Category Archives: My Disbeliefs


I can’t tell whether this is a brilliant piece of satire or the dumbest thing I’ve seen in my life. Thank you, Nathan Poe.

For the linkshy, it is an expedition to find live pterosaurs to “prove” evolution is wrong.

Everything about this strategy is dumb.

Point #1: You Are Idiots.

The extinction of pterosaurs is not actually a fundamental plank of evolutionism. Finding live pterosaurs will not prove that evolution is wrong; it will prove that some ancient creatures survived, which is not really news given the coelocanth (although if you do find live pterosaurs, which you won’t because you would have severe trouble finding your arse with both hands and an atlas, that would be awesome). Providing a conclusive rebuttal to evolution would require one of the following.

  • Conclusively prove the Earth to be only ten thousand years old, by which I do not mean providing crappy pseudoscientific explanations for how physical laws change at random in order to explain away contradictory evidence.
  • Conclusively demonstrate that species cannot change, by which I do not mean applying folksy down-home ignorance masquerading as common sense.

Point #2: You Are Idiots.

People who accept evolution as the most reasonable interpretation of the evidence are not engaged in a propaganda campaign. You only think that because you are dumb. A major problem of the more fundamentalist brand of idiot is that they tend to assume that everyone knows, in their heart, that the belief system of the idiot in question is correct, and thus that anyone who disagrees with them is either directly or indirectly in the employ of Satan.

That is moronic.

If you cannot accept that other people do not find your religion as convincing as you do, shut the hell up. Atheists and agnostics don’t want to listen to you and other religious people are fed up with you being a jerk.

Point #3: You Are Idiots.

Just…for crying out loud. Go look at the page and tell me these people have come within 500 miles of a clue. I’ll wait.

“Velociraptors: Today terrorize the goat herders of Puerto Rico and are rumored to guard the remains of the Ark on Mt. Ararat. They have become vicious since the Fall as the result of the effects of genetic entropy, making them too dangerous for the sort of interactive public experience we have in mind.”

…you guys do know Puerto Rico is a real place, right? People really live there?

“Funding is being provided by Fellowship University, the Fairlight Institute, and donations from wealthy Christian businessmen who wish to remain anonymous at this time.”

Yeah, there’s probably a reason for that. It involves stylish canvas blazers with long sleeves that do up at the back.

– OSM out


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A Parable

I’d like you to imagine a scene.

You are second in line at a supermarket cash register. In front of you there is a guy attempting to pay with purple banknotes bearing an image of Raul Julia, and loudly arguing with the person behind the till over whether or not they are legal.

Making no progress, he leans back and asks you to back him up on his argument that they are legally acceptable currency. As inducement to do so, he offers you a large bunch of purple banknotes.

The moral of this story is to never, ever use Pascal’s Wager. If you’re going to bribe me, at the very least do it with real money.

– OSM out


Filed under My Disbeliefs

Don’t take up Pascal’s Wager


Just yesterday, I had a freak encounter with a wild Pascal’s Wager. It’s the argument that even if you don’t find the (lack of) evidence for God convincing, you should believe anyway, because if you believe and you’re right you go to Heaven, but if you believe and you’re wrong, you’ve lost nothing, right? It’s a surprisingly common argument. A lot of people find it compelling.

It’s also a load of horsehockey.

When you get right down to it, it has two parts and both of them are terrible – three if you count the assumption that believing something is a little switch you can just toggle on the spur of the moment, but I don’t see any reason to waste time on that one. The part aimed at the listener basically goes “atheists are bad people who need an incentive like self-preservation to believe.” Yeah, no. I disbelieve in God because I have never seen compelling evidence that He exists, and thus I do not find the argument that He does particularly compelling. It’s not “because Christianity didn’t give me pie.” It’s “because Christianity can’t back up its claims.” Totally different phenomenon.

But if the implicit disrespect to not just me but all atheists wasn’t enough, then there’s what Pascal’s Wager says about Pascal’s God. And what it says is not good.

Fundamentally, it says that Christian morality has all the sincerity of a bratty seven-year-old becoming a Perfect Little Angel (TM) when the Christmas decorations go up. It’s not about doing the right thing because it’s the right thing. It’s about doing the right thing because you want stuff. And moreover, it says that God doesn’t care. It says that God cares more about getting compliments that flatter Him than he does about whether those compliments mean anything.

And frankly, if that’s what you believe your God is like, then screw Him with a drill press. Because if I’m wrong and there is a God, and he cares more about His ego than He does about truth, then frankly, I’d prefer Hell. It may be a lake of eternal fire and pitchforks being inserted into places pitchforks aren’t meant to go, but at least it’s an honest lake of fire. I’d much rather have torment that’s honest than an enormous garden packed with pretty flowers and two-faced vipers.

Come on. If you’re going to believe in something, at least believe in something that isn’t a complete self-obsessed tool. Come up with a God I can respect, even if I can’t believe in Him.

(As an aside, if applied consistently, the logical conclusion of Pascal’s Wager is that we should all devote ourselves to all religions simultaneously, just on the off chance that one of them is right. Because hey, just because Beni from The Mummy is a sleazy, spineless rat who would feed his own mother to alligators to save his own miserable hide, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t emulate him, right? Scene, in case you have no idea what I’m talking about.)

– OSM out

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