Category error knows no boundaries. Well, that’s why it is called a category error, I hear you say. Wait. Lend me your eyeballs for a minute and I’ll show you what I mean: A category error that crosses continents and technology boundaries.
This fine example of a category error was dropped into our home yesterday: a leaflet from the St. Mary’s Parish of Amersham. In it was an account of how the rector who is in Amersham persuaded his daughter who was on an african safari to stay inside the car through mobile phone text messages. While on the safari she witnesses a reckless man dragged off by a lion. She texts and says she wants to go and help. The rector, understandably, is terrified and holds her down in the car with a stern reply, via a text message, of course. His conclusion? Mobile phone gave him the power of influence in a tricky situation thousand miles away. Great. I can’t agree more. Technology put to proper use by a loving father saved his daughter. Brilliant.
My agreement didn’t last long; the next paragraph mauled Reason severely. Right after the harmless compliment to technology, the rector asserts that just like with a mobile phone button you only need to press the prayer button in you to speak to God.
In a way, I suppose a religious mind driven by blind faith is like the mind of a young child – filled with gaps in reasoning, belief in magic, and great quantities of ignorance. Such a mind would repeatedly and unerringly press the Category Error button and expect an irrational outcome everytime. Charming if you are a child, pathological if an adult.