I think any intellectually curious person would be likely to find theology interesting. Even in the minimal case, a strict atheist should find a wild universe with strange consequences, like adding homemade wizard pieces to a round of Settlers of Catan.
Assume a group of people all of whom have persistent verbal tics at the:
- beginning (‘So, …’ or ‘Okay, …’),
- middle (‘…, and uh, …’ or ‘…, like, …’), or
- end (‘…, right?’ or ‘…, no?’)
of their sentences.
Record these people speaking each of a set of 3-5 speeches and play the recordings to volunteers. Volunteers will complete surveys rating speakers in terms of clarity, competence, confidence, and so on. The variety of speeches would ensure that ratings were not due to a preference for the content of some speeches over others.
I wonder if some tics would be perceived as generally worse than others by most volunteers.
Monday, feeling real real sick.
Tuesday, computer dies, “logic board needs to be replaced.”
Wednesday, power outage for a nice chunk of the work day.
Please Thursday, please.
Yet it seems to me that there is more in the “religious but not spiritual” lifestyle than simple hipsterism — or more precisely, less. It is perhaps the case that beneath the trappings of courtesy there really is no “sincere” core other than self-seeking and beneath the empty ritual of religion there is no “deep” spiritual experience other than groundless speculation or pleasure-seeking. Yet it may be possible to repurpose those empty gestures as something other than a weapon in the self-seeking arsenal — a way of leaving people alone, of making space for them, of refusing to make use of them.
Let each atom-removal sorites step be a Bernoulli random variable. <Points to some stuff> “Is there a pumpkin?” Yes = 1, No/not sure = 0.
With enough survey data, it would be possible to plot the probability density function for any term.
You could pay people to sit in front of a 3D subtractor (a 3D printer that takes bits away) and press a button once the answer is No/not sure.