Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Talkin' Posteriori

a posteriori definition” sounds like it would be best developed through the use of tight jeans and many hours in the gym. It is in fact a pedestrian way of describing the act of defining something after you know something about it. Fortunately one can mix a little a priori prejudice into the crafting of a posteriori definitions to make a complete ass out of oneself.

I was recently skimming over some blogs I frequent when Self-Taught Atheist served up a video of Bill O’Reilly trashing liberal media’s coverage of the recent tragedy in Norway. For those of you who don’t know an unbalanced anti-Muslim extremist recently killed a whole bunch of non-Muslim kids at a liberal-run summer camp in Norway to bring attention to the fact that everyone should be more concerned about Muslims in Norway. Don’t worry too much if that last sentence did not make sense; in fact if it made sense to you there may be more cause for worry. If you want to know more about the motivations behind the massacre the killer wrote a long manifesto outlining his motivations. It goes on about how we need more Christianity in Europe, and even provides some hints as to how Christianity can be reformed to make it better (He suggests re-uniting the Protestant and Catholic churches in what would be a re-reformation). The only saving grace in all this is that we now have a picture of a strapping Aryan mass-murderer frothing about something other than Jews. Evil done for new reasons is not a sign of progress however.

Here is the video of Bill O’Reilly:

What struck me was that Billy says that Mr. Norway killer (MNK) was not a Christian because no Christian would do something like that. One might have casually defined MNK as a Christian due both to his rantings and his baptism, but now that he has produced some significant evil he is not a Christian. Perhaps he is no longer a Christian now that he has crafted this evil, but was one up until he killed the first kid? Perhaps he stopped being a Christian when he decided to kill the first kid? Perhaps he stopped being Christian when he thought about killing people for the first time?

The question that haunts me is “What is he now that he is not a Christian”? He is obviously not a Muslim. I would venture to say that he is not a Jew, or a Buddhist, or a Jayne, or a Hindu, or just about anything. What do you call someone that is not defined into any faith: AN ATHEIST!

Somehow the notion being lumped into the same “other “bin that accumulates producers of evil is unsavory to me. The more defining monikers like “Secular Humanist” begin to sound attractive.

Of course it would simply be best if Billy would get his a priori out of his a posteriori; though I think it may be stuck.

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