May 2nd, 2012
Jesus, what a tetchy little Son of a God you are.
Jesus, what a tetchy little Son of a God you are.
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Great one. The walking on water miracle has become a favorite of mine. Try and imagine how you would work it even if you could alter physical laws or fundamental physical properties like mass etc. It’s far from trivial to make it look convincing without altering the physics so much that what you – or the altered version of you – would be walking on couldn’t justifiably be called water any longer.
@foundationist, yeah I know what you mean. When I walk on water, I call it, “Ice.”
Arrrrghh! I hate this form of argument. Person A makes an assertion (I walked on water), and when challenged, makes a completely different statement (You can’t walk on water), without addressing the need for proof that person B was asking for. (No doubt there is a proper name for this, and someone will enlighten me – it doesn’t seem to be a straw man, nor an ad hominem – could it be question begging?).
Jesus is 100% God.
Jesus can walk on water.
I can walk on cucumbers.
Cucumbers are 95% water.
ERGO, I am 95% God!
as herod said ,”walk across my swimming pool”
Jesus dropped some irrefutable facts on Mo.
Pity the Mo.
The miracles that have been wrought
To demonstrate points, or maybe not.
Which tends to show
No matter where you go
There you are, that’s all that you’ve got.
When Jesus was a little boy, his mother was constantly telling him to stay off the puddles after it rained.
@foundationist – don’t be silly, you don’t have to alter physical properties of anything to walk on water. You just have to be one of those insects that walks on water. And that’s it for today’s episode of Fun Facts About Jesus.
I don’t know. If that scrungy magician, Chris Angel (Kris Angel???), can do it, any smart person should be able to figure it out. Which still leaves poor Mo out, but, you know. Boo-hoo!
Hehe i also can walk on water, but i do it when its cold outside and the water is frozen.hehe
Tetchy Jesus is all up in Mo’s face.
“The secret to walking on water is knowing where the
rocks are.” — Bootsy Collins (Parliament Funkadelic)
I’ve been to the Sea of Galilee, and it’s really easy to make it look like you’re walking on water there. It is extremely shallow, so you can walk into it much further than a normal lake and only be in about 5 inches of water.
Nothin’ like a trip to the “Holy Land” to make you realize what bullshit those so-called miracles are.
Fran says “I’ve been to the Sea of Galilee, and it’s really easy to make it look like you’re walking on water there. It is extremely shallow, so you can walk into it much further than a normal lake and only be in about 5 inches of water.
Nothin’ like a trip to the “Holy Land” to make you realize what bullshit those so-called miracles are.” which somewhat suggests that is buying into the myth of Jesus as reality.
There is an easier way to become an immortal than performing cute magic tricks and that is to get a group of so-called learned men to sit around together (such as the Nicaean Council 325CE) and just make shit up.
By the way Harry Potter could talk to snakes and Willy Wonka employs umpalumpas. It is all equally true.
They both can be “ALL WET” with, or without, knowledge of where the rocks are located!
Yes, Peakcrew, it seems to me to be petitio principii, or begging the question.
@Litesp33d: uhm, I’d call that a radical interpretation of the text. And thank you for not answering in a condescending and patronising manner.
If you don’t want to be addressed in a condescending and/or patronizing manner, you should probably avoid commenting on the jesus and mo site. Few other places on the internet allow one to better observe smug douchebaggery in action than this one.
But I still like the comic.
He COULD walk on water, but after the crucifixion his feet leaked, so then he couldn’t.
I’m thinking that you’re right, it was probably easier for Jesus to walk on water before he got those nail holes in his feet.
richardelguru and Jerry w, have a look here,
Argument about miracles is pointless, they are a red herring. By definition “God” has control over the physical world and can, therefore, do things which are impossible according to the laws of physics and chemistry. If there is a God then miracles follow automatically, if not then, of course, there must be some explanation for the apparent happenings but you’ll never convince a believer – that’s what faith is all about.
[I confirm that I am not a spammer, I do swear but my wife doesn’t like it!]
Uh, I heard a man-o-god say Jesus was the only prophet of his time to TELL us he was god. And, I guess, since he was Jesus, this has to true, right?
Almanac item of the week: in Cleveland, a big old hawk attacked a man’s bald head, punching a number of holes in his scalp. Since this does not meet any test of natural law that I know, it must have been a miracle, and that means it was a sign (hawks — get it? Sorry). The next wave of birds will be big enough to carry us off, and armaggedon will be on once more
Heard a story about a buddhist teacher and his pupil who come to a river. The ferryman charges one rupee per crossing. The teacher hands over two rupees. Just then another teacher and pupil duo arrive but this teacher only hands over one rupee, puts the pupil on the ferry and just strolls over the river.
