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  • #31
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    With due respect I refer you to A Slow Saturday Night at the Surrealist Sporting Club...
    Oh, how cool! A free Moorcock story I've never read! :D Those who want to have a look can do so revolutionsf.com[broken link]

    Mostly pets, eh? Can't wait to finish this!
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 04:16 AM.
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

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    • #32
      Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
      when faith becomes a text book, from which you have to copy page after tedious page, it can only ever lead to boredom.
      Sounds like your RE classes were exactly like mine. I can only remember the books. There were two sets of the same books - one old set in which unfeasibly large penises had been added to the illustrations, which were given to the boys, and a brand new, genitalia-free set issued to the girls. It obviously had not occurred to the teacher that the knobs may have been drawn by a girl. (This was admittedly not very likely, but it was rumoured that a girl from the remedial classes had been expelled for writing "ELVIS" in faeces on a toilet wall - whether that meant she liked him or not is unclear).

      As regards Pascal's wager; this is a good description of the superstitious mindset. I don't see how walking under ladders can harm me, but its better not to take any chances. It's the same reason people get hooked on buying lotto tickets; It could be you! Of course it won't be, but if there's any chance it would have been it will be the one week you don't buy one. I wouldn't tolerate being treated like a lotto ticket if I were the Divine Being. If God exists, I'd wager Pascal's frying right now. Perhaps He will let all the atheists off just to spite Pascal even more! (God does come across like a grumpy person in the OT, hardly the smug abstraction rational philosophers would like him to be.)
      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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      • #33
        The argument with regard to Pascal's Wager is more complex than that. The whole question revolves around a set of issues:

        (1) does a deity exist?

        (2) does profession of a belief in the (correct) deity provide salvation?

        (3) is the deity in question "fair"?

        For point (1), one must observe there is no logical reason to believe in such a being. Attempts at logical proof have, over the years, been laughably unsuccessful.

        Point (2) begs the question, "Which is the correct deity? Brahma? Yahweh? Allah? Papa Legba?" If you choose the wrong one, do you pay the penalty? Of course, if the answer to (1) is "No," then (2) reduces to a meaningless noise. However, one should observe that if there's insufficient objective evidence to make a decision on (2) -- which is at the very least true -- then how can the deity of (1) hold you responsible for your choice or rejection of any of these deities?

        Point (3) isn't trivial. If the theoretical deity of (1) is "fair," he can't hold Man responsible for his rejection. After all, "He" didn't bother to provide enough evidence to establish his existence, much less select "Him" in the great game of "pick your sky god." If "He" does decide to hold Man responsible for said rejection, he's demonstrably unjust, and you can't trust him to follow the "contract": just because you decided to believe in "Him" (however fortunately and fortuitously), you can't be sure "He" won't punish you quite arbitrarily. Interesting question as to whether such a deity would deserve to receive one's devotion.

        Under such considerations, it should be self-evident that Pascal's Wager is logical nonsense.

        The above argument is a greatly condensed version of the one I learned. To do it correctly, one must go through the various illogical so-called "proofs" of a deity's existence first to establish their lack of credibility. That would take many pages....

        Enough of this subject for me. It's an amusing game to demolish theistic arguments on logical grounds, but I've found that many adherents of theism dislike arguments from logic -- in fact, they'll often reject logic in toto rather than the notion of the necessity of belief in supernatural beings.

        LSN

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        • #34
          Originally posted by PsychicWarVeteran
          Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
          With due respect I refer you to A Slow Saturday Night at the Surrealist Sporting Club...
          Oh, how cool! A free Moorcock story I've never read! :D Those who want to have a look can do so revolutionsf.com[broken link]Epic Pooh

          Mostly pets, eh? Can't wait to finish this!
          A pending paradise. Loved that phrase.
          Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 04:15 AM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by TheAdlerian
            This is my 666 post and I thought that this was the appropriate thread in which to announce that I do not think that it is significant! I think!
            Come, come. Don't be "beastly." :lol:

            LSN

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Mikey_C
              This was admittedly not very likely, but it was rumoured that a girl from the remedial classes had been expelled for writing "ELVIS" in faeces on a toilet wall - whether that meant she liked him or not is unclear.
              I think I'd be flattered if a girl wrote my name on a wall in faeces, but I can't speak for Elvis...
              "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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              • #37
                Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                I think I'd be flattered if a girl wrote my name on a wall in faeces, but I can't speak for Elvis...
                Nowadays it would win the Turner Prize!
                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Mikey_C
                  Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                  I think I'd be flattered if a girl wrote my name on a wall in faeces, but I can't speak for Elvis...
                  Nowadays it would win the Turner Prize!
                  We're moving into Tracy Emin territory here, aren't we?

