I signed up purely for somewhere to discuss a reasonable subject with some hopefully reasonable people.
I live life by the simple classic philosophy of "live and let live". Whatever you believe, fine - get on with it, don't push it on me, don't push it on anyone else, and don't let it harm anyone. If everyone could stick to that, we'd have no problems.
The straw that broke the camel's back for me tonight was yet another great TV program turning to god. It happened with Sons of Anarchy (episode after episode about finding god and jesus etc) which was infuriating. I don't mind if it's just a part of the plot - part of people's lives etc, that's normal. But when it starts to spread over several episodes, with the main character having some sort of patronising revelation, it becomes condescending.
It happened with Lost too - the final series being the worst thing to ever happen to an awesome TV show ever - and it completely ruined what had been an amazing show for me.
Then tonight I'm watching Dexter (I'm on season 6 now) and he's suddenly transforming from a science-based hardcore atheist, into a believer over night because of some story involving his kid getting ill (I won't ruin it in case you've not seen it). So now they're shoe-horning religion in, using a sick child as leverage, which is emotional blackmail at its finest. It just cheapens the entire show... it's about a scientist who looks at life using only logic - black and white facts. Then in the course of about 3 episodes, he's starting to "see the light" and believe? Absolutely infuriating.
I shouldn't get so wound up about it - it's just a TV show - but do you ever feel like the writers/producer are piggybacking their belief system onto the show? It really gets on my nerves. Whether or not you believe in god, must it be rammed down our necks during EVERY decent TV show?
On a side note, I noticed that when signing up here there's a warning to say that your name will show up in google results, so you can use a pseudonym. Do we really live in a society where people have to hide their status as an atheist? It's just utterly bizarre, we're meant to be an educated advanced civilisation!
Argh, rant over - apologies, I know it's all pointless, I'm just a bit annoyed at another show being spoiled.
Hi Matt, and welcome to TA
Religion is the motivator that gets the show's scriptwriters off the hook. They can make good people do bad things and yet still be thought of as good, by using the god theme. Its a cheap shot, but it gives the authors a "magic wand" for rationale.
You could do what some Brits do and play the TV show Drinking Game. Every time a pre-set word or action comes up, you take a drink (shots are fun). That way you are kind of eager for the word "god" to come up, for example, as it invites an instant downing of a drink.
It sounds as if you really like to lose yourself in TV shows. I hear your frustration :)
"That way you are kind of eager for the word "god" to come up, for example, as it invites an instant downing of a drink."
Make sure you play that game with Simon if you catch up with him for a drink. Use books. Give him the bible to read from while you read from A Brief History of the Universe. Dont worry - you will still get to have a drink because I think the word God is used in that book just a few times.
Ha! Cheers for the suggestion - I'm not a big drinker though, just the odd glass of wine and an occasional beer. I'll bear it in mind though!
I think it is just a combination of laziness, and the classic "we must educate all of god's children" nonsense. Frustrating.
I agree - I feel your fury
Do we really live in a society where people have to hide their status as an atheist?
I dont hide it because I'm an atheist - I hide it because I like to keep private. I hate the idea that someone can key in my name and find out what I'm up to. It feels like someone peeking through my window.
the public stuff goes on facebook - I dont participate in that either.
That's absolutely fair enough - I respect that. I just initially perceived it as people perhaps feeling they needed to hide it because of some sort of risk if employers/colleagues/family found out etc. I guess that might be the case for some people. It's amazing what people will do in the name of a guy written about in a book.
Oh well, keeps it interesting I guess.
I hide it for the reasons you list, Matt.
Hey the Matt don't forget the movie Excorist the beginning. Starts with an ex Pastor who is an Atheist and by the end of the movie he is a full blown believer and pastor again.
That is nothing but propaganda. Installing the idea that rationality and logical thinking will naturally lead to the belief in god. It is because they know very well that they can't fight against logicality, so the idea it to incorporate religion into logic. Which obviously doesn't work but through propaganda they are going to try to make it work.
I think most here can probably see where you are coming from at least, and agree to a varying degree. It just reflects what a grasp religion still has on our culture. We're making headway I think, but at the same time those that would never believe as we do no matter what happens are also making headway in hardening and deepening their convictions. Sorry for the run-on sentence btw. I didn't think their assholes could get any tighter about it. Turns out they can squash a walnut down there with a blink and next week they are gonna try for a coconut. Now that's fucking crazy. On a side note, as an avid Dexter fan, just let the season play out dude, it's all good.
Sounds to me like they are just trying to beef up their ratings. It also seems to me one more reason why it was a good idea to stop watching television.
DDDDDDisgusting. At least House stayed an atheist. I also found out Hugh Laurie (House) is an atheist in real life.
I loved the part where House and this patient, a theist, had a running argument throughout the show as to the existence of an afterlife. The patient died, and House looked at him on the table in the morgue and said, "See, I told you so --"
Hi Matt, welcome to TA
Just remember that TV is mass media, and you can see why religion is written into shows. People who identify as atheist, agnostic or not religious are still less than 25% of the population.
Regarding pseudonyms, I just googled my TA moniker and surprisingly came up with some interesting results. First, a bunch of pics of convicts from a website called "Busted" which google is adding a separation between melvin and otis. Also pics of headstones, funny enough.
In regards to TA, though, the first references I see are pics of other TA people who have liked or commented on discussions I have posted that they commented on, or perhaps liked. Or maybe I commented on their posts. Surprisingly, @Jeremy Myob's picture and a couple of other TA member pics come up for some reason near the bottom of the first page. Why? beats the heck out of me.
BTW, my definition for melvinotis describes the state you are in when new information comes in and no decisions/assumptions have yet been made. i.e. Your daughter mentions she is bringing a boy home from school for the first time, and mentions no other information. As you wait to find out more information to see how you will feel or react, that is the state of melvinotis. I try to maintain that state as encounter information on this site and in the rest of my life when appropriate. Perhaps there is another term for that, but I've never found it.