Nietzsche was close. . .

via Religion Poisons


  1. Posted November 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    What about general assistance for locating car keys?

    • The Informant!
      Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to threadjack, but I have to post this where it will get seen:

      I just saw it on Reddit, no idea of location (looks like the southwest?), but will post more info when I have it.


      • Occam
        Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        A Smith&Wesson beats four aces.

      • Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Is that trying to say that killers are atheists, or atheists are killers?

        Has anyone done a study? My mother used to visit in prison and said you couldn’t find a Goddier lot.

        • Marella
          Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          Yeah they did a study, there are plenty of atheists in foxholes but very few in prison.

          • Reginald Selkirk
            Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:18 am | Permalink

            NPR’s Morning Edition takes a trip down the foxhole

            “Just as there are no atheists in a foxhole, he adds, hard times have made a Keynesian of many a free marketeer.”

            • InfiniteImprobabilit
              Posted November 19, 2011 at 1:33 am | Permalink

              Odd coincidence. I was thinking this morning, if ever asked my religion, I would say ‘Keynesian’. Because I believe Keynesian economics is the best bet and I’m certainly not a free marketer, but IMO economics is not a science and nothing in it can ever be proved, so it must be a religion.

      • Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

        Ohhhh, this is how you make a billboard unoffensive. Someone let Silverman and CFI know they need more guns in their billboards to placate the religious.

  2. Posted November 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Is the appearing on toast a referance to Glee by any chance?


  3. Kevin Meredith
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Amusing, but Christians the world over (and probably other faiths, too) continue to believe that God still possesses the miraculous power of mind control, a supreme, frightening ability all the more insidious in that it often goes unremarked. In fact, “The God Delusion” had nothing to say on the subject, at least that I could find. And yet it’s ubiquitous in Christian culture: God told me to do such & such, God made people vote for candidate X, God granted me wisdom, courage, peace, God is guiding me etc. It’s a terrifying ability not because it’s real but because people think it’s real, and therefore think that whatever idea pops into theirs & other Christian’s heads was likely as not put there by God and thus must be believed & followed. I still suspect Bush II was given to such superstition, the result being such disasters as Iraq.

    • Ralph
      Posted November 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      In case you haven’t come across it, Sam Harris on Dubya: “The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.”

      • Posted November 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Oh, thank you for so much reminder us of that Harris quote. It’s a gem.

        It should be posted in every schoolhouse and court in the land, SCOTUS being the first one.

      • Occam
        Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        If he was talking to God through his hairdryer while in his bathtub

    • Sastra
      Posted November 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Yup. Take the powers of ESP and psychokensis away from God and God evaporates into nothing. When you get right down to it faith itself is based on the running assumption that people who choose the right faith do so through some sort of magical osmosis whereby they simply “know” or feel the right version of God.

      Ask a theist who thinks they are guided by God to be specific on what this is, how it takes place, and above all how they can tell the ‘voice of God’ apart from normal, natural inclinations, impulses, and rational conclusions. More often than not in my experience they get flustered — and rescue themselves from the dilemma by reminding me that they’re not supposed to be clear on any of this: it’s part of God’s mystery and their impotence. Convenient.

      • James Morris
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Using their own framework, ask them them how they KNOW it is god communing with them and not satan.

      • Fredrick
        Posted November 23, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Jesus having lived is a historical fact. There is plenty of solid evidence concerning his life besides what is in the Bible. I suggest you do some reseach on the subject. Concerning getting guidance from God, the most reliable method used by Christians is by reading and studying the Bible. You attempt to live by the principles laid out. Jesus said the most important commandment was to love God and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. The 10 commandments are good principles to live by; not steal, do not lie, do not covet…God does speak to Christians by bringing to mind these principles from the Bible when making a decision or by making you reconsider prior to doing something that violates these principles. Christian faith is based on facts but goes beyond what you can see and hear. For example, you have faith that the airbags in your car will activate if you are in a front-on collision. You have not seen them operate but you have faith that they will based on what the manufacturer says in their literature. You would have to tear apart the dash of your car just to verify that the airbag exists. I suspect you have not done that.

        • Kevin Meredith
          Posted November 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          Let’s just focus on your last proposition here, Fredrick. My car does have airbags, and no, I have not taken them apart to make sure they exist. But here’s the big difference. If I did indeed dismantle them, I’m confident I would find an airbag mechanism. On the other hand, if I “dismantle” the Bible and Christian theology, e.g. conduct scholarly research, examine historic references, apply logic, I would find, ultimately . . . nothing.

        • Posted November 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Jesus having lived is a historical fact

          No it is not. There is a great lack of historical evidence for it.

          I suggest you do some reseach on the subject.

          Here are a few links to get you started in your research:

        • Posted November 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          I’d ask you for that evidence of an historical Jesus, but we both know you’ll just spout the same tired old list of people not even born until long after the “fact.” And that your “ancient sources” are all either descriptions by non-Christians of the lunatic beliefs of this radical new fringe cult, utterly bizarre and incomprehensible zombie snuff pr0n fantasies, or well-known forgeries that even the Catholic Church admits to.

          And all the while you’d conveniently ignore the literally libraries worth of actual contemporary information, all of which is perfectly ignorant of any such Jesus character or even the most innocent of his zany antics. And you’d simultaneously ignore the documents, contemporary with the ones you would cite, where Christians explain in excruciating detail the pagan myths they shamelessly stole from and pagans tell how they conned the Christians into falling for the oldest theological scams in the book.

          So, kindly take your lying-for-Jesus, your misogynistic pro-slavery theocratic Ten Commandments, and your “trust me” con job, and use the whole shootin’ match for an autocolonoscopy.



