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MY EYES!!!

Be scared of hell teens! Just like God wants you too! And don’t trust people like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking and me and Charles Darwin who try to tell you the devil doesn’t exist.

oohscary

The whole damn site looks like that, with random blocks in random colors and lots of caps and exclamation points. It hurts just to look at that thing.

Comments

  1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Drawing an imaginary deity is not the same thing as showing physical evidence for their imaginary deity. *snicker*

  2. Randomfactor says

    Someone needs to tell them about the Great Green Arkelseizure. That makes THREE alternatives.

  3. Onamission5 says

    You Thal Ternatives and Waron Jesus need to hire themselves some design help, stat.

  4. ck says

    It’s not pure luck. It’s pure history. There’s an important difference, not that they’d know since they idolize a fictional history.

  5. Onamission5 says

    God – Good Friends – Good choices sounds less like a recipe for life and more like a really depressing math equation.

  6. Rey Fox says

    Is that Larry David to the left of PZ?

    I don’t know who the three people to the right of him are either, I probably don’t get out enough.

  7. gridlore says

    Now that’s some fine crazy you got there. Win you a blue ribbon at the state fair crazy show.

  8. chigau (違う) says

    I’m with Rey Fox.
    Who are those people?
    and someone should tell You Thal Ternatives and Waron Jesus that Chuck Darwin is dead.

  9. bluentx says

    I believe to PZ’s right it is Susan Jacoby (author), then Annie Laurie Gaylor (FFRF co-president).

  10. says

    The portraits are:
    Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Bill Maher, ?, PZ, Susan Jacoby, ?, ?, Darwin.

    Feel free to fill in the ones I missed.

    Point to note: lots of these pitches are framed as “God wants to save you from Hell”, like Hell is a health hazard and this is just a PSA against risky behaviour, eliding the fact (ie. according to them) that God is the one who set up the scheme in the first place, and he is the one who is threatening to send you there.

  11. cactuswren says

    You know, though, in a way this site’s doing a great job for the skeptical cause, because it’s presenting such a preposterous straw version of atheism. Kids who read this site — particularly homeschooled or Christian-schooled kids — will emerge into higher education bracing themselves, convinced that in any class now they’re going to meet something like The Evilutionist or Professor Dropchalk, a moustachio-twirling villain whose sole aim is to destroy the religious faith of others … and all they’ll meet is a lot of polite, well-spoken people saying probably nothing ruder or more vicious than “Where exactly is the line between microevolution and macroevolution?” or “Isn’t it a little … I don’t know, recursive to say that you know the truth of the Bible because it’s testified in the Bible?” They’ll be expecting to be assaulted with huge boulders, and all they’ll get is pebbles. Thousands and thousands and thousands of pebbles. Muahahahaha. (twirls moustachios)

  12. says

    I in fact don’t have to agree it was either pure luck or God. For example it is entirely possible our universe came to exist because of the actions of a being who wasn’t an omnipotent being who feels the need to watch every single thing each of us does, so he can punish us for breaking the most arbitrary of rules. Said being could have been an entirely mortal scientist in some other universe conducting a science experiment, hoping to create a universe, which proved successful. For that matter the Univrese could have been created by the Devil many of them claim to believe in, all so he has a bunch of beings to cause horrible things to happen to, and whom he can mock with the horror of their role as nothing more than his toys when they die. There’s just as much evidence for those scenarios as their particular God based one, which is none.

  13. Ray, rude-ass yankee says

    That drawing of their favorite sky fairy looks (to me) an awful lot like the one in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

    Or maybe I just have Python on the brain… yeah, that’s probably it.

  14. Randomfactor says

    You Thal Ternatives

    Wasn’t he Secretary-General of the United Nations once? Wondered what happened to him…

  15. rowanvt says

    I just scrolled down the entire main page for that website.

    A trip to hell might be worth it, if I can burn the thing out of my brain…

  16. says

    I take it back: there are more explicit threats buried deeper in the site (yeah, I’m a glutton for visual punishment).

    OTOH, the good news is that, according to You Thalter Natives, is that the current generation of American teens largely never go the church or read the Bible. Citation needed and all, but I’d be happy if they got that part right, anyway.

  17. ck says

    Does Yout “Hal” Ternatives suffer from colour blindness, or is the author just that oblivious to decent taste? The colour scheme is far less jarring when reduced down to either of the common red-green colour blindness types, which is why I mention it.

  18. Sastra says

    Only two alternatives, huh? Luck or God. My, aren’t we lucky that it’s God and not … oh, damn.

