intellectual position through a debate? Don't just stand there Jillette! Do something! Atheism is rather sickly now in terms of its "growth". In fact, atheism is in global decline.

The rise of global Christianity: Over 2,000 years of Christian increase

Are you an atheist trying to stop the rapid rise of Christianity in the world?

Are you an atheist trying to stop the rapid rise of Christianity in the world? Please click HERE and HERE and HERE

Question for Penn Jillette

See also: Question for Penn Jillette and Atheist Population

Question for Penn Jillette: Mr. Jilette recently claimed that the atheist population in the United States is over 20% by some polls.[20] Mr. Jillette, Conservapedia wishes to know what polls you are referring to. We hope you are not counting the non-religious as being atheists because just because someone doesn't attend church regularly or "religion is not an important part of daily life" that doesn't mean they are an atheist (If you read our Atheism and obesity article you would know that).

Mr. Jillette, please respond to our essay Penn Jillette, don't just stand there! Do something! which cites an authoritative 2008 survey which bolsters the view that atheism is but a squeak in American society. Specifically, in 2008, the American Religious Indentification Survey (ARIS) reported 1.6% of Americans self-identified themselves as atheists. [21]

Penn Jillette's walrus slide vs. thin Christian lady dancers

Please see: Penn Jillette's walrus slide vs. thin Christian lady dancers

Pictures with captions

Penn Jillette in his intellectual bunny hole which unfortunately is his native habitat.

(photo obtained from Flickr, see: license agreement)
Penn Jillette fan club meeting

(photo obtained from Flickr, see: license agreement)
machismo
If atheist Richard Dawkins finally agreed to debate Dr. William Lane Craig and a scientist at Creation Ministries International instead of making pitiful excuses, would Hispanic ladies finally believe Señor Dawkins has machismo? [22] Olé! Olé! Olé!

Please see: Does Richard Dawkins have machismo?

(photo obtained from Flickr, see: license agreement)
Penn Jillette, atheism is in global decline in terms of its adherents.[23] Show the world that you believe atheism is a intellectually respectable position by debating a Bible believer. Do you truly believe that atheism can do well under cross examination?

Addendum

This essay was originally posted to another Conservapedia editor. Some additional material has been added and some other changes were made as well.

See also

Articles related the health sciences and health related information:

Other related articles:

Comedy and satires of atheism and evolution:

Obese atheists and overweight atheists comedy and satire:

External links


Weight loss resources and tips:

Notes

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=causes
  2. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557
  3. http://creation.com/a-designer-is-unscientificeven-if-all-the-evidence-supports-one
  4. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/richard-dawkins-and-bill-maher-dynamic-duo-demonstrably-deleterious-delusion
  5. http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html
  6. http://www.utne.com/Politics/Right-Wing-Activists-Rewrite-US-Textbooks-6418.aspx
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbmAn3M8r0I
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bBE1bos6JU
  9. Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
  10. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2843/is_2_28/ai_114090211/pg_1
  11. http://www.the-brights.net/vision/faq.html#1
  12. http://www.the-brights.net/people/enthusiastic/index.html
  13. http://www.the-brights.net/people/enthusiastic/index.html
  14. Will atheist Penn Jillette debate Christian Sye Ten Bruggencate?
  15. http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/28/thriving-christianity
  16. http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/28/thriving-christianity
  17. http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/28/thriving-christianity
  18. http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/28/thriving-christianity
  19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP9JWdJs55Q
  20. http://b27.cc.trincoll.edu/weblogs/AmericanReligionSurvey-ARIS/reports/ARIS_Report_2008.pdf
  21. http://spectator.org/archives/2011/02/28/thriving-christianity
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