Hate Mail

A little hate.
Mostly irritants.

Their letters are in yellow, whilst mine are in black & white.

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Yeah yeah yeah. There's still complaints coming in and I still get a boner responding. Now whether it's getting old to everyone else or not remains to be seen, but I'm still on it.

I have to admit, it's really neat to me how back when I first started the site in 2000 this sort of open mockery of religion was still unique, even for the web. Now, 10 years later, what seemed impossible is showing itself a reality. Blasphemy is more open and public than ever before, religion has most certainly lost ground with the blossoming of the internet, and although I say it reluctantly, the mockery of Jesus Christ, and religion in general doesn't hold the same weight it did just a few years back. This is progress!

The fact that there's best selling books, and authors, movies, controversy over things like illustrating Muhammad and other such nonsense is a long way to come in just a decade. Part of my ego really wants to think I had something to do with the progress, even if it's just tagging along behind the bigger names with larger quantities of money to show for it.

Am I the only one who's noticed the great leaps in awareness that've been made? It wouldn't shock me in the least if my perspective of the situation were distorted by my move to NYC, the crowd I'm circled by and maybe it's just all related to the recession and the new decade beginning.

I'd love to hear your take.
Comment on this here...

“[There] are a million things that you can do, but not make fun with the Greatest person ever”

Sorry to  bother you, but I must tell you that you have to remove that ugly thing ->http://www.jesusdressup.com . You can not make jokes with GOD! It's for your best! They are a million things that you can do, but not make fun with the Greatest person ever, that loves you and died for you on cross.....

Best regards! 
Alex Ivanov

Thank you for the apology. Your email was indeed a bother.

I accept it and hope that you've learned a valuable lesson from this experience.

Bob

 

“...we should be logical in our discussions about the existence of God - which logic, whose rationality?”

Bob,
 
Where do laws of physics, logic, and ethics come from?  Are those laws culturally contrived or are they abstract universals inherent in the universe?
 
Follow up:  If they are conventional to human communities, are there various exclusive forms of logic - perhaps even a logic whereby the claims of Christianity are acceptable?
 
If they are abstract universals, how do we know these laws or reach a consensus as to their content?
 
I ask in light of your demand that we should be logical in our discussions about the existence of God - which logic, whose rationality?
 
Thank you and I look forward to your reply, 
 
(a fellow) Bob
Robert LaRocca

Perfect. That's all I really ask you to do. Ask questions and pose different philosophies and such. That's what's important. Because once you accept that the existence of your god is a logical conclusion, then every other god ever thought up and written about falls into the same box. So not only might the claims of Christianity be valid, but also Hinduism, Muslimism, Mormonism, Zeusism, Heaven's-Gateism, and the list goes on and on into the cosmos and beyond. They're all possibilities that fall within your logical perspective, and separating them apart is a battle in logic-bending that you'll have to explain to me. Not me to you.

Let me know how that goes. I look forward to your reply.
Bob

“What evidence would convince you of Christianity?”

Bob,
 
I had difficulty confirming whether you answered my questions.  I was asking about your philosophical foundations and the implications of the epistemological starting point you have chosen for yourself.  My best guess, given what you wrote, is that you believe that the laws of logic (or ethics, etc.) are conventional to various cultures and backgrounds. The laws are situated, transient.
 
Was that your point?  That sex trafficking is wrong now but perhaps not in the future? That A = -A is a contradiction in NYC but perhaps not New Jersey, or Thailand – perhaps because the law of non-contradiction does not exist in Thai culture? Theism could be a veritable postulate of a system that exists in the apartment building across the street, but perhaps not in your brain – or your living room. If that is the direction in which you are headed philosophically, then I do not understand how you can have qualms with Christianity.  
 
But you do have qualms.  I don’t know you, but I’d guess you believe that the law of non-contradiction exists, that it has existed 20 years ago, and it even exists in New Jersey.  I think that you would consider it wrong if your wife cheated on you either in your house, in another country, now, or 3 months from now.  In each case, she would be wrong to do something like that.  What is the extent of the laws of logic and morality?  Are they universal?
 
I will ask the same question again in a different manner.  A few “hate mails” back you described Christianity as an “extremely irresponsible belief system.”  What set of values have you assumed to make such a judgment?  Are those values a standard for everyone else?  If so, why?  Again, why are your standards universal? If they are not, why do you have a problem with Christianity?
 
Let me quote you:
 
“If you present to me ideas with evidence I am more than ready to open my mind to it. Also, if you present to me ideas that make sense logically, that too goes a long long way with me. That's what I finally determined was the way to weed through all the crazy, backwards, and often hilarious beliefs each and every person in the world promises is absolutely true.”
 
What “evidence” would convince you that Christianity is true?  That is a good question for getting at your philosophical dogmas lying backstage.  The question hopes to unveil which logic and which theory of evidence you are using. 
 
Last question, I promise.  Do you believe your atheistic worldview is just as dogmatically driven as Christianity, “Hinduism, Muslimism, Mormonism, Zeusism, Heaven's-Gateism” (the ones you named)? 
 
