Ok, here’s the thing

Published October 30th, 2009 by Bobby Henderson

This was sent in response to pastafarian responses from earlier hatemail/concerned criticism post.

Ok, here’s the thing. You set up a website with a place for responses. Your website takes a clearly mocking tone toward religion in general. You gather a bunch of members who agree with you and assert your scientific superiority. All that’s fine. Indeed, I’d say its even American. The thing that disturbs me is when people begin to question the RIGHT of people to “insult us, or. . . pray for us.”

That right is recorded somewhere in some dusty piece of paper – let me think . . . where could it be –
that has worked out well for us all for quite a while.

The thing that turns me off, though, and weakens your position most, is that most of you are just mean. I wouldn’t want just to hang out with you at a bar or anywhere else, because your arguments primarily seem to consist of making fun of people. Indeed, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is pretty much one big Ad Hominem argument. It adds nothing to a discussion of the validity of faith, because it is not about faith. (The person who writes that they “believe” in Atheism I’ll give a pass to on this comment.)

Even if Katie is condescending, your responses are more so. It is the lack of love that makes me question your entire premise. Indeed, your definition of hate is awfully broad. It sounds, how shall I put it, downright religious. Even if we live in a Foucaldian world in which our choices are driven by zeitgeist and social darwinism, I personally am going to choose to reject that. I will defiantly assert that even in that world, Faith is still relevant (and if you read his last interviews, I think Michel might agree).

Even if God were not true, I think I’ll still take Katie, who clearly has concern for you (even if you think it is misguided) over you guys who are interested in intellectually crushing her. Just because you have a right to speak doesn’t mean that Katie shouldn’t, and you certainly “have no right” to expect most people who respond to like you if you are going to beat on them.

Take a real philosophical position that can be debated and we’ll talk. Claiming that principles are “generally accepted” won’t do it, and don’t even begin to bring “peer review” in to support claims of truth, because “peer review”, even at its best, isn’t about truth – it’s about methodology and rhetoric.

Otherwise, quit wasting my time.

P.S. Has anyone here actually honestly asked God whether He exists? Just curious as to whether this is an intellectually honest forum or an ideologically rigid one.

-Jeremy



201 Responses to “Ok, here’s the thing”

  1. Pythonist says:

    I’ve been worrying about this too…

    A lot of the response to the hate mail is often as spite filled and angry. Even though a lot of us aren’t religious, don’t agree with it, or are outright opposed to it, we need to actually be civil.

    “The thing that turns me off, though, and weakens your position most, is that most of you are just mean”
    - this is our main weakness, how is anyone going to take us seriously if all we do is abuse those who try to disagree with us?

    I think that some of us on this site are hypocritical and immature. While a bit of immaturity* might be ok on the forum, or in friendly discussion (or if you’re too young to know better), we all just tend to attack the Hate Mailers’ grammar as well whatever religious stereotype we decide they are in (and that’s without pointing out the rediculously badly spelt and CAPS LOCK ridden posts from those who are devout Pastafarians).

    I accept that a lot of the people who post angry letters to Bobby (may his plate never be bare) are ignorant and unaware of even the concept of satire, but NOT ALL, if any, of them (such as Jeremy here who obviously has a sound, mature outlook on life) are actually not the human manifestation of the bible-thumping, right-wing, red-necked, pig-ignorant stereotype.

    If we’re going to discuss something as important and serious as religion we should have a mature, sensible, open-minded attitude as opposed to the cheap, juvenile point scoring and the Dawkins-esque, furious, “you are all completely wrong and that is 100% positive you ignorant fools” attitude. Isn’t one of the main things about Pastafarianism open-mindedness and the rejection of such dogmatic mindsets.

    I do think though that there are a number of the Hate mailers, however, who are completely oblivious to other points of view and are totally ignorant of the views and thoughts as others. If all you are going to do is mock us, get lost until you come back with some insightful criticism.
    I will be waiting eagerly with open ears… i love to have my beliefs questioned, it makes me think and second guess myself; something which there cannot be enough of.

    I, personally, am fed up of the way people try to shove their beliefs down others throats* and i aknowledge that the religious have a (partly earned) reputation for that. A great number of athiests/agnostics do not want to see religion wiped off the face of the earth per se, the only thing they wish for is to be left alone to believe what they want. Isn’t it the ultimate hypocracy/betrayal of these people that we spend all of our time bashing Christians, battering them with our ideals and not properly countering their arguments.

    That is not to say we are all like those i have been ranting about, that would be completely wrong. As in many things it is the annoying minority who ruin it for most.

