3 "symptoms" of atheism, as described by a Christian minister

Do you get worried or angry? Ever forget to tithe? One minister has bad news for you.

Painting by John Bridges via Wikimedia Commons
  • A recently published article claims to identify the symptoms of "low-level atheism."
  • Among these symptoms are worrying, cursing, and not tithing.
  • There is a solution to all of this though, not being an atheist. Sending in money is also involved.
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Handling hecklers: Lessons from a comedian

Here's a simple method for finding out whether those shouts are good-natured or not.

  • Not every audience member who speaks out during a comedy show is a heckler. But there's a way to test the waters without upsetting your audience, says comedian Paul F. Tompkins.
  • By engaging in a civil way with the person who spoke out, you either give them an opportunity to add more fun to the show, or they'll reveal their true colors.
  • If the person ends up being a heckler after you've attempted including them in the conversation, the audience will be on your side when you shut that person down.
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3 simple ways to help someone suffering from illness

How to actually help a person who's ill? Don't be afraid to be funny, says Jeannie Gaffigan.

  • When someone is critically ill, says comedy writer Jeannie Gaffigan, they need three very simple things from their friends and family: compassion, humor, and touch.
  • We are conditioned to enter hospital rooms meekly and speak in soft whispers, but when Gaffigan was in critical condition after emergency brain surgery, unable to speak, the most healing thing was her friend visiting her and making irreverent jokes, and her sister tuning into her unspoken feelings.
  • "I'm not saying dress up like a clown," she says. "You've got to be appropriate, but people think it's inappropriate to be funny around critically ill people. But people want to be talked to, be listened to, even if they can't talk."
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Joke theft: Is it really an issue in comedy?

There are several levels of comedy plagiarism, says Paul F. Tompkins.

  • Comedian Paul F. Tompkins explains the complexities of plagiarism in the comedy world; comedians all spend time together, processing the same current events—to some degree, it's natural that they may arrive at the same conclusions and jokes.
  • "There are certain things that human beings just are predisposed to laugh at and we're just kind of all putting our own spin on it," he says.
  • Some comedians may do it knowingly and others completely by accident, almost by osmosis. There are levels of plagiarism, and if you ask most comedians, says Tompkins, they will have had an innocent experience of realizing something they wrote was not truly theirs.
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#9: Depression is different for everyone. Here's what it's like for me. | Top 10 2019

The countdown continues! In this video, comedian Pete Holmes likens depression to quicksand and provides a method to help you cope and with it.

  • Big Think's #9 most popular video of 2019 illustrates that everyone's experience with depression is different, but for comedian Pete Holmes the key to living with depression has been to observe his own thoughts in an impartial way.
  • Holmes' method, taught to him by psychologist and spiritual leader Ram Dass, is to connect to his base consciousness and think about himself and his emotions in the third person.
  • You can't push depression away, but you can shift your mindset to help better cope with depression, anxiety, and negative emotions. If you feel depressed, you can connect with a crisis counselor anytime in the US.
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