Pharyngula

The false equation

I’ve rarely seen it so starkly said:

“We are witnessing a social phenomenon that is about fundamentalism,” says Colin Slee, the Dean of Southwark. “Atheists like the Richard Dawkins of this world are just as fundamentalist as the people setting off bombs on the tube, the hardline settlers on the West Bank and the anti-gay bigots of the Church of England. Most of them would regard each other as destined to fry in hell.

“You have a triangle with fundamentalist secularists in one corner, fundamentalist faith people in another, and then the intelligent, thinking liberals of Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, baptism, methodism, other faiths – and, indeed, thinking atheists – in the other corner. ” says Slee. Why does he think the other two groups are so vociferous? “When there was a cold war, we knew who the enemy was. Now it could be anybody. From this feeling of vulnerability comes hysteria.”

Wow. So Dawkins is setting off bombs, appropriating religious people’s land, and hates gay people? And he thinks Christians and Muslims are going to hell? Talk about not getting it…

I like how he categorizes people of faith as the reasonable ones, with a few “thinking atheists” tossed in so he can sound inclusive.

The article really doesn’t get any better from there. It makes the premise that atheism is identical to fundamentalism, and ties it to violence and attempts to deprive people of their civil rights, all claims completely contrary to the evidence (but who cares? It’s OK to slag mere atheists with lies), and it’s all wrapped up in a hysterical frenzy of anti-Dawkins terror. That guy really hit a sore spot, didn’t he?

As usual, there’s the expected whining about Dawkins’ book by people who, if they even bothered to read it, didn’t understand it. I like this attempt to escape the anti-religion logic:

Gray argues that this fixation misses the point of religions: “The core of most religions is not doctrinal. In non-western traditions and even some strands of western monotheism, the spiritual life is not a matter of subscribing to a set of propositions. Its heart is in practice, in ritual, observance and (sometimes) mystical experience . . . When they dissect arguments for the existence of God, atheists parody the rationalistic theologies of western Christianity.”

Shorter John Gray: “We know religion is stupid, but it makes us feel good.”

If that’s all religion is, I suggest he take up Tai Chi for the ritual, go sit in a forest or by the seashore for a ‘mystical’ experience, and join a book club for the sense of community. I have to despise these arguments that try to pretend religion is not what it is—they are in essence conceding that the atheist’s criticisms are valid and that they have to redefine religion to avoid them, but they are not intellectually honest enough to admit that the existence of gods, souls, an afterlife, and the efficacy of prayer are indefensible propositions.

And then there’s Rabbi Julia Neuberger.

Neuberger is to take on Hitchens, Dawkins and Grayling when she speaks at a debate against the motion We’d Be Better Off Without Religion next month. The debate has been moved to a bigger venue. “What I find really distasteful is not just the tone of their rhetoric, but their lack of doubt,” she says. “No scientific method says that there is no doubt. If you don’t accept there’s doubt in all things, you’re being intellectually dishonest. “

Hasn’t. Read. The. Book.

Atheism, even that firebrand atheism Dawkins is pushing, certainly does admit to doubt, and Dawkins wrote at considerable length about it. All the good Rabbi has to do is expose us to some evidence for her religion, and we’ll consider it. Too bad these religious kooks never have any.

If that’s going to be Neuberger’s tack, though, this debate is going to be entertaining—Dawkins will mop the floor with her. There’s something wonderful about a debate opponent who not only charges in with a silly proposition, but does so by completely mischaracterizing the other side; it should be a real Emily Litella moment.


I don’t think Ophelia liked the article, either.

Comments

  1. #1 Kent
    February 26, 2007

    My favorite comment:

    “I refer to secular fundamentalism. The problem is that these people believe that they have the absolute truth. That means you have no room to talk to others so you end up having a physical fight.” Azzim Tamimi

    Because atheists like Dawkins always end debates in fisticuffs, or just nodding politely while the religious commentator prattles on and on about the absolute truth of their religion. Oh, and suicide bombers seem to be nonexistent among atheists.

  2. #2 Jonathan Vos Post
    February 26, 2007

    James Randi quote:

    “If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.”

    Deeper than it looks. For example, I’ve never played Chess in a tournament. Does that mean that my not playing Chess is a hobby? Superficially, that’s absurd. But suppose I’m attracted to Chess (I am), read the Chess column of the Los Angeles Times (I do), am friends with a Chess Tournament Director (Benjamin Nethercot), am friends with a former U.S. Women’s Chess Champion (marriued name Sharon Friedman), and attend Chess tournaments as a spectator (including the U.S. Chess Open, as I have).

    Then, to True Believers in Chess (who are Rated Players), what am I? Clearly not one of them. I don’t have a rating. But also clearly not someone indifferent to Chess or attacking their belief system.

    It might be said indeed that, for me, not playing Chess is a hobby. Where by “playing” means in tournaments, where the play is official. Unofficially, I did beat Ben Nethercott (very close to International Master) in a game where I had K 5 pawns to his K R. His father was watching, which may have given me a psychological edge.

    Further, I study the Mathematics of Chess (see the Chess-related sequences in the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences).

    In the same way, I am not a True Believer of any established religion. But Religion fascinates me. I’ve been to services in many different churches and synagogues. I’ve read many books on religion. I’ve performed marriages as the Minister. I’ve published Theological essays and poems. I’ve written about what I call Theophysics and Theomathematics.

    So is not believing in God a hobby for me? The case can be made.

    Agnosticism is a heterogeneous population. I am a Chess Agnostic but still interested. I am a God Agonstic, but still interested. I do happen to believe rather strongly in Evolution by Natural Selection, Stellar Evolution, the Old Earth. I hedge my bets on the Big Bang. I am very skeptical of String Theory.

    There is a stance that can be summarized as: Skeptical of belief X, but also skeptical of the Skeptics of X. That can be done in an open-minded and polite way.

    It would be nice if the X Believers and X-Skeptics tolerated each others’ existence, the way the Chess professionals tolerated and were puzzled by me, in conversation. But, alas, many X-believers seem too fearful and angry to tolerate the way that Jesus instructs one to be — nonjudgmental of, say, whores, and loving ones’ enemies. I guess that Creationists are thus, ultimately, not true Christians, in the way that many Islamist terrorists are not actually behaving in an Islamic manner.

  3. #3 G. Tingey
    February 26, 2007

    I have sent the following to the newspaper, I was so annoyed…
    Staurt Jefferies said, in your newspaper:

    “Atheists like the Richard Dawkins of this world are just as fundamentalist as the people setting off bombs on the tube, the hardline settlers on the West Bank and the anti-gay bigots of the Church of England.”

    I call him LIAR, and dare him to sue.

    If he is telling the truth, he should be able to produce an example to justify his case …..

    Really, sirs, does no-one proof-read the nonsense some of your guests write?
    Between this idiot, and Bunty (Madelaine B.) spouting on about how “peaceful” islam is, I’m beginning to wonder how you can call yourself a news paper ….

    G. Tingey.

  4. #4 Steve_C
    February 26, 2007

    I posted the INTRO. Uhg.

    Apparently the Czech Republic is neck and neck with turkey on creationism. And they don’t even have Noah’s Ark up on one of their mountains.

  5. #5 Blake Stacey
    February 26, 2007

    Equating the “mystical experience” — i.e., what you can potentially get from the night sky, music and/or LSD — with religious belief is just silly. Analogy:

    I enjoyed the privilege of an alien abduction every few weeks during my junior year of MIT.

    Let me elaborate on that:

    Junior year for us physics majors is deliberately designed to be a brutal experience. To use flamboyantly gender-biased language, the professors want a chance “to separate the boys from the men” (you can substitute “sheep from the wolves” if you prefer). Key ingredient in the witches’ brew is Junior Lab, a class which the course catalog says will require eighteen hours of work per week. Well, if you’re a slacker, perhaps: I never knew anybody who did a decent job doing less than twenty. And you’re expected to be taking three other classes at the same time, including your first real encounter with quantum mechanics — a nice, intuitive subject which gives you time to relax and contemplate — and if you believe that, I’ve got a very attractive deal on a bridge in Brooklyn. . . .

    Put simply, if you survive junior year, you know you can make it as a physicist. You also learn just how productive you can be in a state of sleep deprivation. I was a lightweight, usually tumbling into bed between two and four A.M. when others could go all night long. However, I would wake up around six, when the sun started hitting my bedroom window, and damnably, I would have the hardest time falling asleep again.

    So I would curl up there in bed, not able to be awake, not able to sleep. And then, pretty dependably — when I was truly zonked with exhaustion but somehow unable to doze off — I would feel a wave of numbness, followed by a strange paralysis. With my eyes closed, I would see my room, but with the sizes and proportions all distorted. If the experience lasted long enough, I would sense myself rising into the air and sometimes even flying through abstract tunnels of light.

