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  1. #41
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Clive: You ought to indicate who you are quoting, especially when you are responding to more than one person.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Then for most Christians, by insulting their religion, you're insulting them about something that they've only partially chosen?
    Nope. You seem to have missed the part where insulting a belief system is different from insulting its adherents. Let's face it: Most of the insults I see are targeted at Christianity, not at Christians. Take Zhav's series of pictures for example - they all target Christianity, not Christians. It's just that Christians can't stand it when people mock their religion and especially their religious figures, much like how Muslims detest people who portray Prophet Muhammad.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I have to check myself for bias every time I hear this argument, because I am genuinely surprised that critics are ostensibly unable to find any philosophical, moral, or intellectual merit in Christianity.
    Christians don't believe in the Bible for "philosophical, moral or intellectual merit". They believe in it primarily for (what they perceive to be) its factual merit. The central doctrine of Christianity is not "turn the other cheek" or "love your neighbour as yourself", but that God impregnated a virgin to give birth to a man-god who died on the cross and then rose again to save the world of sin inherited from a couple who were tempted by satan-serpent to eat a forbidden fruit.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Even if you don't happen to agree with it, the Bible is rich, in both literary and philosophical terms. I certainly don't agree with Aristotle or Plato, but I would not dare ridicule their notions of Form and Matter.
    That's because the beliefs of Aristotle and Plato were not ridiculous for their time. The beliefs of most Christians are.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    To me, such mockery of the deeply philosophical aspects of Christianity smacks of anti-intellectualism.
    False. Nobody mocks the "deeply philosophical aspects" of Christianity (though I'm not sure what philosophy you are referring to). It is the bread-body wine-blood doctrines, the global-flood animal-pairs doctrines, or the virgin-birth resurrecting-god doctrines that get mocked. Anti-intellectualism consists in believing and peddling such nonsense.
    Trendem

  2. #42
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Nope. You seem to have missed the part where insulting a belief system is different from insulting its adherents. Let's face it: Most of the insults I see are targeted at Christianity, not at Christians. Take Zhav's series of pictures for example - they all target Christianity, not Christians. It's just that Christians can't stand it when people mock their religion and especially their religious figures, much like how Muslims detest people who portray Prophet Muhammad.
    How is that at all responsive to my point, which is that by insulting Christianity--not Christians--you are insulting something that Christians have only partially chosen to believe, according to you?

    Christians don't believe in the Bible for "philosophical, moral or intellectual merit". They believe in it primarily for (what they perceive to be) its factual merit. The central doctrine of Christianity is not "turn the other cheek" or "love your neighbour as yourself", but that God impregnated a virgin to give birth to a man-god who died on the cross and then rose again to save the world of sin inherited from a couple who were tempted by satan-serpent to eat a forbidden fruit.
    How is that at all responsive to my point? Why Christians believe the Bible is entirely irrelevant to the point I was making: That the Bible has philosophical, moral, and intellectual merit that even skeptics and unbelievers can (or should, in my view) recognize.

    That's because the beliefs of Aristotle and Plato were not ridiculous for their time. The beliefs of most Christians are.
    That also seems unresponsive. Are skeptics and unbelievers unable to be objective about the Bible? I mean, can't you view Christianity through the same lens as you view other "ridiculous" belief systems, like Plato's and Aristotle's metaphysics? I will grant you disdain and mockery of people who believe in the truth of the propositions, but to mock the system itself? Seems a bit untoward, don't you think?

    False. Nobody mocks the "deeply philosophical aspects" of Christianity (though I'm not sure what philosophy you are referring to).
    Really? Nobody mocks the creation of an ordered universe, not understanding the sharp distinction it draws from other ancient religions? Nobody mocks the moral underpinnings of Jesus's teachings?