    I don’t know who the Mystery Atheists are either, though I do think Eamon Knight #15 gets the rest. The woman next to Susan Jacoby isn’t Annie Laurie Gaylor, though I wouldn’t bet too much against the second photo from the right being a somewhat distorted one of Sam Harris (though it looks a bit more like Dan Barker w/ a beard.)

  19. Menyambal --- I'll be a monkey's nephew. says

    I thought the “hell teens” bit was good, then I followed the Darwin link. “If it smells like crap, it’s probably crap teens.”

  20. says

    chigau is probably right. After all PZ is probably actually a shape shifting octopeidozoid from the planet Bzzzzzzgrzrgzrrrr 6, here to subvert us all to the worship of the great Eight Armed One, Blessed Be His Mighty Eight Arms of Munificence.

  21. says

    Oops, I forgot to say that because of his shape shifting powers PZ actually is all those people. After all, have you ever seen them all in one place at the same time?

  22. says

    The owner of the site (I presume) recently emailed our local Sacramento Area Coalition of Reason chapter (www.SacramentoCOR.org) out of the blue with a message like:

    “Darwin is losing the battle in proving evolution” or whatever, with a link to their site.

    And yes, I thought the same thing about both the hideous design, the odd blocks of ad-style graphics, and the lack of any proofreading.

  23. ChasCPeterson says

    I’ve always been scared of hell teens. Used to see them sometimes when I lived in LA. I don’t know if it was the horns or tails or what. Spooky fuckers though.

  24. Nemo says

    Is “pure luck” meant to be a bad thing? How? If they had a point there, they forgot to make it.

  25. Ragutis says

    Would someone PLEASE make a tshirt with Darwin flashing the devil horns? That picture is so awesome.

  26. nohellbelowus says

    Teens, be scared of Hell until these people can do something more than talk!

    No worries then, Teens, because I’m pretty sure that in addition to talking, every one of those people eats, sleeps, and shits.

    PZ has even been known to skewer a cracker or two in his spare time.

  27. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    You know, though, in a way this site’s doing a great job for the skeptical cause, because it’s presenting such a preposterous straw version of atheism. Kids who read this site — particularly homeschooled or Christian-schooled kids — will emerge into higher education bracing themselves

    Or they’ll have the same reaction that my generation had to “Reefer Madness”: that the producers are obvious loons, not to be taken seriously.

    BTW, not all homeschooling parents are religious. My wife and I aren’t.

  28. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Why no asterisk by the picture of “god”? You know, “artist’s rendering” or something like “Your mileage may vary.”

    No real picture, or even paintings, of the “true god” of this sort of Xian could possibly exist in the real world, though. If the twisted incompetent “god” of these people existed, he’d have to be like an old-school Mafia don who never allowed any photos, lest he be spotted and tossed in the hoosegow for the myriad of violent, sick crimes he’s wanted for.

    What a stupid and boring crowd Xians are, however generally harmful or potentially dangerous.

  29. ChasCPeterson says

    wow, that place is chock-full o’ laffs.
    “Cross your legs for Christ girls!”
    “Are American judges making a COLASSAL MISTAKE?”
    and, this cartoon version (literally and figuratively) of evolution.
    plus, amazing erratic apostrophe abuse.
    wow.

  30. Akira MacKenzie says

    And what if humanity was the result of “pure luck and happenstance?” Why would that be so horrible?

    Oh, that’s right, it would mean that your lives are not as special as you wish them to be. It would mean that your pathetic existence has no “purpose” or “meaning;” whatever the fuck that means. It means that there probably is no cosmic tyrant to perpetually reward you for a being a kiss-up while torture all the people you hate for all eternity. It means that your precious ego would be crushed and you would dread your eventual mortality.

    Cry me a fucking river.

    Death will hold no surprises for me, because I will be incapable of surprise or anything else for that matter. It’s going to happen eventually. You can’t stop it, so why worry about it? I’ve learned to take comfort in insignificance in an utterly unconscious and uncaring cosmos. Some of us have no problem accepting that we’re just a variety of ape that will dwell for a brief time on this rock. Our species’ eventual extinction, along with the end of life on Earth, and the eventual heat death of the universe fill me with no more dread than I’m more concerned about what I will got out of the one life I going to get than I ever will be of death itself, much less the apocryphal fate that awaits “sinners” like myself.

    I can’t help it if you can’t handle reality; that’s not my problem. You should not expect me to take your delusions seriously, regardless of how comforting you find them. Indeed, I find you “need” for a god, religion, and faith in the face of the universe to be a form of cowardice, not fortitude. This why I have infinitely more respect for the “godless” than I ever will for even the kindest, most upright theist.

