Here’s an old one from 2007. New one next week, I hope.

└ Tags: ,

Discussion (46)¬

  1. Undeluded says:

    “I have meaning to my life because my faith says I have meaning to my life.” Yep – it’s time to make the right mistake!

    Oh – and hi, everyone!

  2. Caliban says:

    I love it that one might choose to change which mistake to have made. However, like most decisions, we don’t often get the chance to go back and choose a different mistake in retrospect. I wish!

  3. inquisador says:

    Perhaps my atheism is a mistake. If so then it’s definitely the right one.

    Cult leaders generally are making the right mistake; from a selfish, privileged viewpoint.

  4. John B. Hodges says:

    Meaning is the story that you choose to join. There are many possible stories that are also true, as far as we know. The story of human civilization, for example; join that by seeking to make this civilization more peaceful, just, and sustainable. Granted, that doesn’t let you deny the reality of death, like stories of a supernatural afterlife do, but I’ve found I can live without that.

  5. Sinnataggen says:

    “Made the wrong mistake.” Pure genius! As a 13 year-old – 60 years ago – it occurred to me that if 9 out of 10 of my small town’s sects and denominations must be wrong, why shouldn’t they all be. At no time since then have I heard anyone put this so brilliantly.

  6. floridakitesurfer says:

    Isn’t it cute how religious people frequently feel they have chosen the one true religion even though the evidence makes it obvious that they merely adopted the religion of their parents? The more intelligent ones realize that their parents picked their religion, but still feel fortunate that it was the one true religion. I realized my parents had chosen my religion when I was about eight. By age twelve I was picking my own. I chose answer e) none of the above.

  7. inquisador says:

    I have chosen to throw away the chance of eternal heavenly bliss. Yeah that’s right: an infinity of time spent in paradise in a state of serene delight and even euphoric rapture.

    Instead I freely choose to die and for my consciousness to go to permanent oblivion while my body decomposes.

    So why do I feel that I made the right choice? Am I mad?

  8. Paddy Roberts says:

    I found that my religion mistook
    Evidence for some words in a book
    I then realised
    When I opened my eyes
    The propaganda was merely a hook.

    I’m new to limericks- forgive me?

  9. machigai says:

    oh Paddy Roberts
    what have you done?

  10. Grandma Ro says:

    “Meaning is the story that you choose to join.”

    Wow, John B. I am SO stealing that!

  11. two cents' worth says:

    A cartoon about someone who made another kind of wrong mistake is at

  12. Chris Phoenix says:

    Check out the Parable of Hank – it’s a great example of an obviously wrong mistake… that is eerily similar to a mistake a lot of people make.

    (I found it on a discussion of “Why are you an atheist”)

  13. Uncle+Roger says:

    Sometimes, I wish I could have made the wrong mistake. I would be one hell of an evangelical preacher. I would love to have the mansions and fancy cars and big screen TVs god would certainly want me to have. Problem is, I have this wee disability called a conscience. Bummer.

    (P.S., I would have been a fantastic master criminal too, were it not for the same disability.)

  14. Nassar+Ben+Houdja says:

    Silly atheists think it a mistake
    To believe in what they call a fake
    What is the truth
    Unobservant atheist goof?
    The obvious is too much for them to take.

  15. omg says:

    This one, I must share with you:

  16. steeve says:

    As of today, I am now a Hankist. Hankism is the one true mistake. Thanks, CP!

  17. djdummy says:

    Thanks Chris Phoenoix
    The movies title should be. The names Pinocchio Hank Pinocchio. BTW Did mo ever get his biro fixed.

  18. Holms says:

    Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Paddy’s first limerick is better than NBH’s millionth?

  19. Marissa says:

    Love these cartoons. Have also learned a lot from the comments.

    Tried to fit the bible into a haiku. (I can’t do limericks.)

    Grumpy old God: GRIM
    Hippy son hailed, nailed, prevails.
    Zombie’s gang. News: GOOD!

  20. Mother+Goose says:

    I thank the pastor at a fundie church who told me (at the age of 11) that going fishing on Sunday was a sin and that I should spend the entire day worshiping god. (please note the lack of capitols on ‘god’). I am also grateful that I am endowed with a skeptical mind and at that tender age said “BULLSHIT!” to myself of course. But his comment led me down the correct path of not believing his BULLSHIT. I made the correct error……. and I have never looked back.

  21. white squirrel says:

    would not spending an eternity an infinite forever in ‘heaven’

    eventually become hellish
    – if it were truly an infinite time [ and it would not be forever if not infinite] then there would come a point when you have done everything an infinite number of times

  22. white+squirrel says:

    could some religious person explain why ‘god’ created ‘heaven’ and supposedly on the second day too – before the alleged ‘fall’
    what purpose did ‘heaven’ serve
    given that [according to the myth as stated ]
    a] ‘god’ dwelt in the void before ‘creating ‘ heaven and therefore should not need heaven to dwell in
    b] without the assistance of the serpent in the garden ‘red dust man’ and St Eve would have remained in the garden indefinitly- and thus would not have needed to go to ‘heaven’ and neither would any of the descendants?
    so could a person of a religious mind explain the purpose of heaven, given that the myth as stated ‘heaven’ is superflous /redundant to the dieity’s plan?
    Heaven defined as ‘Rakia’ heaven not ‘Mitakhat’ or ‘Shumayim’ heaven

  23. white+squirrel says:

    ‘so much cool stuff is haram’

    lol it would not be haram if it was not cool stuff

  24. fenchurch says:

    It’s always so sad to hear believers promote their religion based on what it promises to offer them (false hopes, eternal rewards, air miles, houri), and then slam atheism because it doesn’t offer some kind of benefits package.

