Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Ravings From a Conservative Wingnut

Yesterday I posted about a conservative effort to retranslate the Bible and purge it of suspect "liberal" corruptions. Not content with rewriting history, conservatives now have the Bible on their list. Astonishingly, they would like to leave out the story about Jesus protecting the adulterous woman from being stoned to death! They also have problems with Jesus saying, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." I imagine "Judge not lest ye be judged" is probably on their list to things to omit.

It really seems like they want to create a document that would justify biblical punishments against gays, liberals, feminists, atheists or abortionists. Curiously, while professing to be Christian they seek to dismiss all the teachings that promote gentleness, compassion, humility and generosity, and instead seem to long to "go Old Testament on peoples' asses".

Here, in their own words, are the benefits of this undertaking. (My use of boldface)

Benefits include:

* mastery of the Bible, which is priceless
* mastery of the English language, which is valuable
* thorough understanding of the differences in Bible translations, particularly the historically important King James Version
* benefiting from activity that no public school would ever allow; a Conservative Bible could become a text for public school courses
* liberals will oppose this effort, but they will have to read the Bible to criticize this, and that will open their minds

Why on earth the author believes that this new text would be acceptable material for public school, I have no idea. But then, he is not very smart. Check out his understanding of the concept of open-mindedness! I copied this large tract just in case he decides to remove it for some reason----like someone convinces him people are laughing at him!

Essay: Quantifying Openmindedness

We quantify intelligence (IQ), academic performance (grades), body weight (pounds or kilograms), running speed, and all sorts of other personal characteristics. But perhaps more useful than any of those numbers would be a measure of open-mindedness.

By "open-mindedness" I mean a genuine willingness to consider the evidence before rejecting an idea. I do not mean tolerance, or a rejection of absolute truth, or skepticism. Open-mindedness means here what the dictionary says: "receptive to arguments or ideas."[1]

One way to measure open-mindedness is to test for close-mindedness, and then take the converse. A subject for our measurement can be asked if he views certain proposals as impossible. By impossible I do not mean mathematically impossible, but so unlikely as to be considered absurd. Belief in impossibility is a sign of close-mindedness, because it reflects the unwillingness of the subject to be "receptive" to the possibility.

Example Questions and Topics

1. Do you resist admitting the possibility that a conservative approach to education is far more effective for students than a liberal one?
2. Do you resist admitting that something you accepted for over a decade is, in fact, completely false?
3. Do you resist the possibility that Hollywood values result in significant harm for those who believe in them, and to innocent bystanders?
4. Do you think it is impossible that increased gun ownership reduces the rate of crime?
5. When President Ronald Reagan told Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, did you think that it was impossible for the Berlin Wall to be torn down?
6. Did you think, or still think, that the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") is impossible?
7. Do you think that it is impossible that the Shroud of Turin is authentic?
8. Do you think that there must be a material explanation for remarkable homing and migration behavior of birds and butterflies?
9. Do you think that it is impossible for the speed of light to have been different in the past?
10. Do you think that it is impossible to measure openmindedness?
11. Do you think that evolution [2] must have occurred?
12. Do you think that is impossible for the power of 2 in Newtonian gravity, whereby the gravitational force is proportional to 1/r2, to be more precise with an exponent that is slightly different from 2, such as a gravitational force proportional to 1/r2.00000001?
13. Do you resist admitting that some things taught to you in school are completely false, and even known to be false by some responsible for the material?

A dozen such questions can be posed, and one's closed-mindedness can be scored based on how often they answered "yes" above. Answering more than half as "yes" reflects acute closed-mindedness.

Seems rather like his definition for open-mindedness is gullibility for notions without any evidence or support whatsoever. What a tool!

No comments: