Thought of the day

Many atheists are anti-theism. Many theists are anti-atheist.

The Invention of Lying

I know, I know. I’m way behind on seeing The Invention of Lying, but I did finally manage to see it the other night. As a Ricky Gervais fan, I loved it. The romance in the plot came across as contrived from time to time, but that really wasn’t the point of the movie. To understand that, one only needs to watch this scene. (Sorry, embedding has been disabled.)

But for those too lazy to click, this scene from another Ricky Gervais movie gives the jist of the idea.

Pastor: Stay away from Facebook, married couples

A nobody pastor from New Jersey has told married members of his congregation to stop using Facebook. He says the site too often leads to marital trouble.

‘I’ve been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half.

‘What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great.’

It isn’t that surprising that religious leaders are struggling with change. It virtually always is religion that stands in the way or at least in opposition to progress. And every time, people eventually realize the strength of change and just brush past religion.

The fact is, Facebook is one of the most important creations of the past decade. It has contributed to the fundamental change in how we interact with each other, and I think it has done so for the overall good. While one of its drawbacks happens to be the use of the system by inept older people, this is also one of its strengths. But take note: when I say “older people”, I’m not simply referring to age. I’m talking about an “old person mindset”. That’s a mindset that dismisses new facts for old tradition. If anything does that, it’s religion. Facebook and other social media have the ability to bring people with old, obsolete perspectives into reality.

But two more points: First, it’s a load of garbage that this nobody has gotten so much attention. Provided that he has no formal training and is merely a Reverend goes to the point Gnu Atheists are always making: we give undue respect to people based upon religion. This guy appears to have absolutely no qualifications for giving marital advice any more than any random scrub does. I want a reason why I should listen to him, not an appeal to unearned respect.

Second, there’s a follow-up story about this nobody pastor.

The Rev. Cedric Miller didn’t need Facebook to be part of an extramarital affair. The pastor who banned Facebook had three-way sex affair.

Miller, 48, who gained national attention this week when he banned his church’s leadership from using Facebook because he said it is a portal to infidelity, had himself engaged in a three-way relationship with his wife and a man a decade ago, according to testimony he gave in a criminal case.

While entertaining, who gives a shit? If there’s anything I despise, it’s this persistent fallacy of dismissing arguments from people who are hypocritical. We have plenty of reasons to dismiss Miller’s points about Facebook. We don’t need to try to ignore his arguments by attacking him personally. Unless we have a reason to think he’s just making it all up and lying, Miller is irrelevant to the strength of the points being made.