    “This is so freakin’ cool!” I would exclaim. After a few such experiences, I discovered I could give myself a good shake and break the sleep-paralysis. Sometimes, after I did that, I could relax into my little hypnogogic trance again.

    I expect lots of people have had similar experiences, half-awake and seeing odd things. (I mean, I tripped out in a dentist’s chair at age eight after inhaling too much nitrous while they fixed my sugar-rotted baby teeth. Weird things can happen to the brain, even in daily life!) Junior year at MIT gave me the chance to explore the phenomenon, to test it with a little repeatability.

    Now, experiencing an assortment of psychological and physiological perturbations which I could identify as similar to alien-abduction reports did not convert me to a UFO believer. Quite the opposite: by identifying a down-to-Earth explanation for these purported abductions and verifying that explanation with my own experience, I’ve firmly grounded myself in skepticism.

    Why should a “spiritual” or “mystical” experience be any different?

  6. #6 Colugo
    February 26, 2007

    Watch out Dustin! Randians are a passionate bunch.

    Hey, I liked ‘The Fountainhead’ too, but it was just a movie. Like ‘V For Vendetta.’

  7. #7 Dan
    February 26, 2007

    Dustin:

    Oh, I see. What it is about is going through the motions.

    And here I was thinking that people were being sincere when they said that religion added meaning to their lives. Well, I’m glad we settled that.

    Well, they are sincere, after a fashion, because it’s either convince yourself you’re being sincere or sink into nihilistic despair.

    The real problem is that they never actually define what they mean by “meaning.” And there’s also that whole thing about how if you need to make up an invisible man in the sky (or other such things) just to give your life meaning, then your life has no meaning.

  8. #8 CalGeorge
    February 26, 2007

    Two thousand frigging years of glorious obedience to a freaking fantasy perpetuated by a bunch of manipulative bastards who called themselves priests, ministers, popes, whatever!

    Times up! Ding, ding, ding ding! God has left the building. Time to go home. Sorry, no curtain calls. You’ve had your fun. Move on! Come on. Get along. Nothing more to see. God is dead. Hurry, hurry, get along! Watch your head going out!

  9. #9 David Marjanovi?
    February 26, 2007

    Greatest scientist as Robert Broom (as well as T. Chardin) considered evolution to be spirit-governed process.

    The fact that you say “greatest scientist” and act as if that were an argument shows that you don’t know how science works. Arguments from authority are unscientific.

    Neither Broom nor Teilhard de Chardin had any evidence for their metaphysics. I don’t know about Broom, but I’ll flat-out say that Teilhard de Chardin was not a scientist — he made up fancy terms (“the soul temperature was rising”) without ever explaining them. Today you will not find a single biologist who adheres to Teilhard de Chardin’s bizarre opinions; most importantly, his assumption that evolution is progress (shared by the communists, incidentally) has turned out to be utter nonsense.

    It is in accordnace with the best tradition with russian as well as british metaphysical thinking.

    Whatever “best” means.

    By the way, it is interesting that there seems to be such a thing as “Russian” or “British metaphysical thinking”. If you suggested there were such a thing as “Russian science” or “British science” you would be laughed out of the room!

    (I can tell you one of the best nowadays Czech scientist biolog and philosopher profesor Zdenek Neubauer turned to be antidarwinian too).

    Here you commit both fallacies at once.

    Look, I sympathize with you. I agree that communism was a dogma, not a science, and that having to live under it was horrible. But the fact that communism was bullshit is not evidence that any of its many opposites must be any better.

    Whether something is science or not is easy to find out. If the proponents of an idea can answer the question “if we were wrong, how would we know?”, the idea is science. If they can’t, it is not.

  10. #10 David Marjanovi?
    February 26, 2007

    Oh, and… the term “scientific Darwinism” does not exist. You made it up. Unlike Marxism, the theory of evolution is science and doesn’t need to assert that in its name.

  11. #11 David Marjanovi?
    February 26, 2007

    a weird affectation of an Eastern European underpar knowledge of English which comes and goes, and really never looks authentic at all.

    I wondered…

    His telegraph style doesn’t really look like how someone writes who doesn’t know how to use articles. And the Czech keyboard has a ? key for Zden?k.

    But this hypothesis of yours is testable — it’s scientific. VMartin, can you translate your latest post into Czech? (Kseniya and I, at the very least, will notice very fast if you have used translate.google.com or babelfish.altavista.com or the like.)

  12. #12 autumn
    February 27, 2007

    Stay with me for a bit on this, I do have a point.

