August 23rd, 2017
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The joys of laws against blasphemy
Prevent many a social catastrophe
The qur’an intoned
Then dissertations on punishment eternally
I see the god anointed one, trump the orange menace, is giving hope to Germanys neo-Nazis…. how heart warming is that??? (snark)
Well thought out and extremely injoyable
I never think it’s necessary to say anything more to religious believers than, ‘it isn’t true, it’s all made up’. Everything else flows from that. if the basic premises aren’t true, there are no gods and therefore no prophets, no heaven, no hell, no afterlife, then all the rules and prejudices of a religion fall away, as they’re built on sand. So Obi-wan Kenobe can join Jesus and Mo there on the stage, as there’s just as much ‘truth’ in Jediism as in Christianity and Islam and, as the ‘magic’ falls away, the ugly skeletons of tribalism are exposed.
Religionists assume a monopoly of spirituality and ethics. We see from their actions of bigotry and violence that their ethical words are meaningless. Spirituality is a dimension of all humans as Sam Harris and other atheists eloquently explain. Some elevate their awareness, perception and experience of it, whilst others downplay or reject it. Religionists merely conflate experience of it with their supernatural beliefs. All religionists have left is their mutually exclusive textural fairy tales which simply place an unecessary limitation on their consciousness.
Careful, PrimalVirtue. Most commentators here take a dim view on spirituality. It seems to be seen as either gateway drug to hardcore religious delusion, or a cop-out to keep the delusions of religion without having to defend the rigors of dogma. ^_^
Guilty as charged, FreeFox. There is just too much religious baggage attached to the concept of spirituality for my taste.
Nice highlighting of the contradictory nature and hypocritical double standards of the religious mind, Author (good holiday, by the way?). What is wishing one to suffer agonies for eternity if not hate speech?
I am still horrified and amused in equal measure whenever I hear the bullshit about about God’s infinite love for all of mankind, even those it sends to Hell for an infinity of pain for such minor offences as not kissing its metaphorical arse often enough. There’s tough love and there’s tough love, but that’s just screwed up. Infinitely!
And how do the torture apologists defend it? By saying that our rejection of God or bending of its rules gives it a God-sized sad. Yes, we puny humans cause this omnipotent monster so much pain (which kind of makes one wonder how omni its potency really is) by ignoring it – despite the fact that it gives no clue to its existence and even set up the Universe in such a way that a creator God is superflous to explaining it – that its only course of action is to sentence us to the eternal horrors of Hell. Despite its apologists also claiming that it has infinite forgiveness, of course.
God: the ultimate bad parent.
I believe in God, just not one you would find in any book written by man.
Well at least some people are safe from harm and free to hurt others! Hallelujah!!!
Australia right now.
Because legalizing gay marriage will bring 1000 years of darkness and koala rape if it gets passed, praise God.
A very clever author and some very intelligent contributors as well. Appreciate all of your efforts.
I’m curious RESIDENT; where did you get your belief in God from, if not (ultimately) from a book, written by man?
Clearly, this was not a spontaneous revelation, with NO prior knowledge!
Perhaps you cherry-picked (made up) a God which YOU could believe in.
Just a thought… 🙂
Sorry RESIDENT, I must be tired. On a second read, clearly your statement is humorous – I got pulled in! 😀
Don’t know how to contact you, so will you do Jesus explaining one wife to Mo and Mo’s response about out-populating the Christians for worldwide Muslim takeover! Please
@Graham ASH-PORTER: or zero wife, for that matter; or one wife ménage-à-trois’ing with the holy spirit.
I always think it is a bit rude when you go to a funeral or wedding to which you have been asked and then they take the opportunity to tell you that you are damned to hell.
Just wait until Owen Jones et al. tell you that only racists point out that Islam is homophobic. He (and he’s not alone) seems incapable of separating bigotry against people (Muslims) from criticism of ideas (Islam).
It can be hard to separate out cultural, historical, ethnic and ideological identities. One thing we might have hoped is that educated journalists might have taken a lead in helping society to do this. No such luck.
PrimalVirtue: The trouble with the word “spirituality” is that it has several different meanings; god-botherers in discussion will happily switch from one meaning to another, grinding discussion to an inconclusive halt, although they no doubt think that means they have won the argument.
We recently acquired a new chicken, bringing our flock up to the maximum of six allowed by our town. Watching the new hen integrating into the flock, I’m reminded once again that racism, xenophobia, tribalism, and the white supremacy that are so much in the news lately is all hard wired into our brains. We are apes. We bond with our group and fling shit at any other group that ventures into our space.
