Blog Archives

An awful metaphor

So, this is the post I mentioned on the Blasphemy Day one. I was bouncing around TVTropes, as I sometimes do, and I found myself following a link to Fundies Say The Darndest Things. Now I generally avoid FSTDT, since it’s more likely to fill me with anger and despair than anything else. In fact I really should have learned by now, I’m far better off with sites like Raising My Rainbow since reading that tends to make me smile.

Pretty obvious now that I think about it. Stories of a gender nonconforming child with a loving family determined to let him be who he wants to be: Good. Collection of the worst quotes made by people who appear to be a danger to themselves and others, many of whom seem to have untreated mental illnesses, which is usually treated as a freakshow for people to laugh at: Bad. And yet I just couldn’t stop myself from clicking the link.

So, here’s the quote that started this post. It’s from 2006, hardly breaking news. As I thought about it, I realized that I had to write about it, and then as my mind branched off into different tracks I decided to do the Blasphemy Day post first. I will reproduce it here below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry

The Infallibile Mind

I saw this on twitter the other day, and it’s a weird one. Not only the article itself, but the site it was on, apparently Faithful News is a site that collects articles they think Christians would be interested in and presents them in one place. I’m not sure how broad a net they cast there, I mean there’s something like forty thousand different Christian religions with many conflicts between them, I’m curious if the site attempts to provide for all of them or focuses on a narrow spectrum. But I’m going to at least make a token attempt to stay on topic here.

The article is titled “Faith in the infallibility of the mind is the atheist’s delusion”, and it puzzles me right from the start because I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone claim that the mind is infallible. In fact much of our society is the way it is because we know that our minds can be fooled. The scientific method and peer-review process are specifically built to make it hard to lie to yourself. All over you’ll see signs reminding you of things you not only know perfectly well, but that are obvious with even the least thought. Our computers ask “are you sure?” for countless operations because sometimes we click on the wrong things, and in my experience we still manage to click “yes” when we mean “no” to that surprisingly often. Read the rest of this entry

Walmart vs Women

Monday morning the Supreme Court decided that a sex-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart cannot proceed as a class-action suit. Here is the decision in pdf. When I refer to page numbers, I’ll be talking about the pdf page for simplicity’s sake. Buckle in, folks, this is going to be a long ride.

I should start with the usual disclaimer pointing out that I am not a lawyer, nor am I trained in the minutiae of legal language. While following the Prop 8 trial I read a lot of legal briefs and had lawyers helping me to understand them which gives me at least a general feel for how these documents work, but I am not by any stretch an expert nor do I pretend to understand the nuances of legal theory. (It’s also worth mentioning that many papers concerned with Prop 8, especially Amicus Curiae briefs supporting the Defendant-Intervenors, were completely insane. Seriously.) As such I’ll mostly keep my discussion onto parts I more or less understand, more philosophy than legality. On those terms, at least, I feel that I can show that Scalia needs a new title. I propose from now on he be known as “Little Janie Q Scalia”. Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: