Islam and science are compatible, as long as you cut out the bits of science you don’t like »« What’s causing the boom in atheism?

Comments

  1. mikeyb says

    Must say I picked up PZ’s new book The Happy Atheist, and it is totally terrific from cover to cover. I read it all in one sitting, something I don’t remember doing since back in the day when I read Catcher in the Rye in one setting. Next time someone hands me a religious tract, I’ll hand over The Happy Atheist. Except I’m no longer sure about reincarnation. I wonder if Mark Twain died, met god in heaven and as a result was reincarnated as PZ Myers. Well done, PZ. Sequel??

  2. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    ekwhite, blocking the bonehead is pretty much the best thing to do. It is not worth it to spend time with the epitome of the internet tough guy. He does not argue in good faith and will not hesitate to out vile anyone.

    Just a waste of time. Unfortunately, he has so little in his life he is able to harass people who actually work to try to improve conditions of other people.

    It would be nice to just ignore him but he intrudes on people better than he.

  3. ChasCPeterson says

    Of course there’s nothing wrong with ‘taking comfort’.
    My point: ‘taking comfort’ is not = dealing with it.
    People are better served by dealing with shit than by ‘taking comfort’.

    oh, so vile.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    Arnold Ruge #4
    Is your life such a festering shit-hole that this makes you feel good.
    Are your friends such pustules that they approve?

  5. mikeyb says

    Arnold
    goddidit goddidit goddidit goddidid goddamdidit
    Let’s just fuck science simple
    complexity complexity complexity goddidit goddidit goddidit
    why did i waste my time going to college
    cud of just stuck readin my babble
    keep my brain from hurtin too much

  6. woozy says

    @4

    If you can’t counter those arguments with one lobe tied behind you back you never should have graduated from the second grade. Seriously, that’s room temperature IQ stuff.

  7. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Because obviously they’re either dealing with it or taking comfort. No possible way to do both at the same time. Nope. They need to save the taking comfort for after they’ve dealt with it in a manner acceptable to Chas because, as in all things, Chas knows best.

  8. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    The godbotherer and the bonehead trolling the same hashtag. Such a low rent tag team.

  9. Lofty says

    SC (Salty Current), OM @694 previous ‘dome

    Are you a troll? If not, there was no reason to think the comment applied to you. Unless you’re using Special Indignation Logic, there’s a difference between “Trolls are nocturnal for reason X” and “Everyone who is nocturnal is so for reason X.”

    I’m quite sure the reason Inaji jumped on my comment because she hasn’t yet seen the famed Pharyngula Morphing Troll in full flight. Generally “Trolly” turns up in posts timestamped between 2am and 6am, as about then PZ awakes and firehoses out the effluent. “Trolly” is obviously sufficiently smart to work out that it’s “night time” at Maison Myers and then posts crap to annoy the max number of peeps for the max amount of time.
    It just happens to be evening at my place around that time and I’m fond of poking pointy sticks at trolls. I should’ve addressed the troll by name to make it clear to later readers who missed the flooshed posts.

    I’m happy to forgive a snarly comment made without full information. Are you?

    Regards, Lofty.

  10. says

    Yes, because the idea of therapy has never ever occurred to the person in question.
    Because the idea of therapy has never been suggested to the person in question.
    Because this is a totally new and unique comment that adds something novel to the discourse.
    It is therefore totally unreasonable to interprete the comment as “shut up here, I can’t listen to this anymore”. Because that’s also something that never happens, especially when talking about abuse victims
    And because the internet isn’t real, and people and their nyms aren’t real getting as close to the legal name of somebody who’s mortally afraid that people in meatspace could find out is totally not threatening to that person but shows that you actually care!
    See, you just have to pretend that the world is totally different than what it actually is get the unbiased facts right and everything makes sense and everybody else is an asshole.

  11. Lofty says

    Bang on time, the Pharyngula Morphing troll “smarterthanu” slithers in through the gap under the door.
    Hey Trollie, how does it feel being so smart no-one at all can understand your brilliance? Must be galling, reduced to spamming when the boss is asleep. It’s almost as if you think the drivel you write is actually worthless because it won’t convince anyone awake.

  12. ekwhite says

    Janine:

    I only blocked him after I gave him as good as I got. :) I actually silenced him for a bit. He is vile but slow witted. He posted to the Skeptech that I had tweeted him a picture of my junk. I simply reponded that he would need a microsope to see it. :)

    I won’t even go into the ruder stuff. I blocked him because he was boring me.

  13. jacksprocket says

    I wonder if Mark Twain …was reincarnated as PZ Myers

    I doubt it. PZ doesn’t write disparaging things about Indians. Apart from that strange blind spot, Twain was OK.

  14. ekwhite says

    Oh yes – I forgot to mention that Markuze posted that idiotic YouTube link on the #Skeptech hashtag.

  15. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I see the stupid troll has managed to memorize the slymie talking points. Such a well trained troll. But still needs work on the finger painting with shit bit. Kind of annoys most people.

  16. ekwhite says

    OK, Slimierthanu – you festering boil on the ass of humanity – it’s obvious you have the ethics of a tick and the charming personality of a rabid badger, but leave Oggy alone.

    He has been through shit that would leave your sorry ass curled up in a ball on the floor sucking your thumb, and come out of it a decent human being, unlike you. I would call you pond scum, but that would be insulting Spirogyra.

    I wish I had half the courage and compassion that Oggvorbis has

  17. Nick Gotts says

    Just once, I’d like to be wrong in jumping to the conclusion that someone using a nym such as “smarterthanu” is a fuckwitted scumbag. Not this time. Alert sent.

  18. Badland says

    shitstain @ 29

    Tell me, do your friends or family know you troll and torment people on the Internet? Or do you have some remnant of shame left in your pathetic little life

  19. ekwhite says

    Badland @30. Not only does this asshole have no shame, he is probably typing one handed.

  20. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Pèezus has no shame, why should I?

    Gleefully goading an abuse victim kind of compromises the holier than thou act you seem to be going for.

  21. Badland says

    ekwhite @ 35

    One-handed and one-eyed? A charming combination. But seriously, I cannot begin to understand the puerile inanity that drives shitstains like this soon-to-be-redacted fuckwit. Is trolling a natural Viagra for narcissistic sadists?

  22. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Janine,

    I am hoping that Ogvorbis is seeing or will see a therapist about this. He needs the help that we here cannot provide for him. But I am happy to provide what little help that listening and responding can do.

    The only reason why I would give for to Ogvorbis stop talking about this is that there are malicious people who are lying about him and about us for associating with him. But they would be lying about us no matter what.

    I think suggesting seeking additional help is good, as well as offering comfort and support for Ogvorbis.

    —-
    I think not giving everything Chas writes the most uncharitable reading possible is also good. Tell him he’s an asshole, when he’s behaving as an asshole, tell him that he’s wrong when you think he’s wrong (like telling Ogvorbis he needs one thing over another).

    Just don’t make shit up that isn’t there. Don’t read malice where there is none. Don’t accuse someone he’s making something about themselves when you are making it all about them.
    (I had an episode like that this morning in meat life – I’m a bully, I’m a horrible awful person and then I’m making everything about myself when I try to defend myself – it’s not pleasant, and it’s reason I hit submit where I wasn’t sure whether I should) Don’t be like that.

    My own heartfelt message to Ogvorbis, not malicious in intent, and hopefully not sounding like that in delivery either:

    Ogvorbis,
    you have love and support here, mine and others’.
    But yes, some meatspace support would serve you well too. When online bullies that have been targeting you are just too much, like the last time you had to take a break…. you would do well with some offline support, with someone who knows what we know, someone who can help you when you’re unable to turn to the Horde, and help in ways all our good wishes together can’t.

  23. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Pretty telling how you characterize simply not being an asshole as “walking on eggshells,” morphlet.

  24. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    You didn’t actually contradict me there, diddums. I mean, obviously not being an asshole is outside the scope of your abilities, but that doesn’t mean it is for everyone.

  25. Athywren says

    @Arnold Ruge, 4
    Wow, that was a really cute video. I guess you really told us atheists!
    I’ve got to wonder, how much do you know about nothing? Have you ever seen any nothing? Were you able to learn anything about it? Is nothing stable? Is nothing actually capable of existing? Do you think that nothing is just the stuff you find inside an empty box? Speaking of boxes, if everything inside a box is blue, and if everything put into that box becomes blue… what colour is the box? And do you see how that relates to other questions?

  26. Holms says

    Piegasm, I should thank you for your explanation you provided the other night on you abandoning the atheism plus forum. Maybe you could be made the first moderator of Pharyngula, with the ability to ban dissenters. Do you think Peèzus would trust you with that power though? I think you’d be excellent though.

    I don’t even understand the point of posts like this. It doesn’t feel like conversation, there is no point being made, there is just blather with a vaguely snide feel to it. This guy just reminds me of the endless gaming forum arguments silly teens had against one another, in which no one is really making a point other than taking opportunites to snipe silly shit off at one another.

    Personally, I grew out of that crap years ago, but it appears our midnight marauder exists to spend time saying absolutely no point so long as he gets to think the target feels scolded… or something.

    Honestly though, I’m just puzzled. I can only assume that he doesn’t know how trivial and idiotic he appears to most onlookers, but I guess it keeps him entertained.

  27. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Ya know trollshit, we were just talking toward the end of the last Thunderdome about how people like you seem to expect that nobody will bother to verify for themselves whether your claims have any basis in fact. And here you are exemplifying that point. Go fig.

  28. says

    I’m quite sure the reason Inaji jumped on my comment because she hasn’t yet seen the famed Pharyngula Morphing Troll in full flight. Generally “Trolly” turns up in posts timestamped between 2am and 6am, as about then PZ awakes and firehoses out the effluent. “Trolly” is obviously sufficiently smart to work out that it’s “night time” at Maison Myers and then posts crap to annoy the max number of peeps for the max amount of time.

    No, the reason was that she made an illegitimate leap in logic. What you’re providing here as an “explanation” has nothing to do with it other than that it makes the leap in logic even more patent. Whether you were talking about a specific troll or about trolls as a class, your remark was about trolls, which was plain both from your comment alone (linked to in her comment) and in context. It was not a general statement about nocturnal people to which nontroll nocturnal people had cause to take offense.

    My problem here isn’t with Inaji, or with the logical error itself. The problem is that the response to her comment should have been a simple “Uh, that wasn’t about you / a general statement about nocturnal people and there wasn’t really a reason to think it was,” followed by a “Sorry, I misinterpreted” on her part. Instead, people accepted the offense as valid and started talking about how beautiful night is, I was called an asshole by Inaji when I pointed out the error, and now you appear to be trying to take responsibility for her mistake and criticism.

    This is a very bad sort of dynamic. People misinterpret statements all the time and criticize others on faulty bases. It’s not a big deal. But when there’s a social dynamic in which some people aren’t expected to acknowledge these mistakes and those criticized for invalid reasons (are expected to) accept or even justify it, there’s a problem.

  29. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @Holms

    I think the ‘pit saw me as something of a loose cannon when I was active at A+ so I’m going to guess he thinks he’s voicing an uncomfortable truth. Being the brave little hero, as it were.

  30. Lofty says

    SC, your concern is noted as is your offensive way of calling out Inaji.
    Good night.

  31. Alex the Pretty Good says

    @ Arnold Ruge, 4

    I’m not sure what’s worse. The same old re-hashed non-arguments that don’t even describe what most atheists I know actually think or say … or the unlicensed use of copyrighted music that is associated with probably the best movies in human history in combination with such crappy animation.

    And just for the record: I don’t know. And there’s no shame in saying “I don’t know” because that’s the phrase that precedes the advancement of knowledge. While “Goddidit. Dur.” is the sound of stagnation.

  32. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    While I can believe Chas didn’t mean any harm, he’s been around here for far too long to be able to plead ignorance about why some of us are finding what he said problematic. He says shit, he gets called out for it, he denies he said any such thing, he’s presented with proof that he’s lying, he goes away for a few days or a week or two and comes back and does the same damn shit. And every time he’s just absolutely dismayed at the reaction he gets. I’m a relative newb here and I’m already out of benefit of the doubt to extend to him. He’s either dense enough to exert gravity over celestial bodies or he’s malicious.

  33. Menyambal says

    That video up at what is currently #4 was a good example of wishful thinking and projection. The idea that atheistic naturalism is based on so little that a brief bit of patter is mind-blowing is kinda cute, though. The assumption that the cause of a caused universe is going to be a particular sheep-god is kinda sad, especially when the alleged account of that beginning is so very different as to have only a beginning in common.

    The big thing is the continued reliance on the laws of the universe to show the existence of a god. There is no law of cause-and-effect, by the way, especially down around the quantum level—assuming a law and assuming its implications is fairly mind-blowing, to be fair.

    The laws of motion come to mind. Some folks use them to argue for a law-maker, or rather to prove to their own satisfaction the existence of their god, but I disagree. One case of one law of motion states that a rock that is undisturbed will not move. O M fucking G, there must be a god in charge of that! See, folks used to think there were angels lifting, or that rocks had natures, or some damned things, but a careful look said that no, things just sit, or keep going until tbey hit, or other boring stuff.

    Those laws say that there are no angels, there are just simple physics. And the yobbos use them as proof of their angels.

    So this video does the same thing. It assumes a law that effectively eliminates the need from their god from the universe, and uses it to prove the existence of a god.

    Look, god-fans, if the universe had to have a cause, it isn’t necessarily a god. If it is a god, it isn’t necessarily a god who cares about what’s inside the universe. And if it is, it may not care about our little part. And if it does, it may not care about what we do with our little parts.

    You can’t go from a philosopher’s god to Yahu-Wahu in one uncaused lurch. The universe may have been created to be the crotch rivet in an extra-dimensional suit of Gundam armor, fulfilling all the premises of that silly video, and meaning less than fuck-all to us here in reality.

  34. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Thing that gets me about this god of the gaps approach is that it basically defines god as the set of things science currently doesn’t understand. Of course, scientists are checking things off that list on a daily basis which means, in a manner of speaking, that they’re dismantling god. You’d think believers would want no part of that train of thought.

  35. Athywren says

    Look, god-fans, if the universe had to have a cause, it isn’t necessarily a god.

    Personally, I hold to the theory that it’s the magic chicken who lives as the centre of the sun and keeps it from going nova who done it.

  36. says

    “Arnold Ruge” is Dennis Markuze/David Mabus. Just so you know, he’s back and spamming madly. He’s also back to emailing me every day.

  37. David Marjanović says

    SC, your concern is noted as is your offensive way of calling out Inaji.
    Good night.

    While I can believe Chas didn’t mean any harm, he’s been around here for far too long to be able to plead ignorance about why some of us are finding what he said problematic. He says shit, he gets called out for it, he denies he said any such thing, he’s presented with proof that he’s lying, he goes away for a few days or a week or two and comes back and does the same damn shit. And every time he’s just absolutely dismayed at the reaction he gets. I’m a relative newb here and I’m already out of benefit of the doubt to extend to him. He’s either dense enough to exert gravity over celestial bodies or he’s malicious.

    You know what?

    I think he really is that dense. I even think it’s close to being plain obvious.

    I find it really difficult to forecast how what I say will come across. Evidently Chas has the same problem – with the added issue that, when he’s grumpy enough, he doesn’t seem to care. He casually says stuff, people think all possible malicious consequences were intended and call him out on that, Chas says he didn’t intend them and is extremely frustrated to have to spell that out…

    Look, god-fans, if the universe had to have a cause, it isn’t necessarily a god. If it is a god, it isn’t necessarily a god who cares about what’s inside the universe. And if it is, it may not care about our little part. And if it does, it may not care about what we do with our little parts.

    You can’t go from a philosopher’s god to Yahu-Wahu in one uncaused lurch. The universe may have been created to be the crotch rivet in an extra-dimensional suit of Gundam armor, fulfilling all the premises of that silly video, and meaning less than fuck-all to us here in reality.

    O hai! I maded you an Internetz. And I did not eated it.

    Just so you know, he’s back and spamming madly. He’s also back to emailing me every day.

    The judge will be overjoyed to learn of this recidivism.

    ^ It took me an estimated two minutes of thinking to come up with this: I want to make sure the police has been informed, and I don’t want to annoy PZ by telling him the obvious. How long do such things take you, Seven of Mine? I honestly have no clue.

  38. David Marjanović says

    Eh, forgot to reply to the first quote.

    As far as I can tell, though, SC’s concern is a real, serious issue – even though it’s easy to exaggerate, and even though there are plenty of assholes who exaggerate it to echo chamber in 6 tweets before breakfast.

    I would rather hesitate to predict what Ináji (or anyone) will find offensive.

    Is there even a way to point out the leap of logic SC mentioned without offending people who don’t expect of themselves that they’ll commit logical fallacies once in a while?

    Disclosure of my subcultural background: when people think I got something wrong in public, they don’t merely tell me in public, they use peer-reviewed papers to do so. I can think of four cases, four different papers by different people, off the top of my head.

  39. woozy says

    The new @33 (I didn’t think trolls got removed from thunderdome)

    Speaking of boxes, if everything inside a box is blue, and if everything put into that box becomes blue… what colour is the box? And do you see how that relates to other questions?

    Either I slept through this example in Sophistry 101 or I’m finally learning to forget things in my middle age. As there’s no reason for a box to be considered inside itself I don’t see why the box shouldn’t be any darned color at all. And if I *do* decide that the interior of the box is part of the box (which I don’t but that’s another non-head-scratching issue) then the interior (but just the interior) must be blue and …. so what? It’s hardly Russell’s paradox, is it?

    Or is it? Where was my sophomoric thought process *supposed* to take me?

    Sorry. I do like these types of paradoxes but I’m not familiar with this one and I’m just not seeing it.

  40. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I find it really difficult to forecast how what I say will come across. Evidently Chas has the same problem – with the added issue that, when he’s grumpy enough, he doesn’t seem to care. He casually says stuff, people think all possible malicious consequences were intended and call him out on that, Chas says he didn’t intend them and is extremely frustrated to have to spell that out…

    Not caring is the problem. Speaking only for myself, I wouldn’t have a problem with him putting his foot in his mouth if, when this was pointed out to him, he reacted some way other than insisting that everyone else was wrong, succumbing to confirmation bias, blah blah blah, anything and everything other than consider even the remotest possibility that the fault was his.

  41. says

    There are people still reading Chas’s spewing? Get the Greasemonkey add on. It’s amazing how many threads are improved by ignoring Chas’s worthless mutterings.

  42. alexanderz says

    Say what you want, how you want.

    Thank you, I think I will.

    I have a quibble with people who change their nicknames. If you must do it, could you at least keep the previous name in parenthesis after the new one for a short transitional period?
    Otherwise I have no idea who I’m talking to and you’re messing with my alphabetized list of people I’ve talked to.

    Cheers.

  43. says

    @A Masked Avenger

    “In order to achieve goal A, one ought to do B.” So the fuck what? I care fuck-all about achieving A. Next?

    yes indeed!

    since it is a fact that you care fuck all about achieving A, therefore it is a fact that the “ought statement” is false.

    now just realize that it is a fact that when you do care about something, you can get true ought statements.

    you said other things…but it appears you were responding to some quotes that I myself did not say.

    The discussion is valuable, but ultimately it’s turtles all the way down.

    incorrect.

    It is a fact about us whether we desire something or not. Just like with other sciences, the basis is reality, and we discover it the best that we can.

  44. alexanderz says

    Thanks Inaji #55, that’s what prompted me to write that. You’re one of the people whose comments I always read fully instead of just skimming, so the change kinda threw me off.
    Off topic: What’s that yellowish rectangular feed in this photo? Is that a slice of cheesecake or some bread?

  45. Nick Gotts says

    brianpansky@54,

    since it is a fact that you care fuck all about achieving A, therefore it is a fact that the “ought statement” is false.

    a) No, it’s not, because the statment you quote merely says that if an agent wants to achieve goal A, they ought to do B, and that remains true even if a specific agent, or indeed all agents, has no such desire.
    b) This is in any case irrelevant to A Masked Avenger’s point. Such “oughts” as your statement involves are conditional on entertaining a particular goal, and no-one I know of denies that such conditional oughts can be derived from facts about the world, or “is” statements. What A Masked Avenger is saying is that the goals you should pursue cannot be derived from statements that do not already include statements about your goals; equivalantly, that unconditional “oughts” cannot be derived from “is” statements.

    However, A Masked Avenger is wrong to say that ethical principles must be treated as axioms, and in fact xe appears to admit this by saying:

    I’ve already said that there are decent supporting arguments.

    Of course you can treat them as axioms, but you can treat any collection of assertions as axioms, and look at what can be derived from them. But you can also argue rationally about whether a specific set of axioms is useful, fruitful, unacceptable because of their consequences, or whatever – as is done even within mathematics and logic. As you say:

    And don’t forget (as the wikipedia writer seems to) that some things that we think are basic values might be able to be changed by reason and evidence, particularly when different values a person holds are shown to conflict.

    Indeed so. Ethical judgements are not matters of objective fact, but neither are they merely expressions of opinion, or “arbitrary”, to use a favourite term of both religious and atheist foundationalists, because they can be rationally criticised and defended.

  46. says

    Transposed here to avoid thread derail from the Solution to Abortion thread:
    dianne

    Though I suspect that there’s a strong component of idiosyncratic decisions involved, i.e. that it’s not so much that pharma firms did a cost/benefit analysis and decided against developing this drug but rather that some exec looked at it and didn’t like it and that was that.

    A whole, whole lot of corporate decisions are made on that basis, in every industry. And because the corporate structure is totally hierarchical, no one can say differently, and thus it sticks. Just one more way that capitalism is completely fucking broken.

  47. says

    @57
    Nick Gotts

    your point “a” is right of course. I should have been more careful of what I was saying. I was going for something more like “so the statement that ‘you in fact ought to do B’ is false” where the “if” has been removed.

    What A Masked Avenger is saying is that the goals you should pursue cannot be derived from statements that do not already include statements about your goals; equivalantly, that unconditional “oughts” cannot be derived from “is” statements.

    Yes, Masked Avenger is full of confusing red herrings that I will not touch upon here. The point of discussion was specifically when A Masked Avenger said:

    it’s perfectly possible to be a scientist who considers certain questions off limits, as long as they’re inaccessible to science in the first place.

    and I contend that such matters are not off limits to science.

  48. says

    *by “such matters” I meant what we ought to do, and even “women are people too”.

    Masked Avenger asserted that these things were “inaccessible to science in the first place” and was incorrect.

  49. Nick Gotts says

    brianpansky@61,

    Yes, I agree they are not “off limits to science”, but neither is “what we ought to do”, in the sense of “what our top-level goals should be”, discoverable by science.

  50. says

    @62
    Nick Gotts

    “what our top-level goals should be” [is not] discoverable by science.

    the fact that we can’t discover “what our top-level goals should be” is only trivially true because of literal incoherence (similar to saying that “what is north of the north pole” is not discoverable by science) . No incoherent thing can be “discovered by science”.

    I think this is again a red herring that is not the subject of discussion.

    and now to address what you were trying to support:

    “what we ought to do” [is not] discoverable by science.

    But it is discoverable by science, because we do have goals.

  51. consciousness razor says

    This is in any case irrelevant to A Masked Avenger’s point.

    I still don’t know what the point was supposed to be. They seemed to be making several contradictory points. I definitely got the gist that it’s impossible … because of reasons. But that’s about it.

    Such “oughts” as your statement involves are conditional on entertaining a particular goal, and no-one I know of denies that such conditional oughts can be derived from facts about the world, or “is” statements. What A Masked Avenger is saying is that the goals you should pursue cannot be derived from statements that do not already include statements about your goals; equivalantly, that unconditional “oughts” cannot be derived from “is” statements.

    Who cares? There’s no such thing as an “unconditional goal.” You have to know something about the world (and there has to be some way the world actually is) before you can act upon it in order to do things which would achieve a specific goal. So you need facts about the world; and if the facts were different, it is not necessarily the case that it would be the same result. So we have no reason to expect objective statements of the facts to be unconditional, or to lack this would-be dynamic entirely. It’s not as if these things are (or must be) necessarily true. That’s just not how this works.

  52. Athywren says

    @woozy, 48

    It might make more sense if the original @4 was still there! On its own, I guess it does look like it’s meant to be a deeper point than it actually is. :P
    I was responding to a guy who seemed to think that accepting that the universe might not need a cause or a beginning would make an atheist’s head explode, but that’s based on looking at things within the universe, noticing that they tend to have causes on the macro level, and then assuming that the same applies automatically to the universe itself. Looking at the blue things, and asserting that the box has to be blue. Not that the box necessarily isn’t blue, there’s just no reason to assume that our observations of the inside must apply to the outside.
    Of course, if there was a god, and that god did more than create the box, it does seem that whatever they put inside the box in order to do things would turn blue… at least as long as it was inside the box – perhaps leaving the box turns things green, who knows?

  53. consciousness razor says

    Looking at the blue things, and asserting that the box has to be blue. Not that the box necessarily isn’t blue, there’s just no reason to assume that our observations of the inside must apply to the outside.

    This is on the right track, I guess, but it’s more confusing. In what sense are causes like the color blue?

    If causes are regularities we find in nature via induction (since we never observe “causes” themselves), not “laws” somewhere on the outside necessitating that natural objects “obey the laws,” then there’s nothing to talk about. The thing which you think needs to be explained is that the universe exists — you’re looking for a “cause” of that — which would be to say that you’re looking for regularities in the existenceness of the universe itself. The concept breaks down immediately. Where do you even start? Are there other universes to look at, to see how existenceness ordinarily occurs? And what would Jesus or Vishnu or whatever have to do with any of this?

    If natural laws are meant to be somehow external to the results of natural laws, so that they’re necessitating those results, then you’re asking something like “what necessitates the things that necessitate everything else?” Which is pretty silly. What if there isn’t yet another thing which you’re also saying exists (in addition to these “laws”) on top of the all of the observable stuff? And what if there’s one more thing and many more after that? Do we really have to keep playing this game forever, or is it that the only winning move is not to play? Again, it’s not clear why we would ever start talking about Jesus or Vishnu, since there’s no reason to think that all of this (if it were an appropriate way to think about natural laws) couldn’t in principle be done naturalistically. Maybe we do have laws causing laws causing laws causing, etc. … causing everything that exists. That doesn’t help theism at all.

  54. consciousness razor says

    Are there other universes to look at, to see how existenceness ordinarily occurs?

    It’s a clunkier way of saying it, but just to clarify, the question is whether there are others of this universe, not whether there’s a multiverse containing distinct universes. You could ask the same sort of thing of a multiverse. The point is just that “they” would all need to be identical, and need to start from the same “initial conditions” (not existing). Then we observe that they exist, with whatever the physical initial conditions are of all of the objects in the universe (or multiverse). And we need to say that there’s something which regularly occurs in that situation, besides simply that they exist, which explains existence itself. Even if somehow we were in that situation and could do all of that, I have no idea what such an explanation would even look like. But it definitely wouldn’t be something like “God loves you, Bible-quote, Bible-quote, Bible-quote.”

  55. says

    @A Masked Avenger

    [from islam and science thread I linked to in 54]

    you’re not listening at all.

    it’s like a conversation with a recording. a really difficult to follow, ranting recording.

    It causes suffering. THAT’S objectively true. But that doesn’t make it immoral, unless I already believe that causing suffering is immoral.

    believe? believe that it’s immoral?

    have you been listening?

    No, not if you “believe that it’s immoral”. Desires! Goals! Preference! They are not “beliefs”! They are facts about you!