    Naive though it sounds, can’t we just be nice to each other and accept our differences in beliefs as long as we don’t use them to harm or annoy others…

    Nice, well thought out stuff Jeremy…
    I have to say i disagree with you on a couple of points like faith being necessary; things only become necessary because we make them so. I agree with you that peer reviewing is not perfect, as your just bouncing ideas of someone who is of a similar scientific minset, but it’s the best we’ve got.
    Yes, I have asked God if he existed…it was back when i was still a Christian, towards the end of my belief, when i was more trying to scare myself into faith it than everything else, i was scared of the possibility of there being either nothing or the haunting possibility of me going to Hell. that was only a month or two i came out of religious denial and embraced agnosticism.
    I’m still waiting for Him to reply by the way… He said He was going to come back at some point but He didn’t give us a date…

    How rude!

    P.S. i’m expecting to get slaughtered over this comment.
    P.P.S. if anyone wants to discuss any of this set up a topic on the forum or PM me on it through the forum.
    P.P.P.S Yes I know that this is naive, but shouldn’t we strive for harmony, impossible it seem.
    P.P.P.P.S. Ni!

    -Pythonist

    *I know that may seem hypocritical in a comment like this but i’m just trying to present an enlightening viewpoint on our actions

  2. Wendy says:

    “Just because you have a right to speak doesn’t mean that Katie shouldn’t”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    “because “peer review”, even at its best, isn’t about truth – it’s about methodology and rhetoric”

    I couldn’t disagree more.

    “Has anyone here actually honestly asked God whether He exists?”

    Me, on many occasions, to any god in general, as well as the God of Abraham in specific. I received no response. I have also read the Bible, the Koran, the Hadith, and the Bhagavad Gita, all with an open heart and from an unbiased viewpoint. They were unconvincing. I’ve never even had a ghostly experience of any kind… If there is a spirit world, I assure you, it has no interest in me.

    I will remain an atheist until further evidence presents itself.

  3. econ says:

    I asked if god exists. She said “No.”

  4. Anthony says:

    Jeremy, I only need to respond to your post script.

    If I “ask god” if he she it exists, and I get no response, what does that logically mean?????? Keep in mind that this “diety” is all knowing all seeing and all powerful. And I get no response. None. Not a peep. What should I, as a thinking rational person conclude?

    And please spare me the “subtle signs” idea. This is the grand controler of the cosmos we are theorizing about here. If such a being exists, and wants me to believe, this “all powerful” being should be able to provide sufficient evidence. Not a leaf falling or a bird flying or other mysterious “signs”.

    To give you an analogy. Lets say you got puled over, and the cop asked for your ID. And you proceeded scribble down your name address and phone number, along with a doodle of your likeness; Should the cop accept that as legit?

    Come on man. People ask for evidence; no response from sky daddy; what should we conclude??

  5. darkstar says:

    “P.S. Has anyone here actually honestly asked God whether He exists? Just curious as to whether this is an intellectually honest forum or an ideologically rigid one.”

    Hello god? Are you there? Are you real? Do you exist? Hello?

    (no answer)

    (still no answer)

    (still waiting…)

    (waiting……)

    (zzzzzzzz)

    Oops! Sorry, I dozed off.

    (still waiting…..)

    (waiting….)

    (waiting…………)

    (still no answer….)

    hmmmmm….I was intellectually honest and asked a legitimate question liked you suggested. I did not hear one single response from Yahweh, Jesus, Zeus, Osiris, Mithra, Krishna, Trimuti, Vishnu, Shiva, Brahman, Apollo, Thor, Odin, Allah, or from any of the other thousands of deities that have ever been worshipped by man. And, alas, I hate to admit it, but I didn’t even get a response from our beloved Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    I guess I just wasn’t intellectually honest enough and have consulted way to many peer-reviewed journal containing scientific fact and methodology, instead of simply feeling the love oozing out of my pores because I have “generally accepted” my lord ssavior into my heart.

    It is you sir and your worthless diatribe that is wasting MY time.

    “Even if we live in a Foucaldian world in which our choices are driven by zeitgeist and social darwinism, I personally am going to choose to reject that.”

    DECODED: I don’t care what reality has to say about itself – I am going to believe simply what I want to believe and how I want to believe. I’m shutting my eyes and plugging up my ears. I’m not listening. LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA !!!!!

  6. Marnie says:

    Sqeee! So much to work with. Aren’t you just full of faulty logic

    The thing that disturbs me is when people begin to question the RIGHT of people to “insult us, or. . . pray for us.”

    Oh you have the right, just like I have the right to hope you are touched by his noodily appendage or the right to wish that Ganesha will protect you. But since you believe in neither the FSM nor Ganesha, you probably feel pretty unmoved by the gesture.

    most of you are just mean. I wouldn’t want just to hang out with you at a bar or anywhere else, because your arguments primarily seem to consist of making fun of people.

    [insert shifty eyes] you might never know where we are. We could be ANYWHERE. What if you’ve already talked to one of us in a bar? Does it make you feel a little dirty? I, for one, don’t express my personal views on the universe unless directly approached on it and pushed for details. If we’re in a bar and you decide to show me the way to jesus, then you are the one being rude, not me for letting you know I disagree.

