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The Parable of the Bus

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It was at 2:37 on an autumn afternoon when God got into a fight with a city bus.

One day a messiah walked off of the sidewalk and onto the busy city street.

“I am the word of god!” he shouts loudly into the air. “And there are no buses!”

It was at that point that a city bus turned the corner onto the messiah's street.

“Buses are figments of your imagination!” The messiah pounds his fist against his chest, triumphant. “Only trains exist!!!”

It was at this point that the bus switched into the messiah's lane.

“Truly we should ride trains and only trains because it is only trains that are rea-”

It was at the point that the bus engaged God in a contest of strength.

To be short, the bus won.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very funny.

It reminds me of a discussion I had with a prospective pilot on an aviation forum:

A is not always A.

Of course, that depends on what your definition of 'is' is.

If you're going to think like this, why bother exerting the effort to type?

When you fly your first solo, point the aircraft downward, and do nothing else... Then, come back and let us know if the ground is not always the ground. Just please don't submit anyone else's safety to this "A is not always A" mentality. The aircraft you want to fly are capable of doing so because existence exists, A is A, and numerous engineers and pilots in the past have acknowledged these facts (at least implicitly).

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What was his defense?
He never replied. ;)

Someone else replied though:

Actually in epistemology, whether or not A always equals A is open for debate 'A' can have multiple states depending on location, culture, language etc... take the case of someone asking if you want "tea." In America that A=A, in Australia that A=B (dinner or meal) language is a horrible horrible tool for communicating thoughts, but it's the best tool we have.

My response to him:

You are context-dropping. "Tea" is a complex concept, and as such is dependent upon a number of other concepts/percepts. If two rational people share the definition for all of the concepts which are antecedent to understanding "tea", they will agree on the definition of "tea."

"Tea" is a word used to refer to multiple concepts. One such concept is a drink, another is a meal, another is marijuana (I just learned this from dictionary.com). A thing is itself, it cannot be other than itself. Don't confuse two concepts being referred to by the same sound/word as being the same concept with two different definitions.

At this point I was a little agitated. The discussion stemmed from a post regarding the recent ACLU suit against the U.S. Naval Academy for its 'noon prayer' tradition. The communication in the thread had been as civil as it could have been for an atheist/theist argument, then these two guys started posting all sorts of Philosophy 101 nonsense. I believe they thought they were playing devil's advocate. IMO, there's a huge difference between 1) taking an opposing side for the sake of argument, and 2) distracting people by vomiting intentionally confusing ideas in a thread for the sake of being contradictory. The second action is just destructive and juvenile. Anyway, the thread died before they posted again.

Where is the thread-jack line? Did I just cross it?

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