Here’s one from 4 years ago to keep things ticking over until I get back in the saddle.

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Discussion (62)¬

  1. HaggisForBrains says:


  2. HaggisForBrains says:

    Yeah! Made it to first post at last :-D!

  3. Dave N says:

    Brilliant! Another string in the bow against the religious. Only I fear that the promise of an eternal life and the expectation of lack of responsibility in this one are too big a draw for them to even make sense of these simple premises.

  4. Patrick says:

    Then, not than. “…then morality is…” I love this conundrum.

  5. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Is this funny because Author’s so brilliant, or brilliant because Author’s so funny?

  6. the beagle says:

    Vintage Plato!

  7. kennypo65 says:

    I’ve only known about this comic for a year so this is new to me. Brilliant!

  8. Prithvi says:

    This might become an internet meme.

  9. AlbertaNerd says:

    IIRC, it’s actually Socrates (am I the only one that will sometimes pronounce it “so-crates”?) *according to* Plato.

  10. dimbulb says:

    Lucky for me I don’t say it in my heart. I’ve found the voice allows others to hear and I don’t want to chance a disruption in blood flow.

  11. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    (the beagle says:
    August 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    Vintage Plato!)

    I don’t recall Mickey Mouse’s dog making statements on morality!

  12. Andrew Hall says:

    It looks like Mo is going to hell. He should know the answers to those questions by faith alone.

  13. Sondra says:

    Only in the last ten thousand years has mankind placed himself as arbiter of right and wrong.

    Here’s a familiar quote, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

  14. Delightful. Are fundamentalists ignorant because they are fundamentalists, or fundamentalists because they are ignorant? This could keep going for a while…

  15. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Doode, it’s ever so cool
    To be a questioning kind of a tool
    A wise guy needs not tell
    you all about hell
    It’s illustrated by the denying fool.

  16. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Mickey mouse’s dog’s name is Pluto, as in divinity of the under world and minor planet. Nit picky details…

  17. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Nassar, you obviously never saw ‘Soap’, the U.S. sit-com;
    “C’mon Mom, what’s the big deal? Plato was gay”.
    “No he wasn’t, I refuse to believe that Mickey Mouse’s dog was gay”.
    A classic line IMHO.

    DH; Do we make fun because they’re mental, or are they mental because we make fun?

  18. Here’ one from about 2000 years ago, and it’s eternal: He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life, for God’s wrath remains on Him.

  19. Sondra says:

    3 days left to listen
    The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial
    Tennessee had passed The Butler Act, a law forbidding anyone “to teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” In other words, the teaching of evolution was outlawed.

  20. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @Downtown Dave.
    I think you’ll find that he who has the son does NOT have life; generally it’s about 2 years, but he does have to be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
    And to quote from your blogspot (which reminds me, did you really tick the ‘I swear’ box with a clear conscience?)
    “We are battling β€œatheists” in the wrong arena. It has been the arena of their choosing: the arena of deception.”
    You should be thanking us for showing you how you’re being deceived by your holy rollers, but no, you cling to your comfort blanket like shit to a shoe. There really are non so blind as those that will not see, and you haven’t the bravery to open your eyes, or the intelligence to open your mind, have you?

  21. kiyaroru says:

    It’s just as good the second time around.

    click the “First” button and get to work!
    Nassar speaks prose!!!

  22. plortho says:

    1) “Only in the last ten thousand years has mankind placed himself as arbiter of right and wrong.” Are you saying there was no morality 10k years ago, or that there was an arbiter before us? A dubious claim, either way.
    2) Human judgment is a necessary component of morality [justice, evaluation, criticism, etc.]. Your biblical quote is somewhat obtuse.
    3) Thanks for the “Inherit the Wind” redux link, but it’s off-topic.

  23. durham669 says:

    This excellent comic from the past reminds me of an article written by Jerry Coyne on this very topic a few days ago:

    Bible god is certainly not good. Bible god condoned slavery, rape, and mass murder. Bible god even had rules for rape and slavery. Not a very nice guy.

  24. ronmurp says:

    Acolyte of Sagan – Soap: unique and so underrated. Still miss it.

  25. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ AoS & ronmurp – we should start a “bring back Soap” campaign. Surely one of the many “old rubbish” channels, such as Dave in the UK, could find space for it.

