Author Topic: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.  (Read 875 times)

Offline St Truth (OP)

Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« on: October 01, 2017, 12:07:37 PM »
In a talk by Dawkins, he encouraged people to blaspheme. It's, he said, a victim-less offence.

I agree with him on blasphemy. Blasphemy can be quite delightful and meaningful. Once I went cycling with a friend when a storm suddenly raged. We went to a bus shelter to wait out the storm. As the thunder roared, I started to blaspheme God, Jesus, etc. My friend seemed unperturbed. And then it dawned on me that my target of blasphemy meant nothing to him. He was a Muslim. So I started to blaspheme Allah and Muhammad so badly that I'm sure the cutthroats would have killed me many times over and suicide bombers (if they had known what I said) would have blown themselves up  by the hundreds. My friend suddenly turned pale. Just then there was a loud thunder and I saw that he was shaking. He told me that I would get both of us killed. I asked him why? Is it because Allah drank so much alcohol that he couldn't aim his lightning at me alone and somehow he'd miss me and hit my friend? Or perhaps Allah has Parkinson's Disease? Or perhaps Muhammad was busy buggering Allah? I went on in that vein for a long time. By then, my friend was squatting down and shielding his head with his hands, so sure was he that we'd both be struck by the lightning of Allah. After some time, it became clear that nothing was happening. The rain had stopped and the sun began to peep out of the clouds. As we continued cycling, my friend said to me, 'I wonder if God enjoyed it.' I asked him what was it God enjoyed? His reply stunned me. He said, 'Being buggered by Muhammad'.

You see, what has happened is this - blasphemy has shocked my friend initially into thinking that we'd both be killed by Allah because the blasphemy was quite bad and provocative.  But nothing happened.  There was a novel I once read by a Nobel laureate for literature, Czeslaw Milosz. A few boys stole the Eucharist wafer and took it to the woods. One of them took out a knife and stabbed the wafer. They looked at the clouds expecting lightning to emerge from them. But nothing happened. The fact that nothing happens never fails to explain most eloquently that God or Allah doesn't exist. Somehow this seems more effective than an intellectual argument.

So, blaspheme away. Think of the worst things to say about each God and say it with glee.  The result is always good.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 12:20:26 PM »
In a talk by Dawkins, he encouraged people to blaspheme. It's, he said, a victim-less offence.

I agree with him on blasphemy. Blasphemy can be quite delightful and meaningful. Once I went cycling with a friend when a storm suddenly raged. We went to a bus shelter to wait out the storm. As the thunder roared, I started to blaspheme God, Jesus, etc. My friend seemed unperturbed. And then it dawned on me that my target of blasphemy meant nothing to him. He was a Muslim. So I started to blaspheme Allah and Muhammad so badly that I'm sure the cutthroats would have killed me many times over and suicide bombers (if they had known what I said) would have blown themselves up  by the hundreds. My friend suddenly turned pale. Just then there was a loud thunder and I saw that he was shaking. He told me that I would get both of us killed. I asked him why? Is it because Allah drank so much alcohol that he couldn't aim his lightning at me alone and somehow he'd miss me and hit my friend? Or perhaps Allah has Parkinson's Disease? Or perhaps Muhammad was busy buggering Allah? I went on in that vein for a long time. By then, my friend was squatting down and shielding his head with his hands, so sure was he that we'd both be struck by the lightning of Allah. After some time, it became clear that nothing was happening. The rain had stopped and the sun began to peep out of the clouds. As we continued cycling, my friend said to me, 'I wonder if God enjoyed it.' I asked him what was it God enjoyed? His reply stunned me. He said, 'Being buggered by Muhammad'.

You see, what has happened is this - blasphemy has shocked my friend initially into thinking that we'd both be killed by Allah because the blasphemy was quite bad and provocative.  But nothing happened.  There was a novel I once read by a Nobel laureate for literature, Czeslaw Milosz. A few boys stole the Eucharist wafer and took it to the woods. One of them took out a knife and stabbed the wafer. They looked at the clouds expecting lightning to emerge from them. But nothing happened. The fact that nothing happens never fails to explain most eloquently that God or Allah doesn't exist. Somehow this seems more effective than an intellectual argument.

So, blaspheme away. Think of the worst things to say about each God and say it with glee.  The result is always good.

I smile at the story, understanding it. 

My best friend most of my adult life was Jewish.  Ya gotta have someone, I knew no other atheists, and Jews aren't big on converting. 

But he never quite understood my atheism.  One day, approaching a traffic light, I said "stay green, stay green", and he interpreted that as a sign of prayer.  I tried to disabuse him of the notion saying it was "a hope the random events of the universe would operate in my favor". 

*I* was just hoping the light would stay green long enough to get through it.  And he did contemplate what I meant.  But I suspect he forever after thought it was a prayer because that's what HE understood. 

1.  Is that really what most people are doing when they express a hope that something goes their way?

2.  Can people really be that stupid to think a deity would act on such a minor thing?

I think about that event often because it was so bizarre from my viewpoint.  And, BTW, he is no longer a friend. 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 12:36:07 PM »
In a talk by Dawkins, he encouraged people to blaspheme. It's, he said, a victim-less offence.

