The Raving Theist

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Beam Him Up

July 20, 2005 | 74 Comments

James “Beam Me Up, Scotty” Doohan of Stak Trek died a few hours ago.

You gotta believe that everyone connected with that show was an atheist.

Even so, if there is a heaven, how will he ever get there? I mean, there’s no ladder or staircase or elevator. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t envision another way of him being transported upwards. I wonder if the obituary cartoonists will have any better luck thinking of something . . .

Comments

74 Responses to “Beam Him Up”

  1. AK
    July 20th, 2005 @ 1:53 pm

    ::doctors are using heart-zapper machine on scotty::

    Doctor1: We need to save him! Zap him again!

    Doctor2: Im giving it all shes got sir! I cant push it any harder or the whole thing will blow!

  2. GeneralZod
    July 20th, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

    Actually, i have it on good authority that there exists a stairway that apparently extends to heaven. I also hear that an unnamed woman is attempting to purchase it, but her reasons are unknown.

  3. bruce
    July 20th, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

    yeah, they’ll all be doing exactly the same joke (as usual)… but wouldn’t it be great having god be an alien starship captain?

  4. Frank
    July 20th, 2005 @ 2:14 pm

    There’s no way everyone associated with the show was an atheist. If they were how do you explain the episode where the crew of the Enterprise encounters a group of people (in a world that appears very similar to the first century Roman Empire) who call themselves “sun worshippers.” All throughout the episode the viewer assumes they worship the sun. But in the end Lt. Uhura (spelling?) points out that they “didn’t worship the sun. They worshipped the Son, S-O-N.”

    So you gotta figure at least one dude on the production team for Star Trek was a Christian.

  5. glenstonecottage
    July 20th, 2005 @ 2:59 pm

    Bible thumpin’ criminals in the news— a roundup containing dozens of great articles!

    http://heartlandvalues.blogspot.com/2000/06/never-ending-chronicle-of-church.html

  6. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 3:22 pm

    Frank, to some extent I think you’re right, though it’s not clear to me whether or not there were actual Christian believers working on the show, or just people who desired to pander to Christians in the audience. Here’s a link to an interview with Gene Roddenberry where he mentions being pressured to do things like include a chaplain as part of the Enterprise crew (http://www.philosophysphere.com/humanist.html). However, for the most part, the Star Trek shows didn’t even poke fun at religion –they treated it with contempt, especially STNG. These shows are probably the most atheistic shows that have ever been on television.

    I find this rather ironic, since, in the interview, Roddenberry says things like this: “There is, perhaps, something that guides our lives but we don

  7. qedpro
    July 20th, 2005 @ 3:28 pm

    Great visions of the future always cast off the chains of religion.
    Tell me one vision that doesn’t, and I’ll tell you of a future that no one wants.

  8. Frank
    July 20th, 2005 @ 4:10 pm

    hermesten — Yeah, I can see where the “Son worshippers” episode could have been a pandering thing. Although, the message was more than merely an addition to that storyline. The worshippers were the persecuted good guys. Those who opposed them were evil to the core. It certainly seemed more than mere pandering.

    The insertion of a chaplain would be a good example of pandering. Help me out on this, I faintly remember a chaplain (now that you mention it) but I’m having trouble remembering anything specific about the character.

  9. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 4:14 pm

    “Great visions of the future always cast off the chains of religion.”

    Skipping a discussion of what constitutes a “great vision” I tend to agree with you. However, there is no reason to believe that the future is necessarily going to be “great,” by any measure; so while a particular vision of the future may not be great because it includes religion, it may well be plausible, reaslitic, or even probable. One can dream about a great future, or imagine a probable future: both ways of thinking about the future are legitimate and necessary.

  10. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 4:31 pm

    Frank, I can’t help you out much with the original series. I didn’t comment on the episode you mentioned because it’s been years since I’ve even seen a ST episode and I much prefer STNG, though I have to overlook it’s authoritarian undertones. And though I really like STNG, I find it’s vision of the future sort of vaguely threatening and unsettling. There is a real implied sense of conformity and political correctness: the crew of the Enterprise has less real philosophical diversity than the Bush administration.

  11. Dave in CA
    July 20th, 2005 @ 4:32 pm

    Frank Herbert’s DUNE series has religion all over the place. However, as hermesten says, it’s not evactly great for everyone there.

    Phillip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld series has an interesting take, in that everyone who ever lived is resurrected by unknown, all powerful beings, and the first thing everyone realizes is that all religions were wrong about the afterlife. All their needs are taken care of, but they still start enslaving each other in short order.

  12. Jahrta
    July 20th, 2005 @ 4:45 pm

    There were several rather vague references in stng and i think in the latter movies of society moving on and becoming great after abandoning “the old ways” of war, and if i remember correctly – i think jean luc – said something about turning away from superstition/religion. Not sure if he said “religion” per se, but as i recall it was clear nonetheless.

    conformist or not, that’s a future i would welcome: no war, everyone’s taken care of, technology and science rule the land and people seem generally happy and far better off than they otherwise would have been. sure, you get the occasional borg invasion, but variety is the spice of life.

    speaking of spice…yeah, Dune was anything but idyllic or utopian, even after the quizatz hadderach (sp? not even gonna try) came onto the scene.

