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Christianity &Islam Thomas on 25 Sep 2009 12:17 am

How to talk to complete idiots

“Three basic options. Choose wisely, lest you go totally insane”:

How to talk to complete idiots

You may, for instance, attempt to explain evolution to an extreme fundamentalist Christian. You may offer up carbon dating, the fossil record, glaciers, any one of 10,000 irrefutable proofs. You may even dare to talk about the Bible as the clever, completely manufactured, man-made piece of heavily politicized, massively edited, literary myth-making it so very much is, using all sorts of sound academic evidence and historical record.

You are, of course, insane beyond belief to try this, but sometimes you just can’t help it. To the educated mind, it seems inconceivable that millions of people will choose rabid ignorance and childish fantasy over, say, a polar bear. Permafrost. Rocks. Nag Hammadi. But they will, and they do. Faced with this mountain of factual obviousness, the bewildered fundamentalist will merely leap back as if you just jabbed him with a flaming homosexual cattle prod, and then fall into a swoon about how neat it is that angels can fly.

6 Responses to “How to talk to complete idiots”

  1. on 25 Sep 2009 at 4:18 pm 1.Bruebista said …

    “This Rule of Idiocy also explains why, when you show certain jumpy, conservative Americans the irrefutable facts about, say, skyrocketing health care costs that are draining their bank accounts, and then show how Obama’s rather modest overhaul is meant to save members of all ages and genders and party affiliations a significant amount of money”

    The author has now offered himself to be sheep, a fool, uneduated and completly unaware that Obama does not have a plan but only one liners and vague assessments. Therfore all other anlysis is no longer credible.

  2. on 26 Sep 2009 at 3:36 am 2.Anonymous said …

    I want to try your question #1. Why won’t God heal Amputees?

    Please let me know if you heard this before.
    Case 1: God heal no one – you ask Q 1.
    Case 2: God heal someone – you ask Q 2.
    A lot of atraving people in the world, yes. But also a lot of well-fed (or too-well-fed) people at the same time.
    Case 3: God heal everyone – you won’t ask this Q because it is natural then.

    I think these cases pretty much cover all the possibilities. Happy to hear your case 4.


  3. on 28 Sep 2009 at 7:41 pm 3.AntiRoss said …

    This article really rings true.
    Reminds me of a study about ten years ago on competence vs incompetence, where competent people constantly questioned whether they were doing well enough, but the incompetent ones considered themselves as doing just peachy, no matter the facts.

    Or kind of like 80% of people considering themselves of above average intelligence…

    …still…you have to try…

  4. on 29 Sep 2009 at 4:52 am 4.Sinot said …

    Hi, AntiRoss, so you mean a person who thinks he/she is competent is actually incompetent and vice versa? This is pretty Zen. So someone claims himself/herself an atheist actually believes in God. :> Just joking.

    I am a Christian and I actually believe in Jesus Christ Yes, I will still try..


  5. on 29 Sep 2009 at 3:42 pm 5.AntiRoss said …

    The study simply implied that people who are the most competent get that way by constantly questioning whether what they are doing is at a high enough standard.
    Those that are incompetent often believe that they are great at what they do. By not recognizing any flaws that they may have, they overestimate their own ability.
    Often these same people achieve higher positions in their jobs simply because they display such confidence in their own abilities.

    Obviously there’s a lot of variance – it’s not just clearly defined black and white areas.

  6. on 30 Sep 2009 at 1:56 am 6.Sinot said …

    Yes, sometimes you just can’t help second-guessing yourself when people are that confident.

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