Recommended Posts

Bob writes:

Hobbes believed a sovereign power is necessary for a functioning social order.

As do I... and there already is.

Civilization is impossible without God... because with no objective moral standard, by default there can ONLY be the collective popular consensus of relativistic morally equivalent OPINIONS.

Greg

You mean the same God that killed all t he infants in Sodom and Gomorrah and the same God that drowned all the babies and the same God that stood idly by while His people were being slaughtered by the Nazis??? This God is clearly incompetent when He is not being cruel and crazy.

I've read about Jews going atheist after the Holocaust.

It's not the job of any "God" to save anybody's ass. It's not the job of "God" to make people believe in irrational, unreal things like "God."

"God" is a justification for patriarchy and a re-enforcement of the patriarch. In Christianity it's the Pope as numero uno.

As the human race grows up "God" will be replaced by reality, which "to be commanded must be obeyed." In monotheistic religion one does not "command" "God."

To go rational means going scientific qua natural phenomena and human endeavor generally.

The lack of critical thinking by the mentally lazy and confused and ignorant and cowards is the great, conservative retard. In the meantime the top rots. 800 years ago Popes launched great crusades--albeit a different kind of crazy rot--today he hasn't got the balls or any kind of mandate to call out the Muslims for their fascist nonsense. That's okay; that is now the responsibility of secular governments, although culturally Christian.

--Brant

morality is objectified the same way individual rights are objectified--by referencing man qua man you find out what's universal for human beings marginalizing the initiators and would-be initiators of physical force, which is the only (moral) justification of a government (that the United States used to have) for its preponderance, emphasis and orientation (perfection is impossible and not desirable regardless)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob writes:

Hobbes believed a sovereign power is necessary for a functioning social order.

As do I... and there already is.

Civilization is impossible without God... because with no objective moral standard, by default there can ONLY be the collective popular consensus of relativistic morally equivalent OPINIONS.

Greg

You mean the same God that killed all t he infants in Sodom and Gomorrah and the same God that drowned all the babies and the same God that stood idly by while His people were being slaughtered by the Nazis??? This God is clearly incompetent when He is not being cruel and crazy.

I've read about Jews going atheist after the Holocaust.

It's not the job of any "God" to save anybody's ass. It's not the job of "God" to make people believe in irrational, unreal things like "God."

"God" is a justification for patriarchy and a re-enforcement of the patriarch. In Christianity it's the Pope as numero uno.

As the human race grows up "God" will be replaced by reality, which "to be commanded must be obeyed." In monotheistic religion one does not "command" "God."

To go rational means going scientific qua natural phenomena and human endeavor generally.

The lack of critical thinking by the mentally lazy and confused and ignorant and cowards is the great, conservative retard. In the meantime the top rots. 800 years ago Popes launched great crusades--albeit a different kind of crazy rot--today he hasn't got the balls or any kind of mandate to call out the Muslims for their fascist nonsense. That's okay; that is now the responsibility of secular governments, although culturally Christian.

--Brant

morality is objectified the same way individual rights are objectified--by referencing man qua man you find out what's universal for human beings marginalizing the initiators and would-be initiators of physical force, which is the only (moral) justification of a government (that the United States used to have) for its preponderance, emphasis and orientation (perfection is impossible and not desirable regardless)

Fine. Then screw God. It has It's agenda and we have ours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob writes:

You mean the same God that killed all the infants in Sodom and Gomorrah.

Yeah, Bob.

When a critical mass of people completely give themselves over to evil, even their own spawn share the just and deserved consequences of the evil they chose to do.

and the same God that drowned all the babies and the same God that stood idly by while His people were being slaughtered by the Nazis???

The Nazis freely chose to give themselves over to doing evil. God doesn't ~make~ people good. It can only be freely chosen, or it isn't actually good.

This God is clearly incompetent when He is not being cruel and crazy.

You're like a petulant whining little baby, Bob. Unjustly accusing God for the evil that people choose to do is just like the stupid liberals who blame guns for murderers! :laugh:

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob writes:

Fine. Then screw God. It has It's agenda and we have ours.

Not "we" Bob. That's collectivist speak.

You.

You have your own agenda that you freely chose as an individual,

so you are getting the consequences of what you chose.

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The lack of critical thinking by the mentally lazy and confused and ignorant and cowards is the great, conservative retard.

Brant,

That is an identification mistake.

You can find examples of each, but that is not a good description of the entire mindset.

People don't believe in God because they are mentally lazy, cowards and so on.

Very thick neural pathways are set from the beginning when infants are helpless. Every adult that provides nourishment and comfort looks like God to a helpless and yet-to-develop mind. Core stories grow from there. (And grows even more after we learn for real that we are going to die.)