  13. Seth
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:02 pm

    I’m rather fond of the Star Trek episode where they’re all stuck on a planet and are being lorded over by what appears to be an all-powerful cloud in the sky….and it turns out to be nothing but the child of a more advanced life form.

    That episode made me happy, as an atheist.

  14. Frank
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

    Seth — Oh MAN! I had forgotten about that episode. That was funny.

  15. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:20 pm

    I don’t see the STNG society as being so “great.” The undertone I’m alluding to comes from the rather obvious incongruities between the ostensible utopia that is always asserted, with little or no supporting evidence, and the authoritarian nature of the Federation that Jean Luc must frequently resist or combat. If this society is so “great” then why does Jean Luc have to fight almost singlehandedly (apart from the support of his crew) to prevent the Federation from experimenting on Data and killing him? Why do civilian scientists distrust Star Fleet? Why is Star Fleet leadership willing to lie, kidnap, and forcibly deport people from a planet, knowing that this action will ultimately kill them? How come the Star Fleet command structure is full of racists and ideologues who seem to have no trouble finding each other to form conspiracies? A great many STNG episodes amount to little more than decency of Jean Luc pitted against the frequent indecency of those in authority.

    As far as your notion that “conformity” is fine because “everyone is taken care of” goes: the price is too high for me. I’ll take care of myself, thank you, if “being taken care of” means I’m supposed to be grateful, keep my mouth shut, and do what I’m told. Conformity is the opposite of freedom.

  16. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:27 pm

    And where do you come away from STNG with the idea that there is no war? What kind of fucking ship do you think the Enterprise is? They’re not equipped with photon torpedoes and phasers for publishing books. They’re always fighting. It may not usually be on earth, but they’re always fighting someone. By your logic I guess we could say there is no war in America either, since we fight our battles on other continents. Hey, we’re not at war in Iraq, Iraq’s not in America. Why, we haven’t had a war in America since 1865.

  17. qedpro
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:48 pm

    to hermesten:
    you’re right, when i say “great” visions i don’t mean the
    “medievil, intolerant, ignorant, racist, simple-minded, ego-centric, no front teeth, sitting on the porch playing the banjo, marrying your sister visions”

    When i think of a great future i think of one where people don’t care where a man’s penis or woman’s vagina consensualy sleeps at night, and doesn’t care what religion they are if any. A future in which people would be ashamed to admit they believe something on faith and one in which people’s parents actually can program a VCR. No exactly STNG but close.

  18. Mutt
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:55 pm

    I find Iain M Banks’s “Culture” novels to be the closest thing I’ve read to a real futuristic utopia. Atheistic, anarchistic, violent and highly amusing — really worth checking out.

  19. qedpro
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:56 pm

    And as for STNG. If i had a holodeck, i wouldn’t leave the house.
    If “man” (and when i say man i mean men and women) could lick their private parts we would not have survived. In STNG-land everyone can now do this. Hence not a fucking thing would get done, except of course…..

  20. qedpro
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:58 pm

    Mutt,
    I haven’t read any Bank’s stuff. thanks, i’ll give it a whirl

  21. boywonder
    July 20th, 2005 @ 5:58 pm

    Star Trek 9: The Search for Scotty

  22. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 6:05 pm

    Qedpro, I understand what you’re getting at, and I pretty much agree. However, I’m not so sure a couple of your criteria can be applied to, or determined from, STNG. As I said earlier, STNG is probably the most atheistic show ever to be on TV, and this is one reason I like it –religion is pretty much treated with contempt. However, I don’t think you can describe the STNG universe as one in which peope don’t care what religion one is, if any. I think you’d get thrown out of Star Fleet Academy if you showed up with a Bible and shared the good word about Jesus with your fellow cadets.

    Also, I don’t think we can determine from STNG that it is a future where people are ashamed to believe in something on faith and grandma and grandpa can program a VCR. The only people we really see on STNG are those in Star Fleet –the elite of an elite. Since a look at the distribution of human intelligence (a trait which is at least partially genetic) tells us that 50% of the human population is downright dumb, and another 30% are none too bright, I see no basis for assuming that any future will be without plenty of credulous people who can’t operate a tricorder.

  23. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 6:08 pm

    “Atheistic, anarchistic, violent and highly amusing…”

    It sounds too good to be true.

  24. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 6:11 pm

    qedpro, and yep, if I had a holodeck in a society where I didn’t need money, I’d never leave the house either.

  25. PanAtheist
    July 20th, 2005 @ 6:20 pm

    Star Trek and its sequels are chock full of “supernatural powers” and “psychic phenemona”. Of course they’re called “alien powers”.

    It’s hardly a rationalist show! It is a crazy-fucked-up mixed up product of crazy-fucked-up mixed up god-idiot and semi-scientific society.