    It is the bread-body wine-blood doctrines, the global-flood animal-pairs doctrines, or the virgin-birth resurrecting-god doctrines that get mocked. Anti-intellectualism consists in believing and peddling such nonsense.
    Ah, so now Christians are anti-intellectual by definition. I think that any dialogue with you will be quite unproductive given your attitude =/
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  3. #43
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Although I don't think it's proper to mock anyone's religion, I don't think it's really an indicator of intolerance. Perhaps a sign of an appetite for tasteless jokes...but I think intolerance is bit of an extreme accusation. It's all up to the individual and whether they think what they're doing is right. If in their mind it's nothing more than a joke, then we should take it in that spirit (as offending as it may be). If it is made in malice or spite, then that's when we can get out the big HAMMER OF INTOLERANCE. After all, Christianity has always been mocked, and so it is in keeping with our faith that we turn the other cheek.

    Quote Originally Posted by princefigs View Post
    You are right my friend....tolerance is preached by the left, but not practiced by it....hypocrisy is another term for Liberalism....they believe in tolerance and freedom for all, as long as it does not impose upon their beliefs or agenda.

    The funniest part though, is that they label US as intolerant...as racist...as bigots, when they are the ones practicing intolerance, racism, bigotry, and elitism.

    If it was not for their good friends at CNN,ABC, NBC and all the rest of the Liberally bias media, they would be exposed for the racist they are and the Liberal Party would lose a lot of support...or reform itself.

    Just my opinion though
    Okay, so can you give one instance of Liberals being hypocritical? If anyone is a hypocrite when it comes to race, religion and sexuality it's right wing Conservatives.

    All the lunatic Evangelicals ( and I'm a Christian so this isn't a crack at the religion ) who believe feminists, gays, lesbians, environmentalists and Democrats were to blame for 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina aren't in any way hypocritical when they cannot tolerate anything marginally different from their values. I bet they barely stop short of including blacks and Hispanics in the mix too.

    Liberalism has it's flaws obviously, but when it comes to hypocrisy, I think Conservatives take the cake.

    And how come you don't mention the wonderfully right wing news channel FOX? Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannerty and that bunch cannot go a day without attacking Liberals for something or other. CNN, MSNBC and ABC are all moderate, and it's almost impossible to tag any political alignment to them. FOX on the other hand...well, it's pretty clear they're hardline Conservatives.

    Question asked to Dick Cheney after he shot a man in the face "Who's your favorite on American Idol?"

    Response to comedienne calling Hillary a w***e. "Well, they're presidential candidates so they should expect this kind of verbal attack."

    Bill O'Reilly on Obama in traditional African garb. "Is this man really patriotic enough to be president?"

    The list is endless, and I could cite a billion more instances of FOX and Conservative double-standardism and intolerance. It is after all, the station that insinuated that MLK day is 'Santa Clausification' of all that he did. The man was a visionary, and put this country on the path to Civil Rights legislation - if anyone should be honored with his own day and have children all over the world look up to him - it's Dr. King.

    So, I'll be waiting to hear of any instances of Liberal hypocrisy, bigotry and intolerance.

  4. #44
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Lots here....

    Mocking christianity
    Look, its tempting to mock folks that make you angry. I try not to do it until such time as they get up in my face and do something mock worthy. Especialy in a neutral or public setting. I think there is a line between "respectful" and "worshipfull". Especialy when it comes to dogma and superstition. As much as I need to respect that the word Damn has some special meaning to you, you must realize that it means very little to me.

    When a christian and I have a person to person conversation I try extra hard to be respectful. If I am mearely speaking my honest opinion then I need not be so carefull about what I say as they have no right to demand my obedience to their particular values. Neither should I demand they pay special respect to my lack of belief in thier own priviate or semi private dealings.

    Liberals and Hypocracy
    Ha! Every political camp is full of hypocrites because people are often naturaly hypocritical. Its quite easy to hold others to a standard you don't practice yourself. The more polarized your beliefs the more likely you are guilty of it. Liberals and conservatives both are hip deep in hypocrites and appologists.

    Most common crimes
    Liberals talk about love and peace and then spew venom and take violent action
    Conservatives talk moral values and cheat on thier wives, taxes, etc.

