Category Archives: Slayer

Believe absurdities? Commit atrocities!

Over on my other blog (where I’ve wasted way too much time lately, but that stops right now) it’s often heard said (for example, right here) that

They who believe absurdities commit atrocities.

It’s often heard said to me. Apparently, I’m an apologist for irrationality, the epitome of stupidity and number among “they who believe absurdities”. Which, apparently, puts me on some sort of watch list. I’ll commit atrocities, for sure. It’s only a matter of time. Truly I tell you, I’m a ticking totalitarian time bomb!

In fact, belief in God is absurd. The Christian world view even more so. Tertullian, the early Christian writer who gave us the doctrine of the Trinity (the term does not occur in the Bible) is said to have argued, “Credo quia absurdum.” (“I believe it because it is absurd.”) I disagree with Tertullian. The absurdity (or otherwise) of Christian belief has no bearing at all on its truth or falsity. This is a point I want to return to in an upcoming post. All I’m saying now is, yes, I believe absurdities.

The belief that “they who believe absurdities commit atrocities” is itself absurd! And false. It’s axiomatic that all Christians sin. But few Christians commit atrocities. Most sins we commit are “venial” sins as the Catholics say, or “token” sins or “trifles” as Martin Luther put it. Not atrocities. The wages of sin is death. I sure as hell ain’t asking for a raise!

Charity is both a Christian virtue and an epistemic virtue, so I’m going to be charitable and assess the watered down claim that

They who believe absurdities are more likely to commit atrocities than those who don’t.

It’s an empirical claim. We have reason to believe it only if we have evidence that they who believe absurdities are more likely to commit atrocities than those who don’t. But we don’t. So it’s an irrational belief. (Stupid, too.) End of story.

Time for a quick sequel? The original saying is attributed to Voltaire, and I got to wondering if Voltaire actually said it. After all, he never said

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

either. (That was Evelyn Beatrice Hall.) So I did some research. Here’s what Voltaire actually said.

They who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

And here’s what Voltaire said next.

If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a demand to believe what is impossible, then you will not resist a demand to do wrong to that God-given sense of justice in your heart.

Objectivists score own goal! Christians sit on sidelines and drink beer. Sounds good to me.

Time for a quick coda? If you do happen to be in the mood to commit an atrocity, but you’re short of ideas, look no further than your friendly, neighbourhood atrocity vendor. (Psst! Want some atrocities?) (I’m kidding. Thou shalt NOT commit atrocities. I hope I didn’t really need to tell you that. You came here from SOLO? Oh, okay.)

WARNING: The lyrics to the song below rank among the most violent, gruesome and sadistic that I’ve ever set ears on. They qualify as extremely gross even by death metal’s usual lyrical standards. Self-parody? You decide. Either way, the lyrics are testament to Slayer’s pure epicness. As one YouTube commenter remarks, “Wow if this isn’t genius what the hell is.”

Pros and cons

As the ALCP’s candidate for the Mana electorate, I was interviewed this morning by Nigel Hopkins (“the Rascal”) on Beach FM. I sang the praises of cannabis, God’s miracle plant.

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party exists to legalise cannabis for recreational, spiritual, medicinal and industrial purposes; to empower people to work together for peace and true justice; and to institute a proper and just balance between the power of the state and the rights and dignity of the individual. We believe adults have the right to freedom of choice unless that choice harms other people or the planet.

I’ll post the interview soon. Apart from that, not much time for campaigning. Or blogging. Thank God for my co-blogger Tim who is taking up the slack!

Behind the Crooked Cross

Time melts away in this living inferno,
Trapped by a cause that I once understood.
Feeling a sickness building inside of me,
Who will I really have to answer to?

March on through the rivers of red.
Souls drift, they fill the air.
Forced to fight behind
The crooked cross. …

(Is Slayer a Satanic band? Yes or no? You decide! I posted this track because it’s an appropriate follow-up to my previous post. Oh, and Slayer is the greatest heavy metal band of all time.)