The boys’ first appearance on stage, nearly seven years ago.

The winner of this month’s raffle prize is Tony R, from MI. He wins a signed print of his choice.

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Discussion (60)¬

  1. freethinkinfranklin says:

    always had issues with so called “good people” thinking that it is perfectly OK to threaten others with eternal damnation for not thinking like them… even worse is that they apply this to kids as well…. horrible behavior !!

  2. Jim Loving says:

    Given my name, I’m lovin it too. Love is always a great theme for all the great songs – its universal. Hard to know the quality of the melody and beat as presented here, but the simple rhyme scheme (it of course invokes the Beatles “Love me do”) and powerful “voice” and expression can not be missed. With a good agent, they may even have some play within the growing “Christian Music” circuit (not sure about a Muslim circuit).

  3. Ballykeith says:

    Allah, ‘the most beneficent, the most merciful’ has people tortured in the most horrific manner. Those who do not denounce his actions thereby condone the use of torture.

  4. jb says:

    Still, isn’t it better to have a loving god who at least gives you a chance, than a satanic god, who would presumably throw everybody into Hell immediately upon creation?

    Of course if you just threw everybody into Hell immediately they wouldn’t have anything to compare it to. So maybe a satanic god would want to give people a reasonably decent place to live for a little while, maybe even give them hope of a better afterlife, and then throw them all into Hell when they die. Wait, even better, actually save a few of them, based on some membership in some random religion, so the few can look down from Heaven and gloat, and everybody else can look up from Hell, and feel it was their own fault, and suffer even more from guilt and regret. Perfect!

    Of course it’s hard to know what an evil god would actually do. But evil is capricious, and this scenario strikes me as being as plausible as any. In fact I’m hard pressed to come up with anything the Christian god does that couldn’t be motivated as easily by gleeful malignity as by love. (I’m not sure Allah is actually supposed to love you!) Send your only begotten son to die on a cross to save a few believers? Evil loves to showboat! Can’t think of anything else…

  5. tfkreference says:

    Jesus wanted to enter my heart. I asked him why and he said to save me. I asked him, “to save me from what?”

    “From what I’ll do to you if you don’t let me in.”

    (Apologies to whomever I stole that from.)

  6. Stephen Mynett says:

    tfkreference, good quote and it shows religion in a true light as no more than a protection racket.

  7. Matt says:

    This is beautiful, funny and, most importantly, educational. I’ve always known what a ridiculous concept hell is, but this cartoon made me truly understand its implications for the first time.

    No wonder Anglicans sweep those bits of the Bible under the carpet. Hard to cling on to the ‘Jesus loves you’ line if we know that the full text is ‘Jesus loves you so much that if you don’t love him back he’s going to condemn you for all eternity to torture beyond imagination. Think of your wife and children being raped and disembowelled in front of your eyes and it doesn’t come close… that’s how much Jesus loves you.”

  8. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    Such lovely primative emotions
    Inspire profits with many notions
    It is some what funny
    They are all in it for money
    With franchised sales of magic potions.

  9. Max+T.+Furr says:

    Ahh yes, the “loving” god–the god who “loved all the world.” Christian cognitive dissonance with the divinely ordered genocide of Canaan inspired a chapter in my novel. What a hoot, author.

  10. Ford says:

    See, extreme rendition is perfectly compatible with Christianity.

  11. Robert Andrews says:

    The old testament God is not worth worshiping even if real. The thing that really makes me mad is the plagues put on yhe people of Egypt. Not the phaero and his court but the common people.

    They had no say in government. When I say this to C hristians they simply say, ” you can’t judge god”. They seem not to understand the immorality of such actions.

    “The old testament shows god when he was young; the new testament shows him later, after he got religion”.–Mark Twain

  12. Michael says:

    Remember, kids, if Jesus loves you make sure he’s wearing a condom.

  13. Jerry+www says:

    Michael, I think you may be conflating Jesus with priests. Don’t worry, they do that themselves quite often.

  14. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Funny how the gods get away with this behaviour, yet when I told my kids that if they didn’t tell me five times a day that they loved me I’d throw their sorry arses into the fire, I got a visit from Social Services!

