Comments

  1. says

    I have bookmarked the 2nd page of the previous incarnation as a prime Zombie Day weekend round table. That was a whole lot of fun and silliness. Thank you everyone, I really needed that.

  2. chigau (not my real name) says

    WTFPZ
    Why are you still awake?
    [That kitty-pic is the cutest thing I’ve seen this year.]

  3. says

    Thomas Aquinas was so smart that he proved god’s existence using only his thumbs. Then he was like, “No, that’s not awesome enough”. So he proved it *again* with both of his hands tied behind his back. Still he was not satisfied that he was the smartest philosopher ever. So he proved it three more times — blindfolded, underwater, and while riding a camel backwards, respectively.

    Thomas Aquinas invented the internet. Then he proved it didn’t exist, so it disappeared for like 800 years.

    Thomas Aquinas could actually calculate the square root of a negative number, and divide by zero.

    He was just that smart.

  4. jacksul says

    What is this? A completely unmoderated forum on Pharyngula?

    It is a good idea, but I made plenty of controversial posts on Pharyngula proper and I was never blocked, censored or banned. (A point I bring up frequently on youtube)

  5. chigau (not my real name) says

    Dalillama
    re: lich
    damn
    I must research more further.
    [beyond my own book”shelf”]

  6. John Morales says

    Oh yeah, old Tommy sure knew his Theology. All of it.

    Here he answers these questions three:

    Whether the blessed in heaven will see the sufferings of the damned?

    (Yes)

    Whether the blessed pity the unhappiness of the damned?

    (No)

    Whether the blessed rejoice in the punishment of the wicked?

    (Yes)

  7. says

    jacksul:

    What is this? A completely unmoderated forum on Pharyngula?

    Oh look, it’s the douchebag of a delicate flower who told me I shouldn’t talk about my rape. IF I was raped, of course.

    I made plenty of controversial posts on Pharyngula proper

    No, you asswipe. You made a lot of stupid, offensive screeds full of whinging, demonstrating your lack of intelligence, your marked inability to comprehend the written word and your overall cowardice. Go back to Pharyngula “proper”, dear. You’re out of your fucking element.

  8. chigau (not my real name) says

    jacksul #14

    What is this? A completely unmoderated forum on Pharyngula?

    Oh yes.
    Uh huh.
    Moderation.
    Forum.
    On Pharyngula.
    Yup.

  9. chigau (not my real name) says

    aahh
    That’s why the ‘nym is familiar.
    [I need to improve my bookmark storage skills.]

  10. John Morales says

    Ah yes, Tommy on women (Summa, Part 1, Q92).

    Whether the woman should have been made in that first production of things?

    (Yes)

    Whether the woman should have been made from man?

    (Yes)

    Whether the woman was fittingly made from the rib of man?

    (Yes)

    Whether the woman was made immediately* by God?

    (Yes)

    * By “immediately” he means ‘directly’.

  11. smike says

    Oh, come on! It’s Zombie Jeebus and everybody knows that. I mean, where does he ever display independent thought? It’s “My Father this, My Father that.”

    Hell, he’s got scars on his body that cry out, “Here’s how THEY FUCKING KILLED ME! I was dead, but in his infinite wisdom My Father created zombies, too!”

    The thing that keeps me awake at night, though, is wondering what would have happened if they had just cut his fucking head off?

  12. jacksul says

    Caine, I honestly apologized and I meant it. (and have been defending feminism, PZ, and FTB on the youtube front ever sense despite the abuse) What else do you want?

  13. smike says

    Crap, after clicking on Link text, I now realize that Jeebus may not have been a mindless cannibal (though I am not convinced), but His Father still created zombies, right?

  14. says

    jacksul:

    Caine, I honestly apologized and I meant it.

    No, you did not. (Go back and read that thread. Over and over. Until you fucking get it.) Unlike you, I’m intelligent and capable of comprehending what I read. Defending feminism my haffer ass. Do us all a favour, don’t. And fuck off. I mean that most sincerely.

  15. says

    Dalillama:

    Whatever happened to proudchristian?

    They said they had other things to attend, but would be checking back to respond. Tomorrow is Zombie Day, so I assume a xian, even a lukewarm one, would be tied up at least part of the day.

    And yes, I’d rather have them here then jacksul. Christ, I was having a good time.

  16. Lofty says

    Australia’s homophobic right wing opposition leader Tony Abbott is reconsidering his stance on gay marriage after his sister leaves her marriage of 19 years and moves in with a same sex partner. His two youngest daughters

    Frances and Bridget Abbott have told News Limited they believe same-sex couples should be able to marry and have discussed the matter with their father.

    Woohoo.

  17. says

    Lofty:

    Australia’s homophobic right wing opposition leader Tony Abbott is reconsidering his stance on gay marriage after his sister leaves her marriage of 19 years and moves in with a same sex partner.

    You know what bothers me? That these self-righteous douchecakes never manage to reconsider unless it hits them right where they live.

  18. says

    proudchristian, if you make it this far, there’s something I’m curious about. Most xians aren’t keen on the cussing and swearing business, but I notice you have a happily filthy vocabulary. Is this part of the liberalness of your brand of xianity, or just a personal preference you tailor to the company present?

    I’m not judging or attempting a jab or anything, I’m just being nosy.

  19. Lofty says

    Caine:

    You know what bothers me? That these self-righteous douchecakes never manage to reconsider unless it hits them right where they live.

    He’s nothing but a political weather vane. I suspect he’ll win the next election though, then watch any hint of compassion disappear. Our left wing is extremely weak from infighting and they’ve only got 5-6 months to pull their shit together.

  20. Hamish says

    Yes, it seems the right-wing “change of opinion because family member comes out” thing is becoming quite a regular occurrence. Rob Portman in the US being the most recent example. I loved Saxby Chambliss’ response though, he’s not going to start supporting gay marriage until he actually wants to get gay married himself.

  21. says

    Caine
    Not really caught up, but I wanted to get back to something you wrote:

    It’s not as though a person can’t find nice, gentle, hippie Jesus if they go looking.

    This takes me back to the idea of making an alternative bible quote calendar.
    I always get annoyed by those nice feely-touchy christian a bible quote a day calendars common in nursing homes. Quote mining nice words out of one of the most barbarious book there is.

  22. says

    Sneaky bastard

    Trying to trick me in here with cat pictures so I think it’s the safer lounge thread -.o

    Not cool PZ, not cool :(

  23. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I ♥ this place.
    Second page of previous Thunderdome was most amusing.

  24. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    How kind of proudchristian to announce xer denialist ignorance and irrationality in xer very first comment over in the Lounge! I’ve been engaged in trying to nail jelly to a wall over at James McGrath’s blog on Patheos – possibly the ultimate in squishy Christians?

  25. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    For anyone who happened to miss the Quantumn Tomatoes Phenomenon (and is interested): http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/11/03/why-i-am-an-atheist-doubting-thomas/comment-page-1/

    I have a great deal of pride in my contributions to that thread. It was . . . bizarre.

    Thank you everyone, I really needed that.

    I did, too. After all the MRAs and rape apologists coming through, an attempted drive-by proselytization was almost refreshing.

    Actually, Jesus is a marionette.

    You just made Rambo-Jesus unhappy. Implying that Jesus could be French is anathema here in Jesus’ home country!

  26. xerxes the magnificent says

    Lofty

    Thoughts on the actual probability of Kevin Rudd winning enough support to lead Labor again? (As opposed to the mainly manufactured News Limited version of the “leadership struggle”) I still have a soft spot in my heart for him.

    Also, I reckon I’d definitely vote for Julian Assange for the senate…

  27. garlic says

    Smike #24, Caine #26:

    Apparently, “headless zombie” is a common condition among Christian worthies.

    Personally I’m most familiar with Saint Denis / Dionysius, who apparently carried his head under his arm all the way down Montmartre.

    To which I say, lazy bugger – now if he had carried it uphill, then I would have been really impressed!

  28. says

    From the ghost of Thunderdome past:

    think of what proudchristian will have to wade through to find their argument

    That really made me laugh. I love you guys. *hugs* all around.

  29. says

    @Caine
    What’s wrong with “Coyote’s Law”? Once can use religious references in contextual and creative ways. If a person uses asocial behavior I think it ironically (to them) gives me permission to do the same. It’s part of how I work rhetorically and strategically :)

  30. says

    I just finished reading the last page of the Dome. Damn, ya’ll got all the [brief] fun. So entertaining to watch the Horde in action (this looked to be a welcome respite from the anti-feminists).
    I noticed some rather interesting discussions going on too (backs away slowly from the hands in dead bodies people… j/k).

    Oh, and I totes picture Chris Clarke as Skipper. Of course PZ is the Professor.
    Now who will play Ginger, Mary Anne, the Howells, and of course, Gilligan?

  31. Dhorvath, OM says

    Myeck,
    The Lauging Coyote is now roaming FB. Last I heard there was a forge at home too. I will pass on that you asked.

  32. says

    I remember jacksul as well. No doucheweaselbag, you did not apologize to Caine. You dismissed her. And that was after you thought to dictate what she chose to talk about.
    I see you still have not learned your lesson.

  33. says

    Is there not some skilled individual who can bake some special cookies for jacksul. One each for being a True defender of Feminism, PZ, and FtB in YouTube comments no less. Maybe a zombie day wafer? Since so many people have persecuted hir, perhaps engraving the name ‘proudchristian’ on each of the cookies will help everyone feel they have done their job to make life worse for christians.

  34. says

    Soooooo, the opening statements for Mick Nugent’s “Dialog” are up now.

    I have to say I gave up fairly early into the opposing side’s statement:

    By Jack Smith (with input from a working group including these individual volunteers: Tim Skellett, Renee Hendricks, Thaumas Themelios, Skep Tickle but not necessarily reflecting the entirety of each of their views)


    Thanks, but no thanks.

  35. says

    This is what happens if you give them a forum. You give them credibility. Atheism and skepticism have already lost and are thrown back 20 years just by letting these lying creeps take part in this debate between supposedly equally valid positions.

    If those freaks weren’t atheists, not one person in the movement would have hesitated to call them out on their harassment, bullying, stalking and lying tactics. But here we are, having a “dialogue”.

    Next up, AC Grayling versus Franc Hoggle. Matt Dillahunty vs Bluharmony. Until we can all be friends again.

  36. carlie says

    Next up, AC Grayling versus Franc Hoggle. Matt Dillahunty vs Bluharmony. Until we can all be friends again.

    Kumbaya, my Horde, Kumbaya…

    (ok, I’ll show myself out for that one)

  37. says

    It is also somewhat ironic and yet a hallmark of the slymers, that even in this “dialogue”, they get to hide behind the anonymous “Jack Smith” nym, while Stephanie Zvan is named. Could they not find one slymer who had the guts to write under their real name? You’ve got to laugh.

  38. Pteryxx says

    Could they not find one slymer who had the guts to write under their real name? You’ve got to laugh.

    Isn’t Renee Hendricks using her real name? Vacula uses his real name, but he’s apparently too busy flooding the aacon13 hashtag to participate in Nugent’s dialogue.

    However, one would’ve expected, say, Stangroom, Blackford, or Paula Kirby to step up. Since they’re all about preventing feminazi damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  39. Pteryxx says

    Could they not find one slymer who had the guts to write under their real name? You’ve got to laugh.

    Isn’t Renee Hendricks using her real name? Vacula uses his real name, but he’s apparently too busy flooding the aacon13 hashtag to participate in Nugent’s dialogue.

  40. Pteryxx says

    However, one would’ve expected, say, Stangroom, Blackford, or Paula Kirby to step up. Since they’re all about preventing feminazi damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  41. Pteryxx says

    However, one would’ve expected someone less pitty, say, Stangroom, Blackford, or Paula Kirby, to step up. Since they’re all about preventing femi[stasi/nazi] damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  42. Pteryxx says

    However, one would’ve expected, say, Stangr*m, Blackf*rd, or Paula Kirby to step up. Since they’re all about preventing feminazi damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  43. Pteryxx says

    However, one would’ve expected, say, Stangr*m, Blackf*rd, or Paula Kirby to step up. Since they’re all about preventing femi[stasi/nazi] damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  44. Pteryxx says

    However, one would’ve expected, say, St——m, Bl——d, or Paula K—y to step up. Since they’re all about preventing femi[stasi/nazi] damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  45. Pteryxx says

    However, one would’ve expected, say, St——m, Bl——d, or Paula K—y to step up.

  46. Pteryxx says

    Since they’re all about preventing femi[stasi/nazi] damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  47. Pteryxx says

    Since they’re all about preventing femi[insert Godwin here] damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  48. Pteryxx says

    Since they’re all about preventing femi-Godwin damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making cunt jokes.

  49. Pteryxx says

    Since they’re all about preventing femi-Godwin damage to the atheist community, and not s’ much about making c–t jokes.

  50. says

    One could indeed argue that they sent the C-team into this dialogue. Maybe their A-team, or B-team for that matter, is in fact really too embarrassed to be associated with them in a half-decent public forum.

  51. says

    I left a supportive comment for Stephanie. Lets see how this goes. I think that her commenting requirements are quite reasonable.

  52. says

    I think that her commenting requirements are quite reasonable.

    The ones where the “team” won’t publish any comments until they can tell where the wind is blowing from? China comes to mind.

  53. says

    http://atheistskepticdialogue.com/2013/03/31/strand-1-opening-statement-by-jack-smith/
    Observations.

    Most basic objections
    *Defining the Community.
    “…the atheist/skeptic community…”
    What is this community?

    His very first point is what he does as an atheist, or at least what he and the atheists he knows do as atheists. Does he know what all atheists are like? Or does he display characteristics that indicate that he knows what “most” atheists are like?

    I need to process more before saying anything but I do not see a person who knows how to see if what he knows matches to reality.

  54. says

    @rorschach
    In debates I first judge people by what they choose to ignore. We are talking about community so if they ignore things that talk about the experiences and needs of other people, they are meat to me when it comes to rhetoric. Are you worth a relationship or not ;)

  55. says

    I’m definitely seeing a person obsessed with how we “do atheism/skepticism”. I get it, he wants to fight. But he’s ignoring why we fight.

  56. says

    What is this community?

    Reminds me of Dick Feynman, when he was invited to a conference about debate between differing scientific disciplines or somesuch, and the stenographer who was typing up the stuff everyone said one day said to him and I paraphrase “I thought you could not possibly be a professor, because I understood what you said and asked straight away, whereas whenever those professors speak, I cant understand a word”.

    When all Feynman tried to do was to define what on earth the terms of the debate and used in the debate were in the first place.

    Like, “community”. Ain’t no such thing.

  57. Rey Fox says

    When They™ reach a Consensus™… what will that mean?

    Consensus: We all agree that gods and bigfoots are totally silly, and Muslims are scary. Let’s proceed on that!

    An Aerosmith song comes to mind. Something about a song and a dance.

  58. mythbri says

    Re: “Jack Smith”‘s opening statement: Yawn.

    I did like Stephanie Zvan’s opening statement (the dogs were safe from whistles there).

    But I have no idea what this is supposed to accomplish.

  59. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Called up my in-laws today and offered to bring the kids over for an Easter egg hunt and then make dinner for everyone tonight.

    Hubby got cornered and got to hear how we should go to church (not that the individual giving this advice ever goes to church.) and how the Apocalypse is coming, complete with zombies. Seriously, this was said with total sincerity. I’m beginning to regret reaching out. I don’t think this is going to be much fun.

    I can’t uninvite them. That would feel petty and cowardly. I can only hope that dinner conversation only makes the season finale of Walking Dead even better.

  60. Ulysses says

    “Jack Smith” wrote:

    We see the issues as a clash of ideas between those who wish to impose a particular political and social ideology, and those who wish to maintain the rationalist principles that have served us well for so many years. This kind of imposition will necessarily divide the movement and weaken it.

    I fail to see what’s wrong with dividing the movement. If one group thinks women should be treated as human beings and another group doesn’t agree, then why should the first group want to have anything to do with the second group? Let the second group pat themselves on the back for not believing in Bigfoot and Allah and let the first group work to undo the misogyny the religious patriarchy (and the secular patriarchy) inflicts on us.

    Since one group of people are engaged in a long-running, insulting, jeering bullying of the other group, as a member of the anti-misogyny bunch I want nothing to do with the sexist bullies. If that creates divisiveness and “weakens the movement” then the movement wasn’t worth much to me. Let it wither away and be replaced with a movement which gives a damn about people.

  61. chigau (not my real name) says

    The “movement” was never a unified whole.
    How can there be rifts?

  62. carlie says

    and those who wish to maintain the rationalist principles that have served us well for so many years

    That’s the thing right there, isn’t it? Sticking just with their principles in the way they interpreted it didn’t serve everyone well for many years. They just don’t think the people for whom it didn’t serve them well are important.

    (also, just to clarify, I meant above that I’d read it, not that I was telling rorschach to read it)

  63. says

    @Nate
    Technically it’s not a debate, it’s the first two entries into the dialogue at the Atheist/Skeptic dialogue. But when there is emotion on both sides as is seen now, I find it hard to pretend that I will see as much dialogue as we should.
    /shrug

  64. says

    That’s the thing right there, isn’t it? Sticking just with their principles in the way they interpreted it didn’t serve everyone well for many years. They just don’t think the people for whom it didn’t serve them well are important.

    Absolutely.
    They were happy with the status quo. They could feel GREAT™.
    Just like the dudes in the STEM fields who feel cheated for the careers they thought they were entitled to and which they’re not getting now because of those pesky women.

  65. Pteryxx says

    Not just ‘rationalist principles':

    We see the issues as a clash of ideas between those who wish to impose a particular political and social ideology,

    But chilly climate, unconscious bias, silencing, microaggressions, stereotype threat, dismissal of victims of rape and harassment, and more have evidence. There’s tons of research backing all this up, much of which is linked in the sidebar. We’ve HAD that conversation over the last couple of years. The only rational position they could possibly have is ‘yes, all that shit exists, and we don’t care.’

  66. says

    Pteryxx:
    The position they usually claim to take is that that isn’t ‘Real Science’, and tehre fore all of that evidence can be dismissed. So, basically they’re creationists.

  67. says

    Oy! PZ! We got a live one, here!

    Any chance you’ll blog about it?

    Alternet: Have Militant Atheists Created a New Religion? (There is danger in dogma, whoever is behind it.)

    It is, according to the byline, an excerpt from the book “The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates,” by Frans de Waal.

    I wish Frans hadn’t gone this route, because, otherwise, the premise of the book seems interesting. I’ve always wondered if non-human animals had some sort of analog for spirituality; that would suggest that they perhaps have an analogue for atheism, too. So this book would be fascinating, if he hadn’t decided to spend some part of it bashing atheists.

  68. Pteryxx says

    The position they usually claim to take is that that isn’t ‘Real Science’, and tehre fore all of that evidence can be dismissed. So, basically they’re creationists.

    And like creationists, they want the evidence not just fairly countered or ignored, but banned, erased, and all the propagators of it silenced.

  69. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    EXTREME TRIGGER WARNING — DEPRESSION, CHILD ABUSE, RAPE, ETC.

    Shit, shit, shit.

    Just spent a half an hour on the phone with a cub scout leader. Seemed like a nice guy. Looking for information about visiting here plus camping at Delaware Water Gap or somewhere else in the Poconos, swimming opportunities, hiking opportunities. The group is from a mid-Atlantic ward of, you guessed it, the LDS.

    In the past (calmed down a little now) we have discussed micro-aggression. Things that are small but still hurt but, by themselves, aren’t really worth standing up and shouting, “Knock it off, asshole!” I feel like, the past week or two I have been micro-triggering. Things that are small. Or large (that I backed away from in time (the asshole on the Adria Richards thread, for example)) but not enough to push me over the edge, just closer. I feel like these damn little things have been building up for quite a while and what gives me the full-blown panic attack? Not some MRA rape apologist bitchez lie assclam in smegmarmalade chowder, oh, no. Just an innocent phone call from a scout leader looking to bring a bunch of cub scouts up from southern Pennsylvania.

    I don’t want to play this game anymore. It was easier (though (I suspect) not as healthy) when I didn’t remember any of this shit. Back in my innocent days when, if someone had asked me about Cub Scouts, I would have just said that I did not enjoy it. Back when a 9/11 nightmare was actually scary. Back when 9/11 smells triggered panic attacks I could surf.

    I don’t want to play this game anymore. I want to be able to do my job, my career, my avocation, without wondering when some innocent comment, or phone call, or visitor, is going to set me off. I can hold them off until I have a chance to actually let it out, but I am sick of this shit.

    And it will never end, will it? that fucking asshole has given me this for hte rest of my life. Part of me is glad that giant missing piece is where it should be and part of me wishes for the puzzle to be incomplete but then I would still be wondering what is wrong with me. I supose knowing what is wrong with me is a good thing?

    Some of htis shit has really hurt coming back to my memories. Some of it has been no surprise. Some of it really scares me and makes me wonder who or what I really am. Or if I am who I pretend to be? What if they’re right, that victims offend? Would that make me a rapist in denial? Fuck that, no way. Never gonna happen. I am me, damnit. Broken, hurt, but I an’t going to break others.

    Fuck.

    I had to dumpt this somewhere to get the racing thougts and remnant of a panic attack out of my system.

    I am sick of this shit. Does it ever stop being there all the fucking time?

  70. says

    Ogvorbis:

    I feel like, the past week or two I have been micro-triggering.

    This is a real phenomenon. Jacksul showing up here was a microtrigger for me.

    What if they’re right, that victims offend? Would that make me a rapist in denial?

    No and no. You are a gentle, compassionate, decent person. You have spent your life caring and sharing with your family and educating people. We might be broken, Og, but we are not the bad guys.

    I am sick of this shit. Does it ever stop being there all the fucking time?

    Yes, it stops being all the time. Eventually. Right now, you’re still trying to cope with everything, so this is going to go one for a while. It might be time to extend your support system. I know you’re hesitant to share this with your wife, but she loves you and she’s your best friend, right? It might be time.

  71. says

    We see the issues as a clash of ideas between those who wish to impose a particular political and social ideology, and those who wish to maintain the rationalist principles that have served us well for so many years.

    weaselly shit like that is infuriating. Reminds me of Carlin’s “your stuff is shit, my shit is stuff” thing: “my ideology is principles, your principles are an ideology”.

    And “served us so well” rather begs the question as to who “us” is, since it’s pretty fucking obvious that the ideologies that have dominated the skeptic/atheist communities so far have not served all those who are atheists and use skepticism well; or at all, in some cases.

  72. says

    oh, and I should add: given the infestation of the skeptic/atheist community with libertarians etc., their ideology can be described as “rationalist” principles pretty much only in the original sense of rationalism as the opposite of empiricism, AKA mental masturbation.

  73. says

    Ogvorbis:
    I send many hugs along with a shot of Johnny Walker Black.
    Just remember, you are not required to comment anywhere you choose not to. If a thread is talking about a tough subject, it is not cowardly of you to exit to avoid being triggered. Your health should take precedence.
    And a big fat NO to you being a rapist if you are seen as offensive. The amount of power and effect that was wielded over you was of such a degree that offending anyone pales in comparison.

  74. says

    Og,

    Does it ever stop being there all the fucking time?

    Have you considered therapy? You don’t necessarily have to live with the horribleness your whole life. Maybe someone with professional experience can help you work through it. Of course therapy isn’t the be-all, but it could help if you found the right person.

    You’re pretty awesome, dude. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

  75. David Marjanović says

    Considerable manipulation was required, both external and internal.

    …ooooo… kaaaaay.

    was it fucking atheists that turned North Dakota into state ownership of wombs?

    *lightbulb moment* It’s communism!

    Short live the Democratic Fucking People’s Republic of North Dakota!!! Is the governor some kind of Kim?

    if true then jesus could not have been the savior, rule sez you have to be of the line of david, mary was not.

    …uh. IIRC, two gospels explicitly says she and Joseph both were of the House of Me. And then they disagree about the name of Joseph’s grandfather.

    the Christian who stuck a shotgun in my face because I checked out “The God Delusion” from my local library

    What in the fuck! *rageflail* Sue his ass, and then sue the rest of him! I’ll happily contribute to the costs!

    Jerry Fallwell

    Falwell. Or Foulwill.

    Kenn Hamm

    Ken Ham.

    You mean this is a thing outside of twisted movies and pornos (don’t ask)?

    There are 7 billion people in the world. If one in a billion, uh, has any particular feature, there are on average seven of them running around right now. And… porn is produced for a market, so apparently a market exists.

    A-million-to-one odds happen eight times a day in New York City.

    Although… with rigor mortis…

    Nope. Erection isn’t done by contracting a muscle, it’s done by loosening muscles (dilating blood vessels).

    I wanna be shot off into the sun. From stardust we were made, to stardust I want to return…

    You wouldn’t turn into dust till the sun turns into a white, if not a black, dwarf. That’ll take a while. Or maybe when it turns red giant (much earlier) and sloughs material from the outer layers, the plasma consisting of your remains will be among that…

    Hmm.

    I thought his penis was, in fact MISSING (eaten by a crocodile), and so she fashioned a new one for him out of ivory, and THAT was how she managed to make it erect….

    …Oh. …Yeah. That explains things. :-] (…In particular, perhaps, why Crocodylus suchus was considered sacred.)

    Personally I’m most familiar with Saint Denis / Dionysius, who apparently carried his head under his arm all the way down Montmartre.

    After all, mere heathens cannot stop a saint from finishing his hymn, not even by beheading him. *nodnod* Totally logical.

    Kumbaya, my Horde, Kumbaya…

    If They™ reach Consensus™? Total protonic reversal.

    That would be bad.

    Oh, Oggie.
    I’m sosorry.
    *hugs*

    Seconded.
    *calming manatees*

    I think victims offend when they internalize the “value” systems of their offenders. You haven’t done that.

    No, not at all. You’re a good and worthwhile person.

    Also seconded, along with the suggestion for therapy. I think that would require talking to your wife first, though – which would probably be a good thing.

    oh, and I should add: given the infestation of the skeptic/atheist community with libertarians etc., their ideology can be described as “rationalist” principles pretty much only in the original sense of rationalism as the opposite of empiricism, AKA mental masturbation.

    QFT.

  76. opposablethumbs says

    Ogvorbis, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry that you and the other good people here have been harmed and that you still have to deal with this. But he failed to make you like him, never forget that. There’s no way you’re anything like him. You care for people, you do your best (which is a hell of a lot better than most) to help people and make things within your reach better; he failed, failed utterly, because you are good people.

  77. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    I do believe that Angry Kitteh has been ‘shopped in the interests of symmetry.

    Jesus: lich or zombie?

    Discuss.

    Vampire-lich. You can tell because he’s not at all interested in braaaiiiins…and neither are his bloodspawn. He can’t be a proper lich, though, because they are bloodless, and J is frantic that his minions drink of his blood; and because vampires regenerate endlessly (barring such things as stakes through the heart), allowing for the minions to endlessly eat of his flesh.

    Oh, come on! It’s Zombie Jeebus and everybody knows that. I mean, where does he ever display independent thought? It’s “My Father this, My Father that.”

    Just means that he isn’t a Master vampire-lich, but is subservient to the creature that made him.

    The thing that keeps me awake at night, though, is wondering what would have happened if they had just cut his fucking head off?

    Unless they thought to pack the mouth with garlic, and sew the lips shut, before burying it face-down in the coffin, at a crossroads…no difference.

    Sneaky bastard

    Trying to trick me in here with cat pictures so I think it’s the safer lounge thread -.o

    Shoulda noticed the fangs.

    Dhorvath, would you also convey my hug to TLC? I was just thinking about him only yesterday.

