An 11-year-old resurrection today.

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Discussion (40)¬

  1. Son of Glenner says:

    Yipee! First in this week. Brilliant strip – as usual.

    Happy birthday, J&M (28 days early for J, don’t know about M).

    Also, comments software working as it should (fingers crossed!).

  2. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Given that Stalin trained in a seminary (and learned all the dirty tricks therefrom) his anti-religious stance could be taken as professional jealousy rather than principled objection.
    I’m just surprised that ol’ Adolf “Mentions Himself as a Christ-Like Figure Over a Dozen Times in his Book and Mentions Atheism Never” Hitler didn’t get a look see.
    Maybe all that evidence of the Catholic Church’s open collusion with Nazism has finally shut that one up?
    In fairness, it does seem that when you push atheism in a country then some form of god-on-earth personality cult (Stalin, Mao, The Kardashians) comes wooshing in to fill the void.
    Maybe humans have holes in their heads?

  3. Richard Harris says:

    Stalin and Pol Pot were communists, rather than exemplars of atheism, which is simply the lack of belief in gods.

    The communist regimes employed ideologies that had many of the characteristics of religion, such as irrational dogmatism, based on faith rather than science. Just like Christianity and Islam, communism had its Holy Books which were treated as Holy Scripture, namely the writings of Lenin, Mao, Marx and others, all of which were far from scientific. Communist ideology held that history was a pre-ordained struggle of good versus evil, and this took the place of the more traditional concept of ‘god’. History was interpreted through the lens of Marxism’s rigid eras of primitive, slave, feudal, and capitalist societies that would culminate in communism. “Heaven’s support” may be equated with “history’s judgment,” in Communist parlance.

  4. Dave says:

    Christ, that was a good strip!

  5. Linda K says:

    How can this strip be from 11 years ago if trump is in power now and proclaiming all news as fake?

  6. M27Holts says:

    Watching Dawkins, Hitchens, and all prominent anti-theists debating. The religious argument is mainly from the angle of Hitler/Stalin/Mao. Supposedly “Atheist” paradigms, when in reality Stalin trained as a priest and Hitler was Catholic and didnt flinch from his very biblical ideology of racial purity and god on his side etc…both of these monsters of history were products of a dark ages resurgence in the mid 20th century…burning books etc…

  7. Walter says:

    RE: Dave’s Comment

    By “christ” you mean Jesus Haploid Christ?!

  8. M27Holts says:

    Biology joke #1….^^

  9. M27Holts says:

    Xmas joke #1….picture the nativity scene, just as the three magi enter…one not so wise man steps on a rake hidden in the hay. The handle pivots and smacks him clean on the nose! “JESUS CHRIST” he yells in pain…Mary looks up from the baby in her arms and exclaims…”Thats a good name, we were going to call him Gordon.”…

  10. Son of Glenner says:

    Linda K: When this strip originally appeared 11 years ago, the front page of The Guardian had a different headline. The speech boxes were much the same then and are as relevant now as they were then, but the newspaper in J’s hands has been updated to reflect the present day.

    So the strip has ingeniously managed to be classic (“heritage” even?) and modern at the same time. Well done, Author!

    You can check out the original strip for yourself by using the search box in the top right-hand corner. You will see that the drawing style has also been updated since 2007.

  11. M27Holts says:

    What search box? Im using chrome on a mobile phone running android..

  12. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: Re search box: It’s the box clearly marked “search site”. To find the original of this strip just insert its title, ie “trick” (Author always adds a “2” suffix for the re-use of a strip) in the box and click on the small box alongside.

    This works on a Mac laptop running Safari. I haven’t a clue about chrome or android. As indicated in a previous J&M discussion, I’m not very tech-savvy. (Well, I’m a very old man.)

  13. M27Holts says:

    I had to switch to desktop mode to see the box. But couldnt add comments because the submit comment button disappears!

  14. Walter says:

    Could not find the “search site”, but using the browser and searching the hole net brought up the original.

    Could not read the headlines in the original, but no noose is good new.

  15. Luxi Turna says:

    Woh, this one is subtle!

    > “Stalin and Pol Pot were communists, rather than exemplars of atheism, which is simply the lack of belief in gods.”