    The beauty of atheism is that there *is* no chance of being lied to, of being manipulated with prizes and such. It’s an enormous *relief* to safely ignore these other claims, and live one’s life less defrauded.

    I think of the promises of religions much like those banner ads “You are the 5 Millionth viewer to this page– click here to collect prize!” or the other side of human engineering: “Your Computer has a virus: click here to clean”.

    Being a critical thinker and not worried about god claims/perks helps to reduce the scams one is subjected to. It’s also a time-saver in that one needn’t obsess over the divinely orthodox way to masticate, eliminate, procreate, donate, or ruminate.

    It’s just healthier to be free of supernatural baggage.

  25. hotrats says:

    white squirrel:

    One might more pointedly ask why he created Hell before there were any human souls to populate it. Did he know something then that didn’t get mentioned in Genesis? Such as the eventual inevitablity of countless millions of sinners, heretics, infidels and nonbelievers?

    It was gentle Jesus, meek and mild, who introduced the concept of eternal agony for rejecting God’s mercy – prior to that, Mosaic law made Hell a place of fixed-term re-education and rehabilitation. Aside from whether or not he was the Messiah, Hell remains one of the biggest doctrinal differences between Judaism and Christianity.

    It is hard to imagine how such a corrosively brutal concept as Hell can arise, other than as the expression of a subconscious desire to inflict vicious and implacable punishment on a grand scale, which is an aspect of our saviour’s personality that doesn’t get the consideration it deserves.

    As others here at the C&B have noted, most of us had a pretty cartoonish and abstract mental picture of Hell until the late Iain M. Banks spelled out just how truly gruesome it would be in his outstanding ‘Culture’ novel, Surface Detail. He talks about the book, and his own militant atheism, in this interview: .

    Hell will never be the same again.

  26. hotrats says:

    Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Paddy’s first limerick is better than NBH’s millionth?

    It’s a good thing that Paddy’s are so good, and a bad thing that NBH’s are so bad they are practically a genre in their own right. Strange chap, he used to do ordinary non-limerick comments but would never reply to questions, and now just poots one forth in each thread. Sometimes he seems to have real insights, and sometimes – like the post above – he just seems to get pointlessly abusive. AoS thinks this is a clever disguise, but I am convinced that NBH’s rhyme and reason are both constrained by a more than somewhat limited grasp of English.

    And before I forget again, praise be to Author for the edit facility.

  27. HalfMade says:

    Fenchurch, for the chance at a few good-looking houris males that look like me and who therefore have absolutely zero chance of ever getting any of the good looking human women will do just about anything. [Not me, personally. I’ve given up.]
    Sod the eternal bliss, it’s the faint possibility of nookie with one of those stunners that really gets the juices flowing. Eternal bliss and freedom from Hell are intellectual concepts that may drive the intellectuals but the idea of topping some top tottie, tasting some tasty sweetness hits males where they live.
    The winners in Life’s little lottery of looks, brains, skills and wealth can’t truly understand how desperate the losers can be. How painful it is to have your nose pressed up against the glass and to see the Beautiful People dancing with each other.
    It’s easy to sneer at the losers when you’re one of Life’s winners.
    It’s less easy when you’re drowning in the murk and mire with the rest of the rabble and some enterprising confidence trickster offers a way out of the filth and futility of your dreadful existence.
    “Just follow me, obey me, kill and torture for me and you can have all the nice ones you’ll ever be able to use.” [To an illiterate, innumerate child who will never have an education “seventy-two” sounds like “millions”. The idea of that vast source of joy ever being used up isn’t within their mental horizon.]
    It’s a stupid hope. It’s a stupid idea. It’s even a stupid little dream, but when it is all you will ever have it is worth clinging on to.
    What the fuck else have the losers got? One quick shot at the light that they are too ugly to step out into, then eternity of dark nothingness.
    Anything is better than that. Even the lies, and you just know they have to be lies for nothing is ever that good, of some patronising prat in a skirt. The losers may be desperate but they are not entirely stonelike stupid, they know the promises are bound to be bogus but they sound so very good and tasty and nice and there is this nagging little chance that they just might be true.
    And, realistically, what else is there?
    For Life’s winners it’s okay to have nothing after because you have it all now.
    It’s not like that when you’re born drowning in ugliness.
    And you will never have a chance at touching beauty.
    And all you can ever do is watch it walk by.

  28. HalfMade says:

    There once was a man with a god
    Who lived in a dreary old cot
    He wept and he cried
    Until he just died
    And lay rotting just under the sod.

