Sunday, 10 January 2010

Whenever Two or Three

The thing I like about Robert Anton Wilson's work is that it is based in "reality". He never made any pretensions to deeper knowledge of anything, but did reveal a keen awareness of ideas - even though those ideas were always based upon hidden, neglected, and deeper knowledge.

He regularly reminded his readers of the uncertainty of the questions of existence and poked fun of those who were so sure about anything.

So his greatest gift as a conduit of prose for me was his ability to ridicule ridiculous ideas without ever ruling them out entirely. He was the master of questioning the methods of the messenger, while remaining open to the message.
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A great way to stifle social progress is to pit a society against itself by presenting a false dichotomy: Right or wrong; good or bad; with us or against us; Left or Right; war or peace; science or religion.

Evolution or Intelligent Design?
I don't believe there is a better modern example of lousy messengers limiting discovery than those insisting on this absurd choice.

Proponents of official science - at least the most influential and mainstream spokepersons thereof - spend an extraordinary amount of time and effort arguing in the court of public opinion against the yahoos, the likes of whom brought Intelligent Design into the courtroom of the judiciary.

As a result, the "public discussion" consists of antagonistic mockery, with two encampments ostensibly secure in their knowledge and/or faith.

Proponents of Intelligent Design (I use caps because that is what they are after) are quick to point out that Evolution is just a theory; that they only want pupils to have access to "both sides".

I have for so long been on the outside thinking in on this matter that I've become used to the probability of being dismissed either way.
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Today's featured article fits into the "they are revealing the truth gradually" category. The subject matter and tangential dynamic is known to me because I have followed it for longer than I've been an Atheist, at least since Chariots of the Gods reran at the Arlington.

If it turned out that "the truth" is finally revealed, I'd be willing to bet that "the sceptics" would be the first ones to swallow it and ridicule anyone who doesn't, and "the faithful" would be the first to spin it to fit their convictions. Or maybe it'd be the other way around. Hell, what do I know? Nothing.


And as a bonus, this interview with two heroes of opposing opinion, with a perhaps unplanned revelation by the interviewee, quickly spun to fit the host's agenda.