1102: "Fastest-Growing"

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1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:03 am UTC

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Title Text: I lead a small but extraordinarily persuasive religion whose only members are door-to-door proselytizers from other faiths.

Combining religion and statistics is a recipe for forum Armageddon.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby eculc » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:10 am UTC

ooh, and I was so close too.
Um, this post feels devoid of content. Good luck?
For comparison, that means that if the cabbage guy from Avatar: The Last Airbender filled up his cart with lettuce instead, it would be about a quarter of a lethal dose.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby jpk » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:51 am UTC

Well, I suppose that now people will be more likely to understand what I mean when I translate "fastest-growing" as "smallest".

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:54 am UTC

In before giant religious debate.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:02 am UTC

Why is Rob being so agreeable? He's so OOC in this strip!
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby RAGBRAIvet » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:09 am UTC

Hey — you know the saying.  Figures don't lie!

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby ryzvonusef (1151717) » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:27 am UTC

At first I thought it was a dig at Islam, which has been attributed as the fastest growing religion in the world, the US etc, but then I realised this argument is usually used by Islamophobes, who use such statistics to claim that "Islam is taking over the country!" "Run for your lives, Sharia is here! BOOOO!"

But frankly, statistics have to be taken in context. This is just like that muslim babies are taking over Europe, whereas it has been proven that birth rates amongst muslim immigrants actually fall below the national average after the first generation boom.

It's either that, or its breaking news "Black Hat-ism has skyrocketed with a massive 100% increase! The Haberdashers are after us and trying to take over the country! NO TO BLACK HATS!" :lol:

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby jpk » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:35 am UTC

ryzvonusef (1151717) wrote:At first I thought it was a dig at Islam, which has been attributed as the fastest growing religion in the world, the US etc, but then I realised this argument is usually used by Islamophobes, who use such statistics to claim that "Islam is taking over the country!" "Run for your lives, Sharia is here! BOOOO!"

But frankly, statistics have to be taken in context. This is just like that muslim babies are taking over Europe, whereas it has been proven that birth rates amongst muslim immigrants actually fall below the national average after the first generation boom.

It's either that, or its breaking news "Black Hat-ism has skyrocketed with a massive 100% increase! The Haberdashers are after us and trying to take over the country! NO TO BLACK HATS!" :lol:



Or else it's just a dig at a common misuse of statistics. The smallest entity in its field will generally be the fastest-growing, unless it's actually shrinking - so when someone refers to the "fastest-growing X" you know they mean the least important, not the most important.
I don't see why it would be necessary to try to find a specific target for this comic, when this sort of idiocy appears in every section of your newspaper every day.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby ryzvonusef (1151717) » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:47 am UTC

jpk wrote:
ryzvonusef (1151717) wrote:At first I thought it was a dig at Islam, which has been attributed as the fastest growing religion in the world, the US etc, but then I realised this argument is usually used by Islamophobes, who use such statistics to claim that "Islam is taking over the country!" "Run for your lives, Sharia is here! BOOOO!"

But frankly, statistics have to be taken in context. This is just like that muslim babies are taking over Europe, whereas it has been proven that birth rates amongst muslim immigrants actually fall below the national average after the first generation boom.

It's either that, or its breaking news "Black Hat-ism has skyrocketed with a massive 100% increase! The Haberdashers are after us and trying to take over the country! NO TO BLACK HATS!" :lol:



Or else it's just a dig at a common misuse of statistics. The smallest entity in its field will generally be the fastest-growing, unless it's actually shrinking - so when someone refers to the "fastest-growing X" you know they mean the least important, not the most important.
I don't see why it would be necessary to try to find a specific target for this comic, when this sort of idiocy appears in every section of your newspaper every day.

If you would read my reply in detail, that's *exactly* what I am trying to say! I absolutely agree with you, I was merely presenting one of the many *idiocy* available in the papers as an example (which is on topic, btw, since the religious example is present in the actual comic itself)

Just because Islam numbers might be increasing does not mean Islam is taking over America, and just because muslims baby names are increasing does not mean Eurabia is happening.