    A man who believed in his soul
    Thought piety a worthy goal
    He prayed every day
    And gave money away
    But he still ended dead in a hole.

  29. white+squirrel says:

    One might more pointedly ask why he created Hell

    you could – however if you take the creation myth 1 [gen 1.1 to 2.3]
    as given – then the myth lists and items all things the deity allegedly ‘created’
    after which the deity rested because everything was completed
    well in that list there is no mention of hell
    so [ to spell to out for creationist level IQ’s ] if the ‘god’ rested and completed all things and those things created did not include hell – where did hell come from if ‘god’ did not create it?

    That the whole creation myth fails and is not actually a creation myth but possibly something else is another matter

  30. Jobrag says:

    Religion removes the fear of death and replaces it with the fear of retribution.

  31. Emma+Peel says:

    I’m sure it’s been said here before but hell really is other people.

  32. HalfMade says:

    Religions are all hollow lies
    That promise a life in the skies
    They say you will live there
    For ever and ever
    That’s untrue, your conciousness dies.

    The pain of being born not to win
    Is deeper and harsher than sin
    Knowing you will always lose
    That you don’t get to choose
    That your live has been thrown in the bin.

    This is a sort of fun
    Taming the words on the page
    Making them vivid.

    .. and a revised version of QM at 14/0913:

    There once was a man with a god
    Who lived in a dreary old cot
    He wept and he cried
    Until one day he died
    And lay rotting deep under the sod.

  33. HalfMade says:

    Hell should deter us from doing bad
    The truth is more simple and sad
    The bad guys do not
    Think they’ll ever be caught
    So their heavens can still be had.

  34. There once was a man with a fixation
    Who thought god would give him salvation
    So he prayed and he hoped
    Until one day he croaked
    He was dead so he felt no frustration

    Damn. Just can’t seem to get rid of the assonance. (Getting the rhyme wrong. – Rita) We seem to be on a limerick kick again and I blame NBH.

    A terrible thing to make the wrong mistake, but not that much worse than making the right one. Lovely concept, Author. I see the irony meter popping up in distant threads these days, along with “spoing” as shorthand for the explosion of same. You have established a cultural meme that may live for centuries.

  35. botanist says:

    Oh DH – I had to read that twice before I knew why I knew it. Thanks 🙂
    Mental jump sideways to ‘You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!’
    Lol – thanks again for both thoughts.
    I think if we apply all the knowledge and logic we have at the time the a ‘wrong’ decision isn’t wrong.
    What is wrong is still ‘believing’ when science/evidence has moved on. Not being ‘open’ to the new evidence. Being entrenched in your position. Totally wrong.

    Huh – I hadn’t ‘checked’ the ‘I am not a spammer’ box. (it’s late.)
    But I’m not – I know I’m not lol. So I believe 🙂

  36. Valdeq says:

    And the gullibility of people knows no bounds:

    Convicted Felon, Doctor Injects Oklahomans With ‘Jesus Shot’

    You could play “Snake-oil salesman bingo” with this bullshit.
    Is that worth a Jesus & Mo story? Or just a facepalm?

  37. white+squirrel says:

    There once was a man with fixation
    Who thought god would give him salvation

    flows better and still works grammatically

  38. White squirrel, I disagree that your version is better. Write your own limericks and keep your pinkies off mine. 🙂

  39. JohnM says:

    @ whitesquirrel

    You must understand that any standard for limericks in the C&B is set by NbH. So DH had it spot on 🙂

  40. Chiefy says:

    Limericks by NbH; a rather low bar. Nonetheless, he (or she) is an interesting character to have lurking in the shadows.

  41. white+squirrel says:

    So DH had it spot on

    Damn. Just can’t seem to get rid of the assonance. (Getting the rhyme wrong.
    =not spot on somewhere-
    I merely made a suggestion in reply to DH’s own comment
    as for writing my own – i have other things to waste my time on equally as pointless, although not as pointless as religion of course

  42. JohnM says:

    @ white+squirrel
    As well as irony meters, denizens of the C&B have built-in sensors for ambivalent and jovial sarcasm, as well as for litotes, bathos and weapons-grade hyperbole.
    I’m sure you’ll get used to it once you’ve been a regular here for a while 🙂

  43. two cents' worth says:

    Oh, no! Now I’ve been bitten by the limerick bug!
    Bacchus has left the building

    Religions! Do any allow
    for bliss after death and fun now?
    The maenads would mock us,
    for they drank to Bacchus
    and then were reborn. Too late now!

    Sorry about that, but, as they say, better out than in 😉 .

  44. two cents' worth says:

    Has anyone else besides me used the 5-minute editor today (March 18, 2014) and then had their posting disappear?

  45. Nothing from the lads (and lasses) in Nantucket?

  46. Two cents’ worth, I think you get the limerick prize. Nice one.


NOTE: This comments section is provided as a friendly place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

If you are posting for the first time, or you change your username and/or email, your comment will be held in moderation until approval. When your first comment is approved, subsequent comments will be published automatically.