Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Atheist Version

So, what makes the Atheist version more compelling? Is it that the Atheist, who is well loathed in lore-americana, gets his one uppance for being so forthright? Or for muttering the words "oh god", instead of saying "oh shit", or "I'm, fucked".

Well, we all know that time cannot stand still, that a presumed sky god cannot actually talk to someone, that a bear has never spoken, lacks the physical ability in fact to do so, has never spoken let alone become christian. These things cannot happen and we all know that they cannot happen.

But they'd be funny if they did... at least to us, the on lookers, not to the Atheist.

So basically, it's saying that, true, all that, but fuck that Atheist anyway for pointing out the obvious. And Ha Ha. At least that's how I read it, and that's what possibly makes it funny.


Anonymous said...

Christians often post this joke with (it seems to me) the subtext "ha ha, stupid atheist who gets what he deserves, i.e. mauled to death by a bear. KILL THE HEATHEN SCUM!".

Whereas to me, the joke is really about the flimsiness of the bear's "conversion". The (now ex-)atheist asks God to make the bear a christian, thinking that the bear will then be kind and spare his life - but the punchline is that the christian bear is really no less vicious than before, only now he will justify it by thanking God. It's a neat joke about the hypocrisy of christian "compassion", an element which is missing from "the atheist version".

It also has the bonus of reflecting the attitudes of the christians who tell the joke without really thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that may have been a bit confusing, because what I called "the atheist version" was not the one you were calling "the athiest version". But I think you probably got that from the context anyway.

Somnolent Aphid said...

I totally get what you are saying. I've decided to compile some of these kinds of jokes where to punchline relates to something that cannot possibly happen, but happens to an atheist, which somehow makes it funny. This one, or a version of it, was run in the Hartford Courant this morning. What were they thinking?