Sunday, September 05, 2010

Praise Jesus and pass the Pringles!

There is, I suppose, a certain breed of believer with whom there is no point in talking or engaging in any way. They just float around in Happyland with wide eyes and big smiles on their faces, impervious to any incursions by reality. Of course, they often feel compelled to contact us and share the "good news" of their delusions. Take this mail we got today (the rampant misspellings here can be attributed to ESL).

the one way to find out that God eksist, is to lay all your soul and heart to find him. and when you find him, you will see the world different, and see the truth.
but your an atheist so i know that you never will see the world through a different perspektive.

thats the way to find god

Ooo, got us on the ropes there. You may wonder why, since folks like this seem convinced that we're unwilling to see the world through a "different perspektive," they even bother to write us at all, but it's easy to understand when you realize that remarks like this are the defense mechanism of a believer who wants to pat himself on the back for doing his bit to "witness" to the godless while at the same time preemptively shielding himself from any responses he lacks the intellectual muscle to understand or rebut.

So occasionally, I think it'll be fun to reply to one of these, and I do.

It always amuses us when believers write to us to tell us we "will never see the world through a different perspective," because it means they clearly haven't figured out that most of us came from a religious upbringing. Furthermore, in our experience, it is almost always believers who refuse to see the world through any "perspective" that isn't centered on their God. When they accuse of this, it is something psychologists call "projection".

We are perfectly happy to look at other perspectives, but — and here is the important part — they must be rational perspectives, rooted in evidence. The problem with the advice you give us for "finding God" is that it is not rational. You are basically saying, "If you decide you want to believe in God, you will." But this is obvious. Anyone can fool themselves into believing whatever they wish if they are being irrational. They may even say they believe in things they really don't, simply for social acceptance, and they lose the ability to know what it is they really believe and what they don't.

To understand why your advice to us is irrational, watch as I take the exact sentence you wrote, and replace the word "God" with a number of other mythical beings. You will notice the advice works just as well for each one.

"the one way to find out that Zeus eksist, is to lay all your soul and heart to find him. and when you find him, you will see the world different, and see the truth."

"the one way to find out that Shiva eksist, is to lay all your soul and heart to find him. and when you find him, you will see the world different, and see the truth."

"the one way to find out that The Great Pumpkin eksist, is to lay all your soul and heart to find him. and when you find him, you will see the world different, and see the truth."

"the one way to find out that Sparkles, the Magic Fairy Unicorn eksist, is to lay all your soul and heart to find him. and when you find him, you will see the world different, and see the truth."

You see, it is all exactly the same. So, assuming you do not believe in Zeus or Sparkles the Unicorn, I hope you understand how this can hardly be good advice for distinguishing what's true from what's false.

The simple fact is that your beliefs, and the way you think people should decide what to believe in, are irrational. And you do not even respect the claims of your own religious beliefs as much as we do, because you are simply willing to accept them with a bare minimum of serious thought, while we insist on giving them very serious thought indeed.

So, do you think any of that sank in at all? Do you think the guy even heard a word I said? Let's check his reply...

hello again i will thank you for your answer:-)

Its important to see from your perspective also
because not every human do not see the world like i do.

i will not try to make you beliving, but if you change your mind somtimes God is always there. and i will say you that Love of God is bigger then you can imagine.;-)

(ps. love is the answer to all the mysteris in the bible. and its the only place evil can not find)

Thank you fore reading:-):-)
:-)God is Love:-)

Aw, isn't that sweet. All those smileyfaces. It's like he really wanted to drive home how completely unencumbered by actual brain activity his empty little head is, bless him.

Of course, he gave no indication he saw my perspective, or that he ever had any intention of doing so, or would know how to even if he did want to. He gives no indication that he engages in the trying task of thinking at all, at any time, about any subject, including his religion, which he simply allows himself to bask in the emotional euphoria of like someone who's just fired up an especially awesome blunt. Religion is indeed the opiate — or THC — of the masses, everyone, and it comes in dime bags. I'm guessing our correspondent has the munchies something fierce.


  1. I keep reminding myself that believers like this one are not of a different species. But it sure ain't easy.

  2. Yes, and I suppose I should post the necessary preemptive disclaimer to head off any clods tempted to post the predictable "Oh noes, this HAS to be a Poe! NO ONE could possiblah be THIS stoopid!" Please, just stfu. Yes, they can be, and are. Learn to deal.

  3. Martin, I think the Poe accusation may just be a defense mechanism in itself. Who would want to believe so many people are THAT oblivious...

