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grayman
7th September 2007, 02:17 PM
I received this in my email today:

A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member
of the ACLU..

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He
looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting."

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the
Marine got out of his Chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid ***** and act like an a$$. So, He sent me."

I notice how the Professor not only is an atheist, but a member of the ACLU as well. Just in case you didn't hate him enough already.

I hit "reply to all" with this message:

So...the lesson is: if someone disagrees with your view of religion, resort to violence?

Isn't that the type of thinking the terrorists have, which got us into Iraq and Afghanistan to begin with?

So either:
a: The Marine is showing disrespect to his uniform for letting his emotion get the better of him.
b: God's a jerk for allowing violence to be done in his name.
c: People are jerks for doing so much violence in God's name.
d: God is an imaginary crutch that people use to explain away their actions.
e. All the above.

Besides, if "God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid ***** and act like an a$$", he's dropped the ball often enough to allow for the the deaths and injuries to our military serving in those countries. I have much respect for our people serving in the war. I have no respect for a mythological being that would allow this.

If there is a God, instead of sending a thug to beat up anyone that disagrees with him, why doesn't he heal the wounded and answer prayers?: http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com/god5.htm

Final comment: I don't care for the ACLU either. What they have to do with this story, other than to get your emotions fired up, isn't clear.


Not my best writing, but I was up all night working and feeling very tired when I wrote the response.

Comments?

alfaniner
7th September 2007, 02:24 PM
But did the professor drop the chalk?

kmortis
7th September 2007, 02:24 PM
IIRC, we had another thread, or possibly a part of a thread about that topic a while back. Hunster was involved. I think we all agreed that it was glurge, but we happily discected it all the same.

TX50
7th September 2007, 02:46 PM
That was a good reply!

And on his way to ER the professor said "I'm pressing charges, Jarhead!"

Fnord
7th September 2007, 02:58 PM
So...the lesson is: If someone tells a joke that involves God, Atheism, the ACLU, and/or the United States Marine Corps, we're supposed to dissect the joke as if it were a real-world event so as to provide the most critical analysis in the light of our personal belief systems?

I thought it was only a joke, not an editorial commentary on the evils of religion, the smarmy arrogance of an educator, and the pugilistic skills of a Marine.

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 03:04 PM
So...the lesson is: If someone tells a joke that involves God, Atheism, the ACLU, and/or the United States Marine Corps, we're supposed to dissect the joke as if it were a real-world event so as to provide the most critical analysis in the light of our personal belief systems?

I thought it was only a joke, not an editorial commentary on the evils of religion, the smarmy arrogance of an educator, and the pugilistic skills of a Marine.
It is a "joke" only if you think anti-American and anti-freedom attitudes are funny. Most of us don't, but maybe you do? You think violence and bigotry are funny?

grayman
7th September 2007, 03:30 PM
I thought it was only a joke, not an editorial commentary on the evils of religion, the smarmy arrogance of an educator, and the pugilistic skills of a Marine.

I like that. :)

l0rca
7th September 2007, 03:30 PM
It is a "joke" only if you think anti-American and anti-freedom attitudes are funny. Most of us don't, but maybe you do? You think violence and bigotry are funny?

It is not an anti-American or anti-freedom joke. One of the central themes of the joke is freedom:

"God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid ***** and act like an a$$. So, He sent me."

This is the sort of joke that is passed around military circles all the time. One of the most common sentiments of such a joke is that people in service protect our fellow people's freedom of speech despite how stupid, arrogant, or selfish we think they are.

The professor was being arrogant. Are all atheists this arrogant? No. The Marine was being violent and illogical. Are all Marines this violent and illogical? No. What conclusion can we draw from these wild characterizations?

THIS IS A JOKE.

Fnord is right. You took this idea too seriously. It has the structure of a joke, and it ends immediately after the punchline. If you don't agree that the main idea was of humor, you're not very well introduced to the idea of a joke.

It is certainly a joke that takes a jab towards atheists, but the moral of the story is better inferred towards people carrying out what they feel their gods have intended them to do. It does not try to suggest that people should take violence to those they disagree with.

Yes, this joke is rather dumb, and its underlying message token, emotion-filled, and silly, and most people generally agree with its sentiment. But that's fine, and maybe I can cheer you up. See, this one time, a blond walks into a bar...

grayman
7th September 2007, 03:33 PM
Yes, this joke is rather dumb, and its underlying message token, emotion-filled, and silly, and most people generally agree with its sentiment. But that's fine, and maybe I can cheer you up. See, this one time, a blond walks into a bar...

...because she forgot to duck.

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 03:36 PM
It is not an anti-American or anti-freedom joke. One of the central themes of the joke is freedom:

"God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid ***** and act like an a$$. So, He sent me."

This is the sort of joke that is passed around military circles all the time. One of the most common sentiments of such a joke is that people in service protect our fellow people's freedom of speech despite how stupid, arrogant, or selfish we think they are.

The professor was being arrogant. Are all atheists this arrogant? No. The Marine was being violent and illogical. Are all Marines this violent and illogical? No. What conclusion can we draw from these wild characterizations?

THIS IS A JOKE.

Fnord is right. You took this idea too seriously. It has the structure of a joke, and it ends immediately after the punchline. If you don't agree that the main idea was of humor, you're not very well introduced to the idea of a joke.

It is certainly a joke that takes a jab towards atheists, but the moral of the story is better inferred towards people carrying out what they feel their gods have intended them to do. It does not try to suggest that people should take violence to those they disagree with.

Yes, this joke is rather dumb, and its underlying message token, emotion-filled, and silly, and most people generally agree with its sentiment. But that's fine, and maybe I can cheer you up. See, this one time, a blond walks into a bar...
What I take from it is that some people believe that atheists deserve a punch in the face. Certainly, there's a serious hatred of freedom involved in this joke.

Fnord
7th September 2007, 03:37 PM
It is a "joke" only if you think anti-American and anti-freedom attitudes are funny. Most of us don't, but maybe you do? You think violence and bigotry are funny?

Are you trying to take the moral high ground? I think it was funny because of the unexpected "punch" line, and also because I've known many arrogant professors who "know" everything about what it means to be a patriot, a veteran, and a theist without ever having been any one of these.

I've also known Marines who would become violent or threaten violence if anyone disagreed with them, or spoke out against something they believed in.

It seems that every stereotype has at least one prototype.

Practically all forms of humour are based on some form of bigotry, and play off cultural stereotypes. Many also feature some form of violence. Shows like "America's Funniest Home Videos" popular simply because people laugh when others get hurt!

Here's a challenge for you: Tell a joke that does not involve stereotypical behavior, any type of vice or violence, or a slur against any individual or group. See if anyone laughs.

Here's an example, in its entirety, as told to me by a philosophy professor at a liberal-arts college:

"Imagine you are walking along during a blizzard. You can not see more than 10 or 20 meters in any direction. The wind is rushing, the snow is flying, and it's getting progressively colder. Eventually, you come upon a wire-and-post fence, stretching as far as you can see in either direction. You begin to follow it. After what seems like hours, you spot a fencepost that seem taller than the rest. Upon closer examination, you see that there are two penguins standing on the fencepost. Suddenly, one of them falls head first into the snow, dead. The other penguin turns to you, looks you square in the eye, and squawks the word "Radio." Then it flies away."

Funny?

bignickel
7th September 2007, 03:43 PM
Not a joke, just the usual urban legend with evil 'atheist professors' making the rounds
http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

Oh, and in case you missed the chalk reference
http://www.snopes.com/religion/chalk.asp

Fnord
7th September 2007, 03:44 PM
What I take from it is that some people believe that atheists deserve a punch in the face. Certainly, there's a serious hatred of freedom involved in this joke.

I must then point out that there is a serious hatred of religion in the same joke, but no religious person got torqued up about that, right?

l0rca
7th September 2007, 03:44 PM
What I take from it is that some people believe that atheists deserve a punch in the face. Certainly, there's a serious hatred of freedom involved in this joke.

As Fnord just pointed out, one can sense a serious form of some kind of hatred or another in all kinds of jokes. It helps to make jokes funny. I really can't explain this to you without either breaking down the nature of humor or waiting until you're less annoyed with the joke and take a more understanding perspective of its intentions.

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 03:46 PM
Shows like "America's Funniest Home Videos" popular simply because people laugh when others get hurt!

I didn't find that show to be even mildly funny. Seeing people get hurt, especially undeserving people getting hurt, is rarely funny to me in any context.

This "joke" in particular doesn't contain any humor. One person knocks another one unconscious because the first one hates the worldview of the second one. How is that funny? Because it portrays a "Marine" who hates America's freedoms? Is that supposed to be the source of the humor?

l0rca
7th September 2007, 03:47 PM
Not a joke, just the usual urban legend with evil 'atheist professors' making the rounds
http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

Oh, and in case you missed the chalk reference
http://www.snopes.com/religion/chalk.asp

I think snopes is just getting carried away, really. People who take this as not a joke, but rather a humorous and probably true happening, are deluded.

bignickel
7th September 2007, 03:48 PM
Welcome to America.

Enjoy your visit. :)

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 03:49 PM
As Fnord just pointed out, one can sense a serious form of some kind of hatred or another in all kinds of jokes. It helps to make jokes funny. I really can't explain this to you without either breaking down the nature of humor or waiting until you're less annoyed with the joke and take a more understanding perspective of its intentions.
I'm all about the humor. This "joke" is only funny if you're filled with a specific kind of hatred.

l0rca
7th September 2007, 03:49 PM
Welcome to America.

Enjoy your visit. :)

Obviously, Joe is British. Their sense of humor is terrible, after all.

(Bing!)

Fnord
7th September 2007, 03:49 PM
Like your freedom?
Thank a veteran.

You're welcome.

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 03:50 PM
Like your freedom?
Thank a veteran.

You're welcome.Where's my mirror, so I can thank myself for freedoms that have never been threatened by anything that a military can protect me from. Thanks, Me!

Fnord
7th September 2007, 03:51 PM
Obviously, Joe is British. Their sense of humor is terrible, after all.

So maybe if we made a cut-out cartoon of HRM The Queen getting smacked with a herring, followed by an immediate cutaway to a dead parrot, he might actually crack a smile?

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 03:52 PM
Obviously, Joe is British. Their sense of humor is terrible, after all.

(Bing!)

Was that supposed to be funny? :rolleyes:

Foster Zygote
7th September 2007, 04:20 PM
I'm all about the humor. This "joke" is only funny if you're filled with a specific kind of hatred.

Yeah, Huntster was very fond of that joke as I remember.

Foster Zygote
7th September 2007, 04:25 PM
Obviously, Joe is British. Their sense of humor is terrible, after all.

(Bing!)

Aye! Terribly funny that is.:D

jjramsey
7th September 2007, 04:38 PM
Interesting blog post on that very same e-mail:

http://realevang.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/how-god-really-works/

fuelair
7th September 2007, 05:58 PM
But did the professor drop the chalk?Or did the Marine drop the soap?

And this is a Snope's job anyway.:D

Abdul Alhazred
7th September 2007, 06:08 PM
Two strawmen walk into a bar ...

quixotecoyote
7th September 2007, 06:13 PM
There's a bunch of those out there. There's a whole sub-genre of 'evil atheist professor' glurge floating around in Christian circles. I think the idea is to vaccinate against education by higher institutions which don't have a Christian filter on the materials.

articulett
7th September 2007, 06:26 PM
Yes, I've heard the story or similar ones told as "anecdotes" or "friend of a friend" stories-- not "jokes"... and theists are ready to believe most anything...

Remember, we're talking about a group of people ripe for certain meme insertions. Heck, religion doesn't have any facts.... they may as well have smug anecdotes with Americans punching people in lieu of the invisible almighty overlord himself.

(It's interesting that God can't fight his own battles in classrooms, but the foot ball players seem to call him away from his war duties to help them win an awful lot...)

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 06:30 PM
Yes, I've heard the story or similar ones told as "anecdotes" or "friend of a friend" stories-- not "jokes"... and theists are ready to believe most anything...

Remember, we're talking about a group of people ripe for certain meme insertions. Heck, religion doesn't have any facts.... they may as well have smug anecdotes with Americans punching people in lieu of the invisible almighty overlord himself.

(It's interesting that God can't fight his own battles in classrooms, but the foot ball players seem to call him away from his war duties to help them win an awful lot...)
Yeah, and that all-powerful super mojo seems really great at helping people find lost car keys and such, but not so super at all when it comes to preventing the deaths of millions of people.

articulett
7th September 2007, 06:36 PM
Yeah, and that all-powerful super mojo seems really great at helping people find lost car keys and such, but not so super at all when it comes to preventing the deaths of millions of people.

As I recall, cockpit recordings and cell phone recordings had a lot of people invoking his services on 9-11, but I guess he was busy sending marines to punch professors in the name of benevolence...

Or maybe he goes by Allah?

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 06:43 PM
As I recall, cockpit recordings and cell phone recordings had a lot of people invoking his services on 9-11, but I guess he was busy sending marines to punch professors in the name of benevolence...

Or maybe he goes by Allah?

And people wonder why atheists aren't more respectful of theists...

Then again, as I've previously noted, a world created by a benevolent god would have no need for an interventionist god... except possibly to turn water into wine on Saturday nights.

jjramsey
7th September 2007, 07:06 PM
... and theists are ready to believe most anything...

Holy overgeneralization, Batman!

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 07:07 PM
Holy overgeneralization, Batman!

Really?

ponderingturtle
7th September 2007, 07:15 PM
So...the lesson is: If someone tells a joke that involves God, Atheism, the ACLU, and/or the United States Marine Corps, we're supposed to dissect the joke as if it were a real-world event so as to provide the most critical analysis in the light of our personal belief systems?

I thought it was only a joke, not an editorial commentary on the evils of religion, the smarmy arrogance of an educator, and the pugilistic skills of a Marine.

It also shows the compassion and respect that marines have for the fellow man. He turned the other cheek allright, just like Jesus said.

ponderingturtle
7th September 2007, 07:17 PM
It is a "joke" only if you think anti-American and anti-freedom attitudes are funny. Most of us don't, but maybe you do? You think violence and bigotry are funny?

But you are supposted to be laughing at how stupid and hypocritical marines and christians are, or am I missing the point of the joke?

Mercutio
7th September 2007, 07:20 PM
The same email was forwarded to me, maybe a year ago. I posted to some thread here about my response. Not the same response--I spoke about the honor of Marines, defending the Constitution, and other stuff.

It really pissed me off at the time--mostly because it was not sent to me, but to my wife. She forwarded it to me. I cannot find my previous response using our search function. I think I wrote about how great it was that god was doing whatever, sending a marine to do other stuff, while X international tragedy (tsunami?) was happining in another place.

*grumble*

articulett
7th September 2007, 07:22 PM
But you are supposted to be laughing at how stupid and hypocritical marines and christians are, or am I missing the point of the joke?

ah... now I get it... it was irony... "punching for Jesus who is off helping soldiers kill people..." That is funny.

(Very "compassionate" those xians.)

ponderingturtle
7th September 2007, 07:22 PM
Yes, I've heard the story or similar ones told as "anecdotes" or "friend of a friend" stories-- not "jokes"... and theists are ready to believe most anything...

Remember, we're talking about a group of people ripe for certain meme insertions. Heck, religion doesn't have any facts.... they may as well have smug anecdotes with Americans punching people in lieu of the invisible almighty overlord himself.

(It's interesting that God can't fight his own battles in classrooms, but the foot ball players seem to call him away from his war duties to help them win an awful lot...)

Can god help it if he was busy telling bush how to win the war in Iraq?

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 07:25 PM
But you are supposted to be laughing at how stupid and hypocritical marines and christians are, or am I missing the point of the joke?

I'm a former Marine, and I don't think insulting a Marine's patriotism and respect for the law is very funny.

ponderingturtle
7th September 2007, 07:28 PM
I'm a former Marine, and I don't think insulting a Marine's patriotism and respect for the law is very funny.

I generaly agree with you. But it does seem to be a strong element in the joke. The thing is that when it seems that when this is passed around as an ammusing story that he is viewed as acting properly.

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 07:35 PM
I generaly agree with you. But it does seem to be a strong element in the joke. The thing is that when it seems that when this is passed around as an ammusing story that he is viewed as acting properly.

That's the problem with this. It isn't a joke, it is the way some people wish the world worked. They really wish someone would go out and beat up all the atheists. Not that they would do it themselves, because they are cowards... you can tell by the fact that when this sort of nonsense is exposed, they try to lie about it by claiming it is "just a joke."

blutoski
7th September 2007, 07:36 PM
What I take from it is that some people believe that atheists deserve a punch in the face. Certainly, there's a serious hatred of freedom involved in this joke.

More obvious because of the ACLU connection: people who defend the constitution should be threatened with violence. Best managed through the military - eg: martial law.

ponderingturtle
7th September 2007, 07:37 PM
That's the problem with this. It isn't a joke, it is the way some people wish the world worked. They really wish someone would go out and beat up all the atheists. Not that they would do it themselves, because they are cowards... you can tell by the fact that when this sort of nonsense is exposed, they try to lie about it by claiming it is "just a joke."

We are in agreement.

RandFan
7th September 2007, 09:02 PM
I received this in my email today:

I notice how the Professor not only is an atheist, but a member of the ACLU as well. Just in case you didn't hate him enough already.

I hit "reply to all" with this message:

Not my best writing, but I was up all night working and feeling very tired when I wrote the response.

Comments? I think you hit the nail on the head. Very good.

I've asked my freinds and family not to include me in these lists. Sadly I don't get updates to important family functions. Of course I guess whether that is good or bad is dependant on ones POV.

I used to really hate some of the crap I got. I once asked a family member to please check snopes before sening me all of the urband legends.

We didn't talk for a year.

articulett
7th September 2007, 09:26 PM
My stepmother is fond of sending me cheery little "and god smote him" anecdotes or something like there's a special Christians club... I don't even open them. One was a really Christian diatribe supposedly written by Andy Rooney in his "did you ever notice" style-- But Andy Rooney is an Atheist! These people are just so ready to believe any little anecdote that supports their view-- and seldom is it relayed as a "joke"-- more often as a "true story" or warning or a "we can all agree on this" piece of propaganda.

And this stuff might have impressed me as a kid... but it embarrasses me to think of adults believing in such a ridiculous storybook kind of god-- and finding wisdom in banal platitudes and parables and "jokes" like this. I think they think they're deep... and I always just feel like they've gone off the deep end. I not only don't relate; I'm embarrassed that I know people who think like this--and that THEY think I think like they do!

But I haven't the guts to get labeled by asking them not to send it to me. I just stop opening forwarded mail from certain sources.

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 09:31 PM
My stepmother is fond of sending me cheery little "and god smote him" anecdotes or something like there's a special Christians club... I don't even open them. One was a really Christian diatribe supposedly written by Andy Rooney in his "did you ever notice" style-- But Andy Rooney is an Atheist! These people are just so ready to believe any little anecdote that supports their view-- and seldom is it relayed as a "joke"-- more often as a "true story" or warning or a "we can all agree on this" piece of propaganda.

And this stuff might have impressed me as a kid... but it embarrasses me to think of adults believing in such a ridiculous storybook kind of god-- and finding wisdom in banal platitudes and parables and "jokes" like this. I think they think they're deep... and I always just feel like they've gone off the deep end. I not only don't relate; I'm embarrassed that I know people who think like this--and that THEY think I think like they do!

But I haven't the guts to get labeled by asking them not to send it to me. I just stop opening forwarded mail from certain sources.Tell me... have you noticed a pattern of hate and vindictiveness in these "true stories"?

qayak
7th September 2007, 09:40 PM
It is not an anti-American or anti-freedom joke. One of the central themes of the joke is freedom:

"God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid ***** and act like an a$$. So, He sent me."

This is the sort of joke that is passed around military circles all the time. One of the most common sentiments of such a joke is that people in service protect our fellow people's freedom of speech despite how stupid, arrogant, or selfish we think they are.

The professor was being arrogant. Are all atheists this arrogant? No. The Marine was being violent and illogical. Are all Marines this violent and illogical? No. What conclusion can we draw from these wild characterizations?

THIS IS A JOKE.

Fnord is right. You took this idea too seriously. It has the structure of a joke, and it ends immediately after the punchline. If you don't agree that the main idea was of humor, you're not very well introduced to the idea of a joke.

It is certainly a joke that takes a jab towards atheists, but the moral of the story is better inferred towards people carrying out what they feel their gods have intended them to do. It does not try to suggest that people should take violence to those they disagree with.

Yes, this joke is rather dumb, and its underlying message token, emotion-filled, and silly, and most people generally agree with its sentiment. But that's fine, and maybe I can cheer you up. See, this one time, a blond walks into a bar...

I don't think it is a joke at all and it was never meant to be one or taken as one. It is a parable written for christians in the same manner that Jesus, supposedly, used parables in the bible.

There is a moral in here for those who believe, not a joke.

delphi_ote
7th September 2007, 09:49 PM
An omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient deity was "too busy"? That marine kicked the wrong ass!

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 09:53 PM
An omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient deity was "too busy"? That marine kicked the wrong ass!

People who believe in that sort of deity are stupid... no wonder they want a mythical Marine to kick some tail on their behalf.

articulett
7th September 2007, 10:00 PM
An omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient deity was "too busy"? That marine kicked the wrong ass!

Yes... but how do you kick invisible ass? May as well take it out on some of his wretched (but beloved) creations. Should this have been a real incident, I would hope the marine would have been sued for battery.

delphi_ote
7th September 2007, 10:05 PM
Sorry. I want to get upset about the rest of the nonsense, I'm more offended by the idea of infinite lethargy! This deity created the annoying professor but was too lazy to knock him off the podium?

Dr Adequate
7th September 2007, 11:38 PM
Um ... I still think that the best reponse to this one would be: "But that didn't actually happen, did it? Why are you telling me a story that someone made up?"

JoeEllison
7th September 2007, 11:55 PM
Um ... I still think that the best reponse to this one would be: "But that didn't actually happen, did it? Why are you telling me a story that someone made up?"Ummm... yeah, but the idea of Christians lying is a given, so we can safely move past your point, can't we?

articulett
8th September 2007, 12:27 AM
Sorry. I want to get upset about the rest of the nonsense, I'm more offended by the idea of infinite lethargy! This deity created the annoying professor but was too lazy to knock him off the podium?

He used up his lightening bolt on those Virginia miners-- I guess... what good is omnipotence when you need lackeys to fight your battles for you? I would think the fact that you could smite people forever would make it unnecessary for mortals to do your smiting for you. It's a weird little anecdote, because they are going to "make" their god true even if it means acting as his proxy for the professors audacity to find an invisible overlord silly. (God is this weird entity that you need to believe in and force others to believe in for some unfathomable reason. Are there any other of these invisible entities that require us to believe in them or they'll make Marines punch us?)

And if you are fighting for American values be it freedom of speech or separation of church and state-- why would you want to come home and then fight those values? I've long suspected that to Christians, "do unto others" really just means "do unto others who believe like you do"-- the rest are punchable or worse. Gotta love that Christian compassion-- doesn't it make you want to sign right up so you can be an ass while feeling morally superior. Yee haw!

JoeEllison
8th September 2007, 12:38 AM
I've long suspected that to Christians, "do unto others" really just means "do unto others who believe like you do"-- the rest are punchable or worse

Remember that "love thy neighbor" literally meant "love the guy next door, and murder the infidels 50 miles down the road!"

All the so-called values of that corrupt cult only apply to the "in-group"... and genocide is acceptable for the rest of us.

sophia8
8th September 2007, 02:19 AM
That's the problem with this. It isn't a joke, it is the way some people wish the world worked. They really wish someone would go out and beat up all the atheists. Not that they would do it themselves, because they are cowards... you can tell by the fact that when this sort of nonsense is exposed, they try to lie about it by claiming it is "just a joke."A comment on the Realvang blog post about it (http://realevang.wordpress.com/2007/08/28/how-god-really-works/) pointed out that if the story had been intended as a joke, then it would have had a short, snappy punchline; the Marine would have replied with something like "God works in mysterious ways!". That would have been a chuckle-worthy joke.
Instead, the Marine replies with a mini-sermon, which is the whole point of the story. These glurges are homilies, uplifting sermons, and lots of people actually do believe them, or want to believe them. And the repetition of such stories reinforces their beliefs.
Plenty of people like to believe that the world that is represented in soap operas is real; these glurges are email soaps.

l0rca
8th September 2007, 02:23 AM
I don't think it is a joke at all and it was never meant to be one or taken as one. It is a parable written for christians in the same manner that Jesus, supposedly, used parables in the bible.

There is a moral in here for those who believe, not a joke.

I've thought about this some more, and I think you are right. If I was to see this, I would assume it is a joke, and if I used an antithetical idea, it would be a joke.

But being a Corpsman, and seeing these sorts of ideas passed about in work (not anti-atheist; pro-religion silliness), I think this is more like a humor of why uneducated dogmatic Christians should consider themselves right in the face of more reasonable ideas. It's also a great way to straw-man a feared stance on their religion that nearly all of them won't ever find proper acquaintance to.

wollery
8th September 2007, 03:51 AM
And people wonder why atheists aren't more respectful of theists... Speak for yourself!

I not only don't relate; I'm embarrassed that I know people who think like this--and that THEY think I think like they do!

But I haven't the guts to get labeled by asking them not to send it to me. I just stop opening forwarded mail from certain sources.Talk about irony! :rolleyes:

andyandy
8th September 2007, 04:24 AM
I always just feel like they've gone off the deep end. I not only don't relate; I'm embarrassed that I know people who think like this--and that THEY think I think like they do!

But I haven't the guts to get labeled by asking them not to send it to me. I just stop opening forwarded mail from certain sources.

This is the sort of sanctimonous reply that you might find familiar....

When will you speak out to stop the spread of the meme that causes so many to suffer? link (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=2923682#post2923682)

so when are you going to speak out articulett? ;)

don't practise what you preach? What a surprise.

Classic bullied kid syndrome - you've been bullied by evangelicals, but rather than stand up for yourself you look for another target to get your own back on - to build up your self esteem, becoming a bully yourself in the process.

Safe-Keeper
8th September 2007, 06:49 AM
Anyone who takes this as nothing but a joke misses the whole point. It's quite obviously a 'glurge', evident from both writing style and actual 'plot'. I see its intent and disagree with it full-heartedly.

I must then point out that there is a serious hatred of religion in the same joke, but no religious person got torqued up about that, right?And where would this serious hatred be, if I may ask?

delphi_ote
8th September 2007, 06:53 AM
Um ... I still think that the best reponse to this one would be: "But that didn't actually happen, did it? Why are you telling me a story that someone made up?"
What's good enough for the Bible should be good enough for an e-mail.

kedo1981
8th September 2007, 07:11 AM
Here’s another, even more heart warming, version of this story.
A few years ago, thousands of non-believers went about their lives completely ignoring the will of God. So Mohammed Ata (spelling) said God is busy, so he sent me, then he crashed planes in the twin towers.

grayman
8th September 2007, 07:32 AM
I'm enjoying the debate on this thread. I was told by the person that sent the original story that: This was sent as a joke ,not to be picked apart .you were supposed to see the humor in it .

I received a response to my rebuttal. Here it is with one word edited:

DO NOT SEND ME [stuff] LIKE THIS AGAIN!! YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE!

l0rca
8th September 2007, 07:52 AM
I'm enjoying the debate on this thread. I was told by the person that sent the original story that:

I received a response to my rebuttal. Here it is with one word edited:

Were they related to you?

ShowerComic
8th September 2007, 07:55 AM
So...the lesson is: If someone tells a joke that involves God, Atheism, the ACLU, and/or the United States Marine Corps, we're supposed to dissect the joke as if it were a real-world event so as to provide the most critical analysis in the light of our personal belief systems?

I thought it was only a joke, not an editorial commentary on the evils of religion, the smarmy arrogance of an educator, and the pugilistic skills of a Marine.

If this is a joke, it's a bad one for reasons stated.

a. Just use God sent me to do his dirty work, if you overreact to any offense. -- Is that the Moral of the story ?

b. Everything - AND I MEAN EVERYTHING attributed to God has a real natural cause. (weather, - ever been stuck at an airport?, back office processing (tech support staff, 'operations staff') - Human effort behind the scenes. (wonder who makes your beds when you stay at a hotel)
-- Trekkies see : STNG: 'Devil's Due" -> "Did she not even pick up one piece of trash ?" -> Picard re: Ardra

c. Religious people have a God given right to beat up people who make fun of them.

------------
All of that said, and in all seriousness, I would think it's an urban legend, as in a Public University, a professor could get into trouble for even insisting that students follow his atheistic beliefs. -- example from an atheistic perspective 'The Bible' may have been written by several people, writing styles would lead you to that conclusion. From an Orthodox Jewish perspective 'God did it.' So an Orthodox Jew could not say 'Because The Bible was...' rather must say 'If it were that The Bible was ...'

P.S. To an Orthodox Jew God is really really creative.

grayman
8th September 2007, 07:56 AM
The one that sent me the "joke" is related, the one that is upset at my response I have never met.

Beerina
8th September 2007, 04:05 PM
Here's a challenge for you: Tell a joke that does not involve stereotypical behavior, any type of vice or violence, or a slur against any individual or group. See if anyone laughs.

Here's an example, in its entirety, as told to me by a philosophy professor at a liberal-arts college:

"Imagine you are walking along during a blizzard. You can not see more than 10 or 20 meters in any direction. The wind is rushing, the snow is flying, and it's getting progressively colder. Eventually, you come upon a wire-and-post fence, stretching as far as you can see in either direction. You begin to follow it. After what seems like hours, you spot a fencepost that seem taller than the rest. Upon closer examination, you see that there are two penguins standing on the fencepost. Suddenly, one of them falls head first into the snow, dead. The other penguin turns to you, looks you square in the eye, and squawks the word "Radio." Then it flies away."

Funny?

Prior to being judged funny, it has to have a little unexpected twist that activates the feeling of nervousness and grunting and baring of teeth in defensive response we call laughter.

This isn't like that pink ping pong ball joke, or that Penn movie, where the joke is that there is no joke, is it?

articulett
8th September 2007, 05:26 PM
This is the sort of sanctimonous reply that you might find familiar....

link (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=2923682#post2923682)

so when are you going to speak out articulett? ;)

don't practise what you preach? What a surprise.

Classic bullied kid syndrome - you've been bullied by evangelicals, but rather than stand up for yourself you look for another target to get your own back on - to build up your self esteem, becoming a bully yourself in the process.

I speak out here, because people have willingly chosen to come here and be among the skeptics. I don't know what I'd accomplish except prejudice upon myself to tell my 70 year old step mother to stop sending me pithy little religious things. It's easier just to discard them.

Generally, I don't inflict my opinion on those who don't inflict their opinion on me. And I stay quiet when the consequences are not something I feel like dealing with from the faith filled but illogical. Which I don't think you're particularly qualified to understand. I think you have a major apologetic streak and a bullying streak while, like the Christian in the little story, feeling that you are being all moral and fighting for some nebulous ideal or other. I think I'll just put you on ignore. I'm sure you'll appear in somebody else's post if anyone ever things you have something of value to add other than the usual apologetics and flogging of those who dare to criticize religion or creationists or goal post movers.

articulett
8th September 2007, 05:29 PM
Here’s another, even more heart warming, version of this story.
A few years ago, thousands of non-believers went about their lives completely ignoring the will of God. So Mohammed Ata (spelling) said God is busy, so he sent me, then he crashed planes in the twin towers.

Precious.

Now that's the response grayman should have sent!

articulett
8th September 2007, 05:31 PM
I'm enjoying the debate on this thread. I was told by the person that sent the original story that:

I received a response to my rebuttal. Here it is with one word edited:

Send them Kedo's more heartwarming version and see if they fail to have a sense of humor...

I just love the christian compassion, sense of humor, and humility-- don't you?

jjramsey
8th September 2007, 05:41 PM
... apologetics ...

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

articulett
8th September 2007, 06:03 PM
I do... I've quoted the dictionary definition many times. It's an opinion. Others agree. There are some people who rush to defend things with a decidedly christian leaning and demonize those who criticize christianity--they fail to see their bias-- but it keeps popping up again and again. If it were a different belief system doing the wacky thing... they'd be less gung ho at calling the transgression "no big deal" and accusing others of over reacting. It's the same people... most of their commentary is around this theme.

mijopaalmc
8th September 2007, 06:16 PM
So does this "joke" enrage the posters here because the marine reacted violently toward the professor or because the marine was angered by what the professor had said?

If the "joke" had been a true story where instead of assaulting the professor the marine had complained to the appropriate administrative officials who then disciplined the professor, would those who are all up in arms about the "joke" still insist on their righteous indignation?

andyandy
8th September 2007, 06:22 PM
I speak out here, because people have willingly chosen to come here and be among the skeptics. I don't know what I'd accomplish except prejudice upon myself to tell my 70 year old step mother to stop sending me pithy little religious things. It's easier just to discard them.