Skyrocketing increase in one != Horrible decrease in the other.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Max™ » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:49 am UTC

In general growth rates are something which intuition fails at, and which at least US education does little to impart a proper understanding of.
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Dr. Diaphanous » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:40 am UTC

The army is now only recruiting babies, as they are the fastest-growing humans in the country.
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby brandbarth » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:24 am UTC

The smallest entity in its field will generally be the fastest-growing


Thanks. Just founded my own religion. The fastest growth rate is not 1->2 members, but 0->1 member. :roll:

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby stuporglue » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:41 am UTC

Could be a reference in part to a recent article on ABC news and Mormons.

The Mormon faith is a creation of America. Born out of upstate New York, the church now claims to be the fastest-growing on the planet.
(source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/mormons-/story?id=17057679#.UEB3G5ZTC2w)

While some individual Mormons may claim that, it's not something the Mormon Church itself claims:
Additionally, when Harris discusses the rapid growth of the Church, he misleadingly states that the Church claims it is the fastest growing Church in the world and puts “a lot of money and manpower into making that happen.” This statement is false. While it is true that we are growing, the Church does not claim to be the fastest growing religion (though others sometimes do).
(source: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormonism-news--getting-it-right-august-29)

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Fenhl » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:49 am UTC

brandbarth wrote:Just founded my own religion. The fastest growth rate is not 1->2 members, but 0->1 member. :roll:


So that's a growth rate of ERROR DIVISION BY ZERO

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Felis cattus diabolicus » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:14 am UTC

brandbarth wrote:Thanks. Just founded my own religion. The fastest growth rate is not 1->2 members, but 0->1 member. :roll:

Growth of ∞%.

Yelp, you stole my idea.
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Thibaw » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:52 am UTC

This is my religion (it is downwards compatible with all other religions):

God exists, but he wishes to be ignored and negated. And he is completely different from all deities pictured by all other religions on this planet. There are several ways to please god. The easiert is to be an atheist. You just deny that a god exists - god is pleased. But also all the believers in "other" gods are followers of my god. And beeing unaware of the meta-level makes them even more powerful believers. At the moment I am mankinds only bad guy because I believe in this god that does not wish to be believed in.

The consequences are as follows: Everyone, except me, goes to heaven, because everyone is acting according to gods will. If you read this and want to share my beliefs, well bad for you. If you decide this is bullshit and you will stick with your old beliefs: Well probably good for you. The most pius way would be to believe me and then consciously turn away from that in order to comply. Maybe I will also abandon my faith eventually.

*edit*
I forgot one Addendum: My god hates the domestic pidgeon. These "rats with wings" are a pest and they remind him that even deities make mistakes. So he is very pleased if you kill them. And you might have to explain yourself on judgement day for feeding them.
*edit*

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby pkcommando » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:15 am UTC

This reminds of ads claiming a show is: "TV's #1 New {insert genre}."

'Of all the news shows in this genre, we're the highest rated!'
'How many viewers?'
'Is that reall-'
'How many?'
'Well, 100,000... but all the other new shows in this genre got worse and have already been cancelled months ago.'
'.....'
'We're getting cancelled next week. But until then we're NUMBER ONE!!!! WOOOOO!'

Or this Family Guy exchange:
Chris: I think it's the highest rated show on Cartoon Network, and the Star Wars episode doubled that audience.
Peter: Well, yeah, but double ten people is, like, twenty people, so, I mean, what kind of numbers are we talking about here, you know?

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:23 am UTC

Just because just because something happening doesn't mean something else is happening doesn't mean it isn't happening. :wink:
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:
Combining religion and statistics is a recipe for forum Armageddon.


Oooh, where's the "+1" button when I need it?
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Sarcasm The Elf » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

Quicksilver wrote:In before giant religious debate.



Yay, first post!

I love that this forum would drift an incendiary religious debate into a discussion on how to lie with statistics.

I feel like I've come home.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Belgand » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

Pshaw... who would be interested in some lame, trendy new faith. I've been really into Mandaeism since, like, forever. It's pretty small though, you probably haven't heard of it. The early stuff was really better, back before Mani went solo and totally sold out with that popular crap. The only problem is that because of the war and the increased exposure it seems like everybody is jumping on the bandwagon and claiming to be an adherent. Fucking poseurs.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Adam H » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:34 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Just because just because something happening doesn't mean something else is happening doesn't mean it isn't happening. :wink:

^This.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby dp2 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:26 pm UTC

jpk wrote:
ryzvonusef (1151717) wrote:At first I thought it was a dig at Islam, which has been attributed as the fastest growing religion in the world, the US etc, but then I realised this argument is usually used by Islamophobes, who use such statistics to claim that "Islam is taking over the country!" "Run for your lives, Sharia is here! BOOOO!"

But frankly, statistics have to be taken in context. This is just like that muslim babies are taking over Europe, whereas it has been proven that birth rates amongst muslim immigrants actually fall below the national average after the first generation boom.

It's either that, or its breaking news "Black Hat-ism has skyrocketed with a massive 100% increase! The Haberdashers are after us and trying to take over the country! NO TO BLACK HATS!" :lol:



Or else it's just a dig at a common misuse of statistics. The smallest entity in its field will generally be the fastest-growing, unless it's actually shrinking - so when someone refers to the "fastest-growing X" you know they mean the least important, not the most important.
I don't see why it would be necessary to try to find a specific target for this comic, when this sort of idiocy appears in every section of your newspaper every day.

Yes, it's the knee-jerk reaction to think that when religion is mentioned, it's automatically fightin' words. The comic has nothing to do with religion -- it's a stats joke. Replace "religion" with "business" or "choir" or "Carly Rae Jepsen fan club" and the joke doesn't change. Religion just makes more sense for the setup.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby meat.paste » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:34 pm UTC

I do love BHG. The most recent group I've heard claiming "fastest growing religion" was the Church of Latter Day Saints. There are now as many Mormons in the US as Jews!
Huh? What?

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Moose Anus » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:43 pm UTC

Why does the missionary have hitler hair?
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Retsam » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:13 pm UTC

Though the objection against "fastest growing" is only valid if it's posed as a percentage. If my group goes from 10,000 -> 11,000 ->12,000 over the course of two years, and yours goes from 2 -> 4 -> 8, it's quite valid, in my opinion, to say that my group is faster growing. Yes, yours has a 100% growth rate and mine only has a 10%, but this just reinforces my long held belief that percentages are often baloney.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Klear » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:36 pm UTC

With one or two people, that's hardly a sect, much less a religion.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Jebobek » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:37 pm UTC

Moose Anus wrote:Why does the missionary have hitler hair?


Randall probably wanted to make the person appear a bit "off" or a bit "aged", so he went with a thinning hair/combover look. Not surprising, as the foolish are represented as balding quite often in pop culture. (example: snickers bald commercial.)
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby ahammel » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:38 pm UTC

Klear wrote:With one or two people, that's hardly a sect, much less a religion.
I didn't realize that there's a minimum membership requirement for religions.
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby HonoreDB » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:39 pm UTC

So, what's the proper way to judge the fastest growing religion? I agree it has to be in absolute, not percentage terms. But it doesn't seem right to count children born into a religion as new members--having lots of kids isn't nearly as bullish a sign as having lots of converts.

Once I was wearing my "Mind the Gap" t-shirt and someone came up to me and said "Are you UU?" after the initial vast confusion was worked through, it developed that she was Unitarian Universalist, and they are (or were) concerned about a demographic gap: people tend to convert away from Unitarianism when they leave home, but this is somewhat made up for by new, older converts. So they end up with a gap in the 18-30 year-old range, which the rare Unitarian 20-year-old tends to mind.

