Three Ridiculous Claims

I have made an effort to curb my religious ranting over this semester to try to focus on the details of building video games, and it has been torturous. It seems like when I was ranting the number of topics was dwindling, so I felt like I was beating all the dead horses in the world and pissing in their eyes or some such nonsense. Just as I put my pen down though, or at least removed the shortcut to Live Writer, I began to trip over fools, idiots and their ilk…

  • Obama is a muslim because his grandmother says he is, father was and he has pictures of himself in their garb.
  • The USA was founded on Christian fundamental teachings, in spite of the fact that there is a ton of evidence to the contrary (Oh, but In God We Trust is on our money!)
  • Faith is a positive virtue.

Seemingly intelligent and influential people from my life have made such claims so why would they be irritating at this point?

To be sure, I have argued about these and many other claims over the last decade of being public, but why on earth are they still coming up? We don’t argue (much) about the shape of the earth, the composition of the core of the sun, or whether Thor was an actual person… Why is Jesus considered more than an idea? Why would faith be considered a virtue that the president of the most industrialized nation to be created? Why does the religious nature of the founding fathers matter?

Why can’t I provide reasonable answers to these questions?

Oh, and … I’m back – Bring on the questions.

  • Vulden

    Yo man, being religious ruins a person’s understanding of the world at the most basic level. It requires you to accept and believe that magic exists and when you allow yourself to believe that then anything is possible. Literally. So, people become confused, they don’t know who or what to believe and so they just go with what feels the best. God is an easy answer to everything, and it’s one that can’t be tested or experimented on. So, you will have trouble getting through to a person. You have to break it down to the most fundamental level and get them to actually listen. Then you have the language barrier. English is a shitty language and as such, semantics determine everything and everyone has their own view of them. In my experience it is virtually impossible to communicate with anyone and not have misunderstandings just because you view the meaning of a word differently than they do, yet they don’t acknowledge it and just get caught up in the meaning. So of course it’s going to be hard to get through to them. You just have to remember, you are arguing a rational argument, they are arguing an emotional one. They go “I have a good feeling” and you go “there’s no proof that your feeling is right” so they go “yeah, but I still feel this way, and I KNOW it’s true” and while you may be right, it is moot because that’s not what matters to them. It’s all about the feeling.

    • To be fair though, all we should need to do is define terms. Then we are at least in the right ball park.

      The rest i can practically agree with everything else you have said though =)

  • mike

    as i think of you, i think to come here to gneu. i’d rather you felt appreciated for your video game work, but it’s harder to relate with. your screenies look very WIP.

    anyway, i think the claims you bullet pointed are generally false, but it’s also false to claim the opposite. i mean, a person that calls themselves a muslim wouldn’t automatically be misaligned with your notions, whatever they may be. generalizing in any capacity is folly here. you wouldn’t say that the USA is a country devoid of religion or without ideals even if they aren’t Christian values. “faith is a positive virtue” sounds almost oxymoronic. are any virtues negative? is faith a virtue? i thought faith was about a delay in circumstance, hence it usually supplies no action.

    i’m presently reading, “Managing Humans” by Michael Lopp and of course it reminds me of your style

    • =) They may be harder to relate, but video is coming and it will be much easier to relate to it once i get into over the Alpha hurdle.

      I don’t think that you are addressing the points i’ve noted fairly, all of the above are false claims. Obama calls himself a christian, goes to church does not practice muslim tradition except when it is socially required… The only reason people claim he is a muslim still is because they are ignoring his actions and his history.

      The USA may have had popular religious views, but then again so does china and it is officially atheist. The point was that the nation was not founded with them in mind, and in fact popular vote and written doctrine (Constitution, Treaty of Tripoli, to name two) which expressly state that our nation was “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” and “Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” in what way can this claim be folly?

      Faith is only a virtue to those who hold it as important, and as such i think you are correct to question it. It is a complicated and nebular concept that seems to be more or less useless depending on who is talking about it, but no matter the person it is not likely to be a war that goes away quietly. The question is still, how is faith a good thing to hold?

      As for the book, you are going to be very proud of me =)
      http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2007/06/24/managing_humans.html

      I even follow rands on twitter and quote him to friends when they are being silly. In fact, im fairly sure i read that book at the end of the Birthstar: Frontline production fail when i threw my hands up in the air and realized that i was working 40 hours a week for no pay at two jobs! =D That book is a great piece and sits next to my spolsky books (in the inspirational software and management section of my library) to this day.

      Hope you are well =) Saw a neat picture of you happy at living social. Keep that happy living thing up!

  • mike

    Faith is synonymous with strength. I think we use different meanings for the same words. Faith is endurance through uncertainty. You may apply it to a survival situation and its value is clear. Still there is no action associated with it so I don’t see it as a virtue.

    Obama is a Christian, sure whatever

    Religious to me is any doctrine followed, its all just as wacky… I think you’re religious about being anti-religious for instance lol

    Still it has necessity

    Otherwise, love the positivity, much love to you

    On my phone, ill have to check out the link later… You totally be a Rands subscriber too :), see I totally think Bob while reading this…

    • Why do you think that faith is synonymous with strength?