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Daniel Dvorkin's Journal: Your terrifying inability to understand how the world actually works. 3

Journal by Daniel Dvorkin

Morford is guilty here of a sin that might be called metaphoricalism--assuming that because he himself often speaks metaphorically, people who insist on literalism must be fools, ignorami, and/or members of a tiny lunatic fringe.

Yes, of course the ability to interpret metaphor is an important characteristic of the intelligent, educated mind. But most of the time, most people mean exactly what they say, and it's a grave mistake to assume otherwise. He really goes off the rails when he insists that mythology must be interpreted in metaphorical terms. There is no reason to believe--no evidence whatsoever--that the people who originally told the stories of Eve, Paris, or the risen Christ thought they were speaking anything other than literal truth; nor were the monsters lurking in the darkness beyond the campfire anything other than our ancestors' attempts to rationalize (not symbolize) the nasty, brutish, and short nature of life throughout most of human history. A metaphorical interpretation of these myths is more reasonable than a literal one, to be sure. It is also, historically and to a large degree in the modern age, a distinctly minority view.

Your terrifying lack of imagination

(Also: âZ"Science is just mysticism disguised as mathematics," says the guy on the internet.)

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Your terrifying inability to understand how the world actually works.

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