Humor is the best argument against religion

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Humor and satire are often the most persuasive form of communication when it comes to changing people's minds on religion and God. Humor does not necessarily use logic in a formal way, so may be considered an "argument" in a loose sense of the word. Because of the potential threat from humor, fundamentalists are sometimes sensitive to humorous commentary of their beliefs.

"God's only excuse is that he does not exist"

— Stendhal

"In fact, I'm gonna put it this way. If there is a God, may he strike this audience dead! See? Nothing happened. Nothing happened? Everybody's okay?"

George Carlin

"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."


"And when I saw my devil [God], I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity—through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!"

Friedrich Nietzsche

There is also a notable lack of humor produced by theists that show sacred concepts in a positive light. Much of humor circulated by religious outlets is tame, non-subversive or are puns. Religion is often an incidental aspect of the joke.

"A joke is funny because it exposes the silliness bound up in the act of being human. Self-deprecation makes for good comedy, but it’s akin to putting bullets in your opponent’s gun in a culture war. [...] The problem is that in our drive to embed Gospel tracks into our jokes, we violate the genre rules that make comedy funny. [1]"
"To me, for something to be funny it has to be on the edge. Whether that is the edge of decency, the edge of expectations or the edge of sanity; if it's right down the middle, it's not going to make someone laugh. I think Christians struggle with creating humorous art because too often we don't want to stray near the edges. [2]"

Perhaps the best pro-Christian joke is the guy waiting for rescue and turns down opportunities to be saved. [13]

Satire of Christianity[edit]

Jesus has an offer you can't refuse. (Referring to Salvation.)
  • George Carlin - legendary comic who often addressed religion. Religion is bullshit [14]
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian [15]
  • Eddie Izzard - such as his Cake or Death? [16], Religious history [17] routines.
  • Father Ted - comedy sitcom about three Catholic priests. Classic moment: Legitimate Mistake [18]
  • Jerry Springer: The Opera
  • South Park has a minor recurring Jesus character [19]
  • Emo Phillips, Golden Gate Bridge which addresses intolerance in religion. [20]
  • Saturday Night Live, Tebow meets Jesus

Eddie Izzard asked comedian Frank Skinner to use his Catholic beliefs as a subject for his comedy. Skinner declined because "people in the modern world are much more accepting of transvestism than any kind of religious belief". [3] However, the issue is not with religious acceptance in the modern world - after all we have openly religious presidents but we do not have openly transvestite presidents.

Christian views[edit]

"You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."

Pope Francis [4]

"There’s an anti-Christian bigotry that is just disgusting [...] And we think it’s okay.[5]"

Pat Robertson

Satire of Islam[edit]

Muhammad is sometimes satirized in cartoons, [6] which is contrary to a taboo that exists in many forms of Islam. This has lead to deadly riots and violent reprisals, such as the Charlie Hebdo and Jyllands-Posten Muhammad incidents.

Muslim views[edit]

The Qur'an recounts that Muhammad killed satirists and critics, which sets a bad example. [8] [9]

"O enemies of Islam beware! Every youth of this Ummah [Muslim community] is willing to sacrifice himself on the honour of (the) Prophet [10]"
"As it is clear that the cartoons are to be published again, Muslims will inevitably be hurt and angered, but our reaction must be a reflection of the teachings of the one we love & are angered for, [...] Enduring patience, tolerance, gentleness and mercy was the character of our beloved Prophet. [11]"
"Let us ignore the provocations and defamation and get about the work of being a source of good and mercy to all we may come into contact with [11]"
"In the Arab world, laughter is often viewed a tool to denigrate and humiliate. So when a people or leaders feel vulnerable, satire is not tolerated [12]"
"So satire is alive and kicking in Pakistan. But only satire that has the sense to limit itself to permissible targets is tolerated. [...] Religion, generally, is a no-go area. Pakistan has strict blasphemy laws. [13]"

See also[edit]


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