    Yeah, but that’s the point, see? Christ and the towelhead are doing exactly what they blame us for doing.

  16. raymondm says:

    Say what you will about religious belief, atheism has never inspired great beauty.

  17. M27Holts says:

    The argument that great art and emotional creativity is only produced by brains that are infected by pernicious religious memes is the most ludicrous defence of insidious belief I have ever heard….

  18. Anonymous says:

    Whether represented by Stalin or Fred Phelps, all belief systems are social. (Because we’re people. Duh.)

    Someone in the Belief_X_ism hierarchy decides on dogma, and followers follow. Eventually, some adherent rubs two brain cells together, and thinks “if activity/property Q of Belief_X_ism makes me a good adherent of Belief_X_ism, then more of activity/property Q will make me a better adherent”. Since Belief_X_ism is a social activity, you now get competition for virtue within that system, and the more extreme the more virtuous.

    Note that this is independent of the belief system. So my advice is: eschew extremism. A bit. Mostly. But not too much.

  19. raymondm says:

    “The argument that great art and emotional creativity is only produced by brains that are infected by pernicious religious memes…”

    When you come across someone making this argument, let us know.

  20. jb says:

    if activity/property Q of Belief_X_ism makes me a good adherent of Belief_X_ism, then more of activity/property Q will make me a better adherent

    This phenomenon has been called a purity spiral or piety contest, and it certainly does seem to be independent of any particular belief system. I think what it is dependent on is having some sort of abstract system according to which you are trying to act, rather than acting purely pragmatically — i.e., if I do this then what do I think will happen, and is that something I want to happen.

  21. Son of Glenner says:

    Anonymous & jb: Re purity spiral: Something similar seems to be going on just now during the planning (or lack of it!) for Brexit!

    BTW, RIP (or if you prefer, RIH!) George H W Bush, taken from us at only 94.

  22. M27Holts says:

    The Brexit fiasco seems to me simimar to political chaos in the interim between the two world wars. Out of such chaos, lunatics with charisma can bring the world to war. Germany calling for a European Army is very disturbing, perhaps barbarossa II is in planning by frauline Merkel?

  23. Laripu says:

    jb, thanks for that information. I never knew there were names for the phenomenon.

    For some years, I’ve been joking that male ultra-Orthodox Jews, at age 70, should have reconstructive surgery to create a new foreskin, so they could have it removed 8 days later. So far, no takers. 😉 😀 So maybe there’s a limit to the process.

  24. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Raymondm. Atheists creators? I wont even bother listing the scientists…There are plenty of great atheist composers (Bizet, Delius, etc); artists (Bacon, Gormley, Matisse, etc); architects (Frank Lloyd Wright) and some of them are quite explicit about putting their atheism front and centre in their work (Picasso, for example). When you add in the fact that artists up until recently needed commissions from the church to work, or would experience social sanction if they were openly atheist then the list should be much longer.
    Darwin managed some fairly impressive work highlighting why there was “grandeur in this view of life” because the natural world did not need a guiding hand. Look him up. Well worth a read.

  25. M27Holts says:

    I think Raymond is polishing the old chestnut that science and scientists are all unappreciative of art and subjective beauty…prefering mathematical rigour and boring log tables.. etc oy Raymond stop polishing vigourously, your wife might find out…

  26. raymondm says:

    @HelenaHandbasket I did not say atheists didn’t create. I said: “Atheism has never inspired great beauty.” There is a world of difference.

    @M27Holts It’s very difficult trying to carry on a discussion with people who don’t read. (Or if they do know how to read, choose to misrepresent.)

  27. M27Holts says:

    I can read. Your sweeping and clearly ignorant statement is WRONG…There is beauty in the works of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett…comedic aesthetics that paint truly beautiful pictures in my minds eye. You could also read some Carl Sagan…

  28. two cents' worth says:

    M27Holts, I had always wondered what the H stood for 😉 . Such an appropriate middle name, given J’s supposed parentage!

  29. Son of Glenner says:

    HelenaHandbasket & M27Holts: It is commonplace for persons with a scientific training to appreciate great music, great literature, great paintings/sculptures, etc, while persons with an arts training may be woefully ignorant of quite simple scientific facts/theories, sometimes even taking a perverse pride in their ignorance. Perhaps that is more so for my very old generation (70+) than for youngsters in their fifties and forties or even younger.