    I think that people would better spend their time endeavouring in real beneficial endeavours than creating fantasy television. (Just my opinion!)

    We all love the humanity present in these shows. Nevertheless I would much prefer our society to have no interest in generating and consuming drama and fiction, and a massive healthy and active preference for generating beneficience, education, and beneficial innovation.

    Then we’d have so much more humanity and excitement around us everywhere in our day-to-day lives, that we would have no thirst for fiction and drama at all.

    I think that everyone is an atheist.

  26. PanAtheist
    July 20th, 2005 @ 6:26 pm

    The answer to the crackpot yarns of “religion” is not more crackpot yarns. It is not more yarns at all!

    It is making history!

  27. hermesten
    July 20th, 2005 @ 6:35 pm

    Wow, while I think television is probably the single most destructive influence in modern society, I totally disagree with your attitude about fiction and drama in general. In the first place, you can’t have a better future if you can’t first imagine it, and then share it. In the second place, I’d hate to see my range of experience limited only to what I myself have the time, money, knowledge, and intelligence to experience directly. I don’t think the real problem is due to the consumption of drama and fiction, but to the cretinous nature of what is largely produced and consumed. If there were far more people watching “Crimson Gold” and far fewer watching “XXX” the world would be a better place.

  28. Rob
    July 20th, 2005 @ 8:49 pm

    http://members.aol.com/heraklit1/startrek.htm shows that Roddenbury was a pantheist. I personally don’t have aproblem with this belief. Its compatible with atheism to a degree, just a different perspective.

  29. Mookie
    July 20th, 2005 @ 9:42 pm

    STTNG was a good show for folks. It introduced much of the humanism philosophy, it mentioned new technologies (new at the time it was written), and incorporates the ideals of our society into the fictional society of the future, all demonstrating that humans can accomplish much if we set aside our petty differences.

    Yes, Star Trek has done much good in the world.

  30. boywonder
    July 20th, 2005 @ 10:03 pm

    Mookie, yeah-that and counseller Troy and 7 of 9 were hot. Come on, it’s a freakin’t TV show. I love sci-fi and fiction in general, but I’m not going to read that far into it. I know the creators went through a lot to make it as realistic as possible, but like hermesten basically said, it don’t look realistic. Especially upon closer examination. Still Star Trek does beat the hell out of at least 90% of the pure crap there is on TV.

  31. glenstonecottage
    July 20th, 2005 @ 10:43 pm

    OT, but George Carlin said…

    When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion.

    No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.

    Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day.

    And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do.

    And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!

    But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money!

    He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money!

    Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story.

    Holy Shit!

  32. mind-of-a-god
    July 20th, 2005 @ 11:14 pm

    Herm: I think you’d get thrown out of Star Fleet Academy if you showed up with a Bible and shared the good word about Jesus with your fellow cadets.

    I agree ST is totally cool, however i disagree that you’d get kicked out of StarFleet is you started in with the Jesus crap. However, in this hypotheical society which i would love to be a part of, I think that everyone is educated enough that they wouldn’t even think to do that. In other words if they did start preaching jesus, they’d be looked upon as stupid or perhaps in need of shock therapy. Certainly it would be a career limiting move, but i would hope that they would not actually have laws against it. I mean its supposed to be an open and tolerant society so as long as their not blowing shit up, then what the hell.

  33. mind-of-a-god
    July 20th, 2005 @ 11:23 pm

    The insertion of a chaplain would be a good example of pandering. Help me out on this, I faintly remember a chaplain (now that you mention it) but I’m having trouble remembering anything specific about the character.

    Herm:
    perhaps you’re thinking of the doctor prior to McCoy in the episodes with Captain Pike. He kinda looked like he could be a chaplain but he was the doctor. Yikes – i may have revealed too much :-)

  34. Dada Saves
    July 21st, 2005 @ 9:30 am

    I’m pretty sure Shatner believes in God. I.e., I’m pretty sure Shatner thinks he is God.

  35. Frank
    July 21st, 2005 @ 9:32 am

    “DAMN IT, JIM! I’m a doctor, not a chaplain.”

  36. Jahrta
    July 21st, 2005 @ 9:51 am

    herm, as i understand it, the comment was about war on earth having stopped so that they could get together as a planet to join the federation – something greater than themselves. just because war, et al, stopped on earth it sure as hell doesn’t mean it stopped elsewhere. do you think that if we ever abandoned our war-like nature we’d simply toss away all of our weapons and leave ourselves vulnerable? I’d ask what type of fucking fantasy world you’re living in, but apparently you’re obsessed with star trek the next generation, so I don’t need to bother.

    the enterprise is an expeditionary vessel, galaxy class or whatever. and hell yeah it had weapons on it. otherwise it would be a sitting duck for all the other warlike cultures out there who seemed to exist to cause trouble for other peoples (klingons, ferengi (to a lesser extent), cardascians, romulans, borg…do i really need to go on?). what would your ship be equipped with? lollipops and rainbows? might as well paint a big friggin’ target on the hull while you’re at it. if you’d bother to watch the series you’d notice the enterprise never fired unless provoked by an aggressor.

    as far as the internal power struggle was concerned within the federation itself, that’s just good television. no one knows how or if a real federation would work. the closest thing we have to it today is the UN, and we all know what a joke that is. just add a few different species to that wonderful little quagmire and see where you’d end up.

    and only you could take a discussion about a fictitious, defunct sci-fi show that went off the air a decade ago and compare it to fucking iraq.

