Talk:Atheist professor myth

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The Seal[edit]

Knows he would face instant dismissal from the service along with military and civil court actions for doing something like that (and possibly armed police treating him as A Dangerous Person) #and# the professor would sue him (and possibly the military) for megabucks, with the students suing him, the college and the military for the trauma and PTSD caused.

Or would it not work like that? Anna Livia (talk) 11:57, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

No duh the Navy SEAL version describes would lead to civil assault charges as well as being potentially punished by court martial, confinement, and dishonorable discharge. However, there are certainly a lot of Internet tough guys out there that seem to have not read their Bible very much and think being an aggressive asshole is what Jesus would approve of. (Biblical reality: Jesus only got noticeably pissed off once in the Bible, that during the cleansing of the temple incidentWikipedia, and even in *that* incident many interpretations believe that it wasn't a *violent* anger.)
Unfamiliar with US-military procedures and particular procedures unbecoming whether or not he was an officer (he is certainly not a gentleman). Anna Livia (talk) 23:31, 21 February 2020 (UTC)

This version also assumes that God is incapable of multi-tasking. (You could also make the objection that, if God has been busy helping US forces recently, then it looks as if he hasn't been making a very good job of it.) PatGallacher (talk) 00:33, 5 September 2021 (UTC)

Would not the Seal's immediate superior and the relevant 'military psychiatrist' and others not face a rollicking for not seeing that the chap is not suited to a university and military environments? Anna Livia (talk) 23:02, 18 April 2022 (UTC)

Every time I read this it irritates me.[edit]

Because, as is mentioned above, the article assumes that "evil" is a real thing. A noun rather than an adjective.

But, used as a noun like this, it's really a religious concept. So once you accept the existence of "evil" as a thing you are already arguing theology. Pretty obviously the putative atheist professor wouldn't have gone down that track, or at least he would challenge the concept.

I would like to find some way to insert this into the article but, given the thrust of the thing at the moment I can't see a way to do it without rewriting it wholesale. Am I mussing something? Can someone smarter than me find a way to insert the objection (if it's valid)?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:19, 4 July 2020 (UTC)