You will hear a lot of people claiming that racism has to be taught. Not true. What has to be taught is tolerance and acceptance. Racism and hatred comes quite naturally.
The thing is, the more inclusive we can make our group, the less defined we can make our group characteristics, the less room there is for racism. If a child grows up in a mixed race environment, with playmates of all levels of melanin in their skins, it becomes very difficult to maintain racist attitudes. And just as our new chicken will eventually find her place in the flock, our society will accept diversity after a period of getting used to seeing different skin colours and clothing in our neighborhoods.
More on topic with this thread: At an earlier point in my development, I also described myself as “spiritual but not religious”. My intended meaning was that I feel things deeply and care about others and all life on earth, that I am all soul, brother. But unfortunately the word has come to mean a person who believes in the mind/body dualism. And that’s not me at all. I believe we are only our brain functions, and without the brain we are nothing. I’ve always liked what Alan Watts said about the mind and body relationship. He described the spirit as being like a whirlpool in a river. You can’t have the whirlpool without the river.
Darwin Harmless, I’ve got to know, what happens if you get a seventh chicken?
J&M – re. the comment note – racist, sexist and homophobic ideas are sincerely held by millions. They can’t draw on your cartoons. I mean they can’t vandalise your messages. They can clutter your comments, but you could delete them then. That might be tedious. You could leave them up. This would not mean approval. These are most excellent messages you are sending. But are you ruling out the ones who most need to receive them? What about the borderline people who have intuited unfortunate ideas. They might not get it in one zinger. What if someone sincerely thinks homosexuality is wrong? I use ‘thinks’ lightly. Why not let them on? We can’t lose the battle of reason. The quickest I learnt anything was making a fool of myself on a forum. I learnt three centuries in three years. By being corrected. It was as if, somehow, I was connected to the distilled thought of billions of minds. Should you not connect them?
Re the first comment. Try counting syllables. 9, 11, 4, 6, 13.
Two blooms upon a desart land
May grow sincerest creed:-
That each themselves a flower Grand
And each the other weed.
Yet all grow under the same Sun
And sprang from the same seed.
You see how it’s done.
Have you done a cartoon on the absurd notion that the devil would punish people for offending god? Religious people have no answer to this, it just doesn’t occur to them that the devil would reward people for being bad, not punish them. If the barmaid were to bring it up I’d like to hear Jesus and Mo explain.
RichardEmmanualJones, “I’ve got to know, what happens if you get a seventh chicken?” Good question. I’ve never had the nerve to test it. I assume we would be subject to the full force of the law. One of our chickens might be arrested and lead away in chains. I might be arrested and lead away in chains.
Seriously, probably nothing. It’s a complaint based system, and I doubt our neighbours are able to count our free range roving lawn ornaments. I think a flock numbering a hundred or so would cause some reaction from the bylaw enforcement people. Always looking for some excuse to interfere with a man’s enjoyment of his private property they are.
We are also fostering a hive of bees for a similar reason. One of our neighbours has hit the limit of allowed bee hives, so he slipped one into our yard. I’ve always wanted to raise bees. But when I looked into the bother and expense I quickly backed away. This way I get a bee hive in our yard with no effort or responsibility. Win win all over the place, eh.
RichardEmmanualJones, by the way, you must be new here. We don’t try to influence our resident poet any more. Gave it up years ago as a bad idea. Nassar is an acquired taste but we’ve all become quite fond of his work. He’s an original. His style and rhythm patterns are uniquely his own. You can’t mess with genius, eh.
REJ: Nice to see a new face in the old C&B bar. You have some interesting thoughts. Have a virtual drink on me.
Darwin Harmless: According to some research I’ve read, the Human race is destined to end up as a rather sexy homogenous Tan colour. Unfortunately there’s currently no hope of this happening to us unsexy lard white coloured specimens?
Our only hope continues to be Umpa Lumpa tinged Spray tan.
I wouldn’t put stock into becoming orange spray-tanned Oompa Loompas. They tend to talk out of their assholes, support white supremacy and are an embarrassment to the nation, at home and abroad.
What the christ was Willy Wonka smoking when he elected to hire such goblins?
Primal Virtual and FreeFox mention spirituality as an issue for non-believers. In my view if you accept that there is no magic then feelings of spirituality are no different than feelings of love, anger, sadness, superstition or transcendence. Brain states that arise as a consequence of prior experience and provide a general mood to influence subsequent reactions.
There are ‘spiritual naturalists’ who value ritual. There are angry people that value particular actions of release. But there’s still no magic.
