29 January 2007

Flying saucers

A rather good article on UFO mania, noting a point which has often occurred to me -- that the most distinctive thing about the whole UFO concept is really its utter unimaginativeness. When one considers how advanced an alien civilization capable of interstellar travel would have to be, the vision of it which the UFO enthusiasts and their stories offer is stunningly small-minded and dull.

What really strikes me about this posting, however, is the discussion thread following it. Most of the comments are by UFO believers attacking the article. In their tone, rhetoric, illogic, distortions, ad hominem hectoring, personal insults, evasions of the real issues, etc., etc., etc., these comments closely replicate the range of Christian responses which a posting affirming an atheist viewpoint typically draws. It seems that emotional commitment to an irrational belief works in similar ways regardless of which particular irrational belief it is that is being defended.

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