  5. #45
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    All the lunatic Evangelicals ( and I'm a Christian so this isn't a crack at the religion ) who believe feminists, gays, lesbians, environmentalists and Democrats were to blame for 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina aren't in any way hypocritical when they cannot tolerate anything marginally different from their values. I bet they barely stop short of including blacks and Hispanics in the mix too.
    Yes, because those Evangelicals are so common in America.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  6. #46
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    It's just that Christians can't stand it when people mock their religion and especially their religious figures, much like how Muslims detest people who portray Prophet Muhammad.
    Do you not see the difference between being offended by a religious depiction, and acting on that offense and committing violence? Christians did not riot over such so-called art as a crucifix in a jar of urine. Muslims rioted over some pretty tame cartoons of Mohammed.

  7. #47
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    My point refined:

    I don't see how mocking someone's religion is inherently worse than mocking anything else they may not want you to mock. Morally, it's generally bad to upset someone else on purpose and how bad it is to upset someone is entirely dependent on such things as how upset you make them and whether you intended to upset them and whether they "had it coming" (if they are mocking you, you are more justified in mocking them).

    On what basis you upset them is not particularly relevant to how bad your actions are.

    For example, let's say you know an overweight Christian. So based on that alone you could make fun of his weight or make fun of his religion. Which is worse to make fun of? Inherently they are equal and which is worse to mock depends entirely on which would upset him more. If that person is more sensitive about his religious beliefs than his personal appearance, then it's worse to make fun of his religion than his weight. And if he's more sensitive about his weight, then it's worse to make fun of his weight than his religion.

    So again, there is nothing inherently wrong about mocking religion compared to anything else you might mock.

  8. #48
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Special citation goes to CliveStaples: Clive, you are really on your game here. You've had quite a few highly relevant posts in this thread with spot-on refutations. You're exposing the inconsistencies of the atheist argument right and left. I can barely keep up with you. Inspiring stuff. Excellent job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsdarts View Post
    Atheists make no such presuppositions. We lack belief in your god and its authority.
    That's my point that you don't realize you're making. Atheism claims no authority above the human perspective, and so would have no basis for telling people that there would be eternal consequences to sin. That's why there's a difference between a theist citing scripture and an atheist citing themselves. If there is a God, it would be completely reasonable for such God to give warnings to His children. And admonitions to repent are nowhere near ridicule, any more than a parent trying to get a wayward child back on track is such.

    Also, for God to say "fools mock" is decrying an indiscretion. Mocking is demonstrated to be harmful. On the other hand, Christian morals are positive and affirmative. There's no comparison. You can't very well correlate that into "fools believe in the supernatural, which damages other people." That's too big a stretch. Even I can't make a leap of faith like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsdarts
    The fact that you worship such a god who has no problem ridiculing non believers and sinners, is reprehensible.
    I think you've got your definitions all mixed up. Chastising someone is much different from ridiculing. God does not make fun of sinners, or tease them. You're just throwing the word "ridicule" out there as a catch-all term, and it's pretty insulting, intellectually speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsdarts
    You haven't shown how your beliefs deserve respect.
    For heaven's sake, Itsdarts, shouldn't pretty much every law-abiding citizen's beliefs deserve respect? I abhor homosexuality, but I respect the beliefs of those who are homosexual. I can still disagree with them without needing to denigrate them and call them names.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsdarts
    Can you provide examples of the difference as it relates to anything you've seen here? Aren't there rules that address what you are objecting too?
    I've provided numerous examples already, and they seem to have been overlooked. The many derogatory terms that theists on this board are called are well-documented and commonly known.

