Trust Me… It’s Better This Way

Oh man… Ugg is right.

Which means I am *so* wrong.

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(via Rich Gentlemen Hide)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • SarahH

    The Doctor is never wrong.

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    The Doctor wouldn’t have zapped Ugg, he would have taken him on as a new companion and Ugg would have ended up traveling with the Doctor for a few seasons and he would have met his end at the hand of the Cybermen or Dalaks or he would catch an alien virus that would make him much smarter and the Doctor would drop him off in modern day England where he would become a professor of Stone Age history at Oxford…but he would never zap him, that’s just silly.

  • http://intrinsicallyknotted.wordpress.com Susan B.

    Problem is, now they’ll just start worshipping the Doctor instead (though that might not be a bad thing…)

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    That’s truly disturbing.

  • mikespeir

    It is disturbing. Atheist though I am, if it ever comes to atheists wanting to zap theists because “it’s better this way,” you’ll find me on the believers’ side of the barricade shooting back.

  • http://www.queervoice.net/zcbyrnes Zach

    I just had a nerdgasm. A comic that combined Dr. Who with atheism? NERDGASM

  • I like tea

    That’s truly disturbing.

    Not really. If I thought that all religion could be traced back to one early human (obviously this isn’t the case), I’d want to kill him, too.

    Something like

    atheists wanting to zap theists because “it’s better this way,”

    I would never support, but that’s not what the comic depicts. There are billions of theists in the world, and I have no desire to kill billions of people. Truthfully, I have no desire to kill even one person, but while I am a hardline pacifist, it would be irresponsible not to take into consideration the idea of killing a single person if you had certain knowledge that doing so would cure a massive social ill. (And religion is a massive social ill, sorry Pastor Mike.) The reason I’m a pacifist, of course, is because you never, ever have that kind of certain knowledge.

    But come on, if you could go back in time and kill say, Stalin (trying really hard not to Godwin this discussion), you would, wouldn’t you? Put Stalin in this comic instead. Does that mean the author wants to “zap Neo-Stalinists”? Of course not. I would never run around killing Neo-Stalinists, but I would go back and kill Stalin if I could. There’s a world of difference.

  • Richard Wade

    I like tea, if you killed Stalin you would not have changed the vast surrounding social and political situation that led to all that Stalin was and you’d just get somebody else, quite possibly worse, perhaps somebody whom Stalin had killed early on because he recognized that rival’s threat. Dr. Who would be very very busy zapping despots who otherwise would never have risen.

    History blunders on in huge currents that bring pivotal individuals to the surface, but it is not driven by those individuals as much as we tend to think. If Hitler had been killed in the bunker bombing his generals would have done a better job at fighting the war. If Einstein had drowned as a boy someone else would have come up with Relativity, just a few years later.

  • Darryl

    History blunders on in huge currents that bring pivotal individuals to the surface, but it is not driven by those individuals as much as we tend to think. If Hitler had been killed in the bunker bombing his generals would have done a better job at fighting the war. If Einstein had drowned as a boy someone else would have come up with Relativity, just a few years later.

    Oh, how poetic, and short-sighted. We and our allies were trying our best, as were some good Germans, to kill Hitler, and with good reason. People are sheep, start killing off the heads and soon the flock will give up. Don’t underestimate the power of a myth. Not every Nazi was a Hitler; not every communist is a Castro, not every Islamist is a Bin Laden–singular people do matter, and whether they live or die, and when, may be crucial.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Not really. If I thought that all religion could be traced back to one early human (obviously this isn’t the case), I’d want to kill him, too.

    Yeah, that’s disturbing too.

    The reason I’m a pacifist, of course, is because you never, ever have that kind of certain knowledge.

    Funny, I thought the reason for being a pacifist is because killing is wrong.

    But come on, if you could go back in time and kill say, Stalin (trying really hard not to Godwin this discussion), you would, wouldn’t you?

    No, I wouldn’t kill Stalin before he became Stalin. I don’t support any form of “preemptive” justice – whether it’s invading a country that hasn’t attacked us, or anything like this cartoon if it ever became possible (btw, have you ever seen Minority Report?)

  • I like tea

    I like tea, if you killed Stalin you would not have changed the vast surrounding social and political situation that led to all that Stalin was and you’d just get somebody else, quite possibly worse, perhaps somebody whom Stalin had killed early on because he recognized that rival’s threat. Dr. Who would be very very busy zapping despots who otherwise would never have risen.

    Oh, granted. But the comic depicts a very simplistic situation, one I already agreed doesn’t have anything to do with reality.

    Funny, I thought the reason for being a pacifist is because killing is wrong.

    Of course it is. I don’t even know that I’d have the stomach to pull the trigger. But it would be, as I said, irresponsible not to at least consider taking such an action if it were possible. This isn’t even the same as the classic “Would you push a man onto a train track to save the 200 people on the train?” situation used to illustrate utilitarianism. This situation is vastly different, for starters, because time travel is involved. Time travel grants a level of certainty that we don’t have normally.