Smee, actually, there’s a drug you can take to get that sexy tan you want, but there are risks involved. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Like_Me and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methoxsalen .) However, a spray tan need not turn you orange. See http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/makeup-legs-not-runway-anymore-article-1.1196762
Caveat: this is coming from someone who is by no means a skin or make-up expert. Maybe you should treat yourself to a day at a spa where you can get bronzed by someone who knows what they’re doing.
Darwin – great comment about integrating into a flock/tribe/society.
regarding describing oneself … I borrowed a quote from the musician Aimee Mann regarding religion. during an old interview with Spin magazine she said “I believe in great things” and left it at that. She didn’t elaborate weather she meant supernatural or simple the great things that humans can do (the current political climate not withstanding) … I’ve used it several times to avoid conversations that I’d rather not have about religion
I must share something I just learned from my neighbor. He plays in a country rock group which means he spends a lot of time in bars, which means he is often confronted by drunks who want to talk to him. He has developed a way of avoiding drunks. As soon as they come up to him and start talking, he says “Hold that thought.” and walks away. It amuses him no end to look back and see the drunk trying to hold the thought.
I’m looking forward to trying this.
DiscoveredJoys, you’ve given a good desciption of emotional states there, so what’s the use of muddying the waters – and validating the woo merchants – by bringing spirituality into things?
Darwin, that’s a nice trick and it does work. You’ll tend to find that anybody who has worked around drunken people for a while wiill have developed similar tricks. One of my favourites, which works equally well with drunks and stoners, was to suddenly switch the conversation but do so as if that was what we were talking about all along.
A bloke might have been rambling on about United being far superior to City, for example, and I’d just say something like “You say that but you’ll find that the Subaru’s quicker in a straight line and it’s the VW that’ll be far better on a twisting track’.
Blows their befuddled minds.
What do atheists mean when they say they experience the sense or feeling of spirituality? Does spirituality include wonder (surprise/curiosity/admiration/fascination) and awe (joy + fear)?
What about transcendence? By transcendence, I mean the emotion felt when one senses that they are part of something bigger than themselves. For example, when I became a mother, for a moment it was as if I was seeing the entire human family tree and saw myself as one mother in a long line of mothers that stretched behind me into the misty past and had the potential to stretch beyond me into the future. As a child, before I knew the term, I felt transcendence when I thought of myself as being in my neighborhood, in my city, in my state, in my country, on the planet, in the solar system, in the galaxy, in the universe. I felt like a microscopic speck in infinity.
Off the top of my head, I’d say that to me, spirituality (as an aspect of life, not just an emotion) involves transcendence, wonder, awe, my conscience, my sense of morality/ethics, compassion, the sense of being sustained by the ecosystem and by other people (society, friends, & family), and my search for/discovery of/construction of the meaning of life in general and my own life in particular. It does not involve hurtful, violent speech or the belief that people who are not atheists deserve to die and be tortured for eternity thereafter 🙂
What would you say spirituality entails?
two cents worth. What you said sounded a lot like Kant’s: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.”
But yours was rather better put and more moving. Have you thought of becomming a philosopher?
two cent’s worth, yes indeed. When I became a father I stopped seeing myself simply as a person in this place and time, but as part of the chain you speak of. For me this is just an expansion of understanding reality. The reality is that we are all creatures in time as well as here and now.
To be at peace with reality is a major goal for me. I usually find that accepting reality is better than resisting reality. The trick is to figure out what is real and what is not, and to see if there is some way to reframe my understanding to make acceptance easier, or open up options I’ve been ignoring. But I don’t use the word “spiritual” anymore. It’s too loaded with implications of mind/body duality, which is just wishful thinking.
HelenaHandbasket, thank you for your kind words! I took one philosophy course in college, and have had idle thoughts about studying it some more, but I’ve never wanted to become a philosopher. One reason for that is because I suspect that, for me, it would be a slippery slope. To paraphrase Dumbledore (or, technically, J.K. Rowling), it would not do for me to dwell on philosophy and forget to live. I do confess to reading Existential Comics, though (http://existentialcomics.com).
Darwin, I’m with you. I tend to avoid using the word “spiritual” unless I’m referring to a certain type of Christian song 🙂 . As for understanding reality, my focus is on avoiding wishful thinking, getting reality checks from friends whose perspectives are different from mine, and adapting to reality. I also try to avoid spending too much time brooding about parts of reality that I cannot affect or influence due to limited resources. (For example, there are thousands of good causes; I cannot donate time or money to all of them.) Ideally, if reality were an ocean, I’d like to surf it like a pro.
two cents’ worth, I’d say it’s also important to spend some time appreciating the wonders of the universe. I dug some spuds up out of the garden yesterday, with the help of two small children, and was almost overcome with the romanticism of the thing. Doesn’t have to mean that I believe in fairies.