  37. DamnRight
    July 21st, 2005 @ 11:00 am

    I’d love an episode where an evangelical Christian tries to convert Spock or Data… that could have led to some interesting dialogue…
    … Bones always struck me as being the one who had some religious leanings… I seem to recall some references to “the allmighty”…
    … how about Warf?… he had all sorts of rituals… possibly just ancestor worship…
    … my wife actually swore off Start Trek after becoming a Christian… and she could literally give you verbatum renditions of every episode… at least she stopped comparing me to Kirk…
    … interestingly, she sontinued to watch & enjoy TNG… go figure…

  38. hermesten
    July 21st, 2005 @ 11:04 am

    mind-of-a-god: “In other words if they did start preaching jesus, they’d be looked upon as stupid or perhaps in need of shock therapy. ”

    This is exactly what I was getting at. It would probably be more accurate to say that someone who had such wacky ideas would never be admitted in the first place, because such ideas would raise questions about their intelligence.

    Also, I didn’t say there was a chaplain on the show, I was alluding to an interview with Roddenberry where he said he had to fight the network because it wanted him to include a chaplain.

  39. hermesten
    July 21st, 2005 @ 11:35 am

    Jahrta, you’re the most confused atheist I’ve ever encountered. YOU said that one of the appealing features of the ST universe is that there is no “war.” You didn’t say “no war on earth.” And anyway, if the people from earth are fighting a war, it doesn’t matter where it’s being fought, just like it makes no sense to say we have no war in America because the battles are fought elsewhere. The fact of the matter is, as depicted on the show, the Federation was on a perpetual war footing. War was frequent and intense, with many many casualties. When a society must devote a large portion of its resources to making war –such has building huge ships, weapons development, forward base deployment, etc– and it’s citizens are frequently killed in battle, it’s ridiculous to contend that there is “no war.”

    And by the way: “fictitious, defunct, sci-fi show that went off the air a decade ago…” is more than a little redundant.

    On the other hand, if the test of genuis really is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in your head at the same time, maybe you’re a fucking genius –since in one paragraph you have me so obsessed with the show that I’m living in a fantasy world, and in the next you’re telling me what I’d know if I bothered to watch the show. Take a breath man, and try to actually connect the thoughts you have bouncing around your head.

  40. GeneralZod
    July 21st, 2005 @ 11:57 am

    I know in the ST: The Wrath of Khan, Bones, after watching the video of the Genesis Device, says something along the lines of “According to the MYTH it took 6 days to create. We’ll do it in one.” (Emphasis added). Most Christian I know would take offense at calling the Genesis account a “myth”.

  41. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    July 21st, 2005 @ 1:42 pm

    “I’d love an episode where an evangelical Christian tries to convert Spock or Data… that could have led to some interesting dialogue… ”

    I immediately thought of this:

    MR. SPOCK

  42. simbol
    July 21st, 2005 @ 2:28 pm

    Hi Herm !!

    “Why, we haven’t had a war in America since 1865″

    maybe Custer, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were playing base-ball at Little Big Horn in 1876. These games lasted for a long time. I remember that good team of Apaches and its star pitcher Geronimo. At a certain moment a quarter of the US army was playing against him. Mexicans say that Pancho Villa is the only person who has invaded USA succesfully.

  43. jahrta
    July 21st, 2005 @ 2:36 pm

    hey herm

    i think you don’t like me just because i don’t lick your balls like everyone else on this site.

    just because i can recall or even quote a part of a show doesn’t mean i’m obsessed with it. it means i have a decent memory.

    and not that it matters, as this has reached the realm of the ridiculous, but this is what i actually said:

    “There were several rather vague references in stng and i think in the latter movies of society moving on and becoming great after abandoning “the old ways” of war, and if i remember correctly – i think jean luc – said something about turning away from superstition/religion. Not sure if he said “religion” per se, but as i recall it was clear nonetheless.”

    When i was speaking of “society” moving away from war, there was a general implication that it was human society in general.

    and no, i don’t support what we’re doing in iraq

  44. hermesten
    July 21st, 2005 @ 3:11 pm

    Jahrta, your very selective memory is what’s called quote mining, except you’re mining your own quotes. You’re a pretty funny guy, since what you wrote is right here in this thread for anyone to read, and you precede your selective quotation by telling us how good your memory is. Here is the actual quote I responded to: “conformist or not, that’s a future i would welcome: no war, everyone’s taken care of, technology and science rule the land and people seem generally happy and far better off than they otherwise would have been. sure, you get the occasional borg invasion, but variety is the spice of life.”

