Daniel Dennett – On Faith

Daniel Dennett was asked by the Washington Post, “Is there widespread media bias against Christianity? Against evangelicals such as Brit Hume and Sarah Palin? Against public figures who speak openly and directly about their faith? Against people who believe as you do?”

He responded, in part:

I also look forward to the day when pastors who abuse the authority of their pulpits by misinforming their congregations about science, about public health, about global warming, about evolution must answer to the charge of dishonesty. Telling pious lies to trusting children is a form of abuse, plain and simple. If quacks and bunko artists can be convicted of fraud for selling worthless cures, why not clergy for making their living off unsupported claims of miracle cures and the efficacy of prayer?
The double standard that exempts religious activities from almost all standards of accountability should be dismantled once and for all.


8 Responses

  1. Indeed a daring view on the falsity of our faith business, there. I love it.

  2. Bunko. A most excellent description 🙂

  3. The whole premise of the question – that Christians in America are some sort of persecuted minority – is gold-plated bullshit.
    I don’t sneer at Sarah Palin’s religious beliefs, to the extent that her beliefs are consistent or even comprehensible – I sneer at Palin’s arrogant, deliberate ignorance.
    That, and her sexy librarian get-up. And her kids’ stupid names. And lots of other things, come to think of it. But her religion is way down the list.

  4. Littlejohn, I like Sarah The Cable Barbie’s slutty flight attendant look. It’s a continual reminder to me of what she is all about…attractive packaging.

    But the quote in this story brings up an interesting thought. Companies are quick to enforce control over their “intellectual property” for the purposes of making making money, no matter how flimsy the rationale behind their claim or how many people they have to destroy in the process. But what about the consequences of the “intellectual property” they promote?

    Can you imagine what would happen if organizations could be punished for the damage that resulted from spreading bullshit lies or a defective/harmful ideas and concepts?

    Religions, political parties and corporations would, for the first time, all pay the price for their misdeeds including, for the first time, their ultimate misdeed…poisoning brains with toxic notions. In order to survive, they would have to transform into societally useful and intellectually honest organizations.

  5. Would your plan stop that fucker Vince from hawking his Shamwow on TV infomercials? It’s a goddamn rag. Just tear up your old T-shirts, like everbody else. Sorry. Taking my medicine now.

  6. Actually, I heard from a product owner that the Sham-Wow really does work. It’s German made don’t ya know?

    But I’m sure “Vince” makes it look better/easier than it is, so the answer is probably somewhere between “Maybe” and “Yes”.

    Actually, if I recall, he makes claims your life will be considerably better because of this high-tech rag, (or is it The Gratie?) which is clearly a bullshit claim. All it can do is make your cheese grating and/or clean-up easier and more effective. If all you do is clean up or grate cheese, then perhaps that claim is accurate. But if all you do is clean and grate cheese, you don’t have a life to improve in the first place.

    So Vince is guilty as charged in my book.

  7. Consumer Reports tested the ShamWow’s claim of absorbing “20 times its weight in liquid.” It failed. It performed no differently from a cloth rag.
    Also, did you see the mug shots of Vince about a year ago, after he lost a fistfight with a hooker? Precious.
    Looked like she hit him with a truckload of Gratys.

  8. The whole Buyer Beware concept is an admission that advertisers are in the business of selling lies. They either lie about the product itself (safety, quality, effectiveness) or they make overblown or groundless claims that the product will transform your life by making you permanently happy, make you richer, give you oodles of free time, get you laid or whatever the folks marketing the product think will make you buy it. It’s just like religions promising heaven if you’ll just buy into it what they’re selling.

    Rarely is a product sold based purely upon its merit. It’s just as likely that its merits aren’t even mentioned.

    The fact that we accept a daily bombardment of multi-layered lies and misrepresentations as “normal” shows humans are (as mentioned in another recent topic) “hardwired for fraud”. The fact that it is rare that they are punished or prevented from spreading lies on public airwaves makes the government (and by extension us) complicit in the process.

    But if some Monsanto seeds that you don’t even want fall onto your field, they will call you a criminal, fuck you up the ass and the legal system will usually help them.

    And Vince was beat up by a hooker -eh? Can’t say I’m surprised.

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