The Big Picture: Nerd Gods

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...Oh, look! It's Zeus from the Age of Mythology box art!

I'll give ya a moment to check... done? Good. Next question: Copyright violation, or not?

k-ossuburb:

mesoforte:
Atheist=/=Hating religion

Probably wasn't intentional, but the subtext was there.

Yeah, but there is an unfortunate correlation between the two since we've got to defend our position all the damn time even though we're not the ones trying to prove anything other than WYSIWYG.

This is generally the source of the problem, people don't know a person is an atheist until there is a debate that covers the topic. This leads people to believe that all athiests are non-stop preaching about religion being wrong, because a few people got a bit defensive about their (non)beliefs.
Of course this is only how I view it.

Captain Pooptits:
Haarooohee, Bob? Haarooheee?

You just lost all nerd credibility with me. Stop your preaching now. Right now goddam.

It's pronounced Haruhi ffs visit a speech therapist.

I'm going to assume that was sarcastic or you are joking. Real people aren't that stupid.

But you really should indicate it in some way, it doesn't come across in text.

Why did he mention Orson Scott Card? As far as I know, he doesn't have anything to do with scientology.

arrrgg, moviebob.
Religion, and culture itself doe not exist on a line that goes from a to b to c in a predictable manner. Saying that it went from animism to polytheism to monotheism is a gross western simplification of the matter. There are plenty of religions that have a mix of these, or went from gods to animism, back, around, wherever they wanted to. We are not due to suddenly leap forward inexplicably in religion any more than we are due to suddenly sprout wings.

Yeah, I think that heroes like that should be kept as heroes, people that we look to towards to understand how to be a good human. When you start worshiping but not believing, that's where things start to go wrong. Sure at the beginning everyone's in on it, but what happens when someone goes to far? I wouldn't be surprised if that's how a bunch of actual real world religions got start: people taking it to far (no I'm not going to even guess which ones, I didn't live back when they were established, I have no idea how it went down).

Although I'm all for the idea that any "gods" are really just beings of greater power or higher existence. Like the Goa'uld of Stargate (perhaps not so malevolent though). Mortal beings who command powers we have yet to properly understand and thus mistake as deities. Hell if I know, I'm an agnostic atheist myself. Right now I don't believe in any deity, but I can't for certain totally deny the existence of any.

the church of spiderman? i wonder or that church would say that making deals with the devil is good.

Not sure if anyone already mentioned this, but the description of Gnosticism in the video was kinda wrong. Kinda VERY wrong.
Gnosticism was a Christian -and pre-Christian (cf: apocalypse of adam)- sect which believed that reality was an evil delusion created either by satan or by a demented god who beloved himself to be the true god and is by and large worshiped as on by most people (depending on the sect). the Christian Gnostics believed that the devil froze mankind in a dream the moment that Christ died and that we are still suspended in that moment and will remain so until we realise that it is in-fact a dream. Interestingly a lot of the original parts of the bible - the gospel of mary magdelene for example- were Gnostic but were cut out during the canonisation because it was felt that the message was too complex and too aecetic for the majority of followers. Most of the original Gnostic gospels were destroyed by the church over the years but some came into the position of groups such as the templar's, who bought them as religious curiosities during the crusades (not to get all 'conspiracy theory' on you but some historians have suggested that members of the group converted to Gnosticism and that that was one of the big reasons that the templar's were exterminated). They mostly disappeared from history until the discovery in the 30's of the 'nag hamandi library', and the dead sea scrolls which had Gnostic tracts in them.
I'm guessing that the confussion in the video derived from the similarity between Gnostic and Agnostic as terms. However 'gnosis' means knowledge in greek and the Gnostics were those who possessed the 'knowledge' gifted to them from the true god beyond the 'veil of sorrows' while agnositic simply means 'a-gnosis' or without knowledge and refers to those who do not 'know' (in the religious, a-prori sence) that there is a god.
As far as the comment someone made about heratics goes, yeah Gnostics and other dualist faiths have always gotten it pretty hard in the shorts from Christianity. The original Gnostics were hunted to extinction by the early church and when they (sort of ) re-emerged in the 1200's as the 'cathar' sect in what is now southern France and north east Spain they were subjected to the 'abegensian crusade' which saw the destruction of Carcassonne and the immolation of thousands of people. To be fair its only to be expected if you go round saying that the pope is a servant of the demiurge and that people should not have to pay everything they earn to the church....
Anyhow, history lesson over my point is that the Gnostics felt that most of the stuff that the existent bible says are the 'lies of the archeron' so yeah, no they don't accept the bible. Sorry to be anal about this but someone has to say it.

