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Curiosity and the “Shut Up, That’s Why” Argument

Posted in Uncategorized by Rodibidably on March 3, 2009

[Originally posted at: Greta Christina’s Blog]

Last week, I talked about the insidious assortment of “Shut up, that’s why” arguments that get made against atheists and atheism.

Today, I want to talk about where I think the “Shut up, that’s why” arguments come from.

There was a story on “This American Life” last week that hit me really strongly. It wasn’t about atheism, but I think it cuts to the heart of the “Shut up, that’s why” argument, so I’m going to sum it up here quickly, to show you what I’m talking about.

The story was about a family with a family legend. The grandfather of the family had been lost on a camping trip when he was a child, but was recovered eight months later, from (the legend said) the itinerant tinker who had kidnapped him. One of the granddaughters became intensely curious about this legend, and started doing research to find out more about the story — a story that had been widely reported in many newspapers, and which even had a folk song written about it.

[Read the rest of this post at: Greta Christina’s Blog]


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