    No, I wouldn’t kill Stalin before he became Stalin. I don’t support any form of “preemptive” justice – whether it’s invading a country that hasn’t attacked us

    Well, maybe you could live with yourself after passing up an opportunity to save millions of lives (in our cartoon world where Stalin’s death would have done so), but I couldn’t. The fact that you stuck to your “murder is wrong in every single situation” principles won’t be of any comfort to the victims of tyranny.

    Oh, and preemptive invasions? Not an analogous situation. I don’t support them. I don’t support the death penalty either, since it doesn’t do anything for the victim of the crime.

    btw, have you ever seen Minority Report?

    Let me ask you a better question – have you ever read Minority Report? Just so you know, the original Dick story was not a hamfisted morality tale like the piece of shit movie adaptation. The Dick story didn’t even imply that the Precrime system was wrong – and unlike the movie, Precrime wasn’t dissolved at the end. The main character did everything he could to keep Precrime alive, and he succeeded.

    So what was your point in bringing up this movie from the low point of Spielberg’s career? Was I supposed to learn a life lesson from his saccharine-sweet, tacked-on ending?

    I’m a pacifist, as I said. But if I knew, 100% knew that I could save a lot of lives by going back in time and killing one person, I would have to consider it. Putting my personal moral comfort over countless lives? What kind of morality would that be?

    Okay, so we disagree on whether religious thought is that harmful. That’s fine. I’m sorry for what I said earlier about religion being a “massive social ill.” That was kind of childish of me. But as a matter of principle, feeling as I do about it, it’s a trade-off that has to at least be considered. In practice, we pretty much agree, because there are few situations as simplistic as the one depicted in the comic. I would never support running around through time killing people. But given what the comic does depict, it’s not really disturbing. My point is that wanting to kill this one man does not equate with any desire to kill all religious people today.

  • Richard Wade

    Darryl,

    Oh, how poetic, and short-sighted. We and our allies were trying our best, as were some good Germans, to kill Hitler, and with good reason. People are sheep, start killing off the heads and soon the flock will give up. Don’t underestimate the power of a myth. Not every Nazi was a Hitler; not every communist is a Castro, not every Islamist is a Bin Laden–singular people do matter, and whether they live or die, and when, may be crucial.

    Thank you for the compliment about being poetic. If the example of Hitler’s botched assassination was too short-sighted, then what if Dr. Who did the dirty deed when young Adolph was a small boy in Austria? The zeitgeist (great German word) of Germany coming out of a terrible depression after defeat in WWI would have remained the same, and don’t you think that something uh, dicey would probably have developed there anyway? Sure, without Schiklgruber embodying the myth it would have been different in many ways, but things were building up for a convulsion of some kind. There would have been some other monstrous myth and its ghastly consequence.

    I’m merely saying that pivotal, influential individuals are just as embedded in the spirit of the times as are the “sheep” as you put it whose lives are affected by those individuals. Whether and when those singular people die may be crucial to short term outcomes, (which I acknowledge can be very important) but in the long term the whole society has a momentum that tends to keep going in the same direction it was. Huge moving objects change their direction slowly. It takes a series of many events, developments, inventions and leaders to turn a country, a culture or our species away from a direction started long ago in ignorance and superstition. And as Susan B pointed out in comment number three above, some unfortunate things like magical thinking and the tendency toward supernaturalism seem to be hard wired into us. In the cartoon Ugg’s companion would have started worshiping the powerful flying spirit who zapped his buddy.

    You mentioned Bin Ladin and that’s a good example of what I mean. Yeah, I’d like to see Bin Ladin dead, but it’s not going to change much now. Things will continue to deteriorate until the West as a whole and the Islamic world as a whole both take a long hard look at their own greed, their own pride, their own short sightedness and their own ignorance. Only then will this long slow headlong collision of two trains be stopped.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Things will continue to deteriorate until the West as a whole and the Islamic world as a whole both take a long hard look at their own greed, their own pride, their own short sightedness and their own ignorance. Only then will this long slow headlong collision of two trains be stopped.

    Hold it right there, Richard Wade!!! Do I hear your correctly? Are you saying that humans (East and West as a whole) are inherently selfish?

    …take a long hard look at their own greed, their own pride, their own short sightedness and their own ignorance.

    Almost sounds like you took the words right out of what’s-his-name’s mouth!! ;-)

  • mikespeir

    Let me suggest a radical alternative to killing Hitler or Stalin as children. If we could go back in time, how about if instead we befriended them and did our best to set them onto a better course? Not foolproof, I’ll grant, but it would have a very good chance of working. The beauty of it is that we wouldn’t have to become monsters ourselves.

  • cipher

    No, I wouldn’t kill Stalin before he became Stalin. I don’t support any form of “preemptive” justice – whether it’s invading a country that hasn’t attacked us, or anything like this cartoon if it ever became possible (btw, have you ever seen Minority Report?)

    Mike, the characters in Minority Report were relying on psychic premonitions of possible futures. We’re talking about hindsight. In this regard, it isn’t really preemptive. If time travel were possible, and if I could know that taking out a Hitler or a Stalin would probably (I’d consult professional historians) result overall in the mitigation of human suffering (I’d want to be reasonably certain that someone else wouldn’t step into his shoes and make things equally as bad or worse) – I’d do it, no problem.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    cipher,

    I’d do it, no problem.