  56. says

    I’ll try to set it out really simply. The following are two things which can be factually true:

    1) you do indeed have goal/desire A
    2) doing B is the way to get A

    everyone with me so far?

    now look and see that “you should do B to get A” is factually true.

    Now just truncate: the statement “you should do B” is true!

    Was that so hard?

    The only possible problem is a conflict where achieving one goal fails another goal. But solving this is simply a meta of the same scenario. Given that you can’t achieve both goals, simply appeal to a meta desire: the desire to do neither, or the desire to do one over the other.

  57. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ David Marjanović

    The judge will be overjoyed to learn of this recidivism.

    ^ It took me an estimated two minutes of thinking to come up with this: I want to make sure the police has been informed, and I don’t want to annoy PZ by telling him the obvious. How long do such things take you, Seven of Mine? I honestly have no clue.

    I know you said “point taken” above but I just noticed this from earlier. David, if all of the comments I’ve begun, scrapped, restarted, scrapped again, reworded, etc. etc. had actually gotten posted, I’d have left a really, really lot more comments in various places around the interwebs. Which is really kind of the whole point. I know I suck at this whole interacting with people thing, so, when I do it, I’m careful to excess because I give a shit about whether my words cause harm.

    And that’s why I don’t really care if Chas is frustrated that his good intentions are constantly in doubt. The more someone just keeps blundering into rooms in heavy boots with no regard for the toes they step on and, when asked to stop, blames other people for putting their toes where they were walking, the more cluelessness starts to look like malice.

  58. woozy says

    @67.

    No, I saw the original #4. I even responded to it.

    I just figured there was probably a classic paradox of a box which magically turns things blue that I wasn’t familiar with. (Are you familiar with the paradox of the color grue which is a color that appears green until May 17th, 2026 when it will magically change to appear blue; the question is how do you know which things are actually green and which things are actually grue?)

    More important than any observations about first causes is the realization that as stated the universe and its causes is utterly abstract and independent of any actual universe. Thus what ever argument is made of our universe is no more or less valid and conclusive than the universe of the Lord of the Rings, the universe of the Game of Thrones, my made up universe of Athie the pink atheist bunny, etc. Was the video maker claiming that I can’t even make up a fictional universe that didn’t have a first cause?

    Thus this is strictly a logical abstraction and like all logical abstractions is, according to Goedel, are either incomplete or inconsistant. Thus I can always ask “who created God” and create a paradox just as I can always construct the liars paradox, Russell’s paradox, or the barber’s paradox. Like these classic paradoxes this observation means nothing in reality. In reality there is no town where they enacted a law that a city-appointed barber must shave all those who do not shave themselves (and if they had at least one person would simply break the law and not lose any sleep over it), the sentence “This sentence is false” does not refer to any self-existent external meaning, and “Everything comes from somewhere” breaks down in the first 10^-32 seconds after the Big Bang. End of story.

  59. ChasCPeterson says

    he’s presented with proof that he’s lying

    Fuck you. Sincerely. Fuck you.
    I’ll cop to clueless, I guess, and even very, very occasional malice (retaliatory only; there are people here who have treated me in no way but like shit for years), but I have never lied here. Ever.
    Show me one, just example of “proof that I was lying” and I’ll never darken PZ’s (yes, PZ’s, not your) blog again.
    Otherwise?

    Fuck you.

    The rest you pseudonymous dipshits can have a nice day.

  60. ChasCPeterson says

    I meant “one, just one example” but it works OK the way it is. Hooray for polysemy.

    (By the way, I second the suggestion to use killfile if somebody–say, me–consistently annoys you. I use it all the time (though I often peek)).

  61. chigau (違う) says

    Sven DiMilo
    Miles whatever
    “pseudonymous”
    you have jumped the shark
    Piss off.

  62. ChasCPeterson says

    Last one.

    It’s absolutely true that I don’t care what most of you think of me or my opinions, or my way of expressing them. I really don’t.

    I have earned my opinions through a relatively (around here) long life of thought, reading, struggle, and accomplishment. I stand by everything I’ve ever said here, however grotesquely misinterpreted it’s often been, or not. Yeah, I disagree with a lot of you about a lot of stuff. And I don’t think very highly about the reasoning ability of many of you. I disagree with PZ, too, though about less stuff.
    So what? Is an echo chamber really what you actually want? PZ doesn’t. And it’s his blog.
    The tribal confirmation bias around here is obvious to anybody who isn’t willfully swimming in it. PZ knows this, I suspect, which is why he won’t ban me for disagreeing, or even for being an occasional asshole about it (far more occasional, btw, than some of you think; see: confirmation bias). I’d have to do something, you know, bannable, per the Rules. But I have concrete evidence that he feels differently, or at least used to. (do you?)

    And you kinow what? It’s Not Your Blog. It’s his.

    But you know what; if I’m wrong? If PZ decides to pander to the meangirl (and boy!)(and other!) Hordelings and ban me forever?

    I won’t care about that, either.

  63. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Mabus back huh? I’m assuming someone has contacted the authorities.

    Still want my FINISHED but the dude needs to be sent away and given help.

  64. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Show me one, just example of “proof that I was lying” and I’ll never darken PZ’s (yes, PZ’s, not your) blog again.

    Welp the quoted line is an example of definitely one instance (possibly two if your track record on not doing things you say you’re not going to do is any indication).

    See also:

    During the “secular argument for abortion” debacle, i.e. the last time you threw a tantrum in Thunderdome because you couldn’t figure out why people read you uncharitably. You claimed you’d never said anything remotely resembling accusing anyone of political correctness or groupthink or of being unable to think for themselves. See also: Daz’s link in #83. I quoted another line from you in one of the Thunderdomes around the same time and carlie and SallyStrange also provided links to other posts. There’s multiple additional examples of you expressing the same sentiment within a few posts of the one Daz links to and Daz and carlie both confronted you about that particular one within 20 posts and it was also brought up here.

    You had not only denied having ever said such a thing but impugned the reading comprehension of everyone who thought your words could possibly mean what they mean.

    So, ya know what? Fuck you for apparently thinking we’re all stupid enough to forget this shit just because you deny it happened. Add gaslighting to the list of shit you do that makes people think you’re a fucking asshole.

    It’s absolutely true that I don’t care what most of you think of me or my opinions, or my way of expressing them. I really don’t.

    Even when your way of expressing your opinions is potentially triggering and harmful?

    It’s Not Your Blog. It’s his.

    Good thing you’re around to explain these things to us Chas. What the fuck do you think your point is exactly?

  65. rorschach says

    SC @36,

    But when there’s a social dynamic in which some people aren’t expected to acknowledge these mistakes and those criticized for invalid reasons (are expected to) accept or even justify it, there’s a problem.

    Story of the last few years here.

    CCP @85,

    So what? Is an echo chamber really what you actually want? PZ doesn’t. And it’s his blog.

    I don’t think that many of the newer people here are even aware of this social dynamic, let alone bothered by it.

    Beatrice,

    I think not giving everything Chas writes the most uncharitable reading possible is also good.

    I agree, people should try that sometime.

    You know, the fact that quite a few people who may not have majority social group support nowadays are still hanging around here and participating in comments is actually a good sign, it tells me that we had a good thing going for a while there, a discussion forum just like PZ presumably had it in mind. One that spoke with a loud and often unified voice.

    But just as atheism/skepticism has gone to shits, so has this forum to a degree( I’m not terribly bright or knowledgeable, so I used to learn stuff here from other commenters, but not anymore). It’s regrettable, but these things happen. I’m still reading most days, but I can not now comment and participate the way I used to. Coming back here these days to me feels a little bit like visiting a diseased old friend in the nursing home, they have changed beyond recognition, but you get the odd good moment or memory out of it.

  66. Nick Gotts says

    brianpansky@65,

    the fact that we can’t discover “what our top-level goals should be” is only trivially true because of literal incoherence

    It’s not incoherent at all. If your top-level goal is to invent a perpetual motion machine, then you should abandon it as unachieveable. Similarly, if it is to obey the will of the Great Green Arkleseizure (assuming there is no such being, or that its will is undiscoverable). Moreover, if your top-level goal is to maximise your own wealth and power, I have no hesitation in saying that you should change it, because it is likely to cause others suffering. But there is no set of facts about the world that will show you that you should, if you relish the suffering of others, or are indifferent to it. However, I may be able to bring you to change that goal, by encouraging care for others in you.

    “what we ought to do” [is not] discoverable by science.

    But it is discoverable by science, because we do have goals.

    It is not discoverable without prespecifying the goals, and the choice of top-level goals (we can change our top-level goals, and most of us do in the course of growing up) cannot be made solely on scientific grounds. The belief that top-level goals are immune from criticism and revision is just another form of foundationalism, and as unjustified as any other.

    consciousness razor@66,

    There’s no such thing as an “unconditional goal.”

    Perhaps that’s why I didn’t use that term.

    You have to know something about the world (and there has to be some way the world actually is) before you can act upon it in order to do things which would achieve a specific goal. So you need facts about the world; and if the facts were different, it is not necessarily the case that it would be the same result. So we have no reason to expect objective statements of the facts to be unconditional, or to lack this would-be dynamic entirely. It’s not as if these things are (or must be) necessarily true. That’s just not how this works.

    I’ve no idea what you mean here. Could you please restate it?

  67. says

    @89
    Nick Gotts

    It’s not incoherent at all…The belief that top-level goals are immune from criticism and revision is just another form of foundationalism, and as unjustified as any other.

    I took “top level goals” to mean goals/desires etc. that actually cannot be moved beyond. But I guess you didn’t mean that.

    So now, with this new information, I shall respond to your previous post yet again:

    “what our top-level goals should be” [is not] discoverable by science.

    False. See my post #75. Particularly the end paragraph. (though looking at it now I see that I accidentally did not provide an exhaustive list of the options, such as wanting both equally)

    And perhaps my use of the word “goal” in 75 hides the the source of goals too much. Maybe try “desires”, “what will satisfy us”, or something.

    the choice of top-level goals [...] cannot be made solely on scientific grounds.

    This is only true so far as we cannot choose all of facts about ourselves. We are animals that experience certain kinds of motivations.

    But look at my post 75. I laid out two things which are facts discoverable to science, which tell us what we should do. And please note that bit about conflicts.

  68. Anri says

    This discussion over objective morality sounds more like a definitional fight over the term ‘morality’ than anything else. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we could create an objective definition of morality by asserting that it is the direction taken that causes the least amount of suffering, overall, in the relevant subjects (as measured by, I dunno, fMRI or something). Clearly, this is not a practical definition (you’d need something like Varley’s CC to implement it), nor am I saying it’s a good definition, but it is objective.
    From there, you could structure all of your moral reasoning along these lines.

    Am I way off base here?

  69. anteprepro says

    I see Chas is still dropping turds in the punch bowl in the name of defying Polite Correctitude. What a lovely dear soul that one is.

    Anri:

    This discussion over objective morality sounds more like a definitional fight over the term ‘morality’ than anything else

    It’s a definitional fight over “objective” to some degree. As far as I can tell, you are on base.

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

    @Anri/anteprepro

    I also think Anri is on base, but missing that the fight is more over “objective” than over “morality”.

    Not about Anri:

    The thing that drives me nuts about the theists who drive by here to have this conversation si that they invariably conflate the two: for them, if it’s not objective, it’s not morality. So they come in asking if you believe objective morality exists (usually without ever having encountered the school of non-cognitivism, natch), and when you say “no” they insist that you don’t believe in morality, usually without even noticing those pretty star streaks that indicate something with vaguely anti-Ensteinian implications about the speed with which they’ve shifted the goalposts.

    If they would have a clue and say, “I disagree that morality is subjective,” or “I am not familiar with non-cognitivism, but don’t understand how it can evade the sub/ob split,” it might be possible to have a conversation. But the substance of what they say is always, “I’m moral. You are not. Agree with me or I’ll tell my friends you’re Hitler.” 

    Drives me up a wall.

  71. alexanderz says

    David Marjanović #78:
    My list of names. Don’t you forget people sometimes?
    I have a bad memory and I forget names all the time, both online and offline, so I make lists. It’s helpful if, for example, I encounter a thread with over 500 comments (not unusual here) and I want to get the gist of it quickly. With a list I know who I must read, who I may skim and who I should avoid at all costs. It’s particularly useful when replying to comments, because some people are just unpleasant to talk with.

  72. says

    @93
    Anri

    Anyone can make a random definition, and then see if something does objectively fit that definition…but it would not be true that you should do the things that fit that definition, so you would just be playing a word game.

    And, as others point out, you can have all kinds of fights and confusion over what is meant by “objective”.

  73. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    I cannot tell the difference between the photoshops of Breitbart California and the ‘pit.

  74. neuroguy says

    @93:

    This discussion over objective morality sounds more like a definitional fight over the term ‘morality’ than anything else.

    I think we’d all agree that morality at least contains the concepts of how humans should act in order to accomplish some (fill in the blank) goal.

    The “debate” between subjective and objective morality involves one side harping on the fact that there is no agreement what the goal should be; and the other side pointing out that once we determine that goal, whether or not it is obtained is an objective fact about the world. It makes as much sense as arguing about what the sum is of all angles in a triangle when you haven’t specified what type of geometry you’re in.

  75. says

    @100
    Crip Dyke

    hmm, the link says:

    according to non-cognitivists, when people utter moral sentences they are not typically expressing states of mind which are beliefs or which are cognitive in the way that beliefs are. Rather they are expressing non-cognitive attitudes more similar to desires, approval or disapproval.

    so it says that moral statements are desires instead of beliefs. and it says that the statements are neither true nor false. hmmm…

    I’d say that “when people utter moral sentences such as ‘that action would be wrong’ they ARE typically expressing belief. Someone can believe that some action will get them what they desire.”

    Some of the facts involved are desires. But that is only half of it, desires are not actions. Moral actions are the ones that achieve the desires. And what achieves the desires? Well, sometimes there is uncertainty, but we go with our best reasoning about what we believe to be true.

    I dunno, it kind of looks like non-cognitivists only see half of what is being said, not the other half.

  76. says

    Hee.

    So I was watching the Final Four (men’s college basketball) games the other day on TNT. I was outraged at how blatantly biased the announcers were. I didn’t understand how they could get away with it, or why the complaints weren’t flooding in. I even recorded part, to check my impressions.

    Turns out I…missed the memo.

  77. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    NFL Running Back Arian Foster Says He’ll Teach His Daughter About the Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Most of it is what you might expect: Be kind, know your self-worth, handle money wisely… but then I got to the final item and did a spit-take:

    6. The flying spaghetti monster. There are billions of people on Earth with hundreds of religions and sects that trickle off each other. I will never tell her what to believe in. I know parents are very influential on kids’ spiritual beliefs and that can be a positive or negative thing. I can give her a basic understanding of religions when she starts showing interest and asking questions. But I will remain silent otherwise. How can I make a young mind believe this is the truth for them when they don’t yet have the capacity nor the cognitive desire to delve into something like this? If she shows interest I would advise her to fully investigate a religion and see if it fits her. And if she chooses none of the above, I’ll be fine with that as well. The values I instill in her should guide her to her decision. What’s most important, I believe, is to support her decision no matter what.

  78. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, the smell of a lying a bullshitting MRA farting and releasing a cloud of noxious vapor.
    *The Pullet Patrol™ airs out the place and lays out open containers of beta-cylclodextrins…..

  79. bumsandwich says

    Why don’t you just try to separate your feelings from the facts? Go on, just give it a go…

  80. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why don’t you just try to separate your feelings from the facts? Go on, just give it a go…/blockquote>What facts? I see nothing on this thread, other than your attitude. By the way, I’m an old fart male, and know how many hours after major sporting events likes tonight’s NCAA BB finals are talked about around the water cooler. Hours by males in fact, while the women are hard at doing their jobs…..

  81. Anri says

    Ok, perfectly fair, and good to know I’m at least partially getting what’s going on.

    It seems to me that you could create objective morality without a problem, by defining morality in terms of something measurable. The question of that being an acceptable, or positive, or universally accepted morality is totally different, of course… but isn’t that the case with strictly subjective moralities as well?

    If you’re going to argue that morality cannot be subjective, it seems to me you’d want to start off by defining morality and then demonstrating that your (exclusively subjective) definition is inherently superior to one that can be measured objectively.
    Of course, how to do that demonstration with something that, by definition, cannot be quantified objectively sounds like a difficult task. But then, I’m not trained in philosophy.

    . . .

    Oh, and bumsandwich, please ask for a refund on your mail-order Troll School diploma. You were robbed – can’t get certification with skills that feeble.
    Better luck next life.

  82. consciousness razor says

    according to non-cognitivists, when people utter moral sentences they are not typically expressing states of mind which are beliefs or which are cognitive in the way that beliefs are. Rather they are expressing non-cognitive attitudes more similar to desires, approval or disapproval.

    A few points:
    (1) I don’t know how the things which people are “typically” expressing would help us. That sort of sociological question isn’t really getting to the point. It has to do with what kinds of expressions are genuinely moral expressions. And it has to do with the idea that there are genuinely moral expressions, statements, concepts, actions, etc. There actually are better and worse ways of approaching moral issues. It isn’t some kind of mistake to say it’s “true” that an action is better or worse than other.

    (2) I think the belief/desire dichotomy, as the non-cognitivist here would have it, is just confusion. Beliefs represent a propensity to act in some way or another. You believe a proposition P is true, and that represents to you (or someone else, when you say it to them) the idea that you will do some set of behavior X consistent with the belief/knowledge of P. So, I don’t see how this characterization leaves any room for a realistic form of “belief.” It’s isolating belief and actions from one another, which is essentially excluding belief from anything in the observable world. Do people believe things are true, then nothing at all happens? If that’s not the case, then what exactly does a belief look like? It’s as if you can’t see that CR believes P is true, because anything I do might be construed as my “desires” or “motivations” or “approval” (of my own actions, possibly) which are supposed to be separated from the belief. But in reality, these things are all tied together. You are “seeing” a belief whenever a person acts upon it. Sometimes they’ll even say what they think they believe, but their actions betray what their real beliefs are. In any case, there’s no reason to make this more complicated than it needs to be.

    (3) The same kind of things could be said about this term “cognitive,” which is presumably opposed to something like our emotional brain functions. It’s trying to split apart a person’s psychology into these different categories, when that’s simply not how people actually work. At best, it’s a very vague concept, with very fuzzy boundaries all over the place, and that’s especially unhelpful when it comes to understanding something like moralilty. So much of it involves things like pain and suffering and satisfaction (hence emotions must be involved somehow), and it also involves very complicated rational decision-making is required to handle dilemmas, conflicts of interest, weighing the outcomes and the priorities themselves, and simply evaluating the bare-bones facts of what the situation is when you’re making a decision. You shouldn’t just assert ahead of time that “morality” is only that one piece of the process, or that all of the “cognitive” bits all depend on it somehow or another. For that matter, I don’t think the evidence we have now is supporting that at all.

    (4) Consider this: maybe you shouldn’t care about the facts I just talked about above (i.e., the “bare-bones,” no-nonsense, best-science-as-we-have-it-today, empirical facts about the world: knowing whatever situation you’re actually in when you make a decision). Maybe it’s not “true” that you should understand that. But that doesn’t seem right, does it? Why should someone try to understand and rely upon the facts? Does this seem like just some “desire” or “attitude” that you happen to have, or is this getting at something true about what people ought to do? Maybe I’m not asking about a genuinely moral kind of “should.” I think it is, but if it’s not, then what is it and how do you know that?

  83. says

    Is it true the PZ Myer’s asshole smells of donkey semen?

    Whether it does or doesn’t…who gives a flying fuck? It’s apparent that this is something on your mind. The question is why? Why are you pondering PZ’s sex life?
    Your attempt to paint PZ as if he’s into bestiality is pathetic and, as typical with you laughable trolls, completely unevidenced.

  84. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gotta put some facts somewhere.

    From C&E News, the American Chemical Society magazine that runs an annual salary survey.:

    For instance, for chemists who earned the degree two to four years ago, the median salary for men was $48,500 and for women was $45,500. The median salary for chemists who earned their degree 10 to 14 years ago was $80,000 for men and $75,100 for women. The gender-based gap was much greater for chemists who earned a bachelor’s degree more than 14 years ago.

    Link suggesting that more hours on the job doesn’t lead to more work being done. How one works while on the job is more important than sheer hours.

  85. says

    Now I’m curious about what donkey semen smalls like. Is there great variation across species? Are differences apparent to some members of some species but not others? Can humans identify human semen by scent?

  86. chigau (違う) says

    Alexandra (from the Pink thread)
    OMG
    I am not an Amazonian but those boots!

  87. says

    chigau:
    They’re Crocs, so you’ll probably be able to find them elsewhere. ;)

    To answer your “how’s things?”:
    I really don’t remember how much I’ve divulged lately, but things are pretty rough at the moment. Mr Alexandra lost his job, we moved in with his parents, THIS FUCKING WINTER WILL NEVER END, and I haven’t slept in about 2 months.

    But on the other hand, the DarkToddler has learned who Batman is (and how to say “Batman” in a growly voice”), so I must be doing something right.

    And on that note, Mr just gave me the “we need to go to bed” face, so I’ll check in tomorrow.

    *massive hugs!*

  88. says

    rorschach and I have been interacting and arguing for longer than most people here have been around. In the good old days there was fun, disagreement, sometimes vicious conflict, in the context of a collective attempt to maintain a commitment to intellectual honesty.

    rorschach – I’m writing a post about Sartre and torture. It’s unofficially dedicated to you.

    :)

  89. chigau (違う) says

    Alexandra
    **megahugs** back.
    My SO is already unconscious but I will also be soon.
    Our Winter Is Over.
    I know this because I hung the laundry outside and because it is late, it will stay out for the night.
    yay for The DarkToddler grokking The Batman.

  90. ChasCPeterson says

    Care to explain?

    \
    Of course not. You know perfectly well that chigau’s thing is being juust cryptic enough to get away with it. Twas always thus.

  91. chigau (違う) says

    SC (Salty Current), OM #118
    I really have to be very disappointed.
    I really have to wonder why I thought you were smarter than that.
    I really have to wonder why you chose to introduce ‘exploitation’ into this.
    I really have to wonder why you refuse to quote ‘nym and number.
    I really have to wonder why I am not in bed.

  92. ChasCPeterson says

    I will say that a thread including SC, rorschach, and Rev. BDC evokes a kind of nostalgia.

  93. says

    121: case in point

    Yes.

    I will say that a thread including SC, rorschach, and Rev. BDC evokes a kind of nostalgia.

    :) I miss some other people, too. Hope they’re doing well…

  94. ChasCPeterson says

    *deep sigh*
    That’s what I’m talkin about. ‘Birdsong’ might just be my favorite Dead tune (at the moment), and that version’s almost as fine as the contemporaneous one on Reckoning.
    My first shoes were about 6 months before that and that’s exactly what Garcia will always look like in my mind’s eye.
    Thanks for that.

  95. alexanderz says

    ChasCPeterson #126:
    Your first shoes were 6 months before 1981? So you’re not even 35 yet? And you say you had a “relatively (around here) long life of thought, reading, struggle, and accomplishment” (comment #85)?

    Dude, not cool! There are pensioners here, and not just one or two. There was even a guest appearance by PZ’s professor. By Western standards your life has only just begun!

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

    Discussion of non-cognitivism:

    (Primarily for brianpansky currently #101 & consciousness razor, currently #109)

    Please note that i’m not specifically endorsing non-congnitivist meta-ethics.

    While I agree that “Murder? Boo!” and “Sharing? Yay!” are not truth-apt (not easily said to be true or false) I’m not convinced that jeering or cheering actions is all that takes place in commonplace ethical statements.

    What pisses me off about the drive-by theist objective-morality trolls is that they don’t even know that there’s another school of thought out there…while they hold themselves out as having thought about this and solved the thorny problem of what meta-ethics “is”. How can they be certain if they haven’t even been aware of the existence of 1/3rd of the possibilities?

    But no, I’m not that interested in exploring non-cognitivism more than I already have, and since it hasn’t convinced me yet, it’s unlikely to.

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

    Monitor Note

    Alert sent.

  98. rorschach says

    I’m writing a post about Sartre and torture. It’s unofficially dedicated to you.

    Not many people in black wool turtlenecks these days :-) I worry about how future generations are going to learn about not just existentialist philosophy, but also political movements and theories, their roots and origins. How many 25yo teachers have heard of Hume or Hobbes? Or Engels, or the anarchists, or anything a little off the beaten black and white track.

    I’m reasonably happy with my current work in skin cancer medicine and other stuff I’m doing, but it’s demanding and takes time away from reading and re-reading the stuff I want to read and re-read, and Sartre would be one author I’d love to revisit.

    Treating osteoporosis or sun damages is fine, but understanding the world is better. You just don’t get paid well(or at all) for trying.

    I miss some other people, too. Hope they’re doing well…

    Too many!!! I almost had a heart attack seeing Scott Hatfield and Wes Elsberry commenting the other day! And you others, you know who you are….

    While I am rambling aimlessly, we really need a Pharyngula clone here in Oz. The place is turning into a fascist Orwellian kleptocracy, with religious sleazebags fucking up our kids in primary schools with financial assistance from the government, and anti-intellectual nutbags pushing against female reproductive autonomy. All this while we indefinetely intern asylum seekers in concentration camps on remote pacific islands. It’s not pretty.

    I wish someone could translate, and put side by side, a speech by PM Abbott against one by a German, French, even British(actually, maybe not) head of state, the anti-intellectual emotional ad hom mode of political discourse here would be exposed bright as daylight for all to see.

    Dead concerts of 3 and a half hours would have been a demanding affair I imagine, sadly never went to one, saw the Stones in Munich in ’90 and Wolfgang Ambros in ’87, thats all wrt big names. Is there any ‘Dead song under 10 minutes?

  99. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    That started within a day or two of when Stollznow’s started. It sat around $450 and 4-5 donors for quite some time. It must have gotten a visibility boost from somewhere since I last looked.

  100. says

    Apparently the cross-over between the pitstains and the Misogyny Rape Apologists over at A Voice for Men facilitated that.

    Also falling under blasts from the past, Glen Davidson, seen over at the pit bearing grudges from his last engagements here. Sic transit…

  101. chaoticinflation says

    @Crip Dyke

    What pisses me off about the drive-by theist objective-morality trolls is that they don’t even know that there’s another school of thought out there…while they hold themselves out as having thought about this and solved the thorny problem of what meta-ethics “is”. How can they be certain if they haven’t even been aware of the existence of 1/3rd of the possibilities?

    We are aware of non-realist theories of morality. We just think they’re dumb.
    You should prepare some kind of defense for how you think your pet non-cognitivst theory can provide a sound basis for moral discourse, ethical judgements, human dignity, moral responsibility and human rights if you really wanted to.

  102. biasevolution says

    I keep being told that secularism and the scientists supporting evolution are doing so without a biased agenda but with an objective one, but this is clearly BS. There’s a fair amount of thoughts I’ll convey here, so I’ll split this post into two.

    Let’s take a look at some of this alleged non-biased “objectivity”.

    1. “BMC Evolutionary Biology is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of molecular and non-molecular evolution of all organisms, as well as phylogenetics and palaeontology.” http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcevolbiol/about

    “The Journal of Human Evolution concentrates on publishing the highest quality papers covering all aspects of human evolution.” http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-human-evolution

    “Evolution is both a scientific fact and a scientific theory.” http://www.paleosoc.org/evolutioncomplete.htm – This society is the publisher of several of the major journals in paleontology.

    There are a great number of others that I could continue with, such as the journal of mammalian evolution, journal of organic evolution, journal of molecular evolution, etc., and so on, but that’s enough to get you started if you’re interested in doing some actual, unbiased research into this topic.

