Monday, August 13, 2007

Candy Mountain

I recently took a trip to Candy Mountain. Along the way I encountered a guy who is keen on Jesus, and has a Candy Mountain of his own. But together, we discovered an important life lesson, and eventually had a happy ending (minus one kidney).

First, we meet Charlie, his friends, and the mysterious Candy Mountain:



Next we have Joness105639, who is looking high and low for an appropriate Christian metaphor for this Candy Mountain cartoon, but is as yet unable to discover it:



And last but not least, we see my response to Joness105639, where we finally discover just how Candy Mountain applies to Christianity, and how Joness105639 couldn't figure it out:



The lesson is to not believe in Candy Mountains, nor Jesuses, nor afterlifes. You will lose a kidney, or worse!

11 comments:

Lily said...

I like that last word of wisdom: And, uh...look out for your kidneys. Indeed. :)

Paul C. Quillman said...

Aaron,
I instantly got that it was an atheist parable. I looked at the other video response to Charlie, and cringed. I read some of the text comments and nearly screamed!!! There is no sermon illustration here, unless you are an athiest sermonizing to other athiest. And I could be wrong, but I do not think that happens. Aaron, you will have to correct me on this if I am wrong.

The other video response was frustrating because the guy was dumbing down Christianity to moralism, which I believe is a false gospel.

Sorry for the rant. I just have a hard time with certain aspects of neo-evangelical wackyness. And, yes, I am an evangelical, as evangelicalism was viewed in the 1500's.

Paul

Aaron Kinney said...

Paul,

I agree with everything you said. I do not think that the video had any relevant pro-Christian message.

The guy meant well, and it was a girl at church who mentioned the cartoon to him in the first place, but clearly he wasnt using his brain to well on this one. No wonder he made a video asking for help.

Ive known many Christians who are much more intellectually "up to snuff" than that guy is, and wouldnt have done such a silly thing.

CANDY MOUNTAIN, CHARLIE!!!!!!! :D

wade419 said...

long time no post! Just a quick one today, though - then I can't check in for a week or so.

Consider the ideas put forth in Jeremiah 23, specifically verses 16-40 or so. You can also look up Ezekiel 13.

In these two passages, the idea is that God knows that there are many that will say and do things in His name, and yet the things that they do or the places that they lead people are not pleasing to God. False prophets, if you will. Even if people do not wholeheartedly jump into their message (as Charlie didn't like going along with his friends), God warns against following them, saying "if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds." (Jer 23:22)

Take special note of verses 17-19:

17 They keep saying to those who despise me,
'The LORD says: You will have peace.'
And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts
they say, 'No harm will come to you.'

18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD
to see or to hear his word?
Who has listened and heard his word?

19 See, the storm of the LORD
will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind swirling down
on the heads of the wicked.

God says that when someone is saying that God's word tells only of good, peaceful things, that person is missing a big part of the message. God doesn't speak only of happy candy mountains - He's got a darker, justice-oriented side to Him, too.

Hopefully, as the verses warn against, you can understand what He means through the verses. I would sure hate to be contorting His word here. :P

mr. bill said...

Just wondering what danger there is in believing something that answers the question of where everything came from satisfactorily. Sure God can't be proved by science but neither can His absence. It makes sense that an all powerful being could be the cause for all that is and if so, we have an obligation to Him.

There again, where is the "losing the kidney" part here? If Christianity is true, those who believe gain, those who don't lose; If it's a lie, we lose nothing more than we would have doing anything else. If there is no afterlife, we would cease to exist no matter what we believed or did in life.

If this life is all there is and you believe that, why would you waste the time to make a video
message confronting a Christian. Better yet, why spend time on anyone but yourself? I'd be all about myself and nothing more if I believed that! The rational mind would say "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die." You'd be a fool to not do the same if that's truly your belief.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hey Wade,

Nice to see you again!

Well I must admit that you managed to apply relevant Bible verses to the Candy Mountain story. Maybe you should reply to that youtube guy and help him out. Youre a much smarter Christian than he is!!! ;)

Aaron Kinney said...

mr. bill said,

Just wondering what danger there is in believing something that answers the question of where everything came from satisfactorily.


The danger is the bullshit dogma, like that found within the Abrahamic religions (especially Christianity) which claim to completely "answer the question of where everything came from satisfactorily."

Sure God can't be proved by science but neither can His absence.

Neither can the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

What Im saying, mr. bill, is that since God cant be proved, there isnt much to disprove in the first place.

It makes sense that an all powerful being could be the cause for all that is

He wouldnt be the cause for all that is because he couldnt cause himself.

and if so, we have an obligation to Him.

