National Blasphemy Day

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National Blasphemy Day

Postby That_one_guy » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:45 pm UTC

National Blasphemy Day's tomorrow! How's the xkcd board going to celebrate?

EDIT: Changed the title of the Thread. Can anyone think of a more appropriate title to keep the discussion going?
Last edited by That_one_guy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:30 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Moo » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:45 pm UTC

By not being fuckwads about it, I hope.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Screature » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:48 pm UTC

What?! That exists?

I thought days were set aside to acknowledge/remember good things :?
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby That_one_guy » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:48 pm UTC

Moo wrote:By not being fuckwads about it, I hope.

I live in Texas, so I probably won't be doing anything too bad. I bruise too easily.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Decker » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:49 pm UTC

I'm going to eat devil's food cake.

Anything for a excuse to eat cake.

Other than that, I'm going to ignore it compleatly, since I know a lot of religious people who get enough crap as it is.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby setzer777 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 3:53 pm UTC

Hmm...I already blaspheme on a fairly regular basis, so I doubt I'll do anything special on this day. I don't really feel like being more pushy about my lack of belief.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:07 pm UTC

Yeah, I could see making up some atheist holidays, but centering them around being disrespectful to religious folk is a rather dick move.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:08 pm UTC

My thoughts exactly. "Hey guys, let's choose a specific day and go out of our way to insult and mock other people's beliefs."

And, really, the kind of people that are going to do that don't need a specific day. Likely they already do that on a regular basis.

I am an atheist and I do not approve of this day.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:13 pm UTC

I can't be arsed

Edit: "National"? Bollocks to that.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:15 pm UTC

(Though of course, I am generally in complete favor of pissing off assholes like Bill Donahue...)
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:16 pm UTC

Dicks to arseholes? The liberal intelligentsia are revealing their HIDDEN GAY AGENDA
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Rakysh » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:26 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:Dicks to arseholes? The liberal intelligentsia are revealing their HIDDEN GAY AGENDA

You forgot the HIDDEN ATHEIST MUSLIM FRENCH-CANADIAN COMMIE-FASCIST agendas.

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Jessica » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:30 pm UTC

Civic holiday is my favourite atheist holiday.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Maseiken » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Why can't we have "Rational discussion of belief Day"?
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Xeio » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

Maseiken wrote:Why can't we have "Rational discussion of belief Day"?
Because that sentence doesn't make sense?

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Rakysh » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Maseiken wrote:Why can't we have "Rational discussion of belief Day"?
Because that sentence doesn't make sense?

This kind of useless point scoring makes me sad.

How about "Friendly, jovial discussion of belief day"?

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:27 pm UTC

Universal Epistemological Awareness (to the extent that such a thing as "knowledge", "awareness", and "universality" are possible within such a limited framework) Day
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:21 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Maseiken wrote:Why can't we have "Rational discussion of belief Day"?
Because that sentence doesn't make sense?

You evidently fail at understanding what "rational" means. Or what "belief" means. Or perhaps "day", but I'm willing to bet that you have at least a rudimentary understanding of that one.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby thecommabandit » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:31 pm UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:Universal Epistemological Awareness (to the extent that such a thing as "knowledge", "awareness", and "universality" are possible within such a limited framework) Day

You've gotta love a day which has a parenthetical component larger than the normal bit.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Ralith The Third » Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:15 pm UTC

Yeah, this is stupid. This is the exact opposite of what the Muslims did. Both are bad. Don't go out of your way to insult a religion, especially on a specific day. On the other hand, don't try to shut people up when they disagree with it.

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Eastwinn » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:36 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Yeah, I could see making up some atheist holidays, but centering them around being disrespectful to religious folk is a rather dick move.


Atheist holidays? I like to joke about them (being atheist and all), but the concept of making holidays on the concept of a lack of belief seems pretty stupid. Plus, they would never be recognized nationally anyway. I agree with that last part though. It puzzles me how members of the atheist minority who're so hated could possible be intolerant of religion themselves. Talk about lack of perspective.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:08 am UTC

It wouldn't be a holiday in the religious sense of holy day. Halloween is a holiday and it doesn't require any mystical belief in anything. Labor day and the like even moreso.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Jorpho » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:33 am UTC

Rakysh wrote:How about "Friendly, jovial discussion of belief day"?
How about just "Friendly, Jovial Day" ?

