Revisiting an age-old theme this week.

Just a reminder that there’s a new Patreon level. For pledges of $15 or more, you get a signed copy of Kenan Malik’s monumental “The Quest for a Moral Compass: A global history of ethics”. There are now four copies left.

Here’s the Patreon page.

Discussion (27)¬

  1. European says:

    Never been first to comment, I guess… Would be funny if they didn’t keep killing folks for what whoever happens to perceive as blasphemy…

  2. Jobrag says:

    One of the many problems I have about theists is why an all powerful deity would require laws to keep the masses on line, Jehovah start slinging thunderbolts around, it would do wonders for attendance on Sundays.

  3. Canneloni says:

    Jobrag, I believe the reason is that most people don’t really give a monkey’s about religion. Without the constant chivvying from the fanatics they wouldn’t bother. It’s the vicars, popes, imams and other witchdoctors that make up the rules, including the blasphemy ones.

  4. W. Covri says:

    Canneloni, now why would they want to do that? You make it sound like they just want to stay in unquestioned power. Surely it can’t be THAT!

    Can it?

  5. jean-françois+gauthier says:

    to be fair, some theocracies and pretend democracies do also sanction, at least on paper, blasphemy of some (usually not all) minority religions.

  6. It’s an embarrassment that otherwise secular and enlightened countries such as Canada still have anti=blasphemy laws on the books.

  7. Herman says:

    freedom of speech is often denied as ‘blasphemy’

    Always wondering why the all powerful god(s) need humans to defend them.

  8. Canneloni says:

    I suspect the question from W. Covri is rhetorical, but just in case it isn’t, the answer is yes, sadly that is exactly what they want.

    jean-françois+gauthier points out that blasphemy against some minority religions is sometimes sanctioned. Actually most religions are happy to blaspheme other religions. They only want protection for themselves!

  9. Michael says:

    Blasphemy is a truly victimless crime.

    If a god was annoyed at blasphemy then a lightning bolt or two would let people know not to blaspheme that god. Since lightning does not appear to happen as a result of blasphemy, there can only be three reasons why blasphemy goes unpunished by gods:

    1. Gods don’t care about blasphemy;

    b. Gods are too weak to punish blasphemy; or

    iii. Gods don’t exist.

    I know which choice I’m putting my money on.

  10. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    The exploitation of blasphemy can
    Work well for control freaks, like a violent imam
    Pretend to speak for the almighty
    Then smite in his name, to rightly
    Keep the submissive under the thumb
    Of the self anointed “less” than a man.

  11. hotrats says:

    No-one is going to stone anyone – until I blow this whistle.
    Even, and I want to make this absolutely clear, even if they do say ‘Jehova’.

  12. charlie+bear says:

    Aha! Another one of my “bad” questions that nearly got me booted from the Lutheran church at age 14. I also asked why this god needed me to do his work and why I must defend him. I also said the “fall” was the fault of said god as an all knowing being MUST have known before planting that tree that Adam and Eve (assuming the holly buy-bull is a valid text) would eat the fruit. To say that god gave them free will is a cop out as an all knowing being would be able to account for/allow for any possible outcome from human free will.
    I still laugh at those who claim to be doing gods’ work. I never did his, he never did mine. I like my life that way.

  13. white+squirrel says:

    1. Gods don’t care about blasphemy;

    b. Gods are too weak to punish blasphemy; or

    iii. Gods don’t exist.

    there is another possibility

    2 Gods have a different definition of blasphemy to that of beleivers, and have yet to experience any blasphemy in their terms of reference.

  14. Graham ASH-PORTER says:

    When is the next book coming out? I have all previous…

  15. Len says:

    I like the way that JC responds to the barmaid’s question about being wrong. Not that she’s saying that he could be wrong but that she’s accusing god of being wrong. So like believers. Sadly.

  16. HaggisForBrains says:

    Good point, Len.

    And thanks, hotrats, for the memory.

  17. white+squirrel says:

    ‘God has made his existence known to us beyond doubt’

    beyond doubt?

    Then why is there more than one religion?

    If only they would apply the same standards of evidence requirement for ‘god’ as they do for science and evolution.

  18. wnanig says:

    hotrats, that Python scene is still a brilliant illustration of the insanity of the concept of blasphemy. Good thing the use of the acronym OMG on the internet is not (yet anyway) being punished. It would give the problem of teenagers being stoned a whole new dimension.

  19. Another Kind says:

    Actually, JC, your god DID lie. Massively. You are the walking, talking, decomposing PROOF that it lied.
    You were created as the hybrid, half-human, half-alien spawn of a rapist and a raped, unwed teenager with the sole purpose of “forgiving all our sins”.
    Yet we are still threatened with eternal damnation by your mouthpiece mommets in churches for those very sins, and childbirth STILL HURTS even though the “sin” of eating that fruit has “been forgiven”.
    Either your stupid daddy lied about you being the messenger of forgiveness, it lied about the connection between childbirth and the fruit or it is lying, massively and continuously through its “vicars on Earth”. Or all three.
    Take your pick, Joe Carpenter. Any way you slice it, your daddy’s a lying worm.

  20. white+squirrel says:

    childbirth STILL HURTS even though the “sin” of eating that fruit has “been forgiven”.
    1- maybe the ‘forgivness ‘ only applies to males – this is the bible after all
    2 it is supposedly ‘intelligent design’ suggesting females had pain built in to the design

  21. Michael says:

    Michael – “Blasphemy is a truly victimless crime” — good one. I hadn’t heard that one before.

  22. Canneloni says:

    ‘Another Kind’ said: “Any way you slice it, your daddy’s a lying worm.”

    Talking about ‘slicing it’ – another question that puzzles me is why these gods (or their self-appointed earthly representatives) are so insistent that chunks of people’s private parts should be cut off.

    What is the matter with these people? If their invisible friend in the sky is all-perfect and all-knowing, and created Man in it’s image, why should we need to start chopping bits off?

  23. European says:

    @Canneloni: Probably provided these extra bits to allow for a nice little bloody ritual?! Like you cut off the tip of a cigar before smoking it? (Don’t take the image any further…)

  24. white+squirrel says:

    an answer that would fit is that after the creation of man; ‘god’ indulged in some genital self mutilation and the followers were obliged to follow, being incapable of independent thought

  25. Another Kind says:

    Well, I dared to accuse the giant hairy nothingness of lying, and of being quite thick lo, these many, many days ago. Almost two days ago. Worse, I did it on one of the many and various sabbaths.
    Yet I am still here.
    Zeus hasn’t zapped me. Thor didn’t rain on me. Dagda hasn’t hammered me and the illiterate and poorly educated JHV hasn’t blown me up.
    I’m still alive.

    So either blasphemy isn’t a big deal to the great bearded ones or there aren’t any great bearded ones to be offended.
    Whichever is true, the blasphemy laws do not seem to be needed.

    And JHV is still a lying shitbag. 🙂

    See? No lig

  26. white+squirrel says:

    Lying is not a problem where ‘gods’ are concerned.
    All holy books contain lies and often show their constituent ‘god [s]’ as telling at least one lie. The first being about their existence.
    The followers dont care if you blaspheme ‘god’ its the ‘prophets’ they get upset about.

  27. postdoggerel says:

    If anyone thinks that I amn’t divine
    He’ll get no free drinks when I’m making the wine
    But have to drink water and wish it were plain
    That I make when the wine becomes water again.


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