Why I am an atheist – Tammy »« Crown Clade of Creation

Comments

  1. opposablethumbs says

    Aw, portcullised. I thought the tardisgrades wouldn’t need hundreds of thousands of years to get here from another galaxy since they could just time-travel, ’cause of having a tardis and all (meh, a little “s” is neither here nor there when you’re a time-lord in disguise after all)

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “It would have taken hundreds of years for another species to travel from another galaxy.”

    *Raises right eyebrow*

  3. consciousness razor says

    “It would have taken hundreds of years for another species to travel from another galaxy.”

    Well TECHNICALLY true.

    Heh. It would easily have taken thousands of hundreds of years, but definitely somewhere in the hundreds.

  4. chigau (違わない) says

    I don’t like those pictures at the top of the [Thunderdome] threads.
    I didn’t like the Zombie Jesus thing on TZT either.
    but I haven’t had a beer yet.

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but I haven’t had a beer yet.

    Better yet, a tankard of five-day-old grog. *hands over tankard*

  6. nohellbelowus says

    By initially forgetting to include references to “God” in their platform, the Democrats were giving a double-secret-signal to the many non-believers in the US, who will someday form the bulk of their party.

    (Or, feel free to swear at me, whichever you prefer.)

  7. consciousness razor says

    nohellbelowus, why do never have anything useful to say? When should we expect you to start godbotting?

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    OK, I’m a puppet of the Redhead who wears socks to bed for warmth.

  9. chigau (違わない) says

    poiqui

    Why does the A+ logo on this page go to the out campaign.

    It’s just one of the many Pluses.
    [you know if you click on those, They™ can find you.]

  10. says

    Why is the media so cowardly that they throw politicians a softball, and then slither away?

    It is not objective journalism if you hammer one side a thousand times more than you do the other side. If one side is uttering a thousand lies, you can basically ignore what the other side does. Really.

  11. carpenterman says

    The whole idea of “objective journalism” is, historically, fairly new. Up untill about the mid twentieth century, newspapers were purely partisan, pushing the political views of their owners and editors, and made no effort to even pretend otherwise.

  12. tgriehl says

    Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
    An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature;
    Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
    Contribute to your hunting skills and natural defenses.

    I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
    A singular development of cat communications
    That obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
    For a rhythmic stroking of your fur to demonstrate
    affection.

    A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
    You would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
    And when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
    It often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

    O Spot, the complex levels of behavior you display
    Connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
    And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
    I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

    ….

    This is the lounge right?

  13. carpenterman says

    tgriehl;

    Sorry, but there’s no way to make a cat poem edgy. And the emoticon just made it worse.

  14. Suido says

    Shiver me timberly
    tgriehl* tgriehl*
    submits catterel verse
    what a mistake.

    In ye olde Thunderdome,
    cephalopodistry**
    begets feline animosity,
    not at all fake.

    Notes:
    catteral – feline doggerel

    It’s been a long time since I was inspired to compose a double dactyl. That was fun.

  15. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Hmmm I’m afraid I have to correct Data here. Nowhere outside of science fiction does “sentient” mean “self aware” or “rational.” The applicable term is “sapient”. Felis catus is most certainly sentient.

  16. Suido says

    Erk, should have previewed. Lack of punctuation within the poe,, spelling of catterel in the notes and terribad 3rd lines of each stanza. I do, however, stand by the fact that it was fun.

  17. Suido says

    Version 2, with actual double dactyls in the 3rd lines. I did like the sound of ‘begets feline animosity’, but it could not stand.

    Shiver me timberly
    tgriehl* tgriehl*
    submits verse catterel.
    What a mistake.

    In ye olde Thunderdome,
    cephalopodistry**
    says of yon caturday,
    ‘Give me a break.’

  18. says

    OK Since this is thunderdome and there has really been nothing interesting discussed here lately I’m going to shamelessly go OT. Which seems impossible at this point as there does not seem to be a coherent topic ATM. Anyway I was wondering if any of the people here had read the positions Obama and Romney have given in response to sciencedebate.org? I thought Romney’s response to climate change was particularly quizzical as he accepts AWG then proceeds to say the government has no role in addressing it. His rational is nuts, or course, but I made a video response and wanted to share it with y’all. So here is my VIDEO response to Romney’s position on climate change.

  19. consciousness razor says

    Anyway I was wondering if any of the people here had read the positions Obama and Romney have given in response to sciencedebate.org?

    Yep. Romney wants to deregulate and privatize everything. Literally everything. And cut every tax he can imagine. That’s how you do science.

  20. Suido says

    Apparently it’s really hard to give tax breaks to your mates if you don’t defund government programs first. That’s what I got from that article.

    Interestingly, Romney’s position on climate change is almost identical the Australian Liberal Party – admit in writing that climate change is real, but don’t say any words to that effect and don’t propose any meaningful solutions. Ever. Written words don’t count, only soundbites. Should a pesky journalist mention the party platform or any other bits of writing, ignore the question and derail the conversation.

  21. tgriehl says

    @ 30, dysomniak

    As well as a completely improper use of “obviate,” which has been completely and correctly excoriated in Trekdom.

    I guess it’s a quirk of mine to seek peace where there is conflict and create conflict where there is peace.

    So fine, since it’s clear this isn’t the lounge…

    ALL OPINIONS ARE EQUAL, AND YOU’RE WRONG TO JUDGE SOMEONE AS WRONG BY WHAT THEY SAY! CREATIONISM HAS SERIOUS SCIENTIFIC BACKING! THE ONLY GOOD SQUID IS AN EATEN SQUID, PREFERABLY DEEP FRIED WITH LEMON! BOTH GOD AND THE DEVIL CONSPIRED TO PUT FOSSILS IN THE GROUND TO TEST OUR FAITH! EPISODES I, II, AND III ARE BETTER THAN IV, V, AND VI! THERE IS NO GOD BUT PICARD! SHATNER CAN FORNICATE WITH A GORN!

    Infidels, you’ll never win!

  22. consciousness razor says

    ALL OPINIONS ARE EQUAL, AND YOU’RE WRONG TO JUDGE SOMEONE AS WRONG BY WHAT THEY SAY! CREATIONISM HAS SERIOUS SCIENTIFIC BACKING! THE ONLY GOOD SQUID IS AN EATEN SQUID, PREFERABLY DEEP FRIED WITH LEMON! BOTH GOD AND THE DEVIL CONSPIRED TO PUT FOSSILS IN THE GROUND TO TEST OUR FAITH! EPISODES I, II, AND III ARE BETTER THAN IV, V, AND VI! THERE IS NO GOD BUT PICARD! SHATNER CAN FORNICATE WITH A GORN!

    Infidels, you’ll never win!

    I think you may have been misinformed.

    Have you been here before?

  23. Suido says

    Too obvious, not likely to incite vitriol. Correct spelling and grammar. Not enough exclamation marks. No self congratulatory rhetoric. Too many long words. Deliberately mixing up Star Wars and Star Trek references could have salvaged the post, opportunity lost. Not funny enough to claim satire.

    Grade: F

  24. tgriehl says

    @ 41 Suido

    All fair criticisms, save for one. I have found that the use of long words is a common tactic in trying to lend credibility to bad arguments. Also, mixing genres by saying Jean-Luc Skywalker is fairly obvious as well. Nevertheless, I will endeavor to do better next time. D- for effort?

  25. flit says

    Can a single person out there explain how a presidential candidate can have policy that doesn’t even have the correct units? My science teachers would have been so mad if I wrote this in a paper:

    “For example, his “Utility MACT” rule is purportedly aimed at reducing mercury pollution, yet the EPA estimates that the rule will cost $10 billion to reduce mercury pollution by only $6 million (with an “m”). This has not stopped the President from trumpeting the rule as “cost-effective” and “common sense,” while claiming it will “prevent thousands of premature deaths.”

    How do you reduce pollution by a dollar amount?

    Mitt Romney, “Driving America full speed at 65 miles”.

  26. consciousness razor says

    How do you reduce pollution by a dollar amount?

    They don’t give a fuck about pollution, just the associated costs to patriotic, God-fearing corporations bent on profit. If can’t be measured in dollars, it doesn’t exist. The economy, extra-stupid. It’s all standard Republican dogma.

  27. anteprepro says

    How do you reduce pollution by a dollar amount?

    You know what: I was baffled by the same exact thing. I gave Romney the benefit of the doubt that it made some amount of sense. But, now that someone else is just as baffled, and I have recalled the fact that Romney is a Republican, I am now curious: Is “X dollars of pollution” coherent, at all?

  28. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Comment at Dan Fincke’s place plagiarized from the Introduction page at MMT Wiki, which presumably was written by multiple authors, including Hugo Heden for sure.

    This is especially sad because they use the CC BY license at that wiki — you’re allowed to copy and rewrite the text just as long as you provide attribution.

    ‘Tis Himself takes credit:

    So let me describe MMT to those unfamiliar with it.

    Another comment on the same page is taken from MMT Wiki’s article on Modern Money Systems.

    I left notices for Fincke, currently in moderation.

  29. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    [previous Thunderdome]

    666 Responses to “[Thunderdome]”

    Emphasis mine. I love this place.

    @ Chas/PZ

    Tardigrades did not come from outer space. We know this. -Chas

    &

    “It would have taken hundreds of years for another species to travel from another galaxy.” I give up. -PZ

    Damn, foiled again. You guys have seen through my ploy to strike fear into the myriad myrmidon minions. D:

    [Ed: The more astute readers will notice, once again, what incorrigible fibbers tardigrades are.]

    @ commondescentsee

    there has really been nothing interesting discussed here lately

    What!? You did not attend the communal mass screening of the tardigrade video? I have had minions sent to Room 101 for less!

    @ flit

    How do you reduce pollution by a dollar amount?

    Ask an economist. No really, you can put a dollar value to pretty much anything. The reasonableness of assumptions wrt “dollar value” is of course very important (opportunity costs, cleanup costs, health costs…).

    We could for example calculate the real value of so called “innovators” (rethuglican for “dad was rich”) relative to public contributions to that same equation. This may be a good way to determine an equitable tax system. (My guess: Rich Daddy’s boy is on the street within a year.)

  30. cyberCMDR says

    Hmmm. In the movie, they derived their power from pig shit. Maybe we need a couple of Creationists to come by, to fire this place up!

  31. nohellbelowus says

    Am I hearing this right… first from Josh in an earlier thread, and now from strange gods in this thread:

    ‘Tis Himself… a plagiarist???

    ‘Tisn’t Himself ???

    How utterly fascinating.

  32. Ichthyic says

    I left notices for Fincke, currently in moderation.

    you know what?

    criticizing Tis for being lazy with attribution is a good thing.

    whinging about it to the authors of the site itself just seems… petty.

    but then, you always did strike me as petty.

  33. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    The republicans should take note of the new Megachurches in Singapore. They form the perfect synthesis of religion, capital and monied elites (via SCMP):

    [New Creation Church]…pastor Joseph Prince asked God to reward a crowd of 1,200 with houses, cars, jobs, pay rises if they contributed to New Creation’s multimillion dollar funding drive.

    At the New Creation service, Powerpoint slides show how to write cheques to the church, while armed security guards watch the cash.

    Worship and Holy Communion were followed by a video about a woman who donated on Miracle Seed Sundays even when the her husband’s cancer treatments left the couple in debt. Images of a Volkswagen and a conominium show the rewards of giving.

    Where does the money go? Well the developers are having a field day: “the churches half of a S$900-million retail and entertainment complex” (also to be used for church services.) The Miracle Seed events can raise as much as S$21-million (~ USD 17-million) in a single day!

    “The message is: the more you give, the more you get back from God. It’s like an investment.”

    “Market-friendly ideologies associated with individualism and self-empowerment are blended with selective Christian theologies to emphasise positive living and blessings, while deflecting negative doctrines such as judgement, sacrifice, hell or death from sin… church services are scripted and ‘produced’…”

    [Khong] … fronts the [Faith Community] group’s entertainment arm, staging shows that “combine magic, music, drama and dance to establish God’s Kingdom in the marketplace.”

    [City Harvest] Kong and five other City Harvest officers were charged with conspiracy to misuse S$50-million of the churches funds, including using a portion to finance the music career of Ho Yeow Sun, Kong’s wife.

    The new new thing: Mega-developments, Mega-entertainment and a (sanitised) Mega-jeebus. What could possibly go wrong?

  34. says

    I left notices for Fincke, currently in moderation.

    you know what?

    criticizing Tis for being lazy with attribution is a good thing.

    whinging about it to the authors of the site itself just seems… petty.

    but then, you always did strike me as petty.

    Petty but not necessarily wrong

    If I was an author of the site I would want someone pointing it out to me before I potentially embarrassed myself by addressing it.

  35. says

    Ah jebus christ, what is it now?

    Tis for being lazy with attribution

    Because that’s just like plagiarising, right SG. Anyway, I’m so not interested in this particular fight. *Out*

  36. nohellbelowus says

    ‘Tisn’t Himself:

    Modern Money Theory (MMT) is based on modern money systems, where a government responsible for fiscal policy (taxing and spending) is a monopoly currency issuer, issuing a non-commodity-based floating exchange rate currency. Such systems have become commonplace since the Great Depression.

    The MMT wiki page:

    Modern Money Theory, MMT, describes the workings of modern money systems, where a government responsible for fiscal policy (taxing and spending) is a monopoly currency issuer, issuing a non-commodity-based floating exchange rate currency. Such systems have become commonplace during recent decades.

    Hold on now, because I see some obvious differences:

    1) “describes the workings of” changed to “is based on
    2) “during recent decades” changed to “since the Great Depression
    3) Parentheses added around “MMT”

    BRILLIANT, ‘Tis, absolutely brilliant.

    Now if somebody could just catch that odious little grubworm John Morales doing something similar…

    (Just kidding, John, you’re my favorite hive-roach.)

  37. consciousness razor says

    criticizing Tis for being lazy with attribution is a good thing.

    whinging about it to the authors of the site itself just seems… petty.

    Every time ‘Tis does it on some site or another, it ought to be given a correct citation. I don’t know why you’d think of it as “whinging” or what criticism here is going to accomplish if ‘Tis keeps doing it all over the place.

  38. strange gods before me ॐ says

    criticizing Tis for being lazy with attribution is a good thing.

    Not lazy with attribution. Quite the opposite. Very actively working to plagiarize and claim personal credit for the other people’s work.

    whinging about it to the authors of the site itself just seems… petty.

    It serves at least two useful purposes.

    It lets readers know that they can read more — perhaps more accurately written — by clicking on the link and going to the original article. (Typically, he has not plarigarized the entire article, so there is more remaining for the interested reader.)

    And it lets readers and the blogger know to look out for this pattern of plagiarism in the future. Again, we don’t know whether it’s going to stop. He’s been criticized for it before and didn’t stop.

    but then, you always did strike me as petty.

    I am.

    You strike me as conflicted by a betrayed loyalty.

  39. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ Caine

    Scritches delivered to Theo and happily received. :D

    Yay! More of the very finest scritches are being prepared for dispatch.

    (Did I mention Theo also has a rough sleeping older brother called “Patches”, who sleeps in the alley in front of our house and has lots of fans looking after him?)

  40. says

    Theophontes:

    (Did I mention Theo also has a rough sleeping older brother called “Patches”, who sleeps in the alley in front of our house and has lots of fans looking after him?)

    Nope. Give Patches some scritches from me and Theo.

  41. nohellbelowus says

    Forgive me, but criticizing someone for being “petty” on this particular blog, has to rank right up there with the finest comments I’ve heard.

    I’m going to nominate Ichthyic‘s comment to PZ for a Molly. Yep, that’s what I’m gonna do.

  42. DPB says

    Forgive me, but criticizing someone for being “petty” on this particular blog, has to rank right up there with the finest comments I’ve heard.

    I’m going to nominate Ichthyic‘s comment to PZ for a Molly. Yep, that’s what I’m gonna do.

    Aww. Look at you! You made sentences! It’s so adorable. I wish I had a camera to document this.

  43. nohellbelowus says

    C’mon horshack, this is THUNDERDOME.

    Move your dweeby little arse to another thread, and I promise I won’t foller ya, even though your spoor might be quite evident.

  44. nohellbelowus says

    I wish I had a camera to document this.

    Yes, cameras are quite a challenge for you. Ask your roommate with an I-Phone for help, perhaps.

  45. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ Caine

    Give Patches some scritches from me and Theo.

    Will do. Patches is a feral alley-cat, but has the local chef (who looks like the “chef” in “Dagwood”), random strangers, a wealthy woman who arrives in (what looks like) a Lexus and ourselves feeding him. Every evening when I get home, he is waiting outside our front door for some scritches and kibble.

    [Interesting aside: Many of the feral cats in Hong Kong have the tip of their right ears cut off. I always wondered what this was, thinking (quite unjustly), that it was some cruel superstition or tradition. It seems this is used to indicate that the animal has been spayed. Thereafter they are left to go about their lives in peace. Fortunately the cats on the island (unlike in, say, Guangzhou) are loved as kittehz and not as delicacies.

    @ nohellbelowus

    *yawn*

  46. Ichthyic says

    You strike me as conflicted by a betrayed loyalty.

    *imagines where this will go if asked*

    LOL

    I’ll bite. what loyalties would these be?

  47. Ichthyic says

    It serves at least two useful purposes.

    It lets readers know that they can read more

    uh, that wouldn’t be one of the purposes of reporting ‘Tis to the site administrators.

    I am.

    we finally agree on something.

  48. Ichthyic says

    Very actively working to plagiarize and claim personal credit for the other people’s work.

    your assumptions are not warranted by what you have linked to.

    is tis making money by doing this? did he write a book for sale using the cribbed information?

    no.

    seems to be he just cribbed it because it was concise and well written.

    Personally, I would wait and see what he has to say first.

    regardless, you playing internet cop is just too funny.

  49. says

    Theophontes:

    Many of the feral cats in Hong Kong have the tip of their right ears cut off. I always wondered what this was, thinking (quite unjustly), that it was some cruel superstition or tradition. It seems this is used to indicate that the animal has been spayed.

    That’s interesting. Well, it’s an easily spotted marker, so I suppose it works well.

    Now that made me think of Waiting for Gertrude by Bill Richardson. It’s about the cats who inhabit Pere-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. All the cats in the story are formerly famous people* who have been reincarnated as feral cats. There’s an old woman in the story who haunts the cemetery, trapping cats to be neutered and the one she wants the most is the one who always evades her – Jim Morrison, who is a 3-balled cat. :D

    *The cast of characters: Alice B. Toklas, Tristesse, Jim Morrison, Gertrude Stein, Jean De La Fontaine, Oscar Wilde, Isadora Duncan, Rossini, Colette, Bonne Maman, Chopin, Ondine, Maria Callas, Baron Haussman, Modigliani, Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt, Marcel Proust, Buttons, Heloise and Abelard.

  50. Beatrice says

    seems to be he just cribbed it because it was concise and well written.

    Which he then gets complimented for because people think those are his own well written words. :/

    Hunting those comments all over FTB seems a bit over the top, but so does minimizing the issue which SGBM showed multiple times wasn’t just of texts lacking an attribution.

  51. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ Caine

    Baron Haussman

    Haussman comes up regularly in my line of work. He was the town planner who rationalised the old (medieval even) layout of Paris.

    The more cynical will say that he designed the long, straight boulevards not so much to provide the populace with light and air and the space to walk about, but rather to allow the king’s men to fire cannonballs (boulets) at dissenters.

  52. strange gods before me ॐ says

    regardless, you playing internet cop is just too funny.

    I imagine for the third party observer, it is not nearly as funny as watching you deny reality, Ichthyic.

    +++++

    Hunting those comments all over FTB seems a bit over the top

    Ah, it’s really easy actually. Two of the ones I just linked are in the first page of Google results, and the third is on the second page.

  53. DPB says

    Yes, cameras are quite a challenge for you. Ask your roommate with an I-Phone for help, perhaps.

    Aww. Well you couldn’t pull it off twice in a row. Apparently not having a camera is a character flaw according to you? But that’s OK. You’re still a growing boy. Maybe some day in your future, wayyyyyy into middle school you will figure out this whole “making sense” thing.

  54. strange gods before me ॐ says

    It lets readers know that they can read more

    uh, that wouldn’t be one of the purposes of reporting ‘Tis to the site administrators.

    Who are the site administrators? Ed Brayton, I presume, and his hired tech(s)? I haven’t contacted him or them.

    What did you think I meant when I said “I left notices for Fincke, currently in moderation”? It means I left public comments — it’s blog comments that go into moderation, you know — now out of moderation there.

    So yes, those comments do indeed let readers know that they can read more. You might have clicked to see what exactly you’re whinging about before you made your silly assumptions.

  55. Ichthyic says

    seriously, get a fucking grip.

    nobody gives a shit that you don’t like that Tis cribs notes.

    pathetic wanker.

  56. Ichthyic says

    ya, see the issue here is, Tis actually DOES know what he’s talking about. He was an economist with two different White House Administrations FFS.

    so, you really think he’s doing this for faint praise from internet posters?

    really?

    no, it’s just SGBM playing internet policeman again. and yes, since it does that often, I CAN and WILL play it down.

  57. Beatrice says

    I have no idea why he does it. I just find it incredibly shitty that he accepts praise and thanks and admiration for other people’s work.

  58. John Morales says

    Ichthyic:

    [1] ya, see the issue here is, Tis actually DOES know what he’s talking about. [2] He was an economist with two different White House Administrations FFS.

    1. The issue is plagiarism.

    2. How do you know this?

  59. John Morales says

    Ichthyic:

    [1] no, it’s just SGBM playing internet policeman again. [2] and yes, since it does that often, I CAN and WILL play it down.

    1. I was not aware the police involved themselves in plagiarism cases, and did so only by calling such out.

    (I still am not aware of it; can you provide an example?)

    2. Clearly you can’t dispute ॐ’s claims*, so all you can do is to attempt to play them down.

    * I’m here assuming that if you could, you would.

  60. carlie says

    Ichthyic, it’s not a minor small thing, and though it hurts, I’m glad sg pointed it out (and that he and Aratina and Brownian had tried to before).

    But sg, I don’t think we need any more examples here. There’s enough already to establish the pattern, and the fact that ‘Tis hasn’t responded yet means he doesn’t know what to say about it; adding more examples won’t force him to comment, it will make him feel piled on and even less likely to say anything.

  61. birgerjohansson says

    (lights up, throws Molotov coctail)

    “The Return of the Ugly, Racist Pseudoscientist with a Small Penis”
    http://bigthink.com/e-pur-si-muove/the-return-of-the-ugly-racist-pseudoscientist-with-a-small-penis?utm_source=Big+Think+Weekly+Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=b1f967d8a1-9_9_Sun_SatoshiK9_7_2012&utm_medium=email
    .
    Actually, if culture (media, peer pressure) programs people to like a certain estetic ideal, it is not strange if people *subjectively* views, for instance, black women or asian men as “less attractive”.
    The shame is on the system, not on the one who collects data.
    And the question is, how do we change a rigid normative system that keeps brainwashing people into preferring 1950s estethic ideals?

    (I am not sure of the spelling of some of the words, being an un-American critter from Europe)

  62. birgerjohansson says

    Addendum to @ 94:

    And if the same questions had been asked to Europeans the results would likely have been quite different, not just between Europe and America, but between West and Central/East Europe.
    The boundaries of “attractiveness” are probably parochial -more diverse communities having wider boundaries- but there are no data yet from these areas.

  63. John Morales says

    birgerjohansson, your English spelling is (at worst) in the upper percentile of anyone, native speaker or other, and indeed very impressive.

    The only misspelling you’ve made is ‘estetic’ — and it’s hardly problematic!

    (If you were fishing for a compliment, here it is; if not, it’s there anyway)

  64. ChasCPeterson says

    Nowhere outside of science fiction does “sentient” mean “self aware” or “rational.” Felis catus is most certainly sentient.

    And I will assert that follicle mites are sentient. Because ‘sentience’ means whatever it needs to to include my favorite subject of anthropomorphism.

    C’mon horshack, this is THUNDERDOME.

    That actually would have been a funy reference if you hadn’t blow it open with the link.

    criticizing Tis for being lazy with attribution is a good thing.
    whinging about it to the authors of the site itself just seems… petty.

    You’re unbelievable, man. ‘Lazy with attribution’ is so spun as to be either disingenuous or ignorant. Which do you choose? And ‘whinging’ is another strange word choice. If I respected a commenter on my hypothetical blog, or hell, on a blog I read (like this one), I’d definitely want to know if s/he was lying.

    your assumptions are not warranted by what you have linked to.

    Aha, so you’re ignorant (disingenuousness still possible).
    The evidence of multiply repeated plagiarism is rock solid. Not cut-&-paste-but-always-forget-the-link. It reflects the hard work of dedicated and (somehow) motivated plagiarism-with-intentional-decorative-changes. Taking direct and explicit credit for others’ words. Students who pull this level of shit are the ones who don’t cry in the Dean’s office.
    You know, isnce this is the ‘dome and all, I’ll drag in your belligerently wrong bullshit about Hauser at Coyne’s. For such an oft-proclaimed Man of Science, your ethics and/or skepticism and/or honesty are badly fucked up.

    you playing internet cop is just too funny.

    What’s funny about it? There is nothing ‘funy’ about any of this. It’s fucking disgusting. And I’m not talking about sg.

    nobody gives a shit that you don’t like that Tis cribs notes.
    pathetic wanker.

    ‘cribs notes’??? Again, let’s play: dishonest? or ignorant but blowing hard anyway?

    ya, see the issue here is, Tis actually DOES know what he’s talking about. He was an economist with two different White House Administrations FFS.

    Wow, man. That’s like the worst fail evar.
    a) ya see, what ‘Tis knows or doesn’t is NOT the issue here. The issue here is the fact that he has chosen repeatedly to present what he knows or doesn’t know (there’s now no way to know!) by taking explicit credit for shit he didn’t write.
    b) Consider. The source. Of your information. Fuck, this is baloney-detection 101.
    Do you accept plagiarism as a form of lying? Do you accept data fabrication and falsification and forms of lying?
    If so, then both ‘Tis and Hauser are proven liars. Why do you want so badly to believe them anyway? Your spirited defense of two different known sleazeballs has not gone unnoticed.

  65. John Morales says

    d cwilson, hardly — the thunderpod was booted from FTB for trolling and incompetence.

    Nope, he ain’t posting here.

    (Also, you clearly have not read this thread before ejaculating: see #52 and the response to it)

  66. says

    I’m trying to post something that includes a blockquote, and I’m getting this error:

    XML Parsing Error: not well-formed Location: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=ajax_comment_preview Line Number 15, Column 199:

    …followed by the first paragraph of my blockquote, which is in Comic Sans, but nothing before or after. Has anyone else gotten this before? My HTML looks fine in the text file I’ve composed it in.

  67. says

    Ah, n/m, I had some weird character in the middle of my HTML. Deleting it solved the problem. Here we go:

    On Labor Day, Roy Edroso snarked a blogpost on “Chicago Boyz” (who of course take their name from the Milton Friedman protégés who helped bring Augusto Pinochet to power). The shitbag who wrote the post has the nerve to call himself “Lexington Green”:

    We should have an annual Creators Day as a national holiday. We have a “Labor Day” to celebrate workers paid salaries and wages. That is fine, and there are historical reasons for it. But it is not enough. We also need a national day celebrating the people who make those jobs possible and bring them into existence in the first place. Otherwise the day appears to be a glorification of “workers” in opposition to a faceless someone or something that signs the paychecks, some unnamed “other” that is not “the people” but nameless bag of money. That is morally and factually wrong and needs to be rectified. It is long past time to celebrate the people who necessarily come first in the economic process, the people who create the jobs, the people who sign the paychecks, the people who risk their effort and time and capital, the people whose ideas and drive and commitment make the paychecks possible. Without risk-takes, innovators, creators, adventurers, entrepreneurs — no jobs, no wages, no salaries, no employees, no workers, no labor, no nothin’.

    Americans need to celebrate these unsung people, our fellow citizens and neighbors, with an annual, national holiday recognizing the fundamental importance and greatness of their contribution to our national life.

