If I Was An Atheist September 19, 2009

If I Was An Atheist

It’s “were.” I know.

Tell that to the Creationist in this video… who can’t actually solve a Rubik’s Cube.

And stick around to watch the nifty life an an atheist 🙂

That is *so* how I roll.

(via Thunderf00t)

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  • Magic beans? No one told me that there were magic beans.

  • Kris

    It’s “were.” I know.

    Oh, I though I was the only one bugged by that malapropism…

  • Staceyjw

    What is this even about? How cool he thinks he is? That atheists think xtians shouldn’t have fun? And what was that dinosaur thing about? HUH? Its the video version all those emails fundies send, all in caps with spelling mistakes 🙂

  • gwen

    ….and his point is?????

  • gwen

    If he’d had a better edumakation, he’d not only learn grammar, he’d also learn to THINK!!

  • Jerad

    His point is atheists aren’t allowed to go any further than their local supermarket, therefore he wins.

  • Ironically, part of the wonder of all of that cool stuff is knowing that it was the result of some long, complicated process!

    How sad to have to think of it as if some deity just planted it.

  • I’m sorry, but here’s nothing wrong with ‘if I was’. Just because some people prefer to use were instead of was in this construction, it doesn’t mean he has to (nor, incidentally, would it be a malapropism even if it were a mistake).

    I recommend reading this Language Log post. Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill’s book Language Myths is also worth reading if you want to learn more in general about this kind of thing.

    In any case, there are far better criticisms of creationists to make than ill-informed attacks on their syntax.

  • Claudia

    Well, to be fair, this is Thunderf00t we’re talking about here, the demi-god of YouTube atheism. Most of us would love to have a life half as cool. In reality the whole video is an excuse to put up his very cool version of “What I did on my summer vacation” (i.e: travel around a fair proportion of North America). Even cooler videos of his individual adventures on his other channel; beautyintheuniverse.

  • Amy G

    What is this? Are Atheists and Christians now like blonds/brunettes… who has more fun? I don’t understand the point of this video at all. Am I missing something?

  • medussa

    So, now I’m thoroughly confused: is this from an creationist video, or is he an “atheist demi-god”? Or maybe a travel promoter?
    Obviously, his message isn’t getting across too well.

  • Nick

    He is totally right, I ONLY travel at warp speed. Any speed lower is for silly believers.

  • Claudia

    medussa, I can understand your confusion to a certain extent, if you don’t know TF00t. This video isn’t really “entry level” in the sense that I suppose it might seem a tad weird for someone whose never seen his stuff before.

    Thunderf00t is a very, very prominent YouTube atheist. Probably only rivaled by Pat Condell, but TF00t is much more prolific and oriented towards promotion of science and defense against creationists.

    The first guy in the video is a creationist, TF00ts favorite target. The beginning “From a creationist video” is familiar to anyone whose seen his series “Why do people laugh at creationists”. His tone may seem overly aggressive if you haven’t seen him handle these guys and their dishonesty in the past.

    In fact this video is just a bit of fun for him. He just got back from a 2 month adventure through the US and had a short recap video on the channel he dedicates exclusively to fun stuff, especially science and his beloved miniature airplanes. All he did was add the creationist intro (more in keeping with his Thunderf00t channel) and repost the video on his more subscribed channel.

    I hope I made some sort of sense LOL.

  • stephanie

    I dunno, I see a lot of these kind of road trip videos as a motorcyclist and I really liked this one. I don’t see why everyone is so grumpy about it- it’s fun!

  • Shane

    Garic, you must rock at parties. You are officially invited to my bachelor party. We can fly to Vegas, get smashed, and debate the ethical implications of counterfactual conditional adjuncts in modern political discourse. It’ll be keen.

  • Garic: I think you’re misinterpreting that post.

    “If I were” refers to the counterfactual present. “If I was” refers to the counterfactual past.

    If I were wrong, I’d know it. If I was wrong, I would have said so.

    In this case, he’s talking about doing things in the present, so ‘was’ is incorrect.

    [/english degree]

  • I… I just don’t get it.

  • Alan in CA

    I’ve been to more than half of those places he went to. Does this make me half as cool?

  • Tizzle

    So who’s got the magic beans? Cause I need to have those.

  • Maybe some Christians just don’t believe in the subjunctive?

  • KeithLM

    Thank you Claudia, since Thunderf00t doesn’t show himself in this video it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever without a whole lot of background information.

  • MikeTheInfidel:

    If you’re referring to the post I linked to, I’m pretty sure I’m not misinterpreting it. The point of the first paragraph is that while if I were an atheist is ‘unambiguously counterfactual’ (referring to some non-existent world where I am an atheist), if I was an atheist may be interpreted either identically or as referring to the past—though not inherently a counterfactual past; consider if Caesar was stabbed by Brutus, then Brutus was not a very loyal stepson. You get an unambiguously counterfactual past with had been (e.g. If Caesar had been killed by aliens, someone would have mentioned it).

    The point of the second paragraph is that, while some prescriptivists (something of a dirty word at Language Log) don’t approve of using if I was for counterfactuals (and think it should only be used to refer to the past), there’s no especially good reason to follow their advice.

    After all, one might add, it’s the only verb where the distinction is possible, and the potential ambiguity doesn’t seem to cause anyone any problems. There’s nothing wrong with avoiding if I was you, but there’s no good argument for insisting that other people do the same.

    [/Linguistics degree, and three years of a linguistics PhD]

  • Delphine

    Let the geek war begin.

  • «bønez_brigade»

    BTW, here’s the video Thunderf00t is rebutting:
    The magic beans line was good, yes.


    Also, since it’s TLAPD, the Englinguibattle should befit the occasion.
    Yarr, goddamnit!
    [/no degrees (yet)]

  • ChameleonDave

    “If I were” refers to the counterfactual present. “If I was” refers to the counterfactual past.

    If I were wrong, I’d know it. If I was wrong, I would have said so.

    Totally wrong. It’s “If I had been wrong, I would have said so.” It’s called “the third conditional”.

  • muggle

    Huh? This made no sense to me either before reading the comments above and is not making much more after doing so, frankly.

    Daniel’s right about one thing — life’s too short to waste on him. He must be cracking up that this Thunderf00t dude is.

    Also, what the hell was that? Just seems an overzealous attempt to prove him wrong. Psst. You don’t have to prove a GD thing to that dork. (Oh, yeah, he’s also right in assessing that he’s a dork; not all Christians are, of course, but this one sure as hell is.)

    I’m Atheist and I say boredom is way under-rated. What is peace but boredom? If you can’t fill your undisturbed time with some pleasant, nonstressing activity, you have utterly no imagination.

    I’m guessing Thunderf00t likes to do these things but the video doesn’t come off like that. To each their own. If you enjoy, enjoy. Living well is the best revenge. You don’t have to prove anything to some clown on an unicycle. Forget him.

    I’ll close with my favorite Carly Simon quote that I quote all the time because people just don’t get my staid, quiet life from my nonbelieving ass: “I wouldn’t be naughty for the sake of naught or different just to differ.”

  • I demand my atheist rights to magic beans.

    Where are my magic beans?

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