The last resurrection of the summer hols. This one just is over 7 years old.

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Discussion (37)¬

  1. MarkyWarky says:

    Great one Author :). I’ve read all the archived strips religiously (sic), but don’t remember seeing that one.

    This idea of nothing lost to a believer if they’re wrong amazes me; a life not lived to it’s fullest, and a society/race held back by untenable beliefs, strikes me as just as bad as a bit of eternal sunburn?

  2. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “…scalding water shall be poured [ …] melting their skins and their bellies”
    Ironically, Mo has stumbled upon the secret to get a really good crispy skin on pork (works well with duck breast, too).

  3. Undeluded says:

    Spot on (as usual) – Author and MW!

    What is a wager if you cannot show any evidence for your chance of winning? Winning the lotteries is highly improbable – yet there is abundant evidence that some do win. “Rational choice” my foot – just what does Mo mean by rational?

    And BTW – I would love to hear the Moses angle on this.

  4. QuineDuhem says:

    Concerning Pascal’s Wager, in 1746 Diderot wrote: “An Imam could reason just as well this way.” Only he wasn’t as funny.

    There are some other cartoons concerning the wager here:


  5. Don says:

    And of course, from Terry Pratchett;

    This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, “Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If its all true you’ll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isnt then you’ve lost nothing right?” When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, “We’re going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts…”.

  6. E.A. Blair says:

    I think it would be eminently just that the afterlife, if one actually existed, was one in which people got, instead of what they hoped they’d won, they got what they feared they truly DESERVED.

  7. Gary Kleppe says:

    What if life is a cosmic intelligence test? Those who are smart enough to figure out that religion doesn’t make a lot of sense and with the courage to stand behind those convictions will go to heaven, while others will perish.

    Okay, maybe it’s not true. But what if it is? Shouldn’t you disbelieve in God, just in case it’s true?

  8. FreeFox says:

    Blair: So you think that it would just if scrupulous and conscientious people, or those with weak self-esteem or with guilt trips forced into them by neurotic parents ought to suffer for eternity while sociopaths and self-righteous arseholes should be treated as kings? Strange view. Maybe you should become a priest…

  9. John The Geothingy says:

    Pascals Wager falls over because you cannot make a rational choice to believe merely in the hope of some future cosmic reward. As Dog is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent he will know if you are just pretending in the hope of your heavenly reward and will smite you (after all, he is very big on all the smiting stuff).

    I think the trick here is to game the system.

    I do not want to spend eternity in the company of a bunch of happy-clappy god-botherers, American fundamentalist rednecks, creationists, JW door-knockers, Mormons and all the other assorted intellectual wreckage of goddism.

    As such I believe very strongly in the Nordic gods and Valhalla. Hopefully enough to convince the Celestial Sky Fairy.

    I would be very happy spending eternity in Valhalla with a bunch of Scandiwegian piss-artist lager louts and nubile blonde bombshells keen on spanking my buttocks with birch twigs. Plus I like roll mop herrings and rye bread (although cloudberry liqueur tastes as if it came out of the knob end of a very sick pig).

    So I win. The sky fairy merely said to believe in God. He was not more specific and how am I able to differentiate between myths. If he meant the old geezer with the long beard sitting on a cloud rather than Odin or Thor he should have been a damn site more specific in his memoirs.

  10. I’m so very tired of Pascal’s wager. I do not make a choice about what I believe. I believe what seems reasonable, and a god who pays attention to this tiny dust speck in the vast cosmos seems very unreasonable to me. A god who gives a flying frog about me, or anybody else, seems improbable in the extreme.

    FreeFox, good to hear from you, and as always a delight to get your unique perspective on an issue. I’ve been wondering whether you were just lurking or in trouble again.

    In this case I agree with you, of course. There’s no justification for hell for anybody, not even serial killers and genocidal rulers. Much better to just have them gone for good, rather than lingering on in agony forever, which is still existing more than I want them to.