    So you would essentially become the judge of who lives and who dies? So… are you saying that if we could see into the future and take out all the evil people in the world (by killing, by the way), then we would all be able to live in peace and harmony?

    So where do you draw the line? Is there a standard as to how much evil deserves death by cipher? Say… Jack the Ripper? Saddam Hussein? The Columbine boys? How about Joe Shmoe, the drunk driver?

  • cipher

    In hindsight, where you can already see the consequences – then go back and change it, like altering a script? To save millions of lives? Sure. I have no problem with it.

    There’s a difference between Stalin and a drunk driver, Linda. Come on.

    This is growing increasingly ridiculous, but let me ask you this – if Hitler had survived the war, and he had been on trial at Nuremberg, would you have approved of the death penalty? If so, how is this different?

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    How about if that person happens to be your own son or daughter? What if the person you see in the future is you? Would you still do it?

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    There’s a difference between Stalin and a drunk driver, Linda. Come on.

    If that drunk driver happens to be the person that ends the life of one of my kids, I don’t know if I could see him as any less evil than Stalin.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    if Hitler had survived the war, and he had been on trial at Nuremberg, would you have approved of the death penalty?

    No, I would not. But I also would not defend him.

  • cipher

    Why is no one listening to what I’m saying? I’ll try once more, then I’m done with this thread.

    I’m not talking about making “predictions”. I’m talking about looking backward into history and changing it, which, of course, we cannot do.

    And, just to offend you even more – if I could know, with absolute certainty, that someone would kill my kid – yes, I’d kill him first. Because that is my job as a parent.

    And that is my last word on this foolish, foolish matter. This has come to sound like an adolescent sci-fi fantasy.

  • I like tea

    if Hitler had survived the war, and he had been on trial at Nuremberg, would you have approved of the death penalty?

    No. It wouldn’t have done anything for the millions of dead people.

    If that drunk driver happens to be the person that ends the life of one of my kids, I don’t know if I could see him as any less evil than Stalin.

    That’s a pretty selfish perspective.

    This has come to sound like an adolescent sci-fi fantasy.

    To be fair, that’s the idea behind Dr. Who.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Gosh, cipher!

    I was just playing with you. Thinking out loud. No judgments. Just some Sunday afternoon fun with Dr. Who. Sorry if you were offended. ;)

    That’s a pretty selfish perspective.

    I Like Tea, do you have kids? If you did, I’ll bet you’ll have a different answer.

    Besides, all human motives are basically self-serving. I don’t care how we try to justify our behaviors, good or bad. Can’t we just admit that, for crying out loud?

  • cipher

    No, I’m just done with it; the whole thing is silly. It reminds me of a group of adolescents sitting around going, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a time machine… ?”

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    cipher,

    Once upon a time, there were two brothers in Kittyhawk, North Carolina, who sat around going, “wouldn’t it be cool if we could fly?”

    Where would we be now if they’d thought it was too silly to dream?

    But if it’s not your thing, that’s cool with me. :)

  • Richard Wade

    Linda asked,

    Hold it right there, Richard Wade!!! Do I hear your correctly? Are you saying that humans (East and West as a whole) are inherently selfish?

    No, you did not hear me correctly. I didn’t say anything yes or no about people being inherently anything. I was describing the behaviors that are causing these two groups to be in loggerheads at the present time, and I was saying that only becoming willing to change those behaviors in themselves instead of blaming the other side for having those behaviors will make things better. There’s the old saying that when you point your finger at someone else there are three fingers pointing back at you.

    People are inherently people. That is far too complex, too wide and too changeable a set of traits and potential traits to narrow down to inherently selfish, selfless, good, bad, or whatever.

  • the Shaggy

    Pfft, I don’t think the D-MAT gun left a little pile of ash when it killed people.

    Silly comic.

    Usually I’d be all “WOO DOCTOR WHO AND ATHEISM” because they always seem to go together… then I watched the 5th Doctor serial “Snakedance” today, which came across as a thinly veiled commentary on the cynicism of science over the dangerous reality of faith. And it made me upset.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike Clawson

    Let me suggest a radical alternative to killing Hitler or Stalin as children. If we could go back in time, how about if instead we befriended them and did our best to set them onto a better course? Not foolproof, I’ll grant, but it would have a very good chance of working. The beauty of it is that we wouldn’t have to become monsters ourselves.

    I’m with mikespeir.

    That’s what really disturbs me about this comic – the idea that the best way to deal with perspectives that you disagree with and think are dangerous is through violence. That just feeds into the whole myth of redemptive violence, that somehow if we respond to violence with more violence that will actually make things better in the long run.

    I know this is counter-cultural and perhaps even a little absurd, but I truly believe that abusive power, violence and oppression will never be overcome with more of the same. Rather, I am convinced that power can only be overcome through weakness, violence through peace, and oppression through a willingness to suffer for the love of others. Evil cannot be overcome with more evil, since even if you win, you’ve already become the very thing you were resisting. Instead we must overcome evil with good. To me this is the whole message and lived example of Jesus. You could say it sums up and defines my faith.


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