He’s merciful. Mad, but merciful.

Discussion (32)¬

  1. Walter says:

    Christians are terribly concerned about bastocytes and fetuses, but their deity caused, (according to them) a massive flood that wiped out all but one mans family. That is tantamount to millions or tens of millions of abortions and Jesus also told them they can do anything the Father doing.

    So what gives?@

  2. HackneyMartian says:

    Humans seem to find hell easier to imagine, and more interesting, than paradise. How often do you hear Dante’s Paradiso quoted, compared to Inferno? (Alasdair Gray recently translated Inferno into ‘prosaic verse’ – looking forward to reading it.) Ditto the relative parts of Paradise Lost.

  3. two cents' worth says:

    Good point, HackneyMartian! I think it has something to do with how the human brain works–risk aversion, and (after acclimating to improved conditions) wanting things to be (even) better. I guess paradise is boring because that’s the best it can get. Anyway, thanks for the tip on the Alasdair Gray translations–I’ll put them on my “to read” list.

  4. two cents' worth says:

    Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est? If God, we can’t run away! (Because God’s omnipresent, right?) 😉

  5. peter says:

    Another gem! Though I had to look up “salvific” 🙂

  6. Innocent Bystander says:

    I remember, as a boy, talking to a family friend who was scornful of the idea of sitting around for eternity listening to harps and heavenly choirs. He didn’t even like that kind of music, he told me, and would have found heaven to be the most boring place on Earth imaginable (except it’s not on Earth, of course, though it is only imagined). Funny how one only remembers a few conversations from one’s childhood – the ones that were the most important, I suppose.

  7. HackneyMartian says:

    Cheers, two cents’. Do you know Gray’s Book of Prefaces? My desert island book. His ‘Hell’ is a fine little slim hardback, though the ‘decorations’ run out after canto 3. I wonder if he’ll get round to the other two parts: maybe he’ll get bored once he leaves hell …

    Gray wrote a version of hell in his novel Lanark. Eternal urban twilight. Any offers on other literary hells? Golding’s Pincher Martin. Iain Banks’s The Bridge (curious resemblance to the Golding; likewise his breakthrough The Wasp Factory is curiously reminiscent of Golding’s opener, Lord of the Flies). Both are isolated hells tailored to the protagonist’s solipsistic nastiness. (My object all sublime …)

  8. cjsm says:

    Innocent Bystander – I, too, have always thought the Abrahamic religions had really boring versions of heaven. Though believers of course, have told me the diety’s glory would focus my attention exclusively. Then why all the “seeing grandma again” fetishes? If Valhalla had more roles for women other than servers and bed partners that might be fun. Party down!

  9. Donn says:

    I’d expect direct administration of Happiness, like direct stimulation of the pleasure center in the brain, though of course in the absence of physical trappings like a brain. So I guess I could stay right where I am, enjoying mouldering away. Or have no perception at all, wouldn’t make any difference either way.

    In any case, in any version I can recall hearing described, an afterlife apparently without purpose, other than to provide an excuse for the psychopathic vengeance.

  10. Michael says:

    The common concept of Hell owes more to Dante and John Milton than it does to the Bible.

  11. HackneyMartian says:

    cjsm: ” the diety’s glory”
    – that would be the fruit-based Koranic paradise diet-y?

  12. Alastair says:

    @Michael The burning torture stuff is in the NT. Luke 16:23-24 “In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.`” So JC was into the psycho stuff too.

  13. Ha ha. You should see what he does to virtually everybody. I once worked on a public service promotional film with a group of wheelchair athletes. Their term for those of us not in wheel chairs was “TABs”, standing for Temporary Able Bodied. As I anticipate my second total knee replacement coming up next month, I see the truth of that label. Their loving god spares nobody if you live long enough, and if he doesn’t inflict horrors on you in this world because you die young, he’s waiting in the next according to the believers.
    Not that I’m feeling sorry for myself. This is just the human condition I am experiencing. I’m happy that I can experience the human condition without the overlay of bullshit religion adds to it. And any day this side of the grass is a good one, eh. Today the sun is shining and Spring is in the air. Tra la.

  14. M27Holts says:

    Having read my paternal grandads letters and having spoken to his comrades before they died. Going into battle in his Sherman Firefly in 1944 was as close to hell as I can determine. The desciption of his death (not long from VE day when an 88mm shell from a hidden SS jagd panther brewed his tank up) was particularly gruesome, for sixty seconds the inside of the tank was hades on earth…

  15. two cents' worth says:

    DH, I hope all goes smoothly with your knee surgery! Barmaid, please give DH a refill on me.

  16. paulseed says:

    “The dangerous psychopath who is in charge of the universe”. Also known as the sadistic pedant.
    The most important theological question is not “does God exist?”, but “Is God a sadistic pedant?” If He is, then there is no point hoping for salvation. He can always find a way f cheating us out of it by changing the rules (if that is what He wants).
    If He is not, then (whether He exists or not), we are not going to be punished for worshipping the wrong god in the wrong way. And we might as well get on with living the best life we can in the circumstances.

  17. Troubleshooter says:

    What he does to DEAD infidels? Why wait until we’re dead, Yahweh? Oh, of course, can’t dare to show yourself to the living and give the game away, right? So believers all over the place jump through hoop after hoop to save themselves from that “capriciously malevolent bully” who hasn’t the cojones to SHOW HIMSELF.

