Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rantin' makes me feel good

I like to think that I know you, dear reader - or more specifically, how warmly you will receive the various posts that find their way onto this blog. I have a feeling that half-hearted posts that blindly shoot in the general direction of religious conviction will be endured, albeit begrudgingly. I'm also fairly certain that posts entirely personal in nature will be tolerated, should I lather them up in a sufficient coating of self-deprecation. Overly-bloated, self-indulgent rants that require far-too much scrolling are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but more often than not are skimmed over in order to glean the enlightenment surely squirrelled away in one of its innumerable dark crevasses.

I'm sure that you read the less-than-stellar posts on this blog, because you're searching for one like this: one in which the extent of my wrath manifests itself on some poor unsuspecting 'tard who decided to opine about something in a manner that isn't quite open for discussion. I assure you that this is coming, but first, I must contextualise on where this came from:

During my last academic semester at the University of Limerick, the UL Journalism Society was founded, with a view to creating the piss-poorly named magazine, Ink. After forcing myself to attend two meetings, I was quite convinced that the people involved were utterly devoid of any merits that would make for a good magazine, both in terms of generating interesting content, or actually getting the buggering thing into production. I was also quite troubled by the fact that the magazine was devised as an alternative to the paper already produced by the Students' Union, but the contributors were all the same!

Sure enough, it failed to launch, thanks to a moronically impractical adherence to the committee-structure on which all Societies of the University of Limerick must conform. A lack of interest in the project kept me (and others, more than likely) from getting more involved, as my untameable elitism refused to let me toil for a magazine I knew would be filled by vapid writers. I had a few ideas for articles, but this is the only one I was halfway satisfied with.

This op-ed piece is a severely dated response to a letter from the Christian Union in the campus newspaper, (which was in itself a response to an earlier letter taking them to task for some objectionable advertising). (Link to PDF)

My take on this, five months later:

Last semester, Ink contributor Donal O’Driscoll published a letter in An Focal ridiculing the Christian Union’s promotional poster that threatened infidels with the eternal torture that awaited them after death. In an attempt to clear up the “serious misunderstandings”, Saumel Watterson of the CU responded with a letter that consisted of a few biblical references and a shrugged explanation that consisted of little more than “just doing what the big man says - it’s not up to me!”.

This happened in early November. It’s old news – ancient, even. So why bring it up now? Utter, crippling disappointment at the lack of responses it received. How is it that in a university, a place for the nurturing of intellect, some fruitcake can write in with inanities such as “we deserve to be thrown into that lake of fire”, and not suffer any reprimand from the student body? I opted out at the time, as I had already appeared in the letters page twice that semester taking others to task for lesser crimes, but with mere weeks remaining of my academic career at UL, I cannot leave in good conscience without restoring equilibrium.

As a way of defending the muck that the Christian Union peddles, Sammy asks “if your friend was in such danger and didn't even realise it, you would not frivolously say to them, "Hey-diddily-hey, neighbour!" You would desperately try to warn them”. It’s possible that I’m being too hard on wee Sammo here, as he was more than likely hoping that a string of incoherent non-sequiturs would transubstantiate into solid rhetoric, but his god forsook him. I will commend his emo-tacular endorsement of the Bible for moral support when he splutters “I am a coward (though God is training me to be brave)”, even if it makes sane people like me want to scream things like “get his guy 20ccs of premarital sex, stat!”

The CU obviously have a somewhat flattering view of themselves, given their poignant pontification on matters of truth, such as how “it often offends us, but we need to hear it”. This causes me considerable mirth as a person who embraces the facts, unlike moronic Bible-thumpers such as Samuel Watterson. I find the very fact that we attend the same university insulting, as he is either incapable of critical thought, or willing to ignore any shred of intellect that cries foul during his nightly sessions of talking to an imaginary friend whilst on his knees. Has he ever opened the book of “truth” that he claims to lead his life by? There are so many examples of outright contradictions between reality and the Bible, and within the holy book itself, that even the slightest indulgence would only serve to distract me away from ridiculing the dearth of intellect that one man has no shame in admitting to.

Again - maybe I’m being a little harsh here. After all, the Bible does attest to be the exclusive source of truth on supernatural matters. But doesn’t the Book of Mormon do that also? Come to think of it, the Koran makes the same claims. Which raises an interesting point; if Samuel Watterson were involved with the Muslim Union, would we be accosted with posters reading “strike terror into the hearts of yours and Allah’s enemies” as we strolled towards the cafeteria? Would the notice boards around campus implore us to “smite at the necks and cause a bloodbath of the unbelievers”?

