Comments

  1. t90bb says

    poor Daniel the ass hat…..makes claim, is refuted ……rinse repeat.

    probabilities don’t work..move on to complexity and fail…move on to personal experience and fail…..move onto the holey babble and fail. lololol…

    poor danny sure wants his magic genie…

  2. says

    The Rationality Rules / ACA kerfuffle

    It is sad that people don’t not take Steven’s apology as sincere, and suggest that a denouncement is the right way to go.
    As Matt pointed out people didn’t know all the details, but I still think the reactions are unwarrented.

    Every week the different shows under the ACA banner give religious people every opportunity there is, and then some, to adjust their thinking or give explanations for either their positions, or see where maybe they are wrong, so why should we not extend the same courtesy to Rationality Rules?

    Here is a man that admits he is in the wrong, sees where he made mistakes, apologizes, donates his proceeds of the related material on his channel to Sparkle, and is preparing a video to properly address all the issues.

    Has he not shown that there is no ill-intent? Should we not at least recognize, that however much he fumbled there was no malice?

    This whole ordeal has taken turns no one ever intended, and it is all because there are people who expect eveyrone else around them to behave according to Their expectations. Again, like Matt pointed out, this is not always going to be the case, which the community also reflects; Some for, some against – most unbaffled.

    It is our job, the community, to recognize the attempts made to come to an agreement. The ACA with their statements, and Rationality Rules with his apology. It is too early to tell what his new video will say, but everything points to a clarification which compliments his apology.

    Allow the anger to calm down, and let’s move on.

  3. indianajones says

    @2 Some people don;t get to roll this stuff around as an intellectual exercise. Some people don;t get to debate ill intent vs mere woopsy doodle. Some people can’t afford to wait for ‘the anger to calm down’ so that we might ‘move on’.

    Trigger Warning: Extreme violence

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/20/muhlaysia-booker-transgender-woman-shot-dead-dallas

    Team anger all the way for me. Imo your post reeks of the privilege of someone who has never had to deal with being beaten unconscious for the edification of a cheering mob. Only to then be shot in the face and killed less than a month later. In the kind of fucked up universe where this is described as ‘an apparently unrelated incident’.

  4. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To indianajones
    What is our goal? In this context, I hope our goal is to make the world into a better place for trans people. Does “team anger” in this particular context serve this goal? I’m doubtful of that. These are serious questions. Are you getting angry just because you can? Because of vengeance? Or because you think it serves a legitimate purpose? And what legitimate purpose would that be? I’m afraid that any sort of positive effect would be dwarfed by alienating people. I could be wrong, but I think that these are discussions that we need to be having.

  5. says

    @indianajones

    Telling people that their post reeks of the privilege of their never having been murdered seems unnecessary.

    I think we can assume that anyone posting on any forum, anywhere, about any topic, hasn’t been murdered

  6. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Gerald Black
    That wasn’t the privilege that he was speaking of. I’m pretty sure that you know this too. Please stop being a smartass.

  7. speedofsound says

    It is irrational to shut down a conversation and vilify a person for being wrong about some guess at what the science shows.
    But then we have people who are not in the particular group of victims who still has a bit of the misunderstanding and fear still working on them . I think I am still working on my own self to seek out and destroy these elements. This person would let a bit of the bigot leak out along with the argument. Understandable.
    When Brenda called in she pissed me off. Then Matt did his thing on AE and I quit being pissed. I looked at Brenda as a person whose lived experience I know nothing about and gave a pass.
    Now look at Stephen with the same understanding. Why not? Because he hasn’t been nearly beaten to death yet? Hasn’t suffered enough? (I was nearly beaten to death and I know what that is like). If this shit keeps up maybe someone will beat him for us. Right?

    Does any of this fucking irrational anger help the cause? Can’t we all just get along and have the conversation?

    Anyway. One of finest speeches I have ever heard from Matt. He talked of a kind of structure where we look at everyone involved on all sides and consider that they can all be a little bit wrong at the same time as being right in their own individual skin. No judgment. Reason!

    Now I hope I NEVER have to comment on this shit again.

  8. indianajones says

    @et al. Yeah, I get what you mean, eyes on the prize and so on. And I agree with that, too. To answer your questions EL, yes because it serves a legitimate purpose. Imo.

    Ok, I have stayed very much away from the debate about RR and trans stuff here because I know almost nothing about it. Because I know almost nothing about, I know that I cannot comment intelligently about it. And, for me more importantly, shouldn’t comment about it. But I do know enough to know that if I do comment about it, I should tread very very carefully. That is my problem with RR at this point. Not the science, not even the logic, but that RR felt he could jump in. And that, even as this was happening in the ACA sphere, folks were and are being beaten and murdered.

    I am not slightly annoyed, I am not mildly irritated, I am not vaguely and intellectually interested in the issues here. While folks are being destroyed for merely existing? While there are hooting hollering barbarians that would fit right on in at a Roman colosseum? Then anger and fury with the fire of a thousand suns dwarfs into Heisenberg levels of im-measurability my fury of 1000 suns. Hell, right now I wish I was a better writer who could come up with a better analogy.

    I do not want to live in a world where this level of harm can be so casually discussed without eyes on the ‘lets not beat and shoot and torture and murder and and and’ prize being shoved in the face of everyone who has any hint of that not being front and centre. Front and centre.

  9. Heretical Ryan says

    “Game of Thrones is over and so is this call.”
    .
    too funny
    .
    But seriously, the whole tract of saying the biblical genocides weren’t so bad because the other tribes were literally inhuman monsters is new to me.
    .

  10. gshelley says

    Matt seems to clear things up a lot, buy to me at least, he was overly charitable about the ACA board and his reading of their statement. But that’s me, I’m sure other people might think he was overly charitable to Stephen.
    Obviously (to most people, apparently not all), there were severe problems with the original video, the non scientific ones he acknowledged and apologised for.
    For the question “Is it fair”, there seem to be two views – Either it matters, or it doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t matter, that could be because you take the “transwomen are women” view and therefore to set up special rules for transwomen is discriminatory – in that case, you could even think asking the question is transphobic. Or that there may or may not be an advantage, but that the proportion of transwomen in sport is so small is is insignificant, or that whatever significance/advantage there is is trivial/insignificant in comparison to the harms done by excluding transwomen or treating them differently
    Or you may think it matters – several of the responses seemed to take this view at least in part, by attempting to address the science. They did so poorly, because the science doesn’t show either way that there is or is not a competitive advantage, and the factors that go into athletic performance or poorly understood – testosterone is the most common one, but even that has limited support.
    I still don’t know where the ACA stands on even asking the question, or what the other “videos and social media comments” were, but I suppose their initial statement, though implying they became aware after the appearance, doesn’t actually say this. Or what they mean by not sharing his opinions or attitudes (again, plural), so presumably something other than the “trans women have an unfair advantage” opinion, but at least I have a better understanding of how it all transpired, and for that I am glad

  11. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @gshelley #10:

    I still don’t know […] what the other “videos and social media comments” were

     
    YT Comment: John Iacoletti, below Chrisiousity’s “Rationality or Transphobia” video (May 23)

    Thank you! The ACA board took a lot of heat and was accused of lying when we referred to Stephen’s videoS in the plural. This succinctly shows why we did.

     
    * The timing of her video coincided with RR’s “Debunked” apology. Note that Chrisiousity’s video is a retrospective, and RR hasn’t yet specified which “extremely insensitive narratives” he will disavow.

  12. Mobius says

    @9 Heretical Ryan

    Yes. That was one of the most vile comments on AXP that I have heard in quite a while. That is taking the vilification of a people to the extreme.

  13. anti religion says

    For myself even though I am no longer religious, I still know for myself that God is real. In my view God wanted me to serve my two year Mormon mission in Independence, Missouri because he knew that I had autism. In the Mormon Church each Mormon Mission is presided over by a Mission Leader also known as a Mission President who are called to serve by Mormon Apostles. When I was called to serve my mission by the Mormon Apostles, the Mission Leader in Independence Missouri had been in the same congregation that I had been in. Since neither I nor my family have ever talked to a Mormon Apostle, and since no one in my congregation talked to a Mormon Apostle, it would have been impossible for them to know that I had autism. At the time that I served my mission, I also didn’t know that I had autism. It was several years after my mission that I was diagnosed with having autism, which is why I know for myself that God is real.

  14. John David Balla says

    Very mixed emotions about Matt. He essentially did the job of the person he was sitting next to, providing additional detail and context to an audience who’s been deprived for far too long. Matt also walked a fine diplomatic line that was thought out and reasonable although some will not be satisfied with what he says. That’s a given. The call with Brenda clearly demonstrated how difficult conversations provide the understanding and healing everyone seeks. Jamie’s instincts to drop the call or otherwise stop the conversation when it got dicey (although he failed) does show that he really doesn’t understand his role and how to provide some leadership. In fact, that’s why Matt’s 33-minute remarks on the matter, despite being almost three weeks late, was still appreciated. That’s how desperate many are for some leadership. Jamie should be encouraging conversation instead of getting apprehensive when people are willing to discuss difficult and often complicated issues. We should be applauding those who have the courage to continue the conversation.

    Which leads to my second point. What Matt did not cover — or cover adequately — was the egregious and by most accounts, deliberate suppression of speech on Facebook as authorized by the Board. BTW. Yesterday was the first time I heard that said suppression was done deliberately, not by some rogue moderators (although I can conceive both being plausible). This matter goes directly to the kind of organization the ACA is, which currently we cannot determine. However, the lack of any apology for these apparently deliberate actions does indicate that the ACA board, current or future, doesn’t consider speech and reasonable discourse as central to the ACA’s charter. And for those who say I am not privy to all the information, after three weeks, if it hasn’t been addressed by now, the ACA doesn’t care to address it. And yes. This is a very big problem for me and many others.

  15. uglygeek says

    I really admire Matt, and I totally agree with him on the RR kerfulle.
    But Matt’s proposal to solve the issue of the access of trans-women athletes to women sports by eliminating any division and let man and women to compete together is really (to be mild, let’s say) nonsensical.
    This almost would not even work in chess, with one exception. In sports like soccer, tennis, athletics, basketball… the differences are so huge that if Matt’s idea was implemented practically all women would be immediately banned from earning a living practising professional sport. Call that inclusive… Sometimes I wonder if your ideology is getting the better of your rationality.
    I am also beginning to be tired of people who say “I don’t care at all about sports but…” and yet have an opinion on this matter.

  16. t90bb says

    The RR/ACA issue…..

    This was an fine example of the limitations and fallability of humanity….

    EVERYONE involved showed some degree of poor judgement in my opinion. But this happens everyday in many situations. We fuck up…and then we do our best to clean up and learn from it. This issue was so overblown mainly due to the extreme sensitivities of some in the trans community. Are those sensitivities understandable based on their personal journeys? Sure.

    I am a gay atheist that lives in a evangelical family/community. I know all about rejection, ridicule, and worse. I have spent a great deal of my life being demeaned and degraded. Discrimination and marginalization is not foreign to me. Societal norms have improved for the gay community and with a ton of therapy I can honestly say I am comfortable with myself. A lot of that work is an inside job but it is made all the tougher when faced with bigotry and hate.

    Members of the trans community are at different stages in their abilities to be comfortable with who they are. As this unfolded I saw a number of people in the trans community literally melt down in anger, and yet I showed three trans folks that I knew personally the RR video and they had little problem with it. Who was right and who was wrong?? All involved in my opinion.

    RR made a careless and reckless original video but to his credit has taken accountability. Some people acted too quickly in responding personally judgmental to Stephen’s character in my opinion. That said…make no mistake…HE brought this on himself. If I am correct in my assessment Stephen will recover from this just fine. His defenders who seem to not want to call him into account for any of this will heal as well. Those of the trans community most offended will also heal I hope.

    None of us are perfect. (except our lawrrrdd and savior, Jezass). lol (who likely never existed, the magical version that is. but I degress).

    I have what many would consider a weird take on the broader scope of this. Ultimately this situation may actually help the trans community in that it brings their issues and struggles to light forcing some discussion rather than be the elephant in the room.

    Its kind of like what I hope of the current political climate. It is my sincere hope that we can look back at the Trump years as the time most of the remaining bigots, sexists, homophobes………..were identified so that a greater cleanse of our country’s character can take place. It is terribly painful to watch but everyday people TELL US WHO THEY ARE. And we should pay attention. The far right and make America great again crowd really mean make America white again. Make America male dominated (to an extreme) again. Make America Christian again. Make America completely heterosexual again. These folks have been terribly disturbed as their status of privilege has eroded. Privilege THEY did not earn or deserve for the most part. They are angry, deeply angry. And they love to see what may of us view as progress stalled or even reversed. After all…its their country god dammit!. They find joy and pleasure watching those they dislike suffer pain or even disappointment. (Please note…this is not the case in all instances, but its prevalence is undeniable to anyone paying attention and practicing intellectual honesty IMHO)

    We are all a work in progress. I think Matt is correct when he references empathy. Funny story. As a closeted gay male (and freshly out) I actually spoke against and opposed gay marriage. My actual main reason was that I never felt the desire to be publicly acknowledged in my relationships. It simply was not important to ME. As such I saw no reason for it. And I openly said as much. For reasons I wont go into now I was brought to my knees and literally was face to face with death. It was suggested that I could recover but not without taking a long look at who I was, how I created many of my own problems, and became willing to change. I found that my inability to empathize was one of many issues. They gay marriage issue was a good example. I lacked the willingness to put myself in the shoes of others. Others that longed for the same rights and recognitions of their friends. Why was I so blind to their wants and needs for so long?? It embarrasses me today to relay that story but I do as an example that change is possible. Granted I am still fucked up, but a better version for sure.

    My greater point is…..we can grow better and stronger through adversity. And we shall. I hope.

  17. Paul Money says

    Perhaps an Atheist community is too limited in its objectives. The ACA should rebrand itself as The Humanist Community of Austin, I look forward to The Humanist Experience show that is just around the corner.

  18. John David Balla says

    @17 Paul Money
    That’s a conversation worth having. As a result of the ACA/RR saga, I joined a local chapter of the American Humanists Association. This organization has a long and storied history and is run by experienced and seasoned professionals.

  19. PETER CUSHNIE says

    Daniel from Wisconsin was, um, entertaining, as were Don’s facial expressions in response. Toward the end, I was feeling embarrassed for Daniel the way I would for a “mentally challenged” person trying desperately to express himself, which, for all I know, might have been the case. For this reason, I was actually shocked when Matt flipped the bird to this poor guy instead of letting him down gently, or just shutting him off. Daniel did not respond to this gesture, so perhaps he never saw it. I hope it was that he did not see it, because I sense he would not have been able to deal with it. Anyway, Matt, if you’re listening, I hope never hear you criticize anyone for ad hominem attacks in the future, for that middle finger, although not vocal, is very definitely one.

    BTW, Matt cannot get away with his denial of being a representative of the ACA. That’s like a Catholic saying that they don’t represent the Vatican, or a Mob member saying that he doesn’t represent the bosses. Unless you tear up your membership card and make a public disavowal, you’re culpable.

  20. gshelley says

    @CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says
    Is there a timestamp for that video? Presumably somewhere the person who made it links to the other videos, so I could see what they were without having to watch the whole 30 minutes

  21. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @gshelley #20:

    Is there a timestamp for that video?

    3:37-19:30
     

    Presumably somewhere the person who made it links to the other videos

    She does.

  22. jacobfromlost says

    Peter,

    Daniel was a troll. The reason Matt flipped him off is because Daniel claimed that the people god ordered murdered were not really people because angels/aliens interbred with human women to spawn non-humans with six fingers.

    Matt said he had a finger for him and gave him the bird. I have no problem with that.

  23. PETER CUSHNIE says

    Heretical Ryan says
    May 27, 2019 at 8:47 am
    “Game of Thrones is over and so is this call.”
    .
    too funny
    .
    But seriously, the whole tract of saying the biblical genocides weren’t so bad because the other tribes were literally inhuman monsters is new to me.
    .

    Dehumanizing your enemy makes it easier to kill him.

  24. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @gshelley #20:
    * Correction. There were titled thumbnails I had assumed to be clickable annotations, which it turns out weren’t. These were the moments she refers to.
     
    Video: RR – Jordan Peterson’s Truth – Debunked (0:17-0:47, 11:44-12:29)
     
    Video: RR – Ben Shapiro calmly EDUCATED (0:00-1:20)
     
    For the latter, Chrisiousity at 8:20 plays an extended context of footage RR had clipped from to show who he was endorsing and who he was rejecting.

  25. Honey Tone says

    Peter @ 23:

    Genocide ain’t the worst thing Bible believers defend. Keep in mind their god first tried to wipe out all but a handful of air breathing as well as fresh water life on this planet. And then it discovered within a human lifetime that the “do over” didn’t fix the problem.

    Their god is an irrational, incompetent megalomaniac with unlimited power.

    It’s Trump but with bigger bombs.

  26. t90bb says

    For the record..I do not think Daniel was a troll…..The justifications for biblical genocide are hard to come by. I am sure someone told him that many in the tribes slaughtered were sub human…and Daniel jumped on that. I mean how else can one justify the continuous slaughter instructed by the biblical genie?? Now of course when the muslims do it today..it is the definition of evil…but when the early jews and Christians did it….it was clearly good and justifiable….why?? because they have the real sky genie. Or so they believe. If you have the real sky genie then divine command theory can justify any actions.

    If the Muslims are convinced they are instructed by the true God..are their actions ok?? Furthermore…if the qran is the true message from god, do Christians acknowledge that their slaughter is warranted and justifiable?

    And its worse than just genocide..the bible instructs the jews to kill family members that stray from the faith and worship other gods. In fact the family members are to be the first to strike their fellow non believing family member in an effort to kill them.

    Also entire towns are to be killed if they allow a non believer to remain in their midst. Not only the town members but also their livestock and property is to be destroyed. Sure blame the animals too. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so incredibly sick.

    And this of course is the most moral book ever written..lol.

    Why is it so appealing to so many? Prolly because it provides hope for an afterlife. An afterlife in which you can spend eternity reminding the divine fuck up how wonderful it is. Sounds just fuckin beautiful don’t it?

  27. jacobfromlost says

    The reasons I think he was a troll are because he went straight to the “Chariots of the Gods” (the Erik Von Daniken book that inspired the wild-haired guy on “Ancient Aliens”) theory about angels actually being aliens who had sex with human women, and connected THAT to Amalekites and Midianites as apparently their spawn, and THEN connected THAT to six fingered aliens (which has nothing to do with god ordering genocide, nor Daniken’s book, nor Amalekites or Midianites, and thus is just a ridiculous throw away line much like the guy who said “the banana, for example” when cornered). I know quite a lot about nutty theories and religious beliefs, and I’ve never heard of those THREE nutty things being connected at all, anywhere (by Daniken, “Ancient Aliens”, religious nuts, or anyone else). Connecting them all at once in response to being cornered screams troll to me, but I’m used to spotting lies in teenagers all day long. A true believer wouldn’t throw those three things together all on their own. They are not creative enough to do that.

  28. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @jacobfromlost #27:

    he went straight to the “Chariots of the Gods” (the Erik Von Daniken book that inspired the wild-haired guy on “Ancient Aliens”) theory about angels actually being aliens who had sex with human women, and connected THAT to Amalekites and Midianites as apparently their spawn, and THEN connected THAT to six fingered aliens (which has nothing to do with god ordering genocide, nor Daniken’s book, nor Amalekites or Midianites

    Technically he said not-human. The bible does feature a couple large six-fingered guys, though jumping to Native Americans does reek of ancient aliens.
     
    Daniel (1:36:06):

    the verse that says the sons of god came down and had intercourse with the daughters of man and thus created the heroes of old, which many theologians and scholars believe were probably giants. And y’know, one of the reasons that in Native American culture, they raise their hand to make sure that you only have 5 fingers on your hand, and not 6.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Nephilim

    The Nephilim were the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” before the Deluge, according to Genesis 6:1-4.
    […]
    NRSV Gen 6:1-4: “[…] The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.”
     
    The word is loosely translated as giants in some Bibles and left untranslated in others. The “sons of God” have been interpreted as fallen angels in some traditional Jewish explanations.
     
    According to Numbers 13:33, they later inhabited Canaan at the time of the Israelite conquest of Canaan.
    [… …]
    The story of the Nephilim is further elaborated in the Book of Enoch. […] Samyaza, an angel of high rank, is described as leading a rebel sect of angels in a descent to earth to have sexual intercourse with human females
    […]
    In addition to Enoch, the Book of Jubilees (7:21–25) also states that ridding the Earth of these Nephilim was one of God’s purposes for flooding the Earth in Noah’s time. These works describe the Nephilim as being evil giants.

     
    Still, only 349,000 google hits for “nephilim Amalekites|Midianites|Canaanites|genocide”.

  29. Murat says

    Thank God the Nephilim didn’t have the “technology” to simply cut off that 6th finger.
    Had they had that “high level of operative skills”, American natives would’ve been fooled into thinking they were human as well.
    *
    You see, if a certain species had the number of fingers on hands (and ONLY that) as the distinctive feature, then, you’d expect them to have trouble if they had 3 or 4 fingers, like most cartoon characters do. Because, y’know, it really is a problem to fake or grow additional fingers. But the extra ones… Well, even truly primitive tribes can handle THAT kind of operation, sometimes even as part of some twisted suffering culture.
    Circumcision is waaaay more complicated than that, and the bulk of ancient Jews managed not to have the kid’s penis infected even after THAT.

  30. jabbly says

    @uglygeek #15

    The ironic part was banging on about people forming opinions without enough information and then pretty much doing that. Let’s be inclusive by pretty much excluding 50% of the population from elite sports.

  31. Murat says

    @jabbly
    I have yet to hear from any rational person why having separate classifications for trans women and trans men would be a bad idea. Aside from the fairness problem that shows up (at least on a theoretical level, which does matter), would it not be good for the trans community to make sure that on every single division of every single sport there were trans champions? Would such organizations not unite families of trans people as they fill spectator seats in joy? Would it not boost interest in sports, healthy living, economy (via forming of trans teams, related merchandise, etc) for all of the trans community? What part of this sounds bad? It’d be a great mechanism of “inclusion into sports” as opposed to “inclusion among born-females in order to compete”, so great that the benefit of avoiding any discussions about fairness would count as one of the minor benefits.

  32. jabbly says

    @John David Balla

    I can’t say I think it needs a conversation, it’s just what they should do and maybe it would help with removing some of the baggage associated with the label.

  33. Ramon Paxus says

    Someone mentioned that the recent ACA elections had resulted in a “new board of directors”, but I can’t find any further info. The ACA homepage still shows the 2018-2019 board. Anyone care to shed light on who’s on this “new” board?

  34. Lamont Cranston says

    Murat says in #32

    I have yet to hear from any rational person why having separate classifications for trans women and trans men would be a bad idea.

    The almost immediate negative reaction would be because of the whole “separate but equal” segregation done to black people in the period prior to desegregation in the 60’s (yes I am that old).

    “Separate but equal” was indeed “separate” but was almost invariably not “equal.” Strangely enough there are some black people these days that do advocate for certain things being separate.

    There is just no simple answer that will please everyone and completely respect everyone’s opinions. This is what happens when one “protected class” (women’s athletics) runs into another “protected class” (transgender athletes). Some of the cis-women have the belief that they are being “gamed” and that their “protected class” is being infringed upon. The trans-women believe that their “protected class” is not being properly respected if they are not viewed exactly equal to cis-women with regards to sporting competition. In the mean time both are trying to use the “science” to make their case and the “science” is actually not settled (contrary to the beliefs of both sides).

    In the mean time everyone is to some degree yelling and screaming at each other and making up stuff and assuming things to try to get their way instead of being able to see each other’s side of the issue and work together to find an acceptable solution (assuming one is possible). This is understandable because it is a an emotionally charged issue for everyone involved. However, emotionally based solutions seldom have the best results (that’s how religions work).

    Lamont Cranston

  35. Paul Money says

    Respect to Murat and Lamont Cranston for their thoughts.
    It seems that trans-women and trans-men will, as they should, occupy a position in society equal to that of cis-women and cis-men. In sports the position is less clear, as sports is not gender based, but sex based.
    Whatever that position is going to be, it has to be arrived at through discussion with everybody and that includes people who have different opinions. One shouldn’t, however sympathetic to trans people one may be, brand some opinions as “not to be expressed” and “trans phobic”. Why? Because discussion, even of a wrong position, brings clarity. RR (and just about everybody else) has rejected the views in his initial video and the resulting discussion has caused us all to think about what we believe and why we believe it, which can only be good.
    It is surely not in anybody’s interest to suppress free speech on this, or indeed any other, issue.
    Roll on the forthcoming Humanist Community of Austin, (Atheism as a banner is so limiting darling) and Dillahunty-Harris (or vice versa) for the presidential ticket 2024. Why the hell not?

  36. Monocle Smile says

    @Paul Money
    I can get behind some of that post, but this:

    One shouldn’t, however sympathetic to trans people one may be, brand some opinions as “not to be expressed” and “trans phobic”. Why? Because discussion, even of a wrong position, brings clarity

    This is a defense of racial slurs and calls to violence and it also validates clearly wrong beliefs. Ideas are not inherently valuable; bad ideas exist to be destroyed only. And if bad ideas have been identified as bad ideas for a very long time for very good reasons, there is no reason to continue to air them in every space everywhere.

    Seriously, I hear this kind of shit all the time. As if not hearing out Nazis in every possible forum every day for the rest of eternity will cause the collapse of Western civilization (this isn’t a gross exaggeration of Jordan Peterson’s position given his response to being rejected for a fellowship at Cambridge). At what point do we stop having to reinvent the wheel?

  37. Evil God of the Fiery Cloud says

    At what point do we stop having to reinvent the wheel?

    Just playing devil’s advocate here since I’m not sure exactly how I feel on the matter, but I guess part of the problem is that the answer seems to be “at no point.” There’s that saying that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance” and as long as ideas are brought up or held, especially if they or the people who have them have real world ramifications, they’ve got to be addressed whenever they’re found. Responses can be diligent or flippant, but ignoring them and the people who hold them or forcing them underground just lets them grow and fester till they become bigger problems.
    I suppose there’s also the issue of nuance. Can certain delicate topics be discussed without framing the people having them as the worst possible things? I don’t want to argue that there aren’t bigots/assholes/trolls/whatever that abuse this good will to simply spew hate, but is it really productive to lump people with underformed or mistaken opinions in with them to the degree that seems to happen? Or should we err on the side of discussion for better clarity?

  38. Murat says

    @MS

    As if not hearing out Nazis in every possible forum every day for the rest of eternity will cause the collapse of Western civilization

    Not continuously hearing out Nazis on such platforms actually may cause the collapse of Western civilization.
    The worst and most sinister diseases are the ones that don’t show notable symptoms.
    Symptoms are allies not with the disease, but with the patient.
    They alert us, call us to take measures, to act on things.

  39. Paul Money says

    @ Monocle Smile
    As we have learned on every edition of Axp for the last 20 years, listening to and destroying bad ideas with reasoned argument actually does have value. Racial slurs and calls to violence are not arguments, they invite no discussion or rebuttal and are easily distinguishable from well meant but wrong positions.
    Thanks for lumping me in with violent racists. I’ll forgive you for that, but not Jordan Peterson please!

  40. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    @Paul Money

    As we have learned on every edition of Axp for the last 20 years, listening to and destroying bad ideas with reasoned argument actually does have value

    But that’s not what you implied before. You were against labeling certain opinions “transphobic” even if the shoe fits. Proper labeling of ideas as bad is a good way to destroy them. Should I not label apologetics “dishonest” or “irrelevant” or “so stupid that it threatens to rip a hole in space-time?”

  41. Murat says

    My shoe size is 12. Any shoe to be found on any crime scene can fit my foot given it’s a 12.
    Now, does this mean I am likely to be the criminal?
    No, Cinderella isn’t a good example to “fine reasoning” in literature.
    Sherlock Holmes is much better.
    *
    And OJ’s counsellor did a good job only with regards to impressing the jury with rhymes.
    “If the glove doesn’t fit, he must acquit”. Nah.

  42. Paul Money says

    @ Monocle Smile
    The time to tie on a label to an idea is after you have had heard it, not before.
    Hate speech disgusts all of us here, but I would rather hear some hate speech than miss a viewpoint that somebody has already labelled as transphobic before I got to hear it.

  43. PETER CUSHNIE says

    jacobfromlost says @ 22
    May 27, 2019 at 5:10 pm
    “Peter,
    Daniel was a troll. The reason Matt flipped him off is because Daniel claimed that the people god ordered murdered were not really people because angels/aliens interbred with human women to spawn non-humans with six fingers.
    Matt said he had a finger for him and gave him the bird. I have no problem with that.”

    Okay, but I did not get the impression that Daniel was a troll. Rather, he struck me a a jabbering idiot with zero skill at expressing his bizarre beliefs, to the point where I actually felt sorry for the guy and I think he should have been let down more gently, IMHO. I don’t think flipping the bird to a caller has any place on a call-in show. As much as I admire Matt’s intellect, he has a decidedly rude and crude side, which I don’t think he should take on TV with him.

  44. Murat says

    @Peter
    This is a good example to something that I fail to understand.
    When the subject matter is “protected groups”, people are very careful, they tend to be delicate, many times to the point of political correctness. Some of RR’s remarks were frowned upon because trans people were more likely to commit suicide due to some repeated bigotry against them, and such language could add to this, etc.
    So, “not to be the cause of someone killing themselves” is a good reason to avoid certain language.
    However, even though Matt obviously did not have any idea on how likely to get offended Daniel was as an “individual”, he did practice his right to be “decidedly rude and cruel” as you put it.
    I see a double standard here.
    How is Daniel’s unknown reaction to the mocking of his bizzare beliefs different from / less considerable than an ostracized trans person’s possible reaction to Joe Rogan’s insensitive remarks? If, in the end, what matters is to make sure that our words don’t end up hurting someone in isolation and/or desparation, should we not distribute the concerns better to our attitudes?
    I just don’t understand it when people are blown away with the idea of watching the language when the identity they are talking to is that of a group’s, but they seem to find random individuals expendable.

  45. John David Balla says

    Here’s RR’s long-awaited response video to the video that started the ACA/RR, et al. debacle.

  46. PETER CUSHNIE says

    Murat @ 44

    “However, even though Matt obviously did not have any idea on how likely to get offended Daniel was as an “individual”, he did practice his right to be “decidedly rude and cruel” as you put it.”

    I said “crude”, not cruel, and I stand by my expressed opinion concerning Matt’s behavior. As for your comparison between this minor issue and trans people and Joe Rogan– about whom I don’t give a whit– I don’t know what you’re talking about. Thanks for your reply– Peter

  47. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    How is Daniel’s unknown reaction to the mocking of his bizzare beliefs different from / less considerable than an ostracized trans person’s possible reaction to Joe Rogan’s insensitive remarks? If, in the end, what matters is to make sure that our words don’t end up hurting someone in isolation and/or desparation, should we not distribute the concerns better to our attitudes?

    I’m starting to think you’re being deliberately thick, since this has been explained to you at least two or three times before.
    Is there a body of evidence that people of Daniel’s persuasion suffer from violence due to their beliefs and/or commit suicide when they are “ostracized” for their beliefs?
    Of course not. Meanwhile, this body of evidence exists for trans people.

    Furthermore, you’re a fucking, fucking moron for equating weird-ass beliefs (changeable with choices and education) with identity (ingrained by biology and psychology). You’ve always done this and you are always wrong to do so.

  48. Murat says

    @MS
    If you are referring to your own attempts at explaining the difference, they were not addressing the issue, were constructed terribly, hence, had no effect.

    Is there a body of evidence that people of Daniel’s persuasion suffer from violence due to their beliefs and/or commit suicide when they are “ostracized” for their beliefs?

    I don’t know if there is. There may be. I have heard of (and even known) people, mostly teenagers or troubled youth, who have attempted to take their own lives after being mocked for really very silly reasons. And it doesn’t matter at all if there is particular evidence for this or not.
    If the avoided outcome is people killing themselves simply because words hurt them, and this said outcome is so easy to reach by lowering the cruelty of conduct regardless of what may have led them there, then we do not really need to make a distinction between people of particular, individual sensitivities, and those with group sensitivities.
    What is behind the sensitivity is totally irrelevant at this point. If any given person may be standing on a ledge and looking down at their future self as a smashed body, if the person’s psychology may be so bad and you have no evidence for or against it, taking your chance at it by using offensive words is totally irresponsible.
    You better not pretend like you care about risking other people’s lives if you can say “You are a fucking, fucking moron” to someone about whose psychology you have no evidence. Why keep on with the responsible act whereas it’s too obvious you do not feel the need to control vulgarity at the probable chance of causing people harm themselves, maybe even to end their own life? The distinction between group identities and individual identities is none of your business if a probable nervous breakdown that could well be triggered by being offended may be the result of either
    What gives? What was there for you to lose if you had tried the gentle approach of Peter?

  49. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I am annoyed that I actually have to provide a serious answer to this, almost farcical, question.

    How is Daniel’s unknown reaction to the mocking of his bizzare beliefs different from / less considerable than an ostracized trans person’s possible reaction to Joe Rogan’s insensitive remarks?

    The population of trans people have a much higher rate of suicide because of bigotry. This is not true of Christianity.

    Trans people are part of a persecuted minority. Christianity is not a persecuted minority. Attacking a persecuted minority because they are a member of that minority is always more “dangerous” compared to attacking a person because they are a member of the ruling majority. This is a large factor in the analysis.

    Daniel’s beliefs are wrong. Trans people do not have factually incorrect beliefs. For example, they don’t believe that they really have a penis when they don’t. Even if you believe fully that trans people are just making it all up, and they’re just attention whores – there’s a huge difference in kind between their beliefs and Daniel’s factually wrong beliefs. It’s generally defensible to attack false beliefs, and trans people do not hold demonstrably false beliefs.

    Daniel’s beliefs are harmful. Trans people do not have beliefs that would lead them to act harmfully towards others, but Daniel’s does have such beliefs. It’s especially defensible to attack false beliefs that produce harmful behavior in those who hold the belief.

  50. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    What is behind the sensitivity is totally irrelevant at this point.

    As I explained above, false. It matters very much the reasons behind and surrounding the sensitivity. For example, if Nazis start being very sensitive about being called Nazis, I will not give a flying fuck if they start killing themselves because we bully them by calling them Nazis and scum. In fact, I would be quite happy in such a fantastical outcome where Nazis do me the favor of killing themselves.

    Then there’s the middle ground. If someone is advocating harmful policies and spreading harmful beliefs, then they need to be stopped, and while their mental health is a concern, it is not the overriding concerning IMO. IMO, typically the more important concern is to stop or counter the spread of harmful beliefs.

  51. Monocle Smile says

    ^See, this is why I called Murat a moron. Of course, I shouldn’t have called him a moron; I should have properly labeled him a dishonest sealion. What the fuck is this shit?

  52. Murat says

    @MS
    Would you be less likely to call me a moron if I argued the same, but were known to be a trans person?

  53. Monocle Smile says

    I love how Murat pretends like he cares about Daniel. This is just Murat’s way of showing how much he loathes trans people. This particular brand of dog whistling has been rearing its head periodically.

  54. Murat says

    So, it’s not even probable to care the same about Daniel’s and an offended trans person’s lives. We gotta have favorites.
    But wait… If that Nephilim legend becomes a thing… And many get addicted to the idea… To the extent of harming themselves after being exposed to bashing and mocking… And if the news about this goes viral… THEN maybe, just maybe, even though they haven’t earned the status of a “protected group identitiy” fairly, it might be considered offensive to give a Nephilimite the finger.

  55. Monocle Smile says

    And now the predictable Murat move: post increasingly unhinged shit to distract from the inability to properly engage.

  56. jacobfromlost says

    I actually found that there is a belief floating around out there that the nephilim angels/aliens, who spawned the Amalekites/Midianites, and they had six fingers or some other group did…or something. In any case, there are people who connect those three things in some way. Maybe Daniel already had that in his head, or maybe he was doing google searches while on the call. In any case, it did not ring true to my ear, but I concede those three ideas have been connected before.

    I wrote a post last night with the specific google search, which returned 4700 sites, the second of which was “answers in genesis” that included the giants, six fingered mummies, etc. Apparently posting that link is why my post got filtered/rejected.

  57. says

    #13 anti religion

    Your post rather puzzled me. How did you going on a Mormon mission have anything with you being autistic? Especially as you said, even you did not know you were autistic?And how did that prove to you there was a god? I can see no correlation.

  58. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    So, Daniel is expendable.

    In context, basically yes.

    If I had to choose between saying nothing and allowing Daniel’s genocide defense to go unchallenged, or challenge genocide and have Daniel kill himself, then the correct answer is blindingly obvious.

    Ideally, I’d like to save everyone, and so in an ideal world I’d like to save Daniel too. However, sometimes forceful rhetoric is needed, and I’d rather people err on the side of being too forceful when challenging genocide instead of not being forceful enough.

    I also think that there’s a moral difference between doing something that makes someone depressed because they did something bad vs making doing something that makes someone depressed without that reason. One is much more readily defensible morally.

  59. Robink says

    I’m never too sure how I feel about the “the popularity of an idea has no bearing on its truth” line of reasoning that Matt is so fond of. While it’s no guarantee of anything and you can come up with good counter-examples (ie sun orbiting earth) isn’t this what Tracie is always talking about when it comes to deferring to the scientific concensus? That it’s not the fringe viewpoints that matter, it’s the prevailing concensus of the majority? So while it’s technically correct I’m not sure any theist would find it convincing, I’d rather dismantle the actual idea itself (which to Matt’s credit he does as well)

  60. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I’d say that the popularity of an idea does have some correlation with the idea being true. However, the connection is tenuous at best. I’d also say that the popularity of an idea in certain academic scientific circles has a much higher correlation with the idea being true, but even then, sometimes scientific consensus is wrong (but it’s pretty rare).

  61. jacobfromlost says

    Robink:

    No. There is a difference between “popularity” in terms of a big group of people just love the idea and have no expertise in the area in question, and an idea that is widely accepted by experts in the field based on evidence and reason (reviewed by peer experts) until such time as better evidence may change their minds.

    If one appeals to a majority of actual authorities on an area in question, it is neither an argument from authority fallacy nor an argument ad populum.

  62. Robink says

    @jacobfromlost

    I agree but I think the key points there are the words “evidence” and “reason” which is how I’d go about attacking the idea. After all, people who have religious beliefs tend to consider themselves to have expertise in that area and also think their beliefs are upheld by religious “authorities”.

  63. albertonielseno says

    Do the christian, the islamic, the jewish, the hindu, the Sikh, etc. deities disappear if people stop believing in them? … Hmmm … all the other deities, like Zeus, Wotan, Jupiter, Amon-Ra, Baal, and some 8,000 other deities disappeared when people stopped believing in the poor chaps an’ gals.

  64. jacobfromlost says

    Robink:

    They will try to redefine evidence, reason, authority, and expertise, but that isn’t our fault or responsibility, and is completely divorced from logic. If they believe that most people believing in something they label “god” means that that is prima facie evidence of the existence of such a being, then it is up to them to explain why they don’t all agree on the nature of that being. It is up to them to explain how a being who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipresent can exist simultaneously with reality around us. Those qualities are not only in logical contradiction with each other, but with reality (Epicurus noted this 2300 years ago).

    There is no defense against someone who will redefine evidence, reason, logic, and expertise in order to believe whatever it is they want to believe. If they already believe things that are false, that’s their problem. We can’t start with the assumption (for the sake of argument) that the false things they believe are true in order to “meeting them where they are”, as it were.

    We can only explain what evidence, reason, and expertise actually is.

  65. albertonielseno says

    A propos Matt saying “at one point it was reasonable to conclude that the Sun went around the Earth … based on evidence, based on what you see …” … … It’s embarrasing that I no longer remember the names of the two, but during a conversation One said “I don’t understand how people could come to the conclusion that the Sun is orbiting the Earth”. Two answered “but that’s because it looks that way!” and One then asked “How would it look if the Earth is orbiting the Sun?”.

  66. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To albertonielseno
    This was before Newtonian mechanics. They had a completely different conception of physics, specifically they didn’t have a concept of inertia. In their world view, if the Earth was moving around the Sun, then everyone should “feel” that movement.

  67. albertonielseno says

    @ ‘EnlightenmentLiberal says’, as an astrophysicist I am well aware of that, but the question still stands: “How would it look if the Earth is orbiting the Sun?”.

    The old Greeks knew that the Sun was really far away and much larger than the Earth. Only religion could make intelligent people conclude wrongly.

  68. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To albertonielseno
    Eh… I think you’re looking with a lot of benefit of hindsight of Newtonian gravity and Newtonian mechanics. Having said that, I argue “no contest”.

  69. Robink says

    @jacobfromlost

    I think we might be talking past each other a little, I agree we need to educate religious people on what these words mean and I’m definitely not advocating for accepting their views in order to argue against them, I’m referring only to the idea that consensus has no bearing on truth, which I think it does in a practical sense.

  70. jacobfromlost says

    Consensus among experts is not the same as popularity among nonexperts. They can of course claim they are experts at their religion, but that is only a claim to expertise of what a particular group believes, not what is actually real or useful or practical.

  71. jabbly says

    @Robink #61

    I think the point is that just saying lots of people believe X is, in of itself, not a good argument to believe X not that there is no correlation between the amount of people who believe X and X being true.

  72. Paul Money says

    Basing your opinion on the scientific consensus is not arguing from authority, it is arguing from our best understanding of the facts at this time.

    Bertrand Russell:- (1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) that when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgment.
    Note how Russell apportions doubt rather than belief, a lesson in sceptical thinking.
    More light-heartedly on argumentum ad populum ( I paraphrase), “Given the intractable stupidity of most of mankind, a widely held belief is actually more likely to be wrong than right”

  73. Lamont Cranston says

    Since this seems to have evolved into a discussion of the scientific process, I offer something that was discussed in some detail last weekend. I attended a panel discussion with a PhD professor, a PhD graduate and a PhD candidate that involved discussion of the scientific process. They raised some interesting points I have not considered previously.

    In the discussion the professor pointed out that many have a serious misunderstanding of how the scientific process actually works. He pointed out that when there is some kind of hypothesis (something a scientific researcher speculates might be true), they do not set out to prove that their speculation is correct. In fact, the scientific process is being correctly done if they do exactly the opposite. That is, they try to do everything they can think of to disprove their hypothesis.

