ReligionSkepticism

Video Blog Post: Unicorns, God, and Anecdotes

It’s been a long time since I’ve uploaded a YouTube video, so today I took a few minutes to answer some YouTube mail. I hope this actually works, as my video-making skills are . . . nonexistent. Enjoy!

YouTube link

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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57 Comments

  1. So, combining the two arguments…

    If I say to God, “hey, God, wake me up in the morning,” and the next day my cell phone alarm starts to ring, that means I should be convinced of God’s existence? Or perhaps I should start worshiping my cell phone? I’m not sure I want to join either Christianity or Nokianism right now.

  2. Fuggin beatniks.

    I want you to know that I drank a lot of cola just now and I burped pretty much all the way through watching this. It doesn’t change anything, but I wanted you to know.

    You should do more Youtube stuff, you look and sound good.

  3. That was really good Rebecca You were not smarmy or condescending. I think this was a much better way to approach this subject. The reason being is that I think you are correct in that I do not think that believers realize how stupid and non persuasive their arguments are when they confront atheist. This was good and I am looking foreword to more of these. Oh but could you turn the fan off it was blowing your hair all over and I was looking at your hair and not listening to you at times………I’m a guy and get easily distracted……

  4. Well done Rebecca. I agree with what Xenu said “You were not smarmy or condescending. I think this was a much better way to approach this subject.” To many people, the word skeptic means cynical. I like to see posts where calm and rational arguments are used rather than responses that berate and mock differing view points. In fact, I also like posts that berate and mock stupid people. Go figure.

  5. Nice anecdote.

    Also, nice bookshelf. Does the room you recorded that in qualify as a “study?” I always wanted one of those, with nice bookshelves and a little fireplace or Franklin Stove. Sigh, one day…

  6. Isn’t it odd that the zealots attempt to convince with “reason” and yet they have no skills of logic or reason? Their source material is an old book, not experiments that can be reproduced or verified.
    Then they quote this old book as if the words have some power to change our mind — as in, “oh, it says that in the bible? Well, now that does it, I see what you are getting at. Why didn’t someone point that out to me before? Now I believe, and want to be sprinkled or immersed and have my soul saved.”
    I wonder also, how they reconcile that God wanted Abraham out of the area where they were sacrificing kids, then he said — hey, lets take yours, then he says — just kidding. Then he sends his own kid to be sacrificed. Somehow, why is it that the religion went backwards?
    Don’t get me wrong, on the last six hour flight to Alaska I began to think child sacrifice at high altitude was a good thing, but I digress.
    Ms. Watson, fine video – glad you are getting all the email trying to save your mortal soul. Perhaps there are more clever emails out there — the people who you quoted were dolts. Then again, may there are not. Time to go walk my unicorn and sacrifice to my cell phone. Style points for the necklace – no doubt it is a magic one that channels energy in some vortex (pardon me – even writing that causes me to aspirate succus – the skeptic gods are angry).

  7. @Rebecca:
    Good job! Bravo! And your avatar does you justice (or is it the other way around?) :-D You sound very calm and rational with your answers.

    Hmm…My Shelties wake me up in the morning. I guess I should start worshiping them instead of telling them off because I don’t have to get up at 5:30am on the weekends.

    @Andres_Diplotti: “Nokianism?” No! “Sonyism!” Worship the Sony of God!

  8. Very nice post, but I fear that your calm and rational responces may fall on deaf ears. Pearls before swine and all, don’t cha know? I also liked the copy of Flim Flam in teh book case. On a purely purile note, I like your hair. Gives you that “diaphonous otherworldly skeptic” look.

  9. Geeze I can’t believe how many religious nuts responded to your “rational response” thing! Got to love all those videos- it’s insane how many people feel the need to have an innocent look on their face saying they believe and “they’re not afraid.” It’s so cookie cutter too by their answers.. ughh. Go Rebecca!

  10. Well,

    While your arguments are as good as any, maybe even as good as Steve Novellas, maybe even better (dare I say it?)

    Well, it must be said.

    You’re way cuter than I remember you. (Every time that I see you).

    It goes like this: she’s cute, I’m over it. I’m okay with that. Then she does a video.

    She’s WAY cuter, than I recall. Suddenly, I’m not over it.

    Then I’m over it and we start over again.

    Thank god my GF likes you too, otherwise, I might be in trouble (she’s on my neck now, ouch… gotta go…).

    rod

  11. Those comments are very similar to the ones that I received on my own Blasphemy Challenge (and other vids). at first I tried to respond to them too but it became clear that they didn’t want to hear what I had to say, just repeat their own screeds.

    btw you have a very natural beauty Rebecca, it was nice to see that in your video.

  12. Dang, I was gonna mention how Flim Flam is the only legible title on your shelves. Now I have to settle for the consolation price. What’s with the Euro promotion? Are you in league with the NWO?