  15. neverfadingwood says:

    Gods get away with shit because they’re fictional characters.

  16. Acolyte, we really need a like button on these comments. I’d be thumb upping yours right now.
    I may have to put this one to music. Not promising anything, but I think I hear the melody already.

  17. Mord_Sith says:

    Caveat point, if Love is so universally understood, then how do you explain it to one who has no concept of it?

    Not to say I’m uncaring, or unsympathetic, but I honestly cannot think of a time where I could equate ‘Love’ to any one universally applicable emotion.

    I’ve appreciated people, I’ve enjoyed their company, I’ve learned from them, I’ve lived with them, and through all my experiences I try to come to know them.

    But the truism of ‘Love’ escapes me, I mean wholly and completely escapes me, even my parents whom the word ‘Love’ is used but I often find myself wondering what the actual emotion I’m supposed to feel that relates to that word actually is.

    You see it in movies, read it in books, you see it in pictures how strong and fragile ‘Love’ can be, but is that love? Or a menagerie of strong and defined emotions towards another who’s sum equates to the common standard of ‘Love’?

    I am actually honestly curious here, because there are days I find myself wondering exactly what love is beyond a four letter word that makes some people happy?

  18. Determinedly-dogged says:

    I have an issue with “burn in eternal torture”.
    I hurt my toe a while back, say a day or so. The instant I did it, it hurt like a summbitsh but after an hour or so, which obviously wasn’t long enough for it to heal, I could forget it hurt so long as I didn’t use it and so long as I managed to distract my mind. If I just sat reading, it got ignored.
    I do understand that getting red-hot farm implements jammed up your jacksie is probably going to hurt a little more than a stubbed toe … however, five thousand million million aeons where each “aeon” is about ten to the thirty million long-trillionth power of years is quite a long time. One would suppose that even a white-hot forky-bit in the bum would get intensely boring after deep, deep ages like those.
    Or is Old Beardy more inventive than we imagine? Does he have, for the endless years ahead, an equally endless variety of pointy things and places to poke them into?
    Even if so, it is only pain. People get used to all sorts of pain. Hell, even arthritic dogs try to run and gambol when their back legs are in flaming agony and dogs only last a couple of eyeblinks on this sort of timescale.
    Even with a christian deity that is incredibly good at producing new tortures every so often (“Eastenders” marathons, mayo sandwiches, some bastard behind you eating crisps at the good bit of the movies, sand in the prepuce, prepuce in the sand, radioactives in the meat … but I am just an amateur) surely Eternity is a long, long time and eventually one would get accustomed even to the worst of rap music?
    What I’m suggesting is that the priests didn’t think this through.
    “Hell” isn’t much of a deterrent, not if it also promises unending life. Indeed, the difference between the two polarities is not discernible over a long enough timespan. And Eternity surely has one of those. Eternity has lots of those.
    “Hell” is just “Heaven” in a different colour. Both would be boring as …

  19. SoggySunday says:

    Mordy, little pal, “love” is an epiphenomenon of mammalian parenting. Lizards, fish and beetles don’t love but mammals like humans can love even lizards, fish and beetles. Some people *must* love something.
    There are humans who can’t love or who don’t seem to need it very much. Some of those are sociopaths. Some are just less “maternal” than others. Some humans love everything and everyone and seem to have enough love to warm Pluto to red-heat.
    Like every other human talent, skill, property or characteristic, it’s a spectrum. Some can play music a little. Some can pick up any instrument and play so beautifully the stars weep, some have zero musical talent.
    So it is with the parenting skill of “love”.
    Dogs are a machine humans designed to love people far more than they love themselves or other dogs. Humans tend to love, if anything, humans more than other species. It’s a feature of mammalian parenting, nothing more. People are “designed” that way, it’s in-built. It helps those squirmy, squashed cretinous things live for more than ten minutes even though they drive adults to near-dementia. Human children would be rare and short-lived without “love”. That any survive their first tantrum is evidence of how strong the parenting syndrome is.
    “Love” can be very powerful.
    If you have it, it can be nice. Ask any proud canine walking her human. If you don’t, don’t worry about it. Try to be nice without it.
    For if you were a sociopath with absolutely no empathy, sympathy or ability to love (not that I suspect this in your case in any way), your being nice is rather an accomplishment. It’s a bit like an alcoholic being sober. Only stranger because an alcoholic can *feel* “sober” whereas a true sociopath can’t feel much of anything.
    A sociopath who works at being consistently nice, helpful, “caring” and “loving” to everyone is a heroic figure who deserves praise. He’s much nearer being saintly than would be a “true saint” who *does* have empathy.