    As for how that applies to the rules, I'm not aware of any such derogatory remarks towards theism resulting in punishment from ODN. They probably are not considered directly personal enough, even though they do denigrate something that person cherishes and takes very seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsdarts
    If indeed you were called these things, then I'd consider it the opinion of the person saying it, not necessarily ridicule. We (the general public) consider people who have imaginary friends to be delusional. Whom ever called you this may be of the opinion that you worship an imaginary friend. The definition of delusional is "4. Psychiatry. a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact."
    So then the atheist has the task of showing how 90% of a population is delusional. Try to call it an appeal to popularity if you like, but it's far less egregious than an appeal to 5% of the population. The whole notion of psychiatry is that the majority of people are rational beings, and that there is a standard of what's considered normal, typically met by the general public.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsdarts
    The definition of Brainwashing is "Intensive, forcible indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at destroying a person's basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs or The application of a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation.
    It means that one can no longer think for themselves, because someone else is doing the thinking for them. See also: retarded, idiotic. Sure, brainwashing occurs in segments of society. But again, the atheist has the task of somehow demonstrating that 90% of the population is brainwashed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsdarts
    Is it possible what you consider ridicule isn't really critizisim?
    This is the failing of the opposition so far in this thread, to assume that criticism and ridicule are equivalent. I cited mockery/ridicule, and they try to fall back on "it's just criticism." This speaks volumes about the atheist mindset. (notice I haven't said they're deluded or Kool-Aid drinkers)

    One other big gaping hole in the atheist argument is that atheism professes to be awash in morals, and yet the concept of respect is so foreign to them. They don't understand why each and every human who is a law-abiding citizen demands respect, and should not be the object of ridicule, no more than a 3rd grader should be teased on the playground.

    Point three is that the atheist fails to recognize the concept of sacredness. The theist may consider many things religious and personal to be sacred, such as God, the name of God, the Bible, the human body, life itself, and so on. The idea of something being sacred doesn't come up on the atheist's radar screen, so it becomes very difficult to have a substantive exchange of theological ideas without their accounting for this. They tend to revert to making fun of their opponent, under the guise that they're just trying to joke around. Ah, joking that always powerful debating tactic. Uh, guys, if joking is all you can fall back on in those situations, then that sends a message loud and clear that you ain't got nothin'.

    Point four, which atheists don't seem to want to touch, is that they aren't merely ridiculing Christianity, they are ridiculing the person Jesus, who is a historical figure, who was by any account one of the world's greatest teachers, who was an upstanding and exemplary person, who befell injustices against himself and was persecuted and killed for no wrongdoing of his own. They don't have to agree that Jesus is divine, but they should acknowledge the good he did in his life, and the great things he stood for. At worst, they should just say he was a visionary with a God complex, but he had worthy intentions and overall was a force for good in the world. However, they can grant any of this, but instead must make fun of the suffering he went through. This is not unlike those who put him on the cross:

    Luke 23:35-38
    And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
    And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
    And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
    And a superscription also was written over him in letter of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

    Did Jesus even assuming his proclamations about his divinity were untrue deserve to be treated this way, and shouldn't there be more respect for this influential historical figure, and sympathy for his final fate? Atheists don't want to lend any degree of credence to the historical figure of Jesus, but rather want to hyperbolize the Christ figure into a pathetic and laughable character. This failure of recognition is the very definition of disingenuousness.

    Let's fast-forward to a common atheist tactic of ridiculing that which someone holds dear, which they say is justified if it involves believing in the unknown. My brother died, and I am convinced that I will see him again someday. Whether or not this is considered irrational, does it deserve to be made fun of? Why can't the atheist say "I think you're wrong, but I respect that you truly believe this and take it seriously and pattern your life after it, and I respect your ability to make judgments that answer to your own self. Who am I to question your judgment? As long as you are a positive force in society, what you think about our existence should not cause me to make fun of you."

    Why can't the atheist say that? I have a theory. One big part of it is that they feel threatened politically by believers in affecting public policy, and so they have to demonize these believers and tease them without end in order to dissuade them from furthering their religious morals.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333
    I really don't think the criteria of a cruel joke is so much what it's about (death, religion, race) as the intent of the teller. If you are disrespecting me and mine, then it doesn't matter what exactly you said as whether you said it disrespectfully or not.
    So by your rationale, a person can be completely oblivious and indifferent to the feelings of others and be off the hook because they selfishly looked at only their own needs? Wow, this is a defense attorney's dream case. I see no correlation with your assessment and reality. Can you apply this to anything else?
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

  9. #49
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Yes, because those Evangelicals are so common in America.

    As a matter of fact they are. Preachers like Pat Robertson have huge followings do they not? And as a rule, these followers tend to share his values do they not? Otherwise, why would the 700 Club be so popular?

