I am on holiday. This strip comes to you via the miracle of WordPress autopost.
Very funny once again, Author. Oddly, if you swap the speech bubbles between the characters, the joke doesn’t work: Jesus, being God, can say the punchline without the irony. Christianity only needs to explain how the concept of the Trinity makes one iota of sense … I mean three iotas … no, just the one … or three …
Again with the rapier, Author. Nice one. It’s always been a mystery to me how the Christians can ignore the obviously human authorship and manufacture of their book. No, it ain’t the word of God, folks. Somebody wrote this shit, and somebody else printed and bound it. Somebody chose the nice black cover design. The hand of God is nowhere evident.
If god made man in his own image, right down to flesh and bone, then he too must be corrupt and fallible.
In the August 12th edition of The Bible Geek, http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/biblegeek.php, Robert M. Price says that one-fifth (yes, 20%) of the Koran is gibberish! It is only through reconstruction (i.e. guessing) that any sense can be made of that material. He doesn’t give a citation unfortunately.
@DH: Perhaps I’m risking a Godwin here, but considering the source I thought I might do so anyway, to offer a possible explanation to your mystery:
“I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind, a mind which might be linked unto a system of gears where teeth have been filed off at random. Such snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even by a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell.
The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. ‘You’re completely crazy,’ he said.
Jones wasn’t completely crazy. The dismaying thing about classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, thought mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined.
Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell – keeping perfect time for eight minutes and twenty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year.
The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases.
The wilful filling off a gear teeth, the wilful doing without certain obvious pieces of information -
That was how a household as contradictory as one composed of Jones, Father Keeley, Vice-Bundesfuehrer Krapptauer, and the Black Fuehrer could exist in relative harmony -
That was how my father-in-law could contain in one mind an indifference toward slave women and love fora a blue vase -
That was how Rudolf Hess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers -
That was how Nazi Germany sense no important difference between civilization and hydrophobia -
That is the closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I’ve seen in my time.”
? Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
…the wilful filling off a gear teeth, the wilful doing without certain obvious pieces of information…
(@hotrats: pls excuse the typos)
I really enjoyed the John Lennon tribute at the Olympic games closure where they played “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try….. No hell below us, above us only sky” and then followed that with Eric Idle and skating nuns singing ‘Always look on the bright side of life”. I believe we may have a mole in the IOC….
@jerry w, wouldn’t that be marvelous! More moles, I say! More moles!
The problem with protoplasmic perfection.
Is the result of a mental infection.
Manipulative fakes lead brainless fools
To enforce stupid make believe rules
In an ever downward spiralling direction.
I have it from a reliable source that one papyrus found among the Dead Sea scrolls, when translated, proved to be the frontispiece from the earliest known religious writings, but this knowledge was deliberately suppressed because of what it said:-
“All persons and events depicted in this book are ficticious. Any resemblance to any persons, either alive or dead, is purely coincidental”.
Nassar, today I love you. Poor poetic construction, but I can overlook the technicalities because the verse itself is very funny.
Cheers FreeFox. I once posted something similar on another – but inferior of course – site popular with atheists. I was told not to make such grand claims without adding the neccesary citations!
No need to apologise Foxy, I’m not that kind of pedant. Typos get a free pass, or I’d have to complain about my own posts.
FreeFox, I was referring to my joke about the bible frontispiece. I posted a similar one on RD.net a couple of years back; instead of seeing it as a joke, it was taken as a serious claim and I was told that I couldn’t just make assertations without citing the source of the information.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
As often since years a fine one, thanks author.
My two cents that in this case since the beginning man can’t deal with only one thingy, what was first, egg or mind ?
Some tell there’s a god, so mind was, or rather kind of spirit headed. Some, as much of you here say no god, only brain was and then it’s history, or evolution.
For former ones we’re “intelligent” because god wants it, period. Latter ones seem waiting answers from neuroscience or globally in sciences and knowledge progress.
O.K. O.K. but why wait, we’ve got it.
It’s just there, just between, let’s call them “hardware” and “software”. It’s not purely hardware, neuronal circuitry, it’s not only software, disembodied mind or spirit.
It’s only convention, like ASCII table, alphabet, language and further ethics, religions, cultures …
My two pennies on the Logos… Open it and you’ll find him naked as truth in it !
Apologies for my clumsy and idiomatic English and should I stop sobriety.
@AoS: Kind of a reverse Poe? ^_^
I always want to ask them – if in fact the holy book were a fake…what would be different? How would you know it was a fake?
That’s a roundabout way of asking what exactly it is about the holy book that convinces people that’s what it is. It just looks like any other book, to me.
