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Desc:Penn and Teller flip-flop between slandering or praising Gandhi
Category:Religious, Humor
Tags:Penn and Teller, Gandhi, flip-flop
Submitted:Jimmy The Headless Frog Boy
Date:08/19/07
Views:20690
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Comment count is 20
sketchyjustin
No flip-flopping here. They made their point: Great guy who did a lot of good things, but a typically flawed human, not a saint.
Spit Spingola
Who argues that Ghandi was a saint though?

theSnake
I never knew this, I guess they leave it out of the history books.
baleen

Completely flawed history of Ghandi.
Penn & Teller should stick to what they do well, magic acts and delightful comedies about aliens.

You realize all this stuff happened before Ghandi transformed his life (and the world)? Ghandi is not perfect... He wrote Martin Buber saying that the key to defeating the Nazis was non-violent protest... I don't think he really understood what was happening. You can't simplify one of the most important figures in history like this, it's irresponsible. I know Penn & Teller worship at the altar of pre-Iraq War Christopher Hitchens but this is very far from good journalism.

Hey guys did you know Martin Luther King fucked lots of women and didn't allow gays into the civil rights movement for political arena? He was also a "reverend." Oh no!



Smellvin
Reverend =/= Mahatma. As they said in the show, mahatma is very similar to "saint."

The (very important) point that they were trying to make was that hero worship is ridiculous because everyone's just a normal, flawed person. Find the aspects of people that you admire and remember them for those things, but don't try to pretend that they were some sort of paragons of mankind.

baleen

I understand they were trying to get past the mahatma part, but to many people Gandhi WAS a saint. Hero worship is terrible, but at the same time, when a person can sacrifice themselves for the good of many, they are heroes, and without the instinctual rallying of people around a person or group of people who embody a movement, there often would be no movement to speak of.

Many people cannot deal with the position that Gandhi was in. What separates a hero from a leader is that they are able to embody the hopes of all the people who are following them without letting it corrupt them or without letting it break their spirit or burn them out. The list of peace activists who have attempted to do what Gandhi did but could not is painfully long. The argument of whether Gandhi is a mahatma or not (a term that I imagine most of the Penn & Teller demographic probably can make no claim to understanding) is pretty unimportant to me.

Besides, "arhat" or "arhant" is probably closer to the Christian concept of real supernatural saintliness. While mahatma was once used to refer to the supernatural long ago, its contemporary usage is associated with the casual way in which we refer to meritorious people as saints in general. A Mahatma is a more flexible term than P&T lead us to believe. You can call a a guy who won the Nobel Prize a mahatma. In casual dialog it's kind of like the Yiddish term "mensch." That's not to say there aren't some people who think Gandhi had magical powers, but most people probably use the contemporary use of mahatma when talking about him over there.




garcet71283
Gotta give this 5 stars. Ghandi was alot like MLK....he was a great man who did alot of good for the world but had some deep rooted personal problems like the rest of it. 5 stars should be for anything that shows the fundamental flaws that make us human beings.

I personally am sick and tired of these people being made into religious figures, they wouldn't have wanted it and we should abide by thier wishes. This happen to Buddha too btw. (he was Hindu, oh no!)
joyofdiscord
The Buddha was Hindu? That's like calling out Jesus for being a Jew.

dorje
2 stars for having an occasional fact.

If you actually read the Dhammapada (including the stories of the circumstances under which the verses were uttered) you would be severely disabused of these modern notions of Siddhartha Gautama being "just another person". Don't let Pema Chodron's occasional rhetoric, or the standard pseudo-zennist foppery fool you.

FeeFiFoFoTheFifeFifeBrown
"Don't let Pema Chodron's occasional rhetoric, or the standard pseudo-zennist foppery fool you."

Or, you know, the fact that there's no such thing as fucking magic. Watch out for that one especially.

FeeFiFoFoTheFifeFifeBrown
Also, I didn't mean to rate this clip five stars. It ain't that great.

Rodents of Unusual Size
Penn and Teller are just trying to be edgy at this point, and that is sad. Ever since they're little anti recycling shpiel, I've been wary of what they complain about.
Xenocide
Penn and his pet mute person should really pack it in already. Bullshit's concept allowed for maybe one season's worth of episodes. By now they're just grasping at straws, either desperately attempting shock value episodes like this one, or just doing eps where they uncover the minor flaws in something good and exaggerate them to fill 45 minutes. WAY TO GO GUYS, I HAD NO IDEA THAT EVERYTHING ON EARTH HAS SOME SORT OF IMPERFECTION.

Fuck Penn and Teller.
Frostilicus
Wow, Ghandi was not made of magic. TELL ME MORE, SMARMY LIBERTARIAN PONYTAIL
positively
Penn named his daughter Moxie Crimefighter Gillette.

Moxie Crimefighter Gillette.
IrishWhiskey
The idea for the show is good.

Unfortunately their smarmy spiel is itself usually "Bullshit" itself, and rather than try to get to the truth of a matter, they settle for one sided arguments, unreliable information, and whatever viewpoint sounds controversial without illuminating anything.

Oh and no one is perfect. But sometimes imperfect people come up with good ideas. Not exactly a revelation.
LetsFistAgain
Dont Mahatma just mean "Great Soul"?
phalsebob
All I've learned is that Gandhi was a pitcher, not a catcher.
TimbolinoBilchard
Randroids.
Caminante Nocturno
I remember when they did magic, back before they revealed themselves to be assholes.
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