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Discussion (26)¬

  1. Poor Richard says:

    No, but us Atheians know the REAL TRUTH. That’s different.

    Love it — made my day, again.

  2. Poor Richard says:

    BWM: Yes, as Poor Richard keeps saying, religion is inherently funny. So enjoy.

  3. r00db00y says:

    Reason is an ENTIRELY human concept. With so much on the planet and in the universe greater than man it is logical to assume that there’s lots of stuff that is above and beyond reason. Right?
    Or is it now reasonable to believe that reason is the number one, completely infallable method of validation in existence?

  4. gös says:

    Logic/reason is just a codification of how we talk to each other meaningfully. (Example of meaningful phrase: “God is omniscient”; Example of non-meaningful phrase: “Rainbow hoppy blue-black differential”)

    If you declare something “above and beyond reason,” “not bound by logic,” or whatever other phrasing you choose, all meaningful discourse about that thing becomes irrelevant.

    If God is above and beyond reason, then what does it mean to say: “God is omniscient”? Nothing.

    The process of connecting an object (God) with a quality (omniscience) and its definition (“knows everything”) is an inherently logical/reasoning process. We use meaningful statements to logically deduce… well, everything!

    Consider the following:
    S: “God is omniscient”
    Q: “Does God know what I’m thinking?”

    There is no way to answer that question, or ANY question about God, for that matter, without referring to his alleged properties and making logical deductions from them.

    People who make claims about God (e.g. “God loves you”) and answer questions about him (using logical deductions from his alleged properties) and then claim that he is above and beyond reason are having their cake and eating it, too. They reason really really annoy me.

  5. tie says:

    reason IS the completely infallible method of validation in existence.

    without it everything becomes vague chatter about if’s and are we here, are we in the matrix? Solipsism is cool only if you are 16 and stoned

    reasoning, weighting evidence, blind testing, it yields answers that are more valid than any other way.

    if you think that a bronze age fables from the desert have knowledge that is inscrutable and beyond comprehension, you better have a reason for THAT assumption.

    because what’s claimed with no evidence can be dismissed with no evidence aswell

  6. Poor Richard says:

    rOOdbOOy: well, yeah, maybe, but what probably stirs most of us up, including people who are both intelligent and faithful (yes), is the rampant use of “reason” to justify things that are obviously irrational or even inane–or insane–as you wish
    E.g., creationists like to point to gaps in an evolutionary chain and say, “See, that proves that God made that thing.” So you sit there and say, “Huh?”

    I don’t know that there is much stuff above and beyond reason. I know that we do make a little leap of faith every tiime we accept something as being true. I also know that we know things, necessarily, as constructs. But some stuff is more reasonable than other stuff. And a lot of stuff has good solid evidence behind it. There are three disciplines: numbers, words, and facts. All manipulate each other. But that there cannot be a redwood in my back yard is a fact; that there is a neatly evolved chipmunk out there trying to learn English is partly fact, partly words (i.e., myth); that there is a piano in this room is possible becaause of numbers, yadayadayada….

    I will stand on this: to test the rationality of someone’s dubious claim is an indispensable first defense. I happen to believe (sic) that if “everyone thinks so,” what “they” think is almost certainly untrue; we are not strongly inclined to be rational. You cannot call yourself educated until you have developed a fine-tuned, healthy skepticism.

    I once knew a so-called theologian–a professor or religion, in fact–who devoted his career to “demonstrating” the logic of Christianity. He did this primarily by tearing down the mythologies of other religions, treating them as if those religions always took them as facts. I heard him give a paper showing how reincarnation was an unreasonable concept: “Why can’t we remember the other life?” — That is a quote; I am not kidding. His whole effort was so stupid I was shocked into saying nothing. Me. Poor Richard. Unable to speak. Nothing to say. I tried one challenge–to consider the idea that some people know a myth when they see it and use it as such in their system of belief– and was told, “Oh, we don’t care about that any more.” Wut?


  7. Jeff Carr says:

    Ah, where do I start…

    First, reason is not an entirely human concept. Watch a raccoon try to open something, a squirrel run an obstacle course, a mouse run a maze, or any number of other examples. Animals are capable of reasoning through situations, and remembering what works and what doesn’t.

    Second, define greater… If you mean larger or more powerful, of course I agree. If you mean of more value, I agree as well, however many religions would not. But just because something is “greater” than humans, doesn’t mean that it is beyond our capabilities to reason through it and understand it. Even if it were beyond human capabilities to reason through something, doesn’t mean it is beyond reason at all. Unless of course you believe that current human intelligence is impossible to be surpassed, which seems rather arrogant and short-sighted.

