Let me premise this by saying I put a lot of effort into not being full of shit. Not that I’m never wrong or imperfect, but having reasonable, open-minded, logically consistent and intellectually defensible views is something I work at every single day. It really matters to me what I believe and whether it’s accurate and what effect my views have on the world. So when I see people put zero effort into their beliefs and believe just the silliest nonsense without a second thought it really irks me.
Anyway, I was riding the bus the other day (that’s evil communist transportation for my conservative readers) and a woman had a baby in a stroller. She was playing with the baby and making it smile and the baby was smiling back, it was nice. So I mention that I saw a show the other day about how importance of baby laughter and smiling to parent-child bonding and how newborn babies are hard-wired to smile and even smile in their sleep etc. So she says to me that she believes babies smile because they can see the spirits of our dead relatives, but because young babies can only see a short distance in front of their faces, the spirits must be up close for them to be seen.
I am polite in the face of this insanity but have a “trying not to facepalm” look on my face which she picks up on. I say “I wonder how you could establish that exactly – what newborn baby talked about it to who?” And she says “it’s okay if you don’t believe in it”. Then the person across from her says he thinks babies can see spirits too, but not newborns, maybe when they’re a few months old.
They’re just making shit up off the top of their head and believing it for no reason whatsoever. No logic, no evidence, no nothing. The woman spent the last half of the ride reading from her pocket new testament.
The day before this happened here’s what happened on the bus:
Two older women (rough approximation above) were sitting on the bus chatting away. One of them says to the other “I got my mammogram and my pap smear and I didn’t worry about it at all, you know why? Because god is awesome.” The other woman immediately agreed with her and she continued “god is awesome and he cleared me right up.”
Now the skeptic in me is cringing at the total absence of logic in this conclusion and the unbelievable arrogance of the notion that the creator of the universe while allowing genocide and starvation across the globe doesn’t have anything better to do than scrape the barnacles out of her uterus, all the while the human being in me is thinking
Wtf is wrong with this woman talking about her pap smear loud and proud in front of complete strangers? I don’t want to be thinking about her bits and pieces. Maybe this is why god made whispering. Or email. Or not talking.
And when I arrived at my destination (which was volunteering for the obama campaign) I was kind of disappointed by the fact that while IMO obama is the best choice, the skeptic’s choice, the moral choice, the smart choice etc for president (given the alternative) there was a sign on the wall where the first bunch of volunteers wrote why they’re there and while some of the comments were unique and intelligent a lot of them were regurgitated campaign slogans and catch phrases from posters on the wall. It’s sad that even the “smart” pick has to gain support the same way bad sitcoms do, through catch phrases and cheesy advertising.
Anyway, this is a few thoughts from my last few days. Hope everyone had a nice weekend.