Any time several folks get together to form a group, there’s always a risk bad things will happen. One of the minor annoyances of people “organizing” is that they’ll end up developing their own corny lingo. Not only do I dislike this sort of thing, but I’m more guilty of it than most (I’m not offended by my own hypocrisy, of course. Why not aim for good things, even if you don’t attain them every single time?).
My first violation of the English language involves church stuff. I belong to a church that is guilty of “Christian speak.” Trust me, if you haven’t heard Christian speak, its annoying. At its core, this language is basic virtue signalling.
For example, no one calls themselves a Christian anymore, Christian-speak now has us referring to ourselves as “disciples”, with everyone busy working on their “ministry”. Yes, this is virtue signalling at its finest. That being said, this never stops me from poking fun at celebrity virtue signalers. My church is minor league versus Hollywood. Just try getting thru a talk show without either the host or guest explaining their commitment to various “causes”. Again, virtue signalling. Heck, even me telling you I belong to a particular church qualifies. Yes, I’m a hypocrite.
SIDE BAR: Jesus didn’t use Christian speak, so I’m not sure why churches have adopted such un-Christ-like attitudes. For example, Jesus promised the thief hanging on the cross next to him that “Today you will be with me in paradise“. Did this thief chanting some magical Christian speak that opened the doors to paradise? Most religions claim you can only get to paradise if you belong to their church, their faith, following their rules. Nobody gets into paradise but us. We’re the only club members who know “the Truth”, right? Hum. I don’t see any of that in Jesus’ words in Luke 23:43. Most religions have added text to Jesus’ words here, and would now claim that the thief who was promised paradise today couldn’t–actually–get there without doing some mission work, being baptized, and of course the big one–belonging to the correct religion. Read Luke chapter 23 and I think you’ll agree that Jesus is pretty generous with his paradise admission policy–no magic words and no special religious memberships required. I’m just saying.
Anyway, science has its own battles with language, and its own battles with the truth. This plays out quite frequently in the criminal courts, where we have rules on what is considered “science,” and what isn’t.
One interesting battleground for science in the courtroom involves fingerprints. Its been a few years since I’ve ranted about the so-called science of matching fingerprints, but suffice it to say that an “expert” cannot go up in front of a jury and claim that one fingerprint “matches” another fingerprint. I know what you’re thinking, I’ve seen a lot of movies, and admitting fingerprints is never a problem, right? Wrong. It’s a problem. Continue Reading