Wasn't Scientology started by L. Ron Hubbard? Don't be dissing Card, he is my favorite writer of all time.

also, why does he blame scott card and Ellison for Scientology? i know Ellison was kinda bat s**t an had a fairly ambivalent attitude to human suffering but i seem to remember him being a vitriolic critic of Scientology. also there was that one story in 'paingod and other delusions' were the moral was 'don't trust what ANYONE tells you unless they produce proof before hand'. im open to correction on this tho....

I don´t think we should invent new gods(and no, I´m not a catolic, I´m a atheist). If we want to teach other people teachings to improve everyone´s live, we should tell them, or write a book about it,not invent a god or start worshiping gods from old TV shows. So, bye, and all praise the Ori! (Lame Stargate SG-1 old reference)

Bob you are full of Win in my opinion ^_^
This video made me giggle so much
Not gunna say why or how
But it did.

Though I do have to admit some of those ideas were awesome to a nerd like me >.>

I think when WBC was getting all up in arms about Comic Con, somebody said that, judging by the kind of media and following we have for fictional characters, it is possible that some alien or far future civilization could mistake them for our gods, but that the unfortunate implications of this are that the stories and characters we've been worshipping for a thousand years or two might have been just that - stories and characters.
It may have been about that time I read an expanded universe Doctor Who novel called Night of the Humans, in which a primitive human civilization, decended from the passangers of a crashed cargo ship, worship the shipping company's mascot Bozo, and believe that some old Western films that were in the ship are the stories of Bozo's sons, brothers, and the minions of 'the evil one'. It's also pretty clear by the end of the book that they welcome death via meteor as they think it must be Bozo coming to take them to 'El Paso', their idea of heaven. It's a bit of a disturbing thought, and sums up why I don't feel I want to trust my whole life to religion - there's every probability that it's just a story.

mairsil:
According to the holy rule book of Warhammer 40K, the God-Emperor should allready be among us...

wait, what? like in canon? srsly? is the emperor sposed to actually be that old?

Certain Christians are already against the Star Wars movies because they say that the Jedi Philosophy is Buddhism under another name, and becoming one with the force is just another version of Buddhist enlightenment. Jedi Buddhism, anyone? But myself, being an atheist, am from Missouri when it comes to religion. You know, the "Show Me State".

I've seen a lot of really "Out there" claims od evidence and proof for all sorts of deities. But when you ask for that evidence and proof objectively, it's suddenly all about faith. It's like trying to pin down a drop of mercury with your finger. Every time you think you are close to getting an answer, the goalposts move.

Interesting to note: The phrase 'Xmas', isn't 100% secular at all. The 'X' symbol was actually Emperor Constantine the Great's war banner that would supposedly protect him and his men as he went into battle, and it did...well as much as a banner can protect an entire army of Romans (and not, you know, military tactics). He claimed that he'd seen it in a vision, in which an angel gave him the idea. Coupled together with the fact that Constantine was the first religiously tolerant Roman Emperor (even becoming a Christian on his death bed so he'd be absolved of all sins during his life, sneaky bugger), 'X' slowly came to mean 'Christ'.

Woodsey:
Coca-Cola didn't invent Santa Clause (or even the red and white suit I believe, they just put him in it since it went with the branding).

That is correctimundo, my friend.

OT: Also, and I know you said the definition wasn't exact, but what I found doesn't seem to resemble your definition of Gnostic: http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm

koriantor:
Why did he mention Orson Scott Card? As far as I know, he doesn't have anything to do with scientology.

superline51:
Wasn't Scientology started by L. Ron Hubbard? Don't be dissing Card, he is my favorite writer of all time.

He's a practicing Mormon (like a certain lady Author), but, there's nothing really wrong with that, there's plenty of nice Mormons out there. Card just also happens to be vehemently anti-homosexual. He is also on the board of directors for the National Organisation for Marriage Welfare: http://www.nationformarriage.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=omL2KeN0LzH&b=5075187&ct=6938473

This, coupled with some of his outspoken views on homosexuality soured some of his fans, who while admitting they liked books like Ender's Game, now refuse to read anything he writes.

An interesting article expounding on his views: http://www.nauvoo.com/library/card-hypocrites.html TLDR: Homosexuals are engaged in a not so-clandestine 'network' and are driven purely by their need for sex from other homosexuals. To be fair on the man, he does state that he does not mean that Homosexuals should be treated harshly because of this, but only that it is to be considered abhorrent and not in anyway the natural state of things. i.e. The desire to commit Homosexual acts is a 'temptation', and giving in to those desires is sinful.