  30. M27Holts says:

    Lets tiptoe carefully round the great literature debate I usually get my arse kicked by the pink steelies worn by the Jane Austin aficionados….

  31. HelenaHandbasket says:

    RaymondM. Thats why I was careful to pick people whose atheism was manifest in their works.
    Son of Glenner: No kidding! C. P. Snow wrote a rather influential essay about that whole thing.
    M27 Holts. Good picks on Pratchet and Adams. I’d add Philip Pullman to the list.
    And if we want to bring out the heavy guns, showing that atheist physicists can engage in lyrical appreciation of the beauty in an atheist universe, that makes most artists seem thin by comparison, we are spoilt for choice. But these two are favourites of mine:
    and Sagan

  32. M27Holts says:

    He used the word NEVER…i will bet his eyes were bulging and his loins prickling with indignation as his cherished world view is questioned by a few stuffy scientists with chalk dust in their moustache…

  33. M27Holts says:

    And besides, when you stand on the banks of loch ness just as the sun is rising and wonder that such a tranquil and awe inspiring view was brought into being after retreating ice sheets had already gouged the bedrock into such a place where the dark waters gather….And no thought of a supernatural agent crosses your mind…

  34. Son of Glenner says:

    Helena: (If it’s OK to call you by your first name?) I had a look at your Feynman and Sagan clips. (“Feynman & Sagan” – sounds like a firm of solicitors!) In these clips Sagan was explicitly atheist without pushing it; Feynman could be interpreted as implicitly atheist. Both were thought-provoking and, to use your word, lyrical. I was deeply moved. So much better than the imaginings of a medieval nun contemplating her non-existent (but she did not know that!) God and His universe. After Feynman, I wanted to pour myself a glass of red wine, but, dammit, I already drink too much!

    I have long been an avid fan of Pratchett (sadly missed) and I agree with you about Philip Pullman.

    Have a virtual dram on me in the old C&B pub.

  35. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: When you stood on the banks of Loch Ness, did you see “Nessie”?

    BTW, it was not just glacial action, but also parallel geological faults, that shaped the Great Glen. Whatever, I agree it is an impressive sight.

  36. HelenaHandbasket says:

    Son of Glenner. Glad you like it. That was one of Feynman’s less…lets call them “provocative” pieces. He had a tendency to call artists “nutty” for thinking that they had a monopoly on seeing beuaty in the universe. For him, trying to understand how it actually worked was being in love with it (after all, whats the most valuable thing you can give anything? Arguably its your time and attention).
    I’d certainly agree with him that the way liberal arts types can (they dont have to, but they can) arrogantly dismiss scientists as not getting the depth that they do can be annoying and deserving of some deflation.
    There is huge asymetry in knowledge, every scientist has seen some Shakespeare, not every lib art type can do elementary calculus. I saw a university challenge (highbrow quiz show) a few years back which was journalists vrs TV folk. The captain of one team was Andrew Neil, then editor of The Times–the UKs newspaper of record. He just waved his hand and sneered when being asked a science question. There is an element of this in the British character–some of the upper classes seeing science as “trade” and somehow inferior. Thats another attitude that deserves puncturing.

  37. M27Holts says:

    SOG. I wasn’t looking for nessie. On these days of ubiquitous mobile phones with cameras. Pictures of the living sea monster are conspicuous by their absence. We did wander across a couple copulating a bit later that morning. I dont think they were expecting mad english ramblers at 0530 in the morning….it was a long hike from fort augustus to inverness…so we started early…

  38. M27Holts says:

    When I started college. I did 4 science A levels. We had a new priciple, an archtypical humanities product. Large, butch and openly lesbian tho the labels were purely coincidental. She decreed that all pure science students must attend the extra english literature classes…however she did not make the purely humanity students do the pure maths tutorials we did as extra curricula. Such imbalance in the 80s has caused a lot of the problems we face now…

  39. Walter says:

    M27Holts — That explanation about “Haploid” was from me. I had wondered for years where the “H” came from and one day it dawned on me.

    IIRC — It was my original idea, but I can’t be sure someone else didn’t think of it before me. It was an idea that was just lying there.


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