Stephen Fry and god


I had promised myself to just let Christians be [but you know I can’t help it]. I have been encouraged by my friend Romulus to not bother with the believers. He writes and I agree

Christianity is one of the darkest ideologies, to be compared only with the human sacrifice based religions. It is destructive of personalities, stripping people of self-esteem and self-respect, having caused most of the evils of the past several centuries.

and as Hirsi said in one of her speeches when she spoke about Islam and I think it is true of Christianity, they are cults of death. The best is to come the other side of the grave not here not now. This isn’t a treatise on the vileness of Christianity that I think is obvious especially to those who have left the faith or who never a part of it to begin with but a response to an apologist on the recent interview of Stephen Fry.

The author starts by telling us

There is nothing profound about atheist objections to Christianity. Either the objection involves a misrepresentation, an abstract appeal to Darwinism, or supposed Bible contradictions (often asserted without any specific examples).

The world is not atheist or christian. The atheist doesn’t discriminate between deities. She is an equal opportunity disbeliever and they need no arguments really. If the Christian thinks there is nothing profound in our criticism, it can only be said the arguments they have offered us are mediocre. The fault isn’t with the atheist but with the theist.

A google search gives illustrated charts of bible contradictions. Are we to hold the hands of Christians in everything? Can’t they do the work themselves sometimes?

It appears to me that all the theists responding to Stephen Fry have forgotten several things

  • he is responding to a specific question asking for his opinion
  • all bets are off and there is just one god not a pantheon of them. atheism doesn’t come into the picture.
  • the question was never about atheism

If this isn’t clear, I have doubts it will ever be. So the person who writes

The truth is that Mr. Fry’s worldview does not provide us with any meaningful basis for deciding that diseases are bad.

has, in my view, not listened to the interview or are regurgitating what others before them have written.

To say because one is an atheist, such a person can’t say bone cancer is bad is to arrive at that degree of idiocy the famous M. Twain calls first degree idiocy. What has a god to do with deciding what is or isn’t bad? Must the theist rely on god to help them make a decision on every single thing?

How can one purport to know

Furthermore, even if Mr. Fry can establish that disease is bad, Mr. Fry’s worldview cannot provide us with any meaningful moral imperative to end disease, much less be able to validly apply this moral imperative to God.

without asking Fry his worldview? Atheism makes no demands or ought/ ought not. For arguments sake, there are many atheists who identify as humanists. A humanists view of life among other things includes the belief it is all up to us to make things better. If the theist believes without god, we can’t know to be diseased isn’t a good thing, I think we are in deep shit.

The OP after listing several bible verses goes on to say

For some reason, Mr. Fry does not believe that God has the right to do so. He lists no reasons why this is contradictory to God’s character, or why God does not have the right to do what he wants to do with his own creation.

and you must pause and ask yourself whether these people use common sense. Any reasonable person would think if you create something sentient, you have a duty to protect it even from itself. This though isn’t the case with god and Christians.

When he asks

Essentially, Mr. Fry merely says that he does not like it, but why should Christians care about what he thinks?

but Stephen was asked the question. Should he have kept quiet not to offend Christians? I think not.

There is nothing tyrannical about the monarch of a country killing his subjects on a whim or denying them access to food. If you think there is something wrong with that, you haven’t read

There is nothing self contradictory about God being perfectly holy and righteous and sending people diseases.

I think maybe this is true. God wants people dead to start worshiping him. Heaven must get boring I guess. And if you can kill them with diseases that ensure they suffer for ages, the better. What a loving god. Somebody show me some love.

If Christians are to be believed, lions that lived in the garden of Eden lived on berries and were not carnivores. It is really silly to say that the fault of one man is the fault of all men. We were never consulted. Maybe some of us would have asked for a different fruit. To impugn the deficiencies of one man on a whole race is not only cruel, but is as well absurd.

Let us think about this next statement for a brief minute. He writes

In summary, God did not create the world originally evil, but cursed the world because of Adam’s disobedience.

We must ask, how many times did Adam disobey god? If it was once, why does this god elsewhere in the bible expect us to forgive over 70 times if it couldn’t forgive a single infraction but cursed everything it could? Christians accuse us of insulting them but what option do you leave us with when you throw reason out of the window?

