Hate Mail "Free speech is different from mocking..."
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"Always Searching"

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Subject:
Sometimes, your answers to hatemail are annoying


buddha

Hi Bob,

just wanted to express what the subject already says.
One thing, I cringe every time you put Buddha on the list of Gods. While it is true that some parts of Buddhism include supernatural elements, to my knowledge, none of them attribute omnipotence etc. to Buddha - Buddhism (except some splinter groups, like Tibetan Buddhism) is atheist.

Second point: You often try to convince people of the superiority of your position by pointing out that science has proven this or that. This can be debated. Many philosophers in favor of science do/did so: This is an interesting article dealing with this topic. You can still point out that the scientific approach to problems is far superior - it just doesn't offer the false sincereties religion does. Evolution is not proven. It's "just", until now, not proven wrong, but it is still falsifiable. If somebody finds fossils that completely contradict evolution, science would have to accept it.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the holidays,

Benedict

atheism god

Let me start by saying I know only a little about Buddhism. I do know that my Christian upbringing taught (and still teaches) that Buddha is one of the many false gods put forth by Satan to lure people away from the One True Holy God of the Universe, "Jesus-God." I was taught that Buddha did in fact claim to be Supreme & Great, and even some sort of final chapter in the reincarnation saga, never to be reborn. This is most definitely enough for any true believer in one of the three major sects to declare an obnoxiously loud, knee-jerk: "FALSE GOD!" I'd also like to say that I think I've been careful enough to only make the Buddha-god declarations within that context.

Buddha sure as hell didn't claim to be "just a guy," or a simple prophet messenger of a Supreme Being. Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, according to the Sutra, claimed to be Supreme; A claim he made moments after birth, no less! Which seems to me to be enough to bust everyone's balls about his self-proclaimed "god" title.

But most importantly to me, Buddha is in fact put on that "god pulpit" by his followers right alongside the likes of L Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, Muhammad & Moses. Not exactly, precisely everything our dictionaries demand of a qualified god, but more than enough for their followers to treat them as such, and in most cases, claim.

I've noticed among my own circle of friends a lot of atheists claiming to be buddhists, or as you put it, "buddhists are atheists." Even Sam Harris dabbles in Buddhism and he's one of Four Horsemen of Atheism, so I'm aware of the feet I might be stepping on. In my opinion, the line is way too blurry between buddhism and "god worship" for any proud atheist to confidently claim an affiliation. Even the Brights demand their members be "free of supernatural & mystical elements," and they're about as all-inclusive as atheists get!

As for science proving things, I know what you're saying. Science disproves. But please, Benedict. You have to admit science does prove things by failing to disprove them. I know where you're coming from, but Christ, it's this kind of semantic absolutism that threatens to utterly destroy the entertainment factor of my site! How am I supposed to write any sort of intelligible comedy if nothing can actually ever be proven, or "our definitions are only as such because we are 'Middle World' beings who define things as we see them from this one perspective." If I collapse into that murky bottomless pit of definitionlessness I'm fucking doomed and I succumb to enough writer's block to kill a moose.

Please, Benedict, loosen your tie and undo that top button. My first priority is to be comprehendible, then comes funny, then ugly facts. Please understand.

Bob


it's not so cool to make fun of Jesus or any other religious figure for that matter.

Subject: Jesus Dress Up

Hi there,

I'm writing about your Jesus Dress Up web page.

I know it's pretty cool these days to caricacturize christians - somes we are so holier than thou that I know we deserve it but, it's not so cool to make fun of Jesus or any other religious figure for that matter. These are are important ideals and beliefs that people hold dear to their hearts.

As a christian, I would even laugh at a christian dress up - you could have a cross, a Bible as accessories, goofy longjohns to add to the stereoype and I would laugh until I peed my pants.

But not Jesus. Even if you don;t believe he's the son of God, he and his story deserve to be treated better than that.

Respect honours God and it honours people too.
Take care,
Joanne
alwayssearching84@yahoo.ca

"Previously philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."
Karl Marx 1845

You're saying that even if Jesus' story is fake it still should be treated with respect? Then you end your message with a quote saying the whole point is to change the way previous philosophers have interpreted the world? The POINT is to try and look at the world differently than we have, whilst your email directly asks me to cease doing so.

What if I were able to illustrate how a continued unquestioned praising of the gods is part of the problem? What if I could demonstrate how a blanket respect for anything does more harm than good? What if I could show you how any idea granted immunity to criticism & mockery only offers itself up in a pretty red bow to be touted by people with selfish, hidden agendas. Would you then consider that the Marx quote you sent along with your email applies directly to the subject you're bringing to the table?

I'm very curious to hear what you were thinking in this complaint letter you sent me.
Bob

Free speech and critiquing a philosphy is different from mocking that philosophy.

Hi there,

I am a big believer in the right to free speech becasue it's when we take away that right, we become facists. What's curious to me is that people who state they believe in the right to free speech are often the ones that want to make it selective. I was having an argument the other day with a fellow who insisted it was okay that the police jailed a Muslim man who had been giving a speech about how evil the west was. I said the police were wrong and behaved in a way that made them look more like the bad guys than the good guys. I think it's easy to forget our beliefs when it suits us. But, that's an aside.

