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I spent a while thinking (hate-mail)

Published June 14th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

I spent a while thinking of a good reply to this, without sounding like some sort of inbred hick or perhaps maybe to get your attention. However, I realize that there pretty much is no way for that to happen, if you put this in your hate-mail section, I’ll probably be mocked just as much as the next guy, who put the stupid comment about how you could never buy a pirate ship. I’m OK with that, I just wish people will actually think about what I have to say rather then ignorantly mocking what I believe personally. Whatever may happen, I don’t really mind, except that I cannot bring myself to be silent on this issue.

I am a Christian, whatever you may think about me, or absurd assumptions you may have about what I look like, think like, or speak like, realize this, I think all beliefs should be treated with equality. Atheism, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Agonist, Voodoo, whatever, I don’t care, if you believe that you are correct, then you have every right in the world to believe that with all your heart, and nobody should force you to believe what they believe. Now I also believe in open criticism of any of these religions, meaning your Pastafarian view that openly mocks religion. However, it is also my right to criticize the criticism, meaning though while I believe it is your right to mock, harass, and generally make religious persons miserable, I don’t believe it is morally right.

Atheism is a belief just as much as Christianity. Say whatever you want about facts and how religion is stupid and all those who practice it are all idiots, but it still comes down to the fundamental truth that you must believe this to be more true over the other option. I am again, completely fine with that, and that is why I love America so much, because we CAN believe differently then one another, and still live peacefully (to a degree) together. However, mocking is not the right way to go about arguing your belief.
By the way, here is the definition of mocking:

1. Tease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner.

2. Make (something) seem laughably unreal or impossible.

To laugh at someone else’s belief that they dedicate their lives to is not funny or humorous, but I believe is rather childish and immature. This is the main reason why I would much rather sit down calmly with an atheist and have a rational discussion about each other’s beliefs, instead of smacking them in the face with a bible, and shouting how they are going to hell for not believing the undeniable truth that is the bible, or worse, calling their belief idiotic and getting my group of friends together and laughing and pointing in his face.

Of course there are people that do this, hence, you, and there will always be people like you. My job is try to convince you to be rational and discuss each others view points.

I could never put myself in your mindset and read this the same way through your eyes. To you, I just look like another idiot who took this seriously and decided to write a concerned letter and waste his time trying to teach you to be respectful, but the truth is, writing this helps me put my thoughts in order anyways.

If you do have one ounce of thought for my beliefs, at least view this letter with respect, and try to think about what I am thinking when I read this:

http://www.globalone.tv/forum/topics/student-punished-for-spaghetti?groupUrl=flyingspaghettimonster

What I am thinking is that the joke has gone to far. Of course this letter asks for intelligent discussion, and that seems to have never existed in your website, so before I go, let my put it in your language.

Fuck you, and lay off religion asshole.

Sincerely,
Austin



1,848 Responses to “I spent a while thinking (hate-mail)”

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  1. Lucas Adams says:

    Your response was well thought out and conveyed, but in terms of sitting down and discussing religion, at least for me,
    It’s no fun to discuss anymore. Heck, I’m not even an atheist, but more
    Of an agnostic type, so…fuck off and get outta my pasta.

  2. Hannalania Muscharus says:

    Okay, first of all, I admire your respect for other religions; however, where is your respect for this one? Its mandates are very Swiftian and satirical, its beliefs are parody, that’s what this faith is based on. It is not meant to bash any one religion or another, but simply to illustrate the suddenly gone radical battle between science and religion, bringing them together in carbohydrated harmony, complete with a divine set of noodly appendages and sweet sauce smelling like the oatmeal of the forty two seas. :). And if you don’t like this belief system, then why the heck are you on this website to begin with? Leave and be boiled, be gone and He will be watching with his protruding octopi eyeballs.

    P. S.: Its agnosticism not agonists. We are Greek wisdom not inflictions of pain; however the constant questioning of well everything including reality can lead to an occasion madness or attempted suicide. But I guess that is the price of temporary enlightenment. The truth isn’t as bewitching as we would like to believe, is it?