Generally, I don't inflict my opinion on those who don't inflict their opinion on me. And I stay quiet when the consequences are not something I feel like dealing with from the faith filled but illogical. Which I don't think you're particularly qualified to understand. I think you have a major apologetic streak and a bullying streak while, like the Christian in the little story, feeling that you are being all moral and fighting for some nebulous ideal or other. I think I'll just put you on ignore. I'm sure you'll appear in somebody else's post if anyone ever things you have something of value to add other than the usual apologetics and flogging of those who dare to criticize religion or creationists or goal post movers.

So even though you don't dare to criticise religion in the real world, you feel like you can call everyone an apologist online for not agreeing with you? You've said time and time again that it is "apologists" that are responsible for not "speaking out," that through their non-actions they are culpable. You take the moral high ground, again and again - accusing others of not "speaking out," ranting and raving about the LIES and the evils of religion to other non believers. And yet, you don't even "speak out" yourself to the actual people who do perpetuate these memes. That really is rather hypocritical.

You cling to the notion that people who post here "dare to criticize religion" - what's daring about it? RP is overwhelmingly atheistic/agnostic. It would perhaps be "daring" for you to "speak out" in the real world, it would perhaps be slightly more "daring" to "speak out" on a religious forum. It is not in the least bit daring to "speak out" on JREF. Equally it is not in the least bit "daring" for Hitchens, Harris or Dawkins to write anti-God books - it makes good financial sense - there's no need to portray them as brave martys. Ditto with creationists - people "dare to criticise" creationists on JREF?? Absolute nonsense. There's no "daring" required - just a quick typing action to beat the other two dozen posters to the same points first.

It's absurd that one must post a cv of criticism of religion in order to comment on someone else's criticism or face being labelled an "apologist" and yet this is the absurdity you perpetuate time after time.

First you try to pretend I disagree with everything that dawkins says - even after i say that i'm in most parts a fan, next you try to pretend i don't think that religion does any harm, so i list many ways in which it can, next you try to shift to just a christian bias.

here's a list of my opinions


the christian church must be attributed a good level of culpability for the deeply unpleasant homophobia through the ages - continuing to this day.

The Catholic church must be attributed a good level of culpability for their absurd contraceptive policy which undermines african (and developing world) efforts to fight HIV


the christian church must be attributed a good deal of culpability for fostering anti-semitism throughout europe especially from the middle ages onwards - which was a factor in producing the european climate of hatred responsible for the Dreyfus affair, Russian pogroms and Austrian racism - a climate which helped shape Hitler's views.


Mother Theresa was a deeply unpleasant individual who did a great deal of harm through the misrepresentation of her actions, and her actions themselves


american fundamentalists challenge scientific learning, threaten abortion rights, stand in the way of life saving research on stem cells, and have far too much influence in american politics.


Christianity has provided motivating factors, exacebating in group/out group splits, moral justifiers over a wide range of conflicts and atrocities commited throughout the ages.


i could go on and on - i imagine that some people may disagree with some of those opinion - but i wouldn't call them an apologist for doing so. So, i dislike many aspects of christianity. But the facts don't actually matter do they? Because of the cardinal sin of
1) Not agreeing absolutely with everything that Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens says on religion
2) Not agreeing with absolutely everything that you say on religion

you have to cling to your comfort blanket "with us" "against us" division where you can dismiss any criticism by pretending people hold positions wholly diametrically opposed to your own.

I agree with vast swathes of what others choose to criticise religion about - indeed, the OP i think is an example of a meme which deserves speaking out against - it's a shame you're too "gutless" to do so. There should not be any "free pass" from criticism just because you're speaking on a matter of religion - and facile in group/out group splits - the with us/against us rhetoric is just a comfort blanket clung to to avoid personal introspective examination of criticism.

triadboy
8th September 2007, 06:59 PM
An omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient deity was "too busy"?

That's one of the funny things wrong with Xianity. It was LATER thinking that made Him omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. But unfortunately for them, xians are stuck with the OT, where Yahweh walks in a garden, smells sacrificed flesh and worries about how high the humans are building a tower. It's really comical once you study the crap out of it.

Elind
8th September 2007, 07:18 PM
I received this in my email today:



I notice how the Professor not only is an atheist, but a member of the ACLU as well. Just in case you didn't hate him enough already.

I hit "reply to all" with this message:



Not my best writing, but I was up all night working and feeling very tired when I wrote the response.

Comments?

Urban legend I'm sure but good anyway. I'm an atheist, but not ACLU, and I'll buy the marine a beer.

triadboy
8th September 2007, 07:20 PM
So does this "joke" enrage the posters here because...

I'm not enraged, but what bothers me - and what this "joke' reeks of - is that Xianity is trying to claim the military and patriotism for themselves. As a retired military guy, that makes me f**king puke.

Tricky
8th September 2007, 07:41 PM
When one of my ultra-Christian relatives sent this to me, I edited a few words, hit "reply to all" and sent it back.
***
A Muslim foreign exchange student was attending some college courses in the US. He had spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU..

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "Allah, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am Allah. I'm still waiting."

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Muslim got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Muslim went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Muslim and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Muslim calmly replied, "Allah was too busy today protecting the world from from infidels like you, so, He sent me."

***
I didn't get a response.

TuftedPuffin
8th September 2007, 08:11 PM
So does this "joke" enrage the posters here because the marine reacted violently toward the professor or because the marine was angered by what the professor had said?

If the "joke" had been a true story where instead of assaulting the professor the marine had complained to the appropriate administrative officials who then disciplined the professor, would those who are all up in arms about the "joke" still insist on their righteous indignation?

I think the joke enrages people for about the same reason the blood libel should have: because it's a dehumanizing depiction of a group spread to and popular among the masses. If people make jokes about you being hurt and told you deserve it (again, if he had simply said "God works in mysterious ways" instead of giving a sermon about how the professor deserved to get punched, people wouldn't be nearly as offended), you tend to get more than a little angry.

If it had been a true story where the marine complained to the authorities I personally would probably have agreed with him. That professor in reality would be way out of line and a bit of a jackass. Though if the marine used the same stupid patriotism argument I think I would still be a little annoyed.

wollery
8th September 2007, 08:31 PM
Allow me to translate;
I speak out here, because people have willingly chosen to come here and be among the skeptics.I rant and rail about the evils of religion in one of the few places that it doesn't actually matter, or do any good.

I don't know what I'd accomplish except prejudice upon myself to tell my 70 year old step mother to stop sending me pithy little religious things. It's easier just to discard them.I lie by omission to the people closest to me.

Generally, I don't inflict my opinion on those who don't inflict their opinion on me. And I stay quiet when the consequences are not something I feel like dealing with from the faith filled but illogical.I don't have the courage of my convictions, and I'll label all theists as evil lying scumbags (only on this forum though), except those that I personally know who aren't evil lying scumbags.

Which I don't think you're particularly qualified to understand.You don't understand me because you don't have my experiences, but I understand you even though i don't have your experiences.

I think you have a major apologetic streak and a bullying streak while, like the Christian in the little story, feeling that you are being all moral and fighting for some nebulous ideal or other.I'm better than you because I don't stand for any of this religious crap (except in real life where it actually matters). You may feel that you're moral, but I'm really the moral one.

I think I'll just put you on ignore.You're posts are embarrassing me and cutting too close to the bone. I want to live in my own little bubble of hypocrisy, so I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, "la la la, I can't hear you".

I'm sure you'll appear in somebody else's post if anyone ever things you have something of value to add other than the usual apologetics and flogging of those who dare to criticize religion or creationists or goal post movers.I'll only pay attention to you if you agree with me.

I'm sure that this post will get me put on ignore, but frankly, I don't care.

articulett
8th September 2007, 08:48 PM
Yes, I guess the joke stopped being funny or they didn't get the "parable".

Good job, Tricky.

articulett
8th September 2007, 09:05 PM
Allow me to translate;
I rant and rail about the evils of religion in one of the few places that it doesn't actually matter, or do any good.

You are free to translate, but you are incorrect. When people come to a skeptics forum they should be prepared to have their claims examined critically. I don't care if it's religious or woo claims-- claims... such as yours above and below are examined critically by anyone who wishes to do so. They can be sorted into facts and --everything else-- for example... I'd classify yours as opinions that most don't share, thankfully...

I lie by omission to the people closest to me.

No, I just don't think everybody wants to hear my opinions and I don't want to be subject to everyone's prejudices. It's easier for me to hit ignore. I could do what tricky did, but it would just make my step mother self righteous like you and irate and she'd put out her own silly inanities on the subject like you.

I don't have the courage of my convictions, and I'll label all theists as evil lying scumbags (only on this forum though), except those that I personally know who aren't evil lying scumbags.

I've never labeled any theist an evil lying scumbag-- I think religions are lies proffered as "higher truths"-- I distinguish believers from the beliefs they've been indoctrinated with. I don't believe in evil, and I have been called a liar by people I find dishonest far more than I have said the same of such people on this forum. Moreover, I've never called anyone a scumbag-- but you must feel very special for extrapolating that message from something I've never said. The worst I've called someone is an apologist. And the dictionary definition fits. If people over react, perhaps that's because they are afraid it might be true.

You don't understand me because you don't have my experiences, but I understand you even though i don't have your experiences.

That was a complete non-sequitar. But some people have problems with analogies and basic logic. Fortunately, my favorite forum members seem to translate me more correctly...

I'm better than you because I don't stand for any of this religious crap (except in real life where it actually matters). You may feel that you're moral, but I'm really the moral one.

I suspect everybody feels that those who believe like them are more moral-- that's why evidence counts. Do you have any? Or are all your opinions based on spin and confirmation bias and what you would like to believe about what I believe or would like to pretend I was saying? Aren't you the one these critiques apply to more, since you seem to be claiming you can "read my thoughts" and you are secretly more moral and righteous?

You're posts are embarrassing me and cutting too close to the bone. I want to live in my own little bubble of hypocrisy, so I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, "la la la, I can't hear you".

From this post, I would have to say the hypocrisy and fingers in the ears is something you have mastered. Yes, superstitious silliness and banalities passed off as platitudes do embarrass me. I never know whether my silence will be perceived as deference or agreement, but I know that if I say anything then the nutters like you will extrapolate all sorts of things that seem to indicate more where they are coming from than any thought I had or expressed. I don't expect reasonable conversations when people have "faith" in their "rightness" and confuse "opinions" with facts. My stepmother is as likely to understand my issue with her forwarded emails as you are.

I'll only pay attention to you if you agree with me.
Irony. Again. Are you by chance a theist? Theists are amazingly good at irony and the double standard thing...

I'm sure that this post will get me put on ignore, but frankly, I don't care.

Perhaps. I haven't read enough of you to see if you ever offer anything of value. I support Grayman's OP, and I find you sounding like plumjam.

Fnord
8th September 2007, 09:33 PM
An atheist was walking through the woods one day in Alaska, admiring all that evolution had created.

"What majestic trees! What a powerful river! What beautiful animals!" he said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. Turning to look, he saw a huge bear beginning to charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could down the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was rapidly closing on him. Somehow, he ran even faster, so scared that tears came to his eyes. He looked again and the bear was even closer. His heart pounding in his chest, he tried to run faster yet. But alas, he tripped and fell to the ground. As he rolled over to pick himself up, the bear was right over him, reaching for him with its left paw and raising its right paw to strike him.

He cried, "Oh my god!"

Time stopped.

The bear froze.

The forest was silent.

Even the river stopped moving.

As a brilliant light shone upon the man, a thunderous voice came from all around.

"YOU DENY MY EXISTENCE FOR ALL THESE YEARS, TEACH OTHERS THAT I DON'T EXIST, AND EVEN CREDIT CREATION TO SOME COSMIC ACCIDENT. DO YOU EXPECT ME TO HELP YOU OUT OF THIS PREDICAMENT? AM I TO COUNT YOU AS A BELIEVER?"

Difficult as it was, the atheist looked directly into the light and said, "It would be hypocritical to ask to be a Christian after all these years, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian?"

"VERY WELL," said God.

The light went out.

The river ran.

The sounds of the forest resumed.

And the bear dropped down on his knees, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke: "Lord, thank you for this food which I am about to receive."


(Commentary: I thought this joke was funny, if only for the implication that God uses the Times New Roman font when He speaks!)

JoeEllison
8th September 2007, 09:33 PM
When one of my ultra-Christian relatives sent this to me, I edited a few words, hit "reply to all" and sent it back.
***
A Muslim foreign exchange student was attending some college courses in the US. He had spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU..

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "Allah, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am Allah. I'm still waiting."

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Muslim got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Muslim went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Muslim and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Muslim calmly replied, "Allah was too busy today protecting the world from from infidels like you, so, He sent me."

***
I didn't get a response.I doubt you'll get one on this thread, either... except from those of us who agree with you.

Fnord
8th September 2007, 09:50 PM
A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around looking for valuables, and when he picked up a VCR to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying,

"Jesus is watching you."

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight out and froze. When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, promised himself a long vacation after his next big score, then clicked the light back on and began searching for more valuables.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard,

"Jesus is watching you."

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot...

"Did you say that?" he hissed at the parrot.

"Yep," the parrot confessed, then squawked, "I'm just trying to warn you."

The burglar relaxed. "Warn me, huh? Who the heck are you?"

"Moses," replied the bird.

"Moses?" the burglar laughed. "What kind of people would name a parrot Moses?"

The bird promptly answered, "The same kind of people who would name a 140-pound Rottweiler 'Jesus.'"

articulett
8th September 2007, 09:50 PM
An atheist was walking through the woods one day in Alaska, admiring all that evolution had created.

"What majestic trees! What a powerful river! What beautiful animals!" he said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. Turning to look, he saw a huge bear beginning to charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could down the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was rapidly closing on him. Somehow, he ran even faster, so scared that tears came to his eyes. He looked again and the bear was even closer. His heart pounding in his chest, he tried to run faster yet. But alas, he tripped and fell to the ground. As he rolled over to pick himself up, the bear was right over him, reaching for him with its left paw and raising its right paw to strike him.

He cried, "Oh my god!"

Time stopped.

The bear froze.

The forest was silent.

Even the river stopped moving.

As a brilliant light shone upon the man, a thunderous voice came from all around.

"YOU DENY MY EXISTENCE FOR ALL THESE YEARS, TEACH OTHERS THAT I DON'T EXIST, AND EVEN CREDIT CREATION TO SOME COSMIC ACCIDENT. DO YOU EXPECT ME TO HELP YOU OUT OF THIS PREDICAMENT? AM I TO COUNT YOU AS A BELIEVER?"

Difficult as it was, the atheist looked directly into the light and said, "It would be hypocritical to ask to be a Christian after all these years, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian?"

"VERY WELL," said God.

The light went out.

The river ran.

The sounds of the forest resumed.

And the bear dropped down on his knees, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke: "Lord, thank you for this food which I am about to receive."


(Commentary: I thought this joke was funny, if only for the implication that God uses the Times New Roman font when He speaks!)

I think it's funny too-- the imagery is funny-- and it's clearly a joke, not a parable... and it would be funny no matter what religion you stuck in-- and it doesn't involve people committing battery in the name of righteousness-- sure it makes god look a little dickish... but a god who is invisible and demands to be believed in is a little dickish anyhow... and death is supposed to be loads of fun for theists, so you'd think if the guy was a believer he'd be more likely to want the bear to eat him so he and god could begin the "happily ever after". To an atheist, death is just the end of existence.

And bears praying is just a funny thought. Praying is a little funny looking to me-- bears praying... funnier still.

articulett
8th September 2007, 09:52 PM
A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around looking for valuables, and when he picked up a VCR to place in his sack, a strange, disembodied voice echoed from the dark saying,

"Jesus is watching you."

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight out and froze. When he heard nothing more after a bit, he shook his head, promised himself a long vacation after his next big score, then clicked the light back on and began searching for more valuables.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard,

"Jesus is watching you."

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot...

"Did you say that?" he hissed at the parrot.

"Yep," the parrot confessed, then squawked, "I'm just trying to warn you."

The burglar relaxed. "Warn me, huh? Who the heck are you?"

"Moses," replied the bird.

"Moses?" the burglar laughed. "What kind of people would name a parrot Moses?"

The bird promptly answered, "The same kind of people who would name a 140-pound Rottweiler 'Jesus.'"

I think that one is funny too... and I've heard it before. Again I like the imagery. I like the Rottweiler named Jesus. --But this is, again, clearly a joke... and clearly not someone beating up someone for the audacity to "not believe" in invisible immeasurable things.

