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Jul 21 2008

Sums it up

23 comments

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  1. 1
    nullifidian

    Whenever I see these cartoons, the bearded fella always reminds me of Matt, albeit shorter than I imagine.

  2. 2
    Zurahn

    At risk of making too much of a cartoon, the idea of respecting religious beliefs never really made sense to me.Really, respecting a belief? Ideas aren’t a matter of respect, they’re a matter of practicality and truth. Belief is just an idea like any other.That aggrevated me to no end in a college world cultures class I was in, integrating the idea of respecting a culture, and including religion in that. Worst was that this included islamic countries and their gender roles. Well, I’m sorry if treating a woman as human is offensive to your religion–wait, I’m not sorry. I don’t care what the reason, I’m not going to condone oppression. That is a unrespectable belief, religious or otherwise.

  3. 3
    Martin

    Well, Zurahn, the point is that religious people like to conflate issues, and too often, “respect my beliefs” is confused with “respect my right to freedom of thought and conscience,” a separate matter entirely. I often tell people that while I fully respect their right to hold a particular set of beliefs, I only give beliefs as much respect as they deserve, which is invariably tied into how well the belief is supported by reason and evidence. So while I respect anyone’s right to believe that, say, a cracker is sacred, I see no reason to respect the belief itself, mainly because it’s as crazy as a three-balled tomcat. I gladly respect the right of racists to be racists, though their racism itself will get about as much respect from me as the amount of steamy sex I am likely to get tonight from Jennifer Aniston.

  4. 4
    Ginny

    This is a good one, I enjoyed it :)

  5. 5
    Rhology

    The redhead’s statement in the 3rd frame is legally correct (ie, it’s protected speech in the US Constitution) and also biblically correct. EVERYONE is evil and immoral; some people are saved by the Savior, Jesus Christ, but lots of people, especially in the West, don’t realise or don’t want to admit that they are evil and immoral.OTOH, the bald guy gets it wrong when he says “my lack of belief makes me evil and immoral”. Actually, it’s your lack of belief along with your actions, which are sinful and therefore evil and immoral. What’s more – he himself is evil and immoral.However, the redhead’s first statement is the statement of a limpwristed Christian who’s too lazy to defend his faith, hasn’t learned to do so and so is still clumsy and awkward, or who has never encountered opposition before.All in all, I’m not sure what ground you hope to gain by posting the equivalent of a rebuttal against Jack Chick. But then again, I’m not an exalted atheist intellect, so there’s all sorts of awesomeness I could be missing.

  6. 6
    Zurahn

    It makes sense that they’d confuse the two; so I guess I just haven’t been confused enough to understand.Naturally I agree that people have the right to believe whatever they want (separate from how they act because of it). It’d be interesting all the same how someone would go about removing that right. In some sense, you’re removing the person’s right to truly believe the world is flat by showing them a picture of the earth from space :P

  7. 7
    Martin

    So we’re all just evil and immoral, until we join the Jesus Fan Club, at which point we’re all better. I must say, we exalted atheist intellects never cease to be impressed by Christianity’s complex understanding of morality.

  8. 8
    Rhology

    No one claimed it was “complex”. But at least Christianity has a moral system that comes down to more than “I like it/I don’t like it”.

  9. 9
    Martin

    Blind obedience to authority rooted in fear of eternal punishment and desire for heavenly reward is no moral system at all.

  10. 10
    Rhology

    Prove it.

  11. 11
    Martin

    (catching my breath after a hearty bout of laughter) Okay, Rho. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that this afternoon you discover conclusive proof that there’s no God and you have no heaven to look forward to when you die. What do you do?

  12. 12
    Rhology

    You call that an argument? No idea what I’d do – knowing the way I was before I met Jesus, I’d probably do something like eat, drink, and be merry, until the despair of a pointless and unguided and unjustifiable existence caught up to me, then seriously consider suicide.

  13. 13
    Martin

    Well, there you are, Rho. You’ve just revealed the depth to which Christianity has damaged you. Probably the most insidious aspect of religious brainwashing is the way it strips an individual of any sense of self-worth, only to reconstruct that self-worth in such a way so that the religion is now the center of it. You say that without your God, you’d flounder through a unguided life of despair culminating in suicide. Contrast that with the lives of those of us here, which are, by and large, happy, fulfilling, focused on goals, enriched by close friends and family, and guided by the joy of learning, interacting with, and doing whatever we can to contribute to and benefit our communities. And we achieve all of this without your or anyone else’s gods, because we have allowed reason to be our guide in life. What you seem to think gives you guidance and justification in your own life, conversely, is little more than a cruel lie, the same kind of lie by which abused spouses rationalize staying with their abusive partners (“I can’t live without him…he needs me…”). You think Christianity cares about you, but I don’t think it does. You’re just a cog in its machine, a means to its self-propagating ends. As long as it can keep you convinced you’re worthless without it, and pacified with the promises of its God (in Asimov’s words, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold), then it’s got you where it wants you, and beyond that, you don’t really matter to it.

  14. 14
    Tommykey

    No idea what I’d do – knowing the way I was before I met Jesus, I’d probably do something like eat, drink, and be merry, until the despair of a pointless and unguided and unjustifiable existence caught up to me, then seriously consider suicide.Looks to me like you are viewing everyone through the prism of your own personal experience. Because you believe that life is pointless and suicide is a viable option in the absence of belief in Jesus Christ, then it must therefore be the same for us.Fortunately, your belief as to how we are supposed to act is not binding on us. But if the choice for you is Christianity or suicide, then I would certainly want you to pick the former. I wouldn’t want you to live behind a wife and a little daughter. Of course, that’s just my personal preference. ;-) So we’re all just evil and immoral, until we join the Jesus Fan ClubMartin, the first rule of Jesus Fan Club is you’re supposed to talk about Jesus Fan Club. The second rule of Jesus Fan Club is that you’re supposed to talk about Jesus Fan Club. The third rule…

  15. 15
    Rhology

    Psychoanalysis duly noted. Your argument?