    So here’s to “pure luck and happenstance!” Unlike your god, at least we know they exist!

  31. Akira MacKenzie says

    Whoops: forgot to complete a sentence…

    …fill me with no more dread than getting a root canal at the dentists.

  32. chigau (違う) says

    A root canal procedure at the dentist is way better than the abscess tooth that preceded it.
    Seriously.

  33. Akira MacKenzie says

    chigau @ 40

    True, and with exception of one botched one I had a few years ago ( i.e. my jaw got really infected afterward, so much so they had to install a drain in the lining of my mouth) I’ve never had one that was all that was all that bad.

    I just used it because it is commonly regarded as a unpleasant procedure.

  34. Jacob Schmidt says

    If I ever wind up with some sprogs, I’m gonna make damn sure to teach them how to spot a logical fallacy from a mile away. I don’t think I could come up with a better exemplar of false dichotomy if I tried.

  35. Azuma Hazuki says

    This is a real hot button issue for me. Leaving aside that the koine Greek might not be saying what the Latin does (it’s down to the curious use of the words aion(ios) for duration instead of aidios, and kolasis for punishment instead of timoria…), their own God motherloving invented hell! And, oddly, didn’t mention it to the Jews, leaving them to get it from the Greeks and Zoroastrians, i.e., pagans.

    If God actually wanted to keep people out of hell, he would, i dunno, not send anyone there in the first place. Since he is omnipotent and omniscient, nothing can stop him from not sending someone there, or from taking someone out at any time should he so choose. So “God doesn’t want you in hell” is either a deliberate lie, or God is not omnipotent.

    And as Ingersoll said, these people don’t actually believe what they say they do. If they did, they would never sleep again…and as much as you all think I’m sick for thinking this, I think forcing them to marathon the Saw series and other torture porn with their eyes sutured open for a few days would be…shall we say, instructive.

  36. says

    “Be scared of hell teens! Just like God wants you too.”

    We should give credit where credit is due: they didn’t end their sentence with a preposition.

  37. brucemartin says

    Why do they want to “prove GODS real”? Are they polytheists?

    Also, what is the converse of atheists merely talking? Is that as opposed to theists? Theists who can call down fire from heaven to ignite their soaked sacaficial alter, as they do? Theists who can turn their staff into a snake, as any of pharaoh’s magicians could? Theists who can summon two bears to maul 42 kids to death? How can we remain atheists in the face of all of these miracles, happening every day, right before our eyes, as is well documented on the news, on YouTube, and every Sunday at church? We must be very isolated to miss all of that evidence that theists do more than we talking atheists do. That’s why no preacher at church ever wastes time talking. Instead, they’re running through hospitals healing the sick, running through aid lines feeding the poor, running through hog farms casting out demons, and running through graveyards raising the dead. As one does.

    Or was that Young Frankenstein?

  38. militantagnostic says

    I hope this is a Poe. On the other hand, who would put that much work into a spoof.

    Either way, it will cause more deconversions that conversions by a wide margin.

    Or they’ll have the same reaction that my generation had to “Reefer Madness”: that the producers are obvious loons, not to be taken seriously.

    In the mid 70s I walked past a 99 cent (or maybe it was dollar) movie theater in Toronto that was showing Reefer Madness (presumably as an unintentional comedy). I remember the poster – “A party, a puff, a tragedy”.

  39. bluentx says

    .. didn’t mention it to the Jews…

    Of course, they have an out for that too. Some denominations claim the hell (in the NT) and ‘realm of the dead’ in the Old is the same thing. Not knowing Hebrew or Greek I can’t argue with them about translation but it’s claimed that they both have nasty (gnashy ?) similarities.

    Or was that Young Frankenstein?

    Running through graveyards raising the dead? Nope, that was The Addams Family playing Wake the Dead.

  40. Fionnabhair says

    Well, I’ll give them credit for including two women among their portraits of atheists (though IIRC, Darwin wasn’t an atheist), which is more than I expected to see. (It’s more recognition for women than even atheists sometimes give.) They lose points for a lack of racial diversity, though; why is everyone so white?

    @cactuswren 16:

    Kids who read this site — particularly homeschooled or Christian-schooled kids — will emerge into higher education bracing themselves, convinced that in any class now they’re going to meet something like The Evilutionist or Professor Dropchalk, a moustachio-twirling villain whose sole aim is to destroy the religious faith of others … and all they’ll meet is a lot of polite, well-spoken people saying probably nothing ruder or more vicious than “Where exactly is the line between microevolution and macroevolution?”