Nobody would mistake either for a real event a parable or an urban legend. Neither are moral platitudes threatening with the underlying threat that "not believing" is bad and punch worthy (or worse) damnation worthy. Neither promotes bigotry or suggests that believing is something "moral" although the former implies it protects you from early death-- but what is early death to someone who really believes that it's the start of "happily ever after"?

Zep
8th September 2007, 09:57 PM
There's a bunch of those out there. There's a whole sub-genre of 'evil atheist professor' glurge floating around in Christian circles. I think the idea is to vaccinate against education by higher institutions which don't have a Christian filter on the materials....such as Miss Hen of the infamous Jack Chick fame. :mad:

Re the OP, I realised it was an attempt at a joke but failed abjectly to laugh. Mainly because it was only one tiny step away from banana-peel three stooges comedy, which I find immensely painful and boring. Also because it was an attempt to use humour, a universal bonding agent, to attempt to belittle a target being painted in a strawman negative light. Just like Jack Chick does.

But that's my personal opinion.

JoeEllison
8th September 2007, 10:04 PM
Joke: The Atheist and the Bear(but just barely, no pun intended)
Joke: The Burglar and the Parrot.
Not a Joke: Atheist Professor and the Marine

Thanks, Fnord, for helping to point out the difference.

Achán hiNidráne
8th September 2007, 10:22 PM
My friend told the "Bear and the atheist" joke a couple of weeks ago at the local gaming store. I didn't laugh. While this guy is one of my best friends, I REALLY wanted to punch his lights out since I'm the only atheist in my gaming group. As a result, I get tweaked for it constantly.

Achán hiNidráne
8th September 2007, 10:41 PM
Also because it was an attempt to use humour, a universal bonding agent, to attempt to belittle a target being painted in a strawman negative light. Just like Jack Chick does.


More or less, yes.

In Chick tracts the atheist professor or the public school teacher is usually portrayed as snide and unattractive (not to mention, vaguely Jewish) while the Christian protagonist is always some handsome, Caucasian, blond-haired picture of Aryan... I mean, American manhood.

In the e-mail, the professor is not only an atheist, but a member of the hated ACLU. And what could be more American for the praise-tha-lawrd-an-pass-tha-ammunition crowd for whom this story was written than having this evil atheist kicked around by one of our country's heroic, brainwashed, psychopathic, killing machines... I mean, U.S. Marines?

If either was supposed to be funny, I'm not laughing.

RandFan
8th September 2007, 10:59 PM
Allow me to translate;
I rant and rail about the evils of religion in one of the few places that it doesn't actually matter, or do any good.

I lie by omission to the people closest to me.

I don't have the courage of my convictions, and I'll label all theists as evil lying scumbags (only on this forum though), except those that I personally know who aren't evil lying scumbags.

You don't understand me because you don't have my experiences, but I understand you even though i don't have your experiences.

I'm better than you because I don't stand for any of this religious crap (except in real life where it actually matters). You may feel that you're moral, but I'm really the moral one.

You're posts are embarrassing me and cutting too close to the bone. I want to live in my own little bubble of hypocrisy, so I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, "la la la, I can't hear you".

I'll only pay attention to you if you agree with me.

I'm sure that this post will get me put on ignore, but frankly, I don't care. This seems unnecassarily harsh to me. I don't go out of my way to debate every person religious person I meet. What's the point in that?

Safe-Keeper
8th September 2007, 11:22 PM
Joke: The Atheist and the Bear(but just barely, no pun intended)Whenever I tell that one to anyone, I do so as a joke making fun of the poor atheist. But it does have deeper meaning, I believe, namely on misconceptions of what Christianity is.

Keep in mind, though, that even though something is 'just a joke', doesn't mean it's not supposed to be political or carry some other kind of meaning. Satirical cartoons in newspapers are jokes, but are also meant to be a way to get across political messages.

But allow me to edit the nice little OP even further:
A Muslim foreign exchange student was attending some college courses in the US. He had spent time in Chechnya fighting Russian government forces. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed Christian and a member of the county's largest church community.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "Allah, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am Allah. I'm still waiting."

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Muslim got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Muslim went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Muslim and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Muslim calmly replied, "Allah was too busy today protecting the Holy Land from from infidels like you, so He sent me."
Let me guess now: When it's a Christian, it is in the eyes of the fundie a beautiful glurge about a courageous True Christian standing up for Christianity in the face of evil atheism.

When it's a Muslim, it's a glurge about how evil and intolerant those damned Muslims terrorists are.

articulett
8th September 2007, 11:23 PM
My friend told the "Bear and the atheist" joke a couple of weeks ago at the local gaming store. I didn't laugh. While this guy is one of my best friends, I REALLY wanted to punch his lights out since I'm the only atheist in my gaming group. As a result, I get tweaked for it constantly.

Maybe you're just setting the bar too high-- you don't really expect theists to be able to be as funny as atheists do you? Compare Ricky Gervais to Jeff Foxworthy. See what I mean? George Carlin to Bill Cosby...

The lame never know they're the lame ones. Just be glad that you don't think like a 12 year old. Praying is funny-- bears that pray before preying funnier-- a god with a sense of humor on par with those who believe in him-- funnier still. Besides I heard a similar joke that goes like this:

A man is hiking in the mountains and is marveling at the wondrous beauty of nature. At one point he gets so absorbed in the beautiful view that he forgets what he is doing and walks off a cliff. As he is falling, he sees a branch sticking out from the wall of the cliff. He reaches out and manages to grab the branch.

As he hangs there he begins to pray, "Oh Lord, please help me. I'm losing my strength and I can't hold on much longer. Please, God, please save me."

Suddenly the heavens part and a voice comes booming down, "I am the Lord!"

"Oh, Lord!", cries the man. "Please save me!"

"I will save you," booms the voice. "All you have to do is prove your faith in me by letting go of the branch."

The man looks down at the two-hundred-foot drop below him, thinks for a moment, then says, "Is there anybody else up there?"


Both seem to be silly variations of the "no atheist in a foxhole" theme which is
yet another myth.

articulett
8th September 2007, 11:36 PM
This seems unnecassarily harsh to me. I don't go out of my way to debate every person religious person I meet. What's the point in that?

Thanks for the support.

Yes... his attack came out of the blue to me too... and it was from a response to another forum member who attacked me unprovoked as well. He's mad about something, but I don't know what.

But it helps to know who your friends are. And it seems most of the people on this forum and thread--especially the ones I like the most have no trouble comprehending my points, nor I theirs. Sometimes you can't win as an atheist-- if you speak out, you're militant and arrogant-- if you remain silent you're hypocritical; if you show deference to nuttiness you feel like you are propping up the damaging notion that faith is good for something. But as the joke indicates-- not believing is punch worthy.

Grayman is a great guy-- his response was one of many options-- and it was good-- but not well received as evidenced by the responses they sent back... when you are a non believer you have no real options that a theist will respect-- you lose every which way. Such people demand respect for their opinions while showing a complete disrespect for those who believe differently (or refuse to defer to their woo--the true woo.. the "moral" woo). There just seems to be no way to ask them to keep their woo away from you without the hissy fits. It reminds me of this horrible thread-- where The Atheist, (a known apologist and rabble rouser) was verbally flogging Athon for being an atheist teaching in a Catholic school. Everything Athon did or said became wrong and bad and condemnation worthy.

What else is new? Theists and apologists seem to imagine themselves adding much more to the world than I ever see. Whatever extra morality or compassion or humility their beliefs give them are apparently not evident in their posts. As far as I can tell it's part of their "faith", because I see no evidence for presuming otherwise.

Seismosaurus
9th September 2007, 01:18 AM
I hate that atheist and the bear joke - it's just NOT funny when it's an atheist being used! Jokes work by building up an expectation and then twisting it at the end. But in this case, our expectation of an atheist is that he wouldn't call on god, nor expect anything particularly good from god. So the "twist" at the end just doesn't work.

It would be far funnier if it were a priest and a bear. Then the expectation is that the priest would call on god, as he does. When he asks for the bear to become christian it makes sense, because the priest would reasonably expect that this would make the bear some peaceful "love thy neighbour" type. And the twist actually works within that context.

From the first minute I heard this joke I was convinced that it started out with a priest and a bear, and some religious type just flipped the character into an atheist to reverse the target of the joke - not realising that in doing so it destroyed the humour.

quixotecoyote
9th September 2007, 01:46 AM
I hate that atheist and the bear joke - it's just NOT funny when it's an atheist being used! Jokes work by building up an expectation and then twisting it at the end. But in this case, our expectation of an atheist is that he wouldn't call on god, nor expect anything particularly good from god. So the "twist" at the end just doesn't work.

It would be far funnier if it were a priest and a bear. Then the expectation is that the priest would call on god, as he does. When he asks for the bear to become christian it makes sense, because the priest would reasonably expect that this would make the bear some peaceful "love thy neighbour" type. And the twist actually works within that context.

From the first minute I heard this joke I was convinced that it started out with a priest and a bear, and some religious type just flipped the character into an atheist to reverse the target of the joke - not realising that in doing so it destroyed the humour.


This thread is the first time I've heard the priest and the bear joke with an atheist stand-in. I heard it originally with cannibals instead of the bear, so he could actually hear then thank god for the meal, but I think that's too un-pc for todays jokes.

skeptifem
9th September 2007, 01:55 AM
the only way it could be funny is in that 'hurr hurr that uppity proffessor sure got his!!11" sort of way. pffft.

Rasmus
9th September 2007, 01:59 AM
Both seem to be silly variations of the "no atheist in a foxhole" theme which is
yet another myth.

I must have missed where in the second joke it specified an atheist. If it was an atheist, it ceases to be funny: If an atheist discovered 'a' god it would just be reasonable to assume that there might be more. And some might be offering better deals than others.

I am not sure if the joke is funny as is, but at least a believer who abandons his faith in the face of both validation of their faith and a rescue from danger is somewhat unexpected. Or maybe not.

ReligionStudent
9th September 2007, 07:16 AM
As Fnord just pointed out, one can sense a serious form of some kind of hatred or another in all kinds of jokes. It helps to make jokes funny. I really can't explain this to you without either breaking down the nature of humor or waiting until you're less annoyed with the joke and take a more understanding perspective of its intentions.

So this one day at austwitch three Jews walk into the shower...

What, not funny?

ReligionStudent
9th September 2007, 07:23 AM
So does this "joke" enrage the posters here because the marine reacted violently toward the professor or because the marine was angered by what the professor had said?

If the "joke" had been a true story where instead of assaulting the professor the marine had complained to the appropriate administrative officials who then disciplined the professor, would those who are all up in arms about the "joke" still insist on their righteous indignation?

Why would he be reprimanded, he has academic freedom. I have had professors say things I disagree with, but part of academia is that they are allowed to say them.

What if this were a philosophy course or somthing similar? Then this could easily be a demonstration of somthing important for class.

I think I would be bothered in either case quite a bit.

l0rca
9th September 2007, 08:21 AM
So this one day at austwitch three Jews walk into the shower...

What, not funny?

What's the difference between a Jew and a pizza?

articulett
9th September 2007, 08:32 AM
This thread is the first time I've heard the priest and the bear joke with an atheist stand-in. I heard it originally with cannibals instead of the bear, so he could actually hear then thank god for the meal, but I think that's too un-pc for todays jokes.

yes... the joke said that way and the joke by seismosaurus is much funnier to me. It pokes fun at the Christian wanting everyone to be Christian with the notion that Christianity makes people moral. (but as far as the evidence seems to go, it just makes them more likely to punch professors in silly parables for their invisible overlord and nutty notions.)

I think the kind of mind that has learned to see "deep" meaning in silly platitudes, is not really the best mind for subtleties of humor. Although they can be unintentionally ironic-- they aren't very good at working it into a joke. (All Jon Stewart has to do is repeat their words and raise his eyebrows and I'm giggling like a school girl.)

Here's Hitchens doing "coarse verse" on the Skeptic's Guide"... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swJbelp1IG0

wollery
9th September 2007, 09:47 AM
Articulett, I would like to apologise completely for my earlier post. At the time, your post made me angry and I reacted without thinking.

On rereading it, however, I can find nothing at all disagreeable with it, and can find no reason for my reaction, except possibly temporary insanity. I don't agree with everything that you have to say, but that's no reason for me to attack you the way I did.

For the record, I also agree completely with the OP.

I would also like to add that I hope that the majority of people who know me on this forum would agree that I am usually a calm, thoughtful, level-headed person, who tries to keep personal issues out of his arguments, and use just verifiable facts and logic.

I can offer no excuse for my post, since I have no idea myself why I made it, and can only hope that you find it in your heart to forgive me for being a total git.

bignickel
9th September 2007, 09:55 AM
Saul was journeying through the desert one day, when suddenly he was knocked off his horse and stricken blind.

"Oh God, save me!"

God's voice boomed: "You persecute my followers for years, and now you expect me to help you?"

Saul replied, "You're right, I guess that would be hypocritical of me. But now that I actually have met you, and believe that the Christians are your followers, I'm now a Christian!"

God answered, "Tough! Welcome to Blindsville, population: you."



There, that makes much more sense.

articulett
9th September 2007, 09:56 AM
Articulett, I would like to apologise completely for my earlier post. At the time, your post made me angry and I reacted without thinking.

On rereading it, however, I can find nothing at all disagreeable with it, and can find no reason for my reaction, except possibly temporary insanity. I don't agree with everything that you have to say, but that's no reason for me to attack you the way I did.

For the record, I also agree completely with the OP.

I would also like to add that I hope that the majority of people who know me on this forum would agree that I am usually a calm, thoughtful, level-headed person, who tries to keep personal issues out of his arguments, and use just verifiable facts and logic.

I can offer no excuse for my post, since I have no idea myself why I made it, and can only hope that you find it in your heart to forgive me for being a total git.

No problem. But when I am a total git I expect you to find it in your heart to forgive me. I know I can be offensive. I joke that I grow cyber balls online-- and I think it's because it real life, I don't speak up for fear of the consequences. But I can mud wrestle with the boys on line here, and for some reason, I just enjoy it a little too much. It's a heady kind of power that little women don't get to indulge in much, and I probably am expressing some things that I've kept bottled up from real life.

RandFan
9th September 2007, 10:10 AM
I would also like to add that I hope that the majority of people who know me on this forum would agree that I am usually a calm, thoughtful, level-headed person, who tries to keep personal issues out of his arguments, and use just verifiable facts and logic.If this were not true I would not have responed in the manner that I did. I can attest to the fact that you are a calm, thoughtful and level headed person.

pgwenthold
9th September 2007, 10:18 AM
I think the saddest part of these "atheist professor" stories is the extent to which the inventor goes to make stuff up. I'd like to know who are all these professors that go about challenging god to knock them off a desk or break chalk? I certainly haven't met any in my time at the university, which is more than 20 years now. Sure, I know a ton of atheist professors (being one myself, for that matter), and many who are members of the ACLU, but this idea that they (we?) spend time in class doing stupid things like trying to disprove god by idiotic stunts is just bizarre (even for the philosophy folks). It's this whole "atheist professors spend their lives trying to disprove god" thing that gets me.

Come on, folks, you can do better than that. Tell us where this happened and who did it. Otherwise, it is nothing more than some silly strawman. Sure, it sounds good to the Fox News folks who think secularists are trying to take over Christmas, but come on, put some meat behind it.

I think the person who described it as a parable hit it squarely on the head. It's supposed to be some big lesson about how god works, and so you throw in the stereotype of the atheist professor, projecting properties you want him to have.

It was never meant to be a joke, although there are those who probably think it is funny that the evil atheist professor gets his arse handed to him by the TRUE patriot (because, you know, those atheistic, ACLU joining professors are against the war and therefore are anti-american and don't support our troops; that marine showed him!). See all the important lessons to be learned?

articulett
9th September 2007, 10:28 AM
I must have missed where in the second joke it specified an atheist. If it was an atheist, it ceases to be funny: If an atheist discovered 'a' god it would just be reasonable to assume that there might be more. And some might be offering better deals than others.

I am not sure if the joke is funny as is, but at least a believer who abandons his faith in the face of both validation of their faith and a rescue from danger is somewhat unexpected. Or maybe not.

I just think it's funny... the idea that people will express belief when it's convenient-- that there's this god who wants people to "believe" and that saying you believe is something good and something god wants you to do... and that if you don't keep currying favor with his odd demands, he'll smite you. I think that's why people thank Jesus and the like after winning a game or avoiding danger... they're afraid he'll take away the goodies if they don't pay lip service to "belief in belief".

