October 10th, 2018
That pope chap really believes in the devil!
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Author. 3rd box ever…not every…..ok
Satan is a far more interesting character than the Abrahimic god….And Al Pacino has nailed the performance…
I expected a blink.
Thanks, M27. Fixed now.
What finally led me away from the church was, when I was about 12, the priest going on and on about the cherubim and seraphim. He, a full-grown man, really believed in ‘creatures’ you couldn’t see or sense in any way. I figured he was looney-toons, and I couldn’t trust him for ANY insight.
I say that the Devil’s trick is convincing people that he doesn’t exist right here, in us, but that he does exist over there, in them.
That said… panel 4 is brilliant.
4th panel: Interesting thought. Something for theologians to chew on.
Theology has no.place in the higher places of learning. Leave it for pre-school, where it belongs.
My mother used to quote this bit of evangelical propaganda at me whenever I questioned the existence of the devil. I wish I had had this comeback for her, though I wouldn’t have phrased it as a question but rather, “It seems to me that your god is pulling the same trick.” Alas, my mother is gone now, which makes réponse dans les escaliers pretty final.
Darwin H: Nice to see you back in the old C&B. Have a virtual dram on me. But it must be Scotch, not Canadian!
So simple, so true.
Dinosaur skeleton placement. DNA proving irreducible complication. Matter appearing from nothing. The religious mind doing mental summersaults to support their mental deficiency and delusion….meanwhile 12 years to save the planet’s fragile environment…..best that ratkind goes extinct before we export our poison beyond this planet….
What’s crazier than having an imaginary friend? Having an imaginary enemy.
DH: Speaking as a compulsive pedant, much as I hate to critique a dear old chum, it’s “l’espirit d’escalier”, (wit of the stair), not “réponse dans les escaliers”, (answer in the stairs).
But kudos for using the acute accent, which my French teacher never tired of telling us, distinguishes ‘answer’ from ‘lay another egg’ (re + pondre).
I hate to play the “advocatus dei” here, but…
…panel 4 looks less brillant when Jesus answers in Panel 5: “Why, convincing the world that God doesn’t exist, was Satan’s 2nd greatest trick.”
Because, come on, is you believe that Satan pulls tricks like that, it follows automatically that non-believers must be the devils work, too. Only good things are attributed to God, it’s obvious. And so on.
What was the reason for Lucifer leaving heaven? I’m a bit hazy on all the details. Was hell created by God as a place for Satan to hang out? Did God or the devil then do the interior decorating?
Was the problem that thing with the Apple – i.e. making humans sentient and “giving them choice”? If so, didn’t god *want* us to have a choice — that’s the excuse for all the misery around us these days. Well, not for bone cancer in children and earthquakes and stuff. But for rape, murder, neoliberals and bankers.
Basically, I’d need a lot more info on the character and motivations of god and the devil to make a decision. And I *really* don’t trust the bible or religious nutters as an unbiased source.
I mean, if the devil is charming and into good music and sex and stuff, while heaven consists of ETERNAL praise and has televangelists in it… no contest really.
And why would the devil be interested in torturing souls? Aren’t the ones he gets the ones who agree with him (about whatever difference of opinion God and the devil have)?
It’s all so confusing. 🙁 Or rather, the Christian narrative doesn’t make sense. As usual.
Enyavar, the argument Jesus would pose can be easily negated by this Deicide lyric: “God is the reason that Satan lives on”.
After all, God created Lucifer as a deceiver to test the faith of men before the Christian sect morphed him into God’s nemesis. Therefore, God is responsible for his trickster existence, the existence of Hell and seems happy with Satan harvesting the souls of the wicked.
So panel six would ask something along the lines of “why should we believe in a God that is increasingly disprovable, that also created its symbiotically entwined enemy, who was designed to make us doubt the existence of God in the first place?”
Likely response: “…The Devil made you say that!”
The religious knobheads are too stupid to rationalise any argument that undermines their brainwashing. The sweeping generalisation of “sin” is the problem of all religious dogma. Having sexual fun with a consenting adult of any gender is not morally wrong unless you are involved with another adult who doesn’t know you are dabbling beyond that relationship…But the monotheistic religions see that as mortal sin, just as if you burnt 12 children alive…what a bunch of raving lunatics!