I'd say if your faith survives college, you're probably stuck with it. So I'd measure a religion's annual growth rate as its number of new converts per year, plus the number of 23-year-olds it has who inherited the religion.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby XTCamus » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:16 pm UTC

Thibaw wrote:This is my religion (it is downwards compatible with all other religions):

God exists, but he wishes to be ignored and negated. And he is completely different from all deities pictured by all other religions on this planet. There are several ways to please god. The easiest is to be an atheist. You just deny that a god exists - god is pleased. But also all the believers in "other" gods are followers of my god. And beeing unaware of the meta-level makes them even more powerful believers. At the moment I am mankinds only bad guy because I believe in this god that does not wish to be believed in.

The consequences are as follows: Everyone, except me, goes to heaven, because everyone is acting according to gods will. If you read this and want to share my beliefs, well bad for you. If you decide this is bullshit and you will stick with your old beliefs: Well probably good for you. The most pius way would be to believe me and then consciously turn away from that in order to comply. Maybe I will also abandon my faith eventually.

*edit*
I forgot one Addendum: My god hates the domestic pidgeon. These "rats with wings" are a pest and they remind him that even deities make mistakes. So he is very pleased if you kill them. And you might have to explain yourself on judgement day for feeding them.
*edit*

I love it! I even see a decent moral argument for why a god may not want to be believed in, so that people will have to figure things out for themselves and not manipulate others pretending to know what god wants. On the other hand, your added claim about pidgeons shows how quickly a promising new religion often regresses to the same pretensions.

I don't know yet if I can believe in this god or not. Out of curiousity, what happens to someone entirely agnostic about his existence?

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:17 pm UTC

Thibaw wrote:This is my religion (it is downwards compatible with all other religions):

God exists, but he wishes to be ignored and negated. And he is completely different from all deities pictured by all other religions on this planet. There are several ways to please god. The easiert is to be an atheist. You just deny that a god exists - god is pleased. But also all the believers in "other" gods are followers of my god. And beeing unaware of the meta-level makes them even more powerful believers. At the moment I am mankinds only bad guy because I believe in this god that does not wish to be believed in.

The consequences are as follows: Everyone, except me, goes to heaven, because everyone is acting according to gods will. If you read this and want to share my beliefs, well bad for you. If you decide this is bullshit and you will stick with your old beliefs: Well probably good for you. The most pius way would be to believe me and then consciously turn away from that in order to comply. Maybe I will also abandon my faith eventually.

*edit*
I forgot one Addendum: My god hates the domestic pidgeon. These "rats with wings" are a pest and they remind him that even deities make mistakes. So he is very pleased if you kill them. And you might have to explain yourself on judgement day for feeding them.
*edit*

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby brandbarth » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:24 pm UTC

So, what's the proper way to judge the fastest growing religion?


Just don't. :roll:

The underlying message inside the "fastest growing religion" thing may be: new religion -> more people believe in -> must be the truth! Why else would you say that?

Religion can't be counted by numbers.

I'd say if your faith survives college, you're probably stuck with it.


There is no such thing like a "strenght-o-meter" for belief. Do. Or do not. There is no try. :roll:

Edit: thou shalt not fullquote! :twisted:

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby pkcommando » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:35 pm UTC

Thibaw wrote:This is my religion (it is downwards compatible with all other religions):

God exists, but he wishes to be ignored and negated. And he is completely different from all deities pictured by all other religions on this planet. There are several ways to please god. The easiert is to be an atheist. You just deny that a god exists - god is pleased. But also all the believers in "other" gods are followers of my god. And beeing unaware of the meta-level makes them even more powerful believers. At the moment I am mankinds only bad guy because I believe in this god that does not wish to be believed in.

The consequences are as follows: Everyone, except me, goes to heaven, because everyone is acting according to gods will. If you read this and want to share my beliefs, well bad for you. If you decide this is bullshit and you will stick with your old beliefs: Well probably good for you. The most pius way would be to believe me and then consciously turn away from that in order to comply. Maybe I will also abandon my faith eventually.

*edit*
I forgot one Addendum: My god hates the domestic pidgeon. These "rats with wings" are a pest and they remind him that even deities make mistakes. So he is very pleased if you kill them. And you might have to explain yourself on judgement day for feeding them.
*edit*

I think that makes TWO reasons you're mankind's only bad guy. How dare you tempt me in such a way to join a religion that is blatantly stated as dooming me the moment I start following it.