I think it's a disturbing the way that "faith" is promoted as something good-- and the "faithful" as being righteous-- and this pretense that they hold to some "absolute morality" when it's clear they are all cherry picking the bits and pieces they find "good" as they go and using similar believers to shore up their beliefs.

I think the first joke was a sort of propaganda piece shoring up the "we're the good guys" notion of patriotism and godliness that became terribly entwined in America during the 50's.

There was a joke going around many years ago about Salman Rushdie writing a second book after The Satanic Verses a novel which pissed of Muslims. The book (according to the joke) was called, Buddha the Big Fat **** Now, I found this hilarious... as did many people, but I also knew that if the Joke had ended with the title Jesus the Schizophrenic Hippie, many of the people laughing at the joke (which involves Salman purposely going around trying to piss off religions), wouldn't find it as funny. But I would. I found the double standard interesting. But I know not to discuss it with those who have it because they will demonize me rather than explore the double standard.

For the record, I was raised Christian, so I understand the feeling of defense and how it's inculcated and why most wouldn't consider equal jokes equally funny if the dieties were switched and religions were switched. The jokes are designed to encourage an "us vs. them" thinking.

wollery
9th September 2007, 10:36 AM
No problem. But when I am a total git I expect you to find it in your heart to forgive me.Of course. :)

I know I can be offensive. I joke that I grow cyber balls online-- and I think it's because it real life, I don't speak up for fear of the consequences. But I can mud wrestle with the boys on line here, and for some reason, I just enjoy it a little too much. It's a heady kind of power that little women don't get to indulge in much, and I probably am expressing some things that I've kept bottled up from real life.I can understand that.

phildonnia
9th September 2007, 10:37 AM
I received this in my email today:
I notice how the Professor not only is an atheist, but a member of the ACLU as well. Just in case you didn't hate him enough already.


The story doesn't mention this, but he was also a gay Arab vegetarian environmentalist.

pgwenthold
9th September 2007, 10:38 AM
I think the first joke was a sort of propaganda piece shoring up the "we're the good guys" notion of patriotism and godliness that became terribly entwined in America during the 50's.



If you are talking about the marine and the atheist professor, then you are wrong. This story is just a slightly modified version of the "atheist professor tries to disprove God by dropping his chalk" story that was around a few years ago, which had nothing to do with patriotism. This version just takes that story and throws a Marine into it just to add patriotism that wasn't there before.

The stories themselves are all about the foolishness of the atheist professor, and, instead of having it be a smart-aleck christian girl who makes the professor look bad, it is now a Marine.

gnome
9th September 2007, 10:47 AM
What makes the joke fall flattest for me (besides the implied approval of the joke's audience)... is that the butt of the joke is a stupid atheist. It's not funny because it isn't recognizable as having any truth in it. It's not even true enough to make me giggle from discomfort.

articulett
9th September 2007, 10:58 AM
If you are talking about the marine and the atheist professor, then you are wrong. This story is just a slightly modified version of the "atheist professor tries to disprove God by dropping his chalk" story that was around a few years ago, which had nothing to do with patriotism. This version just takes that story and throws a Marine into it just to add patriotism that wasn't there before.

The stories themselves are all about the foolishness of the atheist professor, and, instead of having it be a smart-aleck christian girl who makes the professor look bad, it is now a Marine.

Yes... I think I heard the chalk story-- without the marine. It's interesting to see how the meme evolves and who the bad guys and good guys are. Anecdote evolution.

pgwenthold
9th September 2007, 12:25 PM
What makes the joke fall flattest for me (besides the implied approval of the joke's audience)... is that the butt of the joke is a stupid atheist. It's not funny because it isn't recognizable as having any truth in it. It's not even true enough to make me giggle from discomfort.

As opposed to "A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar..."

:)

Kind of my point, as well. It is a complete projection of what they think an atheist professor is like. Yet, as I said, where are these guys?

COLONEL
10th September 2007, 04:11 AM
Weeather your a Atheist or a Christian if you can't laugh at your selves in a joke , then we are all in trouble . The muslams have no sense of humor just make a joke about them and their god and see how enraged they get .

wollery
10th September 2007, 04:28 AM
It would help if the joke were actually funny.

But it isn't even mildly humorous.

articulett
10th September 2007, 05:46 AM
And it would help if was presented as a joke... not an anecdote, parable, lesson, or "friend of a friend" story like it usually is. If the person sending it to grayman knew he was an atheist, then it was just rude... if they didn't, then they presumed he shared their prejudice or didn't notice that it presented a bigoted stereotype or caricature on a non-believer. To me, it's on par with a racist joke.

Besides, I think religionists have spread enough of the "arrogant, shrill militant atheist" straw man around... the second someone finds out you are a non-believer you get saddled with such prejudice and people look for reasons to find fault in everything you say. It spreads a bigotry unlike good parody or satire which exposes bigotry people may not be aware of.

articulett
10th September 2007, 06:15 AM
Weeather your a Atheist or a Christian if you can't laugh at your selves in a joke , then we are all in trouble . The muslams have no sense of humor just make a joke about them and their god and see how enraged they get .

Do you think the joke is funny if it's a Muslim who punches the infidel professor who doesn't believe in Allah? If not, why the difference?

Tricky
10th September 2007, 06:28 AM
It would help if the joke were actually funny.

But it isn't even mildly humorous.
Everything is funny, depending on point of view. I've laughed at some of the cruelest jokes imaginable. It doesn't mean that I advocate that cruelty, just that I can see the point of view.

Yeah, it is a joke. Smart-ass guy gets his comeuppance. Classic schadenfreude. Many (most?) jokes have somebody at their butt. The same jokes are told worldwide by simply swapping the foil. For many people though, the joke becomes immediately unfunny when THEY become the butt or roles are reversed, as demonstrated when I rewrote the joke for my relatives but using a Muslim instead of a Marine.

The real problem here is not the joke but the internet. If you are going to tell jokes that are funny, but only in certain contexts, then you had damn sure better know your context. On the internet, you can't control that. You really don't know your audience.

Besides, I know a few smart-ass professors I'd like to punch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Schwartz).:D

Mobyseven
10th September 2007, 06:31 AM
It spreads a bigotry unlike good parody or satire which exposes bigotry people may not be aware of.

Well said.

joobz
10th September 2007, 06:43 AM
I received the atheist/marine story in email by my father before. On the surface, he says it's a joke. But unfortunately, when something supports your political/religious views, these jokes easily become "real" through memory. I've seen it happen with my dad, multiple times. Many of these conservative email forwards (jokes and otherwise) are passed along, I forward him the snopes article debunking it. months later, he repeats the same story and believes it, regardless of whether it was a joke or story.

To me the real part of the story that irks me is becuase

1.) It equates professors with cockiness and arrogance
2.) It paints professsors as ideological god-hating jerks.
3.) This portrayal relies on an assumed animosity towards higher education
4.) It equates US military with Christianity
5.) This equivocation reinforces a sense of moral rightousness in the current military actions
6.) It assumes the educated elite take the armed forces for granted or the freedoms that exist in america....

The number of stereotypes that must be assumed for the "joke" to work is where the problem lies. It reinforces animosity towards the university education system.

sts60
10th September 2007, 06:51 AM
Maybe you're just setting the bar too high-- you don't really expect theists to be able to be as funny as atheists do you? Compare Ricky Gervais to Jeff Foxworthy. See what I mean? George Carlin to Bill Cosby...
Well, Cosby's old "Noah" routine was pretty good. But I think they're all funny, except Ricky Gervais (I haven't heard him).
The lame never know they're the lame ones. Just be glad that you don't think like a 12 year old. Praying is funny-- bears that pray before preying funnier-- a god with a sense of humor on par with those who believe in him-- funnier still. Besides I heard a similar joke that goes like this:

A man is hiking in the mountains and is marveling at the wondrous beauty of nature. At one point he gets so absorbed in the beautiful view that he forgets what he is doing and walks off a cliff. As he is falling, he sees a branch sticking out from the wall of the cliff. He reaches out and manages to grab the branch.

As he hangs there he begins to pray, "Oh Lord, please help me. I'm losing my strength and I can't hold on much longer. Please, God, please save me."

Suddenly the heavens part and a voice comes booming down, "I am the Lord!"

"Oh, Lord!", cries the man. "Please save me!"

"I will save you," booms the voice. "All you have to do is prove your faith in me by letting go of the branch."

The man looks down at the two-hundred-foot drop below him, thinks for a moment, then says, "Is there anybody else up there?"
I first heard that one in church, a long time ago. :)
Both seem to be silly variations of the "no atheist in a foxhole" theme which is yet another myth.
So I understand.

I've heard the bear joke told with a priest walking in the woods - which makes the rest of the joke make more sense. In fact, the joke was funnier without the "you've denied me all this time" angle. That's the first time I've heard it that way and it sounds tacked on to make a point, which as usual makes a joke less funny.

Anyway, the bear and the cliff jokes are funny. The one in the OP isn't. It's just ugly.

ponderingturtle
10th September 2007, 06:53 AM
When one of my ultra-Christian relatives sent this to me, I edited a few words, hit "reply to all" and sent it back.
***
A Muslim foreign exchange student was attending some college courses in the US. He had spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan . One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU..

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "Allah, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am Allah. I'm still waiting."

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Muslim got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Muslim went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Muslim and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Muslim calmly replied, "Allah was too busy today protecting the world from from infidels like you, so, He sent me."

***
I didn't get a response.

It just isn't as funny. There is not the idea of someone undermining all their beliefs and oaths in the thought of protecting those oaths.

So you lose the hypocrisy that makes the joke work.

joobz
10th September 2007, 06:59 AM
It just isn't as funny. There is not the idea of someone undermining all their beliefs and oaths in the thought of protecting those oaths.

So you lose the hypocrisy that makes the joke work.
what hypocricy? Was it at all established in the premise that the professor wasn't thankful for the freedoms given to him by the secular US? What would this have to do with god?

pgwenthold
10th September 2007, 07:04 AM
what hypocricy? Was it at all established in the premise that the professor wasn't thankful for the freedoms given to him by the secular US? What would this have to do with god?

You missed the part where PT is coming at it from the perspective that the "joke" in this story is on the marine.

ponderingturtle
10th September 2007, 07:05 AM
what hypocricy? Was it at all established in the premise that the professor wasn't thankful for the freedoms given to him by the secular US? What would this have to do with god?

No the Marine is a Hypocrit. He is violating his oath to protect the constitution and its freedom of speech. As well as various christian principles like "turn the other cheek"

joobz
10th September 2007, 07:10 AM
You missed the part where PT is coming at it from the perspective that the "joke" in this story is on the marine.
I did miss that. :o

No the Marine is a Hypocrit. He is violating his oath to protect the constitution and its freedom of speech. As well as various christian principles like "turn the other cheek" Do you think those who circulate the joke see this part of it?

truethat
10th September 2007, 07:11 AM
What bothers me about "jokes" like this (and yes I am well aware that its a joke) is not so much the attitude of the joke but rather the rah rah gung ho attitude that seems to accompany it when it shows up in your Inbox.

It suggests to me the mindset of the person or people sending it along that everyone is going to be in agreement with it.

That this is how we should think.

But it does draw upon the idea of transcendent ideas in how those who think that God has "sent them to do something" will resort to violence if they want to with "God's blessing."

Even though it is a joke, its a creepy joke.

pgwenthold
10th September 2007, 07:13 AM
Do you think those who circulate the joke see this part of it?

Of course not, but PT is trying to be generous here. They claim it is a "joke" and this is the only intrepretation of it that lends to that claim.

ponderingturtle
10th September 2007, 07:13 AM
I did miss that. :o

Do you think those who circulate the joke see this part of it?

Unlikely. Which shows exactly what they think of the supposed ideas that marines are supposed to swear to protect. and what jesus actually taught.

grayman
10th September 2007, 09:08 AM
...It suggests to me the mindset of the person or people sending it along that everyone is going to be in agreement with it...

In my opinion, the mindset of many (not all) of the people that send this is like the alleged quote from George H. W. Bush: I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

I do not like having my patriotism questioned just because I stopped being supersticious.

Skeptical Greg
10th September 2007, 09:36 AM
Perhaps this was touched on, and I missed it, but I find the greatest irony in the punchline..

"God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers .... "

The Marine seems to have overlooked the fact that God wasn't doing all that great a job ( of protecting America 's soldiers...).


This brought back memories of my early journey towards atheism .. It pretty much got started when God didn't answer my prayers in boot camp, to deliver me from my drill instructors..

wollery
10th September 2007, 09:46 AM
Everything is funny, depending on point of view. I've laughed at some of the cruelest jokes imaginable. It doesn't mean that I advocate that cruelty, just that I can see the point of view.

Yeah, it is a joke. Smart-ass guy gets his comeuppance. Classic schadenfreude. Many (most?) jokes have somebody at their butt. The same jokes are told worldwide by simply swapping the foil. For many people though, the joke becomes immediately unfunny when THEY become the butt or roles are reversed, as demonstrated when I rewrote the joke for my relatives but using a Muslim instead of a Marine.

The real problem here is not the joke but the internet. If you are going to tell jokes that are funny, but only in certain contexts, then you had damn sure better know your context. On the internet, you can't control that. You really don't know your audience.

Besides, I know a few smart-ass professors I'd like to punch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Schwartz).:DWhat do you call a man with a plate on his head?

William.


From what point of view is that joke funny?

Some jokes just don't work, no matter what the point of view.

And no, I didn't just make up the joke I told above. I heard it almost 20 years ago.

Ichneumonwasp
10th September 2007, 09:55 AM
From what point of view is that joke funny?



From left field on a Tuesday with the sun beating mercilessly on my head, the crunch of seared grass clippings poking between my toes as I stare listlessly at the backside of a three hundred pound thirdbaseman trying to spit chewing tobacco from the tacky mucous membranes that have sucked all the moisture from...............Ok, I give up.

brodski
10th September 2007, 09:57 AM
What do you call a man with a plate on his head?

William.


From what point of view is that joke funny?

Some jokes just don't work, no matter what the point of view.

And no, I didn't just make up the joke I told above. I heard it almost 20 years ago.

I laughed, it works on an absurdist level, and has the additional element of surprise if you where expecting the answer "Mat". It's almost meta-humour, except I would never use that term.

Oh, damn..

grayman
10th September 2007, 10:08 AM
Here's the second response I received from the same individual that responded before (not the person that sent the joke): [Grayman],

There is no way that you and I have anything in common. I would appreciate it if you would delete my email address from your address book. That is, if you know what an address book is in any email program.

[PERSON]

Note that I have not personally insulted anyone with my reply to the joke, yet this individual can't resist making a snide comment on my computer skills. Since I do not know this person, I'll refrain from making any conjecture on his intellect, belief, or history.

Tricky
10th September 2007, 10:10 AM
What do you call a man with a plate on his head?

William.


From what point of view is that joke funny?

Some jokes just don't work, no matter what the point of view.

And no, I didn't just make up the joke I told above. I heard it almost 20 years ago.
My dad used to tell a joke like this, although it was much longer. The punch line made absolutely no sense. The funny part was watching the victim either chuckle as if he got the joke, or stare in puzzlement. Dad would never explain the joke, he'd just say, "okay listen carefully" and repeat it, then laugh uproarously when it was done. If there were other people who had been "scammed" by the joke, in the past, they'd all laugh uproariously too. It was a little bit cruel to the victim.

Still, I think it was a given that when I said "everything is funny" that meant that if one person finds it funny, then it is funny, from at least one point of view. Obviously, the best jokes are funny from many points of view, but there are some kinds of humor that are only funny to certain groups. For example, few of my American friends find this joke funny.

Q: What do you call a man with a rabbit up his butt?
A: Warren.

bignickel
10th September 2007, 11:08 AM
All this talk of jokes is rather moot, because, as was pointed out before, this an urban legend, not a joke.

The people forwarding this tale believe it to be true (or, if they suspect it, wish the receiver to believe it true).

ImaginalDisc
10th September 2007, 11:10 AM
What do you call a man with a plate on his head?

William.


From what point of view is that joke funny?

Some jokes just don't work, no matter what the point of view.

And no, I didn't just make up the joke I told above. I heard it almost 20 years ago.

Incongruity and absurdity are the touchstones of an elephant joke, and that's a common joke formula.