We can argue if that pattern reflects a bigger reality (meaning a human to God relationship) or if extrapolating is hogwash, but thick neural pathways from infancy that favor believing in God are part of human nature.

The existence of those pathways have nothing to do with choice. If you grow up around people who believe, you tend to believe because that tendency is already in you. There are lots of variables that make exceptions, but that is the general rule.

Also, I have a book on my shelf that I haven't read yet called Darwin's Cathedral, but I'm fascinated enough to dig in soon. The thesis is that religious people survived more than loners from the beginning of human history because religion cements productive, protective and reproductive cooperation within a group. People who work together for the same goal get more done than loners. It makes sense to me that we evolved from those folks, they didn't evolve from us. So we inherited through evolution the brains of people who tended to believe in religion because that helped them form groups and they survived, not the brains of loners who served as dinner for predators. It's hard to reproduce when you are being eaten.

:smile:

EDIT: As an added thought, this, to me is the reason atheism often turns into a religion (Dawkins & Co.) and so does science (scientism). Not to mention odd science things like eugenics and doomsday manmade climate change. Even why Objectivism often turns into a religion.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MSK, have you seen the god helmet? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_helmet

Korben,

I don't know how I missed that one. I haven't known about this specific setup (except in a general way like saying neuroscientists like Richard Davidson are studying religious experiences, but he goes in a Buddhist direction).

Thank you.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an added thought, this, to me is the reason atheism often turns into a religion (Dawkins & Co.) and so does science (scientism). Not to mention odd science things like eugenics and doomsday manmade climate change. Even why Objectivism often turns into a religion.

Good general points about the 'fitness' argument, that modern human beings have evolved along with religions -- it makes intuitive sense and it conforms with what little we know of modern human pre-history through anthropology. The sky gods and the rain gods and all the further elaborations do indeed serve as a group-fitness modifier, at least in the ideal world of retrospection.

I want to plug for you the excellent book by my favourite living philosopher, Susan Haack -- Defending Science, within Reason. It will pay you dividends, Michael, and serve to add both punch and depth to your thinking about 'scientism.' In re Dawkins, his books have helped thousands of people to emerge from religious delusion. In later days, he has become a cousin to Bill Maher, with an anti-Islam agenda that tends to corrupt appreciation of his work in science communication. His reputation as a public thinker has been sadly linked to an 'islamophobic' current. I don't see it, myself, at least not fully.

Re Climate Change, I have never got the impression you pay attention to current news. I figure you just dumped it all in the trash-can. In March, I hope to open a new topic with Jonathan, exploring how I came to believe what I believe, and how he came to believe what he believes.

I do disagree that Atheism turns into Religion. In general terms, this is a category error.

Atheism can be said to range from the driest dictionary meaning (a lack of faith in deities) to celebrants at revolutionary temples of reason. But in this atheist's life, and in the life of atheists I know well, and also in the lives of atheists and agnostics in the O-online communities, no parallels to the simplest definition is found. There are no rites, no 'catechism,' no clergy, no holy books, no houses of worship and devotion. It stretches a metaphor beyond the breaking point ... I think a better metaphoric handle would be 'cult' and 'cultishness' and 'tendency to form cults.' I would agree to a degree that there is a sort of Cult of Atheism in some quarters. But it is negligible, to my eyes. In any case, I ally with Ayn Rand, atheist. She made no church of her atheism. The cult of Reason, perhaps, and perhaps a small cult of personality. But that is a topic for another thread.

I remember some wise words on this subject of Cult/Atheism from Barbara Branden. I will dig up her comment and link to it here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kyrel Zantonavitch, on 19 Feb 2015 - 03:45 AM, said:

Treat others as you wish them to treat you, including with respect, courtesy, empathy, friendliness, non-criminality, and non-tyranny. This applies to low-life mass men and high-quality noble souls.

I don't treat evil people with respect, courtesy, empathy, friendliness, non criminality, non tyranny...

...simply because they don't deserve it.

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kyrel Zantonavitch, on 19 Feb 2015 - 03:45 AM, said:

Treat others as you wish them to treat you, including with respect, courtesy, empathy, friendliness, non-criminality, and non-tyranny. This applies to low-life mass men and high-quality noble souls.

I don't treat evil people with respect, courtesy, empathy, friendliness, non criminality, non tyranny...

...simply because they don't deserve it.

Greg

Then you should not mind, in the least, if your disdain is reciprocated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to plug for you the excellent book by my favourite living philosopher, Susan Haack -- Defending Science, within Reason. It will pay you dividends, Michael, and serve to add both punch and depth to your thinking about 'scientism.'

