Author Topic: Fleecing the credulous?  (Read 2519 times)

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2012, 11:03:16 PM »
Some would sell even their undies to pay for their pet's well-being, that's for sure.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 11:05:30 PM by xSilverPhinx »
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Ali

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2012, 11:38:01 PM »
That's a great analogy, at least as far as the rapture or services insurance discussion.
Does it also apply to the "toast with jesus" analogy too, though? Let's take religion out of that too. Suppose I have a painting that I found in my attic which I hate and don't want. So I put it on ebay, and it turns out it's very valuable to a certain niche group out there, whether it's because of the painter, the style, they think it's got some spiritual power, whatever. If they're competing with each other to buy it and will offer me thousands of dollars for said painting, is it really unethical to sell it for whatever I can get, even if I think they're nuts? In this case, I am providing them exactly what they want, which is the painting, or burnt toast.

No, as long as they are getting exactly what you advertise (painting, burnt toast, flashy bendy Jesus) then I think it's fine to take whatever price the market will bear.  The only caveat I would add to the toast thing is not lying about the origins of the toast (as in "I have no idea how this toast took on the face of Jesus!  It's a miracle!" when actually you have a Jesus-face toaster.)  Maybe you could just refrain from mentioning how the toast came to look like Jesus unless they ask?

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2012, 01:06:07 PM »
To scam is to defraud...swindle. Anyone who can legally scam the largest and longest lasting legal scam has my vote. And if Jesus don't like it, he can come down here and tell us so.
The essence of the mind is not in what it thinks, but how it thinks. Faith is the surrender of our mind; of reason and our skepticism to put all our trust or faith in someone or something that has no good evidence of itself. That is a sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith is not.
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squidfetish

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2012, 01:36:23 PM »
For me it's a case of whether the fun of capitalising on someone's stupidity offsets the chance of propagating the bullshit....
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2012, 04:30:34 PM »
For me it's a case of whether the fun of capitalising on someone's stupidity offsets the chance of propagating the bullshit....

Isn't that what churches do? ::)
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squidfetish

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2012, 04:39:58 PM »
To scam is to defraud...swindle. Anyone who can legally scam the largest and longest lasting legal scam has my vote. And if Jesus don't like it, he can come down here and tell us so.

Yup.  It would take one hell of an effort to achieve anywhere near as big a scam as the sale of indulgences...
 ;D

For me it's a case of whether the fun of capitalising on someone's stupidity offsets the chance of propagating the bullshit....

Isn't that what churches do? ::)

Yes indeed, but churches aren't generally run by atheists.  :)
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Ali

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2012, 04:50:49 PM »
Yes indeed, but churches aren't generally run by atheists.  :)

I've actually thought about this a lot.  I have to wonder if some of the people at the top of churches (you know, the ones that stand to make millions of dollars like Joel Olstien and the like) really truly believe what they're preaching, or if they're just deeply cynical and greedy and don't mind "talking the talk" if it will make them rich.

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2012, 07:05:28 PM »
Those who know Derren Brown will already have a sound understanding of how the victims of spiritual or religious profiteering are duped. These guys have taken the premise of this thread to the extreme. But it's not just the gullible, it's the weak, the sick and the poor. These are surely among the worst parasites that exist.

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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2012, 10:45:08 PM »
Yes indeed, but churches aren't generally run by atheists.  :)

I've actually thought about this a lot.  I have to wonder if some of the people at the top of churches (you know, the ones that stand to make millions of dollars like Joel Olstien and the like) really truly believe what they're preaching, or if they're just deeply cynical and greedy and don't mind "talking the talk" if it will make them rich.

I really wonder about this too. Sometimes I really think that those on the top of the chain really believe what they preach.
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lomfs24

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2012, 10:53:26 PM »
Yes indeed, but churches aren't generally run by atheists.  :)

I've actually thought about this a lot.  I have to wonder if some of the people at the top of churches (you know, the ones that stand to make millions of dollars like Joel Olstien and the like) really truly believe what they're preaching, or if they're just deeply cynical and greedy and don't mind "talking the talk" if it will make them rich.