ImaginalDisc
10th September 2007, 11:11 AM
My dad used to tell a joke like this, although it was much longer. The punch line made absolutely no sense. The funny part was watching the victim either chuckle as if he got the joke, or stare in puzzlement. Dad would never explain the joke, he'd just say, "okay listen carefully" and repeat it, then laugh uproarously when it was done. If there were other people who had been "scammed" by the joke, in the past, they'd all laugh uproariously too. It was a little bit cruel to the victim.


That's a shaggy dog story. Great drunk material. :-p

Sir Hugh and the Florist Friars is a great one.

Bob Klase
10th September 2007, 11:36 AM
That is, if you know what an address book is in any email program.

I not only know what an address book is, I didn't have to ask for help from an invisible sky fairy to figure it out.

quixotecoyote
10th September 2007, 11:42 AM
That's a shaggy dog story. Great drunk material. :-p

Sir Hugh and the Florist Friars is a great one.


Bah. The best shaggy dog stories lead up to a horrible unrelated pun. My fiancee still hasn't forgiven me for the one with Nathanial the Snake.

ImaginalDisc
10th September 2007, 11:48 AM
Bah. The best shaggy dog stories lead up to a horrible unrelated pun. My fiancee still hasn't forgiven me for the one with Nathanial the Snake.

Have you heard Sir Hugh and the Florist Friars?

Tricky
10th September 2007, 12:40 PM
Bah. The best shaggy dog stories lead up to a horrible unrelated pun. My fiancee still hasn't forgiven me for the one with Nathanial the Snake.
Yes, a shaggy dog story (of which I have a large collection) must end in a terrible pun. My dad's story had no punch line by design.

Of course, if a shaggy dog story ends in a pun that the recipient doesn't get (some of my Shakespearian ones have a tendency to do that), then the person hearing it might think it has no punch line.

But I don't know about Nathanial the Snake, unless it has something to do with a very basic machine. If so, I heard it a different way.

Tricky
10th September 2007, 12:41 PM
Have you heard Sir Hugh and the Florist Friars?
You already ruined it.

Mercutio
10th September 2007, 12:46 PM
Yes, a shaggy dog story (of which I have a large collection) must end in a terrible pun. My dad's story had no punch line by design.

Of course, if a shaggy dog story ends in a pun that the recipient doesn't get (some of my Shakespearian ones have a tendency to do that), then the person hearing it might think it has no punch line.
I disagree. The best shaggy dog stories I have heard have no pun at the end. (after all, the prototypical Shaggy Dog Joke ends "oh, no, my dog isn't that shaggy.") There is a wonderful, horrible example I heard by The Humble Farmer (A Downeast Maine radio host) that went on for a good 10 minutes. I told a version to my brother once, and he actually hit me.

Shaggy Skeptic Joke (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=580099#post580099).

Tricky
10th September 2007, 12:58 PM
I disagree. The best shaggy dog stories I have heard have no pun at the end. (after all, the prototypical Shaggy Dog Joke ends "oh, no, my dog isn't that shaggy.") There is a wonderful, horrible example I heard by The Humble Farmer (A Downeast Maine radio host) that went on for a good 10 minutes. I told a version to my brother once, and he actually hit me.

Shaggy Skeptic Joke (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=580099#post580099).
I disagree. That is a long joke, but not, in my book, a shaggy dog story. The pun at the end is required. Wickapedia, however, says that both types are SDS's. Apparently, "The Aristocrats" joke is, by some views, a SDS. Even so, a SDS must end in a joke. Nothing in my dad's story was remotely funny.

(I'd hit you too.)

bignickel
10th September 2007, 01:07 PM
Anyone remember Asimov's "Shah Guido G"?

Tricky
10th September 2007, 01:10 PM
Anyone remember Asimov's "Shah Guido G"?
Nope, don't know that one. I do know his "Death of a Foy". By all accounts, Asimov was a master.

articulett
10th September 2007, 01:15 PM
Q: What do you call a man with a rabbit up his butt?
A: Warren.

That's funny... butt wouldn't it be better with several rabbits...

Tricky
10th September 2007, 01:28 PM
That's funny... butt wouldn't it be better with several rabbits...
Megaouch! One at a time in the entrance surely. No telling how many bunnies in the burrow.

That reminds me of the story of the Basque terrorists...

Mobyseven
10th September 2007, 03:07 PM
...hang on a second: That's no Boltzmann Brane, that's my wife!


I prefer punchlines with no joke, myself.

Darth Rotor
10th September 2007, 06:36 PM
Allow me to translate;
I rant and rail about the evils of religion in one of the few places that it doesn't actually matter, or do any good.

I lie by omission to the people closest to me.

I don't have the courage of my convictions, and I'll label all theists as evil lying scumbags (only on this forum though), except those that I personally know who aren't evil lying scumbags.

You don't understand me because you don't have my experiences, but I understand you even though i don't have your experiences.

I'm better than you because I don't stand for any of this religious crap (except in real life where it actually matters). You may feel that you're moral, but I'm really the moral one.

You're posts are embarrassing me and cutting too close to the bone. I want to live in my own little bubble of hypocrisy, so I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, "la la la, I can't hear you".

I'll only pay attention to you if you agree with me.

I'm sure that this post will get me put on ignore, but frankly, I don't care.
I owe you a six pack of your favorite beer.

*claps*

The reason that flame was so good was precisely because you are so normally calm and reserved in presentation. It's sort of like the one time you hear the vicar drop the wine and utter "F___ me!" It works due to shock effect.

DR

Darth Rotor
10th September 2007, 06:39 PM
My friend told the "Bear and the atheist" joke a couple of weeks ago at the local gaming store. I didn't laugh. While this guy is one of my best friends, I REALLY wanted to punch his lights out since I'm the only atheist in my gaming group. As a result, I get tweaked for it constantly.
Why don't you find a new gaming group?

DR

wollery
10th September 2007, 08:46 PM
Everything is funny, depending on point of view.Umm.......

My dad used to tell a joke like this, although it was much longer. The punch line made absolutely no sense.

Nothing in my dad's story was remotely funny.I think you just made my point for me.

Thanks. :)

alfaniner
10th September 2007, 10:21 PM
The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America 's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid ****

From Post #1. A Marine would never say this. A Marine is not a "soldier", and would never refer to himself or his buddies as such. Oh, perhaps the god was protecting the "soldiers", but Marines can *********** defend ourselves.

COLONEL
17th September 2007, 04:13 AM
Everyone is not seeing the real point, laughing at you self If you get up set because it said athiest then your no better then the muslims and we know what happens when you joke about them . what if the joke was changed to say the rabbi and the priest:jaw-dropp

quixotecoyote
17th September 2007, 04:28 AM
Everyone is not seeing the real point, laughing at you self If you get up set because it said athiest then your no better then the muslims and we know what happens when you joke about them . what if the joke was changed to say the rabbi and the priest:jaw-dropp


In what efect can has jokes on people minds? Is of ense something tken, who can give back? If Jues had humor than Pals be fee and happy!!!! All bad cause Pals have humor & tey don't.:jaw-dropp

quixotecoyote
17th September 2007, 04:29 AM
double post

wollery
17th September 2007, 04:30 AM
Everyone is not seeing the real point, laughing at you self If you get up set because it said athiest then your no better then the muslims and we know what happens when you joke about them . what if the joke was changed to say the rabbi and the priest:jaw-droppNo, as I said before, it's just not funny. This is in part because it's been turned into a preaching rant about the evils of atheism.

See, if it goes, "A professor walks into his lecture, stands up on the podium and announces, 'God, I give you ten minutes to knock me off this podium', before starting his lecture. After 9 minutes a student in the front row gets up and shoves the professor off the podium. The professor says, 'What did you do that for?' and the student shrugs and replies, 'God moves in mysterious ways'", at least it isn't a sermon. It's still not very funny, but that's another point entirely.

Phlebas
17th September 2007, 07:40 AM
If I replaced the atheist professor with a gay one, I wonder if my gay friends would think it's a joke?

qayak
17th September 2007, 07:56 AM
If I replaced the atheist professor with a gay one, I wonder if my gay friends would think it's a joke?

How about if it were the gay, atheist professor knocking out the Marine and saying, "YOUR GOD CAN'T HELP YOU , B****!!"

Now that would be hilarious!

Phlebas
17th September 2007, 08:19 AM
How about if it were the gay, atheist professor knocking out the Marine and saying, "YOUR GOD CAN'T HELP YOU , B****!!"

Now that would be hilarious!

Oooooo... must remember to send that one to my fundie, homophobe brother....

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 08:46 AM
(Parrot Joke):)

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 09:13 AM
I heard the joke from the OP from my dad, many years ago. Obviously, it wasn't about the marine from Afghanistan. It was very similar to the way wollery told it.

That joke was much funnier, for a few reasons. Most importantly, the presence of the Marine in the new version foreshadows the punch line, ruining it slightly. In the non-Marine version, you are waiting for something to happen, but perhaps it will be a bolt of lightning, or perhaps nothing, but some witty comment. Since no student was mentioned, when one gets up and punches out the professor, you aren't expecting it.

Second, the way dad told it, the punch line was just "God was busy, so he asked me to do it." It's not so preachy. It doesn't really imply that God did anything, and it doesn't try to equate patriotism and religion. It was the student who took credit for doing God's work, but you aren't really sure if he meant it.

Also, it has a very American element to it. The professor is a snooty intellectual. The student is an ordinary citizen. The arrogant professor gets put down by the local yokel. The joke also worked better in my dad's era, when the GI bill was sending an awful lot of local boys into the big universities, which had previously been full mostly of rich kids. There's a certain, "hick from the sticks gets one up on the snooty smart guy". Having the student be a sanctimonious Marine detracts from that. Now it's one preachy guy attacking another. Not nearly so funny.


Nevertheless, I do find it funny that some people who thought the Kathy Griffin joke was just hilarious think that there is nothing funny about this one. Both of them are primarily about putting down a sanctimonious jerk who shoves his religion into others' face. In the case from the Emmies, Kathy was putting down people who praise Jesus at an awards show, shoving their religion onto the audience. In the other case, the professor was challenging God, shoving his religion onto his class.

It's interesting to see how people react when their own sacred cows are threatened.

JoeEllison
17th September 2007, 09:17 AM
Nevertheless, I do find it funny that some people who thought the Kathy Griffin joke was just hilarious think that there is nothing funny about this one. Both of them are primarily about putting down a sanctimonious jerk who shoves his religion into others' face. In the case from the Emmies, Kathy was putting down people who praise Jesus at an awards show, shoving their religion onto the audience. In the other case, the professor was challenging God, shoving his religion onto his class.

It's interesting to see how people react when their own sacred cows are threatened.

It is more interesting to see how people will twist and lie in order to make two different things seem like the same thing. It is interesting to note the incredible dishonesty of pretending that Griffin's joke, based on the way people actually behave, has any resemblance to the OP's "joke", which is based on a completely false caricature of an atheist, and ends in a criminal assault that is supposed to be seen as both humorous and morally justified.

Yeah, lots of interesting stuff going on, isn't there?

ponderingturtle
17th September 2007, 09:23 AM
I heard the joke from the OP from my dad, many years ago. Obviously, it wasn't about the marine from Afghanistan. It was very similar to the way wollery told it.

That joke was much funnier, for a few reasons. Most importantly, the presence of the Marine in the new version foreshadows the punch line, ruining it slightly. In the non-Marine version, you are waiting for something to happen, but perhaps it will be a bolt of lightning, or perhaps nothing, but some witty comment. Since no student was mentioned, when one gets up and punches out the professor, you aren't expecting it.

Second, the way dad told it, the punch line was just "God was busy, so he asked me to do it." It's not so preachy. It doesn't really imply that God did anything, and it doesn't try to equate patriotism and religion. It was the student who took credit for doing God's work, but you aren't really sure if he meant it.

Also, it has a very American element to it. The professor is a snooty intellectual. The student is an ordinary citizen. The arrogant professor gets put down by the local yokel. The joke also worked better in my dad's era, when the GI bill was sending an awful lot of local boys into the big universities, which had previously been full mostly of rich kids. There's a certain, "hick from the sticks gets one up on the snooty smart guy". Having the student be a sanctimonious Marine detracts from that. Now it's one preachy guy attacking another. Not nearly so funny.


Nevertheless, I do find it funny that some people who thought the Kathy Griffin joke was just hilarious think that there is nothing funny about this one. Both of them are primarily about putting down a sanctimonious jerk who shoves his religion into others' face. In the case from the Emmies, Kathy was putting down people who praise Jesus at an awards show, shoving their religion onto the audience. In the other case, the professor was challenging God, shoving his religion onto his class.

It's interesting to see how people react when their own sacred cows are threatened.

That doesn't seem funny at all. It doesn't have anyone clearly violating many of the beliefs that they profess to uphold to protect their beliefs.

bignickel
17th September 2007, 09:27 AM
I'm amazed at the amount of people who bend over backwards to claim this is a joke.

Anyone hear the joke about the guy with the hook instead of a hand who attacked the teenagers? hah! What a punchline! Or the babysitter who was 'high' on LSD who put the baby/poodle in the microwave? Kills me every time...

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 09:30 AM
My dad's joke is also a bit dated. A punch in the mouth wasn't always treated as a criminal offense fifty years ago. Thinking of the student's actions as a felony interferes with any enjoyment of the joke.

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 09:32 AM
, which is based on a completely false caricature of an atheist,

Huh? Completely false? Ever heard of the blasphemy challenge? This guy was ahead of his time!

ponderingturtle
17th September 2007, 09:33 AM
My dad's joke is also a bit dated. A punch in the mouth wasn't always treated as a criminal offense fifty years ago. Thinking of the student's actions as a felony interferes with any enjoyment of the joke.

It just shows that using violence to impose your beleifs is fundamentaly funny.

JoeEllison
17th September 2007, 09:36 AM
It just shows that using violence to impose your beleifs is fundamentaly funny.

So, that's what passes for humor among some people, the idea that if you dislike someone for what they believe, you should just walk up to them and assault them. I guess if the professor got up and said "there is no God" again, it would be even funnier if the Marine stabbed him?

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 09:38 AM
I think there's a mote in my eye. Could one of you guys lend me a hand with it?

Ichneumonwasp
17th September 2007, 09:39 AM
Guys, you seem to missing the major point of humor. Humor, like certain types of music, helps define a community. The people who find the joke funny do so not because of the violence but because they professor got "what was coming to him". Part of the reason why it is funny is because violence is used and most of us find violence uncomfortable.

delphi_ote
17th September 2007, 09:56 AM
Guys, you seem to missing the major point of humor. Humor, like certain types of music, helps define a community. The people who find the joke funny do so not because of the violence but because they professor got "what was coming to him". Part of the reason why it is funny is because violence is used and most of us find violence uncomfortable.
Oh, I think we understand it. We're talking about mean spirited bigotry. The zealot finds this funny in the same way racists are amused when a darker pigmented individual gets "what was coming to him" or a misogynist finds it funny when a person with a different configuration of genitalia gets "what was coming to her." In fact, it wouldn't be too hard to re-write this joke to make it a racist joke or a sexist joke instead of an anti-atheist joke.

Ichneumonwasp
17th September 2007, 10:00 AM
Oh, I think we understand it. We're talking about mean spirited bigotry. The zealot finds this funny in the same way racists are amused when a darker pigmented individual gets "what was coming to him" or a misogynist finds it funny when a person with a different configuration of genitalia gets "what was coming to her." In fact, it wouldn't be too hard to re-write this joke to make it a racist joke or a sexist joke instead of an anti-atheist joke.

Very true.

I was responding to those who said it wasn't a joke. For a certain type of community it is.

But those folks find Ann Coulter funny.

I need to take a shower now. Just mentioning her gives me the willies.

delphi_ote
17th September 2007, 10:12 AM
I was responding to those who said it wasn't a joke. For a certain type of community it is.
I can see where the confusion on joke status comes in, though. It's a joke blurred with those urban legends that get passed around and debunked by Snopes. People have printed this thing out and posted it in their cubes next to pictures of kittens and told their friends about it as though it were true. Somewhere, there are cretins who think this actually happened.

Also, even people who believe it is a joke want it to be true. That's the problem with bigotry. Things start off as fiction and are then slowly believed to be true not because the listener believes they're fact at first, but because they want it to be a fact. For a radical example, think 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'.
I need to take a shower now. Just mentioning her gives me the willies.
My first instinct when thinking about Coulter isn't to get naked...

Ichneumonwasp
17th September 2007, 10:15 AM
My first instinct when thinking about Coulter isn't to get naked...