    Another thing they pointed out was that the weight of any single peer reviewed scientific paper is pretty low. This is because often the peer reviewers are not as knowledgeable on a given subject as one might tend to think.

    All three of of these people agreed that in the process of working their way through PhD programs they were required to analyze a LOT of scientific papers. They were often surprised at the problems they encountered within those papers. They ran into a lot of cases where conclusions were being drawn that were not really supported by the data presented. That is, people’s preconceived biases got in the way of objective evaluation and presentation of the data.

    I saw this problem directly just a couple of months ago as my younger son was having issues with his evaluation of a peer reviewed scientific research paper he was supposed to analyze for a class. He read the conclusions of the researchers and was stumped at how they reached their conclusion after he looked at their test method. He asked me to look at it to see if I could explain what was going on. I took a look and found myself equally dumbfounded at what the researchers had done. They simply could not have concluded what they did from the data collection process they had used.

    The problem is that researchers (scientific or otherwise) are not necessarily immune to biases and what I would call religious behavior (cherry picking data, having faith in their conclusion despite a lack of data, poor construction of test processes that bias the results, etc.). The bottom line is that being skeptical does not mean accepting a scientific conclusion, even a consensus, without a good hard look at what was actually done during the research.

    Researchers also often have to compete for funding to do the work that they are doing. So conflicts of interest also become a factor. Researchers are faced with the potential ramifications of reaching a conclusion that is not in agreement with any biases held by their sources of funding. Surprise, sources of research funding are seldom, if ever, neutral in their opinions regarding the areas of research they fund. No, finding something surprising that is in complete disagreement with your funding source doesn’t get you a Nobel Prize because of your great discovery. It gets you de-funded and sometimes defamed.

    So here is my point. Anyone who wants to make use of information from a research paper really needs to take a good hard look at what was actually done and see if the conclusions are merited. Some people will do this, most people won’t. This is just the same as how some people will look at the Bible and see what it actually says, and most people won’t. Religious behavior is not restricted to religion.

    Lamont Cranston

  74. Monocle Smile says

    @Lamont Cranston
    This is why it is important to give weight to scientific papers that have not merely been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but have gone further and been cited by a bunch of other papers after publication.

    No, finding something surprising that is in complete disagreement with your funding source doesn’t get you a Nobel Prize because of your great discovery. It gets you de-funded and sometimes defamed.

    I’d be a little cautious about applying blanket rules like this, as it comes across as a creationist kind of conspiracy.

  75. Lamont Cranston says

    Monocle Smile says

    This is why it is important to give weight to scientific papers that have not merely been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but have gone further and been cited by a bunch of other papers after publication.

    There is some truth in that and also a pitfall. Sometimes those who site previous work can mis-apply previous work and you can be led astray if you don’t go back and make sure the cited work actually says what a later source claims was said (kind of like the old telephone game problem). Some of the worst cases I have seen have gone through two or three layers then show up in the media saying exactly the opposite of what the original study said. Caution is necessary.

    I’d be a little cautious about applying blanket rules like this, as it comes across as a creationist kind of conspiracy.

    Again some truth in this as well and point well taken. No I am not a conspiracy theorist. I would probably tend to be more cautious about this if I could find an example of a researcher that had in some way harpooned his funding source and ended up in great shape as a result. There probably is one out there (maybe even some), but there is definitely a degree of self censorship that happens when the potential conflict of interest can hit a person directly in the wallet. That’s just human nature.

    Lamont Cranston

  76. I'mAllOneWord says

    Sports don’t care about anyone’s personally chosen identity, just their biological one at birth. I would like to see sports be undiscriminatory and field players of all genders. If all sports had promotion and relegation systems/leagues it would work.
    My 2 cents.

  77. ianbraisby says

    Response to post no. 13 (sorry, new to this blog and don’t know how to quote a post)

    I’m not sure I understand the link between your belief in god and having autism. It’s not really clear to me why you see the whole situation regarding your mission as convincing evidence.
    Is it because things worked out OK for you despite having (at the time undiagnosed) autism?
    I had been an atheist for many years before I got my autism diagnosis aged 40. I coped up until that point not because of protection or assistance by a deity but rather through inner strength, tenacity and hard work.
    As far as I know, there is no correlation between autism and religious beliefs. I certainly know that some autistic people value beliefs because they feel that they give comfort and religious groups can provide a non-threatening community that they appreciate, as they feel like outsiders in life more generally. However, on the other hand a lot of autistic people are extremely analytical and rational and, as a result, struggle with the kinds of claims made by believers, especially the supernatural, and where there is a clash between religious teachings and science.
    Sorry if I didn’t pick up your point, I just couldn’t make the link from my reading of what you wrote.

  78. anti religion says

    @ ianbraisby

    My point in my post was that I know for myself that it was God that wanted me to serve my mission where I did because of my autism. Mormon missions are presided over by a Mission President who are called by Mormon Apostles. The Mission President in Independence, Missouri where I served my mission had been the same congregation I was in in Utah. It was the Mormon Apostles that called me to serve my mission where I did. Since neither I nor my family or anyone in my congregation had ever talked to a Mormon Apostle, it would have been impossible for them to know that I had autism. That is how I know for myself that God is real because he knew that I had autism before I did. It was several years after my mission that I was diagnosed with autism.

  79. t90bb says

    79 anti religion……you are trolling right? you know for yourself do ya? You really want to feel guided and taken care of it seems. What were the other possible reasons you wound up serving where you did? How did you rule those out??

    People who pray to god to win the lottery win the lottery…does that prove god is real?

  80. anti religion says

    There was no other way for the Mormon Apostles to know that I had autism. Neither I nor my family or anyone in my congregation had ever talked to a Mormon Apostle. It would have been impossible for the Mormon Apostles to know that I had autism. When the Mormon Apostles prayed to God to ask him if I should serve my mission where I did, God told them that I should serve my Mission in Independence, Missouri. I understand that atheists don’t believe in God. Just because atheists did not have the same experience I had does not mean that there is no God. There was no other reason how I ended up serving my mission where I did.

  81. Heretical Ryan says

    Anti religion:
    .
    I’m not seeing what the link is between you serving in Independence, Missouri and you having (or discovering) you have autism.
    .

    The Mormons who sent you did not know you had autism. So what?
    .

    What happened in Missouri that was specifically relevant to you having autism?
    .
    Did god diagnose you with autism or was it done by a medical professional?

  82. t90bb says

    81….LOLOLOLOLO..…..u are trolling……..

    And if you were sent somewhere else and you got diagnosed there…you would have said the MORMON apostles sent you EXACTLY where you need to go to be diagnosed…lol….

    “When the Mormon Apostles prayed to God to ask him if I should serve my mission where I did, God told them that I should serve my Mission in Independence, Missouri.” LOLOLOL really and you know this how??? this is called begging the question and its a logical fallacy. Look it up,

    Hey maybe you need an imaginary friend to get you through. I don’t know. But if you come to a board that promotes skepticism and rationality…..expect to have your ass handed to you with your very weak sauce.

    I actually hope you are trolling…because otherwise this is really sad.

  83. t90bb says

    82…Heretical Ryan….
    .
    after trying to understand anti religious’s basis for concluding God exists from that narrative my head hurts.. It was so bad…after reading it I think I caught autism.

  84. anti religion says

    For those who have autism, going through a major change is hard on them because they have a routine that they follow. Before my mission the only people I knew were those at school and those in my congregation. It was a few months after high school back in 1990 that I served my mission. Before my mission I had never been away from my family, so going on my mission was a major change for me. The Mission President who was in Independence, Missouri had been in the same congregation that I was in in Utah, and had been called by the Mormon Apostles to preside over that mission three years before I went on my mission. God knew that it would be easier for me to serve my mission where I did because of my autism. It was several years after my mission that I was diagnosed by a medical professional with autism.

  85. jacobfromlost says

    anti religion:

    I’ve been a teacher most of two decades. I’ve never been informed a student has autism where I didn’t already know from a wide variety of behaviors in class.

    I do not understand why you think the only explanation for what you describe is that god told your Mormon Apostles that you had autism. Not only is that the least likely explanation, even if it were true, it would not be any more impressive than god pointing out you had no legs…and then claiming the only way anyone could know that is if god told them.

  86. jennylynn says

    Hi – So yeah… This is a thing… I would love to be able to stay out of this but I am finding myself really thinking more about this. About 10 years ago I found the Atheist Experience and American Atheists. I learned to think more clearly and to try to believe as many true things as possible and as few untrue things as possible. Can someone please boil something down for me… I don’t understand why we can’t seem to have an open conversation about what “Rationality Rules” and his comments? Why was it necessary for Mr. Delahunty to express so much for so long? I don’t get why we are not open enough to hear perspectives without people feeling so hurt? I am missing something but I am not sure what it is. I am feeling like there is so much hurt and reactionary responses that no one is hearing anything. If we are looking at positive atheist culture AND stating what we believe/know to be true and why then really should this be this big? I am really asking here. I am struggling to understand this a little more.

  87. anti religion says

    I also understand that atheists will never have an open mind about the possibility of God being real because they have not had an experience with God revealing himself to them in a very specific way that is meant for him or her, and in a way that they know could only have come from God and no one else.

  88. t90bb says

    86////…..Jacob……of course. Nobody knew he was autistic lololololololololo………

    heres a couple alternatives from his “god dunnit” narrative…

    1. Dumb luck….they needed someone in Independence
    2. It was obvious to others that you had an (the) issue so they kept you close to your home

    there are others but both of those are wayyyy more likely that you magic genie was watching over you lol.

  89. anti religion says

    God never told the Mormon Apostles that I had autism. As I said, I was diagnosed with autism several years after my mission.

  90. anti religion says

    I didn’t serve my mission close to my home. I was living in Salt Lake City when I was called by the Mormon Apostles to serve my Mission in Independence, Missouri.

  91. t90bb says

    87…anti……

    I am a weak atheist meaning I am open to the possibility God exists. Its just when I hear people like you give their reasons it falls a tad short (in this case a mile short). Your reasoning is some of the worst I have ever heard to be honest. Its so bad I still think you might be trolling..…..

    I already gave you several other plausible and more likely reasons you ended up in Independence. But you will likely clutch to your cersion like rosary beads. After all….if your version is correct….you are really loved and very fuckin special, right??

    Does it disappoint you to think your path may have been completely explainable without a supernatural interpretation.??

  92. t90bb says

    89….we agree God never told the Mormon “Aopostles” (bullshit peddlers) anything about you…lol……..because we would first need to determine God exists before we could determine “it” did anything.

    Sure if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy….go ahead….you seem like a decent dude.

  93. t90bb says

    90..anti….

    newsflash….Salt Lake City is closer to Independence, MO than overseas. Use your noodle brahhh.

  94. anti religion says

    Mormon missions divided over geographical areas around the world where Mormon missionaries are called to serve. When I was called to serve my mission in Independence, Missouri, the mission included parts of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. There were lots of missionaries who served their missions in Independence, Missouri. As I have posted, God wanted me to serve my mission where I did because he knew it would be easier for me to serve there.

  95. t90bb says

    It sounds like the Mormons sold you a bit of bullshit long before you were a missionary. Did you thank God for giving you autism, too? Seems like a rather unnecessary challenge to overcome. But you know…that god…shes got quite the sense of humor!

  96. t90bb says

    94….”As I have posted, God wanted me to serve my mission where I did because he knew it would be easier for me to serve there.”……….yea we get that…..that’s your claim………NOW GIVE US THE EVIDENCE……

    Did you wear your magic underwear too? Have you picked out your own planet after you die yet?

  97. anti religion says

    Since atheists don’t know anything about how Mormon missionaries are called to serve their missions, I understand that they do not believe me. That does not change my experience though and that I know my serving in Independence, Missouri could only have come from God and no one else.

  98. anti religion says

    I only have evidence for myself that God is real. It is impossible for me to give anyone else evidence that God is real.

  99. t90bb says

    98…yes you like your ridiculous narrative…AND YOU STICKIN TOO IT!….

    I only have evidence for myself that the tooth fairy is real~!

  100. anti religion says

    Again, I understand that atheists will never believe in the possibility that God could be real. The only way that an atheist will know that God is real is if God reveals himself to them in a specific way that is only meant for them, and in a way that he or she knows that it only came from God and no one else.

  101. RationalismRules says

    “anti religion” appears extraordinarily similar to “oldman” (right down to the exact same phraseology) who initiated a very similar thread about a year ago on ep 22.13. Here’s a link. It was basically the same story, except the reason advanced in the earlier thread was a lack of ability to manage money, which was somehow evidence that god had communicated to the elders that oldman needed to be appointed to a position of financial clerk (!)

    It’s Post Hoc fallacies all the way down…
     
    (returning to lurker mode until the whole Stephen Woodford thing is far behind us)
    not-Stephen

  102. t90bb says

    97////..

    “That does not change my experience though and that I know my serving in Independence, Missouri could only have come from God and no one else.”

    that has already been disproven by Herectical Ryan, jacobfromlost, and myself…….you are clutching to what feels good to you, anti religion. We know its hard to give up and get honest. What would it mean for you if God was not the basis for your assignment?? Too horrible to look at?? too scary?? Have you invested so much in your own narrative that its too hard to turn back??
    We have, I have….or I should say many of us have been faced with truth and logic in the face of our comfortable and familiar delusions. You can do it. You may not want to….but you can. It takes courage man…but you are hear and something brought you here. Perhaps you see your own nonsense for what it is?

  103. anti religion says

    What I will always know for myself is that it was God that wanted my to serve my Mormon mission where I did because he knew that I had autism. It was after my mission that I was diagnosed with autism by a medical professional.

  104. t90bb says

    101. RR….crap I remember that!! Maybe anti religion is going to tell us he is old now and was bad with money.

  105. anti religion says

    Again my going to Independence, Missouri could only have come from God since it was impossible for the Mormon Apostles to know that I had autism.

  106. t90bb says

    look at the first 6 or seven words in anti’s post in 103…..

    “WHAT I WILL ALWAYS KNOW FOR MYSELF IS……..”

    A lot like Ken Haim’s response to what would it take to convince him evolution occured…..”NOTHING!. I am a Christian!”..

    Nuff said

  107. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @anti religion
    This is some of the worst trolling I’ve seen on this blog in a long time. You don’t even sound like a fucking human! I’ve seen online service chatbots make more sense than you. Why on earth are you wasting your time with this? Is this really the best you could come up with?

  108. t90bb says

    RR……I liked the last video THE MISTAKES OF MANY…..you made some mistakes but you are taking responsibility……LMFAO…..

  109. t90bb says

    AtheistNotAgnostic says
    May 29, 2019 at 8:30 pm
    @anti religion
    This is some of the worst trolling I’ve seen on this blog in a long time. You don’t even sound like a fucking human! I’ve seen online service chatbots make more sense than you. Why on earth are you wasting your time with this? Is this really the best you could come up with?

    OMFG….im still rolling over this……..I really love you guys. GOD help us!

  110. anti religion says

    Again, since neither I nor my family or anyone in my congregation had ever talked to a Mormon Apostle before the Mormon Apostles called me on my mission, it was impossible for them to know that I had autism. The only possibility of why I was called to serve where I did is that God wanted me to serve where I did. Since the Mission President in Independence, Missouri had been in the same congregation that I had been in in Salt Lake City, God knew it would be easier for me to serve there.

  111. t90bb says

    Is anti trolling?? prolly…

    but I grew up in a evangelical home in a deeply religious area. Make know mistake….people like this do exist! Sadly.

    I have had a bit of fun mainly out of boredom…..I hope he’s trolling, honestly. If not he needs a “come to NOT Jesus” moment. I know some that openly admit that they would rather be happy than right. Rather live in a happy delusion than reality. They exist….and who am I to say how they should live. I just like to point out some of their flawed logic….and its pretty easy even for an amateur like me.

  112. anti religion says

    I don’t expect atheists to believe my experience and accept that atheists will never have an open mind about the possibility of God being real.

  113. t90bb says

    111. Praise God for your autism! And your comedic value to us!!!

    I am done as I am starting to feel guilty.

  114. anti religion says

    I am not trolling by sharing my experience. I thought perhaps people would have an open mind, I see now that I am wrong.

  115. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @t90bb #112
    He’s 100% trolling. He just ignored me and went right back to his robotic, canned response. I bet I could write a program that models his behavior perfectly: grab some text from a repository to start a thread, detect when new posts are made and then post again using a slightly different subset of the text from the repository.

  116. t90bb says

    113,,,,,Final point…

    a. anti….we do believe your EXPERIENCE may have been real….we don’t agree on your interpretation of said events

    b. many atheists were once believers…..

    your just wrong on so many levels…..but I wont beat a dead horse. I would continue to play but on the slight chance your serious I feel sorry for you. Good night all!

  117. anti religion says

    I understand that many atheists were once believers. It is my view that atheists who were once believers did not have an experience in which God revealed himself to them in a way that was specific only for them and in a way that they knew could only have come from God and no one else.

  118. Lamont Cranston says

    anti religion says in #79

    My point in my post was that I know for myself that it was God that wanted me to serve my mission where I did because of my autism.

    You then provided your reasons why you think God was involved.

    Please understand that I mean no disrespect in what I am about to say.

    In any normal situation, before you can establish that something (let’s call it X) can be the cause of anything, that something (X) has to actually exist, Let me start with a clearly absurd example.

    Let’s say I claimed that pink bunnies with rainbow feathers cause my car to run. Then I say that since my car runs there must be pink bunnies with rainbow feathers.

    What do you think of my claim and my reason for believing in pink bunnies with rainbow feathers?

    My reasons for believing in pink bunnies with rainbow feathers doesn’t really make sense does it? After all, we all kind of know there are no such things as pink bunnies with rainbow feathers. So, regardless of what I said about my car running, pink bunnies with rainbow feathers simply can’t be the cause because they don’t actually exist. Since they don’t actually exist they have no way of causing my car to run despite my feelings about them being the cause of it running.

    Let me give you another example that just happened to me today.

    This starts with pointing out that I was part of a Christian church cult from the late 1980’s to the late 1990’s. The cult still exists in the city where I live. Today I had a reason to go to the airport and park my car there briefly. In a city of several million people I found myself parked right next to a car with a decal advertising the church cult I was part of. The odds against this were several 10’s of millions to 1 against this happening. Yet it happened. That church currently only has a few hundred members, and of those only a few probably have such a decal on their car. The parking lot was vast, yet there I was right next to that car.

    Should I believe that God made this happen to get me re-involved in a cult or I just had a several 10’s of millions to 1 coincidence happen?

    The reality is that just because the odds against something are very high, does not make such a coincidence impossible. For a God to make this happen, I have to first establish whether such a God even exists. I have no evidence for that.

    What are the odds of you encountering someone who was familiar with autism under the circumstances you described? It’s hard to be sure, but the odds are probably better than my chances of being parked right next to that car today. A lot of people are familiar with autism and can recognize the signs of it in people even if those people don’t realize it themselves (as in your situation). These people are not qualified to give you a clinical diagnosis, but they know the signs because they have some reason to recognize them (someone they know is autistic, they have read about it, seen movies, seen documentaries, or something has made them aware).

    Just something to consider.

    Lamont Cranston

  119. t90bb says

    118…its pretty easy,,,,you make up a story/position and explanation to sound so ridiculously stupid (like yours!) you invite responses. You then defend it…pretending to be genuine. Its quite fun. I have done it.

    In fact many of my responses to you were a version of trolling…and you took the bait (or were you reverse trolling??).

    Its a great way to defeat boredom especially when everyone only wants to talk about trans issues.

  120. t90bb says

    120 Lamont,,,,,,

    do you have pictures of the pink bunnies and rainbow feathers??

  121. t90bb says

    And what does it mean to “believe” in pink bunnies…….I think you are trolling, sir! Your almost as bad as the autistic guy! LMFAO!!!

  122. anti religion says

    As I have said, at the time I served my mission I didn’t know that I had autism. I also pointed out that it was several years after my mission that I was diagnosed with autism by a medical professional. This is something that was impossible for the Mormon Apostles to know when they called me to serve my mission, since neither I nor my family or anyone else in my congregation had ever talked to a Mormon Apostle.

  123. t90bb says

    Did I ever tell you about the time I took acid and had the COMPLETE TROLLING EXPERIENCE?? or CTE!!!!……

    don’t believe me?? Ill post science that claims that such an experience established trolling to be divine! All while eating an Oreo!!

  124. larpar says

    @ anti religion – various posts
    Pre-diagnosed or not, does your god send all autistic people to Missouri or do some get sent to other places.

  125. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    1. You have admitted that the person leading the mission in Independence, Misery had known you previously in Utah. So, why do you think that person having known you from an earlier time was not capable of influencing where you served your mission?
    2. If I, as an overweight middle aged man presents to the ER with crushing substernal chest pain, a cold sweat, a fast but weak pulse, and clutching my right fist over my heart (bc my left arm is numb), isn’t that enuf to know I’m having a heart attack? Just bc you weren’t dxed with autism until later in life doesn’t mean people, especially those that work with male children, couldn’t recognize the traits beforehand. Indeed, the fact that there is a strong probability that your Mormon environment did appreciate that you were ‘different’ is a much more likely explanation as to why a low stress mission in Independence, Misery was chosen.
    3. Lastly, regardless of whether you accept 1 or 2 as more likely explanations than god, then there’s a mathematical fallacy of causation that you are guilty of: it is called https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc. In other words, unless you can come up with another causation, the one you have been relying on in EVERY post this week (and I’ve seen you make this same mistake previously a while ago) is IRRELEVANT mathematically bc post hoc ergo propter hoc. I’m assuming bc of your autism and the association of that neurobiology with higher than average math literacy, once you are presented with your fallacy, will allow you to achieve a rational piece of evidence.
    4. In other words, your idea that only god could have chosen Independence, Misery is NOT EVIDENCE. It is, however, PART OF YOUR CLAIM. The REASON your idea can NOT be evidence Bc it is mathematically incapable of establ8shimg causation because post hoc ergo propter hoc.
    5. Please now provide relevant, rational evidence for your claim. If you can’t, then you are saying your claim is true without evidence. And we do NOT accept such things here.

  126. Lamont Cranston says

    t90bb says in #122

    do you have pictures of the pink bunnies and rainbow feathers??

    Sorry, no pictures of pink bunnies with rainbow feathers. However If I had had instead used cats with wings that might have been a different story. Last weekend I was at a location where I could have bought pictures of those. The pictures were done by an atheist artist I might add.

    I am honestly not a troll, but of course you have no particular reason to believe that. The things I say about having been in a cult, being on TV news as The Shadow for several successive nights, having had lunch with a well known expert in cults, having facilitated a support group for people having left a certain church, having a transgender son, etc. are all completely true. I’ve been on various internet forums/newsgroups for over 20 years but mostly using my real full name (as opposed to my pseudonym). Also, yes I am old enough to have done and been through all this, not to mention almost having died about 6 years ago.

    Lamont Cranston

  127. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    To wit, what @larpar posted in #127 is just a very succinct way of asking a question that encompasses my 5 points in #128. What @larpar is saying, is: all you are saying is post hoc ergo propter hoc, so do you have other evidence for yourself or are you saying that all Mormons with autism are assigned their mission in Independence, Misery.

  128. anti religion says

    God does not send all autistic people to Missouri. The only reason I was called there is because God wanted me to be there and he knew that it would be easier for me to serve there. With regards the the Mission President, I really didn’t know him that well. He was called by the Mormon Apostles to be Mission President in Independence, Missouri three years before I was called to go there. My family was also in the process of moving into the area where he attended the congregation that I was in. It also would have been impossible for him to have any influence on the Apostles since they had not even prayed yet about where I should serve my mission. It was also impossible for my Mission President to know that I had autism since I had never talked to him before my mission.

  129. anti religion says

    The only evidence I have of God is for myself. It is impossible for me to provide evidence for someone else. If an atheist wants evidence that God is real, I would suggest that he or she pray to God and ask for God to reveal himself to them in specific ways that are only meant for them, and in ways that they know can only come from God and no one else.

  130. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    What is your evidence for the claim: “the only reason I was called there is because god wanted me to be there and he knew that it would be easier for me to serve there”?

  131. t90bb says

    132,,,,anti..

    several people have all given other possible reasons as to why you ended up in MO.. how did you rule them out???

    constantly repeating that you just know……..wont convince anyone here. but that begs the question…if you know your experience wont convince anyone here….why do you continue to post?? Is it possible that you are trying to convince yourself??

    And you refuse to answer why god gave you autism??

  132. Heretical Ryan says

    anti religion:

    What I will always know for myself is that it was God that wanted my to serve my Mormon mission where I did because he knew that I had autism. It was after my mission that I was diagnosed with autism by a medical professional.

    Please explain how Missouri + autism = god
    .

    (Yeah I realize this guy is probably a troll but I’m bored and i have some time to kill)

  133. t90bb says

    also anti….you said..

    “If an atheist wants evidence that God is real, I would suggest that he or she pray to God and ask for God to reveal himself to them in specific ways that are only meant for them, and in ways that they know can only come from God and no one else.”

    since we have already explained there are more ways you ended up in MO than gawd dunnit……then your experience is not one that can only be explained by god………so do you have another experience that could have only been god since the one you gave us clearly could have been explained without you magic sky genie…..

  134. t90bb says

    135..ryan……I think hes saying that since god felt guilty about giving the poor sap autism….he figured hed be nice and keep him closer to home so he didn’t go bat shit crazy((ier?))…..lol

    clear as mud…

  135. anti religion says

    i have no idea why God gave me autism. The other reasons that atheists have listed are not the reason why I was called to serve my mission in Independence, Missouri. As I have said before when the Mormon Apostles called me to serve my mission where I did it was impossible for them to know that I had autism since neither I nor my family or anyone else in my congregation had ever talked to an Apostle. It was God that wanted me to serve my mission where I did because of my autism. The only evidence I have of God is for myself.

  136. Heretical Ryan says

    Mormon apostles who didn’t know you had autism sent you on a mission to Missouri .

    Later you were diagnosed with autism.

    Now you believe god is real.

    Sorry. There are gaps in this story that you need to fill in.

  137. t90bb says

    “The other reasons that atheists have listed are not the reason why I was called to serve my mission in Independence, Missouri.”

    yes and I have asked 4 times now how you ruled these out?? many professional that work with males can see signs of autism ordinary people cannot. How do you know someone didn’t recognize your autistic tells before even you understood you were autistic.

    lets face it…you don not. you just like the god did it story better. It makes you feel good, safe, and protected. you have not supported your claim that god did it. you just repeat that god did it.

    this is a clear case of I know because I know because I know. not impressive.

  138. anti religion says

    As I have said, the reason I was called to serve in Independence, Missouri is because God knew that it would be easier for me to serve there because of my autism and knew that I needed to have some routine. For those who have autism going though a big change is hard on them. I went on my mission a few months after high school and had never been away from my family. The only people I knew were those in school and those in my congregation. When I went on my mission the Mission President had been in my congregation in Salt Lake City. God knew that going on my mission would be a big change for me because of my autism, which is why he wanted me to serve where I did. Again, I understand that atheists don’t believe that my experience happened the way it did.

  139. t90bb says

    139..ryan

    what gaps? clearly god influenced the Apostles…..its the only explanation, right? lololol

    not only does his story have gaps…the gaps have gaps….lmao

  140. t90bb says

    141,,anti

    ohh I see. god felt the need to help you with your autism……after giving you autism lol

  141. anti religion says

    As I have said before, I was not diagnosed with autism until several years after my mission. I have also explained that it was impossible for the Mormon Apostles who called me to serve my mission in Independence, Missouri to know that I had autism since neither I nor my family or anyone else in my congregation had ever talked to an Apostle.

  142. anti religion says

    As far as professionals, the only professionals that worked with me were my special education teachers in school. My teachers in school also had nothing to do about where I served my mission.

  143. Heretical Ryan says

    I have also explained that it was impossible for the Mormon Apostles who called me to serve my mission in Independence, Missouri to know that I had autism since neither I nor my family or anyone else in my congregation had ever talked to an Apostle

    So what?

  144. Heretical Ryan says

    @149 t90bb

    Heh – This guy may be a troll but at least he’s an entertaining troll.

    A breath of fresh air compared to some of the other trolls we’ve had to deal with in recent months, wouldn’t you say?

  145. anti religion says

    I know for myself that going to Independence, Missouri could only have come from God. Again I understand that atheists don’t believe that my experience happened and will never have an open mind about the possibility that God could be real. I thought perhaps there were atheists with open minds, I was wrong about that.

  146. anti religion says

    My post was never meant to try to provide evidence to atheists that God is real, since that is impossible for me to do. I was just sharing my story of how I have evidence for myself that God is real.

  147. t90bb says

    148…anti…..pot calling the kettle?…..your experience is totally believable…..your interpretation is only believable with evidence///////and it better be better than I know because I know lol…..

    do you have an open mind anti?? it seems you are only open to your explanation……that’s the definition of closed mindedness….

  148. anti religion says

    I was not trying to be a troll. I’m not sure how I would be a breath of fresh air compared to other trolls that you have had to deal with in recent months. I’m not sure what trolls you have had on here.

  149. t90bb says

    149,,,,your not only anti religion….you are anti intelligence, your anti everything except what fits your narrative…..,,if you need to pretend only god could do what is explainable through other means…..you might consider therapy

  150. Heretical Ryan says

    I’m not sure what trolls you have had on here.

    .
    Oooohoooohooo we could tell you some stories.
    .

    My post was never meant to try to provide evidence to atheists that God is real, since that is impossible for me to do

    .
    Well we really only care about evidence here.
    .
    So we seem to have reached an impasse.

  151. Lamont Cranston says

    anti religion says in #148

    I know for myself that going to Independence, Missouri could only have come from God. Again I understand that atheists don’t believe that my experience happened and will never have an open mind about the possibility that God could be real. I thought perhaps there were atheists with open minds, I was wrong about that.

    For the record, I believe that your “experience” happened. I just don’t have any reason to believe you know what role God had in it, or why God did what he did if he did anything at all. Why do you think I say that? It’s because you have done absolutely nothing to explain how you know what God knows (mind reading, telepathy, a personal conversation, something else?), how you know what God did (observe God actually doing something, guesswork, remote viewing, what?), or how you know that God even exists (what proved this to you beyond your beginning assumption that God exists).

    I am open minded to the existence of a god if someone (even you) could show me evidence that a God actually exists, which you have not done. I spent decades reading the Bible (to the point of memorizing hundreds of verses), asking God into my heart, and pursuing God in every way I could.

    Even your current belief that there are no open minded atheists is wrong. My mind is open, just not so open that my brains have fallen out.

    Lamont Cranston

  152. anti religion says

    As I have said, the only evidence I have of God is for myself. As far the the other explanations that have been given, none of them hold up because no one else knew that I had autism before and during my mission. I do consider myself to be open minded and if it can somehow be proven that the Mormon Apostles knew that I had autism before they called me to serve my mission, I would change my view.

  153. jacobfromlost says

    I know I’m the first one to usually call “troll”, but anti religion may indeed have autism. All of his posts would be consistent with someone with autism.

  154. anti religion says

    The way God works is through impressions on the mind or feelings in the heart. Another way I know for myself that God is real is because he prayers of mine. Because I have autism, I don’t have a job and live at home with my family. My responsibility is washing the dishes at home. For many years my family blamed me because the dishes that I washed had a wet dog smell to them. Dishes that were hand washed as well as dishes that were washed in the dishwasher had a wet dog smell to them. For several years my family, including my parents blamed me for smelly dishes. I tried different methods of washing dishes from using different dish soap to using different cloths to wash dishes. The problem with smelly dishes continued. After praying to God for help with the dishes, the immediate thought came to me to look up smelly dishes on the internet. Through research I found out that my family had the same problems as other people were having. I know for myself that it was God that answered my prayer, since I had never had the thought to look up smelly dishes on the internet.

  155. anti religion says

    Since learning that my family had the same problems as other people were having, my family has stopped blaming me for smelly dishes.

  156. anti religion says

    Before I prayed to God for help with smelly dishes, I thought my family including my parents were crazy for smelling dishes. After looking up smelly dishes on the internet, I learned that other people smell dishes as well. I was shocked when my family started smelling dishes, because they had never done that before.

  157. t90bb says

    is it possible it wasn’t the dishes they were smelling..but rather the load of bullshit that’s in your head??

  158. t90bb says

    anti..well fuck…that does it for me….im a believer. solving the smelly dish dilemma won me over. im all in on god now.

  159. anti religion says

    For several years I watched my family pull out dishes and smell them, and I also put up with them blaming me for them. Again, I understand that atheists do not believe my experiences. For myself I know that the thought to look up smelly dishes could only have come from God. I also understand that the evidence I have for myself does not mean anything to atheists. I’m sorry for thinking that atheists would have an open mind.

  160. anti religion says

    I understand that atheists on here don’t believe in God because God has not revealed himself to them in ways that are specific only to them and in ways that they know could only have come from God and no one else.

  161. t90bb says

    Autistic and incredibly stupid….man that’s a tough road….LMFAO……..

    thanks for the laughs anti religion….I am a huuuge fan of your now……….you are one funny man!

  162. t90bb says

    Im still rolling thinking about your family pulling out the dishes and smelling them!!!!! You outta write a screen play…..THE STUPID FAMILY!

  163. t90bb says

    This is the same family that couldn’t tell you were autistic??? Now it all makes sense lmfao……

    Poor anti…..god triple dicked you!……gave you autism, no brains, and a stupid family!!!!…..praise HIM

  164. anti religion says

    This problem with smelly dishes is a problem with other people as well. My family didn’t know that I had autism because when I was in elementary school doctors diagnosed me with having learning disabilities. It was not until after my Mormon mission that I was diagnosed with autism.

  165. Murat says

    Can we tell a god that does not manifest itself in reality from a god that does not exist at all?
    The answer is no.
    *
    Can we tell if one is trolling by claiming he has autism, or if he actually has autism and this is the part of the reason we can not engage with him the way we intend to?
    The answer is, again, no.
    *
    I will prefer not to call “anti religion” (strange screen name for one who keeps referring to Mormons, btw) a troll. Because whatever he may believe to get by trolling people is not at the expense of me losing something. Not even my time, as this is under my control and his insistence on trolling would not necessarily force me to engage by considering him to be genuine.
    *
    In such cases, I notice two significantly different attitudes with people: They either focus on ripping off the mask from the face of the other side, proving themselves right, clever and with foresight, having detected the troll activity in advance, and acting the proper way by usage of mockery etc.
    OR, like some others have, they give the benefit of a doubt that the person in question may actually be suffering from autism, and his lack of ability in properly laying out “what he believes in and why” may have something to do with his ongoing condition.
    *
    I believe the latter to be the better approach among the two.

  166. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    I seem to recall you posting a while ago about your association of your experience with your mission and that being proof of god to you.

    The reason you are getting ‘heat’ from people on this blog is because you are remarkably persistent in what you say and how you say it. Indeed, it is the way in which you express yourself which I think was noted earlier as being consistent with autism.

    With you being so consistent over time makes the most probable conclusion being that you are autistic.

    Your story about the dishes was touching in that you not only revealed again how you associate events but it also provided insight into the degree of challenges you have faced.

    I want to modify the fallacy I stated you were expressing before. Before I said you were committing the fallacy (the error) of thinking because one thing followed another that the previous thing caused the second thing. Specific to you, you are relating being sent to Independence with a the Mission Leader there turning out to be someone you knew to you later being finally diagnosed with autism (which was a life changing thing for you because it finally explained so much). While it is natural to relate these events, please realize that doing so is not evidence but another claim. I hope you can see this. This is why seeing your mission location and autism as evidence is wrong. It is wrong because it is actually a claim.

    The same thing is happening with the smelly dishes and searching the internet. These two things are not evidence of god but actually another claim about god.

    And how you express yourself by saying (very correctly) that these things you relate together are evidence only valid for you is also a very related fallacy (error) to the one with the Latin words I said to you earlier. This fallacy (error) is called the error of personal incredulity. Another term is that your evidence is an anecdote. A definition of anecdote is something that only applies to you.

    This is why you think we aren’t being open minded. We are. It’s just that how things relate together has rules that are called logic. It is the basis of math. So when we try to make your claims add up they don’t. And the reasons they don’t are because of these fallacies (errors) I have mentioned.

    I to was not diagnosed with a related type of brain to autism called ADD until late in life. Even though I had made it thru medical school I simply had no clue what ‘my problem’ was until 47yo. And a big reason I found out is my second child was diagnosed with ADD with a mild aspergers (that she grew out of). When I started on treatment for my ADD it was like I was reborn. It was like I unzipped myself from a cocoon and emerged as a butterfly.

    Hearing you are from Utah, that you are Mormon, and that you have to live at home makes me ache for you. Why? Because the evidence is showing that autism is a type of brain function in which you are very very empathic. Indeed, so empathic that getting ‘too much’ stimulation can be overwhelming.

    I detect that because of your life that a belief in god has become vital to you. But what I would like you to think about is the things you use as evidence for your god. If you can understand why we are telling you that your evidence isn’t evidence then how would you explain your success in your Mission and your success in handling the ridicule of your family and thinking of using the internet to find out what was happening with your chores? Well, to us the answer is obvious: the reason for these successes (and I imagine there are many others if we talked long enough) is NOT god but YOU! You are the source. The evidence is not in support of god but in support of YOU! You are the one that succeeded in your Mission in Independence (and the name of the town fits!). You are the one who explored what was happening with the smelly dishes.

    So…perhaps you are the one who should open your mind? Perhaps you should realize that what you are giving credit to (god) doesn’t exist because what explains the things you have talked about much better than god is that you are a remarkable person who if he keeps trying like you are will continue to succeed and grow as you get older.

    Lastly…why do you call your self anti religion?

  167. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    I forgot to say this part: we call a person a troll who is committing errors (fallacies) on purpose just to upset people. I’m saying that I don’t think that is what you are doing, and you telling us more about your personal life is a major reason I think this. You see, when you added that information, along with how you expressed yourself about the Mission, added to you saying the same exact thing about your Mission many weeks ago on this blog all corroborate the claim that you are autistic and how you are expressing yourself is thus not meant to upset us but rather represents truly how your mind works.

    And, again, if you keep learning new things like you obviously do I think you will do well in life.

  168. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    And the reason you will do well in life has nothing to do with god because it has everything to do with your mind.

  169. ianbraisby says

    Anti religion, thanks for replying to my post and explaining your story again.
    Personally, I don’t think you are trolling the blog, just repeating a claim with no rational evidence to support it. I understand you are very convinced but it seems to me you were primed by your religious upbringing to attribute any coincidental good thing that happens to god’s intervention. This is unfortunately reinforced by the inflexible thinking that is a characteristic trait of autism, which I know from experience is a tough barrier to overcome in so many situations.
    You are right to say that moving away from family for the first time is very tough when you have autism (even if you don’t know you have it at the time), I faced the same thing when I went to university and in fact I found it very overwhelming and had to take several months out during my second year of study due to stress. For you, the move worked out well, partly because a person there happened to be someone you knew who provided some familiarity for you. Whether that was arranged somehow (by people) or coincidence is impossible for us to tell, but there is no logical, rational reason to think it was due to divine intervention. That is just the priming from your upbringing.
    Ditto the dishes story you told us. Looks to me like you approached the issue rationally by trying different ways to resolve the problem, then eventually you came up with the idea of searching online and because this worked you claim god took action to help you. But I’m confident that if one of the other solutions you tried had worked, you would have attributed that to god too. Preconditioning again at work there.
    What you’ve shared makes me both angry and sad. That’s because you have been primed to attribute your own achievements and successes to god, not to your own strength, persistence and resourcefulness. Rather than feeling grateful to a deity for the positive things that have happened in your life, I wish you were able to celebrate your own qualities and resilience. Hopefully, by carefully considering some of the comments on this blog and looking into coincidence and rational explanations you will be able to start to recognise that it is something about you as a person that enabled you to complete your mission and to make a positive contribution to your family’s domestic life. Those things are not proof of a god, they are proof of the capabilities of a human and proof that autistic people are resourceful, persistent and valuable. I wish you well on your journey.

  170. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    Even though I am on the surface well educated and my friends and peers consider me an adequate communicator, I daily find that I could have said something better. What @ianbraisby posted in #172 is, to me, exactly what I was trying to say but he did it so much better than I.

    @ianbraisby also showed me, and it surprised me to realize this, was that I too was angry. I was aware of feeling sad, but until I read his post right now I only then realized my anger as well.

    And why do I feel angry and sad? Because I see a human who has been and is being abused by religion. That’s why I used the word ache to describe how I felt reading your well written posts.

  171. indianajones says

    I just hope at this point that anti is not a troll. That being the case, I can forgive the snide little jibes about being disappointed about not finding open minds. I can only imagine a good faith actor here might not be perfect at it and has bearded this particular lion in it’s den in order to explore an idea or 2. And I welcome that, even if the arguments themselves can be easily dismissed or if the argumentation is not perfectly up to good faith standards..

    Shareable and testable evidence for claims is golden around here. You good faith actor you.

    I hope that this is the case. But we get so many around here of bad faith. We really do. Understand this to be so, please.

    However, if you are in fact a troll of the sort we get so many of, consider what it is you are doing. You are impersonating one of the most stereo typed, marginalised, misunderstood groups of people getting around. Then taking advantage of that disadvantage to own some atheotards, or something. For the lulz. You are actively hurting a group of people that are already hurting by trying to poison what I hope is a welcoming place. Actively and directly hurting vulnerable people. Secondary to that is the damage you do to this place itself, but we’re pretty robust in general so only minorly. If that was your primary aim, you have failed..

    I don’t know if you are that troll, but I know that troll exists. And to that existent troll, be it you or otherwise, I extend a hearty fuck you. May your sleep be restless and unsatisfying.

  172. t90bb says

    I said numerous times I was not convinced about anti being a troll. I still am not….but I do lean toward troll. lol..

    His story has many issues..lol…..Apparently no one recognized his autism into adulthood but now hes so limited he can only stay home and wash dishes that smell??? lmfao….

    If hes serious hes got more issues that autism. And prolly incapable of really understanding the help many of us have tried to provide. On the plus side he prolly cant appreciate the trolling we have done to him as well!

    Either way hes been a lot of fun!

  173. t90bb says

    When I was a young man I had an itchy ass. It itched all the time. I asked my mother and she told me to scratch it. Only god could have convinced me to ask my mother. Now I scratch me ass all the time and til bleeds…

    I realize my ass scratching will not convince you that God is real…but it convinced me…I know God is real….how else could one explain my bleeding ass??