    This does not describe any of the known gods, of course. Those are sulky brutes. We all know where the gods go when they die.

  20. Robert,+not+Bob says:

    Do Christians really call petty, jealous, controlling, quick-to-violence behavior “love”? They do. Or rather, those who actually read the bible do. I wonder how much domestic abuse is due to this.

  21. Chiefy says:

    “We all know where the gods go when they die.” We do? SoggySunday, I have no idea, but I suspect it depends on whose imagination that particular god resides in.

  22. plainsuch says:

    Gods are fueled by the Power of Imagination, the more people believe a god has an effect, the more affect that god has. According to the Good Book, ,people start religions because they believe in some god, then they transfer their belief to the religion and the god fades into a much feebler figment of imagination. I suppose that being aware, but powerless, is the existential hell of the gods.

  23. plainsuch says:

    “love” is an epiphenomenon of mammalian parenting

    It takes two bonded adults to successfully parent humans. “Love” also refers to the blissful state induced by the “beloved” partner. The result of operant conditioning, usually involving orgasms as the reward, that creates an unreasonably favorable opinion of another. This emotion is so powerful that humans will commit to decades of voluntary servitude to their children.

  24. plainsuch says:

    Still, isn’t it better to have a loving god who at least gives you a chance, than a satanic god, who would presumably throw everybody into Hell immediately upon creation?

    If it was *really* a chance to escape hell wouldn’t it be clearly marked? What kind of sick vicious humorist says “To escape my wrath you must commit yourself mind, heart and soul, to just 1 of these ten thousand different, equally unconvincing, cults. I love to see the look on your faces when you find out that The Reform Brethren of Clyde were the ones that made the lucky pick.

  25. oldebabe says:

    Mord_Sith, I’m with you there, and have/do/will feel the same all my life it seems (I’m 84 now). And I hear exactly what you’re saying. Maybe one needs to feel `love’ to understand `hell’ or become religious? Dunno.

  26. two cents' worth says:

    Mord_Sith, another way of looking at it is that love is the emotion that you experience with changing levels of intensity depending on the changing level of oxytocin in your brain. The article at describes ten things you can do to raise your oxytocin level. You could try these activities–paying attention to the emotions that you experience before, during, and afterward–to help you identify what love feels like to you.

    An article with more info. on oxytocin per se is available at

    I hope this helps. For what it’s worth, I agree with SoggySunday–anyone who is in a loving mood finds it easy to treat others kindly, but someone who treats others kindly without the impetus and support of his or her own emotions is truly to be admired.

  27. inquisador says:

    As someone once said: Satan tortue you in Hell?? Why would he do that? You’re one of his boys!. You’ll be in for a long time debauching with all the other demons and bad people since the ten commandments were revealed. Much more fun than harps, halos and boring bloody vergers and vicars!

  28. Mord_Sith says:

    @SoggySunday Not to be a bother, but you really didn’t quantify a single emotion that really applied solely to ‘Love’ Bliss is a state of happiness mixed with contentment, in other words, enjoying an endorphin rush without fretting about things on the sidelines.

    That’s really the only quantifiable emotion in your entire comment, though there are others that are implied:


    But nothing quantifiable to love alone that I could see, unless I’m completely missing the forest for the trees here.

    @oldebabe, thanks for the vote of confidence, I’m trying to see if it’s even an emotion or a temporal state of being where several positive factors relating to an individual converge, I guess they either don’t, or can’t converge completely in my regard. :/

    @two cents’ worth
    Perhaps I’m being too particular here, but according to the article that’s related to trust, not exclusively to love. What I’m ultimately looking for is if there really is ‘love’ and not just an emotional convergence.