Bob
 
P.S.  I asked a lot of questions here – let me lay them out so you can respond accordingly.
1)  Are the laws of morality and logic (etc.) conventional and therefore not universal?
2)  If you believe that they are conventions, why do you take issue with Christianity?
3)  Do your assumed values and standards justify you in deeming Christianity an irresponsible belief system?
4)  What evidence would convince you of Christianity?
5)  Do you think that your worldview is based on dogmatic assertions (as are more religions)? 

Thanks Bob!  I really enjoy discussion these issues.
Robert LaRocca

Fantastic. Laid out questions are my favorite.
1) Laws of morality are definitely not as simple as what's conventional. Rights and wrongs, through trial and error, aid the understanding of what's moral and what's not. A perfect example of this is despite people's devotion to their belief in God & Jesus they still know their commands to execute adulterers or stone children to death for cursing their parents are immoral acts. Morals we realize on our own, despite what's believed by a society, or expected by who we worship, or whatever. It's our ability to empathize with others that forms a morality. Really, the minute you come to grips with the fact that someone else feels hurt, pain and pleasure as you do, your morality starts to form. Right or wrong.
2) I think I answered this in #1.
3) Yes.
4) There are many many things that could convince me Christianity is true. If the Bible read as if it were written by a god, that'd help. If the bible came off as a book that Bronze-age men couldn't have written, that'd help too. If the results of praying to your god or a bowling pin didn't have the same results, that'd mean a lot as well. I mean, quite frankly, if there were any evidence whatsoever that set it apart from the claims any charlatan makes about a bogus product you'd have something. Unfortunately every explanation of any religion, including Christianity, matches those of a charlatan selling snake oil in every instance. The evidence presented for Christianity works for any religion. That's not a good sign.
5) The worldview I'm working towards is to always be ready to question my reasons. I don't want to get trapped in a box. Especially one that's make-believe.

Atheism, a belief that there's no god, I don't see how that's driven by dogma. It's not asserting a set belief system like "God says this" or "the Bible says this." It's claiming there is no set, spoken list of directions, and the ones we're told should be up for debate because it's all just written by other people. People who are as flawed and as susceptible to life's temptations & selfcenteredness as anybody. The claim that there's no end-all master over everything is the opposite of dogma. Look up the word "dogma." There's your answer.

Bob


Robert LaRocca continued...

 

“Be a man, put up such a website and mock Mohammed”

Hi Bob,
Believe all is well!!
Nothing better to do with your time? I suppose you enjoy it when people get angry at what you do cause then you can give ‘em a bit of flack right??
Religion etc set aside, how about a bit of respect. We need not agree on all issues, as you will say, “freedom of speech and opinion” etc (and you are right!), but consider a bit of respect towards people’s opinions and believes.
Be a man, put up such a website and mock Mohammed – I’ll then pray that” colorful” Jesus in his Bulls T-Shirt and Farmer’s trousers protect you from the Muslims. Bet you are too scared, too much of a woosy to even give it a go…………………………
You’re a joke mate!!

Charl du Toit

All right, here's the deal with that. I actually did make muhammaddressup.com, but then someone hacked into it and disabled it to the point where I don't know how to get it back. So I went and reposted it on my own site until I figure out what to do. normalbobsmith.com/muhammaddressup/
From the sound of things, the only way you'll be able to summon up the courage to click that link is after you're hidden under the blankets in bed with a flashlight, doors locked, in the middle of the night with the phone off the hook. Be very afraid! Bow to whatever they tell you to!

Is more respect really what you believe Islam needs? Respect is how you're fighting back? How about bowing and kissing their feet because you fear them so so much? Perhaps you should pull your pants to your knees and back into Mosque to express how much you're willing to succumb to your fear of them? How about that?

Yes, I think you've got the right idea. The way to overcome the ignorance of religious beliefs is not through ridicule, but complete and utter licking-between-their-toes respect. That'll show 'em!

Bob

“Here’s the thing, I am seriously curious about your way of thinking.”

Bob,
 
I like you, I really do, no sarcasm, no pun intended - how? You are not afraid to speak your mind, that’s cool, the way it was designed to be.
 
I also believe you enjoy receiving, probably hundreds of emails, and replying on it..
 
Here’s the thing, I am seriously curious about your way of thinking. In a world that has been locked in battle mostly due to different religions, what is your view on religion? I am not a pastor, I am not trying to draw you closer, I can’t lecture you (have to admit, probably not enough knowledge) and I am not taking you on.
 
And no, I am not the kind that hide under blankets, never have, never will.
 
Please.
 
Cheers,
Charl du Toit.

What I don't understand then is why you go around ridiculing people who disrespect Jesus. I must tell you that it makes you come off as a hypocrite. If you feel so strongly about all of this why would you get so pissed about disrespecting Jesus? Are you a believer? It's okay if you are. At least you'd make sense.

Bob

“what is your view on religion?”

I did not ridicule you, I aired my point of view, just as you’re doing. You did not answer my question – what is your view on religion?

Charl du Toit.

I'm an atheist, and religion is retarded.

Bob

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