Essay:The MarcusCicero Essays; Introduction
Rationalwiki is a website which claims to be not a serious project, instead being just a lot of silliness. Furthermore they even have the cheek to suggest that those who try to take it seriously must have some basic comprehension problem since the website is like so obviously not serious man.... While some of the more dim-witted members here might really believe that, the fact remains that the core objectives of the Rationalwiki mission are as follows:
Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes: 1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement. 2. Analyzing and refuting crank ideas. 3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism. We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue.
What if it isn’t?
The immediate question that comes to mind when reading over this grandiose declaration of aims is, what if it isn’t? What if Rationalwiki combines both bigotry and self aggrandisement? It is a rare occasion on this website that rational discussions actually take place. The majority of conversations are intriguing investigations about the precise amount of ‘goat’ needed in any given ‘WIGO’ poll.
The What is Going on pages provide an insight to the average Rationalwikian mind. Here they reveal the hypocrisy of this place in stunning detail; a blow by blow account of why Conservapedia is stupid. The humour is not good, to say the least. Here, for example, is a list of recent additions:
- The weakest of the weakly toons so farimg Although quim-free this time!
- Bert adds his rejected Chick tractimg script to Conservapedia.
- Jesus taketh the stretcher, perceiveth the closed-mindedness, and reason is a synonym for doubt. He doth decree it.img
Seriously though, how much effort does go into these brainstorms? They hurt they’re so bad.
Bad wit aside, the more pressing issue is why Rationalwikians believe they are on such a noble pedestal, and who the hell gives them the right to act as the champion of rationality, as their main page so loudly and pathetically declares?
The problem is not so much that Rationalwiki sets itself up as a parody website, dedicated to mocking an admittedly nutty encyclopedia. The major problem lies in the implicit belief among Rationalwikians that they are intrinsically superior to the average conservapedian – that their wit and intelligence outstrips any conservapedia alternative. Considering the amount of thoroughly idiotic opinions expressed on this website, this makes this belief inherently tragic and vainglorious. This sense of superiority takes several forms, and indeed, it is quite justified in many ways. Rationalwiki is not conservapedia, they tolerate me for one example. However, it is necessary to understand that Rationalwiki maintains a grandiose belief in self importance juxtaposed with an ingrained and thoroughly horrible idiotic behaviour pattern. In otherwords, idiocy is institutionalised.
Generally this is considered fun by morons such as Superjosh. They are the unfortunate beast called ‘memes’. Memes serve no purpose other than to break down the barriers between the power of words and power of reason – they exist, solely, to represent a point of view which the proponent considers inviolable. They remove the necessity for rational debate. A meme exists so as to weaken and degrade both sides in an argument, to destroy the quest for knowledge and tends to lead to the degeneration of reason. It emerged as an internet phenomenon, and it remains an extremely irritating style of humour popular among people with no girlfriends and midget porn addicts.
Memes are considered sacred on Rationalwiki. Be they a kind of ‘slag’ term to use among one another, they are intensely irritating and intrinsically lack any humour. Any person who uses a meme and thinks it’s funny should be dragged through the town square, lit on fire, and pissed on. It is the only just punishment for such a heinous crime. On Rationalwiki the majority of the plebs worship memes and consider them all powerful manifestations of whatever secular God they profess to not believe in; They are, in a word, a superstition, a simple set of terms which any simpleton can use to cling on to their anti rational beliefs. After all, if one can mock using a meme, they don’t actually have to use rational argument to defend themselves. They can just say ‘moar Hitler’ and be done with it. No summary analysis of the opposing argument is required, no good natured rebuttal – just the posting of a bland and meaningless ‘meme’ will suffice for these cretins.
Whats the problem then?
The problem with Rationalwiki is that two very different camps of people exist side by side. One takes the founding mission of this website to heart. The other, an extremely nasty, militantly atheistic and bigoted group have no sense of their hypocrisy. They are by nature authoritarian and cannot understand that their ideology needs to be justified via rational argument. Like any authoritarian, they have no time for ambiguity or due process – everything has to happen immediately, and memes serve the purpose of making long winded rational argument redundant. This is to the detriment of all who claim to be in league with reason. The two factions are essentially opposed on practically every meaningful issue which will decide the course of the Wiki’s history. This will be explored in the next essay.