The second pupil turns to the first and smiles, ‘Can your master do that? It took mine thirty years of study to learn this.’
The firs pupil anxiously asks his master why he can’t do this to which the reply is ‘Thirty years to save one rupee?’
Don, there’s a Buddhist who runs a pizza parlour near me. I went in last night and asked him to make me one with everything 🙁
@Jobrag, Jerry w and me.
Statistically that bibley thing has to be right sometimes: Ecclesiastes 1:9 “…there is nothing new under the sun…”
Yeah, I know him – when I asked for my change, he said ‘Change comes from within’.
Terrific! It took me two readings to get it, tongue in cheek, meaningful humor.
To Fran, your first post above is a valid comment on the promulgation of myths and legends, many of which have, from very humble beginnings – mundane events such as somebody once seeing a guy walk out to sea on a hidden sandbank for example – been distorted out of all proportion to become great heroic or miraculous deeds by centuries of re-telling. If the initial sentence in a game of Chinese Whispers can become so unrecognisable in just a few minutes, think what could happen to a story in a thousand years or more.
That said, could I ask why you seemed so surprised not to have your comment answered in a ‘condescending and patronising’ manner?
To Jesse, would you mind expanding on your ‘smug douchebaggery’ comment please? I really cannot see where any of the regulars here are condescending and/or patronising toward people posting comments that are sensible, intelligent, funny, relevant, etc.
Fair enough, those coming here to troll or preach their nonsense tend to get short shrift, but even that’s usually only after they’ve refused our polite offers to debate or discuss their ideas in a civilised manner.
As far as I can tell, all are welcome here to – as Author succinctly phrases it – ‘exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions’.
Thank you guest pest for the P-Funk reference.
@ AoS: And then you stood waiting for your change which wasn’t forthcoming. On enquiry, the pizza guy explained that all change comes from within.
@Peakcrew–I believe it is ignoratio elenchi–arguing to a different conclusion from the one initially stated.
@John–I think Petitio principii would only describe it if he was assuming the conclusion in one of the premises. That certainly applies to the “this proves I was the son of god” part–but not the earlier part, I would contend.
Jesus’ argument also contains elements of Ad Hominem abusive–“you just try it”–implying that Mo would fail
I walked through a big puddle last week due to a biblical downpour of rain in Glesga. My socks survived as the pavement was built high because clever people in the past anticipated such things.
“… But I can’t do it *now*, Mo, don’t be silly, I’ve got holes in me feet!”
Sorry about my last comment, I see the joke’s already been made. Ho hum. Stroll on.
“Writing software to a specification is like walking on water. Easy to do if both are frozen.”
Or, taking the water-skiing analogy, if you do it reallyreallyreallyfast.
Hey, anybody going to Convergence? Mrs. Harmless and I have registered, since we’ll be in the Untied States then, and it seems PZ and the Skepchicks (sounds like a fifties rock group) will be there. Time to party.
Thanks, John and Daoloth. I hadn’t heard of ignoratio elenchi before. It certainly does seem to describe the type of argument well.
I can confirm that I am not a spammer, and that I do swear, though the two conditions are independent.
I agree with Peakcrew and also thank John and Daoloth. I really liked Peakcrew’s comment about spamming and swearing being independent; that really made me laugh…
Never understood why inexplicable or seemingly miraculous events entail a “goddunnit” explanation.
As long as one is merely asserting things and not resorting to a scientific process to uncover the truth or demonstrate a repeatable experiment with consistent results, why aren’t aliens, magic, “energies”, pixies, fraud, practical jokes, or coincidence given equal reverence with god-conclusions?
Fenchurch, “why aren’t aliens, magic, “energies”, pixies, fraud, practical jokes, or coincidence given equal reverence with god-conclusions?”
I suppose they are, depending on whom you’re speaking to. For example, von Daniken – he of ‘Chariots of the Gods’ fame – certainly attributed much to aliens, whilst Wiccans and ‘New-Agers’ (I hate that term, surely ‘new age’ basically means ‘now’, just as ‘post-modern’ means ‘tomorrow’?) tend towards energies and magic.
Whether it’s Goddidit, Pandidit, MotherEarthdidit, or Vesuviansdidit, it’s all saying the same thing; “I’m either too stupid to figure out the truth for myself or too lazy to look it up. My answer may be wrong but Hey, it beats learning”!