  174. Lamont Cranston says

    anti religion says in #167

    This problem with smelly dishes is a problem with other people as well. My family didn’t know that I had autism because when I was in elementary school doctors diagnosed me with having learning disabilities. It was not until after my Mormon mission that I was diagnosed with autism.

    I’m going to give you the benefit of my doubt about what you have said about yourself. Having said that, here is my considered opinion.

    I think you don’t give yourself enough credit for what you have achieved. Instead you attribute your accomplishments to an invisible magic sky god, It was you who figured out what to do about the dishes. It was you who did what was expected of you during your Moromon mission. It was you who achieved things while dealing with learning disabilities that may indeed be a result of your autism. Your brain is not incapable of doing things, you just don’t give it, and yourself, the credit for your achievements.

    Your brain just works a little different from the brains of a lot of other people. That comes with some disadvantages, but it can also have some advantages because you may not see things quite the same way as some other people. Your family didn’t figure out the dish problem. You did. No it wasn’t the magic invisible sky god, It was you and your brain.

    Have you ever heard of Temple Grandin? If not, look her up using Google. There is a biographical movie about her (it’s pretty good). She has also done TED Talks (look up her name on Youtube). She is autistic and understand how her mind works. He has been highly successful and is very well regarded even though (actually, precisely because of how) her brain works differently. I personally know someone who attended school with her and is also very much amazed by her.

    There are some things she doesn’t do very well, but other things that she does that other people are incapable of doing. No invisible magic sky god does them for her. She does them just as you do them.

    Learning disabilities are difficult. My wife has auditory perception disorder. Its kind of like having the audio version of dyslexia (a reading problem). It puts her in the position of having to deal with audible english almost like it is a foreign language.

    Consider this, someone out here thinks it is time you gave yourself the credit YOU deserve.

    Lamont Cranston

  175. anti religion says

    My point for my posts was to share how I know for myself that God is real. I realize that I can only have evidence for myself and that it is impossible for me to provide evidence for anyone else. I was not trying to be a troll by sharing my experience with the group. If you have had trolls on here trying to prove to you that God is real, I’m sorry that you have dealt with them. I am anti religion because I am against religion and think it is harmful. After I was diagnosed with having autism, the reason why I served my mission where I did made sense to me. I have not been to church in over twenty-five years, and am not religious. I do still read the Bible and pray to God everyday. Religious people will never be able to provide extraordinary proof to an atheist that God is real. I understand that there are many atheists who used to be religious and I blame religion for that.

  176. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion #178
    Interesting. I’m a recovering southern baptist and when I was young I was confused by my pastor saying he too was against religion and religiosity. Later I realized this was my churches effort to try to make a distinction from other Protestants, including other Baptist’s, by appealing to the idea we were ‘different’ and thus ‘better’ or ‘more pure’ in our beliefs. I now realize this was a fallacy (error) called the ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy. Look it up on Wikipedia.

    The reason it is important to understand these fallacies because all of the ones you are committing (1. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, 2. Argument from incredulity, 3. Use of anecdote as evidence, 4. The no true Scotsman fallacy) is that they all confuse what evidence is versus a claim. You are doing this and your post #178 you clearly see that you are doing this when you say the evidence only convinces you and would not be sufficient for an atheist.

    Since you got that far, why not answer why this is true???

    The reason your evidence works only for you is because it is NOT evidence. What you are calling evidence is actually your claim (hypothesis or guess). Specifically, your claim is NOT god exists because of the evidence of your mission placement. No! Your claim is that god exists because he placed you in your Mission in Independence. NOW YOU GIVE YOUR EVIDENCE. But, as you already admit over and over and do it well in #178 is that you have no evidence.

    Holding a claim as most probably true without evidence or even in the face of contradictory evidence is called faith based reasoning. It is the weakest type of reasoning because it is not supported by evidence. Thus, holding these faith based claims as probably true establishes a poor foundation to build upon. In your case, it leads to further faith based reasoning such as your smelly dishes example.

    So, while you can use evidence as you define it, please know that NO ONE ON THIS BLOG ACCEPTS WHAT YOU CALL EVIDENCE BECAUSE WE CALL IT THE CLAIM THAT WE THEN TEST TO OBTAIN EVIDENCE.

    With that being said, @t90bb in post #175 makes an excellent point with the evidence that if your autism was diagnosed late (presumably in your 20s as it was after your mission) but it was severe enough to prevent you from living independently, how was the diagnosis missed for so long? Why wasn’t it picked up by your school teachers by the time you reached elementary school years? This is a huge thing that needs to be answered because without a good answer the likelihood you are deceiving us on purpose (ie, the likelihood you are a troll) jumps to most probable.

  177. twarren1111 says

    And btw anti religion, we had a guy try to claim he was a messianic Jew who had autism but he had over 600 videos on his YouTube channel in which he claimed he was autistic but he was clearly lying. In fact, his moronic portrayal of what he said was autism was nothing close to autism and thus was highly offensive to us whether our lives were touched by autism or not. Why? Because it was a lie. And what made it a lie? It was because the evidence he provided had no relationship to his claim; and that is offensive when someone does that despite being shown exactly why what they are causally relating has no relation at all in reality. The fact that his lie was dehumanizing to those who do have autism was thus disgusting.

    It’s the same way President Trump is disgusting…

  178. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @anti religion #178
    If you’re truly not a troll then I apologize for attacking you earlier. I still suspect that you’re oldman from the old thread (link in RationalismRules’s post #101) but I’m willing to give you another chance to prove you’re not by answering our questions honestly.

    My point for my posts was to share how I know for myself that God is real.

    Why do you feel the need to post this here? Do you think we haven’t heard the same stories from dozens of believers of dozens of different Christian denominations and other religions?

    I realize that I can only have evidence for myself and that it is impossible for me to provide evidence for anyone else.

    Ok, so why are you here?

  179. anti religion says

    True, I don’t have evidence for anyone else other than myself. This is what I hate about religious people when they make claims to atheists. It is impossible to test the evidence that religious people have for themselves that God is real, God is not going to come down physically and show people that he is real. The evidence I have for myself that God is real is that he knew that I had autism before I did. Even though I am no longer religious, God continues to answer my prayers. I know that the immediate thought to look on the internet for smelly dishes after I prayed to God could not have come from somewhere else. It was not an idea that came to me to look on the internet. I had never looked on the internet for smelly dishes until after I had prayed. The reason I don’t take credit for solving the problem of smelly dishes is that God led me to look on the internet for smelly dishes with the immediate though that came to me after my prayer.

  180. anti religion says

    I thought perhaps people would have an open mind, which is why I posted what I did. I understand that you have heard from dozens of believers. As I said, I am no longer religious but still know for myself that God is real. My knowing that God is real has nothing to do with religion. My knowing that God is real is because he has revealed himself to me in very specific ways that were only meant for me and in ways that I know could only have come from God and no one else.

  181. buddyward says

    @anti religion

    I thought perhaps people would have an open mind, which is why I posted what I did. I understand that you have heard from dozens of believers. As I said, I am no longer religious but still know for myself that God is real. My knowing that God is real has nothing to do with religion. My knowing that God is real is because he has revealed himself to me in very specific ways that were only meant for me and in ways that I know could only have come from God and no one else.

    Having an open mind does not mean believing anything that anyone says. Would you be closed minded if I tell you that God does not exists because that is my personal experience and that unless you see the universe as a place where no gods exist you will never be convinced that god(s) do not exist? Would you be convinced if I tell you that I know for myself that God does not exist? These are the same reasons you have for believing in the existence of your god and I doubt that you will be willing to accept them and yet you expect us to accept the same reasons for your god’s existence.

  182. anti religion says

    I have never expected atheists to accept my reason for knowing for myself that God is real. As I have said before, I understand that it is impossible for me to provide evidence to an atheist that God is real. It is also impossible for atheists to test the evidence that I have for myself that God is real. God is not going to physically come down to prove to all atheists that he is real. I’m sorry for what I posted and accept that atheists will never believe in God.

  183. buddyward says

    @anti religion

    I have never expected atheists to accept my reason for knowing for myself that God is real. As I have said before, I understand that it is impossible for me to provide evidence to an atheist that God is real. It is also impossible for atheists to test the evidence that I have for myself that God is real. God is not going to physically come down to prove to all atheists that he is real. I’m sorry for what I posted and accept that atheists will never believe in God.

    Then I will ask the same question that AtheistNotAgnostic had asked, “Why are you here?”

  184. buddyward says

    @anti religion

    Are you here because this is part of your mission? To go to an atheist blog and preach? To see if there is anyone here that you can convert?

  185. t90bb says

    185…I do accept your reason for believing in your magic genie…..I accept that you think it justifies your belief. I also accept that your reasoning does not come close to being good evidence for ANYONE…..unless they already believed….or just need to believe…..

    your either a troll….or challenged….You have not acknowledged or responded to a single point made to you since you arrived. You just repeat your belief…..again, consistent with both a troll or a challenged person.

    Will any atheists EVER believe in god?? Many theists were once atheists. How they come to believe is likely unique. I am sorry your shit stories converted no one here.

    And another thing….if you read the BIBLE….and believe its true….you are fucking religious. You just don’t want to be labelled as such.

    I have had a lot of fun with you….you are either a pretty fun troll or a nice but misguided fella. It is entirely possible that the help offered here is way above your pay grade. And that’s OK. I with you happiness.

    But its time for me to add anti to my block list along with Mr CME, and Oreoboy.

  186. t90bb says

    Don’t you love when Christians like to tell us that they are not religious!! Like their fairy tale is far superior to “religions”. Its special….its “truth!”….…..

    I know a bunch that claim they are not religious…..they go to church and babble study several times a week…….go on “soul winning” trips…….witness about their magical son, jeezass to anyone they can……..BUT THEY ARE NOT RELIGOUS! lolololol

    They don’t want their beautiful fairy tale in the same category of the other filthy rags….they are SPECIAL!

    I assume Muslims do this too, but have not directly witnessed such

  187. Lamont Cranston says

    t90bb says

    your either a troll….or challenged….You have not acknowledged or responded to a single point made to you since you arrived. You just repeat your belief…..again, consistent with both a troll or a challenged person.

    But its time for me to add anti to my block list along with Mr CME, and Oreoboy.

    I’m thinking along the same lines. Hearing the same non-response repeatedly with no actual interaction and being maligned for not being open minded (empty headed?) enough to accept something without reason gets old in a real hurry.

    I agree with you that dogmatic adherence to an idea without good reason is indeed a very religious behavior for someone claiming being “anti religion”.

    Lamont Cranston

  188. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @buddyward #187
    I highly doubt he’s here on the orders of the Mormon Church. My experiences with Mormons/ex-Mormons convinced me that they’re pretty well prepared and rehearsed. They would have certainly equipped any missionary they specifically sent here with better arguments than this garbage.

  189. anti religion says

    No this is not part of my mission, to preach to atheists. As I have said, the only reason for my post was to share my experience with knowing for myself that God is real. I have also said that I am no longer religious. As I have said, it is impossible for me or any religious person for that matter, to provide physical evidence that God is real, and that can be tested by atheists. This is something that will never happen.

  190. anti religion says

    As I have said, I am not religious and have not been to church in over twenty-five years. Just reading the Bible does not make me religious, just like reading books about atheism would not mean that I am an atheist.

  191. t90bb says

    192….anti…..

    with all due respect I am not one bit interested in what brought you to “know” god is real. Not unless you are sharing it for purposes of benefitting us. Since you have concluded that you are not sharing it for us….but to us…..I invite you to beat it….

    you are boring the shit out of me now. I try to dumb myself down to your level to be considerate but its too painful. Listening to your silly notions makes be long to be autistic.

    now scram or ill follow through with my block…..if you get any better reasons we should consider you magic genie let us know, but please enough with the autism, missionaries, and dirty dishes…..I laughed so hard my eyes are cried out.

    now make like a tree and leave. Please

  192. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @anti religion #192

    As I have said, the only reason for my post was to share my experience with knowing for myself that God is real. I have also said that I am no longer religious. As I have said, it is impossible for me or any religious person for that matter, to provide physical evidence that God is real

    If this is all you were trying to get across then why are you still here? We understand your position: you’re some guy who’s had an experience you’ve attributed to god that you admit you can’t use to convince anyone else. We hear this same thing like once a month. You’re not saying anything special or interesting. It’s not like you’re answering questions or trying to have a discussion about this stuff, so why keep posting? Why not just drive by preach and go away? Sorry for being so confrontational but I think it’s necessary if we’re going to get anything out of you besides your 3 broken record responses.

  193. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @t90bb #194
    I’ve got my killfile fired up and ready to go if his next response shows he’s still not interested in a dialogue.

  194. Paul Money says

    @ 195
    Yes, we get it, what we are all wondering is how the fuck it is good enough for you? On the evidence you’ve presented so far, you’d believe pretty much anything that came into your head, which is not a good way to live your life.

  195. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    You are equivocating now which is yet another fallacy.
    For me, this is the last time I will explain this: something that is evident only to you is NOT EVIDENCE. It is, however, a CLAIM which is also called your hypothesis. Please do not again refer to ‘evidence that is only real to yourself and can never be used by anyone else to support a claim’ as evidence because, again, it is NOT EVIDENCE UNLESS EVERYONE CAN RECREATE AND EXAMINE THE ‘THING’ THAT SUPPORTS A CLAIM. EVIDENCE IS ONLY EVIDENCE IF EVERYONE CAN EXPERIENCE IT.

    Secondly, the definition of the religious based process is using faith based reasoning to determine what is true and not true vs what is false and not false. Because faith based process means using no evidence or the opposite of what evidence is/or shows (which is exactly what you are admitting to doing) means that when you are determining the probability that your claim is true you are driving your probability of false positive close to 100%. This means that your claim is being supported by the probability of true positive divided by the probability of true positive plus the probability of false positive. To use symbols you are doing the calculation by dividing TP by (TP + FP) where because you are using faith you are driving a FALSE POSITIVE to 99%. As FP is in the denominator you are driving your TP probability towards zero. As explained by a previous post and link, in science process we are not really proving our claim is as close to 100% by maximizing our TP and minimizing our FP, but rather we are showing that our null (the nullify) hypothesis is as TP as possible. Thus, the null hypothesis is 1-p.

    Anyway, to apply this specifically to the math of what you are doing is you are using as evidence your personal revelation as 100% of your evidence to support your claim that god exists. As explained, personal anecdote that no one else can see or examine is NEVER EVER NEVER evidence. Thus, your ‘evidence’ is 100% FALSE POSITIVE. THIS MEANS THE PROBABILITY THAT YOUR CLAIM IS TRUE IS 0%/(0%+100%) which equals 0%/100% which equals a zero percent chance your hypothesis is correct or, equally, a 100% chance your null hypothesis is true. In other words, as I’ve tried to explain over and over is that your claim god exists bc of autism is 0% probable and your claim god does not exist bc of autism is 100%.

    In other words, the sentences and reasoning you have provided when converted to math (called Bayesian reasoning) gives you a choice: a zero percent chance god exists or a 100% chance god does not exist.

    Thus, please do not EVER AGAIN USE THE SAME CLAIMS ON THIS BLOG AGAIN BC IF YOU DO YOU ARE BEING A TROLL. WHY? BECAUSE YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY MATH DOESNT WORK. YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY 1+1=3

    And the fundamental ‘law’ of nature that establishes the root of causality I am teaching you is the constant called the speed of light.

    For those of you who have wondered why presuppositionalists like Darth Dawkins and Sye Ten Bruggencate are so wrong is that the non-contingent, non-arbitrary root of all logic, including the laws of logic and the foundation of math is the constant speed of light. Why? Bc as Einstein has taught us and every experiment to date done has shown us that the only constant we need for spacetime to emerge is c.

    That anti religion is why if you continue to write the same things will be so disrespectful and ugly. Because who the hell are you to tell us the speed of light, WHICH IS MEASURED, is wrong and thus all of physics is wrong which means all,if math is wrong which means all of chemistry is wrong which then means all of biology is wrong.

    I hope you understand, now that you have been fully informed how utterly insulting it will be if you once again try to use your personal unprovable claims as to the existence of god as evidence for the existence of god.

    Anti religion, we ARE open minded. All you need to do to change our minds is change the speed of light in a vacuum by a massless particle and we will be there cheering you on.

    Get it?

    Lastly, please answer my question: how did you escape psychiatric evaluation until your late 20s?

    My daughter and my niece (from my sister) both underwent the usual 2 year evaluation at age 7 promoted by symptoms in the classroom and both were diagnosed with inattentive ADD with mild aspergers spectrum which they outgrew. They are both 13 now.

    If you are 45 as I’m surmising by your statements then when you were around 10 it was 1982. At that time ADD and autism were well on their way to being recognized and a male who is highly symptomatic like you would have definitely been identified. The school system would gave had you evaluated and every year a group of specialists would have determined your annual IEP (individualized education plan). Why wasn’t this done for you???

  196. buddyward says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    Thank you for the response. As it shows, I am ignorant with regards to the Mormon faith.

    I will now yield to everyone else in this forum as I think you all are asking the same questions that I have and are putting forth arguments that I will make. Still, I find this as very interesting conversation.

  197. Murat says

    @anti
    No.
    It is impossible for an anyone, theist or atheist, to physically test if God is real.
    That is, an abstract god, the way you approach the question, of course.
    Had it been physically possible to test, that very option would cause theism cease to be an issue of belief.
    We’d be talking solely in terms of gnosticism, even further, via scientific terminology.

  198. Paul Money says

    @200
    it is impossible for anybody to test if God is real, in the absence of any evidence to test. The existence of God is an unfalsifiable proposition, rather like Bertrand Russell’s assertion that there is a chocolate teapot in orbit around Jupiter.

  199. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    It is impossible for an anyone, theist or atheist, to physically test if God is real.

    I encourage you to watch any Marvel movie with Thor, and try to tell any of the Avengers that it’s impossible to perform tests to confirm that Thor is sitting right next to them. Imagine their blank stares and/or laughs.

    See also:
    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FlatEarthAtheist

  200. anti religion says

    When I say that I know for myself that God is real, it is impossible for me to provide physical evidence that God is real. This is something that will never change.

  201. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @anti religion #200
    So you have nothing of substance to say? Ok, onto killfile you go!

  202. Murat says

    @EL
    Below is the following sentence that you might have missed to read, from the very same post:

    That is, an abstract god, the way you approach the question, of course.

  203. anti religion says

    Since God is not going to physically come down and show atheists that he is real, and since there is no physical test to see if God is real, I guess atheists will never be convinced that God could be real.

  204. anti religion says

    It is apparent that no one will ever be able to provide evidence for an atheist that God is real, so I am not sure what evidence it would take for atheists to know that God is real.

  205. larpar says

    anti religion
    This goes back to my question at #127 and your answer are #131.
    Since your god sends autistic people to other places besides Missouri, how do you know that your god sent you there because of your autism and not for another reason?

  206. Wiggle Puppy says

    Wow, I ducked out of the blog for a couple days and came back to find a mess.

    If you go to the thread in post 101 here, post 150 in that thread (by “oldman”) talks about smelly dishes. It’s the same person.

  207. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @WP #211
    Wow I didn’t even notice that! Good call @RationalismRules. Looks like my troll radar still works after all!

  208. twarren1111 says

    Anti religion
    I have to withdraw the minimal trust I gave you. I sincerely hope if you are who you say you are that you take the final step and reject your irrational concepts regarding god. Until then, trying to relate to you further is a waste of time and energy and thus immoral.

  209. says

    @anti religion

    When I say that I know for myself that God is real, it is impossible for me to provide physical evidence that God is real. This is something that will never change.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that you wouldn’t be able to provide scientific evidence. So, I wouldn’t say that it would never change. I believe people are slowly waking up to our ever growing understanding of religion that has grown by virtue of the science relative to these topics that continues to build. You may be dealing with many close-minded individuals here. Not all of them, definitely some of them. However, I believe the issue is, is that you’re trying to speak to individuals, some of which their notion of God is so naïve that it’s something akin to a “sky genie.” Their idea of God is something that literally a child could conjure, a 4-year-old, at that. This is the notion of God that 99% of atheists have. So, in my experience on the blog, this has been the case with many of the atheists here, and I believe you’re right. I define an atheist as someone who A.) hasn’t had a direct experience of God, an experience as you very rightly described, that addresses them specifically or B.) because their notion of God is so naïve, that the very basis of their atheism is the rejection of the very naïve notion of God which they themselves conjured. It’s ridiculous, but it’s nevertheless the cold hard truth. I don’t C. anything outside of those two that any atheist has expressed that wouldn’t reveal A. or B.

  210. jabbly says

    @Lamont Cranston #75

    I’m not sure about other fields but the medical one is know to be pretty bad for how the peer review system works in the context of publication. I believe it was the British Medical Journal who did a case study of sending out papers with multiple flaws in them. Let’s just say that the results weren’t pretty as the average reviewer failed to spot the majority of those flaws.

  211. jabbly says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic #212

    Generally I think it’s best to give people the benefit of the doubt but in this case no. I did like the part about smelly dishes though.

  212. ianbraisby says

    Anti religion, I understand your argument in that you feel that god has demonstrated himself to you personally. But actually you are not only saying that – with the case of your mission, you said the other people in the church prayed and they sent you to Missouri. This is not a direct experience of yours, as you had nothing to do with the process at any stage. You are essentially claiming that god acted to ensure things worked out for you, when this could have been down to a variety of reasons. You said that a mission to that specific place was the only one that would have worked because of your autism, but you have no way of knowing that at all. It’s not like you tried previous locations and had to give it up, then this one worked out in the end. Maybe if you had gone somewhere different, you might have found an even more welcoming community (albeit without someone who already knew you), perhaps even someone who recognised you might be autistic and would have directed you towards medical support earlier than actually happened? Perhaps an environment where you grew in confidence and independence? You just can’t know how it might have been. Yes, it worked out when you were scared it would not, and I can imagine the relief that entailed, but it does not point to any divine intervention. Sometimes the world works that way. If I’d taken the other option out of two job opportunities I had back in 1998, I would never have met the woman who is now my wife. It’s just life.
    Unfortunately you had been indoctrinated and preconditioned to think that prayers are answered and good things that happen must be down to god. I am so glad you have rejected the organised religion element – any community that sends a vulnerable young man with learning difficulties and undiagnosed autism into an unfamiliar, distant environment on their own is something that anyone would be better off out of. But the belief is still there and I hope by discussing openly on this blog and reading people’s replies you might at least question that or consider a different possibility. Once again, thanks for sharing your story and good luck.

  213. Murat says

    In theory: Is persistence in trolling really much different than having a condition?
    I don’t think so. Both address metal problems. If at a given time I were to choose between finding myself in a situation of either trying to extract fun from pretending to have autism OR actually having autism, I’d most probably pick up the latter.
    Because the first seems to indicate self-conscious desparation, and giving up on hope with regards to finding a proper path within reality, on even trying to achieve something decently.
    The only down side of the latter is that it may be everlasting.
    Still, at a given time, chronic trollism would be much worse for one to find themselves practicing, I’d say.

  214. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Jimmy #214

    Comment by Kafei – blocked.

    Ah, nothing like the sweet sound of silence in the morning!

  215. says

    @anti religion Notice how I’ve made a single comment at #214, then it’s followed by the close-minded reaction at #219. Some atheists can’t hang. Ah, takes sip.

  216. Murat says

    @Kafei

    their notion of God is so naïve that it’s something akin to a “sky genie.” Their idea of God is something that literally a child could conjure, a 4-year-old, at that. This is the notion of God that 99% of atheists have.

    Sounds to me more like the percentage of theists who define god that way.
    That’s why atheists reject it.

  217. t90bb says

    ohh babbyyyy….214 kafei,,,BLOCKED!! I thought I smelled shit. .

    Notice the article he throws around says that patients or subjects “interpret” their fucked up brain stated as “god” or “divine” Notice the articles and studies even use parenthesis around “god” and divine”……The article also says several times that these studies are not claiming to prove god lol…..

    We asked Dummei in his own words to tell us all about this divine entity he experiences while on heavy drugs….I have asked him to specifically tell us its attributes and what he learned from it…IN HIS OWN WORDS…..he cant or wont. Instead you will get a cut and paste job with nebulous bullshit and any criticism of it will be met with….WELL YoU JUST DONT UNDERSTAND lol….. its literally the argumentation of a 10 year old.

    ……Now don’t get me wrong I am no medical doctor but based on the fact that Ive watched dummei post like a drug addict on multiple platforms hundreds and hundreds of posts many times at 2, 3, 4 oclock in the am…….I have sincere suspicions that we are dealing with someone with some sort of mental illness. Literally. Obsessive/compulsive. autism maybe, manic, bi polar??? Don’t think while he stepped away he has given his obsession a break….I have been following him on other platforms….he cannot seem to help himself. Its rather sad….

    As evidence….watch how quick he will come back to assure us he is the picture of mental health.

    BTW if he ever posts when his THEIST EXPERIENCE show is starting be sure and let me know since I cant see his posts. He threatened this years ago and insisted it was just around the corner LOL. Ask him to personally list the attributes of the god he experienced in his own words while tripping on acid….its quite fun.

  218. says

    @Murat

    Sounds to me more like the percentage of theists who define god that way.
    That’s why atheists reject it.

    Okay, then same shit. You’re basically saying that atheists are responding to the most naïve and childish conceptions of God, and that is the basis of their atheism. There are theists whose understanding of God is far more complex than simply something a 4-year-old could whip up in his/her imagination. Albert Einstein’s understanding of the divine probably couldn’t be readily understood by a child, let alone an atheist who’s spent their entire lives thinking about God in a childish way. If atheists are just rejecting your grandma’s notion of God, then it’s no wonder why they’re atheists. I disagree with that simplistic notion of God myself, so did Einstein, but Einstein wasn’t an atheist and neither am I.

  219. anti religion says

    When I went on my mission, when the Mission President prayed about who my first missionary companion should be, my first missionary companion had graduated from the same high school two years before I did. At the time I was serving with my first missionary companion, I learned that I had known his then girlfriend, even though he never ended up marrying her. When I was serving with my first missionary companion, his then girlfriend wrote me a letters saying that she had a feeling that I would be serving with him. So yes, in my view God works through others to reveal himself to people. As I have said, I am no longer religious. From research that I have done, and in my view, God does not care about religion. It is also my view that God works through atheists in order to point out to people that religion is bad, and yes, there are many religious people who disagree with me.

  220. Murat says

    @Kafei
    I think you have problems conceptualizing how beliefs and their rejections work.
    Whatever gods you have around, they will be the ones for you to reject, naturally.
    It’s not a flaw with atheists if culture / revelation / philosophy etc. have not come up with the kind of god they would buy into.
    How could I be blamed for not going to the movies if all they have at the theatre are shitty movies and I would like to watch something of intrinsic value?
    You are on the same side with atheists in the way that you reject what you call a child’s perception of how a god might be.
    Why is it atheists that you address your fury about that?

  221. t90bb says

    225…anti…,..you said you read the bible??? do you find any truth in it??? do you believe in the accounts of Jesus?? do you believe Jesus existed and is the son of the living God?

  222. says

    @Murat

    I think you have problems conceptualizing how beliefs and their rejections work.

    I don’t at all. I think I summed it up pretty accurately.

    Whatever gods you have around, they will be the ones for you to reject, naturally.

    Sure, but what I’m saying is that atheists seem to only base their rejection on the most naïve and childish conceptions of God. That was my point.

    It’s not a flaw with atheists if culture / revelation / philosophy etc. have not come up with the kind of god they would buy into.

    I’m not saying they have to “come up” with a God that they can buy into. I’m saying that their attention seems to only address the most naïve and childish conceptions of God.

    How could I be blamed for not going to the movies if all they have at the theatre are shitty movies and I would like to watch something of intrinsic value?

    Not all movies out there are “shitty movies,” though. That’s my point. Y’ever seen The Devil’s Advocate? So, to use your analogy, it’s like an atheist is intentionally going to see only shitty movies, and comes to the conclusion that “all movies are shitty.” That’s more accurately what’s going on.

    You are on the same side with atheists in the way that you reject what you call a child’s perception of how a god might be. Why is it atheists that you address your fury about that?

    Because atheists seem to simplify it even more so than some of the theists I hear. It’s quite obvious in the stereotypical atheist’s parodies of God such as The Flying Spaghetti Monster or the invisible pink unicorn or the so-called “Sky Genie,” “Sky Daddy,” or “Invisible Man Living in the Sky.” George Carlin said it best, “Most people are fucking dumb. Shall we accept all their standards?”

  223. anti religion says

    Yes I do read the Bible and believe that it is true. I believe that since Jesus took away all sin that there is no more sin and hell. I also believe that everyone will go to heaven. I also believe that Jesus existed and was the son of God. I also don’t believe that Jesus is coming back in the future which is what religions believe. I know that there are religious people as well as atheists that used to be religious that would disagree with me.

  224. anti religion says

    If religion were true, God would not let a Mormon temple to be flooded or a cathedral to burn. In my view it is apparent that God does not care about any religion.

  225. Wiggle Puppy says

    @ Murat:

    PLEASE don’t engage Kafei. Enough threads have been polluted already.

    Find somewhere else to discuss things with him if you feel so compelled.

  226. anti religion says

    It is also my view that God works through atheists in order to have people realize that religion is stupid.

  227. Murat says

    @Kafei
    Okay, but, you see, there is this fallacy with your line of thinking:
    The gods atheists do not believe in are already the ones that you yourself find ridiculous.
    So, you are as much an atheist to those gods as the people that you address are. What you are in fact trying to question is, why others are rejecting some other descriptions of gods. Well, I don’t know if they do.
    You lay out the god that you believe in, and let’s see how strongly people will reject it.
    Not believing in them does not necessarily mean rejecting their probability of existence.
    Of course, prople of refined intellect will choose to put their money on what makes sense.
    So, what first comes across as an accusation from you is actually not an accusation, but some sort of compliment.
    Yes, 99% of atheists, the way you put it, have disbelief in what you yourself do not believe either.
    Good for them. Good for you.

  228. Marcelo says

    anti religion @207:

    Since God is not going to physically come down and show atheists that he is real, and since there is no physical test to see if God is real, I guess atheists will never be convinced that God could be real.

    So the god you have decided to believe in, is unverifiable. That makes it no different from a non-existing god, because it has no verifyable effects in the real world. It only resides in your head. And as you have made no effort to differenciate the experience in your head from allucination, mental illness, or self-delusion, we are fully justified in not taking it at your word. You could even be lying for fun. We cannot know, because you refuse to even imagine a way in which we could be able to verify the existence of your god in the real world, by using material, reproducible, verifyiable evidence examinable by skeptics, without having to imagine and accept his existence beforehand.

    Your mind is so polluted and your thinking is so preposterous that you don’t deserve further interaction.

  229. anti religion says

    @ Marcelo

    First off the God that I know for myself is real has been verified by me. It will also always be unverifiable to others because it impossible for someone else to test the moment God answers a prayer of mine.

  230. says

    @Murat

    Okay, but, you see, there is this fallacy with your line of thinking:
    The gods atheists do not believe in are already the ones that you yourself find ridiculous.
    So, you are as much an atheist to those gods as the people that you address are.

    Sure, as even Ramesh points out that he agrees with the atheist because he’s not prepared to accept the naïve conception of God which is the concept of God at the very basis of the atheist’s rejection.

    What you are in fact trying to question is, why others are rejecting some other descriptions of gods. Well, I don’t know if they do.

    They don’t. That’s my point. That atheists have this laser focus on the most naïve and childish conceptions of God.

    You lay out the god that you believe in, and let’s see how strongly people will reject it. Not believing in them does not necessarily mean rejecting their probability of existence. Of course, prople of refined intellect will choose to put their money on what makes sense.

    Well, I discuss it at length at a reddit thread I’ve posted. There’s this very interesting dialogue occurring between Blitzsprinkler and I relative to how all this is defined. If you’d like to elaborate on this discussion, you’re quite welcome to post there.

    So, what first comes across as an accusation from you is actually not an accusation, but some sort of compliment. Yes, 99% of atheists, the way you put it, have disbelief in what you yourself do not believe either. Good for them. Good for you.

    I wouldn’t take it as a compliment. If you’re proud that you’ve rejected the 4-year-old’s notion of God, then good for you. I wouldn’t take much pride in that. If that’s your notion of God, then it’s no surprise as to why you’re an atheist.

  231. Heretical Ryan says

    PLEASE don’t engage Kafei. Enough threads have been polluted already.
    Find somewhere else to discuss things with him if you feel so compelled.

    Agreed!
    .
    Kafei has demonstrated time and time again that he’s nothing but a dishonest sealioning troll.
    .
    As i understand it, the mods have decided NOT to ban this person. So our only recourse is to not let him get under our skin. We have to ignore him until he goes away.
    .
    Basically, stop feeding the troll 🙂

  232. RaoulOfBayonne says

    anti religion (aka “oldman”): You a) went to Missouri, therefore god and b) looked up smelly dish cures on Google, therefore god. How did you become convinced God caused these things to happen? Isn’t it possible that your god exists but did not cause these things to happen? Or have you considered that there are possible explanations that don’t involve a god? I’ve been to Missouri and looked stuff up on Google. How do I find out if god was responsible?

  233. says

    @Heretical Ryan

    Agreed!
    .
    Kafei has demonstrated time and time again that he’s nothing but a dishonest sealioning troll.

    To the contrary, I’ve attempted sincere and intellectually honest dialogue every time I’ve chosen to participate in any thread.
    .

    As i understand it, the mods have decided NOT to ban this person. So our only recourse is to not let him get under our skin. We have to ignore him until he goes away.

    Have you considered that the reason the MODs have not banned me is because I’m, in fact, not trolling? As I’ve said, every post I take the time to type here has been a sincere effort to have an intellectually honest dialogue upon these topics. In fact, I was recently invited to Atheist Edge to address these topics. I wasn’t “trolling” them. The discussion lasted for nearly 2 hours, and it was sincere and intellectually honest engagement upon all the parties involved.
    .

    Basically, stop feeding the troll 🙂

    Here’s how I see this. Whenever more profound notions of God come up or what in philosophy are some of the most profound concepts, you guys get scared, and say, “No, you’re trolling! Go away!” It’s no wonder that the atheists here are so content attacking straw mans, attacking the most naïve and childish conceptions of God. When you’re ready to address a more sophisticated understanding of God, something which even Einstein adhered to à la Spinoza, then let me know. In the meantime, you continue to presume and label me troll. I just see that as a defense mechanism. You guys sound like Rachel Oates attempting to interpret Jordan Peterson. The notion of God as the “sky genie” that even Matt has spoken about that’s going to come down from heaven to supposedly demonstrate “himself” is the biggest straw man argument in all of history.

  234. Marcelo says

    anti religion @236

    First off the God that I know for myself is real has been verified by me.

    If you haven’t interacted with the rest of the world to see if that reality is objective or at least detectable by others, you haven’t verified it at all. That’s what you fail to understand. Verification requires additional observers outside of your own brain, otherwise is mere delusion.

    To quote Philip K. Dick, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

    It will also always be unverifiable to others because it impossible for someone else to test the moment God answers a prayer of mine.

    So you pray for things that are also non existing in the real world and you imagine that you get them, or you ask for things that you can provide yourself. Otherwise, your god would be engaging in the real, material world and other people would be able to detect this interaction.

  235. Murat says

    It’s always good to have some unfalsifyable thing in the pocket, just in case you come across people who can and will falsify those that are falsifyable.

  236. buddyward says

    @anti religion

    First off the God that I know for myself is real has been verified by me. It will also always be unverifiable to others because it impossible for someone else to test the moment God answers a prayer of mine.

    According to the Hindus, your god does not exists because they know for themselves that their god(s) are real and they have verified it for themselves. According to the Muslims your Jesus Christ is not a god because the Quran says so and that they know for themselves that this is real. Other religions says your god does not exist because theirs do.

    Perhaps you should be talking to other religions who says your god is not real instead of atheists. If you believe that their gods exists then you are in conflict with your bible, if not then you are in conflict with yourself.

  237. anti religion says

    I don’t really care about other religions, and I am not religious myself, so i have no need to talk other religions.

  238. buddyward says

    @anti religion

    I don’t really care about other religions, and I am not religious myself, so i have no need to talk other religions.

    I did not say you were religious. If you do not care about what others are saying about your god then why should we care about what you are saying? You are not here to have a conversation, you are here to preach and make assertions. If your god sent you here to do whatever it is you are doing then your god is dumber than a sack of rocks. Your god is cruel and immoral for sending someone with no evidence whatsoever to talk to a bunch of atheist. Your god is unkind for sending you here to be mocked, ridiculed and be called a troll. If you are going to claim persecution, you have no one to blame but your god.

  239. anti religion says

    As I have said, I am not here to preach to anyone. I have shared my story about how I know for myself that God is real. I have also shared my views on how God works through atheists in order to have people realize that religion is stupid. In my view shows such as Talk Heathen and The Atheist Experience is evidence that God is real. It my view God wants people to leave religion.

  240. Monocle Smile says

    Oh look, more bullshit from Kafei and more random defense of Jordan Peterson. I smell an incel or mgtow.

  241. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To MS
    Unfortunately, while defense of Jordan Peterson demonstrates ignorance or other problems in logic and reason, it does not mean that the speaker is a troll. One of my best, intelligent, atheist, former Christian fundie, friend loves Peterson and defends Peterson and praises Peterson all the time. It’s surreal.

  242. buddyward says

    As I have said, I am not here to preach to anyone. I have shared my story about how I know for myself that God is real. I have also shared my views on how God works through atheists in order to have people realize that religion is stupid. In my view shows such as Talk Heathen and The Atheist Experience is evidence that God is real. It my view God wants people to leave religion.

    Preaching while claiming not to preach. Welcome to killfile.

  243. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To anti religion
    Eh, I think you’re fine. I don’t know what’s up with buddyward. We typically try to welcome theists here to discuss their religion, exactly as it appears that you’ve been doing. I admit that I have not been reading too closely, but generally we welcome people to come here and “preach”, as long as they’re willing to engage in discussion and answer questions in a back-and-forth.

  244. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @MS & EL
    I can also confirm that JBP fans don’t have to be incels. One of my closest friends who is happily married (and unfortunately a Shapiro/Crowder/Candace Owens koolaid drinker) is also a huge JBP fan. He’s definitely drawn to JBP’s seemingly intellectual defense of general conservatism but FWIW they have a very “traditional” relationship (she’s very submissive and doesn’t challenge him at all). I do however think it’s fair to say that JBP’s audience is disproportionately MRA and IMO Jimmy doesn’t seem like an incel to me. If he was I’d have expected him to rant about the “blackpill” by now.

  245. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @EL #251
    Read through every post. anti religion hasn’t been engaging with any questions, doesn’t appear to be interested in a dialogue and has been outed as previous troll “oldman” (see post #101). If you want a crack at him go ahead but I doubt you’ll find anything interesting. I still stand behind my assessment of him from posts #108 & #116.

  246. buddyward says

    @EL

    anti religion is neither answering questions or engaging in discussion. All that they are doing is proclaiming their beliefs repeatedly which is the definition of preaching.

    Here is a snippet of the moderation rules:

    saying the same thing over and over again without acknowledging any of the responses, can still get you banned.

    This is exactly what anti religion(oldman) is doing. Although I doubt that anti religion will be banned, I believe that what they are doing is a clear violation.

  247. anti religion says

    I have answered questions about why I know for myself that God is real. I have also responded to people as to how I know that it could not have happened in other ways. I am not sure what questions I have not answered.

  248. declan says

    (I think that I accidentally posted this as a comment to the wrong video. I wanted to reply to the 23.22 episode)

    @Dave, UK

    I think that you were having problems with two things in particular:

    * how to build up a new moral framework
    * how to reconnect with some sort of “community”

    First of all, I don’t think that a sense of morals depends on a particular religious viewpoint. For example, doctors take the Hippocratic Oath, which is basically a promise to not harm other people. It’s a low bar, but it suffices as a basic moral standpoint. Just because you’re rejecting your received moral instruction, it doesn’t mean that you reject morality in general. Even if all you do is accept “do no harm” as your personal philosophy, you’re miles ahead of many other people, so you can hold your head up high and reject any suggestions that you’re somehow inferior to the “faithful” or that you are a “bad person.” Based on what I’ve heard from you, that’s not what you are.

    My second bit of advice might be a bit controversial (writing here), but I think that one thing that you can do to effectively re-integrate yourself in a social setting would be to approach other people from other faiths. I had better explain why I say this. I’m not saying that you should approach them with the attitude that “it turns out that my faith is wrong, and I’m looking for the truth—maybe your faith is the truth” or that “I’ve turned away from my faith, so that means that all faith is wrong.” There is still always ground for two people to have some sort of connection or fellow feeling (empathy, or whatever) with others even if they disagree with each other on something major like belief.

    The UK is a great country, I think, when it comes to opportunities to interact with people who don’t share our particular background or outlook on life. Speaking specifically about religious background, I’m sure that you can find many people who are near to you who may be Sikh, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, or even from different Christian sects whom you can begin a conversation with who can help you get some sort of perspective on where you are coming from, but will also be quite happy to listen to you without judging you or trying to convert you to their own preconceived notions. If you go into these conversations with an open mind and without attempting to deceive that person (“do no harm”), then I think that it can be beneficial. At the very least, it shows you that a different life can exist outside your own bubble.

    If you go into this exercise without prejudging people, I’m sure that you can have some very genuine conversations. It can also help you personally because you can turn this into something that you can talk with your own friends and people in your current social circle about. These people are going to be worried about you because they think that you’re on the wrong path, but if you can show that you have “reached out” (I hate that phrase!) to people of other faiths and that you respect them and converse with them without being “seduced” by their “false” religion, then I think that your friends and social network will basically respect that. They might even hold you in higher esteem than they did before. I can’t guarantee that, so don’t hold me to it, but it just seems like a common-sense approach to dealing with your problem. So long as you don’t approach other people (outside of your current social network) with an attitude that they must be wrong (because you’ve rejected your own faith) or go in the opposite direction and rush into joining some other religious group (on the rebound), but start off with the basics of honesty (“I don’t believe, but… “) and commitment to simple humanist ideals (again, not harming others), then you’re golden.
    The best of luck to you. You’re not alone.

  249. says

    @anti religion and to quote #243

    According to the Hindus, your god does not exists because they know for themselves that their god(s) are real and they have verified it for themselves. According to the Muslims your Jesus Christ is not a god because the Quran says so and that they know for themselves that this is real. Other religions says your god does not exist because theirs do.