    The odd thing here is, people are always on and on about ‘love’ but their descriptions vary wildly across people, places, and ages, there’s more consistency in a bowl of badly made turkey soup than there is in how people describe ‘love’.

    If it is a convergence, then how many positive emotions have to converge in order to classify it as love? Five? Ten? Twenty? (if there are even 20 base emotions.)

    If it is it’s own then one must untangle the web of what people say love is to try and find the single solitary strand in their account that is nothing other than ‘love’.

    However I have a hard time swallowing the parenting bit, I’ve seen people raise children like a farmer raises cattle to get better benefits from government social assistance so just because you can fire out a tiny tot doesn’t mean you love ’em.

  29. Holms says:

    “It takes two bonded adults to successfully parent humans.”

    I was raised by one parent.

  30. Sandra'sGhost says:

    Holms said: “I was raised by one parent.”

    As was I. And two siblings. She was a Master Dressmaker and Seamstress or whatever the trained level of that profession is called but she worked as a cleaner to feed us as opportunities in her chosen profession were few.
    When even cleaning jobs were squeezed we got Dole money. That’s a miserable existence but it does keep one alive. Barely. The “barely” was the idea. You were supposed to hate the Dole so much that even working for a living looked better.
    A mummy and a daddy may be the Victorian English archetypical family but there have been many millions of people raised successfully by other arrangements.
    Not everyone lives in a Christmas card.

    I’m with SS on the “love is just an outgrowth of mammalian parenting” thing. Mord_Sith, he did say that some people don’t have or need much of it, it would be asinine to assume that all of those types avoid parenthood. Some parents are bound to treat their brood as mini-workers or cash-cows, just as some are going to be wonderful parents.
    Not that either of those extremes can guarantee a good result. Some parents who are deeply horrible can produce the most lovely children, and other parents doing a fairly adequate job end up with things like me.
    Or worse.

    Love is a feeling of affection for something or someone that is derived from a mammalian parenting drive. Like SS, I’d be surprised if lizards felt affection for anything but I’d be astonished if that look in a dog’s eyes wasn’t “love”.
    Love has bugger all to do with sex.


    “Wonder and hope will draw the unicorn,
    Faith and love will bind him.

    This is innocence.

    Sexual experience has nothing to do with it. “

    Snakes and fruit flies have sex. Love is not sex.

  31. JoJo says:

    Well, at least they’re better than Cat Stevens…

    I have heard it said, that such is the adaptability of man, before long an eternity of torment would become just as tedious and banal as an eternity of bliss, with not much to chose between them.. There might be something in that..

  32. two cents' worth says:

    I find this discussion of love very interesting. It may be that we have a shared definition of what a color is–yellow, for instance–because, if we are all looking at a ripe lemon in the sunlight, we can all point to it and agree that it’s yellow. But there is no way to know if we all perceive yellow in the same way–the color in my mind’s eye when I see something yellow may be the color that’s in your mind’s eye when you see something red. But, because it’s hard to point to something outside ourselves and agree that it’s purely love (rather than a mixture of emotions), we’re left with describing how it feels to us–and, because love feels different to different people, it’s hard to agree on a definition of what love is.

  33. plainsuch says:

    there is no way to know if we all perceive yellow in the same way
    or blue,red or green. I agree with the general philosophical point, but in the particular instance of color we do have tests for “color blindness”. I think it’s interesting that most people, most of the time, can productively communicate among themselves about color even though they are using different reference points. I see a color called blue but apparently most other people have a much more intense sensation when they see blue. The only practical effect of this that sometimes people claim something is a dark blue when I can clearly see that it’s black.

  34. plainsuch says:

    Infatuation is one of the emotions referenced as love.
    Sex isn’t love.
    Sex leads to orgasms. Orgasms are, or can be, such a blast of pleasure that your nervous system automatically learns the association to what was on your mind at the time, probably your partner. That leads to infatuation.
    If the object of your desire is a gram of pure cocaine it’s called an addiction. If you are infatuated with a person they write songs about it. Either way that’s how most people end up parenting children.

