×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Your terrifying inability to understand how the world actually works.

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) writes | about a year and a half ago

User Journal 3

Morford is guilty here of a sin that might be called metaphoricalism--assuming that because he himself often speaks metaphorically, people who insist on literalism must be fools, ignorami, and/or members of a tiny lunatic fringe.

Morford is guilty here of a sin that might be called metaphoricalism--assuming that because he himself often speaks metaphorically, people who insist on literalism must be fools, ignorami, and/or members of a tiny lunatic fringe.

Yes, of course the ability to interpret metaphor is an important characteristic of the intelligent, educated mind. But most of the time, most people mean exactly what they say, and it's a grave mistake to assume otherwise. He really goes off the rails when he insists that mythology must be interpreted in metaphorical terms. There is no reason to believe--no evidence whatsoever--that the people who originally told the stories of Eve, Paris, or the risen Christ thought they were speaking anything other than literal truth; nor were the monsters lurking in the darkness beyond the campfire anything other than our ancestors' attempts to rationalize (not symbolize) the nasty, brutish, and short nature of life throughout most of human history. A metaphorical interpretation of these myths is more reasonable than a literal one, to be sure. It is also, historically and to a large degree in the modern age, a distinctly minority view.

Your terrifying lack of imagination

(Also: âZ"Science is just mysticism disguised as mathematics," says the guy on the internet.)

3 comments

Literalism is brain-dead (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#40874897)

Here's a fine example [slashdot.org].

Re:Literalism is brain-dead (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year and a half ago | (#40880987)

Yes, of course literalism is brain-dead. So is what I'm calling metaphoricalism: the insistence that people are speaking in metaphor when they're clearly not, and calling anyone who disagrees with you a fool or a liar.

Re:Literalism is brain-dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40881577)

So are you saying you think it's okay to be anthropomorphizing gigantic thermonuclear plasma spheres? In that thread you come off looking like a childish douche. A star and a solar system and the universe are not living creatures. They aren't born in almost any sense. They merely form, and eventually fall apart. Note though that they don't die, because in order for something to die it has to be alive first, and as has been pretty clearly established already, gigantic thermonuclear plasma spheres are in no way actually living or alive.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...