Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hmm …

… What Martial Arts Have to Do With Atheism - Graeme Wood - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Those videos defy description. They are the physical manifestation of the same kinds of reasoning errors and self-deception we see in religion--with the crucial difference that, in martial arts, it is possible to expose a person's misconceptions in real time for all to see. But what's amazing--and this should really worry people of faith--is that, even in the martial arts, a person can persist in delusion for decades, gather students, and become a famous master of his fake discipline without knowing that he has wandered completely out of contact with reality. This madman can't even begin to do what he thinks he can do--and what he is apparently renowned for doing--because the skill he is displaying and that his students are striving to emulate doesn't exist. The whole thing is a collective delusion. If religion were a sport, it would look like that first Yanagi Ryuken video. The second video, of course, is what science has been doing to religion, over and over, for the last few centuries.

"They are the physical manifestation of the same the same kinds of reasoning errors and self-deception we see in religion…" The errors displayed in the video are identified with those perceived to characterize religion. Such identification, however, is precisely what needs to be be demonstrated. Petitio principii.

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