FreeThought Fort Wayne

        Be Reasonable

This is only a test

Posted by dystressed on July 20, 2008

I found this video online from one of the many blogs I read. This reminds me of the kind of object lesson that I used to be transfixed by when I was younger. Specifically, the one I remember most was an abstinence lesson where someone would take a bite of an apple and pass it around the room. Then no one wanted the apple because it had been bitten.

These types of parables are the types of non-scientific emotional blackmail that people sometimes use to illustrate their points. Although the abstinence one is a little more ridiculous, this one aggravates me because in both cases, these basically boil down to emotional blackmail.

Although these cases are less extreme, this is the same kind of lizard-brain pandering that gets people riled up about war and makes people operate their lives based on fear.

Fear of the unknown is the reason that religion is possible. “What happens after we die?” is probably the most difficult question for humanity, and every religion answers in its own way.

I think that even very rational people are still swayed by these types of morality propaganda, siding with religion because they are hedging their bets. It’s better to believe and be wrong (nothing happens after death) than to not believe and be wrong (after death you go to hell). This is why I think I stuck around religion for so long, I’m sure I’m not the only one.

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6 Responses to “This is only a test”

  1. Theo Doersing said

    So if I want to be a Christian pickle, I have to have two forks stuck in my ass?

    The pickle analogy actually isn’t that far off. Most Christians seem bitter; likely from all the vinegar they are subjected to on a daily basis. They started out as cucumbers growing peacefully in the earth and then were torn from nature and stuck in a church, I mean jar, and became pickled, I mean saved for later.

  2. agnohumanist said

    Let me see if i got this right. Getting yourself taken over by religion is like getting electrocuted? ‘Cause that’s what it looked like to me. You are suspended in the air and someone sticks two sharp objects into you. Then he zaps you with electricity and your insides get burned up. Now you are a very bad-tasting pickle.
    It’s like those prescription drug ads that tell all the nasty side effects. As someone once said, “Is this an ad FOR this medication or AGAINST it?” So is the pickle demo FOR religion (as he says) or AGAINST it (as i see it)? Guess it depends on your point of view and how willing you are to accept some else’s interpretation of an event.
    This kind of thing happens all the time in religion. An event from the bible is described in a sermon or Sunday school lesson, and the preacher or teacher gives the orthodox interpretation, and most people accept it. Case in point: God hardens the Pharoah’s heart, then punishes his people because the Pharoah won’t let the Israelites go. One of the punishments is killing all the first-born children. How is it that people can listen to this story and construe it as a good act by god? Why don’t people recoil in horror when they hear this story? Simple. Someone in authority–the preacher–says it’s a good act, so the sheeple (love that term!) accept it. Preachers typically hold this up as an example of how loyal god is to his people, but any objective observer would call it a horrific and despicable crime.

  3. When he turns the light back on at the end and turns the electricity back on it starts steaming and cooking again and I couldn’t help but think that his lesson is?

    If you become a Christian you too can blow hot air out of both ends

    At the end he says, “now don’t try this at home it’s very dangerous and someone could get hurt”

    wait.. what? Is he talking about electrocuting a pickle or teaching Christianity?

  4. my favorite example from Sunday school was the one where the teacher makes a cookie tin roll up hill seemingly on its own (but then when you are older you realize it’s done with magnets). I don’t remember what the lesson was but I do remember being mad the teacher wouldn’t tell me how it was done.

  5. @agno

    Despicable and horrific? Hardly. God can do whatever he wants.

    You know… like when he says we have “free will” and then takes Pharoah’s away by hardening his heart.

  6. Andy said

    Damn – I just tried this same experiment in my apartment and it resulted in a small, but manageable pickle fire ! Just trying to conduct a religious test to prove the power of the pickle, and it goes all haywire.

    Now I’m feeling like a total failure. Why did it go so well for Grandpa John and not me ? What magical powers does Grandpa John posses that I do not ?

    Could Grandpa John be a wizard ???

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