What Do They Say About Imitation and Flattery?

This guy’s trying to be me

It’s not like “selling one’s soul” is an original idea, but he’s essentially using the same rules I set up!

(Emphasis below is his, not mine)

The auction will work like this:
1. For every $10 accumulated I will spend one hour in a church of the winners selected religion.
2. To keep track of my time I will be video logging all of my church visits as well as arranging a way for the winning bidder to keep track of me (ex. speaking to pastor).
3. All religions are fair game but a religion cannot require me to do anything that would break a law or harm anyone.
4. If the winner of my soul chooses to keep me an atheist for the time period ALL of the earnings will be donated to an atheist organization.
5. All of my time in churches will be spent in local churches and I will not be traveling. The winning bidder may select the church in my area that I will attend.

I should at least get some props, no?

Yet no mention of me or the book on the eBay site.

Well, I guess he does briefly mention me in his video:

After the mention, though, he uses several of my own words and phrases without giving due credit… that’s what bothers me the most.

Outside that, I don’t really care.

But if he goes for $505, I’m *so* going after him.


[tags]atheist, atheism, eBay[/tags]

  • Ron in Houston

    Well, they do say that imitation is a form of flattery.

  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    I suppose I’d have to say that this is one of the few things I don’t like about the blogosphere – almost impossible to preserve original ideas.

  • http://blog.crispen.org/ Bob Crispen

    You’re in deep trouble now. I’m going to quit being such an asshole and start being friendly.

  • Mriana

    You know, there is a difference between you and him, Hemant. He was raised in a Christian environment. You were not. You were doing it to learn something about Christianity that you might not have known being raised a Jain. I have explored many religions via book learning, but you have experienced one you knew little about first hand. I find that a very brave and admirable quality, because you had no idea whether the churches you visited were all about “God’s love” or snake handling to test one’s faith in God (trust me, that Xian sect exists :roll: ).

    This guy isn’t doing this to learn anything, but to gain attention and in the end, probably make a big joke out of religion or you or both. I can see one of those things coming and I do not find that very admirable. It’s rather maddening, for so many reasons, to see a “former” Xian, if he really is or if it is for show, pull such a stunt. Maybe he’ll get his just rewards and be bought by Jainists. :lol: Now that would be funny. Then again, he might learn a whole lot from them, more than he ever bargined for. ;)

  • http://dayandnite.livejournal.com/ Sabrina

    I sent this guy a link to your blog post so that he can see you are keeping tabs. I think it is only fair that he knows he is teetering on thin ice with you.

    He looks pretty young…he probably has no idea of the risk (of law suit) that he is running in doing this.

    Yeah, it does suck when a great idea is copied and ran into the ground. It goes from being brilliant…to *eh*. But, so goes ideas in the age of social networking sites.

    Hope you guys can coexist peacefully.

  • Matthew

    I guess it’s cool that he will raise money for an atheist organization, but it still makes him a lame ass for not coming up with something original. Hopefully he won’t write a book about it :/

  • http://www.offthemap.com Jim Henderson

    I love watching atheists fight with each other :-)

    Hey – there is no such thing as bad press

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    I love watching atheists fight with each other :-)

    There’s no fighting. Like I said, I’m not opposed to anyone else doing this. By all means, go for it. But I think I deserve a bit more credit (than was given) if the person’s going to use my words/phrases/ideas.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com/ hoverFrog

    I think I’d want a higher hourly rate than you did Hemant. You sold your soul a few years ago now and there’s inflation to consider. An atheist’s soul might be worth anything up to $600 now.

    Of course, if everyone starts doing it you’ve got to take into account supply and demand. What would people want with atheist souls anyway? It’s not like the gods will be trading them. Atheist souls are the fat kid in the playground of souls.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ElusiveAnole Matt

    Lets get in some cars and go kick ass. >:)

  • Cameron

    I don’t see the big fuss over this. I gave you credit for the idea and why so much hostility. No I am not looking for a book deal, no I am not looking for media attention and you had a great idea. My friends and I thought this was a great idea and we thought one of us should do it. If I even make any money out of this because its not like I am out advertising I will probably buy greydon squares cd. Your set up for the auction made great sense so i ran with it. I don’t know how much more credit I can give you than saying I got the idea from you. I really meant no harm by doing this and you should take this as a form flattery.

  • http://dayandnite.livejournal.com/ Sabrina

    Cameron,

    It is hard to see how you could be wanting anything except media attn & $$$. There is no other logical explanation. Because, the point has been made…Hermant made it already when he done it. So, it doesn’t need made again.

    You say you are not out to trivialize religion and you are sincere. So, if you are sincere you need to go about this the right way. Ebay is not it.

    With all of the real, honest, and backbreaking efforts being made by atheists to be taken seriously…things like this trivialize us and reinforce christian’s accusation that we are all mean, sarcastic, and ignorant.

    If you want to spend your time making a real statement for atheism…do it! By all means, do it! Just, not this way man.

  • Cameron

    Well to be honest $10 an hour is more than I make at my job and this is just a chance for someone to send an atheist to church. Im not trying to make some life changing statement, Hemant has already done that.

  • Cameron

    Because of the negativity from this and how pissed everyone is getting i figured its just not worth it. I took down the auction. I hope there is no hard feeling.

  • Mriana

    Wait a minute. You were raised a Christian. If you are an atheist now, what is the purpose of exploring Xianity again? If you were going to be a Xian, then you would have been by now. You’ve been there, done that, so why not go for some other religion and learn about it?

    As is, it seems to be a publicity stunt. Let me put it to you this way. Hemant said in his book that he didn’t know much about Xianity, because he was raised as a Jain, so in order to be fair he thought he’d explore another religion and it as it turned out, of course, being in the U.S., it was Xian. However, there are other religious groups in the U.S. You’ve done Xianity, so why not do as Hemant did and explore something different? It can’t hurt and it would be another cultural exchange and it would be more in keeping with what Hemant did, only the reverse. Go for an Eastern oriented religion. There are Buddhists, Jains, Hindus, Daoists, etc. Probably a lot more on the West coast than here in the Mid-West, so go for that, instead of going back again to what you already know. It certainly can’t hurt and it would show that former Xians are not totally turned off by ALL religions.

  • Mriana

    Oh I do hope he comes back, reads my suggestion, and at least considers what I suggested. Who knows, one of those groups might go for the idea, but then, they may have many ex-Christians exploring them, but nothing like this.

  • http://www.offthemap.com Jim Henderson

    Hemant – I was joking about the atheists fighting thing:-)

    But not about there being “no such thing as bad press”

    Cameron – (IMHO)(and I was the non atheist half of the origianl duo) I think you should do anything you damm well please – None of us “own” ideas- we just “have” ideas. If other people use them – take them to market or play with them in public then that is the nature of an open market place.

    I think this story applies here. When we first hear someone we say so and so said “…. ” . The next time we say, once heard so and so say this. The next time we say I’ve heard it said and the next time we say ” I once said this ”

    This kind of non attribution, not being given credit and not being noticed happens to me and many of my colleagues often- it is part of the business of being public. My feeling is mostly (on my good days) to say Thanks for being given the opportunity even once to have even one of my ideas taken seriously by even a few people who probably take me more seriously than they should

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    Millennials!


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