I don't think that the article takes a position on 'evil' being a 'real thing' by omitting treatment of an implicit argument about 'evil as a noun or adjective'. The article disputes the explicit arguments that appear in the tract, rather than the implicit ones, and I think that's the most appropriate way to go. This isn't an article about the nature of evil, it's an article about a particular tract and its variations. FairDinkum (talk) 09:39, 11 November 2022 (UTC)
That's a long time to wait for a response! But Ok. The allegedly atheist professor is apparently arguing for the objective existence of some "thing" called "evil". This straw-atheist is obviously wrong from the start. I doubt that any "atheist professor" would make such an argument.
So the whole thing starts with an evident straw man, but we don't mention the problem with this base premise.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:59, 11 November 2022 (UTC)
OK but I see this sentence in the article: "Since "good" and "evil" are human perceptions and cannot be identified with any fundamental physical forces, the whole analogy falls apart. " Doesn't that address your concern? FairDinkum (talk) 10:02, 15 November 2022 (UTC)
OK, That's a good point. I take it back. :-)Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:03, 15 November 2022 (UTC)
To be fair, money is also a social construct/"human perception" but I see on this very wiki people comparing the "laws of economics" as being akin to the laws of physics. VeeHummus Amogus 10:13, 15 November 2022 (UTC)
I mean, even colour or noise is somewhat of a social construct if you really want to double down on the road to ackchyually-land. But even insofar as something is a subjective perception, it can be (more or less easily, eventually) objectively described. There can be different expectations of looseness and unpredictability then depending on the discipline - but you wouldn't say meteorology is not based on the laws of physics just because weather forecasting sucks.
Anyhow, back in topic.. what you have in mind is the naturalistic fallacy. Good and evil (or bad) are first and foremost moral concepts, religion only comes afterwards if you really want to have that added layer of spice.
And while this is probably one of the few times that you can't 100% rely on empiricism (since it depends on the will/desire of the agent), unless such atheist professor was to be a moral relativist.. yes? It would have to be a universalist/objectivist. --Mirh (talk) 23:16, 7 August 2023 (UTC)
I think that's a flawed analogy. Meteorology is a hard science dealing with independently verifiable phenomena relatively free of normative influence. Economics... isn't. It's a soft science for a reason. A lot fuzzier than meteorology. Given that we invented, as the poster you're responding to says, money, I don't think that's logically comparable to how, say, light works. We decide how money works, even if it has utility as a concept, it's still artificial in a way that light isn't. Carthage (talk) 23:35, 7 August 2023 (UTC)
Just because something is normative, it doesn't mean that you can't still nonjudgmentally study and model how people's attitudes move towards the expressed goal? Money is also artificial in a way that light isn't (and you can leave psychology to bother about that), but if its purpose is being a store of value and a medium of exchange, then how many palms or cars it can buy can be as objective as c. Alas we don't have thousands of data collectors for people, and this lowers the expectable precision of social sciences, but there are still plenty of very strong economical "laws" (at least if you have the sensibleness of not getting your wisdom from TV)...
Anyway, the problem with this story is that the strawman is like an olympic double pike vault. For the first half of the myth (including the initial "does evil exist" provocative question) the professor may even be substantivizing the E-word, but he's not really taking any particular ontological commitment.. he's just using the word like any lazy average person would, and if any he's mildly guilty of shallowness. Then our lovely smart aleck goes all-in with pedantry, and since we are eventually talking about philosophy that actually gives him the upper hand up to this point ("we have created this word to describe how we feel if" is pretty spot on tbh). When you reach the end though, you are hit with an ostensibly insulting about turn, and that's probably the most infuriating thing.
"We have created the word Evil to describe how we feel if we have no God's love present in [our] hearts" is just horseshit, on even more levels than the aforementioned ethics or the nature of qualia. It's a circular handwoven definition, it's contrivedly stupid (you wished evil people had this profound self-aware need to describe themselves?), and it's also playing the field with semantics (you either stick with the claim that it's some kind of feeling, or you buy that it's an "absence unto itself").
But the most outlandish possible implication is the one about emptiness: the "absence of something" could and should simultaneously positively harbor something else. So, the dark cold vast majority of the universe has evil intent, presumably? Somehow making evil omnipresent (or if not any the fundamental state of reality?), all the while god hitself isn't.--Mirh (talk) 00:13, 17 August 2023 (UTC)

Nothing escapes to you, it seems.[edit]

I caught this, the Einstein version, on the Fundie station I know of several months ago. I smelled something fishy with it, so I did not take said story very seriously until I found it here exactly word by word.

The pastor who brought it forth is one who claims to be a retired philosophy teacher. Besides being a Biblical literalist with all that entails, namely creationism, it is quite telling the extremes such people will reach to keep the sheeps happy and contained -even someone who given his claimed background should be much more honest.- Panzerfaust (talk) 15:05, 2 August 2020 (UTC)

The chalk[edit]

has been designed for 'use in educational environments' so has sufficient binding agents to not break readily.

Can someone devise a suitable 'seventh Seal' joke (I know language issues are involved). Anna Livia (talk) 22:51, 16 July 2022 (UTC)

Liberal Muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor[edit]

This definitely originated from Something Awful, likely around the mid-2000s. I remember reading it in a thread way back in the day. Google shows a post from 2008 reminiscing that the subforum it was posted on got closed, so it had to be earlier than that.

Either way, not from 4chan circa 2011. — Unsigned, by: 2001:56A:F204:A100:E4DB:7475:608D:FC38 / talk / contribs

Occam's broom? Or even worse?[edit]

This discussion was moved to Talk:Evil is the absence of God.

Moved by request. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:31, 15 August 2023 (UTC)