BRANDON SANDERSON14 April 2011

Salt Lake Airport has been Brandalized. Three hardcovers of Towers of Midnight signed and one The Gathering Storm paperback. On my way to Jordancon!

BRANDON

Wheel of Time drinking game! Each time one of the Wondergirls wanders off alone or in a pair and gets kidnapped, take a shot.

BRANDON

If you do, you'll take a shot every two or three books. So, uh, every few weeks. Okay, it's a bad drinking game. What'd you expect? I'm Mormon. :)

BRENT WEEKS

Awesome dual tweet there. Well done, sir.

BRANDON

:)

JOSEPH DYE

Just wondering, do you have any magic underwear?

BRANDON

You do realize that what you just asked is somewhat akin to walking up to a Muslim and calling him a towelhead, don't you?

JASON STEELE

Being a fan of your work doesn't mean that someone shouldn't call out nonsense when they see or hear it.

BRANDON

I'm not sure what you're replying to, exactly.

JASON

Sorry, I was responding to your reply to @JosephWDye where you compared his question to calling a Muslim a towelhead.

JASON

I like your work, and I think that you are the best choice to finish WoT, but I was disappointed to find out you are LDS.

JASON

Where calling a Muslim a towelhead is more of a racist/cultural insult, what @JosephWDye said addresses a nonsense belief.

BRANDON

Asking, or challenging someone about their beliefs is a good thing to do. Ridiculing them is not.

JASON

I disagree. Some beliefs are so ridiculous that ridicule is the only appropriate response. And it's often effective.

BRANDON

Wearing a symbol of my faith is no more a nonsense belief than a Muslim wearing head gear or a Catholic wearing a cross.

BRANDON

The simile is exactly the same.

JASON

Again, I disagree. A keffiyeh or cross isn't understood to be magical in the way that the Mormon undergarments are.

BRANDON

There is nothing magical about them. They are a symbol of faith. Faith may be a protection, true.

BRANDON

Some may regard the garments as having innate protection, but some also believe a cross or Bible does.

JASON

Catholics believing that crackers and wine actually turn into flesh and blood would be similar, and also worthy of ridicule.

BRANDON

Ridicule is an inferior way of dealing with these issues, as it will polarize and demean. Logic and common ground serve better.

JASON

I used to think that as well, but people of 'faith' don't hold their beliefs because of logic and evidence, and so...

JASON

...it is next to impossible to demonstrate to them via those avenues that what they believe is false...

BRANDON

Many do not [hold their beliefs because of logic and evidence]. There are some who do, however. And I think faith should be founded in experience and evidence.

JASON

Then it wouldn't be faith, it would just be belief. Faith is belief in a proposition in the absence of evidence...

JASON

...or in the face of contradictory evidence.

BRANDON

Well, your definition of faith is certainly one. However, I see it more as trusting in something that has been proven to you.

BRANDON

If my father says, "I will come through for you on such and such" and I trust him because he's proven [himself] in the past, that is faith.

JASON

You're conflating the term 'faith' here. I'm sure you don't have to be told that a word can have more than one meaning.

JASON

The meaning here equates to 'a reasonable expectation based on experience' That's not the same as religious faith.

BRANDON

I am aware of the different definitions. I was trying to define my definition, not say a blanket definition.

BRANDON

My definition of religious faith, for myself, is exactly what you said. An expectation based on experience.

BRANDON

As a member of the LDS faith, who has had ample proof given to me of God's existence—the only logical way I could believe...

BRANDON

I find it important to search for the real truths and to understand people who disagree with me, to see if I am wrong.

BRANDON

I will not go so far as to say that there is never reason for ridicule, however, as I was able to think of a few exceptions.

JASON

Ridicule can be effective in demonstrating just how absurd the belief system is from outside...

JASON

...just as all other religions are to the believer. As Heinlein said, "One man's religion is another man's belly laugh."

BRANDON

Proper ridicule could be appropriate, couched in a form of "Look, can you see how silly this sounds to the outsider?"

BRANDON

However, walking up to someone and saying "You are an idiot, and this is stupid" is hardly a good way to begin a dialogue.

JASON

Well, I just don't think that I owe much politeness to people who don't care in the least for logic and evidence, and are...

JASON

...doing their level best to retard science education, repeal social advancements, and who look forward to the destruction...

JASON

...of the majority of mankind with anticipation.

JASON

It's really amazing to me, having read your tweets for a while now that someone belonging to a group that was officially...

JASON

...racist until you were a child, and which has done all it can to prevent homosexual marriage by backing prop 8 is so openly..

JASON

...averse to those kinds of bigotry. And YET, you continue to identify yourself as LDS.

BRANDON

The greatest changes to good people are made through empathy and an attempt to understand.

BRANDON

Also, if I vanish, it's because I am landing and lose internet—not because I'm ignoring you. We could lose it at any moment.

JASON

No worries, I'm about to be off for a while as well. Again, I think your writing is great, and you seem like a great guy...

JASON

I just wish we could all outgrow this nonsense, and get on with the work of making the world a better place. Cheers, Jason

BRANDON

We must continue to be polite and strive for common ground. The biggest problem with our discourse these days is...

BRANDON

...the justification where people on any side say "I no longer need to be a civil human being to these people because of X."

JASON

Come on Brandon. I think that the biggest problem with discourse today is that faith gets a free pass. If someone tells you...

JASON

...that he believes something on faith, then he thinks that that is unassailable, and I don't agree.

JASON

I don't think that I am under any obligation to treat the enemies of culture with any politeness or respect...

JASON

These are the people who want to ruin science education, retard research into lifesaving treatments that could alleviate...

JASON

...the suffering of literally millions of men, women, and children, prevent homosexuals and other minorities from exercising...

JASON

...their basic rights, and in all other ways trying to roll back human progress to the bronze age. I will not stand idly by.

BRANDON

If you let your disagreements turn you into hatred and incivility, you become that which you hate, my friend.

BRANDON

(Sorry to go Yoda on you. That last bit was on the heavy-handed side.)

JASON

I think we're both better than sound-byte platitudes. What I hate is people who enshrine bigotry and ignorance behind...

JASON

...a shield of 'faith,' while working to destroy everything that the enlightenment has gifted us with.

BRANDON

Some of the people you speak of are worthy of your contempt. Most are just...well, people.

BRANDON

The answer to your problems is teaching them to see the other. You cannot do that unless you can do it yourself...

BRANDON

Faith deserves to be challenged more than it does, and we should not be able to stand behind it as an iron wall.

BRANDON

I just simply believe that we all need to see one another more as human beings.

JASON

Anyhow, good talking to you, even if it is a real pain to do so in these tiny Twitter chunks.

BRANDON

Nice chatting with you too. Again, sorry for the Yoda. You have good arguments. But I think you're giving in to a simplistic...

BRANDON

...view of "Us against them" where "Them" are always trying to destroy everything that is good or virtuous.

JASON

Oh, and welcome to Atlanta (where I happen to live).

BRANDON

Thanks! And thank you for reading. I'll do my best to enjoy Atlanta.

BRANDON

Okay, we're landing. Signing off from Twitter, folks, and see you at JordanCon! I have Magic cards. :)