  35. plainsuch says:

    “It takes two bonded adults to successfully parent humans.”

    I plead guilty to an impossible over-generalization. It takes somewhere between one person and an entire village to raise a child, and the meaning of the phrase “successfully parent” various with the context as well as the local cultural values. In some parts of the world it may simply mean that your child lives to reach adulthood.
    Choosing to be a single mother means a lifetime of poverty and low social status, at least in the USA. Generally somebody needs to keep the children from harm and teach them the basics of hygiene while somebody else provides for their material needs, it is difficult for one person to do both. It is difficult even with a committed partner for emotional support.

  36. plainsuch says:

    I do wish my imaginary invisible friend loved me enough to create a Hell for former Vice-President Dick Cheney to burn in. Adaptability to an eternity of pain can be easily defeated, just remove the ability to make new memories. Every minute would be just as fresh and crispy as the first.

  37. white+squirrel says:

    surely ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ are the minds subjective response to the situation and environment it is in

    if there were really a ‘afterlife’ in which you burned ‘forever’ then after a while the mind would adjust -clearly this ‘god’ does not understand the resilience of the humans it supposedly ‘created’

  38. white+squirrel says:

    Choosing to be a single mother means a lifetime of poverty and low social status, at least in the USA.
    given the horrendous lack of abortion provision in some parts of the USA being a single parent is not always a choice
    there is also the fact that the mother might be married to a soldier killed on active service while she is pregnant
    or the partner dies through some other cause or they split up/divorce
    being dondemn to a life of poverty if a single parent is the fault of the social system in USA [ Americans should be ashamed ]

  39. white+squirrel says:

    people write songs about cocaine too

  40. white+squirrel says:

    re -If the object of your desire is a gram of pure cocaine it’s called an addiction. If you are infatuated with a person ..
    I would argue that addiction is equivalent to obsessive stalking
    while person infatuation is equivalent to non addictive usage

  41. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Darwin, many thanks. I do think that a ‘like’ button lacks the personal touch that makes this site such a joy.

    White Squirrel, re: surely ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ are the minds subjective response to the situation and environment it is in

    True dat (as I believe the modern vernacular would have it). Most afterlife mythology that I’ve read about tends to be the hopes and fears of a particular people writ large.
    It’s why the Heaven of the desert-dwellers is a land of milk and honey, a beautiful, temperate place where luscious fruits are always in season and cool, clear water flows in abundance (abundance: is that where little cakes go to boogie?), whereas their Hell is an extreme of what they suffer on Earth; pain, heat, suffering, drought, etc.
    Native Americans had their ‘happy hunting ground’, an idealised form of everyday life (I can’t recall at the moment whether they had a version of Hell, and time’s too short to check right now) whilst a lot of the Nordic peoples had a version of Hell that was cold beyond imagination and a Heaven that was, like the desert tribes’ version, a place of warmth and plenty – again an extreme of their usual environment.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death I shall fear no evil, for I am the meanest son-of-a-bastard in the whole damned valley.

  42. HaggisForBrains says:

    AoS – I have just responded to a Facebook post by my son with “True that”. My children are no doubt falling about laughing or squirming with embarrassment at their father’s attempt to be cool. It’s the internet equivalent of daddy dancing, and I’m sure there must be a term for it.

    Abundance – lovely definition, must remember to act it out next time I play Solo. Where I come from the sandwiches and drink after a funeral are often referred to as a “bunfight” (no idea why). Perhaps bundance would be better.

  43. Mord_Sith says:


    Again I feel like a bit of a jerk pointing this out but affection is not the limited prevue of love, one can be affectionate to someone without loving them, one could be affectionate towards animals but only as a coping mechanism for the darkness in their lives. (re: distress dogs)

    I don’t disagree that there can be great things out of terrible circumstances, it just saddens me when I see the convoys march on the bus because I know that those kids are only taken care of as long as they bring in mommy’s party money and if they’re taken away she will just fire out more to keep the party going.