    “no war,” unqualified, which means, well, NO WAR. And you also said you’d not only conform in exchange for being “taken care of,” but you’d “welcome it.” Aren’t you a little sweetheart?

    As to your contention that I don’t like you because you don’t lick my balls “like everyone else,” well, that’s both false, and sort of funny. Funny, in the sense that trying to insult me you insulted everyone else but me. False in the sense that I like you precisely because of the way you lick balls, though it is true that you don’t lick balls like everyone, or anyone, else: you are hands down the best ball licker I’ve ever encountered anywhere. You’ve got a velvet tongue, and you’re the only person I’ve ever had licking my balls who doesn’t gag when a pube gets in the mouth. The hottest chicks can’t slurp a pair of hairy nuts like you can dude. What’s more, the girliest girly girl doesn’t dig being manhandled the way you do, and it’s sort of cute –not that there’s anything wrong with that. Need I add that no one can toss salad like you do either?

    Please continue to show your indifference to it all by posting another 15 messages or so, like you did on that other thread awhile back.

  45. hermesten
    July 21st, 2005 @ 3:27 pm

    Simbol, you got me. However, what I was really alluding to is the fact that it has been a long time since civlians living in the continental US have experienced war first hand, and it remains remote to the experience of most Americans in the same way that wars in space would be remote to hypothetical earthlings in the ST universe –where, apparently, everyone becomes an American.

    Also, I don’t think The Little Bighorn makes what we did to Native Americans any more of a war than the Warsaw uprising made the holocaust a war between the Jews and Germans. These acts against the Indians and the Jews were both exterminations, not wars. And although our extermination of Native Americans may not have been quite as ruthless as the Nazi extermination of the Jews, it was probably just as efficient. Afterall, I’ve met a lot more Jews than I have Native Americans.

  46. simbol
    July 21st, 2005 @ 3:55 pm

    Jharta

    Playing the “pity-lone-isolated-attacked by all Jharta” game is a very, very bad strategy.
    The low-class attack “on everyone else in this site” is pardoned by me in this occasion given the bad shape of your nervous system. If you insist in your behavior I will declare war on you and won’t cease hostilities until you declare unconditional surrender and get communion as punishment. I warn you a powerful coalition is on the making against you, just in case. If war comes it will be “no mercy, no quarter, no prisoners”. That’s why, in an effort to save peace, I advise you to apologize in a sincere mood. Think carefully and remember that atheist can be very malignant when offended since they don’t believe it is a good policy to put the other cheek.

  47. jahrta
    July 21st, 2005 @ 4:02 pm

    Actually if you stop to think about it the earth society they depict comes relatively close to encapsulating what communism espouses as its underlyig principles, whether or not you want to get into the dynamics of the federation’s internal power struggles.

    Oh, and i think it’s funny how your arguments devolve into insinuations that i am gay. how very tolerant and learend of you. You’re no doubt the reigning expert on the practice you mentioned in your earlier post (roughly half of it devoted to the discussion of the matter) and i daresay that if you possessed the flexibility to do it to yourself you’d be complete, as your self-satisfaction and self-love knows no boundaries.

    “you are hands down the best ball licker I’ve ever encountered anywhere. You’ve got a velvet tongue, and you’re the only person I’ve ever had licking my balls who doesn’t gag when a pube gets in the mouth. The hottest chicks can’t slurp a pair of hairy nuts like you can dude. What’s more, the girliest girly girl doesn’t dig being manhandled the way you do, and it’s sort of cute –not that there’s anything wrong with that. Need I add that no one can toss salad like you do either?”

    Is this the extent of debating skills? i like how you fly off the handle when i challenge you or your little world. you are a small, sad little man, herm, even if you have a keen grip on history and political issues (as well as your cock, no doubt), but the fact remains that you are a smug s.o.b. and if you’re in any way indicative of atheists in general, it’s small wonder everyone fucking hates us. you’re an asshole, as your post proves just as plain as day.

    you’re a skid mark on the underpants of life, pally, and you’re doing nothing whatsoever to further anyone cause but your own. for all the bullshit mental masturbation you’ve done on these boards i’ve yet to see you put forth anything constructive or truly useful.

    and i’m sure you’ll post a response to prove YOUR “indifference.”

  48. KingDong
    July 21st, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

    I hope you don’t mind if I point out that STTNG is JUST A FUCKING TV SHOW. And so what if Jahrta is gay, that has no bearing on what he says about morality tales from space. Indeed, he makes some very good points. Neverthelss, I declare hermesten the winner as far as making sense goes

  49. hermesten
    July 21st, 2005 @ 5:07 pm

    “Oh, and i think it’s funny how your arguments devolve into insinuations that i am gay.”

    This is silly, not only in light of my comments on this thread (in which I include myself in the performance of a homosexual act), but also in light of what it means to be “gay,” and of the whole history of my comments on this site, which make clear my unequivocal support and advocacy of homosexuality, and especially in light of the fact that YOU are the one who introduced the topic of ball licking. And you have a very limited Bible Beater level view of sexuality if you think the performance of a homosexual act makes someone “gay.”

