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South Park and Philosophy: Bigger, Longer, and More by Richard Hanley

By Richard Hanley

Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s long-running Comedy important hit caricature South Park has been both cheered and reviled for its edgy humor, poited satire of present occasions and celebrities, and all-around obnoxiousness. yet is there extra to Kyle, the lonely Jew, Timmy and the Crips, Cartman’s bitchiness, Chef’s beside the point recommendation, and Kenny’s endured violent deaths than meets the attention? This number of essays affirms that probability.

Individual chapters take a occasionally witty, frequently provocative examine “Is South Park a Libertarian Manifesto?", "That's So Gay!", and "Why Is Cartman Such an Asshole?”. The writers observe classical philosophical research to this two-dimensional dystopia, even if in Paul Draper’s “Why great things occur to undesirable humans — the matter of Evil in South Park” or Randall Auxier’s “Finding South Park at the Map: Officer Barbrady, Mayor McDaniel, and Chef in Plato’s Republic.” South Park and Philosophy provides new and considerate techniques to figuring out this unusually significant express.

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And I already think that doctrine is arbitrary at best. (If any- South Park and Philosophy 11/24/10 9:17 AM Page 27 Infidel Liberation 27 thing, the evidence is against this conception (see Chapter 1 of this volume). On the other hand, if someone wants to get an argument going for the existence of what Paul Tillich calls the “ultimate ground of being,” I’m intellectually interested in such arguments, but the outcome has no relevance at all to my purpose, purposes, or values. To explain the latter claim, suppose that you think that there just has to be something that’s at bottom responsible for the existence of everything else.

A belief is robust in an individual if it persists through a variety of conditions (roughly, it doesn’t matter when you examine that person, they’ll assert the same thing). The belief that JFK was a President is robust for me, but the belief that he was one of our greatest Presidents is not. And a belief is robust in a population if it pretty much doesn’t matter which member of the population you’re examining, you’re going to find they have it. I grant that religious beliefs tend to be robust in individuals.

What’s their story? Ummm . . Jesus died, and came back to life after three days. Moses parted the Red Sea. The Sun stood still in the sky. Then there was the Catholic catechism I had inflicted on me when I was a child. For instance, the blessed wine and wafer transubstantiate into the body and blood of Christ. Mary gave birth to Jesus without being inseminated by a man. Everyone since Adam and Eve, except Mary and her little boy, is born a sinner. On it goes. Then there’s the brand of Protestantism that gets called Evangelism: the Rapture is coming, when all the good guys get taken up, and all the rest of us have to live with the Antichrist for a millennium.

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