  4. I don't envy ya'll for being the focus of so many godbots. If I ever make it to Austin I'd love to buy you a beer.

  5. "You may wonder why...they even bother to write us at all"

    Or as Matt would say: "Well, why the fuck did you write?!"

  6. @James Francesco

    I'm appalled by your lack of civility. If you're going to use that sort of language, I won't be able to participate in this comment thread.

  7. sorry i dont know if the pringles or jesus exist

    but god does

    Do you really think that M-theory exists "outside space and time"?

    It strikes me that if you believe that the Platonic world of ideas is real and outside our universe, then you might as well believe in God.

    Lubos Motl
    Dear Le Grand Fromage, yes, I think that I do believe in God in this general spiritual sense. Cheers, LM

    god is a string spiritual being

    if god exists outside the string Theory well that is another
    pringle issue

    I believe in the string GOD

  8. Yikes. I'm going to charitably assume that English is not this person's first language.

    That being said, it's always fun when they trot out the "Love is something that belongs to Jesus-God" card, as if the generic human emotion called love has its origins in Christianity alone, to be found nowhere else in the universe.

    Kind of like my friend in HS who used to argue that if we outlawed all guns then no violence would ever occur again, as if violence had its origins in the invention of the gun and everyone prior to that invention was incapable of committing violence. (She was very naive. She also thought that outlawing racism would make everything fine and all races would dance happily around a maypole in total peace and understanding. Because that's all that stands between racial harmony and racial hatred--a few lines of legislation. Sheesh.)

    Anyway, that has got to be one of the most simultaneously hilarious and frustrating aspects of some believers--the tendency to claim ownership of any positive universal human emotions or characteristics for their religion.

  9. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I don't believe in a lord of the strings.

  10. You ever wonder how many years of incest and inbreeding it would have taken to expand the human population from just Adam and Eve to enough to form villages and cities? Countries? The world?

  11. THC of the masses?

    Come on now, what did the gorgeous green ever do to deserve such an loaded comparison.

    For one thing, you can get those high on religion to do commit almost any atrocity.
    Getting someone loaded with THC to start so much as a barfight would likely require a matricide......or perhaps the deliberate execution of the only bong in the house.

  12. I have a sneaking suspicion that the first language of this email's writer is German. Certain phrases look like they were just translated one-to-one.

    It's a real shame that Yahweh never commanded a mandatory spell check after that Tower of Babel business.

  13. @Lukas:

    If you had heard last week's show, you would know James Francesco's remark was not meant as uncivil and you would have gotten as big a laugh out of it as I did.

  14. //I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I don't believe in a lord of the strings.//

    Ahem...Eric Clapton.

  15. @Strangelove

    Actually, I'd think Yahweh would love misspellings.

    In the ESV that I have, God comes down and sees that the humans are getting along, cooperating, accomplishing great things together...

    And he's like, "They seem to be accomplishing great things together.", and pauses to scratch his beard, furrow his brow in contemplation. "I know! Let's fuck them up!", and proceeds to spread them around and confuse them with different languages.

    On a side note, I think he has an invisible best friend, because the translation has him saying, "Cometh, let us fucketh theme up." to no one in particular. I have no idea who he's talking to.

  16. @Ricky

    And if I had put a /sarcasm tag in there, you might have known that I wasn't being serious, but it seemed to obvious.

  17. @Ricky

    Uh...I think he did watch the show and that's why he posted as he did, paraphrasing the "thats messed up!" Denise

  18. :)) moments that sweeten our miserable and depressed atheist lives :))
    "the one way to find out that Zeus eksist, is to lay all your soul and heart to find him. and when you find him, you will see the world different, and see the truth." - I want a shirt whith that. It's great.
    I like the word "godbot" too. :) I think it's related to bots that are used for DoS attacks and spreading spam... sort of. And maybe they resemble bad chatbots too: they claim something, you answer it, thet don't get it and say what they want, completely unrelated to the topic of the discussion and funny in a dark way.
    But you just have to believe they "eksist" and they're not Poes until you meet one, however hard it is.
    (Anyone offended or annoyed by my comment? here is the solution :)

  19. The short response that blatantly disregards the lengthy and detailed response to their initial query thing is ubiquitous amongst these specific tpes of believers. I don't know how you managed to not immediately write back with something akin to "HEY I PUT EFFORT INTO THAT RESPONSE, THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS ADDRESS IT DIRECTLY!"

    I know I would have. In fact, that's precisely what I do in this type of circumstance, unless I am in a particulary bad mood, then I'll just go for the "fuck off" type response, usually in addition to a slight on their intellect....or, of course, if the exchange in question happens in person, AT WORK, while I am running a sleep study (MSLT) on the theist in question:

    Talk about an awkward situation!


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