[FoRK] Bullish on Facebook

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Fri Apr 24 15:52:57 PDT 2009


On Apr 24, 2009, at 3:02 PM, Tom Higgins wrote:
>>> It's easy: there's no god.
>>>
>>> Where's the religion?
>>
>>
>> I was not talking about atheism per se.
>>
>
> Oh come on....bait and switch terminology?


No, a generalization of the concept, from "I do not believe in God(s)"  
to "I do not believe nutty things". Most atheists who got to the "I do  
not believe in God(s)" never make it to "I do not believe nutty  
things". Apparently belief in God was disposable but some beliefs in  
other nutty things are sacrosanct. They did not become atheists  
through any kind of systematic attempt at rationality, they became  
atheists by accident and left the rest of their nutty beliefs intact.

To give an extreme example, all the people who I personally know that  
are irretrievably on the trendy "vaccines are evil" bandwagon are  
atheists. No amount of reasoning will argue them out of this position,  
and I've wasted more than a little time trying. Their belief in the  
evil of vaccines is fundamentally religious in nature regardless of  
the fact they don't believe in God. And as a consequence, their  
children do not get vaccinated. It may not be a religion, but it is  
functionally indistinguishable from a religious belief.

Most nutty beliefs are only harmful to the extent they are wasteful of  
finite resources, and a few are occasionally directly harmful.  
Naturally, people generally do not view their nutty beliefs as  
wasteful or harmful.

J. Andrew Rogers


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