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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Atheistic Media

This clip is from the movie, "The Adventures of Mark Twain." Mark Twain, as you will recall, ridiculed Christianity in many of his works. The writers based this movie on Twain's characters, stories, and philosophy.

Here is a scene that helped me to become an atheist:


  1. I saw this clip a few months ago, and downloaded the show to watch. I watched it as a youth, but haven't managed to throw it back on the TV yet. Need to do that.

  2. You base your belief (non-belief)/atheism on a claymation movie? A 'bad' claymation movie at that?

    That's all??? proported to be based on Mark Twain or not - that's all!?!?!?!

    Such an intelligent argument.

    And you ridicule Christians on their beliefs?

    I'm sorry... it's just sadly ironic.

  3. "A 'bad' claymation movie at that?"

    It's by the "California Raisins" guy. Come on, it's great. Did you watch it?

  4. LAOF, she said it was a scene which helped, not The Scene which made her an atheist.

    Did you watch the scene? Really puts a perspective on the idea of creation.

    Anyway, reading the source material right now.

  5. Yes, I watched it. 'A Claymation Christmas' is one of my favorite (especially the 'Bells' skit).

    The 'artist's name is Will Vinton. The guy had to be dedicated to turn that and others out. Too bad CGI seems to have replaced the 'art'.

    I've watched the video, quite a few times. It's quite freaky from a kid's point of view. The fact that they take such 'artistic license' with Twain (Clemens) is beyond my tastes.

    I considered 'outing' you on this on AC. I thought better of it. I don't mean to ridicule, just point out what seems to be a GLARING irony.

    Hey, if you don't mind - I'll pray for you today, Kaitlyn.

  6. "You base your belief (non-belief)/atheism on a claymation movie...

    That's all???"

    No. I never said that. It helped me to become an atheist. It's hardly the sole reason.

    Read what Satan says at the end of the clip: "Life itself is only a vision - a dream. Nothing exists but empty space and you. And you are but a thought."

  7. theshaggy -

    I understood what she 'said'. I'm simply making my own observation and comments on what she said.

    As far as the source - I appreciate that you gave me the link again, I'd seen this before but didn't bookmark it.

    The 'note' is quite interesting as well - I hope everyone reads that and takes it to heart also.....

  8. theShaggy is right.

    Beyond the philosophical implications, the clip demonstrates the absurdity and tyranny of a "creator."

    In the Bible, man is created from clay, and so too are the people in this clip. However, their creator paradoxically is their judge and executioner with no remorse.

    The power to destroy and cause suffering lies in the hand of the tyrannical Satan. So too must God be if He were the creator.

    We cannot be creations, but formations.

  9. Kaitlyn -

    To clarify - I didn't mean to assume that you based your ENTIRE non-belief/atheism on that clip. I was hoping you weren't that naive.

    But to claim it as one of the things that 'helped' you become an atheist.

    Again, I watched the clip. Please, remember - this is from the mind of a writer, unless you consider the claymation 'satan' a prophet of yours?

    I mean, if that's all it takes to 'help' someone's belief, perhaps I'll suggest some other animated features to watch.

    No offence, just saying... it's ironic.

  10. "I mean, if that's all it takes to 'help' someone's belief, perhaps I'll suggest some other animated features to watch."

    How can thoughts and beliefs be communicated without a medium, be it the written word, a friendly letter, or a claymation movie?

    My inspiration stems from the seeds of many trees.

  11. "No offence, just saying... it's ironic."

    Not really. After all, Kaitlyn is seeing the message that the piece gets across. It's from the mind of a man who wrote it, certainly. The twist (or lack thereof) is that Kaitlyn isn't claiming it to be divine, merely an idea.

    Is this why a lot of Christians claim that Dawkins is "an atheist's propet?" Just because people like the things someone says doesn't mean they accept him as particularly magical, but it seems (please correct me as I am generalizing) that anything influential must be divinely inspired for a Christian to accept its validity.

  12. LAOF:

    Define artistic license?

  13. rufus -

    I don't mean there was necessarily any 'distortion' of the material (as some definitions of 'artistic license' may infer).

    I just mean that with this piece (as with a lot), it is at the discretion of the artist, and is "intended to be tolerated by the viewer"

    I will re-read the source and post any revisions to my comments.

  14. "theShaggy is right."

    theShaggy agrees with your point of view (or vice-versa).

    We have yet to see if that point of view is correct.

  15. "it is at the discretion of the artist, and is "intended to be tolerated by the viewer""

    Isn't that the definition of all art... including the Bible?

  16. Also - I didn't say anything about Kaitlyn claiming her 'inspiration' to be 'divine'.

    As far as the Dawkins statement - I don't remember saying that. If I did, please provide the source and I'll admit my error.

  17. "We have yet to see if that point of view is correct."

    No, this clip clearly says something about creation.

  18. "Isn't that the definition of all art... including the Bible?"

    If you consider the Bible art, yes.

