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Austin Cline

Intelligent Religion? Nothing Predates Christians?

By December 28, 2007

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Christians will insist that there is nothing about religion generally or their religion in particular which is anti-intellectual or irrational. In principle, such protests should be genuine and true — there is nothing about religion or even faith which should automatically make a person ignorant and irrational generally. In practice, though, this can too often be the case because some people place religious faith above all common sense, reason, and even intelligence.

Somehow, Greek philosopher Epicurus came up on the show The View recently:

While discussing whether Christians existed during the time of Greek philosopher Epicurus, the creationist comedienne said, Of course "[the Greeks] had Christians 'cause they threw them to the lions."

"I think [Epicurus] might predate this," Whoopi Goldberg offered, even though she failed to point out that feeding Christians to the lions was a Roman pastime.

"I don't think anything predated Christians," Sherri insisted.

Joy Behar tried to help the ditzy cohost by explaining that "The Greeks were first, then the Romans, then the Christians," but the 30 Rock actress wouldn't accept the logic. She continued, "Jesus came first before them, so…"

Source: Page Six

To be fair to Sherri Shepherd, it is a part of orthodox Christian theology that Jesus has "always" existed. All three parts of the Holy Trinity — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost — are equal and have existed for all eternity. In this sense, then, the Son (Jesus) did indeed come "first before" Greeks and Romans. I don't think that's what Shepherd had in mind, though. Her first statements were that "Christians" came before the Greeks and Epicurus, which is plainly false. Thus when she talks about Jesus coming "first before" Greeks and Romans, I think she's talking about the human incarnation of Jesus on Earth — and even in Christian theology, that's plainly false as well.

So we have good reason not to read her comments in the most generous manner possible; this conclusion is made all the more reasonable given the fact that Sherri Shepherd has made some pretty outrageously false comments before. Not only does she not accept the reality of evolution, she can't even claim to know for sure if the Earth is flat or round. This is something that grade school children should be able to get right, which forces us to ask what is wrong that she make such basic errors about science, history, reality, and even her own religion.

Comments
December 28, 2007 at 7:18 pm
(1) silkworm says:

The Romans never threw Christians to the lions. That is a myth. The earliest persecution of Christians was under Decius in 250 CE, and even then, Christians were not being singled out, but were part of a general religious persecution.

December 29, 2007 at 10:39 am
(2) Stephen says:

Ms. Shepherd is simply a nitwit.

December 29, 2007 at 2:14 pm
(3) tracieh says:

There is video of this same woman talking about how she can’t say the world is not flat–because she doesn’t know it’s not flat.

I have no explanation for her. I can’t blame religion, though. I have said in another list that she is the single stupidest person I’ve ever heard speak publicly who is not somehow mentally impaired. And I don’t mean that as a slight against mentally impaired people. I only mean that for someone with, presumably, normal faculties, who was legally required to attend school…I mean, even the most minimal education. OK–let’s say she had no education. How do you watch movies or TV and not grasp the world is not flat? You can pick up that much if all you do is sit on your butt and watch entertainment media–seriously.

We all are capable of saying stupid things–or not knowing something. She’s probably not the only U.S. citizen who doesn’t know Epicurus (or the Greeks) came before Jesus (although the Bible records the Xians interacting with Greek slaves–so you have to have some grasp, if you’ve just even read your Bible, that Greeks were there when Jesus came around–according to the story). But that clip where she refuses to state the world is not flat on the grounds that she doesn’t know…?

She defies reality to me. I can’t explain such an extreme level of ignorance for anyone who interacts with other humans regularly. And I finally gave up trying.

December 30, 2007 at 8:44 pm
(4) ChuckA says:

Stephen: “Ms. Shepherd is simply a nitwit.”
Yeah…
A WAAAY too highly paid…and WAAAY too well known one, at that!
I guess she never watched Carl Sagan’s, WAAAY too ‘hip’, “Cosmos” Series.
Then again…is she even capable of comprehending any Science?
[It's being re-run, by the way, on the Science Channel.]

