Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Philosophy of Ambiguity

laugh2A friend sent me this and, since I really like wordplay, I cleaned it up a bit and now present it for your humorous consideration.

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE PHILOSOPHY OF AMBIGUITY, AS WELL AS THE IDIOSYNCRASIES OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE…

  1. DON’T SWEAT THE PETTY THINGS AND DON’T PET THE SWEATY THINGS
  2. ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA, FLOOR
  3. I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, “WHERE’S THE SELF- HELP SECTION?” SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE
  4. WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?
  5. IF A DEAF CHILD SIGNS SWEAR WORDS, DOES HIS MOTHER WASH HIS HANDS WITH SOAP?
  6. IF SOMEONE WITH MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES THREATENS TO KILL HIMSELF, IS IT CONSIDERED A HOSTAGE SITUATION?
  7. IS THERE ANOTHER WORD FOR SYNONYM?
  8. WHERE DO FOREST RANGERS GO TO “GET AWAY FROM IT ALL?”
  9. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEE AN ENDANGERED ANIMAL EATING AN ENDANGERED PLANT?
  10. IF A PARSLEY FARMER IS SUED, CAN THEY GARNISH HIS WAGES?
  11. WOULD A FLY WITHOUT WINGS BE CALLED A WALK?
  12. WHY DO THEY LOCK GAS STATION BATHROOMS? ARE THEY AFRAID SOMEONE WILL CLEAN THEM?
  13. IF A TURTLE DOESN’T HAVE A SHELL, IS HE HOMELESS OR NAKED?
  14. CAN VEGETARIANS EAT ANIMAL CRACKERS?
  15. IF THE POLICE ARREST A MIME, DO THEY TELL HIM HE HAS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT?
  16. WHY DO THEY PUT BRAILLE ON THE DRIVE-THROUGH BANK MACHINES?
  17. HOW DO THEY GET DEER TO CROSS THE ROAD ONLY AT THOSE YELLOW ROAD SIGNS?
  18. WHAT WAS THE BEST THING BEFORE SLICED BREAD?
  19. ONE NICE THING ABOUT EGOTISTS: THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE
  20. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR?.
  21. ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.
  22. IF ONE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER DROWNS, DO THE REST DROWN TOO?.
  23. IF YOU TRY TO FAIL, AND SUCCEED, WHICH HAVE YOU DONE?.
  24. WHOSE CRUEL IDEA WAS IT FOR THE WORD ‘LISP’ TO HAVE ‘S’ IN IT?.
  25. WHY IS IT CALLED TOURIST SEASON IF WE CAN’T SHOOT AT THEM?.
  26. WHY IS THERE AN EXPIRATION DATE ON SOUR CREAM?.
  27. CAN AN ATHEIST GET INSURANCE AGAINST ACTS OF GOD?
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Filed under English, Humor, wordplay, words

Ridicule is Ridiculous

RidiculeIt is one thing to reject and another to ridicule.  Rejection of an exposed belief system or opinion is expected.  Put an idea on the market place and it is only logical that there will be a mixture of acceptance and rejection by those who follow such markets.  But ridicule is quite another thing.  Ridicule takes rejection to the level of insult.

I am a messenger of the gospel of Christ.  It is my job, my passion to place the good news of reconciliation of Creator and created in the public square and let people have a chance to accept it or reject it.  I think that’s what Jesus did.  In the past, that included a bit of ridicule of those ideas I deemed to be worthy of it.  Upon reflection, however, I can’t recall a single time when ridicule accomplished anything but a cheer from those “on my side.”  I am persuaded that ridicule is not only counterproductive but downright ungodly (I Peter 3:15; Galatians 6:1; Philippians 4:5; 2 Timothy 2:25; Titus 3:2; Colossians 4:5-6; Ephesians 4:29).

These days I am out of the business of garnering cheers from anyone.  I just want to lovingly and respectfully tell it like it is (or seems to be at the moment) and let people take it or leave it.  If they leave it, we might, with mutual consent; move to discussion where persuasion might result in acceptance.  In the business of persuasion, ridicule accomplishes the exact opposite of what I am trying to achieve.

Ridicule is pejorative, not persuasive.  One who changes his opinion or belief system because of ridicule has shamefully succumbed to peer pressure.  That poor, cowardly sheep has been caught up in the groupthink of the sneering mob.  As someone named Philip Guedalla has observed: any stigma will do to beat a dogma.

These days, I want to walk away from a discussion with four goals accomplished.

  1. I want to do my best to persuade the other person of the truth of God, His Christ and His word.
  2. I want to achieve a better understanding of the other person’s point of view.
  3. I want to adjust my own position if I am wrong.
  4. I want to part as friends.

Ridicule results in no persuasion, no understanding, no personal growth and the end of friendship.

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Filed under Christlikeness, Discussion, Love, Missions/Evangelism, Persuasion, Preaching/Teaching, Religion, Respect, Ridicule