Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My Favorite Apostle

My avatar is Doubting Thomas after my favorite apostle, but also after Thomas Paine, one of my favorite writers. Here's what Paine had to say about his namesake:

But it appears that Thomas did not believe the resurrection, and, as they say, would not believe without having ocular and manual demonstration himself. So neither will I, and the reason is equally as good for me, and for every other person, as for Thomas.

from The Age of Reason, Part One

In America, to be a 'doubting thomas' isn't generally considered a good thing. The term is usually applied with contempt. I'd like to improve the reputation of poor old Thomas. Faith has a great reputation; doubt has a lousy one. And why not? Faith is warm and pleasant; doubt is frightening and cold. Maybe I'm seeking to find a way to reverse those perceptions. Perhaps doubt is a bitter but healthful medicine and faith, well, maybe there's poison mixed in with the sweet taste.


Pebble said...

Loved your comment at Fay's

Doubting Thomas said...

thanks, but perhaps I shouldn't have left it there. I like Fay and don't want to insult her beliefs.

zan said...

thomas, i am sorry for the massive attack i bombarded you with. but next time, make sure you make your position clear regarding religion and excess religiosity in general. it seems that in intent, you did not single out islam on that post. but in effect, you did, and hence the bombardment. i am by no means an apologist for wahabism or slashing your self on ashura. however, christianity and jewdaism, with their fiction, myth, undeserved righteousness, and hegemony here in the states scare me more than jason vorhees. jason is fiction, southern christians taking this nation back to the mideval period are real and the south and the midwest is full of them, and very soon even the supreme court will not be spared. you see where i am coming from?

Doubting Thomas said...

Ha, ha, Zan, I'm not religious so I don't offend easily. So don't be sorry; I know exactly the kind of person you thought I was. I know better than to post that sort of skeptical comment at Fay's because she considers it an 'attack.' Which is okay, it's her space. Oh, pebblepie thanks for sticking up for me.

I dislike ideologues so I know exactly the kind of right-wing religious political nut you're talking about: I got myself banned at both iraq the model and healing iraq telling those fuckers off. And I was a war supporter! I also used to tell off the left-wing antiwar nuts as well.

Anyway Zan I know exactly where 'you're coming from' bc I teach in a huge high school here in AZ where more than half the kids are diehard Mormon--whenever Darwin is taught in biology they all troop out bc their parents gave them notes so they could be excused from hearing that they're related to Bonzo the chimp. I can't post under my real name because they have enormous political power here. Not that they could fire me but my life would be more difficult, they'd be afraid I was polluted their poor kids minds with my agnosticism.

So, now that Fay thinks I'm a racist, I guess I'll blog about why racism is a stupid pseudoscience...

pebblepie if your bible classes can't explain the behavior of Moses which is so much like Muhammad's then I'm sorry, you're about to experience some tough things...good luck to you

zan said...

thomas, it seems that you and i have some things in common. besides, fay did not acuse you of racism at all. she simply said that our comments (your initial comment and my response to it) have a racist tinge to them. perhaps she was right: as you know that most muslims are semites and of a somewhat darker skin color. and as you know that most christian zionists are caucasian and most jews are lighter semites. perhaps she felt that we attacked races because we did not specify "extreme religiosity" instead, you and i, attacked entire ideologies, and by inference, their subscribers.

as far as your position in arizona, i think you were wrong in saying that christians or mormons cannot fier you. they sure can. those people are hell-bent, strongly opinionated, wealthy and more importantly, organized and brainwashed. if i were you, i would practice the caution you are now practicing. in fact, some christians have killed private citizens in this country with no qualms or remorse.

now, there is one good thing that comes out of that: no matter how many kids in your high school avoid your darwinist explanations, at least least one...just one, may stay and not just listen but understands. so even if you manage to enlighten one kid, just one, it is still much better for the future of this country than to have a christian teacher. if i had a kid, i would not have him read a "holly book" or watch porn. but if i was put in a situation that forces me to choose, i would have my kid watch porn (attractive smooth people making love and experiencing joy) rather than read the bible (unattractive bearded males claiming holly righteousness and superiority over other peoples).