M27Holts: “… sexual fun with a consenting adult of any gender is not morally wrong unless you are involved with another adult who doesn’t know …” On what grounds? Is this not just a social construct? And where do conception, contraception, and STIs come into the picture?
Meanwhile, in Ireland, we have a ministry set up to perform exorcism on those who have summoned devils through Reiki
Professional jealousy? General dingbattery? You decide…
Try to find Old Harry’s Game, the best take ever on Satan.
At the risk of quoting myself:
Something which doesn’t exist cannot help us, but chronic dependence on something that fails to exist does active harm to all of us.
And that goes for Yahweh, Satan, heaven, hell, the whole schmeer.
SOG. I was just setting a boundary using the golden rule. The sin is usually just sex..regardless of the complications of the biology involved….I did not want to add caveat upon caveat it would try my texting finger….haha
religion with IT’S devils and demons along with it’s god(s) is the worse trick mankind ever played upon it’s self….
LD50: “… while heaven consists of ETERNAL praise …” reminds me of verse 6 of “Amazing Grace”
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
When I first heard that verse, I thought that’s a vision of hell – not heaven!
Nice tune, terrible sentiments.
the pope disagrees with J. He says the worst trick was when the devil made the church protect all the pedophile priests.
Where I live in Swinton, North Manchester, England. Catholic churches are closing. Declining congregations and the lack of priests….long may it continue…It must be Lucifer at work again…
Err, Ms. Barmaid, Jehovah isn’t “pulling the same trick”. He is actively trying to recruit believers in his existence. He even wrote a series of small novellas in the “as told to” style as a sort of autobiography thing. These have been collected into a variety of volumes such as “The Bible”, The Koran” and “The Book Of Mormon”.
Big J may be an absentee landlord much of the time but he’s hardly reticent about proclaiming his personhood.
If you doubt this, have a talk with any Jehovah’s Witness.
That would be fun. Barmaid versus a couple of Witless. I’d pay for some pints to watch that one.
SoG, in line 3 of the quoted verse of “Amazing Grace” should it not be:
“We’ve no fewer days to sing …“?
Days being quantised and discrete.
Unless the writer was using “days” as a poetic metaphor for “time”, perhaps?
And why would a soul shine “…as the Sun …”? I thought that was the Big Guy’s favourite trick?
What’s a metaphor?
smallvoice: Your remarks should be addressed, not to me, but to the author of the song, Rev John Newton. I simply quoted the words as written. IMNVHO, the verbal errors to which you refer are the least objectionable aspects of the song.
BTW, the well-known tune was only added to the cringe-making words many years after the words were composed in 1779. I do actually quite like the tune.
It just occured to me that, given that premis, the church should actively support devil worship as it helps to confirm satans existence. Of course–looking at devil worshippers means that the devil isn’t too picky about who follows him (D&D players, heavy metal freaks, and Dennis Wheatley fans…but then, to be fair, christians arent too impressive either)
Hand basket. A few sweeping generalizations there. Are all metal fans Satanists? The music often has black magic themes and shredding tends to make you think of long hair and beer drinking. I love metal but I don’t worship Asmodeus and drink virgin’s blood….
M27Holts: “… virgin’s blood …” – a rare commodity these days?
Especially in Swinton Manchester where I live….I do like black pudding and that is pig blood conjealed with oats…lovely fried.
Long time since I commented, all the time I have been lurking in the corner, enjoying the discussions…
I have often thought, that IF there was an all-knowing, all powerful etc. etc. god, it would know exactly what you did and why you did it. And if it had a just a tiny bit of justice, it would judge everyone by that. After all, this god thing would be responsible for you being a believer or not, having constructed you and placed you in the circumstances you were in.
If it would find it important for you to believe in it, it would know how to send you a convincing message to make you believe, simple as that.
Now, if I were the devil and would like to do a lot of damage, I could have some little books written, acting as if some god dictated them, and publish those under names as quran, bible, torah etc.
I would make each one a bit different and have each one have some chapters where every believer could pick up whatever they want, even totally contrary meanings of the same phrases.