  26. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Yeah, bring back Soap. From gay Greek philosophers to religion to alien abductions, it covered them all brilliantly. You had to watch each episode at least twice ‘cos you missed so much through laughing. And how Benson didn’t get to be President is beyond me!

  27. Vishal says:

    Brilliant punchline! Kudos!

  28. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “kiyaroru says:
    August 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm
    Nassar speaks prose!!!”

    Yes, Nasser posts mostly in prose
    But he’s not very good, and it shows
    In the way that his lines
    Consist of an arbitrary number of syllables at randomly chosen times
    And his rhyming leaves a lot to be desired
    Tha’ knows.

  29. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ AoS – The spirit of McGonagle lives! You, sir, are almost his equal. for further enlightenment check out

  30. Ketil W.Grevstad says:

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  31. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Gadzooks HaggisforBrains, I swear I’m almost blushing!
    I’ve long loved his Tay Bridge poem, it’s THE classic example of ‘so bad it’s brilliant’, even better for the fact that he was evangelically impervious to criticism, being of the opinion that if others didn’t recognise his ‘genius’ then the fault was theirs.

  32. HaggisForBrains says:

    Sorry, McGonagall – William Topaz McGonagall, Poet & Tragedian, to give him his full title, and what a gem!

  33. McChoban says:

    (Re this evolution vs creationism)
    I though that (Christian) theologists have thought of an answer for every (more-less) trivial question asked by “amateur” atheists. I know of many intelligent and witty theologists, so I thought they have those bases covered, as they learn lots of philosophy (and I guess debating) on their university. However, a while ago we were traveling on train with a high-school mate who moved to theology after he gave up law studies… Somewhere in the middle of conversation, when asked what’s he doing now, my friend said something like “yeah, IT’s cool”. Out of the blue, he became obsessed with that pronoun, thinking that my friend was referring to God (instead, he was merely commenting on his studies). The discussion turned into religious one, even though “we thought no harm” to his beliefs (at the beginning).
    As the conversation spurred, he (theology mate) tried to swerve it into morality and animals. Wrong turn. For every example of human morality he mentioned, my friend found similar in animal kingdom, including helping pack members, caring for cubs, monogamy, rescuing offspring of different species, cooperative work, rejecting from pack for wrongdoings etc. At one moment our mate exclaimed “what are you, some kind of zoologist?!” — and that (humorously) ended the conversation, leaving my friend victorious.
    From that moment on I don’t think as high of theology students debating skills πŸ™‚

  34. @downtown dave I took a look at the link you provided. What a great example of a totally closed mind you present to us all. I loved the bit about how you don’t have to win an argument with logic or evidence. Simply claim victory and assert that we atheists really do believe in your silly god delusion but, for whatever wicked reasons we might have, just won’t admit it. That is a delightful use of debating skill. Claim you won the argument and walk away. The further away the better, thank you very much.

  35. Is downtown dave an idiot because he’s a fundamentalist, or is he a fundamentalist because he’s an idiot?

  36. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @ Darwin:
    Fundamentally he’s just an idiot.

  37. John M says:

    HFB and AoS

    McGonagall seems to have been Spike Milligan’s preferred muse, so he (McG) must have been more than brilliant.

  38. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Spike Milligan’s Book of Silly Verse, now you’re talking poetry!
    I once saw a parrot eating a carrot
    While standing on it’s head.
    If I did that my mum would send me
    Straight upstairs to bed.

  39. the bonus says:

    Downtown Dave spaketh, “Here’s one from about 2000 years ago, and it’s eternal”. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Cheers, the bonus.

  40. Sondra says:

    If you were an Egyptian pharaoh, you had yo marry your closest female relative, as she was the only one of high enough caste and pure enough ethnicity.
    If you are an American (a country only a couple of hundred years old), you are forbidden by law to marry your immediate family.
    Is one is more “moral” than the other? Why?
    To judge is to set yourself above, to look down on, to say, “I know what is right and what is wrong.”
    What is right and what is wrong depends on your location geographically and chronologically.
    Judging only serves to separate us.
    I don’t wish to be robbed or raped or beaten (again) but there are those who believe that we call those things into our lives to experience them, that we are here to experience anything we want to experience, and that we have merely forgotten that we are awarenesses riding around in holograms.

