My exciting plans for tomorrow evening!


The Morris Theater is showing God’s Not Dead tomorrow at 7, and I have to go for multiple reasons. I want to find out how philosophy teaching works. From the trailer, it sounds like philosophers simply tell all their students what the answer is, and order them to write down the words verbatim in their exams. I’m really curious to see how effective that is, since it would make my teaching so much simpler.

I’m also curious to watch the audience. Maybe we’ll all be looking at each other, thinking “Oh, you’re the kind of idiot who goes to these things. Heh, heh, heh.”

I’ll be killing time, too, until it gets dark enough to drive a few miles out of town and bury the bodies under cloak of darkness I mean, watch the reputed meteor shower that evening.

Anyone else in the Morris area going? We could pick up the latest hot tips in college pedagogy.

Oh, never mind — nobody in Stevens County reads this weird blog.

Comments

  1. chigau (違う) says

    You should make sure that scavengers can get to the bodies wear a warm sweater.

  2. mikeyb says

    From reviews I’ve read the film engages in some pretty standard cliche’s:

    -Main goal of college professors is to destroy faith not educate
    -Atheists don’t disbelieve in god, they are secretly angry at a god they know exists
    -Atheists are just unpleasant angry people in general
    -Atheists raise their voices whenever they invoke the deity
    -there actually are good arguments for gods existence
    -No atheists in foxholes, death bed conversions

    etc. etc.

  3. says

    You forgot, “People become atheists because of trauma or damage in their lives.”

    I’ll try to make a list while I’m there.

  4. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    bury the bodies under cloak of darkness I mean, watch the reputed meteor shower that evening

    Couldn’t you do both?

  5. johnniefurious says

    I thought we were atheists because we want to sin? Personally, I do so to save energy, it’s one less letter than agnostic.

  6. John Kruger says

    You could always just read a case by case rebuttal that has spoilers in it and avoid giving Christian propagandists your money.

    If you really must go, be sure to bring something to bite down on in rage and keep yourself from yelling “Oh come on!” at the screen over and over again until you are evicted. Seriously, it is that bad.

  7. twas brillig (stevem) says

    from the review I read on Daily KOS it sounded like an extreme takedown of Dawkins, basing the title as a counterpoint to God is Dead.
    Just try not to giggle too much at the ridiculousosity… ^_^

  8. EvoMonkey says

    Your a brave man, PZ. Will some be strapping you into the theater chair? This movie is bound be mindnumbing with incredibly bad acting and directing.

  9. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    @John Kruge #7:

    You could always just read a case by case rebuttal that has spoilers in it and avoid giving Christian propagandists your money.

    According to Box Office Mojo, the movie’s already made nearly $60 million. Say what you will about religion, but it sure is good for turning a profit.

  10. Crimson Clupeidae says

    For those who might be inclined to follow the link in post 7 to Dan Fincke’s rebuttal:

    Trigger warning……

    This is the longest blog post of my own writing I’ve ever published, eight times as long as my normal posts and ~6,000 words longer than my next longest posts.

    So if you thought Dan was verbose before……

  11. barnestormer says

    I. . . kind of want to watch it just so I can write fanfic. But maybe the rebuttal will be good enough for my purposes?

  12. says

    I’m only an atheist because I felt guilty eating babies when I was a catholic.

    Wait. That’s probably too close to be funny.

    I’m an atheist because I chanted that fucking cthulhu ritual until my throat hurt and he still didn’t come eat my cat.

  13. mikeyb says

    Funny I first got exposed to atheistic ideas not through science but philosophy. I had an English professor who was fond of existentialisism, so we read books like Sartre’s Nausea and Camus’ The Stranger and The Plague, which I’m still fond of to this day though they strikes me as somewhat irrational mood pieces these days. It was only much later that I became interested in science and theories like evolution influenced my thinking.

  14. mikeyb says

    existentialism. existence precedes essence.

    “Being is a being such that in its being, its being is in question in so far as its being implies a being other than itself,” if I remember a Sartre tongue twister correctly.

  15. Ichthyic says

    Dan’s rebuttal is an excellent case on point for the concept that it takes ten times as much effort to debunk a lie as it does to tell one.

  16. Ichthyic says

    “Being is a being such that in its being, its being is in question in so far as its being implies a being other than itself,” if I remember a Sartre tongue twister correctly.

