Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What the Frak?

To quote Wikipedia:
"Frak" is a fictional censored version of "fuck," "shit" or "damn" first used (with the spelling "frack") in the original Battlestar Galactica series. In the "re-imagined" version, and subsequently in Caprica, it appears with greater frequency and with the revised spelling "frak", as the producers wanted to make it a four-letter word.  In that framework it seems to function as a substitute for "fuck" in several different forms, as an interjection ("Frak!"), inquisitive idiom ("What the frak?"), verb ("You're not still frakking Dualla, are you?"), adjective ("Get your motherfrakking hands off me!"), adverb ("You frakking crazy idiot!"), a noun ("You miserable frak"), ("A good frak"), (to Starbuck "I guess a pity frak is out of the question") or in compound words ("What a clusterfrak"), ("Motherfrakker!"), or as almost every word in a sentence ("frak the frakking frakkers").
Some will find combining the Greek word for God with frak to be offensive, even blasphemous.  Others will take it to be tongue-in-cheek in the spirit intended.  We live in an age where religion is given a special status.  Making fun of religion is considered taboo by many people, even nonbelievers.

I agree with Sam Harris' idea of conversational intolerance.  Harris advocates a benign, noncoercive, corrective form of intolerance, distinguishing it from historic religious persecution. He promotes a conversational intolerance, in which personal convictions are scaled against evidence, and where intellectual honesty is demanded equally in religious views and non-religious views. He suggests that, just as a person declaring a belief that Elvis is still alive would immediately make his every statement suspect in the eyes of those he was conversing with, asserting a similarly non-evidentiary point on a religious doctrine ought to meet with similar disrespect.  He also believes there is a need to counter inhibitions that prevent the open critique of religious ideas, beliefs, and practices under the auspices of "tolerance."

Theofrak is a term of disrespect.  However, I see no reason to respect the myth of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god, i.e., the god of traditional religion.  It is a delusion shared by billions of people, but this fact does not make it any more true.

Should disrespecting nonsensical ideas be tolerated in our society?  Absolutely.  Aside from the deeply rooted ideals of free speech, I strongly believe in the concept of earned respect.  I find very little to respect in religious myths, particularly when they oppress people with feelings of guilt and shame, which I believe is the core of the Christian myth.

I want to emphasize that I do not hate believers of any kind.  To the contrary, I have great respect for many believers, including the members of my family, who remain devout Mormons.  If anyone mistakenly considers this blog to be "hate" speech, I refer you to my Blog Philosophy:  "If you can hate the sin but not the sinner, I can dislike the belief, but not the believer."  This blog is critical of beliefs, not people.  I may occasionally make fun of some believers as examples of extreme worldviews, but I absolutely support their right to believe anything they choose, as long as their beliefs do not include taking away the rights of other people.                 


  1. The title of your blog says it all. All is vanity, all is chasing after wind!

    The real tragedy for our species will be if existing religion and theology, skepticism and atheism have all so corrupted and discredited the very idea of God, that humanity is unable to re-imagine, discover and experience just how real and great this potential is.

  2. If you are talking about the potential within each of us to solve the problems of this world, I agree. If your God is the universe, I'm fine with that too. What I don't accept, however, is any kind of supernatural entity for which we have no empirical evidence or compelling argument.

  3. I hope you don't mind if I steal your blog philosophy quote for Facebook. I'll credit you.

    1. By all means, please use it. I modified it from another one that I read online. Originally, it talked about "hating" the beliefs of others. I don't "hate." I may dislike traditional religion, but I don't think it rises to the level of hate.

    2. If god exists he is a total dick