  41. MarkyWarky says:

    @downtown dave. You claim that “It is impossible for someone to hate Christians without first hating Jesus. And it is impossible for someone to hate someone that they don’t believe exists.”, which is an interesting, but classically religious, circular argument.
    Assuming that atheists DO hate Christians, rather than just disagreeing with or feeling sorry for or amused by them, they do so precisely because they (the Christians) believe in an imaginary friend. If your argument is valid, it also proves the existence of ghosts, the zodiac, reincarnation and the gods of every other religion on earth, because I “hate” those believers too.
    If, as your blog states, it is not your responsibility to prove the existence of god but his, let’s see him do it. Words written in a book, any book, prove nothing, and nor does the existence of creation (all that proves is that something wonderful was created by something, not what that something was), so lets see him produce some actual solid unequivocal evidence. Presumably he’s capable?

  42. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @MarkyWarky: The problem with asking a question like that is that the religious mind will see everything as proof of their particular deity; ‘goddidit’ is their default position, and ‘there’s a reason it’s called faith’ their signature-line, so for them it’s us that have to disprove gods because they believe that they have all the proof they need; there is no need for evidence when your comfort-blanket, woven of pure faith, keeps you snugly and warmly insulated against reality.
    Of course, because it’s impossible to disprove gods, living as they supposedly do outside of space and time and therefore undetectable (until they want to chat via a burning bush, or the temporal lobes of an epileptic that is), they consider their argument won. Never mind the fact that it was human imagination that created gods, and human cunning that made sure they were always just beyond the next horizon; people like downtown dave are, as I said in a post earlier on this thread, too scared to open their eyes and too dumb to open their minds.

  43. @MarkyWarky downtown dave is a troll. The statements on his spam link are not worth refuting with logic or argument. His answer to any argument is that we all reall KNOW God exists, and know that we will “be accountable” for our supposed wickedness. If a person won’t believe me when I say I don’t believe in God, how can I expect them to understand any of my arguments in favour of my belief. One cannot argue with such a mind. Best we stop feeding the troll.

  44. MarkyWarky says:

    @AoS and DH, OK, understood. Depressing though isn’t it πŸ™

  45. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Sad beyond words sometimes, but what’s to be done? The ones who won’t even consider rational argument, like our friend dd, will never change their belief. They’re the ones that walk around with a superscillious smirk and can’t wait to tell you how they’re going to heaven and will get to watch you roast in hell, but it’s not because god hates us atheists, oh no-no-no. We’ll roast because god wants to show us his love by putting us on his extreme naughty-step so we can see just how much we hurt his feelings by not loving him back, and they’ll get to watch so they can better appreciate being there and love their god just that little bit more.
    In other words, they’re fucking mental!
    The only way is to educate our young before the poison takes hold. I’m proud to say that all of my offspring have grown into intelligent, hard-working, compassionate, good, honest people, and not a shred of religion between them; I’m confident that they will raise their own children (with nan and grandad’s help while we’re still around) the same. They were never denied access to religious materials, we just taught them not to accept anything at face value, but to ask questions when things just didn’t sound right. Of course, we had a lot of help from the likes of Sagan and Attenborough, but one of the most effective ways was simply to read parts of the bible with them, then ask for their opinions on how realistic it was and then help them to look for more rational explainations. This doesn’t happen in most schools, where they get to do the reading bit but aren’t given the opportunity to question it, effectively making it true by default.

    Off to sacrifice a virgin now…g’night.

  46. spoing says:


    Actually, as I recollect it most of Nassar’s ditties are little limerick-like poems, definitely not prose.

    As a long-serving J&Mer he has earned his stripes and the right to serve up bad poetry and half-baked rhymes. The occasional one can be quite funny too. πŸ™‚

  47. spoing says:


    Sorry to be a pedant but I found this useful:

  48. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    @spoing: Nassar’s verse always makes me laugh, just not always for the intended reason, and I’d be the last to deny him his right to share it with us. He’s steadily improving too, so a little gentle and good-humoured teasing now and then should motivate him to greater works – even if his motivation is to shove my words back down my throat.
    Anyway, if we’re being pedantic I only said that he’s ‘not very good’; you said he serves up ‘bad’ poetry and there’s a world of difference between ‘not very good’ and ‘bad’.
    spooiiiinggg πŸ™‚

  49. spoing says:


    Nassar is sort of like the eccentric uncle you humour because although he can be annoying he occasionally offers you a sweetie. He is very much a welcome part of the family.