    Perhaps you should be talking to other religions who says your god is not real instead of atheists. If you believe that their gods exists then you are in conflict with your bible, if not then you are in conflict with yourself.

    I’m going to jump in real quick and sort of back you up here. I believe buddyward is expecting too much from you. It’s a safe bet you probably don’t study comparative religion, so you were very right to respond that you aren’t very concerned with “other religions” and religion in general since you’re anti-religious. I study comparative religion myself, and I would say that it’s nearly impossible for someone to have an understanding of all the world’s religions. There’s many things to study, not just ancient languages, but also religious symbolism, and so forth. So, what I have done is I’ll study a particular religion as deeply as I can, and then when I’ve had enough of a particular religion, I’ll jump to another religion and start studying that religion. If I feel I’ve somewhat of a sufficient grasp, then I’ll start on another or come back to where I left off with a previous religion. So, I could easily address Buddyward’s questions whereas I’m sure you couldn’t. It’s also a safe bet that Buddyward doesn’t study comparative religion either, so he doesn’t realize that there are Muslims that do not reject Jesus Christ, but see him as a prophet among prophets, from which Muhammad is the most recent. Alan Watts also speaks of a religion’s ability to include other religions rather than excluding them. I’m sure you’ve seen how theists who post here are automatically suspected to be “trolls,” and so the guy has me blocked, I believe, but don’t worry, man. I got your back. Even though you really don’t need it. You’ve lasted much longer than lots of theists who attempt to post here. There was this one theist a while back, and I’ll link to that thread, she/he (I’m not sure) made the first post on the thread, had several atheists bombard “B.” with retorts to the point where I believe this person became so overwhelmed they didn’t even bother responding with a second post. I’ve noticed you’re very careful with your words, and you admit when there’s something you don’t know. buddyward should’ve been content with that first response you gave him at #244, but he went on to give you unwarranted and unfair criticism, and that’s why I wanted to chime in and point all this stuff out. Here’s the link to that thread with “B.”
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/2019/03/03/open-thread-for-episode-23-09-tracie-phil/#comment-656981

    And another point I’d like to make is if theists are welcome here, then sure you’re going to have some strong theists here (on Dawkins’ scale), those who like yourself say that they know there is a God. There’s been some hosts on The Atheist Experience, such as AronRa, who also express this but in the opposite direction, they’re strong atheists on Dawkins’ Spectrum of theistic probability, meaning that they “know” that there is no God with the same conviction that you know there is a God. However, having said that, I don’t think AronRa is representative of the entire cast of The Atheist Experience, I know Tracie identifies more with agnostic atheism, likewise Jen, Matt while he may also be a strong atheist, at least presents himself on the show as an agnostic atheist, because if they were all identifying as a 7. on Dawkins’ scale of theistic probability, then The Atheist Experience would be a form of atheist televangelism. Fortunately, that’s not what the show’s about, likewise, you’ve made it quite clear that’s not why you’re here.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_of_theistic_probability

  250. t90bb says

    anti,,,

    if you believe the bible…and believe that chist was supernatural and died for the sin in the world……you are religious. The bible advocates for Christianity….its a religion.

    assuming you are who and what you say…..your position that you are not religious makes as much sense as saying you are not autistic.

    YOU literally have the mind of a 6 year old…..and perhaps that’s not your fault.

    What really confuses me is that you claim that no one diagnosed or suspected you had autism into your 20s……and now your a bumbling idiot. Did you suffer and significant head trauma during or after your mission?

    Your ability to skeptically think seems to be at a second grade level….which begs the question…if you easily passed as a non- challenged person into your 20s…how and when did you become so woefully unable process information? Did you suffer an accident of some sort?. Its not normal that someone who went undiagnosed for so long to now not be able to think their way out of a paper bag. Something does not add up.

    Why did you change your handle here from Oldman to anti religion?

  251. says

    @t90bb

    YOU literally have the mind of a 6 year old…..and perhaps that’s not your fault.

    This coming from someone whose notion of God is the 4-year-old’s “sky genie.” 🤦‍♂️

  252. jabbly says

    @Wiggle Puppy #231

    Sage advice indeed. They are amusing to start with but the inability to enter an honest exchange, and instead just push their own hobby horse, tires quickly.

    It comes across as though they believe their ideas will in some way be validated if posters stop engaging with them.

  253. speedofsound says

    Old Buddy Kafei! Fuck. I missed you man. SO excited right now.
    Now tell me a thing about your un-naive god, let’s call it UNG. Does UNG involve some kind of back channel communication with human consciousness? Like if you take a drug it unlocks something in consciousness that allows you to come into contact with UNG?

  254. twarren1111 says

    I’m enjoying some double stuffed oreos with milk right now as I’m entertained by Kafei.

  255. speedofsound says

    I think entheogens sufficiently block 5HT receptors in the brain such that the normal noise of sensory and internal ‘thoughts’ is diminished allowing the quantum fluctuations in microtubules (se Penrose and Jackmeoff) to take precedence. These tune into the conscious underlay of the cosmos at the SAME FREQUENCY! This allows a deep insight into the Oneness. Your mind taps deeply into the Stream.

    Whatchathink Jimmy? AM I onto to good UNG stuff here?

  256. anti religion says

    The reason I chose anti religion is that I did not remember posting to this blog. From the link that RR posted (101), it appears the last time I posted to this blog was over a year ago. Again, as I have said, just because I read the Bible does not mean that I am religious. I don’t follow any religious practices and I also don’t like religion. If I read books on atheism that does not make me an atheist. If atheists read the Bible, I guess I should start calling them religious as well. So, no, just because I read the Bible does not make me religious.

  257. anti religion says

    As I have also said, even though I was not diagnosed with having autism until after my mission, I had been diagnosed with having learning disabilities while in elementary school.

  258. speedofsound says

    @anti religion

    Tell me more about how god has revealed himself to you. I read your earlier posts on autism and the mission and I don’t get it exactly. Was it that experience? Or something else. What was it like to have god reveal himself? How did it feel?

  259. anti religion says

    God reveals himself to me personally as well as through other people. In the case of my mission, he revealed himself to me through the Mormon Apostles when they prayed and asked God if I should serve my mission where I did. At the time that I served my mission, I had believed that what I had was learning disabilities, since that is what doctors diagnosed me as having in elementary school. Since the Mission President where I served my mission had been in the same congregation that I had been in in Salt Lake City, God knew that it would be easier for me to be there. God also revealed himself to me though my Mission President when he prayed about who my first missionary companion should be. My first missionary companion had graduated from the same high school two years before I did. When I was serving with my first missionary companion, I learned that I had know at the time his then girlfriend, even though he never ended up marrying her. His then girlfriend had been in the same theater class that I was in in high school. Even though I am no longer religious and hate religion, I still read the Bible and pray to God everyday. I left religion over twenty five years ago, yet God continues to answer my prayers, which I have posted with regards to smelly dishes. When I was religious and went to church, I was told that I had to keep going to church in order to be close to God and have him answer my prayers. The only feeling as far as God revealing himself to me, is that I still know for myself that God is real.

  260. anti religion says

    God continuing to answer my prayers even though I no longer go to church, would go against what many religions teach.

  261. t90bb says

    267….what?? nothing requires religious people to go to church…..I know lots of Christians and muslims that practice their faith and don’t go to church. Can you show me in the bible were your magic daddy says he only listens and answers prayers if you go to church???

    You really seem mentally disabled…..does someone look after you?

  262. t90bb says

    anti intelligent…..

    You are right…Merely reading the bible does not make you religious. Believing it and allowing it to guide you makes you religious…you are a Christian…..Christianity is a religion. There may be nuisances as to how you practice your religion….but your religious…..

    If a Muslim said he read the Qran regularly…believed it was all literally true. Practices the recommendations of the book to the best of his ability…..Is that person Muslim?? Is he a follower of the religious teachings ?? If so, he is religious.

    Ahh you were diagnosed with learning disabilities in early school……yea that makes sense.

    But you have come a long way…lol….do you drewl??

    Fun Fact…..any family that blames an autistic, mentally disabled person for smelly dishes is for SHIT.

    It looks like you were hit with a triple whammy…….mental disabilities, autism, and a fucked up family

  263. anti religion says

    There are many religions that use the verse in the Bible where church members are encouraged to meet together which is in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 25. And, no, no one looks after me.

  264. t90bb says

    anti intelligent….

    yes many religions encourage many things…..some people don’t or cant go to church but they still practice much of their holy books recommendations…….

    we have a term for all that do this….they are called…….religious…..

    im not sure I can dumb it down any more for you anti intelligent.

  265. t90bb says

    271 anti intelligent

    the fact that no one looks after you is concerning….you don’t stick forks in electric sockets do you?

    what happened to the shitty family that gave you grief over smelly dishes?

  266. anti religion says

    The only way I follow the Bible is by loving God and loving other people. I also don’t really use the Bible to guide me. I am a Christian in the sense that I follow Jesus, that is my understanding what it means to be Christian.

  267. anti religion says

    No I don’t stick forks in electric sockets. After God answered my prayer about smelly dishes, and after they also did research into smelly dishes, they stopped giving me grief over them. I also find it stupid for religious people to practice much of the Bible. In my view the Bible was only written for the people in the Bible, and is a history book of things that have already happened. I know there are religious people who disagree with me on my views.

  268. t90bb says

    anti intelligence….

    YUP..Religious people disagree with religious people all the time!.

    Aww so you like the jesus part!!! The rest you disregard!! precious!!!

    History book aye?? Creationism?? Garden of Eden?? Talking serpent?? Sodom n G? Global flood??? The miracles of Jezzass?? all history huh????

    There is so much irony to hear you say “I find it stupid……”

    Im glad that your family stopped giving you grief after your magic genie had you research the internet. That was very nice of them. They say mental illness can be genetic……maybe we have some clues as to where your problems came from.

  269. says

    @speedofsound

    Old Buddy Kafei! Fuck. I missed you man. SO excited right now.

    Shupz, man? Long time, no see.

    Now tell me a thing about your un-naive god, let’s call it UNG. Does UNG involve some kind of back channel communication with human consciousness? Like if you take a drug it unlocks something in consciousness that allows you to come into contact with UNG?

    You know, it’s funny that you’ve chosen this name. I don’t know if you just pulled it out of a hat or what, but in ancient southern japanese, this was their term for the experience. They called it “NG!” because it’s something that happens to you suddenly. Well, you weren’t clear here, you mean, if it happens naturally without drugs? If that’s the case, I don’t know if you saw Isaac Lindinberger’s interview with Dr. Rick Strassman, they discuss that in the case of the naturally occurring NG, if you will, it may be a moment of endogenously released N,N-DMT which your own body makes.

    I think entheogens sufficiently block 5HT receptors in the brain such that the normal noise of sensory and internal ‘thoughts’ is diminished allowing the quantum fluctuations in microtubules (se Penrose and Jackmeoff) to take precedence. These tune into the conscious underlay of the cosmos at the SAME FREQUENCY! This allows a deep insight into the Oneness. Your mind taps deeply into the Stream.

    Whatchathink Jimmy? AM I onto to good UNG stuff here?

    Well, all psychedelics work on your serotonergic system, they don’t block these receptors, they bind to these receptor sites. Even in the studies at Johns Hopkins, they ask the volunteers who had this “God-encounter” experience to describe the attributes of such an experience, and the results are, indeed, interesting, to say the least.

  270. Murat says

    @EL #50 #51 and #60
    Thank you for your detailed replies.
    I appreciate that you went to such lenghts to provide a serious anwser even though you found my question farcical.
    That aside, I rest my case. This is not something I picked up as a challenge out of the blue. I have good reasons to argue that there is indeed a certain version of political correctness that uses group identity as a shield against mockery or foul language, and that it muddies the waters of free speech, as well as norms of civil conversation.
    I will try to address the issue in this and my next post, which I hope to put online within a day.
    So, in case you wish to provide a fresh reply, I think it would be best to read both first.
    Now, let’s break it down:
    *

    Trans people are part of a persecuted minority. Christianity is not a persecuted minority. Attacking a persecuted minority because they are a member of that minority is always more “dangerous” compared to attacking a person because they are a member of the ruling majority. This is a large factor in the analysis.

    *
    That’s why I find the analysis wrong. The logic you apply here could have made sense if we were talking about how a ruling authority should address the two different people in hand. You could argue that, a judge would be expected to watch his/her language better when addressing a trans person in a court room. (Scenes from Inerit the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Time to Kill may pop up in our heads). You could argue the tone and conduct to be of crucial importance when the state is following an agenda of inclusion and equality.
    But no. That’s not what we are talking about here. The platform of civil discussion should be one on which each exists at the risk of being offended. Otherwise, one of the sides will find themselves in a position of being protected just because they are from a protected group. I acknowledge that on an official, formal basis, protection of certain groups may be necessary in order to create equality, but when you stretch it down to ordinay people discussing issues, be it on an atheist TV show or at that famous corner in Hyde Park, then you will simply reverse the process and provide one of the sides a special pleading.
    *

    Daniel’s beliefs are wrong. Trans people do not have factually incorrect beliefs.

    *
    First of all: This is irrelevant to what I am arguing. Let me remind it to you once more:
    *

    If the avoided outcome is people killing themselves simply because words hurt them, and this said outcome is so easy to reach by lowering the cruelty of conduct regardless of what may have led them there, then we do not really need to make a distinction between people of particular, individual sensitivities, and those with group sensitivities

    We do not exterminate people for holding wrong beliefs. One believing in nonsense has nothing to do with deciding to risk their lives (and for what?) by using our way of conduct as a probable weapon. Have I gone too far? Is it too much of a stretch to claim that we should watch our language just because one might kill themselves as an indirect result? Well, I conversed with a few people on social media regarding the kerfuffle between RR and the ACA, and quite often I was reminded of the trans people who killed themselves for feeling ostracized. I had (and still have) a couple of issues with the mention of this possibility, but guess what: I agree in general. So, yes, the way we address one may at times be as effective as pointing a barrell at them. Let me go even further: If you know how vulnerable one is, and to what, particularly, you can even conspire to have them eliminated via suicide simply by pushing the right buttons. And, given your overall look at the situation, you are on the same page with me. So, we are in agreement over the fact that, we should care about the means of conduct. What we are not in agreement about is, why we should not do the same with people like Daniel. And I argue that, by caring less about the language or attitude when addressing those like Daniel, we are not gaining anything.
    *
    Secondly: You have a very strong presupposition over what is wrong.
    I will not even get into what incorrect beliefs a trans person might hold (and yes, even about certain trans issues) because the very reason these discussions exists is to dig deeper into what is right, what is wrong, and more importantly why. You can not set the rules of engagement or determine your approach to someone in light of the outcome that is yet to come. This would be putting the horse behind the carriage, almost literally. Even if we agree that one of the two sides in any given debate is obviously right and the other is obviously wrong, we have no right to set the rules of engagement in the light of this. That’d be ridiculous. Most of the strength with regards to an intellectual debate comes from being right. And the way you approach this is in line with providing more of a comfort to Mike Tyson when he is facing Pee Wee Herman, simply because he is the stronger one. You can not deplatform someone based on your knowledge(?) of what they argue to be wrong. This is in dire contrast with why and how the notion of free speech evolved. You set the rules of engagement without knowing, without caring about how wrong or how right the sides will be. And then you debate the issue. I am all for considering the sensitivities of the trans. What I offer is to consider the sensitivities of anyone else, as this will not weaken, but maybe change our selection of words.
    The question re-visited me as a result of something someone wrote about Matt giving Daniel the finger. I do not think that it was really offensive. I could be giving that finger, too. And I don’t think one should hold themselves responsible if a stranger on the other end of the line did something stupid as a result of being offended. It was not that crucial or over-the-top as a momentary reaction. But if we draw the line there, then Matt should feel free to give a trans person the finger as well, depending on the flow of an argument in which he thought they were really really very very wrong.
    See, for me, this part of the deal is also about fairness, strangely, or maybe not so strangely but inavoidably, as it connects partly to that kerfuffle over the issue of fairness in sports.
    *

    Then there’s the middle ground. If someone is advocating harmful policies and spreading harmful beliefs, then they need to be stopped, and while their mental health is a concern, it is not the overriding concerning IMO. IMO, typically the more important concern is to stop or counter the spread of harmful beliefs.

    *
    On that, I agree. But I just do not see how not holding back offensive attitude may stop or counter the spread of harmful beliefs. Do we have a study on that? My personal observations lean on the assumption that, fighting fire with fire usually accelerates things to the point where everything burns down even more rapidly. Much as I may appreciate the act of punching Nazis as an instant reaction, I seriously doubt such behavior in the long run helps us see less and less Nazis. But , well, this particular quote is basically where we can shake hands.

    *

    In context, basically yes (Daniel is expendable).
    If I had to choose between saying nothing and allowing Daniel’s genocide defense to go unchallenged, or challenge genocide and have Daniel kill himself, then the correct answer is blindingly obvious.

    *

    Well, I did not approach this by relating Daniel’s belief in Nephilim as the major cause of him being cornered into a position of defending genocide. The way I read that moment, Matt was giving him the finger for getting into the territory of Area 51 whereas the general flow of the conversation suggested the sides could well stick to Biblical stuff. So, I honestly did not interpret the finger as one given to “Daniel the defender of genocide”, but to “Daniel the believer of random bullshit”. Had Daniel said genocide would be okay morally, then, I would not mind the reaction he got. I wouldn’t even mind a further, more direct reaction. But still, I would make the point that, no one else should be shielded by a group identity as a protection form that kind or level of response, even if the point they were making was relating to their group identity on some level.
    There’s some kind of tradition involved here on the political level: As a result of the Holocaust, Jews have been associated with victims almost by definition. And when people like Ilhan Omar criticize AIPAC, the group identity of Jews gets triggered and people begin to bash her claiming she said something antisemitic. She did not. She just said things that would very normally be said about any other organization. But the defense mechanisms of some notable groups have been so deeply integrated into mainstream communication channels that, you’d have to stress ten times that you have nothing against Jews before making one negative comment Israel. Is Judaism and/or the Jew on the street responsible for what Israel has been doing? No. The two are separate issues. Just like fairness in sports of the inclusion of the trans into society are. Ideally, people should be able to work things out without mixing the wheat with the chaff. But this proves so hard to do in such instances. Why? Is this because “protected groups” is a bad idea to start with? Not necessarily. But is very likely to be misued from within the groups in question. Furthermore, in the long run, I believe such blanket protection begins to encourage portions of the groups to use the group identity deliberately as a means to conceal certain foul play.
    So, this is not as simple as some seem to think it is.
    If basic rules of conduct make it not okay to call people “fucking, fucking morons!” in the course of daily life, during debates we have in the physical world, then, I don’t think we have justified reasons to go down that path unless one openly advocates fascism, ganocide, racism etc.
    And context matters: I was and still am critical of Trump for saying “Fine people on both sides” after Charlottesville, because no, fine people were on one side and the not-so-fine were on the other in that town in those days, but here and there there actually have been instances for which I had to acknowledge that AntiFa and Fa have become indistinguishable from one another with regards to how they were behaving.

    I understand why hate speech laws are required, but I doubt they provide the desired outcome in the long run. Same goes with language: I understand why and at what points people feel urged to swear at the other side, and I sometimes do that, too, but I have not observed that to be the best of strategies to tackle the matter at hand.

    Ironically, why I make this an issue may have more to do with what might pass as my group identities than my individual ones. I assume that a great majority of people on here have citizenships from some first world countries, whereas I don’t. I do enjoy to debate about stuff, and it’s much safer for me to do that about international issues, in English, because I tend to get hot when I dive into local politics and this puts me in danger, I get to risk my freedom, if not my life. So, from a different perspective, I am not too sure that being alienated in some way would be less crucial for me that it is for one from a persecuted minority from Canada, the UK, Norway or the USA. I am a persecuted minority in some sense. But no, I do not wish to gain any advantage over this. Because, who isn’t? Less or more, this way or the other, each individual can come up with something. The aftermath of a debate may prove one side to be really oppressed and the other the actual oppressor, but why take that as a measure during the debate itself? I see no need.
    So maybe I was reflecting a bit when trying to place Daniel on the pedestal (!), but no, not on the basis that both of us were fucking morons, on the basis that we both could have particular, unknown backgrounds that could legitimize our rights to be cared for so that we could find equal voices among others. But the critical thing is that, when it’s at the expense of nothing (really, nothing, because I don’t think not caring about somewhat likely outcomes does contribute to the discussions) such things should come without a mention, equally to everybody. Because otherwise, people may look for cards to play. I wouldn’t want to use an ex-muslim card to have benefit from further patience when discussing something about Islam – not because I do not feel somewhat more entitled against those who have never been muslims, but because they also should be listened to patiently.
    So, for me, this has been a critical issue, and as I said, I rest my case, but I can not be sure if we are on the same page or we are talking past each other.
    *
    The only thing that bothers me is the attitude of claiming there is no valid discussion to be held on such subjects.
    I may change my mind at one point and conclude that treating people in the light of their group identities would be less hazardous than not doing so, but at this moment I believe the contrary to be true. Because I do not think that we are in some kind of an emergency situation where eithers Daniels / morons / wrong people will be expendable or the rational / enlightened / right people. This is false Sophie’s Choice. After all, it’s just about fair arbitration and mutual respect during debates, discussions, talks, etc.
    *
    As I said, I’m willing to write also on a somewhat related issue, which I wish to post within a day at worst, shortly before this thread becomes a ghost town.

  271. says

    @speedofsound A couple of corrections to make. “Ng!” is actually southern chinese, and I also said that all psychedelics work on the serotonergic system. Also not true, there’s a few exceptions such as Salvia divinorum and the Amanita muscaria, and I’m sure there’s others. However, it’s certainly true that the classical psychedelics do work on the serotonergic system.

  272. Wiggle Puppy says

    Hi all: Repeating the call to email John Iacoletti (john@atheist-community.org) to request a ban for Kafei. I’m guessing that most everyone here would agree with the with the propositions that (1) hallucinogens can induce an experience that some people might find indescribable and might even characterize in terms of the divine, (2) that there has been no way to demonstrate that a reported experience like this corresponds to anything in external reality, which is what we care about, and (3) that anthropomorphized notions of god may, in fact, seem “childish,” but as long as people who believe in this kind of god are persecuting LGBT people, trying to curtail reproductive choice, injecting myth into biology class, and such, this “childish” notion of god deserves our attention. Kafei has had this explained to him week after week, and yet continues to insist that *we* just don’t get it and aren’t being open-minded. To turn the discussion week after week and month after month back to hallucinogens is, in fact, trolling, especially after John specifically told him to keep his comments related to the show’s content of a given week. This loathsome jackass has promised to continue to derail the board in perpetuity…

  273. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    (1) hallucinogens can induce an experience that some people might find indescribable and might even characterize in terms of the divine,

    Sure. I don’t disagree with this. The professionals involved in the research I reference wouldn’t either.

    (2) that there has been no way to demonstrate that a reported experience like this corresponds to anything in external reality, which is what we care about, and

    I don’t agree with this statement. This is a straw man. What needs to be in the “external reality”? I’ve repeatedly said that this is a fundamental transformation of perception which has to do with the eternal reality, because the eternal reality is part of what we perceive. The relationship between the mind of the organism and the “external reality” is transactional, and that is most realized in a CME. I’ve elaborated this point at a reddit thread I posted, so I won’t elaborate here.

    (3) that anthropomorphized notions of god may, in fact, seem “childish,” but as long as people who believe in this kind of god are persecuting LGBT people, trying to curtail reproductive choice, injecting myth into biology class, and such, this “childish” notion of god deserves our attention.

    No, it deserves no one’s attention. This is only proves that the rejection of God by the atheist has its basis in this childish notion of God. That is another straw man, that the “Sky Genie” is after the LGBT people. Ridiculous.

    Kafei has had this explained to him week after week, and yet continues to insist that *we* just don’t get it and aren’t being open-minded.

    It’s not that you don’t get it. It’s that you’re not trying to get it. You are reacting close-mindedly. I’ve pointed out that you points here are straw man attacks, you haven’t shown any sincere curiosity, you’d rather me disappear than even attempt to grasp what I’ve been trying to lay out here. This is obvious that you would summon a MOD in such a way, and then call upon your fellow theists to join in your collective outrage.

    To turn the discussion week after week and month after month back to hallucinogens is, in fact, trolling, especially after John specifically told him to keep his comments related to the show’s content of a given week. This loathsome jackass has promised to continue to derail the board in perpetuity…

    I hadn’t brought up psychedelics at all until speedofsound chimed in and asked about it. I’ve only made 10 posts prior to this post here throughout this thread alone, and only in my responses to speedofsound in two posts have I mentioned psychedelics, so you’re obviously exaggerating. I think you simply have a grudge, that’s all.

  274. Wiggle Puppy says

    “That is another straw man, that the “Sky Genie” is after the LGBT people.”

    Millions of people believe this and vote accordingly, dumbass. Attacking it isn’t straw manning if that’s what people actually believe.

  275. says

    @Wiggle Puppy

    Millions of people believe this and vote accordingly, dumbass. Attacking it isn’t straw manning if that’s what people actually believe.

    Then, where’s your source? Where’s the poll? I believe even anti religion has a more sophisticated concept of God than this ridiculous nonsense. If you’re going to make a claim, at least cite your source before you go around calling people dumb asses. If people, by and large, believe in that idiotic notion of God, then what George Carlin said is true. “Most people are fucking dumb. Shall we adopt all their standards?”

  276. RationalismRules says

    @t90bb
    Whether or not ‘anti religion’ / ‘oldman’ actually has autism, your insults reduce EVERYONE who does have intellectual disability or mental illness to some sort of sub-species for the purpose of your taunts.

    People do not have control over their intellectual capacity. They do not have control over whether they have an intellectual disability or a mental illness.
    You, on the other hand, do have control over how you treat other people, and right now you are treating everyone with mental illness or disability as your own personal punchline.

    Please, find a better form of insult, or SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  277. says

    @RationalismRules Thank you! I’m really glad a fellow atheist of t90bb’s had the balls to say this. I would’ve, but he’s blocked me, and he probably wouldn’t even listened to me, anyway. The MODs haven’t caught wind perhaps, obviously, even though they said that is the very thing to get you banned. Those sort of insults that t90bb had got him a warning back in April by John Iacoletti, and the dude’s still at it. What is he, like 17-years-old or something? He certainly acts it.

  278. Wiggle Puppy says

    “Then, where’s your source? Where’s the poll?”

    Have you been living under a rock for the past fifteen or so years? Have you not noticed the millions of evangelicals who have campaigned against LGBT rights in the name of their god? The Bush campaign in 2004 whose road to re-election was paved by its pledge to pursue a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage? The evangelical protest against Obergefell v. Hodges? The Hobby Lobby decision? The whole Kim Davis thing? The nationwide debates over conversion therapy, transgender bathroom selection, etc? The recent abortion bans in Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, etc? Are you really that fucking stupid?

  279. says

    @Wiggle Puppy I’m asking you to cite a source, not reel off from your experiences which can be based in misconceptions. When I look around, I see modern clergy attempting to inform atheist that their rejection of God is based on their “Grandmother’s notion of God.” I look around and see Bishops criticizing atheists who hold this simplistic and naïve notion of God. I’m simply asking you to cite a source, don’t just reel off nonsense.

  280. buddyward says

    @Wiggle Puppy #289

    It is not worth it. Kafei is starving for attention and you are feeding this troll.

  281. Wiggle Puppy says

    You’re really going to argue the point that religion can and does inspire people to oppose same-sex marriage, transgender protections, and abortion rights?

    Goodbye, dumbass.

    Please ban.

  282. says

    @buddyward I wouldn’t necessarily call participating in a thread ‘starving for a attention.’ I realize this is a subtle slight on your own behalf. I really couldn’t care less about “attention.” I’m here for sincere and intellectually honest discussion, not “attention.”

    @Wiggle Puppy

    You’re really going to argue the point that religion can and does inspire people to oppose same-sex marriage, transgender protections, and abortion rights?

    I never said that. Sure, people get into these issues, but it’s not due to a “magical sky genie.” That was my point.

    Goodbye, dumbass.

    Good riddance.

  283. Heretical Ryan says

    @wp#289

    [kafei] Are you really that fucking stupid?

    I think we all know the answer to that question.

  284. says

    @Heretical Ryan

    I think we all know the answer to that question.

    Omg. You were really compelled to chime in with that? Okay, I understand you atheists have to label every theist that runs through here as a “troll,” but seriously? Whatever you say, Heretical Ryan. Go ahead and believe whatever you’d like about me, and in fact, please do, but we all know buddyward has no source to cite to back up his nonsense.

  285. says

    @Heretical Ryan I never denied that these discriminations exist. Sure, there’s people that are against abortion, who are homophobic, etc. However, what I’m saying is that it’s not necessarily tied to a “magic sky genie.” Where’s the “sky wizard” in any of those sources you’ve cited? It’s simply not there, and that’s been my point all along.

  286. t90bb says

    My satirical responses and video where intended to troll the troll. I don’t believe for a second he is being honest. Smelly dishes, no fkin way. I genuinely apologize for insensitivity. to others that may actually battle with such issues. I, myself,,have battled with mental illness and its no joke, Yet I can find humor in almost anything, perhaps to a fault. My remarks were directed specifically to the troll but I agree even in satire they can be painful to others and I should know better.

    I am giving myself a timeout. hope to see you all soon!

  287. Heretical Ryan says

    As far as I can tell, the only person on this board throwing around terms like “magic sky genie” and “sky wizard” is you.

    Other than when I quoted you just now, when have *I* used those terms?

    True, many theologians have more sophisticated concepts of god.

    Such as an uncaused, beginningless, changeless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial being of enormous power .

    But it’s just sophistry. The first six descriptors describe what god ISN’T. Not what it IS.

    All we can glean from this is that god is invisible, undetectable, and indistinguishable from something that doesn’t exist.

    A being of enormous power? Some might liken that to a “wizard” or a “genie” (to borrow the words you insist on using)

    Now apologists can and do try to make their religious doctrines sound more sophisticated and rational. Using terms like “Reasonable Faith” and “Creation Science”

    And yes they don’t refer to Yahweh or Allah as a “sky daddy” because that’s a pejorative.

    And however they chose to define it, they claim worship an immensely powerful but undetectable being who they claim has absolute power and authority.

  288. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Heretical Ryan
    Here’s the shirt of our resident preacher Kafei.

    He believes that materialism is false, and that all of reality is composed of a single mind. We are all just small pieces of that singular universal mind. Further, by taking very large and unusually large of hallucinagens, one can have an experience where one can have an incontrovertible experience that would convince oneself of the absolute truth of this.

    Further, he also says all of the world’s religions started with mystics on hallucinagens who learned this truth, and that the word “god” is just a metaphor for the truth that reality is composed of a singular universal mind. He also says that any attack on the more traditional notion of good as a personal being is not addressing “real” religion, and thus it’s a strawman.

    Many of us have tried over a thousand posts to explain to him scientific epistemology, and how his personal experience is not good enough evidence for these claims. Kafei insists that it is scientific and his experience counts as good scientific evidence and falsifiability is not necessary to be a scientific theory.

    Please consider not engaging with Kafei except to ask him to leave.

  289. Heretical Ryan says

    @EL

    *exasperated sigh*

    You’re right EL.
    I let him get under my skin.
    .
    Cripes and it was just after I made a post advocating that people not engage.

  290. says

    I jumped off after post 300. I didn’t think anyone was going to post after that.

    @EL

    He believes that materialism is false, and that all of reality is composed of a single mind. We are all just small pieces of that singular universal mind. Further, by taking very large and unusually large of hallucinagens, one can have an experience where one can have an incontrovertible experience that would convince oneself of the absolute truth of this.

    Is this your attempt to steel man my position? Nice try, but you’ve totally misrepresented my views.

    Further, he also says all of the world’s religions started with mystics on hallucinagens who learned this truth, and that the word “god” is just a metaphor for the truth that reality is composed of a singular universal mind. He also says that any attack on the more traditional notion of good as a personal being is not addressing “real” religion, and thus it’s a strawman.

    This is getting a bit closer, but still not quite there yet.

    Many of us have tried over a thousand posts to explain to him scientific epistemology, and how his personal experience is not good enough evidence for these claims. Kafei insists that it is scientific and his experience counts as good scientific evidence and falsifiability is not necessary to be a scientific theory.

    And I’ve tried to explain the view I hold over thousands of post, and yet here you are completely misrepresenting it.

    @Heretical Ryan

    You’re right EL.
    I let him get under my skin.
    .
    Cripes and it was just after I made a post advocating that people not engage.

    If you’re willing to sincerely engage, I’ll patiently address the points you brought up in your last post in an intellectually honest dialogue with you on these topics. Just so long as you don’t end up EL’s motive which is, “Okay, this is too deep for me! Go away, now!” I’m surprised he attempted to interpret in his own words the things I talk about relative to the science and so forth.

    As far as I can tell, the only person on this board throwing around terms like “magic sky genie” and “sky wizard” is you.

    Other than when I quoted you just now, when have *I* used those terms?

    It’s very easy to search freethoughtblogs for use of this term. Are you familiar with the modifiers in Google’s search engine? I’ll give you an example. First, I’ll point out if you run a word search for “magic genie” or “sky genie,” you’ll find t90bb’s spamming that long before I even typed it. If you click here, you’ll find an example. I searched freethoughtsblog for ” sky daddy.” You’ll find myriads of pages of atheists spamming this term. Swap “sky daddy” with “sky genie,” “magic genie,” etc., and you’ll find the same results.

    True, many theologians have more sophisticated concepts of god.

    Yes, far more sophisticated than anything people address here. That’s for damn sure.

    Such as an uncaused, beginningless, changeless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial being of enormous power.

    But it’s just sophistry. The first six descriptors describe what god ISN’T. Not what it IS.

    That’s your tenuous grasp of the concept. I brought this up on The Atheist Experience before, but I won’t link that, because I’ve also brought up this point on Truth Wanted, and that is all these attributes you’re mentioning are, in fact, attributes of the so-called “complete” mystical experience. However, if you don’t realize that. Then, you’re liable to make of it what you will, and that’s what you’ve done here. People just don’t realize that these attributes you’ve mentioned are, indeed, attributes of the CME. The timelessness, the spacelesness, the beginninglessness, enormous power, etc. These are all attributes of the CME, but they were misattributed to an anthropomorphic God that is “outside of space of time,” instead of realizing it as a potential of consciousness within one’s self. As a direct encounter with the philosophical Absolute.

    All we can glean from this is that god is invisible, undetectable, and indistinguishable from something that doesn’t exist.

    Yes, this is precisely the narrative many atheists tell themselves because they simply don’t realize that this revelation of the Absolute is a universal potential in the consciousness of us all. That is precisely what our modern science is telling us.

    A being of enormous power? Some might liken that to a “wizard” or a “genie” (to borrow the words you insist on using)

    Those aren’t my terms. I borrowed them from atheists. And again, you’re the one still thinking in terms of a “being.”

    Now apologists can and do try to make their religious doctrines sound more sophisticated and rational. Using terms like “Reasonable Faith” and “Creation Science”

    I’m not talking about combining creationism with science or some ill form of faith that’s combined with reason. Again, these are straw men in comparison to the position I hold where is steadfast adherence to the science that’s been done.

    And yes they don’t refer to Yahweh or Allah as a “sky daddy” because that’s a pejorative.

    It’s not just pejorative, it’s naïve to do so.

    And however they chose to define it, they claim worship an immensely powerful but undetectable being who they claim has

    That’s how you’ve chosen to define God. As a “immensely powerful but undetectable being.” That’s your definition, and no one else’s, my friend.

  291. Heretical Ryan says

    @EL

    He also says that any attack on the more traditional notion of good as a personal being is not addressing “real” religion, and thus it’s a strawman.

    Kafei seemed unaware that “an uncaused, beginningless, changeless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial being of enormous power.” Was a direct quote from William Lane Craig. So we’re not straw manning what Christian’s actually say they believe.
    .
    But anyway. Yeah I’m going stop engaging.
    .
    I have neither the patience nor the skill to debate Kafei’s unfalsifiable claims.
    .
    .
    I guess you win, Kafei.

  292. speedofsound says

    @Kafei (#)

    Well, all psychedelics work on your serotonergic system, they don’t block these receptors, they bind to these receptor sites.

    Sounds like you know a lot about this. What do you mean by binding and what do you suppose the effect of that is in the brain?

  293. speedofsound says

    Ah shit. I am a bad man. I engaged Kafei and brought out the devil.

    @Kafei WTF? I invited you to a dead freethought thread many times and you never show up. I’m the only one here that actually wants to talk to you. Yet you keep showing up in the current thread and taking it in a direction that the others do not want to go. Seems like an attention whore sort of thing to do.

    Why do you not show up in dead threads when I invite you? Need for an audience?

  294. speedofsound says

    @t90bb (#300)

    Yeah. Timeout for you dude. We get caught up sometimes and we never know if it’s a troll or someone who has other issues. I asked him a question and the response I think was a little strange and off. So best to back way off and keep it light. I’m always a little freaked out when I see posts from someone that may actually be hurt by our responses.

    But then do no judge yourself too harshly either. We get caught up in the tongue and cheek and the flow of this thing. I was engaging a guy on Reddit about abortion and it took me awhile to realize that he was taking some very ridiculous things seriously and I was not talking to someone who I was actually ‘communicating’ with. I had to really hold myself back to not keep it up.

  295. Paul Money says

    Erm, guys, you are engaging with somebody who’s nick is an anagram of I Fake.
    “That’s incredible Holmes, I can’t think how you work these things out!

  296. Murat says

    Some weeks ago, one night, I watched the Atheist Experience appearances of Stephen Woodford, aka Rationality Rules, back to back. And I began to follow him on Twitter. The next morning, I tweeted him about two factual errors of the same kind that he made in each of the episodes, briefly explaining what was very wrong about them.
    I never got a reply.
    This might well be because, on the very same days, he was finding himself in a kerfuffle between several stakeholders.
    *
    Anyways… As I found RR’s general take on stuff compelling, I watched the videos related to that emerging issue, got engaged with some of his supporters and critics on social media. For me the whole thing was more about free speech, playing favorites, political correctness and rational questioning, than about any particular details regarding the trans community.
    That was why I leaned closer to RR on the analysis of the matter.
    As he promised, he apologized to related people many times, while standing his ground on his claim that a discussion on fairness was legit in the case of trans women competing against cis women. He was never short of acknowledging his mistakes, nor seemed unaware of the consequences of making factual errors when addressing a significant number of people interested in a certain issue.
    Now that the waters are calm, I wonder if it would be proper to expect corrections also on other “factually wrong” stuff heard from RR – heard not even in his personal YouTube videos, but during those very appearances of his on the Atheist Experience. Here is the content of my two tweets:
    “Dear RR, it was a great pleasure watching you side by side with Matt_Dillahunty. Will follow you. I wish to correct some things that you referred to on several occasions, tho: Mohammad flying to / splitting the Moon are NOT Quranic miracles. Both were unrelated to the content of that book, and were much later (like, centuries later) added to Islamic folklore through myriad, other sources. I personally suspect that it was actually the story of the Pegasus that originated the latter, and that the split as well has points of reference from other myths.”
    *
    For starters: The main case I want to make is not about differences of source and opinion among muslims. Obviously, this is not a concern for many people following the ACA or RR. However, I will also address this issue by providing some details, because it can serve as a litmus paper about whether the ideas of protected groups or political correctness can be managed fairly and sustainably.
    *
    My impression of Stephen Woodford is that he’s a cool guy whose major power point is to try and divorce emotional attachments from rational inquisition. That was why, I believe, he happened to face a notable portion of the trans community by jumping into the matter of fairness in sports where they had a stake. RR’s perception of watching group sensitivities and political correctness seems to differ from that of the ACA. This is not to say that they are on different sides of the line that separates bigots from decent people. They all do care about the outcomes of wrongdoings, and of false information being spread. Yet, they position themselves somewhat differently. So do I.
    To be honest, I do not recall if I ever identified as a “Quranic muslim” to anybody. But I’m sure that, the content of the terminology was in line with my take on Islam during my period of questioning religion harder, to the point of giving up on it. So, I could not help think about how I would feel if, back in those days, I came across content in which those so-called miracles were referred to as “Quranic”.
    The “religious” muslims with whom I currently have some sort of political and intellectual contact are almost all Quranic muslims, the way they define it. And I believe that they form not only the most benign, but also the most progressive arm from within the confounds of the religion.
    This would also explain why none of them would label a factual mistake relating to their beliefs as “heresy” or something. So, yes, RR is safe from headcutters. Because with such remarks he did not offend anyone who would seek for an excuse for harming others. I’m not even sure if anyone other than me even noticed the error. It’s obvious that the show is watched mostly by people who relate to other groups, some of which have their own organizations to show reaction upon hearing things they immediately detect as factually incorrect.
    *
    Just like any sect is the “correct one” against all others, Quranic muslims (though they don’t define as a sect) would surely argue to be the “correct version” of Islam. In their case, I believe there is at least one less fallacy than with the others: The Quran strictly proposes itself as the only source for religion. So, by definition, you’d have to reject any other material as a source for your beliefs if you consider the Quran to be God’s word. The tradition of the hadith has lead to the emergence of people like Boukhari, who have found a back door to hijacking Islam: For they technically could not claim to be prophets themselves (for the Quran proposed Mohammad to be the last), these guys took the path of challenging the content of the Quran from the outside, via producing hundreds of thousands of stories attributed to Mohammad. How do we know these stories to be false? Can we be sure that the Mohammad described in those can not be the same guy who founded / introduced Islam in the 7th century? Well, technically, we can. Because they contradict among each other. And the hijackers (like Boukhari) just have not cared about the contradictions. They have piled up and spread all these stories as valid sources. Feeling like having a child bride? Incorportate a fitting anecdote or data into the pile, and you’re in the clear. Want to promote a certain type of fruit? Tell the story of how much Mohammad liked it, how he said breaking fast with them would open the doors to heaven.
    Today, the majority of muslims are too ignorant to figure out how the faith has been transformed into a way less consistent version of its original self. They have been trapped into what is demonstrably a belief in contradiction with itself, becase they would need to reject the Quran in order to accept the hadith as legit sources.
    Are there things among the hadith that seem to be factual, relating to some real stuff that went on in Mohammad’s life? Yes, there are. The most notable of them is ironic:
    Mohammad is in his death bed, terminally ill. His aides approach, to ask him if he will have a message to his followers. He says, yes. And when they offer to write it down, he rejects the idea: “No, do not write it down. It’s only the Quran that should remain in written form, for putting into script my own words would cause confusion as to what came to me from God, and what I said myself.”
    *
    Mohammad believing himself to be an actual prophet or acting like one is a separate issue. We do know for a fact that, he drew a line between the outcome of his own cognitive features and the stuff that he presented to his followers as “revelations”.
    Weird thing is, followers of Boukhari even reproduce this particular anecdote and pass it as a valuable source for the religion, along with the rest of Mohammad’s last words, which, in the light of the preface, should be seen as far from being holy.
    In short: A great deal of today’s muslims fail to tell Mohammad from the god he claimed to carry the message of. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, only if you reject the religion, that is. Because, the moment you claim Mohammad was the very God he pretended to connect to, then, you categorically oppose every major feature of the Quran, things that distinguish it from the Father / Son / Holy Spirit kind of “man-god” abomination that Christianity was stuck with even back then.
    Why does any of this matter? Is this not an internal argument of Islam and its apologetics?
    Of course it is.
    BUT it matters, I believe. Because, the moment we find it acceptable to push every single bullshit from the georgraphy and the history of Islam under the great flying carpet that passes as the stereotype of a muslim, we find ourselves in the same position of an ignorant and uncaring extremist white nationalist in whose eyes all the brown-faced people are “Mexicans”, who don’t care about mistaking a Sikh for a muslim, whose comfort zone requires any “details”, other than those relating to their own existence, to be “unimportant”.
    Yes, it is in this sense that I find it important that RR should correct that mistake, regardless of it having caused a kerfuffle. Because, a group of people not having become a protected minority does not mean that they can not suffer from consequences of being mislabeled, misunderstood or ostracized.
    Yes, certain minorities need protection simply because they are persecuted, alienated, etc. That’s why they are made the subject of waves and campaigns of awareness. For leverage. But, when we change the perspective a bit, “protected minorities” are more powerful and better organized against the very same threats than unprotected individuals with fringe problems are.
    If a certain kind of language is deemed necessary for addressing the member of a protected minority, the lesson to be learned from this should not be “Fuck the rest, they don’t need protection after all!”, but the opposite, like, “Hmm, maybe we should apply the same standards to anyone we are engaging with.”
    *
    If you avoid calling one retarded for you were taught that a group of people who are mentally challenged and their kin get hurt due to the usage of such language, then you should maybe think twice before calling one a moron. Because there may be an individual context for that person in which your selection of words could be as hurtful. Make sure foul language is well deserved before you resort to it. Try not to be the one to throw the first stone.
    Also, there is this issue: Some tend to bring forth the distinction of one being in a changable situation or not, depending on what language or what level of sensitivity they deserve.
    I understand the argument. Okay, fine.
    But those who think along these lines should be in dire disagreement with Sam Harris over his idea that free will does not exist. The things that provide us provide us group identities can not be proven to be less avoidable than what provides us our individual features. IQ and EQ levels are not any less dependent on us than a certain condition that is colloqually labeled as “retardedness” is. Nor is culture. In the broader perspective, what resulted in making one a Neo-Nazi was not really more evitable than what made the other a trans person. Debatable, right? Sure. But for the sake of consistency, you should argue that there indeed is free will if your point of distinction between the way you address a member of an oppressive group and that of a persecuted minority.
    And if this is the point you are making, then, what we have in hand is not political correctness, but just a means of tactical companionship. We will swear at Nazis with the idea that it harms their cause (?), we will choose them as the individuals to eradicate themselves, so, the battlefield of politics will shape in our interest as sticking together with allies will help outnumber the enemy.
    Fine. I get the logic.
    But again, this has nothing to do with how we introduce the necessity of creating protected groups, nor with the notion of avoiding dog whistling.
    *
    Just as a side note: IF the idea of having allies applies here, Quranic muslims, those seen the least in mainstream Western media, are the best allies for any rationalist, secular, skeptic group to embrace. The main criticism aimed at them is that, they create the pathway first to deism and then to atheism, because the chopping down of the secondary sources for Islam is seen as the gateway to question and later reject Quran itself in the long run.
    What criteria, other than numbers of people involved do we have in hand to decide that RR’s factual mistakes about trans women’s hameoglobin levels were actually more harmful than his blanket description of what is Quranic was? If such discussions are going to be held in the manner of a popularity contest, then, caring only about the facts relating to visible, registered, protected minorities should suffice.
    But I’d find this to be in contradiction with RR’s very own take on “rationality”. In the end, any factual error may produce undesired results. Need we be concerned on correctness only on a social level? Or should it be seeked for even when there may be no one in sight to address it?
    I understand and appreciate the functions of political correctness, but I suspect that in the long run it will just give the common folk one more reason to alienate themselves from the protected groups. Can it be that, the guy with the white MAGA hat voted for Trump because he felt he was becoming part of an unprotected majority?
    I lean towards replacing political correctness with simple, plain correctness and a humanistic, secular notion of virtue to avoid the train crash.

