A Dog Without a Leash

About Bengie

Graphic designer by day and web cartoonist by night. Bengie also 'arts' the interactive audio comic Slackjaw: The Working Dead

  • Bob Daniel

    “Good Without Dog”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

    friendlyatheist.com redirects here? That seems like a waste of a domain.

  • Aneres

    I’d think it’s more like protecting the name from impostors or something like that.

  • WillBell

    it is probably the same for .net, .org, and other variations.

  • anniewhoo

    As much as I love this, I can already see the religious twist on this. “See? Atheists are unloved, that’s why they don’t believe in god! They’re unwanted, and left to roam through life without any sense of worth!” Of course, I disagree with these sentiments… just my thoughts on the religious interpretation.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Whenever a Christian asks me something like, “But without belief in God, what keeps you from constantly cheating, and stealing, and even beating, raping, and killing people?” I get the strong impression that he has just given me an unintentionally candid description of how he would behave if he didn’t think a policeman in the sky was waiting to punish him terribly. He has helped me see how childish and shallow his moral development actually is.

  • viaten

    I wonder what the leashed dog thinks, or would say, he (or she) would do if not leashed?

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Also maintains backward compatibility with old bookmarks and links and such.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don’t want to do that. Right now, without any god, I don’t want to jump across this table and strangle you. I have no desire to strangle you. I have no desire to flip you over and rape you. You know what I mean?

    Penn Jillette

  • observer

    Eh, haters gonna hate. Though you could reach out to a rare few and at the least show atheism isn’t as bad as it’s made out. But as for the rest, they’re gonna take any flaw or quirk, no matter how minor, and treat it as “proof” that atheism is evil.

  • Bengie

    I’d call it “Au Naturale”

  • viaten

    One could also say somewhat equivalently, “It’s really, really nice to have that last moral barrier associated with eternal punishment removed just in case I decide I want to commit a heinous act by completely disregarding social ramifications, legal consequences, my innate evolved moral sense, my desire not to hurt anyone, that it’s unthinkable for me to do such a thing, that I would severely disappoint family, friends, acquaintances, that the police would find me, that I would go to jail for a long time, that I wouldn’t be my normal self,….”

  • Sindigo

    Of course, Christians don’t really believe that sin leads to hell either. They merely have to ask for forgiveness to receive absolution. Not that it makes their theology any less childish of course. But it’s interesting that, as usual they’ve negotiated a loophole for any sins they do happen to commit along the way.

  • David McNerney

    Being a stray is only problem because there isn’t proper enforcement of Dog Catcher/State separation.

  • northierthanthou.com

    Kitty cat doesn’t believe it for one second!

  • northierthanthou.com

    I think there is a more interesting question in this topic than the one about the existence of God. That one takes us all down familiar paths, but the slightly more subtle question is whether or not morality must be conceived in terms of rules (with or without an enforcer). The notion that the real answer here may lie in having the right desires (as opposed to the right rules) is fairly beyond a lot of people. God is one way of forcing the issue, but even dropping Her from the equation, it is still interesting to think of morality in terms of ends and goals rather than restraints.

  • Glasofruix

    “But without belief in God, what’s to keep you from constantly cheating
    and stealing, and even beating, raping, and killing people?”

    The fact that I’m not really in the mood for that right now.


  • Blacksheep

    That’s an excellent point, since most of us have no interest in rape, pillage, and murder. And as a Christian I conceed that this might still be the case if there were no God. Interestingly (for me at least) that’s what Jesus was dealing with – in a way – in the Sermon on the Mount. He basically told the crowd not to feel so special just because they weren’t out murdering, stealing, and cheating on their spouses, but that there is a much higher standard that in many ways is at odds with human nature (first being last, meek inheriting the earth, the power of our thoughts and not just our actions, etc).

  • Blacksheep

    Baked into that construct is the idea that people will behave better if they know they are loved and forgiven. This may be even more powerful than fear of punishment. This certainly feels true to me in human relationships with friends, kids, and marriages. For most Christians it’s less of a loophole than the very reason they are Christians in the first place.

  • Sindigo

    Human relationships should not be compared to religious belief in this way; they are not analogous. I mean, loved and forgiven by an entirely absent figure? I don’t buy it. If the forgiveness promised by fictional characters were enough to make people behave better then there’d be far fewer believers in prisons.

    Besides, the reason why most Christians are Christians is geography, not by dint of any sort of rational, philosophical inquiry on the nature of sin and forgiveness.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    Why must this ‘higher standard’ be, by definition, at odds with human nature? Why must humanity and it’s potential be sold so short? So often to me it seems that for one to have faith in Jesus that they must first lose faith in humanity.