    There’s a commenter, Lee Reynolds, whose name links to the Tempe (Az.) Tea Party’s website. He adds:

    While we are at it, how about we change Labor Day to Losers Day.

    I’m serious. A holiday that purports to celebrate the efforts of those who took the easy way out and became toilers in exchange for an hourly wage shouldn’t be kissing their ass. It should be holding them up as an example of what not to be.

  68. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    o,O

    Toilers, by definition, aren’t taking the “easy way” out of anything. FFS, they’re toiling. Toil is easy? Night is day? Black is white?

    This is some third-rate Orwellian shit is what it is.

  69. broboxley OT says

    Lee Reynolds obviously doesn’t understand capitalism. My labor is my capital. I am free to expend my labor for a negotiated rate. Just like shareholders I can band my capital with others and make block deals. Labor day is to acknowledge my right to expend my capital in the way I see fit. I am still lacking some rights such as the right to move my capital as freely as the 1% can move theirs. Thanks to the many people that died to allow me to expend and invest my small portion of the economic engine that makes up capitalism.

  70. Ichthyic says

    ya see, what ‘Tis knows or doesn’t is NOT the issue here. The issue here is the fact that he has chosen repeatedly to present what he knows or doesn’t know (there’s now no way to know!) by taking explicit credit for shit he didn’t write.

    you have a problem recognizing what the point of things is, if you didn’t write it yourself.

    the point of me mentioning ’tis background is one of motivation, which was spelled out quite clearly, and yet you missed entirely in your zeal to be a fucking pissant.

    you’re pathetic.

  71. Ichthyic says

    If so, then both ‘Tis and Hauser are proven liars. Why do you want so badly to believe them anyway? Your spirited defense of two different known sleazeballs has not gone unnoticed.

    and your complete lack of knowledge of any of their actual work hasn’t gone unnoticed either.

    you clowns just LOVE playing cop, but you know fuck all about the people you attack.

    idiots.

  72. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Ichthyic,

    ya, see the issue here is, Tis actually DOES know what he’s talking about.

    Or at least, he knows what someone else is talking about, and that’s just as good, eh?

    He was an economist with two different White House Administrations FFS.

    This suggests you know his RL identity – and not just one he’s said is his, too. Do you? (I’m not asking you to out it, of course, but since he is a proven habitual plagiarist, it would be remarkably naive of you to take his word for his career accomplishments without some form of verification.)

  73. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Here’s part of what wikipedia has to say about Hauser:

    In August 2010 it was announced that Hauser had decided to take a year’s leave of absence from Harvard, after a three-year internal investigation found him solely responsible for eight counts of scientific misconduct. The details of this investigation were not publicly released (which is common for most universities, including Harvard), and the lack of transparency evoked substantial speculation. Writing in the New York Times, Nicholas Wade summarized:

    There is a wide spectrum of scientific sins, ranging from wrist-slap offenses like bad data storage at one end, to data fabrication at the other. It is still not clear where on this spectrum Dr. Hauser’s errors may fall. He has admitted only to unspecified “mistakes,” not to misconduct.

    In July 2011, after the Psychology Department faculty voted to bar Hauser from teaching in the upcoming academic year, Hauser resigned his faculty position at Harvard effective August 1, 2011. In his resignation, Hauser stated that he had “some exciting opportunities in the private sector” involving education for high-risk teenagers, but that he might go back to academia “in the years to come.”

    On September 5, 2012, the Office of Research Integrity of the National Institutes of Health found that Hauser was guilty of scientific misconduct. They concluded that he fabricated data, manipulated results in multiple experiments, and conducted experiments in factually incorrect ways.

    So two separate enquiries have found Hauser guilty of scientific misconduct, and his own departmental colleagues voted to bar him from teaching. But we’re expected to take Ichthyic’s opinion of him in preference.

    No.

  74. says

    and your complete lack of knowledge of any of their actual work hasn’t gone unnoticed either.

    For full effect, this remark has to be read in the context of Chas’s recent responses to Ichthyic on the Hauser thread at WEIT.*

    *I’d appreciate a warning if people are linking to that blog, but this particular thread is exceptional.

  75. carlie says

    For full effect, this remark has to be read in the context of Chas’s recent responses to Ichthyic on the Hauser thread at WEIT.*

    Perhaps Ichthyic fell victim to the problems of nested comments and didn’t notice the new one up there. Because I’d definitely take Chas’ word on this one.

  76. Ermine says

    Damn, I can’t agree with you on this, Ichthyic. It looks like a repeated pattern of blatant plagiarism, amply substantiated with plenty of evidence. This is the sort of thing that destroys grades and even careers in science! It may not be as bad as falsifying data, and here it’s not in a published paper of course, but plagiarism is still right up there at the top of the list of Deadly Sins. Were it just one or two instances, I wouldn’t think much of it, but there are a lot, aren’t there?

    This is a serious blot on Tis’ character, and it has and will definitely affect my perceptions of him. I don’t care what issues there may be between Tis and SGBM, I’m glad that SGBM spotted it and has been pointing out just how many examples of that behavior there are. I do not think that you should be attempting to shoot the messenger, no matter what other issues you may have with SGBM.

    ya, see the issue here is, Tis actually DOES know what he’s talking about.

    No, that’s NOT the issue here. The issue is that, no matter what Tis may know, he copied and pasted other people’s words (With just enough alterations to fool cursory searches), and then took any credit as if they were his own. Plagiarism. That’s the issue, whether you like it or not. Not “crib notes”, not “attribution errors”, this is multiple instances of unequivocal plagiarism.

  77. David Marjanović says

    Catching up.

    I also like ‘Tis (a great deal, in fact), and find his economic summaries/comments very informative. The thing is, “just” by being someone capable of remembering, finding, understanding and paraphrasing the information he posts he was actually providing a valuable service for people like me who find economics impossibly impenetrable makes their head explode.

    Which makes it all the more puzzling why he chose to plagiarize – instead of becoming admired for all the abilities you mention.

    Sad, really. It’s a What the hell, hero? moment.

    What the everliving hell is wrong with people? How can anyone pretend that there’s not a moral imperative to leave the Catholic Church at this point?

    They’re simply waiting for things to get better.

    In the meantime, they use contraception, knowing that all Catholics around them do, too.

    Aw, portcullised. I thought the tardisgrades wouldn’t need hundreds of thousands of years to get here from another galaxy since they could just time-travel, ’cause of having a tardis and all (meh, a little “s” is neither here nor there when you’re a time-lord in disguise after all)

    Thread won.

    If I was an author of the site I would want someone pointing it out to me before I potentially embarrassed myself by addressing it.

    Seconded.

    Every time ‘Tis does it on some site or another, it ought to be given a correct citation. I don’t know why you’d think of it as “whinging” or what criticism here is going to accomplish if ‘Tis keeps doing it all over the place.

    Also seconded.

    seriously, get a fucking grip.

    nobody gives a shit that you don’t like that Tis cribs notes.

    pathetic wanker.

    […]

    and yes, since it does that often, I CAN and WILL play it down.

    I’m starting to feel very uneasy about you. Here you defend blatant plagiarism, apparently just because it’s sgbm who discovered it – the finest of ad-hominem arguments. Over there, you tried to defend Marc Hauser, who has been found guilty of making up data and using them to publish papers – where I come from, he’d lose his academic titles for doing things a scientist simply must not do.

    What the hell, hero?

    And I hadn’t even scrolled down to comment 100 yet before I wrote the above.

    [1] no, it’s just SGBM playing internet policeman again. […]

    1. I was not aware the police involved themselves in plagiarism cases, and did so only by calling such out.

    (I still am not aware of it; can you provide an example?)

    Don’t be stupid, that’s a metaphorical Internet policeman. *eyeroll*

    The only misspelling you’ve made is ‘estetic’

    Heh. He spelled it “estethic”; it’s “esthetic” in the US and “aesthetic” elsewhere.

    The Bierce-Hartman-McKean-Skitt Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation!

    And I will assert that follicle mites are sentient.

    Well, they have sense organs, don’t they? :-)

    (I simply hate the word “sentient”. Only “sensual(ity)” and “sensuous” are worse.)

  78. Brownian says

    you clowns just LOVE playing cop, but you know fuck all about the people you attack.

    Since Aratina Cage and I were the first ones to call out ‘Tis on this issue, let’s aim that ‘clowns’ comment at us.

    I can’t speak for Aratina Cage, but what information about ‘Tis should I be aware of that will make plagiarism not an issue?

  79. ChasCPeterson says

    you clowns just LOVE playing cop, but you know fuck all about the people you attack.

    and…you do?
    Cops generally know fuck-all about people they arrest other than the evidence linking them to a crime. That’s all they need to know.

    But it’s true that I know fuck-all about ‘Tis Himself. In fact, I now feel that I know much less about him than the little I thought I knew. I’d need to see an IP trace to believe he sails the Long Island Sound. It’ll take military records for me to believe he was a Navy submariner. He’s blown all right to benefit of the doubt because the one thing I’m certain about is that he’s a serial plagiarist and liar.

    Hauser, on the other hand, I know about.

  80. says

    True–once person is shown to be deliberately misrepresenting things, and that includes taking credit for others’ work, all of their statements are met with “So YOU say,” e.g. “He says he was a White House economist in two different administrations. [Citation needed.]”

  81. says

    Heh. He spelled it “estethic”; it’s “esthetic” in the US and “aesthetic” elsewhere.

    The Bierce-Hartman-McKean-Skitt Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation!

    He spelled it “estetic” first. (Incidentally, since we’re on the subject of police, I’ve found “the police is” to be a reliable indicator of a non-native English speaker from certain countries. Is the reverse true?) (Also incidentally, I’ve always used “aesthetic.” I’m sure it was just the spelling I first saw and learned.)

  82. says

    “the police is” to be a reliable indicator of a non-native English speaker from certain countries

    I’m Finnish, and I admit I had to think about it for a few moments. :)
    I am curious: what countries you mean?

  83. says

    I am curious: what countries you mean?

    Western European (and I guess Latin American, though I don’t think I’ve encountered it much or at all amongst people from those countries for one reason or another). So would a Russian speaker tend to go with “the police is”? What about other languages? Maybe English is exceptional here, and I shouldn’t be be making that second assumption….

  84. Beatrice says

    Huh, now that I’ve been thinking about it, I’m not sure any more about whether I would use “the police is” or “the police are”, but I’m leaning towards “the police is”.

    I guess that’s telling you that police is a singular noun in my language.

  85. Beatrice says

    A singular noun – I meant a collective noun which is in declension treated as a singular.

    “policija” (police) denotes a group (it’s a collective noun), but is always treated as a singular in Croatian. So I would translate “policija je započela istragu” into the incorrect “police has started an investigation”.

    Individual officers are “policajac”(male) and “policajka”(female).

  86. David Marjanović says

    So would a Russian speaker tend to go with “the police is”? What about other languages? Maybe English is exceptional here, and I shouldn’t be be making that second assumption….

    English is quite exceptional in… Europe or so in treating semantically plural nouns as grammatically plural when they’re not grammatically marked as plural. “The police are”, “England are winning”, “a number of people are” – all unique.

    The reverse, “this is the news”, is also exceptional for the same reason. In German and French, you switch numbers mid-sentence: “this [stuff] are the news”.

    Hungarian could be interesting to compare. It doesn’t really have a singular, it has a default form and an explicit plural – the former, which lacks the ending that marks the latter, is used with numbers, because the number already makes clear whether there’s more than one. I have no idea how Hungarian deals with such cases.

  87. Aratina Cage says

    Fish in a barrel, really.

    I did say ALL, didn’t I? ;) Already played that game and it works every time the comment is lengthy.

  88. carlie says

    English is quite exceptional in… Europe or so in treating semantically plural nouns as grammatically plural when they’re not grammatically marked as plural. “The police are”, “England are winning”, “a number of people are” – all unique.

    And American English keeps some but not others. The police are, but England is winning. We find the idea of sports teams being called plural to be strange to the ear.

  89. birgerjohansson says

    John Morales and
    David Marjanović, thank you,

    translations are tricky, like the difference between American “billion” and non-anglo-saxon “billion”. Also, remember the chairman of BP saying “small people” …I think it was derived from Brit English term “little people” but came across quite wrong and patronising.
    (Germans will recall “Ich bin ein Berliner” and chuckle)

  90. Margaret says

    @ theophontes (坏蛋)

    Interesting aside: Many of the feral cats in Hong Kong have the tip of their right ears cut off. I always wondered what this was, thinking (quite unjustly), that it was some cruel superstition or tradition. It seems this is used to indicate that the animal has been spayed. Thereafter they are left to go about their lives in peace.

    I just found out that this is done in the USA as well. A friend’s new cat has a clipped left ear. After reading your comment, I decided to google, and found: “Generally, feral cats that have been spayed or neutered get their ears marked (so it doesn’t happen a second time). The markings can take the form of a snipped ear, a triangular notch, or even a hole-punch. A female would typically have her right ear marked, and a male would have his left ear marked.”

    Any chance “Patches” is an older sister rather than an older brother?

  91. anbheal says

    Hey, can any of you Evolutionary Bio experts help me dig out some heavy artillery? I’ve a friend God-bothering me, because another friend gave him flak about his ID-ism. The other friend trotted out the suggestion that the atom is more hypothetical than evolution, that nobody’s ever seen an atom, but that the God-botherer has seen an Australian Shepherd (which didn’t exist until the 1960s). The God-botherer is looking for my support (as someone who took Genetics and Evolutionary Biology courses thirty years ago), suggesting that I must explain to the more reasoned friend the difference between evolution and selective breeding. From my modest background, I see none. Man rather than Nature wields the misericorde, but the result is the same, genetic shift within the population, toward more “adaptive” characteristics (i.e., ones that won’t get you spayed or neutered). But I fear the God-botherer is well-armed with Discovery Institute talking points,so I don’t want to make an amateurish mistake and give him wriggle room. If one of you (or more) might be so kind, please provide me with a pithy rejoinder: why selective breeding IS the same as evolution.

    Many thanks.

  92. John Morales says

    David:

    Don’t be stupid, that’s a metaphorical Internet policeman. *eyeroll*

    You thought I thought he referred to the literal Internet police? :)

    (heh)

  93. anbheal says

    CM’s CM — that’s pithy alright! Thanks.

    Re IBM seeing an atom, I remember mentioning some years ago to a girlfriend’s anti-evo brother, who worked at a nuclear plant, that the atom was purely a theoretical construct of Lavoisier’s (and Democritus, I suppose), and that none of his co-workers had ever seen one. He retorted, with that hearty smile of the religious: “oh really — have you ever heard of an ELECTRON microscope?” It always reminds me of the scene where the warden challenges Homer on his painting of a unicorn flying through the rings of Saturn.

    Warden: It’s in outer space — what is it breathing?
    Homer: Air.
    Waredn: There’s no air in space!
    Homer: Then how come there’s an Air ‘n’ Space Museum?

  94. CJO says

    anbheal,

    Coevolution in general is I believe devastating to creationism. Basically, human selective breeding of other species, commonly called artificial selection, is just a subset of coevolutionary natural selection where the traits under the greatest selective pressure are those that the funny-looking primate with the bulbous head happens to be most interested in. It’s not in principle different from, say, the evolution of an orchid species to more closely resemble a female of the wasp species that polinates it, or the evolution of speckled eggs in bird species subject to nest parisitism (or the counteractive evolution of similar speckles on the eggs of the parasite).

    Do cuckoos “selectively breed” wrens for speckled eggs, or vice versa? Do wasps breed orchids? For a more common type of coevolutionary relationship: Do cheetahs breed gazelles for speed, and vice versa? Looked at in a certain way, of course they do, and the fact that nature is absolutely packed with these kinds of delicately balanced but obviously dynamic pairings of pressures and traits is good evidence that natural selection has shaped them. Human selective breeding, on this analysis, and on Darwin’s, is a proof of concept. It’s a model for evolution by natural selection, if you want to put a fence around human activity, but the model could not work unless nature also behaved that way beyond the fence.

  95. says

    In re the previous ‘Dome…

    broboxley,

    Anne #124 under chaos theory a butterfly fart in the amazon can cause a tornado in nebraska.

    What does it matter to study from the tornado to the butterfly or the butterfly to the tornado?

    What matters is that it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense to say that the tornado in Nebraska (or the need for there to be a tornado in Nebraska, or some other such weirdness) was the cause of the butterfly fart. As far as anybody has been able to determine at this point, the causality works in the other direction, and that remains the most scientifically productive approach.

    But this analogy of yours isn’t terribly relevant to the claim that Dupré was making and Coyne was disputing. Your hypothetical tornado in Nebraska is not an emergent phenomenon composed of zillions of tiny butterfly farts, it just happens to have a butterfly fart occurring causally prior to it. A better analogy would have been that the tornado in Nebraska is an emergent phenomenon in the motions of the unbelievably large number of air molecules that happen to exist over that region of Nebraska at that particular moment. The individual and microscopically disordered actions of all those tiny air molecules arrange themselves into the one big average motion which we humans identify as a tornado. The difference between trying to build from the air molecules up to the tornado and trying to extrapolate from the tornado down to the air molecules is the difference between bottom-up and top-down.

    And the reality is that science *already does both*. We don’t usually study tornadoes at the atomic scale, because we can’t, on accounta the computer would asplode. Instead, we use the laws of fluid dynamics (based on fundamental physical principles like energy conservation, momentum conservation, and mass conservation), combined with empirical and theoretical results on phase changes, thermal energy storage and transfer properties, atmospheric chemistry, and other such stuff. But we also have plenty of empirical and theoretical work which shows that tornadoes are ultimately made of the same type of atoms as everything else, and there’s been a fair bit of work (not complete, to be sure) to show how known behavior at larger scales emerges from the fundamental laws in place at the smallest scales we can detect.

    So it’s already well-known and fully acknowledged by scientists that the microscale of any particular system is not always the most useful scale at which to work. Dupré wouldn’t be overturning anything at all if all he were suggesting was that sometimes it’s more useful to start by looking at large-scale behavior and try to see how it connects to small-scale behavior than vice versa. But instead what he’s proposing (as far as I can tell) is that it makes sense to think of the large-scale behavior as *causing* the small-scale behavior. In other words, atom A is moving in direction D *because* it’s part of a tornado, not because it just bumped into atom B a few seconds ago. And that claim doesn’t seem to make a hell of a lot of sense or offer a hell of a lot of useful perspective scientifically. (I remember first encountering it being made by some fan of Edward Feser’s, in defense of Aquinas, to fairly intellectually pernicious effect. I can’t recall if Feser himself does this.)

    ———

    John Morales,

    Anne, Coyne is well-known for his attitude to philosophy; PZ is more nuanced.

    (Have you read this piece by Dan Fincke?)

    I am not sure what Coyne’s overall attitude has to do with the question of whether he’s right in the particular case I cited. If it *were* relevant, then I think I’d be equally justified in dismissing Fincke’s post (which I did read back when it was new) out of hand on accounta his attitude toward philosophy is also pretty well-known. Note that Fincke is defending the work Coyne was criticizing in that case on the grounds that it might be an informative “what if” study. But even if we give Fincke the benefit of the doubt and assume that the research in that case was indeed intended as a “what if” and not as advocacy of the position described, the article that Coyne was criticizing in the current case does not present itself as a “what if” exercise, but as a description of what’s actually going on in evolutionary biology. And, as Coyne points out, it’s just straight-up wrong. (I say this based on my own reading of biology and experience in science beyond what Coyne is discussing there. Not being an expert on evolutionary biology, I couldn’t have expressed it as well as he did, but his comments match what I understand from that other reading, while Dupré’s directly go against it.)

    I’m also not sure what PZ’s attitude has to do with this discussion, unless he’s made some specific argument that’s relevant here, or unless he considers what I’ve said to be an offense against the ‘Dome rules. I’m not citing Coyne as an absolute authority on the value of philosophy as a whole, nor would I respect a citation of PZ as such. I’m mostly talking about my own experience with reading philosophy, and Coyne just happened to bring another annoying example to my attention in this case, and to provide somewhat of a rebuttal so that I didn’t need to repeat all his hard work.

    ———

    consciousness razor,

    I’m interested that you seem to find my statements about my own experiences with reading philosophy to be such extraordinary claims that they can be dismissed out of hand just because I don’t have such a hate on for the subject as to have been keeping a list of philosophy that sucks. Would you also assume that I don’t have any experiences with sexism just because I don’t keep a list of examples on hand? Are you really prepared to say that philosophy as an academic discipline doesn’t have a history of giving shelter to a fair bit of obscurantism, argument from authority, and undeserved reverence for tradition, even though that may be receding somewhat in the modern era?

    I didn’t really think these were controversial statements, so I’m kind of surprised that this is a thing that you’re willing to just dismiss unless I produce… what? A survey of modern philosophy journals showing what percentage of published philosophy is crap? Some unspecified number of examples of philosophers writing crappy philosophy complete with detailed rebuttals from me? How much research exactly do I need to do for you in order to get you to even think seriously about whether there might be a possibility that, at very least, there’s enough crap philosophy out there that somebody who doesn’t spend all their time reading the philosophy literature might reasonably end up with some negative perceptions of the field? Or are you really gonna just take me at my word if I start listing the time where I went to this philosophy lecture where the guy spent more time trying to impress us with all the big names he could cite than he did explaining what he was on about, or the time I went to a science talk and some woman stood up, identified herself as a philosopher, and asked a question so inane and obnoxious that I had trouble keeping myself from laughing right over her, or the countless times some teacher or other person told me I should really read philosopher X and I did and I wished at the end that I could dig X up and demand back the hours of my life that he (almost always a he) had wasted?

    And yet you should notice that I haven’t said that the idea of philosophy is useless, that philosophy is rarely done well, or that we should defund philosophy departments. I don’t think any of those things, and, frankly, I’m usually the one fighting anybody who says them. I was only motivated to say what I did in the current discussion because I also see where Improbable Joe was coming from on some of this too. My experience with philosophy *has* involved a lot of pretty junky stuff, and probably more of the junk than the good stuff, unfortunately. And I didn’t encounter this stuff out of some quest to go find the worst philosophy and mock it. As I keep saying, I don’t hate philosophy. I started reading philosophy because I was *interested* in it, and I took the philosophy class that my high school offered and went and read the stuff that one always hears is the good stuff, and I discovered that most of the stuff I encountered wasn’t so good. In other words, I approached philosophy in pretty much the same way as I approached science, and science offered a hella better bang for my buck in terms of the people who were supposed to know what they were talking about actually knowing what they were talking about and being able to help me expand my understanding of the universe, rather than playing word games to hide (or even glorify) their ignorance.

    I’m not gonna say that I haven’t encountered a lot of supposed science educators and science professionals who pretended to greater expertise than they actually had, because I definitely have encountered a lot of them (myself inadvertently included on some occasions), and I’ve expended plenty of rage on such encounters. But there’s still been a lot less of it, and it’s been a lot less perniciously obscurantist than what I’ve encountered in my forays into philosophy.

    Yet I’m not saying academic philosophy should be gotten rid of. I’m saying that it should be made better, and that it should *want* to make itself better, in the same way that the sciences try to do. And maybe it even is doing that. Is it? I was almost surprised that your response wasn’t simply a flood of links to philosophers who are trying to either improve philosophy or working to get the message out to the public and educators that philosophy is *already* better than all that old stuff that the popular discourse is still so stuck on. Why isn’t that the case? I saw exactly one such reference in the discussion, to Richard Carrier *suggesting* that maybe some compilation of established philosophical consensuses would be a good idea, and then cm gave a link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which as far as I’ve read in it seems to be more a compilation of the utter *lack* of consensus on most subjects. If I’d been ranting about Haeckel’s embryos or Darwin’s failures in regard to the mechanism for heredity, I would’ve been buried under a flood of links to more modern work on the subject. If I then complained about being miseducated about these things in school and blamed it on the scientific community, I would be pointed to organizations like the NCSE that specifically work to get properly modernized science education into schools, and to popularizers like Dawkins. Where is the same for philosophy? Does it exist or not?

    As for the specific example I gave, first I need to note that I think you’re still misunderstanding me on the question of the relevance of philosophy of science to this discussion. I *never* said that this was only about “pure philosophy”, I said this was primarily about philosophy as done by people who call themselves philosophers, which includes Dupré, rather than about every bit of abstract reasoning that anybody does ever. I also said that the question of whether a crappy argument is about something real or something imaginary has no relevance in defending against the claim that it’s a crappy argument. One may *also* argue that philosophy has some problems related to the fact that some philosophers (like the one in the Fincke/Coyne dispute described above) spend their time arguing about imaginary shit, but that’s orthogonal to the arguments I’ve made.

    Finally, in regard to the actual quality of Dupré’s arguments, the problems are:

    (1) he’s wrong about gene-centered theories being undermined, as Coyne points out,
    (2) he’s wrong about there being a crisis in evolutionary biology, as Coyne points out,
    (3) he’s wrong about the status of “reductionism”, as Coyne points out, and I as I explain to broboxley above,
    (4) he’s abusing Thomas Kuhn (whose work I find very interesting, but whom every little self-important nutter seems to love to recruit for their own ends), and
    (5) he seems to be crisis-mongering for the hell of it.

    Most of the stuff he’s doing in the article is not directly related to the points I was making earlier, with the exception of the buzzwording about reductionism and top-down processes (even though he thankfully didn’t Capitalize them). I linked to it more to illustrate that annoying crap in philosophy is not at all hard to find. I wasn’t going out looking for this, just flipping through WEIT because I was bored and figured maybe he’d have some good cat videos or something, and there it was. I’m not claiming that all philosophy is like this, any more than I’d claim that all religion is like Ken Ham just because PZ linked to another silly article about the Ark Park. All I’m claiming is that there’s enough stuff like this (and also enough having the other problems I mentioned) out there that it makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with philosophy as an academic discipline. When I see crap articles in science, I know what the problem is — publish-or-perish pressure, the proliferation of journals of varying quality, the need to tighten up safeguards at various stages of the review process, and so forth — but I also know that these are widely recognized problems in the scientific community and that people are working to address them. Is the same true in philosophy?

  96. carlie says

    selective breeding IS the same as evolution

    Which is why there is a large section in Origin of Species on selective breeding.

  97. says

    In re philosophy and philosophers, I couldn’t help noticing this pull quote from Fincke’s most recent post as I was scrolling down the FTB front page:

    I am pleased to see how many people are responding positively to my post Saturday…

    Yes, Dan, you’ve applied very strong selective pressure to your commentariat. That’s your prerogative and all, but it makes conclusions drawn based on their responses somewhat suspect.

  98. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Would you also assume that I don’t have any experiences with sexism just because I don’t keep a list of examples on hand?

    Invalid comparison.

    Women being especially attuned to sexism is a function of living as a quotidian target of sexism, and men being comparatively oblivious to sexism because of privilege.

    It would be fucked up to put the burden of demonstrating the existence of sexism on one member of the oppressed class.

    You are not similarly attuned to bad philosophy per se, because you are not struggling for daily survival against bad philosophy per se. You are not oppressed by bad philosophy per se, and it is not similarly fucked up to insist that you must demonstrate its existence.

    Not every call of “citation needed” can be dismissed by comparison to privilege. The burden is indeed upon you.

  99. anbheal says

    CM’s CM — wow,another coollink. Thanks again. And not to derailthe thread, but are “flashes” picked upby the “vitreous fluid of the eye” actually equivalent to a single atom?

    And thanks, Carlie, that’s some top-flight polemical jiu-jitsu. Can’t wait to roll it out.

    Appreciate the input, folks, I’ll have at the Cheshire Cat presently.

  100. says

    SGBM, I’m not saying it’s the same as privilege. I’m saying that “this has been the general tenor of my experiences with philosophy thus I have mixed feelings about it” is not best responded to by “citation needed”, because it’s not, AFAICT, an uncommon experience for people to get fairly put off by various aspects of philosophy, just as it’s not an uncommon experience for women to encounter sexism. I just picked that example because it’s one that’s floating around in the environment a lot now, but if you find the privilege issue too distracting then please substitute in having mixed feelings about sports because of the sports culture of our society, or some other, similar common experience.