    —————————————————–

    2) In addition, there are groups like the Rockefeller University, that own and control the philosophy of secular journals such as the Journal of Cell Biology and others. When researching these groups you learn that they are not only biased toward the evolutionary paradigm, but are also significantly funded by taxpayer money from the government. That creates a conflict of interest and violates the First Amendment.

    Clearly the government is financially supporting, and protecting the teaching of, thus giving de facto endorsement to the materialist worldview, which means that government is using tax dollars to support the atheist position. SCOTUS has ruled that atheism is a protected worldview under the First Amendment, yet the government continues to use taxpayer money to support it. Ultimately the government is violating the US Constitution by establishing atheism as a national religious position. It is using the judicial branch of government to protect atheo-evolutionism as a scientific paradigm, and also to exclude teaching of any other worldview in our public schools.

    —————————————————-

    3) The above probably isn’t going to have much impact on the thinking of you guys, although it should, so how about a government agency’s clearly unconstitutional actions in censorship of free speech, and lying to cover up its blatant discrimination against anyone who disagrees with the evolutionary paradigm?? Here is a short podcast, and articles that present differing views on this particular example, one from the secular, and one from the ID perspective. http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2010-01-04T17_00_29-08_00 , http://news.sciencemag.org/2011/08/california-science-center-pay-110000-settlement-over-intelligent-design-film , http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/12/why_the_california_science_cen030421.html

    The pressure to cancel the event was brought to bear by ideologues in the Smithsonian Institute. Keep in mind that the CSC is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, which is also infamous (from our perspective) for its actions in the incident with Richard Sternberg and the ID paper by Stephen Meyer. The SI is also sponsor for several scientific journals, which clearly display its evolutionary philosophy. Not surprisingly, the SI is also government funded. http://www.scholarlypress.si.edu/content.cfm?page=about

    ——————————————————-

    4) How about an intriguing case of attempted infiltration of a college ID club, by staff reporter Celeste Biever, from New Scientist magazine? All she needed to do was go to the meeting and she’d have been given the information she wanted, but instead she decided to disguise herself as a fellow student named Maria, interested in the ID movement. She was busted when the groups leader noticed the name of her e-mail was different than the name she gave in the e-mail. The group’s leader then e-mailed the editor of NS about the incident, who replied that they would deal with the situation internally. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1717497/posts , http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/10/new_scientists_replies_to_corn002760.html

    I think dealing with the situation internally is fine indeed, and disciplinary actions by an employer need not be made public, unless the employer wishes to do so. So how did New Scientist deal “internally” with the reporter’s unethical and dishonest tactics? I don’t know but she’s now a deputy editor, so you tell me.

    —————————————————

    5) Next we turn to Scientific American and its refusal to hire highly qualified, award-winning amateur scientist and science writer Forrest Mims. Mims applied to write a feature series for the magazine about “amateur” science projects, which he himself engages in because of his love for science. He showed some of his amateur projects to the editorial staff, and agreed to publish 3 test articles in the magazine.

    The staff at SA sang his praises and he was going to be hired, that is until he mentioned that he published an article in a Christian magazine. He was then asked if he believed in Darwinian evolution. Being a Christian, his answer was that he did not. Then came more questions about other issues such as the sanctity of life, his answers were consistent with the Christian perspective. Not surprisingly, SA then reneged on hiring Mims because his religious views conflict with the evolutionary paradigm.

    What does one’s religious beliefs have to do with writing a feature on amateur science projects? Absolutely nothing, but apparently the editorial staff feared that, in spite of them giving his work glaring reviews, allowing a known creationist to be associated with a prestigious scientific publication would be a “public relations nightmare”.

  103. biasevolution says

    Part 2

    6) Now let’s look at the philosophy of some agencies and organizations that play an important role in science and education. There are many I could list but just a few makes my point and gives you a starting point if you wish to do some research on your own.

    We’ve already seen the philosophy of the Smithsonian Institute, which is administered by the US government. The actions by those in charge during the Sternberg incident show that the agency’s philosophy is not even close to objective and unbiased. http://www.richardsternberg.com/smithsonian.php?page=summary

    National Academy of Sciences- “The Darwinian revolution began in a new understanding of how species change through time by means of natural selection,”… “He points out that functional biology, including medical research, will do well to incorporate the study of biodiversity and the process of evolution that has created it.” Full quote here… http://www.nasonline.org/programs/distinctive-voices/video-gallery/evolution.html

    American Association for the Advancement of Science- “The AAAS Board of Directors is deeply concerned, therefore, about legislation and policies recently introduced in a number of states and localities that would undermine the teaching of evolution and deprive students of the education they need to be informed and productive citizens in an increasingly technological, global community.” http://archives.aaas.org/docs/resolutions.php?doc_id=443 .

    National Association of Biology Teachers- “The frequently-quoted declaration of Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973) that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” accurately reflects the central, unifying role of evolution in the science of biology.” http://www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=92

    National Science Teachers Association- “The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) strongly supports the position that evolution is a major unifying concept in science and should be emphasized in K”12 science education frameworks and curricula. Furthermore, if evolution is not taught, students will not achieve the level of scientific literacy needed to be well-informed citizens and prepared for college and STEM careers.” http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/evolution.aspx

    National Coven for the Solicitation of Evolutionism- “NCSE provides information and advice as the premier institution dedicated to keeping evolution and climate change in the science classroom and to keeping creationism and climate change denial out.” http://ncse.com/about

    Anti-Christ’s liberal Lawyers Union- The ACLU is the legal wing of the NCSE. Since coming under the spell of Eugenie Scott, it functions as a liaison between the coven leader, and the judicial branch of the government. Its jack-booted thugs work hard to stamp out religious freedoms from the American landscape. The ACLU’s importance to the NCSE has grown due to the fact that evolutionism is the only principle or theory in the history of science, to need court protection from the general public. The ACLU spends its resources on busting the kneecaps of those who would dare to try and present evolutionism in an honest way, in the science classroom. They use threats of legal action in order to intimidate school boards into taking academic freedom out of the science class, and force teachers to lie to students, even when the teacher is using peer-reviewed work from scientific journals to show that information in the textbook is outdated, or just plain false.

    7) Let’s take a look at just a few of those cases.

    http://www.worldmag.com/2000/06/creation_mythology

    Rod LeVake, high-school biology teacher with a masters in biology, was removed from his job for teaching his students that not all scientists accept evolutionism. Apparently this unbiased objectivity requires lying to your students.
    http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/minnesota-appeals-panel-rebuffs-teachers-bid-to-challenge-evolution-in-classroom

    Roger DeHart taught biology for almost 30 years but was reassigned for using articles from science journals that corrects false information contained in the textbooks. Unbiased objectivity apparently prevents teachers from giving students the updated scientific information, when we know that the info in the textbook is outdated or false. In most other situations we refer to that as lying. http://www.discovery.org/a/613 , http://www.worldmag.com/2000/06/creation_mythology

    Kevin Haley came under fire for teaching college students to think critically and evaluate scientific evidence…

    “He noted one textbook’s statement in reference to the similarity of animal-human skeletal structure. “The book says “God wouldn’t do something like that”” unless evolution were true.

    “When a science book talks about God, I point outthe departure [from the rule],” he said.”

    Coven leader Eugenie Scott weighed in on the case…

    “”The most recent strategy is, if they can’t teach creation science, they teach evidence against evolution,” said Scott, whose organization’s mission is “to defend the teaching of evolution against sectarian attack,” according to the group’s website.”

    So Scott’s unbiased objectivity makes her feel that, even at the college level, it is wrong to teach students the truth if it conflicts with evolutionary thinking.

    Even she admits that there is evidence against evolution, yet she misuses the judicial system to try and keep that information out of the science classroom, and out of the minds of young people who look up to and trust teachers to impart them with factually correct information. As parents we pay taxes and send our kids to school to be educated and taught how to think critically, not to be indoctrinated, told what to think, and intentionally lied to.

    John Freshwater was a teacher with 24 years experience, and 20 of them at Mt. Vernon, where he was fired for accusations made by a parent, that were wholely refuted by students in his class. An “investigation” was allegedly done, yet this investigation did not include interviewing other students who would have been eyewitnesses. He lost his case in the Ohio Supreme Court which ruled that he was insubordinate for refusing to remove the bible from his desk. A bible. This case ended up being about something totally different than the issues that brought it about in the first place, questioning evolution.
    Watch the short video of his testimony to the school board, toward the bottom of this link.
    http://christiannews.net/2013/02/28/ohio-supreme-court-hears-case-of-science-teacher-fired-for-questioning-evolution/

    8) A few others who have been victim to the unbiased objectivity of the secularists…

    Forrest Mims’ case has already been mentioned.
    http://theatheistturtle.blogspot.com/2011/07/forrest-mims-iii-irony-creationism-and.html , http://archive.makezine.com/pub/au/Forrest_Mims_III

    Richard Sternberg has already been mentioned.
    http://www.richardsternberg.com/smithsonian.php?page=summary

    Stephen C. Meyer- It was Meyer’s paper entitled “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories”, that was the focus of the Sternberg situation. The paper was published in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington and its publication came under fire from the AAAS because it was favorable to ID. Sternberg was criticized for agreeing to publish it because it was alleged that it was likely not peer-reviewed by “evolutionary” biologists. Not surprisingly, Meyers’ paper was retracted from the publication.

    This incident caused quite a controversy, and was damaging to the reputation of both men, who are very well-educated, and highly intelligent. So why did all this have to happen? It happened because they dared to present a case for ID.

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

    @chaoticinflation, #138 (currently)

    Yes I read his whole post.

    Someone willing to challenge preconceptions FTW! [/snark]

    That’s just a classic example of a self-identified DeepThinker™ who can’t think. Really, chaoticinflation, I didn’t actually need you to come here to prove my point. I can do well enough on my own.

    Although, perchance did you self identify as a polymath in that other thread? Cause I could use another laugh this morning.

  105. omnicrom says

    Chaoticinflation that’s an inaccurate tl;dr, and I think you know it.

    The news story it says that Christians are being killed for being assumed to not be homophobic enough. The cause of persecution is not Christianity, it is being affiliated with homosexuals. The discriminatory bigots are not anti-Christian bigots, they are anti-gay bigots. Killing hundred for being pro-gay is truly awful, but it wasn’t for being pro-Christian.

    Incidentally why bring this up? Are you lobbying for Christianity to be more Pro-gay? If so I’m completely with you. Are you bringing it up to indulge in the Christian persecution fetish? If so it’s vile you bring up real people who really died just to satisfy your martydom needs.

  106. Rey Fox says

    chaoticinflation is arguing ‘god=morality’ here:

    The argument seems to be “because I said so.”

    I agree the Golden rule is valuable. But why are we obligated to follow it? Is it just another human convention , like what side of the road to drive on?

    Really, if it was just a “human convention”, why does that diminish it? We’re humans. Of course we follow human conventions. Perhaps that means they could change. Well that’s not the worst thing in the world. I just don’t see why morals are seen as worthless if they’re not handed down from on high by some external Thing or other. It’s cowardly authoritarianism.

  107. Rey Fox says

    The argument seems to be “because I said so.”

    Or perhaps “might makes right”. That’s what it boils down to.

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

    @omnicrom, 143:

    it’s a worse distortion than that. The Christians are actually being killed because others don’t trust them not to punish them for failing to obey idiosyncratic and transitory (and manifestly self-serving) Christian moral edict. If Christians were pro-queer but could be trusted not to force their morality on others, the (alleged) motive would not exist. Because of this distrust (and the numerous manifest examples in history justifying such distrust) any discrepancy between Christian morality and local morality will cause heated conflict…and in areas prone to violence, this will be expressed in violence.

    But chaoticinflation has the answer, if you will just stop to listen to chaoticinflation’s idiosyncratic moral edicts!

  109. daniellavine says

    @chaoticinflation:

    You should prepare some kind of defense for how you think your pet non-cognitivst theory can provide a sound basis for moral discourse, ethical judgements, human dignity, moral responsibility and human rights if you really wanted to.

    “Moral discourse” just means “talking about morals.” You can do that regardless of the ontological status of “morals”.

    “Ethical judgments” are made person-by-person, case-by-case on an emotional basis and then rationalized after the fact. Simple introspection should make this obvious but if it doesn’t there’s plenty of research to support that contention.

    “Human dignity” is not an ontologically-real thing. It is an attitude specific to individuals. Presumably, there could be and probably are a great many psychopaths and sociopaths who do not believe in or perceive any sort of human dignity. It is entirely a subjective phenomenon.

    “Moral responsibility” is, again, a figment of the mind. A sociopath or psychopath would not acknowledge any moral responsibility for anything. Some might believe they have a moral responsibility to try to save someone else’s life; others might believe that there is no moral responsibility to do so if it would endanger their own lives. Again, completely subjective.

    “Human rights” are also figments. Some people believe there is (or should be) a human right for free health care, others disagree. Entirely subjective.

    None of these things actually have to be accounted for because none of them except for ethical judgments have any definite ontological status.

    You choose to justify all these concepts using some metaphysical entity whose existence is very much in doubt in the first place. That’s great but there’s no reason anyone else should have to limit himself or herself to doing the same. There’s a wealth of possibilities out there. Why should everyone else live in the same tiny colorless box you’ve locked yourself into?

  110. daniellavine says

    @chaoticinflation:

    So just to be clear, any theory of morals has to account for the fact that people make ethical judgments and…that’s pretty much it.

    I can be somewhat more specific. Since ethical judgments vary according to time, culture, from individual to individual, and even between different judgments made by the same individual in different contexts, the best moral theories have to predict this variability.

    Non-cognitive theories predict that ethical judgments are made on an emotional basis in the moment that the ethical dilemma is presented and that all variables affecting emotional state are therefore relevant to ethical judgments. This is certainly consistent with the variability we see in actual ethical judgments “in the wild” as it were.

    By contrast, your theory that a timeless, perfect metaphysical entity magically beams morality midichlorians into our souls which then mediate our behavior through some as-yet unexplained means, on the other hand, suggests that ethical judgments should be the same regardless of time, culture, individual, or context. Everyone should make exactly the same ethical judgments in the same situations because all these ethical judgments are made by tapping into the one true source of morality: the magic monster called “God”. A simple corollary is that it should be impossible for two people to make mutually contradictory ethical judgments — since morality is absolute, ethical judgments must be consistent with each other.

    But that contradicts real-world data on ethical judgments which demonstrates that people arrive at mutually contradictory ethical judgments all the time. The result of this analysis: non-cognitive theories are consistent with the evidence at hand and show a lot of promise for being able to describe and possibly explain human behavior. God-based theories are inconsistent with the data we have and are not viable as either descriptions or explanations of actual human behavior.

  111. says

    biasevolution:

    Clearly the government is financially supporting, and protecting the teaching of, thus giving de facto endorsement to the materialist worldview, which means that government is using tax dollars to support the atheist position. SCOTUS has ruled that atheism is a protected worldview under the First Amendment, yet the government continues to use taxpayer money to support it. Ultimately the government is violating the US Constitution by establishing atheism as a national religious position. It is using the judicial branch of government to protect atheo-evolutionism as a scientific paradigm, and also to exclude teaching of any other worldview in our public schools.

    1. The same freedom you have to believe in your evil god allows atheists to not believe in your evil god.
    2. There is no such thing as “atheo-evolutionism”.
    3. Church is the place for teaching unevidenced, supernatural nonsense, not public schools. These “other worldviews” you mention are nothing more than fanciful myths. Get back with us when you have some proof to substantiate the truth claims of your pet religion.
    4. You appear to have a problem dealing with reality. Let me help. Evolution has mountains of evidence to support it. Whatever religion you belong to (I suspect you’re a christian), that religion is likely to make claims about reality. These claims do not stand up to scrutiny and are not backed by evidence.

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

    playing off of Tony!’s 149, where he (by convention I refer to Tony! as *he*) misquotes biasevolution:

    Clearly the government is financially supporting, and protecting the teaching of, thus giving de facto endorsement to the materialist worldview, which means that government is using tax dollars to support the atheist position.

    I believe the actual, original quote was

    Clearly the government is financially supporting, and protecting the teaching of, thus giving de facto endorsement to the shit that works, which means that government is using tax dollars to support the people who tend to be right. I think this is horribly unfair to people like me!

    Hope that helps those mistakenly relying on Tony!’s Tpyos-vulnerable fingers.

  113. consciousness razor says

    Clearly the government is financially supporting, and protecting the teaching of, thus giving de facto endorsement to the materialist worldview, which means that government is using tax dollars to support the atheist position.

    The government is under no obligation to remain neutral on matters of fact. Evolution is a fact. Materialism is true. Your tax dollars (and mine and everyone else’s) are spent in reality, where the truth does not depend on whether or not you believe it. Tax dollars are not spent in some fantasy land where your religious belief that it’s true makes it so.

    If you want a secular government to consider your religious beliefs true, then they actually need to be true. Demonstrate that, and the government should follow the evidence. So you have a few options: (1) show that it’s true, (2) change your religious beliefs, so that they’re consistent with reality, or (3) continue to believe things which are false.

  114. Amphiox says

    Clearly the government is financially supporting, and protecting the teaching of, thus giving de facto endorsement to the materialist worldview

    The government is not financially supporting a materialist “worldview”. It is financially supporting the teaching of facts that are demonstrably (and repeatedly so) true.

    If you want the teaching of your own “worldview” to be financially supported and protected by the government, you have a simple course of action: just make sure your “worldview” consists of things that are demonstrably true.

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Biasevolution, try “

    http://video.pbs.org/video/980040807/

    ” about Dover v Kitzmiller. ID = son of creationism, and creationism is a religious idea. Thus said the US Circuit court.

    What you have is religious idea pretending to be science. It can’t even find enough evidence to be a scientific idea, much less a scientific hypothesis or theory, (notice a scientific theory isn’t just a guess or idea) which requires a modicum of scientific evidence, not religious drivel. You can’t teach your religion in public schools as science.

  116. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    I have no idea why I’m doing this¹, but, alexanderz @#128:

    ChasCPeterson #126:
    Your first shoes were 6 months before 1981? So you’re not even 35 yet? And you say you had a “relatively (around here) long life of thought, reading, struggle, and accomplishment”

    AFAICFIGS (as far as I can find in Google Scholar) Chas first published in 1987. While it’s possible that he was a preternaturally gifted six-year-old herpetologist, I think the better hypothesis is that ‘first shoes’ refers, perhaps, to something else. Something to do with–noting the context of the conversation with SC–the Grateful Dead? (Or gigs? Or things people do at Dead gigs. *cough*.)

    ¹ OK, yes, it’s SIWOTI syndrome. What-ever!

  117. Jacob Schmidt says

    So have y’all heard of that “God’s not Dead” movie that came out recently? It’s available to be torrented, and its being torrented enough that I doubt its all atheists doing it. I know my excuse (I’m an evil atheist the movie isn’t available in my area, and even if it was I don’t like funding christian propaganda) but what about those christians who are stealing from fellow christians?

  118. ChasCPeterson says

    I swear that I have never ‘done shoes’ at a Dead show, thought I have both worn shoes at a Dead show (and not) and done shots: at a Dead show (there was a beer-hippy phase) and, if you’re from Oklahoma, you might even say that I’ve done shopped at a Dead show, if you count the parking lot.*cough* But never done shoes.

    Of course I meant ‘my first shows’ were in 1980. Twas a typo, as a glance at the trusty ol’ QWERTY before you will shoe. shor. I mean show.

  119. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Pshaaw!

    I’ve spent the last week reading Inspector Morse books.

    I demand that mis-spellings be more significant! Also, people thrown from church towers.

    /ServiceOfAllTheDead

    Erm, spoiler, I guess.

  120. says

    @Jacob

    Well the demographic it’s catering to is much smaller than all of Christendom. Plenty of Christians enjoy a good snark baiting

  121. rorschach says

    Also falling under blasts from the past, Glen Davidson, seen over at the pit bearing grudges from his last engagements here.

    Weirdest commenter ever, forever in the top 5 first comments to any post, never engaging in debate or responding to other commenters over years, and if he did used to blow his top and/or disappear fairly quickly. Never managed to figure that one out.

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

    Captain Marvel was always awesome, even when she had the stupid name “Ms Marvel”. The new Ms Marvel looks good, and I’ll have to watch her development. The Binary phase of Captain Marvel (with the StarJammers & Alex&Scott Summers’ dad) was pretty cool. And the “other” captain marvel, Monica Rambeau, was pretty awesome as well. I frickin’ loved her stint in the Avengers.

    But then there’s Luke F’n Cage.

    Even back then, I loved the outsiders to the comic-hero world. Not the ones who were insiders but who, in their privilege, disdained the rules (Wolverine, natch) but the ones that were genuine outsiders – Luke Cage, Carol Danvers, and to a lesser extent (as portrayed – being a black woman cop, much less a black woman police lieutenant, was far from easy in the late 70s) Monica Rambeau.

    But it’s hard to get a Luke Cage or Captain Marvel (either one) t-shirt, at least compared to things like Spidey.

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

    @rorshach.

    I remember Glen Davidson. I have no memory of there being a specific reason that he left, or grudges or feuds, but I do remember the nym. Other than that, I have very little impression – good or bad.

  124. Owlmirror says

    Dear biasevolution,

    Reality has a known materialist bias.
    Reality has a known evolutionary bias.
    Reality has a known atheist bias.

    Science studies that which is real. I’m sorry that you don’t like reality.

    Also, using “National Coven for the Solicitation of Evolutionism” and “Anti-Christ’s liberal Lawyers Union” kinda undermines what you’re presenting as being anything more than a hate-filled rant by a religious fanatic.

    So why did all this have to happen? It happened because they dared to present a case for ID.

    There is no case for ID. IDiocy is nothing more than a convoluted argument from ignorance, which is in turn a logical fallacy, and therefore does not belong in an actual science journal.

  125. Rey Fox says

    Also, using “National Coven for the Solicitation of Evolutionism” and “Anti-Christ’s liberal Lawyers Union” kinda undermines what you’re presenting as being anything more than a hate-filled rant by a religious fanatic.

    I like how they just couldn’t resist sticking the “liberal” in the ACLU one, even though it ruins the abbreviation.

  126. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    atheo-evolutionism

    Love it :)

    Question: does it violate the first amendment to establish a lack of religion?

  127. says

    Weed(less) Monkey:

    Gar… bage day? This concept is unfamiliar, need moar beer

    Putting trash out for pick up. In most places once a week, in others, every other week.

  128. says

    Sounds kind of troublesome. I’ve got this little hut just outside my apartmet building where I can recycle, and every whyshouldicare days it’s empty again.

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

    Same process in my building, Weed(less).

    Although I’m familiar with garbage day, I’m quite happy not to have to worry about it.

  130. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    If on the off-chance chaoticinflation shows up here…

    chaoticinflation wrote:

    I examined the evidence for different religions and the evidence for Christianity was the strongest.

    What did this ‘examination’ consist of, exactly? What was your methodology, and how many other religions did you ‘examine’ in the same fashion before you settled on Christianity?

    And how many versions of Christianity did you similarly examine before hitting on the denomination you now adhere to?

  131. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    @184 I’m interested as well. So often this is the refrain from Christians when they are defending their particular brand of Christianity.

  132. says

    Again, why is it that I can’t criticize [people who commit immoral actions such as murder or genocide]?

    because that would be tantamount to cricising someone for liking chocolate ice cream. You’re criticising an opinion. they’re not wrong. Your criticism holds no weight.

    Why doesn’t it hold weight? Are you challenging the validity of my opinion that murder and genocide are wrong? I invited you to do that once already.

    The binding factor is society.

    But as we all know something societies endorse things like oppression of women , that are wrong.

    How very simple-minded of you. You’ve kind of made my point for me. Societal endorsement of oppression of women is very binding on women and their freedom. However, societies can… wait for it… societies can change! Indeed, they often do. I don’t think it’s a controversial statement to say that American society has changed rapidly in the last 100 years. I’m told that the Bible cannot change, though this is not backed up by empirical evidence. Regardless, the word on the street is that it’s God’s unchanging word, which would seem to make change difficult even if it were desired. Bit of a weakness given the reality of our ever-changing world.

    I didn’t deny free will in general. You’re not even reading, you’re just a stimulus-response robot. Input trigger words, such as “I don’t think free will is absolute,” or “I don’t think contra-causal free will exists,” and spit out pre-programmed schpiel regarding scare tactics about the consequences of denying free will.

    Could you stop equivocating. Could people choose to do otherwise? I’m typing now. Could I have chosen to do something else under the circumstances or is it all predetermined? If I spouted abuse at you , could I have chosen to do otherwise?

    Why must I stop equivocating? In truth, I feel rather equivocal on the subject of free will. I’m not fully convinced of its utility as a subject or its existence. However, I will note that there are other options besides “could have chosen otherwise” and “all is predetermined”. I feel like I have choices and make them, yet on another level I’m aware that research shows that my prefrontal cortex doesn’t get around to filling in the justification for my actions until after my choice has already been made. You have a choice as to whether to spout abuse at me, yes, but that doesn’t mean that if we could magically rewind the universe and have a perfect re-do, you WOULD make a different choice. Perhaps there are certain triggers that activate emotions in you that make it more likely that you will choose to spout abuse. If I voice one of those triggers, whether on purpose or not, and then you experience an increased urge to spout abuse, you still have a choice, but am I not responsible for increasing the odds that you will choose to spout abuse?

    Yes, quite equivocal.

    In terms of practical implications for everyday behavior, that means nothing. And the fact that I believe our ability to choose freely is limited by more prosaic factors such as brain chemistry which may be linked to genetics or traumatic childhood experiences doesn’t mean that I believe we have no ability to make choices.

    1. It means everything. If we can’t choose to do otherwise, is that a real ‘choice’ ? How can we be held responsible for the ‘choices’ we do take if there were no other options in the circumstances?

    That one I’m still trying to figure out. Mitigating factors, etc.

    I live consistenly with my worldview. I believe some actions are just objectively wrong and some actions are good. I believe people can freely choose their actions and they are responsible for the choices they do make.

    Everyone’s freedom to make choices is limited in various ways. Some more than others. Similarly, responsibility is a thing that can be partial and/or shared. No, that doesn’t mean that we can’t punish wrongdoers.

    I think what you really mean by “objectively wrong” is “something that is always wrong and you’ll never convince me otherwise.” Really, your fears of living in a world where people actually do have the freedom (however limited) to choose their moral stance towards the world and create meaning for their own lives are unfounded. In fact, you are constantly doing what you claim cannot and ought not be done–setting yourself up at the final judge, at least in your mind, of morality.

    YOU cannot seem to deal with the fact that it is YOU who longs for objective morality, not us. That’s your requirement. And nobody is proposing that evolution itself is the foundation for ethics and morality, but our evolutionary heritage that predisposes us to invent such things.

    Tell me, do you get agitated at art exhibits because there’s no objective standard by which to judge the paintings or sculptures or whatever? You have to come up with your own judgment about the value of the artworks. Why is it so hard to imagine that it is not only okay, but necessary to do the same thing with moral judgments? Does it bother you that the worth of money is an artifact of mutual agreement among humans rather than an absolute decree from some supreme ruler?

    I do believe in the objectivity of aesthetics , but to take your view (on aesthetics) it wouldn’t bother me.
    Claiming I don’t like Picasso’s work is different from a claim like “the Holocaust was wrong” .

    Wait a minute…

    You literally JUST said that ME voicing my opinion that murder and genocide are wrong is “tantamount to cricising someone for liking chocolate ice cream.”

    Which is it? Or does YOUR opinion about genocide get distinguished from having a preference for ice cream or art, simply because you attribute your opinion to Yahweh? How does that work exactly?