William,

I went ahead and ordered the book since you have talked about Haack before. However, I don't feel the urges to look at this book that you seem to want me to have.

In other words, I don't really need a more complex erudite explanation to convince me that the religious behavior I see many scientists engage in (including excommunications, dogma, etc., etc., etc.) doesn't exist. I see it. I've looked deeper. It exists. I'm not all that interested in a long-winded discussion trying to rationalize it nor do I have any urge to rebut the denial that it exists.

btw - The title of that book is a real turnoff to me. I'm not attacking science nor am I a part of any movement that attacks science. So why the hell should I be interested in defending it? The title itself sounds like politics.

That's the problem when people or issues become discredited. (I'm not saying Haack is discredited.) Others tune out.

Ditto for the shenanigans of the doomsday climate change government funding cartel. You are right. That is in the toilet for me. There have been too many shenanigans and the "serious" climate change people don't denounce them. That's fishy, that's what cults do, and I won't be a part of that religion. I won't support it. And I certainly won't give it the benefit of the doubt. Especially considering the power that cartel seeks to gain over mankind.

This same thinking applies to the behavior of lots and lots of atheists I see. (Not all.) You are telling me what my eyes see doesn't exist because such existence doesn't fit a storyline. And, whether you realize it or not, you are telling me Dawkins has been a great missionary for his religion. He is convincing folks his god is greater than theirs. (yawn...)

Anyway, only a religion could have invented a meme as a living organism... Talk about mind control...

Now you want me to look deeper and deeper according to someone else until I doubt my own eyes?

That ain't gonna happen.

I'll read Susan Haack to see what she has to say and see if what she says is relevant to my interests. Out of respect for you. I hope it is relevant because I will keep reading. If it isn't relevant, I will stop. I have too much that is relevant already in my reading queue. I do the identify then judge thing. And, to be clear, I'm not seeking a guru nor a religious war.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob writes:

Then you should not mind, in the least, if your disdain is reciprocated.

Oh, not at all, Bob...

I consider it a personal honor

to be hated by evil people. :smile:

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob writes:

Then you should not mind, in the least, if your disdain is reciprocated.

Oh, not at all, Bob...

I consider it a personal honor

to be hated by evil people. :smile:

Greg

You overlooked a possibility. How about being disdained by good and reasonable people. Have you considered that possibility? (Probably not)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to plug for you the excellent book by my favourite living philosopher, Susan Haack -- Defending Science, within Reason. It will pay you dividends, Michael, and serve to add both punch and depth to your thinking about 'scientism.'

I went ahead and ordered the book since you have talked about Haack before.

I am glad. It is a classic, and a touchstone. She works the stadium, from the upper nose-bleed feminist 'ways of knowing' ... all the way down to a crossword puzzle, with stops at every 'crisis' of knowledge that post-modernist thinkers have dreamed up. The twin poles of epistemological fudge and schmutz she works through are Cynicism and Scientism. The book taught me a lot, especially in terms of consilience of knowledge.

However, I don't feel the urges to look at this book that you seem to want me to have.

I can only imagine the towering piles of books to read (and have read to you) in your study. I will include for readers who are also interested in Haack's book -- but not persuaded to buy -- an excerpt from her Skeptical Inquirer article on "Preposterism." I bet almost everyone here will enjoy it. But then, I bet the Donald would win Iowa.

Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism

We are in danger of losing our grip on the concepts of truth, evidence, objectivity, disinterested inquiry. The preposterous environment in which academic work is presently conducted is inhospitable to genuine inquiry, hospitable to the sham and the fake. Encouraging both envy and resentment of the sciences, it has fed an increasingly widespread and articulate irrationalism.

That is preposterous which puts the last first and the first last. . . . Valuing knowledge, we preposterize the idea and say . . . everybody shall produce written research in order to live, and it shall be decreed a knowledge explosion.

— Jacques Barzun

There is, to be sure, a lot of misinformation about, and that is, certainly, a problem. But what concerns me is a deeper and more disturbing development: a rising tide of irrationalism, a widespread and increasingly articulate loss of confidence in the very possibility of honest inquiry, scientific or otherwise.

A hundred years or so ago, C. S. Peirce, a working scientist as well as the greatest of American philosophers, distinguished genuine inquiry from “sham reasoning,” pseudo-inquiry aimed not at finding the truth but at making a case for some conclusion immovably believed in advance; and predicted that, when sham reasoning becomes commonplace, people will come “to look on reasoning as merely decorative,” and will "lose their conceptions of truth and of reason.”