    Furthermore, you’re the one who brought up ball licking, something which you accused everyone here of doing, and my response is not part of any “argument.” It’s flat-out ridicule in response to your insulting remark, directed in you inimitable fashion, at everyone but your actual target. I am an advocate of homosexuality. I have stated many times on this site that I think the world would be a better place with more homosexuals. You used ball licking in a derogatory context, so I assume you find something about the act disturbing: if not the homosexual nature, then perhaps the implied subordination, so in my reply I covered all the bases. I don’t intentionally insult anyone who doesn’t insult me. You came to this site hurling insults at everyone. If I remember correctly, one of your very first insults was something about certain people, who unlike, you are serving or have served in the military, being some kind of girly men or some such derogatory term, because they didn’t support your outrageous indifference to civilian suffering in the Middle East.

    I am only intentionally insulting to people like you, who hurl insults and then play innocent victim. When I insult people unintentionally and it is brought to my attention, I apologize. The first person to be insulting on this thread was YOU, post #36 where you said:

    “I’d ask what type of fucking fantasy world you’re living in, but apparently you’re obsessed with star trek the next generation, so I don’t need to bother.”

    I have never contended that I am indifferent. You have, on another thread, and on this one you said: “and not that it matters, as this has reached the realm of the ridiculous,” which seems to indicate a certain posture of aloofness, if not indifference. I will return every insult you make until the thread runs out.

  50. Viole
    July 21st, 2005 @ 5:30 pm

    Jahrta, you’re one of the funniest people posting on this site. Sad thing is, I don’t think you’re trying. Come on! Stop thinking with your testicles. You’ve got to be the most reactionary atheist I’ve ever met, and there are some pretty dumb atheists in the forums.

    Sure, you’re not so absolutely mindless as some, but you seem to think the universe revolves around you at precisely the same time you claim not to care what the universe thinks. You often contradict yourself, and you get insulting when people call you on it. Then you complain about their being insulting when they respond.

    Oh, and if you respond to this, we’ll know that you really do care about my opinion, no matter what you claim.

  51. KingDong
    July 21st, 2005 @ 5:46 pm

    By the way, Hermesten is quite right that engaging in a homosexual act does not make one gay. I have performed oral sex on a man while enjoying a menage a trois but I do not consider myself gay. I hope argeeing with hermesten inthis manner doesn’t constitute “ball licking” on my part. (actually, I don’t really care).

  52. simbol
    July 21st, 2005 @ 7:24 pm

    herm

    ” I have stated many times on this site that I think the world would be a better place with more homosexuals.”

    can you elaborate on this statement ? it seems to imply that sexual preferences determine quality of morals. Besides, taken to the extreme, this statement leads to reductio ad absurdum, because if the world would be a better place with more homosexuals, it will be the best if all are homeosexuals, and then…? If not taken to the extreme, how you know the right number since you say more are needed? A why, if you know it, that is the right number?

  53. boywonder
    July 21st, 2005 @ 8:14 pm

    I just have this feeling that this is what it’s like at a Star Trek convention. People slinging insults at each other based on disagreements about the size of Leonard Nimoy’s vulcan ears.

  54. KingDong
    July 21st, 2005 @ 8:47 pm

    Simbol, I do not thunk Herms statement necessirily leads to absurdity. If you happened to be a computer programmer you might say that your work place would be better if there were more women, but that doesn’t mean you think it should be all women. Wantimg more of simething doesn’t mean you want it all the time. For example, you may enjoy running in the morning, but who wants to run all day all the time?

  55. hermesten
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 10:27 am

    Simbol, KingDong has the tone right for what I’m getting at. And it has nothing to do with the morality of sexual preference: sexual behavior (between consenting adults at least) and sexual preference, have nothing to do with morality.

    I’m sort of echoing the attitude of the protagonist in the movie “Our Lady of the Assassins.” It’s sort of a reactionary statement in opposition to the phony moralism of the Bible Beaters, but simply put: more homosexuality would mean fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer abortions, fewer unwanted children, fewer abused children, and fewer children raised in poverty. More homosexuality would also probably lead to greater acceptance of homosexuals, and thus less societal inflicted suffering for homosexuals.

    I say this somewhat tongue-in-cheek since I think that sexual preference is primarily determined by genetics, and that few people, in any, have any real choice about what they prefer sexually –just as I find Monica Bellucci immeasurably more attractive than Julia Roberts, and cannot choose to find Julia more attractive no matter how I think of her.

  56. Vic
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 11:44 am

    This WAS an interesting board to read until all the mudslinging. Oh well, I suppose we all have a right to our opinion. Funny how we must prosecute others for theirs….sounds like Religion to me ;-)

  57. Vic
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 11:44 am

    This WAS an interesting board to read until all the mudslinging. Oh well, I suppose we all have a right to our opinion. Funny how we must prosecute others for theirs….sounds like Religion to me ;-)

  58. Vic
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 11:44 am

    This WAS an interesting board to read until all the mudslinging. Oh well, I suppose we all have a right to our opinion. Funny how we must prosecute others for theirs….sounds like Religion to me ;-)

  59. Vernichten
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 12:11 pm

    From my point of view, religion is simply the belief that there is a purpose to existence, a goal, as opposed to the belief that everything happens because of what happened before it.

