Complaints and Confusion, Hate Mail page 477

http://normalbobsmith.com/hatemail477.html
Every so often I post a page of hate mail that involves no hate, hardly any complaining, and mostly just confusion. Confused people messily attempting to sort out whatever’s going on in their head. It’s hard for me to keep myself from wanting to sort everything out myself and scold everyone for not keeping up with the rest of the class. This is one of those pages.

14 thoughts on “Complaints and Confusion, Hate Mail page 477

  1. Gilgamesh

    Remarks on two of the statements Darren Jones wrote in his emails.

    “The Light is about 12 feet tall from the “floor.” it is really bright, it has a golden hue, and glows, and lights up the area around it. It is actually a crystalline based sophisticated computer system. It resides in the 4th dimension, you will never see it unless you are “dead.””

    This description sounds like Mr. Jones fell asleep during a Star Trek, TNG, episode.

    “Science has nothing in its findings that can predict living systems will possess consciousness. There is no way to measure this, and without measure, a scientist is lost, and cannot define a thing. Consciousness seems to be above and beyond the basic material construction of carbon based physical bodies.”

    It would be interesting to see Mr. Jones’ reference for this statement. I would think Daniel Dennett, B.J. Baars, Susan Blackmore, David Chalmers and many more scientists would be surprised to hear it.

    I would suggest Darren Jones keep Occam’s Razor foremost in his mental toolbox.

  2. Gilgamesh

    I apologize for my mess. If I had to xhtml code to save my life, I would be in trouble.

    This may be clearer:

    Remarks on two of the statements Darren Jones wrote in his emails.

    “The Light is about 12 feet tall from the “floor.” it is really bright, it has a golden hue, and glows, and lights up the area around it. It is actually a crystalline based sophisticated computer system. It resides in the 4th dimension, you will never see it unless you are “dead.””

    This description sounds like Mr. Jones fell asleep during a Star Trek, TNG, episode.

    “Science has nothing in its findings that can predict living systems will possess consciousness. There is no way to measure this, and without measure, a scientist is lost, and cannot define a thing. Consciousness seems to be above and beyond the basic material construction of carbon based physical bodies.”

    It would be interesting to see Mr. Jones’ reference for this statement. I would think Daniel Dennett, B.J. Baars, Susan Blackmore, David Chalmers and many more scientists would be surprised to hear it.

    I would suggest Darren Jones keep Occam’s Razor foremost in his mental toolbox.

  3. Ed

    God forbid Adam and Eve from eating of the Tree of Knowledge, the intention (obviously) being for them to remain IGNORANT.

    Nothing has changed in Christianity since then.

  4. Aaron

    Re: Adam and Eve

    Something that I have yet to see come up in an argument (although I may just not be looking hard enough):-

    By eating from the tree of knowledge, Adam and Eve then knew the difference between right and wrong.
    So this would mean that when they actually chose to listen to the talking snake and eat from the tree, they had no idea about right or wrong, so presumably had no idea that ignoring Gods command was really such a big deal, yet they were still punished.
    They didnt even know what “wrong” was, seems a bit unfair to me

  5. Ed

    @Aaron

    Right, and this also lends to the point that this God really couldn’t have been so omnipotent and all knowing, because if that were the case, then that would mean he placed that tree and Satan just the way they were intentionally, and told Adam and Eve not to eat of it knowing full well what the outcome would be

    Then when he gets his expected result, he goes on his trademark petty temper tantrum and exiles Humanity from Paradise, labels us all sinners, damns us to suffer as long as we live, and demands the blood of the animals he created to be sacrificed… to please himself. What the fuck.

    So basically this God creates this system where we will always be self defeating, and the only way to salvation is if we waste our lives devoting it to thin air, because he can’t be assed to come down and settle the score once and for all as far as who or what is the “real” God.

    Or even provide us with some form of Proof beyond doubt… no, you just gotta have faith. don’t worry, it’s there.

  6. JanusKastin

    @Ed

    You’ve pretty much summed up the exact reasoning I went through to determine that the Garden of Eden scenario is either A) a self-serving fabrication to explain away the obvious problems of the idea that an all-powerful, all-knowing god is actually in charge, or B) if true, evidence that this god I’m asked to worship is at best irresponsible and at worst so obnoxious that he doesn’t deserve worship.
    Using Occam’s Razor, I tend to go with A.

  7. Steven Bently

    Well supposedly way long before that, god supposedly kicked Satan and his angels out of heaven, already knowing what the evil being that he-himself had created and was capable of doing, and knowing that Satan was lurking around on earth somewhere wanting upset god’s plans. Then he creates lesser beings and puts them on a planet already infiltrated with wiser influential evil beings and then scratches his head and wonders what went wrong and then punishes all of humanity for his own stupidity.

    Of course all that was written by the notion that the earth was the only planet and was flat and a god lived in the clouds above and all that got slipped around when god was busy taking a crap.

  8. Gilgamesh

    Whats with all this devil talk?