This is the very debacle taking place before our eyes: genuine inquiry is so complex and difficult, and advocacy “research” and politically-motivated “scholarship” have become so commonplace, that our grip on the concepts of truth, evidence, objectivity, inquiry has been loosened. I want to talk about how this disaster came about, and the role played by the phenomenon Barzun calls “preposterism” in encouraging it.

-- I thought to add an MP3 for those who may want to download an audio version of Haack's article. Not quite fair comment, but the reading is cleansed from Spokentext.net servers after a month.

Direct link for download. Or, with the HTML5 player, play, pause, play away. The sound file is around 25 minutes. Wisdom comes in chunks.

http://www.spokentext.net/members/wsscherk/Science_Scientism_and_Anti-Science_in_the_Age_of_Preposterism.mp3

Edited by william.scherk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

William,

I downloaded the mp3. I'll listen to it sometime over the next couple of days or so. (Just finished listening to the GOP debate and tomorrow's the Superbowl. Sorry, no Haack in the middle of that. After all, a guy has to keep his priorities straight. :) )

You might be pleased to note that I have a Susan Haack folder open on an external disk where I throw stuff by her when I come across it on the Internet.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob writes:You overlooked a possibility. How about being disdained by good and reasonable people. Have you considered that possibility? (Probably not)

You're not reasonable, Bob.

Anyone who needs to make up an imaginary image of God in order to unjustly accuse (blame) it for the evil that people freely choose to do is sick.

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say evil, Michael. I said sick.

The need to make up an imaginary object to hate is a mental illness.

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't say evil, Michael. I said sick.

Er...

Bob writes:

Then you should not mind, in the least, if your disdain is reciprocated.

Oh, not at all, Bob...

I consider it a personal honor

to be hated by evil people. :smile:

(And I still say he's a Teddy Bear.)

:smile:

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do disagree that Atheism turns into Religion. In general terms, this is a category error.

Atheism can be said to range from the driest dictionary meaning (a lack of faith in deities) to celebrants at revolutionary temples of reason. But in this atheist's life, and in the life of atheists I know well, and also in the lives of atheists and agnostics in the O-online communities, no parallels to the simplest definition is found. There are no rites, no 'catechism,' no clergy, no holy books, no houses of worship and devotion. It stretches a metaphor beyond the breaking point ... I think a better metaphoric handle would be 'cult' and 'cultishness' and 'tendency to form cults.' I would agree to a degree that there is a sort of Cult of Atheism in some quarters. But it is negligible, to my eyes. In any case, I ally with Ayn Rand, atheist. She made no church of her atheism. The cult of Reason, perhaps, and perhaps a small cult of personality. But that is a topic for another thread.

I remember some wise words on this subject of Cult/Atheism from Barbara Branden. I will dig up her comment and link to it here.

It must be then, you don't know of individuals who make of their atheism a sword and banner, as a Belief in itself which they constantly harp upon.

Contrarily, that essential, rational choice one makes for atheism is in fact not much more than punching the 'Reset' button, so clearing the decks to allow and begin true thinking.

(Still, I don't want to take away from the inital pride one fully deserves in making what can be a difficult and unpopular choice. But it's the beginning to fill the vacuum left behind from god and religion, only a start to a proper pursuit of personal knowledge and morality).

In those individuals I'm thinking of, "Scientism" / science as replacement to faith generally follows their newfound atheism, and I agree with MSK. Yes certainly there are degrees and sub-types of skepticism.

I'm reading "The Rebel Angels' by Robertson Davies, that very good Canadian novelist you must know of.

I've just read of "Parlabane", an ex-monk and philosopher and extreme skeptic, saying to a student:

"But as a sceptic I am dubious about science as about everything else, unless the scientist is himself a sceptic, and few of them are. The stench of formaldehyde may be as potent as the whiff of incense in stimulating a naturally idolatrous understanding".

I disagreed with all Parlabane's other rationalisations, but in that one passage are echoes of Rand:

"Men have been taught either that knowledge is impossible (skepticism) or that it is available without effort (mysticism). These two positions appear to be antagonists, but are, in fact, two variants on the same theme, two sides of the same fraudulent coin: the attempt to escape the responsibility of rational cognition and the absolutism of reality--and the attempt to assert the primacy of consciousness over existence".

Evidently, not every atheist goes that way, into the neo-mysticism of becoming subjectively skeptical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kyrel Zantonavitch, on 19 Feb 2015 - 03:45 AM, said:

Treat others as you wish them to treat you, including with respect, courtesy, empathy, friendliness, non-criminality, and non-tyranny. This applies to low-life mass men and high-quality noble souls.