    Suppertime!
    -

  78. says

    David Marjanović @ #116

    So you’re a spelling nazi now? Do these people deserve to have their names spelled correctly? ;)

    What in the fuck! *rageflail* Sue his ass, and then sue the rest of him! I’ll happily contribute to the costs!

    a) It happened back in 2006.

    b) I wasn’t an atheist yet, just beginning the journey.

    c) This was in Marietta, Georgia. In that whole state, they don’t take too kindly to atheist views there.

    The fucking cop was worse. The cop got the guy to leave, but then turned to me:

    Cop: Are you one a’ ‘dem atheists?

    Me: Um… no?

    Cop: Good. I don’t need to tell you, but Jesus is not a delusion. Dawkins is the one who’s deluded. It’s best you didn’t read that, but if you must, make sure you pray, as well.

    Then he turned and left. I didn’t bother to tell him that I was Jewish…

    I tried to bring a lawsuit against the two employers, but it was a “he said he said” case, and even my atheist lawyer couldn’t find any way we’d actualy win the lawsuit. It might have been easier had this not been fucking Georgia.

    There are 7 billion people in the world. If one in a billion, uh, has any particular feature, there are on average seven of them running around right now. And… porn is produced for a market, so apparently a market exists.

    A-million-to-one odds happen eight times a day in New York City.

    I…

    That’s a terrifying good point…

    Nope. Erection isn’t done by contracting a muscle, it’s done by loosening muscles (dilating blood vessels).

    It was meant to be a joke… not a well thought-out one, I’ll grant, but still…

    I never said I had any kind of sense of humor…

    :(

    :D

    You wouldn’t turn into dust till the sun turns into a white, if not a black, dwarf. That’ll take a while. Or maybe when it turns red giant (much earlier) and sloughs material from the outer layers, the plasma consisting of your remains will be among that…

    Oh I know. Doesn’t change the fact that this is what I want…

  79. says

    and because vampires regenerate endlessly (barring such things as stakes through the heart), allowing for the minions to endlessly eat of his flesh.

    But Jesus didn’t regenerate. Just think of the Doubting Thomas story.

  80. says

    LykeX:

    and because vampires regenerate endlessly (barring such things as stakes through the heart)

    Wellllll…it was proven on the Disc that vampires can come back from anything (including a good staking) except the cat. We can thank Greebo for that discovery.

  81. says

    Have you considered therapy? You don’t necessarily have to live with the horribleness your whole life. Maybe someone with professional experience can help you work through it. Of course therapy isn’t the be-all, but it could help if you found the right person.

    Sigh. This really needs to be on the list of things never to say to someone with survivor issues, at least unless proceeded by the words “How much therapy have you had?” or its close cousin “How much of your disposal income have you already spent on therapy and how many hours have you spent beating up on insurance companies trying to get it back?”

    My apologies if you and Og have already had that conversation.

  82. says

    ChristineRose:

    Sigh. This really needs to be on the list of things never to say to someone with survivor issues

    Normally, I’d agree and it did rub me the wrong way too, but this is a long ongoing discussion, and many of those involved in it are survivors and deal with the same issues as Og. I don’t think scolding someone who was trying to help or discussing the ins and outs of “the best ways to discuss this shit” will be helpful to anyone right now.

  83. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    *hugs&chocolate&bacon&kittens&butterflies&manatees&tea* for Ogvorbis. Damn, I wish I could help!
     
    Remember: you are not him. You are not what he meant to make of you.
    You are not a rapist. You are not perpetuating the chain of harm on others.
    You are a kind, compassionate, humane being; that you have been badly hurt, is no fault of yours, and no reflection on you.
     
    Remember that the whole world looks warped through the Depression Goggles. Not a true picture. Don’t believe it!

    But Jesus didn’t regenerate. Just think of the Doubting Thomas story.

    He regenerates…but with damage. Like if you put on the Ring of Regeneration after your party members have amputated your legs. Or the way that trolls regenerate, provided it isn’t fire or acid damage.

    Revenant

    I could settle for that.
    -

  84. broboxley OT says

    FFS kid tells me over dinner he didn’t realize racists could be so polite. I suggested that it was the closeness to the canadian border that might be at fault. After dinner I asked specifically what was going on. Apparently the teenage co-workers were telling the Somali’s how much better Jeebus was than Mahound and the Somali’s were getting pissed. He was waiting to be asked his opinion so he could give his “dang thats a good lookin monkey” speech but they never bothered. Told him to mention to the manager how big a lawsuit they might be facing if it doesn’t get shut down. Also told him to mention to the Somali’s that kicking the crap out of the teenagers may be frowned upon as well. Why the fuck people can’t just shaddap and do their jobs is beyond me.

  85. mythbri says

    I’m listening to Julia Sweeney’s Letting Go of God for the first time – all the way through. I’d heard bits and pieces of it before, but never the whole thing. I’m going to listen to God Said ‘Ha!’ next.

    I identify with a lot of the things she’s been saying, but one thing particularly struck me about the part where she tells her mother about the troubling inconsistencies and downright wrongness she found in the Bible during her church study class.

    Her mother accused her of “looking for things to be upset about” by actually going and reading the Bible. “Why did you choose to make your life that much harder?”

    And this is, I think, directly related to the Deep Rifts that Michael Nugent is attempting to bridge. Those members of this atheist/skeptic “community” that refuse to acknowledge the intersection of social justice issues with the secular movement, who deny that privilege exists, who believe that adhering to the principles of “rationality” have, by definition, been a benefit to everyone – all of them are refusing to make their lives a little bit harder.

    This is hard. Everyone here knows that – everyone who has participated in the push against unquestioned sexist/racist/homophobic/trans*phobic attitudes knows that this is hard. It’s hard to acknowledge your own privilege. It’s hard to acknowledge problematic aspects of things that you like. It’s hard to shut up and listen. It’s hard to take the red pill, so to speak, because that leaves you with a choice. What do you do with that knowledge? As I see it, you have three general options:

    1. Do Something. You’ve decided that this can’t stay the same. You’ve decided that this isn’t right. This can be anything from meatspace activism and organizing to donating money to just calling shit out when you see it – saying, “Dude. That wasn’t cool.”

    2. Do Something. You’ve decided that this is the way things are. You’ve decided that this is more or less right. Doing Something here can be anything from meatspace activism to donating money to just sending rape and death threats to people you disagree with.

    3. Do Nothing. This is also a choice. This isn’t “neutrality”. It is an active choice. It’s not a refusal to “play the game”. It’s a valid move – but it moves you away from empathy and meaningful difficulty.

    This is just something that I was thinking about. Lots of you have probably already come to this conclusion, but it was a new way for me to look at things.

  86. DLC says

    Ogvorbis : hang in there man. It ain’t easy, and everybody has to move at their own pace. But you’re making progress. Sometimes you have to do like the old time hikers, and hitch up your pack straps, grin through the pain and press on. You’re walking uphill now, but the view from up-slope is worth it. Thanks for keeping on.

  87. says

    evilisgood:

    I’m so sorry. I felt like maybe it was a weird thing to say but said it anyway. I’m sorry.

    Don’t worry about it. Really. It’s okay, it’s a normal thought and suggestion to make. It’s never easy for anyone to know what to say in these situations. Letting people know you’re there and listening can go a long, long way, and you’ve always been willing and happy to do that.

    Most people dealing with such issues at least think about therapy once or twice or a million times, so it doesn’t come as a shock. One thing to keep in mind that much of effective therapy mostly consists of continually draining the poison out, rather than keeping it locked up in your head. That’s exactly what Ogvorbis has been doing here, with us. So he’s already in therapy, of a sort.

  88. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Ogvorbis,
    There’s a lot of people here who know you’re a fine person, and greatly value your comments.

  89. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Thank you for your support.

    Last night was tough. Not good. Nothing new, just more minor little details. And almost every damn detail was a situation in which I made decisions that hurt others.

    This is a real phenomenon. Jacksul showing up here was a microtrigger for me.

    Yeah. That nym has some really bad shit associated with it.

    Yes, it stops being all the time. Eventually.

    oh, I hope so.

    Have you considered therapy?

    Been to a therapist regarding the 9/11 panic attacks and he taught me some good coping strategies (which I have been using for these). As far as sitting down and actually talking with someone in physical space with real names, it just terrifies me. I’m too frightened and ashamed to go there. And yes, that is most likely yet another example of toxic masculinity.

    There are some things I’m willing to talk about with a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist. This one just has too much attached.

    But he failed to make you like him, never forget that.

    I keep telling myself that. Usually I believe me.

    Remember that the whole world looks warped through the Depression Goggles. Not a true picture. Don’t believe it!

    But the depression goggles tell me what I think is most believable so it really is hard.

    But you’re making progress.

    Feels like I’m going up the trail at Sunset Crater. Each step forward, I slid 0.8 to 1.1 steps backwards.

    That’s exactly what Ogvorbis has been doing here, with us. So he’s already in therapy, of a sort.

    Agreed. Fully. It just hurts so much. And I never know which failures will come to the fore. I’m starting to recognize some of the potential triggers but not all of them (probably never will).

  90. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Phrase I never would have guessed I’d read today

    manipulation of corpse gas

  91. says

    Ogvorbis:

    It just hurts so much.

    I know. I know, and my heart aches for you. I wish so much I could take that away, make things better.

    And I never know which failures will come to the fore. I’m starting to recognize some of the potential triggers but not all of them (probably never will).

    One step is to stop thinking of these things as failures. There was no failure on your part. Remember the magician’s choice? It’s very helpful to recognize triggers, because when you do, you can often get out of situation or discussion before that trigger is set off. Yeah, sometimes they can come out of left field and blindside you. Those are really tough.

  92. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    One step is to stop thinking of these things as failures. There was no failure on your part. Remember the magician’s choice?

    One thing that I have learned through my therapy here is that there are certain things I need to watch out for which are clues that I am depressed. One is apologizing. The other is that I tend to see those magician’s choices as mistakes and failures. I know (or I try to convince myself) that I really didn’t have a choice — I was forced and manipulated by a predator into hurting others, or exposing others to abuse, or encouraging abuse. But when I’m depressed, all I can remember is what I did. Not why I did it. Thanks.

  93. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    When will fucking YouTube fucking stop suggesting fucking GirlFuckingWriteFuckingWhat? videos for me?

  94. says

    I want to say this one thing here since I don’t have Stephanie Zvan’s email address. I know that she probably still hates my guts after the Laden fiasco, but I appreciate that there is no editing or blocking of my comments on Almost Diamonds. I don’t normally comment there, but I feel strongly about Mick Nugent’s Courtyard ot the Gentile Atheists, so I’ve been active there a bit the last few days. She’s letting me post there no worries, and it’s appreciated.

  95. says

    Who is Andria Richards and why should we care?

    Your trolling is weak tea, Indicus and boring to boot. It took you this long to come up with something so bad? Yeah, go away.

  96. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    What an insightful comment. I have changed my opinion completely.

    See! Being a #bravehero can make a difference.

  97. says

    Tony:

    If you are trying out for role of the new Thunderdome troll, congratulations–you have won.

    No, they haven’t. Indicus is a dumbfuck, a dirt clod has more wits. Idiot couldn’t manage a good troll on any day.

  98. chigau (not my real name) says

    PZ might be on a bit of a short fuse today.
    Trolls and wanabes should tread lightly.

  99. says

    Well it’s 3am here, I’m on a very short fuse indeed with all this dialogue garblewarble, and I really need to talk to PZ about something as well…

    But I can’t head into town since it’s dark, so I guess I’ll just sit here and watch Django Unchained again for a while.

  100. says

    Ullyses @82

    I fail to see what’s wrong with dividing the movement. If one group thinks women should be treated as human beings and another group doesn’t agree, then why should the first group want to have anything to do with the second group? Let the second group pat themselves on the back for not believing in Bigfoot and Allah and let the first group work to undo the misogyny the religious patriarchy (and the secular patriarchy) inflicts on us.

    Since one group of people are engaged in a long-running, insulting, jeering bullying of the other group, as a member of the anti-misogyny bunch I want nothing to do with the sexist bullies. If that creates divisiveness and “weakens the movement” then the movement wasn’t worth much to me. Let it wither away and be replaced with a movement which gives a damn about people.

    That’s because they want one true “movement” that they can use as a personal badge. Something that’s safely a “He Man Women Hater’s Club” and thus not tainted by non-white, non-normative, and/or female participants. Where, in fact, said minority members know better than to even try to belong if they aren’t spending the entire time praising the “real movement” for what intellectual dexterity it takes to not believe in things that those group members were not personally raised in.

    Because, by having been at one time a white male dominated group, they invested in it as a source of alternative masculinity in the toxic masculinity sense. What I mean is that by the rules of toxic masculinity, this group was feeling pressure and reduction and so invested in atheism a sort of alternative way of separating themselves from femininity and arguing that belonging to this male-dominated group made them way smarter than everyone and totally manly because everyone knows that only men are smart and so on.

    In other words, they’re having a tantrum because they were using atheism to try and go to toxic masculinity “hey, we might not be jocks, but we’re still willing to kick the women and hang out in homosocial-only spaces! So we still count as manly enough to be considered ‘men’, right?” and now there are all these chicks running around wanting to talk about girly shit and making them feel dumb and very similar to the people they were lording over because on certain issues they are almost exactly the same.

  101. says

    TRIGGER WARNING:

    Things I learned this weekend:
    That my new partner was raped at a frorority party in front of a bunch of queer frorority members who did nothing (adding yet another hate button on my already throbbing hatred for all “Greek” society and its toxic fucking rape culture). So with my two partners and I, we’re 3/3 on having rape experiences in our pasts. Individually, unconnected, unrelated, and if we’re talking just straight rape experiences, those actually outnumber the number of people in the V. But of course, there is no rape culture out there. *Spit*

  102. says

    Ogvorbis-

    Does it ever stop being there all the fucking time?

    Speaking as someone who’s currently also in the “all the fucking time” boat, let me just say:

    Yes.

    Yes, it stops being all the fucking time. I’ve spoken with a number of people who’ve gone through the “all the fucking time” stages with rapes and molestations and the thing they say is that eventually that phase does end as you process through things.

    Heck, sometimes, the flashbacks stop all together, but at the very least, they start happening less often and less oppressively. It may be a while before you or I get there, but from all I’ve seen of other survivors, there’s a there to get to.

    I’m too frightened and ashamed to go there. And yes, that is most likely yet another example of toxic masculinity.
    There are some things I’m willing to talk about with a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist. This one just has too much attached.

    I get that.

    And I know you already know this, but eventually you might try talking anyways. Despite the learned shame, a good therapist worth going to in the first place is going to be able to help you navigate the painful triggers and emotions and help you construct new methods of encountering those memories that aren’t “bash my head against them until I need to break for a little bit and then pick up the pieces and come back”.

    But it’s also okay if you don’t feel quite up to putting yourself out there like that. In the meantime, my partner recommended this podcast episode by Sex Nerd Sandra interviewing a sexual trauma therapist on healing from molestation and rape. Having listened to it, I don’t know how much will be new information for you, but I do know that the advice is actually good. Just take it slow and take frequent breaks because if you’re anything like me, a lot of the stuff they bring up is going to bring up various triggers.

    You are a strong and amazing person, Ogvorbis, even if you don’t believe me.

  103. Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity says

    Cerberus:

    Ah, hell. That’s bad. You and yours have my sympathy and support.

    You are a strong and amazing person, Ogvorbis, even if you don’t believe me.

    Thanks. I wish I didn’t need to be strong or amazing.

    I keep setting mental checkpoints for myself. If x is still happening at y, seek professional help. So far I haven’t even come close to my threshold for ‘seek help now.’ Maybe this could be easier if I worked with a therapist.

    One of the problems there is that I have told no one, not even Wife, what I did. Going to a therapist would mean that I would have to tell her what I did and I’m not sure I can do that.

    Maybe doing this the hard way is my way of apologizing to those I hurt along the way? I dunno. This shit is weird.

  104. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    But the depression goggles tell me what I think is most believable so it really is hard.

    But that’s because the Depression Goggles are wired straight into your brainmeats; they can pick and choose whatever will work on—and hurt—you, specifically, the most.
     
    “It’s all very personal.”
    -

  105. says

    Back home. Still gotta short fuse.

    Ogvorbis:

    One of the problems there is that I have told no one, not even Wife, what I did.

    That sentence should read: One of the problems there is that I have told no one, not even Wife, what was done to me.

    You’re thinking if you tell your wife that you were raped, and manipulated and coerced into sexual behaviour with others, that’s telling your wife you’re a rapist and she’ll be repulsed and disgusted and hate you. So wrong, Ogvorbis. Look, no one knows the state of your relationship except for you two, but I’ll assume you two aren’t hanging out together because you don’t care about one another. Your wife loves you, Ogvorbis. She’ll be there for you. She’ll listen. She’ll hold you. She’ll see that wounded child, who was used and abused by an evil, sick excuse for a human being. If you trust her, then think about telling her.

  106. says

    But it’s also okay if you don’t feel quite up to putting yourself out there like that. In the meantime, my partner recommended this podcast episode by Sex Nerd Sandra interviewing a sexual trauma therapist on healing from molestation and rape. Having listened to it, I don’t know how much will be new information for you, but I do know that the advice is actually good. Just take it slow and take frequent breaks because if you’re anything like me, a lot of the stuff they bring up is going to bring up various triggers.

    Thanks for the link, Cerberus: Fucking Oppression, Man. Not one psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor has ever helped. It seems that they are uncomfortable around the family molestation thing for us guys, I don’t know.
    I haven’t thought about this for years now, but this discussion is reminding me of what I still have inside.

  107. says

    Ogvorbis:

    Some of it really scares me and makes me wonder who or what I really am. Or if I am who I pretend to be? What if they’re right, that victims offend? Would that make me a rapist in denial? Fuck that, no way. Never gonna happen. I am me, damnit. Broken, hurt, but I an’t going to break others.

    Man, the only way I’ve hurt others is by being quiet about this with my partners. Then I do did drugs to relax and forget enough to enjoy the experience, but that leads to wanting to escape the shame and insecurity all the fucking time.
    What you’re going through now, I go through for days or weeks at most now. It is intermittent. Doesn’t happen very much or very often, just when I get into intimate situations, the doubts come. Talking about it is the scariest part, getting it out is such a fucking relief.
    You won’t hurt others, I sure think. You have to not hurt yourself. We have to quit saying, to ourselves, that we are fucked up, broken, wrong – all of it. We are normal, or in fact, more aware and sensitive, and that is a great thing. Normal people get hurt, bad, by what happens. We are normal that way. It fucking sears.
    I don’t know where I’m going here, just to let you know that you’re not alone. 95% of the time life is excellent, and that’s probably more than ‘normal’ people experience. Now when I am going through the doubts and fear, I just remember how it is when I feel good about myself, and I think that it is just a mind frame – I am not any different when I feel shitty from when I feel confident. You ever feel good? I do, and I always remind myself that I will again.
    Shit, here I am starting to give advice. I’m sorry if I come across that way.
    You’re one of the names I recognize from a ways back, now, and I had no idea. Thanks you so much for being open. Everyone. I feel safer now, Og.

  108. says

    Cicely:

    Cream cheese frosting?

    Oh yes. One layer in the middle and the whole thing frosted on the outside and decorated with 4 cream cheese ‘carrots’. I finally found a carrot the rats will eat. :D

  109. chigau (not my real name) says

    I fucking HATE threaded* commenting.
    *whatever it is where you end up jammed against one side of the screen with three word per line.
    stupid, stupid, stupid format

  110. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Great Gods of GG Rubs, has this been brought up here yet? I didn’t see a PZ post on it, but it seems kind of important. I knew about the thruster, but I didn’t know who invented it. The Times proves once again that it’s full of all the sexism it can fit in print.

  111. chigau (not my real name) says

    Crip Dyke #171
    c’mon how can rocket science compete with cooking?
    At least no one commented on her looks.
    (wait. they probably have…)

  112. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    If it had been a tofu stroganoff, I would have understood: seriously, have you ever heard anyone speak the words, “that was a really good tofu stroganoff”? That would be an accomplishment.

  113. joey says

    I was just looking through the “I hate their freedom” thread. I realize that libertarianism is mostly looked down upon here, but the general vibe I get from the community is that libertarianism is objectively incompatible with atheism. I know of several libertarian atheists in another forum I frequent. Do their libertarian beliefs make them bad atheists?

    FYI, I don’t consider myself a libertarian.

  114. glodson says

    I know of several libertarian atheists in another forum I frequent. Do their libertarian beliefs make them bad atheists?

    What do you mean “bad atheists?”

    When a person is a libertarian, I think it means that this is a person who ignores some of the implications of living in a godless universe. I think it is some person that puts their wants over the needs of others. I think it is a person often entrenched in privilege.

    It doesn’t mean they are a bad atheist. But they are often egotistical people who have some nebulous idea about their freedom which is often divorced from reality. I rather not call this “bad,” as it is just wrong.

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do their libertarian beliefs make them bad atheists?

    No. Their atheism and their politics/theology (liberturdism is a theology since there is no empirical evidence for it, same as for your babble/theology) as separate issues. Liberturds have no rational basis for their beliefs, but try to impose them upon everybody anyway. They lack the concept of the common good, where the government supplying certain services, like roads, bridges, hospitals, water, sewer, medical care, welfare, unemployment etc., makes for a better society. It’s all “I’ve got mine, fuck you”.

  116. says

    When a person is a libertarian, I think it means that this is a person who ignores some of the implications of living in a godless universe.

    Being an atheist simply means that you got one question right. It has no bearing on the bazillion other questions.

  117. carlie says

    but the general vibe I get from the community is that libertarianism is objectively incompatible with atheism.

    Most of the community, around here at least, is aligned with social justice issues, and see that as a natural outgrowth/cofactor of their atheism. It’s the social justice angle that libertarianism is being attacked on.

    At the same time, it’s also being attacked as being anti-rational. Libertarian ways of running a country don’t work. They have been shown not to work. Yet, libertarians cling to it as being the only possible solution to the problems they see.

  118. glodson says

    Being an atheist simply means that you got one question right. It has no bearing on the bazillion other questions.

    That’s true. It doesn’t mean the person is rational or reasonable. It doesn’t mean anything. That’s why I asked my first question.

    I would imagine that in order to be a bad atheist, one would have to be like SE Cupp.

  119. thumper1990 says

    Do their libertarian beliefs make them bad atheists?

    No, a “Bad Atheist” is called an Agnostic.

    Hey-oh!

    … I’ll leave.

  120. chigau (not my real name) says

    Libertarianism is more compatible with a theistic world-view.
    “God gave me mine, if you we’re worthy he’d give you some, too.”

  121. says

    “Do their libertarian beliefs make them bad atheists?”

    Their actions and behavior as a group make them seem like bad atheists. I like to be optimistic and assume that I am dealing with a good person by today’s standards when I talk to one. But the moment I get purposeless aggression or stereotyping out of someone I get suspicious. I see a lot of rude behavior, aggressive posturing, and bigoted stereotyping out of people that choose the label Libertarian. I have to strategically act like that, think about that.

    But if you talk to me you are a person. Hi!

  122. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    carlie:

    Libertarian ways of running a country don’t work.

    I think that depends on your perspective. If you are a sociopathic warlord that doesn’t want to be bothered with bribing government officials, its really the only system that you can be happy in.

    On the other hand, most libertarians that I know are kind, generous, people who have a naive understanding about what it means to be 1) self-sufficient and 2) free. They don’t get that being self-sufficient sucks and makes everything difficult and expensive*, and impedes progress on all but the most necessary tasks for survival. They don’t get that being free to shit in the river means that the people up-river are free to shit in it as well.

    Maybe somewhat less alarming is their complete distrust of the gummint, but some kind of unreflected trust in the judgement of their fellow citizens.

    *This I know from experience.

  123. joey says

    glodson:

    When a person is a libertarian, I think it means that this is a person who ignores some of the implications of living in a godless universe.

    Can you elaborate on this? Every so often I hear/read this “implications of living in a godless universe” phrase on here, and I really don’t have a clue what this could mean. What are exactly these implications?

  124. joey says

    Nerd:

    Liberturds have no rational basis for their beliefs, but try to impose them upon everybody anyway.

    Like the concept of human rights (going back to our previous discussion)? So do you think that individual rights have no “rational basis”?

  125. says

    Joey
    You really are pathetically bad at this, aren’t you?
    a)The concept of human rights is one thing, defining what those rights are is another thing entirely. The Libertarian definition is a very poor one, which leads to a very poorly functioning society., and
    b) Even on those points where they agree with reasonable people about what rights there ought to be, their ideas about how to go about insuring those rights are stupid and don’t work.

  126. thumper1990 says

    @joey

    What are exactly these implications?

    There’s no God to help societys weakest, so we have to help them. Libertarianism fails miserably on this front.

    Leaving Liberatrianism alone for a second, other implications are that no God = Bible is rubbish, therefore there is no reason to treat women as less than men, to hate gays, to avoid shellfish or pork or clothes of mixed fibres, to follow the ridiculous edict of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, to demonise sex (especially for women)… the list continues. Those are just the obvious ones.

  127. joey says

    Dalillama:

    The concept of human rights is one thing, defining what those rights are is another thing entirely.

    My reply to Nerd was poor and basically carryover from a previous discussion. It really doesn’t have much to do with my original question about the incompatibility between atheism and libertarianism.

  128. joey says

    thumper:

    There’s no God to help societys weakest, so we have to help them.

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

  129. joey says

    I want to point out that there is a difference between libertarianism and anarcho capitalism, where the latter believes in absolutely no government while the former can encompass quite a broad range on the political spectrum. I think most decent people are “libertarian” to an extent. The fundamental question becomes how much individual liberty should be relinquished for the common good. But I would venture to guess that most here would think individual liberty and freedom are very important concepts.

  130. says

    Joey
    I know, I was following hat argument. Your showing there was pathetic, and your attempt to link it to the current discussion is worse.
    @193:
    1) there is no meaningful difference in outcome between Anarcho-capitalism and minarchism.
    2)Freedom and Liberty aren’t the same thing.
    3)No, being a libertarian and being a decent person are pretty much incompatible.
    4)Leaving questions of rights alone entirely, (Except for certain untenable rights libertarians insist are laws of nature, mostly involving taxes) libertarians are opposed to infrastructure, which is a fundamental requirement for any society larger and more complex than a hunter-gather band or neolithic farming village.

  131. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So do you think that individual rights have no “rational basis”?

    Joey, I’ll dismiss your absolute and intrinsic human rights again. No deity, no intrinsic human rights. And your deity remains a delusion in your mind, not something in reality. So fuck off with that idea.

    That being said, there are rational basis for human “rights”, that is rights defined by society. (Can’t be your imaginary friend, as it doesn’t exist, as you haven’t shown any conclusive physical evidence for it.) Freedom do and express ourselves as long as we don’t hurt other full human beings in the process. Also, with the freedom to make choices comes the responsibility for accepting the consequences of those choices. This is where I differ with liberturds, as they want to make choices, but they don’t accept the responsibility for the consequences of their decisions.

    Again, your deity is imaginary, making you “intrinsic” human rights bullshit. All human rights are defined by human society. Prove otherwise, by proving your deity exists, or shut the fuck up.

  132. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The fundamental question becomes how much individual liberty should be relinquished for the common good. But I would venture to guess that most here would think individual liberty and freedom are very important concepts.

    Very important, as those who would limit libertry and freedom are those like yourself. Those who are so imbued with brainwashing “this is how things are done”, they can’t see that it does limit the freedom and liberty of other people by making them kow-tow to your inane beliefs. I don’t care what you beliefs are, if you keep them to yourself. Why don’t you?

  133. says

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

    Nor can you get it from a godly universe.
    In both cases you have to additionally stipulate that helping the weak is a good thing, whether for ethical reasons or because god commands it.

    I think most decent people are “libertarian” to an extent. The fundamental question becomes how much individual liberty should be relinquished for the common good.