And Tracieh?…Pardon a little scene:
[Ms. Shepherd (An appropriate name, or what?)]:
“Hmmm…let me see…Flat…or NOT flat?…
Now, how would Jesus answer that? Ask Satan? After all, according to the Bible; didn’t they (Romney’s Mor(m)on brothers’?) go way up high (where there’s no air to breath) and see the whole earth at a glance?
Ummm…
MUST be flat! D’uh!…
I mean…D’oh!” :shock:

December 30, 2007 at 8:50 pm
(5) Eric says:

I think that anti-intellectualism in religion is a perverse form of empowerment for some people. Uneducated people will naturally feel threatened by people with more knowledge. To help their self-esteem, it’s understandable that they would latch on to ideologies that devalue the intellectualism that they do not possess. I’ve heard more than a few evangelical sermons where the high-minded intellectual philosopher, professor, or scientist plays a villainous role or somehow gets some embarrassing commuppence.

January 1, 2008 at 3:44 pm
(6) Chopvac says:

Shepherd is the same intellectual midget who said “the Earth is flat”.

The christian cheezus “always existed”? Funny, the Freemasons say the same thing about their nonsense, but nobody takes them seriously.

The small mindedness of “always existing” is just a pretext for pretending that the prior religions, which christinanity borrowed from, were copies of christinanity, as if the cheezus myth were first.

January 4, 2008 at 10:16 pm
(7) George says:

Does “Oh you think you’re so smart” sound familiar? Schoolyard.

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

The quotation is attributed to Einstein and it’s my motto because, it actually proffers forgiveness, physical forgiveness (and sound thinking too). But if governments have to put up equal monuments soon I propose the Einstein quote o’er the whole land.

January 5, 2008 at 2:00 pm
(8) Reany says:

I have a sneaking suspicion that Ms. Shepherd was home-schooled and a D student. She proves the adage, “It’s better to be quiet and have people think you’re stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

April 16, 2009 at 9:27 am
(9) Patrick says:

Hinduism, Confucianism, Judaism, Druidism, and general Paganism are just a few examples of religions that predate christians.

Religions are all fake…Im sorry for those who devote their lives to it but if your going to believe in gods and people being reborn, parting seas, living in fish, walking on water….then you might as well Believe that the easter bunny hides eggs for kids, or that santa claus flys 2million + miles in one night delievering gifts to kids all over the world.

And if Humanity started from 2 people Adam and Eve…….Doesnt that mean that somewhere down the line there was some imbreading? acualy not SOME there must have been alot.

For all those who believe in mircales keep beleiveing because they dont exist. If they did little 12 year old kids would not be getting raped and killed…..100,000s of kids i 3rd world countries would not be dying of starvation and malnutrition. Kids would not be born with horrible defects and spend their lives in a hospital only to die at he age of 5 never leaving the hospital. 10 Year old kids would not be getting terminal deseases.

Take a look at what you put your “Blind Faith” into….cause thats what it is….Blind faith…..the bible is a bunch of stories and hear say. If you want to follow something with some hard facts……follow Mother Goose……its the same thing and least we know who wrote it

September 4, 2010 at 7:45 pm
(10) Pamela says:

Ms.Shepherd would appear to have been cast on The View, so as to replace Star Jones. Unfortunately, Ms.Shepherd fits the stereotype of the worst possible kind of Christian; stupid!
Which would be fine, if she wasn’t a mother and thus a nitwit role-model that insures, with her repeated insistence her ignorance is superior to education which makes her stupid as she is uneducated and clearly enjoys her deficit, and thus guarantees another generation of stupid just like herself, in her son.

She’s said to be a Comedian by trade. I think they’re just trying to pacify the obvious, by excusing her low IQ by saying it’s all just a joke.

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