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Posted: 05/21/07

Three Wise Fools
- By Ray Comfort

There were once three men who considered that they were very wise. They lived in a country that had only just been introduced to electricity.

One dark night, the men were invited by Edison Electric to see a demonstration of electrical power, because it was well-known that the three of them were skeptics when it came to electricity being a reality. The reason they denied its existence was because they didn't believe in anything that could not be seen. These men were rationalists, and electricity was said to be invisible1. They refused to believe in something that couldn't be scientifically demonstrated.

When they entered the dimly light demonstration room, they were cordially met by a representative from Edison Electric. As they looked around, they saw that a large lamp sat on a table in the middle of the room. Also on the table were a candle and a leather-bound book called The Owner's Manual. It was published by the electric company.

The representative welcomed them and excitedly explained that the lamp had the power to light up an entire large room, with the simple flick of a switch.

He said, "Gentleman, electricity is a modern marvel. To see it demonstrated, simply flick the switch on the lamp. You will be amazed. It will light up the entire room. The manual on the table is to give further instruction to you, if you decide to purchase the lamp." He then left the room to speak with other interested clients.

All the men needed to do to see the miracle of electricity, was to flick the switch on the lamp.

Instead, they sat down at the table, and one of them opened The Owner's Manual and began to cynically look at its pages. It began with a short biographical sketch of the famous inventor, Thomas Edison.

The chapters were made up as follows:

A diagram of the position of the switch on the lamp

  • Background information on how electricity was discovered
  • Hydroelectric power, pictures of huge dams, and how they produce electricity
  • Diagrams of copper wiring and magnets, explaining how they are able to turn raw energy from moving water into invisible electricity
  • How electrical wiring carries the generated power to our homes
  • Electrical sockets, power cords, and other accessories.

As the man continued to flick through its pages, it was as though the lamp that sat on the table in front of them didn't exist. Then they began to talk. The conversation went like this:

"I don't believe that there is any such thing as 'electricity.' I've never seen it. It's supposed to be invisible and yet produce light. How ridiculous! Where's the evidence? If I can't see it, it doesn't exist."

"I totally agree," said the man holding the book. "It says here on page 17 that Edison was considered to be a genius. I don't think so. I've studied his life and he had so many failures, it was ridiculous. He didn't even 'invent' the light bulb. He only invented the first commercially practical incandescent light.

"Who published this book anyway? I doubt if they know anything about Thomas Edison. I notice here that it says that his wife's name was 'Mary Stilwell.' That's just not true. I'm and educated man. I did a thesis on the man's life once, and I know that his wife's name was definitely 'Mina.'"2

"Interesting . . . I read somewhere that he used this so-called 'electricity' to kill animals3. Is that true?"

The man holding the book said, "It's true. There has been a great deal of evil done in the name of this so-called 'electricity.' That's why I don't want to have anything to do with it.

"The mess-up with his wife's name isn't the only mistake in this publication. It says here that Edison believed in God's existence. That's absurd! I have read many times that he was an atheist4. This manual is a mess. It's filled with contradictions.

"And they expect us to believe in this invisible force called 'electricity . . . .' That has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard! I don't know about you, but I'm getting out of here."

His two friends heartily agreed. Electricity didn't exist. It seemed to make sense to them that the reason it didn't exist was because they believed that The Owner's Manual was filled with mistakes.

The three men stepped out of the room into the darkness, still wise in their own eyes. They even decided to form a club that was devoted to telling other people that electricity didn't exist.

From, The Atheist Delusion (Bridge Logos Publishers), Ray Comfort (due to be published, July, 2007).

1"What is electricity? It is a form of energy, evident from the fact that it runs machinery and can be transformed into other types of energy such as light and heat. It is invisible. During an electrical storm, we do not see electricity. We observe the air being ionized when the electricity travels through it."

2 On December 25, 1871, Edison married 16-year-old Mary Stilwell, whom he had met two months earlier. They had three children. Mary Edison died on August 9, 1884. On February 24, 1886, at the age of thirty-nine, Edison married 19-year-old Mina Miller in Akron, Ohio. They also had three children.

3 One of the more notable occasions when Edison electrocuted animals was when in 1903, his workers electrocuted an elephant at Luna Park, near Coney Island, after she had killed several men and her owners wanted her put to death. His company filmed the electrocution. Thomas Edison thus introduced the practice of execution by electrocution.

4 Thomas Edison was a freethinker, claiming he did not believe in "the God of the theologians," but did not doubt that "there is a Supreme Intelligence." He is quoted, "I believe that the science of chemistry alone almost proves the existence of an intelligent creator."