    Also, Evangelicals are the like the third or second most populous Christian denomination, with 26% of Americans being Evangelical. If even about a third of these people have those views, doesn't it make them relatively common?

    And so the sarcasm backfires...

  10. #50
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Some of them choose; some of them are brainwashed into it. Most of them become Christians due to a combination of indoctrination and personal choice.
    This assessment is insulting to our intelligence, Trendem. You know as well as I do that the mocking atheists here (yourself included) go straight to the "brainwashed" catcalls, without any such consideration of what anyone has chosen or not chosen. You're just shooting from the hip at this juncture. It tells me a lot about how uncomfortable you are with your position. The a priori assumption by many atheists is that all theists at ODN are brainwashed, but now you want to pretend that process hasn't been occurring. Just admit it so we don't have to entertain the charade you've proposed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem
    Unfortunately for Christianity, its ideas are so absurd that it is inevitable that a dissection of them would lead to mockery.
    From an elitist position, anything else is going to appear absurd. All you're demonstrating here is the atheist's inability to consider other perspectives.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem
    The very act of trying to demonstrate how absurd a particular Biblical story is can easily be construed as mockery by sensitive Christians.
    It's funny that an atheist would need to make fun of a person (Jesus) in order to be able to demonstrate that a Biblical account is too incredible to be believed. Can't the incredible occurrence be refuted on its own terms, without having to resort to sophomoric behavior? What place does mockery have in substantive debate? I thought ODN was trying to become more of a legitimate debate web site. I missed the part where mocking someone was advisable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem
    I'm saying that it is ok to mock their beliefs - just like you would any other wild claim.
    And who determines what is considered "wild", Trendem? It's an arbitrary distinction and nothing more.

    Trendem's random house dictionary:

    wild (adj.)
    anything that doesn't meet with your own particular beliefs




    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I don't see how mocking someone's religion is inherently worse than mocking anything else they may not want you to mock.
    And how exactly does that make mocking religion OK?
    Last edited by Xanadu Moo; April 12th, 2008 at 11:03 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

  11. #51
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo View Post
    So by your rationale, a person can be completely oblivious and indifferent to the feelings of others and be off the hook because they selfishly looked at only their own needs?
    No.

    Offending someone because you are too self-absorbed and ignorant to realize that you are offending others is not good. But if you realized that you offended someone accidentally and then apologized and explained you didn't intend to offend, then usually you should be let off the hook.

    And it's definitely not as bad to accidentally offend someone as it is to intentionally offend someone.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo View Post
    And how exactly does that make mocking religion OK?
    Mocking religion can be OK. For instance, I don't think it was entirely OK for Zhav to post those comics mocking Christianity on this thread as he knew that people like you and KB would see them. So it seems he intentionally posted them where he knew people who might be offended by them would see them.

    But if he had posted those same comics at an atheist only site where they would not offend anyone, then I wouldn't say there's anything particularly wrong with it. So the problem is not that the comics mocked Christianity, or that they were posted, but that they were posted where they would offend someone.

    So I wouldn't say mocking anything in particular is worse than mocking anything else. Again, the important criteria is whether you are offending someone and whether you know (or care) if you are offending someone.

    So the issue, as far as right and wrong goes, is not whether religion is mocked, but whether people are offended.
    Last edited by mican333; April 12th, 2008 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    How is that at all responsive to my point, which is that by insulting Christianity--not Christians--you are insulting something that Christians have only partially chosen to believe, according to you?
    Your earlier post stated that insulting Christianity is tantamount to insulting Christians. I challenged that statement.