Somebody needs to explain to the members of the Christian Union that just because something is old, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good source of moral guidance (you needn’t look further than the latest conversation with your racist grandmother for proof of this). Believing that bad people will burn in hell is backed up by as much proof as believing that martyrs get 72 virgins in heaven. The frankly batshit insane notion that a round piece of bread turns into the flesh of Christ is every bit as likely as the batshit insane notion that unhappiness is a result of some tosser called Xenu nuking the earth 75 billion years ago.

If you think I’m being intolerant towards religion right now, you’re absolutely right – what’s wrong with intolerance towards irrational beliefs? Chances are you have a sufficient grasp of rationality that you avail of to dismiss nutters who predict the end of the world based on a message in their alphabet-os, or the homeless guy who claims to be Jesus Christ. Try directing that same rationality towards your cherished beliefs and then see how outraged you feel you’re entitled to be. Just because we’ve grown immune to Christian hate speech against non-Christians, it doesn’t mean it should be tolerated in any shape or form.

I’m aware that Christianity was vital in civilising western society, and the core of the modern, sanitized Christian philosophy is certainly something of merit, but the constant focus on death and empty threats of perpetual suffering are the pernicious aspects of religion that I could never endorse, let alone use as the basis to promote a social gathering. In the future, rather than waste finite resources of paper, ink, and students’ time, I suggest that Samuel Watterson and anybody who espouses his views save themselves the hassle of writing ill-conceived letters, and instead tattoo “I have no intellectual integrity” across their foreheads.


Sean H said...

You mean there is no magical place in the sky where we all sit around playing harps and eating philadephia spread on bagels?

I demand my money back!

Jason said...

Hmm, you know what we should have done...wrote a piss-take letter into On Focal in the style of a moronic Bible-thumper (like the guy in this blog), get it published, and then later, when it gets a few responses, declare - ha hahw - that it was a farce. A bit like "Poe's Law":

(from urban dictionary)

In other words, No matter how bizzare, outrageous, or just plain idiotic a parody of a Fundamentalist may seem, there will always be someone who cannot tell that it is a parody, having seen similar REAL ideas from real religious/political Fundamentalists

(yes, I am spamming your blog with large amounts of text)

Sully said...

It's a refreshing change from me spamming my blog with large amounts of text!

And as much fun as it would be masquerading as a fundie, this chap was outrageous enough without even realising it.

"Someone who has actually read the book." said...

Dear sir, you are full of shit. You talk about pontification and ten go on to say it's insulting to attend the same university as Mr. Watterson. I've met him. I don't agree with everything he has to say but he is far from a moron.

Maybe you should get "I have no intellectual integrity" tattooed across your ass, where whatever residual sentience left in you is probably gathered.

Anyway, what contradictions? I've studied theology under fellas who are spending there lives trying to undermine the Bible (if you want to do that fair enough) but I've never seen a contradiction.

If you are gonna spout shit put a warning in your post.

thanks for the entertainment

Jason said...

Lol. ^ U mad?

Sully said...

@ Someone...

Pwned! I liked that 'ass' comment in particular. Thanks for the comment, and I'm happy to address the issues you have raised.

I have not met Samuel Watterson, and any assessments of his character and intellect are entirely derived from the drivel he has published in An Focal, in which he has painted himself as a one-dimensional Jesuslover.

It's possible, of course, that you're just surrounding yourself with desperately stupid people, given how you've met people who have dedicated their lives to undermining a book that has no solid foundations to speak of.

If you have a genuine interest in the Internal Consistency of the Bible, surely even the laziest effort would turn up a Wikipedia article?

It seems I agree with you that pompous displays of tard-rebuking should carry a warning, given the fact that my blog heading carries a message warning of my proclivities to dispense "near-fatal doses of rationality". Like a great deal of what I say on this site, it's not intended to be taken literally, but I understand that people from the background you seem to be describing have precious little grasp of irony.

Wiseguy said...

I have to say, I was really amused by your commentary. I never would have expected that you people would be insane enough to go to all this trouble in the name of furious retrospection.

I stand by my position however, and am nothing but strengthened in my resolve to oppose the calumnies raised against God's Word which people you manufacture as a product of your depraved imagination charged by your hatred of God (and Wikipedia certainly is a reputable source for such profanity), and I still attend this university (now with a first too) to your immense chagrin, I'm sure.