    • Barry says:

      To be fair, ‘agonist’ isn’t really related to agony, though it does sound like it given the context. An agonist is a chemical that binds to receptors of cells, causing responses in the cell in question. Also, the term is used to define a contracting muscle that is resisted or counteracted by another muscle, the antagonist. Just clarifying, my apologies for interrupting or any unintended disrespect.

      Of course, neither of those definitions are appropriate in the original letter unless there’s a church based on the worship of cellular activation that I’m not aware of. Which isn’t impossible, it is the base of all animal life as we know it.

  3. Liam price says:

    Atheism: the LACK ( I want you to pay special attention to that word) of a belief in a god/gods due to a lack of evidence. Therefore and thusly, not a belief

  4. Shannon says:

    “I spent a while thinking of a good reply to this, without sounding like some sort of inbred hick or perhaps maybe to get your attention. Let me put it in your language. Fuck you, and lay off religion asshole.”

    With as many words as he said, this was all that came out.

    I wonder why he thought there was a chance his message wouldn’t go to hate mail…

    • Keith says:

      Sometimes it is easy to abuse people and regard it as “Concerned Criticism”. I’ve done it myself often enough but I would not have wasted so many words in between the premise and the conclusion.

  5. T says:

    Well everything was very pleasant until i read the last statement where you used some vulgar language, that’s very Christian of you.

    However aside from that horrible statement the only part I did not like what when you said “Atheism is a belief just as much as Christianity”

    Atheism is actually the absence of belief, but do not take my word for it look it up.

    Have a wonderful life and i feel sorry that you have become so worked up in a negative manner over someone else’s belief.

    • pete byrdie says:

      I’m going to play devil’s advocate here, and say I don’t think of atheism as some scientific ideal of non-belief in the unproven. Agnosticism is surely a lack of belief, with belief replaced by uncertainty or philosophical query. Surely, atheism is a belief in the non-existence of deity. And, frankly, I don’t care what it says in whatever dictionary you use. Although, I’m beginning to think of “atheism” and “agnosticism” as etymological fossils.

      As for the final obscene parting shot, I think it was Joseph Campbell who said that religion attempts to destroy the human ego (replacing it with a higher motivation) but that it mostly fails, with the individual’s ego expanding to encompass all of its possessor’s religion. A little retaliation to an atheist threat is understandable, but otherwise Austin was pretty even tempered. Atheism doesn’t attempt to destroy the ego. Perhaps we should all be on our guard that we don’t allow ourselves to feel too wounded by the attacks of others.

      • Keith says:

        If you want a reliable dictionary definition of something I would suggest finding out what dictionary the legal profession in your part of the world use. Since it is their job to argue over meanings and ruin peoples lives they would need to have a commonly recognised resource. Of course, if I lived in Texas I would not want to know what a barrister in South Australia uses, due to cultural differences. If I ignored dictionaries altogether and defined things however I wished I could end up insisting that a sandwich is a four wheeled conveyance powered by music.

      • mark says:

        Well said, pete.

      • Rev.Stu says:

        The ego? Atheism doesn’t buckle up its shoes either. It does however deny adequate opportunities to empower the soul. Freud’s id – ego -super ego model was revolutionary but the more modern views within the field of Psychology are more comprehensive. Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” is cool but outdated. I find that while doing my church work, people get upset. There is an emerging human being, a new type of person, a person able to deal with the new realities of life. My grandfather and his entire generation grew up with horses.
        There are more people drawing breath today on Earth than all the people that lived prior to the Civil War. We as a species, even the Fox News watching and MSNBC watching idiots understand that there are very real things that we can’t directly sense; X-rays, radiation, wireless communication signals and the like. Major religions on the planet are increasingly irrelevant, especially the religions of the book. (Judaism, Christianity & Islam) I have honestly told people that I believe what they believe – fervently – and I want nothing to do with it. Salvation sounds like a drag. Obliterated by reunification with the Divine – stepping into the light or lights out when I die, no soul – what difference does it make to me? None. I see no reason to believe in original sin, I didn’t ask Jesus to suffer and die for my sins, not a good idea in my mind. There is no way to the Father except through him, God the F was an asshole with a history of not liking mankind, Jericho, Sodom – The Flood? Thanks but no thanks. No one need ridicule established churches, they will collapse without our help. Lastly, Pope Frank seems to be a great man, however, as he contradicts long held doctrine and practices he is changing the very nature of the Roman Catholic church, moving towards the Episcopalian. How much change can occur before the change is complete? We are well within a new age of prophesy. Emergent religions are popping up around the globe. Like this one.