  297. StonedRanger says

    It is interesting to me that AXP now allows comments on its you tube videos. I havent watched the show on you tube for quite some time now and hadnt noticed that they had changed their stance on this. It now makes sense why they let pieces of shit like kafei hang around on the blog. They let people shit all over their “Official You Tube channel” and the associated comment section again, why should they care if it happens on their “Official blog”?

  298. says

    @Heretical Ryan

    Kafei seemed unaware that “an uncaused, beginningless, changeless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial being of enormous power.” Was a direct quote from William Lane Craig. So we’re not straw manning what Christian’s actually say they believe.

    I’m guessing you didn’t take a look at the links I left at all. I realize that these are the attributes that you find in Christianity, but what I was attempting to point out in that encounter with Dan and Craig on Truth Wanted was that all these attributes you mentioned are actually present in the CME. However, over time as culture lost touch with the mystical dimension of theology, then the early mystics who were, indeed, writing about their direct encounters with “Divine” or the “Absolute” as being “outside of space and time,” of exhibited a complete and unconditional love for all people and things, etc. The writings of the mystics were misconstrued, and so the attributes of the CME were then anthropomorphized and abstracted to an “entity God” that is “outside of space and time,” omniscient, etc. instead of a potential within one’s consciousness. And I’d point out that any apologist, including William Lane Craig, are arguing for such a God is doing precisely that, they are misconstruing the writings of the mystics.

    But anyway. Yeah I’m going stop engaging.

    Well, that’s fine, of course, but I don’t think you really considered what I’ve said.

    I have neither the patience nor the skill to debate Kafei’s unfalsifiable claims.

    None of the claims I’ve made are unfalsifiable. They’re definitely verifiable for any individual here. If they were “unfalsifiable”, I wouldn’t be here speaking about this stuff.

    I guess you win, Kafei.

    I know a lot atheists think this is some kind of game. That is atheism is true, then “Checkmate! We atheists win!” Well, I don’t see it as a game. Anyone searching for truth, they must seek it on their own, they must search it for themselves. If anyone is paying attention at all, our modern science has, indeed, established evidence for the Perennial philosophy, and all these terms like Brahman, Allah, Holy Spirit, Nirvana, etc. are properly understood within this context. The issue is that too many people pour emphasis on this word “God,” and miss the entire point altogether.

  299. speedofsound says

    @Kafei why you no answer my question about a debate in a dead thread? 🙁

  300. says

    @speedofsound

    Sounds like you know a lot about this.

    Well, I should. I study this shit every day. I try and read every day, if not the neuroscience, I’ll read up on comparative religion, or I’ll try and find new studies, new research. For instance, Imperial College in England is about to start a new DMT study where they’re going to attempt to prolong the DMT flash that is usually a 15 minute experience, and have it happen indefinitely or whenever the volunteer opts out in order to “map” the DMT landscape, if you will. They’re not necessarily looking for the psychological benefits or stuff like that, they just want to learn more about these psychedelic states. There’s another interesting study happening in the University of Michigan where they’re studying whether DMT is truly released from the pineal gland in the near-death state. So, they’re studying the DMT levels of rodents while they’re dying to assess this.

  301. says

    @speedofsound

    What do you mean by binding and what do you suppose the effect of that is in the brain?

    Well, by bind, I’m referring to the pharmacodynamics. The classical psychedelics have an affinity for the same receptors that serotonin operates on.

    Ah shit. I am a bad man. I engaged Kafei and brought out the devil.

    Yeah, funny reputation I’ve earned by some of the participants here. However, they’re the same people not really engaging in an honest discussion about this. I mean, I appreciate you wanting to continue the dialogue, and I respect that. That’s sincere effort which I really couldn’t say much of the same for anyone else here, unfortunately.

    WTF? I invited you to a dead freethought thread many times and you never show up. I’m the only one here that actually wants to talk to you.

    I must’ve missed it. Otherwise, I would’ve participated, definitely.

    Yet you keep showing up in the current thread and taking it in a direction that the others do not want to go.

    I wouldn’t say that I take these things in a direction others don’t want it to go. I hadn’t spoken about psychedelics at all, until you brought up entheogens at #262.

    Seems like an attention whore sort of thing to do.

    Well, seems is the operative word in your sentence here, because that’s not the case at all. I’m actually a fan of The Atheist Experience show. I’ve been on topic. And, in fact, if you hadn’t brought up entheogens at #262, I wouldn’t have said anything about ’em.

    Why do you not show up in dead threads when I invite you? Need for an audience?

    I’m not here for attention, I don’t need an audience or any of that. I’ve just as much right as yourself to comment on these threads. I watch the show, I’m interested in all these topics, not simply psychedelics.

  302. says

    @Heretical Ryan

    Leave me alone, Kafei.

    I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or if you’re truly sincere. I thought I told you not to resort to EL’s tactics at post #304?

  303. says

    Omfg. Smfh. “Leave me alone! These topics are too deep, the philosophy too complex! Please just leave me alone, I just wanna go back to attacking and criticizing the ‘sky daddy.’ I was enjoying the blog just fine doing that.” Give me a fucking break, man. If you don’t want a response from me, then simply don’t direct your posts at me, even to say, “Leave me alone.” You realize how immature that comes off? Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised that you harbor such a childish conception of God. Fine, I’ll leave you alone, don’t bother retorting.

  304. Murat says

    @jabbly
    Didn’t know you were stuck there, waiting for someone else to do the relevant Google search for you.
    It’s a well-known problem with regards to fair play, you can find hundreds of examples to results that were questioned in that light. It happens. At times, losing a match provides a team better place for the next leg, or the accumulation of country points on one side motivate them in reverse direction, etc.
    Here, one last one for you, go do your own research if you’re really interested in the topic:
    “FIFA has some fair play regulations giving them the possibility to act accordingly and they’re warned. It will be possible to disqualify a team trying to lose deliberately.”
    https://sports.stackexchange.com/questions/18680/can-a-football-team-force-its-defeat-e-g-via-own-goals

  305. jabbly says

    @Murat

    So there are, as you claimed, hundreds of examples yet you’ve utterly failed to demonstrate this.

  306. Murat says

    “Lack of equality can not be sustained without the proper notion of morality to allow it.
    And such a notion of morality can not be constructed without religion.”
    -Napoleon Bonaparte

  307. says

    It looks like getting tired of discussions primarily centering on certain repetitive posters and checking out for a few weeks is when other topics come up. A lot of catching up.
     
    As far as the topic about trans people in sports, though there are real considerations that the people involved in the sports have to handle, it’s a mistake to think that the people who started bringing this up, or the ones that are treating it like a pressing issue, are doing so out of a sincere concern for fairness in sports. What they’re actually attempting is to find an issue they can use to attack support for trans people in general. Much like the issues of which bathrooms people use, they’re trying to find a way to frame support of trans people as harmful to ‘real women’, in order to set people up to be in conflict with the inclusion of trans people, regardless of the validity of the issue at hand.
     
    In the case of sports fairness, there are real issues to consider, those issues have been considered for some time, and studies have been done and policies have been put in place. Studies will continue to be done, and policies will continue to evolve over time as a result. The people most intent on pushing this are hoping that people ignorant of the topic, with naive intuitions, will stake out a position that prompts them to draw lines that place them against supporting trans people in general. Basically, by attempting to bait people into a conflict on an issue like this, they would be getting people that might potentially be supportive of trans people to find themselves in opposition to a trans ‘side’ on this issue, and from there, hope that these people would dig in and become entrenched against supporting trans people.
     
    Plus, if someone takes the bait, as Rationality Rules did, many people that are in support of trans inclusion in sports will see this as an indication that Rationality Rules and others who also take the bait generally hold anti-trans sentiment, and that the resulting attacks on them based on that will serve to help drive a wedge between them and those in support of trans inclusion in general, potentially eventually pushing them out of other groups, and towards siding with the alt-right.
     
    In regards to things like arguments from popularity and authority, note that the beliefs of others does provide you with information. Specifically, the beliefs of others offer indirect information that tends to be correlated with accuracy. If you were traveling, and visited some location where you did not have familiarity with the local plants and which ones were safe to eat, you’d be quite reasonable to put a good degree of confidence in what the people who lived in that area said. If you were to ask only one person, you’re at greater risk that the one person you’ve asked is unusually stupid and thus a bad source of information, so seeking out multiple people to reduce the risks of that, or seeking out someone locally recognized as an expert on the topic increases the likelihood of accurate information.
     
    From experience, most of us know that some topics, such as religious beliefs, are much less likely to provide accurate information, regardless of their popularity. Also from experience, you can correlate certain personality traits or behaviors as being particularly positively or negatively correlated with accuracy. And, of course, if you can get more direct information about something, then less direct methods become irrelevant. It doesn’t matter what maps and GPS systems say, or how many people, including experts, tell you that the directions to get to your home are something other than what you think they are, if you’re consistently able to navigate to your house despite being in disagreement with them.
     
    Incidentally, an intuitive understanding that more direct information makes more indirect information irrelevant is probably why people trust their sparse personal anecdotes over large sets of data from rigorous studies. They’re not seeing how their evaluation of their personal experience over indirect reporting from others can break down due to them failing to account for their small sample sizes or systematic procedures in studies designed to correct for biases.

  308. indianajones says

    @Jared ‘it’s a mistake to think that the people who started bringing this up, or the ones that are treating it like a pressing issue, are doing so out of a sincere concern for fairness in sports’

    Big Thumbs Up (For the rest of it too)

  309. buddyward says

    @Jared #324

    I do not think that it is rational for you to conclude people’s intent and\or motivations on either side of the trans athlete discussion without enough information to make such conclusions. This I believe is a mistake made by many. Assuming the motivation or intent of the opposing side in the conversation is not a good way to start.

    With regards to the argument from popularity, your example is not very well presented. If I were in an unfamiliar place I would not simply ask the locals which plants it is that is safe to eat but to observe what they would eat. Perhaps try a small amount to make sure I do not have any negative reactions. I may well even be justified to observe what one person would eat if I am in dire needs.

    From experience, most of us know that some topics, such as religious beliefs, are much less likely to provide accurate information, regardless of their popularity. Also from experience, you can correlate certain personality traits or behaviors as being particularly positively or negatively correlated with accuracy. And, of course, if you can get more direct information about something, then less direct methods become irrelevant. It doesn’t matter what maps and GPS systems say, or how many people, including experts, tell you that the directions to get to your home are something other than what you think they are, if you’re consistently able to navigate to your house despite being in disagreement with them.

    This is actually in direct contradiction to your previous example that is in favor of the argument from authority and popularity. Here you are relying on your own experience to navigate home despite the fact that experts disagree with you. However, if experts are disagreeing with you in this instance then I think that there is more to the argument than how to navigate to your house. Perhaps the argument would be, on the average, which route is fastest to get to your house. You might even be wrong in your initial assessment as you may not have calculated the times it would take to use different routes and the experts did. I had this very same conversation with my daughter while driving her to the gym. So, I convinced her to keep a notebook in the glove compartment of our car and she would write down the time it would take us using two different routes. I was indeed wrong in my initial assessment, and my daughter gloated on the fact that she was right. I did tell her that prior to our little experiment, neither one of us is justified in claiming we were correct and that is what prompted the experiment.

    Incidentally, an intuitive understanding that more direct information makes more indirect information irrelevant is probably why people trust their sparse personal anecdotes over large sets of data from rigorous studies. They’re not seeing how their evaluation of their personal experience over indirect reporting from others can break down due to them failing to account for their small sample sizes or systematic procedures in studies designed to correct for biases.

    Yes, which is why critical thinking is a very important skill to have and to teach as well as the scientific method. Whenever, I hear arguments from personal experience, I cringe. It is not so bad when their belief is benign but to think that they believe what they believe and then advocates and\or support for legislature based upon a belief that they cannot justify to be true can be harmful.

  310. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Jared #324:

    it’s a mistake to think that the people who started bringing this up, or the ones that are treating it like a pressing issue, are doing so out of a sincere concern for fairness in sports. […] they’re trying to find a way to frame support of trans people as harmful to ‘real women’, in order to set people up to be in conflict with the inclusion of trans people

     
    @buddyward #327:

    I do not think that it is rational for you to conclude people’s intent and\or motivations on either side of the trans athlete discussion

     
    Article: MediaMatters – Anti-LGBTQ group Heritage Foundation has hosted four anti-trans panels so far in 2019

    The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that has railed against LGBTQ equality for decades […] Each of the four panels focused on a different aspect of trans equality, such as comprehensive nondiscrimination measures, affirming medical care for transgender youth, trans inclusion in international policy, and trans participation in athletics.
    […]
    Heritage’s surge in anti-transgender events and its increased attempts to shape public discourse about trans rights come at a strategic time as Congress considers expanding federal civil rights laws to include critical protections for trans folks. The Equality Act, introduced on March 13, would add “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to existing nondiscrimination protections in “employment, housing, public accomodations,” and other areas. The measure was quickly met with opposition and fearmongering from extreme anti-LGBTQ groups and right-wing media.
    […]
    Heritage co-hosted an event on April 8 with anti-LGBTQ group Concerned Women For America, which seeks to “bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.” The panel advocated against allowing trans athletes to compete in gender-segregated sports that align with their gender identity. Heritage’s Kao hosted the panel, opening by reciting a quote that the Equality Act would be “the end of women’s sports.”
    […]
    Though the Heritage Foundation’s practice of hosting anti-trans advocates and pushing anti-trans narratives is not new, the frequency and breadth of its events this year are alarming. Heritage’s attempt to shape public discourse on the Equality Act and the transgender community is another example of the right’s attempt to position trans rights as counter to those of women and to fracture the LGBTQ movement by excluding trans folks from it.
     
    Such groups deploy a similar “divide and conquer” strategy to create a false dichotomy between people of faith and LGBTQ rights, despite the fact that most faith groups support LGBTQ inclusion.

     
     
    Article: Hj Hornbeck

    I’ve refined my view of RR.
    [… …]
    This isn’t happening in a vacuum. RR has deliberately misstated Ethel’s position several times, without correction, and has been remarkably petty and dishonest. Ethel has stated that she’s suffered ill-health due to his actions. He should have known this, and yet his most recent video directly targets Ethel, again using misleading quotes, and again sending another round of harassment her way. All the acknowledgements of the harm you’ve caused to transgender people are worthless if you continue to harm them, despite having said harm repeatedly pointed out to you.
     
    This all should explain why I haven’t backed down on the “transphobic” part. But I am willing to throw RR a bone. He is correct that there’s another explanation for all this: he’s an oblivious fool. He’s so blind to his own transphobia that he can’t spot it. He so badly lacks the cognitive capacity to build a logical argument, he can’t recognize when he’s being irrational. He’s unable to tell the difference between genuine criticism and personal attacks. He’s so unaware of his emotions that he can’t tell when he’s lashing out and making things worse. This interpretation absolves him of any malicious intent, and without that malice you can sort of see why he believes he isn’t a transphobe.
     
    See? My new stance is actually quite charitable

  311. buddyward says

    @Sky Captain #328

    As always, I am not sure what you mean by your quotes and links. I am assuming that you mean to demonstrate that there are some instances where it is rational to conclude people’s intent or motivation and I do not disagree. However, what you quoted is just a fragment of my sentence which ended with:

    without enough information to make such conclusions.

    Jared seems to be making a generalized statement on the motivation of everyone on either side of the debate such that if I were to support trans athletes competing with ciswomen, I am therefore:

    hoping that people ignorant of the topic, with naive intuitions, will stake out a position that prompts them to draw lines that place them against supporting trans people in general.

    This is not true at all.

    I have no problem with Jared making conclusions on people’s motive or intent as long as Jared has justification for it based on enough information. i.e. Not everyone that is against transwomen competing are:

    actually attempting is to find an issue they can use to attack support for trans people in general.

    And not everyone who are in support have a sinister plan of baiting others into a conflict.

  312. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @buddyward #329:

    Jared seems to be making a generalized statement on the motivation of everyone on either side of the debate such that if I were to support trans athletes competing with ciswomen, I am therefore:
    ” ” ”
    hoping that people ignorant of the topic, with naive intuitions, will stake out a position that prompts them to draw lines that place them against supporting trans people in general.
    ” ” “

    Either side?
     

    the topic about trans people in sports, […] the people who started bringing this up, or the ones that are treating it like a pressing issue
    […]
    The people most intent on pushing this are hoping that people ignorant of the topic, with naive intuitions, will stake out a position that prompts them to draw lines that place them against supporting trans people in general.

    Surely you didn’t interpret Jared as saying even those who support trans athletes competing with cis women have a sinister plan to sabotage *their own* support? Was that a typo?
     
    The rhetoric is known to be stoked by conservative groups, with intent to fracture LGBT support through manufactured controversy. Jared also acknowledges the role of naive ignorant people, some of whom will repeat it.

  313. buddyward says

    @Sky Captain #330:

    Let me see if I can make my position clearer. What is my intent and motive if I were to support the inclusion of trans athletes to compete with cis women?

    If I were to argue against it, what is my intent and motive in doing so?

  314. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @buddyward #331:
    In Jared #324, no motive was specified for those who had “taken the bait”, as in: not the sinister planners. Individual actors may be misguided or actively complicit. It’s unclear who, if anyone in the scope of the kerfuffle, Jared would categorize as the latter.
     
    RR has been notably vocal, yet he was placed in the baited category. Once baited, others “will see this as an indication [… of] anti-trans sentiment, and that […] will serve to help drive a wedge between them”.

  315. buddyward says

    @Sky Captain #332

    If you do not mind I would like for you to answer the questions that I asked.

  316. says

    buddyward, when I say it’s a mistake to think that the people who started bringing the topic up did it out of a sincere concern for fairness in sports, I am not referring to everyone who happens to bring the topic up in various forums or people who bring up the topic in a YouTube video, as Rationality Rules did. There are plenty of people who are ignorant of this topic and of trans issues in general, for whom this is just something they hear someone bring up. Then they apply naive intuitions to the topic, and think it sounds like an ‘obviously’ unfair situation and don’t bother doing much research on such an ‘obvious’ topic, or are at least concerned that the situation needs more research, though they’re ignorant of whether any research has been done on the topic.
     
    Those people may, but do not necessarily have anti-trans sentiments. For many of them, their reaction to encountering the particular portrayal of the topic that anti-trans people are spreading is simply like, “Wait, hold on a second. That doesn’t sound fair.” I think this is the case for Rationality Rules. Being ignorant of the topic, he fell for the bait that was popularized specifically because it was likely to get such a response, and thus he became an unwitting vector to spread the bait issue around.
     
    It’s not an accident that this particular issue is being brought up with the framing it has any more than it’s an accident that various creationist arguments against evolution get brought up again and again. When someone calls up to the show, and they insist on attacking evolution, you know that they’re not bringing it up because they happened to be independently studying evolution and kept encountering ‘problems’ that just so happen to be common creationist claims. You can take apart all their claims, and then have them go look up more claims to bring up next time, because it was never about the specific issues that they happened to bring up. They were just looking for means of attack that they hoped would be persuasive.
     
    That’s what I am referring to in regards to the people who started bringing this issue up or are intent on pushing it, particularly in places where women’s sports otherwise receive negligible, if any, mention. For most people, trans issues are relatively new and unfamiliar for them, and there are anti-trans people specifically searching for issues and ways to frame them with which they can attack support for trans people, in an attempt to sway the average person into taking their side and getting entrenched in it. As understanding of trans issues becomes more widespread, or at least people become aware of the problems with certain arguments, those arguments will be used less as people move on and bring up whatever the newest anti-trans arguments will be.
     
    As far as getting information from others goes, the example situation was not intended to be one where the only source of information was from other people, just that the information that other people reported was likely to be fairly accurate, and should largely match up with the more direct information if you tested it yourself. The map/GPS example was not intended to be a matter of travel times, but location, along the lines of the reason signs like this were made: http://i.imgur.com/bnH79hj.jpg
     
    Basically, people or systems can have lots of information, be generally reliable, and still be wrong in a particular case. If your goal is to navigate to your home, and you’re consistently getting there, and if by following what everyone else said you would end up somewhere that is not your home, like someone else’s house, then you have encountered a situation where their information is wrong. But, having direct information in this example, you can potentially correct them, submitting reports to whatever organizations have the error and informing anyone coming to visit you of the actual directions.

  317. indianajones says

    @buddyward Yeah, but everyone who is in support of a sinister plan is against transwomen competing in sports. By analogy not all men who support #notallmen are misogynist swine but all of the misogynist swine are. It’s at least pause for thought time is what I mean..

  318. buddyward says

    @Jared #334

    When I say it’s a mistake to think that the people who started bringing the topic up did it out of a sincere concern for fairness in sports, I am not referring to everyone who happens to bring the topic up in various forums or people.

    That is how it reads. There are no qualifiers, no exclusions or any indications that you are referring to a specific group of people. If you would like to make your point a bit more clear, I will welcome it and consider the new statements. In this blog, there are people on both sides and I for one cannot make any judgements what their intents and motivations are because there aren’t enough information to do so.

    The people you are referring to may indeed have the intent you have outlined in your post and evidence shows that there are such groups as demonstrated by Sky Captain. That is not what I am arguing against. I would probably have agreed with you initially if you stated it a bit more clearly.

    Basically, people or systems can have lots of information, be generally reliable, and still be wrong in a particular case. If your goal is to navigate to your home, and you’re consistently getting there, and if by following what everyone else said you would end up somewhere that is not your home, like someone else’s house, then you have encountered a situation where their information is wrong. But, having direct information in this example, you can potentially correct them, submitting reports to whatever organizations have the error and informing anyone coming to visit you of the actual directions.

    I have a difficult time accepting a hypothetical that is unrealistic or that is not even close to reality. Perhaps it is an issue with me. Let us take your scenario for example, if I already know how to navigate to my house reliably, then why would I follow what everyone else say? Unless there are other extenuating circumstance there would be no reason to do so nor would it even justify a discussion. However, I think I would be hard press to find anyone that will tell me that the path I am taking home is wrong despite the fact that I have asserted that I have used that path repeatedly with no fail. I do not see this as an argument for the value of anecdotal data but rather a very strange situation that (to me) is difficult to accept.

  319. buddyward says

    @Indiana Jones #335

    Yeah, but everyone who is in support of a sinister plan is against transwomen competing in sports. By analogy not all men who support #notallmen are misogynist swine but all of the misogynist swine are. It’s at least pause for thought time is what I mean..

    I agree but is that what Jared said?

  320. indianajones says

    I’ve got another one. Suppose you are wishy washy on free speech. Suppose you are also wishy washy on abortion. Now, anti abortion protesters spend a lot of time harassing young women on the worst day of their lives, right? You are now forced to make a decision. Where do you land on exclusion zones for protesters around abortion clinics? Because on one side you have all the arseholes even if not all of them are arseholes, all of a sudden super concerned about free speech. Switching lanes so as to not have to defend their real goal. On the other you have a very vulnerable group of people. Just a heuristic that I think applies to anti-trans swine who are all of a sudden super worried about fairness in sport.

  321. indianajones says

    @buddyward 337. I think that is the point Sky Captain was trying to get across directly and is part of Jared’s points too is all. But correct me if I am wrong. (My 338 was posted before your 2 mots recent posts appeared Buddyward)

  322. jabbly says

    @indianajones

    The problem I have with their statement(s) is that it comes across seemingly as a way of being able to dismiss an opinion you disagree with because someone is arguing with a hidden agenda and/or out of ignorance while at the same time allowing the cop out of but I didn’t mean you when I said that.

  323. buddyward says

    @indianajones 339

    If I understood Sky Captain correctly, he is asserting that there are groups out there that do have a sinister plan against the LGBTQ+ community and he demonstrated it by posting some article that supported his assertion. However, that is not what i am arguing against and I actually agreed with Sky Captain.

    The part that I have an issue with is that in Jared’s initial post he made a blanket statement. No qualifiers, no exclusions just a blanket statement saying “people who started bringing the topic up…” have XYZ intent. To which I argue that not everyone that starts to bring up the topic have XYZ intent. For example, if I argue in support of fairness in sports does that mean my intention is XYZ? How was my intention determined simply because I argued for a specific position?

    He then later on corrected it stating that he did not mean everyone but instead a specific group of people to which I am accepting.

    Do you still want me to respond to your 338 post or are we good here?

  324. indianajones says

    No worries Jabbly I even have an example: I consider myself a not fascist whilst still being a big fan of prompt trains. Fascists are proverbially famous for making that happen. It just meant I had to have a quick re-examination of my prompt trains stance once.

  325. jabbly says

    @indianajones

    Never move to the southeast of England as you’ll absolutely hate the trains 🙂

  326. buddyward says

    @indianajones 343

    Oh darn, I did a whole Google search on the exclusion zones around abortion clinics and had a response ready for you. It might have been for the better as that conversation might just derail this thread.

  327. says

    buddyward, I intended phrases like, “the people who started bringing this up” to refer to the people who started bringing the up in the general public initially, rather than people who would later on bring it up, though I can see how it can be interpreted otherwise. Feedback on where my meaning wasn’t sufficiently clear is helpful for crafting future messages.
     
    As far as the GPS/map example goes, it looks like your confusion is a result of thinking that all my examples were intended to support trusting the reports from others. The plants example was intended to be an example of others being reliable, but the GPS/map example was actually the opposite. I was just briefly touching on the subject of weighting information in general, and some of the considerations involved, with simple examples of how different sources of information can break down in reliability relative to each other in certain situations.

  328. Murat says

    @jared

    buddyward, when I say it’s a mistake to think that the people who started bringing the topic up did it out of a sincere concern for fairness in sports, I am not referring to everyone who happens to bring the topic up in various forums or people who bring up the topic in a YouTube video, as Rationality Rules did. There are plenty of people who are ignorant of this topic and of trans issues in general, for whom this is just something they hear someone bring up. Then they apply naive intuitions to the topic, and think it sounds like an ‘obviously’ unfair situation and don’t bother doing much research on such an ‘obvious’ topic, or are at least concerned that the situation needs more research, though they’re ignorant of whether any research has been done on the topic.

    For example, if one is practicing a sport for which they have good reason (based on first hand experience) to think that size (height and width of the body) is obviously a determining factor, therefore they conclude that a problem of fairness would be obvious in such sports when trans women competed against cis women, what kind of a “research” would change their attitude on the issue without changing their overall perception of that given sport while providing them a less transphobic look?
    In the end, the person in question might have been just sitting home, with their perception of that sport dormant in their mind. Did nothing other than just point out to what they saw as obvious, hence, risked themselves as getting tagged transphobic. How do you think the research should best be manipulated, so that they changed their mind on the importance of height and width for that given sport?

  329. Paul Money says

    Why are we so keen to fit everybody into two genders, particularly as regards sports? Sports are already sub-divided for males and females and then sub-divided again into numerous categories for various types of impairment. Why not have categories for people who have changed their gender?
    Why not have multiple genders in wider society? Why not for some things (passports, identity cards) have no gender at all?
    Humans have a tendency to group people in ways that are rarely useful. Are all trans people really the same and want the same things? Clearly not. perhaps the best way to fight bigotry and prejudice is to stop putting people into groups.

  330. Murat says

    @Paul Money
    Reasonable questioning.
    Let’s think of weightlifting: You are competing against yourself, basically. It’s not a contact sport.
    If the only criteria for a weightlifter would be about his/her own weight and size, then you could do without separating the sexes.
    A trans person would keep competing in the very same category that he/she did before the transition and / or the new identification.
    I do not know if having or not having male genitalia could be effective on one’s body movement at the crucial moments, but just as an example, you can really work yourself out of getting into sexual differences for some sports.

  331. speedofsound says

    There is a common pattern in human interaction, a field which I don’t really study or care about too much, where A will attempt to share an idea, concern, or set of questions. B will jump right down his throat about an outer general issue in such a way as to accuse A of having evil motives. B is moving to a meta-discussion or an old argument. A is taken aback and put off balance. The discussion that could have been is now a fight.

    What is this called socio-people?

  332. Paul Money says

    Weight lifting is already sub-divided into classes by weight. it is also divided by sex as empirical evidence clearly shows that the men can lift more than women of the same weight.
    I don’t really care how trans women fit into sports and I would imagine that they themselves don’t see this as being the greatest problem that they face. My point was to ask why we should continue to try and slot people into one of two genders, when that has been the problem that is being addressed by gender change? Many countries already recognise the right to be non-binary, why not have four or five or indeed any number of genders?
    Sex will always be male or female, apart from the statistically minute number of intersex people, but gender doesn’t have to be.

  333. speedofsound says

    For logic people it sounds like ad hominem. Motives and general character of A are now the Big Burning Issue. I get this all of the time with my sons. They know of my conservative background and simply will not entertain certain discussions. But on the remarkable instances when they do not do that we both change our minds a little. I usually change mine a lot. We just had an actual productive discussion about the Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska controversy. I ended up 180 on the issue. They ended up acknowledging some of my fears and concerns. My fears and concerns disappeared. Mutual respect elevated.

    Fucking amazing how calm and considerate conversations compare to what I will label an RRACA shitstorm.

  334. Murat says

    @Paul Money
    I’m not sure what you propose (creating gender divisions) would be less problematic overall than having only sex divisions.
    Because biological sex is the determining factor when categorizing people into large groups with regards to their physical capacity. Gender on the other hand, isn’t. Your gender is irrelevant to your overall physical strength.

  335. Murat says

    @speedofsound
    I don’t know if you are familiar with Astérix.
    The village fights, seen at least twice in every adventure, are quite typical of what you describe.
    You may find online some full pages in English, depicting how the fish seller addresses some random thing said by the old guy, and how the village ends up providing the reader with that typical, all-involved, no-holds-barred scene.

  336. jabbly says

    @speedofsound #351

    I’m not sure if there’s a technical name for it but you see it quite a lot online which seems to be rooted in the idea of something is so obvious to them so if someone disagrees then it can’t be for the reason that they just don’t share the same opinion. It also helps as it means you don’t have to defend/justify why you hold a position.

  337. Paul Money says

    @ Murat
    Your gender may indeed be irrelevant to your strength but your sex is not. Trans-women do not change their sex, only their gender, unless I am very much mistaken!

  338. says

    Murat, the goal of the people who initially started pushing this topic as a broad public issue, who present it with carefully-selected details intended to project an image consistent with their framing, is in order to exploit the people with the sort of view you mentioned. They get people to speak against a perceived unfair system without being aware of the actual states of different sports, what studies have been done regarding trans inclusion, what policies have been devised and put in place, how effective those policies have been at ensuring that competition within various sports is not skewed by the inclusion of trans people, etc.
     
    That people who aren’t aware of any of that simply make an unexamined conclusion based on what is ‘obvious’ is the point of people presenting the issue as they do. These people who fail to examine the issue might get criticized for being anti-trans, whether they are anti-trans or whether they are simply ignorant and quick to weigh in despite their ignorance. But as long as they’ve been convinced to argue against trans inclusion, then the people pushing this issue have been at least somewhat successful.
     
    The people pushing this issue into prominence in the general public, were they actually concerned with sports fairness, should be working with sporting associations to address any actual problems they might identify resulting from some implementation of inclusion. But simply doing that, for those primarily interested in attacking general support for trans people, would be a complete waste of an issue they could use to attack trans support instead.
     
    As far as not being considered anti-trans while bringing up issues with trans inclusion in sports in some way, there will always be people who will at the very least suspect someone’s motivations, particularly if someone happens to have an issue that some disingenuous group has adopted as a cover issue at the moment. It would be like taking up integrity in games journalism as something you wanted to campaign for while Gamergate was latched onto it.

  339. Murat says

    @Jared

    These people who fail to examine the issue might get criticized for being anti-trans, whether they are anti-trans or whether they are simply ignorant and quick to weigh in despite their ignorance.

    It’s interesting that you do not even mention the possibility of trans inclusion into women’s categories may actually present an extra layer of unfairness to the competition, while the inclusion of trans people better into the world of sports might require several different formulas than just the one being applied today.
    To me, this sounds like first concluding that trans women should compete against cis women, because this is how they should be included, and then doing / presenting the research to support that plan.
    What if the problem is inevitably laid our as:
    Premise 1) Trans people should be included into the world of sports better
    Premise 2) Trans women competing agains cis women does in the example of certain sports bring with an extra layer of unfairness to the field.
    Will we simply “redact” the 2nd premise, without trying to address the challenge?

  340. indianajones says

    I take your point about not being too quick too jump down a throat speedofsound, i really do. But this can also be used against good faith actors by bad faith ones. And when I see a whole bunch of non-trans people suddenly become big fans of fairness in sport while simultaneously ultra violence at my post 3 is happening? I get a LOT sus.

    For a not quite exact example of what I am talking about, but pretty bloody close:

    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4325810/Writers.pdf

    This leaked style guide from those wacky funsters at the Daily Stormer is instructive in this regard. In particular, page 10 under the heading ‘Lulz’

    ‘The unindoctrinated should not be able to tell if we are joking or not.’

    because ellipsis ellipsis ellipsis

    ‘This is obviously a ploy and I actually do want to gas kikes’

    And anti trans shit-bags are definitely analogous here. Even if you are engaging in good faith about sports fairness’the shit-bags are cheering you on. So, maybe, speedofsound, I was a little quick off the mark. Maybe. But I haven’t seen too many of our newly minted sports fanatics on here acknowledge even the existence of the potential problems I am trying to highlight.

    Jared, you are my spirit animal.

  341. Paul Money says

    from Murat, ” the inclusion of trans people better into the world of sports might require several different formulas than just the one being applied today.”
    Quite.
    from Jared “As far as not being considered anti-trans while bringing up issues with trans inclusion in sports in some way, there will always be people who will at the very least suspect someone’s motivations, particularly if someone happens to have an issue that some disingenuous group has adopted as a cover issue at the moment.”
    I take this opaque and over long sentence to mean that discussion of any issue affecting trans people will give succour to and provide a smoke screen for anti-trans groups. Well hard lines! There are numerous other issues that it is already hard to discuss without being accused of exactly this, often by people who are actually (in my view) well intentioned. We do trans people no service if their issues are not to be discussed in public.
    As far as free speech is concerned, there is a fascism of the left too and it isn’t pretty.

  342. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @indy and Jared
    I agree that the “fairness in sports” issue is definitely being used as a Trojan horse by anti-trans bigots who want to get their bigotry into the discussion through tangential issues where there is some legitimate disagreement/debate. I definitively don’t think RR or a large majority of his supporters and patrons are in on this, but it does seem like he was taken for a ride. To me, this is comparable to how the Tea Party used “fiscal responsibility” as a Trojan horse to funnel wealth from the poor to the rich, which is an otherwise hilariously unpopular policy. In that situation, a few well meaning and principles libertarians were caught in up the mess (Amash) because they believed the Tea Party people were being honest instead of just co-opting the language to seem more reasonable (not that I think right wing libertarianism is terribly reasonable).

  343. Paul Money says

    @ AtheistNotObjective
    Any evidence for that extraordinarily offensive assertion that ” anti-trans bigots … want to get their bigotry into the discussion”? Should be fairly easy to identify them and name them eh?

  344. Murat says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic
    The Trojan Horse was built for the specific purpose to infiltrate into Troy.
    When you use it as an analogy of people talking about one issue relating to several other, more encompassing issues, it sounds like you are suggesting the issue in question was “made up” for that specific purpose.
    I don’t think the issue of fairness in sports qualifies as such.
    It’s visible and debateble, even if not too crucial.

  345. Murat says

    @Paul Money
    I agree. No need to be paranoid.
    This same argument, one issue being brought up with the secret and sinister agenda to perform some kind of bigotry, is used also for many other topics, by other sensitive groups. For example, circumcision. Aron Ra had made a video about that, talking to some Danish lady, an MD if I recall correctly. As she also had mentioned, the main concern for people who oppose that medical operation is bodily autonomy.
    But obsessed families from many muslim communities believe the actual agenda to perform some kind of anti-muslim bigotry. In their eyes, having your baby boy’s wee wee decaptioned is among the most parental rights you could imagine. And one trying to prevent it could not be doing that out of anything other than some grand scheme to disturb muslims. They plan to alienate kids from their families by letting them grow up with intact penises (or, penii?), to have parents jailed for having the operation made elsewhere, etc.
    Can that be true? Can some anti-muslim bigots be exploiting the issue of circumcision for that conspiracy?
    Of course, why not. But I’d like to see supporting evidence before ruling that the secret agenda is exactly that and not a simple concern for individual and public health based on the concept of bodily autonomy.
    With the example in hand, I’d like to see on what other “chances” (than the fairness in sports) certain people have previously made negative comments about the trans population.

  346. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Paul #364
    I’m not accusing anybody on here of being anti-trans, so you can put your pitchforks and torches away. The people I’m referring to are the people who believe that “trans people are mentally ill” so “why should we indulge their delusions” and “if we let them in bathrooms they’re gonna rape us!” This type of people are more than happy to oppose trans participation in sports because of “fairness” when the real reason is that they just hate trans people. They’re not interested in looking at the science or the consequences that existing policies have. All you need to do is look in the comment sections of Fox News articles related to this issue to see evidence of this. Whether or not they’re right about trans women competing with cis women being unfair doesn’t excuse their motivations.
    @Murat #365
    I should have added some qualifications to this analogy. I don’t think that there’s a huge organized conspiracy to attack trans people through athletics like there is for “fiscal responsibility” and lowering taxes without lowering spending, “secular biblical literacy” classes and violating the establishment clause or the actual Trojan horse. I should have just called it “providing cover” or something like that instead of invoking the Trojan horse. That’s poor communication on my part.