    Half a bee, philosophically,
    Must, ipso facto, half not be.
    But half the bee has got to be
    Vis a vis, its entity. D’you see?

  17. mikeyb says

    Yes, atheists don’t do theology, instead they do existential philosophy.

    A lot of you might have already seen this, but here’s a cute folk tune in honor of Cthulhu.

  18. Suido says

    Just had a quick look at Dan’s debunking, noticed the atheist professor is called “Josh Wheaton”.

    Sounds way too similar to Joss Whedon, and also Wil Wheaton… popular progressives who champion such un-christian values as empowering women. Wonder if the film has any disclaimers denying that the characters are based on real people?

  19. DeCaf Americano says

    I just asked my wife, she said the gas would be too much (I live in the Cities).

  20. Al Dente says

    And if Dan Fincke is doing the debunking, it will take 10ͦ¹° times as many words.

    I read his critique of God’s Not Dead. Fincke is verbose, prolix and grandiloquent. He doesn’t use one word when six or seven will do and he’ll repeat the same point several times. The Department of Redundancy Department should study Dan’s writing to see how to be tediously rambling while driving a subject into the ground.

  21. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Department of Redundancy Department should study Dan’s writing to see how to be tediously rambling while driving a subject into the ground.

    I think ICH has the method down pat….
    I swear, the vagueness requires a company to hire consultants to explain what is meant in real terms….

  22. says

    I enjoyed Dan’s takedown — in this case it was a pleasure watching him beat a point to death, go on beating it into the ground, napalm the area, beat the ashes, piss on the ashes, then scatter them to the winds….

  23. says

    “Being is a being such that in its being, its being is in question in so far as its being implies a being other than itself,” if I remember a Sartre tongue twister correctly.

    That’s not verbose or obscure enough – my favorite philosophical quote is

    What Does Existence Mean?

    The word designates a mode of Being;
    specifically, the Being of those beings who stand open for the openness of Being in which they stand by standing it….

    The proposition “man exists” means:

    man is that being whose Being is distinguished by the open-standing standing-in in the unconcealedness
    of Being, from Being, in Being.

    Martin Heidegger 1956

  24. says

    I enjoyed Dan’s takedown — in this case it was a pleasure watching him beat a point to death, go on beating it into the ground, napalm the area, beat the ashes, piss on the ashes, then scatter them to the winds….

    At your service.

  25. Avgi Kyriazi says

    *correction: they studied philosophy in college. I remembered them mentioning majoring in it but I was wrong

  26. gussnarp says

    @Suido #26&27:

    I’ve heard a couple of other people mention this similarity, and if you’re at all familiar with Joss Whedon, you can’t help but think of him when you hear or read Josh Wheaton. Not only are they both popular progressives who champion un-Christian causes, they’re also both uncloseted atheists.

    Given the similarity in the name, it seems to me that the filmmakers would have to be either completely ignorant of Wil Wheaton and Joss Whedon, or they intentionally made the name of their religious hero a portmanteau of the names of two well known, well liked atheists with nice guy images.

    Could filmmakers, even Christian ones, be that unaware of Joss Whedon? It seems unlikely. Could they be unaware of Wil Wheaton? That’s slightly more plausible, if they’re not raging scifi nerds, denizens of the internet, or fans of the Big Bang Theory. But that they’re completely unaware of both at once, in particular of Joss and how incredibly similar sounding their names are? Seems unlikely. But if it’s intentional, then what the hell is the point? Just to poke fun at them? It’s weird. I’d love to know what’s really going on there, but I expect it will be an enduring mystery until every fundie school and church group has been bused in and the movie stops playing anywhere except rec rooms of fundie kids and church lock ins and we all get to forget about it.

  27. says

    Their target audience is what they perceive the fans of Whedon and Wheaton to be–reasonably nice, hipster without being threatening, atheist for intellectual reasons but too ultimately too shallow to have thought through teleology and cosmology and come to the same conclusions as the filmmakers.

    Actually I think that’s only the target audience in a post-modern sort of way. The real target audience are Christians who feel they should be a part of that cultural niche but are alienated from it by being forbidden to think out of the Protestant evangelical box. But if you asked them about it, they’d say they we reaching out to young people who know deep inside that the Bible is right and evolution is silly but pretend to be atheist because it’s “cool.”