  60. hermesten
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 3:19 pm

    Vic, I don’t know who you’re talking about, but neither Jahrta nor I are prosecutors (though Jahrta may be a defense attorney). And even if some ambitious DA comes across the site, I don’t think anyone here will be prosecuted for anything said on this thread –though given the current administration, and the direction we’re headed, it may not be long until all atheists are prosecuted for their opinions.

  61. KingDong
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 4:37 pm

    Jahrta, would you identify yourself as an theiest who happens to be gay, or a homosexual who happens to be an atheist. I suppose both of these facets could lead to some hardship and I was curious which, if any, you have most trouble with in everyday life.

  62. boywonder
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 7:13 pm

    hermesten, in response to post 55, I agree with you about not being able to control one’s sexual orientation. I am of the opinion that everyone is capable of bisexuality. Some, ofcourse, more than others. This is complete speculation on my part, but doesn’t it sound reasonable that we are capable of being orientated either way? I mean our sex isn’t determined until fertelization by the male’s sperm, right? I also think most homosexuals don’t seem to accept or maybe realize that they are homosexuals until puberty. Sexual orientation doesn’t usually happen until sexual maturity. That is when hormones take over. I’ve also read that gay male brains have hippothalamus glands larger in size than that of female heterosexual brains. This would suggest chemical factors that allow for the enlargement of the gay male’s forebrain (your emotion center, among other things including spirituality- which leads to the question of mollesting alterboys, but that’s a different topic). I know I’m once again oversimplifying, but does any of this seem valid?

  63. simbol
    July 22nd, 2005 @ 9:20 pm

    Herm, I got my answer and I have some comments:

    By inserting the sentence

  64. hermesten
    July 25th, 2005 @ 10:09 am

    Simbol, children can’t enter into contracts, but that doesn’t make contracts “immoral.” Children cannot give “consent.” In the case of rape, it is the use of force that is immoral. Sex itself is not inherently moral or immoral. Where sex and morality converge is at pregnancy. Pregnancy produces a non-consenting third party who must depend on others for survival. Intercourse resulting in pregnancy confers responsiblity on the participating parties. Still, the sex itself is not a moral breach; the moral breach comes if those responsible for the pregnancy abandon their consequent responsbility for the innocent third party. Since homosexual sex does not lead to pregnancy, there is no potential moral component if the sex is between consenting adults.

  65. simbol
    July 25th, 2005 @ 12:16 pm

    Herm
    Sorry but I disagree.
    I confess I don’t understand very well your reasoning.
    In the case of pedophilia you are forgetting the propose: to use children for getting sexual gratification. Wether or not is used force or there is pregnancy, is not the matter. In fact in many cases force it’s not used in pedophilia but gifts, toys, candies or persuasion; also in many cases pregnancy doesn’t occur. It doesn’t make the action less criminal, or less a sexual misbehavior.

    It’s the same for raping. The fact that there is not a pregnancy as a consequence, doesn’t make it less a SEXUAL misbehavior not only because force was used, but because the aim was sex against the will of a person. Force can be used for assaulting a bank and this wouldn’t be a sexual crime, because the purpose has to do with the qualification. If you don’t call inmoral rape and pedophilia, I don’t know then how to designate it. And the fact that a raper or pedophile takes responsibility for the innocent third party, is more or less the same if I pay the expenses or damages arising of my driving drunken. The fact remains that I was driving drunken. I believe that adults in a free agreement, can do whatever they want in mater of sex, notwithstanding I have some reservations about some sexual conducts not for moral reasons but by sexual taste and aesthetics, which, in may view are the result of genetics, upbringing and cultural environment(unless geneticists sometime appear with a different explanation). But at the same time I believe that morals has to do with safeguarding mental health of children in the field of sex, and not forcing adults individuals to sexual acts against their will, because at the end, morals is no other thing that what you consider, PERSONALLY, right or wrong.

  66. hermesten
    July 25th, 2005 @ 3:13 pm

    Simbol, apparently I wasn’t clear in my remarks. For one thing, I’m not saying that force is the determining factor in all cases, specifically that of children –consent is the more fundamental issue. Children cannot consent to sex and they cannot consent to a contract. All sex between adults and children is immoral because children cannot “consent.” They can’t consent “intellectually” and just about every country in the world recognizes this fact and makes illegal a whole range of behavior, sexual and non-sexual, between adults and children.

    As far as rape is concerned, the mantra in this country is that rape is not a crime of sex, its a crime of violence and power. Consent and the use of force is the issue. If a certain woman consents to sex with a certain man, there is no crime, and there is no moral transgression. However, if the same woman does not consent to have sex with the very same man the very next day, and he drugs her and has sex with her, or holds a gun to her head and forces her to have sex with him, he is guilty of both a legal transgression (rape) and a moral transgression. And whether or not you agree with the notion that rape is always a crime of violence and power, it seems undeniable that rape is, at least sometimes, a crime of violence and power.