Now that's funny.:D

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 02:24 PM
Jesus was with his disciples walking through Jerusalem when they came upon a crowd that was going to stone a woman to death for adultery. He jumped in front of the woman and said, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone." Suddenly, from out of the crowd, a rock flew toward the woman's head. It struck her square in the temple, killing her instantly. Jesus said, "Mother, I was trying to make a point!"



I'm willing to bet that some of the people who don't think the professor joke was funny in the least thought that the Jesus joke was funny. Why? They both involve violence. Come to think of it, they both involve violence inflicted upon an innocent for the sake of religion.

Both actually get their humor from the same source. An unexpected act of violence comes from an unexpected source, thwarting someone who thought he was pretty darned smart. Both were trying to make the point that they were something special and everyone should pay attention, and they had overlooked a possibility.

At least, that's one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that in one case, an atheist professor ends up looking stupid, while in the other case, Jesus ends up looking stupid. If you base your idea of what is funny on who gets mocked, then one joke is funny and the other isn't.

The people who added the modifications to the Marine version of the story apparently didn't get the original in the same way I did. They explicitly called him an atheist, which wasn't really necessary, but they also threw in the ACLU. Apparently, they thought it was funnier to have an ACLU guy get hit in the head. Of course, they also apparently thought it was funnier to have a self righteous hero do the dirty work than an ordinary citizen. I guess there's no accounting for taste. I thought my dad's version was much funnier. I like the Jesus joke, too.

pgwenthold
17th September 2007, 02:51 PM
Jesus was with his disciples walking through Jerusalem when they came upon a crowd that was going to stone a woman to death for adultery. He jumped in front of the woman and said, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone." Suddenly, from out of the crowd, a rock flew toward the woman's head. It struck her square in the temple, killing her instantly. Jesus said, "Mother, I was trying to make a point!"



I'm willing to bet that some of the people who don't think the professor joke was funny in the least thought that the Jesus joke was funny. Why? They both involve violence. Come to think of it, they both involve violence inflicted upon an innocent for the sake of religion.


There are other aspects of the "joke" that don't make this comparison all that worthwhile. For example, this joke actually has some element of truth to it. Jesus is said to have said, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone" and Mary is said to have been without sin, and that is considered a virtue.

Meanwhile, where is this atheist standing on the table waiting for God to knock him off? The Marine who punches someone speaking freely instead of standing up for free speech (if that has truth to it, is it supposed to be a virtue?)

Why not make up a joke about Jesus buggering Lazerus in the tomb, and then see how funny everyone thinks it is?

joobz
17th September 2007, 02:53 PM
Jesus was with his disciples walking through Jerusalem when they came upon a crowd that was going to stone a woman to death for adultery. He jumped in front of the woman and said, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone." Suddenly, from out of the crowd, a rock flew toward the woman's head. It struck her square in the temple, killing her instantly. Jesus said, "Mother, I was trying to make a point!"



I'm willing to bet that some of the people who don't think the professor joke was funny in the least thought that the Jesus joke was funny. Why? They both involve violence. Come to think of it, they both involve violence inflicted upon an innocent for the sake of religion.

Both actually get their humor from the same source. An unexpected act of violence comes from an unexpected source, thwarting someone who thought he was pretty darned smart. Both were trying to make the point that they were something special and everyone should pay attention, and they had overlooked a possibility.

At least, that's one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that in one case, an atheist professor ends up looking stupid, while in the other case, Jesus ends up looking stupid. If you base your idea of what is funny on who gets mocked, then one joke is funny and the other isn't.

The people who added the modifications to the Marine version of the story apparently didn't get the original in the same way I did. They explicitly called him an atheist, which wasn't really necessary, but they also threw in the ACLU. Apparently, they thought it was funnier to have an ACLU guy get hit in the head. Of course, they also apparently thought it was funnier to have a self righteous hero do the dirty work than an ordinary citizen. I guess there's no accounting for taste. I thought my dad's version was much funnier. I like the Jesus joke, too.
Well, to me, your Jesus joke is amusing not because it shows up a cocky Jesus, but because it plays upon the idea of Mary being the immaculate conception.

But hey, that's just me.

JoeEllison
17th September 2007, 02:55 PM
Jesus was with his disciples walking through Jerusalem when they came upon a crowd that was going to stone a woman to death for adultery. He jumped in front of the woman and said, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone." Suddenly, from out of the crowd, a rock flew toward the woman's head. It struck her square in the temple, killing her instantly. Jesus said, "Mother, I was trying to make a point!"



I'm willing to bet that some of the people who don't think the professor joke was funny in the least thought that the Jesus joke was funny. Why? They both involve violence. Come to think of it, they both involve violence inflicted upon an innocent for the sake of religion.

Both actually get their humor from the same source. An unexpected act of violence comes from an unexpected source, thwarting someone who thought he was pretty darned smart. Both were trying to make the point that they were something special and everyone should pay attention, and they had overlooked a possibility.

At least, that's one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that in one case, an atheist professor ends up looking stupid, while in the other case, Jesus ends up looking stupid. If you base your idea of what is funny on who gets mocked, then one joke is funny and the other isn't.

The people who added the modifications to the Marine version of the story apparently didn't get the original in the same way I did. They explicitly called him an atheist, which wasn't really necessary, but they also threw in the ACLU. Apparently, they thought it was funnier to have an ACLU guy get hit in the head. Of course, they also apparently thought it was funnier to have a self righteous hero do the dirty work than an ordinary citizen. I guess there's no accounting for taste. I thought my dad's version was much funnier. I like the Jesus joke, too.

You're still lying to make your points. Why is that?

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 03:59 PM
You're still lying to make your points. Why is that?
:mad:

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 04:03 PM
Well, to me, your Jesus joke is amusing not because it shows up a cocky Jesus, but because it plays upon the idea of Mary being the immaculate conception.

But hey, that's just me.

There are several things about the joke that someone might find funny, and others might find horribly offensive.

triadboy
17th September 2007, 04:29 PM
Of course, they also apparently thought it was funnier to have a self righteous hero do the dirty work than an ordinary citizen.


This is what is evil about this joke - and it's subtle. Xianity is trying to claim the military, patriotism, and apple pie as xian values!

articulett
17th September 2007, 04:54 PM
There are other aspects of the "joke" that don't make this comparison all that worthwhile. For example, this joke actually has some element of truth to it. Jesus is said to have said, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone" and Mary is said to have been without sin, and that is considered a virtue.

Meanwhile, where is this atheist standing on the table waiting for God to knock him off? The Marine who punches someone speaking freely instead of standing up for free speech (if that has truth to it, is it supposed to be a virtue?)

Why not make up a joke about Jesus buggering Lazerus in the tomb, and then see how funny everyone thinks it is?

That just made me laugh out loud. Really.

Ichneumonwasp
17th September 2007, 06:12 PM
This is what is evil about this joke - and it's subtle. Xianity is trying to claim the military, patriotism, and apple pie as xian values!

But it is part of our current reality. Yes, it is scary.

articulett
17th September 2007, 06:29 PM
But it is part of our current reality. Yes, it is scary.

And atheism = evil, scary, commies, arrogant, enemies, satan and immoral.

And who is more arrogant-- one claiming to know god exists and what he wants--or one who says no one has claims of "divine knowledge"?

Religion promotes some sick doublethink. And the faithful are used to twisting crap into "higher truths" and letting nutty parables do the thinking for them under the banner of "faith".

Faith can suck it.

joobz
17th September 2007, 06:33 PM
There are several things about the joke that someone might find funny, and others might find horribly offensive.
I also find it funny in that it reminds me of the life of brian
that it would be Jesus' mom bugging him while, he's trying to preach
that her aim was so good, as to kill the woman in one throw (completely against the notion that she would be a sinless woman, well at least born without sin).

The marine/professor story is far from that clever. it is obviously politically motivated and boring.

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 06:35 PM
This is what is evil about this joke - and it's subtle. Xianity is trying to claim the military, patriotism, and apple pie as xian values!

I agree. I don't like the joke in the OP, but the original version was much better.

Meadmaker
17th September 2007, 06:38 PM
I also find it funny in that it reminds me of the life of brian.

A fantastic, and not inherently anti-Christian, film.


Someone asked about Jesus buggering Lazarus in the tomb. Would people find that funny? Some would. Articulett has already said it made her laugh, which isn't bad for something that isn't even a joke yet. Apparently just the mere image of Jesus buggering Lazarus is enough to be funny for some people. I wonder what the punch line would be.

And if you wrote a play about it, it might win some Tony awards:

http://www.onlyinhouston.org/en/cev/?399

JoeEllison
17th September 2007, 06:55 PM
:mad:

You can be as mad as you like... I just wish you'd be a little more honest.

articulett
17th September 2007, 07:40 PM
You can be as mad as you like... I just wish you'd be a little more honest.

This is a guy who repeatedly contends that Behe is not dishonest. His definition of honesty seems to be very loose when it comes to his sacred cows.

delphi_ote
17th September 2007, 08:08 PM
Jesus was with his disciples walking through Jerusalem when they came upon a crowd that was going to stone a woman to death for adultery. He jumped in front of the woman and said, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone." Suddenly, from out of the crowd, a rock flew toward the woman's head. It struck her square in the temple, killing her instantly. Jesus said, "Mother, I was trying to make a point!"
Is the punch line of this joke that the person who was hurt deserved to be hurt because they belong to a group we don't like?

That's the problem with the first joke.

JoeEllison
17th September 2007, 08:24 PM
Is the punch line of this joke that the person who was hurt deserved to be hurt because they belong to a group we don't like?

That's the problem with the first joke.

And, there's the lie in Meadmaker's post.

JoeEllison
17th September 2007, 08:27 PM
This is a guy who repeatedly contends that Behe is not dishonest. His definition of honesty seems to be very loose when it comes to his sacred cows.

You know... don't care so much about that, not in this thread. What I can see is that this is a guy who twists and stretches and obscures in order to avoid saying anything that might come down against his views. It is one thing to just reject some things, or try to put things in perspective, but what he's doing is something different. :boggled:

joobz
17th September 2007, 08:39 PM
A fantastic, and not inherently anti-Christian, film.

No, but it is inherently anti-religion or at the least, anti-organized religion. it highlights the fact that people will follow/believe anything for any reason.

lolurigeller
17th September 2007, 10:59 PM
More or less, yes.

In Chick tracts the atheist professor or the public school teacher is usually portrayed as snide and unattractive (not to mention, vaguely Jewish) while the Christian protagonist is always some handsome, Caucasian, blond-haired picture of Aryan... I mean, American manhood.


I've give it more props if they did something more original like make a blond haired blue eyed buxom villianous atheist professor, and the christian protagonist a fresh off the boat vietnamese boy.

ponderingturtle
18th September 2007, 05:07 AM
Well, to me, your Jesus joke is amusing not because it shows up a cocky Jesus, but because it plays upon the idea of Mary being the immaculate conception.

But hey, that's just me.

Just like the orrigional joke depends on a very low view of christians and marines inteligence and ethics supporting their own doctrine.

ponderingturtle
18th September 2007, 05:10 AM
A fantastic, and not inherently anti-Christian, film.


Someone asked about Jesus buggering Lazarus in the tomb. Would people find that funny? Some would. Articulett has already said it made her laugh, which isn't bad for something that isn't even a joke yet. Apparently just the mere image of Jesus buggering Lazarus is enough to be funny for some people. I wonder what the punch line would be.

And if you wrote a play about it, it might win some Tony awards:

http://www.onlyinhouston.org/en/cev/?399

No Lazarus should be buggering Jesus, as Jesus made him rise from the dead.

Hmm, maybe the myth is just that Jesus was so hot he got Lazarus the first errection he had in years.

articulett
18th September 2007, 05:28 AM
No Lazarus should be buggering Jesus, as Jesus made him rise from the dead.

Hmm, maybe the myth is just that Jesus was so hot he got Lazarus the first errection he had in years.

Maybe it was just his flaccid penis that rose from the dead and spread to mythical proportions over the years.

ponderingturtle
18th September 2007, 05:29 AM
Maybe it was just his flaccid penis that rose from the dead and spread to mythical proportions over the years.

Psst, that is exactly what the second sentence in my post says.

articulett
18th September 2007, 05:38 AM
Psst, that is exactly what the second sentence in my post says.

I'm slow on the penis jokes, I guess...
no... wait... I was just affirming your joke and adding to it... "mythical proportions"-- don't all penises aim for that?

But the term "buggering" is funny to me-- it's so "British" and proper... and yet so funny. And then the imagery... proving that humor is all in the mind... to me it's like imagining Superman "buggering" Caspar the Friendly Ghost--and the Superman supporters getting up in arms over Superman's gayness but not his necrophilia...

Or Spiderman and Beetlejuice... Zeus and Satan... Allah and a zombie... God and Buddha...

"buggering" (tee-hee)

(of course it's only amusing if the buggery is between consenting adult mythical entities.)

wollery
18th September 2007, 06:43 AM
The punchline should be,

"I've tried everything else. If this doesn't wake him up, nothing will!"

Meadmaker
18th September 2007, 06:53 AM
The punchline should be,

"I've tried everything else. If this doesn't wake him up, nothing will!"

:)

mijopaalmc
18th September 2007, 11:33 AM
And, there's the lie in Meadmaker's post.

So you believe that the woman caught in adultery deserved to die?

JoeEllison
18th September 2007, 11:39 AM
So you believe that the woman caught in adultery deserved to die?

No, and I don't believe that you thought I did. Your implication is a lie.

Now, tell me, do you think that the joke implied that she deserved to die? Please, try to be honest for a change, just once. Surprise me.

mijopaalmc
18th September 2007, 11:51 AM
No, and I don't believe that you thought I did. Your implication is a lie.

Now, tell me, do you think that the joke implied that she deserved to die? Please, try to be honest for a change, just once. Surprise me.

You know, it's a little confusing when you respond with a one-sentence accusation of lying. By the way, disagreeing with you is not lying; it would be nice for you to beh onest about that once.

JoeEllison
18th September 2007, 11:53 AM
You know, it's a little confusing when you respond with a one-sentence accusation of lying. By the way, disagreeing with you is not lying; it would be nice for you to beh onest about that once.

There's another lie from you: pretending that it is disagreement that is at the heart of the issue.

Now, answer the question: does that joke imply that the woman deserves to die?

thaiboxerken
18th September 2007, 12:00 PM
I thought it was only a joke, not an editorial commentary on the evils of religion, the smarmy arrogance of an educator, and the pugilistic skills of a Marine.

No, it wasn't a joke and it was meant to be an editorial on the "evils" of atheism and how god is protecting the soldiers.

ponderingturtle
18th September 2007, 12:02 PM
No, it wasn't a joke and it was meant to be an editorial on the "evils" of atheism and how god is protecting the soldiers.

So that is why they didn't need body armor or armored vehicals.

mijopaalmc
18th September 2007, 12:32 PM
There's another lie from you: pretending that it is disagreement that is at the heart of the issue.

Now, answer the question: does that joke imply that the woman deserves to die?

Yes, the Jesus joke does not imply that the woman caught in adultery deserves to die (and I apologize for implying that you thought it did).

Why don't you tell me exactly what you don't like about the joke?

It seems that the dislikes of the "atheist professor" jokes, of which there have been several mentioned in this thread, extends far beyond the use of violence to make a point.

thaiboxerken
18th September 2007, 12:33 PM
So that is why they didn't need body armor or armored vehicals.

GW talks to Jesus

thaiboxerken
18th September 2007, 12:38 PM
It seems that the dislikes of the "atheist professor" jokes, of which there have been several mentioned in this thread, extends far beyond the use of violence to make a point.

It's because the joke invents a strawman and then attacks the strawmen, and then it implies that such strawmen actually exist. Oh, and it's not funny.

Rowan Atkinson makes a good jab at atheists in in his "Welcome to hell" skit. That's a funny skit and his "don't you feel stupid now" comment to the "atheists" is rather hilarious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFGrQMD6Uqc

JoeEllison
18th September 2007, 12:44 PM
Yes, the Jesus joke does not imply that the woman caught in adultery deserves to die (and I apologize for implying that you thought it did).

Why don't you tell me exactly what you don't like about the joke?

It seems that the dislikes of the "atheist professor" jokes, of which there have been several mentioned in this thread, extends far beyond the use of violence to make a point.

Apology accepted.

Now, tell me if you think the atheist professor "joke" implied that the professor deserved the violence inflicted on him?

Meadmaker
18th September 2007, 04:13 PM
Is the punch line of this joke that the person who was hurt deserved to be hurt because they belong to a group we don't like?

That's the problem with the first joke.