    I think that’s an unhelpful level of vagueness that will tend to have everything short of outright totalitarianism described as libertarianism.

    But I would venture to guess that most here would think individual liberty and freedom are very important concepts.

    Certainly, but then what does that mean exactly?

    For example, some people think that paying taxes is a huge imposition on their freedom. However, the simple fact is that if we allowed people to not pay taxes or if we allowed them to decide personally which public programs they wanted to fund and which they didn’t, society would collapse in a matter of a few years.
    Some programs wouldn’t be funded, or they’d be underfunded for a while, people would recognize the problem and then it would be over-funded for a year or two, until people forgot about it again. There would be immense amounts of waste.

    You could then put everything on private hands, but that wouldn’t do much good. Rural areas simply wouldn’t have roads, because there wouldn’t be enough people to fund it. Poor parts of town would have no schools, hospitals or police force. It would lead to a horrible level of unequality, which isn’t in anyone’s interest.
    Despite the protestations, the rich benefit enormously from the fact that the poor aren’t quite poor enough to just want to kill them. The CEO benefits from the fact that there’s an educated workforce to hire from. The transport company benefits from the fact that roads are maintained by the state.

    I think the system we’re running with is much better; basically an institution that is responsible to the citizens (at least in theory) and has a mandate to work in the best long-term interest of everyone (at least in theory). This prevents the fickleness of the mob and the short-sighted egocentrism of the private business owner (at least in theory).
    Then the question becomes how we best organize our government so that the theory becomes practice. the key point there is that the system should allow feed-back that can adjust things without recourse to violence. Despite the many, many, MANY problems of western democracy, it has actually been quite successful in that regard.

  134. says

    In that context, rights are incredibly important as a way of ensuring that everyone has loyalty to the group. The idea of rights is really the group saying “no matter what, we’ll never do X, Y and Z.”
    That helps make people trust the system because they’re ensured a certain minimum level of freedom on key points. It means they don’t have to worry (so much) about the group deciding to just take away everything they own or enslaving them.

    The majority will always have loyalty to the group because they’re running most things. Rights ensure that minorities can also relax and removes incentive to attempt to seize power by violent means.

  135. says

    LykeX, I would also assume that it would cut down on crime – so, violence on all levels. With health care, keeping everyone healthy cut’s down on outbreaks and potential epidemics, so I see both these arguments as supporting social safety systems. Loyalty was mentioned above, but another indirect benefit is that compassion and empathy are fostered, and that makes for a more cohesive, and stronger society.

  136. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    Josh,
    Agreed. A call for civility and tone rather than and end to continuous misogynist harassment is just fucking insulting.

  137. says

    Interesting, our current economic and government problems involve a great many people who don’t want to be held responsible for their actions.

  138. glodson says

    Can you elaborate on this? Every so often I hear/read this “implications of living in a godless universe” phrase on here, and I really don’t have a clue what this could mean. What are exactly these implications?

    We live in a universe with no god, not figure to put right what we get wrong, nothing to address the injustices in this world, and no afterlife where there’s a chance that those wronged will have it righted.

    As such, we have an obligation to do what we can in the here and now. If you think that allowing people to suffer while you can affect change is morally acceptable, that shows a lack of empathy. We have an obligation to help those less fortunate. We should not turn a blind eye to those suffering discrimination nor should we ignore the imbalance of power in our society. We should try to use logic, reason and empathy to figure out the best course of action.

    We should help the sick, the hurt, the downtrodden. Some of us were born lucky. I know I was. I was born into a family with enough to be comfortable. I was born into the majority race in the US, and I was born as a man, with a brain that prefers being a man and makes me sexually attracted to women. Not everyone is this lucky. That’s where the my need for social justice comes from. This idea that minorities, women, gay people and trans people often comes form a privileged point of view.

  139. Amphiox says

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

    That is because you, as usual, remain locked in your absolutist thinking box, and are utterly blind to anything outside of it.

  140. says

    Just served up the rat’s breakfast – two plates of organic Spring mix salad, a full dish of Reggie Rat food, trail mix, pantacce pasta, water, V8 fusion strawberry banana and tea. Perhaps I can have tea now. And yes, this is much more interesting than anything Joey could ever say.

  141. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    There’s no God to help societys weakest, so we have to help them.

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

    Leaving aside that humans are social animals, and a “healthy society” is a better thing to live in than an unhealthy one, self-interest steps in. You may not be one of “societys weakest”…but you could become one of that number, at any time, and through no fault of your own. If you lost your health, your livelihood, your home, what have you, would you prefer to be abandoned to your own resources, live or die? You didn’t cause the Surprise Subsidence that engulfed your home, your family, and your other property, but nonetheless you “deserve” no help rebuilding, or relocating, or hell, even feeding yourself and your remaining family in the short term? Or would you prefer there to be means to help you to your feet? Or are you one of those who wants those means to exist, but only if that small group encompassed by “you and yours” is directly benefitting; i.e., “I got mine; fuck the rest of you!”? (Lots of libertarians in that grouping, btw.)
     
    And if you spout something like, “But that’s where the Church will step in!”, then I shall smite you with many derisive comments—because that Church (religion aside) is a mini-society…and you lose the argument.
    -

  142. says

    Myeck:

    You could have been talking about cleaning out their little droppings and it would still be more interesting.

    Heh. Well, I am doing that too. I will say that cleaning out ratboxes is much more pleasant than doing catboxes.

    I’m being cast as the crunchy center in yet another ‘net controversy, so I’m disconnecting now and going to work on a vulva art piece, inspired by Carlie’s glee in the ‘vagina, vagina, vagina’ thread. New pic up at Rattitude. Catch you all tomorrow.

  143. jonesey says

    Hi all! I figured thunderdome was the best place to leave this. The Freedom From Religion has sued my town over the explicitly christian prayers offered at council meetings. I went online to watch the videos and discovered that every time a council member offers a non-religious invocation or a moment of silence, that our mayor waits for them to finish and thin slips in a bold “amen” over the microphone. I thought this was really disrespectful so I made a video of him doing it repeatedly. I thought you guys or PZ might get a kick out of it!

  144. says

    That’s the kind of thing that makes me want to respond to one of his prayers with a hearty “Hail Satan!”
    In the news clip he also comes off as a smarmy bastard. I can’t tell if he simply doesn’t understand the point or if he’s just being rampantly dishonest, but his “we should celebrate our values” comment just utterly fails to address the actual issue.

    And the fact that he has to do his little passive-aggressive “amen” just really takes the cake. You know, it would be one thing if they said that each member could do their own invocation, however they wished and he, personally, chose to do a Christian invocation. That would be barely defensible (although still a bit iffy legally, I think (IANAL)).
    However, when he has to smear his Christianity all over the invocations of others, that just proves what a scumbag he really is. It’s clearly not about “celebrating our values”. It’s about celebrating HIS values and fuck everyone else.

    And I had just been pleasantly surprised by this news, too. One Christian acknowledges a mistake, another steps forward to force his religion into government affairs.

  145. says

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

    So what you’re saying is you’re a profoundly unethical human being who doesn’t understand any morality that isn’t Divine Command Theory. ’cause see, that implies you haven’t thought about WHY your God allegedly set various moral codes. It doesn’t matter why, only that God did, and therefore, you must follow them. If you thought your God commanded you to kill, or rape, or hurt someone, you’d be ethically bound to it, because you apparently can’t understand ethics outside of a discourse that isn’t “God said to”. But somehow, atheists are the amoral ones.

    I think most decent people are “libertarian” to an extent. The fundamental question becomes how much individual liberty should be relinquished for the common good.

    Only if you define your terms to make it so, and thus distort what the philosophy generally means.

    I think that’s an unhelpful level of vagueness that will tend to have everything short of outright totalitarianism described as libertarianism.

    I’ll do you one better: actual totalitarian dictatorships have been hailed as sterling successes by prominent libertarians, because they had free market capitalism while they were also restricting tons of rights.

  146. jacksul says

    Well I intended to apologize, and seemingly failed, but I didn’t post here to revisit my ignorant attitude or asinine comments to Caine. I was simply trying to praise Pharyngula for not blocking, banning, or censoring me. Not after my initial controversial proposal.* Not after my subsequent stupidity.

    The initial proposal was about baby steps that PZ and TF could make towards reconciliation, and later, that that no philosophical skeptic is worth giving up on, since they agree on the rules for truth-seeking. The point was quickly lost because of my deeply regretted idiocy, but I was *still* never blocked, banned, or censored.

  147. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    d later, that that no philosophical skeptic is worth giving up on, since they agree on the rules for truth-seeking.

    *snicker, naive, weren’t you, deep rifts*

  148. John Morales says

    jacksul:

    The initial proposal was about baby steps that PZ and TF could make towards reconciliation, and later, that that no philosophical skeptic is worth giving up on, since they agree on the rules for truth-seeking.

    Leaving aside that the suggestion that the thunderpod is a philosophical skeptic is risible unless you imagine he’s a dolt, when two stances are irreconcilable only personal reconciliation is possible.

    (And a great person the thunderpod has shown himself to be!)

    I was simply trying to praise Pharyngula for not blocking, banning, or censoring me.

    Meh.

    The rumours of PZ’s cavalier attitude towards wielding his ban-hammer are greatly exaggerated.

  149. says

    Oh great. I connected to order some art supplies, stopped by to see what was new, and it’s jacksul the rape apologist again. I do believe I mentioned that his mere presence in Teadome is a trigger for me,* so thanks ever, you fucking filthy douchebag, for taking away one of my safe spaces.

    :disconnecting again:
     
    *Not just me, either.

  150. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    So what you’re saying is you’re a profoundly unethical human being who doesn’t understand any morality that isn’t Divine Command Theory. ’cause see, that implies you haven’t thought about WHY your God allegedly set various moral codes. It doesn’t matter why, only that God did, and therefore, you must follow them. If you thought your God commanded you to kill, or rape, or hurt someone, you’d be ethically bound to it, because you apparently can’t understand ethics outside of a discourse that isn’t “God said to”. But somehow, atheists are the amoral ones.

    Alla this.
     
    This right here is why it gives me the creepyshivers to hear a man say, in a calm and measured voice, that if it wasn’t for God’s Rules and Regulations, he would be raping and murdering. All it takes is a relatively small change in the interpretation of the Rules and Regulations (for instance, how will we be defining “human”, this decade?), and what he now considers FORBIDDEN!!! could become Divinely Mandated.
     
    Which explains certain parts of the Old Testament, really.
    -

  151. jacksul says

    Caine… Ok. I’m obviously just hurting you *again* by even being here. This is your house not mine.

    I’m closing my account and I’ll never post on Pharyngula again. (Note TF fans, I still wasn’t banned but did this by choice)

  152. says

    joey,

    What are exactly these implications?

    If there’s probably no gods, that means there’s probably no afterlife, no reincarnation, none of that. So, what are the implications of this?

    1. This life is the only one we have. That’s it. We get one, brief shot and then it’s over.

    2. All we have is each other. No gods, no masters, just you and me and the old lady across the street.

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

    We all have to live on this planet together. If deities don’t exist, it’s up to beings who do exist to fix the problems of the world. Unfortunately, the monkeys and ant lions aren’t stepping up to the task, so it has to be us humans. We can look at it another way: through religious platitudes.

    “God will provide.” If there is no god, who will provide? It has to be us.

    “God will never give you anything you can’t handle.” If there is no god, then plenty of people are dealing with things they can’t handle. Who helps them? It has to be us.

    We get just one shot in this godless universe, and there’s a whole slew of problems that need fixing. Someone has to do it, if not for ourselves, then for future generations.

    I don’t consider myself ethically superior to a random religious person just because I don’t believe. If you think your obligation to help others and preserve the environment comes from Jesus, I think you’re mistaken, but as long as you’re helping we’re cool. I hope you can grant atheists that same courtesy.

  153. says

    I think I’ve officially hit my peak tolerance on any and all Adria Richards related JAQing off or I just question the methods horseshit.

    Also I think the next time I encounter some jackass being a sexist douchebag by interrupting a panel, I’m just going to set him on fire and tweet the picture of him trying to desperately put out the flames with the note: “For all those who tried to argue Adria Richards did a bad thing, I used to just politely tell them to stop.”

    For the dark sarcasm impaired, this is not intended to be a genuine plan, in reality I just plan to be even more upfront about calling out casual sexism when I encounter it. I’m just really really tired of asshole bad faith douchebags trying to have the same arguments from scratch on every even remotely related thread to Adria Richards.

  154. joey says

    LykeX:

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

    Nor can you get it from a godly universe.

    Of course you can, if you believe your God wants you to care for the poor.

    I think most decent people are “libertarian” to an extent. The fundamental question becomes how much individual liberty should be relinquished for the common good.

    I think that’s an unhelpful level of vagueness that will tend to have everything short of outright totalitarianism described as libertarianism.

    I’m curious, but what are your personal thoughts on China’s one-child policy? Do you think the individual’s right to procreate trumps any “common good” that could result from restricting/regulating personal procreation?

    I think the system we’re running with is much better; basically an institution that is responsible to the citizens (at least in theory) and has a mandate to work in the best long-term interest of everyone (at least in theory). This prevents the fickleness of the mob and the short-sighted egocentrism of the private business owner (at least in theory).

    Then the question becomes how we best organize our government so that the theory becomes practice. the key point there is that the system should allow feed-back that can adjust things without recourse to violence. Despite the many, many, MANY problems of western democracy, it has actually been quite successful in that regard.

    I agree.

    —————————
    glodson:

    We live in a universe with no god, not figure to put right what we get wrong, nothing to address the injustices in this world, and no afterlife where there’s a chance that those wronged will have it righted.

    But in a godless universe, there is no such thing as “right” or “wrong” or “injustice”…at least in the ultimate/absolute sense. Everything ultimately boils down to individual preference.

    As such, we have an obligation to do what we can in the here and now. If you think that allowing people to suffer while you can affect change is morally acceptable, that shows a lack of empathy.

    But a lack of empathy is only as “wrong” as how others perceive it.

    We have an obligation to help those less fortunate. We should not turn a blind eye to those suffering discrimination nor should we ignore the imbalance of power in our society. We should try to use logic, reason and empathy to figure out the best course of action.

    We should help the sick, the hurt, the downtrodden.

    These are your personal preferences. Sure they can be shared by many others. But how can you argue that one has to be bound to these preferences if he/she doesn’t share them?

    ————————-
    Rutee:

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

    So what you’re saying is you’re a profoundly unethical human being who doesn’t understand any morality that isn’t Divine Command Theory.

    No, I’m not saying anything of the sort. I’m saying precisely what I said above. The disbelief in gods doesn’t imply that you have an obligation to help society’s weakest. That obligation must come from somewhere else. If you have a personal belief that all humans have value, even the weakest in society, then that can be a source of such an obligation. The disbelief in gods can’t be such a source.

    I’ll do you one better: actual totalitarian dictatorships have been hailed as sterling successes by prominent libertarians, because they had free market capitalism while they were also restricting tons of rights.

    I’m curious. Can you share a link or two?

    ——————–
    evilisgood:

    If there’s probably no gods, that means there’s probably no afterlife, no reincarnation, none of that. So, what are the implications of this?

    1. This life is the only one we have. That’s it. We get one, brief shot and then it’s over.

    2. All we have is each other. No gods, no masters, just you and me and the old lady across the street.

    I agree that these are implications from a godless universe. But this says nothing about our obligation to social justice.

    We all have to live on this planet together. If deities don’t exist, it’s up to beings who do exist to fix the problems of the world.

    And as I have already mentioned, the disbelief in gods alone doesn’t imply any obligation to fix the problems of the world.

    And it’s a fallacy to think a god-believer must necessarily feel that he/she shouldn’t play a role in fixing the world’s problems. Any faith-based charitable organization is evidence against this.

  155. ChasCPeterson says

    Caine, the Thunderdome is not “one of your safe spaces”. Never has been.
    Sorry to break the news.

  156. ChasCPeterson says

    some jackass being a sexist douchebag by interrupting a panel

    *eyeroll*
    I realize that once the sobriquet of ‘victim’ has been granted somebody then they are automatically immunized from any criticism whatsoever, lest the cardinal sin of Victim-Blaming be implied, even subtly or at a great stretch.
    I think it’s bullshit, but I get it.

    But keep the facts straight; in the Richards case nobody ‘interrupted a panel’.
    The only reason she heard the jokes at all was that she had turned around to chat with one of the sexist douchebag jackasses in question, during an ongoing presentation.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    It’s just that facts should not become irrelevant in the avoidance of victim-blaming.
    Some people think that publicly tweeting the photo to the entire world before contacting the conference authorities was not cool.
    But thinking that does not make them sexist misogynist victim-blaming rape apologists.
    It really doesn’t.
    To the extent that people insist that oh yes it does, people are being irrational.

    Just because you have a hammer doesn’t make everybody with whom you disagree a nail.

  157. says

    @joey

    Nor can you get it from a godly universe.

    Of course you can, if you believe your God wants you to care for the poor.

    My emphasis, because that’s my exact point. You have to add that in as an extra. It’s not a necessary part of theism. I even said as much, immediately following the bit you quoted:

    In both cases you have to additionally stipulate that helping the weak is a good thing, whether for ethical reasons or because god commands it.

    You can’t get it solely from theism, just like you can’t get it solely from atheism. In both cases, you need to explicitly include it as a desired goal.
    If it’s OK for the theist to include “god wants us to help the weak”, then it’s also OK for the atheist to include “it’s ethically preferable to help the weak.” In both cases, you can’t get it from the minimalist position, but you can, and usually do, include it as an addition.

    Do you think the individual’s right to procreate…

    I do not recognize such a right. E.g. what if nobody wants to procreate with you? Is another person’ refusal to have sex with you a violation of your rights? Obviously not. Ergo, no right to procreate.
    Now, once a woman is pregnant, I recognize her right to have complete and sole authority over what happens with regard to that pregnancy (since it takes place within her body). If she wants to have the child, I don’t think there’s any reasonable basis for preventing it (I suppose you could make arguments in relation to extreme scenarios like mental incompetence, but let’s stick to the average case).
    The question then becomes whether it’s fair to punish her for that decision. Is a post facto punishment not an attempt to control the decision? What’s the difference between forcing someone to do something and telling them that you’ll hurt them if they don’t? I honestly haven’t thought much about this. I would encourage others here to weigh in.

    Incidentally, this is similar to the “right to life”. As far as I’m concerned, you don’t have a right to life. You have a right to defend your life, you have the right to expect assistance in certain situations, and various other rights that relate to this subject, but I don’t recognize “the right to life” as a valid right in and of itself.
    I think it’s important to distinguish between the Right and the down-stream consequences of that Right. The consequences are not necessarily rights in themselves, if they relate to situations that could occur in absence of direct reference to the Right in question.

    I hope that’s clear…?

  158. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Sorry to break the news.

    I’m sure you are.

    Is this a let’s all be huge jackasses day? It’s been a shit day anyway. I’m in!

    Have a nice day. :)

  159. says

    Chas:

    Caine, the Thunderdome is not “one of your safe spaces”. Never has been.
    Sorry to break the news.

    Ah. I was unaware that you determined my safe spaces, Chas. What interesting news. Well, I’m sure you’re thrilled with the result, have fun being the resident uber asshole.

  160. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Do you think the individual’s right to procreate trumps any “common good” that could result from restricting/regulating personal procreation?

    What “right to procreate? Rights are man-made and defined by men. China has a population problem. You solve it for them, if you don’t like what they did. Just don’t expect your fuckwitted and unworkable presuppositions to be listened to.

  161. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But in a godless universe, there is no such thing as “right” or “wrong” or “injustice”…at least in the ultimate/absolute sense. Everything ultimately boils down to individual preference.

    Since your god is imaginary, existing only in your delusional mind, what is your problem facing reality? We do it, and understand it. Without showing conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity, you shouldn’t even mention it. If you had honesty and integrity. Which you so lack.

  162. joey says

    LykeX:

    You can’t get it solely from theism, just like you can’t get it solely from atheism. In both cases, you need to explicitly include it as a desired goal.

    But it is possible (but not necessary) to obtain this desired goal from theism, whereas it is not possible to get this goal from atheism.

    Do you think the individual’s right to procreate…

    I do not recognize such a right. E.g. what if nobody wants to procreate with you? Is another person’ refusal to have sex with you a violation of your rights? Obviously not. Ergo, no right to procreate.

    You’re right, I worded it poorly. But you know what I mean. Does a couple (assuming both parties are consenting, of course) have the right to choose the number of children they want to have?

    Now, once a woman is pregnant, I recognize her right to have complete and sole authority over what happens with regard to that pregnancy (since it takes place within her body). If she wants to have the child, I don’t think there’s any reasonable basis for preventing it (I suppose you could make arguments in relation to extreme scenarios like mental incompetence, but let’s stick to the average case).

    But China (what I specifically asked you about) isn’t exactly the “average case”. Does the woman have complete and sole authority over her pregnancy if she lived in a place where there is a rampant overpopulation problem? Does the woman’s individual liberty trump the common good?

  163. joey says

    Nerd:

    What “right to procreate? Rights are man-made and defined by men. China has a population problem. You solve it for them, if you don’t like what they did.

    So are you saying that you’re in favor of China’s one-child policy?

  164. says

    What an odd comment,

    ChasCPeterson

    It’s just that facts should not become irrelevant in the avoidance of victim-blaming.

    Everything after that comment was an opinion so we can toss that. Most of the above also seemed like mere opinion so that leaves us,

    The only reason she heard the jokes at all was that she had turned around to chat with one of the sexist douchebag jackasses in question, during an ongoing presentation.

    1. I would like to see this fact.
    2. If true, it is objectively factual that Ms. Richards’s brain contained negative emotions as a result of the joke in question. This had the objective effect of interrupting the presentation for Ms. Richards. The definition of interruption does not contain exceptions for single persons.

    Your comment seems like it is rendering her a non-person incapable of being interrupted.

  165. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    @117: sonofrajbak

    Well, yes, but I had already made clear that I considered her taking offence as being entirely justified. Possibly you missed that bit, I only said it two or three times.

    Where? Here is the entirety of the two posts you made prior to my comment:

    a feminist who definitely would want to do some boat-rocking and disrupt a bad process

    What “bad process”? Is it the position that the anti-harassment policy of Pycon was inadequately drafted or enforced? Because if that is the position that’s the first time I’ve seen it stated.
    Ms. Richards made a report (but only after after first broadcasting it to her ten thousand closest friends) the offenders were taken aside, informed their behaviour was offensive and unacceptable, they coughed to it, apologised, undertook not to repeat it, and as I understood it Ms. Richards was satisfied with that outcome at that point. Am I in error in this understanding?
    If not – if that is what happened – what “bad process” is being referred to here?

    Neither do people who act stupid in public get any say in how people talk about what they saw and heard. That may not always be fair, but it’s a fact of life we all have to understand and live with. That is, in fact, one of the reasons we should all be careful how we act in public.

    Indeed. For instance, one might reflect that if one has a complaint about the behaviour of a fellow conference attendee, it might be prudent first to make a complaint direct to the conference organisers, the ones reponsible for enforcing their anti-harassment policies, and see whether they deal with the matter satisfactorily, before broadcasting a photograph of the person who offended you to ten thousand people not all of whom are known to you personally and whose response you have no way of predicting. Or is that a bit of unfair reality we shouldn’t have to live with?
    Still not getting what “bad process” PZ was referring to in “a feminist who definitely would want to do some boat-rocking and disrupt a bad process”.

    Thanks for digging into the honeypot. Your subjective experiential application of ‘unjustifiable offense’ has no bearing on the justifiability of anyone else being offended or pursing action in any form when such offense occurs. Offense is rarely planned, neither is being offended.

    Now let me ask you something: What does criticizing Adria Richards’ choice to tweet a photo and a caption net you? What presumption are you justifying and for which conclusion are you justifying it? What is the reason for you defending an as-yet-unmentioned presumption with “But Adria should have….”?

  166. says

    But it is possible (but not necessary) to obtain this desired goal from theism, whereas it is not possible to get this goal from atheism.

    BULL-FUCKING-SHIT and quite frankly I don’t even understand how you could pretend that’s true. If you can say that “god wants us to help the weak”, then surely I can say “it’s ethical to help people in need”. Unless you can demonstrate a contradiction between atheism and empathy, you’re just plain wrong.

    You start with theism. I start with atheism. You add in divine commands. I add in basic empathy. We end up at the same conclusion. This isn’t rocket science.

    Does a couple (assuming both parties are consenting, of course) have the right to choose the number of children they want to have?

    I’d say yes, insofar that I’m unwilling to start regulating such a personal decision.
    [undermystandards]
    You can’t force a woman to undergo an abortion.
    You can’t force a couple not to have sex.
    You can’t force a couple to use contraceptives when they have sex.
    [/undermystandards]
    Ergo, you can’t stop them from having children if they want them.

    The issue then is what happens afterwards. If the state punishes the parents, then isn’t that a de facto interference in the very issues I said the state shouldn’t interfere with? I mean, that’s the whole point of a punitive justice system; modify behavior via consequences.

    Possibly the best way to go would be carrot, rather than stick. E.g. an only child gets an automatic scholarship to a good university. Children with siblings have to qualify. This would encourage single-child families without being as imposing. After all, you really don’t need to make everyone follow the one-child policy. If you get a good chunk of the population, that’ll still have a noticeable effect.

    Like I said, this is really the first time I’m seriously considering this subject, so I’m a bit wobbly. What are your own thoughts? I think it might be helpful if you described how you evaluate such a situation and come to a conclusion about it.

  167. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The disbelief in gods doesn’t imply that you have an obligation to help society’s weakest. That obligation must come from somewhere else.

    And we have explained it to you time and time again. But, since we ignore your imaginary deity, you ignore our answers, trying to slip in your imaginary deity as the only solution. It isn’t, and never can be. It doesn’t exist. You don’t get a gut level feeling on that. Your problem.

    If you want to pretend your deity exists, try conclusive physical evidence, evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Or shut the fuck up about it.

  168. says

    @Chas

    But thinking that does not make them sexist misogynist victim-blaming rape apologists.
    It really doesn’t.

    If they feel the need to talk about that more than about the many fucked up things that happened after then yes, it kinda does. If they bring it up in a manner that draw attention away from the problem and focuses on the behavior of the person pointing out the problem then yes, it goddamn well does, whether they like it or not, whether they realize it or not.

    It’s possible to be a decent person and still be part of the problem. Usually that happens as a result of ignorance of obliviousness. I know I’ve done that a few times. The way out is to point it out when it happens. The decent people will learn, the scum will float to the top. Then we can skim it off and throw it out.

    At some point people are going to get sick of me linking to this post, but I really think everybody on the planet needs to read it. I think this is a very common way in which otherwise decent people end up being part of the problem.

    And to make this point clear; just because you’re a “decent person” doesn’t mean you have the right to be treated with kid’s gloves. It doesn’t mean that anyone owes you the benefit of the doubt when you’re talking crap. If they give it, that’s nice. If they don’t, that’s only what you should expect.

    If you talk crap, you’ve got no right to get offended when people complain about the smell.

  169. says

    And it’s a fallacy to think a god-believer must necessarily feel that he/she shouldn’t play a role in fixing the world’s problems. Any faith-based charitable organization is evidence against this.

    Which is exactly why I said:

    If you think your obligation to help others and preserve the environment comes from Jesus, I think you’re mistaken, but as long as you’re helping we’re cool.

    So you took the exact opposite meaning of what I said and claimed I committed some fallacy? Why do you think you did this? My husband and I just received food from a religious charity today because we can’t afford to eat and pay our bills at the same time. You didn’t know this, of course. I just think it’s funny that you ignored the actual meaning of my words on the day that my family accepted charity from a religious organization.

    You are wrong that your obligation to help others comes from divine authority. It comes from the social contract. Someone has to do the dishes, or the roaches take over. But if you are helping, it doesn’t really matter where you think your obligation comes from. At least the dishes are getting done.

