Obviously I’m going through a Bart D Ehrman phase. It’s not because I agree with him most of the time or that I find him a master debater (sorry, had to say it). It’s because he’s the only public intellectual that I can think of at the top of my head that has a genuine passion for teaching.
Because Ehrman’s area of expertise is the Bible, specifically the New Testament and early Christianity, people naturally have strong opinions about the subject. Some people, specifically atheists but a few Christians aren’t exempt, like to use this subject as a way to “trigger” their opponents.
This is a fad on YouTube. The “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), or guys that found fame on the internet during the “alt-Right” hay day (people like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, etc.) perfected the science of “triggering” (also known as “owning the libs”) and many online personalities have attempted to emulate it, including leftists with varying degrees of success. It’s a way of weaponizing information.
This phenomenon is not exclusive to discussions on the Bible, religion, and politics, but even movies and fucking geography!
Because “owning the line” is currency on YouTube, this has led to many quaks pretending to be experts littering the platform and distracting us away from those trying to present information in good faith.
Just because an opinion triggers someone, that doesn’t give it more credence. But that appears to be sound logic in some circles. Even if the opinion is true, if presented in a way that’s designed to give offense, that doesn’t make the one with the opinion more noble or virtuous…it makes you an asshole.
I love ghosts. Or, I should say, ghost videos on YouTube.
Do I believe in them? Not for a second. But they are fun as hell to watch.
Unfortunately I can’t talk about my love of paranormal and extraterrestrial videos because everyone has stupid options about the subject. Again, do ghosts exist? I’ve seen no compelling evidence for it.
Do intelligent extraterrestrial beings exist? Almost certainly. Have they visited earth? I’m open to the possibility but I gotta see some compelling evidence.
And that’s the extent of my opinion on ghosts and aliens.
But because everyone wants to believe, they’re willing to bend logic and intelligent comprehension of reality to support their belief. No one stops to think how insane this is:
See an object in the sky you don’t recognize? It must be inter dimensional aliens.
Did you blink and see a dark object in the corner of your eye? It’s gotta be ghosts (or, again, inter dimensional aliens).
Of course this massive leap in logic infects a lot of discourse. Our internet-poisoned brains permits this leap in our politics. For example: “the government once lied about some things, therefore they’re always lying about everything”, or “there are corrupt and bad cops, therefore do away with the police.” This leap undermines the complexities and nuances of an event or events and conclude all thinking, leaving the matter insufficiently examined.
This is just laziness.
To have a view, especially of the political nature, you gotta do some heavy lifting. Everyone wants to have an opinion, but no one wants to do the work in having one.