Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How they get here

A Google search landed on my blog today, namely:

"Swearing is worse than smoking?"

I am assuming the "?" at the end of the sentence or why search for it, and so I offer you my learned answer, one shaped through years of the best theological education and hard study:

Yes, swearing is worse than smoking by approximately 3 centimetres of sin, measured in stable environment of atmospheric pressure 100 kPa (which is not enough to make good espresso, by the way). However, if any angels visit the toilet at the time of sin, then the swearing-to-smoking sin ratio increases exponentially, such that the smoking sin weighs the same as an electron (9.1 × 10–31 kg), while the swearing weighs about the same as satan on a tricycle.



At 4/15/2008 1:58 PM, Anonymous One of Freedom said...

Holy $&#^@!

Satan rides a tricycle!

What a wanker!

At 4/15/2008 4:44 PM, Anonymous J. B. Hood said...

But can he juggle while riding?

CT, there are so few mathematicians in biblical studies these days; it's good to see you adding "theological math" to your work on Corinthians and Paul.

I think you are failing to factor in one important coefficient: the length of sin, which, like the length of light and the universe, is not constant but suffers bends.

If you swear a one-off, or if you smoke once-off, isn't that different from long-term swearing or habitual smoking? Can you whip us up an equation for this, CT?

At 4/15/2008 11:04 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Thanks for the laughs!!!

But seriously, yes JB, I can provide you with a formula - I'll have to work out the calculus, and I'll get back to you.

At 4/16/2008 2:33 AM, Anonymous Judy Redman said...

Surely, Chris, it depends on the swearing? After all, there are the good old Anglo-Saxon four letter words that refer to elimination of byproducts of digestion, which are generally thought to be less offensive than the A-S 4 letter words that refer to sex, and then there are the swear words that take God's name in vain, which one might argue would be more offensive to God.

Likewise, smoking outside away from other people is surely less problematic than smoking inside, especially in the presence of small children.

I think your equation needs to add an offensiveness factor, depending on what level the swearing/smoking is. After all, theological equations must surely need to be as complex as theological jargon, or they can't be really holy.

At 4/16/2008 10:33 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Judy, now that makes things even more complicated - I'll need a good while to organise the equation - I fear now must involve differentials. But an equations there is for as you say "theological equations must surely need to be as complex as theological jargon, or they can't be really holy" :-)

At 4/19/2008 5:55 PM, Anonymous nelson moore said...


No responsible measurement can be made without a stated uncertainty. Perhaps you could say that smoking is greater than swearing by 3cm, plus or minus 0.05cm, at a 95% confidence interval.

When you do get back to Judy and J.B., please do make note of this.

At 4/20/2008 1:10 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Nelson, that is also true, this formulation is getting really very complicated - it must be true.


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