Thursday, December 20, 2007

Roland S. Martin, in a commentary featured on CNN.com, whines:

"This whole push to remove Christ from the Christmas season has gotten so ridiculous that it's pathetic."


Good point. It took two centuries (and just a little bit of plagiarism) to put him there in the first place. Call me nuts but ...I'd have thought the drive to drag it out of its current commercial morass would make you happy.

Look, why can't you just be happy to say whatever the fuck you want to say and worry your pious little head about what I say or don't say. I have never, in my entire 35 years, heard someone receive a "Merry Chrismas" and get offended.

Not once.

So take your imaginary war culture (theism, terrorism, drugs) and stick it up your puckered, self-righteous chimney.

Oh. And Merry Christmas.

5 comments:

jamesiii said...

Jason may have many great things to say. Too bad he can't express himself without using obscene words (the f-word). And his point would be well made without it. But for those like me who are mature (66), well educated (MBA), and intelligent (member of Mensa) his credibility is destroyed when he writes the f-word. Of course, in our current sinful society where most people don't have a clue about Jesus, just their opinions based on no research or study, Jason's thoughts are more accepted than mine. My comments have absolutely nothing to do with "free speech". My 22 year Air Force career helped preserve that for all the Jason's - and even for Hanoi Jane Fonda. jamesiii

Jason Nobody said...

james whines:
Jason may have many great things to say. Too bad he can't express himself without using obscene words (the f-word).

Words are tools and I choose to use all of them. Put your big boy pants on.

And his point would be well made without it.

No, I think religion is profane so using profanity to express the rage, if anything, is spectacularly apropos.

But for those like me who are mature (66)...

So James is old enough to still believe the bullshit but not old enough to weather some harsh language. If that's the hallmark of maturity, I'll pass.

James opens not by debating the merits of my argument but instead by asserting profanity ruins my credibility. It's a canard and an incredibly common one at that.

...well educated (MBA)...

Anyone who waves a degree around as a sign that they're well-educated, isn't.

...and intelligent (member of Mensa)...

I've got a number of friends who are in Mensa and a few others who have the credentials to join but don't. Some are assholes and some are very cool people. I've noticed one behavior that almost always divides these two groups; the latter tend to bring up their membership in conversations like these.

...his credibility is destroyed when he writes the f-word.

It's "fuck." C'mon James, you can do it.

It's a very versitile word. It can be used to express confusion ("what the fuck is this?"), incompetence ("I fucked up the plumming."), exasperation ("unfuckingbelievable.") or, particularly fitting for this reply, annoyance ("Fuck you.")

Of course, in our current sinful society where most people don't have a clue about Jesus, just their opinions based on no research or study, Jason's thoughts are more accepted than mine.

Ah yes, James chalks up the disagreeable as the ignorant, unwashed masses. I think that's called "elitism."

Raised as a Roman Catholic by a family that took it quite seriously, I'm very familiar with the Bible. In 1991 I became involved with a skeptics group that dealt with many subjects, mostly paranormal but mainstream religion was certainly on the list. I began NoFaith.org specifically to deal with the issue of religion. And yes, I've read the Bible. Not every word but if I had to put a number on it, I'd say around 80%. Revelations is particularly entertaining.

So whose credibility is destroyed when James asserts that I haven't studied this so-called Jesus when, in fact, he knows absolutely nothing about me?

I know that his mere historicity is in doubt, although likely. It's interesting that the Romans, who were very big on documenting their daily lives, made no mention whatsoever of his trial and crucifixion or anything at all about Jesus, for that matter.

I know that the gospels were written long, long after Jesus died. James will have to pardon my ignorance when I express some skepticism over stories of miracles carried on through an oral tradition -- by biased parties, let's not forget -- and not written down until 35+ years after the fact.

I know that the canon we know today as "The Bible" is merely the latest iteration.

Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation, all in the current edition but once left out.

Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, 1 Clement, 2 Clement, Paul’s Epistle to Laodiceans, Apostolic Constitutions. All once included but now omitted.

For brevity's sake I've left out the books known to have existed but are now lost.