    I prefer to think that whatever behavior goes along with the ‘higher standard’ that you mention is already part of our human nature, not at odds with it, and that we can work daily to strengthen these best parts of what it means to be a person who cares about other people, for no other reason than it being the right thing to do.
    Maybe I’m misinterpreting you, but it sounds like you’re saying ( vicariously through the teachings of the J-man) that humans are incapable of intrinsic goodness, or that if we are good it’s only because we’re doing battle with all our secret evil bits.

    If this was a store I’d be leaving empty handed, because I’m not buying it!

  • The Other Weirdo

    I’ve heard it said that when people–Christians–say that, they’re wildly overestimating their own psychopathy.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    That cartoon is quite unrealistic.

    Leash Aggression in Dogs

  • baal

    Problem is that the message is that you get forgiveness from god/jesus/a priest / the religion generally. That message is taking up space from a better message. Seek forgiveness from those you have wronged. It’s really hard to do but you will be better for it and the other person may even change their mind about you.

  • baal

    and what did you want with that domain? Would it make sense to have 2 ‘friendly’ atheists?

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Baked into that construct is the idea that we are inherently in need of forgiveness in the first place.

  • cipher

    I don’t think they’re overestimating it at all.

  • cipher

    Precisely, Richard.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Christianity = a collection of rapists and murderers waiting for the death of god.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.markwell.75 James Markwell

    Athiest here.. I think that it does go against our “human” nature not to rape, pillage, etc.. I think evolution, law and tight quarters have put a muzzle on us. Take away electricity and the ability to grow crops, and see if it is in our nature to steal and pillage. Within a month, it will be dog eat dog, because we are just animals. As long as we have what we need(want), we are good boys and girls. Once we don’t, Mad Max time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.markwell.75 James Markwell

    but the day is young.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    I believe that everything you said is basically correct, but it doesn’t have much to do with anything that I said.
    I’m discussing being good because one chooses to be, you’re talking about being forced to do bad when the choice to do good has been removed, and replaced with death. I guess I should have stressed that any discussion about the relative nature of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ exist solely within our current, non post-apocalyptic-mad-max society, and the value structures contained therein, unless otherwise specified.
    But, as I said, I do agree with you.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    ya, but we’d collect into groups. And within the groups we’d come up with some sharing rules. And the individuals who didn’t join groups wouldn’t last long. And the groups would probably for alliances.

    Hey, that’s kinda like what we have now!

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    Thanks for revealing a bit about yourself. Just keep in mind that you really don’t speak for the rest of humanity.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke


    once, long ago, people learned to draw and write. some people didn’t want to deal with the horror of a drought or bad crop loss and shit like that. they wanted food. and sex! cause grrls are pretty.

    then, some woman invented “religion.” it’s sort of like the discovery of how to grow things on purpose from seed, or make floating boat things, or how to raise goats.

    it made her a lot of money. like, a lot. or rather, she got to not work so much, while everybody else was out sweating their junk trying to make flowers and food grow. because she was too busy, talking to the gods.

    this con has evolved over time. sort of. but today, lots of white men live in mansions and have private jets and don’t ever sweat, while the poor people who love them send them 100$ a week, even tho they are about to lose legal possession of their trailers because of bankruptcy.

    it’s a good situation, if you’re immoral enough to get it. comfy, with hookers and blow, even!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    i’m totally angry and ready enough to lie, cheat, steal or kill.

    but i don’t. and it’s not that hard. i read news updates every day that make me feel this way. i don’t understand why i need an ancient holee book to help me tamp down the urges that i feel, that i know are wrong. i don’t; what’s your problem, xtian?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

    It just seems to me the blog could use a sister site. To handle the things that websites are better at doing than blogs.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Uh, given the patriarchal nature of almost all modern religions and most historical ones, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a “she” who invented religion. The first religions were likely spiritual/animist religions whose priests and priestesses, if anyone was even so designated, worked as hard as everyone else (there just wasn’t enough surplus to support non-working tribe/family members). People talked to their gods or got talked back to through vision quests, often involving ritual fasting, sleep deprivation, and/or hallucinogens. Men were more likely to do these things than women, because while the men would go out hunting sometimes, they had a LOT more free time than the women who were (often) in charge of children, farming, and gathering.

    So nice little misogynistic twist on the origins of religion, but it seems very unlikely given what we know of early religions and early cultures.