When Romulus says Christianity is a system of lies, I think he has such

Through sin, God has chosen to glorify himself in Christ through the redemption of a particular people whom he has chosen from before the foundation of the world, as well as to glorify himself through the revealing of his holy wrath against sin.

doublespeak in mind. God brings evil in the earth to show us his glory. We need to bow down in worship for this stupidity. Excuse me!

I think I agree mainly with Nietzsche when he says responsibility for the acts of men is a religious idea. It is an idea whose origin is that people choose how to act. So that this question

Why would we be morally responsible for anything if our chemistry dictates all of our actions?

isn’t a challenge to me. I have said time and again it is unjust to punish a man for his being.

To ask why shouldn’t misery exist is the defense advanced by other theologians of this being the best world. In response we must ask if having a world without misery is contradictory, and if we agree it isn’t then why was such a world not created?

Theists tell us god is good by definition. I say this really doesn’t tell me anything about god or about good. This theist tells us

By definition God is not at fault for anything that he does, since God is the one who defines what “fault” means in the first place.

how does this not translate to might is right? God says go yea and rape the small babes, kill the virgins and old women and take the men for your husbands and you should all shout amen because god has said it! Give me another.

Had this fellow maintained, as he writes

God is not accountable, since there is no other god to make him accountable or call his actions in to question.

he would be half right. And to make this closer to truth, we would be justified in saying that god can’t also be said to be good. All his actions regardless of what we think about them would be good. What I don’t understand then is how the theist can then talk about anything being bad. Since there is evidence god has sanctioned rape, pillage, murder- the theist must convince us what standard he uses to adjure these bad.

Me wonders whether things are only objective in a world with god. Is hardness the property of a stony or is hardness our subjective experience of the stone? Which is the correct pov?

It is evident to me some Christians have difficulty in understanding very simple things.

Stephen Fry says he would be in track with the Greek gods. He doesn’t say

he would rather worship fickle, murdering, sex fiends, none of whom created the world, than worship the God who created him. I do not have much to say. It is pretty self explanatory.

I could be wrong, I don’t remember him talking about worshiping these gods. He would enjoy their company is all I had. The only thing in this statement that is self explanatory is the inability of the OP to understand even simple statements.

Why would a perfect being have room for selfishness? Or is this perfection of selfishness, beyond which no other selfishness can be imagined?

I will stop here and make a general observation about most of the posts by theists I have read attempting to respond to Fry, that all of them have chosen to conveniently forget Fry was asked a question of what he would tell the Christian god if he found it to be real and whether he would want to go to heaven. I don’t see how Fry’s atheism comes in here. The question wasn’t about atheism. Or his views of the world. It is specific about a specific god. If the theist isn’t impressed with her god, he could adopt another god. To bring atheism into the picture is to fail to deal with the questions Fry is asking and quoting passages from the bible just doesn’t cut.

 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

55 thoughts on “Stephen Fry and god

  1. john zande says:

    This is the second time I’ve seen this argument presented: without the Christian god we wouldn’t know what was bad. Seems we’ve stumbled upon a new apologetic here. Of course, the argument flows both ways, and is actually far more intellectually appealing, and logically sound, when we posit it from the Omnimalevolent Creator’s perspective.

    Like

  2. aguywithoutboxers says:

    On this topic, I am baffled about all the attention. Why are so many of the theists or believers so focused on Mr. Fry’s views? He was asked his opinions and he replied. End of story. Why belabor the issue? Move on and try to enjoy your life. Mr. Fry did not attempt to represent himself as any authority other than as Mr. Fry.

    I hope you are good, my Nairobi brother. Much love and naked hugs! 🙂

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      I am good friend.
      I am waiting for the real god to stand up and answer Fry. All his minions have failed at that business. They either utter gibberish or quote countless scripture passages

      Liked by 1 person

      • aguywithoutboxers says:

        Or worse: they regurgitate the same tired old arguments they’ve been repeating ad infinitum. Much love and naked hugs, O Exalted One! 🙂

        Like

  3. “The world is not atheist or christian.” Excellent post, Mak. Christians are atheists when it comes to the thousands of gods they do not believe in, but assume an atheist is only REALLY an atheist if he disbelieves in their god. Fry was not talking about atheism. As you said, he was answering a direct question about what he’d say if Jeebus were real. The main point christians miss here is that their god, just like every other god, isn’t real. It doesn’t exist. Thus, asking someone what they’d say if they met it is akin to asking them what they’d say to Superman if he were real and they met him. Christians, by their insistence on the reality of their particular god, continually show us just how mentally ill they truly are.

