PZ Myers And Kids Getting Expelled

August 2, 2008 at 7:28 pm (Uncategorized)

Some UCF kid did his retarded desecration in a campus church.  Way to win at life.  Expulsion for it is a bit retarded, but the good anti-creationist folks from the Center for Inquiry, whose letter regarding the incident PZ reproduced on his website, have horribly misused a key academic phrase:

We can understand that you are experiencing an onslaught of public pressure to punish Webster Cook and one can certainly argue that his behavior was insensitive. Yet this begs the question: what would the size of your student body be if you expelled all students who were insensitive? An enlightened university education reinforces the virtue of free speech’s role in a civil society.

An enlightened university education should also teach you basic logic, especially if you’re going to try and eschew religion.  To beg the question is to be a certain logical fallacy, NOT to ask a quasi-relevant rhetorical question.

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3 Comments

  1. Dave said,

    From the same Wikipedia article:

    ——-
    Modern usage

    More recently, to beg the question has been used by some to mean “to raise the question”, or “the question really ought to be addressed”. [7] An example of such a use would be, “This year’s budget deficit is half a trillion dollars. This begs the question: how are we ever going to balance the budget?” Although proponents of the traditional meaning will criticize this formally incorrect usage, it has nonetheless come into widespread use and in informal contexts may actually be the more common use of the term. The phrases circular reasoning, circular logic, and circular arguments have come to be used in places where logicians would tend to use “beg the question”.
    ——-

    I’ve found that the “raises the question” use of this phrase is far more common that the fallacy version since few people know about this fallacy.

    I don’t agree with encouraging anyone to desecrate anything. Desecration is a malicious act. We know that it’s just a fucking cracker but some crackers out there think it’s Jesus (my apologies for the equivocation). Ridicule of absurd beliefs is okay in my book though. Ridiculous propositions deserve ridicule. That’s practically by definition, right?

  2. Dave said,

    It occurred to me after my previous post that you are implying that the UCF kid did his desecration at the behest of PZ Myers. You do realize that PZ Myers’ entire eurcharist rant and subsequent desecration was done after the UCF kid had gotten in trouble? Right? The whole point of Myers’ posts was to expose the ludicriousness of the entire situation and had not instigated any of it. I know of nobody who has desecrated a eucharist based on PZ’s blog.

    You can call PZ a douchebag all you want but the fact is, his blog posts on this subject were a response to the situation and not the cause of it. The cause of it is real douchebags like Bill Donahue and other religious fanatics who take every little criticism as a hate crime. It’s really pretty pathetic. Their religion and their God are so weak that they require self important twits like Donahue for defense.

  3. dietcoupon said,

    Okay, that’s fair, i guess I misunderstood the situation since this whole desecration thing is what alerted me to Pharyngula in the first place. Donahue is a douchebag too, for whatever that’s worth. It’s just a cycle of hate that needs to be broken. And upon closer inspection of the comments – you’re right. Thanks for calling me on it and keeping me on my toes 🙂

    Honestly, I was kind of stretching for a post because PZ had a whole bunch of science-related (gasp!) posts this weekend, and not a whole lot to mock. My understanding of this blogging thing is, you want to keep up to date, otherwise people will think you’ve lost interest and aren’t worth checking out on a regular basis.

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