[ExI] What's wrong with Maher's Religulous?

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 06:42:52 UTC 2009

2009/4/10 Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com>:
> At 03:54 PM 4/9/2009 -0700, Fred wrote:
>> I interpreted all of what Maher was doing in the movie as part of the
>> joke but if someone else wants to interpret differently I guess they
>> can.  But to me that is missing part of the joke in the movie.
> I just watched it at http://megavideo.com/?v=7viu43yz and it's a joke only
> in the blackest, grimmest way, a joke with a very serious uncompromising
> message embedded in it (which is presented too apocalyptically, maybe, but I
> agree with almost everything he says). The humor is all of the form, "Adults
> *said* that? They *did* that? Wtf??!!" So yes, he's emphasizing what's
> egregiously ridiculous and dangerous in "faith" rather than what's sweet and
> consoling and kindly, and some of his more bizarre spokescritters for faith
> are extremists not typical of the average churchgoer--but what I think he
> shows very effectively is how *entangled and complicit* the "nice" people
> are in the crazy, ludicrous, brain-stopping, dangerous bullshit.
> Of course, given some of the crazy, dangerous bullshit we've seen on the ExI
> chat list recently, this human failing is not restricted to those deluded by
> religions. But I'd guess the proportion of loons is lower here. I hope.
> Damien Broderick

I just watched it online too. It's funny, well worth watching. It
feels unbalanced, but I think that might be because we are accustomed
to giving religion a "fair go". In fact, religion is ridiculous on its
face, and it's very hard to criticize it without going nuclear, and
without sounding like you are being mean.

It reminds me of the kinds of annoying people you can find in your
life, who give the impression of being incredibly emotionally fragile
so you feel obligated to not ruffle their feathers, and who proceed to
egregiously miss social hints and cues; you know, the energy vampires.
They are subtle defectors in the iterated prisoner's dilemma of social
life. Religion seems to me to make use of the same tactic; put up
something so wacky, that people who want in have to give up their
rational tools to successfully join, and people who don't want in
can't criticize without appearing extremely rude.


http://emlyntech.wordpress.com - coding related
http://point7.wordpress.com - ranting
http://emlynoregan.com - main site

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list