PZ Myers, a.k.a Pharyngula, is a biologist who has carved out a niche in the blogistan (absent strong presence from big daddy Dawkins) for forceful opinion typically aimed at religion and related oddities, under the rubric of “skepticism”. And when the fanbase demands red meat, PZ obliges, casting the net ever farther and wider to find new candidates for ridicule. This time around, the lucky winner is Jainism.
Wikipedia might tell you that:Post
Jainism is an ancient religion of India that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice rely mainly on self-effort to progress the soul up the spiritual ladder to divine consciousness.
But that’s just too much silly talk for old PZ, who offers an alternative description:
a petrified clown turd of foolishness that convinces people that it’s OK to be a credulous git
Now, you might wonder how one might back up such a definition and thus avoid seeming an incredulous git, and PZ has an answer:
Prahlad Jani, an Indian “fakir” (a term PZ has perhaps borrowed from that other pioneer, Winston Churchill, who used it to describe Mahatma Gandhi). And Jani, it has been claimed, lives merely on air and sunshine. PZ will have none of this tomfoolery of Jainism, and closes the case thus: the person who tested Jani is a “deeply religious Jain”, the “obvious flaws” in whose testing have been identified by “Indian skeptics”. Hence, concludes PZ, Jains (assuming here that PZ is concluding/summarising the thesis at the top of his post) are “kooks, plain and simple”.
Now, if you study biology at University of Minnesota where you might be fortunate enough to partake of the wisdom of PZ, and further, if Logic 101 is not a prerequisite for your programme, you might wish to have PZ’s attempt at it (logic) broken down for you, so here goes:
- Indian “fakir” claims to live on air and sunshine
- Dr. Sudhir Shah tests and validates this claim
- Sudhir Shah is a Jain and president of Jain Doctor’s Federation
- “Indian skeptics” have critiqued Shah’s claim
- Jains are kooks
- Jainism is a “petrified clown turd of foolishness”
Clearly PZ has inherited more than the beard from Aristotle!