    I can only imagine the damage my high school biology teacher (at a Catholic school, no less! The eviloutionists have infiltrated those sacred halls!) has done when it comes to disbelief in evolution. Anyone who has had him as a teacher will say that he’s among the best they’ve ever had, and he teaches evolution as a fact, without once mentioning God. They only time religion entered his classroom was when prayers were broadcast to the school over the PA system. I can only imagine how many students entered his classroom, armed with arguments from websites like the one in the OP, and found they were useless against this teacher and the power of science he taught.

    Of course, their faith would be coddled in the religion classes we were required to take, but I’m sure a few would still be shaken. It helped with my own growing doubts about religion, anyway.

  41. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Chas #37

    “Cross your legs for Christ girls!”

    What, no “Keep it in your pants for Jeebus boys!”? Shocker.

  42. Alex says

    @Fionnabhair

    (though IIRC, Darwin wasn’t an atheist),

    He studied to become a priest, so he probably didn’t start out as one, but I think he was one at the age depicted in the foto. Their letters indicate that Charles stopped going to church with his religious wife and kids at some point for example.
    He still agreed to put “by the creator” in the second edition in 1861, but that was still more than 20 years before his death.
    But what parts I have read of “Descent of Man….” seemed much more unapologetic than “on the Origin..” He for example started to analyze the evolution of morality and religion, and already compares the assignment of agency to things in humans and his dogs, much like Dennett does again in his Book “breaking the spell”. This tells me that Darwin by the year 1871 has understood religion and god-belief as something emerging as an artefact from human evolution.

  43. says

    Hell Teens sounds like a delightful 80s horror movie. The popular kids are possessed by demons and start killing, with the adults refusing to believe that their kids could possibly be responsible. So, it’s up to a small group of misfits to stop the threat before the demons can spread to all the surrounding cities.

  44. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Fionnabhair

    They lose points for a lack of racial diversity, though; why is everyone so white?

    They’ve simply picked the most prominant, publicly outspoken Atheists. Other than Neil DeGrasse Tyson, I can’t think of any POC they could reasonably have included… which is more our problem than theirs. I’m not sure they lose points for lack of racial diversity so much as we do.

  45. Alex says

    Punctuation can save lifes:

    Let’s go eat, grandma!

    Shoot! The police, behind us!

    Sloppy punctuation can also lead to historic-religious confusion:

    He was emperor, before the fall, of the roman empire.

  46. raven says

    It’s also a lie.

    The bottom part is Pascal’s Wager. It says there are only two choices, no god or hell.

    It’s a false dichotomy. There are thousands at least of choices. Ahura Mazda, Odin, Zeus, Tlaloc, Mithras, Allah, Buddha, Brahma, etc..

    This guy isn’t going to make it. Brahma hates Pascal’s Wager. He is going to be reincarnated as an earth worm. Take him a million years to get back to vertebrates.

  47. Muz says

    As I’m sure others have mentioned, the end part is amusing.
    The part about only two alternatives is bad enough. But I don’t think we’ve really figured out why one of them is god at all. It’s kinda fun to put that one forward: Why is god on the table full stop? (mostly it’s “Ummm…Because!”)

  48. david says

    “they could no more prove there’s no God than they can make a speck of dirt from nothing”

    That argument works both ways.

  49. Rich Woods says

    @i,thegenie #35:

    If the twisted incompetent “god” of these people existed, he’d have to be like an old-school Mafia don who never allowed any photos, lest he be spotted and tossed in the hoosegow for the myriad of violent, sick crimes he’s wanted for.

    Tax evasion. Can we still get him on tax evasion?

  50. says

    It’s even worse than all that above (which is already bad enough. “Look at all these different people who are atheists and actually have reason to know what they’re talking about, and let’s even include some of their reasons. But it’s totally God, you guys.”

    (“and if you don’t say it out loud, you’ll be sent to your room without dinner.”)

    (“Forever where you’ll be tortured in ways that are so abhorrent you would be tried for crimes against humanity if you did them.”)

    (“We’re totally the good guys in this situation.”)

  51. unbound says

    Was this site created by that christian web designer who thought she couldn’t get work solely because she’s christian? Because it looks nearly as bad as her home page…

  52. Alex says

    I like the website design. It reminds me of the chaotic+colorful menu of a mexican restaurant we used to go to in the olden days. Except that the boxes didn’t feature “Unschooled teenagers be warned!” or “Hell is real! God is good!” but rather Quesedillas, Enchiladas, Burritos… And “add a cocktail to your enchilada or burrito for only 3.99″, with extra Nachos. Mmmh, burritos.

  53. stevem says

    re OP:

    Just piling on.”Be scared of HELL until these people can do more than talk.” What!!! The RCC taught me (damn them!) to ALWAYS be afraid of Hell. Now these guys are giving a free pass, to not be afraid of Hell when these other guys do something.

    “That’s why He made it so easy for [us] to call out non-believers to prove Gods real […]”
    ??? So just ‘calling out non-believers’ proves the existence of gods [plural]? Example(s) please, my mind is going pitter-pat.

    And I, too, find the line “BE SCARED OF HELL TEENS! Just like God wants you too.” amusing:
    (a) “hell teens”: their very name is scarey, some kind of biker gang?
    (b) “God wants you too“. Who else does he want and what for? “…wants you…” is scarey all by itself.

    —————

    Earlier someone mentioned Poe’s Law. Yes, if parody would be indistinguishable from the actual site, then that is the definition of Poe’s Law. I too think this site qualifies as an example of Poe’s Law.

    Re “Reefer Madness”:
    Maybe this part of the comment should be in the “Brooks” thread, but back in my college days (oh, so long ago), the “student group” would screen “Reefer Madness” annually (for some reason). And many students would show up to watch it, ironically, while totally stoned, to bask in the irony, laughing through all of the scenes of ‘reefer madness’. And to be doubly ironic, many a joint would be passed around during the screening itself.

  54. Nepenthe says

    Huh, looks like American Atheists’ graphic designer is an equal opportunity commission taker.

  55. ledasmom says

    I am pretty certain that the people pictured in the top part of this ad are not all just talk; they write, too.

  56. Gregory Greenwood says

    The only thing anyone needs to be frightened of with regard to that abomination of a site is the web design.

    Well, that and crimes against literacy and colour coordination. And rampant logical fallacies. And the pathological hatred of women, gay people, atheists, and pretty much anyone not fully inducted into their prefered toxic little cult…

    OK, so there is certainly some stuff to be scared of over there, but somehow being transported after you die to a magical blast furnace run by a disfigued ex-Angel on behalf of a sociopathic sky fairy? Not so much.

    It once again all boils down to Bertrand Russell’s Cosmic Teapot – the fundies are the ones making the extraordinary assertion that the universe is the creation of a supernatural hyper consciousness, and that failing to follow the irrational and self-contradictory rules attributed to this creature by religious texts will condemn you to a post-mortem version of Guantanamo Bay, and so it is upon them that the burden of providing equally extraordinary evidence falls.

    We are under no obligation to provide evidence to refute anything until they manage to cobble together something resembling a credible case to answer, something that no theologian or priest has ever managed to even come close to throughout the whole sorry history of religious belief. No amount of weasel words will change that.

  57. stevem says

    “Yout Halter Natives”
    “Yout”, pronounce “yute” like in My Cousin Vinny, the Brooklynese of “youth”.

    The funny of this jpg is neverending. PrUfE of gAwD, right there, what else could be everlasting????

  58. mnb0 says

    It makes me wonder – is it a compliment or an insult that the site forgets a few pictures?

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ferdinand_Domela_Nieuwenhuis_statue.JPG
    This Amsterdam statue is built in 1931 on the site of a former church.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Constandse_1973_02.jpg
    Wrote an essay called The Misery of Relgigion in 1923.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Herman_Philipse-crop.jpg
    Wrote the Atheist Manifest in 1995.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lousewies_vd_Laan.jpg
    Dutch political leader.

    Or perhaps The Netherlands are synonym with hell – which ain’t that bad a place to be then.

  59. jnorris says

    I wonder what they want Charles Darwin to do? He’s hasn’t published since 1882 and doesn’t get out much anymore..

  60. ChasCPeterson says

    no “Keep it in your pants for Jeebus boys!”?

    I’m not going back to look, but iirc they are even explicit that boys can’t help it so its up to you girls.

  61. says

    God wants you to be scared of hell because he doesn’t want you going there.

    I don’t think so. That all powerful god didn’t have to go the horrible hell route, that was a choice, eh? It’s worth thinking that one through. It was this specific sentiment that finally cleaved me from all religious thought and feeling. I could never get an answer to whether or not fearing hell was a good reason to believe in god. Seemed a right shitty reason to me.

  62. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    I for one like that they basically said the choices were their God or luck. That makes some sense. It’s definitely better luck to not have a tyrant in the sky than to have one.

