Saturday, December 6, 2008

Stupid, stupid people

We have a three-for-one deal today, folks. An atheist, a Christian, and Islam in general, as fine examples of classic stupidity.

Labor MP James Bidgood says the current financial crisis is because people pray to Jesus.

It’s interesting to see this kind of overt brain damage from politicians in Australia. Thanks, Mr Bidgood, for a momentary diversion. Now STFU and get off the stage.

Bidgood has simply fallen prey to the simplest illogical fallacy there is: post hoc ergo propter hoc. One thing happened after another, therefore the first thing caused the second. Bidgood says that there were marches for Jesus in April 1987, therefore the stock market crash in October of that year was caused by those marches. By the same logic, the sun rises every morning after I’ve slept, so if I don’t sleep, the sun won’t rise. All together now, children: BWAHAHAHA!

This is such laughably awful reasoning that it doesn’t even deserve the name. A few key points:

• Logical fallacy of the first order. Fail.
• There were six months in between the two events cited. Why the delay? Fail.
• Ignores the well-understood actual causes of stock market crashes, none of which have a flipping thing to do with Jesus. Fail.

…oh, I’m bored already. It’s like beating a quadriplegic in the 100-meter sprint. Next.

Police in Iran have arrested 49 people for wearing “satanic” clothes.

Satanic clothes. Riiiiiight.

I really don’t know why fundamentalist Islam thinks Allah gives a good shit what clothes anyone wears. Did Mohammed speak out against bikinis? Did the Archangel Gabriel express disdain for the sight of a woman’s nostril? Was there a jihad against thongs? Where, in short, is the sense to this, even within the obviously crippled logical constraints of a decidedly stupid religion?

I’d laugh, if it wasn’t for the fact that in Muslim countries, women get killed horribly for wearing the wrong thing in public. A fitting retribution for these criminally insane self-appointed little tin gods would be to be forced to wear those clothes themselves in a public street in Iran, and be stoned to death as transvestites as a consequence. Or to have Tim Curry in full Frank-n-Furter drag suffocate them by face-sitting. Either will serve. Mr Curry? You’re wanted on the phone…

Finally is a (probable) atheist by the name of Ron Williams, who seems to have mislaid his sense of proportion and any shred of intelligence. His daughter’s school mentioned God once. So he’s pulled her out of that school, launched action in the Anti-Discrimination Commission, and is suing for the cost of educating his daughter elsewhere.

Another taste of American-style insanity and inability to grasp the concept of “civilised discourse”. If the school in question had demonstrated a repeated intention to teach Christian scripture, then he would have my support. But Mr Williams is wrong-headed on quite a few counts.

Firstly, the Australian “separation of church and state”, based on section 116 of the Australian constitution, does not operate in the way that he thinks. He’s been indoctrinated somehow (by American television, or by visiting too many US-based websites) that the American First Amendment is in effect here. Bzzt, wrong, and thanks for playing. Section 116 of the Constitution of the country we’re actually in does not prohibit the teaching of religion in state schools.

Secondly, the kid was four years old and was reportedly making a model of Noah’s Ark. Hardly the thing of which road-to-Damascus conversions are made. Lighten up, dude, seriously.

Thirdly, the only thing that was actually shown in class was… an excerpt from “Evan Almighty”. Saying this is teaching religion in schools is like saying "Happy Gilmore" is a documentary on the ethics of professional golf.

Finally, stipulating for the sake of argument that there was anything real to object to in the school’s behaviour, withdrawing the kid after one episode like this is simply stupid. It smacks of sheer intolerance for other people’s views, and the additional action in the ADC and the lawsuit are complete overkill. How about, oh, I don’t know, teaching your kid some critical thinking skills? Start with Dawkins’ The God Delusion, then… oh, that’s right, she was four. FOUR. So maybe she wasn’t going to be crippled for life by one mention of the G-word, and you didn’t need to recoil like a vampire exposed to a crucifix, hey, Williams?

On behalf of Australian atheists everywhere, I would like to bequeath this nutball to a fundamentalist sect sitting in some compound in Texas, polishing their guns, screwing their cousins, waiting for the end times. C’mon, some brainwashing and he’ll fit right in. Sense of humour failure: check. Inability to see things in proportion: check. Bloody-minded insistence that the rest of the world operate to his liking: check. And inability to check even the most basic premises of his arguments: check.

We sure don't want him here.

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