Then convince some folks that THEIR little book of choice is The Only Truth…and let the fun begin!
Gargeleblaster, you are speculating on the reality of “free will”. If we are constructs, artefacts, made things then we realistically can never act in any fashion other than that programmed into us. We are predestined to “sin” and failure and all that jazz. We have no choice.
Similarly, if the boss knows everything, then it obviously knows how we are going to act and think whether we have free will or not so the consequences of our very existences are all part of The Plan and not our responsibility.
By either form of theological “logic”, we are sinless, free of responsibility and blameless for anything we do or think, even for being heathen, evil atheists, apostates or heretics.
We can’t help what we are, we are made so. We can’t become one of the faithful or a good person or whatever because that is not The Plan.
Predestination or creation by an all knowing creator means that all that whining, wailing, prayer and yammering about us being “sinners” is a total waste of time and effort.
By the logic of the priests, they should be praising us for doing our valuable part in The Plan. They should be blessing us, supporting us and even helping us commit more blasphemy, apostasy and heresy. We could even make an argument that their churches should be paying for at least partially our “sins” and debaucheries.
After all, we are Doing God’s Work.
SoG, it is easier to address your good self as you are an extant being with whom I can communicate and the Rev. is said to have stopped being such some 211 years ago.
But I do agree that asking you about the little ditty is a touch iffy. You didn’t write it so it’s not your fault.
Apologies if any are required.
Helena, by supporting the idea of their power and their very existence the various god-bothering churches do support Satan worship. Compare their blabbering about Lucy with their almost total silence on the subject of Inuit spirits or even Norse deities. Nicky is the only one they rant on about with any great fervour or frequency.
It is almost as though a minor force in their pantheon is considered as powerful, mighty, wise and wonderful as and a real threat to their almighty boss god.
Which is a strange thought.
Everybody forgot the major selling point of religion. Not really dying and living forever. But only if you follow a specific dogma. Everybody else lives forever too. But in torment for all of eternity…hahaha
SmallVoice: You puzzled me for a while with your mention of “Lucy”. I wondered how an early humanoid, known only from her partial skeleton, came into the discussion. It took a while for me to realise that you meant Lucifer, “the bringer of light”! OK, I was never that quick on the uptake, but please remember that some of us are a bit thick compared with your brilliant self. And make suitable allowances.
BTW, the Greek Pan is closer to being an ancestral form of Satan (or your “Nicky”) than are Inuit spirits or Norse deities.
You are totally right, if a god has the specs as claimed by their believers (at least the all-knowing etc. part), noone can be blamed for who or what they are.
I once read a text I still want to get on a T-shirt: “Your god made me an atheist. Who are you to doubt his wisdom?”. Could even have been here, but I can’t find that shirt in Author’s shop (hint, hint! 🙂 ).
If God were indeed all-powerful I could imagine that he could give his creations Free Will (even though it’s hard for me to make sense of the concept). And if, as a consequence of Free Will, he could no longer reliably predict the actions of his own creations, then the whole narrative of sin and redemption could kinda sorta be made to make sense.
But God is like Superman, who was progressively stuffed by his writers with so many superpowers that any sort of meaningful narrative challenge became very difficult. I understand that Superman’s writers have backed off, and that Superman today is nowhere as overpowered as he used to be. Some Christians seem to have made efforts to do the same, but as long as God knows the end of the story while it is still in progress he really can’t avoid responsibility for that ending.
SoG, sorry, I thought the childish nicknames for our favourite angel were obvious but sort of cute but you are totally correct, what was obvious to a truly titanic intellect like my own may not be so to mere humans. I’ll try to speak more slowly and simply and to keep down the number of obscure allusions I use in future.
Jb, the god of the Christians, or at least some of them, is also sort of like the Thor of Marvel Comics. He should be able to do just about anything but giving him the power to solve problems like evil, suffering and grief would as you suggest severely constrain the narrative and make the movies a hell of a lot shorter and less profitable.
