Who are you to say, “Who are you to say, ‘Who are you to say?’?”?

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Discussion (55)¬

  1. jean-françois gauthier says:

    you’re hurting my freedom to hurt your freedom, how dare you!

  2. Laripu says:

    Ha! Author, you’ve uncovered the symmetry in “Judge not lest ye be judged”.

    So their moral is, don’t arrogantly judge other practises and cultures (unless naughty bits are rubbed in unapproved places). Surely that’s the basis for any truly robust theology. 😉

  3. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Unfortunately, it’s part of my culture to criticise and mock others beliefs. It’s a long tradition–going back centuries–but it was ruthlessly suppressed by [whatever empire is unfashionable at the moment]. So–don’t be telling me what to do!

  4. Someone says:

    It’s a bit sad when the arguments of ardently religious amount to little more than the arguments of children. Sad but not surprising.

  5. Chikkipop says:

    There are 2 ways I have always answered when people ask “Who are you to say?”, and one is exactly the way it is answered here: “Who are you to say “Who are you to say?'”

    The other way I answer is to simply state “I am exactly who I have to be!” (That is, I meet the requirements of both existing and having an opinion.)

  6. machigai says:

    Turtles all the way down.
    What is Moses drinking this time?

  7. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    No prizes for guessing the inspiration behind this one.
    Judge not lest ye be..Mello?

  8. Donn says:

    In that vein also: “That’s just your opinion.” (Sure, but if I doubted it, it wouldn’t really be my opinion any more, so pardon me if I find that qualification vacuous.) As for who am I, that shouldn’t really have any bearing on validity, unless we’re expecting an oracle.

  9. PrimalVirtue says:

    I have never fathomed out how devotees believing in an unprovable ancient supernatural Deity and the pronouncements of its Prophets is assumed to automatically have bestowed on them a superior set of ethics, yet this is what most religionists seem to regard to be true. There’s a saying, that if one person thinks they are being spoken to by a supernatural being they are considered mad but if many do it its called a religion.
    I can see many of the tenets of non theistic Buddhism are desirable, particularly the practice of Awareness Meditation and possibly also the counter intuitive sayings attributed to the Jesus story like “love your enemy” but realistically there is not much there beyond that which evolution and our own ability to philosophise haven’t already given us.
    Most normal humans have an understanding of the reciprocity principle and shared with many other animals, empathy which forms the basis of their actions in the world. If religionists behave in a good way it is these that they are mainly relying on in any case. Sadly too many religionists seem to be loosing touch with the beauty, awe and scientific understanding of the natural world by filling their heads with outdated scriptural verbiage from the ancient past.
    Does anyone remember the Mr Men…..perhaps we could introduce a Mr Mello.

  10. Donn says:

    The way I understand it, real religion is about Faith, and in that context Faith means believing in Something Preposterous – i.e., something you’d never believe if it weren’t for that Faith. I can read up on the Dalai Lama, Chuang Tzu, Epictetus, etc. and perhaps profit from their ideas, but if I don’t knowingly swallow anything preposterous, there’s no religion to it.

    People complain that we affect an air of superiority and ridicule their beliefs, but there’s really no way around it. That kind of Faith is what it is, and if they understand it to be ridiculous, maybe it’s time to fold up the tent.

  11. Noreligion2 says:

    “Who are you to say?!”

    I have degrees!
    And life experiences!
    And a dislike of mixed breed dogs!
    Plus, I have spoken to God!
    That’s who!

    How DARE you question my authority.

    So sorry. I was temporarily overcome by the oneness of the universe, became possessed, and ended up channeling the spirit of his mellownis. If it happens again, please call the mobile psych unit.

  12. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    The pain of enduring the presence of moral superiority
    From people of arrogant inferiority
    moralist fools
    dogmatic tools
    Of a no minded brain dead society.

  13. Michael says:

    I find your intolerance to my bigotry intolerable.

  14. M27Holts says:

    Jesus and mo. Do like their stouts. I do like a nice stout or ruby ale. No tequila for me! Mo should really be drinking fermented camels piss or something similar (insert Australian lager name here)

  15. Son of Glenner says:

    Author: Re Moses’ drink: Is that as in the well-known cocktail “Tequila Mocking Bird”?

  16. Someone says:

    M27Holts, I believe you’re thinking of XXXX. Great for a binge drinking and having a chunder.
    (Personally, I prefer Cascade.)

  17. Noreligion2 says:

    Son of Glenner, I think it’s one of the more expensive brands, as in, He’s a Patron Saint.

    It’s kosher you know.

  18. M27Holts says:

    I think that the author having Mo in the cock & bull already has the ironyometer showing 500,000iu. In the Lancashire and Yorkshire mill towns with many mosques and extremely high Muslim populations. The places where you will find NONE of them are called “pubs”.

  19. Son of Glenner says:

    HelenaHandbasket: Well said! Just keep on doing the same – and that’s an order.

  20. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Son of Glenner. To do otherwise would be an insult to my ancestors. Anyway, god told me in a dream that it was right and proper for me to mock and ridicule others’ deeply held religious beliefs (that’s only because I have no political power, if I did then obviously I would subject them to grisly and humiliating public deaths). Such is the way of the lord.