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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby The Scyphozoa » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:49 pm UTC

brandbarth wrote:There is no such thing like a "strenght-o-meter" for belief. Do. Or do not. There is no try. :roll:

Yes there is. It's measured in mountains that your belief could move. Most humans' beliefs barely get any higher than 30 centi-alps.
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:
brandbarth wrote:There is no such thing like a "strenght-o-meter" for belief. Do. Or do not. There is no try. :roll:

Yes there is. It's measured in mountains that your belief could move. Most humans' beliefs barely get any higher than 30 centi-alps.

I'm pretty sure I once shook a dirt mound with my belief in TMNT. Can I has a religion nao?
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby W_A » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:
brandbarth wrote:There is no such thing like a "strenght-o-meter" for belief. Do. Or do not. There is no try. :roll:

Yes there is. It's measured in mountains that your belief could move. Most humans' beliefs barely get any higher than 30 centi-alps.


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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:54 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:Yes, it's the knee-jerk reaction to think that when religion is mentioned, it's automatically fightin' words. The comic has nothing to do with religion -- it's a stats joke. Replace "religion" with "business" or "choir" or "Carly Rae Jepsen fan club" and the joke doesn't change. Religion just makes more sense for the setup.

"Fastest growing Carly Rae Jepsen fan club" might have a distinctly sketchier connotation, actually...

I hate that I made that joke, but DAMN Carly Rae Jepsen. What a singer.
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Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Thibaw » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:32 pm UTC

XTCamus wrote:
Thibaw wrote:This is my religion (it is downwards compatible with all other religions):

[...]


I love it! I even see a decent moral argument for why a god may not want to be believed in, so that people will have to figure things out for themselves and not manipulate others pretending to know what god wants. On the other hand, your added claim about pidgeons shows how quickly a promising new religion often regresses to the same pretensions.

I don't know yet if I can believe in this god or not. Out of curiousity, what happens to someone entirely agnostic about his existence?


Thank you. And the agnostic are also on the right track. They might not negate but they almost certainly ignore.

The thing with the pidgeons, well, I am gods only prophet and as a prophet there is also the danger of getting all confused and taking my own will for gods will. Maybe I live in a city and pidgeons constantly defecate on my small balcony. And maybe that vision of god regarding pidgeons came upon my while cleaning the balcony or waking up to their "coo" at 4 a.m. I am really not certain. So just stick with the rest of the teaching and you might be fine.

Radical_Initiator wrote:What happens if I sternly reject that you exist?


Does not matter at all. You will probably kill me if I use a pedestrian crossing and meet you, in a car, at just the right moment.

pkcommando wrote:I think that makes TWO reasons you're mankind's only bad guy. How dare you tempt me in such a way to join a religion that is blatantly stated as dooming me the moment I start following it.


Well, that is how I roll. And at least you know what is coming for you. If you go with any other belief, you will always be uncertain.

If all three of you decide to believe in my god, you will no longer be acting along gods will. So you wont be real members of the religion anymore, since only false believers are doing it right. And then my religion should be the SLOWEST SHRINKING RELIGION! Ha! Beat that!

Darn, I have to edit it a third time: If someone comes up with a good name for my religion feel free to make a post. 'He' didnt tell me one yet and I dont think he will in the future.
Last edited by Thibaw on Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:43 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Radical_Initiator
Just Cool Enough for School
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

Re: 1102: "Fastest-Growing"

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:41 pm UTC

Thibaw wrote:If all three of you decide to believe in my god, you will no longer be acting along gods will. So you wont be real members of the religion anymore, since only false believers are doing it right. And then my religion should be the SLOWEST SHRINKING RELIGION! Ha! Beat that!


I personally refuse to believe that your god has a detectable outcome of existence. He is clearly Schrodinger's Deity. I therefore request (and reject the notion of requesting, at the same time) a special place in Maybe-Purgatory.
I looked out across the river today …


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