@Ophelia: Shouldn’t it because something like.. some of their community trust it before and tell them that it is The Book on witch found their identity. Something of that kind. Must not underestimate strength of gregariousness in this “success story”.
Konrad Lorenz did almost the same with gooses, it surely did work with sheep too.
BTW it’s a book nowadays but it has begin like a legend, then discourse in a way of formalization. Toward invention of heresy, nothing to do with famous brand witch spell with a ‘n’ and ‘ss’.
@another mo, if god made me in his own image, he must have a tiny penis.
FreeFox, exactly that; an ‘Eop’ if you will.
Ophelia, I like to ask the same question* about the Universe ; how would it be different if it hadn’t been made by God? (
*especially to the door-knockers, for some reason they can’t even seem to comprehend the question, never mind consider it.
I’ve just realised that I’m forgetting my manners.
Dear, beloved Author, I hope you enjoy your holiday to the full. It’s the least you deserve for all the pleasure you give us, your most loyal followers.
Gooses !? Oh geese !!
begun, almost a jewel
nn even more frightening with ss
@ AoS.. .
Reminds me of the story about someone saying to Wittgenstein, that it is not so weird that people thought that the sun revolved around the earth. Wittgenstein asked, “Why?” and the person answered, “Well, it certainly looks that way.” And Wittgenstein responds, “And how would it look if the earth revolved around the sun?”
Honestly, some people. Ophelia, if the holy book were a fake it wouldn’t be true, would it? And if, Acolyte, the universe were not made by god you could tell because it would have an extremely nonexistent appearance which only the blind could fail to notice. And, Quine-Duhem, it’s three iotas in one. See, the eye of faith sees clearly and the nonbeliever is utterly confounded.
# if, Acolyte, the universe were not made by god you could tell because it would have an extremely nonexistent appearance #
Extremely nonexistent appearance? Sounds more like the God that is supposed to have made it.
I suppose if the Universe wasn’t made by the big fellow, it would have a most un-Godly appearance; pain, unneccesary suffering, random mass extinction events caused by things like giant rocks surplus to planet-building requirements – rocks that God would have known not to make as they wouldn’t be needed – striking planets willy-nilly…..oh, hang on a mo!
@AoS: You have a very narrow, prudish, moralizing view of God. What if God just is a very scatterbrained, in parts brilliant, passionate, artistic, bit careless dude who loves really kewl fancy details and very broad scopes and basically just likes human for their ability to be passionate about it all – relishing or suffering – kinda like an audience he often forgets about but ever so often really loves to either delight or shock? ^_^
(Humans and any other kind of sentience that might be around here or wherever…)
To clear up the controversy: I created the universe, and when I die it will shut down. I’m sorry that it isn’t perfect, it’s my first (and only) time as the creator, double your money back if you’re not satisfied.
Your God is just rubbish – mad, detatched, amoral and arbitrary – no more worth believing in than the traditional one. This may be a ‘very narrow, prudish and moralising view’, but it fits the facts as stated.
I some times put forward the hypothesis that anyone who uses their rational brain to reason about this universe is sure to come to the conclusion there is no god. That’s exactly what he wants. He’ll dump the sycophants, who failed to make full use of the brain he gave them, and save only the non believers.
Well, it makes more sense than any religion I’ve come across.
@hotrats: I completely agree, God is often mad, detached, amoral, and arbitrary – no matter if you take the bible as basis or just a look at the real world (under the assumption it was created by that God). In the words of Jesuit pulitzer prize winner Jack Miles God is even maniac, depressive, and psychotic (as revealed in the books of prophecy of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel respectively). Of course He is also loving, passionate, and glorious. But for a rational, sceptical atheist I cannot understand how you can expect any correlation between how much you *like* something and whether or not you believe in it? AIDS is rubbish. Tsunamis are rubbish. Extinction level asteroid impacts are rubbish. That doesn’t have any impact on your belief in them, has it? Much of human behaviour is rubbish. Doesn’t make them any less real. *My* God has this benefit over the *traditionally* believed in all-knowing/all-powerful/all-good one: It corresponds to the real world. That is to say I don’t need to bend my mind any more into a prezel explaining all the obvious suffering and madness in the world than you do as atheist.