    Not to be a prude however but how did sex get involved in this conversation at all? All that is really is just going through a massive endorphin rush (that could in theory stop your heart but hey!) to try and encourage mammals as a species to continue to procreate as a survival mechanism.

    @two cents’ worth / plainsuch

    That’s just it, I’m looking at the rainbow of emotions and trying to figure out exactly where love lies in it if it is a solo emotion, if it isn’t, if it’s a convergence of emotions (like a rainbow twisted over itself somehow) then how many emotions converging constitutes as love, minimum, and maximum thresholds (between love and obsession for example.)

    Generally though, colourblind tests are done as a gamut of colours, and colourblindness is determined when two distinct colours to others look the same to someone else, a common one is red/green but regardless it’s only a test relative to other colours, if there are colours others do not perceive that one does perceive, it’s hard to create a test for it.

    Infatuation is a synonym to love, it shares the same question I have for love as it linguistically is the same thing.

    I agree with you to a point on the single mother/father bit, the only disagreement point is poverty versus raising, you see if you’re working all the time, you’re not raising your kid/s, you’re supporting it / them and hiring someone to raise them for you.

    Paying someone’s way through life does not a parent make, and the TV is a horrible substitute that everyone (at least from my generation) got to learn the hard way.

  44. plainsuch says:

    a life of poverty if a single parent is the fault of the social system in USA [ Americans should be ashamed ]

    Don’t get me started on politics. The same group that goes berserk over the ‘Right to Life” of a fetus resents the child that is born. They condemn women who work outside the home because they aren’t home with their children, but if her family needs any financial assistance they condemn her for not getting a job.

    Individually most of these people are kind and, sometimes, generous. But as a group these xians are meannest most spiteful bloc of voters that ever supported a right-wing oligarchy.

    Incidentally, I’m not a Fan of the Fetus. A fetus can’t be a person because it doesn’t have any fore-brain.

  45. Mord_Sith says:

    This just hit the Oatmeal, sounds like the re-imagining of the giant spaghetti monster:

  46. Sandra'sGhost says:

    White Squirrel did say “Choosing to be a single mother means a lifetime of poverty and low social status, at least in the USA.”

    It may not entirely have been a choice but as a rebuttal witness I present J.K. Rowling. That lady did have a period of being a poor single mother but she has hardly been condemned to a lifetime’s worth of it. She put a bit of effort into digging herself out of the hole, got extraordinarily lucky and is now probably wealthier than many queens.
    Yes, not everyone is a writer and were they all there would not be sufficient readers to go around to make everyone wealthy but escaping the poverty trap can be done.
    With a little help many women make good lives without a useless male around drinking their wages. There are even banks and other finance houses that do help many thousands. The stereotype of the teen-aged chav slut spewing out sprogs just to get benefits and a bigger house is both insulting and a gross generalisation.
    Though there are a few of those, too.
    I just wish the successful single parents, males as well as females, would make the front pages of the tabloids and the BBC propaganda programmes masquerading as “news” every so often.
    It would make a piquant top-note in the endless stew of misery and biased reportage about the less-than-spectacularly-successful.

  47. Sandra'sGhost says:

    plainsuch, affection is to love what “Fosters” is to real ales. That which makes affection is the same things that make love but love is ever so much more. That both can make you happy is why they exist but affection is a very much milder form of the mammalian insanity that is love.
    I’m not sure about SoggySunday but I would think that neither affection nor love pester the lizards, snakes and spiders of our world any more that plants suffer from either.
    Of course, I could be very wrong in this. I would like to ask a lizard but some Saint George type evil sod killed the only talking ones.