    It is the lack of love that makes me question your entire premise.

    And what do you think of the folks who tell us to eff off? You like them better too?

    Even if God were not true, I think I’ll still take Katie, who clearly has concern for you (even if you think it is misguided) over you guys who are interested in intellectually crushing her.

    But I am concerned for her. I hope she and you all find the inner light cast by his most carbohydrated self. And some day, we might even drink from the same beer volcano in heaven.

    Take a real philosophical position that can be debated and we’ll talk.

    My philosophical view is that every single religion ever conceived by man has an equal likelihood of being true. Since all the gods seem to be jealous, choosing one is pretty much damning you for all the others. If there is a god, it’ll be better to believe in none than to pick a side. And if you only do good because you think someone is watching you, then you are not a very sincerely good person. I have only this lifetime to work with, wasting it worrying about an afterlife isn’t a very good use of that time.

    Has anyone here actually honestly asked God whether He exists?

    That’s cute. Have you talked to the easter bunny or the tooth fairy about their existence? How does one ask something if it exists if one doesn’t believe it is there?

  7. Ron says:

    Well, Jeremy, you certainly put forward some points worth addressing; but you still aren’t getting the full picture for some reason. Let me tak a crack at this, OK?

    – The overall tone of this entire website is ‘mocking’. It’s intent is satire, after all. Materials found here, both as part of the site and by random posters such as myself, generally aim at least an occasional dig at whatever they’re talking about. We mock ourselves. We mock arts and crafts. We mock current events. We mock politicians.
    Sometimes we mock the politicians a lot.
    What I’m trying to say, here, is that nobody’s trying to single religion out for mockery. It’s just a mocking kind of place.

    – While I haven’t read everything on this site, I still browse things fairly frequently. Overall, I don’t recall anybody here challenging people’s right to insult them….. except for the occasional hate-mailer. As for the praying thing, some people here don’t like being prayed at. This especially seems to be true when certain hate-mailers use phrases like ‘I’ll pray for you’ as stand ins for ‘F**k you and everyone who looks like you with a chainsaw covered with blood and feces, jammed in sideways with no lube’. I know it puts me off.

    – You mean the US Constitution? Same thing that separates church and state? Glad it’s been working for you, kid.
    Me, I’m Canadian. Go figure.

    – I freely grant you, some of the people here can be mean. Some of them put me off, too. Still, it’s pretty much inevitable that a site dedicated to challenging ID and it’s spin-offs is going to attract people who have a problem with religion in general; and that some of them are going to have trouble being tactful about it. A few rude posters don’t equal everyone here, though; and certainly can’t be assumed to speak for the site. You shouldn’t generalize from a small sample.
    You are correct, though, that none of it addresses the question of the validity of faith. That’s because nobody is questioning the validity of faith. Just because a few of the more rabid posters like taking potshots at specific institutions doesn’t mean that faith’ is in the cross hairs; and certainly doesn’t imply policy on the part of the site as a whole. Don’t confuse the things you worry about with the things we’re talking about. It shows you’re not paying attention.

    – Hmmm. The last 2/3 of you letter ramble all over the place, so I’ll just quickly sum up:
    — I would prefer it if people held themselves to a higher standard than ‘they’re dicks, too’.
    — Faith is always relevant. That doesn’t make it _logical_.
    — I don’t expect hate-mailer to like me. For that matter, I don’t expect most people to like me. I think a lot of people are with me, on this.
    — OK…. “ID isn’t science, doesn’t work like science, and shouldn’t be taught as science’. Talk away, Jeremy.
    — Yes, I have, on many occasions. No answer yet. I have a sneaking suspicion that, when I die, somebody’s going to meet me, slap me on the back, and shout ‘Gotcha!’.
    I just can’t _prove_ it.

    Ron.

  8. BlackBard says:

    Ok, Here’s the thing, Jeremy. I consider it rather presumptive for people to automatically assume that I believe the same myths they do. I am not insulted if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, or whatever, but I do not appreciate it if they approach me as if they must “save” me from damnation just because they think they have it right about “god” and I don’t.

    This is just as inappropriate as when someone tells me an offensive ethnic or racial “joke” while assuming I subscribe to the same prejudices they do.

    As for your worry that anyone here is wasting your time, it is you, yourself, who responsible for how you spend your time. If you think your time is wasted at this web site, I recommend you go somewhere else.

    Finally, to your question, “Has anyone here actually honestly asked God whether He exists?” There may be at least two answers to your question.

    1. Some would say that it is impossible to ask a question of (much less receive an answer from) an entity that does not exist.

    2. I assure you that, if you read responses to any number of the hate mails we get here, you will find that many people have asked that very question, but have never received an answer.

    I hope you find this response to your liking, as I would not want to offend you further.

    RAmen

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