Was that it? Or was it because he was being arrogant? The creators of the Titanic were famously quoted as saying "Not even God can sink this ship." (I have no idea if they actually said that.) Christians of course point to that as a warning against blasphemy, but even atheists can look to it as a warning against pride.

The professor in the story is not just declaring himself to be an atheist, he is also declaring himself to be invulnerable and identifying himself as smug. He's then taken down to a lower level.

Of course, this is more believable in the older, not so preachy, version of the joke.


(For those who may have missed it, the joke from the OP is actually much older than Afghanistan, and in the version I heard once upon a time, the highly intellectual professor is slugged by an unsophisticated student. There's no preachiness about God protecting soldiers. It's just a snooty, preachy, professor, being taken down by a common man. The attribution of the attack to God's will is much more ambiguous, at least as told by my father. He was never a religious man, and he was from Missouri. His slight southern accent became much thicker when delivering the punch line from the student, emphasizing the "country boy vs. city slicker" aspect, which is totally absent in the version from the OP.)

delphi_ote
18th September 2007, 04:17 PM
Was that it? Or was it because he was being arrogant?
Oh. So he deserved to be hit because he was a stereotypical atheist. Got it.

thaiboxerken
18th September 2007, 05:08 PM
It's not smug or arrogant to say that a god can not knock me down, it's a fact. Heck, if it's not true, may any gods hit me with lightening before I finish this post............arggg!!!

articulett
18th September 2007, 05:42 PM
Although it's a stereotype, why WOULD it be so arrogant to say such a thing? Is it because people shouldn't have to "think" about their faith? God, is presumably welcome to show up and present himself at any time in any way he chooses, right? What is wrong with people that this is called "arrogant" and deserving of a punch? Isn't it more arrogant to, not only claim that god exists, but that you, personally, know what he wants? Surely, if he said "Zeus" instead of "God" the story loses it's holier-than-thou parable tone--and though he might still be an atheist...nobody would be sending the story through the email like it had clever meaning.

thaiboxerken
18th September 2007, 05:51 PM
Of course, the real reason a believer would knock an "evil professor" like this down is because he KNOWS deep inside that no god will do it. Gods tend to be powerless in these kinds of challenges. In fact, they tend to fail every challenge to present themselves or give evidence of their existence.

Dunstan
18th September 2007, 05:57 PM
Although it's a stereotype, why WOULD it be so arrogant to say such a thing? Is it because people shouldn't have to "think" about their faith? God, is presumably welcome to show up and present himself at any time in any way he chooses, right? What is wrong with people that this is called "arrogant" and deserving of a punch? Isn't it more arrogant to, not only claim that god exists, but that you, personally, know what he wants? Surely, if he said "Zeus" instead of "God" the story loses it's holier-than-thou parable tone--and though he might still be an atheist...nobody would be sending the story through the email like it had clever meaning.

Well, the arrogance is in using one's position as a professor to proselytize. Maybe "arrogant" is the wrong word.

Deserving of a punch? No, of course not. Deserving of disciplinary action from the university? Probably. I am assuming that the professor's speech wasn't part of some pedagogical exercise related to the subject matter. In a different context, for example, as part of a debate on the existence of god, it wouldn't be arrogant at all in my opinion.

joobz
18th September 2007, 06:05 PM
Well, the arrogance is in using one's position as a professor to proselytize. Maybe "arrogant" is the wrong word.

Deserving of a punch? No, of course not. Deserving of disciplinary action from the university? Probably. I am assuming that the professor's speech wasn't part of some pedagogical exercise related to the subject matter. In a different context, for example, as part of a debate on the existence of god, it wouldn't be arrogant at all in my opinion.
yeah, this is exactly my take.
Although the inherent assumption that a professor would abuse thier authority is rather insulting.

Dunstan
18th September 2007, 06:18 PM
yeah, this is exactly my take.
Although the inherent assumption that a professor would abuse thier authority is rather insulting.

Eh, I don't know about that. I've had one or two professors and teaching assistants pontificate on political issues only tangentially (at best) related to the subject at hand. Not to the degree of the professor in the "joke," but enough that I've had to roll my eyes a few times.

articulett
18th September 2007, 06:24 PM
Is that proselytizing... isn't it more of a demonstration or a test-- isn't proselytizing trying to convert someone to a belief system?

I don't see how the example could be seen as proselytizing... or anything to take action over. Is it different than praying out loud or thanking god publically? He's talking to god whom he doesn't believe in. He's not suggesting others do the same.

I disagree. This might be offensive but it is NOT proselytizing-- nor is it necessarily arrogant. I don't think it fits in any category of improper behavior though I suspect it would piss some people off. But that would be because they have the meme that faith should be protected even if it means punching someone who is threatening to poke holes in it by "testing god".

joobz
18th September 2007, 06:31 PM
Eh, I don't know about that. I've had one or two professors and teaching assistants pontificate on political issues only tangentially (at best) related to the subject at hand. Not to the degree of the professor in the "joke," but enough that I've had to roll my eyes a few times.
sure, some abuse their position, but it is far from the norm. As you mention, disciplinary action should be taken. My point is that People who subscribe to the "evil professor" stereotype do not consider them be the exception.

Dunstan
18th September 2007, 06:33 PM
Is that proselytizing... isn't it more of a demonstration or a test-- isn't proselytizing trying to convert someone to a belief system?

I feel comfortable inferring that the purpose of the "demonstration" was to persuade students that there is no god. The word "proselytize" isn't limited to a religious context.

I don't see how the example could be seen as proselytizing... or anything to take action over. Is it different than praying out loud or thanking god publically? He's talking to god whom he doesn't believe in. He's not suggesting others do the same.

The hypothetical professor wasted ten minutes -- and was prepared to waste fifteen -- of class time, for which those students had paid substantial tuition, on making a rather lame and obvious argument for atheism.

Imagine a physics professor walks into class and proceeds to give a fifteen minute lecture on why the students should vote for Candidate X. It's a waste of class time, it's abusing your power over a captive audience. It's just plain rude behavior.

If either the "ACLU atheist" professor of the OP or my hypothetical political activist professor walked into a square in the middle of campus, got up on a soapbox and did the same thing, I'd be fine with it.

I disagree. This might be offensive but it is NOT proselytizing-- nor is it necessarily arrogant. I don't think it fits in any category of improper behavior though I suspect it would piss some people off. But that would be because they have the meme that faith should be protected even if it means punching someone who is threatening to poke holes in it by "testing god".

My objection is not based on any faith-protecting meme.

joobz
18th September 2007, 06:33 PM
Is that proselytizing... isn't it more of a demonstration or a test-- isn't proselytizing trying to convert someone to a belief system?
And the way of the master is only witnessing. :)

articulett
18th September 2007, 06:34 PM
What disciplinary action should be taken? I have a boss who says (at a public school mind you) "May the peace of Christ be with you" to me. (Thanks, but I'd prefer actual help...)

joobz
18th September 2007, 06:37 PM
What disciplinary action should be taken? I have a boss who says (at a public school mind you) "May the peace of Christ be with you" to me. (Thanks, but I'd prefer actual help...)
If his statements make a uncomfortable work environment, I would think it would be inappropriate. But i'm no laywer.

I only know what I can and cannot do as an educator.

Dunstan
18th September 2007, 06:45 PM
What disciplinary action should be taken? I have a boss who says (at a public school mind you) "May the peace of Christ be with you" to me. (Thanks, but I'd prefer actual help...)

In the case of the hypothetical professor? He should be warned by the dean or department head to knock it off. If he does it again, he's now engaging in insubordination as well as his other offenses, and should be subject to further discipline up to and including dismissal.

In your case? I don't think it's nearly the same thing as the professor, if that's what you're suggesting. It's one line, and it's merely an expression of good will (albeit one that implicitly asserts that Christ exists). It wouldn't bother me at all.

If you're serious about doing something about it, then the first step is usually notifying the offender that the behavior is unwelcome. After that, you probably need to check with your union rep or HR department. I can't imagine why you'd bother, but that's your decision to make.

articulett
18th September 2007, 06:48 PM
I see... I agree... it was a waste of class time with a captive audience and, thus, would be inappropriate. Not punch worthy, mind you. But inappropriate and actionable. Of course battery is more actionable... even if god told you to do it.

And yes in my situation, I've let it slide. But I'm pretty sure he knows I'm a non-believer. Hopefully, it won't happen a lot. He causes much frustration, and his Christ doesn't seem to be providing me with any peace. I need a visible assistant.

Khonshu
18th September 2007, 07:03 PM
Here's a funny one -

Did you hear about the Agnostic who didn't want to be forced to hear prayers at high school football games? He protested, and the good christians (small c on purpose) of the area left him & his family death threats, he was beaten up at school over it (probably more than once). Even 20 years later I read on an alumni message board that many of his classmates STILL think that it was a good thing that he got his ass kicked for complaining about having to listen to prayers he didn't want to hear! I mean, who the hell did he think he was?

The "funny" part about that is that it's true. It happened in Douglasville, Georgia in about 1985 - the case against the football game prayer went all the way to the Supreme Court (prayer lost). But a whole lot of people wanted to beat the kid up - or even kill him - in Jesus name, amen. To me, it makes the whole story of the professor and the Marine a whole lot less funny - if it could ever be accused of that. The atheist & marine story may not have ever happened, but believe me, there are many out there who wish it would!

articulett
18th September 2007, 07:16 PM
Here's a funny one -

Did you hear about the Agnostic who didn't want to be forced to hear prayers at high school football games? He protested, and the good christians (small c on purpose) of the area left him & his family death threats, he was beaten up at school over it (probably more than once). Even 20 years later I read on an alumni message board that many of his classmates STILL think that it was a good thing that he got his ass kicked for complaining about having to listen to prayers he didn't want to hear! I mean, who the hell did he think he was?

The "funny" part about that is that it's true. It happened in Douglasville, Georgia in about 1985 - the case against the football game prayer went all the way to the Supreme Court (prayer lost). But a whole lot of people wanted to beat the kid up - or even kill him - in Jesus name, amen. To me, it makes the whole story of the professor and the Marine a whole lot less funny - if it could ever be accused of that. The atheist & marine story may not have ever happened, but believe me, there are many out there who wish it would!

There sure are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTRDRP2n4Sk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrPLupGdKKQ

Silly Green Monkey
18th September 2007, 11:09 PM
How is being assaulted "being taken down to a lower level"?

delphi_ote
18th September 2007, 11:25 PM
It's not smug or arrogant to say that a god can not knock me down, it's a fact. Heck, if it's not true, may any gods hit me with lightening before I finish this post............arggg!!!
King Arthur: [about the inscription on the rock] What does it say, Brother Maynard?
Brother Maynard: It reads, "Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Aramathia. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the holy grail in the Castle of Aaauuuggghhh..."
King Arthur: What?
Brother Maynard: "The Castle of Aaaauuuggghhhh"
Sir Bedevere: What is that?
Brother Maynard: He must have died while carving it.
King Arthur: Oh come on!
Brother Maynard: Well, that's what it says.
King Arthur: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't have bothered to carve 'Aaaauuuggghhhh'. He'd just say it.
Sir Galahad: Maybe he was dictating it.
King Arthur: Oh shut up!

pgwenthold
19th September 2007, 08:23 AM
As to this being inappropriate, doesn't it depend? For example, if this is a Philosophy class and they are talking about the arguments for and against the existence of god, then this exercise would seem most appropriate.

God's absence is certainly an argument against his existence. And yeah, the professor could just as easily have told the class that, but then again, demos are often very useful teaching tools.

As a demo, this works on many levels (demonstrating not just the absence of god, but also how people react to such tests and questions). In a philosophy class, it is a great demonstration of how NOT to react to challenges. If resorting to violence is the only way you can respond when stuck in a corner, you won't do very well in a philosophy class.

Of course, if this were in Calc 2 that this happened, it would be a different story.

zombiebex
19th September 2007, 09:11 AM
Well, neat. I just got this in the mail and am attempting to come up with a reply that doesn't offend anybody and make me ostrasized from group. Of course, I can't just let it go, either. Because that's just not fair... Everything I come up with is incredibly snarky...

Meadmaker
19th September 2007, 09:18 AM
It's interesting what we find funny, and why.

In the joke from the OP, it seems clear that what is funny to the author is, "godless atheist gets beat up by righteous Christian." To my way of thinking, that's not so funny.

In the older version of the joke it is, "smug intellectual gets punched by common man". Smug intellectual college professors apparently don't find this very funny. It was never my favorite joke, but I see the humor in it. On the other hand, just beating up the guy isn't funny at all. The humor, such as it is, gets created by by the fact that the smug guy created the situation which leads to his undoing. And as I noted before, it's dated, because we're much more sensitive to violence than we used to be. Once upon a time, a punch in the mouth didn't normally result in criminal charges. There are plenty of people today who won't laugh at any story involving violence.

Or will they? The parrot named Moses joke is funny because a guy is about to be mauled by a vicious dog, but we have no sympathy for him because he's a burglar.

When someone mentioned Jesus buggering Lazarus, some people laughed at the mere mention. (Beavis and Butthead would be proud. "heh heh, he said 'buggering'".) On the other hand, wollery's suggested punch line made me laugh. The idea of Jesus doing whatever it takes to get that miracle happening was something that struck me as funny at the time. So, some people laugh just because Jesus is mocked. Other people would never laugh because it mocked Jesus. I didn't expect to find anything about it funny, but someone found something that struck me just right, and I laughed.

Whether we admit it or not, we can find humor in the suffering of others, as long as they are the right others.

delphi_ote
19th September 2007, 09:36 AM
Well, neat. I just got this in the mail and am attempting to come up with a reply that doesn't offend anybody and make me ostrasized from group. Of course, I can't just let it go, either. Because that's just not fair... Everything I come up with is incredibly snarky...
Be a little snarky. Whoever sent it to you was inconsiderate.

Dunstan
19th September 2007, 09:40 AM
Be a little snarky. Whoever sent it to you was inconsiderate.

Also, the chances are good that you're not the only recipient who's annoyed by it. Sometimes it just takes one person to call someone out on their nonsense.

zombiebex
19th September 2007, 09:56 AM
Alrighty, I think this works... my reply:
If someone doesn't follow your religious beliefs, makes you question and evaluate your beliefs, or makes use of thier Constitutional rights and freedoms...the right thing to do is NOT to resort to violence. These are where the roots of terrorism come from, and that is supposed to be what we're fighting in this war. Jesus preached love, peace, and acceptance. Much as I might want to punch out someone who's shouting an offensive sermon in my face, I, as an American who respects the freedom of speech and religion as well as the soldiers who have fought for that right, would just walk away.

Sorry, but I couldn't just stay quiet on it. This email was incredibly hurtful, even though I know that wasn't your intention. Thanks."

pgwenthold
19th September 2007, 09:56 AM
It's interesting what we find funny, and why.

In the joke from the OP, it seems clear that what is funny to the author is, "godless atheist gets beat up by righteous Christian." To my way of thinking, that's not so funny.




I tend to agree that, while I never found the original version all that funny myself, I could at least recognize it as a (bad) attempt at a joke.

However, the version in the OP has gone far away from that and turned into a morality spiel, a parable. It lost all it's joke qualities.

grayman
19th September 2007, 07:59 PM
Alrighty, I think this works... my reply:
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Well written. I hope your replies are more pleasant than mine.

delphi_ote
19th September 2007, 08:34 PM
Alrighty, I think this works... my reply:
[/FONT]
Not even a little snarky. Good job. :)

Meadmaker
20th September 2007, 04:24 AM
I tend to agree that, while I never found the original version all that funny myself, I could at least recognize it as a (bad) attempt at a joke.

However, the version in the OP has gone far away from that and turned into a morality spiel, a parable. It lost all it's joke qualities.

Agreed.

Speaking of things that have lost all their joke qualities, here's an observation that I made in the Kathy Griffin thread that is actually more appropriate here:

I can't help but notice a phenomenon that has happened in the wake of Griffin's appearance.

It was pointed out to me, late in this thread, that the "suck it, Jesus" comment was just the punch line of the joke. The set up for it was saying that Jesus wanted someone else to win. The "Suck it, Jesus" comment was her way of saying, "HA, Jesus! I won anyway. Take that."

That, to me, made her speech much more palatable to me. It wasn't just a gratuitous flip of the bird at Jesus. It was part of a joke. A joke which many would find offensive, but still a joke.

However, it seems that many Griffin supporters don't see it that way, either. I'm noticing the phrase "suck it, Jesus" appearing out of context and without explanation in posts on this board, and in at least one sig line. The setup is entirely absent. And what did the people using that phrase win anyway?

Maybe a lot of the people who liked Griffin's speech didn't get the joke either.