Archive for the ‘THE LONGEST CON’ Category

Open Season

Human rights conventions extend the same protection to religious beliefs as to skin colour, ethnic origins, sexual orientation, disability and so forth. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, however, has attempted – so far unsuccessfully – to induce the UN explicitly to equate criticism of religion with racism. This is a category error; beliefs have […]

Posted on March 24, 2009 at 22:36 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 3 Comments
In: THE LONGEST CON, Prologue

Behind The Wizard’s Curtain

Anyone who claims that he knows absolutely that no cosmic intelligence exists is a fool, but this is not what atheism is actually about. Such a position ought more properly to be called adeism, since Deism is the belief in a god that does not intervene. What atheism denies is theism, the idea that the […]

Posted on March 26, 2009 at 21:38 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 3 Comments
In: THE LONGEST CON, Prologue

Buggy Software

If there is one common argument for religion that has little merit, it is the appeal to the near-universal human predilection for religion. When almost everybody believes something, this can have only two explanations: either the truth of that something is so overwhelmingly obvious as to be undeniable by all but the perverse; or else […]

Posted on March 29, 2009 at 08:47 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 3 Comments
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Design Fault

Feeling Is Not Cognition

People complain that we think too much and feel too little. In fact it is the other way round. Any culture that follows the verb “to feel”, not only with a direct object but also with the conjunction “that”, thus making a propositional statement, is necessarily in big trouble. “Feeling” that something is or is […]

Posted on April 1, 2009 at 13:44 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Design Fault

Racism And Rheumatism

It has recently been suggested that what we call racism is a runaway process starting from something that is biologically adaptive but taken way too far, in much the same way as obesity is what happens when the body’s legitimate needs for fats and sugars meet modern refined food. We seem hardwired to be inordinately […]

Posted on April 11, 2009 at 08:43 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Design Fault

Pulling Our Strings

It is old news that when we have an infection, our bodies do things that are of no value to ourselves but considerable value to the vectors of the infection; “coughs and sneezes spread diseases”, just as our mothers taught us, and that is why they happen. The disease makes us do things in its […]

Posted on April 19, 2009 at 08:29 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 3 Comments
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Design Fault

Catching The Religious Cold

I am not particularly enthusiastic about meme theory, at any rate when it becomes a monovariable explanation. Religion is certainly something done to most of us, but that is not the same as it being done to all of us; the danger of meme theory is that it may get the profiteers from religion off […]

Posted on April 24, 2009 at 11:48 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Design Fault

Whatever Happens, Is Nature.

People talk about God, or miracle-workers, breaking the Laws of Nature. This is a foolishness that comes from a particularly ill-chosen metaphor. Nature has no laws, only habits. We would be much better advised to call regularities of phenomena by a different name, one that does not suggest cops and robbers. If someone were to […]

A Great Tautology

“It is true enough that everything had happened as fate had decreed.” Thus the Heike monogatori. Such locutions are common in every religious culture. But what, I would ask, does a decree of fate mean other than that something happened? Are there two things going on here, fate and things happening, or only the one […]

A Miracle, A Miracle!

The word “miracle” is actually a synonym for “wonder”, but in Latin: mirare, to wonder, also the root of words like admirable, mirror and so forth. Now, when “wonder” is used to describe an occurrence, as in Signs and Wonders, this is actually an elision for “an event at which people wonder”. It is not […]