  170. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I realize that once the sobriquet of ‘victim’ has been granted somebody then they are automatically immunized from any criticism whatsoever, lest the cardinal sin of Victim-Blaming be implied, even subtly or at a great stretch.
    I think it’s bullshit, but I get it.

    Translation: Aren’t I just the most magnanimous, friendly, inclusive, welcoming voice for Movement Atheism!

  171. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So are you saying that you’re in favor of China’s one-child policy?

    No fuckwit. What I’m saying is that they had/have a problem with population. They solved that problem with a solution. You offer no solution, so you need to shut the fuck up. My opinion doesn’t matter to the Chinese. They are not impressed by it one way or the other.

    Quit trying to put words in people’s mouths. It’s worse than you trying to fit your imaginary deity in everything you claim. Only true losers keep up such behavior. There is no “gottcha” to be seen.

  172. joey says

    LykeX:

    If you can say that “god wants us to help the weak”, then surely I can say “it’s ethical to help people in need”. Unless you can demonstrate a contradiction between atheism and empathy, you’re just plain wrong.

    No, there is no contradiction between atheism and empathy. It’s just that atheism (lack of belief in gods) can’t be viewed as the source of empathy. Heck it can’t be the source of anything since it’s simply a lack of belief. Only positive beliefs provide sources for things.

    If you say that it’s “ethical to help people in need”, how can you argue that it comes from the lack of belief in gods. Where it can come from is a personal belief that people have value, which doesn’t have to be related to the belief (or disbelief) in gods.

    You start with theism. I start with atheism. You add in divine commands. I add in basic empathy. We end up at the same conclusion. This isn’t rocket science.

    But divine commands come directly from theism. How does empathy come directly from atheism? It doesn’t. This isn’t rocket surgery.

    You can’t force a woman to undergo an abortion.
    You can’t force a couple not to have sex.
    You can’t force a couple to use contraceptives when they have sex.

    My entire point in bringing this up is that your views on this subject can be considered “libertarian” since the common good doesn’t trump individual liberty, at least for this particular example. Libertarians simply take this notion of personal liberty much farther, to ridiculous extremes in certain cases. Like I said, much of the differences in political philosophies is exactly how much personal liberty you are willing to give up for the common good. In your case, you think your procreative liberties should not be infringed. For many libertarians, the liberty to purchase and carry a handgun should not be infringed. And I don’t think any of this has anything to do with a disbelief in gods.

    ———————–
    evilisgood:

    You are wrong that your obligation to help others comes from divine authority. It comes from the social contract.

    I never claimed that obligation to help others must necessarily come from divine authority. It is possible that it can come from belief in the divine, but it is not necessary. But what I am claiming that is that the obligation to help others can NOT come from the disbelief in the divine.

    If you think that obligation to help others can come only from social contract, fine. But social contract has really nothing to do with disbelief in gods, which is my entire point.

  173. joey says

    LykeX:

    What are your own thoughts? I think it might be helpful if you described how you evaluate such a situation and come to a conclusion about it.

    Forgot to answer this.

    My thoughts is that the one-child policy is unjust and is a violation of human rights.

  174. says

    Hmm, it’s amazing what omitting a word can do to your meaning. Lemme try #250 again:
     
    For fuck’s sake, Chas. Are you planning on contributing anything but assholery in here today?

  175. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My thoughts is that the one-child policy is unjust and is a violation of human rights.

    Who gives a shit about your inane, stupid, presuppositional, and unrealistic thoughts? They were able to reproduce. Just not as many as they would like.

    Essentially you are saying you don’t give a shit if children starve once they are born. Which was what would have happened. (How you do like your words being interpreted like that.)

  176. says

    @joey

    It’s just that atheism (lack of belief in gods) can’t be viewed as the source of empathy

    Why not? As people have already pointed out, once you accept that there’s no god, no spirit, no karma; you also accept that the only possibly way that life will get better is if we make it better. Ergo, if we want a better world, we have to actively work for it; that follows directly from atheism.

    If our perception of a better world include not having to constantly look over our shoulder, the it will also imply a healthy, cooperative society. The best, rational way of achieving that include at least a certain amount of empathy and caring. These are quite standard ideas for most human beings. Ergo, it follows that, if atheist, most human beings will accept empathy and ethics as good and important guidelines.

    I think you’ve got a raging double standard going on here. You take atheism as minimalistically as possible, but you don’t do the same with theism. There’s absolutely nothing about theism that necessitates caring, kindness or decency. NOTHING.
    Sure, atheism, in it’s minimal state, cannot be a source of much other than a lack of belief in gods. Neither can theism, in it’s minimal state, be a source of anything other that the belief “there’s a god”. Even going as far as believing things about what that god wants is beyond simple theism.

    If you say that it’s “ethical to help people in need”, how can you argue that it comes from the lack of belief in gods

    How can you argue that “god wants us to help the weak” comes from a belief in god?
    It’s a fact that there are people who have believed in gods that did not hold a belief that it was right to help the weak. Ergo, helping the weak, doesn’t follow from belief in god; it requires an additional element, just like atheistic ethics require an elemental beyond simple atheism; namely ethics.

    But divine commands come directly from theism

    No, it doesn’t. If we accept the fact that a god exists, it does not follow that we should obey that entity. You might argue that, since it’s more powerful, it would be productive to curry favor with it, but there’s no compulsion involved.
    I think you’re stuck in a very Christian view of God. If you think outside the box for a moment, you will find that it’s entirely common for people to disobey and even outright fight their gods.

    Hell, much of the Odyssey was about how Odysseus was in conflict with the gods. The mere existence of gods does not necessarily imply that they must be obeyed. That’s an additional idea that you add to basic theism.

    Look, you can’t compare the most primitive, basic form of atheism with a developed form of theism and expect a result worth jack shit. You have to apply the same standard for both.

  177. Amphiox says

    But divine commands come directly from theism. How does empathy come directly from atheism? It doesn’t.

    This point is irrelevant.

    It is only the prison of the absolutist mind that requires and obsesses over the need for a criteria to come “directly” from anything.

  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But divine commands come directly from theism.

    Since your deity is imaginary, the only place the command come from is the people who wrote them down years ago. People, not your deity which doesn’t exist. You need to stop presupposing your deity’s existence, unless you can show it really exists with solid and conclusive physical evidence. Otherwise, all you have is bullshit.

  179. Amphiox says

    I never claimed that obligation to help others must necessarily come from divine authority. It is possible that it can come from belief in the divine, but it is not necessary. But what I am claiming that is that the obligation to help others can NOT come from the disbelief in the divine.

    If you think that obligation to help others can come only from social contract, fine. But social contract has really nothing to do with disbelief in gods, which is my entire point.

    If that was your point then you have spent a lot of time and effort arguing over an utterly banal triviality.

    It is UTTERLY IRRELEVANT whether or not the social contract has or has not anything to do with disbelief in gods.

    The only thing that matters is that the existence of the social contract renders the existence of gods and the belief therein UNNECESSARY for the formulation of basic ethics.

  180. Amphiox says

    Of course you can, if you believe your God wants you to care for the poor.

    In other words it comes from your belief and not necessarily from God.

    God does not have to exist, you just have to believe it exists, and the accuracy of that belief has no impact upon the acts it inspires.

    And so you concede the basic point. GOD IS NOT NECESSARY.

  181. Amphiox says

    But China (what I specifically asked you about) isn’t exactly the “average case”. Does the woman have complete and sole authority over her pregnancy if she lived in a place where there is a rampant overpopulation problem? Does the woman’s individual liberty trump the common good?

    Even in China once a woman is pregnant she has complete and sole authority over her pregnancy, at least by the letter of Chinese Law. Forcing her to abort that pregnancy against her will is a crime in Chinese Law. (The fact that this law is not necessarily enforced everywhere in China is a different and unrelated matter).

    The One Child Policy penalizes couples financially if they have more than one child after the fact. It does not, in fact, contain provisions that allow the use of legal force to PREVENT couples from having more than one child, either before or after conception. And while there are known cases where such force is in fact used, its use therein is in actuality a violation of the policy, and its existence is due not to the policy itself but the overall corruption endemic in Chinese civil society.

    Couples wealthy enough or with enough connections in China can happily and easily have as many children as they want, all the while simply paying “fines” which they can easily afford.

  182. Amphiox says

    Caine, the Thunderdome is not “one of your safe spaces”. Never has been.
    Sorry to break the news.

    Just who the fuck are you to tell Caine where she can and cannot feel safe?

  183. vaiyt says

    Great. The racist, sexist fuckwad who insists on presiding a human rights commission in my country is just repeating every trick in the American Evangelical book. He’s already said that his election was a “victory in a place that always belonged to Satan”, wants to make the teaching of religion obligatory in schools (WHICH religion, asshole?), and says removing protesters from his reunions is a “triumph of democracy”.

    Thanks, America. You sucessfully exported your bullshit to us. Slow clap.

  184. opposablethumbs says

    LykeX and Amphiox: my hat off to you both for clarity and cogency. Excellent rebuttal of the latest instalment of the absolutist schtick joey is always trying to sell around here.

  185. says

    No, I’m not saying anything of the sort. I’m saying precisely what I said above. The disbelief in gods doesn’t imply that you have an obligation to help society’s weakest. That obligation must come from somewhere else. If you have a personal belief that all humans have value, even the weakest in society, then that can be a source of such an obligation. The disbelief in gods can’t be such a source.

    And that would distinguish it from the belief in gods in what way? Even presupposing a benevolent god who’s pronouncements should be obeyed, if you have any knowledge of morality outside of divine command theory, these pronouncements don’t come from your god – they’re moral for other reasons entirely, and can be supported by your god, however. But those are presuppositions that aren’t owed, least of all not to a follower of bloody-handed YHWH.

    I’m curious. Can you share a link or two?

    What, this is the first you’ve frickin’ heard of Augusto Pinochet or something? Fuck, Hayek sang his damn praises and claimed that even the people of Chile felt more free (Outright lies, but…)

  186. says

    Joey

    If you say that it’s “ethical to help people in need”, how can you argue that it comes from the lack of belief in gods

    Ethics have nothing to do with it, really. If you, personally, want a safe, healthy and reasonably prosperous life in a safe, healthy and prosperous society, it is necessary to ensure that everyone is taken care of at least (And I do mean least; that’s the absolute flat minimum) to the extent of food, shelter, and medical care. Private charity, religious or otherwise, demonstrably fails to meet this need. Therefore, the only rational course is to put it in the hands of governments, which are demonstrably more cabable of acheiving it. This doesn’t come from a disbeleif in teh divine per se, but it does come from a rational and naturalistic worldview, and disbeleif in gods is a component thereof.

    Nerd

    China has a population problem. You solve it for them, if you don’t like what they did

    Deal. (Joey, watch carefully; this is how it’s done.)
    China had, and has, an economy which is still heavily rural and poor, and there are very strong patriarchal traditions which reduce women to a subservient position, particularly in rural areas. This is, and has always been, a recipe for high population growth. The solutions, which have been observed to work in many places where they have been implemented to varying degrees, are severalfold, although interlinked. In no particular order:
    1)Ensuring that women control their own reproduction:
    Availability of contraception, abortion services, accurate sex ed, protection from abusive souses/families, etc.
    2)Financial empowerment of women:
    Women must have opportunities to earn a living on their own, to control their own finances, and to have a say in household financial decisions if they are living as part of a household.
    3)Education of women and girls:
    Pretty self-explanatory, really. Education for everyone is important, but there needs to be a special focus on girls because of the devaluation of their education by patriarchal and misogynistic societies.
    4)Old age and disability pensions
    Insuring that people don’t veiw lots of children as an economic necessity to enure their care when they can’t care for themselves.
    5)Access to medical care and sanitation
    Reducing child mortality has a huge effect on the number of children people decide to have, particularly combined with #4 above
    6)An economy that isn’t completely agrarian
    They’ve kind of been going for this, but in some very short sighted ways; I’m running out of steam, though, so I’ll stoip here for now. Suffice it to say that this is a plan that not only avoids any question of violating rights but requirese dramatically increasing them, will reliably slow and eventually stop population growth, and has enormous benefits to society and everyone in it to boot.

  187. John Morales says

    joey, you are amusingly witless.

    Regarding what others are trying to explain to you, consider that you have yet to adduce (well, duh) anything where [if one believes in a god] results in different outcomes from [if a god exists].

    (When God’s existence differs not from belief in god’s existence, god’s existence is nothing but the belief in god’s existence)

  188. Eristae says

    @R Johnston

    Do you see the difference? Kant is not saying that society would be worse off if everyone lied, he’s saying that the concept would cease to be coherent if it were universalized, and so then the behavior does not make logical sense. If maxims cannot be coherently universalized, those maxims are not moral.

    If that’s what Kant meant then he didn’t mean anything useful or particularly coherent. It’s like someone took the saying “all things in moderation” and thought to himself “how can I change this to make it as stupid as humanly possible?”

    Just because an action makes no sense if partaken universally doesn’t mean it makes no sense or is immoral if engaged in selectively. There’s simply no logical connection to be had there. It’s trite bullshit masquerading as depth.

    This is, in fact, one of the many reasons that Kant’s moral theory is stupid beyond all measure. I was actually unkind to say he was an idiot earlier (his metaphysics is much better) but dear Pizza his moral theory is terrible. And, as I said earlier, Kant doesn’t apply this consistently (gaah!). Because one cannot lie all the time in all situations (etc) and make it work, supposedly we aren’t supposed to do it at all. But even though we similarly can’t have sex at all times in all situations (we’d all die of dehydration if nothing else), sex gets a pass on this. Sex gets to be relegated to certain times, places, and situations (which is where Kant goes all “sex in marriage is okay, blah blah”) It drives me crazy.

  189. Chuck says

    I agree that Kant’s Categorical Imperative is not a good ethical system, for a lot of reasons. I applaud his attempt at a purely secular ethical system, but R Johnston is right that there is a disconnect between something being logically universalizable and something being moral.

    But, Eristae, it’s the maxim that needs to be universalized, not the action alone. Kant’s “maxim” is the intent behind the behavior + the behavior itself. So what I’m saying is that the CI is vulnerable to criticism — lots of criticisms, actually — but what you are attacking is a misreading of Kant’s CI, not Kant’s CI itself.

    In the real world, outside of college philosophy departments, all of this is irrelevant. I know deontologists, but I don’t know anyone who makes their ethical decisions based on Kant’s CI (and rightfully so).

  190. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    But divine commands come directly from theism.

    Since your deity is imaginary, the only place the command come from is the people who wrote them down years ago.

    Worse, from the current-day interpreters of what was written down years ago, then filtered through those years’-worth of translations/mistranslations, additions and deletions (each according to the agenda of its own place/time/interpreter) . Ever play Chinese Whispers?

    If you think that obligation to help others can come only from social contract, fine. But social contract has really nothing to do with disbelief in gods, which is my entire point.

    Belief in gods (on a culture-wide level) is part of a social contract. And so is pretense to believe in gods (ditto).
    -

  191. Eristae says

    But, Eristae, it’s the maxim that needs to be universalized, not the action alone. Kant’s “maxim” is the intent behind the behavior + the behavior itself. So what I’m saying is that the CI is vulnerable to criticism — lots of criticisms, actually — but what you are attacking is a misreading of Kant’s CI, not Kant’s CI itself.

    It’s been a while since I read the CI, but I don’t remember Kant ever caring about intent when it comes to morals, only whether or not the action can be universalized. Could you give me a reference?

    And my whole problem with the maxim (as I said before) is that Kant draws it with seeming arbitrariness. For example, we could universalize the maxim about lying with a caveat about how one can lie to save another person’s life from unjust killing, but Kant goes out of his way to reject this (his “murderer at the door” example). Yet he has no problems stuffing caveats onto other maxims so as to be able to universalize them.

  192. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m so with you on almost everything, Eristae, but I do remember intent coming into it at the stage of testing logical cohesiveness.

    If one’s intent is to deceive, one cannot lie while everyone else is always lying, because communication would be frustrated and therefore deception would be frustrated. It is the action which is universalized, but the effects of that universalized action are tested against intent.

    But, like you say, he never says: if one’s intent is to cause humor and one acts by lying in order to get a laugh, then everyone starts lying **when they want to cause laughter** then, so long as you like jokes, everything is perfectly cool. It allows one to assert perfectly untrue things that in a way that logically coheres: but Kant never thinks of stating a falsehood with any intent other than to deceive. he’s really missing out, because without the ability to state false things I couldn’t say:

    I know an old dyke from Nantucket
    who had a guitar and would pluck it
    With it between her knees
    she said as she squeezed
    “It vibrates so I don’t have to use an amplifier!”

  193. John Morales says

    Jacob Schmidt,

    This being an interesting topic, would you be willing to explain your point @189 in the Thunderdome? Your meaning got lost in the sarcasm.

    Here is my #189:

    [Jacob] I don’t consider psychological trauma to be separate from physical trauma; to me, its a distinct subset.

    [me] Right; and thoughts aren’t separate from physical things, but a distinct subset thereof), and therefore no distinction between abstracta and concreta should be drawn.

    So. Are you familiar with the so-called mind-body dichotomy, and how physicalist monists deal with it?

    (You were making the vacuous claim that since all mental states are reducible to physical states, the two aren’t separate categories; there was also an implied insinuation that I was indulging in substance dualism)

  194. Eristae says

    If one’s intent is to deceive, one cannot lie while everyone else is always lying, because communication would be frustrated and therefore deception would be frustrated. It is the action which is universalized, but the effects of that universalized action are tested against intent.

    Huh. I guess the reason I don’t remember it is because I don’t see what difference intention makes. Whatever one’s intentions, one cannot lie all the time while everyone else is lying all the time because we’d all know each other was lying, preventing deception altogether. If we all intended to tell the truth but were somehow were subjected to a brain injury that caused us all to lie all the time, communication itself wouldn’t just be frustrated, it would be rendered meaningless, regardless of intention.

    But I suppose that’s just a difference in how Kant and I operate.

  195. R Johnston says

    @Eristae

    And my whole problem with the maxim (as I said before) is that Kant draws it with seeming arbitrariness. For example, we could universalize the maxim about lying with a caveat about how one can lie to save another person’s life from unjust killing, but Kant goes out of his way to reject this (his “murderer at the door” example). Yet he has no problems stuffing caveats onto other maxims so as to be able to universalize them.

    First, thanks for the invite over to thunderdome. I’m mostly a lurker and haven’t posted in here before.

    As someone with a lot more experience with law than with Kant–my experience with Kant consists of readings in a law and philosophy class in law school–this sounds to me a lot like the failings of various brands of constitutional originalism. I don’t know if you or Chuck are lawyers, so apologies if this is well worn stuff for you, but it’s a classical objection to most brands of originalism that whether or not a legal principle accords with some sort of original intent or understanding depends on the degree of generality with which that principle or intent/understanding is stated. Did the writers of the Fourteenth Amendment intend or understand the Amendment to allow segregated schools, or did they intend to enact a broad principle of equal protection under the law with the understanding that accepted specific applications might change over time? When lawyers actually making originalism arguments, it seems they switch back and forth between framings all the time as convenient to their desired outcome, which is how I knew from early on to treat originalism arguments with skepticism at best, scorn at worst.

    Similarly with Kant’s CI, you can always choose the degree to which you stuff caveats onto maxims before universalizing them. The choice of degree to which a maxim is specified or generalized is arbitrary and not in any way dictated by the CI and all too easily runs in accord with desired outcome.

    Unfortunately it’s way too late for me to change the topic of my final paper in that class.

  196. John Morales says

    Eristae,

    I guess the reason I don’t remember it is because I don’t see what difference intention makes.

    Since I’m apparently on a pedantry jag, I tell you that it’s there’s a distinction between a lie and an untruth; that is, though the term ‘lie’ is polysemous, its primary sense is that of a deliberate untruth.

  197. John Morales says

    R Johnston:

    Similarly with Kant’s CI, you can always choose the degree to which you stuff caveats onto maxims before universalizing them.

    Such sloppy language!

    (Definitionally, no proposition which includes a caveat can be universal)

  198. Eristae says

    @R Johnston
    I’m not a lawyer, but I do possess a generalized disdain for arguments that revolve around “the intent of the writers of the amendment.” The writers of our Constitution were human beings with a list of flaws that would far exceed the length of our actual Constitution. One need only look to the The Three-Fifths Compromise for an example of that (aaaaaaaarg!). I suppose looking to intent of the authors has practical value, but it drives me more than a little batty.

    And I agree completely that people start going off on “intent” selectively.

    Also, this made me giggle:

    Unfortunately it’s way too late for me to change the topic of my final paper in that class.

    @John Morales

    Since I’m apparently on a pedantry jag, I tell you that it’s there’s a distinction between a lie and an untruth; that is, though the term ‘lie’ is polysemous, its primary sense is that of a deliberate untruth.

    Ah, I see. That makes sense.

    Although I’m going to include as a disclaimer for anyone reading this that it doesn’t change my view of the stupidity of Kant’s moral theory. *brandishes her hand vaguely*

  199. Eristae says

    Such sloppy language!

    (Definitionally, no proposition which includes a caveat can be universal)

    ?

    From where I’m standing, “caveat” in this particular context means something like

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/caveat
    “b. A qualification or explanation.”

    One could universalize (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universal) a condemnation of certain kinds of lying. For example, one could universalize a moral condemnation of lying for monetary gain. In such a situation, lying for monetary gain would be universally wrong. It would have a caveat in that it isn’t all lying, but is instead lying qualified and/or explained by a motive of monetary gain.

  200. John Morales says

    Eristae:

    From where I’m standing, “caveat” in this particular context means something like
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/caveat

    Look deeper: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/qualification

    1. The act of qualifying or the condition of being qualified.
    2. A quality, ability, or accomplishment that makes a person suitable for a particular position or task.
    3. A condition or circumstance that must be met or complied with: fulfilled the qualifications for registering to vote in the presidential election.
    4. A restriction or modification: an offer with a number of qualifications.

    (You do know the difference between the existential (∃) and the universal (∀), no?)

  201. John Morales says

    Eristae:

    A limited type of lying is, without exception, wrong.

    Way to miss the point about intent!

    Let me put it this way: if you tell the truth with the intent (and expectation) of deceiving, are you lying?

    (Or maybe this way: if you tell what you believe is an untruth with the intent (and expectation) of deceiving but you are mistaken and you actually tell the truth, are you lying?)

  202. John Morales says

    BTW, when I link to a dictionary, I tend to link to Wiktionary.

    (Or, I always link to Wiktionary with the caveat that special circumstances may impel me to do otherwise)

  203. Eristae says

    @John Morales

    Let me put it this way: if you tell the truth with the intent (and expectation) of deceiving, are you lying?

    Yes. But one can universally apply the condemnation of certain kinds of deception without condemning different kinds of deception.

    One can apply the condemnation universally (all lying for monetary gain is wrong) while still qualifying the subject that is being applied (all lying for monetary gain is wrong).

    And I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear: in that post I am not talking about Kant and intention, I’m talking about the statement that “no proposition which includes a caveat can be universal.”

  204. John Morales says

    Eristae:

    But one can universally apply the condemnation of certain kinds of deception without condemning different kinds of deception.

    Nononononono…. I’m speaking of formal logic, here, and universal means no exceptions. Either deception is always (universally) condemnable, or it ain’t.

    Let’s try again, with more bite:

    Consider this: “But one can universally apply the condemnation of certain kinds of rape without condemning different kinds of rape.”

  205. Jacob Schmidt says

    John

    So. Are you familiar with the so-called mind-body dichotomy, and how physicalist monists deal with it?

    Not sure. Is it the claim that mental states are totally derived from physical states?

    You were making the vacuous claim[1] that since all mental states are reducible to physical states[2], the two aren’t separate categories; there was also an implied insinuation that I was indulging in substance dualism[3])

    1) I made no claim. I stated a personal opinion and stated that it was entirely possible that I was wrong. I did not assert any truth.

    2) I said physical trauma and mental trauma were one and the same, not that all mental states were entirely reducible to physical states. That is, one subset of mental states could be, in some sense, reduced to physical states. My (ignorant) opinion was that mental and physical states both influenced each other, and that psychological trauma caused semi-permanent physical changes to the brain. I tend to associate two related things to a greater extent than they should be; to me, the physical damage and psychological damage didn’t need to be distinguished for the purpose of the conversation we were having.

    3)I did not intend to imply this.

  206. John Morales says

    Jacob:

    Not sure. Is it the claim that mental states are totally derived from physical states?

    Not quite; more like the concept of emergence.

    1) I made no claim. I stated a personal opinion and stated that it was entirely possible that I was wrong. I did not assert any truth.

    You’re seriously denying that stating a personal opinion is making a claim? :)

    I said physical trauma and mental trauma were one and the same, not that all mental states were entirely reducible to physical states.

    You are so very confused.

    (Since mental and physical coherence are one and the same, this means your body is twisted and misshapen)

    3)I did not intend to imply this.

    I don’t disbelieve this claim.

  207. Eristae says

    Nononononono…. I’m speaking of formal logic, here, and universal means no exceptions. Either deception is always (universally) condemnable, or it ain’t.

    Having taken formal courses in logic, I don’t see how this follows. One might as well say that “deception” is an exception to something like “interacting with others,” and that one cannot universally condemn “deception” without condemning “interacting with others” because to do so is to make an exception for “deception.” The whole basis of this argument involves splitting off some types of social interaction from others. In such a way, one can split off some types of deception from others.

    Let’s try again, with more bite:

    Consider this: “But one can universally apply the condemnation of certain kinds of rape without condemning different kinds of rape.”

    One can do this. We see it all the time (in fact, we see it in the thread we just came from). It’s why certain kinds of rape are seen by some people as acceptable (raping a drunk girl at a party; “What was she expecting? Blah blah”) while others are not.

    The fact that I view all rape (I’d like to say “universal rape” to be consistent in terms, but “universal rape” doesn’t make sense) to be universally worthy of condemnation doesn’t mean that everyone does. The fact that I think that making exceptions for certain types* of rape in the universal condemnation of other types of rape is immoral doesn’t change the fact that they’re still doing it.

    *statutory rape vs non-statutory rape, date rape vs stranger rape

  208. Chuck says

    It’s been a while since I read the CI, but I don’t remember Kant ever caring about intent when it comes to morals, only whether or not the action can be universalized. Could you give me a reference?

    Here’s one I found googling “categorical imperative”: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-moral/#ForUniLawNat

    The salient part: First, formulate a maxim that enshrines your reason for acting as you propose. Second, recast that maxim as a universal law of nature governing all rational agents, and so as holding that all must, by natural law, act as you yourself propose to act in these circumstances. Third, consider whether your maxim is even conceivable in a world governed by this law of nature. If it is, then, fourth, ask yourself whether you would, or could, rationally will to act on your maxim in such a world. If you could, then your action is morally permissible.

    Actually, that whole page is a much better description of Kant’s ethics than I was able to give. But yeah, there is an emphasis on intent. Kant’s intent doesn’t fall into the typical problems with intent that require us to try to put ourselves into someone else’s head and figure out what their intent was — because the intent is our own. But it does leave Kant exposed to a well-meaning individual whose consequences turn out very, very badly. Kant will say that the individual acted morally regardless of consequences, but I’m not sure “I didn’t intend for that to happen” really excuses every behavior. And there are many other problems besides.

    Anyway. Sorry to derail the prior thread.

  209. Eristae says

    Because I am perhaps overly attached to symbolic logic, I’m going to point out that the following argument is perfectly valid. The following may be entirely off topic (I don’t know), but I like it so much that I’m going to post it anyway.

    If I am a woman, the moon is made of green cheese.
    I am a woman.
    The moon is made of green cheese.