I don't treat evil people with respect, courtesy, empathy, friendliness, non criminality, non tyranny...

...simply because they don't deserve it.

Greg

To Kyrel and "low life mass men and high-quality noble souls" and to you and "evil people", Greg, I have to ask the same: How do you know?

How can you tell?

Instantly, that is.

One can't read someone's mind, and going only by superficial impressions is clearly irrational and often untrue and unjust.

We know it takes time and close attention to know another person reasonably well. Does he "practise what he preaches"? Are his actions consonant with his words?

Does he have integrity, iow. -- and often people can have mixed premises and unpredictable, confused actions.

Mostly, what are 'YOUR' standards of judgment?

(In the mean time, 'you' too are being judged by his standards).

I agree with Kyrel in part, that one initally treats others with simple respect, courtesy (etc.), but I think, only after one gains better understanding, with experience, can one rate them higher or lesser.

And I disagree that it must be primarily in order to be treated reciprocally.

Primary, is that from the word go, you can only and honestly reveal your own objective behavior/morality in your words and acts (which others pick up on quickly, if only implicitly) independent from expectations of others' actions -

secondarily, that you naturally would have good will and respect for others, as corollary of a rational morality, and -

lastly, that of course you would prefer to be treated equivalently - but far preferably, by others of similar candor and objective, unchanging morals (so as not that some should temporarily 'copycat' you, to win you over or deceive you). But don't count on it. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob writes:You overlooked a possibility. How about being disdained by good and reasonable people. Have you considered that possibility? (Probably not)

You're not reasonable, Bob.

Anyone who needs to make up an imaginary image of God in order to unjustly accuse (blame) it for the evil that people freely choose to do is sick.

Greg

I did not do any "making up". I am simply pointing to the god-thing t hat is preached by the leaders and founders of the Abramaic religions - Judaism (the first), Christianity and Islam. You can throw in Ba'Hai which is a detoxified form of Islam.

My take is that if the god-thing exists it is not anything like that abomination that is preached by the major Abrahamic Religions. Reasonable Jews have had to invent an alternative practical and bearable religion -- Reform Judaism that bears a similar relation to Orthodox Judaism as does the Ba'hai faith bears to Islam (Suni or Shi'ite). No reasonable humane person could worship or served the wretched potentate put forth by the strict adherents of the Abrahamic religions. Even Christianity which tried to be the less toxic version of Pharasaic Judaism (it failed at that, btw) presents the god-thing as a parent who abuses its child. There was Jesus in the garden blubbering and whining about his forthcoming crucifixion. Dad! Can I get out of this???? Answer from the Father: No soap, sonny boy. You are going to be nailed to a plank and die horribly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob wrote:

Then you should not mind, in the least, if your disdain is reciprocated.

moralist wrote:

Oh, not at all, Bob...

I consider it a personal honor

to be hated by evil people. :smile:

I was speaking of a general principle. Bob took it personally.

Whoever loves what's morally right enough to do it will naturally hated by the world that doesn't.

It's a mental illness to need to make up something imaginary in order to blame it for the evil that people do...

...because it excuses the people who are actually doing evil...

...while blaming an imaginary God who actually isn't evil at all.

This is why I said Bob is sick but not evil. Because he doesn't hold evil people accountable for their acts, while he shifts blame onto something he made up that isn't even real.

This is exactly like fruitloop liberals who blame guns for murderers. They excuse murderers by blameshifting onto guns. This can only be done by believing the liberal lie that inanimate objects can do evil acts on their own. This is exactly as stupid as believing the lie that God is evil.

I don't know Bob but I can tell you just by general moral principle:

Misplaced hatred is a basis of disease because it is absolutely TOXIC.

Michael, have you ever seen someone physically destroyed by their own misplaced hatred which they stubbornly won't let go?

I have.

It ain't a pretty sight.

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael, have you ever seen someone physically destroyed by their own misplaced hatred which they stubbornly won't let go?

I have.

It ain't a pretty sight.

Greg,

I agree with you and yes I have.

Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous were full of such people when I was actively going. Many I personally knew did not survive their hatred.

btw - Both of those organizations helped me like a superhero rescuing a person in mid free-fall from a high ledge. It is hard to find words that can express the depth of the gratitude I feel toward them.

As to hatred, I am no fan.

But it's more than speech. I have also seen those who do not express hatred and are consumed by it. And I have seen those who talk big, but are Teddy Bears. :smile:

Over time, I became a pretty good judge of which is which. I also bopped around the underworld in my dark years, so I had to develop those chops to survive.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...