    Finally, and most importantly what makes reason effective, is not that it’s “infallable” as it is not infallible at all, it is quite fallible, and that is what makes it effective. without acceptance of fallibility, there can be no improvement… and a refusal to improve your understanding is only acceptable if you already understand everything.

    The blind belief that you understand everything beyond rationality, was pretty much the entire point he was making in the comic.

  8. […] No really, MY truth is the REAL truth… […]

  9. Poor Richard says:

    gos: I am sorry to keep butting in on this set of responses, but I cannot help challenging your claim that “rainbow hoppy blue-black differential” is a meaningless phrase (note that it is grammatical in at least two different ways).
    Anyway, I had one like that once–on the rear end of a Ford Torino. We went to the junkyard and got one that was not so hoppy. It worked fine.

    Dogublog: Yes, of course it is, dear.

  10. dimbulb says:

    r00dbooy said: “Reason is an ENTIRELY human concept. With so much on the planet and in the universe greater than man it is logical to assume that there’s lots of stuff that is above and beyond reason. Right?”

    That certainly sounds reasonable so I conclude you arrived at that conclusion by an inferior process. So I’ll be rejecting it.

  11. Poor Richard says:

    Even animals reason. Our office cat jumped on the pizza box, tried once to scratch it open, looked up into the air for a couple seconds, jumped off the box and flipped it open with her paw. So don’t get too cocky out there, hoomin beans.

    Come to think of it, this was obviously an example of effective prayer, the Cat Goddess being the REALLY REALLY REALLY REEEAAALLY true One.

  12. mags says:

    Oh yes! Each cat knows its own divinity too. Each cat looks at the human bean it lives with and says,
    “Worship at my feet. I am CAT”

  13. Poor Richard says:

    Anthropomorphism recapitulates adoration.

  14. latsot says:

    r00db00y, I’m having a hard time understanding your point. Isn’t anything that’s ‘above and beyond reason’ by definition unreasonable?

  15. jerry w. says:

    I’ve taken scissors to an old bumpersticker that I was handed on the street,

    and here’s the results:

    Out with the old…….

    no jesus
    know peace

    In with the new……..

    know jesus
    no peace

    Now, I know that some bumpersticker somewhere has to work for Mo…..

  16. jerry w. says:

    I’ve taken scissors to an old bumpersticker that I was handed on the street,

    and here’s the results:

    Out with the old…….

    no jesus
    know peace

    In with the new……..

    know jesus
    no peace

    Now, I know that some bumpersticker somewhere has to work for Mo…..

  17. JohnWrot says:

    I have only taken the time to view a couple of these comics so far, but here are my thoughts none-the-less. They are far less intelligent (no offense to the creators, truly) than they clearly intend to portray themselves as. Here’s the long and the short of the reason why:

    Jesus – Actual Son of God, Divine, Has all knowledge as He is God, Died, Rose, Saved Mankind from their sins, and 110% Peaceful. (whether you buy it or not, this is most certainly what He claimed & Lived.)
    Mohammed – Desert Merchant, denies Christ’s divinity AND death, learned about Christianity and Judiasm from other unlearned merchants and fleeing heretics, respat it out as “divine word” (like a bad game of “telephone”), died, is still dead, led mankind astray from Christ, and 75% violent. (whether you like it or not, this is most certainly what he claimed & lived.)

    I’m not a Right-Wing blah blah blah blah blah. I am educated.

    This way we can all dodge the “reason” thing and use “facts” to make our choices.
    And no, reason is not inherently bad, it’s an AMAZING tool and gift.
    Use it.

    In Him,
    John Wrot!

  18. Yet another Simon says:

    Easter is here! Yay!

    This whole ‘communion’ thing bothers me though – all this ‘eat this wafer, it is the body of Christ’, and the ‘drink this wine, it is the blood of Christ’. The fact that people eat so much chocolate at Easter is to me deeply symbolic.

  19. catnip says:

    I have been reading for a long time, but now I feel inclined to answer too.

    r00db00y: Yes, reason is a “human” concept, it happens in human brains (and those of animals too, as has been helpfully pointed out). Believing that those blobs of cells are capable of grasping the big giant cosmic truth, if there is one, is by reason an arrogant assumption, I agree to that fully.