Free speech and critiquing a philosphy is different from mocking that philosophy. I welcome debate - sometimes that helps me to change my persepctive and sometimes I find the arguments reinforce my original position. But it has to be done respectfully otherwise all you are doing is sneering at other people. You are not hurting the philosophy by your actions - the philosphy or religion will stand on it's own long after you and I are gone but - you are hurting real life people.
I am a Christ follower and my best friend is a practicing Hindu. We do not at all agree on religious matters but we've had lot sof great discussions and debates. I still believe that Christ is the son of God - she still beleives in reincarnation but our respect for one another builds so the differences are just that - differences. Put-downs tear at people's souls and seek in the end to destroy the heart.

So, I can very happily include my Marx quote becasue I am promoting a vision of the world where people live in harmony and respect. I would wish that for you too. Also, I wrote you becasue Christ is my life leader and I wanted to let you know that your web page hurts and offends me.

Wishing you peace,

Joanne
alwayssearching84@yahoo.ca

"Previously philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it."

Karl Marx 1845

"Free speech and critiquing a philosphy is different from mocking that philosophy."

Since when isn't mockery included in free speech?

First let me tell you mockery does in fact change a perspective. It may not always change the perspective of those being mocked, but it sure as hell can change the minds of people outside that circle; Those listening or reading along assessing who has the potential to be the bigger embarrassment to associate with.

Religions and philosophies do NOT always stand up against a mocking pie in the face. It's been said that the philosophies of the KKK never prospered because of the extensive amount of mockery they failed to endure. Persistent mockery played a large part in pushing them to the outer fringes of society. I'd also like to attribute the havoc the Republican Party's in right now due, partially to the constant, hilarious mockery that persisted against their distorted philosophies over the last several years. And it was definitely the mocking of my very own Christian beliefs (from comedians, friends & strangers alike) that swayed me from its foolish ideas & teachings. Joanne, the King who doesn't allow himself to be mocked has taken the very first step towards fascism. Mockery is in fact a splendid way to knock the knees out from a corrupt belief system. And it's a far better tactic than violence.

Joanne, if it helps you sleep at night, just think of me as the much needed court jester of a belief that desperately needs to be less fascist.

Bob

PS. Oh, and by the way. You said my site hurts and offends you and your leader? I'm seriously not a big fan of being criticized. I don't allow it on my website, and I'm not permitting it from you right now. I'd hate to have to take measures to get you banned from the internet, but I will do so if you go against what I say ever again. Let that be your first warning. I'm serious.

“I challenge you to include all of our conversations on your site under the criticism section.”

Hey Bob,

I have two responses. You don't have to reply but I'd welcome hearing from you again if you like for I really do believe it is through a free exchange of ideas that we learn and grow.

I guess that leads me to my first response. If you have the right to free speech and criticism, why are you objecting to my right to free speech. I am actually wondering if you really believe in the principle of free speech at all for that reason and also because I saw how in one of your u-tube videos that you unplugged an amp for a christian rock group thereby denying them of their rights too.

I have a challenge for you. I noticed that you include criticism from others on your website that doesn't really provide rational arguments in objection of your work. A selective reporting also skews free speech but that's neither here nor there since it is your own private site. However, if you are not afraid of my opinions I challenge you to include all of our conversations on your site under the criticism section. Everything without changing a word.

Anyway, you don't have to resort to threatening me . I am not at all interested in an ongoing battle with you - I have too many other important issues closer to home to deal with. I just happened upon your site because I was looking for something for my kids and I disagree with what you've done. Since I am so lucky to live in a democratic country, I exercised my right to free speech. You can't inhibit free speech, at least not now, not in the west.

So, my second response is a little bit more about my views.

You and I are not that different in our beliefs about organized religions. So much damage and killing and persecution has occurred as a result of religious dogma and religious wars. I do not consider myself to be a religious person as a result and I have a really hard time submitting myself to the authority of any kind of church although I try to remain respectful of those who do. However, I do seek God, hence my email name, and try to ferret out the spiritual truths through prayer, meditation and reading the words of Jesus. I do read other writings from people from other religions but in my view, Jesus is truly the son of God. He is a good leader - not big on judgement or even on proselyting. His message is one of love. Love God, love your neighbour as yourself and love yourself last. Three simple commands really but in my view if everyone truly followed them, there would be no war, no starving children, no injustice, no struggling to make it to the top of the heap, etc,etc.

So , there it is. I'm not asking you to agree - just sharing. I guess I'll say goodbye to you for now. Write me back if you like. I'm not always able to respond so promptly but I do respond in time.

Wishing you peace and love,

Joanne
alwayssearching84@yahoo.ca

I'm sorry. That did it. I have no more interest in discussing anything else with you. You have offended me and my belief system with your criticisms. It'd be fine if you only criticized those who believe in what I'm doing (hell, that'd be pretty funny) but making statements like you're making against what I personally believe, I personally believe is unacceptable, and anywhere, like such as, the Iraq and the Asian countries, and such as.

I have begun my campaign against you to remove your opinion and others like yours from the internet. And I promise you, if you take any measures to mock anything I believe to be true you'll be hearing from me via email, in a complaint format. I don't think you realize how you've hurt my feelings. And that shouldn't be allowed. EVER!! ...I feel, such as.

Bob

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