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John Safran Crucified

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Climbatize, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. He's got a cool Weird Al Yankovich wig, though.
  2. ohhhh you used the J word, now u will be crucified
  3. What J word? Jew? So there are many words taboo in your book; Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu.. MCBH. Do these words spark a word violation goz? I could have said, 'that is one out there white guy'.. ?
  4. ye it does, i used the J word here before and some made a big deal out of it
  5. John is the most entertaining Atheist Jew on the planet. And now all us atheists are saved because he was crucified for our sins.

    Man it didn't look like the nicest procedure.... arrghh

    Awesome episode though!!!!
  6. Ha, John isn't an Atheist!

    Anyway, not a fan of the series. The pacing was inconsistent and the music on the opening sequence was the worst I've heard for a tv show in years.
  7. Anyone who calls themselves an agnostic and also doesn't explicitly believe in a particular deity is leaning toward atheistic agnostism. I see people as either theistic agnostics, atheistic agnostics or theistic gnostics and atheistic gnostics.

    Agnosticism to me is not an exclusive term. It's too broad.
  8. That's weird because he participates in Jewish Prayer groups, goes to temple from time to time etc. I figured he's Jewish, in the religious as well as cultural sense.
  9. I think he is someone who tries to believe but has trouble fighting his disbelief. He's given indication to this in a number of interviews i've seen, heard and read. You're right though, he's a tough one to read because he doesn't come right out and say "I am this person, put me in this box".
  10. i enjoyed the series, not as much as some of his other stuff, but the guy always cracks me up.
  11. Yes, that last episode was actually a little hard to watch.
  12. ^+1. great series, though.
  13. I'm still struggling to understand how you're calling an agnostic. He prays, goes to 'gogue etc... strikes me as Jewish.

    Maybe I'm missing something.
  14. Well, if you "explicitly believe in a particular deity" then you're not an agnostic, you're a theist, likewise lack of that doesn't make you an atheist. 'Theism' and 'atheism' involve fuzzy logic, they're not absolutely clear-cut or one thing in each and every case (i.e., they are equally what you call "too broad"), and neither is agnosticism and so, insofar as they are legitimate regardless, neither is it a problem: person A asserts something in the direction of God, person B away, and C says "I really don't know either way". That's quite a meaningful middle-ground. I'm an agnostic, precisely because I really don't know either way! Tagging 'theist' or 'atheist' to my position along with the Greek for 'not to know' just skews it away from that genuine 'a gnosis' standing in a position between those who lean one way or the other - I lean neither, or I lean both, but not moreso to one side or the other. That is, I 'don't know'. Your suggested phrases are almost oxymorons, in terms of our use of these words (that is, what we mean by them): atheism and theism imply positive content (positive belief, assertions for or against) whereas agnosticsm means a refusal or inability to assert, it's logic is negative.

    Also, I'm sure there are many people, in many ways and degrees, in each of these three camps, who struggle to maintain belief in their position or object of belief. That doesn't disqualify them from membership of their camp.
  15. This is true, but does it mean they are agnostic? I think there is a fine line between atheism and agnosticism.

    QuarterWit, I think people have trouble believing in what they believe in, if that makes any sense at all. They will pray until they realise it does not help them and is a waste of time, keep doing it out of sheer pressure to believe in the system or believe in it with full enthusiasm. But, I think at some point, most religious folk will doubt their 'god' at one time or another.

    As for Saffran, he denounces it and makes fun of it constantly but we all know it plays in the back of his mind, constantly, and influences his decisions. Which does not mean he follows Judaism.
  16. I'm still not following. He was born jewish, has had a bar mitzvah, went, and still goes to synagogue, participates in prayer groups, has an active interest in Jewish mysticism and identifies himself as Jewish, and as a believer and you're saying he's not Jewish?

    Errr... I'm missing something. Unless you're one of those rabid athiests who can't deal with the idea that an intelligent person can be religious...
  17. My point was with regard to Not4Resale's denial of John's Judaism, which he based on:
    I was saying that this state describes many people in all variations of the three camps of theism, atheism and agnosticism. It's really just the state of intelligent receptivity, but more than that (anybody who thinks it's an ultimately an issue of intelligence to decide these matters hasn't thought very hard or deeply about them), a deep way of holding any of these positions arises out of, is sustained by, and is precarious because it is, a spiritual struggle.

    The line is no no less thin between agnosticism and theism. Let's be clear: in reality, which means the many particular forms of it, theism is not one well-defined thing, except when we are speaking simplistically for pragmatic purposes (Shin Buddhists? Plotinus?). The same goes with agnosticism and atheism. There are as many variations of each as there are people who vary from one another, especially when they seriously reflect and seek to learn and experience what it's all about. Many atheists are no less crude in their smug arguments than religious fundamentalists - read that recent newspaper piece (a fortnight back? 'The New Atheism'?) by the VC of Aus Catholic Uni, along with online comments, to see both in action (that man is smug and intelligent in a paint by numbers way, and the responses were desperate in their bad use of 'intellectual' talk and the pathetic haughtiness they attached to it). So too agnosticism can be an unthinking cartesian dogma. Part of my point about agnosticism - which is my position, though in no simple way - is that in its most basic conceptual form, it is position right between the other two. The line is equi-distant with both other positions. I'm defending my own position there (again, in these simplistic but helpful metaphors): I'm torn and compelled by both.

    As an aside, I teach philosophy sometimes - tutored a course this last semester at Melb Uni which included 'arguments for the existence of God' - and my experience of many atheists and their intellectual smugness is of something thoroughly unfounded, from the point of view of philosophy, or reason or what-have-you. Many such people haven't a clue regarding the depth and sophisticated thinking there is out there, from all three of these positions, by philosophers, theologians etc, throughout the ages. Also NB regarding all those atheist books that have sprung up by scientists recently - interestingly they're not taken seriously by philosophers from any of these positions. They seem to sell well on the pop market though.... It's easy to prance about an appear clever - I know a hack post-grad who cannot debate except by mocking; reminds me of many theist and atheist 'intellectuals'.... I'm yet to hear a compelling argument for or against God (or for the claim that reason can decide; or that it is useless in these matters).
  18. I'll wear this critique because yes I do hold a position of disbelief in higher regard than one of belief. The reason I do this is because I think that the first step in critical thinking is the questioning of the accepted thus dragging one closer toward disbelief in a particular avenue.

    Agreed, which is why it is so annoying trying to box beliefs up. If you ask me off the bat what I believe i'll say i'm an agnostic atheist however if I'm pressed I could probably write an essay on the intricacies of my thoughts about the subject matter and what I actually believe will probably be seen to float heavily in the agnostism section and lightly in the atheism section in regards to questions about some sort of god concept. However, if asked if I believe in the christian, islamic or any other specific god who has particular attributes described about him/her/it which cause it to have contradictions of character, logical absurdities or just some very exceptional claims that are hard to believe... I sit heavily in the atheistic camp and very little in the agnostic camp...

    Yes its true, most people don't (myself included) however, even the mere scientists do fumble across some gems of wisdom from time to time which do add to the debate.

    Also in regards to scientists not being taken seriously by philosophers.... Where does Dan Dennet sit then? I thought he was good friends with Richard Dawkins.