That is a non sequitor. It does not follow that a thing would be obligated toward its creator a priori.

There again, where is the "losing the kidney" part here? If Christianity is true, those who believe gain, those who don't lose; If it's a lie, we lose nothing more than we would have doing anything else.

If atheism is true, then Christians lose a lot more than they think. Assuming that atheism is true, then that means that this is the only life you have, and therefore your time is incredibly precious, and spending all that time for a fake religion is an enormous waste of your own life and time and resources. It would literally be retarding social progress and unjustly hurting many people.

If there is no afterlife, we would cease to exist no matter what we believed or did in life.

Exactly! And this fact would make your life in this world your number 1 priority. You only got one shot so dont blow it!

If this life is all there is and you believe that, why would you waste the time to make a video
message confronting a Christian.


You beg the question. If atheism is true, then making a video confronting a Christian is a worthy goal, and certainly not a waste of time.

Better yet, why spend time on anyone but yourself?

Why indeed.

I'd be all about myself and nothing more if I believed that!

But you already are, and you dont even realize it.

The rational mind would say "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die." You'd be a fool to not do the same if that's truly your belief.

Who said I didnt do this exact thing? I definitely eat, drink, and be merry, and quite often! Only a presumptuous fool who didnt know me would assume that Im not a merry person. :P

wade419 said...

thanks for the encouragement about my comment, Aaron! I just got back into town so I'll be replying to the guy on youtube as soon as i get a chance. I'm trying to steer my life in a new direction now, so I think that's made it a bit easier for God to stick ideas in my head. And, uh, a concordance helps, too. :P

gotta make one comment about your response to mr bill though. you said:

If atheism is true, then Christians lose a lot more than they think. Assuming that atheism is true, then that means that this is the only life you have, and therefore your time is incredibly precious, and spending all that time for a fake religion is an enormous waste of your own life and time and resources. It would literally be retarding social progress and unjustly hurting many people.

you make a good point that investing in christianity can be detrimental. If Christianity is not true, the detriment *is* more substantial than people think. But even if the main points (God, afterlife, etc) aren't true, I think you'll agree that the teachings of Jesus and the ideals of Christianity put forth in the Bible are enough to make anyone a morally better and much more likable person. Read through Proverbs (I am right now, actually) - there's some pretty telling stuff in there.

Aaron Kinney said...

Hey wade,

Even I will concede that there are a few good messages in the Bible. But that is an argument from effect, and even in that format I would contend that its got more bad than good.

But more importantly is the argument from principle. And it boils down to the a combination of occams razor (external argument), and the euthyphro dilemma (internal argument), more or less.

First, morality works without the assumption of divine decree from some higher being in another dimension. Its an unecessary complication.

Secondly, the moral structure that God creates for us contradicts the very logic he embedded in the universe and within the cause and effect chain. Logically we must ask the question "did god decree what good is? Or did god give us moral decrees because they are good?" Either way leads internally to logical peril.

Additionally, in terms of logical absurdity, we are guilty for actions we didntdo, yet we can be decreed unguilty for actions we have done.

So I would argue against teaching Bible stuff as some kind of moral lesson because of the rape of logic and principle that its arbitrary moral decrees commit, and that includes the effectively good moral decrees too.

breakerslion said...

19 See, the storm of the LORD
will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind swirling down
on the heads of the wicked.

More empty threats. "Accept no substitutes! Their bullshit is bullshit! Our bullshit has the Good Churchreaping seal of approval!" What else would you expect from a self-serving book of dogma?

The story of Charlie the Unicorn can be applied to any cult of worship. First, the evangelical unicorns insisted that he join them, and made a royal pain of themselves until he agreed. They wouldn't take no for an answer, and they would not go away. They even found a way to hurt Charlie until he agreed to go with them. Next, they take him to the Plesiosaur, or whatever that thing was, and identify it as "sacred". They allege to interpret what is meaningless noise to Charlie. Next comes the metaphor of the bridge. This can be interpreted in a number of ways. Leaving solid ground, crossing the gulf between reality and fantasy, an unsubstantial passage, etc. Charlie has definite problems with this part of the journey. Then comes candy mountain. Not nearly as impressive as one might imagine, and sold with a frenzy of advertizing hype. Once inside, Charlie is ruthlessly stripped of a kidney instead of receiving the promised reward. The kidney can also be interpreted as a metaphor for time, life, money, independent thought, or the ability to detect bullshit without self-doubt. All things that religion takes without ever having to pay out the promised rewards because, that happens after you're dead! Yeah right.

One more thing about the apologetic response. What kind of deity treats sentient beings as playthings, and pettishly breaks Its "toys" when they displease It?

Aaron Kinney said...

Well said, Beakerslion!