    Just kidding. After reading Elaine Pagels’ book; “The Origin of Satan”, it became even more clear the bible is a hodge podge of disconnected stories, written by numerous people for varied reasons, lacking any resemblance of logical flow.

    Pagels, a well thought of theological scholar, explains how Satan never became ‘the bad guy’ until early Christians needed a method to scare the living bejesus into people to keep them in line.

    In early Jewish history, Satan was not an entity, but a title; as in ‘The Satan.’ The Satan’s role (in theology) was to keep Yahweh honest. To keep Yahweh from being too hubristic, too full of himself. Look at the role The Satan plays in the story of Job. Yahweh gets all puffed up about how Job would continue to kiss Yahweh’s all powerful ass regardless of Job’s circumstances. The Satan challenges Yahweh on it and Job’s period of horrendous torture/loss/pain/despondency begins. Yahweh would do all that to one of its creations to prove a point to one of his sidekicks. I wonder how bad it would have been if Yahweh wasn’t a deity of love?

    At the end of the story Job is given his health, land and holdings back along with a new wife and family. There is nothing said about Job’s original family who was so horribly murdered by his deity. Yahweh must look upon humans as pretty much interchangeable.

    At the end of the story, Job develops the testicles to ask the deity, whom Job had continued to prostrate himself to, despite Yahweh’s demented, sadistic, and capricious torture. Job asks: “Whats up with this shit?” Yahweh’s reply was: (to paraphrase) “Shutest thou up, I am the head cheese. I invented good and evil. You are mine to dick with as I please.”

    If Satan is Yahweh’s bud during the time of the Book of Job, why was Satan playing the evil despoiler of Yahweh’s plans in the Book of Genesis? Presumably the later precedes the former. That is a question I would like a Christian to explain to me. Using time-flows in alternate dimensions, worm holes in space and the old stand-by; the mystery of god, will not be allowed.

  9. Martano666

    Well, once again, I am baffled. This fellow ‘Jay’ is an atheist? Or atleast, not religious. Now, even though he is sitting at a computer, and has every opportunity to ‘wait’ before sending in stupid questions, he doesn’t. How can people be this intellectually shallow? How? From my perspective, a ‘normal’ person, would actually think about questions for a moment and try to answer the question themself before asking someone else. Yet here is Jay, no thought required, just go ahead and ask the dumbest question you can think up.
    “What if?”
    The very same person that has no problem dismissing all non-biblical gods, and doesn’t bother to ask the “what if ” question in regards to those gods, but seems to think he is extremely clever and has pinned Bob in a corner by asking him the big “what if “.
    I am now convinced that everyone who has EVER sent Bob hate mail has NEVER been involved in or even watched or read ANY sort of debate in relation to religious discussion. The questions asked are almost ALWAYS of the most amateur nature and can be answered by even the newest debaters out there.

  10. Luca

    Really really good that conversation with Jay. It’s a nice change from the usual hate mail to have someone with such an open mind.
    His willingness to listen I reckon puts him on course to developing a good mind.
    Nice one Bob, your providing a great service!

  11. Hellbound Alleee

    I’m with the first poster, especially for mentioning Susan Blackmore, who wrote a really amazing book on NDE’s.

    Has everyone seen the entry in the Skeptic’s Dictionary on NDE’s? If not, please read it. It’s mighty informative.

    http://www.skepdic.com/nde.html

    I learned on Stephen Fry’s gameshow that hospitals in Britain are placing significant objects on the tops of the cupboards in hopes that one day, a patient who “hovered above the body” can report on such an object. One contestant suggested that the object should be “a twenty-pound note.”

  12. Elvie

    After life consequences are scare tactis. A way to maintain dominance and not be challenged at all by reality. That is why it should be set aside, much more be eradicated to the point where it can no longer be used to measure human beings. Jay is headed that way and that is good!

  13. David B.

    Re. Kevin Barnes’ mail (sidebar).

    I recently saw a video prank where the hosts stood a ‘creepy child’ just round the corner in a hotel corridor. You probably know the type, girl, dressed in white, silent, long dark hair combed over face. Very ‘Grudge’.

    The supposed humour came from people’s reactions. Some screamed and ran back the way they came, some edged skittishly round her, and one woman even tried to attack her (fortunately the film crew intervened). It was noticable that no-one stopped and asked if she was okay. Now maybe they all ended up on the cutting room floor, but if I came across a incongruously placed child in a hotel, my first thought wouldn’t be that she was a vengeful spirit come to drag me to hell, but that she may be locked out, or lost, or perhaps even in shock.

    That someone’s first thought would be to attack a passive child because she looks a bit like a cinematic ghost just shows why belief in the supernatural is a harmful delusion. I’m fine with something being unexplained, but once you start jumping to supernatural conclusions, you open the door to some wildly ignorant and inappropriate reactions.

  14. The Praying Atheist

    Thanks for this one! And you’re right, it’s certainly more appalling than funny…

    For those who’d like to see it, the clip is on YouTube (in Portuguese): simply search for “O teste do medo” (Test of fear); should be the first result.

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