Or not.

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby rath358 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:40 am UTC

Hmm...If you go to the official page of said holiday you will see that it is not intended as an occasion to mock others, but rather an invitation for intellegent discussion and freedom of speech.

The primary focus of the Blasphemy Day movement and indeed this website is not to debate the existence of any gods or deities (there is an abundance of fantastic websites which deal explicitly with that argument all over the internet, check the Web Links section).

The objective of International Blasphemy Day is to open up all religious beliefs to the same level of free inquiry, discussion and criticism to which all other areas of academic interest are subjected.

please, fora, check before you complain.

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Daojia » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:45 am UTC

Rakysh wrote:How about "Friendly, jovial discussion of belief day"?


This should happen every day.

Moo wrote:By not being fuckwads about it, I hope.


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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby sje46 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:16 am UTC

I like to show religious people that I'm not afraid, and I don't feel as if there should be a reason to be afraid or feel bad about it. I'm not going to do it just to piss religious people off, but just to raise awareness a bit. "Here is one person who says things that seem immoral to me, and yet he does not feel guilt or fear. Why doesn't he?"

I'm not saying I go around declaring my lack of belief everywhere I go, making bad Jesus jokes. I literally only just say "Oh God", or say "creationism is dumb", or "the Bible says horrible things" when they come up. I don't go out of the way, but I'm not going to refrain from saying these things out of politeness all the time. I try to show my disdain for religion clearly but without upsetting people too much. To me, a lot of people just believe a lot of things that are based on bad reasoning, and I don't have a lot of respect for bad reasoning. "Oh, you're a Freudian? Freud wasn't scientific at all, so I don't much care for his theories"

Is that bad? I'm really not sure. I've annoyed a lot of Christians, but I really feel like the general public give religion in general too much slack. I feel that we should get "In God We Trust" off our money and that Intelligent Design shouldn't even be a consideration for our public schools, and that churches should be taxed. So I just want to rebel a little bit, to not just be one of those millions of people (especially around here) who are just apatheist because they don't want to get involved in the controversy. I just feel bad about the things extreme religion has done, and all those atheists out there who can't be "out" because it simply isn't safe.

So I personally think this shouldn't be a "Let's piss off religious people" day, but more of an atheist pride day. So "blasphemy day" is probably a poor choice, as all that is going to get accomplished is pissing people off.

Generally, I feel that religion and everything else with that much power should be picked apart without remorse.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby poxic » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:31 am UTC

Most of the time, barbecuing someone's sacred cow will not make them think "gee, maybe I'm wrong". It usually makes them think "gee, that person is an asshole".

I loves me some blasphemy, sometimes. It's a reminder of my release from the emotional and mental prison I was in while part of a fundamentalist church. I don't usually share my latest barbecues with anyone but those I know will enjoy them, though. If I know someone believes in things I don't, religious or otherwise, I'll treat their beliefs with respect but not hide my lack of belief. A Christian handing out tracts on the corner, my friend's brother who believes in UFOs and the Illuminati, an English professor who's a Shakespeare denier, my manager who believes that we can make that deadline... it's all the same thing, just with more or fewer fellow believers.

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Jorpho » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:01 am UTC

I was at some recent point directed to this video of a DeBaptism ceremony. I didn't bother watching most of it, though. Seemed rather not-right somehow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1vV71ls ... re=related

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby podbaydoor » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:07 am UTC

I like the idea of spinning it as an Atheist Pride Day rather than a pissing people off day. I'm atheist and I'm not going to apologize for it...I am surrounded by religious reminders every day (here in the Bible Belt), and on a campus where religious groups are rife but there is not one freethinking/skeptics group, where can I find my safespace? On one hand, I'm not keen on the idea of going out and actively being an asshole about my beliefs when I complain all the time about religious people being assholes about their beliefs...on the other hand, why am I tiptoeing around religion when religious people don't tiptoe around my beliefs? Internal conflict!