  48. white+squirrel says:

    indeed so
    rich single parents are never seen as a ‘problem’ and nor are ‘success orphans’ whose parents leave childcare to their house staff
    it is only ever poor single parents who are targeted

  49. white+squirrel says:

    it is also interesting that a life times worth of action would result in penalty or reward forever [whatever that means]
    black and white division with no grey areas
    surely a just and fair god would mete out reward AND penalty according to the measure of what ever actions qualify and in equal duration and possibly in kind too
    this suggests that
    IF the afterlife is real
    THEN it probably more closely resembles the hindu ideas of reincarnation/karma

  50. white+squirrel says:

    as a follow up -yes i know the jack Chick answer that its faith not actions that matter and that ‘god’ would send a devout christian serial rapist to heaven and an atheist philanthropist to hell
    another reason why i dont beleive

  51. white+squirrel says:

    ps -Judaism also includes the concept of reincarnation
    so if their god does that – where does the christian/musilm idea of heaven /hell come from -given its the same god allegedly?

  52. Shaughn says:

    “Adaptability to an eternity of pain can be easily defeated, just remove the ability to make new memories. Every minute would be just as fresh and crispy as the first.”

    Isn’t that what dementia and Korzakov do? ‘t Will probably remove the sense of eternality too. That’s not what the loving and caring torturer wants, I guess.

  53. plainsuch says:

    it is also interesting that a life times worth of action would result in penalty or reward forever [whatever that means]
    -yes i know the jack Chick answer that its faith not actions that matter

    Obviously Jack Chick’s imaginary invisible friend is a narcissus that doesn’t care what you do to others, only how much attention it got.

  54. plainsuch says:

    um..No, not a flower but …has a narcissistic personality disorder and…

  55. jb says:

    A god does not have to be all about love. For example, the Star Maker god of Olaf Stapledon’s very impressive and influential 1937 science fiction novel creates a vast number of wildly different universes in some sort of a quest for godly self-realization. The protagonist is given a vision of this process at the end, and is dismayed to realize that some of the inhabitants of some of these universes suffer terribly and pointlessly, and that their creator doesn’t care, that he not love his creations, but simply contemplates them. One of those universes (not the protagonist’s) is even explicitly modeled on Christianity.

    The novel is actually quite good, and if you are into early science fiction I recommend it highly. The science particular is astonishingly prescient, at least given the date. For example, one of the universes, which is simply mentioned in a throwaway line at the end, anticipates rather closely the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics!

  56. John B. Hodges says:

    I have the following which I post whenever the topic of Hell comes up.

    I received a revelation from God last Thursday.

    God has decided that the system of Heaven and Hell was just not working. Torturing prisoners had grown boring, and hymns of praise even more boring. So he has abolished Heaven and Hell and set up a new system of sequential reincarnation. When you die, your soul will go to the back of a line. When you reach the front of the line, you go into the next available human body.

    He has declared a general amnesty for the residents of Hell, and put them into the line. Those who were good enough to get into Heaven, all twenty-seven of them, volunteered to go into the line as well, so they could teach virtue and goodness by example.

    He hopes that we will have enough sense to treat each other well and care for the Earth. If not, we will just have to live in the mess. He is turning his attention to other galaxies, where he has other children to raise. He said, “You’re on your own now. It’s time to grow up.”

  57. hotrats says:

    … it is to account for two quite unconnected mysteries that the human mind looks beyond humanity, and it is two of him that philosophy obligingly provides. There is, first, the God of Creation to account for existence, and second, the God of Goodness to account for moral values.

    I say they are unconnected because there is no logical reason why the fountainhead of goodness in the universe should necessarily have created the universe in the first place; nor is it necessary, on the other hand, that a Creator should care a tuppence about the behavior of his creations.

    Still, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition, nothing is heard either of a God who created the universe and then washed his hands of it, or, alternatively, a God who merely took a comparatively recent interest in the chance product of universal gases.

    Another quote from Tom Stoppard’s brilliant play Jumpers.

  58. Sandra'sGhost says:

    This is funny but possibly not as fair as they suppose. Thursday is far, far more about Thor than the Winterfest is about any johnnie-come-lately Hogfather wannabe.

  59. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    HFB, re “It’s the internet equivalent of daddy dancing, and I’m sure there must be a term for it. “
    Not that I’m aware of, but I propose AILing – Age Inappropriate Lingo.

    hotrats, that’s a lovely quote, but what’s it doing in a play about knitwear?

  60. plainsuch says:

    Jumpers? I thought it was kangaroos vs cane toads, or was that Hoppers?


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