Yep, all we have to do is tune in to an episode or two of The 700 Club and watch that shrunken pile of shredded wheat, Pat Robertson, go off on the evils of secular society and atheism. It wasn’t that long ago that declaring yourself atheist was a political death sentence in 99% of all congressional districts. Even now, the vast majority of political wannabes must be religious, although one would think with the Orange Marmalade running our country no one really gives a crap any more about religious morals.
The Prophet Muhammad says that about Adam, too. Islam reconciles the statement with the whole “formless” business by resorting to the usual pretzel-logic bumpf (the kind that sounds really smart to simple folk who don’t use big words).
Not to mention His bloody voice, always yakking with prophets and the mentally ill and drug addicts (sometimes all three at the same time). I’d settle for the occasional smiting by the Outstretched Arm if He just permanently shut his trap.
So he was invited there to discuss “ideas” - does anyone have an idea what the host expected him to talk about?
I remember seeing a CNN clip from about 10 years ago that really shocked me; unfortunately I have failed to dig it up again now. It started with a segment about an atheist family somewhere in the Bible Belt who felt that they had to move after they “came out as atheists” at their child’s school.
After that segment, they had a discussion panel entitled “Why do atheists attract so much hatred?”
I smelt a faint note of victim blaming in that question, but the panel that follows was even worse. Every single one of the people present assured the audience of their strong personal belief in God. Some were openly hostile to atheists. The only decent human being on the panel was the sports reporter who had ended up being invited to the panel for no apparent reason whatsoever. But his defense of atheists (not of atheism) still left a bad aftertaste for me, as he apparently felt he had to spend every other sentence assuring the audience that he himself believed in God.
So, I do hope there has been progress in the US on this issue in the last ten years or so?
This is almost as bad as that time you were DMing in Pathfinder and thought that a lighting spell cast across the intersection of four squares hit ALL the monsters, when in fact is hits NONE! That’s 3.5e you fucking heretic!!!
I deserve that. Like RPG rulebooks, this is serious stuff.
Anybody else notice how much theocratic regimes like to harp on the notion of the people being “simple?”
A ten year old can understand the basic idea behind the big bang. The people of Egypt are neither simple, nor stupid. It’s a lie used by morally bankrupt, politically ambitious people use to try to control and silence opposition. Being a “simple person” is beatified, forced into the identities of as many people as possible, and anyone who doesn’t conform is instantly the enemy.
It’s a means of establishing authority and maintaining control that has been in use by tyrants for centuries.
3.5 OR DEATH!
(Yes BB, I understand that the body is unclear, but this parenthetical really kind of undermines the whole “brevity is the soul of wit” thing.)
I don’t disagree about the pretzel logic. Nor do I disagree about gendering god, but my issue was specifically with the image of bearded sky hippy. Muslims, and Islam, in my experience are far more specific about representing Allah as akin to a pattern—the pattern—of the universe. Here, this is the difference:
Christians in the Sistine Chapel—a chief place of worship (god’s the bearded old dude on the right):
Muslims in the Kaaba—a chief place of worship (no bearded old guy):
About 10 years ago, I think it was Pew Research did a study on Americans ranking various demographics by trustworthiness. Atheists were at the bottom, just below rapists.
I don’t think it’s quite so bad anymore, but being open about being an atheist still seems to sour people’s opinion of you a lot more than saying “praise jesus” all the time and generally pestering people to go to church.
Yeesh. That guy was brave. I hope no harm comes to him because of his decision to be on the program.
I really don’t get why some theists have a problem with the big bang. It actually opens up the possibility of there being a god, as opposed to the steady state theory which doesn’t leave room for a god creating everything.
Pretty much, all they have to do is lay claim to it, “our god is the one that lit the spark that was the big bang, and everything that has come forth hence has and always shall be his will.”
I’ll have a bitcoin wallet for people to send tithes to momentarily…
Well, yes, but that’s because Islam has a general prohibition on imagery of prophets - or God - at all.
(A very wise decision on the part of the early Muslims, it seems to me, but I digress.)
The terminology and description of God in Islam does not seem significantly different to that in Christianity or Judaism. The mental picture, if you will, is similar - regardless of the prohibition on physical pictures.
I’ve always interpreted that to be more of a reference to free will. Because people look quite different from each other, and again, omnipotence implies that God could appear any way it wanted to… and I certainly don’t look much like a burning bush.
I can relate to the host… I was sitting around with neighbors talking about “what Santa was going to bring me” when this guy started spouting off about how he didn’t believe in Santa and how there are lots of theories about how I got presents, and that those theories had scientinifi… scentificiencic… some big word… “evidence.” Madder than a scalded ape, I was. I asked him to leave. Ends up it was his house.
Well… Santa knows what’s what.
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