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So, I was already familiar with and (I’m afraid) accepting of, the view that you couldn’t apply the logic of physics to religion, that they were dealing with different types of ‘truth’. (I now think this is baloney, but to continue...) What astonished me, however, was the realization that the arguments in favor of religious ideas were so feeble and silly next to the robust arguments of something as interpretative and opinionated as history. In fact they were embarrassingly childish. They were never subject to the kind of outright challenge which was the normal stock in trade of any other area of intellectual endeavor whatsoever. Why not? Because they wouldn’t stand up to it.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Maseiken » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:08 am UTC

rath358 wrote:Hmm...If you go to the official page of said holiday you will see that it is not intended as an occasion to mock others, but rather an invitation for intellegent discussion and freedom of speech.

The primary focus of the Blasphemy Day movement and indeed this website is not to debate the existence of any gods or deities (there is an abundance of fantastic websites which deal explicitly with that argument all over the internet, check the Web Links section).

The objective of International Blasphemy Day is to open up all religious beliefs to the same level of free inquiry, discussion and criticism to which all other areas of academic interest are subjected.

please, fora, check before you complain.

In that case, it's poorly named for no real reason save shock value. "Spiritual Inquiry Day" is too much of a mouthful? "Frank religious discussion day"?
I can respect an attempt to reclaim a word with negative connotation to be used in a creative context, but it's pretty counter-productive. As has been demonstrated in this thread.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Aetius » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:36 am UTC

Blasphemy Day is the equivalent of Bacon Eating Day, in that all it does is bring up the question "why aren't you doing that every day?"

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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Plasma Man » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:12 am UTC

In a Jewish or Islamic country, you could combine the two! Anyway, I want national bacon-eating day.

Blasphemy Day seems a bit pointless. Those who are willing to submit religion to criticism will probably be doing so already, those who aren't willing won't do so regardless of the day. Freedom of speech day would be better, atheism pride day would be fine, but I'm not sure about an agnosticism pride day.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Surgery » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:15 am UTC

Plasma Man wrote:but I'm not sure about an agnosticism pride day.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Horwood Beer-Master » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:52 pm UTC

I feel this quote by Dan Dennett seems relevant to the discussion here,
Daniel C. Dennett wrote:There is no polite way to say, ‘With all due respect, sir, have you considered the possibility that you have blighted your whole life with a fantasy and are polluting the minds of defenceless children with dangerous nonsense?’ There is no polite way in saying it. But what if it's true?


The point is that all critical discussion of religion is always to many people going to seem gratuitously offensive until we knock down the walls of taboo which have been built-up around peoples religious sensitivities to protect them from exposure to normal rational discourse.


I don't know if there's anything to be gained from dedicating a particular day to it, but blasphemy is critically important.
If we keep going tip-toeing about trying not to say anything which might cause the religious to cry offence, it's only going to lead to them taking offence more-and-more easily, and thus restricting our free speech still more. This is the problem with the religious, if you offer their beliefs respect out of politeness, it's only going to lead to them expecting that respect as a right.
What we need right now is for the religious to grow thicker skins, and the only way to do that is to trespass on the areas they've set aside as 'taboo' or 'sacred', and keep trespassing until they realise that screaming 'offence' or burning down embassies isn't getting them their way any more, and that we're not going to back down in the face of this intimidation.

This isn't about offending people gratuitously for it's own sake. It's about recognising that your right to say things other people may not want you to say, is one of those "use it or lose it" type things.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby smw543 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:20 pm UTC

(Warning: Some ranting ahead)
Maseiken wrote:In that case, it's poorly named for no real reason save shock value. "Spiritual Inquiry Day" is too much of a mouthful? "Frank religious discussion day"?

I think the answer to that is pretty obvious: nobody would take part in "Spiritual Inquiry Day," for precisely the reason that you recommended it—it's boring (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone already invented "Spiritual Inquiry Day" and promptly forgot about it.) "Blasphemy Day" is an attention grabber, and if certain jackasses would bother to find anything out before making unfounded conclusions, it wouldn't be an issue. There is nothing wrong, ethically or otherwise, with using shock value, as long as it isn't part of one's actual argument.

While I don't generally advocate brass knuckles when dealing with theists, kid gloves won't do, either. By and large, calls to reason in regards to Christianity are ignored or glossed over. I could look past that, however; people can believe whatever they want as long as it doesn't harm others. But this delusional, non-questioning attitude also prevents something much more important from being addressed: religious (read: Christian) privilege.