    It is incredibly common for people to look at the conclusion, realize it is factually incorrect, and assume that the form of the argument is flawed. This is not the case. The issue with the above argument isn’t the form of the logic (which is valid), it’s that my premise (If I am a woman, the moon is made of green cheese) is factually incorrect. (My argument is valid, factually incorrect, and unsound). This is why people often assume that things are illogical when they are in fact logically valid but factually incorrect. It’s why, as they say, you should never grant a Jesuit their premise. It’s why it’s so important to examine one’s premises.

    But I need to go to sleep now. Night night!

  210. Jacob Schmidt says

    John

    Not quite; more like the concept of emergence.

    Wikipedia lied to me. Would this emergence be similar to emergent complexity?

    You’re seriously denying that stating a personal opinion is making a claim?

    Yes. I was not telling you that you should believe my opinion; that other people should believe it is a necessary part of a claim.

    You are so very confused.

    (Since mental and physical coherence are one and the same, this means your body is twisted and misshapen)

    I am very confused. I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me.

    Eristae

    Having taken formal courses in logic, I don’t see how this follows.

    I think there is a communication error. You said that a certain type of lying is universally wrong. “Universal” applying to all situations, meaning a certain type of lying is always wrong, not matter the context. John, I think, is applying the term to “lying”.

    So you’re talking about always condemning certain acts of deception under all circumstances. John is talking about condemning all acts of deception. (I think. I’m going to bed now, I’ll find out in the morning how wrong I am).

  211. John Morales says

    Eristae,

    Having taken formal courses in logic, I don’t see how this follows.

    It’s definitional!

    It’s weird you don’t see the obvious; the predication (moral merit) is made on a subset of possible instantiation of entities, so it’s an existential rather than an universal one (and the entity in question is ‘lying’ or ‘rape’).

    You surely don’t dispute that “all rape is bad” is an universal claim about rape, but you oddly enough additionally argue that “only some rape is bad” is equally universal.

    (I suppose in a degenerate sense all truth-claims are universal, but I don’t go around using that particular sense because it would be nonsensical)

    One can do this.

    Where did I say you couldn’t? ;)

    (I think the language is confusing you, the concepts are hardly difficult)

    The fact that I view all rape (I’d like to say “universal rape” to be consistent in terms, but “universal rape” doesn’t make sense) to be universally worthy of condemnation doesn’t mean that everyone does.

    Many people are wrong about many things.

    (And surely you don’t imagine I made the claim that everyone thinks that!)

  212. John Morales says

    Jacob Schmidt:

    Would this emergence be similar to emergent complexity?

    Yes.

  213. John Morales says

    PS Eristae,

    (I’d like to say “universal rape” to be consistent in terms, but “universal rape” doesn’t make sense)

    No, it doesn’t.

    What you mean to say is ∀x(IsRape(x) → IsBad(x)). That’s an universal claim.

    (The claim that ∃x(IsRape(x) → IsBad(x)) is an existential one)

  214. Eristae says

    @John Morales

    Okay, so I’m not in bed yet. (I’m going this time! Really!)

    Let’s try to fix this up.

    We agree that all rape is always wrong, that is to say rape is universally wrong. But what is rape? Rape is a subset of sex that is defined as being non-consentual. Saying rape is universally wrong is another way of saying, “All sex that is qualified by being non-consensual is universally wrong.” Universal application, qualified subject.

    All sex that is qualified by non-consensual is wrong. All X that is Y is wrong. All lying that is qualified as being for monetary gain is wrong.

    Now, sleeeeeeeeep!

  215. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    John, you’re really not getting it.

    Lying is a special case of communicating. how can a special case be universal? In exactly the sense you create above.

    You seem to be putting a weird priority on whether or not a thought can be expressed with a single word. If it can, it can be universalized. If it kant, it is impossible to universalize. Worse, you are failing in an impressive way on vocabulary grounds.

    Therefore:

    “Communicating via words with the intent and expectation of deceiving those persons receiving those words”

    Can be universalized even though it is quite obviously multiply qualified because it can be reduced to the word “lying”.

    But

    “lying with the intent and expectation of reaping monetary gain”

    CanNOT be universalized, because, duh, it’s a highly qualified statement.

    Now here’s the thing:

    “swindling”

    This is one unqualified thing, right?

    so I can haz universalized nao?

    The language you’re using might have been set before or after Kant, I don’t know the history of logic. But whether Kant erred in using the term or whether others after Kant gave the term new meaning, in Kant’s analysis “universalize” is certainly applied in a specific way and appears to me to be perfectly consistent with Eristae’s use.

    Why you’re drawing a distinction based on whether a concept is expressed in one word or more than one word, I’m not sure. And I’m especially not sure why you’re using the Existential operator. The whole point is that the quality of morality attaches to all members of a class.

    As I understand it, that’s all the Universal operator does, right? Makes a quality universal within a set? But that set can be defined as having as many or as few members as we wish, correct? Even if we limit it to infinite sets, there is no limit on the number of times swindling can happen, is there?

    John, your logic here has me baffled.

  216. yubal says

    Reading last weeks blogs and some comments on FtB about Ellen Wachs, I was reminded of some masterpieces my dear old friend Gerhard Schöne had written in the format of songs many years ago.

    Please ask a friend to translate or use the translator of you trust to convert that in the language of your choice, or learn German if you care.

    Ich Kann Es Einfach Nicht Vergessen

    Ich kann nicht immer daran denken,
    Dass unsere Welt ein Riss zertrennt.
    Ich möchte singen mit den Gästen
    Ein Lied, das jeder von uns kennt.
    Ich kann nicht immer daran denken,
    Wir sitzen auf dem Pulverfass.

    Ich möchte mich aalen in der Sonne und kichern über einen Spaß.
    Ich mag nicht an die Kinder denken, die jetzt vor Hunger Erde fressen.
    Ich möchte nach der Hühnerbrühe auch noch den Braten fröhlich essen.
    Ich mag nicht an die Tiere denken., die I’m Labor hinvegetieren.
    Ich möchte sorglos meiner Liebsten französisches Parfüm spendieren.

    Mag nicht an Folterschreie denken
    In Chile hinter Polstertüren.
    Mich soll das große HALLELUJA aus dem Messias jetzt berührn.

    Und doch es will mir nicht gelingen
    Ganz unbeschwert, ganz froh zu sein,
    In das Vergnügen schleicht sich Zweifel
    Und in mein Lachen Trauer ein.
    Und wenn ich singe mit den Gästen,
    Ein Lied das jeder von uns kennt,
    Dann schmerzt mich heimlich der Gedanke
    Dass unsere Welt ein Riss zertrennt.
    Wenn ich mich aale in der Sonne und kicher über einen Spaß.
    Ich kann es doch nie ganz vergessen:
    Wir sitzen auf dem Pulverfass.

    Ich lese gerne Speisekarten und freue mich aufs leckere Essen.
    Und kann und darf die um ihr Breichen betrogenen Kinder nicht vergessen.
    Und führt man mir I’m Seifenladen die auserlesnen Düfte vor,
    Dann fällt mir ein, was ich gehört hab
    Von Tierversuchen I’m Labor.
    Mich kann das große HALLELUJA aus dem Messias nicht berührn,
    Solang man Freunde meiner Freunde noch foltert hinter Polstertüren.
    Ich sehne mich nach tiefer Freude
    Und doch sie zieht nicht ein bei mir,
    Solange meine Brüder leiden, ob Mensch, ob Pflanze oder Tier.

    ———-

    Wellensittich und Spatzen

    Auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt läuft einer, nach dem sich die Leute umdrehn.
    Etwas Grünes hat er sich ins Haar geschmiert.
    Er trägt eine Glitzerhose und am linken Ohr Geschmeide,
    etwas Wangenrouge, der Hals ist tätowiert.
    Träge Menschen werden munter. Stille Bürger sind entrüstet.
    Dreckparolen wirft man, wo er geht und steht.
    Einer sagt: Das ist der Abschaum! Sowas müsste man erschießen!
    Wenn das mein Sohn wär’, ich wüsste, was ich tät.
    Jemand sagt: Der ist entlaufen! Jemand sagt: Hau ab. Zieh Leine!
    Irgendwo ruft einer halblaut: Schwules Schwein.
    Jemand spuckt ihm vor die Füße. Jemand wirft nach ihm ein Brötchen.
    Ein Besoffner packt ihn und schlägt auf ihn ein.

    Als mein gelber Wellensittich aus dem Fenster flog,
    hackte eine Schar von Spatzen auf ihn ein,
    denn er sang wohl etwas anders und war nicht so grau wie sie
    und das paßt in Spatzenhirne nicht hinein.

    Fünf Soldaten auf der Bude. Vier sind sofort dicke Freunde,
    nur der Fünfte ist ‘ne Pfeife, das steht fest!
    Alle warn schon blau, nur er nicht, hat von Fußball keine Ahnung,
    abends liegt er mit nem Buch in seinem Nest.
    Täglich schreibt die Pfeife Briefe und kriegt Post aus andern Ländern.
    Alle prahln mit ihren Weibern, nur er schweigt.
    Er versaut die ganze Stimmung, wenn sie Witze sich erzählen,
    es wird Zeit, dass man ihm mal die Meinung geigt!
    Sonntagnacht, die Pfeife schläft schon. Unsre Vier sind stockbesoffen.
    In der Dunkelheit zerrn sie ihn aus dem Bett.
    Eine Flasche braunen Fusel flößen sie ihm ein und lachen.
    Und sein Buch wird eingeschmiert mit Stiefelfett.

    Als mein gelber Wellensittich aus dem Fenster flog,
    hackte eine Schar von Spatzen auf ihn ein,
    denn er sang wohl etwas anders und war nicht so grau wie sie
    und das paßt in Spatzenhirne nicht hinein.

    Im Lokal ist Kinderfasching. An der Tür gibt es Getuschel.
    Eine Mutter bringt ihr Sternentalerkind.
    Das ist geistig schwer behindert, kann nicht sprechen, nur so brummeln,
    doch es strahlt, weil hier so viele Kinder sind.
    Und die Mutter setzt sich mit ihm an die lange Kaffeetafel,
    ihr kleiner Sternentaler klatscht zu der Musik.
    Keiner schenkt ihnen Kakao ein, niemand setzt sich in die Nähe,
    ab und zu nur trifft sie ein verstohlener Blick.
    Als die Kinder tanzen, schwingt sie auch ihr Kind herum im Kreise.
    Manche tanzen weiter, andre bleiben stehn.
    Jemand sagt: Das ist geschmacklos, schließlich sind wir keine Anstalt.
    Unsere Kinder sollen so etwas nicht sehn.

    ———-

    Gesprengter Bunker

    Dicke, eingeknickte Mauern
    aus massivem Stahlbeton.
    Ein Stück Müll der Weltgeschichte
    bleicht da in der Mittagssonn.

    Das war mal ein Nazibunker.
    Tausend Jahre sollt er stehn.
    Doch mit all den Kriegsmaschinen
    musst er in die Knie gehn.

    Kinder balancieren darüber.
    Eine Hecke lehnt sich an.
    Spatzen nisten in den Ritzen,
    und die Hunde pinkeln dran.

    Sorgen wir, dass in ein paar Jahren
    Rost an den Raketen frisst
    und dass bald schon jeder Bunker
    Nistplatz für die Spatzen ist.

  217. John Morales says

    Crip Dyke:

    You seem to be putting a weird priority on whether or not a thought can be expressed with a single word. If it can, it can be universalized.

    No. It’s not the word, it’s the category to which it refers.

    Worse, you are failing in an impressive way on vocabulary grounds.

    Show me how so.

    Therefore:

    “Communicating via words with the intent and expectation of deceiving those persons receiving those words”

    Can be universalized even though it is quite obviously multiply qualified because it can be reduced to the word “lying”.

    But

    “lying with the intent and expectation of reaping monetary gain”

    CanNOT be universalized, because, duh, it’s a highly qualified statement.

    What a weird inference — that’s what you get when you imagine I’m speaking about terminology and not about form.

    The proposition [all X is Y] applies to all X — it doesn’t matter whether X refers to “lying” or to “lying with the intent and expectation of reaping monetary gain” or even to “lying with the intent and expectation of reaping monetary gain on Thursday afternoons during the third month of a leap year” — and is not the same as [some X is Y].

    Sure, you can rephrase [some X is Y] as [all (X and Z) are Y], but that doesn’t change the fact that what’s universal for (X and Z) is not universal* for X.

    * Unless Z itself is universally true, in which case such quantification is otiose.

  218. Eristae says

    The proposition [all X is Y] applies to all X — it doesn’t matter whether X refers to “lying” or to “lying with the intent and expectation of reaping monetary gain” or even to “lying with the intent and expectation of reaping monetary gain on Thursday afternoons during the third month of a leap year” — and is not the same as [some X is Y].

    Of course [all X is Y] isn’t the same as [some X is Y] Is is why “All swindling* is wrong” is a situation where the application (is wrong) is universal (all) while the subject (swindling; a qualified lying) is not.

    Sure, you can rephrase [some X is Y] as [all (X and Z) are Y], but that doesn’t change the fact that what’s universal for (X and Z) is not universal* for X.

    But this backs up my (and I believe Crip Dyke’s) point:

    It is possible for something to be universal for (X and Z) and not be universal for X.
    It is universally the case that (sex and a lack of consent; rape) is wrong. It is universally the case that (lying and a motive for monetary gain; swindling) is wrong. But is not the case that X (sex; lying) is wrong. It is possible to apply “universal” to (X and Z) without applying “universal” to X.

    This is my point. Kant could have qualified his subject (said (X and Z) rather than just X) but he didn’t; instead, he said that one couldn’t qualify the subject (One had to make statements about X rather than (X and Z)) despite the fact that he qualified his subjects elsewhere (sex and a lack of marriage is wrong; sex need not be judged without qualification). His decision to apply qualifiers to his subject is arbitrary. There is no reason that sex can be qualified before the morality is universally applied but lying cannot be qualified before its morality is universally applied.

    Also, I’m with Crip Dyke in not understanding why you think it is possible to universally apply “wrong” to rape but not all sex and yet we’re having an issue about universally applying “wrong” to swindling but not to all lying. The form in both is the same.

    *Ooh, I <3 you, Crip Dyke! I didn't even think of putting "lying for monetary gain" into one word.

  219. howard says

    Eristae@303:

    What helped me understand where Kant was going with this is this post on Ex Urbe. (and if you haven’t seen this series, on Machiavelli, I recomend it)

    Kant is getting at Moral Virtue ethics. That is, X puts you in a state of having lied, and the state of having lied, regardless of intent or outcome, is undesirable. He would say that the outcome is that you have become a Liar, and this obviously damages your relationship to the truth, and therefore you now exist in a state as a Liar, and regardless of outcome, this is a hurt from which you can’t recover.

    There’s some presupposition built into that. That your inward Moral Virtue is what’s important, not the actual outcomes. (I’m pretty sure he’d say any Utilitarianism is just plain evil, because that’s, again, compromising your inward Moral Virtue)

    And this is why some people are all ‘but it wasn’t my INTENT to hurt you.’ Because what matters to them is their state of inward Moral Virtue. No intent = inwardly blameless. And externalities like actual consequences? Don’t matter.

    Which is why I’d say that Virtue Ethics actually lead to evil.

    (but do read the link, it is really, really great)

  220. Eristae says

    And, because I am a weeny, I’m going to start using symbols even though I think that doing so often makes it difficult for people to understand.

    First, to define the terms:

    http://www.philosophy-index.com/logic/symbolic/
    ∀ universal quantifier Means “for all”, so ∀xPx means that Px is true for every x.
    ∃ existential quantifier Means “there exists”, so ∃xPx means that Px is true for at least one x.

    Second, to define my argument:

    I am using ∀xPx for wrongness and swindling. I not using ∃xPx for wrongness and lying. My whole point basically boils down to the assertion that the x in ∀xPx can be “swindling” rather than “lying.” “Wrong is true for every swindle” isn’t any more logically problematic than “Wrong is true for every lie.”

    Now I must get ready for work.

    Fleeeeeeee!

  221. howard says

    And now that I’ve read back far enough in the other thread (gah, catching up on one thread isn’t enough? Curse you, multiple-relevant-threads!) I can see that actually a lot of these points were covered well enough up front.

    Well, at least the link is still relevant and useful….

  222. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Eristae (and John)
    John seems formerly confused about what we were saying. He no longer seems to be saying that we can’t attach the universal characteristic to any given set, even where that set might be a subset of another set.

    I say we chalk it up to a bad moment for John and assume we’re all on the same page now.

  223. rorschach says

    Mick Nugent has the moderation vapors, so I will post here what I wrote on his blog, where slymers seem to rule:

    rorschach April 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    to recapture the potential that we had two years ago

    Yes, that same potential that got broke because a woman talking about harassment of women at conferences all day on a panel at your conference got propositioned in an elevator at your conference at 4am that same night a couple years ago, and a month later dared to suggest in a video about moving house that that maybe wasn’t cool. If we try to recapture the potential, let’s please also recapture the history of how we ended up here in the first place, in a dialogue with people who, if they weren’t atheists and presumably some potential kind of allies, noone would want to go near to, because their bullying moves are all too obvious and their divisive tactics too repulsive, to be considering them anything but the people that we don’t want in our movement.

    Just in case we do decide that that’s the movement we want, please cancel my membership and give me my money back.

  224. David Marjanović says

    Ich Kann Es Einfach Nicht Vergessen

    That’s not an option. Unlike English and French, German does not have separate capitalization rules for headlines. Ich kann es einfach nicht vergessen is the only option; there are no nouns in this headline, only a beginning.

  225. says

    rorschach, you may be interested in this open letter just published:

    AHA Joins Secular Leaders Calling for Civility in Our Online Communities
    At the same time, the fact that so much of our community is online brings with it certain challenges. Communicating primarily online can make it difficult to recognize each other’s humanity. Online we don’t have the same vocal and physical cues to tell us what another person means by his or her comments, so it’s easier for misunderstandings to develop. The instantaneous and impersonal nature of online communication also makes it much easier for these misunderstandings to escalate, or for civil arguments to turn into bitter fights. Like many online communities, our comment and forum threads all too often become places for name calling and even threats, rather than honest dialogue based on mutual respect. Between the small but vocal number of abusive participants (often called “trolls”) who hurl threats and insults, and the overheated rhetoric of some ordinarily friendly and reasonable people, our online environment is in danger of turning toxic. Fortunately, our secular values of reason and compassion give us tools to rise above the lowest common denominator of online communication.

    It is not just one side that is the problem, although this letter does not go far enough addressing the hate and bullying directed at women who blog and comment about feminism. That is a big problem and poisons all discussion, well, most.
    Anyways, I thought people might find that interesting. I got the link from Daylight Atheism.

  226. vaiyt says

    Communicating primarily online can make it difficult to recognize each other’s humanity.

    Let’s start by having the asshats recognize the humanity of women. THEN we talk about respect and all that. Capisce?

  227. says

    anyone got an idea what’ sup with Strange Gods? his last comments here are from a month ago. *mildly concerned*

    (crossposted in the lounge)

  228. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Thinking primarily with your sexism can make it difficult to recognize WTF humanity even is. Be nice if they said something that clear. I read it. The sexism section doesn’t exactly read like Patrick Henry.

  229. says

    Communicating primarily online can make it difficult to recognize each other’s humanity.

    online people have paid other online people’s rent
    online people have paid for other online people’s medical bills
    online people have offered other online people housing, clothing, etc. when needed

    most of my close friendsips and 2/3rds of all my relationships were with people who at the very least started out as online people

    I don’t see that in meatspace, so I have some problem with the hypothesis that the internet makes it harder to see people as human than meatspace does

  230. Eristae says

    @Howard
    That is a good site. I particularly enjoyed where the author went into how heroes and villains are generally placed in the various categories. Thanks for sharing it.

    Anyway, my point is that it is basically possible to take “swindling” and input it where Kant put “lying.”

    To use your words:

    “That is, X puts you in a state of having swindled, and the state of having swindled, regardless of intent or outcome, is undesirable.” An example of this would be an assertion that swindling is wrong regardless of whether the swindling was to pay for the medical care of orphans or a new car.

    And the above is actually a strike against Kant as a Virtue Ethicist; as is quoted in your website, “Virtue Ethics is any ethical system which judges an action based on the interior motives and feelings of the actor.” But Kant’s whole point is that the interior motives and feelings for the actor cannot influence the morality of lying. Lying with the motive of saving the life of an innocent person? Wrong. Lying with the motive of taking the life of an innocent person? Wrong.

    Of course, there is some weirdness to this, which only points out the flaws of Kant’s point of view. Kant is a Virtue Ethicist when it comes to telling untruths: telling an untruth without the intent to deceive is morally neutral, but telling an untruth with the intent to deceive is immoral. But he is not a Virtue Ethicist when it comes to the the application of lies; all lies are immoral regardless of intent.

    If this is the case, Kant flip flops between Virtue Ethics and Deontology with no apparent rational for the jump. Telling untruths? Turn to Virtue Ethics. Telling lies? Turn to Deontology.

    @Jadehawk
    I offer up flowers and hearts in appreciation for your words. ^_^

  231. says

    Hi, Nerd,

    If you are reading this, please stop calling people “it.” I don’t care if you don’t like them; this is dehumanizing. People you don’t like are people, too.

    Thanks.

  232. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hi, Nerd,

    If you are reading this, please stop calling people “it.” I don’t care if you don’t like them; this is dehumanizing. People you don’t like are people, too.

    Thanks.

    And why should I care what you think if you can’t even reference the post # where I allegedly did that? I’m not world’s greatest writer, and may have messed up the pronouns. I normally listen to such complaints, unless I think PC is going too far. And it has on occasion.

  233. says

    Here you go, Nerd.

    Yawn, why should anybody take harvardbrat seriously? It won’t defend any solid rebuttals of its fuckwittery. It can’t make a good cogent analysis. All it can do is gripe about PZ. PZ should have a banhammer categrory or repeated on-off posts who complain, but won’t defend themselves.

    You don’t have to care either way. It just rubbed me wrong. And I asked nicely.

  234. jonmilne says

    Hello ladies and gents, I require some assistance.

    .
    Over at Debate.org, I’ve become a new member and as my first debate I’ve started this: http://www.debate.org/debates/The-Most-Reliable-Basis-For-Determining-Morality-Is-Via-Secular-Means/1/ . The Debate topic is “The Most Reliable Basis For Determining Morality Is Via Secular Means”. Right now, the debate is unanswered, however I have received correspondence via the comments that suggest I’ll have an opponent rather soon. I should also note that with regards to the morality question, I have also mentioned in the comments that I will be considering all morality to be subjective because I’m really not convinced that any kind of persuasive argument about any kind of “objective” morality can really be made, which is why I don’t buy into Harris’s defence of such a notion and it’s why I think that while Christina Rad makes an admirable case in her video “The Objective of Morality”, I still think what she ultimately ended up concluding with was something that amounts to a reliable and practical shared subjective morality.

    .
    Anyhow, while I’ve got an idea on a few resources I could use in order to help my debate, it would be enormously helpful with people could give me some quick notes on what would be really good stuff to say, as well as any really good links that would provide assistance with a pro-secular-morality argument.

    Much thanks guys! :)

    Jon Milne

  235. John Morales says

    Jon Milne, I find the question problematic, in particular because you employ the terms ‘most reliable’ and ‘secular’. I would not engage in such a debate without clarifying the terms.

  236. jonmilne says

    I have invited Con, who is now existent, to further clarify the terms if they should so wish. I’ve also made another comment for Con’s benefit that provides clarification on the other terms:

    There’s some other terms for your benefit, Larz, that I should probably also clarify, namely:

    Reliable – how dependable such a thing is.

    Most Reliable – the aspect that we have the highest ability to depend on.

    Basis – How much support and foundation there is for this argument

    Determining – Making a decision

    Means – The methods we use.

    I also made what I thought was a pretty clear definition of “morality” and “secular” in my introductory post, namely:

    Morality – What we consider to be right or wrong

    Secularism – actions and thinking that are derived from a non-religious standpoint

    What do you think so far?

  237. John Morales says

    Jon, I find these two definitions vague and ambiguous:

    “Reliable – how dependable such a thing is.”

    and

    “Most Reliable – the aspect that we have the highest ability to depend on.”

  238. jonmilne says

    I have 72 hours to post my reply, just so you know, so I can further clarify the terms in Round 2 if need be. Con has posted his intro post for Round 1, and as well as initially agreeing with the definitions, he has also said:

    BOP

    I’m not going to do my usual speel about how shared BOP is impossible – it gets quite boring. Since we’re both making constructive cases anyway, I suggested to my opponent that I assume the full BOP, to which they accepted. If you’re one of those purists who thinks BOP should always be on Pro, then that’s fine too, it’s up to you. In general this debate should be judged on which of us made a more convincing argument for our position.

    “Reliable”

    I’m going to very loosely define this word as “a good idea to rely upon”, and take this topic to mean that pro is affirming secularism to have a better system of morality than religion, where better is measured by whether the outcomes that morality generates are beneficial or not.

    In the comments pro defined reliable – after I accepted – as “how dependable such a thing is”. Dependable is usually defined as “trustworthy” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com…) meaning “worthy of trust” meaning “a good idea to rely upon”, so it seems like we’re on the same page.

    My position

    Just so that my opponent can avoid making an argument at cross purposes to mine, I will not be arguing religious morality is any better than secular morality, but rather that religious and secular morality are not any more reliable than each other. I will demonstrate that randomly guessing morality by flipping a coin (ie not derived from anything) is empirically more reliable than both the secular and the religious method.

    Sources

    Where I use sources, those sources will be reliable, but those who know my debating style will know I tend to use more logic than evidence. I hope that this will not count against me.

    Conclusion

    I look forward to the opening round!

    Just so you know how the debate will be operating. So are there any resources and particularly good arguments you can suggest?

  239. John Morales says

    Jon, that’s the thing. It depends on what you mean by ‘reliable’ in relation to a moral philosophy.

    Since morality is essntially applied ethics, do you mean that when applied it generally conforms to its meta-ethics?

  240. CaitieCat says

    @ 110 – Brother Ogvorbis, Fully Defenestrated Emperor of Steam, Fire and Absurdity:

    I just wanted to say, Ogvorbis, that yes, in my experience, it stops being all the fucking time. Over time, and sometimes for some people talking it out with someone who knows about it can help.

    I don’t anymore, but I used to volunteer for my local Sexual Assault Support line, as a phone-answerer type: we put the number out there so that people* could call when there had been an assault, or when they were feeling anxious or angry or scared or all the painful things that it can bring out in a person

    The nice thing about it is it doesn’t cost the caller anything other than possible long-distance (depending how local the nearest centre is), and generally the volunteers are either survivors/victims themselves, or have extensive training to help people who are. Their place is to listen, offer no judgement, advice only when directly asked for, and otherwise just to listen, to whatever you need to say. Or help you with a calm-down breathing exercise, or all kinds of possibilities. They’re usually also non-nominal, meaning in practice that they don’t mind if you use a name that isn’t your own; they have no interest in breaking your confidentiality, and they don’t need to know who you are to help you.

    If there’s such an organization in your area, I’d encourage you to give them a call. They may be able to help you find resources you can access.

    And yeah. Time, and learning some ways to help yourself break out of the remembering-pattern when it happens (I’m not suggesting any because there are lots, and the right one can be tricky to find), those two things eventually make it stop being all the fucking time.

    I hope any of that helps. I don’t really need a reply, just wanted to offer the thought and my best wishes to you in your path.

    Those who are Thundering the Dome, I now return you to your regularly scheduled nuking of one another. :)

    * Generally, but not always, women; at that time, we were passing men calling to another local organization that was better placed – we had no men volunteering in those days, this was early 90s.

