Friday, June 18, 2010

Linus Torvalds on religion

Linus Torvalds, original creator of Linux, writes in his blog:
One of them starts to seriously talk about praying demons away, and then after the prayer has driven the demon out of the person, you have to support the person so that the demon doesn't come back. And nobody laughs at him.

Seriously? What year is it again? I'm pretty sure they didn't have Costco foodcourts in the middle ages, but maybe there was some time warping going on.

What the hell is wrong with people?
There is a large number of comments (169 to this date). Very few of them are critical of Linus at the beginning, but then a few start voicing a different opinion. And Linus Torvalds answers with gems like:
And yes, it is acceptable to ridicule people for their beliefs. If you meet a grown person who believes in the easter bunny, in santa claus, or in the tooth fairy, they're damn well fair game.
Seriously, what's wrong with Linus Torvalds?

If someone doesn't know something, you educate them. You don't run back home and cowardly post blog entries mocking your "opponent" to a friendly crowd! This is really not Linus Torvalds' most glorious moment...

What I find more annoying is just how religiously illiterate Torvalds is, and how that doesn't stop him from believing he knows everything about everything. He is not alone in his belief that to be religious, you have to be stupid.


bdauvergne said...

Who cares ? Grow up, religion is just "opinion". If we can mock the way you dress or the way you walk, why not mock the way you believe. Nothing is sacred. Linux is just trolling and seems pretty good at it.

Christophe de Dinechin said...

It has nothing to do with the topic (religion or anything else) and everything to do with attitude. If I tell you you are a moron because X or Y, I'm probably wrong, whatever X or Y is. It is just worse when, like Linus in this case, I happen to know nothing about X or Y.

Anonymous said...

In order to be religious, you have to be wilfully ignorant. Stupidity in a certain sense?

Christophe de Dinechin said...

In order to be religious, you have to be wilfully ignorant. Stupidity in a certain sense?

So you condone being willfully ignorant of religion because you think being religious implies being willfully ignorant? I hope you can see the limits of this rationale.

You didn't say what you have to ignore to be religious. Science? Computing?

If I'm a religious person, does that make me less of a programmer? Or does that mean I may have an experience / knowledge non-religious people do not have?

Anonymous said...

I am just glad there are people out there who are genuinely willing to gauge both sides in matters of religious discourse. Good blog post.

Bones said...

A person should never compare a religion or belief system to believing in an "Easter Bunny" or a "Santa Claus". I'm surprised a man of Torvald's caliber would stoop to such nonsensical trolling.

I have found that people who harass other people for their religious beliefs are ignorant of the religion (and person) they are mocking - and thus are self defeating in their pursuit of logic and reason. It is not recommended to make assumptions about something a person doesn't or understand. It is completely illogical to promote one's own secular moral supremacy while acting like a grade school bully calling names, making ridiculous arguments, and in general acting like headgear for one's posterior.

In other words, secular people have completely failed to convince me that they are any smarter or superior than religious people.

Lev Lafayette said...

A little long in the tooth in terms of when this last posted but you may be interested in this:

Antireligious Prejudice in The Free Software Movement