Jaweh could have given his creatures totally free will and, were he a sufficiently imaginative programmer, caused them to be nice, sweet, kind, lovely, co-operative and obedient to his rules and regulations, as some of the humans we meet incontestably are. He could have built them to be able to walk on the grass but to never want to do so horrible a thing. (That such humanoids would be far less fun, less distracting, interesting and amusing and that they would indeed be flat out boring is why human literature is full of bad guys and flawed heroes. Any creator may have found this to be true, too.)
That’s something even humans are working on with their robots so it shouldn’t have been any great feat for something that could build the rules that make technetium unstable.
That their god so evidently did not do so is one of the smaller flaws in the internal logics of the Christian mythos. They can’t explain evil, sorrow, pain and grief in the context of a creator who is even indifferent.
I suspect that this bugs the more contemplative ones a little. It certainly has caused a few of them to produce vast reams of literature attempting to reconcile suffering with their loving maker. Some of which is well worth reading.
Why did a merciful, loving, all-powerful creator invent pain, suffering and evil? He got bored with bland stories featuring nice guys who only ever do nice things. He wanted some action in the mix.
It’s a theory. I doubt if it’s original.
The early Christians in the Roman Empire regarded all the other gods as manifestations of devils & so the worshipers of Zeus etc. as devil worshipers.
M27holts, not dying is not confined to religion, it’s a staple theme in vampire, mummy and other movies.
Okay, so technically mummies, vampires and zombies have to die a little before the they become immortal and eternally undying but even that is lots better than what atheists look forward to and it’s what Jay-man did so it can’t be so very bad a thing.
There is also the real, true, actual, real-life half-promise of cryogenic suspension. That is based on the idea that if you preserve the dead bits of meat well enough then technology will someday advance so far that it can rebuild them into something that remembers being us. Whether the rebooted thing is the person that went dead is a question for the “Star Trek” fan-based bulletin boards under the theme of “teleportation kills?” but some people think that taking the chance is a lot better than dying.
It’s reminiscent of what the Ancient Egyptians used to do only colder, vastly cheaper and accessible to even those of moderate means.
See the serialised play “Cold Lazarus” by Dennis Potter for an entertaining take on this one. (Part of the “science” behind the plot of this serial also pops up in “Wait It Out” by Larry Niven, an entertaining short story.)
Then there is trans-humanism, computerised back-ups and other technological fairy tales. Those promise forms of immortality not based on magic or the whim of an overpowered overlord but on real imaginary Science that just might someday exist but probably won’t.
And, of course, there is contributing to the common weal. People like President Trump, Billy Joel, the guy who invented toast and others are immortalised into our cultures, becoming part of the common wealth of treasure we pass down to the descendants. We could do that, too.
In a small way anyone who Internets becomes a little immortal. For so long as the power lasts.
Indeed, it has become an issue to kill off dead people on the Internet.
Not truly, finally, forever dying has many openings. Some of them even work. At least for a short time. How short is “short” depends a lot on how Civilisation progresses, if it does and how short a time it will last. Though for some options for becoming not completely dead these questions may be moot.
Being an immortal, sitting in the rubble waiting for the Sun to die could, after a few million years, become slightly boring; certainly so once all of the books had decayed and the DVD players had run out of battery charge but it might be a fate that is physically possible.
Some people are even working towards such things. Serious people with money and degrees.
Since memory in the brain is basically a matrix of chemicals. If the matrix can be recorded and stored then there is no reason to doubt that science will one day be able to load your brain contents into another medium and thus we will become cybermen…..inevitably
M27: I love my generalisations like I love my selective genetics: Sweeping
It was just that you were sounding like a southern state Baptist…Heavy metal fan ergo. Satanist who eats babies heads on toast….
jb, you’ve got me wondering. If theologians collaborated with comic book writers, would they develop theology that puts less strain on our ability to suspend our disbelief? 😉
I think it was Robert Heinlein who said that God can’t be omnipotent and omniscient and omnibenevolent. At best, he can be 2 out of the 3.
In his book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Harold Kushner argues that God is omniscient and omnibenevolent, but not omnipotent.
Oh, well. This is fun, but is as useful as debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (or which superhero is the best) 🙂 .
2 cents – “If theologians collaborated with comic book writers ”
Where do you think VIZ came from ??