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Sep 30 2010

Pew Poll Pablum

When you study religion in college, your knowledge
Goes straight to your memory, missing your heart;
For people who lack the emotion, the notion
Of putting down faith makes them feel really smart.
Unless it’s a testable question, suggestions
Of heavenly forces are mocked and ignored;
The good-hearted folks who find kneeling appealing
Are held in contempt by the atheist horde.

The godless remain where they started, cold-hearted,
While god-fearing people’s emotions are moved;
They’re different from real human beings, I’m seeing,
So clearly it’s shown, I consider it proved!
The godless are never excited, delighted,
Feel love unrequited, or sorrow unplanned;
They’re robots! Their whole human backing is lacking—
It’s clear as a crystal–they don’t understand.

The battle of Pew Poll is being spun in multiple directions. Atheists are smarter; atheists claim they are smarter; atheists know more trivia; the test was general, not specific; does knowledge cause atheism or vice versa; knowing about something is different from knowing something… and more. Atheists reject religion because they do not know it in the same way as the faithful… except that so many of us were once among the faithful, and have not forgotten what it felt like. At the time, my religious conversion experience was perhaps the most overwhelming thing I had ever felt. I was a part of that community, too, and would never deny that part of the appeal. I have since had more overwhelming experiences (hey, I am a parent, after all), and have been part of different communities.

I am slightly insulted by the insinuations in the argument. I am not arguing out of a place of ignorance, either in the trivial knowledge part or the emotional, community, spiritual, etc. part. It is not that I do not know that view. Rather, it is that I know that view and so much more.

There is definitely misunderstanding going on. I just don’t think the fingers are pointing in the right directions.

Cuttlecap tip to PZ, again.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Ferrous Patella

    Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap…

  2. 2
    Emily

    Wonderful poem! I particularly like the little internal rhymes. And of course the content.

  3. 3
    Ray

    You have to give them credit. They have the most amazing ability to rationalise anything in order to support their beliefs.

  4. 4
    mattir

    Have I mentioned that you have teen girl fans? Well, I've just been informed by a teen girl that she thinks you're awesome. Congratulations.

  5. 5
    Thinker

    Great poem, as usual – I love the structure, and immediately wanted to take it for a spin. In my case, the theme is a fundamental difference between the religious and the scientific mindset:
    If you find the stuff in the bible reliable,
    and you trust the clerics: “It’s all we can know!”
    If you in your pew with your missus think bliss is
    sitting still, never moving, then how will you grow?
    You’re proud you’ve accepted, not doubted, what’s touted:
    that Truth is eternal and never will change
    while we find the iconoclastic fantastic
    and your static worldview as something quite strange.

    If Old Truth is wrong, well, let’s face it: replace it
    with models that fit data better – no sweat!
    To us, it’s a quest never-ending: ascending
    the shoulders of giants, to see further yet.
    If you cannot see what is grand in expandin’
    the body of knowledge we humans can share
    and, frankly, if you think exploring is boring
    as Hell, then in our view, you’re already there!

  6. 6
    Cuttlefish

    Thinker–brilliant!I do believe I have invented a brand new verse form! I've written three in this format, and now you have one as well (to make it officially a form others would use!)–now I need to properly name it! Limericks were named after their town; double dactyls after their structure; clarihews after their inventor. What should this new form be named?

  7. 7
    Jacqueline

    Thank you. Yes it does seem that they don't want to think or know beyond where the faith mall is. Like giving someone a large part of your brain and saying 'here, you look after this, I really can't be bothered.' I think the verse form has been used and named before, but I wouldn't let that stop you. I offer the 'cuttlebutter' form, or perhaps 'double cuttlebutter'.

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