Hey all.. thought you'd get a giggle from this;

http://cheezburger.com/7654891008

Cheers,

MB

Tags: ages, dark, science

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The stupidest graph on the Internet. This whole site is now dumber because it was posted again.

Matt VDB, you can disagree with the graph and say so.  No problem, and I think that's to be encouraged.  You can provide information to counter what is in the graph, preferably with references.  In fact, my reading suggests that the dark ages were not as simplistic as we often are taught.  And the world was not monolithic in the dark ages.

On the other hand, your response is dripping with arrogance.  Even if you are the most modest, thoughtful person on 2 continents, your response is not.  You offer no info.  You provide no references.  You give no context.  You do nothing to educate the reader or help the reader educate themself. 

The graph is intended to be comedy and as such, may over simplify. 

Unless you have a better tone and style, it is your response that makes the site dumber and less supportive of atheist community.

It's too bad.  You might be right, intellectually.  But as a writer, your style is pathetic.

I usually try to be supportive of people on nexus even if I don't agree with them.  Debate is encouraged.  I usually let things pass.  But your response deserves criticism.   It is nothing but childish tripe.

I disagree that the graph is intended to be comedy. It is intended as a serious point, which is why it is shared ad nauseum on atheist fora and sites. Yet this particular point is so stupid that no references need to be supplied.

For instance, anyone who seriously thinks that 'scientific advancement' is a quantity that can be measured, let alone be visualized in a graph, simply needs to rub their brain cells together for more than 10 seconds. Ditto for anyone who thinks that there was such a thing as the "Christian Dark Ages" (since when are specific eras religious?) which somehow lasted for 9 centuries without an iota of scientific progress.

As for the rest of your lecture, if you want to entertain stupid ideas on a site for rationalists, that's your prerogative. I view graphs like this as the atheist equivalent of the crocoduck and I will say so without dancing around. 

Anything else?

Yeah mate... its in the comedy section for a reason.

Just a tip if someone asks you why did the chicken cross the road they are not asking for a dissertation on the interplay between domesticated fowl and the urban transit infrastructure.

If I had posted the graph in the science or philosophic sections of the forums I can understand your reaction, well not completely, but anyway.

Also who says there is no place for stupid ideas on this site? Who are you to demand we always have to apply the strictest intellectual standards to everything that is posted here.

I do enjoy the discussion of important ideas that are posted on this site, but its not the only reason I visit. Its a community. One that is full of people from all walks of life, all levels of education and intellectual capacity. 

Some of these people cant or wont ascribe to the high ideals your posts in this thread are calling for. What do you want to do to them? Banish them?

That sort of intellectual snobbishness is not going to help develop a community of non-theists.

I suggest in the future if you see something you don't like posted then say something, but try not to be so arrogant in the way you express those ideas.

MB

There's no need to take it personal. I also don't laugh at creationist jokes on evolution, because (i) things that are too misinformed just aren't funny and (ii) jokes that further propaganda in subtle ways are not nice.

Graphs like this are its exact equivalent. They're ill-informed and just plain stupid, yet they play on the common misconceptions held by the atheist community and as such, reinforce them. They're harmful so they'll get a sharp reply from me.

And, since I'm not hurting or insulting anyone or breaking the ToS in any other way, I'll reply how I see fit within that range. So don't bother moralizing about the way I respond to a stupid cartoon, thanks.

I wasn't taking your objection to my post personally. I was objecting to the tone of your post and your initial defense.

If you don't find it funny fair enough. Humor is always subjective.

My point was that intellectual elitism is not something I am a fan of.

To quote yourself "if you want to entertain stupid ideas on a site for rationalists, that's your prerogative". This isn't a site for Rationalists, its for Atheists and whilst there is certainly a big crossover between the two they are not mutually inclusive.

Calling the inclusion of what is obviously a humorous post, never mind what the original source is, as dumbing down the whole site is condescending.

Personally I think you need to lighten up on the issue.

Of course what you post and how you respond is entirely up to you. As I stated before.

However I get that same freedom.

MB

Well, since we're overanalyzing... :) 

I disagree that this is not (or should not be) a site for rationalists. As Sam Harris says, our issue with religion is for a reason: because the greater struggle is against dogmatism, against believing things on insufficient evidence, against group-thinking. If we're going to form an atheist 'community' that allows all these things, we're little more than hypocrites and become no better than what we rail against.

So an atheist who has stupid or dogmatic ideas, will receive the same conversational pressure from me as a creationist or a Jehovah's witness or a Holocaust Denier (though in varying degrees). The idea that I should give people slack on all issues just because we agree on one, is -sorry to aggrandize- against everything this movement stands for.

Finally, returning to this point about humor, I really don't accept images like this as all that innocuous. Because it's not just a humorous image: the only reason you can possibly laugh at this image is if you accept its premise. Indeed, this isn't really comedy aimed to make you laugh: it's a very serious point expressed in a comical way. That's a big difference, and it shows in my experience: people use this graph in precisely this way when they're arguing about Christianity's retardation of science and human progress, and it's inevitably followed up by a chorus of "haha, so true" and "it's funny coz it's true".

It's not true. And since this is one of the points where atheists get their history totally wrong, I think it's worth undermining that meme wherever it comes up, even in seemingly innocuous and "comedic" ways.

No this isn't a rationalist site. Its an Atheist site. There is no direct correlation. All you need to do to belong here is not believe in God or Gods.

Many, if not all, will reach that conclusion through rationalism but its not guaranteed.

I think you are drawing a long bow between making a joke and believing that jokes underlying logic.

"the only reason you can possibly laugh at this image is if you accept its premise"

So if i find something is funny its because I believe its true?

A grasshopper walks into a bar and orders a drink. The barman says "we've got a drink named after you!" the Grasshopper replies "what, Barry?"

That's a classic joke and one i think is very funny. I don't think a grasshopper really walked into a bar and can speak though.

My point is that while you can, and should continue to call people out for ideas when and where you see fit, I personally think when you do so over something clearly labelled as comedy you are showing yourself to be pretentious and elitist.

MB

No this isn't a rationalist site. Its an Atheist site. There is no direct correlation. All you need to do to belong here is not believe in God or Gods.

I don't dispute that. And I'll be one of the rationalist atheists who holds the feet of the non-rationalist atheists to the fire. Because I hold no allegiance with atheists; my allegiance is with reason.

And I'm not going to get into the fundamentals of humour with you. The image posted is overwhelmingly used in serious discussions about Christianity causing the Dark Ages; that shows from the search and also from my personal experience.

So regardless of its purpose here, and regardless of the smokescreens you're throwing up, the image has a specific use and aims to further a specific and widely held misconception. Thus I find it worth criticizing.

If that's still not clear, I'll be happy to explain it again. But don't bother with the charges of being elitist because I frankly don't give a shit.

thank goodness for the info/cyber age; more frowned upon games for kids' nowdays. this is a good, brain growing thing imho: http://www.ambrosiasw.com/games/aquaria/

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