    Ya know … I can’t get all that worried about a threat that vacuous.

  18. annidug says:

    No one knows if it’s true or not, but believing in religion gives one strength to survive in life. So keep faith in yourself and be true to all.

  19. jb says:

    One thing I find particularly interesting is how difficult it can be to distinguish the behavior of the Abrahamic God from that of a demonic god. For example, evil can have a sense of humor, and an evil god might find it amusing to grant one small group of humans eternal bliss because they were randomly lucky enough to end up belonging to the right religion, while consigning everyone else unending torment. How utterly hilarious! Certainly a lot funnier then just sending everyone to Hell without exception, because now there is the additional torment of “I could have been up there if only I had listened…”

  20. M27Holts says:

    Comparing the invisible entities from the made up shite in the monotheistic religious literature is as pointless as comparing soap opera baddies…

  21. SmallVoice says:

    Author, either my security is breaking your code or you have an unresolved thingy:

    “Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/public/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 293”

    I suspect it’s me as I’m awfully paranoid.

    Also, your “CleanTalk” script seems very antagonistic towards bogus email addies. Is that deliberate?

  22. SmallVoice says:

    Also, Good Author, the “Jesus and Mo masthead” gif doesn’t display any more. IT shows the “alt text” in its place. That may be the same issue, of course. Probably a missing comma, cr/lf or closing bracket of some sort.

    Nice comic but not funny. The idea of the creator force being a malevolent nutter or an impotent waste of lives has been said; by Marcus Aurelius a few weeks back among others.

    It’s a sad notion but not one we can do anything about so we may as well party on and be excellent to one another, as two great philosophers once suggested.

  23. Author says:

    Thanks, SmallVoice. It’s definitely an unresolved thingy – I tried to fix but it looks like the masthead has disappeared too. Will work on it tomorrow.
    The anti-spam script is quite aggressive. It has to be, I’m afraid.

  24. SmallVoice says:

    M27holts, comparing evil bad dudes in fictional pocket universes is good, clean fun and a good exercise for our intellectual powers. It’s like asking if the Hulk could beat Supes if old Kal stole Hulkie’s pudding from the communal fridge. It does no harm and it gives us something to think about that isn’t bloody politics.

    Comparing religions, or politics, sports teams or even popular musical acts on the other hand can lead to great unpleasantness delivered with fire and pitchforks by the True Believers.

    Which is rather sad. I would have liked, as a smaller, younger me, to argue with the pontificating fool in the pulpit but even the obnoxious, arrogant, self-righteous me of alleged childhood recognised the dangers.

    I kept quiet. The guy in the frock was praised for his “wisdom”. I was not happy but at least I wasn’t crispy.

    Arguing whether Moriarty should have been made a female in “Elementary” is far safer.

    My take? At least it was different and it did allow for plots that couldn’t be used with a male baddie.

  25. smallvoice says:

    Author, the error text isn’t apparent in IE-11.0.9600.18449 with little security and Java/script enabled but the masthead doesn’t appear, either.

    So it’s probably not a browser-specific thingy. Which probably doesn’t help very much.

    I looked at the page source but if there’s a scripting error, I’ve missed it. Which is not surprising at godsdamned-o’clock. Sorry I can’t help more.

    Just as an aside, “count()” doesn’t seem to be used or set anywhere apart from in the warning. Unless I’m missing something.

  26. Donn says:

    One thing I find particularly interesting is how difficult it can be to distinguish the behavior of the Abrahamic God from that of a demonic god.

    Indeed, at least some Gnostic traditions held the latter; the term seems to be “demiurge”, but in any case the bad guy. Jesus is supposed to save us from Abe’s God.

  27. M27Holts says:

    Looks to me a simple misuse of count() on an object that doesn’t implement that interface…imagine if Jesus had declared! “Blessed are serializeable objects for they shall inherit the internet”…

  28. Author says:

    It was a line of code deep in the bowels of Wordpress. I have no idea what triggered the glitch. I just commented it out and prayed that nothing breaks.

  29. SmallVoice says:

    Author, cool, your most excellent work is now restored to full legibility. Whether something deep in the code is broken, I have no idea but such ghost-in-the-machine issues probably don’t matter very much as the cosmos is littered with the like. Apologies for having bothered you.

    If you prefer, I wouldn’t mind you editing out my amateur programmy diagnostics. They are ill-suited of the general tone of the place.

  30. SmallVoice says:

    Donn, if Mr. Carpenterson is supposed to save us all he’s taking his own sweet time about it. He’s had two million years or more and this place is still just a little unfriendly.

    True, we have rainbows and puppies and the pretty, little Sun and that huge, bright, shiny Moon that isn’t one and chemicals and chocolate and lots of other cool stuff but the good super-hero, Jesus, is reputed to have had pretty much nothing to do with those. Indeed, it’s difficult to find anything he does god it over or did gift us with.

    Apart, of course, from some nice, handy sweary words.

  31. M27Holts says:

    Cardinal Pell found guilty of child sex abuse. Secret trial blah blah blah…another example of a man afforded far too much respect due to his powerful delusions being enforced by a very influential political machine…

  32. Len says:

    It’s not “The dangerous psychopath who is in charge of the universe” that worries me – it’s his followers who think they’re doing his bidding. Scary!


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