  347. Murat says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic
    Okay, fair enough.
    But I have a different “hypothesis”, if you will:
    As one who is not particularly following trans issues, most (more than half) of what I happen to come across is about sports. So, this makes me think: Are there not widespread discussions to whether trans people should not teach at primary schools (South Park!), give concerts, be postmen, nurses, pilots, etc?
    I don’t recall such stuff making the headlines. Are there laws effectively targeting trans people in developed countries? I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some really discriminatory thing going on in Alabama, but I just don’t happen to come across these. Maybe for a lay guy like me, sports is the only topic under which to raise awareness on the issue. So, are we sure that such a discussion, regardless of people thinking there is or isn’t an issue of fairness involved, are overall “bad publicity” or something to that effect?
    Maybe, just maybe, the inclusion of trans people into their desired / identified category of sex is problematic only when it comes to sports, and this is only because it’t the sole field where biological traits still matter, and maybe the very existence of this ongoing discussion is a sign and registration of the fact that trans people should ideally have no justified problem in any other walk in life.
    Maybe the glass is more than half full, no?

  348. buddyward says

    @Jared

    As far as the GPS/map example goes, it looks like your confusion is a result of thinking that all my examples were intended to support trusting the reports from others. The plants example was intended to be an example of others being reliable, but the GPS/map example was actually the opposite. I was just briefly touching on the subject of weighting information in general, and some of the considerations involved, with simple examples of how different sources of information can break down in reliability relative to each other in certain situations.

    No, that is not what I am thinking. You are arguing two points:

    1. There are cases where arguments from popularity is justified.
    2. Argument from authority is not justified.

    There are cases where arguments from popularity is justified.

    The example you used is a person in an unfamiliar place looking to find out which plants are edible. Your argument is the more people that tells you a certain plant is edible the more accurate the information is. This is fallacious because the accuracy of information does not increase with the number of people that believes in it. What increases is your confidence that the information may be accurate not the accuracy itself.

    Argument from authority is not justified.

    I generally agree with this but there have always been a division on when this is justified and when it is not. For the sake of brevity I will not get into the details of that.

    Moving on to your example of GPS and maps. I am not arguing that these are always accurate and therefore we should always trust them. I myself have a GPS in which the map data is a few years old and at times no longer accurate due to the changes in the road ways. First off, I do not consider GPS and maps to be authorities. They are tools no different than a hammer that I will use to drive nails until the time it can no longer drive nails. When that time comes does it mean that a hammer is not a reliable tool to drive nails? Of course not. The same goes with GPS and maps, we use them until the time comes where they fail. There are no arguments to be made there.

    The problem with the example you made, and I admit that this could also be a failure in my part, is that I do not see how this example can be considered logical at all. I do not see the logic on following a map or a GPS to your destination if you have successfully navigated to that destination multiple times.

    What I think is even more important is the claim you made that people trust their sparse personal anecdote over large sets of data from rigorous studies. I will tend to agree with this given the fact that one’s personal anecdotal data is verifiable and testable. Once this is done then it can be included in the large set of data and is not considered as anecdotal data but rather objective data. The objection with anecdotal evidence is in the instance where the data cannot be verified and tested but is asserted to be true by the observer.

  349. Murat says

    The keyword was “widespread”.
    See, I didn’t come across them but I did come across the sports thing.

  350. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Murat #368
    You seem to have forgotten the whole “bathroom bill” fiasco, which fit my original Trojan horse analogy much better than this sports discussion. Basically, the Republican party tried to drum up fear about allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice by saying the law could be exploited by pedos and rapists despite the fact that there was zero evidence that this was the case. John Oliver did a segment on this (and other trans rights issues) 4 years ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmoAX9f6MOc). It’s worth a watch even though it’s a bit outdated.

  351. Murat says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic
    You’re right. That was a widespread topic as well.
    And it directly targeted the very gender identifications of trans people, pointing at them as usual suspects of some kind.
    I still believe the issue about fairness in sports to be genuine and different in nature, but okay, I acknowledge that people who have not gotten what they wanted by use of bathrooms may well be helping boil this up as a means of a concealed agenda.

  352. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @Murat #373

    I still believe the issue about fairness in sports to be genuine and different in nature

    I don’t dispute that there’s legitimate discussion to be had on this issue that isn’t just veiled bigotry.

  353. t90bb says

    If a trans woman weight lifter has a complete mystical experience while washing smelly dishes can she actually even know anything?? or is she only practicing faith??

  354. AtheistNotAgnostic says

    @t90bb #378
    You’ll have to read Watts and McKenna plus watch 10+ hrs of Bill Richards and Roland Griffiths lectures to begin to understand my super sophisticated, totally-not-just-panentheism-with-flowery-language conception of God.

  355. says

    Murat, I have considered the possibility that there may be some people who do not have any anti-trans sentiments, but might have had concerns about trans inclusion in sports that are not simple ignorance. Anyone matching that description would not be one of the ones trying to use this as a means to attack trans support, however, which is what I have been posting about in this regard. I have no problem with any such person working with sporting associations to identify any actual problems and how to best address them.
     
    Unfortunately for any such people who might happen to be speaking about the topic in most public discussion spaces, once this issue was adopted by groups attacking trans support, their voices would have quickly become a tiny minority overwhelmed by a flood of voices from those speaking from ignorance or malice. That doesn’t make it impossible for them to hold a real discussion on the topic, but it definitely makes it a lot harder and less likely.
     
    Paul Money, I was saying that you cannot avoid being labeled as anti-trans by at least some people, and a bit of why that happens, which is that it can be hard to distinguish who is honest about their position. I was not pointing that out because I support shutting down discussions because some people are dishonest, but simply to say it is something you’ll have to deal with in the course of discussing topics that are being used for political attacks. You’ll have to be aware of that, and be prepared to try to communicate your points through that additional difficulty, even though it will hinder discussions.
     
    buddyward, I am saying that observing that other people believe something is information that can adjust our estimates of the likelihood that thing is true. If you have little to no experience with something yourself, then the information you have about it comes from other people. If you already have more direct information before you encounter what other people believe, or you later get more direct information, then the beliefs of other people will be largely irrelevant in terms of adjusting what you believe about it, whether the other people’s beliefs are accurate or not.
     
    However, the accuracy of their beliefs compared to what you independently know about something is relevant for estimating their personal reliability, or the average reliability of others, at least regarding certain subjects. Regarding questioning additional people, it’s not that more people believing something would make it true, but that by asking more people, you’re able to reduce the chances that you’ve happened to ask only people that are unusually poor information sources.
     
    As far as GPS/maps go, I was not suggesting that someone would start using them to navigate when they didn’t need to. I was saying that you wouldn’t adjust your understanding on how to get to your home if you happened to encounter information from other sources contradicting your previous information. If it helps, consider a situation where your car is being repaired and a friend offers to drive you home, and they start using their GPS. Noticing the discrepency between the actual path to your home and what the GPS is telling them, you then inform them that the GPS seems to be giving them wrong directions, rather than you reconsidering where your house is.
     
    The point of bringing up anecdotal evidence being trusted over studies was to highlight that although, as in the GPS example, you would be making a mistake to reconsider the directions to your home, there are times where you should reconsider things you have more direct information about based on indirect reports from others. It may be that your confidence in something you consider to be a repeatedly-confirmed solid idea is really just the result of a lot of confirmation bias, and you should be prepared to investigate that when you see large, rigorous studies with results contrary to your experiences.
     
    Basically, an important part of ensuring the accuracy of your beliefs is learning how to weight different observations, how to correlate the observations with each other, and to what extent various heuristics function appropriately.

  356. says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic Not necessarily. You see, there is nothing that you know about God that is God. There is no idea of God that you can entertain that is God. There is no possible thought that you can have about God that is God. It makes no difference what your idea may be or what your concept may be, it remains an idea or a concept, and an idea or a concept is not God. And so every atheist must eventually realize that he has to rise above all his concepts of God before he can have an experience of God.

  357. buddyward says

    @jared 380

    I am saying that observing that other people believe something is information that can adjust our estimates of the likelihood that thing is true. If you have little to no experience with something yourself, then the information you have about it comes from other people.

    How about this scenario, lets say you were transported into the 1400’s in the middle of Mexico during the height of the Aztec empire. Not having any knowledge of agriculture you asked a person what is the best way to ensure a bountiful harvest and that person says, “We sacrifice a captured warrior to the gods.”. You asked another person the same question and that person says the same thing, then another, and another until you have most of the population saying the same thing, “Sacrifice a captured warrior to the gods.”. What is the likelihood that the information that you received is accurate?

    As far as GPS/maps go, I was not suggesting that someone would start using them to navigate when they didn’t need to. I was saying that you wouldn’t adjust your understanding on how to get to your home if you happened to encounter information from other sources contradicting your previous information. If it helps, consider a situation where your car is being repaired and a friend offers to drive you home, and they start using their GPS. Noticing the discrepency between the actual path to your home and what the GPS is telling them, you then inform them that the GPS seems to be giving them wrong directions, rather than you reconsidering where your house is.

    The point of bringing up anecdotal evidence being trusted over studies was to highlight that although, as in the GPS example, you would be making a mistake to reconsider the directions to your home, there are times where you should reconsider things you have more direct information about based on indirect reports from others. It may be that your confidence in something you consider to be a repeatedly-confirmed solid idea is really just the result of a lot of confirmation bias, and you should be prepared to investigate that when you see large, rigorous studies with results contrary to your experiences.

    The problem with your example is that the path to your house is not anecdotal data.

  358. buddyward says

    @t90bb and @AtheistNotAgnostic

    Damn it guys, look at what you did. This is worst than Bloody Mary.

  359. t90bb says

    I assume hes back lol….my my my how I love to pull the strings on my invisible puppet….its too easy lololol…..

  360. jabbly says

    @AtheistNotAgnostic

    You also need to be a level 3 woo master which always you get to attain the complete mystical state of no one knowing what anyone else is talking about but everybody is in agreement.

  361. Murat says

    I’m kind of lost on the GPS thing.
    Not sure what the analogy was really about, nor on what part of it helps serve which previous claim.
    *

    As far as GPS/maps go, I was not suggesting that someone would start using them to navigate when they didn’t need to. I was saying that you wouldn’t adjust your understanding on how to get to your home if you happened to encounter information from other sources contradicting your previous information. If it helps, consider a situation where your car is being repaired and a friend offers to drive you home, and they start using their GPS. Noticing the discrepency between the actual path to your home and what the GPS is telling them, you then inform them that the GPS seems to be giving them wrong directions, rather than you reconsidering where your house is.

    *
    If the train of thought departed from that topic about trans people and sports, is our knowledge of where our home is not similar to what we know about biological sex, hence not needing to refer to any specific data contradicting with it just because one problem in hand requires that we change in retrospect all the accumulated knowledge so as to fit one group into society in the exact way that they manifest is proper?

  362. says

    buddyward, that hypothetical could be taken in more than one way. One is that you don’t have information that is specific to agriculture, and another is if you had no general information which would be relevant for anything, including agriculture. If you’re merely lacking agriculture-specific information, then you likely already know enough about reality to understand that a ‘sacrifice’ like that is not going to have any correlation to crop growth or any number of other things that the people you’re asking might connect such an activity to. The question is trivial if you interpret it like that.
     
    However, if you’re lacking the knowledge that would tell you whether or not human sacrifice would in some way affect things like crop growth, that’s a much more profound level of ignorance. The thing in that case is that you don’t start out being able to evaluate the claim as incorrect based on existing knowledge. To you, it would be no different than if they told you that you need to put a bunch of dirt around a seed for some reason, or that if you want to get to the guy selling farming tools, you need to turn left after passing the sacrificial platform store. Do you really turn left, or do you turn right? Why are you putting all this dirt around this little seed thing, anyway?
     
    The accuracy of the information they are giving you is unaffected by your state of knowledge. It’s either accurate or it’s not. But what do you do if your state of knowledge means that them telling you that your crops need water and soil to grow sounds the same to you as them telling you that your crops need human sacrifice? How do you determine what actually affects your crop growth? Do you run a bunch of sample fields of crops where on one you plant the seeds in soil and perform human sacrifice, but don’t water anything, where in another field you water the seeds and perform human sacrifice and plant the seeds in soil, but carefully block out sunlight, and so on? Can you even get enough land to test everything you might want to test?
     
    So, what do you do in that situation, where your only information on whether or not your crops really need human sacrifice or sunlight are coming from reports of other people? Until you get actual experience over time that demonstrates the crops you planted where they’re in shadows most of the day don’t do as well as the ones that get more sunlight, or that a field where you didn’t perform human sacrifice seems to do no better or worse than fields where you do, you don’t have any more reason to doubt one claim over the other.
     
    Now, as you start getting more experience about how the world works in general, and that when you’re careful to avoid the effects of something like confirmation bias, then you don’t seem to find any correlation between human sacrifice and crops, or human sacrifice and diseases being cured, or monetary sacrifice to priests and crops, or animal sacrifice and crops and the like, then you might begin to realize that however the world works, it doesn’t seem that such sacrifices have the sorts of effects that other people are claiming they do. Based on your experience, the next time someone suggests you should try sacrificing some of your crops in order to prevent flooding, your general understanding of the world should be enough to tell you that you shouldn’t expect it to have an effect and that it’s not something that will pay off.
     
    With the GPS example, that was being contrasted with a situation where someone is trusting anecdotal evidence over a study. I was pointing out trusting your own experience over what others report works out in some situations, but does not work out in other situations.
     
    Murat, the GPS example was part of me addressing another topic that had come up earlier in the thread, about evaluating the accuracy of information that you get from other people, and why you get people making things like the argument from popularity or the argument from authority. Basically, people make such arguments because people often are good sources of information, but many people don’t have a good grasp on when they should rely on information from others and when they should not.
     
    In regards to your question: Unless your knowledge of sex happens to includes the results of transitioning and continuous hormone therapies, then it’s going to be woefully inadequate for figuring out how to handle trans inclusion in sports. Similar to how you might have a lifetime of experience with breathing air, but if you’re planning on doing some deep sea diving, your experience will be woefully inadequate for determining what you need to do for the dive.

  363. buddyward says

    @Jared

    that hypothetical could be taken in more than one way. One is that you don’t have information that is specific to agriculture, and another is if you had no general information which would be relevant for anything, including agriculture. If you’re merely lacking agriculture-specific information, then you likely already know enough about reality to understand that a ‘sacrifice’ like that is not going to have any correlation to crop growth or any number of other things that the people you’re asking might connect such an activity to. The question is trivial if you interpret it like that.

    However, if you’re lacking the knowledge that would tell you whether or not human sacrifice would in some way affect things like crop growth, that’s a much more profound level of ignorance.

    In both examples both individuals have the same level of ignorance. Both are dependent upon the locals to provide them with the information that they are looking for. You are now trying to change my example by adding information I purposefully did not add to demonstrate the flaw in your example.

    What if I were to change your example such that the person may not be familiar with his surroundings but knows enough about plants to figure out which are harmful and which ones are not by examining and testing the plants? This would be the same as a person who has enough knowledge to figure out that human sacrifice is not a factor in a bountiful harvest.

    So, what do you do in that situation, where your only information on whether or not your crops really need human sacrifice or sunlight are coming from reports of other people? Until you get actual experience over time that demonstrates the crops you planted where they’re in shadows most of the day don’t do as well as the ones that get more sunlight, or that a field where you didn’t perform human sacrifice seems to do no better or worse than fields where you do, you don’t have any more reason to doubt one claim over the other.

    So if there are bountiful crops for the next few harvest, it would therefore mean that human sacrifice is indeed the cause of the good harvest. That is actual experience over time.

    With the GPS example, that was being contrasted with a situation where someone is trusting anecdotal evidence over a study. I was pointing out trusting your own experience over what others report works out in some situations, but does not work out in other situations.

    Again, the path to your house is not anecdotal data.

  364. Murat says

    @buddyward

    So if there are bountiful crops for the next few harvest, it would therefore mean that human sacrifice is indeed the cause of the good harvest. That is actual experience over time.

    Only in the light of the “fallacy of false cause”, tho…

  365. buddyward says

    @Murat

    Only in the light of the “fallacy of false cause”, tho…

    Yes, I agree it is a fallacious argument. That was the point I am trying to make.

  366. says

    buddyward, the two different ways to interpret the hypothetical that I listed do correspond to vastly different levels of ignorance. The first is domain-specific ignorance that would be expected in most people. The second requires someone to be broadly ignorant of how our universe functions in general. I considered the second interpetation to be the one that covered what seem to be your questions on the topic.
     
    In any case, I addressed both of the interpretations I listed. I addressed both in order to make clear that domain-specific ignorance and domain-general ignorance will have very different outcomes in your hypothetical, as having domain-general knowledge means you already have the information needed to judge what the people are telling you, and I wanted to be clear why I was spending more time on a slightly different scenario that I thought better reflected your underlying question.
     
    In the first interpretation, I said that your domain-specific ignorance would be unlikely to lead you to wonder if it just so happened that human sacrifice was somehow correlated with favors from gods when it came to crops, unlike anything else. To wonder that would be like knowing that the chemical bonds holding your cells together work in your house, and several of your neighbors’ houses, but questioning whether or not that also applies to the home of a neighbor you haven’t visited yet. Your general understanding of the universe provides plenty of information relevant to numerous things you’ve never specifically looked into.
     
    The second interpretation was one where you are receiving information from others that you do not already have relevant understanding about, and thus cannot evaluate the accuracy of their information by comparing it to your prior information. Is the question you were considering relevant in setting up your scenario not about being in a situation where you are getting information from others that you cannot yourself evaluate at the time, and are trying to figure out if their information is accurate? In that situation, my answer was that until you get more-direct information from your own observations, or in some situations a general ability to evaluate the people providing information, that you can’t evaluate their accuracy yourself.
     
    I’m not sure what you think was a flaw in the example of people being able to get accurate information from others, such as asking people what plants were safe to eat, other than that you would rather use other methods instead of trusting the accuracy of other people. Preferably, you’d use a variety of methods that cross-check each other, but the example is a simple one where people are likely going to be more accurate than not regarding what they eat, and that’s all it needed to be.
     
    If you followed all the advice from the people in your hypothetical and got a bountiful harvest, it would tell you that everything you did was sufficient for a bountiful harvest in those conditions. The human sacrifice would basically be like cargo cult programmers including irrelevant code because they don’t know better, just that it’s always worked for them. A person doing that could consider this confirmation of the effectiveness of human sacrifice, and build up considerable unwarranted confidence in it due to confirmation bias.
     
    As for ways to handle this, one is that you can take steps to verify the effectiveness of the different procedures you are following, such as performing rigorous scientific studies, and this will help identify what is actually contributing to your harvests, and what you can do to improve your harvests or to make them more efficient by eliminating unproductive elements like the human sacrifice. You cannot avoid getting inaccurate information that isn’t easily identified, whether from the reports of others or from your own more-direct information. You can only be aware that it will happen, and take steps to minimize the chances it will happen or to minimize the time that you will retain inaccurate beliefs.
     
    I’m also not sure why you would consider whether or not your experience with navigation is ‘anecdotal data’ to be relevant. The GPS example was a situation where you would trust your more-direct information over reports from others, and a person trusting some experiences they had over a rigorous study was an example where you should at least adjust your previous estimates about something, and mark it for thorough investigation. The contrast is about whether you should/shouldn’t trust your experience over the reports of others, not about any other facet of the examples, which aren’t relevant to communicating the concept.

  367. buddyward says

    @Jared #392

    Oh jeez a wall of text for something very simple.

    Does the large number of people believing in a proposition makes that the proposition is true?

    As for anecdotal evidence…

    You are proposing that there are times when anecdotal evidence is more reliable. This is fallacious. You keep citing that the path to your house is anecdotal data and this is false. Anecdotal evidence is dismissed because it cannot be verified. The path to your house can be verified and therefore not anecdotal evidence.

  368. says

    buddyward, unless you were to refer to something like the beliefs that people have about how many people believe something, which actually would be made true or false by the number of people believing it, then of course people believing something will not make it true. What I’ve been talking about is how observing that other people believe something provides you with information. In general, if something is true, then people are more likely to have observations that should lead them to believe that it is true. Based on those observations, people are more likely to believe that it is true. Someone seeing that other people believe something should cause a person to increase their estimation that the thing is true, if that person believes that the beliefs of others are positively correlated with reality.
     
    There are clearly cases where we expect the beliefs of others to be strongly correlated to reality, and cases where we expect that correlation to break down, for a variety of reasons, such as social pressure from beliefs being used as tribal shibboleths, misinformation campaigns, or simply a person having unusually low intelligence. As you become more experienced interacting with people, you should be able to better determine what to look for in order to judge how well their beliefs correlate with reality.
     
    Also, there actually are times when a person’s beliefs based on anecdotal evidence could be more accurate than even a large study, such as if the study had significant methodological problems. If someone in that situation was sufficiently surprised by the results of the study and read it and noticed those problems, them pointing out those problems would provide good reason for others to doubt the study.
     
    I’m not sure why you think that I’ve been citing the GPS example as being anecdotal, or even why you think that whether or not the GPS example, or any other example used in its place, would count as anecdotal evidence is in any way relevant for the point I was making. The point was simply that there are a variety of situations where in some cases, you would do best to trust more-direct evidence based on your experiences, and in other cases, you would be better off trusting the reports of others.

  369. buddyward says

    In general, if something is true, then people are more likely to have observations that should lead them to believe that it is true.

    This is begging the question. You are already assuming that something is true and therefore the more people believing that it is true. The reality is that at the time of the observation the proposition is not yet determined to be true. You are arguing that because many people believe, therefore it is true.

    Also, there actually are times when a person’s beliefs based on anecdotal evidence could be more accurate than even a large study, such as if the study had significant methodological problems. If someone in that situation was sufficiently surprised by the results of the study and read it and noticed those problems, them pointing out those problems would provide good reason for others to doubt the study.

    You are clearly ignoring the actual definition of anecdotal evidence even after I have stated what it is.

    I’m not sure why you think that I’ve been citing the GPS example as being anecdotal,

    Because that is what you are stating. You stated that the path to your house is anecdotal and that it is more reliable.

    or even why you think that whether or not the GPS example, or any other example used in its place, would count as anecdotal evidence is in any way relevant for the point I was making.

    I am not saying that it counts as anecdotal evidence, you are the one that keeps stating that it is anecdotal evidence. I have repeatedly stated that the path to your house is NOT anecdotal evidence.

  370. Murat says

    Why would anecdotal evidence not be verified?
    “Anecdotal” refers to something being claimed, but not documented.
    If an old explorer claims to have visited the Cities of Gold after a month-long journey in South America as a child, has no proof whatsoever but some anecdotes, you can verify or disprove the route by re-creating the circumstances in the light of the narrations, all expenses paid, as sponsored by some reality TV.

  371. buddyward says

    Why would anecdotal evidence not be verified?
    “Anecdotal” refers to something being claimed, but not documented.
    If an old explorer claims to have visited the Cities of Gold after a month-long journey in South America as a child, has no proof whatsoever but some anecdotes, you can verify or disprove the route by re-creating the circumstances in the light of the narrations, all expenses paid, as sponsored by some reality TV.

    Anecdotal comes from anecdote meaning story. Anecdotal evidence is a story being used as evidence with no other support other than the story itself.

    If there is a way to prove or disprove the anecdote then it is not anecdotal evidence. It is a claim that can be investigated and verified and thus NOT anecdotal evidence.

    If an old explorer claims to have visited the Cities of Gold and does not provide any information on how to get there or how to verify that the city existed then that is anecdotal evidence. It is no different from a person claiming that god exist because of personal revelation but offers no way to be able to investigate that claim.

  372. says

    buddyward, that’s not begging the question, it’s just an illustration of the sort of chain of evidence people infer. We infer that if someone believes something, that they have had observations indicating that it is the case, and that if the observations indicate something is the case, that it is more likely to be the case. There is a chain of steps by which we can become aware of something based on the reports of other people.
     
    Of course, other people can lie, or have been deceived, or misinterpreted their observations. Those possibilities are things we can account for, and effective means of determining if any of those possibilities are occurring help us with evaluating the likely accuracy of reports we receive.
     
    I am not sure why you think I have been arguing that many people believing something would make it true. The reverse is how it works, that something being true would make it more likely that people believe it, if it being true tends to lead to observations confirming it. This inference is what people base confidence in the reports of others on. If there was no reliability in it at all, then people would have no reason to try to get information from other people, because you wouldn’t believe that the beliefs of others have any correlation with reality.
     
    If something isn’t true, people believing it is true won’t change that, regardless of how many people believe it to be true. Querying more people about something simply helps you to avoid a situation where you’ve happened to stumble upon someone who is a particularly poor source of information, and it can also highlight a need to investigate something in further detail if you get conflicting reports.
     
    I don’t know why you think I’ve stated that the path to a house is anecdotal. At no point have I made such a claim, nor could I find anything similar. Perhaps re-read my posts? However, I have said that it wouldn’t be relevant regardless, since my point isn’t dependent on it being an anecdote, so I don’t know why you’d be concerned with this.

  373. buddyward says

    @Jared

    We infer that if someone believes something, that they have had observations indicating that it is the case,

    People believe in the existence of a god or gods, this does not indicate they have observed god(s). The rest falls flat since this initial premise is already flawed.

    Of course, other people can lie, or have been deceived, or misinterpreted their observations. Those possibilities are things we can account for, and effective means of determining if any of those possibilities are occurring help us with evaluating the likely accuracy of reports we receive.

    How do you detemine that they are not lying, misinterpreting or being deceived when all you have are testimonies of people’s beliefs?

    If something isn’t true, people believing it is true won’t change that, regardless of how many people believe it to be true. Querying more people about something simply helps you to avoid a situation where you’ve happened to stumble upon someone who is a particularly poor source of information, and it can also highlight a need to investigate something in further detail if you get conflicting reports.

    You have just contradicted yourself there.

    I don’t know why you think I’ve stated that the path to a house is anecdotal. At no point have I made such a claim, nor could I find anything similar.

    Here are your exact words:

    With the GPS example, that was being contrasted with a situation where someone is trusting anecdotal evidence over a study.

  374. John Iacoletti says

    Ok, I’ve reached my limit with complaints about Kafei. He has been blocked.

    Note that I have left the show and the ACA, and therefore the blog as well. If the new board decides that it wants to continue the blog and/or subject it to any form of moderation that will be up to them. You can reach the board president at president@atheist-community.org. The john@atheist-community.org address will soon no longer exist. Thanks to everyone for your participation. I’ve enjoyed reading your feedback and hope to see you in some capacity in the future.

    John

    [edit: I should only speak for myself]

  375. buddyward says

    @John

    How may we be able to find the three of you? I do enjoy all of your comments and insights and would like to be able see and\or hear more in the future.

  376. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    John, I sent an email, and I’ll say it here too:

    I just want to apologize for the one confrontation that we’ve had, and I want to thank you for all of your hard work with the AXP broadcast, and any other work for good with the ACA that I don’t know about.

    I wish you the best in all of your future endeavors.

    PS:
    The same goes doubly for Jen and Tracie. The AXP without Tracie will never be the same.

  377. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    PPS:
    Yay. The semi-troll has been shown the door. Excellent.
    Thank you so much John.
    (For full openness, I think I sent at most 2 emails, and possibly just 1, regarding Kafei. Looks like someone else has been spamming the AXP email.)

  378. RationalismRules says

    Thank you John. Thank you Tracie. Thank you Jen.
    I have learned from all of you. You will be missed.

    not-Stephen

  379. says

    buddyward, people have all sorts of inaccurate beliefs, many wildly so. There is an enormous level of variance in the quality of information from different people. If, at a specific point in time, your only information regarding something was a report from someone, you would not be able to determine the accuracy of it until you got further information. In reality, you are basically never in that situation. You have your entire lifetime of experience to draw upon.
     
    Your domain-general and domain-specific knowledge will tell you quite a bit about how the universe functions. You begin to learn things like how light, heat, movement, and cause-and-effect work, you learn how to use forks and sinks and shoes, and you also learn how to evaluate information you receive from people.
     
    You learn that some people are good sources of information and others are bad. You notice behavioral traits that correlate with the quality of information a person is likely to give. You recognize topics that most people are accurate sources of information on and topics that most people are inaccurate on. You also notice that say, certain behavioral traits might correspond to increased accuracy on certain topics, or the converse.
     
    Someone might make claims about events that don’t make sense based on your understanding of the world. A person claims that they saw something happen through a door, but also claims the door was closed(and had no window or peephole or whatever) when they saw it. You didn’t have to be there to notice a problem with the story, because you already have an understanding of the world, and their story isn’t congruent with your understanding of the world, so you’re going to want some further explaining.
     
    Basically, you learn when to trust people, and how much, how to handle conflicting reports, and so on. That’s the point I’ve been discussing. People can be good sources of information, but you need to learn when a source of information is good, and when you should spend the effort to investigate something yourself, or which competing report from others to trust, or when to doubt that you’re currently accurate based on reports from others, if your goal is to maximize being accurate.
     
    I can’t tell what you think is a contradiction where you said there was one.
     
    With the GPS example, I said that the example of not trusting the GPS was being contrasted with an example of a person trusting anecdotes over a study. So you have two separate examples, the first one about prior navigation/a GPS, and the second one about anecdotes/a study.
     
    There were two relevant dimensions of the examples provided. One is that the prior navigation in the first example and the anecdotes in the second example were both more-direct information, while the GPS in the first example and the study in the second example were both more-indirect information. The other is that in the first example, you should trust your more-direct information, and in the second example you should trust the more-indirect.
     
    So you’ve got the more-direct/more-indirect dimension, and also the trust-more/trust-less dimension. This was what the contrast was about, and it was meant to illustrate that while more-direct information can make the reports of others irrelevant, that the heuristic of trusting your more-direct information can break down.

  380. Honey Tone says

    John @ #400

    To Tracie, Jen and John: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your contributions have been invaluable. You will be missed.

    Success and happiness to you all.

  381. says

    John Iacoletti, thanks to you, Jen, and Tracie, for everything you’ve done.
     
    It’s really unfortunate that the anti-trans campaigners have been so successful in baiting people and causing splits like this. Is there any further information on what went into this?

  382. says

    Ah, I got a little more context from what I’ve read that CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain posted. Even just skimming over it… really unfortunate.

  383. paxoll says

    @Jared
    I don’t think I have seen any anti-trans campaigners on TAE or ACA forums. There were a few obtuse individuals on this blog that felt that using gender pronouns to refer to biological sex was a reasonable colloquial use of the words, but this regularly repeated hyperbole I have seen about people denying trans right to exist, or wanting to take away their basic human rights. I haven’t seen that on any of these forums. I know they exist, and I know that they use these arguments to bolster their hate speech on other forums, and MAYBE some of the obtuse individuals putting forth the arguments on these forums are doing so maliciously with motivations that are hateful and bigoted. But you have to deal with the comments and arguments that are presented, not imagined or poorly inferred.
     
    I am very sad to see Tracie, Jen, and Jon go. They have all given me very good ways to explain logical concepts to people. It is incredibly disappointing that they feel that they no longer want to contribute to this community.

  384. t90bb says

    Holy fuck its a sad night here. I am absolutely stunned. John, we love you man. I am sure there was much thought put into this. I wish you the best. Maybe there will be a meeting of the minds and healing will occur one day. I will miss you guys so much! You have impacted my life and I appreciate it deeply!

  385. anti religion says

    I noticed that John did edit the part about Tracie and Jen also leaving the show and the ACA, so does it mean that they are staying, or are they leaving?

  386. jabbly says

    @Jared #408

    There’s comments in there that make it abundantly clear how many of the commentators know laughable little about sports and how they are structured. Maybe if they had sat back and tried to listen it would have helped, but nope you have to listen to, and agree, with what I say but I can just dismiss anything you say as unimportant. Sounds reasonable.

  387. Rexleeoz says

    It is a sad day that one of the great atheist causes has had it guts cut out over a non-atheist issue.
    I am afraid to speak out on anything these days, as no doubt it will oppose someone’s point of view and I will be labelled a xxx-phones and subsequently shunned.
    I guess the theists have the right to label us atheist theist-phones and shun us.

    I hope that the ACA re-groups in the trenches and we see the trusty old soldiers line Jen, Tracie, John and any of the others who feel like quitting before it is all done!
    Atheism needs you!

  388. says

    paxoll, I am referring to the people who realized that they could take trans inclusion in sports and deceptively frame it without benefit of the full details, as harmful to ‘real women’, and then push that in the general public sphere. They know that upon hearing about it, it would be widely spread by people who are also anti-trans themselves and eager for anything they feel would help attack support for trans people in general, as well as by people who are ignorant of the details and naively apply their intuition to come to a position without research, not realizing just how deceptive the framing of the issue was.
     
    Those people are the campaigners I was referring to. They push the issue, and even people who might be somewhat supportive of trans people are baited into taking it up without knowing what’s actually the case in regards to trans inclusion in sports, and they spread the bait further. Eventually, it gets to someone like Rationality Rules, and they make a video like his, and get criticized for it. Things usually go downhill from there.
     
    This sort of thing often leads to problems between people who support a cause(in this case, trans support) due to principled conviction, or the defense of themselves or loved ones, and the sort of tepid supporter who sided with them due to common enemies. The end result can sometimes be shifts of sizable groups, sometimes into the arms of previous opponents. When instigated by the previous opponents, this is a significant success for them.

  389. jabbly says

    @Jared #416

    You keep framing it is ignorance but that plays both ways. Why not try discussing the issues raised instead of just hand waving them away as unfortunately seems to have been done in quite a few cases. The science is on our side and when it isn’t who cares anyway?

  390. Murat says

    The trans issue produces amazingly disproportionate results on the scene of rational inquiry.
    We “owe” both the shining of Jordan Peterson and the shattering of the core AXP team on its domino effects.
    Let’s see if we will soon have different platforms to engage with some of our favorites.

  391. John David Balla says

    There’s another secular group I belong to that went through its own controversy that resuled in the community splitting in two factions. Like this one, the problem started by the board/leadership not doing a good job of communicating what turned out to be a contentious matter. Lots of angry people on both sides. People quitting and worse (just like what happened with the ACA).

    But from there, there was a different response.

    The executive team, prompted by more mature remarks, decided to open up a platform so that all grievances could be heard, not just the one that caused the recent controversy. Weekly online forums were held which quickly shifted from yelling and complaining to making suggestions and offering up solutions that could not only address the controversy but put the organization on more firm ground to anticipate and deal with future issues proactively so that there would be a clear resolution path as well as clarity about what (and what not) the organization stands for. These online discussions went on for about a month until everyone felt like ample time was provided for them to be heard.

    As for the ACA, much of its actions, as well as the personal positions by some of its key members, are shrouded in mystery. Aside from Matt, no one has attempted to explain what happened and what remedial steps the ACA can take to make its position statements more clear so that its members (and prospective members) can assess whether these position statements align with personal principles and so forth.

    At this point, whatever is going on inside the ACA, the leadership seems content to keep the public ignorant, and even worse, guessing at what’s really going on. And since this has been going on for well over a month now, I can’t help but determine this relative silence is intentional which is a very bizarre way to interact with the public and its own members. As such, I have absolutely no idea where the ACA stands with respect to free speech other than recently the position has changed at least twice. Personally, censorship is a very big issue for me. At the very least, the ACA should make its position on speech, as well as the kind of rights it assigns marginalized groups, hell, I’ll even spell it out, i.e., equal rights versus special rights, known publically so that individuals can make informed decisions.

    Still looking for reasonable people to stand up and be counted.

    John

  392. buddyward says

    @Jared

    buddyward, people have all sorts of inaccurate beliefs, many wildly so. There is an enormous level of variance in the quality of information from different people. If, at a specific point in time, your only information regarding something was a report from someone, you would not be able to determine the accuracy of it until you got further information. In reality, you are basically never in that situation. You have your entire lifetime of experience to draw upon.

    Your domain-general and domain-specific knowledge will tell you quite a bit about how the universe functions. You begin to learn things like how light, heat, movement, and cause-and-effect work, you learn how to use forks and sinks and shoes, and you also learn how to evaluate information you receive from people.

    You learn that some people are good sources of information and others are bad. You notice behavioral traits that correlate with the quality of information a person is likely to give. You recognize topics that most people are accurate sources of information on and topics that most people are inaccurate on. You also notice that say, certain behavioral traits might correspond to increased accuracy on certain topics, or the converse.

    Someone might make claims about events that don’t make sense based on your understanding of the world. A person claims that they saw something happen through a door, but also claims the door was closed(and had no window or peephole or whatever) when they saw it. You didn’t have to be there to notice a problem with the story, because you already have an understanding of the world, and their story isn’t congruent with your understanding of the world, so you’re going to want some further explaining.

    Basically, you learn when to trust people, and how much, how to handle conflicting reports, and so on. That’s the point I’ve been discussing. People can be good sources of information, but you need to learn when a source of information is good, and when you should spend the effort to investigate something yourself, or which competing report from others to trust, or when to doubt that you’re currently accurate based on reports from others, if your goal is to maximize being accurate.

    Another wall of text that does not have anything to do with justifying argumentum ad populus. What you are describing here is being able to identify who can give you accurate information. Argument from popularity does not deal with who you can trust to give you good information but the number of people who believe in a proposition.

    I can’t tell what you think is a contradiction where you said there was one.

    In the first sentence you said:

    If something isn’t true, people believing it is true won’t change that, regardless of how many people believe it to be true.

    In the second you said:

    Querying more people about something simply helps you to avoid a situation where you’ve happened to stumble upon someone who is a particularly poor source of information, and it can also highlight a need to investigate something in further detail if you get conflicting reports.

    The first sentence you said no amount of people believing a proposition can change the fact that the proposition is not true but in the second sentence you are saying that the more people you ask (i.e. the more people believe) the more likely you avoid false information. If everyone believed in the false information then you are saying that the more people who believe the more likely the false information is true.

    You are making a presupposition that the information everyone believes in is true but that is fallacious as per argument from popularity.

    With the GPS example, I said that the example of not trusting the GPS was being contrasted with an example of a person trusting anecdotes over a study. So you have two separate examples, the first one about prior navigation/a GPS, and the second one about anecdotes/a study.

    What is the anecdote in this scenario?

  393. Paul Money says

    John , Jen and Tracie left the ACA? Well if three fundamentally decent people who have given substantial parts of their lives to the ACA and the AXP are leaving, then there must be something badly wrong there. To all three of you, what you have given me personally is beyond price and i want to thank you for it. The show isn’t going to be the same and I feel as if I have lost three friends, so I really hope that there will be other opportunities to catch up with you all.
    Thank you.

  394. says

    jabbly, I was discussing the reason why the topic is being brought up at all. When discussing the sports fairness concerns themselves, you should bring up the fact that despite having been allowed to participate in women’s sports for years in some sporting organizations, trans women have not been dominating in those sports, as well as pointing out studies on the effects of HRT, and any other issues that are relevant. Doing so is vital for educating anyone who is approaching the topic honestly enough to listen.
     
    Also important to helping people evaluate the topic, and in a broader context, any other ongoing or future issues that will come up, whether about trans support, or climate change, or some other issue, is an understanding of the methods that disingenuous groups use to deceive people, and the dynamics of how those methods work. When people are familiar with what is going on, it’s much easier for them to recognize it when they encounter it, and know how to verify the dishonesty for themselves.
     
    For instance, say they’re familiar with the general pattern of how these issues operate, and are then informed by someone that an anti-trans article they’re commenting on is dishonestly framing events. They’re told that the article is cherry-picking any trans women who have any success, even modest, and intentionally leaving out the context of how many cis women are already outperforming them in larger, more competitive events, or how many other smaller events are occurring where the trans women competing did not win a top spot despite their ‘natural advantage’.
     
    By being familiar with the general pattern being followed, they can more easily categorize the article for what it is, helping them be more aware of the likelihood that future articles they might encounter are motivated by such an agenda, and they know that they should be wary. It will continue to help when they encounter whatever the next focal issue will be. This is what I’ve been focused on in this thread, at least in regards to this topic.
     

     
    buddyward, I haven’t been saying that you can simply look at what most people think and then conclude that it will be accurate because it’s popular. Rather, I’ve been emphasizing that it doesn’t work that way. By seeing what is widely believed, you’re getting more information than you would from single reports. If you see that one person believes something, you can infer that they likely have had observations that lead them to believe it. However, you should already know that there is great variance in how well different people can process information, as well as variance in what experiences that they’ve had.
     
    When you see that multiple people believe something, you can infer that they have each had observations that lead them to believe it, that a variety of people with a variety of experiences believing something makes it less likely that all of them are at the low(or high) ends of variance in ability to understand the world around them, and that it’s likely that taken as a set, they have a much broader range of experiences than any single person, and still all came to the same belief.
     
    It’s not a guarantee that such inferences will be accurate, or that the belief people have will be, it’s just that you’re getting more information when you find a lot of people reporting something than from a single person reporting something. There are other factors that you can learn from experience that will adjust your evaluation of the likely accuracy of specific popular beliefs, such as learning that a particular belief is acting as a tribal shibboleth, and thus under enormous social pressure that distorts the likelihood that people will espouse it, whether or not it is true. Knowing that such a belief is acting as a tribal shibboleth is itself information.
     
    Similar considerations underlie evaluating the beliefs of experts. When people make arguments from popularity or authority, the reason they think those arguments are good is because they’re recognizing that the beliefs of other people are a good source of information, though they’re often failing to understand the other factors that can distort the processes by which a belief can become widespread. I commented on the topic to provide a bit of understanding on what those arguments are based on, not to say they’re the only information you need to ensure you’re adopting accurate beliefs.
     
    Understanding this should help in explaining to people why their argument from popularity isn’t convincing, in a way that acknowledges why they found it convincing, but showing how popularity doesn’t mean accuracy, it’s just correlated with it in many cases. Flat rejections that a belief being commonly held can be useful information by which to estimate if it is accurate would themselves be inaccurate.
     
    As far as what you were interpreting as a contradiction, it’s not that asking more people avoids inaccurate information. You’d still be getting at least as much inaccurate information in an absolute sense. But since you’re getting more information, as long as beliefs tend to be correlated with reality in general, it’s less likely that all the information would be inaccurate. There will still be inaccurate beliefs. Popular inaccurate beliefs are widespread, but they’re not randomly or evenly distributed. They tend to have common correlations.
     
    In the example of anecdotes versus a study, I didn’t create a specific anecdote. As long as people are familiar with the issues of people trusting anecdotes and studies, the concept of an anecdote and the concept of a study should serve just as well to communicate the point.