I'm very much in agreement with you however, concerning the manifest absurdity of the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. I can't agree with your bizarre notions of rationality though. What is rationality, and for what reason is it to be trusted as an arbiter? The self-evident existence of rationality in the world (or your mind), is what destroys your philosophy at its very foundation, and renders you excuse-less.

"Why rage the heathen, and vain things; why do the people mind?... He that in heaven sits shall laugh, The Lord shall scorn them all." - Psalm 2.

Sully said...

Samuel, so good of you to join us!

I certainly appreciate your comment, but it does nothing to dissuade the notion that you’re a nutter. If you can recognise that a Catholic tenet is ‘absurd’, but you refuse to turn that semblance of rationality towards your own beliefs, there’s no hope for you.

Congratulations on your degree – I graduated from UL last year with first class honours – but it doesn’t matter a toss as far as rationality goes. But hang on a tick – you don’t believe in “rationality” [read those as obnoxiously sarcastic air-quotes], as this hilariously not-ironic excerpt from your comment attests:

“The self-evident existence of rationality in the world (or your mind), is what destroys your philosophy at its very foundation”

Sam, it must be exhausting to be you. All those feelings of being unclean, all that cognitive dissonance reduction when you encounter something that flies in the face of your beliefs, all that prostration and misery.

Let me let you in on a secret here Sam – you can be as much of a huge gaping asshole as you are now, but without the religious dogmatism. Take a leaf out of my book – start condescending to people based on their hilarious beliefs – not because they lack them. You’ll enjoy life so much more without ritual and superstition – you’ve got a great zen-style ‘I don’t care that you think I’m ridiculous’ attitude, and Sammy-boy, chicks dig a guy with balls. Avail of them for once in your life.

Jason said...

Some revealing little expressions from Samuel:


"I have to say, I was really amused by your commentary." Dead giveaway that a person's veins are bulging in his forehead as he desperately tries to convey an air of detached, entertained coolness at the cute, ineffective argument put against him.


"You people" – slap a vague mental label on a set of people with no uniting philosophy or creed in order to avoid having to deal with the terrifying ramifications of what is being said.
Same for "Hatred of God". That's about as sensible as “hatred of fairies.”

Strengthened position

Sully's argument has "nothing but strengthened" his position - just as cognitive dissonance theory predicts it would, buffering the theistic mind from the onslaught of reason.

strange-young-man said...

I've also met Mr.Watterson(waterson?). He attempted to talk to me and some mates about jesus when all we wanted to do was enjoy our pints.

So one of the guys told him to fuck off,we're enjoying our pints.

Fair enough though...he did fuck off.
Gotta know when you're beat Sam, and in this forum you truly are.

So fuck off,we're enjoying our rhetoric.

Wiseguy said...

Just to correct a misunderstanding (misrepresentation?), I do actually believe in rationality, and would consider my beliefs utterly ridiculous if they were logically inconsistent.

This is why I say that the self-evident existence of rationality destroys your beliefs - it reveals them as internally inconsistent. And therefore "amusing".

Sully said...

I don't think a young earth creationist can accurately assess anybody's critical-thinking toolset, let alone condescend to them.

You're a tard, Sam, a gibbering, doublethinking cretin whose entire philosophy is based on a closed loop of circular reasoning and confirmation bias, and motivated by emotional impulses of fear.

Of course, you see me as a deluded, misguided fool who would rather satisfy his base Neanderthal instincts in the short-term than earn his golden ticket to perpetual bliss, and thus my opinions are rendered invalid.

Just be aware that you're a caricature, a two-dimensional non-person whose very existence only serves as a warning to credulous people that this is what life is like at the extreme edge of the continuum between religiosity and non-religiosity.

I don't find you amusing Sam, it worries me that people with such contempt for rational practices exist in Ireland. As a result of this, you're a glowing endorsement for secularism, and for this, I thank you.

Jason said...

Neither a misunderstanding nor a misrepresentation. You're hardly going to say "I don't believe in rationality".
Delusion cannot survive without the buttressing conviction that one is logically consistent.
A deluded person doesn't know he's deluded, just as a member of a cult doesn't know he's in a cult, and a bigot doesn't consider himself a bigot. Your beliefs remain hermetically sealed in a mental cave of self-comforting wishful thinking, protected from the nasty evidence outside that utterly eviscerates the foundation of your beliefs. But you'll never see that evidence; the cognitive dissonance would be far too powerful.

The self-evident existence of rationality in no way "destroys" the belief that Christianity is self-evidently a collection of absurd fairytales. Rationality is the product of an evolved information-processing brain, not some mystical or divine phenomenon.