17 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo(oney)

  1. A perfect deconstruction. I love the way the barmaid’s simple three-letter word question cuts straight to the heart of the issue.

  2. I do miss the JWs coming to the door on Sundays; fair gave me an appetite.

    They’re such nice but intellectually dishonest people. Euphemism for stupid!

  3. That cartoon is not quite right though. I have never seen or heard an accommodationist admit to bullshitting their marks.

    1. If it’s not bullshitting, then it certainly is valuing politics over intellectual honesty. Sam Harris’ take on it, from here:

      The first thing to notice is that Mooney and Kirshenbaum are confused about the nature of the problem. The goal is not to get more Americans to merely accept the truth of evolution (or any other scientific theory); the goal is to get them to value the principles of reasoning and educated discourse that now make a belief in evolution obligatory. Doubt about evolution is merely a symptom of an underlying problem; the problem is faith itself—conviction without sufficient reason, hope mistaken for knowledge, bad ideas protected from good ones, good ideas occluded by bad ones, wishful thinking elevated to a principle of salvation, etc. Mooney and Kirshenbaum seem to imagine that we can get people to value intellectual honesty by lying to them.

      While it is invariably advertised as an expression of “respect” for people of faith, this accommodationism is nothing more than naked condescension, motivated by fear. Mooney and Kirshenbaum assure us that people will choose religion over science, no matter how good a case is made against religion. In certain contexts, this fear is probably warranted. I wouldn’t be eager to spell out the irrationality of Islam while standing in the Great Mosque in Mecca. But let’s be honest about how Mooney and Kirshenbaum view public discourse in the United States: watch what you say, or the Christian mob will burn down the library of Alexandria all over again. By comparison, the “combativeness” of the “New Atheists” seems entirely collegial. We merely assume that our fellow Homo sapiens possess the requisite intelligence and emotional maturity to respond to rational argument, satire, and ridicule on the subject of religion—just as they respond to these discursive pressures on all other subjects. Of course, we could be wrong. But let’s admit which side in this debate currently views our neighbors as dangerous children and which views them as adults who might prefer not to be utterly mistaken about the nature of reality.

      1. You may have misunderstood me. I think that bullshitting is exactly what accommodationists do to their marks. I just have never seen or heard an accommodationist admit that that is what they do.

  4. It also goes well with the Phil Plait (Bad Astronomer) “don’t be a dick” speech on TAM8.

    Besides the usual deconstruction on the web, where BA fares badly, someone claimed that his mentor and friend Randi was once an angry “dick” in his book “Flim Flam”. ROTFL if true!

    And may I say, BA comes over as a Mooney type dick. (Besides the misogynist or whatever labeling.) Apparently he claims that we should use what works. But the evidence is that accommodationism doesn’t work, on top of that being a dick (aka “hurling insults”) are not in evidence. How quickly skepticism is forgotten for unsubstantiated beliefs!

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