Interesting thought. I read a couple book by Ehrman (Bart, I think) who is now an atheist but at one time was quite a devoted follower. He worked his way up through middle management of the church while in his younger years and decided to go off to seminary. He states in his book that he though he would get more training in the devotional aspect of religion while at seminary. You know Bible stories, doctrine etc... Instead, he said he was surprised to find out that at seminary they focus mostly on the historical aspects of the Bible and why they don't match history. It was very eye opening to him. It wasn't what ultimately made him decide to be an Atheist but it would be hard to be a devoted follower in your holy book was shot to shred by the very institution that was supposed to train you the most.

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2012, 02:08:48 AM »
Yes indeed, but churches aren't generally run by atheists.  :)

I've actually thought about this a lot.  I have to wonder if some of the people at the top of churches (you know, the ones that stand to make millions of dollars like Joel Olstien and the like) really truly believe what they're preaching, or if they're just deeply cynical and greedy and don't mind "talking the talk" if it will make them rich.

Interesting thought. I read a couple book by Ehrman (Bart, I think) who is now an atheist but at one time was quite a devoted follower. He worked his way up through middle management of the church while in his younger years and decided to go off to seminary. He states in his book that he though he would get more training in the devotional aspect of religion while at seminary. You know Bible stories, doctrine etc... Instead, he said he was surprised to find out that at seminary they focus mostly on the historical aspects of the Bible and why they don't match history. It was very eye opening to him. It wasn't what ultimately made him decide to be an Atheist but it would be hard to be a devoted follower in your holy book was shot to shred by the very institution that was supposed to train you the most.

Not only that but he mentions that even the Gospels don't match up to eachother. You can't have a literal interpretation of the entire bible and that's what sealed the deal for him.
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squidfetish

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2012, 02:51:20 PM »
Yes indeed, but churches aren't generally run by atheists.  :)

I've actually thought about this a lot.  I have to wonder if some of the people at the top of churches (you know, the ones that stand to make millions of dollars like Joel Olstien and the like) really truly believe what they're preaching, or if they're just deeply cynical and greedy and don't mind "talking the talk" if it will make them rich.

I hear ya.  I'd say it's even more of an issue in the political sphere.  Let's face it, in the USA there is a hard core of religious nutters who will vote for the candidate that says "Jesus" the most times.  Couple that with religion being probably the most potent social control tool there is and  there you go....  :-\
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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2012, 04:30:00 PM »
Yes indeed, but churches aren't generally run by atheists.  :)

I've actually thought about this a lot.  I have to wonder if some of the people at the top of churches (you know, the ones that stand to make millions of dollars like Joel Olstien and the like) really truly believe what they're preaching, or if they're just deeply cynical and greedy and don't mind "talking the talk" if it will make them rich.

I hear ya.  I'd say it's even more of an issue in the political sphere.  Let's face it, in the USA there is a hard core of religious nutters who will vote for the candidate that says "Jesus" the most times.  Couple that with religion being probably the most potent social control tool there is and  there you go....  :-\

Between feudal lords and feudal churches, the latter is certainly the fittest of the two (in darwinian terms.)
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Ali

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Re: Fleecing the credulous?
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2012, 05:25:21 PM »
I've actually thought about this a lot.  I have to wonder if some of the people at the top of churches (you know, the ones that stand to make millions of dollars like Joel Olstien and the like) really truly believe what they're preaching, or if they're just deeply cynical and greedy and don't mind "talking the talk" if it will make them rich.

I hear ya.  I'd say it's even more of an issue in the political sphere.  Let's face it, in the USA there is a hard core of religious nutters who will vote for the candidate that says "Jesus" the most times.  Couple that with religion being probably the most potent social control tool there is and  there you go....  :-\
[/quote]

Absolutely.  It's kind of sickening to see a bunch of candidates out there trying to out-Jesus each other just to appeal to a certain base of voters.