  11. leweclectic666 says:

    Undeluded, do you suppose that Mo might have been referring to the classic meaning(s) of rational?:

    1. reasonable and sensible: governed by, or showing evidence of, clear and sensible thinking and judgment, based on reason rather than emotion or prejudice
    2. able to think clearly and sensibly: able to think clearly and sensibly, unimpaired by physical or mental condition, strong emotion, or prejudice
    I can’t be rational when so many people give me conflicting advice.

    3. in accordance with reason and logic: presented or understandable in terms that accord with reason and logic or with scientific knowledge
    a rational explanation

    4. able to reason: endowed with the ability to reason, as opposed to being governed solely by instinct and appetite

    Hmmm…No I suppose Mo had something else in mind.

  12. Chris Phoenix says:

    Gary Kieppe – awesome!

  13. Don says:

    I fear I DESERVE a spanking. Followed by oral sex.


  14. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Who has got the worst hell?
    That would be quite hard to tell
    You see, bar maid, my dear
    One should not live in fear
    The way to heaven requires you to rebel.

  15. When I was about six I recall contests with my peers wherein the righteousness of ones proclamations was judged on the strength of advocacy for the premise that “My dad can beat up your dad!” “My hell is more hellish than your hell!” is exactly the same type of logical argument. I find it to be quite intellectually inspiring… to six year olds.

  16. oldebabe says:

    Too good, Author. And the barmaid has it just exactly right.

  17. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I vaguely recall reading a Readers Digest (well, I was in a waiting room) short story about a bloke who dies, only to suddenly find himself in a small room. The guy had had a life-long hatred of musicals, muzak, the elderly, obesity and small talk, among other things.
    Anyhow, in the room he discovers that for 24 hours a day, every day, there are musicals playing on screens on every wall, muzak being piped in, and there’s an elderly, massively overweight lorry driver sat by him describing at length his suffering of piles and the subsequent operation to relieve them.
    After a week of this he snaps and starts banging at the door, demanding to know what’s going on. A dapper gent appears and explains to him that, as he was a very unpleasant person in life, his punishment was to spend eternity surrounded by all those things he disliked the most. In trying to find a way to at least ease the misery a little, he asks whether maybe it wasn’t fair on the lorry driver to be forced to spend eternity punishing him.
    “Ah, well, that’s the beauty of it all, you see” said the dapper gent “old Billy there just loves nothing more than talking the ears off somebody; you’re in Hell sure enough, but Billy here’s in Heaven”.

    Hi FreeFox, good to hear from you. Are things any better yet?

  18. JoJo says:

    Struggling to recall who pointed it out, but when you’re dealing with true eternity, both eternal paradise and eternal torment would become equally tedious after a while, and so no real reward or punishment – at least none that could form a basis on which to chose between them… As Douglas Adams observed – what really does for the immortal being is what to do with all those Sunday afternoons..

  19. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I think the worst aspect of Heaven would be eternity sat on fluffy clouds. I mean, those things are cold and wet, so it wouldn’t take long for one’s genitalia to fall off through wet-rot.
    Maybe that’s why God gives them wings; to apologise for the loss of their bits ‘n’ bobs. It could also help explain the falsetto singing of the Heavenly Choir. 😉

  20. Yahweh says:

    Hell as a recipe for good crackling made me laugh as much as the cartoon. You need to rub salt in though.

    Apropos of nothing, I think that Iain M Banks has by far the best hells (in Surface Detail).

  21. HaggisForBrains says:

    Yahweh – Definitely agree with you about “Surface Detail” versions of hell.

  22. omg says:

    Talking about hell, have you ever tried to get rid of a Readers Digest abonnement: that is a hell of a pain…
    Very nice link.

  23. Alverant says:

    I remember an article pointing out that using Pascal’s Wager is a confession that you have nothing to offer but fear. It’s nothing more than threatening someone with the boogie man.

    @EA Blair
    What if the person had a low self-esteam or always felt he could have done more with his/her life and felt they should be punished?

