The Definitive Meaning of Life. Period.

Panel Discussion

Posted November 27th, 2016

Now that you all have a few days of Thanksgiving leftovers digesting away away in your guts, maybe it’s time to reflect on “why” we are so thankful instead of just “what” we are so thankful about.   So tune in to Brothers Snyder and Hamer (Randy & Jimmy and John & Ben) and Sister Craw (Heather) and a few clips from our wannabe totem spirit beasts (The Pythons) for the end-all and be-all of Meaning of Life discussions.  Spoiler Alert: This one says it all.  The Definitive Meaning of Life.  Period.

Heather

John

Randy

  • Mensch

    Great episode. Sounds like Randy’s views on Mother Teresa have been heavily influence by Christopher Hitchens. 🙂 Thanks also for the Mr. Diety clip insertion. That was new to me. Found it online in case others are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzf8q9QHfhI

    • Randy_Snyder

      Yes indeed. But he lays out a convincing case with testimonies from nurses that worked in her famous/infamous Calcutta clinic and her core beliefs that drove her behavior:

      1. Abortion under any circumstances is punishable by eternal hellfire.

      2. Contraception of any kind is punishable by eternal hellfire.

      3. Suffering is the best path to communion w Jesus, so alleviating suffering is certainly not a priority in this life.

      4. Her affinity for despots.

      Since, thanks to the miracle of Kodak techmology, she became a legend and icon worldwide, she influenced heavily third world behavior which alone is horrifying in its scope of increasing suffering. But her behavior in her Calcutta clinic, where despite receiving tons of money from donations to her legend, is indefensible from a humanistic perspective. Not only was it substandard medical care, according to the appalled nurses that, in good faith, donated their skills and time to help people, she callously inhibited them to the point where it was basically willfully harmful “care”. All in the name of her zealotry to a strand of Catholicism.

      Now, if Hitch was wrong or unfair in his treatment of Mother Teresa, I’d love to be disabused of this notion. It’s not a popular position at dinner parties to say you think Mother Teresa was a destructive force in the world.

      • Thomas Moore

        I’ve been wondering about my own ethics, morals and humanity lately. Because we need to ask ourselves, “Should we be trying to save children in diseased or famine areas?” “Should we be applauding the Gates Foundation for sending malaria treatments to an area that is over populated?” “Isn’t this just nature fighting against the over population of man? and might this cause a potential vaccine resistant pandemic that could arise and kill even more humans?” Do I, as an atheist fight churches and foundations whose teachings and works are against natural plagues and starvation while creating a geriatric generation to live longer and longer. By us causing more humans to survive infant deaths and creating ways to make us live longer and longer and fighting nature on “survival of the fittest”. Aren’t we creating a world where “Logan’s Run” type world makes sense? Are we heading down the path of Soylent Green? Are we creating a natural and humanitarian crisis for future generations to handle by not doing Zero Population? Even if we could create better food production and water recycling and water purification, what will it do in the end to our energy usage and carbon footprints?

      • JackieP

        I think you went a bit overboard on this one, personally. Was she imperfect? Sure. Misguided? Sure. A ‘horrible, horrible human being’? Hardly.

        Just because we may disagree with her values, doesn’t mean she didn’t commit her entire life to living with the impoverished. It doesn’t mean she didn’t TRY to help them. She may have been misguided, but she was helping people in the way she truly believed was right, and gave up everything to do so.

        I think we middle-upper class white American liberals sometimes project our own values onto others and accuse them of being terrible, when in reality, they are just humans trying to do the best they can with the values they truly believe are right.

        I’m not saying you can’t judge her as harshly as you want, but, personally, I live a pretty comfortable first world existence. I may disagree with her values, but it’s hard for me to call her “horrible” when she sacrificed a lifetime of the comfort I enjoy to live with the poor and dying in a third world country. I tip my hat to her. I’ve never sacrificed that much, and I bet the majority of us haven’t.

        So count me out of the “Fuck you, Mother Teresa” camp lol. At least she tried.

        • Randy_Snyder

          Defend her affinity for despots then. At least she tried? Tried to what? Exactly what did she try to do that was useful to the world given the ridiculous amount of money thrown her way based on the myth she was helping the poor. She was actively facilitating the suffering of the poor. You cannot excuse the actions of the fanatic bc they truly believed and tried to do their best based on their belief system. For fuck’s sake I could use that same defense for the suicide bombers on 9/11. God bless them. So count me off the list of “Fuck the 9/11 suicide bombers. At least they tried.”

          • JackieP

            …You didn’t seriously just compare Mother Teresa to the 9/11 suicide bombers, did you..?

            Wow.

            I honestly think you need to take a step back and reevaluate your position here. I’m as exmo as they come, but I dread the day I swing as far to the other side as you seem to have, Randy. Not everything in life is as cut and dry as Mormonism made us believe it is. There are situations that involve nuance and moderation. I have a strict Mormon background too, so I know how hard it is to get out of the “all or nothing” mindset. I still slip into it now and again.

            For instance, when I heard that you let your child watch a character’s head get smashed to gory bits to the point of tears all for the sake of a “teaching moment”, my initial thought was “wow, what a terrible parenting choice”, but I realized I was slipping into my one-size-fits-all Mormon Brain.

            While I still prefer Heather’s choice to censor what her kids watch to your ‘watch almost anything’ approach, I wouldn’t dare compare you to the terrible, neglecting parents out in the world.

            I think you should work on breaking out of the all-or-nothing mindset of Mormonism and enjoy the moderation and nuance of the world.

  • Thomas Moore

    “Life,” said Marvin dolefully, “loathe it or ignore it, you can’t like it.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    “Sir,’ I said to the universe, ‘I exist.’ ‘That,’ said the universe, ‘creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    “God’s Final Message to His Creation:
    ‘We apologize for the inconvenience.”
    ― Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  • Orrin Dayne

    Randy nailed what I consider to be one of the worst evils perpetuated by the church: it encourages people to sacrifice the precious time they actually have to spend with their loved ones for the promise of an eternity with their loved ones, which the church won’t deliver. It’s tragic. To make a comparison similar to one recently mentioned on The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast, it’s worse than buying a lottery ticket because there is no chance in it paying off.