    In fact, I’m liking the sports metaphor more the more I think about it. I don’t hate sports. I like running, I like swimming, I like cycling, I like hiking, and on and on. But I dislike a lot of the aspects of the sports culture in our society, and I would like to see more be done to address those problems. So I have mixed feelings about sports in general. And I would be surprised if pointing out problems with the sports culture was met with “citation needed” rather than with, “Yeah, I like sports, but I agree that’s kind of a problem.” The issues with some philosophy seemed to me like they ought to be similarly common knowledge, so I was (and remain) surprised that citations are considered to be necessary to demonstrate them.

  101. anbheal says

    Oh, and not to neglect you CJO, thanks for that response too. It failed the pithy criterion, but I definitely can paraphrase your “Actually, Doofus, selective breeding represents the most lethal arrow to ID’s heart” routine.

  102. says

    (But if cr really insists that this claim is completely unbelievable, I can start keeping a catalogue of crap philosophy that I encounter from now on, and post new examples here for hir delectation.)

  103. carlie says

    I just don’t see how anyone could think selective breeding is different than evolution. I mean, how do they think selective breeding works?

  104. flit says

    How do you reduce pollution by a dollar amount?

    Ask an economist. No really, you can put a dollar value to pretty much anything. The reasonableness of assumptions wrt “dollar value” is of course very important (opportunity costs, cleanup costs, health costs…).

    We could for example calculate the real value of so called “innovators” (rethuglican for “dad was rich”) relative to public contributions to that same equation. This may be a good way to determine an equitable tax system. (My guess: Rich Daddy’s boy is on the street within a year.)

    That’s my goddamn point. I can’t assume what the hell Romney means because there is no intrinsic assumption for cost of pollution. As far as I know, he’s only counting the value of the mercury that would be in the air if it were sold as thermometers. Hell if I know, and hell if i’d trust it with his history of lies. This is the “serious business man” who won’t even show me the courtesy of a cost-benefit analysis when there’s real analysis to be done. He’s Clownshoes.

    It’s a snake oil salesman telling you your life will be +1 for drinking his elixir.

  105. strange gods before me ॐ says

    SGBM, I’m not saying it’s the same as privilege.

    Then a more apt comparison would be to a topic that doesn’t involve oppression and obliviousness to oppression on group lines. Sports may be better, yes.

    I’m saying that “this has been the general tenor of my experiences with philosophy thus I have mixed feelings about it” is not best responded to by “citation needed”

    But that’s not the discussion, so I won’t pretend that it is. You and Joe are making positive claims. You should support them. If you don’t want to, fine,

    but then your refusal to support your claims is not any indication that there is a problem with philosophy as a discipline.

    And I would be surprised if pointing out problems with the sports culture was met with “citation needed” rather than with, “Yeah, I like sports, but I agree that’s kind of a problem.”

    I would not, if it’s not in fact established that alleged problem X is an actual problem that exists, or exists as a problem with sports as a discipline

    The issues with some philosophy seemed to me like they ought to be similarly common knowledge,

    What issues? You assert, but there’s no reason to think that you’re identifying issues with philosophy as a discipline.

  106. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Then a more apt comparison would be to a topic that doesn’t involve oppression and obliviousness to oppression on group lines. Sports may be better, yes.

    Or maybe not much better, if your whole point is you’re surprised that a disputed argument about one topic is disputed, while some unspecified but apparently undisputed arguments about another topic are undisputed.

  107. consciousness razor says

    I’m interested that you seem to find my statements about my own experiences with reading philosophy to be such extraordinary claims that they can be dismissed out of hand just because I don’t have such a hate on for the subject as to have been keeping a list of philosophy that sucks.

    Some unspecified number of examples of philosophers writing crappy philosophy complete with detailed rebuttals from me?

    I’d like your criticisms to at least meet these criteria:
    1) Something other than your own personal experiences. I don’t dismiss them as experiences anymore than my own (which clearly don’t match yours); but if that’s all they will be, I also won’t give them more credit than that, as you seem to be trying to do.
    2) Something other than isolated incidents that annoy you and that have little in common with each other. I don’t care if you rebut them, but that you demonstrate why they are representative of philosophy in general. If your criticisms aren’t (or weren’t) supposed to be about that, then please explain a little more clearly what they are (or were). And is there any kind of theme to all of this, or is it a grab-bag of different quibbles you have about specific philosophers doing specific things in specific ways? You just seem to be using a scatter-shot approach so far, and a lot of it hasn’t hit anything like a mark, as far as I can tell.

    How much research exactly do I need to do for you in order to get you to even think seriously about whether there might be a possibility that,

    I already take it seriously that what follows is possible, but I need some evidence to know that it is actually the case. So for that, I’d need any non-zero amount of research. And that’s even assuming that your positions on these things (whatever they are) are right and that theirs are wrong. We could get to that after we have something substantial to talk about.

    at very least, there’s enough crap philosophy out there that somebody who doesn’t spend all their time reading the philosophy literature might reasonably end up with some negative perceptions of the field?

    That hinges on what’s “crap” and what one can “reasonably” do based on a lack of information.

    All I’m claiming is that there’s enough stuff like this (and also enough having the other problems I mentioned) out there that it makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with philosophy as an academic discipline.

    Like what? Would you just help me out here? I need a little more than assertions, sweeping generalizations and the like. Because there’s hardly anything to grab onto in the first place, and because none of it fits with my experiences at all. And then when you make shit up like the stuff about Aquinas or ontological arguments, without retracting it when called on it or clarifying why you brought it up at all, your credibility on the matter doesn’t increase.

  108. says

    I linked on my blog to short talks with philosophers Miranda Fricker and Peter Singer on Ethics Bites. There’s also Philosophy Bites (warning: F*** W*** discussions).

    I cite philosopher Allen Wood (warning: this thread has always taken a long time to load; if you have the patience, after it’s loaded just search for the name) with, um, some frequency, and since this discussion started a couple days ago I’ve been reading his book on Marx’s philosophy, which so far I highly recommend (still a nice read even if you know a lot about Marx as I do).

    David Chalmers is another science people should appreciate. (This Chas/Ichthyic exchange reminded me of the time a philosophy troll was condescendingly telling truth machine that he should better familiarize himself with Chalmers and tm produced a link to some pictures of himself at a pool party at Chalmers’ house.)

    There’s a guy named Mark Neocleous who writes about security in a compelling way. (I can’t afford his most recent book; and I can’t emphasize this enough: if anyone wants to make a little donation to my blog so that I can, I would be forever in your debt. I can’t afford anything at the moment, but when it comes to books I’m utterly shameless. :)) The majority of the philosophy I’ve read and continue to read is political philosophy, so it tends to be more connected to “real life,” though there’s some seriously Finckey political philosophy, too.

  109. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Ichthyic, denialist,

    Very actively working to plagiarize and claim personal credit for the other people’s work.

    your assumptions are not warranted by what you have linked to.

    There are no assumptions in my statement.

    It is a fact that he actively works to do this, and this was demonstrated by what I linked to. When he plagiarized from f_rushingr he changed some words. When he plagiarized from Jason Welker he took out a lot of words and made the very weird error of changing “contractionary” to “contradictory”. When he plagiarized from Joseph Stiglitz he rewrote roughly half the words. When he plagiarized from An Anarchist FAQ he added words to integrate their text right into his own second paragraph. When he lifed from Larry Swedroe he changed a lot of words. When he plagiarized from Meagan Falvey he changed present to past tense throughout. And so on. That requires active work. Work is not the result of laziness.

    It is a fact that this is plagiarism. When he plagiarized from An Anarchist FAQ he added words to integrate their text right into his own second paragraph. When he plagiarized from Bob Black he took credit for writing it. When he plagiarized from Larry Swedroe he took credit for writing it. When he plagiarized from Julia Layton he very strongly implied writing it. When he plagiarized from Simone Foxman he took credit for writing it. When he plagiarized from Ron Jacobs he very strongly implied writing it. And so on.

    It is a fact that he claims personal credit. In addition to the above, he explicitly accepted praise for plagiarizing from An Anarchist FAQ:

    Boy, ‘Tis Himself, you’re good! I had contemplated trying to explain all that but would not have done it anywhere near as well.

    Thanks, Maureen. It does help that I do that sort of thing for a living.

    Yuck.

  110. A. R says

    Could one of the members of the now overturned TZT Politburo (or anyone else for that matter) please inform me as to what’s happened on the blog for the past two months? I was locked in my lab. (I would go through it all myself, but I haven’t the time)

  111. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Ichthyic, denialist,

    is tis making money by doing this? did he write a book for sale using the cribbed information?

    no.

    seems to be he just cribbed it because it was concise and well written.

    That seems to be true. Yet it does not contradict my statements.

    He plagiarized all this writing, explicitly claimed to have written much of it, explicitly accepted praise for some of it, and put work into rewriting much of it (often to make it more concise, but sometimes introducing errors not in the original text). Maybe he did all this because it was concise and well written. But he did it, and he actively worked to do it, and he took credit for it.

    Personally, I would wait and see what he has to say first.

    We’ve been waiting for a week now. Three years really, but a week since this latest iteration has begun. He is probably not going to say anything.

  112. A. R says

    chigau: Yeah, I noticed that shortly after its appearance (My knowledge gap is from “New Rules” to the present time). Have the monitors ever been activated?

  113. chigau (違わない) says

    A. R
    Several Monitors have reported sending an email to PZ.
    Afterward, stuff has happened.
    So, probably.

  114. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Three weeks ago, I said directly to ‘Tis Himself, in this thread:

    ‘Tis Himself,

    The only thing I’ve actually insulted you for is being a plagiarist.

    Two and a half hours later he replied to me, on another topic (his usual false claim), without acknowledging the plagiarism in any way.

    +++++
    Ichthyic, denialist,

    nobody gives a shit that you don’t like that Tis cribs notes.

    Operative clause highlighted. Amusing diversion there. I don’t suppose that many people care about what I like. But my preferences are not what I’m discussing, so your statement is quite irrelevant.

    A lot of other people here do give a shit that ‘Tis Himself cribs notes has been plagiarizing at least a dozen authors and explicitly taking personal credit for much of their writing.

    A lot of other people here don’t like it.

  115. strange gods before me ॐ says

    … on another topic [in this same thread, so it’s not like he didn’t come back to read the charge of plagiarism] …

  116. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Ichthyic, denialist,

    ya, see the issue here is, Tis actually DOES know what he’s talking about. He was an economist with two different White House Administrations FFS.

    so, you really think he’s doing this for faint praise from internet posters?

    I haven’t speculated as to why he’s doing it. What I do know is that he’s doing it, he’s explicitly claiming authorship, and he’s explicitly accepting some of the praise.

    no, it’s just SGBM playing internet policeman again.

    Not just. I’m the goddamn internet Batman.

    and yes, since it

    he

    does that often, I CAN and WILL play it down.

    Your attempt at wagon circling is understandable, if petty, but you’re unable to convince others to join you. Instead you are making other commenters think you are either naive or dishonest.

    the point of me mentioning ’tis background is one of motivation

    But I’m not speculating on his motivation. The facts are just the facts.

    you clowns just LOVE playing cop, but you know fuck all about the people you attack.

    What should we know that would make plagiarism okay?

    +++++
    carlie,

    But sg, I don’t think we need any more examples here. There’s enough already to establish the pattern, and the fact that ‘Tis hasn’t responded yet means he doesn’t know what to say about it; adding more examples won’t force him to comment, it will make him feel piled on and even less likely to say anything.

    In addition to establishing the pattern, I’m interested in informing the commentariat generally to be aware of it in the future, so I think I should continue until no one expresses unawareness (like Ichthyic and rorschach have in this thread).

    But at your suggestion, I’ll wait a while before starting another discussion of it.* Though I expect it is impossible to make him less likely to say anything, since for reasons already discussed I think the likelihood was already zero.

    *There are a few more stupid comments about me personally that I’ll come back to soon. The punish the out-group messenger mentality of some has been most unfortunate.

  117. ChasCPeterson says

    TZT is dead and your tardigraded ‘Politburo’ has no power here! For this is Thunderdome!

  118. consciousness razor says

    Look, Carrier went really far. He said that if you didn’t agree with A+, you were wrong and beyond the pale. Read his comment thread. It’s all there.

    Is there something wrong with going “really far”?

    If you disagree with my assessment, well, fuck off, I’m still going to be part of A+.

    Who, me? What assessment are you talking about? I’m lost. Should I fuck off anyway?

    With-us-or-against-us language may make sense in the online community for active participants, but it’s not helpful for lurkers.

    Why not? What isn’t helpful about it?

    For fuck’s sake, does not that not make it clear why I object to us-vs-them rhetoric?

    No. You’ve given no reason why. The fact that you object to it doesn’t just explain itself.

    I’m not trying to play dumb here. It’s not as if the concept of “divisiveness = bad” is foreign to me, but it can be a good thing, so I wanted to know why it’s bad in this case.

    If “lurkers” tend to assume that anything “divisive” or “absolutist” is always bad, that’s something they’ll have to sort out for themselves. But there’s no point in pandering to them by saying we’re perfectly fine having a nice, friendly Kumbayah-fest with bigots and other irrational people. We really do have to draw a line in the sand somewhere, so if we’re being honest, there’s no point in pretending that we’re not drawing one.

  119. strange gods before me ॐ says

    TZT is dead and your tardigraded ‘Politburo’ has no power here! For this is Thunderdome!

    Fall of the Third International, rise of the Fourth.

    No big deal. For now we practice cultural tardigradism.

    Pol.itiburo?….I don’t know what that means

    It’s nothing, just a joke. Certainly nothing to worry about. ;)

  120. Ichthyic says

    Well I’m thoroughly confused as to who is in and who is out.

    there’s an easy answer to that:

    stop using group dynamics as if it matters.

  121. Ichthyic says

    but you’re unable to convince others to join you.

    here’s a clue for you, dipshit:

    I, unlike yourself, do not give the slightest care whether people agree with me or not.

    you, OTOH, do everything you do for attention.

  122. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ cm’s

    … big pants …

    A former lecturer of mine designed this one in Beijing. It is called “the underwear” and supposedly looks like someone squatting in their underwear.

    In Shenzhen he has one called the “middle finger”. I guess the Chinese are not quite as in awe of the architects’ attempts as the architects themselves. (The building has been in a state of limbo for many months, with bits of facade being removed and replaced at a slow rate. I suspect this is because of what we in the business refer to with the technical term : “A Fuckup”

    @ Margaret

    Any chance “Patches” is an older sister rather than an older brother?

    I haven’t ever noticed any variations in ear-cutting. The “Lexus lady” took Patches to the vet once and claimed he is a he. Patches likes scritches, but not being picked up (as scratches attest). I’ll take a picture and post soon.

    @ A.R

    TZT

    Welcome back A.R. Yeah, the old Republic has undergone changes. Dancing tardigrades have insisted on incystation until the raging hellfires die down.

  123. strange gods before me ॐ says

    stop using group dynamics as if it matters.

    There is the noticing of group dynamics, and the endorsement of such. Here we were talking about the former.

    here’s a clue for you, dipshit:

    I, unlike yourself, do not give the slightest care whether people agree with me or not.

    Not evidently true:

    nobody gives a shit that you don’t like that Tis cribs notes.

    you clowns just LOVE playing cop, but you know fuck all about the people you attack.

    idiots.

    +++++

    you, OTOH, do everything you do for attention.

    Selection bias: you don’t see the things I don’t do for attention. ;)

  124. consciousness razor says

    So, how do we know that SGBM isn’t ‘Tis Himself himself?

    I’ve always assumed SGBM, ‘Tis Himself and Ichthyic were sockpuppets of PZ/Cuttlefish/Mabus, just like I am.

    After all, have I ever seen myself in the same room with all of them?

  125. consciousness razor says

    I didn’t mean to leave you out, Beatrice. It was just for the sake of brevity, I hope you understand.

  126. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ Aratina

    So, how do we know that SGBM isn’t ‘Tis Himself himself?

    An intriguing conjecture!

    But how do we know Aratina isn’t SGBM isn’t ‘Tis Himself himself?

    Aha! {goes back and stikes comment}:

    But how do we know theophontes isn’t Aratina isn’t SGBM isn’t ‘Tis Himself himself?

    Oh wait… fuckit … I BLAME REBECCA WATSON!!!

  127. Beatrice says

    consciousness razor,

    I know. It would take time to list everyone. PZ’s collection of socks is legendary.
    Besides, we know all of who we are.

  128. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ Beatrice

    Besides, we know [all of] who we are.

    Does the one tentacle really know what the other is doing?

    / Matthew 6:3

  129. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Matthew 6:3 is clearly a command for the Christian to receive a corpus callosotomy.

  130. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ SGBM

    corpus callosotomy

    I have often pondered whether inter-hemispheric brain-chatter could not perhaps be the very cause of religiosity in the first place. That there operation would kinda fuck with the whole GAWD ™ experience.

    Does the one tentacle really know what the others is are doing?
    (Oi Vey, I kinda fluffed that one.)

  131. Beatrice says

    Hell, I don’t even know what I’m doing most of the time.

    But I do resent being called a Christian tentacle.

  132. strange gods before me ॐ says

    That could be an effective way to test their faith.

    Fuck wow that’s cool.

    I have often pondered whether inter-hemispheric brain-chatter could not perhaps be the very cause of religiosity in the first place.

    Been reading too much Julian Jaynes?

    Go ye and read Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained.

  133. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ SGBM

    Julian Jaynes?

    No (though I have heard of the bicameral mind). More the relationships between descriptions of the religious experience and effects of drugs or brain damage. (eg: I posted the TED talk of Jill Bolte-Taylor a few months ago).

    Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained

    Boltzmanned!

  134. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ SGBM

    Boltzmanned!
    Downloaded! (You have just saved me $11,99! Buy yourself a beer!)

  135. strange gods before me ॐ says

    More the relationships between descriptions of the religious experience and effects of drugs or brain damage.

    That’s … just one particular kind of religious experience.

    (I speak as one who has had it with and without tryptamines.)

  136. John Morales says

    I’ve never had a religious experience, but I have had plenty of experience with religion and with the religious.

    I shan’t comment on whether I have experience with chemicals normally considered entheogenic other than to note that I don’t consider feelings of significance to be religious, either.

    (Religion is for other people, much like idealism)

  137. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Dupré wouldn’t be overturning anything at all if all he were suggesting was that sometimes it’s more useful to start by looking at large-scale behavior and try to see how it connects to small-scale behavior than vice versa. But instead what he’s proposing (as far as I can tell) is that it makes sense to think of the large-scale behavior as *causing* the small-scale behavior. In other words, atom A is moving in direction D *because* it’s part of a tornado, not because it just bumped into atom B a few seconds ago. And that claim doesn’t seem to make a hell of a lot of sense or offer a hell of a lot of useful perspective scientifically. – Anne C. Hanna

    There was a 19th-early 20th school of philosophy sometimes called “British emergentism” (John Stuart Mill, George Lewes (husband of the more famous Eliot), C.H. Broad are the best-known names), which hypothesised that certain arrangements of matter brought into play additional physical laws that could not be deduced from knowledge of the atomic components of that arrangement, and that then influenced the behaviour of those components. As far as I can see, there’s nothing logically wrong with the hypothesis; it just seems to be false.

  138. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Generally, feral cats that have been spayed or neutered get their ears marked (so it doesn’t happen a second time). The markings can take the form of a snipped ear, a triangular notch, or even a hole-punch.

    Given a few score feline generations, we can expect to find populations of feral cats with notches or holes in their ears!

  139. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Boy, ‘Tis Himself, you’re good! I had contemplated trying to explain all that but would not have done it anywhere near as well. – maureenbrian

    Thanks, Maureen. It does help that I do that sort of thing for a living. – ‘Tis Himself

    Yuck. – SGBM

    Well, maybe he does plagiarize for a living. I believe there’s still quite a large student market, probably others as well, and these days, making enough changes to fool searchbots would be a necessary skill.

  140. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    SGBM @189:

    Thanks for that. If we ever meet up in Meatspace I owe you a couple beers. And not that crap feline urine they sell at 7-11, but real, high alcohol content, finely crafted microbrew or similar. And if you’re not a beerite, something along similar thought that floats yer boat.

  141. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    There was a troll here a few years ago who made a living writing papers for college students.

    The difficulty such professionals will face is the inability to reuse a paper…the package I use enters every paper that it scans into its database, so that an original work turned in for credit can’t be reused by a student later.

  142. says

    There was a troll here a few years ago who made a living writing papers for college students.

    I remember that troll!

    ***

    I’ve written a reply to James Croft about the differences between the gnu/+ crowd and the HCH bunch when it comes to opposing faith. (The original title was “On differences: a short reply to James Croft,” but the short was removed for obvious reasons.)

  143. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ McC2lhu

    According to my top secret TZT archives, the double-pope is rather partial to beer. (valid currency for buying indulgences too.)

  144. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    Theophontes(坏蛋):

    In that context, ‘indulgences’ would be one of those ‘double-Nintendos’ (to steal from MST3K).

  145. PatrickG says

    @ Josh, Official SpokesGay:

    If y’all want to continue our conversation about Carrier, I’m all awake now. :)

  146. PatrickG says

    (though of course Josh made similar points about my Newbie Feelings, so I’m all for a tussle regarding that as well)

  147. Aratina Cage says

    Verily, here is a PDF.

    =D Unexpected and welcome! (See, we like properly sourced free information, ‘Tis!)

  148. David Marjanović says

    (Germans will recall “Ich bin ein Berliner” and chuckle)

    Oh, that depends on which Germans.

    *mwa ha ha ha haaaaah*

    The other friend trotted out the suggestion that the atom is more hypothetical than evolution, that nobody’s ever seen an atom

    WTF. That hasn’t been true for a long time if you accept atomic force microscopes as “seeing”.

    You thought I thought he referred to the literal Internet police? :)

    (heh)

    That was the only way I could make sense of your baffling comment. Stop enjoying it when people can’t figure out what you mean.

    Not just. I’m the goddamn internet Batman.

    Full of win!

  149. ChasCPeterson says

    You thought I thought he referred to the literal Internet police?

    DM, that annoyed me too. It was Morales who jumped from internet to literal police. There’s no I-thought-he-thought involved.

  150. David Marjanović says

    Petition to sign.

    “Judge Jacqueline Hatch should step down for unjust sex abuse case”

    “Upon sentencing Judge Jacqueline Hatch of the Coconino County Superior Court stated to the victim, ‘If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened.’ She advised the victim to be more vigilant, ‘You learned a lesson about friendship and a lesson about vulnerability.’ This injustice cannot be tolerated, and without collective action of the people, these incidents will only continue.”

  151. strange gods before me ॐ says

    PatrickG,

    If y’all want to continue our conversation about Carrier, I’m all awake now. :)

    See #170.

    +++++
    Aratina Cage,

    The original author who Wooly Bumblebee plagiarized from was Tim Field. He had already written much of her post at least as early as April 2003, in his Bullying: what is it? essay that y’all already found, as well as his Narcissistic Personality Disorder essay.

    +++++
    McC2lhu,

    Let’s compromise on high alcohol content from 7-11, delicious Steel Reserve.

  152. says

    Nice.

    I love this sentiment that A+ would make anything would “far, far harder to sell” – these people see a world with themselves as the customers and supporters everyone naturally wants, and can’t seem even to conceive that what would turn them and others like them away would be precisely what would appeal to large numbers of people who aren’t them.

  153. A Hermit (that's "A" with a "plus") says

    Hmmmm…Bumblebee is now saying that she never said she was an “expert” but I do seem to recall seeing her making that claim…anybody have a screenshot of the original blog post?

  154. says

    … The original author who Wooly Bumblebee plagiarized from was Tim Field. He had already written much of her post at least as early as April 2003, in his Bullying: what is it? essay that y’all already found, as well as his Narcissistic Personality Disorder essay.

    I am deeply thankful to all who serve in the Thunderdome Sourcing Brigade™ right now.

    (/And kinda amused.)

  155. cm's changeable moniker says

    Steel Reserve

    Aiee. Did I mention Skol 1080? 8.lethal% and cheap as chips?

    (*googles*. Google says no. Take that, Google!)

    If anyone’s wondering what it tasted like, I’d say about as good as you’d expect from something that was intended to be an industrial feedstock. ;-)

  156. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Hmmmm…Bumblebee is now saying that she never said she was an “expert” but I do seem to recall seeing her making that claim…anybody have a screenshot of the original blog post?

    Here are caches: Google (2 September), Bing (6 September). I don’t feel like reading it to find out, but there you go.

  157. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I am deeply thankful to all who serve in the Thunderdome Sourcing Brigade™ right now.

    Ah, Brisvegan gets the credit. I just confirmed it was Tim Field who originally authored it. Nine years later, there are a lot of cites reproducing his work, often with but sometimes without credit. Wooly Bumblebee had to do the extra work of splicing together at least two of his essays. Active, motivated plagiarism.

  158. strange gods before me ॐ says

    … a lot of sites …

    Sheesh. That’s a more interesting error. I was thinking about citations at the time.

  159. ChasCPeterson says

    John Morales @#219, you’re choosing to be cryptic instead of communicative. Again.
    Let’s review the exchange:

    [Ich:] it’s just SGBM playing internet policeman again.

    [JM:] I was not aware the police involved themselves in plagiarism cases, and did so only by calling such out

    [DM:] Don’t be stupid, that’s a metaphorical Internet policeman. *eyeroll*

    [JM:] You thought I thought he referred to the literal Internet police? :) (heh)

    Linking to ‘pedia to prove there is a ‘literal internet police’ does not change the fact that Ichthyic’s original acusation was clearly about metaphorical policing and your reply could only refer to literal police. So yeah, anybody reading your comment is going to conclude that you thought he was referring to literal police. Think about it.

  160. Zamza says

    This is completely off the left field and I will understand if it is ignored, but I have a hitchhiking problem. My friend Jimmie is going to his cousin’s wedding in Cyprus and due to a series of accidents will have to hitchhike across the horribly hazardous boundary from the north to the south. Have guys any useful advice for such a circumstance?

  161. PatrickG says

    @ consciousnessrazor/Josh, Official SpokesGay:

    I’m not trying to play dumb here. It’s not as if the concept of “divisiveness = bad” is foreign to me, but it can be a good thing, so I wanted to know why it’s bad in this case.

    That’s not my argument. My objections to Carrier’s post are that he went “too far” in his position, and started saying indefensible things. Carrier’s initial post was an absolutist call to arms explicitly saying you are either WITH A+ (as in a card-carrying member), or you were an enemy of decency.

    [Pre-wall of text disclaimer: Really, it’s all sort of a done deal. Carrier backed off and rephrased his sentiments, while commenting was “live”, and based on what I’ve read since then (not comprehensively, I’ll admit), I don’t think I have any objections with his revised take, as ably expressed by Josh (social justice is the litmus test here, not the A+ label). However, I do not think it’s ridiculous to claim his initial position was fucking stupid.]

    From his comment thread, I think this is quite representative of the sentiment I found absolutely ridiculous, stupid, and wrong. Not divisive, wrong. He doubles down on this repeatedly.

    Bringerofmorning: I think I will stick with my lifelong sub-plus atheism and the not liking injustice, if that’s all the same to you.

    Why?

    Do you reject any of the values stated in my article? If so, which ones, and why?

    If not, in what way aren’t you a part of Atheism+ movement?

    Either you reject some basic human values here, or you are irrationally denying what you are, like someone who said they were sure there was no god but aren’t an atheist. As if they didn’t understand how words work.

    So which is it? Are you simultaneously admitting to being A and not being A (and thus violating the basic logical law of identity that A = A), or are you rejecting one or more of the values that define Atheism+?

    Be honest and say.

    (emphasis mine)

    And there it is. A strict binary choice. You’re an A+, or an A*. No room for supporting a non-labeled approach, etc. etc. That is the problem I have with Carrier’s screed. I feel fairly sure that Crommunist, for example, is an ardent supporter of social justice, but he doesn’t want to adopt the label for his own reasons. Is he A and not A? Or is he rejecting the values that define Atheism+?