As for Ellison. He's a harsh, straight talking man, but while he was friends with Hubbard, I think he very much understands Hubbard's reasoning for creating the faux religion, i.e. to get rich and famous. Don't really get what Bob was hinting at since it was just a picture and a quick snipe at both of those authors.

Woodsey:
Coca-Cola didn't invent Santa Clause (or even the red and white suit I believe, they just put him in it since it went with the branding).

The Santa we know today was invented by coke. Look it up, it blew my mind when I first found out.

Le sigh. Nobody is coming to save you. Not from a death where you somehow feel non-feeling forever, not from your 'sins', and not from space army Tuesdays because, fun as it may be conceptually, there is no space army Tuesday.

There's enough real difficulties in life (paying rent, getting laid, dealing with the annoying guy at work, getting your ass home after a party, being sick) that you shouldn't make up imaginary difficulties to worry about too. So no, don't make more religions. Shut down the ones that aren't working (read: ALL OF THEM).

Captain Pooptits:
Haarooohee, Bob? Haarooheee?

You just lost all nerd credibility with me. Stop your preaching now. Right now goddam.

It's pronounced Haruhi ffs visit a speech therapist.

All this coming from a "Captain Pooptits".

Touhou religion would be worse then scientology, nothing against the series but theres a LOT of fanatic fans out there.

The way I interpret Christianity, as long as you believe in God, you go to heaven. You don't have to follow any rules in the Bible, they are more like advices for how to make your time on earth as alright as it can be.

Also, there is more religions then people who call themself theists, everyone has different perspective and opinion about their religion. Thats why I get easily trolled when theres something said about all the members of certian religion.

I'm unsatisfied with using fictional characters as religious icons. We need a concrete, and tangible focus for our belief.

That said, I'll sacrifice myself totally for this cause, and will allow you all to worship me. Shame on you for not doing so earlier.

Emergent System:

teknoarcanist:
On Christmas:
I know it's trendy to decry Christmas as a capitalistic orgy, but really: what's so wrong about a secular holiday devoted to good will, gift-giving, charity, and kindness towards your fellow man, divorced from any obligation or threat from a higher power to do so? Sound pretty damn good to me!

It alienates everyone who isn't a christian? Can't go anywhere without hearing some crazy motherfuckers screaming "JEEESUUUS JEEESSUUSSS" our of a speaker in what passes for music during the holiday.

Good thing you don't have to live in the south then...you have to hear it all year.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:

Woodsey:
Coca-Cola didn't invent Santa Clause (or even the red and white suit I believe, they just put him in it since it went with the branding).

The Santa we know today was invented by coke. Look it up, it blew my mind when I first found out.

"Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots (images of him rarely have a beard with no moustache). This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast."

Wikipedia, with 3 sources attached, the first of which being Coca-Cola denying they created the modern image.

It's sort of funny that christians have more issues with Santa than anything else.

Christmas was originally a pagan holiday called "the day of the birth of the unconquerable sun", where they celebrated the coming of spring and worshiped the god of agriculture. It was celebrated hundreds of years before Jesus, and was seen as a "catch all" in order to convert pagans by incorporating their traditions to make it seem familiar. There is no spiritual reason behind the date at all, it was just a matter of convenience for the early church because so many pagan holidays were going on at the same time.

In fact, most of the traditions we typicaly do at christmas are not christian in origin:
-Gift giving is based on the Romans exchanging gifts during Saturnalia, the holiday mentioned above, and having big celebratory parties. Sometimes orgies *cough*

-Christmas trees are based in the Roman tradition of decorating live trees and placing clippings around the home, and druids would hang fruit on evergreens. It was only in the 15th century when they taken into the home as a trend started by German nobility.

-Singing christmas carols came from Druid caroling circles during rites of fertility. During the conversion period as christianity spread through Europe, they co-opted the druid carols as a way to celebrate christmas around the same time

-Santa, ironicly enough, is the only tradition rooted in christian origins. Based on the real St. Nicholas, who lived in Myra in the fourth century A.D. He was born rich and inherited a great deal of money on the death of his parents, all of which he gave away. St. Nicholas is said to have thrown bags of gold into the windows of dowerless girls to save them from lives of prostitution or slavery. He was also well known for his love and protection of children. Folk writers later gave him the cheery persona and red suit, which out of the many descriptions writers in the 19th century (When the modern santa was really created) gave santa was the one to last.

Puritians canceled the holiday altogether and makd it a crime to celebrate it, instead spending the entire day in church. It was even outlawed by the English christians around the same period and fined people for "showing mirth".