  241. jonmilne says

    Right okay, I apologise for not making myself clearer. I believe that when applied, it can conform to meta-ethics to a certain extent, although while I believe morality is universally subjective, I don’t agree with either Divine Command Theory or Objectivism and I would actually I’d lean more towards the cognitive side by saying that moral statements can indeed be proven to be true or false.

    I’d also say that the closest and best philosophies we’d be able to apply with regards to this debate is a mix of the best principles within Utilitarian and Prioritarian views as well as that of philosophical naturalism.

    So ultimately, anything “reliable” as I’m defining it is something that would adhere to being provably correct and accurate in terms of how it determines morality, and that it provides a great construct for how we judge benefit and harm and how we act from then onwards. And that in the absence of any evidence for God, it acts as proof that we should rely on “realist naturalist” thinking models.

    Potentially confusing I know, but that’s what I’m trying to get at. So what help can you provide in terms of resources and advice on things to talk about?

  242. joey says

    LykeX:

    It’s just that atheism (lack of belief in gods) can’t be viewed as the source of empathy.

    Why not? As people have already pointed out, once you accept that there’s no god, no spirit, no karma; you also accept that the only possibly way that life will get better is if we make it better. Ergo, if we want a better world, we have to actively work for it; that follows directly from atheism.

    Given your reasoning, I can argue that absolute selfishness “follows directly” from atheism. Once you accept that there’s no god, no spirit, no karma; you also accept that the there ultimately is nothing “wrong” or “right”. Ergo, if I want to maximize my pleasure and happiness, then I can do whatever it takes to obtain pleasure/happiness, others be damned; that follows directly from atheism.

    Why would your reasoning be valid and not mine?

    Ergo, it follows that, if atheist, most human beings will accept empathy and ethics as good and important guidelines.

    But it doesn’t have to be so, and you agree considering you chose to stick in the word “most”. There isn’t anything that says an atheist should not also be a selfish sociopath.

    And there isn’t anything about your arguments that says theists cannot also accept empathy and ethics as good and important guidelines. Ergo, your arguments are meaningless.

    There’s absolutely nothing about theism that necessitates caring, kindness or decency. NOTHING.

    Of course it can. Hmmm, let’s say, I don’t know…a belief in a God that commands us to be caring, kind, and decent.

    Sure, atheism, in it’s minimal state, cannot be a source of much other than a lack of belief in gods.

    But that is EXACTLY what “atheism” means. How can it be anything more than a lack of belief in gods? If you attach anything more to the term, then you’re simply tacking on things derived from unquestioned assumptions that have absolutely nothing to do with the lack of belief in gods.

    Neither can theism, in it’s minimal state, be a source of anything other that the belief “there’s a god”. Even going as far as believing things about what that god wants is beyond simple theism.

    You’re grasping at straws here. Fine, simply substitute “theism” with “Christianity”. Christianity encompasses a lot than merely “there’s a god”.

    ———————-
    Amphiox:

    But divine commands come directly from theism. How does empathy come directly from atheism? It doesn’t.

    This point is irrelevant.

    How is it irrelevant when I’m trying to point out that morality/ethics cannot come directly from the disbelief in gods?

    The only thing that matters is that the existence of the social contract renders the existence of gods and the belief therein UNNECESSARY for the formulation of basic ethics.

    Have I ever claimed that the belief in gods is necessary for the formulation of basic ethics? Of course not. Any atheist who is also a moral person is evidence against this.

    The One Child Policy penalizes couples financially if they have more than one child after the fact. It does not, in fact, contain provisions that allow the use of legal force to PREVENT couples from having more than one child, either before or after conception.

    So what do you think happens when a woman cannot afford these “fines”?

    Even if the Chinese don’t force abortions (but they do), the law would still be unjust and a violation of human rights. Don’t you agree?

    ——————
    Rutee:

    What, this is the first you’ve frickin’ heard of Augusto Pinochet or something? Fuck, Hayek sang his damn praises and claimed that even the people of Chile felt more free (Outright lies, but…)

    Never heard of Hayek’s thoughts on Pinochet. Thanks. (Just want to point out again that I don’t consider myself a libertarian.)

    —————–
    Dalillama:

    If you, personally, want a safe, healthy and reasonably prosperous life in a safe, healthy and prosperous society, it is necessary to ensure that everyone is taken care of at least (And I do mean least; that’s the absolute flat minimum) to the extent of food, shelter, and medical care.

    I’m not disagreeing here. My point is that this personal preference can’t come from the disbelief in gods.

    Private charity, religious or otherwise, demonstrably fails to meet this need. Therefore, the only rational course is to put it in the hands of governments, which are demonstrably more cabable of acheiving it. This doesn’t come from a disbeleif in teh divine per se, but it does come from a rational and naturalistic worldview, and disbeleif in gods is a component thereof.

    The disbelief in gods is not a necessary component in order to endorse public welfare. All god-believers in Congress who aren’t fringe members of the Tea Party that wants to completely dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and essentially every public entitlement programs are evidence for this.

  243. richardh says

    I can do whatever it takes to obtain pleasure/happiness, others be damned; that follows directly from atheism.

    Why would your reasoning be valid and not mine?

    Social interaction is not a zero-sum game.

  244. opposablethumbs says

    joey, thank you for confirming that belief in a god or gods is completely irrelevant to the formulation of basic ethics (let alone actually behaving in a moral fashion). Examples all around us amply demonstrate that people who believe in any of the world’s multitude of gods, or in none of them, can and do have high or low moral standards, or behave morally or immorally.

    Considering that there is no evidence that any of these multitudinous gods actually exist, they are at best a distraction from moral or ethical considerations and at worst (as you know) an excuse for such well-worn religious behaviours as treating women as chattel. You doubtless consider yourself a pretty moral person, yet you are a forced-birther who rarely if ever argues in good faith. If your belief in your particular flavour of god is the source of your morality, you are not making a very good case for it as a reliable source.

  245. says

    @joey

    Given your reasoning, I can argue that absolute selfishness “follows directly” from atheism

    No, you can’t, as you go on to demonstrate. Furthermore, you don’t seem to understand what I was arguing, so let’s go over it one more time.

    Atheism means there’s no god. No god means the only problems that get solved are the one we solve. That means that IF (note the if, it’s kinda there for a reason) we want a better world, we have to work for it and IF our concept of a better world includes not being in constant war with everyone around us, a basic empathy might serve us well.
    What I’ve said above is not the same as “empathy follows directly from atheism”. What I’m saying is that empathy follows from atheism AND the two conditionals.

    Now, returning to your argument, this:

    I can argue that absolute selfishness “follows directly” from atheism

    Is crap and it’s not actually what you end up arguing. You can’t just leave out the conditionals. Without them, you’ve got no argument.
    Next:

    Once you accept that there’s no god, no spirit, no karma; you also accept that the there ultimately is nothing “wrong” or “right”.

    This is true, but I must hasten to point out that this doesn’t mean that theism (or karma or whatever) necessarily includes an absolute right/wrong idea.
    This is really getting into another discussion, but I would argue that, short of a dogmatic assertion of such absolute standards of right and wrong, there’s no way to get to them, even with theism.

    Ergo, if I want to maximize my pleasure and happiness, then I can do whatever it takes to obtain pleasure/happiness, others be damned; that follows directly from atheism.

    Yes, IF. That’s the important point. IF you think that your personal pleasure and happiness trumps all other concerns, then you can do whatever you want to obtain it, others be damned.
    Again, the IF is critically important because “I’ll do whatever I want, others be damned” does in fact NOT follow directly from atheism. It follows from atheism PLUS the conditional that your personal pleasure is the supreme concern.

    In addition, I might argue that an enlightened self-interest would see the point in at least some level of empathy, simply because it makes it easier to deal with other people. That’s along the lines of my earlier argument.

    Why would your reasoning be valid and not mine?

    Your reasoning is valid as long as you can keep straight what it is you’re saying.

    But it doesn’t have to be so, and you agree considering you chose to stick in the word “most”.

    Well, yes. That’s been my position all along.

    And there isn’t anything about your arguments that says theists cannot also accept empathy and ethics as good and important guidelines. Ergo, your arguments are meaningless.

    Why do you think my arguments are meaningless? It seems like you’ve just accepted my basic conclusion; neither theism nor atheism necessitates or rules out any particular moral system, but depend on additional factors.

    There’s absolutely nothing about theism that necessitates caring, kindness or decency. NOTHING.

    Of course it can.

    Yes, CAN. I’m not talking about whether it CAN, I’m talking about whether it DOES. I’m talking about necessity, not possibility (as you might guess from my use of the word “necessitates”).
    Of course caring is compatible with theism, if you include additional elements that make it so. However, it’s not a necessary part of theism.

    But that is EXACTLY what “atheism” means. How can it be anything more than a lack of belief in gods?

    There can be a few follow-on conclusions from the fact of no gods. Such as, if there are no gods, prayer is probably not a good way to cure diseases. They’re not particularly extensive, but they’re there.
    Likewise, there can be a few conclusions following from basic theism. E.g. if there’s a god, it might be relevant to try and figure out as much as you can about it.

    Fine, simply substitute “theism” with “Christianity”. Christianity encompasses a lot than merely “there’s a god”.

    EXACTLY! I think this is very telling.

    First, you seem to think that this is a small correction. It’s not. This is a whole new discussion. As you say, Christianity includes many elements beyond simple theism.
    Second, I think this is a sign that you have insufficiently separated “theism” from your personal belief in “Christianity”. This is why you’re having such trouble here; Christian dogma keeps creeping in while discussing basic theism. You’re simply having trouble thinking of “gods” without thinking “God”.
    Third and more to the point, this is the very double standard I mentioned earlier: You want to compare atheism at its most simple and basic with theism at a state of high development, with many additional elements. No go.

    If you get to add additional elements to basic theism, then we get to add additional elements to atheism. I would choose to add empathy as a core value.

  246. richardh says

    can LykeX, Opposablethumbs or RichardH or anyone else give me some helpful advice of good arguments to make ?

    speaking only for myself, I don’t think so, in view of your opponent’s interesting assertion:

    I will not be arguing religious morality is any better than secular morality, but rather that religious and secular morality are not any more reliable than each other. I will demonstrate that randomly guessing morality by flipping a coin (ie not derived from anything) is empirically more reliable than both the secular and the religious method.

    I can see how he might argue that either secular or religious morality is no more reliable than random guessing, but he’s proposing to prove they (and presumably any systematic approach) are less reliable than randomly guessing. My only advice would be to look out for fallacies, and maybe abuse of Bayes’ theorem.

    (not to mention that I am supposed to be working right now, not debating! Sorry :-( ).

  247. says

    @joey
    You cannot derive morality from logics. Logics (or any particular logic) is just a set of rules that allows you to derive true sentences from other true sentences. And to do that you need several things, one of which is true sentences to start from, called axioms. These are not derivable, you have to choose them.

    Atheism and Theism are statements about the (non-)existence of supernatural beings, and you cannot derive morality from either.

    @jonmilne
    I’d say the topic is very vague, and the likelihood is that you will be arguing for and against completely different things.
    One problem with religious morality is that it depends on strong in-group/out-group separation. This may be an advantage when you’re fighting other groups, but spells defeat if you’re trying to include everyone in a cooperative community.

    As for the con position.
    Murder? Rape? Torture? Mob justice? Child abuse? Discrimination of people of different colour, gender, abilities, religion, political opinion? Those are ten tosses of a coin, and I don’t want to live in the (1023/1024) societies that gets one of the tosses wrong.

  248. chigau (unless...) says

    =reliable=dependable=dependable=reliable=
    Do they mean “consistent” and “predictable”?
    or “something nice that I approve of”?

  249. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . How can it be anything more than a lack of belief in gods?

    How can theism be anything more than a delusional belief that a deity exists? You keep asking the wrong questions.

    In both cases, people looked beyond the statement, and asked, “what is necessary for a stable tribe/nation/society. That is what was set down as the alleged word of god, for authoritative morals, whereas atheists ask the same questions, but keep asking them again and again. Because with any quality system, you have to keep challenging your presuppositions.

  250. says

    Given your reasoning, I can argue that absolute selfishness “follows directly” from atheism. Once you accept that there’s no god, no spirit, no karma; you also accept that the there ultimately is nothing “wrong” or “right”. Ergo, if I want to maximize my pleasure and happiness, then I can do whatever it takes to obtain pleasure/happiness, others be damned; that follows directly from atheism.

    There is no logic in this, joey.
    I want you to argue how absolute selfishness follows from atheism. Also, can you tell me how God supposedly creates morality?
    I mean, you think that because atheists have morality, it comes from god, just that we don’t know it. What is the mechanism that imbues us with morality – a sense of ethics, compassion, and empathy?

  251. says

    Fuck.
    I mean, if ultimately nothing is right or wrong, then pleasure is neither right nor wrong. If nothing is right or wrong, there is no reason to act. Does morality, then, make it right to drink water when we are thirsty? To get out of bed? To move?

    You said that atheism requires that atheists have no values.
    Therefore, either we really believe in god, which we don’t, and you are wrong; or you are wrong that morality comes from god.

  252. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I find it funny that a man who first appeared at Pharyngula, lying about what he believed in , in order to argue a ridiculous premise; has the gall to inform atheist that they lack ethics.

    Fuck you, joey.

    That is all I have to say.

  253. says

    So this happened
    http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/post/46685732519/wondering-what-movie-to-see-this-weekend-look-no
    spoiler alert: It’s white and black people being insanely racist against asians. But according to white people who want to deny privilege, asians are proof there’s no such thing.

    You’re grasping at straws here. Fine, simply substitute “theism” with “Christianity”. Christianity encompasses a lot than merely “there’s a god”.

    Like the belief that black and indigenous people are the cursed sons of Ham. That’ll stand as proof of Christianity requiring decency. Also, still not ‘simple theism’.

    Even if the Chinese don’t force abortions (but they do), the law would still be unjust and a violation of human rights. Don’t you agree?

    In violation of the law, some Chinese do force abortions, yes. But no, that doesn’t make blocking out economic benefits for children unjust. Why would it be, by default? Especially since it doesn’t apply to the poorer rural folks. You’re trying to pretend that the lie white westerners tell about the one child policy is true, to people who know better.

    How is it irrelevant when I’m trying to point out that morality/ethics cannot come directly from the disbelief in gods?

    Because divine command doesn’t make something ethical. Your god might support something ethical through divine commands, but the reason that thing is ethical is entirely outside of the realm of what your god decides

  254. omnicrom says

    That’s actually interesting to know Janine, in fact it’s more interesting than anything else about joey. I’ve known only vaguely been aware that joey has existed in the time I’ve commented on Pharyngula semi-regularly. In that span of time I’ve only known joey as a vague and uninspiring theistic morality apologist. Did he initially pretend he was something else?

  255. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Yes, he did. When he first came here, he claimed to be a supporter of abortion rights but with one hypothetical problem. If the fetus was completely out of the woman’s body but still attached by the umbilical cord, would an abortion still be acceptable.

    Let’s just say, dozens of people pointed how improbable that is; how if the pregnancy went that long (Provided that abortion services are freely available.) , that the baby is wanted. His only argument was that the hypothetical women was afraid of “sticks sharp” within her. Never mind want an actual pregnancy does to a body.

    I am not saying to stop debating his foolishness. Hell, I had fun debating and mock other foolish theists in the past. I just had to say how disgusting it is that a known theistic liar is declaiming atheists because they cannot be ethical. The hypocrisy sickens me.

  256. glodson says

    I just had to say how disgusting it is that a known theistic liar is declaiming atheists because they cannot be ethical.

    Yea. It is funny how people can easily throw out their own moral compass for the righteous cause of what they see as the greater good, and then demonize people who don’t buy into their stupid bullshit while completely ignoring anything that contradicts their position.

  257. says

    jacksul:
    Just when I thought you could not get any more disgusting, now you want PZ and Thunderf00t to “reconcile”?
    This shows one of two things on your part:

    You know nothing about Thunderf00ts deeply sexist, anti-feminist views, which he wears like a badge of pride (and was proudly on display right when he started at FtB).

    Or

    You know and you do not care or think it is not that big a deal.

    If the former, go educate yourself fool. It is not like you cannot go read what Thunderf00t has said.
    If the latter, you suck at being a good person.

    (By the way, hows that REAL FUCKING APOLOGY to Caine coming along? I know it is hard to string together a few words stating that your “if you were raped” line was dismissive and deeply insulting and that you see how offensive you were and, oh I dont know…I AM SORRY. Or do you still not understand how you fucked up?)

  258. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Trip report! The Piddle Valley actually smells of poo. True fact.

    Dorset has been bastard cold this week, and it actually *snowed* all day yesterday.

    Also, four-year-olds love the walk down to Durdle Door, but, strangely, not the walk back up to the car.

  259. joey says

    opposablethumbs:

    joey, thank you for confirming that belief in a god or gods is completely irrelevant to the formulation of basic ethics (let alone actually behaving in a moral fashion).

    Where have I claimed this?

    I did admit that the belief in gods is not necessary to the formulation of basic ethics. But that doesn’t mean it is not possible to derive one’s ethics from belief in gods. So in this case, it can be very relevant. As an example, why do you think most Christians think abortion is wrong? (The answer isn’t because Christians “hate women”.) Here’s an another example. Why do you think most Christians think infanticide is wrong?

    ——————-
    LykeX:

    Atheism means there’s no god.

    Not exactly. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods.

    That means that IF (note the if, it’s kinda there for a reason) we want a better world, we have to work for it and IF our concept of a better world includes not being in constant war with everyone around us, a basic empathy might serve us well.

    What I’ve said above is not the same as “empathy follows directly from atheism”. What I’m saying is that empathy follows from atheism AND the two conditionals.

    I agree, which is why I said…

    How can it be anything more than a lack of belief in gods? If you attach anything more to the term, then you’re simply tacking on things derived from unquestioned assumptions that have absolutely nothing to do with the lack of belief in gods. -me

    Notice the last sentence, which you conveniently neglected to address. The two “conditionals” that you mentioned have nothing to do with atheism.

    I can argue that absolute selfishness “follows directly” from atheism. -me

    Is crap and it’s not actually what you end up arguing. You can’t just leave out the conditionals. Without them, you’ve got no argument.

    Why? Why does it have to be the conditionals that you’ve chosen, which have nothing do with the lack of belief in gods? Why can’t I put some other conditional, like IF I desire to maximize my own pleasure/happiness, which also has nothing to do with the lack of belief in gods? Now do you see my point? You’re not questioning your own assumptions.

    Again, the IF is critically important because “I’ll do whatever I want, others be damned” does in fact NOT follow directly from atheism.

    Exactly! Neither does the conditional “IF I want a better world”. So why is one conditional more valid than the other in determining what “follows from atheism”?

    There’s absolutely nothing about theism that necessitates caring, kindness or decency. NOTHING. -LykeX

    Of course it can. -me

    Yes, CAN. I’m not talking about whether it CAN, I’m talking about whether it DOES. I’m talking about necessity, not possibility (as you might guess from my use of the word “necessitates”).

    And what I’m talking about is that theism can necessitate caring, kindness and decency, of course depending on the particular theism we’re talking about (for example, Christianity’s command that you love others as yourself). Note, that’s different from saying that theism necessarily necessitates caring/kindness/decency, which is not what I’m asserting.

    If you get to add additional elements to basic theism, then we get to add additional elements to atheism. I would choose to add empathy as a core value.

    Nice try, but no cigar. How exactly do you add empathy as a core value to the disbelief in the Tooth Fairy? And if you can, then what prevents me from adding empathy as a core value to the belief in the Tooth Fairy? And if I can, then adding empathy as a core value to the disbelief in the Tooth Fairy isn’t unique, and thus it’s pointless.

    ————————
    Delft:

    You cannot derive morality from logics. Logics (or any particular logic) is just a set of rules that allows you to derive true sentences from other true sentences. And to do that you need several things, one of which is true sentences to start from, called axioms. These are not derivable, you have to choose them.

    I agree with what you’re saying, and I have argued this in the past.

    Atheism and Theism are statements about the (non-)existence of supernatural beings, and you cannot derive morality from either.

    Well, no (at least the theism part). You can derive morality from theism if your particular theistic beliefs also include “axioms” that you choose to believe with them. The concept of human dignity is an example of an axiom that is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief (though, I’m not claiming it is necessary to be a theist in order to believe in human dignity).

    —————————–
    mikmik:

    Given your reasoning, I can argue that absolute selfishness “follows directly” from atheism. Once you accept that there’s no god, no spirit, no karma; you also accept that the there ultimately is nothing “wrong” or “right”. Ergo, if I want to maximize my pleasure and happiness, then I can do whatever it takes to obtain pleasure/happiness, others be damned; that follows directly from atheism.

    There is no logic in this, joey.

    I want you to argue how absolute selfishness follows from atheism.

    You’re right, there is no logic in that…which is the point. I borrowed LykeX’s logic. Selfishness follows from the disbelief in gods as much as empathy follows from the disbelief in gods. They both don’t.

    What is the mechanism that imbues us with morality – a sense of ethics, compassion, and empathy?

    For most non-psychopaths, I think it is the sense of human dignity.

    I mean, if ultimately nothing is right or wrong, then pleasure is neither right nor wrong.

    Yes, that’s a valid conclusion.

    If nothing is right or wrong, there is no reason to act.

    I wouldn’t say that there would be no “reason to act”. It’s just that whatever way you act can’t be “right” or “wrong”.

    You said that atheism requires that atheists have no values.

    No I didn’t. Of course atheists can have values. These values just don’t come from their lack of belief in gods.

    ————————–
    Janine:

    I find it funny that a man who first appeared at Pharyngula, lying about what he believed in…

    Yes, I didn’t explicitly state my personal beliefs from the start and argued for positions I didn’t personally hold. I was wrong to debate in such a manner, and I’ve apologized for that.

    …in order to argue a ridiculous premise;

    Curious, but what premise do you think was ridiculous?

    …has the gall to inform atheist that they lack ethics.

    Where did I say this?

    ————————-
    Rutee:

    In violation of the law, some Chinese do force abortions, yes. But no, that doesn’t make blocking out economic benefits for children unjust.

    Is “blocking out economic benefits for children” your euphemism for overly harsh financial penalties, where in Shanghai the fines can be three to six times the city’s average yearly income? Yes, I still think this is unjust.

    You’re trying to pretend that the lie white westerners tell about the one child policy is true, to people who know better.

    I’ve already linked to two articles describing some of the penalties of violating China’s one-child policy. Are these both lies? I don’t live in China, so I wouldn’t know. Maybe you can point me to more reliable sources.

  260. John Morales says

    The concept of human dignity is an example of an axiom that is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief

    What a load of shit.

    First of all, when you write “Judeo-Christian belief” you equivocate between the beliefs common to Judaism and Christianity prior to their schism and Christian belief that is not shared by Judaism.

    (It’s a particularly stupid way to write “Christian belief”)

    Second, the Christian belief is that humans are worthless petitioners unto God, who might deign to spare them eternal torment if only they kowtow sufficiently.

    (Bah)

  261. says

    Whoa!
    The concept of human dignity is rooted in christianity?
    The mental gymnastics necessary to square that with a deity who slaughters women, children and men in an act of cosmic petulance (the flood) are supernatural.
    This same deity who values half of humanity so much (women) that he wants them to stay silent at church, be subservient to their husbands, and be baby makers…this is the deity that is the source of human dignity?
    The same deity who cursed all of humanity to pay for the sins of the “first humans”, despite it not being the fault of anyone, except god (really, with omnipotence and omniscience, he somehow missed out that he knew how everything would turn out before he started creation, including adam and eve eating from that damned tree, yet he was still disappointed? How else would things turn out you frickin moron? What, you thought someone could surprise you all knowing one?)

  262. says

    Why? Why does it have to be the conditionals that you’ve chosen,

    You complete dunderhead – it’s not that you have to use our conditionals, but you have to use some. “Gods do not exist” gives no more or less moral guidance than “Gods exist”. You have to add things to get any other moral dictum at all from either proposition.

    The concept of human dignity is an example of an axiom that is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief

    Aztec considered human life so important that their gods needed the life force of humans to make the seasons changed. The Junzi was an embodiment of dignity, grace, and empathy. To be a human at all was to be but steps away from release from samsara, and that much closer to eternal peace.

    What nonsense did they fucking spoonfeed you in your bible studies courses? I mean, yes, from a more practical standpoint most or all of these religions greatly denigrate human dignity IN PRACTICE, including your own, which would have us be slaves to some allegedly omniscipotent diety with an ego problem, but at least on their face, most, if not all, religions claim to offer humans dignity – even ancient and bygone ones.

    Is “blocking out economic benefits for children” your euphemism for overly harsh financial penalties, where in Shanghai the fines can be three to six times the city’s average yearly income? Yes, I still think this is unjust.

    It’s not the fairy song you’re peddling of the whole thing being the government busting into everyone’s house’s and clubbing seal babies, that’s for sure. White people love that one. Also, are you contending that individuals pay more than the city makes as an aggregate 3 times over? That strikes me as Zeno’s arrow. Last I checked, they’re also not htat high (And if it’s not clear, I don’t really consider white westerners the best source on this shit after years of ‘ZOMG TEH GOVERNMENT SECRET POLICE FORCE ABORTIONS ON EVERYONE CONSIDERING A GIRL’)

    I’ve already linked to two articles describing some of the penalties of violating China’s one-child policy. Are these both lies? I don’t live in China, so I wouldn’t know. Maybe you can point me to more reliable sources.

    You linked to one, just now, and no, I may be bothering my girlfriend who speaks Chinese soon enough though. Still, the actual machine translate of the site The Economist links to – you know the one that actually tells citizens what they owe? It seems to indicate that on the tax on disposable income, you pay a rate 3-6 times higher. Considering it’s a tax on disposable income, I’m less than impressed at the accuracy-in-reporting of white people – especially if that budgets for the basics of raising a child.

    BTW, you still came in here swinging on the “THE ONE CHILD POLICY MEANS THE GOVERNMENT FORCES ALL WOMEN TO ABORT”. Yeah, a non-zero number of women are, and that’s legitimately terrible, but it’s also the exception, and considering how it’s held as the absolute truth of all cases by the majority of western media.

  263. says

    joey

    You can derive morality from theism if your particular theistic beliefs also include “axioms” that you choose to believe with them.

    No. Then you’re deriving it from the axioms, not from theism. Theism adds nothing to the argument.

    The concept of human dignity is an example of an axiom that is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief

    You mean in the bible? Or theology?
    If you choose human dignity as an axiom, that is a choice you made, and it’s not a bad one. But it’s not rooted in J/C belief. You might derive it from Humanistic (explicitly non J/C) tradition. Or just admit that you chose it.

  264. says

    @joey

    Atheism means there’s no god.

    Not exactly. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods.

    So you are capable of recognizing distinctions. Oddly, you only seem to have this ability when it serves your argument. Obviously what I meant was that if you accept atheism, you will view the world from a perspective where there’s no god.

    Honestly, I’m developing some serious doubts about your sincerity and this is the kind of thing that fuels it. I don’t get the feeling that you’re arguing in good faith.

    Notice the last sentence, which you conveniently neglected to address. The two “conditionals” that you mentioned have nothing to do with atheism.

    Yes, that’s why I said they were added on to atheism. I did address it, you just decided to ignore it or didn’t get the point.

    Why can’t I put some other conditional, like IF I desire to maximize my own pleasure/happiness…

    You can, but that means that you have in fact added on a conditional. You claimed that you gcould argue that absolute selfishness follows directly from atheism and then proceed to argue the exact opposite.
    You go on to demonstrate that in order to get to absolute selfishness, you have to add in additional elements. That means that you’re NOT arguing that it “follows directly from atheism,” which was exactly the point I was making.

    Neither does the conditional “IF I want a better world”. So why is one conditional more valid than the other in determining what “follows from atheism”?

    It’s not. I never argued it was. I’m not arguing about which additional elements are more justified. What I’m arguing is that some kind of additional element is required, both for atheism and theism.