    I work as a convienience store clerk, and in this exalted position I am forced to sell people lottery tickets, of which the instant “scratch-off” variety are especially popular. At least six million times every day (exaggerated very slightly) I am face to face with a person who states with absoloute certainty that only even/odd numbered scratch-off tickets win (the tickets are numbered sequentially [is there another way to be numbered?] for inventory purposes), or that only tickets from the first/last half of the roll win. Without exception, my first question to these troglodytes is “how large was your sample space?”, which elicits many blank stares. When I go on to explain that a statement of fact implies some research into the subject, I am told that it just works, or their friend said so, or some other crap. Interestingly, when I explain to them that I have actually surveyed the winning tickets (yes, I am a super-dork who has spent time cataloguing the inventory numbers of about two-hundred tickets over three days) and have found nothing other than randomness in the distribution, I am invariably told “well, I just know it works.”. Then they walk out broke. I actually had a man say, after his predicted even number didn’t win, but the next ticket did, “see, it’s either the even ticket, or the one right next to it”.
    The point, if anyone has stuck around, is that people have a huge ability to rationalize demonstrably false beliefs as true when presented with ample evidence to the contrary, even when these beliefs are trivial to the point of total vacuity of meaning. Imagine the engine of rationalization when a belief is tied to one’s identity as strongly as religion is.
    If something as stupid as lotteries can cause such mass misery and deprivation (imagine if these people were saving the $20 American that they spend on average [yes, I also took averages over two weeks to arrive at this figure, and due to the methodology, it is artificially low] every day), then what about a belief that has such important cosequenses as a religion?
    Religions are detrimental, not to the individual in every case, but to the larger society.

  13. #13 Jason
    February 27, 2007

    JR,

    Jason and Nerull – you say “there is evidence” that Perth exists. What you mean is that authorities that you accept report that Perth exists.

    No, I don’t mean that, although it is also true. I mean that there exist photographs, videos, audio recordings and other pieces of physical evidence that Perth exists. This evidence is available to you personally. There is no evidence that God exists.

  14. #14 stogoe
    February 27, 2007

    JR’s just a solipsist. Forget him.

  15. #15 JR
    February 27, 2007

    A solipsist is a person who believes that there is nothing outside his own mind. I don’t believe that at all. I believe that there is an external reality that is in large part although perhaps not entirely knowable. I believe that neither I nor anyone else will ever know even a small fraction of what is knowable, and that some of what each one of us thinks we know is almost certainly wrong. I believe that my own ability to know is rather limited and imperfect, even in comparison with other people’s. I believe what I believe, but I recognize that others believe differently. Some although of course not all of these others are, on the evidence available to me, better people than I am – smarter, more loving, more productive, better parents, better spouses, better friends – and I don’t find it useful or entertaining to call them kooks or other silly names because their beliefs differ from mine.

    And now I’m done. Thanks for putting up with me. Have a pleasant evening.

  16. #16 Jason
    February 27, 2007

    Scott,

    Your phrase “the faith experience” is a good example of what I mean by vacuity. The problem is not just that you believe without evidence, but that you offer no explanation of why you believe what you believe at all. You might just as well believe the moon is made of cheese.

  17. #17 Ken Cope
    February 28, 2007

    But that doesn’t make the experience itself vacuous.

    Where does vacuity reside?

    It is full of meaning, albeit the subjective sort that has no standing in science. It would be a mistake to think that I was offering it in that spirit.

    Meaning does not inhere in the events themselves, but is constellated onto them, in any environment sufficiently rich in pattern, ambiguity, and storytellers. The nature of storytellers is not impervious to the imprecations of scientific investigation.

    I owe my use of constellation as a verb to game designer Brian Moriarty, whose presentation I saw when first presented in 1999 at the Game Developers’ Conference: Clue #6! Paul’s been killed in a bloody car crash…

    Again, did you read post #152?

    Counting the hits and ignoring the misses. Damn it, Sigmund, sometimes an acausal connecting principle is just a Police lyric.

  18. #18 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2007

    Q. What caused the Big Bang (or Steady State, or whatever)?
    A. (Never heard one that was sensible, usually something along the lines of accusing the questioner of being a religious fruitcake.)
    - Double Duh.

    Eh, firstly, my fellow agnostic, that’s a question for physicists, not for atheists – those groups overlap but are not congruent.