So really, if you just want to make the holiday focused on Jesus, you'd have to stop decorating your home, stop singing carols, not have a christmas tree, not go to christmas parties, or give gifts. Santa is really the only one you could do going by it's roots if you want go the gift route.

Most religions are bad for two reasons:

    - They set up taboos, borders you must not think beyond, thus keeping you from finding the best solution by means of reasoning.
    - They offer a way of offloading responsibility that you have and should not delegate, especially not on moral issues.

Oh, and then there are the millions of people slaughtered in ancient or modern crusades.

As far as I am concerned I do accept spiritualism, I even think it is an important part of being human. So Holy Superheroes or Flying Spaghetti Monster? Why not? But I think religions like the Abrahamic religions are basically evil on every level.

Woodsey:
"Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots (images of him rarely have a beard with no moustache). This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast."

Wikipedia, with 3 sources attached, the first of which being Coca-Cola denying they created the modern image.

Really? Shit, well I saw a documentary about it on history channel... Oh well.

The winter solstice never became Christmas. It was on a different day and is still practiced to this day.

But, yeah. This was pretty damn smart.

SensibleCrout:
Most religions are bad for two reasons:

    - They set up taboos, borders you must not think beyond, thus keeping you from finding the best solution by means of reasoning.
    - They offer a way of offloading responsibility that you have and should not delegate, especially on moral issues.

Oh, and then there are the millions of people slaughtered in ancient or modern crusades.

As far as I am concerned I do accept spiritualism, I even think it is an important part of being human. But I think religions like the Abrahamic religions are basically evil on every level.

But this here is explaining the opposite of what you said.

Guidelines of basically being a good person was what most comic book heroes preach. In a large metaphorical way.

How about YokaiChrist?

What? Byakuren is a Buddhist Yokai (Demon) Jesus.

http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Byakuren_Hijiri
http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/File:Hiji2.png

Woodsey:
Coca-Cola didn't invent Santa Clause (or even the red and white suit I believe, they just put him in it since it went with the branding).

No, but as he pointed out in an article last week, the modern idea of Santa Claus, in that exact suit, looking exactly as he does, was codified by Coca-Cola for it's ads, Yeah, Saint Nick. already existed, but the "Jolly Fat Man in a Fire-Engine red suit" was mostly Coca-Cola. He mostly wore robes, Browns, Golds, etc, before that. You know, things you might imagine a Saint wearing. In fact, I know in other countries, he still does.

Apologies if I was rude.

Edit: I should mention that he did wear the red beforehand (as someone else mentioned), but he was just as likely to wear the red as he was some other color. Tryin to find a Santa not in the red suit nowadays, however, can be largely attributed to Coke (people loved Coke, and the idea stuck for some odd reason). Personally, I like Santa in Brown robes with Gold trim. More Saintly.

Mstrswrd:
How about YokaiChrist?

What? Byakuren is a Buddhist Yokai (Demon) Jesus.

http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Byakuren_Hijiri
http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/File:Hiji2.png

Woodsey:
Coca-Cola didn't invent Santa Clause (or even the red and white suit I believe, they just put him in it since it went with the branding).

No, but as he pointed out in an article last week, the modern idea of Santa Claus, in that exact suit, looking exactly as he does, was codified by Coca-Cola for it's ads, Yeah, Saint Nick. already existed, but the "Jolly Fat Man in a Fire-Engine red suit" was mostly Coca-Cola. He mostly wore robes, Browns, Golds, etc, before that. You know, things you might imagine a Saint wearing. In fact, I know in other countries, he still does.

Apologies if I was rude.

Edit: I should mention that he did wear the red beforehand (as someone else mentioned), but he was just as likely to wear the red as he was some other color. Tryin to find a Santa not in the red suit nowadays, however, can be largely attributed to Coke (people loved Coke, and the idea stuck for some odd reason). Personally, I like Santa in Brown robes with Gold trim. More Saintly.

Look at my quote inside this one - even Coca Cola said it wasn't them:

Patrick_and_the_ricks:

Woodsey:
"Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots (images of him rarely have a beard with no moustache). This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast."

Wikipedia, with 3 sources attached, the first of which being Coca-Cola denying they created the modern image.

Really? Shit, well I saw a documentary about it on history channel... Oh well.

Hold the phone - the History channel has stopped talking about the Nazis and/or Hitler?!

THIS IS MADNESS!

Good post Bob. Grant Morrison has been doing the stuff that Alan Moore is credited with for a lot longer (all the Magick I mean). Do a review of his Documentary, I think you'll like it and it'd bring light to a lot of good comics.

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