Depression Will Ensue

Last Saturday, I went to a new age fair (for the lulz). It actually wasn’t nearly as funny as I thought it would be. Sure, it had its moments, but overall I came away depressed. We’re a truly pathetic species. We believe some incredibly far-fetched crap. Stuff that couldn’t be even remotely true. But we convince ourselves that not only is it possible, not only is it probable, but it absolutely is true!

I took a lot of photographs. Those are taking me a while to cull through and crop and enhance. I guess I won’t get that article written until next weekend. I’ll try to post something shorter before then.

In the meantime, enjoy the following, which is one of many great images at Shorthand Hero’s Deviant Art page.

Elected before there was a defacto religious test for office

13 Responses to “Depression Will Ensue”

  1. 4ndyman Says:

    Is it just me, or is that a smirk on his face?!

  2. TB Tabby Says:

    And then try to convince Texas schoolchildren that he doesn’t exist.

  3. Modusoperandi Says:

    Jefferson was not a non-believer. “Theistic rationalist” seems to be the term that fits.

    Understating the religious beliefs of the various Founding Fathers is just as bad as overstating them.

  4. OtherRob Says:

    My understanding was that he was a Deist.

  5. Ron Britton Says:

    Modusoperandi:

    I agree that the image probably overstates Jefferson’s beliefs. I always assumed he was a bit of an agnostic. He definitely didn’t believe the magic tales of Jesus, which is why he published his own version of the Bible with all of the pixie dust removed.

    Another difficult thing is that with some of them, their beliefs changed over their lifetime. Both Jefferson and Franklin wrote pro-God statements. That makes it very easy to cherry-pick and make it look like they were devout.

    In Franklin’s case, he definitely grew farther from God as he got older and wiser. Much of that was the result of the time he spent in France at the height of the Enlightenment, associating with atheists. I don’t know if he ever made it all the way over to that side of the spectrum, but he got close.

  6. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Another difficult thing is that with some of them, their beliefs changed over their lifetime.

    That’s a very good point. A fundie will quote-mine something from one point in an individual’s life, ignoring the fact that at another point, his/her beliefs might have been very different. Their minds work that way, so they assume everyone else’s does as well.

  7. Parrotlover77 Says:

    He definitely didn’t believe the magic tales of Jesus, which is why he published his own version of the Bible with all of the pixie dust removed.

    That must have been a very short bible. What was it like? The front and back cover with nothing between?

  8. Modusoperandi Says:

    OtherRob:

    My understanding was that he was a Deist.

    Which is complicated by which definition of deism is used. Jefferson’s theistic rationalism, if deist, included a Creator and “providence”. That’s not the distant deist Creator who started the ball rolling and then did nothing. It’s something else.

    Ron Britton:

    I agree that the image probably overstates Jefferson’s beliefs.

    Yes. Due, again, to the vaguaries of language. He wasn’t a non-believer. He was a different believer.

    Compounded, as well, by the all-caps. It could be “God” or “god”. In any event, “E pluribus unum” is a far better motto, as it doesn’t exclude atheists and polytheists and the like.

    I always assumed he was a bit of an agnostic.

    With a lot of the FFs, it was either “Christian but not Christian Christian” or “some other view that Christian Christians would view as heresy”.

    He definitely didn’t believe the magic tales of Jesus, which is why he published his own version of the Bible with all of the pixie dust removed.

    True, but Jefferson, like his contemporaries, believed in a different kind of magic. You’d be hard-pressed to find an atheist atheist (if that makes any sense) among them. “Atheistish“, sure, but even Paine believed that “God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon.”

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    That must have been a very short bible. What was it like? The front and back cover with nothing between?

    It’s actually 104 pages. Here is one of several editions available at Amazon. As expected, some of the Christians are upset about it.

  10. spinetingler Says:

    I have a copy of the “Jefferson Bible.”
    If required to attend a church service I take it with me and display it prominently.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    The negative reviews on Amazon are amusing (except the one about the book being unindexed and poorly printed — that’s legit).

    Modusoperandi – Another complicating issue of the day was that back then there was no good secular explanation for the existence and nature of the universe. It was really hard to be an “atheist atheist,” using your terminology, as you have no other explanation for why everything is the way it is.

    Today, yes, we have innumerable questions remaining about the universe and existence. Despite that, we have a very good foundation of knowledge that allows non-believers some satisfaction in knowing the nature of the universe at a high level, just as science irons out the finer details at an incredible pace.

    From that perspective, it raises the eternally debated-on-the-internet question of would Jefferson (et al) have stepped over the line from sort-of believer in a not-very-meddling deity all the way to true non-believer with today’s knowledge?

    We will never know, but one thing that cannot be argued is that as time has gone on, the Jeffersonian-style Deist has shrunk as the Agnostic and True Atheist (TM) has risen, moreso than other style of conversions.

    So, it is at least possible, if not probable, that Jefferson would have been an atheist in the world of today.

    At the very least, Jefferson’s antagonism against the established church is enough on its own to cast off the silly notion that America is a “Christian” nation.

  12. School Boy Says:

    America as a “Christian” nation. I thought the FF settled this with the Treaty of Tripoli.

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    But Texas says it is now! So it must have alwasy been so. Always been at war with East Asia and all that.