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Odd. I would have spent that small space of time deliberating whether to move the the candle that the director couldn't see, just to pull one over on the director.

This is very reminiscent of a C.S. Lewis quote (I think from The Abolition of Man) about "chronological snobbery." Of course, I can't supply the quote. But it had to do with thinking that all cultures that existed before yours were inferior, that everything only gets better, and that, since your civilization was the most recent in history, your way of perceiving the world is inherently more accurate.

"Corporations split - therefore they reproduce - therefore they evolve."

Okay, now those guys have issues.

A small caveat: the word 'evolution' doesn't have to refer to the scientific theory of biological evolution. The word existed long before the theory; otherwise, the theory would have become attached to a different word. Since the word itself means "incremental change over time," then it is perfectly appropriate to refer to a new computer chip design, or a corporate reorganization as evolution. Make your own guesses about whether something totally different, such as uploading a personality, can be called "evolution."

You may be attacking a straw man there: I'm a firm believer in an afterlife, but I've never heard it argued from the basis of "people need hope." Generally, people who make that kind of argument have taken a web of beliefs, say from a particular religion, scratched out most of them, and attempted to prop up the rest on some other basis. Since the old conclusion is there before the arguments, they're almost guaranteed to be vacuous.

Christians, at least, couch their belief in an afterlife with phrases like "if there is no resurrection, then Christ was not raised..." I assume other religions have similar kinds of reasonings. The "biased" ones seem to be more those who have no particular religious belief, and yet still want to retain an expectation of an afterlife.