  21. Sparky_Shark says:

    I know Joe Mello had to go. But it was fun with him around. Should one of us have an epiphany and make the case for the rest of the heathens on this forum to get saved? It’s like this village without an idiot is only 85% of the village it could be…

  22. M27Holts says:

    Moe Jello had to go as his posts were far too long for such an absence of anything worth reading. Short and deluded would have been more tolerable. Mind you he just ended up in ad-hominem insults. So he was binned. THANK YOU JESUS!

  23. Sparky_Shark says:

    M27Holts – that’s “@Jesus” to you me auld mucker….

  24. Noreligion2 says:

    “Moe Jello had to go as his posts were too long…”
    pardon me for presuming Author’s motive(s), but I have to think it was for his own good and the rest of society more so than patrons of the Cock and Bull. Knowing the supreme bean well as he suggested he did, he sounded (after working himself up) to me like he might be capable of trying to rid the world of a few of us bleating, mf’rs.
    Btw, if jesus is god, and Mary is the mother of jesus, doesn’t that make jesus a mf’r?

  25. M27Holts says:

    I see a brain dead child is going to be kept alive in an Italian hospital after his distraught father sought an aufience with the pope. Apparently god is the arbiter of when children die. So the child will be kept alive in a catatonic state for as long as it takes to find a cure. Sounds like typical Faith head thinking to me. The parents are just seriously selfish to think that they are doing it in the child’s best interest! What is the consensus here?

  26. Donn says:

    Someone please channel God for a second opinion.

  27. Noreligion2 says:

    “Someone please channel god for a second opinion.”
    If everyone is an extension of the universe, then wouldn’t that be a second, third, on up to 7 and 1/2 billion opinions (at least as far as this one rock in one solar system among trillions of others in the visible cosmos) is concerned?
    Is “god” one voice, or a multitude? Or is it a distillation of all those voices through a medium who is learned/pure/invested/worthy/ordained/uncynical(gullible)/mello enough?
    Just wanting to be clear who or what “god” is, trying to calibrate the tuner, so to speak.
    My particular channel says “let the poor kid go.”

  28. Donn says:

    If you put it that way, guess it’s going to have to be put to a vote.

    I gather the Stoic philosophers thought they could hang their hats on some elements of universal truth, which would be apparent to someone who has cleared his mind of distractions and biases. I have a hunch though that from that elemental level to the question at hand, would be a few extra steps. I am fairly confident that a good Stoic philosopher would reach a better decision, but I don’t think there’s any predicting what it would be. If we put the philosophy into practice for ourselves, I suspect the answer would be “not my business.”

  29. M27Holts says:

    Aye. Normally would not be any of my business either. But the north west media (liverpool) are making it part of the public domain by pushing an anti science agenda as per usual. The experts have declared that further treatment is futile. Thus they are heartless monsters. The pope gets involved and suddenly religion is again the cavalry riding over the hill to save the little child from cruel reality. I just wish the religious influence insidiously polluting society would just give it a rest. If aliens invade earth I hope that they find out that religious people taste better than atheists and just turn the deluded into steaks back on meringula nine.

  30. suffolk blue says:

    M27 – I like it!

    Protestant Pie, Catholic Casserole, Buddhist Butty. The possibilities are endless.

  31. Donn says:

    Perhaps they are speaking from a position of culinary superiority. Sometimes it must hurt to be right.

  32. Dr John the Wipper says:

    I see a brain dead child is going to be kept alive in an Italian hospital after his distraught father sought an aufience with the pope. Apparently god is the arbiter of when children die.

    In MY logic, the second sentence is the solution to the problem from the first: let god arbitrate, so, medical actions away, and let nature (might as well call it god if they wish) do its will.

    But if their god is to decide, NO interference from medical technology……

  33. Noreligion2 says:

    “I see a brain dead child…and suddenly religion is again the cavalry riding over the hill.”
    I think the old steaming pile of “he works in mysterious ways” horse shit is what first put me off religion as a thirteen year old. My incredulity was permanently (at least until my mental faculties degrade, are zapped out of me with electro-shock, or lobotomized) burned into my brain by the lamest excuses for reason by my elders at that time. I suppose the memory of that, and a reflexive, visceral response is what forced me out of my usual lurking state by the recent, mobius pretzel logic spewing, now banned, troll.
    A small child suffers (one of millions) because of the cold chaos of nature and it’s supposed to have some kind of purpose? The most prevalent being an ADVERTISEMENT for religious faith?
    Out with the old Ratzinger pope and in with the rebrand, we’ve got to stop the numbers from sliding.
    Just, come on.
    I know there is a sea of gullible people out there, but have the faithfull no sense of intellectual propriety? It is truly disgusting.

  34. Donn says:

    Well, yeah, in a way it is a promotional opportunity. Religion’s grip on the masses is weak, but it’s warm enough in there and they’re afraid to step out into the cold. This is a chance for the priest class to represent love and caring for life, against the cold, scary rationality of the rationalists who would put an end to it. Sensible people will deplore this gimmickry (especially from believers in immortal souls who you’d think wouldn’t have the least worry about death), but of course it never was all that much about thinking.

  35. Noreligion2 says:

    “It never was all that much about thinking”
    I daresay such a thing is frowned upon.
    Also, I forgot to say, meringula 9 made me snort, along with author’s comic, of course.

  36. Laripu says:

    Suffolk Blue, you wrote “Protestant Pie, Catholic Casserole, Buddhist Butty. The possibilities are endless.”

    OK, I’ll play:
    Muslim moussaka, Hindu haggis, Sikh sausages, Jewish jambalaya and Seventh-day Adventist 7-layer meat loaf.

    I really wanted the tongue twister “Jewish sushi”, but Jews aren’t fishy enough … so I’ll continue to use that phrase to mean “lox”.

    There ought to be be a dish called Wiccan Chicken. Maybe roast bat? 😉

  37. M27Holts says:

    Scientologist soufle. The pudding after a hearty jehovas witness roast dinner with kingdom hall potatoes.

  38. Noreligion2 says:

    Fundi Fondue?

  39. wnanig says:

    This whole culinary discussion is starting to remind me of the French movie “Delicatessen” from 1991. Never move into an apartment building owned by a butcher.

  40. Laripu says:

    Anyone see the 80s movie “Eating Raoul”?

  41. Someone says:

    The movie Society suddenly springs to mind, though that was about the rich feeding off the lower classes.

    How about Hare Krishnas served with harissa? Sounds tasty.

    On a different note, one of the customers I had at work recently was a rabbi named Pinchus. It took every fiber of my being not to laugh, especially given a recent topic of discussion.

  42. European says:

    “The parents are just seriously selfish to think that they are doing it in the child’s best interest! What is the consensus here?”
    If it’s brain dead, it can’t have interests – thus neither benefit nor be harmed. The only thing that’s harmed is the health system – another patient who might benefit from an intensive care bed will die. Great job…

  43. Efogoto says:

    @Laripu re: “Eating Raoul”

    The things that really stayed with me from that movie are the sound they used for frying pan on skull and Buck Henry playing the banker shouting “Whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks!”

  44. Laripu says:

    Efogoto, I’d forgotten. Thanks for the laugh. 😀 The first time I saw it, in the early 80s, I didn’t like it or find it funny. Two years later I saw it again and thought it was hilarious. I don’t know why my reactions were what they were either time.

    Of course the prototype for all this is Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”. That was just so good. So much so that it has been imitated many times (including by me, a few years ago,, but never with the brilliance of Swift, of course.

  45. Yadvak says:

    What we says goes.

  46. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    The European Court of Human Rights today rejected the parents’ appeal to allow the baby to be moved to a Rome hospital, but the parents’ are planning a second appeal. They have also petitioned the Queen to intervene, though what she can legally do I have no idea.
    I have every sympathey with the parents. Nobody wants to watch their child die, but the baby is already as near to dead as it’s possible to be; his brain has been destroyed and it is only the medical equipment that is giving him a semblence of being alive.
    It’s time for them to let him go, as hard as it will be for them to do so.

  47. Donn says:

    We all could probably benefit from a little critical thinking about what it means to be alive, and why we care. The religious take on it reliably leads to nutty results like this, and I think at some level everyone gets that.

  48. jb says:

    There are plenty of sincerely religious people who are willing to allow a loved one to be taken off of life support once it becomes clear that they will never recover consciousness. (I’ve examples of this in my own family). The reasons the exceptions like this child in Italy get so much media coverage is that they are in fact exceptions.

  49. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    jb, the child is in Liverpool’s Alder Hay hospital, not in Italy. The father went to Italy to meet the Pope.
    Curiously, the child was yesterday made an Italian citizen, so this ain’t going to get at all political.

  50. M27Holts says:

    The police had to commit serious resources to prevent an angry lynch mob from entering the children’s hospital and probably attacking “heartless” medical staff. Human stupidity is always overlooked when emotional crowd hysteria is used as an excuse for your typical urbanite thug to cause affray. Call me cynical but I would suggest that the parents motivations are unlikely to be altruistic. Me me me….springs to mind…

  51. Suffolk Blue says:

    “Wiccan Chicken” ! LOL

  52. jb says:

    Wait, the child is in England, but someone in Italy just sort of reached over (that image from the Sistine Chapel comes to mind here) and made him an Italian citizen? I didn’t know they could do that!

  53. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Holts, I dread to think what the constant police presence required to watch the demonstrators is costing. Also, how fucking selfish are these people? They’re outside a childrens’ hospital chanting and shouting from dawn to dusk every day; probably the only kid on that side of the building not being disturbed by the racket is the one they’re protesting for. Inconsiderate, attention-seeking idiots, the lot of ’em.

    jb, my thoughts exactly, and not only how, but why? Almost certainly a move initiated by il papa, but I wonder if, by making the baby an Italian citizen, they were hoping for UK government intervention, or maybe to try to persuade the ECHR that British courts cannot decide the fate of a citizen of another country currently in the UK?


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