    Secondly, there are plenty of ideas; that you haven’t read of them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For example, a Big Bang could be what causally follows a black hole (in another spacetime). One version of this idea – that universes reproduce by black holes, and that the parameters of the Standard Model are inherited and mutate, leading to natural selection for those values of the parameters that lead to the greatest production of black holes – is testable: find one neutron star that is twice as heavy as the Sun, just one, and the idea is trash. If you like, I can send you the link to the latest pdf in an hour or two. Or you google for “cosmological natural selection”.

    ————————

    jr, I’ll just repeat the issue: As long as you stay in front of your computer, you’re right. But you are not right in principle. You can buy a plane ticket to Perth. You can repeat any scientific experiment (by definition). Ignoring Stenger’s book, which I haven’t read, you can’t do any experiment on the existence of anything supernatural (deities, karma, nirvana…). That is a difference.

    If you prefer a more sublime wording, I can supply that: Science is concerned with reality, and reality is the place where argumenta ad lapidem work. The supernatural is outside of that. Perth is inside.

  19. #19 Mooser
    February 28, 2007

    All the good Rabbi has to do is expose us to some evidence for her religion, and we’ll consider it.

    I will tolerate a lot but I will not tolerate anti-Semetism and Holacaust denial!!!

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  20. #20 David Marjanovi?
    February 28, 2007

    I really like comment 177…

    219: Which David? I’m not used to having hundreds of namesakes. :-}

  21. #21 Caledonian
    February 28, 2007

    If you say that the existence of gods is not open to empirical testing, you’ve already admitted that they don’t exist.

  22. #22 Scott Hatfield
    February 28, 2007

    Hello, old Scot! The ides of March are upon us soon, and I’ve got a sporting proposition for you:

    I’ll agree for purposes of discussion to abide by your definitions of anything you want to define, and to not attempt to refute any line of reasoning you want to present here or anywhere else, through March 15;

    In return, you agree to expound on your views on topics related to the nature of science, reality, scientific method, etc. and, if necessary, to patiently explain points that aren’t immediately clear, through March 15.

    We should also both agree not to let other commenters derail your presentation of your ideas.

    What’s in it for you? An opportunity to present your thought in a clear, systematic way under circumstances that are not prejudicial to its explication.

    What’s in it for me? A better understanding of your views and, frankly, the fun of it.

    What say you?….SH

  23. #23 Scott Hatfield
    February 28, 2007

    I’m sorry to tell you this, Jason, but you’re not entitled to an elaboration (or, if you prefer, a justification) of my privately-held religious views. Here’s my (ahem) justification for that:

    When I participate in public threads on science, religion, reason and faith I participate because I’m interested in those topics. Period. I’m not there to discuss my privately-held religious views,or push same on others. Period. If I refer to them, it’s only to establish a context for the purpose of an honest exchange of views about the topic it hand, not my beliefs. Period. There’s no hidden agenda on my part, and there’s nothing wrong with me referring to my beliefs for the purpose of discussion.

    Ask yourself this: have I ever asked you or any other self-described skeptic/atheist/non-believer/whatever to justify their self-identification? I don’t think I do that, sir! I’d rather meet people where they’re at, listen and learn. Or are we to presume that the mere presence of folk like me constitutes a provocation? (rubs chin ruefully)

    Well, if this habit of mine is rubbing some of you the wrong way, I’ll make an honest effort to quit being a pricktease. I’ll try not to reference my belief unless necessary, and I’ll be sure to establish the context when I do. But you can forget about me ‘putting out’ because (again) you’re not entitled, sorry.

    On a more cordial note, what does “humility” have to do with “withhold assent from propositions that one has no reason to believe are true, and good reasons to believe are likely to be false?” I mean, the latter sounds like a different virtue, and one could have that virtue without being specifically humble, I would think.

  24. #24 Colugo
    March 1, 2007

    Jason:

    I find animal rights ideology to be more objectionable than a belief in the existence of God.

    I begin with the moral axiom (That’s right, I’m not going to try to justify it, I’m just going to call it axiomatic) that humans are more important than animals. So much the worse for animals rights ideology.

    The existence of God as a generic proposition – I’m not talking about any specific baggage of policy and ideology – does not harm me, society, or science. The animal rights movement does, however. While God (or God’s nonexistence) is not demonstrable, the harm produced by the animal rights movement is.

    Caledonian:

    Just which paragon of humility on these threads should someone seeking to be more humble model himself after? (By the way, are you a Nozickian?)

  25. #25 Uber
    March 1, 2007

    Oops missed Colugo:

    I find animal rights ideology to be more objectionable than a belief in the existence of God.