@Fenchurch & AoS:
“why aren’t aliens, magic, “energies”, pixies, fraud, practical jokes, or coincidence given equal reverence with god-conclusions?”
I suppose they are, depending on whom you’re speaking to
I’ll say! ^_^
What I always wonder is why anyone would think that any of those, including Goddidit, is in any way a final answer. (Why any of these assertions should preclude the scientific method.) After all, saying you got somewhere “by plane” or “on foot”, that we are communicating “by telephone” or “via the internet”, or that you “see” or even “think” something doesn’t stop human inquisitiveness to delve deeper: How does a plane, telephone, or the internet function so that it does its respective job? How does the human body function so we can walk, see or think? No scientist worth her salt is satisfied saying “evolution” did it, without figuring out the exact mechanism. Just assigning something a label doesn’t explain anything. Even coincidence follows the laws of probability, and even magic – no matter how you define it – has rules. After all, in every mythology I know the first thing the Gods do is separate Order from Chaos and banish the Chaos to the outer darkness. Knowing how God, Pan, Mother Earth or aliens did something should be as much part of the respective theology (and like science, they should be allowed to grow and change with growing and changing knowledge and understanding).
Hello FreeFox, nice to see you back. I was beginning to think you’d left us!
There’s a quote from an 18thC philosopher (if memory serves) in Sagan’s (who else?) ‘Cosmos’ which I think sums up this argument perfectly. Unfortunately the book’s in my loft because I’ve had to sacrifice a bookcase for a cot for when our grandsons stay, but I’ll dig it out later.
And here it is, from ‘Systeme de la Nature’, Paul Heinrich Dietrich, Baron Von Holbach, 1770;
‘If a faithful account was rendered of Man’s ideas upon Divinity, he would be obliged to acknowledge, that for the most part the word “gods” has been used to express the concealed, remote, unknown causes of the effects he witnessed; that he applies this term when the spring of the natural, the source of known causes, ceases to be visible: as soon as he loses the thread of these causes, or as soon as his mind can no longer follow the chain, he solves the difficulty, terminates his research, by ascribing it to his gods…..When, therefore, he ascribes to his gods the production of some phenomenon….does he, in fact, do any thing more than substitute for the darkness of his own mind, a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe!’
242 years later it’s pretty much the same – though far more eloquent – to what I said above (Whether it’s Goddidit, Pandidit, MotherEarthdidit, or Vesuviansdidit, it’s all saying the same thing; “I’m either too stupid to figure out the truth for myself or too lazy to look it up).
While the argument is a good one in many cases, THAT was specificially what I didn’t mean… ^_^
I know that’s not what you meant, but it’s pretty much what I meant. Actually, on a second read it seems that the end of your post – ” Knowing how God, Pan, Mother Earth or aliens did something should be as much part of the respective theology (and like science, they should be allowed to grow and change with growing and changing knowledge and understanding).” – is pretty much my (and of course Dietrich’s) argument in reverse. Your way, the primary cause has already been decided as in all religions and cults, but rather than leave it at that you want to figure out how, like trying to work out how a conjurer’s trick works. Putting the cart before the horse, as it were. The problem with that method is pretty obvious though; if a god or an alien or what-have-you isn’t the cause, then you’d never discover the fact. Wherever the evidence points away from a god, etc. then rather than follow the evidence to its conclusion, the theologian will interpret it in line with a deistic theory, maybe evn suggesting something utterly daft like ‘God moves in mysterious ways’. OK, maybe that last bits an exaggeration. 🙂
I’ve actually missed you, where’ve you been?
@AoS: “Your way, the primary cause has already been decided as in all religions and cults, but rather than leave it at that you want to figure out how, like trying to work out how a conjurer’s trick works. Putting the cart before the horse, as it were. The problem with that method is pretty obvious though; if a god or an alien or what-have-you isn’t the cause, then you’d never discover the fact”
Yeah, yeah, I know you people, having already decided that there cannot be something validly being called God, want to believe that. ^_~
Seriously though, it isn’t what I do. There is shitloads of religious theory I kicked out because it didn’t hold up to a reality check: The whole an ominpotent, omniscient God must also be good thing, or petitionary prayer, Holy Books can be read as literal truth, the soul (or anything else, really) exists independent of the physical world, good deeds get rewarded and bad deeds are punished in some otherworldly afterlife in a way that is personally experienced by the sinner/do-gooder, etc. pp. Some of those I cannot be certain of, others I only disagree with the popular interpretation of, but all of these I definitely do not see eye-to-eye on with most bible thumpers and rug butters. Not only because of my natural contrariness, but because I thought about them, and tried to match them against the world as I can experience it, and found them insufficient or misleading as models or explanations.