I agree with him on blasphemy. Blasphemy can be quite delightful and meaningful.
Yeah, it's good to get over that absurd taboo.  Words don't hurt fictional beings, nor do said beings attempt divine retribution.  That's an important milestone to hit for a person.

But after a while, blasphemy sorta loses its charm.  The next stage is a cold indifference.  It's just not an important enough issue to concern oneself with.  It'd be a completely dead issue if it weren't for believers seeking to harm blasphemers on behalf of their cosmic overlord's feelings.  Wow, that's a strange sentence to write, though I suppose we live on a strange planet.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 12:40:32 PM »
Yeah, it's good to get over that absurd taboo.  Words don't hurt fictional beings, nor do said beings attempt divine retribution.  That's an important milestone to hit for a person.

But after a while, blasphemy sorta loses its charm.  The next stage is a cold indifference.  It's just not an important enough issue to concern oneself with.  It'd be a completely dead issue if it weren't for believers seeking to harm blasphemers on behalf of their cosmic overlord's feelings.  Wow, that's a strange sentence to write, though I suppose we live on a strange planet.

Yeah, you know you are over religion when you get a splinter or stub a toe and it changes from "goddammit" to "oh crap"...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2017, 12:55:11 PM »
I still use religious language from time to time.  Force of habit.

The difference now is that it's all 100% figurative, the literal meaning is practically unthinkable.  "God damn it" is just a fancy way of expressing frustration, not literally asking for a divine curse on something.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2017, 01:04:16 PM »
I still use religious language from time to time.  Force of habit.

The difference now is that it's all 100% figurative, the literal meaning is practically unthinkable.  "God damn it" is just a fancy way of expressing frustration, not literally asking for a divine curse on something.

Same here.  But try to convince a theist acquaintance of that!  LOL!
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Baruch

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2017, 02:25:22 PM »
Cavebear - "a hope the random events of the universe would operate in my favor"

You were or are, a cultural Pagan.  You believe in fate, luck, goddess Fortuna, goddess Tyche, goddess Tanit (all goddesses of business people).  Nothing wrong with that, just don't sacrifice any of your cats on your pagan altar ... it would make me sad.  Gamblers and businessmen take risks (ship grain in ancient times from Tyre to Alexandria).  This is why business insurance was invented in Holland 400 years ago, to spread the risk, to goose goddess Fortuna.  Also "caveat emptor" ... Hermes/Mercury wasn't the god of travelers and thieves for nothing.

Perhaps most Christians 1600 years ago were cultural Christians.  They didn't convert ... their Emperor or king did it for them.  They weren't expected to agree, just obey.  Personal conversion didn't happen until the Reformation, and then only with some Protestant churches (the ones that are closet Catholic, like the Anglican, aren't Evangelical).
שלום

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 04:16:20 PM »
So, blaspheme away. Think of the worst things to say about each God and say it with glee.  The result is always good.

There's a blasphemy challenge on You Tube, from more than a decade ago:



I blaspheme every chance I get.


« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 04:21:16 PM by Unbeliever »
God Not Found
“Money supplants skill; it's possession allows us to become happily stupid.”
Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

Offline trdsf

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 04:25:37 PM »
I try to avoid god language when I talk -- but when I lose my temper or get startled into an exclamation, I do fall back on the old standbys, starting with "goddammit!" and rapidly ascending the scale until I get to "Jesus H motherfucking Christ on a popsicle stick!"
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Offline St Truth (OP)

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 07:32:17 PM »
I try to avoid god language when I talk -- but when I lose my temper or get startled into an exclamation, I do fall back on the old standbys, starting with "goddammit!" and rapidly ascending the scale until I get to "Jesus H motherfucking Christ on a popsicle stick!"

Does the H stand for Holy?

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 07:51:14 PM »
Doesn't the H stand for Jesus' middle name, Hogan? Or is it Hortense?
God Not Found
“Money supplants skill; it's possession allows us to become happily stupid.”
Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

Offline St Truth (OP)

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 08:24:16 PM »
Doesn't the H stand for Jesus' middle name, Hogan? Or is it Hortense?

Good Lord! You are wrong. Don't you know your theology? It's not Hogan or Hortense.  It's 'Humbug'.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2017, 03:13:30 AM »
Good Lord! You are wrong. Don't you know your theology? It's not Hogan or Hortense.  It's 'Humbug'.

From Wikipedia, "the most widely accepted derivation is from the divine monogram of Christian symbolism. The symbol, derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ), is transliterated iota-eta-sigma, which can look like IHS, ΙΗϹ (with lunate sigma), JHS or JHC "

Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline trdsf

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2017, 09:55:55 AM »
Does the H stand for Holy?
It stands for Harold.  As in "Our father, who art in heaven, Harold be thy name..."
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Offline pr126

Re: Blasphemy doeth good like a medicine.
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2017, 09:59:37 AM »
Blasphemy is a victimless crime. :=)
“True Ignorance is not the absence of knowledge but the refusal to acquire it.” - Karl Popper