Do not judge a book by it’s cover

Which may be easier said then done if we are hard wired to make distinctions between those that will cooperate (for our betterment) and those that would cheat (to our detriment) in a social contract. Some behavioural scientists looking in this area suggest that:

The results of these experiments suggest that cheaters might look different from
cooperators, possibly due to beliefs and personality traits that make them less ideal exchange partners, and the human mind might be capable of picking up on subtle visual cues that cheaters’ faces give off. [source]

Examples have been mock courts, with the same evidence and script, where the only variable has been the demeanour of the defendant. While we may want an impassioned jury to base the innocent or guilt on the evidence, but the dress or physical characteristics of the defendant did impact on how a mock jury made it’s decision. [source]

However, that module that helps us to rationalise trustworthiness in people can be hijacked by cultural traits. These can lend itself to making observations about people which may not be rational in nature, but use the same system of working out who to trust. Using that instinct, often when not all facts are in, may often serve us well on the whole in a fight or flight situation. Now and again though it would fly in the face of logic.

The ancient word online

The ancient word online

Take for example my blog being used on a christian forum board, where a poster is concerned about the Codex Sinaiticus, and how to respond. The person that responded to him decided that I was not a trustworthy person because on the cover they assume:

I am gay

I am anti-christian

Claiming that my blog supports the two propositions. Which is odd given that I am straight (as many gay friends will more than happily verify) and that I am against religion being enforced on infidels and none believers by the political and judicial system. If I could get hold of the “Atheists for Jesus” T shirt I would – nothing like trying to emphasises the humanity of Jesus rather than the divinity and hellfire afterlife awaiting non conformists.

Mind you if you just went by:



Perhaps the person may decide, based on their module for trustworthiness (where religion as a cultural fact is a high indicator that is against homosexuality) consider that:

As to the website you linked to it is typical leftist tripe. The owner is (as his other articles show) a practicing homosexual and an anti-Christian. [source]

The fact that I am for free markets, read economics (hence pseudo name), hetrosexual (practise makes perfect), and someone that thinks that the secular state defends the freedom of the religious and the none believer may counter that. It seems though that we are both inclined to use the same source (this blog) to appeal to our difference of opinion. Perhaps I can claim to have insider knowledge on these things denied to the casual reader. As some do to rendering holy sacred text.

Mind you at least no one on the basis of these words on the blog are going to start a religious creed, or make life and death decisions enshrined in law. These words are recognised as being the product of man – where evidence, logic and rationality can be tested and argued over. Just because I type these things it may not be true.

It helps when you can do this with all literature. Rather than just judging by the cover that the book was written by god. Or that you do not like the cover so disregard it- without examining it. As my comment at the christian cafe ended trying to answer the original post as the devil’s advocate:

As the owner of the blog in question, the pseudo name Homo economicus is an economic concept – and not a reference to my sexuality http://homoeconomicusnet…./01/being-born-a-lesbian/
Even if I was gay, that has nothing to do with the original poster’s question. It actually shows an intolerance that is disturbing.

My concern with religion is where it is forced upon people who do not acquiescence to that belief. Jesus as a human being I have a lot of time for

The point is that various editions of the bible, how scriptures were included to be in certain editions, and the many hands that wrote them is an indication of the works of man. The idea that the bible to every word and punctuation mark is ordained by a higher power seems rather unlikely given the history of how the bible we have today originated.

The strongest argument against that charge is that the gospel is something to be lived, and not a text to be burned into your heart in a fundamentalist way. The bible may have been written by men, but the life lived as a follower of Christ is one that gives grace and would make the world a better place.

I may not agree, but the argument is a stronger one than dismissing some one’s argument on the grounds of sexual orientation or voting intention. [source]


Man’s Word – the Codex Sinaiticus


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