    How exactly do you add empathy as a core value to the disbelief in the Tooth Fairy?

    You say: “I consider empathy to be a core value.” It’s approximately as easy as saying: “God wants us to be nice to each other.”
    There’s no magic going on, you know. The only thing required for empathy to be a value in my belief system is for me to decide that it should be so. I don’t need permission from anyone.

    And if you can, then what prevents me from adding empathy as a core value to the belief in the Tooth Fairy?

    Nothing prevents you from adding it, but you do have to add it.

    I feel like there’ some kind of fundamental miscommunication going on here, but I’m not sure exactly why. I don’t get why this is so complicated and why you keep missing what is an incredibly simple point.

    Atheism is simply the non-belief in gods. Theism is simply the belief in one or more gods. Neither of these two positions can, in and of themselves, form the basis of any moral system. Both of them require additional elements, such as divine commands, empathy, karma or what have you.

    I’m not arguing that theism is incompatible with morality. I’m arguing that basic theism, i.e. theism with no additional elements, cannot form the basis of a moral system, just like basic atheism cannot do so either. The necessary elements for making value judgments simply don’t exist with so slim a basis.
    However, developed theism, such as Christianity, i.e. theism with additional elements added, can form the basis of a moral system, just like developed atheism, i.e. atheism with additional elements added, such as humanism, can do so. The additional elements are what forms the basis for the ethics.

    And if I can, then adding empathy as a core value to the disbelief in the Tooth Fairy isn’t unique, and thus it’s pointless.

    Wait, it’s pointless if it isn’t unique? How do you figure? I’m honestly not sure why you suddenly think a certain core value has to be unique in order to matter. Where does that comes from?

    This whole thing started from you asking about how you derive an obligation to help the weak from a godless world view. My response was that you can’t derive it simply from the conclusion of basic atheism, just like you can’t derive it simply from the conclusion of basic theism.

    Then you started in with your double-standard, where you want to compare full-blown Christian theology with the most minimalistic form of atheism and we’ve been stuck on that ever since. At no point previously was this requirement of uniqueness mentioned.You’re going to have to explain why that matters.

  265. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Joey, I do not give a flying fuck about all of your blathering about human dignity flowing from christian thought. Do that and you pretty much say that most of humanity lacked it.

    And, frankly, that is one of the most short sighted and vile things one could say.

    Are you even self aware enough to understand why that is?

    (Don’t care that you apologized. You thought what you did was a good idea. Where was your god derived ethics at that time?)

  266. opposablethumbs says

    I don’t get the feeling that you’re arguing in good faith.

    Considering that joey’s first course of action here was to spend several solid days consciously and deliberately lying about what he actually believed, refusing to admit it even when called out numerous times by different people, and that he has adopted exactly the same tactic (of sophistry, angling for a “gotcha”) every single time he’s turned up since, I’d say your feeling was well-founded, LykeX (oh, and chapeau by the way).

  267. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, I didn’t explicitly state my personal beliefs from the start and argued for positions I didn’t personally hold. I was wrong to debate in such a manner, and I’ve apologized for that.

    No, you’re still doing it. How to stop doing it? Shut the fuck up.

  268. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Human dignity flows from the genocidal deity (read your babble Joey, without guidance, from front to back; Yahweh is one nasty and capricious deity) that allows slavery and sexual slavery? I don’t think so Joey. You and the facts aren’t familiar with one another.

  269. rowanvt says

    Here’s an another example. Why do you think most Christians think infanticide is wrong?

    Actually, I’ve wondered that since God kills an enormous number of babies in the bible himself and through commanding it. Even so far as forcing women to eat their dead babies.

  270. chigau (unless...) says

    Dang. rowanvt, that’s the one I wanted to address.
    But I don’t have any reason to believe that “most Christians think infanticide is wrong”.

  271. Amphiox says

    No I didn’t. Of course atheists can have values. These values just don’t come from their lack of belief in gods.

    Now do the intellectually honest thing and apply this argument to your own position, joey, and realize that the values that theists have DON’T COME FROM THEIR BELIEF IN GODS, either.

    The concept of human dignity is an example of an axiom that is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief

    It is rooted in aspects of the belief system that DO NOT RELATE OR FOLLOW FROM the idea of the existence of a god, but instead from the other conditionals added to it, whose connection to the idea of the existence of a god are COMPLETELY ARBITRARY.

    It comes, in fact, from pretty much the EXACT SAME source from which atheists also derive the concept of human dignity.

    So thank you, once again, for providing arguments and examples that demonstrate, once again, that God is NOT NECESSARY for the derivation of ethics, values, or morality.

    In fact, theists and atheists get their values from essentially the same set of sources. Theists simply cloak those values with god-language AFTER THE FACT for post-hoc justifications, while atheists do not.

  272. Amphiox says

    In the Old Testatment, not only does God routinely commit and command infanticide, but he metes out divine punishment on people who REFUSE to commit infanticides he has commanded.

    And NO WHERE, to my knowledge, is there any passage wherein divine judgement or punishment is given to a transgressor for the act of infanticide.

    In the New Testament, to most prominent case of infanticide I am aware of is Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents. Here, God through his angels warns Mary and Joseph to get out of Dodge, but HE WARNS NO ONE ELSE AND LIFTS NOT ONE MORE DIVINE FINGER TO AVERT OR PREVENT THE SLAUGHTER (is the divine bandwidth for Angelic messaging really THAT limited?). Nor is ANY PUNISHMENT meted out directly to Herod for ordering it or any of the Roman soldiers for committing it.

    Wherever Christians are getting the belief that infanticide is wrong, it is most assuredly NOT from their God.

  273. Rawnaeris, FREEZE PEACHES says

    Placing this here because Rant.

    /rant
    I freaking hate hate hate hate hate trying to apply for jobs. Everyone wants 5+ years experience in that exact field. I mean, seriously. I have a degree in Chemistry. It should not be this fucking hard to get out of a job I hate.
    /end rant

  274. vaiyt says

    The concept of human dignity is an example of an axiom that is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief

    Do you really think that the 3/5ths of humanity that doesn’t give a shit about “Judeo-Christian belief” never came up with such a concept? Are you really that uneducated?

  275. vaiyt says

    Well, at least if Joey really meant “Judeo-Christian” as including Islam, as opposed to the usual meaning of “Christian with Judeo tacked on top because of the Old Testament” that Christians use, then make it 2/5ths.

  276. Amphiox says

    The concept of human dignity is an example of an axiom that is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief

    It should also be pointed out that this very phrase is a direct contradiction of the very definition of the term “axiom” to begin with. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom

    And indeed, by using the term “axiom” to describe it, joey is flat out admitting that human dignity is not and cannot be derived from any other aspect of Judeo-Christian thought, and must in fact be separately assumed.

    And so, once again in what is by now a very predictable recurring pattern, joey has got it exactly backwards. Human dignity is not “rooted” in Judeo-Christian belief in any way shape or form. Instead, human dignity is a root of Judeo-Christian thought (or at least some schools therein).

    It is also a root of many other systems of ethics, including many of the ones favored by atheists.

  277. rowanvt says

    Threadrupt rant:

    It would be really nice if, when people decide to dump kittens on the doorstep of the veterinary hosptial where I work, they would take kittens from mama-cat right *before* they leave for the hosptital, and not 12 to 24 hours beforehand so that the kittens are massively dehydrated and so cold they are stiff, leaving us to believe at first that they are dead.

    All 3 kittens did end up dying about an hour after they were dumped on us. Massively pissed off about this as they were very cute and about 2 weeks old. A little orange male, a black-and-white male, and a stunning dark tortie female. I even had names picked out in case they lived, as I was going to raise them. Cardamon, Bergamot and Marjoram.

  278. chigau (unless...) says

    *hugs* rowanvt
    It would be even better if they left the mother cat as well.
    So this won’t happen again.

  279. chigau (unless...) says

    Crip Dyke #373
    Thanks for the link.
    Because I am both feverish and tipsy, I am sitting at my kitchen table screaming at my netbook.
    (everyone else is out (except the kitteh, who is stink-eying me))

  280. says

    @ Crip Dyke

    I find myself both offended and amused by such articles. Offended by an institution like the Washington Post dragging themselves down to the level of posting that crap, amused by the game I play in my head: substituting “Jeebus” with “My Imaginary Cat ™ ” and “Paul” with “the Easter Bunny”. The article is nothing but the same old argument-from-authority template of stock-in-trade catchphrases.

    Most scholars agree … Other hypotheses do not account for all the data. …“undisputed writings” … critical scholars also agree …Even the best-known critical scholar today …scholars agree that they were convinced that [imaginary deity du jour] had indeed appeared to them …Skeptical scholars accept this in both cases…. texts that are accepted by virtually all scholars who have studied these events in detail…well-evidenced … accepted as historical by virtually all scholars.

    Very scholarly. Now I shall prove that Ms Molly is the earthly incarnation of My Imaginary Cat ™ ….

    [Footnote: Dr. Theophontes is the distinguished research tardigrade and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Liberty University and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. It has been known to wear silly hats while posting comments on Pharyngula and should therefore be taken seriously.]

  281. chigau (unless...) says

    theophontes
    unless … it is my real name…
    it’s complicated…
    and I don’t remember…
    Aren’t you recording every comment and storing them in the database?
    Sortable by irony-level?
    What kind of an evbil overlord are your?

  282. says

    A quick response to the Habermas article:

    1) Nobody with any sense agrees with this. The empty tomb story pops out of nowhere several decades later with no clear indication of where it came from. The earliest sources never mention it.

    2) Actually, the writing establish the exact opposite. See, when Paul talks about “seeing Jesus”, he’s talking about visions. You can see that clearly because he uses his own case as an example.

    3) So how come Paul is so poor on details regarding the crucifixion? I mean, beyond the simple claim that Jesus died and rose again, Paul tells us almost nothing about it. If he got all these eye witness reports from the apostles themselves, why didn’t he mention any of it?

    4) It’s not about whether they were honest. It’s about what they were actually saying. You simply can’t substantiate the the gospel stories accurately reflect what people actually believed in the early days. You can’t differentiate beliefs about a spiritual death and resurrection from an earthly one.

    5) We know why Paul became a believer. He told us: He had a vision. This is not an uncommon means of conversion, so it’s quite believable that this would have happened. However, it doesn’t prove that the vision was true.

    Notice that we didn’t use the Gospels here.

    Bullshit. Just because you didn’t quote them outright doesn’t mean that you aren’t referring to them every step of the way. E.g. the empty tomb story doesn’t exist in Paul. It simply isn’t there unless you’re referring to the gospels.

    This isn’t a serious article arguing about a scholarly subject. This is spin; pure religious propaganda.

  283. chigau (unless...) says

    I really long time ago, a teacher wrote a comment on my essay:
    “The Bible is not a scholarly reference.”
    OK

  284. says

    @ chigau

    Aren’t you recording every comment and storing them in the database?

    Indeed we are. Unfortunately someone walked off with the extension cable to said database, so we have a bit of a gap in the trail of incriminating evidence.

    Sortable by irony-level?

    It is rather ironic that our vast, complimicated and ebil resources are undermined by something as simple as cable-theft.

    What kind of an evbil overlord are your?

    It is rather hard to get all one’s ducks in a row as ebil oberlawd. Just maintaining the slush fund is a full time task.

    “The Bible is not a scholarly reference.”

    If only more scholarly scholars were aware of this. Not to mention names

  285. says

    @ LykeX

    See, when Paul talks about “seeing Jesus”, he’s talking about visions.

    The writer of the WP article seems very intent on keeping away from the dread pagan precedents. One of which was the incarnation of the god in human form. (Every woman incarnates Hera, every man, Zeus¹. Why jeebus had to go and be all special snowflake about this rather pedestrian state of affairs is anyone’s guess.)


    ¹ Rather simple to understand: The gods reflect their makers, mutatis mutandis, to the same degree.

  286. says

    LykeX

    A quick response to the Habermas article:

    I thought: wow! Now Jürgen Habermas has finally lost the plot completely. And clicked the link.
    Lol. Fully awake now.

    Amphiox @36x
    Now I get why so many Christian leaders say “do as I say, not as I do” from: they’re just emulating their God.

  287. says

    Now I get why so many Christian leaders say “do as I say, not as I do” from: they’re just emulating their God.

    Exactly! That is why they, the sheep, rely on argument from authority so much. Anyone with a PhD…any Christian with a PhD, in anything from a diploma mill, is equal to a PhD from real university – because they only see the PhD as meaning ‘authority.’ They give the nod to the Christian authority, just because.
    That is also why they spout propaganda from Christian books as if it is fact – it’s in a book!
    I mean it, they really use argument from authority, and not logic, to discern truth.

  288. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @theophontes:

    B/c it was no longer prophetable to sell indulgences for reduced days of limbo time.

    Duh.

  289. says

    O hai Delft, I just left a reply on NonStampCollector’s blog for you, but I’ll repeat it here: as a woman who is a feminist and an atheist and planning on continued outspokenness on both subjects, I’d really appreciate a detailed explanation of what you consider “poking a dog with a stick” and “escalating rather than “de-escalating”, since, as you say, if this is truly something that is partially under my control, then I’d much prefer NOT to be the target of smear campaigns, verbal abuse, and rape and death threats.

  290. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @SallyStrange

    I think you’re actually looking for Helmi, not Delft.

  291. says

    No sweat. :-) I realised there must be some confusion.
    Like others here I am a little disappointed by NSC’s last post, and encouraged him to rethink his attitude.

  292. says

    IIRC, limbo was for the dead unbaptised, who clearly shouldn’t go to hell, and purgatory was for the baptised milder sinners who only needed a finite duration hell. Limbo was supposed to contain virtuous pagans (pre-Christ) and unbaptised babbies – but not fetuses, you had to breathe to count.

  293. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Acckk.

    I stand chastised and corrected.

    Clearly I’m not as up on my Christianity as I thought.

    Do you think that might deserve a little more chastisement. Just a little? And THEN th

  294. thumper1990 says

    So I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about sex, one night stands, open relationships, the possibility of two friends having a sexual relationship without ruining the friendship, and societal attitudes towards them. And it made me realise that our attitude towards sex is completely fucking stupid. Enthusiastic, passionate, consensual sex is one of the most beautiful things two people can do together. It’s a physical expression of an emotional state; of love and lust and it’s fucking beautiful. So why the fuck is there this wierd attitude that it has to have some sort of consequence? That having sex merely because it’s pleasureable is somehow wrong? Why do we believe that it necessarily entails entering into some sort of wierd social contract and will inherently change the dynamics of an existing relationship? No one applies any consequences to viewing a fine piece of art, or indulging in a glass of good wine or a fine cigar, so why do we take sex, a pleasureable activity which is better than all of those things, and assume there must be “consequences”? It’s fucked up and it’s wrong.

    And then I got to thinking about all the other stuff that’s wrong with our culture, all the misogyny and the racism and the homophobia that’s ingrained in our subconciousness; and the rape-apologising, and the stereotyping, and the gender roles, and how everything is black-and-white and binary, and absolutist morals and all the other shit on top of this wierd demonisation of sex. The whole thing’s fucked. And as a result, I’m fucked. I am pissed off that all this shit has been implanted in my head without me ever realising. I am pissed about all the work I’m going to have to do to try and fix myself. And once you realise it’s there, you see it everywhere. I see it in my friends, who are fundementally decent people who just haven’t figured it out yet. And that pisses me off. And I’m pissed off that people who have realised it and are trying to change it are seen as fun-killers, and I’m pissed off with all the people wandering around with unexamined biases and privileges acting like this is all OK.

    But most of all I’m pissed off because I’m pissed off. I get one shot at this and all I want from life is to enjoy it. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, but you know what? Once you realise how damaged the support structure is, the ride becomes a whole lot less enjoyable. And right now I want to get off. And that pisses me off too.

    Sorry. I needed to rant.

  295. says

    theophontes (坏蛋)

    …but not fetuses, you had to breathe to count.

    I think they want to have their cake AND eat it. (This does not gel with “pro-life”, obviously.)

    It doesn’t gel with Planned Cakehood, either.

  296. David Marjanović says

    The fucking cop was worse. The cop got the guy to leave, but then turned to me:

    Aaaaaaand I’m back to rageflailing.

    *hugs&chocolate&bacon&kittens&butterflies&manatees&tea* for Ogvorbis. Damn, I wish I could help!

    All seconded. And some for rowanvt, too.

    You’re thinking if you tell your wife that you were raped, and manipulated and coerced into sexual behaviour with others, that’s telling your wife you’re a rapist and she’ll be repulsed and disgusted and hate you. So wrong, Ogvorbis. Look, no one knows the state of your relationship except for you two, but I’ll assume you two aren’t hanging out together because you don’t care about one another. Your wife loves you, Ogvorbis. She’ll be there for you. She’ll listen. She’ll hold you. She’ll see that wounded child, who was used and abused by an evil, sick excuse for a human being. If you trust her, then think about telling her.

    Likewise seconded. *goes buy larger vocabulary*

    I think that depends on your perspective. If you are a sociopathic warlord that doesn’t want to be bothered with bribing government officials, its really the only system that you can be happy in.

    I love that way of putting it.

    Every so often I hear/read this “implications of living in a godless universe” phrase on here, and I really don’t have a clue what this could mean. What are exactly these implications?

    One of them, as mentioned, is es gibt nichts Gutes, außer, man tut es – “there is no good, unless you/we do it”. I’m sure you can find more.

    But this implies that we have an actual obligation to help society’s weakest. I don’t see how you can get this implication from a godless universe.

    Imagine what would happen if you behaved like a total asshole. Imagine what would happen if most or all people behaved like total assholes. Think it through.

    I’m curious, but what are your personal thoughts on China’s one-child policy? Do you think the individual’s right to procreate trumps any “common good” that could result from restricting/regulating personal procreation?

    In the real world, this is actually a completely irrelevant question. Kerala, a big, very poor state in southern India, has a birthrate that is a bit lower than China’s. It got there by investing all it had into education, and not just education of men. It does not use coercion.

    Think about this once more: China, with all its huge party apparatus and all its gun barrels*, and all the ideological zeal of the Cultural Revolution, didn’t manage to get its birthrate as far down as Kerala.

    * Where power comes out of, according to Mao.

    Just who the fuck are you to tell Caine where she can and cannot feel safe?

    …An asshole who can read the sidebar which makes quite clear that only the [Lounge] is a safe, moderated space, while the [Thunderdome] is explicitly not. It’s good that the unnamed one has left the “Teadome” to Caine; it was probably the only morally right thing to do; but it’s not required as far as the rules are concerned.

    This is why people often assume that things are illogical when they are in fact logically valid but factually incorrect. It’s why, as they say, you should never grant a Jesuit their premise.

    :-D

    Kant is getting at Moral Virtue ethics. That is, X puts you in a state of having lied, and the state of having lied, regardless of intent or outcome, is undesirable. He would say that the outcome is that you have become a Liar, and this obviously damages your relationship to the truth, and therefore you now exist in a state as a Liar, and regardless of outcome, this is a hurt from which you can’t recover.

    In other words, you have sinned, and you need absolution in some way or other; but 1) Kant lived in a Protestant area, so just going to confession isn’t an option, 2) his ethics is secular, so divine forgiveness isn’t an option either, even though the concept of sin appears to be retained unchanged.

    And this is why some people are all ‘but it wasn’t my INTENT to hurt you.’ Because what matters to them is their state of inward Moral Virtue. No intent = inwardly blameless. And externalities like actual consequences? Don’t matter.

    Which is why I’d say that Virtue Ethics actually lead to evil.

    Subthread won.

    @Jadehawk
    I offer up flowers and hearts in appreciation for your words. ^_^

    Seconded. It can even be argued that being online can make it easier to recognize people’s humanity, because you’re not distracted by their faces or other externalities – you’re not judging them before you’ve actually listened to them.

    genus Cthulhu

    Flat-out awesome.

    [Footnote: Dr. Theophontes is the distinguished research tardigrade and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Liberty University and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. It has been known to wear silly hats while posting comments on Pharyngula and should therefore be taken seriously.]

    So full of win!

    Or why the (pseudo) doctrine of Limbo ™ suddenly disappeared from the scene in 2007?

    It actually didn’t. Popatine only said “there are reasons for prayerful hope” that limbo doesn’t exist.

    After all, had he come out and flat-out said it doesn’t exist, he’d have said there’s a way to get to heaven without Jesus. And that must not be. Extra ecclesia nulla salus, outside the church no salvation: “nobody comes to the Father but through Me”, says Jesus somewhere in a gospel.

    Excellent rant, Thumper! 10/10.

    Seconded.

  297. thetar says

    Hello there pharyngulites! The lord has spoken and had threatened to smite me. So I’ve come here for safer ground.

  298. thetar says

    So I’m a “horrible excuse for a human being” because I made a few posts on a blog? You might wanna reign in that hyperbole a tad glodson.

  299. says

    Seriously thetar, fuck off. After your performance in the ‘Why?’ thread, you’re not going to be finding anyplace around here where you’ll receive anything but well-deserved vituperation.

    So I’m a “horrible excuse for a human being” because I made a few posts on a blog?

    No, the causation is reversed: you made those posts because you’re a horrible excuse for a human being, not vice versa.

  300. thetar says

    No, the causation is reversed: you made those posts because you’re a horrible excuse for a human being, not vice versa.

    Your deductive skills are amazing. I actually made those comments to point out how similar the Pharyngula commentariate is to the raptards, that was all. How does that make me a “horrible excuse for a human being”?

  301. glodson says

    So I’m a “horrible excuse for a human being” because I made a few posts on a blog? You might wanna reign in that hyperbole a tad glodson.

    As Dalillama said, you aren’t a horrible excuse for a human being for blog comments, you are a horrible excuse for a human being because you thought the response in the thread with that topic was appropriate at anytime or anywhere. This is compounded by the fact you had to type it out, and you didn’t think of how disgusting it was.

    So, fuck off. It was pointless, stupid and hurtful, all for the express purpose of being pointless, stupid and hurtful.

  302. says

    Why is it that these assholes always pretend to be/are always utterly ignorant of the very idea of context? Maybe you have an answer, asshole? What’s wrong with whatever passes for thought processes in that skull of yours that you can’t understand that the context in which you say something matters at least as much as what you said?

  303. John Morales says

    thetar:

    Mild criticism of this blog is “hurtful”? You need to get some perspective.

    You claim that comparing this blog and its commentariat to rapture ready’s is mild criticism?

    (Heh. It’s neither criticism nor mild — it’s trollish bullshit)

  304. gmacs says

    John, I would think the “hurtful” part of what thetar said wasn’t so much comparing FTBullies to RR folks.

    No, I think it would be hurtful (I’m talking to you directly now, thetar) to drop in and troll on a thread about a girl who (1) was raped, (2) was bullied about being raped, and (3) subsequently committed suicide. I think it seems especially hurtful and thoughtless to do so when you know that some of the other commenters are themselves rape survivors.

    That’s not exactly “mild”, thetar. I can’t call you nasty names, because the English language seems insufficient for that.

  305. says

    Thetar…

    This comment:

    With all this talk of wanting to leave the human species, I thought I was reading comments from the Rapture Ready forum. Funny thing is, the RR forum is actually more reasonable and commenter friendly than the Atheism plus forum and Pharyngula.

    Are you fucking kidding me? This kind of shit is what this thread, the fucking Thunderdome, is for. Not a fucking thread about a WOMEN WHO WAS RAPED AND THEN BULLIED INTO COMMITTING SUICIDE!

    What in the everloving fuck is wrong with you? Were you born without empathy, or did you lose it somewhere along the way?

    Then this:

    @ mythbi

    I wasn’t commenting directly on this terrible tragedy, I was merely making the observation that Pharyngula and A+ forum are similar and in some ways more draconian that the rapture ready forums.

    So why did you choose that particular thread to spew this bullshit in?

    Then this:

    So it is a major sin to not stay directly on topic? Which chapter and verse does that come from? It also says nothing about my priorities.

    Woman. Raped. Bullied. Killed herself.

    It is appropriate to “criticize” the blog owner on such a post… how?

    And finally

    Oops, Lord Peezus has spoken. How wonderful, they don’t get direct revelation at Rapture Ready!

    Yeah… while you’re being run off this blog, stay off mine, too. You’re no longer welcome there. I’ll be deleting anything you post there from now on. And since my blog is a private space, like this one (not owned by the government), I have no obligation to honor anybody’s Freezed Peaches.

  306. says

    thetar
    Just read through your contribution to the Why? thread and yes, you’re being a complete asshole. No ifs, ands, or buts about it; just you being an asshole. I think you know exactly why we’re saying this, you just don’t care because… you’re an asshole. You came here with the specific intent of being and asshole and you succeeded. We’re now all quite aware of the extent of your assholery and we’re treating you accordingly.

    Your mission is a success, so now you can fuck off. You can even tell all your little friends about how PZ personally banned you from a thread. Won’t that be fun. Bye now.

  307. says

    @howard / David Marjanović (somewhat belated, I realise)

    And this is why some people are all ‘but it wasn’t my INTENT to hurt you.’ Because what matters to them is their state of inward Moral Virtue. No intent = inwardly blameless. And externalities like actual consequences? Don’t matter.

    Some people may believe exactly that, but I think it’s rare.
    Most of us do believe intentions matter, possibly even believe they are what matters most. This is why we differentiate between murder and manslaughter, although in both cases someone has been killed. This is why you will react differently to someone stumbling, falling and thereby breaking something of yours, and someone coming up to you and deliberately breaking the same thing.
    That doesn’t mean we don’t believe consequences matter. Most people would be sorry if they broke something of yours by accident. And most people would be devastated if they killed someone, even if there was absolutely nothing they could have done about it – e.g. we regularly have people committing suicide by throwing themselves in front of a train, and it’s pretty much hell for the train drivers.
    .
    So I don’t think it’s fair / correct in all, or even most cases to assume “I didn’t intend to do harm” means “the consequences don’t matter to me” or “I reject responsibility”. It usually just means “I did not do this out of ill-will”.
    And someone’s saying “I didn’t intend to do harm” is a great opportunity for saying: well, if you didn’t intend to do harm, that’s great. Then you’ll want to avoid doing this particular harm in future, and here’s how you can learn to do that: link to […]-101.

  308. says

    That, I think, is where intent matters. It relates to the probability that the person might repeat the offending behavior in the future. Presumably, if a person didn’t want to hurt you and discovers that they have, they will be careful not to repeat the behavior.

    The problem is that some people seem to think that the lack of intent itself is sufficient and doesn’t need to be followed up with a decision to avoid future harm.
    E.g. “I’m sorry if I offended you, but I think my point is valid, so I’m going to keep pressing it. If you don’t like that, it’s your problem, because I didn’t intend to hurt you (roughly paraphrased from real statements).”

    Intent only matters insofar that it prevents future harmful consequences. If it doesn’t, then who cares if there was intent or not? Most drunk drivers don’t intend for anyone to get hurt, but if Joe keeps getting in his car while drunk and refuses to listen to reason, he’ll have his driver’s license revoked.

  309. says

    E.g. “I’m sorry if I offended you, but I think my point is valid, so I’m going to keep pressing it.

    Yes, that’s a tricky one. I think the point is that here either the person has not understood how what they are saying or doing is harmful, or of course they simply don’t give a damn.
    But someone’s being offended or hurt alone, isn’t a good reason to stop saying / doing something, though one should maybe reconsider whether this is the right time and place.
    E.g. I’m sure lots of religious people are offended or hurt by someone’s saying “I think there is no God”, but we wouldn’t just say, “oh.well in that case…” as we still believe we have a valid point that we won’t just abandon. Though perhaps not press it in the middle of a (religious) funeral?

  310. says

    Remember Benn Dover? He’s got a new alias, and he’s been frantically trying to post comments here, but everything is getting caught by the filters. He’s not saying anything, he’s just randomly whining on random threads…and he’s still posting ASCII penises.