My basic theory, that words are invented by people to match real experiences and point at real phenomena, and that if you look close enough or are willing to look under the surface you can usually discern their truths, has so far not been invalidated by real life.
God, the soul, the sweet hereafter, sin, salvation, angels, spirits, most lower-case gods, magic, even unicorns and faeries, all really exist. Or rather, these words all correspond to real world phenomena that are best labled with them (and that all can be explained, in exactly the way you can label something a car, a spleen, wrath, or the euclidean hyperspace of Hutchisonian niches, and all of these words describe complex, describable, explainable systems.)
In other words, I exactly do not believe that the divine or magical lies in that which is not understood, “that for the most part the word ‘gods’ has been used to express the concealed, remote, unknown causes of the effects he witnessed”. Certainly, most people are lazy and use it as an excuse to not think about it. But that’s just because people generally are lazy and use whatever they can, they’re just as happy to use ill understood science, or happy pills. Evolutiondidit or “natural catastrophe” are just as much a non-understood black box as Goddidt or “mysterious ways”. But used properly “evolution” or, say, “El Niño-Southern Oscillation” are just as handy, potent, useful descriptive labels for specific phenomena and experiences as are, hmm, “Papa Legba” or “Ganesh”, and they are enhanced the better they are understood.
And thanks for asking, I moved my family. Which included needing a new source of income. So I was a bit busy the last months. Things seem to work out for now. (It’s kinda odd to get to know each others positions and thoughts on some pretty intimate stuff here, literally matters of life and death, but otherwise know so little about each other… ^_^’)
I’m really glad to hear things are going well. From what I’ve picked up on you so far it’s long overdue and much deserved. When all’s said and done, one’s family, and looking after it, is what’s important; everything else, including (or especially, depending on one’s point of view) the whole god / no god thing, comes a poor second.
That said, I still can’t quite bring myself to agree with your view on said god / no god thing, there’s still that trademark contrarianism lurking. Your paragraph “My basic theory, that words are invented by people to match real experiences and point at real phenomena, and that if you look close enough or are willing to look under the surface you can usually discern their truths, has so far not been invalidated by real life.” is as good a basic description of science as I’ve seen, yet you follow that with ” Evolutiondidit or “natural catastrophe” are just as much a non-understood black box as Goddidt or “mysterious ways”. ” Of course they’re not, for three very good reasons; evidence, evidence, and evidence. We have copious amounts of the stuff for evolution, from the fossil record to the genome project; tons – quite literally in some cases’ – of it for the causes of natural catastrophes. Even ‘mysterious ways’ have a habit of becoming less mysterious once they’ve been studied scientifically, but please, show me just one piece of evidence that ‘godditit’. And it seems to me that the more we study the gods and their works, be it Jaweh or Papa Legba or Zeus, the more their deistic status is reduced rather than enhanced as their acredited deeds are increasingly understood – through evidence – to have purely natural causes.
But now, my friend, it’s late. I’m knackered from having the little monster, in more pain than any one person should have to experience, and my ‘happy pills’, well, morphine at any rate, are starting to kick in, so I’m off before I start making sense.
By the way, I’m not too sure what to make of Jon over at that ‘asboj’ site. I think that he told me off for referring to ‘darker orifices’! I say ‘think’ because he did put a smiley face after it, but for some reason, on that site the smiley somehow looked just like a smug Christian. One of those “Oh, that’s very naughty. But I forgive you because Jesus loves you” type of Christians.
Oh , I almost forgot; he told me off for using a metaphor for arse, yet you got away with calling god a cunt. There’s no fucking justice anymore. Thank God for Author’s saintly tolerance 🙂
That’s it, I’m away.
Your paragraph “My basic theory, that words are invented by people to match real experiences and point at real phenomena, and that if you look close enough or are willing to look under the surface you can usually discern their truths, has so far not been invalidated by real life.” is as good a basic description of science as I’ve seen, yet you follow that with ” Evolutiondidit or “natural catastrophe” are just as much a non-understood black box as Goddidt or “mysterious ways”. ” Of course they’re not, for three very good reasons; evidence, evidence, and evidence.