    Why is it wrong to insult a belief system that someone has partially chosen? Whether a belief system ought to be insulted or not depends on how ridiculous it is, not whether people chose to believe in it or were indoctrinated into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    How is that at all responsive to my point? Why Christians believe the Bible is entirely irrelevant to the point I was making: That the Bible has philosophical, moral, and intellectual merit that even skeptics and unbelievers can (or should, in my view) recognize.
    How is this any relevant? If sceptics predominantly mocked the "philosophical, moral and intellectual" aspects of the Bible, then you'd have a point. But no atheist I know mocks those aspects - we only mock the absurd, unscientific or illogical, self-contradictory claims in Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    That also seems unresponsive. Are skeptics and unbelievers unable to be objective about the Bible? I mean, can't you view Christianity through the same lens as you view other "ridiculous" belief systems, like Plato's and Aristotle's metaphysics? I will grant you disdain and mockery of people who believe in the truth of the propositions, but to mock the system itself? Seems a bit untoward, don't you think?
    Nobody evaluates beliefs in a vacuum, Clive. If ten centuries ago people thought that prayer could cure diseases, then that isn't a big deal, since medical science was still non-existent. But the very same belief in this modern age would rightly draw ridicule, because it is so backward for its time. That's why people mock Christianity - which is still believed now - but not Greek mythology.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Really? Nobody mocks the creation of an ordered universe, not understanding the sharp distinction it draws from other ancient religions? Nobody mocks the moral underpinnings of Jesus's teachings?
    If they are mocked, it is due to their falsity. The Creation story is mocked because it is so primitive compared to the scientific theory of evolution we have now. As for the moral underpinnings of Jesus, I have not seen anyone mock it before.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Ah, so now Christians are anti-intellectual by definition. I think that any dialogue with you will be quite unproductive given your attitude =/
    Stop playing the victim. You are the one who first used the term "anti-intellectual" to describe atheists who dared to mock Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Do you not see the difference between being offended by a religious depiction, and acting on that offense and committing violence? Christians did not riot over such so-called art as a crucifix in a jar of urine. Muslims rioted over some pretty tame cartoons of Mohammed.
    Of course there's a difference. But that was not my point, was it? My point was that the Christian's quickness to take offence is similar to the Muslim's quickness to take offence. I never claimed their responses to being offended were on par with each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo View Post
    This assessment is insulting to our intelligence, Trendem. You know as well as I do that the mocking atheists here (yourself included) go straight to the "brainwashed" catcalls, without any such consideration of what anyone has chosen or not chosen. You're just shooting from the hip at this juncture. It tells me a lot about how uncomfortable you are with your position. The a priori assumption by many atheists is that all theists at ODN are brainwashed, but now you want to pretend that process hasn't been occurring. Just admit it so we don't have to entertain the charade you've proposed.
    You claim it, you prove it. I may have called some theists brainwashed before, but I doubt I have called all of them brainwashed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo View Post
    From an elitist position, anything else is going to appear absurd. All you're demonstrating here is the atheist's inability to consider other perspectives.
    If "considering other perspectives" entails being illogical and irrational, then I'll pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo View Post
    It's funny that an atheist would need to make fun of a person (Jesus) in order to be able to demonstrate that a Biblical account is too incredible to be believed. Can't the incredible occurrence be refuted on its own terms, without having to resort to sophomoric behavior? What place does mockery have in substantive debate? I thought ODN was trying to become more of a legitimate debate web site. I missed the part where mocking someone was advisable.
    Mockery does have its place in debate - it helps demonstrate the absurdity of a position, especially one that is takes itself too seriously. If mockery were "sophomoric behaviour", then I guess people like Jonathan Swift, Benjamin Franklin, Ambrose Bierce or H.L. Mencken were just immature fratboys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo View Post
    And who determines what is considered "wild", Trendem? It's an arbitrary distinction and nothing more.

    Trendem's random house dictionary:

    wild (adj.)
    anything that doesn't meet with your own particular beliefs
    A wild claim is something that veers so far from factual reality or logical possibility that it becomes absurd. Whether something is false or illogical can be objectively determined, so it is not some arbitrary distinction.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So the issue, as far as right and wrong goes, is not whether religion is mocked, but whether people are offended.
    That's even worse. What if someone is of particularly thin skin and is offended if you dare to say anything that he disagrees with? Should you refrain from disagreeing with him at all then?
    Last edited by Trendem; April 13th, 2008 at 05:00 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Trendem

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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    What if someone is of particularly thin skin and is offended if you dare to say anything that he disagrees with? Should you refrain from disagreeing with him at all then?
    It depends. If a Christian is going to bad-mouth other beliefs, then "firing back" is usually acceptable and if the guy can't take what he dishes out, then too bad for him. Giving someone a taste of their own medicine isn't particularly wrong.