    I did not imply that your 'belief' is wrong. I stated that it was ironic in comparison to the statements made by others (perhaps yourself, I'd have to research that though).

  19. ' "We have yet to see if that point of view is correct."

    No, this clip clearly says something about creation.'


    ...the connection is....?

  20. "...the connection is..." it "Really puts a perspective on the idea of creation."

  21. LAOF - I must have missed the irony you see, then. I took it to mean "you base your belief on a bit of satire, but you ridicule Christians for their belief in the Bible." The implication that I got was that somehow they are comparable, and I was arguing that they aren't.

    You didn't say anything about Dawkins, I was extending what I thought you were saying to include something that I hear a lot and trying to put a reason to it. It may have come across wrong.

    Anyway, I'm reading this story while at work so it's slow, but it seems pretty similar (though Satan is less frightening and more disturbing in the story).

  22. oh, sorry. Yes, it puts 'a' perspective on creation.

    Sorry, lost the subject of the agreement. My bad.

  23. theShaggy -

    The irony I meant to imply was that kaitlyn bases her belief (or unbelief) partially on a bit of fiction.(which cannot be defined as the entire work of Twain/Clemens, if that note at 'the source' is accurate).

    Some atheists (perhaps including kaitlyn, although I'll have to go digging for sources) have criticized believers as basing their belief (or parts thereof) on writings that they (atheists) claim is errant, inacurate and/or fiction.

    pot, kettle - that whole mess o' fish.

  24. I fully agree that Mark Twain is both errant and his writings are fictional.

    However, there is value... perhaps greater value in fiction than its counterpart. :)

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. That was what I was arguing.

    Kaitlyn isn't claiming inerrancy in the work, and neither do I. She's saying that the ideas present resonated with her. Nothing more. To say that this is somehow comparable to basing your belief on something you view as inerrant, true, and (most importantly) divinely inspired shows a misunderstanding of the point.

    And that's why I asked why so many Christians claim Dawkins as an "atheist prophet" or a "high priest," as if somehow a particular author or work cannot be influential unless held to some inerrant and divine level. I didn't mean to imply that you said all of that, only that it seems to explain it to me.

    (Edited to remove a small phrase I didn't like)

  27. kaitlyn -

    "However, there is value... perhaps greater value in fiction than its counterpart. :)"

    So, to clarify your position - do you consider the bible to be fiction - either entirely or in part?

    If so, have you ever questioned a 'believers' basis of the bible as there 'persuader' in their faith?

    I ask because I'm, essentially, lazy today. I don't want to wade through months of AC to see what you may or may not have said.

    I'll promise to quit after your reply or statement(for this thread), with no retort or criticism.

  28. Also, concerning the note at the eBook, the Wikipedia (dubious reliability notwithstanding, it's not as bad as everyone fears) says this:

    "Twain actually wrote multiple versions of this story, each unfinished and each involving the character of "Satan". The first substantial version is commonly referred to as The Chronicle of Young Satan and tells of the adventures of Satan, the sinless nephew of the biblical Satan, in an Austrian village in the Middle Ages. The story ends abruptly in the middle of a scene involving Satan entertaining a prince in India, suggesting Twain abandoned this piece before he finished writing it."

    (Emphasis Mine)

  29. theshaggy -

    So, how do you interpret that? I'm unsure how to interpret it or what you may mean by it. (what they may mean by it).

  30. "So, to clarify your position - do you consider the bible to be fiction - either entirely or in part?"

    I guess so...

    "If so, have you ever questioned a 'believers' basis of the bible as there 'persuader' in their faith?"

    No. I take most people at their word.

  31. LOAF,

    Not interpreting, just sharing for the benefit of you and I and anyone else involved. There was that note on the eBook, and documentation saying that Twain wrote up to that point. I haven't finished the story yet, but most of what appeared in that clip was in what I read (although visually scare-ified).

    Anyway, I wasn't making an argument with the quote there, just providing information. :-)

  32. theshaggy -

    Thanks for that. Despite perhaps the perceived content of my character, I, also, wasn't intending to make an argument. I guess I was just confused by the statement, wondered how someone else (you) understood it.

    I also find it quite interesting that Twain SEEMS to have abandoned it outright... yet someone found it, somewhere... and it remained unfinished until his death approx. 12 years later.

    Not a published writer, myself, so I'm not sure if a lot of writers do that or not.

    Thanks for the food for thought.

  33. Well, apparently it was one of the stories that his wife (and de facto editor) rejected for whatever reason, so it could explain why he stopped. Also, the same character popped up in multiple versions of the story, which the editor compiled and put together.

    Maybe it was like Douglas Adams' posthumous collection "Salmon of Doubt," which had an unfinished book at the end. Adams had written three or four versions of it and kept stopping, never really happy with it. At the end, they took the best bits of them all hat fit together best and published it.

    (Also, I can see how my posting could be seen as part of an argument. Sorry about that. For the record, LAOF, I've enjoyed this discussion greatly)


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