Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(we have 100 explanations :D)
(33 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
__NOTOC__
+
__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
 +
<center>
 +
<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
<center><big>
+
We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
''Welcome to the '''Explain xkcd''' wiki!''
+
<!-- Note: the -9 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 8 of them as of 2013-02-27),
We currently have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-3}}''' comic explanations]]. Come and [[List of all comics|add yours]]!
+
    as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
</big></center>
+
and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
 +
({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / ({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9) * 100 round 0}}%)
 +
remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
 +
</center>
 +
== Latest comic ==
 +
<div style="border:1px solid grey; background:#eee; padding:1em;">
 +
<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
 +
<br clear="right">
 +
{{:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}
 +
{{#ifexist:Talk:{{LATESTCOMIC}}|<h2>Discussion</h2>
 +
{{Talk:{{LATESTCOMIC}}}}
 +
}}</div>
  
==Latest comic==
+
<small>''Is this out of date? {{Purge|Clicking here will fix that}}.''</small>
 
+
<div style="border:1px solid grey; background:LightGrey; padding:1em;">{{:1091}}</div>
+
  
 
== New here? ==
 
== New here? ==
Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the Explain XKCD wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com XKCD] web comic, it should be here.
+
You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
  
 
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
 
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
  
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
+
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all XKCD comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them!
+
* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! [[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]].
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations, feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
+
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
  
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its Discussion.
+
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
  
Please only submit material directly related to&mdash;and helping everyone better understand&mdash;xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users posting such are at risk of being blocked.
+
Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
  
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
  
 
[[Category:Root category]]
 
[[Category:Root category]]

Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". xkcd comics, and only Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". (Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",".%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Ontological Argument
A God who holds the world record for eating the most skateboards is greater than a God who does not hold that record.
Title text: A God who holds the world record for eating the most skateboards is greater than a God who does not hold that record.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: First draft. Could use some attention from someone better-versed in theology and/or philosophy.

Ontology is the study of being, reality, and existence. Ontological arguments for the existence of God are those that seek to prove that God exists using only premises about the nature of existence and logical deductions from them. This is in contrast to arguments that are based on observations of the world. Megan's statement in the comic is a reference to what is considered the first ontological argument, that of 11th Century philosopher Anselm of Canterbury. His argument starts by defining God as "that than which nothing greater can be conceived". Another step in the argument is that you can conceive of such a being even if you don't believe it exists. Another step is the statement that a being of which one can conceive and which exists is certainly greater than a being of which one can conceive and which does not exist.

The comic makes fun of Anselm's ontological argument by extending to absurdity the claim that a being who exists is greater than one who does not exist, therefore God must exist. A God who can disprove the ontological argument must be greater than one who cannot disprove the ontological argument, therefore the ontological argument proves the existence of a God that disproves it.

The comic also may be drawing an analogy to the omnipotence paradox.

The title text carries the absurdity a step further into the truly absurd.

Richard Dawkins, in his book "The God Delusion" takes a similar approach in a parody of Anselm's ontological argument that attempts to prove that God does not exist. In Dawkins' version, God's greatness is demonstrated by his creation of the world. A being that overcomes the great handicap of not existing and goes on to create the world is obviously greater than a being that exists who creates the world. Therefore, God, who by definition is "that than which nothing greater can be conceived" must not exist. A rather more famous parody is Gaunilo of Marmoutiers', where he argues for the existence of a maximally great island. When taking into account the comic with this argument, it seems that we now know what happened to Atlantis.

Not all ontological arguments for the existence of God rely on the notion that a God that exists is greater than one that does not exist. Examples include the modal ontological argument from Alvin Plantinga, or Gödel's ontological proof. Graham Oppy, the world's foremost authority on ontological arguments here attempts to classify what exactly makes arguments ontological, and concludes that it is that they are a priori in nature. He also classifies them into eight categories, definitional, conceptual, modal, Meinongian, experiential, mereological, higher order, and Hegelian.

Transcript

[Megan and Cueball are walking side-by-side]
Megan: ...But wouldn't a God who could find a flaw in the ontological argument be even greater?

Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?