15 January 2006

Two worlds

Escapee from the Meme Machine posts the results of her two month experiment as an atheist visiting Christian discussion groups [via Pharyngula]. The results were 80% what you'd expect (ignorance and vitriol) and 20% surprising (commonality and politeness). Very well-written summarization of the experience and notable differences. Worth a read. Also check out the comments from both entries.

Fixed links to Pascal's wager below...

In my personal experience, I'd been presented with Pascal's Wager--the fifth most common reason to believe according to the article--as a reason to believe (see the list of criticisms for a good overview of its many problems). My response has always been: to waste your life in following a falsehood is a secular hell equal to that of any sacred hell. It would turn what should be the most meaningful dedication of your life into a Sisyphean farce. For me, that sorta nullifies any weight the wager could have.

Most arguments, however, come in a form similar to Dembski's tellingly daring defence of ID:

Ironically, Judge Jones's decision is likely to prove a blessing for the intelligent design movement, spurring its proponents to greater heights and thereby fostering its intellectual vitality and ultimate success.

Just ignore reality and you don't have to defend your beliefs.

[ posted by sstrader on 15 January 2006 at 5:45:34 PM in Culture & Society ]