Monday, January 03, 2011

I Am Incredulous of Their Credulity

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

George Bernard Shaw

Crazy 'Mericans; spelling sceptic with a 'K'. Spelling 'blog' with a 'K' however...

How many of you have read Facebook personal statuses describing a scientific fact or a coincidental piece of private good fortune which was immediately followed by the phrase; 'God is great/amazing'? A show of hands, if you please.

Did they look something like this?

Goldilock's Zone
Do they also annoy the fuck out of you?

I'm that guy who gets the urge to say something every time I see something like this. I'm that guy who pays attention to everything I hear in every conversation and then quietly went off on my own to see if everything I just heard is accurate and aboveboard. Once, a colleague told me that Lady Gaga admitted that she's a hermaphrodite in a press release. I immediately expressed my scepticism about that, and opined that the woman probably divulged her bisexuality or something and the gossipy element of Malaysian tabloid absolutely ran away with it. A quick Googling expedition showed that the whole thing started with a blurry crotch shot, and a fake confession by a goss site - and I discovered multiple avenues reporting Miss Germanotta's refutation of the rumour. Me being me, immediately texted the girl to tell her that she got the story wrong along with my references. She did not reply my text.

But to get back on the subject, I frequently encounter a host of amazing circumstances or trivia worn out by the mouths of a billion True Believers™ which I know to be untrue but have been so repeated that they have started to be accepted as facts. As Joseph Goebbles allegedly said: "If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth."

There's that old hoary chestnut which said that Herr Einstein believed in God and challenged an atheist professor when he was a kid; which couldn't be farther away from the truth. Then, there's Darwin deathbed conversion to Christianity and his renouncement of his Theory of Evolution which were repeated at church's Christmas party I attended to scores of trusting and gullible Christians who would no doubt go on to pass it on to others as the truth. In that same church I attended, they once showed a video sermon about the Whirlpool Galaxy and the protein laminin which showcased wonky cross shapes as "evidences" that Jesus healed the sick, walked on water, and returned from death. God is amazing. Jesus is awesome. Praise the Laaawd!

I think the ability to buy into absolutely any nonsense is a special ability of people with Faith™ (read: belief without proof) and everything which apparently supports their convictions is automatically accepted without going through any vetting process by their critical faculties. If you're a Christian or a Muslim or if you subscribe to any religious beliefs at all; ask yourself how many factoids like that "we will fry or freeze if Earth is 10 feet nearer to or away from the sun" crap in the screenshot above that you believed in unquestioningly all these years while crediting your deity where it is most certainly not due.

You might be surprised at how credulous you actually are.

A sceptic,
k0k s3n w4i


Rewarp said...

He could also have said:
"I just walked 10ft away from the sun." or "The Earth is revolving me towards/away from the sun, and scorching/darkness will soon descend."

k0k s3n w4i said...

Rewarp: he could, but i thought the idea he was trying to convey was much more symmetrical with the godtard's proposition. it's just that i couldn't find much conclusive literature of earthquakes shifting our planet off its orbit. i find a lot about earthquakes affecting the axial tilt though.

février said...

tell me more about this mythical story you call "earthquakes affecting axial tilt"

Rewarp said...

He may have meant that moderate earthquakes, as a result of shifting of tectonic plates, moves a person more than 10ft.

Regardless, that last argument could have been phrased better.