  63. stevem says

    re Caine:

    It’s all ‘free will’, if God didn’t *let us* pick Hell, we wouldn’t have free choice. Not only do we have the right to pick it; if we make that choice we also have to go there, to prove we have ‘free will’. God is just providing us will all posssible choices and to be fair, He has to allow us to get whatever we choose. God doesn’t SEND us there, we go there of our own free will, donchanoe? That is why this site (under discussion, not this one here) is trying to tell teens, “you have choice, don’t choose that way, this way is the good way, that way is bad, eternally bad.”
    As for “believing” in God. True, it isn’t a reason to believe. Belief and Reason are incompatible, (mutually exclusive) one or the other, neither needs the other. Just CHOOSE one, the right one or you’ll regret it for eternity. <or so they say, pffft>

  64. Azuma Hazuki says

    @78/Caine

    I am also reminded of a picture I saw on Facebook (yes, I know, get thee behind me Zuckerberg…) with the following dialogue:

    “Knock knock”
    “Who is it?”
    “Jesus”
    “What do you want?”
    “Let me in”
    “Why?”
    “So I can save you”
    “From what?”
    “From what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in!”

    Which just emphasizes your point and mine from upthread, that a completely omniscient and omnipotent being has sole and complete control over who is in hell, and therefore the statement “God does not want anyone in hell” is a filthy, reeking lie if there is anyone in hell.

  65. says

    Stevem @ 80, yeah, I was aware of the free will nonsense, but it still didn’t seem valid to me. If one studies much older religions than xianity, the concept of hell is there, but in the sense of an underworld, a place where the dead go and hang out for whatever reasons. It wasn’t punishment based. That killed the free will nonsense for me, because again, all powerful god, right? So…hell didn’t need to be such an awful place, an eternal torture chamber. The “choice” could have been, oh say, the difference between a desert and a forest. (Obviously, some would prefer the desert.) No punishment involved.

    The whole premise of it has disturbed the, er, hell out of me since I was a young sprog. It’s a horrible teaching, and it’s utter shite as a basis for religious belief. If one has to have a god, much better to pick an older one without such sociopathic issues.

  66. says

    Azuma Hazuki:

    “Knock knock”
    “Who is it?”
    “Jesus”
    “What do you want?”
    “Let me in”
    “Why?”
    “So I can save you”
    “From what?”
    “From what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in!”

    :snort: Yep, that’s it in a nutshell.

  67. Azuma Hazuki says

    @83/Caine

    Oh ye gods, yes, me too. I would have remained a perfectly happy and ignorant Catholic had the religion been annihilationist or universalist; it’s sad to admit, but I am not natively a powerfully logical or scientific mind, and am rather fantasy-prone and anxious. But that…I couldn’t ignore it.

    Little 10 year old me, discussing Hitler with my mother, went “Even he doesn’t deserve that. Six months maybe but not forever.” Unsophisticated, perhaps, but the central point remains…

  68. says

    Someone left a colorful tract (almost as ugly as that site) at our door, entitled “God Says: Please Do Not Go To Hell”. The cover picture shows a man sitting in a giant hand above a sea of flame (it’s not clear whether the hand is raising the man from the fire, lowering him into it — or just sort of hanging him there to make the point). The text is a series of standard Biblical passages, each ending with the commentary “…so please do not go to hell”. Which of course is another example of trying to leave God off the hook for being himself the hell-sender. It’s like: Please install Jesus’ Smoke Alarm, because eternal soul-fire is something that just happens by lightning or carelessness or faulty wiring.

    A lot of modern evangelism tries to do a better job of garbing the iron fist with a velvet glove. Hell is just “separation from God”; all that Biblical fiery stuff is just imagery, pay no attention; salvation is all about Jesus being your BFF and helping fix whatever problems you’re having with your life. But every so often you run across someone (like these Natives of Thalter) who won’t stay on-message with the newer, nicer brand-image.

  69. says

    Eamon:

    A lot of modern evangelism tries to do a better job of garbing the iron fist with a velvet glove. Hell is just “separation from God”; all that Biblical fiery stuff is just imagery, pay no attention; salvation is all about Jesus being your BFF and helping fix whatever problems you’re having with your life.

    Yes, they never go all the way with it, though, just skirt the issue more. After all, it must still be a horrible, awful punishment, or else they take away the whole foundation for believing in the xian god – fear.

  70. Sastra says

    A few years back some of the local churches (or perhaps it was just one church, don’t remember) decided to have a sort of Historical Sunday and encourage people to come to church dressed in 18th or 19th century garb. The minister was dressed up too, and all the songs were old songs which were popular way back then. They also used an old but popular sermon of the time.