    Money has no value . Its a piece of paper that you can burn. But it seems to me that humans do have value

    Humans have value for the seem reason money has value: because they “seem” to you (the generic
    you, that is) to have value.

    and at least some things are really wrong and when I think about things like the genocide in Rwanda , I realize they are moral abominations , no matter what someone’s opinions on the subject might be.

    It has already been pointed out to you that Yahweh pretty flatly contradicts you about this type of genocide. If your conclusion that genocide is “just wrong” then you must have sources for this conclusion besides the Bible.

    It doesn’t seem to be a convention , like money is a convention. At least to me.

    Nevertheless, it is. Were I an intelligent shark, I think I could make a pretty compelling argument, given our impact on global ecosystems, that humans have negative value. Being a human in reality, I don’t endorse this view, but I understand it. Thus, I conclude: the value of humans is a human-created convention. And it’s a rational one, if you accept that the ongoing survival of humans is a good thing.

  133. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Nevertheless, it is. Were I an intelligent shark, I think I could make a pretty compelling argument, given our impact on global ecosystems, that humans have negative value.

    Always reminds one of Wenn die Menschen Haifischen Wären

  134. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @Chaoticinflation

    We can and we have been answering for over a thousand years. Do you think Christians have never written responses to other religions?[1]
    If you examine the claims made about Odin (with proper exegesis and all that[2]) , you conclude he’s a finite being who was born in the past and will die (or already died depending on when you date Ragnarok). He’s not the sort of being that can be the eternal ground of being or eternal standard of morality so he’s very different and the evidence Christians present for God is very different.[3]

    I don’t see why you’d bring this up except to shift the topic , since I don’t think you enter the possibility of Odin[4]

    1- I asked you to answer it. The question was “Why do you believe Yahweh to be more likely to be real than Odin?”, not “What lengthy treatises have other learned Christians written on the subject?”.

    2- What are you applying exegesis to here? As far as I am aware there is no Norse holy book.

    3- This is an answer? You’ve simply asserted that Odin is a finite being, and that God is not, and that therefore God is different. Why do you believe Odin is a finite being? What makes you think that?

    Christ, this like trying to get blood out of a stone.

    4- I asked because I’m genuinely interested in your answer. I simply do not understand why you think your God is any more likely to be real than Odin is, and I’d really like some insight into why you believe that to be the case.

  135. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Oops, I should mention for the benefit of others that the above is a continuation of a line of conversation which chaoticinflation and I were following in the “Australians Denying Science!” thread, that was deemed innappropriate for that thread.

  136. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Interesting question posed by the RDFRS on FB:

    If the original common anscestor was not nearly as refined for survival as life is today, how did it survive?

    My answer would be that while individuals may not have survived long, they survived long enough to reproduce. That’s all that’s needed for the propagation of life. Considering the first life was probably a bacterium (probably preceded by a virus or virus-like form, but apparently under some definitions viruses aren’t technically alive), it would have reproduced exceedingly quickly, mutated frequently, and not lived very long as an individual. This gives ample opportunity for the propagation and evolution of life.

    However, IANAB, and have no particular expertise on the matter. I’m interested in what others think.

  137. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @Thumper

    Sounds right to me. A population doesn’t have to be perfectly adapted; it just has to be well enough adapted.

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

    If the original common anscestor was not nearly as refined for survival as life is today, how did it survive?

    The original riparian-zone, aquatic ambush predators were not nearly as refined for survival as the Saltie. How did they survive?

    They didn’t compete with fucking Salties.

    in the same way, the first cells might have been very inefficient in plucking out nutrients from the environment and turning them into life-necessary products, but nothing else was sweeping those products into its own gut and using them up. They freely dispersed in the environment. The original living things, then, didn’t need to sense predators, had less need for movement, and needed no specialized feeding pathways. With no parasites or infectious bodies yet evolved to live off their cells, these organisms would need no immune systems.

    Moreover, an inefficient metabolism is a slow metabolism. I disagree that they likely had short life cycles (at least relative to archaea today). Instead, they likely had slow life cycles, but they didn’t need to reproduce quickly because nothing else was reproducing faster so as to hog the life-necessary resources. Nor did they need to rapidly reproduce before being scooped up by a predator, as there were none.

    An organism capable of surviving in an environment of free organic molecules and chemical energy, both diffused widely throughout the habitat, with no predators or parasites, is simply not capable of surviving in today’s environment. It’s a different fucking environment.

  139. Jacob Schmidt says

    Could one of y’all do me a favour and remind me why I don’t comment at Ally’s blog the next time I get the urge? Jesus fuck, it’s stupid.

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

    @Jacob Schmidt:

    LOL – I’ll try to keep you in my telepathic loop for the purpose.

  141. Alex the Pretty Good says

    Hmmm …. here’s an interesting social experiment.

    First, read today’s Sandra and Woo (safe for work and non-offensive) here.

    Then read the remainder of this post.

    Done?

    So … that strip passed the Bechdel Test with fying colours. But how many readers’ expectations did?

    I know I didn’t (*hangs head in shame*)

  142. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I stopped commenting at Ally’s at the point where I got scolded for saying “fuck you” to an asshole who was basically claiming that threatening and harassing women is simply a perfectly normal response to loneliness and that women don’t understand this because no woman ever experiences loneliness because all women can just snap their fingers and have all the company they could ever want. That’s the kind of shit he lets slide in service of not stifling discussion.

  143. Jacob Schmidt says

    I’ll try to keep you in my telepathic loop for the purpose.

    Oh, please do. It’s not worth getting dragged into a dozen comments over stupid nonsense.

    I stopped commenting at Ally’s at the point where I got scolded for saying “fuck you” to an asshole who was basically claiming that threatening and harassing women is simply a perfectly normal response to loneliness and that women don’t understand this because no woman ever experiences loneliness because all women can just snap their fingers and have all the company they could ever want.

    I missed that one.

    Wait, Ally scolded you? What the actual fuck? I’ve been quite contemptuous and disdainful, including phrases like “take your shit and fuck off,” and “go fuck yourself.”

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

    Out of curiosity, Jacob, I went and looked up the thread about which I assume you’re speaking (Girls, Boys, & Gangs).

    yeah, their comprehension was pitiful as F.

  145. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @Jacob

    Yes, Ally scolded me. This was some time ago, maybe a year or more so his comment policy might have changed in the meantime.

  146. Jacob Schmidt says

    Out of curiosity, Jacob, I went and looked up the thread about which I assume you’re speaking (Girls, Boys, & Gangs).

    Yep, that’s the one.

    Good times, good times.

    So … that strip passed the Bechdel Test with fying colours. But how many readers’ expectations did?

    I was expecting a discussion about tampons, or some other feminine hygiene related thing. My imagination technically passed, but not in any way that’s meaningful.

    I would like to know how they ended up on desertification and cotton production, as well as how that fits in with the overall point discussion.

    I hate only getting pieces of a conversation.

  147. Jacob Schmidt says

    Yes, Ally scolded me. This was some time ago, maybe a year or more so his comment policy might have changed in the meantime.

    I’ve actually been more polite recently; my comments would have been shortly before or after yours.

  148. Jacob Schmidt says

    Well, I believe I have discovered the scolding by Ally. Yep, that one rates a drop in my respect for him, all right.

  149. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    If it’s the one where he even offered to the other commenter to delete my post because clearly, he was the wounded party there, then yes, that’s the one.

  150. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I said a teency bit more than “fuck you” now that I look back at it, but I also mis-remembered how vile the guy’s comment was. Blargh.

  151. chaoticinflation says

    @Thumper
    1. You said “we” had no answers. Clearly we do.
    2.Not one holy book , but there are writings that the scholars of Norse mythology have compiled and interpreted.
    3&4
    I actually answered it

    If you examine the claims made about Odin (with proper exegesis and all that[2]) , you conclude he’s a finite being who was born in the past and will die (or already died depending on when you date Ragnarok). He’s not the sort of being that can be the eternal ground of being or eternal standard of morality so he’s very different and the evidence Christians present for God is very different.[3]

    Odin is finite because that’s what the Norse mythologies say. I think there’s good evidence for the sort of God who is the ground of being and not for the sort of God who is like Odin.
    Also the fact that Odin (if he existed) let his religion die out tells me he’s not the type of person who seems to be interested in gaining new converts.

  152. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Odin is finite because that’s what the Norse mythologies say. Ithink [presuppose without actual evidence] there’s good evidence

    [imaginary fuckwittery] for the sort of God who is the ground of being and not for the sort of God who is like Odin.Fixed that for you. There is no evidence for ANY sort of deity. Other than the delusion between your ears.

    No deity, and your whole pile of bovine feces is just so much fetid hot air, and utter and total mental wanking.
    Nothing you say is believed because you have no honesty and integrity, which starts by recognizing you have no evidence for any deity, much less yours. Then toning down your idiocy accordingly.

  153. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, borked the blockquote@213. Odin should be the end of the blockquote.

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

    Also the fact that Odin (if he existed) let his religion die out tells me he’s not the type of person who seems to be interested in gaining new converts.

    “I will fight against the evils that plague you, whether or not you even acknowledge my existence, much less worship me. And those who risk your lives to do the same, you I will honor for that risk, not the platitudes you mouth.”

    vs.
    “Not enough people have been worshipping me on the sabbath and refusing to acknowledge the existence of any other god. Those are my top 2 commandments! I think I’ll kill all the folk around, including the babies and those who never heard of my commandments, and while I’m at it, fuck those dinosaurs too. They can drink rain until their guts explode. And little kittens? Fucking drown them.”

    Yes. I can see why one god would appeal more.

  155. Jacob Schmidt says

    If it’s the one where he even offered to the other commenter to delete my post because clearly, he was the wounded party there, then yes, that’s the one.

    Yep, I read it. God’s was that ever stupid. I was actually active in that thread, so I’m surprised I missed Ally’s nonsense.

    Still, there was some good in that thread. This post from flora was funny:

    “Must be why the #1 insult people go for with people that they PERCEIVE to be MRAs is : You can’t get laid.”

    “The frustration comes from feeling that there is not one single female anywhere that would ever give you the time of day – and having years of experience to back that up.”

    Interesting juxtaposition of comments.

    It was great seeing people complain about the “you just can’t get laid” insult, while others explicitly stated that not getting laid was the problem.

  156. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Yep, I read it. God’s was that ever stupid. I was actually active in that thread, so I’m surprised I missed Ally’s nonsense.

    I was so fucking livid there. I’d gone out on a limb to even mention my childhood (that’s probably the most I’ve ever said about it anywhere) specifically because he picked the exact wrong thing to accuse me of not knowing anything about (I know a metric fuckton more about loneliness and frustration than I want to, no thank you very much). And then he comes back with “I don’t say ‘fuck you’ to people just because they disagree with me.” And then Ally pats him on the head and offers him a fucking pacifier. Rage.

    It was great seeing people complain about the “you just can’t get laid” insult, while others explicitly stated that not getting laid was the problem.

    Yep and very illustrative of the general MO. The narrative changes to suit the particular point they’re trying to make and nevermind that they can’t even be consistent from one sentence to the next.

  157. Amphiox says

    Also the fact that Odin (if he existed) let his religion die out tells me he’s not the type of person who seems to be interested in gaining new converts.

    The “religion of Odin” has not died out. Contemporary worshippers still exist.

    So THIS is what you consider proper exegesis? The making up of falsehoods and the spreading of misinformation?

    You truly are too ignorant to be qualified to talk about ANYTHING, chaoticinflation.

    Odin, along with the other Germanic gods and goddesses, is recognized by Germanic neopagans. His Norse form is particularly acknowledged in Ásatrú, the “faith in the Æsir”, an officially recognized religion in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Spain.[26]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin#Contemporary_worship_of_Odin

  158. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    CI: “I agree the Golden rule is valuable. But why are we obligated to follow it? Is it just another human convention , like what side of the road to drive on?”

    How about because it works, and societies that neglect this rule tend not to?

  159. Amphiox says

    “I agree the Golden rule is valuable. But why are we obligated to follow it?

    We are not obligated to follow it. But if we want the society we live in to thrive and endure, we would be wise to do so, since the empirical evidence is that societies where people follow this rule are the ones that survive and thrive.

    Is it just another human convention

    It is a human convention. But sticking the word “just” in there to imply that it is somehow inferior or trivial for being a human convention is invalid and dishonest.

    like what side of the road to drive on?”

    No it is not like what side of the road to drive on. It is a human convention which empirical evidence has shown to be operationally superior to its alternative for helping human societies thrive and endure, whereas the side of the road to drive on is a human convention that empirical evidence has NOT shown, to date, to be operationally superior to the alternative.

    These are categorically vitally and fundamentally different types of human convention.

  160. CJO says

    I think there’s good evidence for the sort of God who is the ground of being and not for the sort of God who is like Odin.

    Hee. There’s good evidence for the sort of entity for which there could, in principle, never be evidence?

    That’s the area theism has had to retreat into, a scrupulously nebulous entity, “the ground of being,” consistent with all possible states of being (whatever there is, you see, it’s the ground of it!), and therefore explicitly, intentionally non-falsifiable.

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

    @Chas:

    That was awesome. Unfortunately, now the next time my kids ask me why something obvious that they should already know is the way it is (like, why do you make me brush my teeth just to prevent cavities?) I will have to dramatically rein in my impulse to yell, “ODIN!” and split their skulls with a battle axe.

    Funny how I didn’t have that impulse before. I blame the internet. We’d better censor it, quick.

  162. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Amphiox @ #220:

    whereas the side of the road to drive on is a human convention that empirical evidence has NOT shown, to date, to be operationally superior to the alternative.

    Actually not quite true, but even worse for chaoticinflation’s point.

    Everyone initially drove on the right-hand side of the road (because a majority of people are right handed?) The steering wheel (or tiller) was also on the right-hand side, because most roads were just ditches filled with mud, and that way you didn’t have to slog out into the middle of the road to get into the car.

    Later, roads were (a little) better, and it was considered more important to be able to see how close you were clipping that oncoming car (more cars, more oncoming cars). In Britain, and those countries that copied them, they kept the seating position and switched sides of the road. In America, where there were fewer existing cars to accommodate, we switched the steering wheel position instead.

    All this proves is, yes it’s arbitrary, but yes there are also reasons why one choice is better than the other, and most importantly: those reasons can change!

  163. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    If I believed in deities, I’d have a lot more respect for one who hung himself on a tree for a week (not just a couple of hours like Yehoshua bar Joseph) for the Gift of the Runes, instead of to “atone” for mistakes he made his ownself!

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

    @TVRBoK:

    yeah, but doesn’t he say that know that he suffered for the Runes, anyone who engages in writing must pray to him or he’ll ensure that they’re tortured forever?

    No?

    He just gave away the secrets of knowledge to make life better.

    What kind of a toby jug is he? Not like that great bottom, Prometheus, is he?

  165. chaoticinflation says

    @_a_ray

    That’s not necessarily true.
    Let’s say I am a ruthless businessman who does not follow this rule and I think I can live a comfortable life exploiting the lower classes. Being a Machiavellian and using subterfuge works for him. He doesn’t have to follow the golden rule.
    Maybe there’s some situations where he follow conventions , but he is only concerned about his wealth.

    @SallyStrange

    Morality
    my view: at least some moral values are objective
    Your view: all moral values are a matter of opinion
    In the early part I was showing the implications for your view. In the second part I was stating my view. I looks like you were confused by this.

    Why doesn’t it hold weight? Are you challenging the validity of my opinion that murder and genocide are wrong? I invited you to do that once already.

    I do . Its just your opinion. Its not based on any kind of objective moral values and principles and as such is without foundation.

    Money doesn’t have value of itself. If a government decided to stop using a brand of currency and dispose of them , thats fine, theres nothing immoral about that. If a government believed that a certain group of people did not have value and disposed of them in gas chambers would that be similarly fine?

    Someone in the other also mentioned killing babies for fun as something that was obviously wrong. Is that just a convention too?

    Free will

    I don’t know why you have to use wierd undefined terms like contra-causal free will or absolute free will. I don’t know what you mean
    Simply put libertarian free will is that agents , like you and me , have the ability to do otherwise in at least some cases. I am typing right now , but that was my choice. I could have chosen to take a nap.or watch youtube. I have the ability to do that.
    People like Dawkins , who I quoted in the other thread , believe all human actions are the result of the mechanistic workings of the universe and we don’t really have any choice in it.

  166. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    my view: at least some moral values are objective

    Can’t be, as your deity is imaginary.

    Your view: all moral values are a matter of opinion

    You keep LYING every time you make this statement. It isn’t a free-for-all. Certain values tend to be very prevalent as they have a history of working. And they are decided as ALL morals are, by the people involved. They can’t be decided by imaginary deities.

    Its just your opinion. Its not based on any kind of objective moral values and principles and as such is without foundation.

    Your moral have no foundation. Your deity doesn’t exist. You have nothing but your mere subjective opinion. Why do you keep lying?

  167. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    CI,
    Your businessman still has to live within a society. Game theory has been quite informative in this regard–ruthlessness is not a winning strategy if you are likely to have to deal with those you screw over more than once.

  168. chaoticinflation says

    @_a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    so is morality just doing what’s best for you , Ray? Or is there another dimension?
    Say I’m a political leader and I am Machiavellian. I think its best for me to put my rivals in a gulag and lie to populace. Moral or no?

  169. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    so is morality just doing what’s best for you ,

    Stop trying to play gottcha games, and concentrate on the back gottcha game. If your deity doesn’t exist, and you have presented no conclusive physical evidence for one, how can your morals be any better than those decided upon by humans? Since that is how it works without your imaginary deity.

    Time to put up your deity, or shut the fuck up about it.

  170. says

    Chaoticinflation, #228:

    my view: at least some moral values are objective
    Your view: all moral values are a matter of opinion

    Hey, weasel words: “a matter of opinion” and “subjective” are not precisely the same thing.

    In the early part I was showing the implications for your view. In the second part I was stating my view. I looks like you were confused by this.

    LOL, no. Just because I am not convinced by your scare-mongering about the dire consequences of granting that all moral values are subjective does not mean I am confused by what you are saying.

    Why doesn’t it hold weight? Are you challenging the validity of my opinion that murder and genocide are wrong? I invited you to do that once already.

    I do . Its just your opinion. Its not based on any kind of objective moral values and principles and as such is without foundation.

    So what if it’s just my opinion? My opinion is well-founded and supported by various objective facts, such as: murder causes needless pain and suffering, deprives the world of the useful work a person could do if they died a natural death, disrupts society, etc. Those empirically observable and verifiable facts are the foundation of my opinion about murder. So you’re wrong about there being no foundation.

    What’s your foundation again? An old book involving a supernatural being who doesn’t even understand that it’s wrong to own people as property? Uh huh.

    Money doesn’t have value of itself. If a government decided to stop using a brand of currency and dispose of them , thats fine, theres nothing immoral about that.

    Are you sure? If they switched to a new currency and didn’t allow people to exchange the old one for the new one, or set the exchange rate to benefit the government and disadvantage citizens, that would be immoral indeed, though not as immoral as murder or slavery.

    If a government believed that a certain group of people did not have value and disposed of them in gas chambers would that be similarly fine?

    Well, according to the Bible, it might be or it might not be, depending on how Yahweh feels about it. According to my moral code, there’s nothing that could morally justify such an action.

    Someone in the other also mentioned killing babies for fun as something that was obviously wrong. Is that just a convention too?

    It’s not “just” a convention. It’s a human convention, like language, art, money, and morality. Very useful and important things, these human conventions. There’s nothing about them that merits you continuously appending minimizing words like “just” or “merely” to the phrase “human conventions.”

    Free will

    I don’t know why you have to use wierd undefined terms like contra-causal free will or absolute free will. I don’t know what you mean

    Maybe you should be speaking less and reading more on the subject since you’re so ignorant about it. I don’t even care for the subject and I’m more informed than you are about it.

    Simply put libertarian free will is that agents , like you and me , have the ability to do otherwise in at least some cases. I am typing right now , but that was my choice. I could have chosen to take a nap.or watch youtube. I have the ability to do that.

    Yup. You do have the ability to choose, from moment to moment, among certain possible actions. However not all actions are possible. And not all choices are conscious.

    People like Dawkins , who I quoted in the other thread , believe all human actions are the result of the mechanistic workings of the universe and we don’t really have any choice in it.

    So? Am I Richard Dawkins? No? Then why are you quoting him to me as if his opinions mean something?

  171. CJO says

    Simply put libertarian free will is that agents , like you and me , have the ability to do otherwise in at least some cases. I am typing right now , but that was my choice. I could have chosen to take a nap.or watch youtube. I have the ability to do that.

    Sally used qualifiers (which were not “weird” or “undefined” you just don’t understand them) because it’s not that simple. You, like almost all of us, have the persistent belief that you had “the ability to do otherwise” than you actually did. But objectively, note that in all cases you did only what you did. How can we test whether your intuition regarding your own actions is correct? We can’t. Which is why the debate, such as it is, over free will cannot be resolved by appeal to this near-universal subjective intuition. If we didn’t (almost) all feel that way, I imagine that the common-sense near-universal belief would be that free will is a silly fantasy.

    The fact is, introspection based on “how it seems to us” as putative free agents is a really lousy way to arrive at facts about objective phenomena. Take memory, for instance. I’m sure you, like most people, strongly believe that your stored long-term memories are accurate records, like multi-modal recordings, “written” to your brain at the time of events and not substantially revised or altered after that. Well, you’re wrong. That’s simply not how memory works, it’s just that we don’t have cognitive access to the underlying processes.

  172. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    And while we’re at it, why did your Sky Daddy give his “son” the most merciful crucifixion on record (most were much more like Odin’s week on the World Tree) just to “atone” for his own fucking mistakes? All this teaches me is that if you choose your parents wisely, you can slide easily through anything.

  173. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Someone in the other also mentioned killing babies for fun as something that was obviously wrong. Is that just a convention too?

    No, that wasn’t “someone”. That was your persistent tic when you were using the ‘nym “Kroos Control”.

  174. consciousness razor says

    Let’s say I am a ruthless businessman who does not follow this rule and I think I can live a comfortable life exploiting the lower classes. Being a Machiavellian and using subterfuge works for him. He doesn’t have to follow the golden rule.

    Who’s to say that’s not following the golden rule? Being exploited by a ruthless businessman might be the outcome he would want if he were in their situation. He’s doing for those other people what he thinks he would want done to him (if he were not a ruthless businessman but some other kind of person like them), without regard to what they actually want done to them. That’s what the golden rule says he ought to be doing: be entirely subjective. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you = take only your own subjective state into account, and assume it is right.

    The conclusion we ought to take from this? The golden rule is immoral. It is too stupidly simplistic to be useful in practically any circumstance. If there are truths about what is moral, it is not one of them. I guess you can at least be satisfied that it isn’t original to Jesus or other parts of the Bible, so your god isn’t the only one who’s made such a boneheaded mistake.

    I don’t know why you have to use wierd undefined terms like contra-causal free will or absolute free will. I don’t know what you mean
    Simply put libertarian free will is that agents , like you and me , have the ability to do otherwise in at least some cases. I am typing right now , but that was my choice. I could have chosen to take a nap.or watch youtube. I have the ability to do that.
    People like Dawkins , who I quoted in the other thread , believe all human actions are the result of the mechanistic workings of the universe and we don’t really have any choice in it.

    Either you’re a compatibilist or an incompatibilist. If you’re a compatibilist, you have no argument. If you’re an incompatibilist (as you seem to be), you’re wrong that there is such a thing as contra-causal (aka libertarian) free will. These are not “weird undefined terms” — these are simply complicated issues about which you are ignorant, or else you’re being dishonest that you don’t know actually know what they mean.

  175. consciousness razor says

    Those empirically observable and verifiable facts are the foundation of my opinion about murder. So you’re wrong about there being no foundation.

    And if that’s the case, you’re wrong to call it an “opinion.” It’s as much an “opinion” as your “opinion” about evolution.

  176. says

    Those empirically observable and verifiable facts are the foundation of my opinion about murder. So you’re wrong about there being no foundation.

    And if that’s the case, you’re wrong to call it an “opinion.” It’s as much an “opinion” as your “opinion” about evolution.

    True. I sort of got into the weeds regarding opinions and such. What is an opinion anyway? There are opinions and there are opinions. I guess you’re saying that it’s a fact that murder is wrong, in the same way that it’s a fact that evolution happens? I wouldn’t argue with you there, except that with morality, you do eventually boil down to things like “suffering is bad”. Is this an axiom? A tautology? After all, “I am suffering” is basically just another way of saying, “Bad things are happening to me.” Probably 100% of people who are suffering would say that suffering is bad. But that’s just, like, their opinions, man.

    Yeah. This is why I’m a builder, not a philosopher.

  177. Owlmirror says

    @Kroos Control chaosinflation:

    Someone in the other also mentioned killing babies for fun as something that was obviously wrong. Is that just a convention too?

    The god of the bible says that killing (some) babies for fun is the right thing to do.

    Is the god of the bible objectively wrong?

    Are you absolutely certain that the god of the bible is the same god of a putative objective morality?

  178. says

    once again, a god babbler is proposing some kind of “fix” for something…yet the solution that their god “provides” look completely redundant and has no effect on the situation. oh dear.

    it very much fits the definition of “snake oil”.

  179. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    chaosinflation, you keep on referring to ‘careful exegesis’, but how do you know which ‘careful’ interpretation is correct? How would you know if you were wrong?

  180. consciousness razor says

    I guess you’re saying that it’s a fact that murder is wrong, in the same way that it’s a fact that evolution happens? I wouldn’t argue with you there, except that with morality, you do eventually boil down to things like “suffering is bad”. Is this an axiom? A tautology?

    It’s an observation. You of course observe it “directly” when it comes to yourself, and to be consistent,* you should apply its implications to other sentient beings like you. It couldn’t be anything else. It isn’t a statement about words (which is why this isn’t an argument about “definitions” as some have claimed). It’s a statement about the world. Where do you get those? From the world.

    But this is how you ought to approach all of your subjective experiences: they’re real things in the world, not some mystical thing separate from it, and science is a better way of understanding them than any other. And I don’t think anyone here has a serious argument showing that this “ought” is neither true nor false. It is true that science is a better approach than any other. It is true that this has real, practical implications in the world, about how we ought to act. We shouldn’t all be scientists (or philosophers), but we should all take the subject seriously. If you don’t take it seriously, go on with your life however you want, but then you shouldn’t pretend you have something useful to tell us about it.

    *And for chaoticinflation’s sake, no, “consistency” isn’t some magical, transcendental thing which is evidence of a god.

    Yeah. This is why I’m a builder, not a philosopher.

    Well, I’m an artist, so in a sense I guess I’m a builder too. I make noise buildings. :)

  181. Amphiox says

    People like Dawkins , who I quoted in the other thread , believe all human actions are the result of the mechanistic workings of the universe and we don’t really have any choice in it.

    People like you, on the other hand, cleave to a belief that would mean that all human actions are the result of the predestined plan of an omnipotent and omniscient creator god and we don’t really have any choice in it.

    If god exists and is both omnipotent and omniscient then humans cannot have free will.

  182. chaoticinflation says

    @The Very Reverend
    I think the “killing babies for fun” thing is pretty common. I’ve seen it in a few ethics papers. The idea is to take an ethical idea that almost everyone’s moral intuition will confirm is wrong.

    And while we’re at it, why did [God] give his “son” … a crucifixion … (most were much more like Odin’s week on the World Tree) just to “atone” ..?

    God gave his son in a horrible shameful crucifixion to atone for YOUR mistakes and YOUR sins. You should repent.