So are we to understand that god is all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful but kind of irresolute when it comes to editing? And if these omissions are the fault of man, not god, then why does god allow them?

Not to put too fine a point on it, how do we know that these are the only errors?

The fact is, I'm very familiar with James' faith and I find it unsalvagable, ludicrious at best and murderous at worst. He, on the other hand, must resort to calling those who disagree ignorant since he cannot possibly reconcile his faith with a careful and rational rejection of the contemporary collection of myths contained in the Bible.

That's called "denial."

Boy, you're getting quite a vocabulary lesson, aren't you James?

My comments have absolutely nothing to do with "free speech".

...or intelligence, apparently, since he hasn't refuted anything I've said. He has, however, taken great pains to put himself on a pedistal.

My 22 year Air Force career helped preserve that for all the Jason's - and even for Hanoi Jane Fonda.

My point.

Merry Christmas,
Jason

jamesiii said...

Vocabulary lesson? I wrote to my "audience". And jason nobody seems to be anything but nobody in his own opinion of himself. Yes, I could list many more "credentials". Many accomplishments. But all that led me to realize - as I hope someday you will - that what was missing was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as the way to God the Creator of all. It is nice for us to toss around the names of the books of the Bible (Prostestant or the longer Catholic Bible), but better if we can point out their benefit to us. But one thing I do know for sure: if my faith is incorrect, when I die it will make no difference. If you are incorrect in your belief - well, you know the consequence since you state your knowledge of the Bible. Regards, jamesiii

jamesiii said...

Jason, I believe in free speech. That is why I do not choose to argue your points. There would be no reason to do so because nothing I can say would change your mind. I didn't start the idea that using profanity is a sign of immaturity. In your case, along with your comments following mine, it also indicates your insecurity. Does everybody but you "whine"?

My comment about a sinful society was not directed at you but a general comment. This is for you: work on your spelling a bit - lots of errors - maybe you just got excited.

You probably don't know what my reference to Hanoi Jane is about. Her visit to Hanoi caused a lot of our POWs to receive punishment that would not have happened otherwise. She made the North Vietnamese fully aware of the split in the US population regarding support of the conflict. But I supported her rights then and I still do - and I was in Vietnam at the time.

Not using profanity is part of maturity - Christian maturity.

What happened to nofaith.org? Internet Browser can't find it and I did want to read what it was about.

None of your words can change anything about my credentials - CHRISTIAN, age, MBA, Mensa, veteran, married once and to the same woman for 43 years, father, grandfather. In the church I am a member of: Deacon, Sunday School teacher, choir member, Discipleship Training Director, committee member. You might say "He's got it bad". I say I've got it good. Also, Commander of local American Legion Post, Gideon International member - I don't consider this info anything but just that - information. So, since you say I don't know you, tell me some things about yourself. I ask God daily to guide me to do the things He wants me to do. Who or what guides you? Regards, jamesiii

Jason Nobody said...

James continues:

Vocabulary lesson? I wrote to my "audience".

Gee, thanks for doing it on my blog. Mighty neighborly of you.

And jason nobody seems to be anything but nobody in his own opinion of himself.

It's more of a ghostwriter nom de plume.

Yes, I could list many more "credentials". Many accomplishments.

In fact you dedicate a whole paragraph to it a bit later in this exchange. Thanks.

But all that led me to realize - as I hope someday you will - that what was missing was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as the way to God the Creator of all.

Oh, I get it! Man started off talking about god to explain why the sun rose in the morning and why his crops sucked some years but not others. He's believed thousands of different creators and stories of creation but no, they're all delusional, god really exists and you're quite sure you've got the real deal.

Oh where do I sign?

James, I hope to Christ I never accept Jesus. Pardon the pun.

It is nice for us to toss around the names of the books of the Bible (Prostestant or the longer Catholic Bible), but better if we can point out their benefit to us.

That's why there's curds and whey, James. It's possible to strain each product out of milk so you can consume one part without the other. Why would I want to subscribe to your faith when I can discover morality without all the baggage?

It bears pointing out that you've completely ignored my point that your unchanging god seems to have changed his mind a number of times on which parts of his word his subjects should consider the "canon." Why is that?

