Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Rats, I missed it

It seems yesterday, Sept. 30, was Blasphemy Day. I don't know how I could have left that off my calendar.

Well, okay, I don't really need a special day for it. But as much as I enjoy blaspheming, the challenge is that the more intensely religious a person is, the more likely that person is to commit blasphemy. It's an almost perfect correlation. If I say Jesus is the son of God, I'm committing blasphemy as far as every Muslim, Jew and Zoroastrian is concerned. If I say Muhammad is God's prophet, I've committed blasphemy in every Christian dominion. If I say Rebe Menachem Scheerson was the Messiah and he will be reincarnated . . . well, you get the idea.

I don't go around saying stuff like that. On the other hand my occasional references to the 4.65 billion year antiquity of the earth, the common ancestry of humans and slime molds (I was about to say Chimpanzees but that's too obvious), or the dependence of consciousness on its biological substrate are no doubt blasphemous to some people, but each of these are facts that I touch upon only when they come up in some exigent context. I don't just ritually repeat them as a periodic duty. So I'll pass on Blasphemy Day after all. It's just superfluous.

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