It was a very well written piece though, the law student in me liking the source-quoting, the 'close the gate' method of returning to his original point, and he even gave a half-hearted attempt to understand why people would have opinions contrary to his own.
Then the comments...
I was thinking that maybe I'd point out that his assertion that evolution was fact and not theory was erroneous, as the 'theory of evolution' is merely more plausible than sky-wizards and thus has greater scientific credence. I might also have pointed out that atheism isn't timid, it's more precise in scientific terms, science 'being aware' of the fact that it doesn't know the answer as opposed to religious fundies who accept creation theory as explaining a 'truth' how the world came about, and this writer being paradoxically as incorrect as them in proclaiming a universal truth about the creation of the universe.
(Yes, I do find it hard to fill the hours when I'm away from my girlfriend.)
I was considering how best to word this (I thought) rather eloquent riposte, when I scrolled down the comments page and saw that the nuts had got there first.
Anonymous wrote: YOU ATHEISTS ARE ALL MAD!!! If there's no God, HOW DOES THE SUN ORBIT THE EARTH??
I sat back, absolutely dumbfounded. No....no fucking way, this can't....please no...
Then I saw that it was sarcasm, and nearly wept with relief. Life was good again. It was a blogger linking to his online store of atheist t-shirts. I threw a crust of bread at the unconscious hooker on my floor and smiled as my fear dissipated.
It got me thinking though...mind-thinking. Why is it nowadays that people will discourse on a topic about which they know nothing?
When did it become okay to just 'have a go'? When did the world become so arrogant as to believe that everyone is an expert on a topic and has a valid point to make?
Post your comment:
Anonymous says: I attended a one week crash course on the ethics of biochemistry so I can talk with exclusive domain about a topic that people have endlessly debated for sixty years.
Anonymous 2 says: No WAY man!! You're crasy, My bibel tutor told me that biochemistry is what makes hommosexualls and asians, don't mess with God's plan!!!
Anonymous 3 says: Yeah, I half-read an online article about stem-cell research on a right-wing newspaper's website. YOU PEOPLE ARE SICK!!
Anonymous 4 says: I went to an obscure liberal arts college that none of you could afford and we had a very productive coffee-and-humous round table discussion of the moral consequences of stem-cell research. We agreed it's necessary for scientific development. I took philosophy for a semester so I know what I'm talking about. Lol.
Anonymous 5 says: Whats stencil research???
God Lover says: Bless you all, I pity you.
Anonymous 6 says: You know who else used stem cell research? Hitler!!!!!
I mean, when did it become the norm for people to fool themselves that they had an expert opinion on something they've overheard in a pub?
I used to watch a lot of medical dramas (before I pawned my TV to buy chloroform and a handkerchief) but I'd never assume I could perform a tracheotomy.
I COMPLETELY agree with the concept of freedom of speech by the way, please don't think I'm advocating some restriction on people's right to voice opinions. I just wish people didn't kid themselves into believing they were an expert on everything they've read, seen or heard.
It happened to me the other day, and I literally didn't know how to respond. My girlfriend is moving house soon, and she and her flatmates are looking at houses in Northwest London. In fact, one of the places they're considering is Maida Vale, about a mile from where I used to live and somewhere I used to go running. It's one of the most expensive parts of London for property and I mentioned this, along with the fact that the Tube gets really slow in the mornings.
"No it doesn't"
"I've been on that line before, it's really quick."
I was trying to point out that the two lines which service the entire area get extremely clogged in the mornings, as opposed to the east of London where there are more rail lines. Also, I mentioned that one of the lines gets closed every third weekend, thus increasing the pressure.
No, no listening there.
Now, I had lived there, knew the area well and could offer some practical advice, but the Flatmate knew better because she had heard otherwise from a friend. So what's the point?
In the Law, there is a tight control on what constitutes an expert witness. It's true for the Irish, UK and US legal systems. Not just anyone can come and give expert evidence. The court will insist on scrutinising qualifications, looking a practical experience (for say a fire officer in an arson case) scholarly articles and a whole panoply of other factors to to determine whether a purported witness knows what the fuck they're talking about...I'd love something similar in Real Life, like those regulators that stop a moped using above 150cc, or those machines that won't let the car start without a clean breathalyser test.
Because really, what's the fucking point of asking a question if you're not going to listen? Why does that whole fucking world close their ears until it's their time to speak and what the fuck has happened to our generation for us to believe that everything we read, see, hear or hear-from-a-friend-who-heard-it-from-some-bloke-who-overheard-it-down-the-fucking-pub?
So in future, if anyone asks me a question, I'm going to be really 100% accurate in my answer, or just not answer. Because when the entire world is so eager to talk, and no-one will listen to anything which is contrary to what they think they know, why fucking bother?