    But if you know a Christian who does not want to hear any criticism of Christianity and he refrains from discussing religion, then it would be very rude to mock Christianity in front of him.

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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Your earlier post stated that insulting Christianity is tantamount to insulting Christians. I challenged that statement.
    I said nothing of the sort. In fact, I drew a distinction between the two early on in the discussion:

    Well, are we including mockery of the people holding the belief? Or just mockery of the religion itself? If the former, then we have Slipnish calling all Evangelical Christians "dung", "afraid of anything different", haters of "fun", etc.; we have Zhavric calling all Christians conditioned, brainwashed dupes; we have you saying you'd rather be in Hell then in Heaven with Christians.
    If the latter, then we have fewer examples: Zhavric calling Jesus the "Cosmic Jewish Zombie"; we have the whole "Grabzor" religion and accompanying 'bible'; those are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head.
    What you were challenging was my statement that according to common atheist arguments found on this site, Christians are only partially responsible for choosing their beliefs, so by insulting Christianity, you're insulting something that the people, to a certain extent, have no choice in believing.

    Why is it wrong to insult a belief system that someone has partially chosen? Whether a belief system ought to be insulted or not depends on how ridiculous it is, not whether people chose to believe in it or were indoctrinated into it.
    In discussing how insulting someone's race is different than insulting someone's beliefs, you said this:

    As Star and Mithran have noted, the difference between attacking Christianity and being racist is that the former attacks ideas and claims, while the latter attacks someone's unchosen identity.
    Certainly we can agree that religion forms part of a Christian's identity, right? If so, then aren't you attacking someone's to-a-certain-extent unchosen identity? The degree to which it is unchosen is the degree to which insulting or mocking it aligns with insulting or mocking other unchosen aspects of identity--race, ethnicity, sex, etc.

    How is this any relevant? If sceptics predominantly mocked the "philosophical, moral and intellectual" aspects of the Bible, then you'd have a point. But no atheist I know mocks those aspects - we only mock the absurd, unscientific or illogical, self-contradictory claims in Christianity.
    No atheist you know mocks these aspects? You should read a great website I've found call www.onlinedebate.net; get to know some of the atheist debaters there.

    Look at pretty much any critique of the Old Testament. Look at any critique of Christian morals, or better yet, of God. Since God, Jesus, and the Bible are the philosophical, moral, and intellectual center of the Bible, by mocking them, you are disrespecting them.

    Now, if your defense was "Sure, we mock them, because they deserve to be ridiculed", that would be one thing. But to say "we never mock the philosophical, moral, and intellectual aspects of the Bible" is complete hogwash.

    Nobody evaluates beliefs in a vacuum, Clive. If ten centuries ago people thought that prayer could cure diseases, then that isn't a big deal, since medical science was still non-existent. But the very same belief in this modern age would rightly draw ridicule, because it is so backward for its time. That's why people mock Christianity - which is still believed now - but not Greek mythology.
    We aren't talking about Greek mythology, Trendem, we're talking about Greek philosophers. If it would be ridiculous to believe the idea, isn't the idea itself ridiculous? I mean, it seems to me that you're saying if anyone actually believed in Aristotelian metaphysics, you'd ridicule their belief system as well. Which I think is a terribly immature way to approach philosophy and philosophical dialogue.

    If they are mocked, it is due to their falsity. The Creation story is mocked because it is so primitive compared to the scientific theory of evolution we have now. As for the moral underpinnings of Jesus, I have not seen anyone mock it before.
    Again, I direct you to the site www.onlinedebate.net. You'll see all sorts of direct mocking of Jesus and his message.