But one thing I do know for sure: if my faith is incorrect, when I die it will make no difference. If you are incorrect in your belief - well, you know the consequence since you state your knowledge of the Bible.

I have to admit, it's been a long time since I've fielded these old chestnuts.

What James is proposing is also known as Pascal's Wager. The idea is that if he's wrong he loses nothing but if he's right he gains everything. On the other hand, if I'm wrong I lose everything and if I am right I gain nothing and therefore it's a "safer bet" to choose god.

Of course the problem with this argument is that it assumes there is no cost of the wager.

And what is the cost of believing in one god among thousands (and the possibility that there isn't one at all)? It's the cost that we see every day on the news.

For the more patriotic of us, it's the 3,897 Americans who died on the watch of a man who believes that "god speaks through" him. For the less patriotic (*cough), it's (est) 80,000 Iraqis killed since we began the occupation.

For the people who are pro-life, the realization that the faith of the Roman Catholic Church and their anti-condom, pro-abstinence policy toward Latin America has contributed to literally hundreds of thousands of deaths.

For the more global-minded, the fact that while nuclear proliferation increases, "rational actors" holding these devices are on the decline. And by that I mean "religious lunatics."

And James doesn't think there's a cost. Hoo. That's rich.

Jason, I believe in free speech. That is why I do not choose to argue your points.

That's like saying "I like grilled cheese sandwiches. That's why I choose to not buy scratch tickets." One has nothing to do with the other. How does a belief in free speech preclude arguing my points?

Good lord man. You sure about that MBA?

There would be no reason to do so because nothing I can say would change your mind.

He's right about that.

James, being so worldly and well-endowed, academically, should be familiar with Occam's Razor; all things being equal, the simpler answer is more likely to be correct. In short, James has to explain omniscient life.

I only have to explain life.

Suppose a friend walks in the door with a wet jacket and a wet umbrella and she announces it's raining outside. I heard on the forecast that rain was expected. I can see drops in puddles out the window.

OK, I'll believe it. But maybe you're lying. Perhaps you bribed the weatherman to say it was going to rain, paid someone to sprinkle water from the roof and you poured some on your shoulders. It's possible. But you've made a mundane claim and you've met the low burden of proof, so I'll believe it.

On the other hand, you could tell me that I didn't exist until 5 minutes ago. That I'm actually an alien construct who is being fed a simulation that repeats the same day over and over. At the end of the day, the program is terminated and each new "day" I experience it, never being aware of the construct or the futility of anything I do.

Now is that possible? Well, yes, but not likely. And since your claim is so much more elaborate than the idea that I'm human, I have a mother that I remember, and this life really is the one I think it is ...I can safely reject it.

And that's where James comes in...

His argument, at its simplest, is that there is a god in the first place. He wants me to believe in this being which is both eternal -- having arisen out of nothing -- and sentient.

But wait, there's more! This being that created me is all-loving and wants me to pay him homage but if I don't, god will cast me into some kind of hell. Whether you believe that to be a lake of fire or the absence of his presence or the suspension of his love, doesn't matter, it's hell.

"Love me or suffer?" James, so far your god sounds like an asshole.

And finally, the coupe de grace and my personal favorite, god can't show up and tell me personally. He decides, in his infinite wisdom, to both give his message to someone two thousand years ago and imbue his creation with a healthy sense of skepticism.

Just for argument sake, I'm going to put on my God-hat and think this one though.

I'm infinitely-powerful and as such I don't simply want my creations to know my word, it happens. Hey, I'm god, who's gonna stop me, right? And I don't want my beloved children to get a garbled message of course. So ...clearly the best way to achieve this goal ...is to send a messenger to Earth once, he can spread the word and for all eternity nobody will ever argue over the the colloquial nuance of languages long since dead. Brilliant!

This all makes sense to you? Seriously?

James, if your god does exist, it would be trivial for him to show up and remove all doubt. I've heard some reply that I would love out of fear and not love but if dangling hell over their heads isn't a fear-based love, I don't know what is.

If I COULD -- but chose not to -- speak to my children except through generations of flawed surrogates, I'd probably be considered a piss-poor dad.

