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Paul Crowley

You may also be interested in Eliezer Yudkowsky's But There's Still A Chance, Right? which argues a similar point.


The problem with the window/fairies analogy is that, if someone does it, the person WILL realise, within a few seconds, if s/he's right or wrong (and other people too once they hear the splat). Religious people probably will never find out how wrong they were, because the ultimate test -death- is, by definition, most likely unreachable. A sad irony.
They may hit plenty of thorny branches on the way down, we know that, but since no-one has ever seen anyone make an actual splat, they keep thinking the fairies will pick them up at the last moment...


Outstanding! Terrific post, but I'm still pretty sure that the faith heads that I've met will STILL not get it!

They'll say: "But fairies aren't real" over and over without a glimmer of irony.


G Felis

Wonderful post. I keep saying the same thing in dozens of different ways: It's not that I care what people believe, I care about what people DO - and a great deal of what people do springs from what they believe. Ultimately, that's why I say that faith - believing something just because you want to believe it without regard to whether there is any evidence or reasoning that can justify that belief, and often in the face of evidence and reasoning against the truth of the belief - is not just a bad idea, but moral failing. The actions you take in the world often have moral consequences, and if your beliefs about the world are based on faith, they are vastly more likely to be false beliefs - and therefore you are vastly more likely to take actions with evil consequences.


But if you DO jump out a 4th floor window and faeries don't catch you, its because you didn't have enough faith in them. You can't prove the faeries weren't there either way.


This piece is about the same thing:

If you haven't read it yet, you'll love it, I think. It's from the same guy who wrote Kissing Hank's Ass...


@ Joe. I agree. I've seen other versions of the argument that Greta Christina makes here, and although it seems so clear to us, some believers just do not seem to be able to get the point of it at all, since to them it's obvious that all the other supernatural and mythical creatures and characters don't exist, but that theirs do.

It's like "the best caller ever" from The Atheist Experience (see link below). I nearly fell off the chair laughing when I saw the YouTube clip the first time, but at the same time it's rather sad.

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