[2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

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[2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby holycow81 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:37 am

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2446#comic

I didn't get this one. It's not that I understood the joke and got offended by it/didn't think it was funny -- I literally didn't understand the connection between "boob tree" -> "theory is wrong". Would someone mind explaining it to me?
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby sotic » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:48 am

Probably something about men worshiping actual boobs even though there's no such thing as a boob tree. I guess.
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby derpmaster » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:10 am

If the atheist worships himself because he is omnipotent, then he would be able to do/make anything he wants. Because he is unable to create a boob tree, he is not omnipotent, and therefore unworthy of worship. Was it really that confusing to you?
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby holycow81 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:41 am

derpmaster wrote:If the atheist worships himself because he is omnipotent, then he would be able to do/make anything he wants. Because he is unable to create a boob tree, he is not omnipotent, and therefore unworthy of worship. Was it really that confusing to you?

His inability to create a boob tree doesn't disprove the theory that he SEES HIMSELF as all powerful. If you're suggesting that Green Shirt Guy is inferring from the premises (1) "A boob tree doesn't exist", (2) "If I were omnipotent, boob trees would exist", and (3) "If I am not omnipotent, then I do not see myself as omnipotent" to the conclusion "I do not see myself as omnipotent", I guess that's plausible, but it's that third premise that I have trouble with, and it's not made explicit in the comic -- certainly in the SMBC universe, it doesn't seem obvious to me that someone who's not omnipotent would necessarily realize that they're not omnipotent.

Also, I got hung up on what the boob tree was supposed to mean. I thought the boob tree was analogous to God, and Green Shirt's point was to copy Purple Shirt's argument and use it against him. Purple Shirt basically said "You don't believe there's a God, therefore you must believe YOURSELF to have all of God's qualities", and I thought Green Shirt was trying to imply "Well then, since you don't believe in a boob tree, you must believe YOURSELF to have all of the boob tree's qualities, and if that's not true, then your theory must be wrong." That interpretation of the comic was confusing me, and I was pretty sure it wasn't correct, which is why I asked about it.
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby headcode » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:45 am

Yeah. It's like this. If the guy accusing the atheist was right, then the atheist would be all powerful and able to produce a "boobs tree." But he's not, so he can't, so the other guy is totally wrong.

But the genius of this cartoon is in the popup panel!
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby Trees » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:54 am

It's rather simple, the atheist would like for boob trees to exist. Therefore, given the power, he would create one. Since there isn't a boob tree, he therefore isn't omnipotent (else he'd have created one), and knows it because his desire to have a boob tree is known to him. He therefore cannot worship himself as being all-powerful because he has proved that he is not omnipotent.
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby holycow81 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:09 am

Trees wrote:It's rather simple, the atheist would like for boob trees to exist. Therefore, given the power, he would create one. Since there isn't a boob tree, he therefore isn't omnipotent (else he'd have created one), and knows it because his desire to have a boob tree is known to him. He therefore cannot worship himself as being all-powerful because he has proved that he is not omnipotent.

That works for me. I feel a little silly for not getting it now. Thank you, everyone.
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby sotic » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:30 am

sotic wrote:Probably something about men worshiping actual boobs even though there's no such thing as a boob tree. I guess.

Ha ha this is what I get for responding after barely skimming the comic!
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby DonRetrasado » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:11 am

The temptation to lock this thread and forget about it is overwhelming.
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby theosib » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:08 pm

I took a much more boring take on this.

The theist is making an argument that the atheist must be just like him in that he must worship SOMETHING. This is somewhat orthogonal to what happens next, which is pulling a spaghetti monster argument against the theist. The theist would say "let go … <something> … God," and the atheist would say there's no God. Now, the atheist makes up something absurd, like a Boobs Tree, and the theist says there's no such thing. Ah, but you can't argue that! You have no proof of the non-existance of the Boobs Tree!

Sorry. I'm not explaining it well. I need my morning coffee. :)
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Agnostics and God/no-God arguments, critical thinking, etc.

Postby theosib » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:31 pm

I think the main objection a lot of us have to both sides of the God/no-God arguement is the excessive certainty people seem to have.

Of course, this is coming from the agnostics who are excessively certain that we should all be uncertain. :)

Another fallacy is the assumption that someone arguing a particular side of an argument actually firmly believes what they're arguing. Many intelligent people can compartmentalize, hold two contradictory ideas at one time, and argue effectlvely for (or against) an issue they don't (or do) agree with, because they recognize that there are rational things to say in that regard, even if they don't agree (or disagree) upon consideration of ALL of the evidence. I tend to argue against whatever people believe (whatever it is), because I think people should think carefully about whatever it is they believe and should be willing to think about things they find uncomfortable.

One area I am passionate about is science education. Now, I find the creationist and intelligent design arguments very interesting, but they don't belong in the science classroom. Creationism is scientific in the sense that it is easily falsified. Intelligent design is NOT science in the sense that it is impossible to falsify. Evolution is science because it is falsifiable, and every day, we learn about some aspect of the theory that has been falsified and therefore requires adjustment. Recently, I saw a slashdot article that suggested that tool use occurred earlier than we had originally thought, and this requires that we rethink some things. It irks and amuses me that some people decry science because what they were taught in school isn't what we believe now. Yes, we now know that many dinosaurs had feathers! Hey, science moves forward and adapts to new evidence! That's what makes it science. It's about critical thinking and abductive inference. We develop the best explanation we can based on the information we have available, and when that explanation becomes inadequate in light of new evidence, we make a new one! So one might argue that even if "evolution" (which lumps WAY too many things together under one name) is wrong, it's still science, and so it should be taught in science class. There are also lots of TRUE things that are NOT taught in science class, like grammar, which is de facto true because this is simply how we write things. (Unless you're talking Linguistics, which is a science and is descriptive, not prescriptive like what you'd get in an English class.)

In other words, what I guess I'm getting at is that being right or wrong at any instant is less important than having the critical thinking ability necessary to evaluate truth for yourself.
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby holycow81 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:28 pm

DonRetrasado wrote:The temptation to lock this thread and forget about it is overwhelming.

I wouldn't object to that.
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Re: Agnostics and God/no-God arguments, critical thinking, e

Postby Eisbreaker » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:47 pm

theosib wrote:[reasonable views]

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Re: Agnostics and God/no-God arguments, critical thinking, e

Postby Edminster » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:46 pm

Eisbreaker wrote:
theosib wrote:[reasonable views]

Don't leave.

I Disagree.
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Re: [2011-Nov-29] Boob Tree

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:56 pm

Eisbreaker does not speak for the rest of us.

Not that I'm disagreeing with you, Sibbie, we just already have all the sermons on science and religion and truth that we need. We're not really looking for any more from the Great Unwashed.
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