There are none so blind as those who will not see. And none so gullible as those who will not believe.
Exhibit A: Here's Stephen Fry spouting absolute bunkum for two and a half minutes:
He sets himself up as the sceptic to debunk the religious. In fact he is the sucker, falling for a completely discredited copy-cat theory with not an ounce of truth to it. Here's a good take-down by Lutheran Satire:
In a show that seeks to explode popular myths, why does Fry fall for one in such spectacular fashion? Might it be that he's not actually as sceptical as he likes to think? Might it be that the commitments of his heart do the "thinking" for him?
Exhibit B: This post, supposedly reporting new liberal views from the Pope, is from Diversity Chronicle, a site which claims "The original content on this blog is largely satirical." It's supposedly a statement from "Vatican 3" which declares all religions true, etc, etc.
It has been shared tens of thousands of times, very often by "sceptics" like Derren Brown.
Conclusion: None of us are as rational as we like to imagine. We find ourselves able to justify any number of foolish beliefs if they line up with what we wish were true. Sometimes sceptics need to be more sceptical.
Update: Derren Brown tweeted a correction last night, good on him.
8 thoughts on “Gullible Sceptics”
Great stuff, Glen. Keep it coming!
The QI team seems incredibly incompetent - or even willfully ignorant - on the religion front.
That (this Christmas' special) episode did mention, briefly, the St Nick punches-a-heretic incident. They can recover a couple of points from the massive klaxon they achieved with Mithras.
A couple of years ago, Stephen said something along the lines of that the birth of Jesus isn't in the Gospel of John and thus isn't in the Bible
That was purely him, rather than the Elves, but so absurdly stupid that anyone with a inkling of Biblical literacy could see the stage punch that Fry was throwing. Sadly there's a lack of those who could see the deception (I can't believe for a second that Fry doesn't know that Matthew and Luke have nativity narratives).
Nicely clarifies the situation, Glen.
The Lutheran Satire is excellent - will store that one away for next Christmas.
Hi Glen - thanks for this - really helpful after a couple of people posted the Horus thing a few weeks back.
And as for QI - much as with the rest of the BBC - their lack of knowledge on the Bible while pretending to be experts always makes me wonder - can we trust them very far when they talk on other specialist subjects which I have no idea on?
I'm not trying to be anti-BBC - they often say very interesting things - but if this is the depth of their research, then it does leave you questioning!!
I wonder, did you get any response from Derren "the skeptic" Brown?
Thanks all. Yes Jason, I'll update the post when I'm at a computer but DerrenBrown tweeted a correction last night. As I said on Twitter, good on him.
Glen, did you tweet the 'Lutheran Satire' clip to Stephen Fry?
If you like a more academic response to that drivel I used http://www.is-there-a-god.info/belief/jesus-and-mithras.shtml a couple of times