    As far a pregnancy is concerned, you completely misunderstood my remarks, so I’ll be more specific. If two men or two women have consensual sex, there is no moral implication. If a man and a woman have consensual sex, a moral implication arises only if the woman gets pregnant, or there is some other breach of moral obligation –such as a spouse breaking a vow of fidelity.

  67. simbol
    July 25th, 2005 @ 6:07 pm

    Herm “As far as rape is concerned, the mantra in this country is that rape is not a crime of sex, its a crime of violence and power.”
    Violence and power means nothing unless you relate them to intention and consequences. Police use violence and power for preventing crime. Nations use violence and power for defending themselves, you can use violence and power for self-defense. In these cases they are justified if applied rightly. Sex under violence is not sex, and is not different from torture. What make this a sexual crime it is the sexual intention and the result:sexual torture with its physical and psychological consequences. The fact that in usa this is not considered a sexual crime is legal technicality, because if the name is not the same, penalties are more or less the same than in other countries where it is called sexual crime. The French call it one Kilo, and you call it 34 ounces, the weight is the same. I don’t mind to accept rape as a crime of violence and power, but I’m sure that sociologists, criminalists and police would like to know how many crimes are “related” to sex, and I bet they will classify rape as “violent sex crimes” when breaking the data. I my neighborhood I don’t know who are thieves, or drug dealers, etc, but police inform not only who is, but even the address of rapists and pedophiles in some miles around my home. And thieves and drug dealers use to be violent. Anyway it seems to be that even here in usa, forcible raping is considered both a crime of violence and a sexual crime. See this link:
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/ proceedings/14/kutchinsky.pdf

  68. Vernichten
    July 25th, 2005 @ 8:45 pm

    Herm, wouldn’t it be a breach of a moral obligation if a committed homosexual broke his/her vow of fidelity?

  69. hermesten
    July 27th, 2005 @ 5:59 pm

    Vern, of course, though one may question just what level of moral transgression is represented by a broken vow, and I’d say it is, for the most part, a function of the vow. And in the case of such a personal vow, it is a matter entirely between the two individuals who are party to it.

    The primary distinction I am trying to make is the insane level of transgression assinged by a 2,000 year old book (and a 1300 year old book), that makes sexual behavior morally transgressive to the point where sexual activity between consenting adults becomes a crime against the “community,” and the penalty for behavior such as fornication and homosexuality, is death.

    And these nutters are still actively advocating these kinds of penalties. I used to hear Bob Enyart, on TV in Oklahoma, advocating the death penalty for homosexuality and the possession of pornography. I don’t recall him advocating death for adultery –perhaps because this might take a heavy toll on his Bible Beating followers.

  70. Vernichten
    July 28th, 2005 @ 4:09 pm

    I agree with you except possibly for one point. I believe that a broken pact between individuals hurts society.

  71. hermesten
    July 28th, 2005 @ 5:06 pm

    I don’t see how, at least in what I’ll refer to as in an “active” sense. We’re all in big trouble if we accept the idea that not doing something hurts society in a way that justifies punishment by “society.” And certainly one can think of plenty of cases where the opposite is true: that a broken pact between individuals benefits society.

    Even when the pact itself is beneficial to society, or at least not detrimental, it’s not very hard to imagine circumstances where a broken pact is better for society than the alternative.

    When you say a broken pact hurts society you are assuming that the abstract notion of what “hurts” society –as opposed to individuals– can be objectively determined and quantified. Any action can be rationalized by claiming that it benefits society, or disparaged on the basis that it hurts society. In fact, tyrants always claim that their actions benefit society, and that society is injured by the actions of those who oppose them. Just listen to the fucking monkey we call a president.

  72. Vernichten
    July 28th, 2005 @ 5:12 pm

    There should be some process of penalty, civil or otherwise, for not living up to a voluntarily entered agreement. That’s why we have contracts and penalties for breaking them.

  73. hermesten
    July 28th, 2005 @ 5:40 pm

    Well, generally speaking, there is, but penalties are a function of “injury” sustained by parties to the agreement; they are not a function of the hypothetical injury to society. Generally speaking, where there is no material injury there is no remedy, or penalty. You don’t put someone in jail because they hurt your feelings, but you might well do so if they punched you in the mouth. Again, generally speaking, where there is no material injury, there is no remedy. You might voluntarily agree with your partner that you vow to watch all the movies Fellini directed. You then might watch Satyricon first, and decide you don’t want to watch any more Fellini movies. Society, and the law, doesn’t care. This is between the two of you, as it should be. Your partner’s feelings may be hurt but there is no injury that can be remedied by the court –or “society.” Neither is there any injury to society for which others need to be concerned.

  74. Vernichten
    July 28th, 2005 @ 6:17 pm

    Then we agree. I only think that penalties should be enforced when real injury or damages are shown to have occurred because of a breach of contract entered into voluntarily by both parties.

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