    And of course, he backed off this significantly after a lot of people pointed this out. I’m not saying he holds this position now, but I am definitely saying he really fucked up with his absolutist rhetoric.

    [segue to content of Lounge at time]

    My posts were made right after Josh’s comments on Aron Ra’s posts, which I thought were an excellent example of failing to read … Ra specifically said:

    Atheism(+) is NOT any ‘take-over’ of the atheist umbrella, nor is it an attempt to redefine what atheism means.

    and

    we’re not going to revoke Penn & Teller’s A-pins just because they’re libertarians who like sexually explicit women. We’re not gonna boot Bill Maher out until he gets a flu shot, and we won’t disown Ayn Rand for being elitist either.

    (emphasis mine)

    Not A+ pins, A pins. Now, I’m virtually certain that we’d all agree A+ has no interest/authority in stripping people of the ATHEIST moniker, so to read this…

    Yes, dumb-ass, we are going to show people like Penn Jillette the door. Have you been reading anything we’ve been saying?

    This, friends, is the consequence of so many of us clucking and smoothing feathers to assure the haterz that, no, Richard Carrier’s “intemperate and dictatorial post did not represent us!111!!”.

    Fuck that. He was intemperate and he was right. You are on board with basic social justice and non-douche-baggery or you ARE an enemy.

    … frankly irritates me, and sounds exactly like Carrier’s initial rhetoric. From my perspective, it looks like Josh failed to realize just what club Ra was arguing people weren’t going to be kicked out of, but that first sentence as a response to Ra’s position is … bewildering.

    And, of course, I should point out that this discussion was hashed out over on Ra’s thread. I’ll also point out that I fucking hate nested comments, and I don’t know what Ra meant by: “If the way I wrote that was confusing, I paraphrased it.” Maybe there was an edit or something? I don’t know.

    Point of that being if Josh’s initial reaction was to different text than now appears, then this entire segue is obviously pointless. Moot. Unimportant.

    Here, btw, is where I got intemperate myself in the Lounge, because I don’t think I’m “clucking and smoothing feathers” by expressing that Carrier staked out an idiotic position and was initially resistant to legitimate critique. More on that in the postscript.

    It’s not that I disagree with the sentiment Josh expressed. Sure, we can show assholes like Jilette the door to A+. I absolutely agree we should. That has no relevance to what Aron Ra was saying

    To be really clear, I totally agree with Josh’s closing sentence there re: social justice and enemies, and I’ll stress again that the comments section at least mildly suggests there may have been a change of phrase.

    [end segue about Lounge]

    Back to Carrier…. This isn’t a complaint about mission drift, or about tone, or wringing my hands about divisiveness or turning people off. It’s about giving the appearance that the only proper intersection of social justice and atheism is A+, and if you’re not down with the label, you can fuck right off. Because, uh, no. No, no, no.

    Does that clarify my earlier comments?

    [And post-wall of text disclaimer: As I said above, this is all kind of irrelevant. Carrier changed his position, and backed off his claim that the label was the test. So to some degree this is all sort of just forum masturbation. I still think Carrier’s initial position was fucking stupid, though, and I don’t think it’s “clucking and smoothing feathers” to point that out.]

  162. John Morales says

    Chas, it’s hardly complicated: policing (keeping watch and alerting) is not the same as policing (law enforcement); a policeman polices differently to a vigilante who in turn polices differently to a concerned person who alerts authorities.

    In short, ॐ was not (and is not) acting in any sense like a policeman, though he is indeed policing.

    (Semantic shifts are not a complicated concept)

  163. consciousness razor says

    Carrier backed off and rephrased his sentiments

    He backed off and rephrased the ableist shit he was saying, but as far as I know, he hasn’t backed off the rest or specifically with the “us vs. them” stuff you have an issue with, which is the relevant point here.

    But has he backed off from that too, on his blog or elsewhere? I don’t know. Citation needed.

    And there it is. A strict binary choice. You’re an A+, or an A*. No room for supporting a non-labeled approach, etc. etc.

    Yep, it’s a binary choice. You either do or don’t agree with the basic values Carrier outlined, as understood by the implications he’s saying they have. You could disagree with specific points, but you haven’t. Even then, you’d be failing to consider them as general principles with general implications, just the way Carrier defined them very clearly.

    It’s about giving the appearance that the only proper intersection of social justice and atheism is A+, and if you’re not down with the label, you can fuck right off. Because, uh, no. No, no, no.

    He wasn’t talking about appearances or the label, so I think you’re not connecting with the point he was making. Read it again. The values themselves: they are agreeable or they aren’t, independent of whatever label you want to identify with, independent of other concerns you may have about it or the approach being taken, independent of however it appears to people who don’t understand any of that, etc.

  164. says

    I cannot believe I’m intervening in this dispute. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that if a comment of John’s sounds pointless, gratuitous, and dumb, well, it may well be, but you can also refer to Axiom 1 of Dealing with Morales on Blogs: He’s likely just being a git. (In this case, the person he responded to was being a git, so it’s a wash.)

    Linking to ‘pedia to prove there is a ‘literal internet police’ does not change the fact that Ichthyic’s original acusation was clearly about metaphorical policing and your reply could only refer to literal police.

    The literal police, but not the literal internet police. Assuming, under Axiom 1, that he was just being a git (no offense, John), a reasonable interpretation is that he was challenging the “policing” metaphor itself – suggesting that dealing with plagiarism by calling people out on it isn’t something police do, so “[Internet] policeman” was an inapt and stupid metaphor.

  165. John Morales says

    Zamza, it’s not that I want to ignore your comment, but what the heck advice could possibly be useful in this situation from someone not familiar with the place?

    Don’t piss people off?

    Don’t carry too many valuables?

    (Make a last will and testament before departing?)

  166. says

    Chas, it’s hardly complicated: policing (keeping watch and alerting) is not the same as policing (law enforcement); a policeman polices differently to a vigilante who in turn polices differently to a concerned person who alerts authorities.

    In short, ॐ was not (and is not) acting in any sense like a policeman, though he is indeed policing.

    Hee. Confirmed by a cross-post.

  167. consciousness razor says

    SC: Your reply to Croft is great. I don’t know if he’ll see himself as having “missed the boat,” but one can hope.

    Everyone: Go read it. Click the links too, where there is more goodness.

  168. PatrickG says

    Yep, it’s a binary choice. You either do or don’t agree with the basic values Carrier outlined, as understood by the implications he’s saying they have. You could disagree with specific points, but you haven’t.

    The specific point I am making is that his initial rhetoric was deeply tied into the label specifically. It wasn’t until deep into the comments that he explicitly stated that the label was unimportant, as a direct consequence of people pointing out that his rhetoric was over the top and not useful. Hell, not correct.

    Social Justice vs. A* rhetoric = fine.
    A+ vs A* rhetoric = not fine.

    That’s my point. That’s it. That’s all. That’s my objection to Carrier’s post. I would have thought my long post above conveyed that clearly, but apparently not.

  169. consciousness razor says

    It wasn’t until deep into the comments

    Citation needed.

    that he explicitly stated that the label was unimportant,

    Because he never claimed to be talking about the label itself, or because he did “back off” from it because that’s actually what he initially said which was over the top (of something) and not useful (for something)?

    as a direct consequence of people pointing out that his rhetoric was over the top and not useful.

    Citation needed.

  170. PatrickG says

    I think maybe I’m being unclear, so I want to quote Carrier himself here:

    So I improved that living document by inserting an irrationality vaccine: a rewrite of the concluding paragraph, thus (additions in bold)…

    In the meantime, are you an atheist? Do you identify as an atheist? Then I call upon you to pick sides within our movement (not in comments here, but publicly, via Facebook or other social media): are you with us, or with them; are you now a part of the Atheism+ movement, or do you at least cheer and approve it’s values and aims (since you don’t have to label yourself), or are you going to stick with Atheism Less and its sexism and cruelty and irrationality? Then at least we’ll know who to work with. And who to avoid.

    As I said, Carrier acknowledged that people were not reading what he intended. He clarified, updated, and I have absolutely no problem with this new version.

    I think I’m being read as condemning Carrier’s entire content because of one specific mistake he made. I’m not. I’m condemning that specific mistake, and y’know, he clarified. I still argue that it was initially stupid rhetoric.

    Does that clarify my position? I mean really, I’ve said repeatedly that the whole issue is more or less moot, so this is getting kind of boring.

  171. CJO says

    The specific point I am making is that his initial rhetoric was deeply tied into the label specifically.

    No, it wasn’t. It referred to a set of values, the repudiation of racism, sexism, and homophobia:

    In short, if you reject this value statement, you are simply my ideological enemy, and I will give you no quarter.

    He then went on to say that comparing A+ to Stalinism or other forms of derision toward the idea and its proponents “makes you an asshole”, and this must be where you’re getting the “label” business from his comments. But such behavior serves as a clear marker of rejecting the values of A+, so I fail to see how the two are so different. Note that he’s saying, basically, if you are going to use the label as a target, you’re clearly signalling that in terms of the value statement you’re an asshole and my enemy, not that the label is significant as anything other than a marker, a rallying point for some, a target for the enemy. You’re pretty hung up on what looks like a reasoned, if uncompromising, stance on Carrier’s part.

  172. ChasCPeterson says

    Chas, it’s hardly complicated: policing (keeping watch and alerting) is not the same as policing (law enforcement)

    a reasonable interpretation is that he was challenging the “policing” metaphor itself

    aha. OK. Now I see. I admit it’s both reasonable and uncomplicated.
    What it wasn’t was clear.

    you would have thought whatever?
    (What, didn’t you actually think it?)

    Now that, however, is just being a git. It’s a common idiom, John, and not worth pedantic mockery.

  173. consciousness razor says

    I still argue that it was initially stupid rhetoric.

    Because some people interpreted it in a completely stupid way, most of whom probably weren’t arguing in good faith but trolling assholes anyway?

  174. PatrickG says

    You’re pretty hung up on what looks like a reasoned, if uncompromising, stance on Carrier’s part.

    Nah, I’m really just hung up on my Newbie Feelings that Josh referenced. By which I mean I really feel I’m not getting my point across, and that irks me. I guess I just feel I’m doing a bad job of communicating.

    Again, all I’m trying to say is that Carrier initially used rhetoric when developing his living document that was very clearly “A+ or A*”. If you don’t think the comment I linked above says that, then well, I don’t really know what to say, because I think it’s fairly clear — even Carrier has effectively conceded that the language in that one section was open to interpretation. He modified his rhetoric, and updated his living document, problem solved.

    I repeat, all I’m saying is that Carrier used really bad over-the-top rhetoric during a particular period in the development of his living document. I’m really starting to think that it’s just my failure as a communicator that is leading to assignment of arguments I’m not trying to make, but well, practice is a good thing.

    (What, didn’t you actually think it?)

    Cute. :)

  175. PatrickG says

    @ consciousness razor:

    That’s definitely a good point. At this point, I’m just not sure why I’ve put this much effort into this, because, and I keep feeling this part isn’t being read: it’s pretty much a moot point, and my (clear) emotional investment in this entire discussion at this point is limited to making sure my point is actually clear.

    Obviously I’m being read in a way I don’t intend, and I don’t like that at all…. but I really don’t think there’s much more I can say beyond that. Something for me to work on.

  176. says

    SC: Your reply to Croft is great. I don’t know if he’ll see himself as having “missed the boat,” but one can hope.

    Everyone: Go read it. Click the links too, where there is more goodness.

    Wow – thanks, cr!

  177. PatrickG says

    @ consciousness razor/CJO

    After some reflection and rereading, want to thank you for the discussion, as it did definitely clarify a few things for me:

    1) Never, ever post after consuming alcohol, and when I say I’m going to bed, never go back to the computer (later posts in the Lounge really detracted from what I was trying to say, I think).

    2) It looks like part of the problem is that I was trying to address a very specific thing (above) while unwittingly using the language of people who were trying to decry Carrier’s larger point. Is that a fair characterization?

    3) It also feels like my doggedness in trying to nail down a very minor point with no practical relevance to the situation as it stands now conveyed a certain amount of … something negative.

    I’m not particularly good at communicating in these forums, so a harsh assessment of my communication skills would be welcome for improvement. If you’re feeling altruistic and all that. :)

  178. Hurin, Midnight DJ on the Backwards Music Station says

    SC

    Some wisdom from DBag Chopra ‏on Twitter

    Speaking of, when I was reading literature this weekend, this article in my Journal of Physical Chemistry A ASAP feed blew my mind.

    I guess at least one person with that name actually knows things about physics, and its really too bad that he has to live with the association.

  179. John Morales says

    Chas,

    It’s a common idiom, John, and not worth pedantic mockery.

    The very definition of pedantry is that it’s unnecessary and/or excessive. :)

  180. John Morales says

    I’ve already noted I dislike this concept of A* or A- — boring, plain old atheism should be A° (A-null).

    Specifically, this quotation “are you with us, or with them; are you now a part of the Atheism+ movement, or do you at least cheer and approve it’s values and aims (since you don’t have to label yourself), or are you going to stick with Atheism Less and its sexism and cruelty and irrationality?” expresses a false dichotomy — a clear case of the undistributed middle fallacy.

  181. John Morales says

    PatrickG:

    I’m not particularly good at communicating in these forums, so a harsh assessment of my communication skills would be welcome for improvement. If you’re feeling altruistic and all that. :)

    You asked for it:

    1. I see nothing poor about your communication skills, rather the contrary — they’re above-par in general (and par for this place).

    2. The ideas that you communicate are typically what people dispute, leaving aside jocular snipes such as mine above*.

    3**. This ain’t just Pharyngula, but the Thunderdome!

    (For some of us, the exercise of combative disputatiousness is its raisin date!)

    * You took it in the spirit in which it was offered, so kudos for that.

    ** Unsolicited but not irrelevant.

  182. PatrickG says

    @ John Morales:

    Heh. I can’t take anything seriously from someone who disses World of Warcraft.

    But really, this isn’t the first time I feel I’ve done a terrible job of communicating. Given the abilities of people around here, I tend to think that failure falls on me. In any case, opportunity for me to refine my skillset. :)

  183. John Morales says

    PatrickG:

    Heh. I can’t take anything seriously from someone who disses World of Warcraft.

    Well then, on that basis, you have no reason to not take anything I say seriously.

  184. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ SC (Salty Current), OM

    [re: reply to James Croft]

    My problem with the religious is less that they lie, per se, but that they deny this and try and push their worldview as true. My problem with science is that… well… I get the very strong impression that it is incapable (perhaps through its robustness and strict search for truth. Its very groundedness in observable reality) to capture all we, as humans, need in order to fully blossom. What is this that is missing?

    Lies (of the type I now describe) are not necessarily bad. A simple game of tennis is based on a lie. That we are somehow bound by a set of rules. We can accept these, know that this set of rules we choose to impose on ourselves are man-made – arbitrary almost. But the benefits I need hardly list. I am not literally bound by these rules, but knowing the benefits of maintaining them, for a few sets, reaps such benefits.

    Not to mention the problems we shall have in artistic expression if we maintain a strictly scientific (or religious) world view. Trying to wrestle the ambiguities and contradictions of our humanity onto a page will never occur (in my opinion) via science (or religion). We must resort to other modes of expression. We must, at times, let go of “literal” truths.

    Michael Axworthy ¹ discusses the (religious)love poetry of the Sufi:

    This reed relates a tortuous path ahead,
    Recalls the love with which Majnoun’s heart bled:
    The few who hear the truths the reed has sung
    Have lost their wits so they may speak this tongue…

    (Majnoun = the protagonist here but is also Arabic for crazy.) The poet suggests we cannot grow without letting go of the “certainties” of religion (and by extention any certainties- even those of science. He ² goes so far to suggest a religion of love is the most appropriate to the realities described by science.)

    The religious experience does not have to be the hog-tied experience that it is (at least in contemporary monotheism). It certainly should not even claim to be true in any scientific sense. (Paganism even went so far to openly admit it was false.) Rather, like an art or a sport it may be an exercise, a challenge to think freely and train our aspirations. Perhaps I should not even use the word “religion”.

    R+, anyone?

    ¹ StevoR – If you spew bigoted bullshit about Iran after reading the book, you will get your nose rubbed in it.

    ² “… what could be more appropriate to an intellectual world that has abandoned creationism for evolution theory, than a religion of love? Darwinism and evolutionary theory have demonstrated the intense focus of all life on the act of reproduction, the act of love.” (We must note that this has often been a cornerstone of early religions. He seems to refer to the views of Sufism.)

  185. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ John Morales

    FIFY:

    This ain’t just Pharyngula, but the Thunderdome!

    Pharyngula+

    /pedant

  186. John Morales says

    theophontes, what is Sufism, if not religous?

    Perhaps I should not even use the word “religion”.

    Only ‘perhaps’?

  187. PatrickG says

    all we, as humans, need in order to fully blossom.

    Herein, I think, lies the problem I have with your argument. Is it necessary to explain everything outside of the grounded experience of science? Is it necessary to have a religious experience?

    I just don’t get that. Is it not sufficient to ground ourselves first then see what develops?

    I tend to view phrases such as “religion of love” with a healthy dose of skepticism. What does that even mean? Has humanity ever seen a religion of love?

    Certainly, I try to view the universe through a lens of facts first, opinion later. I may not be very good at it, but that’s honestly the only “religious experience” I need. I live now. I will die. I hope to leave a lasting impact before then. Nothing in those statements requires some sort of metaphysical truth.

    To expand: What, then, is portentous? Is it not simply our experience? Is not the simple fact of existence sufficient? Should not the fact that we simply exist be sufficient? As we discover more and more levels of reality through the science you so callously disregard, can we not admit that a quest for religious meaning is ultimately fruitless? We are simply not equipped to tackle the grand questions of the universe at this stage, and that’s fine by me.

    Why do we need to invent worlds of fantasy in order to simply be? We don’t need a religious experience to demonstrate that our experiential knowledge leads us to certain conclusions.

    A quest for meaning is simply self-referential.

  188. PatrickG says

    And a quick addition:

    Not to mention the problems we shall have in artistic expression if we maintain a strictly scientific (or religious) world view.

    If you think a strictly scientific world view will restrict artistic expression, I just call WRONG WRONG WRONG. No need for citations, this should be self-evident.

    Artistic expression will happen no matter what worldview is imposed. Humans creating expression for other humans has been an intrinsic component of our cultural histories for a very long time now. We do not need a “world view” for humans to create.

  189. PatrickG says

    Hrmm, curious A.R… is theophontes a known troll? The timing makes me unsure of what you’re referring to.

  190. John Morales says

    1. “Is not the simple fact of existence sufficient?”

    2. “We are simply not equipped to tackle the grand questions of the universe at this stage, and that’s fine by me.”

    3. “A quest for meaning is simply self-referential.”*

    (Incoherence is incoherent)

    * Not if one is meaningless.

  191. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ John Morales

    Only ‘perhaps’?

    I always have some problem with the word “religion”. I understand what it is, under the large umbrella of “religion”, that I wish to contrast but conventional descriptors do not quite fit. Greek Paganism is a religion, as is Islam. But the dialectic pagan|monotheism does not draw the line in the right place. Sufism may lie within Islam, but it certainly has (at least had) quite a different take on things:


    Might they open the doors of the wineshops
    And loosen their hold on our knotted lives?
    If shut to satisfy the ego of the puritan
    Take heart, for they will reopen to please God.¹

    Contrast that, for example with the views of a Wahhabist (on every level of meaning of the poem – wine, religion, love …) with regard to this very same poem.

    I could perhaps differentiate between “religion” (lower case: producer of “knotted lives”) and “Religion” (upper case: humane, doubting, human-made, reaching from a humanist perspective to strive for (non-metaphysical) ideals). These are very different tendencies that tend to get lumped under the same term.

    ¹ Hafez

  192. John Morales says

    PatrickG:

    is theophontes a known troll?

    <snicker>

    Seriously — theophontes is Molly material.

    (You too might be, one day. But not yet)

  193. PatrickG says

    Fair enough, John. I was attempting to tackle some questions raised by theophontes with no more than an “I’m here, I’m self-aware, I really don’t think religion is necessary” approach.

    I tend to come down on the “seriously, why ask? We’re just here” side, I guess. I don’t see the need for meaning, outside of individual/communal experience. Things are, we are, etc etc.

  194. John Morales says

    theophontes, we crossed (just making it clear my #259 was written before I’d seen your #258).

    So… religion ain’t mysticism, and mysticism ain’t religion, but Sufism is religious mysticism.

    (Fact)

    Also, I see Sufism as the Islamic version of Kabbalism — feel free to correct my perception.

  195. A. R says

    Hmm, clearly the problem in in one of the circuits that controls the nature of the bait… Any idea theophontes?

  196. John Morales says

    PatrickG:

    I don’t see the need for meaning, outside of individual/communal experience. Things are, we are, etc etc.

    You perfectly adumbrate my own stance, but given that, whence your “grand questions of the universe” claim?

    (Therein the incoherence to which I have referred)

  197. PatrickG says

    Seriously — theophontes is Molly material.

    Thanks for the info. :) I’m up late and just reviewing some interview material, so perhaps I read theophontes as being rather vague.

    @ Theophontes: I don’t understand your point with the tennis analogy. The rules don’t matter outside of a constrained experience. If someone brings a rifle to a tennis match, well, then, the tennis court is sort of compromised, no? The game of tennis is not a lie simply because participants voluntarily agree to be constrained.

    Similarly, I don’t understand why you imply science can’t answer the most important questions, and why:

    The religious experience does not have to be the hog-tied experience that it is

    I just don’t get that. Every (major) religion I’m aware of relies on the hog-tying. And really, the conflation of science and religion in your quoted comment… just, um, no. I strongly reject that.

    The poet suggests we cannot grow without letting go of the “certainties” of religion (and by extention any certainties- even those of science.

    The certainties of science are, well, rather certain. Verifiable. The certainties of religion… not so much. Letting go of the certainties of science leads to Deepak Chopra assuming ultimate control of the universe. :P

    Perhaps I should not even use the word “religion”.

    Perhaps. My charitable interpretation would be that you’re attempting to find a different medium of, what, aspiration?

    Addendum: John Morales commented while I wrote this, with:

    You perfectly adumbrate my own stance, but given that, whence your “grand questions of the universe” claim?

    All I meant by that is that we (as humanity) are currently discovering things, in many realms. We have no clue how things “really work”, therefore claims as to how they might work are extremely premature. Given that religious expression of any kind makes truth statements about the universe… um, no. We just don’t know. Yet.

    As we learn more, we know more. That’s all I was trying to say.

  198. PatrickG says

    @ John (again):

    Perhaps a better way to put that is that science can establish a reality in which, say, diesel emissions resulting in ambient concentrations of PM10 above a certain level cause severe health impacts.

    Religion makes no comparable claims, other than creation, existence, and purpose. Yeah, that’s similar.

  199. John Morales says

    PatrickG, good response.

    I’m a bit leery of this thing about the “grand questions” which religions pretend to address given their teleological implications (e.g. what is life’s purpose? what is the meaning of existence?).

    (Ruffle my feathers, they do)

  200. John Morales says

    [meta + OT]

    PatrickG, are you being insomniac and palliating its effects via your current participation here?

    (Here in Oz, it’s 1454)

  201. PatrickG says

    @ theophontes:

    Heh, I posted without seeing your latest, and I enjoyed the subtext of your comment.

    You have my permission to verbally fuck me (this IS a terrible place), but I can’t speak for the horse, wooden or not.

    I still don’t see the overall point you’re trying to make, unless it’s that humans are incapable of assuming semi-rational positions without the specter of God/gods/the universe/karma/reincarnation/cycle of life/Deepak Chopra (whose position is so incoherent (h/t John Morales) as to be incomprehensible).

    @ John Morales:

    Well, yeah, I tend to go with the “no purpose, no meaning” approach. “Here we are. What do we do with it?” seems much more applicable than “We are here for a REASON”.

  202. PatrickG says

    PatrickG, are you being insomniac and palliating its effects via your current participation here?

    Not so much. Though I do think this is illustrative of how i get drawn into conversations, and might be an excellent opportunity for me to learn how to not present that image. :)

    My working schedule (despite looking for a new job) is irregular. Right now I’m looking at the behavior of sulfate emissions and subsequent interaction with various emission inventories in a particular area as precursors to ambient concentrations of PM10. Which, again, has fuckall to do with religion. ;)

    I should probably close my mail client so I don’t become distracted. And yet…

  203. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ PatrickG

    Is it necessary to explain everything outside of the grounded experience of science?

    This is not what I am saying at all. I have profound respect for science. Indeed it might give us most of what we need. But as far as it goes, it does not address all aspects of our humanity. We do need to contend with doubt, ambiguities, choices … science can help us only so far. (Can you, for example, “scientifically” grasp the poem I posted above?)

    Is it necessary to have a religious experience?

    No. Also, as I expressed, the term “religious experience” covers too much. Can we benefit by a non-scientific (even false, hell it is even implied) approach to matters? Yes we can (chess, cards, tennis, theatre, music… have many arbitrary rules governing. We could live without these. Many salafists, for example, do.) Can we strive to specific outcomes without making choices, rules and the like?

    Is it not sufficient to ground ourselves first then see what develops?

    Stand in the middle of the road and ask me again.

    Has humanity ever seen a religion of love?

    Dude, start reading more. Most religions revolve around fucking.

    Nothing in those statements requires some sort of metaphysical truth.

    No need for “metaphysical truth” – I gave the example that many Pagans (another eg: Julian, The Apostate) did not care that their religious tales were nothing other than tales. They accepted their falsity. You could win Wimbledon without believing tennis rules to be literally or “metaphysically true”.

    Why do we need to invent worlds of fantasy in order to simply be?

    Again, read up on the ancient Greeks. It is also not about “to simply be” but to elevate our entire civilisation. (You might, by the same token, also ask what the point is of humanism or A+ is.)

    No need for citations

    How very un-scientific of you.

  204. John Morales says

    <pokes AJ Milne>

    (I suspect Gutenberg would be buying shares in would have founded Amazon.com! :) )

    PS — Gotta love this place!

  205. John Morales says

    chigau, you can be the old biddy, I can be the old fart, and we can wax nostalgic together.

    (Feel the love!)

  206. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ John Morales

    religion ain’t mysticism, and mysticism ain’t religion, but Sufism is religious mysticism.

    {thinks} Mmmmmmmmmm….nnnnnnhhhh… NAH! (No bannana.)

    Also, I see Sufism as the Islamic version of Kabbalism — feel free to correct my perception.

    No problem there (I am no specialist). If I thought Sufism got it all right, I’d be a Sufi. I am not. (To me, it raises questions rather than solutions.)

    @ AR

    Have you tried a wooden horse?

    @ John Morales

    [no need for meaning] You perfectly adumbrate my own stance

    I see no need to get off the couch. (“meaning” in terms of goals.)

    @ PatrickG

    The game of tennis is not a lie simply because participants voluntarily agree to be constrained.

    The rules of tennis are essentially arbitrary. (religious rules are too. The lie is that they are claimed to be true.)

    Every (major) religion I’m aware of relies on the hog-tying.

    This is quite simply false. I have given examples already.

    conflation of science and religion

    I suggest you look into the origins of both.

    The certainties of science

    Science only aspires to certainties.

    aspiration

    More than that. But, yes, that would be an important word.

    diesel emissions resulting in ambient concentrations of PM10 above a certain level cause severe health impacts.

    You must be so much fun on a date… XD

    Religion [ed: I assume you mean “religion”]makes no comparable claims, other than creation, existence, and purpose…

    *eyeroll*

  207. PatrickG says

    @ theophontes:

    My kingdom for a blockquote within blockquote response feature.

    Is it necessary to explain everything outside of the grounded experience of science?

    This is not what I am saying at all. I have profound respect for science. Indeed it might give us most of what we need. But as far as it goes, it does not address all aspects of our humanity. We do need to contend with doubt, ambiguities, choices … science can help us only so far. (Can you, for example, “scientifically” grasp the poem I posted above?)

