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I love xkcd

xkcd is such a great web comic, not just for the humor, but for the insights. It’s also wonderfully techie and appeals to the geek part of me.

Today’s comic is one of the funny and insightful ones (reproduced with the original title text for your hovering enjoyment).

I believe the truth always lies halfway between the most extreme claims.

What I love about it is the mocking of the idea that the truth is always somewhere in the middle of two opposing positions. It’s not. Sometimes, one side is right and the other is just wrong.

Flat Earth versus spherical Earth… faked moon landing versus actual moon landing… evolution versus creationism… germ theory versus spontaneous generation… etc. There are myriads of examples of issues where the truth does not lie somewhere in the middle.

Of special interest to me, of course, is the evolution versus creationism issue… where creationism and intelligent design have no basis in scientific fact while evolution holds all the evidential cards. Saying something like, “Evolution happens, but man is God’s special creation and was made in his present form” is not only incorrect, but there’s no valid reason to even suggest it. Some might say it fills a spiritual need in people. Perhaps that’s true, but so do many other things… like pizza.

I don’t mean to be smarmy (much), but the issue is that people fill their lives with meaning in thousands of different ways, some mundane and some grandiose. Isn’t it better to create meaning and purpose in your life based on something that is real? Family and friends come instantly to mind and I can say that they provide a huge amount of purpose in my life. Charity, kindness, curiosity, nature, and many other things (Yes. Pizza, too) all bring some meaning and purpose to my life. Why would I need to add something make-believe to all the joy and wonder that already exists in the real world?

I have plenty of meaning and purpose now… without a compromise.

It’s all fun and games until…

My new favorite web comic is xkcd. It’s a sometimes geeky, almost always insightful, and always funny comic drawn with mostly stick figures by Randall Munroe, a CNU graduate with a degree in physics. Who knew physics geeks could be funny?

So the comic below was just brought to my attention by a friend who’s also an xkcd fan and I thought I’d share it here since the subject of the comic is perfect for Rationality Now. It addresses (somewhat) the issue of why atheists give a rip about what other people believe. See if you can follow along. I’ll elaborate in a future post.

Oh… and go visit xkcd. It’s funny and they have geeky t-shirts.

xkcd: beliefs (#154)