“Since there is no one else to praise me, I will praise myself – will say that I have never tampered with a single tooth in my thought machine, such as it is. There are teeth missing, God knows – some I was born without, teeth that will never grow. And other teeth have been stripped by the clutchless shifts of history – But never have I willfully destroyed a tooth on a gear of my thinking machine. Never have I said to myself, ‘This fact I can do without.’” – Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night ^_^
The meme of the loving, caring god is so deeply embedded in our culture that even atheists get fooled into thinking and speaking that way. I have always rejected the argument “I can’t accept that god could be like XXX”; reality doesn’t care whether we like it or not. Similarly, the discussion tends to assume a single god rather than many.
Your position is more defensible than the traditional Christian claims about god: He loves everyone, but he won’t lift one of his infinitely powerful fingers to help anyone, no matter how dire the circumstances. He loves the Nazis and the Jews equally, and the free will of the Nazis is so important that he will not save the Jews from being tortured to death and made into lampshades.
(Yeah, I know – sounds harsh, but that’s what happened.)
At least your claim is consistent with reality: If god doesn’t care, then there is no philosophical problem when he doesn’t intervene.
But my claim is equally consistent with reality: If there is no god, then there is no philosophical problem when he doesn’t intervene.
That leaves only one key point of difference: If there is no evidence of any gods, why assume that there are any?
@FreeFox. Thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite Vonnegut novels. Second only to “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater”. “You are what you pretend to be, so don’t pretend to be anything you aren’t.”. Advice you might take to heart.
@DH: Oh, I learned that lesson 3 years ago the hard way. But yes, an excellent novel. ^_^
FreeFox, re; “What if God just is a very scatterbrained, in parts brilliant,…etc.”
It’s the ‘if’ that’s all important. As a teacher of mine was fond of saying (in the days when teachers could be a little off-colour) “If? If? If my aunt had a cock she’d be my uncle”!
Jerry, great first attempt. Next time, could you please make acorns taste as nice as they look? To humans of course, why should the squirrels have all the fun? Oh, and no wasps. Fucking stripey little psycho’s.
Forgot to add;
FreeFox, I don’t have any view of God, never mind a ‘very narrow, prudish, moralizing’ one. I don’t believe it exists, and I’m told that it’s pretty difficult to visualise nothing. What I do have is a view of reality in direct opposition to that of the vast majority of religious believers of all flavours (I’ve never yet licked one that tasted good!).
@Mark S: “That leaves only one key point of difference: If there is no evidence of any gods, why assume that there are any?”
That depends very much on how you define “God” (or gods, I will stick to the capital G God for now, but the same is true for all the small g gods). If you view God as something “extra” existing “out there”, so to speak out of the natural universe, something supernatural, than there is no reason to assume He exists. No question about the universe can be answered more convincingly with God than without. But again, that is understanding religion in terms of prose, of a text book, instead of in terms of poetry, of the description of a subjective (yet real) experience.
If you on the other hand take the sense of a vast, complex shape holding the universe together, a sense of determination and inescapability, that feeling of being part of something almost unimaginable and yet almost graspable that you get when you lie on a meadow at night, feel the grass tickle your ears and neck, the wind cool the sweat on your brow, hear the crickets and mosquitos and the faint flapping of bat wings, and gaze into the chasm of the firmament, then God is a good way to describe what you feel – not any individual thing, not the milky way, nor the ecosystem around you, not the cosmic emptiness, nor each tiny mote of dust or crawling critter in it, but the wondrous shape they all make up together in their interconnectedness.
And if something happens in your life, some odd chain of coincidences and seemingly independent events, and they lead you to some vital decision, or some sudden understanding, or an unexpected burst of emotion, then God is a good way to describe the interplay of forces that got you there. Without anything supernatural, without any assumption that you could force it through intercessory prayer or that there is a recognisable pattern of purpose behind it – without magical thinking – but simply as the combination of elements in your pattern seeking, self-reflecting, sentient mind and the events and choices suffusing the world in a way that creates meaning for you.
Because the vast shape and the meaning in your life are real. And they are what is described by the word God. It only becomes delusional if you begin to ascribe expectations and consequences to God that aren’t born from actual experience but from dogma.
(And yes, I am a big fan of small g gods, the lords and ladies of the smaller aspects, powers and principalities of life.)
@AoS: “I don’t have any view of God, never mind a ‘very narrow, prudish, moralizing’ one.” You defined “pain, unnecessary suffering, random mass extinction events caused by things like giant rocks surplus to planet-building requirements” as “un-Godly”, which means you have the image of God (even if a hypothetical one) being the opposite of these things or at least having to behave in ways incongruous with them. Ergo my assessment of your POV. (And if you feel God “has” to be this kindly, just, loving old prune, I can totally understand that you cannot believe in Him…) ^_^
@Freefox – I’m not sure why you use the word God to describe what sounds like a feeling of Awe. The universe may be unimaginably vast and reality far too subtle for me, I am resigned to the fact that I will never truly understand existence. Obviously I am not special enough to be chosen.
