The Friday Guy: Don’t pet the dogma

I'm not normally this mean out loud, but WOW I've thought about it... Copyright 2012 Dan Piraro.

Welcome to the first of an installment of weekly posts about my crazy adventures in the wonderful world of dating.  I asked you, the readers, if this is something you’d like to read, and the response was a resounding HELZYA!  I’d also thought about trying to out-do my previous record of consecutive first dates (with no second dates), but I figured, that’s kinda been done, and the really interesting part of dating again is that I’ve been talking to a few folks that I really enjoy hanging out with virtually, verbally, and literally.

Just to put this whole thing into context, I don’t have to go OUT with someone (meet them in person) to get a feel for them, or for them to show up here – conversations may be on the phone, in chat, or in person.  All names are changed, of course, and unless it’s a glowing review and I have their express permission, you’ll never get any pictures or links to their stuff.

Just so you know.

Also, if you think it’s you… you might want to keep it to yourself.  It’s a small world, and no one would be the wiser if you never said a thing about it.

Anyway, our first specimen could go by many names.  The Fundamental Atheist is a good one, or a Dogmatic Free-Thinker is another.  When talking to him the first time, I kept getting kind of an Indigo Montoya moment whenever the topic of opinions or free will came up.  He kept saying that he had a naturally scientific mind, that he was enthralled with the wonder of the universe – and then proceeded to tell me how quantum physics was just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and that Einstein figured out the universe in one blow with relativistic theory.

“This word, ‘scientific’, I do not think it means what you think it means.”

In all fairness, I walked into this one.  I recognized off the bat that he was going to adhere a little much to the anti-God stance, but I thought, hey, maybe I’m being a little overly sensitive… and this is what I get for my optimism.

I figured that geeky movies would be a good safe topic.  “Serenity” is a fantastic thing that everyone can agree on, right, especially since he has “Firefly” listed in his likes.  Guess what?  That’s unreasonable because “Firefly” and “Serenity” are not the same thing.  He loved “Firefly”, but “Serenity” was (and I quote), “a steaming pile of shit.”

After I scraped my jaw off the ground both at his wording and his extreme perspective, I asked why.

“The ending was the shittiest thing ever.  It ruined the movie for me entirely.”

You mean, because Wash died?  That was a critical and crucial part of the story, it created the last piece of emotional compromise to make the real ending what it needed to be – something bigger than any or all of the characters, something with impact and significance.

“That’s horseshit.  It was unnecessary, sudden, and manipulative.  It would’ve been a better movie if he lived.”

I wasn’t really sure what to say about that… and then he laid it on thicker.

“Star Wars” is not just the best movie ever created but it’s also the best written.

I’m sorry, but, what?!?

His stance was that George Lucas kept it simple and told the bones of the story.  He agreed that the first three chronological movies were less-than – but he said they provided back-story that was critical.  His least favorite of all of them?

(Are you sitting down?)

Empire Strikes Back.

I’m not kidding.  His least favorite.

Mr. Scientific also refused to acknowledge that only marginally significant statistical differences of result in clinical drug trials were indicative of limitation of effect for any given drug, and that the placebo effect was “horseshit”.

Any form of prayer or energy healing required the recipient to be “in on it”, so it was automatically “horseshit”.

Also, anything outside of strict Darwinism or Scientific American or (I’m guessing) Dr. Weil was not worthy of discussing, only of declaring “the best thing EVAR” or “a steaming pile of shit”.  There was no in-between.

And what did he think of our little talks?  He was having a fantastic time.

Mystery of why the Fundamental Atheist is single:  SOLVED.

The Assessment:

Here’s what I think is really going on in the F.A.’s head.  I think he really was having a great time debating with someone who had a clue on the topics, but he was so galvanized is his interpretation of what he thought the facts were that there wasn’t actually a debate going on at all.  His need to overwhelm his opponent, to be right, is based in the same fear that makes some fundamentalist Christians cling to their own un-scientific attitudes.  In the end, F.A.’s prospects are going to be limited until he can open his mind to other possibilities in life.

Which, in this case, will have to include not telling someone that their personal, non-traditional experiences are horseshit.  That’s just tacky.

The exciting conclusion:

At the end of the second multi-hour conversation, I informed F.A. that his dogmatic adherence to borderline principles was grating on my last nerve.  The invitation to “do this again real soon” was not accepted.

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