Distributed by

By Ray Comfort

Email: [email protected]

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Re: Re: Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 11/11/07 09:54:39 PM Age 51, CA
Thomas Edison didn't invent electricity anymore than Ben Franklin. Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, not Edison get the credit for the modern day AC power grids that Edison unsuccessfully tried to prevent from being built. Unless Ray Comfort is supporting open theism any comparison of Edison to God creates too many controversial issues. Thomas Edison did invent many things like the first practical electric bulb, motion pictures, and the phonograph. Nikola Tesla invented many devices used in radio that later aided in the development of television. I am getting rather tired of Ray Comfort's dumbed down history of the RMS Titanic and now his dumbed down history of the development of electricity. His dumbed down mechanical gospel message is getting rather old as well. Ray Comfort makes me miss Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis. This story is pure strawman and proves nothing. I note that the book appears to have been delayed in publishing. I assume someone realized the book had issues that need to be fixed before it was published? Hopefully when the book is finally published this story of the Three Wise Fools will be either missing or improved to the point that it is not a strawman of Atheist. For the record, I am a Christian but I am tired of the dumbing down problem that appears to exist in Christendom now days. Too many so-called Christian books published now days is a waste of time to read. I strongly suggest following C. S. Lewis advise and read classic Christian authors like C. H. Spurgeon, C. S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, etc. rather than the mindless trash mass produced by too many modern day so-called Christian writers.

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/30/07 11:17:09 AM Age 73, VA
You could also add that even if you can't see electricity, you can sure feel it! (except for very low voltages and currents) And, of course you can see what electricity can do, as useful energy.

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/28/07 07:57:48 PM Age 49, CANADA
I can't wait for the movie. I hear Mel Gibson will direct.

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/28/07 12:22:34 PM Age 18, TX
so are you comparing light to god or thomas edison to god? you seem to be comparing god to thomas edison in that they both authored a work that is much debated, both "true" (well, so you assume anyways), and also have made several mistakes in their perceived existence (you point to the "wise men"'s criticisms of edison's past mistakes as if correlates to god; correct me if i'm wrong). however, you seem to also be comparing god to light in that they are both "invisible" and in that they have both been believed non-existent until proven otherwise...or, one was believed non-existent and was proven otherwise anyways. so i suppose i just don't think it's a very good analogy. you haven't defined the "god" in your text for one thing. you make so many assumptions in the text that you clearly haven't proven otherwise for another. third, i don't see how this even correlates to christian apologetics, but rather to some vague "higher power". lastly, why are you wasting your time throwing stones? most of the people you're criticizing wouldn't touch your books with a 10 foot pole. is this just to reaffirm your own beliefs as well as those of your target audience? what purpose does this serve other than to "get back" at the other side of the same coin, richard dawkins?

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/27/07 10:50:29 PM Age 32, OR
I am beginning to think Ray Comfort is really a Atheist. It's almost like he is going out of his way to produce these ridiculous statements to give us ammo. If Christians were smart they would distance themselves from him.

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/27/07 07:49:26 PM Age 20, ANDORRA
Ray, your excerpt makes no sense whatsoever. If the evidence for the light bulb is there, then that's the reason to believe it (at least some small amount of reason). Where is the evidence for your god? There is no evidence. Just because scientists can't see something, doesn't mean they believe it to be true on 'faith'. The god you're describing is invisible, but that's not the reason atheists don't believe in him. The reason is that there is no evidence for him, no matter where you look in the natural universe, or the only universe people know.

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/27/07 09:59:38 AM Age 58, OH
Nice story! But I am confused about why the Wise Fools didn't just test the switch. Don't scientists try everything they can to try to find evidence? If they did, wouldn't we have proof of God. Why don't we?

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/27/07 12:20:37 AM Age 99, ZIMBABWE
Your article is nonsense. The first few paragraphs might be read by some to suggest that Edison invented electricity. He did not. He didn't even invent "the light bulb". He did come up with a useful light bulb and circuitry to go with it, but he was a big supporter of DC electricity which is impractical for lighting cities. Tesla's AC is far better for that purpose, but Edison was so stupid that he tried to get AC banned. He publicly electrocuted animals to further this aim. But everything we know about electricity today was discovered by the hard work of scientists. Nothing that we know about electricity was ever revealed by some divine being or through prayer. Without the work of those scientists, we would never have electricity or any of our modern conveniences, including the computer you use to post your diatribes. We'd still be sitting around fires and living in caves, or tents, or primitive houses with no safe water. Yet it's this same monumentally successful scientific method which you shamelessly deride every time you try to pretend that the Theory of Evolution is baseless or unscientific. Electricity didn't arrive through faith, nor is faith required to "believe" in it. Its effects are repeatable on demand and unarguably visible to and useful for all. Your "argument" has failed dismally, I'm sorry to say. But keep trying. Your entertainment value is inestimable, as PZ Myers shows here: Budikka

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/26/07 07:45:37 PM Age 31, AUSTRALIA
Yipes, what a dangerous argument. This gives Atheists a lot more amunition! I mean this is terrible! It's making christians a total laughing stock! I mean, electricity was accepted by scientists! It moved from country to country and did get accepted by scientists both christian scientists and atheists alike. Then there is that whole gallileo and his telescope story that, well, shows that Scientists can handle evidence that goes against their beliefs but it has taken the catholic church centuries to catch up. This argument is illogical, it's nonsensical. It could drive people away from christianity! This broken allegory is going to be a tool of ridicule that atheists can and probably will use to demolish the standing of anyone who assosiates with it! It makes all christians look stupid!

Re: Three Wise Fools
Posted On: 05/26/07 03:39:49 PM Age 39, NETHERLANDS
I had no idea God had an on/off switch.

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