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  4. “cursed the world because of Adam’s disobedience”…

    Deuteronomy 24:16English Standard Version (ESV)
    16 “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.”

    So, there’s no contradictions in the Bible? If the bible verse is mandatory for humans, how can we be “like our heavenly father” if it is not mandatory for the god who punished the whole world because of Adam?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ladysighs says:

    You are so good at ripping things apart. You should have been a tailor. 🙂

    Like

  6. fabryhistory says:

    Speaking of religious mental blocks, here’s a relevant article from yesterday’s Guardian:
    “Believing that life is fair might make you a terrible person”.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/oliver-burkeman-column/2015/feb/03/believing-that-life-is-fair-might-make-you-a-terrible-person

    “Faced with evidence of injustice, we’ll certainly try to alleviate it if we can – but, if we feel powerless to make things right, we’ll do the next best thing, psychologically speaking: we’ll convince ourselves that the world isn’t so unjust after all.”

    Like

  7. ratamacue0 says:

    If Christians are to be believed, lions that lived in the garden of Eden lived on berries and were not carnivores. It is really silly to say that the fault of one man is the fault of all men. We were never consulted. Maybe some of us would have asked for a different fruit. To impugn the deficiencies of one man on a whole race is not only cruel, but is as well absurd.

    Hear, hear.

    We must ask, how many times did Adam disobey god? If it was once, why does this god elsewhere in the bible expect us to forgive over 70 times if it couldn’t forgive a single infraction but cursed everything it could?

    Lol, nice. You want forgiveness? Yeah, I’ll forgive you after I make you suffer.

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  8. archaeopteryx1 says:

    why does this god elsewhere in the bible expect us to forgive over 70 times if it couldn’t forgive a single infraction but cursed everything it could?” – Excellent point!

    Like

  9. “The truth is that Mr. Fry’s worldview does not provide us with any meaningful basis for deciding that diseases are bad.”

    In that wishes are as pointless as prayers, I do wish idiots like the author of the above would be given all of the nasty diseases that others have to suffer, and the sufferers would become free of those diseases. Then we would see if this idiot thinks diseases are bad.

    Like

  10. “If the theist isn’t impressed with her god, (s)he could adopt another god”
    Or even a whole sorority of Them! The more the merrier!

    On a sadder note, and more in keeping with the meaning of your post, the thing I keep finding as I try to look behind the words of these people (usually Christians and Muslims, they are so much alike for all they want to kill each other) and I keep finding fear. If one is saturated in stories of a pissed off God doing ghastly things to people He doesn’t like, including not just in this world, but in the infinite next world, wouldn’t an almost maniacal clinging to His Holy Bible’s verses whether they actually pertain in any way to the subject at hand or not make sense? Wouldn’t it make sense that to even contemplate a world without that God (or any) leave them in quivering terror? What if they should start to think that way AND be wrong? Then there’s the other type of situation, if people go around saying things like Fry’s comments to the Hypothetical God he was questioning, and they start thinking, and maybe start to agree, eventually people will also realize that folks like Wally and his friends are the Emperor in his new clothes. A naked dupe. I think the former scenario tends to fit Christians better and the latter fits the Muslims, especially their reactions to things like Muhammed cartoons or people dissing the Quran. Mental illness? Yes, when these religions take on these aspects, definitely.

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  11. Interesting post and conversation thread.

    I suppose it comes down to how something occurs for each one of us. There is no such thing as “is”, only an occurring. As we are able to distinguish this, we also gain access and the wisdom to take contrarian viewpoints, beliefs and thoughts on board.

    Would you agree?

    Shakti

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  12. shelldigger says:

    Mak, when I get arrested for being an atheist in the south, I want you to be my lawyer! There will be beer!

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Let me make application to be admitted to the bar.
      How are things with you my friend

      Like

      • shelldigger says:

        Things are gooder than usual, so I am waiting for the shit to hit the fan. I get nervous when things suddenly seem to improve a little bit. It makes you start looking over your shoulder, wondering what the hell is going to happen to level out the average. With any luck I’ll have an improved average 🙂

        Hope all is well with your slice of paradise.

        Like

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