    The difference between a scientific approach to things and a religious one is simply that with scientific thinking you accept that there is infinitely much that you do not know, and after the first shock and probably a few depressive moments you start being happy about what you DO know. Which is what you can test by experiment.

    Those are your assumptions. Between those, logical laws that need to be tested as well apply. (For example: If it rains, the street is wet. If the street is wet, it did not neccessarily rain. All you know is A=>B. And this simply because in all known cases everything that got rained upon got wet. You “believe” what you see)

    The difference between the scientific approach and the religious is that you accept that you are humble and not able to know THA TRUTH, that you make models of what you see and update these regularly (checking the street every now and again, and if for some case it is not wet you enquire why) You regularly change your mind once you find something new and throw your old model down the toilet if you found it being flawed.

    Religion means, you hold onto something that you believe, never test it, and declare it cosmic wisdom, with no or very feeble proof whatsoever. Mostly because some other dude in a shiny robe tells you it is THA TRUTH and you will never have to search again.
    Testing and making your own models is so much more work…

    Reason does NOT (yet?) provide the answer to all questions, but it is the only thing we have.

    And claiming to “know” some cosmic truth beyond it is arrogance or weakness.

    the catnip

  20. Thoughts of a Dying Atheist says:


    *Religion* is an entirely human concept. Man invented gods as a way of trying to make sense of what’s around us. How can Bronze Age myths possibly be right about the universe? Even if gods existed, how can humans presume to know exactly what they’re like?

  21. Daz says:

    I’m two years too late with this but i needed to scream…. Someone claiming to be well educated used the phrase “[Jesus was…] 110% peaceful.” ARRRGGGGH! I will not call people names. I will not call people names …

  22. athebuddhist says:

    Jeez / Mo, guys and girls – get a life! In fact, get several – sequentially, preferably. Like we former Buddhists did.

  23. fenchurch says:

    @Daz: Statistics can be made up for anything. Don’t be too stressed that someone edjjumicated might be fooled by it!

    There are no stats provided to support Jesus’ being 110% more peaceful.
    You may safely disregard the frustrating pimp-my-deity-assertions-with-no-evidence from the fanboy JohnWrot.

    It’s like a detergent advert claiming to be 110% more effective.
    More effective than what? Using only water? The leading competition? The same product, from a previous iteration?

    Any, note the lack of parallel, comparing peace to violence. How do those units measure up? What are the j-man’s stats for violence, and the m-man’s stats for peace?

  24. Bones'sDog says:

    [Chorus]”Oh, FFS, not him again?”(/chorus)

    If JHW is omniscient and omnipotent can it make a thing it doesn’t know anything about? Can it know about things it can not do or make?
    How does it know it knows absolutely everything and can do absolutely everything?
    Has it checked?
    Does it keep a list? And a backup in case it forgets where it put it?
    Is it in a file cabinet?
    On a computer?
    Does it run on Windows Vista? If so JWH obviously didn’t know enough not to use Vista because the support for that one just ran out.
    Can JWH create a language it can’t read or speak or think in? Does it know what it’s saying in that language? If so then it’s not fulfilling the first part, if not then it’s not omniscient.
    Has JWH counted all of the digits of the decimal representation of Pi? Of the number next on the list? If so, could it tell us what the last digits were? (No, 42 does not count.) (Though 23 might.)

    Poor Richard, 14/3/08, your question about re-incarnation and memories is slightly wrong.
    There used to be three sets of hypnotists with three sets of patients, clients or victims. One set had victims who, under regression, remembered past lives as princesses in Egypt, whores in Paris or some such easily fabricated stuff. A second set had victims who, under “therapy” remembered being kidnapped by aliens and probed and experimented upon. The third set had victims who claimed to remember long-forgotten sexual abuse by their parents or other relatives.
    Never did any two of the three sets intersect.
    No one was ever a re-incarnated abductee who had been sexually assaulted by his uncle when an infant.
    However, the point remains that hundreds, maybe thousands of “reputable”, “professional” “therapists” found thousands of patients who had lived many past lives and who could remember details therefrom. Not cool details like the price of pears or their former language but real stuff like whipping slaves to build pyramids faster – even though the general consensus among anthropologists is that the builders were professionals, even the brickies and plasterers.
    Re-incarnation, so they told us, has been proven beyond any scientific question or doubt. By reputable professional scientific-type guys doing sciencey stuff scientifically.
    So your theologian was dead wrong and when he’s dead and re-incarnated as a bowl of petunias he’ll know.


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