    I had to laugh when I read the story in the paper. Apparently the sermon was, not surprisingly, very heavy on the hellfire and brimstone. What was funny was that the good Christians dressed in their fun old fashioned garb were actually surprised. Some of the quotes indicated that they were also upset that their children had to hear it … because there was a lot of explaining to do. How yes, we really honor the purity and truth of the faith of the past but … well, it’s not that there’s NOT a Hell … but it’s different nowadays.

    I guess they expected a sermon on do your chores with a prayer in your heart.

  71. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Is “pure luck” meant to be a bad thing? How? If they had a point there, they forgot to make it.

    I like my luck impure ;)

  72. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    “Cross your legs for Christ girls!”

    Well, that one’s understandable on self-preservation grounds. I mean, everyone knows Jesus was hung like THIS! *spreads arms wide* :P

  73. zibble says

    @3 Nerd of Redhead

    Drawing an imaginary deity is not the same thing as showing physical evidence for their imaginary deity. *snicker*

    You say that, but Anselm of Canterbury put forward the serious argument that imagining an imaginary deity IS the same thing as evidence for an imaginary deity.

    It was the world’s first ontological argument.

  74. Azuma Hazuki says

    @92/Zibble

    Anselm’s argument fails because it assumes that existence is “just another property” rather than a requirement for something to have properties in the first place.

    Here’s a reductio ad absurdum of Anselm’s argument:

    P1) God is that being than which no greater can be imagined to exist.
    P2) God has the properties we give him in P2a…P2n: (Premises 2a through 2n go here, each stating a property of God)
    P3) All other properties being equal, it is much greater for a being which does not possess the property of existence to create the universe than for one which does possess existence.
    P4) From P2 and P3, a being with all the properties enumerated in P2a…P2n and without the property of existence is greater than a being with those same properties in addition to the property of existence.
    C1) Therefore, God does not exist.

  75. Azuma Hazuki says

    (To explore P3 further, any omnipotent, omniscient, eternal, transcendent, immanent, maximally-free, existing asshole can create a universe, but imagine how much harder it would be to do it when you don’t exist! Impressive, this not-God)….

  76. conway says

    I saved all of the children in my neighborhood from falling into the giant pit behind my house. You know how I did it? I didn’t dig it!

  77. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You say that, but Anselm of Canterbury put forward the serious argument that imagining an imaginary deity IS the same thing as evidence for an imaginary deity.

    It was the world’s first ontological argument.

    Ah, the ontological argument. The smell of presupposition in the air.
    Which is why I accept only physical evidence….

  78. zibble says

    It is bizarre when William Lane Craig or any Apologist claims that science hasn’t justified itself ontologically. Like, in what sense does reality have to justify itself to the obviously flawed thought process of human beings? Shouldn’t it always be the other way around?

    It’s all Plato’s fault for getting that wrong.

  79. Azuma Hazuki says

    @96/NoR

    Speaking of which, I’ve been dealing with a presupper by the name of Scott Terry recently…you may know him as the shining exemplar of humanity who opined at a recent CPAC conference that slavery was good for blacks because it gave them food and shelter.

    It turns out, the man is also a “Reformed Confessional Van Tillian Christian” in his own words. He’s both very smart and very sociopathic. How do you deal with a presupper? They’ve made a “lifestyle choice” obviously, but it’s one that’s self-sealing, and makes them refuse to listen to ANYTHING that doesn’t fit their pre-chosen worldview.

    I’m not trained for the particular combination of sociopathology, oozing smugness, faked politeness (no, calling me “Ms. Azuma” doesn’t erase the seething pool of venom under the skin, “Mr. Terry”), and constant godsdamned dodging and excuses they put up. I am almost convinced this is a troll, except he seems utterly serious.

  80. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How do you deal with a presupper? They’ve made a “lifestyle choice” obviously, but it’s one that’s self-sealing, and makes them refuse to listen to ANYTHING that doesn’t fit their pre-chosen worldview.

    One doesn’t “deal” with a presupper; one copes the best they can. Personally, I refuse to believe anything they say without any evidence to back it up. As long as they can remain in philosophy, they can “win”, as they aren’t refuted. Which is why I try like hell for force it into science and evidence, where they lose since they have no evidence, but they can’t admit it, every time. Sometimes one must play for the lurkers, not the person you are arguing against, as they aren’t listening (think the MRA trolls).

  81. zibble says

    @92 Azuma Hazuki

    That’s pretty funny that you’re calling attention to their arbitrary definition of “greatness”. I have a weirdly similar response that, simply, Anselm is wrong to say that existence is a positive attribute for a hypothetical being, for the simple reason that nothing that exists can be perfect, but something imaginary can.