    These clowns are so pathetic.

  311. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    These clowns are so pathetic.

    That describes the MRA contingent to a “T”. Nothing but attitude.

  312. says

    E.g. I’m sure lots of religious people are offended or hurt by someone’s saying “I think there is no God”, but we wouldn’t just say, “oh.well in that case…” as we still believe we have a valid point that we won’t just abandon. Though perhaps not press it in the middle of a (religious) funeral?

    That’s the thing. If a religious person says that they’re offended by my atheism, my response would be “Too bad. I don’t give a shit.” However, I would never go into a funeral and start shouting about how there’s no god, because I do care in that situation.

    I suppose a good rule of thumb would be that if you have a point that has to be made; if not making the point hurts people more than making it; then you’re justified in making the point, hurt feelings be damned. However, if the only thing hurt by not making the point is your personal pride, you should rethink it.

    Also, if a person thinks that they really have an important point, then maybe they need to think about how they’re making it, or where, when or to whom. E.g. in the recent example of Landsburg’s thought experiment, I would question whether he really needed to use rape as his example. Surely whatever point he had could have been made using an example that was less volatile and less likely to hurt people.

    Something like that?

  313. says

    LykeX@418
    Sounds good to me.
    Especially the last point needs some serious attention. I’ve never read that someone was “murdering the ecosystem”, or something was “worse than armed robbery / roasting babies on a spit”. The way rape is used for metaphors, comparisons, and whatnot, you’d think there was no other crime.

  314. says

    deoridhe (Harris thread)

    There seems to be this persistent idea that if one just divorces oneself from all outside influences, emotions, and denies one’s inherent subjectivity, one can then claim one is “objective” and thus be free and clear of any attempts at critique because clearly those people aren’t objective enough to understand ones clearly scientifically based, objectively reasoned, no subjectivity to see here point of view.

    Philosophically this is pretty traditional. Descartes did it in his Meditations. (Where he came up with: “I think therefore I am.” & “We are thinking things.”)
    Could this idea of objectivity be the divide between the Harris/Dawkins type atheists who accept it, and the ones concerned with social justice who don’t?
    Got to sleep on that. (CET)

  315. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Um, yeah. Thanks for that JM. /actuallyserious

    Is the history open to others? I can’t quite tell.

  316. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Oh, and, it may have been unwarranted, but it was correct. I think your subconscious is giving you clues. ;-)

    (I’ve mentioned all of them before.)

  317. John Morales says

    cm, cookies.

    (That is, YouTube uses cookies)

    … and thanks, but it was sloppy and embarrassing for me nonetheless.

  318. says

    LykeX:

    Also, if a person thinks that they really have an important point, then maybe they need to think about how they’re making it, or where, when or to whom.

    This^.

    For all that there’s a part of me screaming inside every time I hear some stupid religious statement, or woo advice, I rarely say anything. I feel that such responses are context or situationally dependent. Much of my time right now is spent at work, in the capacity as a manager (and a relatively new one at that). I think that my ability to do my job effectively would be undermined by speaking out more or making it clear that I’m an atheist (living in the southeast US as I am).
    Of course that mindest is challenged by the growing acceptance of gay people in the US. I remember realizing I had an attraction to men back in late 1987 (remembered because it was my middle school gym coach in late ’87 that I first found myself attracted to). I know that there are multiple factors that contributed to the acceptance of gay people in the US. One of them though, has been more and more gay people coming out. With more people knowing gay men and lesbians, it became apparent how numerous we were and how many of us (actually, how *all* of us…) were part of someone’s family. Part of the fight for equality has been the recognition that gay people are everywhere, and we are someone’s father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, best friend, beloved teacher, etc.
    So I struggle with the fact that I can be completely out of the closet in virtually any context (there are still a few that I’m not wholly confident in), but my lack of god belief is something I play much closer to the vest, while realizing that it’s going to take a lot of work to get people to accept atheists. Work that will include more people being open about their atheism (though this isn’t the only or most important way this will occur).

    ****

    Delft:

    The way rape is used for metaphors, comparisons, and whatnot, you’d think there was no other crime.

    ::sigh:: Yup.
    I briefly dated a guy last year who tossed around “rape” with such regularity that I was quite bothered by it. IMO, “rape” is only one thing = non consensual sex*.
    It is not:
    Your bank charging massive fees to use your credit card.
    Being overcharged for purchases you think should have been cheaper.
    An expression of an overwhelming desire for intimacy with someone (seriously, intimacy and rape do not go together).
    The “go to” punishment to be meted out to people you don’t like.

    Every time I hear someone use rape in any context other than the appropriate one, I cringe and get irritated. I want to thrust a dictionary at them.

    Another thing related to this: a lack of understanding of bodily autonomy and the *right* to personal integrity. So many people do not seem to understand that rape is a horrific violation of another human being (so often women). The minimization that occurs when people use rape to describe anything else tells me they don’t understand why rape is such an offense.
    I also wonder if religious attitudes toward sex play a role in the minimization of rape.

    *Even before I gave much thought to my god belief, politics, religions, or any of the other concerns I currently have, I never wanted to have sex with someone who didn’t want it back. So many times I’ve heard people say “get that hetero guy drunk and have your way with him”. My response has always been “Why? When I have sex, I want the other guy to WANT to be there.” I really do not think I can put myself into the mindset that says “I want this, and do not care if I have permission”.

  319. says

    PZ:

    Remember Benn Dover? He’s got a new alias, and he’s been frantically trying to post comments here, but everything is getting caught by the filters.

    I wonder if the new alias is ‘ChauvinismRequired’, because that’s the one he’s using in his attempts to spam my blog with juvenile dullness.

  320. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Caine,
    I read in the Lunge yesterday that your pancreas is acting up again. Take care and I hope you feel better soon!

  321. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Oops.

    The Lunge!

    Sounds like a movie Steven Seagal tried to act in.

  322. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Caine, may they only keep getting better from now on.

  323. chigau (please don't let me be misunderstood) says

    Steven Seagal appears to be quite fluent in Japanese but he talks like a girl.

  324. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Caine

    I’m a complete wimp around vomiting. Pain I can handle. Allergies merely drive me to distraction, but vomiting… I have this super-over-the-top revulsion towards vomiting. It gets into my head and I can’t stop thinking about how gross it is.

    So, yeah, I’m sure that isn’t fun and distracting to read, but I’m empathizing from a long way a way and feel great relief that your emesis period seems to be at an and.

    Get *all the way* better soon.

  325. says

    Crip Dyke:

    I’m a complete wimp around vomiting.

    Believe me, I understand. Pancreas vomiting is super bad, because you have nothing in your stomach, but get waves of non-stop, wracking heaves. Keeping my fingers crossed, I just took some anti-nausea meds for today and am counting the minutes until they are safely kept down and absorbed. If it starts up again, I’ll have to go into the hospital, can’t do IV fluids at home. (At least not for me – I have the stuff to do that for a rat!)

    Got the rats taken care of, now to hobble off and feed dogs and cats, then it’s time to try and keep pain meds down and back to bed. Working on that getting better!

  326. says

    Caine:
    That sounds like an all-round bad day. I would say to give that pancreas a good thrashing, but I think that might be counter-productive. Hang in there.

  327. says

    LykeX, thanks. I have about 5 to 7 days to go with this. If I could get by without a pancreas, I would have evicted it at the same time the gall bother got kicked out.

  328. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    Has anyone read Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender? I’ve heard it panned by MRAs, which makes me want to read it…

  329. says

    Cyranothe2nd:

    Has anyone read Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender?

    SC has, and highly recommends it. I have it on my ‘to read’ list, but haven’t gotten to it yet.

  330. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    Caine–got it from the library. Only read the intro and part of the first chapter, but its clearly (and a bit sassily) written. Lots of citations. Dis gun be good!

  331. says

    Man, I saw that txpiper had posted something in a thread and I was hoping he’d give the horde something to chew on but it just his tired old “…but I just can’t see how random etc blah blah I’m not even trying any more…”

  332. Dhorvath, OM says

    I too have read this book. For what it is worth, I found it well worth my reading time. So much to think about.

  333. Dhorvath, OM says

    And indeed, some hugs for the nauseated. Few would choose to feel that way.

  334. says

    Tony:

    Caine:
    You have email :)

    No, I don’t, Tony. I’ll be sure to let you know if it shows up. Thanks. :)

  335. kantalope says

    So microsoft just called me to tell me that my computer is sending them errors…start time 11:26am

    all I have to do is give them remote control of my machine

    we just looked at the event viewer and there were some errors

  336. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    kantalope,

    That sounds very suspicious, I wouldn’t advise you to give them anything. Maybe do a check of their number on the internet (to see whether people have reported scams from the same phone number).

  337. says

    Microsoft never just calls people up and asks for remote control. It’s a scam. If you’re really concerned about anything being wrong with your computer, call the official customer support line, so you’re sure of who you’re talking to.

  338. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    kantalope,

    ok, that’s most definitely a scam. I hope you didn’t give them any information.

  339. kantalope says

    Oh no…in fact I have asked them to call me back when I have more time. I can’t call them their line is undergoing maintenance.

  340. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    kantalope,

    Good, I was going all slow-motion “Nooooooooooo!” in front of my screen.

  341. kantalope says

    The two best ways, to handle these guys so far that I have seen, is one guy just played dumb and said he was rebooting and opening up other programs and such and kept them on the line for almost two hours…

    The other guy asked if they could do phone sex while the software downloaded

    they want me to download teamviewer so they can remotely fix me up…I have filed a complaint with the ifc but my local pd said they dont want to hear about internet fraud…but this is also phone fraud so…dont know if they dont care about that too or not.

  342. Dhorvath, OM says

    There is a wealth of reading to get to there Nate. No comment is going to catch you up like some booking, and no book will catch you up to the math. I have little time to get into it right now, but hope I can at least pretend to participate. As for what you feel, it will guide you astray. What can we show? What have we seen? How do the two interact? This matters more than credulity.

  343. says

    Believe me, Dhorvath, I know. If you could see my reading list, I’ve got nothing but books on these subjects (including the “For Dummies” and “Idiots’ Guide” books and Hawking and Sean M. Carroll and Lawrence Krauss and Leonard Susskind and Alan Gould and… yeah) making up the list right now…

    The problem is a supreme lack of money to purchase the books and I can’t do libraries because I will NEED to be able to highlight/make notes/bookmark/etc…

    My 26th birthday is May 22… :D

    Heh…

  344. consciousness razor says

    NateHevens:

    My absolute favorite one is the idea of membranes. Giant branes that billow in 11(+)-dimensional space. Every once in a while, they clash. They energy given off in this clash can make universes. Although each membrane is finite in size and have a finite number of universes within them, there’s an infinite number of membranes, meaning an infinite number of universes.

    This is a possibility, not necessarily the way things are or must be. I won’t even try to speculate about what it would imply if it’s true; since we don’t know, I really just want to address some other general points.

    To me, this would suggest that spacetime and energy (that is, space, time, matter, and energy) exist beyond the Big Bang.

    What do you mean by “beyond the Big Bang” here? That could mean a lot of things, and it just isn’t clear what you think that’s saying.

    Secondly, we have to be careful not to confuse our 4-dimensional concepts of spacetime or energy with what these extra dimensions are, or what must (or must not) exist along with them. Suppose there are 11D membranes — dimensions are not energy or matter (unless we’re very confused about what those are), and I’m not getting how one is supposed to imply the other.

    I honestly feel like these things have to be infinite in existence… that is, they always existed, and always will.

    Your honest feelings aside, is there some reason to suppose spacetime or energy must have always existed (or an 11D membrane if at all)? There could be something which always exists and is in some sense responsible for the rest of existence (but even its own existence?), or there may be no reason or cause whatsoever for existence. We just don’t know and may never know.

    Because how is action/movement/creation possible without them.[?]

    Why suppose there must be action or movement? All you’d need is existing things, not moving existing things.

    What do you think would be moving or acting if things changed from “nonexistence” to “existence”? Change must have been possible somehow (given total nonexistence, the possibilities would be wide open, so that’s not hard to believe), but I don’t see a reason to assume change implies movement.

    Besides that, even if we just look at the physics, no one is claiming the Big Bang was like a bunch of billiard balls bumping into each other, so you wouldn’t have a reason to infer something like a pool cue must have started it. It at least seems like you’re expecting a classical, mechanistic sort of cause-and-effect. I don’t think anyone has a great explanation for it yet, but that’s definitely not the direction physics is going.

    And I don’t know what “creation” is supposed to suggest here. It’s a rather loaded word, but I can’t say anything relevant without understanding what you mean by it. I wouldn’t say the universe was “created” at all, since even if it’s just a metaphor (rather than literally creationism), I don’t see how it’d be a useful one.

  345. says

    consciousness razor…

    This is a possibility, not necessarily the way things are or must be. I won’t even try to speculate about what it would imply if it’s true; since we don’t know, I really just want to address some other general points.

    If there’s an infinite number of universes… there would be an infinite number of yous and mes having this conversation right now…

    Now imagine the implications of that

    What do you mean by “beyond the Big Bang” here? That could mean a lot of things, and it just isn’t clear what you think that’s saying.

    Well, using the whole membrane idea, it means any point before the clash that caused the energy burst that is our universe… or something like that…

    I really mean “before the Big Bang”… so I’m not really sure why I said “beyond” it…

    Secondly, we have to be careful not to confuse our 4-dimensional concepts of spacetime or energy with what these extra dimensions are, or what must (or must not) exist along with them. Suppose there are 11D membranes — dimensions are not energy or matter (unless we’re very confused about what those are), and I’m not getting how one is supposed to imply the other.

    Dimensions are measurements, right? Like, the first 4 dimensions are length, height, width (I always forget the order… sorry… that’s probably out of order) and time?

    Your honest feelings aside, is there some reason to suppose spacetime or energy must have always existed (or an 11D membrane if at all)? There could be something which always exists and is in some sense responsible for the rest of existence (but even its own existence?), or there may be no reason or cause whatsoever for existence. We just don’t know and may never know.

    I think perhaps my feelings with spacetime probably have to do with not really understanding what it is, so that’s part of what I’m trying to understand.

    As for energy: “energy cannot be created or destroyed”. I don’t see much room for energy having a “creation” point, here.

    And for the record, I use “creation” and “create” simply by way of a lack of better terms. I don’t mean it in the sense of being made by some form of intelligence. I just mean it in the sense of… I guess… not being there and then being there… with “there” meaning, well, anywhere.

    Why suppose there must be action or movement? All you’d need is existing things, not moving existing things.

    I’m being seriously limited by a personal lack of vocabulary, here. I have no clue how else to intimate what I mean. Every time I type something, the words I use suggest I’m talking about some sort of agency when, obviously, I’m not. I don’t mean to use words like “creation”, “create”, “action”, and so on, implying intelligence… I just can’t think of any other words to use.

    What do you think would be moving or acting if things changed from “nonexistence” to “existence”? Change must have been possible somehow (given total nonexistence, the possibilities would be wide open, so that’s not hard to believe), but I don’t see a reason to assume change implies movement.

    Things in our universe appear to be limited to spacetime. What I mean by that is everything within the universe (including us) moves in relation to spacetime.

    Again… my understanding of spacetime is severely limited, and is probably completely wrong, but as I understand it, spacetime is the whole of space and time… at least as far as we know it. Can there be an outside to this? Can there be more than spacetime? And if so… how? Is spacetime referring to just the first four dimensions, or to all the dimensions?

    Besides that, even if we just look at the physics, no one is claiming the Big Bang was like a bunch of billiard balls bumping into each other, so you wouldn’t have a reason to infer something like a pool cue must have started it. It at least seems like you’re expecting a classical, mechanistic sort of cause-and-effect. I don’t think anyone has a great explanation for it yet, but that’s definitely not the direction physics is going.

    I have no idea where I saw it, but I remember watching or reading something that tried to describe the Membranes thusly:

    Imagine sheets hung up to dry. On a windy day they billow, and very occasionally clash. On these scales, the burst of energy is pretty much imperceptible. But on the scale of the membranes, the energy would be strong enough to, every so often, form universes like our own.

    That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the image I’ve head in my head for a long time now…

    And I don’t know what “creation” is supposed to suggest here. It’s a rather loaded word, but I can’t say anything relevant without understanding what you mean by it. I wouldn’t say the universe was “created” at all, since even if it’s just a metaphor (rather than literally creationism), I don’t see how it’d be a useful one.

    I said it above, but I’ll repeat it here:
    I use “creation” and “create” simply by way of a lack of better terms. I don’t mean it in the sense of being made by some form of intelligence. I just mean it in the sense of… I guess… not being there and then being there… with “there” meaning, well, anywhere.

  346. John Morales says

    NateHevens, here’s how it is:

    M-theory is, like all hypothetical theories, a form of abduction, but the problem is that it’s not yet amenable to falsification.

    (But then, so was atomism, once upon a time)

  347. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    deal w/ it.

    Either a grog or a smackeral…the grog is closer…

  348. says

    Gosh joey, how typical of you to hear of a horrible situation and only see a gotcha! for one of your pointless arguments.
     
    Has anyone ever told you that you’re a horrible person? It’s shit like this.

  349. says

    Hey, joey. How nice of you to drop by and remind us of your dishonesty. You’re, I assume deliberately, confusing the issue over “never happens” vs. “never happens in any legitimate abortion clinic.”
    If your argument is that abortion is wrong because one, clearly deranged, person broke every rule in the book, then you don’t have an argument.

    Btw, can we assume that you’ve conceded all points in the previous argument? If not, feel free to get back to that.

  350. John Morales says

    Joey, there’s a post about that report on this very blog (which clearly makes moot your rhetorical tactic), but I note your take on it is unsurprising and predictable.

    (baj)

  351. omnicrom says

    So joey looks at the truly appalling and dehumanizing result of Anti-choice activism, and says “See? Pro-choice activism is bullshit” and therefore supports more of the same truly appalling and dehumanizing anti-choice activism.

    Joey: Fuck off.

  352. Amphiox says

    If your prior position, stated OR implied, on late-term abortions actually became law, then places like the Gosnell Clinic will proliferate. Desperate women, unable to obtain the service that they need legally or safely, will seek out shady operators like Gosnell, AND will be discouraged from reporting them

    So THANK YOU, joey, for providing the example that illustrates exactly why your side of the abortion issue is flat out evil.

    THANK YOU.

  353. rorschach says

    I’m sorry if it was brought up before, I haven’t been following closely, but is this post by Taslima Nasreen the result of a blog hack, or actually by her?

  354. Lofty says

    I’m sorry if it was brought up before, I haven’t been following closely, but is this post by Taslima Nasreen the result of a blog hack, or actually by her?

    I don’t think it’s out of character. I find Taslimas posts… a little different, which is good.

  355. says

    @ Nate

    String Theory and M-Theory and Multiple Universe

    I’d love to help you there, but I’m afraid you might be barking up the wrong tree. I’ll give it a read though, though I cannot promise much. I’m more one of those hand waving “creatives” (and not much of one at that) and no physicist.

  356. opposablethumbs says

    Oh well done, joey. Well done for a) demonstrating that suffering and criminal behaviour are primarily a “gotcha” opportunity to you, and b) demonstrating that you can look right at the bloody results of restricting women’s access to the means to control their own reproductive health – the real life results of the punitive, restrictive legislation you love – and imagine that this supports your cries for more of the same punitive, restrictive legislation.

    If you actually cared one whit about reducing abortions, you should be devoting all your efforts to making sure that all young people get real sex-ed (none of your abstinence-only bullshit) and that effective contraception is freely available to all, including the morning-after pill

    But you don’t care about that.

    joey, Gosnell and those like him thrive and get rich thanks to you. If we had proper sex-ed, proper contraception and proper clinics, scum like this would have no customers.

    You make the world a place where the desperate turn to people like Gosnell and have no recourse when he harms them. Gosnell does a roaring trade thanks to you.

  357. joey says

    LykeX:

    You’re, I assume deliberately, confusing the issue over “never happens” vs. “never happens in any legitimate abortion clinic.”

    Late-term abortions “never happen in any legitimate abortion clinic” simply because it is illegal, and a “legitimate” clinic wouldn’t perform one, by definition.

    If your argument is that abortion is wrong because one, clearly deranged, person broke every rule in the book, then you don’t have an argument.

    Of course that is not my argument.

    Btw, can we assume that you’ve conceded all points in the previous argument? If not, feel free to get back to that.

    No, don’t assume that. I’ve been meaning to get back to those posts. Maybe sometime later.

    —————————-
    myeck waters:

    Gosh joey, how typical of you to hear of a horrible situation and only see a gotcha! for one of your pointless arguments.

    People have repeatedly asked me for evidence that late-term abortions of viable fetuses actually happen. Well, there is the evidence. So the argument of late-term abortion isn’t some ridiculous hypothetical that should be easily dismissed.

    ———————–
    John Morales:

    Joey, there’s a post about that report on this very blog (which clearly makes moot your rhetorical tactic), but I note your take on it is unsurprising and predictable.

    I understand there is a blog post on this, which is where I got the link to the report. I have posted on that thread but I’m quarantined here.

    ———————-
    omnicrom:

    So joey looks at the truly appalling and dehumanizing result of Anti-choice activism..

    I don’t see what is “appalling and dehumanizing” about wanting to prevent the killing of viable babies, killed either inside or outside the woman.

    ———————–
    Amphiox:

    If your prior position, stated OR implied, on late-term abortions actually became law, then places like the Gosnell Clinic will proliferate. Desperate women, unable to obtain the service that they need legally or safely, will seek out shady operators like Gosnell, AND will be discouraged from reporting them

    My point here is simply to show evidence that late-term abortions occur, and some women are willing to terminate their viable late-term pregnancies through abortion.

    ———————–
    opposablethumbs:

    joey, Gosnell and those like him thrive and get rich thanks to you. If we had proper sex-ed, proper contraception and proper clinics, scum like this would have no customers.

    Do you think “proper sex-ed, proper contraception, and proper clinics” would eliminate late-term abortions?

  358. opposablethumbs says

    Do you think “proper sex-ed, proper contraception, and proper clinics” would eliminate late-term abortions?

    I absolutely think that these measures, and the basic approach of which they are part, are the best way of enabling women to exercise their human rights and consequently reducing the number of late-term abortions to a minimum.

    Late-term abortions will never be completely eliminated, because of changes in circumstances. Such as the medical need to terminate some wanted pregnancies (which should obviously be up to the best judgement of the woman and her physician(s)).

    Also, fuck you and your sophistry. Fuck you and your cute playing around with “eliminate”, as if reducing harm to women and their families were an intellectual trifle rather than a real need. For pretending that more and more draconian legislation would have a better effect than enabling women to control their own fertility in the first place. Fuck you for enabling the Gosnells of this world.

  359. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    People have repeatedly asked me for evidence that late-term abortions of viable fetuses actually happen. Well, there is the evidence. So the argument of late-term abortion isn’t some ridiculous hypothetical that should be easily dismissed.

    It is dimissed now for fuckwittery, as the laws haven’t changed. It isn’t a real argument, and hypotheticals are for abject losers like yourself. Why do you want to admit you are an abject loser?

    Joey, for you to have and argument, since you use presupposition and theology for your premises, is to prove your deity is real and not imaginary. You also need to prove your babble is inerrant. Without that, your theology is based on twin lies, and is a big pile of bullshit. And it is nothing but a pile of bullshit. Why won’t you prove your imaginary deity? Right, you know you can’t. You can’t put up, you can’t shut the fuck up, so you have no intellectual honesty and integrity. You are a liar and bullshitter. That is why you are dismissed.

  360. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    rorschach,

    *blink*

    I don’t read her very often, so I can’t say for sure whether that is out of character, but it’s… strange. If we got a comment like that in one of the comment threads here, she’d get a world of shit for it. Since her threads are often populated with horrible misogynists and general shitheads (this one is no exception, from what I+ve seen), I don’t really want to get involved.

    Damn, but that’s one stupid post.

  361. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My point here is simply to show evidence that late-term abortions occur, and some women are willing to terminate their viable late-term pregnancies through abortion.

    That isn’t a valid point. It does nothing to your argument. You need to prove your deity isn’t imaginary. Then, and only then, you have an argument. You are one dishonest and abject loser.

  362. rorschach says

    Damn, but that’s one stupid post.

    Yes, that was my reaction, too. That, and the fact that even the slymers on twitter celebrated it as her blog having been hacked. As I said, I haven’t been around much, so I wasn’t sure if it had been talked about already.

  363. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Considering she has made a couple of posts after that one, I hope she would have noticed there’s that strange thing she hadn’t written in there, but who knows.

  364. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    I note [joey’s] take on it is unsurprising and predictable

    So predictable that I was >this< close to posting on the relevant thread that it would only be a matter of time before someone came along with “oh, but I thought you were all OK with late-term abortions” or some such bullshit.

    joey, compare the rate of late-term abortions in a country with sane laws and provision (I humbly offer the UK as an example) and have a think about why the US might be different, OK? (Or fuck off. Either’s fine.)

  365. says

    Taslima is a blast sometimes with irreverent topics. She writes about fringe research here and there, and it’s fun, whether relevant, or not.

  366. says

    John Morales

    M-theory is, like all hypothetical theories, a form of abduction, but the problem is that it’s not yet amenable to falsification.

    I could swear that I’ve read about one, maybe two, potential tests of M-Theory. I think it might’ve been at Sci-Am blogs.

  367. says

    @ cm’s

    joey, compare the rate of late-term abortions in a country with sane laws and provision (I humbly offer the UK as an example) and have a think about why the US might be different, OK? (Or fuck off. Either’s fine.)

    Apropos actually getting things right (and yours is a good example):

    The right wing (under which we find so many joeys and like goddists) seem to think there is divine sanction in what they do. It must be right! It just has to be! And then it all ends in a shameful fuck-up.

    But they don’t stop and look about themselves. Ask questions like “Why are the Others ™ getting it together and we are not?”, or “How about setting our predispositions aside and look at some case-studies with an open mind.” You know … shit that actually works in the real world with real people to end real suffering.

    It’s like, if they’ll just do the same stupid harder next time – impress the YHWH or the Infallible Principles of Capitalism – it will all work out. They just gotta commit a bit more to teh stupid … how can they fail?

  368. says

    joey:

    Late-term abortions “never happen in any legitimate abortion clinic” simply because it is illegal, and a “legitimate” clinic wouldn’t perform one, by definition.

    Yes, that’s the point. The actions of Gosnell are not legal and would not be legal under any system proposed by anybody. It’s not the kind of thing done by any actual abortion clinics (as opposed to a guy who sets up shop somewhere and calls it a clinic) and it’s not condoned by any pro-choice people, so why is this case relevant?

    Of course that is not my argument.

    It seems like there ought to be a follow-up to that; maybe one that explains what your argument actually is. At this point, I can only conclude that you don’t really have any.

    That seems to be a recurring theme with you. You ask some questions, go for the cheap rhetorical points, but when it comes to actually laying out your own arguments, you either go silent or talk nonsense.

    Let’s try this one more time: What’s your point?

  369. says

    Joey:
    Safe, legal abortions.
    Licensed doctors in medical facilities.

    When pro choice people are talking about abortion (even in cases like late term abortions), this is what they are referring to.

    Your ‘gotcha’ is nothing of the kind.

    Your response to omnicrom shows you did not read what xe wrote. “…appalling and dehumanizing RESULT of anti-choice activism.”. refers to the unethical, vile abortions Gosnell was performing…which were the result of YOUR sides opposition to abortion.

    If you step outside your absolutist world of binary thinking, you would see that one of the goals of proper sex ed and easy access to contraception is to reduce the need for abortions. Complete elimination of them is not likely. The actions of YOUR side would simply lead to more Gosnells, more abortions, and more dead women.

    Do you understand why?