  395. says

    Oh, something I should clarify: Flat rejections that a belief being commonly held can be useful information would be inaccurate, and that is likely what many people would think you were doing if you simply dismiss their argument from popularity or authority by just telling them that they’re making an argument from popularity and that such arguments are wrong. It’s better to explain that something being widely believed can actually be useful information, but you need to weigh that information along with any other information you have to maximize the accuracy of your beliefs. And that even making the best judgment you can based on all the information available to you, you can still end up with significantly inaccurate beliefs at times.

  396. paxoll says

    @Jared,
    The argument you give is very poor, and if you haven’t spent the time you should watch Noels video which is pretty much spot on in his evaluation of this topic of HRT treatment in sports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwFZBG_ts4k

     
    I feel it needs to be repeated over and over. Categories in sports are based on sex and the physiological differences regardless if they use the gender labels of women/men. Not only are the categories not gender based, but transgender athletes do not necessarily need to take HRT to be the gender they identify is. Therefore the use of HRT and the category the athlete can/should fairly compete in is NOT a gender issue, this is a sports, science, medicine, issue.

  397. jabbly says

    @Jared #422

    It’s irrelevant how trans women are doing relative to cis-women, the issue of fairness is whether someone gains an advantage that they would not have otherwise had. This is a point that quite a few people seem to fail to understand.

  398. indianajones says

    @Paxoll the refusal to acknowledge any sort of wider context that transphobes can and will and do take advantage of is also ‘very poor’

  399. jabbly says

    @Indianajones

    Of course there are, as there will be in any issues and on both sides, so why the need to acknowledge it?

  400. buddyward says

    buddyward, I haven’t been saying that you can simply look at what most people think and then conclude that it will be accurate because it’s popular. Rather, I’ve been emphasizing that it doesn’t work that way.

    You are literally said that the more people believe in a proposition the more likely the proposition is accurate.

    By seeing what is widely believed, you’re getting more information than you would from single reports.

    What other information are you getting from observing that a lot of people believe in a proposition?

    If you see that one person believes something, you can infer that they likely have had observations that lead them to believe it.

    I have already addressed this in a previous post. Making that inference is fallacious. There are many indoctrinated theists out there who did not make any observations but rather told what to believe.

    However, you should already know that there is great variance in how well different people can process information, as well as variance in what experiences that they’ve had.

    If there is a great variance, then the number of people believing in a proposition is not a reliable way of determining whether or not said proposition is accurate.

    When you see that multiple people believe something, you can infer that they have each had observations that lead them to believe it, that a variety of people with a variety of experiences believing something makes it less likely that all of them are at the low(or high) ends of variance in ability to understand the world around them, and that it’s likely that taken as a set, they have a much broader range of experiences than any single person, and still all came to the same belief.

    Again, making that inference is wrong as pointed out in my statement above. The fact that many people believe in a proposition does not make that proposition accurate.

    It’s not a guarantee that such inferences will be accurate, or that the belief people have will be, it’s just that you’re getting more information when you find a lot of people reporting something than from a single person reporting something.

    What more information are you getting? All that you have is a lot of people believing in a proposition.

    There are other factors that you can learn from experience that will adjust your evaluation of the likely accuracy of specific popular beliefs, such as learning that a particular belief is acting as a tribal shibboleth, and thus under enormous social pressure that distorts the likelihood that people will espouse it, whether or not it is true. Knowing that such a belief is acting as a tribal shibboleth is itself information.

    If you are going to use other factors to evaluate whether or not their belief is true then you are not using the number of people that has that belief as a determination that the belief is accurate.

    Similar considerations underlie evaluating the beliefs of experts. When people make arguments from popularity or authority, the reason they think those arguments are good is because they’re recognizing that the beliefs of other people are a good source of information, though they’re often failing to understand the other factors that can distort the processes by which a belief can become widespread. I commented on the topic to provide a bit of understanding on what those arguments are based on, not to say they’re the only information you need to ensure you’re adopting accurate beliefs.

    Yes which is why argument from popularity and authority is fallacious.

    Understanding this should help in explaining to people why their argument from popularity isn’t convincing, in a way that acknowledges why they found it convincing, but showing how popularity doesn’t mean accuracy, it’s just correlated with it in many cases.

    Then why did you say that the more people believe in something the more likely it is to be accurate?

    As far as what you were interpreting as a contradiction, it’s not that asking more people avoids inaccurate information. You’d still be getting at least as much inaccurate information in an absolute sense. But since you’re getting more information, as long as beliefs tend to be correlated with reality in general, it’s less likely that all the information would be inaccurate. There will still be inaccurate beliefs.
    Popular inaccurate beliefs are widespread, but they’re not randomly or evenly distributed. They tend to have common correlations.

    Correct. So how do you determine if a belief is accurate? Is it by the number of people believing it?

    In the example of anecdotes versus a study, I didn’t create a specific anecdote. As long as people are familiar with the issues of people trusting anecdotes and studies, the concept of an anecdote and the concept of a study should serve just as well to communicate the point.

    Please answer the direct question that I asked with regards to the GPS example that you provided.

    Flat rejections that a belief being commonly held can be useful information would be inaccurate, and that is likely what many people would think you were doing if you simply dismiss their argument from popularity or authority by just telling them that they’re making an argument from popularity and that such arguments are wrong.

    If they are going to argue that the more people believe in something the more likely their belief is accurate then yes it is justified to dismiss that claim because of the argument from popularity fallacy.

    It’s better to explain that something being widely believed can actually be useful information, but you need to weigh that information along with any other information you have to maximize the accuracy of your beliefs. And that even making the best judgment you can based on all the information available to you, you can still end up with significantly inaccurate beliefs at times.

    So does this means that basing your beliefs by the number of people believing the same thing is unreliable? Does this mean that you should use other more reliable method of determining whether or not a proposition is accurate?

  401. Murat says

    Maybe the debaters can shake hands on “argument from popularity” not being the same as “common knowledge”.
    You can ask anyone in a small town where the church is, and most, if not all, providing the same directions should not surprise us as it is “common knowledge”, whereas, regarding issues on philosophy, metaphysics, morality etc. it would be more appropriate to call it “argument from popularity” when the folk of that same town agree on the very same kind of answers to be true.
    After all, they all knew where the church was.

  402. buddyward says

    Maybe the debaters can shake hands on “argument from popularity” not being the same as “common knowledge”.
    You can ask anyone in a small town where the church is, and most, if not all, providing the same directions should not surprise us as it is “common knowledge”, whereas, regarding issues on philosophy, metaphysics, morality etc. it would be more appropriate to call it “argument from popularity” when the folk of that same town agree on the very same kind of answers to be true.
    After all, they all knew where the church was.

    So are we now playing the semantics game? How do you know that the direction to the church is true? If you ask all of the people that worships in that church if their god exist and they said yes, is this common knowledge as well? What is the difference between the two scenarios?

  403. Murat says

    I thought it was self-evident, that’s why I didn’t bother explain:
    Location of the church can be found by appealing to various other means, providing the same result. Looking at a map, getting on high ground and simply observing with vision, waiting for the bell to toll and then moving in the direction of the sound, etc.
    Whereas, town folk repyling “Yes, of course!” to the question “Is morality dependent on religion?” is a totally different scenario. For starters, we are aware that the question we pose is not one the answer to which we believe would come independent of the person’s views. This is more like the opening line of a debate than a simple request for finding a location. The person may be thinking that his/her “Yes, of course!” is as legit and as concrete an answer as “The church is THAT way…”, but this is irrelevant to how WE should evaluate the replies: The very context of the questions separate the answers into two groups as “common knowledge” and “argument from popularity”.
    Anyone saying “No, they are exactly the same sort of information” should then explain why they ever bother asking people addresses if they believe the answers provided to them would not be any more valid than “Morality is dependent on religion”.

  404. buddyward says

    I thought it was self-evident, that’s why I didn’t bother explain:

    I though the same when it came to understanding the argument from popularity fallacy.

    Location of the church can be found by appealing to various other means, providing the same result. Looking at a map, getting on high ground and simply observing with vision, waiting for the bell to toll and then moving in the direction of the sound, etc.
    Whereas, town folk repyling “Yes, of course!” to the question “Is morality dependent on religion?” is a totally different scenario. For starters, we are aware that the question we pose is not one the answer to which we believe would come independent of the person’s views. This is more like the opening line of a debate than a simple request for finding a location.

    Why would it be different? If a person knows that their god exists the same way as the church exist then it is irrelevant what the person asking the question thinks. Both of those are popular beliefs but only one (so far) can be verified. Why should one be called argument from popularity while the other (i don’t know how) should be separated as “Common knowledge”. What is the difference between common knowledge and argument from popularity?

    The person may be thinking that his/her “Yes, of course!” is as legit and as concrete an answer as “The church is THAT way…”, but this is irrelevant to how WE should evaluate the replies: The very context of the questions separate the answers into two groups as “common knowledge” and “argument from popularity”.

    Please show me where in the definition of the argument from popularity where is says it is dependent on the context of the question. More over how do you determine which context the argument from popularity applies and which context “Common knowledge” applies?

    Anyone saying “No, they are exactly the same sort of information” should then explain why they ever bother asking people addresses if they believe the answers provided to them would not be any more valid than “Morality is dependent on religion”.

    I can ask for a person’s address and I may not hold a belief that it is true, (i.e. I am suspending belief). I take the time to ask because I am gathering information. It does not mean that I believe the addresses to be true at the moment they gave it to me. Until I can verify that the address is true my belief is suspended. I can verify the address in many different ways, I can send a certified letter which would tell me if that address actually does exists and if that person does live there. If the address is within driving distance, I may even drive there myself.

    I can ask many people for the direction of the church and they may all say the same thing but I am suspending belief until I followed that direction and verified that the church is where they say it is. I (and neither should anyone else) do not believe that a proposition is true no matter how many people claimed it to be true.

    Lastly, there are many common beliefs (or what people may call common knowledge) that have been proven to be false.

  405. says

    paxoll, I’m not sure what you think is a poor argument. That video is a long one, but I’ll check it out later.
     
    Obviously, the women’s/men’s distinction in sports are not about gender per se. Many people still don’t grasp that gender and sex are not a single thing, and far fewer grasped that as those sports distinctions were being made. And while not all trans people take HRT, those who do find their performance in sports drops considerably, leaving them within the ranges for cis women.
     
    Sporting organizations often require verification of HRT for trans women to participate anyway. Potentially, they could make categories based on amount of circulating testosterone in addition to the height/weight classes in some sports, but that would basically end up as de facto sub classes in women’s and men’s classes. In that case, you’d still end up with trans men competing with cis men and trans women competing with cis women.
     

     
    jabbly, that isn’t an argument specific to trans inclusion in sports. That is an argument that applies to sports in general. By that standard, someone who gets better coaching and training than someone else has an advantage that they otherwise would not have had. Someone that can afford to spend the majority of their time training has an advantage over those who don’t. Why focus on this one thing and say that this is the concern you have for sports fairness, and not argue for restructuring sports in general?
     
    This isn’t any more ‘unfair’ than a cis woman who happens to be taller or otherwise more athletic because she happened to have the right genes, or underwent growth hormone therapy to correct for a deficiency when she was younger and ended up taller than she otherwise would have been.
     

     
    buddyward, I have said that as long as people’s beliefs tend to correspond with reality, that if something is true, then it’s more likely people will believe it. Not that if they believe it, it’s more likely to be true. That would be getting causality backwards. It is a not a mistake to infer that a person has likely had observations leading them to believe what they believe, in general. If someone thinks that a car in a parking lot is their car, it is likely their car. If you were to bet on the number of times people are wrong about that, you would lose a lot of money if you bet against their beliefs being accurate, even though you would sometimes win individual bets.
     
    There being a great deal of variance in the ability of people to understand the world around them tells you some of the information that seeing a lot of people believe something provides: that it’s unlikely that a random sampling of them will all happen to be at the low end of the variance, and so by observing that all those people believe something, it’s at least not going to be unusually inaccurate, which is valuable information.
     
    Since we have a lot of experience in the world, it is very easy for both of us to come up with examples where we’ve learned that large groups of people are likely to be inaccurate, such as with religious beliefs that are acting as tribal shibboleths, or with examples where large groups will usually be accurate. We’ve learned that when trusting the accuracy of others, certain general classes of topics are highly suspect, and others are highly reliable.
     
    Basically, you’re learning that certain beliefs are neither being independently converged on through independent observations, nor that the reasons for the spread of those beliefs are correlated with the accuracy of the beliefs. This is also information that we use to determine the likelihood that something is accurate. The whole body of information you have, how many people believe a claim, what sort of claim it is, how that claim correlates to other claims, all of these factors are what go into how we estimate the likelihood of a claim being accurate. The fact that a large number of people believe something is being correlated with all the other information you have to arrive at your ‘final’ estimate.
     
    You’re not just accepting beliefs as accurate because other people hold them, you’re simply taking the fact that other people hold the beliefs into account, along with all the other information available to you.
     
    A generic concept of an anecdote was being used in the anecdote/study example, not in the prior navigation/GPS example, which didn’t have an anecdote as a part of it. I was drawing a contrast between those examples, not saying the generic concept of an anecdote was a part of the navigation/GPS example.

  406. paxoll says

    @Jared

    those who do find their performance in sports drops considerably, leaving them within the ranges for cis women.

    No this is false. One paper examining 8 long distance runners showed similar ranges using an age based calculation. The fact that a trans-woman is not in first place does NOT mean they do not have an advantage over females. Watch the video, and then read the papers in the video.

    We do segregate sports based on coaching, training time, and money. Its called professional vs amateur, and it is unfair for a professional to enter a competition with a bunch of amateurs.

  407. jabbly says

    @jared

    The reason I focused on that is because if you’re going to argue against someone’s position then it’s important to understand what that position is and why it’s held. To make it clear the argument is not, it’s fine as long as trans-women don’t do that well. That just isn’t part of the concept of fairness in competitive sports.

    I would suggest you watch Noel Plum’s video as he does a job job of explaining this. You may not agree with him but at least you’ll understand why some people think this is an issue. Personally I’m still unsure of how to balance what can be seen as two competing points of fairness.

  408. buddyward says

    I have said that as long as people’s beliefs tend to correspond with reality, that if something is true, then it’s more likely people will believe it. Not that if they believe it, it’s more likely to be true. That would be getting causality backwards.

    You literally said the following:

    Specifically, the beliefs of others offer indirect information that tends to be correlated with accuracy.[…] seeking out multiple people to reduce the risks of that, or seeking out someone locally recognized as an expert on the topic increases the likelihood of accurate information.

    These are your words which is demonstrably contradicting what you are saying now.

    It is a not a mistake to infer that a person has likely had observations leading them to believe what they believe, in general.

    So you are going to continue with this script and ignore the fact that there are theists that believe in the existence of a god through faith alone. I have already pointed this out at least twice and here you are again with the same script but perhaps I am mistaken. What did a theist observe that leads them to believe in the existence of a god while they are claiming that they believe through faith? Please make sure that you answer that question. I am starting to see a pattern where you do not answer my questions and you continue on with your script.

    If someone thinks that a car in a parking lot is their car, it is likely their car. If you were to bet on the number of times people are wrong about that, you would lose a lot of money if you bet against their beliefs being accurate, even though you would sometimes win individual bets.

    You apparently have not been in a parking lot of a pub after closing time.

    There being a great deal of variance in the ability of people to understand the world around them tells you some of the information that seeing a lot of people believe something provides: that it’s unlikely that a random sampling of them will all happen to be at the low end of the variance, and so by observing that all those people believe something, it’s at least not going to be unusually inaccurate, which is valuable information.

    This is in direct contradiction to your first paragraph.

    Since we have a lot of experience in the world, it is very easy for both of us to come up with examples where we’ve learned that large groups of people are likely to be inaccurate, such as with religious beliefs that are acting as tribal shibboleths, or with examples where large groups will usually be accurate. We’ve learned that when trusting the accuracy of others, certain general classes of topics are highly suspect, and others are highly reliable.

    No we do not base the accuracy of information on the number of people believing. Jeez you are all over the place here. We evaluate each claims independent of the number of people believing it. I do not know how many times I need to say this.

    Basically, you’re learning that certain beliefs are neither being independently converged on through independent observations, nor that the reasons for the spread of those beliefs are correlated with the accuracy of the beliefs. This is also information that we use to determine the likelihood that something is accurate.

    No, this is wrong, there is currently an increasing number of people that believes that the earth is flat. That ideology is spreading it does not correlate to the accuracy that the earth is flat.

    The whole body of information you have, how many people believe a claim, what sort of claim it is, how that claim correlates to other claims, all of these factors are what go into how we estimate the likelihood of a claim being accurate. The fact that a large number of people believe something is being correlated with all the other information you have to arrive at your ‘final’ estimate.

    How many people needs to believe in a proposition for that proposition to be true? How do you determine which claim is true based on the number of people believing in it? What are the attributes of a claim that becomes more likely accurate based on the number of people believing in that claim?

    If a large number of people believes in a proposition, that may entice me to investigate to see if the proposition is true or not. Prior to that the proposition is not considered to be accurate or likely to be accurate.

    A generic concept of an anecdote was being used in the anecdote/study example, not in the prior navigation/GPS example, which didn’t have an anecdote as a part of it. I was drawing a contrast between those examples, not saying the generic concept of an anecdote was a part of the navigation/GPS example.

    A generic concept??? Your own example stated this:

    It doesn’t matter what maps and GPS systems say, or how many people, including experts, tell you that the directions to get to your home are something other than what you think they are, if you’re consistently able to navigate to your house despite being in disagreement with them.

    It appears to me that in your example the anecdotal evidence that you are referring to is the directions to your home but I do not want to put words in your mouth so I asked the question.

    Your example is very specific and my question is specific to your example. If you do not want to answer the question, then it fine by me, all you have to do is say you do not want to answer the question or that you do not want to continue the conversation. If you want to continue the conversation then I believe that it is only reasonable that you and I acknowledge and respond to each other’s questions.

  409. buddyward says

    @Jared

    If someone thinks that a car in a parking lot is their car, it is likely their car. If you were to bet on the number of times people are wrong about that, you would lose a lot of money if you bet against their beliefs being accurate, even though you would sometimes win individual bets.

    Let me address this a bit further as my previous answer was a bit glib. No, I will not make a bet as I do not have enough data to make an informed decision. However, if I were a cop being asked to open a car, I will not believe that person simply because he says that a specific car is his. I would ask for the person’s driver’s license and cross reference it with the registered owner of the vehicle through the DMV. It would not matter how many people are telling me that the car does belong to the person making the request. I will independently verify the claim.

  410. jabbly says

    @paxoll

    Unfortunately this seems a pretty common mistake, unless trans-women are doing really well then it’s not an advantage. There’s also the associated, if a specified cis-woman has attributes greater than a trans-woman then the trans-woman doesn’t have an advantage.

  411. Paul Money says

    We are I think moving towards an era where matters of both gender and sex are going to have to be redefined and not only in sports. Athletes like Caster Semenya and Dutee Chand have already had to face numerous obstructions to their careers, because of having natural intersex characteristics in their make-up. How the IAAF and other bodies are going to deal with increasing numbers of trans-women is anybody’s guess.
    On a wider note, it would be astonishing if men transitioning to women did not include the same proportion of violent sexual abusers as the rest of the male population. If I was a woman and particularly one who had already experienced abuse, then who gets access to traditionally women only spaces would be of great concern to me.
    I do want to stress that I want to see anybody transitioning getting the same level of respect that I would want for myself. However, pretending that their won’t be any problems is not a good way to plan for the future.

  412. buddyward says

    On a wider note, it would be astonishing if men transitioning to women did not include the same proportion of violent sexual abusers as the rest of the male population. If I was a woman and particularly one who had already experienced abuse, then who gets access to traditionally women only spaces would be of great concern to me.
    I do want to stress that I want to see anybody transitioning getting the same level of respect that I would want for myself. However, pretending that their won’t be any problems is not a good way to plan for the future.

    WTF, is this the whole transgender bathroom argument again?

  413. speedofsound says

    What and the fuck is going on? Has the ACA gone nuts? Their private facebook page is moderating new posts now. I don’t think they did that before. There is an elephant in the room and the silence is deafening. I feel for them because it was two public announcements that started this shit storm and they are probably reluctant to say anything. But damn. the silence feels like them telling us all to fuck doesn’t it?

  414. Paul Money says

    Seriously? Well look at it this way. There is, quite rightly. concern that trans-women are harrassed, attacked and murdered. However, it is the common experience of cis-women as well to live with sexual harrassment, a very high proportion have had personal experience of sexual attack and/or rape and some of them get murdered by violent men. That’s a thing that should be a daily concern to all of us.
    Do some sexual predators transition to women? I bet some of them do. Is that something to worry about? It’s worth discussing and that is actually my main point.
    PC has been the driver for many positive changes in modern life, you can list those for yourself, but there is a tendency among well-meaning lefties to categorise some subjects as too thorny to be talked about without offending people. You can list those for yourself too. Free speech has theoretical and practical advantages. We stifle it at our peril.

  415. jabbly says

    @Paul Money

    So you think it’s entirely reasonable to discriminate, because that’s what you’re asking for, against an entire group due to the actions of very, very few. How can you possibly think that’s a reasonable starting point?

  416. Paul Money says

    That is not what I think at all. I think it highly unreasonable to discriminate against any group due to the actions of a few.
    I haven’t suggested any action against anybody, as you will see if you read my post(s) a little more carefully.

  417. jabbly says

    @Paul Money

    So why even bring the subject up then in the context of trans-women in sports?

  418. jabbly says

    @Paul Money

    To widen the discussion to what exactly because I’m failing to see what point you’re trying to make here?

  419. Murat says

    @Paul
    If there are certain traits to having passed through male pubertly which do not disappear after any kind of treatment or surgery, then, the field of competitive sports can be a magnifying glass to observe them better, but not remain the only aspect in which they matter socially. Athletics can help individuals (of any gender and sex) see better what we may miss in daily life, and help address some maybe trivial or exceptional -but still relevant- issues more properly.
    That’s what I draw from your posts and I agree.

  420. Paul Money says

    My wider point is that women are at risk of sexual harassment and violence from men at every point in their lives. Women only areas provide some relief from that. Sharing those spaces with women who were formally men is seen as potentially a problem by many organisations campaigning against violence against women. Trans-women with a previous record of sexual violence are obviously considerably more problematic.

    I note that one women’s prison in England has opened a separate wing for trans women prisoners, that government statistics for England and Wales reported 125 ( a number that of its nature fluctuates) trans women prisoners and that of those 41% were serving a sentence for sexual offences or had previous convictions for them.
    Obviously as society adapts to increasing numbers of trans individuals, the needs of those individuals should be respected, but the needs of cis women need to be respected too. That’s the wider point that supporters of trans rights (of whom I am one) are in danger of forgetting.

  421. buddyward says

    @ Paul Money

    My wider point is that women are at risk of sexual harassment and violence from men at every point in their lives. Women only areas provide some relief from that. Sharing those spaces with women who were formally men is seen as potentially a problem by many organisations campaigning against violence against women. Trans-women with a previous record of sexual violence are obviously considerably more problematic.

    I note that one women’s prison in England has opened a separate wing for trans women prisoners, that government statistics for England and Wales reported 125 ( a number that of its nature fluctuates) trans women prisoners and that of those 41% were serving a sentence for sexual offences or had previous convictions for them.
    Obviously as society adapts to increasing numbers of trans individuals, the needs of those individuals should be respected, but the needs of cis women need to be respected too. That’s the wider point that supporters of trans rights (of whom I am one) are in danger of forgetting.

    This is just so idiotic that I am dumb founded. I would normally ask for sources so that I can be sure that we are talking about the same thing but I do not think that it is necessary.

    You are using prison statistics in order to justify discriminating against an entire group of people. By that logic you should not be using bathrooms where children are allowed to use. You should not be anywhere near any children due to the number of men in prison who have sexually assaulted a minor. You can use that that logic to just about anything when you are basing your data on prison statistics. How about a generalization that people from the UK are horrible people due to the large amount of people in prison. This is stupid and nothing but dog whistling.

  422. jabbly says

    @buddyward

    My favourite version of this, which someone said just to make a point, was that Jews are proportionality more likely be to commit financial crime therefore they should be banned from working in the financial industry.

  423. Murat says

    Sharing those spaces with women who were formally men is seen as potentially a problem by many organisations campaigning against violence against women. Trans-women with a previous record of sexual violence are obviously considerably more problematic.

    People identifying themselves as women needs be respected, but does not necessarily mean that in every case their behavioral patterns match what is compatible with “womanhood”. Yes, there is something that can legitly be called “womanhood” and yes, it has indicators. Otherwise, it would already not make sense for anyone to “identify” themselves as “woman”. Fuck Ben Shapiro. He’s a moron, we all know that. Just tell me if Zoey Tur, seen here, saying what she is saying, is coherent with the point she is trying to make, or not. Picking up on a little guy is not even “manly”.

  424. Paul Money says

    @ jabbly and buddyward.
    “By that logic you should not be using bathrooms where [sic] children are allowed to use. You should not be anywhere near any children due to the number of men in prison who have sexually assaulted a minor.”
    If that is what you “logically” deduce from my post, I can offer no comment, except to say that spaces for children (schools, nurseries, child wards etc) already bar men (and women) who don’t have accreditation to be there.
    In the absence of any counter arguments and the continued assertion that I wish to discriminate against trans people, although I haven’t offered any proposals at all that do that, I think I am probably done with this.

  425. buddyward says

    @ Paul Money

    If that is what you “logically” deduce from my post, I can offer no comment, except to say that spaces for children (schools, nurseries, child wards etc) already bar men (and women) who don’t have accreditation to be there.

    Bullshit, I can walk into any public schools and I will not be discriminated from entering said school. There are no laws that I am breaking if I enter any public schools. The same can be said about children’s wards in hospitals. I cannot be discriminated from entering those establishment simply because of my gender. If you are going to contest this then I will have to insist in you presenting statues that prevents a certain gender from entering these places.

    In the absence of any counter arguments and the continued assertion that I wish to discriminate against trans people, although I haven’t offered any proposals at all that do that, I think I am probably done with this.

    Let me see, you are presenting an argument (without any prompting from anyone else in this blog) that transgender women should not be allowed to enter women’s public restrooms. You are basing this argument on prison statistics which is utterly ridiculous as prison statistics does not represent the general population. You want to start a debate on whether or not this is appropriate wherein this type of debate have already been done countless of times, in multiple venues and have been decided by the courts in multiple jurisdiction. Yes, I say you wish to discriminate against transgender people. You are doing this under the guise of “widening the discussion” wherein this topic is not even it the ballpark of what is being discussed in this thread.

    How about you discuss this with people who are transgender and see what they say. I suggest to go have a discussion with the folks in the transgender subreddit. How about you discuss this with the judges and human rights advocates who supported the decision of allowing transgender women to enter women’s public restrooms.

  426. indianajones says

    @Jabbly That’s why acknowledgement is important. If the good guys don’t do it, then the bad guys are going to smuggle in all sorts of other harmful nonsense. Bathroom bills ffs…

  427. jabbly says

    @indianajones

    The ‘bad’ guys will do it, as will the ‘good’ guys, whether I acknowledge it or not so again why do I need to acknowledge it. Indeed how often do I need to do it?

  428. jabbly says

    @Paul Money

    What argument have you put forward though. Is there a issue of having people with a history of violence towards women in an environment that is dominated by women, well yes but that’s not defined by trans-women in sport surely so why bring it into a discussion about fairness in sport?

  429. says

    paxoll, I went to the video you linked, and the first thing I did was check the sources linked to in the description, including the paper you mention, which has made me curious as to what I’m going to find in the video itself regarding those papers. None of those papers has contradicted what I have posted. The specific paper you mention about runners was quite clear that the performance of the runners dropped in absolute terms after transitioning, but that their performance relative to males of their age prior to transitioning was very close to what their performance was relative to females of their age after transitioning.
     
    This does not give indication that they gain a relative advantage by transitioning and competing with cis women, but that they stay at relatively the same performance. Perhaps larger, more robust studies, or those from different sports might give such an indication. If so, we can continue to adjust policies as needed. The authors of one the papers found that the restrictions on trans inclusion as implemented by the IOC were already excessive. The paper regarding the times of runners states that they cannot make a universal pronouncement, but that the results they have favor inclusion.
     
    Another of the listed studies summarized in their discussion of their results that although as a group, mean heights being higher than average for trans women than for cis women tended to lead to larger mean muscle area, that it is justifiable for trans women to compete with cis women. The final study stated in the conclusions section that further studies need to be done to determine the optimal duration of hormone treatments used for transitioning when it comes to sports.
     
    And yes, there are professionals and amateurs, but there is still difference in the quality of coaching and training within those categories. This difference results in people getting advantages that they would not otherwise have had. It’s just an example that there are elements that are similarly ‘unfair’ in sports, but which we do not see being pushed as important issues, because they are not being used by disingenuous groups trying to attack things like support of trans people.
     

     
    jabbly, I understand that because the topic being discussed is about trans people, that’s what is going to be talked about. What I meant was why focus on the specific issue of trans people in sports as it relates to fairness, if your only issue is fairness? I’m concerned about fairness as well, and have considered how sports are and should be structured, as well as what the future course of sports will be.
     
    Historically, sports competitions have not only accepted that there is variation in capability, they’re specifically based around it. The classes that are drawn up aren’t eliminating advantage, they’re ensuring that the outcomes of events aren’t largely foregone conclusions where the majority of participants simply aren’t close enough in performance for there to be any realistic question as to who will win.
     
    This makes it telling that people want to stamp out this particular ‘unfairness’, regardless that it’s not resulting in foregone outcomes, and that existing ‘unfairness’, to be consistent with how the term is being used, has long surpassed any ‘unfairness’ from trans inclusion, yet is not being treated as a pressing social issue. If ‘fairness’ was the primary issue, there are more fundamental concerns to be addressed. However, it is understandable that someone who is ignorant of the issue simply naively fails to realize that trans women who have transitioned are not performing at the same level as cis men, which is why this issue has made an effective tool for anti-trans campaigners.
     

     
    buddyward, that is not a contradiction. If a thing being true tends to result in people having observations that lead to them tending to think it is true, then their beliefs are correlated with accuracy. There does not need to be anything close to a perfect correlation between their beliefs and accuracy in order for you observing their beliefs to be a useful indication that something may be true.
     
    I am not trying to ignore any questions. In regards to someone claiming to believe something on faith, that is primarily a result of people being in a position where they are trying to defend a belief acting as a tribal shibboleth. Their desire to maintain group membership and advertise it is exerting a great deal of influence on them. When they say they are believing something on ‘faith’, it’s not like they independently came up with this as their justification rather than being told to essentially affirm their commitment to it anyway. You could basically translate it as, “I’m going to stay loyal to my tribe.”
     
    People reporting a belief in a god, like many other things, have not necessarily had observations that should have resulted in them believing what they believe. That’s why I’ve mentioned issues with people having inaccurate beliefs, and the value of getting other information, including information by which you can estimate the reliability of others.
     
    As far as the car example, what I was saying is that people tend to know which car is theirs. You don’t commonly see someone walk up to a car and get confused because the doors won’t open when they hit the button on their keys, unless perhaps a considerable amount of your time observing others’ cars is spent outside of such pubs(though you’ll likely see people who forgot the exact place they did park looking around in other places).
     
    It’s not a contradiction to recognize that people are, in general, a good source of information, but not a perfect one. We don’t make information become accurate. It already either is or isn’t, independent of what people believe. Beliefs are often dependent on the actual state of the world, but there is a considerable degree of noise, which is why you can’t indiscriminately trust people reporting things.
     
    In the part you quoted, I actually said the opposite of what you read it as. I said that you learn that certain beliefs are not being converged on via independent observations, and that certain beliefs are not spreading because of a correlation with accuracy. Flat-Earth beliefs associated with conspiracy theorists being a reason beliefs spread for poor reasons are a good example of that.
     
    The amount of people believing something do not make it true. It just provides you with additional data points. Your saying that if you see a large number of people believing something(presumably something you’d rate as unlikely), it would likely draw your attention to investigate more than if a single person believes it is something that indicates that you do consider it to provide more information that a large number of people believe something. It works logarithmically. At first, learning a lot of people believe something tells you a good amount, but eventually the additional information that you can extract from more data points will drop off.
     
    As far as the prior navigation/GPS example, that was a separate example from the anecdote/study example. The GPS example did not refer to an anecdote at all, and the anecdote example used the generic concept of an anecdote and the generic concept of a study. The GPS example was an illustration of where you should trust your own more-direct evidence, and the anecdote example was an illustration of where you should trust the less-direct reports of others. Again, they’re two separate examples.
     
    Something that I think may be underlying all the confusion on the topic is that you seem to think that I’m saying that getting information is synonymous with getting accurate understanding. We don’t just know whether information we get will lead us to be accurate, or how much we can trust what other people report to us. We have to try and figure out how best to handle all that over time. Basically, we’re not directly confirming what’s actually accurate, we’re just estimating if we should believe it based on the information we have. We’re taking everything we’ve observed about the world and trying to determine the most likely state of affairs that leads to the totality of our observations.
     
    ‘Likelihood’ isn’t an inherent property. It’s just us trying to guess how frequently we can be correct about something based on our current state of information. If we get more information about something, our estimates of whether it is ‘likely’ true can change, but the actual state of reality doesn’t. Take something like the Monty Hall problem. The car is either behind a door, or it is not. But because the hosts actions are correlated with what is behind the doors, observing the actions of the host provides us with additional information we can use to bet more successfully.

  430. jabbly says

    @If you think height/muscle mass advantages, that someone otherwise wouldn’t have, doesn’t matter then you’re still not understanding what the concept of fairness in sport is.

  431. jabbly says

    @jarec

    Just to clarify, I’m not trying to dismissive of what you’re saying but until you understand what people are talking about in terms of fairness then we’ll just be talking past each other.

  432. Paul Money says

    @buddyward
    “Let me see, you are presenting an argument (without any prompting from anyone else in this blog) that transgender women should not be allowed to enter women’s public restrooms. ”
    I haven’t done that. Anywhere. Scroll up.

    “How about you discuss this with people who are transgender and see what they say.”
    What makes you think that I don’t? Anyway, my point is that discussions need to be with everybody, particularly with cis women.

    “Bullshit, I can walk into any public schools and I will not be discriminated from entering said school. There are no laws that I am breaking if I enter any public schools. The same can be said about children’s wards in hospitals. I cannot be discriminated from entering those establishment simply because of my gender. If you are going to contest this then I will have to insist in you presenting statues that prevents a certain gender from entering these places. ”

    Really? The point about child safe spaces was to compare them with female safe spaces and I specifically said that the issue was accreditation or a lack of it, not gender. Any school that does not have a policy in place that requires a visitor to sign in and say why they are on the premises is manifestly failing in its duty of care. Perhaps you haven’t been to a school recently. No, you may not insist in [sic] my providing you with a “statue”.

    Basically Buddy, I draw the inference from your posts that only trans gender people should say what their rights should be, that those questioning that should be assumed to be transphobic and that I am an idiot. You don’t discuss issues or even appear to read what I write with any level of comprehension, so there is no point in my engaging with you further. You may have the last word!

    PS. Oh yes, I had to look up dog whistling! No, I am not consciously doing that.

  433. indianajones says

    @Jabbly I’m not sure I can explain any further to you why acknowledgement of the lived experience of marginalised groups is important. In this case we have been side tracked by bathroom bills. Presented without evidence or anything else, simply as a distraction with plausible deniability. I mean, yeah right for the deniability but still.

    Acknowledgement and validation of lived experience is empowering. Which is absolutely needed for a group of people that, just for instance this time, are actually having the shit kicked out of them on the regular. And allows anyone else to not be distracted by disingenuous, pearl clutching,, just sayin’ bullshit like bathroom bills. And, when such things are attempted, to shortcut the whole thing with the contemptuous dismissal such distraction attempts deserve.

  434. jabbly says

    @indianajones

    I was really referring to the context of this thread. Do you think myself, or indeed paxoll, are doing what you describe. I’d presume not so the whole there are bad actors just comes across as a way to dismiss one side (in this thread) of the argument.

    That to me is the distraction. So here you go, do I acknowledge that there are people, both sides, with a hidden agenda/not arguing in good faith, yes I do but I don’t see how it’s relevant to the posts I’ve made.

  435. indianajones says

    No, I make no particular accusations of you or paxoll. I find your ‘both sides’ things to be distasteful though. One side is getting murdered, literally. The other is not. I do not consider that keeping in mind that one side of this debate about ‘fairness in sports’ is massively disadvantaged absolutely everywhere else as a distraction. Acknowledging the forest even whilst staring at a particular tree doesn’t have to be distracting. It might just be being able to walk and chew gum simultaneously. And while the forest around is on fire? Probably useful too.

  436. jabbly says

    @indianajones

    So you find it distasteful when it’s pointed out that you shouldn’t just slurp up whatever each side says, how is that even a position to hold.

    And really stop with the emotive arguments as I fail to see how that supports your position, indeed I’m not even sure what your position on fairness in sports is.

  437. Murat says

    What do we do if we are botanic experts or enthusiasts interested in exploring the features of a specific tree? If there is a fire going on elsewhere, way deeper in the great forest, one not putting ourselves in danger, nor the tree on which we are working, do we really need some firefighter showing up frequently to tell us how vulnerable this particular type of tree is to fires due to the structuring of its leaves and the dryness of its cones? Okay, we get it… Maybe we are exploring how they affect the mushrooms by their roots, how close they should be planted to some other particular tree, what birds nest on them etc… How likely they are to be the subject of arson should not be the only topic for everyone to focus on. Indeed, gathering of more interest and knowledge regarding that tree might well help stop arsonists in the long run as that would change the overall perception of tree bit by bit, a perception that associates them solely with the way burn down tragically.

  438. indianajones says

    I haven’t ‘slurped’ anything. I refer you to my link @comment 3. Fuck your minimising language, slurped indeed.

    ‘Emotive arguments’? I again refer you to the link @3. I have many more on standby. Facially accurate real world statistics and examples on standby on top of those already provided.

    My position on ‘fairness in sports’ is that it is a mere smokescreen for FAR bigger bigotries that are horribly and demonstrably and sadly present. And if the focus is going to be that narrow, that I am no bio-chemistry athletic physicist and that neither are you. Neither of us, therefore, can hope to comment intelligently upon this very narrow. thing. As I have said before. So I don’t, I am pointing at the forest fire and consider it not only relevant but far more worthy of attention.

    My direct question to you is: Is trying to get people to acknowledge the factual and actual wider context so terrible? Is empathy so much to ask for?

  439. jabbly says

    @indianajones

    So you argument on fairness on sports is just whataboutism. If you want to have a discussion about something else then may one suggest you find someone else who is making that discussion. If on the other hand you wish to address the points I’ve made then feel free to do that. Your choice really.

  440. indianajones says

    Nope, but I clearly can’t convince you of that. I hope anyone reading can see that, even if you can’t.

  441. indianajones says

    Just to sum up: At this point, so far you have dismissed murder as mere whataboutissm, supporting facts as mere slurping, and all of that as mere emotive arguments.

    Ok, hello audience, I am done here I think.

  442. jabbly says

    @indianajones

    You haven’t done anything of the sort oh and yes you have appealed to emotive arguments. Basically you seem to be complaining that I’m not have the argument that you want to have. Find someone who wants to have that argument.

  443. buddyward says

    @Jared

    that is not a contradiction.

    You are saying that the more people believe in a proposition the more likely it is for the proposition to be accurate and yet you are also saying “Not that if they believe it, it is more likely true”. Those are two ideas that cannot be true at the same time and therefore a contradiction.

    If a thing being true tends to result in people having observations that lead to them tending to think it is true, then their beliefs are correlated with accuracy. There does not need to be anything close to a perfect correlation between their beliefs and accuracy in order for you observing their beliefs to be a useful indication that something may be true.

    That is assuming that their belief is true to begin with. If their belief is not true then it does not correlate with accuracy. We are trying to determine if the belief is true or not and you cannot base the accuracy of the information on the number of people believing the proposition because their belief can either be true or not true.

    I am not trying to ignore any questions. In regards to someone claiming to believe something on faith, that is primarily a result of people being in a position where they are trying to defend a belief acting as a tribal shibboleth. Their desire to maintain group membership and advertise it is exerting a great deal of influence on them. When they say they are believing something on ‘faith’, it’s not like they independently came up with this as their justification rather than being told to essentially affirm their commitment to it anyway. You could basically translate it as, “I’m going to stay loyal to my tribe.”

    People reporting a belief in a god, like many other things, have not necessarily had observations that should have resulted in them believing what they believe. That’s why I’ve mentioned issues with people having inaccurate beliefs, and the value of getting other information, including information by which you can estimate the reliability of others.

    Then this is an example of people believing in something that they have no observation thus you cannot infer that people who believe in something have some observation that leads them to believe.

    As far as the car example, what I was saying is that people tend to know which car is theirs. You don’t commonly see someone walk up to a car and get confused because the doors won’t open when they hit the button on their keys, unless perhaps a considerable amount of your time observing others’ cars is spent outside of such pubs(though you’ll likely see people who forgot the exact place they did park looking around in other places).

    Then this is a non-example. People claiming that a car is theirs for no other purpose than making that claim is inconsequential. If they expect me to believe that the car is theirs then they would have to provide evidence of ownership.

    It’s not a contradiction to recognize that people are, in general, a good source of information, but not a perfect one. We don’t make information become accurate. It already either is or isn’t, independent of what people believe. Beliefs are often dependent on the actual state of the world, but there is a considerable degree of noise, which is why you can’t indiscriminately trust people reporting things.

    Correct, then why are you saying that the more people believe in a proposition the more accurate that information becomes?

    The amount of people believing something do not make it true. It just provides you with additional data points. Your saying that if you see a large number of people believing something(presumably something you’d rate as unlikely), it would likely draw your attention to investigate more than if a single person believes it is something that indicates that you do consider it to provide more information that a large number of people believe something. It works logarithmically. At first, learning a lot of people believe something tells you a good amount, but eventually the additional information that you can extract from more data points will drop off.

    The only information that I get is that more people believe in a proposition. I am not making any conclusion or measure of accuracy from the number of people believing which is why further investigation is warranted.

    As far as the prior navigation/GPS example, that was a separate example from the anecdote/study example. The GPS example did not refer to an anecdote at all, and the anecdote example used the generic concept of an anecdote and the generic concept of a study. The GPS example was an illustration of where you should trust your own more-direct evidence, and the anecdote example was an illustration of where you should trust the less-direct reports of others. Again, they’re two separate examples.

