51 thoughts on “The best Jesus and Mo yet

  1. “Hey, wait—I have read those books. Can I talk now?”

    You can talk to a cartoon representation of Jesus, sure.

      1. JAC’s last sentence is “Can I talk now?”, which is also its first and only clause. What’s wrong with it?

    1. AFAIK, only the Koran suffices.

      In the original Arabic.

      So, first become fluent in 7th Century Arabic, including an intimate knowledge of all of the idioms and cultural memes of a group of nomadic warriors.

      Then, engage in a deep study of the Koran, keeping in mind that the only acceptable answer to just about any question, theological or otherwise, is “Allah did it.”

      Sun rises…Allah did it.
      Boil on your butt…Allah did it.

      It’s the presuppositional argument to end all presuppositional arguments.

      1. The standard Moslem view of the Koran is just as fucked up as the standard fundie view of the bibble. While they claim, for example, that it is the most beautiful Arabic ever written, in fact parts of it are best described as incomprehensible gibberish, perhaps because those parts are written in Aramaic, not Arabic. (The close relation of these two Semitic languages may not be used as a get-out-of-jail card.)

        There is also the view that the Koranic text is perfect and inerrant (in some sense). And thanks to centuries of suppression of all alternate readings, the text of the Koran is just about as tightly nailed down as that of the Hebrew bible. But, aha! some years ago a treasure trove of very old Koranic texts was discovered walled up in a Yemen mosque, for the first time giving scholars a chance to carry out textual analysis on the Koran. The government of Yemen was fairly quick to sequester these out of reach, but not before some enterprising German paleographer had microfilmed them all and sent the films back to Germany.

        I haven’t read anything further, whether this find has in fact led to insights into the origins of the Koran, but stay tuned.

  2. No, of course you can’t talk now. Just shut the fuck up already is because why. Besides, nobody likes your jokes about the naked emperor’s package.

    My name is Sophist A. C. Theologian, and I approve this message. Even though I didn’t write it out loud.

    Cheers,

    b&

  3. According to Christianity, God turned into a man, got himself killed and came back to life to save people from Hell – which is a place that He created to send people He doesn’t like. So, in the end, God sacrificed Himself to save people from Himself.
    LOL, What?

      1. Maybe you would like my version of the Christmas story — too long for a t-shirt, I’m afraid:

        “Let us remember the reason for the season. The all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good God sexually violated a helpless, ignorant girl, in order that she should give birth to Himself, and He could grow up and preach eternal cosmic truths to a handful of uncomprehending people, most of whom would ignore Him or actively resent Him for it, and then see to it that He was ritually killed in order to fulfill ancient prophecies which He inspired, thereby making it possible for Him to forgive those people who believe all this stuff for following the nature that He gave them, and for doing what He already knew they were going to do, instead of consigning them to eternal torment, for reasons that He presumably knows but the rest of us can’t agree about. All He asks in return is our ceaseless abject praise. Isn’t that great?”

      2. I think you can already find shirts with this version by mad.frog on it:

        http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=234217&cid=19069933

        As opposed to, say, the belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree…

        Cheers,

        b&

    1. Don’t forget he created those people he doesn’t like too, so he could have something to put into the hell he created. Brilliant.

  4. ‘Hey, wait—I have read those books. Can I talk now?’

    No. You have to keep reading sophisticated theology until you believe.

    1. He, Sophisticated Philosophy™.

      The Easter Egg says “My philosophy comics don’t count.”

      Indeed, how could they? I approve of this message.

  5. Actually, the last caption should read, “Father, forgive her, for according to evolutionary theory she is not the author of her own actions”.

  6. Every time I hear an apologist say one needs to reach such-and-such a book I’m reminded of the Python’s ‘Book Shop’ sketch. I can’t help it. I get this scene running through my mind:

    Skeptic: “I just finished William Lane Craig’s The Kalam Cosmological Argument and I didn’t think it was all that good.”

    Theologian: “Oh, we meant you should read The Kallam Cosmological Argument with two l’s, by William Blaine Craig. Come back when you’ve done that.”

  7. The various writings adduced simply establish a lot of folks with fair to middling reasoning ability but completely lacking in empirical evidence-based thinking took the mass-meme of Christianity quite seriously.

    For the record, I would count Plantinga and Craig as SophistICAL obscurantists. On the other hand, for his era, Aquinas is pretty impressive. Ayn Rand had a sneaking fondness for Aquinas, so I think I can too. He’s at least internally consistent and coherent (I wouldn’t say so of Craig). But if your premises are false, the best reasoning in the world won’t get you to a valid conclusion.