  16. 16
    Kazim

    No one claimed it was “complex”. But at least Christianity has a moral system that comes down to more than “I like it/I don’t like it”.No, it does not. It simply adds a layer of abstraction to the personal preference. Instead of saying “I like the moral decision/I don’t like the moral decision”, you say “I like this religion/I don’t like this religion.”Since there isn’t any evidence that the religion’s god exists, this choice is certainly no less arbitrary than the one you are criticizing.

  17. 17
    arensb

    zurahn:Really, respecting a belief? Ideas aren’t a matter of respect, they’re a matter of practicality and truth. Belief is just an idea like any other.There’s a nugget of goodness in the idea of respecting others’ beliefs: if I think Casablanca is the greatest movie ever made and you think it blows, or if you like jalapeños and I think they taste and smell horrible, there’s going to be a certain amount of friction between us.Life is short enough that I don’t want to have to justify my watching Casablanca for the umpteenth time, and I bet you don’t want people questioning your pizza toppings.Hopefully we both recognize that if we’re both polite, then I can let you enjoy the jalapeños on your pizza, and you can ignore me as I babble on about Casablanca, and the evening will pass much more pleasantly than if either one of us made a fuss about the other’s odious quirks.But there are situations where politeness is inappropriate (cue old joke: a couple from Brooklyn is visiting a foreign country. They are arrested, manacled, thrown in a cell, accused of being CIA spies, imprisoned again, re-interrogated, etc. At one point, the husband cries out, “Are you crazy?! We’re not spies, we’re just tourists!” His wife leans over and says, “Now, Murray, don’t cause a scene.”).It seems to me that what Bill Donohue et al. are demanding is mandatory politeness.

  18. 18
    Zurahn

    Well, arensb, technically I’d say that loving Casablanca or jalapeños is a belief that those are personal favourites — not that it’s an objective truth or universal “best.”Regardless I don’t really see a need to respect the belief but rather, the person. I think bashing Casablanca to no end is completely fine, but calling you a bad person for liking it is not. The problem is when people take the bashing of belief as bashing of the person.

  19. 19
    Don

    Well, arensb, technically I’d say that loving Casablanca or jalapeños is a belief that those are personal favourites — not that it’s an objective truth or universal “best.”You’d think that, and I’d like to think that, but I’ve met far too many people for whom personal preferences are objectified and universalized. As one of the rare folks who really dislikes “The Godfather” and “Fight Club,” I run into this quite a lot.

  20. 20
    Luis

    “But at least Christianity has a moral system that comes down to more than “I like it/I don’t like it”.”You’re wrong there; it’s actually less. “No idea what I’d do – knowing the way I was before I met Jesus, I’d probably do something like eat, drink, and be merry, until the despair of a pointless and unguided and unjustifiable existence caught up to me, then seriously consider suicide.”Damn. “LOL” wouldn’t be appropriate here. This is just sad. Sad and contemptible.

  21. 21
    Calladus

    “But at least Christianity has a moral system that comes down to more than “I like it/I don’t like it”Nonsense. Christian leaders twist biblical text in order to support their own view of right and wrong, their own “likes and dislikes”.For example, when Senator Robert Byrd used the bible to protest the civil rights movement and justify racial segregation. He read the story of Canaan into the congressional record as part of a filibuster against the civil rights act of 1964, saying, “Noah saw fit to discriminate against Ham’s descendants.”Christians love to say that biblical morality is laid in stone, black and white, but they forget that they used that same morality in order to argue against woman’s suffrage, miscegenation, an a host of other things that we take for granted as human rights today.The simple fact is that most Christians are moral IN SPITE of biblical teaching, not because of it.And having a vaguely and contradictory text at the center of your beliefs makes it easy to twist it to support a moral system that comes down to the Christian version of “I like it / I don’t like it”.

  22. 22
    Rhology

    Calladus said…Christian leaders twist biblical text in order to support their own view of right and wrongExample?And you said it – if they TWIST the text, then aren’t they refusing to take into acct what the text says?Anyone can misuse anything, subjective or objective. I can misinterp my computer manual, it’s not the manual’s nor the author’s fault. And it doesn’t make them less right or less correct in what they say. Think a little.Senator Robert Byrd used the bible to protest the civil rights movement and justify racial segregation. I thought you said “Christian leaders”. I’m still waiting for one to be cited.Also, people can make the Bible say: “Aliens…are…real…and… on…the…earth.” Wow, oh my gosh – the Bible teaches Roswell, 1947, was an alien landing! Similarly, if I parse thru all of the papers you’ve ever written for school, I’ll bet we could find, in your own hand, the following statement: “Adolf Hiter…killed…tons… of…Jews…and…it…was… totally…awesome!” Would I be justified in thinking you’re a Nazi? If not, why not?The simple fact is that most Christians are moral IN SPITE of biblical teaching,Oh? Could you explain how you know what is moral and what is not moral?If it goes qualitatively beyond “I like it/I don’t like it”, we can talk. So far, not too many of my challenges with respect to that have come up as different.Peace,Rhology

  23. 23
    arensb

    Also, people can make the Bible say: “Aliens…are…real…and… on…the…earth.”My favorite example is still:”…Luke… ..I am.your… ..father…”.-Colossians 4 :14, Genesis 27:31, Genesis 2:24

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