    @SallyStrange #224

    Hey, weasel words: “a matter of opinion” and “subjective” are not precisely the same thing.

    And what’s the relevant difference that affects your argument

    So what if it’s just my opinion? My opinion is well-founded and supported by various objective facts, such as: murder causes needless pain and suffering, deprives the world of the useful work a person could do if they died a natural death, disrupts society, etc. Those empirically observable and verifiable facts are the foundation of my opinion about murder. So you’re wrong about there being no foundation.

    But none of those things are moral values. Why should people care about pain and suffering. It happens all the time when we kill animals for food or predators kill other animals. Maybe the person would not be a positive influence on society . Maybe he’s a hobo who is just being unpleasant. There’s no reason to think any of those things are morally special , unless you affirm humans have some kind of objective value. that is the basis for moral values.

    It’s not “just” a convention.

    Are you saying its more than a convention?

    It’s a human convention, like language, art, money, and morality. Very useful and important things, these human conventions. There’s nothing about them that merits you continuously appending minimizing words like “just” or “merely” to the phrase “human conventions.”

    But those are different. poeple are allowed to speak different languages or make different art or use different currency. But they’re not allowed to kill babies for fun. That’s just wrong.
    For example , say you were discussing women’s rights with someone from Afganistan and you said the oppression of women was horrible. He said that it was just the convention over there , like how their language and currency is a convention. Doesn’t that offend you ! Mistreating valuable human beings and oppressing them isn’t to be decided upon convention!!
    You ask why rape victims are mistreated. that’s just the convention!

    Maybe you should be speaking less and reading more on the subject since you’re so ignorant about it. I don’t even care for the subject and I’m more informed than you are about it.

    No you’re just using poor and question-begging definition. i know what I’m talking about.
    Oh and congrats. You believe in libertarian free will , if you believe people have the ability to choose from more than one option. Are you a naturalist though? How does this square with your worldview?

    Matt Flanagan comprehensively refuted the idea that God commanded genocide so i won’t address that.
    I’m not saying our only source of morality is the bible.
    We can recognize basic concepts like charity , justice , love and human value and worth intuitively and use them to do ethical reasoning.
    But these have no foundation in an atheistic worldview. They’re just conventions.
    True. I sort of got into the weeds regarding opinions and such. What is an opinion anyway? There are opinions and there are opinions. I guess you’re saying that it’s a fact that murder is wrong, in the same way that it’s a fact that evolution happens? I wouldn’t argue with you there, except that with morality, you do eventually boil down to things like “suffering is bad”. Is this an axiom? A tautology? After all, “I am suffering” is basically just another way of saying, “Bad things are happening to me.” Probably 100% of people who are suffering would say that suffering is bad. But that’s just, like, their opinions, man.
    You’re so close , but you don’t want to take it to the conclusion. The thing is there are axioms. Humans have worth and value , and that’s why we shouldn’t cause them needless suffering. These axioms have their foundations in objective values.
    What reason do you have to keep denying these objective values? I don’t see any good reason to deny them

    An aside
    Btw here’s an interesting quote. Back in the Soviet Union, this guy was captured and tortured in Soviet prisons. Here’s an account of what his guards did.

    The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe when man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil. There is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil which is in man. The Communist torturers often said, ‘There is no God, no hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.’ I have heard one torturer even say, ‘I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.’ He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflected on prisoners.

  183. Rob Grigjanis says

    CR @238:

    The golden rule is immoral. It is too stupidly simplistic to be useful in practically any circumstance.

    Oh, please. Any maxim, isolated from context or further thought, is stupidly simplistic. It’s only immoral if you treat it as a rigid self-contained little rule, which can be lawyered to absurdity, as you did. As a rough guide to living, it works damn well for most of us, most of the time.

  184. says

    The thing is there are axioms. Humans have worth and value , and that’s why we shouldn’t cause them needless suffering. These axioms have their foundations in objective values.

    “Objective” to me means that they would still exist if there weren’t humans (or other sentient beings) around to have those values. That doesn’t make any sense. For a value to exist, a sentient being has to exist to give it force and meaning in the world. In a universe full of rocks an non-sentient organisms, there is no such thing as “human life has value.” Or “intelligent shark life has value.”

    Your torture thing is cute. Like Christians haven’t tortured the fuck out of people using equally evil but totally religious reasoning to justify it.

  185. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Kroos Control:

    You missed my whole point (surprise, surprise!) When the gomer who wrote the account of the “crucifixion” that all the others copied retailed the course of events, why didn’t he make it conform to a normal 3- or 4- or 5- day crucifixion? Especially since he was making that shit up from whole cloth in the first place? That would much better have conveyed the message he was making up this story to promote. All any of his readers could get from it is: “If you have the right father, you can skate on anything.”

    Matt Flanagan comprehensively refuted the idea that God commanded genocide so i won’t address that.

    He didn’t “refute” shit. But just for laughs—in your own fucking words just for ONCE!!!!—tell us why you think any of his drivel refutes anything.

  186. Amphiox says

    Someone in the other also mentioned killing babies for fun as something that was obviously wrong. Is that just a convention too?

    Your hangup over the word “just” is both ridiculous and dishonest.

    The implication that something being a convention somehow makes it inferior or less desirable is simply wrong.

    The belief that it is god who prohibits the killing of babies for fun is ALSO A CONVENTION. Since no human can know or understand the mind of god, it is a CONVENTION among believers to agree among themselves to believe that God truly considers that wrong. It is a CONVENTION among theists to ignore all the biblical passages where their god explicitly endorses the killing of babies and implicitly does not punish anyone who obeys his command to kill babies and had fun doing it. It is a CONVENTION among believers to engage in exegesis instead of accepting the literal word of the bible. It is a CONVENTION among theists to assume some parts of the bible are metaphorical while others literal. It is a CONVENTION among theists to agree that the exegesis that finds the parts in the binle where god commands the slaughter of babies not to mean that god’s morality endorses the killing of babies for fun.

    It is a CONVENTION among theists to agree to allow the existence of morality to count as an argument for the existence of god (a convention which we atheists DO NOT ACCEPT).

    It is a CONVENTION among theists that the words of any deity on morality should be trusted and obeyed instead of distrusted and opposed.

    It is a CONVENTION among theists that god should even b considered to be good rather than evil, or indifferent, or a trickster.

    It is a CONVENTION among theists to assume that when god commanded Abraham to kill his son Isaac that it was just a test and when god intervened and told Abraham he didn’t have to do it anymore that was a statement of god’s true morality, rather than the other way around.

    It is all convention all the way down. Sticking the word god into the process doesn’t change that no matter how hard you delude yourself into thinking it does.

  187. consciousness razor says

    As a rough guide to living, it works damn well for most of us, most of the time.

    It only “works” whenever we want the same things. When we don’t want the same thing, it doesn’t “work.” What work does it actually do? Nothing, apparently. We already wanted to do what it says we should do; otherwise we didn’t want the same thing, in which case it doesn’t work.

    But is it the case that we want the same things “most of the time”? I don’t know. I’ve never checked. Have you? I don’t think so.

  188. Rey Fox says

    Values ain’t objective just because you think they were written in some old book.

  189. CJO says

    Btw here’s an interesting quote.

    By what way? You mean, oh let me regurgitate this turd that William Lane Craig keeps polishing and showing to everybody as a complete non-sequitur, just so you atheists are clear I consider you subhuman immoral monsters? Is that the way we’ve come by? Well, fuck you and Willian Lane Craig. And fuck Richard Wurmbrand, the original excreter of the turd, while I’m at it.

    Now that I’ve got that out of my system, do you realize what you’re implying? By saying that belief in gods is what’s preventing people from behaving like subhuman immoral monsters, you’re saying that you believe that the only thing preventing you and your fellow delusionists from behaving like subhuman immoral monsters is your fear of your cosmic overlord and his “unbelievable brutality and torture inflected on prisoners [for fucking eternity]! What the fuck is wrong with you?

  190. Amphiox says

    The thing is there are axioms. Humans have worth and value , and that’s why we shouldn’t cause them needless suffering. These axioms have their foundations in objective values.

    Axioms by definition do not require any foundation at all.

    It is just a convention that some people such as you agree to believe that those axioms have a foundation in something else.

  191. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    God gave his son in a horrible shameful crucifixion to atone for YOUR mistakes and YOUR sins. You should repent.

    What imaginary deity. Your claims is dismissed due to lack of solid and conclusive physical evidence. Your belief is irrelevant.

    And what’s the relevant difference that affects your argument

    Same works in reverse weasel wording asshole delusional fool.

    But none of those things are moral values.

    Fuckwit, YOU don’t define the argument, we do. YOU don’t define the level of evidence required to back up your claims, we do. You don’t provide solid and conclusive evidence for your imaginary deity, everything you say can and will be dismissed as fuckwittery.

  192. chaoticinflation says

    @Sally Strange

    I mean objective in the sense of independent of human opinion or convention.

    Don’t forget God would still exist and he is sentient and would exemplify these objective values.

  193. Amphiox says

    Matt Flanagan comprehensively refuted the idea that God commanded genocide so i won’t address that.

    It is just a convention that you choose to believe that Flanagan refuted the idea that god commanded genocide. We DO NOT ACCEPT THAT CONVENTION.

  194. Amphiox says

    Don’t forget God would still exist and he is sentient and would exemplify these objective values.

    It is just a convention that you and some people like you agree to, to believe that god is sentient (and exists). We DO NOT ACCEPT THAT CONVENTION.

  195. Amphiox says

    God gave his son in a horrible shameful crucifixion to atone for YOUR mistakes and YOUR sins. You should repent.

    That is just a convention that you and some people like you choose to believe.

    We DO NOT ACCEPT THAT CONVENTION.

  196. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Don’t forget God would still exist and he is sentient and would exemplify these objective values.

    We don’t forget your deity is imaginary, and any attributes you give it are those of your own delusional mind. They are are meaningless fuckwittery, the same as is found in any book of fantasy. If that is all you have, presuming some you can’t demonstrate exists is causing something you can’t show is true, then why should anybody believe any word you say? No reasonable or logical person who doesn’t share your delusions will.

  197. consciousness razor says

    Don’t forget God would still exist and he is sentient and would exemplify these objective values.

    Therefore, god is a subject and not a subject. Therefore, this is necessarily false.

    “Exemplify” makes it sound pretty fancy though. So, sure, that totally makes sense.

  198. Rob Grigjanis says

    CR @252:

    It only “works” whenever we want the same things.

    Yes. Like feeling safe, sheltered, cared for, fed, respected, etc. Those are fairly common things, no?

    We already wanted to do what it says we should do; otherwise we didn’t want the same thing, in which case it doesn’t work.

    I don’t even know what that means. I want to keep the toonie in my pocket, but the homeless person needs it more, so I give it to them. As I would want someone to help me if I were in need.

  199. chaoticinflation says

    @consciousness Razor
    I believe God is 3 persons. So 1 person can be the subject and another the object

  200. says

    I also note that “exemplify” requires that god conform to the standard. Hence the standard is external to god, and god is redundant to morality.

  201. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I believe God is 3 persons. So 1 person can be the subject and another the object

    Since your deity doesn’t exist, you are delusional X 3. Why should anybody who understands evidence, and doesn’t give a shit about your mere theological fuckwittery, do anything other than LAUGH AT YOU?

  202. CJO says

    The ground of being and three persons to boot!

    But wait, there’s more!

    If you act now we’ll throw in a psychopathic Canaanite storm god, Absolutely Free!

    Just $19.99 plus shipping and handling. Supplies are limited.

  203. Amphiox says

    I believe God is 3 persons. So 1 person can be the subject and another the object

    That is just a convention that you, and a minority of the people on this planet, have agreed to believe.

    We DO NOT ACCEPT THAT CONVENTION.

  204. consciousness razor says

    Yes. Like feeling safe, sheltered, cared for, fed, respected, etc. Those are fairly common things, no?

    If you make it general enough, sure, we usually want most of the same things in life. That’s too vague to help us. As soon as you get to specifics about different individuals, it breaks down quickly.

    I don’t even know what that means. I want to keep the toonie in my pocket, but the homeless person needs it more, so I give it to them. As I would want someone to help me if I were in need.

    So you’re a generally good person. That’s good.

    But if you’re not, you’re going to keep “the toonie” (??), because that’s also what you want. You have to weight those different conflicting desires, so you might come to a different conclusion. And you might have different ways of evaluating exactly what sort of situation you’re in. The rule doesn’t tell you anything about that. Maybe you’re some selfish, libertarian jackass. What does a selfish, libertarian jackass do? They lift themselves up by their own bootstraps. That is how they think they would want other people to treat them, because they presumably deserved being homeless, since that means they were lazy or untalented or whatever. The libertarian wants to punish these immoral homeless people for being so immorally homeless, not “help” them (because that’s not help, it’s unjust), so they’d consistently think they deserve the same treatment if they were an immoral homeless person.

    So the golden rule doesn’t tell people to do good things or bad things. It tells them to take their own subjective state (including whatever biases or misconceptions they may have) and project it onto other people, as if we were all the same.

  205. says

    I mean objective in the sense of independent of human opinion or convention.

    What if it were discovered that a species of sentient aliens existed who had entirely different moral values? See, this is why people should read science fiction. Thanks to reading SF, I can easily imagine a species where it’s a moral good to kill off as many babies as possible, for fun or otherwise. You never did respond to my remark about intelligent sharks viewing the existence of humans as not only having no intrinsic value, but actually having negative value–a species whose non-existence would bring a host of benefits to other living beings.

    Don’t forget God would still exist and he is sentient and would exemplify these objective values.

    I defined “objective” as something that exists independent of the perception of humans or other sentient beings. You defined as simply being independent of the perception of humans. Your lack of imagination is not a good argument. Clearly, if God existed and had moral values, then if God ceased to exist, then his moral values would also cease to exist. Therefore you’re really talking about God’s subjective moral values.

    As has been pointed out already.

    What’s your goal here anyway?

  206. says

    “the toonie”(??)

    It’s a Canadianism. It’s the two-dollar coin, etymologically related to “the loonie,” the one-dollar coin, so named for the loon on the back (or the front, depending on your perspective).

  207. consciousness razor says

    I believe God is 3 persons. So 1 person can be the subject and another the object

    So not only do you have no evidence, you also can’t do basic arithmetic. What an improvement.

  208. consciousness razor says

    I defined “objective” as something that exists independent of the perception of humans or other sentient beings.

    It means independent of an individual sentient being.

    You are a subject. I am a subject. We’re both humans. Humanity itself (or the category of all sentient beings) is not subject. It doesn’t subjectively experience shit.

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

    @cicely:

    ZOMG thank you so much for that link. I particularly loved:

    This of course led to the bipedalism of modern-day God.

    Seriously. For any thinking person, that is pure comedy gold.

    Although the parting shot was certainly applicable to the current ethical discussion:

    “…it appears that the chimp deity often exhibited extremely aggressive behavior, in some cases unleashing its divine wrath with little if any provocation toward the mortal chimps it created in its own image.”

    He added, “It is our understanding that these creatures lived in a kind of jungle-like forerunner to the Garden of Eden, until a day came when their enraged creator cast them out, flinging feces at them as they fled.”

  210. says

    @chaoticinflation

    I think there’s good evidence for the sort of God who is the ground of being.

    I was hoping we’d get some examples of this evidence.

  211. says

    God as the ground of being is precisely the sort of god it’s impossible to get evidence for. I thought that was the point of the “ground of being” god.

    If that god exists, it’s clearly not Yahweh.

  212. Al Dente says

    Matt Flanagan comprehensively refuted the idea that God commanded genocide

    Oh yeah, the exegesis argument that “the Bible says something I don’t like so I’ll pretend it says something different because reasons”. Exegesis is better known as “making shit up.” Flanagan and chaoticinflation don’t want to admit their god is a genocidal, sadistic thug with morals that the mafia would reject. According to the propaganda, Yahweh kills people just because xe can. Yahweh nuked Sodom for grins and giggles but Christian apologists lie about it.

    If I ever felt the urge to believe in gods then Yahweh and Jebus would be at the bottom of the list of candidates. They’re hateful, brutal, narcissistic bullies who aren’t worthy of belief, let alone worship.

  213. Lofty says

    I believe God is 3 persons. So 1 person can be the subject and another the object

    Da God is the cheap flea market multi tool that twists and bends when you poke anything with it.

  214. Al Dente says

    God gave his son in a horrible shameful crucifixion to atone for YOUR mistakes and YOUR sins.

    I don’t understand how this is any sort of atonement or redemption. According to the shuck and jive Yahweh and Jebus and the Spook are all the same god. Yahweh is pissed at humanity for acting the way Yahweh created them to act. So God sacrificed himself to himself to make himself feel all better about people. That makes sense, if you’re terminally unthinking.

    Why didn’t Yahweh make himself feel all better just by making himself feel all better? What purpose does the human/divine sacrifice have? Also Jesus didn’t really die. He knew (that’s the omniscience thing) that he’d spend a lousy afternoon hanging around the cross and then a day and a half later he’d be all better again. Great big hairy deal.

  215. says

    I don’t see why someone else has to atone for my “sins” anyway. How is that consistent with taking responsibility for one’s actions? If I messed up then I have to deal with the consequences. If Yahweh is letting me off the hook because someone else to the fall for me, then that’s HIS mistake. That’s not morality.

  216. omnicrom says

    Hey Kroosinflation, are you willing to be as intellectually honest as WLC yet? William Lane Craig went on record to say that if his god commanded him to commit genocide he would. Will you say the same? If your god is your source of objective morality and your god spoke to you and told you to commit genocide would you?

  217. anteprepro says

    God gave his son in a horrible shameful crucifixion to atone for YOUR mistakes and YOUR sins. You should repent.

    Oh noes, not SHAMEFUL crucifixion! Because you know that his crucifixion wasn’t actual sacrifice, what with being an all-powerful and all, so think of THE SHAME!

    Also, supposedly, God didn’t die for me. I mean, I neglected to see the part of the Bible with name in it. I believe the legend goes that Jeebus died for everyone, because God Who Is Also Jeebus was unable to let himself forgive people for breaking the Sabbath and eating shrimp until he went through the motions of gaining a flesh suit and letting the Romans execute him for heresy. I am having a hard time feeling personally culpable in this scenario. Sorry. Advice: Try your emotional blackmail on the rubes. We aren’t very susceptible to those con games here.

    Why should people care about pain and suffering.

    Conservative Christians certainly don’t.

    Maybe the person would not be a positive influence on society . Maybe he’s a hobo who is just being unpleasant.

    I love how this is the morality a Christian believes we are left with when we don’t have Christian Brand Objective Morality to save us. Because this sounds very much like what an American pluto/theocrat would carelessly and shamelessly let dribble out of their mouth, before wiping it away with a $100 bill and then kissing a crucifix to make it all better.

    But those are different. poeple are allowed to speak different languages or make different art or use different currency. But they’re not allowed to kill babies for fun.

    Oh god. The stupidity begins anew…

    You ask why rape victims are mistreated. that’s just the convention!

    Like all Christianists, you have the gall to bring up subjects where the Bible is weakest.

    We have already brought up the Bible’s failings on the matter, and you just glibly dismiss them. Where do you obtain the objective standards regarding opposition to rape and treatment of rape victims? Because it ain’t the fucking Bible.

    Matt Flanagan comprehensively refuted the idea that God commanded genocide so i won’t address that.

    Man, you really like outsourcing your arguments.

    I’m not saying our only source of morality is the bible. We can recognize basic concepts like charity , justice , love and human value and worth intuitively and use them to do ethical reasoning.

    Wait. Let me get this straight: you acknowledge that you are getting these principles from “intuition” and/or “ethical reasoning” and not the Bible? But you are still pretending that atheists can’t have this same kind of morality? Because only with a magical creator entity can “ethical reasoning” be a thing? Even though it is a big secular philosophic topic? By fucking Cthulhu, Bible fetishists are fucking dense.

    Btw here’s an interesting quote. Back in the Soviet Union, this guy was captured and tortured in Soviet prisons. Here’s an account of what his guards did.

    Yeah, like religious people have never caused unnecessary pain, death, or destruction.

    Go fuck yourself, you disingenuous, atrocity-milking, amoral fuckwad.

  218. omnicrom says

    So YHWH sent himself to be crucified for 3 days in some arcane plan to forgive people for things that he had let happen in the first place but couldn’t forgive for no good reason? Big whup. The Nashim Ganedan stood watch over Earth for millenia, aided the Steel Dragons in sealing of Perfectio, the king of Ruins, and traveled 12000 years into the future to aid the Alpha Numbers against Keisar Ephes, the first Balmar spirit emperor who was greatest of the Baal and endlessly malevolent enemy of all life. And there’s at least as much evidence for the Nashim Ganedan’s existence as there is for Jesus and your god.

    YHWH meanwhile was killed, albeit temporarily, by Aleph and had his plans and designs thwarted repeatedly by the likes of Demi-Fiend, Seraph and the Embryon Tribe, Abel and Naoya, the Demonica soldier, and the first Flynn. All this can be found in Shin Megami Tensei which has as much truth in it as the bible, and if you use proper exegesis you have to accept it as Christian Canon.

  219. says

    @chaoticinflation

    Btw here’s an interesting quote. Back in the Soviet Union, this guy was captured and tortured in Soviet prisons. Here’s an account of what his guards did.

    And you think that some “best possible moral agent” noob god sat by and watched. Your inability to view that inaction as immoral and disgusting shows how warped your mind is.

  220. consciousness razor says

    I don’t see why someone else has to atone for my “sins” anyway. How is that consistent with taking responsibility for one’s actions?

    Well, you have libertarian free will, see, so you don’t actually take responsibility anyway. You act for no reason at all. This is a very Good Thing™ — just take that as axiom, I guess, because I’m not sure how else we’d ever know such horseshit. Also, having that is the reason why the three deities, who are one intelligent deity as well as existence itself, won’t do shit about any bad stuff in the world. Earthquakes that kill hundreds of people, for example. We must have those, or else you couldn’t act for no reason at all, which would be Very Bad™. Obviously.

    Anyway, atonement seems to be just the gods fixing their own mistakes. Or maybe killing themselves had to do with some internal conflict among them. Who knows? We can at least be sure that this was because of something that never happened in the garden of Eden which doesn’t exist. Whatever the case, it’s all about proper exegesis: it’s not that “you” literally “sinned” or that the “gods” actually give a fuck about you. They don’t. That would be silly. The fact is, they’re the ground of being and they work in mysterious ways and so forth, so who’s to say that they didn’t have a good reason for “atoning,” whatever that means?

  221. rorschach says

    I believe God is 3 persons.

    Well, your fellow Christians didn’t believe that until the late 4th century. And even then, they postulated the trinity as if it were fact but refused to ever give a logical explanation saying essentially that the concept can’t be expressed in mortal words and “you’ll just have to take our word for it”.

    The Christian Pentecostals or Mormons don’t believe it either. Nor do the Muslims. All these sects(and many more) love their Jesus, just not in 3 duplicates. Now what is more likely, that all these sects are all right at the same time, or that they are actually all wrong?

  222. omnicrom says

    Now what is more likely, that all these sects are all right at the same time, or that they are actually all wrong?

    Even money when/if Chaoticinflation comes back they’ll say that all those sects are engaged in incorrect exegesis.

  223. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Hey, if you want incorrect exegesis…whatever deranged Nut Cult the egregious heddle* espouses believes that the second person of the trinity—The Son™ in other words—created the universe, 4000-13,800,000,000 years before he was born!

    *Long banned here, but still stinking up Ed Brayton’s place.

  224. ChasCPeterson says

    I’m pretty sure that heddle’s not banned here. It’s his choice not to comment.

  225. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    I’m pretty sure that heddle’s not banned here. It’s his choice not to comment.

    Well, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he were lying about that…not at all. He would have been caught in the amnesty on the move to FtB, anyway.

  226. says

    Can someone who is not our resident godbot explain what “the ground of being” means?

    ****
    chaoticinflation:

    Matt Flanagan comprehensively refuted the idea that God commanded genocide so i won’t address that

    Even *if* that were true-and I don’t believe it is-according to your Big Book Of Objective Morality, your deity wiped out nearly all life on earth during the flood. It committed genocide, rather than commanded it. Yeah, that’s so much better.

    Humans have worth and value , and that’s why we shouldn’t cause them needless suffering. These axioms have their foundations in objective values.
    What reason do you have to keep denying these objective values? I don’t see any good reason to deny them

    •No proof that objective morals exist (according to you, they come from your deity, but there’s no evidence supporting the idea of any god existing, so you’ve got a lot of work to do proving this)
    •No explanation of what these objective morals are
    •No explanation for how humans can perceive these objective morals
    Yet you see no reason to deny them.

    How in the holy fuck are we supposed to accept or deny these objective morals when we don’t even know what they hell they are?

    ****

  227. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Captain Marvel was always awesome, even when she had the stupid name “Ms Marvel”. The new Ms Marvel looks good, and I’ll have to watch her development. The Binary phase of Captain Marvel (with the StarJammers & Alex&Scott Summers’ dad) was pretty cool. And the “other” captain marvel, Monica Rambeau, was pretty awesome as well. I frickin’ loved her stint in the Avengers.

    But then there’s Luke F’n Cage.

    Even back then, I loved the outsiders to the comic-hero world. Not the ones who were insiders but who, in their privilege, disdained the rules (Wolverine, natch) but the ones that were genuine outsiders – Luke Cage, Carol Danvers, and to a lesser extent (as portrayed – being a black woman cop, much less a black woman police lieutenant, was far from easy in the late 70s) Monica Rambeau.

    But it’s hard to get a Luke Cage or Captain Marvel (either one) t-shirt, at least compared to things like Spidey.

    I read this the other day at work and it made me Geektastically happy.
    Growing up, The Avengers was always my favorite comic book. One of my absolute favorite characters in comics remains Monica Rambeau. I remember reading her origin in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr), and really liking her character (though as a child, I couldn’t pinpoint what it was that drew me to her). What little I learned about electromagnetic radiation I learned as a result of reading stories involving her character and wondering what the heck x-rays, gamma rays, or microwaves were. I learned about the speed of light and AU while reading up on em radiation (don’t get me wrong, this stuff was covered in school, but my introduction to them was from comics).

    I’ve come to really love Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel too. Kelly Sue Deconnick is a wonderful writer, and she captures Carol’s voice quite well (not many writers have been successful at that). I’m glad that Marvel is pushing her as one of their premiere heroes.

    As for Luke Cage, well I was ambivalent toward him for a long time, but Brian Bendis did wonders for his character (one of the few things I’ve been satisfied with looking back at his tenure as writer of the Avengers books) and I’ve come to love him.

    Btw, I’m not even sure what a Cage shirt would look like. Hopefully not this.

  228. Owlmirror says

    The old and new plonk/dungeon list are still available on the internet archive, and heddle was never on either of them.

    I don’t think he would lie about it, either, even if there were no empirical verification. While heddle is, I think, very confused when it comes to what he says he believes as a religious person vs. what he says he believes as a secular scientist, I also think that in his own way, he’s as honest as he can be given that confusion.

  229. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Heddle stopped commenting here because he could not handle all of the vile feminists hanging out here.

  230. consciousness razor says

    Can someone who is not our resident godbot explain what “the ground of being” means?

    Not a being, but being itself. The beingness of beingosity. Not an existent thing, but the existenceness of existence. Existenceness^∞.

    In other words, a load of garbage that you don’t really need to understand. It’s enough to point out that it’s not the intelligent, interventionist god of theism, much less of Christian theism specifically. It’s not necessarily a supernatural “god” at all … more like pantheism or atheism than anything like that. It’s basically just “being,” but you’re supposed to imagine that spelled out with big capital letters, bold type and lots of exclamation points. And probably a penis. It may be referred to as “He” (or “Jesus” and/or his partner deities) simply as a matter of convention.

