Fox News Parodies

The webcomic that hates you secretly, and for good reason.

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Postby SBernard81 on Mon Aug 25, 2003 9:45 am

Hey, how do you guys get the people's names in the quotes, by the way? I wish I knew how. Oh well.
I'd make some sort of comparison to not blaming all religion for those religions based on made up crap, but, erm.... I'm havin' a bit of difficulty.

Then I'll make the comparison for you. Blaming all religions for Scientology and the other ridiculous spiritual strawmen is like blaming science for all psuedosciences and false ideas, like magnetic bracelets that "polarize your cells and make you stronger," or chiropractices like "applied kinesiology." I do see what you are saying, I really do. Science has had just as many bad seeds over the last century as religion has had in human history!

However, I would argue that, where the breaking point comes, is that, while science is of course outnumbered by it's scam-artist step-children, it is possible to seperate science from psuedoscience easily. One simple question does it, as a matter of fact. "Do double-blind scientific experiments produce the proper data?" If the answer is yes, you've got real science on your hands. If the answer is no, you have another idiot selling magnetic bracelets.

There is no such question to ask about religions. While of course Scientology is much more obviously a stupid and manufactured belief system than Christianity is, where is the real difference between the two? Scientology seems obviously fake because it seems derivitive of a lot of pop-culture (especially bad science-fiction novels), but if you study history, there are suggestions that Christianity may have borrowed some ideas from popular culture of the time as well (particularly something I read about the Resurrection being borrowed from some strange Greek incident). Which religions are not "based on made up crap"?

The fact is, that there is no test you can do, no question you can ask, to sort the "good apple" religions from the "bad apple" religions. This is the difference between religion/bad religion and science/psuedoscience, and I believe it is very significant. That is all.
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Postby SBernard81 on Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:50 am

I think I'm a bad message board poster. I accidentally led a discussion about Fox News into a debate about religion, and I accidentally started a downward slide in a board about puke that led to a big book orgy.

I'll be the first to admit that religions have served social functions, and sometimes very powerful, important social functions, but the question I guess I'm posing is, do they serve anything beyond that? And can the truth, if the truth is different than religions, which I would say that it is, be capable of serving the same functions in the future as religions have in the past? For example, in a rhetorical world where religions have all merged with science and disintegrated and all humans are actively persuing the truth, would we still be capable of uniting to get things done? Would we still find reasons to maintain morality? Would a world where science was king be a beautiful world or one of those nightmare worlds the televangelists warn of, where everyone throws out morality and humanity develops one massive christ-complex? I, personally, believe humanity would adjust just fine to a scientific world.

I could be wrong though.
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Postby TODCRAProductions on Mon Aug 25, 2003 7:46 pm

Truth be told, the whole bit about "based on made up crap" was just a cheap (very cheap) joke, although it's kinda neat that people are kinda-sorta taking it seriously. But, yeah, I'd go along with your example of Scientology.

theangryQ wrote: It seems like the core of just about every religion is "Go forth, and be gnarly to one another" or something to that affect, but it somehow ends up as "I KEEL YOU!"

Yeah, that's true. It's the one thing that I've never quite got. I mean, at least the OT provides a little bit more for the whole "I KEEL YOU" thing (not MUCH, since a lot of the violence in that is more of the sort where it's people beatin' up on the Jews, but there's a few bits where there's the whole "Hey, let's stone people!" thing, too. But, yeah. It's one of those things where I could probably go on for a long time pointing out the "I KEEL YOU!" parts versus the "I DON' KEEL YOU!" parts, but that's long and boring, and anyway, the point I'm mainly getting at is that you're pretty much right although it's a little bit more of "Go forth, and be cool* *unless some people do this other stuff here that's not cool* *unless you don't want to* *unless your god says you gotta* *etc." At least for Judeo-Christian.

Anyway, though, yeah. I figure that a religion'd be perfect if they'd more or less just strip out all the modifiers and extraneous stuff. Just the "hey, don't be a dick" parts. But, well, I don't think that'd be terribly successful, since, uh, it's sorta obvious. Perhaps the Extraneous Crap is there to help it sell? I dunno. I'm too fried to really think in any sort of serious way tonight.

But yeah.... I figure Scientology is a great example of the religious equivalent of Pseudo-Science. Since, well, it's basically _ALL_ extraneous crap, without much-any of the "don't be a dick" part. Well, that and the whole, y'know, Killing Lisa MacPherson thing. That was just sorta bad juju all around.

Hm. if there's interest, I should probably let one of the other TODCRAs talk about Scientology -- they know a _lot_ more than I do. [Erm, not from an Inside view, if that needed to be clarified. The only UFO cult TODCRA's associated with is the Church of the Subgenius.]

But yeah... I dunno. The thing I've never quite got about a lot of religions is basically, as DEVO put it, "why believe in things that make it tough on you". I can understand the desire for the structure that religion can provide, but I don't get the sort where there's a lot of arbitrary rules and such; with needed garments and dietary rules and other things that need to be done. It's just something that's struck me, a person who basically was raised agnostic (for a long time, if I asked what religion we were, it was "Christian", even though I'd never been to church (even now, I feel DEEPLY uncomfortable in churches... wiggy) or basically even paid lip service to the whole God/Christ/Whatever thing. We'd celebrate Easter/Xmas, though, but more for the Easter Bunny/Santa Claus bits. So, uh, yeah. Basically agnostic. I'd always sorta had stuff in the back of my mind, and I ended up being pretty much Hardcore Atheist in 6th Grade. So, uh, yeah. What I'm trying to say, is, I don't really have any basis of understanding for the Arbitrary Rules and suchlike, since, well, we never Had Those. Hell, even though my parents didn't want me to swear, I could take the lord's name in vain all I wanted. So, y'know, it was a common thing to hear a 8 year old me say things like "Goddangit" or "Goddarn", about as often as I say "goddamn" now (all the goddamn time).), as pretty silly. But, like I said, I have no real experience following such arbitrary rules (at least in that context).

Oh well. This is long and rambly and nonsensical enough.
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Postby SBernard81 on Mon Aug 25, 2003 8:01 pm

Exactly. Maybe those rules served a purpose at some time, but I don't think they do anymore. As for all the "be nice to each other" religions creating "I'll stab you in the face" religious zealots, that's just human nature, I guess. While I am the first to point out the dangers of religion, you've gotta remember that the athiestic Soviet Union killed somewhere between three and four times the amount of people killed by Adolf Hitler. I think the number is twenty-two million, or something like that. That's a lot of people killed, especially by a political movement that was supposed to be in the name of "the common good." It seems obvious to us right now that the lives of twenty-two million people ARE the common good, but, hey, that's human nature.

My biggest fear, which is probably the reason I always have a reactionary reflex against the idea of warfare, is that someday, my society will turn evil, and I'll be dumb enough to fall into it. I mean, honestly... was every loyal German under Nazi Germany just a mindless idiot? Probably not. It's human nature to fall for this crap, and I don't want to be one of the people that gets suckered into the next killing frenzy. Maybe murder is just part of our natural instinct... maybe its an evolutionary trait, maybe the homo sapiens that was more willing to kill for a better place in caveman society had a greater likelihood of surviving, maybe our instinct to hunt for food is being converted into homocidal rage by modern society, I don't know. It's a scary thing, though, how easily we snap. Look at the Liberians right now. Those guys are going insane.

Did you know Liberian rebels wear wigs and make-up and dresses and stuff, because they think it tricks the bullets into bending around them and therefore makes them immortal? It's true!
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