I didn't start the idea that using profanity is a sign of immaturity.

Silly me.

James wrote, "Too bad he can't express himself without using obscene words (the f-word). And his point would be well made without it. But for those like me who are mature [...] his credibility is destroyed when he writes the f-word."

This is a very common tactic among fundies. Denigrate the opponent personally and then feign shock when called on it. Not terribly original and thinner than bone-dry nori.

In your case, along with your comments following mine, it also indicates your insecurity. Does everybody but you "whine"?

Is everybody but you "insecure?" Another vocab word: "projecting."

My comment about a sinful society was not directed at you but a general comment. This is for you: work on your spelling a bit - lots of errors - maybe you just got excited.

True but on the other hand it's spelled "Protestant," not "Prostestant."

Getting a little excited, James?

You probably don't know what my reference to Hanoi Jane is about.

Wrong again. His credibility takes another hit.

Her visit to Hanoi caused a lot of our POWs to receive punishment that would not have happened otherwise. She made the North Vietnamese fully aware of the split in the US population regarding support of the conflict. But I supported her rights then and I still do - and I was in Vietnam at the time.

Oh, I wasn't commenting on that. "My point" referred to your self-aggrandisement that didn't stop up until -- and including -- the very last sentence.

Not using profanity is part of maturity - Christian maturity.

You've chosen to lobotomize yourself. It isn't surprising that you'd want to do it to your language as well. Is there anything but a semantic distinction between language police and thought police? The apple is knowledge and if man takes a bite he's damned. What could be more antithetical to rational thought than Christianity?

What happened to nofaith.org?

I let the domain lapse years ago when I took on other projects.

None of your words can change anything about my credentials - CHRISTIAN...

Christianity is a credential? Really??

credential adj.: warranting credit or confidence.

So I guess that begs the question, "what does it mean to be Christian?" If I say I'm one right now and I believe it with my heart, I am one. Right?

I fail to see how such an act would warrant either credit or confidence since it lacks any requirement of lucid thought. That's kind of a voluntary insanity. For insanity I have pity but for someone to do it of their own volition triggers something more akin to revulsion. Not for Christians themselves, per se, but for their self-enslavement.

The wars the religious fight over what their own, particular, geographically-predetermined set of myths tells them is the right way to act, yeah, that gets on our nerves too.

...age...

Your age merits credit or confidence, James? Reminds me of the saying "any fool can make a baby." The idea is that being able to make a baby doesn't make you a mother or a father.

Likewise, any fool can live sixty-six years. So your top two credentials actually ...aren't.

MBA, Mensa, veteran, married once and to the same woman for 43 years, father, grandfather. In the church I am a member of: Deacon, Sunday School teacher, choir member, Discipleship Training Director, committee member. You might say "He's got it bad". I say I've got it good. Also, Commander of local American Legion Post, Gideon International member...

James starts with the claim he doesn't want to debate but then shifts to an argument from authority.

Logical fallacy.

I don't consider this info anything but just that - information.

Well, if it's there to support your argument, it doesn't.

If it isn't there to support your argument, can I safely call this more self-aggrandisement?

So, since you say I don't know you, tell me some things about yourself.

I believe in principles central to the human experience documented through history, ideas that have been a whole lot longer than your fable. That's to simply try my best to treat other sentient beings the way that I would want to be treated. I don't kick my dog. Not because I believe some god will judge me but because I wouldn't want to be kicked myself.

I get a serious laugh when I hear people talking as if the Ten Commandments were novel.

I ask God daily to guide me to do the things He wants me to do. Who or what guides you?

I kind of do the same thing except I skip the part about pretending my thoughts are messages from my invisible friend.

James, listen to me very carefully. I'm replying to you so that bored, google-surfing netziens can, for years, find this message, your sanctimonious proselytising and my replies. I write it once and reap the rewards for a long time. Think of it like royalties.

Translation:

You have lost.
You have been trolled.
Have a nice day.

Hugs and kisses,
Jason

PS: Don't forget the 9:30 show is completely different than the 7:30 show. Enjoy the veal!