    Stop playing the victim. You are the one who first used the term "anti-intellectual" to describe atheists who dared to mock Christianity.
    Not really. I used it to describe a subset of people criticizing Christianity, specifically those who mock what I termed the "deeply philosophical" aspects of the religion--notions of justice, love, sin, redemption, forgiveness, sanctification, duty, the connection between belief and action, etc. If you want to mock belief in the occurrence of miracles, that's your own lookout. But mocking and deriding the central elements of Christianity, those that are most relevant to how Christians live their lives, strikes me as anti-intellectual.

    Of course there's a difference. But that was not my point, was it? My point was that the Christian's quickness to take offence is similar to the Muslim's quickness to take offence. I never claimed their responses to being offended were on par with each other.
    Trendem, how many people do you know that don't get offended when you mock them? Isn't that basically the whole point of mocking, instead of offering a substantive critique? To produce that effect in the object of your ridicule?
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Certainly we can agree that religion forms part of a Christian's identity, right? If so, then aren't you attacking someone's to-a-certain-extent unchosen identity? The degree to which it is unchosen is the degree to which insulting or mocking it aligns with insulting or mocking other unchosen aspects of identity--race, ethnicity, sex, etc.
    I support you on this Clive. To be a Christian is the only life I know, and I truly believe it forms a part of my identity. To a very great degree it is an unchosen part of my identity.

    I also belief that it is in all Atheist's ability to debate religion without mocking it. A good example of such a person will be Mithran, I debated with him previously and never did I feel he was mocking me or Christianity. And he was able to get his message across without offending me, and I really appreciated that.

    There are unfortunately the Atheists that feel that the only way they can get their message across is by mocking the belief and the person believing it, and that is quite sad.
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinBrowning View Post
    Do you not see the difference between being offended by a religious depiction, and acting on that offense and committing violence? Christians did not riot over such so-called art as a crucifix in a jar of urine.
    That's just because they're not in charge of government anymore. There was a time in Europe... you know, a few dozen CENTURIES... where Christians were in the habit of murdering people for "blasphemy" like that. So, congragulations on your 20/20 hindsight and progressive hippie touchy-feely Christianity. Don't forget that your Christian ancestors are rolling in their graves.

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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    That's just because they're not in charge of government anymore. There was a time in Europe... you know, a few dozen CENTURIES... where Christians were in the habit of murdering people for "blasphemy" like that. So, congragulations on your 20/20 hindsight and progressive hippie touchy-feely Christianity. Don't forget that your Christian ancestors are rolling in their graves.
    Don't you think it's a bit dishonest to regale KB with ideas and beliefs that he doesn't share? You might as well say "In the past and in the present, your fellow theists have a habit of murdering people who disagree with them. Don't forget that your theist ancestors are rolling over in their graves." Different beliefs are different, Zhavric.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Yes, because those Evangelicals are so common in America.
    Clive... Come see where I live. You'd be amazed at the portion of my community which actually holds those things to be true. It's staggering. The same community who had protesters with signs every Saturday for two years outside a women's health clinic which has never EVER preformed an abortion. YOU might not find it to be so common, but it's probably more common than you think. I'm willing to admit that *I* am probably slanted the opposite way, thinking it's more common than it actually is given the rate of... stupidity... in my community... maybe we should cut it down the middle and say it's prevalent enough to be concerning? What do you think?
    Last edited by ladyphoenix; April 14th, 2008 at 05:04 AM.
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    CS - Don't let the mocking of Christianity get to you, it has a long history. It is one of those 'crosses' that we were warned we would have to be prepared to bear as followers of Jesus:

    Matthew 27:27-31 (New International Version)

    27Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. 30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

    Luke 23:33-35

    23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
    23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
    23:35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
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    Re: Mocking Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Don't you think it's a bit dishonest to regale KB with ideas and beliefs that he doesn't share? You might as well say "In the past and in the present, your fellow theists have a habit of murdering people who disagree with them. Don't forget that your theist ancestors are rolling over in their graves." Different beliefs are different, Zhavric.
    But if I understand KB's point correctly, he's attempting to show the inherent differences between Islam and Christianity and say one is more prone to violent reaction to offense.

    But if that is his argument, then it is very valid to point out that one religion is in a different situation now than it used to be and the differences are not necessarily in the religions themselves.

 

 
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