    To answer your last question, um, yes? I interpreted that (based on your link) to be calling out the hypocrisy of closing wineshops in the name of God, then reopening them due to God’s “re-conversion”. Now, I might be wrong. You can correct me based on recorded fact. Science!

    Is it necessary to have a religious experience?

    No. Also, as I expressed, the term “religious experience” covers too much. Can we benefit by a non-scientific (even false, hell it is even implied) approach to matters? Yes we can (chess, cards, tennis, theatre, music… have many arbitrary rules governing. We could live without these. Many salafists, for example, do.) Can we strive to specific outcomes without making choices, rules and the like?

    I never said science and choice were contradictory. I don’t understand this objection. To be very clear, I’ve made multiple references to the fact that PM10 in the atmosphere is harmful to human health. That’s science, indisputably. Choice enters when we decide whether that’s acceptable.

    If I choose to play a chess game, I am voluntarily submitting to the arbitrary constraints of, e.g. how a knight moves. If I choose to play tennis, I am voluntarily submitting to the concept of the serve. So what? These are trivial examples in which the choices have no implication beyond the realm of the game. How do you go from that to Salafists, particularly since people claiming that moniker are demonstrably involved in some rather horrific activities? (No citations, deliberately. I recommend Google.)

    More generally, are you seriously arguing that we should make decisions about conditions that affect humans and the environment on grounds other than scientifically reasoned positions? Because, um, no. Not acceptable, in my view.

    Is it not sufficient to ground ourselves first then see what develops?

    Stand in the middle of the road and ask me again.

    Uh, what? I’m fairly sure that an empirical grasp of reality would say “DO NOT STAND IN MIDDLE OF ROAD”. That’s… materially evident.

    I’m not going to stand near an active source of radiation without adequate protection, either. Because, you know, SCIENCE. It informs us.

    Has humanity ever seen a religion of love?

    Dude, start reading more. Most religions revolve around fucking.

    So fucking and love are the same thing. Wow. Just.. Wow.

    I got nothing here. Just dumbfounded.

    Nothing in those statements requires some sort of metaphysical truth.

    No need for “metaphysical truth” – I gave the example that many Pagans (another eg: Julian, The Apostate) did not care that their religious tales were nothing other than tales. They accepted their falsity. You could win Wimbledon without believing tennis rules to be literally or “metaphysically true”.

    Um, accepting falsity of tales means what now? If the tales are false, why tell them? If Pagans told demonstrably false tales, that doesn’t speak well of Pagans. Why not just speak true tales? There are plenty of those around.

    Why do we need to invent worlds of fantasy in order to simply be?

    Again, read up on the ancient Greeks. It is also not about “to simply be” but to elevate our entire civilisation. (You might, by the same token, also ask what the point is of humanism or A”+” is.)

    I’m fairly sure my entire argument was that we look around, examine what is and move on from there. Hence, the point of humanism or A+. We look around, say “wow, that’s not cool”, and suggest alternatives. This has nothing to do with the ancient Greeks, except insofar as philosophical thought informs our worldview. However, this does not mean that the Greeks were right about everything. We can use some portions of Aristotle while simultaneously saying he was fucking wrong about some things.

    No need for citations

    How very un-scientific of you.

    You’re fucking joking, right? I asserted that the human capacity for creativity was not dependent on tradition, and you’re seriously going to argue this? To wit, my exact quote was:

    Humans creating expression for other humans has been an intrinsic component of our cultural histories for a very long time now.

    Humans have always expressed themselves in the artistic medium of their time. It’s sort of what we do, as evidenced in one case by the poem you linked above. If you sincerely want to dispute this point, I refer you to the concept of “cave paintings”. Without citations, because if I need to cite that, you’re incapable of doing independent research (i.e. google), and I see no need to cite ANYTHING.

    And on that note, I’ve finished my analysis of various VOC emissions in a confined air basin, with regard to impact on particulate matter concentrations. So I’m off to bed, secure in the knowledge that the work I’ve done there was actually scientifically based, and in no way involved Pagan stories that were acknowledged to be untrue. If you want to continue this, I’ll return tomorrow.

  208. PatrickG says

    @ theophontes:

    I see you responded to my post with nothing but clipped words and eyerolls. Also, my partner thinks I’m quite fun on a date, because I don’t talk about PM10 concentrations then. What the fuck is wrong with you?

    If you have anything substantive to say to my longer response, I’ll be all eyes tomorrow.

    @ John Morales:

    Molly worthy? Seriously? Ze accused me of discussing PARTICULATE MATTER on a date!

  209. PatrickG says

    @ John Morales:

    While brushing my teeth in preparation for bed, I found myself obsessing over this particular gem of a turd:

    Has humanity ever seen a religion of love?

    Dude, start reading more. Most religions revolve around fucking.

    I mean. What. The. Fuck. No pun intended!

    I’m going back to Theophontes being a known troll, because nobody but nobody who reads FTB could ever make that argument seriously. Fucking = love? Really? Just… as I said in my original comment… Wow.

    Your Molly comment was a joke, right? I must know! :D

  210. chigau (違わない) says

    John Morales
    Biddies can fart but can farts biddy?

    theophontes.
    The weather is lovely tonight.

  211. consciousness razor says

    Your biggest complaint with science seems to be that it isn’t art. Isn’t that what art is for?

    And aren’t the fine arts what religion is not for? And why are we equating those all of a sudden, or trying to shove everything into either “science” or “religion”? And why are we assuming a mimetic theory of art?

    And? And? The rest of this conversation has just been … inscrutable.

  212. says

    are you now a part of the Atheism+ movement, or do you at least cheer and approve it’s values and aims (since you don’t have to label yourself), or are you going to stick with Atheism Less and its sexism and cruelty and irrationality?” expresses a false dichotomy — a clear case of the undistributed middle fallacy.

    Them’s fighting words! I’d like to see what you think the middle term here is, how it is not distributed, and how that syllogism would look. Pretty please?

  213. says

    I’m asking because it looks to me like another syllogism, one that goes like this:

    All arguments with undistributed middle terms are bad arguments.
    This is a bad argument.
    Therefore, this argument has an undistributed middle.

    ;)

  214. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    theophontes,

    Lies (of the type I now describe) are not necessarily bad. A simple game of tennis is based on a lie. That we are somehow bound by a set of rules. We can accept these, know that this set of rules we choose to impose on ourselves are man-made – arbitrary almost. But the benefits I need hardly list. I am not literally bound by these rules, but knowing the benefits of maintaining them, for a few sets, reaps such benefits.

    This is complete crap. In deciding to play tennis, we are committing ourselves to act in certain ways, namely to abide by the rules. We are not asserting or committing ourselves to any proposition whatsoever, let alone to a lie. Disputes may arise about whether certain acts are within the rules, but these are matters of fact, although established by convention: just as the name of London is indeed “London”, although that is established by convention.

    R+, anyone?

    No thanks. Bullshit+ is still bullshit, only more so.

    I could perhaps differentiate between “religion” (lower case: producer of “knotted lives”) and “Religion” (upper case: humane, doubting, human-made, reaching from a humanist perspective to strive for (non-metaphysical) ideals). These are very different tendencies that tend to get lumped under the same term.

    You could, but it would still just be more bullshit. Until relatively recently, non-religious ways of formulating and pursuing ideals, as well as of understanding reality, were rudimentary. Now, they are not. Religion is, at best, simply not needed any more. Usually, it’s a tool of obfuscation and oppression.

    Has humanity ever seen a religion of love? – PatrickG

    Dude, start reading more. Most religions revolve around fucking. – theophontes

    If that was an attempt at humour, it wasn’t funny. If you were being serious, it was just stupid.

  215. John Morales says

    rorschach, sorry, was AFK.

    [1] I’d like to see what you think the middle term here is, [2] how it is not distributed, and [3] how that syllogism would look.

    Sure:
    1. The middle is neither A+ nor A-, but A°.

    (Whose atheism neither informs nor motivates either social progressiveness nor conservatism; i.e. such as I)¹

    2. The distribution is those who are proponents, those who approve, those who neither approve nor disapprove, those who disapprove, and those who are antithetical.

    3. The syllogism goes like this:

    All A+ followers are atheists and progressive activists.
    Some atheists are not progressive activists.
    Therefore, not all atheists are progressive activists.

    It does not go like this:
    All A+ followers are atheists and for progressive activism.
    Some atheists are A+ followers.
    Therefore, all non-A+ followers are anti-progressive activists.

    ¹ A+ implies atheism plus something, but A- implies atheism less something — but what is there to take away from atheism, other than itself? :)

  216. strange gods before me ॐ says

    H/T someone who I wonder/think/worry might prefer not be named these days.

    Carson McCullers:

    First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.

    Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

    It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.

  217. John Morales says

    ॐ quotes someone:

    First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons [blah]

    Then and there it goes wrong, since this implies that one cannot love someone who remains unaware of one’s love for them.

    (IOW: Either the strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw partakes of this experience or he doesn’t love her.

    Bah)

  218. says

    “Middle term” does not refer to the middle of something between two extremes, it refers to a term that appears in both premises but never the conclusion of a categorical syllogism.(but you know that?)

    No heroes are cowards.
    Some soldiers are cowards.
    Therefore some soldiers are not heroes.

    Where “cowards” is the middle term.

    So looks like my @289 applies…:P

    *obnoxious nitpick mode*

  219. AshPlant says

    Holy fucking shit, sgbm, that’s one of the best things I’ve ever read. What work is it from?

  220. John Morales says

    AshPlant, Google is mysterious to you?

    Here: Copy a slab of that and paste it into the Google search bar and perform a search; magic will ensue.

  221. Beatrice says

    It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover.

    Really? Huh.

  222. says

    Argh, what a complete and utter wanker this Pribble guy is. Keeping his options open to both sides, so the biggies from both camps can pimp his little pathetic blog enterprise. And they happily oblige. Flag, meet wind.

    There seems to be a trend among atheists to conflate their disbelief in God or gods with a need to be activists in areas concerning social justice. I’m sure any atheist who actively voices their opinions about religion will have noticed this. To tell you the truth, I can see exactly where this comes from, and why it is important to many, but I can also see why people are pushing back against it.

    Shorter Pribble: Blablabla, as long as you link to me I’ll write anything and will stay clear from having a position so as to not offend any of my benefactors.

    So I support what A+ are doing, but I will not wear the label myself; I’m quite happy doing things the way I already do them.

    Shorter Pribble: fap,fap,fap, moar links please, Zvan or Blackford, it’s all the same to me anyway.

    /rant

  223. Beatrice says

    There seems to be a trend among atheists to conflate their disbelief in God or gods with a need to be activists in areas concerning social justice. I’m sure any atheist who actively voices their opinions about religion will have noticed this. To tell you the truth, I can see exactly where this comes from, and why it is important to many, but I can also see why people are pushing back against it.

    Yeah, it’s totally understandable that people are pushing back against somebody else’s desire to do activist work.
    No, actually it’s not.

  224. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    John Morales @293:

    [blah]

    Heh. You’re such a grump. I sometimes wonder if you’re channeling Phil, the curmudgeon from Murphy Brown. Then I think, nah, can’t be. You would have eventually taken our drinks order.

    /kidding

    Me: *Channeling Eldin, perpetually unfinished at everything*

  225. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ PatrickG

    Now, I might be wrong. You can correct me based on recorded fact. Science!

    Mmmh, that is an unusual interpretation. We have four now – how do we choose?

    I never said science and choice were contradictory. They are generally not. Science can be a very good way to reach decisions or make choices. My concern is that it can only take us that far. At some time we may need to make a leap of faith. (But this only if we seek to make a break with what has gone before. You can easily live your life without ever doing such.)

    These are trivial examples in which the choices have no implication beyond the realm of the game.

    I was refering to the game of life.

    Salafists

    Many are against all the liberal arts. (There was for example the case of Afghanies being killed recently for dancing.) Is dance “scientific”? Do we subsume poetry under that monicker too?

    More generally, are you seriously arguing that we should make decisions about conditions that affect humans and the environment on grounds other than scientifically reasoned positions?

    Oh yes, definitely. What if it makes them happy? (Do we not all do things that are “scientifically” awful for us. I certainly do.)

    That’s… materially evident.

    That’s … metaphorically not.

    So fucking and love are the same thing. Wow. Just.. Wow.

    No. Love is in no way/never related to sex? That is going a little far. Religions have grown up inter alia around the need for reproduction and plenty. The connection made between sex and fecundity (not just children and animals but also crops), is a very old one – and long tied to religious ceremony. Predates them even.

    If the tales are false, why tell them?

    Ask any librarian, ask Hollywood, ask thousands of years of storytellers. (This is actually a good topic to expand upon. For now I just note that it appears most people have a ferocious appetite for fiction in all its forms.)

    [Pagan tales] Why not just speak true tales? There are plenty of those around.

    I suspect that a lot of the inspiration came from real events. What was important though, was that they could project their stories into the future. The tales would need to be told of a higher level of perfection than could be found in more everyday, more prozaic tales (even if these had the destinction of being true.)

    move on from there

    To where? The ancient Greeks knew. And we are very thankful for that. (You might rather point out that the whole initiative later exploded in their faces.)

    I see no need to cite ANYTHING.

    Oooh, this will not stand you in good stead in the long run. Not on Pharyngula.

    [Pagan stories] If you want to continue this, I’ll return tomorrow.

    My favourite pasttime (No problem, these discussions are ongoing. We likely cannot find common ground in just a handful of posts.)

    clipped words and eyerolls

    Good point. If you do not understand my point, I should repeat the points more carefully rather than getting frustrated.

    John Morales:

    Molly worthy? Seriously?

    Water under the bridge actually.

    @ Ing

    Your biggest complaint with science seems to be that it isn’t art. Isn’t that what art is for?

    I cannot, and do not, really expect that of science. Can anyone? The two together though can grasp far more. There is indeed an aspect of the Dionysian|Apollonian in all of this.

    (& The Greek example was yet more embracing still.)

    @ chigau

    32 degrees C, every single day, all day :(

  226. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ KG

    although that is established by convention.

    Almighty Zeus YHWH is the Divine Creator and Ruler of The Universe, although that is established by convention. Though perhaps not for most of us. And non-tennis players.

    No thanks. Bullshit+ is still bullshit, only more so.

    I wish to differentiate between a variety of different religions. In our examples: Greek Religion vs the monotheist religions (and we also brought up humanist tendencies in Sufiism). They are really fundamentally different. (Greek Religion helped bring together science, art and a certain je ne sais quoi … and did it with style. It was an extremely fruitful experiment.)

    Until relatively recently, non-religious ways of formulating and pursuing ideals, as well as of understanding reality, were rudimentary. Now, they are not.

    I smell hubris. (This planet is doing soooo well right now?)

    If that was an attempt at humour, it wasn’t funny. If you were being serious, it was just stupid.

    fucking sex
    /tone-fix

  227. says

    fucking sex

    How about “guilty fucking”? Or “guilty sex”? Most religions have that in their repertoir, at least the non-Bhagwan ones.

  228. PatrickG says

    @ theophontes:

    Oooh, this will not stand you in good stead in the long run. Not on Pharyngula.

    /facepalm

    Given that I cited many a thing upthread, clearly I was using my lack of citations to indicate my basic state of dumbfounded jawdroppage with your entire points. Which, y’know, I made quite clear in the portion you didn’t quote. And really, if I need to cite my assertion that cave paintings exist to rebut your point….

    I never asserted love and sex were mutually exclusive. I took issue with your assertion that religions of love exist because there is a history of religious interest in sex.

    The only final comment I’ll make is that because religion grew up around/with sex and art does not mean that religion is necessary for either. Modes of aesthetics and interpersonal behaviors can exist independently of religious or pseudo-religious expression.

    @ Ing:

    Sorry, full personality reboot incoming. I don’t have a race car, but I might be able to lend you a sailboat. Will that do?

  229. jonmilne says

    So in 1989, Ninety-Six Liverpool fans were killed as a result of a crowd crush during an FA Cup Semi-Final match. Since then, largely thanks to the media, the South Yorkshire Police and occasionally the government, the Liverpool fans who were there that day largely got tarred and feathered and a whole lot of bullshit was claimed about what happened. Well, after 23 years, the Hillsborough Independent Panel has completed its inquiry, and needless to say its findings are damn well interesting and revealing and expose the true extent of corruption. Cameron’s apologised, as have other members of the government, and family members of the victims are said to be relieved that they’ve been proven right about what actually happened. Former Sun editor Kelvin McKenzie has apologised, but he’s universally acknowledged as a fuckwit and his apology is rightfully being seen as too little, too late:

    The Hillsborough disaster occurred when 96 Liverpool fans died after they were crushed within Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final with Nottingham Forest.

    The fans who died had been in two pens of the Leppings Lane terrace. Each pen was separated by fences, including an overhanging barrier designed to prevent pitch invasions. Each pen had a small locked gate that opened onto the pitch.

    The report, compiled by the Hillsborough Independent Panel, said that despite obvious signs of distress, it was a while before the police fully reacted and launched attempts to rescue those who were being crushed.

    CROWD SAFETY
    “It is evident… that the safety of the crowd admitted to the terrace was compromised at every level: access to the turnstiles from the public highway; the condition and adequacy of the turnstiles; the management of the crowd by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) and the Sheffield Wednesday FC (SWFC) stewards; alterations to the terrace, particularly the construction of pens; the condition and placement of crush barriers; access to the central pens via a tunnel descending at a 1 in 6 gradient; emergency egress from the pens via small gates in the perimeter fence; and lack of precise monitoring of crowd capacity within the pens.

    “These deficiencies were well known and further overcrowding problems at the turnstiles in 1987 and on the terrace in 1988 were additional indications of the inherent dangers to crowd safety. The risks were known and the crush in 1989 was foreseeable.”

    OPERATIONAL FAILINGS
    “The flaws in responding to the emerging crisis on the day were rooted in institutional tension within and between organisations.

    “This was reflected in: a policing and stewarding mindset predominantly concerned with crowd disorder; the failure to realise the consequences of opening exit gates to relieve congestion at the turnstiles; the failure to manage the crowd’s entry and allocation between the pens; the failure to anticipate the consequences within the central pens of not sealing the tunnel; the delay in realising that the crisis in the central pens was a consequence of overcrowding rather than crowd disorder.

    “The SYP decision to replace the experienced match commander… just weeks before an FA Cup semi-final, has been previously criticised. None of the documents disclosed to the panel indicated the rationale behind this decision.”

    CUSTOMS AND PRACTICES
    “Throughout the 1980s there was considerable ambiguity about South Yorkshire Police’s and Sheffield Wednesday FC’s crowd management responsibilities within the stadium. The management of the crowd was viewed exclusively through a lens of potential crowd disorder, and this ambiguity was not resolved despite problems at previous semi-finals. SWFC and SYP were unprepared for the disaster that unfolded on the terraces on 15 April 1989.”

    THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE
    “Not only was there delay in recognising that there were mass casualties, the major incident plan was not correctly activated and only limited parts were then put into effect. As a result, rescue and recovery efforts were affected by lack of leadership, co-ordination, prioritisation of casualties and equipment.

    “The emergency response to the Hillsborough disaster has not previously been fully examined, because of the assumption that the outcome for those who died was irretrievably fixed long before they could have been helped.

    “It is not possible to establish whether a more effective emergency response would have saved the life of any one individual who died. Given the evidence disclosed to the panel of more prolonged survival of some people with partial asphyxiation, however, a swifter, more appropriate, better-focused and properly equipped response had the potential to save more lives.”

    THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE
    “During the inquest, the coroner ruled that there should be a cut-off of 3.15pm on the day in relation to medical evidence, arguing that the fate of all those who died after this point had already been determined by earlier events.

    “The panel’s access to all of the relevant records has confirmed that the notion of a single, unvarying and rapid pattern of death in all cases is unsustainable. Some of those who died did so after a significant period of unconsciousness during which they might have been able to be resuscitated, or conversely may have succumbed to a new event such as inappropriate positioning.

    “It is not possible to establish with certainty that any one individual would or could have survived under different circumstances. It is clear, however, that some people who were partially asphyxiated survived, while others did not. It is highly likely that what happened to these individuals after 3.15pm was significant in determining that outcome. On the basis of this disclosed evidence, it cannot be concluded that life or death was inevitably determined by events prior to 3.15pm, or that no new fatal event could have occurred after that time.”

    DEFLECTION OF BLAME
    “It is evident from the disclosed documents that from the outset SYP sought to establish a case emphasising exceptional levels of drunkenness and aggression among Liverpool fans, alleging that many arrived at the stadium late, without tickets and determined to force entry.

    “Eight years after the disaster it was revealed publicly for the first time that statements made by SYP officers were initially handwritten as ‘recollections’, then subjected to a process of ‘review and alteration’ involving SYP solicitors and a team of SYP officers.

    “Some 116 of the 164 statements identified for substantive amendment were amended to remove or alter comments unfavourable to SYP.”

    THE HEADLINES
    The panel also looked at the allegations of blame levelled against Liverpool fans in some newspapers, including The Sun.

    “The documents disclosed to the panel show that the origin of these serious allegations was a local Sheffield press agency informed by several SYP officers, an SYP Police Federation spokesperson and a local MP.

    “They also demonstrate how the SYP Police Federation, supported informally by the SYP chief constable, sought to develop and publicise a version of events that focused on several police officers’ allegations of drunkenness, ticketlessness and violence among a large number of Liverpool fans. This extended beyond the media to Parliament.

    “Yet, from the mass of documents, television and CCTV coverage disclosed to the panel there is no evidence to support these allegations other than a few isolated examples of aggressive or verbally abusive behaviour clearly reflecting frustration and desperation.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-19577033

    More news as the thing happens can be found above.

  230. ChasCPeterson says

    I just ♥ to read blanket statement about ‘human nature’ before breakfast.

    I know! Clearly each of is is a special snowflake.

  231. David Marjanović says

    SC: Your reply to Croft is great.

    Bingo. But why, SC, did you turn name/URL commenting off?

    (Not that it matters in this case. I just wanted to write “Bingo.”)

    Speaking of, when I was reading literature this weekend, this article in my Journal of Physical Chemistry A ASAP feed blew my mind.

    I guess at least one person with that name actually knows things about physics, and its really too bad that he has to live with the association.

    Wow.

    Also surprising: a biography in a scientific journal?

    My problem with science is that… well… I get the very strong impression that it is incapable (perhaps through its robustness and strict search for truth. Its very groundedness in observable reality) to capture all we, as humans, need in order to fully blossom.

    ~:-| Why is that a problem? That’s not its job description. :-|

    Besides, strictly speaking, science isn’t a search for truth. It’s a search for all falsehood. Truth can be found, if at all, only by elimination – and good luck proving you’ve eliminated all alternatives.

    Paganism even went so far to openly admit it was false.

    many Pagans (another eg: Julian, The Apostate) did not care that their religious tales were nothing other than tales. They accepted their falsity.

    From what I can find on Wikipedia, Julian the Apostate “viewed the traditional myths as allegories, in which the ancient gods were aspects of a philosophical divinity.” That’s more like Choprawoo than like Bokononism. “Don’t take them too literally, appreciate the truth that lies behind them” isn’t the same as “it’s all false”.

    “… what could be more appropriate to an intellectual world that has abandoned creationism for evolution theory, than a religion of love? Darwinism and evolutionary theory have demonstrated the intense focus of all life on the act of reproduction, the act of love.”

    BZZZT! Metaphor fail.

    First, there is no focus. There is no person that focuses on stuff. Evolution just happens. Evolution is a simple process, like crystallization, not like a mind.

    Second, this equation of reproduction with love is shaky even for humans – let alone birch trees that simply wank into the wind that waves their ovaries. The colon bacteria in Lenski’s experiment would laugh, but they don’t seem to bother.

    (Also, “Darwinism and evolutionary theory” is a red flag of someone who throws technical terms around without being quite sure what they mean.)

    You want poetry? Cuttlefish.

    I’m a bit leery of this thing about the “grand questions” which religions pretend to address given their teleological implications (e.g. what is life’s purpose? what is the meaning of existence?).

    Bingo. As far as I can see, these questions are themselves wrong. Why would anybody think life has a purpose or existence has a meaning? I sincerely don’t get it.

    … Here in Oz, it’s 1454.

    Cool…

    Listen, if Gutenberg is selling any shares, buy in.

    Heh.

    That’s perhaps why, outside the anglosphere, it’s spelled 14:54.

    rajsomething

    kumar

    […] most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover.

    [citation needed]

    No. Love is in no way/never related to sex? That is going a little far.

    Your source equated them.

    Greek Religion helped bring together science, art and a certain je ne sais quoi … and did it with style. It was an extremely fruitful experiment.

    Where’s the science in it?

    I just ♥ to read blanket statement about ‘human nature’ before breakfast.

    I know! Clearly each of is is a special snowflake.

    The complaint is that most blanket statements about “human nature” are made by people who blithely generalize from themselves and then never test the resulting hypotheses.

  232. cm's changeable moniker says

    allegations of blame levelled against Liverpool fans in some newspapers, including The Sun

    That’s an understatement. Blame and worse. *grrr*

  233. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    theophontes,

    YHWH is the Divine Creator and Ruler of The Universe, although that is established by convention.

    No, it isn’t. It’s false. The rules of tennis are neither true nor false, because they are not propositions. I recommend a course in elementary logic.

    Greek Religion helped bring together science, art and a certain je ne sais quoi … and did it with style. It was an extremely fruitful experiment.

    Citation needed: I know of no reason to think that Greek religion had anything to do with the somewhat faltering steps toward science that occurred in the classical world. You might also like to consider the way Greek religion treated women, which I consider rather more important than your “je ne sais quoi” – which, since you admittedly don’t know what it is, I see no reason to take seriously.

    Until relatively recently, non-religious ways of formulating and pursuing ideals, as well as of understanding reality, were rudimentary. Now, they are not.

    I smell hubris. (This planet is doing soooo well right now?)

    I smell stupidity. The danger to human civilization and the biosphere (the planet’s not in any trouble), is primarily a result of socioeconomic forces: both the necessary ideals (human equality, respect for other species, long-term sustainability) and the necessary understanding of reality to deal with these problems have been developed, and are in no way dependent on religion); and secondarily of irrationalism: specifically, refusal to accept uncomfortable facts* – a prime characteristic of religion through the ages. Indeed, you will find religious beliefs well to the fore in AGW denialism.

    * Supplied, of course, by science.

  234. chigau (違わない) says

    …wank into the wind that waves their ovaries…

    There must be someone who can write a love song including those lyrics.
    :) :) :)

  235. cm's changeable moniker says

    This was fun, though. Review of “Homo Mysterious: Evolutionary Puzzles of Human Nature” (evo-psych book):

    Indeed, the guilty secret of psychology and of behavioral economics is that their experiments and surveys are conducted almost entirely with people from Western, industrialized countries, mostly of college age, and very often students of psychology at colleges in the United States. This is particularly unfortunate for evolutionary psychologists, who are trying to find universal features of our species. American college kids, whatever their charms, are a laughable proxy for Homo sapiens. The relatively few experiments conducted in non-Western cultures suggest that the minds of American students are highly unusual in many respects, including their spatial cognition, responses to optical illusions, styles of reasoning, coöperative behavior, ideas of fairness, and risk-taking strategies. Joseph Henrich and his colleagues at the University of British Columbia concluded recently that U.S. college kids are “one of the worst subpopulations one could study” when it comes to generalizing about human psychology. Their main appeal to evolutionary psychologists is that they’re readily available.

    :-)

  236. ChasCPeterson says

    Well, sure, but the Western-college-kids criticism applies to all kinds of psychology, not just the evil evolutionary ones.

  237. consciousness razor says

    ~:-| Why is that a problem? That’s not its job description. :-|

    Besides, strictly speaking, science isn’t a search for truth. It’s a search for all falsehood.

    :-|

    That’s not its job description either. At least, whether it searches for it or not, it’s not going to find all “falsehood,” strictly speaking, whether that comes with a capital F or not.