    You literally correlated anecdotal evidence with your GPS example. You referred to it explicitly.

    @380

    The point of bringing up anecdotal evidence being trusted over studies was to highlight that although, as in the GPS example, you would be making a mistake to reconsider the directions to your home, there are times where you should reconsider things you have more direct information about based on indirect reports from others. It may be that your confidence in something you consider to be a repeatedly-confirmed solid idea is really just the result of a lot of confirmation bias, and you should be prepared to investigate that when you see large, rigorous studies with results contrary to your experiences.

    Something that I think may be underlying all the confusion on the topic is that you seem to think that I’m saying that getting information is synonymous with getting accurate understanding.

    No, you are wrong.

    We don’t just know whether information we get will lead us to be accurate, or how much we can trust what other people report to us. We have to try and figure out how best to handle all that over time. Basically, we’re not directly confirming what’s actually accurate, we’re just estimating if we should believe it based on the information we have. We’re taking everything we’ve observed about the world and trying to determine the most likely state of affairs that leads to the totality of our observations.

    The only information you have is the amount of people believing in a proposition and that does not give you enough information that the proposition is more likely accurate.

    ‘Likelihood’ isn’t an inherent property. It’s just us trying to guess how frequently we can be correct about something based on our current state of information. If we get more information about something, our estimates of whether it is ‘likely’ true can change, but the actual state of reality doesn’t. Take something like the Monty Hall problem. The car is either behind a door, or it is not. But because the hosts actions are correlated with what is behind the doors, observing the actions of the host provides us with additional information we can use to bet more successfully.

    Likelihood is a probability. Probability is a mathematical concept. You cannot calculate the probability of a proposition being true simply based on the number of people believing in that proposition.

  444. buddyward says

    @Paul Money

    I haven’t done that. Anywhere. Scroll up.

    Yes you have, scroll up.

    What makes you think that I don’t? Anyway, my point is that discussions need to be with everybody, particularly with cis women.

    Then go to a blog filled with ciswomen who are willing to discuss this tired argument of yours. This thread said nothing about transgender’s access to public bathrooms. You are the one that introduced it.

    Really? The point about child safe spaces was to compare them with female safe spaces and I specifically said that the issue was accreditation or a lack of it, not gender.

    And yet you are suggesting that a group of people legally recognized by law as women should not be allowed in women’s bathroom because of their gender. That is discrimination.

    Any school that does not have a policy in place that requires a visitor to sign in and say why they are on the premises is manifestly failing in its duty of care. Perhaps you haven’t been to a school recently.

    A policy is very different from a statute or law. By law, I cannot be prevented from entering the premises based on my gender. The school may have a policy that my continued presence there requires that I have some business that I need to attend but I cannot be arrested simply because of my gender. Are you proposing that public restrooms should require people to sign in and state why they are there or are you proposing a law that prevents transgender women from using a women’s restroom?

    No, you may not insist in [sic] my providing you with a “statue”.

    Then you have failed to meet your burden of proof. If you are making fun of a misspelling then you are an ass because you well know that I meant statute.

    Basically Buddy, I draw the inference from your posts that only trans gender people should say what their rights should be, that those questioning that should be assumed to be transphobic and that I am an idiot. You don’t discuss issues or even appear to read what I write with any level of comprehension, so there is no point in my engaging with you further. You may have the last word!

    Oh how generous of you for giving me the last word, however, that does not make your argument any more true. Transgender women does not say what their rights should be. They are recognized, by law, as women and therefore have all the rights women have including access to public restrooms. You are the one saying that they do not have these rights.

    I never said you were an idiot. I said that the post is idiotic. You are wrong for presenting this argument here in an atheist blog where no one is discussing transgender rights to access public restrooms. This topic is not even discussed in the show. You are wrong for not taking a few seconds of your time to research the arguments already been discussed with regards to bathroom bills. You offer nothing new to the discussion and yet insist on revisiting the same old arguments.

    Here is the Facebook page for the National Organization for Women. Feel free an have a debate with them regarding this topic. Let us know if they agree with you.

  445. paxoll says

    @Jared,
    So you read the abstracts and conclusions of the papers presented in the video without actually watching the video. Which is why you are missing the arguments completely. That males have an advantage over females is demonstrated in any sport where relevant measurements show a statistical difference. The reason for the segregation is irrelevant.
     

    This does not give indication that they gain a relative advantage by transitioning and competing with cis women

    this is a fallacious position. the differences (advantage) in males/females has already been established, it is now up to people to demonstrate that advantage no longer exists for an individual. Which is why the paper on running times (while completely inadequate to make any conclusive statements) was the only one that came close to evidence that HRT removes the advantage for that specific sport. Seriously, if you are going to spend that much time reading and writing a response and not bother watching the video you are not worth speaking to. Guess what, scientific papers unfortunately often make unscientific claims in their conclusions that is not actually supported by their results, if you don’t have the skills to read the papers in their entirety and evaluate their conclusions then you shouldn’t be using the conclusions in your arguments.

  446. says

    jabbly, the point is that any potential advantages from transitioning are not the real concern underlying trans inclusion in sports being a controversy. The real concern that brings the issue up is that people who are anti-trans are exploiting the ignorance of other people in order to attack trans support in general. If that sort of ‘unfairness’ were what someone was actually concerned about, they’d basically be advocating restructuring sports entirely, because it is not only accepted in sports, sports are based on it.
     
    The division between women’s and men’s sports has been centered on controlling for hormone levels for what advantages are allowable to be included in one category or the other, not things like height. If that was the concern, it would be a relatively simple criteria to divide participants up based on, but the people pushing this aren’t advocating that sports, or at least women’s sports need to have more height divisions because it is unfair that short women and tall women are competing. There are plenty of ‘unfair’ factors you can control for that overwhelm any advantages that some trans women might have from personally being taller than average, and yet these factors are are not the ones people dispute.
     
    It’s essentially like setting up a literacy test to vote and claiming that it’s important voters be literate as their cover issue, while establishing a grandfather clause allowing everyone who they don’t want to exclude to vote. They can claim that they’re just concerned with voters being literate, but they’ve clearly revealed that their real concern isn’t actually what they’re claiming. Here, people are saying that unfairness over advantages is their important concern, and then letting much larger advantages go unchallenged.
     
    If these concerns were the real issue, you’d be seeing campaigns to restructure sports as a whole, but instead we’re just seeing a campaign designed to set people up against trans people, hoping that this will drive a wedge between trans supporters and others in general. It’s not that concerns about what constitutes ‘fairness’ shouldn’t be discussed, just that them being focused on trans inclusion is disingenuous.
     

     
    buddyward, I think the issue that leads you to see that as a contradiction is that you seem to be thinking of ‘likelihood’ as if it’s something that exists independently of an observer, and that someone can figure out the ‘true likelihood’ of something. There is no ‘true likelihood’, there is just what actually is/was or what actually will be. When we get information about the world, we do our best to guess the actual state of reality with the information available from our observations.
     
    If everyone I ask a question gives me the same answer, I have to make a judgement on whether or not I expect them all to have been inaccurate. I make that judgement based on all the other relevant information I have that I have determined to correspond to the accuracy of the reports of others. Whatever my estimate is for them being inaccurate, it’s dependent on my observations and ability to recall and correlate them. If I’d had different observations, I would have a different estimate.
     
    Another person with some overlapping information, but some information that I don’t have, while I have some information that they don’t have, will have a different estimate. I might have estimated something as having 70% likelihood, which basically means that I would expect to be wrong in situations with a similar amount of information about 3 times out of 10. The other person might estimate a 90% likelihood for the same thing, based on their respective information. Neither of us has ‘the true likelihood’, just different states of information regarding whether all the people we asked about something were inaccurate. After all, they either are or aren’t accurate, independent of our estimates, but our estimates can be more or less accurate.
     
    I’m saying that if our universe works in such a way that it provides information to observers that tends to be correlated with the state of the reality, and that the observers then tend to end up in a state that correlates with some other state of reality, then such a general trend provides useful information to you in general, even if you get information that is inaccurate under various conditions. You don’t know how accurate the people are ahead of time, you’re using their reports as part of the body of information by which you make your estimates. If there was no useful correlation in general, then you would never bother checking what people believe.
     
    The fact that inferences can be inaccurate does not mean that the inferences shouldn’t be made. You don’t know ahead of time that the sort of inference you make that is usually accurate in the majority of cases might happen to be inaccurate in a particular case. You’re aware of the possibility that it may be inaccurate, but you don’t reject making inferences at all. You just have to be prepared to correct yourself when you realize something you’ve inferred is inaccurate.
     
    The car example is simply a place where you expect people to have a high degree of accuracy. You might observe someone walk up to a car and try their keys on it, either to get in and drive away, or to get confused that it doesn’t work and try their keys a few more times before realizing that the car isn’t their car. That may happen, you’re aware that people get confused, but you don’t expect that to be common. If we were in a parking lot together and I kept betting you that everyone who left the store wouldn’t get confused about which car is their car, I’m confident that you wouldn’t take those bets against me.
     
    It’s not that more people believing something makes it more accurate, it’s just that with larger sample sizes, I estimate that everyone I query about something will not happen to be considerably below average intelligence, or that they will not happen to all have non-representative sets of experiences regarding it, or will not happen to all be pushing the same agenda. They might, but with low sample sizes, I’ve found that to be a greater risk that my lone source is inaccurate.
     
    One example for this is how fast the people around you are driving. You’ve got to pick a speed to drive at, but if you don’t see any posted speed limits, and the sort of road you’re on has a significant variation in posted limits in your experience, you can estimate a wide range of possible limits. If you then see one person driving at basically the extreme upper bound of your range, that’s some information.
     
    Maybe they’re just an unusually fast driver who ignores limits for the most part, though. Seeing one person driving at that speed doesn’t narrow your estimates that much. If you see dozens or more all driving at nearly the same speed, though, you’ll probably consider that while most people you’ve seen prefer to drive faster than posted limit, they usually don’t drive a great deal over it, and so seeing them all near the upper bound should make you estimate that the posted limit, when you see it, is probably close to the upper bound of your earlier estimate.
     
    That’s the sort of information you get from observing that more people believe something, such as what the speed limit is. It’s not a guarantee that they’re not all just following the lead of the first driver or something, but when it comes to how fast I drive, until I see a posted limit, seeing how fast everyone else is going is what I have to work with.
     
    The prior navigation/GPS example was contrasted with the anecdote/study example. I took the two examples and used them to show that there are situations where more-direct evidence is what you should trust more, and that there are also situations where you should trust the less-direct reports of others more. They’re two separate examples, brought together to show some of the complexity of evaluating what you should trust.
     
    I’m unclear what you meant to say that I’m wrong about in regards to getting information not being synonymous with getting accurate understanding. Getting some level of information is necessary for understanding, but a given collection of information may not be sufficient.
     
    As far as using the number of people that believe in something to estimate probability, the thing is that seeing that a large number of people believe something, or seeing that there is anyone who believes something at all, results in different estimates depending on your existing understanding about the world. If you believed that everyone had identical experiences, and that they all had the same level of comprehension, the same honesty, and so on, then you wouldn’t consider learning that additional people believe something to tell you anything other than that there are more people who believe something. If someone believed that, I wouldn’t expect them to ever sample more than one person regarding anything.

  447. jabbly says

    @jared

    So when it’s pointed out to you that yes trans-women do indeed seem to have what can be considered an unfair advantage in some sports you suddenly change tack back to that’s not what this controversy is really about. What’s the point of discussion if that the approach you’re going to take?

  448. says

    paxoll, I went over the entirety of the papers first, to be familiar with them when I get to the video. I mentioned that I was first checking the papers that were linked in the video before watching the video itself, which I’ll get to watching. So far, I’m responding to the points raised in the thread. I’m guessing, based on your response, that the video is likely going to argue that the existing research is insufficient to determine if there will maybe/probably be problems with trans women competing with cis women. Let’s see if I am lucky enough to guess right.
     
    I do think it bears mentioning that when I stated that trans women who go through HRT have considerable drops in performance, you said that was false, and then cited the Race Times for Transgender Athletes paper, saying it showed similar ranges between their run times before and after HRT, when using an age-based calculation. When I read the paper, what it actually showed was that the relative performance of the runners in the study to males prior to transitioning was nearly the same as the relative performance of the runners to females after transitioning.
     
    In other words, it did not indicate that trans women carried over the same performance from prior to transitioning that you thought the study said they did. This makes me curious about whether the video makes the same mistake. The study was a small one struggling to get samples, and was not very robust, which it mentions, and there is plenty of room for more studies regarding this.
     
    The policies of sporting organizations that allow trans inclusion were not made in a complete vacuum of information. They did consult with medical professionals who study the medical effects of things like HRT. Nor are these trans activist organizations that advocate inclusion no matter what. These policies have been in place for years without the sorts of dire effects on women’s sports that some people expect.
     
    Everything I’ve seen indicates that trans inclusion is not a problem, which is in agreement with the governing bodies of the sporting organizations, and that the current trend in the evidence will continue to support trans inclusion. Continued studies that are more robust are welcomed, and if we do find specific problems, we can address them.
     
    I’ll see what the video has to say regarding this, though. Maybe it has some surprises in store for me, like papers it didn’t link in the description.

  449. says

    jabbly, it’s not what the controversy is actually about. It’s a spurious cover issue meant to make it seem like there is a legitimate reason to oppose trans inclusion, so people can be baited into arguing against trans people, and that some will become increasingly hostile to trans support in general. Saying that trans women have an ‘unfair’ advantage is either the result of ignorance in thinking that they’re carrying over their pre-transition performance, or akin to saying that we need to stop illiterate people from voting, but only if they’re black. If ‘fairness’ were their actual concern, then trans inclusion would be rather low on their list of things to address.

  450. Murat says

    @Jared

    jabbly, the point is that any potential advantages from transitioning are not the real concern underlying trans inclusion in sports being a controversy. The real concern that brings the issue up is that people who are anti-trans are exploiting the ignorance of other people in order to attack trans support in general. If that sort of ‘unfairness’ were what someone was actually concerned about, they’d basically be advocating restructuring sports entirely, because it is not only accepted in sports, sports are based on it.

    How do you know what the “real concern” is?
    What “ignorance” is it that you are talking about?
    RR actually did advocate that which you mention, as a probable means of reconciliation.
    You acknowledge that there is an extra layer of fairness problem when trans women compete against cis women, yet, you criticize people of not undermining that or speaking about it, which is a travesty in and of itself.

  451. jabbly says

    @jared

    And as I’ve said before if you fail to understand what the concept of fairness in sport is, and clearly you do, then that’s ignorance from your side. Here’s a simple one for you, does height play a role in some sports, do trans-women become shorter post-transition?

    If you can’t even understand this then any discussion of possible solutions is frankly pointless.

    Oh and thanks for playing, yet again, the you’re either ignorant or transphobic if you don’t agree with card.

  452. jabbly says

    And as I’ve said before if you fail to understand what the concept of fairness in sport is, and clearly you do, then that’s ignorance from your side. Here’s a simple one for you, does height play a role in some sports, do trans-women become shorter post-transition?

    If you can’t even understand this then any discussion of possible solutions is frankly pointless.

    Oh and thanks for playing, yet again, the you’re either ignorant or transphobic if you don’t agree with card.

  453. paxoll says

    @Jared

    I do think it bears mentioning that when I stated that trans women who go through HRT have considerable drops in performance, you said that was false,

    no, that is NOT what I said was false, I said what was false was that

    those who do find their performance in sports drops considerably, leaving them within the ranges for cis women.

    Only ONE very mediocre, underpowered paper demonstrated anything close to leaving them “within the ranges for cis women.” Which was my claim, NOT that they continued to have an advantage

    One paper examining 8 long distance runners showed similar ranges using an age based calculation

    . That paper acknowledged that the sport in question was one where the expected benefits of male puberty were primarily elevated hemoglobin which is one of the few parameters where the advantage is completely loss by HRT. None of the athletes were professional or top athletes either, where one would expect every rule boundary pushed. Your belief that the sporting organizations care about anything other than the reputation and good will toward them from the public is laughable. They have been making their recommendations based on no data, and have been erring on the side of the most vocal and historically harmed group. Just like with the ruling on Caster and intersex conditions, the evidence is likely to demonstrate significant advantage if they ever get a decent sample to study.

  454. jabbly says

    @paxoll

    Yep, if I was looking for ethical leadership the likes of the IOC wouldn’t be where I’d start.

  455. buddyward says

    @Jared

    I think the issue that leads you to see that as a contradiction is that you seem to be thinking of ‘likelihood’ as if it’s something that exists independently of an observer, and that someone can figure out the ‘true likelihood’ of something. There is no ‘true likelihood’, there is just what actually is/was or what actually will be. When we get information about the world, we do our best to guess the actual state of reality with the information available from our observations.

    No that is not why I see your statements as contradictions. I have already stated why they are contradictions but instead of addressing why I said they are contradictions you are now telling me what I think and arguing against that. You know what that is called? Its called the argument from strawman fallacy.

    If everyone I ask a question gives me the same answer, I have to make a judgement on whether or not I expect them all to have been inaccurate. I make that judgement based on all the other relevant information I have that I have determined to correspond to the accuracy of the reports of others. Whatever my estimate is for them being inaccurate, it’s dependent on my observations and ability to recall and correlate them. If I’d had different observations, I would have a different estimate.

    So you are basing the accuracy on other information and not by the number of people believing the proposition, is that correct?

    Another person with some overlapping information, but some information that I don’t have, while I have some information that they don’t have, will have a different estimate. I might have estimated something as having 70% likelihood, which basically means that I would expect to be wrong in situations with a similar amount of information about 3 times out of 10. The other person might estimate a 90% likelihood for the same thing, based on their respective information. Neither of us has ‘the true likelihood’, just different states of information regarding whether all the people we asked about something were inaccurate. After all, they either are or aren’t accurate, independent of our estimates, but our estimates can be more or less accurate.

    I am not sure how you made that calculation. As my old grade school math teacher would say, “Please show your work.”

    I’m saying that if our universe works in such a way that it provides information to observers that tends to be correlated with the state of the reality, and that the observers then tend to end up in a state that correlates with some other state of reality, then such a general trend provides useful information to you in general, even if you get information that is inaccurate under various conditions. You don’t know how accurate the people are ahead of time, you’re using their reports as part of the body of information by which you make your estimates. If there was no useful correlation in general, then you would never bother checking what people believe.

    Not sure what you mean here, as far as I know there is only one reality. I am not aware of different states of reality.

    The fact that inferences can be inaccurate does not mean that the inferences shouldn’t be made.

    I did not say that.

    You don’t know ahead of time that the sort of inference you make that is usually accurate in the majority of cases might happen to be inaccurate in a particular case. You’re aware of the possibility that it may be inaccurate, but you don’t reject making inferences at all. You just have to be prepared to correct yourself when you realize something you’ve inferred is inaccurate.

    An inference is a conclusion based on evidence. If you do not have evidence to make your conclusion you therefore cannot make an inference. You do not have evidence that a person believing a proposition have had an observation that lead them to their belief thus you cannot make that inference.

    The car example is simply a place where you expect people to have a high degree of accuracy. You might observe someone walk up to a car and try their keys on it, either to get in and drive away, or to get confused that it doesn’t work and try their keys a few more times before realizing that the car isn’t their car. That may happen, you’re aware that people get confused, but you don’t expect that to be common. If we were in a parking lot together and I kept betting you that everyone who left the store wouldn’t get confused about which car is their car, I’m confident that you wouldn’t take those bets against me.

    This is a stupid example. You are talking about things people own and are not common to everyone else. They are not trying to convince me that they own the car. Let me flip it this way, what if I bet you that most people in that parking lot does not know which one is my car. Stacking a scenario in your favor is a ridiculous way of presenting an example.

    It’s not that more people believing something makes it more accurate, it’s just that with larger sample sizes, I estimate that everyone I query about something will not happen to be considerably below average intelligence, or that they will not happen to all have non-representative sets of experiences regarding it, or will not happen to all be pushing the same agenda. They might, but with low sample sizes, I’ve found that to be a greater risk that my lone source is inaccurate.

    None of this says anything about how accurate a proposition is based on the number of people believing that proposition. What you are describing here is not about the accuracy of the proposition but the degree YOU are willing to accept the proposition. Those are two different things.

    One example for this is how fast the people around you are driving. You’ve got to pick a speed to drive at, but if you don’t see any posted speed limits, and the sort of road you’re on has a significant variation in posted limits in your experience, you can estimate a wide range of possible limits. If you then see one person driving at basically the extreme upper bound of your range, that’s some information.

    Maybe they’re just an unusually fast driver who ignores limits for the most part, though. Seeing one person driving at that speed doesn’t narrow your estimates that much. If you see dozens or more all driving at nearly the same speed, though, you’ll probably consider that while most people you’ve seen prefer to drive faster than posted limit, they usually don’t drive a great deal over it, and so seeing them all near the upper bound should make you estimate that the posted limit, when you see it, is probably close to the upper bound of your earlier estimate.

    That’s the sort of information you get from observing that more people believe something, such as what the speed limit is. It’s not a guarantee that they’re not all just following the lead of the first driver or something, but when it comes to how fast I drive, until I see a posted limit, seeing how fast everyone else is going is what I have to work with.

    I do not know where you are from but if you are from the U.S. you need to review the DMV traffic regulations. This is not how you determine speed limits.

    The prior navigation/GPS example was contrasted with the anecdote/study example. I took the two examples and used them to show that there are situations where more-direct evidence is what you should trust more, and that there are also situations where you should trust the less-direct reports of others more. They’re two separate examples, brought together to show some of the complexity of evaluating what you should trust.

    Are you saying that you did not say the following?

    you would be making a mistake to reconsider the directions to your home, there are times where you should reconsider things you have more direct information about based on indirect reports from others.

    If you agree that you said this, are you saying this is not anecdotal evidence?

    I’m unclear what you meant to say that I’m wrong about in regards to getting information not being synonymous with getting accurate understanding. Getting some level of information is necessary for understanding, but a given collection of information may not be sufficient.

    You are wrong in your assessment of what I think. Please stop strawmanning.

    As far as using the number of people that believe in something to estimate probability, the thing is that seeing that a large number of people believe something, or seeing that there is anyone who believes something at all, results in different estimates depending on your existing understanding about the world. If you believed that everyone had identical experiences, and that they all had the same level of comprehension, the same honesty, and so on, then you wouldn’t consider learning that additional people believe something to tell you anything other than that there are more people who believe something. If someone believed that, I wouldn’t expect them to ever sample more than one person regarding anything.

    Again this is a description on how confident YOU are. This is not the same as how accurate the proposition is.

  456. says

    Murat, it’s not that everyone commenting on the controversy is doing so out of anti-trans sentiment, just that the overall issue being pushed is, similar to the bathroom controversy, being used to attack trans support, and that push is why the issue is prominent. The ignorance that I am referring to is that there are a lot of people out there with a creationist-level understanding of trans issues, who are being presented with arguments carefully framing trans inclusion in sports as if you had people with the same performance as cis men coming into women’s sports and then beating the ‘real women’.
     
    That is what I am taking issue with. I’ve mentioned that you can have a reasonable discussion on what possible advantages there might be, and if so, how best to handle such advantages, but that there will be a great deal of noise involved due to the issue being used as as a means of attack on trans people. Thinking about the issue is not what makes a person ignorant, it’s just that ignorant people are a large and loud contingent to be aware of regarding the topic. I’ll discuss my position on fairness in my response to jabbly.
     

     
    jabbly, I’ll go over the concept of fairness in sports in more detail. To start, ‘advantage’ is a necessary part of sports. Without it, there would be nothing like what we call sports at all. It would just be a random fluctuation, rather than a display of the most capable participants. However, there are dimensions along which advantage is controlled for. Sporting organizations are determining which advantages are allowed as the basis on which the competition is measured, and which advantages they want to rule out or that they think there is likely to be such a level of disparity in that there is no point to holding a contest.
     
    A common method of handling large disparities is to split up competitors. Weight classes are one such way to split competition up. The controls on advantages are not intended to eliminate advantages, but to focus the tests of relative capability onto the factors that people want the participants to be competing on, as well as to make sports outcomes reasonably unpredictable.
     
    Things like height, reaction times, strength, speed, these may all be relevant in a sport. How fast a reaction time is as good as a certain height when generalized over a variety of situations? If such a comparison isn’t feasible to evaluate in a particular sport, that indicates that it is not obviously overwhelming, and you’re not going to go around making such divisions where it’s not clear who will win.
     
    Plenty of cis men with high testosterone levels will not be able to come close to matching the performance of some cis women who don’t even have unusually high testosterone levels themselves. The division drawn between these cis men competing with women isn’t that they personally will outperform them, but that it’s a manageable way to deal with other cis men who would score highly in all the other measurements even without high circulating testosterone levels. If those top-performing cis men also have the advantage of high circulating testosterone, they would outperform the women who don’t have that advantage if there was not the division.
     
    Once you remove the advantage of high circulating testosterone in someone, then you’re left with people who are competing on the other factors they may have some advantages in, factors that are not in themselves being ruled out or used as the basis to split up categories. If, after removing the advantages of currently circulating high testosterone levels, there are any collections of advantages of development remaining that you wouldn’t exclude a cis woman for if she had them, then I don’t think it’s justifiable to exclude trans women competing with them.
     
    If I wouldn’t exclude a cis woman from competition for being of a certain height, then I wouldn’t exclude a trans woman for it, either. I recognize that people who have gone through puberty with high levels of testosterone will tend to have things like greater height on average, which can have effects on their sports performance. However, if a person being taller because of any other genetic advantages leading to their height isn’t a cause for exclusion, then a person being taller because of their sex chromosomes shouldn’t be a cause for exclusion, when height isn’t the basis of sex-based categories being drawn to begin with.
     
    Height has already been judged as a ‘fair’ attribute for individuals to gain advantage of. The idea of something a person ‘would not otherwise have had’ becomes muddy in the context of their genetics, and could just as well apply to anyone, questioning what genes than they might otherwise have had giving them more or less advantage. As mentioned in the video, this would also apply to trans men or cis men with testosterone deficiencies taking HRT to get advantages they “otherwise would not have had”, or cis women and cis men who have had things like growth hormone therapy to correct deficiencies making them taller than they otherwise would have been.
     
    Trans women aren’t taking a course of action to gain a benefit any more than cis women who end up similarly tall are doing so. They’d prefer not to go through puberty in a way that would make them more masculine. Them taking HRT is akin with Caster Semenya being told to take HRT in order to compete. Rulings regarding that are another thorny issue regarding fairness in general and how to handle it. It’s not that these issues are new and exclusive to trans inclusion, it’s that they’ve always been there, relatively unnoticed and unremarked upon by most people, and people are now becoming aware of them as these topics come up. I just wish the discussion wasn’t being used to attack trans people instead of simply exploring the topic.
     
    I am not saying that people cannot have concerns regarding the fairness of trans people in sports without being ignorant or anti-trans. I am saying that the majority of the arguments I see fall into those categories, which is to be expected when the issue has been co-opted as a cover issue by disingenuous groups. Many people simply make arguments that show that they clearly don’t understand that HRT has significant effects on sports performance and that trans women are not dominating in women’s sports. The framing that is being pushed by anti-trans campaigners is designed to give people that are unfamiliar with the topic just such a view.
     
    There are questions to be had regarding the effectiveness of HRT in leveling the playing field, and based on what I’ve seen so far, I think it will be broadly effective. That does not mean that HRT will display the same results seen in the limited study on distance running when applied more broadly, though I suspect it will, even though some sports may have particular difficulties. These are questions that should be studied, and the results will further direct us on what policies are appropriate and what further research seems relevant.
     

     
    paxoll, I went and watched the video you linked to. While I do have some disagreement with the creator of the video on how ‘fairness’ should be handled in regards to sports, I think he did fine in going over the papers, and his reading matched what I found in reading them. I definitely agree that people should be more careful about what they cite. And now I see what you meant when you said it was false. Sorry for the misinterpretation. I do disagree with you on that, however, as I would expect there to be superior performance from trans women if there is a really significant advantage. Perhaps the lack so far is just a result of a very small population of participants, but I don’t anticipate seeing that.
     
    He did cite another paper not linked, and in regards to that, I think we all agree that more research, particularly more robust research, should be done. I said initially that more studies will be done, and that policies will be updated as more information comes in. There are real issues that the sporting organizations are working on, but I have been more concerned with people who are ignorant of the topic being exploited by anti-trans campaigners, which is what has been pushing the topic to prominence.
     
    If sporting organizations and medical professionals simply continued to study the topic and determine how to handle inclusion, then I would not have an issue. What concerns me is that it’s being used to attack trans people in general, and I want people to be aware of how it is being used. I don’t claim that various sporting organizations are doing a good job everywhere, but they have not been acting on a complete lack of data, they’ve been making decisions based on the limited information available and the recommendations they’ve gotten so far. There could turn out to be serious problems with the recommendations on this issue, but after this long, I don’t find it that likely.
     

     
    To be recap my thoughts on the topic in general, I expect that further studies will bear out that there is not an overwhelming advantage in sports for trans women that are undergoing HRT. I don’t find the sort of advantages of being taller or having a larger muscle area as a result of height to be ‘unfair’ in comparison to other ‘acceptable advantages’ and situations. I think a person could consider those advantages to be unfair, but that by the standards used to come to that judgement, they would have broad criticism of sports fairness, rather than focused concern about trans inclusion. In that case, they should be discussing how to handle fairness more broadly, rather than just how it applies to trans women, or else you get into the territory of people arguing that black voter literacy is important, and never expanding their discussions to voter literacy in general.
     
    I don’t have a good solution for the fairness and other competition problems in general. Further, I think they’re going to get even trickier as we move towards people having genetically modified children, among other things.

  457. jabbly says

    @Jared

    So even though it’s been explained to you multiple times the concept of fairness in sports and even though it’s also been explained multiple times why in some sports that may be an issue you still fail to understand the issue or possibly, and this is what I’m now inclined to believe, you don’t wish to understand it as it undermines the position you hold.

  458. says

    buddyward, you have said you see what I said as contradictions, but nothing you quoted had me saying that a person believing something made it true or more accurate or something similar. I have said that if you see someone believes something is true, that gives you information you can use to estimate the likelihood that it is true, and that seeing that more people believe something is true gives you more information than that seeing a single person believes it. This is not the same thing as me thinking the beliefs become more correct, if this is what you think might be a contradiction.
     
    I am not sure what has been leading you to interpret what I’ve said in the way that you have, so I have been trying to clear up any misconceptions you might have. That’s not a straw man. As far as estimating the accuracy of the reports of other people, the number of people who report something gives me some information that I correlate with other information that I have. It gets added to the collection of information.
     
    There isn’t a specific calculation to do the math on, I just gave some numbers to convey that different people(or the same person at different times) can have different estimates of how ‘likely’ something is, based on having different information regarding it.
     
    To clear up the part about states of reality, I mean that if, in general, the universe works in a way that information is provided to observers regarding reality, they can have their beliefs about reality end up being correlated with reality. As long as this general trend is true, then knowing what others believe is useful information.
     
    A person believing something is information indicating that they have likely had observations leading to them believing it. It’s not a guarantee that they actually have had observations that should have resulted in them believing that thing in that case, and of course you should consider everything else you know, but as long as beliefs are in general correlated with observations that reasonably lead to them, then it’s useful to observe that someone believes something.
     
    The parking lot example is appropriate to convey that there are domains where you expect people to have a high degree of accuracy, as compared to domains where you expect people to have low degrees of accuracy. You learn from your prior observations which domains you expect people to be accurate regarding, such as which car is theirs in a parking lot, and which domains you expect people to be inaccurate regarding, such as things distorted by religious beliefs. In the example you gave, I would expect most people to have a high degree of accuracy in reporting that they didn’t know which car was yours.
     
    Yes, you estimate the likelihood that people are correct. You have no guarantees, you’re just collecting all the information available to make the best estimate of their accuracy that you can. As far as the speed limits, the point of the example is that you’re getting additional information from observing the behaviors of multiple people, and how this can affect your estimates.
     
    As far as the GPS example, I’m not sure what now makes you think it would be an ‘anecdote’. The definition of anecdote that you used earlier was basically an experience that cannot be verified by something like repeated experience, and under that definition, as you can repeat the navigation to your home and so can others, it’s not an ‘anecdote’. If you’re considering any personal experience at all to be anecdotal, or something along those lines, then you could call it an anecdote, but you’re basically saying two different things depending on the case. If you mean something else, then you’ll need to explain.
     
    Regarding straw men, I haven’t interpreted you as laying out an argument that could be the subject of a straw man. Just that you haven’t understood what I was saying, and I’ve been trying to figure out where the disconnect is. And, yes. You’re only ever producing your best estimate, based on your observations, of what is true in reality. You use the available information in an attempt to ensure that your beliefs correlate with reality as strongly as possible, but the only way to verify some observation is through other observations.

  459. paxoll says

    @Jared
    Thank you. Yes, I agree that many bad actors hop on this issue, but I think the best option is to fight the bigots claims as they are made, not simply adopt a pro-trans stance regardless of the claims and issue. I think a honest and clear examination helps the efforts to get trans acceptance to spread and to prevent emotional knee jerk reactions that I think RRs first video fell into.

  460. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Jared
    You’re doing a good job here, and I agree that this issue is used by many to attack trans people in general. However, I want to share my own concerns which you do not seem to be addressing – which I will not act on because it’s not my problem as a cit-het white guy.

    IMHO, we did not make weight classes in boxing because it was unfair to the smaller guys. IMHO, sports is about finding human excellence – physical and mental. This always means that most people cannot compete because they’re not fit enough, mentally hard enough, and because they were not born with the right genetics and body to be able to compete even if they worked just as hard. We don’t consider it unfair that shorter compete are at a disadvantage in basketball, or smaller people are at a disadvantage in unarmed combat sports (i.e. boxing).

    I suspect we made weight classes to unarmed combat sports to increase the amount of competition, because we like watching, but also importantly for the purposes of this conversation, we added weight classes to unarmed combat sports because we wanted more of the population to be able to have the dream and aspiration of being able to compete. It is important to society to encourage and enable more young people to try to compete in sports.

    I think this reasoning is especially true for men-women sports divisions. Each elite level cis-men athletes will beat all elite level cis-women athletes in practically every physical sport, and usually by a wide margin. Even elite level high school male athletes will often all Olympic level cis-women athletes in many sports. The difference between the sexes is huge. Without a separate womens division, this tells young girls that elite sports competition is not for them, and that is not the message that we want to be sending to young girls, especially with our recent history of discrimination and oppression of women. Womens divisions in sports is just as much about undoing historical discrimination and disadvantages to women, as well ensuring that roughly half of the population are included in an important part of our culture: sports.

    In the hypothetical where elite level trans-women athletes on HRT have a large advantage compared to elite level cis-women athletes, then I see a big problem. I see young cis-girls in the same position that we had before womens divisions in sports. Young cis-girls would see that they’re not welcome in sports, and/or they have no hope to compete and win. It would crush the dreams and aspirations of young cis-girls, and we might see a large drop in their participation in sports. Hypothetically. Practically speaking, in this hypothetical, by being inclusive for trans-women, we exclude cis-women, and because it happens to match pretty well (not exactly, but close) a historically disadvantaged group (women), I see this as a problem. I would totally understand a cis-woman athlete who complains that the new rules would be a new form of sex-based discrimination and suppression, and complain that cis-women are effectively barred from sports, just as they had been before the creation of womens divisions.

    To sum it up, the problem that I see is not about :fairness”, but about whether or not we effectively exclude women who make up half of our population from competitive sports on the basis that they’re cis-women. And again, this is all under the questionable hypothetical that trans-women on HRT are substantially better than cis-women, and that is a point that I do not know whether it is true or false.

  461. buddyward says

    @Jared

    you have said you see what I said as contradictions, but nothing you quoted had me saying that a person believing something made it true or more accurate or something similar. I have said that if you see someone believes something is true, that gives you information you can use to estimate the likelihood that it is true, and that seeing that more people believe something is true gives you more information than that seeing a single person believes it. This is not the same thing as me thinking the beliefs become more correct, if this is what you think might be a contradiction.

    I am getting tired of having to read walls of text that does not address anything that I have said or completely ignoring what I have said so I am going to address them one at a time and hopefully we stay on topic. I realize that this will just make this longer but having you ignore what I say or strawman my position just leads to a lot of confusing walls of text.

    Please explain how these two statements of yours can be true at the same time?

    I have said that as long as people’s beliefs tend to correspond with reality, that if something is true, then it’s more likely people will believe it. Not that if they believe it, it’s more likely to be true. That would be getting causality backwards.

    Specifically, the beliefs of others offer indirect information that tends to be correlated with accuracy.[…] seeking out multiple people to reduce the risks of that, or seeking out someone locally recognized as an expert on the topic increases the likelihood of accurate information.

  462. Murat says

    @Jared

    creationist-level understanding of trans issues, who are being presented with arguments carefully framing trans inclusion in sports as if you had people with the same performance as cis men coming into women’s sports and then beating the ‘real women’.

    I don’t understand what a “creationist-level understanding of trans issues” is.
    There are trans people who are creationists. There are straight creationist people who are not necessarily bigoted against the trans. I don’t think these things actually collide. It’s just the tradition of “taking sides” that sweeps one under the other.
    I have a problem with the bringing up of the term “real woman” into this discussion. Because it sounds like there is an agenda of making people say “trans women are real women”. Now, if I refuse to state that, does it indicate that my understanding of and approach to trans issues is on the creationist-level? How so? What does this have to do with creationism?
    I think the trans issue is important to discuss for platforms like this one because it can help us detect if we are resorting to presuppositions unconsciously, via some kind of social manipulation. I had previously noted that the usage of “real” is uncalled for in this context. It has neither scientific, nor social meaning. The fairness concern on sports may be but a symptom of how a certain perception is being pushed. We do not need to declare anyone a “real woman” in order to accept their gender identities as trans women and use appropriate gender pronouns in this light.
    The second part of your remark suggests that you do not fully understand the metrics here: Because height is also a factor and it is totally irrelevant to one being a cis man or a trans woman. Having been a born-male and having passed through male puberty is the thing that provides the advantage of height. So, the “as if” does not apply here. Because, yes, it really is so. Take the example of basketball, and people with the same height as cis men coming into women’s sports may (unjustly) beat ‘cis women’.
    For me, the term “real woman” is something that might be used as a compliment for someone who has overcome what is considered a task associated with “womanhood” socially and traditionally. If a trans woman mothers 5 children during a long period of war, I can appreciate her endurance by saying “you’re a real woman”. Context matters. You could refer to one’s sexual performance and call them “a real man” or “a real woman”. But the way you use it comes very close to saying that there is no difference between a cis woman and a trans woman. Yet, there are certain, crucial differences. This does not mean their identities are closer to those of cis men’s than to cis women’s, but yes, there are differences and acting like they do not exist is weird, especially for rational people, since the whole idea of being rational rests on setting your relationship with facts straight.
    I do not know how you identify yourself, but for the sake of argument, I will consider you a heterosexual man. Within the context of your romantic and sexual life, a “real woman” for you may very understandably exclude trans women, and no external aganda should force you to engage in that way with one. Because accomodating the other’s needs can not extend to running over your very own.
    With regards to the issue of trans women in sports, this is the situation some cis women may be finding themselves in.

  463. says

    jabbly, I understand the idea of advantage and fairness in sports, but I’m saying that what is being called ‘fairness’ is being applied inconsistently. Specifically, the clause, ‘would not otherwise have had’ has quite a degree of freedom in application, and by the standards that it’s being applied, it also applies to other advantages in sports that have larger impacts, and should not be considered in isolation from those.
     

     
    paxoll, I’m not simply saying that trans people can ‘fairly’ compete regardless of whatever the situation is. If, for instance, there was no way to do HRT, and at the top levels trans women simply crushed any cis women they faced, that would indicate a point where a division would need to be made in order for cis women to have any chance at victory in the competitions that they are a part of. If I thought that was the case, the policies I would be in support of would be different. As further studies continue to be done, I’ll see if my current expectations for the results of such studies are borne out.
     

     
    EnlightenmentLiberal, yes, the different categories of excellence are the metrics around which sporting competitions are based, and within those bounds of the traits being tested, advantage is accepted and in fact is the basis for the sport to be able to have competition. I said in an earlier message(462), buried among all the other stuff that the regulations and classes in sports aren’t getting rid of advantage(not the advantages they want to the sport to be based on, anyway), but are ensuring that the outcomes of sporting events are reasonably unpredictable. This is needed for the events to be satisfying to participate in or watch.
     
    As it turns out, in the response I’d written to paxoll before getting to your message, my hypothetical was similar to yours. It’s a good question to raise, as that’s basically the crux of whether I’d consider trans inclusion in a particular category in some sport to be something I support. In a previous thread, I said that the physical attributes of trans people warrant consideration just as do the differences between tall and short people, and a trans man wouldn’t want a doctor to ignore them having gotten ovarian cancer out of consideration of the social aspects of gender.
     
    These are the sorts of considerations to be made in determining policies. More broadly, social policies will have benefits and drawbacks that have to be weighed against each other, based on what we value and based on what we think the facts of the matter are. Then we select the optimal course we can figure out that achieves what we consider to be the best overall outcome.
     
    In the hypothetical you provided, while it would be unfortunate for trans women to be segregated from cis women in sports, I think it would be the lesser harm.
     

     
    buddyward, I’m not sure how you could think those are in contradiction. If the beliefs of others tend to be correlated with what is actually the case in reality, then seeing that someone believes something should lead you to estimate that their belief likely corresponds with reality. If you sample people who are experts, you should estimate that they’re unlikely to be a poor source of information. If you sample a large number of people, you’re unlikely to get particularly poor information on average. In either case, you’re increasing the likelihood that you’re getting accurate information on which to base your estimates.

  464. jabbly says

    @Jared

    You clearly don’t understand the concept of fairness in sport, or at least why people have an issue with it in this context, even though it keeps being explained to you. You’ve agreed that height can be an advantage in some sports, you’ve agreed that a trans-women has an advantage in height that wouldn’t have if they were biological females (the category they are competing in). That’s the issue of fairness and you don’t get to redefine that as, as long as the advantage isn’t too great (I’d be interested to see how you define that one) just because it suits the point of view you started with and have stuck with even when it’s been pointed out the rationale you originally used was incorrect.

    I hold position X because of A; but A is not true; ok then I hold position X because of B; B isn’t true either; you must be a bigot if you don’t agree with X.