    Because people have wildly varying ideas of what “perfection” means (eg is God pro- or anti-women?) it’s not actually possible for Him to be perfect to everyone. The only way for God to fit every definition of perfect is to be nothing and do nothing so that he’s completely different things for every one of his worshippers.

  82. Snoof says

    stevem @80

    It’s all ‘free will’, if God didn’t *let us* pick Hell, we wouldn’t have free choice.

    By that standard, if I don’t give a loaded weapon to a toddler, I’m violating their free will. Or if Yout Hal Ternative doesn’t give me all their money, they’re violating my free will.

  83. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    They certainly exercised free will in their site design and punctuation.

  84. brianpansky says

    How do you deal with a presupper?

    here is a link to a youtube person who has done some fairly good videos on the topic. i think he has some videos on presup that are not on that playlist in my second link.

    i haven’t had the opportunity to try this technique, but i’d like to try asking them what they MEAN by the things they say/ask. i’m pretty sure their assertions and questions are simply incoherent at the core, and they won’t be able to actually articulate it. i’m not sure if this will work, of course, but it might make things clear enough to help the discussion.

  85. Azuma Hazuki says

    @104/Brian Pansky

    Ooh, good stuff :) I remember these, but was not able to absorb them last time I saw them; the last 2-3 weeks have had me running insanely “hot” mentally, having philosophical and logical breakthroughs daily, and now these videos are making sense.

    As stupid as this sounds, my real weakness with these people is too much imagination and anxiety and too little self-confidence. The kind of psychological warfare they employ would bounce off most peoples’ backs, but due to a good half-decade of trauma, it bothers me more than it should.

    Your suggestion of asking them to define what they mean is a good one, and one I’d overlooked; they unfortunately will probably try and dodge that by going “The Bible. Read it. Know it. Understand it. The Bible is the claim, not the evidence,” which is what Scott here outright said.

    Would you agree that what they are doing is essentially outsourcing their epistemology? That is, citing an externalist justification, and at the same time demanding an internalist one from the opponent? I would say they do the same thing with morals and their own consciences too, as they seem to be without exception deontological divine-command theorists.

  86. says

    I like how EasyPeezey snuck his name in there with Dawkins, Hawking and Darwin. Delusional much? Aren’t you a professor at a state university? How do you have time to play National Enquirer and educate those seeking higher education? Stop the nonsense and do your job! The future of this nation is in your harlot hands.

  87. brianpansky says

    @106
    Beau Stoddard

    I like how EasyPeezey snuck his name in there with Dawkins, Hawking and Darwin. Delusional much?

    PZ did not put his self beside the others. the delusional christian who made the graphic is the one who put him there.

  88. brianpansky says

    @105
    Azuma Hazuki

    Would you agree that what they are doing is essentially outsourcing their epistemology? That is, citing an externalist justification, and at the same time demanding an internalist one from the opponent?

    hmm, i’m not sure all of what they demand from their opponent. but, yeah, they say they have to rely on someone who knows everything, that is external i guess. but they are just saying that, really, they have to rely on their own reasoning and mostly trust their perceptions of the outside world just like everyone else. the god thing is just surplus added on to make it seem like only they are justified.

  89. ledasmom says

    “Hell Teens” should absolutely be the second film in a double-feature with the film based on my horror-novel-that-I’m-never-going-to-write*, “Shopping Spree”, the movie based on a book based on a paint color**.

    *’Cause I’m way too lazy to look up enough about police procedure to avoid hideously embarrassing myself, that’s why. I have a truly marvelous plot worked out which this comment is too small to contain.
    **The local discount paint house puts the name of a color-of-the-week on their sign; for two years in a row the one for Thanksgiving week has been “Shopping Spree”. We cannot even guess what color that would be: best hypothesis is some sort of dullish green. However, it’s miles ahead of the one they put up a few weeks back: “Pearl Harbor”. Now, we are uncertain as to whether every single color-of-the-week is a real paint color. But we are also uncertain as to whether it’s more horrifying that somebody might have named a paint “Pearl Harbor” (presumably another version of barely off-white) or that the store is implying that somebody did.

  90. zenlike says

    Meh, I see Beau Stoddard has linked his Facebook profile, which shows he is some right-wing christian. And a Kirk Cameron fan. Yeah, he probably is as stupid as he sounds.

  91. says

    Oh, I shouldn’t have gone there. He links to a group for some parents who are pimping their sick child for Jesus. Pretty distasteful.