    Oh and the video is excellent.

  13. Hey thanks Rebecca, ..you sort of made sense ,. but do you really think that the argument is cogent,..I mean the point is moot,..ummm..I think Douglas Addams summed it up with the Babblefish thingy..and that observably evolving fish in Africa..( see I was listening )..if god exists let her be , she has enough to cope with , ..what with believers like Barney..
    luv ya work c u down under.

  14. A nice video – particularly as it led me to the blasphemy challenge and various videos from the “distant” (Internet) past.

    A loose tie-in to the PRAISE DARWIN question, how does one get one’s message out? I doubt that the video here is going to provide much guidance to the believers hell-bent on saving a skeptic’s soul…

    I am truly a u-tube neophyte, but when I watch Rebecca’s original challenge, I do not see a direct connection to the Unicorn… video. A search of “Rebecca Watson” videos puts this new one way down on the list, not particularly easy to find outside of this site.

    Unless there is something that catches attention and pulls the message above the you-tube noise threshold, why do you believe this one particular video among millions of videos is going to make much of a difference to those who most need its content?

    This, again, is another example of why I believe that the PRAISE DARWIN message was effective. The tone and phrasing caused the billboard to rise above the noise threshold and had the message distributed far beyond the original geographical and demographic reach of the physical billboard.

    I did enjoy the video (I say this as I dodge the small fly flitting around overhead…)

    Y_S_G

  15. I wake up most mornings because I have to pee, which I guess gives everybody one MORE reason to worship my penis.

    That whole a-fly-killed-the-non-believer argument is ludicrous. Maybe if the “attack” had happened immediately, but the fact the guy died so long after doesn’t even make a good anecdote. Are Christians really so simple minded that they can’t even make up a better story? THESE are the people in charge? Oi.

  16. @Skepotter: Well, if you take what the Catholics claim at face value, then so too can Jesus. In fact, the shear amount of Jesus meat the world over should be able to fill multiple freezers keeping you fed for many years to come. And if most likely will never go bad! Furthermore, with all the excess Jesus meat, we could potentially feed the worlds populations multiple times over! Think Jonathan Swift’s solution for feeding poor Irish people, but with Jesus instead of babies.

  17. @killyosaur42: I have a smoker, too, but no wood this morning. I’ve searched high and low for hickory but it’s impossible to find any store that stocks it in the winter. For $37 I can buy 50 lbs online but…

    I love this website. It’s got everything I love: skepticism, blasphemy, and recipe swapping.

  18. Unicorns have one thing up on God: they really do exist!

    http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1092254

    Or, well, they did, anyway. The last one died of old age several years ago.

    I grew up in the California Pagan community, and my parents were friends with the Zells. I got to hang out with some of the herd on several occasions. Once, one of them tagged along on a several mile hike with a friend and I.

    Not that there weren’t drawbacks. For one thing, they smelled like goats. And I can confirm with certainty that rainbows weren’t what they shot out their asses.

    And yes, goats count as unicorns. Some of the earliest depictions of unicorns show them as one-horned variants of common two-horned animals, including bulls and goats. Then there’s the “unicorn deer”, assumed to be a genetic mutation, found last summer: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/06/11/unicorn-deer-italy.html

    So take heart: God may not be real, but with a little surgery you too can have your very own unicorn. I’d recommend you invest heavily in air fresheners, though. Goats stink.

  19. Rebecca, I grew up as raving ultra fundamentalist Christian. When I was de-converting your videos was one of the things that gave me the courage to think, hey maybe this God thing is pretty ridiculous.

    My wife and I watched it, and were really surprised that you are attractive. I know that sounds incredibly lame, but we were both raised to see feminism and atheism and skepticism as all the same thing: a bunch of evil ‘isms that keep people from God. Beauty came from within, a gift from God, and no skeptic/atheist/feminist could have the sort of inner beauty that makes someone really nice looking. They weren’t nice, so they couldn’t look nice.

    Besides, why would an attractive women want to be an atheist? Then she couldn’t marry a good man, since men only become atheists to have total sexual freedom. We were confused why the verbal, physical, and emotional abuse you must be receiving from atheist men, didn’t give you the broken look that abused people often seem to have.

    We talked about the message and what you looked like a lot, trying to make sense out of how the two could be in the same person. Don’t think that your video skills are non-existent! It made a huge impact on us. Over a couple years, we’ve gone from very sad ultrafundementalists to very happy atheists, and you have a small part in that.

    Keep up the good work.

  20. Never mind the fact that it’s an anecdote. How about the fact that everyone dies?!

    “Somebody said something bad about god and then one day at some point in the lives (in fact on the day they died!!! Coincidence?) they died. ”

    Take THAT science!

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