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                  • #40
                    I've played dice with God and, despite his shocking legerdemain, I won a modernist installation off of him: Elvis in Faeces Pt1 (1994).

                    Awks. Blasphemoscatology. :(

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                    • #42
                      True they don't take kindly to using Elvis's name in vain there!
                      My Facebook; My Band; My Radio Show; My Flickr Page; Science Fiction Message Board

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                      • #43
                        Originally posted by Perdix
                        Elvis in Faeces Pt1 (1994).
                        You've been taken in by my youthful good looks - this was back in 1977, so likely to have been a funerary tribute.
                        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                        • #44
                          I'm adding this here, because it's exemplary and relevant, but I started a new thread with it before I remembered there was a perfectly good thread here -- I must admit I'm glad I'm planning to move back to Europe. And I bet Europe's glad it sent its low church loonies here. Poor buggers.

                          Behold the Man
                          Behold the Man
                          by Michael Moorcock
                          Published by Avon Science Fiction, 1968
                          Amazon.com: hardcover, paperback
                          Amazon.ca: paperback
                          Amazon.co.uk: paperback
                          Reviewed by: Greg Slade
                          This book has been in my "to-be-read" list for years, just one of the titles which has been suggested to me as having something to do with both science fiction and Christianity. Normally, I try to avoid giving away too much of the plot, but since Moorcock himself gives the whole game away on the first page, there's not much suspense to keep you in. The protagonist goes back in time to find the historical Jesus, and ends up going to the cross himself, and becoming the historical basis upon which all kinds of legends build up over time. In that way, this work is sort of the 60s equivalent of The Da Vinci Code: a fictional work without a shred of credibility for anyone who has any sort of familiarity with the historical and cultural setting, but a work which provides people with an excuse for believing that the Biblical accounts of the life and ministry of Christ are inaccurate. (And, consequently, that His moral teachings can thus safely be ignored.)

                          The problems begin with the protagonist himself. Karl Glogauer is a miserable excuse of a man, with an overwhelming death wish, and a fetish for crosses. His girlfriend treats him like dirt, he can't be left alone with another man for five minutes without being propositioned, and he babbles bad pop psychology. For some reason, he teaches himself ancient languages like Latin and Aramaic, but not so well that he can even make himself understood. He manages to crash the time machine and barely survives the trip. And yet this is supposed to be the man who so impresses everyone he meets that they decide that he is the Son of God, the Lord of Life, and the Saviour of Israel, instead of the village idiot.

                          Then, there is the setting of first-century Judea. Moorcock portrays the Jews as looking for new gods under every rock, when the reality is that post-exilic Judaism was finally, at long last, soundly monotheistic, and the Jews were not prepared to accept theological innovation of any kind, as witness the treatment which was given to the real historical Jesus. The sheer will to self-delusion which Moorcock portrays is comforting to those who wish to deny the accuracy of the Biblical record, but simply doesn't accord with the historical or cultural reality.

                          I won't even go into how Moorcock deals with the Holy Family. Suffice it to say that those who accuse Moorcock of blasphemy have solid grounds for doing so. However, the big disappointment for me was not the Moorcock strays from orthodox Christianity. (After all, the majority of SF authors reject Christian teaching anyway.) What disappointed me was that such slop is hailed as being bold, or daring, or groundbreaking, or significant. Simply going against Christian teaching might be "daring" if the literary establishment were Christian (not that being "daring" is the same as being good), but the literati haven't cared about Christian doctrine for generations now. In short, there are no redeeming values in this work, whether as a study in character, psychology, sociology, history, or even religion, which make up for the mean-spirited portrayal of Christianity as a completely false and pointless belief system.

                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                          • #45
                            Reaches for prized copy of New Worlds Nآ؛ 166. Time I read the original short story again, I think.

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