    Kierkegaard strikes me as being increasingly neurotic and troubled (and less readable) over time as has been well-documented in a study of him called “The Lonely Labyrinth”.

    Lewis abandoned apologetics after a debate he had with Catholic philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. His arguments have been well-rebutted in a book called “CS Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion” by John Beverslius.
    Lewis was a genuinely great scholar of medieval and Renaissance literature, and didn’t think you had to be a Christian to get to heaven.

    Even at its best, sophisticated theology has a problem that Richard Dawkins has noted. If it reflected what most Christians really believe, we’d be a bit better off, but it usually doesn’t reflect popular Christian belief at all.

    OK, I can talk now.

    1. I found Aquinas to be far from coherent, but that may have just been a translation issue. CS Lewis has absolutely no conception of a what a valid argument is. On top of that, he claimed that witch hunts were not morally wrong.

      1. Yeah, me too.

        I don’t “get” the admiration for Aquinas.

        The Summa Theologica is pretty much a recitation of bible verses and stories, with a “logical” explanation for why they must be true.

        Such as when Aquinas reasons that it must be true that God made Adam from mud and Eve from Adam’s rib, and therefore necessary that women be subservient to men.

        The Summa is full of nonsense like this.

        I don’t think most people get past the “Five Ways” — which is its own brand of presuppositional nonsense.

        1. Since classy Latin names for books have entered the arena, I’ll point everyone to Spinoza’s “Tractatus Theologico-politicus” as a restorative. Get the Dover edition.

          Spinoza, Hume, and Paine form a trinity of early modern atheists. Worth looking into.

      2. Lewis is indeed awful on witchhunts!!! He claims they would be fine if they really were witches (conceding they were note), and never asks what sort of fear and hysteria over women’s sexuality leads to such beliefs (and other forms of religious oppression of women), because Lewis had much fear of female sexuality himself (at least until his marriage)!!!

        I think I focused on Aquinas’ comments on Aristotle more than his comments on the Bible, and on various interpreters of Aquinas who do the same. This might have colored my positive impression of him. Ayn Rand liked Aquinas largely because compared to Augustine, Aquinas was (relatively) more affirming of nature, human reason, and secular government.

  8. So, is the author expecting the reader to notice the irony between the first panel and the last? I have a feeling that it would fly over the head of most Christians.

      1. I missed it on my first reading, but now that you mention it. . .

        However, the Jesus doesn’t want the barmaid to read “clever, clever” books; he wants her to read only the books he recommends.

  9. This is your Messiah Kurt Vonnegut speaking.

    Jesus was up on the cross doing his cross thing, absorbing vast tonnages of our sin, YOUR sin too you foul mouthed blaspheming bastard. He was feeling pretty rough, as anybody would with nails stuck in them, and his old man having shot through leaving him in the lurch.

    To add to his misery, his old lady Mary was screaming at him, berating him. “You useless bastard”, she screams,”I go way into hock, borrow a million sheckles AND float my cross making company on the Jerusalem stock exchange, expecting a massive uprising and you screw it all this lovey dovey shit. No uprising and now I’ve got a yard full of crosses that are worthless and I’m gonna go bust. Bastard, mongrel. Roman General Antonio who formed a joint stock company with me is ALSO gonna go to the wall and he’s as mad as hell.”

    Jesus looked pretty sheepish, as you’d expect, and replied “Sorry Mum, I couldn’t help it”

    Then his brother Jim comes in, “Yeah and I set up a nail factory, bought 50 slaves at a premium price to run it, thousands of nails in stock and no customers. Bastard.”

    To cap it all his brother Judas starts screaming at him. “I’ve gone WAY into hock, setting up a catering service, stalls, merry go rounds and so on for all of the visitors that were gonna come and have fun watching the crucifixions and now I’M rooted”

    Suddenly the sky went pitch black as huge clouds swept over. Then a dirty big bolt of lightning zapped down and incinerated them, but not hitting Jesus. Jesus grinned and remarked gleefully “That’ll teach any bastard that wants put shit on me.” Then he carked it. I bet you didn’t know all this shit as there has been a massive cover up.
    Kurt.

  10. Repetition. That’s what does it for me. The Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon. There’s so much repetition that God is God and you better love God because God is God, according to God. And it came to pass…

    A supreme being should at least be a better writer–or inspirer–than a 4th grader.

  11. Step 1: read the books
    Step 2: take the message to heart
    Step 3: invite Jesus into your life
    Step 4: wait for revelation from God
    Step 5: allow the holy spirit to guide you to Christianity
    Step 6: Use your new-found Christianity to spread the word

    Then, and only then are you qualified to talk.

