Yay! We’re on the Horizontal Axis!

A-men Diagram. I like it :)

(via Far Left Side)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • indorri

    It is really pissing me off that this doesn’t make sense as a Venn diagram.

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      It doesn’t make sense as an “Amen diagram.”

  • Jennifer T

    That diagram fails so spectacularly, it actually pretty much says the opposite of what was intended.

    • meekinheritance

      I think it fails to say what it intends, and can’t speculate on what the opposite of that might be.

      • Jennifer T

        What it intends to say: Nobody in those groups goes to either heaven or hell.

        What it actually says: Almost everyone in those groups goes to either heaven or hell.

        Pretty much the opposite, yes?

        • meekinheritance

          I think it fails to say what it intends.

  • Jett Perrobone

    My head hurts trying to figure out what this means. OK, people who are both atheist and Christian at the same time can’t logically exist, by definition. Such non-existent people can’t go to heaven or hell because heaven and hell don’t exist. But if heaven or hell did exist, these non-existent people could go there? Would they just pop into existence at the gates of Heaven and Hell where the definitions of Atheist and Christian are not mutually exclusive like they are here on Earth?

    Or maybe it means atheists and Christians aren’t actually people unless they are both atheist and Christian at the same time, and as such don’t exist. Therefore there are no such things as people.

    *twitch*

  • Jett Perrobone

    My head hurts trying to figure out what this means. OK, people who are both atheist and Christian at the same time can’t logically exist, by definition. Such non-existent people can’t go to heaven or hell because heaven and hell don’t exist. But if heaven or hell did exist, these non-existent people could go there? Would they just pop into existence at the gates of Heaven and Hell where the definitions of Atheist and Christian are not mutually exclusive like they are here on Earth?

    Or maybe it means atheists and Christians aren’t actually people unless they are both atheist and Christian at the same time, and as such don’t exist. Therefore there are no such things as people.

    *twitch*

    • Quintin van Zuijlen

      Actually people who are both atheist and Christian do exist. How they reconcile the non-existence of a need to be saved with Jesus having to save us is beyond me though.

      • Jett Perrobone

        Perhaps I’m committing the No True Scotsman fallacy there. It sounds like those people have a lot of cognitive dissonance going on, though.

        • Quintin van Zuijlen

          Cognitive dissonance and religion go hand in hand. You shouldn’t be surprised. Then again, it’s hard not to be.

    • naath

      I disagree that it’s not possible to be an atheist Christian; although I don’t know any. I know several atheist Jews (one a convert) for instance. Religious identification is not just about a belief in the divine – it is also about community, about ritual, about lots of stuff; some people like that stuff even absent God, some people don’t.

      If one believed in the existence of Heaven and Hell one might suppose that the admissions criteria for Heaven include “a belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ” but that one can be kept out of Hell by “living a virtuous life according to the law”. The intermediate state is Purgatory, at least according to some theologically inclined people. As an atheist obviously I think no-one is going to any of these places; so I guess that makes sense as an atheist statement too.

      • DavidMHart

        Thing is, ‘Jew’ is an ethnic and cultural marker in a way that ‘Christian’ isn’t. There are linguistic, genealogical, musical and culinary traits that can give you good reason to identify as Jewish regardless of whether you believe in gods, so in that sense you can be a Jewish atheist in exactly the same way that you can be a Breton atheist or a Tamil atheist (to pick a couple of ethnic groups that are not also nation-states).

        But ‘Christian’ mean a member of a particular range of religions – one can identify culturally as a mamber of a society that has long been majority-Christian while not believing the supersition that goes with it, but if you are going to call yourself a Christian atheist, you ought to be upfront about the fact that you are only using the C-word in a metaphorical extended sense.

        • jdm8

          I agree, I can’t think of any equivalent to a secular Jew in Christianity. Nothing seems to fit, because Christianity isn’t an ethnicity.

  • Hat Stealer

    You guys are clearly not getting it…

    Just kidding. It doesn’t make sense. Ya big sillies.

  • Gus Snarp

    Here, let me fix that for you: Here’s a cross representing all of humanity: +. Here’s the subset of that cross that is neither going to heaven nor hell, because neither place exists: +.

  • Charles Honeycutt

    Still can’t convince me to give Stanfill any hits. I saw him post nonsense about one of his pet issues, delete all the comments of people who disagreed with and corrected him (very politely; they and I enjoyed his work), change the links to hide the fact that he had posted nonsense, and then lock the comment section and specifically insult and dismiss those who had disagreed with him. I wasn’t one of them by the way; I don’t appreciate when that’s done to other people.

    This particular strip, as people have noted, doesn’t say what he intended.

    • http://twitter.com/Farleftside Far Left Side

      Charles Honeycutt, you’re a lying sack of shit. – Mike Stanfill

      To everyone else: I know this wan’t a real Venn diagram. It wa s a”fun” Venn diagram.

  • http://twitter.com/Farleftside Far Left Side

    For those who care, I’ve slightly modified the “cartoon” to work as a real Venn diagram, but it works only as a rollover, thus preserving the original inaccurate version. Thanks to all you cranky sticklers for accuracy.


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