        • Posted November 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          I do not have faith that the airbags on a car I am driving would operate or that the seat belt would lock correctly in a crash. How could I since I know such things have failed in the past? However I do have a reasonable expectation based on evidence that they will work as advertised. It seems to me that the way I live my whole life is based on reasonable expectations such as these. And you know what? Sometimes these expectations are not fulfilled, sometimes things do go wrong in ways I feel I could not have reasonably expected. In each such case the solution is not to say “I should have had more faith” but to investigate and find out how one’s standards of evidence can be improved so that one is not caught out for a second time.

        • Occam
          Posted November 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Your belief is your business. But facts are facts, like it or not. The airbag example is utter nonsense. That’s what laws, standards and testing are for. That’s what the US Department of Transportation is for, unless some dimwit president and a dimwit majority in Congress decide to dismantle that, too, and hand over transport safety to Jesus. Airbags are prescribed by regulations. Their testing is prescribed by regulations and checked by national and international agencies. There are substantial penalties for not complying with these regulations. And that’s not mentioning legal action, should an airbag ever malfunction through the manufacturer’s fault.

          Who are you going to sue, should Jesus turn out not to have existed, or if he existed, to have been an ordinary man, and the entire resurrection fairy tale a fraud? What’s the penalty for deceiving yourself, let alone others? What’s the penalty if your self-delusion with a divine airbag sends you crashing into a wall, even if only metaphysically?

  4. Llwddythlw
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    That looks like the Phillips curve, so presumably God can’t reduce unemployment without creating inflation.

  5. Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    This graph is truly stunning in its simplicity.

    It says it all w/ just a couple of words tied in w/ a couple of straight and squiggly lines.

    It’s basal!

  6. Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Hey, look on the bright side — this means that God is still the greatest thing since sliced bread!


  7. NewEnglandBob
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Shouldn’t the chart title be “God’s perceived power”? After all the actual power of a non-existent being is none.

    • Occam
      Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Ever tried telling that to Ben Bernanke?

  8. whyevolutionistrue
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Hey, some folks are posting their comments on the picture page (what you see when you click on the picture). If you did that, you may want to repost on the main page.

    The mgmt.

  9. Occam
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    1. The curve is documented only for YAHWEH. Statistical evidence for all the other deities is missing, and should be included.

    2. The decrease in divine power is correlated with the increase in capsaicin concentration in dry matter (cf. Tewksbury et al., PNAS2008, Fig. 2B, quoted by Tomh, comment #13 in the previous post). Given the antimicrobial and antifungal effects of capsaicinoids, conclusions regarding the nature of the divine are inescapable.

    3. The ‘walking on water’ episode was re-staged for the millennium celebrations. The experiment’s outcome was consistent with the curve, the principal sinking fast after the first few paces.
    Upon his rescue and return to terra firma, his justification was: “Vit de holes in de feet, vot did you expect?”

  10. Posted November 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get the Nietzsche reference in the title. Probably just ignorance, I hardly read anything by him.

  11. sasqwatch
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    You’d better quit making fun of the ineffable ground of all being, or you might find yourself apart from it for all eternity after you die.

    • Achrachno
      Posted November 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      And that would be ineffably bad, right?

      • sasqwatch
        Posted November 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        Intangibly so, perhaps.

      • Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Yep, it effing would be!

        • Achrachno
          Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          And if I already find myself to be apart from the ineffable ground of all being, even before I die, that’s probably an effing bad sign that I’ll be spending eternity intangibly grounded.

          Is this a step up or down from being ground round on the eternal barbeque of God’s boundless love?

  12. ritebrother
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    This graph ignores His amazing ability to make BOTH teams score touchdowns and hit homeruns in football and baseball games, evidenced by the ubiquitous skyward acknowledgement by players of both teams. He’s an Omnifan! It’s a mystery why one team ends up winning, kind of like the problem of evil.

  13. Ralph
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I have been sinning a lot recently, so he’s been tied up with a lot of extra Forgiving. Plus, the locusts unionized last year, so it’s been difficult for him to get anything organized on a large scale since AIDS.

  14. Posted November 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I love the graph. Well done.

  15. Lynn Wilhelm
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I thought the LMFAO video was part of the post. It seems to be an advertisement.

    Waz up wit dat?

    • Diane G.
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 1:09 am | Permalink

      I was wondering that, too.

  16. Sean
    Posted November 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a log scale on that graph: not fair!


  17. IMil
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    This graph misses an important manifestation of God’s power.

    Apparently, you Western heretics choose to ignore or deny this miracle, but it’s all the rage here in Russia and other largely Orthodox countries. I’m talking HOLY FIRE (

    So, not only does God appear on toast, but each year on the second birthday of His Son (who is also somehow Himself), He infaillably lights one candle! With magic!

    Naturally, the fact that this miraculous event happens in the place with no eyewitnesses except a handful of Church officials cannot cast any doubt on its miraculous nature, as opposed to the “hidden matches” hypothesis. Because these guys are obviously too Christian (Orthodox, which is the best type there is!) to lie. But skeptics gonna skept.

  18. Dave
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words and this one is, in spades. Drives the point home much faster than you could read the 1000 words too! Everyone I sent this to loved it. Shows how stupid the whole religious thing is in about 2 s.

  19. fggf
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    why is the line continuous. shouldnt it be an interval graph or something not continuous. arent the points on the line in between the markers are meaningless.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Nietzsche was close. . […]

  2. […] Now what about that power of “god”? Well…Jerry Coyne shares a cartoon with us: […]

  3. […] this whole “appearing on a water stain” stuff reminds me of the graph that you can find here. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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