    1. It really is an elaborate, and entirely imaginary, castle. And if you can’t make your way over the imaginary moat, through the imaginary fortification, against the legions of imaginary soldiers, survive the imaginary traps, navigate the imaginary labyrinth, and make your way to the imaginary courtroom – then you aren’t in the position to say there’s no imaginary king on the throne. Because if you went to all that effort, you would have passed the imaginary Jester who pointed out that the king is indeed there, but only reveals himself to those who already know he’s behind the door.

    2. Oh course, Christianity isn’t the only ideology with this attitude. The feminist Shakesville blog, for instance, has an extensive “required reading” list that you’re supposed to go through before posting comments, and it doesn’t take much reading between the lines of the commenting policy to see that it basically says “I’ll delete any posts I want to for any arbitrary reason I choose”.

      1. “I’ll delete any posts I want to for any arbitrary reason I choose”

        There is nothing wrong with such a policy. A blog, or even a web site, owner has a right to order the furniture how he or she wishes. In fact, I would argue that every blog (or website) has exactly this policy. They differ only in the implementation of the “I choose” part.

        1. A website owner has the legal right to run it as they wish; that does not mean that there is nothing unseemly about purporting to present a public forum, but deleting and/or editing other people’s comments at will. And if one does have such a policy, it is even more unseemly to be deliberately obfuscatory about it.

          1. More unseemly, IMO, is whining about a host’s policy. You don’t like the furniture? Don’t go over and ask to sit in the living room. You and I have no right to arrange it to our taste and complaining about it to the neighbors is kind of tacky. That’s the way this Internet machine works.

      2. Any knowledge-based position should have required reading; there’s no sense in coming onto a place an arguing from ignorance. The issue with belief systems like Christianity is that the position is not knowledge-based. Revelation plays a large role in the belief itself, whether that revelation is through the scriptures, the alleged actions of Jesus, or through revealed Truth by the holy spirit. There’s really no sense in arguing around that, as the argument is little more than a foil – as the comic eloquently illustrates. To claim that as somehow parallel to what happens in feminism would be to grossly miss the point of what they are trying to achieve. The parallel is tenuous, and utterly irrelevant to the point being made on this post.

        1. I don’t think that you understand the general meaning of the phrase “arguing from ignorance”. I don’t believe that your term “knowledge based” is clearly defined enough to be meaningfully debated; Christian theology is a type of knowledge. If you want to make a positivist versus normative distinction, well, feminism is a largely normative, not positivist, area. “Feminism” is also an ambiguous concept, and there are wide-ranging disagreement regarding what “feminism” is. But to the extent that a particular strand of feminism says that one must engage in extensive study of, *and agree with*, that particular strain of feminism to be a legitimate participant in a discussion, there is a clear parallel.

          1. You missed the utterly irrelevant part. Must the discussion of feminism spill over into non-feminist topics?

            And in terms of the actual parallels, you’ve missed my point. Having a reading list for a topic where you need to be intellectually informed to comment is different from a topic where personal experience plays a key role in knowledge. When WL Craig said in a debate with Bart Ehrman: “[E]ver since my conversion, I believed in the resurrection of Jesus on the basis of my personal experience, and I still think this experiential approach to the resurrection is a perfectly valid way to knowing that Christ has risen. It’s the way that most Christians today know that Jesus is risen and alive.” He’s setting a very different path to knowledge than the approach of a historian looking at texts and artefacts, and there really can be no reading list on a discussion like that.

            1. “You missed the utterly irrelevant part. Must the discussion of feminism spill over into non-feminist topics?”
              I not discussing feminism per se, but rather the particular issue of saying that people who have not engaged in extensive reading are not qualified to participate in any discussion.

              “And in terms of the actual parallels, you’ve missed my point.”
              Yes, I think I made it quite clear that you failed to clearly present your point.

              “Having a reading list for a topic where you need to be intellectually informed to comment is different from a topic where personal experience plays a key role in knowledge.”
              It honestly took me a while to figure out what you were saying here, because the latter describes both feminism and Christianity (and the two categories that you presented are not mutually exclusive), and one does not need to engage in extensive reading in order to have legitimate contributions to make in a discussion of feminism.

              “He’s setting a very different path to knowledge than the approach of a historian looking at texts and artefacts, and there really can be no reading list on a discussion like that.”
              You’re picking out a particular Christian’s experience with Christianity, which isn’t relevant to the wider issue of “sophisticated theology”. And there could very easily be readings that would be relevant.

  12. I saw this cartoon the other day, and what I find especially hilarious about it is that it’s Jesus telling the barmaid to read these works written by Christians … when Christians often disagree with each other about what Jesus “really” meant.

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