Before we get to Joss, does Norm McDonald believe in God? Hmmmm. Can’t tell. He only admitted to being religious. Nobody’s more religiously fanatical than Global Warmists, and they don’t all think that Gaea is literally alive.
Anyway, behold the epic religious “point/counterpoint” that ensued!
(Atheist) You are a fellow Canuck, your brother works for the ?#CBC, you cant be religious!
MacDonald responded: Of course I am. Most people are.
One atheist tweeted: Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to this planet.
MacDonald: That’s about as stupid a comment as I’ve ever heard
Another atheist: Religion has also caused more human deaths than any one thing ever.
MacDonald: Nonsense. Heart disease. You cannot be that stupid. It is impossible. Must be joking.
Even after other fans of Macdonald defended him, he backed away this morning.
Man. Just…man. Nobody comes out looking good, do they? One of the three atheists did try logic: “Canadian nationality plus media-employed brother equals you can’t be religious!” The other two go with accusations so old and predictable that parrots and myna birds couldn’t choke them out.
Whereupon, MacDonald acts as if he’s never heard them before. Is that possible? At first I thought this was a masterpiece of baiting. “Nonsense. Heart disease.” I was waiting for “you’re saying religion is worse than reality television?! Ha ha! Pull the other one!”
But no. Atheists kept pelting him with mockery and, being a puny social animal, he broke under it. Bah. That’s so pathetic. So now part of me hopes Norm isn’t a deist, and most especially isn’t a Christian. Which is terrible, of course. But embarrassing allies are much more troubling than exemplary opponents.
Unlike Norm MacDonald, Joss Whedon isn’t embarrassed or lukewarm about his cause, and human beings would love him on their side. I wouldn’t, obviously, but I still appreciate his storytelling. The Avengers was awesome entertainment. I wonder if you agree with me, as to its most surprising moment?
That actually startled me in the theater. It’s one thing to refrain from insulting Christians. Most…well, much…of Hollywood does that. Well…some. Some of Hollywood doesn’t spit contempt at millions of potential customers. Whedon is among that tolerant minority. He obviously doesn’t care for religion, but can see the good in people who do.
But it’s one thing to be respectful of a faith you don’t share, it’s quite another to give it a Moment of Awesome. Which is what startled me in that scene. Monotheism, “God”, got a Moment of Awesome. It was a perfect line with a perfect setup in a perfect setting by the perfect speaker.
So Sunday I watched the Avengers again, while running Whedon’s commentary. I was pretty sure Whedon’s an atheist (again, this being a major clue) and I also knew, just knew, that he would talk about that “only one God” moment. It’s just so darn far out of Hollywood’s comfort zone.
And yep, Joss is not lukewarm. He took pains to point out that Captain America was only sharing Captain America’s belief, not the director’s. Whedon actually interrupted himself while claiming to be an atheist, to fervently proclaim himself an avowed atheist.
You see the difference between Whedon and MacDonald? It’s lukewarmity. Lukewarmish…ness? Commitment, then. One is “religious”, the other is an avowed atheist. An avowed atheist.
That phrase! It’s driving me mad! Mad! Mad!!
What does an atheist swear to?
Him or her self, of course…
Ah yes! Shades of George Burns in Oh, God!
Among the many problems of religious discussion in today’s world; “Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to this planet.”
Who would want to be in a discussion where your interlocutor advances such a statement? And you actually have to respond to it?
But to be honest, in my long, unhappy experience of Internet religious discussion (not talking about here) I’ve found I can have really neat discussions with “good faith” atheists or different-faith individuals that are usually fouled up when some Christian comes in with the “Sorry, but you’re not really Christian unless you hold to my particular and wildly idiosyncratic interpretation of the bible.” The discussion might have been about God or morality or philosophy or teleology or something, with some wholesome give and take on both sides, and then it’s totally derailed, and you just throw up your hands, with theism in general and Christianity in particular having been totally discredited by one of it’s ever ardent defenders.
“Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to this planet.”
Technically that’s not untrue. You have to consider that socialism is also a religion. It centers around total worship of the state. So yeah, considering how many people the socialist religion has slaughtered, that saying holds a certain truth. And let’s not forget that the socialists were the only ones who practiced genocide (together with the mohammedans, of course.)
Christians, Jews? Never really did that, in the case of the Christians it was usually more accidental (as seen, for example, how European diseases killed a lot of American Indians, but that wasn’t planned, they had no idea about infection chains and bacteria.) Hindus? Nope. Buddhists? Nope.
Statements like that quote are why I can’t talk with people. Religion isn’t a method of murder, it’s a (potential) motive for murder. If motive is worse than method, then heck, let’s just exchange “philosophy” for “religion”. Now we haven’t just defined the “worst thing”. We’ve pinpointed the only bad thing.
Also, let me plop in the standard caveat that “Christian” and “self-proclaimed Christian” are two different things. A faithful Christian is exactly as dangerous as a devout Buddhist, and for the exact same reason.
Standard strategy of the usual suspects: focus on the one bad thing and hype it to high heavens.
We can see it alive in the US right now. One guy shoots people with an AR15. Now all people who own AR15s are evil. Classic strategy.
But yes, you’re right. A faithful Christian is exactly as dangerous as a devout Buddhist, and for the exact same reason.
What Worme said, and also 1) one has no idea what “the world” would be like without “religion” (two wildly out of control terms) so who knows what net effects (positive and negative) “religion” has introduced to it? 2) kind of the same thing, but, the statement assumes humans were chugging along pretty good until religion came along and fouled things up, but I assume (without really knowing for sure) that religion co-evolved with humans–or in other words that you can’t really have a human properly speaking until you have a religion sense, which is part of the hominization process. It’s only later when society seems safe enough to enfold and protect an individual that he or she can pretend they were doing just fine without religion and never really needed it. To me, it’s like saying “Language is the worst thing to happen to the world. We’d be doing pretty good if we didn’t have that awful language thing.” Maybe you would, but you wouldn’t be human. You’d be something else. 3) The same thing Worme said, but “religion” finally just comes to means a belief about something, a philosophy. Everyone is “religious” in this sense except the most brutal, barbaric, unthinking, amoral being. So the statement just has layers and layers of error.
Going further on what Edo said, one could argue that Socialism/Marxism is specifically a Judeo-Christian heresy, a distorted form of Judaism and Christianity. So, sure, Judaism and Christianity are “responsible” for Marxism the same way they are “responsible” for Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate. I think you could make a pretty strong case for that, such as it is. Especially looking at things like the Taiping Rebellion, which inspired Sun Yat-sen and through him Mao Zedong.
In this sense, the bible itself teaches that Christianity is the worst thing to happen to the world in the sense that the “anti-Christ” is a photographic negative of Christianity, hence a copy. If there were no Christianity, there’d be no “anti” Christianity.
Really the focus you guys are talking about is the childish desire, that all humans have on some level, to be the center of the universe: Anthropocentrism.
Religions were an excuse in their primitive phase to claim man as the center of the universe. While they paid lip service to God the religions actually focused on man’s special role; his special role and its proper management being the key to the church’s power over men.
As the sciences evolved in the west, and the religions adapted to the changing facts, man was demoted from central to potentially accidental.
For so many people, the loss of imagined centrality is terrifying. They looked for other means to fill it in. The state is one, environmentalism of course, and extreme atheism is another.
Really in the end, they all DO focus on the same childish objective: Claiming a magic purpose/provenance for man, and in so doing, themselves. And they lash out when someone disagrees because of the same primal fear; that they aren’t central; that they aren’t critical.
Well, a few years ago I was asked something like that.
“What do you believe in?”
So I pulled my coat to the side, revealed my Glock, and said “Ammunition”
Let me tell you, those JWs, I haven’t seen them ever since.
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