The Unbearable Dimness of Beings


I found a piece of poorly-written illogic on YouTube. (The writer is American, so English is not a foreign language for him.) YouTube is a veritable mine of ignorant verbiage.

Of course, there are religionists who can write coherent English, complete with accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation. However, literate religionists are lamentably rare, and logical religionist arguments are even rarer. The illogical rant below is a classic tu quoque fallacy that relies upon doublespeak.

“so atheists say that having your children read a Bible or a koran is brainwash...well how about your background with a child reading darwins book the origin of species? isnt that brainwashing youth too?”
He probably imagines that he has said something clever. There are several problems with the argument: first, few youth, let alone children actually read Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species”; second, science writing and science education is not brainwashing.

Let’s look at a definition of brainwashing:

Brainwashing, the application of coercive techniques to change the values and beliefs, perceptions and judgments, and subsequent mindsets and behaviors of one or more people, usually for political or religious purposes.”
This definition does not include science or science education, unless one regards facts and logic as coercive. Is insistence that a child read the Bible or Quran inherently coercive? Not necessarily. However, threats of eternal hellfire for non-believers is emotionally coercive.

The term “brainwashing” was initially coined to indicate applying coercive measures to alter an already existing belief set. Religious indoctrination inserts a mindset where none previously existed. In this sense, it is slightly inaccurate to call the indoctrination of children “brainwashing”.

The fact remains, however, that those children who are raised within religionist households are given no choice about religious exposure. Further, babies are born with the right idea – they don't believe in supernatural agents until, that is, they are instructed to do so. Religious dogmas are man-made creations that are insinuated into the minds of those not yet able to think for themselves.

Like so many of his ilk, the individual responsible for the poorly-written illogic is otherwise unpleasant:

“Alot of fuckin liberals and Muslims like to rate my videos with one star and shit because they don't like what I say about your dumb shit and yeah, just kind of immature don't you think? Well I guess most of you assholes don't know the meaning of immaturity since you type lyk3 d3 r @ fukn 10 yr 0l kid”
I have never written such a thing and nor would any liberals of my acquaintance. I suppose that there are liberals whose language is as pitiful or unpleasant as that of this Republican. I have more often seen unpleasant remarks from “Christians”, though.

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