Seriously, Christians, with all the shit you've pulled—systematically denying honest people of their livelihood (or even their lives)—and all the shit you're still responsible for (at least complicitly; e.g. aforementioned privilege), and considering all these were/are consequences for not holding the correct beliefs, I'd say you owe it to those millions to (1) at least try to examine these dangerous beliefs and (2) fucking grow up—this kind of whining reminds me of idiots who complain that it isn't fair that Chris Rock gets to make fun of white people ("But it's racist!" :roll: ) (This last paragraph is tangential, really, and not the same point that the BlasphemersTM are making, but it's an important underlying point...and this sort of crap puts me in a ranty sort of mood.)
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby Maseiken » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:45 am UTC

"When dealing with Theists, Kid Gloves won't do"?

What the crap?
When did Theists become something that had to be "dealt with" as a group? Why can't you talk to them?

I'll agree that using Shock value to garner attention isn't inherently bad, and I don't think this holiday is inherently bad either. I just think it's poorly advised.

I'm sure you will know the problem I have with your comments on Chistianity. I wrote out about half my argument before I realized it was so blazingly obvious that I shouldn't have to.

Have you ever tried to talk with a Theist about their belief? I mean actually talk? Not trying to convince them otherwise? Accepting that they will accept some things to be unknowable? Suspend your disbelief for a conversation and try to find out what makes their faith go "tick"? It depends on who you choose, of course, but I find it pretty darn interesting. The more I think about it, the more I like this day, but calling it Blasphemy day destroys that. If you're coming to them with the image of antagonism, you won't get anything out of the experience. Maybe a sore throat.

There shouldn't be a day, people should always be open to discussing eachothers' beliefs.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:41 am UTC

Maseiken wrote:Because if we can't come together... we can't laugh at Scientologists together. And isn't that what it's really all about?

No. What Blasphemy Day is actually all about is more along the lines of asking other theists what it is that makes their religion so different from Scientology, anyway?

And that's the sort of thing that, as mentioned, can't really be done politely, but then again why should it be?
Last edited by gmalivuk on Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:42 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby zug » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:41 am UTC

The lack of body-thetans, for one.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:42 am UTC

Soul, thetan, whatever.
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Re: National Blasphemy Day (NSF Various Religions)

Postby smw543 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:45 am UTC

Maseiken wrote:"When dealing with Theists, Kid Gloves won't do"?

What the crap?
When did Theists become something that had to be "dealt with" as a group? Why can't you talk to them?

"Dealing with" doesn't have an inherently antagonistic connotation (cf. "When dealing with heavy weights, you should lift with your knees.") My point was that if you're going to politely suggest in some obscure corner of the internet that people examine their beliefs, you might as well not even bother. And I do talk to them (sorry to pull the "I totally have, like, a whole bunch of black friends" card, but yeah, I have plenty of religious friends and acquaintances with whom I've had conversations about religion, and I've never caused any real offense. In fact, I'm generally more of a mediator trying to keep things calm and rational—even pointing out flaws in the atheist side's arguments when they occur). What I say in a discussion like this thread is no indication of what I would say in an actual discussion about religious belief1; please stow the condescending bullshit.

Maseiken wrote:I'm sure you will know the problem I have with your comments on Chistianity. I wrote out about half my argument before I realized it was so blazingly obvious that I shouldn't have to.

I hope your argument isn't what I think it is, because that argument is dead wrong, and downright insulting.

Maseiken wrote:Because if we can't come together... we can't laugh at Scientologists together. And isn't that what it's really all about?

Um... Go fuck yourself, you fucking hypocrite. (I was actually going to be polite in my response before I read this part...)

1The distinction being that the latter is an argument of theists vs. atheists, while the former is more of a metadiscussion (about the implications of religion), in which one's belief doesn't decide one's stance (I know plenty of atheists—myself included—who think belief is OK, and a number of theists who are at least deeply conflicted about it.) Also, the subject of one's personal beliefs are just that—personal. My concerns are with Christianity as an institution, which I consider to be a Bad Thing, and so I raise questions about the ramifications of said institutions, past (e.g. inquisitions) and present (e.g. disturbing political influence; discrimination against non-Christians).

EDIT: Accidentally typed "decide" as "deicide." Freudian typo? Also, ninja on Scientology.
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