Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thor blimey

Richard Dawkins again, making a pretty obvious point (or at least it ought to be), but one that's quite nicely and succinctly nailed in the first 2 or 3 paragraphs here. The rest is slightly more generic stuff, but still worth a read.

Frankly if we're going to have people running around wilfully believing in stuff in defiance of all reason then the Norse gods seem a much more exciting proposition. I mean, Jesus was such a wet blanket. No fun at all. Whereas with Thor you get a bit more excitement. And I suspect if anyone had tried nailing him to a tree they might have found themselves being "had words with". By which I mean being repeatedly pounded with a hammer.

And "church music" would be a lot better as well. The Christians get Cliff Richard, the Norsians get Led Zeppelin!


The Black Rabbit said...

Uh uh. (Shaking of head, sighing etc...)

"Why is the onus on us to justify our non belief of Thor... Ammon-Ra etc..." (Ammon-Re probably, but nevermind that)

It isn't.
Never was, was it?

electrichalibut said...

Your sarcasm-meter appears to be defective. Or maybe mine was while I was reading your comment. Oh, I dunno.

And surely it's MUMM-RA?

Like the new rabbit logo though.

The Black Rabbit said...

You bisunderstand be bate.

The onus isn't on atheists to justify their (your) disbelief in God, Jesus etc... **
It never was, was it? Or was it? Or is it? Do you feel under pressure to justify your disbelief?
I'm sure you don't, and if you do - then don't. (dear oh dear, that reads very badly - its early).

(**OR Mumm-Ra, Thor etc...)

The rabbit logo - well, the owner of the rabbit in me old avatar would've tracked it down sooner or later and sued my ass. So I drew one. Is it.

electrichalibut said...

No, that's the whole point. The burden of proof shouldn't be on the non-believer, but a lot of believers would try and insist that it is.

It's the Invisible Pink Unicorn argument in a slightly different form, with the added bonus of pointing out how hypocritical this position is, given that the "believers" themselves would take exactly the same view regarding beliefs (e.g. Thor, Mumm-Ra, Skeletor, etc.) that were believed equally fervently in historical times but now discarded.

The Black Rabbit said...

Thats what I was after.
When you say:
"but a lot of believers would try and insist that it is." (quote), who do you mean?
Who are these believers that insist that you disbelievers justify your disbelief?
Is it a problem for you?
Don't let it become one would be my advice.

electrichalibut said...

I have a sneaky feeling you're pulling my leg, but I'll plough on regardless.

It's a political issue, not a personal one, or not a personal one for me anyway. Plenty of well-funded and high-profile campaign groups are trying to use a very similar form of slippery intellectual relativism to, for instance, get creationism taught in schools. And don't think it's just happening in Hicksville, Kentucky or Buttfuck, Idaho, because they're doing it over here as well. Burying our heads in the sand and saying, well, they're not on my doorstep demand ing that I justify myself seems like a dangerous course to me. If we'd done that 60 years ago I'd be writing this comment in German now.

The Black Rabbit said...


The Black Rabbit said...

That was a short comment - soz, had to get some lunch on.

We've been here before mate.
I think you're pulling my leg now, with the comparison of any 'battle' between creationism and evolution with the battle of the Allies against the Nazis! (Ironic really, when you consider some of their views...).

I'll plough on though... *smirk*

WWII: One 'side' was going to eventually win. Inevitable.

Atheism Vs Religion: No 'side' can ever win. Inevitable.

I suppose I am just bemused with the sarcasm and venom each side attacks t'other in a battle that will never, (repeat after me), never, ever end.
That sarcasm and venom is on both sides of the 'battlefield'. Why?!
I am genuinely bemused by that.

I have no idea why Dawkins (et. al.) attacked religion so, (and with 'science'?!) and I have no idea why believers attack the atheists so, though I think I have probably seen less of that, but I'm sure you're right and I presume it exists in equal measures.

I certainly have my doubts about Dawkins' reasons for his 'attack' though. I am pretty certain it had nothing to do with any 'saving of the world's schoolchildren from being taught creationism'.
More likely a simple: 'I'm right and you're wrong, oh... and stupid', ego, the attraction of money, fame and the desire to win the ultimate race with 'science' - (the answer(s) to the ultimate question).

I prefer the opinion of the blerk I met on my recent fungi foray, prof Richard Fortey.
He (as described in another comment to you) is a brilliant learned scientist (geologist, well... someone has to be!), and is researching the period in history which seems very strange - the cambrian era. Many creationists derive a lot of comfort from that period - it seems (at face value) to give them much ammo in their and your 'war'.
I'm sure you know at least as much about it as I do, but if not, read up on it when you have time - its fascinating (well, to me anyway).
I'm sure Prof.Fortey will eventually come to a point where he removes several 'ammo dumps' from the creationist's artillery.
He is an atheist, (I'm pretty sure), not as pop-tastic as Dawko, and less hell-bent (I'm sorry) on the venomous ways of some scientists.

He is pretty sure science and religion can exist side by side. No, maybe not in science classes, and I assume that is what you mean by all this. No religion in science classes. Leave it for R.E.

Or do you mean not at all. No religion at all?

Burying my head in the sand?
Looking on in a bemused way.
Hell yeah!

Wishy washy views on the subject?
I guess so, in a way. Rather like arguing who would win a fight between Tyson and Ali in their respective pomp(s), all good fun and interesting to a point, but then as the debate gets more and more heated and out of control, pretty silly really.

I have been told I'm pretty opinionated about lots of things in life. Unbearably so I'm sure in many.
Yes - I have a strong opinion about Dawkins. I may be wrong, but my opinion is that he is a pleb, and it an awful shame, a brilliant-minded evoluionary biologist, probably the best in our generation has chosen this route. He popularised science almost single-handedly with his 'selfish gene' but in the end, it all went a bit pear-shaped for him. We've been through this before too - I share my opinion on Dawko with many distinguished scientists.

My opinion on creationism vs evolution?
Maybe I should care more. I know I should?
Well, I'd fall firmly into the evolution side, but wouldn't care too much about 'destroying' the creationists.
Is that bad?
Maybe it is.
Maybe I should join sides?
Maybe I should become opinionated on that too.
Or maybe not.

By the way...
I'd have plumped for Tyson in that hypothetical bout. Would've preferred Ali to have done the biz, but TYson wold have had him. Lets face it.

electrichalibut said...

So, to recap:

Dawkins - we disagree.

Evilness of religion - we disagree.

Fair enough.

And you're probably right: Tyson in his prime would have had Ali in his. And then raped him while he was down.