Monday, December 07, 2009

Life is not a Rolex -- a Rolex is not alive

By Capt. Fogg

"Comprehensible to the intelligent, to the world at large, needing interpretation"

- Pindar -

Ah, Pastor Rick Warren -- not quite smart enough to realize that his arguments have long since been steamrollered by better minds or just smart enough to realize that enough people are ignorant of it for him to make a living by peddling delusion? That is the question.

Put Rick on the list of people deeply disturbed by a sign on a bus saying belief in invisible magic spirits isn't necessary if you want to be good to your fellow humans. In fact he's been in terror of disbelief for a long time, resorting often to such idiocies as the idea that Atheists must be wrong because they're angry, that Atheists are responsible for most of the worlds wars and atrocities including being responsible for the Spanish Inquisition. I have to admit, even I didn't expect that.

No, it's ridiculous not to believe in magic and the supernatural and forces and places for which there is no evidence other than the failure to understand nature. You see, if Pastor Warren is walking down a mountain and finds a rock -- that could be accidental, but if he finds a Rolex, it's "design."

Again, it's easily comprehensible to the rare intelligent American that Rolex's do not occur in nature, nor are they alive and self reproducing; but things like living cells and viruses can indeed result from natural processes which is liberally illustrated by evidence and that Warren is trotting out this mawkish and moronic argument only because, as I said, there are enough congenitally and willfully stupid people out there to be blind to his festival of fatuous fallacies. It's not an argument at all really, it's just a bad analogy and an attempt to shift the burden of proof as Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker illustrates with greater patience and a good deal more skill than I have.

Warren doesn't have enough faith to be an atheist, he says in an attempt to make science and evidence and logic and knowledge a false equivalent of ignorance and the will to believe. Again, if you're intelligent, nobody has to explain it to you any more than I would have to explain why, contrary to his lies belief, same sex marriage is not just like pedophilia and neither Tomas de Torquemada nor the Holy Office at the Vatican were atheists.

But almost everybody believes in the supernatural he says, bringing the ad populum fallacy up to bat. "The actual number of secularists in the world is actually quite small outside of Europe and Manhattan," he continues, adding an appeal to people who find an educated populace threatening. The place for Secular Humanists is North Korea, whines Warren. It's called "poisoning the well" for anyone interested and yes, it's in any book of popular fallacies. That he doesn't tell us that the place for blind faith in religious authority is in the Taliban, isn't surprising, but it is telling.

Of course, if the future of the world is not secularism but as he reminds us: pluralism, a certainty that certainly lacks support as we see beliefs declining as education (and intelligence) increases, it's hard to understand that we should accept a multiplicity of religions but not Secular Humanism. What then does Humanism lack that theistic religion has? Authority. It's rather hard to base a tyranny or any system of arbitrary authority on it and that, dear reader, is what Rick Warren is all about and that's why he's afraid and that's why he has to make fun of your freedom.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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