  238. ChasCPeterson says

    I’m reading the book review linked above.

    all these differences, and more, can be explained as the traces of behavior that would have enabled our distant ancestors to leave more descendants. Many such explanations arise from the idea that males have more to gain than females do by seeking a large number of mates—a notion that is ultimately based on experiments with fruit flies in 1948.

    bullshit.
    Sexual selection theory was developed by Darwin and Huxley. Bateman’s fruitfly work was an early experimental test of the hypootheses. They have been tested hundreds of times since, on hundreds of species, in the lab and in the field. most recent big review

    It doesn’t make any practical difference exactly how our traits became established. All that matters is that they are there.

    Because science is all about practical, human-applicable knowledge only.

    eh. SOS.

  239. 42oolon says

    For what it is worth I just want to express my anger at what has happened to Jen McCreight. Grrr. Fucking GRRRR!

    She seemed be a nice person who gently raised the issue that this atheist/skeptical movement could do better with respect to being a safe welcoming environment for women.

    Saudia Arabia must seem more welcoming to her these days.

    A big “fuck you” to everyone who was mean and ad hominem to her. Shame.

    Going after parents? Really? Worse than childish. Just the worst.

  240. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    *headdesk* Why did I bother to read Cammels with Hammers? Why?

    Why doesn’t he just drop the pretense and just be honest: policing the way someone says something to their “betters”* is WAAAAY more important to him than what is said or why its said or how much its deserved.

    he’s got a 10th level black belt in tone trolling.

    *not his wording, mine.

  241. Beatrice says

    Illuminata,

    Uups, I just linked to that in the Lounge. Probably should have done it here since it’s bound to cause anger.

  242. Beatrice says

    And we’re bullies.

    There’s also that paragraph about religious fundamentalists. I guess that calling a homophobic racist bigot an assclam is almost as bad as wanting to take away someone’s human and civil rights. Or maybe even worse since calling them an assclam is denying “their moral right to freedom of thought and conscience. “

  243. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Molly worthy? Seriously?

    Yes. theophontes says some wonky shit on occasion,* but generally we are lucky to have him.

    *Incidentally, I’ve noticed the only person around here who doesn’t is me.

    Then and there it goes wrong, since this implies that one cannot love someone who remains unaware of one’s love for them.

    Yes, I noticed that inconsistency but was too tired to bother with it. I may chop off the first two sentences in the future.

    […] most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover.

    [citation needed]

    I gave you the citation ;)

    Carson McCullers.

    (Ashplant: evidently The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories, but I haven’t read it.)

  244. PatrickG says

    Illuminata:

    Wow, he’s still going on with that, huh? I figured he’d be done by now. I dropped by there based on your post, and I’m quite amused that apparently it’s ok to call someone “sociopathic”, just not “stupid”.

    You can, without the unethical malice of a degrading insult word more targetedly criticize someone or (usually more accurately only a specific action or set of them) as stubborn, callous, cruel, insensitive, lazy, mean, irresponsible, dangerous, reckless, tyrannical, abusive, dishonest, hypocritical, underhanded, cowardly, two-faced, vindictive, nasty, sociopathic, bigoted, misogynistic, racist, flippant, glib, rude, obnoxious, self-centered, self-absorbed, selfish, narcissistic, greedy, egomaniacal, insecure, hostile, ungrateful, unjust, authoritarian, unfair, etc.

    But never douchebag. Never that. Calling someone a two-faced bigoted sociopath conveys more ethical malice, donchaknow.

    Well, as long as it can be sourced (and really, how do you positively identify someone as a sociopath? I mean, it’s a pretty heavy burden to prove that someone is “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.”)

  245. Beatrice says

    I posted a sarcastic comment there. Is sarcasm allowed or am I trying to deny his moral right to freedom of fucking stupid harmful thought?

  246. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Sarcasm is allowed. Also, telling Fincke he’s talking bullshit is allowed, I think. He said it to me and I said it back to him, and I got the impression he wasn’t just letting me slide because he started it.

  247. cm's changeable moniker says

    Aw, now:

    all these differences, and more, can be explained as the traces of behavior that would have enabled our distant ancestors to leave more descendants. Many such explanations arise from the idea that males have more to gain than females do by seeking a large number of mates—a notion that is ultimately based on experiments with fruit flies in 1948.

    vs.

    These days, what evolutionary psychologists have mainly noted about the sexes is that they look for different things in a mate. The evolutionary psychologists have spent decades administering questionnaires to college students in an effort to confirm their ideas about what sort of partner was desirable in bed before there were beds. […] It is also said that men are much more interested in casual sex; that sexual jealousy works differently for men and women (men are more concerned with sexual fidelity, and women with emotional fidelity); and that all these differences, and more, can be explained […]

    You’re right, but you’re calling bullshit on the wrong bit. ;-)

  248. PatrickG says

    @ sgbm: Thanks for the link and the education. I’m still having jaw problems from how rapidly it dropped on the “religion of love” stuff, though. :)

  249. cm's changeable moniker says

    And:

    most recent big review

    Why have males in many animals evolved more conspicuous ornaments, signals, and weapons than females? How can such traits evolve although they may reduce male survival? Such questions prompted Darwin’s perhaps most scientifically controversial idea–the theory of sexual selection. It still challenges researchers today as they try to understand how competition for mates can favor the variety of sex-dimorphic traits.

    Yikes!

    (Me? I’m a big fan of Dr. Tatiana.)

  250. strange gods before me ॐ says

    PatrickG,

    I’m still having jaw problems from how rapidly it

    He.

    Or they.

    +++++
    chigau,

    At this moment I want to have my littlest toes surgically removed so I can’t stub them ever again. This is a weather report, because my screams carry as much force as several thousand butterfly flaps.

  251. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Has anyone here ever travelled to the DRC? I’m planning a trip, and finding it difficult to get much insight from the interwebz. Really, anything other than CDC and world book information/opinion would be helpful at this point.

  252. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Wow, he’s still going on with that, huh?

    Of course he is. When you’re clearly 100% wrong, the only thing to do with keep digging. obviously, he’s hoping to reach China by Christmas time.

  253. strange gods before me ॐ says

    [Beatrice:] Good job. Calling marginalized people bullies for expressing their anger in a way you don’t approve of is definitely going to help empower them.

    [John Morales:] Can you quote Dan making this claim?

    (I think you are imagining this)

    [me:] Do you believe that responding to a sexist slur by calling the speaker an asshole is bullying the person who made the slur?

    [Daniel Fincke:] YES.

  254. chigau (違わない) says


    My little toes stick out sideways so I don’t so much “stub” them as “catch them on furniture while moving quickly”.
    My cursing is heard by the clouds.

  255. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I can comment intelligently on 0% of any of this, but I do wish to express my sympathy in regards to toe stubbing. I am clumsy, rarely shod, and often inebriated. You could fill a small purse* with toenails that I have lost on door jambs alone. And the blood.
     
    And also, because of my disinclination to wear shoes, I am currently bit up by fire ants.

     

    *one that appeals more to fashion than utility

  256. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    I guess Fincke has to ask himself that question – because there’s no fucking way anyone else would think “Okay, I want to know about how marginalised people should act – I know, I’ll ask a white, middle class philosopher to explain it to me!”

  257. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yeah. And Morales is over there hassling critics with nonsense claims. Morales—what’s in this for you? What’s your goal? What’s the motivation?

    Don’t even try to claim it’s truth for truth’s sake. You know that people can see that you shift allegiances to viewpoints and bloggers in order to get short-term ingratiation goals met, don’t you? In case you didn’t: Yes, we see you doing it.

  258. John Morales says

    [correction]

    ॐ @337, how exactly is Dan claiming it’s going to help empower them, there?

  259. John Morales says

    Josh,

    Morales—what’s in this for you? What’s your goal? What’s the motivation?

    Have I ever hidden it?

    I just like to argue, and I like to have my arguments tested, and I like to express myself.

    Don’t even try to claim it’s truth for truth’s sake.

    Of course not — it’s truth because it’s the most unassailable position to take.

    You know that people can see that you shift allegiances to viewpoints and bloggers in order to get short-term ingratiation goals met, don’t you? In case you didn’t: Yes, we see you doing it.

    What you see is a mirage mediated by your own bias and personal predilection; I have no allegiances to any viewpoints other than my own, and certainly not to any bloggers (I’m not a blogger).

  260. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    I’m trying to guess what terms John Morales would use in place of ‘for the lulz’ – since I’m fairly sure that’s going to be the answer to Josh’s question in #342.

  261. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I just like to argue, and I like to have my arguments tested, and I like to express myself.

    Of course not — it’s truth because it’s the most unassailable position to take.

    There’s something deeply wrong with you. Dr. Soong never installed your empathy chip.

    I don’t know why people put up with you, Morales. You frighten me. You’re the embodiment of amoral and you admit it. I wouldn’t trust you with both hands tied behind your back and your feet cut off.

    You are disgusting.

  262. PatrickG says

    @ SGBM:

    He.

    Or they.

    Well fuck me. Total copy-paste error there on my part. Theophontes, that was not intentional, and I hope you’ll accept my sincere apology.

    Thank you for catching that, SGBM.

  263. PatrickG says

    @ Illuminata:

    he’s hoping to reach China by Christmas time.

    He should dig faster if he wants to meet that deadline. I was honestly surprised to find he hadn’t finished with all eight objections by now.

  264. PatrickG says

    I hope you’ll accept my sincere apology.

    … which I shall now actually offer directly, since all I’ve done is hope you’ll accept it if offered. Theophontes, I apologize for my error.

  265. chigau (違わない) says

    “Your Thoughts?”
    Is that a sincere “[What are] your thoughts?”
    or a typed verbal tic?

  266. John Morales says

    Josh,

    I don’t know why people put up with you, Morales. You frighten me. You’re the embodiment of amoral and you admit it. I wouldn’t trust you with both hands tied behind your back and your feet cut off.

    I believe you expression of belief, but you sound to me here just like a theist not trusting an atheist because they don’t share their own source of morality, and you’re just as wrong.

    (You really imagine that when I express sympathy or try to comfort others, I’m being dishonest?

    If so, that’s rather insulting towards me, but I forgive you, for you are who you are and can’t help yourself)

  267. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yes, I do doubt you, John. Your behavior indicates to me indifference to moral and ethical judgments and excessive attention to what you think will win you points in any given context.

    No, I don’t trust you. No, I don’t believe you when you claim sympathy or empathy.

  268. John Morales says

    PatrickG:

    I was honestly surprised to find he [Dan Fincke] hadn’t finished with all eight objections by now.

    I was a bit disappointed that he seemed to have put them into the back-burner, but pleased when he resumed. And there were many more than eight, of course; that’s just the number of categorical types into which he distilled the substance of plethora of complaints his initial post received.

    (It does amuse me how some find it so problematic for him to actually collect, enumerate and address objections to his policy and stance in detail!)

  269. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    (It does amuse me how some find it so problematic for him to actually collect, enumerate and address objections to his policy and stance in detail!)

    More dishonesty.

    1. It’s not that anyone has a problem with Dan explaining in detail his position. It’s that 30,000 words are not necessary and are, in fact, counterproductive.

    2. Do not pretend you care about the substance of the arguments. You don’t. This is point-scoring for you, and you’ll change your position as necessary in order to score those points.

  270. PatrickG says

    (It does amuse me how some find it so problematic for him to actually collect, enumerate and address objections to his policy and stance in detail!)

    Well, the real problem I have is he seems to waver back and forth between saying “I’m trying to create this space in this way” and “These are the rules by which all civilization should abide”.

    I suppose if I had to I could go link to stuff to show my questions regarding what, exactly, he’s trying to accomplish. But I find the discussion rather uninteresting, so I’ll just stop there.

  271. John Morales says

    PatrickG:

    Well, the real problem I have is he seems to waver back and forth between saying “I’m trying to create this space in this way” and “These are the rules by which all civilization should abide”.

    But he doesn’t; rather, he holds that “These are the rules by which all civilization should abide” and therefore he’s “trying to create this space in this way” in that domain within which he has authority (i.e. his blog) and (as he has alluded) in his classes.

    Josh, you are good at social justice issues, not-so-much at logic and argument.

    1. It’s not that anyone has a problem with Dan explaining in detail his position. It’s that 30,000 words are not necessary and are, in fact, counterproductive.

    If you think what he’s doing is not necessary and counterproductive, then you do have a problem with it; and since we’re both speaking about the same activity, it’s clear it is that with which you have a problem &mdsah; which is what I stated. :)

    2. Do not pretend you care about the substance of the arguments. You don’t. This is point-scoring for you, and you’ll change your position as necessary in order to score those points.

    There is no such pretence outside your imagination; the best way I canscore points is to actually care about the substance of it.

    (That I may or may not agree with something is orthogonal to whether I care about its substance, tricky as this concept may be to you)

  272. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Morales, Josh isn’t the only one who thinks you’re a creepy, amoral asshole. You have never, ever shown any capacity for empathy, and in fact have shown many times that you don’t quite grasp the concept. You are, however, happy to use other people’s feelings as they are useful to you.

  273. PatrickG says

    But he doesn’t; rather, he holds that “These are the rules by which all civilization should abide” and therefore he’s “trying to create this space in this way” in that domain within which he has authority (i.e. his blog) and (as he has alluded) in his classes.

    Except when he acknowledges that these rules won’t work outside of a carefully constructed forum. As a platonic ideal, sure, fine, whatever, but as a useful guide to going forward under current conditions…. not so much.

    I should link to support my claim re: Fincke’s acknowledgement, but … eh, whatever, that’ll be my last post on this, because I really find the discussion to be “too many trees, not enough forest”.

    Plus, it’s my birthday, so I demand my right to make unsubstantiated claims (which I could substantiate if I weren’t so fewkin’ lazy). Just for today.

  274. A. R says

    Excuse me whilst I duck beneath you people’s swords and fighting stuffs. I need to get to the controversy generator in the crypt of the Thunderdome. (should still be there from when I installed it into TZT, provided that PZ just razed the old building and built a new one on top of it.)

  275. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Happiestsadist, fair enough, and thanks for your honesty.

    (You shan’t believe me here, but I tell you that your disapprobation of me shan’t alter my attitude towards you nor my sympathy for your situation, and I’ll both still have your back when people are unfair to you and criticise you when I think that’s merited.

    And also, I like you (or, at least, your internet persona) no less than I like Josh’s)

  276. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’ll both still have your back

    You’ll pardon me if I keep you out of my blind spot.

  277. chigau (違わない) says

    I don’t think John Morales is amoral.
    I do think he doesn’t have empathy in the same way as we lesser beings.
    He doesn’t scare me.

  278. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Josh: Quite.

    Morales, I don’t trust you to have my back. For a number of reasons, based on many of our previous statements, admissions and remarks. Truth be told, you actually scare the shit out of me.

  279. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    I don’t find John Morales scary – which, given that we live in (roughly) the same city, that’s probably a good thing…

  280. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I do think he doesn’t have empathy in the same way as we lesser beings.
    He doesn’t scare me.

    One of these things does not follow from the other.

  281. John Morales says

    I don’t often quote Shakespeare, but here I shall:

    “This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

    — Polonius to Laertes.

  282. says

    … I need to get to the controversy generator in the crypt of the Thunderdome (should still be there from when I installed it into TZT, provided that PZ just razed the old building and built a new one on top of it.)

    Oh, that old thing? Looks a bit like an old Soviet RTG, right?

    ‘Kay. I think that got moved during redecoration…

    I’m pretty sure you go down to the lowest of the catacombs. Where the uneasy memories of the dungeon dwellers hang in the air, moving like vapour across the surface of the oily, dark waters…

    Then… I think you have to go past that old reactor core. It’s all sealed up now after that regrettable business with the classroom full of traumatized war orphans–so no worries…

    … oh, also: past the old lab we figure Mengele may once have run… And through the charnel heap whence were discarded the bones of the sacrificial victims we discovered under the floorboards when we moved in…

    … then… there. In the second niche.

    (/It’s right next to that Indian burial ground we’re now using our kitchen midden. You can’t miss it.)

  283. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    You don’t need to tell me that you feel safe and welcome with Morales. I don’t care. I only care that he understands (and that other readers see) that I know he’s duplicitous, self-centered above all, and not to be trusted with one’s back turned.

  284. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Much as I appreciate your honest, open monstrousness, that still doesn’t mean I wouldn’t cross the street away from you.

    Wowbagger: I don’t fault or blame you for your opinion. I think we do come from some different perspectives that influence our stances, though.

  285. chigau (違わない) says

    I don’t think it’s necessary to have actual empathy to function in society.
    It is necessary to be able to act as thought you do.

  286. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    It is necessary to be able to act as thought you do.

    It is also necessary to be able to detect when that facade is, in fact, a facade. Because it may break.

    Just sayin’.

  287. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Yeah, chigau, sociopaths function just fine in society. Doesn’t mean I want ‘em near me.

  288. Wowbagger, Antipodean Dervish says

    Happiestsadist wrote:

    Wowbagger: I don’t fault or blame you for your opinion. I think we do come from some different perspectives that influence our stances, though.

    True; I should have added that such security is a luxury I’m aware not everyone has.

  289. chigau (違わない) says

    Josh
    I’m thinking more in terms of trying to “fit into” a foreign culture.
    When I spend time in Japan, I bow a lot, I don’t make direct statements, I stand in line for the bus, etcetcetc.
    Just trying to fit in, sorta.
    I haven’t ‘internalized’ most of it.
    I don’t really feel that I’m faking.

  290. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    I mostly just wanted to say that I am not judging you for not being afraid, Wowbagger.

    I mean, I’m nothing but clear about the people I am judging, it’s my deal, but still. I think you’re cool beans.

  291. A. R says

    AJ: Thanks. I’ve been working on shutting that thing down over since that unfortunate power spike last October… I believe there was a minor spike last month as well. The circuitry in the damn thing is from the mid 90’s. I would have replaced it, but when it was stolen it from the Rethulicans in 1999, the control circuits were found to be fused from overuse.

  292. A. R says

    chigau: Oh, the ladder is in one of the cargo bays of the LOLstar, long with the LOLcannons, the LOLcat guns, and various sundry equipment. The problem is, I can’t seem to find the remote that activates the LOLstar teleportation system. It must have been lost in the conversion of the premises. But I think I can rewire the old controversy generator to produce enough power to activate the system.

  293. chigau (違わない) says

    A. R
    ‘remote’
    gaad. remote control thingys.
    Nobody touch anything!
    You could open all the garages!

  294. strange gods before me ॐ says

    As I’ve said before, I think John is, on balance, a bad person.

    However, he can be trusted in nontrivial ways. I would trust him to hold large sums of money for me indefinitely without any written confirmation, for instance. He is not amoral.

    You have never, ever shown any capacity for empathy, and in fact have shown many times that you don’t quite grasp the concept.

    I have observed his empathy so I know this is not true. I do think he would do well to practice it more often, though; everyone’s reservoir of empathy can probably grow.

    +++++
    As in the last round, some of the condemnation of him right now is gratuitous — that which does not relate to his comments at Fincke’s.

  295. John Morales says

    CR:

    [1] I only argued it was a good choice. [2] An insult. [3] Look it up.

    1. If one were to imagine an assertion followed by an opinion is an argument, then I would suppose so.

    (But it ain’t and therefore I don’t; so: no you didn’t)

    2. To be precise, it was an insult to a fictional character and a dismissal of the argument that character makes on that basis.

    3. What is the referent of “it”, here, and why do you imagine I should look up whatever it may be?

    (I hardly think I am more ignorant than you)

  296. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Anyway, I think the term false flag was used inaccurately earlier. As I understand it, it would mean that John pretends to, for instance, uphold our values — which he obviously doesn’t — for the sake of making us look bad.

  297. A. R says

    chigau: I’m more concerned about the emergency thread decontamination button I added during the Thunderfap debacle.

  298. consciousness razor says

    Morales, you sure do love to bullshit.

    You should consider what W.S. might have implied by having Polonius say it. Context. Being “true to yourself” doesn’t get you the bare truth, just yourself.

  299. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ rorschach

    “guilty sex”

    Sadly yes. That is the sad state of affairs these religions have degenerated to.

    Before PatrickG‘s time, there were delightful, fun filled evenings of free love under the all embracing skies:

    Bacchanalia in the British Museum

    *sigh*

    Aaaah, the good old days.

    But we still have Rio!

    More reading from Dr Lora Holland on Sacred Marriage. [PDF]

    @ PatrickG

    I took issue with your assertion that religions of love exist because there is a history of religious interest in sex.

    The Religion of Love ™ is an idea put forward by Michael Axworthy (that I quote here: #250, footnote 2). I noted we could expand the sources of inspiration to other religions and religious tendencies beyond Sufiism. Obviously a book (in this case it would need to be several) would be a more appropriate medium to make the case than a quick blog comment.

    All attributes of humanity are of the gods too. No milquetoast – if anything there is super-humanism lurking at its heart. Again,(see John Morales’s linky) there are many types of love. They reached their apogee in the gods. They instilled goals and inspiration in their human acolytes. The social order was in large part tied to conceptions such as founding fathers being born of the union of humans and gods. (Again, false, but nevertheless of great consequence for social order. A prodigiously prolific social order at that.)

    because religion grew up around/with sex and art does not mean that religion is necessary for either.

    Of course religions are not necessary for sex, art or love. We would not exist if this were the case. These things predate religions by far.

    Modes of aesthetics and interpersonal behaviors can exist independently of religious or pseudo-religious expression.

    Of course. Either you are beside the point in your comprehension, or I am expressing myself badly. (Or brevity is to blame?)

  300. A. R says

    chigau: It produces a comment so slimepitter-enraging, that they fill the thread with so much slime, forcing PZ to shut down comments on that thread while he cleans it up.

  301. John Morales says

    CR:

    You should consider what W.S. might have implied by having Polonius say it. Context.

    So, the claim is no longer worth dismissal on the basis of Polonius’ character? :)

    Being “true to yourself” doesn’t get you the bare truth, just yourself.

    You don’t see the ambivalence inherent therein?

    (Hint: there are two major and independent ways* in which this can be interpreted; oddly-enough, I was aware of both (and practice both) when I quoted this)

    *

    1. Don’t lie to yourself.

    2. Don’t pretend to be other than what you are.

  302. A. R says

    Thus the need to prevent it falling into the wrong hands. (Imagine it getting activated in the Lounge!)

  303. erikthebassist says

    ok, I’m going to deflounce, publicly and in TD where I have no safety net. I only hope my deflounce is less pathetic than my flounce, which was accurately pointed out to be pointless and immature.

    Josh, you are right, I look back on that thread and wonder wtf I was thinking, unquestionably, I didn’t get it. I didn’t get it until I read the Pat Robertson thread, and watched you guys once again set some dumb fucking thinking straight.

    I started the thread thinking “they (Jasper and Freodin) both had a point, the Horde was out of control again”, and ended it going “holy fuck next time shut up and listen when they tell you something”. I saw that you’d pointed out to a couple of assholes how ass-holish they were being, and had to go back on my own flounce and ask myself if I was that bad. Turns out I was worse, I’m fucking mortified.

    In addition to that thread, it also hit me tonight that one of the reasons I’m so interested in what’s going on with the rise of feminism in the atheist movement is that I’m dating a survivor of abuse, and realized that I wouldn’t be if the type of common sense advice that I’ve seen on these boards over the past months hadn’t sunk in at some level. (There many other reasons, but that’s a whole big conversation I’m willing to have over time, right now I’m just talking about this one reason).

    She broke up with me early on and I wasn’t sure why, and it turned out that I had done and said some things that from an abuse survivor’s point of view were red flags.

    An example; I called her once because she didn’t return my text as promptly as she usually had. I was worried, I thought something was wrong because our pattern of communication was disrupted and I knew she was in transit from one place to another, because she’d told me that. I assumed the worst and called her phone to try and put my fears at ease.

    Her interpretation of that call was that I was keeping tabs and expecting her to check in. It was a hallmark control move and I didn’t even realize I’d done it until she later told me.

    But here’s where the horde comes in and why I’m deflouncing;

    It was the Horde that I heard yelling in to my ear at that moment, “she went through a controlling and abusive situation, what you did reminded her of that, you shouldn’t ever do that again, full stop.”

    It was a “guys don’t do that” moment, where I realized I was the fucking elevator guy, I never wanted to be the elevator guy, I hate the elevator guy, but here I am, acting like the elevator guy. I get it now.

    I’m sorry Horde, I won’t do that again. I really want to know how not to be a part of the problem first, and then I’ll work on how to be a part of the solution. I honestly think the Horde has made me a better person, but I obviously still have work to do.

    I’m affectionately referring to the regulars here as the Horde™, I don’t mean to attach any negativity to the term, all though it occurs to me that others may do so. I assure you I only use the term in the most charitable sense. One of my rules of thumb as a musician is to always surround myself by better musician’s so I can learn from them and attempt to rise their level. When I engage The Horde™, I’m attempting to do the same, as a human being, I have so much to learn.

    I know this is a 180 degree turn from everything I said in the buffalo isn’t racist thread, for those that remember or care to look it up. Everything I said in that thread makes me look like an asshole. I’m sorry, this is an an honest mea culpa. If I’m an asshole please help me not be one.

  304. John Morales says

    theophontes doesn’t (but I do) allude to the various mystical systems within different religious traditions, which often involve coitus reservatus as a technique and which have been part of sex magic since time immemorial.

  305. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Holy shit, erikthebassist. That’s incredibly honest, open, and heartening beyond belief. Seriously. Wow. Welcome aboard, there’s a lot to learn and be done for all of us, and being willing to make the effort is really impressive, and publicly admitting to having fucked up, learned and wanting to not do it again is fucking awesome. You’ve brought a smile to my face.

  306. PatrickG says

    @ Theophontes:

    First, I do hope you saw my apology for pronoun failure earlier here. This is the Thunderdome, but I’m very sorry for that.

    Now, to business (TL;DR: Did we just misunderstand each other?)

    All attributes of humanity are of the gods too. No milquetoast – if anything there is super-humanism lurking at its heart.

    I’m going to venture that perhaps our discussion to date has been benchmarked in what I’ll tentatively term “talking past each other”.

    The previous discussion of “religion[s] of love” or comments like “all attributes of humanity are of the gods too” trigger a “Oh fucking Christ on a cracker” response in me, and I can’t help but note that religion has a terrible track record when it comes to love (or fucking/sex), and that, um, since humanity creates gods, of course divine entities will embody the idealism of humanity. Based on your last post, either you’re retracting earlier comments or I just completely misread you.

    Before I engage with this topic/you further, it might help to establish common ground, insofar as identifying what the hell we’re talking about. I, as a person without knowledge of your posting history here, read your earlier statements as essentially religious apologia. I’m more than willing to admit I misread you completely.

    To wit:

    Of course religions are not “necessary” for sex, art or love. We would not exist if this were the case. These things predate religions by far.

    Uh, yeah, I agree completely. :) I like to think I conveyed that exact sentiment in earlier postings, but hell, I freely acknowledge I’m a terrible communicator. However, your earlier postings were (in my view) extremely ambiguous, hence my homicidal felid response.

    So yeah, long post that basically comes down to “did we just misunderstand each other?” But if we did, I have claws ready to point out just how bizarre some of your statements were. :)

  307. PatrickG says

    @ erikthebassist:

    I had no awareness or participation in the thread you reference, but one of the things I fucking love about The Horde is that if you fuck up and sincerely apologize (i.e. acknowledge fault and demonstrate understanding), they’re about the most Christian People I’ve Ever Known (in that, you know, forgiveness sense).

    So this newbie tentacle of aforementioned Horde would predict a lot of people willing to accept your apology, discuss the issues you raise/had problems with, and hopefully good cheer and expansion of awareness will follow.

    Now, be warned: if you fuck up again (as I have, repeatedly), they’ll savage you. The Horde forgives, but they do not forget. :)

  308. Amphiox says

    Welcome back, erikthebassist.

    This is why we do it, endure those endlessly cycling threads, repeating the same points over and over again with clueless troll after clueless troll.

    Because sometimes someone out there listens and gets it. Even, sometimes, those who appeared hopelessly obtuse at the time.

    People can learn and change, and even if it is not as common as we may hope it to be, it nevertheless happens.

    My faith in humanity has gone up just a little bit, thanks to you, today.

