In an effort to unleash the inner juvenile inside all of us, the Center for Free Inquiry held the “Blasphemy Rights Day 2013 Twitter Contest.”
They called this “an initiative to focus attention and efforts on defending the universal right to blaspheme.” Immediately we see the modern confusion between right and responsibility. Just because you have a right to act like an ass does not imply that you should.
Anyway, here was the winner:
In case you can’t see the tweet, here it is: “Banning criticism of ideas is banning ideas.”
Banning criticism of ideas is banning ideas. #IBRDcontest
— SkepticalPoet (@SkepticalPoet) September 29, 2013
As blasphemy rights statements go, it’s on the tepid side. Worse, it’s false. It just doesn’t follow that if criticism were banned, ideas would also be banned. Only some ideas would be banned; namely, the critical ones.
I feel like a bully pointing this out, though.
@SkepticalPoet, the winner, only snagged two-hundred-eighty bucks for his cleverness. That kind of money is not going to attract the sharpest wits.
There was a tie for second place:
Criticism is the currency in the marketplace of ideas. You either pay the entry fee or you don't get to participate. #IBRDcontest
— Keenan Crow (@KF_Crow) September 30, 2013
Text: “Criticism is the currency in the marketplace of ideas. You either pay the entry fee or you don’t get to participate.”
Perhaps all that need be said is that author of this tweet, @Krow9768, is a “UNI MPP graduate” and “Community Outreach Coordinator at One Iowa.”
The other second:
Text: “Without questions, there are no answers.”
This was sounds like it was written by a skeptical Joel Osteen. Or maybe by The Sphinx from Mystery Men. He was the not-so-superhero who said things like “To overcome the darkness, you must first become the light.” (I have no idea whether he said that, by the way.)
Point is, I think CFI could have done better (here are more entries, all sad). Why, just off the of of my head I have:
“Only the keen blaspheme,”
“A blasphemy a day keeps theology at bay.”
Why didn’t I enter? I could have used the money, sure. But the winner was also forced to receive a subscription to Free Inquiry which I don’t think comes in a plain brown wrapper.
Update How about some tweets about the rank depression caused by abject skepticism? All tweets have to be 140 minus the length of @center4inquiry (which should be included) characters.
See this space for when I have time to think of one. Okay, I did. I stole this one from Gary below.
Or how about:
“Believing in Nothing is what makes us smart.”