Friday, November 25, 2011

The Stupid! It Burns! (the miracle of language edition)

the stupid! it burns! In his latest essay, Atheist, Heal Thyself: The Myths of Atheism (this guy is too stupid even for PuffHo), Moshe Averick really outdoes himself in the egregious stupidity department.
Scientists are stymied in their attempts to explain even such a common and basic human ability like verbal communication, in material terms. I will briefly elaborate. Imagine two men; one is an American who only speaks English, one is Chinese and only speaks Chinese. Both are thirsty and desire liquid refreshment. In other words, both are thinking essentially the same thought; namely, that they want to imbibe liquid into their bodies. Each turns to the other and in their respective language, asks for a drink of water. Of course, neither has any idea what the other is talking about. Why? It is because the thought, “I want a drink of water,” is completely separate and different than the words, “I want a drink of water.” The words themselves mean nothing at all. They are arbitrary sounds that represent thoughts, ideas, concepts, emotions, i.e., information. When I am thirsty and want to ask someone for a drink, I proceed to form a series of arbitrary and intrinsically senseless sounds with my mouth. These sounds travel through the air where they are heard by another person, who then decodes these sounds and brings me a glass of water. We take it for granted because we do it all the time, but what is transpiring is nothing short of miraculous. I am taking ideas in my head and sending them through the air to others. I am attaching ideas to sound waves. The words (i.e. the sounds), that I spoke were arbitrary and meaningless, but the information was very specific and very meaningful. Words and sounds do not equal information, words and sounds represent information. The information itself cannot be defined in material terms. [overused emphasis (the good rabbi loves him some italics) omitted]

Seriously, this is what passes for "sophisticated" thought among the religious.

As is often the case, the article is chock full of stupid, a lot more than I quote here.

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