FreeFox, you’re still misunderstanding me. My view of God is a view of nothing. My post about the un-Godly Universe was based around the God as viewed by the vast majority of Christians.
@AoS: Oh, come now, now you are being disingenuous. Of course I understand that you do not believe in the actual existance of God (or any god) or even that the term “god” describes anything real. You still have a concept of what you suppose the word means. Just as you do not believe in the existance of unicorns yet have a concept of unicorns being roughly horse like and having a single horn, of dragons being reptilian and usually winged and clawed, or of ghosts of being insubstantial and representing part of the essence of some deceased person. Having a concept of something and believing in its physical existance are entirely unrelated things, as you well know. And that the concept of God that you have is erroneously influenced by the simple-minded childish wish-fulfilment beliefs of literalist Xtians is exactly what I was pointing out… and how such a silly concept can of course and quite understandably only result in disbelief. ^_^
FreeFox says: ” If you on the other hand take the sense of a vast, complex shape holding the universe together, a sense of determination and inescapability, that feeling of being part of something almost unimaginable and yet almost graspable that you get when you lie on a meadow at night, feel the grass tickle your ears and neck, the wind cool the sweat on your brow, hear the crickets and mosquitos and the faint flapping of bat wings, and gaze into the chasm of the firmament, then God is a good way to describe what you feel – not any individual thing, not the milky way, nor the ecosystem around you, not the cosmic emptiness, nor each tiny mote of dust or crawling critter in it, but the wondrous shape they all make up together in their interconnectedness.”
durham669 says: So in other words, you’ve completely changed the definition of the word ‘god’. And you have the nerve to call AoS disingenuous.
@durham: “you’ve completely changed the definition of the word ‘god”
If you take the uneducated morons this site is dedicated to make fun of as authority… then yes, I have… but if you take serious scholars like Jack Miles, Joseph Campbell, Jordon Peterson or Erich Fromm (most of whom would call themselves atheists, btw) then my definition is the one that was there at the origin of most religions and that only later through dogmatism, stupidity, and attempts to control the masses got replaced by the delusional literalist one. I’m not entirely talking out of my arse here, mate. ^_^
(I know this site also pokes fun at “sophisticated” theology… but since that’s always represented by Jesus and Mo, too, and, well, they really aren’t ever very sophisticated… it achieves its aim better when poking fun at literalists…)
*ducks for cover* ^_^
OK FreeFox, I’ll concede that whenever the talk turns to big-G God, my mind’s-eye sees the stereotypical ‘Santa in his nightgown’ image, just as ‘unicorn’ used to conjour up the image of the horned horse; nowdays the narwhal and rhinocerous vie with the beast of legend for the attention of my mental projectionist. Mention Ganesa and up pops a four-armed chubby guy with an elephants head. But that’s only because that’s what our brains do; some neurons react to the recognition of a word by sending a message to other neurons to hold up a flash card, hence God = beardy guy in white. Once one has seen a picture of something, then that picture will remain as one’s mental representation of that thing, at least until it’s usurped by another, later image. Which is why, thanks to this cartoon, whenever I hear mention of Mohammed, guess what my mind flashes up! Luckily, I don’t need to imagine Barmaid; I married her many years ago and we’re still going strong.
What I don’t do is project my own pre-conceived values onto those imaginary things, but I’d get nowhere arguing with the average Christian if I were using your particular image of gods because they aren’t the God that Mr & Mrs Pew-Filler will recognise. Likewise, I wouldn’t use the Abrahamic God to argue the beliefs of a Hindu, so, hopefully for the last time, my un-Godly Universe post was not based on my own conception of what a Universe built by big-G should be, but on the one that the fore-mentioned Pew-Fillers would recognise.
And no need to duck for cover, you’re bloody infuriating sometimes but I can’t help but like you
funny this one, i like jesus and mo wery much.
Have a nice day .
Ketil, I often see your posts on the cartoons that you find funny, and I’m guessing by your name that you are Sandinavian in origin. Assuming that you would like to be able to speak English as accurately as possible may I correct the one mistake in spelling that you make every time? The word is spelt ‘very’, not ‘wery’.
And you have a nice day too
If you’re going to pontificate about other peoples’ spelling, you should really learn to spell ‘Scandinavian’ first.
But AoS is not alone, i.e. look at freefox’s twice-misspelling of `existence’?
Hotrats, I’d gladly hold my hands up to pontificating if I had jumped on a simple typo (ahem), but Ketil always misspells very as wery, I’m guessing because he’s spelling it phonetically, and believe it or not my intentions were good (oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood). If I were posting on a non-English language site and making errors I’d appreciate somebody pointing it out to me; how else would I know that I was making a mistake? I may be a pedant with a penchant for sarcasm, but I’m not a Daily Mail reader laughing at Johnny Foreigner for not being able to speak God’s chosen language; I’m just an easy-going old geezer who doesn’t see the harm in helping somebody just a little with what is, when all’s said and done, a tricky language even for many native speakers.
Oldebabe, I don’t think FreeFox does too badly considering he’s German; do you? Having said that, why bring the lad into this anyway? What did he do to be put in the dock alongside me? And you know that saying about glass houses? Have another read of your post; i.e or e.g? By saying “AoS is not alone, that is look at freefox’s…” you’re suggesting that FreeFox and I are the only ones that misspell; for example would have been far more suitable. Then there’s freefox, which you should have written as FreeFox. It’s a proper noun so the initial letter is capitalised – something a lot of people seem to be forgetting just lately – and even if the capitalisation of the second ‘f’ is grammatically unnecessary, it’s how he writes it, and I was always taught that one should always write a person’s name as they do themself. Oh, and before you jump on me for capitalising your pseodonym, I do it on purpose; just because you can’t be bothered with the most basic rules of the language, I don’t see why I should have to let my standards slip – that would just be patronising, akin to me changing the spelling of very to wery if I happen to use the word in a post addressed to Ketil. And as I said above, if one doesn’t point out these wee errors to their authors, how on Earth are they to learn? Finally, you can either write FreeFox’s twice-misspelled ‘existence’ or FreeFox’s double-misspelling of ‘existence’.
But of course you knew all of that and were just testing, weren’t you?
Hotrats, I know that I’ve alluded to this in my response to you above, but I’ve just noticed something that had escaped my attention earlier. I’m sorry to be a pain but could you please consider these two posts of yours, both from this comments thread, and see if you can spot the inherent contradiction? Thanks.
August 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm
No need to apologise Foxy, I’m not that kind of pedant. Typos get a free pass, or I’d have to complain about my own posts”
Which is good to know. Besides, jumping on typo’s wouldn’t be pedantic, it’d be sheer pettiness, and we’re all above that kind of nonsense here. What would it matter if one were to inadvertently miss a key?, or hit the key but fail to press it quite hard enough to make, oh, let’s say the letter ‘c’ appear where it should? Nothing at all, right? It’s just a typo.
August 19, 2012 at 9:36 am
If you’re going to pontificate about other peoples’ spelling, you should really learn to spell ‘Scandinavian’ first.”
*looks from one to the other and shakes head* Seriously? You chaps really got nuthin better to have to be right about? ^_^
Yes, sorry, I was just teasing. I knew it was a typo, and you weren’t so much pontificating as being helpful, forgive me for taking a cheap shot.
No problem, Hotrats, I had an idea you were kidding around; you made my rejoinder too easy for it to be serious.
FreeFox, when one’s been married as long as I, and have daughters to boot, one takes any opportunity to be right, no matter how trivial. As the old philosophical question goes; If a man is on his own in a forest, and says something out loud, and his wife isn’t there to hear him, is he still wrong?
@ AoS – Mrs Brains likes that one. She tells me that when her first husband said “You’re always right!”, she replied “No, you’re always wrong!”
HFB, it sounds like Mrs Brains is of the same mindset as Mrs o’Sagan, a wonderful woman who’s motto is “A woman’s place is in the right”.
I’ve got nothing to say right now, but I did want to tell you folks that I read your comments with pleasure and affection. I’m even feeling an irrational affection for FreeFox. Oh shit. I think I’m getting soft in the head…
DH, I’ve often thought that a lot of us regulars here would enjoy each others company had we chanced to meet in real life, and I certainly include FreeFox in that group. And if you’re concerned about going soft in the head over your affection for the Fox, spare a thought for me. I’m starting to feel the same about our poet-in-residence; there’s more to him than meets the eye, methinks.
As a woman and a wife I have to disagree with the sexist notion that men are always wrong. No one is always wrong. And no one is always right — not if we are talking about humans at any rate.
I know you all were joking… I’m not saying you are wrong…
There is no where else to go with this now is there?
Er… let’s all go left for something completely different then.
Second Thought, that was a beautiful Poe, one of the best I’ve seen in fact. I particularly like the first and last sentences. Brilliant.
A minor point of order though. I’m not suggesting that men are always wrong, just when their wives are present.
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