Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Institutions of Higher Gullibility

I just got out of my English Satire class (with the ever delightful Terry Matheson) and I'm flabbergasted. Can you believe that there are actually people in a university setting who think that The DaVinci Code is based on fact? I'm dumbfounded. People like that piss me off so much. I've read so much about the book that I don't feel the compelling urge to read the thing; For one, I've heard it's so badly written that it's like a Hardy Boys mystery. Not that I didn't enjoy those when I was 10, but I like to think I've moved beyond that level.

The most disturbing thing is that people buy into the conspiracy theories and mind-numbingly bad theology, while at the same time criticising Christianity for doing the same thing they are. The least they could do fact check, and not just assume that because Dan Brown says it in the book, that it must be true. Don't forget this is the guy who wrote a book entitled Illuminati. I think I stopped believing in that when I was 13.

It's ironic that because someone brings up "facts" against something that you want to disprove, you're so eager to believe it that you end up being as duped as anyone. To find this in a university is really disturbing. To realize that so many people have such a limited understanding of religion and history that they just swallow it all wholesale, I just don't know how to react. I would suggest beginning by finding a knowledgeable history or religious studies professor to take you through the first few pages and point out some of the innacuracies that are peddled as fact.

Well, I guess it shouldn't be surprising. I guess the fact that National Treasure was number one at the box office again this weekend should have clued me in.

"That I have read the book is not a cause for celebration. It is inelegant, pedestrian writing in service of a plot that sets up cliff-hangers like clockwork, resolves them with improbable escapes and leads us breathlessly to a disappointing anticlimax. I should read a potboiler like The Da Vinci Code every once in a while, just to remind myself that life is too short to read books like The Da Vinci Code." - Roger Ebert on The Da Vinci Code, from his review of National Treasure


At 6:46 p.m., Blogger Ewan said...

I haven't read the Da Vinci Code, but i know a girl who has, and she's a real know-it-all who doesn't know a thing.

At 7:39 p.m., Blogger cait said...

I've not read the Da Vinci Code either, but I've had some very interesting reactions from my non-Xian friends who've read it; they all have this attitude, "oh, we can't let Caitlin read it, it will shake her faith," as if the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Enlightenment, two world wars and postmodernism hadn't tried to shake my faith already.

I think, Anders, that the major problem with many non-Xian critics of Xty is that they assume a blindness and a fundamentalism that is simply not fair. Ironically, as a result they subscribe to blindness and fundamentalism themselves, only it is in the guise of fundamentalist science or fundamentalist agnosticism.

At 11:09 p.m., Blogger Anders said...

I have no real problem with something challenging to our faith (if it's real faith, should it not stand up to criticism?), but it should be a real challenge, not something made up. Dan Brown clearly doesn't know what he's talking about in places (such as when he refers to the Dead Sea Scrolls as "Christian" when they are Jewish texts; or his comment that there were "over 80 gospels", when any archaelogist or historian will tell you that it has no basis in fact whatsoever).


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