    I agree. But thats not the point as I see it. In this thread Jason isn’t making claims about animal rights but SH has made a claim and been asked about it. A claim which colors his views which I don’t think anyone begrudges but folks do seek to understand the why of it all.

  26. #26 Scott Hatfield
    March 1, 2007

    Caledonian: I never claimed to be humble, sir. If I was, I probably wouldn’t have the temerity to petition you for your views, in which I am genuinely interested. Post #225 on this thread is a genuine offer. For you. Respond if you like.

  27. #27 junk science
    March 1, 2007

    I am starting to get pissed off with the amount of people that haven’t read “The God Delusion” and actually have the nerve to have an opinion on it. READ THE BOOK.

    When I was reading The God Delusion, I wondered why Dawkins spent so much page space repeating points like “natural selection is not the same thing as random chance,” and “you can’t disprove the existence of anything.” How many times did he think those things needed to be said before his readers caught on? But I realize now that no matter how many times he repeated himself, there would be people who wouldn’t hear him.

  28. #28 Jason
    March 1, 2007

    Colugo,

    I’d be happy to defend “animal rights ideology” against your (typically confused) criticism, but this is not the place to do it. You might want to look at my posts in the PETA thread from last week though.

  29. #29 David Marjanovi?
    March 2, 2007

    OK. While not a translation of your latest post, this is Czech. I retract the accusation of you being JAD.

    That name is an English transcription of the Russian and/or Ukrainian version. I don’t see anything unusual about that.

  30. #30 Keith Douglas
    March 3, 2007

    MartinC: Unfortunately, I think an anti-psychotic filter would be a computationally unsolvable problem …

    Blake Stacey: Indeed. As soon as someone says they are like Spinoza beliefwise, ask immediately if they pray. If they say yes, they are being dishonest (or suffering frm doublethink) somewhere …

    Steve LaBonne: Not just with pharmaceuticals – spontaneously. I have had (twice) what believers would no doubt have labeled a religious experience that way. Both times I was struck with complete clarity the “point of view” of another. One was of two friends (a couple) and me seeing her the way he does. The certainty was brief but astonishing. Of course, it was (like certainty rightly is regarded) purely psychological, not epistemic.

    Steve_C wrote: “I’ve never read Rand. I miss anything good?” No, not really, unless you happen to like rather egocentric bastards …

    H. Humbert: Why do you think there is a movement in theology to use phenomenology and, amazingly, the Nazi Heidegger, as a source of inspiration/material?

    Colugo: As a philosopher I’ve made it part of what I do to articulate the answers to your questions, to articulate a world view and to help others to do the same … so if you want to get some tentative answers, read my other posts :)

  31. #31 Steve_C
    March 4, 2007

    boohoo. Sounds like someone has a trolling problem.

  32. #32 ??????
    March 6, 2007

    I don’t know what you mean by this “transliteration”.

    Transliteration is the transcription of a word from one alphabet to another, and should not be confused with translation.

      ???????????? <- transliteration -> zdravstvuyte
      ???????????? <- translation -> hello
      zdravstvuyte <- translation -> hello
      hello <- transliteration -> ?????

    We do not use Cyrillic in Slovakia at all. We use only Latin with diacritic. Cyrillic is used in Serbia, Russia and Bulgaria. Their languages are different.

    Da. Ya ponimaiu. Yes (and don’t forget ???????). ? ????. That’s all true, but if you’re trying to make a point, I am not seeing it. Izvenitye.

    So it seems to me you are not competent at all to decide wheter I am John or not.

    I never claimed to be, and certainly not on the basis of your fluency (or lack of fluency) in Czech or Slovak.

    Anyway thank you.

    You’re welcome.

  33. #33 ??????
    March 6, 2007

    I don’t know what you mean by this “transliteration”.

    Transliteration is the transcription of a word from one alphabet to another, and should not be confused with translation.

      ???????????? <- transliteration -> zdravstvuyte
      ???????????? <- translation -> hello
      zdravstvuyte <- translation -> hello
      hello <- transliteration -> ?????

    We do not use Cyrillic in Slovakia at all. We use only Latin with diacritic. Cyrillic is used in Serbia, Russia and Bulgaria. Their languages are different.

    Da. Ya ponimaiu. Yes (and don’t forget ???????). ? ????. That’s all true, but if you’re trying to make a point, I am not seeing it. Izvenitye.

    So it seems to me you are not competent at all to decide wheter I am John or not.

    I never claimed to be, and certainly not on the basis of your fluency (or lack of fluency) in Czech or Slovak.

    Anyway thank you.

    You’re welcome.