“If someone doesn’t value evidence then what evidence can you give them to change their mind? If someone doesn’t value logic then what argument can you persuade them with?”
There’s a story in the news this morning about a guy who claims to be the second coming of Jesus Christ…..
Now I could go on about the burden of proof and rip his story apart in all sorts of ways but what would be the point? This story only proves that there is no story so outlandish that you can’t find some people to believe in it. In fact the only problem he has is that a world of 6 Billion people he hasn’t, so far, found that many but give it time and some mass media exposure and he’ll be set for life.
This kind of thing is a prime example of why I have given up arguing with the faithful like this guy who I was arguing with last week about scripture…..
In this guy’s opinion the only thing that would make the story above more convincing is to wait until 100 years after he’s dead then get dozens of people who didn’t know him to write down a 3rd or 4th hand version of the story then get 47 translators to amalgamate them into 4 differing accounts of the story! Now it becomes believable! Obviously such things are only believable to people who start with a belief in God and then try to fit the facts around that as best they can. This is why I have now embraced APATHEISM because I only have one life to live and I haven’t got the time to waste worrying about the beliefs of others. I can only trust in my gut feeling that in the great bell curve of belief the vast majority of people are similarly apatheistic and merely going along with whatever social flow they have been born into. I have reason to believe this…..
So the Next Generation of consoles is almost here and everyone is wondering what they will cost, how they will sell and who will sell the most.
My PS3 has been the best console I have ever had and also the cheapest. Almost 25 years ago as a starving student I had a Mega Drive with only 3 games because, at £40 a time, that was all I could afford. This last year I have had about 40 games from Sony for the princely sum of £30 for PS+ plus discounts on many others. Given what we’ve been hearing about the XboxOne and second-hand games if Sony can continue PS+ onto the PS4 then my next console is a no brainer. The bigger problem for them is that there is currently no compelling reason for me or many others to upgrade immediately. I have around 150 games for the PS3 many of them 1080p and none of them will work on the PS4. Gran Turismo 6 looks amazing and is PS3 only. I also already have You Tube and Netflix and the ability to play DVDs, Blurays and all my streamed media on it in 1080p so what would compel me to buy one?
Every previous Playstation has upped the graphical stakes a lot. PS1 was lo-res. PS2 was hi-res. PS3 was HD and the PS4 will be…. HD too. This is a problem. Millions and Millions of people have been playing HD games on PS3s and 360s for nearly 8 years so now they have to be convinced that Next Gen HD will be superior. Undoubtably it will but not so noticeably to the average gamer. Hopefully all games on PS4 will be 1080p @ 60fps rather than just a few on the PS3 and that would make a big difference to me but would it matter to most? I don’t hear a lot of people howling about 30fps on most current gen games. Codemasters seem to sell plenty of F1 games despite the horrible 30fps refresh. The graphics on Need For Speed Unleashed 2 actually made me physically ill. One of my favourite games of the last year was Sonic Racing Transformed despite a less than smooth experience with s frame rate that seemed to drop into single figures at times. The most annoying thing about the current generation of consoles has been the difficulty of optimising for two radically different architectures so that the only games that really excel graphically are the ones which are exclusive to one console. (Uncharted 3, Forza 4, GT5 & 6 even Wipeout Fury.) Hopefully with similar architectures the Next Gen games will be, on the whole, better optimised although if the PS4 really is 50% more powerful that has to be a concern for Microsoft if they don’t want to be sidelined from AAA titles like Nintendo. I am going to watch with interest and probably won’t buy one till late 2014.
I had a little Twitter conversation with my favourite man of the cloth Rev Richard Coles a few weeks ago…..
I was having a little crisis of confidence in some of my fellow online non-believers. He, surprisingly, admitted to me that, like myself, he swings back and forth between apathy and antipathy towards Religion. It struck me as interesting that a man of the cloth could adopt a position so close to that of myself who has never believed in God. It made me wonder about all sorts of things. To what extent are the labels we put on ourselves decided before we justify them? Optimist or pessimist? believer or non-believer. In other words do Scientists make good Atheists or vice versa? I have observed that most Religious people seldom have any interest in rational reasons for their beliefs but rather their world-view seems to be developed out of an emotional response to Bach, or Titian or the beauty of the natural world and they mostly choose to set aside reason. Francis Collins famously set his rational mind aside after seeing a beautiful waterfall. Others have failed to comprehend how the natural world could exist without a creator and thus have concluded that God must exist. I have a lot of sympathy for these kind of views and generally these kind of believers are nice, genuine people who truly cannot, or don’t wish to, understand a creation without a creator. They are probably as perplexed by me as i am by them. Some have gone as far as being ordained despite their doubts because, i guess, they have weighed everything up and concluded that the fruits of their endeavour are their own reward. The ones to worry about are the ones who insist that Religion is rational and their Holy books are the word of God etc despite evidence. It is one thing to be concerned with matters eternal but it is something else to to claim rational reasons for doing so.
So I have decided to start a wee blog since I sometimes find the character limit on Twitter a bit limiting. I also find the idea of people constantly Tweeting on one subject tiresome (I’m looking at you Richard Dawkins.) so expect an eclectic mix from this site. I am thinking about doing the OU Creative Writing course later this year so this is just some practice.
Today I have been mostly thinking about how incredible the comeback of Tiger Woods has been this year. His winning percentage is so good that he is currently 9 years ahead of Snead’s pace and might overtake his record by this time next year. (If not before.) it was only last year that I felt he was done and McIlroy was the new Golden Child but what he has achieved over the last 12 months has been quite astounding and reinforced just how far ahead of everyone else he is even when he is, arguably, no longer in his prime. His current lead over McIlroy in the World Rankings would actually be 1.5 points more were it not for the minimum number of Tournaments they count being 4 more than Tiger has actually played. Quite astounding. I am a huge fan of Jack Nicklaus but I now have to concede that his playing record is almost certainly going to be demoted to #2 by the time Tiger is done and that’s saying something.