  231. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Owlmirror @ #297:

    Maybe it’s incorrect exegesis of his comments on my part. Reading them I’m usually grinding my teeth so hard that the roots of my molars are scratching the underside of my brain, so it’s more than possible.

  232. Amphiox says

    Can someone who is not our resident godbot explain what “the ground of being” means?

    It’s analogous to the luminiferous ether and the universal stationary frame of reference.

    That thing which you presuppose just has to be there so that other things can do their thing, without realizing, or even bothering to consider, that those things can actually do their things without need for any other things at all.

  233. Owlmirror says

    @Tony:

    Can someone who is not our resident godbot explain what “the ground of being” means?

    CR took a good whack at it, but here’s my take on it:

    Consider that, as far as we know, reality can be divided into . . . different subcomponents. Matter and energy are interchangeable, but matter can be subdivided into (for the most part) electrons and quark-combinations (protons and neutrons are each composed of 3 quarks), or in other words, fermions; energy can be subdivided into (mostly) photons and other carriers of energy, or in other words, bosons. And these can be (perhaps) decomposed into strings of varying dimensions.

    Space can (theoretically) be decomposed to Planck space; time can (theoretically) be decomposed to Planck time.

    Now, you might think that it’s sufficient to just stop there, but sophistimacated theololgical metaphysics says that things cannot naturally exist of themselves (I forget why; I think it has something to do with essences, or maybe the impossibility of a natural infinity), so something needs to make them exist; something needs to provide the existingness of that which exists.

    And this is the ground of being; that which is existingness itself. It’s called “god”.

    Why is it called god? Well, something needs to be in order for religion to be true, and the above is sufficiently abstract and confusing that few religious people will be motivated to see exactly how and where the theololgian palmed the card.

    And, of course, in and of itself, even if the above were somehow correct, saying that existingness is the same thing as the god of the bible, with all of the commands and curses and tripartateness and angels and self-sacrificing to self and implicit penis and whatnot . . . is ludicrously silly.

    But sophistimacated theololgians are pretty much paid to be that silly.

  234. alexanderz says

    Tony! #296:
    …and Mormon. You forgot Mormon. Don’t worry though, through His sacrifice you are forgiven.

    Goodbye Enemy Janine #298:
    He could have better things to do. Some people’s lives don’t revolve around Pharyngula and he doesn’t owe anyone here a comment (nor does anyone owe him one). You could give him the benefit of the doubt as he didn’t say anything harmful as far as I’ve read.
    Besides, does it matter whether he was banned or not? He came to argue, his arguments were thoroughly dismantled, so who cares whether he’s a troll or not?

  235. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @chaoticinflation #212

    Yay, you came back!

    1. You said “we” had no answers. Clearly we do.

    No I didn’t, this is just a lie. My exact wording:

    So you’re refusing to answer my question? Gotcha. Because, I suspect, you don’t have an answer*.

    You. Because you don’t have an answer. Not because Christians don’t have an answer. Because you don’t have an answer.

    *Comment #309 in the Australians Denying Science thread.

    2.Not one holy book , but there are writings that the scholars of Norse mythology have compiled and interpreted.

    You mean anthologies of Norse myths? Fair enough. What would correct exegesis on these books involve, exactly?

    3&4
    I actually answered it

    No you didn’t.

    If you examine the claims made about Odin (with proper exegesis and all that[2]) , you conclude he’s a finite being who was born in the past and will die (or already died depending on when you date Ragnarok). He’s not the sort of being that can be the eternal ground of being or eternal standard of morality so he’s very different and the evidence Christians present for God is very different.[3]

    Odin is finite because that’s what the Norse mythologies say. I think there’s good evidence for the sort of God who is the ground of being and not for the sort of God who is like Odin.
    Also the fact that Odin (if he existed) let his religion die out tells me he’s not the type of person who seems to be interested in gaining new converts.

    These are not answers. I don’t just want to know what you think, I want to know why you think that. I know what you think, you think that Odin doesn’t exist. If you thought anything other than that then you’d have no right to call yourself a Christian, it being a monotheistic religion and all. Christianity may have a very strange understanding of the prefix “mono-”, but they do still require that their believers not believe in other gods.

    You keep talking about there being “good evidence”; show me. I’d like to know what you’ve read and how you’ve interpreted it that makes you think what you think. If you haven’t read anything and you’ve just lived all your life with the unquestioning assumption your God is the only true God, then stop trying to convince people otherwise and just say so. This isn’t a trick or a trap, I genuinely am just trying to understand why you think the way you do.

  236. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @Crip Dyke #196

    If the original common anscestor was not nearly as refined for survival as life is today, how did it survive?

    The original riparian-zone, aquatic ambush predators were not nearly as refined for survival as the Saltie. How did they survive?

    They didn’t compete with fucking Salties.

    in the same way, the first cells might have been very inefficient in plucking out nutrients from the environment and turning them into life-necessary products, but nothing else was sweeping those products into its own gut and using them up. They freely dispersed in the environment. The original living things, then, didn’t need to sense predators, had less need for movement, and needed no specialized feeding pathways. With no parasites or infectious bodies yet evolved to live off their cells, these organisms would need no immune systems.

    Moreover, an inefficient metabolism is a slow metabolism. I disagree that they likely had short life cycles (at least relative to archaea today). Instead, they likely had slow life cycles, but they didn’t need to reproduce quickly because nothing else was reproducing faster so as to hog the life-necessary resources. Nor did they need to rapidly reproduce before being scooped up by a predator, as there were none.

    An organism capable of surviving in an environment of free organic molecules and chemical energy, both diffused widely throughout the habitat, with no predators or parasites, is simply not capable of surviving in today’s environment. It’s a different fucking environment.

    Going back a loooooong way here, but your answer is genuinely food for thought. I had assumed that, as single-celled and realtively delicate organisms, they would have short lifespans because modern organisms of that type tend to. They can be killed by UV and changes in temperature and pH and saltiness etc. I assumed that early microbes would be even more sensitive to these changes, whereas your answer (specifically regarding the lifespan of early organisms) seems to assume the opposite.

  237. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge #224

    I watched a programme about this, and you’re giving far too much credit to Briton’s ability to plan ahead. We drive on the left because we’ve always travelled on the left. In Ye Olden Days™, people passing each other on the roads would pass on the left so their weapon hands remained between them, just in case they turned out to be unfriendly. Therefore, most people travelled on the left, to avoid having to change course when they saw someone coming. When the car came along, we just continued with that tradition.

    Apparently the rest of Europe drives on the right because of Napolean. He was left handed, and such a huge egotist that he demanded that everyone travel on the right, and that all his soldiers were trained to fight left handed. People got used to travellling on the right, and again just stuck with it.

  238. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    Ooops, hit send too soon. That last theory seems a bit far fetched to me, though I do know that Napolean was both left handed and hugely egotistical, so it’s possible. The first however is totally plausible, given my countrys ridiculous fetishisation of tradition.

  239. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    Hm, I hadn’t ever seen the 2nd video before. It’s an interesting way of thinking about it; that the very tortuous nature of the stories might actually be indicative of followers trying to rewrite history to conform to the details of a real person’s life. Because, if you’re going to invent Jesus out of whole cloth, why not just make it easy on yourself?

    I wonder if Richard Carrier has ever commented on that idea.

  240. says

    @293
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Can someone who is not our resident godbot explain what “the ground of being” means?

    Owlmirror in 302 has given a pretty good description.

    What ultimately is there? This is a metaphysical question. I’d like to point out three hypotheses on this.

    1)Naturalism/materialism.
    2)Substance Dualism.
    3)Idealism.

    1) Means everything can be reduced to non-mental stuff
    2)Means some stuff can be reduced to non-mental stuff, but some things are irreducibly mental (souls!)
    3)Means EVERYTHING is irreducibly mental. Lots of mysticism woo here, like The Secret I think.

    I was recently looking through the wikipedia page of idealism, and came across:

    Monistic idealism holds that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is monist because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe and idealist because it holds that one thing to be consciousness.

    And there it is.

  241. says

    So, a few corrections to what others have said:

    from Owlmirror 302

    And this is the ground of being; that which is existingness itself. It’s called “god”.

    Well, there are at least 3 hypothesis of what this most basic stuff is, I mentioned above. Further, to get to “god” as THE ground of being from the idealist hypothesis you must accept more: you must accept that reality is not reducible to OUR minds, but to the mind of some god. So reality is just thought up by god or something…

    @299
    consciousness razor

    It’s not necessarily a supernatural “god” at all … more like pantheism or atheism than anything like that.

    Well, using the word “supernatural” to describe stuff that is not reducible to non-mental stuff is actually quite fitting. Though it can be confusing when the 3 positions I listed above are not explicitly articulated in the conversation, and so you can confuse the position you hold for the position someone else holds. Maybe that’s why you listed atheism there, you didn’t realize that the believers just accept the assertion that there is non-reducible mental stuff, and they fail to show why the naturalism option is unlikely.

  242. says

    Sally Strange@282:

    Atonement only makes sense if people believe that guilt is a thing, something that can be passed from one being to another, or for whose consequences one can substitute oneself for another (maybe like getting a ride on a plane with someone else’s ticket).

    “Guilt,” as (some of us) moderns understand the word, cannot, I think, be atoned for. Guilt usually means nothing more than the fact that I did something. “I’m guilty of murder” (leaving aside the judicial sense of the phrase) simply equals “I committed murder.” So, unless Christ traveled to the past and uncommitted that murder, I’m stuck with the guilt.

  243. consciousness razor says

    Well, using the word “supernatural” to describe stuff that is not reducible to non-mental stuff is actually quite fitting. Though it can be confusing when the 3 positions I listed above are not explicitly articulated in the conversation, and so you can confuse the position you hold for the position someone else holds. Maybe that’s why you listed atheism there, you didn’t realize that the believers just accept the assertion that there is non-reducible mental stuff, and they fail to show why the naturalism option is unlikely.

    I think I understand your point, but they seem like distinct concepts to me. A ground of being isn’t a god. It’s a ground of being. Theists do use arguments for it, then switch to talking about gods whenever convenient. The thing is that by itself it’s not (without a lot of other wild assumptions) an entity with a mind. It doesn’t have a personality, perspective, thoughts, actions, etc. I mean, it’s the ground of being, for fuck’s sake. It already is non-mental, unless you start equivocating like some theists tend to do, to say that it’s also a supernatural entity like a god. Then it’s not even a coherent concept, and to say that it’s “mental” doesn’t carry any more weight than the opposite claim. In this case, the dualism was abundantly obvious, but my point was that strictly speaking, you wouldn’t generally need it.

  244. says

    Thumper 307-8
    The Pfft! indicates that traveling on the right was instituted in France by the Jacobin government of the First Republic, although it doesn’t indicate why they did so. Napoleon, being the egotist and nationalist that he was, decreed that the French Army should always travel on the right, even when outside of France, so that everyone had to make way for them.

  245. anteprepro says

    So chaoticinflation was Kroos Control after all! Wow. I am actually surprised. Mostly because it makes everything even more hilarious and I didn’t imagine that Voltaire’s Prayer would be answered in such a fashion. But those two were also Tomas!? That one I didn’t see coming but it makes sense in hindsight, since their definitely was a common thread of stubborn ignorance and unwarranted arrogance across all three characters. I wonder how much of it was done just For Teh Lulz and how much of it was giving us a glimpse into “This Is Tom Kroos Actually Believes”.

  246. Rey Fox says

    alexanderz: I don’t know why you’re saying all that to Janine, but she’s right about heddle. He wrote a parting comment here some time just after the Rebecca Watson thing saying just that. It was quite a wonder.

  247. Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened says

    @BrianPansky #312

    Monistic idealism holds that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is monist because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe and idealist because it holds that one thing to be consciousness.

    Advanced Solipsism 101.

    @Dalillama #316

    The Pfft! indicates that traveling on the right was instituted in France by the Jacobin government of the First Republic, although it doesn’t indicate why they did so. Napoleon, being the egotist and nationalist that he was, decreed that the French Army should always travel on the right, even when outside of France, so that everyone had to make way for them.

    Ah, so it was Napolean who spread travelling on the right, but didn’t invent it. That sounds more plausible.

    Napolean also spread surnames. They’re a French thing, apparently. The English had them because of the Normans, but Germanic speaking people were still using “X’sson” and “X’sdottir”, with regional variations obviously. He forced conquered people to adopt surnames, and as a result there are some very funny surnames in The Netherlands, because they thought it wouldn’t last so they picked stupid ones as a joke/low-level act of defiance :)

  248. consciousness razor says

    But those two were also Tomas!? That one I didn’t see coming but it makes sense in hindsight, since their definitely was a common thread of stubborn ignorance and unwarranted arrogance across all three characters. I wonder how much of it was done just For Teh Lulz and how much of it was giving us a glimpse into “This Is Tom Kroos Actually Believes”.

    Tomas is a bit more surprising, but “three characters” is right. My guess is somebody who didn’t believe any of it, but was trying to make libertarians and MRAs and goddists look stupid. But even then, he’s still an awfully stupid, dishonest, arrogant fucker. Too cowardly to formulate a serious thought of his own about anything.

  249. Dhorvath, OM says

    Consciousness razor,

    So the golden rule doesn’t tell people to do good things or bad things. It tells them to take their own subjective state (including whatever biases or misconceptions they may have) and project it onto other people, as if we were all the same.

    This has bothered me, nice to see it articulated so succinctly.

  250. says

    @319
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Advanced Solipsism 101.

    well, metaphysical solipsism is the position that only one’s own mind exists. It is idealism, but a specific kind. Other kinds include more than one mind existing.

    I’d guess that a “ground of all being” believer would maybe say that god’s mind exists, but our minds exist too. But if god’s mind is the ground for our mind, then it seems like only god’s mind exists…which does seem like solipsism. A bizarre form, since it is only ONE mind, but not one’s OWN mind…

    As usual, believers rob us people of something we have, and cay that only god has it, or it “is god”. typical. Presupps do it with the capacity for knowledge, others do the same plundering to our morality. A lot of liberal believers do it with our affective, emotional stuff like love. It’s kind of sickening.

  251. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    So chaoticinflation was Kroos Control after all! Wow. I am actually surprised. Mostly because it makes everything even more hilarious and I didn’t imagine that Voltaire’s Prayer would be answered in such a fashion. But those two were also Tomas!? That one I didn’t see coming but it makes sense in hindsight, since their definitely was a common thread of stubborn ignorance and unwarranted arrogance across all three characters. I wonder how much of it was done just For Teh Lulz and how much of it was giving us a glimpse into “This Is Tom Kroos Actually Believes”.

    At some point in the last day or so, chaoticinflation used the term “moral intuition” and I knew he was Kroos Control. Hadn’t considered it before that.

    Like you, I was surprised to know they were also Tomas but it makes sense in hindsight. I don’t think KC/CI actually believes the libertarian nonsense, or at least had never attempted to defend it before. With the religion stuff, he’s regurgitating other people’s thoughts but he had responses ready to hand. With the libertarianism and feminism stuff it was as if…he didn’t have a diverse enough database of keywords/prepared responses. Like the algorithm he was using to match a response to a key word or phrase was still in beta.

  252. anteprepro says

    I couldn’t find heddle’s initial flounce. Here is a remark he made about it on Dispatches though:

    And of course you are revising history. Pharyngula always had a heavy feminist leaning, as does Dispatches. Regardless, I commented on Pharyngula for years and continue to comment here. I didn’t leave because it was full of feminists, a lie which you are telling, but because a band of astonishingly stupid and odious feminists took over and PZ kowtowed to them. I recall a particularly repulsive scene where one regular commenter, I think it was Morales, said something slightly unorthodox and how he then groveled and accepted some sort of humiliating rehabilitation offer.

    An analogous situation would be to imagine a Christian blog that had a representation, even a majority, of fundamentalists who participated and argued. But then it was taken over by a none-too-bright group of fundie zealots who began e-excommunicating anyone outside their nano-meter diameter circle of orthodoxy. And the blog owner joined in. And they began identifying themselves by oh-so-clever sarcasm tags appended to their names. Yes, I would flounce from that blog too. Not because it was full of fundies, it may always have been, but because it was taken over by jackasses.

    So, yes, heddle flounced because Pharyngula got too feminist for him. His quibbling here just confirms that that is his position on the matter.

  253. CJO says

    So the golden rule doesn’t tell people to do good things or bad things. It tells them to take their own subjective state (including whatever biases or misconceptions they may have) and project it onto other people, as if we were all the same.

    I’ve been sort of following this, and it seems like the assumption is that the rule is intended in the vein of a Kantian imperative. But I think it should be viewed just as a heuristic pump — a shortcut to moral reasoning. If you take it, you’re automatically on ground that forces you to consider another person first. I agree that if you let (some; any) over-simplistic rule do the heavy lifting by itself, there will be as many questionable moral outcomes as satisfying ones. But if you simply treat it as a goad to remember that others’ needs and desires are intrinsically of equal moral weight to our own, then it’s done its job and you can get down to a more careful assessment of how those different parties’ needs and desires might diverge.

  254. CJO says

    Hm, I hadn’t ever seen the 2nd video before. It’s an interesting way of thinking about it; that the very tortuous nature of the stories might actually be indicative of followers trying to rewrite history to conform to the details of a real person’s life. Because, if you’re going to invent Jesus out of whole cloth, why not just make it easy on yourself?

    I wonder if Richard Carrier has ever commented on that idea.

    I did not watch the video, so I don’t know how the torturous nature of the stories is characterized. But I think there’s a mistaken assumption underneath your line of questioning, which is that the invention out of whole cloth was of an itinerant Galilean exorcist/teacher figure. The original invention (on the Christ-myth hypothesis) was a myth, a cosmic savior figure. The corrollary assumption is that mythmakers should logically want to “make it easy,” but that can’t just be taken as obvious, it needs to be justified by reference to the cultural context and an inquiry into just what exactly were the aims of the mythmakers in a given case. On one hand, perceived difficulties may be a result of cultural differences between ourselves and ancient Mediterraneans; on the other, mystics often trade in the counter-intuitive and the absurd.

  255. consciousness razor says

    CJO:

    I’ve been sort of following this, and it seems like the assumption is that the rule is intended in the vein of a Kantian imperative. But I think it should be viewed just as a heuristic pump — a shortcut to moral reasoning. If you take it, you’re automatically on ground that forces you to consider another person first.

    But that isn’t what it’s telling (or pumping) you to do. Something like the “platinum rule” does that: you should do for them what they in fact want you to do for them. That is opposed to what you think you would do to yourself. The golden rule isn’t formally guiding you toward thinking about what some different, other person actually wants, if it’s possible that it isn’t what you would want. Using it, you’re stuck in that framework of pointing everything in your own direction, so to speak, instead of thinking about it as a level playing field with different people moving in many different directions. Maybe it’s a terrible analogy, but it’s the difference between flat-earthers and heliocentrists: sort of hard to tell what the difference is supposed to be until you really dig in and look at the ideas, at which point it becomes more and more obvious. But maybe I’m over-thinking it.

    I agree that if you let (some; any) over-simplistic rule do the heavy lifting by itself, there will be as many questionable moral outcomes as satisfying ones. But if you simply treat it as a goad to remember that others’ needs and desires are intrinsically of equal moral weight to our own, then it’s done its job and you can get down to a more careful assessment of how those different parties’ needs and desires might diverge.

    I do agree with your criticism here. The platinum rule also doesn’t work well if you treated it as somehow a complete moral system or some sort of foundational statement in a system. Not without a lot of bad results, at least.

    However, neither rule is equivalent to the statement that we all have equal moral status. I think people naturally read more than that into it (the GR), because that extra stuff is literally there in the “rule” as it is quoted. They’re thinking of it as a quotation, as you would probably suspect. If you switch around the “you” and “they,” as the PR does for example, the results are very different and not so dramatically wrong.

    Yet theists like our troll friend do indeed resist the idea that something in the Bible is wrong. So they generally won’t much like this switching that I just proposed. Also, somebody else on the atheist side (I don’t remember who) was claiming that because lots of people supposedly agree with the golden rule throughout history in different cultures, that makes it in some way foundational. Which is a huge leap in logic that has its own problems. But this just goes to show that people do make such leaps, because they’re not taking it as a simple statement about “equal moral status” or whatever. If they were, it doesn’t seem like they’d be trying to situate that rule as quoted in a society or in history, in the way that they’re doing it. (Not least because things like slavery and so on very obviously contradict this notion of equality, so practically nobody ever followed it.) Or in the case of theists, they’re typically trying to defend its unique structure because it’s in the Bible and they’ve convinced themselves they’re supposed to think the Bible’s inerrant. I mean, I guess they could be confusing it with something else which is much more general (and better than anything actually in the Bible), but then I wouldn’t know how to understand why they’re being so damn specific about it, or why they’d insist that making a small adjustment is not the appropriate thing to do. Any of that happens, and it definitely wasn’t what they were thinking of originally.

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

    I had assumed that, as single-celled and realtively delicate organisms, they would have short lifespans because modern organisms of that type tend to. They can be killed by UV and changes in temperature and pH and saltiness etc. I assumed that early microbes would be even more sensitive to these changes, whereas your answer (specifically regarding the lifespan of early organisms) seems to assume the opposite.

    I think it’s more precise (and fair) to say that I strongly suspect the opposite. The chemistry just takes longer to work without catalysis. If that suspicion is correct, UV would limit the habitat of the earliest thing we could call an organism by killing them too soon to reproduce rather than constraining the nature of the organism. I suspect what you had enzymatic action, you could get an organism that lived quickly enough that it was capable of living on/in the surface waters (or very close) rather than somewhere that may still be near the surface (or may not) but requires being shadowed by rock or whatever.

    Again, no one knows. My chemistry is for shit. But if we’re really talking the *first* organism, well, it seems astounding if it could reproduce on the time scales of archaea today.

    Ironically, getting just enough enzymatic action to make UV survivable on a population level would rapidly spur the development of UV tolerance. It seems like you would have new challenges that would be very great in specific environments, but negligible in others. Now, most life can tolerate a great deal of variation in UV or salinity or what-have-you. But if these were real killers early, you’d probably get things adapting to one environment at a time – and rather rapidly in terms of generations and years. The organisms would be unable to survive there in populations, then just barely, and in the “just barely stage” you’d get a heck of a lot of cull and strong selection pressure, and so then you’d get to a stable population stage in likely a few thousand generations. It might take as little as 50 years to colonize a new environment once a population with minimal survivability was carried into it.

    This is all speculation, of course, but 50 years is a time frame that could be plausible based on generational mutation experiments such as at MSU and based on the evolution of nylonase. Still, the inability to know just exactly how rapidly the little early critters lived and died – both at the very earliest stages and later when they were numerous enough to have currents carry them routinely into new environments – makes any assertions around time frames highly uncertain.

    Fun to talk about though.

  257. says

    CR

    Something like the “platinum rule” does that: you should do for them what they in fact want you to do for them. That is opposed to what you think you would do to yourself. The golden rule isn’t formally guiding you toward thinking about what some different, other person actually wants, if it’s possible that it isn’t what you would want.

    The golden rule is really just an improper/extremely simplified formulation, and other traditions have come up with better ones, although I’m not aware of any that include in one rule what would tend to consider to be the complete formulation, i.e: Do unto others that which your best information indicates they wish to have done unto them, so long as you do no one any injury thereby. In the absence of specific information regarding another person’s desires, your own desires projected into a similar situation can be used as a reasonable proxy until further information is available.

  258. anteprepro says

    The Golden Rule is best thought of as just a description of empathy. Or rather, how you should tend to behave if you were to act according to empathy/”rational self-interest”. If you want a moral or ethical system, it is a good rule of thumb, a nice basis, but it is hardly the only thing you need, and it is hardly without a need for built in loopholes around it.

  259. Rob Grigjanis says

    Dalillama @330:

    I’m not aware of any that include in one rule what would tend to consider to be the complete formulation, i.e: Do unto others that which your best information indicates they wish to have done unto them, so long as you do no one any injury thereby.

    Yes, the point of a maxim or aphorism is to transmit the essence of an idea in a pithy/poetic enough way to be memorable, and thus be thought about and built upon. It’s most certainly not meant to be parsed as though it were a statute. No maxim would stand up to such scrutiny. I shudder to think what could be done with ‘To thine own self be true’.

  260. Hj Hornbeck says

    [materializes out of nowhere]

    Here’s an interesting observation: up until the MRA community got wind of it, most of the contributions to Radford’s legal funds were from the SlymePit, and even they were alerted to it by the ‘Pit. They are Radford’s biggest fans and defenders at the moment.

    Just today, I swung by Radford’s website to do a bit more research, and spotted he’d added some Paypal links at the bottom. I figure they were inserted sometime yesterday evening.

    Those two facts happened to occupy my head at the same time, and it got me wondering: has anyone in the ‘Pit asked for a Paypal donation link? One quick search later, and I found two offhanded comments requesting it on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Paypal links went up Thursday evening.

    Either Radford reads the SlymePit, or someone from there is in regular contact with him. Or it’s a coincidence, I guess.

    [slips back into the shadows]

  261. Hj Hornbeck says

    ChasCPeterson @ 335:

    Hornbeck: get over yourself.

    Ok, hang on a moment.

    Wait….

    Aaaand… there. I’m over myself. [dusts off his hands]

  262. Jacob Schmidt says

    You know what I learned today? That crackergate was a violation of a political groups free expression.

    No, seriously.

  263. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Hj Hornbeck, the bonehead (You know, the MRA who uses a skull for his icon) has been tweeting a lot about Radford’s defense fund the past couple of days.

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

    I’m not sure where it was, but someone was recently asking about computing stellar distances and the various different methods. In particular, parallax was discussed (as it was the preferred method of the troll in the discussion). I’m pretty sure Kroos Control initiated the discussion, but others (despite their failure to agree with KC that only parallax provided a direct and reliable measure of distance) were uncertain about parallax limits while still being interested in the functional limits of today’s instruments.

    This article gives a new, state of the art, answer to that question: round about 10kLy or 3kP.

  265. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    were uncertain about parallax limits while still being interested in the functional limits of today’s instruments.

    Yes, certain other methods like:
    Cepheid variables,from Wiki, the cosmic ladder:

    Extragalactic distance indicators[13] Method Uncertainty for Single Galaxy (mag) Distance to Virgo Cluster (Mpc) Range (Mpc)
    Classical Cepheids 0.16 15–25 29
    Novae 0.4 21.1 ± 3.9 20
    Planetary Nebula Luminosity Function 0.3 15.4 ± 1.1 50
    Globular Cluster Luminosity Function 0.4 18.8 ± 3.8 50
    Surface Brightness Fluctuations 0.3 15.9 ± 0.9 50
    D–σ relation 0.5 16.8 ± 2.4 > 100
    Type Ia Supernovae 0.10 19.4 ± 5.0 > 1000

    Of course, like carbon 14 in old carbon only that which doesn’t on the micrometer surface refute their idiocy is accepted as fact.

  266. David Marjanović says

    finally, it all makes sense

    …It does.

    Napole[o]n also spread surnames. They’re a French thing, apparently. The English had them because of the Normans, but Germanic speaking people were still using “X’sson” and “X’sdottir”, with regional variations obviously.

    That’s specifically North Germanic. Farther south surnames gradually developed in the late Middle Ages, in the cities at least.

    I know what you think, you think that Odin doesn’t exist. If you thought anything other than that then you’d have no right to call yourself a Christian, it being a monotheistic religion and all. Christianity may have a very strange understanding of the prefix “mono-”, but they do still require that their believers not believe in other gods.