  24. bitter lemon says:

    Reminded me of <a href="http://oglaf.com/sithrak/"an oglaf cartoon (only for grown ups)

  25. bitter lemon says:

    Edit: my bad, comment with correct tags and link this time

    Reminded me of an oglaf cartoon (only for grown ups)

  26. JohnM says:

    Thanks for the completely O/T hint for crispy duck skin (I don’t eat pig, though for strictly non-religious reasons). Might I reciprocate with a facile way to peel garlic – ferociously shake up the cloves inside two identical, hemispherical, rimmed, metal kitchen bowls held top-against-top.

  27. Andrea says:

    I think that all things considered, Pascal should have stuck to computing. At least that works for everyone.

  28. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    omg; I’ve never been daft enough to subscribe to the Readers Digest, but I’ve heard they’re as hard to de-subscribe from as the Mormon Church 🙂
    To be fair to the R.D., they have produced some very good reference books over the years.

    JohnM, my pleasure. The trick for both duck and pork is to first score the skin, scald with boiling water, then dry thouroughly with kitchen towels. Rub in plenty of salt and black pepper then (for pork joint or whole duck*) put into a pre-heated hottest oven – do not use extra fat and do not cover with foil – for 20 minutes then turn heat down to around gas mark 6 until meat is cooked to taste.
    Remember to always leave meat to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

    *For duck breasts, pre-heat a flat-bottomed frying pan until very hot, put scored and seasoned breast skin-down into pan (again, do not use extra fat) and cook until skin is golden and crispy. Then turn breast over, give it no more than two minutes on the heat, then remove from the pan.
    For both meats, always retain any rendered fat for roasting pototoes.

    There endeth todays lesson, How to find Heaven in the Kitchen. Amen.

  29. drummer25 says:

    Sorry to be picky Nassar B H, the sentiments you express are spot on, but your scansion is still a bit suspect. The rhythms of the limerick require a certain number of syllables on each line with stress on certain syllables in each line. e.g.
    A diddly diddly dum,
    and a diddly diddly dum,
    A diddly dum,
    A diddly dum,
    And a diddly diddly dum!

    The first line sets up the situation, the next lines crank up the tension and the last line nails the target!

    Here’s the best one I know with a religious theme:

    From the depths of the crypt of St Giles,
    Came a scream that resounded for miles.
    Said the vicar, “Good gracious!
    Has Father Ignacious
    Forgotten the bishop has piles!”

  30. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    drummer25, best of luck with that!
    Because banging our heads against the wall hurts after a while, the rest of us have given up trying to teach our Nassar the basics, opting instead to appreciate (or not) the content – which varies from excellent to confused – rather than the style.

  31. hotrats says:


    at the risk of boring the regulars, here are my contributions to religious limerickery:

    Locke said, “Likely? An angel drops by
    And biology’s left high and dry?
    Without one single sperm
    Came or Saviour to term –
    Or did one Jewish minx tell a lie?”

    The Catholics make no apology
    For blood-sacrifice in their theology;
    With wafer and wine
    They digest the divine
    In an otherwise-taboo anthropophagy.

  32. JoJo says:

    And and example of the limerick in argument…

    The Duchess, whilst pouring out tea,
    Once asked, “Do you fart when you pee?”
    I replied with some wit,
    “Do you belch when you shit?”
    And I think that was one up to me

  33. John The Geothingy says:

    I think the limerick Stephen Fry uttered on QI was pretty good:

    There was a young chaplain from King’s
    Who talked about God and such things;
    But his real desire
    Was a boy in the choir
    With a bottom like jelly on springs

    Caused a bit of a storm in a teacup because it was aired a few minutes before Newsnight ran an article on paedophilia and the Jimmy Savile scandal.

    (See: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/aug/29/stephen-fry-paedophilia-limerick-apology-bbc)

    Reminds me of the old maritime joke:
    Q: How do you separate the men from the boys in the Navy?
    A: With a crowbar.

  34. FreeFox says:

    Hi DH and AoS. Just busy. There’s a war and lots of human misery to profit from.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hi FreeFox. If you’re that close to the fighting keep your head down; we’d hate to lose your contributions here, my friend.

  36. Tobias27772 says:

    I, for one, would be willing to worship a bottomless glass of ale.


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