  309. chigau (違わない) says

    Ing
    I never thought the John Morales “lesser beings” was about sensitivity and weakness.
    It is a straightforward statement about John Morales vs Us™.

    A. R
    ‘hands’?
    I was trying to imply tentacles.
    jeeez

  310. Amphiox says

    Now, be warned: if you fuck up again (as I have, repeatedly), they’ll savage you. The Horde forgives, but they do not forget. :)

    But note that PatrickG (at least by his own account, anyways) has done so “repeatedly”, and he’s still here.

    The ability to accept a savaging and grow from the experience, is highly valued.

  311. PatrickG says

    @ theophontes:

    Just to clarify, what the fuck is this?

    Before PatrickG‘s time, there were delightful, fun filled evenings of free love under the all embracing skies:

    Really? I honestly can’t tell if you’re serious or sarcastic (leaning towards sarcastic, but … in context with your earlier statements, I’m really not sure). That might illustrate why I’ve taken sharp issue with a lot of your statements.

    @ Amphiox/erikthebassist: Oh my yes, I just wanted to point out that newcomers should be aware that acceptance != amnesia. At least, that’s been my experience.

  312. PatrickG says

    @ Ing: Would you mind linking to relevant comments? I haven’t really seen StevoR, due to the fact that I tend to only follow conversations when I have free time/insomnia/alcoholic consumption*.

    If not, c’est la vie. Just curious.

    * The last does not apply at the moment.

  313. erikthebassist says

    @ Amphiox/erikthebassist: Oh my yes, I just wanted to point out that newcomers should be aware that acceptance != amnesia. At least, that’s been my experience.

    I wouldn’t expect that, I said what I said, I have to go back and understand what was fucked up about my thinking when I said it, otherwise, I din’t learn anything from it. It’s all fair game.

  314. Amphiox says

    Side note: Am I the only one who is a bit bothered by the idea that if StevoR did his racist tantrums against any one but Arabs he’d have been banned ages ago?

    The thought has occurred to me.

    But the thing is, people have actually come spouting the same sort of racist tantrums, also against Arabs, and quite a few of those were banned immediately, IIRC.

    Except those dungeon inhabitants typically started with their racist rants. StevoR is generally at least somewhat sensible on most other subjects. Did he establish himself on other topics, and perhaps built up some “capital”, before the racist ranting began?

  315. says

    they’re about the most Christian People I’ve Ever Known (in that, you know, forgiveness sense).

    What are you even talking about?

    In other news, I agree with Ing on stuff. Needs more beer to get over the shock.

  316. John Morales says

    Ing, StevoR has done much the same about the Japanese, even though he’s limiting it to WW2. So, not really.

    (I was tempted to mention Vietnam and Abu Ghraib, but resisted)

  317. PatrickG says

    What are you even talking about?

    Yeah, I wrote that on the fly and was wondering if it might be misinterpreted. All I meant was that the people here at FTB have been fantastic about accepting sincere apologies and corrections. Much more so than people who claim to turn the other cheek.

    I’m talking about my personal experiences with commenters here, and was attempting to compliment a number of people I’ve interacted with. Comment clarified?

  318. PatrickG says

    @ Ing: Only halfway through the comment thread, but was bugged by Mano Singham’s language here:

    Muslims are notoriously prone to violent anger when their god or their prophet is portrayed at all, let alone in an unflattering light.

    Muslims, like any other religious group, will have to come to terms with the fact that their religious beliefs cannot be allowed to put limits on the speech of others however deliberately offensive it may seem to them.

    Would it be so hard to say “Some Muslims”? It’s not like some Christians don’t exactly get the concept of not being “allowed to put limits on the speech of others [etc]”.

    StevoR is just a random commenter, Singham is a blogger here. The rampant generalization is disturbing. :/

  319. consciousness razor says

    erikthebassist:

    I don’t think we’ve interacted, but thanks nonetheless. We all fuck up. It’s good to see people learning from it.

    I’m talking about my personal experiences with commenters here, and was attempting to compliment a number of people I’ve interacted with. Comment clarified?

    I wouldn’t take it as a compliment. You may now expect the Inquisition.

  320. PatrickG says

    @ Ing:

    I left a comment over there, but hot damn, is your mailbox able to contain the size of the Internets I would like to ship to you? You and Amphiox and others… /salute.

    Still pissed about Singham, though. I left the following there:

    It’s been said by other people above, but … why not say “Some Muslims”? There are quite a few Muslims in the world, and not every one of them shares the same worldview.

    But then, I’m looking forward to your upcoming post that says:

    “Christians oppose any form of abortion or birth control. Christians reject the theory of evolution. Christians think women should not be represented in the workforce. Christians long for explosive war in the Middle East so as to bring about the end times foretold by Revelations.”

    You do plan on writing that, yes?

  321. PatrickG says

    On a completely unrelated note, I’m realizing the fact that this simulation is taking so long is that I enabled debugging output, which basically increased the number of operations 100x per iteration (file I/O is UNWIELDY).

    I blame the Thunderdome for this. If I hadn’t been reading/commenting, I would have noticed this much earlier, so…. flag disabled, run restarted, and I’m off to bed.

  322. PatrickG says

    I wouldn’t take it as a compliment. You may now expect the Inquisition.

    Since it took me a bit longer than I expected to reset my run, I’ll just say:

    BRING IT MOTHERFUCKER.

  323. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ David Marjanović

    ~:-| Why is that a problem? That’s not its job description. :-|

    Heh, indeed. It is not in science’s job description. We must then seek (not solely of course!) beyond it too. At least may we say that (pace Ing) we are dealing with both the rational, Apollonian aspects of science AND a space in which we can be expand into the more creative, unbound, Dionysian spaces prospected by the arts.

    Let me substitute: “My problem with a worldview solely based on or defined by science is that…”

    [Julian] Pffft…

    Eek!

    Rather read this:

    He was, roughly speaking, a Neo-Platonist. But it is not as a professed philosopher that he writes. It is only that Neo-Platonism had permeated the whole atmosphere of the age.

    [Final stage of Greek religion in the time of Julian the Appostate] …romantic and interesting and worthy of considerable respect, when the old religion in the time of Julian roused itself for a last spiritual protest against the all-conquering ‘atheism’ of the Christians.

    It is contrast with xtianity (and other like worldviews that sprang up at the time):

    It is hard to describe. It is a rise of asceticism, of mysticism, in a sense, of pessimism; a loss of self-confidence, of hope in this life and of faith in normal human effort; a despair of patient inquiry, a cry for infallible revelation; an indifference to the welfare of the state, a conversion of the soul to God. It is an atmosphere in which the aim of the good man is not so much to live justly, to help the society to which he belongs and enjoy the esteem of his fellow creatures; but rather, by means of a burning faith, by contempt for the world and its standards, by ecstasy, suffering, and martyrdom, to be granted pardon for his unspeakable unworthiness, his immeasurable sins. There is an intensifying of certain spiritual emotions; an increase of sensitiveness, a failure of nerve.

    From Sallustius (close friend and a mentor to Julian) via Murray:

    The myths by their obvious falsity and absurdity on the surface stimulate the mind capable of religion to probe deeper.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/30250

    @ KG/ David Marjanović

    Citation needed

    Greek Religion: What about science?

    Favourable circumstances for many good things to happen:

    It reduced the horrors of the ‘Urdummheit’, for the most part, to a romantic memory, and made religion no longer a mortal danger to humanity. Unlike many religious systems, it generally permitted progress; it encouraged not only the obedient virtues but the daring virtues as well. It had in it the spirit that saves from disaster, that knows itself fallible and thinks twice before it hates and curses and persecutes. It wrapped religion in Sophrosynê.
    Again, it worked for concord and fellow-feeling throughout the Greek communities.

    All we know is that when the best minds seek for truth the result is apt to be beautiful. It was a great thing that men should envisage the world as governed, not by Giants and Gorgons and dealers in eternal torture, but by some human and more than human Understanding (Ξύνεσις), by beings of quiet splendour like many a classical Zeus and Hermes and Demeter. If Olympianism was not a religious faith, it was at least a vital force [ed: my R+, you will see two very different animals being placed under the nomer ‘religion’] in the shaping of cities and societies which remain after two thousand years a type to the world of beauty and freedom and high endeavour. Even the stirring of its ashes, when they seemed long cold, had power to produce something of the same result; for the classicism of the Italian Renaissance is a child, however fallen, of the Olympian spirit.

    {gutenberg linky above}

    We shan’t be going down the old “I built it” route, shall we? Science did not blossom up by itself. And we do ourselves a disfavour planting all our seeds in one pot.

  324. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    PatrickG@427,

    Mano Singham’s not the only FtB blogger who’s inclined to come out with Islamophobic crap. Ophelia Benson has done it (claiming, for example that “Islamophobia” is purely an invention of Muslims claiming victim status), so even has PZ in the past. I might step over to Singham’s later if I feel I can go through that argument yet again, but if you’re there, it might be worth linking to this BBC article, for the picture and caption. I doubt if there are many non-Muslims in that crowd.

  325. nms says

    Who amongst us can truly know John Morales?

    Did he establish himself on other topics, and perhaps built up some “capital”, before the racist ranting began?

    Well, he also used to write about presidential politics sometimes.

    My little toes stick out sideways so I don’t so much “stub” them as “catch them on furniture while moving quickly”.

    I broke a toe like this once. It still doesn’t quite point the right way.

  326. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Greek Religion: What about science? – theophontes

    Come off it. I asked for a citation showing that Greek science depended on religion. Listing the achievements of Greek science is irrelevant.

    Again, it worked for concord and fellow-feeling throughout the Greek communities.

    That’s hilarious to anyone with any familiarity with ancient Greek history, and free of the common classicist’s prejudice in favour of ancient Greece.

  327. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    theophontes

    Science did not blossom up by itself.- theophontes

    No-one said it did. What you have signally failed to do is show any connection between any specific features of ancient Greek religion, and the rise of Greek (proto-)science.

    And we do ourselves a disfavour planting all our seeds in one pot.

    Nor has anyone suggested we should do that.

  328. says

    Erikthebassist: What Happiestsadist said. I didn’t see your comments in the recent thread, but your comment here demonstrates a great deal of courage, intellectual honesty, and empathy.

    …which would be the complete opposite of John Morales. Anybody here still have the link to his comment in which he admitted to having raped his wife (via emotional pressure rather than force, not that it matters), and he got so many backpats for being brave? His conscience, such as it is, apparently outweighs the desire/need of rape survivors to not want to share online space with a rapist.

    And, no, I don’t speak for all rape survivors, but at least one avoided TET for a while after that.

    Ing:

    …a sort of mangy weasel in a man suit.

    This is terribly unfair to weasels.

    Also, you are correct about StevoR. He seemed to be getting somewhat better of late, but I missed that thread.

  329. Beatrice says

    Fincke:

    What I am saying though is that you can thoroughly take abusive people to task without crossing the line into insults and I fear that as cathartic as insults might be (and even as they may be valuable in certain contexts in ordinary life where they’re one of the only recourses of self-defense), I see them constantly escalating hostility towards women and I see the seething repressed rage of the members of dominant classes that become all the more hard headed against the causes of social justice that I care about.

    Stop insulting bigots because your insults escalate the hostility! If you were just nicer to bigots, they would treat you better!
    *puke*

    Ugh. Seriously, good riddance.

    [crossposted from the Lounge]

  330. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ KG

    (Aside: We have got to know you as KG. Is it OK if I continue for a while? Also, some of my responses may be out of order.)

    What you have signally failed to do is show any connection between any specific features of ancient Greek religion, and the rise of Greek (proto-)science.

    We can point to a large number of rational thinkers -scientists, engineers, philosophers, mathematicians popping up in a particular period and place in history then observe that they did indeed have a very integrated world view that was in large part underpinned by their religious (we should use the term advisedly) notions. Of course there where many other factors affecting outcomes, from geography to trade and so on. Certainly religious notions were not redundant in any sense and where a defining feature of their culture. We readily accept that mathematics or philosophy and the like played their role. Why by dubious or coy about the role of religion? Socrates (according to Xenephon at least) was deeply religious and much of his thinking was deeply animated by religious questions.

    If you are looking for religious impacts on science in a narrow sense (fair enough, “specific features”):

    I could point you to the great architecture back then being religious architecture. Dawkins has suggested that a patron might as easily have inspired and financed just such in the name of science. The Spartans would justly respond: “If!”. This is not what happened. Furthermore the Greek attitude to the city was very much tied to religion. It defined their concept of the city and guided their urban development.

    As a specific positive example I give you Aristotle:

    Aristotle was not lacking in religious insight and imagination, as he certainly was not without profound influence on the future history of religion. His complete rejection of mythology and of anthropomorphism; his resolute attempt to combine religion and science, not by sacrificing one to the other but by building the highest spiritual aspirations on ascertained truth and the probable conclusions to which it pointed; his splendid imaginative conception of the Divine Being or First Cause as unmoved itself while moving all the universe ‘as the beloved moves the lover'; all these are high services to religious speculation, and justify the position he held, even when known only through a distorting Arabic translation, in medieval Christianity. If he had not written his other books he might well be famous now as a great religious teacher.

    But it is really in the negative that we see the effects of religion on science. It becomes obvious when it is no longer woven into the fabric as with the Greeks, but hangs over everything like a wet blanket.

    We have seen it with Al Ghazali’s role in the destruction of the very Hellenistic culture we have referred to. His attacks on Socrates and Aristotle were from a religious standpoint. Religious Science was to replace Real Science. Though war played a big role in ending the golden age of Islamic science, Al Ghazali religious notions played a major part in ensuring it did not recover.

    We shall perhaps see these negative effects in Rmoney’s USA soon enough.

    :(

  331. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    First: YAY!!! Erik’s back. That was a bravely honest post and that rocks. Welcome back.

    The following is not meant to be snarky in any way:

    I think Fincke’s move to Patheos is a good one. It’s dominated by religious blogs so his accomodationism should fit in well.

  332. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    theophontes,

    We can point to a large number of rational thinkers -scientists, engineers, philosophers, mathematicians popping up in a particular period and place in history then observe that they did indeed have a very integrated world view that was in large part underpinned by their religious (we should use the term advisedly) notions.

    Where can we “observe” this? One of the most remarkable things about early Greek thinkers is how disparate their ideas were.

    Of course there where many other factors affecting outcomes, from geography to trade and so on. Certainly religious notions were not redundant in any sense and where a defining feature of their culture. We readily accept that mathematics or philosophy and the like played their role. Why by dubious or coy about the role of religion? Socrates (according to Xenephon at least) was deeply religious and much of his thinking was deeply animated by religious questions.

    There is no evidence that Socrates was in any sense a scientific thinker, and we actually know practically nothing about what he did think.

    If you are looking for religious impacts on science in a narrow sense (fair enough, “specific features”):

    I could point you to the great architecture back then being religious architecture.

    Is it really necessary to point out that architecture is not science? I’m certainly not going to deny that religion can inspire architecture, since there are clear examples of that from multiple cultures. Again, what you have claimed, and still completely failed to produce the slightest evidence for, is that ancient Greek religion led to or inspired ancient Greek science. Nor is city planning.

    Your unattributed paean to Aristotle is almost entirely concerned with his religious speculations. It does not show, or even claim, that these contributed anything to his scientific work.

    But it is really in the negative that we see the effects of religion on science.

    A point on which we can agree. Religion in ancient Greece lacked dogma, an organized priesthood, and institutional unity. I suggest it was the very weakness of religion that allowed philosophy and proto-science to flourish there – along with other factors such as those you mention. (Slartibartfast had a lot to do with it in my opinion – that lovely crinkly coastline encouraged an unusual density of intra- and inter-cultural contacts and exchanges.)

    It becomes obvious when it is no longer woven into the fabric as with the Greeks, but hangs over everything like a wet blanket.

    WTF is this even supposed to mean?

  333. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ KG

    I asked for a citation showing that Greek science depended on religion.

    Who exactly is making this claim? Science and religion are just two components of what was a fascinating and mutually supportive memetic biotope (“idea-tope”?).

    Listing the achievements of Greek science is irrelevant.

    Listing the plurality of achievements (scientific or otherwise) does indicate that this was a very prolific time in the history of our intellectual development. (Our very own Neil deGrasse Tyson has done similar with scientific terminology.) There was something very special going on for a while.

    (Ignoring the role of religion in the makeup of their culture is like … {pauses in concern that the analogy might asplode, oh what the hell:} … it is like talking about “Happy Days” and not mentioning The Fonz.)

    That’s hilarious to anyone with any familiarity with ancient Greek history, and free of the common classicist’s prejudice in favour of ancient Greece.

    Oooh… I am in awe of your uncommon classicism. Murray,OM is dead now and thus spared the discovery that he was a mere, prejudiced,common classicist. (If all of your books on the subject are better than his, I shall happily read them.)

  334. John Morales says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter:

    …which would be the complete opposite of John Morales. Anybody here still have the link to his comment in which he admitted to having raped his wife (via emotional pressure rather than force, not that it matters), and he got so many backpats for being brave? His conscience, such as it is, apparently outweighs the desire/need of rape survivors to not want to share online space with a rapist.

    You are cruel to me; please note it was an almost, not a done deed, and it was decades ago when I was rather young and still heavily under the influence of my indoctrination into the patriarchy, and I have never repeated it.

    I tell you true: it hurts me that you are using this thus, but I suppose I must wear it, and I don’t regret it because it’s one of the ways in which I seek to atone for it — I have hopes it’s opened others’ eyes to this issue and perhaps even has saved at least one woman from this trauma thereby.

    Goodnight.

  335. says

    Illuminata:

    I think Fincke’s move to Patheos is a good one. It’s dominated by religious blogs so his accomodationism should fit in well.

    You know, I was going to say, “I was just joking last night; he didn’t really move there.”

    And then I went over to CwH and holy shit, did I call it right.

    As Beatrice said, good riddance, and I hope the door hit him so hard that his grandchildren are born with birthmarks on their asses in the shape of door edges.

  336. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ KG

    One of the most remarkable things about early Greek thinkers is how disparate their ideas were.

    They had a society which could allow this to occure, one that “let a hundred flowers bloom [art] and let the hundred schools of thought contend [science].” Very polytheistic of them we might add.

    Socrates

    According to Xenephon, as clearly indicated. (Socratic Method nothing to do with science? Or do you mean it is only attributed to him?)

    Is it really necessary to point out that architecture is not science?

    Oh shit, I better go and hand back my MSc in the subject. :(

    Religion —-> Architecture —–> Amazing maths —-> Optical illusions (“perfection” of nature, this is for the gods after all) —–> Hey wait that’s science right there!

    Your unattributed paean…

    Sorry, here. (Same as above)

    …to Aristotle is almost entirely concerned with his religious speculations. It does not show, or even claim, that these contributed anything to his scientific work.

    Au contraire, Aristotle appears well known for scientific contributions: Pffffft

    Slartibartfast

    *blushes* Why KG! This is a FAMILY thread you know.

    WTF is this even supposed to mean?

    Teh Interwez is your friends: Wet Blanket

    n. Informal
    One that discourages enjoyment or enthusiasm.

    Contrast the damping effect of post-Al_Ghazali Islam with the religious notions of the likes of Aristotle.

  337. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    theophontes,

    I asked for a citation showing that Greek science depended on religion.

    Who exactly is making this claim? Science and religion are just two components of what was a fascinating and mutually supportive memetic biotope (“idea-tope”?).

    It’s true that you have been systematically vague about what you are claiming. Here are some of the ways you have expressed it:

    Why do we need to invent worlds of fantasy in order to simply be?

    Again, read up on the ancient Greeks. It is also not about “to simply be” but to elevate our entire civilisation.

    Note: assertion without evidence, and a side-helping of the Courtier’s Reply.

    Greek Religion helped bring together science, art and a certain je ne sais quoi … and did it with style. It was an extremely fruitful experiment.

    Again, assertion that religion played a positive role, no evidence.

    We shan’t be going down the old “I built it” route, shall we? Science did not blossom up by itself.

    Since we’ve been discussing the role of religion, it was entirely reasonable to take this as a claim that ancient Greek religion had a causal role in the “blossoming” of science.

    Let me make it clear what I am claiming: that if any aspect of ancient Greek religion contributed to the flourishing of philosophy and proto-science, it was precisely its weakness. You have provided zero evidence to the contrary.

    Listing the achievements of Greek science is irrelevant.

    Listing the plurality of achievements (scientific or otherwise) does indicate that this was a very prolific time in the history of our intellectual development. (Our very own Neil deGrasse Tyson has done similar with scientific terminology.) There was something very special going on for a while.

    Undisputed, of course. But again, no evidence whatever that religion played any positive role in intellectual development – as opposed to inspiring architecture, which of course it did in multiple cultures across the world.

    (Ignoring the role of religion in the makeup of their culture is like … {pauses in concern that the analogy might asplode, oh what the hell:} … it is like talking about “Happy Days” and not mentioning The Fonz.)

    I’m not suggesting we ignore it; but that we examine that role critically and analytically, rather than simply waffling about it as you have been doing. I am, BTW, completely unfamiliar with “Happy Days” (unless you mean the Samuel Beckett play of that title), and “The Fonz”.

    Again, it worked for concord and fellow-feeling throughout the Greek communities.

    That’s hilarious to anyone with any familiarity with ancient Greek history, and free of the common classicist’s prejudice in favour of ancient Greece.

    Oooh… I am in awe of your uncommon classicism. Murray,OM is dead now and thus spared the discovery that he was a mere, prejudiced,”common” classicist. (If all of your books on the subject are better than his, I shall happily read them.)

    I’m not sure whether this is a piece of stupidity, a feeble attempt at humour, or a deliberate misrepresentation. I meant, of course, that a prejudice in favour of ancient Greece is common among classicists. The sentence I quoted was hilarious because the ancient Greeks practically never stopped fighting each other, both within and between states, and often with the accompaniment of hideous massacres, enslavements, mass rapes, city burnings, etc.

  338. theophontes (坏蛋) says

    @ KG

    I should perhaps ease up a little, before SIWOTI sets in. In a way, I realise that my presentation has been a little romanticised. As you suggest, there was no shortage of iniquity. It also underwent several transformations to boot. And, as I mentioned upthread, it all exploded in their faces spectacularly (with the Peloponnesian War).

    Perhaps too, I am driven by watching too much RWA bullshit of late, particularly wrt the religiously hobbled. And the attitudes of rabid libertarians. The ancient Hellenistic experiment seems to have disappeared out of our conciousnesses.

    I do not support religion, but rather that aspect – of a time long gone – that could bring a society together in such a way. A powerful, humanising and humanist tendency of high ideals could do so much. We must now achieve that goal without religion. ¡Viva el signo más!

  339. consciousness razor says

    They had a society which could allow this to occure, one that “let a hundred flowers bloom [art] and let the hundred schools of thought contend [science].” Very polytheistic of them we might add.

    No, I wouldn’t add that. Flowers and schools aren’t supernatural entities. Grasp with a different straw, if you really think you must.

    It does not show, or even claim, that these contributed anything to his scientific work.

    Au contraire, Aristotle appears well known for scientific contributions

    That doesn’t contradict what he said.

    I do not support religion, but rather that aspect – of a time long gone – that could bring a society together in such a way. A powerful, humanising and humanist tendency of high ideals could do so much. We must now achieve that goal without religion. ¡Viva el signo más!

    So this whole time you’ve been pining over some “aspect” which you still haven’t said anything substantive about. We could probably have our new Greek utopia a little sooner if you would get around to the point.

  340. chigau (違わない) says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Vile Human Being

    Anybody here still have the link to his comment in which he admitted to having raped his wife (via emotional pressure rather than force, not that it matters), and he got so many backpats for “being brave”?

    Maybe you could provide the link rather than providing your version.

  341. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Morales: Ms.Daisy said it before I got a chance to, though after my many allusions to it. You’re a fucking rapist who’s shown that you’re more than happy to twist your deeds into sympathy for yourself. The fact that you’re fucking brushing is off with “oh, it was just an attempted rape, now you’re hurting my feelings!” is the fucking icing on the cake. I don’t like sharing a space with you. You say you’ve learned, but all you show here, over and over is that you still can’t feel anything like empathy, and that you don’t give a shit about the rights of others.

  342. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Hey Morales, I got the invitation to your pity party. Why wasn’t a paper reconstruction of your smug-hole included so I could symbolically shove it where it belongs?

    You don’t get brownie points for only almost raping your wife. If you think you can “atone” for that, move to Los Angeles and catch vampirism, you faux-messianic shitlord.

    (P.S., before some self-righteous douche-defender like chigau gets in my face about it, I’m going off solely what John has admitted to in this thread. Jerkoff.)

  343. says

    Morales:

    You are cruel to me;

    After spending years deliberately prodding at people’s sore points because you just like to argue, you don’t get to whine about other people being cruel to you.

    please note it was an almost, not a done deed,

    What do you want, a fucking cookie for only almost-raping your wife?

    and it was decades ago when I was rather young and still heavily under the influence of my indoctrination into the patriarchy, and I have never repeated it.

    Oh, christ. Do you know how many young men “heavily under the influence of their indoctrination into the patriarchy” have NEVER almost-raped someone?

    I tell you true: it hurts me that you are using this thus,

    ;___; Poor babby.

    I have hopes it’s opened others’ eyes to this issue and perhaps even has saved at least one woman from this trauma thereby.

    But it’s okay to expect rape victims with PTSD to put up with your presence, because otherwise they’re selfishly putting themselves before future potential rape victims.

    Beatrice: Fair enough, I misremembered that it was “almost-rape,” not completed rape.

    Chigau: What Rah said, more or less. Shit’s sake, you’re better than that.

  344. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    But it’s okay to expect rape victims with PTSD to put up with your presence, because otherwise they’re selfishly putting themselves before future potential rape victims.

    Listening to doodz pat each other on the back, teary-eyed about their almost-rape experiences but how they stopped themselves because of their INHERENT MORALITY or INNER GOODNESS or whatever makes me want to never stop throwing up.

    Would we tolerate, let alone congratulate, anyone on any other vector for such nonsense? “I almost dragged a fag through the woods with my truck, but then I stopped myself. I AM TRULY A MORAL AND SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE NATION”

    What the everliving fuck.

  345. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    RahXephon @ #454: Fucking seriously. It’s fucking sick. Also, deciding that you have to be here to save the other poor ladies from…people like yourself? Uhhh, NO.

  346. ChasCPeterson says

    What Rah said, more or less.

    Rah said s/he was basing hir criticism on what Morales had posted in this thread, in response to you. You were the one who brought it up in the first place.
    I can assure you that many, many men have tried in their late adolescence to cajole young women into sex. I forget what Morales admitted to–and so, obviously, do you, though you feel the need to opine about it anyway–but the cases I’m talking about do not in general qualify as “attempted rape”. It’s more like trying too hard to obtain consent. Nevertheless, many of us have learned shit over the last 10-20-30 (fuck!) years and regret some of the not-attempted-rape stuff we tried back then. That ought to be viewed as a good thing.
    Your one-confabulated-strike rule reflects poorly on you, in my opinion. Which I already know you don’t care about, so you can save the ATP it would take to tell me so.
    Are you the same person you were 10+ years ago? If so, you’re stagnant.

  347. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Yes, Chas, it attempted rape-rape. More like grey rape. You know, where signals are ignored.

    Also: survivors are pretty fucking justified in not wanting to hang around with rapists, even if they showed signs of reform, which, for Morales, seems dubious, with the incapacity for empathy and such.

  348. David Marjanović says

    Well, sure, but the Western-college-kids criticism applies to all kinds of psychology, not just the evil evolutionary ones.

    Yep. Google for “Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic” – in short, WEIRD.

    It’s a search for all falsehood.

    :-|

    That’s not its job description either. At least, whether it searches for it or not, it’s not going to find all “falsehood,” strictly speaking, whether that comes with a capital F or not.

    Then view it as a grand existentialist tragedy with inbuilt failure, if you like. :-)

    *Incidentally, I’ve noticed the only person around here who doesn’t is me.

    Heh. You don’t say wonky shit so much as scary shit and scarily sad shit…

    I’m still having jaw problems from how rapidly it

    Context makes clear that “it” is the jaw that dropped.

    Yes, I do doubt you, John. Your behavior indicates to me indifference to moral and ethical judgments and excessive attention to what you think will win you points in any given context.

    No, I don’t trust you. No, I don’t believe you when you claim sympathy or empathy.

    Part of it is that he has empathy and sympathy (as deep as anyone’s) when he understands the emotional significance of a situation – and doesn’t when he doesn’t. That’s what the autism spectrum looks like, I’m speaking from experience.

    Another part, however, is that sometimes he becomes slap-happy. When that happens, he actually enjoys teasing people, sometimes to the point of bullying. He’s capable of being evil.

    2. Do not pretend you care about the substance of the arguments. You don’t. This is point-scoring for you, and you’ll change your position as necessary in order to score those points.

    I don’t think he cares about points. I think it’s all a pointless diversion for him when he’s bored.

    …even when the situation is actually serious and not a pointless diversion to the people involved, as long as he doesn’t actually understand that.

    You have never, ever shown any capacity for empathy

    Not true.

    “This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

    Being “false to any man” isn’t the only way to be an asshole.

    he’s duplicitous

    I think he’s extremely single-minded instead.

    Being “true to yourself” doesn’t get you the bare truth, just yourself.

    …Also, there might be a misunderstanding here. I wonder if people believe “true” means “truthful” here – “don’t lie to yourself”. I think it means “loyal” here, just like German treu does – “don’t try to deny your personality, don’t try to change or hide it, it’s not going to work anyway, people will see through what you’re doing”.

    The myths by their obvious falsity and absurdity on the surface stimulate the mind capable of religion to probe deeper.

    That fits what I’m saying: Julian believed in a (Neoplatonic) truth behind the myths. You portrayed it – “perhaps brevity is to blame” as you’ve written elsewhere in this thread – as Bokononism, which teaches precisely that there’s no truth behind anything; it’s all lies.

    Greek Religion: What about science?

    With a link to “Category:Ancient Greek scientists”. Even if we accept them as scientists and not as philosophers, this only shows there wasn’t enough of an inquisition to stop them. It doesn’t show that Greek religion contained any science.

    (Of course, there was some degree of religious persecution. Socrates and the hemlock come to mind, or Diagoras of Melos who was wanted dead or alive by the Athenians.)

    It reduced the horrors of the ‘Urdummheit’, for the most part, to a romantic memory, and made religion no longer a mortal danger to humanity. Unlike many religious systems, it generally permitted progress; it encouraged not only the obedient virtues but the daring virtues as well. It had in it the spirit that saves from disaster, that knows itself fallible and thinks twice before it hates and curses and persecutes. It wrapped religion in Sophrosynê.
    Again, it worked for concord and fellow-feeling throughout the Greek communities.

    Ah, you mean it made science possible more than a fundamentalist Abrahamic environment, by fortunate coincidence. That’s fine, but it’s not what you said – maybe it was what you meant to say, but I can’t tell.

    And then, of course, you’ll immediately run into the Christian apologists who’ll say that the concept of laws of nature comes naturally when you already believe in a lawgiver, or that the idea of a divine plan underlying the universe has motivated many scientists to try to understand it (Stephen Hawking still talks like that, even if only as some kind of metaphor).

    The history of the origins of science is long and contingent.

    It was a great thing that men should envisage the world as governed, not by Giants and Gorgons and dealers in eternal torture, but by some human and more than human Understanding (Ξύνεσις), by beings of quiet splendour like many a classical Zeus and Hermes and Demeter.

    That’s definitely a late stage. In Homeric religion, the gods weren’t “more than human” at all except for a few superpowers, and their “understanding” most definitely wasn’t.

    …So we can actually wonder about cause and effect. To what extent does this view result from influence of Platonism or something?

    Even the stirring of its ashes, when they seemed long cold, had power to produce something of the same result; for the classicism of the Italian Renaissance is a child, however fallen, of the Olympian spirit.

    Actually, it was a pretty pathetic attempt to imitate something that was fairly badly understood.

    his splendid imaginative conception of the Divine Being or First Cause as unmoved itself while moving all the universe

    …has turned out to be complete nonsense. Why does your source praise it?

    But it is really in the negative that we see the effects of religion on science.

    A point on which we can agree. Religion in ancient Greece lacked dogma, an organized priesthood, and institutional unity. I suggest it was the very weakness of religion that allowed philosophy and proto-science to flourish there – along with other factors such as those you mention. (Slartibartfast had a lot to do with it in my opinion – that lovely crinkly coastline encouraged an unusual density of intra- and inter-cultural contacts and exchanges.)

    QFT!

    (Not to mention the weakness of the states that tried to enforce religion. Diagoras was never caught.)

    They had a society which could allow this to occure, one that “let a hundred flowers bloom [art] and let the hundred schools of thought contend [science].” Very polytheistic of them we might add.

    Not necessarily. From Carthage to India, there have been polytheistic theocratic fundamentalists.

    Xenephon

    Xenophon.

    Socratic Method nothing to do with science?

    …No. It’s only concerned with logical consistency; that’s philosophy, not science. Science is concerned with consistency with the outside world, with observations.

    Or do you mean it is only attributed to him?

    That obviously doesn’t matter here. Wikipedia does say that Diogenes Laërtius attributed it instead to Protagoras, the guy who offended the religious with “Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing whether they exist or not or of what sort they may be, because of the obscurity of the subject, and the brevity of human life.”

    Oh shit, I better go and hand back my MSc in the subject. :(

    WTF? A MSc in architecture? That really doesn’t make sense. I declare your alma mater stupid.

    I am, BTW, completely unfamiliar with “Happy Days” (unless you mean the Samuel Beckett play of that title), and “The Fonz”.

    …Oh. Perhaps I should state explicitly that I have no idea of this entire segment of culture and didn’t even know Samuel Beckett wrote anything called “Happy Days”. I tend to take for granted that people know what I don’t know.

    I’m not sure whether this is a piece of stupidity, a feeble attempt at humour, or a deliberate misrepresentation.

    It’s an obvious misreading of “common classicist’s prejudice” as “{common classicist}’s prejudice” instead of as “common {classicist’s prejudice}”.

    A powerful, humanising and humanist tendency of high ideals could do so much.

    Do we really need more than “don’t be an asshole”?

    Actually, Western culture increasingly does just that. And ancient Greek religion never did; it wasn’t powerful, it wasn’t humanizing except when compared with theocracies, and it made people angry at the humanists.

  349. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Rah said s/he was basing hir criticism on what Morales had posted in this thread, in response to you. You were the one who brought it up in the first place.

    How ’bout you ask me if I mind that she agreed with me first? She was saying she echoed my sentiment, not that she was contradicting her previous statement. Conductor Chas, can you tell me where the emergency brake is? I’d like to get off your Pedanticism Train.

    I can assure you that many, many men have tried in their late adolescence to cajole young women into sex.

    HE WAS JUST CAJOLING WHEN HE TRIED TO RAPE HER, BOYS WILL BE BOYS, IT WAS JUST A CUP OF COFFEE LIKE ANYONE WOULD WANNA FUCK YOU ANYWAY YOU COW

    I forget what Morales admitted to–and so, obviously, do you, though you feel the need to opine about it anyway–but the cases I’m talking about do not in general qualify as “attempted rape”. It’s more like trying too hard to obtain consent.

    So…you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you don’t think Daisy knows what she’s talking about, yet you feel the need to comment and assert your right-ness anyway.

    Also, thanks for yet another bullshit “evidentiary standard” for “qualifying rape”, assbag. I can’t wait to see the “it’s not rape, I was just trying too hard to obtain consent” defense.

    That ought to be viewed as a good thing.

    “Good” in this case being “the least one can fucking do”. A better step for an attempted rapist to take would be to stay the hell away from rape survivors. Not pat himself on the back and busk for kudos in front of them. “I did something horrible and I’m all better now, ain’t I wonderful?” is self-congratulatory garbage, not contrition.

    Your one-confabulated-strike rule reflects poorly on you, in my opinion.

    Yeah, you tell ‘em, man! We can’t let women decide who they are and are not comfortable around! Next they might wanna wear pants and vote!

  350. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    but the cases I’m talking about do not in general qualify as “attempted rape”. It’s more like trying too hard to obtain consent.

    *facepalm* Trying too hard to get consent = coercion. What you’re saying is that you didn’t see coercion as a problem. Which I’m more than willing to believe, having been on the receiving end of dudes “trying too hard to get consent”.

    Wanna know what it felt like? Wanna know what I was worried they’d do as I kept saying no?

    These are not separate things to the target, Chas. That dudes pretend that “trying too hard to get consent” isn’t rapey means fuck all. It is.

  351. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Slartibartfast <– isn't that a character in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe? *googles furiously*

  352. David Marjanović says

    The fact that you’re fucking brushing is off with “oh, it was just an attempted rape, now you’re hurting my feelings!” is the fucking icing on the cake.

    The way I understand it is that he began to understand what he was doing and therefore didn’t complete the rape. He learned the hard way. No cookies from me for that; I’m just relieved he figured it out while the damage was, apparently, still reversible.

    I wasn’t there in that subthread, though. I heard about it afterwards.

    In this thread, he has 1) tried to ask for sympathy at the least opportune time possible – it’s a symptom of the autism spectrum to have trouble figuring that out; 2) at the same time tried to claim he’s not asking for sympathy, is in fact evil by default (that’s his usual drastic way of acknowledging a mistake), and can only “atone” by deliberately and consciously using himself as a bad example.

    But it’s okay to expect rape victims with PTSD to put up with your presence, because otherwise they’re selfishly putting themselves before future potential rape victims.

    It’s pretty clear to me that he can’t imagine PTSD. He should read more about it.

    (That’s all I have done. I can’t imagine it all that well either.)

    INHERENT MORALITY or INNER GOODNESS

    Seriously? Has he ever claimed such a thing about himself?

    I AM TRULY A MORAL AND SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE NATION

    the cases I’m talking about do not in general qualify as “attempted rape”. It’s more like trying too hard to obtain consent.

    *Picard & Riker double facepalm*

    Are you the same person you were 10+ years ago?

    Define “same person”. I’m a direct-developer, I don’t undergo metamorphoses…

    @456, “trying too hard to obtain consent” = attempted rape.

    QFT.

  353. David Marjanović says

    “I did something horrible and I’m all better now, ain’t I wonderful?”

    Was it “ain’t it wonderful”? Or was it “look how easy it can be to ignore other people’s desires and end up doing quite horrible things – make sure you don’t do what I did”?

    Again, I phrase these as questions because I haven’t seen the original subthread, only heard about it.

    David, has Morales ever stated that he was on the spectrum?

    Oh yes, plenty of times. The last time I’ve noticed was several months ago, though, perhaps last year.

    Also, being a manipulative asshole is not a symptom of ASD.

    Oh no – but he’s more callous than manipulative.

  354. ChasCPeterson says

    “trying too hard to obtain consent” = attempted rape.

    not buying it.
    Unless we’re using different values of “trying too hard”.

    DM, fuck you. You know–or should–exactly what I meant by “the same person” and your metamorphosis line is Morales-level bullshit.

  355. David Marjanović says

    Now, finally, to the thing I actually wanted to post here: a petition to sign.

    I’ll paste the whole e-mail (except for the excessive boldface, because there’s no point). Two parts because there are too many links.

    Details are leaking of a top-secret, global corporate power grab of breathtaking scope — attacking everything from a free Internet to health and environmental regulations, and we have just 4 days to stop it.

    Big business has a new plan to fatten their pockets: a giant global pact, with an international tribunal to enforce it, that is kept top secret for years (even from our lawmakers!) and then brought down like a Death Star on our democracies. Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Walmart and almost 600 other corporate lobbyists are all in on the draft — including limits on smoking laws, affordable medicines and free speech on the Net.

    The latest round of negotiations ends in just 4 days — but outcries in each of our countries could shake the confidence of negotiators and scuttle the talks forever. Let’s get to a million against the global corporate takeover. Sign below and forward widely. Avaaz will project our petition counter on the walls of the conference so negotiators can see the opposition to their plan exploding in real time:

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_corporate_death_star/

    The deal, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is written to protect investors from government regulation, even if that regulation is passed in the public interest. Leaked versions suggest the TPP would undermine protections for air and water safety and reintroduce measures from the US Internet freedom attack as well as steamrolling efforts to produce generic affordable medicines. Worse still, lawmakers who fail to conform to the TPP’s rules face sanctions in an international tribunal — a place where corporations can sue us for deals previous governments signed in secret!

    Negotiators say this is just a trade agreement, written to facilitate investment and profit for all. But the leaked draft imposes so many limits on citizen protections, it’s clear this “trade” agreement is skewed to put corporate profit above people’s needs — that’s not surprising since it’s been drafted in secret with almost 600 corporate lobbyists.

    But there is hope: Australia is bucking against the international tribunal system, and New Zealand is objecting to the takeover of its medicine-pricing protections that keep drugs affordable. Massive public opposition, casting doubt over each country’s ability to sell TPP at home, could derail the talks for good. Sign the petition now, and forward widely — the delegates and lobbyists are watching the wave of opposition grow in real time:

    [the same link again]

    US candidate for Senate, Elizabeth Warren in a recent speech said: “Corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters, because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.” Let’s reach one million to stop the corporate takeover of our governments.

    […]

    MORE INFORMATION

    The Nation: “NAFTA on Steroids”
    http://www.thenation.com/article/168627/nafta-steroids

    The Guardian: “The Pacific free trade deal that’s anything but free”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/27/pacific-free-trade-deal

    Huffington Post: “Leak Cracks Open Trans-Pacific Partnership Scandal”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-fletcher/leak-cracks-open-transpac_b_1594675.html

    Reuters: “Lawmakers press for open Trans-Pacific trade talks”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/27/us-usa-congress-trade-idUSBRE85Q1MK20120627

  356. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    INHERENT MORALITY or INNER GOODNESS

    Seriously? Has he ever claimed such a thing about himself?

    I dunno; has he? There’s a difference between making specific claims about a specific person, and speculating about the motives behind the behavior of a generalized group of people. I was doing the latter.

    I AM TRULY A MORAL AND SPIRITUAL LEADER OF THE NATION

    That was an adapted Blackadder quote. David doesn’t do humor, I guess.

    The Internet: SRS BSNSS Since 1997.

  357. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Chas, stop being a fucking rape apologist. You are excusing attempted rape. He actually admitted it was attempted rape, and you’re sitting here trying to say it wasn’t rape-rape, and boys will be boys. Fuck off.

    David: Honestly? I don’t give a fraction of a fuck about his issues when he is dangerous. He’s been told he’s being grossly inappropriate and is digging in. Even if your assessment is correct, he’s still being disgusting around survivors, throwing a pity party for his poor, cursed self and trying to make sure the silly girls don’t make the same mistake of being near people like him…by hanging around them. Right.

  358. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    not buying it.
    Unless we’re using different values of “trying too hard”.

    Here, let me repeat myself:

    having been on the receiving end of dudes “trying too hard to get consent”.

    Wanna know what it felt like? Wanna know what I was worried they’d do as I kept saying no?

    These are not separate things to the target, Chas. That dudes pretend that “trying too hard to get consent” isn’t rapey means fuck all. It is.

    Shockingly, the one doing the coercion ISN’T the one who gets to decide when it goes to far.

  359. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    Was it “ain’t it wonderful”? Or was it “look how easy it can be to ignore other people’s desires and end up doing quite horrible things – make sure you don’t do what I did”?

    Do you honestly think a blog with a non-trivial number of rape and abuse survivors needs an attempted rapist/inspirational speaker to philosophize about his personal fuck-ups? Because I don’t.

    If John wants to do some good in the greater community, he should go where the rapists are.

  360. David Marjanović says

    Part 2:

    TechDirt: “Hollywood Gets To Party With TPP Negotiators; Public Interest Groups Get Thrown Out Of Hotel”
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120131/23161417605/hollywood-gets-to-party-with-tpp-negotiators-public-interest-groups-get-thrown-out-hotel.shtml

    Electronic Frontier Foundation: “Background and analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement”
    https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp

    Unless we’re using different values of “trying too hard”.

    Then perhaps we are. What would you see as “trying too hard” but not attempted rape?

    You know–or should–exactly what I meant by “the same person”

    Eh, perhaps I should, but I don’t, let alone “exactly”, which is why I ask. The first thing that came to mind was Dhorvath claiming he literally doesn’t identify with “the person he was” 10 years ago – believing that was literally someone else in all important ways. So, how much is “the same” for you? Or how much wouldn’t be?

    and your metamorphosis line is Morales-level bullshit.

    That’s of course a metaphor. Many people have undergone pretty radical and pretty sudden changes of their worldview. I never have and can’t really empathize. My current personality wouldn’t feel strange to my 8-year-old self; I wasn’t an atheist yet, but I’m quite sure I could deconvert my 8-year-old self within minutes by saying I haven’t found any evidence and have found anything supernatural to be an unnecessary hypothesis, and that’s really the only difference I can think of.

    For comparison, Jadehawk once wrote on her blog that she was a chill girl in her early 20s and said lots of “stupid shit” she’s now terribly ashamed of.

  361. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Re: Morales – I’m clueless on the back story here. Did he say he was remorseful? Did he sayd he sees the problem with what he did? If so, why should he leave? What else is going on that I don’t know?

  362. Beatrice says

    Where is SGBM when you need him to unearth a lost thread?

    Was it “ain’t it wonderful”? Or was it “look how easy it can be to ignore other people’s desires and end up doing quite horrible things – make sure you don’t do what I did”?

    I remember it as the second thing. Whatever he said at the time, it appears to have been something that didn’t result in people shunning him or telling him that his deeds make him unwelcome here.

  363. David Marjanović says

    I dunno; has he? There’s a difference between making specific claims about a specific person, and speculating about the motives behind the behavior of a generalized group of people. I was doing the latter.

    ~:-| John is about the least useful example to generalize from, so I didn’t even get the idea that that’s what you were doing.

    That was an adapted Blackadder quote. David doesn’t do humor, I guess.

    No, I’m not that deep down the spectrum. (Haven’t you noticed how much I laugh on Pharyngula?) As it happens, I have in fact watched Blackadder, which really isn’t an assumption you should start from; I enjoyed it very much. I just didn’t remember that quote.

    (I didn’t even watch all of it in English; and the English is often hard to understand for me without subtitles, or at least it was when I watched it, which was several years ago.)

    Even if your assessment is correct, he’s still being disgusting around survivors, throwing a pity party for his poor, cursed self and trying to make sure the silly girls don’t make the same mistake of being near people like him…by hanging around them. Right.

    The way I take it, he’s trying to make sure the silly boys don’t make his mistake.

    I agree he should be more careful about when he asks for sympathy. He definitely fucked it up this time.

    Do you honestly think a blog with a non-trivial number of rape and abuse survivors needs an attempted rapist/inspirational speaker to philosophize about his personal fuck-ups?

    Again, I don’t know what the context was. I hope the subthread in question has resurfaced.

    If John wants to do some good in the greater community, he should go where the rapists are.

    Good point.

  364. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    I remember it as the second thing. Whatever he said at the time, it appears to have been something that didn’t result in people shunning him or telling him that his deeds make him unwelcome here.

    Ah yes, the Argumentum Back-in-Time-ium.

  365. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    John is about the least useful example to generalize from, so I didn’t even get the idea that that’s what you were doing.

    Dudes patting themselves on the back for how smart and awesome they are isn’t new. It even crosses the theological divide: you can find them in church AND at atheist meetings.

    As it happens, I have in fact watched Blackadder, which really isn’t an assumption you should start from; I enjoyed it very much. I just didn’t remember that quote.

    For future reference…I make a lot of jokes, and I’m sarcastic. I’m (usually) not going to blockquote everything someone says and make a detailed refutation. I just don’t have the energy for that. That’s why not everything in my posts is serious or a claim to fact. (For instance, I have no primary sources about when The Internet got its SRS BSNSS license. It could’ve been 1996.)

    The way I take it, he’s trying to make sure the silly boys don’t make his mistake.

    Would you let a child molester work at a school to talk about how bad child molesting is in the off chance he stops a potential child molester? I don’t think the kids would appreciate that.

    Pretty much the same principle is at work here. You’re (here I go with my assumptions again!) putting potential good above actual harm. That’s douchey and wrong.

  366. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Slartibartfast <– isn't that a character in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe? *googles furiously* – Illuminata

    Yes, he worked for planet designers, and was a specialist in fjords, which I admit I generalised to "lovely crinkly coastlines" – that was a phrase he used, but of course Greece has a crinkly coastline that isn't made up of fjords, those being a post-glacial feature. Colin McEvedy, in The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History shows how the areas the Greeks colonised outside what we now call Greece (western coastal Anatolia, the Crimea, Sicily etc.) also had these crinkly coastlines, and hypothesised that they produced a distinctive littoral “ecosphere” where most communities had most of their links with others on the coast. I’m going beyond that in suggesting it might have produced a distinctively dense network of direct inter-community contacts (mostly by sea), and so more opportunities to meet people who did things differently, and an easier spread of innovations. I think the same happened later on a larger scale in western Europe.

  367. Beatrice says

    Ah yes, the Argumentum Back-in-Time-ium.

    ?

    You mean, the argument that it wasn’t an issue for months (more than a year, maybe, I’m not sure), but it suddenly is. Especially with none of us remembering what exactly was said.

  368. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    David Marjanović,

    Thanks for the TPP link – I’d actually received an email on that, but hadn’t clicked on it. I’ll pass it on. These bastards never let up, do they?

  369. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    You mean, the argument that it wasn’t an issue for months (more than a year, maybe, I’m not sure), but it suddenly is. Especially with none of us remembering what exactly was said.

    It wasn’t an issue that you were aware of. Rape/abuse survivors that feel uncomfortable around an attempted rapist don’t always make it known.

  370. David Marjanović says

    For future reference…I make a lot of jokes, and I’m sarcastic. I’m (usually) not going to blockquote everything someone says and make a detailed refutation. I just don’t have the energy for that. That’s why not everything in my posts is serious or a claim to fact.

    Did you read what I wrote? I didn’t recognize the Blackadder quote and therefore didn’t recognize the joke. I thought you were paraphrasing unspecified Republicans.

    Would you let a child molester work at a school to talk about how bad child molesting is in the off chance he stops a potential child molester? I don’t think the kids would appreciate that.

    There’s good reason to fear a child molester will do it again, if not at the first opportunity, then the second or third. Why do you think there’s a risk John will attempt rape again?

    Thanks for the TPP link – I’d actually received an email on that, but hadn’t clicked on it. I’ll pass it on. These bastards never let up, do they?

    Yeah. I was quite shocked. In fact, because I don’t read the Guardian (or HuffPo or… any of the others in that list), I had to read pretty far down before I was convinced avaaz.org hadn’t fallen for a conspiracy theory. Treaties with such far-reaching consequences negotiated without any democratic control? …Turns out it’s only a bad joke in the sense that North Korea is one.

  371. RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital says

    There’s good reason to fear a child molester will do it again, if not at the first opportunity, then the second or third. Why do you think there’s a risk John will attempt rape again?

    David, I don’t know how else to explain “the presence of an attempted rapist makes rape survivors uncomfortable” in any other way to you. You’re being uncharacteristically dense.

  372. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Religion —-> Architecture —–> Amazing maths —-> Optical illusions (“perfection” of nature, this is for the gods after all) —–> Hey wait that’s science right there! – theophontes

    If that’s the best you’ve got for a causal influence of religion on science, I can rest my case. Incidentally, did any of the ancients (that we know of) study optical illusions?

    Others have dealt with your points on Socrates and Aristotle @445 – in the latter case, you really do appear unable to read for comprehension. Your “hundred schools of thought contend” would seem to fit well enough with the hypothesis that it was ancient Greek religion’s weakness that was favourable for philosophy and proto-science.

    Incidentally, it’s amusing to note that Socrates fell victim to a charge of impiety (“not believing in the gods of the state”). Good old tolerant, pluralistic Greek religion, eh?

  373. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    David: What Rah said at #484. Really. Not cool. Being around a rapist who still makes comments that suggest a lack of a grasp of consent is fucking scary.

    Beatrice: I’ll just speak for myself here. I didn’t say anything at the time, because I was even more of a nobody here than I currently am, and there’s something about fearing the popular people will defend their pet rapist over the comfort of a nobody… like what’s happening now.

  374. Beatrice says

    It wasn’t an issue that you were aware of. Rape/abuse survivors that feel uncomfortable around an attempted rapist don’t always make it known.

    Ok. I realize that.

    I still don’t understand some things about this particular situation, but I won’t argue against rape victims wanting a safe space.

  375. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Beatrice: it scared the fuck out of me when it happened, and then everybody going along like he’d just confessed to underwatering a houseplant once just sort of kept me in a horrified silence.

  376. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Beatrice: Thank you. I knew you weren’t doing anything deliberate, or with full knowledge of all of the shit involved.

  377. David Marjanović says

    who still makes comments that suggest a lack of a grasp of consent

    I didn’t notice that. If true, that’s indeed scary. Where are those comments?

    Do you mean comment 443 of this subthread? Because I can’t find a lack of a grasp of consent in there. The one who said “trying too hard to obtain consent” isn’t attempted rape was ChasCPeterson.

  378. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    I don’t keep them logged, I’m sorry, David. He’s made some very sketchy comments wrt disabled people recently, and justified a lot of Franco’s regime recently as well. But as I said, I don’t exactly build up archives of creepy shit he says, because, well, I have to sleep and eat sometimes.

    We already know Chas is a creep too.

  379. David Marjanović says

    justified a lot of Franco’s regime recently as well

    *blink*

    WTF.

    We already know Chas is a creep too.

    Yeah, I’m waiting for an explanation from him (see comment 473). I didn’t spell that out in my previous comment because I didn’t know if he had commented in the meantime… and… I was too lazy to refresh before submitting.

  380. CJO says

    Incidentally, did any of the ancients (that we know of) study optical illusions?

    The Euclidean texts contain a fair bit on optics, of course, and Claudius Ptolemy studied refraction. There was disagreement between the Stoic and Epicurean schools about matters of perception, color, apparent size and such matters. But I don’t know of any treatment of optical illusions per se.

  381. David Marjanović says

    David, Morales made flattering comments about Franco’s regime here.

    …Whoa. That’s a lot of ignorance about history. It’s scary.

    Anyway, I’ve learned something from Nick Gotts’ response (comment 397 – yes, it took that long for anyone to reply): “ETA removed his intended successor, blowing him over a 5-storey building” – I didn’t know ETA had ever done anything useful.

    I doubt that Kim Jong-un makes trains run on time, though (as “suggested” in comment 488). I don’t think there are any trains other than his special one.

  382. David Marjanović says

    Petition-like entity to sign to thank the National Fraternal Order of Police (sorry, I can’t write such a name other than in Comic Sans) for not endorsing Rmoney (…heh, that was a genuine typo this time). They endorsed Bush both times and then McCain, and don’t endorse anyone this time – for the first time in 98 years.

    From the e-mail that Daily Kos sent:

    “Romney’s statements of strong support for several anti-union initiatives, particularly the Republican move in Ohio to eliminate collective-bargaining rights for all public-sector employees, including police and firefighters, surely played an important role in this decision. Now, not only was that measure overturned by Ohio voters last year, but Romney’s support for it has cost him a key endorsement.

    When organizations hold Republicans accountable for their anti-union policies, we need to let those organizations know their efforts are appreciated.”

    Page with details sez they’re endorsing Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the first time since 1988 that they endorse a Democrat.

  383. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I’m still having jaw problems from how rapidly it

    Context makes clear that “it” is the jaw that dropped.

    Hm. You might be right; I didn’t see that. It’s not out of the ordinary to say that a person “dropped” (much like “laid out”) some words (onto the metaphorical table, I suppose). I’m not sure though, can’t agree that it’s clear.

    Where is SGBM when you need him to unearth a lost thread?

    Sorry, I don’t have a scent trail for this one. I need to remember something about the thread in order to find it, and I don’t think I read this section of whatever thread it was. Maybe if someone could remember something else about the thread?