  6. Pete Byrdie says:

    I’m certainly not suggesting we define things however we wished, especially as a frequent consumer of sandwiches. However, I frequently encounter the argument against atheism that accuses it of merely being a belief, and the attempted rebuttal, often written at least in the style of a dictionary definition, that atheism is a LACK of belief in God or gods. I’m suggesting that to lack a belief in something is an agnostic approach, but to be an atheist is to have a BELIEF in the non-existence of Gods or god. Incidentally, I’ve just plucked The New Little Oxford Dictionary from the dresser (it’s not all that new, it was bought for me in 1988) and it says this;

    atheism – belief that no God exists.

    I’m not trying to attack the principles of atheism here, but if we’re to defend ourselves against the ignorant masses, we must not be ignorant of ourselves, so these questions stand to be raised in open discussion.

    Since this comment has already become an essay, a note on why I feel the word “atheism” is outdated, or at least doesn’t describe me adequately. I suspect that a fair share of Pastafarians come from cultures steeped in religion, and have had to reason their way free from it. I haven’t really. Atheism has been an acceptable choice for me from the beginning, and few Christians make a big show of their faith. In fact, I knew one group of people for years before discovering many of them were churchgoers. As a result, I know many atheists (probably most of the people I know) who simply never took to religion, and believe it’s nonsense. They have beliefs. They might believe in ghosts, they might have logically insupportable political beliefs, or homophobic beliefs. They just believe God doesn’t exist. That, to me, is an atheist. I, on the other hand, can’t claim to KNOW that no god or gods exist, because I have no experience of the non-existence of deity, and I try not to KNOW things based on BELIEF. (I’m assumed there’s no way to italicise on these comments.) So, perhaps I’m agnostic. But, since the existence of gods doesn’t arise logically from scientific method, I’m only agnostic about gods in the way I’m agnostic about griffins living at the bottom of your garden. I don’t KNOW from personal experience, I don’t BELIEVE as an item of faith, I REASON that gods and griffins don’t exist.

    I should probably be putting this on the discussion forum, but I haven’t been able to access it recently.

    • Keith says:

      Since the word “atheos” means “without god” it can, of course, be interpreted in a number of different ways to different people (that’s why I suggested finding a legally recognised definition). I can agree that the word has as much value these days as people talking about “god”, or “christianity” since we are already discussing the options as to what an atheist is. I don’t believe in a god because I have not been convinced of its existence. It is as simple as that. It was a personal choice with me: there was no revelation. I do not assert that there is no god because, as you say, that requires knowledge. Because of that I am an agnostic atheist. I live without the belief (acceptance in its existence is a better term) in a god and at the same time admit that I do not know whether or not a god exists. I am the same about fairies and gryphons, although I think they are far more likely to exist than a god.

  7. Moonbeam says:

    Austin,

    If you really think all beliefs should be treated with equality you are wrong. If you believe the earth is flat the people of the world are going to treat you like a nutcase. Rightfully so.

    Fact of life: all beliefs are not created equal.

    Also thank you for so succinctly rephrasing your point at the end of your post in language I could understand.

    While reading through your note I thought you must have been in a bit of a rush when you wrote it because your grammar is not very good and your logic is a little confusing. Either that or it was written by a blathering Neanderthal.

    Your last sentence cleared up any confusion I had.

  8. c4pN_j4cK says:

    Atheism is a belief system like being vegetarian is a meat selection.

    • Verney says:

      Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair colour.
      “. ” abstainance is a sex position.

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