    Personally I would like a few more “Downtown Daves” to leaven the mix and provide some amusing derision. Otherwise it becomes a bit clique-ish hearing ones own atheist sentiments echoed back to ones atheist ears.

  50. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ spoing – you sound a bit like a hungry lion wishing for a few more xtians in the arena.

  51. spoing says:


    Your comment made me wonder about the number of Christians that actually were thrown to the lions – a thoroughly sensible policy if ever there was one. I suppose the problem with reintroducing the practice is that lions are so few nowadays, and there are comparatively more Christians & other fundies around.

    I’d settle for wild dogs ,or even just really grumpy standard dogs, if lions were unavailable.

  52. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ spoing -” I’d settle for wild dogs ,or even just really grumpy standard dogs, if lions were unavailable.”

    I doubt if the RSPCA or AHA would condone such cruelty to dumb animals (read that any way you like).

  53. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I recall rading somewhere that there is absolutely no proof that christians were ever thrown alive to the lions. The Romans were certainly capable of much cruelty to the christians but they weren’t used as lion food; human torches maybe, but not food (although they just might have fed them the remains of executed christians and criminals). It seems that it’s one of the oldest urban myths, created through a mixture of causes. Lions (and tigers, bears, etc) were pitted against each other in the arenas; the Romans weren’t very nice to christians; and the story of Daniel. Put them all together and what do you get? That’s right, another falsity to be used to bolster the religious persecution complex.

  54. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    AAAAHHH! For my first line above, please read ‘reading’, and not ‘rading’ somewhere.

  55. MrGronk says:

    The Xtians weren’t necessarily the meek innocents they portray themselves as. Death-obsessed middle eastern religions chipping away at western culture is nothing new, I’m afraid.

  56. Second Thought says:

    I know that you were just going for humor, but I don’t think it is a good policy to throw any group, however much you disagree with them, to the lions (or the wild dogs). Let’s not advocate having people killed for their beliefs. I think it is important to keep our ethics even even in humor.

  57. MarkyWarky says:

    @Second Thought, I thought the same when I read it, but then thought it’s so ridiculously mild compared with what comes from religious people, it was harmless. However, given the religious ability to take things out of context and exaggerate them, I suspect you’re right πŸ™

  58. HaggisForBrains says:

    Lighten up, guys, it’s clearly a joke.

    It is a joke, isn’t it?

  59. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Of course it’s a joke; we wouldn’t use dogs when AK47s are more efficient :-()

  60. @Acolyte of Sagan and HaggisforBrains the problem with making jokes about violence and genocide is that, besides being juvenile, they can come back to haunt us if somebody wants to deny they were said in jest. Oh yes, and they are ugly too. Let’s leave that type of humor to trolls and high school kids. I’m with Second Thought on this one.

  61. Scott says:

    Oh I don’t know, as a young earth creationist evangelical born again christian, I found it quite humourous! πŸ™‚

    Isn’t this one of those illogical questions though similar to “when did you stop beating your wife?”

    Morality exists because God exists. So “goodness” cannot exist without God as God is good.

    If I had to pick which side I preferred, I’d go for the one that good is what God commands. I don’t really have an issue with arbritary morals coming from an omniscient omnipotent entity who offers eternal life with no sickness or sadness…

  62. fenchurch says:

    Where do theists get their morality from? An old, Iron Age, Middle Eastern book? Visions? Voices? On “high”?
    If a god implied by a trio of signs you should kill your kids for a test/higher purpose/mysterious way, sacrifice the first thing that comes through your door, kill an entire village and take the young women as your slaves, not suffer witches to live, and the like, wouldn’t your objection to such imply you had your own independent morality protest these divine horrors?
    How _do_ theists with such external moral codes distinguish these heavenly commands from dementia, chemical imbalance, hallucination, tricks of “the devil”, wilfulness, prejudice, migraines, schizophrenia, anger, or anything else?


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