Um. Do I really write that confusing? I know, English isn’t my native language, and in the last year I had to juggle four languages constantly, so sometimes I mess up…
What I meant was that just as many people lazily use “God” as shorthand for “I don’t know and I don’t care”, so do they use “evolution”, or “climate change”, or “politicians”. *badly imitates a Brooklyn accent* What do ya ask, old man? Why do giraffs got long necks? How should I know? Evolutiondidit. Why did yer kid get killed in some war. Eh… politiciansdidit. What washed Nooorleans off da map? Climatechangedidid.”
It isn’t the result that makes something scientific, but the thinking. The asking of questions. The refusal to accept something just because your told and try to understand if, how and why it really works.
You have been told there is no God, and you accepted token arguments that only work against imbecil flat-earther faith crap. So, religiously, you believe it. That’s no more scientific than believing the opposite.
When I was a little kid, my two best friends were respectively from a family of moderately devout Muslims and of ex-GDR communists. My mum comes from a strict Lutheran family but herself only set foot in church at family batisms and funerals and I never heard her mention God or so much as close her eyes at other people’s prayers, not even when her own daughter died. My dad’s side of the family was originally Catholic, but my aunt and cousins, who I had most to do with, had been comfy, unthinking Anglicans since her marriage. The streets I played on were controlled by Islamic Turkish and Arabic, Catholic Polish and Eastern Orthodox Serbian gangs. And my schools were all hardcore laicist, atheist, scientific in outlook. When I was eight my dad left us, and when I was twelve both my older sister (who was the closest person in my family to me by far) and my father died, and when I was fourteen and fifteen I spend a lot of time in police cars, lockup and in juvie.
I’m not saying any of this to sound dramatic, just to try to explain that I wasn’t raised into any particular worldview except that you better make sense of the world, and you better make sense of it fast and practical, and you got to do it on your own, because nobody out there is trustworthy or got the right answers handy, and because you never know when you gotta make decisions about loyalty or even life and death.
That as good a basic description of science as you’ve seen isn’t something out of a philosophy book to me, nor is my relationship to the gods and spirits of this world something I pick up and leave every sunday between shaking the vicar’s hands. It matters. It matters a lot to me that I base my life’s decisions on the most tested, dependable, practical understanding of how things work, but… and that is the hitch… not just from the mind. I did that all of 2 years, and it got me in jail and it almost cost my soul. Not to the devil, but to… oblivion. Starvation. It’s not really rational to be only rational, if you know what I mean. You gotta figure out why you do things, and what is important in life, beyond functionality. Otherwise, what’s the point?
It’s a narrow path between self-delusioned painkiller faith and soulless, directionless don’t-ask-deep-questions-so-you-don’t-get-disappointed pseudo-rationality, and it is easy to slip off the path down either slope. I think most people end up in the ditch on one side or the other simply because they can affort to. They got money, and family, and some sort of structure that carries them, even though they have stopped carrying themselves. It’s only from the outside, from the darkness that you can actually see the light – and its border.
So, please, question or counter my arguments whenever you think it fair, but don’t tell me I ignore evidence, or take faith on faith. I have shitloads of flaws, but gullibility or lack of mistrust and scepticism are not among them, even if I say so myself.
PS.: About Asbo-John, you were actually engaged in badinage and somewhat in argument. My crude comments just went completely ignored. And while I think that he is comparatively doing alright as a religious person, you know, critical, questioning thinking and all, his site, just as his humour, are a good deal too… harmonious and sanitary for me to feel at home. I prefer Mo making jokes about farting every once in a while. ^_^
FreeFox, I sometimes forget that English isn’t your first language, which goes someway to explaining us arguing at cross-purpose at times. Having said that, your last post has probably clarified your position better than anything you’ve written here before.
As for me, the fact is that I have never been disposed towards religion – even before my teachers felt it neccessary to try to beat it into me at school because I dared to question it – and nothing that I have seen, read (and oh boy have I read. Since the age of two my nose has rarely been out of what the Inimitable Jeeves calls ‘an improving book’), or experienced since has done anything to – for wont of a better expression – turn me on to the spiritual.
But please don’t think that I’m an uber-rationalist; love, compassion, loyalty, charity, trust, all those supposedly non-scientific things that the holy fathers claim credit for, have always figured large in my life. I just happen to believe that they come from within.
I don’t think that we’ll ever fully agree on this, but I enjoy our exchanges so if you’re happy to carry on debating it within these hallowed pages, I’m game.