  28. Reginald Selkirk says

    suido #25,26: … is called “Josh Wheaton”.
    Sounds way too similar to Joss Whedon, and also Wil Wheaton…

    You are thinking too hard. That’s probably a reference to Wheaton College, a “top-ranked, academically rigorous Christian liberal arts college.”

  29. Reginald Selkirk says

    mikeyb #19: existence precedes essence.

    Purity of Essence. Peace on Earth.

  30. Alverant says

    We need a counter movie. One that shows the harassment and discrimination that we face. Maybe starting out with a student asking a reasonable question in school about christianity then cut to a scene where he’s getting beaten up for it while teachers cheer the bullies on. The police do nothing because they say he shouldn’t have asked that question. The family tries to go to the press and gets terrorized for being “anti-christian”. The best (worst) thing is that I’m pretty sure all this has happened in real life so the movie doesn’t have to make stuff up like “God is not Dead”.

  31. Alverant says

    #40
    I live in Wheaton and have to pass through that college to and from my cat’s vet. (Speaking of cats, how’s that black furball you had a while ago PZ?) Fortunately I don’t have to interact with the students or anything. There’s a pizza place near the vet I’m sure the students use. I’m sure it encourages the students to pray as in “Please God let me make it to the john” or “God make the pain stop!”

    OK that was a little off topic, sorry.

  32. Reginald Selkirk says

    We all know the movie is a piece of carp, but i applaud PZ’s decision to go and see it. It is important to hear the arguments of the other side, and engage with them. It answers accusations that evolutionists have their fingers in their ears and only hear what they want to hear. I have a colleague who sympathetic to “Intelligent Design” creationism. He reached a point where he figured out that the theory of evolution was not compatible with his religious beliefs, and he was comfortable with his religious beliefs. We had a discussion on the topic once, and I could respond easily to his charges of “both sides do it” by pointing out the row of creationst books in my library, which I have read.

  33. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Alverant@43: Ed is making a movie/documentary of just that sort of thing. I’m not sure if he’s still looking for ideas/sources, but there is something in the works last I saw an update from him.

  34. Rey Fox says

    Main goal of college professors is to destroy faith not educate

    They’re kinda the same thing, if done right.

  35. joel says

    I’ve found it more interesting to read the *Christian* rebuttals of this film. Seriously. It’s so bad that even Christian film critics hate it. Patheos says “Honestly, there’s not much to recommend this film”; Christianity Today calls it “ridiculous”; Decent Films says it is ” . . . unwilling to challenge its target audience even a bit” and gives it a grade of D.

    And, if that wasn’t enough, it has a score of 12% on Rotten Tomatoes.

    I don’t envy you tonight, PZ.

  36. qwerty says

    I’ll bet that at least the popcorn will be cheaper than if you saw it in a Minneapolis/St. Paul cinema-plex!

  37. unclefrogy says

    I wonder if this movie is good enough to be as memorable as the great anti-weed movie “Reefer Madness”
    the reviews suggest the possibility,
    uncle frogy

  38. Golgafrinchan Captain says

    Your fellow FTB bloggers, Reasonable Doubts, just did a podcast episode (episode 127) reviewing this movie. They went to see it with Ed Brayton (Ed wasn’t there for the podcast). Warning for continuous spoilers, if you care. My favorite part was Justin giggling about how much he liked it. The movie sounds horrible. Is it horrible enough to become good again? Maybe.

  39. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *the Pullet Patrol bows their heads over grog soaked corn*

  40. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    [shoves gloves, gauze and a bucket through the USB]

    There you go PZ, you’re all set for when your brains start leaking out your ears.

  41. says

    @48: Got any URLs? The only thing I found on Patheos was Public Catholic (who apparently is an Oklahoma state rep) praising the movie for the way it portrays the hostility Christians face in academia. No specific examples are supplied, of course.

  42. cicely says

    Marcus Ranum:

    I think I was rolling the ‘g’ in “fghtan.”

    Our Squidly Overlord:

    Jebus, n00b. It’s FHTAGN. Everyone knows that.

    Indeed.
    Marcus, you’re lucky your cat didn’t eat you.
    -