    Not for a literal value of “believe in”. Many Americans retain the idea from Roman times that all deities of all other religions really exist – they’re just evil demons who have tricked people into worshipping them instead of the true god. “False god”, to them, does not mean “figment of someone’s imagination”.

  267. Bicarbonate is back says

    Thumper @ 307 and Dali @ 316

    About left or right driving round the world :

    Japan is another interesting case as it has always driven on the left. Some sources derive the roots of this practice from the Edo period, when samurai are said to have passed each other to the left to avoid knocking their long katana swords against each other, much like the European knights did. During the late 19th century, the practice of left-hand traffic was further solidified by the influence of the British who provided technical assistance in the construction of the first Japanese railways, which adopted the British practice of running on the left. For road transportation, the left-hand traffic was legally established in Japan by the Stage Coach Order issued in 1870 and revised two years later. When Okinawa came under US control after the defeat of Japan in World War II, its people were compelled to drive on the right. In 1972, Okinawa was returned to Japanese control and changed back to driving on the left six years later.

  268. David Marjanović says

    Also Jesus didn’t really die. He knew (that’s the omniscience thing)

    Is it?

    Is it really??

    Anyway. From higher up:

    But you know what; if I’m wrong? If PZ decides to pander to the meangirl (and boy!)(and other!) Hordelings and ban me forever?

    I won’t care about that, either.

    You know, I find that rather hard to imagine. You occasionally say you’re leaving, but you always come back; you have even complained that Pharyngula is addictive. I’m sure you’d miss it occasionally.

    I’ve been banned on two blogs and have no emotional scars, but to say I don’t care at all is a bit exaggerated.

    My list of names. Don’t you forget people sometimes?
    I have a bad memory and I forget names all the time, both online and offline, so I make lists. It’s helpful if, for example, I encounter a thread with over 500 comments (not unusual here) and I want to get the gist of it quickly. With a list I know who I must read, who I may skim and who I should avoid at all costs. It’s particularly useful when replying to comments, because some people are just unpleasant to talk with.

    Ah. Interesting.

    I don’t keep track of everyone either, but I just take the time (from somewhere) to read the whole thread, or I skip it altogether; and I hardly care who I’m replying to.

    The “religion of Odin” has not died out. Contemporary worshippers still exist.

    So THIS is what you consider proper exegesis? The making up of falsehoods and the spreading of misinformation?

    Of course it died out. And then, in the 20th or maybe late 19th century, a few Romantics tried to revive it; it’s possible that some of their followers really believe and don’t just claim so as a matter of ideological affiliation.

    ee also:

    During the “secular argument for abortion” debacle, i.e. the last time you threw a tantrum in Thunderdome because you couldn’t figure out why people read you uncharitably. You claimed you’d never said anything remotely resembling accusing anyone of political correctness or groupthink or of being unable to think for themselves. See also: Daz’s link in #83. I quoted another line from you in one of the Thunderdomes around the same time and carlie and SallyStrange also provided links to other posts. There’s multiple additional examples of you expressing the same sentiment within a few posts of the one Daz links to and Daz and carlie both confronted you about that particular one within 20 posts and it was also brought up here.

    You had not only denied having ever said such a thing but impugned the reading comprehension of everyone who thought your words could possibly mean what they mean.

    So, ya know what? Fuck you for apparently thinking we’re all stupid enough to forget this shit just because you deny it happened. Add gaslighting to the list of shit you do that makes people think you’re a fucking asshole.

    Couldn’t it be that Chas simply failed to express what he really means, so that his words really do mean what you think they mean, but he doesn’t know? Link, please. (I’ve long wanted to analyze the explosion of that thread.)

  269. David Marjanović says

    Austria drove on the left till it was annexed by Germany in 1938. The light rail of Vienna still goes mostly on the left, and so do the escalators in the subway stations of Berlin (!).

  270. Bicarbonate is back says

    and let not your French-bashing be gratuit. From the same article, concerning why the French and Americans drive on the right and why the English don’t:

    The choice of right-hand or left-hand driving apparently has to do with the types of vehicles most commonly used in different areas, and where the driver—typically holding a whip in his right hand—sat. In France, the majority of the vehicles in the 18th and 19th centuries were heavy carriages and wagons, owned by the nobility and pulled by teams of horses. The person driving such a conveyance, known as a postilion, would normally sit on one of the horses in the team. A right-handed postilion would mount the horse from the left (as discussed above) and control the team with a whip held in the right hand; therefore, a postilion would ride the left-rear horse of the team. Following the general rule that the driver has the best view of oncoming traffic from the position near the middle of the road, a postilion would keep the vehicle towards the right side of the road. In the early colonial years, American traffic followed the British left-hand custom, but the popularity of large wagons pulled by teams of horses among pioneers settling the large expanse of the frontier and among tradesmen moving large quantities of goods across long distances led to the gradual adoption of right-side rule in the United States.

  271. Bicarbonate is back says

    p.s. The word postillon in French today means a tiny drop of saliva someone projects onto your face when they are talking to you.

    Just couldn’t help adding that.

  272. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @ 346 David

    See this Thunderdome, comments 250-260-ish.

    Chas says the thing he does that people around here don’t like is think for himself. When a couple people object to the implication that the rest of us don’t think for ourselves, he registers his dismay that anyone could think he’d ever expressed such a sentiment. This is quickly followed by multiple people quoting his own words at him from several different posts and asking what the ever loving fuck other meaning we’re supposed to take from them. No explanation was ever forthcoming.

    I mean, I dunno, maybe he’s just in such incredible fucking haste to inform us all of what inferior thinkers we are that he pays so little attention to what he’s saying that he’s honestly forgotten it within a handful of posts.

    Maybe he simply forgets that his mouse has a scroll wheel and his browser has a scroll bar, both of which would enable him to go back and find his recent posts and re-read what he said to try to discover which of his words had led people to their conclusions about what he meant.

    Maybe being wrong is such a vanishingly rare occurrence for Chas that he can’t reasonably be blamed for his resolute unwillingness to entertain the possibility before impugning the intelligence of everyone around him.

    Maybe having multiple people quote his own words at him, explain their reasoning and ask him explicitly to explain where they went wrong isn’t enough of a fucking clue for him to realize that what people would really like is for him to clarify his meaning.

    Maybe, when he explicitly, preemptively refuses to explain why someone is wrong, it’s not because he can’t but because it’s self-evidently wrong and everyone else is simply “adhering to correct doctrine” or however he opts to phrase it that time.

    Maybe. Or maybe he’s just a fucking asshole.

  273. ChasCPeterson says

    Oh for fucks sake. Well, hey, if people are going to talk about me, I’ll weigh in; seems only fair.

    See this Thunderdome, comments 250-260-ish. Chas says the thing he does that people around here don’t like is think for himself.

    Wrong. The quote, i.e. what Chas actually said, was:

    My evidently extremely unpopular thing is to think for myself and venture to express some opinions where it looks to me like a valid point of view is being ignored or unjustly ridiculed. [emphasis added]

    See? Not your bullshit truncated version, you intellectually dishonest spin doctor.

    When a couple people object to the implication that the rest of us don’t think for ourselves,

    Stop. That was NOT, in fact, an implication. It was an inference, and an incorrect and unfair one. That’s what I mean about poor reading comprehension: it’s apparently not enough to just read the words I chose to type and post, it was for some reason more important to infer uncharitable additional shit that can be argued with more vehemently. To make shit up, in other words.
    Did you see how I responded to Ogvorbis at that thread? Did you catch his class reply? If so, why do you insist on sticking to your bullshit version?
    Seriously: I know how to write sentences. They mean what I want them to; no more, no less. I’m so fucking sick and tired of people arguing with me and spraying their invective my way for shit I never said or meant. It’s very tedious, and youy, “piegasm” or whatever, are among the worst recent offenders.

    …he registers his dismay that anyone could think he’d ever expressed such a sentiment. This is quickly followed by multiple people quoting his own words at him from several different posts and asking what the ever loving fuck other meaning we’re supposed to take from them. No explanation was ever forthcoming.

    Um, are you talking about this?:

    Everybody’s praising it because it sez just what they already thought, only in actual sentences,

    Here’s another example of you implying people don’t think for themselves.

    If so, you can’t read. Where in that is there any suggestion that somebody didn’t think for themselves? I said “Marcotte wrote what people already thought”. They may well have already thought it for themselves; there is absolutely zero implication otherwise. Can you see that? Can you now read clearly enough to admit that you just made that shit up?
    Hell, for all I know, every single esteemed commenter here at Pharyngula has thought through the entire abortion issue and all its implications and ramifications all by themselves and without any influence of other peoples’ thoughts whatsoever, and all arrived at the exact same position. Fine. It’s still, locally, the “Correct Doctrine” (as carlie quoted me as saying), and the reaction to what I said* shows very clearly that it is expected to be “accepted unquestioningly” (ditto).

    I’m 100% no-shit serious about this: the ‘implications’ that have been ascribed to me (not just in this case, but many times before) are no. such. thing. They are uncharitable inferences, inother words bullshit, and they derive from bias, prejudice, and really really crappy reading comprehension.

    when he explicitly, preemptively refuses to explain why someone is wrong

    Which, by the way, I did one. time. Once. (Because I was tired of discussing the issue with such incompetent and/or disingenuous discussants as, for example, that preening dick Louis).
    If you want to accuse me of a pattern, you’d better start documenting it; otherwise you’re once again just making shit up. And I don’t appreciate it. It’s dishonest and it’s lazy.

    Or maybe he’s just a fucking asshole.

    Yeah haha maybe.
    Well guess what, “piegasm” or whatever: I think you‘re a fucking asshole. I sincerely do. So please stop talking about me, because you can’t seem to do it without being a fucking asshole. Asshole.

    And the same goes for Sally Strange and anybody else who’s accused me of dishonesty: Fuck you. And have nice days.

    *which was simply the fact that it is possible to impart ethical value to a human fetus even if one is an atheist. That was it. Yes yes, I know: you do not impart such value.
    Not the point. Never was. Try to read and then think before going off.
    Or not; I don’t give a fuck any more.

  274. says

    Chas:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/16/im-not-willing-to-trade-one-women-for-the-entire-membership-of-cpac/comment-page-1/#comment-765970

    Thanks for the advice, everybody!
    AK, I have zero interest in forming or even joining a Movement. My evidently extremely unpopular thing is to think for myself and venture to express some opinions where it looks to me like a valid point of view is being ignored or unjustly ridiculed. It’s just how my brain works; no lie. I’m sorry it makes folks unhappy.
    As for trolling, yeah, maybe, sometimes, but only after being thoroughly frustrated by irrationality.

    But since this has been officially designated an Abortion Thread, and I have apparently been asked to stay out of such, I’m going to shut up. It seems only fair, however, to ask that others not address me here where I can’t (or shan’t) reply. Please to shift further invective and castigation over to the Thunderdome; thanks

    (bolding mine)
    I take issue with the second half of the bolded portion because the anti-abortion arguments I’ve seen all result in women’s bodily autonomy being violated. The minute that is done, that so-called “valid argument” becomes invalid. I’m not willing to compromise on my support for women’s rights. These “valid arguments” are being ignored and/or justly ridiculed bc many people have already thought about them and come to the conclusion that they aren’t valid.
    The first half of that sentence does carry with it the implication that you think for yourself while others don’t. Initially, I would have added on the subject of abortion to the end of the previous sentence, but then there are other things you’ve said that made me reconsider. Taken in isolation, your comment

    My evidently extremely unpopular thing is to think for myself and venture to express some opinions where it looks to me like a valid point of view is being ignored or unjustly ridiculed.

    can be read as not implying that others don’t think for themselves. However, when further context is added (i.e. other comments you’ve made), the implication becomes more readily apparent. Your use of “correctly progressive” “correct doctrine”, and “One True Opinion”carry the implication that some commenters do not think for themselves. Maybe you’re not trying to imply that but based on what you’ve written, that’s the conclusion I’ve reached.
    I’m also curious why you use those phrases.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/03/08/theres-a-secular-argument-for-wearing-underpants-on-your-head-so/comment-page-1/#comment-761301

    Unlike an adult, a fetus has zero choice or agency. It’s possible to construct an internally consistent and coherent ethical framework that takes that fact into account. As I pointed out way up at the top of the thread, it’s possible to think that potential human-beinghood is a concept that deserves ethical value.

    Disclaimer: I am playing Vulcan and just picking at sloppy thinking here. My personal opinions are pretty much in line with everybody else’s here: 100% pro-choice, giving trumping priority to a woman’s bodily autonomy.
    nevertheless, I acknowledge that there are other ways of thinking about the issue that are reasonable, coherent, and secular and don;t deserve simplistic Nerd-style flooshing. that’s all.
    I’ll stop,

    (bolding mine)
    “Sloppy thinking”? If I’m reading you correctly here, you think it’s sloppy thinking to reject these “reasonable, coherent, and secular arguments against abortion”. Why is it sloppy thinking? I don’t see an answer from you. Just an assertion. Is it just a given? Is it readily apparent to all that sloppy thinking was employed? What’s sloppy about rejecting arguments that deny women one of their basic human rights? Given that they rest upon denying women their bodily autonomy, why *shouldn’t* these so-called secular arguments against abortion not get a Nerd-style flooshing? And how can you not see that when you treat these arguments as if they have validity, that it calls into question your support for a woman’s right to choose?

    Also, “playing Vulcan” on the subject of women’s rights and especially on the subject of abortion is insensitive *at best*.

  275. biasevolution says

    Thanks for the responses to my post (even if the responses were incomplete and didn’t address most of what I wrote), and I am working on responding. However, I’d like to just expand on my thoughts on this topic before I get to my proper response.

    A common rebuke I hear is “If you have this magical evidence that can debunk evolution and demonstrate your theory, why haven’t you presented it by now?” But Darwin did that for us when he admitted in his book that the strata does not contain the transitional fossils, and physical support for the historical claims that evolutionists make. It’s not a matter of whether it has been proven false, it has never been proven true to begin with, and Darwin admitted as much. Since then, the situation has devolved for evolutionists, because now the evidence is much more overwhelming against it, and that evidence is well known and available to anyone who wishes to seek it out. Evolution can and has been falsified, but the faith and incredulity of evolutionists cannot be overcome by mere evidence. Proof does not equal persuasion.

    And then you get garbage articles like this: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA601.html which are supposed to tear apart our anti-naturalist stances. Pfft, hardly. Though I think he’s a bonehead, I find myself agreeing with most of what Isaak is saying in this piece. He is presenting the starry-eyed version of science as it should be, in a perfect world, and I think we would all agree that it would be great if it worked that way, and in most cases it does. Origins “science” though, is far from a perfect world, and methodological naturalism is an illogical explanation for the origin of nature itself. There simply is no evidentiary support, nor can a logical, rational argument be made, for nature taking part in its own creation, before it even exists.

    Evolutionism, starting small and simple and increasing in size and complexity over millions and billions of years, is the ONLY possible way that a naturalist can explain any aspect of nature. That concept HAS to explain everything.

    -Cosmic evolution – formation of time, space, matter and energy, from literally nothing
    -Chemical evolution – all required elements have to evolve from a select few
    -Stellar and planetary evolution – those evolving elements begin to form stars and planets
    -Organic evolution – life has to evolve from lifeless chemicals – spontaneous generation
    -Macro-evolution- once spontaneous generation has taken place, life-forms must change into different kinds of life forms, in order to explain diversity

    *Micro-evolution – although a very disingenuous choice of terminology, this is essentially modern biology, and is actually valid science. Not surprisingly, it’s also what the bible tells us biology should be, kinds reproducing after their kind, but why would you try to call that “evolution”??

    Same pattern explains everything for you, except the real science of biology, where the concept of evolutionism doesn’t work. Wonder why.

    I fully agree with Isaak when he says, “…science has absolutely nothing to say on the subject…”. Problem is that methodological naturalism that science adheres to, is turned into dogmatic adherence to philosophical naturalism/materialism/scientism, by atheists so that they have their very own “creation story”, to explain origins and support their illogical beliefs. Science has nothing to say on the issue of divine influence, but scient-ISTS do, and atheists jump on board with people like Dawkins, Krauss, Tyson, etc., who tell them what they want to hear, that a universe can create itself from nothing, that spontaneous generation is plausible, and that animals can morph into different kinds of animals.

    Long story short, Isaak does nothing to help naturalism by falling back on how science is suppose to work, and pretending that people like himself, and you guys, strictly follow the evidence no matter where it leads, and do not allow their ideological presuppositions to affect their view of the evidence. His rebuttal to Johnson is an epic fail.

    Unfortunately for you guys, we do understand how evolution works, and we can see that those “bronze-age goat herders”, as you dismiss them, outsmarted your 21st-century evolutionary scientists. We understand that evolution works however it needs to work, in order to try and make it fit the particular piece of evidence that is being discussed. Once one has had enough discussions with evolutionists and looked at the evidence, that fact becomes crystal clear and most of the time we can even predict how you will respond.

  276. says

    biasevolution:

    Once one has had enough discussions with evolutionists and looked at the evidence, that fact becomes crystal clear and most of the time we can even predict how you will respond.

    Since you know the responses already, why are you here? This is a blog about atheism, science, social justice and more. You’re not likely to find much support here for your beliefs. Nor are you likely to change minds. So why not just depart now?

  277. biasevolution says

    Tony:

    Since you know the responses already, why are you here? This is a blog about atheism, science, social justice and more. You’re not likely to find much support here for your beliefs. Nor are you likely to change minds. So why not just depart now?

    Okay, that last quoted part of my last post was out of order, and I apologise. But I would like education and the opportunity to actually be potentially switched around in my beliefs, since I’m perfectly willing to accept that some explanation of evolution could exist that would overturn my beliefs, I just haven’t seen any.

  278. Nick Gotts says

    But I would like education and the opportunity to actually be potentially switched around in my beliefs, since I’m perfectly willing to accept that some explanation of evolution could exist that would overturn my beliefs, I just haven’t seen any. – biasevolution

    That’s clearly not the case, or you wouldn’t be babbling about what Darwin said about a lack of transitional fossils linking major groups a century and a half ago. You would have taken the trouble to look at the description of the many such fossils that have been discovered since then: transitions between (for example) fish* and tetrapods, reptiles and mammals, reptiles and birds, whales and their land-living ancestors, apes and humans…

    the real science of biology, where the concept of evolutionism doesn’t work.

    While that is simply a bare-faced lie. As the Christian evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky said: “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”. Cretionist fools and liars have contributed a flat zero to the astonishing advances in biology over the past century: it has all been the work of scientists who accepted the reality of evolution.

    *I’m using “fish”, “reptiles” and “apes” here in the everyday-language sense, i.e. referring to paraphyletic groups.

  279. A. Noyd says

    biasevolution (#356)

    we do understand how evolution works

    This is a lie. You asked above “why would you try to call that ‘evolution’” in regards to micro-evolution which shows you do not even understand what evolution is, much less how it works.

  280. Nick Gotts says

    Further to #361, I wonder why so many creationists think that coming here and telling obvious whoppers is going to impress anyone.

  281. says

    biasevolution:

    But I would like education and the opportunity to actually be potentially switched around in my beliefs, since I’m perfectly willing to accept that some explanation of evolution could exist that would overturn my beliefs, I just haven’t seen any.

    You want people to educate you *and* you want people to attempt to persuade you to change your beliefs..??!!
    What makes you so special that anyone would do either?

  282. rorschach says

    clownshoe @ 356,

    Unfortunately for you guys, we do understand how evolution works, and we can see that those “bronze-age goat herders”, as you dismiss them, outsmarted your 21st-century evolutionary scientists.

    Why dont’t you google “Dunning-Kruger effect”, and then with that in mind proceed to read a book on evolution like for example that by Carl Zimmer or Sean Carroll, and try to actually, really, “understand it”. Then come back if you have any questions, and I’m sure people would be happy to help out.

    But as long as you don’t, you come across as a smug closeminded garden-variety religious dumbo. And that’s really boring. Like this stuff:

    Evolutionism, starting small and simple and increasing in size and complexity over millions and billions of years, is the ONLY possible way that a naturalist can explain any aspect of nature. That concept HAS to explain everything.

    -Cosmic evolution – formation of time, space, matter and energy, from literally nothing
    -Chemical evolution – all required elements have to evolve from a select few

    That’s what I mean, this sort of thing just makes you look uneducated and a little dumb, frankly. Boring.

  283. A. Noyd says

    rorschach (#365)

    But as long as you don’t, you come across as a smug closeminded garden-variety religious dumbo. And that’s really boring. Like this stuff:

    Evolutionism, starting small and simple and increasing in size and complexity over millions and billions of years, is the ONLY possible way that a naturalist can explain any aspect of nature. That concept HAS to explain everything.
    -Cosmic evolution – formation of time, space, matter and energy, from literally nothing
    -Chemical evolution – all required elements have to evolve from a select few

    That’s what I mean, this sort of thing just makes you look uneducated and a little dumb, frankly.

    Creationists are really bent on making evolution cover all the same ground as their idiotic little myth. This nitwit is probably getting their particular flavor of bullshit from Kent Hovind.

  284. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Unfortunately for you guys, we do understand how evolution works, and we can see that those “bronze-age goat herders”, as you dismiss them, outsmarted your 21st-century evolutionary scientists.

    Asserrtion without evidence. Dismissed as fuckwittery.

    But I would like education and the opportunity to actually be potentially switched around in my beliefs, since I’m perfectly willing to accept that some explanation of evolution could exist that would overturn my beliefs, I just haven’t seen any.

    Thanks for admitting you are a religious fuckwit. Scientists don’t have beliefs about evolution, which are conclusions without evidence. Science has a million or so scientific papers, each pieces of evidence, supporting the theory of evolution, both directly and indirectly. So science has a scientific conclusion, not belief, that evolution has occurred. What SCIENTIFIC evidence have you presented? Zero, Zilch, Zip, Nada, Nothing. Because only more science, not religious beliefs, refute and any science.
    You can’t be educated, you are preaching, not listening. Until you shut the fuck up and start listening, you can’t/won’t learn.

  285. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    It’s really amusing how they think Darwin was the last word—that we haven’t learned anything in the last 155 years. Where were we in physics in 1859? The earliest forms of Maxwell’s equations weren’t even published until 1861! Yet even bible-thumpers will admit we know more physics now than we did then. Somehow or another a different standard has to be applied to evolution.

    I think it’s because their only experience is with religious texts. The original has to be the one-and-only authority* and all later concretions need to be chipped away to get at the original source. So On the Origin of Species is our bible, and what it doesn’t say can’t be said.

    Unfortunately, learning works against us. “There are no transitional forms!” “Here’s one.” “There are no transitional forms between those two!” “Yes there are. Here and here.” “There are no transitional forms between A and B or C and D!” We ran out of letters probably 140 years ago, but that argument never seems to get old for these boobs.

    *Yeah, I can’t explain the King James nuts.

  286. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Unfortunately for you guys, we do understand how evolution works, and we can see that those “bronze-age goat herders”, as you dismiss them, outsmarted your 21st-century evolutionary scientists.

    Except there is no solid scientific evidence for your imaginary creator, or that the babble is anything other than a book of mythology/fiction.

    For your creator, you will need: solid and concklusive physical evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Something equivalent to an eternally burning bush to be studied. Until you present said evidence, your argument is false, and is dismissed as religious fuckwittery.

  287. birgerjohansson says

    Post-Darwin stuff: Haven’t they at least heard of the synthesis of the 1940s, explaining intra-sibling altruism?
    Virus-transported genes? Hello? (sarcasm)

  288. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    While we don’t need to confuse the poor religious anti-learning addle-headed creobot, there is a book showing how one transitional form was discovered, and there is at present a series (episode one of three) about the discovery and its implications on PBS.

  289. chigau (違う) says

    How evolution works:
    Genesis 30:37-39 (KJV)
    37 And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
    38 And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.
    39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.

  290. says

    Chas, your refusal to admit that you have frequently accused posters here of not thinking for themselves simply confirms my conclusion that you lack honesty. Whether you’re incapable of being honest with yourself or with others, I can’t say. But the conclusion stands.

  291. Amphiox says

    Once one has had enough discussions with evolutionists and looked at the evidence, that fact becomes crystal clear and most of the time we can even predict how you will respond.

    Once one has enough discussions with mathematicians most of the time we can predict that they will respond that 1+1=2.

    That’s a feature, not a bug.

    The predictability you observe is called internal consistency. And it is evidence that supports that we are right.

    Ask 5 creationisits a question about their creationism, and you get five different answers, all of which are nonsensically wrong.

    Thank you for pointing yet one more example of how evolution is superior to creationism.

  292. Owlmirror says

    But I would like education and the opportunity to actually be potentially switched around in my beliefs,

    What are your beliefs, exactly? YEC? OEC? Something else?

    since I’m perfectly willing to accept that some explanation of evolution could exist that would overturn my beliefs, I just haven’t seen any.

    How much reading of actual science have you done? Do you have a reading list of books and/or websites?

    Because you don’t look very well informed at all. Boasting that you understand anything at all about science is completely undermined when you write that scientists say: that spontaneous generation is plausible, and that animals can morph into different kinds of animals.

    I’m tempted to be glib and point at metamorphosis in amphibians, but really, you’re just all kinds of confused.

  293. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @Chas

    Are you laboring under the delusion that the words after “and” in a sentence negate the ones before it? Hint: It doesn’t. It just means there’s more than one thing you think you do that the rest of us don’t.

    Did you see how I responded to Ogvorbis at that thread? Did you catch his class reply? If so, why do you insist on sticking to your bullshit version?

    Yeah I saw his “class reply.” I, apparently unlike you, kept reading after he said you were correct and conceded that you hadn’t specifically referred to him:

    My evidently extremely unpopular thing is to think for myself

    You think for yourself. Which means that the rest of us, since we disagree with you, do not.
    And the ‘sadsack’ crack? Knock of the ablist insults. Yes, I am depressed. Yes, I have serious issues. Yes, I have failed at being human. That does not make me a ‘sadsack’. Shove that.

    Where he comes to the exact same conclusion I did, to which you never responded. So what was your point again?

  294. Louis says

    Incompetent, disingenuous? Evidence please, Chas. After all I provided some for you. Do I need to link it for you you simple minded fuck?

    Preening? Yeah because indulging myself in demolishing your arrant horseshit is preening. Laughable tit you are, Chas.

    Louis

  295. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Why can’t we all just get a…
    Oh fuck it.

  296. Louis says

    Nick Gotts, #363,

    Further to #361, I wonder why so many creationists think that coming here and telling obvious whoppers is going to impress anyone.

    The whoppers impressed them….

    ;-)

    Louis

  297. Louis says

    Beatrice,

    I can get along with a few people if needs be. I’m not so happy about playing nice with those people with a…shall we say “tendency to revisionist history and lack of ability to self correct and learn”. Chas is a turd in the punchbowl. Let’s see that fucker play nice* before he gets to demand anyone else does.

    Louis

    * Or competent or honest for that matter. Innit exciting when Chas tries to deny what he’s said and weasel out of stuff? Makes for a dandy game of Whack-a-muppet.

  298. says

    Ah I like how now it’s other people’s fault for reading Chas negatively or not getting along with him. Jesus fucking Christ.

    I shouldn’t be surprised but yeah…

  299. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I’m with Louis. From where I’m sitting, Chas is a missing stair. He’s the guy that says and does harmful shit and everyone is so used to him that it’s just become part of the culture to accommodate him. It’s on everyone else to ignore him or killfile him and pretend they don’t notice his bullshit and never on Chas to explain or clarify or own up to his own words or (non-existent-gods forbid), change it. You know, all the things that are expected of everyone else around there. I’m not OK with that.

