I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

149. Penn & Teller

Penn & Teller

A few days ago I discovered a site, where I can watch all the Penn & Teller shows from their bullsh*t sessions.    This was the first time, that I watched anything from them.    At first I was very pleased by watching some of their debunking absurdities like ESP, astrology, Feng Shui, reflexology and Ouija Boards, even though their language is too nasty and vulgar for my personal taste.  

But after watching some more I got aware, that they are not educating people, but instead are doing a lot of damage to the reputation of skepticism and atheism.      In the spectators' minds, Penn & Teller associate their debunking of irrationality with the macho attitude, that women are bodies to be used.   They do it implicitly between the lines of what they say, and explicitly by having dozens of naked women with instinct eliciting body language decorating their show.   They propagate the message, that women are objects for men to use.   Some of their shows are repulsive and sexist.

They are doing a lot of psychological damage:
1.  It is one of the false christian accusations, that atheists have no morals.    Many atheists make a lot of effort to refute that claim.    Treating a woman as equal, being faithful and monogamous is an important part of morals, because cheating hurts the woman, and hurting it immoral.   Penn & Teller discard monogamy. 
2.  Penn & Teller are role models for men, who are skeptics and atheists.   They indirectly encourage those men to abuse women, to be promiscuous, to cheat, to become less suitable for decent women.  
3.   They have a basic flaw in what they do.   They meddle two distinct things, the debunking of unscientific claims and the propagation of their opinion as better than that of others, when this is a question of personal values, which cannot be decided by the scientific method.  
While rationality concerning the scientific validity of things it is a dichotomy:  Something like astrology can be either be backed up by scientific evidence, or the evidence is lacking.   When it comes to human behavior as to what is best for the individual, there is no right or wrong for everybody, but what makes some people happy, is detrimental for others.   It depends on the disposition of the individual and the amount of instinctivity or rationality in their brain.   It is a personal choice and not right or wrong.
Penn & Teller are as fanatic as christian fundamentalists in declaring as wrong and absurd, what does not correspond with their personal inclination. 
We in the western world live now, maybe for the first time in history, usually in circumstances to choose our personal way of life according to our personal wishes.   It is a good thing to propagate tolerance to all forms of flexible life styles, including gay couples raising children and people having promiscuous and polygamous life styles, as all minorities acting upon consent.   Those, who are lacking the ability to be happy in a monogamous relationship have the right to do, what they want.   But the monogamous person, who gets harmed and hurt by any non-monogamous partner needs to be respected, accepted and protected. 
In the show on family values, Penn & Teller are very intolerant.   Instead of advocating tolerance for alternative life forms, they declare the alternative life forms as the new norm and they make monogamy appear as if it were weird and not some people's natural inclination and what makes them most happy.   Like Dorine and André Gorz (entry 100)   Penn & Teller are obviously very much determined by strong instincts.  They are another indication, how the strength of animal instincts in people influences their own values and attitudes and makes them intolerant for those, who are different.  
As long as they would only personally deny the fact, that some people need monogamy as much as Penn & Teller themselves seem to need promiscuity, they would not do much damage.   But their public denial of the value of monogamy and their role model for men is irresponsible and dangerous for the victims of cheating.    It may be the one decisive bad influence, that makes men finally allow themselves to cheat, while they have struggled to stay faithful to their monogamous wives so far.  
4.  They are repulsive to those people, who are most in need of the debunking of their irrational believes. 
In entry 71, I have the example about the absurdity of having a lawn.   Penn & Teller have made one show about the absurdity of lawns, that makes some excellent points.   Except that the first 3 minutes of the show spoil it all.   They start by showing about a dozen naked bodies spread over a lawn.   When the middle class home owners, with a sense for decency, those people, who are the most prone to make a fuss about their lawn, see this introduction on tv, they zap and never see the rest, that is meant for them. 
Some of the New Age nonsense and woo-woo are especially attractive to women.   But the debunking of that stuff is so much blended with the degradation and devaluation of women as sex-objects, that many, if not most of them are getting disgusted and repulsed by Penn & Teller.  They either never see their debunking shows at all, or if they do, the general repulsion impedes, that they understand the skeptical message.