  300. says

    Chigau:

    It’s a lovely warm day.
    I think I’ll go do some yard work.

    Snowed here. I still have work to do, though. Indoor work.

  301. says

    Seven of Mine:

    I’m not OK with that.

    That’s fine with me. From where I sit, I rather expect the arguments over Chas’s posts please him. It ends up spreading what he says further, and a lot of people who wouldn’t see said posts do end up seeing them as they are quoted. That’s just me though. Carry on.

  302. Louis says

    Inaji,

    A thought I’ve had.

    One I perhaps struggle to adhere to, admittedly. But not unthought!

    Anyway, is this an Official “Do Not Mock Chas For His Obvious Bullshit” Imperative? I’m hurt you weren’t there to ask Chas not to trouble me, or indeed one of a number of people, only a few posts earlier…

    …perhaps the problem lies not entirely with the responders. Maybe the bulk of the burden isn’t on them. Another thought! Maybe the turd in the punchbowl who pops up repeatedly claiming it doesn’t stink is the problem, not the people pointing out the stench.

    Wait, I have more! (Multiple thoughts in one day, call the Queen)

    What suddenly separates “vicious arguing with Chas” from “vicious arguing with everyone that goes on at Pharyngula all the time”? Last I checked, and despite his protestations to the contrary, he’s not a special snowflake who can never never be wrong nor do things poorly. Also, isn’t it a little bit odd to try to argue that, on a blog replete with argument, invective and scorn of all kinds, including between regulars, that suddenly This Special Argument is miraculously less dandy? It’s not a reserved topic, not to do with race or sexuality or sex or gender or any of the topics where the simple mention of it is potentially triggering. It’s just a bog standard wrangle with a muppet. This is the state of play here, it has been forever. Somehow THIS instance of the standard Pharynguwrangle is magically wrong now? If THIS argument and invective is inappropriate then the bulk of argument and invective at Pharyngula (of which there is rather a lot) is inappropriate. Why the double standard? Because it annoys YOU? Wanna know what annoys ME? Surprise me by saying “yes” (the list’s actually quite small! I worked out how to use the little red X in the right hand corner).

    Could it be tiresome for some/many people here? Sure. Annoying? Sure. Unpleasant? Absolutely. Guess what, so are a dozen daily occurrences here and elsewhere. Whilst you might not like me responding to Chas’ occasional odiousness (and I do try to ignore him generally, I fail occasionally, more often recently, obviously), what separates it from your responding to occasional odiousnesses? Or anyone’s? That you find this instance tiresome? So do I!

    I have to say I second everything said by Seven of Mine in #386. Nothing about Chas makes him sufficiently special to warrant a pass on his horseshit. Quite the reverse, if we’re going to be all “give the regs a chance based on history” about it. He’s demonstrated his odiousness over time to a significant number of people for a significant number of issues. He’s demonstrated he doesn’t deserve the leniency and latitude he clearly demands and you seem inclined to give him.* On all things in all ways? Of course not! On this handwaving revisionist shit in this thread (and others of late)? No!

    Tell you what. You send a report to PZ and get him to ban me. Or warn me off. Or whatever. I think that’s your best course of action in protecting people from the terrible consequences of me (unpleasantly) calling Chas out on his horseshit. There’s a few names you might want to add to that list though.

    Louis

    *Before Chas or anyone bothers, as I’ve said repeatedly, I’ve fucked up, been wrong, been unpleasantly wrong, perhaps even wrongly unpleasant, umpteen times. I think my general record will show that I have largely corrected myself (not always easily, not always completely). I don’t think that grants me any special latitude at all. I’m very capable of being wrong. So criticism of Chas is not coming from some holy position of perfection. I lack both the holy and the perfection!

  303. Owlmirror says

    @biasevolution:

    But I would like education and the opportunity to actually be potentially switched around in my beliefs,

    Could you do me a favor and read this page:

    http://answersingenesis.com/about/faith

    And state clearly what — if anything — you don’t agree with?

    Because if you agree with everything on that page, then nothing can actually “switch around” your beliefs. You’ve committed to defending creationism as fact even if all of scientific evidence is against it.

    Ken Ham was very dishonest in the way he misrepresented science and scientific epistemology, but at least he stated bluntly that nothing could change his beliefs. Please don’t pretend that anything we say might change your mind when you’ve sworn to and committed to not changing your mind.

  304. Louis says

    Inaji, #391,

    That is always a possibility. It’s a possibility for any troll/griefer/muppet/whatever, anywhere, any time. Why is THIS one special? Trolls get fed to bursting point here all the time. I think we’ve honestly passed the point where we say with any hope of avoiding hypocrisy that any instance is more than personally boring (or whatever). In which case, red cross in right hand corner is the cure.

    Honestly, and without sarcasm (not that I am ever light on THAT), I appreciate that you and others might be bored to tears, pissed off to the back teeth etc with me (and others perhaps) responding to Chas in any way (nice, nasty or anywhere in between). Genuinely. I will try, no promises of perfection I have SIWOTI syndrome as much as the next person, to make that inform my actions. Pretending that this isn’t wildly hypocritical given the general tone, tenor, tenacity and extent of arguments here at Pharyngula is something I won’t do. And I don’t think I should do either.

    Louis

  305. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    biasevolution,
    You really are very lost. Science is NOT a religion. Science is not mentioned in the constitution. Religion is, but only as something gummint should have nothing to do with. Science on the other hand is quite useful, and as science has proven quite useful in improving the human condition–e.g. nearly doubling the life expectancy in 400 years or so–gummints would be foolish to eschew it.

    The thing is that what makes something science is the predictive power of the theories. Come back if ID ever makes a falsifiable prediction about anything…ever.

  306. says

    Ingdigo Jump #392

    Yes why don’t you all ignore the troll?

    Because the commenters here want this to cede this space to the trolls? Because rubbish arguments shouldn’t be left to stand unchallenged? Because some of us suffer from SIWOTI syndrome?

  307. says

    Xanthë, Amy of my threads #399
    * insert a ‘don’t’ in one of those answers to Ing’s rhetorical question… /sigh

    While we’re waiting for the daily apparition of the morphing trolls, be aware that if you argue with the anti-science, anti-semitic crank in the Troll policy discussion thread, you might find yourself the subject of a post on his bizarre rant-filled blog. Content warning: transphobic slurs ahoy!

    It’s telling that the crank – who’s in the same time zone as people like Rorschach, Lofty, and myself, i.e. UTC + 10 hours – is using the same mode of trolling as the daily morpher (First seen here: Why do we keep going), usually posting in the late afternoon/early evening here, which corresponds to the early hours of the morning in Minnesota. The highlighted comment in that thread is from someone who thinks she recognises the personal style of someone from Adelaide (UTC + 9·5); it seems as though a good part of the recent trolling is because of readers in Australia being in an advantageous position to attack the blog while North America is asleep. I’m fairly sure PZ must be getting pissed about having to clean up the blog first thing every single morning; is a night watchperson needed?

  308. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Is there any ‘Dead song under 10 minutes?

    Not even their (entirely fictional) cover of You Suffer.

    Sorry! It’s all because:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2014/04/11/troll-policy-discussion/comment-page-1/#comment-782509

    Which led here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/28/the-graeme-bird-memorial-threa/

    And thence to:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQ8APvsjcVc

    … which is about 10-ish minutes.

    QED.

  309. rorschach says

    it seems as though a good part of the recent trolling is because of readers in Australia being in an advantageous position to attack the blog while North America is asleep.

    That should be easily enough verifiable by looking at the IP addresses. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just some drunk bozos in US timezones who wouldn’t dare to paste their turds all over the place without first getting wasted.

  310. Lofty says

    Replete from dinner, I sit down at the laptop and get to see all my favourite trolls reappear and fling faeces at the walls. Around my bed time PZ turns up and flushes it all out again. I feel time-zone priviledged to see such disgusting behaviour disappear in a single “floosh”, just like magic.

  311. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Here as well.
    If I take an umbrella, it won’t rain. If I don’t, it will pour. What to do?

  312. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Ah, there’s my answer.
    Umbrella, it is.

  313. Jacob Schmidt says

    Here’s something to fight about: does anybody actually like gmail? My university is switching the email service from Novell to gmail. My account just switched over, and holy shit do I ever hate it.

  314. says

    Jacob:

    does anybody actually like gmail?

    I don’t, but I don’t like any web mail. I have gmail configured to go to Mozilla Thunderbird.

  315. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    I use Gmail and like it fine but then I haven’t had to switch to it from anything more robust either so make of that what you will.

  316. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I used to like gmail. But every tweak to it, every feature they add, is crap.

  317. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    They even pulled gmail notifier! That was actually useful.

  318. Jacob Schmidt says

    Tony

    Why do you not care for gmail?

    In all honesty, its a combination of “this is new and I don’t like it,” and a bunch of small things. The two biggest were the gigantic font size and the stupid “conversation mode.” Combined, it meant that an email conversation with 6 or 7 back and forth replies was left to a tiny rectangle at the bottom of the screen. Thankfully, both those options (giant font and conversation mode) are optional, so that’s no longer irksome.

    I can’t even feel schadenfreude, because there’s a victim there, and because there’s a chiropractor who will be chortling over it.

    Why would a chiropractor be chortling? I tried looking up Hawkins, but his name seems to be common.

  319. says

    Hawkins is an atheist/skeptic/libertarian sort of guy who was sued by a chiropractor for criticizing his business; Hawkins won. But Hawkins also really hates me, accusing me of not promoting his cause enough (really — I put up a couple of posts about him, but he wanted MORE ATTENTION), and then he got banned from here for being a privileged asshole who wanted to dictate what poor people should be allowed to eat.

    Regulars will remember him, not at all fondly.

  320. says

    No one else remembers the guy from Maine who was outraged that people could use foodstamps to buy lobster? It’s like dealing with students who rotate out every four years.

  321. says

    @PZ

    oh no I remember the fucker well. IIRC we did ask him at what level of misery should we keep the poor at and whether it was ok for them to buy/eat dogfood

  322. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah MH, remember that bit of idiocy. Lobsters aren’t food???? Somebody alert the Redhead and duck…..

  323. Jacob Schmidt says

    PZ

    No one else remembers the guy from Maine who was outraged that people could use foodstamps to buy lobster?

    Oh, I remember that guy. Didn’t remember his name was Hawkins, though.

    Weirdly enough, according to my friend’s family (they grew up near the Canadian east cost), lobster used to be mostly eaten by poor people. Its only in the past few decades that its become a “rich people” thing.

  324. Louis says

    Everyone knows that poor people should suffer.

    Incidentally, apropos of nothing and by entirely the same principle, I, someone who works in the drug industry, have decreed people I disapprove of should be denied medicine.* I fear prominent conservatives head that list…**

    Louis

    * Don’t remind me this effectively happens (not on my fucking say so!), I know. The humour is bitter.

    ** Tragically this doesn’t happen. Okay maybe not so tragically. Curse that humanist streak of mine!

  325. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Having been a “starving” married graduate student, having one meal a month that wasn’t totally on budget was a necessary luxury. And I would expect the same from somebody on food stamps.

    Beef stroganoff or beef burguignon, or even a cheap on-sale steak once a month doesn’t break the budget of somebody eating spaghetti/tuna casserole/goulash on a regular basis.

  326. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    @Jacob

    That kind of gentrification of food happens quite a lot. A particular food becomes trendy (often as a result of a deliberate attempt at rebranding) and suddenly it’s only available at pretentious, expensive markets and low income people have to cross yet another fresh, healthy food item off the list of things they can afford. An example from recent months is Collard Greens.

  327. rorschach says

    From PZ’s link:

    An Augusta man was arraigned Friday on an indictment charging him with three counts of gross sexual assault on a girl who was under age 14.
    Michael Hawkins, 28, was arrested just before midnight

    Wow, same guy is it? I know that quack you spake of, and boy might he ever go maloney over that bit of news…

  328. says

    Remember SecularProLife? TruePooka has more to say about their tactics:

    Secularprolife has a webpage that it calls; “Abortion Safety.com”. Abortionsafety.com is designed to give the appearance that secularprolife is concerned about the well-being and safety of women who are seeking abortions.

    The reality is the page was created to spread uncertainty and fear to women who use the site. The scenario plays out as follows; a woman sees the abortionsafetey.com site, looks through it and based on what she sees there she comes to the conclusion that an abortion is such an unsafe procedure that she’s better off avoiding the danger and should instead carry the pregnancy to term.

    The site also doubles as an intimidation tool to be used against doctors. It doesn’t matter what type of doctor you are, if you’re a family health doctor and abortion consists of 1% of your medical activities, they’ll label you an ABORTION DOCTOR and list your name next to numerous other doctors who secularprolife have judged to be unsafe doctors ( judgment passed using their hard earned degrees in Looking Shit Up On-Line from Internet University).

    He closes by making a request of those at SecularProLife:

    I’d like everyone to keep in mind that while all of this is morally reprehensible, none of it actually proves that their positions on abortion are incorrect. That’s an entirely different matter; although if their arguments are based on reason and not emotion you have to wonder why they rely on tactics so heavily grounded in misrepresenting facts and appealing to emotion?

    What I’d like to do now is address some of those arguments however I’ve had some trouble locating an official list of what they consider sound secular pro-life arguments against abortion. I’m aware there’s been some trouble with people who have addressed their arguments in debate being told afterward that “that person wasn’t representing our positions properly” and I don’t have time to waste with that sort of silliness. So what I’m going to do is request that Secular Pro-life make up an official declaration of their position.

    h/t to lilandra

  329. A. Noyd says

    I played Everquest 2 for years and one of the signature spells of the Shadow Knight class was a massive damage spell called “harm touch” (opposite of a Paladin’s massive heal “lay on hands,” basically). In chats and forums, this was usually abbreviated to HT or ht. So now I have the damnedest time reading “h/t” as “hat tip” and not a wish for extreme violence on the person named.

  330. Jacob Schmidt says

    The site also doubles as an intimidation tool to be used against doctors. It doesn’t matter what type of doctor you are, if you’re a family health doctor and abortion consists of 1% of your medical activities, they’ll label you an ABORTION DOCTOR and list your name next to numerous other doctors who secularprolife have judged to be unsafe doctors ( judgment passed using their hard earned degrees in Looking Shit Up On-Line from Internet University).

    Reminds me of “Name the Problem,” a TERF site that lists trans women alongside rapists and murderers.

  331. A. Noyd says

    Tony (#437)

    Hmmm, maybe ToH (Tip of the Hat) would work better?

    Apparently there was a discussion a couple of years ago about using ᔥ for via and ↬ for h/t. I like them aesthetically, but it’s no wonder they never caught on, given how much of a pain it is to input nonstandard characters with the usual English input methods.

    Japanese, on the other hand, you can just type the word for a lot of things and get a symbol as one of your options. (Japanese has absolute fucktons of homophones and quasi-homophones that are distinguished in writing with the use of Chinese characters, so input in Japanese consists of typing a word phonetically and then choosing from a list of different character combinations.) Like in Windows, “onpu” (musical note) gets you ♪, “sankaku” (triangle) gets you △, ▲, ▽, ▼, and ∵ and “migi” (right) gets you → and ⇒. You can even type in “asuterisuku” (asterisk) to get *, though “hoshi” (star) works too. And iOS has even more options, including a happy little poop icon you get by typing “unko” (poop).

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Also, here’s an immensely useful site for people who input Japanese in Windows.

  332. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I played Everquest 2 for years

    Still do…. Occasionally. As in not very often but at times

  333. Rey Fox says

    Was Michael Hawkins the guy who got into a fight with the owner of a driving range? Or am I thinking of someone else? Or am I having more false memories?

  334. chigau (違う) says

    huh
    something in there morphed into HTML.
    I have the ‘happy little poop’ on my emoji virtual keyboard but I never knew what it was.
    Now I must go and examine everyding.

  335. A. Noyd says

    Rev. BDC (#441)

    Still do…. Occasionally. As in not very often but at times

    I quit a bit after Sentinel’s Fate came out, but I wish I could play again. Alas, I have no self control and don’t need any help wasting my life with unproductive bullshit. I started out super casual but worked up to raiding hardcore and duoing or 2-boxing dungeons. EQ2 was always great for allowing you to set your own content difficulty. I have especially fond memories of duoing bosses in Place of the Awakened as a coercer/wizard or coercer/bruiser team (back when the level cap was 70). This usually involved out-maneuvering the Chinese plat farmers, who farmed the shit out of that dungeon. And if we didn’t manage to land the first hit on the boss, we would try to train the plat farmer with all the trash mobs on that floor. Since they were botting and using PBAoEs, this usually worked to kill them before the boss died. Ahh, good times.

  336. rorschach says

    This usually involved out-maneuvering the Chinese plat farmers, who farmed the shit out of that dungeon.

    Not a sentence you read every day.

  337. says

    So, Michael Hawkins, total Doucheback in one area turns out to be a total douchebag rapey criminal douchebag in another area.
    My heart goes out to the girl.
    I definitely see a pattern in “people in the atheo-skeptic community who behave shittily and their likeliness to be sex offenders”

  338. Jacob Schmidt says

    It’s the Ides of April.
    Why is it snowing?

    Wadda you mean? It always snows in April.

  339. says

    PZ:

    Regulars will remember him, not at all fondly.

    I remember him. Asshole was convinced that poor people on assistance were buying lobster with food stamps or food cards, living the high life on his money. <spits>

  340. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I quit a bit after Sentinel’s Fate came out, but I wish I could play again. Alas, I have no self control and don’t need any help wasting my life with unproductive bullshit

    Yep i don’t play that much . Played in beta up through.. uh some time. Just picked it up again a month or so back for no good reason I can come up with. Still a pretty damn solid game despite all the years on it.

  341. says

    And this is why I’m permanently in the closet to my family.

    There was one line that made me chuckle, as I get amused by being right on accident: “right and wrong doesn’t exist, culture just creates it as it goes.”
    Ummmmmm. No shit, Sherlock?

  342. anteprepro says

    Rawnaeris: I cannot believe that that man is considered a “comedian”. Sounds like just a hip yet cynical preacher man. Wingnut welfare strikes again.

  343. says

    Anteprepro, I honestly couldn’t figure out if he was a Great Awakening-style preacher with an audience, or if he was indeed supposed to be a comedian. Happy to say I’d never come across him before today.

    I completely fail to see how any of that drivel was supposed to be funny.

  344. anteprepro says

    That’s conservative “humor” for you. Same reason they consider Limbaugh to be funny. Apparently they think confirming their worldview with just the slightest bit of ill-constructed ridicule counts as “humor” among the right-leaning. And oh my god it is worse than I thought. One of his stated influences on that page is George Carlin. WHAT!? He considers himself a clean Denis Leary. I…huh? Pretty much his only gigs have been on news shows, the RNC with the Bush twins, and showing up in inane Christian/conservative films, like “Christmas with A Capital C”. I am breaking my brain here.

  345. says

    Dammit now I need a second irony meter. I need to start buying the damn things in bulk.

    From that wiki link, his targets are “liberals, humanists, political correctness and judgmental Christians.”

    Um. I had to do a treble take at that last one. Not being judgmental, ur doin it rong.

  346. Jacob Schmidt says

    And this is why I’m permanently in the closet to my family.

    Had to pause it after 30 seconds to contemplate the sheer stupidity.

    Also, who designs these sites? That layout or similar is fucking everywhere with link and click bait aggregates. There must be some people selling a pre-packaged layout.

  347. Jacob Schmidt says

    So was that piece a comedy sketch or a sermon? It had a few token jokes, but it was mostly just an angry, borderline hostile rant against atheists.

  348. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dammit now I need a second irony meter. I need to start buying the damn things in bulk.

    The Pullet Patrol sells the equivalent of the surge protector for irony. Plugs into the input of your irony meter. Works fine. And all for cup of grog soaked corn….

  349. rorschach says

    I’ll be in Bangkok, Singapore and KL over Easter. Anyone close by to go for drinkies?

    I seem to have acquired a bad sleeping problem, fall asleep like a baby but wake up after 3 hours or so, and then spend the rest of the night tossing and turning. Insomnia, as the Romans called it.

    This is a problem that according to statistics affects an astonishing 1/3 of people, so I might put it here, anyone with suggestions to alleviate insomnia? And yes, tried booze and benzos already. Does anyone have experience with CBT or psychotherapy?

  350. says

    David Cameron defends Christian Values™ from Teh Ebil Secularists…

    Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none – and we should be confident in standing up to defend them.

    So Christian values are, in fact, erm… not particularly Christian, and probably don’t need defending from secularists.

  351. Dhorvath, OM says

    Rorschach,
    Mine is busy brain related, finding something that takes just enough attention to distract me but not enough to excite, say a movie well watched or a documentary about topics I know well, and I can mimic sleep for most of the rest of the night. It’s not perfect, but it gets me by.

  352. Owlmirror says

    @Rorschach:

    Have you tried finding Jesus? I understand he brings perfect peace.

    Look under the bed. No?

    Try checking in the toilet. Nope?

    Check in the refrigerator? Inside the garbage?

    OK, turn on the TV . . . Lots of guys claiming to talk for or to Jesus. . . but I don’t think that counts. . .

    Lots of people say they found Jesus behind the couch, but he might not be behind yours.

    (And so on.)

    /snark

  353. Owlmirror says

    So I wondered — who coined “National Coven for the Solicitation of Evolutionism”? Surely this sneering backronym has been around for a while, maybe from a post on a creationist or fundamentalist Christian blog?

    Nope. It appears to have been created de novo this year; indeed, this month, and unless biasevolution is a plagiarist as well as being a creationist (hey, it could be), biasevolution is also medic0506 on debate.org. There’s a mouseover box that comes up with more information about him there.

  354. Bicarbonate is back says

    Rorschch @ 465

    I’ve had experience with insomnia but not sure mine is relevant to yours. In my teens and early twenties had a terrible time sleeping. Not sure of all the reasons but some of it may have been hunger /nutritional and hormonal imbalance due to anorexia. I remember waking up and getting very upset about not being able to go back to sleep. Then one day I said to myself, “O.k., so you’re going to spend the night ‘thinking’ or whatever you want to call it and not sleeping. So what. That’s just the way it is. Accept it.” I did accept it, fell asleep immediately and have never had a problem with it since (except for occasions where I drink too much coffee or get food poisoning or something like that.)

  355. chigau (違う) says

    We’ve had 10cm of snow.
    I think I’ll stay home and watch some episodes of “Cooking with Dog”.

  356. alexanderz says

    Do benzos work for anyone at all? I found them to be a waste of money.
    Rorschch #465:
    Tramadol + Paracetamol + Codeine does wonders to me. Can’t recommend it enough.

  357. alexanderz says

    Edit: Just wanted to say that I don’t take those against insomnia, but I’ve found them to be better than my proscribed benzos.

  358. A. Noyd says

    @alexanderz (#475)
    Clonazepam worked for me. But I didn’t like that I had a physical addiction to it, so I got off it.

  359. rorschach says

    Tramadol + Paracetamol + Codeine does wonders to me.

    These are painkillers. In the case of Tramadol with a fairly nasty side effect profile, in particular when taken with certain other medicines like some antidepressants with serotonergic effects. I wouldn’t recommend that cocktail to anyone, in particular not as sleeping aid. But good if it works for you!

  360. chigau (違う) says

    I try to find the prime factors of the time treated as a number, in my head, within one minute.

    3:27 = 327
    3 x 109

    3:28
    2 x 2 x 2 x 41

  361. Portia says

    I try to find the prime factors of the time treated as a number, in my head, within one minute.

    Thank you for a new timekiller.

  362. opposablethumbs says

    chigau, you are evil. I managed the first minute I saw after reading your comment (by some freak stroke of luck (it was only 3x5x67)), so imma quit while I’m ahead.

  363. rorschach says

    I just watched a movie called “Transcendence”. It’s the TV series “Revolution” on acid. Johnny Depp gets uploaded into a computer Banks-Culture style and then fucks up big time trying to make everything better.

    There is no rhyme or reason to the whole thing, logic and coherence are entirely suspended, but in the end it is quite a passable 2 hours of entertainment, in a “what the fuck did I just watch” kind of way. I recommend it.

  364. rorschach says

    Remember when Bayes’ theorem was applied to locating German submarines in WWII? Surely that could also be done for MH370 now. And we have more data regarding that plane’s whereabouts. But all I hear is “left turn here”, “20 mins cruising altitude there”, “copilot’s mobile trying to connect to tower” and so on.

    To believe that thing is indeed in the southern Indian Ocean what you have to believe is that for an hour and a bit after takeoff from KL, passengers watch the inflight radar screen on their overhead monitors, sip orange juice, cabin crew chat to the pilots, announcements about duration of flight and weather conditions come through like normal.

    And then all of a sudden, while passengers still watch the radar screen, and cabin crew get ready to serve meals, that plane takes a left turn, dips 30000 feet, but only for an hour, then comes back up to cruising altitude, enters Vietnamese airspace for a few minutes then turning left over Penang and down south along the Malaysian coast, never to be heard from again.

    No terrorist group has claimed responsibility. Noone has found anything in the pilots’ background to suggest they had a pact of some kind. If it was a crash, why did they deviate from the course for hours first, essentially going in the opposite direction?

    Someone’s not telling the truth.

    /Saturday night bored conspiracy theorist

  365. Lofty says

    rorschach

    /Saturday night bored conspiracy theorist

    Somebody or something was on that plane that someone else wanted as lost as possible?

  366. rorschach says

    Somebody or something was on that plane that someone else wanted as lost as possible?

    I like it!

  367. carlie says

    A friend of mine with the “wake up early” kind of insomnia swears that vitamin B injections are the only thing that helps her much. Don’t know how much that’s worth.

    I’ve been wondering more lately about light effects. Computer/mobile device screens put out blue light, and blue light is a melatonin inhibitor. If the insomnia is bad, it might be worth avoiding screens from about 5pm on for a couple of weeks or so just to see if that does anything. There are blue light filtering screen protectors, but they cost a lot and it’s unclear whether they actually work. And the effect from blue light has been shown in some studies to be not significant, but worth looking into more. (they found an effect, not statistically significant, but possibly not done at the brightness people might have their screens set to).

  368. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes
    Pentium?
    Seriously, though, I’d rather have a Mile 419.99 sign than a Mile 420.

  369. Jacob Schmidt says

    Does anyone remember that study a few years back that showed women were just as aggressive as men under anonymous conditions? I tried finding it, but all I got were a bunch of studies showing that men are frequent victims of domestic violence.

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

    Rorschach engaging in idle conspiracy theorizing?

    Alan was so ahead of his time.

  371. carlie says

    (moved from another thread)

    But what about men like Kant, Wittgenstein and Heidegger who often make us feel like intellectual midgets?/blockquote>

    Those in particular aren’t good examples for me, because they don’t. As I said, I have a bit of a short-circuit when it comes to certain parts of philosophy, where I listen, follow, follow, keep trying to follow through the twists and turns, then finally shake myself and say “Wait, this is just intellectual masturbation, and they’re pretentious, and for pete’s sake, go cook a meal or knit a hat or do something useful instead”. Of course I’ve felt like a doofus around people who are a lot smarter than me. I know a huge number of people who are smarter than me. There are also a lot of people who are more beautiful than I am, who are more patient than I am, who are more empathetic than I am, who are more nimble or talented or skilled or creative and etcetera and etcetera and etcetera. I’m average. Tiny bit better than a statistical majority of people in a few areas, definitely worse than the majority in several others. I just don’t see a reason to feel bad about that. So there are people who are smart. So what?